Skip to Content

Colonial Cases

Fletcher v. Marks, 1872

[food and lodging]


Fletcher v. Marks

United States Consular Court, Kanagawa
Mitchell, 18 March 1872
Source: Japan Weekly Mail, 23 March 1872 [299]



Monday, 18th March.

Before Geo. N. Mitchell, U.S. Vice-Consul.


   Mr. D. Davis appeared for the Defendant who had left for Australia.

   Claim for $74, being for food and lodging supplied to M. Rosenthal whilst at the Yedo Hotel.

   Captain Fletcher, formerly manager of the Yedo Hotel, stated that this claim was brought against Mr. A. Marks as the young man Rosenthal was his nephew and lived with him, and Mr. Marks, as he understood, was his guardian and had brought him up from Australia with him, and it was under these circumstances that he had given him credit. He should call Mr. Lichtenstein who would prove the relationship of the boy to Mr. Marks.

   L. Lichtenstein sworn stated - I know Defendant and the young Rosenthal, the latter is the son if Mr. Marks senior and he is Mr. Marks' nephew. I do not know if Mr. Marks brought him here at his own expense. I know the boy lived at his home.

   To Mr. Davis - I should think Mr. Marks paid the boy's passage up here as his parents are poor.  I should have trusted the boy for a small sum as I knew his parents, but if he had wanted things to a large amount I should have consulted his uncle before giving them to him.

   Capt. George E. Lane sworn - I remember the boy Rosenthal. Thought he left here in the steamer Japan in January last. Mr. Marks came to the office and told me there was a poor boy here that had nothing to do and he wanted to get him away to America where he night obtain employment. He brought the boy and showed him to me.  At first I said I could not take him at lower than the usual rates, but Mr. Marks spoke for a long time to me, and thinking it was a case of real charity I at last consented to take the boy at half the usual steerage rates. Mr. Marks paid me amounting to $42.50; we had on board another man for whom a passage had been paid for at the same rate.  He was a distressed seaman. During our interview Mr. Marks never mentioned a word that would have lead me to think the boy was a relation of his. If I had known Mr. Marks was the boy's uncle I most certainly should not have taken him at a reduced rate.

   Ro the Court - I am certain her made no mention of the boy's relationship to me.

   W. Davis, U.S. Deputy Marshal, sworn - I know the boy Rosenthal. He acted as Agent for Mr. Marks. I rented a house from Mr. Marks and Rosenthal always collected the rent. After a typhoon here in August last the house being damaged I refused to pay the rent and Mr. Marks brought Rosenthal and said he was his Agent and that I had refused to pay my rent to him.

   To the Court - He said before the Consul the boy was his Agent.

   To Mr. Davis - At the same time Rosenthal lived with Mr. Marks.

   D. Davis sworn - To plaintiff. Knew Mr. Marks. Saw Rosenthal at his house. Had heard Mr. Marks say he would not be responsible for any debts he incurred. Did not think Mr. Marks ever led any one to believe that he would pay the boy's debts. If the boy had been my nephew I might have treated him different to what Mr. Marks did. The boy was in debt all over Yokohama. He was registered at H.B.M.'s Consulate. I had sold him goods when he was in the employ of the railway.

   Captain Fletcher said it was clear that a portion of the amount claimed in this suit was for  [food and board] supplied to Rosenthal during the time he was in Mr. Marks' employ and was in Yedo doing business for him. He had spoken to Mr. Marks about it at the time and he made no demur. The boy was universally known to be under the guardianship of his uncle at whose house he lived, and it was on this understanding that he furnished him with board, &c., fully thinking Mr. Marks was liable for the amount.

   His Honour said he must dismiss the charge as the evidence establishing Mr. Marks' liability was insufficient.

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