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OFFICE OF THE COMMISSIONER OF PUBLIC BUILDINGS,

Capitol, May 4, 1854. I have examined the foregoing petition of Mr. Wm. Hagerty, together with the certificate of H. W. Ball, esq., accompanying the same, and from that certificate and what I can learn of the work done by Mr. Hagerty, 1 have no doubt that he has a just claim against the United States.

B. B. FRENCH, Commissioner of Public Buildings.

WASHINGTON, D. C., February 22, 1852. THE UNITED STATES, T. WILLIAM HAGERTY......

.DR. To extra work in grading the public grounds west of the

Capitol; to filling over the culvert through the public grounds north of the Capitol ; to grading Pennsylvania avenue, between First and Second streets east, in the year 1850—the whole amount being 8,040 yards, at 12 cents per yard....

$964 80

SURVEYOR'S OFFICE, April 26, 1854. I was appointed engineer in charge of the work referred to in the memorial of Wm. Hagerty, hereto annexed. There was no written contract between Mr. Mudd, the Commissioner of Public Buildings, and Mr. Hagerty. Mr. Hagerty executed his part of the contract (ap exceedingly hard one on his part) with the strictest fidelity and to the entire satisfaction of myself and the Commissioner. Besides the faithtul execution of his contract, he performed certain extra work, for which he has charged in the bill accompanying his memorial. I have examined this bill, and, from my knowledge of the extra work which was performed and done by him under the order and direction of the Commissioner, I believe that the said bill is just and fair, and ought to be paid.

H. W. BALL.

Subscribed and sworn to before me this 5th day of May, 1854. (l. s.]

N. CALLAN, J. P.

OFFICE OF COMMISSIONER OF PUBLIC BUILDINGS,

May 20, 1850. Separate sealed proposals will be received at this office until the 27th instant, inclusive, for the following described labor and materials that is to say, for excavating and removing the surplus earth from the

street around the Capitol enclosure, the depth of cutting to be determined by an engineer, and will probably be from twelve to eighteen inches. It will be removed to the adjacent low grounds either north, south, or west of the Capitol. It will be required that the work shall be commenced at an early period after the terms are accepted, and continued with such force as may be deemed necessary for the progress of paving ; also for delivering and spreading gravel for the bed of the pavement and for after-covering—the quality of the gravel and the manner of spreading and grading it must be under the directions and approval of a superintendent appointed for that service; and also for the delivery of round paving stones sufficient to pave about 35,000 superficial yards—a specimen of the kind and quality of which

may

be seen in this office, which is similar to those used in paving Pennsylvania avenue. Bids will be considered for all or any portion thereof. The bids will state the price per cubic yard for the excavation and for the gravelling—10 be measured and computed by the engineer or superintendent.

CONGRESS

REBECCA WINN.
[To accompany bill H. R. No. 703.]

JANUARY 30, 1855.

Mr. Bocock, from the Committee on Naval Affairs, made the following

REPORT.

The Committee on Naval Affairs, to whom was referred the memorial of Rebecca Winn, widow of Timothy Winn, deceased, late a purser in the United States navy, have had the same under consideration, and ask leave to report :

The merits of this case are clearly and distinctly set forth in a report made from the Naval Committee of this House in May, 1850.

The present committee ask leave to adopt said report as their own, as well as the conclusion at which it arrives. It is as follows:

“That the late purser Winn was stationed at the navy yard in this city from March, 1815, till April, 1829, during which time he discharged the duties of purser of the yard. In addition to those duties properly appertaining to his office, he also acted as navy agent, a separate and distinct office, having different duties and responsibilities; duties and responsibilities which belonged to the captain of the yard, who, by the act of the 27th March, 1804, supplementary to the act entitled 'An act providing for a naval peace establishment, and for other purposes,' was required to discharge the duties of navy agent to the yard, and compensation provided therefor. From some cause or other, and perhaps without a formal order—for it appears there is none such found on the books of the Navy Department-purser Winn was required to perform the duties of navy agent at the station. Accordingly, he made the necessary requisitions for funds upon the Secretary of the Navy, disbursed the same, and regularly accounted therefor.

“ It'appears he was allowed by law the aid of a steward, at a pay of three hundred and sixty dollars a year, to aid him in the rougher duties of his purser's office, and that he employed and paid a clerk out of his own funds, to aid in the duties of agent; this additional assistance being rendered necessary by the amount of service and responsibility which was devolved thereby upon him.

« The amount, six hundred dollars a year, thus paid by purser Winn, was charged in his accounts, and allowed from the 1st of January, 1824, to the 31st of March, 1828. The charge for a similar

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sum from the 31st March, 1828, to the 30th September, 1829, was disallowed by the accounting officers; upon which purser Winn retained the amount (nine hundred dollars) in his hands, and requested suit might be brought against him to test the question of right before the courts of law. This was done, and resulted in favor of Mr. Winn, and that amount was thereupon passed to his credit. Notwithstanding that decision, the accounting officers still declining to allow him the clerk-hire which had been previously refused, application was made to Congress for relief in 1840. The claim has been from time to time brought up for action, and has been delayed, by the various causes which so frequently produce such results, till the present time.

“During the time purser Winn was performing the extra services mentioned in the memorial, similar services were performed at the same yard, in part, by Commodore Tingey, for which he was allowed a compensation of one per cent. upon the amount disbursed by him ; and a clerk at the Fourth Auditor's office, who made various disbursements on small claims for the same yard, received a similar pay.

“It is also alleged that a clerk was, during that period, allowed to pursers who were similarly situated, to aid them in their duties; and upon Commodore Hull's appointment to the Washington yard in 1829, when purser Winn ceased to act as navy agent, and Commodore Hull performed that service, according to the provisions of the act of 1804, he was allowed a clerk to assist in its performance, at a salary of eight hundred dollars per annum. All of these transactions took place before Congress had made the change in the law and practice of the government, by the act of 1842, which fixes salaries and forbids extra pay in every form.

"Your committee are unable to discover any good reason for refusing purser Winn that allowance which was made contemporaneously to Commodore Tingey and the clerk at the Fourth Auditor's office, of a direct compensation in the form of a per centum on disbursements, or an allowance of clerk-hire, which was allowed to other pursers, was partially allowed to himself, and was subsequently allowed to Commodore Hull, at even a higher rate of salary; an allowance which, in his own case, was tested by a decision of a court of the United States, and decided to be correct. It appears that he actually paid this clerk-hire out of his own pocket, to aid him in the performance of duties which, no doubt, the department had the power to require of him, but which certainly, in all equity, and especially liberality, ought not to be made a burden upon the officer beyond his own personal labor.

“ That purser Winn discharged his duties faithfully, is shown by a fact which your committee wish was universally applicable to disbursing officers. He settled his accounts, amounting to nearly two millions of dollars in the aggregate, without the loss of a cent to the government, while he received the mo..erate salary of less than twelve hundred dollars per annum.

“ Your committee are of opinion the claim for clerk-hire should be allowed, and report a bill accordingly.”

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