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A»rRic\x Navy.—Our readers will recollect that during the height of the discussion upon the state of our Navy, the detractors, not content with their endeavours to impress upon all the world the opinion of its decline, never failed tncontrast its condition with that of France and of America. The calamitous condition of the French squadron driven for shelter into Palma last month gives a tolerable idea of the state of efficiency in which the ships of that nation are maintained; and the large votes of money to remedy the admitted paucity of their dock-yard material, are sufficient proofs that neither in their effective nor con-etieetive state do they merit the praise of these vaunting eulogists.
With respect to the United States of America, we learn by the last accounts that so far from their limited fleet being maintained in a state for service, with the exception of the ships in commission, there is scarcely one but what would require extensive repairs, while their fortifications are represented as in a deplorable state of dilapidation.
During a debate in the House of Reprcsentates on the 25th of February, on the subject of extending the vote for Naval appropriation from one million and a half to two million dollars, Mr. Thompson observed, "The condition of the Navy is one of ruin and dilapidation. He would state but one fact, and if the Secretary and all the officers should contradict it, he would assert it «t ill, for he knew it to be true. When the French squadron were blockading the whole coast of Brazil, and the interests of the American merchants then required support and defence, a small ship was sent to New York for Commodore Ridgeley; but when she was about to sail she was found Bo rotten as not to be seaworthy, and we had no other ship afloat that could go; and in this urgent and pressing state of circumstances we had to wait, to leave our commerce unprotected for months, till at last a little sloop was found and sent,"
The fact is, that both now and heretofore the extent of the Naval force of America has been greatly overrated. They maintain a few ships in good condition, but their ability to extend their force, even to double it, is very questionable; and of the ships that appear in their list, many are, we arc assured, unfit for sea, until repaired, and not a few of such defective qualities as not to be worth repairing. In case of war it will be long ere the United States of America fits out a fleet of ships-of-the-line, and their operations will most probably be confined, as formerly, to single cruizers, and these will, of course, be perfectly and efficiently equipped. The means of blockading are, however, rendered more sure and easy since the introduction of strum navigation ; and in the face of steam-vessels incessantly on the watch it will be difficult for their ships to escape, more particularly as all the ports of the United States are beset by bars, only passable at certain seasons. The following has been put forth as the distribution of the American Navy at the present time.
The United States has sixty-eight vessels of war, including those on the stocks, tliirty-three of which are in active service, viz., one ship-of-the-liuc, live frigates, thirteen sloops, four brigs, seven schooners, two coast-steamers, and one storeship. Tliey are distributed as follows:—
Mediterranean—1 line-of-battle ship, 1 frigate, 2 sloops; West Indies—1 frigate, 1 sloop; Brazils—1 frigate, 3 sloops, 1 schooner; Pacific—1 frigate, 3 sloop*; Coast of Africa—2 brigantines, 1 schooner; Coast of Florida—.'5 schooners; Atlantic Coast—2 schooners; Surveying—1 brig; Exploring—2 sloops, 1 brig, 1 schooner. Two fine steam-frigates are building at the Brooklyn and Philadelphia Navy-yards; the former to be armed with eight ten-inch Piiixhan guns.—Nacal and Military Gazette.
Magicienhe.—The French frigate Magiciennc, of '10 giins, has been wrecked on the Bombay Shoal, in the Palawan Passage, on her way to Manilla. Her ercw was saved by the English ships Mysore and Clifford, and the Fre.ni.li vessel Favourite. The French corvette bauaidu had started for the Wreck, with a view to save all she could from i:.
