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The Naval Act of 1794

Chap. XII. -- An Act to provide a Naval Armament

Whereas the depredations committed by the Algerine corsairs on the commerce of the United States render it necessary that a naval force should be provided for its protection:

Section 1. Be it therefore enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the President of the United States be authorized to provide, by purchase or otherwise, equip and employ four ships to carry forty-four guns each, and two ships to carry thirty-six guns each.

Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That there shall be employed on board each of the said ships of forty-four guns, one captain, four lieutenants, one lieutenant of marines, one chaplain, one surgeon, and two surgeon’s mates; and in each of the ships of thirty-six guns, one captain, three lieutenants, one lieutenant of marines, one surgeon, and one surgeon’s mate, who shall be appointed and commissioned in like manner as other officers of the United States are.

Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That there shall be employed, in each of the said ships, the following warrant officers, who shall be appointed by the President of the United States, to wit: One sailing-master, one purser, one boatswain, one gunner, one sail-maker, one carpenter, and eight midshipmen; and the following petty officers, who shall be appointed by the captains of the ships, respectively, in which they are to be employed, viz: two master’s mates, one captain’s clerk, two boatswain’s mates, one cockswain, one sail-maker’s mate, two gunner’s mates, one yeoman of the gun room, nine quarter-gunners, (and for the four larger ships two additional quarter-gunners,) two carpenter’s mates, one armourer, one steward, one cooper, one master-at-arms, and one cook.

Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That the crews of each of the said ships of forty-four guns, shall consist of one hundred and fifty seamen, one hundred and three midshipmen and ordinary seamen, one sergeant, one corporal, one drum, one fife, and fifty marines; and that the crews of each of the said ships of thirty-six guns shall consist of one hundred and thirty able seamen and midshipmen, ninety ordinary seamen, one sergeant, two corporals, one drum, one fife, and forty marines, over and above the officers herein before mentioned.

Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, That the President of the United States be, and he is hereby empowered, to provide, by purchase or may purchase a force not exceeding that directed by this act.otherwise, in lieu of the said six ships, a naval force not exceeding, in the whole, that by this act directed, so that no ship thus provided shall carry less than thirty-two guns; or he may so provide any proportion thereof, which, in his discretion, he may think proper.

Sec. 6. And be it further enacted, That the pay and subsistence of the respective commissioned and warrant officers be as follows:—A captain, seventy-five dollars per month, and six rations per day;—a lieutenant, forty dollars per month, and three rations per day;—a lieutenant of marines, twenty-six dollars per month, and two rations per day;—a chaplain, forty dollars per month, and two rations per day;—a sailing-master, forty dollars per month, and two rations per day;—a surgeon, fifty dollars per month, and two rations per day; a surgeon’s mate, thirty dollars per month, and two rations per day;—a purser, forty dollars per month, and two rations per day;—a boatswain, fourteen dollars per month, and two rations per day;—a gunner, fourteen dollars per month, and two rations per day;—a sailmaker, fourteen dollars per month, and two rations per day;—a carpenter, fourteen dollars per month, and two rations per day.

Sec. 7. And be it further enacted, That the pay to be allowed to the petty officers, midshipmen, seamen, ordinary seamen and marines, shall be fixed by the President of the United States: Provided, That the whole sum to be given for the whole pay aforesaid, shall not exceed twenty-seven thousand dollars per month, and that each of the said persons shall be entitled to one ration per day.

Sec. 8. And be it further enacted, That the ration shall consist of, as follows: Sunday, one pound of bread, one pound and a half of beef, and half a pint of rice:—Monday, one pound of bread, one pound of pork, half a pint of peas or beans, and four ounces of cheese:—Tuesday, one pound of bread, one pound and a half of beef, and one pound of potatoes, or turnips, and pudding: Wednesday, one pound of bread, two ounces of butter, or in lieu thereof, six ounces of molasses, four ounces of cheese, and half a pint of rice:—Thursday, one pound of bread, one pound of pork, and half a pint of peas or beans:—Friday, one pound of bread, one pound of salt fish, two ounces of butter or one gill of oil, and one pound of potatoes:—Saturday, one pound of bread, one pound of pork, half a pint of peas or beans, and four ounces of cheese:—And there shall also be allowed one half pint of distilled spirits per day, or, in lieu thereof, one quart of beer per day, to each ration.

Sec. 9. Provided always, and be it further enacted, That if a peace shall take place between the United States and the Regency of Algiers, that no farther proceeding be had under this act.

Approved, March 27, 1794.