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first class, and of not less than the like size and power as the foregoing, and to convey the mails in said ship from New York, by Cowes, to Bremen Haven aforesaid, and also from Bremen Haven, by Cowes, to New York, every alternate month in the year; and by the first day of March, 1848, to construct and complete two more steamships of the first class, of not less than the like size and power as the foregoing, and with said ships perform regular trips, and carry the mails as aforesaid from New York, by Cowes, to Bremen Haven, and from Bremen Haven, by Cowes, to New York, once a month in each direction, so as to make a regular twice-a-month conveyance of the mail from each end of the route during the whole year; and said contractors do further covenant and agree with the United States, and bind themselves, that said ships shall be, in all respects, of the best form and qualities for sailing, for power, and for speed; that they shall be stanch, and built with a view to be converted into ships of war, in case of war, and subject to be taken by the President of the United States on appraisal, as provided in the act of Congress of 3d March, 1845, which steamships shall at any time be subject to inspection by officers appointed by the President, both during and after construction, with a view to report upon their eligibility in. all respects for war purposes; that they shall combine all the improvements in model, engines, and finish, and shall be of the best description of side wheel ships, and that each successive ship that is built, shall be so constructed as to possess the advancing improvements that may arise in steamship construction in any of its branches, and that the line shall be kept up, by alterations, repairs or additions, as the exigency may require, fully equal to the best state of steamship improvement attained; and further, to run said line with greater speed to the distance than is performed by the Cunard line of steamships between Boston and Liverpool and back. Privilege. will be allowed to the Postmaster General to send an occasional agent to Europe. But the mails are to be duly taken from and delivered into the post offices at the ports named, by said contractors. If the ships are ready to run before the times above named, they are to commence mail service immediately, and the pay is to run from commencement of service. Contractors are to have the privilege to run each alternate ship to and from Havre, in France, instead of Bremen Haven, stopping, however, in each direction, at Cowes. The privilege to run to Havre not to be allowed or taken until the second ship is built and run, in the first place, nor in the second place, till the fourth ship is built and run; and the pay for the ship to Havre is to be made at the rate of seventy-five thousand dollars a year instead of one hundred thousand dollars. It is further covenanted and agreed, that if it shall be hereafter deemed preferable by the Postmaster General to deliver the mail at Southampton instead of Cowes, he shall have authority to require the same, provided it can be done without injury to the passenger and freight interests of said contractors; and the contractors are to have privilege of landing their freight and passengers at Southampton,
provided it does not so detain the mail in either direction, as to enable its receipt to be by any means anticipated either at Bremen Haven or New York.
And under the foregoing stipulations it is further covenanted and agreed by the said contractors:
First. To carry said mail within the times fixed in the annexed schedule of departures and arrivals, and so carry until said schedule is altered by the authority of the Postmaster General of the United States as hereinafter provided, and then to carry according to said altered schedule.
Second. To carry said mail in a safe and secure manner, free from wet, or other injury, in a separate apartment in each ship, to be fitted up under the order of the department, if the Postmaster General shall require one for the exclusive accommodation of the mail.
Third. To take the mail and every part of it from, and deliver it and every part of it into the post office at New York, Cowes, and Bremen Haven, or to the agent of the Bremen government, as the case may be.
They also undertake, covenant, and agree with the United States, and do bind themselves to be answerable for the person to whom the said.contractors shall commit the care and transportation of the mail, and accountable to the United States for any damages which may be sustained by the United States through his unfaithfulness or want of care; and that the said contractors will discharge any carrier of said mail, whenever required to do so by the Postmaster General; also, that they will not transmit by themselves or their agents, or be concerned in transmitting commercial intelligence more rapidly than by mail, and that they will not carry or suffer to be carried, letters or newspapers out of the mail, and that they will not knowingly convey any person carrying on the business of transporting letters or other mail matter, without the special consent of the department; and further, that the said contractors will convey, without additional charge, post office blanks, mail bags, and the occasional agent of the Postmaster General, on the exhibition of his credentials.
