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CLAIMS AGAINST MEXICO.
COMPLAINT having been made to Congress, by nearly all persons whose claims were either awarded or rejected by the late BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS ON CLAIMS AGAINST Mexico, of injustice done them by said Board, it has been deemed advisable to exhibit, from the official records of the Board, the grounds of rejection adopted in a few cases, in which a rehearing was had on argument calculated to correct errors of fact, errors of principles, and errors of law, set forth in their decisions; which, nevertheless, the Board refused to correct, and made absolute, as the annexed official documents will establish. They are printed for convenient reading by the Members of Congress, and more particularly by the SELECT COMMITTEE OF THE SENATE charged with inquiry into the proceedings of said Board; and given in this naked 'form without comment, that the reader may from them alone make his own unbiassed conclusion on their merits.
The persons interested in these Claims have petitioned Congress that a new Board be authorized to review and reaudit the cases herein mentioned, and so, also, all other cases acted on by the Board, in order that the injustice done them by said Board may be corrected.
NATHAN EELLS, MASTER; JAMES W. ZACHARIE, CLAIMANT.
STATEMENT OF THE CASE. The schooner Rebecca, with a lawful cargo of goods, sailed on the 4th of April, 1822, from New Orleans, on a trading voyage to Mexico. The property was owned by the claimant, James W. Zacharie; though at the time he had a partner in business with him, named Samuel H. Turner. The concern became embarrassed in consequence of this and other heavy losses, and thereupon closed up the concern, Mr. Zacharie agreeing to pay all the debts from private means; and in consideration thereof, all the assets and claims were assigned to him; and, having paid the debts, became the sole owner of all the effects, and he is the only person who now has, or since the time of said agreement has had, any interest in this claim.
The schooner touched, by permission of the authorities there, at old Tampico, then called Pueblo Viejo, and landed a part or all of the cargo. Some articles to a small amount were sold; the articles not sold were reshipped, and the vessel regularly cleared for a further voyage. All the necessary papers for the purpose were obtained from the Mexican custom-house for that purpose, and she left the port, but was detained at the bar. While there, the judge, military commander, and collector, conceived the plan of appropriating the property to themselves; and, under the pretence that they had information which excited a suspicion that it was intended to smuggle the cargo into Mexico, they seized her and her cargo, and by an armed force took them back to Tampico.
In consequence of this illegal and outrageous proceeding, the claimant lost not only the cargo, but the vessel, and now presents his claim for compensation.
The facts in this case are not numerous or complicated; and it is not apprehended that the Board will hesitate in coming to the conclusion that the claim is just and well sustained by the evidence.
The vessel and cargo, for which compensation is now sought, were owned by Messrs. Zacharie & Turner, merchants of New Orleans, and were sent out to Mexico in 1822, and seized by the Mexican authorities at or near Tampico.
Vigorous efforts were made at the time to get possession of the property, and, after its sale, of the avails, but they were unsuccessful. An agent was sent to the city of Mexico, at considerable expense, to prevail on the central Government to interpose, as it was supposed they would in a case of such manifest wrong; but when he arrived there he was advised that the necessities of the Government were so great and pressing, that it would direct the money to be paid into the treasury of