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that the whole subject should be first fully investigated by an accounting officer of the treasury. With this view, the claim was submitted by me last fall to your examination and opinion; and your report of the 20th of February having received my most deliberate consideration, I concur in your conclusions as therein set forth, except as thereinafter stated:
First exceptio". I believe that 260 days only per year should be allowed instead of three hundred, which would reduce the amount from $4,924 20 to $4,267 64.
Second. In the event of the logs of others being used instead of the timber of the claimant, that timber would still be left standing as his property; therefore a further deduction of one-half should be made on that account, which would bring down the last mentioned sum to $2,133 82.
Third. The five thousand dollars proposed to be allowed by you to the claimant for expenses incurred in establishing his title, however equitable it might be, is not, in my judgment, embraced within the true meaning of the law, and therefore must be excluded.
By reference to the original and supplemental acts for the relief of Mr. Sibbald, it would appear to have been the opinion of Congress that the interference may have continued from 1828 to 7th February, 1836; at which time, the title of said property was confirmed to the said Charles F. Sibbald by the Supreme Court of the United States.
I concur with you as to the time of the commencement of the interference, namely, about the 1st July, 1829. You have, however, allowed damages for the interference for one year only from that date; whereas the law would seem to contemplate that the interference continued from its commencement, uninterruptedly up to the 7th February, 1836. Upon a careful examination of the case, I do not find any evidence that the interference was withdrawn, interrupted, or discontinued, up to the 7th of February, 1836, the limits prescribed by law. If there be any such eridence in the case, which may have been overlooked by me, you will please refer me to it, with your views thereon. If there be no such evidence, you will then please allow damages, at the rate before stated, of $2,133 82 per annum, for the whole period of the interruption, namely, from aforesaid commencements of the interference up to the 7th February, 1836, and, calculating interest upon this sum at the rate and upon the principle assumed in your report, communicate to me the total amounts thus estimated. With great respect, your obedient servant,
ROBERT J. WALKER,
Secretary of the Treasury. JAMES W. McCulloch, Esq.,
First Comptroller of the Treasury.
WASHINGTON City, June 29, 1849. Sir: Will you have the kindness to state whether you did or did not receive, subsequent to the date of your final decree, a letter, and other documents, from me, taking exception to that report; also, whether you did not more recently offer to receive other papers, and particularly whether you ever saw among my papers, during your examination, the printed letter addressed to the chairman of the Committee of Claims of the House of Representatives, of seventy-three printed pages, dated Philadelphia, March 12, 1838, now exhibited to you? Be pleased to say whether the fact of this document being lost, misplaced, or not being before you or the late Comptroller, during his or your examination--that d cument showing to Congress the grounds of my claim, the orders from the departments, my accounts, as supported by the evidence cited, as taken by order of Congress—be deemed by you to entitle me to a reconsideration, as though no action had taken place under the law, or acts passed for my relief. I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,
CHARLES F. SIBBALD. Hon. ROBERT J. WALKER.
Answer of the late Secretary of the Treasury. I believe these papers were not before me until after the date of the decree; but cannot say that they would or would not have induced a reconsideration by me, having adopted in such cases as my guide, the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States, in 15 Peters, upon questions of revision. do not think it proper now to examine any of the papers, new or old, with a view to say now what effect they would have on my opinion.
ROBERT J. WALKER. JUNE 30, 1849.
Under the foregoing decree the petitioner was allowed, as a measure of damages, compensation for the loss of his mills, and for their probable annual profits, from the time he was deprived of his property until a right to it was restored to him by the Supreme Court. The sum thus allowed was about $22,000. The petitioner complains that this is wholly inadequate, either as a compensation for the actual losses specified in the decree, or the still greater and ruinous losses which were brought upon him by depriving him of his credit and the means of carrying on a lucrative commerce, in which he was engaged at the time the government interfered with his property. He furthermore insists that he is entitled to claim interest by way of damages on any sum that may be allowed him, until the government shall have finally adjusted and liquidated his claims.
The essential object which the petitioner has in view under his present application, is to give him the benefit of the evidence which was taken by the order of Congress, and which was not before the Secretary at the time he made up his decree. The petitioner has strong claims on the justice of the government and to its generosity.
