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An acceptance acknowledges the signature and capacity of the drawer; and the capacity at that time of the payee to indorse, which is also admitted by the maker of a promissory note; and this cannot be afterwards denied by the acceptor, although the payee be an infant, a married woman, or a bankrupt. But the acceptance does not admit the validity of an existing endorsement; nor, if it be by an agent, his authority; if, however, the acceptor knew that the indorsement was forged or made without authority, he cannot use the fact in his defence. But if the bill is drawn in a fictitious dame, the acceptor is said to be bound to pay on an indorsement by the same hand. In general, any party who gives credit and circulation to negotiable paper admits so far as he is concerned, and cannot afterwards deny, all properly antecedent names.
A banker is liable to bis customer without acceptance, if he refuses to pay checks drawn against funds in his han(Is. So it seems that a banker, at whose house a customer, accepting a bill, makes it payable, is liable to an action at the suit of the customer, if he refuse to pay it, having at the time of presentment sufficient funds, and having had those funds a reasonable time, so that his clerks and servants might know it. And the banker bas authority from the bill itself to apply to its payment the funds of the acceptor.
There cannot be two or more acceptors of the same bill not jointly responsible, as partners are. If accepted by a part only of those jointly responsible, or joint drawees, it may be treated by the holder as dishonored; but if not so treated, the parties accepting will be bound.
An acceptance may be made after maturity, and will always be treated as an acceptance to pay on demand.
The acceptance may be cancelled by the holder ; and if this cancelling be voluntary and intended, it is complete and effectual; but if made by mistake, by him or other parties, and this mistake can be shown, the acceptor is not discharged. And if the cancelling be by a third party, it is for the jury to say whether the holder authorized or assented to it.
If a qualified acceptance be offered, the holder may receive or refuse it. If he refuses it, he may treat the bill as dishonored ; if he receives it, he should notify antecedent parties, and obtain their consent ; without which they are not liable. But if he protests the bill as dishonored, for this reason, he cannot bold the acceptor upon his qualified acceptance.
A bill drawn on one incompetent to contract, as from infancy, coverture, or lunacy, may be treated by the holder as dishonored.
A bill can be accepted only by the drawee-in person or by his authorized agent-or by some one who accepts for honor.
ACCEPTANCE, OR PATMENT, FOR HONOR.
If a bill be protested for non-acceptance or for non-payment, any person may accept it, or pay it for the honor either of the drawer or of any indorser. This he usually does by going with the bill before the notarypublic who protested the bill, and there declaring that he accepts or pays the bill for honor ; and he should designate for whose bonor he accepts or pays it, at the time, before the notary.public, and it should be noted
A general acceptance supra protest, (which is the phrase used both by merchants and in law, meaning upon or after protest,) for honor, is taken to be for honor of the drawer. The drawee himself, refusing to accept it generally,
, may thus accept for the honor of the drawer or an indorser. Ånd'after a bill is accepted for honor of one party, it may be accepted by another person for honor of another party. And an acceptance for honor may be made at the intervention and request of the drawee.
No holder is obliged to receive an acceptance for honor; he may refuse it wholly. If he receive it, he should, at the maturity of the bill, present it for payment to the drawee, who may have been supplied with funds in the mean time. If not paid, the bill should be protested for non-payment, and then presented for payment to the acceptor for honor.
The undertaking of the acceptor for honor is collateral only; being an engagement to pay if the drawee does not. It can only be made for some party who will certainly be liable if the bill be not paid ; because by an acceptance, or by a payment, properly made, for bonor, supra protest, such acceptor or payer acquires an absolute claim against the party for whom be accepts, or pays, and against all parties to the bill antecedent to him, for all his lawful costs, payments, and damages, by reason of such acceptance or payment. This is an entire exception to the rule that no person can make himself the creditor of another without the request or consent of that other; but it is an exception established by the lawmercbant.
OUR FOREIGN TRADE PASSING INTO FOREIGN BOTTOMS.
In a war like the present, of course every interest must suffer, and yet it seems strange that two or three privateers should have been able to almost destroy our shipping interests. One would suppose that with a navy, such as that of which we now boast, some protection might have been extended to our foreign trade. Or, if the Navy Department now has no vessels fast enough for the purpose, certainly there is sufficient talent in the country to build them. There was a time, and it was not a very long while ago either, when Young America contended with the “mistress of the seas” for the supremacy, with every promise of wresting the sceptre from her. Our ocean steamers were the wonder of the world. In speed, size, and equipment, they left their British competitors far behind. Is there any reason why we cannot do again what we have once so well done?
