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LAW, MERCHANT. A system of customs acknowledged and taken notice of by all commercial nations; and those customs constitute a part of the general law of the land; and being a part of that law their existence cannot be proved by witnesses, but the judges are bound to take notice of them ex officio. See Beawes' Lex Mercatoria Rediviva; Caines' Lex Mercatoria Americana; Com. Dig. Merchant, D; Chit. Comm. Law; Pardess. Droit Commercial; Collection des Lois Maritimes anterieure au dix hutiŠme siŠcle, par Dupin; Capmany, Costumbres Maritimas; II Consolato del Mare; Us et Coutumes de la Mer; Piantandia, Della Giurisprudenze Maritina Commerciale, Antica e Moderna; Valin, Commentaire sur l'Ordonnance de la Marine, du Mois d'Aout, 1681; Boulay-Paty, Dr. Comm.; Boucher, Institutions au Droit Maritime.
MERCHANT. One whose business it is to buy and sell merchandise; this applies
to all persons who habitually trade in merchandise. 1 Watts & S. 469; 2
2. In another sense, it signifies a person who owns ships, and trades, by means of them, with foreign nations, or with the different States of the United States; these are known by the name of shipping merchants. Com. Dig. Merchant, A; Dyer, R. 279 b; Bac. Ab. h.t.
3. According to an old authority, there are four species of merchants, namely, merchant adventurers, merchant dormant, merchant travellers, and merchant residents. 2 Brownl. 99. Vide, generally, 9 Salk. R. 445; Bac. Ab. h.t.; Com. Dig. h.t.; 1 Bl. Com. 75, 260; 1 Pard. Dr. Com. n. 78