The Plough Boy Anthology


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AMERICAN STATE PAPERS


DOCUMENTS

LEGISLATIVE AND EXECUTIVE

OF THE

CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES

FROM THE
SECOND SESSION OF THE NINETEENTH TO THE SECOND SESSION OF THE TWENTY-FIRST CONGRESS,
COMMENCING JANUARY 12, 1827, AND ENDING MARCH 1, 1831

SELECTED AND EDITED, UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF CONGRESS

BY
ASBURY DICKENS, SECRETARY OF THE SENATE,
AND
JOHN W. FORNEY, CLERK OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.

VOLUME III.
NAVAL AFFAIRS
WASHINGTON:
PUBLISHED BY GALE'S & SEATON
1860.


21ST CONGRESS.]                              NO. 415                              [1ST SESSION.


AUTHORIZATION OF THE NAVAL EXPLORING EXPEDITION IN THE SOUTH SEAS AND PACIFIC OCEAN, AND OF THE PURCHASE OF AND PAYMENT FOR ASTRONOMICAL AND OTHER INSTRUMENTS FOR THE SAME.

COMMUNICATED TO THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES MARCH 17, 1830.


     

Mr. WHITE, from the Committee on Naval Affairs, to whom was referred the petition of Lieutenant Charles Wilkes, jr., of the United States navy, reported:

      That it appears from the proceedings of this House that a resolutton was adopted on the 21st of May, 1828, authorizing the President of the United States to send one of the small public ships into the Pacific ocean and South sea to examine the coasts, islands, harbors, shoals and reefs in those seas, provided it could be effected without prejudice to the general interest of the naval service; and provided it could be done without further appropriations during that year.

      And your committee find, from a report made by the Secretary of the Navy, on the 27th of November, 1828, to the President, that the sloop-of-war Peacock was selected for this service, and placed under the command of Master Commandant Thomas Ap Catesby Jones; and Lieutenant Charles Wilkes, jr., was selected as astronomer to the expedition.

      Lieutenant Wilkes was instructed, in order to carry into effect the contemplated object, to purchase a number of astronoirneal and mathematical instruments; a list of which, with the letter of the Secretary of the Navy, is hereunto annexed.

      Your committee have annexed a statement of the articles paid for by the Navy Department, and also those paid for by the navy agent at New York. The sum of about $3,300 remains unpaid to sundry individuals, for instruments purchased by the said Lieutenant Charles Wilkes, jr., as will appear from the statement annexed.

      As this officer acted in good faith, under the orders of the Navy Department, your committee are of opinion that relief should be afforded to him for the liability he has incurred; and therefore report a bill authorizing the proper accounting officer to adjust the accounts of the parties interested.

Schedule of the astronomical and mathematical instruments purchased for the exploring expedition to the Pacific ocean and South sea.

      Articles paid for by Navy Department:
To Lieutenant Wilkes, for reflecting circle$125 00
To E. Maury, for sextant85 00
$210 00
======
      Articles paid for by navy agent at New York:
To F. R. Hassler, for reflecting and repeating circle$500 00
To F. Robert, for celestial atlas14 00
To R. Patten, for artificial horizons, &c.145 00
To P. Burtsell, for books, &c.127 00
To G. Chilton, for barometer and hygrometer43 50
To C. Woakley, for sympresometer38 00
To R. Patten, for sextants300 00
$1,167 50
======
      The following bills remain unpaid:
      To Lieutenant Wilkes,
For barometer, hygrometer, &c., imported by Professor Renwick$90 00
To Richard Patten,
For repeating theodolite$560 00
For variation transit550 00
For frame for pendulum20 00
For azimuth compass60 00
For dipping needle, &c.60 00
For telescope20 00
For spirit levels30 00
1,300 00
To B. & S. Demilt,
For astronomical clock and case$180 00
For three eight-day chronometers1,260 00
For one pocket chronometer260 00
1,700 00
To Lieutenant Wilkes,
For instruments ordered from England$150 00
For instruments ordered from France8 00
158 60
$3,248 00
======

To the honorable the Senate and House of Representatives, in Congress assembled:

      Your petitioner, Charles Wilkes, jr., a lieutenant in the navy of the United States, respectfully showeth: That he received an order at Washington, dated 18th November, 1828, from the Hon. Samuel L. Southard, the then Secretary of the Navy, directing him to proceed to New York, and there procure and prepare certain instruments for the exploring expedition about to be fitted out, named in a list enclosed with his orders, both of which are hereunto annexed, marked A No. 1 and 2. That, in pursuance of said orders, he proceeded to New York, and procured some of the said instruments, and ordered others to be made. That he was directed, by a letter from the Secretary of the Navy, of the 4th December, 1828, (hereunto annexed, marked B,) to send the bills, certified, to the navy agent of the New York station, for payment; that he continued to do so until the beginning of April, when the navy agent refused to pay any more money, until a further order from the Department. That your petitioner then wrote to the Hon. John Branch, the present Secretary of the Navy, informing him of the refusal of the navy agent to pay any more money, and requested to know in what manner your petitioner was to liquidate the different bills for the instruments then making, and, in answer, he received a letter from the Hon. John Branch, dated 13th May, 1829, (hereunto annexed, marked C,) stating "that Congress had made no appropriation for the expenses of this expedition." And your petitioner further adds, that in subsequent verbal communications, the Hon. Secretary of the Navy told him that, as Congress had made no appropriation, or done any act to countenance the orders given your petitioner, he regretted he could not afford your petitioner any relief; but advised your petitioner to make application, by a petition, to Oongress, at their next session: which your petitioner now does, and humbly prays that relief may be afforded him by an appropriation to the amount of the claims (hereunto annexed, marked D) against the exploring expedition, incurred by your petitioner in obedience to the aforementioned orders from the Navy Department.

CHARLES WILKES, JR., Lieutenant U.S. Navy.     

NEW YORK, February 19, 1830.     

      SIR: Having understood, by a letter received from Mr. Golden yesterday, that the bills that are annexed to my petition have not enabled the committee of which you are chairman to ascertain the amounts due, and to whom, and that they ought have been attested by the parties themselves, I readily embrace this opportunity of enclosing copies them, attested by the parties, viz: Richard Patten, and Benjamin and Samuel Demilt, lest my letter to Mr. White, telling the circumstances, written a few days since, should not have proved satisfactory to your committee. I also enclose the receipt of Professor Renwick for the amount paid him by me. I extremely regret that the course I was advised to pursue has been so irregular; the mortification of being obliged to petition is alone sufficiently great, without any additions; if there should be anything that I could rectify, I should be most happy to know it, that the claim may have an early settlement.

