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of a letter written by Mr. Brent, on the 23d of January, 1818, addressed Mr. Knight, Battalion Paymaster, that sometime previous he had direct that vo more money should be placed in Major Gibbs' hands, and thai ! had directed Mr. Knight to pay the regiment to which Major Gibbs attached. On the 3d of June, 1818, the Second Auditor made out a list the Paymasters that had rendered their accounts, which he sent to the Paj master General; on which list was not the name of Major Gibbs. Onth 22d of August, 1818, Major Gibbs addressed a letter to Mr. Brent, by which it appears he had been arrested and tried; but on what charges, ou what was the result of the trial, are not stated. He says he has received an order from General Jackson to repair to Washington for the purpose of settling his accounts, which he says he is unable to do, owing to indisposition and the want of means. The want of means he attributes to the premature and unexpected stoppage of remittances at the close of the year perious. This letter was received and submitted to the Secretary of War on the 19th of September, 1818. The Secretary of War directed General Riples to put Major Gibbs on board of a vessel at New Orleans, bound either to le York, Philadelphia, or Baltimore, with orders to proceed to Washingan immediately on his arrival. The passage was to be paid by Gen. Ripki and charged to Major Gibbs. On the 25th of August, 1815, Major Gwas again reporiei, a defaulter, and as not having rendered any accoes On the 27th of Ocober, 1818, the account against him was reported amount to $ 183,400 by the Second Auditor, and a sụit was ordered by t Secretary of War.

The committee do not discover any evidence among the papers brate they can ascertain the time that Major Gibbs arrived at Washingtor; but appears by the copy of a letter from him to the Chief Clerk in the Second Auditor's Office, dated at Washington, on the 25th of April, 1819, that he had been repeatedly called on to settle his accounts, which he refused to da: and that he refused then to designate any time when he would settle ther. On the 26th of April, 1819, the Second Auditor addressed a letter to the First Comptroller, in which he stated that Captain Gibbs had been sometime in the City; that the Department has repeatedly tried, without effect, t. bring him to a settlement of his accounts, which was the more important, a they were necessary in the settlement of the accounts of Paymasters Knight and wished that the First Comptroller would devise some mode : compel Captain Gibbs to do his duty.

It appears by a communication, made by the Second Auditor, to Berrien, Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, in the Senate, dated Fbruary 3d, 1829, that, shortly after this Captain Gibbs died, that posses was immediately taken of his papers, and after a very laborious examine his account was reduced to $14,480 23. The several communications documents, mentioned above, the committee refer to, and make them ar of this report.

It appears by certified copies that, on the 2d of December, 1818, the writs were prayed out by the United States against said Gibbs, on whici a return was made that he was not to be found; and that, on the 24th of De cember, 1818, writs were prayed out against some of the other obligors al the bonds. Some of which were served by personal notice; others, by being left at the counting houses of the agents of the obligurs; and others, by copez being left with the administrators of some of the obligors, when they were des others, by being lett with one of the firm, and at the counting-house of

firm. It is under these circumstances that a petition is brought to Congress for relief by S. Henderson, Nathaniel Coxe, James Ramsey, John Nicholson, for themselves and 60 sureties, and Haut M. Skiff, agent for the heirs of R. L. Rochelle.

It is to be noticed, that N. Cone was surety in the first bond, and that S. Henderson and James Ramsey were sureties in both bonds. Rochelle was surety in both bonds, and it is presumed that Nicholson was a partner in one of the firms. • They say in their petition, that, when the suit was threatened, they were willing that Gibbs should proceed to Washington and settle his accounts, and that he left New Orleans for that purpose, and that there was an agreement between their Counsel and the Counsel on behalf of the United States, that the suits should remain in Court without judgment, until the settlement was made, and that they gave themselves no farther trouble about it, nor did they know that judgments were recovered until executions were issued, and then that they ascertained that judgments were rendered in January, 1819. They say they cannot prove this agreement, as the Counsel of both parties are dead. They say they have paid $8,956 68, which has been received into the Treasury, and $ 5,523 55 they have paid provisionally to the Marshal, which is to abide a future decision. It appears that Gibbs became possessed of soldier's certificates to the amount of the last named sum, which some of the sutlers had paid, which he pledged in a bank at New Orleans, and obtained three thousand dollars on them. It, however, appears by his letter to Mr. Brent, dated August 22, 1818, that the certificates were taken up by the sutlers, and of course they had the beneficial interest in them, and he confirmed this fact on his death bed to Captain Cross, as appears by a letter from the 2d Auditor, to the Hon. Mr. Johnston, on the 5th of July, 1826. It is understood that the bondsmen claim that these certificates should be applied towards the balance of Gibbs' debt. They pray that the judgments be discharged, and that the money paid, whether absolutely or provisionally, be refunded. Several reasons are urged for the relief, and among them may be enumerated the neglect of the Government in not dismissing Gibbs from the service; the advantage taken in recovering the judgments; the defect in the service of some of the writs; the want of seals to some of the signatures; the affixing of seals to partnerships, and the loss of vouchers by the destruction of a vessel at sea containing them. It has been decided by the Supreme Court of the United States, that all the laws passed for compelling prompt settlement of accounts, are directory to the accounting officers, and that the bail is not discharged by omitting to execute them. But in this case, two years had not elapsed after the first bond was executed, and less than a year after the execution of the second bond, before a settlement was required, and from thence until the death of Gibbs, every means was used that could be, to compel a settlement. So far from there being any neglect on the part of the officers of the Government, their acts savor of harshness. Major Gibbs was not only written to, to settle his accounts, but remittances were withheld, suits were ordered to be brought, and a superior officer was directed to send him to Washington.

