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period. Tallow is charged, in February, 1841, at 15 cents per ponnd. I sold it in April at 11 cents, and it was then higher than in February. Pitch is charged, on the 22d January, 1841, at $2 25; I sold it on the 31st December, 1840, at retail, at $2 ; and would have sold it by the quantity at $1 75. Soap is charged at 10 cents per pound; it could have been furnished, at any time during the last year, at 7d cents. Ten mounted palms are charged at 75 cents each; the retail price is 31 cents, and the wholesale · price 25 cents,
Question. Is it not probable that any or all of the dealers in ship chandlery could have supplied the several quantities of articles required for the naval service, if they had been called upon to do so, or been allowed to participate in supplying the navy with articles in their line of business?
Answer. I answer, for myself, that I could have done it as well as any person in this place. During the last five or six years, the late form of Dickson, Hunter, & Hipkins, had a larger stock of ship chandlery than any other persons in Norfolk, and could have supplied the demands of the navy as promptly as any one. · Question. Have you ever been called upon by the navy agent to furnish any articles required for the naval service, or to state the prices of any articles in the market ?
Answer. Never, although I have been in business here for the last nine years.
Question. If you were employed to furnish ship chandlery in the quantities required by United States vessels of war, would you charge them at wholesale or retail prices ?
Answer. I should charge them at wholesale prices.
Question. What difference in prices should there be between selling articles to individuals on credit, to be paid for in currency, and to the Government for cashı, payable in specie ?
Answer. At this time, siz per cent.
Question. What is the value of deck lights, similar to the pattern now shown to you?
Answer. I would sell them at $1 25 each.
Question. Have you examined the account of John Capron, now shown to you; if not, will you be pleased to do so, and state whether the charges in it are fair and reasonable ?
Answer. I have examined the account, and find in it the article of sheet lead charged, in March, 1841, at ten cents per pound; I should have been .happy to have furnished it at seven cents. · Question. Have you had an opportunity, since yesterday, to examine the books of Dickson, Hunter, & Hipkins; if so, will you be pleased to re-examine the accounts of E. J. Higgins, submitted to you yesterday?
Answer. I find many articles charged at higher prices than I should have been glad to have furnished them for. I will enumerate some of them :
fure you had de Hipkins, submint higher inte
Prices at which I would bave sold them.
Log lines, each
per lb. Marline, per lb. Tallow (239 lbs.) per lb. Spirits of turpentine (96) gallons) per gal.
1839. White lead, in oil(156 kegs)
per keg -
and unground, per doz ·
TO INTERROGATORIES BY MR. LOYALL.
Question. Do the papers before you exhibit the whole of one or more accounts, or are they extracts and copies, showing particular items from different accounts ?
Answer. I do not know.
several articles contained in the bills which have been submitted to you examination at lower prices than are there charged; or that the aggregat exhibits an amount exceeding that at which you were prepared to furnish the supplies, of the description and quality and put up in the manner re. quired, deliverable at the public store in the navy yard ?
Answer: I do say that I would have furnished them for much less, put up in the same manner, and deliverable at the public store.
Question. How then have you arrived at this conclusion, since most of the accounts submitted to you are detached copies and extracts from various accounts, the whole of which you have not seen ?
Answer. I judge from the prices charged in the accounts laid before me.
Question. What is the greatest tonnage of any vessel you have furnished supplies in your line for ?
Answer. Five to six hundred tons.
Question. Do you think that such articles, generally, would have answered for a national ship, a frigate of the first class, or the Delaware?
Answer. The same articles, enumerated in these bills, that would have answered for a vessel of five hundred tons, would have answered for a sloop of war, frigate, or ship of the line. · Question. Have you not frequently offered for contracts, under offers invited by the Navy Commissioners ?
Question. Have you ever made a contract with the Navy Commissioners for the supply of any articles; and, if so, for what, and at what time?
Answer. We made a contract once, for cheese.
Question. Did you comply with the terms and conditions of the said con. tract ?
Answer. We did.
NORFOLK, July 2, 1841. · I wish to amend my answers to the several interrogatories in some points on which I have refreshed my memory, by further reference to my books, since I was before the commissioners last. .
In my answer to the second interrogatory by the commissioners, I have stated " sail needles, charged at 5 cents, I should have been glad to have sold at 4 cents." I find that I sold 100 Lolley's sail needles in November, 1840, to E. S. Higgins, at $3. The 500 lbs. of zinc mentioned as furnished April 7, 1841, and charged at 124 cents, was slab zinc ; the kind which I sold, in October, 1840, at 101 cents, was sheet zinc, which is worth 2 to 3 cents more per lb. -than slab; and I sold the same kind in August, 1840, at 10 cents.“ 10 mounted palms are charged at 75 cents;"? I sold to E. J. Higgins, August 31, 1840, 15 mounted palms, at $250 per dozen. · In my answer to the 5th interrogatory by the commissioners, I have stated that, if employed to furnish articles for United States vessels of war, "I should charge them at wholesale prices." I would remark that the prices which I have mentioned as having been charged for articles sold by me were my retail and not wholesale prices.
My answer to the last interrogatory by Mr. Loyall, respecting the contract for cheese, was, that “we did” comply with it.
