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the commerce and navigation of the country in general, from the passage of the bill accompanying this report, it may be observed, that it would tend to relieve our seaports from many unemployed youths, by affording them the means of acquiring a useful profession, and prevent them from becoming a burden upon the community from idle and va
The apprentices shipped by virtue of the proposed law, being supported and educated on board of the vessels to which they belong, would, when in a port, form a secure safeguard against depredations upon the property on board, and at the same time acquire a practical knowledge of seamanship, which would qualify them, when they became of age, to discharge, with credit to themselves and advantage to their employers, the duties of master and other officers.
The enlistment of boys for the navy, in pursuance of the act of March 2, 1837, has, it is understood, been productive of valuable results. The apprenticeship of boys in the merchant service would also, by increasing the number of American seamen, facilitate the recruiting of our navy in the event of future wars.
By all commercial nations it has been considered highly advantageous to their best interests to provide, by judicious legislation, institutions which should serve as nurseries for the training of seamen. Fishermen, colliers, and other classes engaged in maritime pursuits, have, for this reason, been peculiarly protected in the pursuit of their regular employments, and bounties granted to stimulate their enterprises and reward their efforts. Such uniformity in the views of what constitutes a wise policy on these subjects, entertained by various governments differing essentially in form and principles, affords a strong argument in favor of their soundness.
The unfavorable condition of things, as detailed in the petitions presented on this subject, and which it is hoped will be remedied by the bill accompanying this report, is, no doubt, in part attributable to the fact, that while provision has been made, to a greater or less extent, in other occupations, to train up those who are to follow them in the paths which lead to respectability and usefulness, no such wise forecast has been exercised in the case of the sailor. For him, from the commencement to the close of his life of vicissitude and hardship, no school is opened, no systematic means of improvement provided. It is true that the appeal which his neglected condition makes to the benevolent, has not been wholly unanswered, and “Homes" have been established and societies organized in our principal seaports for his benefit. Yet we do not depreciate the value of these agencies of good when we say, that they have hitherto been necessarily directed to the alleviation of evils rather than to the removal of the causes from which they flow. The provisions of the bill herewith reported will, in the opinion of your committee, not only assist and harmonize with the benevolent efforts of individuals for the benefit of the sailor, but remedy evils which lie beyond the reach of private associations, and secure advantages which nothing short of positive legislation on the subject can obtain.
The committee, therefore, report a bill in conformity to the relief prayed for by the petitions and the views presented in this report.
HENRY LITTLE AND JACOB FELCH.
[To accompany bill H. R. No. 756.)
FEBRUARY 23, 1855.
Mr. T. WENTWORTH, from the Committee on Commerce, made the
The petitioners, owners of land on Woodbridge island, in Merrimack river, allege that the United States, in the years 1829 and 1830, erected near the mouth of said river a breakwater; that in 1845, in consequence of the original imperfection of the work, or of its subsequent neglect by government, a breach was made in the breakwater by a storm, whereby the land of the petitioners was washed away, and a new channel for the river was made through the same, causing an injury to the petitioners of three hundred dollars
The evidence before the committee warrants the conclusion that the government is responsible for the damage, if the allegations in the petition be true.
The committee, therefore, report a bill appropriating three hundred dollars for the payment of the damages, if the petitioners can prove to the satisfaction of the Secretary of War thai the government is liable for the injury sustained.
DANIEL SEARLE & CO.
[To accompany bill H. R. 762.)
FEBRUARY 23, 1855.
Mr. D. T. JONES, from the Committee on the Post Office and Post
Roads, made the following
The Committee on the Post Office and Post Roads, to whom was referred
the memorial of Daniel Searle & Co., report: That they concur in and adopt the report of the Hon. Elisha Whittlesey, First Comptroller of the Treasury, hereto appended, by which it appears that the memorialist was required by the Postmaster General to carry the mail on the routes therein named four additional trips per week for two winters, and that he is legally entitled to pro rata pay for said extra services. The committee therefore report a bill for his relief.
