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Articles necessary to the comfort of Seamen are often extravagantly high at the above mentioned Places.

In no instance, that has come to my knowledge, has the amount of wages been paid in cash to the unfortunate Seamen, thus discharged, thrown out of employment, and left to suffer in a Foreign Country, without the opportunity of returning to The United States, for more than 12 months, and frequently for a much longer period.

In no one instance has the 3 months' pay, provided for by the Act of the 28th February, 1803, been paid to the Consul. On the arrival of the Commanders of Vessels at this Port, after having sold their Vessels and discharged their Seamen, as above stated, they deliver in the Ship's Register at the Consul's Office, and take a Receipt to enable them to cancel the Register Bonds in The United States.

It is respectfully submitted, to alter and amend this Section in such a way as to provide for the payment of wages to Seamen, thus discharged, in cash. Also, to provide for the payment of the 3 months' wages, agreeably to the Act of the 28th February, 1803, at the first Foreign Port where the Commander may arrive, at which there is a Consul, Vice-Consul, Commercial Agent, or Vice-Commercial Agent of The United States residing. All wbich is respectfully submitted, &c.


Consul for The United States, at Canton. The Hon. James Monroe.

C. J. Ingersoll, Esq. to the Secretary of State. (Extract.)

Philadelphia, 1st November, 1816. As you are good enough to promise that the grievances I took the liberty to communicate from Mr. Wilcocks, the Consul in China, shall be attended to, with a view to their rediess; 1 beg leave to trouble you again on that subject, for the purpose of sending a Copy of part of a Letter I received from him yesterday, dated the 15th April, 1816, which seems to me to exhibit a scene quite discreditable to American Sea Captains, and loudly calling for some more effectual assistance than has as yet been devised for the most meritorious class of our Countrymen, the Sailors.

The Extract is as follows: “I had proceeded thus far, when I was taken off to attend to some Sailors in distress, and since that time I have been constantly employed with them in some way or other. It is most lamentable that some such change as I have ventured to recommend to Government, has not been effected in our Laws, touching these poor devils. They come to me quite naked, sick, and heartless, after having been turned on shore on the north-west coast of America, or some Islands in the Pacific Ocean, cheated of their wages, and ill-treated to a degree scarcely to be credited.

There are two or three hundred poor fellows on the Sandwich Islands, most of whom would be glad to get home; but the beasts of Captains will not take them off. Pray, my Frieud, exert yourself in their behalf.”

The only exertion I can make, in compliance with this appeal to charity, as well as patriotism, is to lay it before you. I am confident that it will not be overlooked.

I am, &c. The Hon. James Monroe.


(3.)- The American Consul, to the American Minister, in London. SIR,

American Consulate, London, 7th December, 1815. I have had the honor to receive the Copy of a Note addressed to you by the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, which states that a number of American Seamen have been found wandering about the Streets, in a most wretched and distressed condition, and that several are now supported in the Police Establishments and Hospitals of the City of London, at a very considerable expense.

As the circumstance of there being any American Seamen in the situation represented, would appear to implicate me, as the Person authorized to afford them relief, it is necessary that I should state to you the manner in which I have felt it my duty to act.

I have received no Instructions from our Government since the Peace; but I conceived myself authorized by the Laws of The United States, and by previous Instructions from the Secretary of State to their Consuls, to afford such relief to our destitute Seamen as I had been accustomed to do before the War.

During this period, the number of applications for relief has been unprecedented; and the duty I have had to perform, so as to avoid being imposed upon, has been most laborious. It has frequently occurred that I have spent from 2 to 5 hours a day in examinations, and notwithstanding this care, I have afterwards found that I have afforded relief to some who were not entitled to it. In the exercise of the discretionary power given to the Consuls, in the Circular of the Secretary of State above alluded to, I have in no instance withheld relief where I conceived it was due. If I had been more strict, I should have been less imposed upon; but it might have been the means of depriving some deserving, unfortunate, Men, of the bounty of their Country. The experience I have had, however, has convinced me that this bounty is becoming daily more liable to abuse. There is scarcely a day that an attempt to impose is not made, under some shape or other, by worthless Natives of America, or others assuming the character of Americans.

There is a considerable number of Seamen, born in America, who have been so long in the British service, that they seem to have lost all feeling in favor of their Native Country, and who, in this moment of


embarrassment, are endeavoring to make a convenience of this Office. Not long since I had daily at my door about 200, entreating to be sent home. To some, who were almost naked, I furnished clothing; and to all subsistence. But when I had hired a Vessel for their conveyance, about 40 of the number absented themselves, and as soon as the Vessel had sailed, some appeared again soliciting relief, which I thought proper to refuse.

It is no doubt to Seamen of this description that the Lord Mayor alludes; and if so, I persuade myself that you will think with me, that they are not such as were contemplated in the before-mentioned Circular, as entitled to the protection of The United States.

How far these Persons may be entitled to the benefit of the Laws and Proclamations of this Country, inviting Foreign Seamen into her service, does not belong to me to inquire ; but it is not unfair to presume that some of them are entitled to it: whatever may have been the motive in withdrawing themselves, none seem to have any inclivation to return to their Native Country. It therefore does appear, that if any relief is due to them, it is froin their adopted Country, which they appear uv willing to leave, and in the service of which they have contracted these feelings. There is, however, a Class of Men whose Claims are not at all equivocal, and which I am glad to have the opportunity of bringing into view. I mean those who have been in the service of Great Britain, who have been dismissed and left to shift for themselves the moment they were no longer wanted, and have become a charge on The United States to send them home.

