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Daily national era. (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1854, May 23, 1854, Image 2

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Navy Depaetment, Dec. 3, lt>55.
' have the honor lo mi bum the annual re
^,1 i .lUl*, tleParl,,'?ul) exhibiting the duties
perlurmed l.y the several squadrous, my views of
Pre??nt condition aud future prospects of the
?erviee, and suggestions in regard 10 further le
gulauon required.
SQUADRONS.
i ^ hesquadron, commanded hy Connno
uore Hiram PauId ng, consist* of the flag-ship,
i ,r'8*'e Potomac, Captain L. M. Powell, the
?loop*.of-war Saratoga. Commander E. Ii. Triton,
and Cyaue, Commuuder A B. Fairlax, and the
aieamer Fulton, Lieutenant Commanding K. L.
Jiighman.
The Columbia, lat- the flag-ship of ihe squad
ron having conveyed from Peusaoola to San
Juan de Nicaragua the United States ministers
o Nicaragua and Guatemala, proceeded from
San Juan to St. Thomun where she arriveil on
the yth ol tetaruary. The yellow lever having
made its appearance on board. she proceeded to
Norfolk, where she arrived on the ll?th of March.
Commodore Newton was detached from the com
mand of the squadron, and the vessel put out of
commission.
?No intelligence has been received touching the
'loop Albany, about who** fate, at the date of
my last report. p?i.<.u| anxiety was felt. The
sU aniers'Princeton a d Fulton were l?oib s^nt in
search 11 b?-r The .Princeton left PenMcola oa
the 2lst <>| Xoveiutxfr. rau down the coast ol
Cuba, examined the islands of Little Cayman
and Caymau s . rac,thence lo King-ion.(Jamaica )
Aspinw-all, aud Key West. The Fulton. Lieu
tenant J. K. Mitchell, sailed from Norfolk the 30th
of December, and ran through the Bahama . ml
C aribbee islands?along the Spanish Mam 10
Aspinwall?thence to San Juan de Nicaragua
thence across to Jamaica, sighting ihe various
Key. on the way?thence to the Balixe, Hondu
ras. and along the coast of Yucatan to Cam
peachy?thence to Havana and Norfolk, where
?he arrived on the 5th of April, making a rap.d
and searching cruise, evincive of the'most inde
fatigable and untiring zeal. Not the slimiest
information could be obtained of the missing
?hip. _ *
Th* sloop Falmouth, Commattder T. Darrah
Shaw, (ailed from Norfolk ou the 15th of Decem
ber, and proceeded i.n a cruise through th?- West
India islands, touching at St. Thomas, Bay ?.f
Samaua. city of Si. Doimnpo, Fo I au-Prince. G<.
naives, St. J ago de Cuba. Carthageuia. Aipin? all.
and thence to Pensacola. wheie she arrived on Ihe
5th ol May. The course of ibe Falmouth was
al*o such a* would atford ?n opportunity of ob
laming informaiion in relation to the Albany.
The Cyaue. Commander?S B Wilson, hiving
been put in commission, sailed from Boston,
April 2*9, 1(55, to join Iht-qnttdron, Fu Marc^,
intelligence having reached rlie Government that
the Spanish frigate Ferrolanann had fireil at the
United Slates mail steamer El Dorado, oft ihe
the coast ol Cuba, while peaceably pursuing her
cruise, it was deemed necessary and proper ibat
ft sufficient naval fore should appear in tho>e
waters, with a view to the protect on of ihe
rights and properly of our cuizens, and lor the
purpose of commanding due respect to our ling
The department, on the 10th of April, aligned
Commodore Charles S. McCauley to special duly
and to the temporary command of tie home
squadron, and placed under him the Cyane. the
Jamestown, the Princeton, aud the Fulton. To
these vessels was added, as a flair ship, ihe San
Jacinto. Captain C. K. Stnbling. They were ac
tively engaged in cruising nnd watching over ihe
interests aud rights ol our countrymen in that
quarter until early m June The instructions
issued to Commodore McCauley on that interest
ing occasion haVf already been published. It i*
certainly gratitying that no occasion occurred lor
Collision between the national vessels oi the two
countries Apprehensions of unfriendly inter
ference having ceased to exist, Commodore Me.
Cauley was de ached from this dutv.
Commodore Paulding wi- assigned to the com
mand ol this squadron on the 1st of July, and
Aa* ?1,iP ,ht" fr,??te Potomac, Captain
L. M. Powell. Tne Potomac having iu company
with the Cyane and Saratoga, made a short
cruise to the eastward. Commodore Paulding was
ordered to proceed with hi. flag-ahip to the coast
of Central America, to look alter the interests of
our country, and to see that American citizens
suffer no detriment from the revolutionary troubles
now distracting Nicaragua. He aailed from New
York under ihes- orders on the 26th of Novem
ber. The other vessels of this squadron are ac
lively cruising
brazil squadron.
This squadron (Commodore William D. Salter)
consists of the flsg ship, the frigate Savannah.
(Captain Samuel Mercer.) the sfoop-of war Ger
mantown, (Commander Wm.F. Lynch.) and the
brig Bainbndge. (Commander James H. Rowan )
The store-ahip Relief (Commander Stephen C
Rowan) was also attached to thia squadron but
returned to New York ou the 16th of November
and has been put out of commission. The Savan
nah and Germantown will be relieved durinjr the
enauing year.
This squadron has been industriously cruising
principally between Rio de Janeiro and the Rio de
la Plata, looking in at St. Catharine's. Montevideo
and Buenos Ayres. The health of officers and
men has been good.
Misunderstandings of very serious nature in
volving a painfulcolliaion.bavingoccurred between
our consul and officera of the Water Witch and
the I resident of the republic of Paraguay it wa?
deemed expedient by Commander T J. Psee
commanding that steamer, on special service, to I
discontinue for the present the completion of the
survey of the river Parana in which considerable
progress bad been made. You are aware of the
slate of negotiations l>etween the two govern
ments on this subject.
Commander Page baa, however, in the mean
time, in a small steamer chartered for the purpose
proceeded to the distsnce of three hundred and
aixty miles up the river Sa'ado. which emp
ties into the Parana at Santa Fe, the prin
cipal town of the province of the same name
and one of the Argentine Confederation. Be
yond thia distance it was found impossible to
proceed, on account of the shallowness of
the water. The Sslado had never, l>efore thia
been either ascended or descended to this point!
The practicability of its navigation wis a problem
unsolved until thia exploration. Commander
Page, at last dates, was at Sama Fe. and would
TT* ? fr0,n ,bence lo ,be head or upper wslsrs
ol the 1 ilcomayo, with the hope of deacending ihat
fiver. Its exploration ha> been attempted by
others, but never accomplished.
AFRICA* Mjt'ADROV
Thia squadron (Commodore T ho in a* Crahbe)
consist* of his fl?K 'tip. the Jiinciowii, (Com
mander James H Ward,) tbe sloops-ofwar Dale
(Commander William McBlair) and Si. Louis.
e~ imn andrr John W Livingston ) and the brig
Iphin.fC^om ma ruler Edward R. Thompson!)
The flag ship Jamestown, in tbe early part of
the summer, waa assigned to special duty off the
coast ol Cuba, under Commodore McCauley, She
sailed from Key West on the 9tb of June and ar
rived at Funcbal Roads on the 8th of July.
The St. Louis, Commander J. W. Livingston,
sailed from Philadelphia on the 10th of Novemlier,
to relieve the Dale. On ber arrival on the coast
the Dale will return to the United Statea.
