MANUSCRIPT CIRCUIT COURT OPINION WRITTEN BY JUSTICE NATHAN CLIFFORD IN AN ADMIRALTY CASE, WRITTEN WHILE HE WAS ALSO SERVING AS A SUPREME COURT JUSTICE, 1878
CLIFFORD, Nathan. Manuscript Circuit Court dissent. [Washington], May (?) 1878. Seven lined sheets, each measuring 13 by 8 inches, writing on rectos only. $2200.
Manuscript Circuit Court opinion written by Justice Nathan Clifford in a consolidated admiralty case (The Burke, The Burke v. Hurney, The Glide v. Same. [4 Cliff. 582]), while Clifford was concurrently serving on the United States Supreme Court.
Nathan Clifford served as attorney general under President Polk, and as a minister plenipotentiary to Mexico following the amending of the peace treaty between Mexico and America. Under the Polk administration, he developed close ties with Secretary of State Buchanan. When Buchanan became President, Clifford was a natural choice for a Supreme Court appointment, and he took his seat on the Court in 1858, specializing in commercial law, Mexican land grants, procedure and practice, and maritime law, the subject of this manuscript opinion. An excerpt from the manuscript describes the events in question: "The schooner [Alpine] was employed in freighting stone for the construction of the sea wall in Boston Harbor… Prior to the collision on the morning of October 18, 1876 she had discharged her cargo and hauled out of the dock and come to anchor under the lee of the wall, leaving space enough to allow the next vessel in turn to pass into the vacated berth for the discharge of a similar cargo. What the libellant alleges in the case of Burke is that while the schooner was thus lying safely at anchor, the steam tug, without authority, came alongside and made fast to the schooner and commenced hauling upon her and continued so to do until by reason of the injuries so inflicted the schooner sank and became a total loss." Cancelled stamp on verso of last page.
Glue residue to versos. A complete seven-page manuscript Circuit Court opinion, in excellent condition.