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15th Congress.]

No. 165.

[2d Session.

INCREASE OF THE NAVY.

COMMUNICATED TO THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, JANUARY 4, 1819.

December 31, 1818.

To the House of Representatives of the United States:

In compliance with a resolution of the House of Representatives, of the 7th instant, requesting me to lay before it "the proceedings which have been had under the act entitled an act for the gradual increase of the navy of the United States; specifying the number of ships which have been put on the stocks, and of what class, and the quantity and kind of materials which have been procured, in compliance with the provisions of said act; and also the sums of money which have been paid out of the fund created by the said act, and for what objects; and likewise the contracts which have been entered into, in execution of said act, on which moneys may not yet have been advanced," I transmit a report from the acting Secretary of the Navy, together with a communication from the Board of Navy Commissioners, which, with the documents accompanying it, comprehends all the information required by

the House of Representatives.

JAMES MONROE.

--583--

Sir: Navy Department, December 30, 1818.

In compliance with a resolution of the House of Representatives of the 7th instant, I have the honor to transmit to you, to be laid before the House, statements of the proceedings which have been had under the act entitled an "Act for the gradual increase of the navy of the United States," comprising the papers herewith, marked A, B, C, and D,* together with the copy of a communication from the Commissioners of the Navy.

I have the honor to be, with the highest respect, sir, your most obedient servant,

J. C. CALHOUN,

The President of the United States. Acting Secretary of the Navy.

Sir: Navy Commissioners' Office, December 24, 1818.

The Board of Navy Commissioners have had the honor of receiving your letter of the 9th instant, enclosing a resolution of the honorable the House of Representatives of the 7th instant, calling for information as to the proceedings which have been had under the act, entitled "An act for the gradual increase of the navy of the United States," specifying the number of ships which have been put on the stocks, and of what class, and the quantity and kind of materials which have been procured in compliance with the provisions of the said act, and also of the sums of money which have been paid out of the fund created by said act, and for what objects; and likewise the contracts which have been entered into in execution of the said act, on which moneys may not yet have been advanced.

Referring to the Fourth Auditor of the Treasury for information as to the sums of money which have been paid out of the fund for the gradual increase of the navy, the Board of Navy Commissioners respectfully submit the enclosed papers, which they hope will afford satisfactory information upon all other points embraced by the resolution. These papers are marked— 

A.  Which shows the number and class of the ships which have been put on the stocks, and the progress made in building them.

B.  Which shows the quantity and kind of materials which have been procured, and are now in deposite, in compliance with the provisions of the act; and

C.  Which exhibits a view of the contracts made under the act for the gradual increase of the navy, and designates those on which moneys have not yet been advanced. 

The paper C shows that special contracts for the live oak frames of eleven ships of the line and twelve frigates have been made by the Navy Commissioners from time to time. These, with the line-of-battle ship building at this place, and the materials of live oak on hand, and those procuring from Blackbeard's and Grover's islands, which are estimated as equal to the frames of two frigates, exceed the whole number authorized by the act for the gradual increase, three frames for line-of-battle ships, and four frames for frigates. This excess, however, is only nominal, for of the contracts made, two, viz: those with Mr. Livingston and Mr. Snow, which embrace the frames of three line-of-battle ships and four frigates, have, as was expected and intimated in our letter of the 20th January last, been forfeited by the contractors. This failure on the part of the contractors compelled the Navy Commissioners, in the months of June and September last, to enter into contract with Messrs. Swift, Green, and Grice, for the frames of three line-of-battle ships and four frigates, to supply the place of those which Messrs. Livingston and Snow had failed, agreeably to their respective contracts, to deliver. Hence, the contracts now existing, including those which have been completely executed, and the timber procured at Blackbeard's and. Grover's islands, embrace the frames of nine line-of-battle ships and ten frigates only, which is the number authorized by the act for the gradual increase of the navy.

Of these frames of live oak thus contracted for, and otherwise provided and providing, three for line-of-battle ships, and two for frigates, have been completed, three more complete frames for line-of-battle ships, and two more for frigates, (a considerable proportion of which has already been delivered,) will, no doubt, be delivered early in the ensuing spring; and the commissioners trust that they will be able to procure from Blackbeard's and Grover's islands, and other sources, all the pieces yet required to complete two more frames for frigates. The residue of the frames authorized by law, viz.: three for line-of-battle ships, (part of one which has been procured by the Navy Commissioners at Blackbeard's island.) and four for frigates, are to be delivered during the year 1820; and from the known responsibility of the contractors, the amount of the bonds they have respectively given for the faithful and punctual execution of their respective contracts, and the arrangements which it is known they have made, the Commissioners rely with great confidence upon the faithful execution of their engagements.

