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sons for a voyage at a specified freight, they are common carriers, unless the terms of the charter-party relieve them.
Carriers are responsible for the acts of all persons in their employ: the act of the agent or servant is deemed to be the act of the principal and master. Injuries done to the goods by strangers must be made up by the carrier. He is liable for accidental fires, thefts, robberies: the goods must be delivered as directed, in the same good order in which they were intrusted to him.
The common carrier must receive all such goods as are offered for the place to which he carries, from anybody willing to pay the regular or a reasonable freight-charge: proof of readiness and willingness to pay is enough, though it might be advisable to tender the charges if a suit is intended. The carrier may refuse if he is full
, or the goods are dangerous to be carried, or until he is ready to receive them, or if they are goods it is not his custom to carry, or for a good reason. When he takes freight, he must deliver it in a reasonable time; his ship should be seaworthy, and properly furnished and inanned, and he must proceed to the port advertised or otherwise agreed on.
A carrier is not liable for loss by a river or canal freezing up, during his voyage, unless he neglected to use due dili. gence; nor for the leakage of a ship strained in a storm, nor for losses from collision of his ship with another, unless he was negligent; but for losses by theft and robbery, and for all felonies except piracy, he is liable.
The carrier is liable for goods the moment they are delivered to him; any delivery, in which he specially accepts the goods, binds him; acceptance is frequently implied and binding from the usage of business. Where a carrier receives his freight, even at the shipper's warehouse or that of his agent, and takes it in charge, if that be the usage, it binds him.
He is not liable for goods left in the yard of an inn, where several carriers put up, and not actually delivered to him. For goods delivered at a wharf to some unknown person, of which the wharfinger had no knowledge, he was held not liable.
When goods have reached the destined place, they must be delivered to the proper person, or deposited in the proper place, and the consignee, or one entitled to receive them, duly notified. If he accepts the delivery, the carrier is no
longer liable. In some instances the local usage, or the custom of particular carrying-trades, in the absence of express directions from the shippers, regulates the delivery; but if there is a special contract, it must be fulfilled.
If the carrier of a line from Boston to New York takes goods to be forwarded to Philadelphia by a particular conveyance, his liability ceases, as carrier, when ihey are safely deposited at New York, and ready for such next conveyance; but if he takes goods to forward to places beyond the extent of his own line, he is answerable as carrier to the place of final destination.
A carrier is answerable for losses from deposites or storage of goods on the route; but if goods are left in his possession beyond a reasonable time, he is only bound to take ordinary
If he delivers goods under a mistake of his own, or of fraud on the part of others (other than the owners or shippers), he must make good the value to the owner.
No contract, no public or personal notice, will exempt the carrier of goods from losses caused by liis or his agents' neglect or fraud; but notice of ihe carrier (if the shipper can be proved to have read it or known of its existence, and not otherwise) that he will not take goods of great value, or that he will not pay more than a specified sum unless specially informed of such value and paid in proportion to the risk, is good. An ambiguous notice will be construed against the carrier. Notices at each end of a route will not bind those who ship goods at intermediate places, unless specially made known to them. A personal notice to the principal is binding on all his agents who may forward by the same line. A carrier can not, by any transfer of the goods to another carrier, exempt himself: if he forward in another mode than that understood, he will be liable, in cases where his notice would have otherwise protected him.
If the owner of goods mislead the carrier as to their value, or make false statements calculated to lessen his vigilance, it is a fraud
him. Where there is no notice, or special contract of limitation, it is enough for the owner to show the carrier's undertaking the carriage of his goods, and a non-delivery. The carrier must show why he did not deliver ; but when there is a notice, the owner must show a want of ordinary prudence in the car. rier. A valid seizure of goods because of an illegal act of the owner, will excuse a non-delivery; but the seizure must
be valid, or the carrier will be liable. The carrier has legal power sufficient to put any claimant to the proof as to his title to take the goods ; if he neglect to use that power, he is liable. In case of stolen goods, the carrier must deliver them to the owner on demand.
When goods are sent by water, and it becomes necessary to throw a part overboard, thereby to save the rest, the loss is to be general. When one shipper's goods are thus destroyed, and those of others saved, the loser may demand a contribution from all the others, and from the ship-owners, anıl the party entitled to freight, in such equi. table amount as will subject him only to his fair proportion of the loss according to the value of goods he had shipped. Land-carriers, when inevitable perils oblige them to incur unusual charges, may demand payment by an equitable contribution.
