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5. The proceeds of all ships and vessels and the goods taken on board of them, which shall be adjudgeri good prize, shall, when of equal or superior force to the vessel or vessels making the capture, be the sole property of the captors; an when of inferior force, shall be divided equally between the United States and the officers and men making the capture.
6. The prize money, belonging to the officers and men, shall be distributed in the following manner :
I. To the commanding officers of fleets, squadrons, or single ships, three twentieths, of which the commanding officer of the fleet or squadron shall have one twentieth, if the prize be taken by a ship or vessel acting under his command; and the commander of single ships, two twentieths ; but where the prize is taken by a ship acting independently of such superior officer, the three twentieths shall belong to her commander.
II. To sea lieutenants, captains of marines, and sailing masters, two twentieths; but where there is a captain, without a lieutenant of marines, these officers shall be entitled to two twentieths and one third of a twentieth; which third, in such case, shall be deducted from the share of the officers mentioned in article No. III. of this section.
III. To chaplains, lieutenants of marines, surgeons, pursers, boatswains, gunners, carpenters, and masters mates, two twentieths.
IV. To midshipmen, surgeons' mates, captains' clerks, schoolmasters, boatswains' mates, gunners? mates, care penters' mates, ships stewards, sail makers, masters at arms, armourers, cockswains, and coopers, three twenti. eths and an half.
V. To gunners' yeomen, boatswains' yeomen, quarter masters, quarter gunners, sail makers' mates, sergeants and corporals of marines, drummers, fi fers, and extra petty officers, two twentieths and an half.
VI. To seamen, ordinary seamen, marines, and all other persons doing duty on board, seven twentieths.
VII. Whenever one or more public ships or vessels are in sight at the time any one or more ships are taking a prize or prizes, they shall all share equally in the prize or prizes, according to the number of men and guns on board each ship in sight: "No commander of a fleet or squadron shall be entitled to receive any share of prizes taken by vessels not under his immediate command ; nor of such prizes as may have been taken by ships or vesseis intended to be placed under his com nd, before they have acted under his immediate orders ; nor shall a commander of a feet or squadron, leaving the station where he had the command, have any share in the prizes taken by ships left on such station, alter he dias gone out of the limits of his said command.
7. A bounty shall be paid by the United States of 20 dollars, for each person on board any ship of an enemy at the commencement of an engagement, which shall be sunk or destroyed by any ship or vessel-belonging to the United States of equal or inferior force, the same to be divided among the officers and crew in the same manner as prize money :.8. Every officer, seaman, or marine; disabled in the line of his duty, shall be entitled to receive for life, or during his disability, a pension from the United States, according to the nature and degree of his disability, not exceeding one half of his monthly pay.
9. All money accruing, or which has already accrued to the United States from the sale of prizes, shall be and remain for ever a fund for the payment of pensions and half- -pay, :should the same. be hereafter granted, to the officers and seamen who may be entitled to receive the same; and if the said fund shail be insufficient for the purpose, the public faith is hereby pledged to make up the deficiency; but if-it should be more than sufficient, the surplus shall be applied to the making of further provision for the comfort of disabled officers, seamen, and marines, and for such as, though not disabled, may merit by their bravery, or long and faithful services, the gratitude of their country. = 10. The said fund shall be under the management and direction of the secretary of the navy, the secretary of the treasury, and the secretary of war, for the time being, who are hereby authorised to receive any sums to which the United States may be entitled from the sale of prizes, and employ and invest the same, and the interest arising therefrom, in any manner which a majority of them may
deem most advantageous: And it shall be the duty of the said comtoissioners to lay before Congress, annually, in the first week of their session, a minute statement of their proceedings relative to the management of said fund.
11. The act passed the 2d of March, 1799, entitled "An act for the government of the navy of the United States," after the 1st of June next, is hereby repealed.
Letters of Marque and Reprisal.
THE following spirited act of the Legislature of Massachusetts, the first of its kind in America, was drawn up by the present Vice-President of the United States, Mr. Gerry, and Governor Sullivan. The preamble by the former; the details of the act by the latter.