Commodore Isaac Mayo, who recently com
manded this squadron, returned with his flag-ship,
tbc Constitution, to the United States on the 2d of
June, entering the port of Portsmouth, N. II
When within three or four hundred miles of Ports
mouth he received inlellignece which induced him
to alter hia course and proceed to Havana lor the
purpoae of volunteering hia servicea and that of
his ship to Commodore McCauley, if required.
The appearance of the Constitution there was
opportune and impressive.
The sloop-of war Marion. Commander Hugh Y.
Purviance, recently belonging to this squadron,
having been condemned as unseaworthy, and Iter
time being nearly out, returned to th? United
8tates, entering Norfolk on the 10th of August.
The vessels ofthi-squadron have Uern regularly
crjiiaing within the limits of their station, afford'ng
relief, whenever opportunity offered, to merchant
vessels, and also taking care of the intere?ls of
Americans in that portion of the world. The
department has recent advices that the slave trade
?outh of the equator is entirely broken up. The
health of the officers and men on this station has
been good for the past yeat.
The Mediterranean squadron, commanded by
Commodore Samuel L. Breese, consists of his
flag-ship the frigate Congress. Commander Thom
as T. Craven, the steam-frigate ^aranac. Cap
tain Johrt C. Long ; and the sloop constellation,
Captain Charles II. Bell. The store-ship Supply,
Lieutenant David D. Porter la alao in the Mediter
ranean, engaged in specia service for the War
Depa rtment.
The Congress sailed from New York on the
16th of July, to take the place of the Cumberland ;
and the Conatellation sailed from Norfolk on the
9fb of August lo join thia sqnadron.
Commodore Stringham commanded thia squad
ron in tbe early part of the year, but, with hi*
flag ahip, the Cumberland. Commaoder Andrew
A liar wood, returned to (he United States on
llie 30lh ol June, arriving at Boston.
1 he ?loop*-of-wur St. Louis, Captain Duncan
N. lngrahain, and Levant, Cominander Charles
C. Turner, have also both returned from this sta
tion, the former arriving at Philadelphia on the
10th, and the latter at New York on th? 4th of
May. The Saranac will Lie relieved early next
year.
Owing to the leturn of most of the vessels of
this squadron early in the year, and their reliefs
not arriving out until late, the usual cruising has
beeu in a great measure interrupted, the winter
season in thai sea being unfavorable to extended
cruising.
The East India squadron, Commodore Joel
Abbot, consists of the (lag-ship, the sloop Mace
donian, the steam frigait? Powhatan, Captain Wil
liam J. McCluuey, and the sloop-of-war Vandalia,
Captain John Pope. The store-ship John P.
Kennedy, transferred from the North l'acific ex
ploring expedition, is stationed at Canton, under
the command of Commander Oliver S. Glisson.
Commodore Matthew C. Perry, recently in com
mand ol this squadrou, has returned to the United
Slates. The sieam-frigaie Susquehanua, Captaiu
Franklin Buchanan, arrived from this squadron
ai*Pluiadelphia on the 10th of March; the stcam
Irigaie Mississippi, Commander Sidney Smith
Lee, at New York, on the 23d of April; the s'oop
of-war Plymouth, Commander Jobn Kelly, at Nor
folk, on the 11th of January; and the store ships
Supply, Lieutenant Arthur Sinclair; Lexington.
Lieuteuant J< hn J.Glasson; and Southampton,
Lieutenant Junius J. Boyle, at New York, on the
l'2th and likb of February, and the 31st of March
respectively.
The treaty with Japan i aving been raiitied by the
Senate, Commander Henry A. Auains was sent
out with it to China, aud on his arrival Commo
dore Abhot was directed to despatch a vessel-of
wur to Japan, that an exchange of ratification of
the treaty might be made with the Japanese
authorities The Powhatan, Captain McCluney,
having on board Commander Adams, who was
duly empowered to effect the exchange, reached
Japan safely, and having accomplished his under
taking on the *21?t of February last. Commander
Adams returned to the Uuited Stales. It was the
intent.on of Commodore Abbot to have visited
Japan this year, but important matters at Shang
hai, occuriing at the time of the proposed visit,
prevented it.
The continuance of the civil war in China has
required the uuimng effort and activity of this
squadron to afford protection to the lives and pro
perty of American ciiizens. Numerous hordes
of pirates infest the Chinese waiers, aud interfere
seriously wiih commerce in lhat region. Commo
dore Abbot has .ii all t inies shown himself prompt
and judicious in the discharge of the delicate
duiies im|>o*ed unon him. Several engagements
have tnkfii place between detachments from the
American men-of-war on that station and the
i>iraies, which have resulted most disas'rously to
the laiter. Many of the piratical juuks have been
destroyed, theirde ots on shore burnt, aud a num
ber of the pirates killed.
In these several encounters, the officels and
men have conducted themselves gailantlv, and
honorable mention is made of Lieutenants Pe
gram. Preble, Rolando, E. Y McCauley. and
Spmston; Assistaut Engineers Stamin and Kel
logg; Acting Masters' MaUs J. P Williams and
S R. Craig: and Private Benjamin Adainson, of
the marine corps, w ho was dangerously wounded.
I deem this a proper occasion to suggest the pur
chase or building of one or two steamers of light
draught, to be used in the Chinese rivers, as indis
pensable for ihe protection of the immense prop
erty belonging to citizens of the Uuited States in
China.
The steam frigate San Jacinto, Commander
Henry H. Bell, bearing the broad pendant of Com
modore James Armstrong, sailed from New York
on the 25th of October, to relieve the Macedonian.
Commodore Abbot will return home in his flag
ship on the arrival out of the $an Jacinto. The
sloop-of-war Levant, Commander William Smith,
also sailed from New York on the 13th of Novem
ber to join this squadron. The Powhatan has
been ordered to the United Slates. The Vandalia
wii! also be recalled no soon as a substitute can
be fitted out.
The survey and reconnoissance of the Behring's
straits, the North Pacific ocean, and China seas,
has been continued, under the direction of Com
mander John Rodgers. with commendable adivity
and satisfactory results. Early in September,
1854. the vessel of the expedition, consisting of
the Vinuennes, Commander Rodgers ; the steamei
John Hancock, Lieutenant Commanding Henry
K. Stevens ; the Porpoise, Acting Lieutenant
William King Bridge ; and the Fenntmore Cooper,
Acting Lieutenant William Gibson, sailed from
Hong Kong and proceeded to the Bomin and Lad
rone islands. Loo Choo, and the islands to the
westward, for surveying purposes. - They re
turned to Hong Kong in February, 1855, with the
exception of the brig Porpoise, which vessel
parted company with the Vincennes on the 21st
of September, 1854, in mid-channel, between
Formosa and China, to the northward and west
ward of the Pescadores. Commodore Abbot was
instructed to cause the most diligent search to be
made for her. So long a time has since elapsed
thai the department has been, with reluctance,
compelled to consider her as lost. The fullest
confidence was reposed in her officers ; thry were
all young, energetic, and full of professions! pride
The service, in this calamity, has met with a
sever* loss. Commander Rodgers apprehends
lhat she was last in a very heavy trphoon of great
force and intensity, which occurred about a month
after their separation, in which many vessels were
disma?ted and greatly injured, and the Vincennes
narrowly escaped The Porpoise was to have
met Commander Rogers at the Bonin islands,
after performing certain duties. Commander
Rodgers. after watting I here somewhat beyond
the appointed time, went in search of her?visit
ing Loo Choo and other islands and places where
he thought it poss hie she might have beeu driven
in the gale, but without gaining any intelligence
of her. Subsequently, the Fennimore Cooper
and the Jobn Hancock have thoroughly explored
the Pescadores and round the island of Formosa,
but without success.
