AN ACT to declare and establish the free navigation of the Mississippi River.
The Congress of the Confederate States of America do enact, That the peaceful navigation of the Mississippi River is hereby declared free to the citizens of any of the States upon its borders, or upon the borders of its navigable tributaries; and all ships, boats, rafts, or vessels may navigate the same, under such regulations as may be established by authority of law, or under such police regulations as may be established by the States within their several jurisdictions.
SEC. 2. Be it further enacted, All ships, boats, or vessels which may enter the waters of the said river within the limits of this Confederacy, from any port or place beyond the said limits, may freely pass with their cargoes to any other port or place beyond the limits of this Confederacy without any duty or hindrance, except light money, pilotage, and other like charged; but it shall not be lawful for any such ship, boat, or vessel to sell, deliver, or in any way to dispose of any part of her cargo or land any portion thereof for the purpose of sale and delivery within the limits of this Confederacy; and in case any portion of such cargo shall be sold or delivered, or landed for that purpose, in violation of the provisions of this act, the same shall be forfeited, and shall be seized and condemned by a proceeding in admiralty before the court having jurisdiction of the same in the district in which the same may be found; and the ship, boat, or vessel shall forfeit four times the amount of the value of the duties chargeable on the said goods, wares, or merchandise so landed, sold, or disposed of in violation of the provisions of this act, to be recovered by a proper proceeding in admiralty before the said court in the district in which such ship, boat, or vessel may be found, one-half for the use proceeding, the other half for the use of the Government of the Confederate States; Provided, That if any such ship, boat, or vessel shall be stranded, or from any cause become unable to proceed on its voyage, the cargo thereof may be landed and the same may be entered at the nearest port of entry, in the same manner as goods, wares, and merchandise regularly consigned to said port; and the person so entering the same shall be entitled to the benefit of drawback of duties or of warehousing said goods, wares, and merchandise as provided by law in other cases.
SEC. 3. And be it further enacted, If any person having the charge of or being concerned in the transportation of any goods, wares, or merchandise upon the said river shall, with intent to defraud the revenue, break open or unpack, within the limits of the Confederate States, any part of the merchandise entered for transportation beyond the said limits, or shall exchange or consume the same, or with like intent shall break or deface any seal or fastening placed thereon by any officer of the revenue, or if any person shall deface, alter, or forge any certificate granted for the protection of merchandise transported as aforesaid, each and every person so offending shall forfeit and pay $500, and shall be imprisoned not less than one nor more than six months, at the discretion of the court before which such person shall be convicted.
SEC. 4. Be it further enacted, In case any ship, boat, or vessel shall enter the waters of the said river within the limits of the Confederate States, having on board any goods, wares, or merchandise subject to the payment of duties, and the master, consignee, or owner shall desire to land the same for sale or otherwise, it shall be lawful to