Ham vs Macpherson & Crane.
We avail ourselves of the opportunity of laying before our mercantile readers the following Law Report. The case reported was most ably conducted on both sides:
For the Plaintiff - Attorneys, Messrs. Smith and Crooks. Council, H.J. Boulton, Q.C., and G.M. Boswell, Q.C.
For the Defendants - Attorneys, Messrs. Draper and Brough, Toronto, and J.A. McDonald, Esq., Kingston. Counsel, the Hon. W.H. Draper, Q.C., the Hon. H. Sherwood, Q.C., and J.H. Cameron, Esq.
The important action of Ham vs. McPherson & Crane, growing out of the disastrous fire at Kingston in April, 1840, to which allusion has frequently been made in several Provincial Journals, has at length been disposed of. It was brought to recover the value of a large quantity of flour and whisky belonging to the plaintiff which had been delivered to the defendants to be forwarded to Montreal, but which was destroyed on the occasion mentioned. It will be recollected that the cause came on a second time for trial before Mr. Justice Macaulay, and a special jury at the last spring assizes for the Newcastle District. His Lordship who tried the cause, left it to the jury to decide upon the evidence whether the defendants received the property in the character of Carriers, or whether they received it as Warehousemen. If in the former character his Lordship directed a verdict for the plaintiff - if in the latter, a verdict for the defendants. The jury were of opinion that the defendants did receive the property as Carriers, and found a verdict for the plaintiff for £806 13s. 4d., being the full amount of the value of the property.
In Trinity term following, a motion was made in the Court of Queen's Bench to set aside this verdict, as being contrary to law and evidence. Exception was also taken to his Lordship's charge to the jury, on the ground that the evidence at the trial clearly proved that it was in the capacity of Warehousemen only that the defendants received the property; and consequently that his Lordship was wrong in leaving it to the jury to decide whether the goods were not received by the defendants as Carriers. A Rule Nisi was granted on these grounds, and the case was argued in Michaelmas term following, before all the Judges except Mr. Justice Jones, who was presiding in the Practice Court. Their Lordships took time to consider the case until the following term, and on Saturday last judgement was pronounced in favor of the plaintiff. His Lordship the Chief Justice delivered an elaborate and able opinion in favor of a new trial, but Mr. Justice Macaulay, Mr. Justice McLean and Mr. Justice Hagerman, whose judgements pronounced on the occasion also displayed great research and ability, decided against it. The Rule Nisi for a new trial was consequently discharged, and Mr. Ham retains his verdict.
The cases of Ewart vs. McPherson, and Crooks vs. McPherson, which were similar in their nature, were disposed of in the same manner at the same time. The verdict in the former was for £2,787 16s. 0d.; in the latter for £1,596. [Cobourg Star]
On Friday the 25th inst. the St. Lawrence Canal was opened in due form by the admission into its noble and capacious locks of the Steam Ship Highlander - all classes turned out to view the interesting sight. After passing the three locks below the town, this beautiful vessel with the resident Engineers and Contractors for the work on board, came up to the Dock in front of the town, where she was greeted by the hearty cheers of the populace, who made "the welkin ring" with their acclamation. A salute was fired by the steamer, and the Band of the 4th Incorporated Militia played God save the Queen and Rule Britannia in fine style. Considerable delay was occasioned by the great quantity of ice in the Canal which on the previous day and night had been partially broken up by direction of the Board of Works. During a brief stay at the Dock, the Master, Captain Stearns, and the Owner, Capt. Whipple, received the congratulations of the Members of the Board of Police and others of the principal inhabitants, on their good fortune on being the first to pass their noble ship through this stupendous artificial navigation. Indeed no person is more worthy of this honor than Capt. Whipple who was instrumental in establishing the first line of stages between Montreal and Prescott and to whose unwearied exertions in overcoming many and great difficulties is to be mainly attributed the success of the undertaking, and the efficiency of the present mode of conveyance on this route. If merit can give a claim in these degenerate days, to no better person than Capt. Stearns could be assigned the command of so fine a vessel as the Highlander. The noble bark shortly proceeded on her joyous way, bearing with her a rich freight of the beauty and fashion of the town and the good wishes of all that she might never have less (she cannot have more) of the good opinion of the public than she has now. This was certainly a proud day for Cornwall; while our neighbors on the other side are suspending their public works, we the junior branch of a great family have not only completed those that have been commenced but are undertaking others which when finished, as they will shortly be, will present a work unrivalled by any the world contains. Justly may we be proud of our native land when she is thus able to proceed with the march of improvement despite all the difficulties and destractions that have lately befel her. One can scarcely go beyond the bounds of reason and moderation in anticipating the benefits that will result from the completion of this great undertaking - indeed the most sanguine in their expectations must fall short of the reality. We may look forward in the most confident assurance and consider this as the only dawn of a great and glorious day to Canada. To the exertions of our late members the Hon. Mr. Justice M'Lean, and Col. the Hon. P. Vankoughnet are we indebted for the commencement of this work, and for its completion to the fostering care of their successors - for its efficiency to the skill of the Engineers and Board of Works, and for its stability to the honest integrity of the Contractors. They all merit our warmest acknowledgements, and we need only say to them all "Go on and continue to prosper," here is a lasting monument to your fame. [Cornwall Observer]