The expedition again left Hong Kong in March,
surveying the islands betwern Loo Cboo and
Japan, the Kunle islands, thence to Petropaulas
ki. where the vessels separated, taking up differ
ent routes of survey. The Fennimore Cooper
j prooceeded to Atcka, one of the Aleutian islands,
to make inquiries in relation to ihe fate of the
officers and crew of the whale ship Monongshela,
which it is supposed was lo?t in the autumn of
1853, in attempting, during a irale the seventy
second passage, in longitude I72deg. west. Dili
gent inquiry was made, and the islands of Se
if on in and Amouiihit. which lie on each side of
the passage, were thoroughly examined. At
Atcka are still several water-casks supposed to
[ hsve belonged to the missing vessel, but no tid
ings of the officers and crew, all of whom are
supposed to have perished "with the vessel.
The Vincennes sailed from Petropaulaski and
entered Retiring s straits, reaching the harbor of
Gles?ensppe, on the Asiatic side. Commander
Kodgers left at this place a party, under Acting
Lieutenant John M Brooke, for observations
during his absence further north. He then stood
to the north for the purpose of verifying the [*>
sition ol land in about 72 deg north and 175 deg.
J west, placed upon the Admiralty charts by her
Britannic Majesty's frigate Herald. Capt. Kellett,
to examine, if possible. Plover island, reported
to have been seen by the same *fficer, and then
endeavored to reach " Wrangel'a Land," as de
scribed to Wrangel by the natives as visible in
clear weather froiti Cape Yakin. Running over
the tail of Herald shoal, on which was not less
than 18 fathoms water, he passed Herald island
and stood to the northward until he ran through
the position of the land given on the Admiralty
chart, and came to anchor in 42 fathoms, in lati
tude 72 deg. 05 mm., longitude 174 deg. 37 mm.
west. It wss so clear that the horizon was ap
parently without limit. No land could be seen
from the royal yards, and the water?as far as the
vision could reach, wss free from ice. He then
returned to Herald island, the southest point of
which was determined at 71 deg. 21 min. north,
longitude 175 deg. 20 mm west From the sub
mit of the island no land could lie seen in any
direction, although ihe horizon was good Run
ning towards Plover island, when half way from
its alleged position, his progress was arrrsied by
a barrier of ice. No land could he seen from the
mast-bead, though the air was clear. Comman
der Rodners is of opinion that this ialsnd does
not exist, and that Captain Kellett was misled by
appearances.
Running for Wrangel's Land ?which has never
been seen by Europeans?when within ten miles
of us position, and in the reported Polynia, or
open sea. in latitude 70 deg 41 mm., longii'ude
177 deg. 21 nun. E., he was again arrested by
barriers of ice. No land could be seen, though it
was thought that the vision extended for six or
eight iniles in every direction.
Having attained the limits proposed by him. and
penetrated further than any one else in the direc
tions selected. Commander Rodgers. taking on
Iwiard Acting Lieutenant Brooke and his party at
'''""sensppe. proceeded to San Francisco, where,
with Ihe other vessels of his command, he arrived
early in Ortober. The steamer John Hancock
was there transferred lo the navy-yard at Mare
island, California, and the Vincennes and Fenni
more Cooper are awaiting the orders of the de
partmeut u to the further prosecution of the
survey.
The expedition, iu addition to its other duties,
has afforded protectiou to commerce aud our citi
zens when necessary.
Comimiuder Kodgers aud his officers are en
titled to the highest commendation lor the ability
and energy with which they have prosecuted the
work to which they were assigned, and I have
no doubt their labora will prove not only of great
benefit to commerce, but also iutereating contri
butiona to acience.
PACIFIC SQUADRON.
Thia squadron ia composed of the following
veaaels : The flag-ship, the Independence, Captain
Josiah Tattnall; the sloops-ofwar St. Mary's,
Commander Theodore Bailey; the John Adams,
Commander Edward B. Boutwell; the Decatur,
Commander Gu?t Gansevoort; and the steamer
Massachusetts, Commander Samuel Swartwout.
The stationary store ship Fredoma, Lieutenant
James D. Johnston, is at Valparaiso, aud the
Warren. Lieutenant David McDougall. is at the
navy yard at Mare Island, California. Commo-<
dore William Mervine commands (his squadron.
The St. Lawrence, Commander William W.
Hunter, the flag-ship of Commodore Bladen Du
lany, having been relieved by Jie Independence
011 the 2d of February, arrived, with the Commo
dore on board, at Norfolk on the 21st of March.
The sloop-of-war Portsmo <tb, Commander T. A.
Dornin, returned from this station on the 6th of
April entering Norfolk. The time of the St.
Mary's will expire the lutter part of the year,
when she will be ordered to the United States.
The cruisuiiiof the vesselsol the Pacific squad
run dur>ng the pa?t year has been extended. The
Straits ofFuca, ^Woria, mid Portland, the Sand
wich Islands, the Fejee Islands, Southern Poly
nesia, and many ?ftbe ports of Cluli and Mexico,
have been visited. A vessel will soon be des
patched to the Marquesas Islands to correct ir
regularities on the part of the natives of those
islands The interests of the Americans have
been fully looked after.
The Michigan, Commander Charles II. Mc
Ujnir, (until the 21st ef September under the com
maud of Commander J. S. Nicholas,) is still use
fully employed on the lukes, affording assiManuu
to merchantmen 111 distress aud during the past
year has been the means ol saving a large amount
of property and many lives.
REPORT OF THE NAVAL BOARl)
The report of the Naval Hoard nf fifteen officers
of the higher grades, assembled under the "act to
promote the efficiency of the navy," having been
approved by you, I have, in pursuance />f your
direction, carried the same into execution accord
ing to the provisions of the law. After a "careful
examination," two hundred and one officers were,
in their judgment, found "incapableof performing
promptly and efficiently all their duty both ashore
and afloat;" and of those, seventy-one were re
served ' on leave-oi-absen<-e pay," eighty-one on
" furlough pay." and forty-nine recommended to
be stricken from the rolls. The vacancies have
been filled, accordi'ng to the act, '"by regular pro
motion in the order of rank or seniority." Al
though there are now on iliis leserved list one
hundred and forty seven officers, the expenses'of
th? navy, as appears from calculations accurately
matin, are not increased, fir the reason that they
are not only on rrduted pay, but the officers pro
moled to their vacancies do not receive the full
!ay of the grade to which they are thus promoted.
hey attain the higher ra/iX and secure more re
sponsible and important commands, but are not
ttt enjoy full pay until thg vacancies they till are
made complete by either resignation, death, or re
moval
And the law, judiciously administered, by no
means involves an increase of the aggregate num
ber of officers ; for it is the crowding the service
with the lower grade ot passed midshipmen, to
linger there until the prime of life, without rank
and comparatively without useful service, which
has really done sad mischief.
