« ForrigeFortsett »
and embarrassment of all descriptions of persons for want of an adequate supply of an available currency
I need not now enter into the details—they are fresh in your recollection, and I appeal to you to say whether a stronger case of necessity for the exercise of the power I assumed can well be supposed.
Then here is presented one of the strongest cases that could have in. vited me to excrcise the authority, and justified me upon the soundest principles that guide us to a public-spirited and beneficent exercise of dis. cretionary authority.
Then a good and adequate motive stood out in open day-light, and shone on, by the genial sun of California; yet did my accusers shut their eyes against the sun-lit vault of heaven, and dive into the sewers through which the vilest of human passions find their vent, to draw up from the lowest depths of its foulness and abomination a defiled and sordid motive. There lay before them, on the one hand, an honorable motive, on the other a base one; and it seems as if some sort of fatality or instinct carried them again to an election of the base.
All the facts and circumstances of fraud in the primary intent with which I made this disposal of the money-the corrupt design linked 10 the act-must, I should think, be given up without hesitation or qualification. But, whatever the primary motive, they still insist and charge that I converted the money to my own use, by trading in the upcoined gold purchased with it. Yet-strange and mysterious conversion, there is not now, and cannot be traced back, the defalcation of a single dollar; the money is intact, and was always forthcoming in the form either of specie or of uncoined gold, to answer instantly any demand on the fund. There never was one instant of time when it has been shown, or can be shown, that the entire existing amount of the fund was not in hand, and ready for active use whensoever any legitimate occasion might arise for calling it into activity. There never was one instant of time when the entire amount of the fund was not at command in the form either of current money or of uncoined gold, or of some representative instantly convertible into money, like the bill of lading of the gold consigned to the treasurer of the mint, upon which I raised the money for Purser Price in August, 1849, except, perhaps, when the money was in transitu, to be converted into gold, or vice versu.
I am not now speaking in reference to the specifications which charge me with having fraudulently converted to my own use the identical gold purchased by Mr. Wilson. To that charge I shall have presently occasion to speak; and I fear not to say in advance, that whatever obscurity may have been first thrown over it by the imperfect and confused recollection of one witness, and by the absence of the witnesses whose memories were less clouded, its refutation will be as clear as arithmetical de monstration, and that the instigators of it could never for a moment have been misled into any belief in it.
THOS. AP C. JONES,
Mr. President and gentlemen: I regret to say that the notes of my counsel end here: his illness has prevented his continuing that exposition of this case which he had begun. I have, however, less reason to regret his inability to aid further in my defence, because the case is to my mind sufficiently developed in the evidence.
I rest my defence on the facts in proof before you, and in the general principles laid down in the opening remarks of my counsel, which carry with them a convincing, irrefutable force. I say, then, that you have proved before you the good, sufficient, patriotic motive with which I returned temporarily, to the relief of the distress of the people of California, a portion of the money I had by military authority levied from them; that my discretionary authority was, linder the circumstances, equal for that proceeding as for levying money; that the government of the United States approved and applauded a much higher, broader exercise of discretion; that I secured the pecuniary interests of the United States, while relieving the distress of the people of California, by taking bullion "in lieu” of the coined money, and that from this transaction a profit resulted which was not of my contrivance.
If the question now before you was, whether this profit accrued to the United States or to me, I might answer that this court has to deal not with the pecuniary, but with the penal claims of the government against me. But that is not the question: the government have not, and do not demand these profits of me. They do not in any of their charges raise this question before you. They do not say that I have fraudulently withheld their gains and profits; but their charge is, that I used their money for my gain and profit. And in reply, I triumphantly show a good mo. tive and a patriotic conduct. Whether the government would have taken the profits, and applauded me for the whole transaction, as in the previous case, I do not know.
THOS. AP C. JONES, . Late Commanding the Pacific Squadron.
And the same having been read, the court is cleared.
The president of the court submits certain communications addressed to him by Lieutenant Fabius Stanly; which are read.
The court orders the same to be appended to the record, together with a copy of a letter to Lieutenant Stanly touching the matter thereof; which the court directs the judge advocate to address to that officer.
All which is accordingly done; the said papers being marked “ Lieutenant Stanly, January 29-A, B, and C.”
The court then proceeded to the reading of the testimony, which was continued to the hour of adjournment.
The court is then opened; and adjourned until tomorrow morning, at 10 o'clock.
JANUARY 30, 1851–10 o'clock a. m.
The court met pursuant to adjournment.
Present: Captain Charles Stewart, U. S. N., president; Captain Lewis Warrington, U. S. N., Captain John Downes, U. S. N., Captain Henry E. Ballard, U. S. N., Captain William B. Shubrick, U. S. N., Captain Lawrence Kearny, U. S. N., Captain John D. Sloat, U. S. N., Captain Matthew C. Perry, U. S. N.; and J. M. Carlisle, esq., judge advocate.
The record of the proceedings on yesterday was read and approved.
At 3 o'clock p. m. the court is opened, and is adjourned until to morrow morning, at 10 o'clock.
JANUARY 31, 1851–10 o'clock a. m. The court met pursuant to adjournment.
Present: Captain Charles Stewart, U. S. N., president; Captain Levis Warrington, U. S. N., Captain John Downes, U. S. N., Captain Henry E. Ballard, U. S. N., Captain William B. Shubrick, U.S. N., Captain Lawrence Kearny, U. S. N., Captain John D. Sloat, U. S. N., Captain Matthew C. Perry, U. S. N.; and J. M. Carlisle, esq., judge advocaie.
The record of the proceedings on yesterday is read and approved.
The court is cleared, and the reading of the testimony is resumed and concluded.
The court then proceeded to deliberate upon the same, and to consider of their finding in the premises.
