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17781 a Frenchman died intestate, seized of certain real estate in Maryland, which he had acquired after naturalization; as his only heirs were French citizens the State of Maryland claimed that the lands were escheatable, and pursuant to some arrangement conveyed them to a natural son of the deceased who resided in this country. The legitimate heirs brought suit against the grantee of the State, who answered that they could not clain the property in view of the anti-alien laws, then existing in the State of Maryland. The State of Maryland had passed an act permitting the lands of a French subject to descend to his next of kin, provided they should be conveyed to a citizen of Maryland within ten years. The heirs of Chirac pleaded the treaty, claiming that they could inherit regardless of State laws and that notwithstanding the subsequent abrogation of the treaty they were not compelled to convey the property to a citizen within ten years. The Supreme Court sustained their contention; in affirining the judgment of the lower court below Chief Justice Marshall, referring to the effects of the treaty, said as follows:
of Harden vs. Fisher, (1 Wlreat. Ct. 1848, 5 Denio, 545, BEARDSRep. 300,) and Orr vs. Hodgson, (4 LEY, Ch. J. Wheat. Rep. 453,) it was decided Fox vs. Southack, Sup. Ct. Mass. that, under this treaty, it was not 1815, 12 Mass. 143, JACKSON, J. necessary for the alien to show that
$ 332. he was in the actual possession or i Treaty of Amity and Commerce, seisen of the land, at the time of between the Most Christian King the treaty; because the treaty ap- and the thirteen United States of plies to the title, whatever that North America, concluded Februmay be, and gives it the same legal ary 6, 1778, Ratified by the Contivalidity as if the parties were citi- nental Congress, May 4, 1778, U. S. zens."
Treaties and Conventions, edition Gordon vs. Kerr, U. S. Cir. Ct. 1889, p. 296. Penna. 1806, 1 Washington, C. C. The full text of Article XI 322, Fed. Cas. 5611, WASHINGTON, (p. 297) is as follows: “The subJ., and see extract under $ 354 of jects, people and inhabitants of the this chapter, p. 47, post.
said United States, or any one of As to when stipulations in the them, shall not be reputed aubains British treaty did not affect State in France, and consequently shall titles, see Blight vs. Rochester, U. S. be exempted from the droit d'auSup. Ct. 7 Wheaton, 535, MAR-baine, or other similar duty, under SHALL, Ch, J., 1822.
what name soever. They may by Carver vs. Jackson, U. S. Sup. testament, donation or otherwise, Ct. 1830, 4 Peters, 1, STORY, J. dispose of their goods, movable and Brown vs. Sprague, N. Y. Sup. I immovable, in favor of such per“It is unnecessary to inquire into the consequences of this state of things, because we are all of opinion that the treaty between the United States and France, ratified in 1778, enabled the subjects of France to hold lands in the United States. That treaty declares that “The subjects and inbabitants of the United States, or any one of them, shall not be reputed aubains (that is aliens) in France. They may, by testament, donation, or otherwise, dispose of their goods, movable and immovable, in favor of such persons as to them shall seem good; and their heirs, subjects of the said United States, whether residing in France or elsewhere, may succeed them ab intestat, without being obliged to obtain letters of naturalization. The subjects of the most christian king shall enjoy, on their part, in all the dominions of the said states, an entire and perfect reciprocity relative to the stipulations contained in the present article.'? sons as to them shall seem good, France against emigrations which and their heirs, subjects of the said shall remain in all their force aud United States, residing whether in vigor, and the United States on France or elsewhere, may succeed their part, or any of them, shall be them ab intestat, without being at liberty to enact such laws relaobliged to obtain letters of naturali- tive to that matter as to them zation, and without having the ef- shall seem proper." fect of this concession contested or 2 Chirac vs. Chirac, U. S. Sup. Ct. impeded under pretexts of any 1817, 2 Wheaton, 259, MARSHALL, rights or prerogative of provinces, Ch. J. The extracts quoted from cities or private persons; and the the opinion will be found at p. 270 said heirs, whether such by partic- and p. 277. See also ular title, or ab intestat, shall be Dawsons' Lessee vs. Godfrey, U.S. exempt from all duty called droit Sup. Ct. 1808, 4 Cranch, 321, JOHNdetraction, or other duty of the son, J. same kind, saving nevertheless the In this case it was held, as stated local rights or duties as much and in the syllabus, that a person born as long as similar ones are not in England before the year 1775 and established by the United States, who always resided there, and was or any of them. The subjects of never in the United States, was an the most Christian King shall alien, and could not in the year 1793 enjoy on their part, in all the do- take lands in Maryland by descent miujons of the said States, an entire from a citizen of the United States. and perfect reciprocity relative to Owinys vs. Norwood's Lessee, U. the stipulations contained in the S. Sup. Ct. 1809, 5 Cranch, 344, present article, but it is at the MARSHALL, Ch. J. same time agreed that its contents Smith vs. Slate of Maryland, U. S. shall not affect the laws made, or Sup. Ct. 1810, 6 Cranch, 286, Washthat may be made hereafter in 'INGTON, J.
“Upon every principle of fair construction, this article gave to the subjects of France a right to purchase and hold lands in the United States.
“ It is unnecessary to inquire into the effect of this treaty under the confederation, because, before John Baptiste Chirac emigrated to the United States, the confederation had yielded to our present constitution, and this treaty had become the supreme law of the land.
“The repeal of this treaty could not affect the real estate acquired by John Baptiste Chirac, because he was then a naturalized citizen, conformably to the act of Congress; and no longer required the protection given by treaty.”
