The Monitor Contract

MONITOR, October 4, 1861

This Contract in two parts, made and entered into this Fourth day of October, Anno Domini One Thousand Eight hundred and Sixty-one, between J. Ericsson of the City of New York as principal, and John F. Winslow, John A. Griswold and C.S. Bushnell as sureties on the first part, and Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy for and in behalf of the United States on the second part, WITNESSETH:

That in consideration of the payments hereinafter provided for, the party of the first pat hereby contracts and agrees to construct an Iron Clad Shot-Proof Steam Battery of iron and wood combined on Ericsson's plan; the lower vessel to be wholly of iron and the upper vessel of wood; the length to be one hundred and seventy-nine (179) feet, extreme breadth forty-one (41) feet, and depth five (5) feet or larger if the party of the first part shall think it necessary to carry the armament and stores required, the vessel to be constructed of the best materials and workmanship throughout, according to the plan and specifications hereunto annexed forming a part of this contract; and in addition to said specifications the party of the first part hereby agree to furnish Masts, Spars, Sails and Rigging of sufficient dimensions to drive the vessel at the rate of six knots per hour in a fair breeze of wind; and the party of the first part will also furnish in addition to the said specifications a Condenser for making fresh water for the boilers on the most approved plan.

And the party of the first part further contracts and engages that the said vessel shall have proper accommodations for her stores of all kinds including provisions for one hundred persons for ninety days, and shall carry 2500 gallons of water in tanks; that the vessel shall have a speed of eight sea miles or knots per hour under steam for twelve consecutive hours, and carry fuel for her engines for eight days consumption at that speed; the deck of the vessel when loaded to be eighteen inches above load line amidships; that she shall possess sufficient stability with her armament, stores and crew on board for safe sea-service in traversing the coast of the United States; that her crew shall be properly accommodated and that the apparatus for working the Battery shall prove successful and safe for the purpose intended, and that the vessel machinery and appointments in all their parts hall work to the entire satisfaction of the party of the second part.

And the party of the second part hereby agrees to pay for the vessel complete as aforesaid after trial and satisfactory test, the sum of Two hundred and seventy-five thousand dollars in coin or Treasury notes at the option of the party of the second part in the following manner, to wit: When the work shall have progressed to the amount of Fifty thousand dollars in the estimation of the Superintendent of the vessel on the part of the United States, that sum shall be paid to the party of the first part on certificate of said Superintendent, and thereafter similar payments according to the certificates of said Superintendent, deducting, reserving and retaining from each and every payment Twenty-five per centum, which reservation shall be retained until after the completion and satisfactory trial of the vessel, not to exceed ninety days after she shall be ready for sea.

And it is further agreed between the said parties that the said vessel shall be complete in all her parts and appointments for service, and any omission in these specifications shall be supplied to make her thus complete; and in case the said vessel shall fail in performance of speed for sea service as before stated, or in the security or successful working of the turret and guns with safety to the vessel and the men in the turret, or in her buoyancy to float and carry her battery as aforesaid, then and in that case the party of the first part hereby bind themselves, their heirs, executors, administrators and assigns by these presents to refund to the United States the amount of money advanced to them on said vessel within thirty days after such failure shall have been declared by the party of the second part, and the party of the first part acknowledge themselves indebted to the United States in liquidated damages to the full amount of money advanced as aforesaid. And it is further agreed that the vessel shall be held by the United States as collateral security until said amount of money advanced as aforesaid shall be refunded.

And the party of the first part does further engage and contract that no member of Congress, officer of the Navy , or any person holding any office or appointment under the Navy Department shall be admitted to any share or part of this contract or agreement, or to any benefit to arise thereupon. And it is hereby expressly provided, and this contract is upon this express condition that if any such member of Congress, officer of the Navy, or other person above named shall be admitted to any share or part of this contract, or to any benefit to arise under it, or in case of the party of the first part shall in any respect fail to perform this contract on their part, the same may be, at the option of the United States, declared null and void, without affecting their right to recover for defaults which may have occurred.

It is further agreed between the said parties that said vessel and equipment in all respects shall be completed and ready for sea in on hundred days from the date of this Indenture,

  • J. ERICSSON, [L.S.]
  • JOHN F. WINSLOW, [L.S.]
  • JOHN A. GRISWOLD, [L.S.]
  • C.S. BUSHNELL, [L.S.]
  • GIDEON WELLES,
  • Secretary of the Navy.
  •  

Signed, sealed and delivered
In the presence of
W.L. BARNES, to the signatures J. Ericsson, John F. Winslow, John A. Griswold, C.S. Bushnell.
JOS. SMITH as to signature of G. Welles.     

We're in a race to conserve history! Follow along as artifacts are uncovered and more facts are learned about the Monitor and the men who served aboard!

From the heart breaking accounts of life aboard the ironclads to thrilling descriptions of the battles recounted by those who witnessed them you're sure to learn something new!

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