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Answer. They were; and the custom with manufacturers is, when a pattern is sent, for an article to be made by, to make the person pay for the moulds ; if the same article is afterwards wanted, it is charged at a reasonable price.
Question. Was there any difference in the quality and assortment of eighty-four dozen files, charged in your account, and such as are to be found in hardware stores in this place, suited for naval purposes ?
Answer. As regards the quality of files, we have experienced a great deal of difficulty in procuring such as the navy would receive; and, in consequence thereof, we have had to import a particular description of files, manufactured by William Spear, whose price is higher than any other house in England that I have ever dealt with; and since I have been furnishing these files to the navy yard, we have never heard any complaint, The quality has always been highly approved of. The quantity referred to were made by Spear, and part of an importation made by me in 1939, expressly for the navy.
TO INTERROGATORIES BY THE COMMISSIONERS.
Question. How long have you been engaged in business in Norfolk, on your own account?
Answer. Since 1834, with the intermission of 1835.
Question. What is the probable value of the stock of goods now on hand in your sto re; and what has been the average value thereof, for the last four or five years ?
Answer. I have taken no account of stock since my father's death. I did attempt lately to take an inventory, but did not complete it.
Question. Do you not purchase in Norfolk; and, if yea, from whom, a portion of the ship chandlery, hardware, and ironniongery, which you furnish for the naval service ?
Answer. I have purchased some few articles in Norfolk. Question. Have you examined the copies and extracts from your accounts which have been submitted to you, and compared them with the originals, or with your books?
Answer. I have examined the extracts from my accounts, but have never given them an exact comparison with my books.
Question. Are these copies and extracts correctly made, or have you. detected any and what errors ?
Answer. I have detected an error in one article, a cooper's vice, said to have been charged at $1 62, and the price was 62 cents.
Question. Will you submit your books and accounts to our examination?,
Answer. That will depend upon the use which you wish to make of them.
Question. Have you never had occasion to send to other places to procure articles ordered from you for the naval service on this station, after said articles were required ?
Question. What is the greatest length of time that has intervened between the receipt of an indent by you, and the entire fulfilment of said indent ?
Answer. I do not know; but have always complied with them as promptly as possible.
· Question. What is the highest advance upon the cost which you have eharged to the United States for articles furnished ? • Answer. That I cannot answer; I have never made a particular estimate. I have frequently charged articles at less than cost, when they were thought to be above the market price. At other times, it would depend upon the difficulty, expense, and labor of procuring the articles.
Question. Has Mr. Loyall ever questioned the fairness of the charges in your accounts against the United States, or hesitated at paying them on presentation ?
Answer. He has. My accounts have been stopped in his office on sev. eral occasions. · Question. Did you furnish any dry white lead, under your contract for 1838; and, if yea, what quantity ?
Answer. I do not recollect. I furnished all that was required. · Question. What is the difference in value between dry white lead, and white lead ground in oil ?
Answer. I do not know. I am not a dealer in the article this year, nor was I last year.
Question. Will you be pleased to enumerate the articles, or some of them, and their cost or value, that have been lost before reaching the naval store, and been replaced by you without additional charge ?
Answer. Spirits of turpentine and water thermometers have been frequently broken in going over to the yard ; and many other articles.
Question. In how large quantities have you sold brass wire to individ. uals ?
Answer. I do not recollect; in quantities as called for.
Question. When were the beans, alluded to by you in your answer to a former interrogatory, sold in New York ? What quantity did you buy of Mr. J. H. Johnston, and what price did you pay for the remainder of the 100 bushels ?
Answer. As well as I recollect, the whole cost $125. I bought the lot of Mr. Johnston first, and I think there were between twenty and thirty bags, of two bushels each. They were sold in New York this year.
Question. Could not an arrangement have been made with the navy storekeeper, by which the expense of transportation, the delay in receiving, and the risk of loss of articles for the wavy, might have been lessened, or altogether avoided.
Answer. Not that I know of. The navy storekeeper has no power to render me any assistance.
Question. Have you never received an intinzation, from any quarter, that certain articles, not contracted for, would probably be required for the naval service within a specified period ?
Answer. I have never received any information, from any body that had authority to give it.
Question. Have you received intimation, from any quarter, as to the interrogatories that were to be propounded to you, or the answers you should give thereto, before the commissioners ? • Answer. I do not think it a proper question to be asked.
Question. What is the amount that you have received from the United States, under your several contracts for naval supplies on this station, for the years 1837, 1838, 1839, and 1840 ?
