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true value. An examination of the accounts and vouchers will show at what value in francs the pound sterling was estimated to Mr. Forsyth. And what the true value of the pound sterling is in francs is shown thus: The 40 francs coin of France contains 179 grains of pure gold. (See 2 Kelly's Cambist, p. 158.) Of course, 1 franc contains (179 divided by 40, or) 4.475 grains.
We have already seen that the pound sterling contains 113 grains. And to ascertain how many francs there are in £1 sterling we have only to divide 113 by 4. 475. The process gives us (113-4.475) 25.25.
) Your committee have procured from the Treasury Department a statement showing all the drafts drawn by Mr. Forsyth upon London, and also the amount of gain charged against him upon the same, in making up his accounts, by the accounting officer of the Treasury. They have also procured copies of the vouchers furnished the Department by Mr. Forsyth, showing the rates at which he sold these several drafts respectively, whether sold for pesos or francs. And they have caused elaborate and accurate calculations of the losses and gains which were in fact really incurred or realized upon the sale of each one of them. And they find, that instead of realizing gains upon the sale of each one of them, Mr. Forsyth actually sustained loss upon the sale of all of them except two; and that the aggregate of his losses amounted to $760.81, while the aggregate of his gains was but $28.04, showing an excess of loss over gain of $732.77. Whereas, in the account made up with him at the Treasury Department, he is charged with the sum of $1,407.29 as gain upon the sale of his drafts on London. It follows, therefore, that he stands charged, in the account as made up with him at the Department, with $2,140.06 more than he ought to have been charged with. In other words, upon the final settlement of his account, the United States was really indebted to Mr. Forsyth in the last-named sum; which the committee think ought to be refunded to his legal representatives, and they report a bill accordingly.
Your committee also submit herewith their calculations named above.
May 21, 1858.
(Senate Report No. 269.]
Mr. Mason submitted the following report:
The Committee on Foreign Relations, to whom was referred the memorial of Samuel Bromburg, late United States consul at Hamburg, praying compensation for diplomatic and extra services, have had the same under consideration and now report:
The memorialist represents that he was duly appointed consul of the United States for the port of Hamburg November 1, 1849, entered upon the discharge of his duties April 16, 1850, and continued therein until December 27, 1855; that during that period the income of his office, averaging about $1,100 per annum, was insufficient for the support of himself and family; that during his consulate he was often required to act as agent for receiving and forwarding despatches, parcels, and packages for the Department of State, which occupied a large portion of his time and involved some pecuniary expense; that he was also required to perform certain diplomatic services, consisting, as far as specifically presented, of his interposition for the protection of
adopted American citizens against impressment into foreign service, efforts to prevent the introduction of foreign convicts into the United States, and for the general maintenance of the rights of American citizens under existing treaties, and for these services asks that he may be allowed an additional compensation of $1,000 per annum during his official term.
This memorial appears to have been presented to the House of Representatives on the 230 December, 1856, referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and shortly thereafter by the chairman of that committee transmitted to the Department of State with a request for information respecting the claim and inquiring “whether the Department has the power to pay such claims without Congressional legislation."
The Secretary, under date of January 6, 1857, in reply, says: By referring to the general instructions to United States consuls and commercial agents, edition of 1838, in use at the time of the appointment of Mr. Bromburg, or to the instructions” and regulations,” issued in 1857 and 1856, respectively, it will be seen that the duties of consular officers are of a very miscellaneous character, and in the language of the statute of 1792, still in force. “The specification of certain powers and duties
to be exercised or performed by the consuls or vice-consuls of the United States shall not be construed to the exclusion of others resulting from the nature of these appointments. Consequently consular officers of the United States throughout the world have been required to discharge duties not differing essentially from those performed by Mr. Bromburg without expectation on their part or of the Department that extra compensation would be allowed for such services.
In performing the services for which Mr. Bromburg now claims compensation he was doing no more than what would have been expected from any other consular officer under similar circumstances. If Mr. Broinburg has been subjected to expenses for postage or freight in the transmission of official despatches or packages, such expenditures will be paid by this Department on the presentation of an account accoinpanie, by proper vouchers.
