contract was that a bill of lading should be delivered to the owner of the goods. It would seem, therefore, that upon the master's refusal to give the libellants a bill of lading, they became entitled, either to enforce the delivery of the bill of lading, or to bring their action for the damages caused by such refusal; or, at their option, to waive the contract and sue for a wrongful conversion of the property. But, however this may be, I entertain no doubt of their right to maintain an action for conversion, and in such action recover the value of their goods. That value is shown by the sum they agreed to take from Michel, to-wit, and for that sum a decree will be entered herein. The record shows that aftertbe seizure of the vessel in this action the claimants procured her discharge from custody by giving a. stipulation to perform any decree that might be entered herein, and at the same time depositing in court, subject to the order of the court, a bill of lading, duly executed, such as had been demanded by the libellants and refused by the master. This bill of lading must, of course, be returned to the claimants, and an order to that effect will form part of the decree.
(Di8trict Court, N. D.lllinol.8. November 26, 1881.)
1. COAL TRADE-USAGES OF THE PORT OF CllICAGO.
The consignee of a. cargo of coal is Ejntitled by the usage of the port of Chica.go, which this court will recognize, to a fuJI day of 24 hours. after the vessel reports, in which to furnish her with a dock and to begin unloading.
In Admiralty. W. H. Oondon, for libellant. O. E. Kremer, for respondents. BLODGETT, D. J., (orally.) This is a libel for demurrage in unreasonably delaying the unloading of the schooner· Sam Cook in this port. The schooner Sam Cook, with a cargo of 564 tons of coal, consigned to respondents, Langdon, Richardson & Co., arrived in this port Saturday, October 23, 1880, and reported at consignees' dock at 9 o'clock in the morning. Consignees did not commence unloading until the morning of the 25th, and did not conclude unloading until 5 o'clock in the afternoon of the 28th. The proof shows that they could have unloaded the schooner, with the appliances in use on
MITCHELL V. LANGDON.
their dock, in two days, so that she could have been unloaded on the evening of the 26th. The important question which has been discussed in this case is as to whether there was unreasonable and undue delay in commencing the unloading of this cargo, as well as unreasonable delayafterwards. Much of the proof in the record relates to the usage of this port as to the time within which a vessel arriving here is entitled to re furnished with a dock, and to be unloaded. The proof in the case shows that by the usage of this port, and especially in regard to vessels loaded with coal,-and the same l;ule is probably applicable to any other cargo,-a consignee is entitled to 24 hours, or a full day, from the time the vessel-reports in which to furnish her with a dock and begin unloading. This seems, in view of the nature of the business, to be generally acquiesced in, and so reasonable that I think the court must hold this is a usage which binds the trade in this port. The time of the arrival of a sailing vessel (even if the consignee is advised of the time of her sailing) being dependent entirely upon the weather, the courlJe of the wind, etc., is always uncertain to the extent of several days, and it cannot be expected that a consignee will keep a force of men all the time ready at once to unload the instant the vessel reports. He must have time to collect his men after the arrival of the vessel, and one day would seem to be only a reasonable time for doing this. He may also have other vessels at the dock in process of loading or unloading, and must have some time in which to dispatch them before accommodating the new arrival. The evidence in this case shows that the vessel arrived and reported Saturday moming. The consignees were not obliged, by the usage of the port or by the law of the land, to commence unloading her on Sunday. Persons engaged in the unloading of vessels and receiving their ca,rgoes have as good a right to rest on the Sabbath as any other class of laborers and business men, and certainly cannot be com. pelled to work against the law or their conscience on Sunday, and therefore they were not obliged to begin unloading until Monday moming. They did commence unloading Monday morning, but only unloaded from one hatch at a time. The vessel had two kinds of coal on board, but there was no bulk-head separating them. The consignees, for their own convenience, had the piles of different-sized coal so arranged on their dock that they were obliged, or found it more convenient, to unload only one-sized- coal at a time, and when that was out they moved the vessel so as to bring one of the other
hatches opposite the pile corresponding to that left on board, and then unloaded the balance. This mode of unloading was evidently adopted without regard to the interests or rights of the vessel, and solely because it suited the purpose of the consignees. The vessel had the right, under the law and her charter, to quick dispatch, and this was not given her. My conclusion, then, is that the consignees had the right to take 24hours, excluding Sunday, in which to furnish a dock aud begin unloading, and as the Cook arrived Saturday morning, they were not obliged to begin unloading until Monday morning, so there is no ground for complaint against the respondents for not begiiming to unload earlier than Monday morning. But I further find from the proof ihatthere was an unreasonable delay of two days after the unloading commenced, for which the libellants should be compensated; and, from the proof in the case, I fix the rate of compensation art $60 a day. 'rhere will, therefore, be a decree in favor of the libellantsfor $120, and the costs of the case.
'I'HE WALTER M. FLEMING.
(District Court, E. D. New York.
September 28, 1881.)
Delay defeats equity. So held, where one slept on his rights for seven years, and then invoked the aid of the court against a purchaser for value who had been in possession of the property for nearly that length of time with the knowledge of the libellant, and without objection on his part.
L. R. Stegman and E. G. Davis, for libellant. Benedict, Taft <t Benedict, for respondent. BENEDIC'l", D. J. The libel in this case, by reason of its curious and uncertain averments, presents questions that I pass over to determine the question raised by the evidence; namely, whether, upon the facts proved, a case is made calling for the interposition of this court to take the possession of the canal-boat Walter M. Fleming from Cornelius Vanolinda, who now has the same, and give it to the libellant. The facts are largely in dispute, according to the libellant's testimony. He being the owner and in possession of this boat in July, 1874, at Rochester, New York, made an agt'eement with one Charles Vanolinda to sell the boat for a certain sum-$150 down, and the b:tlance within 30 days. The $150 was then paid by the buyer, and