Answer. I have never kept any distinct account. My accounts for con tracted and non-contracted articles have been kept together.
Question. Will you state at what time the two hundred boxes of raisins, required by indent dated November 3, 1840, were delivered?
Answer. I cannot; they were ordered by me to be purchased of the first vessel that came in, the first quality best bunch raisins.
TO INTERROGATORY BY MR. LOYALL.
Question. Have you ever received any intimation whatever, from me, that any articles not contracted for would be required ?
Answer. None whatever, either contracted or non-contracted.
I wish to correct my answer to the 12th interrogatory by the commissioners, as to the difference in value between dry and ground white lead, by omitting the words at the close, “nor was I last year.”
E. J. HIGGINS.
W. J. HARDY,
Tl.is statement will show that the prices charged in the accounts submitted to examination are fair and reasonable, compared with prices for articles bearing the same name in the accounts of Messrs. Dickson, Hunter, & Hipkins, at the period referred to, without regard to the quality of the ar. ticles, or any allowance for delay and expense of delivery at the yard.
Broad bunting.-Witness says: “A fair price would have been $7 50 to $8.” We pay $7, $7 25, and $8 per piece, and had to send to Baltimore recently for three pieces, and was charged $10 50. The article is not kept on hand in any quantity by any dealer in this place but myself, and is subject to great loss from moth.
Soap.--20 lbs, witness says "is charged at 10 cents, which was not worth more than 61 to 7 cents at the time." It is called for generally in small parcels, and has to be weighed out, by which there is a loss of from 10 to 15 per cent. in weight, and cannot be furnished of the quality desired at a less price, to yield a reasonable profit, although I have furnished it at 8 cents per pound. The soap used on shipboard is supplied by the persons attached to the navy.
Pig lead.—Charged at 10 cents. Witness says “ he would have furnished it at that time at 8 to 84 cents.” I have been in the habit of paying 7 to 6} cents per hundred, at the North, for this article; taking into consideration freight and exchange, and the expense of delivery at the navy yard, I deemed our profit reasonable. This article we have also charged at 8 cents, in United States ship Concord's account for 467 lbs.
Sewing twine.—4 lbs. charged at 50 cents per lb. Witness says: “Sewing twine we charge to sailmakers, by the quantity, at 40 cents.” In sun
dry bills of Dickson, Hunter, & Hipkins, during the years 1838, 1839, and 1840, it is charged at 62} cents. • Litharge.-10 lbs. are charged at 124 cents. Witness says "was worth 10 cents, and charged at 12} cents." In sundry bills of Dickson, Hunter, & Hipkins, it is charged at 15, 18, and 20 cents.
Black paint.—6 kegs black paint charged at $3. Witness says the wholesale price was $2 50." In sundry bills of Dickson, Hunter, & Hipkins, one amounting to over $2,200, black paint is charged at $3 per keg, during 1838, 1839, and 1840.
Green paint.--12 lbs. is charged at 75 cents. Witness says: “Superior green was worth 25 cents, and verdigris 50 cents per pound.” The green paint furnished the navy is chrome green, or pure verdigris, costing at factory from 60 to 65 cents.
White lead is charged at 124 cents per pound. Witness says “ he could have furnished it at 11 10 114 cents per pound.” In sundry bills of Dickson, Hunter, & Hipkins, for white lead, during the year of 1837, it is charg. ed at 13} cents, in 1838 at 13 cents, in 1839 at 13 cents, in 1840 at 12 cents per pound. The whole lead used in the navy was from one factory, that being considered the best in the United States, (say Witherell & Brothers, of Philadelphia,) and charged to me at 11 cents, during that year. Our deliveries are in 28 lb. kegs.
Deep-sea line. -Charged at 40 cents per pound. Witness says “ were worth 30 cents." These lines are made by sample usually furnished by those requiring them, and there is much difficulty of procuring them, should those we have on hand not suit. The only white line maker we have in this section of country, now doing business, refused to make sea lines for me, a short time since, under 374 cents per pound.
Bonnet line.—22 lbs. charged at 30 cents per pound. Witness says: “Worth 25 cents.” In Dickson, Hunter, & Hipkins's bills for the year 1840, it is charged at 35 cents.
Marline, hawseline, and hambroline.-Charged at 30 cents. Witness says were worth 25 cents." Our prices have frequently been 25 cents per pound. With these articles we have much trouble and difficulty, h
hay, ing them made to a particular size.