From this statement of the Secretary it would seem that the memorialist has no well-founded claim for compensation for what he conceives to have been his diplomatic services, those services being properly pertinent to his consular office and strictly within the line of his legitimate duty. And the Department of State having already sufficient authority to reimburse whatever expenses he may have incurred for postage or freight there seems to be no further question for the committee to consider, they therefore recommend that the prayer of the petitioner be refused, and ask to be discharged from the further consideration of the subject.
June 8, 1858.
(Senate Report No. 310.)
Mr. Mason made the following report:
The Committee on Foreign Relations, to whom was referred the petition of Ferdinand Coxe, late secretary of the United States legation at Rio de Janeiro, praying compensation for diplomatic services, have had the same under consideration, and now report:
That, during the first session of the Thirty-third Congress, a bill for the relief of the petitioner was reported to the Senate by this committee, together with a report briefly setting forth the grounds upon
S. Doc. 231, pt 3—45
which the claim rested and recommending its passage; upon a reexamination of the case, the committee, concurring entirely in the views therein presented, readopt the same, and report back the same bill and recommend that it pass.
[See Senate Report 378, Thirty-third Congress, first session, p. 672.]
[See pp. 690, 721.]
June 8, 1858.
[Senate Report No. 311.)
Mr. Mason made the following report:
The Committee on Foreign Relations, to whom was referred the memorial of John II. Wheeler, late United States minister to Nicaragua, have had the same under consideration, and now report:
The memorial sets forth that a party of American citizens, while crossing the Isthmus en route from California to New York, were attacked by the natives at Virgin Bay, on the Lake of Nicaragua, on the 19th of October, 1855, some of whom were killed and others wounded and robbed, while at the same time another party of hostile natives, strongly armed, were collected at San Carlos, on the other side of the lake. Thus hemmed in by hostile forces on both sides, and cut off from access to either ocean, they applied to the memorialist, then minister resident of the United States at that place, for protection and relief, which was promptly afforded; comfortable quarters procured and food supplied them (two hundred and fifty in number) for two days and nights.
It further appears that under instructions from the Department of State, dated October 23, 1851, the memorialist was required to aid Jos. W. Fabens, esq., a commissioner appointed for that purpose, in collecting information and taking testimony at San Juan (Greytown), in relation to the conduct of the persons who assumed political control over San Juan del Norte, and also with regard to the claims against our Government on account of property destroyed by the late bombardment of that place by Captain Hollins, of the United States Navy. That, in the performance of this service he was engaged for more than two months away from his proper residence and necessarily subjected to great inconvenience and additional expenses, amounting to the sum of $273.98.
The memorialist further sets forth that in the fall of 1856, by recall from the Department of State, he returned to the United States, as was then supposed, on a temporary visit. On that occasion he left at the legation personal property to the value of over $2,000. That this property was destroyed by the allied forces of Guatemala, Honduras, San Salvador, Costa Rica, and a part of Nicaragua.
The memorialist further represents that on his departure for Central America he was instructed by the Department of State to draw upon London for his salary and the contingent expenses of the legation, and for that purpose a credit was opened for him with Messrs. Baring Brothers. That on his arrival in Nicaragua it was found impracticable to negotiate drafts on London; he had, therefore, to make an agent here, who drew on London, and for a time deposited in New York or Washington. That in Nicaragua these drafts could only be negotiated at the reduced value of the currency of the country in
which the peso or dollar was worth only 80 cents for each real dollar drawn for. The amount of his drafts, from October, 1854, to October 1856, was $14,706, and consequently the loss incurred by him was $2,941.20.
These statements are fully supported by the testimony filed with the memorial, and may be summed up thus: 1. Reimbursement for amount expended in the maintenance and protection of distressed American citizens crossing the Isthmus
$500.00 2. Amount of expenses incurred while taking testimony at San Juan del Norte
273.98 3. Value of property destroyed at Granada
2,000.00 4. Loss in exchanges.
5,715. 18 The first item was embraced in a memorial presented to the Senate at the last session of Congress, referred to this committee, fully examined, and a bill for the relief of the claimant to the amount claimed reported by them. That bill, for want of time, failed to be acted upon by the Senate. Upon a reexamination the committee fully concur in the views presented in that report, and, therefore readopt the same as part of this report.
