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ARNOLD 1799, entitled " an act making further provision for the & OTHERS" payment of the debts of the United States," and also v. "a certain other act of congress, p:-ssed on the 7th day U.STATES." of June, 1794, entitled an act laying additional duties

" on goods, &c. imported into the United States." The "Defendants also aver, that the duties due by the acts "aforesaid, on the importation of said goods, &c. in "manner aforesaid, amounted at the time of the impor❝tation of the same as aforesaid, to the aforesaid sum of "1708 dollars and 38 cents, and no more, and were then "and there ascertained by the said deputy collector, to "that sum and no more, according to the condition of said "bond, and in pursuance of the provisions of said statutes. "They also aver, that at the time of the entering of the said "goods, &c. at the custom house, as aforesaid, on the said 2d "day of July, 1812, neither they, the Defendants, nor "the collector of the customs for said district of Provi"dence, had any knowledge of the act, entitled" an act "for imposing additional duties upon all goods, &c. im"ported from any foreign port or place, and for other 66 purposes," passed on the 1st day of July, 1812; nor "was the said last mentioned act promulgated, publish"ed and made known, at the district of Providence as "aforesaid, at the time of making the said entry, as "aforesaid, and this the Defendants are ready to "verify, &c."

To this plea, the Plaintiffs demurred.

In the Circuit Court, judgment was rendered for the Plaintiffs, for 3428 dollars and 90 cents.

PITKIN, On the part of the Plaintiffs in error, contended,

1. That the act imposing double duties could not, on principles of law, or justice, be considered as in operation until the 2d day of July. The words of that act are: that an additional duty, &c. shall be levied and "collected upon all goods, &c. which shall, from and after the passing of this act, be imported into the United "States, &c."

The act was approved by the president on the 1st day of July, 1812. By the sound construction of the words,

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"from and after the passing of this act," it is contended ARNOLD that the first day of July, must be excluded; tha the & OTHERS meaning is the same, as if the words used had been from and after the 1st day of July, in which case the 1st day U.STATES. of July would certainly be excluded, and the act would not be in force until after that day. From and after the passing this act," have also the same meaning, as from and after the time, of passing the act. The question would then occur, as it now does, when or at what time was the act passed, the answer is on the 1st day of July, and of course, unless there are fractions of a day, the duties could not be levied and collected until after that day. The act repealing the duty on salt passed in 1807, declares, "that from and after the 31st day of December "next, so much of any act as lays a duty on imported ❝salt, be and the same is hereby repealed, and from and "after the day last, aforesaid, salt shall be imported, &c. "duty free."

No one has ever pretended, that salt could be imported duty free, until the 1st day of January, because it could not be so imported, until from and after the day preceding. The Court must undoubtedly give such a construction to the act, as that no citizen can, by possibi lity be subjected to its operation before it had actually passed. In order to prevent this, the Court must either exclude the 1st day of July altogether, or they must admit fractions of a day, and suffer an enquiry into the very moment of time on that day, when the act received the signature of the president, and was lodged in the office of the secretary of state.


If a vessel had arrived in the morning of the 1st day of July, and the act was not in fact approved by the president, until the afternoon of that day, it cannot be pretended, that the goods brought in such vessel, were im ported from and after the passing of the act." It is well known, that acts are not generally presented to the president for his approbation, until about the middle of the day, and on the last day of the session, frequently not until nearly the last hour of the day. The difficulties however, attending an enquiry of this nature, as well as the impropriety of calling on the president, for information, as to the moment when a law received his sanction, may perhaps be sufficient inducements for

ARNOLD the Court to say, that when the rights and interests of v. the citizens are so materially involved, and when by the & OTHERS express words of the act, it is not to take effect, until U.STATES. from and after the passing of the same, they will, as a ――― general rule exclude the day on which it passed. The

authorities, which have a bearing on this question, are various and contradictory. In the case of Pugh & wife v. Duke of Leeds, Cowper 714, these authorities are referred to and commented upon by lord Mansfield with his usual ability and sound sense.

Much more subtlety than argument has been used to prove a difference in the meaning of words made use of, in instruments, to shew the time, when they should take effect. When the words have been from the date," the Court have sometimes said, it should include the day, and where the words have been "from the day of the date," it should exclude the day. In some cases the Courts have entirely rejected this distinction, and have said, that they do or may mean the same thing. In the case of Bellasis v. Hester, 1 Lord Raymond, 280, on a bill of exchange, payable 10 days after sight, the Court, two judges against one, decided, that the day on which the bill was presented for payment was included.

