TWENTY‑FOURTH Congress, Session II, Chapter 21, Vol. 5.
An Act to provide for the enlistment of boys for the naval service, and to extend the term of enlistment of seamen.
Sec. 1. Be it enacted in the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That it shall be lawful to enlist boys for the navy, with the consent of their parents or guardians, not being under thirteen or over eighteen years of age, to serve until they shall arrive at the age of twenty‑one years; and it shall be lawful to enlist other persons for the navy, to serve for a period not exceeding five years, unless sooner discharged by direction of the President of the United States; and so much of an act entitled "An act to amend the act entitled 'An act to amend the act authorizing the employment of an additional naval force," approved fifteenth May, one thousand eight hundred and twenty, as is inconsistent with the provisions of this act, shall be, and is hereby, repealed.
Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That when the time of service of any person enlisted for the navy shall expire, while he is on board any of the public vessels of the United States employed on foreign service, it shall be the duty of the commanding officer of the fleet, squadron or vessel in which such person may be, to send him to the United States in some public or other vessel, unless his detention shall be essential to the public interests, in which case the said officer may detain him until the vessel in which he shall be serving shall return to the United States; and it shall be the duty of said officer, immediately to report to the navy department of such detention, and the causes thereof.
Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That such persons as may be detained after the expiration of their enlistment, under thee next preceding section of this act, shall be subject, in all respects to the laws and regulations for the government of the navy, until their return to the United States, and all such persons as shall be so detained, and all such as shall voluntarily re‑enlist to serve until the return of the vessel in which they shall be serving, and their regular discharge therefrom in the United States shall, while so detained, and while so serving under their re‑enlistment, receive an addition of one‑fourth to their former pay.
Approved, March 2, 1837.