Red lead is charged at 124 cents. Witness says " he would have furnished it at 10 cents.” Not finding this article charged in any of his bills to underwriters, during the years 1837, 1838, 1839, and 1840, I do not believe he kept the article on hand for sale. The wholesale price at the factory in Philadelphia, when we had to procure this article, was s cents, which price we paid. The packages, freight, exchange and insurance, and delivery to the navy yard, are to be added to the cost.
Spirits lurpentine is charged at 70 cents. Witness says, “and could have been bought at 45 cents." In Dickson, Hunter, & Hipkins's bill
, it is charged for small quantities at 75 cents per gallon. We have to send it to the navy yard at our own risk; the least jar will cause a leak, being an article of the most searching nature ; it is also occasionally measured out. Should the measure not agree with the gauge on the barrel, at which we have to buy, we have make good without charge. We have charged it as low as 41 cents per gallon. On one occasion we had 10 have it distilled particularly.
Suffolk tar.-Witness says 30 bbls. tar charged at $275, and was worth $24 to $23. The difference between Suffolk tar and tar usually sold
in this market, is 25 to 50 cents per barrel. The Suffolk barrels are larger and in better order, and the tar of better quality.
Whipping twine is charged at 45 cents. Witness says “ was worth froin 30 to 35 cents per pound.” In a bill of Dickson, ilunter, & Hipkins, it is charged at 50 cents. The whole amount of bill, over $2,200.
Ground paint brushes (0000) are charged at $12 per dozen. Witness says could have furnished at $10 50. Charged by Dickson, Hunter, & Hipkins, 1838, at $1 25 cents each. They cost me $11 per dozen. "Cotton duck No. 6, charged at 40 cents per yard. Witness says “ was worth 34 cents.” My usual charge for No. 6 has been 35 cents, delivered at the navy yard, and subject to their inspection. The cost of this duck was 34 cents per yard, in New York.
Spirits turpentine is charged at 62} cents in 1840. Witness says “he would have sold it at 45 cents.” Our usual price during that year was 50 cents, subject to the circumstances before alluded to.
Pig lead.-Witness says “ pig lead is again charged at 10 cents.” It was worth in New York 54 cents, and would have sold it at. 7 cents. I am the only person in Norfolk who has been in the habit of keeping constantly this article for sale. In December, 1839, I made a purchase of pig lead in Baltimore at 7} cents per pound, and believe it to be the same par-, cel sold the navy at 10 cents.
Chrome yellow witness says is charged at 75 cents; was worth from 50 to 56 cents. Our price per pound' has been 50 cents. Sometimes there is great difficulty in procuring the proper shades, and have frequently had large quantities rejected on that account.
Block tin.-Witness says, in 1839, “ block tin is charged at 35 cents; was worth 25 cents.” I paid in Baltimore, for a large quantity, 25 cents per pound. This is also another article in which I am the only regular dealer in this place, and have to keep it constantly on hand; I have also charged it at 30 cents.
Collon wick.-Five pounds charged at 50 cents. Witness says, “ I sold at 40 cents.” My usual price was from 2s. to 374 cents per pound; but, in December, 1840, having an order for 300 pounds, I charged the navy 30 cents per pound. * Sheet leud.-548 pounds, 1840, is charged at 10 cents. Witness says, “ I conld have furnished it at 7 to 72 cents, and made a good profit by it." In Dickson, Hunter, & Hipkins's bills, in 1840 and late in 1839, it is charged at 10 cents. I have had to pay in New York, for upwards of 15,000 pounds, 9 cents per pound.
Tallow, witness says,“ is charged at 164 cents; would have furnished it at 11 to 111 cents.” In Dickson, Hunter, & Hipkins's bills it is charged at 164 cents, same year.
Bright varnish. -Witness says bright varnish was worth 25 to 28 cents per gallon, (barrel in original,) and is charged by the barrel, in February, at 374 cents; in Dickson, Hunter, & Hipkins's bills, from 1 to 10 gallons,
charged at 50 cents; black varnish at 3.5. 9d.. . Zinc is charged at 124 cents. Witness says "he sold, the same year, to ordnance department at Old Point, for 8 cents." This is another article that I have to keep constantly on hand for the use of the navy, when called for, there being little or no sale for it here. A person pot regularly keeping the article for sale, and having to incur no outlay, might be induced to sell lower than the regular dealer. Almost in every instance this article has been charged at 10 cents.