            With great respect, I have the honor to be, &c.,

CHARLES WILKES, JR., Lieut. U.S. Navy.     
      Hon. MICHAEL HOFFMAN, Chairman Naval Committee, House of Representatives.

United States,
To Richard Patten,      Dr.     
1829.
December 4th.For one repeating theodolite$560 00
For one variation transit550 00
For one frame for pendulum20 00
For one azimuth compass, connterpoise movable60 00
For one dipping need1e apparatus60 00
For one telescope, for observing coincidences20 00
For two spirit levels, each $1020 00
For two two spirit levels, each $510 00
$1,300 00
=======

State of New York, ss:

      Richard Patten, being duly sworn; saith: That he is the manufacturer of the instruments named in above bill, and that they were expressly for the United States, for the exploring expedition, that they were ordered by Lieutenant Charles Wilkes, jr., of the United States navy, acting under orders of the Hon. S. L. Southard, Secretary of the Navy of the United States; and further, that to the said Richard Patten, the said amount of thirteen hundred dollars is solely and justly due for instruments at fair prices.

RICHARD PATTEN.     
      Sworn before me, this 19th day of February, 1830.
W. P. HALLETT, Notary Public.     

NEW YORK, December 5, 1829.

            United States Exploring Expedition,
Bought of B. & S. Demilt.
One astronomical clock, with an extra pendulum$160 00
One strong plain mahogany case for astronomical clock20 00
Three eight-day box chronometers, at $4201,260 00
One silver cased chronometer, pocket size260 00
$1,700 00
========

      The astronomical clock and extra pendulum were manufactured by us, and all the above articles were ordered by Lieutenant Wilkes, for the United States exploring expedition.

BENJAMIN DEMILT.     

City of New York, ss:

      Personally appeared before me, this 18th day of February, 1830, Benjamin Demilt, one of the above firm of B. & S; Demilt, and, being duly affirmed, declared the above account to be correct.

WILLIAM W. MOTT, Alderman.     

      This is to certify that I have received ninety dollars from Lieutenant Charles Wilkes, jr., of the United States navy, being the amount paid for a barometer, hygrometer, and magnetic apparatus, imported by me for the exploring expedition. $90.

JAS. RENWICK.     
NEW YORK, February 19, 1830.

NAVY DEPARTMENT, March 13, 1830.     

      SIR: I have the honor (in compliance with your letters of the 3d and 21st ultimo, calling for information in the case of Lieutenant Wilkes, whose claims and petition, with certain accounts of other persons, for instruments, &c. purchased for the exploring expedition, were enclosed in your letters) to submit a copy of the resolution of the House of Representatives, of the 21st May, 1828, declaring it expedient that one of our snmll public vessels be sent to the Pacific ocean and South sea; also, an extract upon this subject from the report of the late Secretary of the Navy, of the 27th November, 1828, and copies of the correspondence between the Navy Department, Lieutenant Wilkes and other officers, having reference to this expedition, as well as the case of Lieutenant Wilkes, as set forth in his petition.

      It will be seen from these papers that other articles were purchased and engaged by Captain Thomas Ap C. Jones, for this expedition, besides those engaged by Lieutenant Wilkes; and should the committee determine to provide for the payment of the claims presented by Lieutenant Wilkes, it is respectfully suggested whether provision should not be made for the others in the same bill, and requiring the settlements to be made by the Auditor, on his being furnished with satisfactory evidence that the articles are of the value and quality for which they were engaged, and have been delivered to the commanding officer or navy agent at New York for safe keeping, or to this Department.

      A statement is also submitted from the Fourth Auditor, of such articles as have been paid for, and of the pay and emoluments and other allowances received by Lieutenant Wilkes during the period for which he claims the per diem allowance for extra duty, whilst engaged in preparing for this expedition. The petition and other papers are herewith returned.

            I am, very respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,
JNO. BRANCH.     
      The Hon. MICHAEL HOFFMAN Chairman of the Committee on Naval Affairs, H. of Rep.

CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES, TWENTIETH CONGRESS, FIRST SESSION. |
In the House of Representatives, May 21, 1828. |

      Resolved, That it is expedient that one of our small public vessels be sent to the Pacific ocean and South sea, to examine the coasts, islands, harbors, shoals, and reefs in those seas, and to ascertain their true situation and description.

      Resolved, That the President of the United States be requested to send one of our small public ships into those seas for that purpose; and that he be requested to afford such facilities as may be within the reach of the Navy Department to attain the object proposed; provided it can be effected without prejudice to the general interest of the naval service, and provided it may be done without further appropriation during the present year.

      Attest:
M. ST. CLAIR CLARKE, Clerk of the House of Representatives.     

NAVY DEPARTMENT, November 18, 1828.     

      SIR: It is important that the instruments for the exploring expedition be prepared without unnecessary delay. You will, therefore, proceed to New York, and exercise your best industry, skill, and judgment, in procuring and preparing them. The enclosed list will be your guide for the present. You will communicate to the Department the purchases you make, and the prices you agree to pay, that the necessary orders on the subject may be given. The utmost regard to economy is expected in all you do. I will endeavor to procure the astronomical clock which is at West Point.

            I am, respectfully, &c.,
SAMUEL L. SOUTHARD.     
      Lieutenant CHARLES WILKES, Jr., U. S. Navy, Washington.

List of instruments for the expedition in the South sea.

ASTRONOMICAL.

      One repeating circle, one foot in diameter bought; one repeating reflecting circle bought; two repeating theodolites, six inches vertical circle; two sextants, one variation transit, three artificial horizons, one astronomical clock, one clock with invariable pendulum, one experimental pendulum and frame; two stands for the clocks; three chronometers of the very best quality, one to be set to sideral time; one pocket chronometer for transporting.

MAGNETIC INSTRUMENTS.

      One diurnal variation apparatus; one azimuth compass, counterpoise movable; two compasses, with Barlow's computation; one dipping needle; one needle for the intensity of magnetism.

METEOROLOGICAL INSTRUMENTS.

      Two marine barometers, one of Daniells' standard barometers, two mountain barometers, one sympresometer, two Daniells' hygrometers, two electrometers, one hydrometer, one self-registering thermometer, one for solar radiation, one for terrestrial radiation, twelve of various sizes, common ones; six spare barometer tubes, and purified mercury; a portable observatory with instruments, to be used for sheltering the instruments and observers; a number of small parts of the different instruments, such as will be required in case of meeting with accidents, that the instruments may not become useless.

