Page images

the allowance made to him under the regulations of 13th February, 1827, without regarding the interest of the funds withheld from the public treasury.

That if his compensation were to be calculated at the rates prescribed by the regulations of May 1, 1831, it would amount to only $2,436 61, for the sum of $958,302 55, deposited by him at nineteen different times, assuming the distance of transportation to be 170 miles, as estimated in the allowance made by him; sayFor risk of transportation, at Too of 1 per cent. for every 10 miles ............

$1,629 11 For mileage on 6,460 miles, going and returning, for 19 trips to Louisville, at 12 cents per mile.....

807 50


2,436 61

With such additional allowance for transportation of specie as might be supported by satisfactory vouchers.

That the difference between the rates of compensation fixed by the regulation of 13th February, 1827, and 1st May, 1831, consists in the greater or less magnitude of the deposits, and their less or greater frequency, for any given distance, as, for instance :

If twelve hundred thousand dollars ($1,200,000) had been deposited during a term of ten years, at twenty different periods, the compensation for the transportation, 170 miles, by land, would amount, under the first regulations, to the sum of..........

$4,080 00 And under the last the amount would be as follows: For risk of transportation 170 miles, Too of 1 per cent. for every 10 miles.......

$2,040 00 For mileage on 6,800 miles, going and returning, for 20 trips, at 12 cents per mile....... 850 00

2,890 00

Showing a difference in favor of the depositor, by the for

mer rate of allowance, for a few trips, of...

1,190 00

If the deposits had been made quarterly for the same term of ten years, the amount of compensation, under the latter regulations, would be $3,740. But if made monthly, in sums of $10,000 each, as authorized and required by the same regulations, when receipts are large, the compensation would amount, for 120 trips, to $7,140. Showing a decided inducement, (which was intended,) by the regulations of May 1, 1831, for frequent deposits, independently of the additional allowance authorized for the transportation of specie, when claims for such additional allowance are supported by approved vouchers. That an allowance of the one half

of one per cent. was made to Thomas A. Smith, receiver at Franklin, Missouri, for transporting his deposites to St. Louis on a difficult and hazardous route of 180 miles; and of one-third of one per cent. to John Taylor, receiver at Cahaba, Alabama, for transportation to St. Stephen's, a distance estimated at 125 miles, as appears by a letter from George Graham, Commissioner of the General Land Office, to the Hon. Richard Rush, Secretary of the Treasury, dated February 23, 1829, a copy of which is likewise herewith submitted.

That special allowances have also been made at other rates to some other receivers, which, however, do not appear to apply to the claim of Mr. Whitlock.

Finally, that, considering all the circumstances of his case, the undersigned is of opinion Mr. Whitlock is not entitled to any further allowance for the transportation of the moneys deposited by him. All which is respectfully submitted.


Commissioner of the General Land Office. Hon. WALTER FORWARD,

Secretary of the Treasury.

Your committee having referred the memorial, now presented, to the Interior Department, have received the following letter in relation to it:

GENERAL LAND OFFICE, March 29, 1858. SIR: I have the honor to return herewith the memorial of Mr. Ambrose Whitlock, late receiver of public moneys at Crawfordsville, Indiana, referred by the honorable Secretary of the Interior to this office.

After a careful examination of the reports on amounts of moneys received during the entire period Mr. Whitlock was in office, I find that $145,556 74 was deposited while he was receiver at Terre Haute, and $851,929 49 while he was receiver at Crawfordsville ; making the total amount to $997,486 23.

Mr. Whitlock has been allowed $9,576 10 commissions, $3,130 38 for transportation, besides $500 per annum salary during the time he was in office. With much respect, your obedient servant,


Commissioner. Hon. S. R. MALLORY, Chairman of Committee on Claims, U. S. Senate.


Your committee, in consideration of the foregoing statements, and in view of the fact that the memorialist “has been allowed $9,576 10 commissions, and $3,130 38 for transportation, besides his regular salary of $500 per annum during the time he was in office, do not deem him entitled to the relief prayed, and therefore report adversely to the same, and ask to be discharged from its further consideration.



APRIL 12, 1858.–Agreed to, and ordered to be printed.

Mr. MALLORY submitted the following


T'he Committee on Claims, to whom was referred the petition of the widow

of Rinaldo Johnson, have had the same under consideration, and thereupon report:

The memorial, a copy of which is hereunto annexed, alleges that, in the month of June, 1814, a body of British troops, on a predatory excursion, ascended the river Patuxent, Maryland; that, on approaching Magruder's warehouse, they were fired upon by an American force stationed in and about it ; that this force retreated, and the British landed from their boats and burned the warehouse with all it contained, including one hundred hogsheads of tobacco, the property of Rinaldo Johnson; that the warehouse was thus burned because it had been thus occupied by the Americans ; and the prayer is, that the government of the United States will pay for the tobacco.

Before referring to the proof submitted in support of the memorial, your committee deem it proper to advert to the principles of public law which the claim involves ; to the congressional and departmental action heretofore had in such cases ; and particularly to the case of

Catlett, claiming indemnity for tobacco destroyed at the same time in “ Magruder's warehouse."

