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Colonial Cases

United States v. Edwards, 1885


United States v. Edwards


Ministerial Court of the United States of America for China

Young J, 7 May 1885

Source: North China Herald, 15 May 1885

7th May, 1885
  The following motion was filed with the Honourable J Russell Young, United States Minister, sitting in Chambers, this morning.  The Minister took the papers and ruled that as he had transferred the Legation officially to the charge of Mr. Smithers, and was about to return to the United States, he would transfer them to him for his ruling thereon.
  Before the Hon'ble JOHN RUSSELL YOUNG, Ex. Of. Judge of the above Court, &c. &c.
  In the mater of the apprehension, arrest, detention, transportation, imprisonment, and release, at the port of Shanghai, and on his own recognizances of the accused in the action now ending in said Court entitled
ST. JULIAN HUGH EDWARDS, late Acting U.S. Marshal, Amoy.
  Now comes the defendant accused and moves the said John Russell Young, Ex. Of. Judge &c., &c., for a speedy trial or his immediate release on the above charge, alleging
- Jurisdiction of the said John Russell Young as Envoy Extraordinary of the United States of America, in the Empire of China.
- Terms of the warrant of arrest commanding the U.S. Marshall to "forthwith apprehend St. Julian Hugh Edwards, a citizen of the United States, and bring him before me," the said John Russell Young, Envoy Extraordinary and Minster Plenipotentiary of the U.S.A., &c.
- The illness of the accused, with medical certificate of the fact, and an affidavit of the accused, as required, setting forth and reciting as other reasons therefore.
- The hardship of removals of his body from port to port, under enforced custody and criminal arrest, without due process of law, hearing, indictment or trial of any kind whatever, and with no further evidence against him than the bare unsupported allegation in the affidavit of the prosecuting wins Goldsborough, against whom the accused had action, long standing, in the above Court, in which the said Goldsborough is charged with official crimes and misdemeanours, malfeasances and dereliction of public trust and confidence, in office, and malicious prosecution of the accused in this action.
- Informalities and illegalities in the execution and return of the warrant of arrest issued by the said John Russell Young to the Marshal of the Court of the United States Legation, and bearing date the 16th day of February 1885, and the prolonged suffering, loss of reputation, mental anxiety, shame, and disgrace endured by the accused in consequence thereof and of the delays in bringing him to a trial and an immediate hearing and examination of his case, according to prescribed law, for "he must not be detained in custody and denied an inquiry, by some Tribunal or other."
And of this motion the accused throws himself upon his Country.
(Signed) St. Julian Hugh Edwards, Shanghai China, May 7th 1885.
Before the Hon'ble John Russell Young, Ex. Of. Judge of the Court.
TH U.S. OF A. als. Goldsborough v.St. J. H. Edwards.
I, St. Julian Hugh Edwards, late acting United States Marshal at Amoy, at present in Shanghai, China, so solemnly declare and say:
  That on the 7th day of March 1885, I was unlawfully and wrongfully arrested at Amoy by Marshal Shufeldt, the Rev. Dr. J. V. N. Talmage, F. X. Carneiro, acting U.S. Marshal, Ah [], U.S. Jailer, and about twenty armed men in command of Lieutenant Merrick of the U.S. Flag ship Trenton, who broke open the doors of my residence, ransacked my bed room, and forcibly removed ne from a sick bed, and conveyed me to this port, where I was imprisoned and detained.
  That the arrest was illegal because the United States Consul at Amoy had refused to attest my bail Bond and contumaciously disobeyed and disregarded a dispatch from t U.S. Government ordering him to extend to me the protection and privileges of U.S. Citizenship on the plea that I was a British subject and not a citizen of the United States.
  That when Marshal Shufeldt notified to me that he had received telegraphic instructions from the Legation to attest the said Bond, I did not believe him.
  Firstly, because I was known throughout Amoy, and I have several witnesses to prove, that the Bond prepared by Marshall Shufeldt was only a sham piece of paper to decoy me to H.B.M.'s Consular jail had I consented to go with him to the British Consulate to sign it as suggested by him on the 16th and 17th March.
  Secondly, that several Chinese (including the U.S. Consul's house-boy and chair coolies) were placed by Marshal Shufeldt in different directions, not far from my house, on the 16th and 17th March, 1885, to assist him to arrest me on my way to the British Consulate, had I resisted him.
  Thirdly, that quarters were obtained in H.B.M.'s jail after Marshal Shufeldt had told me that he had authority to accept my personal recognizance of Two Thousand dollars and after the Bond was drawn out, and
  Fourthly, that the said Marshal Schufeldt had refused on two occasions, in the presence of witnesses, to produce his authority or telegram to accept my personal recognizance or to witness it when asked to do so.
  That while on board the U.S. war-vessel [Jumiata], en route to this port, after my transfer from the Trenton, I suffered severely from neglect and exposure, where I was left like a dog (without a cot or hammock to sleep in) in an obscure part of the vessel opposite the "brig," in custody of an armed guard of marines, alongside a coil of rope about three feet in width, under an open skylight through which the wind blew on me at all times, and that I did not obtain proper food.
  That, as a result, I have been thrown dangerously ill into the U.S. Jail at this port, which Dr. McLeod, who examined  me there, can testify, and I am still suffering from the effects of my fist sickness.
  That owing to my serious illness I, on the 16th April 1885, addressed the Consul General on the subject in accordance with the report of the Doctor of the Jail (Dr. McLeod) and requested him as a favour to send me to the General Hospital, which request was not granted to me as I was a prisoner of the Legation, in charge of a Legation Marshal, and the Consulate had no jurisdiction in the matter.
  That it is now sixteen months since I first applied to the Legation at Peking for relief against Mr. Elwell Goldsborough, U.S. Consul at Amoy, during which period I have been idle and unable to earn a livelihood to maintain myself and family, and presuming that the case will still be further delayed, I consider that a great hardship and injustice has been and is being perpetrated on me in these matters.
  That I was released on my own recognizance by order of the U.S. Minister, and it is now nearly a month since I was arrested and am still here on my own sources without any provision for my medical care or to defray my expenses in awaiting a trial.
  That in accordance with a dispatch from the United States Minister dated February 26th, 1884 (14 months ago), and "regulations for the Consular Court in China Sec. 1, para 4," I had deposited in the U. States Legation Court the sum of four hundred ($400) dollars, to defray the probable expenses of court and defendant's costs.
  That I have had to borrow the amount at 12 per centum per annum.
  That although these extreme measures have been taken to bring me from my house in Amoy to a Jail in Shanghai, nothing has been done as yet, to bring the accusing witnesses to appear against me.
  That in accordance with a dispatch from the U.S. Minister dated February 12th, 1885, "in the case of Edwards vs. Goldsborough, &c., &c." I was apprised that the "Minister recognizes the embarrassments attending the summoning of all parties, witnesses more particularly to Peking, and as at present advised will take the case indicated.  He hopes to give it a hearing in May or April at the latest."
U.S. Consulate-General, Shanghai, May 7th, 1885 (Signed) St. J. H. Edwards.
(Signed) J. Stahel, U.S. Consulate-General. [L.S.]

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