Alexander Hamilton Papers

Continental Congress Motion to Extend the Time Allowed for Appeals from Maritime Courts, [6 June 1783]

Continental Congress
Motion to Extend the Time Allowed for
Appeals from Maritime Courts1

[Philadelphia, June 6, 1783. Under this date the Register of Reports of Committees sent to Congress reads: “On Mr Hamilton’s Motion for extending the time allowed for appeals from maritime courts.—filed.”2 Motion not found.]

D, Reel 198, Item 191, p. 40, Papers of the Continental Congress, National Archives.

1H’s motion concerned the Confederation Court of Appeals in Cases of Captures, also known as the Court of Appeals or the Court of Prize Appeals, which was established by Congress on January 15, 1780, “for the trial of all appeals from the courts of admiralty in these United States, in cases of capture…” (JCC description begins Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (Washington, 1904–1937; Reprinted, New York, 1968). description ends , XVI, 61–64). On May 24, 1780, Congress passed a resolution concerning the Court of Appeals, which reads: “Resolved, That appeals from the courts of admiralty in the respective states, be, as heretofore, demanded within five days after definitive sentence; and in future such appeals be lodged with the register of the Court of Appeals in cases of capture within forty days thereafter, provided the party appealing shall give security to prosecute such appeal to effect” (JCC description begins Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (Washington, 1904–1937; Reprinted, New York, 1968). description ends , XVII, 459).

2This motion was filed on June 11, 1783 (D, Reel 198, Item 191, p. 40, Papers of the Continental Congress, National Archives). On May 17, 1784, Congress resolved that various reports which it listed should “be referred to the consideration of the next Congress” (D, Reel 198, Item 191, p. 59, Papers of the Continental Congress, National Archives). Among the items listed was: “No 24 Motion Mr Hamilton for extending the time for entering appeals from Judgments of maritime Courts—report thereon” (D, Reel 198, Item 191, p. 61, Papers of the Continental Congress, National Archives). No evidence has been found that any succeeding session of Congress acted on this report.

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