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APRIL 14, 1830.
Mr. WAITTLESEY, from the Committee of Claims, made the following
The Committee of Claims, to which was referred, by resolution, the
claim of the legal representatives of Joseph Jeans, report: That this claim was examined, and a bill reported, on the 21st of March, 1828, which passed the House at the last session of Congress, was referred to the Committee of Claims in the Senate, and reported without amendment, but was not finally acted on. This committee refer to their former report, and make the same a part of this report, concurring with the former committee. A bill is herewith presented.
MARCH 21, 1828.
The Committee of Claims, to which was referred the petition of the legal
representatives of Joseph Jeans, deceased, report: That they have examined the former report, and the law passed in pursuance thereof, and find that the proviso in said law has rendered it wholly inoperative, according to the construction given to the proviso by the Third Auditor of the Treasury. The committee are of opinion, that it was the intention of Congress to benefit the petitioner by the law as it passed. They are also of opinion, that there ought to be paid to the said Jeans the value of two horses impressed into the service of the United States, and never returned to said Jeans, viz: the difference between the sum he has received for use and risk of said horses, and the value thereof, being the sum of sixtyone dollars; and, therefore, report a bill for that sum.
POST OFFICE ESTABLISHMENT.
APRIL 14, 1830.
MR. CONNER, from the Committee on the Post Office and Post Foads, made
.: the following
REPORT: The Committee on the Post Office and Post Roads report: That, from the numerous applications made annually to Congress for the establishment of new routes, and the frequent and increasing demands made on the Department for additional accommodations, your committee have been induced to extend their inquiries, and to examine particularly into the past and present condition of the General Post Office, with the view to a farther extention of accommodation, should it appear to them prudent and practicable; and although in its operation now extensive, and perhaps as perfect as could be anticipated, its ramifications reaching most neighborhoods in the North and the South, in the East and the West, still there remain, unsupplied, many routes of great importance and interest to various growing sections of the country; many of those cross and connecting routes, with important lines already in operation, required and loudly called for by those rising settlements to make them participants in the benefits and blessings of this Department—an establishment so entirely national in its character, and intended by the Government in its creation for the general benefit of the people, bearing to them directly the proceedings of their Government; placing within the reach of all, political, as well as other domestic and foreign information, thereby enabling them to judge of, and properly appreciate, their Government and its acts; whilst, also, it enables the commercial and mercantile interest to hold frequent communion, and affording to friends residing in different portions of the Union, the sweets of frequent friendly, interchanges of sentiment and good feeling so desirable; and thus by free and familiar intercourse, drawing still closer the bonds of union.
The proceeds of the Department have enabled it heretofore to keep pace with the growing wants and wishes of the people; the aggregate amount of postage has not diminished; on the contrary, from 1824 to the present time, it has been increasing, and there is every reason to believe it will continue to increase. But, the demands on the Department for the few last years, have been such as could not be resisted. For additional accommodation, the Postmaster General yielded, as your committee believe prudently, by the more frequent running of the stages, and the increase of speed, the changing horse transportation into stage, wherever and whenever it could be done with propriety; this additional and necessary expenditure, with the establishment by
Congress, in 1828, of many new routes, exhibits at once the true cause of the expenditures exceeding the receipts of the last year. It is not apprehended but that the Department will be perfectly able to sustain, and continue the existing accommodation, without being obliged to make any material changes; nor is additional aid asked for by the Department. But your committee are aware, if the bill now before Congress for the establishment of new routes, involving an estimated expenditure of about $86,000 should pass, and of which there can be little doubt, it will not only subject the Department to inconvenience, but to serious embarrassment. To avoid embarrassment, it seems necessary, to enable the Department still to keep pace with the wants of the country, that an appropriation by Congress should be made, equal to those wants. Without it, the additional burthen of the bill now before Congress, will necessarily compel the Department to resort to the unpleasant and disagreeable exercise of the powers vested in it, with the view of making the receipts equal the expenditures, of lessening the frequency of the running of the stages, and changing again the stage transportation into horse.
The confusion and discontent of which such a state of things would be productive must be obvious and apparent to all. This result your committee are desirous of avoiding. Viewing, as they do, the establishment of the General Post Office by the Government, not as intended for revenue purposes, but alone for the benefit of the people; hoping it would be able to sustain itself—it has done so-and the hopes and expectations of the Goveru. ment have been more than realized. It supplies now 8,004 post offices, paying to those deputy postmasters near $600,000, and paying about $1,100,000 for the transportation of the mail, travelling 115,000 miles; and has deposited in the Treasury at different times, the aggregate of $1,103,063. This amount your committee view as belonging properly to the Department, and applicable to its wants, when it may be needed and called for. In asking of Congress an appropriation, is nothing more than a request that the Department be permitted to withdraw from the Treasury a portion of those deposites made by itself. Could the appropriation asked for be considered as a charge on the Treasury, derived from other sources, they would be disposed to stop short, and rather recommend a curtailment of the expenses and accommodations. The committee have it in their power to lay before Congress a fair and full exhibit of the Post Office Department, from the year 1789, to April, 1829; being a communication from the Postmaster General, in reply to certain interrogatories addressed to him; and which is hereto annexed, as a part of this report; shewing the aggregate amount of expenditures and receipts, during the administration of each Postmaster General; under whose administration moneys were paid into the Treasury; by whom moneys have been drawn from the Treasury; the coodition of the Department at this time, and its ability to put into operation the many new routes in a bill reported.
The committee having maturely considered the present and past condition of the Department, the numerous calls for additional accommodation, and the many sections of the country as yet badly supplied, and others not at all, do not doubt the propriety of recommending to Congress the appropriation of $86,000, to enable the Department to put into operation the many new routes in the bill now before Congress. With that sum, it is confidently believed, hereafter, that the proceeds of the General Post Office will be amply sufficient to meet the expenditures,
GENERAL Post Offict DEPARTMENT,
March, 1830. Sir: To the several interrogatories contained in your letter of the 3d instant, I have the honor to reply:
Interrogatory 1. “ Since the establishment of the Post Office Department, what have been the aggregate amount of expenditures and receipts, under and during the administration of each Postmaster General, (the balance for or against?)”
The Post Office Department was established in 1775, at the commencement of the Revolutionary struggle; but there are no documents in its archives, that show the statement of its receipts or disbursements prior to the establishment of the present Government, in 1789. Since that period, the aggregate amount of its revenues and disbursements, during the administration of each Postmaster General, has been as follows:
Samuel Osgood, Postmaster General, from October, 1789, to August, 1791.
Amount of revenue during this period, was, $84,229
- 68,837 Balance in favor of the Department, .
$15,392 Timothy Pickering, Pestmaster General, from August, 1791, to
January, 1795. Amount of revenue, .
301, 138 Amount of expenditure,
Balance in favor of the Department,
to November, 1801. Amount of revenue,
• 1,668,755 Amount of expenditure,
Balance in favor of the Department, ..
5,873,052 Amount of expenditure,
5,363,692 Balance in favor of the Department, , Return J. Meigs, Postmaster General, from March, 1814, to
June; 1823. Amount of revenue,
• 9,361,666 Amount of expenditure,
8,862,658 Balance in favor of the Department, . John McLean, Postmaster General, from July, 1823, to March,
1829. Amount of revenue,
8,712,952 Amount of expenditure,
Balance in favor of the Department,