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and the act of the 23d April, 1800, “ for the better government of the Navy," by establishing a fund (called the navy pension fund) for the invalids of the naval service, and pledging the public faith for any deficiency therein. This was followed, in 1812, by a similar institution of a privateer pension fund for privateer invalids. These modern distinctions between the legal provisions for the military and naval invalids, will be better understood by a brief account of these pension funds, with which we will associate the marine hospital fund, as possessing a considerable affinity of objects. Indeed, it is the more essential to take a joint view of these three funds, in order to appreciate their connexion in administering relief to mariners, and to facilitate a proper distinction between them—those funds having been liable to some confusion on several accounts, such as the similarity of their objects, and the identity of the high functionaries to whose charge they were severally entrusted as “Commissioners of the Marine Hospital Fund," “Commissioners of the Navy Pension Fund,” and “Commissioners of the Privateer Pension Fund," in which last instance, however, the fund named is erroneously assumed even by law to have been so entrusted, and by law has been confounded with the Navy Pension Fund, as will be seen in the sequel.
1. Of the Marine Hospital Fund-merged into the Navy Hospital Fund. On the 16th of July, 1798, “ An act for the relief of sick and disabled seamen," was passed, whereof section 1 provides that from the first of September thereafter, the master or owner of every (merchant] ship or vessel of the United States, arriving from a foreign port, shall render to the collector of the port at which such vessel may enter, a true account of the number of seamen employed on board such vessel since she was last entered at any port in the United States; and shall pay to the said collector at the rate of twenty cents per month for every seaman so employed; which sum he is hereby authorized to retain out of the wages of such seaman. And that, from the first of September aforesaid, no collector shall grant to any ship or veseel whose enrolment or license for carrying on the coasting trade has expired, a new enrolment or license, before the master of such ship or vessel shall first render a true account to the collector of the number of seamen, and the time they have severally been employed on board such ship or vessel, during the continuance of the license which has so expired, and pay to such collector twenty cents per month for every month such seamen have been employed, which sum the master is authorized to retain out of the wages of such seamen. Out of this fund the President of the United States is authorized to provide for the temporary relief and maintenance of sick and disabled seamen in the hospitals or other institutions then existing in the several ports of the United States. The President is also authorized to purchase or receive donations of ground or buildings, and when necessary, to cause buildings to be erected as hospitals, for the accommodation of sick and disabled seamen. And he is further authorized to appoint persons to be called directors of the marine hospital (subsequently called navy hospitals) of the United States, in the different ports, whose duty it shall be to direct and govern such hospital," &c.
The objects and resources of this fund were considerably enlarged, as follows: On the 2d March, 1799, "An act in addition to 'An act for the relief of sick and disabled seamen,'” provides " that the Secretary of the Navy shall be authorized to deduct, after the first day of September next, from the pay thereafter to become due, of the officers, seamen, and marines of the navy of the United States, at the rate of twenty cents per month, for every said officer, seaman, and marine, and to pay the same quarter-annually to the Secretary of the Treasury, to be applied to the same purposes as the money collected by virtue of the above mentioned act is appropriated, (to be in like manner under the direction of the President of the United States.) And that the officers, seamen, and marines of the Navy of the United States shall be entitled to receive the same benefits and advantages as, by the act above mentioned, are provided for the relief of the sick and disabled seamen of the merchant vessels of the United States."
The objects and resources of said fund were afterwards modified and extended by the act of the 26th February, 1811, " establishing navy hospitals," of which the first section provides that the money hereafter collected by virtue of the act entitled "An act in addition to 'An act for the relief of sick and disabled seamen,' ” shall be paid to the Secretary of the Navy, the Secretary of the Treasury, and the Secretary of War, for the time being, who are hereby appointed a board of commissioners, by the name and style of Commissioners of Navy Hospitals,' which, together with the sum of fifty thousand dollars hereby appropriated out of the unexpended balance of the 'Marine Hospital Fund,' to be paid to the commissioners aforesaid, shall constitute a 'Fund for Navy Hospitals.'” And the 2d section says, “all fines imposed on navy officers, seamen, and marines, shall be paid to the Commissioners of Navy Hospitals.” And the 3d section requires the said commissioners to provide or cause to be erected necessary buildings, &c., at suitable sites, and, " at one of the establishments, to provide a permanent ASYLUM for disabled and decrepid navy officers, seamen, and marines.” And the 4th section requires the said commissioners to prepare and report to Congress the necessary rules and regulations for the government of this institution. And the 5th section provides, "that, when any officer, seaman, or marine, entitled to [and in receipt of] a pension, shall be admitted into a navy hospital, (or the asylum,] such pension, during his continuance therein, shall be paid to the Commissioners of the Navy Hospital, and deducted from the account of such pensioner [by the pension agent at the agency where his pension is usually paid."]
