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Albert Gallatin, The Writings of Albert Gallatin, vol. 1 [1879]

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Albert Gallatin, The Writings of Albert Gallatin, ed. Henry Adams (Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott, 1879). 3 vols. http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/1953

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About this Title:

Vol. 1 contains reports and letters written between 1788 and 1816.

Copyright information:

The text is in the public domain.

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This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.

Table of Contents:

Edition: current; Page: [a]
THE WRITINGS OF ALBERT GALLATIN.
Edition: current; Page: [b] Edition: current; Page: [i]
THE WRITINGS of ALBERT GALLATIN.
EDITED BY HENRY ADAMS.
VOLUME I.
ANTIQUARIAN PRESS LTD.
New York
1960
Edition: current; Page: [ii]

First Published

Reprinted 1960 by ANTIQUARIAN PRESS LTD. 303 Fourth Avenue New York 10, N. Y.

Printed in the United States of America

Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 59-15120

Edition Limited to 750 Copies of which 700 Numbered Copies are For Sale.

This is No. _____

Edition: current; Page: [iii]

PREFACE.

A complete collection of the published writings of Albert Gallatin would fill many volumes. A list of them, which is believed to include all the most important, will be found in the index to the third volume of the present collection; and in order to assist investigators, this list indicates in each case the public document, the newspaper, or the other source where the paper in question was printed. Only those marked there with an asterisk have been republished here. The others are supposed to be already sufficiently accessible, or to have no longer any especial interest.

Two of the three volumes now published consist almost exclusively of correspondence hitherto unprinted or uncollected, and are intended to supply the want of a general view of Mr. Gallatin’s personal influence upon public affairs during a period of sixty years. Following a well-established custom, the editor has included among the letters selected for publication a number of those addressed to Mr. Gallatin by his most distinguished contemporaries, such as the successive Presidents whom he served, where it has been supposed that such letters were not already in print.

The third volume contains such essays and publications of Mr. Gallatin as are believed to have historical value and are not easily to be found even in public libraries.

For the series of notes and letters written by Mr. Gallatin while Secretary of the Treasury to Presidents Jefferson and Madison, the editor is indebted to the liberality of the Department of State. He has especially to acknowledge the kindness with which Mr. Evarts, the head of that Department, has permitted him to have copies of all papers written by Mr. Gallatin and preserved among the Jefferson and Madison MSS.

Henry Adams.
Edition: current; Page: [iv] Edition: current; Page: [v]

TABLE OF CONTENTS.

  • 1788.
    • 3 September. Draft of Report of the Harrisburg Conference page 1
  • 1792.
    • Petition against Excise . . . . . 2
  • 1794.
    • September. Declaration of the Committees of Fayette County . . . . . . . . 4
    • 17 September. Gallatin to Governor Mifflin . . . . 9
  • 1798.
    • 25 May. Gallatin to Lewis F. Delesdernier . . . 13
  • 1801.
    • February. Plant at time of balloting for Jefferson and Burr 18
    • 14 March. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 24
    • 12 June. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 27
    • 25 July. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 28
    • 26 July. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 29
    • 10 August. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 30
    • 14 August. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 36
    • 17 August. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 38
    • 21 August. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 40
    • 28 August. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 41
    • 5 September. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 43
    • 7 September. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 44
    • 12 September. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 47
    • 14 September. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 49
    • 18 September. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 54
    • 21 September. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 56
    • 3 October. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 56
    • 9 October. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 57
    • 9 November. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 58
    • 11 November. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 59
    • 12 November. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 60
    • 15 November. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 61
    • 14 November. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 62
    • November. Gallatin to Jefferson. Notes on President’s Message . . . . . . . 63
    • 16 November. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 69
    • 28 November. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 74 Edition: current; Page: [vi]
  • 1802.
    • 19 January. Gallatin to Joseph H. Nicholson . . . 74
    • 13 February. Gallatin to William B. Giles . . . . 76
    • 18 June. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 80
    • 3 August. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 81
    • 9 August. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 81
    • 9 August. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 83
    • 14 August. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 84
    • 14 August. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 85
    • 16 August. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 86
    • 20 August. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 90
    • 20 August. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 92
    • 23 August. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 94
    • 30 August. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 95
    • 8 September. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 96
    • 9 September. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 96
    • 13 September. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 98
    • 17 September. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 98
    • 20 September. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 99
    • 21 September. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 100
    • 7 October. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 101
    • 26 October. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 102
    • December. Gallatin to Jefferson. Notes on the President’s Message . . . . . . 104
    • Gallatin to Madison . . . . . 109
  • 1803.
    • 13 January. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 111
    • Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 114
    • 18 January. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 115
    • 21 March. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 118
    • 28 March. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 119
    • 13 April. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 120
    • 16 June. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 122
    • 21 June. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 123
    • 2 July. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 126
    • 9 July. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 127
    • 12 July. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 128
    • 25 July. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 129
    • 24 July. [Enclosure.] Jefferson to Duane . . . 130
    • 27 July. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 133
    • 11 August. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 134
    • 13 August. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 137
    • 18 August. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 138
    • 20 August. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 139
    • 18 August. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 140
    • 23 August. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 144
    • 31 August. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 145
    • 5 September. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 152 Edition: current; Page: [vii]
    • 16 September. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 153
    • 3 October. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 154
    • 4 October. Gallatin to Jefferson. Remarks on the President’s Message . . . . . . 156
    • 6 October. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 162
    • 28 October. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 162
    • 29 October. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 166
    • 31 October. Gallatin to W. C. Claiborne . . . . 167
    • 8 November. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 169
    • 13 December. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 171
  • 1804.
    • 11 January. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 172
    • 18 January. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 173
    • Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 174
    • 11 February. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 176
    • 15 February. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 177
    • 21 February. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 178
    • 15 March. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 179
    • 28 March. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 180
    • 5 April. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 183
    • 12 April. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 184
    • 15 April. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 186
    • 16 April. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 187
    • 27 April. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 189
    • 3 May. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 190
    • 11 May. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 191
    • 30 May. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 193
    • 7 June. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 194
    • 9 June. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 196
    • 11 June. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 196
    • 2 July. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 198
    • 12 July. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 199
    • 18 July. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 200
    • 20 August. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 202
    • 1 September. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 206
    • 4 September. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 208
    • 18 September. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 208
    • 12 October. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 210
    • 15 October. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 210
    • October. Gallatin to Jefferson. Remarks on the President’s Message . . . . . . 211
    • 29 October. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 216
    • Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 217
    • 13 December. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 218
    • Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 219
  • 1805.
    • 3 January. Gallatin to Samuel L. Mitchill . . . 219
    • 12 February. Gallatin to Jefferson. Remarks on the Inaugural Address . . . . . . 227 Edition: current; Page: [viii]
    • 28 March. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 228
    • 3 April. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 229
    • 23 April. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 229
    • 9 May. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 230
    • 28 May. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 231
    • 29 May. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 232
    • 30 May. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 233
    • 1 July. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 235
    • 2 July. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 236
    • 17 July. Gallatin to Samuel Smith . . . . 236
    • 6 August. Gallatin to Madison . . . . . 237
    • 7 August. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 239
    • 17 August. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 240
    • 12 September. Gallatin to Jefferson. [Enclosure.] Spanish Affairs . . . . . . . . 241
    • 13 September. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 255
    • Gallatin to Jefferson. Observations on Foreign Gold . . . . . . . 255
    • 11 October. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 256
    • 23 October. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 257
    • 3 November. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 258
    • 5 November. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 258
    • 6 November. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 260
    • 16 November. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 260
    • 20 November. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 261
    • 21 November. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 261
    • 24 November. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 264
    • 25 November. Gallatin to Jefferson. Remarks on the Message . . . . . . . . 264
    • 26 November. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 266
    • November. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 267
    • 27 November. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 275
    • 3 December. Gallatin to Jefferson. Remarks on Spanish Message . . . . . . . 275
    • Jefferson to Gallatin. Spanish Resolutions . 277
    • 3 December. Gallatin to Jefferson. Remarks on Spanish Resolutions . . . . . . . 278
    • 4 December. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 281
    • 7 December. Gallatin to Joseph H. Nicholson . . . 282
    • 7 December. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 282
    • 15 December. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 283
  • 1806.
    • January. Gallatin to Jefferson. Note.—Sending off Yrujo . . . . . . . . 283
    • Gallatin to Jefferson. Note.—Intended Negotiation with Great Britain . . . 284
    • 6 January. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 289 Edition: current; Page: [ix]
    • 12 February. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 290
    • 24 February. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 291
    • 1 March. Gallatin to Madison . . . . . 291
    • 11 March. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 293
    • 5 April. Gallatin to G. Clinton, Jr. . . . . 295
    • 10 April. George Clinton, Jr., to Gallatin . . . 297
    • 15 April. Gallatin to the Speaker of the House of Representatives . . . . . . . 298
    • 19 May. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 299
    • 15 June. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 299
    • 19 June. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 300
    • 26 June. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 301
    • 9 July. Gallatin to Nathan Sandford . . . 302
    • 14 July. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 304
    • 7 August. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 305
    • 15 August. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 306
    • 16 August. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 307
    • 28 August. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 307
    • 31 August. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 308
    • 13 October. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 310
    • 12 November. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 311
    • 14 November. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 312
    • Gallatin to Jefferson. Sketch of Financial Paragraph . . . . . . . 313
    • 16 November. Gallatin to Jefferson. Remarks on the President’s Message . . . . . . 316
    • 22 November. Gallatin to Jefferson. Note on the Paragraph entitled “University” . . . . 320
    • 23 November. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 321
    • 25 November. Gallatin to Jefferson. Observations . . 321
    • 12 December. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 325
  • 1807.
    • 6 January. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 325
    • January. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 327
    • 13 January. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 328
    • 8 February. Gallatin to Jefferson. Notes.—Message respecting Gunboats . . . . . 328
    • 22 February. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 331
    • 31 March. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 331
    • 13 April. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 332
    • 16 April. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 335
    • 25 June. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 336
    • 29 June. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 336
    • 1 July. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 337
    • 7 July. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 337
    • 16 July. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 337
    • 17 July. Gallatin to Joseph H. Nicholson . . . 338 Edition: current; Page: [x]
    • 25 July. Gallatin to Jefferson. [Enclosure.] Memorandum of Preparatory Measures . . 340
    • 15 August. Gallatin to Madison . . . . . 353
    • 26 August. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 353
    • 26 August. Madison to Gallatin . . . . . 355
    • 2 September. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 356
    • 17 October. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 357
    • 21 October. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 357
    • 21 October. Gallatin to Jefferson. Remarks on President’s Message . . . . . . . 358
    • 21 October. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 364
    • 21 October. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 365
    • 24 October. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 365
    • 4 November. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 366
    • 5 November. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 366
    • 25 November. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 366
    • 2 December. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 367
    • 3 December. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 367
    • 18 December. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 368
    • 18 December. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 369
  • 1808.
    • 14 January. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 369
    • 12 February. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 370
    • 13 February. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 371
    • 18 February. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 371
    • 18 February. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 371
    • 27 February. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 372
    • 29 February. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 373
    • 2 March. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 374
    • 10 March. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 375
    • 11 March. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 376
    • 11 March. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 377
    • 13 March. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 377
    • 16 March. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 377
    • 30 March. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 379
    • 1 April. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 381
    • 2 April. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 383
    • 5 May. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 384
    • 6 May. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 385
    • 10 May. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 386
    • 16 May. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 387
    • 16 May. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 389
    • 23 May. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 390
    • 28 May. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 393
    • 15 July. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 394
    • 27 July. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 395
    • 29 July. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 396 Edition: current; Page: [xi]
    • 5 August. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 399
    • 6 August. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 401
    • 9 August. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 402
    • 17 August. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 405
    • 19 August. Madison to Gallatin . . . . . 407
    • 23 August. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 409
    • 31 August. Madison to Gallatin . . . . . 410
    • 2 September. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 412
    • 2 September. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 413
    • 8 September. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 415
    • 14 September. Gallatin to David Thomas . . . . 416
    • 14 September. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 417
    • 16 September. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 418
    • 24 October. Gallatin to Charles Pinckney . . . . 419
    • 25 October. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 419
    • 30 October. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 420
    • 2 November. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 420
    • 2 November. Gallatin to Jefferson. Remarks on President’s Message . . . . . . . 421
    • 3 November. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 426
    • 8 November. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 427
    • 15 November. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 428
    • 24 November. Gallatin to W. B. Giles . . . . . 428
    • November. Campbell’s Report . . . . . . 435
    • 14 December. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 446
    • 28 December. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 447
    • 29 December. Gallatin to Joseph H. Nicholson . . . 449
  • 1809.
    • 10 January. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 449
    • 4 February. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 451
    • February. Notes on the Political Situation . . . 451
    • 22 February. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 453
    • 29 June. Gallatin to Samuel Smith . . . . 454
    • 28 July. Madison to Gallatin . . . . . 454
    • 30 July. Madison to Gallatin . . . . . 456
    • 13 August. Gallatin to D. M. Erskine . . . . 458
    • 11 September. Gallatin to Madison . . . . . 461
    • 25 September. Madison to Gallatin . . . . . 462
    • 27 September. Gallatin to W. H. Harrison . . . . 463
    • 8 November. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 464
  • 1810.
    • 26 February. Gallatin to John W. Eppes . . . . 466
    • 21 April. Gallatin to the National Intelligencer . . 475
    • 14 July. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 479
    • 14 August. Madison to Gallatin . . . . . 481
    • 21 August. Gallatin to Madison . . . . . 482
    • 22 August. Madison to Gallatin . . . . . 483 Edition: current; Page: [xii]
    • 5 September. Madison to Gallatin . . . . . 485
    • 5 September. Gallatin to Madison . . . . . 486
    • 10 September. Gallatin to Madison . . . . . 487
    • 12 September. Madison to Gallatin . . . . . 489
    • 17 September. Gallatin to Madison . . . . . 490
    • 27 September. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 491
    • 30 November. Gallatin to Madison . . . . . 494
  • 1811.
    • 5 January. Gallatin to Madison . . . . . 494
    • March. Gallatin to Madison . . . . . 495
    • 22 March. Richard Brent to Gallatin . . . . 496
    • 18 March. [Enclosure.] Monroe to Brent . . . 497
    • 14 September. Madison to Gallatin . . . . . 499
  • 1812.
    • Gallatin to Madison . . . . . 500
    • 10 January. Gallatin to Ezekiel Bacon . . . . 501
    • 10 March. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 517
    • 21 May. Gallatin to Joseph H. Nicholson . . . 518
    • 10 June. Gallatin to Langdon Cheves . . . . 518
    • 1 June. Monroe to Gallatin . . . . . . 520
    • June. Gallatin to Madison . . . . . 521
    • 23 June. Gallatin to Langdon Cheves . . . . 521
    • 21 July. Gallatin to Madison . . . . . 522
    • 8 August. Madison to Gallatin . . . . . 523
    • 15 August. Madison to Gallatin . . . . . 525
    • August. Madison to Gallatin . . . . . 526
    • 11 October. Gallatin to Madison . . . . . 526
    • Gallatin to Madison. Memoranda . . . 527
    • 1 November. Gallatin to Madison . . . . . 529
    • 12 December. Gallatin to Madison . . . . . 530
    • 18 December. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 530
  • 1813.
    • 5 January. Monroe to Gallatin . . . . . . 531
    • 12 February. Gallatin to Langdon Cheves . . . . 532
    • 5 March. Gallatin to Madison . . . . . 532
    • Gallatin to Madison [three Memoranda without date] . . . . . . . 533
    • 5 April. Madison to Gallatin . . . . . 534
    • 17 April. Gallatin to Madison . . . . . 534
    • [Enclosure to Secretaries of War and Navy] 535
    • 22 April. Gallatin to Madison . . . . . 538
    • 2 May. Gallatin to Monroe . . . . . . 539
    • 5 May. Monroe to Gallatin . . . . . . 540
    • 6 May. Monroe to Gallatin . . . . . . 542
    • 8 May. Gallatin to Monroe . . . . . . 544
    • 22 June. Gallatin to Baring Bros. . . . . 545
    • 22 July. Alexander Baring to Gallatin . . . 546 Edition: current; Page: [xiii]
    • 14 August. The American Commissioners to the Emperor Alexander . . . . . . . 552
    • 21 August. Moreau to Gallatin . . . . . . 562
    • 27 August. Gallatin to Alexander Baring . . . 564
    • 28 August. Gallatin to Monroe . . . . . . 568
    • 29 August. The American Commissioners to Monroe . 569
    • 13 September. Gallatin to Levett Harris . . . . 574
    • 2 September. Gallatin to Moreau . . . . . . 576
    • 22 September. W. H. Crawford to Gallatin . . . . 581
    • 1 October. Gallatin to Count Romanzoff . . . . 583
    • 12 October. Alexander Baring to Gallatin . . . 584
    • 15 October. The American Commissioners to Monroe . 587
    • 18 October. Gallatin to Alexander Baring . . . 588
    • 18 October. Gallatin to G. M. Dallas . . . . 589
    • 1 November. Gallatin to Count Romanzoff . . . . 590
    • 21 November. Gallatin to Monroe . . . . . . 591
    • 14 December. Alexander Baring to Gallatin . . . 592
  • 1814.
    • 7 January. Gallatin to Monroe . . . . . . 593
    • 7 January. Gallatin to Alexander Baring . . . 594
    • 11 January. G. M. Dallas to Gallatin . . . . 594
    • 25 January. Gallatin to Count Romanzoff . . . . 598
    • 7 March. Gallatin to Baring Bros. . . . . . 600
    • 1 April. Gallatin to Alexander Baring . . . 601
    • 21 April. Gallatin to Crawford . . . . . 602
    • 21 April. Gallatin to La Fayette . . . . . 605
    • 22 April. Gallatin to Clay . . . . . . 606
    • 2 May. Clay to Bayard and Gallatin . . . . 608
    • 6 May. Gallatin and Bayard to Monroe . . . 611
    • 13 May. W. H. Crawford to the U. S. Commissioners . 614
    • 17 May. Bayard and Gallatin to Adams, Clay, and Russell . . . . . . . . 617
    • 23 May. Bayard and Gallatin to Monroe . . . 618
    • 24 May. W. H. Crawford to the U. S. Commissioners . 619
    • 25 May. La Fayette to Gallatin . . . . . 620
    • 28 May. W. H. Crawford to the U. S. Commissioners . 622
    • 26 May. [Enclosure.] La Fayette to Crawford . . 623
    • 2 June. Gallatin to Monroe . . . . . . 625
    • 3 June. Gallatin to Monroe . . . . . . 625
    • 3 June. La Fayette to Gallatin . . . . . 626
    • 13 June. Gallatin to Monroe . . . . . . 627
    • 20 August. Gallatin to Monroe . . . . . . 637
    • 19 June. Gallatin to the Emperor Alexander . . 629
    • 20 June. Gallatin to Monroe . . . . . . 632
    • 26 July. Gallatin to R. G. Beasley . . . . 633
    • 31 July. Mme. de Staël to Gallatin . . . . 635
    • 4 August. Crawford to Gallatin . . . . . 636 Edition: current; Page: [xiv]
    • 26 October. Gallatin to Monroe . . . . . . 640
    • 24 December. Gallatin to the Secretary of the Treasury . 644
    • 25 December. Gallatin to Monroe . . . . . . 645
  • 1815.
    • 19 March. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 647
    • 5 April. Crawford to Gallatin . . . . . 648
    • 4 September. Gallatin to Madison . . . . . 650
    • 6 September. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 651
    • 11 September. Madison to Gallatin . . . . . 652
    • 24 September. Gallatin to Richard Bache . . . . 653
    • 25 September. Gallatin to A. J. Dallas . . . . . 654
    • 6 November. Gallatin to James H. Blake . . . . 657
    • 23 November. Gallatin to Madison . . . . . 657
    • 23 November. Gallatin to Monroe . . . . . . 659
    • 23 November. Gallatin to Clay . . . . . . 659
    • 25 November. Gallatin to Monroe . . . . . . 662
    • 27 November. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 666
    • 30 November. Gallatin to Monroe . . . . . . 668
    • 4 December. Gallatin to Josiah Meigs . . . . 670
    • 4 December. Monroe to Gallatin . . . . . . 672
    • 12 December. Gallatin to A. J. Dallas . . . . . 673
    • 16 December. Monroe to Gallatin . . . . . . 675
    • 26 December. Gallatin to Monroe . . . . . . 677
    • Memorandum . . . . . . . 678
  • 1816.
    • 4 January. Gallatin to Clay . . . . . . 680
    • 27 January. Monroe to Gallatin . . . . . . 683
    • 31 January. Gallatin to John Forsyth . . . . 684
    • 2 February. Gallatin to Monroe . . . . . . 688
    • 13 February. Monroe to Gallatin . . . . . . 689
    • 19 March. Gallatin to T. R. Gold . . . . . 689
    • 1 April. Gallatin to Jefferson . . . . . 691
    • 11 April. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 692
    • 12 April. Madison to Gallatin . . . . . 694
    • 18 April. Gallatin to Madison . . . . . 694
    • 18 April. Gallatin to Monroe . . . . . . 695
    • 19 April. Gallatin to Madison . . . . . 696
    • 5 April. [Enclosure.] John Smith to Gallatin . . 696
    • 23 April. Gallatin to Nathaniel Macon . . . . 697
    • 6 May. Crawford to Gallatin . . . . . 699
    • 7 May. Gallatin to Matthew Lyon . . . . 700
    • 10 May. Crawford to Gallatin . . . . . 702
    • 15 May. Gallatin to Monroe . . . . . . 704
    • 18 May. Jefferson to Gallatin . . . . . 705
    • 2 June. Gallatin to Madison . . . . . 706
    • 4 June. Gallatin to Madison . . . . . 706
    • 7 June. Gallatin to Madison . . . . . 707
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WRITINGS OF GALLATIN.

LETTERS, ETC.

DRAFT OF REPORT OF THE HARRISBURG CONFERENCE OF SEPTEMBER 3, 1788.1

. . . We, &c., . . . are united in opinion that a federal government is the only one that can preserve the liberties and secure the happiness of the inhabitants of such an extensive empire as the United States, and experience having taught us that the ties of our Union, under the Articles of Confederation, were so weak as to deprive us of some of the greatest advantages we had a right to expect from such a government, therefore are fully convinced that a more efficient one is absolutely necessary. But at the same time we must declare that although the constitution proposed for the United States is likely to obviate most of the inconveniences we labored under, yet several parts of it appear so exceptionable to us that nothing but the fullest confidence of obtaining a revision of them by a general convention and our reluctance to enter into any dangerous measures could prevail on us to acquiesce in its organization in this State. We are sensible that a large number of the citizens, both in this and other States, who gave their assent to its being carried in execution previous to any amendments, were actuated more by the fear of the dangers that might arise from any delays than by a conviction of its being perfect. We therefore are convinced that they now will concur with us in pursuing every peaceable method of obtaining a speedy revision of the Constitution in the mode pointed out by the same, and when Edition: current; Page: [2] we reflect on the present situation of the Union we can entertain no doubt that motives of conciliation and the dictates of policy and prudence will conspire to induce every man of true federal principles to give his support to a measure not only calculated to recommend the new constitution to the approbation and support of a numerous class of American citizens, but even necessary to prevent the total defection of some members of the Union. Strongly impressed with those sentiments, we have resolved as follows:

1. Resolved, That in order to prevent a dissolution of the Union and to secure our liberties and those of our posterity, it is necessary that a revision of the Federal Constitution be obtained in the most speedy manner.

2. That the safest manner to obtain such a revision will be in conformity to the request of the State of New York, to use our endeavors to have a federal convention called as soon as possible.

3. That in order that the friends to amendments of the Federal Constitution who are inhabitants of this State may act in concert, it is necessary, and it is hereby recommended to the several counties in the State, to appoint committees who may correspond, one with the other, and with such similar committees as may be formed in other States.

4. That the friends to amendments of the Federal Constitution in the several States be invited to meet in a general conference to be held at , on , and that members be elected by this conference, who or any of them shall meet at said place and time, in order to devise, in concert with such other delegates from the several States as may come under similar appointments, on such amendments to the Federal Constitution as to them may seem most necessary, and on the most likely way to carry them into effect.

1792. PETITION AGAINST EXCISE.

To the Honorable the Speaker and House of Representatives of the Congress of the United States.

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The Petition of the subscribers, inhabitants of the western counties of Pennsylvania, most respectfully showeth:

That your Petitioners have been greatly alarmed by a law of Congress which imposes a duty on spirituous liquors distilled from produce of the United States. To us that act appears unequal in its operation and immoral in its effects. Unequal in its operation, as a duty laid on the common drink of a nation, instead of taxing the citizens in proportion to their property, falls as heavy on the poorest class as on the rich; immoral in its effect, because the amount of the duty chiefly resting on the oath of the payer, offers, at the expense of the honest part of the community, a premium to perjury and fraud.

Your Petitioners also consider this law as dangerous to liberty; because the powers necessarily vested in the officers for the collection of so odious a revenue are not only unusual, but incompatible with the free enjoyment of domestic peace and private property; because these powers, to prevent evasions of the duty, must pursue the endless subtleties of the human mind, and be almost infinitely increased; and because we are apprehensive that this excise will by degrees be extended to other articles of consumption, until everything we eat, drink, or wear be, as in England and other European countries, subjected to heavy duties and the obnoxious inspection of an host of officers.

Destitute of information of the real deficiencies of the revenues of the United States, of the proportion which the probable proceeds of the excise bear to them, and doubtful whether those deficiencies could not have been supplied by other resources sufficiently productive and less obnoxious and oppressive, we want those motives which alone can reconcile us to the collection of a duty so odious in its nature and dangerous in its tendency.

Our peculiar situation renders this duty still more unequal and oppressive to us. Distant from a permanent market, and separate from the eastern coast by mountains which render the communication difficult and almost impracticable, we have no means of bringing the produce of our lands to sale either in grain or in meal. We are therefore distillers through necessity, not choice, that we may comprehend the greatest value in the smallest size and weight.

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The inhabitants of the eastern side of the mountains can dispose of their grain without the additional labor of distillation at a higher price than we can, after we have bestowed that labor upon it. Yet with this additional labor we must also pay a high duty from which they are exempted, because we have no means of selling our surplus produce but in a distilled state.

Another circumstance which renders this duty ruinous to us is our scarcity of cash. Our commerce is not, as on the eastern coast, carried on so much by absolute sale as by barter, and we believe it to be a fact that there is not among us a quantity of circulating cash sufficient for the payment of this duty alone.

We are not accustomed to complain without reason; we have punctually and cheerfully paid former taxes on our estates and possessions, because they were proportioned to our real wealth. We believe this to be founded on no such equitable principles, and are persuaded that your Honorable House will find on investigation that its amount, if duly collected, will be four times as large as any taxes which we have hitherto paid on the whole of our lands and other property.

Submitting these considerations to your honorable body, we respectfully apply for a total repeal of the law, or for such modifications thereof as would render its principles more congenial to the nature of a free government, and its operation upon us less unequal and oppressive. And as in duty bound shall forever pray, &c.

DECLARATION OF THE COMMITTEES OF FAYETTE COUNTY, SEPTEMBER, 1794.

At a meeting of committees from the several townships of the county of Fayette, held at Uniontown the 10th day of September, 1794, twenty-one members present;

The following declaration was taken into consideration and unanimously adopted by the meeting:

We trust that the citizens of Fayette County will feel no more reluctance in declaring their intention to submit to the laws of the United States than we do in making the declarations required Edition: current; Page: [5] by the Commissioners. It is doing no more than expressing by a vote what the great body of them have heretofore proved by their conduct. We think it, however, our duty to state to them some of the reflections which must suggest themselves to every thinking mind upon the present occasion. That if the western counties will resist the execution of the laws, a civil war must be the consequence, no person, who will reflect, can doubt; for if any one part of the Union are suffered to oppose by force the determination of the whole, there is an end to government itself, and of course to the Union. The excise law is obnoxious to us, another law may equally be so in another part, a third one in a different quarter, and if every corner of the United States claim a right to oppose what they dislike, no one law will be obeyed. The existence of government, therefore, depends upon the execution of the laws, and they are in duty bound to enforce it. The President has, in consequence, sent Commissioners, in the first place to try by conciliatory means to obtain a submission; but if it is not so obtained, he will proceed by coercion. We could have wished, indeed, that more time had been given to the people to reflect, and we think that in this country it would have had a happy effect; for we are sure that arguments and the good sense of the people themselves, provided they had time to cool, would have a greater influence in convincing their minds than the fear of bayonets will. But the President was better acquainted with the general situation of the United States (though perhaps less with that of this country) than we can pretend to be. He has thought it his duty, and he has declared it to be his intention, to attempt a military coercion, if an explicit answer is not now given. He cannot at present recede without exposing government, and it remains with us only to consider what the consequences will be if resistance is attempted by the people.

We might expatiate on the improbability that such a small number as the inhabitants of the Western country, unprepared as they are for such an event, having but a scanty supply of arms and ammunition, and with the Indians on their back, could succeed against the whole force of the Union. We might represent how ruinous, at all events, to this country a contest would Edition: current; Page: [6] be. But your judgment and your patriotism we mean to address, and not your fears. Resistance by force against oppression is lawful only when no legal and constitutional remedy is within the reach of the people, and when the evils arising from the oppression are excessive, when they far surpass those that must ensue from the resistance. Such was the case of America at the beginning of the Revolution, when they took up arms against Great Britain. Such was the case of France when they overset their despotic government. Can the situation of the people of America or of France on those two occasions be compared to our own at present? You had your full share of representation in the Legislature which enacted the law we complain of. You are not deprived of the right of electing in future for that body the proportion of members your population entitles you to. Every mode of redress which can exist under a republican form of government is still open to you. Violence and resistance on your part would be the attempt of a minority to overrule, and, in fact, to oppress the majority of the people of the United States; an attempt to destroy every principle of that constitutional and rational liberty which we now enjoy. But, supposing there were some cases in which intolerable oppression on the part of the majority would justify resistance or secession in the minority, is the present one of them? The question which every man before he decides must answer is this,—Is the oppression arising from the excise law sufficient to justify me, before my own conscience and my God, in taking up arms against my fellow-citizens? Are the evils that will arise from the payment of that tax equal to those which a war must bring upon myself and upon my country? What is then the just value of the oppression and evils arising from the excise law? Nothing more nor less, at present, than paying seven cents for every gallon of whiskey we consume. We feel the probable consequences of that kind of taxation, once introduced, as warmly as you do yourselves. We think it a part of a more extensive system, and we look upon it only as the forerunner of a premeditated extension to numerous other articles. But those consequences, however probable, have not yet taken place; and although, from a fear of their ensuing, we have a right to be suspicious and to use our best endeavors to Edition: current; Page: [7] have the root of the fatal tree eradicated, yet we cannot count suspicions and fears amongst our present grievances and oppressions, and it is only in case they shall be realized that it may become justifiable to resent and perhaps to resist. Till then we must take things just as they are, and the actual evil, as already stated, will be the mere payment of the duty; for as to that oppression more dangerous to your liberties than the excise law itself, the power of dragging you at a distance from your own neighborhoods in order to be tried for real or supposed offences, the President has declared that he will relinquish its exercise as long as our own courts shall do justice,—that is to say, as long as yourselves shall please,—for upon you, who compose those courts and juries, must depend whether justice shall be done or not. That great and important point is, therefore, fully obtained, that grievance is now redressed, and the payment of the duty alone must be put in the scale against all the evils arising from resistance and a civil war. Those evils, in our opinion, are nothing less than anarchy and ruin to ourselves, be the event what it will, and a probable annihilation of the Union; for, in order to conciliate so many and various interests as those of the several parts of the Union, mutual forbearance, manifestations of good will one to another, and reciprocal acts of friendship are as essentially necessary as a strict adherence to that Constitution which binds us together; and if ever the fatal lesson is taught the inhabitants of this extensive republic to shed one another’s blood, we may forever bid farewell to harmony, to mutual confidence, and to peace. The seeds of dissension, a spirit of hatred and revenge, will be implanted in every man’s heart, and whatever might be the future duration of a nominal Union, its reality would no longer exist. If, therefore, you wish to preserve to yourselves and to your fellow-citizens the inestimable benefits that arise from our being united; if you wish, through the Union, to obtain, by a restoration of the Western posts and a free navigation of the Mississippi, the full enjoyment of those advantages to which nature has entitled you; if you wish not to destroy, along with the federal republic of North America, the finest monument which men have yet erected to liberty; if you wish not to become a prey to your natural enemies, the British, Edition: current; Page: [8] ready to take every advantage of our internal dissensions and to hunt down liberty in every corner of the globe, we entreat you to accede to the honorable terms proposed by the Commissioners, and not to hesitate in giving that testimony of your attachment to your country which is at present required of you.

By such an explicit declaration you will adopt the best possible means to obtain a repeal of the law, for previous submission is essentially necessary, that our friends and the friends of our principles throughout the Union may act in concert with us. We cannot expect either that they will join any but constitutional measures, or that Congress should yield anything to threats and violence, or even hear our complaints, until they are satisfied of our disposition to obey the laws. The privilege of petitioning and of adopting any other constitutional measure is expressly reserved to you in case of submission, but cannot be exercised except in that case. Time does not permit us to detail the many other reflections and arguments which crowd on our minds upon this subject, your own good sense will doubtless suggest them to you; suffice it to say, that when we earnestly recommend to you the adoption of pacific measures, we feel ourselves forcibly urged to it by a serious consideration of the private interest of every individual amongst you, of the interest of the Western country, of the interest of the United States, and of that solemn duty which you, as well as ourselves, owe to the government under which we live, to our fellow-citizens here and throughout the Union, and to that Being who has poured His choicest blessings upon us, by permitting us to live in this land of happiness and liberty.

Having thus concluded what we had to say to our immediate constituents, shall we be permitted to add a few words to those amongst our brethren of the neighboring counties who, under the present impulse of their passions and resentment, may perhaps blame us for that moderation which we trust their cool judgment will hereafter approve? The only reflection we mean to suggest to them is the disinterestedness of our conduct upon this occasion. The indictable offences, to be buried in oblivion, were committed amongst them, and almost every civil suit that had been instituted, under the revenue law, in the federal court Edition: current; Page: [9] was commenced against citizens of this county. By the terms proposed, the criminal prosecutions are to be dropt, but no condition could be obtained for the civil suits. We have been instrumental in obtaining an amnesty, from which those alone who had a share in the riots derive a benefit, and the other inhabitants of the Western country have gained nothing for themselves. Have those who were immediately concerned a right to require anything more from us? Let themselves give the answer. This address, we know, cannot reach them till after the time when they shall have given their vote; but if, contrary to our expectations, there shall be any townships that shall have expressed sentiments different from our own, we entreat them by every tie of common interest and fraternal union that connects us to reconsider their proceedings, to recede before it is too late, to avert from themselves and their country the horrors of a civil war, to relinquish every idea of violence and of resistance, and to join us in those legal and constitutional measures which alone can procure us redress, and which alone are justifiable in our present circumstances.

Signed by order of the committee,
John McGaurrauh, Chairman.
Attest: Albert Gallatin, Secretary.
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
17th September, 1794
Governor Mifflin
Mifflin, Governor

GALLATIN TO GOVERNOR MIFFLIN.

Sir,

I am directed by the committee of townships for this county to transmit to you a copy of the declarations agreed upon by them on the 10th instant, which were read on the following day to the people convened in their respective election districts, and the return of the sense of the people of this county on the question of submission, so far as we have yet been able to ascertain it. We have, through every step during the course of the late disturbances, taken those measures which, from our knowledge of the sentiments of the people and of the heat which prevailed among them, appeared to us best calculated to allay Edition: current; Page: [10] by degrees the flame, to promote peace and submission to the laws, and to preserve this country and Pennsylvania from the disgraceful necessity of a recourse to military coercion; and we are happy to be able to inform you that the present appearances are as favorable as we had any right to expect. It was an effort too great, perhaps, to be expected from human nature that people should at once pass from an avowed intention of resisting to the signing a test of absolute submission, and to a promise of giving active support to the laws. The change could be operated only by degrees; and after having convinced the understanding of the most enlightened, it was a more difficult task to persuade those whose prejudices were more deeply rooted and means of information less extensive. The great body of the people, which consist of moderate men, were also for some time afraid to discover their sentiments, from a want of knowledge of their own strength, and were in fact kept in awe by the few violent men. This was one of the principal reasons which prevented so many from attending the general meetings on the day on which the sense of the people was taken; to which may be added, in this county, the unconcern of a great number of moderate men, who, having followed peaceably their occupations during the whole time of the disturbances, did not think themselves interested in the event, and were not sufficiently aware of the importance of the question to the whole country. Although, however, all the warmest persons attended, we had a very large and decided majority amongst the actual voters, and great many of those who had come with an intention of testifying their intention to resist were convinced by the arguments made use of, though their pride would not suffer them to make a public retractation on the moment, and they went off without giving any vote. A very favorable and decisive change has taken place since, and has indeed been the result of the event of that day. The general disposition seems to be to submit, and great many are now signing the proposals of the Commissioners, not only in the neighboring counties, but even in this, where we had not thought it necessary. We have, therefore, thought the moment was come for the people to act with more vigor, and to show something more than mere passive obedience to the laws, Edition: current; Page: [11] and we have recommended associations for the purpose of preserving order and of supporting the civil authority by the resolutions herein enclosed, and which we hope will be attended with salutary effects. As whatever heat existed in this county was chiefly owing to what had passed in the neighboring counties, we have no doubt of peace being fully re-established and a perfect submission taking place here, provided it is not interrupted by some new acts of violence elsewhere. It is well known that from sundry local causes, which we have not now time to detail, the heat was much greater there than amongst us; but there, also, it was confined to a certain number, and we have the best information of its daily subsiding. Still, however, a certain degree does exist both here and in the other western counties, and some time will be necessary to operate a complete restoration of order and a perfect submission to the laws. The great question now is, whether there are sufficient assurances of that submission and of its sincerity to justify government in not making use of military coercion. Mr. James Lang, one of our number, and whose efforts for the restoration of peace have been unremitted during the whole course of the late disturbances, has undertaken to deliver this letter and the enclosed papers, and we must beg leave to refer you to him for a full communication of our sentiments on that head. We will only observe that punishment of past offences cannot be now the design of government, since all those who might have been proper objects of resentment have taken advantage of the proposals of the Commissioners by signing the declaration required; and that if the submission is not sincere now, military coercion, although it may, by operating on the fears of the people, cause a more general and temporary acquiescence, will, so far from rendering it more sincere, increase the discontents, embitter the minds, and disgust many good citizens, so that if there is any danger of new outrages being again committed, that danger will be the greatest the moment the military force is withdrawn. When to that observation we add the consideration of the possibility of tumults and riots breaking out on the approach of an army, even if its march did not again promote actual resistance; of the danger to which those citizens who have taken an active Edition: current; Page: [12] part in restoring peace will be thus exposed; of the difficulty the officers will find in restraining a militia, but newly organized, and inflamed by exaggerated representations, from committing outrages against the innocent citizens; when we reflect on the necessity of cultivating harmony between the different States and between the different parts of the same State, and on the local reasons which enjoin that duty still more forcibly in regard to the Western country; when, finally, we recollect the peculiar situation of this country, once claimed by Virginia, and the danger of old broils and intestine dissensions being again renewed, we cannot too explicitly express our opinion that nothing less than a conviction that submission cannot be obtained through any other means, and that every conciliatory measure would prove abortive, can justify government in adopting that last and desperate resource.

Under the impression of those sentiments we have, we trust, discharged our duty as citizens by taking the most active part in trying to compose the disturbances, and we mean to persevere to the last in our endeavors, be the event what it will. We are also fully sensible of the propriety of the measures heretofore adopted, and of the paternal indulgence shown by the President and by yourself in everything relative to this unfortunate business, and the confidence we have in both the State and General Government convinces us that nothing but dire necessity will induce them to embrace a measure which must unavoidably be attended with great mischiefs; and that if they think themselves bound in duty to do it, they will use every method to lessen the evil, by not sending troops from another State unless those of this State are found insufficient; by subjecting them to the strictest discipline; by rendering them altogether subservient to the civil authority alone, and by putting them under the command of an officer who, as a man, as a citizen, and as a friend to order and discipline, may, as far as it is possible with such a commission, attract the confidence of the people amongst whom he shall be obliged to act.

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Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
May 25, 1798
Philadelphia
Lewis F. Delesdernier
Delesdernier, Lewis F.

GALLATIN TO LEWIS F. DELESDERNIER.1

My dear Sir,

I received yours in due time, and now enclose a copy of the Act, and also a memorandum in which I have recapitulated such of the most important proofs which it appears to me you should be provided with. You must read both the law and the memorandum, and not fail in collecting all the necessary documents, and transmit them, if possible, before next December, to the Secretary of War, together with every such additional proof and papers in support of your sacrifices, sufferings, and services as may not have suggested itself to my mind, and which you may think of as being proper on the occasion. I say before next December, because I will desire you to send me at the same time a copy of all the papers you send to the Secretary, so as to give me an opportunity to examine them, and to write to you back for every additional paper in which, upon inquiry, I may find you have been deficient.

You may see by the Act that the highest class are to be entitled to one thousand acres, and it must be your endeavor, by supplying the most numerous proofs of your services (which, in regard to you, I take it to be a stronger ground than either your sacrifices or your sufferings), so as to have you placed in that class. In respect to your deceased brother John, I do not believe that he can be entitled to be placed over the lowest class, viz., one hundred acres; and as to your father, I am afraid by the wording of the Act, that, having returned to Nova Scotia in 1782 or 1783, he is altogether excluded. Yet upon the ground of his having returned to the United States within a short time after, which shows that he did not return to Nova Scotia to reside therein, according to the excluding words of the Act, and also on the ground of his having been actually in service as interpreter, the best that can be done must be done, in order to attempt to have him placed on the list. I will add that it may not be improper for you to furnish also proof of your not being rich, Edition: current; Page: [14] and having a large family, and it is on that account that, amongst the other proofs which I have mentioned in the memorandum, I have stated that your father and mother have been supported by you for a length of time (which, although I do not know it, I suppose probable); because, in case they are excluded themselves, yet that circumstance and their sufferings will be arguments in your favor to have your case placed in the highest class. I cannot say that it will be in my power to be of any assistance to you in that stage of the business, beyond advising you from time to time of the steps to be taken by you, and objections which may be started, as also of the best way to remedy them. For the violence of party is such at present that it is much to be doubted whether my interference might not be more hurtful than beneficial to you with the three officers who are, according to the Act, to decide on the merits of the respective cases. Yet I will act according to circumstances, and if I think it can be done to advantage, will add my affidavit as to the facts I know, and every assistance I possibly can give, to the other proofs you may send. But it will be more prudent in the first instance for you to send your papers to the proper officer without my appearing in it. There are two steps in that business I would advise you to take, besides getting all the testimonies from the most respectable inhabitants in your favor, which you must by no means neglect. The first is, to write to Mr. Parker, your representative in Congress, and to request him to attend to your business, sending him also a copy of the papers which you shall have procured and sent to the Secretary of War, stating to him your and your family’s case, and getting from some gentleman, friendly to you, and who may be personally acquainted with him, a letter of recommendation for him. The second is, to write to that officer of the Treasury Department with whom you are in the habit of corresponding as naval officer (whether it be the Secretary or Comptroller) a letter recommending your case to his examination, and stating as briefly and clearly as you can the principal circumstances of your case, referring him for details to your papers sent to the Secretary of War, according to the directions of the law. This is all that now strikes me as important; but if, after having read my letter, the memorandum, and the law, you want Edition: current; Page: [15] any further explanation, write me about it, directing your letter, if you write during the session of Congress, to Philadelphia, and if after, to Uniontown, Pennsylvania. After the business of deciding upon the quantity of land to which you may be entitled shall have been fixed, which cannot take place before eighteen months at least, the next thing to be done will be to locate the land. The manner in which it shall be done is not yet determined, and is extremely important, on account of the differences in the quality and value of the land in the North-West Territory. But in whatever manner it may be done, I will be able in that stage of the business to be of some use to you, as I live in that part of the country, and am well acquainted with the lands and their respective value. I need not add how extremely welcome you will be to any services I can render you.

Indeed, my dear friend, I have not forgotten, I never will forget you, nor your parents; I feel for their afflictions, and it has distressed me not a little that my situation did not permit me to alleviate their sufferings. I remember all of you, I often think of you, and never would I do it without pleasure were not that emotion checked by the regret I feel at your misfortunes. I flatter myself that I cannot but meet with similar sentiments for me in your breasts, and therefore will give you a short account of myself since we last parted, which, as you know, was at Providence, in 1783. You ask me about our friend Serre: he has been dead near fifteen years, for having gone to Jamaica a very few months after you saw him last, he died there, almost immediately after his arrival, of one of the fevers generated by that climate. I stayed myself in Virginia with Mr. Savary till the spring of 1784, when I went to the Western country, sometimes called the Ohio country, and remained there two years, in locating and directing the surveys of a quantity of land for myself, Mr. Savary, and others. In 1786, being twenty-five years old, I received from Geneva my small patrimony, and purchased a plantation of about four hundred acres, on which I have lived ever since. It lies in Fayette County, State of Pennsylvania, on the east bank of Monongahela River, which empties into the Ohio at Pittsburgh. I am a bad farmer, and have been unfortunate in some mercantile pursuits I had embraced. I have just made out Edition: current; Page: [16] to live independent, and am neither richer nor poorer than I was twelve years ago; the fact is, I am not well calculated to make money,—I care but little about it, for I want but little for myself, and my mind pursues other objects with more pleasure than mere business. Most of my time, indeed, has been employed in reading and in improving myself as well as I could. In 1789 I married, but had the misfortune to lose my wife after six months’ marriage. The same year I was elected a member of the convention which formed the Constitution of Pennsylvania, and from that time till now I have been always a member either of the Legislature of this State or a member of Congress. In that political life some acquirements and a tolerable share of attention to public business have rendered me more conspicuous than I could have expected, but without increasing my happiness, and still less my fortune. Yet I feel very far from being unhappy, for in 1793 I married a very amiable and lovely wife,—her parents and connections are respectable and much attached to me,—by her I have only one son, eighteen months old,—and enjoying thus much domestic happiness, without being rich, I have certainly no room to complain. As to my political character, during these violent party times no man could expect the approbation of all. Mine is praised by some and abused by others. But you may perhaps remember that I am blessed with a very even temper; it has not been altered by time or politics, and I quietly pursue that line of conduct which to my weak judgment appears to be the best for the welfare of that country which has granted me a generous asylum and entrusted me with its most important concerns. I am sensible that I am liable to error, as liable as any other man, but I do not believe that I am very apt to be led away by passion or to be blinded by enthusiasm or prejudice in favor of any modern system; and to you, I am sure, I need not say that the integrity of my heart and the innocence of my manners have remained unsullied, and remained the same as you knew them in the days of my youth. Indeed, I have said so much only because far too much credit has been given me for abilities at the expense of the purity of my motives.

I forgot to mention that in the year 1788, in February, I went—being then at Boston—to Wiscasset, and had an intention to go Edition: current; Page: [17] and pay you a visit. But the severity of the season, the difficulty of finding a conveyance, and hearing that you had gone to Boston, prevented me from pursuing my journey any farther. When you write again I shall be glad to hear more particularly about your situation. Have you any farm belonging to you? In what part of Passamaquoddy do you reside? Has the country grown very populous? Which of the islands belong to the United States, and which to England?

I wish to be most kindly remembered to your parents. I cannot express how much I wish their situation might be bettered, how much I regret my own incapacity in assisting them. I trust your worthy mother finds in a reliance on a kind Providence, and resignation to the will of her heavenly Father, that consolation which no human being could afford her under the pressure of her afflictions. Give her, I beg you, the assurances of my most affectionate respect. What shall I say about your poor father? It is better for me to be silent, for I would only distress both you and myself by dwelling on that sad subject. Yet I feel a strong desire to be more particularly informed about his situation. Is it only by times that he is afflicted? You have said nothing about your wife: I have not forgotten her, and desire you to give her my best compliments.

I wish you had let me know the name of the vessel in which your son George came, or that you had directed him to call upon me. You will easily judge that I have but little conception of what he is now, when I tell you that I often think of him when I play with my child. I would also be glad to hear about Colonel Allen and his family, and I wish, if in your power, to be kindly remembered to him. Present also my compliments to the worthy Mr. Jones, of Machias, of whom I have ever preserved a grateful remembrance, and also to Mr. Cony (do I spell his name right?), of Campobello. You see by the length of my letter that I feel happy in conversing with you, and I hope it will encourage you to renew and continue our correspondence.

I remain with sincere affection.

Mr. Savary, who usually lives within two miles of me when I am at home, and who is now in this city, sends you his compliments.

Edition: current; Page: [18]

PLAN AT TIME OF BALLOTING FOR JEFFERSON AND BURR. COMMUNICATED TO NICHOLAS AND MR. JEFFERSON.

Objects of the —.

1. To elect Mr. B.

2. To defeat the present election and order a new one.

3. To assume executive power during interregnum.

The first may be defeated by our own firmness. The second may be effected by them, either by passing a law or by depending on the present law and an election in December, and may, in either case, be defeated, if necessary, without any assumption of power on our part, by the next House of Representatives. For the new election cannot be completed and the votes counted except in presence of the House of Representatives. Congress must therefore be convened by themselves, in case of an immediate new election, or will be in session, of course, in December next, in case of an election taking its course without law. In either case, without any act of ours, the next House of Representatives shall be at liberty to act on the present election, if that mode is then thought the most eligible.

It is not, therefore, necessary for us to assume the executive power unless they shall assume it themselves.

The third will at best give them authority only till December next, and cannot secure to them the next election. It may be effected, 1, by law; 2, by Mr. Adams convening the Senate; or, 3, by the Senate convening themselves.

That they shall pass any law either on that subject or on a new election appears extremely improbable, because Mr. A. can gain nothing by it, and because, having fifty Republicans in the House against fifty-five Federalists, it is hardly to be supposed that we shall not be able to prevent the passage of any law; for those fifty-five include every doubtful man, such as Goode, Huger, &c. If they shall, however, pass a law, it will be by declaring that in any of the cases of vacancy in the office of President, Vice-President, President pro temp., and Speaker, contemplated by the Constitution, the Chief Justice, or any other officer designated by the law, shall act as President, which law would be constitutional.

Edition: current; Page: [19]

But whether the assumption be made by law or without it, the act of the person designated by the law or of the President pro temp. assuming the power is clearly unconstitutional.

For the Constitution has not provided any mode by which the Presidential power can be exercised except in the specific cases of vacancy therein enumerated.

If they shall usurp, for unconstitutional assumption is usurpation, are we to submit or not?

Stronger reasons than any that have yet been suggested could [alone?] justify a total submission. Any assumption on their part is usurpation. Usurpation must be resisted by freemen whenever they have the power of resisting. To admit a contrary doctrine would justify submission in every case, and encourage usurpation for ever hereafter. The mode of resisting seems to be the only question. In those States where a majority of the people or all the branches of the State government may be determined to support the usurpation, the minority may submit for a while, because they are under actual coercion. In those States where we may act, supported by our State governments, we shall run no risk of civil war by refusing to obey only those acts which may flow from the usurper as President. Some delicate questions may, however, occur respecting the power of courts and of several officers; and many inconveniences must take place, even in the collection of duties and similar laws, for want of a power of removal, filling vacancies, etc. Yet the evils inseparable from an interregnum may, by wisdom in us and our State governments, be rendered preferable to those flowing from either total submission to usurpation on their part or from usurpation on our part.

And if we do not submit, how are we to act?

1. We may either merely refuse to submit, declaring that we consider the time that shall elapse till the next meeting of Congress as an interregnum; leaving the several Republican States to act either separately or jointly, according to circumstances, during the interval; suffering all laws which are not immediately connected with Presidential powers (such as collection of duties, payment of debt, &c.) to take their course; preventing every partial insurrection, or even individual act of resistance, Edition: current; Page: [20] except when supported by the laws of the particular State, and in opposition to any act flowing immediately from the person who shall have usurped; refusing to obey every order from the usurper, such as a call of militia, &c.; declaring our intention to have the usurper punished according to law as soon as regular government shall have been re-established, &c.

2. Or we may assume the executive power either by a joint act of the two candidates, or by the relinquishment of all claims by one of them. Considering that no final danger can result as relates to a new election, that the usurpation on their part will be temporary, and that the dangers of civil war, of the dissolution of the Union, or of the stab given to our republican institutions by any assumption of power on our part not strictly justified by the forms of our Constitution, are the greatest we have to apprehend; would it not be more prudent not to have resort to the last mode, provided the first shall be found practicable?

Outlines of our conduct.

1. Persevere in voting for Mr. J.

2. Use every endeavor to defeat any law on the subject.

3. Try to prevail on Mr. A. to refuse his assent to any such law, and not to call the Senate on any account if there shall be no choice by the House.

4. The Republican Senators to secede from any illegal meeting of the Senate, and to try to persuade Mr. F. also to secede, in case of no choice being made by the House.

5. To have a meeting, either self-created or of delegates appointed by the Legislatures of the Republican States, or only by the House of Representatives of those States where we have but one branch (viz., New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and South Carolina), in order to form an uniform plan of acting both in relation to a new election and to the usurpation if attempted.

1. In relation to a new election, if it was to take place in December next, as it would secure us a fair election, we might let it take its course, and we might do the same even in case of an earlier one, provided the Senates of the four above-mentioned States agreed also to give us a fair one.

But in the contrary case, it should be necessary to protest Edition: current; Page: [21] against the same and to defeat it by an uniform plan, viz., the House of Representatives in the four States and the Legislatures of the other Republican States refusing to elect. In this case we might still leave it optional to the next House of Representatives of Congress either to act on the present election or to order a new one, according to circumstances. To collect information, and agree either in an acquiescence in or protest against the intended new election, would be the first object of the meeting.

2. The next object would be to agree on an uniform mode of resisting (not obeying) the orders of the usurper, and to discriminate between those and the laws which should be suffered to continue in operation.

N.B.—The meeting to be constituted and to act so as not to be considered as the result of an unconstitutional compact between the States.

6. To try to persuade Mr. A. to call Congress as early as possible in order to put an end to the interregnum, or to propose passing a law for that purpose.

7. To hasten the elections of Tennessee and Kentucky, so as to secure a meeting of Congress for 15th of May, if necessary.

8. To try to induce the Legislatures of New York and Pennsylvania, now in session, to pass laws for appointment of Electors, which should embrace the case of a special election earlier than December.

1. They persevere in voting for B., or, 2, give us but one ballot, which results in no choice being made.

1. We do not persevere in voting for J., or, 2, by persevering, no choice is made. The result is that, 1, either B. is elected, or, 2, that no choice is made by the present House. In the second alternative they may either pass no law and do no act whatever relative to the subject, or pass a law directing a new election on a day prior to 1st December, or pass a law vesting the Presidential powers in a certain designated officer, or pass both laws, or pass only the first law relative to election, and assume the Presidential powers during the interregnum without a law.

If they shall pass no law, which hypothesis rests on the supposition that Mr. Adams will not concur in any such law, they Edition: current; Page: [22] may either depend on the Secretary of State issuing a notification for an election on 1st December next, or only attach to us the stigma of partial usurpation, by compelling us to act in some one manner not contemplated by the Constitution, in order to make a choice.

Under every hypothesis except the last their objects are, 1, to have a new election; 2, to exercise the President’s powers during interregnum.

I. A new election. Whether they aim at it through the medium of a new law, or through a notification of the Secretary of State under the present law, two questions arise, viz.:

1. Ought we to submit? 2. If we do not submit, how can we repel it?

The dangers of submitting are:

1. The eventual loss of the Vice-President in a new election. 2. The risk of losing the election of President, by their fixing a period sufficiently early to prevent the effect of a renovation of the Senate in New York, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina, and thereby possibly neutralizing the votes of those four States. 3. The reanimation of the hopes and exertions of the Federal party in some States, and despair of success on the part of the Republicans also in some States. 4. The stab given to the Constitution by establishing the principle that the House, in every case where a majority of nine States does not exist, may defeat the election and order a new one. 5. The possibility of a dissolution of the Union if the disfranchised States or any of them should, on that account, declare that they will not submit, it being highly probable that any large State adopting that determination would be supported by the Republican States not disfranchised.

In order to appreciate the dangers of not submitting, it is necessary to state the manner in which a new election may be repelled.

It can be done only by assuming the principle that the election is complete, and that the choice between the two persons elected, if not made by the present House, may be made, 1, either by the resignation (prior to choice) of one of the two persons, or, 2, by a subsequent House of Representatives.

Edition: current; Page: [23]

The resignation may be either complete, by an abandonment of both offices, or partial, by supposing that, the two candidates having a right to make the selection of the two offices, if the House shall not do it, they may themselves decide which of the two shall be President and which Vice-President. The choice by a subsequent House may be either made by the House at their annual meeting, or by a special session.

A special session, unless convened by the present Congress or by Mr. Adams (both of which are improbable), can be convened only by the joint act of Messrs. J. and B. And that mode, as well as a resignation in either of the two ways above stated, is predicated on an assumption of executive power on our part, which is liable to two formidable objections:

1. Danger of dissolution of Union, should the Eastern States support the measures which might be adopted by the present Congress.

2. Even in case of complete success on our part, the immense danger which must result to our republican institutions generally from the principle of an assumption of power not strictly warranted by the forms and substance of our constitutions being adopted, and adopted by us in any one case.

The remedy is so dangerous that, unless the plan of a new election should be connected with usurpation of power during the interregnum, submission, with all its inconveniences, may, on cool reflection, be thought preferable.

On the other hand, to leave the choice to a subsequent House convened without any assumption of power on our part, may be a sufficient remedy in the case where they should attempt no usurpation. For, let them order a new election whenever they please, they cannot count the votes and complete the election without Congress being convened, and then the next House may act either on the new or on the present election.

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Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
14th March, 1801
Washington
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Sir,

The weather having detained me here to-day, I have employed it in making some rough sketches relative to our financial situation, which I have the honor to enclose.

Independent of the uncertainty arising from the fluctuation in the amount of duties on imports, which vary so much as to have been two millions of dollars more in 1800 than the preceding year, I had neither time nor documents sufficient to give them even the degree of correctness of which estimates of that kind are susceptible.

No. 1 is an estimate of the probable receipts and expenditures for the year 1801, by which it would appear that we may have a surplus of above two millions of dollars applicable to the redemption of the debt. I am afraid that the revenue on imports is rated too high, although I have reduced it half a million less than last year, and it is not improbable that I may have supposed the savings for this year greater than will be found practicable. I find also a mistake of near one hundred thousand dollars in the marines, which arises from a part of the expenses of that corps being blended with the general navy appropriation.

But it is doubtful with me whether you have not a power, in laying up the frigates, to discharge a number of those marines, grounded on the 2d Section of the “Act for the establishing and organizing a marine corps.”—Sec. 4th, vol. , page 200, lines 3d and 4th.

The simplest way of applying the surplus, whatever it may be, is, after making necessary remittances to Holland for the purpose of discharging this and part of next year’s instalments, to pay a part of the debt due to the bank, which, by reducing the amount due to them, will enable them to assist us hereafter by temporary loans in equalizing the heavy instalments of the Dutch debt.

No. 2 is intended to show how far it will be necessary to reduce the naval and military establishments, in order to render a repeal of all the internal duties practicable, at the same time Edition: current; Page: [25] that we should apply one million yearly to the payment of the Dutch debt. That sum at least is necessary in order to discharge the whole within the period for which it was originally borrowed. The payment of the British debts is perhaps the most untoward circumstance, as the result on that subject is not under our own control. And if we shall be obliged actually to pay them, we must necessarily either redeem less debt or continue the internal duties.

It is proposed in that sketch to continue those duties for the year 1802, because it seems necessary that Congress should have authorized a reduction of expense, and the expense should have actually been diminished, before taxes can be lessened; and because the risk seems too great to part altogether with that resource before we have had the trial of another year.

No. 3 shows the present rate of expense for the army, and the intended plan of Mr. Stoddard for the future expense of the navy. Although I have taken the liberty of suggesting in what manner the reduction might take place, it was merely in order to illustrate my meaning. The most eligible mode of making the reduction, and of applying and distributing amongst the several objects appertaining to those establishments the sums which shall ultimately be applicable to that purpose, must be the result of a strict investigation by the gentlemen who understand the subject. All I wish to impress is the necessity of a great reduction there, if it be intended to repeal the internal duties. Savings in every department may be practicable, and must be attempted whenever practicable; but we can save but thousands in the other, and we may save hundreds of thousands in those two establishments. And that they are practicable to the extent proposed appears from this fact. In the year 1797 the military and Indian departments, including fortifications, &c., cost only one million and sixty-two thousand dollars, and the naval establishment three hundred and eighty-two thousand, in all one million four hundred and forty-four thousand dollars. The average of both for the years 1796 and 1797 was about one million and a half. The lowest expense for the civil list, miscellaneous and contingent, foreign intercourse, &c., was 1796, during which it amounted to nine hundred and sixty-eight thousand Edition: current; Page: [26] dollars. I have rated all those objects in No. 2 at only nine hundred thousand; which sum, unless the sessions of the Legislature shall be shorter, the Judiciary Act repealed, and the diplomatic and Barbary expenses curtailed, will not be sufficient.

I find that I have neglected another item of expense, viz., the repayment of the two hundred thousand dollars loan guaranteed to Maryland for this city, and which will become due in four equal instalments, if I recollect right, within two years. And it is also to be feared that the city will draw from Congress additional sums.

Excuse, I pray, the very great hurry with which these observations have been written, and believe me to be, with great and personal respect,

Your most obedient and humble servant.

P.S.—The subject of the purchase of the navy-yards seems to require attention. Is that at New York completed? and if the appropriation does not cover the purchases, is there no remedy against the agents? The appropriation of fifty thousand dollars for docks had not, on the 30th September last, been touched, and expired on the 31st December. The appropriation of two hundred thousand dollars was for timber, or lands on which timber was growing, and the President was, by the same law, authorized to cause proper measures to be taken to have the same preserved.