Perhaps no event, either legislative or execu
tive, touching the histoiy of the navy, has attract
ed more earnest attention, or created a more pro
found sensation, than the act of the late Naval
Board. With a view to a jusi ami wise consider
ation of this grave and delicate subject, the unex
cited mind will not merely pass in calm and scru
tinizing review the proceedings of the Board and
the Executive, but will naturally recur to the
history of the law itself, and with especial care to
the condition of the navy, which occasioned its
passage with such remarkable unanimity. The
peculiar nature of the law did not escape the
scrutiny of those who passed it. The allegation
that it partook somewhat of the odious character
of a star-chamber proceeding was even then pre
sented with ardent and warning eloquence. The
feature providing for dropping entirely from the
service, which was not in the original bill, was
inserted in tLe House by an overwhelming ma
jority, and, alter an elaborate and thorough debate
in the Senate was passed almost unanimously
There was still on the statute book, and in daily
enforcement, the law of courts-martial, surround
ing their proceedings with the solemnity ef a
sworn court, a sworn judge advocate, and sworn
wane ses, subject to penalties for non-appear
ance. And yet, such was the condition of the
navy?as urged by secretaries and conceded by
statesmen, officers, and citizens; such the loud
cry for prompt reform, echoed and re-echoed
through the country?that Congress, in us wis
dom, failing to pass the general and more compre
hensive bills, originally reported by the commit
tees, instituted this summary tribunal with signal
majorities. The officers selected to compose the
Board were, in terms highly laudstory, pronounced
fit men for the delicate taok; indeed, when their
names were announced, there was a warm and
general expression of favor and gratification rare
ly exhibited. Before prescribing regulations au
thorized, the op.nion of the Attorney General was
asked on the true interpretation of the following
provision of the act: " Providrd, That no officers
upon said board shall examine into or report upon
the efficiency of officers of a grade al?6ve them."
His opinion was, that '-the entire body will sit to
gether, deliberate, and determine, nnd by proper
means authenticate their conclusion an to lieuten
ants, masters, and passed midshipmen; after that
the lieuleuants will have to retire, and ihe cap
tains and commanders will act in regard to all
officers of the rank of commanders; when the
commanders must retire, and the captains will
act as t? officers of that rank. All the examina
tions having thus been made, and the proper
judgments reached, in the manner contemplated
by the law, the sum total of the opinions will be
certified 10 the Secretary, in such form of authen
tication as he, in hia regulations, shall see fit lo
prescribe." The few regulations prescribed were
chiefly ha?ed on this Opinion, with the purpose of
protecting the officers whose efficiency was thus
to be examined into from the slightest danger of
being prejudiced by the influence or the presence
of judges below them in grade. Lieutenants were
not allowed even to be present at the proceedings
and deliberations in regard to commantUrs, and,
therefore, could not aid to effect their own promo
tion. And, in accordance with the same regula
tion, a commander could not have the opportunity
by his presence to exert influence to secure his
promotion to a captaincy. And thus it was de
signed that if, by the execution of the law, officers
of the board should happen to be promoted, their
proceedings should not be tainted with the blight
ing suspicion that they labored for their own ad
vancement and not the public good. The depart
ment, therefore?by filling the board with men of
hi?h reputation,and acceptable to the country and
the navy; by surrounding I hem with safeguards
and restrictions to secure impartiality and justice;
and to remove the opportunity and the temptation
for indulgence in action for personal gain; by
spreading before them the entire files ahd records
of the department?hoped that a successful eKirt
had been made to insure the faithful and satisfac
tory execution of a law, passed with every indi
cation of earnest solicitude, "to promote the effi
ciency of the navy."
The order notifying the officer* of their ap
pointment* i**ued on the 5th of June ; they com
menced their joint liltom on the 20th of June and
reported the result on the 2Gth of July.
And now. ?>ir, while the operation of this Inw is
by Dome hailed with enthusiasm a* r salutsry and
*ndi*pen*able corrective of admitted ills which
depressed the service, by other* it i* received
with undisguised discontent and di**atisfa*lion.
This can hardly be regarded a* unnatural.
The provision* of the law are getie.ou*, indeed
strikingly liberal j but they are at the name time
exacting and sternly just. It provide* for the
careful support of some, and for the prompt re
moval of others ; and however faithfully, honeatly,
and carefully executed, H i* a measure of reform ;
and no measure of that character it ever ? xecuted
without more or le*a inconvenience, disappoint
ment, and diacontent.
Actuated, no doubt, by n desire to seek truth
and juatice a* nearly a* poaaible, Congress thought
it safest to intrust thia reform not merely to the
President and Secretary, whose acquaintance
with the officer*, both personally and officially,
must nscoessaril/ l>e very limited, but chiefly to
the officer* of the three higher grade*, whose
knowledge of their brother officer* would natu
rally enable them to perform the duty more tho
roughly, andwiih le** liability to err. The ta*k
wa* delicate, and involved struggle* between duty
and feelinga. They were men?not infallible. It
would be strange, indeed, if their work were per
fect and entirely free from error. Those'errors,
if they exist, will soon and aurely be discovered
by the developments of time, by continued in- |
quiry, and by calm, dispassionate observation.
The officers of the uavy. as a class, are proud,
brave, sensitive, patriotic, and self sacrificing ;
and, if the sword of any oue <4. those gallant
meu has been incautiously taken from him, all
righl-tuinded men will fay. let his country restore
it to him with all the honors and reparation due to
injured merit. And while I can by no means recom
mend the adoption of any measure of repeal, or any
course of proceeding in conflict with the general
action of the board, I have no doubt that there
should be, aud will be, found a remedy for any
mistake or error of judgment, if the service has
thus been deprived of a meritorious and capable
officer either by reservation or dropping. Facts
which have come to my knowledge assure me
that it would be but reasonable to provide a year's
pay for the officers who have been suddenly
dropped from a service upon which they had
heretofore exclusively depended without auycon
sideration for future self-reliance.
But, sir, I cannot conclude this branch of my
report wi-hout doing justice to the officers of the
board. From the spirit and temper with which
they entered upon n painful mid unsought duty,
and from tne earnestness and diligence with which
they searched the records of the department, 1
deem it but an act of simple justice to express my
conviction that they were actuated by elevated
considerations, and that their aim was truth,
impartiality, and the good of the service. And
although, from the liability of man to err, there
may be discovered here and there n mistake of
judgment, I have an abiding conviction that his
tory will prove that this work of reform reinvigo
rated the navy?imparted to it a robust and active
health?inspired the he;>rts of the young and
gallant officers, hitherto drooping with hopeless
despondency, with fresh energy and contentment
with the service?warned the thoughtless and the
indolent to quit the haunts of idleness and seek
the path of duty, leading to honor, and caused the
country to repose with the more pride and con
fidence in the beliefof the invincibility ofthis right
arm of defence. I have no hesitation, but take
much pleasure in saying, that I have already wit
nessed its happy effect in the new impulse and
readiness for duty seen and fell at the department.
And, sir, though the number reported incompetent
seems lai^e, and may well attract attention, is that
a circumstance of itself sufficient to justify reflec
tion upon a board who were bound, under the
law, to make a " careful examination" and report
the names of all whom they adjudge incompetent,
of every grade, to do their whole duty promptly
and efficiently ashore and afloat? If but a small
number of officers bad become inefficient, would
the Secretaries of the Navy, for the last fifteen
years, have again, and again urged, with almost
pertinacious zeal, that some stringent measure of
reform was indispensable to save the navy from
impending ruin? Would committees, session
after session, have reported and pressed such
measures? Would grave members have arisen,
as they did, in Congress and have seriously moved
to abolish the navy and begin again, if but a small
defect existed ? Would the Senate every session,
for some years, have, almost with unanimity,
passed the measurs for relieving <he servic of the
inefficient, and for imparting vigor and health by
promoting able and brave otlicers before age had
crippled their energies and impaired their useful
ness ? Would the press, in almost every town
and village, have fulminated its thunders for re
form, and have teemnd with articles of laudation
nnd approval when the measure prevailed, if but
a small number of the incapable "blocked up the
path"#of promotion ? Or had it become manifest
to all?to statesman and citizen?that something
radical, thorough, and searching must be adminis
tered to rescue the navy Irom the dangers which
imperilled it, nnd emancipate it, if possible, from
the weight which seemed so surely to be burden
ing and pressing it down ?