THE CASE OF DANIEL SEARLE & CO.
Comptroller's Office, March 4, 1852. This case is before me on an appeal from the decision of the Hon. J. W. Farrelly, Auditor of the Treasury for the Post Office Department.
The facts are set forth in the decision of the Auditor, the argument of Charles G. Sherman, esq., and in an abstract of evidence offered by Daniel Searle & Co.
Daniel Searle, J. J. Ray, Miller Harton, John H. Avery, Richard C. Stockton, and William B. Stokes, composed the firm of Daniel Searle & Co. A. Morgan, Isaac Thompson, Richard C. Stockton, William B. Stokes, John H. Avery, and Erastus Hathaway composed the firm of A. Morgan & Co. Daniel Searle & Co., in 1835, contracted
the mail on route No. 956, from New York to Morristown, in New Jersey. Also, on route No. 979, from Morristown to Milford, in the State of Pennsylvania. Also, on route No. 1157, from Milford to Owego, New York. So that these three routes made a continuous line of communication from the city of New York to Owego. The mail, by these contracts, was to be carried tri-weekly on routes Nos. 956, 979, and 1157.
A. Morgan & Co. were contractors for transporting the mail daily on route No. 774, which extended from Newburg, on the Hudson river, Owego. As the navigation of the Hudson river was interrupted by
ice in the winter season, it was a matter of interest to increase the trips on routes No. 979 and No. 1157, and to accomplish it, the Postmaster General solicited improved bids. Daniel Searle & Co. made proposals accordingly, at the compensation of $3,000 per annum, as follows:
“Or we will make the following improvement on the line from Jersey City to Owego, New York, to wit: We propose to convey the mail by an express line of post coaches, from Jersey City to Newark, on No. 956, from Newark to Morristown, on No. 979, from Morristown to Milford, on 1157, from Milford to Owego; thence connecting with the line from Owego to Genesee, to be run daily from the 1st day of December to the 1st day of April, and through in 44 hours, for the compensation of $3,000, in addition to the foregoing sum of $5,980, on the same routes.
John H. Avery was a partner in each company. It is stated, and I think correctly, that when this improved bid was under consideration, the said John H. Avery suggested or proposed verbally to the Postmaster General, to transfer four trips weekly from route No. 774 on to routes No. 956, 979 and 1157 during the suspension of navigation. The improved bid was not accepted, but the suggestion or the verbal proposition was favorably received by the Postmaster General.
The letter of acceptance of S. R. Hobbie, Assistant Postmaster General, to Messrs. Daniel Searle & Co., on route No. 1157, is dated the 27th of October, 1835, and states on its face to be a conditional acceptance, and on the back leaf of the printed acceptance is written as follows:
“N. B. The following condition is annexed to this acceptance, viz: that route No. 774, from Newburg, New York, to Owego, shall be reduced to a tri-weekly route during the suspension of steamboat navigation on the North river, in each year, and that the four weekly trips curtailed on that route shall be transferred to and performed on routes No. 979 and 1157, making a daily mail over those routes to Owego. “ Your answer is requested immediately.
"S. R. HOBBIE, “NOVEMBER 7, 1835.
Assistant Postmaster General."
The contract for route No. 1157 is dated October 27th, 1835, the date of the acceptance as mentioned above; but across the outer margin, on the first page, is written the condition copied above.
The 13th article of the contract is as follows:
“ That the Postmaster General may curtail the service or dispense with it entirely, he allowing one month's extra pay upon the amount deducted, in case he wishes to place on the route a higher degree of service than is contracted for, first offering the privilege to the contractor on the route of performing such higher service on the terms that can be obtained; or whenever he shall deem it expedient to lessen the service, or to leave such route, or any part of it, out of operation, or to convey the mail by steamboat or railroad cars, provided that reduction or compensation, in consequence of reduction of service, shall not exceed the exact proportion which the service dispensed with bears to the whole service.'