But the appropriation extended to the purchase of timber, and not to the expense attending those measures. Under color of that appropriation it appears that at least one hundred and eighty-six thousand eight hundred dollars have been applied to navy-yards, and the balance to frames for two additional 74’s. Mr. Stoddard in his report misquotes the words of the law, and calls it an appropriation for preparing proper places for securing the timber. I enclose the report.

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Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
June 12, 1801
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Sir,

The complaints for want of stamps are certainly well grounded, yet difficult to remedy, at least by this Department. The fault has been in the original postponement of stamping, which has delayed every subsequent operation. They stamp here now at the rate of near twenty thousand impressions per day, but the distribution is slow. The stamps are sent from the Commissioner to the several supervisors, from each supervisor to the several inspectors in his district, from each inspector to the several collectors in his survey, from each collector to the storekeepers who may choose to purchase, and from them at last it is distributed to the consumers. The radical defect of our internal revenue system, and which I feel every day, pervades this as well as every other branch of that revenue. Instead of making the collectors account to and correspond with the Treasury Department, we know nothing of them except through the channel of the inspector, nothing of the inspectors except through the supervisors, and I know nothing of either except through the Commissioner of the Revenue.

As soon as I have got rid of the arrears of current business which had accumulated before my appointment, it is my intention to prepare and submit to you a plan tending to remedy that evil, so far as it can be remedied without the assistance of the Legislature.

In the mean while I have directed the Commissioner to write to Mr. Page, collector of internal revenue in Alexandria, that if he has not a sufficient supply of stamps, he may obtain any quantity and of any description by applying at the general office here.

What shows how much more proper it will be to open a correspondence direct with the collectors is, that Mr. Carrington, the supervisor, by his last return, dated 8th instant, states that he has in his possession by far too large a quantity of twenty-five cent stamps, and these are precisely those which are wanted Edition: current; Page: [28] by his collector in Alexandria. I have the honor to be, very respectfully, sir,

Your obedient servant.
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
25th July, 1801
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

The enclosed is the rough draft of a circular to the collectors, and is intended to correct several abuses which have crept in many ports. But it is submitted for the purpose of ascertaining whether it is proper to take this opportunity of communicating the sentiments expressed in the two last paragraphs marked*. In the first it is only intended to let them know that it is expected that they will, although Federal, divide the offices in their nomination, and which in the large ports are really numerous, influential, and sometimes lucrative. And it is supposed that there is no danger in avowing the sentiment that even at present, so far as respects subordinate officers, talent and integrity are to be the only qualifications for office. In the second paragraph, the idea intended to be conveyed is that an electioneering collector is commonly a bad officer as it relates to his official duties (which I do sincerely believe to be true), and that the principle of a corrupting official influence is rejected by the present Administration in its own support, and will not be forgiven where exercised against itself.

If it is thought better not to touch the subject, let both paragraphs be erased, as the first is introduced only as introductory to the other.

If it is thought proper to express at present and in this communication those or similar sentiments, it is my wish that the two paragraphs be modified and corrected both as to sense and style.

With respect.

[Enclosure:]

Edition: current; Page: [29]
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
July 26, 1801
Washington
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

Dear Sir,

I do not see sufficient reasons for preserving a revenue cutter at Charleston on a larger scale than elsewhere. I see no reason to expect pirates from St. Domingo, no instance of it having yet occurred; if there be any such danger, it is not peculiar to South Carolina, but threatens all the Southern States more or less according to their situation. If such danger should become imminent, it will behove us to furnish a more adequate defence: the revenue cutter, on its present plan, answers neither purpose well, either as a military or revenue instrument.

Mr. Madison happened to be with me when I opened your circular to the collectors. I approve so entirely of the two paragraphs on the participation of office and electioneering activity, that on the latter subject I proposed very early to issue a proclamation, but was restrained by some particular considerations; with respect to the former, we both thought it better to be kept back till the New Haven remonstrance and answer have got into possession of the public; and then that it should go further and require an equilibrium to be first produced by exchanging one-half Edition: current; Page: [30] of their subordinates, after which talents and worth alone to be inquired into in the case of new vacancies. Whenever, from observing appearances after the New Haven papers have got abroad, you shall think the public mind in a proper state for this reformation, you will be so good as to send out a circular, either with or without previous communication to me. Health and affectionate respect.

Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
10th August, 1801
Washington
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

I have the honor to enclose the following papers, viz.: 1st. Extract of a letter from the collector of Sag Harbor, Long Island, on the application of hospital money. The same complaints have occasionally been made by other collectors in those small ports from whence the money has heretofore been drawn to the principal port. It might be a good rule to permit the collectors of those small ports to expend, when necessary, a sum not exceeding one-half of the moneys there collected, reserving the other half to assist the ports of the same State, when from any extraordinary cause the expense would be greater in any one year than the receipts, to purchase stock or to erect hospitals. But, as mentioned in a former letter, an exception is necessary in relation to Charleston, South Carolina, and principally Norfolk, on account of the public hospital there. I have as yet no answer to the permission requested to apply in relation to those two ports part of money collected in the adjoining States.

2d. Mr. Page’s letter recommending Mount Ed. Chisman for collector of Hampton instead of William Kerby, to be removed for delinquency, as per your answer to my official report on that subject. Two months have elapsed since I had applied to Mr. Page for a recommendation, and if you approve, one of the blank commissions may be filled accordingly.

3d. George Jackson’s, of Georgia, recommendation in favor of T. De Mottos Johnson for collector of Savannah instead of Powell, to be removed for the same cause as Kerby. The port Edition: current; Page: [31] of Savannah being of great importance, and the accounts much deranged, render it essential that a perfectly suitable and very active man should be appointed. From Messrs. Taliaferro, Milledge, and Baldwin, to whom I had written on the subject, no answer is yet received.

You will be pleased to decide whether a commission should issue also in this case.

4th. Letters from Watson, collector at Plymouth, and General Lincoln, collector of Boston, in relation to the inquiry into Watson’s conduct and its results. It is presumable that the liberality displayed in this instance had a good effect.

5th. A letter from Charles Pinckney on the propriety of removals there, and one from Simmons showing his compliance with a former circular in rendering his accounts. The letter from Mr. Pinckney, who has since sailed, was received the next day after I had written to you on the same subject and had enclosed St. Th. Mason’s letter. It showed that I was not mistaken in what I had understood to be Mr. Pinckney’s opinion. But it shows, also, that Mr. Doyley, who was General Mason’s correspondent, and said that a removal after the meeting of Congress should be too late, is the candidate for the office.

There is something mysterious in that, and in your having received such different impressions on that subject from what I had. It is necessary that the situation of affairs there should be known, and it is desirable that it may not be necessary to remove the collector. He is the only active officer who has yet been obtained there. His predecessor, Holmes, had left everything in immense confusion. Much has been recovered through Simmons’ exertions, and although the general relaxation, which pervaded the internal administration of this and every other department during the reign of energy, had produced the delay of his accounts, you see with what rapidity he has regained the time lost.

6th. Letters from Mr. Lincoln, Attorney-General, on present aspect in Massachusetts; from Gov. Langdon, wishing for more removals, and enclosing a letter from Judge Burke, South Carolina, wishing also for some, and recommending Thomas Edition: current; Page: [32] Burke to the office in Savannah, for which Governor Jackson recommends Johnson; and from Mr. Osgood, of thanks.

7th. Returns of warrants issued last week amounting to $90,864.12. At the beginning of the week, 3d August, the balance of cash in the Treasury was $2,520,228.42. On the 25th May, which was the first regular return I could obtain, the balance was $1,926,263.05. The surplus money, for we have got more than we want in the Treasury, is applied, as fast as we can procure good bills, to purchase remittances for Holland, where we have to pay $1,900,000 next year, and if we do not take care to be beforehand will necessarily raise the exchange by purchasing large sums at once.

But this place is unfavorable, on account of the distance from Philadelphia and New York. You must altogether depend on banks or private agents. I have not been able to purchase since beginning of July more than about three hundred thousand dollars’ worth, the whole at thirty-nine cents. Exchange is now at forty, and I must stop, otherwise government continuing to purchase would raise it above par.

Jonas Clark, collector of Kennebunk, was, it seems, appointed inspector of external revenue by the late President and Senate, but through some mistake notice was not given to the Department of State, and no commission issued.

In all the ports where there is a surveyor, he receives also a commission of inspector, which is necessary in the performance of some of his duties in relation to imported teas and spirits. In the ports where, as Kennebunk, there is no surveyor, the collector receives the same commission. Considering it as a matter of course, I have filled one of the blank commissions with his name for that office, which I hope will meet your approbation.

Governor Drayton has communicated that Ed. Darrel had accepted the place of commissioner of direct tax for the first division of South Carolina, for which he had received a blank commission. Mr. Darrel has also written, and hopes to complete the assessment in November. That of North Carolina is completed. No answer yet on the subject from Georgia.

The answer to New Haven seems to have had a greater effect Edition: current; Page: [33] than had been calculated upon. The Republicans hope for a greater number of removals; the Federals also expect it. I have already received several letters from Philadelphia applying for the offices of customs, upon the ground that it is generally understood that the officers there are to be removed.

There is no doubt that the Federal leaders are making a powerful effort to rally their party on the same ground. Although some mistakes may have been made as to the proper objects both of removal and appointment, it does not appear that less than what has been done could have been done without injustice to the Republicans.

But ought much more to be done? It is so important for the permanent establishment of those republican principles of limitation of power and public economy, for which we have successfully contended, that they should rest on the broad basis of the people, and not on a fluctuating party majority, that it would be better to displease many of our political friends than to give an opportunity to the irreconcilable enemies of a free government of inducing the mass of the Federal citizens to make a common cause with them. The sooner we can stop the ferment the better; and at all events it is not desirable that it should affect the eastern and southern parts of the Union. I fear less from the importunity of obtaining offices than from the arts of those men whose political existence depends on that of party. Office-hunters cannot have much influence, but the other class may easily persuade the warmest of our friends that more ought to be done for them. Upon the whole, although a few more changes may be necessary, I hope there will be but a few. The number of removals is not great, but in importance they are beyond their number. The supervisors of all the violent party States embrace all the collectors. Add to that the intended change in the post-office, and you have in fact every man in office out of the seaports.

Whilst on that subject, is it not proper that the suppression of the nineteen offices of inspectors, worth twenty thousand dollars, should be known and understood? If you approve, I would send to the press the order itself which you signed for that purpose.

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Duane is here, and applies for two appointments in favor of Gardner, a native of Pennsylvania, and Campbell, an United Irishman, the two clerks who gave him the transcript of the accounts of Dayton, Pickering, &c. The last was suspected and turned out; the first was not suspected, but resigned. He wants Gardner to be made agent with the Choctaw Indians, and Campbell to have a commission in the army.

Whatever impropriety there might be in their conduct, I have reason to believe Gardner to be a man of honor. Campbell is very impudent, but as enthusiastic as his friends (the United Irishmen, I mean) commonly are.1

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Mr. Thornton presses for a decision in the question of admission of French privateers and their prizes.

I can give no opinion, having never considered the subject; but unless it is much clearer than I expect, it seems that delay is desirable, at least until after the ratification of the French convention. I know that you must at last meet the question; but Thornton would not speak if he was not instructed, and the importance of a decision is too great to be risked on any but the strongest grounds.

Hoping to hear soon from you, I remain with great respect.

Edition: current; Page: [36]
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
August 14, 1801
Monticello
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

Dear Sir,

Your favors of the 8th and 10th came to hand yesterday. With respect to Hopkins’s case, which is the subject of the former, my opinion is generally that when a case is exactly that which the law meant to punish, it is one for which the power of pardon was not intended; but when a case is not that which the law meant to make criminal, and yet happens to be within its letter, there is proper ground to exercise the power of pardon. Ignorance of the law in the case of Hopkins, together with his having paid everything the Treasury had a right to, and gained nothing by the non-entry of his still, appear to bring him within the scope of the pardoning power. If you think so, and will have a pardon forwarded to me, I will sign it.

I enclose you the resignation of Anthony W. White, as surveyor of the port of New Brunswick. If this be the person I suppose, it will be no loss to the public.

The case of the expenditure of the hospital money, partly from the defects of the law, partly the difficulty of the subject, is very perplexing. How would it answer to get along as we have done till the meeting of the Legislature, and then to endeavor to establish a systematic plan legislatively? I know nothing of Chisman, proposed as collector of Hampton, and our friend Mr. Page, from the benevolent and unsuspicious cast of his mind, is the most unsafe recommender we can possibly follow. He never sees but the good qualities of a man, and those through the largest magnifiers. As the case will, I suppose, admit of some delay, I will write to persons of the neighborhood for further information, and will communicate the result; but if it admits no delay, then we may appoint Chisman, but be assured it will be at considerable risk. For the collectorship of Savannah I should prefer the recommendation of Jackson, who is of the State, to that of Burke, who is out of it. Will it not await the answers you expect from Baldwin, Milledge, and Taliaferro? if not, let us name Johnson. I shall have great reluctance indeed at removing Simmons, and especially as he promises the same Edition: current; Page: [37] support to this which he gave to the preceding Administration: this removes the only reason urged by Mr. Pinckney for depriving him of his place, to wit, his electioneering influence and energy. At any rate, we must take time and have more information on the subject. The removals desired by Mr. Langdon are on better ground, but they also may wait a while. Is Jonas Clark, proposed as collector of Kennebunk, a Republican? His having been nominated by our predecessor excites a presumption against it; and if he is not, we must be inflexible against appointing Federalists till there be a due portion of Republicans introduced into office. It gives just offence to those who have been constantly excluded heretofore to be still excluded by those who have been brought in to correct the system. The answer to New Haven does not work harder than I expected. It gives mortal offence to the Monarchical Federalists, who were mortally offended before. I do not believe it is thought unreasonable by the Republican Federalists. In one point the effect is not exactly what I expected. It has given more expectation to the sweeping Republicans than I think its terms justify; to the moderate and genuine Republicans it seems to have given perfect satisfaction. I am satisfied it was indispensably necessary in order to rally round one point all the shades of Republicanism and Federalism, exclusive of the Monarchical, and I am in hopes it will do it. At any event, while we push the patience of our friends to the utmost it will bear, in order that we may gather into the same fold all the Republican Federalists possible, we must not, even for this object, absolutely revolt our tried friends. It would be a poor manœuvre to exchange them for new converts. I have no doubt of the expediency of publishing the suppression of the inspectorships, with an explanation of the grounds of it. With respect to Gardner as agent with the Choctaws, is one wanting, and has he the fitness for the place? If not, I should wish to make some other provision for him. With respect to Campbell, a restoration to the same office would seem the best and safest redress. I have no doubt we have a right to put the French and English on the same footing, by either receiving or excluding the prizes of both nations. The latter is our best policy; but I would never permit a foreign minister, on the foundation Edition: current; Page: [38] of a mere newspaper paragraph, before the character of a fact be known, or even that it is a fact, to draw the government into the discussion and decision of the gravest and most difficult questions. I am clear, therefore, for giving no answer till the transaction and its whole character be authentically defined. From Mr. Thornton’s court we can never get a decision after a fact has happened. Why should we be so complaisant as to decide for them beforehand? In a letter of this day to General Dearborn I have proposed our general rendezvous at Washington, on the last day of September. Present my best respects to Mrs. Gallatin, and be assured yourself of my sincere and friendly attachment and respect.

P.S.—All your papers are returned, except the report of warrants issued.

Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
17th August, 1801
Washington
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

Your favor of the 7th instant was received on the 11th, the day after the mail had closed. It arrives here on Tuesday, departs on Monday. You may answer by same mail, but cannot receive answer in less than fortnight. You will receive enclosed, as usual, the list of warrants, and I also enclose a letter from Mr. Doyley, and one from W. Jones, member of Congress for Philadelphia.

The first letter is not written in as explicit a language as might have been wished; but may not this be inferred from his and Mr. Pinckney’s letters? that not only there is some danger of a Federal Senator being elected, which indeed I have uniformly apprehended, but that Mr. Doyley and his friends fear, in case of a Republican succeeding, that he may have personal views different from theirs and favor appointments of different persons. And is not this the reason why Mr. Doyley and friends wish the appointment to take place before the meeting of Congress? I have invited Mr. Doyley to a free communication of his sentiments.

Edition: current; Page: [39]

You will find by the other letter that the Republicans expect a change in Philadelphia: this expectation is owing partly to the removal of the collector of New York, and partly to the answer to New Haven, which, as I mentioned before, has had a greater, if not a better, effect than was expected. Of the four persons he recommends, the name of Bache would be most popular; but he wants industry. Clay is certainly the most capable, unless Conoly, who is highly respected by all who know him, should be supposed to understand that particular business better. Upon the whole, in that also it is much better to wait the meeting of Congress. Dallas, who was here, agrees with me. Yet it must be allowed that the warm Republicans will be displeased. It is the same in New York in regard to Rogers, who, though the most capable, was the most obnoxious to the zealous Republicans. Duane has been here, and I have taken an opportunity of showing the impropriety of numerous removals. He may think the reasons good, but his feelings will be at war with any argument on the subject. Clay has also been here: the number of young men of true merit and some scientific knowledge is so small in our middle States, that I cannot help being very desirous that something for which he may be fit might be done for him.

His father has, excluding him, placed his younger brother in an eligible commercial situation, and the Bank of North America will never promote him beyond his one thousand dollars salary. What do you think of the Lisbon or one of the Barbary consulships? I do not know that either would suit him, but wish only to be acquainted with your intentions generally.

I had understood that a commission of marshal New Jersey had been directed to issue in favor of General John Heard, and I believe he had understood as much. An application has, in fact, been made for the commission, on a supposition that it had been lost. I have told Wagner to send you a blank one, that, if it was intended, it may be filled. The present marshal is Thomas Lowry; he has been in since 26th September, 1789, his commission expires 28th January, 1802.

Mr. Miller has put in my hands the enclosed from Mr. Fish. It may be difficult to answer, yet he has been uniformly considered as the mere tool of Hamilton, and was with Giles and Watson, Edition: current; Page: [40] the most active electioneering officer of government in New York. I must say something to Miller about it. E. Livingston said that the removal of Fish was not expected so long as Rogers was permitted to continue. By the by, it seems to me that Fish intends that letter for publication.

I have heard that Fenwick had received a letter of later date from Bordeaux, stating the ratification of our convention with France, and Dawson being on his way back, but have not been able to ascertain whether true or not.

I am, with sincere respect and attachment, dear sir, your most obedient servant.

Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
August 21, 1801
Monticello
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

Dear Sir,

Your favors of the 15th and 17th are received; you will find an approbation signed at the foot of Mr. Miller’s letter; all the papers enclosed to me are re-enclosed, except the list of warrants. I do not with very great certainty recollect the particulars as to General Heard, but I think we at first intended him the place afterwards given to Linn; that it was after that suggested he would accept the marshal’s office, and some of us at least thought it fortunate, but I do not remember that it was decided finally. As far as I see of the matter, I should approve of his appointment, but I rather think it was concluded there should be no more removals till we should meet again. This is still my opinion; for however this gradual proceeding may in some respects be disagreeable, yet I have no doubt it offers greater advantage than evil. On this ground, as well as that specially noted in a former letter, nothing should be immediately done in South Carolina. The Dunwoody Secretary stands on a mass of family interests not to be thought little of. We should make a great many enemies for one friend. I sincerely wish Judge Burke could be fully impressed with the fatal consequences of a division on the election of a Senator for South Carolina. I like much the idea of giving Clay the consulship of Lisbon. I deem it the most important consulship Edition: current; Page: [41] in our gift. I will write to Mr. Madison on the subject and ask his opinion. The letter of Fish is certainly not to be answered. The answer to New Haven was called for by great motives; but it must not lead us into the lists with every individual. We have nothing to fear from Fish’s publication. I presume somebody will answer him for us, by reminding him of his carrying his official influence into elections, &c. Accept assurances of my affectionate esteem and high consideration.

Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
August 28, 1801
Monticello
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

Dear Sir,

Your favors of the 18th and 24th came by yesterday’s post. I am sorry Mr. Clay declines the consulship; it would have been very pleasing to us to replace our minister at Lisbon by such a consul as Clay. Perhaps reconsideration and inquiry into the advantages of the situation may reconcile it to him. I have not here my bundle of claims for office, and therefore cannot propose a successor for Colonel White in Jersey. Your acquaintance in the State will better enable you to do it. I have written to three gentlemen of great discretion, one at Norfolk, the others near Hampton, on the subject of Chisman. I have an answer from the one at Norfolk, who has never heard of him. I shall hear from the others before the next post. I have known Mr. Page from the time we were boys and classmates together, and love him as a brother, but I have always known him the worst judge of man existing. He has fallen a sacrifice to the ease with which he gives his confidence to those who deserve it not. Still, if we hear nothing against Chisman, we may venture to do what will be agreeable to Mr. Page. I am very anxious to do something useful for him; and so universally is he esteemed in this country, that no man’s promotion would be more generally approved. He has not an enemy in the world. But we have but one officer here whom the general voice, Whig and Tory, marks for removal; and I am not well enough acquainted with its duties to be certain Edition: current; Page: [42] that they are adapted to Mr. Page’s talent. The explanation you give of the nature of the office proposed for Jonas Clarke silences my doubts, and I agree to the appointment. I think we should do justice to Campbell and Gardner, and cannot suppose the Auditor will think hard of replacing them in their former berths. He has seen us restore officers where we thought their removal unjust, and cannot therefore view it in this case as meant to censure himself specially. Specific restitution is the particular measure of justice which the case calls for.

The doctrine as to the admission of prizes, maintained by the government from the commencement of the war between England, France, &c., to this day, has been this: the treaties give a right to armed vessels, with their prizes, to go where they please (consequently into our ports), and that these prizes shall not be detained, seized, nor adjudicated; but that the armed vessel may depart as speedily as may be, with her prize, to the place of her commission; and we are not to suffer their enemies to sell in our ports the prizes taken by their privateers. Before the British treaty, no stipulation stood in the way of permitting France to sell her prizes here; and we did permit it, but expressly as a favor, not as a right. See letter of August 16, 1793, to Gouverneur Morris, § 4, and other letters in that correspondence, which I cannot now turn to. These stipulations admit the prizes to put into our ports in cases of necessity, or perhaps of convenience, but no right to remain if disagreeable to us; and absolutely not to be sold. We have accordingly lately ordered away a British vessel brought in by a Spanish armed ship, and I have given it as my opinion to Mr. Madison that the British snow Windsor, lately brought in by the prisoners she was carrying, ought to be sent away. My opinion is, that whatever we are free to do we ought to do to throw difficulties in the way of the depredations committed on commerce, and chiefly our own commerce. In the case of the Spanish privateer at Wilmington, North Carolina, who wants to sell as much of his prize as will refit the privateer, it is absolutely forbidden. The directions you have already given as to the prize herself coincide perfectly with what I think right. No pardon has come to me from Mr. Wagner for Hopkins. I Edition: current; Page: [43] consent to the transfer you propose of the superintendence of the light-houses of Portsmouth and New York to the present collectors of those ports, and to the appointment of the collector for Savannah recommended by General Jackson, if you learn nothing to the contrary from the delegates. Accept assurances of my affectionate esteem and high respect.

Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
September 5, 1801
Monticello
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

Dear Sir,

Your favor of August 29th came to hand on the 3d, but no commission for Chisman is come to hand from Mr. Wagner; it shall be signed as soon as received, as my information relative to him is favorable. I return you all the papers received in your last, except the list of warrants. With respect to Sproat, you will do what you find best. The circular letter has my entire approbation. I have written by this post both to Mr. Meredith and Colonel Habersham fixing the translation of the latter to the last day of October.

Mr. Madison happened to be with me on the arrival of our last post, and had directed his mail to be brought here, but it has failed, consequently he has not yet received his letters by the Maryland, and we are as yet uninformed of the points on which the ratification is suspended, but we both conclude it improper to delay either the Boston or Mr. Livingston. He gives notice by this post that the departure of both must be prepared, and hopes to receive his letters in time to prepare and forward Mr. Livingston’s ultimate instructions by the next. I wish Murray may not trust himself with any important modifications. If the treaty should never be ratified, it will only begin the work of placing us clear of treaty with all nations.

I learn with sincere regret the continued illness of your child. My sympathies with you in that distress flow from great trials in the same school at a former period of my life. General Dearborn’s situation is peculiarly afflicting. My health has been uninterrupted, as well as that of my family; so also has been Edition: current; Page: [44] Mr. Madison’s. No letter written by you after your receipt of this can be answered sooner than by myself in person, as I shall be with you on the 30th. Accept assurance of my sincere esteem and high respect.

Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
7th September, 1801
Washington
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

I duly received your favor of the 28th ultimo. In the case of the intended successor of General White as surveyor at Brunswick, I applied to the printer, S. H. Smith, who married there, and who, after ten days’ deliberation, told me that he had in vain tried to find a Republican there fitted for the office, but mentioned the name of John Nelson as a very respectable and moderate Federal character there. If that will not do, might it not be well to apply for information to General Heard, who lives within ten miles of Brunswick?

I received a letter from Mr. Milledge, of Georgia, recommending, without any remarks, four persons as proper to succeed Mr. Powell, the collector of Savannah. One of the four, though not the first in order, is the same person whom Governor Jackson recommended. The office is so important that I have thought it best to delay filling the commission for one week longer, in order, if possible, to receive answers from Messrs. Taliaferro and Baldwin; and I have also written on the subject to Colonel Few, at New York. As you have acquaintances in the vicinity of Norfolk, it is very desirable that information should be obtained from them on the subject of a proper successor for Nat. Wilkins, collector of Cherry Stone (Eastern Shore, Virginia), who is the worst delinquent on the list, his last account rendered being to 31st December, 1796. I have written to Mr. Page and young Mr. Newton, but neither can recommend any person. The successor should have integrity, keenness, and firmness. There is much smuggling in that district, and, the people being in the habit of favoring it, it will require some exertions to put an end to it.

The two enclosed from Mr. Brent, and from Mr. Steele, the last covering one from Mr. Simmons, require no comment.

Edition: current; Page: [45]

You will see by that of Mr. Jarvis that he declines accepting the collectorship of Penobscot. This leaves us in a very awkward situation, as in the mean while, Lee being superseded, we have no collector there. Mr. Jarvis recommends his brother. On the other hand, I have a recommendation for P. D. Serjeant, which I enclose. It was given me at the time by General Dearborn, who spoke favorably of the applicant, but on the whole preferred Mr. Jarvis—him who declines. Of this last gentleman’s brother I did not hear General Dearborn speak, though he must have known that he resided on the spot, whilst the brother whom he recommended was established at Boston.

In respect to the appointment of an inspector of internal revenue for the new district of North-West of Ohio, I enclose Mr. Worthington’s letter, but have not the time to wait for an answer from you, as the person must receive his appointment by the 1st of October. Upon the whole, it has appeared to me most eligible to fill the blank commission you left for that object with the name of Th. Worthington, leaving him a reasonable time to resign either that or the place of register of the land office.

I had much rather he would keep the last, which is of more importance to the revenue and far more to the people than the other, because I consider him as being, upon the whole, the most respectable character in the North-West Territory; but a decision of the Attorney-General’s in relation to his fees has, I apprehend, somewhat disgusted him.

It had been my intention to fill the commission with the name of Samuel Finley, the receiver of Chillicothe, as the two offices seemed more compatible, and the commission on that of receiver (one per cent. on moneys received) is not equal to the risk and trouble; but he has now upwards of a hundred thousand dollars in hand, and is not as regular in making his returns as he ought to be.

If upon investigation it will appear that it was owing only to the pressure of business, and Mr. Worthington will keep the register’s place, I would still incline for that arrangement; but the temporary appointment of Mr. W. will give us time to examine. You will be able to appreciate the weight of his recommendations Edition: current; Page: [46] in favor of two persons as collectors at Cayuga and Cincinnati. I do not expect any further information in relation to those two posts, and will, of course, wait for your instructions.

The list of warrants is, as usual, enclosed. Payments go on very well. After making the payments of interest due for this quarter at the end of this month, we will have two millions and a half, at least, in the Treasury. We had but two at the end of last quarter.

My only embarrassment proceeds from the difficulty of purchasing good bills on Amsterdam, in which we ought to have had five hundred thousand dollars more invested by the 1st October next. We have paid heretofore but thirty-nine, but must now give forty cents per guilder.

I was absent when the despatches from France arrived, and cannot form any precise opinion of the result. I have uniformly thought that the modification proposed by the Senate having put it in the power of France to act as they pleased, that consistency was not, in the situation of Bonaparte, to be expected, which a government solely actuated by the permanent and solid interest of its nation would be likely to preserve.

If, for any reasons connected with foreign policy or their own domestic concerns, they do not think it their interest to ratify at the moment when the negotiation takes place, I think that they will take hold of the alteration proposed. Yet I had thought that peace with America was so popular in France that they would not run the risk of a rejection, and that that cause would preponderate over any other. On the other hand, it is clear that the signing of the convention was at least hastened by the wish to operate favorably on the northern powers, and that this motive has now ceased. If they intend to make peace with Great Britain, may they not think that they will be likely to make a more advantageous treaty with us after that event, or rather after the expiration of the British treaty, than now? If they are really sincere in their objections to the omission, and it seems also to the restoration of the second article, and insist on a positive renunciation of indemnities and treaties, not with a view of defeating the treaty, but because they actually want Edition: current; Page: [47] such renunciation, may it be that they intend to occupy not only Louisiana, but also the Floridas, and wish therefore an explicit annullation of the Treaty of 1777?

I hope these delays will not be attended with any real change in the relative situation of the two countries, but I fear the effect on the public mind here.

Commodore Dale has arrived almost in the nick of time in the Mediterranean; yet it is to be wished that he had met the Tripolitan at sea instead of Gibraltar.

With great respect and sincere attachment, your very obedient servant.

Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
September 12, 1801
Washington
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

This will be handed by M. L. Davis, of New York, the candidate for the naval office. I used my endeavors to prevent his proceeding to Monticello, but he had left New York with that intention, and is not easily diverted from his purpose. The reason he gives for his anxiety is that, immediately after the adjournment of Congress, E. Livingston and others mentioned to him that a positive arrangement was made by the Administration by which he was to be appointed to that office; that he was so perfectly confident, till some time in June, that such was the fact, as to refuse advantageous proposals of a permanent establishment, and the general belief on that subject has placed him in a very awkward situation in New York.

He presses me much, on the ground of my personal knowledge both of him and of the local politics of New York, to give you my opinion in a decided manner on that subject; which to him I declined, both because in one respect it was not made up, and because my own opinion, even if decided, neither ought nor would decide yours. The propriety of removing Rogers remains with me the doubtful point: after Fish’s removal, and that of others, they in New York seem to suppose that the Edition: current; Page: [48] dismission of Rogers is, on account of anti-revolutionary adherence to enemies, unavoidable; the answer to New Haven appears to have left no doubt on their minds on that subject, and I apprehend that the numerous removals already made by you there, and the almost general sweep by their State government, have only increased the anxiety and expectations of a total change. In relation to Rogers himself, though he is a good officer, I would feel but little regret at his being dismissed, because he has no claim detached from having fulfilled his official duties, has made an independent fortune by that office, and, having no personal popularity, cannot lose us one friend nor make us one enemy. But I feel a great reluctance in yielding to that general spirit of persecution which, in that State particularly, disgraces our cause and sinks us on a level with our predecessors.

Whether policy must yield to principle, by going farther into those removals than justice to our political friends and the public welfare seem to require, is a question on which I do not feel myself at present capable of deciding.

I have used the word “persecution,” and, I think, with propriety; for the council of appointments have extended their removals to almost every auctioneer, and, that not being a political office, the two parties ought certainly to have an equal chance in such appointments.

As to the other point, if Rogers shall be removed, I have no hesitation in saying that I do not know a man whom I would prefer to Mr. Davis for that office.

This may, however, be owing to my knowing him better than I do others who may be equally well qualified. I believe Davis to be a man of talent (particularly quickness and correctness), suited for the office, of strict integrity, untainted reputation, and pure Republican principles. Nor am I deterred from saying so far in his favor on account of any personal connection with any other individuals; because I am convinced that his political principles stand not on the frail basis of persons, but are conclusively bottomed on conviction of their truth, and will ever govern his political conduct. So far as I think a prejudice against him in that respect existed, I consider myself Edition: current; Page: [49] in justice to him bound to declare as my sincere opinion. Farther I cannot go.

As the mail will reach you only one day later than Mr. Davis, I will defer writing on business till Monday. The elections of Maryland are decisively in our favor: twenty-six to fourteen is the probable result,—a majority certain.

I feel in better health and better spirits since the change of weather, which, together with the change of air, seems to have had a favorable effect on my child’s health. Mrs. Gallatin and her daughter, three weeks old, are very well.

Robert Smith is and will continue absent for some time longer. On his arriving home last Saturday, he found his eldest son dead, and his wife expects daily to be confined. S. Smith, who wrote me on the subject, [says] that this ought to hasten Mr. Madison’s return, and that friends and foes begin to complain of long absences. I wish earnestly we may all meet as early as possible, yet do not apprehend any inconvenience to have yet resulted for the public service from your absence.

I am, with sincere respect and attachment, your obedient servant.

I enclose recommendations sent to me in favor of Davis.

Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
14th September, 1801
Washington
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

In relation to Gardner and Campbell, formerly clerks in the Auditor’s office, their case is not similar. Gardner voluntarily resigned about a year ago. As to Campbell, the Auditor states that when the public offices were about to be removed, the clerks, and he among the number, were supplied an advance of money to defray their expenses to Washington, that Campbell remained behind without either explaining the cause of his delay or intimating his final intention, and that his place, after being kept vacant a considerable time, was at length necessarily supplied by another.

Under those circumstances the Auditor thinks that to make Edition: current; Page: [50] room for them by the removal of others would be doing an act of injustice, in which he cannot consent to have any agency.

Mr. Harrison seemed hurt at the supposition that he had been guilty of any act of wanton injustice or political intolerance, at the same time that he had no hesitation in saying that, although Campbell was not turned out, yet if he had returned here, and it had appeared that he was the person who had communicated official papers without his permission, it would have been considered as a breach of trust and a sufficient cause of removal. He also represented that an interference of that nature was inadmissible, for if C. and G. had been dismissed by him, no matter for what cause, how could he possibly submit to the indignity, or indeed be capable of performing his official duties, and amongst others that of directing and controlling his clerks, if they were to be reinstated upon application by them to another than himself?

I am clearly of opinion that Campbell under all circumstances ought not to be restored, and I think also that, as a general principle, Mr. Harrison’s last observation is correct. But I must in candor add that I made a blunder in this business: instead of speaking to Mr. H. in my own name, I showed him what you had written to me, and he considered the whole as done with intention of hurting his feelings. I acted awkwardly, because acting against my own opinion in recommending Campbell’s restoration. This is, however, only a trifling family controversy, and will not be attended with any other effect abroad, except giving some temporary offence to Duane, Beckley, Israel, and some other very hot-headed but, I believe, honest Republicans. This leads me to a more important subject. Pennsylvania is, I think, fixed. Although we have there amongst our friends several office-hunters, Republicanism rests there on principle pretty generally, and it rests on the people at large, there not being in the whole State a single individual whose influence could command even now one county, or whose defection could lose us one hundred votes at an election.

It is ardently to be wished that the situation of New York was as favorable; but so much seems to depend in that State on certain individuals, the influence of a few is so great, and the Edition: current; Page: [51] majority in the city of New York (on which, unfortunately, the majority in the State actually depends, that city making one-eighth of the whole) is so artificial, that I much fear that we will eventually lose that State before next election of President.

The most favorable event would certainly be the division of every State into districts for the election of electors; with that single point, and only common sense in the Administration, Republicanism would be established for one generation at least beyond controversy; but if not obtainable as a general constitutional provision, I think that our friends, whilst they can, ought to introduce it immediately in New York. Davis’s visit to Monticello has led me to that conclusion by drawing my attention to that subject.

There are also two points connected with this on which I wish the Republicans throughout the Union would make up their mind. Do they eventually mean not to support Burr as your successor when you shall think fit to retire? Do they mean not to support him at next election for Vice-President? These are serious questions, for although with Pennsylvania and Maryland we can fear nothing so long as you will remain the object of contention with the Federalists, yet the danger would be great should any unfortunate event deprive the people of your services. Where is the man we could support with any reasonable prospect of success? Mr. Madison is the only one, and his being a Virginian would be a considerable objection. But if, without thinking of events more distant or merely contingent, we confine ourselves to the next election, which is near enough, the embarrassment is not less; for even Mr. Madison cannot on that occasion be supported with you, and it seems to me that there are but two ways, either to support Burr once more, or to give only one vote for President, scattering our votes for the other person to be voted for. If we do the first, we run, on the one hand, the risk of the Federal party making Burr President, and we seem, on the other, to give him an additional pledge of being eventually supported hereafter by the Republicans for that office. If we embrace the last party, we not only lose the Vice-President, but pave the way for the Federal successful candidate to that office to become President. All this would be remedied by the amendment Edition: current; Page: [52] of distinguishing the votes for the two offices, and by that of dividing the States into districts. But as it is extremely uncertain whether such amendments will succeed, we must act on the ground of elections going on as heretofore, and here I see the danger, but cannot discover the remedy. It is indeed but with reluctance that I can ever think of the policy necessary to counteract intrigues and personal views, and wiser men than myself must devise the means; yet, had I felt the same diffidence, I mean total want of confidence, which during the course of last winter I discovered in a large majority of the Republicans towards Burr, I would have been wise enough never to give my consent in favor of his being supported last election as Vice-President. In this our party, those at least who never could be reconciled to having him hereafter as President, have made a capital fault, for which there was no necessity at the time, and which has produced and will produce us much embarrassment. I need not add that so far as your Administration can influence anything of that kind it is impossible for us to act correctly, unless the ultimate object is ascertained. Yet I do not believe that we can do much, for I dislike much the idea of supporting a section of Republicans in New York, and mistrusting the great majority, because that section is supposed to be hostile to Burr, and he is considered as the leader of that majority. A great reason against such policy is that the reputed leaders of that section, I mean the Livingstons generally, and some broken remnants of the Clintonian party who hate Burr (for Governor Clinton is out of question and will not act), are so selfish and so uninfluential that they never can obtain their great object, the State government, without the assistance of what is called Burr’s party, and will not hesitate a moment to bargain for that object with him and his friends, granting in exchange their support for anything he or they may want out of the State. I do not include in that number the Chancellor nor Mr. Armstrong, but the first is, in that State, only a name, and there is something which will forever prevent the last having any direct influence with the people. I said before that I was led to that train of ideas by Davis’s personal application, for although in writing to you by him I said, as I sincerely believe it, that he never would Edition: current; Page: [53] or could be influenced by B. or any other person to do an improper act, or anything which could hurt the general Republican principle, yet it is not to be doubted that after all that has been said on the subject his refusal will, by Burr, be considered as a declaration of war. The Federals have been busy on the occasion. Tillotson also has said many things which might not have been said with equal propriety, and I do know that there is hardly a man who meddles with politics in New York who does not believe that Davis’s rejection is owing to Burr’s recommendation. On that as well as on many other accounts I was anxious to prevent Davis’s journey; but to want of early education and mixing with the world I ascribe his want of sense of propriety on this occasion, and his going is the worst thing I have known of him.

I leave this subject with pleasure, and yet find that I have in a hurry thrown my ideas on it in such a confused manner as would require a revision, but I trust in your indulgence and candor.

I enclose Mr. Milledge’s and Mr. Few’s letters, and will, in pursuance with your last letter but one, direct a commission for Mr. Thomas Johnson, the person recommended by Governor Jackson.

A Mr. Richard Parrot called this morning on me to tell me that the office of collector of Georgetown was vacant, and that he had been formerly recommended to you. Mr. Habersham has not communicated anything to me.

I have not seen the despatches from France, and do not know on what ground you have determined to send the minister to France at present, but it will at least afford an argument to those who have attacked the sending of Mr. Dawson. Why not send Mr. Livingston at first? and if that was improper then, why is it proper now?

An answer to this should be ready to go to the public when his departure shall be announced. The list of warrants is enclosed, as usual.

Believe me to be, with great and sincere respect and attachment, your obedient servant.

Edition: current; Page: [54]

Mr. Smith is still absent. Several of the more decent Federal papers begin to attack the absence of so many members of the Administration.

Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
September 18, 1801
Monticello
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

Dear Sir,

Your favors of the 7th, 12th, and 14th instant came to hand yesterday, consequently that of the 7th must have slept a week somewhere. Mr. Davis is now with me; he has not opened himself. When he does, I shall inform him that nothing is decided nor can be till we get together at Washington. I keep all the letters of recommendation of him which you enclosed me, as also Milledge’s letter, and return you all your other papers. I approve of your intended application to General Heard for a successor to White, and wish you to appoint any one whom his recommendation or other better evidence shall place in your view as the best. As to the successor to Powell, of Savannah, I should think the person on whom Milledge and Jackson both unite might be safely appointed. I will write to inquire for a substitute for Wilkins, of Cherry Stone. As to Jarvis’s successor, will it not be better to wait for General Dearborn, who, I suppose, will be at Washington as early as I shall, or nearly so? not, however, that I know this, but only presume it. I am glad you have yourself settled Worthington’s appointment, as I possess no knowledge which could have aided you. In the case of Cayuga and Cincinnati, where you seem to be without information, it is probable Captain Lewis can help us out. He is well acquainted there. Being absent at this time, I have not an opportunity of asking him, but he will be on with me at Washington on or before the last day of the month. With respect to Gardner and Campbell, I must leave them to yourself. I think we are bound to take care of them. Could we not procure them as good berths as their former at least, in some of the custom-houses? One part of the subject of one of your letters is of a nature which forbids my interference altogether. The amendment to the Constitution, Edition: current; Page: [55] of which you speak, would be a remedy to a certain degree. So will a different amendment which I know will be proposed, to wit, to have no electors, but let the people vote directly, and the ticket which has a plurality of the votes of any State to be considered as receiving thereby the whole vote of the State. Our motions with respect to Livingston are easily explained: it was impossible for him to go off in the instant he was named, or on shorter warning than two or three months. In the mean time, Bingham and others, mercantile men, complained in Congress that we were losing so many thousand dollars every day till the ratification of the treaty. A vessel to carry it was prepared by our predecessors, and all the preparatory expenses of her mission incurred. This is the reason why Mr. L. did not go then. The reason why he must go now is that difficulties have arisen unexpectedly in the ratification of the treaty, which we believe him more capable of getting over than Mr. Murray. We think that the state of the treaty there calls earnestly for the presence of a person of talents and confidence; we would rather trust him than Murray in shaping any new modification.

I sincerely congratulate you on the better health of your son, as well as on the new addition to your family, and Mrs. Gallatin’s convalescence. I consider it as a trying experiment for a person from the mountains to pass the two bilious months on the tide-water. I have not done it these forty years, and nothing should induce me to do it. As it is not possible but that the Administration must take some portion of time for their own affairs, I think it best they should select that season for absence. General Washington set the example of those two months; Mr. Adams extended them to eight months. I should not suppose our bringing it back to two months a ground for grumbling, but, grumble who will, I will never pass those months on tide-water. Accept assurances of my constant and sincere esteem and respect.

Edition: current; Page: [56]
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
September 21, 1801
Washington
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

I have nothing new to communicate, expecting to see you in a few days, and being much engaged this day. I only enclose the list of warrants and two letters: one from Mr. Dent applying for the Treasurer’s office, and one from Dr. Bache, to which last I am at a loss how to answer. Mr. Habersham seems embittered and determined not to accept the office of Treasurer.

I can go on with the routine of this Department, but I have not been used to be so long left to myself for everything, and, besides the pleasure I will feel in seeing you, am on public accounts extremely anxious for your arrival. Robert Smith returned only last night. General Dearborn expects to leave home the 24th.

With great respect and attachment, your obedient servant.

Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
October 3, 1801
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

The inducement which you propose in order to engage Powell to bring up his accounts is approved; so is also the idea of collecting men of talents about us, even in offices which do not need them. Upon the principle of distribution also I doubt if the Treasury should be given to Maryland.

With respect to Dr. Bache I must have some conversation with you; as to the office of Postmaster-General, he might be told that an arrangement, made as soon as the resignation took place, binds us up from any change. Health and respect.

Edition: current; Page: [57]
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
October 9, 1801
Washington
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

Dear Sir,

I return you Mr. Dallas’s opinion on the question whether the goods of a citizen taken by one belligerent in the bottom of another may be received here, with the consent of the captor, by the owner. His idea that, by the principle established with France that enemy bottoms make enemy goods, these goods are assimilated to the real enemy goods which were on board, is imposing at first view, but yields, in my opinion, to further consideration. For whose benefit was that principle established? Clearly for the benefit of the captor; and how can a third party, not interested in the question, prevent him from relinquishing his benefit in favor of our citizen? Ransom or fraud may make another question of it; but while it is stated as a bona fide relinquishment of the benefit which the treaty between France and us had introduced for the captor, I cannot conceive that the owner of the bottom has a right to object. Suppose the British owner had ransomed his vessel, or that the captor had ceded to him the benefit which the laws of war had given him by making capture a transfer of property, could we, who have no interest nor right embarked in the question, control their transaction? It would really be hard that the goods of our own citizen, relinquished to him by the captor, should be prohibited by us from our own ports. Yet, as we have no Attorney-General here, I would not proceed against Mr. Dallas’s opinion. I wish it may go off on your first letter supposing a consent of all parties, or, if the British minister objects, I wish Mr. Hancock could find some means of carrying it into court. Whether this can be done by mandamus I am not satisfied. If it could, it would be a prompt trial of the question. Should the case come back to us on the dissent of the British minister, it is so important as a first precedent that great consideration must be bestowed on it. Health and respect.

Edition: current; Page: [58]
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
9th November, 1801
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

Enclosed you will find the letters received by last mail (one excepted from Surveyor-General, on which I have not yet formed an opinion). I would suggest the propriety of my not sending those which require certain previous inquiries, such as those of Th. Worthington, E. Boudinot, J. Ingersoll, until after the inquiries have been made and an opinion formed, when the whole subject may be laid before you. I also enclose two drafts of letters, one on Mr. Pichon’s application and the other in relation to an apparently delinquent collector.

I send along with this a bundle of what we call public letters, also received by mail. The greater part of these are endorsed so as to be distinguishable, and are opened by the principal clerks. They consist principally of the weekly statements, &c., of collectors, never require any answer, except when at the end of a quarter the result does not agree with the quarterly accounts or they exhibit too much money in hands of a collector.

I never look at them, but they are entered in a book, which has been prepared under my direction by one of the clerks, so as to exhibit weekly a general view of all the transactions. From that book a weekly sheet is made out exhibiting the balance in hands of collectors, &c., subject to drafts of the Treasury, and that general view enables to draw upon them, to call on them, when necessary, for more regular returns, and sometimes to institute inquiries, as in Mr. Gerry’s case.

I do not suppose you want to see those letters, but have sent them as a sample, and will confine myself hereafter to letters on which it is necessary for me to act, unless you shall otherwise direct.

The whole of my correspondence is generally very insipid, consisting of petty details, &c., and I have as much as possible abridged it. It will by no means convey just ideas of the real business of this Department; this, as well as the object you have generally in view and which is of primary importance, can, in my opinion, be obtained only by regular meetings.

Edition: current; Page: [59]

It seems to me that a general conference once a week, to which might be added private conferences of the President with each of the Secretaries respectively once or twice a week, is a necessary measure; but those conferences should be fixed on certain days and hours, otherwise they will be only occasional, and, as we have already experienced, often omitted. Feeling, as I do, the necessity of concert, I make no apology for the suggestion.

I have the honor to be.
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
November 11, 1801
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

Specie. Due by Banks, and convertible into Specie. Discounts. Six per Cent. and Advances to Government. Notes in Circulation. Deposit of Government. Deposits of Individuals. Undivided Profits. Capital.
Bank U. S. 5,000,000 1,450,000 12,150,000 5,460,000 5,200,000 3,560,000 5,240,000 40,000 10,000,000
New York 531,819 809,894 2,718,736 562,563 1,027,000 704,280 1,390,046 1,800,000
Boston 649,009 149,736 1,791,143 767,360 955,365 459,571 700,000
Baltimore 554,933 232,583 1,575,766 938,025 487,446 435,249 600,000
Norfolk 780,169 114,883 491,790 405,375 445,797 276,219 250,000
Charleston 941,500 543,414 1,968,003 1,315,920 412,336 1,124,947 600,000
8,507,430 3,300,510 20,695,438 6,022,563 9,653,680 6,565,224 8,926,032 40,000 13,950,000

The bank statements are new to me and present curious information: to obtain a general idea I have brought them together as above, very inaccurately, omitting some items I did not understand, lumping others perhaps ill understood; but such an abstract accurately made would be interesting. For this purpose it would require in the first place a judicious form to be devised, and that sent to all the banks with a request they would put their statements into that form. It would then be easy to generalize every set of returns, and at the end of the year to make an average from the whole. And why should not the bottom line of the yearly average be presented to Congress? It would give us the benefit of their and of the public observations, and betray no secret as to any particular bank.

I enclose you a letter concerning Cherryston’s, of which I can make little. The applications for moneys due on appropriations Edition: current; Page: [60] may certainly be omitted to be sent to me, as the effect appears in the weekly abstract of warrants. Those conveying information of what is passing or of the state of things are the desirable. Dr. Tucker’s coming into office may be fixed for the 1st day of December. Health and good wishes.

Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
November 12, 1801
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

The supervisor of New Hampshire (Rogers) was a Revolutionary Tory. I am therefore ready to change him.

If we are to appoint a Federalist at Cherryton’s, I have no doubt that Bowdoin is preferable to any other. His family has been among the most respectable on that shore for many generations: if, however, we have any means of inquiry, we ought to avail ourselves of them.

Mr. Read’s letter I forward to Mr. Madison merely to bring the establishment of those agents under his notice. He will return it to you.

The enclosed rough draft of a message I had prepared for the Senate will show you the views in conformity with which were all the instructions which went from hence relative to the Senatorial complaint against Duane. My idea of the new prosecution was not that our Attorney should ever be heard to urge the common law of England as in force otherwise than so far as adopted in any particular State, but that, 1st, he should renew it in the Federal court if he supposed there was any Congressional statute which had provided for the case (other than the Sedition Act), or if he thought he could show that the Senate had made or adopted such a lex parliamentaria as might reach the case; or, 2d, that he should bring the prosecution in the State court of Pennsylvania, if any statute of that State, or statutory adoption of the common law of England, had made the offence punishable. These were my views. They were not particularly given by way of instruction to the Attorney, because it was presumed they would occur to him, and we did not choose, by prescribing Edition: current; Page: [61] his line of procedure exactly, to take on ourselves an unnecessary responsibility. I will thank you to return the paper, as well for this message as the sketches, on the back of it, of some paragraphs of the first message to Congress, of which, in a day or two, I shall ask your revisal. In that the Sedition law will be presented under another view. Health and good wishes.

Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
15th November, 1801
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

. . . No letters received by last mail.

I have found so much difficulty in arranging, or rather procuring correct statements amongst the Treasury documents, that I cannot yet give any probable estimate of the revenue within half a million,—of course cannot give any opinion of the propriety of abolishing the internal revenues; but I am clearly of opinion they should all go or all remain. It would not be worth while to preserve the excise alone at such monstrous expense and inconvenience as the collection now costs. The two documents of “receipts and expenditures for 1800,” and of “estimates for 1802,” cannot accompany your message, as they are directed by positive resolutions of the House to be laid yearly before them by the Secretary. But as they must be supposed to have been communicated by him to you, they may with propriety be referred to in the message. They are matters of form prepared by the Register, and to which for the present year I have concluded to make no alteration in point of form.

If possible, I will on Tuesday lay before you general results sufficient to give you all the information you may want in relation to the general views you intend exhibiting in the message. But in the mean while could you calculate what will be the annual sum wanted to pay the interest on, and pay off within eight years, a debt of $21,955,900, bearing an interest of $1,310,40150/100; it being premised that $6,481,700, part of the said debt, bears an interest of eight per cent., and must be paid the last; and that $950,965 of the debt are already paid out of Edition: current; Page: [62] the Treasury, but without stopping the interest. If three millions will do, I think we can, with the impost and lands, pay off thirty-eight millions within the eight years 1802-1809. The total amount of unredeemed debt on 1st January, 1802, will be $77,866,40263/100, of which we shall have already remitted to Holland the above-stated sum of $950,965. The reduction, or rather abolition, of internal revenues will necessarily depend on the extent of the navy establishment.

I will give a first reading to-morrow to the sketch of the message, and write some notes; but I cannot pay to it the proper attention till after Tuesday, and will of course return it Monday morning with a wish to see it afterwards once more.

Respectfully, your most obedient servant.
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
November 14, 1801
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

Thomas Jefferson asks the favor of Mr. Gallatin to examine the enclosed rough draft of what is proposed for his first communication to Congress; not merely the part relating to finance, but the whole. Several paragraphs are only provisionally drawn, to be altered or omitted according to further information. The whole respecting finance is predicated on a general view of the subject presented according to what I wish, but subject to the particular consultation which Th. J. wishes to have with Mr. Gallatin, and especially to the calculation proposed to be made as to the adequacy of the impost to the support of government and discharge of the public debt, for which Mr. G. is to furnish correct materials for calculation. The part respecting the navy has not yet been opened to the Secretary of the Navy. What belongs to the Departments of State and War is in unison with the ideas of those gentlemen. Th. J. asks the favor of Mr. Gallatin to devote the first moments he can spare to the enclosed, and to make notes on a separate paper, with pencilled references at the passages noted on. Health and happiness.

Edition: current; Page: [63]
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
November, 1801
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.
NOTES ON PRESIDENTS MESSAGE.

Foreign powers friendly:—Effect. If redress is meant, it seems wrong to raise expectations which probably will be disappointed. Quere, whether Mr. King’s negotiation should be hinted at.

Indians:—Should not the attempt to treat be mentioned, stating also the determination not to press upon them any disagreeable demand? This to guard against any blame which the imprudence of the Commissioners might occasion.

Tripoli:—More stress might be laid on the protection afforded by the frigates to our vessels which had been long blockaded, and on the imminent peril from which our commerce in the Atlantic was preserved by the timely arrival of our squadron at the moment when the Tripolitans had already reached Gibraltar. This early, &c.:—It will be said that the specimen had already been given by Truxton.

Finances. In nearly the same ratio, &c.:—The revenue has increased more than in the same ratio with population: 1st. Because our wealth has increased in a greater ratio than population. 2d. Because the seaports and towns, which consume imported articles much more than the country, have increased in a greater proportion. (See census of New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore, and compare their increase with that of United States.) The greater increase of wealth is due in part to our natural situation, but principally to our neutrality during the war; an evident proof of the advantages of peace notwithstanding the depredations of the belligerent powers.

We may safely calculate on a certain augmentation, and war indeed and unfortunate calamities may change, &c.:—It appears perfectly correct to make our calculations and arrangements without any regard to alterations which might be produced by the possible though improbable event of the United States being involved in a war; but the alteration which may be produced by the restoration of peace in Europe should be taken into consideration. A reduction in the price of our exports would diminish our ability of paying, and therefore of consuming imported Edition: current; Page: [64] articles; and it is perhaps as much as can be hoped for, if, taking an average of six or eight years immediately succeeding the peace, the natural increase of population was sufficient to counterbalance the decrease of consumption arising from that cause. But, supposing these to balance one another, there is still another cause of decrease of revenue arising from peace in Europe. Our enormous carrying trade of foreign articles must be diminished by the peace. Having been much disappointed in the correctness of some of the custom-house and Treasury documents on which I depended, I cannot ascertain with precision, but do not think far from the truth the following result, viz.: that from 1/8 to 1/10 of our impost revenue is raised on articles not consumed here, but exported without being entitled to drawback, either because they have remained more than one year in the country, or are exported in too small parcels to be entitled, or for any other cause not ascertained. This item of revenue is not perhaps less at present than $1,200,000, and, as it does not rest on consumption, but on an overgrown and accidental commerce, must be deducted from any calculation grounded on the gradual increase of population and consumption. Could we depend only on a continuance of the present revenue from impost, we might at once dispense with all the internal taxes. For the receipts from that source for the year ending 30 June, 1801,

were $9,550,500
to which must be added 7/16 of the additional duties on sugar, and 11/12 of the additional duties of 2½ per cent. on merchandise which, prior to 30th June, 1800, paid only 10 per cent.; those additional duties, on account of the credit given on duties, operated only in the proportion of 9/16 on the sugar duty and of 1/12 on the additional 2½ per cent. for the year ending 30 June, 1801. These 7/16 and 1/12 of the respective additional duties are equal to about $520,000
So that the present revenue from impost is not less than $10,000,000
But a permanent revenue from impost would be sufficient if amounting to $9,500,000
For, adding to it $250,000 for lands and $50,000 for postage $300,000
$9,800,000
and deducting for interest and payment of the debt a yearly sum of 7,200,000
which will pay off about 38 millions (Quere, I think $150,000 more a year will be necessary) of the principal in eight years, leaves $2,600,000
for the expenses of government, which I estimate in the gross as followeth: civil list, 600,000; miscellaneous, 200,000; foreign intercourse, 200,000; 1,000,000
Military; the estimate for this year is 1,120,000; ⅗ of which, as per proposed reduction, is, say, 672,000
Indian Department, 72,000; fortifications, 120,000; arsenals and armories, 66,000; 258,000
leaving for the navy a sum equal to that for the army: 670,000
$2,600,000

But, for causes already assigned, I dare not estimate the impost for the eight years 1802-1809 at more than an average of $9,000,000 to $9,250,000. It must, however, be observed that our expenditure of navy and foreign intercourse may be diminished when a general peace takes place.

Now laid before you:—The statements and report of the Secretary of the Treasury are by resolutions and by law respectively laid before Congress by the Secretary. It would be better to say: “which, according to law and the orders of the two Houses, will be laid before you.”

Taxes on stamps, &c., may be immediately suppressed:—Although the Executive has a right to recommend the suppression of any one tax, yet in ordinary cases it seems more proper to recommend or suggest generally a reduction of taxes without designating particularly some of them. If the recommendation could be general as to a whole class of taxes, such as all internal taxes, it would not have so much the appearance of what may be attacked as an interference with legislative details.

Economies in civil list:—These may be popular, but I am Edition: current; Page: [66] confident that no Department is less susceptible of reform; it is by far that in which less abuse has been practised; it exceeds but little the original sum set apart for that object; the reason is, that it being the one to which the people are most attentive, it has been most closely watched, and any increase attempted but with caution and repelled with perseverance. At an early period I examined it critically, and the reductions which might be made appeared so trifling, that the whole time I was in Congress, eager as we all were to propose popular measures and to promote economy, I never proposed, nor do I remember to have seen a single reduction proposed. It seems to me that the subject may be mentioned, but less stress laid on it.

Expenses of foreign intercourse:—The Diplomatic Department forms but a small item of these; the expenses attending the Barbary powers, and principally those which are incurred by consuls, for ministers and agents, for prosecution of claims and relief of seamen abroad, deserve particular consideration. If any measure has been taken to check these, it might be mentioned; if the subject has not yet been attended to, I would prefer using the word diplomatic, or foreign ministers, rather than the general words “foreign intercourse.”

Navy:—If possible, it would be better to avoid a direct recommendation to continue in actual service a part of it: this subject should, as far as practicable, be treated generally, leaving the Legislature to decide exclusively upon it.

I communicate an account of receipts, &c.; also appropriations:—All those documents prepared and signed by the Register are transmitted on the first week of the session by the Secretary to Congress. By the law constituting the Treasury Department, it is enacted that the Secretary shall lay before Congress or either House such reports, documents, &c., as he may be directed from time to time. Hence the invariable practice has been to call for financial information directly on the Treasury Department, except in the case of loans, where the authority had been given to the President; and for information respecting Army, Navy, or State Department, the application is always to the President, requesting him to direct, &c. The distinction, it is presumable, has been made in order to leave to Congress Edition: current; Page: [67] a direct power, uncontrolled by the Executive, on financial documents and information as connected with money and revenue subjects. It would at present be much more convenient to follow a different course; if instead of six or seven reports called for by the standing orders of one or the other House I could throw them all into one, to be made to you, it would unite the advantages of simplicity and perspicuity to that of connection with the reports made by the other Departments, as all might then be presented to Congress through you and by you; but I fear that it would be attacked as an attempt to dispense with the orders of the Houses or of Congress if the usual reports were not made in the usual manner to them; and if these are still made, it becomes useless for you to communicate duplicates. But the paragraph may be easily modified by saying, “The accounts, &c., will show, &c.” Quere, whether this remarkable distinction, which will be found to pervade all the laws relative to the Treasury Department, was not introduced to that extent in order to give to Mr. Hamilton a department independent of every executive control? It may be remembered that he claimed under those laws the right of making reports and proposing reforms, &c., without being called on for the same by Congress. This was a Presidential power, for by the Constitution the President is to call on the Departments for information, and has alone the power of recommending. But in the present case, see the Act supplementary to the Act establishing the Treasury Department, passed in 1800.

Navy-yards:—Too much seems to be said in favor of the navy-yard here. Six appear too many, and the Legislature having heretofore authorized but two, it seems that a stronger recommendation to authorize a reduction of the number might be made, and a suggestion of the propriety of regulating by law to what kind of officers their immediate superintendence should be committed.

Few harbors in the United States offer, &c.:—Is that fact certain? Portsmouth, Philadelphia, and even Boston, are perfectly defensible. But if true, should it be stated in a public speech? Will it not be charged as exposing the nakedness of the land?

Sedition Act:—The idea contained in the last paragraph had Edition: current; Page: [68] struck me; but to suggest its propriety to the Legislature appears doubtful. Are we sure of a Senatorial majority originally opposed to that law? Quere, as to Foster.

Juries:—A recommendation for a law providing an impartial and uniform mode of summoning juries, and taking the power from the marshals and clerks,—from the Judiciary and Executive,—would, if according with the sentiments of the Executive, come with propriety from him.

Progress of opinion, &c.:—Is it perfectly right to touch on that subject? It appears to me more objectionable than the doubtful paragraph relative to compensation to sufferers under Sedition Act.