Liberation Of Slaves.—In the early part of December last, her Majesty's brig Termagant, Lieut. Seagram, commander, arrived at Sierra Leone, having on board 104 Africans. As the circumstances under which Lieut. Seagram became possessed of those persons are rather singular and interesting, I venture to send you an account of them, in case they should be sufficiently so to merit a place in your valuable Journal. Theodore Carrot, (an Italian) has been several years settled at New Sestcrs on the Grain Coa»t as a slave trader. He is understood to be, (or rather to have been) the agent or partner of the notorious Pedro Blanco, formerly of the Gallinas. His slave-dealing transactions were very extensive, and he followed up his iniquitous calling with much diligence and success. On the 5th of December, while the Termagant lay at anchor oft' New Sesters, Signor Carrot voluntarily gave up to Lieut. Seagram the Africans above-mentioned for emancipation at Sierra Leone. He stated as his motive for conduct so very unaccountable on the part of a slave trader, that he was quite disgusted with slave dealings, and was anxious to enter on a more reputable mode of life, and as an earnest of the sincerity of his expressed desire, he not only voluntarily gave up the persons above alluded to, whom he had purchased for exportation, but also gave information of three vessels which he shortly expected from the Havana. The information thus voluntarily communicated was afterwards found to be quite correct, and has since led to the capture by her Majesty's brig Saracen of two of the vessels, the third narrowly escaped capture; she was chased by the Wanderer, Capt. Denman, and was lost sight of at nightfall. Signor Carrot represented her as being the brig Scorpion, and stated that she had been taken to Sierra Leone as a prize in 1835, under the name of El Volador. It is understood that Carrot has made application to the local government of this colony, stating that he has finally ivcn up slave-dealing, and that he is desirous of being allowed to settle as au finest man and merchant at Sierra Leone. There are different opinions entertained of the propriety of compliance with such a request, from such a quarter; many enlightened persons are however of opinion that it might very safely be complied with, as by the provisions of the "Alien Act" his removal could be easily accomplished, should his conduct at any time render that measure desirable or expedient. Carrot is said to have made certain disclosures which, coupled with information derived from books and papers found at the Gallinas, are likely to prove important matters for investigation by the Commissioner, Dr. Madden, who was daily expected.
The Countess op Durham.—Collision.—This case occurred in Havre Rondo, in which the schooner Johns was run foul of by the schooner Countess of Durham. The court pronounced for the damage consequent on the collision.
TiiEPRF.Mir.it.—Salvage.—A claim for salvage sen-ices rendered by three smacks to a collier htig from Scahani to London, that got upon the west Barrow Sands, a soft shoal in the mouth of the Thames, on the night between the 19th and 20(h of June last, owing to the fore-tackle getting foul of the tiller. The tender ntade was held by the court to be sufficient, but with reference to the value of the property to be 1,700/., so ample as not to call for costs,—no costs allowed.
The Jay.—Collision.—In this case tlie Anne, on her voyage from Stockton to London with coals; and the Jay, bound from London to North Shields, in ballast, in tlie night of the 21st of April came in collision, about seven miles to the northward of Cromer. Dr. Litshington pronounced for the claim of the Anne, observing, that where it is evident that a collision must take place, it is the duty of a vessel to take every means by backing the sails, or otherwise of at least rendering the collision less mischievous.
The David Luckie.—Tliit was an appeal from an award of the Commissionen of the Cinque Ports, under the statute 1 and 2 George IV., c. 7C. Tli« vesstl, the David Luckie, having met with tempestuous weather, got upon a sand, sprung a leak, and parted with a bower anchor and chain,—reached Dungeness, where she was boarded by a Deal pilot, and also by a Deal boat. The former understanding that the vessel had lost an anchor, insisted that a (resh anchor and cable should be procured, alledging a regulation of Lloyd s, which required that there should be three anchors, and a certain length of cable on board such a vessel. The master at length authorized the Deal boatmen to proceed to Deal, and procure an anchor and chain, and the latter (ten meu,) conveyed an anchor of 19 cwt. on board the David Luckie, which had then reached Margate roads. For this service, which lasted from four or five o'clock in the afternoon of the 25th of May, to ten o'clock in the morning of the following day,—the Commissioners at Deal have awarded 95/. Dr. Lushington wag of opinion, that as the vessel was in no distress at the time, the service was not a salvage service, and that a reward of 95/. pro opere et laiure for ten persons, during such a period of time was extravagant. Where an award slightly exceeded what this court might have been disposed to give, he should be indisposed to disturb the award of the Commissioners; but where he thought they lad grossly erred, a court of appeal could be of no use unless it interfered. Ha should allot Gj/. instead of 95/., he thought the former sum, the utmost tlve parties were entitled to, and such as the mercantile service ought to pay, unless an undue sacrifice was exacted from them. He gave no cost*, as lie was pronouncing against the judgment of the Commissioners, but he entertained a very strong opinion as to the excess of the awaid.
