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Mr. Hale - Report on Eliphalet Brown, Jr.
1860, 14 March
Published in "Reports of Committee: 36th Congress, 1st Session, Rep. Com. No.144", p.1-2,
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
March 14, 1860 - Order to be printed
Mr. Hale made the following
[To accompany Bill S. 286.]
The Committee on Naval Affairs, to whom was referred the petition of Eliphalet Brown, jr., asking for compensation for services rendered as an artist in the Japan expedition, have had the same under consideration, and ask leave to submit the following report:
The authority to employ artists for the Japan expedition was not directly conferred by Congress on the department having charge of it. As the employment of artists was so very essential to the success of an expedition like that in charge of Commodore Perry, the failure on the part of Congress to confer the authority may be safely charged to inadvertence rather than design. Commodore Perry foresaw what he supposed must be the evil results of this inadvertency, and engaged artists to join the expedition. They were enlisted as master's mates, with the understanding and expectation that they would seek a suitable compensation from Congress after the return of the expedition.
It appears from the rolls on file in the Treasury Department, that Mr. Brown served as master's mate on board the several vessels of the Japan expedition from the 24th of March, 1852, to the 15th of December, 1854, two years, eight months, and twenty-two days, for the insufficient sum of $300 per annum. He was the daguerreotypist of the expedition, as well as draughtsman, &c., and to him the country is undoubtedly largely indebted for much of the accurate delineations of the inhabitants, costumes, buildings, landscapes, &c., of that remarkable and heretofore almost unknown people and country.
Besides being employed in various ways on shipboard and on shore, in different artistic employment, he provided himself with all the apparatus necessary to the daguerreotypist, and took over four hundred pictures, all of which became the property of the government, and many of which were used in illustrating Commodore Perry's work on the expedition.
Commodore Perry, in a letter dated February 19, 1857, says: "I take pleasure in stating that Mr. E. Brown was employed as one of the artists of the naval expedition to Japan, and executed his work with talent and skill, and to my entire satisfaction."
As Mr. Brown left a profitable business, and joined the expedition on invitation of those having charge thereof, trusting to the equity of his country for only a just remuneration, your committee report a bill granting him a compensation at the rate of $1,500 per annum, for his entire services as artist and master's mate while attached to and engaged in the expedition.