There is but one subject not mentioned in the message which I feel extremely anxious to see recommended. It is, generally, that Congress should adopt such measures as will effectually guard against misapplication of public moneys; by making specific appropriations whenever practicable; by providing against the application of moneys drawn from the Treasury under an appropriation to any other object or to any greater amount than that for which they have been drawn; by limiting discretionary powers in the application of that money, whether by heads of Department or by any other agents; and by rendering every person who receives public moneys from the Treasury as immediately, promptly, and effectually accountable to the accounting officer (the Comptroller) as practicable. The great characteristic, the flagrant vice, of the late Administration has been total disregard of laws, and application of public moneys by the Departments to objects for which they were not appropriated. Witness Pickering’s account; but if you will see a palpable proof and an evidence of the necessity of a remedy, see the Quartermaster-General’s account for five hundred thousand dollars in the office of the accountant of the War Department.

Edition: current; Page: [69]
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
16th November, 1801
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

I enclose some hasty remarks on the message.

The incorrectness of the documents of exports of foreign articles compels me, after much labor, to abandon the plan on which I had intended to calculate the impost, and, as the next best, I will prepare one in the following form, which rests on documents on which we may depend, being those of duties and drawbacks actually paid. For each of the ten years ending 31st December, 1800, I will take the quantity of each article paying specific duties, and the value of each class of articles paying distinct duties ad valorem, on which duties were secured, deduct from each respective article and class the quantity and value respectively on which drawbacks have been allowed, and take the difference for the quantity and value of each article consumed in the United States. On each of those articles I will calculate the duties at the rate now established by law. The result will give you the revenue which would have been collected each year on each article had the duties been the same as at present, and the total divided by ten will show the average revenue of the ten years 1791-1800, at the present rate of duties, and adding to this thirty-three and one-third per cent., the rate of increase of population in ten years as given by the census, the result will be assumed as the probable average revenue of the ten succeeding years 1801-1810, or 1802-1809, these being the eight years to which it is eligible that the calculations should apply. This will be but a rough estimate, and yet I cannot perceive any way, from our documents, to render it more correct, unless it be to subtract, from the total amount assumed as the consumption of the ten years 1791-1800, that part of the importations of 1800 not re-exported in the same year, which will, at first view, appear to be above the roughly estimated consumption of that year.

The great defect of that mode arises from its including the duties on exported articles, which, although not entitled to drawback, made no part of our consumption, and these might have Edition: current; Page: [70] been deducted had the returns of actual foreign exports been correct and properly distinguished. A deduction at random might be made, but then it would be as well to guess at the whole. Does any idea strike you which might lead to a better mode of making the calculation? Unless we have something precise, we never can with safety recommend a repeal of existing taxes.

Although I could not solve it, I thought that the problem of the annuity necessary to redeem the debt might be solved, because, although there were two unknown data, viz., the annuity and the time of redemption of one of the classes of debt (the time of the other class being 8—t), yet two equations might be formed, one term of each of which being the annuity, left an equation, with only the time not given. At all events, the approximation you have assumed is not sufficiently correct, for the annuity you fixed would, if I am not mistaken, leave about one million and half unpaid at the end of the eight years.

But the problem is, in fact, more complex than I had stated it, on account of the varieties and peculiar properties of the several kinds of debt, as you will judge by the enclosed statement.

If we cannot with the probable amount of impost and sale of lands pay the debt at the rate proposed and support the establishments on the proposed plans, one of three things must be done: either to continue the internal taxes, or to reduce the expenditure still more, or to discharge the debt with less rapidity. The last recourse, to me, is the most objectionable, not only because I am firmly of opinion that, if the present Administration and Congress do not take the most effective measures for that object, the debt will be entailed on us and the ensuing generations, together with all the systems which support it, and which it supports; but also any sinking fund operating in an increased ratio as it progresses, a very small deduction from an appropriation for that object would make a considerable difference in the ultimate term of redemption, which, provided we can, in some shape, manage the three per cents. without redeeming them at their nominal value, I think may be paid at fourteen or fifteen years.

Edition: current; Page: [71]

On the other hand, if this Administration shall not reduce taxes, they never will be permanently reduced. To strike at the root of the evil and avert the danger of increasing taxes, encroaching government, temptations to offensive wars, &c., nothing can be more effectual than a repeal of all internal taxes, but let them all go, and not one remain on which sister taxes may be hereafter engrafted. I agree most fully with you that pretended tax-preparations, treasury-preparations, and army-preparations against contingent wars tend only to encourage wars. If the United States shall unavoidably be drawn into a war, the people will submit to any necessary tax, and the system of internal taxation which, then, shall be thought best adapted to the then situation of the country may be created, instead of engrafted on the old or present plan; if there shall be no real necessity for them, their abolition by this Administration will most powerfully deter any other from reviving them. A repeal now will attach as much unpopularity to them as the late direct tax has done to that mode of taxation. On those grounds, can I ask what, in your opinion, is the minimum of necessary naval and foreign intercourse expenses, including in these last all those which are under the control of the Department of State?

You will perceive in one of the notes on the message that in giving general results no provision appears for the British treaty, viz., for the £600,000 proposed to be paid in lieu of the 6 Art. This is a temporary demand, which may be met by the four following temporary resources: 1st, the excess of specie in Treasury beyond the necessary sum to be kept there; 2d, the sale of the bank shares belonging to the United States; 3d, the surplus revenue arising from internal taxes beyond the expenses, in case those internal taxes are continued, and, if practicable to discontinue them, one net year of their proceeds which is always due on them, and will be due on the day when they may cease; 4th, the balance of the direct tax due payable after the present year.

You will also see that I lay less stress on savings on the civil list than you do. Some may be made, but the total amount cannot be great. The new judiciary, the commissioners of loans, the mint, the accountants of the Navy and War Departments, seem to be the principal, if not the only, objects of reform. Of Edition: current; Page: [72] the clerks I cannot yet say much: those of the Comptroller and Auditor are less numerous and paid less in proportion than those of the Register and two accountants. Transcribing and common ones are easily obtained; good book-keepers are also everywhere to be found: it is difficult to obtain faithful examining clerks, on whose correctness and fidelity a just settlement of all the accounts depends, and still more difficult to find men of talent. My best clerk next to the principal, and who had twelve hundred dollars, has left me to take one thousand in Philadelphia. Under the present circumstances of this place, we must calculate on paying higher all the inferior officers, principally clerks, than in Philadelphia. Coming all new in the Administration, the heads of Departments must obtain a perfect knowledge of all the details before they can venture on a reform. The number of independent officers attached to the Treasury renders the task still more arduous for me. I assure you that it will take me twelve months before I can thoroughly understand every detail of all those several offices. Current business and the more general and important duties of the office do not permit to learn the lesser details but incidentally and by degrees. Until I know them all I dare not touch the machine.

The most important reform I can suggest is that of specific appropriations, to which it would be desirable to add, by abolishing the accountants, an immediate payment from the Treasury to the individuals who are to apply the money, and an immediate accounting of those individuals to the Treasury; in short, to place the War and Navy Departments in relation to the expenditures of money on the same footing on which, at Mr. Madison’s request, that of State has been placed. Enclosed is a short paper containing the principles I would propose, in which you will perceive that the discretionary powers of those Departments are intended to be checked by legal provisions, and not by transferring any discretion to another Department. What is called “illustration” on that paper is not correct.

The disappointment in the export document will necessarily delay some days the proposed result of import; but I think it will be about nine million two hundred and fifty thousand dollars.

Edition: current; Page: [73]

The importance of correctness there renders it more eligible to wait a week longer for a more accurate estimate than to proceed now with what we have obtained. We have yet three weeks till the meeting of Congress. With sincere respect.

[Enclosure.]

OUTLINES FOR SPECIFIC APPROPRIATIONS.

1. Specific appropriations for each object of a distinct nature, and one to embrace for each Department all contingencies, including therein every discretionary expenditure.

2. Each appropriation to refer to a calendar year, and the surplus remaining unexpended after having satisfied the demands on the appropriation for that year to be carried to the surplus fund; that is to say, to cease.

3. Warrants to issue on the requisition of the proper Department in favor of the person receiving the same, instead of issuing in the names of either the heads of Department or of the Treasurer of the United States.

4. The accountants to be abolished.

5. The head of each Department to judge, previous to a settlement of accounts, of the propriety of making advances, and to make requisitions accordingly.

6. The head of each Department to judge on a settlement of accounts of the propriety of making allowances of a discretionary nature in every case where discretion is not limited by law or uniform usage; in these last cases the Comptroller to judge.

Illustration.—War Department.

Appropriations for the army for the year 1801 were, including fortifications and fabrication of arms, $1,857,242.04.

Which would be on above plan as followeth:

Pay of army, subsistence and forage of officers, } $488,076.00; to be paid by warrants to paymaster.
Subsistence, 306,395.00 to be paid by warrants to contractors.
Clothing, 141,530.00 to be paid by warrants to purveyor or contractors.
Ordnance, 100,000.00 to be paid by warrants to superintendents.
Horses for cavalry.
Bounties and premiums; Indian, medical, hospital, and quartermaster’s departments; defensive protection of frontiers, and contingent expenses of the Department, } $364,000.00; to be paid by warrants to agents, quartermaster, purveyor, paymaster, &c.
Purchase of ammunition and fabrication of arms, } 400,000.00; to be paid by warrants to contractors, purveyor, superintendent, &c.
Fortification of ports, 57,241.04; to be paid by warrants.
$1,857,242.04

on requisition of Secretary of War to the Secretary of the Treasury.

Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
November 28, 1801
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

Th. J. to Mr. Gallatin.

Your own opinion and that of the Attorney-General are sufficient authorities to me to approve of prosecuting in the case of the schooner Sally. And I will candidly add that my judgment also concurs. The handcuffs and bolts are palpable testimonials of the intention of the voyage, and the concealment of them and their omission in the statement of the cargo, strengthens the proof. The traffic, too, is so odious that no indulgences can be claimed.

Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
January 19, 1802
Joseph H. Nicholson
Nicholson, Joseph H.

GALLATIN TO JOSEPH H. NICHOLSON, M.C.
A MEMORANDUM.

Dear Sir,

The objects of inquiry for your committee are:

1st. How are moneys drawn out of the Treasury?

2d. How are they expended?

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3d. How are they accounted for?

In relation to each object:

1st. What are the checks provided by law?

2d. How have these been adhered to?

3d. Are they sufficient to enforce economy and accountability?

4th. What improvements can be adopted?

You may write me a letter asking generally information on those subjects, or if you prefer a less methodical arrangement and to put more pointed queries, I have written some on the next page, which, I believe, embrace all those objects.

Yours.

Under what checks, founded either on law or usage, are moneys paid out of the Treasury?

To whom are those moneys paid?

Under whose control, and what checks, are moneys drawn out of the Treasury expended by the agents or Departments to whom the same may have been advanced?

What construction has been put on the appropriation laws by the Treasury Department, and by the several agents or Departments to whom moneys are advanced?

Have moneys been always paid by the Treasury and applied by the agents or Departments in conformity to the laws authorizing expenses and making appropriations for the same?

To whom and in what manner are the receivers of public moneys accountable?

In what situation are now the accounts of persons who have received moneys from the Treasury? and where any remain unsettled, what are the causes?

What is particularly the situation of accounts for moneys advanced to the Secretary of State, or to the War and Navy Departments?

Are the checks under which public moneys are expended sufficient to enforce a due application to the objects for which they are advanced?

Can any mode be devised by which more efficient checks, in relation to the public expenditure, shall be adopted, and the Edition: current; Page: [76] accountability of those who receive moneys from the Treasury be better enforced, without embarrassing the public service?1

Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
13th February, 1802
William B. Giles
Giles, William B.

GALLATIN TO WILLIAM B. GILES, M.C.2

Sir,

I have examined in consequence of our conversation the articles of compact which make part of our territorial ordinance. The more I have reflected on the subject, the more forcibly have I been impressed with the importance of making some actual provision which may secure to the United States the proceeds of the sales of the Western lands, so far at least as the same may be necessary to discharge the public debt, for which they are solemnly pledged.

That part of the system of taxation adopted in the North-West Territory which relates to non-resident owners, undoubtedly affects the value of the public lands, and will eventually diminish the amount of sales. Yet, upon due consideration, there is but one provision which, in my opinion, would be inconsistent with the rights of the United States, as secured by the articles of compact. An attempt on the part of the Legislature of the Territory or new State to render lands sold under the laws of Congress, but for which no patent has yet issued, liable to be sold for non-payment of taxes, would interfere with the regulations adopted by Congress for the “primary disposal of the soil;” since, by these, the lands remained mortgaged to the United States until after complete payment of the purchase-money, and in case of failure thereof are directed to be sold.

But it does not appear to me that the United States have a right to annex new conditions, not implied in the articles of compact, limiting the legislative right of taxation of the Territory or Edition: current; Page: [77] new State. The limitations which they may rightfully impose are designated by the articles themselves, and these being unalterable, unless by common consent, all legislative powers which of right pertain to an independent State must be exercised at the discretion of the Legislature of the new State, unless limited by articles, or by the Constitution of the United States or of the new State.

Indeed, the United States have no greater right to annex new limitations than the individual State may have to infringe those of the original compact. And I cannot see that this position can in any degree be altered by the circumstance of admitting into the Union, in pursuance of the express provision of the articles, a State on an earlier day than that on which it must necessarily be admitted. The conditions inserted in the 4th article of compact in relation to that object, and which constitute all that Congress thought, at the time, necessary to reserve in order to secure to the Union their right to the soil, are: 1st, that the Legislatures of the districts or new States shall never interfere with the primary disposal of the soil by Congress; nor with any regulations which Congress may find necessary for securing the title in such soil to the bona fide purchasers; 2d, that no tax shall be imposed on the property of the United States; and, 3d, that in no case shall non-resident proprietors be taxed higher than residents. Farther than that Congress cannot demand, and it is on account of the second provision that the district State Legislature has not a right to tax, or at least to sell for non-payment of taxes, the lands on which, although sold, the United States still retain a lien.

It follows that if it be in a high degree, as I believe it is, the interest of the United States to obtain some further security against an injurious sale, under the Territorial or State laws, of lands sold by them to individuals, justice not less than policy requires that it should be obtained by common consent: and as it is not to be expected that the new State Legislature shall assent to any alteration in their system of taxation which may affect the revenue of the State, unless an equivalent is offered which it may be their interest to accept, I would submit the propriety of inserting in the Act of admission a clause or clauses to that Edition: current; Page: [78] effect, leaving it altogether optional in the State Convention or Legislature to accept or reject the same.

The equivalent to be offered must be such as shall not affect the value of the pledge which the public creditors now have by the appropriation of the lands, and as shall be fully acceptable to the State, and at the same time prove generally beneficial, either in a political or commercial view, to the Union at large. And it appears to me that the following provision would fully answer those several objects, viz.: that, provided that the Convention or Legislature of the State shall assent that each and every tract of land sold by Congress shall be exempt from any tax raised by or under the authority of the State, whether for State, county, or township, or any other purpose, for the term of ten years from and after the completion of the payment of the purchase-money on such tract to the United States;

The United States shall on their part agree:

1st. That the section No. 16 in every township sold or directed to be sold by the United States, shall be granted to the inhabitants of such township for the use of schools.

2d. That the six miles reservation, including the Salt Springs, commonly called the Scioto Salt Springs, shall be granted to the new State in trust for the people thereof, the same to be used under such regulations, terms, and conditions as the Legislature of the said State shall direct, provided that the said Legislature shall never sell nor lease the same for a longer term than years.

3d. That one-tenth part of the net proceeds of the lands hereafter sold by Congress shall, after deducting all expenses incident to the same, be applied towards laying out and making turnpike or other roads, first from the navigable waters emptying into the Atlantic to the Ohio, and afterwards continued through the new State; such roads to be laid out under the authority of Congress, with the consent of the several States through which the same shall pass. That such conditions instead of diminishing would greatly increase the value of the lands and of the pledge to the public creditors, and that they would be highly beneficial and acceptable to the people of the new State, cannot be doubted. And they are particularly recommended Edition: current; Page: [79] as among the most eligible which may be suggested, from the following considerations:

The provision for schools, exclusively of its intrinsic usefulness, made a part of the former ordinance of Congress for the sale of lands; the grant has actually been made in the sales to the Ohio Company and to J. C. Symmes: and although the ordinance be no longer in force, and such a grant be no part of the articles of compact, yet it has always been at least hoped by the inhabitants of the Territory that it would be generally extended.

The grant of the Scioto Salt Springs will at present be considered as the most valuable, and alone would, most probably, induce a compliance on the part of the new State with the condition proposed by Congress. And if it is considered that at least one-half of the future population of that district will draw their salt from that source, the propriety of preventing the monopoly of that article falling into the hands of any private individual can hardly be disputed.

The tenth part of the proceeds of the lands, as it will be co-extensive with the sales, will continue to be considered as an equivalent until the sales are completed, and after the present grant might have ceased to operate on the minds of the people of the new State. The roads will be as beneficial to the parts of the Atlantic States through which they are to pass, and nearly as much so to a considerable portion of the Union, as to the North-West Territory itself. But a due attention to the particular geographical situation of that Territory and of the adjacent western districts of the Atlantic States, will not fail to impress you strongly with the importance of that provision in a political point of view, so far as it will contribute towards cementing the bonds of the Union between those parts of the United States whose local interests have been considered as most dissimilar.

I have the honor to be, &c.
Edition: current; Page: [80]
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
June 18, 1802
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

The Bank of Pennsylvania applies for relief; they fall regularly one hundred thousand dollars per week in debt to the Bank of the United States, on account, as they say, of the deposits on account of government made in the last. For a sketch of their situation, compared with that of the Bank of United States, see the within paper. Their cashier is here, come on purpose for assistance. In addition to the effect of governmental deposits, it is evident that they have extended their discounts too far.

They say that these cannot at once be curtailed without ruining their customers, who consist chiefly of retail shopkeepers. Those for whom the Bank United States discounts are generally importers. There are but three means of affording them relief: 1st, write to Bank United States to spare them; 2d, deposit three hundred thousand dollars with them, or direct collector Philadelphia to deposit part of his public moneys with them; 3d, contract with them for part of Dutch debt, which, as we always pay considerably beforehand, will have the effect of a deposit.

I have proposed the last; but if we cannot agree on terms, should either of the two other modes be adopted?

It is proper to prevent the exclusive monopoly in hands of Bank United States, but it is not proper to displease them, because they place instantly our money where we may want it, from one end of the Union to the other, which is done on the tacit condition of our leaving our deposits with them, and because if we shall be hard run and want money, to them we must apply for a loan.1

Edition: current; Page: [81]
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
August 3, 1802
Monticello
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

* * * * * * * * * *

P.S.—What are the subjects on which the next session of Congress is to be employed? It is not too early to think of it. I know but of two: 1. The militia law. 2. The reformation of the civil list recommended to them at the last meeting, but not taken up through want of time and preparation; that preparation must be made by us. An accurate statement of the original amount and subsequent augmentations or diminutions of the public debt, to be continued annually, is an article on which we have conferred before. A similar statement of the annual expenses of the government for a certain period back, and to be repeated annually, is another wholesome necessity we should impose on ourselves and our successors. Our court calendar should be completed.

Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
August 9, 1802
Washington
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

I arrived here last week, and found much business to do, but principally mere details, with which I will not trouble you.

A second report has come to hand in relation to the Delaware piers, recommending Reedy Island in lieu of Marcus Hook. Finding three persons to have been appointed by order of the State of Delaware superintendents to erect piers at New Castle, I wrote to them for information in relation to that spot; and when that shall have been received will forward the whole to you.

The collector of Norfolk, instead of sending the detailed estimate of the repairs necessary for the hospital, transmitted one consisting only of four items, and amounting to near eleven thousand dollars. I wrote him again for details; but finding one of the items for six hundred dollars to be for that wing which is now occupied by the seamen, and which, by the representation Edition: current; Page: [82] of the collector, and General Dearborn’s statement, was so leaky that the sick were shifted from place to place whenever it rained, I thought those repairs might be immediately authorized without waiting for your official approbation, which I knew, under those circumstances, would not be refused.

I have written to you two official letters, one relating to the appointment of a light-house keeper, the other enclosing a set of regulations for the Mississippi trade. These I wish you would be good enough to examine as soon as convenient, and to return with your approbation or alterations, as I only wait for their return to despatch a circular, after which I will take an excursion to the hills.

I enclose the recommendation for Slade’s Creek, the only one which I have received, and, for your recollection, enclose also your letter to me of the 2d ult., as it relates to Jasper. I think Tooly may be appointed. General Dearborn has written to you that Lyman is gone to Europe, and has, I suppose, recommended Cross in his place for Newburyport, and he has also, I presume, written that Warren will not accept Marblehead.

For this last place W. R. Lee recommends Joseph Wilson; his letter I enclose. There are blank commissions left at the Secretary of State’s office which will be filled for both places as you may direct. I stopped just in time the commissions for Lyman and Warren and the Comptroller’s letters of dismission to Tyng and Gerry. Smith had, however, published in his papers the intended appointments; but that will not prevent the dismissed officers from continuing to act till the successors shall have been appointed. Crowninshield writes from Salem that Lee is an improper appointment; is that well grounded, or mere clannish prejudice? If the first, it is really extremely wrong in our friends to give such erroneous information, for who could be more strongly recommended than Lee? But Crowninshield recommends John Gibault, who to me, by an old personal friend, a clergyman in Salem, had been very strongly recommended, but on hearing the manner in which Lee was spoken of, did not even mention Gibault’s name. He would have certainly been better for Salem. C. now recommends him for Gloucester (the only port in Essex left untouched) instead of Tuck, whom he Edition: current; Page: [83] represents as worse than Tyng. I suppose General Dearborn has written all this, and have mentioned it only in order to say that under present information, and for the purpose of pacifying Salem, I would not think it wrong to appoint Wilson, Cross, and Gibault in lieu of Tyng, Gerry, Tuck, for Newburyport, Marblehead, Gloucester. Lee has got his Salem commission. Had I seen Crowninshield’s letter I would also have stopped it (as Lee was willing to take Marblehead), till you had had the whole subject once more before you.

Appearances are stormy at New York; the schism disgusts many Republicans, is fomented by the Federalists. Wood’s pamphlet has done and will do no inconsiderable injury. Everything seems placid in Pennsylvania, though the party makes a tolerable ingenious argument out of M.’s appointment. I apprehend we have lost some ground in New Jersey; it is said we have gained in Delaware. I doubt it.

With affection and respect, your obedient servant.
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
August 9, 1802
Monticello
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

Dear Sir,

We have received information that the Emperor of Morocco, having asked, and been refused, passports for two vessels loaded with wheat to go to Tripoli while blockaded by us, has ordered away our consul. This demand of his is so palpably against reason and the usage of nations as to bespeak a settled design of war against us, or a general determination to make common cause with any of the Barbary powers at war with us. I had just written him a friendly letter, to accompany one hundred gun-carriages asked by him of the former Administration; but the state of things is so changed that it will not be proper now to send these. We expect the Boston to return shortly: there will then remain there the Chesapeake, Constellation, and Adams, of which we had thought of recalling one, as two were deemed sufficient for Tripoli. It is now a question whether we should not leave the three there, and whether we Edition: current; Page: [84] should send another? And a very important question is, what is the nature of the orders which should be given to the commanders of our vessels in the Mediterranean with respect to Morocco? As circumstances look towards war, I have asked the opinions of the heads of Departments on the preceding questions, and will beg the favor of yours by return of post; the General Greene being probably detained to carry our orders, if you will take the trouble of calling at the Navy Office, you can see the letters of Simpson and Morris on this occasion. Accept assurances of my affectionate esteem and respect.

Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
August 14, 1802
Monticello
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

Dear Sir,

I have duly considered the regulations concerning the Mississippi trade enclosed in your letter of the 7th, and should have signed them but that a single fact, perhaps unknown to you, renders them impracticable without some alteration. Neither Spain nor France allows any foreign nation to keep a consul in their colonies in time of peace. In consequence of this, our consul at New Orleans has had his functions suspended by the governor, and peremptorily inhibited from the use of them. I think it even doubtful whether they would permit us to have there even an informal agent to exercise any public duty. We are endeavoring by negotiation to have New Orleans considered as so peculiarly situated with respect to us as to require an exemption from their general rule; but even if we obtain it, time will be requisite, and in the mean while some other provision should be made. It would be well, if possible, to make such provisions as could be executed at Fort Adams, and render the touching at New Orleans as indifferent as at any other foreign port. If this be impossible, we may try the substitution of an informal agent at New Orleans; but still some provision should be made for the case of his being disallowed. When you shall have made the necessary alterations I shall be ready to sign them.

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With respect to the fifth section, taking from coasting vessels employed in this trade the privilege of carrying any foreign articles, if yourself and Mr. Steele concurred in this, I should be content with it; but if you were of a different opinion, I should join you on the general principle of never imposing a restriction which can be done without.

The newspapers tell us Mr. Clarke is returned to New York or Philadelphia; this will delay Dr. Bache’s departure till we can inform him what he is to do there. I am in hopes Mr. Clarke will be able to arrange the details of the plan here, and to give such orders at New Orleans as will begin the establishment, and provide the field for Dr. Bache to act on. Will you be so good as to engage him to do this, and to give the necessary information to Dr. Bache? We have been unfortunate in the delays of this institution. Accept my constant and affectionate esteem.

Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
August 14, 1802
Monticello
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

Dear Sir,

In your letter of the 9th instant you propose the following arrangement:

Wilson vice Tyng, Newburyport; Cross vice Gerry, Marblehead; Gibault vice Tuck, Gloucester.

Which I imagine should be thus:

Cross vice Tyng, Newburyport; Wilson vice Gerry, Marblehead; Gibault vice Tuck, Gloucester.

I suppose this, because it is consonant with Lee’s letter enclosed by you with General Dearborn’s letter, and with what I recollect of former conferences, wherein Cross was placed in competition with Lyman for Newburyport. As Tyng and Gerry are to go out, this arrangement is approved; with respect to Gibault vice Tuck, my only hesitation arises from the proposition being new, and proceeding too, as far as I see, from a single person, Captain Crowninshield. I have been taught to have great confidence in him, yet we all know how frequent it is for the best persons to be warped as to personal character Edition: current; Page: [86] by views peculiar to themselves, and not agreeing with the general opinion. Of this he furnishes an instance in his opinion of Lee, whose recommendations are from many of the first characters in Massachusetts, and are so strong that could they be doubted, all confidence in any degree of recommendation must be given up. I think too that General Dearborn and Mr. Lincoln both concurred in considering Lee as entitled to our first favors. Still, if General Dearborn and yourself (for I suppose Mr. Smith not to be with you) are satisfied that Tuck ought to be removed on the ground of active opposition to the present government,—that is to say, if the fact be that he is actively opposed,—I approve of that change also, and think if it is to take place, it had better be at the same time with the others. Will you be so good as to communicate this to General Dearborn, as I am pressed in time by other business? The appointment of Henry Tooly to be surveyor at Slade’s Creek is approved. Accept assurances of my great esteem and respect.

Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
16th August, 1802
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

I received this morning your letter of the 9th instant on the subject of Morocco and the Barbary powers. The arrangement of the mail between this and Monticello is not favorable, since this answer to yours of the 9th cannot leave Washington before to-morrow evening, 17th. This I regret, as time on such occasions is precious. I will write on the supposition that you have received the account of the engagement of the Boston with the Tunisian flotilla, which, although we have not yet received any confirmation, carries, unfortunately, strong marks of its being true.

Our object must clearly be to put a speedy end to a contest which unavailingly wastes our resources, and which we cannot, for any considerable time, pursue with vigor without relinquishing the accomplishment of the great and beneficial objects we have in view. The most ample powers and orders if practicable Edition: current; Page: [87] to make peace, and a sufficient force to protect, and at least have time to withdraw, our Mediterranean trade, appear to me necessary. In respect to peace, taking it for granted that the instructions for Tripoli are sufficient, there remain Morocco and Tunis. However contrary to the usage of civilized nations the pretensions of Morocco may be, we cannot decide whether they are considered as unreasonable by a nation not within the pale of civilization, and the conduct of Morocco has certainly been far from unfriendly since our treaty with that country.

That treaty has been till now faithfully adhered to by the Emperor; he has shown no disposition to favor Algiers during our negotiations with that regency, and he even evinced forbearance during his blockade of a rebellious port.

Hence I am not without hopes that he may still be smoothed, and I would at all events send the gun-carriages which had been promised, in order that our negotiator may be able to give them if they shall be useful in bringing on a friendly arrangement; nor do I see any objection to sending the intended letter, properly modified to accord with the present circumstances.

And if Simpson can be fully trusted with a negotiation of that kind, I would also, out of the general Mediterranean appropriation, send twenty or thirty thousand dollars, which may be wanted either there or at Tunis to assist in accommodating differences. As to Tunis, I would not hesitate to promise an indemnity if McNeil shall have been the aggressor; in that supposition it is due in justice to them as much as it would to any other nation under similar circumstances, and to refuse it would be an inducement to Algiers to make a common cause, since there would be no security to any of the Barbary powers, whilst we had a frigate left in the Mediterranean, if we shall countenance an interference of that kind.

As to the force necessary there I feel no hesitation. The Secretary of the Navy had consulted me before I received your letter, and I advised that Captain Morris should be immediately instructed to retain the Boston in case hostilities should have commenced either with Tunis or Morocco, and that the General Greene should be sent with her full complement of men instead of going half manned. Mr. Smith has since informed me that that Edition: current; Page: [88] frigate, which was originally a merchant vessel, being a bad fighting vessel, he had substituted the New York to her. That change, of which I am no judge, was, I take for granted, necessary; the difference of expense between the two vessels is at the rate of twenty-five thousand dollars a year.

If there is war with Morocco, no less than four frigates are necessary, viz.: two at Tripoli, one at least in the vicinity of the gut to convoy our vessels in and out, and one off Sallee, to protect principally our Madeira and other island trade, if not to blockade effectually that port. I do not know whether Morocco has any other ports from which cruising vessels (not boats) can sail on the Atlantic.

If Tunis is also at war, five frigates will hardly be sufficient, as three frigates could not keep in constant blockade the ports of that regency and Tripoli. If we had two small ships instead of one of our large frigates, they could, I think, be more advantageously disposed; but we have no option, and it is clear that we cannot do less than to provide the five frigates under present circumstances, which will be effected if the Boston is kept and the New York sent; but I much apprehend that if we have to encounter Tunis, Tripoli, and Morocco, we will be compelled to give up the Mediterranean trade and be satisfied with defending the gut. Under that impression, I sincerely wish you could reconcile it to yourself to empower our negotiators to give, if necessary for peace, an annuity to Tripoli. I consider it no greater disgrace to pay them than Algiers. And indeed we share the dishonor of paying those barbarians with so many nations as powerful and interested as ourselves, that, in our present situation, I consider it a mere matter of calculation whether the purchase of peace is not cheaper than the expense of a war, which shall not even give us the free use of the Mediterranean trade.

It is also worth considering, that the capture of some of our merchantmen would, at all events, ultimately compel us to pay much more for their redemption than the value of an annual tribute. Eight years hence we shall, I trust, be able to assume a different tone; but our exertions at present consume the seeds of our greatness and retard to an indefinite time the epoch of our strength.

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As our present differences with Morocco have taken rise in the war with Tripoli, it is probable that peace with this power would terminate the hostilities with the Emperor. Might not that man’s pride be flattered with an intimation either that his offices would not be rejected if he chose to act as mediator, or that a wish to preserve harmony with him contributes in accelerating our endeavors to make a reasonable peace with Tripoli?

The application of the force in the Mediterranean towards Tunis and Morocco, in case of hostilities existing between either of those powers and ourselves, appears to me a matter of course.

The Executive cannot declare war, but if war is made, whether declared by Congress or by the enemy, the conduct must be the same, to protect our vessels, and to fight, take, and destroy the armed vessels of that enemy. The only case which admits of doubt is whether, in case of such war actually existing, we should confine our hostilities to their armed vessels or extend them by capture or blockade to the trade. The policy of adopting either course must depend on the power we may have to injure that commerce. How far are they commercial and liable to be affected by an attack upon that commerce? Something may also depend on the personal disposition of the sovereigns of the two countries. If there is hope of peace by a conciliating conduct, perhaps it might be better, whilst we offer it, to show our favorable disposition by only doing what is strictly self-defence, fighting their cruisers. I presume that in that particular respect some discretion must be left to our commanding officer.

Whatever shall be done, I think that no delay ought to take place. The New York will, it is said, be ready to sail in ten days, say a fortnight. She should not be detained, and the instructions should be sent by her.

I do not know that anything else occurs to my mind. You will, I hope, excuse the incorrectness of these hastily-digested ideas. I have only to add that our Mediterranean appropriation is on account of the twenty-four thousand dollars sent by the Adams to Cathcart, and of the heavy drafts made by Eaton, reduced to forty-four thousand dollars. The thirty thousand Edition: current; Page: [90] dollars destined for Algiers will be taken from another appropriation made especially for that object.

The naval appropriations will be sufficient to fit the New York, but we will be embarrassed if the Boston shall return before the meeting of Congress. That is, I believe, owing to miscalculation in the estimate of repairs, which, especially for the Constitution, have cost much more than had been estimated.

I remain, with attachment and respect, your obedient servant.

I had forgotten to say that Mr. Smith suggested the idea of joining Morris to Cathcart for the negotiation with Tripoli. That would have been desirable, in order to provide against accidents; and in the instructions which may be sent to treat with Morocco, and conditionally with Tunis, it would not be amiss that two persons should be named, either of whom might act.

Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
August 20, 1802
Washington
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

I have received your letter of the 14th inst., in which you justly correct my transposition of Newburyport and Marblehead. General Dearborn approves of Tuck’s removal, but as there is no inconvenience in waiting a week longer, and we have been rather unfortunate in selecting individuals who could not or would not accept, I have concluded to wait for your answer to this letter before I would send any of the three commissions to those Essex ports. I have made a report in the case of Head; if you approve, a commission will be filled with the name of such person as General Dearborn will recommend, it being in his own vicinity, and all those commissions may then go together. There is another case which does not admit of delay: it is the collectorship of Petersburg. Heath has received his letter of dismission, and, Mr. Page not accepting, we have no collector; nor is it very clear how far the surveyor, of whom I know nothing, can act if Heath has ceased his functions.

Since my last you will have heard that Morocco has declared Edition: current; Page: [91] war. By the letters which Robert Smith has shown me, it appears that their force consists, first and principally, of row-boats, which, I understand, never go out of sight of the coast; secondly, of half-galleys at Tetuan, which, as well as Tangier, is within the straits; thirdly, of frigates at Rhabat, the modern name of Sallee, and on the Atlantic. This seems to require three frigates, one to convoy our vessels through the gut, by alternately sailing from Cadiz to Malaga, which will be sufficient protection against the boats; one to blockade Tetuan, without which the half-galleys will sail through the Mediterranean beyond Malaga; and a third to block up Rhabat alias Sallee. I do not know that the Moors have any other ports on the Mediterranean but Tangier and Tetuan; but I am confident that they have some others on the Atlantic, perhaps none north, but at least one south, of Sallee, the same which the Emperor kept blockaded, but the name of which I forget (Magadura, I believe). I mention this to show the necessity of peace; we never had calculated on a war with Morocco, which affects not only our Mediterranean, but also our Madeira and Atlantic trade.

If Tunis has made war, our situation will be still worse; yet, as they are a commercial people, there is less danger. On reading the Morocco treaty, I find that captives are not to be treated as slaves, that an exchange is provided for, and that the balance is to be paid by the losing party at one hundred dollars per head; the whole is arranged like the rules by which gamesters agree to play; and it is presumed that the Emperor wants money.

This, however, must be attended to in the instructions to our officers; we must try to make prisoners; if we win, his Majesty may be disposed to cease playing. If you attend to the latter part of the 3d Article of the same treaty, you will, I think, find the reason which he may allege in support of his pretensions. Yet the doctrine of blockade (which is not made an exception in that treaty to the general rule laid down in the 3d Article) is not unknown to the Emperor, since he has practised upon it; perhaps, however, their understanding was only that no foreign nation had a right to assist rebels. I can add nothing but to repeat my wishes for peace, and express my anxiety that no Edition: current; Page: [92] delay may take place in the measures adopted at the present moment. Had the instructions to Cathcart arrived before Morocco had declared war, we should be at present at peace with both.

With respect and attachment, your obedient servant.

I wish much to be out of this city at this time, but will wait until the result of your determination in that business is ascertained.

Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
August 20, 1802
Monticello
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

Dear Sir,

Your favors of the 16th and 17th were received the last night; the contents of the latter shall now be distinctly noted.

Commissioner of bankruptcy at Poughkeepsie. I have proposed a general arrangement to the Secretary of State which may save the necessity of appointments over the whole face of every State, ninety-nine out of one hundred of which would never be called on to act, and would yet give opportunities of indulging favoritism by enlarging the field of selection. The answer not yet received.

Mr. Nourse’s certificate retained for investigation.

The successor to Claud Thomson, collector of Brunswick, Georgia. I will sign the commission when received from you; the papers are returned.

Letters respecting unauthorized advances by our consuls retained, and shall be returned, after a conference with Mr. Madison, by next post.

Surveyor of Portsmouth. I observe Penhallow’s recommendation is the effect of solicitation, as is evident by so many signatures to one formula. Langdon and Whipple’s opinions in favor of Wentworth, the facts they mention, General Dearborn’s preference of him, and yours, as I infer, induce me to prefer him also; I am, therefore, ready to sign the commission. I retain the recommendations.

Edition: current; Page: [93]

Wood’s commission as register of the land office at Marietta I have signed, and will carry on to be signed by Mr. Madison and forwarded. I retain the recommendation.

Hiller’s resignation returned.

Mr. Short will be here in three days. I will consult with him about the books to be bought in Paris.

On Mr. Jones’s return I will thank you to think again of the letters in the case of Mr. Short and E. Randolph.

I have not heard from Mr. Page, and should much wonder at his declining the appointment at Petersburg. Should he do so, there can be no question as to the substitute. Dr. Shore’s appointment would be more locally popular, and very much so generally. He has every right to it.

I have received the address of two-thirds of the merchants of Newburyport on the subject of Tyng’s removal, and praying a reconsideration. It is impudently malignant. I shall not notice it.

That Louisiana is to be possessed by France is probable; that any man in America has undoubted authority that it will be so I do not think.

The last post brings me the opinions of the Secretaries at War and of the Navy, as well as yours, on our Barbary affairs. I had before asked and received that of the Secretary of State; but as his did not go to all the points arising out of the others, and explanations by letter might lose us a post or two, I shall immediately on closing my mail for this day’s post set out to Mr. Madison’s, so that the next post shall carry definitive arrangements to Washington, where it will arrive on Tuesday (24th) at 8 p.m. The movements of our post do not seem to be understood with you: they are as follows:

Fridays and Tuesdays, at 7 p.m. leaves Washington. Sundays and Thursdays, at noon arrives at Milton. Mondays and Fridays, at 1 p.m. leaves Milton. Tuesdays and Saturdays, at 8 p.m. arrives at Washington. Accept assurances of my affectionate esteem and respect.

Edition: current; Page: [94]
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
August 23, 1802
Monticello
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

Dear Sir,

Your three letters of August 18, 19, and 20 are received. I now return you the Mississippi regulations signed. I should think the modification you propose, of inserting “vice-consul or other authorized agent,” a necessary one. It appears proper to remove Head, of Waldoborough, as his failure, after such warning, to render his accounts is a sure symptom that he is using the public money, and I shall be ready to sign a commission for anybody recommended by General Dearborn. I have never heard a word from Mr. Page of his non-acceptance, nor, I imagine, have you, as you do not say so. The fact is too much to be apprehended from his letters to Dr. Tucker, mentioned by you. Should he decline, I believe there can be no competition with Dr. John Shore for the office, for whom, therefore, a commission may be made out; there has been a time when he would have accepted it, and I am in hopes he will now.

I had written yesterday to Mr. Smith, after a conference with Mr. Madison on the measures to be pursued with respect to the Barbary powers in the state of things as supposed to exist at the date of your letter of August 16. The receipt of another letter from him, after mine of yesterday had gone to the post-office, informs me of the declaration of war by the Emperor of Morocco. I have this day written a second letter to Mr. Smith, making the alterations in the former, which are rendered necessary by this circumstance, and particularly approving of his proposition to send another frigate in addition to the New York. But for particulars I must refer you to those letters, which I have asked him to communicate to yourself and General Dearborn. I wish much to hear that you have left the Federal city, as I think the danger of remaining there great in this season; nothing else would prevent my going there now, as the transaction of the public business here is infinitely more laborious than it would be there, and leaves it in my power to be of little use to my private matters. Accept assurances of my affectionate esteem and respect.

Edition: current; Page: [95]
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
August 30, 1802
Monticello
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

Dear Sir,

Yours of the 27th was received yesterday; mine of the 20th had informed you that I approved of Mr. Wentworth on the recommendations of Messrs. Langdon and Whipple, and that of the 24th gave you the name of John Shore as successor to Heath; but I write by this post to Mr. Madison to order his commission to be filled up and forwarded. I must take time to inquire for a good successor for Reynolds. The commission for Bloodgood for Albany is approved, the application for it left to yourself, as you are on the spot. I enclose for your perusal a petition from the merchants of Marblehead in favor of Gerry; before receiving it I had written to his brother that a second appointment had rendered it impossible to do anything, which is my view of the case; return the petition if you please. I enclose you a letter from Maury and Hampton, giving reason to apprehend an attempt at smuggling some French negroes into our country; although this will, of course, be met by the several State authorities, yet I think it would be proper and indeed incumbent on us that you should write a circular letter to the custom-house officers to be on the alter to detect and prevent such an attempt to smuggle in these unfortunate creatures. I sincerely lament your stay at Washington, and fear that even if you have been able to leave it, it is only to carry the seeds of serious illness elsewhere. Long experience and observation have taught me to fly the tide-water in August and September; no other considerations would keep me from Washington in the present state of affairs, but I know that to go there to transact them would shortly put it out of my power to transact them at all. I hope my bodings of your situation will prove false, and that this, though directed, as you desire, to Washington, will find you at New York in health. Accept my affectionate esteem and respect.

Edition: current; Page: [96]
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
September 8, 1802
Monticello
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

Dear Sir,

I have received from Delaware another application on the subject of the piers, &c., to be erected in their river. It is on behalf of Wilmington, which prays to have its claim for these things taken into consideration with others, and for this purpose that the corporation be authorized to have a report made of their harbor, creek, &c. The style of the corporation is the Burgesses and Assistants of the Borough of Wilmington. I suppose it proper to hear all claims on this subject and adopt what is best. The date of the letter to me is of August 25, and, as you have passed through Wilmington since, possibly you may have received the same application and taken order in it.

On receiving authentic information that the Emperor of Morocco had recalled our consul and allowed six months for explanation, I have countermanded the sailing of the John Adams. Information from Tunis gives us to believe that that power was in perfect good dispositions towards us. We hear nothing authentic of the affair of the Boston, but hope, if true, it will not occasion a breach. Tunis is soliciting a peace for Tripoli, by authority from its Bey, so that I trust all will be smoothed in that quarter; a little money must be given to Morocco. Accept my friendly salutations and respect.

Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
9th September, 1802
New York
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

I have been here four days, and have felt the effects of my late stay in Washington; I am now recovered, but lament that the situation of that place should be an impediment to that constant superintendence which is so essentially necessary in the Treasury Department. On the 20th instant I intend Edition: current; Page: [97] leaving this place with my family, and expect to be at the seat of government before the end of the month.

In my own Department I have nothing of any importance to communicate. The commissions to Cross and to Wilson for Newburyport and Marblehead have been forwarded. Mr. Brent, of the Department of State, has been instructed to forward that to John Shore for Petersburg. That for Gibault vice Tuck for Gloucester I have enclosed in a private letter to Captain Crowninshield, with a request that he should make positive inquiries as to the propriety of the appointment and removal, and the certainty of Gibault accepting, and, in case of any impediment, that he should return the new commission to me to be cancelled, and keep the matter, in that case, in silence. I have yet no information for Oswego and Brunswick (Georgia), and wait for your instructions in relation to Yorktown (Virginia). When I transmitted the recommendation for Wentworth as surveyor of Portsmouth (New Hampshire), I also sent letters from Messrs. Whipple and Langdon making recommendations for master and mate of the revenue cutter there. The cutter is ready, and the commissions, which are ready signed and in my possession, should be transmitted. Will you be pleased to signify your approbation, and to send me the names and Christian names of the two persons recommended, as I have preserved no copy?

I was sorry to find that you had approved the sending of another frigate (the John Adams), as I do not believe that it was necessary, and the appropriations for that object were exhausted. In recommending the sending the New York, I went as far as those appropriations would permit, and did not know that application had been made to you for another until after it was done and the mail closed. Edward Livingston has not yet rendered his account of bonds put in suit, and is gone to Virginia; I continue very uneasy on that account.

I wrote to Colonel Lee, the new collector of Salem, who had recommended Wilson as successor of Gerry, and whose name (Wilson) appears to the petition in favor of Gerry, that his removal was indispensable. The petition is returned.

I enclose a letter from Colonel Hay, of Vermont, but have Edition: current; Page: [98] informed his friends here that the French would not admit any consuls in their West India colonies.

I am, with great respect and attachment, your obedient servant.

Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
September 13, 1802
Monticello
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

Dear Sir,

On learning the death of Wm. Reynolds, collector of York, and that Mr. Griffin, his deputy, would not act at all, I made immediate inquiries for a proper successor, and learn that William Carey, of the same place, is the best person we can appoint. I this day desire Mr. Madison to order a commission. I have done this because of the urgency of the case, of your distance, and my presence on the spot.

I have always forgotten to ask of you a general idea of the effect of the peace on our revenues so far as we have gone. It is of the utmost importance, if these diminish, to diminish our expenses; this may be done in the Naval Department. I wish it were possible to increase the impost on any articles affecting the rich chiefly, to the amount of the sugar tax, so that we might relinquish that at the next session. But this must depend on our receipts keeping up. As to the tea and coffee tax, the people do not regard it. The next tax which an increase of revenue should enable us to suppress should be the salt tax, perhaps; indeed, the production of that article at home is already undermining that tax.

I have desired the offices to forward me nothing to this place after the mail which leaves Washington on the 24th instant. Accept my affectionate salutations.

Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
September 17, 1802
Monticello
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

Dear Sir,

Yours of the 9th came to hand yesterday only, so that it has missed a post somewhere. I thought that in my Edition: current; Page: [99] letter of August 20, answering yours of August 17, I had answered every point distinctly; but I find on recurring to it that the recommendations of Messrs. Langdon and Whipple for Hoply Yeaton to be master and Benjamin Gunnison first mate of the revenue cutter in New Hampshire, though intended to have been approved, were omitted. I now approve of them.

Mine of the 8th will have informed you that I had countermanded the sailing of the John Adams on an invitation of the Emperor of Morocco to Simpson to remain. But I have yesterday received a letter from Mr. R. Smith strongly dissuading that countermand and pressing for her departure. I do not answer finally by this post, because Mr. Madison is to be with me to-morrow, and we will consider the subject on yours and Mr. Smith’s letters. I had thought the thing so plain on general grounds that I had asked no advice on it, but I have now written to General Dearborn for his opinion. I confess I see no argument for six frigates which does not go to twelve.

I shall be at Washington on the last day of this, or first of the next month.

Accept my affectionate salutations and respect.
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
September 20, 1802
Monticello
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

Dear Sir,

In my last I informed you I should have an opportunity of getting Mr. Madison’s opinion on the expediency of the sailing of the John Adams. I have done so, communicating to him yours and Mr. Smith’s letters on the subject. The latter having informed us that two months’ pay were already advanced to the men, and her stores provided, the consideration of a defective appropriation was already got over, and we were committed in it, and the remaining expenses of the voyage were thought so small as to be overweighed by the advantages which may result from her going; to this opinion I have acceded, though not with entire satisfaction, I confess; perhaps I build too much on the expectation of a state of peace with Morocco Edition: current; Page: [100] and Tunis; perhaps I see too strongly the embarrassment of the defective appropriation. Would it be possible to put the extra advances on the footing of a debt incurred, the arrearages of which might be covered by a future appropriation? Should the John Adams find us at peace with all the Barbary powers except Tripoli, I have referred to Mr. Smith to recall all the frigates, except two, before winter, or to let the question lie till we get together. I expect to set out for Washington this day sennight, and to be there on the last day of the month; but I may be one, two, or three days later. Mr. Madison will not be there so soon.

Accept my affectionate salutations.
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
September 21, 1802
New York
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

I intend leaving this city this evening, and expect to meet you at Washington the last of this month. As I take my family along, we will travel but slowly.

I should suppose that your intention to countermand the sailing of the Adams came too late; both ships, indeed, were prepared for sea in a much shorter time than would have been expected.

Your letter informing of the favorable aspect in the Mediterranean gave me true satisfaction; it will enable us to diminish our naval expenditures, but to what extent must be left to a future discussion, and will rest on the prospect of our revenue. Of this it is very difficult to form, as yet, a correct idea; it has diminished, and, in my opinion, will experience a greater decrease next year; but our data are not sufficient to draw positive inferences. Before the meeting of Congress we will have a comparative view of imports and exports for the year ending 30th of this month, which will give us, on the whole, the best account we can prepare.

I can ascertain with precision how much the importation has diminished; but although we can have also an account of exports for the same period, the greatest part of them arises from the Edition: current; Page: [101] importations of the preceding year, and the difficulty lies in judging of the quantity of the importations destined for exportation, and which will be exported generally next year. Upon the whole, all I can yet say is that we cannot think for this year of giving up any taxes, and that we must reduce our expenses (naval, military, and foreign) to the estimates we had made, and on which rested the propriety of the repeal of the internal taxes.

Mr. Christie, late member of Congress for Maryland, has just arrived from London, and brought despatches from Mr. King, which he put in the post-office; also the ratification of the convention. Mr. King told him he intended asking to be recalled next year.

I enclose a letter from Mr. Symmes. How shall we ascertain the true conduct of Governor St. Clair? Nothing of the decision in his case has been communicated to the parties. This will not be considered by them as perfectly just.

My health is not yet perfectly good. I hope travelling and the winter will restore it; but I must do as much work in the same time as I did last fall.

Hoping to have soon the pleasure of seeing you, I remain, with sincere respect and attachment, your obedient servant.

Mr. Burr has communicated to me a letter which he wrote to Governor Bloomfield, in which he makes an explicit denial of the charges and assertions of his having either intrigued with the Federal party or in any other way attempted during the late election or balloting to counteract your election. That transaction—I mean the attack on Mr. B. by Cheetham—has deeply injured the Republican cause in this State.

Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
October 7, 1802
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

Th. J. to Mr. Gallatin.

The application of the Bank of Baltimore is of great importance. The consideration is very weighty that it is held by Edition: current; Page: [102] citizens, while the stock of the United States Bank is held in so great a proportion by foreigners. Were the Bank of the United States to swallow up the others and monopolize the whole banking business of the United States, which the demands we furnish them with tend shortly to favor, we might, on a misunderstanding with a foreign power, be immensely embarrassed by any disaffection in that bank. It is certainly for the public good to keep all the banks competitors for our favors by a judicious distribution of them, and thus to engage the individuals who belong to them in the support of the reformed order of things, or at least in an acquiescence under it. I suppose that on the condition of participating in the deposits the banks would be willing to make such communications of their operations and the state of their affairs as might satisfy the Secretary of the Treasury of their stability. It is recommended to Mr. Gallatin to leave such an opening in his answer to this letter, as to leave us free to do hereafter what shall be advisable on a broad view of all the banks in the different parts of the Union.

P.S.—If your information as to the intemperance of Thomson be not completely satisfactory, a Mr. Sibbald, of that State, of whom I made some inquiry, says he can procure good information from a person in town.

Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
October 26, 1802
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

I returned Mr. Dupont’s letter. We do not pay in Europe any part of the interest on our domestic debt, which is that alluded to by him as partly held by French stockholders. The Bank of the United States, for a majority of the foreign stockholders who have made that institution their attorneys, and the special attorneys of the others, remit the quarterly interest to England and Holland, where the stockholders have wished it to be paid. If the French stockholders will make Mr. Dupont’s house their agents, the business may Edition: current; Page: [103] be transacted by him as he wishes; but we have nothing to do with it. His error arises from his having supposed that the remittances for domestic interest to Holland were made by government; it is only the interest and principal of our foreign debt which government remits, and that is exclusively held in Holland.

On the subject of the Comptroller, on which I feel much interested, I have made up my opinion, after a fuller examination of his duties than I had yet bestowed on it, that a certain degree of legal knowledge is the most essential qualification. As it is difficult to find any one man in whom the several requisites are united, it would be preferable to obtain a sound lawyer, or at least a man of perfectly sound judgment and possessed of legal information (who had at least read law), and who had only a general idea of accounts, than a perfect accountant without law knowledge. Not only the general nature of the duties of that office leads me to that conclusion, but it is also impressed with considerable force by the consideration that I am not a lawyer. The law questions which arise in the Treasury (exclusively of those relating to the settlement of accounts) are numerous: during the Comptroller’s absence, nearly one-half of my time is occupied by questions directed to me by collectors and which I would refer to him if he was present, or directed to him and which his clerks refer to me during his absence. If we have a Comptroller who is not a lawyer, it will considerably increase my labor, or rather prevent its being applied in the most proper manner, and the business will not be so well done, as I will be compelled to decide on a much greater number of law questions.

The other two important requisites for a Comptroller are that he should possess method and great industry: without the first the last would be of no avail, and to fill well his duties he cannot be too laborious. Another essential point is that he should write, if not with elegance, at least with precision and great facility, for his correspondence is very extensive, and consists principally of decisions, instructions, and explanations. I cannot write even a decent letter without great labor; and that is another reason why I desire that the Comptroller may be able Edition: current; Page: [104] to write himself; for the duties of the two offices are so blended in what relates to the collection of the impost, that a great part of the correspondence with collectors may fall either on the one or the other, as may be agreed on between them.

But I repeat, that legal knowledge and a sound judgment are the most important qualifications. Who will answer the description I do not know, unless we had a personal knowledge of men: I am afraid of the eastward, both on account of their species of law knowledge, on which I could not, generally speaking, place much greater confidence than on my own judgment, and because their style of writing is not as classical and correct as it ought to be. Mr. Madison has mentioned Judge Duval, of whom I never heard anything but favorable, but whom I do not sufficiently know justly to appreciate his rate. Who was that comptroller of New York whom De Witt Clinton once proposed for naval officer, intending that Bailey should have his office? He spoke highly of him; but I recollect neither his name nor profession. I enclose two recommendations for Mr. Kuhn, also a letter from Worthington which induces a belief that politics are settling the right way in the North-West Territory.

With sincere respect and attachment, your obedient servant.

Impost for last quarter:—Payments in Treasury, about three million four hundred thousand dollars, or 200,000 dollars more than in any preceding quarter. See the enclosed.

Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
December, 1802
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

NOTES ON PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE.

Dear Sir,

I hope that your Administration will afford but few materials to historians; and we have already a favorable symptom, in the difficulty under which we are to collect materials for a message. The things you want to be done are very few, and seem confined to the following points:

Edition: current; Page: [105]

1st. Countervailing duties, if necessary.—To this there can be no objection; but might not the advantage resulting from a mutual abolition of duties between Great Britain and America be placed on more positive ground than the shape in which it stands, “whether this would produce a due equality is a subject,” &c., and does not the conduct of Great Britain on that occasion deserve a freer style of approbation?

2d. Foreign seamen deserting.—I had rather omit this altogether. It does not seem of sufficient importance: the authority, though derived from the general commercial power vested in Congress, may be considered as rather constructive than positive: its exercise will be unpopular as was that given to the French by the treaty, and which was accordingly defeated, whenever practicable, by placing the most rigid literal construction on the article of the treaty. See case of Captain Barré of the Perdrix, Dallas’s Reports.

3d. Naval estimates.—Under which head three objects seem to be recommended:

1st. A conditional authority in the Executive to increase the force.

2d. Purchase or building small vessels. Both of which are unexceptionable.

3d. Authority for our vessels to act offensively in case of war declared or waged by other Barbary powers. I do not and never did believe that it was necessary to obtain a legislative sanction in the last case: whenever war does exist, whether by the declaration of the United States or by the declaration or act of a foreign nation, I think that the Executive has a right, and is in duty bound, to apply the public force which he may have the means legally to employ, in the most effective manner to annoy the enemy. If the instructions given in May or June, 1801, by the Navy Department to the commander of the Mediterranean squadron shall be examined, it will be found that they were drawn in conformity to that doctrine; and that was the result of a long Cabinet discussion on that very ground. It is true that the message of last year adopted a different construction of the Constitution; but how that took place I do not recollect. The instructions given to the commanders to release the crews Edition: current; Page: [106] of captured vessels were merely because we did not know what to do with them; and there was some hesitation whether the instructions should not be to give them up to the Neapolitans. What have been the instructions given in relation to Morocco, in case war had been found to exist?

4th. Dry-dock.—I am in toto against this recommendation: 1st, because so long as the Mediterranean war lasts we will not have any money to spare for the navy; and, 2d, because if dry-docks are necessary, so long as we have six navy-yards, it seems to me that a general recommendation would be sufficient, leaving the Legislature free either to designate the place or to trust the Executive with the selection. It is highly probable that Congress will adopt the last mode if the recommendation is general, and that they will designate another place if this shall be specially recommended. At all events, I would strike out the word “singular” preceding “advantage,” and modify the expressions of the whole paragraph, so as to prevent any possible attack on the ground of partiality to the city. The moment the Potomack is mentioned, political enemies, and the enemies of this place, will unite in representing the plan of a dry-dock as proposed for the purpose of obtaining a navigable canal from that river to the Eastern branch. Quere, by the by, whether the charter of the Potomack Company would permit taking water above the little falls?

5th. Seamen discharged abroad.—Should not the recommendation to legislate be more strongly expressed, and the fact of the expense having been partly defrayed from the contingent fund simply stated? omitting the words “thought to come,” &c., which seem to imply doubt.

6th. Settlement of the Mississippi Territory, instead of being connected only with the Choctaw boundary, depends almost entirely on the Georgia cession and legislative ratification, which, being now binding on Congress, positively enjoins the opening of a land office for the purpose of raising the money due to Georgia; this, perhaps, will preclude the idea of a settlement condition; but, after having read over the articles of agreement with that State, the President will probably be induced to remodel that part of the message. Some notice may be taken of Edition: current; Page: [107] the provision contemplated for satisfying former claims; also for quieting settlers under Spanish titles posterior to the treaty of 1795. We expect on that subject communications from Governor Claiborne, to whom the commissioners have written officially.

7th. Militia Law seems almost a matter of course. What are the defects of the present system? and could any specific improvement be recommended? I think that the important point is to provide that the Middle and Southern States militia should have arms as well as the Eastern. Shall it be done by the public purchasing the arms and selling them, or by rendering it penal, as well to attend without arms, as not to attend on review days?

8th. Missouri seems, as it contemplates an expedition out of our own territory, to be a proper object for a confidential message. I feel warmly interested in this plan, and will suggest the propriety that General Dearborn should write immediately to procure “Vancouver’s Survey,” one copy of which, the only one I believe in America, is advertised by F. Nichols, No. 70 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia. Price, with all the charts, fifty-five dollars.

The other parts of the message are only statements of facts, on which (except in relation to finances) only two points have struck me: 1st. Louisiana, which might perhaps be reserved for the confidential message; but if left in this, I had rather place the taking possession by the French on hypothetical grounds, saying after the word “war,” “will, if it shall be carried into effect, make a change,” &c.; but this being the most delicate part of the speech will, I presume, be the subject of a Cabinet consultation. 2d. Indians, who, it seems to me, occupy too much space in the message in proportion to the importance of the subject.

The Wabash Salt Springs might be omitted; it is a topic which awakens the objections to the salt tax. On the other hand, it might be well once more to remind Congress that the trading-houses law will expire on the 4th of March.

Is not the admission of the new State in the Union a subject of sufficient importance to be inserted in the message if official information be received?

Edition: current; Page: [108]

FINANCES.

1st. Ratio of increase greater than any former year.—Probable, but not certain.

2d. Only four and a half million dollars in Treasury on 30th September, 1802.

3d. To pay from the Treasury,—say within one year,—or perhaps add those words after the words “five millions of principal.”

4th. To expenses contemplated in Treasury statement, &c.—The expenses then contemplated were those then authorized by law before the reduction of establishments, and before the repeal of the internal duties; it should be, “contemplated last year by Congress.”

5th. Reduce offices, &c.—I doubt the propriety of repeating this year this admonition. Mint, Commissioner of Loans, and Marines are the only possible objects. Others to as great an amount will probably soon take place.

6th. I have already discontinued, &c.—Whenever the collection was closed, the offices have ceased by law, without any act of the President. It would be better to speak in general terms, saying that some of the offices, &c., have already been discontinued, in others they will, &c., but in a few, &c.

7th. We have had no occasion, &c.—I had rather say, “It has not yet been thought necessary,” &c.

8th. Shall be faithfully applied.—I would like the introduction of the words, “in conformity to the provision of the law of last session,” or any other allusion to that law showing in a striking point of view the Federal misrepresentation of that law.

9th. The statement to be made by the Commissioners of the Sinking Fund is directed to be made annually by law. Two of that board, the Vice-President and Chief Justice, are officers independent of the President. Perhaps the President should not say that such statement will be laid before Congress.

10th. Estimates.—The war estimate, spoken of in another part of the message, makes part of the general estimates for the year, and they are always sent all together, civil, foreign intercourse, military, naval, and miscellaneous. The other part of Edition: current; Page: [109] the message says that the military estimate is now laid before Congress, which is not correct.

Note.—Under that head, “War estimate,” one item has been introduced which requires a specific authority, viz., twenty thousand dollars for holding treaties.

I enclose a rough sketch of the expenses and receipts for the year ending 30th September, 1802. It is not yet correct, for want of some accounts, which will be obtained within eight or ten days, but it is sufficiently so for any general conclusions.

The President’s directions to make free remarks have been very freely followed.

As to style I am a bad judge, but I do not like, in the first paragraph, the idea of limiting the quantum of thankfulness due to the Supreme Being; and there is also, it seems, too much said of the Indians in the enumeration of our blessings in the next sentence.

With sincere respect and attachment, your obedient servant.

Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
Mr. Madison
Mr. Madison

MR. GALLATIN TO MR. MADISON.1

Dear Sir,

I send the letter, which is longer than I expected, and of which I have no copy. I will therefore want it sent again to me when you shall have done with it, in order that I may transcribe it.

The classes of American citizens in whose favor we should assume payment of French debts seem to be,—

1st. Those whose property shall have been taken in Europe or the West Indies, or elsewhere, by or under the authority of the French government, without the consent of the parties.

2dly. Those who shall have made contracts for supplies with the government.

3dly. Those captured at sea, whom the French government may think proper to admit to have been illegally captured. If there is any danger that those captures, which should have been restored by virtue of the convention (not being ultimately condemned), shall not be paid for, they should, of course, be placed Edition: current; Page: [110] in the first rank. Debts due to American citizens who were agents of the French government should be expressly excepted,—Swan, for instance.

Perhaps the French government may insist on our paying Beaumarchais, as they have interested themselves in his favor. Quere, whether that should be agreed on?

If West Florida can alone be purchased, it is certainly worth attending to; but in that case making the river Iberville the boundary, as it was made in the treaty of 1762, between France and England, the article should be so worded as to give us the whole channel of that river, or, at least, to permit us to open it, so as to render it navigable in all seasons. At present the bed is thirty feet above low-water mark for fifteen miles from the Mississippi to Amite River, but I have no doubt that a very small opening would be widened and deepened afterwards by the river. There is no obstruction, the whole being level, and mud or sand. But supposing even a portage there, the advantage of American houses settled in an American port would soon give a preference over New Orleans to that port. The seaport may be perhaps on the main between Pearl and Pascagoula Rivers, but certainly on that island called “Ship Island,” as through the passage between that and the next island there are more than twenty feet water, and good anchorage close to the shore which faces the main. A frigate of thirty-six guns was seen there by E. Jones (the first clerk in my office, who is brother of our late consul at New Orleans, and lived ten years with him in West Florida), and it is the reason of its bearing that name. Judge Bay says that there is another island, called Deer Island, close to the entrance of Lake Pontchartrain, which affords the same advantages. That Jones disbelieves, but the other is certain; and as it is about half-way between Mobile and the lake, as the whole navigation between those two places is locked in by the islands, and safe even for open boats and canoes, that island would become the proper seaport for both rivers, Mississippi and Mobile; for you can bring but nine feet up Mobile Bay, seven feet over the bar of Lake Pontchartrain, and fifteen over the bar at the mouth of the Mississippi. It results from all that, that the possession of West Florida, even without New Orleans Island, is extremely Edition: current; Page: [111] important, and that if it can be obtained, it ought expressly to include all the islands within twenty leagues, or such distance as to include those which are marked on the map.

Please to send me the paper which I gave you yesterday.

Yours.
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
January 13, 1803
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

You have not returned any answer in the case of Colonel Worthington’s resignation. He recommends Jesse Spencer, of Chillicothe, as a proper successor for the place of register of the land office.

I enclose a recommendation for keeper of the light-house at Old Point Comfort.

The enclosed letter from the collector of Michilimackinac (which you will be good enough to return) deserves consideration. It will not do to run the risk of an Indian war, and yet if it shall be once known that we dare not enforce the collection law, it will be perpetually evaded. Perhaps the best mode will be at first to confine the operation of the law to Michilimackinac and the entrance of Lake Michigan, which commands the whole trade to the Indians south of the lake and to the Mississippi and Missouri countries, and not to attempt doing anything at the Falls and Strait of St. Mary, which forms the entrance into Lake Superior, until it shall be found convenient to have a military post there, at which time a surveyor of the revenue may also be appointed, and the law carried into effect, as I believe, without difficulty. It must be, however, observed that, there being no positive reservation or grant to the United States along the Strait of St. Mary or anywhere in Lake Superior, made by the Indians in the Greenville Treaty, they may object to the establishment of either a military post or a revenue officer.

I have read Mr. Lincoln’s observations, and cannot distinguish the difference between a power to acquire territory for the United States and the power to extend by treaty the territory of the United States; yet he contends that the first is unconstitutional, Edition: current; Page: [112] supposes that we may acquire East Louisiana and West Florida by annexing them to the Mississippi Territory. Nor do I think his other idea, that of annexation to a State, that, for instance, of East Florida to Georgia, as proposed by him, to stand on a better foundation. If the acquisition of territory is not warranted by the Constitution, it is not more legal to acquire for one State than for the United States; if the Legislature and Executive established by the Constitution are not the proper organs for the acquirement of new territory for the use of the Union, still less can they be so for the acquirement of new territory for the use of one State; if they have no power to acquire territory, it is because the Constitution has confined its views to the then existing territory of the Union, and that excludes a possibility of enlargement of one State as well as that of territory common to the United States. As to the danger resulting from the exercise of such power, it is as great on his plan as on the other. What could, on his construction, prevent the President and the Senate by treaty annexing Cuba to Massachusetts, or Bengal to Rhode Island, if ever the acquirement of colonies shall become a favorite object with governments, and colonies shall be acquired?

But does any constitutional objection really exist?

The 3d Section of the 4th Article of the Constitution provides:

1st. That new States may be admitted by Congress into this Union.

2d. That Congress shall have power to dispose of and make all needful rules and regulations respecting the territory or other property belonging to the United States.

Mr. Lincoln, in order to support his objections, is compelled to suppose, 1st, that the new States therein alluded to must be carved either out of other States, or out of the territory belonging to the United States; and, 2d, that the power given to Congress of making regulations respecting the territory belonging to the United States is expressly confined to the territory then belonging to the Union.

A general and perhaps sufficient answer is that the whole rests on a supposition, there being no words in the section which confine the authority given to Congress to those specific objects; Edition: current; Page: [113] whilst, on the contrary, the existence of the United States as a nation presupposes the power enjoyed by every nation of extending their territory by treaties, and the general power given to the President and Senate of making treaties designates the organs through which the acquisition may be made, whilst this section provides the proper authority (viz., Congress) for either admitting in the Union or governing as subjects the territory thus acquired. It may be further observed in relation to the power of admitting new States in the Union, that this section was substituted to the 11th Article of Confederation, which was in these words: “Canada acceding, &c., shall be admitted into, &c., but no other colony shall be admitted into the same, unless such admission be agreed to by nine (9) States.” As the power was there explicitly given to nine (9) States, and as all the other powers given in the Articles of Confederation to nine (9) States were by the Constitution transferred to Congress, there is no reason to believe, as the words relative to the power of admission are, in the Constitution, general, that it was not the true intention of that Constitution to give the power generally and without restriction.

As to the other clause, that which gives the power of governing the territory of the United States, the limited construction of Mr. Lincoln is still less tenable; for if that power is limited to the territory belonging to the United States at the time when the Constitution was adopted, it would have precluded the United States from governing any territory acquired, since the adoption of the Constitution, by cession of one of the States, which, however, has been done in the case of the cessions of North Carolina and Georgia; and, as the words “other property” follow, and must be embraced by the same construction which will apply to the territory, it would result from Mr. L.’s opinion, that the United States could not, after the Constitution, either acquire or dispose of any personal property. To me it would appear:

1st. That the United States as a nation have an inherent right to acquire territory.

2d. That whenever that acquisition is by treaty, the same constituted authorities in whom the treaty-making power is vested have a constitutional right to sanction the acquisition.

Edition: current; Page: [114]

3d. That whenever the territory has been acquired, Congress have the power either of admitting into the Union as a new State, or of annexing to a State with the consent of that State, or of making regulations for the government of such territory.

The only possible objection must be derived from the 12th Amendment, which declares that powers not delegated to the United States, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States or to the people. As the States are expressly prohibited from making treaties, it is evident that, if the power of acquiring territory by treaty is not considered within the meaning of the Amendment as delegated to the United States, it must be reserved to the people. If that be the true construction of the Constitution, it substantially amounts to this: that the United States are precluded from, and renounce altogether, the enlargement of territory, a provision sufficiently important and singular to have deserved to be expressly enacted. Is it not a more natural construction to say that the power of acquiring territory is delegated to the United States by the several provisions which authorize the several branches of government to make war, to make treaties, and to govern the territory of the Union?

I must, however, confess that after all I do not feel myself perfectly satisfied; the subject must be thoroughly examined; and the above observations must be considered as hasty and incomplete.

With respect, your affectionate servant.
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
January, 1803
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

Th. J. to Mr. Gallatin.

I happened to be extraordinarily pressed by business, which prevented my answering on the subject of Worthington’s resignation, but I observed to him yesterday that as he had a right to resign, his act of resignation was final, and did not need an acceptance to validate it. If he apprehends any question, he might be furnished with an acceptance of the same date with his resignation. Spencer shall be nominated register. But as to the Edition: current; Page: [115] place of light-house keeper at Old Point Comfort solicited by Latimer, you may recollect that long ago I had the most powerful recommendations in favor of Captain Samuel Eddins, a Revolutionary officer of great merit, the officer who in the days of terror saved Mr. Jones’s press in Richmond from being pulled down by a mob of Federalists, and a good Republican. These recommendations have been lying by me eighteen months: by the by, I do not know whether the appointment is by you or me, and if the latter, whether it must go to the Senate. I have given Mr. Ellicot’s letter to Mr. Madison for inquiry and consideration. This should have been settled by him with our predecessors, who alone could estimate the secret service and his authority to engage in it. I think with you on the subject of the smuggling at Michilimackinac: that we must not get into disagreement with the Indians; that without openly relinquishing the right of collection, the officer should wink at things at a distance and go on as he has done. In time we shall get rid of those traders by underselling them, and engage the Indians themselves in watching for us against smugglers. You are right, in my opinion, as to Mr. L.’s proposition: there is no constitutional difficulty as to the acquisition of territory, and whether, when acquired, it may be taken into the Union by the Constitution as it now stands, will become a question of expediency. I think it will be safer not to permit the enlargement of the Union but by amendment of the Constitution. Accept affectionate salutations.

Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
January 18, 1803
Washington
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

As the appropriation bill for the navy is ready to be reported, it is necessary to know in what manner the provisional authorization for six (6) frigates should be introduced. I would propose that exclusively of the appropriations for the deficiencies of 1802 and those for the 74’s, vessels in ordinary, navy-yards and general contingencies, the other naval appropriations, amounting per estimate to $476,87486/100, should be voted Edition: current; Page: [116] in manner following, to wit: three-fifths of the whole certain for

the frigates and other vessels in actual service, $286,000
for the purchase of smaller vessels, say 70,000
Certain $356,000

And for such expenses as, with the approbation of the President, may be incurred during the recess of Congress, on account of any vessels which he may think necessary to put in commission (or to employ in actual service) if any war should break out (or if any hostilities should be committed) between the United States and any of the Barbary powers other than Tripoli,

The remaining $120,000
$476,000

You will be pleased to notice that those $476,000 are the estimate of keeping in actual service, for the whole of the year 1803, six frigates and one schooner, and that there is an additional appropriation of $180,000, which covers all the deficiencies of 1802, including the pay, provisions, and all other expenses of the whole Mediterranean squadron to the 31st December last. I think, therefore, that three-fifths of that estimate will be sufficient to support the intended establishment in the Mediterranean for 1803 if only Tripoli shall continue at war.

In order to bring the whole subject before you, I will, from the estimate, recapitulate the naval appropriations asked for this year, viz.:

1st. Six frigates and one schooner in commission, including repairs and contingencies, $476,874.86
2d. Seven frigates in ordinary, including repairs and contingencies, 100,042.34
3d. Half-pay to officers not in service, 14,136.00
4th. Stores, military and naval, ordance, &c., 15,000.00
5th. General contingencies (exclusively of those for vessels, viz.: store-rent, commissions, freight, travelling expenses of officers), 40,000.00
6th. 74-gun ships, 114,425.00
7th. Navy-yards, docks, 48,741.37
8th. Marine corps, 90,780.43
$900,000.00

Exclusively of $181,849.09 for deficiencies of 1802.

Edition: current; Page: [117]

The appropriations marked 1, 2, 3, and 5 amount to $631,053.20, which the Secretary of the Navy requests may be arranged under the following heads, viz.:

a. Pay of officers and seamen, and subsistence of officers, $283,993.00
b. Provisions, 157,360.20
c. Hospital and medical accounts, 7,700.00
d. Contingent accounts, viz.:
Repairs and contingencies of vessels in commission, 79,000 } 182,000.00
Repairs and contingencies of seven vessels in ordinary, 63,000 }
General contingencies as per No. 5 above, 40,000 }
$631,053.20

To those two last items of contingencies of 63,000 and 40,000 dollars I object, as much beyond what is really necessary for those objects. It is incredible that the annual repairs of the frigates in ordinary should amount to 9000 dollars per frigate; and, with no great economy, ten thousand dollars ought to suffice (instead of 40,000) for the general contingencies of commission, rent, and travelling expenses; since there are appropriations, exclusively of that 40,000 dollars, for the contingencies of vessels, for repairs, for the contingencies of the marine corps, and for stores. What those 40,000 dollars, therefore, are for, I am totally at a loss to know; only 16,000 are asked for the military establishment: indeed, I cannot discover any approach towards reform in that department (the navy), and I hope that you will pardon my stating my opinion on that subject, when you recollect with what zeal and perseverance I opposed for a number of years, whilst in Congress, similar loose demands for money; my opinions on that subject have been confirmed since you have called me in the Administration, and, although I am sensible that in the opinion of many wise and good men my ideas of expenditure are considered as too contracted, yet I feel a strong confidence that on this particular point I am right. Indeed, the possibility of wanting 600,000 dollars more a year without Edition: current; Page: [118] additional taxes must, at this time, be a sufficient apology for urging every practicable economy.

I enclose a letter from Mr. Bradley, and one from Mr. Wadsworth, of Congress. To the last I do not know what answer to make. The cold weather affects me so much that I remained home to-day, and have troubled you with this letter, instead of waiting on you.

With sincere respect and attachment, your obedient servant.

Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
21st March, 1803
Washington
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

I enclose the only letters of any importance which I have received since you left the city. The answer to that from Mr. Thornton is also enclosed. To Mr. Muhlenberg I answered generally that I would approve what he might think best to be done respecting the inspectors. I foresee a schism in Pennsylvania: the most thinking part of the community will not submit to the decrees of partial ward or township meetings; and yet the violent party will have a strong hold on public opinion in representing that those who resist them must be considered as the friends of Jackson and McPherson. I have not heard whether they mean to address you, but hope they may not; and this incident will, at all events, render the question of removals still more delicate and difficult.

I had a long conversation with Captain Murray, of the Constellation: he says that at any time from March to the latter end of September, whilst he was on the Tripoli station, peace might have been obtained for five thousand dollars, and that the opportunity has been lost by the delays of Morris in the vicinity of Gibraltar and in going up the Mediterranean, but that he is much afraid that now that they are no longer at war with Sweden, matters accommodated with France, and no further danger apprehended by the Bashaw from his brother, a peace cannot be attained but upon very extravagant terms.

The refusal of a passport to the Morocco provision-ship he Edition: current; Page: [119] considers as ridiculous, as it could not affect the state of affairs in relation to Tripoli, and those uncivilized states cannot understand the refined theory of the law of nations and of the duties of neutrals. He adds that there was not, when he left Europe, any danger to be apprehended from Morocco, the only source of uneasiness being the non-arrival of the gun-carriages.

The late accounts from Algiers and Tunis appear unpleasant. No time, it seems, should be lost in sending the stores to Algiers; and the appointment of a proper character in the Mediterranean to have the superintendence of the Barbary affairs appears indispensable.

Will you be able to find such one? I feel more uneasy about the state of affairs in that quarter than in relation to the Louisiana business.

You did not mention whether Mr. Briggs would accept the appointment of surveyor at Natchez.

With sincere respect and attachment, your obedient servant.

Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
March 28, 1803
Monticello
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

Dear Sir,

Yours of the 21st came to hand on the 25th. I now return the letters of Thornton and Muhlenberg with entire approbation of your answers. I am in all cases for a liberal conduct towards other nations, believing that the practice of the same friendly feelings and generous dispositions which attach individuals in private life will attach societies on the large scale, which are composed of individuals. I have for some time believed that Commodore Morris’s conduct would require investigation. His progress from Gibraltar has been astonishing. I know of but one supposition which can cover him; that is, that he has so far mistaken the object of his mission as to spend his time in convoying. I do not know the fact; we gave great latitude to his discretion, believing he had an ambition to distinguish himself, and unwilling to check it by positive instructions.

I have for some time been satisfied a schism was taking place in Edition: current; Page: [120] Pennsylvania between the moderates and high-fliers. The same will take place in Congress whenever a proper head for the latter shall start up, and we must expect division of the same kind in other States as soon as the Republicans shall be so strong as to fear no other enemy. I hope those of Philadelphia will not address on the subject of removals; it would be a delicate operation indeed. Briggs reserved till my return to decide; but he will accept. I had hoped to be with you by the 1st of April, but I now apprehend it will be that date before I can leave this place without leaving the objects of my visit unaccomplished. The thermometer is at 29° with us this morning, the peach-trees in blossom for a week past. Accept affectionate salutations.

Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
April 13, 1803
Washington
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

I perceive nothing in the enclosed which should, in my opinion, require alteration; perhaps something might be added.

The present aspect of affairs may ere long render it necessary that we should, by taking immediate possession, prevent G. B. from doing the same. Hence a perfect knowledge of the posts, establishments, and force kept by Spain in Upper Louisiana, and also of the most proper station to occupy for the purpose of preventing effectually the occupying of any part of the Missouri country by G. B., seems important; with that view the present communications of the British with the Missouri, either from the Mississippi, or, which is still more in point, from the waters emptying in Lake Winnipeg and generally in Hudson Bay, should be well ascertained, as well as the mode in which a small but sufficient force could best be conveyed to the most proper point from whence to prevent any attempt from Lake Winnipeg. But, whatever may be the issue of the present difficulties, the future destinies of the Missouri country are of vast importance to the United States, it being perhaps the only large tract of country, and certainly the first which, lying out of the boundaries of the Union, will be settled by the people of the United States. Edition: current; Page: [121] The precise extent, therefore, of the country drained by all the waters emptying into that river, and consequently the length and directions of all the principal branches, ought to be as far as practicable ascertained, as well as that particular branch which may be followed for the purpose of examining the communications with the Pacific Ocean. That tract of country is bounded on the north by the waters of Hudson’s Bay, the extent of which southwardly is tolerably ascertained by Mackenzie and others; westwardly by the waters of the Columbia and other rivers emptying into the Pacific, which it is the principal object of this voyage to explore; and southwardly, it is presumed, by the waters of Rio Norte. How far these extend northwardly and confine the waters of the Missouri it is important to know, as their position would generally determine the extent of territory watered by the Missouri. It is presumable, from analogy, that the waters of Hudson Bay, which interlock with the many northerly streams of the Missouri, are divided from them by elevated lands interspersed with lakes, but not by any regular chain of mountains. By the same analogy (for within the United States and known parts of North America the spring of every river north of 42° latitude issues from a lake, and south of 41° from a mountain), it is probable that the northern branches of the Rio Norte are separated from the southern streams of the Kansas and Missouri Rivers by a chain of mountains running westwardly till it unites with the chain which divides the waters of the Missouri and other rivers from those emptying into the Pacific. Hence it is presumable that the distance of that east and west chain from the Missouri will generally show the extent of country watered by this river. And although Capt. L. going westwardly towards his main object may not personally become acquainted with the country lying south of his track, yet so far as he may collect information on that subject, and also on the communications with the Rio Norte or other southern rivers, if any other, which is not probable, interlocks with the Missouri, it would be a desirable object. The great object to ascertain is whether from its extent and fertility that country is susceptible of a large population in the same manner as the corresponding tract on the Ohio. Besides the general opinion which may be formed of its fertility, some Edition: current; Page: [122] more specific instructions on the signs of the soil might be given, the two principal of which are the prevailing species of timber, whether oak, beech, pine, or barren, and the evenness or mountainous and rocky situation of the lands.

Those two circumstances do generally determine in America the quantity of soil fit for cultivation in any one large tract of country, for I presume there are no swamps in that part of the world. But several more signs might be added, to which the traveller should pay attention.

I think Capt. L. ought to take, on the Spanish side of the Illinois settlement, some person who had navigated the Missouri as high as possible, and it might not be amiss to try to winter with the traders from that quarter who go to the farthest tribes of Indians in the proper direction. A boat or canoe might be hired there (at the Illinois) to carry up to that spot a sufficient quantity of flour to enable him to winter there with comfort, so that his hands should be fresh and in good spirits in the spring.

Respectfully, your obedient servant.
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
June 16, 1803
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

I enclose a sketch of the conditions on which the Salt Springs or Wabash may be offered; also T. Coxe’s answer respecting the purveyorship. Please to examine the conditions of the lease and to suggest alterations. I will call to-morrow in order to explain the reasons of some of them and receive your decision, after which I will make an official report.

I received last night a private letter from New York, in which E. Livingston’s defalcation is spoken of as a matter of public notoriety in that city. I suspected as much from the last letter from Gelston, and answered rather angrily. His letters and copy of my last answer are enclosed. The copy of mine of the 21st April I cannot find; it was short, but very explicit. A resignation or removal must unavoidably follow, and I apprehend an explosion. But, at all events, a successor should be immediately provided.

Edition: current; Page: [123]

Will you have any objections to write to D. W. Clinton, or shall I do it? I would prefer that he should be requested to mention the names of two or more persons, and he must be told that talents and legal knowledge sufficient to defend the suits of the United States, and integrity that may hereafter secure us against any danger or even imputation of want of caution, are absolutely necessary. I think no time ought to be lost; and if we had a successor ready I would propose an immediate appointment; for by the law every bond unpaid must on the day after it has become due be lodged in hands of the District Attorney, and no day passes without several being thus placed.

With sincere respect and attachment, your obedient servant.

Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
21st June, 1803
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

I enclose a letter from the Commissioner of the Revenue respecting Mr. Gordon’s claims: as he gave a memorandum in writing, Mr. G. should produce it. Also recommendations from Messrs. Bacon and Varnum in favor of Francis Carr for the office of naval officer at Newburyport. The present incumbent [is Michael Hodge1] is Jonathan Titcomb, of whom I know nothing. Also a letter from Tench Coxe; his suggestions of a report proceeding from Messrs. Madison and Lewis are without foundation; but Captain Lewis says that the Republicans in Philadelphia seem generally agreed that, in case of the removal of either of the two custom-house officers, he, Mr. Coxe, is entitled to the preference. The salary of the naval officer (McPherson) is 3500 dollars, of the surveyor (Jackson) 3000, and of the purveyor only 2000. I feel no hesitation in saying that, on the grounds of public services and capacity, as well as on account of his having been formerly removed, Mr. Coxe’s pretensions to the most lucrative of those offices which may be vacated appear well grounded: personal predilection for him I have not, and I Edition: current; Page: [124] do not know who would be the best person to appoint purveyor if he was made surveyor; but justice seemed to require that expression of my opinion in his favor on that point.

There would, however, be an objection to his being substituted in lieu of Mr. McPherson, which does not apply to his replacing Jackson: in the first instance, the act of giving to a man who had left the Americans and joined the British the office of him who had left the British to join the Americans would make too forcible a contrast. Yet, to me, the prefect of the Pretorian bands is much more obnoxious than the insignificant Jackson.

As it will be necessary for me to answer Mr. Coxe’s letter, I wish to know your final determination respecting those Philadelphia offices, in order that my answer may be properly modified to meet your own intentions; it seems to me that if the surveyor’s place is to be given to another person, it will be proper, without entering into any confidential communications, that I should inform Mr. Coxe that he was altogether mistaken, and that you had not intended any other office for him than that of purveyor.

It is proper, at the same time, that you should know that, although this last office has a less salary affixed to it, perhaps because it is less laborious, it is more respectable, important, and responsible than that of surveyor. The surveyor is the head of the tide-waiters, inspectors, and other out-doors inferior officers of the custom-house, distributes them on board the vessels, receives their reports, watches smuggling and other irregular proceedings, &c., but not a single penny of public moneys passes through his hands. The purveyor is by law the officer who should make all the purchases of clothing, stores, &c., for the War and Navy Departments, and several hundred thousand dollars pass annually through his hands. He is practically employed principally by the Secretary of War, the Navy Department having, improperly in my opinion, continued to employ, in Philadelphia, agents (Harrison and Sterret), to whom a commission is paid for services which the purveyor ought to perform. By conversing with Captain Lewis you will receive every necessary information respecting public opinion and feeling in Philadelphia, and you will perceive that I cannot wish to communicate with any person there on the subject of removals and offices except with a full knowledge of Edition: current; Page: [125] your ultimate determination, and even then not without some considerable reluctance. I think, however, that what is right in itself ought to be done, without being deterred by the imputation that the ward meetings have compelled the Executive to act in a different way from what he intended; and the intemperance of some individuals will not prevent my communicating to you my impressions, even where the result is favorable to their views, as freely as if they had acted and spoken with perfect propriety. Robert Hays, marshal of West Tennessee, has drawn improperly on the Treasury for more than two thousand dollars. The bill was not paid, and on a settlement of his accounts about one thousand dollars were found due to him. In order to apologize for his having drawn the two thousand, he pretends now that a bill drawn more than a year ago by him on the Treasury in favor of Henning and Dixon (who is, I believe, Dixon of Congress), endorsed by these to a respectable merchant in Philadelphia, to whom it was paid by the Treasury, was a forgery. Should that be the case, there will be no loss, as the endorsers are perfectly responsible. But from comparing the handwriting, from the respectability of the parties, and various other circumstances, I have not the least doubt of his assertion being altogether false. This having led me to further inquiry, I find that he never writes anything but his name, and that sometimes under the visible effects of intoxication, that he renders his accounts irregularly and always in an incomplete manner, that he is incapable, and has contracted such habits of intemperance as render it necessary that he should be removed. The only persons I know in West Tennessee are Mr. Dixon, the member of Congress, and Andrew Jackson, formerly a member. The two Senators live in East Tennessee, which is a distinct district, with a marshal of its own. Where Mr. Smith lives I do not positively know, but believe in East Tennessee. Please to direct what shall be done, and whether I may write to Messrs. Dixon and Jackson, or to either of them, for information of a proper successor.

With sincere respect and attachment, your obedient servant.

Edition: current; Page: [126]
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
July 2, 1803
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

I enclose the letters received on the subject of E. Livingston. If Mr. Gelston is right in supposing that the list dated 18th June has been paid to the District Attorney, there is a defalcation of at least that amount, to wit, thirty thousand dollars; besides which, he may have received part of the bonds which had been put in suit whilst Mr. Harrison was District Attorney, and has received some of the proceeds of the sales of Mr. Lamb’s (the late collector) estate. I would not be astonished if the whole deficiency exceeded forty thousand dollars.

That is far greater than I had any idea of from Mr. G.’s preceding letters, but his account is neither clear nor final. What may bring Mr. L. here I do not understand: he can have no expectation of remaining in office under such circumstances. Mr. Clinton’s recommendation appears unexceptionable. Mr. Sanford was, I believe, originally recommended by General Smith, of Long Island.

As Mr. L. may be expected every moment, I will thank you to send back the papers when you shall have done with them, and to suggest whether any particular line of conduct must be followed with him.

From the recommendations of Nichols and Slocum, can any conjecture be formed which is the most active and has most capacity?

If equal, the naval officer would be preferable to fill the duties of supervisor. It must be observed that the present appointments will be considered rather as a burden than as a favor.

With respect and attachment, your obedient servant.
Edition: current; Page: [127]
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
9th July, 1803
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

As Mr. Nicholas has, through his uncle, applied for the office, and it is uncertain whether Mr. Garrard would take it, I think he should be preferred. The only objection which presents itself is, that to several applications the general answer has been given that lawyers only should be appointed; amongst others, a gentleman from Carolina, recommended by Hampton, and who came here on purpose. But the office of register for Mobile should be filled immediately; it is really more pressing than that of commissioner. Would either Mr. Garrard or Mr. Nicholas take it?

I was preparing, when I received yours, an official letter to Mr. Clarke on the subject of Louisiana, but confined, of course, to the objects immediately connected with this Department, to wit, the present revenue, and particularly that drawn from duties on imports and exports; and amount of exports, principally those articles which pay duty on their importation into the United States, viz., cotton, indigo, and particularly sugar. As the revenue we draw from this last article is not less than nine hundred thousand dollars a year, it is important to ascertain the quantity which is now annually exported from New Orleans, in order either to find means of supplying the deficiency of revenue, if that article shall be imported from thence duty free, or to devise some method by which the duty may still be collected. My present idea was that until an amendment to the Constitution had been adopted, all the duties on imports now payable in the United States should be likewise paid on importations to New Orleans.

All the duties on exports now payable at New Orleans, by Spanish laws should cease, and all articles of the growth of Louisiana which, when imported into the United States, now pay duty, should continue to pay the same, or at least such rates as would, on the whole, not affect the revenue.

But facts are wanted, and I will try by next Monday to have such additional or explanatory queries prepared as will answer Edition: current; Page: [128] my object, and give them to be added to those you had prepared.

The amendment to the Constitution is intended, I presume, for deliberation and reflection, but not for immediate decision.

With respect and attachment, your obedient servant.
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
July 12, 1803
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

The strengthening the revenue cutters by the addition of another mate and two hands is approved. While our cutters must be large enough to go safely to sea, and should be well manned for their size, we should avoid making them larger than safety will require; because many small vessels will watch the coast better than a few large ones. Resistance will not be attempted, probably. General Muhlenberg’s idea of forming the cutters into a line of communication seems to be a good one. I should suppose it well to partition the whole coast among them by certain limits.

It is difficult to see what Mr. Bond would be at. I suppose he aims at our citizen laws. There is a distinction which we ought to make ourselves, and with which the belligerent powers ought to be content. Where, after the commencement of a war, a merchant of either comes here and is naturalized, the purpose is probably fraudulent against the other, and intended to cloak their commerce under our flag. This we should honestly discountenance, and never reclaim their property when captured. But merchants from either, settled and made citizens before a war, are citizens to every purpose of commerce, and not to be distinguished in our proceedings from natives. Every attempt of Great Britain to enforce her principle of “once a subject and always a subject” beyond the case of her own subjects, ought to be repelled. A copy of General Muhlenberg’s letter, stating the fact of citizenship accurately, ought to satisfy Mr. Bond, unless he can disprove the fact; or unless, admitting the fact, he at once attacks our principle: on that ground we will meet his government.

Edition: current; Page: [129]

As to the patronage of the Republican bank at Providence, I am decidedly in favor of making all the banks Republican, by sharing deposits among them in proportion to the dispositions they show; if the law now forbids it, we should not permit another session of Congress to pass without amending it. It is material to the safety of Republicanism to detach the mercantile interest from its enemies and incorporate them into the body of its friends. A merchant is naturally a Republican, and can be otherwise only from a vitiated state of things. Affectionate salutations.

Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
July 25, 1803
Monticello
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

Dear Sir,

We agreed that the address of the ward committees ought not to be formally answered. But on further reflection I think it would be better to write a private letter to one of the members, in order that he may understand the true grounds on which the subject rests, and may state them informally to his colleagues. I think these grounds so solid that they cannot fail to remove this cause of division among our friends, and perhaps to cure the incipient schism. Of the signers of the address, I know only Duane and Scott sufficiently to address such a letter to them; and of these I am much more acquainted with the first than the last, and think him on that ground more entitled to this mark of confidence. Some apprehensions may perhaps be entertained that if the schism goes on, he may be in a different section from us. If there be no danger in this, he is the one I should prefer. Give me your opinion on it, if you please, and consider and make any alterations in the letter you think best, and return it to me as soon as you can. I am strongly of opinion it will do good. Accept my affectionate salutations and assurances of respect.

Edition: current; Page: [130]
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
July 24, 1803
Monticello
William Duane
Duane, William

JEFFERSON TO DUANE.

[Enclosure.]

Dear Sir,

The address of the ward committees of Philadelphia on the subject of removals from office was received at Washington on the 17th inst. I cannot answer it, because I have given no answer to the many others I have received from other quarters. You are sensible what use an unfriendly party would make of such answers, by putting all their expressions to the torture; and although no person wishes more than I do to learn the opinions of respected individuals, because they enable me to examine and often to correct my own, yet I am not satisfied that I ought to admit the addresses even of those bodies of men which are organized by the Constitution (the Houses of Legislature, for instance) to influence the appointment to office, for which the Constitution has chosen to rely on the independence and integrity of the Executive controlled by the Senate, chosen both of them by the whole Union, still less of those bodies whose organization is unknown to the Constitution. As revolutionary instruments (when nothing but revolution will cure the evils of the state) they are necessary and indispensable, and the right to use them is inalienable by the people; but to admit them as ordinary and habitual instruments, as a part of the machinery of the Constitution, would be to change that machinery, by introducing moving powers foreign to it and to an extent depending solely on local views, and therefore incalculable. The opinions offered by individuals are of right, and on a different ground: they are sanctioned by the Constitution; which has also prescribed, when they choose to act in bodies, the organization, objects, and rights of those bodies. Although this view of the subject forbids me, in my own judgment, to give answers to addresses of this kind, yet the one now under consideration is couched in terms so friendly and respectful, and from persons many of whom I know to have been firm patriots, some of them in Revolutionary times, and others in those of terror, and doubt not that all are of the same valuable character, that I cannot restrain the Edition: current; Page: [131] desire that they should individually understand the reasons why no formal answer is given; that they should see it proceeds from my point of view of the Constitution and the judgment I form of my duties to it, and not from a want of respect and esteem for them or their opinions, which given individually will ever be valued by me. I beg leave, therefore, to avail myself of my acquaintance with you and of your friendly dispositions to communicate them individually the considerations expressed in this letter, which is merely private and to yourself, and which I ask you not to put out of your own hands, lest, directly or by copy, it should get into those of the common adversary, and become matter for those malignant perversions which no sentiments however just, no expressions however correct, can escape.

It may perhaps at first view be thought that my answer to the New Haven letter was not within my own rule; but that letter was expressed to be from the writers individually, and not as an organized body chosen to represent and express the public opinion. The occasion, too, which it furnished had for some time been wished for, of explaining to the Republican part of the nation my sense of their just right to participation of office, and the proceedings adopted for attaining it after due inquiry into the general sentiments of the several States. The purpose there explained was to remove some of the least deserving officers, but generally to prefer the milder measure of waiting till accidental vacancies should furnish opportunity of giving to Republicans their due proportion of office. To this we have steadily adhered. Many vacancies have been made by death and resignation, many by removal for malversation in office, and for open, active, and virulent abuse of official influence in opposition to the order of things established by the will of the nation. Such removals continue to be made on sufficient proof; the places have been steadily filled with Republican characters, until of 316 offices in all the United States subject to appointment and removal by me, 130 only are held by Federalists. I do not include in this estimate the judiciary and military, because not removable but by established process, nor the officers of the internal revenue, because discontinued by law, nor postmasters or any others not named by me. And this has been effected in little more than two years, by Edition: current; Page: [132] means so moderate and just as cannot fail to be approved in future. Whether a participation of office in proportion to numbers should be effected in each State separately, or in the whole States taken together, is difficult to decide, and has not yet been settled in my own mind. It is a question of vast complications. But suppose we were to apply the rule to Pennsylvania, distinctly from the Union. In the State of Pennsylvania eight offices only are subject to my nomination and informal removal. Of these, five are in the hands of Republicans, three of Federalists; to wit, Republican:

The Attorney, Dallas. Federals.
Marshal, Smith. Naval Officer.
Collector, Muhlenburg. Surveyor.
Purveyor, Coxe. Commissioner of Loans.
Superintendent Military Stores, Irving.

In the hands of the former is the appointment of every subordinate officer, not a single one (but their clerks) being appointable by the latter. Taking a view of this subject in the only year I can now come at, the clerk hire of the naval officer and surveyor is only $2196; that of the commissioner of loans $2500,=$4696; the compensation of the naval officer and surveyor were $7651 in that year. The residue of custom-house expenses were $46,268, constituting the compensation and patronage of the collector, except about $1500 to the officers of the revenue cutter, who are Republican. The emoluments and patronage of the five other Republican officers I have no materials for estimating; but they are not small. Considering numbers, therefore, as the ratio of participation, it stands at 5 to 3; but, taking emolument and patronage as the measure, our actual share is much greater. I cannot, therefore, suppose that our friends had sufficiently examined the fact when they alleged that “in Philadelphia public employment under the general government in all its grades, with scarcely an exception, is confined not to Federalists merely, but to apostates, persecutors, and enemies of representative government.”

I give full credit to the wisdom of the measures pursued by the Governor of Pennsylvania in removals from office. I have no doubt he followed the wish of the State, and he had no other to consult; but in the general government each State is to be Edition: current; Page: [133] administered, not on its local principles, but on the principles of all the States formed into a general result. That I should administer the affairs of Massachusetts and Connecticut, for example, on Federal principles could not be approved. I dare say, too, that the extensive removals from office in Pennsylvania may have contributed to the great conversion which has been manifested among its citizens, but I respect them too much to believe it has been the exclusive or even the principal motive. I presume the sound measures of their government and of the general one have weighed more in their estimation and conversion than the consideration of the particular agents employed.

I read with extreme gratification the approbation expressed of the general measures of the present Administration. I verily believe our friends have not differed with us on a single measure of importance. It is only as to the distribution of office that some difference of opinion has appeared, but that difference will, I think, be lessened when facts and principles are more accurately scanned, and its impression still more so when justice is done to motives and to the duty of pursuing that which, on mature consideration, is deemed to be right.

I hope you will pardon the trouble which this communication proposes to give you, when you attend to the considerations urging it, and that you will accept my respectful salutations and assurances of great esteem.

Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
July 27, 1803
Washington
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

I have not yet heard whether you have arrived safe at Monticello, and I write only to inform you that I leave this city to-day for New York. I will stop in Philadelphia to treat with the bank, and will communicate the result.

Nothing has taken place, since you left this, connected with the Treasury, except E. Livingston’s journey here. He called on me at my house, said nothing of his defalcation, and left the Edition: current; Page: [134] city two days after without calling at the office. This compels me to take the commission to New York, where I will fix the matter. I have written on the subject to De Witt Clinton.

With sincere respect and attachment, your obedient servant.

Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
11th August, 1803
New York
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

I arrived here after a long and tedious journey, and found the yellow fever in the city; I did not stay in it, and am in the country, two miles from town.

I must confess that I do not see the necessity of writing the intended letter to Duane. Unforeseen circumstances may produce alterations in your present view of the subject, and if you shall hereafter think proper to act on a plan somewhat different from that you now consider as the best, a commitment would prove unpleasant. Nor is it probable that abstract reasoning, or even a statement of facts already known to them, will make converts of men under the influence of passions or governed by self-interest. Either a schism will take place, in which case the leaders of those men would divide from us, or time and the good sense of the people will of themselves cure the evil. I have reason to believe that the last will happen, and that the number of malcontents is not very considerable, and will diminish.

Should you, however, conclude to write, I think Duane greatly preferable to Scott. Clay is his intimate friend, and the only man of superior weight and talents who appears to be closely united with Leib and Duane. Clay will during the course of next session become intimately connected with ourselves and the majority of Congress; he will, I am confident, be perfectly reconciled to us, and feel the necessity, when all the important measures shall meet with his approbation, not to divide on account of some slight difference of opinion in points of trifling comparative importance; and it is highly probable that Duane, who may be misled by vanity and by his associates, but whose sincere Republicanism I cannot permit myself to Edition: current; Page: [135] doubt, will adhere to us when his best friend shall have taken a decided part. Although I do not consider a commitment to him eligible, it appears vastly preferable to one to Scott.

If a letter shall be written, I think that, if possible, it should be much shorter than your draft, and have perhaps less the appearance of apology.

The irresistible argument, to men disposed to listen to argument, appears to me to be the perfect approbation given by the Republicans to all the leading measures of government, and the inference that men who are disposed under those circumstances to asperse Administration, seem to avow that the hard struggle of so many years was not for the purpose of securing our republican institutions and of giving a proper direction to the operations of government, but for the sake of a few paltry offices,—offices not of a political and discretionary nature, but mere inferior administrative offices of profit. There is one mistake in your draft: Leonard, the store-keeper, is appointed by the Secretary of War, and not by the President.

The information I have received respecting E. Livingston is still more decisive than what I had at Washington; the enclosed copy of a letter from Mr. Osgood will show that he is also a delinquent on suits brought by order of the supervisor. Mr. Gelston informs me that he has not yet paid the whole of the balance which he acknowledges to be due by him, and he adds that he feels a conviction that the return made by Livingston is untrue, and of course the balance in his hands much larger than what he acknowledges.

It is only by personal application to the persons indebted on bonds put in suit that the true state of his accounts can be ascertained; this will be done, and can be done only by a successor in office. I have sent word to De Witt Clinton, who is on Long Island, to try to come to me to-day or to-morrow. At all events, the commission to N. Sanford will be delivered in the course of this week.

I enclose the answer of Oliver Phelps recommending Robert Lee as collector of Niagara. If you shall approve, and are still of opinion that the son of General Irvine is the proper person to be appointed surveyor of the port of Buffalo Creek, which Edition: current; Page: [136] is to be annexed as a post of delivery to the district of Niagara, the commissions may be issued; but I do not recollect young Irvine’s Christian name. The denominations of office will be,

Collector of the district of Niagara,

Surveyor of the port of Buffalo Creek,

and each of them must have another commission, viz.,

Inspector of the revenue for the port of Niagara.

Inspector of the revenue for the port of Buffalo Creek.

It is also necessary that you should determine on the application of T. Reddick for the office of register of the land office at Mobile, being the same for which E. Kirby has a blank commission. Will you be good enough to inform me whenever he (Mr. Kirby), Robert Williams, and — Nicholas, of Kentucky, shall have expressed their determination to accept the offices of commissioners? as it is necessary for me to transmit to them some instructions and to make the arrangements for the payment of their salary. At the request of Dr. Hunter, of Philadelphia, I enclose his application, which may hereafter deserve attention. The Bank of the United States has immediately and cheerfully expressed its readiness to lend us the 1,785,000 dollars wanted to complete the intended payment of the American debts assumed by the treaty with France. Mr. Lyman, of Massachusetts, is a determined applicant for the government of Louisiana. As an early, decided, active, and persecuted Republican he has great claims, but his pretensions are high, and he is not accommodating. I have seen Mr. King, but in the presence of a third person, and could have but a general conversation. In the course of that he incidentally mentioned that the idea of selling Louisiana was, four weeks before the treaty, assimilated at Paris with the sale of Dunkirk by Charles the Second, and that Mr. Livingston had not at that time the least expectation of success. I will return his visit to-morrow, and may obtain some other information.

With sincere respect and attachment, your obedient servant.

Edition: current; Page: [137]
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
13th August, 1803
New York
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

I have this day received your favor of the 8th inst. My knowledge of the duties required from a neutral on the particular point in question is not sufficient to throw any light on the subject. It is important to confer anything in the shape of an obligation on the First Consul; it is much more important to commit no act which may justly be considered as a breach of neutrality, for from other nations we want justice much more than favors. Whether the granting a passage to Jerome Bonaparte on board one of the frigates of the United States may be fairly considered by Great Britain as a deviation from the rules of conduct imposed upon us by the law and customs of nations, is the point on which I cannot form a precise opinion. Upon a first impression I would rather incline to the belief that it may be so considered.

Private vessels may export contraband articles, but are liable to seizure and condemnation. Public vessels ought not in any instance to do acts which would expose private vessels to just condemnation. Unless that principle be admitted, the right of the belligerent powers to search and send for adjudication public vessels of the neutrals will be insisted on. Subjects of an enemy, and a fortiori officers and troops of that enemy, are considered as contraband. Is not Jerome Bonaparte an officer in the service of the French republic? If he is, may not the act of transporting him from the neutral country to his own be considered as aiding the enemy of Great Britain?

If you shall be of opinion that the act may be fairly justified, I think it should be done though it may not please Great Britain. If you are of a contrary opinion, it should be refused at the risk of displeasing the First Consul. If the act is of a doubtful nature, the effect which granting or refusing a passage may have on both nations may become a proper subject of consideration, and of that, also, I am unable to judge. If the frigate could be despatched before a formal application shall be made, it would be much better.

Edition: current; Page: [138]

Samuel Bishop, the collector of New Haven, is dead. Many applications will be made for the office; I think it my duty to state that if Abraham Bishop can be trusted in money matters, and if his appointment should not be judged to produce an unfavorable effect in Connecticut, he has a strong claim on the Treasury Department, having this summer completed at my request a digest of all our revenue laws, which he understands better than any officer of the United States.

I have the honor to be, with respect and attachment, your obedient servant.

Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
August 18, 1803
Monticello
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

Dear Sir,

My last to you was of the 8th instant; yesterday I received your two favors of the 11th. There ought to be no further hesitation with E. Livingston. The importation of negroes from the French islands ought to be vigorously withstood; but I think we should not tread back our steps as to the reduction of the size of our revenue cutters on bare supposition that they will be resisted. When such a fact happens, we may consider whether it is so great an evil to oblige those smugglers to sheer off to other countries as to induce us to enlarge our vessels to bring them in for punishment, accompanied by the very persons we wish to exclude.

I readily coincide with your opinion as to the answer to the ward committees: besides that you have formed it on a view of the ground and better knowledge of the characters, it was one of those measures which I put into shape merely for an ultimate consideration and decision. I have directed commissions for Robert Lee and Irvine. Mr. Reddick had before applied to me directly to be register at Mobile, and through Mr. Baldwin, of Ohio. I know nothing of him myself, so that he stands on the single recommendation of Mr. B., who mentions him only as qualified as an accountant. I think Mr. Kirby can make a selection on better information, and that it may have a good effect to name that officer from among the inhabitants, as it is the first Edition: current; Page: [139] instance. Mr. Kirby accepts; you may take as certain that Robert C. Nicholas will accept. I have heard nothing from Mr. Williams. Hunter’s application may be worth keeping in view. Mr. Lyman’s measure of himself differs so much from ours that it is not likely we shall agree in a result. I hope you will make every possible occasion of getting information from King as to the views and dispositions of England, and of satisfying him of the perfect friendship of this Administration to that country. The impressment of our seamen, and the using our harbors as stations to sally out of and cruise on our own commerce as well as on that of our friends, are points on which he can perhaps give useful advice. Accept my affectionate salutations, and assurances of great esteem and respect.

P.S.—I return Mr. Osgood’s letter.

Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
20th August, 1803
New York
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

Since writing my last, I have received the enclosed; although I presume that application supported by proper recommendations has been made to you, I send Mr. Granger’s letter, which was not personally delivered on account of sickness in his family.

Great apprehension is entertained at Philadelphia that John Leib, the lawyer, should be appointed Clay’s successor as one of the board of commissioners of bankruptcy. He is represented as destitute of talents and integrity: that I cannot tell; but certainly he is not respectable. As Dallas, Sergeant, and Dickinson are lawyers, I think that a man in the mercantile line should be appointed; none has been mentioned to me, and first-rate merchants we have not. If there is no previous promise, I wish the appointment might be delayed till the time of our meeting.

There is nothing new here; the fever still increases, although more than one-half of the inhabitants have left the city.

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I am told that E. Livingston is much irritated, and that he has given notice to the governor that whenever the epidemic had subsided, he would resign the mayoralty.

With respect and attachment, your obedient servant.

A. Bishop has just left me: he has a very sedate appearance, which, from what I had heard of his character, I did not expect. Before he mentioned his name I mistook him for a clergyman.

Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
18th August, 1803
New York
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

Messrs. Dickinson and Jackson do not agree on the proper person to fill the office of marshal for West Tennessee. A court will be held on the fourth Monday of November, at which time it is desirable that a new marshal might act, as Mr. Hays has given fresh proofs of unfitness by drawing again on me for one thousand dollars more than was due to him. I do not like, on that account, to remit to him the sum necessary to hold the November court, having no doubt that he will misapply it and that we shall then be obliged to institute a suit against him. We may not, therefore, wait longer than the end of October to fix on a successor. The letters of the two gentlemen are enclosed.

I do not perceive any objection to making it a condition of the lease of the Wabash Salt Springs that at the end of the lease the new lessee shall be obliged to pay for the buildings, as well as for the kettles, at a fair valuation.

Mr. Lincoln’s letter recommending a second mate is enclosed, and if you shall approve, a commission may issue; there is not, however, any necessity to decide before the meeting of Congress. If you shall suspend your determination in that case, or in that of the Tennessee marshal, I would thank you to return the letters, which serve me instead of memoranda not to forget the subject to which they relate.

Mr. King seems to think that he might have renewed the commercial treaty on conditions satisfactory to America. Great Britain has not made any approach of late on that subject; he Edition: current; Page: [141] thinks the government has not even thought on the limitation by which it will expire, and that Mr. Merry will have no instructions on the subject. He is of opinion that in the East Indies the want of a treaty will not place us on a worse footing; that there is no danger to be apprehended on the subject of provisions being considered as contraband; and that the improvement in the West India courts of admiralty will relieve us from many of the embarrassments experienced by our trade during the last war. The only ground on which he feels any apprehension is that of impressments; and had he not been on the eve of his departure, he might, he thinks, have succeeded in making some arrangement; the greatest obstacle to this resulted from the practical prejudices of Earl St. Vincent. Mr. King considers the present administration in England as the most favorable that has existed or can exist for the interests of the United States, but he does not rely much on their permanence; the members who compose it are respected as men of integrity, but have not the perfect confidence of the people, nor particularly of London; their abilities being considered as unequal to the present crisis. Mr. King himself, speaking of them, whilst conversing of the British manifesto, called them “little men.” He asked me who was to be his successor; I answered that I presumed either Mr. Livingston or Mr. Monroe. He said that Mr. L. would do very well, his deafness excepted, which was a strong objection. His British Majesty asked him twice who would be sent, and expressed his satisfaction in case Mr. L. was the man; but when he saw Mr. Monroe’s name announced in the newspapers for that mission, he inquired particularly of his character, and asked Mr. King whether he had not been opposed to him in politics. Upon being answered that those differences of politics had only been shades of opinion, and that Mr. Monroe was a man of great probity and integrity, “Well, well, if he is an honest man he will do very well,” was the reply; and Mr. Hammond assured afterwards Mr. K. that Mr. M., if appointed, would be perfectly well received. Yet Mr. K. seems to apprehend that there is still some prevention which may render his situation less comfortable and his services less useful than those of another person.

Edition: current; Page: [142]

On the subject of Louisiana generally, Mr. King’s opinions, both as relate to New Orleans and the upper country west of the Mississippi, seem to coincide with yours. He hinted, however, that more advantageous terms might have been obtained, and openly said that if our ministers did not think it safe to risk the object by insisting on a reduction of the price, they had it at least in their power to prescribe the mode of payment; that money might have been raised in England on much more advantageous terms if the mode had been left open to us; that [Cazenove], who was Talleyrand’s privy counsel and financier, must have suggested the species of stock which was adopted, &c. He then asked me what could have been the reason which induced our ministers to agree to make an immediate cash payment for the American debts, instead of paying them in stock or more convenient instalments, as the creditors would have been perfectly satisfied to be paid that way, and that object at least did not seem to be one on which the French government would insist. I told him that I really could not tell, for I knew that mode or some similar one had been contemplated by the Administration, and I had not understood that any explanation on that subject had been received from our ministers. On my mentioning that the French Cabinet seemed to have believed that the question of peace or war was in their power, and that our ministers, being naturally under a similar impression, might have been induced to yield to more unfavorable terms than if they had contemplated war as certain, he observed that on the arrival of every messenger from France the correspondence of Lord Whitworth and Mr. Talleyrand had been communicated to him by the British Ministry, and that by the return of every messenger he had communicated its substance to Mr. Livingston, as well as his opinion of the certainty of war. We both concluded our conversation on that subject by agreeing that Mr. Livingston’s precipitancy had been prejudicial to the United States. And he observed that Florida must necessarily fall in our hands, and that he hoped too much impatience would not be evinced on that subject.

I repeated to him verbatim the commercial article of the treaty, expressed my wish that it had been communicated to him when Edition: current; Page: [143] he made his communication to the British government, and asked whether he thought that the article could possibly create any difficulty. He answered, without the least hesitation, that it could not, that it was perfectly defensible, must be considered as part of the purchase-money, and expressed his full conviction that the British government would not cavil at it. He observed that Messrs. Livingston and Monroe had in their letter to him used the word “claim,” to which, in his letters to Lord Hawkesbury, he had substituted the word “right.” I was almost tempted to believe from his conversation that Mr. L. had communicated the treaty to him.

On the subject of the boundaries of Louisiana, he assures me that they have never been settled by any treaty.

The whole of his conversation was, as I expected, in terms perfectly respectful of the general measures you have adopted in relation to foreign nations, the only subject on which we conversed.

After some preliminary apology, he said he thought it his duty to say that we ought to keep Mr. Erving’s accountability under strict control. I told him that he had no accounts with the Treasury, but that, finding that he was to receive a large sum in July last in repayment of the advances made by the United States for prosecuting the claims, I had written to the Secretary of State requesting that he should direct Mr. Erving to lodge the money either in bank or with the bankers of the United States, subject to the drafts of the Treasury Department. Mr. King said that this was the subject he alluded to, as, without meaning to insinuate anything against the public agent, he thought it was better he should not have the command of so large a sum (about £40,000), that Mr. E.’s father was extravagant and had entered into some silly speculations, by one of which he had lately lost several thousand pounds. I have not been informed of the steps taken by Mr. Madison on that subject, and will thank you to communicate this to him.

Mr. King lent me the rescript of the Emperor of Russia offering his mediation. It is too long to be transcribed. Although he says in one place “qu’il avoit déjà chargé une fois son ministre de communiquer ses sentimens au Gouvernement François sur la nécessité qu’il y aurait de faire cesser diverses causes d’inquiétude, Edition: current; Page: [144] qui agitoient les cabinets de l’Europe,” I should think, from the whole tenor of that document, that he will not approve the grounds on which England has placed the renewal of the war. Amongst the twelve and half millions sterling new taxes proposed by Mr. Addington, I remark that of one per cent. on manufactures exported to Europe, and of three per cent. on those exported to the other parts of the world. On a moderate computation, this will be a tax on the United States of six hundred thousand dollars a year; for English manufactures, against which no other can enter into competition, are consumed in the United States to the amount of twenty millions of dollars. The blockade of the port of Hamburg will materially affect us until another channel of communication can be opened with the north of Europe; the prices of American and West India produce being low and unsteady in England.

With respect and attachment, your obedient servant.

Mr. Sanford received his commission last Monday. I have neither seen nor heard from E. Livingston.

Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
August 23, 1803
Monticello
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

Dear Sir,

Your favors of August 13 and 15 were received yesterday. The appointment of a successor to Samuel Bishop must await our reassembling at Washington. I enclose you the late letters of Livingston and Monroe for consideration, and to be returned to me when perused. You will find that the French government, dissatisfied perhaps with their late bargain with us, will be glad of a pretext to declare it void. It will be necessary, therefore, that we execute it with punctuality and without delay. I have desired the Secretary of the Navy so to make his arrangements as that an armed vessel shall be ready to sail on the 31st of October with the ratification, and, if possible, with the stock to France; if the latter can be got through both Houses in that time it will be desirable. Would it not be well that you Edition: current; Page: [145] should have a bill ready drawn to be offered on the first or second day of the session? It will be well to say as little as possible on the constitutional difficulty, and that Congress should act on it without talking. I subjoin what I think a better form of amendment than the one I communicated to you before. I have been, with the aid of my books here, investigating the question of the boundaries of Louisiana, and am satisfied our claim to the Perdido is solid, and to the Bay of St. Bernard very argumentative. I observe that Monroe and Livingston are clear in our right to the Perdido. How would it do to annex all Louisiana east of the Mississippi to the Mississippi Territory, and all west of that river, below the mouth of Arcansa, establish into a separate territorial government? Accept my affectionate salutations and assurances of esteem and respect.

“Louisiana as ceded by France to the United States is made a part of the United States. Its white inhabitants shall be citizens, and stand, as to their rights and obligations, on the same footing with other citizens of the United States in analogous situations. Save only that as to the portion thereof lying north of the latitude of the mouth of Arcansa River no new State shall be established, nor any grants of land made therein, other than to Indians in exchange for equivalent portions of lands occupied by them, until an amendment of the Constitution shall be made for these purposes.

“Florida also, whensoever it may be rightfully obtained, shall become a part of the United States. Its white inhabitants shall thereupon be citizens, and shall stand, as to their rights and obligations, on the same footing with other citizens of the United States in analogous situations.”

Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
31st August, 1803
New York
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

Your favor of the 23d and its enclosures were received day before yesterday. A bill shall be prepared for the purpose of carrying the treaty, &c., into effect; but neither can Edition: current; Page: [146] you expect that the House will take up the subject before a ratification, or decide without much debate and opposition; nor is it possible to have the certificates of stock prepared until Baring shall arrive and the form mutually agreed on. I write to Philadelphia in order to have the proper paper, copper-plate engravings, and other devices necessary to prevent counterfeits, immediately prepared, but the printing cannot be executed until the form shall have been prepared; this must express the nature of the stock, the law by virtue of which issued, and, what cannot be done without Baring’s consent, the mode of transferring the stock, the place where the interest is payable, the mode of paying it, and the rate of exchange, all of which is left indeterminate in the convention, the rate of exchange with Paris only excepted.

The moment he or his agent shall arrive we will agree on a form, and have the printing part executed and the blanks filled, but we cannot proceed to signing till after the law shall have passed.

For the sake of making the stock negotiable, it must be in certificates of a moderate sum, not certainly more than one thousand dollars each on an average.

This will produce eleven thousand two hundred and fifty certificates to be signed by one person, and that person (the Register) an officer who has other papers daily to compare and attest. The certificates must afterwards, and before they issue, be compared, checked, &c. It will be extraordinary despatch if they can be prepared for delivery within twenty days after the passing of the law. You may, however, rely on my exertions, and that every means which may accelerate the completion of the stock shall be adopted.

But whilst it is proper to be ready to act on the ground you have suggested, there is a strong objection to our sending the stock; it is not merely because the Executive will thereby assume a responsibility not contemplated by the convention, the delivery of the stock being, by that instrument, made an act subsequent to the possession of Louisiana, but because we ought to insist that the delivery of the stock here within the three months to the person duly authorized is a good fulfilment of the convention; Edition: current; Page: [147] there is no doubt of its being such both by the letter and the spirit of the instrument; and if we assent to a contrary construction, we become responsible for the delivery in Europe within the three months, render ourselves liable for the accidents of transmission and for those very delays which, if France seeks for a pretence of breaking the contract, may be used by her for that purpose.

The condition that the stock shall be transmitted by us to our minister at Paris is not a part of our agreement, but of the contract between the French government and Baring, to which we are not parties, and was inserted in this for the benefit and security of that government, who did not wish to trust the Barings and Hopes with the whole of the stock at once. We must, as I mentioned before, make every previous preparation in order to be able to adopt in October that mode which, upon due consideration, will appear the safest; but the transmission by us and at our risk does not, in my present view of the subject, appear an eligible measure.

I feel not, however, any apprehension that France intends seriously to raise objections to the execution of the treaty; unless intoxicated by the hope of laying England prostrate, or allured by some offer from Spain to give a better price for Louisiana than we have done, it is impossible that Bonaparte should not consider his bargain as so much obtained for nothing; for, however valuable to us, it must be evident to him that pending the war he could not occupy Louisiana, and that the war would place it very soon in other hands. A temporary uneasiness may indeed have existed from various causes; the communication of the substance of the treaty to England and the manner in which it was received may have frustrated the hopes of the First Consul of a misunderstanding or coolness between us and that country; he may have been disappointed on finding that instead of sixty he would receive only forty-five millions for Louisiana; for although I have no doubt of the negotiation with Baring having been part of our own, I am confident that Mr. Monroe was not privy to it, and it is very probable that that part of the transaction was not unfolded to Bonaparte until after the signature of the treaty; and it is not impossible that the French government wants only Edition: current; Page: [148] to guard against the danger of our taking possession immediately after the exchange of ratifications and of Congress afterwards refusing to comply with our part of the agreement.

I think it, however, more probable that the uneasiness which the letters of our ministers are calculated to create has its origin with Baring or Livingston, or perhaps with both. The anxiety of the first that a convention by which he and his associates will gain near three millions of dollars should not fail in its execution, and the wish of the other that no modifications should be made by Congress in the mode of settling and paying the American claims, as well as a natural desire to persuade us that he has made a most excellent bargain, would lead both to represent every trifling occurrence as a proof that if we did not hasten the completion of every part of the transaction we might lose the object.

What persuades me of the desire of France that the treaty should be carried into effect is what they have already done towards it. The treaty is signed as of the 30th April; the powers of Sir Francis Baring are dated London, 3d May; the official proposition of Alexander Baring to the French government is dated Paris, 2d May. These propositions were communicated to our ministers by Mr. Marbois on the 4th of May. On the 10th of the same month Mr. Marbois wrote to them the letter in which he states that any extraordinary delay in making the payments stipulated beyond the three months fixed by the convention would place the contracting parties in the same situation in which they were before treating. Observe here that by Baring’s proposition and contract the dates of the payments he is to make to France are determined by that of the delivery and transmission of the stock; the first payment by him at Paris being within thirty days after advice being received there of the delivery of one-third part of the stock to his agent in America, and of the transmission of the remainder to our minister at Paris. On the 22d May, Bonaparte ratified the convention. On the 28th May our ministers answered Mr. Marbois’s letter of the 4th, stating that they saw no objection to the contract. On the 2d June they answered his letter of the 10th May. On what day Bonaparte ratified the contract with Baring does not appear. Edition: current; Page: [149] The attestation of Talleyrand and that of our ministers that the signature of Maret (the Secretary of State), which, as well as that of Marbois and of Bonaparte, is affixed to the instrument, is his own, and that the act must be considered as that of the French government, bears date the 6th June. The letter of our minister, to which Mr. Livingston adds that it has been agreed to withdraw the letters of 10th May and 2d of June, is dated 7th June.