      Most of these instruments are for the especial use of the astronomer, and therefore only one set will be required; and the other vessel may be supplied with ones less costly.

      A complete set of drawing instruments for the construction of charts, &c.

Extract of the report of the Secretary of the Navy, made to the President of the United States, November 27, 1828.

      On the 21st May, 1828, the House of Representatives passed a resolution requesting the President of the United States "to send one of our small vessels to the Pacific ocean and South sea, to examine the coasts, islands, harbors, shoals, and reefs in those seas, and to ascertain their true situation and descrip tion;" and authorizing the use of such facilities as could be afforded by the Department, without further appropriation during the year. To this resolution it was your earnest wish that early and full attention. should be paid.

      There was no vessel belonging to our navy which in its then condition was proper to be sent upon this expedition. The Peacock was therefore selected, and placed at the Navy yard at New York, to be repaired, and supplied with conveniences suited to the object. Her repairs and preparations are now nearly completed, and she will be ready to sail in a few weeks.

      In looking to the great purpose for which this resolution was passed, and the difficulties and dangers which must necessarily be encountered, it seemed to be both unsafe and inexpedient to send only one vessel. But the Department did not feel that it had authority, either to purchase another, or to detach one more of the small vessels of the navy, to be joined with the Peacock; nor, indeed, is there another in the service suited to this peculiar employment. But the opinion and wish of the Department being known, an offer was made to it of such a vessel as was desired, being of about 200 tons burden, and calculated for cruising in the high southern latitudes, and among the ice islands and reefs which are known to exist there. This vessel has been received and placed at the navy yard, upon the express agreement that a recommendation should be made to Congress, to authorize its purchase, and if the recommendation was not approved that it should be returned to its owner. No money has been expended under this arrangement. That satisfactory evidence might be had, both of the fitness of the vessel and its value, directions were given to Mr. Eckford, of New York, and Mr. Hartt, the naval constructor at Brooklyn, to examine it and report on those points. Their report fixes the value at $10,000. I cheerfully discharge my obligation, under the agreement, by a earnest recommendation that Congress authorize the price to be paid. Should this not be done, the vessel will be returned.

      Measures have been taken to procure information of the present state of knowledge, in our country, on the subjects pointed out in the resolution, from our citizens who have been employed in the navigation of those seas, and who possess information derived from experience, which is confined very much to themselves and their log books and journals. An agent has been usefully and successfully engaged in this object, and has found few obstacles thrown in his way. Those who have been most acquainted, by business and interest, with that portion of the globe, feel the deepest solicitude for the success of the enterprise. The expedition will be enabled to sail with better guides than are nsual1y possessed by those who embark in similar undertakings.

      With a view to give the most useful character to the enterprise, it is important that persons skilled in the various branches of science should partake in it. Correspondence has, therefore, been held with scientific men, and some selections have been made, and others are now making, by the Department, of astronomers, naturalists, and others, who are willing to encounter the toil, and will be able to bring home to us results which will advance the honor and promote the interests of the nation.

      Master Commandant Jones will command the Peacock, and other suitable officers have been designated.

      The resolution was understood to authorize the use of the naval appropriations to furnish facilities for the expedition; and they have been used for all those objects which come within the terms in the bill of appropriation, as pay, subsistence, instruments, books, &c. But there are indispensable objects which do not come within any of the items in the bill, and for which provision is required. A bill on the subject was reported by the Naval Committee, at the last session of Congress, and placed on the list of business to be acted on, but was not reached before the close of the session. Its passage is necessary to accomplish the purposes designed by the resolution. It does not seem proper to detail the "facilities" which it is the intention of the Department to afford. One of them should be, a vessel to carry provisions, in order that, upon the arrival of the expedition at the scene of operation, the exploring vessels may be supplied in such a manner, that they may not be driven from their employment at too early a period, and that they may subsequently, from time to time, be further supplied from distant stations, so that no causes but the elements may arrest their labors, but they may, at all times and seasons, be at liberty to pursue their investigations without interruption. Other and obvious uses may be made of such a vessel, in the relief which it will afford, should disease or death make serious inroads on their numbers. A vessel suited to this object is within the control of the Department, and will either be chartered or purchased, as the means furnished by Congress may permit. The importance of the expedition, in all its aspects, and especially in its commercial relations, has augmented, in the view of the Department, by all the inquiries and investigations which have been made; and an anxious desire is felt, that nothing should be omitted which can tend to its ultimate success.

List of claims on the United States, for the exploring expedition.

Messrs. B. & S. Demilt, for chronometers, &c., as per account annexed$1,700 00
Richard Patten, for various astronomical instruments, as per account annexed1,300 00
Professor Renwick, for articles bought in London by Captain Sabine, as per account annexed90 00
Lieutenant Charles Wilkes, jr., for extra pay while employed in preparing and superintending the construction of the instruments, as per account annexed336 00
      Total amount of claims$3,426 00
========

NEW YORK, December 5, 1829.     
            United States Exploring Expedition,
To B. & S. Demilt,            Dr.           
To one clock with an extra pendulum$160 00
To one strong, plain, solid mahogany case for clock20 00
To three eight-day box chronometers, at $420 each1,200 00
To one silver cased chronometer, pocket size260 00
$1,700 00
=======

            United States Exploring Expedition,
To Richard Patten,            Dr.           
            July 1, 1829.
For one repeating theodolite$560 00
For one variation transit550 00
For one frame for pendulum20 00
For one azimuth compass, counterpoise60 00
For one dipping needle apparatus60 00
For one telescope for observing coincidences20 00
For two spirit levels, at $10 each20 00
For two spirit levels, at $5 each10 00
$1,300 00
========

NEW YORK, December 5, 1829.     
            United States Exploring Expedition,
To Professor Renwick,            Dr.           
            For the following articles, bought in London by Captain Sabine:
To one barometer of Daniell$34 00
To one hygrometer31 00
To one magnetic apparatus25 00
$90 00
======

NEW YORK, December 5, 1829.     
            United States Exploring Expedition,
To Lieutenant Charles Wilkes, jr.,            Dr.           
For extra pay while employed in superintending the construction and preparing the astronomical instruments, from 18th November, 1828, until the 1st July, 1829, 224 days, at $1.50 per diem$336 00
======

NEW YORK, July 15, 1828.     

      SIR: You will no doubt recollect my application to you some time since, to be ordered on the surveying service for which I had been preparing myself. As I believe there is little chance of employment that way at present, I would ask orders for the antarctic expedition, the qualifications requisite for both services being nearly alike. I hope that my application may meet with success.