Satisfactory; progress is making by the contractors for cannon, carronades and shot, and no doubt is entertained of these munitions being in readiness by the time they will be wanted.

All the copper originally contemplated for all the line-of-battle ships and frigates, authorized by law, has been procured. It has, however, since the original estimate upon this subject was made, been judged expedient to use copper bolts in many parts of the ship instead of locust treenails. Copper rods for bolts being offered on good terms, and being essentially better than locust treenails, contracts have accordingly been made for the additional quantity which this decision made necessary. These contracts have been partly executed, and will, no doubt, be completed in due time.

The contractors for oak and pine plank, beams and ledges, long combings, mast pieces, and all the other timber required in the construction of ships, are progressing, and it is expected that the contracts will be executed in due season.

With respect to iron, we have purchased and contracted for nearly all required in the construction of six line of battle ships, and six frigates, and we have purchased nearly all the lead required.

Paper A will show that five ships of the line have been put on the stocks, viz: one at Boston, one at New York one at Philadelphia, one at Washington, and one at Norfolk. Another would have been put on the stocks at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, if it had been possible to procure in that neighborhood suitable pieces for the keel and keelson. The attempt to procure those pieces in that quarter was made, and not abandoned till it was found impracticable to procure them. The Commissioners have found it necessary to send these pieces from the southward. They have accordingly been ordered, and the keel of a line of battle ship will, therefore, be laid at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, early the ensuing spring.

Of the line of battle ships now on the stocks, the one at Washington will be ready to launch the ensuing spring. Those at New York and Norfolk, can, if required, be prepared for launching next fall; and, during the ensuing year, considerable progress will be made in building those at Philadelphia, Boston, and Portsmouth.

All the tarred rope, excepting the standing rigging, required for the line-of-battle ship building at this place has been contracted for.

Canvass being a perishable article, the Commissioners have not deemed it expedient to contract for any for the gradual increase. They have, however, satisfactorily ascertained, that canvass, of a superior quality, of American manufacture, can be procured on moderate terms, and in sufficient quantities.

Owing to the imperfection in the manufacture of heavy anchors, which have hitherto been supplied from private shops, and the high price asked for them, the Navy Commissioners have established at this yard an anchor shop, where all the anchors for the ships authorized by the act for the gradual increase of the navy will be made. They have also attached to the steam engine at this yard the machinery for making blocks, which, while it will enable them to provide all the blocks for The gradual increase at a rate much cheaper than by purchase, will be a means of preserving that uniformity in the construction of blocks which is essential.

The Commissioners have also established at this yard a factory of chain cables, which are more secure, and from their great durability, much less expensive than hempen cables. At this factory, a chain cable for each of the ships authorized by the act for the gradual increase of the navy will be provided.

* The paper D is an abstract of the warrants drawn by the Secretary of the Navy from the 29th. April, 1816, to 30th November, 1818, inclusive, out of the appropriation for the gradual increase of the navy, amounting to $1,367,172 42.

--584--

A.

Exhibit showing the number and class of the ships which have been put on the stocks under the act for the gradual increase of the navy of the United States, and the progress made in building them.

No.

Class.

Where put on the stocks.

Progress made in building them.

1

Ship of the line,

Boston,

Keel bolted and laid on the blocks; a large proportion of the live oak frame,
nearly all the white oak timber, a considerable quantity of the pine, and nearly
all the other materials, which will be required in her construction, are on the spot.

1

Ship of the line,

New York,

Frame, stern, and bow, are completely raised and regulated, sheer streak on her,
lower hold sealed, orlop clamps on, and beams in and kneed, deck partly framed,
keelson in and bolted; all the live oak, and nearly all the other materials, are on the spot.
If required, this ship can be launched next fall.

1

Ship of the line,

Philadelphia,

Keel is laid, all the futtocks and floors worked to their proper shape, and well
secured from the weather. The frame of live oak will be completely delivered in the
spring; a great proportion of the other materials is now on the spot.

1

Ship of the line,

Washington,

This ship is in such forwardness that she will be ready to launch the ensuing spring.