They further undertake, covenant, and agree with the United States, that the said contractors will collect quarterly, if required by the Postmaster General, of the post office of Bremen the balances due from it, if any, to the General Post Office of the United States, and faithfully render an account thereof to the Postmaster General, in the settlement of quarterly accounts, and will pay over to the General Post Office all balances remaining in their hands.
For which services, when performed, the said the Ocean Steam Navigation Company are to be paid by the said United States at the rate of one hundred thousand dollars a year, for each ship going by Cowes to Bremen Haven and back by Cowes to New York, once in two months throughout the year as aforesaid; and for each ship going by said Cowes to Havre in France, and back by Cowes to
New York, at the rate of seventy-five thousand dollars a year, making for the full semi-monthly conveyance when performed to Bremen Haven and back, four hundred thousand dollars per annum; but if said semi-monthly conveyance be divided, so as to be performed monthly to Havre and back, and monthly to Bremen Haven and back, by alternate trips, then the full annual pay will be three hundred and fifty thousand dollars. The payments are to be made quarterly, in the months of May, August, November, and February, on due performance of service.
It is hereby stipulated and agreed by the said contractors, that the Postmaster General may change the schedule; he allowing a pro rata increase of compensation, within the restrictions imposed by law, for any additional service that may be thereby required.
And it is also hereby stipulated and agreed by the said contractors, that in all cases there is to be a forfeiture of the pay of the trip, when the trip is not run; also, that fines may be imposed upon the contractors unless the delinquency be satisfactorily explained to the Postmaster General in due time; for failing to take or deliver the mail, or any part of it; for suffering it to be wet, injured, lost, or destroyed; for carrying it in a place or manner that exposes it to depredation, loss, or injury by being wet or otherwise; for refusing, after demand and tender of proper compensation, not exceeding a due proportion of the pay, to convey a mail by any steamship which the contractors run or are concerned in running on the route, beyond the number of trips above specified; or for not arriving at the time set in the schedule, unless not caused by neglect, or want of proper skill, or by misconduct. And for setting up or running an express to transmit letters or commercial intelligence in advance of the mail; or for transmitting, knowingly, or after being informed, any one engaged in transporting letters or mail matter, in violation of the laws of the United States, a penalty of fifty dollars may be exacted for each offence, and for each article so carried.
And it is hereby further stipulated and agreed by the said contractors, that the Postmaster General may annul the contract for repeated failures; for violating the post office laws; for disobeying the instructions of the department; for refusing to discharge a carrier, or any other person having charge of the mail by their direction, when required by the department; for assigning the contract without the consent of the Postmaster General; for setting up or running an express as aforesaid; or for transporting persons conveying mail matter out of the mail as aforesaid; and this contract shall, in all its parts, be subject to the terms and requisitions of an act of Congress, passed on the twenty-first day of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight bundred and eight, entitled is An act concerning public contracts,” and may at any time be terminated by a joint resolution of the two Houses of Congress.
This contract is to be for the term of five years, commencing the first day of March, 1847.
In witness whereof, the said the Ocean Steam Navigation Com
pany have caused their corporate seal to be hereto affixed, and the same to be signed by their president and attested by their secretary, the day and year first above written.
C. H. SAND, President of the Ocean Steam Navigation Company. Attest : 1.C. E. ANDERSON, Secretary.
As there was a delay of four months, from 19th February to 19th June, 1846, in the consummation of this agreement, by reason of .submitting the same to the action of Congress, and which was not contemplated by Mr. Mills when he forwarded his proposals, the power of final decision being given by the act of 1845 to the Postmaster General, it is hereby agreed and consented to, in view of the effect of this delay upon the preparations of the contractor, that the like time be allowed him for the completion of each ship named in the contract, beyond the time set. The term of five years is to be computed from the commencement of service within the extension here granted.
C. JOHNSON. March 18, 1847.