The northern portion of the state rife with unrest. The Rebellion is waging, in the east, public opinion, divided almost equal between rebel sympathizers and loyalists, then add to the mix, bands of roaming outlaws, living off the land.
Certainly not the best of times, but life and commerce must go on.
On the 29th of September, 1864, our Mr. WARE delivered to the United States Express Co, a quantity of gold, to be shipped from Nebraska City, to New York.
The company, by accepting the shipment, became liable for it’s delivery. There were, of course, the usual, “Yeah, buts!” You know, those disclaimers about acts of nature, civil unrest, etc, etc.
The U. S. Express Co, placed the shipment aboard the Hannibal &
St. Joseph Railroad, which crosses the northern portion of Missouri.
Yes, you got it!
During the trip, 3rd of October 1864, to be correct, the train was held up by a force of some eighty men, who during the course of the robbery, took the gold, and the safe it had been held in.
There were no personal injuries reported during this raid, although several shots were fired.
Now the legal war begins.
February 27, 1870, more than 5 years after the crime, WARE filed suit vs. the express company, alleging there were safer routes available, via Iowa.
The company argued against the suggested routes, claiming days of delay in delivery, by using those railways.
The whole thing hinged upon when the Five Year Statute of Limitations started. At the time of the crime, or when the company was notified of the legal action. And, did the company have an authorized agent in state at the time, that would allow notice of legal action to reach the company within the legal time frame?.
After a good deal of legal haggling and citing precedents, the court came in favor of WARE.
The company appealed, which is what this item was about. Anyway, it came to naught, as this court, U. S. Supreme Court, also ruled in favor of WARE.
U. S. EXPRESS COMPANY v. WARE, 87 U. S. 20 Wall. 543 543 (1874)
Looking back on this, I wondered, how did WARE come by the gold?
What was the 1864 value of the gold? No amount of monetary loss was mentioned in the item.