The carrier has a right to demand payment when he receives the goods : he may refuse to take them if not so paid ; but if he take them, to be paid at the end of the route, he may retain them till paid, on his arrival there. He may waive this lien by agreement, in which case his charges become a simple debt. As a general rule, the consignor is bound for the freight; but the consignee, if he engage to pay, is also. Nautical usages have often become, by the decisions of courts, positive law. Different states have passed local laws to regulate their navigation : if a carrier breas any of these rules to the loss of a shipper, he is liable.
In the states of New York and Ohio, special notices and special contracts, by common carriers, are held to be against the policy of the law, and therefore utterly void. The courts also hold that the notice that “all baggage is at the risk of the owner,” is a nullity; but the carrier may require the shipper to disclose the nature and value of the property, or make a special acceptance.
Warehousemen, wharfingers, and private carriers, are only bound to use ordinary care and diligence, and are liable but for gross negligence or bad faith.
Common carriers are bound to carry passengers safcly and properly to their place of destination; to use the utmost skill, care, and diligence; and are responsible for the least neglect. If an accident happen, it falls to the carrier to show that it was not his fault. All who seek a passage are to be treated with impartiality, but must pay in advance if required and submit to reasonable rules for the general convenience and comfort. Persons of coarse, rude conduct, or suspicious or notorious bad character, may be refused.
The conveyance must be suitable for the passage, having skilful, prudent, faithful conductors and servants. If by water, the vessel must be seaworthy, with a competent crew. His baggage must be duly delivered to the passenger, or the carrier must keep it for him a reasonable time.
In case of a coachman, if he be rash, careless, races violently, or by want of caution runs foul of anything, and an accident happen, the proprietors are liable. The baggage he may detain for unpaid fare.
LIABILITY OF SHIP-OWNERS.
The following Act in regard to the liabilities of ship-owners, which was passed by Congress, March, 1851, has so important a bearing on sea-carriage of merchandise, that it is inserted entire. How far it will effect the old established principles of common carrier liabilities, stated in the preceding article, remains to be settled by the legal tribunals.
No owner or owners of any ship or vessel shall be subject or liable to answer for or make good to any one or more person or persons any loss or damage
which may happen to any goods or merchandise whatsoever, which shall be shipped, taken in, or put on board any such ship or vessel, by reason or by means of any fire happening to or on board the said ship or vessel, unless such fire is caused by the design or neglect of such owner or owners: Provided, That bothing in this act contained shall prevent the parties from making such contract as they please, extending or limiting the liability of ship-owners.
if any shipper or shippers of platina, gold, gold-dust, silver, bullion, or other precious metals, coins, jewelry, bills of any bank or public body, diamonds or other precious stones, shall lade the same on board any ship or vessel, without at the time of such lading, giving to the master, agent, owner or owners of the ship or vessel receiving the same, a note in writing of the true character and value thereof, and have the same entered on the bill of lading therefor, the master and owner or owners of the said vessel shall not be liable, as carriers, in any form or manner. Nor shall any such master or owners be liable for any such valuable goods beyond the value and according to the character thereof so notified and entered.
The liability of the owner or owners of any ship or vessel for any embezzlement, loss or destruction, by the master, officers, mariners. passengers, or any other person or persons, of any property, goods, or merchandise, shipped or put on board any such ship or vessel, or for any loss, damage, or injury by cořision, or for any act, matter or thing, loss, dantage, or forfeiture, done, occasioned, or incurred, without the privity or knowledge of suel own. er or owners, shall in no case exceed the amount or value of the interest of such owner or owners, respectively, in such ship or vessel, and her freights then pending.
If any such embezzlement, loss, or destruction, shall be suffered by several freighters or owners of goods, wares, or merchandise, or any property whatever, on the same voyage. and the whole value of the ship or vessel, and her freight for the voyage, shall not be sufficient to make compensation to each of them, they shall receive compensation from the owner or owners of the ship or vessel in proportion to their respective losses; and for that purpose the said freighters and owners of the property, and the owner or owners of the ship or vessel, or any of them, may take the appropriate proceedings in any court for the purpose of apportioning the sum for which the owner or owners, of any ship or vessel, may be liable among the parties entitled thereto. And it shall be deemed a sufficient compliance with the requirements of this act, on the part of such owner or owners, if he or they shall transfer his or their interest in such vessel and freight, for the benefit of such claimants, to a trustee, to be appointed by any court of competent jurisdiction, to act as such trustee for the person or persons who may prove to be legally entitled thereto, from and after which transfer, all claims and proceedings against the owner or owners shall cease.
