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Under these circumstances your committee can not perceive any principle, either of justice or sound policy, which would authorize the allowance of this claim, and therefore recommend that it be rejected.
[See p. 644.] March 2, 1854.
[Senate Report No. 144.) Mr. Weller submitted the following report:
The Committee on Foreign Relations, to whom was referred the petition of the legal representatives of William A. Slacum, deceased, having had the same under consideration, report:
That, concurring in the report made from the Committee on Foreign Relations upon the same subject on the 3d of March, 1846, and reaflirmed on the 18th of February, 1850, they adopt the same, and report a bill in conformity therewith.
[See Senate Report 186, Twenty-ninth Congress, first session, p. 638.]
[See pp. 698, 764.)
March 2, 1854.
(Senate Report No. 146.)
Mr. Weller made the following report:
The Committee on Foreign Relations, to whom was referred the memorial of Frances Ann McCauley, having had the same under consideration, report:
That at the last session of Congress this case was referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations, and, after full consideration of its merits, upon their recommendation an item was inserted in the “act making appropriation for the civil and diplomatic expenses of government for the year ending 30th June, 1854,” which provides “that in settling the accounts of Daniel S. McCauley, late consul-general at Alexandria, Egypt, there shall be allowed, for office rent, at the rate of $100 per annum during the time he acted in that capacity, to be paid to his widow."
The compensation thus provided for, amounting, as stated in the memorial, to $1,600, was designed and intended as a full and final settlement of the claim, and upon a careful review of the case the committee see no reason to dissent from the opinion then entertained and acted upon, and therefore ask to be discharged from its further consideration.
March 16, 1854.
[Senate Report No. 172.1
Mr. Everett made the following report:
The Committee on Foreign Relations, to whom was referred the memorial of John Bozman kerr, late chargé d'affaires to the Republic of Nicaragua, have had the same under consideration and submit the following report:
The memorialist represents that on the 12th of March, 1851, he was commissioned as chargé d'affaires to the Republic of Nicaragua, and that he was further instructed by the President, under two other commissions bearing date the 24th of May of the same year, to go to the seat of the governments of San Salvador and Guatemala for the purpose of exchanging the ratifications of the treaties which had been negotiated with those States. Having repaired to Leon de Nicaragua, the capital of that Republic, he left his family there to execute his instructions at San Salvador and Guatemala, to the Governments of which, for the purpose just named, he was also specially accredited. The performance of this duty required a journey of 1,500 miles under circumstances of great hardship, privation, and danger, owing to the want of roads and other facilities for traveling and the disturbed state of the country.
In addition to these official duties Mr. Kerr was accredited by a separate commission to the “national representation of Central America,” a species of confederation which sprung up in 1851 and which, owing to the unsettled and revolutionary character of the times, called upon him for the performance of arduous and delicate duties. The committee have reason to think that at considerable personal risk and under circumstances of an embarrassing nature it was the good fortune of Mr. Kerr, while he maintained the honor of his own Government and protected the interests of his countrymen in Central America, to mitigate on more than one occasion, by friendly interposition, the horrors of civil war.
It may be proper to take into consideration that at the time when Mr. Kerr was appointed as chargé d'affaires to Nicaragua the establishment of a full mission to Central America had been recommended by the Department of State to Congress, and it was intimated to Mr. Kerr that if that mission prevailed he would probably be nominated by the President as envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary. It appears from the foregoing sketch of his duties, under the several commissions successively received by him, that he was accredited to nearly all the Central American States, and, in point of fact, he transacted business with the Governments of all of them.
Mr. Kerr has hitherto been compensated only as chargé d'affaires to Nicaragua. The accounting officers of the Treasury, it is understood, are authorized to allow his expenses on the journey to San Salvador and Guatemala, but not including the expenses while residing at those capitals.
The committee are of opinion, under the circumstances of the case, that precedent and equity warrant a more liberal principle of compensation. Considering that he was obliged to leave his family at Leon while absent himself on the arduous journey to the capitals of San Salvador and Guatemala, the committee think him entitled to the expenses of the journey and of his residence in those cities; while his commission to “the national representation of Central America” entitles him to a full outfit to that Government. Several similar cases are found in our diplomatic history, of which that of Mr. Donelson is the most recent and most closely analogous. This gentleman, being minister plenipotentiary at Berlin, was commissioned in the same character to the Central Germanic Government at Frankfort and under that commission allowed a full outfit.
The committee, accordingly, report a bill allowing to Mr. Kerr his expenses as above stated and a full outfit as chargé d'affaires to “the national representation of Central America."
To the honorable the Senate and Ilouse of Representatives of the United States in Congress assembled:
The undersigned, a citizen of Maryland, begs leave most respectfully to repre sent: That on the 12th day of March, 1851, he was commissioned by His Excellency the President of the United States as chargé d'affaires to the Republic of Nicaragua, and being so accredited, he was fuither required by the President, under two other distinct commissions of the treaty 4th day of May following, to go to the Republics of San Salvador and Guatemala. These journeys, from Leon de Nicaragua, where his family continued to reside, to and from the respective capitals of San Salvador and Guatemala (about 1,500 miles), were made amidst hazards and privations in Central America, unavoidable to the best guarded traveler; but the instructions of the Government were carried out.