The Neptuse.—Colluion.—The Marmion was run foul of on the 8th Dec. 1S39, receiving considerable injury :—the question was whether the Neptune was the vessel that run foul of her. The court decided the identity was not proved, aud dismissed the Neptune.
TaEODOR Heinrich.—Salvage.—This was a question as to salrnge remuneration to be awarded to Lieut. Haines, his officers, and the crew of her Majesty's revenue cutter Defence, and the crew of the pilot-yawl Chance, of Aldborougb, for services Tendered to the Russian bark Theodor Heinrich, of 230 tons, from Odessa to Riga, with a cargo of oats. She had sailed on the 27th of August, and having experienced severe weather, arrived on the 13th of November oft' Orfordness, but being unable to obtain a regular pilot, ran first to the Downs, but being driven thence by stress of weather, with loss of anchor, and having sprungaleak, the master was proceeding along the Suffolk coast, and on the 14th, when ten miles off" Dunwich, the vessel was fallen in with by the cutter, and khortly after by the Chance. A pilot was put on board the foreign vessel from the cutter, and, with the assistance of the cutter and yawl, which put a cable on board with eight of her men, the Theodor Heinrich was carried into the harbour of Harwich. There was much conflict in the affidavits as to whether or not the yawls' men obtruded their services against the will of the master. A tender of 200/. was made for the services of both sets of salvors, which was rejected as inadequate. The value of the vessel, cargo, and freight, waa 2,700/.
Dr. Lushington, in the first place, held that the tender was not a legal one, being conditional that the yawl's men should be paid thereout for their services by the other salvors. He was of opinion that a meritorious service had been performed, and he awarded 300/.
Thb Jamls.—Salvage.—This was a claim for remuneration for salvage services rendered to the James, a brig bound from Labrador to Poole, which, on entering Studlaiid B.iy, in the night of the 29th of November, by mistaking a vessel at anchor for a pilot-boat, ran ou the Long Ball sand. The question was, whether the vessel came off the sand by the rising of the tide merely, 0r
by tlip help of the salvors in heaving upon anchors and warps. The value of the property salved was 1,500/. A tender had been made of 20/.
Alter hearing Dr. Addams and Dr. Robertson, for the salvors, and Dr. Nicholl and Dr. Robertson for the owners,
Dr. Lushiugton thought the tender insufficient, and decreed CO/, with costs.
The SorniE.—Salvage.—This was a Swedish vessel, which, on a voyage to Tlonfleur, with a cargo of deah, got upon the Kentish Knock on the 13th of December, and was abandoned by the master and crew.
The court taking the value of the property at 250/., allotted 80/. to the salvors.
The Hunter.—Salvage.—This was a case of salvage service rendered by two smacks to a vessel which had been sold, and the proceeds were almost absorbed by the charges. A tender of 30/. had been made, and the court allotted 50/.
The Mary.—Salvage.—In this case, the Mary, a vessel of 95 tons, with a cargo of copper, on her voyage from Swansea to Rouen, having met with very stormy weather, and lost both her masts and bowsprit, on the 21st of November, the day after she sailed, endeavoured to enter the harbour of Ilfracombf, but not succeeding, she anchored 150 fathoms without the harbour. he salvors, in five boats, went to her assistance, and notwithstanding the state of the weather, brought her into the harbour. The value of ship, cargo, and freight, was 9,880/.
The Queen's advocate, (with whom was Dr. Robinson,) for the salvor*, contended, that the service rendered was of the highest salvage character, including eril of life, as well as skill and promptitude, and deserved to be rewarded iberally.
Dr. Addams (with whom was Dr. Robertson,) argued that the salvors had derogated from their original merit, by endeavouring to induce the master and crew to leave the vessel, in order that it might be represented as derelict, and improperly shipping the anchor, and if they had not forfeited all claim for reward, they should be recompensed very moderately. If the vessel liad actually gone upon the rocks, the cargo, the most valuable part of the property, would have been saved.
Dr. Lushington was of opinion, that the vessel had been in a disabled condition; that the salvors had rendered a most meritorious service, at the risk of their lives, and had not acted in opposition to the wishes of the master. He should allot to them a reward of 700/.
The Dryad—Dettruction of a Ship.—We gave the general outline of thii iniquitous case in our number for January last (p. 17). This will afford our readers a sufficient view of it, and the result of the trial which has since taken place proves the correctness of Sir P. Laurie's opinion of the case, as being one in which no bail could be taken. The result is contained in the following, delivered by the Lord Chief Justice on summing up the case to the jury.
