United States Statutes at Large/Volume 1/5th Congress/2nd Session/Chapter 62
Section 1. Captured armed vessels and goods may be condemned in the district courts.
Ante, p. 561.
Ante, p. 578. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That all such armed vessels as may be seized, taken and brought into any port of the United States, in pursuance of the act, entitled “An act more effectually to protect the commerce and coasts of the United States,” with the apparel, guns and appurtenances of such vessels, and the goods and effects, which shall be found on board the same, shall be liable to forfeiture and condemnation, and may be libelled and proceeded against in the district courts of the United States, for the district into which the same may be brought. Provided,Forfeiture not to extend to captured property of citizens or residents in the U. States. that such forfeiture shall not extend to any goods or effects, the property of any citizen or person resident within the United States, and which shall have been before taken by the crew of such captured vessel.
Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, Recaptured property of citizens and residents to be restored, paying salvage. That whenever any vessel the property of, or employed by any citizen of the United States, or person resident therein, or any goods or effects belonging to any such citizen or resident shall be re-captured by any public armed vessel of the United States, the same shall be restored to the former owner or owners, upon due proof, he or they paying and allowing, as and for salvage to the recaptors, one eighth part of the value of such vessel, goods and effects, free of all deductions and expenses.
Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, Distribution of prizes. That whenever any armed vessel, captured and condemned, as aforesaid, shall have been of superior or equal force to the public armed vessel of the United States by which such capture shall have been made, the forfeiture shall be and accrue wholly to the captors: and in other cases, one half thereof shall be to the use of the United States, and the residue to the captors. Salvage to belong wholly to the officers and crew.And all salvage which shall be allowed and recovered upon any vessel, goods or effects re-captured, and to be restored, as aforesaid, shall belong wholly to the officers and crew of the public armed vessel of the United States by which such re-capture shall be made: Court condemning may order a sale, &c.and the court before whom any condemnation shall be had, as aforesaid, shall and may order the sale of the vessel, goods and effects condemned, to be made at public auction, upon due notice by the marshal of the district in which the same shall be: and all expenses of condemnation and sale, being deducted from the proceeds, the part thereof which shall accrue to the United States, shall be paid into the public treasury, and the residue, and all allowances of salvage, as aforesaid, shall be distributed to, and among the officers and crews concerned therein, in the proportions which the President of the United States shall direct.
Sec. 4. Officers and crews of captured vessels, &c. to be confined. And be it further enacted, That it shall be lawful for the President of the United States, to cause the officers and crews of the vessels so captured and hostile persons found on board any vessel, which shall be re-captured, as aforesaid, to be confined in any place of safety within the United States, in such manner as he may think the public interest may require, and all marshals and other officers of the United States are hereby required to execute such orders as the President may issue for the said purpose.
Approved, June 28, 1798.