Last month we published a list of the vessels captured by these privateers, but that list gives a very imperfect idea of the actual loss we are sustaining. It may surprise many to know that the forced sales to foreigners of vessels built and owned here has been going on steadily for a long time past, and now is proceeding with a celerity that bids fair to change the ownership of the finest bottoms in the United States mercantile marine, and to leave nothing under the American flag worth capturing. The following list of American ships lately sold by Mr. GEORGE CROSHAW & Co., of London, will show what is being done in this respect at the present time :
Name of vessel.
Tonnage. Where built When. Price. Holyrood.....
1,046 Thomaston, 1857 £8,000 Samuel Lawrence,
1851 6,800 Elizabeth Watts..
1847 740 Arundle ...
1,092 Kennebunk, 1861 11,000 A. Dunbar..
1849 965 John Porter
997 Newburyport, 1869 9,000 Huntress.
1850 4.400 Kate Swetland
527 Thomaston, 1852
694 Portsmouth, 1851 3.850 Ina Russell
1,184 Kennebunk, 1854 5,576 Ocean Romp
1848 3.500 Louisa.
816 East Boston, 1860 8,700 Jacob A. Westervelt.
1,418 New York,
1849 7,800 Ocean Telegraph..
1854 7,060 Otseonthe....
1852 7,250 Neptune's Favorite...
1854 8,000 Coronet.....
1854 5,000 Devonshire..
674 Connecticut, 1856 4,050 Flying Childers.
1,125 East Boston,
1852 5,050 Ivanhoe...
4,600 Sierra Nevada...
1,750 Portsmouth, 1854 10,750 Mary E. Balch...
1,199 Trescott, Me., 1855 6,000 Walter Lord, (damaged)..
1,079 Richmond, 1865 3,450 Spitfire, (subject to owners reclassing 1,520 Frankfort, 1863 9,000 Joseph Peabody..
1,198 South Boston, 1856 7,650 Morning Light
1,713 Portsmouth, 1853 9,000 Sunda (late Gauntlett)
1,854 Richmond, 1853 8,000 Daphne...
1,049 East Boston, 1859 9,175 Virginian.
899 Baltimore, 1 848 1,750 Ganges..
1854 8,000 Evangeline
488 Scituate, Mass., 1858 3,150 Napoleon..
1851 3,225 Hollander..
498 Newburyport, 1849 2,100 Comet...
1,836 New York, 1851 8,100 Isabella.
1850 12,500 Punjab.
Medford, 1860 8,250 Aspasia..
1856 2,250 John Haven.
1,038 Portsmouth, 1849 4,800 Simoda..
1856 3.700 Morning Star.
1859 6,500 Rachel
818 Calais, Me., 1856 2,550 Cherubim...
1,798 Baltimore, 1856 12,500 Barnabas Webb
1,299 Thomaston, 1856 7,550 Lepanto.
890 East Boston, 1860 7,750 Crimea...
900 Kennebunk, 1855
6,126 Nearly all these are well known first-class vessels. Hitherto their flag has been an United States advertisement in every sea under the heavens, but henceforth they are.destined to be known only as English, or other foreign property.
We are indebted to the Journal of Commerce for the following table, showing to what extent the carrying business had changed up to June 30th. The figures are for the same quarter in each of the last four years :
FOREIGN TRADE OF THE PORT OF NEW YORK, FOR THE QUARTER ENDING
In American vessels. In Foreign vessels 1860. Value of goods imported. ... $35,197,101 $18,142,622 exported..
$23,403,830 $65,889,853 We think that no American can study there figures without a painful sense of humiliation. In 1860 the quarter's trade was $62,000,000 under our flag, and $30,000,000 under the flags of all foreign nations. This has rapidly changed as the war continued, until, for the last quarter returned, we find $65,000,000 under foreign flags, and only $23,000,000 under our own flag. Thus shippers all over the world have been deterred by fear of capture from the employment, as carriers, of American ships. It may be that our Navy Department has done all it could to protect our commerce; but a contrary impression prevails among those who are most interested.
