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Mr. MCINTIRE, from the Committee of Claims, to which was re-com
mitted the report in the case of Martha Bailey, made the following supplemental and correctional
REPORT: The Committee of Claims, to which was referred by resolution the pe
tition of Martha Bailey and others, with the report of this committee thereon, for the purpose of correcting certain errors therein, report:
That, in the description of the petitioners, the report made February 2, 1831, James Thorn is described as surviving partner, in joint interest of himself and Elias Mather, when in fact he petitioned for himself and said Mather, his former partner, who is alive, but not now a partner. The error, immaterial in relation to the validity of the claims arose from a careless enumeration of the petitioners and their several interests, taken from the preamble to their petition, the only evidence submitted of their interest in the contract of Elbert Anderson.",
The committee committed another error, in supposing that James Thorn was not known to the War Department as interested in the contract as a partner: It appears from a book published by Mr. Anderson in 1824, on the subject of his claim, that the Secretary of War and Gen. Wilkinson did know that Mr. Thorn was interested in the contract of Mr. Anderson. At page 48 the Secretary of War addresses him as such, and at page 51 Gen. Wilkinson does the same. The committee was led into this error by the fact, that Mr. Thorn was, on all other occasions, addressed as an agent merely, and expressly called and treated as such by Mr. Anderson; and no document filed previous to the present, to the knowledge of the committee, disclosed the names of Mr. Anderson's associates. The remarks, therefore, of the committee, near the bottom of the second page of their report, which were predicated on a supposed concealment, on the part of Mr. Anderson, of the interest of Mr. Thorn in the contract, are inapplicable and erroneous, and would not have been made if the committee had noticed the fact that Mr. Thorn had been known to the War Department as one of Mr. Anderson's associates. Mr. Thorn explains the circumstances why he was called the contractor's agent, by asserting the fact, that he, though one of "he partners, was the agent of the whole, and acted under their instruction as such with limited powers.
FEBRUARY 18, 1831.
Mr. WaITTLESEY, from the Committee of Claims, to whom was referred
the claim of Thomas Belden, made the following
REPORT: The Committee of Claims, to whom was referred, by resolution, the
claim of Thomas Belden, report: That, on the 10th of January, 1815, the United States, by Oliver H. Perry, contracted with Thomas Belden and C. & W. Churchill to construct, at Middletown, in the State of Connecticut, two brigs, to be delivered by the 1st day of May following, of three hundred and fifty tons each, for which the United States were to pay the sum of twenty six thousand dol. lars for each of said vessels. If either vessel exceeded the tonnage mentioned, thirty-five dollars per ton was to be paid for such excess. The money was to be such as was current in New York. On the 9th of June, 0. H. Perry drew on the Department for $36,404, being the balance due for the construction of said brigs. He mentioned that the money was to be current in New York. On the 15th of July, 1815, the Treasurer drew on G. Beach, cashier, payable in New York bank notes, for $404, and on W. Few, commissioner, for Treasury notes, $36,000. Mr. Belden acknowledged the reception and payment of these drafts on the 1st of August, 1815, but stated he could not account for the Treasury notes at par, as they were from three to three and a half per cent, below it. The Treasurer stated on the 7th of August, 1815, in answer to Mr. Belden's letter, that the drafts were draw'ı as ordered by the Secretary of the Treasury, and that he could not grant him relief. Mr. Belden now claims the sum of $2,516 97, consisting of the following items, to wit: Interest on $36,404, from June, 1815, to July 37 or 28, when I received that sum in Treasury notes and cash. Interest 38 days
$227 52 Discount on $36,000, Treasury notes, al 3 per cent. - 1,080 00
Interest on this sum, from July 27, 1815, to Dec. 27, 1830, 15
years, 5 months,
The Secretary of the Navy wrote to Mr. Belden on the 22d of June, 1815, that he had directed the draft drawn by 0. H. Perry to be paid. The committee do not find any proof that the drafts were not issued by the treasurer without any unnecessary delay, and this delay is not complained of by Mr. Belden in his letter of the 1st of August, 1815. Mr. Belden has presented some certificates of brokers that Treasury notes were, at the time these were received, three per cent. under par. A part of the committee think, that, inasmuch as Mr. Belden received the Treasury notes, he waived any claim for remuneration, and a part of the committee entertain the opinion that his letter of the 1st of August, 1815, includes the idea of a waiver. But there is no difference of opinion in this, that Mr. Belden must show, before he entitles himself to relief in this item, that he sustained a loss on the Treasury notes. The price of Treasury notes in the market at the time is not establishing this fact. It is well known that Treasury notes soon rose; and if Mr. Belden retained his, he was greatly benefitted instead of being prejudiced by being paid with them. Interest, on no principles, could be allowed. The committee move the following resolution:
Resolved, The claimant is not entitled to relief.
January 20, 1831. SIR: I have the honor, in reply to your letter of the 29th ultimo, requesting to be furnished with copies of all letters in the Department written by Thomas Belden, or by the Secretary of the Navy, in the years 1814 or 1815, relating to the construction of two hermaphrodite brigs by said Belden, by virtue of a contract made with Captain Oliver H. Perry, acting for the United States, to inform you that the records of this Department have been examined from 1813 to is2l, and it cannot be found that any letters upon the abovementioned subject passed between the Navy Department and Thomas Belden; but one letter during that period can be found to have been received from him, dated the 10th of June, 1815, enclosing a bill for $36,404, drawn by Commodore Perry in favor of C. & D. Churchill and said Belden, and the reply, dated 22d of the same month, informing him that the bill had been paid. Reference has been made to the offices of the Navy Commissioners and Fourth Auditor, without finding any letters upon the subject. The delay in answering this call has arisen from the volumi. nous correspondence of the period referred to, and the want of an index or reference to the miscellaneous letters received by the Department, which were not arranged and bound until the year 1828; the indexes to which are now preparing as rapidly as practicable.
I am respectfully, Sir,
JOHN BRANCH. The Hon. ELISHA WHITTLESEY ,
Chairman of the Committee of Claims, H. 'R.
The Treasurer of the United States presents his compliments to Mr. Whittlesey, and begs leave to inform him, that he is not aware of, nor can he find any correspondence with Belden, from the description of the case given in his letter But if Mr. Whittlesey will have the goodness to send the petition, or to state more particularly the nature of the correspondence, the period when it took place, &c., he will endeavor to have the object of the committee effected.
TREASURY OF THE UNITED STATES, Dec. 31, 1830.
FEBRUARY 22, 1831.
Mr. A. H. SHEPPERD, from the Committee on Expenditures of the Navy
Department, made the following
The Committee on the Expenditures of the Navy submit the following
During the year embracing the last quarter of 1829, and the three first quarters of 1830, there was reported and allowed by the proper accounting officers the sum of $384,868 75, on account of contingent expenses of the Navy, a large proportion of which was applicable to other years than that in which it was settled and allowed. The following abstract exhibits the proper distribution of this expenditure, with reference to the respective dates to which it is chargeable:
By adverting to the accounts in detail, your committee perceive that "s travelling expenses” of the officers and agents of the Navy is an item of very frequent occurrence, amounting, in the aggregate, to no inconsiderable proportion of the whole expenditure. In their report made to the last session of Congress, your committee adverted to the great irregularities which, under this and other heads of expenditure, had previously obtained, and which had been corrected by the then practice of the Department, and particularly by requiring a reasonable computation of distance to be charged