35th Congress – 1st Session
House of Representatives
Report No. 104

[To accompany Bill H.R. No. 277.]

February 9, 1858

Mr. Chaffe, from the Committee of Invalid Pensions, made the following.


The Committee on Invalid Pensions, to whom referred the petition of Mary Boyle, have had the same under consideration, and find by reference to Niles Register for years –

original papers including 1922 petition.

That the facts set forth by the petitioner relative to the remarkable and gallant services of her late husband, Captain Thomas Boyle, are abundantly substantiated as matters of history. The petition is as follows:


To the honourable the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States:


The undersigned, widow of the late Captain Thomas Boyle, respectfully represents, that in consideration of the remarkable services of her late husband in the war of 1812, she respectfully solicits such aid as Congress may vouchsafe her in her declining years, and to secure her from want the little time she has to stay.
My husband, first as the commander of the schooner Comet, of 14 guns, and then in the Chasseur, of 12, during that war captured more than 70 sail of British vessels, 32 of which were equal to him in force, and 18 superior.
He met and beat off a Portuguese man-of –war, carrying 20 32-pounders, convoying three British vessels, killing her first lieutenant and five men, and wounding many more, capturing two of the three British vessels, one carrying 14 guns and the other 10 guns.
Also, he captured the ship Hope, with 14 guns. Soon after he met and captured the ships Atlantic and James, in company, carrying 20 guns; Eclipse, 14 guns; ship John, 14; London Packet, 12; Henry, 10; Alexander, 10; Domincco Packet, 10, and brig Industry, of 10 guns.
On 26 th of February, 1815, he fell in with and captured, after a desperate fight of 14 minutes, his Britannic Majesty’s schooner St.Lawrence, mounting 15 guns, 4 and 12-pound carronades, and a long nine, commanded by Lieut. James E. Gordon, royal navy, with a complement of 75 men and a number of soldiers, marines and several naval officers (passengers) on board. The Chasseur lost but 5 killed and 8 wounded. The St.Lawrence had 15 killed and 23 wounded.
All this, and much more, was done by my late lamented husband, and neither he nor I have ever received or asked anything at the hands of government; and now at the age of 80, and poor, I respectfully solicit such measure of relief as you in your wisdom may think proper to grant.

Washington City , January 15, 1858.


It further appears that Captain Boyle was twice wounded, and was never captured nor lost his vessel. That off the coast of England Captain Boyle, as an off-set to Admiral Cochrane, who had by proclamation declared our entire coast in a state of blockade without an adequate force to maintain it, issued, and had printed in London, and published at Lloyd’s Coffee House, the following proclamation:


By Thomas Boyle, esq., commander of the Chasseur, &c., &c.



Whereas, it has been customary with admirals of Great Britain commanding small forces on the coast of the United States, particularly with Sir John Borlaise Warren and Sir Alexander Cochrane, to declare the entire coast of the United States in a state of strict and rigorous blockade, without possessing the power to justify such declaration, or stationing an adequate force to maintain such blockade, I do therefore, by virtue of the power and authority in me vested, (possessing a sufficient force,) declare all ports, harbors, bays, creeks, rivers, inlets, outlets, islands, and sea-coasts of the united kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in a state of strict and rigorous blockade; and I do further declare that I consider the force under my command adequate to maintain, strictly, rigorously, and effectually, the said blockade; and I do hereby require the respective officers, whether captains, commanders, or commanding officers, under my command, employed or to be employed on the coast of England, Ireland or Scotland, to pay strict attention to this my proclamation; and I do hereby caution and forbid the ships and vessels of all and every nation in amity and peace with the United States from entering or attempting to enter, or from coming or attempting to come out of any of the said ports, harbors, bays creeks, rivers, inlets, outlets, islands, or sea-coast, on or under any pretext whatever.
And, that no person may plead ignorance of this my proclamation, I have ordered the same to be made public in England.

Given under my hand, on board the Chasseur, day and date as above.


By command of the commanding officer.

H.B. STANSBURY, Secretary.


Your committee, in consideration of the important and gallant services, in the war of 1812, of the husband of the petitioner, the late Captain Thomas Boyle, recommend that she be placed on the pension roll at twenty dollars per month from the first day of January, 1858, and therefore present the accompanying bill.