2. Of the Navy Pension Fund.-On the 2d March, 1799, and 230 April, 1800, the acts of those dates, (see (226] and  sequel,) established the "navy pension fund." The said acts "for the government, or for the better government of the navy," provides as follows: “That every officer, seaman, or marine, disabled in the service, shall be entitled to receive for his own life and the life of his wife, if married at the time of receiving the wound, one-half of his monthly pay, (sec. 8.) That all the money accruing, or which has accrued, from the sale of prizes, shall be a permanent fund for the pay, ment of the half pay to officers and seamen who may be entitled to receive the same, and the surplus shall be applied to the making of further provisions for the comfort of disabled officers, seamen, and marines, and for such as may not be disabled, who may merit, by their bravery, or their long and faithful services, the gratitude of their country. And that the said fund shall be under the management and direction of the Secretary of the Navy, of War, and of the Treasury, for the time being," under the name and title of “Commissioners of the Navy Pension Fund," &c.
But the act of the 26th March, 1804, in relation to the navy pension fund, directs that all moneys accrued or accruing thereafter, from the capture and sale of prizes, shall be paid to the Treasurer of the United States, instead of the Commissioners of the Navy Pension Fund; and the said commissioners are authorized and directed by that act to make such regulations as may be expedient for the admission of persons on the roll of navy pensioners, and for the payment of the same. Before the establishment of •his fund, however, the act of 1st July, 1797, "providing a naval armament,” had, in section 11, directed “that any officer, non-commissioned officer, marine, or seaman, belonging to the navy of the United States, who shall be wounded or disabled wbile in the line of his duty, shall be placed on the list of invalids of the United States, at such rates of pay, and under such regulations, as shall be directed by the President of the United States," &c. (See the act  page 241, sequel.) Said pensions, of course, until the estáblishment of this fund, were paid out of the Treasury.
3. Of the Privateer Pension Fund. This fund was not established until the 26th June, 1812. The act of that date, entitled "An act concerning letters of marque, prizes, and prize goods, section 17th, says: “That TWO PER CENTUM on the nett amount (after deducting all charges and expenditures) of the prize money arising from captured vegsels and cargoes, and on the nett amount of the salvage of vessels and cargoes recaptured by the private armed vessels of the United States (the whole of which had constituted the navy pension fund,) shall be secured and paid over to the collector, or other chief officer of the customs, at the port or place in the United States at which such captured or recaptured vessel may arrive. And the moneys arising therefrom shall be beld, and hereby is pledged by the government of the United States, as a FUND for the support and maintenance of the widows and orphans of such persons as may be wounded and disabled on board the private armed vessels of the United States, in any engagement with the enemy, to be assigned and distributed in such manner as shall hereafter by law be provided”-this being the first provision for privateer invalids.
And by the act of the 13th February, 1813, “ regulating pensions to persons on board of private armed ships," the TWO PER CENTUM reserved in the hands of the collectors and consuls, under the aforementioned act, is required to be paid into the Treasury, and to constitute a fund for the purposes provided for by the 17th section of the aforesaid act of 1812. And the 2d section of this act of 1813, requires the Secretary of the Navy to place on the pension list, under the like regulations and restrictions as are used in relation to the navy (navy pensioners ?] of the United States, any officer, seaman, or marine, who, on board of any private armed vessel, bearing a commission of letter of marque, shall have been wounded or otherwise disabled in an engagement with the enemy, &c.; &c., which pension shall be paid, by direction of the Secretary of the Navy, out of the fund above provided.” And the 3d and 4th sections of this act requires “that the commanding officers of such vessels shall keep a journal of the name and rank of any officer, and the name of any seaman, who shall have been so wounded or disabled, describing the manner and extent of the same, so far as practicable; and that every collector shall transmit quarterly to the Secretary of the Navy a transcript of such journals as may have been reported to him of such wounds and disabilities, the better to enable the Secretary to decide on claims for privateer pensions."
