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the legal representative of her husband, she claims from the Government of the United States the above sum of £14,086 02 6, with interest.
Not having it in her power to produce the certificates or indents of these loans, the only ground upon which the claim can be sustained, if sustained at all, the committee conceive to be this: that it falls within the spirit of the act of April 21, 1794, making provision for the settlement of certificates destroyed. The second section of that act is in these words:
“ That no claim shall be allowed for the renewal of loan office certificates, destroyed before the fourth day of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine, unless the destruction of the same was advertised, according to the resolution of Congress of the tenth of May, one thousand seven hundred and eighty, * or, before that time, was notified to the office from which the same was issued; nor shall claims be allowed for the renewal of loan office certificates, destroyed on or after the said fourth day of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine; nor of final settlement certificates destroyed at any time, unless the destruction of the same was so far made public, as to be known to, at least, two credible witnesses, soon after it happened, and shall have been, before the presentation of the claim, as hereinafter provided, advertised, for, at least, six weeks successively, in some one of the newspapers of the State in which the destruction happened; and, also, in some one of the newspapers of the State in which the certificate issued, if that was another State; the advertisement or advertisements, in such case, expressing, with as much , precision as possible, the number, date, and amount, of the certificate alleged to have been destroyed, and the name of the person to whom the same was issued, together with the time when, the place where, and the means by which, the same was destroyed.”
• Resolution of May 10, 1780.
“ Resolved, That loan office certificates, destroyed through accident, be renewed at the offices where they first issued, and delivered to the persons who shall appear to have been the holders of them at the time they were destroyed, on the following terms, viz:
“ 1st. That all certificates so destroyed be advertised iminediately in the newspapers of the State where the accident happened, and, if they have been taken out of the loan office of a different State, in the newspapers of such State also; and in every case where no news. papers are printed in a State, then in one or more of those which circulate most generally therein; which advertisement shall be continued six weeks, and shall contain the numbers, dates, sums, names in which the certificates were taken out, and the time when, the place where, and the means by which, they were destroyed.
"2d. That a copy of the advertisement be lodged in the loan office whence the certificates issued, together with such testimony as can be procured, ascertaining the time wben, the place where, and the means by wbich, the destruction happened; which copies and testimonies shall be duly certified by the loan officer, to be laid by the party claiming the renewal before the Board of Treasury, who shall finally decide on the sufficiency thereof.
"3d. That the party claiming the renewal enter into bond to such loan officer on behalf of the United States, with two or more sufficient freeholders, as securities, in double the amount of the value of the certificates claimed to be renewed, with condition to indemnify the United States against the holders of the certificates said to be destroyed, should any such afterwards appear.
“4th. That no certificates be renewed before the expiration of three months after the publication of the advertisement above mentioned.
“ 5th. That where a demand is made by virtue of a letter or warrant of attorney, such let. ter or warrant be first legally proved and recorded, and an authenticated copy lodged in the loan office where the demand is made.
“ 6th. That the renewed certificates be of the same tenor and date with those destroyed; and that the payments of interest, where any have been made, be regularly endorsed, as they appear on the loan office books; and that they bear a mark to distinguish them from the originals, which mark shall be entered in the loan office books."
The committee are of opinion that the claim of the memorialist does not fall within the spirit of this section of the act of April, 1794; because, independent of other reasons that might be urged, she has not succeeded in furnishing sufficient evidence of the fact, that the indents or certificates of the loans were destroyed. The only proof offered to establish this point, is the affidavit of Mrs. Rachel Flagg, aged 73 years, widow of Dr. Henry C. Flagg, of Charleston district, and survivor of the children of the aforesaid John Moore, deceased. She swears that
“She has a distinct recollection of the most important incidents of the war of the revolution in South Carolina, where she resided during that war. Her father, the said John Moore, was a friend of the American cause, and, at different times during the war, when the State was in great distress for pecuniary means, loaned them considerable sums of money; for which (as she has been informed, and believes) he received indents or certificates of loan. When the British troops were ravaging the country, and appropriating to themselves the property of individuals, her father packed up his most valuable effects, among which were his papers and money securities, and sent them by two of his confidential servants, (old Frank and old Ned, long since dead,) to be left at the parsonage in St. Thomas' parish, then oc cupied by the Rev. Alexander Gorden, an episcopal clergyman, for safe keeping; as that place was more out of the reach of the enemy than his plantation, which was near Charleston, and from a hope that respect for the character of a divine of the church of England would induce them to respect his rights as a peaceful citizen. On their way to the parsonage, the servants were surprised by a British party. They abandoned their charge, which was in an ox cart, and escaped into the woods. The cart and all it contained were taken. The trunks and boxes were rifled of their contents, and left empty in the road, where they were afterwards found. The oxen were also taken. Among the papers lost on that occasion, this deponent believes, (for the reasons and from the facts above stated.) were her father's indents or certificates of loan from the State. This was some time in the year 1780, but at what season of the year this deponent does not remember."
“ This deponent further remembers, that, among the articles taken, was the family bible of her father, containing the register of the births of his children. The loss of his effects gave her father great anxiety. She was informed by him, that he afterwards attempted to recover some of his papers, and the bible, by a personal application to Lord Cornwallis, but without effect; his lordship stating that they must have been destroyed, as, upon inquiry, they could not be found.”