The charterer or charterers of any ship or vessel, in case he or they shall man, victual, and navigate, such vessel at his or their own expense, or by his or their own procurement, shall be deemed the owner or owners of such vessel, within the meaning of this act; and such ship or vessel when so chartered shall be liable in the same manner as if navigated by the owner or owners thereof.
Nothing in the preceding sections shall be construed to take away or affect the remedy to which any party may be entitled, against the master, officers, or mariners, for or on account ei any embezzlement, injury, loss, or destruction of goods, wares, merchandise, or other property, put on board any ship
or vessel or on account of any negligence, fraud, or other malversation of such master, officers, or mariners, respectively, nor shall anything lerein contained lessen or take away any responsibility to which wny master or mariner of any ship or vessel may now by law be liable, notwithstanding such master or mariner may be an owner or part owner of such ship or vessel.
Any person or persone shipping oil of vitriol, unslaked lime, inflammable matches, or gunpowder, in a ship or vessel takiug cargo for divers persons on freight, without delivering at the time of shipment, a note in writing, expressing the nature and character of sucla werchandise, to the master, mate, officer, or person in charge of the lading of the ship or vessel, shall forfeit to the United States one thousand dollars.
This act shall not app to the owner or owners of any canal-boat, barge, or lighter, to any beese of any description whateuever, used in river or inland navigation.
Entry of Vessels from Foreign Ports – It is necessary that three copies of the manifests of vessels from foreign ports should be made out before arrival, in order to la presented to the boarding officer upon arrival They shoulil include erery. thing on board; and, after stating the cargo laden at the port of departure, if there shonld be any return cargo, it should then be added under that head. If there are any surplus stores, these shonld then be particularized; and, finally, the passengers' names, individually, with the number of packages of baggage belonging to ench-the whole to be signed by the master.
Where there are passengers, a separate list, besides the names on each manifest-including the names, ages, sex, occupa ion, country to which they severally belong, and of wbich they intend to become inhabitants, and if any bave died on the passage-will also be vecessary. Another list of passengers, similar to the last, is required by the mayor of the port in some of the status.
If any part of the cargo is to be landed at a different porti iban the first one of entry, it must be so stated in the manifest, as otherwise that privilege will be lost, and ihe cargo rcquired to be lauded at the first port of entry.
The captain should be particular in having liis crew mustered by the boarding. officer, upon arrival, in order to the canelling of the bond given for their sate
Vessels must report at the customhouse within twelve lours, aud enter wiihin forty-eight bours, afier arrival. If ihe captain is not an owner of the ves-el, and there should be a resident owner at the port of entry, such owner is required to accompany the captain, in order to swear to the register.
Entry of Vessels constwise. -- Nothug further is required than the clearance from the customhouse at the port of departure, and the register, if she is a registered vessel.
Clearance of Vessels for Foreign Ports - Every shipper must clear his goods at the customhouse before the vessel ean clear. From these shippe s' clearances the vessel's manifest is to be made, after the same form, and including all the particulars therein contained. A notarial crew-list and duplicate shipping artiles are also required If there is any change of owner or master, notice thereof should be given, at least the day previous, in order that the register may be endorsed or a new one issued.
Inquiry should also be made, a day or two previons to clearing (in case of ves. sels last from foreign ports), whether the return of the inward cargo correspouds with the manifest, as delays may otherwise occur in settling discrepaucies, which to adjust may aud do fequeutly detain vessels from clearing, when the hurry is great, and consignees are anxious to get their vessels to sea.
If there is any cargo brought in the vessel not to be lunded, a permit must be obtained to retain the same on board, several days before clearing, as the otticer discharging the vessel can not make his return without it; and, without his return, the vessel can not be cleared. When cleared, the capiain will receive his register, crew-list, clearance, bill of health, and shipping articles; or, in case of a foreign vessel, all that he requires is a clearance and bill of health, upon presenting which to the consul of his nation, he will receive all other necessary papers.
Clearance of l'essels coastwise. ---Duplicate manifests, made out from the bills of lading (number of packages in each bill of lading being stated in writing), with the names of the shippers and consignees, and their places of residence, are all that is required.
Liits relative to Invoices.-Invoices must be made out in the currency of the country whence the goods are imported. When the value of such currency is not fixed by law, the iuvoice must be accompanied by a consular certificate, stating the true value of such currency in Spanish or United States silver dollars; and in