            I am, sir, with much respect, your obedient servant,

CHARLES WILKES, JR.     
To Hon. SAMUEL L. SOUTHARD, Secretary of the Navy.

[Private.]

NEW YORK, October 8, 1828.     

      My DEAR SIR: Enclosed you have the voucher for the repeating reflecting circle which Captain Sheriff, of the royal navy, was obliging enough to part with for the expedition, at the price paid for it originally; it was made expressly for his own use, and is a very superior instrument, and remarkably cheap $125; they cannot be bought in this country under $180.

      I have made some more inquiries about the person most able to put the instruments in order that are at Washington, and find that Stancliff, of Philadelphia, is much out of practice, and not likely to do them that justice that Richard Patten (who is the best workman here) will do; besides, it would save the double transportation, and being able to see them verified while in Patten's hands, would be another very important object. If I am to be honored with the appointment of scientific observer, I should prefer attending to all those I should have charge of myself, and particularly the chronometers; they ought to be one of the first things attended to, in order to be put under trial before sailing, to ascertain the dependence to place in them. Messrs. Demilt, of this city, are the agents of Parkinson & Forsham, of London, who are aknowledged the best makers; theirs having been given the preference on all the English expeditions. Messrs. Demilt inform me they can furnish six box chronometers, of Parkinson & Forsham's make; these, together with two good pocket ones, I think, would be enough; the two latter are for comparing chronometers, and to be taken out of the ship, so as to avoid moving the box ones, which are large, and would be liable to accidents. The prices are not high: for the box ones, from $300 to $325, and the pocket ones are about one hundred less. In case you shold think proper to entrust me with attending to the making and preparing the instruments for the expedition, I am confident, with the assistance of Professor Renwick, of being able to have those that are to be made, after the latest improved models and carefully verified; attending, at the same time, to have them furnished on the lowest possible terms. As I have observed kentledge provided for the ballast of the Peacock, I would submit to your consideration whether it would not be better to order Lehigh coal for that purpose, as it would answer for fuel in case of wintering in a high latitude.

      I did intend to have added these remarks to my last letter; but was very much curtailed in time, in consequence of death in the family, shortly after my return home, which drew me off very much from the subject.

            Believe me, with great respect, yours, &c.,

CHARLES WILKES, JR.     
The Hon. SAMUEL L. SOUTHARD.

      P. S. You will oblige me by ordering the amount to be paid me by the navy agent, and to say into whose hands I shall deliver the circle.

NAVY DEPARTMENT, October 16, 1828.     

      SIR: Your letter of the 8th instant (marked private) has been received.

      You will be pleased to deliver the repeating reflecting circle, which you purchased from Captain Sheriff for the exploring expedition, to Com. Chauncey. The Fourth Auditor will remit you the amount of its cost.

            I am, respectfully, &c.

CHAS. HAY, C. C.     

      By order.

      Lieut. CHARLES WILKES, Jr., New York.

NAVY DEPARTMENT, November 17, 1828.     

      SIR: Pay to F. A. Hassler, Esq., or order, five hundred dollars for a repeating circle, and charge the same to contingent for 1828.

            I am, respectfully, &c.,

SAMUEL L. SOUTHARD.     
J. K. PAULDING, Esq., Navy Agent, New York.

WASHINGTON, November 18, 1828.     

      SIR: Permit me to request that the temporary orders you intend to give me should have particular reference to my keeping an astronomical journal, containing the rates of the chronometers, (for which purpose I shall be obliged to have printed formula,) an account of experiments performed with the pendulum apparatus, to ascertain by a well regulated series their lengths, going of the clock, &c.; also an account of the verification of the different astronomical instruments, and meteorological observations during the time they are undergoing trial, to be a document to show the care that was taken in the preparations for the astronomical service, and which is considered indispensably necessary in our own country and Europe by scientific men.

      I should wish an order for the clock at West Point, and Dr. Bailly's "Formula for Astronomical Calculations," presented by Captain Hall to Colonel Thayer, for the use of the institution. It is not to be had (to my knowledge) in this country elsewhere, and is a very valuable book for the astronomer, as it would save him much and very many very long calculations; it is of very little, if of any use to the academy.

      I would wish it to be stated whether I am to be guided in my selection of the instruments by the list I submitted to you, for the use of the astronomer. It is absolutely necessary that the above course of experiments should be performed, both before sailing and after the return of the expedition, in order to show by the comparison what dependence is to be placed in the experiments and observations (as to accuracy) during the voyage.

            I have the honor to be, with great respect, yours, &c.,

CHARLES WILKES, JR.     
Honorable SAMUEL L. SOUTHARD, Secretary of the Navy.

A No. 1.

NAVY DEPARTMENT, November 18, 1828.     

      SIR: It is important that the instruments necessary for the exploring expedition be prepared without unnecessary delay. You will therefore proceed to New York and exercise your best industry, skill and judgment in procuring and preparing them. The enclosed list will be your guide for the present. You will communicate to the Department the purchases you make, and the prices you agree to pay, that the necessary orders on the subject may be given. The utmost regard to economy is expected in all you do.

      I will endeavor to procure the astronomical clock which is at West Point.

            I am, respectfully, &c.,

SAM'L L. SOUTHARD.     
Lieutenant CHARLES WILKES, Jr., U S. Navy, Washington.

A No. 2.

List of instruments for the expeditions to the South sea.

ASTRONOMICAL.

      One repeating cirle, one foot diameter bought; one repeating reflecting circle bought; two repeating theodolites, six inches; vertical circle. These to be made by Patten, of New York. Two sextants; Patton has two of Troughton's very superior; cost $150 each. One variation transit, three artificial horizons; there are, I believe, two in the War Departments. One astronomical clock; the one at West Point being a portable one, will be most suitable for the expedition. One clock with invariable pendulum to be made in New York; one experimental pendulum and frame; two stands for the clocks; three chronometers, of the very best quality, one to be set to sideral time; Messrs. Demilt, of New York, agents for Parkinson and Frodham, have six of their make; these may be put under trial, and a choice made; one pocket chronometer for transporting, of Parkinson and Frodham's make, if to be had, and if tried before sailing, to be sent for; three months and a half would be sufficient.

MAGNETIC INSTRUMENTS.

      One azimuth compass, counterpoise movable making in New York; two compasses, with Barlow's compensation to be made in New York by Patten; one dipping needle, one needle for intensity of magnetism, one diurnal variation apparatus. These can be made or obtained, and one set will be sufficient for the service.

METEOROLOGICAL INSTRUMENTS.

