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NAVY. The whole shippings taken collectively, belonging to the government of
an independent nation; the ships belonging to private individuals are not
included in the navy.
2. The constitution of the United States, art. 1, s. 8, vests in congress the power to provide and maintain a navy."
3. Anterior to the war of 1812, the navy of the United States bad been much neglected, and it was not until during the late war, when it fought itself into notice, that the public attention was seriously attracted to it. Some legislation favorable to it, then took place.
4. The act of January 2, 1813, 2 Story's L. U. S. 1282, authorized the president of the United States, as soon as suitable materials could be procured therefor, to cause to be built, equipped and employed, four ships to rate not less than seventy-four guns, and six ships to rate forty-four guns each. The sum of two millions five hundred thousand dollars is appropriated for the purpose.
5. And by the act of March 3, 1813, 2 Story, L. U. S. 1313, the president is further authorized to have built six sloops of war, and to have built or procured such a number of sloops of war or other armed vessels, as the public service may require on the lakes. The sum of nine hundred thousand dollars is appropriated for this purpose, and to pay two hundred thousand dollars for vessels already procured on the lakes.
6. The act of March 3, 1815, 2 Story, L. U. S. 1511, appropriates the sum of two hundred thousand dollars annually for three years, towards the purchase of a stock of materials for ship building.
7. The act of April 29, 1816, may be said to have been the first that manifested the fostering care of congress. By, this act the sum of one million of dollars per annum for eight years, including the sum of two hundred thousand dollars per annum appropriated by the act of March 3, 1815, is appropriated. And the president is authorized to cause to be built nine ships, to rate not less than seventy-four guns each, and twelve ships to rate not less than forty-four guns each, including one seventy-four and three forty-four gun ships, authorized to be built by the act of January 2d, 1813. The third section of this act authorizes the president to procure steam engines and all the imperishable materials for building three steam batteries.
8. The act of March 3, 1821, 3 Story's L. U. S. 1820, repeals the first section of the act of the 29th April, 1816, and instead of the appropriation therein contained, appropriates the sum of five hundred thousand dollars per annum for six years, from the year 1821 inclusive, to be applied to carry into effect the purposes of the said act.
9. To repress piracy in the gulf of Mexico, the Act of 22d December, 1822, was passed, 3 St. L. U. S. 1873. It authorizes the president to purchase or construct a sufficient number of vessels to repress piracy in that gulf and the adjoining seas and territories. It appropriates one hundred and sixty thousand dollars for the purpose.
10. The act of May 17, 1826, authorizes the suspension of the building of one of the ships above authorized to be built, and authorizes the president to purchase a ship of not less than the smallest class authorized to be built by the act of 29th April, 1816.
11. The act of March 3, 1827, 3 St. L. U. S. 2070, appropriates five hundred thousand dollars per annum for six years for the gradual improvement of the navy of the United States, and authorizes the president to procure materials for ship building. A further appropriation is made by the act of March 2, 1833, 4 Sharsw. con. of St. L. U. S. 2346, of five hundred thousand dollars annually for six years from and after, the third of March, 1833, for the gradual improvement of the navy of the United States; and the president is authorized to cause the above mentioned appropriation to be applied as directed by the act of March 3, 1827.
12. For the rules and regulations of the navy of the United States, the reader is referred to the act "for the better government of the navy of the United States." 1 St. L. U. S. 761. Vide article Names of Ships.