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22d Congress.]

No. 509.

[2d Session.

STATEMENT OF THE PRINCIPLES ON WHICH MIDSHIPMEN ARE APPOINTED IN THE NAVY, AND THE NUMBER TAKEN FROM EACH STATE AND TERRITORY FROM 1828 TO 1833.

COMMUNICATED TO THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES FEBRUARY 19, 1833.

Navy Department, February 18, 1833.

Sir: In compliance with a resolution of the House of Representatives, passed the 14th instant, I have the honor to submit three tabular statements, accompanied by brief explanations of the facts and principles upon which they have been prepared.

These statements and explanations are believed to contain all the information desired by the resolution.

The document marked A, shows the actual number of midshipmen in office from each State and Territory, and from this District, at the several periods indicated in the resolution, including March 12th, 1828, the date of the former report on this subject, made by the Navy Department to the House of Representatives.*

It shows further the number of midshipmen to which each State was entitled at each of those periods, under the census A. D. 1820, and conformably to the ratio of the electoral vote of each, in pursuance of the principle applied in the report before mentioned.

But, as that report assigns a full number to each State, founded on the computation of 400 instead of 450 midshipmen, which latter was the number included in the estimates of that year, it gives a proportion of only 1 1/2 to each electoral vote. Whereas, in order to embrace all the midshipmen included in the estimates of that and most of the subsequent years, and to leave a due number for appointment among the Territories and to this District, the proportion should be about one and two-thirds to each electoral vote. Accordingly, this last proportion has been applied, at each of the periods indicated, to the several States, throwing away any fraction in the result, or allowing a whole number for it as small or large, and dividing the residue of the 450 between the Territories and this District. The number of 450 has been used in the computation at all of the above periods, because the real estimates have differed so little from that number as not materially to affect the general results. The estimates submitted to Congress foró

1828, were

450

1829, were

450

1830, were

445

1831, were

454

1832, were

444

1833, were

450

A column has been added to the document (A), showing what the number to each State, &c, will be under the census of A. D. 1830, and which number has had some influence in some of the selections the past year, and will be considered the only guide as to the strict proportion of each State, after the 3d of March, A. D. 1833. That proportion will be about 1 1/2 to each electoral vote, throwing away the fraction in the result, where the fraction of the population in the State, not represented, is small, and allowing a whole number for it where that fraction is over one-half.

The second document, B, in conformity to the report of March, 1828, shows the number of midshipmen in each State, &c, over or under its due proportion at each of the above periods, predicated on the ratio and estimates adopted in document A.

It is just to remark, however, that some of the apparent inequalities at those different periods are, probably, greater from the circumstance that the corps of midshipmen, as limited by the estimates, was not, at all those periods, equally full; the custom not having been always uniform as to the season of the year when vacancies were filled. But none of those inequalities have arisen from exceeding the estimates, unless on one occasion. Among those periods the very large number appointed beyond the estimates may have increased the excess in some of the States, while it obviously lessened the deficiencies in others of them. The whole number now exactly agrees with the estimates, except that two persons, removed from the corps of midshipmen, in A. D. 1830, having recently been restored. In pursuance of the views submitted by this Department to the House of Representatives, in March, 1828, frequent efforts have been made to correct the inequalities then and before that time existing. But those could be successful only as vacancies occurred in the particular States having an excess: and the process has been made still more slow and difficult by reasons, similar to those, which caused most of the original inequalities, as detailed in the report before named.

At the present period, however, it will be seen that the excesses in particular States, &c, causing an inequality, have become less than at any of the other specific periods; and that the deficiencies, existing chiefly in the western and southwestern States, are also less than at any former period, when the whole number of appointments did not exceed the estimates. By constant efforts hereafter, it is hoped a still greater equality will gradually be attained, though some disproportion and irregularities will always be unavoidable, from various causes enumerated in the report of A. D. 1828; from mistakes in the register and the returns; from doubtful residences of some candidates, and from peculiar circumstances in the personal claims of others. Without making more midshipmen than the estimates justify, or the wants of the service require, it is not possible for all the deficiencies to be supplied till vacancies enough occur in those particular States having an excess: and the difficulties in their gratifying many of those who apply for appointments, and the numerous painful refusals and delays then indispensable, will be manifest, when the facts are communicated that the applications now on file for the situation of midshipman exceed 1,300, or average over 50 from each State, and are weekly increasing, while the whole annual vacancies

* See American State Papers, on Naval Affairs, vol 3, No. 359.

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in all the States average only about 35, or less than one and a half to each State, and are not over one-fourth of that number in the particular States having an excess.

The document C shows the number of midshipmen actually employed on the 1st of July and January in each year, since March, 1828.

