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United States Statutes at Large/Volume 2/7th Congress/2nd Session/Chapter 9

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Feb. 19, 1803.
Chap. IX.—An Act supplementary to the “act concerning Consuls and Vice-Consuls, and for the further protection of American Seamen.”[1]

Act of April 14, 1792, ch. 24.
Act of May 1, 1810, ch. 44.
Act of February 28, 1811, ch. 28.
Act of March 3, 1817, ch. 40.
Masters of vessels to deliver lists to the collectors of the ports whence they go from the U. States of their ship’s companies, containing descriptions of their persons, &c.
Certified copies to be delivered to the masters: fees to be paid for them.
Masters to enter into bonds, for what conditioned.
Provisions in favor of the captains.
Proofs of persons discharged in foreign ports, or persons dying to be exhibited to collectors.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That before a clearance be granted to any vessel bound on a foreign voyage, the master thereof shall deliver to the collector of the customs, a list, containing the names, places of birth and residence, and a description of the persons who compose his ship’s company, to which list the oath or affirmation of the captain shall be annexed, that the said list contains the names of his crew, together with the places of their birth and residence, as far as he can ascertain them, and the said collector shall deliver him a certified copy thereof, for which the collector shall be entitled to receive the sum of twenty-five cents; and the said master shall moreover enter into bond with sufficient security, in the sum of four hundred dollars, that he shall exhibit the aforesaid certified copy of the list to the first boarding officer, at the first port in the United States, at which he shall arrive on his return thereto, and then and there also produce the persons named therein, to the said boarding officer, whose duty it shall be to examine the men with such list, and to report the same to the collector, and it shall be the duty of the collector at the said port of arrival, (where the same is different from the port from which the vessel originally sailed) to transmit a copy of the list so reported to him, to the collector of the port from which said vessel originally sailed: Provided, that the said bond shall not be forfeited on account of the said master not producing to the first boarding officer, as aforesaid, any of the persons contained in the said list, who may be discharged in a foreign country with the consent of the consul, vice-consul, commercial agent, or vice-commercial agent there residing, signified in writing, under his hand and official seal, to be produced to the collector with the other persons composing the crew as aforesaid; nor on account of any such person dying or absconding, or being forcibly impressed into other service, of which satisfactory proof shall be then also exhibited to the collector.

Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of every master or commander of a ship or vessel, belonging to the citizens of the United States, who shall sail from any port of the United States, after the first day of May next, on his arrival at a foreign port,Masters of vessels belonging to U. States arriving in foreign ports to deliver to the consuls, &c. there certain papers.
Penalty for not doing it.
Act of March 3, 1817, ch. 40.
to deposit his register, sea letter, and Mediterranean passport with the consul, vice-consul, commercial agent, or vice-commercial agent, (if any there be at such port;) that in case of refusal or neglect of the said master or commander, to deposit the said papers as aforesaid, he shall forfeit and pay five hundred dollars, to be recovered by the said consul, vice-consul, commercial agent, or vice-commercial agent, in his own name, for the benefit of the United States, in any court of competent jurisdiction; and it shall be the duty of such consul, vice-consul, commercial agent, or vice-commercial agent, on such master or commander producing to him a clearance from the proper officer of the port, where his ship or vessel may be, to deliver to the said master or commander all of his said papers: Provided, such master or commander shall have complied with the provisions contained in this act, and those of the act to which this is a supplement.

Acts to be done upon the discharge of American seamen in foreign ports.
Lists of the ship’s company to be furnished to the consul.
Three months pay for every seaman discharged to be paid to the consul, two thirds of which to be paid by the consul to the seaman.
Residue to be retained by the consul to create a fund for the payment of the passages of seamen to the U. States.
Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That whenever a ship or vessel belonging to a citizen of the United States, shall be sold in a foreign country, and her company discharged, or when a seaman or mariner, a citizen of the United States, shall, with his own consent, be discharged in a foreign country, it shall be the duty of the master or commander to produce to the consul, vice-consul, commercial agent, or vice-commercial agent, the list of his ship’s company, certified as aforesaid; and to pay to such consul, vice-consul, commercial agent, or vice-commercial agent, for every seaman or mariner so discharged, being designated on such list as a citizen of the United States, three months pay, over and above the wages which may then be due to such mariner or seaman, two thirds thereof to be paid by such consul, or commercial agent, to each seaman or mariner so discharged, upon his engagement on board of any vessel to return to the United States, and the other remaining third to be retained for the purpose of creating a fund for the payment of the passages of seamen or mariners, citizens of the United States, who may be desirous of returning to the United States, and for the maintenance of American seamen who may be destitute, and may be in such foreign port, and the several sums retained for such fund shall be accounted for with the treasury every six months by the persons receiving the same.