A comparison of those dates shows that the ratification of the convention and that of the contract were deliberate acts, both done several days after writing that letter of the 10th May which had given the alarm, and followed by the act of withdrawing that very letter. The period which elapsed between the two letters of Marbois of 4th and 10th May and their being answered is indeed an evidence of a state of some uncertainty, arising most probably from the negotiation with Baring not being liked by the Consul; but it is extraordinary that the letters written during that interval by Mr. Monroe, on the 18th and 23d May, show no anxiety on the subject; nay, that silence was kept respecting that point by the ministers in their letter of the 13th which accompanied the treaty, and that Mr. Monroe evinces no uneasiness till his short letter of the 2d June. Was he not kept in the dark all the time that any real ground of uneasiness might exist, and informed of it, and his anxiety as well as ours excited, only when there was no longer any reason of alarm?

I write to you as if you had Baring’s contract, because the ministers say it is enclosed in their letter. I have received it from Baring himself, accompanied by a letter of the 7th June, brought by Mr. Jay, but which went round to Washington, in which he says that he will sail within a month for the United States for the purpose of agreeing on the preliminary arrangements.

I am transcribing the contract and some letters relative to it, and will transmit it to you officially, as I think it my duty to leave on record in the office proofs that the low price at which that stock has been sold (78½ per cent.) is not ascribable to the state of public credit nor to any act of your Administration, and particularly of the Treasury Department.

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I agree with you that we have a right to claim that part of West Florida which was part of Louisiana; I was of a different opinion, but am now convinced.

With great respect and sincere attachment, your obedient servant.

P.S.—On reading again Mr. Livingston’s post-scriptum, I see that by the instructions to Mr. Pichon, the French government agrees that provided that the stock shall be created within the three months it will be a fair execution of the treaty. By that instrument it was agreed that the delivery of New Orleans should immediately follow the exchange of ratifications, without any provision being made for the concurrence of Congress, which is necessary for the creation of the stock.

There can be no objection to agreeing on our part with Mr. Pichon that he shall not deliver the order for taking possession of New Orleans until Congress shall, by law, have created the stock; but it seems to me that we ought to insist on not delivering the stock until the place is in our possession. With expresses, and provided that every previous step has been taken to take possession on a day’s warning, this will not cause a delay of more than six weeks. For fear that Baring’s contract has not reached you, I add its substance.

1. The French government to deliver to the agent of the houses of Hope and Baring an act authorizing the American government to transfer to the said houses or to their representatives the 11,250,000 dollars American stock.

2. The American government may deliver directement to the attorney of the said houses one-third of the said stock, amounting to 3,750,000 dollars, and shall send the remaining 7,500,000 dollars to their minister at Paris, to be kept by him as a deposit pursuant to the following conditions.

3. Hope and Baring shall pay to the Treasury of France in full for the said stock, and reserving to themselves the interests and profits accruing from said stock, the sum of 52 millions of francs, viz., six millions within the thirty days following the reception at Paris of an official notice that one-third of the stock has been delivered to the agent of said houses, and that the other Edition: current; Page: [151] two-thirds have been sent to France, and two millions monthly during each succeeding month, until the payment of the 52 millions shall have been completed.

4. Bills of exchange to the amount of 52 millions of francs, drawn by Baring on Hope, accepted by Hope and endorsed by Alexander Baring, but leaving the date of payment in blank, shall without delay be deposited in the hands of the American minister at Paris, who shall, in concert with the French Minister of Finance, fill the blanks in conformity to the preceding article.

5. On receipt of the official notice mentioned in 3d Article, the American minister at Paris shall deliver to the French government seventeen millions five hundred thousand livres of the said bills, and shall keep as a deposit the remainder of said bills and the 7,500,000 dollars American stock sent to him by the American government. Thirty days before the completion of the payment by Hope of the first bills thus delivered to the French government, the American minister shall deliver to the French government 17 millions more of Baring and Hope’s bills, and to the agent of Baring and Hope one-half of the American stock in his hands, viz., 3,750,000 dollars.

The remainder of the bills and stock shall be likewise delivered by him to the parties respectively one month before the completion of the payment of the second set of bills by Hope.

As during the same two years which is fixed for the completion of the payment of 52 millions to France by Hope and Baring these houses will receive from the United States 7,200,000 francs for interest, they will have to pay in fact no more than 45 millions for the sixty millions stock, which, after making the allowances for interest and discount, amounts to 78½ per cent. for the real price they give for that stock. At that period our old, worthless six per cent. stock, which is nothing more than a short annuity, was in America at 97, and in England at 91; our three was in England at 58; our Dutch 5 per cent. was at Amsterdam at 99, and our Antwerp 4½ per cent., redeemable at will, was at this last place at 99½. Add to this that the Barings were bidders for Mr. Addington’s ten millions sterling loan, which they did not get, but for which they offered to take the English three per cent. at Edition: current; Page: [152] the then market price with a premium of only 3 per cent.; and our threes were in England worth one per cent. more at market than the English.

Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
5th September, 1803
New York
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

I receive this moment your favor of 30th ult. I am very decidedly of opinion that Abraham Bishop ought to be appointed collector of New Haven.

I enclose more letters from Simons on the subject of the infractions committed on our neutrality; but am afraid that he took wrong ground in the case of the Cotton Planter, as it seems she was taken within our own limits, in which case she ought to have been claimed whether British or American property. But I really believe that it will be necessary to frame a new circular to the collectors, bringing all former instructions into one point of view, with such alterations as either result from a change in our treaties, or may appear eligible on general grounds. It will, however, be well to consider whether it may not be best to give such circular its effect only after the expiration of those articles of the British treaty which cease within two years after the signature of the preliminaries of the late peace.

I enclose an extract of a letter from Mr. Marbois received this day, and in which I do not discover anything more than the desire of obtaining as early a payment as possible.

Permit me to suggest the propriety of having everything in readiness to take possession of New Orleans, whether the prefect and Spanish officers shall be willing to give it up or not, the moment we shall have received the order to that effect from Mr. Pichon; this is recommended by the possible event of our delivering the stock on receiving only the order to take possession, and before actual possession shall have been obtained. The disponible regular force at Fort Adams, the militia of the Mississippi Territory, and the crews of the Kentucky boats and of American vessels from the Atlantic States then in New Orleans, will be sufficient against any force now in that place, provided that we Edition: current; Page: [153] may arm the boatmen and sailors, and provided that the French militia of Louisiana be disposed to be at least neutral.

Although I do not share in the alarm of our ministers, I think it wise to be as perfectly prepared as if it had a real ground, and that no time should be lost in having a supply of arms at Natchez; instructions given to Governor Claiborne; and Clark, if he can be trusted to that extent, informed by a safe communication of our intentions, with instructions to prepare the way with the inhabitants so as to meet no opposition from them.

The establishment of expresses both by Hawkins and Nashville if practicable, and at all events by the last route, seems also desirable. If there is any apprehension that that force may not ultimately be sufficient, such part of the militia of Kentucky and Tennessee as may be thought necessary might be ordered, under the Act of last session, to be in a state of readiness to float down the river on the arrival of an express from Claiborne applying for such aid.

If it shall be found necessary to take possession of New Orleans against the will of the possessors, there can be no doubt of the propriety of occupying at the same time that part of West Florida which we claim. But if New Orleans and West Louisiana shall be yielded without difficulty, the policy of occupying the rest of what we claim against the will of the Spanish officers is a subject which deserves serious consideration.

With respect and attachment, your obedient servant.
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
16th September, 1803
New York
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

I have not heard from you for a long while, not since I returned the letters of our ministers at Paris and forwarded the copy of Mr. Marbois’s letter and some letters from Simons. I trust that this is not owing to want of health, but feel somewhat uneasy, as I have not even received any indirect Edition: current; Page: [154] account of you. I had waited for your opinion of the proper answer to Mr. Marbois, but have in the mean while sketched a very general answer, which I enclose for your consideration.

Finding difficulties in copper engraving which might have created delays, I have concluded to have all the certificates merely printed at Washington, and have directed the Register to take all the necessary measures to have the whole printed within ten days after notice given to the printers, so that the moment Mr. Baring arrives and the form of the certificates shall have been agreed on, the whole may be executed at once. You may, therefore, rely that the whole will be ready for delivery the day that a law shall have been passed to carry the convention into effect.

I enclose a letter from John Pintard, who resided some time at New Orleans, on the subject of Louisiana. He is certainly mistaken as to the population of the province, but some of his hints may be of service. Being disappointed in horses, having lost one on the road, and the fever here and in Philadelphia having deranged the usual travelling resources, I do not think that I will be able to leave this before the 22d instant or arrive in the city before the 30th. So far as relates to my own office, this short delay will not be attended with any inconvenience, as I have received here and am arranging the documents necessary for Congress.

With sincere respect and attachment, your obedient servant.

Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
October 3, 1803
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

Th. Jefferson asks the favor of Mr. Gallatin to examine with rigor the enclosed project of the message to Congress, and to note on a separate paper the alterations he thinks advantageous. As it is to go through the hands of the other gentlemen of the Cabinet, his immediate attention to it is desirable. He also asks the favor of Mr. Gallatin to meet the heads of Department here to-morrow at ten o’clock.

Edition: current; Page: [155]

[Memoranda by Mr. Gallatin:]

European war.—May not the idea of our having so happily escaped, by the success of the late negotiation, becoming parties to it, be mentioned?

Menace of interdicting intercourse too early and unprovoked.—Add that treaties of commerce oppose it.

Conventions for limits with Great Britain, why not mentioned.—Neutral passions.

Finance to precede “War in Europe,” and perhaps some parts of the two paragraphs of War and Neutrality blended as similar.

Period—what? of representations or of restoration of deposit?

Propositions had been authorized—when? prior to that period? Quere.

Subsequent appropriation—to what? to the authorization of propositions by Executive?

Enlightened mind of First Consul.

Treaties now laid before both Houses.

Introduce idea of possession of New Orleans being a bond of union, and, if possible, of prevention of early settlements beyond Mississippi.

Authorization from Legislature to take possession. Is it necessary? Will it not delay?

Omit road as not of equal importance, and perhaps Missouri.

Then add after paragraph “for confirming to Indians their rights” this: “to establish friendly relations with them.”

Omit three paragraphs commencing “Authority from the Legislature” and ending “diligence and fidelity,” and incorporate their substance with the preceding.

Recommendation to open for settlement the Kaskaskia country doubtful unless connected with that of preference to settlements on this side of Mississippi.

Laying treaty before ratification before Congress doubtful.

Tripoli—small vessels will be able, &c., add, “with less expense.”

Edition: current; Page: [156]
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
October 4
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.
REMARKS ON PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE. 1803.

Louisiana.—1st. It seems to me that the treaty ought not to be laid before both Houses of Congress until after ratification by Senate. The rights of Congress in its legislative capacity do not extend to making treaties, but only to giving or refusing their sanction to those conditions which come within the powers granted by the Constitution to Congress. The House of Representatives neither can nor ought to act on the treaty until after it is a treaty; and if that be true, no time will be gained by an earlier communication to that body. In asserting the rights of the House, great care should be taken to do nothing which might be represented as countenancing any idea of encroachment of the constitutional rights of the Senate. If, in order to be enabled to carry on a negotiation, the Executive wants a previous grant of money or other legislative act, as in the Algerine treaty, some Indian treaties, and last session (2) two millions appropriation, an application may be necessary before the negotiation is opened or the treaty held; but when, as in the present case, the negotiation has been already closed and the treaty signed, no necessity exists to consult or communicate to the House until the instrument shall have been completed by the Senate and President’s ratification: in this instance there is no apparent object for the communication but a supposition that they may act, or, in other words, express their opinion and give their advice on the inchoate instrument, which is at that very time constitutionally before the Senate.

2d. There is some ambiguity in that paragraph about the period previous to which propositions for obtaining New Orleans had been authorized. I presume that by that period is meant, not the time when representations were made to Spain respecting the deposit, but that when the deposit was restored. Quere, also, whether the appropriation of two millions was subsequent to Edition: current; Page: [157] the time when those propositions, for obtaining New Orleans and adjacent territories, were authorized.

3d. Although the personal compliment to the First Consul may be pleasing to him, and on that account consistent with policy, yet it is doubtful whether it should not be omitted, because it will produce an opposite effect in Great Britain, because he is certainly very unpopular with all parties and descriptions of men in the United States, and because, if my memory serves me right, personal compliments to foreign sovereigns are not usual anywhere in communications from the Executive to the nation except under very particular circumstances. Perhaps something more general might be substituted, showing still our sense of the motives which actuated or which it may be proper to ascribe to France, and applying what we may say to the French government rather than to the Consul himself.

4th. In enumerating the advantages resulting from the acquisition of Louisiana, the most obvious, that of securing the advantages of navigation and outlet to the Western States, which is the subject of the preceding part of the paragraph, might perhaps without inconvenience be repeated next to or preceding that of securing us from collision with foreign nations. But there is another which, if it does really proceed from that event, ought not to be omitted, viz., that the acquisition of New Orleans is a most solid bond of the Union.

Another delicate and difficult subject to introduce, but which, if it could be touched, would tend to remove the only objection which, so far as I know, the Eastern Federalists have been able to press with any success, is that our object should at present be to restrain the population and settlements on this side of the Mississippi, and that the acquisition of the country west of it enables us in fact better to regulate and control the progress of our settlements. Perhaps that idea might be introduced in connection with what is said in a subsequent part of the message of the settlement of the country lately obtained from the Kaskaskias.

5th. If the authorization to take military possession is not strictly necessary, it will be much more convenient to order its being done immediately after ratification; otherwise a delay equal to the whole time employed in Congress in debating the general Edition: current; Page: [158] question whether the treaty shall be carried into effect will take place. Situated as we are as respects both France and Spain, every day may be precious. Observe that Mr. Baring informs me that his house have advanced already ten millions of livres to France on the guarantee of Messrs. Monroe and Livingston, grounded on the authority they had to dispose of two millions of dollars; should we through any accident miss the opportunity of taking possession, both the treaty and the money may be lost. It must be observed generally that not even Congress can prevent some constitutional irregularity in the proceedings relative to occupying and governing that country before an amendment to the Constitution shall take place. I think that, at all events, it will be better not to ask in direct terms for that authorization; but some general terms may be introduced in the immediately preceding article which will cover the object, such as “for the occupying and temporarily governing the country, and for its ultimate incorporation in the Union.”

6th. The paragraph in relation to the road may be omitted, as of not sufficient relative importance when compared to the other objects recommended to the consideration of Congress. I should be also inclined to strike out, for the same reason, the Missouri paragraph, especially because the result of the mission contemplated by last year’s appropriation is not yet known and cannot therefore be communicated, and because, so far as relates to what Congress should do on that subject, the substance of the paragraph might also be introduced by adding a few words to that in which the attention of Congress is called to the measures rendered necessary or expedient on account of the acquisition of Louisiana. Thus, after the words “for confirming to the Indians, &c.,” might be added, “and for establishing commercial and friendly relations with them,” and also, “for ascertaining the geography of the territory acquired.” Upon that idea the three paragraphs commencing with the words “Authority from” and ending with the words “diligence and fidelity” might be omitted, and the substance of the first and last incorporated with the preceding paragraph, commencing with the words “With the wisdom” and now ending with the words “to impair.”

Indians.—1st. If the idea of laying the Louisiana treaty before Edition: current; Page: [159] the House only after its ratification shall be adopted, a similar modification of expression would of course be adopted in the expressions communicating the substance of the treaty with the Kaskaskia tribe.

2d. Unless the idea of controlling settlements beyond the Mississippi can, as before hinted, be connected with that of opening for settlement the Kaskaskia cession, I think that, under present circumstances, it would be best for the Executive to omit the expression of an opinion in favor of extending settlements on the Mississippi within that cession, as it will be misrepresented in the eastern parts of the Union as a proof of partiality towards that western quarter, and as a wish to promote migration and to weaken rapidly the eastern interest. The subject will, without being further recommended than merely stating the cession, be taken up by the Kentucky members, who ardently wish to see a frontier settled north of them.

Great Britain is not mentioned in the message, except by an allusion to her aggressions, which cannot well be omitted, but which, contrasted with what must be said of the French government respecting Louisiana, may be more displeasing to her than is necessary, and may also be misrepresented as giving, on the whole, an aspect of partiality to the message. For the purpose of removing any such impression or insinuation, and also in order to complete the tableau of our happy situation in every respect, might not the two conventions made with that power, by which our eastern and north-western limits are fixed and every territorial subject of dispute with them is removed, be mentioned? If a paragraph to that effect was introduced, it might immediately precede that of the Kaskaskia.

War in Europe, and Neutrality.—1st. Those two subjects are so nearly the same that I think they should not be divided by the intended Finance paragraph. This might follow the Tripoli, and, in connecting the two others, some modifications in their arrangement on account of the similarity of some of the ideas contained in them might be introduced.

2d. Without expressing anything like self-applause, but referring everything to the moderate and wise policy adopted by last Congress under great provocations, and with a due acknowledgment Edition: current; Page: [160] of gratitude to Providence, I think it but fair to introduce the idea of our having, by the late successful negotiation, so happily escaped becoming parties to the war, and to contrast our situation with that of the belligerent powers, or rather with what would have been ours had a different course been pursued. In the view presented by the message, the serious evils to be apprehended by us as neutrals are above stated.

3d. It may be proper in a general enumeration to mention the propriety of restraining our citizens from embarking individually in the war. The laws on that subject are, however, as complete as possible.

4th. The sentence which conveys a menace of interdicting all intercourse appears to me much too strong for the present time. The aggressions and provocations are not yet sufficient to justify the idea; it does not seem consistent with our general policy to throw out such menace before negotiation has been tried and exhausted, and the anticipation of such state of things darkens the pleasing impression resulting from the general aspect of the message.

5th. Arena—this expression is rather strong as applied to the parties in the war. Neutral passions is ambiguous, as, instead of conveying the idea that passions should be neutralized or rendered neuter (for the observance of a neutral conduct), it seems to mean that there is a certain class of passions which are called neutral.

Finance.—I will not be able to give to the President the precise amount of the receipts in the Treasury during the last year (ending 30th September), nor of the balance in the Treasury on that day, as the Savannah and Charleston returns to that date will not reach me in time; but I will, within next week, give the amount of both within 100,000 dollars, so as to enable the President to say that the receipts have exceeded — millions — hundred thousand dollars, and that the balance amounted to near — millions — hundred thousand dollars. I will also, either this week or early next, be able to give the precise amount applied during that year to the payment of principal and interest of the public debt, distinguishing the payments on account of principal from those on account of interest.

As to the revenue accrued during the year, on which our estimates Edition: current; Page: [161] of receipts hereafter must be grounded, it will be impossible to speak with any degree of precision before 5th of November. I can only say that it has exceeded the estimate heretofore made by the Secretary of the Treasury; and on which our present arrangements have been made. As to the necessity of additional taxes, my present impression, drawn from an exact review of the revenue accrued during the year 1802 and a tolerably correct one of that accrued during the two first quarters of this year, and from Louisiana resources, is that we want about 300,000 dollars. This is grounded on the following sketch. The revenue estimated by that year’s report was equal, or nearly so, to the estimated expenditures of the year.

The revenue accrued during the year ending 30th June last exceeds the estimate by say $300,000
The imports of Louisiana in foreign articles do not exceed 2,500,000 dollars, which at our rate of duties will produce a revenue of about $350,000
from which deducting, viz.:
duties on 4 millions pounds sugar, the annual exports of Louisiana, and which coming in the United States duty free will be consumed there at 2½ cents per pound, 100,000 } $150,000
do. on 100,000 pounds indigo do. 25 cents, 25,000 }
Expenses of province 25,000 }
Net revenue $200,000
Which two items make a revenue of applicable to new objects. $500,000
Of the 15 millions purchase-money of Louisiana, we may pay two millions in specie; the interest on the remaining 13 millions is 780,000 dollars, of which 675,000 payable in Europe, which on that account will cost at least 3 per cent. more, or 20,000 dollars. The interest to be provided is not certainly less, therefore, than $800,000
Deficiency $300,000

I am afraid of a further deduction in the revenue, on account of the slow sale of lands this year, and of the slower payments; this, however, may be considered as temporary.

Edition: current; Page: [162]

If on account of the small vessels now employed for Tripoli the navy estimates can be reduced from nine hundred to six hundred thousand dollars, I think that we may venture without additional taxes; but, at all events, it will be best that the subject, if mentioned by the President, should be stated in doubtful terms, as rather a hope than a certainty, and as a subject to be investigated by Congress when they shall have received the usual estimates. The paragraph may in the mean while remain blank till the middle of next week, as that will enable me to obtain more precise results.

Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
October 6, 1803
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

The navy estimates have not yet been sent to Mr. Smith for approbation, and the substance will be communicated to me to-morrow morning. I will call with it on you, so that you may write by to-morrow’s mail. I find that the establishment now consists of the Constitution, the Philadelphia, each 44, and five small vessels, all of which are now out and intended to stay the whole year, as the crew is enlisted for two years. In my opinion, one-half of the force, viz., one frigate and two or three small vessels, were amply sufficient. The large item of repairs for vessels may be postponed till next year.

With respect, your obedient servant.

Thursday afternoon.

Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
October 28, 1803
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

I have conversed with most of the Western members of Congress respecting the possibility of raising volunteers to assist the force already prepared for occupying New Orleans. I think that I have seen thirteen out of the seventeen Edition: current; Page: [163] who compose the delegation of the three Western States, and I believe that they have all conferred on the subject. Not only they appear to be strongly impressed with the importance of the subject, but some amongst them were more alarmed than I had expected, as it had been reported that the effective regular force at Fort Adams which may be spared did not exceed three hundred men. How that fact is I do not remember, but had believed that the regulars there would amount to double that number. The result of the conversation with those gentlemen, and which they requested might be communicated to you, is, that if the Executive shall think it necessary to call any militia or volunteers in that part of the country, it may be confidently relied on that within a fortnight after the reception of the orders by the Executives of Tennessee and Kentucky fifteen hundred horsemen, all of them volunteers and well selected, shall be at Nashville, and then proceed immediately to Natchez, which they may reach within twenty days afterwards at most. About one-third of that number might meet at Nashville a few days earlier, and march across the wilderness within a fortnight, the rest to follow in divisions of two or three hundreds as they met from the more distant parts; which will also be more convenient on account of forage for the horses. Every man shall carry his own provisions across, and will be completely accoutred and armed, unless, as there are muskets at Fort Adams, it should be thought more eligible to induce a number of the volunteers not to take their rifles, and to take muskets on their arrival. The idea of going by water must be abandoned so far as relates to an immediate expedition, because the water is too low, and then there are not on the spot any immediate means of transportation. All the gentlemen agree that as to the number of men, considering that all the crops are in, the season the most favorable in point of health of the whole year, and the general zeal of the country, five thousand men could be raised at once without any difficulty, and that the only struggle will be for having permission to go. The proportion agreed on is that Tennessee should send one-third, and Kentucky the other two-thirds.

In order to judge of the benefits which may be derived from the adoption of the measure, it is necessary to compare dates, and Edition: current; Page: [164] this will show that they are less than if the measure had been adopted a fortnight ago. Supposing that on Monday next, 31st October, the mail should carry the order of the French government to deliver the province to our officers, and your instructions to General Wilkinson and Governor Claiborne, they shall be received at Natchez on the 12th or 14th of November, and if all the arrangements have been made according to orders, the militia which may be spared in the Mississippi Territory may be collected within a week at farthest, and the whole regular and militia force there depart for New Orleans on the 20th. This, I presume, may be considered as the greatest possible expedition.

Supposing that the same mail should carry the requisition to the Governor of Tennessee, it will reach Knoxville on the 5th November. If he shall issue his orders on the 7th, they will reach Nashville about the 10th, and as the population of that district is pretty compact (and the gentlemen here will write preparatory letters to the principal men there, which by the mail will have reached Nashville the 7th or 8th), one-half of the five hundred men may be ready to set off the 12th or 14th, and the other half the 17th. Supposing them also to cross the wilderness in a fortnight, the whole body would reach Natchez from the 27th November to the 3d December. This may be also considered as the greatest possible despatch. As to the men from Kentucky, the mail takes twelve days to go there, and it cannot be expected that their volunteers would be able to leave Nashville before 25th November to 1st December, or to arrive at Natchez before 15th December.

It results from thence that no part of the Tennessee and Kentucky volunteers can on any possible supposition reach Natchez until ten or twelve days after the time when, if the orders to Governor Claiborne go Monday next, the regular force and militia there shall have left it for New Orleans, and that the main body will arrive two weeks still later. The advantages, therefore, to result from adopting the measure are confined to the following two points:

1st. Governor Claiborne being informed at the same time that he shall receive his instructions of the expected reinforcement Edition: current; Page: [165] and of the time when they shall arrive, may, if he shall have been informed that the Spanish officers have refused to give possession to Laussat, wait until the first corps or the whole body (according to the degree of resistance which he may expect) shall have arrived. If Laussat shall have received possession, Governor Claiborne may proceed immediately with his own force, writing by mail a counter-order to such part of the militia as shall not have yet left Nashville.

2d. He may, at all events, march a much greater part of the Mississippi Territory militia, who will be relieved from any uneasiness respecting the Choctaws by the march of the volunteers from Tennessee and Kentucky.

Thus it is possible that the regulars and militia of the Territory would in his and General Wilkinson’s opinion be sufficient to overcome the resistance of any existing Spanish force at New Orleans, and that despatch was essentially necessary for fear of any reinforcement from Havana or other unforeseen causes. In that case the knowledge of the march and expected arrival of the volunteers would enable him to draw the whole active militia of the Territory and go on without losing an instant.

For those reasons, and also because I think that the expedition itself, which at a distance will certainly be magnified, will add to the opinion entertained abroad of our forces, resources, and energy, particularly as applicable to the future defence of the acquired country, and also to that which the newly-acquired inhabitants ought to have of our government, I think that the measure, even at this late hour, is eligible. Be pleased to excuse the freedom with which I give an opinion and perhaps interfere on a question so foreign to my proper business. But to lose the object at this time, to fail in an attempt to take forcible possession, would in every point of view be evils of such magnitude, that I cannot help feeling much anxiety for fear that in that event we should have to reproach ourselves with the omission of any practicable measure which might have prevented the misfortune. As to the expense, it is but a trifle compared with the object: two thousand volunteers at one dollar a day for seventy days are 140,000 dollars.

It is understood that if fifteen hundred effective volunteers are Edition: current; Page: [166] wanted to arrive at Natchez the requisition should be for two thousand two hundred and fifty, viz., seven hundred and fifty from Tennessee and fifteen hundred from Kentucky. As a measure which will cost nothing, will, in respect to Spain, add to their opinion of us, and may under certain circumstances be ultimately serviceable, to this force might be added ten thousand nominal men from the same States and Ohio, to be only enrolled or drafted and considered as ready to march whenever called upon. There has been something said of the want of galleys which would have been useful against those of Spain. Is not there one at Bayou Pierre?

Little reliance can be placed on the regular force at Massac, Kaskaskia, and Chickasaw Bluff, unless they have already received orders to proceed. Otherwise, on account of the low water, they will arrive too late. Yet there would be no harm in pressing by immediate orders their departure.

Respectfully, your obedient servant.
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
October 29, 1803
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

Th. Jefferson to Mr. Gallatin.

I must ask the favor of you to meet the heads of Departments here to-morrow at 12 o’clock and afterwards to dine with us. The object is to decide definitively on the arrangements which are to be despatched westwardly the next day. General Dearborn and myself had concluded to submit to the meeting a plan little different from that suggested in your letter of yesterday. To wit, to send orders to Claiborne and Wilkinson to march instantly five hundred regulars (which are prepared) from Fort Adams, and one thousand militia from the Mississippi Territory (if the information from Laussat to them shall indicate refusal from Spain). To send hence on the same day a call on the Governor of Tennessee for two thousand volunteers, and of Kentucky for four thousand, to be officered, organized, accoutred, and mustered on a day to be named, such as that Claiborne and Wilkinson might by that day send them information whether they Edition: current; Page: [167] would be wanted, and to march or do otherwise accordingly. I had since thought myself to propose that, on receiving information that there would be resistance, they should send sufficient parties of regulars and militia across the Mississippi to take by surprise New Madrid, St. Genevieve, St. Louis, and all the other small posts, and that all this should be made as much as possible the act of France, by inducing Laussat, with the aid of Clark, to raise an insurrectionary force of the inhabitants, to which ours might be only auxiliary. But all this, with much more, is to be considered to-morrow. Affectionate salutations.

Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
31st October, 1803
Washington
W. C. Claiborne
Claiborne, W. C.

GALLATIN TO W. C. CLAIBORNE, ESQ., GOVERNOR OF THE MISSISSIPPI TERRITORY, NATCHEZ.

Private.

Dear Sir,

You will receive by this mail instructions from the proper Department for taking possession of Louisiana, and for the temporary government of the province. It is understood that the existing duties on imports and exports, which by the Spanish laws are now levied within the province, will continue until Congress shall have otherwise provided. By next mail I expect to be able to write you an official letter on that subject, which will probably reach you before you can act upon it. Generally for all moneys which you may receive on that account you will be accountable to the Treasury; but I hope that we may get a law passed in time to relieve you from any trouble on that point.

The late hour at which the interference of Spain has taken place has prevented the collecting of as great force at Natchez as might, under existing circumstances, have been desirable. But I still hope that, even in the case of counter-orders having reached the Governor of Louisiana (which is improbable), you will have enough to take possession, provided that you shall not lose an instant. Five hundred horse militia are ordered from Nashville; but I do not believe that, supposing the greatest despatch, you can expect them sooner than in a fortnight after you shall receive Edition: current; Page: [168] your commission and instructions; and, although I am a very bad judge of military operations, I much doubt whether ten days gained in point of time will not be of more importance than that reinforcement. If your regulars and territorial Mississippians afford you seven or eight hundred effective men, and the Governor of Louisiana has received no reinforcement, I think that on your floating down and appearing in view they will receive you. But if even resistance should be expected, although there may be some risk in a coup de main, it appears to me less hazardous than delay. Your present force, compared with that of New Orleans, is, in my opinion, greater than any reinforcement which the militia of the Western States can afford, compared with an addition of three or four thousand regulars from Havana, which that government may easily make if they are serious in their opposition to the treaty and you shall give them time. That danger, that of their being reinforced by water, appears to me to be the greatest we have to apprehend. On that account would it not be practicable (supposing that on your arriving at New Orleans you should find yourself too weak and not sufficiently supported from within the place to risk an attack) for General Wilkinson to take such position as, whilst it gave security to his force, might enable him to intercept such reinforcements? Might not our merchant shipping in the river be used in some degree for that purpose, or something of the nature of gunboats or floating batteries be placed in the river? I mention this partly because the law to take possession having contemplated only the use of the army, navy, and militia in existence, and not the increase of naval force by purchase or otherwise, I think that nevertheless you should not hesitate to adopt any such measures which the emergency of the case will require, there being no doubt that Congress will sanction every necessary expense of that kind.

I thought of only apologizing for my not writing you by this mail on money matters, and have digressed to that subject which at present engrosses our whole attention. But I know that you have powers altogether discretionary, and you will of course consider this as the private communication of a friend who feels with all others extremely anxious on this important occasion, but whose opinion must not in any manner control your own judgment. I Edition: current; Page: [169] must add that I coincided strenuously in the idea of sending immediately the Tennessee detachment, although they might not arrive in time to assist you in taking possession, because, at all events, their approach would enable you to draw a greater force from the Territory, inasmuch as they would relieve you from any apprehension on the part of the Choctaws.

Please to give my compliments to General Wilkinson, in whose promptitude and decision his friends place great confidence in case of an attack being necessary; and accept my best wishes for your joint success.

I remain, &c.
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
November 8, 1803
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

By conversation with Dr. Jones I find that the Bentleys, who apply for the office at Yaocomico, are Tories: why Mr. Taliaferro recommended one of them I cannot understand. But Dr. Jones lives within three or four miles from the spot, and his information is certainly to be preferred. Major Tapscott is the Republican candidate: as there is no surveyor or other officer in the district, it will, notwithstanding the importance of the office, be eligible to fill it early, as a vessel might land there a cargo without a single individual opposing it.

I enclose the rough draft of the answer to Governor Harrison; if the discretion given to him be too great, please to correct it. I have modified the express prohibition against those concerned in any lick, as I believe that almost every applicant was concerned in some small spring or other. Mr. Bell, I know, was so engaged. Mr. Bedinger of Congress has given me a letter from a Mr. Morgan, who he says may be depended upon as to veracity, although he may be mistaken in the quantity of water, and which I enclose on account of his information respecting Mr. Bell.

Several of the memoranda enclosed by Mr. Clark to Mr. Madison deserve notice, and I have noted such as relate more particularly to the Treasury Department. It is necessary to observe that none of the general officers of the Spanish province of Louisiana can be appointed, and perhaps very few can be Edition: current; Page: [170] removed by the governor or intendant; and that great many of those offices ought immediately to cease, or to be exercised by other persons. I think, therefore,

1st. That the collector of Natchez (Mr. Trist) should by next mail receive a commission vesting in him the powers heretofore exercised by the Administrator, Treasurer, and Contador of the custom-house, which will enable him to collect the revenue.

2d. That the governor (Claiborne) should be specially authorized and directed to suppress all useless offices, and to suspend all officers as he shall think fit. In order to throw light on this subject, I enclose two papers which I have extracted from the several documents sent by Clark, and which are much more correct than his own results, as from having neglected to analyze the Treasurer’s accounts, of which he had obtained a copy, he had supposed the expenses of the province more than two hundred thousand dollars greater than they really are.

The first paper on “Receipts and Expenditures for 1802” is authentic, being the real account for that year. The other paper is the estimate of the annual expense drawn in 1785, but corrected for 1803 by the contador of the army, and arranged by me for the purpose of classifying the several species of officers: it will, though only an estimate, give more information for the intended object than the account.

I have preserved copies of neither, and will occasionally want them again. I think that they ought not to be printed with the other papers, as they bear evident marks of official documents, and would injure the person from whom obtained, who is the same whom Clark recommends for Spanish consul at New Orleans.

Respectfully, your obedient servant.
Edition: current; Page: [171]
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
December 13, 1803
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.1

Dear Sir,

Wherever our moneys may be deposited, the Treasurer’s draft for the same has the same credit as any bank-note, and the circulation of those drafts would be more extensive than now, if they were, like bank-notes, payable to bearer. Unless, however, we wanted, which we do not, to issue exchequer bills or paper money of some description or another, it never will happen that our drafts shall be issued except in payment of a demand, and made payable to the person whose demand is thus discharged. The great advantages we derive from banks, and especially from the Bank of the United States, are:

1st. A safe place of deposit for the public moneys.

2d. The instantaneous transmission of such moneys from any one part of the continent to another, the bank giving us immediately credit at New York, if we want it, for any sum we may have at Savannah, or at any other of their offices, and vice versa.

3d. The great facility which an increased circulation and discounts give to the collection of the revenue.

For these reasons I am extremely anxious to see a bank at New Orleans; considering the distance of that place, our own security and even that of the collector will be eminently promoted, and the transmission of moneys arising both from the impost and sales of lands in the Mississippi Territory would without it be a very difficult and sometimes dangerous operation.

Against this there are none but political objections, and those will lose much of their force when the little injury they can do us and the dependence in which they are on government are duly estimated. They may vote as they please and take their own papers, but they are formidable only as individuals and as merchants, and not as bankers. Whenever they shall appear to be really dangerous, they are completely in our power and may be crushed.

Edition: current; Page: [172]

As to the answer to the letter, I agree fully with you, and intended only to give a civil answer, without committing us on the question of expediency. It shall be altered so as to answer that object.

What must be done with the New Orleans hospital, and Dr. Bache’s indirect application for increase of salary? One thousand dollars is fully sufficient; we give no more anywhere else.

With sincere respect and attachment, your obedient servant.

Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
January 11, 1804
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

Mr. Baring has concluded, notwithstanding Mr. Pichon’s entreaties, not to take the stock till we shall have heard from New Orleans. He urges that it is not just that the risk, however improbable the event, of our not obtaining possession should fall on him, which he says would be the case if he gave a receipt for the stock before we knew that we have possession. I offered to give him the certificates leaving the date of interest in blank, we agreeing merely that it should be filled with the day of taking possession whenever known; and I told him that next week, being the last of the three months, I would insist on his taking the stock, and on his refusal would deliver it to Mr. Pichon. He says that in that case he will take it, as our forcing it upon him will be a pledge of our obligation to pay even if we should not obtain possession.

As Mr. Pichon is much disappointed, I beg that the moment you may hear from New Orleans you will have the goodness to drop me a line stating the day when possession was obtained.

Respectfully, your most obedient servant.

Wednesday.

It was agreed by Mr. Pichon, in the course of the conversation, that our delivery of the stock would be a nullity in case of our not obtaining possession, as the United States were not bound by the treaty to pay if France did not comply with the treaty.

Edition: current; Page: [173]
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
18th January, 1804
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

Mr. Harvie called on me this evening to inform me of his being selected to carry the stock to France, and wishing that this might be ready to-morrow. The stock is ready, but there are two circumstances to be attended to.

In the course of the transaction I have always reminded Mr. Pichon that we were neither bound to transmit the stock nor liable for any accidents which might attach to the transmission; but that, desirous of assisting in everything which was convenient for the French government, we would transmit the stock in such manner and by such means as he would himself select; and I have obtained from him an official letter stating that the warrant of the Secretary to the Register of the Treasury to deliver one-third of the stock, and to transmit the other two-thirds, was to be considered and held as a complete fulfilment of the engagement entered into by the United States to transfer the stock within three months after the exchange of ratifications; and in the same letter, which is also signed by Baring and addressed to the Register, this officer is directed by them to transmit the stock by the first public vessel or safe opportunity. It was at the same time verbally agreed that Mr. Pichon should pay the extra expense of the provision vessel touching at a French port, and also that the stock should be placed under the care of an officer of our navy. The selection of your private secretary must appear so eligible to him that he certainly will not object; but I think that, in order to guard against any possible accident, it is proper to obtain his assent in writing to Mr. Harvie being the bearer.

The other consideration is that of expense. Doubting, as we were not bound to transmit the stock, of the authority of incurring expense for that object, I put down a few days ago, in a small additional estimate of appropriation sent to the Committee of Ways and Means, an item, for the printing and transmission of the certificates, of 1500 dollars. In the mean while it seems proper that the expense should not be larger than necessary. By the arrangement with Mr. Smith, as an officer was to be the bearer, Edition: current; Page: [174] no other would have been incurred than the price of his passage to and from Europe; and it was intended that he should leave the stock with our consul at the first French port, and should proceed in the provision ship to Gibraltar, where he might join the squadron if wanted, or return in the vessel. If Mr. Harvie shall go, is it intended that the same course should be followed? or is he to go to Paris?

In either case is he to receive a compensation, — paying his passage? and if so, from what fund should it be paid if the proposed appropriation should not pass?

I will call to-morrow morning on you, but send this letter in order that you may be ready to decide, as Mr. Harvie told me that he wished to go immediately as far as Richmond. Should he, when arrived there, find it inconvenient for family reasons not to proceed, provision must also be made for the mode of transmitting the stock from thence to Norfolk.

I enclose the sketch of a letter intended for Mr. Pichon.

With sincere respect and attachment, your obedient servant.

Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
1804
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

Th. J. to Mr. Gallatin.

I have always proposed to reappoint General Gibson to his present office, wherein I hear of no complaint against him. Neither his age nor understanding entitles him to anything beyond that, and equal to his ancient military rank.

I personally know those who recommend Dr. Baldwin. Kinney is a good man, but as a Federalist feels no great interest in our making good appointments. Judge Stuart is my intimate friend and élève. He would not lead me into a scrape; accordingly, in his letter there is not one word of Baldwin’s talents, and from a conversation or two with the latter, I should suspect him to be ignorant. The best person I know for the hospital at New Orleans is Dr. Barnwell, of Philadelphia. He applied the last year, and I had a book of his to judge him by, and from that concluded his talents perfectly adequate and beyond what Edition: current; Page: [175] we could expect to get for that place. I wrote to Philadelphia to Dr. Wistar particularly to learn his character; his report was strongly favorable. But as it proved that Bache would accept, he was preferred. There is a Dr. Wallace who stands next to Barnwell among the candidates, but he is a Virginian. Baldwin had better be informed that no appointment being made, no other answer is ever given to anybody.

Among the candidates for the light-house at Old Point Comfort, Captain Eli Vickery seems decidedly the best. There is a Mr. Bingham from Richmond well recommended, but it must be quite out of his line; whereas Vickery is an old sea-captain. Nothing is said of the politics of either, but both are recommended by the best Republicans. If you know no reason to the contrary, appoint Vickery.

I think it would be well to consult Mr. Huger as to Captain Tucker Howland for the light-house on North Island. Should he know nothing against him, I suppose he must be appointed on Mr. Stevens’s recommendation.

There are two matters which were the subjects of conversation between us the first year of our being in the Administration, and which were reserved for future consideration, which, as I always forget to mention when I see you, I will now notice in writing. One was the adopting some means of ascertaining the exports from and the imports consumed in each State respectively. This would be an element in our political arithmetic which it might be useful to possess in the various estimates and views of our affairs. I remember you thought, primâ facie, it could be done without great trouble. The other was the laying before Congress at some time of every session a calendar of, 1, the interest of the public debt paid in each year; 2, the principal paid or added; 3, the principal remaining due at the end of each year. This calendar to be carried back as far as possible, even to the commencement of the present Constitution if practicable. This would be laborious; but could not some one of abilities and disposition proper for it be selected and employed on it solely until completed? Would it not be useful also to oblige our successors, by setting the example ourselves, of laying annually before Congress a similar calendar of the expenditures, 1, for the civil, 2, the military, Edition: current; Page: [176] 3, the naval departments, in a single sum each? The greatest security against the introduction of corrupt practices and principles into our government, which can be relied on in practice, is to make the continuance of an Administration depend on their keeping the public expenses down at their minimum. The people at large are not judges of theoretic principles, but they can judge on comparative statements of the expense of different epochs. When you shall have bestowed some thought on these subjects, we will have conversation on them. Affectionate salutations.

Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
February 11, 1804
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

It is necessary to know where Eli Vickery lives in order to notify him of his appointment to keep the Old Point Comfort light-house.

The enclosed you have already seen, and I have already communicated my opinion of Davies’s inability, which is rather felt than susceptible of positive proof. The employment of clerks of inferior abilities is known already at the Treasury. I might write to Gatewood if it shall be your opinion that on his testifying the truth of the allegations Davies shall be removed; it is proper to state that Gatewood was the candidate for the office when Davies was appointed, and is of course inimical to him. Your idea to suffer the man to die appears to me dangerous.

The last six months that a man who is not fit for the office remains in it are always those during which confusion of accounts and delinquency either take place or increase beyond bounds. Witness Habersham, Holmes, Bird, Lamb, Delaney, E. Livingston, &c. [—] is the only instance, to my knowledge, where a delinquency of several years’ standing had not increased for the four or five last he was in office. Whenever a successor shall be appointed, it is desirable that he may have activity, assiduity, and competent talents; for Norfolk may now be ranked amongst the large ports, and the office of collector, if well executed, will require the constant attention of the officer. The only man Edition: current; Page: [177] who has been mentioned to me is Tazewell, by whom I do not recollect, but I believe by Mr. Madison.

I have this year, with much labor, laid the foundation in the report on the sinking fund of the public debt calendar, by stating with perfect correctness the application during the year 1802 to principal and interest. I had intended to add to it the state of the debt at the commencement and end of the year; but the statements prepared for that purpose did not please me, and I had not time to correct them before the report must necessarily be made. I have them now on hand in order that they may appear in next year’s report, and I may set any clerk, with very little superintendence, to pursue the subject, on the same plan, from year to year back to any given year.

I am afraid that an account of coastway exports cannot be correctly obtained, and if obtained would not give the true amount of produce of each State.

Thus, Alexandria exports (to other States) Maryland tobacco and flour and Pennsylvania flour; Baltimore exports much Pennsylvania produce, Petersburg a considerable quantity of North Carolina do., &c. I will, however, take the subject under consideration, and see whether any returns may be required from the collectors which will assist in forming an estimate.

With respect, your obedient servant.
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
15th February, 1804
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

Wilson Nicholas called again on me this morning, and seems to prefer an office in New Orleans for his nephew. Yet there is a difficulty, as we must have all the custom-house officers at New Orleans immediately, and the business of the commissioners at Mobile will not be terminated till in the course of the summer, and perhaps later.

The vacancy on the bench occasions already conjectures and half-applications. Wade Hampton is anxious for Mr. Julius Pringle. Of that gentleman, whom I never saw, I know only Edition: current; Page: [178] that he was considered, when pleading before the Supreme Court of the United States, as extremely wild, and that he has assisted the Yazoo companies with his professional advice, a circumstance which may perhaps have some weight with Mr. Hampton. The importance of filling this vacancy with a Republican and a man of sufficient talents to be useful is obvious, but the task is difficult. As there are now two circuits without a residing judge (the circuit of Virginia and North Carolina having yet two), the person may be taken from either. If taken from the 2d district, Brockholst Livingston is certainly first in point of talents, and, as he is a State judge, would accept. If taken from the 6th district, unless you know some proper person, inquiry will be necessary. Parker, the district attorney, seems qualified, but he is a Federalist.

I am told that the practice is as loose in Georgia as in New England, and that a real lawyer could not easily be found there. But South Carolina stands high in that respect, at least in reputation.

With great respect, your obedient servant.
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
February 21, 1804
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.1

Dear Sir,

Dr. Stevens’s case shall receive a full and candid investigation. But it embraces several important considerations both as to constitution and law and as to facts; and I fear that I may not have time to apply my mind to it before the numerous Congressional subjects with which I am still engaged shall have been disposed of. So far as relates to this Department it must go through two stages, viz., settlement of accounts, and payment. Although from the general superintendence vested in the Secretary there is no impropriety in his interference, and it may even be his duty in certain cases to interfere in questions arising in the settlement of accounts, in this instance, whatever Edition: current; Page: [179] my opinion may be, I certainly will yield to yours if, after a full examination, you shall differ; and will, if Mr. Duval assents, give to that part of the business any direction you may think eligible. Permit me at the same time, with perfect respect and great deference to your judgment, to say that, so far as relates to payment, this being a question of appropriation of which the Secretary of the Treasury is, in the nature of things, left sole judge, and for which he is alone responsible, it seems to me just that on that point he should be permitted to act in conformity with his own view of the subject. In saying this I do not by any means intend to prejudge the case on either of the questions arising under it, farther than I have already done, and I certainly will reconsider them with great attention.

I enclose some letters respecting Banning, which left a very unfavorable impression on my mind. I have no doubt that, after having misconstrued the law, he misrepresented the opinion I had given. I have seen him; he is an extremely weak young man; of his incapacity you need not entertain any doubt; his only qualification is to write a good hand; and he is extremely obnoxious. I enclose a letter just received from Mr. Davies, the collector of Norfolk. Does it require an answer? The letters to Mr. Rodney are returned. I will write immediately to Mr. McCreery respecting Molier.

If a Frenchman is to be chosen, D’Herbigny may, I think, be trusted. He is generally esteemed, writes English with sufficient correctness, and is with us,—an American much more than a Frenchman.

Respectfully, your obedient servant.
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
15th March, 1804
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

Conversing with Mr. Madison on the subject of Mobile, and of our regulations respecting the Mississippi, he seemed to apprehend some difficulty in justifying our conduct, or rather instructions, to impartial men.

Edition: current; Page: [180]

If upon a full consideration of the subject that difficulty shall be obvious, it would follow that we have not taken solid ground.

That question you must decide, and I write only to express a wish that you will examine it as if it had not yet been decided.

For, should you, upon the whole, think it best not to persevere in some one of the rules we had adopted, and especially in that which forbids Spanish vessels ascending the Mississippi to Baton Rouge, I will undertake to relieve the Executive from any apparent fluctuation by writing to Trist that the President, upon full consideration of the instructions which I had given to the collector, has directed me to alter so much thereof, &c.

Respectfully, your obedient servant.
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
28th March, 1804
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

Under the law providing for the sale of lands in the Indiana Territory, three new land offices are to be established, viz.: at Vincennes for the tract around it, at Kaskaskia for the new purchase on the Mississippi and Ohio, and at Detroit for such lands as are public property in that quarter; and the register and receiver are made commissioners to examine existing claims to lands in each district respectively, and to report to Congress.

The first step to be taken in relation to the Detroit district is to ascertain whether the title to any vacant lands has been extinguished, and to authorize some line of demarcation between the Indians and the United States. Until that shall be done it is not practicable for the Secretary of the Treasury to give any directions to the Surveyor-General respecting the surveys.

It is also necessary to ascertain whether no other Indian tribe but the Kaskaskias has any claim to the large purchase on the Mississippi and Ohio before the Indian boundary-line can be run with safety. I will only observe that in relation to this and the other district, it will be important that the Indian boundary-lines Edition: current; Page: [181] should be run under the direction of the Surveyor-General, and not by any special agent appointed for that purpose by the War Department. The powers of the Surveyor-General now extend to the whole Indiana Territory, and those Indian lines being the outlines of the public lands, it will create much confusion unless the whole shall be done by direction of one person; the Surveyor-General would, of course, receive on that subject the instructions from the War Department, if any shall be found necessary.

The Indian boundary-line of the public lands in the State of Ohio was run in that manner, and serves to connect all our surveys, and I expect that the surveyor of the Mississippi Territory will have as much trouble and incur as much expense in tracing General Wilkinson’s boundary-lines as if he had run them originally himself.

The Indian boundary-line of the Vincennes tract being ascertained, the Surveyor-General will be instructed immediately to survey, and every endeavor used to have the claims there examined, and reported to Congress next fall, so that the public lands may be ready for sale early in 1805.

In each of the three districts a register and receiver will be necessary to act as commissioners on the claims; but as they will not meet in that character and as a board till September, there is time enough to find proper characters for receivers. The registers, however, as they are to receive, file, and record all the claims of individuals, should be appointed as early as possible, in order that they may have opened their offices and received the claims before the meeting of the board. This is especially necessary at Vincennes, where everything else is ready. At neither of the three places do I know any person fit for the office: there will be more found, however, at Detroit than in either of the other two. A Mr. Bates, brother of the prothonotary of Pittsburgh, has been highly recommended. Mr. Jewett, unless his present office is better, would be the best qualified from what he has already done there.

For the office of register at Vincennes permit me to recommend to you John Badollet, of Greene County, in Pennsylvania. I know no man of more strict integrity or better qualified for Edition: current; Page: [182] that office, and he has long been desirous to remove to that place, where his tried Republicanism would, I think, be useful.

There is but one objection to him, which is that of being my intimate personal friend, having been brought up at college with me and removed to the United States a short time after me. As to language, he speaks English better than I do, and has been for twelve years the only efficient associate judge of his county. A letter on that subject is enclosed, which Mr. Smilie put in my hand yesterday, and has induced me, though reluctantly, to make this application.

A Dr. Gano, of Kentucky, was recommended for receiver at the same place; but he is liable to intoxication. Mr. Monroe has recommended a Mr. Michael Jones for either of the offices, and Mr. Worthington a Mr. Hoffman, of whom I have heard Holmes and others speak highly, and who is now clerk of their Legislature.

There is also an agent to investigate claims and defend the United States against frauds in that respect in the Mississippi Territory, who should be appointed immediately. There is already one applicant, a Mr. Easton, of New York, who appears to me, from his looks and conversation, an amphibious character; and one person has been recommended whose appearance in point of talents, &c., is prepossessing, a Mr. John Taylor Lomax, of Port Royal, in Virginia.

A surveyor of customs is to be appointed at Marblehead, but Crowninshield requests that we may wait till we hear from him on that subject.

A collector at Mobile should also be appointed. If Mr. Nicholas is to be the man, there will be no difficulty, and the district may be created at once.

It would have the good effect to prove to Spain, by making Fort Stoddart the port of entry, that we have no intention to exercise jurisdiction under the 17th Section of the revenue law within the Territories in her possession.

These do, I believe, constitute all the objects immediately pertaining to the Treasury Department which may require your attention before your departure.

Respectfully, your obedient servant.
Edition: current; Page: [183]
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
5th April, 1804
Washington
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

I sincerely hope that you have on your arrival found Mrs. Eppes in a fair way of recovering. The weather and city have been gloomy enough since your departure; and Mrs. G. is anxious that I should take her to New York. If I can possibly complete in time the business and arrangements resulting from the laws of last session, I will try to do it early enough to be back here when you shall return.

Messrs. Duponceau, Barnwell, and Lomax have been written to. Nothing new in this Department beyond the mere routine of business.

I enclose some very lengthy, though crude and ill-arranged, observations on Dr. Stevens’s claim. Yet the argument drawn from his mission not being to the authorized government of a foreign nation, appears to me conclusive to prove the impropriety of applying to that object the moneys appropriated for intercourse with foreign nations. And the more I have considered the case the more have I been convinced that it was a claim sui generis, a decision on which could affect no other; that none of a similar kind in all of its parts had ever been admitted by mere Executive authority, and that it seemed to be, in a peculiar manner, one that wanted legislative sanction.

He called on me last Sunday, and I mentioned my opinion to him; he rather acqniesced, except in that which related to the evidence of a contract. On that part of the subject I might have added some further observations.

With sincere respect and attachment, your obedient servant.

Enclosed you will also find copies of all papers in the Treasury which relate to Dr. Stevens’s claim.

Edition: current; Page: [184]
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
12th April, 1804
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

The enclosed letters from Governor Claiborne to Mr. Madison were communicated to me with a request that they should be transmitted to you. On the subject of the seamen, Mr. Trist will receive the proper instructions as soon as Dr. Barnwell’s answer shall have been obtained. But Mr. Claiborne’s conduct respecting the establishment of a bank appears inexplicable, for you will find by the enclosed paragraph of a New York paper that, without waiting for an answer, he has already authorized the institution. In so doing, he appears to me to have exceeded his powers; and he has thereby, without his knowledge, it is true, acted contrary to the intention, and even to an act of Congress, and will probably defeat the establishment of a branch bank, which we considered of great importance to the safety of the revenue, and as a bond of union between the Atlantic and Mississippi interests.

His powers were no greater than those of a Spanish governor or intendant; and these were confined to temporary ordinances, and not to the making of laws of a permanent nature, much less to granting charters which could not be revoked by a successor. The argument indeed of the governor, drawn from the general power of passing ordinances for the improvement of the province, shows that only temporary ordinances and such as might be revoked would have been meant, otherwise it would have been a complete transfer of the legislative authority. But Mr. Claiborne knew also that the powers vested in him were so loosely defined through necessity alone, and on account of the urgency of the case; he knew that they were given for a short time, and that every mail might supersede them by the arrival of a law establishing a permanent form of government; he must have been fully aware that an Executive charter was unknown to our government, and he should have felt that of all acts of government none perhaps was more delicate, none required greater discretion and caution to guard it against improper speculations, than the granting of a bank charter. It seems inexcusable Edition: current; Page: [185] that he should, under all those circumstances, have abused the confidence vested by the Legislature in the Executive, and by the Executive in him, by doing an act of the highest legislative nature, and one which (except by himself) cannot be revoked, without even consulting the President or Secretary of State; and I cannot account for this strange conduct in any other way than by ascribing it to the arrival and influence of Edward Livingston. The speculation shall have been forcibly pressed on the governor, and he has, unfortunately, yielded. I wish that, at least, he may not be personally concerned, but have been informed, through Lyon’s channel, that General Wilkinson was interested in it.

That the Legislature had in view the establishment of a branch of the Bank of the United States is evident from their acts; and the law which extends to the ceded Territories the operation of all the acts concerning the Bank of the United States precludes, during the continuance of its charter, the establishment of any other bank in the said Territories. The establishment of a branch was so advantageous to the revenue, and, on account of the distance, so inconvenient to the Bank of the United States, that it is with great difficulty, and by making arrangements for the sole purpose of surmounting the difficulties in the way, that I was able to prevail on that institution to assent to the measure. Much do I apprehend that they will seize this opportunity of refusing to proceed; and it is truly vexatious that the plans of this Department, carried under the sanction of a law, should be defeated by such unexpected and unauthorized interference. I will write to Governor Claiborne, but can only write a private letter, as there is no connection between his office and the Treasury. My idea is that he should, by virtue of the same authority which granted, revoke the charter, leaving the Louisiana bank on the footing of a private association.

With sincere respect and attachment, your obedient servant.

Edition: current; Page: [186]
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
April 15, 1804
Monticello
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

Dear Sir,

According to the letter of Mr. Wagner enclosed in yours of the 7th inst., on the subject of the misnomer of the inspector for Indiantown, a commission should have been enclosed; but none came. Neither of those letters mention either the real or mistaken name, nor does my memory help me to either, and I have no papers here which can recall the case to my mind. I can only observe generally, therefore, that if the name given to the Senate was true as far as it went, but defective in an intermediate initial only, I should doubt the necessity of a renomination to them, because, although the name is the usual and best means of designating a person, yet the law allows it to be supplied where defective, or even corrected where wrong, by any other evidence sufficient to establish the identity. It is probable that circumstances of residence, or of character, or of some other definite mark, would show that both the Executive and Senate had the same individual in their mind on whom they meant to bestow the office. However, till I know the degree of misnomer, and whether there exists any other person to whom the designation of name and other characteristics would apply, I cannot say what had best be done. I presume the commissions will come in both forms; it may be added that to fill by a temporary commission an office which became vacant during the session of the Senate, though sometimes done in cases of unavoidable necessity, is yet against the letter of the Constitution, and as much an irregularity as to disregard a literal error in a name.

I have read with attention your observations on Dr. Stevens’s case, but have not as yet had time to weigh them fully; primâ facie, I think your outworks stronger than your main citadel. The want of the best evidence which the nature of the case admits, and the illegitimate character of that adduced, are circumstances to which my attention had not been drawn by anything which had preceded. Should they ultimately prove a bar, the case may go off without a decision on the principle Edition: current; Page: [187] which had been in question. Though still I think we had better endeavor at some such modification of the principle as, uniting practicability with legal authority and constitutional safety, may enable us to act in union.

W. C. N. called on me two days ago; he had not completely made up his mind, and, mentioning that he proposed to go to the spot to satisfy himself, expressed a wish that he could receive the commission there, and accept or decline it according to the judgment he should then have formed. I told him that was impossible, because we held ourselves in duty bound to permit the incumbent to resign, which would require probably to the end of May before a new commission could be in his hands. On that consideration, which he approved, he declined his journey, and I told him I would ask the favor of you to take immediate measures to wind up the present commission with as little delay as should be consistent with a resignation. We may therefore now consider his determination as fixed, and awaiting only your movements.

A letter from Leghorn of February 4 informed me Preble had taken a Tripoline vessel with seventy men, bound to Constantinople with presents to the Grand Signior. I wish he had had the boldness to send the presents in a vessel of ours to the Grand Signior, as an offering of our respect; perhaps (as they must still exist in form) we should do well to order it now, accompanying them with a letter from the Secretary of State to their Minister of Foreign Affairs. Accept my affectionate salutations and assurances of respect.

Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
16th April, 1804
Washington
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

I enclose a correspondence with Mr. Merry respecting the mode of collecting duties in Canada, and a letter concerning Commodore Whipple, which I presume to be the result of some inquiries on your part. The subject of the Louisiana intruders is very delicate. The law will not be in force till Edition: current; Page: [188] October, and the first question is whether the governor or any other inferior authority of Louisiana had under the Spanish government the power to remove persons settling on the public lands without leave. Without having any positive knowledge of the fact, I take it for granted that they had. If so, it seems better to prevent than to exclude. Power might be given and instructions transmitted to remove immediately all those who would settle on public lands after the date of the proclamation to be issued on the subject,—the proclamation to give a certain time to all intruders who might have settled between — December last and the date of the proclamation. With vigilance the officers may be strong enough to drive away one by one every person who shall intrude on the lands subsequent to the day proclaimed; and perhaps they might fail in an attempt to remove those who were intruders previous to that date. Perhaps some discretion might be given to the officers. If the settlements are on the river, a boat going up and down might be useful. The small force of the United States did actually prevent any settlement on the north of the Ohio, except on lands purchased from Congress, from 1783 till 1795.

From 1783 till 1786 the Indians were not dangerous, and repeated attempts were made to settle. A company was kept going up and down the Ohio from the Pennsylvania line down to Cincinnati; they had to burn every cabin; in some instances, though not generally, they laid down or burnt the fences; the men generally absconded, and the women and children were taken across the river to the next settlement, which usually was just opposite. But it was necessary to repeat the operation, and I know persons whose cabins were burnt and settlement destroyed three times. No blood was shed, and the perseverance of the troops gained the point.

There is, however, here a greater difficulty. In the case I have mentioned, every person found north of the Ohio was an intruder, and liable to be removed; now it will be more difficult to discriminate.

At all events, I think that a general proclamation from yourself should precede military expulsion: it would certainly have a powerful effect.

Edition: current; Page: [189]

Mr. Duponceau declines going to Louisiana. Dr. Barnwell will go.

With sincere respect and attachment, your obedient servant.

Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
April 27, 1804
Monticello
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

Dear Sir,

I return you the papers concerning the duties payable in the Western ports, and consider the opinion you have given as a sound one.

The case of the Louisiana squatters is a serious one from its magnitude, yet to be touched with a hand as careful as firm. A proclamation must doubtless precede any act of force. The cases may be analyzed in the following gradation: 1st. Squatters since notice of the Treaty of St. Ildefonso, without any authority. 2d. Possessions taken under regular forms, but of dates subsequent to notice of the treaty. 3d. Possessions under regular forms, of dates prior to that notice, but liable to suspicion of being antedated. As to the first class there can be no doubt; and little, I think, as to the second. The third alone will require care. They may be subdivided into settlements already made, and those which may be now attempted to be made; the last may be prevented with more boldness, but the former would require judgment and temper. Yet they are probably the most material to break up. As we are to appoint commandants to take place October 1, if we should select the best of those, and send him immediately with the powers of a Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Louisiana, but under such a title as their laws recognize, I think we might trust him with this power; either giving him original or appellate powers from the present military officers. Among the persons talked of between General Dearborn and myself for future commandants, Thomas Blount is the one who, I think, possesses the most understanding and discretion. I should not fear to trust him. He might accept, perhaps, on an assurance of succeeding as colonel commandant. As I shall be with you in a fortnight, it may be thought of till Edition: current; Page: [190] then. I meant to be understood in my former letter that though W. C. N. had wished to be allowed to make up his mind finally after arriving at the spot, yet, when I informed him that could not be, he came at once to a decision to accept. He wishes to be there as soon as possible, because he fears the putting the office in order may take considerable time, and detain him there in the sickly season, which he would much dread in the beginning; consequently, the sooner the change can now be made and notified to him, the better. Accept my affectionate salutations and assurances of great respect.

Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
3d May, 1804
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

Finding your return somewhat retarded, my anxiety to take Mrs. Gallatin to her father and to place my children at school induces me to go now, as I presume I could not have left this city for some weeks after your return. I expect to be absent three weeks from this day, and hope I shall not be wanted during that time. Finding the business of the supervisor of Massachusetts brought to a close, I have anticipated your decision and written to him that his office was suppressed. I was prevented from doing the same in Tennessee and Virginia only on account of the provisions enacted last session respecting the redemption of lands sold for non-payment of taxes. The necessary arrangements have been made to carry into effect the land and revenue laws of last session, with two exceptions, viz., the appointment of a register at Detroit and of an agent at Natchez. For the first office there are two characters at Detroit, Bates and Lewis Bond. The first is preferable, so far as I can judge, but may be wanted for receiver. For the other office, Mr. Poindexter, attorney-general of the Territory, is recommended by Mr. Briggs and by Mr. Williams. The remittances for the Dutch debt are paid for, and made so as to meet all demands there till 1st June, 1805, and the instalment of September, 1805, will be anticipated and paid this year.

Edition: current; Page: [191]

In every arrangement not connected with this Department which may be adopted, I have but one observation, which is to request that the Treasury may not be pressed this year beyond our former calculations. The Norfolk act will cause some defalcation this year. I allow three hundred thousand dollars to the Secretary of the Navy for the equipment of the four additional frigates: he wants four hundred thousand dollars; but that is too much, as he pays them only four months’ pay and about three months’ provisions. Those together make a considerable sum beyond the estimate of last year, and, although the revenue exceeds our calculations, the exportation and debentures this winter and spring are very large. But it is not only on account of the Treasury that I wish an abstinence of expenses: it is on account of the prodigious drain of specie, principally dollars, which has taken place and continues. There are not at present one hundred thousand dollars in dollars in Philadelphia, New York, and Boston put together. More than three millions of dollars have been exported within six months from the vaults of the Bank of the United States alone, and our second instalment to Great Britain will in July take nearly nine hundred thousand dollars more. The principal cause of the drain is that no specie has been last year or is now imported either from the British or Spanish American colonies. Under those circumstances, it is highly desirable to leave as large deposits with the bank as the public service will permit. If we press them hard, they must curtail their discounts suddenly to an extent equally injurious to commerce and our revenue.

With sincere respect and attachment, your obedient servant.

Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
11th May, 1804
New York
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

On receipt of your letter of the 27th ultimo, which was, I think, on the 2d instant, I had immediately a commission issued in Mr. Nicholas’s name and transmitted to him at Warren, and by same mail wrote to Mr. Davies that his Edition: current; Page: [192] resignation would be accepted. It is not practicable to recall the proceedings.

I never had thought Mr. Nicholson equal to the office of Commissioner of Loans, and, on hearing of his long sickness, repeatedly urged a resignation. I find him so weak and so incapable to attend to the duties of the office, that I consider him as having been at the mercy of his clerks for several months. He informs me that he has sent a resignation to you. Permit me, from public and personal motives, to urge the necessity of an early appointment.

I enclose a letter from Mr. Crowninshield recommending a proper person as surveyor of Marblehead, a new office created last session. I presume that his recommendation may be considered as unexceptionable. Two commissions are necessary, viz., surveyor of the — of Marblehead, and inspector of the revenue for the port of do.

I dislike so much the appointment of military commandants in Upper Louisiana, and, perhaps for that reason, think so probable that the system will soon be repealed, that the choice of proper persons has not appeared to me to be of first-rate importance. Yet the reputation of the Administration seems to require that public opinion in North Carolina should have pronounced in favor of Thomas Blount in relation to the unfortunate land business in which his name was connected with that of his brother. I do not know how that fact stands, but would like to know Macon’s and Franklin’s opinion. I feel friendly disposed and strongly prejudiced in his favor, and have no doubt of his being qualified. Another man, Seth Hunt, has been mentioned. I know nothing of him; but I discovered that he was so obnoxious to all our Southern friends, and he is so much so to the Eastern Federalists, that if his appointment depends on a confirmation of the Senate, I would doubt its being ratified.

It is generally believed that this State will return fifteen Republican members, and only two Federalists, Rensselaer and Livingston. McCord, under an unjust suspicion of Burrism, has lost his election, and Thomas, by recanting, has escaped. Root and Patterson are both turned out; but Palmer has also Edition: current; Page: [193] lost his election; his opponent is, however, a firm Republican, named Sailly, a French Canadian, settled since the war on Lake Champlain. All the returns are not, however, complete, and, as there are ten new members, the politics of some may not be fully understood. Unfortunately, there is very little accession of talents. Tompkins and Sailly are said to be the best. Hardly expecting to see again Mr. Nicholson, it is with difficulty I can immediately leave this place; but will not, however, exceed the time I mentioned, and expect to be at Washington on the 24th.

With great attachment and sincere respect, your obedient servant.

Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
30th May, 1804
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

I had selected Dowlf’s name for the very reason you mentioned; having conjectured that his politics were preferable from Fairley’s recommendation, and that Lowell’s were not from being particularly recommended by Lincoln. Otherwise they are so equal that that consideration might reasonably be allowed to give the preference. The doctrine as it respects Bowen had, it seems to me, better be understood than avowed.1 So many local and particular considerations which cannot always be explained, and if explained may be misunderstood, form exceptions to any general rule on that subject, that I think it safer silently to follow yours, so far as practicable, than to make an explicit declaration which will open a new field of attack against us. Whenever a man of that description is removed, let it be understood generally that he continued actively opposed; and that will forever justify the act with all our friends without any positive declaration; on the other hand, should the declaration be made, either General Lincoln (not to mention several others) must be removed, or an explanation given why, after his indecent and outrageous conduct, he is permitted to remain in office.

Edition: current; Page: [194]

The name of Hoffman, to whom it is intended to offer the office of register of the land office at Detroit, is George.

If a commission issues in favor of General Skinner, he should be written to repair immediately to Boston, and to send his bond, in order that we may remit to him in time the sums wanted to pay the dividends on 1st July. Some inconvenience was experienced when Mr. Jones was appointed, which, had it taken place in Boston, and any delay in paying the dividends been the consequence, would have produced a monstrous clamor.

Indeed, it would, on that account, be much more eligible to delay the commission till 1st July. For Perkins may throw great difficulties in his way at the end of the quarter; as all the calculations of dividends are made out the last fortnight. This may be explained to General Skinner as the reason of the delay, and I would recommend that mode.

Shall I take measures to procure a cutter for New Orleans? If so, I would purchase a proper vessel in Baltimore or Norfolk, and at once man and send her from thence. Those two ports are those where the swift-sailing pilot schooners are built.

Your decision respecting the keeper of the light-house at Penobscot is also wanted. I enclose the blank form of an act to fix a land office at St. Stephen’s. Another is preparing for the erection of Mobile into a district.

Respectfully, your obedient servant.
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
7th June, 1804
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

I have the honor to enclose the copy of a letter received from the collector of Philadelphia, by which it appears that vessels bound to Hispaniola are generally armed, and that he has thought it proper to require bonds and security from the owners that they shall not commit any acts of hostility against the subjects of powers at peace with the United States. As the collector requests instructions on that subject, permit me to submit it to your consideration and decision. It does not seem that Edition: current; Page: [195] bonds unauthorized by law can add any substantial security for the good behavior of the parties; and the only case in which such bonds can be legally required is that provided by the 3d Section of the Act of February 6, 1802. For the Act “to authorize the defence of the merchant vessels of the United States against French depredations,” passed on the 25th June, 1798, and by which it had been made a general provision that in no case whatever armed merchant vessels should clear out without having given bond for their peaceable conduct with friendly nations, and for the return of their guns and ammunition, has expired ever since the 3d day of May, 1802.

Both those laws seem, from the language used, to have supposed that, either by the law of nations or by Executive permission, merchants might, independent of the laws, arm their vessels. Certain it is that the Executive of the United States has heretofore acted as having a discretionary authority in those cases; as early as 1793, and afterwards again in 1797, private armaments, except for the East Indies, were absolutely forbidden by the President, and the order enforced by directing the collectors to refuse clearance to armed vessels, and in 1798, previous to the Act of 25th June of that year, and to any legislative interference, those orders were revoked by the President, and private vessels permitted to arm generally.

The Act of June 25, 1798, then took place, and on its expiration the last orders of the President were considered as being in force. On that footing the matter now stands, and vessels are permitted to arm in conformity with the Executive instructions of the spring 1798. It is not believed that the discretion which has been thus exercised can be perfectly reconciled to fixed principles. If the law of nations or any municipal statute rendered the instructions of 1793 and 1797 necessary, the instructions of 1798 were given in opposition to that law or statute. If private armaments by neutrals are not forbidden by the law of nations, nor the supposed right directly or impliedly taken from the citizens of the United States by statute, it is not easy to account for the instructions of 1793 and 1797.

In order to lay the subject fully before you, I will only add that if it shall be your opinion that the law of nations forbids Edition: current; Page: [196] neutrals to arm, except in certain cases, such as the East Indies, the Mediterranean, &c., but that the situation of Hispaniola is now assimilated to that of the places where they may arm, yet the instructions of 1798 might require some revision, as they permit generally to arm.

I must acknowledge that I have not been able to form a satisfactory opinion on the subject, although I incline to the belief that the right of arming is in no case forbidden or controlled by the law of nations.

I have the honor to be, with great respect, sir, your obedient servant.

Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
June 9, 1804
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

Th. J. to Mr. Gallatin.

Will you give to the enclosed observations of Mr. Madison as [careful?] a perusal as you can? I have always been in hopes that you and he would by discussion come to a common opinion. I suppose, however, this has not taken place, and the views of our Constitution in preferring a single Executive to a plurality having been to prevent the effect of divided opinions, and to insure an unity of purpose and action, I presume I must decide between the opinions, however reluctantly. I take for granted everything has been now stated which can affect the case. If you think so after perusal of this, I will proceed to consider the case finally, deciding only on principles, and leaving to the Comptroller to investigate facts and apply the principles to them. Affectionate salutations.

Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
11th June, 1804
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

I enclose the sketch of a letter for Mr. Muhlenberg. I do not know whether I understand fully your intention, Edition: current; Page: [197] and beg that you will correct. Instead of security being mentioned in the last sentence, ought not the word recognizance be introduced? I do not know the technical phrase. But if Muhlenberg is so answered, should not a circular be written? and if so, must it be grounded on the Hispaniola armaments, or on a more general cause?

Although I believe that the receiver Tupper is not the same man to whom Mr. Russell alludes in the enclosed letter, and that swindler Tupper must be the man lately arrived in New Orleans, and who has been troublesome in the slave business, yet, as the Christian name is the same, and I wish to investigate the subject, I will thank you to have the goodness to lend me the recommendations in his favor. I also return Mr. Madison’s observations on Dr. Stevens’s case. I do not perceive that they affect my argument; but do not intend to add a word more on the merits of the case, or to give you the trouble of a formal decision. In the settlement of the account I shall no longer interfere, and will leave the Comptroller to settle it in his own way or under the direction of the Secretary of State. The payment, which was the only part of the subject for which a personal responsibility could attach to the Secretary of the Treasury, cannot, at all events, be made until money shall have been appropriated, as the diplomatic fund, as it is commonly called (appropriation for foreign intercourse), is so poor that we will hardly be able to pay the current expenses of the year with the existing appropriations.

The appropriations of 1801, 1802, 1803, have amounted to 224,612 dollars; the payments from the Treasury to 228,394; and at the end of the year 1803 we were 76,000 guilders in debt to the Amsterdam bankers on that account. The appropriation for this year is only 46,000 dollars.

But to whatever amount the claim may be settled, it may be incorporated in the annual estimate of next year, and there will be no difficulty in obtaining the appropriation.

If in this business I have been too zealous or obstinate, I feel a confidence that you will ascribe it to the proper motive, and not to want of a due respect for the opinions of others. And I believe that every inconvenience may be hereafter avoided and Edition: current; Page: [198] every objection removed by appropriating annually a certain sum for the salaries of ministers or ordinary expenses of foreign intercourse, and another for the contingent expenses; which last will, under the terms of the law, be undoubtedly and in every respect under the control of the President. That contingencies of a description not previously foreseen and specially provided for will happen, and ought to be covered by a general power, cannot be doubted.

With great respect and attachment, your obedient servant.

Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
2d July, 1804
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

I have read with great attention Mr. Lincoln’s opinion: it is ingenious, and may be solid, but I am very confident that we will be defeated if we attempt to bring the subject before a court. That, however, may not be a reason sufficient to prevent your doing what is thought right. The act itself is scandalous and dangerous to the peace of the nation; if not legally criminal, it certainly ought to be made so.

Receiving no answer from Mr. Muhlenberg on the subject of binding masters of armed vessels to their good behavior, &c., I gave him a private hint, to which, in a private letter, he answers, “I shall pay strict attention to the way you have pointed out to bring the business before the district judge, in case any vessel should by her arming give cause of suspicion that she might be employed in acts of hostility contrary to the laws of the United States. The district attorney has furnished me with the forms necessary to conduct the business.” It appears, therefore, that no case has, since my letter, occurred on which to try the question; and the question now arises whether, without waiting for a decision there, similar instructions shall be made circular to the several collectors.

The Spanish minister has made an application on the subject of the vessel at Norfolk. As we will have hundred vessels which will put in distress in Spanish ports for one Spanish here, Edition: current; Page: [199] it is certainly our interest to give to the treaty the most liberal construction, which, in your opinion, is the only correct one.

I have drawn the sketch of an answer, which is enclosed and submitted. I do not know how far it may be proper for me to use your name or to speak of Congress to a foreign minister.

General Wilkinson informed me that Captain Schuyler, having resided three years at Fort Stoddart, had, on account of unhealthiness of the situation, asked and obtained a removal to another place. I therefore detained the commission, which was yet in the Comptroller’s office. The question recurs, whom to appoint? General Wilkinson recommends a Lieutenant Edward Pendleton Gaines, now in the city, and who is ordered to repair to that fort, not, however, as the commanding officer.

Two recommendations for New Bedford and Marietta are enclosed: in respect to the last, it will be best to wait until we hear from the other Republicans there; the death of G. Greene has not been officially announced to the Department. Of the propriety of removing Mr. Pope I am no judge, but consider the Massachusetts and other N. E. Federalists as such enragés and so incorrigible and hostile to government and to the Union, that, so far as my own opinion may have been against removals, it has, in respect to that part of the Union, undergone a complete revolution, and I consider it as a mere question of policy.

Respectfully, your obedient servant.
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
July 12, 1804
Washington
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

Dear Sir,

I have this moment been called on by Mr. Hoffman and Mr. Rapp on the subject which will be explained to you in the memorial now enclosed. They became sensible that the matter rested with Congress only; but 200 of the people being arrived at Baltimore and two ships hourly expected with as many more each, they cannot remain here till the meeting of Congress, for want of funds. They will therefore proceed to the place which Mr. Rapp (who has been exploring the country) has Edition: current; Page: [200] pitched on, on Sandy Creek of Muskingum River, where they wish to have 40,000 acres at the usual price, but with longer indulgence as to the time of payment. I told them I would immediately write to you to consider what we could do for them; I suppose we could forbid our officers to disturb them if they sat down on our lands; but that you could best judge whether we could prevent speculators from locating and purchasing the lands the moment they should sit down on them, with a view to screw money from them, and could best advise them how to proceed to secure themselves till Congress should meet and determine whether they may have an indulgence of any sort. Will you be so good as to consider of it, and to address a letter to Mr. Hoffman, their friend, at Baltimore, giving them the best advice you can? I told them I would write to them on receiving your answer; but it is much better it should come from you to them direct, as I shall be gone hence in ten days. The Osages arrived yesterday have been received to-day, and will enter on business to-morrow. They are twelve men and two boys, and certainly the most gigantic men we have ever seen. Affectionate salutations.

Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
18th July, 1804
New York
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

I received yesterday your letter of the 12th instant, and have written an answer to Mr. Hoffman. It is unnecessary to write to our officers not to disturb them, as they have nothing to do with intruders: what advice to give was rather embarrassing. You will receive from the Treasury Office a copy of what I wrote.

I have no answer from Dickerson, but will receive one in a couple of days. In examining the Act, I find that the attorney for the United States is only attorney for the district, and not for the territory; his business as well as the marshal’s will be only with the District Court; and the governor will appoint a sheriff, or officer of similar nature, as well as an attorney-general for the Supreme Territorial Court. That consideration diminishes Edition: current; Page: [201] considerably the importance of the two offices; but I presume that it was not intended, and it may easily be rectified by Congress at their next session. The Superior Court of the Territory must commence their session on the first Monday in October, and the session of the District Court commences on the third Monday of the same month.

Reserving one place for Pinckney, which, on his probable refusal, may be given to the other person you have in view (Williams, I believe), would it not be well to commission, before you go, Kirby and Prevost for the Territorial and Hall for the District Court, in order that they may make the necessary arrangements and be on the spot on the day? for they must be there within little more than two months from this date, and the passage will take one month. They should at same time be advised that their salary commences only on 1st October.

There will be an advantage in keeping Williams to fill Pinckney’s place, which is, that if he was appointed immediately we must have another commissioner on the Natchez land claims. Will there be no incompatibility between that last-mentioned office and that of Governor of the Mississippi Territory as it respects Mr. Rodney? perhaps no more than arises from his present situation as judge.

And if Pinckney should accept the New Orleans judgeship, Williams might be provided for in a temporary way by being made Mr. Rodney’s successor as judge.

Excuse all those crude ideas, which I submit only from a knowledge of the embarrassment caused by the appointments in that place.

With great respect and attachment, your obedient servant.

P.S.—I say nothing of the event which has taken place in this city. You will have perceived that to the natural sympathy and sincere regret excited by Mr. Hamilton’s death much artificial feeling, or semblance of feeling, has been added by the combined Federal and anti-Burrite party spirits.

Edition: current; Page: [202]
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
20th August, 1804
New York
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

I received last Saturday your letter of the 8th instant. S. Lewis is well qualified as a draughtsman; I have written in order to ascertain the nature of the charges against him whilst in the War Department. There are, at all events, two other applicants, either of which will do, D. Griffith, the author of the map of Maryland, and one of King’s brothers. On the subject of the Hampton vacancy I wrote what I knew. As to the place of attorney-general, I fear that it is above M. D.’s rate of legal knowledge and talents. I wonder at J. T. M.’s refusal, and still wait for your further instructions respecting the office of district attorney at New Orleans. That he should speak French appears to me indispensable: if the people of Louisiana shall not be indulged as far as practicable in what relates to language, the difficulty of governing them will be much increased; they seem to be but one degree above the French West Indians, than whom a more ignorant and depraved race of civilized men did not exist. Give them slaves and let them speak French (for they cannot write it), and they would be satisfied; the first is inadmissible; how far their language should, as they wish, be legally recognized is questionable, but their officers ought at least to understand them, and I fear Williams would never learn. Whilst speaking of Louisiana, let me not forget to inform you that Mr. Armstrong told me that Labigarre, who gave one of the lists of characters handed by General Wilkinson, is and always was totally unprincipled, and that no confidence ought to be placed in what he says. I have made some further inquiries concerning Evan Jones, who gave the other list; it is generally agreed that his manners are stiff, but his integrity irreproachable, and that he has decent talents, and a better knowledge of the province than any other American. At the request of General Dearborn, I had two conversations with Chotteau. He seems well disposed, but what he wants is power and money. He proposed that he should have a negative on all the Indian trading licenses, and the direction and all the Edition: current; Page: [203] profits of the trade carried on by the government with all the Indians of Louisiana, replacing only the capital. I told him this was inadmissible; and his last demand was the exclusive trade with the Osages, to be effected by granting licenses only to his agents, but that he should not be concerned in the trade with any other nation. The annual consumption of the Osages he states at 40,000 dollars in goods, estimated at their value at the Illinois. The annual consumption of all the Missouri Indians, including the Sioux of the Mississippi, he estimates at 300,000 dollars. On account of the slowness of the returns, a capital double of the annual consumption is necessary for carrying the trade. As he may be either useful or dangerous, I gave no flat denial to his last request, but told him to modify it in the least objectionable shape and to write to General Dearborn from St. Louis, which he said he would do. As to the government of Upper Louisiana, he is decidedly in favor of a military one, and appears much afraid of civil law and lawyers: in some respects he may be right; but, as regular laws and courts protect the poor and the ignorant, we may mistrust the predilection of him who is comparatively rich and intelligent in favor of other systems.

General Dearborn informed me that he had made such arrangements respecting the military stores as would supersede the necessity of an immediate appointment to fill the vacancy caused by General Irvine’s death. Considering the situation of Pennsylvania, this will be pretty delicate, and I am glad that you may wait till after General Dearborn’s return.

Judge Peters has decided that the Act giving the power to bind to good behavior and security of the peace was not intended to include ex-territorial cases, and was inapplicable to the case of a vessel arming for Hispaniola; but that if an affidavit was made that the arming was with intentions to commit hostilities, either defensive or offensive, against either of the belligerent powers or of a vessel commissioned by either, he should issue writs against the owners and captain, under, I believe, the 5th Section of the Act of 5th June, 1794.

I enclose a letter from the collector of Charleston on the same subject, which I will thank you to return after perusal.

Edition: current; Page: [204]

I also enclose a letter respecting I. Neufville’s application. The commission should issue before 15th September.

The British ships continue the blockade of this port. Amongst other vessels sent to Halifax for adjudication was the Eugenia, Captain Mansfield, which has been retaken by a party of armed men in a fishing-smack from New London, and brought here. Mr. Barclay, the British consul, wrote immediately on the arrival here of the prize-master, who had been landed at New London, to Mr. Merry, and applied to the custom-house officers to detain the cargo till further orders from Washington.

Having no person here to transcribe, I enclose his original letter with the enclosed affidavit. The officers, after consulting me, answered that the papers, &c., of the ship Eugenia, which arrived here in possession of Captain Mansfield, were perfectly regular, that she had accordingly been entered, and that the custom-house officers had no power by law, after the duties were secured, to refuse to the consignees permits for the landing of the cargo, or in any way to detain it. This is exactly true; the collector has no judiciary powers; and why, if Captain Mansfield’s possession was considered as illegal, Mr. Barclay did not apply to the district judge, who could have immediately ordered the vessel and cargo to be seized and kept in custody of the marshal until after hearing and decision, I cannot tell, unless, knowing that there was not the least ground for the capture, which is the fact, he has chosen to make this transaction the ground of a governmental complaint, and to use it as an offset against the outrages of the British frigates. I have written to New London to obtain affidavits, which I will send to Mr. Madison, and have examined Captain Mansfield. The facts are merely these:

The prize-master, from ignorance and stupidity, was persuaded, first, to take a pilot off the east end of Long Island, and next, to run not only within the Sound, but within the harbor of New London, where he came to an anchor half a mile above the light-house. In his affidavit he says he was under the lee of Fisher’s Island, and four miles from the light-house; but he has betrayed the truth in his statement of the bearing, Edition: current; Page: [205] in which he acknowledges himself east north-east of the light-house. In that situation he was boarded by the revenue cutter and an inspector of customs put on board; he also suffered the former American master and mate to go on shore; but, apprehending detention, he put the inspector on board of a boat, cut his cable, and sailed out of the harbor; but the wind being due east, he could not go out of the Sound through the race, and sailed before the wind towards New York. He was retaken two or three hours after, without resistance, by the fishing-smack, on board of which was another officer of the customs. Mansfield reassumed the command of the vessel, and, the wind continuing east, proceeded with the officer of customs to New York instead of returning to New London, having previously, as he says, advised the prize-master and English crew to go on shore in the sloop, which they did. There were but two muskets on board the recapturing sloop. There is no doubt that the prize-master was guilty of a gross infraction of our revenue laws in discharging the first custom-house officer, and in leaving the harbor.

Every vessel, even when coming in distress whilst bound to another port, must be reported to the custom-house. See 29th, 30th, and 60th Sections of collection law, 4th volume, pages 326, 327, and 377. And by the said 29th Section it is lawful for the revenue officers to arrest and bring back to such port of the United States as is most convenient any vessel departing or attempting to depart before report. Goddard, the officer of the customs whom I missed seeing, and for whose affidavit I have sent, was verbally authorized by the surveyor to arrest and bring back the vessel; so that the recapture itself was strictly legal. But what was irregular was to order the prize-master and crew from the vessel, depriving him of the possession he had. If we can make out that he abandoned the vessel, everything will have been regular; but if we cannot, we must rest our defence of that part of the transaction on the omission of the British consul to have the vessel and cargo judicially arrested in New York. I have written at large in order that Mr. Madison may have early knowledge of the facts; for I understand that the captain of the Leander is insolent, and that Edition: current; Page: [206] every subsequent outrage is intended to be justified by this act. Another captured ship has also been recaptured, but by the crew, to which it seems there is no objection.

With respectful attachment, your obedient servant.

Please to have the goodness to return Mr. Barclay’s letter and enclosure. A sketch of the entrance of the Sound is enclosed.

Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
September 1, 1804
Monticello
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

Dear Sir,

I am just returned from a visit to Mr. Madison, whom I went to consult on certain matters. I communicated to him the papers from Simpson and Gelston enclosed to me in yours of August 20, and which I now re-enclose to you. We are both satisfied with Simpson’s refusal to enter the guns of a vessel as a part of her description in her clearance, and if you are of our opinion we think it would be well to instruct all the collectors to discontinue it. I know of no law requiring it, and it seems to give the countenance of the government to the practice, instead of showing its disapprobation, which is our true sentiment. With respect to the Eugenia, if the retaking her be considered as the act of the revenue officer, it was lawful as an arrest, and the irregularity of setting the officers ashore is too small to need an apology. If it be considered as a rescue by the master, we have nothing to do with it. The capturing neutral vessels on suspicion of enemy property on board is an act of force, and it behoves the captors to employ a sufficient force, as the neutral is not bound to lend a hand, but, on the contrary, is restrained by his neutrality from all supplementary aid to either party. On the opinion you give as to Dickerson I abandon that idea, but still, wishing the aid of a good lawyer, and rather that he should be from Pennsylvania, I ask the favor of you to inquire fully into the legal knowledge, judgment, and moral and social character of Levy. We must have none but a good-humored man. I have further recommendations of Isaac Edition: current; Page: [207] Neufville, so that I believe I shall fill up the commission with his name, though it is a bad example, and leads to family property in an office.

After waiting to the twelfth hour to get all the information I could respecting the government of Orleans, I have, on consultation with Mr. Madison, sent on the commissions by the mail which left Charlottesville yesterday morning for the westward. It is very much what had been approved by the heads of Departments separately and provisionally, with a few alterations shown to be proper by subsequent information. It is as follows:

Governor, Claiborne.

Secretary, James Brown.

Judges of Superior Court, Kirby, Prevost, and Pinckney or Williams.

Judge of District, Hall.

Attorney, Dickerson.

Marshal, Urquhart, or Clouat, or Guillot, or any native Frenchman Claiborne prefers.

Legislative Council, Morgan, Watkins, Clarke, Jones, Roman, and Wikoff certain. Don or George Pollock, as Claiborne chooses. Boré, Poydras, and Bellechasse certain, and any three which Claiborne may choose of these five, to wit: Derbigné, Detrahan, Dubruys, Cantarelle, Sauvé.

It will be necessary for us to consider of a gradation of peaceable measures which may coerce the belligerent powers into an obedience to the laws within our waters, so as to avoid using the gunboats if possible: a non-intercourse law may be necessary; but would not the power to forbid the admitting to entry any vessel of a belligerent so long as there should be an armed vessel of the nation in our waters in a state of disobedience to the laws or lawful orders of the Executive be effectual? making it lawful for us at the same time to give admittance to the armed vessels of a belligerent on such terms only as we should prescribe. These things should be considered and agreed on among ourselves, and suggested to our friends. I salute you with affection and respect.

P.S.—I shall be in Washington by the last day of the month.

Edition: current; Page: [208]
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
4th September, 1804
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

I have the honor to enclose copies of a letter written to the collector of New London, and of his answer, on the subject of the recapture of the ship Eugenia, together with the affidavits of the revenue officers who were successively on board of the ship.

Some irregularity seems to have taken place in dispossessing the British prize-master of the vessel; but, as he had sailed from the harbor and district of New London without making report according to law, the revenue officers were authorized by the 29th Section of the collection law “to cause to be arrested and brought back the said vessel to such port of the United States to which it might be most conveniently done;” and that is the course which should have been pursued by the collector of New London.

I have the honor to be, with highest respect, sir, your most obedient servant.

Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
18th September, 1804
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

I arrived here on Sunday last with my family, and found your letters of 1st and 8th instant, on which, on account of some arrears of current business, I have not yet acted.

The only difficult commission is how to obtain by correspondence information respecting not only the abilities but moral and social disposition of Levy. As a lawyer he is superior to Dickerson, and would, I presume, do tolerably; still, he is but a second-rate, and as a statesman and in some degree member of your Cabinet I do not think that he would do. Nor, if his practice be, as it is presumable, worth six or seven thousand dollars, is it probable that he would give it up for the place of Attorney-General, and exchange Philadelphia for Washington.

Edition: current; Page: [209]

For that reason it will be difficult to obtain officers from the gentlemen of the bar of those cities where the profession is so lucrative. In Pennsylvania, out of the city, the only Republican lawyers of reputation known to me are Hamilton, of Carlisle, and, but yet much lower, Baldwin, of Pittsburgh. In New York there is no Republican equal to the place, unless Brockholst Livingston, who is a State judge, would accept it. With his political and general character you are acquainted. That appointment, however, does not press; but unless there shall be a district attorney at New Orleans, not a single prosecution can take place in the name of the United States, and Dickerson has positively said that he could not go this fall.

Would it not be better to send to Governor Claiborne a blank commission by next mail, informing him that in filling it he must tell the gentleman whose name he will put in it that it is only a temporary appointment?

I have uniformly been of opinion that, as it related to the principles of our government and to the reputation and popularity of the Administration, it was of importance that the officers of the federal government should abstain from any interference with public elections; and I had, as you may recollect, prepared a paragraph to that effect in my first circular to the collectors, which you, as well as Mr. Madison, thought premature, and the subject has not been attended to since that time.

Although several have ostensibly interfered, Mr. Osgood and Mr. Cox are the only ones who, within my recollection, have signed and published their names; and the last is the only one who has done it in such manner as to merit or meet with animadversion. But, under present circumstances, it will be very delicate to admonish or to proclaim.1

With great respect and attachment, your obedient servant.

The city is not more unhealthy than usual, and much less so than the whole extent of country, on both sides of the ridge, from the Susquehanna to the Potomack.

Edition: current; Page: [210]
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
12th October, 1804
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

The enclosed, which you will have the goodness to return, show the enormous balance still due by Kentucky, especially for the indirect taxes, and the almost impossibility of recovering anything, even from delinquent and criminal collectors. I would not have been astonished if, in the attempt to recover those old accumulated arrears of an unpopular and expired tax, popular feeling had operated in favor of the distillers who had not yet paid; but that such an effect should have been produced in the case of unprincipled officers who had collected the money is incomprehensible, and Judge Innis must be either incapable or something worse; for, in the manner in which the statutes are framed, the fate of suits against collectors depends almost exclusively on the court. Whatever can be done shall be done, and we will try the appeal in Arthur’s case at the next session of the Supreme Court.

But the point on which at present I wish to obtain your opinion is the continuance of Arthur in office by the supervisor. His reasons you will see by his letter. To me they appear inconclusive; and after such glaring proofs of his villany, it seems to me that, let the effect of the removal on the suit be what it will, the supervisor should be directed in your name to have him removed immediately.

This direction is, however, an unusual step, and is submitted to your better judgment.

With great respect, your obedient servant.
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
15th October, 1804
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

The receipt for Louisiana stock which we have in the Treasury, and is enclosed, is only that of Mr. Livingston, which, in conformity with the contract of Baring with the Edition: current; Page: [211] French government and Messrs. Pichon’s and Baring’s letters filed in the office, operated as a full discharge to the United States of their engagement to deliver stock. Mr. Livingston had, besides this, become voluntary depositor of the stock and of the bills given by Baring in payment.

It appears by his enclosed letter that he had delivered both to the parties, and has sent a receipt to the Secretary of State on that subject. But this was a personal responsibility of his, with which government had nothing to do. It further appears by Baring’s letter (which is a private one to me) that the purchasers of the stock—Hope and Baring—had anticipated their payments, which, by the contract, were to be made within two years, and had paid the French government in full. With this we have nothing to do. Mr. Livingston’s letter is that which I had mentioned to you, and I enclose the copy of my answer, which went by Mr. Armstrong and was communicated to him, and which I had forgotten to send you before.

With respect, your obedient servant.
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
October, 1804
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.
REMARKS ON PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE.

Irregularities in American seas and in our harbors.—As it is wished that Congress would make provision on two points immediately connected with the captures near St. Domingo and with the aggressions at New York, by restraining the arming of our vessels and by enabling the Executive to enforce the jurisdiction of the United States in our ports against foreign vessels; and as the expression of that wish would evince the disposition of the Executive equally to restrain the irregularities of our own people and to repel the insulting aggressions of the belligerent powers on our coast; would there be any objection to introduce at the end of this paragraph a recommendation to that effect?

Spanish objections to the ratification of the convention.—1st. Edition: current; Page: [212] The public mind is altogether unprepared for a declaration that the terms and object of the Mobile Act had been misunderstood by Spain; for every writer, without a single exception, who has written on the subject, seems to have understood the Act as Spain did; it has been justified by our friends on that ground; and the declaration in the message, without some short explanation, may be distorted into an avowal of some humiliating concession to Spain by the Executive. Might not, to obviate this, some words be introduced, where speaking of the misconceptions of Spain, which would state that Spain had erroneously supposed that it was intended to organize a custom-house within territories still in her possession and claimed by her, before possession had been obtained by ourselves?

2d. This may lead to say something of the yet unascertained boundaries of Louisiana, a subject of sufficient importance to excite animadversion if it was altogether omitted in the message, especially as the ensuing paragraph announces, in an unqualified manner, the acquiescence of Spain in the validity of our title to Louisiana. Perhaps the ensuing paragraph might be transposed so as to precede that entitled “Spanish differences,” qualifying it by adding that Spain, however, does not yet acknowledge our title to the full extent of our rightful claim; and then the subject of the misconception of the Mobile Act would follow of course, and the intention of the Executive not to abandon the claim in any degree, but to abstain from exercising jurisdiction or taking forcible possession till all other means were exhausted, be fully understood.

3d. The total omission of the other impediment to the ratification of the convention, viz., what relates to the 6th Article, appears perfectly proper as it relates to Spain itself, inasmuch as it avoids commitment on our part and leaves them free, without wounding their pride, to recede and ratify, whilst they may understand the Tunis paragraph as perfectly applicable to themselves. But that omission, as it relates to Congress, may be animadverted, as a concealment from that body of an important part of the whole ground. Perhaps, without expressly mentioning the article, some general expressions might be introduced, at the same time alluding to other objections of Spain, Edition: current; Page: [213] and stating the expectation that the explanation on the Mobile Act would also remove them.

Delivery of stock.—The words “discharge of our obligations” seem too strong and general, as they might be construed to imply a discharge of our obligation to pay. The obligation from which we are discharged is that of delivering the stock within three months after the ratification of the convention as had been provided by that instrument, a provision which embarrassed us at the time on account of the proposed “bien entendu” which Pichon wanted to insert in the exchange of ratifications, and on account of the delays in taking possession of New Orleans, which delayed the delivery of the stock till the last week of the three months. The legal delivery of the stock consisted in delivering it to Lieutenant Leonard, whose receipt, together with a letter from Mr. Pichon acknowledging that act to be a full execution of the convention, are filed in the Register’s office as the evidence of the delivery, and that letter of Pichon is the only discharge which we have received at the Treasury from the government of France. Mr. Livingston says, however, that he has sent to the Department of State receipts for the delivery of the stock in France: those I have not seen, and as we considered the transaction, so far as there was any obligation on our part, closed by the delivery here, I have never applied for them; indeed, I believe that they are merely personal, and, so far as they come from the French government, must be a receipt not for the stock, but for the bills of Hope and Baring which had been deposited with him, and which he delivered to the French government. The whole transaction is so complex that I think the best way will be generally to say that the stock was timely delivered in conformity to the provisions of the convention, without giving copies of the documents, which are numerous, lengthy, and uninteresting. Add to this that it is not convenient, unless necessary, to bring into view the contract of Hope and Baring with the French government for the Louisiana stock, as they gave but sixteen shillings in the pound for it, which may excite animadversion on the state of our credit and on the conduct of the negotiators of the treaty.

Edition: current; Page: [214]

Barbary Powers.—Quere, whether the late accounts from the Mediterranean fully justify the expectations arising from the energy of all the officers?

Upper Louisiana.—I do not understand what is meant by the appointment of commandants in the forms of the Constitution. The expressions in the 12th Section of the Act of 26th March, 1804, are, “except the commanding officer, who shall be appointed by the President.” The same words precisely are used in the 2d and 3d Sections of the Act “to provide for the creating and repairing of vessels and magazines, and for other purposes,” passed April 2, 1794, in relation to the appointment of superintendent and master-armorer of the armories and of superintendent of military stores; and in those cases the power to appoint has uniformly been considered and exercised as vested in the President alone. From which I infer that the authority to appoint commandants in Upper Louisiana is also vested in the President alone.

But if it was not, it is perhaps as well not to allude to the principle, because there have been some instances of newly-created offices which the President has, from the necessity of the case, filled during the recess of the Senate, though no special authority had been given to that effect. I remember the first collector of Bristol (R. I.) and Michilimackinac being appointed in that way in 1801.

Gunboats.—The object of those vessels, as a substitute for fortifications against naval enterprises, and for supporting the authority of the laws within harbors, is correctly defined. Nor, provided that the expenditures shall be kept within due bounds, is there any plausible objection, except that, after providing such as are wanted for the last-mentioned purpose, those which are wanted for the first may, in case of war, be so speedily built, that it is not necessary to provide for them beforehand; as the expense of keeping them in repair and of the men to watch them will cost more in two years than the mere building expenses. This, however, may be provided for hereafter, and I would only wish to have a true estimate of the expense of building and keeping either in actual service or ordinary, and to know the number intended to be built and to be kept in service. But so Edition: current; Page: [215] far as relates to the message, I much fear that the efforts made in Federal papers to impress the idea that this establishment is intended as a substitute to the navy have so far succeeded that some distortion of the President’s recommendation will take place.

Repairs to our frigates.—This must certainly be done, but it seems questionable whether it should make part of the message. It is true that it ought to be considered as an evidence of the attention paid by the President to the navy; but so much has been said on the subject of the ships rottening in the Eastern Branch, as if the waters of that creek had a peculiarly corrosive quality, that not only the Federalists but also the inhabitants of other seaports will eagerly seize the opportunity to disseminate the opinion that their predictions are fulfilled. If the message shall be silent on that head, nothing more will be necessary than for the Secretary of the Navy to include the item for that object in the annual estimate, and it will probably be voted without any observations. Should it, however, provoke an inquiry, the Secretary of the Navy may then make a special report which may be framed so as to meet or anticipate objections and cavils.

Acceptance of volunteers.—Is this really wanted? and may it not always be timely provided for by Congress whenever an emergency shall require it? The application for a general provision is liable to objections of an intrinsic nature, and will be artfully confounded with the system of volunteer corps under Mr. Adams’s Administration in 1798.

Additional remarks.—It does not seem that the French aggressions in New York, if they exist, should be embraced in the same sentence with British. Even if the reports be true, their conduct has been generally unexceptionable there, and a single departure cannot be compared with the unremitted insults and blockade by the British.

With the nations of Europe in general our friendship is undisturbed.—Does not this embrace Spain, and is it not therefore too general?

From the other powers on the same coast (Barbary) we have every mark of the continuance of their friendship, &c.—Do not the last accounts from Morocco contradict this?

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Territory of Orleans.—Is it not to be apprehended that the persons appointed members of the council, or a majority, will refuse to serve?

Indians of Louisiana.—Said to be friendly so far as we have yet learned. Have not some murders been committed at St. Louis?

Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
29th October, 1804
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

I return your message with such remarks as occurred. It was not received till Saturday, which must be my apology for not returning it sooner.

The Register being absent, I have been obliged to go myself through all the minutiæ of calculation, instead of only marking the outlines and reviewing the work. The complete materials for your financial paragraph will not, for that reason, be completed till to-morrow. In the mean while the following sketch is correct, except for the amount of principal public debt redeemed, which is not yet ascertained:

Balance in Treasury, 30th September, 1803, $5,860,981.54
Receipts during the year, viz.:
imposts, $10,729,708.54 } 11,574,211.04
Loans, repayments, arrears, taxes, excise, &c., 844,502.50 }
$17,435,192.58
Expended during the year, viz.:
Current expense, civil, military, foreign, and domestic, $3,727,081.31 }
Instalments to Great Britain, 888,000.00 } $12,552,967.47
Payment for interest and principal on public debt, 7,937,886.16 }
Balance in Treasury, 30th September, 1804, 4,882,225.11
$17,435,192.58

Of which payments, about $3,600,000 for principal.

With great respect, your obedient servant.
Edition: current; Page: [217]
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

list of names.

Names to be inquired into for minister to Spain.

New Hampshire.—Sherborne, district attorney or judge.

Massachusetts.—Bowdoin.

Eustis.

Rhode Island.—Russell.

Connecticut.—Kirby.

Pennsylvania.—Jones, captain.

Delaware.—Hall, governor; Reed, district attorney; Rodney.

New Jersey.—Bloomfield.

Maryland.—S. Smith.

Joseph Nicholson.

Pinkney.

North Carolina.—David Stone.

Steel.

Georgia.—A. Baldwin.

Tennessee.—Smith, formerly Senator.

Dear Sir,

I enclose a list of names, being all those I can think of, leaving New York, Virginia, and South Carolina out of the question, which may be thought of for the Spanish embassy. I have put several rather to give names to every State than for any good reason.

Taking everything into consideration, Bowdoin and Pinkney appear to me the most fitted on the list.

First-rate talents, I am afraid, cannot be commanded, and good sense and respectability may be sufficient on every ordinary occasion; the assistance of Mr. Monroe is already engaged for the Louisiana business; and on future important occasions that of our minister at Paris may always be obtained.

With respectful attachment, your obedient servant.

The date of Mr. Harwood’s resignation as Commissioner of Loans is wanted at the Treasury, and may, I presume, be found in his letter to you.

Edition: current; Page: [218]
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
13th December, 1804
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

The information contained in this letter is certainly important. It explains what I heard that General Hovey or Ovey, of Genesee, was connected with Phelps, and went last summer to the westward with an intention of ascending the Mississippi as high as St. Anthony’s Fall. He, however, went no farther than the falls of the Ohio, where he formed a plan to cut a canal around the same.

Powers should be answered, and, I presume, in the following manner:

1st. That we have no knowledge of Carver’s grant.

2d. That such grant, if it existed, was never recognized by the Crown.

3d. That Congress never have recognized mere Indian titles, and that he may safely rely upon it that such one as that he mentioned never will be admitted.

4th. That it is presumable that he may have redress against the seller, but that it is a question of private right, on which officers of the government cannot as such give any opinion.

Will you have the goodness to give me your opinion on the subject?

As a national subject, it evinces the necessity for Congress to be extremely cautious in admitting land claims not warranted by the general system adopted for granting lands. I am told that almost every seller at Detroit derives his claim from an Indian title. It seems that it will be best to confirm their possession as sellers only, and not as purchasers or grantees under the Indians. The same remark will probably apply to many occupants at Kaskaskia and in Upper Louisiana. But exclusively of sellers, I am informed indirectly, though the information comes from Hoffman, that many millions of acres will be claimed between Lake Huron and Michigan under Indian grants; and I presume that you are acquainted with the pretended claims of the Wabash and Illinois companies. Carver’s grant makes another, and there may be many more.

Respectfully, your obedient servant.
Edition: current; Page: [219]
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.
NAMES OF PERSONS FOR ATTORNEY GENERAL.

Russell, of Rhode Island; unknown.

Brockholst Livingston, of New York; would not accept.

M. Dickerson, of Philadelphia; not equal.

Rodney, M. C., of Delaware; not equal.

Gabriel Duval, of Maryland. Quere, whether he would not accept; in which case Joseph Clay might be made Comptroller.

Walter Jones, of Columbia, Virginia.

J. T. Mason, of Virginia; the best, if he will accept.

Breckenridge, of Kentucky; very good, if he will accept.

I am so little acquainted with the characters, &c., of professional gentlemen who have not been in public life, that it is not practicable for me to make a good list. I will, however, make some further inquiries, principally to know whether there are any Republicans prominent characters in Pennsylvania.

Respectfully, your obedient servant.
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
3d January, 1805
S. L. Mitchell
Mitchell, S. L.

GALLATIN TO S. L. MITCHELL, U. S. Sen.

Private.

Dear Sir,

I was favored with your letter of the 28th ult., and have been prevented from making an earlier answer by a multiplicity of other avocations. Even now I cannot take as comprehensive a view of a subject which does not come within the sphere of my official duties as I would wish, and you must be satisfied with a few general remarks.

A species of trade may be considered as illicit, either in relation to the laws of the nation of which the traders are citizens or subjects, or in relation to the general law of nations, or to the municipal laws of the nation into whose territories the trade is carried. Let, for the present and in order to avoid confusion of ideas, the definition of illicit trade be confined to that species Edition: current; Page: [220] of commerce which, though not prohibited by the laws of the country to which the traders belong, is contrary either to the acknowledged law of nations or to the regulations of the country with whom the trade is carried.

An illicit trade, if contrary to the law of nations, as in the case of contraband articles, attempt to enter a blockaded port, &c., renders the party liable to capture and condemnation. If contrary to the municipal laws of the country with which carried, whether because absolutely prohibited, as in case of infractions of the colonial commercial system of Spain and other nations, or because done in a manner contrary to the regulations on that subject, as in case of common smuggling or other infractions of the revenue or navigation laws of the country, the party is in same manner liable to capture and condemnation, and, in addition thereto, to such penalties, or even personal punishment, as the laws of the country have provided. In either case, the armed public, revenue, or other authorized vessels of the belligerent power, or of the country whose laws are violated, have a right to capture the offending party; and in either case the courts of the captors are the proper tribunal to try the offence. In either case, also, resistance to an armed vessel duly commissioned and authorized is illegal, becomes by itself a sufficient cause of condemnation, and renders the party liable to distinct punishment. In common cases of illicit trade, of whatever nature that trade may be, the individuals who carry it are responsible for their conduct, and punishable by the aggrieved nation without having a right to call on their own country for protection; but the country to which they belong is not generally bound to pass restrictive laws prohibiting such trade. Neutral nations, though they consider it sometimes to be good policy to do it, are not obliged to enforce the law of nations by positive statutes against their own subjects or citizens; they are not bound, for instance, to prohibit the exportation of even arms or gunpowder, though avowedly exported to the country of either of the belligerent powers. Nor are nations bound to pass laws prohibiting to their subjects or citizens commerce, such as that with the colonies of another nation, which is illicit only by reason of the particular statutes of other nations. But, although this be a Edition: current; Page: [221] good rule in common cases, it will be allowed that there are circumstances under which the conduct of illicit traders might go such length, especially if they shall use force, as would render it necessary for the purpose of preserving national peace that the country to which they belong should, by prohibitory or restrictive statutes, prevent the acts of violence which endanger that peace.

Two questions will, therefore, arise in relation to the San Domingo trade, which is the avowed object of the bill under consideration: 1st, is it illicit? 2d, if illicit, ought the United States, under present circumstances, interfere by restrictive statutes? If those two questions shall be answered in the affirmative, the modifications of which the bill may be susceptible will be a subject of subsequent consideration.

To the first question there can be no hesitation in answering: 1st, that the trade to San Domingo is in itself illicit in toto; 2dly, that it is carried in a manner contrary to the law of nations.

The chambers of commerce, merchants, &c., have indeed acknowledged that so far as that trade might consist of contraband articles it was illicit, and they have affected to consider that question as if the blacks of San Domingo were one of the belligerent powers and France another. But this is not the true state of the question. San Domingo is a French colony, recognized as such by the United States and by every European nation, a colony in a state of rebellion against the mother-country; and the question is whether any nation has a right to carry on commerce with a port, province, or colony in a state of rebellion against that country of which it has heretofore been acknowledged as a part. On that point there does not and there never has existed any doubt. Such trade is, by the common consent of all nations, as well as in conformity with the rules of common justice and common sense, altogether illegal, and will render parties concerned therein liable to capture, condemnation, and such other punishment as the aggrieved nation shall think proper by law to provide. It is clear that in such cases other nations must either continue to acknowledge the supremacy of the nation over its rebellious province or colony, and therefore submit to its laws and regulations respecting the commerce with such Edition: current; Page: [222] province or colony, or acknowledge, at the risk or rather with the certainty of a war, the independence of the rebellious province or colony. During the whole of the Revolutionary American war, England took and condemned every neutral vessel bound to the United States which their vessels met with: there was not on that ground the least objection, not even at the time when the armed neutrality took place; and even France, though she afterwards acknowledged the independence of America, and thereby became a party in the war, did not only, so long as she intended to remain at peace, abstain from asserting the doctrine which she afterwards attempted to uphold on that subject in her declaratory memorial, but went so far as ostensibly to give orders, on the British minister’s complaint, for the detention of such vessels laden with military supplies as were bound for the United States. It is also well known that England made war on Holland because she did not disavow the conduct of Amsterdam in making a conditional treaty of commerce with America; and that the armed neutrality, of which Holland was a member, refused to interfere in her favor, because the powers of which it was composed, anxious as they then were for the freedom of commerce and the doctrine of mare liberum, considered the conduct of Holland as a breach of neutrality, and, in common with all other nations, felt that the principle she had assumed was dangerous to the safety of every government. In that respect the justice or injustice of the nation to its rebellious province or colony is altogether out of the question as it relates to other nations. Of that they have no right to judge unless they think proper to become parties in the civil quarrel; and all they have to do is to wait for the event. Nor is the distinction of government de facto (as different from that de jure) applicable to this case. It is perfectly true that when a revolution takes place which affects a whole country, other nations are bound to consider as the legitimate authority the powers who have the actual possession of government; but they are equally bound to consider every part of the country as under the authority of those who are in possession of the government of the country generally. That doubtful cases might arise, as if the Bourbon family occupied one half of France and Bonaparte the other half, is true; and Edition: current; Page: [223] the prudence of other governments must dictate their conduct in such delicate circumstances; but the instance of San Domingo is no such one: it is a plain one, on which there can be but one opinion. Suppose New Orleans to be in the situation in which San Domingo now is, and let any one answer the question; or even substitute Ireland to San Domingo and England to France, and let Mr. Murray and the New York Chamber of Commerce decide.

But the commerce to San Domingo is not only illicit, but it is carried on in a manner contrary to the law of nations. It has become a trade forced by arms against the public or private armed vessels of France, who, under the law of nations, whether France be considered as a belligerent power, or in the act of preventing her rebellious subjects from receiving any kind of supplies, have an undoubted right to search, capture, and send for adjudication any neutral vessel which they have reason to consider as concerned in such trade. That resistance to such vessels is illegal will not be denied; and it will not be a justification for those illegal acts that resistance may legally be made against other vessels who are not duly commissioned and authorized.

It is for this last reason, it is because the trade to San Domingo, illicit in itself, is carried on, in the most open manner, by force of arms contrary to the law of nations; it is because fleets of armed vessels, insured as if engaged in the most legal trade, openly sail from our ports with the avowed design of forcing their way to San Domingo and of resisting commissioned as well as unauthorized French armed vessels, that the question has acquired national importance, and that legislative interference becomes necessary in order to preserve the peace of the nation which the avidity of a few individuals has already endangered. So long as force was not used, or so long as it was used so rarely as not to create alarm, the United States were not bound to forbid an illicit trade or to provide in a special manner against occasional acts of violence. It is the magnitude of the evil which calls for a remedy.

Three different modes might have been adopted in that respect,—to prohibit the trade altogether; to prohibit arming altogether, Edition: current; Page: [224] or, which is the object of the bill, to restrain only those unlawful acts of violence which had given just cause of complaint to the French government. It will not be denied that the last mode is the mildest, and that which lays the least possible restraint on American commerce.

Here let it be observed that from the year 1793, when the war between Great Britain and France took place, to the year 1798, when government resolved to repel the French aggressions by force, arming private vessels was, with the exception of those bound to the East Indies or Mediterranean, absolutely forbidden by a mere Executive act; and that when the President, in 1798, withdrew the prohibition, Congress immediately took up the subject, and, in the same law in which they authorized private vessels to resist in every case armed French vessels, provided against the unlawful use of force as it related to nations in amity with the United States. That Act, passed the 25th of June, 1798, and which would have expired on the 14th of May, 1800, was continued in force by Act of 22d of April, 1800. It expired by its own limitation on the 3d of May, 1802, at which time, Europe being at peace, the subject was unattended to. Subsequent to the renewal of the European war, the President did not think proper to assume the authority which had been exercised by his predecessors, to permit or forbid, at his pleasure, the arming of vessels; and Congress having neglected, during last session, to renew or modify the provisions of the former Act, the effect of an unrestrained permission to arm has been immediately felt. From that view of facts it results that, except since the renewal of the European war, American merchants had been uniformly either prohibited altogether to arm, or placed under restrictions in some degree similar to those proposed by the bill now under consideration, and that they have abused the permission to arm as soon as it was unrestrained and it became their interest to do it.

The principal features of the present bill are, 1st, that the owners shall give bond in a sum equal to double the value of the vessel, arms, &c., conditioned that no unlawful use of the arms of such vessel (generally) shall be made against nations in amity with the United States; 2dly, that the individuals Edition: current; Page: [225] who may make such unlawful use of arms shall be punished for such acts as if committed within the exclusive jurisdiction of the United States.

I cannot perceive that any well-founded objections can be made against either of those two principles. The forfeiture of the bond, as well as the punishment of the individuals, rests altogether on the unlawfulness of the act. As it is lawful to resist, in self-defence, any pirate or non-commissioned or otherwise unauthorized armed vessel, the penalties of the Act cannot attach to any of the cases in which the necessity of using arms has been alleged. It is evident that persons objecting to the principles of the bill must avow an intention to do what they know to be unlawful acts; that they intend, in fact, to resist authorized armed French vessels, and to force at all events an acknowledged illicit trade. Supposing some of the positions which I have assumed respecting the law of nations and an illicit trade to be erroneous, the error will not affect the argument in favor of the principles of the bill; for it is only what is unlawful which is forbidden, and it is left with the courts and juries to decide whether the acts which shall have been committed are lawful or unlawful. By recurring to the memorial of the Chamber of Commerce of New York it will be perceived that the principal act which they omit in their own enumeration of unlawful acts by a neutral, is resistance to the armed vessel of a belligerent which is not a public vessel; they acknowledge resistance to a public armed vessel to be unlawful; by the omission they imply that resistance to a duly commissioned privateer is lawful. I need not say that the distinction is unfounded, and has never been acknowledged, except by special conventions, and only in the case of convoys.

If the principles of the bill are correct, the details alone remain to be examined; and it is principally necessary that they should be such as with certainty to carry the principles into effect. On that subject I have but few observations to make.

In the first section, I think that it would be an improvement if the owners were obliged to give bond in a fixed sum, say ten or twenty thousand dollars, in addition to double the value of the vessel, arms, &c. This would not be liable to the objection Edition: current; Page: [226] which induced the House to strike out the word “cargo,” viz., that in the East India trade the bond would be for an enormous sum; and it would give security in those cases where the vessel itself may be worth but a trifle compared with the value and expected profits of the voyage.

In the same section, it seems to me that there is no reason why the last condition expressed in the 3d Section of the Act of the 25th June, 1798, should not be inserted. The Act is made so mild that the only danger to be apprehended is that its provisions will be inefficient and its intention defeated. The proposed proviso would enable the President to add such restrictions as experience might show to be necessary; and it is not liable to the well-founded objections made against the section rejected by the House, which authorized the President to prevent altogether the sailing of armed vessels under certain circumstances.

The second section is obscure, and, I think, misprinted. Mr. Madison proposes, as a substitute, a much shorter one, which I enclose.

In the third section, the provision which subjects the value of the vessel to forfeiture should be more explicit, by declaring that such value shall be recovered from either the owners or master of the vessel. Penal statutes are construed strictly; in every suit the bias is against the United States; and the penalty might be evaded if the persons from whom it must be recovered, when the vessel cannot be seized, are not described.

I will trouble you no longer, and you must excuse this long, unconnected letter, but I have not time to write either a better or a shorter one.

Believe me to be, with great regard and respect, your very obedient servant.

Edition: current; Page: [227]
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
12th February, 1805
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.
REMARKS ON THE INAUGURAL.

Louisiana.—“That the acquisition may pay for itself before we are called on, and keep down the accruing interest,” had, I think, be better omitted, or at least modified, as it is rather going too far in saying that such event is probable: it is barely possible. “The larger our association, the less will it be shaken by local passions”—is not this doubtful and too generally expressed?

Religion.—May not another expression be substituted to that of sects?

I had rather not to particularize the acts of fasting, praying, &c., as things which ought not to be prescribed or controlled by the general government. The sentiment is certainly true, but it implies censure not only on predecessors, but on the State governors, city mayors, &c., who, though they have no more authority under the States than the President under the general government for that object, have nevertheless issued proclamations of that kind.

Indians.—“The virtues” is too general; they have but a few,—I think very few. As it relates to the moral causes which prevent their improvement, I think licentiousness to be the principal, and the consequent want of the social institutions which establish and secure property and marriage to be the greatest obstacles to civilization. But, supposing even the whole of what is stated on that subject in the speech, to be correct, the allusion to old-school doctrines and to New England habits appears to me inexpedient, and I would strike out at least from “great efforts” to “same land.”

Press.—Would it not be better to suppress all which may be considered as expressions of personal feelings, say from “valuing characters” to “indignation”? Yet the idea that the licentiousness of the press lessens its usefulness should not be omitted. In the remainder of that article there is perhaps more said on the subject of the re-election than is necessary. Those two heads, Indians and Press, appear to me susceptible of improvement, and, if the President should think it proper to Edition: current; Page: [228] expunge any considerable part, will of course require some new modifications in the arrangement.

For the same reason which made me object to the general plan of the speech, I would suggest the propriety of dilating more on what is due, in the beneficial results of the Administration, to the legislative acts of Congress, and to the people themselves, both as electors of Congress and as influencing measures by the weight of public opinion.

The more that has been done shall in the speech be ascribed to others than the Executive, the less shall any imputation of self-applause attach to it.

Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
28th March, 1805
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

The bad arrangement of districts on the lakes had heretofore prevented the organization of the district of Erie, which includes Cayuga. A representation was made on that subject to Congress, and a law was obtained which, amongst other things, authorizes you to designate the port of entry and delivery for the district of Erie. Cayuga is the most proper place for that purpose, and I mentioned to you that as soon as I could hear of a proper character for the office I would submit the appointment to you. This of course has anticipated the request of the Assembly of Ohio, as it will give them not only a port of delivery but one of entry at Cayuga. It may be expected that the district will be organized in the course of the spring.

I have nothing new to mention. The Treasury is poor, and if all the bills come at once from France, it will be difficult, even with the assistance of the bank, to meet them. A loan of about one million and a half will be necessary, but I think we will be able to repay it in the course of the year.

Mr. Livingston’s arrangements on that and some other subjects have not been the best possible; and much do I fear that his interference and schemes respecting Florida have done much to prevent Mr. Monroe’s success in Spain.

With sincere respect and attachment, your obedient servant.

Edition: current; Page: [229]
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
April 3, 1805
Monticello
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

Dear Sir,

Your favor of 26th [28th?] March is received, and I learn with real concern the danger that a temporary loan may be necessary, because we know how it will be perverted to throw dust in the eyes of the people. However, if no other expedient can be used, we must meet it. I have no expectation that Monroe will be able to get any acknowledgment of boundary which we can admit. The next best measure will be to obtain a free use of the rivers of either party, rising within the limits of the other, and that neither party shall either settle or fortify within the disputed country until the limits can be fixed. This will give us time to await and avail ourselves of events. I presume the appointment of Flowers may wait my return. In the mean time the other may be heard from. I have desired the Postmaster-General to forward nothing to me here after the 5th instant, as I expect to be with you in a fortnight. Accept affectionate salutations and assurances of constant friendship and respect.

Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
23d April, 1805
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

I enclose the sketch of an Act for organizing the new district of Sacket Harbor, in conformity with the Act of 3d March, 1803 (6th vol. p. 273). If you approve of the form and division, a fair copy shall be prepared for your signature.

Pierce’s plan of a depreciating paper is returned. Herman Husband, the Pennsylvania madman, proposed a similar one to the Legislature of that State in the year 1779; only his paper, instead of depreciating at a regular rate each time it passed in the hands of another man, was to depreciate, instead of bearing interest, regularly every day so as to be worth nothing at the end of three years. Pierce’s paper is to be worth nothing when it shall have passed through the hands of ten persons. It is Edition: current; Page: [230] evident that such paper, without the assistance of severe tender laws, will be worth nothing from the day it is issued. But, supposing such laws to exist and to be enforced, what do such plans amount to? If the depreciation is very gradual, say one per cent., or one per thousand, instead of ten per cent. on each payment, it is perfectly similar to a stamp duty on receipts, notes, &c. If the depreciation be at the rate of ten per cent., as suggested by Pierce, it is the Spanish alcabala.

With great respect, your obedient servant.
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
9th May, 1805
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

I enclose Mr. Sanford’s answer respecting a district judge. Van Wyke is certainly very young, not above twenty-five; he is General Van Cortlandt’s nephew, and has the negative recommendation of being neither a Livingston nor a Clinton. The persons proposed are, therefore,

Brockholst Livingston.

George Clinton, Jr.