From the manner of keeping our records, and from the nature of the naval service, slight errors in some of these numbers may have occurred, but they cannot be so large as to influence essentially the general proportions.

The average number, engaged in active duty at any one time, being about 316, there would be left, when the corps was entirely full, about 134 not on such duty. Of these about 30 are usually not on pay, being new appointments, and being left from six months to a year without orders, but preparing for a change in their pursuits, and for a compliance with orders, when the state of the service may permit. Of the residue, about thirty are usually in attendance at the schools at one of the yards; and the remainder, from 60 to 80, are divided into classes of invalids, sick, on leave, and waiting orders, after long cruises, subject, when required and in health, to relieve such others as have been the usual time on duty at the yards and at sea.

From these data, my opinion is, that the number of 450 is not larger than the present size of our naval establishment requires, pursuing the present practice as to new appointments and attendance on school. But it will be seen, that it could be reduced to about 400 without essentially affecting the service, except in that event those recently appointed would sooner, and with less preparation, be placed on pay and on duty, and the opportunities of instruction now enjoyed on shore would become somewhat diminished.

Respectfully, yours, LEVI WOODBURY.

To the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

A.

Statement showing the number of midshipmen in the navy from the several Stales, &c., on the 12th day of March, 1828; 4th of March, 1829; 12th of May, 1831; and 14th of February, 1833; and the proportion of each State, &c., under the census of 1820 and the census of 1830.

Proportion under census of 1820.

No. in service on the 12th of March, 1828.

No. in service on the 4th of March, 1829.

No. in service on the 12th of May, 1831.

No. in service on the 14th of February, 1833.

Proportion under census of 1830.

Maine

15

8

13

12

14

15

New Hampshire

14

10

12

10

11

11

Vermont

11

7

9

7

8

11

Massachusetts

25

18

20

18

19

21

Rhode Island

7

6

8

8

7

6

Connecticut

14

15

13

10

13

12

New York

60

48

55

43

56

63

New Jersey

14

20

26

15

15

12

Pennsylvania

46

38

51

39

43

45

Delaware

5

5

3

3

4

5

Maryland

18

35

35

29

27

15

Virginia

40

62

70

68

65

34

North Carolina

25

15

22

21

18

22

South Carolina

18

10

15

14

17

17

Georgia

15

9

14

12

18

16

Alabama

8

6

7

6

6

11

Mississippi

5

5

4

5

5

6

Louisiana

8

9

8

7

6

8

Tennessee

18

9

15

13

17

22

Kentucky

22

11

22

17

16

22

Ohio

26

13

23

18

20

32

Indiana

8

7

8

5

8

13

Illinois

5

2

4

4

5

7

Missouri

5

4

4

3

5

6

Michigan Territory

4

2

2

1

2

4

Arkansas

4

9

2

2

4

Florida

4

4

4

3

4

4

District of Columbia

6

23

30

22

21

6

450

401

499

415

452

450

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B.

Statement showing the excess and deficiency of the midshipmen in each State, &c., at the periods and in theproportion named in table A.

Excess in 1828.

Deficiency in 1828.

Excess in 1820.

Deficiency in 1829.

Excess in 1831.

Deficiency in 1831.

Excess in 1833.

Deficiency in 1833.

Maine

7

2

3

1

Now Hampshire

4

2

4

3

Vermont

4

2

4

3

Massachusetts

7

5

7

6

Rhode Island

1

1

1

Connecticut

1

1

4

1

New York

12

5

17

4

New Jersey

6

12

1

1

Pennsylvania

8

5

7

3

Delaware

2

2

1

Maryland

17

17

11

9

Virginia

22

30

28

25

North Carolina

10

3

4

7

South Carolina

8

3

4

1

Georgia

6

* 1

3

3

Alabama

2

1

2

2

Mississippi

1

Louisiana

1

1

2

Tennessee

9

3

5

1

Kentucky

11

5

6

Ohio

13

3

8

6

Indiana

1

3

Illinois

3

1

1

Missouri

1

1

2

Michigan Territory

2

2

3

2

Arkansas Territory

4

2

2

2

Florida Territory

1

District of Columbia

17

24

16

15

64

113

99

40

57

92

52

51

C.

Statement showing the number of midshipmen actually employed on the 1st day of July, 1829, and on each succeeding 1st day of January and July, up to January, 1833, inclusive.

Time of employment.

Number actually employed

July 1, 1828

260

January 1, 1829

335

July 1, 1829

360

January 1, 1830

321

July 1, 1830

313

January 1, 1831

318

July 1, 1831

357

January 1, 1832

283

July 1, 1832

320

January 1, 1833

297