An Act for the relief of sick and disabled seamen

Last updated
An Act for the relief of sick and disabled seamen
Great Seal of the United States (obverse).svg
Enacted bythe 5th United States Congress
EffectiveSeptember 1, 1798
Legislative history
  • Passed the House of Representatives on April 12, 1798 (Voice)
  • Passed the Senate on July 14, 1798 (Voice)
  • Signed into law by President John Adams on July 16, 1798

An Act for the relief of sick and disabled seamen [1] was passed by the 5th Congress. It was signed by President John Adams on July 16, 1798. The Act authorized the deduction of twenty cents per month from the wages of seamen, for the sole purpose of funding medical care for sick and disabled seamen, as well as building additional hospitals for the treatment of seamen. [1] While some argue this is the first Federal individual mandate levied on individuals for health insurance, [2] preceding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare"), passed in early 2010, by nearly 212 years; others would point to the fact that this law solely regulated employers engaged in interstate and foreign commerce, and was enacted as a matter of national security. [3]

5th United States Congress

The Fifth United States Congress was a meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, consisting of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. It met at Congress Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from March 4, 1797, to March 4, 1799, during the first two years of John Adams' presidency.

John Adams 2nd president of the United States

John Adams was an American statesman, attorney, diplomat, writer, and Founding Father who served as the second president of the United States from 1797 to 1801. Before his presidency he was a leader of the American Revolution that achieved independence from Great Britain, and also served as the first vice president of the United States. Adams was a dedicated diarist and regularly corresponded with many important figures in early American history including his wife and adviser, Abigail, and his letters and other papers are an important source of historical information about the era.

An individual mandate is a requirement by law for certain persons to purchase or otherwise obtain a good or service.

Contents

Legislative history

The bill was introduced into the House of Representatives by a committee appointed for the purpose on February 28, 1798 and read the first and second time that day. [4] After some consideration, the bill was referred back to committee and on April 6, 1798 an amended bill was reported to the House of Representatives and read the first and second time that day. [5] On April 9, 1798 the bill was amended, engrossed and read the third time and on April 12, 1798 the bill was passed and sent to the Senate for concurrence. [6] [7]

United States House of Representatives lower house of the United States Congress

The United States House of Representatives is the lower chamber of the United States Congress, the Senate being the upper chamber. Together they comprise the legislature of the United States.

United States Senate Upper house of the United States Congress

The United States Senate is the upper chamber of the United States Congress, which along with the United States House of Representatives—the lower chamber—comprises the legislature of the United States. The Senate chamber is located in the north wing of the Capitol, in Washington, D.C.

The bill was received in the Senate on April 12, 1798 and read the first time. [8] The bill received its second reading the following day and was referred to committee. [9] The bill was reported from committee with amendments on June 19, 1798. [10] The bill was amended, read the third time and passed by the Senate on July 14, 1798 and sent back to the House of Representatives for concurrence in the amendments. [11]

The bill was received in the House of Representatives on July 14, 1798 and the Senate amendments were approved the same day. [12] On July 16, 1798 the bill was duly enrolled and transmitted to President John Adams, who signed it into law the same day. [13] [14]

Description and purpose of the legislation

Section one of the Act directed each master of a vessel of the United States arriving from a foreign port into any port of the United States to pay to the Collector at the arrival port twenty cents per month from each seaman on board the vessel, which sum he was authorized to withhold from the wages of said seamen. [1] Section two of the Act forbid Collectors from renewing the license of vessels in the coasting trade unless the master of said vessel complied with the provisions of the Act and provided a penalty of a one hundred dollar fine for a master's failure to comply. [15] Section three of the Act directed Collectors to deliver funds collected under the Act to the Secretary of the Treasury on a quarterly basis. It further authorized the President of the United States to use the funds for the treatment of sick and disabled seamen in existing hospitals and facilities. [15] Section four of the Act authorized and directed the President of the United States to use surplus funds collected under the Act to build additional hospitals at the ports of the United States. [15] Section five of the Act authorized the President to appoint directors for each port, to direct the spending of funds at each port and to account for the use of said funds. The directors were appointed solely by the President and served at his pleasure. [15]

Related Research Articles

Louisiana Territory

The Territory of Louisiana or Louisiana Territory was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from July 4, 1805, until June 4, 1812, when it was renamed the Missouri Territory.

Arkansas Territory territory of the USA between 1819-1836

The Territory of Arkansas, initially organized as the Territory of Arkansaw, was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from March 2, 1819, until June 15, 1836, when the final extent of the territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Arkansas.

Judiciary Act of 1789

The Judiciary Act of 1789 was a United States federal statute adopted on September 24, 1789, in the first session of the First United States Congress. It established the federal judiciary of the United States. Article III, Section 1 of the Constitution prescribed that the "judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and such inferior Courts" as Congress saw fit to establish. It made no provision for the composition or procedures of any of the courts, leaving this to Congress to decide.

United States Department of the Navy

The United States Department of the Navy (DoN) was established by an Act of Congress on April 30, 1798, to provide a government organizational structure to the United States Navy, the United States Marine Corps and, when directed by the President, the United States Coast Guard, as a service within the Department of the Navy, though each remain independent service branches. The Department of the Navy was an Executive Department and the Secretary of the Navy was a member of the President's cabinet until 1949, when amendments to the National Security Act of 1947 changed the name of the National Military Establishment to the Department of Defense and made it an Executive Department. The Department of the Navy then became, along with the Department of the Army and Department of the Air Force, a Military Department within the Department of Defense: subject to the authority, direction and control of the Secretary of Defense.