The facts in this case show, that Congress should yield with reluctance to. the new doctrine set up by sureties, that laches are imputable to the Government. The committee do not believe they are discharged, because their principal is not dismissed the service at the expiration of six months from the time of receiving money, unless he makes a settlement. There is no

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of a letter written by Mr. Brent, on the 23d of January, 1818, addressed to Mr. Knight, Battalion Paymaster, that sometime previous he had directe that vo more money should be placed in Major Gibbs' hands, and that he had directed Mr. Knight to pay the regiment to which Major Gibbs wa attached. On the 3d of June, 1818, the Second Auditor made out a list ai the Paymasters that had rendered their accounts, which he sent to the Pasmaster General; on which list was not the name of Major Gibbs. On the 22d of August, 1818, Major Gibbs addressed a letter to Mr. Brent, br which it appears he had been arrested and tried; but on what charges, or what was the result of the trial, are not stated. He says he has received an order from General Jackson to repair to Washington for the purpose of settling his accounts, which he says he is unable to do, owing to indisposition and the want of means. The want of means he attributes to the premature and unexpected stoppage of remittances at the close of the year previous. This letter was received and submitted to the Secretary of War on the 19th of September, 1818. The Secretary of War directed General Riples to put Major Gibbs on board of a vessel at New Orleans, bound either to New York, Philadelphia, or Baltimore, with orders to proceed to Washingtee immediately on his arrival. The passage was to be paid by Gen. Ridht and charged to Major Gibbs. On the 25th of August, 1818, Major Gim was again reporieci, a defaulter, and as not having rendered any accoes. On the 27th of Ocober, 1818, the account against him was reported ! amount to $ 183,400 by the Second Auditor, and a sạit was ordered by t Secretary of War.

The committee do not discover any evidence among the papers by the they can ascertain the time that Major Gibbs arrived at Washington: bott appears by the copy of a letter from him to the Chief Clerk in the Second Auditor's Office, dated at Washington, on the 25th of April, 1819, that he had been repeatedly called on to settle his accounts, which he refused to de: and that he refused then to designate any time when he would settle then On the 26th of April, 1819, the Second Auditor addressed a letter to the First Comptroller, in which he stated that Captain Gibbs had been sometime in the City; that the Department has repeatedly tried, without effect, t' bring him to a settlement of his accounts, which was the more important, s they were necessary in the settlement of the accounts of Paymaster Knight, and wished that the First Comptroller would devise some mode to compel Captain Gibbs to do his duty.

It appears by a communication, made by the Second Auditor, to Berrien, Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, in the Senate, dated F bruary 3d, 1829, that, shortly after this Captain Gibbs died, that possessi was immediately taken of his papers, and after a very laborious examine his account was reduced to $14,480 23. The several communications documents, mentioned above, the committee refer to, and make them is of this report. · It appears by certified copies that, on the 2d of December, 1818, the writs were prayed out by the United States against said Gibbs, on which a · return was made that he was not to be found; and that, on the 24th of De

cember, 1818, writs were prayed out against some of the other obligors / the bonds. Some of which were served by personal notice; others, by bei left at the counting houses of the agents of the obligors; and others, by copy being left with the administrators of some of the obligors, when they were dera others, by being left with one of the firm, and at the counting-house of 1

firm. It is under these circumstances that a petition is brought to Congress for relief by S. Henderson, Nathaniel Coxe, James Ramsey, John Nicholson, for themselves and 60 sureties, and Haut M. Skiff, agent for the heirs of R. L. Rochelle.

