27th Congress Doc. No. 282. Ho. of Reps.
d2 Session. Navy Dept.
COLORED PERSONS IN THE NAVY OF THE U. S.
THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY,
The information called for by a resolution of the House of the 1st instant, asking what number of colored persons there are at this time in the navy.
Read, and laid upon the table.
Navy Department, August 5, 1842.
Sir: In reply to the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 1st instant, I have the honor to report, that the records of this Department do not afford any means of ascertaining "what number of colored persons there are at this time in the navy." The returns do not show whether the persons entered are white or black.
There are no slaves in the navy, except only in some few cases, in which officers have been permitted to take their personal servants, instead of employing them from the crews. There is a regulation of the Department against the employment of slaves in the general service.
By another regulation, not more than one-twentieth part of the crew of any vessel is allowed to consist of negroes. It is believed that the number is generally very far within this proportion.
I am, with great respect, sir, your obedient servant,
A. P. UPSHUR.
Hon. John White,
Speaker of the House of Representatives.