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U.S. Supreme Court

Arthur's Executors v. Butterfield, 125 U.S. 70 (1888)

Arthur's Executors v. Butterfield

No. 167

Argued February 6, 1888

Decided March 19, 1888

125 U.S. 70


"Goat's hair goods," composed of 80 percent of goat's hair and 20 percent of cotton, used chiefly for women's dresses, and which were imported into the United States between January 24, 1874, and June 25, 1874, were subject to the duty imposed by the Act of July 14, 1870, 16 Stat. 264, c. 255, § 21, upon "manufactures of hair not otherwise herein provided for," as modified by the Act of June 6, 1872, 17 Stat. 231, and

Page 125 U. S. 71

not to the duty imposed by the Act of March 2, 1867, 14 Stat. 561, c.197, § 2, upon

"women's and children's dress goods and real or imitation Italian cloths, composed wholly or in part of wool, worsted, the hair of the alpaca, goat, or other like animals,"

it being found by the jury that they were not known in commerce among merchants and importers as "women's and children's dress goods."

In the absence of a settled designation of a cloth by merchants and importers, its designation as hair, silk, cotton, or woolen for the purposes of customs revenue depends upon the predominance of such article in its composition, and not upon the absence of any other material.

The words "not otherwise herein provided for" in a section in a customs revenue act mean not otherwise provided for in that act.

To place an article among those designated as "enumerated," so as to take it out of the operation of the similitude clause of the customs revenue laws, Rev.Stat. § 2499, it is not necessary that it should be specifically mentioned.

The words "manufactures of hair " are a sufficient designation to place such manufactures among the enumerated articles.

This was an action at law to recover customs duties alleged to have been illegally exacted. Judgment for plaintiff. Defendant sued out this writ of error. The case is stated in the opinion of the Court.

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