As to the effect of the original Chirac dying after the treaty had expired, the Chief Justice, in his opinion, says:
“ If, then, the treaty between the United States and France still continued in force, the defendant would certainly be entitled to recover the land for which this suit is instituted. But the treaty is, by an article which has been added to it, limited to eight years, which have long since expired. How does this circumstance affect the case ?
“The treaty was framed with a view to its being perpetual. Consequently, its language is adapted to the state of things
Jackson vs. Clark, U. S. Sup. Ct. | The Chief Justice disposed of that 1818, 3 Wheaton, 1, MARSHALL, objection on p. 189 as follows: Ch. J.
* The alleged alienage of LacasMorris vs. United States, U. S. saign constitutes no objection. Had Sup. Ct. 1899, 174 U. S, 196, Sui- the fact been proved, this Court RAS, J., as to laws of Maryland as decided, in the case of Chirac vs. Chiaffected by treaty.
rac, (reported in 2 Wheat. Rep. 259), Dunlop vs. Alexander, U. S. Cir. that the treaty of 1778, between the Ct., D. C. 1808, 1 Cranch C. C. 498. United States and France, secures
Carneal vs. Banks, U. S. Sup. Ct. to the citizens and subjects of 1825, 10 Wheaton, 181, MARSHALL, either power the privilege' of holdCH. J.
ing lands in the territory of the In this case specific performance other; and the omission to record of contract was asked and a num- the deed in time, may involve the bor of objections to title were title in difficulty, but does not anraised, amongst them that in the nul it. That circumstance might plaintiff's claim of title there was oppose considerable obstacles to a a French citizen who could not, decree for a specific performance, under the alienage laws of Ken- if sought by Carneal's heirs, but tucky where the land was situated, does not justify a decree to set inlcrit and transmit real property. I aside the contract.”
onumpateri oy the parties, add no provision could be made ixtreerest of its expiring within a certain number of years. The cart most decide on the eifect of this added article in the case which bas cocurred. It will be admitted, that a right in restul does not reqpire, for its preservation, the contiros existence of the power by which it was acquired. If a treaty, or any other law, has performed its office by giving a right, the expiration of the treaty or law cannot extinguish that right. Let us, then, inquire, whether this temporary tresty gave rights which existed only for eight years, or gave rights during eight years which survived it.
“The terms of this instrument leare no doubt on this subject. Its whole effect is immediate. The instant the descent is cast, the right of the party becomes as complete as it can afterwards be made. The French subject who acquired lands by descent the day before its expiration, has precisely the same rights under it as he who acquired them the day after its formation. He is seized of the same estate, and has precisely the same power during life to dispose of it. This limitation of the compact between the two nations, would act upon, and change all its stipulations, if it could affect this case. But the court is of opinion, that the treaty had its full effect the instant a right was acquired under it; that it had nothing further to perform; and that its expiration or continuance afterwards was unimportant."
$ 333. The Pollard Case; Justice Baldwin's opinion ; 1840.-In Lessee of Pollard's Heirs vs. Gaius Kibbé, decided by the Supreme Court in January, 1810, the question involved was the validity of a grant under the treaty with France of 1802, and the treaty with Spain in 1819.
In a long opinion, Mr. Justice Baldwin says, in regard to the supremacy of treaties, after reviewing the decisions of the Supreme Court in this respect :
“The Constitution of the United States declares a treaty to be the supreme law of the land, of consequence, its obli
2 Howard, 591, CATRON, J.; and 1 Pollard's Lessee vs. Kibbé, U.S. Pollard's Lessee vs. Hagan, U. S. Sup.Ct. 1840, 14 Peters, 353, THOMP- Sup. Ct. 1845, 3 Howard, 212, MCSON, J. See also Pollard's Lessee KINLEY, J. vs. Files, U. S. Supreme Ct. 1844,
gation on the Courts of the United States must be admitted. It is certainly true, that the execution of a contract between nations, is to be demanded from, and generally superintended by the executive of each nation.
But where a treaty is the law of the land, and, as such, affects the rights of parties litigant in Court, that treaty as much binds their rights, and is as much to be regarded by the Court, as an act of Congress; and on this principle it was held, that a stipulation in a treaty that property (shall be) restored, operated as an immediate restoration, and annulled a judgment of condemnation previously made. The fourth article of the treaty of peace with Great Britain, in 1783, stipulated that creditors shall meet with no lawful impediment to the recovery of debts. The sixth article stipulated, that there (shall be) no future confiscations, and that persons in confinement (shall be) immediately set at liberty, and prosecutions commenced be discontinued. The ninth article of the treaty of 1794 stipulated, that British subjects, etc., (shall continue to hold lands), etc. In Ware vs. Hylton, it was held, that the treaty of peace repealed and nullified all state laws, by its own operation, revived the debt, removed all lawful impediments, and was a supreme law, which overrules all state laws on the subject, to all intents and purposes; and is of equal force and effect as the Constitution itself. In Hopkirk vs. Bell, the treaty was held to repeal the Virginia statute of limitations. In Hunter vs. Martin, the treaty of 1794 was held to be the supreme law of the land; that it completely protected and confirmed the title of Fairfax, even admitting that the treaty of peace had left him wholly unprovided for; that as a public law, it was a part of every case before the Court, and so completely governed it, that in a case where a treaty was ratified after the rendition of a judgment in the Circuit Court, which was impeachable on no other ground than the effect of a treaty, the judgment was reversed on that ground.
“The treaty of 1778, with France, stipulated that the subjects of France shall not be reputed aliens; and it was held,
Hopkirk vs. Bell, U. S. Sup. Ct. 3 Hunter vs. Martin, same as Mar1806–7, 3 Cranch, 453, and 4 Cranch, tin vs. Hunter, U. S. Sup. Ct. 1816, 163,
| 1 Wheaton, 304, STORY, J.