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[To accompany bill H. R. No. 49.]
DECEMBER 29, 1841.
Mr. Cowen, from the Committee of Claims, made the following
The Committee of Claims, to whom was referred the petition of Pacificus Ord, report:
That the petitioner represents that, from the 28th day of May, 1832, until the 1st day of June, 1836, he performed the duties of a clerk in the office of the Solicitor of the Treasury of the United States; that, during the same period, a younger brother of the petitioner performed the duties of a messenger in the same office; that he and his brother received, for the services of himself and his brother, a salary of $500 a year for the time they were engaged in the performance of these duties, which was the usual and customary salary of a messenger. For these services the petitioner asks to be compensated, at the rate of $800 a year for four years and three days.
A letter from Mr. Birchard, late Solicitor of the Treasury, dated January 19, 1841, in answer to one addressed to him by the Hon. Mr. Giddings, of the Committee of Claims, shows that the petitioner performed the services as stated in his petition, for the "messenger's salary of $500, out of which was made a deduction for the actual messenger;" that those duties were faithfully performed.
Mr. Birchard, as to the value of the services of the petitioner, says: "Were similar services rendered to me as an individual, a compensation of $800 per annum would be considered very reasonable."
For similar services to those performed by the petitioner, rendered in the same office, under like circumstances, from June 4, 1830, to May 26, 1832, James Ord, the father of the petitioner, was allowed, by an act of Congress for his relief, the sum of $800 per annum.
The committee, finding that the petitioner has rendered faithful and valuable services to the Government for the term of four years and three days, and that those services are worth $800 a year, report a bill for his relief accordingly.
JOSEPH PERKINS, JAMES PERKINS, AND JOHN G. PERKINS. [To accompany bill H. R. No. 50.]
DECEMAER 29, 1841.
Mr. CowEN, from the Committee of Claims, made the following
The Committee of Claims, to which was referred the petition of Joseph Perkins, James Perkins, and John G. Perkins, report:
That the petitioners claim contribution from the United States for a portion of a loss sustained by the schooner Packet, while on a voyage from Fortress Monroe, in Virginia, to Fort Pike, near New Orleans, freighted with guns, carriages, &c., the property of the United States, by voluntarily slipping a cable near Florida reef, for the preservation of ship and cargo. The evidence establishes, in the opinion of a majority of the committee, the following facts: That, in 1833, the petitioners were the owners of the schooner Packet, whereof John H. Perkins was master; that, pursuant to a contract with Charles Dimmock, lieut., assistant quartermaster of the United States army, on behalf of the United States, in the month of November, 1833, the said schooner sailed from the port of Norfolk, Virginia, with a cargo of cannon, shot, and carriages, belonging to the United States, and bound for the port of Key West; that, on the passage, the schooner grounded on Florida reef; that, in efforts to get the schooner off the reef, there being at the time a heavy wind and rough sea, it became indispensable, in the opinion of the master and crew of the schooner, to slip the cable and hawser, and leave them, for the safety of the schooner and cargo; and that, consequently, the cable and hawser were voluntarily slipped for the safety of the schooner and cargo, and the small bower anchor, the cable, the kedge, the hawser, and Manilla hemp attached to the hawser, were left and lost, and that the schooner and cargo were saved.
These facts, as the committee think, entitle the petitioners to contribution from the United States for such proportion of the loss sustained by the sacrifice of the anchor, cable, hawser, kedge, and Manilla hemp, to avoid a total loss of the schooner and cargo, as the value of the property of the United States which was on board bears to the value of the schooner, cargo, and freight. The evidence of the value of the property saved, and the amount of loss sustained, should have been more satisfactory; but the committee are satisfied that the best authenticated estimates are very nearly, if not quite correct, and a lopt them. These estimates are contained in a statement made by the president of the Commercial Insurance Company of Boston, by which he paid the petitioners his proportion for the value of the schooner, as insurer for the voyage. By this statement it appears that