      Two marine barometers; one of Daniells' standard barometers as this is a scarce instrument, it will have to be sent for; two mountain barometers to be had in New York; one symprisorneter, two Daniells' hygrometers, two electrometers, one hydrometer, one self-registering thermometer, one for solar radiation, one for terrestrial variations, twelve of various sizes, common ones, six space barome ters, tubes and purified mercury, a portable observatory, with tent to be used for sheltering the instru ments and observers.

      There are a number of small parts of the different instruments, which will be required in case of meeting with accidents, that the instruments may not become useless. Most of these instruments are for the especial use of the astronomer, and therefore only one set will be required of them; and the other vessel may be supplied with ones less costly.

      I find I have omitted to mention the common surveying instruments, which will be furnished according to the views of the Department on that subject. Add also to the above list a complete set of drawing instruments for the construction of charts, &c.

      Before sailing, other smaller instruments may occur to me that would be of use, but they are very few, and might be substituted for others.

            I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant,

CHARLES WILKES, JR.     
To honorable SAM'L L. SOUTHARD, Secretary of the Navy.

NEW YORK, November 29, 1828.     

      DEAR SIR: I regret to state that, as I apprehended, the repeating circle bought from Mr. Hassler has been delivered to me very much injured. The injury has been done by neglect on the voyage, or by the persons to whom it was addressed (the Messrs. Blount) having opened and used it. How far it has been injured I am unable to say as yet, but after the supports of the back telescope are repaired I shall be able to determine by trying its adjustments. I hope the injury has not extended to the axis; if it has, I shall be obliged to take it to Philadelphia to be repaired by Stancliff, as I should not feel confidence in the best instrument maker here. I do not think any blame imputable to Mr. Hassler, who had it packed up very carefully, as his agents, Messrs. Blunt, here informed me, and from whom I received it. The packing of it is defective, and might have caused the injury. I have ordered a new box to be made, to have it packed in the same position in which it is used, which is the most approved manner of packing. I shall inform you soon how far the circle is injured, and I trust, in case I should think it necessary to take it to Philadelphia, the course would meet with your approbation.

      I meet with much difficulty in the purchase of the instruments; might I ask that you would authorize the navy agent to pay for them on my handing to him the voucher, and giving my receipt for them. This course would prevent my drawing on my private funds, which at this moment happens to be inconvenient, and if I do not pay cash, and the holders discover the purchase is for the navy, the price is sure to be very much enhanced. You would oblige me by taking this into consideration.

      In relation to the persons that are to compose the astronomical corps, I would beg leave to select two assistant surveyors, and a steady and careful servant to take care of the instruments; one of then to be a good draftsman, and well acquainted with the filling in duty, the other to be a past midshipman, somewhat quick at calculation, to be taught the detail duty. I flatter myself, (in case of my being appointed astronomer,) with these I should be able to meet all the exigencies of the service, and if we wanted more aid it might be given us by those officers who could be spared from the ship's duties.

      I have several chronometers now under rate, and shall have four or five more in a few days, out of which I am in hopes of providing the expedition with those that may be depended on.

            I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant,

CHARLES WILKES, JR.     
To the Hon. SAM'L L. SOUTHARD, Secretary of the Navy.

B.

NAVY DEPARTMENT, December 4, 1828.     

      SIR: I have received your letter of the 29th ult., and authorized the navy agent to pay for such instruments as you may purchase, the bills to be certified by you as correct.

      The other subjects mentioned in your letter will be considered hereafter, and answered.

            I am, respectfully, &c.,

SAM'L L. SOUTHARD.     
Lieut. CHARLES WILKES, Jr., New York.

NAVY DEPARTMENT, December 4, 1828.     

      SIR: You will be pleased to pay for such astronomical instruments as Lieut. C. Wilkes, jr. may purchase for the exploring expedition, the bills to be certified by him as correct, and charged to the appropriation for "contingent expenses, not enumerated, for 1828."

            I am, respectfully, &c.,
SAM'L L. SOUTHARD.     
      J. K. PAULDING, Navy Agent, New York.

NAVY DEPARTMENT, February 9, 1829.     

      SIR: You will be pleased to furnish, as speedily as practicable, and as accurately as you can, a list of the instruments authorized by you to be prepared for the exploring expedition, with their cost.

            I am, respectfully, &c.,
CHAS. HAY, C. C.     
      By order.
      Lieut. CHARLES WILKES, Jr., New York.

NEW YORK, April 7, 1829.     

      SIR: I have the honor to report to you that the late Secretary of the Navy, in a letter of the 4th December last, directed me to send the bills of the astronomical instruments I was preparing, under orders of the 18th November, for the exploring expedition, to the navy agent for payment, whom he had authorized to pay on their being certified by me. The navy agent has continued to pay them until to-day, but declines now until he is further authorized.

            I have the honor to be, sir, with respect, &c.
CHARLES WILKES, JR., Lieutenant U. S. Navy.     
      Hon. JOHN BRANCH, Secretary of the Navy, Washington.

NAVY DEPARTMENT, April 11, 1829.     

      SIR: I have received your letter of the 7th inst., and request that you will furnish a list of the instruments which you have contracted for, or for which the faith of the government is pledged. You will discontinue making further purchases, or doing any act in relation to the exploring expedition which may subject the Department to any expense.

            I am, respectfully, &c.,
RICHARD H. BRADFORD, Chief Clerk.     
      Lieut. CHARLES WILKES, Jr., New York.

NEW YORK, April 15, 1829.     

      SIR: I have the honor to submit to you the following list of instruments for which the faith of the government is pledged, that yet remain unpaid for. For the estimate of their cost, as nearly as can be obtained before they are actually finished, I would refer you to the list I enclosed to the Department on the 14th February, last.

            I am respectfully, yours, &c.,
CHARLES WILKES, JR.     

      One repeating theodolite, one variation transit, one clock, with invariable pendulum, one experimental pendulum, with frame, one pendulum and convertible axis, one diurnal variation apparatus, one azimuth compass, counterpoise movable, two compasses with Barlow's compensation, one dipping needle, one needle for intensity of magnetism, one Daniells' standard barometer, two electrometers, one hydrometer, one Daniells' hygrometer, one self-registering thermometer, one small telescope, four portable spirit levels, the Connoissance des Temps for three years in advance, four chronometers.

      I have several instruments on trial, which are on the list enclosed, with my orders of the 18th November, for which the government is not pledged, which I will immediately return to the owners.

            With respect, &c.,
CHARLES WILKES, JR:     
      Hon. JOHN BRANCH, Secretary of the Navy, Washington.

NEW YORK, May 7, 1829.     

