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much as the present claim is not treated as being made for services rendered in exact conformity to the contract, that point is immaterial. Whatever may have been the Mayor's understanding, as to the class of persons Mr. Burrill was to have credited on the city's quota, the following letter to the Provost Marshal General, at Washington, recognizes and endorses his services in the direction in which he was working to procure those credits :
“ MAYOR'S OFFICE, City HALL,
" BOSTON, June 20, 1864. “BRIGADIER-GENERAL JAMES B. Fry, Provost-Marshal General,
Washington, D. O.:
Mr. Charles Burrill, in behalf of the City of Boston, will hand you this, and with it, lists duly certified to by the proper officers, of six thousand five hundred and twenty-nine men who have 'enlisted in the Navy and Marine Corps prior to February 24, 1864. All of these persons belong to Boston, and not one of them has been credited to the quota either of the City or State. Under the Acts of Congress, the city is entitled to these credits, and by so crediting these men to the city, you not only do an act of justice to the city, but you enable their families and kindred, dependent upon them, to receive the State Aid.
“I respectfully request, therefore, that you will direct that they be all credited upon the quota of the City of Boston.
"F. W. LINCOLN, JR.,
With this letter, and the lists therein mentioned, which must have involved considerable expense in the preparation, Mr. Burrill went to Washington. On the 24th of February of that year, Congress had passed an act giving credit for men who enlisted in the naval service after that date. As the men contained on Mr. Burrill's lists entered the service prior to that date there was no law under which they coulp be credited. He then went to work, as he represents, and procured the passage of an act by Congress, which gave the credit of persons enlisted in the navy prior to the 24th of February, 1864, to the towns, districts, and precincts to which they belonged at the time of their enlistment. Setting aside altogether Mr. Burrill's statements of the improper influences which he brought to bear upon members of Congress and others, and disclaiming any responsibility of the city therefor, it may be fairly inferred from his presence in Washington, the anxiety which he had to get his lists credited, and the passage of the act at that particular time, that he did, as the duly authorized agent of the City of Boston, do something towards it, and that he was at considerable expense in consequence of it.
Under this act the Secretary of War designated Governor Andrew and Ex-Governor Clifford to apportion the naval credits due to Massachusetts; and the authorities of the cities and towns in the Commonwealth were called upon by them to send in lists of persons for whom they claimed credit. A complete list of those received on board the Ohio at the Charlestown Navy Yard was then made, under the direction of the Adjutant General, and the lists sent in by the local authorities were compared with it. The Aldermen representing the several recruiting districts in this city sent in lists which amounted in the aggregate to about 2,000 names.
At the last moment, however, these lists were withdrawn, and Mr. Burrill's list was taken just as he had prepared it, and put in with an endorsement on it by the Mayor, that it was the official list of the City of Boston. All the persons on that list were credited to the city; so that, although there had been a call, July 18, for 500,000 men, the city had a surplus over all calls of the government, amounting to 4,975 men, and was enabled to meet the call made December 19, following, for its proportion of 300,000 without resorting to a draft. It is undoubtedly true that Mr. Burrill did not furnish any men or any credits on the quota of 601 existing at the date of the contract, and we may well admit that he has
in strict right, no claim whatever under that contract. It is also true that Mr. Burrill did not procure and present to the Mayor an official certificate from the proper authority, showing that any credits had been given. He asserts that the Mayor waived that formality, but whether he did or not is of no consequence in considering the present claim. The force of Mr. Burrill's appeal lies in the fact that he performed valuable services as agent for the city at a critical period, and at large expense to himself, and no one could have supposed that he was working gratuitously. He is entitled to a reasonable compensation for those services. His first claim was for the full amount under the contract; and Mayor Lincoln, who authorized Burrill to act in behalf of the city, and the Board of Aldermen to whom the matter was referred, all of them being in office at the time and thoroughly conversant with what Mr. Burrill did, offered to compromise by paying for the services rendered the sum of $125,000. The offer was rejected, and the case was put into Court on the contract.
It was thrown out on the ground that neither the Mayor nor the City Council had authority to make such a contract. Exceptions were taken to the rulings of the Circuit Court, but before they were argued, Mr. Burrill withdrew them, and came before the City Council, in 1869, on a petition to be compensated for his services. In 1870, an order was passed by the City Council, and approved by the Mayor, authorizing the payment of $40,000 to Charles Burrill, in full settlement of all his claims. Before the payment was made, however, an injunction was served upon the city, on the petition of eleven tax-payers, on the ground that there was no legal authority to pay, and the order was not carried into effect. At the following session of the Legislature an act was passed, authorizing the city to pay the sum of $40,000 in accordance with the terms of the order, and, thereupon, the injunction was withdrawn. Mr. Burrill then came to the city for his money.
The Committee on Claims of last year
reported in favor of the payment; the Board of Aldermen passed the order by the requisite two-thirds vote; but it failed in the Council, receiving only thirty-nine votes in its favor to eighteen against it, more than two-thirds of those present, but lacking four votes of two-thirds of the entire Council. Thus the matter comes before the present government. Mr. Burrill is ready to give a receipt in full for all services of whatever nature performed under his contract, or outside of his contract, in procuring credits on the quota of the city, upon the payment of the sum of $40,000 — less than a third, as he represents, of the actual expenses incurred by him on account of it. When we take into account the enormous expenses incurred for recruiting purposes at a much earlier period in the war, forty thousand dollars cannot certainly be called an exorbitant sum for the services which we have shown that Mr. Burrill performed. Any statements as to his reputation, or the use that may be made of the money, ought not to enter into the question at all. His services were accepted; the city is under an obligation to him, and further delay in discharging that obligation would be discreditable to the city. Indeed, the City of Boston owes it to herself to settle this matter.
The Committee would therefore recommend the passage of the accompanying preamble and order.
S. A. STACKPOLE,
Whereas, The City Council of this city passed an order in relation to the claim of Charles Burrill, on the 12th day of September, A. D. 1870, in the following words, to wit:
Ordered, That there be allowed and paid to Henry W. Paine, the assignee of Charles Burrill, the sum of forty thou
sand dollars, in full settlement of all services rendered, and money expended by said Burrill, in procuring credits upon the quota of the city in 1864, and that the same be charged to the fund appropriated for Incidental Expenses, provided, that such receipts and discharges shall be executed, both by said Burrill and said Paine, as shall be satisfactory to His Honor the Mayor and the City Solicitor."
And whereas, Before payment was made, on the petition of certain tax-payers, an injunction was served upon the city authorities, restraining them from making said payment, on the ground that there was no legal authority to do so, and consequently said order was not carried into effect;
And whereas, The Legislature of this State did, on the fourteenth day of April, A. D. 1871, pass an act authorizing this city to pay said sum, in the words following, to wit:
" The City of Boston is hereby authorized to pay to Charles Burrill, of Brookline, the sum of forty thousand dollars, in satisfaction for all services rendered and money expended by him, in procuring credits upon the quota of volunteers of said city, during the war of the rebellion, in conformity to the order passed by the City Council of said city, and approved September 12, 1870, and may raise said sum by taxation or otherwise;"
Now, therefore, it is hereby
Ordered, That there be allowed and paid to the abovementioned Paine, assignee of Charles Burrill, the sum of forty thousand dollars, as récited in the above-mentioned order passed Sept. 12, 1870, in accordance with the terms and conditions therein mentioned, and as authorized by the act of the Legislature above referred to; said sum to be charged to the appropriation for Incidental Expenses.