1

Ship of the line,

Norfolk,

This ship is timbered, with the exception of half top timbers and stanchions,
keelson in and bolted, false keel on and coppered, lower wales on; all the live oak,
and nearly all the other materials, now on the spot. If required, this ship can be launched
next fall.

1

Ship of the line,

Portsmouth, N. H.

A considerable quantity of the live oak, and other materials, are on the spot, as will
appear by reference to paper B; and the keel of a ship of the line would have been laid,
if every attempt to procure keel and keelson pieces in that quarter had not failed. The
Board have at length been compelled to order these pieces from the southward.
The keel of a ship of the line will therefore be laid at Portsmouth early the ensuing spring.

 

B.

Showing the quantity and kind of materials which have been procured in compliance with the provisions of the act for the gradual increase of the navy of the United States.

PROCURED AND NOW DEPOSITED AT NORFOLK.

To be used in the construction of ships of the line.

213,198 feet of pine plank,

29,108 9/12 cubic feet of moulded live oak,

258,525 feet of oak plank,

308 five oak knees,

305 pieces of promiscuous timber,

47,400 lbs. of square bar iron,

123 beams,

44,838 lbs. of flat and square iron,

30 ledges,

4,475 sheets of copper sheathing,

425 knees,

37,937 lbs. of copper bolt rods,

15 mast and spar pieces,

19,177 lbs. of copper rods for spikes,

10 pieces of thick stuff for caps, &c.

3,760 lbs. of copper sheathing nails.

To be used in the construction of frigates.

77,876 feet of pine plank,

520 knees,

192,560 feet of oak plank,

24 mast and spar pieces.

214 pieces of promiscuous timber.

21 pieces of thick stuff for caps, &c

41 beams,

31,853 lbs. of square bar iron,

45 ledges,

9,667 lbs. of flat and square iron,

2 combings,

AT BALTIMORE.

For two ships of the line and one frigate.

12,210 sheets of sheathing copper,

127,036 lbs. of copper rods and nails.

AT WASHINGTON.

Besides the materials which have been used in the construction of the ship of the line now on the stocks,
there is now collected a considerable part of the frames of two frigates, and the residue is providing.

--585--

PROCURED AND NOW DEPOSITED AT PHILADELPHIA.

To be used in the construction of a ship of the line and a frigate.

658,198

feet oak plank and thick stuff,

46

pieces of square timber,

400,168

feet of yellow pine plank.

10,663

feet of scantling,

731

round oak logs,

60,000

locust treenails.

For a ship of the line.

1

lower stem piece,

1

complete set of spar deck beams,

2

dead woods,

735

pieces of moulded live oak,

236

knees.

57,161

lbs. of smith's work, such as ring and eye

2

rising timber and breast hooks,

bolts, ring plates, set bolts, wedges, riband

1

complete set of orlop beams,

nails, rivets, auger shanks, &c. &c.

For two ships of the line and four frigates.

22,611

sheets of copper,

1

set of beams complete for a 44.

251,906

lbs. of copper rods and sheathing nails,

 

 

AT NEW YORK.

To be used in the construction of ships of the line.

37,324 ½

cubic feet of live oak.

386,623

feet Jersey oak plank.

5,982

cubic feet of Jersey w. oak,

173,501

feet southern pine plank,

95

cubic feet of locust,

4,335

cubic feet beams and ledges,

26,439

cubic feet North river pine,

103,768

lbs. of assorted iron,

14,992

cubic feet Georgia pine,

9,153

sheets of sheathing copper,

496

white oak knees,

122,142

lbs. of bolt copper and sheathing nails,

175

pieces spruce spars,

85

tons 13 cwt. lead for ships of the line and frigates.

2,476

in. do. do.

To be used in the construction of frigates.

35,449

cubic feet of live oak,

2,932

sheets of sheathing copper,

150,000

feet of southern pine plank,

35,642

lbs. or bolt copper and sheathing nails.

 


 

AT BOSTON.

7,057

cubic feet, moulded live oak, for a ship of the line,

3,800

cubic feet moulded live oak, for a frigate.

To be used in the construction of one ship of the line and one frigate.

2,222

cubic feet promiscuous live oak,

149

hacmetac knees,

32,462

do. white oak,

30,476

feet white oak plank,

8.069

do. southern pine,

8,590

feet southern pine plank,

3,123

do. northern pine,

3,359

feet of white pine,

321

do. elm

21,002

locust treenails,

830

do. gun carnage stun,

381,326

lbs. of assorted round, flat, and square iron.