      SIR: I have the honor herewith to enclose a full statement of the instruments procured, now in my possession, and of those ordered for the exploring expedition, for which the faith of the government is pledged, as nearly as I can possibly ascertain it.

      Two of the instruments sent to England for (the standard barometer and hygrometer) have arrived, but without their cost; the others are expected daily, when I shall receive the different bills. I remitted but $150, which I am assured will cover the whole expense. The Connoissance des Temps, sent to France for, will cost less than $8.

      The agreement I have made in reference to the chronometers is, that I shall be entitled to select four of those that prove the best on trial, before the sailing of the expedition; the rates of a number have been kept, superintended by myself, ever since they were first ordered they will cost not over $1,600.

      By Captain Jones' request, and Mr. Southard's desire, I have made a large collection of charts, of the latest and best edition; some nautical books, for which the government are not chargeable with any expense. As it is almost impossible at short notice to obtain them, I would request to be informed if it is your wish that they should be retained under the present understanding, which is simply, that when a choice is made for the expedition that it shall be from among them.

      As the instruments are nearly all finished, you would oblige me by pointing out in what manner I am to liquidate the different accounts.

            With greatest respect, I have the honor to be, &c., &c., &c.,
CHARLES WILKES, JR.     
      Hon. JOHN BRANCH, Secretary of the Navy, Washington.

List of instruments procured and paid for.

One repeating circle, bought of Mr. Hassler, and paid for by the Department$500 00
Repairing the circle telescope, new box and packing25 00
One repeating reflecting circle125 00
Two brass sextants of Fraughton's, at $150 each300 00
Three artificial horizons, at $25 each75 00
One support for pendulum, with agate planes45 00
One mountain barometer25 00
One hygrometer, with ether, &c.18 25
One symprisometer38 00
One celestial atlas14 00
Journals for the astronomical, meteorological, and magnetical observations127 00
$1,292 25
=======

List of instruments ordered, for which the faith of the Department is pledged

One repeating theodolite$550 00
One variation transit550 00
Clock, with invariable pendulum200 00
One experimemtal pendulum50 00
One frame for experimemtal pendulum20 00
One azimuth compass, counterpoise movable60 00
Two compasses, with Barlow's compensation60 00
Dipping needle apparatus60 00
Two electrometers, at $5 each10 00
One hydrometer25 00
One telescope for observing coincidences, with fixtures20 00
Two spirit bubbles, at $10 each20 00
Two spirit bubbles, at $5 each10 00
Four chronometers, of the very best quality1,600 00
One pendulum with convertible axis,    |
One diurnal variation apparatus,          |sent to England for  
One needle for intensity of magnetism, |presume their cost will not be over
One Daniells' standard barometer,      |150 00
One Six's self-registering thermometer,|
Connoissance des Temps, for 3 years in advance; sent to France for,will not cost more than8 00
$3,393
======

C.
NAVY DEPARTMENT, May 13, 1829.     

      SIR: I have received your letter of the 7th inst., enclosing a statement of the sums already paid, and the amount for which the faith of the government is pledged, for instruments intended for the exploring expedition. In answer to the inquiry, in what manner you are to liquidate the different amounts, I have to state that Congress made no appropriation for the expenses of this expedition.

            I am, respectfully, &c.,
JNO. BRANCH.     
      Lieut. CHARLES WILKES, Jr., New York.

NEW YORK, May 19, 1829.     

      SIR: In answer to your letter of the 13th inst., I beg leave to state a few facts in relation to the funds that were provided, and mentioned by your predecessor, in his report to Congress, for the payment of the instruments intended for the exploring expedition. At the same time that orders were sent to me, to present the accounts to the navy agent for payment, orders were sent to him to draw on the contingent fund for 1828, for the money. I was requested to state, by the navy agent, the amount I should want to meet the engagements I had entered into, that he might draw the money before the expiration of the year, which I did. I afterwards learned from his clerk that upwards of $2,000 had been received, and was ready to meet my drafts; but, as my orders did not permit my drawing or paying any money, until the instruments were actually finished and delivered, I made no call on him until March, when I was told that he had appropriated the money to other payments, and could not make any payment until authorized by you to do so.

      I should extremely regret if the payments were now to be deferred, as the agreement with the instrument makers was, that the amounts should be paid immediately on the instruments being finished; who, relying on the pledge of the Department, have devoted themselves entirely, for the last five months, to the execution of this work. If they had not felt confident that the pledge of the Department was good, and of my assurance that it would be, under any change, they could not have been induced to lay aside other work, to expedite these instruments (the accomplishment of which was urged upon me by the former Secretary). They will, if the payments are not now made, necessarily experience much embarrassment in meeting their engagements, as few mechanics can do without the proceeds of their labor and expenses for five months.

      I trust you will endeavor to make some arrangements that will prevent loss to them, and preserve the faith of the government and my own promises inviolate.

            I have the honor to be, with great respect, yours, &c.,
CHARLES WILKES, Jr.     
      Hon. JOHN BRANCH, Secretary of the Navy.

NAVY DEPARTMENT, November 18, 1828.     

      SIR: I desire to place you in command of the Peacock, which will be the principal vesssel in the exploring expedition, and will shortly be sent to the southern Pacific.

            Be pleased to call at the Department as early as practicable.

            I am, respectfully, &c.,
SAM'L L. SOUTHARD.     
      Master Commandant THOS. AP C. JONES, U. S. Navy.

To the Hon. Secretary of the Navy:

      SIR: I have the honor to report my return from New York, having, in compliance with your order, and in company with Com. I. Chauncey, examined minutely into the present condition of the U. S. ship Peacock. The great experience of the officer under whose superintendence that ship has been rebuilt and thus far equipped, leaves but little room for alteration. I have, however, proposed a few changes and additions, which, if concurred in, can be readily made, viz:

      1. The substitution of iron tanks (in part) in lieu of water casks.

      2. Sheathing to defend the ship's bows against ice.

      3. If tanks are introduced, from their greater weight, I think, more of the kentledge might be dispensed with.

      4. Extra coal rooms to be built abreast of the chain lockers.

      5. The second cutter and stern boat, now conel, to be substituted by clinker-built boats of similar diminisions; to be built light, and to draw as little water as possible; a small boat or dingy to be built for the launch, and the launch to be coppered.

      The accommodations for the officers, proper, are complete, with the exception of the captain's cabin, which, with extra state rooms for the principal scientific gentlemen who are to accompany the expedition, are in such a state as to admit of early completion as soon as the number and character of persons to be provided for shall by you be determined on.