Consuls, &c. to provide for destitute seamen, &c. subsistence and passages to the U. States, subject to the instructions of the Secretary of State.
Commanders of vessels required to take such on board if not more than two to every hundred tons.
On terms not exceeding ten dollars each.
Seamen, &c. to do duty if able.
Penalty on the refusal of the captain or master.
Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of the consuls, vice-consuls, commercial agents, vice-commercial agents of the United States, from time to time, to provide for the mariners and seamen of the United States, who may be found destitute within their districts respectively, sufficient subsistence and passages to some port in the United States, in the most reasonable manner, at the expense of the United States, subject to such instructions as the Secretary of State shall give; and that all masters and commanders of vessels belonging to citizens of the United States, and bound to some port of the same, are hereby required and enjoined to take such mariners or seamen on board of their ships or vessels, at the request of the said consuls, vice-consuls, commercial agents or vice-commercial agents respectively, and to transport them to the port in the United States to which such ships or vessels may be bound, on such terms not exceeding ten dollars for each person, as may be agreed between the said master and consul, or commercial agent. And the said mariners or seamen shall, if able, be bound to do duty on board such ships or vessels according to their several abilities: Provided, that no master or captain or any ship or vessel shall be obliged to take a greater number than two men to every one hundred tons burthen of the said ship or vessel, on any one voyage; and if any such captain or master shall refuse the same on the request or order of the consul, vice consul, commercial agent or vice-commercial agent, such captain or master shall forfeit and pay the sum of one hundred dollars for each mariner and seaman so refused, to be recovered for the benefit of the United States in any court of competent jurisdiction.Act of February 28, 1811, ch. 28. And the certificate of any such consul or commercial agent, given under his hand and official seal, shall be prima facie evidence of such refusal in any court of law having jurisdiction for the recovery of the penalty aforesaid.Seventh and eighth sections of the act of April 14, 1792, ch. 24, concerning consuls and vice-consuls repealed.
Secretary of State to reimburse the consuls, &c.

Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, That the seventh and eighth section of the act, intituled “An act concerning consuls and vice-consuls,” be and the same are hereby repealed; and that the Secretary of State be authorized to reimburse the consuls, vice-consuls, commercial agents or vice-commercial agents, such reasonable sums as they may heretofore have advanced for the relief of seamen, though the same should exceed the rate of twelve cents a man per diem.

Consuls, &c. may receive fifty cents for a certificate of discharge and two and a half per cent. on paying and receiving the wages of discharged seamen in foreign ports.Sec. 6. And be it further enacted, That it shall and may be lawful for every consul, vice-consul, commercial agent and vice-commercial agent of the United States, to take and receive for every certificate of discharge of any seaman or mariner in a foreign port fifty cents; and for commission on paying and receiving the amount of wages payable on the discharge of seamen in foreign ports, two and a half per centum.

Sec. 7. And be it further enacted, That if any consul, vice-consul, commercial agent, or vice-commercial agent, shall falsely and knowingly certify, that property belonging to foreigners is property belonging to citizens of the United States, he shall, on conviction thereof, in any court of competent jurisdiction, forfeit and pay a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars, at the discretion of the court, and be imprisoned for any term not exceeding three years.Consuls, &c. giving certificates subject to fine and imprisonment.

Sec. 8. And be it further enacted, That if any consul, vice-consul, commercial agent or vice-commercial agent, shall grant a passport or other paper certifying that any alien, knowing him or her to be such, is a citizen of the United States, he shall, on conviction thereof, in any court of competent jurisdiction, forfeit and pay a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars.If for false passports, &c. subject to fines.

Powers of attorney, &c. executed in foreign countries to be verified by consuls, &c. who may receive fifty cents on each.
Repealed March 27, 1804.
Sec. 9. And be it further enacted, That all powers of attorney executed after the thirtieth day of June next in a foreign country for the transfer of any stock of the United States, or for the receipt of interest thereon, shall be verified by the certificate and seal of a consul, vice-consul, commercial agent or vice-commercial agent, if any there be at the place where the same shall be executed, for which the person giving the certificate shall receive fifty cents.

Approved, February 28, 1803.

  1. See note to act of April 14, 1792, chap. 24, vol. i. p. 254.