347

white oak knees,

Enough for one ship of the line and four frigates.

18,235

sheets of copper sheathing,

221,628

lbs. of copper rods and nails.

 


 

AT PORTSMOUTH, N. H.

To be used in the construction of a ship of the line.

372

pieces of moulded live oak,

76,377

lbs. of assorted iron.

17.502

feet of while oak plank,

4,551

sheets of sheathing copper.

159

white oak knees,

42,965

lbs. of copper bolt rods.

To be used in the construction of a frigate.

310

pieces of moulded live oak,

249

knees.

Promiscuous live oak enough for one ship of the line and one frigate.

--586--

Exhibit showing the contracts made by the Board of Navy Commissioners, under the act of Congress, entitled "An act for the gradual increase of the Navy of the United States,"

When made.

With whom made.

For what articles made.

Price.

Where to be delivered.

Remarks.

Live Oak.

Aug. 7, 1818,

E. & T. Swift,

One complete frame of live oak, for a 74,

155 cents per cubic foot,

Norfolk,

This contract has been completely executed.

Jan. 10, 1817,

Henry Eckford,

Do. for one 74 and one 44,

155 cents for 74, 142 ½ for 44,

New York,

This contract has been completed.

April 2, "

Thomas Spalding,

Do. for one 44,

142 ½ cents,

New York,

This contract has been completed.

June 9, "

E. Swift,

Do. for one 74,

155 cents,

Philadelphia,

735 pieces delivered, and the residue confidently expected early the ensuing spring.

Aug. 9, "

Hugh Lindsay,

Do. for one 74 and one 44,

155 cents and 142 ½ cents,

Boston,

13,079 cubic feet delivered, and the residue expected early the ensuing spring.

Dec. 29, "

N. Bixby & Co.

Do. for one 74 and one 44,

155 cents and 142 ½ cents,

Portsmouth, N. H.

682 pieces delivered, and the residue expected early the ensuing spring.

June 8, 1818,

† E. Swift,

Do. for one 74 and one 44,

155 cents and 142 ½ cents,

Boston and Philadelphia,

These contracts are to be completed during the year 1820; the timber is now cutting and no doubt is entertained of the whole

being delivered within the time stipulated.

" 24, "

† P. H. Green,

Do. for one 74 and two 44's,

155 cents and 142 ½ cents,

Philadelphia,

Sept. 10, "

† Samuel Grice,

Do. for one *74 and one 44,

150 cents and 142 ½ cents,

Norfolk,

June 14, 1816,

Edward Livingston,

Do. for two 74's and two 44's,

155 cents and 142 ½ cents,

The contractors in these instances have failed to comply with their contracts, and their contracts are null and void.

Aug. 13, "

J. Snow,

Do. for one 74 and two 44's,

115 cents,

Cannon, &c.

June 1, 1816,

John Mason,

Cannon, carronades, and shot, for a 74,

$125 per ton for cannon,

Washington,

Nearly completed.

5 to 8 cents per pound for shot.

Dec. 14, "

Robert Swartwout, and others,

Cannon, &c. and shot, for a 74,

Do.

New York,

Nearly all the shot delivered; the cannon now boring.

Copper.

Sept. 16, "

Levi Hollingsworth,

Copper for two 74's and one 44,

33 cents per pound for all but nails, which are 44 cents.

Baltimore,

Completed.

Dec. 30, "

Paul Revere & Son,

Copper for one 74 and two 44's,

30 and 32 cents,

Boston,

Completed.

S. J. Isaacs & Soho Copper Com'y,

Copper for two 74's and one 44,

30 and 32 cents,

New York,

" 17, "

D. A. Smith,

Copper for two 74's and three 44's,

29 and 92 cents,

Philadelphia & Boston,

April 5, 1817,

R. E. Griffith,

Copper for two 74's and three 44's,

26 cents, and duty on bolts,

Philadelphia,

Sept. 1, 1818,

Joseph W. Revere,

257,750 pounds of copper bolt rods,

36 cents, payable part in old copper, at 32 cents.

Boston,

Part delivered, and the residue will be delivered in the course of the year 1819, and by the time it will be wanted.

Levi Hollingsworth,

100,531 do. do. do.

33 cents,

Baltimore,

S. J. Isaacs & Soho Copper Com'y,

100,631 do. do. do.

