DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY, government. The Act of April 80, 1798, 1 Story's Laws, 498, establishes an executive department, under the denomination of the department of the navy, the chief officer of which shall be called the secretary of the navy. (q. v.)

2. A principal clerk, and such other clerks as he shall think necessary, shall be appointed by the secretary of the navy, who shall be employed in such manner as he shall deem most expedient. In case of vacancy in the office of the secretary, by removal or otherwise, it shall be the duty of the principal clerk to take charge and custody of all books, records, and documents of said office. Id. s. 2