Pre-war naval pay voucher, signed by "Benj. J. Cahoone”. United States Navy Yard, New-York, July 31, 1851 . Certifies payment received from "EDWARD T. DUNN, Purser in the United States Navy on account of my Pay, &c.". 21/4 x 8 (including attached stub), part printed on light blue paper. Top and bottom margins are slightly irregular, having been torn rather than cut when the piece was issued.
The ship's Purser was primarily responsible for the handling of money and the procurement and keeping of stores and supplies. Unlike their line counterparts, pursers originally did not hold rank. An 1854 Act of Congress legalized the relative rank conferred upon pursers by General Order of 27 May 1847. Pursers with more than twelve years' service ranked with commanders and those with less than twelve years ranked with lieutenants. In 1860, the name of the position of Purser was changed to "Paymaster". Ashore naval logistics, which had been the purview of civilians, were transferred to Paymasters throughout the 1860s.
Dunn, Edward T. Purser, 21 February, 1831. Chief Bureau Provisions and Clothing, 12 July, 1869. Pay Director, 3 March, 1871. Retired 22 January, 1873. Died 27 September, 1887
Cahoone, J. Benjamin. Purser, 12 November, 1830. Retired List, 21 December, 1861. Pay Director Retired List, 3 March, 1871. Died 27 July, 1873.