Your memorialist also represents that, in view of an alleged control over the foreign relations of Honduras, San Salvador, and Nicaragua on the part of a body styled “the national representation of Central America,' he had received a letter of credence thereto, bearing date the 20th day of November, 1851, and that under new relations, during factious tumults throughout the several States, he was called to delicate points of duty. The theater of negotiation was here changed and enlarged.
Entitled to remuneration commensurate with diplomatic services, apart from and beyond those to which his commission as chargé d'affaires to Nicaragua limited him, your memorialist asks such relief as may seem just and proper, in the nature of outfits, heretofore indicated, as the least objectionable mode of securing suitable recompense to a minister stationed in one republic and sent in like official character to others.
He begs leave to add that the subject-matter of this memorial has been withheld from final adjustment at the State Department, as from the peculiar circumstances attending the claim, it could be settled only by Congress. All of which is most respectfully submitted.
JOHN BOZMAN KERR. EASTON, MD., December 20, 1853.
MILLARD FILLMORE, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
To all persons whom these presents shall concern, greeting:
Know ye, that, reposing special trust and confidence in the integrity and prodence of John B. Kerr, accredited as chargé d'affaires of the United States to the Republic of Nicaragua, I have authorized, and by these presents do authorize, and empower him to exchange with any person duly authorized on the part of the Government of the Republic of San Salvador my ratification for the ratification of the chief magistrate of that Republic of the general treaty of amity, navigation, and commerce between the United States and that Republic, signed in the city of Leon on the 20 day of January, in the year of our Lord 18.50.
In testimony whereof I have caused the seal of the United States to be hereto (L. S.) affixed.
Given under my hand at the city of Washington, the 26th day of May, in the year of our Lord 1851, and in the seventy-fifth year of the Independence of the United States.
MILLARD FILLMORE. By the President:
W. S. DERRICK, Acting Secretary of State.
MILLARD FILLMORE, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
To all persons whom these presents shall concern, greeting:
Know ye, that, reposing special trust and contidence in the integrity and prudence of John B. Kerr, accredited as chargé d'affaires of the United States to the Republic of Nicaragua, I have authorized, and by these presents do authorize, and empower him to exchange with any person duly authorized on the part of the Government of the Republic of Guatemala my ratification for the ratification of the chief magistrate of that Republic of the general convention of peace, amity, commerce, and navigation between the United States and that Republic, signed in the city of Guatemala on the 3d day of March, in the year of our Lord 1849.
In testiinony whereof I have caused the seal of the United States to be hereunto [L. S.] affixed.
Given under my hand at the city of Washington the 20th day of May, in the year of our Lord 1851, and in the seventy-fifth year of the Independence of the United States.
W. S. DERRICK,
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, November 20, 1851. Sir: The President of the United States having thought proper to name John Bozman Kerr their chargé d'affaires to the national representation of Central America, 1 have the honor of announcing the same to your excellency, and of praying you to give credence to whatever he shail say to you on my part. He knows the concern which our Republic takes in the interest and prosperity of the national representation of Central America; our strong desire to cultivate its friendship and to deserve it by all the good offices which may be in our power. He knows also my zeal to promote these by whatever may depend upon my ministry.
I have no doubt that Mr. Kerr will so conduct himself as to merit your confidence, and I avail myself with pleasure of this opportunity to offer to you the assurance of my most distinguished consideration.
DANL. WEBSTER. His Excellency the MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS,
Of the national representation of Central America.
WASHINGTON, February 17, 1854. My Dear Sir: The most equitable mode of compensation to our foreign ministers has many times been made a subject of rigid scrutiny in view of the palpable injustice so often experienced by them under the various contingencies of their public service, and in 1825 it was specially brought to the notice of Congress and the country through the elaborate statements of Mr. Monroe. The precedents indicate $9,000 as the amount to which I am entitled under the peculiar circumstances of my recent mission, embracing, in fact, all the States of Central America in virtue of commissions, subsequent in date to that accrediting me to the Republic of Nicaragua alone.
You are aware that early in the Thirty-first Congress, under suggestions from the State Department, an effort was made to substitute a minister plenipotentiary for the two chargés des affaires, resident at remote points from each other, in Leon de Nicaragua and Guatemala. My transfer from New Granada (after nomination and confirmation) to this delicate and responsible post in Central America was accompanied with a dirert intimation of an intended renewal of this effort in the coming Congress. In the meanwhile I was tendered a commission, under date of March 12, 1851, as the chargé d'affaires to the Republic of Nicaragua. In May following two commissions were made out, requesting me to go, officially, to the Republics of San Salvador and Guatemala. For just such services, in our earlier history, diplomatic agents have had allowances sometimes in the form of half outfits and at others of a full outfit. Anoutfit for these journeys, with letters of credence to the two Governinents, would barely reimburse me. The city of Guatemala is about fifteen days' journey from Leon de Nicaragua, the capital, where I had established my family, and the seat of government of the Republic to which I was accredited. A per diem, with all expenses going and returning. exclusive of stay in the respective capitals, is the compensation of a bearer of dispatches or a special messenger. What would be proper enough in this case could not be otherwise than grossly unjust to a resident minister at one court sent on special missions to others. The latter, in his official character, is thrown constantly in the public eye, and he has to encounter expenses commensurate with the position. The calculations of ingenious parsimony would be of little avail were they allowable.