It does appear to me, that in justice to these unfortunate Men, many of whom were forced into the service, and there held, against their own will and inclination, the British Government was bound to restore them to their Country.

There is still another Class of Men whose situation deserves consideration. Those who, for long service or wounds, have Pensions from the Government, and who, wishing to return to their Country, can only obtain 2, or, at least, 3 years' purchase for them; so that they are reduced to the alternative of renouncing all idea of seeing their friends, or, on their return to their Country, of becoming a burden to them.

It is very desirable that some arrangement should be made, to enable these Persons to receive their Pensions in The United States; or on forwarding to this Country authenticated Life Certificates, to bave them paid here to some one authorized to receive them.

I have the honor to be, &c., John Quincy Alams, Esq.

R. G. BEASLEY. P. S. I have the honor to enclose a Copy of the Note of the Se. cretary of State, which is alluded to in this Letter.

(Enclosure.)Viscount Castlereagh to John Quincy Adams, Esq.

Foreign Office, 29th November, 1815. The Undersigned, His Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, has the honour to inform Mr. Adams, that a Representation has been made by the Lord Mayor of London, to His Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for the Home Department; stating that a number of American Seamen have been found wandering about the Streets of London, in a most wretched and distressed condition, and that several are now supported in the Police Establishments and Hospitals of the City of London, at a very considerable expense.

The Undersigned bas, therefore, the honour to request that Mr. Adams will be pleased to take such measures as may appear to bim expedient, in order that these Seamen may be conveyed to their Native Country, with the least possible delay.

The Undersigned requests Mr. Adams, &c., John Quincy Adums, Esq.

CASTLEREAGH. Distressed Seaman reported from the Home Department, to be in the Compter in the City of London.— Richard Moore, aged 24, born in Virginia.

(4.)-Mr. Stuart to Mr. Forsyth. Sir,

Washington, 4th January, 1817. In compliance with your request, I shall give you a brief statement of the evasions and other abuses of the present Laws relative to Seamen, so far as the same has come within my knowledge, as Chancellor of The United States' Consulate at London, during a part of the years 1815 and 1816.

Not having the Laws above alluded to at hand, I shall not attempt a systematic detail, but simply make a statement of facts.

The first subject to which I shall call your attention, is the conduct of Captains, in evading that Section of the Law which requires them to return the Seamen to The United States, (in pursuance of a certain Bond to be given to the Collector for that purpose.) This is frequently done in Foreign Ports, when it is for the interest of the Master to get rid of any of his Seamen.

The most common mode of effecting this, is to give such of the Seamen as are liable to intoxication a verbal Permit, to go on shore and have what they call a frolic, furnishing them at the same time with some money; and they will be very apt to make a stay of 2 or 3 days. If they are absent 48 hours, the Captain orders them entered on the Log-book as run; and afterwards, refuses to let them come on board the Ship. They, of course, throw themselves on the Consul as destitute Seamen, as the Captains generally refuse to pay them any arrearages of their pay, on the ground of its being forfeited by the provisions of the Act, 8c.


The 2nd mode is to drive the Seaman from the Ship, by hard words, and harder blous, the latter of which frequently endanger his life. He, of course, applies to the Consul, who sends for the Captain ; the Captain complains that the Sailor does not do his duty, and may return to the Ship when he pleases : the Consul orders the man to return to the Ship; he does so ;-again is beat, and again returns to the Consul; till, finally, the Seaman becomes a charge on the Consulate, and the Ship sails without the Consul's having the power to compel the Master to a settlement of the arrearages due to the Seaman, or to make any provision to defray the expense of his return to The United States.

A 3rd mode is, after a long series of abuse to the Seaman, to instruct some of the Under Officers of the Ship to hire him to run away, giving him, generally; about the amount of wages due to him at the time.

This Seaman soon becomes a charge on the Consulate; and the Consul has no power to ensorce the payment of the 3 months' advance, (as provided by the Act in case of discharge in Foreign Ports,) as the Man has not strictly been discharged by the Master.

From these and other causes, for the last 15 months, The United States' Consulates at London and Liverpool, have been thronged with destitute American Seamen. The Consuls, of course, have put on board of every American Vessel bound to The United States, 2 Seamen to every 100 tons burden of such Vessel ; for which, the Captain receives 10 dollars per man. But, as the amount of United States Shipping was not sufficient to take all the Seamen off of the hands of the Consuls, it was found necessary, either to take up Transports for the purpose, or to make Contracts with the Masters of American Vessels, to take an additional number to those put on board under the authority of the Act. At London, both courses were necessarily adopted. Transports were procured at an average of £12 sterling per Man; and American Masters generally took a surplusage of hands, at an average of £10 sterling per Man.

You will at once perceive, Sir, how much it was for the interest of the Master of an American Vessel to get rid of a Crew engaged at from 12 to 20 dollars per month, and get one equally good on the terms above mentioned.

I will now, Sir, call your attention to 2 cases much complained of by American Captains in Foreign Ports. The first, is that in which the Captain arrives, (say at London,) with a full Crew, all of whom remain with him. On his departure, he is compelled by the Consul to “ take on board 2 men to every 100 tons burden of his Vessel, and transport them to The United States, at a sum not exceeding 10 dolJars per Man.” These Men are, in fact, Supernumeraries ;—they are of no use to the Ship, but, in fact, an injury, as they generally pro

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