Mr. Woodbury to Mr. Bayard.
Sir: In the matter of Mr. Lewis’s statement of damages incurred by the seizure of the D. J. Adams, I yesterday transmitted some papers sent me from Gloucester, perhaps without as mature consideration as they should have received. Mr. Lewis’s claim to the fish caught, as I take the law to be, is that of owner, but the law makes his ownership a trust to divide among the sharesmen their share of the net proceeds of the fish when received by him.
The master and crew appear, claiming their loss by the breaking up of the trip. This is their own adventure, and I must not be considered as their counsel in this matter, nor as in any way sanctioning their statement as to their citizenship, residence, &c. I have to-day from Gloucester the official fact that the custom-house at Digby have seized under the sections referred to in the telegram quoted in my last, together with a reference to sections which make this seizure for a $400-penalty a lien on the vessel.
I learn Mr. Meagher, the counsel of Mr. Lewis at Halifax, is in town, and hope to see him within a day or two for consultation, and will advise the Department of our views as to that; meanwhile we are hardly ripe for any step of reclamation.
I beg you to believe that Mr. Lewis and myself wish to conform in our action to the wishes and policy of the Department, and to rely on its generous efforts to protect his property.
I am, &c.,
Counsel at Boston for Mr. Lewis.