The regulations prescribed, which have hereto
fore been published, the correspondence with and
the report of the board, accompany this report.
INCREASE OF THE NAVY.
Subsequent reflection, and a comparative esti
mate of the relative strength of the navnl forces
of other powers, have but served to confirm me
in the policy, urged heretofore, of gradually but
steadily increasing the materiel of our navy. A
solemri"conviction of its importapce is my apology
for reiterating, with earnest solicitude, my recom
mendation to the last Congress to order the con
struction of an additional numherof steam sloops
of-war, carrying each about twenty gun-?, of.the
best modern improvement, requiring a draught of
not more than eighteen feet, and thereby being
capable of entering every southern as well as
northern port of any magnitude. Vessels of this
size have attracted much consideration and ac
quired much character during the recent conflicts
in Europe. This addition to the increase so
wisely ordered by the 'ast Cohgress would aug
ment our marine to a point forming n nucleus,
which, sustained by the merchant marine, would
aid largely to protect our country :n a sudden
emergency?contribute much to eur estimation
abroad and our confidence at home.
The facility with which an invincible volunteer
army m?y be raised from our countrymen, trained
to the use of arms from boyhood, may well justify
the settled policy of having but a small standing
army. This remarkable feature in the character
of our people has wrung from those even by no
means partial to our institutions the reluctant ad
mission that the Americans are the most warlike
people on earth. I fear, however, that this cir
cumstance has caused some of our legislators to
liecome unmindful of the equally well-settled fact,
that ships capable of resisting and contending with
vessels-of-war require much time to construct them
proptr/y; that materials from the forest cannot
start up in our ship-yards by magic, like soldiers
at the drum tap. In the conquest of Mexico,
which illustrated so brilliantly the reliability of
volunteers, it should not be forgotten that there
was no naval force of the enemy to annoy our
commerce or attack our coast, or disturb trade
with even apprehension of danger.
A reference to the report of the Bureau of Con
struction, Arc., will exhibit the number of vessels
in condition for useful service I deem it my duty
cant^dly to express the opinion that our navy is
not only too diminutive to be expected to contend
fairly with that of other respectable nations, is in
sufficient to give adequate protection to our com
merce. but is unquestionably too feeble to command
the waXert of our coast. Indeed, when a compari
son is fairly instituted of what would l>e the de
mands lor service upon our navy wow, in the
event of war, with the demand upon it in the war
of IH12, nry opinion is that it will he found that
our country is not nou> better prepared for a sud
den emergency than it was then. The aggregate
tonnage of the United States in 1812 was 1.269,
997 30-9.')tha tons; lor the fiscal year ending June
30. 1S5.V it was 5,212,000 10-9f?ths Ions. In 1612
our whole coast to be protected extended along
the Atlantic merely from Maine to Florida. Since
then not only have Florida and Texas been added,
but a Pacific coast, l>ordering a new countrv
terrain? with population and wealth. Thus, sir, it
appear* that the navy will have million* more of
commerce to protect, and thousand* of miles more
of coast to defend. I could not, if I would, dis
guise the truth that even a respectable navy must
necessarily involve large expenditures. But it is
equally true that without naval strength a six
months, war with any nation with n powerful
marine would, in the seizure of rich and valuable
carjroes, in the destruction of fleets of merchant
men. and in plundering defenceless point* along
the coast, cost us more, far more, than a squadron
of invincible men-of-war.
liocent occurrences in Europe demonstrate the
folly of relying upon a navy so feeble, so impo
tent, for either assault or defence, that policy re
quired it to be carefully sunk to avoid enriching
the enciny. The United Slates cannot, by such a
policy, maintain rank and command respect. The
governmerrts of the Old World are vieing with
each other in magnifying and perfecting this arm
of defence. Our institutions, if they do not ex
cite their posiiive jealou?y, are not the objeets of
a large share of their esteem ; and weakness
may, sooner or later, in vile the interference of
those whnw! ideal* of regulating the balance of
power may so expend an to comprehend not aim
ply our foreign, hut our Atlantic, Pacific, and
Stale relation*. I regard the steady increase of
naval strength as not a war, hut a peace mea?ure
?a measure of defence involving grave questions
of commercial security end national indepen
dence. Negotiation and diplomacy wilt bt er
hat/tied before war is made upon a nation of brave
men. powerful, and ready for the conflict And now,
sir, if ever, is the auspicious time, with nn abun
dant treasury, to make an investment than which
none can l?e found more national and safe.
I am not unmindful of our large merchant ma
rine, which, when manned by our hardy tars and
brave countrymen, would be an annoyance and
terror to our enemies, visiting their commerce
with terrible retaliation. But we must have
ships of-war to meet in combat upon the ocean
the heavy guns and trained veterans of a power
ful foe. There ia much in the proud conscious
ness of national strength that stimulates trade,
emboldens enterprise, and nerves the arm ofcoro
merce. And while I by no means suggest the
policy or the necessity of so large a naval force
a? some powerful nations foster, yet .it ia desira.
ble, and attainable too, that the American citizen,
whethtr in the opulent emporiama along the
coast, or in the rural retreats of the interior, or
borne in his adventurous spirit to trallic in the
thronged porta of the strong or the obacurw porta
of the barbaroua and the weak, should gather
confidence and courage and energy from the re
flection that he belougs to a government recog
nised by ull at* able promptly to avenge his wrong*
and to vindicate hits rights.
In buldiug the frigates directed by the last
Congress, much of the seasoned material which
had been providently collected in the yards was
used in preferenoe to purchasing, thus hastening
their completion with choice limber. In order to
replace, as much as the fund would allow, the Bu
reau of Construction, dec., has made contracts
for the delivery of a new supply, to be applied to
the construction of first-class sloops-of war when
ever Congress shall so order. The Merrimack at
Boston, I he Wabash at Philadelphia, and the
Minnesota at Washington, have !>eeu launched.
The Nfffara at New York, and the Roanoke and
Colorado at Portsmouth, Virginia, will be launch*
ed in a few weeks. The ofiicers, constractors,
and mechanics have evinced praiseworthy zeal in
striving to advance the completion of the six
steamers, nnd have thus far won the admiration
of all wnohave examined these model specimens
of naval architecture. The machinery is equally
in a state of readiness, and the count'y may soon
expect a formidable addition to the navy with the
most approved batteries.
SEAM K.N.
