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But if a sailor have a little money and be prevented from going ashore, it is ten to one but he will desert. This the captains of Merchant vessels find so true, that as soon as they enter a port they give leave to as many hands as they can possibly spare to quit the ship, knowing that they will return as soon as the novelty is over, and especially as soon as their money is spent; for without
for without money, a sailor on shore finds himself very much out of his element.
From being well aware of this feeling in seamen, the officers of the United States Navy, when the ship is lying near the land, always give permission to as many seamen to leave the ship as can be spared. The men take it in turn; and many who have nothing to spend, will, if in a strange country, rather remain on board, after the first time.
At all the sea-port towns, there are a great many small taverns frequented by sailors, and kept by persons who are therefore called “ Sailor Landlords.” When a seaman enlists in the navy he receives three months' pay in advance, upon one of these sailor-landlords becoming security for his appearance. The money is of course spent in a few days, after which the landlord says: “ Come Jack! you have nothing to spend now, I wont trust you, therefore you must go aboard.” Accord
ingly he takes him to the ship or tender, and the security is cancelled.
The Secretary of the Navy is a member of the cabinet, and holds his office at the will of the President with a salary of 6000 dollars per annum. The Board of Commissioners for the Navy was established by act of Congress Feb. 7, 1815. It consists of three naval Captains in rank not below that of a post Captain.* The Board is by law attached to the office of the Secretary of the Navy, and under his superintendence discharges all the duties of that office relative to the equipment of vessels, &c. The Commissioners appoint their own secretary, and their records are at all times subject to the inspection of the President of the United States, and the Secretary of the Navy. The salary of each Commissioner is 3,500 dollars
* Up to the present time there has been no officer in the United States' Navy of higher rank than Post Captain. When commanding a squadron, the senior Captain has the rank and title of Commodore. It is intended however to make a few Admirals, and they will then form the Board of Commissioners.
Pay and Subsistence allowed in the Navy of the
United States to Officers and Petty Officers.
Captain of a vessel of 32 Guns
under 32 Guns..
2 2 2 2 1 1
“ Whenever any officer shall be employed in the command of a squadron, on separate service, the allowance of rations shall be double, during the continuance of such command, and no longer ; except in the case of the commanding officer of the Navy, whose allowance, while on service, shall always be at the rate of sixteen rations per day, agreeably to an act of Congress, passed 25th February, 1799."*
Able seamen receive twelve dollars per month, ordinary seamen ten, and landsmen and boys eight.
Pay of the Officers of the United States'
“ The commandant of Marines receives, in addition to his pay, eight dollars per month, for forage of three horses. The Adjutant, Quarter-master, and Paymaster, thirty dollars per month extra." +
When the officers of the Navy are not employed, they can, by applying to the secretary of the Navy, obtain leave to take the command of Merchant Vessels or to serve on board them. Many unem
ployed officers avail themselves of this excellent regulation, and by making long voyages to India, China, or round Cape Horn, improve themselves extremely in seamanship and navigation, and at the same time amass a little money for themselves and families.
Promotion is managed with the greatest justice and impartiality; for no officer can pass over the heads of his seniors, unless he has rendered some very important service to the nation, or has captured a vessel of superior force to his own.
“ Once a year, a board of officers, for the examination of Midshipmen requesting promotion, is instituted. This rule was introduced in the
regulations of the Navy, at the suggestion of the Navy Commissioners. The officers constituting the board are selected by the Secretary of the Navy. It consists of three Captains, aided by a Mathematician. Public notice of the place and time of sitting of the board is given, and all Midshipmen deeming themselves qualified for examination are requested to attend for that purpose. The examination is very rigid, and is conducted with so severe a scrutiny into the acquirements of the applicants, that it is presumed all passed by the board, are, from a full knowledge of the duties of their profession, qualified to take command of a
After passing this examination, they
* National Calender.