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Colonial Cases

United States v. Brown, 1876


United States v. Brown

United States Consular Court, Shanghai
11 December 1876
Source:  The North China Herald, 14 December 1876



Shanghai, Dec. 11th.

Before J. C. MYERS, Esq., Consul-General.


The Attempted Robbery of Treasure.

   The COURT - This is a case of alleged burglary committed last night on board the steamer Hupeh.  The police have arrested the prisoner Thomas Henry Brown, and the Court will now proceed to the preliminary examination.  [Not transcribed.]


The North China Herald, 28 December 1876


Shanghai, Dec. 18th.

Before J.  C. MYERS, Esq., Consul-General.


The Attempted Robbery of a Steamer's Treasure.

Trial and judgment:-

   I desire to say to the prisoner that the Court has taken into consideration many mitigating circumstances in his favour.  You appear to be a young man, on the threshold of your youthful career, and it is certainly a deplorable circumstance that you have fallen into paths do utterly indefensible as this.  You have been eight years in the employ of this company; for two years you have been under the eye of Captain Steele, and your conduct had been good and faithful until you unfortunately got into the hands of bad and corrupt associates, who took you away from the teachings of your household and your home. You were led astray from the tender teachings of a proudly affectionate mother who raised you tenderly and carefully and educated you.

   And, here, you come to China, to Shanghai, and fall into the embraces of the corrupt, of the polluted, and of the dangerous to society.  It is necessary for the protection of property that you should be punished.  The trade and commerce of these ships is in the care of the Court.  It is property which must be protected at all hazards, and it will be so far, at least as this Court is concerned.

   In view of this being your first offence, I will sentence you to pay a fine of $1 and the costs of the prosecution, and order that you undergo imprisonment in the United States Consular gaol for a period of one year.

   Gentlemen, the Court is now adjourned.

Published by Centre for Comparative Law, History and Governance at Macquarie Law School