? Recent legislation and the adoption of a naval
apprentice system are exercising a salutary in
fluence in regard to the enlistment of experi
enced seamen and the proper training of Ameri
cani yoiith. apprenticed to the government nntil
they attain the age ot maturity
Encouraging evidence has reached the depart
ment. from both officers and crew, of the high
appreciation of ihs "honorable discharges" au
homed by an act of the last Congress. The
?r" tar,?,nze8 ,lI not merely as a title to extra
pay for early re-enl.stment, but cherishes the
rr^Ti? 8 S',gna,1 ,es,unonial from his coun
try of fidelity and character worthy to be pre
horne 'n0<le8t archive8 of his family and
home, and the surest passport to certain employ
ment and the highest wages. Although at the
present date the demand for seamen is so great in
the merchant service that enlistments are not as
numerous as desired, yet it is a remarkable fact,
for the mx months precediug the passage of this
act there were but 890 men enlisted, and for the
six months immediately after its passage there
were 2,bl6men enlisted, making a difference in
favor of the service of 1.920 m^n. I have no
doubt, however, that other favorable circum
stances may have combined, yet the fact is worthy
of note. 7
Ry this large accession to the list of seamen
the department has been able, within a few
months, to man two frigates, several sloops of
war, and smaller vessels for the home and distant
stations besides those destined for the expedition
o ie rctic. And this has been accomplished,
too, at a period when the largest naval powers in
L.urope are exercising unusual energy to procure
sailors, and when our merchant marine present
with much zeal the controlling attractions of
higher wages and shorter cruises.
The hope is indulged with much confidence bv
many experienced observers and officers, not
withstanding painful apprehensions and gloomy
forebodings of disastrous consequences from the
abolition of punishment by flogging, that by this
humane act, together with the recent discipline
bill of rewards and punishments, the character of
the seamen, as a class, will be improved by the
increased willingness of the laboring young man
of our own country to serve under the Rag
It IS With much satisfaction I inform you of the
hus far successful operation of the naval appren
jce system, whtch I have ventured toadopfLce
the adjournment ot Congress. The object in
view was the proper moral and nautical training
of a number of the youth of our country, wh5
exhibit evidences of a fitness and inclination for
seafaring life, and thus gradually incorporate into
the service a body of men calculated to elevate
the standard of character, give it new vigor, se
confidence rea,el" l,8b,l,ty? Rnd ,n8Pire B,'? Renter
Five hundred boys (between the ages of 14 and
lb) very promptly became apprenticed with the
consent of their parents or guardians. The num
ber of pressing applications show conclusively
that more than twice this number could have
been received had not the department cort*idered
it prudent to move cautiously in the experiment
and not hazard all by rashly accumulating in the
receiving-ships large crowds of youth unused to
the restraint of wholesome discipline. It is con
templated, as soon as practicable, to put the barque
Release in proper condition for the reception and
training of as many boys as she can accommo
rln'Y a* lef a.nd/eneraI arrangements can be
rendered peculiarly fit for this use.
Some suitable person on each ship to which
fhem me,hM,?nef u8' bt>9a ,elec,ed to instruct
them in the simple but useful branches of educa
tion when they are not more actively employed
on the various dunes which familiarize them
with the peculiar life of a sailor, and imbue their
youthtul minds ,w,th proper conceptions ofobedi
f^?Aah r uClp,lne' They con8t'tute about one
twelfth of the crew of each sea-going vessel
Commodore Paulding, of the home squadron
n relation to the practical operation of the appren
.ce system, writes thus '? I? rep|y to youTver
bal inquiries in respect to the apprentice and
fcSwS?*' "ervmg onLboard th? fla? ship Potomac,
t afi( rds me more than ordinary satisfaction to
bear testimony to their excellent conduct. Thev
seem to have been well selected for their physical
and mental qualities, and in all respects to possess
the attributes necessary for raising the standard
Z ,i?fc .Vational marine in a manner corresponding
with the character of our people?an object of the
highest importance to our future greatness. I
trust it may be but a beginning of a new order of
things in the navy, and that the system will he
extended until our ships-ol-war are manned with
a class of seamen that shall be conspicuous for
their energy and cheerful subordination, as well
as for their devotion to the flag which, in their
domestic as well as naval training, they will have
earned to love. The boys had all had some iduc.
hT;." 718 l! bee" selec,ed from amongst
the crew who teaches them daily,-and who is su
pervisedby Mr. Chase, the chaplain of the Poto
mac, to whose commendable zeal I am most
happy to make my acknowledgment. ?
m 7hlUMn11l Command">S Porter, of the Supply,
men, !?tk nean, ^us addresses the depart
ment The apprentice boys you allowed me are
doing well; they work all the sails on the mizzen
mast, and compete favorably with the other sta
tions throughout the ship. Tn one year they will
make good ordinary seamen ? Lieutenant Porter
further writes, in relation to the efTect of the " Act
promote a more efficient discipline of the
navy:'' "As you will most likely wish to be in
formed relative to the working of the discipline
bill passed by the last Congress. I beg leave to lay
before you the result of my limited experience
m nl "m ?P,nion that nothing more is wanted
?o place our navy ,n the most perfect state of
discipline as regards the men. What with the
prospect of punishment before them if they violate
the regulations, and fhe hop* of reward by an
?"s7 Th 1 *e' 'he be" feelm* to
U'hli * y " l>e"or,n?fd with alacrity.
U hatever offences arm committed are not of a
h^veTfJenoKI^'il ""d ?nly lhr*'e '"stances
martial Th ? re",?rt ,0,? ?un>mary court
martial. The crew are allowed to go on shore in
every port, and have always, with one or two ex
ceptions. returned perfectly sober and cleanly
showing a vast improvement in the moral charac
ter of ?p?mpn " nw
I again renew the recommendation, heretofore
emnorepea'ed' ?( R,l0Wm* ,he department to
' /' a m"ny "" ten thousand seamen,instead of
,,hOU","nd five hundred, the number now
this KinC?nVenirn,ly Particularly at
his time, when so many will be needed to man
the new frigates nearly romnleted, the machinery
of ?b?ch, in accordance with the contracts, must
be tested at an early day. '
ARCTIC EXPEDITION.
Von are aware of the humane legislation of Con
gress directing the Secretary of the Navy "to
provide and despatch a suitable naval or other
steamer, and, if necessary, a tender, to the Arctic
seas, for the purpose of rescuing or affording re
lief to Paused Assistant Surgeon E. K. Kane, of
the United State* navy, and the officers and men
under hi* command : Frovidrd, That auch steamer
and tender shall he manned by volunteera from
the navy and other* who may declare tfoeir will
ingness to be engaged."
I pon consultation with experienced officer*
and navigators, it soon become apparent that
there were no national vessels whatever either
suitable or susceptible of auch modification* as to
be rendered suitable for the peculiar danger* and
hazardous collisions necessarily encountered
amid the icebergs, snow-drifts, and angry storms
of th? Arctic seas. The perilous adventures of
others admonished us that, unless the expedition
wailed very enrly in the month of June, a disas
trous failure or postponement for another year
was inevitable. The time for preparation was
limited ; hut, with the aid of judicious officers
and the active and praiseworthy co-operations of
the naval constructors and mechanic at the navy
yards oI Brooklyn and Philadelphia, two small
vessels were admirably fitted out. Excellent
officers volunteered, good seamen enlisted, ample
supplies of provtssions and clothing for two years
of rongh exposure were laid in. On the 4th ol
June, the little party of brave and philanthropic
adventures left their home amid the encouraging
cheers of their countrymen, who knew so well
how to appreciate such *ct? of daring Bud hu
manity. The recital ol their hair-breadth escapes
?their terrible conflicts with nature's barriers,
which seemed to mock their efforts?their alter
nations of sad misgiving and sustaining hopes?
impart truly an air of romance to this unostenta
tious exhibition of genuine heroism. In about
four months, with their little barques, they sailed
tight thousand miles?fully circumnavigated Baf
fin's bay?passed further north into Smith's sound,
at its northern boundary, than any one, save Dr.
