Stratton v. Jarvis
AN appeal from the circuit court of the United States for the district of Maryland.
In the district court of the United States for the district of Maryland, a libel was filed by the appellant for salvage, against several packages of merchandize of the invoice value of thirteen thousand six hundred and forty-one dollars and ninety-five cents, the property of fifteen consignees, alleged to have been saved from the brig Spark in the Chesapeake Bay; the vessel having been on a voyage from New York to Baltimore, and having struck on Thomas's Point in the bay, on the 11th of March 1831.
The libellant was master of the sloop Liberty, a small vessel which took from the Spark the merchandize stated to have been saved; he having been employed for the purpose in Annapolis, by the master of the Spark, who, after she was on shore, went there to obtain vessels in which to discharge the cargo.
The libel alleged that the contract under which the Liberty was employed for a stipulated compensation, was rescinded by the owners of the Spark, who had repaired to her from Baltimore after hearing of her misfortune; they declaring they would not be responsible for the payment of the sum stipulated, but that they 'abandoned the goods;' and the claim for hire having thus been converted into a case of salvage.
The answer of the appellees, the owners of the merchandize, denied the claim of the libellant to salvage, and relied upon the agreement for a stipulated compensation as fixed upon by the captain of the Spark, the amount of which was offered to be paid to the libellant, and was by him refused.
The answer also denied that the cargo of the Spark was in danger of loss; and that services of a meritorious character, upon which a claim for salvage would rest, had been performed by the libellant.
The district court allowed, as a salvage, twenty per cent; which, on appeal by the appellees, the circuit court reduced to five per cent, on the gross proceeds of the goods; from which decree of the circuit court the libellant appealed.
In the circuit court the following agreement was entered into:
'List of owners.-Patterson & Duncan, J. B. Danforth, Chamberlin & Caldwell, William B. Keys & Co., Baltzell & Davidson, Mummey & Meredith, John Armstrong & Son, William M. Ellicott & Co., Sacket & Shannon, Baltzell & Dalrymple, Peabody, Riggs & Co., Bancroft & Peck, Lawrence & Anderson, S. & J. B. Ford, Jarvis & Brown.'
'List of consignees.-Joseph Taylor & Son, John T. Barr, B. & Davidson, M. & Meredith, C. F. Pochon & Co., Ellicott & Co., S. & Shannon, B. & D., N. F. Williams, P. R. & Co. B. & Peck, E., Eichelberger & Co., Talbot Jones & Co., H. & W. Crawford, J. & B., Morrison and Egerton.'