<i>Congressional Record</i> official record of the proceedings and debates of the United States Congress

The Congressional Record is the official record of the proceedings and debates of the United States Congress, published by the United States Government Publishing Office and issued when Congress is in session. Indexes are issued approximately every two weeks. At the end of a session of Congress, the daily editions are compiled in bound volumes constituting the permanent edition. Chapter 9 of Title 44 of the United States Code authorizes publication of the Congressional Record.

Washington County, D.C. former county of the District of Columbia in the United States of America

The County of Washington was one of five original political entities within the District of Columbia, the capital of the United States. Formed by the Organic Act of 1801 from parts of Montgomery and Prince George's County, Maryland, Washington County referred to all unincorporated parts of the District of Columbia "on the east side of the Potomac, together with the islands therein." The bed of the Potomac River was considered to be part of Washington County as well.

An act to regulate the time and manner of administering certain oaths

An Act to regulate the Time and Manner of administering certain Oaths was the first law passed by the Congress assembled after the ratification of the U.S. Constitution. It was signed by President George Washington on June 1, 1789, and parts of it remain in effect to this day.

Alfred Iverson Sr. American politician

Alfred Iverson Sr. was a United States Representative and Senator from Georgia.

United States Navy Regulations

United States Navy Regulations is the principal regulatory document of the Department of the Navy, endowed with the sanction of law, as to duty, responsibility, authority, distinctions and relationships of various officials, organizations and individuals.

George Rogers Clark Floyd was a West Virginia politician and businessman. He served as the Secretary of Wisconsin Territory from 1843 to 1846, and served in the West Virginia House of Delegates from 1872 to 1873.

John B. Nicolson was an officer in the United States Navy in the first half of the 19th century.

John Hanna was a United States Representative and United States Attorney from Indiana.

Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act

The Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act was a federal enactment of the United States Congress that was signed into law on July 8, 1862 by President Abraham Lincoln. Sponsored by Justin Smith Morrill of Vermont, the act banned bigamy in federal territories such as Utah and limited church and non-profit ownership in any territory of the United States to $50,000.

An Act further to protect the commerce of the United States

An Act further to protect the commerce of the United States, is an act of Congress approved July 9, 1798, authorizing the President of the United States to use military force in the Quasi-War with France.

The District of Columbia Organic Act of 1801, officially An Act Concerning the District of Columbia, is an organic act enacted by the United States Congress in accordance with Article 1, Section 8 of the United States Constitution. It formally placed the District of Columbia under the control of the United States Congress and organized the unincorporated territory within the District into two counties: Washington County to the north and east of the Potomac River and Alexandria County to the west and south. The charters of the existing cities of Georgetown and Alexandria were left in place and no change was made to their status. The common law of both Maryland and Virginia remained in force within the District. A court was established in each of the new counties.

The United States Customs District of Salem and Beverly was an administrative area for the collection of import duties on foreign goods that entered the United States by ship at the ports of Salem and Beverly. Established in 1789, it was abolished in 1913. Today the ports of Salem and Beverly are serviced by the Port of Gloucester, which is administered by the Boston Customs District.

United States Customs District of Barnstable

The United States Customs District of Barnstable was an administrative area for the collection of import duties on foreign goods that entered the United States by ship at the port of Barnstable, Massachusetts. Established in 1789, it was abolished in 1913. Today the port of Barnstable is administered by the Boston Customs District.

The Oregon Bill of 1848, officially titled when approved, "An Act to Establish the Territorial Government of Oregon," was an act of Congress to turn Oregon into an official U.S. Territory. The bill was passed on August 14, 1848. It was enacted by the 30th United States Congress, and signed by President James K. Polk. The bill came into question several years after the Oregon Treaty. For two years following that treaty, the United States paid little attention to it until news of the Whitman massacre reached Congress. This provided the impetus to formally establish the Territorial Government of Oregon. The Act created a territory that encompassed present-day Idaho, Oregon, and Washington; as well as parts of Montana and Wyoming.

The Relief Act of 1821, passed February, 16, 1821, was a United States federal law to provide additional financial relief for the purchasers of Public Lands, prior to the effective date of the Land Act of 1820; this law had ended public land purchases on credit installments, but also lowered both the size and cost requirements of new purchases. This led to discrepancies between current buyers and the earlier buyers, who had had to purchase more land and at a higher price. The Relief Act permitted the earlier buyers to return land back to the government that they could not pay for, and granted them a credit towards their debt for the returned land. Additionally, Congress extended credit to the buyer for eight more years. With the Panic of 1819 in full effect, the shortage of currency made it impossible for many farmers to make the necessary loan payments. The government hoped that with the time extension, the economy would improve.

Coinage Act of 1853

The Coinage Act of 1853, 10 Stat. 160, was a piece of legislation passed by the United States Congress which lowered the silver content of the silver half dime, dime, quarter dollar, and half dollar. Although intending to stabilize the country's silver shortage, it, in effect, pushed the United States closer to abandoning bimetallism entirely and adopting the gold standard.

References

  1. 1 2 3 "A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774 - 1875".
  2. Ungar, Rick (January 17, 2011). "Congress Passes Socialized Medicine and Mandates Health Insurance -In 1798". Forbes.com . Retrieved 2012-11-08.
  3. Roy, Avik (February 6, 2011). "A History Seminar: Obamacare Has Nothing to Do with Seamen Mandate of 1798". Forbes.com . Retrieved 2013-10-12.
  4. "A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774 - 1875".
  5. "A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774 - 1875".
  6. "A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774 - 1875".
  7. "A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774 - 1875".
  8. "A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774 - 1875".
  9. "A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774 - 1875".
  10. "A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774 - 1875".
  11. "A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774 - 1875".
  12. "A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774 - 1875".
  13. "A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774 - 1875".
  14. "A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774 - 1875".
  15. 1 2 3 4 "A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774 - 1875".