Imatges de pàgina

by the allowance of two per cent. for their agency, and for the inconvenience and loss which might ensue.

The company also claim the amount of a draught drawn by Robert Crockett, Marshal of the District of Kentucky, for $4,390 50, on General John Masoul, Commissary of Prisoners, dated September 7th, 1815, and payable sixty days after date, to John H. Piatt, or order, for rations issued to British prisoners on their march from Lower Sandusky to Long Point; and by John H. Piatt endorsed to Samuel C. Vance, then cashier of the Miami Exporting Company. This draught was presented on the 11th December, 1815, and not paid for want of accounts. Robert Crockett testifies, that his deputy, Thomas Long, had made a contract with Thomas Thompson, agent of John H. Piatt, to furnish British prisoners with rations, and that the draught was drawn to pay for rations issued under that contract. The prisoners were under the charge of one of his deputies at the time the rations were issued, but had been exchanged before the draught was drawn; the funds to be raised on the draught were necessary to discharge the debt which had been contracted by the issue of those rations. He further states, that he has no recollection of being authorized to draw for money, but that he had been directed by General Mason, Commissary of Prisoners, to furnish the British prisoners with provisions and other supplies; to obtain which, he had, from time to time, drawn draughts on General Mason, the most of which were honored. Robert Crockett was, at the time this draught was drawn, and has ever since been, a debtor to the Government. The Fifth Auditor, in answer to inquiries made by the committee, states, that, on examination of the accounts which were adjusted at his office, in 1818, of Robert Crockett, United States' Marshal of Kentucky, in relation to prisoners of war, he finds the sum of $4,390 50 was then allowed him for 17,562 rations, at 25 cents per ration, issued by Thomas Thompson to the British prisoners of war, from 11th September, to 26th October, 1814, on a contract made by said Thompson with Thomas Long, deputy marshal. This evidence, the committee think insufficient to sustain the claim of the company on this draught against the Government, and that they spust resort to the drawer or endorser.

The committee report a bill for the sum of $3,585, being two per cent. on advances made by the company, from 1st September, 1812, to 10th March, 1813.

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

1st Session.


APRIL 19, 1830.

Mr. CRANE, from the Committee of Claims, made the following


The Committee of Claims, to whom was referred the petition of Wil

liam Tharp, report: The petitioner claims the sum of $50, the amount paid by him as sutler in 1809, to Winnard Nice and Robert Maxwell, privates in Capt. Gibson's and Wallace's companies. In support of this claim, the receipts of Nice aud Maxwell, duly attested, are produced, acknowledging the receipt of $ 25, each, in full for the pay due them respectively, for the months of July, August, September, October, and November, 1809.

It appears, however, that those soldiers are dead, and that their legal representatives have received the pay due them for the foregoing period. The Government is not liable to pay the amount again to the petitioner, unless it were clearly shown that the payment to the representatives of the deceased soldiers was made with a full knowledge of the claim of the petitioner. Of this there is no evidence.

The petitioner also claims interest on money advanced by him as administrator of deceased soldiers, in payment of fees and expenses in obtaining letters of administration. The committee think interest is justly due on advances of this nature, but do not consider any further legislation on this subject necessary, as the act of Congress, passed 22d May, 1826, authorized the settlement of the petitioner's claims for debts due him as sutler, upon principles of justice and equity. The petitioner also claims the amount of a draught drawn in his favor by Lieut. Richard Buck, U. S. Paymaster, on Nathaniel Evans, at Fort Adams, for the sum of $100, payable at sight, and dated New Orleans, July 1, 1806. The certificate of General Gaines, dated October 17, 1829, shews, that Buck was a paymaster, and occasionally paid the troops at Fort Adams and Fort Stoddard, from 1803 to 1806. The General also states, that Mr. Evans, the drawee, was a man of honesty and honor. This draught does not appear to have been presented at the Trea sury until 1825, and was then refused payment as a private transaction for which the Government was not accountable, the paymaster having nothing due him, but, on the contrary, having died in arrears to the Government. This draught was drawn by Lieut. Buck in his official character, as paymaster, but there is no satisfactory evidence that Evans was a public agent. Col. Towson states, that paymasters are instructed to keep their public funds in

banks designated by the Treasury Department as depositories of public money, unless otherwise permitted by the Paymaster General. Such permission is given when there is no bank in the vicinity of the paymaster, and when the inconvenience of resorting to one would be prejudicial to the service.

The committee do not consider a paymaster in the army of the United States a general agent, who can bind the Government by every draught 10 which he affixes his official signature. Before this claim is sustained, it should be shown that Evans was the depositary, duly constituted, of the public roncy entrusted to Pay master Buck; and that, in consequence of being such depositary, this bill was drawn on him. It is peculiarly necessary, after the lapse of time between the drawing this bill and its exhibition as a claim against the United States, that the transaction should appear to be of a public character; that the drawer acted within the scope of his authority; that Evans was properly constituted a depositary of the public money; and that the Government has sustained no loss by the long delay in presenting the claim. But it further appears that this draught, on presentation, was paid by Evans to the clerk and agent of the petitioner, and afterwards, at the instance of Evans, the clerk of the petitioner paid back the money to Evans, and received the draught from him. Admitting the transaction to have been originally of a public character, the committee are of opinion, that, on the payment of the money, and taking up the bill, its public character ceased, and any subsequent arrangement between the agent of the petitioner and Evans, cannot affect the United States.

The petitioner also claims to ir reimbursed the amount which he alleges he paid on a judgment recovered against him in New Orleans, under the following circumstances. In May, 180s, Lieut. James Reed, Assistant Military Agent for the post of Fort Adams, drew on Henry Dearborn, Secretary of War, in favor of the petitioner, for $1,163, to supply a failure of the contractor, James Morrison. This draught was endorsed by Colonel Sparks, the commanding officer, who ordered the purchase, and by the petitioner. It was negotiated by the petitioner, and, as he states, having been protested for non-payment, a suit was instituted against the petitioner as endorsee at New Orleans, and judgment recovered against them for $1,899 13, including 15 per cent." damages and interest, and exclusive of costs of suit. It appears that, on the 19th April, 1813, the claim was so far allowed that a draught was drawn by the Treasurer of the United States on the Bank of Louisiana, for $1500 in favor of Col. Sparks, on account of the purchase of vinegar for the troops at Fort Adams in 1808, to supply the failure of the contractor Morrison. Owing to accident, this draught was not paid until 29th March, 1816. The petitioner claims to be paid the amount of the judgment with interest, deducting the sum of $150. There is no evidence to shew a judgn.ent rendered against the petitioner, on the draught drawn by Lieut. Reed, or the payment of such draught by the petitioner as endorsee. This evidence the committee deem indispensable to sustain the claim. The petitioner also claims the sum of $170 46 for money advanced by him to the late Paymaster Buck. There is no evidence in support of this claim but an account stated and sworn to by the petitioner. It has been rejected by the Third Auditor as a private transaction. Before it can be allowed, the committee think its public character should be shown, and that the evidence adduced is insufficient for that purpose. The committee submit the following resolution: That it is inexpedient to grant the prayer of the petitioner.

« AnteriorContinua »