And this business not being concluded at half past 3 o'clock p. m., the court is opened, and adjourned until to-morrow morning at 10 o'clock.
FEBRUARY 1, 1851–10 o'clock a. m. The court met pursuant to adjournment.
Present: Captain Charles Siewart, U. S. N., president; Captain Lewis Warrington, U. S. N., Captain John Downes, U. S. N., Captain Henry E. Ballard, U. S. N., Captain William B. Shubrick, U. S. N., Captain Lawrence Kearny, U. S. N., Captain John D. Sloat, U. S. N., Captain Matthew C. Perry, U. S. N.; and J. M. Carlisle, esq., judge advocaie.
The record of the proceedings on yesterday is read and approved.
The court is cleared, and proceeds further to deliberate upon the testi. mony, and to consider of its finding upon the charges and specifications of charges before it.
And after full and mature deliberation in the premises, the court doth find that the first specification of the first charge is proved, except the words “ unluwfully and fraudulently," therein contained. · That the second specification of the first charge is proved, except the words “and fraudulently,” wheresoever they occur in the said specifi. cation.
That the third specification of the first charge is proved, except the words " and on divers other days and times in the said month;” and except the words " fraudulently” and “ deceitfully'' wheresoever they occur in the said specification; and except the words and committing a fraud against the said United States.”
That the fourth specification of the first charge is proved, with the modification expressed in the finding upon the last preceding specification, (so far as the same is referred to by this fourth specification,) and except also the word "s fraudulently."
That the fifth specification of the first charge is proved, with the modi. fications expressed in the finding upon the third specification of this charge, (so far as the same is referred to by this fifth specification,) and except likewise the word “fraudulently," wheresoever the same occurs in this specification.
And that of the said first charge the said Captain Thomas Ap Catesby Jones, of the United States navy, is NOT GUILTY.
That the specification of the SECOND charge is proved, except the word " fraudulently," wheresoever it occurs in the said specification; and except the words “thereby atlempting a fraud against the United States."
And that of the said seconD CHARGE the said Captain Thomas Ap Catesby Jones is NOT GUILTY.
That the FIRST specification of the THIRD CHARGE is proved.
That the second specification of the third charge is proved, except the malicionis intention.
T'hat the third specification of the third charge is proved, except the guilt of wilful and deliberate falsehood.
And that the said Captain Thomas Ap Catesby Jones of the said third charge is guilTY.
That the first specification of the fourth charge is proved.
That the second specification of the fourth charge is proved, except the time laid therein, it being proved that the official letter therein neutioned was not received by the accused until the 2d day of September, 1849.
That the third specification of the fourth charge is not proved.
That the fourth specification of the fourth charge is proved, except the words « negligently und," where they first occur in said specification.
And that of the said FOURTH CHARGE the said Captain Thomas Ap Catesby Joves is GUILTY.
That the first specification of the fifth charge is proved, except the words " and maliciously,” wheresoever they occur in said specification.
That the second specification of the fifth charge is proved, ercept the words “ opressively and maliciously,” and except the words “ without any sufficient reason of public duty, and solely for the gratification of his spite and malice against the said Lieutenant Stanly."
And that of the said fifth charge the said Captain Thomas Ap Catesby Jones is GuilTY.
And the court doth therefore sentence the said Captain Thomas Ap Catesby Jones to be suspended for five years; and that his pay and emolunients be suspended for the first two years and six months of the said time of his suspension.
CHS. STEWART, President.
M. C. PERRY.
Remarks by the Court, accompanying the finding and sentence."
The court thinks it proper to remark, that it has been induced to add to the suspension of the accused the suspension of his pay and emoluments for a portion of the time, from a consideration of the facts proved before it tonching the profits made by him from the improper and unauthorized use of the public money.
The court further remarks, that, in substantially acquitting the accused of the matter charged in the second specification of the third charge, it does not mean to be understood as entertaining the slightest doubt of the injustice done to the three lieutenants (Green, Marchand, and Craven) by the language quoted in the specification from the accused's despatch
No. 34. The court has discovered nothing in the testimony in any man. ner affecting the character of those officers, or either of them; but the court did not find it proved that the alleged libel, which is contained in an official and privileged communication, was written and transmitted by the accused with malice.
CHARLES STEWART, President. J. M. Carlisle, Judge Advocate,
And thereupon the president of the court presents the following communication from the Secretary of the Navy, which is read by the judge advocate, to wit:
Navy DEPARTMENT, February 1, 1851. Sir: The department having been informed by J. M. Carlisle, esq., judge advocate of the naval general court-martial, of which you are the presiding officer, that the trial of Commodore Thomas Ap C. Jones has been concluded, it has no further business to bring before the court as now constituted. It is accordingly adjourned sine die. I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,
WILL. A. GRAHAM. Commodore CHARLES STEWART,
President of Naval General Court-marlial, Washington.
And thereupon the court is adjourned sine dic.
CHARLES STEWART, President. Attest: J. M. CARLISLE, Judge Advocute.
Navy DEPARTMENT, February 18, 1851. I have examined the foregoing record of the proceedings of the court. martial for the trial of Captain Thomas Ap C. Jones, and approve the action of the court in quashing the third specification of the fifth charge. I am of opinion that the findings of the court on the other charges and specifications are in accordance with the evidence, and do hereby confirm the sentence of the court against the accused.
WILL. A. GRAHAM,
Secretary of the Nary.
Copy of the order dissolving the court.
Navy DEPARTMENT, February 19, 1851. Str: The department having reviewed the proceedings and confirmed the sentence of the naval general court-martial recently convened in this city, in the case of Commodore Thomas Ap C. Jones, the court is hereby dissolved. I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,
WILL. A. GRAHAM. Commodore CHARLES STEWART,
United States Navy, Washington, D. C.