Excerpt from Laws of the United States Relating to the Navy and Marine Corps: From the Formation of the Government to 1859: To Which Are Prefixed the (With an Index Thereto, ) and a Synopsis of the Legislation of Congress, Respecting Naval Affairs, During the Revolutionary War
A compilation of naval laws was printed in 1826, but it by no means embraced all that had been passed anterior to that date; and as numerous other laws, having an important bearing upon the interests and operations of the service, have since been enacted, a new compilation was rendered very desirable, if not indispensable.
In the attempt now made, it has been thought advisable to embrace all the acts that have been passed, so that the reader might have a view of the whole legislation of Congress, concerning the naval establishment, from the formation of the Government. Although many of these laws are obsolete, they will serve to show the gradations through which the navy has risen to its present size.
All the acts of a special or private nature may be considered as obsolete, their provisions having been complied with soon after their approval. Their insertion here, how ever, has been thought appropriate, either to serve as precedents for future action, or to show what has heretofore been done in analagous cases.
The laws relating to the slave trade, having more or less connection with the operations of our naval forces, and defining the duties of commanders in their efforts to suppress it, have been inserted at length, although some of them make no allusion to public vessels; yet the frequent reference to previous acts seemed to call for the insertion of all.
The table of appropriations and expenditures has been compiled with great care from official documents, and exhibits the separate and aggregate amounts under each head. The statistical information it conveys will be valuable to the politician and the historian.
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