Tallmage (Governor Clinton’s son-in-law, and would both in New York and in the State be preferred to George).

Van Wyke.

I must repeat that I will not consider the revenue as very safe under B. Livingston. His decision, as a State judge, in the case of the Sandy Hook beacons was very inimical, and at the time ascribed by some to E. Livingston’s removal. If you continue of opinion that Swartwout shall be removed unless he pays, and you will be pleased to direct a commission in the name of Peter A. Schenk, the person recommended by De Witt Clinton, to be sent to me, I will transmit it to Mr. Sanford with instructions to give it, unless Mr. Swartwout shall make payment within a limited time.

I have received Latrobe’s plan of fire-proof buildings, but cannot understand it fully without referring to the general sketch which he has sent you. I will do myself the pleasure to wait on Edition: current; Page: [231] you to-morrow for that purpose, but I had expected that he would come and stay here a few days. Of Tatham’s fitness for any actual employment I cannot judge. He has certainly genius, but the appearance of something bordering on mental derangement. I may be mistaken, and would like to know.

With great respect, your obedient servant.
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
28th May, 1805
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

The last paragraph of the enclosed letter seems to confirm the hints that Great Britain had not succeeded in forming any efficient alliance on the Continent.

There is an Act passed by the Legislative Council of Orleans for dividing the Territory into counties, which, if it has been received either by you or by the Department of State, would assist in dividing the two land districts. It will be necessary to establish it soon, as Mr. Thomson has accepted and writes that he will be on the spot in July.

By a sketch of the revenue (impost) for 1804, I find that after deducting the drawbacks, debentures, bounties, expenses of collection, it amounts to $13,180,000
That of 1803 was only (on which our estimates are founded) $11,310,000
making an increase of $1,870,000
which arises from the following items, viz.:
New Orleans revenue, $270,000
Light money and specific duties for six months at most, 100,000
Mediterranean fund for six months, 470,000
Natural and war increase, 1,100,000
$1,940,000
Deduct increased expenses of collection, $70,000
Increase as above, $1,870,000

Our receipts have not, however, kept altogether pace this year Edition: current; Page: [232] with that apparent increase, owing principally to the great re-exportations this year of articles imported last season.

The gross revenue of New Orleans has been for the three last quarters of 1804 $232,576
add for another quarter 68,000
makes for the whole year $300,576

The first quarter of 1804 gave but 34,000 dollars under the Spanish duties and regulations. Our laws commenced on 1st April.

With great respect and attachment, your obedient servant.

Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
May 29, 1805
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

Th. J. to Mr. Gallatin.

I have no information that the Act dividing Orleans into counties is passed. By the papers which came yesterday it appeared to have been twice read and committed. Would not the waters of the Red River form one proper district, and the residuary country another? or the waters of the Red River and the country above and between that and the Mississippi for one, and the residuary country the other?

The financial part of your letter is highly pleasing. There must be something more in this increase of revenue than the natural and war increase; depreciation to a small degree in other countries, a sensible one in this, and a great one in England, must make a part of it, and is a lesson to us to prefer ad valorem to fixed duties. The latter require often retouching, or they become delusive. As to the Orleans revenue, I presume we may consider it as the consumption of 60,000 people and their increase, added to that of 6,000,000 and their increase; for though the former will increase faster than the latter, it will only be by drawing off numbers from them. But, from whatever cause, the increase of revenue is a pleasing circumstance, as it hastens the moment of liberating our revenue, and of permitting us to begin upon canals, roads, colleges, &c. Edition: current; Page: [233] I presume you will locate on your map the Indians from Sibley’s statement; my maps being in the hands of the binder, I cannot do it; but when you shall have done it, I shall be glad to have a consultation with you on the extent to which we may lay off townships, and of the assurance we may give to the Indians included within them. I enclose you a paper at Mr. Madison’s request. Affectionate salutations.

Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
30th May, 1805
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

I have taken notes of the situation of the Indian tribes in Lower Louisiana as given by Sibley, and, having compared them with Humboldt’s and Nolen’s sketches, think that I can locate them all with sufficient correctness for present purposes. But the great desideratum is a map, not good, but at least tolerable. The documents we have are not merely imperfect, but altogether contradictory, principally for the Attacapa and part of the Opelousas districts. I am now preparing at leisure moments a rough sketch, in which the ascertained points will be fixed, and an attempt made to reconcile the clashing authorities. This, till we have better information, will at least do better than any of our existing maps, and I will locate the Indian tribes in it. Most of those tribes within the tract we mean to have surveyed are within the existing settlements, and appear to be cultivators. It is presumable that they have but very limited claims, and, exclusively of the communications to be made by the Indian agent or superintendent, great confidence may be placed on the discretion and tenderness for Indian rights of Mr. Briggs. At present I can only add that in one of Clark’s sketches I have discovered three Indian villages not mentioned by Sibley, one of Chitimachas, at the place where Bayou Plaquemine unites with the Chafalaya, and two of a nation called Ouachas, or Couchas (the writing in French not being very legible), on the branches or bayous of the Chafalaya below the Chitimachas. The Bayou Chico, mentioned by Sibley Edition: current; Page: [234] as a branch of the Opelousa, and the seat of two tribes, I can find in no map or sketch whatever. I believe that on examination of the relative situations, you will find that the Opelousa and Attacapa districts will be much more conveniently united, as a land office district, with the Red River settlement than with those on the Mississippi.

I had earnestly requested that expenditures might be as moderate as possible for a few months, in order that our receipts might so accumulate as to enable us to meet the French bills without borrowing. As it seems by Mr. Armstrong’s last letter that they will not come for some time, it is probable that we will avoid that evil resource. But it is proper that I should state that the War Department has assisted us in that respect much better than the Navy Department, as will appear from the enclosed account of expenditures for each during the first five months of this year. Yet, in relation to the navy, no fleet has been fitted this spring; and four months’ pay to the five or six hundred men sent by the John Adams and gunboats, which was the only extraordinary expense, is an object of only sixty or seventy thousand dollars. As I know that there was an equal wish in both Departments to aid in this juncture, it must be concluded either that the War is better organized than the Navy Department, or that naval business cannot be conducted on reasonable terms. Whatever the cause may be, I dare predict that whilst that state of things continues we will have no navy, nor shall progress towards having one. As a citizen of the United States, it is an event that I will not deprecate; but I think it due to the credit of your Administration that after so much has been expended on that account, you should leave an increase of rather than an impaired fleet. On this subject, the expense of the navy greater than the object seemed to require, and a merely nominal accountability, I have, for the sake of preserving perfect harmony in your councils, however grating to my feelings, been almost uniformly silent; and I beg that you will ascribe what I now say to a sense of duty and to the grateful attachment I feel for you.

With great respect, your obedient servant.
Edition: current; Page: [235]

If you have no objection, I would wish to be absent next week, as a short jaunt will be of service to me.

Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
1st July, 1805
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

It appears from the enclosed letters of F. Baring and Mr. Merry that the last British instalment of £200,000 will be paid in London on 15th instant. This is a great relief to us, and still more to the banks, as the exportation of that sum in specie would have distressed them at this moment beyond measure. That being paid, the only extraordinary expense to be provided for is the 3,750,000 dollars claims assumed by the convention with France, payment of which may now be daily expected. On this day, after having paid the quarterly interest on the public debt, we have more than 4,200,000 dollars left in the Treasury; so that, instead of paying only two millions of those claims from the Treasury and borrowing the rest as we had stated in our estimates to Congress, we will be able to pay the whole without borrowing anything.

This will, if the bills come all at once and immediately, drain the Treasury very low. But as, if we overcome this difficulty, there is no probability, unless in case of war, that during your Administration any other loan shall be wanted, it was an object to strain every nerve to meet this demand without recurring to that kind of resource. Within six weeks we will be at ease, and may then resume the suspended expenditures, particularly the payments on account of the sinking fund, which are much in arrears.

I submit the draft of an answer to R. Morris, which I have purposely made less explicit than your opinion seemed to purport, in order to be able to decide according to the circumstances of the case when they shall all be known.

I do not recollect any instance of a suit on a revenue bond in which I have interfered. The district attorneys have on some occasions, as I understand, assumed the responsibility of giving some indulgence.

Edition: current; Page: [236]

But less is shown in that species of suits than in any other, not only because there must be a certainty in the collection of the revenue, but because the law directs in that case that the bond shall be put in suit on the day it becomes due if not paid. This subject, as to details, is under the immediate superintendence of the Comptroller, as he has the direction both of the revenue and of all the suits in the United States, and if Mr. Sheaff had made an application to me I should have refused it to him.

If you have no objection to his letter to you being thus placed on the public files of that office, it may be referred in that manner; but if you have any, Mr. Sheaff should write to the Comptroller or to me and obtain from the district attorney a statement of the case, with his opinion that the security of the United States will not be injured by the delay which may be granted.

Respectfully, your obedient servant.
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
July 2, 1805
Washington
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

Dear Sir,

The answer to Morris is perfectly well, as it leaves the case open for decision as the fact or law shall be. I have dropped a line to Sheaff to address either yourself or the Comptroller on his case. The prospect of avoiding a loan is really most pleasing. I observe Mr. Livingston is arrived, and the newspapers seem to suppose the call for the French money will soon take place. You have not told me when you propose to leave this place. I keep back my letter to Mr. Smith till you enable me to fix a day for his coming. Affectionate salutations.

Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
17th July, 1805
Samuel Smith
Smith, Samuel

GALLATIN TO SAMUEL SMITH, U. S. Sen.

Dear Sir,

It is impossible for me to calculate the effect of the measure you propose on our finances. I am very confident, Edition: current; Page: [237] however, that the consumption of foreign linens would be diminished if the importation of Irish linens was forbidden; and the same may be said, though the effect would not be so extensive, of hats, nails, writing-paper, glassware, and medicines.

There is a difficulty, supposing the measure to be proper, in selecting the articles on which the prohibition should fall. For the less of an English article we consume, the less will the prohibition affect them; and the more we consume of it, the more will the prohibition affect our own finances.

As to the general policy of the measure, it is not a question to be solved, at least by me, without more information and consideration, nor to be answered in a short letter. An objection which on first impression strikes me, is that the total prohibition of English manufactures being the strongest measure of retaliation which we can adopt, the mere extra export duty is not perhaps sufficient cause to call forth that remedy. It might perhaps be better to reserve it as an arm for occasions of more importance; and it may be queried whether the enforcement of the Navigation Act in Europe, and of the colonial system in the West Indies, though more susceptible of justification than the difference made against us by the export duty, be not substantially much more injurious to the United States.

Have you consulted Mr. Madison on the subject? I have not sufficiently thought upon it to form an opinion satisfactory to myself.

Your friend and servant.
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
6th August, 1805
New York
Mr. Madison
Mr. Madison

GALLATIN TO MADISON.

Dear Sir,

It cannot be expected that the banks will make a loan to La Fayette; they never lend on real property; of the value of the Louisiana lands no person can at present give them sufficient assurances, and their answer will be that they are ready to make the requested advance on La Fayette’s notes with two approved endorsers. I will confer with Toussard on Edition: current; Page: [238] his arrival, and give every assistance in my power; but everything depends on some fortunate, extraordinary location; for no lands, however fertile, will, merely as objects of common cultivation, realize his expectations.

The demands from Spain were too hard to have expected, even independent of French interference, any success from the negotiation. It could only be hoped that the tone assumed by our negotiators might not be such as to render a relinquishment or suspension of some of our claims productive of some loss of reputation. If we are safe on that ground, it may be eligible to wait for a better opportunity before we again run the risk of lowering the national importance by pretensions which our strength may not at this moment permit us to support. If from the manner in which the negotiation has been conducted, and has terminated, that effect has already been produced, how to save character without endangering peace will be a serious and difficult question. Perhaps a law making efficient provision for building a dozen of ships of the line would be the most dignified and most forcible mode of reopening the negotiation; but it will be a doubt with some whether the remedy be not worse than the disorder. At all events, to go to war for the western boundary of Louisiana, or even for the country between Mississippi and Perdido, after having omitted in our treaty of purchase to bind France to a certain construction of limits, never will do. The refusal to ratify the convention is, in my view of the subject, the most offensive part of the proceeding.

Mr. Randolph and Mr. Nicholson are both anxious to know with precision the time when Mr. Monroe may be expected in England, as they have both placed business of importance in his hands. I will thank you to communicate your knowledge or conjectures on that point.

Mrs. Gallatin joins in affectionate compliments to you and to Mrs. Madison, and sincerely hopes that she will receive prompt and efficient relief in Philadelphia. If she is better, you should come and pay a visit to the American Tyre, which you would hardly recognize.

Yours truly.
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I find that Lear has drawn £5000 on the Barings, on the contingent credit of 100,000 dollars which had been given for the ransom in case of peace. Do you know for what reason? and was it not wrong to diminish that fund, or rather to divert it from its intended object?

Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
August 7, 1805
Monticello
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

Dear Sir,

You have probably learnt through other channels that our Commissioners to Spain have terminated their mission without success in a single point. I have desired Mr. Madison to send you the papers, and when you shall have perused them I will ask a communication of your general view of what is expedient for us to do. I ask the same of the other gentlemen. When I shall have received them it will enable me to form precise points on which to ask their ultimate judgment. This will employ some time; but the case is serious, and is entitled to time and mature consideration.

Tremble declines the office of commissioner in the western district of Orleans. I have not a single person in view for it: can you furnish one? Gideon Fitz, one of Briggs’s deputy surveyors, is gone to Tombigbee to survey; no honester man lives. I know him intimately, and should not fear to trust him with my whole fortune uncounted. His mathematical talents are good; and, though this has been his particular line, his understanding and knowledge of life fit him for other lines. He will make a good receiver at Tombigbee when you want one, and I think it probable he might accept it. If you know of no better, it might be best to appoint him at once, that, if he refuses, we may still have time to name another. Accept affectionate salutations.

P.S.—It seems essential to our success with England that we should not be understood as absolutely committed to war with Spain.

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Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
17th August, 1805
New York
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

An excursion into the country with a sick child has prevented my writing for several days.

But I had indeed very little to say. Enclosed you will find:

1. John Nicholas’s letter recommending Samuel Latta as collector of customs for the district of Genesee. The sooner a commission can issue, [the better,] as the Canadians smuggle; it has been delayed only from want of information.

2. Judge Toulmin’s letter on the subject of the office of receiver of public moneys. I do not know to what he alludes; some mistake, I suppose, of printer Smith. A commission either for him or for Gideon Fitz should be issued this fall.

3. A letter from Holmes, who is already appointed to the office for which he applies.

4. Several letters in favor of John Kittredge as collector of Gloucester vice Gibault, who is dying, but not to my knowledge yet dead.

I received yesterday your letters of 7th and 9th insts.

What to say about a commissioner vice Tremble I do not know, as, he having accepted, all the other applications and recommendations have been left in Washington. If I can recollect or find somebody, I will write you immediately.

On the Spanish affairs I will, in conformity with your request, try to throw my ideas on paper. Generally, I think the present time unfavorable either for urging our claims by further negotiations or for enforcing them by war. The great difficulty is how to keep them suspended without abandoning the ground assumed or loss of reputation. Yet that may not be impossible; but a little delay will do no injury, and if any positive instructions could be delayed till October, it would, I think, be preferable.

With great respect and attachment, your obedient servant.

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Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
12th September, 1805
New York
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

I enclose at last some observations on the Spanish affairs. The anxiety and occasional absence occasioned by the lingering illness of a child I finally lost had prevented my taking a sufficiently comprehensive view of the subject to commit anything to writing, and even now I feel that it is very defective. Accept my congratulations on the Tripolan peace, and my wishes that you may terminate as favorably the Spanish differences.

With sincere attachment and great respect, your obedient servant.

[Enclosure.]

SPANISH AFFAIRS.

Subjects of difference:

1. Boundaries of Louisiana, East and West.

2. Spoliations, refusal to ratify convention, and French Spanish captures.

Modes of acting:

1. War. 2. Active negotiations. 3. Suspension of discussions.

War.—1. Its justice as it relates to boundaries.

The claim of the United States is not evident, but is derived for the east, by construction, from the Treaty of St. Ildefonso, and rests for the west on the accidental landing of La Salle at St. Bernard, and on the French establishment of the Mississippi being prior to those of Spain east of Rio Norte. It is not presumed that the last object (the west boundary) shall by any one be considered as a just subject of war. To me the claim has always appeared doubtful. The doctrine of European rights to uncivilized countries as derived from discovery and possession is not reducible and never has been reduced to fixed rules. The positive right of discovery extends in this case only to the Mississippi; that of occupancy, beyond what is actually possessed by us on the sea-shore west of that river, is confined to the accidental and transient settlement of La Salle. Crozat’s charter, Edition: current; Page: [242] being a public act acquiesced in by the silence of Spain, gives the most valid title, but embraces only the waters emptying into the Mississippi. On the other hand, the Adayes and Nacogdoches settlement, whatever was its origin (and Spain may assert that it was as legal as that of La Salle), was formed before the short war between the Quadruple Alliance and Spain (the Regent and Alberoni). During that war Pensacola was three times taken and retaken. At the peace it was restored, and Perdido fixed as the boundary of Florida and Louisiana. But, although it does not appear that the western boundary was then fixed, the Adayes settlement was suffered to remain. That acquiescence on the part of France, confirmed by her subsequent silence and by the undisturbed possession and exercise of the rights of sovereignty of Spain during more than forty years (1718-1762), throws such uncertainty on our claims, that a resort to arms for that cause will, I think, appear unjustifiable in the opinion of mankind and even of America. That we have still an undefined claim is true; this may, when a proper opportunity shall offer, be used for the purpose of obtaining a convenient eastern boundary; for it will certainly be the interest of unbiassed Spain to obtain from us a relinquishment to the country bordering on the Mexico settlements; but if no arrangement should take place on that subject during the present generation, the natural growth of the United States will hereafter naturally enforce the claim to its full extent.

The claim of the United States on the east as far as Perdido is much better founded.

The word “retrocede” is the only expression in the Treaty of St. Ildefonso which countenances the construction of Spain. She insists that that expression confines her cession to so much only as she had received from France. But every other expression and sentence of the treaty supports the construction of the United States. Yet it must again be repeated that the claim is not self-evident, but constructive; and the following considerations seem to render the justice of a war in its support extremely doubtful: 1st. Whether ascribed to policy, or to precipitancy, or to any other cause, it is not less the fact that the acquisition of Louisiana without any fixed boundaries was the act of the Edition: current; Page: [243] United States; for the act of their negotiators is theirs; if they intended at all events to obtain the now disputed territory between Mississippi and Perdido, if they then attached such value to it as to risk a war for securing it, they would not have signed the treaty without placing the subject beyond the possibility of dispute. The manner in which the treaty is drawn betrays either unpardonable oversight or indifference to that object, and a disposition to trust to a mere contingency for securing it. 2dly. Not only we neglected, when the treaty was made, to obtain from France, if not a guarantee, at least an official declaration of what she considered as the boundary of the territory ceded to her by the Treaty of St. Ildefonso, but Spain was not consulted on the subject. If, therefore, a previous explanation had taken place between Spain and France on that subject, however we may complain of the duplicity of France for having withheld such communication, Spain may justly oppose it to our demands. If A purchases from B a tract of land, and the boundaries are not precisely defined by the deed; if by subsequent articles the parties explain the meaning of the deed; if neither the deed nor articles have been made matter of public record; and if afterwards C shall purchase from A on the face of the first deed, and, notwithstanding its want of precision, shall neither ask from A a guarantee or even explanation of the boundaries, nor inquire from B what he had intended to convey; it is true that he may have recourse against A for the deception in not showing the articles, but it is very doubtful whether the disputed land can be recovered from B, who has in the mean while never given possession, and who had even, before C’s purchase was ratified, warned him not to purchase. 3dly. We cannot deny that we had before the ratification of the treaty a knowledge of the intention of the parties to the Treaty of St. Ildefonso, so far as related to the eastern boundaries. For we knew that Laussat was instructed to demand and the Spanish officers to deliver, east of the Mississippi, that part only which is in our possession.

As it relates to the spoliations.—This appears a more just cause of war; and if the original offence was of a recent date, if the refusal to restrain or compensate for the aggressions had been made whilst they continued to exist, the question would certainly Edition: current; Page: [244] become one of policy alone. The conduct of Spain was not, however, at the time considered as a cause of war; and it may be said at this moment that, in the relation in which she then stood towards France, of alliance against an enemy, and of vassalage to that great power, her conduct was a natural consequence of our hostilities with that nation. It is certain that when we were negotiating for the purpose of obtaining reparation for our merchants, we had no idea of going to war in case of failure. It is her refusal to ratify what by the convention itself she had acknowledged as justly due to us which is the cause of offence. And supposing that the other objections of Spain have been removed, the only ground of dispute on this point is the modification which they ask, and which, although they have no right to demand it, amounts only to expressions which, without impairing the reserved rights of either party, shall only prevent a constructive admission of our right by Spain to be inferred from the instrument. The only words to which Spain objects are those which seem, by construction, to convey an idea that she recognizes in the abstract the justice of our claim for French aggressions originating or countenanced in her ports. Is the preservation of those equivocal words which give us very little more than a mere general reservation of the rights of the parties a just cause of war?

That, in case of rupture on the grounds on which we stand, plausible and in some respects solid arguments may be urged in answer to the preceding remarks I have no doubt; but from the nature of the subject, they will be so refined that they cannot carry that conviction of the justice of our cause which is necessary to justify a war in the public opinion and to our own hearts. The high station which American and, I flatter myself, Mr. J.’s administration now occupy in the eyes of other nations, is principally due to the opinion which is entertained of their wisdom, justice, and moderation; and I think it (exclusively of every reason derived from duty) of primary importance that nothing should be done to weaken those favorable impressions; and that if war must be ultimately resorted to, we should previously place the controversy on such ground as will evidently put Spain in the wrong.

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2. Its policy.

Whether the issue of a war be favorable or not, some unavoidable consequences must ensue. 1st. We will be shut up from our commercial intercourse with Italy, Spain, France, and Holland. 2dly. Our remaining commerce, particularly with the West and East Indies, will, to a certain extent, be injured. 3dly. Our existing revenue will be diminished. It is not possible to form any precise calculation or even probable estimate of the degree to which we will be injured in those several respects; but it would be a much more favorable conjecture than comports with my view of the subject to suppose that the unavoidable effect of even a successful war on our revenue would be to reduce it to a level with our current peace expenditure (sinking fund, 8 millions; war, navy, foreign intercourse, civil list, and miscellaneous demands, 2½ to 3 millions; in all, 11 millions), and that all the expenses of the war must be supported by loans or new taxes. The extent of those would depend on that of our operations; their nature would be a matter of subsequent consideration. I will only name the principal resources in the order in which they would probably be resorted to. Increase of impost; sales of lands on cheaper terms by wholesale; stamps; direct tax; taxes on manufactures. Our expected gain by the war (I do not speak of the injury done to the enemy) would be the improbable ratification of the convention; a probable establishment of boundaries eastwardly to Perdido, westwardly on just terms; and perhaps the acquisition of Florida. We would at any time, even after a successful campaign, accept of the terms proposed by Mr. Monroe, viz., establish the boundaries of Louisiana and take Florida in exchange of the convention. What are both Floridas worth? For this is exactly what we may gain. What were we willing to give for them? and what would be the cost of one year’s war?—not merely the positive expense, but the national loss?

(Here let it be observed that in case of rupture, it is to be expected that France and Spain will seize or sequester property to an immense amount. Amsterdam, Antwerp, and even Bordeaux, Cadiz, and Leghorn, are filled with our merchants’ property, exclusively of vessels which might be there at the time. With Edition: current; Page: [246] all those nations the American commerce is now carried on with American capital, and the exchange 5 to 10 per cent. in our favor.)

I think that every view of the subject will enforce a conviction that a war, even more successful than our resources render it probable, would, as a matter of calculation, be most unprofitable; and that the only ground on which it can be defended is the necessity of asserting our rights from a fear that passive endurance will provoke a succession of injuries. That there is a point where forbearance must cease cannot be doubted; whether we have reached that point in relation to Spain I doubt; and it may be questioned whether, both as a real injury and as a point affecting the national dignity, the annual blockade of our ports and the perpetual impressment of our seamen be not more essential wrongs than any we have suffered from Spain. But what will be the probable result of a war, and how shall we carry it on? I believe that we may, with our existing military resources, or at least with little addition, take possession of both Floridas, perhaps reach through the wilderness the miserable establishments of Santa Fé and San Antonio, and alarm the outposts of Mexico. But it does not appear to me that we can go beyond that without a waste of treasure and of men which we cannot supply. The taking of Havana, the most decisive stroke for forcing a peace, would require some naval co-operation on the part of the British, an army of fifteen or twenty thousand men, six months’ siege, and from ten to twenty millions of dollars. Vera Cruz might perhaps cost less, but would be less important. If we were not able to take either, peace must depend less on our exertions than on the course which the French government may pursue. If Bonaparte, haughty and obstinate as he is, shall think proper to persevere, notwithstanding our taking Florida, then our fate becomes linked to that of England, and the conditions of our peace will depend on the general result of the European war. And this is one of the worst evils which the United States could encounter; for an entangling alliance, undefined debts and taxes, and in fine a subversion of all our hopes, must be the natural consequence.

Negotiations.—Three advantages may result from a renewal of Edition: current; Page: [247] negotiations in some shape or another: 1st. The hope of a permanent and complete, or at least temporary and partial arrangement, in which last case war will be at least prevented. 2dly. Such modification of our demands as will, in case of refusal, place the justice of our cause on evident ground. 3dly. Some time gained which may enable us to be somewhat better prepared for the conflict. By active negotiations, I meant such as would have for object a complete arrangement of every existing difference; by suspension of discussion, I contemplated some temporary agreement which, without affecting the question, might save the rights and the credit of both nations, leaving the final result to future contingencies. In whatever shape these negotiations may be carried on, they will still relate either to the boundaries or to the convention; to which I would add the subject of new and existing aggressions, especially from Cuba.

1st. Boundaries.—The present moment does not appear favorable for pressing a renewal of negotiations for a final arrangement on that subject. Unless a very unexpected revolution should take place in the political situation of Spain, it seems that such arrangement must depend on France, and that it is with her that we ought to negotiate. But there is so little hope of success with either, that the attempt would only, in all probability, aggravate the evil we mean to parry. Yet, as it is impossible to foresee the fluctuations which may take place in the councils of both nations and the events which may offer a favorable opportunity, it would be prudent to vest our ministers at Paris and Madrid with such powers as may enable them, not to urge a negotiation, but to be ready to enter into one if it shall be offered; and for that purpose an ultimatum may be prepared and sent to them. The terms may be the subject of further consideration; and I will only say that I would think it for the interest of the United States, and no improper relinquishment of their rights, to take the Sabine and Perdido for boundaries on the sea-shore, including always within Louisiana all the waters of the Mississippi. In the mean while two propositions may be made for a temporary arrangement, which had been already suggested to our ministers, but do not seem to have been mentioned by them, viz., a statu quo, and the free navigation of the Mobile.

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Statu quo.—Although this seems to be a simple and reasonable demand in the abstract, its application presents some difficulties. 1st. If Spain be sensible that she can strengthen her positions only by increase of military force, whilst we strengthen ourselves by forming new settlements, she may object to a plan which would preclude only her progress and would not affect us. 2dly. If the arrangement should be proposed for the disputed territory only; as the whole is in the possession of Spain, and as we might in the mean while increase our force at New Orleans and in the now disputed part of Louisiana west of the Mississippi, whilst she should be precluded from adding to her posts from Perdido to the Mississippi and to those of Nacogdoches and San Antonio; the conditions would be substantially unequal, since we would then be enabled at any time to take possession of the whole at a single stroke. And, on the other hand, we could not agree generally not to increase our force at New Orleans, &c., nor Spain to a similar condition for Havana, Pensacola, &c.; so that there is an equal difficulty in forming an arrangement which will preclude either party from reinforcing its existing posts, whether that arrangement be confined to the disputed territory or embrace the adjacent establishments. The only proposition which appears practicable is that neither party should form any new military post in advance of what they have, nor particularly between Natchitoches and San Antonio, leaving both at liberty to reinforce all existing military posts. If Spain shall insist that not only new military posts but also new settlements be precluded, the precise lines must be defined, and so save the pride of Spain, by abandoning our right to settle for the present some part of what she acknowledges to be ours; the river Mermenteau or Calcasieu, at her choice (both lie a little east of the Sabine), might be fixed on our side, and the Colorado on hers; but it would be preferable to say nothing about settlements, for it must be recollected that the offer of a desert for fifteen years was intended, in case the western boundary could not be settled, as an inducement for a relinquishment on the part of Spain of her claim to the country between Perdido and Mississippi. For us the condition of no new military post being erected is sufficient, both as an honorable means to extricate Edition: current; Page: [249] ourselves from our present embarrassment and as a matter of security; for, if an arrangement is made, it is not very material that Spain should increase her existing posts, nor will she be very able now to do it. To this there is but one exception: she must not if possible be permitted to erect new posts on the Mississippi, nor to strengthen her works or military force at Baton Rouge. Nor would it be necessary to consider a refusal on the part of Spain to accede formally to the statu quo as a cause of war. For although, if she shall act in such a manner in every respect as to force a war, that refusal will strengthen the justice of our cause; yet, if other matters be arranged, it might be sufficient on that subject to state that we would advance in case they should, leaving to Spain the odium both of the encroachment and of the rupture, if she should think proper to oppose by force such advance on our part.

Mobile.—Although this subject may be mentioned, I would not consider it as an ultimatum, or a refusal on the part of Spain as cause of war: 1st, because its importance is not at present sufficient to run any great risk on that account; 2dly, because the right is not by the law of nations generally acknowledged. It is undoubtedly a natural right, but usage and treaties have modified it amongst European nations in so many different ways, that I believe there is not a single similar case in which the right when used does not rest on prescription or positive treaty. It will also be well to consider that if acceded to by Spain, she will probably claim the same privilege for Baton Rouge; and yet the cases are not similar, since our settlements on Mobile lie within our boundaries as acknowledged by Spain, and Baton Rouge is within the disputed territory.

2d. Convention.—This, under existing circumstances, seems to be the most delicate part of the business. If we insist on it and fail, it leads to a war, and we cannot abandon it altogether without some disgrace, blended as the subject is with the other negotiation. For had it stood alone, our delay during fifteen months to ratify it, by showing that we did not set a very high value on it, would in fact have served as an apology for our not resenting the refusal of Spain to ratify. It was for that reason that I was of opinion last fall that it was better to lose the whole instrument Edition: current; Page: [250] than to accept the modification, nominal as it was, proposed by Spain. But now that the question presents itself under a very different aspect, it seems to me that it is of primary importance, having failed in the other objects, to obtain the ratification even on terms somewhat similar to those proposed by Spain. What I would then suggest is that, demanding in the first place a pure ratification, should no other objection be made by Spain than that of its containing an admission (by inference) on her part of our right to compensation for French spoliations, our minister should accept a ratification with a bien entendu or a declaration in the procès-verbal of the exchange of ratifications, that nothing contained in the instrument shall be construed as a recognition or relinquishment by either party of the claims not provided for, or any other words to that effect.

3d. New aggressions.—These are to a great extent, and afford a just ground for complaint. I am told that the rate of insurance, which is but 3½ per cent. to the British Windward Islands, is from 10 to 15 to Jamaica, and that almost solely owing to the French and Spanish privateers often armed in Cuba, and who uniformly take their prizes there and plunder them. It might not be advisable under other circumstances to take any other measures on this subject than we do in relation to the aggressions of other nations; but it may be proper, particularly if the refusal of Spain to give us any kind of satisfaction on the other subjects shall render a war probable, to press the subject with great force upon them. I think that it will, at all events, have a good effect on the whole negotiation, and in case of rupture will place the justice of our cause on the best possible ground. For then, supposing the other ideas to have been, under proper modifications, adopted, instead of giving for principal cause of the war a dispute for boundaries on which opinions would be divided, and which might lay us under an imputation of ambition, we would say: the boundaries of Louisiana were not fixed; we proposed to Spain that until they were, no new posts should be established by either party, and Spain will not agree to that proposal; Spain had by a convention acknowledged wrongs formerly done by her, and promised compensation; she afterwards objected to the ratification under Edition: current; Page: [251] pretence that some expressions in the instrument might be construed to bind her beyond her intention; we agreed to a modification in the form of ratification which would remove that objection, and she refuses to ratify; not satisfied with former wrongs, she suffers in her ports the most flagrant violation of the law of nations, the plunder without trial and condemnation of our vessels employed in an innocent trade, and she refuses redress. Unless Spain is predetermined to risk a war in order to obtain a positive relinquishment of our claim to the disputed territory, it appears extremely improbable that she would place herself in such awkward situation.

Nothing else has struck me on the subject of negotiations; and I would only add that if it shall appear, which may easily be previously ascertained by our minister, that Spain will ratify the convention in any admissible shape, it would be more eligible to urge each subject by itself, and as entirely unconnected with each other. But if no ratification is expected, all three, convention, statu quo, and new aggressions, should be pressed together on Spain.

Preparations.—Some time will be gained by the negotiation, which if it produces no other advantage than to accumulate two or three millions of dollars in our Treasury, exhausted by the payment of the French bills, will not have been altogether useless. The militia and military preparations, which cost little or nothing, and which might be necessary to take possession at once of both Floridas the moment a rupture should take place, might also be made. But it is principally on Congress that the decision of those points and of all other preparations will rest; and it is even proper to recollect that as the power of making war is constitutionally vested in that body, it is the duty of the Executive to leave it so substantially, and to do no act which may put the peace of the country in jeopardy. This alone should induce particular moderation in the manner of negotiating; and such course being adopted, the next question will be whether the President should lay the subject before Congress at their next session, and if so, in what shape? As it is not doubted, however, that in some shape or another the subject will be communicated to the Legislature, it will be sufficient Edition: current; Page: [252] to examine what preparatory measures can be taken by that body, on the supposition that they will not as yet vote any additional taxes, nor, on the other hand, diminish, as had been contemplated, the existing revenue, but will even for the present, notwithstanding the Tripolan peace, continue the additional duty of 2½ per cent., which, after discharging all current expenditures (including the 8 millions for the sinking fund and 600,000 dollars for the current navy expenses), will leave a probable annual surplus of two millions of dollars.

It is probable that the greater part of that surplus will be applied to the formation of a navy; and if Congress shall decide in favor of that measure, I would suggest that the mode best calculated in my opinion to effect it, and so impress other nations that we are in earnest about it, would be a distinct act enacted for that sole purpose, appropriating for a fixed number of years (or for as many years as would be sufficient to build a determinate number of ships of the line) a fixed sum of money, say one million of dollars annually, which will be about equal to the 2½ per cent. duty heretofore appropriated for the Tripolan war; and in order effectually to prevent the fund being diverted to current, contingent, or other purposes, to place it under the general superintendence of commissioners, in the same manner as the sinking fund, but leaving, of course, the immediate application and direction under that superintendence to the Navy Department. The money to be exclusively applied to the building of ships of the line; for there would still be a sufficient surplus to add immediately a few frigates to our navy. These last might be built by contract within the year; what progress might be made within the same time with the ships of the line I cannot say; but that it would lay the foundation of an efficient navy I have no doubt; and that the act would have a favorable effect on our foreign relations, and even on the pending negotiation, is also certain. Nor indeed, supposing Congress to be at all events averse to a war with Spain for the present, would it be an undignified course to make efficient provision for the preparation of a force that would prevent a repetition of wrongs which the United States did not at this moment feel prepared properly to resent. Whether the creation of an efficient Edition: current; Page: [253] navy may not, by encouraging wars and drawing us in the usual vortex of expenses and foreign relations, be the cause of greater evils than those it is intended to prevent, is not the question which I mean to discuss. This is to be decided by the representatives of the nation; and although I have been desirous that the measure might at least be postponed, yet I have had no doubt for a long time that the United States would ultimately have a navy. It is certain that so long as we have none, we must perpetually be liable to injuries and insults, particularly from the belligerent powers, when there is a war in Europe; and in deciding for or against the measure, Congress will fairly decide the question whether they think it more for the interest of the United States to preserve a pacific and temporizing system, and to tolerate those injuries and insults to a great extent, than to be prepared, like the great European nations, to repel every injury by the sword. The Executive will, from their decision, know the course which it behoves them to pursue in our foreign relations and discussions.

There is another measure which might be adopted by Congress, if they were determined on peace for the present at all events. It would be the appointment of commissioners to settle the claims for Spanish spoliations, showing thereby that though not willing to enforce at this time that just demand, they were determined not to abandon it, and to wait a favorable opportunity to press it. It is on a somewhat similar principle that the British government has lately ordered a distribution of the Spanish prize-money taken before the declaration of war amongst a certain description of merchants who had claims for former captures and contracts against Spain.

I have but one subject more on which to make any observations; it is on the interference of a war with our revenue system, and on the great advantage of a perseverance in the pacific system, if it was only for three or four years longer. Our existing revenue has been calculated to meet our current expenses. Our neutrality and the Tripolan additional duty may give us a surplus of about two millions, which, and it is a very low calculation, I Edition: current; Page: [254] consider as lost in case of war. These two millions alone applied to the building of a navy during the four ensuing years would, with what we have, give us ten or twelve ships of the line besides frigates, a force nearly equal in point of efficiency, considering the superiority of the men, to the Spanish navy. But this is not the most important consideration. Eight millions of our revenue are pledged for the sinking fund until the redemption of the whole debt, with a proviso (designedly inserted that the resources of the nation might not be palsied beyond a certain period) that when the whole debt, the old six per cent. deferred and three per cent. excepted, shall have been paid, there will be no necessity to apply the whole sum of eight millions annually. There now remain to be paid (besides the six, three, and deferred thus excepted) only 6½ millions eight per cent. and about 4 millions foreign, five and half, and navy six per cent. The redemption of those ten millions and half will be effected during the ensuing three years. And from the year 1809 inclusively, we shall not be compelled to pay any more annually than the interest on the remaining debt and annual reimbursement on the six per cent. and deferred stocks, amounting altogether to less than 4½ millions of dollars, and leaving, therefore, 3½ millions of dollars annually, which may be applied either to the purchase of the debt or to more pressing demands, according to circumstances. If the savings or preparations of the three ensuing years be added to the circumstance of having at once three millions and half of dollars annually at our disposal beyond what we now have, and that exclusively of our intermediate growth, the importance of our preserving peace during those three years will be easily understood.

Respectfully submitted.

Edition: current; Page: [255]
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
13th September, 1805
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

I enclose a letter from Mr. Gurley showing the continued dissatisfaction or efforts to produce discontents at New Orleans.

The only recommendation I can find here for commissioner is the one enclosed, and it is for Orleans and not for Opelousas. The commissioners must meet on 1st December next. I have not heard whether Lewis will accept for Orleans. The yellow fever is in New York, and the inhabitants leaving the city.

I am asked every day whether there is any probability of a war with Spain. The inquiry comes from merchants, and the insurers hesitate whether to insure.

As far as I can ascertain from our friends, a war would be unpopular. The question of boundaries is considered as of inferior importance at this moment, and as one for which it would not be worth while to entangle the nation. But it is agreed that the refusal to ratify the convention and the continued spoliations by Spain, or by vessels which find asylum in her ports, can with difficulty be tolerated without some loss of reputation; yet, after all, they say, Keep us from war, and depend on the wisdom of Administration for doing it.

With sincere respect and attachment, your obedient servant.

Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.
OBSERVATIONS ON FOREIGN GOLD.

Congress omitted last year to renew the temporary laws by which so much of the general act respecting foreign coins, as declares that no foreign gold or silver coin (Spanish dollars excepted) shall be current after the mint shall have been in operation a certain time, had from time to time been suspended. It followed that foreign gold ceased on 1st May last to be a legal tender. At that time nine-tenths of the circulating specie, or of Edition: current; Page: [256] that in the vaults of the several banks, consisted of such gold. A letter was written to the Bank of the United States recommending the importation of dollars from Europe, and the coining into American coins the foreign gold in their possession. Their answer is enclosed, and it must be observed that the omission of Congress, which was accidental, has done as yet no injury; for, as there was no other specie, every one by tacit consent has received and paid it as if it had been a legal tender.

The question which will arise on that subject is, Ought Congress again [to] make foreign gold a legal tender? and if so, should not something be done on the subject of Spanish gold? To the first question I have no hesitation to answer in the affirmative. But the second is more difficult to solve. It is evident that through mistake we have by law rated Spanish gold coins above their value. English and Portuguese coins are of the same standard with our own. French have been rated properly, or rather a little too low. To continue to receive Spanish coins above their value is to persist in error. To declare that they shall pass hereafter only at their real value will throw a loss on the holders and check the importation of that kind of specie, which in the course of trade is not easily obtained, and chiefly supplies us. To reduce our standard to the Spanish, raising of course the English, and Portuguese, and French gold coins to what would become their real value, might properly be considered as an alteration of our coins.

Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
October 11, 1805
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

Th. J. to Mr. Gallatin.

The reasons of the bank against importing coin seem good under their views of the subject, which perhaps are not broad enough.

I think Congress should renew the tender of foreign coins; but whether any alteration in the comparative value of Spanish gold should be made admits of question. I imagine Colonel Edition: current; Page: [257] Hamilton had assays made wherein he founded his rates of foreign coins. Indeed, I think I recollect his having stated in some of his reports the particulars of his assays. I am almost certain Mr. Rittenhouse on some occasion reported assays to Congress; their result, I presume, was agreeable to what the law established. The assay by the bank on two single pieces is on much too small a scale to shake the legal establishment; they should be made on large masses, and by persons known to us. If the assay of the bank be sufficient to excite any suspicion, it would be better to instruct Mr. Patterson to have a sufficient assay made on a mass of Spanish gold, and to report on the subject. If there be not considerable error in the present rate, I should be against touching it. The merchants will soon learn to correct small errors in what they receive in foreign countries, and for interior circulation a small error is unimportant; it is like the case of worn silver or gold. Affectionate salutations.

Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
October 23, 1805
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

Th. J. to Mr. Gallatin.

I send for your perusal another letter of Mr. Madison, which I will ask the favor of you to return immediately with the one sent on Saturday, and on which it is necessary to act.

The war on the Continent of Europe appears now so certain, and that peace is at least one year off, that we are now placed at our ease in point of time. We may make another effort for a peaceable accommodation with Spain without the danger of being left alone to cope with both France and Spain; and even if we are driven to war, it is now much more questionable than it was whether we had not better enter into it without fettering ourselves with an alliance, that we may be free to retire whenever our terms can be obtained. Peace cannot now be made in Europe but by a general convention, and that will take best part of a twelvemonth to arrange. Our question now is in what way to give Spain another opportunity of arrangement? Edition: current; Page: [258] Is not Paris the place? France the agent? The purchase of the Floridas the means? Affectionate salutations.

Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
November 3, 1805
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

Th. J. to Mr. Gallatin.

I wish for an à peu près of the number of seamen we call ours. I suppose the best way of estimating will be by our tonnage, including coasters, bay and river craft, and everything employed on the tide-waters. Can you assist me with the materials for such an estimate? It is of some importance for my bill for a naval militia; that and the one for the land militia I will send you for consideration as soon as you can assist me as above.

Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
5th November, 1805
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

Annexed is a sketch of the receipts and expenditures for the year ending 30th September last. It cannot be perfectly correct, and several alterations will certainly be made on the official examination of the accounts. But the variations will not be such as to affect any general result. The most imperfect part is the estimate of that part of the customs which arise from the Mediterranean fund, and which we do not consider as part of the permanent revenue.

With respectful attachment, your obedient servant.

Note.—We have actually paid this year about six millions of the principal of the debt contracted before your Administration, viz.:

Domestic and foreign debt, as per note f, $4,200,000
British convention, being in exchange of the 6th Article of Jay’s treaty, 1,776,000
Payment for lands in stock, as per note b, 45,000
$6,021,000
Edition: current; Page: [259]

A Sketch of the Receipts and Expenditures of the United States for the year ending 30th September, 1805.

Receipts, viz.:
(a) About 700,000 dollars of this sum arises from the Mediterranean fund.
(b) Besides about 45,000 dollars paid in stock.
(c) Fines, patents, fees, certificates, &c.
Customs(a) $12,773,045.56
Sales of lands(b) 621,895.08
Postage, 28,500.00
Arrears of direct tax and internal duties, 61,087.80
Incidental(c) 14,718.63
Repayments (principally for bills of exchange protested), 157,506.89
$13,656,753.96
Cash in Treasury 30th September, 1804, 4,882,351.35
$18,539,105.31
Expenditures, viz.:
(d) Surveying, bonds on land claims, light-houses, marine hospitals, mint, military pensions, Capitol, Maryland loans, &c.
(e) It is apprehended that the Navy Department will have expended at least 300,000 dollars more than that sum, and more than the appropriations; for which difference they are in debt, and cannot pay till Congress shall have made an additional appropriation.
(f)
Of which the payments for interest are estimated at $4,156,338.20
and those of principal redeemed at about 4,200,000.00
$8,356,338.20
Civil list, $615,652.26
Miscellaneous(d) 545,091.91
Diplomatic and Barbary, 258,017.74
British convention (the two last instalments), 1,776,000.00
Purchase of Louisiana (French bills), 350,559.10
Army and Indian Department, 749,281.28
Navy Department(e) 1,314,001.22
Domestic debt and loans, $5,724,811.53 }(f) 8,356,338.20
Foreign debt, 2,631,526.67 } $13,963,941.71
Cash in Treasury 30th September, 1805, 4,575,163.60
$18,539,105.31
Edition: current; Page: [260]
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
November 6, 1805
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

Th. Jefferson to Mr. Gallatin.

In the case of L. H. Guerlain, of New Orleans, it is undeniable that a fraud on the revenue was meditated. Yet, under all the circumstances of the case, I am of opinion he will be sufficiently punished by forfeiting the difference between his invoice and the appraisement, stated to be $7548.45, by the payment of duties, $9500, and by the loss by the proceeds of sales.

The chief motive, which in other cases might restrain the disposition to remit, would be the interest given by law to the custom-house officer or informer; but I understand the officer was to give an exorbitant fee to his attorney in the case if he obtained a conviction: this completely does away all regard to his interest, and places him under our eye in the most unfavorable light. If lawyers are to be urged to use all the resources of their profession, by exorbitant fees, to convict those accused, the next step will be the subornation of witnesses, and other foul practices. Proceedings leading to such oppression of individuals should be marked with the disapprobation of government. Knowing as I do the correct character of Mr. Brown, I am at a loss to account for this act of impropriety, and think the request of an explanation (if the fact be true) would be a proper admonition to guard his future conduct. Affectionate salutations.

Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
November 16, 1805
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

Th. J. to Mr. Gallatin.

The Jersey law puts the lands on Sandy Hook completely in our power; and having paid the money, the fee-simple is fixed in the United States unconditionally forever; nor would it be in the power of the Jersey Legislature to alter it were they disposed. Mr. Hartshorne’s conduct has been so sordid as to prove that nothing restrains him from any robbery, private or public, but Edition: current; Page: [261] the power of the law. He is entitled to no indulgence, therefore; but for the sake of peace we may yield something. I think it would be wrong to tack his conditions to the fee-simple of the land forever. It would be a kind of hereditary trammel unknown to our estates in this country, and which would adhere to this land forever, even should it become private property hereafter. I would, therefore, limit the existence of the restrictions to twenty, or any other number of years you please, and substitute the present instead of the reasonable terms therein spoken of, and which is too vague. Affectionate salutations.

Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
November 20, 1805
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

Th. J. to Mr. Gallatin.

Can you be so good as to let me have the financial paragraph this morning, as there is not more than time enough to submit the message successively to the different gentlemen for correction and then to have copies?

Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
21st November, 1805
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

I stayed yesterday at home preparing my report for Congress, and did not receive your note till evening. The sickness of a clerk who has received the proper instructions to analyze in the form I want the collectors’ returns of revenue prevents yet my giving precise sums, and they may yet be considered as blanks. The first paragraph of that part of the message which relates to the Treasury will, however, be certainly within bounds with the following alterations:

1st. Receipts in the Treasury, say only upwards of 13 millions instead of 13½. The amount of those receipts is correct as I gave it to you, but a part arises from repayments, which do not constitute any part of the revenue.

Edition: current; Page: [262]

2d. Instead of the words “upwards of six millions, &c.,” to the word “convention,” say, “have enabled us to pay nearly two millions of the debt contracted by the British treaty and convention, and upwards of four millions of the principal of the funded debt.”

3d. At the end of the paragraph, when speaking of the total redemption of the principal of the funded debt, say “upwards of 17 millions,” instead of “between 16 and 17 millions.”

4th. I would also propose to transpose the sentence, “and there remained in the Treasury, &c., upwards of 4½ millions,” in order to throw it in the ensuing paragraph for the purpose of introducing as connected with it the following information, which is now omitted, viz.: that the increase of receipts and revenue during last year (which are the cause of so much as 4½ millions remaining in the Treasury) will enable us next year not only to pay the current demands, &c., as stated in the second paragraph, but also to pay the whole amount of 3,750,000 dollars for American claims assumed by the French convention, without recurring to the authority which had been given to borrow 1,750,000 dollars for that object. For we had heretofore never engaged to pay more than two millions of that item out of the common Treasury receipts.

By what precedes I have anticipated all I had to say on the second paragraph. The only thing which perhaps should be added to the information given of an expected surplus of one million for next year, is that that expectation is confined to next year.

For it is altogether predicated on the calculations of an European war revenue; and even whilst that war continues, the revenue will be materially affected by the late measures of England, if persisted in and carried to the threatened extent. Every measure of retaliation which we may adopt, however well calculated for that object, will have a tendency rather to diminish than to increase the revenue; and, at all events, will not diminish the decrease produced by the English measures. I must also add that in calculating the surplus I had estimated the navy expenditure at the old agreed-on sum of 650,000 dollars, instead of which the estimate of the Secretary of the Edition: current; Page: [263] Navy, besides the deficiencies of this year, amounts for the current service of next year to 1,070,000 dollars.

Upon due consideration, I think that the two last paragraphs should be omitted. As it relates to foreign nations, it will certainly destroy the effect intended by other parts of the message.

They never can think us serious in any intentions to resist if we recommend at the same time a diminution of our resources. But as it relates to ourselves, the fact is that we want the money to effect the Florida purchase.

The two millions wanted immediately cannot be procured without that fund. If we part with it, we must borrow for that object. To that resource I feel a great reluctance when it can possibly be avoided. It would be very pleasing to give the pattern of an eight years’ Administration who had done the business of the nation without recurring to any loan. We may within three years, with the aid of that fund, pay entirely for Florida, and then the salt duty may be given up. For at the end of the year 1808, Florida being paid for, about 30 millions of the funded debt extinguished, the ordinary revenue increased perhaps one million by our natural increase, and the United States no longer obliged to pay 8 millions a year for the debt unless convenient, you could recommend the abolition of the salt duty instead of merely a substitution. I heartily wish it to be done within our time, but had rather abstain for this time from a positive recommendation than to be obliged to borrow. It is not indeed probable that the proposed plan for Florida will be relished by Congress, unless they see that the object can be obtained without increasing the debt.

It must also be remembered that in the message you leave it a matter of doubt whether it may not prove necessary to increase the army.

With respectful attachment, your obedient servant.

I find amongst my papers a view of the Spanish ports in Texas, taken from Pagès, Sibley, Nolen, and Humboldt; perhaps you may find something in it to add to your notes. Sibley places the settlement at Bayou Pierre in one of his letters Edition: current; Page: [264] 50 and in another 80 miles above Natchitoches, Campti he places uniformly at 20.

Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
November 24, 1805
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

Th. J. to Mr. Gallatin.

I send you the message to ask a scrupulous revisal, and as early an one as you can, because there does not remain more than time enough to submit it successively to the other gentlemen for their corrections, to make copies, &c. On reviewing what had been prepared as to Great Britain and Spain, I found it too soft towards the former compared with the latter, and that so temperate a notice of the greater enormity of British invasions of right might lessen the effect which the strong language towards Spain was meant to produce at the Tuileries. I have, therefore, given more force to the strictures on Britain.

Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
25th November, 1805
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.
REMARKS ON THE MESSAGE.

The second paragraph on the yellow fever ends rather abruptly; nothing is proposed or suggested for Congress to do which can remedy the inconvenience complained of.

Third paragraph.—“On the rumor of such an armament, &c.” I would rather suppress those words, and say only, “Most of them have lately disappeared, &c.”

Fourth paragraph.—“Similar aggressions are now renewed and multiplied both in Europe and America.” It seems that this mode of expression might be softened, or some direct allusion made to the favorable change announced by Yrujo’s communication, and especially by Pinkney’s last letter.

Do.—“all this by the regular officers and soldiers, &c.” As this alludes to what has been done in the territory delivered by Spain, and excludes, therefore, the seizure at Bayou Pierre, it is Edition: current; Page: [265] doubtful whether officers have been actually parties to the act, for the only act I remember is the robbery near Opelousas.

Do.—The words added in pencil are, I think, perfectly proper.

Do.—Speaking of the militia—the words “our younger citizens of all times” contain, I suppose, a mistake in transcribing.

Indian treaties, “the whole of both banks from the Ohio, &c.” This is not strictly correct; the lands between the mouth of the Tennessee and the mouth of the Ohio have not been ceded by the Chickasaws.

Financial paragraph—“in the three preceding years.” I had not attended in my former remarks to the period embraced by the message, which exactly covers four years, viz., from 1st October, 1801, to 1st October, 1805; but had taken it to be four years and half, or from 1st April, 1801.

The debt redeemed during the four years is only sixteen millions and half, as you had it at first. The debt redeemed during the four years and half (viz., from the beginning of your Administration) is seventeen millions eight hundred and seventy-five thousand dollars. If you preserve the words “three years” (which is, I believe, necessary to make this message a proper sequel of the preceding ones), then you must say, “upwards of sixteen,” or “sixteen millions and half,” instead of “seventeen millions.”

Same paragraph.—The words, “as fast as the original contracts permit,” should be struck out, as the contracts will not yet this year prevent our applying the whole sum of eight millions. In the same sentence the word redeem is not sufficient: the eight millions are appropriated for both the payment of interest and redemption of principal.

The above remarks are all unimportant; but I really discover, notwithstanding the delicacy of the subjects introduced, nothing which seems objectionable or susceptible of alterations for the better. Perhaps, as there will be a difference of opinion on the efficacy of the various modes of defending our harbors, that part of the message might be so modified as not to exclude altogether the idea of permanent additional fortifications.

Edition: current; Page: [266]

I mentioned that the peace establishment navy law was altogether incompetent, inasmuch as it authorizes the employment of frigates only, and those manned with only two-thirds crew, and absolutely directs that six such shall be put in commission.

An authority to preserve and, indeed, to appoint a greater number of captains and lieutenants is also desirable. But whether these points should make part of the message or be introduced in some other way is not for me to say; only some apparent attention to render our small force more efficacious and to provide for the promotion of some of the officers might have a good effect on our foreign relations, and would be popular at home.

Respectfully submitted.
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
November 26, 1805
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

Th. J. to Mr. Gallatin.

1. The concessions to Renault. As to those in the Territory of Indiana, that country having been claimed by England at all times, conquered in the war of 1755, and confirmed to her in 1763; conquered by the United States, and confirmed to them in 1783; and all ancient titles there settled and done with by authority of the United States; these claims of Renault are certainly at an end.

2. As to those in Louisiana; I believe it has been a law as well as invariable usage with the Spanish government in that country to consider all concessions void which were not settled within one, two, or three years, which condition was often expressed in the grant, and understood where not expressed. O’Reilly’s Ordinance is evidence of this policy and practice. But independently of positive law, prescription is a law of reason: if Renault ever took possession, which does not appear, he has abandoned that possession more than sixty or seventy years, as appears by Austin’s statement, which is that so long ago as 1738 these mines were considered as public property.

3. As to the concessions in 1797 to Winter and others, exclusive Edition: current; Page: [267] of the fraud and illegality so obvious on their face, they bore the express condition of becoming void if not settled in a year.

However, the commissioners of Congress (I believe) are to report titles for the ultimate decision of Congress. Whether it would be proper for us in the mean time to express sentiments which might discourage speculations is to be considered of.

I had been sensible the passage on the yellow fever appeared bald, for want of a practical application. The real object being to bring important facts before foreign governments, an ostensible one was necessary to cover the reality. I have endeavored at it in the enclosed, as well as some other supplements suggested by you, of which I ask your consideration. Affectionate salutations.

Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
November, 1805
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

Enclosed for consideration and amendment.

The best ground for estimating the number of seamen of the United States to be enrolled under the Act for establishing a naval militia is the tonnage of our vessels. The latest return of tonnage states it to have been on the 31st of December, 1803, as follows:

Tons.
Registered tonnage employed in foreign trade, 585,909
In the whale-fisheries, 12,389
Cod-fisheries, 50,969
63,358
In the coasting trade, 267,787
917,054
We are supposed to employ usually in navigating our vessels about 6 men to every 100 tons. But allowing for those who are not free white citizens within the military age, we may estimate 5 to the 100 tons. 5
45,852
To these should be added the seamen then in our navy, and those employed on the tide-waters within the United States, which we may safely state as making the whole number amount to 50,000
An Estimate of the Land Militia of the United States.
The census of 1800 gave us of free white males of 16 and under 26 384,554
of 26 and under 45 423,836
Our military age excluding those under 18, we must from the number 384,554
deduct those in their 17th and 18th years, which, by Buffon’s tables, will be 80,405
Remain of the age of 18 and under 45, to wit, the minor and junior classes, 304,149
Our censuses of 1790 and 1800 having showed our increase to be in a geometrical ratio of 3⅓ per cent. per annum, the increase from 1800 to 1805 is 54,184
leaving our whole number of free white males from 18 to 26 in 1805 358,333
From these are to be deducted the naval militia-men, but far the greater part of those employed in the foreign trade and whale-fisheries being always absent, it is believed that not half of them were included in the census. Those supposed included, then, are 35,000, of which, according to Buffon, those of 18 and under 26 will be only 11,711
leaving of free white landsmen from 18 to 26 in 1805 346,622
From these are still to be deducted those not able-bodied: suppose them 1 in 10, 34,662
leaving of free, white, able-bodied landsmen of 18 and under 26 311,960

To find what proportion of these will be of the minor and what of the junior class, we are to inquire, of 311,960 persons of 18 and under 26 years of age, how many will there be of each different year of age? Buffon’s tables resolve them as follows: As 84,589 in Buffon from 18 Edition: current; Page: [269] to 26: to 311,960 in the United States of the same age: so are 11,014 in Buffon in their 19th year: to x, the number in the United States in their 19th year; then x= lf1358-01_eq01.png ×11,014=3.69×11,014. Consequently

Buffon’s Nos. in U. S.
those in their 19th year will be 3.69 × 11,014 = 40,619 } = 120,598 of the minor class.
20th year will be 3.69 × 10,919 = 40,267 }
21st year will be 3.69 × 10,768 = 39,712 }
22d year will be 3.69 × 10,675 = 39,368 } = 191,358 of the junior class.
23d year will be 3.69 × 10,514 = 38,775 }
24th year will be 3.69 × 10,380 = 38,281 }
25th year will be 3.69 × 10,259 = 37,834 }
26th year will be 3.69 × 10,060 = 37,100 }
311,956 311,956
To obtain the respective numbers of the middle and senior classes, the census of 1800 gave for both 423,836
Add the increase from 1800 to 1805, 75,506
499,342
from which are to be deducted seamen from 26 to 45, 23,289
476,053
deduct those also not able-bodied, suppose 1 in 10, 47,605
leaves free, white, able-bodied landsmen from 26 to 45, 428,448
Buffon’s tables make the numbers of 26 and under 35=84,182, and those of 35 and under 45=84,018. These are so nearly equal that we may consider the middle class one-half, to wit, 214,224
and the senior class one-half, to wit, 214,224
Recapitulation.
Naval militia, 50,000
Land militia, minor class, 120,598
junior class, 191,358
middle class, 214,224
senior class, 214,224 740,404
790,404
Edition: current; Page: [270]

An Act for classing the militia and assigning to each class its particular duties.

Be it enacted, &c., That every free, able-bodied white male citizen of the United States of the age of 18 years and under the age of 45, whose principal occupation is not on the high sea or the tide-waters within the United States, shall be of the militia for the land service of the United States.

Enrolment.—The persons so to constitute the land militia shall be enrolled by their names and ages in their proper districts, and in books to be kept for that purpose; such enrolment to be made without delay of those now within the description, and from time to time as to others who shall hereafter become so, always noting the date of the enrolment, and placing in a distinct page or part of the book those of every different year of age, from 45 down to 18. In deciding on the ages of the persons to be enrolled, the officer shall make up his judgment from the information of the party himself, and from such other information as he can obtain, and where this is not satisfactory, then from his own inspection.

Classification.—The said militia shall be distributed into classes as follows, to wit: the junior class shall be composed of those above 21 and under 26 years of age; the middle class of those above 26 and under 35 years of age; the senior class of those above 35 and under 45 years of age; and those above 18 and under 21 years of age shall compose the minor class.

Their training.—The junior and minor classes shall each have their separate captains and other inferior officers, those for the juniors being selected with a view to actual service, and shall be strictly trained to the exercises and manœuvres of a soldier, either of artillery, infantry, or cavalry, as may be lawfully designated; for which purpose they shall be mustered and trained one whole day in every month of the year, two of which musters shall be in battalion and the others in companies. The captains of the said two classes, with the general and field officers having command over them, shall form a distinct courtmartial for the rigorous enforcement of the duties of attendance and training. Each person of the said junior class shall be furnished with a good musket, bayonet, and cartridge-box at Edition: current; Page: [271] the public expense, so soon as they can be provided, which, except where he shall be of the cavalry or artillery, he shall be bound to produce in good order at every muster at which he shall be, so long as he shall be under the age of 45 years, after which it shall be his property.

Where, at the passing of this Act, any member of the militia shall be in the possession of such arms provided by his State or Territory, or by himself, the same shall be reviewed and valued by some person appointed on the part of the United States, and if found in perfect order and of proper calibre, they shall be paid for by the United States if such be the choice of the party furnishing them, and shall thereafter be in the hands of the holder as the property of the United States, under the same trust and right as if they had been originally furnished him by the United States.

