8.05.2014

Letteer to Commodore Thomas Tingey from Sec. of hte Navy Jones

August 5, 1814
Mechanics and others at the Washington Navy Yard thought they should be paid their normal salary when they were called as volunteers to serve in the militia, in addition to their militia pay. While the complaints were directed to the Commandant of the Navy Yard, Thomas Tingey, he deflected the issue to Secretary of the Navy William Jones. This is an extract of Jones’s response.
SECRETARY OF THE NAVY JONES TO COMMODORE THOMAS TINGEY
Thomas Tingey Esq. Navy Department
Com'dt: U.S. Navy Yard August 5th 1814
Washington
Sir,
Your note of this day is before me. Whether the compensation of the persons employed in the Navy Yard may be by the Year, or by the day, it is clearly understood to be, for service rendered, during the whole of the time for which compensation is claimed.
Those Mechanics, who are employed by the day, expect only to be paid for the time which they render actual service in the Yard, during the hours established for labour.
These men, who have also families to support, and receive a comparatively small compensation for their labour, do not expect to be paid, as for service at the Yard, while they may be employed about their own personal concerns, or in the Militia service, for which they receive a distinct compensation.
Why the master Mechanics, who are compensated by a stated sum Per Annum, should claim peculiar privileges and the continuance of Pay, while they render no service in their several vocations in the Yard, I cannot conceive.
Is their case while employed in the militia, different from that of other mechanics, not in the Public service who leave their homes, their business, and private emolument, to discharge their duty as soldiers. It certainly would be very convenient to the Individuals, to receive their pay as Master Mechanics of the Yard, while they are also receiving pay and rations as officers of militia; but
it would be very unjust to the public.
These claims serve to prove, that the whole system of Salaries in the Navy Yard is erroneous, and ought to be abolished; but while they exist they will only be paid for service actually rendered. During the time any Salary Officer of the Yard may be employed in his personal concerns, or in any other service, his pay will be proportionally reduced in the Yard.
I am very respectfully etc.
W: Jones.

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