Upon the termination of the war of 1812, Congress, to provide for the payment of private property taken for the public use, or destroyed by the enemy because of its use and occupation by the United States, passed the act of April 9, 1816.—(See Statutes at Large, vol. -, P:--)

Section 9 provided "that any person who, in the time aforesaid, has sustained damage by the destruction of his or her house or building, by the enemy, while the same was occupied as a military deposit, under the authority of an officer or agent of the United States, shall be allowed and paid the amount of such damage: Provided, it shall appear that such occupation was the cause of its destruction."

Section 15 provided that no claim authorized by this act shall beallowed or paid unless the same shall be exhibited within two years. from the passing hereof."

The commissioner appointed to determine the claims to be presented

under this act at once entered upon his duties; and the President of the United States, through the Secretary of War, instructed him as to the construction of the ninth section, above cited, as follows:-(See State Papers, vol. Claims, pp. 491, 691.)

“ The ninth section of the act extends only to cases of destruction of property by the enemy which are justifiable by the laws of civilized warfare. The occupation of houses or buildings as places of military deposit, or by an armed force, must be continued up to the time of the destruction.

“That the occupation of houses or buildings by an armed force, for a night, upon a march, is not within the meaning of the said section, unless within the immediate presence of the enemy.

“That no compensation, by way of interest, rent, or damage, can be allowed under the act for the time which elapses between the destruction of the property and the decision of the commissioner.

“ That the act does not extend to the case of consequential injury resulting from the destruction of houses or buildings under the ninth section.

“No compensation can therefore be allowed for the destruction of houses or buildings not occupied as a military deposit or by military force."

The commissioner had entered upon his duties about the first of June, 1816; the President's instructions are dated 21st October, 1816, and on the 1st of November following he directed the commissioner to suspend all decisions under this ninth section until further advised ; and on the 6th of December, 1816, the President sent to Congress the following special message: - To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States :

" The ninth section of the act passed at the last session of Congress 'to authorize the payment for property lost, captured, or destroyed by the enemy, while in the military service of the United States, and for other purposes,' having received a construction giving it a scope of great and uncertain extent, I thought it proper that proceedings relative to claims under that part of the act should be suspended until Congress should have an opportunity of defining, more precisely, the cases contemplated by them. With that view I now recommend the subject to their consideration. They will have an opportunity, at the same time, of considering how far the provisions of the act may be rendered more clear and precise in their import.

JAMES MADISON.” (See State Papers, vol. Claims, p. 484.)

This message was referred to the House Committee on Claims, who reported (17th December, 1816,) “that the committee were decidedly of the opinion that the commissioner appointed to carry the act into effect, had given, and was still disposed to give to the law an extension of construction not contemplated by Congress at the time of its passage, and not warranted by its object.” They notice cases of unwarranted adjudications, and lay down the rule that “a mere temporary occupation of the house for one night and a part of the next day by one or two companies of militia, cannot impart to the house even the character of barracks, but much less, that of a military deposit.”

These proceedings resulted in the passage of the act of 1817, the first section of which provided, "that the ninth section of the act entitled 'An act authorizing the payment for property lost, captured, or destroyed by the enemy while in the military service of the United States, and for other purposes,' passed on the 9th of April, 1816, shall be construed to extend only to houses or other buildings occupied by an order of an officer or agent of the United States, as a place of deposit for military or naval stores, or as barracks for the military forces of the United States."

The expediency of continuing in force these two acts of 1816-'17 was submitted to the House Committee on Claims, who reported against it, principally on the ground that frauds had been cominitted under them; and they were allowed to expire on the 18th April, 1818, the undetermined cases under them being referred to the Third Auditor.-(See State Papers, vol. Claims, p. 590.)

By the act of 3d March, 1825, claimants who had presented their claims under the provisions of the acts of 1816-'17, but who had failed to obtain final action thereon, were authorized to present them to the Third Auditor, who was authorized to adjudicate and certify them for payment under the provisions of said acts.

Your committee have made special reference to these acts, not only because those of 1816-'17 were passed while the evils they were designed to relieve were fresh in the memory of Congress, but because they contain all the relief which Congress deemed it just to afford.

Throughout the fourteenth and fifteenth Congresses numerous applications were made for indemnity for property destroyed by the enemy, and the general views of Congress upon all such cases were frequently and unequivocally expressed.

Until 1821 the Committee on Claims of the House of Representatives bad regarded the military occupation of houses, up to the time of their destruction by the enemy, as bringing them within the provisions of the act of 1816; but in that year, upon a full discussion of the principles involved, the House decided that the occupation of a house as barracks, even up to the time of its destruction, did not justify its destruction by the rules of civilized warfare, and therefore did not come within the law, except in cases where the destruction had been found necessary to dislodge the enemy.

This was found to have been in accordance with the usage during the late wars in Europe.

Not even public barracks were deemed legitimate objects of destruction after being evacuated.-(State Papers, vol. Claims, p. 815, 816.)

Congress intended to provide payment for such losses only as were known to have happened according to the rules of civilized warfare, and for no others.-(State Papers, vol. Claims, p. 796.)

As one party would not have a right to put a prisoner to death on the ground that he had fought, or that when exchanged he might fight again, so, he would not have the right to destroy private property either because it had been used or might again be used in the progress of the war.—(State Papers, vol. Claims, p. 796.)

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »