Imatges de pàgina

to be both unsafe and inexpedient to send only one vessel. But the Department did not feel that it had authority, either to purchase another, or to detach one more of the small vessels of the Navy, to be joined with the Peacock; nor, indeed, is there another in the service suited to this peculiar employment. But the opinion and wish of the Department being known, an offer was made to it, of such a vessel as was desired, being of about 200 tons burden, and calculated for cruising in the high Southern latitudes, and among the Ice Islands and reefs which are known to exist there. This vessel has been received and placed at the Navy Yard, upon the express agreement that a recommendation should be made to Congress, to authorize its purchase, and if the recommendation was not approved, that it should be returned to its owner. No money has been expended under this arrangement. That satisfactory evidence might be had, both of the fitness of the vessel and its value, directions were given to Mr. Eckford, of New York, and Mr. Hartt, the naval constructor at Brooklyn, to examine it and report on those points. Their report fixes the value at $ 10,000. I cheerfully discharge my obligation under the agreement, by an earnest recommenda. tion that Congress authorize the price to be paid. Should this not be done, the vessel will be returned.

Measures have been taken to procure information of the present state of knowledge in our country, on the subjects pointed out in the resolution, from our citizens who have been employed in the navigation of those seas, and who possess information derived from experience, which is confined very much to themselves and their logbooks and journals. An agent has been usefully and successfully engaged in this object, and has found few obstacles thrown in his way. Those who have been most acquainted, by business and interest, with that portion of the globe, feel the deepest solicitude for the success of the enterprise. The expedition will be enabled to sail with better guides than are usually possessed, by those who embark in similar undertakings.

With a view to give thie most useful character to the enterprize, it is important that persons skilled in the various branches of science should partake in it. Correspondence has, therefore, been held with scientific men, and some selections have been made, and others are now making, by the Department, of astronomers, naturalists, and others, who are willing to encounter the toil, and will be able to bring home to us results which will advance the honor, and promote the interests of the nation.

Master Commandant Jones will command the Peacock, and other suitable officers have been designated.

The resolution was understood to authorize the use of the naval appropriations, to furnish facilities for the expedition; and they have been used for all those objects which come within the terms in the bill of appropriation, as pay, subsistence, instruments, books, &c. But there are indispensable objects which do not come within any of the items in the bill, and for which provision is required. A bill on the subject was reported by the Naval Committee, at the last session of Congress, and placed on the list of business to be acted on, but was not reached before the close of the session. Its passage is necessary to accomplish the purposes designed by the resolution. It does not seem proper to detail the facilities” which it is the intention of the Department to afford. One of them should be, a vessel to carry provisions, in order that, upon the arrival of the expedition at the scene of operation, the exploring vessels may be supplied in such a manner, that they may not be driven from their employment at too early a period, and that they may subsequently, from time to time, be further supplied from distant stations, so that no causes but the elements may arrest their labors; but they may, at all times and seasons, be at liberty to pursue their investigations, without interruption. Other and obvious uses may be made of such a vessel, in the relief which it will afford, should disease or death make serious inroads on their numbers. A vessel suited to this object is within the control of the Depart. ment, and will either be chartered or purchased, as the means furnished by Congress may permit. The importance of the expedition, in all its aspects, and especially in its commercial relations, has augmented, in the view of the Department, by all the inquiries and investigations which have been made; and an anxious desire is felt, that nothing should be omitted which can tend to its ultimate success.

LIST of claims on the United States, for the Exploring Expedition. Messrs. B. & S. Demilt, for Chronometers &c. as per account annexed,

- $ 1,700 00 Richard Patten, for various Astronomical Instruments, as per

account annexed, - - - - - - 1,300 Professor Renwick, for articles bought in London by Captain Sabine, as per account annexed,,.

90 00 Lieutenant Charles Wilkes, Jr. for extra pay while employed · in preparing and superintending the construction of the instruments, as per account annexed,

336 00 Total amount of claims,

• $3,426 00

New YORK, December 5th, 1829. United States' Exploring Expedition, To B. & S. Demilt,

Dr. To i Clock with an extra pendulum, ..

• 160 00 i Strong plain solid mahogany case for clock,

20 00 3 Eight day Box Chronometers, a $ 420 •

• 1,260 00 ' 1 Silver Cased Chronometer, pocket size, ..

260 00 $1,700 00


United Stales' Exploring Expedition, 1829.

To Richard Patten,
July 1st, For 1 Repeating Theodolite,

i Variation Transit, -
1 Frame for pendulum, -
1 Azimuth Compass, Counterpoise moveable,
1 Dipping Needle Apparatus, -
i Telescope for observing coincidences,
2 Spirit Levels, each $ 10
2 Do. do.

Dr. $ 560 00 550 00

20 00 60 00 60 00 20 00 20 CO 10 00

$1,300 00

New York, December 5th, 1829.
United StatesExploring Expedition,
To Professor Renwick,

For the following articles bought in London, by Captain Sabine:
To 1 Barometor of Daniell's,

$ 34 00 1 Hygrometer, .

• 31 00 I Magnetic Apparatus,

25 00

[ocr errors]

NEW YORK, 5th December, 1829, United States' Exploring Expedition, To Lieutenant Charles Wilkes, Jr.

Dr. For extra pay while employed in superintending the construction and

preparing the Astronomical Instruments, from 18th November, 1828, until the 1st July, 1829, 224 days, a $150 per diem, - $ 336

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]


MARCH 17, 1830.

Mr. OVERTON, from the Committee of Ways and Means, made the following


The Committee of Ways and Means, to whom was referred the petition of J. N. Cordozo, praying that he may be released from a contract with the United States, or that the same may be modified, and the amount of the debt reduced, report:

That it appears that the petitioner, some time in the year 1823, became the purchaser, from the agents of the United States, of a certain newspaper called the Southern Patriot, printed in Charleston, South Carolina, for the sum of twenty thousand dollars, the United States holding, at that time, a lien on said press for that amount. The purchase was made on long credits, and the press was mortgaged for the payment. It further appears, that, at the time the petitioner was in negotiation for the purchase of the Southern Patriot, it was employed by the Government for the printing of the laws and other public printing, and derived a portion of its income and populari. ty from that source; that the value of this printing was taken into the account in fixing the price, and formed one of the inducements to the purchase, on the part of the petitioner. It further appears, that, some time in 1825, the Secretary of State, not being aware of the claims of the Government on the Southern Patriot, nor that the whole amount of printing was regularly paid over to the United States on account of the debt aforesaid, transferred the printing to another paper, whereby the income of the Southern Patriot was reduced. That, from this transfer of the public printing, and other causes, which it is unnecessary to enumerate, the income of the paper has been so much reduced as to prevent the petitioner from complying with his contract. Under these circumstances, he requests a reduction of the debt, and an extension of the time for the payment.

The committee, after examining the documents, have no doubt that a very high price was given by the petitioner for the paper, much more than could have been obtained from any other person at that time, and that it is dot now worth near as much as it cost.

It is proved by the statements of the District Attorney, the Agent of the Treasury, and the gentlemen who were consulted in the arrangements for the purchase of the paper by Mr. Cardozo, that the public printing entered into the consideration of the parties in fixing the price.

It is, in any view of the subject, a hard bargain, on the fulfilment of which the Government would be dealing rigorously to insist.. And when the

« AnteriorContinua »