      While in New York, I examined, with Lieut. Wilkes, several instruments in the hands of skillful workmen, and others which had been purchased, or put under rate for trial, such as theodolites, circles, sextants, chronometers, transits, &c., &c., but it does not appear that a suitable astronomical clock can be obtained in the United States, unless the War Department can be prevailed upon to loan us the one now at West Point.

      Lieut. Wilkes has directed to search New York for charts, it being very desirable to obtain one copy of every published or manuscript chart of the seas that are to be the scenes of our operations; he is, however, directed not to purchase, but to examine, ascertain where they are to be had, and to furnish me with a list from which I design to make selections.

      I cannot close this communication without inviting the attention of the Hon. Secretary of the Navy to the important subject of early appointments to the several scientific stations: that of principal astronomer, together with his assistants; the surveyor, draftsmen, &c., &c., can all be found in the navy; and as it is the navy officers who are to encounter the toils and hardships of the voyage, they ought not to be deprived of any advantage which this peculiar service offers to the intelligent and enterprising members of that corps. There are, too, other and weighty reasons why we should not exclude the officers of the navy from any station, the duties of which they may be competent to discharge, and that of jealousy, and the more than probable dissensions which would grow out of an incongruous mixture of citizens and officers, stands prominent among the causes which may lead to disaster, and an inglorious termination. These remarks are not based more upon the result of a long experience, than upon a knowledge of the general sentiment which prevails with every class of officers in our navy, with regard to the exploring cruise now under consideration.

      Lieut. Charles Wilkes, of the navy, is a prominent applicant for the appointment of principal astronomer, and, I doubt not, he is equal to the duties of the station he so ardently desires, having devoted the last three years to the study of the higher branches of mathematics and astronomy His appointment, I can venture to say, would be no less gratifying to the navy generally than to myself.

            I am, sir, your most obedient servant,
THO. AP CATESBY JONES.     
      NEAR GEORGETOWN, D. C., December 16, 1828.

NAVY DEPARTMENT, December 3, 1828.     

      SIR: Master Commandant T. Ap C. Jones, who will command the U. S. ship Peacock, in the exploring expedition, comes to New York by direction of the Department, to make such examinations, &c., as may be necessary for him in the present stage of preparation for the voyage.

      Be pleased to furnish him with such facilities as may be useful to his object.

            I am, respectfully, &c.,
SAM'L L. SOUTHARD.     
      Commander ISAAC CHAUNCEY, New York.

NAVY DEPARTMENT, May 2, 1829.     

      SIR: You will be pleased to inform the Department if any articles have been purchased, or ordered by you, for the use of the exploring expedition; and if they have, to specify the same, and the cost of each.

            I am, respectfully, &c.,

RICHARD H. BRADFORD, Acting Secretary of the Navy     
Capt. T. AP CATESBY JONES, U. S. Navy,

NEAR GEORGETOWN, D. C. May 6, 1829.     

To the honorable Secretary of the Navy:

      SIR: I have received your letter of the 2d inst., and in answer thereto I have the honor to state, that the only purchases made by me, for the use of the exploring expedition, was one sextant, for which eighty dollars were paid; and one large map of South America and Mexico, bought of Burdsall, bookseller, &c., New York, but not yet paid for, nor delivered.

      An astronomical clock, for the pendulum observations, was ordered by me, under the sanction of the late Secretary, which is still in the hands of the maker, ( Montondon, of Washington,) though nearly ready for delivery. The price of the clock, with pendulum, portable cases, &c., &c., complete, is not to exceed four hundred and fifty dollars. This instrument, it is believed, will be superior, for the purposes for which it is designed, not only to any at that time in the United States, (save, perhaps, the one at the Military academy at West Point, which we could not get,) but to any one that could have been imported in time for the expedition.

            I am, sir, most respectfully, your obedient servant,
THO. AP CATESBY JONES, Capt. U. S. Navy. May 6, 1829.     

TREASURY DEPARTMENT, Fourth Auditor's Office, March 13, 1830.     

      SIR: In reply to your letter of the 8th inst. I enclose herewith a copy of the several bills (No. 1 to 8) paid for instruments, books, charts, &c., for and on account of the South sea expedition, in addition to which Lieutenant C. Wilkes was paid in October, 1828, $125 for a repeating reflecting circle, for the navy, and for his traveling expenses from Washington to New York, in November, 1828, $33.90, as also his usual pay and emoluments of $50 per month and four rations per day, from the 18th November, 1828, to the 1st of July, 1829, amounting to $370 for his pay, and $224 for his rations.

            I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
AMOS KENDALL.     
      The Hon. SECRETARY of the Navy.
           United States Navy Department,
To Mrs. Eliza Maury,            Dr.           
To one sextant, with telescopes, &c., for the use of the exploring expedition$85 00
======

      Approved.
THOS. AP C. JONES, commanding Exploring Expedition.     
      WASHINGTON, January 26, 1829.

      Approved.
SAM'L L. SOUTHARD.     
      To be charged to general contingent, under the head of instruments.
S.L.S.     

Endorsement:
      Pay to the order of R. B. Maury.
            (Signed)
ELIZA MAURY.     
      Received, 27th January, 1829, of George Macdaniel, eighty-five dollars in payment.
R. B. MAURY.     

NAVY DEPARTMENT, November 17, 1828.     

      SIR: Pay to F. R. Hassler, Esq., or order, five hundred dollars, for a repeating circle, and charge the same to contingent for 1828.

            I am, very respectfully, &c.,

SAM'L L. SOUTHARD.     
JAMES K. PAULDING, Esq., Navy Agent, New York.

      Endorsement:
      Pay to the order of Charles Wilkes, Esq., president of the New York Bank, New York.
F. R. HASSLER.     
      RICHMOND, Va., November 21, 1828.
      Received payment, 26th November, 1828.
CHARLES WILKES.     

Contingent unenumerated.

           United States Navy, for astronomical department of the exploring expedition,
To W. F. Roberts,            Dr.           
December 18 1828. One celestial atlas$14 00
======

F. ROBERTS.     
      Received payment, December 18.
      I certify that the above has been received, and is correct.
      DECEMBER 18.
CHARLES WILKES, JR., Lieutenant United States Navy.     

      Endorsement:
      Paid, by order of Secretary of the Navy of 4th December, 1828.
      Received of James K. Paulding, navy agent, fourteen dollars in full of the within account.
      NEW YORK. December 18, 1828.
F. ROBERTS.     