33 cents,

New York,

July 13, "

† Richard Parrott,

AH the tarred rope, except the standing rigging, required for the ship of the line building at this place.
[Oak and pine plank, knees, beams, keel & keelson pieces, ledges, long combings, mast stuff, promiscuous timber, &c]

$12 25 for 112 pounds,

Washington.

Oct. 2, 1816,

† B. & J. Hersey,

Knees for a 74,

50 cents per inch, sided,

Washington,

A few only delivered.

* This is for all that part of the frame of a ship of the line which could not be procured by the Navy Commissioners at Blackbeard's and Grover's islands. Note.—This mark † denotes that no moneys have yet been advanced or paid upon the contracts so marked.

--587--

EXHIBIT C.-Continued.

When made.

With whom made.

For what articles made.

Price.

Where to be delivered.

Remarks.

June 9, 1817,

N. P. Tatem,

Oak and pine plank, knees, beams, ledges, mast stuff, long combings, &c. for a 44,

$3 per 100 feet for the plank, 45 cents per inch for knees, 38 cents per foot for beams, &c.

Norfolk,

These contracts have been executed in part, and it is expected that they will all be completed in the course of the ensuing spring.

" 7, "

A Butt, and others,

Same as above, for a 74,

$3 per 100 feet for plank, &c.

Sept. 1, "

William Cammack,

Same as above, for a 74,

$3 &c.

" 17, "

Swepson Whitehead,

Same as above, for a 74 and 44,

$3 &c.

June 10, "

John F. Tice,

Keel and keelson pieces for a 74,

$1 per cubic foot,

New York,

Completed.

" 16, "

Ebenezer Thompson,

Knees for a 74 and 44,

50 cents per inch sided,

Portsmouth, N. H.

408 delivered; the residue shortly expected.

Sept. 20, "

James Murphy,

692,850 feet Jersey oak, for a 74 and 44,

$4 per 100 feet for first quality, $2 66 for second.

New York,

Partly executed.

Feb. 24, 1818,

Amos Upham,

740 white oak knees for a 74,

75 cents per inch,

New York,

Partly executed.

April 28, "

Andrew Leighton,

2,000 hacmetac knees,

$3 25 to $4 25 each knee,

Portland,

Partly executed.

May 20, "

James C. Hutchison,

160,146 leger and other staves,

$14 to 100, per 1,000 of 1,200,

Washington,

Part delivered.

July 17, "

Andrew Leighton,

240 hacmetac knees,

$660 for the whole,

Portland, Maine,

Executed.

March 28, "

John Snow,

Masts, spars, beams, long combing & ranging yellow pine timber for a 74 and 44,

42 to 45 cents per cubic foot,

Portsmouth, N. H.

Part delivered.

June 24, "

Peter H. Green,

79,000 feet white pine, and 5,000 feet ash,

$35 per M superficial feet,

Washington,

Executed.

Nov. 26, 1817,

Charles Ridgely,

110 tons of best American iron,

$118 to $124 per ton of 2,240 pounds.

Baltimore,

Executed.

July 23, 1818,

† John D. Sloat,

400 dozen patent augers,

34 cents per one-quarter inch,

Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Washington, and Norfolk;

To be completed by the 23d July, 1819.

Oct. 21, "

John Mason,

All the iron castings required at Washington.

6 cents per pound,

Washington,

Part delivered.

[For these articles contracts are not yet signed, although the articles are engaged; the contracts are daily expected, they have been sent to the agents to be signed.]

† Michael Williamson,

All the American iron for one 74 & one 44,

$115 to $140 per ton of 2,240 pounds.

Philadelphia.

† J. W. Patterson,

Cask hoop iron for two 74's and two 44's,

$120 for 50 tons, 130 for residue,

Baltimore.

† George French,

Do. for one 74 and one 44,

$125 per ton of 2,240 pounds,

Washington.

Do. for one 74 and one 44,

do. do.

Philadelphia.

† P. Israel,

Do. for two 74's and two 44's,

$130 do. do.

Boston and Portsmouth,

† Charles Ridgely,

All the American iron required for two 74's and five 44's.

$118 to 140 do.

Norfolk, New York, &. Washington.

† Robert McQueen & Co.

Engines complete, for one steam frigate,

$43,000.

Boilers, public furnishing the copper,

10 cents per pound.

Note.—This mark † denotes that no moneys have yet been advanced or paid upon the contracts so marked.