Besides, in these journeys of nearly 2,000 miles, in an unsettled country, there was enough of privation and danger at every turn. I was many times in the saddle from dawn to midnight, lost by the mistalies of my guide in mountain paths. Some months previously the roads could not have been passed at all. except with a military escort. On the borders of Guatemala the roads had been infested by lucios, bodies of armed men, partly political, and always predatory, and I passed through districts where the villages, the lurking piaces of these men, had been recently laid in ashes, the inhabitants having been driven elsewhere,
During my stay in the city of Guatemala I parted with the British chargé and consul. Gen. W. Frederick Chatfield, whose route to the port of Izabal was over a portion of country held by these lucios in force, watching all the passes and ready to welcome every comer, native or foreign. This traveling in Central America was no holiday pastime, and these journeys had become absolutely imperative. The Governments of San Salvador and Guatemala were restive under the slight imparted on the part of the United States in neglecting, for several years, to provide for the due exchange of ratifications of treaties with them. In carrying out the instructions of our Government under these letters of credence to San Salvador and Guatemala I was called to the performance of just such duties as have repeatedly found their only equivalent in payment by outfit.
Let meturn now from these two special missions to San Salvador and Guatemala, 80 distant and ditlicult of access from my established residence as chargé to Nicaragua, and in addition to outfit for services in these two Republics Ibavea further claim to $1,500 consequent upon my app intment a chargé d'affaires to“ the national representation of Central America." This was composed of men claiming the entire control over the foreign relations of Nicaragua, San Salvador, and Honduras, and its seat of power at the time of my reaching the country was at Leon. The Republic of Nicaragua was represented here by an envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary, and yet it dared not receive me in the face of arrogant assumptions on the part of this body, very soon after showing itself in its true colors as factious and revolutionary. The President of the United States was obliged in this difficult conjuncture to name me as chargé to the Government of the three States into which Nicaragua was then supposed, by the action of its public officers, to have been merged, and the letter of credence vests in me a right to claim an outfit of $4,500. It was so adjudged in 1812, when Mr. Adams was sent specially from his residence to St. Petersburg to join Messrs. Gallatin, Bayard, and others in a mission to treat with Great Britain. My case in reference to the letter of credence to“ the national representation of Central America” is precisely that of Mr. Donelson, under the Administration of the late President Polk. This gentleman, resident at Berlin, had a letter of credence to the Germanic Confederati' n, a ruasi revolutionary movement, and for his journey to Frankfort-on-the-Main he had $9,000. It was under precedents. Indeed, the only just and equitable mode of payment to a diplomatic agent in cases of special mission, as clearly shown by Mr. Monroe after much experience, is that by ouifit. Every argument is in its favor, as from a variety of circumstances a foreign minister is exposed to many “expenses ” which he must necessarily overlook and never claim.
A few more cases similar to mine had as well be cited. In 1900 Mr. William Vans Murray, of Maryland, resident at The Hague, was sent specially to Paris in order to act jointly with Messrs. Ellsworth and Davis. Mr. Monroe, when stationary at London, was specially went to Madrid in 1804. Each was allowed on returning a full outfit of $9,000 for his journey. In 1806 Mr. William Pinkney, of Maryland, was appointed to Russia, and required on his way to present a letter of credence at Naples. For this he was allowed $9,000 ** expenses in the form of outfit corre. sponding with his grade." I ask payment in a similar form, and the equity is the strouger when the difficulties and privations incident to traveling in Central America are considered.
This claim in my behalf, under the memorial presented by you to the Senate, is a perfectly equitable one, with precedents early and recent. I was a stationary or resident minister at Leon, the capital of Nicaragua, and under commissions f May 26, 1851, I was sent specially to two other Republics. The journeys were made in 1852, subsequent to the receipt of my commission as chargé d'affaires to "the national representation of Central America," enlarging my powers so as to embrach Honduras and Salvador as well as Nicaragua. The policy of our Government has been carried out in substituting a minister plenipotentiary for all the States in lieu of a chargé (as during my residenice) to one of them. My position during this period was extremely deli ate, as it was necessary to act in view of the civil war then flagrant, and with e nflicting claims for sovereigntı between Nicaragua and the national representation." There is no avoiding the fact that, with an outfit and salary of a charge to the Republic of Nicaragua, I have been forced to assume official responsibility in every one of the five States of Central America.