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Navy and Marine Pay Chart for 1794

1794 U.S. Navy and Marine Corps Basic Pay Charts

On March 27, 1794, Congress exercised its power under Article I, Section Eight of the Constitution, "To provide and maintain a Navy," and passed the Naval Act of 1794 (or "An Act to provide a naval armament"), authorizing the President of the United States, then George Washington, to "provide,…, equip and employ…" six frigates that were eventually named: UNITED STATES, CONSTELLATION, CONSTITUTION, PRESIDENT, CONGRESS, and CHESAPEAKE.

And with the creation of the United States' first standing Navy came the first United States Navy salaries and daily rations.

Note: The pay rates reflected were in effect from 1794 until 1799 for Captains, Lieutenants, and Sailing-Masters. Their rates were modified in 1799 in order to take into account the smaller ships that were being added to the fleet. The rates for the remaining Crew-members remained in effect until 1814:

1794-1814 Petty Officer Pay Chart

Petty Officers (appointed by the Ship's Captain)
Position *Total Manning Monthly Pay
Master's Mate 12

Fixed by the President and not to exceed $27,000 per month total for the six frigates combined.

For the 1970 people that fell under this provision, this would average around $13.70 per person per month (some jobs received a little more, and some a little less). Additionally, each Servicemember was alloted one single ration per day.

Captain's Clerk 6
Boatswain's Mate 12
Cockswain 6
Sail-Maker's Mate 6
Gunner's Mate 12
Yeoman of the Gun Room 6
Quarter-Gunner 62
Carpenter's Mate 12
Armorer 6
Steward 6
Coopers (barrel maker) 6
Master-at-Arms 6
Cook 6
Additional Manning
Position *Total Manning
Seaman 860
Ordinary Seamen 592
Drum 6
Fife 6
Marines
Position *Total Manning
Sergeant 6
Corporal 8
Marine 280
Warrant Officers (appointed by the President)
Position *Total Manning Rations per Day Monthly Pay
Sailing-Master 12 2 $40
Purser 6 2 $40
Boatswain 12 2 $14
Gunner 6 2 $14
Sail-Maker 6 2 $14
Carpenter 12 2 $14
Midshipman 48 1 **

** The Midshipman's pay was distributed from the same $27,000 budget alloted for the Petty Officers.

Commissioned Officers (appointed by the President)
Position *Total Manning Rations per Day Monthly Pay
Captain 6 6 $75
Lieutenant 22 3 $40
Lieutenant of Marines 6 2 $26
Chaplain 6 2 $40
Surgeon 6 2 $50
Surgeon's Mate 10 2 $35

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*The total manning numbers listed equals the total number of men, 2062, alloted to fully man the United States Navy's fleet of six frigates.

Effective March 27, 1794.



The 1794 active duty Navy and Marine Corps pay chart for Servicemembers to be assigned to one of the original six United States Navy frigates.

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