I would explain, by stating, that the indent was sent over to us so late in the year that it was impossible for us to procure the cheese from abroad, before the expiration of ihe contract. We offered to import it from Europe
if time were allowed us to do so. We had frequently, in the course of the year, sent to the storekeeper to inquire if any cheese would be wanted, that we might provide it in scason, and were told, or led to understand, that none would probably be required. With the approbation of the store- , keeper, I think, we transferred the indent to the contractor for the next year,. and presume it was supplied by him, as we heard no more about it.
JOHN DICKSON. NORFOLK, July 9, 1841.
WALTER's Hotel, NORFOLK, July 7, 1841. SIR: Mr. Loyall requests that when you attend at the commissioners' room to sign the fair copy of your deposition, you will bring with you your." " ship book" for his inspection. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
B. HOMANS, Commissioner. Jous Dickson, Esq., Norfolk.
NORFOLK, July 7, 1841. DEAR SIR: Your note of yesterday was duly received. It would afford me great pleasure to grant you the privilege of my ship book. I cannot al. ' low my ship book to go out of the store, having very frequent charges and accounts to make in and from it. If Mr. Loyall will call at my store, he is; at liberty to examine it with my clerk. The books which I had at your room are at Mr. Loyall's service. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN DICKSON. B. Homaxs, Esq.
Interrogatories propounded to James F. Hunter, by B. Homans and J.
H. Butler, commissioners appointed to investigate complaints alleged against the navy agent, Norfolk, and his answers thereto, as well as to interrogatories by George Loyall, navy ageni.
TO INTERROGATORIES BY THE COMMISSIONERS.
Question. Who are the principal dealers, in Norfolk, in ship chandlery?', "Answer. John Hipkins, John Dickson, William W. Spence, Higgins & Brother, John Capron, Jacob Vickery, and myself.
Question. Will you be pleased to examine the accounts now submitted to you, and state whether the prices therein charged are "fair and reasonable, according to the prices then current in the Norfolk market, or whether they are higher, and how much, than the wholesale prices for similar arti. : cles of the best quality ?
Answer. There are many articles in these accounts which it is impossible to designate, as they are not particularly described, such as binnacle lamps and log-lines, of which there is a great variety.
The first bill before me is dated 1338, for United States schooner Shark. Bunting is charged at $9; a fair price would have been $74 or $8. Soap is charged at 10 cents, which was not worth more than 6) cents to 7 cents at the
time. Pig lead charged at 10 cents at that time (1838) I would have furnished it at 8 to 8) cents. Sewing twine, by the quantity, we charged to sailmakers at 40 cents; the price charged in the bill is 50 cents. Litharge was worth 10 cents, and is charged at 12cents. Black paint is charged at $3; the wholesale price was $2 50. Green paint is charged at 75 cents; imperial green was worth 25 cents, and verdigris 50 cents per pound. Deep sea lead-lines were worth 30 cents, and are charged at 40 cents per pound. Marline, hawseline, hambraline, and bonnet line, are charged at 30 cents, and were worth 25 cents per pound. · White lead I could have furnished, in 1838, at 11 to 11ļ cents; it is charged at 124 cents.
The next account is by John Capron, for articles furnished from 1837 to 1841. Sheet lead is charged, in March, 1841, at 10 cents per pound; I would have furnished it at 7 to 7) cents.
In E. J. Higgins's bill for 1839, February 25th, red lead is charged at 12, cents; I would have furnished it at 10% cents, Litharge was worth 10 cents, and is again charged at 12, cents. Spirits of turpentine is charged at 70 cents, and could have been bought at 45 cents. In April, 1839, 30 barrels tar is charged at $275, and was worth $2 25 to $2 371. Whipping twine is charged at 45 cents ; was worth from 30 to 35 cents. Ground paint brushes (0000) are charged at $12 per dozen; I would have fur. nished them at $10 50. No. 6 cotton duck is charged at 40 cents per yard; was worth 34 cents. Spirits of turpentine is charged at 624 cents, in 1810; I would have sold it at 45 cents. Pig lead is again charged at 10 cents; it was worth, in New York, 51 cents, and I would have sold it at 7 cents. In In 1839, E. I. blo k tin was worth 25 cents, and is charged at 35 cents. Cotton wick I sold a: 40 cents, is charged at 50 cents. Chrome yellow is charged at 75 cents; was worth from 50 to 56 cents. Soap, twine, bunting, and marline, are charged at similar prices as in 1838, and could have been supplied at the prices I have before stated. E. I. block tin charged at 33 cents, worth 25 cents.
In 1840, sheet lead is charged at 10 cents; I could have furnished it at 7. to 7} cents, and made a good profit by it. Tallow I should have furnished at 11 to 11} cents; it is charged at 164 cents. Green paint is again charged at 75 cents, and black paint at $3, and were worth the same as before stated. Bright varnish was worth 25 to 25 cents by the barrel, and is charged at 374 cents, in February, 1839. Sheet lead was charged at 11} cents per pound the same month; cost in New York 7 cents; and we could have sold it at 8} to 9 cents. Zinc is charged, in 1840, at 12cents; I sold some the same year to the ordnance deparıment at Fort Monroe, at 8 cents.
Question. Is it not probable that any or all of the dealers in ship chandlery could have supplied the several quantities of articles required for the . naval service, if they had been called upon to do so, or been allowed to participate in supplying the navy with articles in their line of business?
Question. Have you ever been called upon by the navy agent 10 furnish any articles required for the naval service, or to state the prices of any articles in the market ?
Question. If you were employed to furnish articles in your line of business, in the quantities required by the United States vessels of war, would you charge them at wholesale or retail prices ?