Now, although the privateer fund never was paid to, or put in charge of, the three Secretaries—the Secretary of the Navy, the Secretary of War, and the Secretary of the Treasury—as commissioners of different funds, but was required to be paid into the Treasury by this act, and the Secretary of the Navy alone was charged with the duty of receiving and adjudicating privateer pension claims, and was required to pay the same out of this fund, being an exception to the policy observed in the case of navy pensions; yet the act of July 10th, 1832, treats it as having been one of those funds from which it releases and discharges those Secretaries of all further trust and responsibility, whilst it transfers to, and constitutes, the Secretary of the Navy the sole trustee of all said funds. It says: “The Commissioners of the Navy Pension and Navy Hospital Funds are hereby directed to close their accounts as trustees of said funds, and to pay over the balance of cash in their hands, and to assign over and transfer all the certificates of stocks and other property belonging to the said funds and to the privateer pension fund, to the Treasurer of the United States, (to whom the latter had already been directed to be paid,] for the use of the Secretary of the Navy, for the payment of navy and privateer pensions, (with which latter he was already charged,] and for expenditures on account of navy hospitals, et cetera; and as soon as said assignment and transfer shall be made, the said commissioners shall be, and they are hereby, released and discharged from all further trust connected with said funds, and the Secretary of the Navy be, and he is hereby, constituted the trustee of said funds; and as such it shall be his duty to receive applications for pensions, [being already charged with the applications for privateer pensions,] and to grant the same according to the terms in such cases made and provided; and to direct and control the expenditures out of the navy hospital fund."
Nor has it been less difficult, in the intricacies of legislation, at other times, to main
tain the proper distinction between the navy pension fund and the privateer pension fund. One more instance will suffice. The act of the 3d of March, 1817," to amend and explain an act giving pensions to widows and orphans of persons slain in the public or private armed vessels of the United States; provided, (as also did the act so explained and amended,) that the money required to pay such pensions should be paid out of the navy pension fund, under the direction of the commissioners of that fund." Whereas, there should have been a distinction between the payments to widows and orphans of persons slain in the public vessels of the United States, and the payments required to be paid to the widows and orphans of persons slain in the private armed ressels of the United States. Accordingly, at the next session of Congress "an act in addition to the above act” was passed on the 16th April, 1818, which made the proper distinction by providing, in the second section," that the widow, and if no widow, the children of any officer, seaman, or marine, who shall have died in consequence of casualties which occurred in the line of his duty on board of a private armed vessel of the United States, shall be paid out of the privateer pension fund, and no other.” It is well known, however, that the like misapprehensions have occurred in a great number of other instances, where explanatory acts in most of them have been resorted to.
But, before passing to the next head of gratuitous pensions, it is proper here to note a fact, and to make a few remarks in illustration of the same, however irrelevant to this review of the general policy of our pension system, that, in the administration of the laws granting pensions to invalids both of the military and naval service of the revolution, and since the revolution, there never has been an official form prescribed, technically called a " declaration," by which an invalid in either service might approach the proper department with his claim for a pension. For the want of such a guide, the invalids in both branches of the service have suffered the greatest embarrassment how to proceed in presenting their claims to the consideration of the proper department.
Whilst the different States, severally,-under the recommendation of Congress by the resolutions of the 26th August, 1776, and 7th June, 1785, to provide for the revolutionary invalids, both of the military and naval service, at the account and charge of the United States, according to the certificates of a commanding officer and surgeon of the regiment, ship, or company, in which they served, or from a physician or surgeon of a military hospital, or other good and sufficient testimony setting forth their disability, and that they were disabled in the service of the United States, and to report by their appointed agents complete lists of said invalids made out by those agents, in the first instance, to the Secretary of Congress or to the Board of War, under the resolution of 1776, and afterwards, under the resolution of 1785 to the office of the Secretary of War, to be laid before Congress; in which lists were required to be expressed the pay, the age, and the disability, of each individual, also the regiment, the corps, or ship, to which they belonged, and which requirements were subsequently executed (under the 1st section of the act of the 10th April, 1806, including invalids since the revolution, and repeated by the 4th section of the act of the 25th of April, 1808) by tho judge of the district in which the invalid resides, according to the regulations prescribed by the former act, did actually so provide the modes of approach and presentation of the claim of such invalids of the military and naval service during and since the revolution, through the said prescribed channels, they, consequently, had no need for further concern in the matter, as their names would be placed on the pension rolls of course, at the stated rates of disability recited in said lists.