           United States Navy Department, for the astronomical department, exploring expedition,
To Richard Patten,            Dr.           
January 14, 1829. For three artificial horizons, at $25 each$75 00
January 14, 1829. For one support for pendulum45 00
January 14, 1829. For one new box, new supports to telescopes, and packing and repairing astronomical circle20 00
$145 00
======

      I certify that the above is correct, and has been received.
      JANUARY 14, 1829.
CHARLES WILKES, JR., Lieutenant United Stales Navy.     

      Received of James K. Paulding, navy agent, one hundred and forty-five dollars in full of the above bill.
RICHARD PATTEN.     
      $145.00.
      NEW YORK, January 15, 1829.

Contingent not enumerated.

The United States Navy, for formula for the astronomical department, exploring expedition,
To P. Burtsell & Son,            Dr.       
December 23, 1828.For two "Meteorological Journals," medium paper, printed and ruled per pattern, and full bound, at $10 each$20 00
December 23, 1828.Three books, "Clocks," demy paper, printed and ruled per pattern, and bound, at $4 each12 00
December 23, 1828.Two books, "Chronometers Daily," foolscap paper, printed and ruled per pattern, and bound, at $4 each8 00
December 23, 1828.One book, "Chronometers Weekly," printed and ruled per pattern, and bound5 00
December 23, 1828.Two books, "Longitudes," printed and ruled per pattern, and bound, at $4 each8 00
December 23, 1828.Two books, "Magnetic Variations," printed and ruled per pattern, and bound, at $4 each8 00
December 23, 1828.Two books, "Transits," printed and ruled per pattern, and bound, at $4 each8 00
December'23, 1828.One book, "Pendulum Coincidences," printed and ruled per pattern, and bound6 00
December 23, 1828.Five books, "Observations," printed and ruled per pattern, and bound, at $4 each20 00
December 23, 1828.Two books, "Transit Observations," demy, printed and ruled per pattern, and bound, at $5 each10 00
December 23, 1828.Two books, "Repeating Circle," printed and ruled per pattern, and bound, at $5 each10 00
December 3, 1828.Two books, "Lunar Observations," printed and ruled per pattern, and bound, at $6 each12 00
$127 00
======

      I certify that the above is correct, and have been received.
CHARLES WILKES JR., Lieutenant United States Navy.     

      Received from J. K. Paulding, Esq., navy agent, one hundred and twenty-seven dollars in full of the above account.

PETER BURTSELL & SON.     
      NEW YORK, December 31, 1828.

            United States Navy,
To George Chilton,            Dr.           
      Instruments for the exploring expedition, viz:
A mountain barometer$25 00
Daniells' hygrometer16 00
Ether for Daniells' hygrometer2 50
$43 00
======

      I certify that the above have been received.
CHARLES WILKES, JR., Lieutenant United States Navy.     
      NEW YORK, December 18, 1828.

Endorsement:
      Paid by order of the Secretary of the Navy, of December 4, 1828, to James K. Paulding, Esq., navy agent.
      Received of James K. Paulding, navy agent, forty-three dollars and fifty cents in full of the above bill.
      $43.50.
GEORGE CHILTON.     
      NEW YORK, December 19, 1828.

           United States Navy Department, for the astronomical department, exploring expedition,
To Cornelius W. Oakley,            Dr.           
For one symprisometer$38 00
======

      NEW YORK, December 30, 1828.,

      I certify that the above has been received, and is correct.

CHARLES WILKES, JR., Lieutenant, United States Navy.     

      Received of James K. Paulding, navy agent, thirty-eight dollars in full of the above.

      NEW YORK, December 30, 1828.
CORNELIUS W. OAKLEY.     

           United States Navy Department, for polar expedition,
To Richard Patten,            Dr.           
Two superior brass sextants (Troughton and Sims, makers), at $150 each$300 00
======

      NEW YORK, December 4, 1828.

      I certify that the above instruments have been delivered, and that this bill is correct.

      DECEMBER 8, 1828.
CHARLES WILKES, JR., Lieutenant United Stales Navy.     
      By order of Secretary of the Navy, of December 4.

      Received of James K. Paulding, navy agent, three hundred dollars in full of the above.
RICHARD PATTEN.     
      NEW YORK, December 8, 1828.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, Committee on Naval Affairs, March 15, 1830.

      SIR: In a hasty perusal of the papers in the case of Mr. Wilkes, I do not find any expression of opinion, on the part of the Department, whether the instruments not delivered are such as wi11 be useful in the naval service. If they are, it would appear proper, if relief is granted, to provide for their purchase; if not, it may be thought best to permit the holders of them to dispose of them, and to provide only to pay any just claim for damages, if any. I desire you to inform me whether the instruments to be delivered are proper for the naval service.

            With esteem and respect, yours, &c.,
MICHAEL HOFFMAN.     
      Hon. JOHN BRANCH, Secretary of the Navy.

NAVY DEPARTMENT, March 17, 1830.

The Hon. Michael Hoffman, chairman of the Committee on Naval Affairs, House of Representatives:

      SIR: I have the honor to acknowkdge the receipt of your letter of the 15th instant, calling for additional information in the case of Lieut. Wilkes. Your letter, and the list of instruments engaged, but not delivered, have been referred to the Commissioners of the Navy, and a report required from them as to their suitableness for naval purposes. Their report has been received, and a copy is herewith submitted.

      I am, very respectfu1 sir, your obedient servant,
JNO. BRANCH     

AVY COMMISSIONERS' OFFICE, March 17, 1830.     

      SIR: The Commissioners of the Navy, in reply to your letter of the 16th inst., and the papers therein referred to, which you were pleased to refer to them, beg leave to observe that, of the instruments ordered for the "exploring expedition," the following "are proper for the naval service," considering surveying as a branch of that service, viz: repeating theodolite, variation transit, azimuth compass, compasses with Barlow's compensation plates, dipping needle apparatus, spirit bubbles, and chronometers estimated to cost $2,910.

      The clock with invariable pendulum is an instrument very seldom made, except to order, and it would probably not sell to any private individual for one-fourth of its value. It would be useful in an observatory, and so might the instruments designated as those ordered from England. The "Connoissance des Temps" is not used in our service, although a valuable work; we use the British Nautical Almanac, or rather an American edition of that almanac.

            I have the honor to be, with great respect, sir, your obedient servant,
JNO. RODGERS.     
      Hon. J0HN BRANCH, Secretary of the Navy.



Transcription Notes and Acknowledgments

Source:

      "Authorization of the Naval Exploring Expedition in the South Seas and Pacific Ocean, and of the Purchase of and Payment for Astronomical and Other Instruments for the Same", 17 March 1830, American State Papers: Naval Affairs Vol. 3, pp. 546-560.