It is to be noticed, that N. Cone was surety in the first bond, and that S. Henderson and James Ramsey were sureties in both bonds. Rochelle was surety in both bonds, and it is presumed that Nicholson was a partner in one of the firms. • They say in their petition, that, when the suit was threatened, they were willing that Gibbs should proceed to Washington and settle his accounts, and that he left New Orleans for that purpose, and that there was an agreement between their Counsel and the Counsel on behalf of the United States, that the suits should remain in Court without judgment, until the settlement was made, and that they gave themselves no farther trouble about it, nor did they know that judgments were recovered until executions were issued, and then that they ascertained that judgments were rendered in January, 1819. They say they cannot prove this agreement, as the Counsel of both parties are dead. They say they have paid $ 8,956 68, which has been received into the Treasury, and $ 5,523 55 they have paid provisionally to the Marshal, which is to abide a future decision. It appears that Gibbs became possessed of soldier's certificates to the amount of the last named sum, which some of the sutlers had paid, which he pledged in a bank at New Orleans, and obtained three thousand dollars on them. It, however, appears by his letter to Mr. Brent, dated August 22, 1818, that the certificates were taken up by the sutlers, and of course they had the beneficial interest in them, and he confirmed this fact on his death bed to Captain Cross, as appears by a letter from the 2d Auditor, to the Hon. Mr. Johnston, on the 5th of July, 1826. It is understood that the bondsmen claim that these certificates should be applied towards the balance of Gibbs' debt. They pray that the judgments be discharged, and that the money paid, whether absolutely or provisionally, be refunded. Several reasons are urged for the relief, and among them may be enumerated the neglect of the Government in not dismissing Gibbs from the service; the advantage taken in recovering the judgments; the defect in the service of some of the writs; the want of seals to some of the signatures; the affixing of seals to partnerships, and the loss of vouchers by the destruction of a vessel at sea containing them. It has been decided by the Supreme Court of the United States, that all the laws passed for compelling prompt settlement of accounts, are directory to the accounting officers, and that the bail is not discharged by omitting to execute them. But in this case, two years had noť elapsed after the first bond was executed, and less than a year after the execution of the second bond, before a settlement was required, and from thence until the death of Gibbs, every means was used that could be, to compel a settlement. So far from there being any neglect on the part of the officers of the Government, their acts savor of harshness. Major Gibbs was not only written to, to settle his accounts, but remittances were withheld, suits were ordered to be brought, and a superior officer was directed to send him to Washington.

The facts in this case show, that Congress should yield with reluctance to the new doctrine set up by sureties, that laches are imputable to the Government. The committee do not believe they are discharged, because their principal is not dismissed the service at the expiration of six months from The time of receiving money, unless he makes a settlement. There is no evidence in this case to prove, that any agreement was made by the Couns for the United States, that judgments should not be obtained until Majo Gibbs could make a settlement.

There is, undoubtedly, much irregularity in the service of some of the writs, and in taking judgments against the obligors who were deari; but it is a little extraordinary that the petitioners should complain of the want of legal notice to others, and should produce copies of the writs to prove this allegation, while they do not pretend that they were not legally notified, nor do they exhibit any copies of the writs in their own cases. They do not produce any copies of the judgments, whereby the committee can ascertain that they were improperly entered, nor is there any legal proof that any judgments were entered. They impliedly admit service as to themselves, and the committee think, it is not for them now to set up the defect of service of the writs as to others. The objection as to the renditoa of the judgments is equally untenable.

The judgments may have been irregular or erroneous as to a part of the debts, and substantially correct and legal as to others. If, however, the judgments were ever so irregular or erroneous, a Court would not set then aside, unless the defendants should show they had a legal and valid defence In these cases the committee cannot perceive the slightest equity. The omission of the seals does not vary the defendant's liability. The differes. signers might have adopted the single seal as his, and if seals were fixed by one partner to the firm, this would not discharge other obligors.

There is no evidence that vouchers were lost, but the presumption is, moet they were not.

The Senate propose to open the judgments which are said to have been recovered, and to let those interested have a trial at law. This committee cannot perceive that they are entitled to this indulgence, and recommend that the bill from the Senate " for the relief of the sureties of William Gibbs, deceased, late a Paymaster in the Army of the United States,” be rejected.

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