This opinion, however, was against the custom and practice of merchants. In the case of Hatter v. Ash, 1 Lord Raymond, p. 85, the following distinction is made by counsel, and is admitted by one of the judges, and not contradicted by the others, "that the words" from the date "when used to pass on interest included the day, aliter, "when used by way of computation on matters of ac"count." This distinction is in some measure recognized by lord Mansfield, in the above case of Pugh & Leeds, in Cowper. In this last case lord Mansfield says, that the words "from the date," or "from the day of the "date," may be either inclusive or exclusive, according to the subject matter, and may be construed either way, to give effect to the transaction, or for the furtherance of justice between parties. In the case now before the Court, it is not necessary to include the day, for the purpose of giving effect and validity to the law; and in case the day is included, manifest injustice may, and in all probability will happen to the citizens of the United States. For, if there can be no fractions of a day, the act must in legal contemplation be considered as in force,


from the first moment of the day, on which it received ARNOLD the sanction of the president. It is understood, that by & OTHERS the construction at the treasury, the 1st day of July, is excluded, and that the accounts of the collectors of the U.STATES. customs are all settled, excluding double duties, on goods which arrived on that day.

2. Even if the act went into operation on the 1st day of July, then was this case a complete importation, before that time. The vessel and cargo arrived within the U. States, and within the limits of the state of R. Island, on the 30th day of June, and the importation was then perfected. Importation does not imply a bringing into any particular port, to which the vessel may be destined; a bringing within the jurisdictional limits of the U. States, either on land or water, is an importation. Importing and bringing into the U. States, are used synonimously in various sections of the collection law, and the fair interpretation of both expressions is, that an importation is no more than voluntarily introducing property within the jurisdiction of the United States generally, and does not require its actual arrival at the port of its destination. The moment a cargo so arrives within the United States, and before it reaches its port of destination, the right of the United States, attaches to it. A manifest of the cargo must be delivered to their officers, and the cargo subjected in some degree to their control. The U. States then have, at least, an inchoate right to duties, of which the owner, cannot deprive them except by exportation, without unlading; the right to the duties accrues, on the first entry of the vessel into the waters of the United States, and not after her arrival at her port of destination; and no new right, on such arrival, accrues, except the secondary right of ascertaining the amount of duties to be paid, and the extent of the security required for them, which could not be ascertained, till after an actual entry at the custom house. The coming in of the vessel to the waters of the United States, her proceeding to her destined port, her entry there, is one transaction, and is one act in relation to duties; and when she reaches her destined port and enters there, the right of the United States attaches as from the first moment of her coming within the jurisdictional limits of the United States, and the responsibilities of the owner cannot be increased or varied to his injury, by subsequent acts of the government.


The 36th section of the law clearly discriminates be & OTHERS tween importation and entry. By the collection law, and all the forms of manifest, entry, &c. it is clearly evinced U.STATES. that importation precedes entry.



To constitute an importation, there must be a voluntary bringing of goods into the United States; the vessel must be bound to the United States, with an intent there to unlade her cargo, or to enter the same for exportation without unlading.

Coming in by stress of weather or other necessity is not a legal importation.

By a construction given to the navigation acts of Great Britain, coming into a port, with an intent to unlade, although bulk be not broken, is an importation, but a mere coming within the limits of a port, without any intent to break bulk, or unlade, is not an importation, either to make the customs become due, or to subject the ship or goods to forfeiture, or to oblige the master to report or make entry, &c. (Reeve's History of the law of shipping, 260.)

So goods siezed in a ship 20 miles below the Hope, but within the limits of the port of London, are considered as an importation, (Reeves, p. 261.)

It is believed also, that, under our non-importation law, arrival at any particular port of destination, is not necessary to constitute an offence under that act, but that if the vessel is bound to the United States with an intent there to unlade her cargo, the forfeiture is incurred the moment the vessel voluntarily enters the limits of the United States. The words in the collection law and non-importation act, are the same, viz. "Imported into "the United States," &c.

3. If, however, the importation was not so complete, as that the duties accrued, on the arrival of the vessel within the jurisdictional limits of the United States; it is contended, that the importation was perfected, and the right of the United States to duties complete, on her arrival within the limits of any district of the customs of the United States,

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