This testimony, explicit as it is, goes no farther than to prove that the indents or certificates of the loans might have been among the papers in the trunks or boxes, and might have been destroyed. The certainty of their destruction, however, required by the act of April, 1794, is not made out.
In connexion with the subject of this claim, the committee deem it their duty to add, that they have perused the letters accompanying the memorial; and, from an answer written by William Smith, Esq., (M.C.) to John Elias Moore, dated at Philadelphia, 13th December, 1790, it appears Mr. Moore had addressed to him a letter, containing a copy of his father's affidavit, and of the certificates lost. These documents are not now produced. Subsequently, other letters passed between him and the Secretary of the Treasury, (Alexander Hamilton,) P. Butler, and Mr. Smith; who, upon consultation in November, 1794, seem to have come to the conclusion that there was no
remedy in the case. They held, that the certificates being payable to bear. er, the officers of the Treasury were bound to fund them when presented by any bona fide holder; that every person presenting them must be deemed such, unless the contrary could be proved; and that merely verifying the fact of their having been stolen or captured many years ago, by persons unknown, or by persons who have since sold them, would not reach the case. In the letter of latest date, (December 18, 1794,) from Mr. Hamilton to Mr. Moore, it is distinctly intimated, that no relief could be afforded, “be. cause the principles of law, and the usage of the Treasury, in the cases of paper payable to bearer, give a bona fide present possessor the advantage against the original owner, however he may have become divested.”
As nothing, then, has been exhibited to remove the difficulties that existed in 1794, except the testimony of Mrs. Flagg; as, for aught that appears, the indents or certificates may have been offered at the Treasury, and funded subsequent to that period; and, as no effort seems to have been made by the husband of the memorialist, John Elias Moore, to adopt the precautionary measures prescribed in the second section of the act of April, 1794, nor in any respect whatever to comply with its terms, the committee feel bound to conclude that the claim has not been properly substantiated, and should not be allowed. They, therefore, submit the following resolution:
Resolved, That the prayer of the memorialist ought not to be granted.
JAMES LUCIUS SAWYER.
JANUARY 3, 1831.
Mr. WAITTLESEY, from the Committee of Claims, made the following
The Committee of Claims, to which was referred the claim of James
Lucius Sawyer, report:
That the claim is for services as a Judge Advocate, or Recorder, on the trial of Dr. Pendergrast, during the last war. It appears from the papers obtained from the Adjutant General's office, that he was appointed to discharge the duty mentioned by order of General Wilkinson; that he was engaged three days; and that the usual allowance was ten dollars per day, when not taken from the line of the army. The committee make the communications of Adjutant General Jones part of this report, and report a bill
ADJOTANT GENERAL'S OFFICE,
Washington, Oct. 29, 1830.
Sir: Your letter of the 19th instant has been received. It appears from the records, that, in virtue of an order of the late Major General Wilkinson, dated Plattsburg, February 18, 1814, a Court of Inquiry was instituted, at the request of Dr. Pendergrast, to investigate matters concerning himself; that the court convened in Burlington, Vermont, on the 23d of the same month and year, and that the court adjourned sine die the 26th day of that month. It also appears that you were the Recorder of the said Court of Inquiry. It does not seem that any “ charges for your services” were noted by you on the proceedings in this case, as you had supposed. The proper mode for you to pursue, in order to obtain the compensation due for your services rendered on the occasion referred to, would be, I presume, to forward your account to the Secretary of War.
I am, sir, respectfully,
R. JONES, Adjt. Gen. JAMES L. SAWYER, Esq.
i New YORK, November 6, 1830. SIR: In consequence of an order of the late Major General Wilkinson, dated February 18, 1814, a Court of Inquiry was constituted to investigate charges preferred against a Dr. Pendergrast, then of the army, by which order Dr. John Pomeroy, then one of the medical faculty of the university of Vermont, was appointed President, and of which I was by him appointed Recorder. This court assembled at Burlington, Vermont, on the 23d, and adjourned sine die on the 26th of the same month; during which, and for one or two days subsequent, as well as one day before the assembling of the court, I was engaged in the discharge of the duties of its recorder, in preparing for the investigation, as well as in making copies of the proceedings of the court; and for these services I have never yet received any compensation. I now transmit you my account therefor, and beg leave to refer you to the original records in the office of the Adjutant General, as a voucher for it. The state of the funds of the quartermaster's department at the time, and various other circumstances since, have prevented the adjustment of this inconsiderable claim. I intended, while at Washington last winter, to have obtained its adjustment, but I found, on inquiry at the office of the Adjutant General, that the copy of the original proceedings had been loaned from the files, and they were not returned previous to my leaving the city. A letter of the 29th October, from General Jones, informs me that they are now in his office, and a reference to them will satisfy you that these services have been rendered. I hope, after this lapse of time, the account will meet with your prompt attention and despatch.
I am, sir, very respectfully,
JAS. L. SAWYER.
United States to James L. Smyer, Dr.
Vermont, by virtue of an order of the late Major General Wilkin-
- - $30 P.S. I am informed by Gen. Jesup that my letter to him on this subject has been referred to you.
P. HAGNER, Esq.