In the opinion of the committee, he should have the fullest benefit of all the evidence that was taken at his instance, as far as such evidence may be applicable to any measure of damages which can be adopted to afford him proper indemnity. So far as it regards the value of his mills, and their annual profits from the time of the wrongful interference, until a right to receive the possession of his property in Florida was established by the judgment of the Supreme Court, the petitioner ought to have the amplest compensation. An in re-opening the case for consideration, the committee do so with a view that the officers to which the case will be referred may take into consideration all the evidence that may apply to this part of the petitioner's claims. His claims are to be settled according to the principles of law and the more enlarged doctrines of equity. It is impossible for the committee to lay down and indicate these with such precision as to be entirely certain guides for the accounting officers.
It appears that the petitioner invested a large fortune in lands and mills in Florida, and that from their income he was carrying on a profitable commerce. He had stores, vessels, and other commercial arrangements in full operation, when the government took from him his lands and mills, under the assumption that they were a part of the public domain that had been ceded by Spain to the United States, or under some claim growing out of the treaty of cession. This was in 1829; and from that time it would appear that the petitioner had no means of carrying on his hitherto profitable operations.
Although it would appear that he retained one or two of his mills, yet not having timber to be sawed by them, or otherwise to give them employment, he was forced to give up all his operations. The consequence was, he lost credit and became a bankrupt. He insists now that the government should indemnify him for these ruinous consequences.
Can there be laid down any safe and general rule as a proper measure for such damages? What the petitioner might have continued to make, had there been no interference on the part of the government, must be wholly conjectural. To give him what he had been making, would be to give him a certainty, in the nature of an insurance, for what he might never have realized. Such losses must be regarded in the nature of consequential damages, that cannot be subject to established rules. They were losses growing out of a collateral operation, sustained and supported, as is alleged, by the mills and their appurtenances. If the petitioner had possessed other funds, he might have continued his commercial pursuits; but his credit sunk so soon as the mills were suspended.
The committee have made these intimations with a view to guard the officers from any supposition that they may allow any damages that are not warranted by the principles of law and equity, and the principles of former reports. The committee are of opinion that the petitioner should have the benefit of all the principles and acts referred to, and upon a full view of all the evidence.
Should the accounting officers mentioned in the bill come to the conclusion that the petitioner is entitled to a larger sum than that which has been awarded to him by Secretary Walker, then another question will arise, can the petitioner claim interest on that sum till the time of final adjudication? As a general rule the committee believe the government is not in the habit of allowing interest in such cases. The committee, however, would not wish to indicate any other rule than such as may prevail in similar cases. The accounting officers named in the bill will be left to act on any recognised rule that may apply to this case.
It is not their purpose either to restrict or enlarge the operation of former usage or principles applicable to such cases as this.
The committee ask leave to report the accompanying bill for the benefit of the petitioner, and recommend its immediate passage.
IN SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES.
MARCH 26, 1850:
Mr. Archişon made the following
[To accompany bill S. No. 171.) The Committee on Indian Affairs, to whom were referred the papers in relation to the claims of H. J. McClintock, Harrison Gill, and Mansfield Carler, after an examination of the papers referred, and all the inform. ation that the Commissioner of Indian Affairs could furnish, find the following facts : In the year 1946, H. J. McClintock was employed by the sub-agent at the Grand Nemahaw sub-agency as farmer for the Sac and Fox Indians. He entered upon the discharge of his duties on the 12th of Febrụary of said year, and continued to discharge his duties as farmer until the 14th day of April, same year, when he was discharged by the superintendent of Indian affairs at St. Louis--not for any neglect of duty or offence, bụt for an alleged irregularity in his appointinent. By his contract he was to receive fifty dollars per month. The claimant; McClintock, also employed two laborers, to assist in the labors on the farm, which he was authorized to do, for which the paid, the sum of thirty-seven dollars and iwenty cents.
Mansfield Cartér was employed by the same sub agent as assistant blacksmith for the Sac and Fox Indians, and was engaged in such employment from the 1st day of December, 1845, to the 14th of April, 1846, at twenty dollars per «month, when he was discharged by the superintendent of Indian affairs at St. Louis, (Major Thomas Harvey:)
Harrison Gill was employed, by said sub-agent, as assistant farmer for said Indians, and was engaged in that business from the 17th of January, 1846, until the 14th of April thereafter, when he was discharged by the superintendent of Indian affairs at St. Louis. . By his contract he was en. titled to twenty dollars per month.
The proof is, that the claimants faithfully discharged their respective dnties during the time they were employed, and that they were discharged from some alleged irregularity in their appointments; and that they were promised, at the time of their discharge, full payment by the superintendent, according to contractz for the time they were engaged. This has not been done.
The committee are of opinion that they are entitled to receive the amount they respectively claim, and report a bill accordingly.