It is not therefore surprising that the underwriters and merchants of New York should have made the following strong appeal to the Navy Department. The reply does not, however, seem to us to be very satisfactory. The object sought by the merchants' letter in question was, we suppose, not to know what had been done, but what additional could and would be done—not to be informed that the "navy is enlarging,” but to learn whether or no the ship-building talent of our country was to be taxed to its utmost until vessels could be built capable of catching these privateers. We have vessels in abundance, but none fast enough. It is to little purpose that thirty are sent after one rebel cruiser, if that one can outsail them all. The following is the letter and the reply:
New York, October 28th, 1863. Hon. GIDEON WELLES, Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D. C.:
Sir :—The continued depredations of the rebel cruisers on the mercantile marine of the country, have not only destroyed a large amount of the active capital of the merchants, but seriously threaten the very existence of that valuable part of our commerce.
Apart from the loss of so much individual wealth, and the destruction of so valuable a source of material power and enterprise, it is humiliating to our pride as citizens of the first naval power on the earth, that a couple of indifferently equipped rebel cruisers should for so long a period threaten our commerce with annibilation. It is a painful source of mortification to every American, at home and abroad, that the great highways of our commerce have bitherto been left so unprotected by the almost total absence of pational armed vessels, as to induce rebel insolence to attack our flag almost at the entrance of our harbors; and to actually blockade our merchantmen at the Cape of Good Hope recently, an account of which you have here enclosed, being a copy of letter recently received from a captain of one of the blockaded ships having a valuable cargo. We are conscious that it is no easy matter to capture a couple of cruisers on the boundless waters of the ocean, aided and abetted, as they too often have been, at ports where international comity if not international law have been set at deliance; and we have witnessed with satisfaction the patriotic zeal and energy
department, and the glorious successes of our navy in subduing the rebellion which threatens our national union. Still, we think that the loyal merchants and ship-owners of the country, whose zeal and patriotic co-operation have generally furnished the funds to sustain the Government, are entitled to have a more energetic protection of their interest than has been hitherto extended to it. Your very arduous official duties have no doubt prevented you from investigating the serious inroads which the unprotected state of our carrying trade has produced on our tonnage; and without troubling you with the great loss which our ship-owners sustain in the almost total loss of foreign commerce, it is only necessary to call your attention to the inclosed table, prepared and published by one of the best informed commercial journals of the city, [The table alluded to is the one above taken from the Journal of Commerce.-ED. MER. MAG.), showing the loss of the carrying trade on the imports and exports of this city alone, by which you will perceive that, while during the quarter ending 30th June, 1860, we imported and exported over $62,000,000 in American vessels and but $30,000,000 in foreign vessels, we have in the corresponding quarter of this year only $23,000,000 by our own ships, while we have $65,000,000 by foreign vessels. The intermediate periods show a most painful decadence of our shipping interest and tonnage, by transfer and sale t» foreign flags; which at this time of considerable commercial activity does not so mueb indicate a want of enterprise in this field of occupation, as a want of confidence in the national protection of our flag on the ocean.
The national pride of many of our patriotic ship-owners has subjected them to heavy sacrifices in difference of insurance against capture of two to ten per cent; while the underwriters of the country have been compelled to make heavy sacrifices in favor of American shipping ; yet without materially affecting the result. And many of them encountering heavy losses by captures in quarters where they had every reason to believe our commerce would be protected by national vessels of efficiency and power. Indeed, the almost total absence of efficient naval force in many of the great highways of commerce has had a damaging influence on our prospects, by producing a great degree of temerity on the part of the rebel cruisers, and corresponding misgivings on the part of underwriters and others in interest, as to whether Government protection would be afforded to our ships laden with valuable cargoes. The want of adequate armed vessels on prominent naval stations for protection of our ships has become so notorious, that underwriters have no longer speculated on the chance of the capture of these rebel cruisers by any of our pational ships, but calculate only the chances of escape of our merchantment, or the probable destruction of the piratical craft, from reported unseaworthiness or mutiny.
These statements are made with all candor, and in no spirit of captiousness ; but with a desire to concede that the embarrassment of the department, which it may not be prudent or practicable to explain to the public
, may fully justify the unfortunate position which want of naval protection has placed our commerce in. Yet it is respectfully urged that you will give