The Lord Chief Justice having recapitulated the whole of the evidence, said that upon it they must be satisfied that the captain, with the intention of defrauding the underwriters, wilfully cast away the ship; secondly, they must be satisfied the goods insured never had been shipped; and lastly, they must be satisfied that a concert and scheme existed in London, in which the prisoner was a party concerned, and that by his aid that wicked scheme was carried i .to effect. If, on the whole of the evidence, they felt any reasonable ground for doubt that neither of these points had been established, then they would acquit the prisoner. If, however, they were satisfied upon those three points, then it would be their duty, however painful, to convict the prisoner. The question was one of mere fact, which the jury must take into their own hands.
After a short delay the jury expressed a wish to retire, and accordingly, at » quarter to seven, they were ushered out of court by an officer. On their return hito court, at half-past eight o'clock, they delivered a verdict of" Ciuilty."
Michael Shaw Stewart Wallace and Patrick Maxwell Stewart Wallace have in consequence been transported for life. We congratulate the Merchant Service fn genera] on this riddance. It is said that a true bill was also found against these persona for being concerned in the destruction of the ship Delta, four years ago. '■ I
However, the case as we said before is no solitary instance, and our tables of •reck^ amounting in our present number to about 57., afford ample matter for speculation! The means are easy: to incompetence in matters there are ample rocks known and unknown to run 6hips against with currents in their favour, and to competence in masters there are on the other hand, all the secret labyrinths of insurance, for working in when required, to the end that the Wallaces have done. Here is some more of their handy work.
Loss op The Lucy.—The following is a copy of ;i letter received at Lloyd's, respecting the loss of the Lucy, to which we yesterday referred, dated British Cumulate, Boa Vista, Cape de Verds, Dec. 16th, 18-10:—
"Sir.—I take leave to report, for the information of the committee at Lloyd's, that the brig Lucy, Houston Wallace, master, of and from Liverpool, bound* to Valparaiso, with a cargo of coals, was wrecked on the east point of the island of Sal, on the nigbt of the 9th insL, and has become a total loss.
"J«o lives were lost, but the crew have suffered by contusions in getting on shore, and are in a destitute state, from not being able to save their clothes.
"Captain Wallace has been furnished with every paper necessary to thorn tii <W he hot experienced, and proceeds to England by this opportunity. '", 'rtthave the honor, &c., . (Signed) "johnrendali., H.B.M. Consul."
"To W. Dobson, Esq., agent for Lloyd's*
"ft will be seen that omr Bristol correspondent reports the arrival at that port of the Margaret, England, from Cape de Verd, having on board the master of the Locy. We have since learnt that Mr. Wallace is in custody, and upon his perron were found u protest of the loss, and all the papers necessary to establish a claim upon the underwriters."—Skipping Gazette.
Mr. Wallace however it appears was not in custody by the following advertisement.
"ship Lcct.—Felony.—100/. Reward.—Whereas Houston Wallace, shipowner and master mariner, late captain of the brig Lucy, bound from Bristol *nd LnmeHy'tb Valparaiso, in the month of November last, and which was wrecked on the island of Sal, one of the Cape de Verde islnnds, in the month •f December last, stands charged with felony, for having wilfully destroyed the •aid ship Lucy, on her said voyage, for the purpose of defrauding the Insurance Companies, or Underwriters, who had effected insurances by the said vessel; —A reward of 100/. will be paid to any person who will lodge him in any of her Majesty's gaols, upon application to the General Maritime Assurance Company', Office, 30, Conihill, London.
The said Houston Wallace is about five feet nine inches high, rather spare ""Di, age about twenty-eight years, florid complexion, brown hair and liazle eyes, had no whiskers when he left England, good teeth, stoops, Scotch dialect, and a sea-faring man in appearance."
We leave this for the comment of our readers, while we congratulate tho merchant service on the discovery of these pests of honest men.
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Tnr. Naval Surof.on.—By the Author of Cavendish, $c.—In three volumes. • CtUmrn, London. ■....»:/
The author concludes his work with the following apothegms.-1-" Are we ENLARGED 8ERIES.—NO. 4.—VOL. FOR 1841. 2 0