United States Statutes at Large/Volume 1/3rd Congress/1st Session/Chapter 12

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March 27, 1794
[Obsolete.]
Chap. Ⅻ.—An Act to provide a Naval Armament.[1]


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:

President of the U. States to provide four ships of 44 guns, and two ships of 36 guns each.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.

How officered.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.

How manned.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.

President of United States may purchase a force not exceeding that directed by this act.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.

Pay and subsistence.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.

Pay to petty officers to be fixed by the President.
Not to exceed certain sum.
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.

Component parts of ration.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.

When proceedings under this act shall cease.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.


  1. The acts for the establishment and regulation of the navy of the United States, are: An act to provide a naval armament, March 27, 1794, chap. 12; an act supplementary to an act entitled, “An act to provide a naval armament, April 20, 1796, chap. 14; an act providing a naval armament, July 1, 1797, chap. 7; an act to provide an additional armament for the further protection of the trade of the United States, and for other purposes, April 27, 1798, chap. 31; an act authorizing the President of the United States to cause to be purchased or built a number of small vessels to be equipped as galleys or otherwise, May 4, 1798, chap. 39; an act to amend the act entitled, “An act providing a naval armament,” and “an act to authorize the President of the United States to cause to be purchased or built a number of small vessels to be equipped as galleys or otherwise,” June 22, 1798, chap. 55; an act supplementary to an act entitled, “An act to provide an additional armament for the further protection of the trade of the United States, and for other purposes,” June 30, 1798, chap. 64; an act for the augmentation of the navy, February 25, 1799, chap. 13; an act for the government of the navy of the United States, March 2, 1799, chap. 24; an act to increase the navy of the United States, January 2, 1813, chap. 6; an act supplementary to the act for increasing the navy of the United States, March 3, 1813, chap. 54; an act to authorize the President of the United States to cause to be built or purchased the vessels therein directed, November 15, 1814, chap. 3; an act for the gradual increase of the navy of the United States, April 29, 1816, chap. 138; an act supplementary to an act entitled, “An act concerning the naval establishment,” March 1, 1817, chap. 24; an act to amend the act entitled, “An act for the gradual increase of the navy of the United States,” March 3, 1821, chap. 46; an act authorizing an additional naval force for the suppression of piracy, December 20, 1822, chap. 1; an act supplementary to an act for the gradual increase of the navy of the United States, May 17, 1826, chap. 64; an act for the gradual improvement of the navy of the United States, March 3, 1827, chap. 93; an act in addition to the act for the gradual improvement of the navy of the United States, March 2, 1833, chap. 67; an act to provide for the enlistment of boys for the naval service, and to extend the term for the enlistment of seamen, March 2, 1837, chap. 21; an act to change the titles of certain officers in the navy, March 3, 1837, chap. 30.