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THOS. PARK, DECEASED-HEIRS OF.
(To accompany bill H. R. No. 363.]
DECEMBER 27, 1854.-On motion of Mr. JOHN J. Taylor, ordered to be printed.
Mr. CORWIN, from the Committee on Revolutionary Claims, made the
The Committee on Revolutionary Claims, to whom was referred the petition
of the heirs of Thomas Park, deceased, beg leave to report: That they have examined all the papers in the case, and find the report heretofore made in this case to be correct, and sustained by proper iestimony, and which your committee adopt and herewith again report, together with a bill for relief.
In the case of the heirs of Thomas Park, it appears that said Thomas Park, during the war of the Revolution, was an inhabitant of Groton, in the State of Connecticut, and was captain of a privateer called “The Prudence," commissioned by Governor Trumbull, of that State.
That in the month of February, 1782, while cruising off the coast of Connecticut, he found floating and took up a quantity of sails and rigging belonging to the British vessel-of-war “Bedford,” and which had been thrown overboard in a gale.
That, in the month of April thereafter he sold the sails and rigging to Captain Harding, then commanding the continental vessel "Confederacy;" that they were sold to him as agent for the government, and for the national benefit, for the sum of $800; that Captain Harding gave a receipt for the property, and promised to procure the money from the United States government and pay
it over. That subsequently a party of tories made an incursion into Groton, broke open Captain Park's house in the night, plundered it of everything valuable, and, among the rest, of his papers, including the said
The petitioner negatives ever having had any pay, and assigns reasons why he did not apply earlier.
The petition was verified by the oath of the petitioner March 14, 1826.
The petition is sustained in all its material facts by the affidavit of Hugh Ê. Fiddis, who was powder-boy on the “Prudence” when the
sails and rigging were taken up, who saw the "Bedford” shortly before the gale, and soon afier saw the sails and rigging floating, to which were attached blocks on which were plainly marked the words “ The Bedford," and assisted in taking thein up. This witness was afterwards powder-boy on board the government vessel “Confederacy,' Captain Harding; was present at the sale by Park to Harding; and knows the sales and rigging were used on board the “Confederacy” in the United States service.
Thomas Eldridge, a gunner on board the privateer, in his affidavit, sustains also all the material facts of the petition as to the taking up and also the sale of the sails and rigging.
The robbery of the house and loss of the receipt is also proved by the affidavits of Fiddis and of Hannah Tower, both of whom were in the house at the time.
The case has been several times reported upon favorably—the first time as early as 1830.
In the mean time Captain Park himself has died, and the case is now prosecuted by his heirs.
It is submitted that in a case like this, of a liquidated demand, which if against an individual would carry interest, interest ought to be allowed, at least from the time of the first application in 1830.
JANUARY 5, 1855.
Mr. Hunt, from the Committee on Military Affairs, made the following
The Committee on Military Affairs, to whom was referred the petition of
Richard Fitzpatrick, praying compensation for military services rendered al rarious periods, have had the same under consideration, and beg leave respectfully to submit the following report :
Richard Fitzpatrick, the petitioner, served at various periods in the army of the United States. He was appointed an aid-de-camp by General Clinch in his Seminole campaign, and served in that capacity from the fall of 1835 to the month of May or June following up to the retirement of that general. He was better acquainted with the country—the field of military operations—than any man in the army. He was bold and intelligent, and always ready and forward to render any useful service. He enjoyed the confidence of his general; and it is proved by a gallant officer, who was associated in the service with him—Captain Thurston, formerly of 3d regiment artillery—that “no one in General Clinch's wing of the army rendered more active and real service than he did.” His conduct did not fail to attract the attention of the close-observing general-in-chief. General Scott says that he personally saw much of Colonel Fitzpatrick in the march from Fort Drane to Tampa Bay and back to the north of Florida, in the campaign, and that he can testify to his zeal and the great value of his services in that march. Subsequently the petitioner received the appointment of aidde-camp from General Call, a short time after his taking the command in Florida, during the Seminole war, and served in the staff of that officer from the 20th September to the 7th December, 1836, when he (General Call) was relieved by General Jesup.
General Call, in his testimony as to the services of the petitioner, says : "Colonel Fitzpatrick was a valuable and efficient member of his staff
, performing, as necessity required, the duties of aid-de-camp and quartermaster during the campaign against the Seminole Indians.”
It also appears, to the satisfaction of the committee, that the petitioner rendered service in the late war with Mexico. He volunteered at Camargo, in August, 1846, for the term of the war, and served as a private in Capt. McCullough’s celebrated company, and was honorably discharged after the taking of Monterey. During this period of his service, he was, by permission of Captain McCullough, detached to serve on General Worth’s staff, and he acted on that staff until the capitulation of Monterey.
For these and other services detailed in his petition, Colonel Fitzpatrick now, for the first time, seeks compensation from his country. Rich, generous, and patriotic, he is described, when joining the staff of General Clinch, as bringing with him his own horses and servant, and as then living at his own cost. And the same disinterested course of conduct appears to have been pursued by him during his military career. Overtaken by misfortune and poverty, in his 62d year, and in infirm health, he appeals to Congress for that compensation which he could formerly have obtained, had he desired it, by a technical and legal demand, and which is necessary to the support and comfort of his declining age. The appeal is just and reasonable, and should be promptly and favorably responded to.
Your committee accordingly recommend that the prayer of the petition be granted ; and that the Secretary of War be authorized to amend and correct any irregularities or omissions in the various rolls on which the name of the petitioner should have been inserted, and to cause him to be paid, out of any moneys in the treasury not otherwise appropriated, the amount which, on an examination of the case, may appear to him to be due the said petitioner, Richard Fitzpatrick, for his military services.
RICHARD WHITE AND SAMUEL SHERWOOD.
[To accompany bill H. R. No. 618.]
Mr. UPHAM, from the Committee on the Post Office and Post Roads,
made the following
REPORT. The memorialists are, and have been since 1838, employed in the General Post Office. Richard White was at that time an assistant messenger, with a salary of $350 per annum; Samuel Sherwood, a laborer, with a salary of $360 per annum.
duties were to carry messages, clean the rooms, make the fires, bring water, &c. In January, 1839, they were required by the then Auditor, in addition to their proper duties, to distribute, arrange, and file alphabetically, the quarterly returns of all the postmasters in the country, from 12,000 to 14,000 in number, and to withdraw and replace them from time to time, as occasionally required for reference by the clerks, in adjusting the accounts of the postmasters.
From the 1st of January, 1843, these two persons have been regularly allowed, by appropriations made with that view, $100 each, for the particular service above described.
They now petition Congress to be allowed at the same rate for the four years, from January 1, 1839, to January 1, 1843, during which they received no compensation.
The service was entirely foreign to their appropriate spheres, and above and beyond that to which their salaries had been adapted and adjusted; it was highly beneficial to the department, inasmuch as it saved the time of the clerks, and enabled them to attend to their business at their desks without interruption; and the government itself has seuled the point, that the extra labors of the memorialists were worth $100 per annum, by regularly every year, since 1843, appropriating that sum to them.
The committee, with these views, recommend that the prayer of the memorialists be granted, and report a bill accordingly.