Kane, and nearly to Beechy island?visited a vil
lage of Esquimaux, from whom, after hours of
difficulty, by means of signs and drawings, they
learnt the point to which Dr. Kane and his party
had directed their course?immediately changed
their route?found the unhappy party at Discoe !
island, and returned them in safety to their coun
try and friends?thus accomplishing the benevo
lent purposes of Congress
The following named officers of the navy were
attached to the vessels of the expedition ;
To th4 " ReUas* "
Commander H. J. Harlstene, commanding the
expedition; Lieutenants William S. Lovel and
Joseph P. Fyfi'e; Assistant Surgeon James Laws;
and Boatswain Van K.Hall.
To the "Arctic "
Lieutenant Commanding Charles C. Simins j
Lieutenant Watson Smith, and First Assistant
Engineer Harman Newell. Dr. John K. Kane,
brother of Passed Assistant Surgeon Kane, who
volunteered for the service, was attached to the
Arctic as medical officer.
It is well known that Dr. Kane left the United
States in the humane search of Sir John Franklin
in Juue, 1853, uuder orders from the Navy De
partment, and nt the same time under the patron
age of distinguished philanthropists. His report
is brief, but full of startliug incidents and thrilling
adventures. A more detailed and elaborate re
port will ultimately be made. The discoveries
made by this truly remarkable man and excellent
officer will be regarded as valuable contributions
to science. He advanced in those frozen regions
far beyond his intrepid predecessors, whose explo
rations had excited such admiration. His residence
for two years, with his little party, far beyond the
confines of civilization, with a small barque for
his home, fastened with icy fetters that defied all
efforts for emancipation?his sufferings from in
tense cold, and agony from dreadful apprehen
sions of starvation and death for that space of time
?bis miraculous and succ?,st-ful journey in open
sledges over the ice for eighty-four days?not
merely excite our wonder, but borrow a moral
grandeur from the truly benevolent considerations
which animated and> nerved him for the task.
I commend the results of his explorations ns
worthy of the attention and patronage of Con
gress.
MISCELLANEOUS.
The reports of the chief* of the several bureaus
attached to this Department will exhibit fully the
condition of all matters coining properly under
their cognizance. The gentlemen presiding over
these bureaus have not merely discharged their
duties with ability, but have manifested every dis
position to adopt and introduce into the service
such reforms and improvements as experience
and observation suggest.
The Chief of the Bureau of Yards and Docks
exhibits in his report the progress made in estab
lishing a navy yard at Mare Island, California,
and the stale of the public works "at other sta
tions.
It is gratifying to learn, through the reports
made to the Bureau ofOrdnance and Hydrography,
froiu different vessels at sea, that increase xtten
tion is now being paid by the officers to practical
gunnery, and the instruction of the men in this
branch. Interesting information is also furnished
that armament and ordance equipments are gener
ally efficient and satisfactory It is my design, at
an early day, to assign Commander Dahlgren to
the command of a vessel devoted exclusively to
gunnery practice, with a view to the proper train
ing of botb officers arid men in a duty which at
last, constitutes the real effectiveness of a man-of
war.
The Naval Academy is in successful operation,
under the dilligent supervision of Captain Golds
borough. There are now attached to it, for in
struction, one hundred and sixty-four midshipmen
and acting midshipmen. The board of examiners
for the last year,in their report,express themselves
as not merely satisfied with, but really amazed at.
the remarkanle proficiency exhibited by the under
graduates, as well as the graduating class, and as
much impressed with the variety, minuteness, and
exactness of the teaching and the modes of exami
nation.
For details, I refer you to the report of the
Bureau of Ordnance and Hydrography. Every
effort is being made to establish this institution on
a proper basis. I am aware of the apprehension
that, in the desire to secure an accomplished
education, the more practical duties of the naval
officer may be slighted. 1 have reasons for know
ing that fears on this point may be dismissed, as
there is a settled determination to make seaman
ship, and the learning necessary to the severer
and more practical duties of the naval officer,
Earamount and indispensable. The Practice Ship,
.ieut. Joseph F. Green commanding, cruised,
during thesummer months, alongour northeastern
coast. She had on board the 2d and 4 th classes of
acting midshipmen. The report of Lieut. Green
speaks favorably of their proficiency in both sea
manship and gunnery.
Gratifying evidences of the high estimation in
which the labors of the Naval Observatory are
held at home and abroad continue to be received.
Several new sheets of the Wind and Current
Charts, and an enlarged edition of the Sailing
Directions, which accompany them, have been
published during the year. The usefulness of
this work expands with its enlargement. Other
maritime nations, appreciating the value of this
plan of investigation, have united in a common
system of observations for its further prosecution.
It is earnestly suggested by Lieut. Maury that
this system of meteorological research, if extended
to the land, would afford for the agricultural
interests of the country, and for science, too,
results quite as important as those which com
merce antl navigation have already received from
it.
Lieut. Gillis is still laboriously engaged in the
discharge of the special duties assigned to him.
Of the results "of the astronomical expedition
transmitted to Congress in July, 1854, two vol
umes have been published. These embrace a full
account of the geography, climate, earthquakes,
agricultural, mineral, and commercial resources,
natural historv, dfc., of Chile, together with the
narrative of Lieut. McRae's journey across the
Andes and Pampass of the Argentine Confedera
tion. Volume 3 is now in press and will be
ready for distribution during the winter. It con
tains the special observations and a discussion of
the aolar parallax, the object for which Congress
more immediately directed the expedition. The
magnetical and metrological observations, to form
volume 6, have been reduced and tabulated, and
the printing will be proceeded with immediately.
Considerable progress has also been made in the
preparation of volumes 4 and 5; but. at they will
contain nearly forty thousand observations, of
which more than twenty thousand of the stars
were never before observed, it is scarcely proba
ble that the last volume will be published in less
than eighteen months.
The Nautical Almanac, under the supervision
of Commander Davis, is attracting much atten
tion in our own country and abroad ; and, al
though the estimates are somewhat larger than
formerly, I trust that its merits are such as to se-"
cure the honorable consideration of Congress.
After much reflection and attentive observa
tion of the practical working of the present sys
tem, I am very favorably inclined to the plan sug
gested by a predecessor, of establishing a distinct
corps in the navy, whose duty shall be confined to
hydrography, ordnance, civil engineering, and
other scientific duties. I do not think there need
t>e any addition to th<- number ot officer*. There
are constantly from fifty to one hundred officers
doing hydrographic duty on the Coast Survey, at
the Observatory, on Ordnance and other scien
tific duties, essential to the proficiency of the
navy. Officers cannot attain that complete know
ledge of these branches without long and con
tinuous devotion to them. And yet, under the
present system, there is naturally a feeling of dis
content and dissatisfaction on the part of those
who are encountering the hardships, dangers, and
privations of sea duty in the place of those who
are quietly pursuing their scientific duties amid
the comforts of home snd family. Let this corps
bear the same relation to the other officers of the
navy that the staff dows to the line in the army,
and being composed of a certain number of cap
tains, commanders, lieutenants, masters, and
passed midshipmen, their promotions in the corps
can be so regulated as not t? interfere with the
regular promotion of officers more exclusively de
voted to sea-going duties. Many officers of excel
lent judgment and enlarged experience are of
opinion that those who are long assigned to these
duties ashore liecome disqualified for duty afloat,
and that constant sea duly allows neither the time
nor the opportunity for proficiency in the other
branches. A bill could be drawn to reach the
object desired.