The other items above mentioned were not embraced in that memorial for the reason, as stated by the memorialist, “that at the time that memorial was presented, in 1857, his accounts were in progress of settlement before the Treasury Department, and it was not until October, 1857, that they were finally closed;” and further, that he was not apprised of the value of his property destroyed at Granada in time for the last session of Congress.
As to the second item above presented, there can be no doubt that a public functionary charged with the performance of extra duties not pertaining to his office, and necessarily involving additional expenses, should be reimbursed to the amount of his expenses thus necessarily incurred.
Upon a similar principle, the third item should also be allowed; for it is obviously the duty of government to protect its public officers engaged in its service in the full and unrestrained enjoyment of all their personal and property rights while so engaged, and on failure to do so, to make good any losses he may have sustained.
With regard to the fourth and last item, the loss on exchange, in the opinion of the committee it would seem to be the duty of the Government, in paying the salaries of its public agents, whether domestic or foreign, so to do it as to make such payment available to the officer to the amount of such salary at the place where he is stationed. It has been usual heretofore to observe this rule, and it would be manifestly unjust to Mr. Wheeler to depart from it in this instance.
The committee report a bill in accordance with the views above presented and recommend its passage. They also report herewith the testimony by which the various items claimed are supported.
REPUBLIC OF NICARAGUA,
Granada, December 24, 1855. I do hereby certify that I was a passenger on board the steamer Uncle Sum, from San Francisco to New York; that on the 19th of October last we were unprovokedly fired upon while at Virgin Bay by the forces of the then Government of Nicaragua; that many were killed, many wounded, and all much alarmed. By
unanimous consent we prevailed upon the agent of the Accessory Transit Company to take us to Granada, where we placed ourselves under the care of the American minister, Colonel Wheeler, who received us as brothers, procured comfortable quarters, and supplied us two days and nights with every necessary, There were 250 of us; 2 died and were buried by the care of Colonel Wheeler, and 2 left in hospital, and 1, a sailor, at his house, by whom he was fed. He also furnished clothes to those who had been robbed at Virgin Bay.
W. E. RUST.
LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES, Granada. Sworn to before me this 24th December, 1855.
JNO. H. WHEELER,
REPUBLIC OF NICARAGUA, Granada:
I, Jos. N. Scott, do hereby depose that for some years I have been and still am the general agent of the Accessory Transit Company on this isthmus; that on the 19th of October last the passengers on said route were unprovokedly fired upon by a strong force of the army of Nicaragua at Virgin Bay, by which some were instantly killed, many wounded, and all much alarmed. The same party held a strong force at San Carlos, and had already fired on the company's steamer and prevented her passing, by which a lady and child were instantly killed and another wounded.
There seemed to be no escape for the unfortunate, unarmed passengers, as both points of the route were occupied by a strong force. They unanimously entreated me to take them to Granada, the residence of the American minister, Col. John H. Wheeler, as it was impossible, from the number of passengers and being out of provisions, for me to keep them any longer.
When we reached Granada the cholera broke out, and one (Nicholas Carrol, esq., of California) died while in the harbor, and many were sick. I sent for the minister, and he came on board the steamer and informed the passengers that as American citizens they should have every comfort as well as protection. He supplied them (in number two hundred and fifty) with comfortable quarters, and supplied them with food for two days and nights. Two died and were buried at Granada, and three were left, unable to move for wounds-one in Colonel Wheeler's house. He freely gave his time, money, house, and clothes to his suffering countrymen, as some of them were robbed of everything by the enemy at Virgin Bay.
JOSEPH N. SCOTT, Agent. Sworn and subscribed to before me this 13th December, 1855.
[Duplicate.) No. 19.)
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, February 5, 1856. SIR: Your dispatches to No. 39, inclusive, are received.
In relation to the expense which you allege in your No. 34 you have incurred in the support of a large number of American citizens in distress who placed themselves under your protection, I have to inform you that this Department has no fund from which it is authorized to reimburse such expenditures. Although inconvenience and hardship may be the result of this inability to replace the funds which our diplomatic representatives often advance out of their private means for the relief of their distressed fellow-citizens in foreign countries, the Department has no mode of relief at command, and can only suggest an application to Congress for such aid as the circumstances warrant. I am, sir, your obedient servant,
W. L. MARCY. John H. WHEELER, Esq., etc.