Court of commissioners of Alabama claims.
Washington, D. C., November 14, 1876.
Sir: I have the honor to inform you that on the 1st of January next this court will have adjudicated all the claims presented to it in accordance with the several acts of Congress prescribing its jurisdiction and powers.
Under the act approved June 23, 1874, 1,383 claims were filed, and after the passage of the act approved March 6, 1876, 685 additional claims were presented, making the total number of claims filed 2,068.
The aggregate sum claimed in all these cases was about fourteen and one half millions of dollars.
There have been submitted to the court 1,958 claims, and judgments have been rendered in 1,928 of them, leaving 30 cases heard and now under advisement. There yet remain 110 claims to be submitted.
Two lists of claims adjudicated have been reported to you as required by law; the first embracing the judgments entered on or prior to January 22, 1876; the second embracing the judgments entered between that date and July 22, 1876.
|The amount of the judgments embraced in the first list, with interest, was||$6,642,927 64|
|The amount in the second list, including interest, was||2,353,787 44|
|Total amount reported for payment with interest.||8,996,715 08|
|Since July 22, 1876, the aggregate amount of the judgments entered (not yet reported to you) is||155,426 40|
|Total amount of judgments to this date, including interest||9,152,141 48|
|The total amount claimed in the cases decided, not including interest, was||13,172,319 46|
|The amount claimed in the cases not yet heard, not including interest, is||1,292,932 80|
|And in those heard but not decided, is||24,064 73|
|Total amount, not including interest, claimed in cases not yet decided||1,316,997 53|
The only claims (with the exception of those of insurers stated below) adjudicated by the court were those presented by owners of property actually destroyed by the cruisers named in the act of June 23, 1874, or by sailors on vessels destroyed for loss of personal effects and wages.
These claimants have been awarded the value of their property less the amount of insurance received by them.[Page 636]
Five claims of insurers, corporate or private, have been allowed, in accordance with the provisions of section 12 of the act creating this court, in which the aggregate amount of the judgments was $160,290.22. All of these insurers alleged and proved not only that they suffered losses by the acts of the inculpated cruisers, but that the aggregate of their losses in the business growing out of “war-risks” was greater than the aggregate of their premiums and other gains growing out of “war-risks” taken.
Some few claims were presented for loss of premiums paid insurance companies on account of “war-risks,” or for loss of property destroyed by cruisers other than those named in the act.
The court dismissed these cases as not coming within its jurisdiction as limited by law.
It will thus be seen that, with the exception of the insurance-claims above stated, the awards of this court have been made in favor only of persons owning property actually destroyed by the Alabama, Florida, or Shenandoah after she left Melbourne; and that these awards have been made for the value of the property destroyed, less any insurance or other indemnity received by the complainant in claims filed previous to June 7, 1876.
I present herewith, in tabular form, the results of the foregoing statements.
I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,
Hon. Hamilton Fish,
Secretary of State.