Attention is respectfully invited to the report of
General Henderson, the commandant of the
marine corps. His long and useful connexion
with fhe corps, snd his ardent devotion to it,
entitle suggestions emanating from such a source
to attentive consideration. 1 renew my recom
mendations heretofore made in regard to thin
branch of '.he aery ice. It would certainly contri
bute largely to iu efficiency if aome plan could be
adopted for introducing hereafter officers who
have experienced some of the advantages of a
military education either at Weit Point or An
napolis.
The addition to the number of national vessels
suggests the necessity of somewhat increasing
the marines; and their usefulness in checking
insubordination and preserving discipline unques
tionably gives great force to the opinion ol the
commandant, that the guard on each seagoing
vessel should be enlarged. The estimates for
this corps are large, because of the absolute
necessity for erectiog barracks for its decent and
comfortable accommodation at the several sta
tions.
The Emperor of France having awarded a gold
inedal to both Surgeon Thomas Williamson and
Passed Assistant Surgeon James F. Harrison, of
the United States navy, for their professional ser
vices to the officers and men of the French
steamer-of-war "Chimere," at Norfolk, during the
summer of 1854; the governments of Prussia and
Holland having similarly complimented Lieut.
Maury for his contributions to science and.navi
gation, I recommend the necessary legislation to
enable those officers to accept of the pro tie red
testimonials.
During the past season, the public works at the
navy-yard at Portsmouth, Virginia, were much
retarded by the awful visitation of the pestilence
which has clothed two cities in the habiliments
of mourning. Commodore McKeever and the
officers, marines, and many of the civilians at the
yard, and the naval medical officers at the hospi
tal, remained with inflexible firmness at their post
during the raging of the (rightful malady, discharg
ing their duty to their country, and administering
relief to the afflicted. The unmurmuring fidelity
of the marines stationed at the yard, whose ranks
were so sadly thinned by the destroyer, is entitled
to special notice, and has won forthem the grate
ful admiration and sympathy of all who can appre.
ciate the value of discipline among soldiers.
Of the whole quantity of hemp purchased dur
ing the past year for the navy, three-tenths have
been American. The prospect of furnishing the
navy altogether with American hemp is very
encouraging, and also that the Itussian and
Manilla hemps will be superseded by the products
of this country. The hemp agent at Louisville,
Kentucky, under date of November 22, 1855,
writes that he has a fair prospect of a good supply
for this season. The .terms of the reception of the
American article are made as favorab'e as pos
sible. and the price paid i? that which the best
Russian commands.
The estimates for the support of the Mtvy and ma
rine corps for the year ending June 30th, 1857,
and for all objects coming tinder the control of
this Department, are, in the aggregate (being
very nenrly three millions less than the aggre
gate estimate for the present
tiscat year $13,524,505 37
From which deduct special objects,
including transportionofthe mail
in steamships. 4,530,974 00
Leaves for the support of the navy
and marine corps. 8,893,531 31
The estimate for the present fiscal year for the
support of the navy and marine
corps was .. 8,917,297 31
The total amount drawn from the treasury during
the fiscal year ending June 30th, 1855, as ex
hibited by the statement of appropriations for
the naval service, prepared by the Second
Comptroller of the Treasury,
was.... #14,518,833 16
From which deduct repayments
and sums carried to the surplus
fund 1,207,306 46
Gives, as the total expenditure for
all objects under the control of
the Navy Department
But of this amount there was ex
pended for special objects under
the control of the Navy Depart
ment
Leaviug, as the legitimate expend
itures for the support of the navy
and marine corps for the fiscal
year endiug June 30th. 1845 8,015,989 04
I should do injustice to my own feelings were I
to permit this occasion to pass without bearing
testimony to the fidelity, diligence, and business
habits of the clerks attached to the Navy Depart
ment. ?
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your
obedient servant,
J. C DOBBIN.
To the President of the United States.
13,311,526 71
5,295.537 67
M. W. K. PURCHASE.
EXCELSIOR CARD WRITER,
AND
MANUFACTURER OF METALLIC GRAVERS,
AT WILLARD'S.
Dec 22?
CARD.
&BOHC3HJ MASON,
ATTORNET AT LAW,
Indianola, Calhoun County, Txxas.
Practices in the Courts of the Tenth Judicial
District; also in the Supreme and Federal Courts
at Austin and Galveston.
REFERENCE!:
Hon. A. P. Butler, U. S. Senator, S. Carolina.
Hdn. D. R. Atchison, U.S.Senator, Missouri.
R. M. T. Hunter, U. S. Senator, Virginia.
James M. Mason. U. S. Senator, Virginia
Gen. S. Cooper. Adj. Gen. U. S. A. Wash., D. C.
Thomas Green, esq., Washington, D. C.
C. C. Jamison, Pres't Bank of Ball., Bait., Md.
Dec 6?if
TKAYED OK STOLEN from the Festi
val, at BlHdensburg, on the night of Tuesday
last, a DARK BROWN MARE, with her fore
feet bare,a white alar in the forehead,and marked
on the back with saddle pinch; the said mare had
a saddle on. Whoever will return said mare, or
give information where she can be found, will
receive many thanks, and Five Dollars as a re
ward. JOSEPH JONES, Manager for
CHARLES B. CALVERT,
Rossburg, Prince Georges Co., Maryland.
INFORMATION WANTED.?In the year
of 1824, Martha A. Wella (a daughter of Alex
ander Wells, who then lived in Amelia County,
Virginia, and who subsequently removed to the
city of Petersburg and died therein, in August,
lbo5.) went with a Mr. Spencer from the county
of Greensville to one of the Western States. She
was then about sixteen years old and has never
been huaid from by her family in Virginia from
that day to this. By the will of her father she is
entitled to a portion of his estate.or, if she be dead,
her children, if she or they be heard from within
one year from the date of his death. Any infor
(nation in respect to the said Martha A. Wells or
her children, if she has any, would be beneficial
to them and be thankfully received by the family.
Address GEO. EASTWOOD.
Nov. 27?wiw. Petersburg, Va.
EVERETT HOUSE. ?
North Side of Union Square, New York.
THIS establishment, erected on the moat
prominent and delightful Park New York
affords, is approaching a finish, and, when com
pleted, will combine all that skill can devise and
money supply to render it the most desirable hotel
yet constructed.
The proprietors of this establishment respect
fully announce that the house will be open on the
first of October next for the accomodation of the
public.
Applications will now be received from parties
wishing to make arrangements for the winter
months.
The public patronage is respectfully solicited
CLAPP <fc JOSLIN.
Hawlit D. Clarp,
A. C. Joslim. Sept. 20?g.
HHE PEASANT ItOY PHILOKOFHCK
I by Henry Mayhew, price 75canta.
The Essence of Christianity, by Ludwig Fener
bach, translated from the second German edition
by Marion Evan*, translator of Strana'a Life of
Jesua, price fl 25.
Travela in Europe and the Ea*t, by Samuel
Ireneua Prime, two Volume*, price two dollars.
Juat published and tor aale at
PLATED TEA SETS^-I have Juat re
1" ceived aome new atylea Albatn and Silver
Plated Ware that I offer at manufacturer's pricea ;
alao, a large aaaortment of Speataclea, of every
deacription ; together with a good aaaortment of
pure Silver Ware, of my own manufacture, which
I will retail At wholeaale pricea
418 I'enn. avenue, bet. 4J and 6th ata.,
Sign of tha Large Spread Eagle.
Feb 25?dlwif ____
lTORK, or Plenty to I>o and Hour* to
Do It, by M. M. Rrewater, 1*1 and 3d aeriea
TAYLOR & MAURY'S
H O. HOOD,
75 casta.
|ORAY fc BALLANTYNE.

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