WATERTOWN, Nov. 13, 1775. In the sixteenth year of the reign of George the third, King, &c. An act for encouraging the fitting out of armed vessels to
defend the sea coast of America, and for erecting a court to try and condemn all vessels that shall be found infesting the same.
WHEREAS the present administration of Great Britain, being divested of justice and humanity, and strangers to that magnanimity and sacred regard for liberty, which inspired their predecessors, have been endeavouring, through a series of years, to establish a system of despo. tism over the American colonies, and by their venal and corrupt measures, have so extended their influence over the British parliament, that by a prostituted majority, it is now become a political engine of slavery. And whereas the military tools of these our unnaigral enemies while restrained by the united forces of the American colonies, from proceeding in their sanguinary career of devastation and slaughter, are infesting the seacoast with armed vessels, and daily endeavouring to distress the inhabitants, by burning their towns and destroying their dwellings with their substance, plundering live stock, and making captures of provisions and other vessels, being the property of the said inhabitants. And whereas their majesties, King William and Queen Mary, by the royal charter of this colony, “ for themselves, their heirs and successors, did grant, establish and ordain, that in the absence of the governor and lieutenant governor of the colony, a majority of the council shall have full power by themselves, or by any chief commander, or other officer, or officers to be appointed by them from time to time, for the special defence of their said province or territory, to assemble in martial array, and put in warlike posture the inhabitants of their said prorince or territory, and to lead and conduct them, and with them to encounter, expulse, resist and pursue by force of arms, as well by sea as by land, within or without the linits of the said province or territory; and also to kill, slay, destroy and conquer, by all fitting ways, enterprizes, and means whatever, all and every such person and persons, as should at any time thereafter, attempt or enterprize the destruction, invasion, detriment or annoyance of their said province or territory, and to take and surprise by all ways.and means whatever, all and every person and persons, with their ships, arms, ammunition, and other goods, as should in a hostile manner invade or attempt the invading, conquer. ing, or annoying of their said province or territory :" And whereas it is expressly resolved by the grand Congress of America, “ that each colony, at their own expense, make such provision by armed vessels or otherwise, as their respective assemblies, conventions, or committees of safety, shall judge expedient and suitable to their circumstances and situations, for the protection of their harbours, and navigation on the sea coasts; against all unlawful invasion, attacks and depredations from cutters and ships of war." And it is the duty and interest of this
colony to exert itself, as well for the purpose of keeping supplies from the enemy, as for those mentioned in the paragraphs of the charter and resolve now recited :
Therefore, for the more effectual carrying into execu. tion the purposes aforesaid :
Be it enacted by the Council and house of Representatives in general court assembled, and by the authority of the same, that all armed and other vessels which shall be brought into this colony, and have been found making unlawful invasions, attāck or depredations on the sea coasts, or navigation of any part of America, or improve ed in supplying the fleet and army, which have been, or shall at any time be employed against the United Colopies, or employed by the said enemy in any respect whatever: and also all vessels, whose master's and supercargoes shall have had designs of carrying supplies of any kind to the enemy, or that shall be returning from the enemy, after having carried such supplies, and shall be convicted thereof as is herein provided, such vessel or vessels, with their appurtenances alid cargoes, shall be deemed forfeited, and shall be disposed of, as is by this act hereafter ordered and directed.
And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the council of this colony, or the major part of them, shall be fully empowered to commission with letters of marque and reprisal, any person or persons, within this colony, who shall at his, or their own expense, fit out and equip for the defence of America any vessel; as also any person who shall by the owner of such vessel be recommended therefor: and that all such persons so commissioned as aforesaid, shall have full power with such other persons, as they shall engage to their assistance, to sail on the seas, attack, take and bring into any port in this colony, all vessels offending or employed by the enemy’as aforesaid; and also to retake and bring in as aforesaid, any vessel or vessels, that may be taken from any person or persons by the said eneniy.
Provided always, and be it further enacted, that the master or owner of such vessels shall, at the time he re.. ceives such commission, enter into bond with one sufficient surety at least for the faithful discharge of his office, and observing the law of this relating to armed colony