But when those channels for communicating the matured claims of invalids for disability incurred during and since the revolution, passed away from, or rather were not continued to be available to the invalids subsequently disabled in the campaign of the Wabash, and in the war of 1812, great embarrassments arose to the invalids of those conflicts, both military and naval, (as to the latter,) and have continued ever since for
the want of a duly authenticated mode of preferring their claims being substituted for those which had been dropped, and virtually repealed or abolished by legislative enactments about this period. For the act of the 10th of April, 1812, section 3, says that “every officer, non-commissioned officer, and private, of volunteers and militia, who served in the said campaign, (of the Wabash,) and who have been disabled by known wounds received in said service, shall be placed on the list of invalids of the United States, at such rate of pension as shall be directed by the President of the United States, upon satisfactory proof being produced to the Secretary of War, agreeably to such rules as he may prescribe ;" and the acts of January 2 and 11, and of February 12, 1814, for raising certain companies of rangers," "additional military force," and “to accept and organize certain volunteer corps," direct that “all officers, non-commissioned officers, musicians, and privates, who shall be disabled in the line of their duty, shall be placed on the list of invalids of the United States, at such rate of pension, and under such regulations, as are or may be directed by law;" thereby dispensing with the former mode of presenting and maturing military invalid claims.
But the establishment of the "navy pension fund," consisting of moneys accrning to the share of the United States from the sale of prizes captured from the enemy, placed under the direction and management of the Secretary of the Navy, the Secretary of the Treasury, and the Secretary of War, by the acts of March 2, 1799, and April 23, 1800, * for the government of the navy of the United States," had produced a change, as to the navy invalids, in regard to the funds out of which they had previously been paid, though without disturbing the facilities they enjoyed in presenting and maturing their claims before the State authorities.
The annual reports of those commissioners which have been accessible to us, afford no evidence of any change in the mode by which navy invalids who were thereafter to be paid out of this fund, were required to present their claims for adjudication, nor had they any authority as yet to make any. And as the duties of this board were of a purely fiscal character, chiefly confined to the receipt and management of the United States' share of prize money, the purchase and management of stock, and the payment of dues accruing thereon, including navy invalid pensions theretofore paid at the treasury, it is evident they had no concern with the manner in which these pension claims were adjudicated, but probably recognized the adjudication of those claims as transmitted hy the several State authorities, along with those of the military invalids, to the War Department; whence the lists of navy invalids were probably banded over, with a requisition on the Board of Commissioners for payment of their pensions. And when that board was relieved of the management of this fund by the act of the 26th March, 1804, directing those proceeds to be paid into the treasury, to be disbursed by the Treasurer of the United States; and, in lieu of the management of said funds, the commissioners were clothed with the authority to administer the navy pension laws, and “were authorized and directed to make such regulations as might to them appear expedient, for the admission of persons on the roll of nary pensioners, and for the payment of their pensions”--this modification, or abridgment of their duties in one sense, and enlargement of them in another, should have resulted in the adoption of regulations thus called for in the premises, to carry out the execution of those enlarged duties. But, whatever may have been done in this regard, has left no traces in the De partment by which to refer to and ascertain the particulars, as guides thereafter. This, however, shall be a subject of further inquiry and research. But if the Secretary of the Navy, tacitly relying on the course that had been pursued by the Board of Commissioners, or upon the reports and requisitions from the Secretary of War made on the authority of certificates of disability by the naval surgeon, and the discharge from service made by the commanding officer on the facts stated by the surgeon's certificate, then, all the embarrassing circumstances of this important chasm in the forms and reg