An Act providing a Naval Armament. [July 1, 1797]

President may man and employ the frigates, their commissioned officers. Section 1. Be it 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 and he is hereby empowered, should he deem it expedient, to cause the frigates United States, Constitution and Constellation, to be manned and employed.
  Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That there shall be employed on board each of the ships of forty-four guns, one captain, four lieutenants, two lieutenants of marines, one chaplain, one surgeon, and two surgeon's mates; and in the ship of thirty-six guns, one captain, three lieutenants, one lieutenant of marines, one surgeon, and one surgeon's mate.
Warrant officers. 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 two larger ships two additional quarter gunners) two carpenter's mates, one armourer, one steward, one cooper, one master at arms, and one cook.
Crews. Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That the crews of each of the ships of forty-four guns, shall consist of one hundred and fifty seamen, one hundred and three midshipmen and ordinary seamen, three sergeants, three corporals, one drum, one fife, and fifty marines: and that the crew of the ship of thirty-six guns shall consist of one hundred and thirty able seamen and midshipmen, ninety ordinary seamen, two sergeants, two corporals, one drum, one fife, and forty marines, over and above the officers herein before mentioned.
Pay and subsistence. Sec. 5. 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, thirty 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, twenty dollars per month, and two rations per day; a gunner, twenty dollars per month, and two rations per day; a sail-maker, twenty dollars per month, and two rations per day; a carpenter, twenty dollars per month, and two rations per day.
President to fix the pay to petty officers, &c. Sec. 6. 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 fifteen thousand dollars per month, and that each of the said persons shall be entitled to one ration per day.
Ration. Sec. 7. 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.
By what rules to be governed. Sec. 8. And be it further enacted, That the officers, non-commissioned officers, seamen, and marines, belonging to the navy of the United States, shall be governed by the rules for the regulations of the navy heretofore established by the resolution of Congress of the twenty-eighth of November, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five, as far as the same may be applicable to the constitution and laws of the United States, or by such rules and articles as may hereafter be established.
The President may make the appointments alone, in recess of the Senate. Sec. 9. And be it further enacted, That the appointment of the officers to the frigates may be made by the President alone in the recess of the Senate; and their commissions, if so appointed, shall continue in force till the advice and consent of the Senate can be had thereupon at their next meeting which may happen thereafter.
Term of service. Sec. 10. And be it further enacted, That the seamen and marines shall not be engaged to serve on board the frigates, for a period exceeding one year; but the President may discharge the same sooner if in his judgment their services may be dispensed with.
Provision in case of wounds - limitation of the compensation of wounds. Sec. 11. And be it further enacted, That if any officer, non-commissioned officer, marine or seaman belonging to the navy of the United States, shall be wounded or disabled, while in the line of his duty in public service, he shall be placed on the list of the invalids of the United States, at such rate of pay and under such regulations as shall be directed by the President of the United States: Provided always, that the rate of compensation to be allowed for such wounds or disabilities to a commissioned or warrant officer shall never exceed for the highest disability half the monthly pay of such officer at the time of his being so disabled or wounded; and that the rate of compensation to non-commissioned officers, marines and seamen, shall never exceed five dollars per month: And provided also, that all inferior disabilities shall entitle the person so disabled to receive an allowance proportionate to the highest disability.
President may increase the strength of the cutters. Sec. 12. And be it further enacted, That the President of the United States be, and he is hereby authorized, if circumstances should hereafter arise, which in his opinion may render it expedient, to increase the strength of the several revenue cutters, so that the number of men employed do not exceed thirty marines and seamen to each cutter; and cause the said revenue cutters to be employed to defend the sea coast, and to repel any hostility to their vessels and commerce, within their jurisdiction, having due regard to the duty of the said cutters, in the protection of the revenue.
Act making compensation to their officers and men, continued. Sec. 13. And be it further enacted, That the compensations established by the first section of the act passed on the sixth day of May, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-six, entitled "An act making further provision relative to the revenue cutters," be, and the same is hereby continued and confirmed, on the terms and conditions of the said act, to the mariners and marines, who are or may be employed as aforesaid.
Limitation of this act. Sec. 14. And be it further enacted, That this act shall continue in force for the term of one year, and from thence to the end of the then next session of Congress and no longer.
Approved, July 1, 1797.


Source: United States Statutes at Large, Volume 1: Public Acts of the Fifth Congress, 1st Session, Chapter 7 (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1845): 523-25.