The middle class shall in like manner be formed into companies by themselves, to be commanded by their own captains and other inferior officers; they shall be mustered and trained twice only in the year in companies, and once in battalion. The senior class, in distinct companies also, and under its own captains and other inferior officers, shall be mustered and trained one day in the year only in companies, and one in battalion; and both the middle and senior classes shall be under the jurisdiction of their captains, formed into one and the same court-martial, with the general and field officers having command over them.

Actual service.—The junior class shall be liable to perform all active military services within the United States, or the countries {next adjacent in their vicinity}, by tours of duty not to exceed one year in any two; and in order that the said services may be required of them equally, those of every {company battalion} shall be divided by lot into ten parts or portions, as nearly equal as may be, each portion to be distinguished by its particular number, from 1 to 10, and to be called into duty in the order of their numbers, such call extending to so many numbers as the exigency may require; and every person so called on may be assigned to the service of the artillery, infantry, cavalry, or of any other description as the competent authority shall direct.

Edition: current; Page: [272]

The middle class shall be liable to be called on to do duty within their State only, or in one of the adjoining States; and that by tours not exceeding three months in any year; for which purpose they shall be distributed into portions and numbers, and called on in routine, as is provided in the case of the junior class.

The senior and minor classes shall be liable to be called on to do duty within their own State only, and by tours not exceeding three months in any year; and they shall be separately distributed into portions and numbers, and called on in routine as provided for the other classes.

Exemptions from militia duty shall only extend to the ordinary duties of mustering and training after having entered the middle or senior class. Such exempts shall nevertheless be enrolled in their classes and numbers, and, when called on for actual military service, shall be bound as others are to perform their due tours.

If any person called on to do the actual duties of his class shall refuse or unnecessarily delay to enter on duty, he shall be arrested as a deserter either by the civil or military authority, shall be delivered to the proper military officer, and either punished as a deserter, or compelled to perform his tour of duty; but any person so called on may commute his personal service by tendering as a substitute an able-bodied free white man fit for the service in the judgment of the officer who is to command him, and willing to engage therein. And all persons while engaged in the performance of a tour of duty shall have the pay and rations allowed in the army of the United States, and be subject to the rules, regulations, and articles provided for the government of the same.

All provisions in any law of the United States, or of any particular State or Territory, inconsistent with those of this Act, are hereby repealed; and all provisions in the laws of the United States, or of any particular State or Territory, not inconsistent herewith, shall be understood to be left in force, and liable to alteration by their respective enacting authorities.

A Bill for establishing a Naval Militia.

Be it enacted, &c., that every free, able-bodied white male citizen of the United States, of the age of 18 years, and under Edition: current; Page: [273] the age of 45, whose principal occupation is on the high sea or on the tide-waters within the United States, shall be of the militia for the naval service of the United States, and shall be exempt from the services of the land militia.

The persons so to constitute the said naval militia shall be enrolled in the several ports, harbors, or towns thereto adjacent to which they belong or are most convenient, by their names, ages, places of birth and abode, and personal descriptions, with the date of their enrolment; and shall be formed into companies, each to be commanded by a lieutenant-commandant and second lieutenant, to be appointed by the authority of the State to which such company belongs.

It shall be the duty of the senior lieutenant-commandant of each port, harbor, or town thereto adjacent to enroll in a book, to be kept by him for that purpose, all persons who by this Act are made naval militia-men, belonging to his said port or harbor, or within the limits assigned as most convenient to the same; registering in a distinct page or part of his book those of every different year of age from 45 down to 18; and whenever a person enrolled in one port of the United States shall remove to another, the enrolling officer of the latter port shall immediately enter him on his book, noting the date and place of his former enrolment, in addition to the other circumstances before prescribed.

In deciding on the ages of persons to be enrolled, the officer shall make up his judgment from the information of the party himself, from such other information as he can obtain, and from his own inspection.

Every person enrolled shall be entitled to receive from the officer possessing the book of enrolment an authenticated transcript from the same of the entry respecting himself, on payment of twenty-five cents, and to have the same renewed on the same condition from time to time when lost or destroyed, which shall exempt him from training duties at the port of his former enrolment, and from the duties of the land militia; and shall be considered otherwise as instead of the certificate of citizenship heretofore given by the collectors of the customs; which certificates shall hereafter cease to be given.

Edition: current; Page: [274]

Every enrolling officer shall on, or immediately after, the 1st day of October in every year make a return of his roll to the Secretary of the Navy of the United States according to its actual state, as affected since the last return by age, discharge, death, removal, new enrolments, or otherwise.

It shall be the duty of the said officers once in every [two] months at least to train the men under their command, who may be within their limits at the time, to the use of artillery or the manœuvring of gunboats or other armed vessels assigned to the defence of their port, or confided to their use. And all acts of disobedience or failure in duty herein, in either officers or men, shall be liable to the same pains, penalties, and coercions, and to trial by a court-martial consisting of three at least of their own officers, as are provided in the corresponding cases by the laws for the government of the land militia of the United States.

In cases of insurrection, of opposition to the civil authority, or of sudden attack by an enemy happening in any port, harbor, or town on the tide-waters, or on the coasts in their vicinities, all persons then and there being who make a part of the said naval militia, whether of the same or of any other place, shall be liable to be called on to do duty with artillery or on board any armed vessels for the special occasion of quelling the insurrection, enforcing obedience to the civil authority, or resisting the attack; and in time of war, either actual or imminent, all under [35] years of age, wheresoever they shall happen to be within the jurisdiction of the United States, shall be liable to be called on to perform tours of duty not exceeding one year in any [two] on board of any of the public armed vessels of the United States, in which the said militia officers, in subordination to the regular officers of the United States of equal or superior grade, shall have the immediate command and care of them.

And if any person so called on shall refuse or unnecessarily delay to enter on duty, he shall be arrested as a deserter either by the civil or military authority, and shall be delivered to the proper military officer, and either punished as a deserter or compelled to perform his tour of duty; but any person so called on may commute his personal service by tendering an able-bodied free white man, a citizen of the United States, fit for the service Edition: current; Page: [275] in the judgment of the officer who is to command him, and willing to engage therein. And all persons while engaged in the performance of a tour of duty shall have the pay and rations allowed in the navy of the United States, and be subject to the rules and regulations provided for the government of the same.

Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
November 27, 1805
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

The supplements to the message exactly meet my ideas. Only I do not understand precisely the limitation to the number of captains and lieutenants, which is intended by the words “to the number of frigates which were actually retained for service.” But if I understand it, it seems to me that the word vessels should be substituted to frigates, and employed in that to retained for. Perhaps, however, I am mistaken in your intention of limitation.

The yellow fever part of the message will bring on you all the fever-importers and boards of health of the Union.

With respectful attachment, your obedient servant.
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
3d December, 1805
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.
REMARKS ON SPANISH MESSAGE.

End of first paragraph.—Considering the last proposition made by Spain on that subject, it seems to me that instead of saying “unless we would relinquish all claims, &c.,” it would be more correct to say, “unless we would assent to modifications (or alterations in the instrument) affecting our claims, &c.,” or words to that effect.

Beginning of second page—“to avoid all explanation and engagement.” I think it is going too far to say that Spain avoided all explanation. It seems that Cevallos, in his several letters discussing the questions of right, a discussion by the by which Edition: current; Page: [276] was not calculated to promote a final arrangement, gave sufficient explanations of the claims and views of Spain; it is true that they gave no explanation of the ground on which they would ultimately come to an agreement. But as the sentence might be misconstrued, it may be safer to say only that she avoided any engagement or even proposition leading to an arrangement.

Beginning of third page.—The opinion of the inference to be drawn from the silence of France is perhaps too strongly expressed as to extent. I would prefer to omit mentioning Rio Bravo by name, particularly because it is intended to accept of the Colorado as a boundary; and this, when the treaty shall come before Congress, would be considered as a concession; it might then be said that we had given for Florida both the money and the country between Colorado and Rio Bravo. I would prefer saying only “her opinion in favor of our claim in that quarter; and we had reason to believe that her commissary, &c.” Of the last fact we have only hearsay evidence of Laussat’s declarations.

Last paragraph but one.—It seems to me that the latter part of this, from “formal war” to the end, breaks the connection of the sentiments intended to be conveyed. For it is the object of the two last paragraphs to inform Congress that France being disposed to favor an arrangement, the present moment should not be lost, but that the means must be supplied by Congress. It is also intended to say that in the mean while, and in order to promote an arrangement, force should be interposed to a certain degree. But I think a transposition would make the whole clearer.

To the tenor of the message itself I have but one objection, that it does not explicitly declare the object in view, and may hereafter be cavilled at as having induced Congress into a mistaken opinion of that object. For although the latter end of the third paragraph is expressed in comprehensive terms, yet the omission of the word Florida may lead to error; nor does the message convey the idea that in order to effect an accommodation a much larger sum of money will probably be requisite than had been contemplated. Perhaps if, when speaking of Edition: current; Page: [277] means in the last paragraph, some epithet was added (greater means, or to a greater extent than had been contemplated), it would free the message and subsequent proceedings of the Executive from any objections of that kind.

Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
1805
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.
SPANISH RESOLUTIONS. 1805.

For consideration and correction. Th. J.

1. Resolved, that no armed men, not being citizens of the United States, ought to be permitted to enter or remain, nor any authority to be exercised but under the laws of the United States, within the former colony or province of Louisiana in the extent in which it was in the hands of Spain.

2. Resolved, that as to the residue of the said “former colony or province of Louisiana, in the extent it had when France possessed it,” a peaceable adjustment of that extent is most reasonable and desirable, so far as it can be effected consistently with the honor of the United States.

3. Resolved, that pending measures for such peaceable adjustment, neither party ought to take new posts therein, nor to strengthen those they held before the 1st day of October, 1800, and that any proceeding to the contrary on the part of Spain ought to be opposed by force, and by taking possession of such posts as may be necessary to maintain the rights of the United States.

4. Resolved, that the subjects of Spain still on the Mississippi and its waters ought to be allowed an innocent passage, free from all imposts, along that part of the river which passes through the territory of the United States. And the citizens of the United States on the Mobile and its waters ought to be allowed an innocent passage, free from all imposts, along that part of the river below them which passes through the territory still held by Spain, but claimed by both parties;

Or that imposts should be levied for and by the United Edition: current; Page: [278] States on the navigation of the Mississippi by Spanish subjects, countervailing those which may be levied for and by Spain on the navigation of the Mobile by citizens of the United States.

And that the navigation of the Mississippi by Spanish subjects should be prohibited whensoever that of the Mobile by citizens of the United States shall be prohibited.

5. Resolved, that in support of these resolutions, and of the consequences which may proceed from them, the citizens of the United States, by their Senate and Representatives in Congress assembled, do pledge their lives and fortunes; and that the execution of these resolutions be vested with the President of the United States.

6. Resolved, that for carrying these resolutions into effect, whether amicably or by the use of force, the President be authorized to apply any moneys in the Treasury of the United States not otherwise appropriated.

7. Resolved, that the President of the United States ought to be authorized by law to employ the armed vessels of the United States which may be in commission, for restraining the irregularities and oppressions of our commerce, other than those which amount to piracy, by privateers cruising within the Gulf Stream, in the Gulf itself, or among the islands bordering on it, and that a bill be brought in for that purpose.

Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
3d December, 1805
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.
REMARKS ON SPANISH RESOLUTIONS.

Three distinct objects to be obtained from Congress:

1st. Some public resolutions, bottomed on the public message of the President, expressive of the determination of that body to support the just claims of the United States in case no arrangement should take place.

2d. Some expression of the intention of the Legislature to enable the President to make an arrangement in the manner suggested by his private message; so expressed as to cover the Edition: current; Page: [279] whole ground and as to justify the steps he means to take, but not so as to divulge the extent to which he may go.

3d. An immediate appropriation of a sum which, if necessary, may be paid on obtaining an order of delivery and without waiting for the ratification of the treaty.

The apparent difficulty in framing the resolutions arises from the attempt to blend the three objects together. The same reasons which have induced the President to send two distinct messages render it necessary that the public resolutions of Congress should be distinct from the private ones; that those which relate to the war posture of the Spanish affairs, which are intended to express the national sense on that subject, and to enable the President to take the steps which appear immediately necessary on the frontier, should not be mixed with those proceedings calculated only to effect an accommodation.

The course now recommended is precisely that which was followed in the Louisiana business when the deposit was withdrawn. A public resolution (which was indeed attacked as wanting sufficient energy, but we may easily give a proper tone to those wanted at present) was moved by Randolph and adopted by the House. A committee in the mean while brought in a confidential report sufficient to support and justify the President in the purchase he was going to attempt, and to this an appropriation law in very general terms was added. To follow a similar course appears not only best, but will also, as founded on precedent, be the smoothest mode of doing the business in Congress.

On that ground, the five first resolutions proposed by the President, together with such modifications as may be suggested, and the additional one respecting the spoliations, will form the public resolutions to be adopted either in committee of the whole on the Union, or by the select committee to which the Spanish part of the public message may be referred.

The select committee to whom the private message may be referred will make the report which we want to justify the instructions intended to be given to Mr. Armstrong for the purchase of Florida, &c. We cannot dictate what that report will be, but only suggest generally what we want; and provided Edition: current; Page: [280] we have a good committee and their report favors the object, nothing more is wanted, as no question will be taken in Congress on the report itself. That middle way of previous approbation is perhaps the most congenial to the free exercise of the respective functions of the several Departments. It gives sanction enough to the views of the Executive to enable him to proceed, yet without either taking away his ultimate responsibility or committing the House to an indiscriminate previous approbation.

The only resolution reported by the committee will be that for appropriating, on which a law in general terms, viz., for foreign intercourse, will be bottomed, appropriating the sum which Congress may fix as a payment previous to the ratification; and I presume that two millions will be sufficient and may be obtained from that body. I do not think that they ever will agree to any vague limitation, or to any other, indeed, but that of the sum itself; and the precedent would be so bad that it is not desirable they should.

If the President thinks that course generally eligible, the only object which calls immediate attention is that of the public resolution. I have only those which had been first suggested, and cannot make any remarks precisely applicable to their present shape, modified as they have been since. I have already verbally mentioned that it did not seem to me that the object expressed in the four first resolutions was of sufficient magnitude to justify the solemnity of the fifth resolution; and I would rather that this last should be confined to the vesting in the President the execution of the others.

On the subject of the new (indemnities) resolutions, I am still of opinion that the United States should not pledge themselves to pursue to effect the indemnities for which any nation is answerable to the citizens of the United States. Although the omission of the word justly qualifies the declaration, and it might be argued that that for which Spain is strictly answerable is only what she has recognized, yet the expression is too general not to convey a different meaning.

The true reason why we mean never to abandon the claim for spoliations provided for by the convention is, that their Edition: current; Page: [281] justice was formally acknowledged by Spain; and I think it would be safer to place it on that ground, by either a direct allusion to the convention or by expressions alluding to the recognition by Spain.

Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
December 4, 1805
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

Th. J. to Mr. Gallatin.

Enclosed is a revised edition of the Spanish resolutions, in which you will find most of your ideas conformed to. That respecting money is omitted; that it may be provided in the way you suggest. In the message, also, I have adopted all your amendments except the last, which respected merely the arrangement of the phrases, and could not be satisfactorily altered.

[Enclosure.]

1. Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States, that the indemnities for which Spain is answerable to citizens of the United States for spoliations and wrongs committed in violation of the law of nations or of treaty, are objects too just and important not to be pursued to effect by the United States.

2. Resolved, that no armed men, subjects of any foreign power, ought to be permitted to enter or remain, nor any authority but of the United States to be exercised, within the former colony or province of Louisiana, in the extent in which it was delivered by Spain under the Treaty of St. Ildefonso.

3. Resolved, that as to the residue of the said former colony or province of Louisiana, and provisions necessary to avoid future collisions and controversies, an equitable adjustment is most reasonable.

4. Resolved, that pending any measures for such adjustment neither party ought to take new posts therein, nor to strengthen those they held before the 1st day of October, 1800, and that any proceeding to the contrary on the part of Spain ought to be opposed by force, and by taking possession of such posts as may be necessary to maintain the rights of the United States.

Edition: current; Page: [282]

5. Resolved, &c., that the subjects of Spain still on the Mississippi and its waters ought to be allowed an innocent passage, free from all imposts, along that part of the river below them which passes through the territory of the United States; and the citizens of the United States on the Mobile and its waters ought to be allowed an innocent passage, free from all imposts, along that part of the river below them which passes through the territory still held by Spain, but claimed by both parties.

6. Resolved, that a copy of these resolutions be presented to the President of the United States for his approbation, with an assurance that he will receive from the Legislature the support necessary for carrying them into execution.

Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
7th December, 1805
Joseph H. Nicholson
Nicholson, Joseph H.

GALLATIN TO JOSEPH H. NICHOLSON.1

Who are the members of the committee on Spanish affairs? If you are one, I am requested to communicate a paper to you; and it would be perhaps as well that you should see the President before the committee meet.

Yours.

Saturday.

Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
Saturday, December 7, 1805
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

Th. J. to Mr. Gallatin.

J. Randolph has just called to ask a conversation with me, for which purpose he will be with me to-morrow morning; everything therefore had better be suspended till that is over.

Edition: current; Page: [283]
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
December 15, 1805
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

Th. J. to Mr. Gallatin.

I return you the papers respecting the Sandy Hook business, which I am content should be closed on the terms already proposed by you. It is well that a government should feel no temper towards a rascally individual, or the present case would justify a high degree of indignation against Mr. Hartshorne.

Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
January, 1806
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.
NOTE.—SENDING OFF YRUJO.

If it shall be thought proper and within the legitimate powers of the Executive to seize and send off a foreign minister, would it not be better not to accompany the order to leave the country with the notification that in case of failure he shall be sent off by force? That previous knowledge may enable him to oppose inconvenient resistance, or to place himself in a situation which would increase the difficulty of the seizure, or perhaps prevent it altogether.

It appears unnecessary to protract the term too far, unless it be for the purpose of accommodating the man; for the communication intended for Europe will not reach its destination before the first of September, and a recall grounded on that communication cannot arrive before his voluntary or forcible departure. It would also appear less ungracious to send him off now than after the result of the negotiations now pending between Spain and the United States is known here.

The following expressions in the substance of the intended communication, “that should he fail to obey this requisition, we shall still wait a short time, expecting that, &c.,” convey the idea that if he does not depart within the limited time, we shall still wait a further time. It seems that the order to leave the country, particularly if accompanied with a notification of the Edition: current; Page: [284] use of force in case of failure, ought to be conclusive, and that no further time should afterwards be granted.

Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.
NOTE.—INTENDED NEGOTIATION WITH GREAT BRITAIN.

If the United States succeed in making satisfactory arrangements on the three principal points of impressment of seamen, colonial trade, and indemnity for spoliations, it may be naturally expected that Great Britain will require not only the repeal of the Prohibition Act of last session, but also some security that the United States will not, by subsequent Acts of the same nature, place her on a worse footing than other nations. She may reasonably urge that demand on the double plea of having yielded on those points which were the subjects of complaint on the part of the United States, and of her being now, for want of a commercial treaty, placed in that respect at the discretion of the United States; whilst they are precluded by their treaties with the enemies of Great Britain (Holland, France, and Spain) from the power of laying prohibitions or restrictions particularly affecting those nations.

The most natural arrangement in that respect will be simply to agree that the two parties shall enjoy in the ports of each other, in regard to commerce and navigation, the privileges of the most favored nation. But the article should be framed so as to embrace, 1stly, every privilege, and particularly the exemption of foreign duties of every description, either on imports or exports, and including convoy duties that are paid by the most favored nation; 2dly, all the possessions of Great Britain in every part of the world; which will secure admission in the East Indies on the same terms as the most favored neutrals, and in the West Indies on the same terms as the most favored enemies; securing, at all events, such admission in case the colonial regulations should in any instance be hereafter departed from by Great Britain in favor of or relation to any other nation; for which purpose it should be expressly stipulated that privileges Edition: current; Page: [285] hereafter granted to any other nation shall become common to the contracting nation.

That same clause of the footing of the most favored nation may be extended, not only to navigation and commercial intercourse between the two nations, but to points which relate to the rights and duties of belligerents and neutrals—an arrangement which would secure to Great Britain the same rights in relation to the admission of her armed vessels in our ports and to the exclusion of her enemies’ privateers and of their prizes which are now enjoyed by Holland, Spain, and other most favored nations; whilst it would place the rights of the United States as neutrals on the same footing with Russia or the most favored nation, in respect to search, convoys, blockades, and contraband.

If it shall be thought eligible to place the reciprocal commercial privileges of the two nations on a more definite basis than they would be placed by the general expression of the most favored nation (a stipulation which is liable to the difficulty of ascertaining the equivalent to be given in cases where a privilege is granted by one of the contracting parties to another nation in exchange for some boon which the other contracting party cannot give), it may be done either by abolishing all extra duties either on vessels or cargo and reciprocally placing the vessels of the other nation on the same footing with national vessels, in the manner which had been proposed by Great Britain, or by fixing the maximum of extra duty which each nation shall have the right to impose on the vessels or cargoes of the other nation. But should the last alternative be adopted, care must be taken, 1st, that in fixing the maximum of the extra duty to be levied on vessels, all charges whatever and under whatever name known, whether tonnage, light-house money, port charges, &c., shall be included; 2dly, that the maximum of the extra duty to be levied on merchandise imported in the vessels of the other nation (beyond the duties levied on similar articles imported in the national vessels) shall be a percentage on the value of the merchandise itself and not on the original duty; 3dly, that the right of imposing such maximum duties either on the vessels or merchandise shall never be exercised so as to contravene the other stipulation of enjoying the privileges of the most favored nation; Edition: current; Page: [286] 4thly, that the stipulation shall not embrace vessels and cargoes coming from or going to ports from which the vessels or cargoes of the United States are excluded.

The only great branch of commercial intercourse which would remain unprovided for is that of intercourse with the British colonies; and if nothing can be obtained on that ground, care must also be taken, in framing the article of reciprocally enjoying the privileges of the most favored nation, not to deprive the United States of the right of making such regulations as they may think proper in relation to vessels coming from ports from which their own vessels are excluded, or in relation generally to the intercourse with such ports.

As the United States confer no particular benefit on the British possessions in the East Indies by their intercourse with that country, it can hardly be expected that Great Britain will grant anything more than the general stipulation to be placed on the footing of the most favored nations, and it is perhaps problematical whether anything more is very desirable. But, as relates to the West Indies and North American colonies, it must be a permanent object of the United States policy to have the intercourse with them made as free as that with Europe. The relative situation of the United States and of those colonies, and particularly those wants which we can alone supply, must necessarily produce that effect at some no very distant period. And it should not be voluntarily retarded, either by abandoning by treaty the strong hold which our right of stopping the intercourse gives us, or by accepting any temporary or trifling privilege, the exercise of which would diminish the probability of soon obtaining a perfectly free trade.

It is not probable that Great Britain will feel disposed to open the intercourse to our vessels with her North American colonies; nor does it appear that any limitation or restriction can be offered by the United States calculated to quiet the apprehensions of Great Britain that to open that trade to our vessels would destroy their own. I do not perceive that anything else can be proposed but perfect reciprocity, as is contemplated in relation to the intercourse between the United States and the British dominions in Europe; such reciprocity to consist, at the Edition: current; Page: [287] option of Great Britain, either of a total abolition of extra duties or of a fixed maximum, as above stated; and the intercourse to be also at the option of Great Britain, either general or confined to articles of the growth, produce, or manufacture of the United States and of the said colonies respectively. It must not be forgotten, as relates to our commerce with Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, that however advantageous to both parties, it is more necessary and more beneficial to the United States than to those colonies. The importance of not less than thirty, perhaps fifty thousand tons of plaster to our agriculture needs no comment; and notwithstanding our exclusion, we have, in fact, a greater share of their carrying trade than themselves. The produce of their fisheries is brought by them from Halifax to Boston, and by us from Boston to the West Indies. Their plaster is brought by them from Bay Fundy to Maine, and by us from Maine to New York, Philadelphia, and the Chesapeake. A pitiful jealousy exists between the shipping interest of Massachusetts and that of those colonies. Hence the wish of their legislative assemblies to prohibit the exportation of plaster in their own vessels to our Eastern ports; and hence the law passed on Mr. Crowninshield’s motion, which laid the lighthouse money tax and a high duty on their fish, taking away at the same time the drawback on the re-exportation of such fish. An enlightened policy and a mutual wish to promote the real interest and welfare of the inhabitants on both sides should induce both governments to throw the trade perfectly open. But it cannot be denied that it will give us a very great share of their carrying trade.

The minimum which, in my opinion, should be accepted in relation to the intercourse with the West Indies, will be the admission of our vessels laden solely with articles of our growth, produce, or manufacture, the importation of which in British vessels is not prohibited, on same terms as British vessels solely laden with the colonial articles shall be admitted in our ports; that is to say, either without extra duties or with a fixed maximum of such extra duties, with the two following restrictions: 1st, that Great Britain may prohibit our vessels from exporting from the British West India Islands in sugar and coffee more Edition: current; Page: [288] than one-half of the proceeds of their inward cargo; 2dly, that such sugar and coffee shall be exported only to the United States, or that the vessels thus admitted in the West Indies shall be obliged to return and land their cargoes in the United States, provided they may, however, on their return touch at any other West India island or Bahama, in order to complete their cargo. For it is usual to carry the specie which proceeds from the sale of a cargo in the West Indies to Turk’s Island or the Bahama, and there load with salt for the United States. Although those restrictions, and particularly the first, be inconvenient, yet they may be acquiesced in. As respects the last, it is just to remove any apprehension that our vessels might become carriers of British West India produce to any other country than the United States; and as it relates to the first, the value of our average exportations to the British West India Islands being six millions of dollars, and our importation from thence in every article (sugar and coffee excepted) being three millions of dollars, the privilege of bringing in return in sugar and coffee one-half of the value of our exportation, will just complete the return cargoes. But it would be desirable that the restrictions should be altogether dispensed with, or that Great Britain should allow the exportation in those two articles to the amount of ⅔ or ¾ of the value of our cargoes. As relates to Great Britain, if she will once yield the point of admission, the restrictions which are proposed seem to be amply sufficient to remove her minor objections. We now import, notwithstanding the nominal prohibitions, to some amount (about one million and half dollars in both American and British vessels) in American vessels. The value of our average importations from all the world is, in sugar 7,800,000, in coffee 8,400,000, or more than sixteen millions of dollars. The value of our annual consumption, exclusively of the New Orleans sugar, is, in sugar 4,000,000, in coffee 1,500,000, or 5½ million dollars. To permit us therefore to import for 3 millions cannot enable us to re-export. And three millions of dollars, compared with the value of the sugar and coffee exported annually from the British West Indies, cannot in any degree affect their own commerce or navigation.

Edition: current; Page: [289]
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
6th January, 1806
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

I enclose three letters from the supervisor of South Carolina, which relate in part to a bill of injunction filed against him, at the instance, as I understand, of William Smith, the former member of Congress, for the purpose of stopping all proceedings in the collection of the direct tax. I have marked in each letter the paragraphs which relate to that subject.

This is quite a new proceeding. What Judge Bee will do, no person can foresee. But if a district judge can, on motion of individuals, grant an injunction or issue any other process forbidding generally a supervisor or collector to proceed in the execution of his duties, the whole of our revenue, impost as well as any other, is at the mercy of any evil-disposed and unprincipled or wrong-headed judge. The novelty of the attempt induced me to wait for the Attorney-General. Something, however, must be done. As a part of the last letter of the supervisor embraces some propositions to amend the law, I may send it to some committee, and in that way bring the subject under the notice of Congress.

But must the district attorney be instructed how to proceed? and if the judge shall grant the injunction, must the supervisor obey it and cease to collect? Those are questions on which I request the favor of your opinion, if you do not think it proper to give any positive directions.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant.

I enclose copy of my answer to the first letter of the supervisor, of 14th July, so far as relates to that point. The two last, of 27th October and 19th December, are yet unanswered on that point.

Edition: current; Page: [290]
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
12th February, 1806
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

I return Dunbar’s and Cutting’s letters, the Detroit petition, and Davies’s letter.

On the first subject no other answer can be given than that by law every article is liable to duty except philosophical apparatus for the use of a seminary of learning, and implements of trade. If Cutting’s come under the last description, they are exempted; if there is a doubt, he may appeal from the collector to the Comptroller. But as models, I think they are liable to duty. Repeated and unsuccessful efforts have been made to extend the exemptions to astronomical instruments generally, to books imported for colleges, &c. The Detroit memorial is badly written, and that part which requests Governor Hull to be made a commissioner is certainly for the Executive and not for Congress. The subject will be in a few days before them, as the commissioners have made a partial report, which will be sent as soon as transcribed. But there is no objection against sending the memorial, except that I think that it will do their cause more injury than good.

Of the General I have no very exalted opinion; he is extravagant and needy, and would not, I think, feel much delicacy in speculating on public money or public land. In both those respects he must be closely watched; and he has now united himself with every man in Louisiana who had received or claims large grants under the Spanish government (Gratiot, the Chouteaus, Soulard, &c.) But, though not perhaps very scrupulous in that respect, and although I fear that he may sacrifice to a certain degree the interests of the United States to his desire of being popular in his government, he is honorable in his private dealings, and of betraying his to a foreign country I believe him altogether incapable. Yet Ellicott’s information, together with this hint, may induce caution; and if anything can be done which may lead to discoveries either in respect to him or others, it would seem proper; but how to proceed I do not know.

I enclose two letters from New Orleans, which, as they are Edition: current; Page: [291] not yet answered, I will thank you to return. Although the Attacapas map has no scale, it will assist in correcting ours. Congress has thrown such a mass of business on me by their resolutions for information, that I had not time to wait on you for directions on the Spanish business. I have not seen the bill, but merely know that it has passed both Houses. Is it signed? and may I direct an immediate purchase of one million of dollars in bills on Amsterdam? As soon as I receive your directions on that point, I will act upon it. The other million must be borrowed; but I must see the Act before an opinion can be formed as to the manner of doing it.

With great respect, your obedient servant.

We still want a third land commissioner for the Opelousas or Red River district. Thompson and Vacher are the only two.

Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
February 24, 1806
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

For exploring the waters of the country ceded by the convention with France of April 30, 1803, and establishing commerce with the Indian nations inhabiting the same, 5000 D.

Th. J. proposes to Mr. Gallatin to insert into his appropriation law the above article, which will enable us to undertake the next season either the Arkansas or upper part of the Mississippi; and that there should be annually a like appropriation until we get all the principal waters laid down from actual survey.

Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
March 1, 1806
Mr. Madison
Mr. Madison

GALLATIN TO MADISON.

Dear Sir,

I enclose the rough draft of an article for Spain, which, though I have rejected a number of modifications, contains in fact eight distinct modifications or plans, viz.:

Edition: current; Page: [292]

1. To pay two millions down, one million twelve months after ratifications, and residue to claimants under convention.

2. To pay two millions down, one million twelve months after ratifications, and residue to Spain, in which case an additional article is provided for paying the claimants in colonial bills.

3. To pay two millions down, one million twelve months after ratifications, and residue to claimants under convention.

4. To pay two millions down, one million twelve months after ratifications, and residue to Spain, with provision of colonial bills.

5, 6, 7, 8. To pay two millions after ratification.

The modifications 1 and 2 are on the supposition that Spain may be willing to allow a sum to the claimants less than the whole residue after paying her the two first millions.

I think that if left to myself the proposition to take colonial bills for the spoliations instead of deducting the amount of those spoliations from the purchase-money would be considered as inadmissible. At all events, I hope that it may not be resorted to but as an ultimatum and in case of absolute necessity; and you will perceive that I have omitted altogether the proposition of taking anything short of colonial bills, or, in other words, of paying Spain in full and leaving our merchants to the mercy of a commission and to the chance of being paid by Spain.

As the subject is complex, I will recapitulate some points relative to the Treasury to which the negotiators should particularly attend.

1. Payments in specie must not be stipulated beyond two millions of dollars unless it shall be found necessary to accept for spoliations a sum less than the residue; in which case the difference, say one million, which shall then be payable to Spain, may be stipulated to be paid in specie, but not sooner than twelve months after the exchange of ratifications.

2. The payments in specie must, exclusively of the million for which credit shall be given in Holland to our negotiators, be made in bills of the ministers of the United States at Paris or Madrid, and at different sights, so that the payments shall not at once fall upon us.

3. If the million now provided for in Amsterdam shall not be used immediately, it must not be counted upon for future payments, as we will apply it in a different way before the exchange of ratifications can take place.

4. For any payment in Amsterdam, either of that million or Edition: current; Page: [293] of interest on stock to be created, the rate of exchange must be fixed, and not to be more unfavorable to the United States than par, or one current guilder of Holland for every forty cents.

5. Any stock to be created must be of the description stated in the article,—that is to say, six per cent.,—and the principal at least payable in America, and not irredeemable for a period longer than four years. It would be better that the interest should be payable also in America, and the principal redeemable absolutely at will.

6. Payments by the United States for spoliations must be provided in three annual instalments.

As the importance of the second point may not be perceived, it is proper to state that a payment in bills drawn on the Treasury prevents both the inconvenience of making provision for payments abroad and the exportation of specie, as in the case of the provision for paying 200,000 sterling to Great Britain. For when bills are given they are negotiated, come to America through the usual commercial channels and as remittances, so as to produce no kind of inconvenience.

Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
11th March, 1806
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

A general expectation seems to prevail that Colonel Smith will be removed from the office of surveyor of the port of New York, and I am asked by almost every one whether it is not already done. Mr. Madison, who seems to coincide in the opinion that he ought to be removed, informed me that you had expressed a doubt whether conviction ought not to precede the removal. I must confess that it seems to me that, as the facts are as fully in the possession of the Executive at this time as they will be after the trial, and as, indeed, such of them as rest on his own evidence cannot be brought against him in a criminal prosecution, it is not necessary, if those facts are considered a just cause of removal, to wait the event of such prosecution. The honor of government and the peace of the country seem to require an explicit mark of disapprobation and disavowal, Edition: current; Page: [294] and retaining in public service an officer who, by his own declaration, has been guilty of an outrage against the law of nations which endangers the peace of his country, and of a direct violation of a positive statute, will be considered by Spain and France as an evidence of our connivance, and impede the intended negotiations. Nor does it appear to me that Colonel Smith’s plea, that he was induced to believe from Miranda’s representations that government did not disapprove the expedition, can be adduced even in extenuation of the offence. Not only is it evident that his former connections with Miranda, and hopes of private advantages for his son or for himself, were his motives of action, but he acknowledges that even Miranda had not presumed to hint that government authorized or approved such an expedition, but, on the contrary, told him that he was cautioned not to commit any illegal act. Supposing Colonel Smith to have been induced in error by Miranda’s misrepresentations, it would be no justification of an illegal act; but when he expressly declares that he was not deceived on that point, and then avows that he enlisted and caused to be enlisted a number of men, does it not amount to a full acknowledgment that he committed the illegal act, knowing at the same time that government disapproved the same?

To this may be added that, abusing the confidence which attached to his official character, he persuaded Fink to enlist men as for the service of the United States, and that as one of the officers of the customs it was his duty to report to the collector every circumstance respecting the armament and cargo within his knowledge. Indeed, it does not appear possible that the private lading of cannon and military stores, and the other illegal parts of the armament, could have been effected without his connivance and assistance. They would, otherwise, have come to the knowledge of the collector; and the fitting out of the expedition, and preserving the secret till after the vessel’s departure, may fairly be ascribed by Spain to the agency of our own officer. Why, with the fullest proof of these facts, have you continued the guilty officer in service? will be a natural question for her to ask. I may add that Colonel Smith is a bad officer; that he does not attend to the duties of his office; that he has presented fallacious Edition: current; Page: [295] statements of his emoluments, with intention of keeping a portion which by law ought to be paid in the Treasury, and that he has not even paid what he acknowledged to be due. I know that the delicacy of removing, under all circumstances, a near connection of the late President of the United States made you anxious to overlook every inferior breach of duty in that officer; and those are now mentioned only to show that he is not entitled from his general official conduct to any special indulgence. Excuse the length of this letter; I only intended to suggest the subject to you; but my knowledge of the general opinion, and my own conviction of the necessity of the measure, have drawn me into a longer discussion than was necessary.

I had intended to call on you to-day on that and some other subjects, but was so unwell that I could not leave home.

With great respect and attachment, your obedient servant.

Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
April 5, 1806
Washington
George Clinton, Jr.
Clinton, George, Jr.

GALLATIN TO G. CLINTON, Jr., M.C.

Dear Sir,

Some expressions which fell on the floor of Congress have given rise to an inquiry into a conversation between you and one of your colleagues and myself. It has been reported that I had in that conversation stated that previous to the meeting of Congress, or previous to an appropriation being made, it was proposed by the Executive or by the Secretary of State to draw from the Treasury and remit to Europe the two millions of dollars intended for a partial payment of Florida. I do not recollect any conversation with you on the subject which may have given rise to the report, nor do I know the name of your colleague alluded to. But as I have had free conversation with you on our public affairs, and did, I believe, explain what had been and were the precise views of the Executive in relation to Spanish negotiations and the intended purchase of Florida, it is very probable that I did state the facts which, as I presume, have been misunderstood by your colleague and given rise to the report. I am certain, however, that I did not state the facts Edition: current; Page: [296] otherwise than as they really were, and that I never said that an application or attempt was made to draw from the Treasury and remit the money without an appropriation, because no such application or proposition was ever made or suggested, either by the Secretary of State or by any other person.

The facts were briefly as followeth. Some time before the meeting of Congress it was proposed, as time was precious, to give immediate instructions to Mr. Armstrong to treat, and it was at the same time suggested that a payment in hand, without waiting for a ratification of the treaty, and made on receiving an order for the delivery of the country, would promote the object, and might be promised by Mr. Armstrong, inasmuch as an appropriation would be obtained from Congress within a short time, so as to be able to remit the money before powers could be obtained from Spain to treat at Paris, and before the negotiations could be terminated. To this it was objected by myself that although the assent of Congress was probable it was not certain, that it might consume more time to obtain it than was expected, and that it would be safer to wait for it than to run the risk of pledging government for a payment which it might not be in their power to make. Some general observations were added tending to show that it was at all events more eligible to ascertain the sense of Congress before the subject was attempted in Europe, as, on the one hand, if that body appeared disposed in favor of the measure, a previous sanction might be obtained which would secure the ratification of the treaty, and if they did not like the plan another course might be pursued. The President after consideration concluded to suspend the instructions and to lay the subject before Congress, which was accordingly done.

Such are the facts, which I do not remember to have mentioned to you in whole or in part, but which I may certainly have stated, because they are true, and did not appear to me, the whole subject being confidentially before Congress, to require any concealment. If they made a different impression on the hearers, I repeat that it must have been a misapprehension.

Will you have the goodness to let me know what was your impression of that conversation, and whether it agrees with the Edition: current; Page: [297] above statement? but be pleased to consider this letter, and particularly the statement of facts, as perfectly confidential.

I remain with great regard and respect, dear sir, your obedient servant.

P.S.—I have not heard that you had ever repeated any part of the conversation, or by any expressions of yours given rise to the report, but have only been mentioned as being present.

George Clinton, Jr.
Clinton, George, Jr.
April 10, 1806
New York
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

GEORGE CLINTON, Jr. TO GALLATIN.

Dear Sir,

I received your letter yesterday, and, after endeavoring to recollect any conversation which may have taken place between us during the pendency of the secret business of Congress, I do myself the honor to communicate the impression produced on my mind. This impression may be erroneous, and if it varies from the real facts, must be admitted to be so. I think one of my colleagues was present. I had doubts of the propriety of voting for the bill appropriating two millions for the purchase of Florida, and wished to know what prospect of success government had from the negotiation. You, with that frankness which I have always experienced from you, said that Mr. Armstrong had sanguine hopes, and that government were induced to think that an immediate appropriation of money would have a happy effect; but as that could not be procured previous to the meeting of Congress, it might be advisable that our minister at Paris should be instructed to pledge the faith of the government for the sum of two millions, as no doubt could be entertained that Congress would sanction the measure. That instructions of this kind were directed to be made out for Mr. Armstrong, and that Mr. Madison wished you to prepare bills for the money; but that on further consideration the government concluded that it would not be prudent to hazard the measure, but to wait for the meeting of Congress. This, sir, is the impression which the conversation made on my mind. Part of it Edition: current; Page: [298] may be erroneous. If so, it would give me the greatest pleasure to have it corrected. I entirely exonerate you from any design in the communication to impeach any member of the Administration, but am confident that your sole object was to throw light on the subject then before Congress and to promote the views of the government.

I am sorry that my name should have been used on the occasion, and, whoever of my colleagues has done so, it has been entirely unauthorized by me.

[Endorsement by Mr. Gallatin.]

There is an error in this. Mr. Clinton has confounded with respect to time two distinct facts. The proposed instructions to Mr. Armstrong were under consideration and abandoned prior to the meeting of Congress. Mr. Madison’s request to give orders to purchase bills was made when it had been ascertained that an Act of Congress would pass within less than a week authorizing the expense, and the very day on which Mr. Clinton called on me on the subject. The fact was mentioned in answer to the inquiry whether government were really anxious for the appropriation, and as an evidence of their earnestness at that very moment. Mr. Masters was the member present. It is the only conversation I had with either on the subject.

Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
15th April, 1806

GALLATIN TO THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.

Sir,

In answer to the request contained in the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 8th inst., I have the honor respectfully to state that “no application has been made to draw money from the Treasury for the purchase of the Floridas before an appropriation made by law for that purpose.”

The circumstances which may have produced an impression that such an application had been made, being unconnected with any matter pertaining to the duties of the office of Secretary of Edition: current; Page: [299] the Treasury, are not presumed to come within the scope of the information received from this Department by the House.

I have the honor to be, &c.
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
19th May, 1806
Washington
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

I have been detained till this day by business connected with the Acts of last session, which could not be delayed till after my return. This compels us to postpone our intended visit to Monticello, as I have hardly time, before the 13th June, when I must necessarily be here, to go home and transact some indispensable business, not having been there these three years. Mrs. Gallatin and myself equally regret the disappointment, and she requests to be affectionately remembered to Mrs. Randolph.

Not a single occurrence has taken place connected with the Treasury Department which is worth communicating.

Supposing the purchase of Florida not to be attainable, could not our ministers be provisionally instructed to agree to some kind of convention on the basis of statu quo without affecting the claims of the parties, of the reciprocal freedom of navigation of the Mobile and of the Mississippi to Baton Rouge, and of a ratification of the convention?

With respectful attachment, your obedient servant.
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
June 15, 1806
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

Th. J. to Mr. Gallatin.

On the 27th of April I wrote to Governor Claiborne in these words: “Congress has permitted lots to be taken for M. de la Fayette as low as 500 acres. This secures to us the parcel on the canal of Carondelet; but at the same time cuts off those Edition: current; Page: [300] smaller locations proposed by M. Duplantier. Indeed, it would not be for the interest of the General to let his claim get into collision with any public interest. Were it to lose its popularity it might excite an opposition neither agreeable to his feelings or interests.” This may already have produced some effect towards abating the expectations of M. Duplantier and the fears of the city. Still, I think it better that Mr. Madison should write explicitly to him. Indeed, I think we had better have a consultation, and determine on the proper limits of the public reservation. For, however justifiably desirous we may be to relieve a man who stands so high in the public affection as La Fayette, still, it should be only by granting to him such lands as would be granted to others if not located by him. The idea of consolidating by getting Suarez’s land was to satisfy the limit of 1000 acres then imposed on him, while others would have been free to have taken these smaller parcels. That idea may now be waived.

With respect to Colonel Newton’s inquiries what measures are to be taken with armed vessels coming into that harbor, I think he may be told to go on as we have done until further orders. These ought not to be given till we have gunboats there to enforce them. Then I shall be for an exact police over these vessels. Should we not by special letters keep the collectors on the alert as to the three proscribed vessels and commanders? It is very desirable to get hold of Whitby. Affectionate salutations.

Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
June 19, 1806
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

Th. J. to Mr. Gallatin.

I have had a consultation with Mr. Madison on the application of the British vessel of war for stores. We are both of opinion that if by this term be meant sea-stores only, or even munitions de bouche, or provisions generally, there can be no objection to their taking them, or indeed anything except contraband of war. But what should be deemed contraband of war Edition: current; Page: [301] in this case we are not agreed. He thinks that as the English deem naval stores to be contraband, and as such take them from our vessels at sea, we ought to retaliate their own definition on them. I think we ought to act on the opinion that they are not contraband; because by treaties between all the nations (I think) having treaties with one another they are agreed not to be contraband; even England herself, with every nation but ours, makes them non-contraband, and the only treaty making them contraband (Jay’s) is now expired. We ought then at once to rally with all the other nations on the ground that they are non-contraband; and if England treats them as contraband in our ships, instead of admitting it by retaliation, let us contest it on its true ground. Mr. M. thinks France might complain of this; but I think not, as we shall permit both nations equally to take naval stores; or at least such articles of them as may be used for peaceable as well as warlike purposes; this being the true line. This therefore becomes a question on which it will be advisable for us soon to come to a fixed determination. In the mean time, it will be better to leave the construction of the term to Mr. Gelston, by not defining the term to him, because any error of his will be easily got over. Affectionate salutations.

Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
June 26, 1806
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

Th. J. to Mr. Gallatin.

The Attorney-General being absent, we must decide for ourselves the question raised by Colonel Newton’s letter, whether Mr. Cooper can own a registered vessel? or, in other words, whether he is a citizen of the United States?

I hold the right of expatriation to be inherent in every man by the laws of nature, and incapable of being rightfully taken from him even by the united will of every other person in the nation. If the laws have provided no particular mode by which the right of expatriation may be exercised, the individual may do it by any effectual and unequivocal act or declaration. The laws of Virginia have provided a mode; Mr. Cooper is said to Edition: current; Page: [302] have exercised his right solemnly and exactly according to that mode, and to have departed from the Commonwealth; whereupon the law declares that “he shall thenceforth be deemed no citizen.” Returning afterwards he returns an alien, and must proceed to make himself a citizen if he desires it, as every other alien does. At present he can hold no lands, receive nor transmit any inheritance, nor enjoy any other right peculiar to a citizen.

The general government has nothing to do with this question. Congress may by the Constitution “establish an uniform rule of naturalization,” that is, by what rule an alien may become a citizen. But they cannot take from a citizen his natural right of divesting himself of the character of a citizen by expatriation.

Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
9th July, 1806
Washington
Nathan Sandford
Sandford, Nathan

GALLATIN TO NATHAN SANDFORD, DISTRICT ATTORNEY, N. Y.

Private.

Dear Sir,

I have not been summoned as a witness in the prosecution against W. S. Smith and Ogden; it is probable that this was owing to my temporary absence when the gentleman who brought the subpœnas was here, as the three other Secretaries have been duly summoned. Momentary considerations and particularly applicable to the case in question might have induced a compliance with the summons, but, exclusively of the reasons arising from the situation of our public affairs which would render the absence of those three gentlemen prejudicial to the public interest at this juncture, the precedent was on general grounds considered as dangerous. Not that any exception or privilege be claimed for the heads of Departments, but because the principle once admitted that they must, on a subpœna which issues as a matter of course, attend in any part of the United States, every person charged with a criminal offence would have it in his power to vex if not to arrest the whole Administration, or to put off his trial to an indefinite period.

Under those impressions a letter has been addressed to court, of which I enclose a duplicate and a press copy. The duplicate Edition: current; Page: [303] you are requested to deliver sealed, only in case the original should not have reached the court. The copy is for your private information, and it is desirable that it should be published as if the copy had been obtained in court. I wish that in that case a note may be added stating that a subpœna had issued for the Secretary of the Treasury (supposing that to be the fact), but that owing to his absence it was not served.

The course which the court may pursue is uncertain; it appears impossible that they should issue attachments; they may either rule the parties to immediate trial or postpone it till their next sitting, and in the last case either let new subpœnas come out, or, with the assent of the parties, order that the evidence of the heads of Departments be taken by commission, as suggested in the letter.

It appears consistent with the soundest principles of law that no further postponement should take place, unless the parties shall state in an affidavit not merely that a certain material witness is absent, but the identical facts which they expect to prove by such witness or witnesses. As no doubt can exist that, supposing the facts heretofore alleged to be true, they cannot be pled in justification, but would only, if at all operative, tend to mitigate the punishment, it follows that if that course be pursued, the court will, on seeing the affidavit, order them to immediate trial, on the ground that the evidence they want is irrelevant. In urging that point, it cannot, amongst other topics, have escaped you that the letters said to have been written by Miranda to the President and to Mr. Madison cannot in any point of view operate in favor of Smith and Ogden, since they were avowedly written subsequent to the acts for which they are now prosecuted.

But should the court be willing to grant the parties a further delay, every effort must be used to obtain a commission for the purpose of taking the evidence of the heads of Departments, and perhaps of other distant witnesses. And if the parties shall refuse to assent to that course, their refusal may, jointly with the irrelevancy of the testimony, be urged in favor of their being brought to immediate trial. If a commission is issued, particular care will be necessary in framing the interrogatories; Edition: current; Page: [304] and it would be well previously to agree with the opposite counsel that in case of disagreement between you and him respecting the propriety of any of them, the court should decide.

The sooner such commission issues the more convenient it will be for the gentlemen who had been summoned. It is probable that the public duties of the Secretary of State will permit him to go to his farm in Virginia about the 25th instant, and it would be inconvenient for him to return here for the purpose of being examined. General Dearborn, who is just recovering from a dangerous illness, and who, on that account, would have at all events been unable to travel to New York this week, may wish, as soon as he is able, to go to the country for the sake of his health. As to myself, I have not yet determined where I will spend the latter end of this month and the month of August. I have arranged the Treasury business so as to be able to be absent from the 15th instant to the 1st of September, and the sickness of one of my children will induce me to leave this city as soon as I can. It is not therefore probable that a commission will find me here; but one may be appointed in New York, where it is possible, though not certain, that I may be in August. If commissioners be appointed in both places, I will engage to attend either one or the other commission. My evidence must, however, even in the view of Messrs. Smith and Ogden, be altogether irrelevant. I never saw Miranda or had any direct or indirect communications with him. Of others I know nothing but by hearsay, and that of no importance nor connected at all with the prosecutions.

Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
July 14, 1806
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

Th. J. to Mr. Gallatin.

A law of the last session provided for making a road from Nashville to Natchez, and another from Cincinnati, by Vincennes, to St. Louis. Not having a copy of the laws yet, I do not know whether it is necessary for me to take any steps on this subject at present, or what it waits for. Can you inform me?

The road from Cumberland to Ohio will be an important Edition: current; Page: [305] link in the line to St. Louis. There will still be wanting a supplement from Ohio (suppose Marietta) by Chillicothe to Cincinnati, or do such roads exist already? This line being completed, we must have a horse-post which will effect it in six days, say from Washington to St. Louis. They are distant not quite 13° of longitude of 46⅔ miles each, say 600 miles; and a mail ought to go every day as much over 100 miles as the necessary deviations from a straight line amount to.

Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
7th August, 1806
New York
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

I arrived here last Sunday, and, finding both the Vice-President and De Witt Clinton out of town, was obliged to rely principally on Mr. Sandford for the appointment of marshal. A man perfectly competent and in every respect proper, Mr. Montagnie, was first selected, but refused the appointment. Peter Curtenius appeared, amongst those who were proposed, the next best, and has accordingly received the commission. He is a man of integrity, independent, and has for the three or four last years been a member of the State Legislature; which last test of public confidence seemed the best testimony on which to rely. I never saw the man, but from information understand that he has a sound judgment and much firmness, but no brilliancy of talents. I regretted less the absence of the Vice-President on hearing that he would have recommended young Lamb, who lives out of the city, has never been in public life, and had no claim but the Revolutionary services of his father, the former delinquent collector of this port.

I enclose a letter from the district attorney on the subject of the trials, which was returned from Washington.1 So far as I can judge, no unfavorable impression has been made on the Republicans of this city either on account of the non-attendance of the heads of Departments, or of the assertions of the Federalists Edition: current; Page: [306] respecting the supposed knowledge and approbation of the expedition by the Executive.

It seems to me, on the contrary, that the verdict of acquittal, being so glaringly contrary to law and evidence, begins to recoil against the party who promoted that event.

A recommendation for the appointment of a master of revenue cutter at Savannah is enclosed.

With respectful attachment, your obedient servant.
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
August 15, 1806
Monticello
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

Th. Jefferson to Mr. Gallatin.

Yours of the 7th was received yesterday; and I have this day enclosed Mr. Sandford’s letter to Mr. Madison for perusal and to be forwarded by him to you. The skill and spirit with which Mr. Sandford and Mr. Edwards conducted the prosecution give perfect satisfaction, nor am I dissatisfied with the result. I had no wish to see Smith imprisoned; he has been a man of integrity and honor, led astray by distress. Ogden was too small an insect to excite any feelings. Palpable cause for removal of the marshal has been furnished, for which good though less evident cause existed before, and we have shown our tenderness towards judicial proceedings in delaying his removal till these were ended. We have done our duty, and I have no fear the world will, do us justice. All is well therefore.

I approve of the appointment of Thos. Fowler to command the cutter at Savannah, and wish you to direct the commission accordingly. There was a recommendation of a Mr. Newell under favorable circumstances; but that of Fowler is more weighty. Mr. R. S. has had a commission given to Eli Williams as commissioner of the Western road. I am sorry he has gone out of Baltimore for the appointment, and also out of the ranks of Republicanism. It will furnish new matter for clamor. I set out to my possessions in Bedford in a day or two, and shall be absent ten days. This may explain delays in answering your Edition: current; Page: [307] communications, should any occur. The effects of drought are beyond anything known here since 1755. There will not be 10,000 hogsheads of tobacco made in the State. If it should rain plentifully within a week, the corn in rich lands may form nubbings; all the old field corn is past recovery, and will not yield a single ear. This constitutes the bulk of our crop; there will be no fodder. The potatoes are generally dead. Emigration will be great this fall from necessity. Affectionate salutations.

Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
August 16, 1806
Monticello
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

Dear Sir,

I have made it a rule to grant no pardon in any criminal case but on the recommendation of the judges who sat on the trial, and the district attorney, or two of them. I believe it a sound rule, and not to be departed from but in extraordinary cases. This occasions me to trouble you with the enclosed petition. It is probable the party petitioning, or his friends, on being informed of the rule, will take the petition and present it for the necessary signatures; I ask the favor of you accordingly to put it into their hands with the necessary information. I salute you with affection and respect.

Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
August 28, 1806
Monticello
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

Dear Sir,

I returned hither the day before yesterday, and found your two letters of the 15th. I am much pleased with the expectation of Mr. Thompson’s continuance in office in the Orleans land office. The appointment of Robert Sargent as second mate to the revenue cutter of Delaware is approved. On the subject of the negotiation for the Floridas, not one word further than is known to you has been received. You shall immediately know when anything is received. As to the proposition Edition: current; Page: [308] for employing the Hornet to transport money for certain merchants from a belligerent port to the United States, Mr. Miller seems to have viewed one side of the question only. The other would not withstand a moment’s reflection. Every neutral vessel, armed or unarmed, transporting merchandise of money or other goods, is rightfully liable to search by the ships of war of a belligerent. Private vessels, even armed, are accordingly searched. The public armed ships are not, because no nation uses them but for the protection of private commerce, not for carrying it on. The honor of the nation is relied on that they are not so employed; and the nation who would lend them to such purposes must give up their exemption from search. Should a British frigate, having intimation of the Hornet’s cargo, demand and make a search, he would find on board the proofs that our public ships abuse their privilege and of course must be denied it. The license to four British vessels to sail to Lima proves that belligerents may, either by compact or force, conduct themselves towards one another as they please; but not that a neutral may, unless by express permission of the belligerent. If the money said to have been brought from Jamaica by Murray & Mullony was private property, the act was wrong and ought not to be repeated. There are other insuperable reasons in this case, but this one is sufficient. I must take a little more time to consider and answer as to the Western roads and Louisiana instructions. Affectionate salutations.

Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
August 31, 1806
Monticello
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

Dear Sir,

I now return you the papers respecting the Louisiana Board of Commissioners, with only the alteration of omitting the words in the Xth instruction, about which you had doubted yourself. At the same time it is without confidence I give any opinion on this subject, having always considered your knowledge on it so exact as to supersede the necessity of my studying it minutely. If any opinion in aid of yours be necessary, Edition: current; Page: [309] I am sorry we could not call in that of the Attorney-General, who is acquainted with the subject.

I return also the papers on the Western roads. I have not here a complete copy of the laws of the last session, and particularly no copy of that respecting the road from the Mississippi to the Ohio. If I recollect it rightly, it authorized us to open but one road. If so, the branchings proposed by Mr. Badollet may be beyond our powers. At any rate, they should be secondary, and not attempted till we know there will be money left after accomplishing the principal one. I submit to you, therefore, whether we should not suspend all measures respecting the branching roads. With respect to the great and important road which is the principal object:—1. Why should not the guide-line from St. Louis to Vincennes be direct, instead of bending to B?

2. I like your idea of straightening the guide-line from Vincennes, although it may pass through a corner of the Indian lands. But if necessary to cross the river at A on account of the ford, should not the guide-line go thence direct to Cincinnati, as I have pencilled it, or to Dayton, if that be the shortest way to Chillicothe? and even in that case the fork to Cincinnati might be transferred to C.

3. But the post-office map (the only one I have here) must be egregiously wrong if Dayton is not much out of the direct road from Vincennes to Chillicothe. According to that, Cincinnati is in the direct line. But perhaps the deviation by Dayton is from economy, and to spare our fund the expense of opening the road from Cincinnati to Chillicothe and Marietta. But I doubt whether for a temporary reason we ought to do a permanent injury, especially as we may with certainty expect that Congress will enlarge the appropriation.

As to the branches of the roads, if it be lawful and advisable to extend our operations to them, I presume that to Louisville C. H. will be the most important. But should the fund hold out, that to Kaskaskia may be taken in ultimately. I think Mr. Badollet is right in proposing that the road shall not be opened more than a rod wide. Accept affectionate salutations, and assurances of constant esteem and respect.

Edition: current; Page: [310]
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
13th October, 1806
Washington
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

In minds solely employed in honest efforts to promote the welfare of a free people there is but little room left for the operation of those passions which engender doubts and jealousies. That you entertained none against me I had the most perfect conviction before I received your note of yesterday.1 Of your candor and indulgence I have experienced repeated proofs; the freedom with which my opinions have been delivered has been always acceptable and approved, even when they may have happened not precisely to coincide with your own view of the subject and you have thought them erroneous. But I am not the less sensible of your kindness in repeating at this juncture the expression of your confidence.

If amongst the authors of the animadversions to which you allude there be any who believe that in my long and confidential intercourse with Republican members of Congress, that particularly in my free communications of facts and opinions to Mr. Randolph, I have gone beyond what prudence might have suggested, the occasion necessarily required, or my official situation strictly permitted, those who are impressed with such belief must be allowed to reprove the indiscretion, and may perhaps honestly suspect its motive. For those having charged me with any equivocation, evasion, or the least deviation from truth in any shape whatever, I cannot even frame an apology. And, without cherishing resentment, I have not the charity to ascribe to purity of intention the Philadelphia attacks, which indeed I expect to see renewed with additional virulence and a total disregard for truth. I am, however, but a secondary object, and you are not less aware than myself that the next Presidential election lurks at the bottom of those writings and of the Congressional dissensions.

Much more, however, do I lament the injury which the Republican cause may receive from the divisions amongst its friends in so many different quarters. Sacrificing the public good and Edition: current; Page: [311] their avowed principles to personal views, to pride and resentment, they afford abundant matter of triumph to our opponents; they discredit at all events, and may ultimately ruin, the cause itself. But if we are unable to control the conflicting passions and jarring interests which surround us, they will not at least affect our conduct. The Administration has no path to pursue but to continue their unremitted attention to the high duties entrusted to their care, and to persevere in their efforts to preserve peace abroad, and at home to improve and invigorate our republican institutions. The most important object at present is to arrange on equitable terms our differences with Spain. That point once accomplished, your task shall have been satisfactorily completed, and those you have associated in your labors will be amply rewarded by sharing in the success of your Administration. From no other source can any of them expect to derive any degree of reputation.

With sincere respect and grateful attachment, &c., &c.

[Another draft, subsequently erased.]

And although I expect a continuation of still more malicious attacks, you are well aware that I am but a secondary object, and that the next Presidential election is the true source of every contention not purely local. To you my wish may be expressed that whenever you shall be permitted to withdraw, the choice may fall on Mr. Madison as the most worthy and the most capable. But I know that on that point, as well as on all others which relate to elections, no executive officer ought to interfere. Surrounded but unmoved by conflicting passions and jarring interests, the Administration can only, &c.

Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
November 12, 1806
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

I stated in a memorandum sent during last year that a continuation of the Mediterranean fund for three years, including the current year, without repealing the salt tax, would Edition: current; Page: [312] enable us to pay the sum contemplated for Florida, without affecting the operations relative to the debt; and that at the end of that period, viz., 1st January, 1809 (at which time the 8 per cent. foreign debt, and all other species of redeemable debt, shall have been paid off), we might do without either the salt or Mediterranean.

The question as you now propose it would be to give up the salt duty immediately, keeping the Mediterranean for two years longer. That will make a difference against the revenue of less than one million for the two years. I think that the revenue of this year has exceeded, or will exceed, the estimates by a sum nearly equal. Of that I will be more certain within a fortnight, but not sooner. If it shall prove so, there will be no objection to the proposal but the unsettled state of affairs with Spain. For if the message recommends an increase of the military establishment, of gunboats for the defence of New Orleans, or of any temporary expenses for mounted militia, &c., this must be taken into consideration, in order to avoid the danger of inconsistency, and the greater one of weakening ourselves if we think there is any apprehension of war.

I would wish to know what is the amount of expenses contemplated for all objects in addition to the usual establishments. By comparing it with our accounts of revenue, I will be able to prepare a correct statement for your consideration.

Respectfully, your obedient servant.
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
November 14, 1806
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

Th. J. to Mr. Gallatin.

1. As to the 500 cavalry. If we have peace with Spain, we shall not want them; if war, all our plans must be new moulded. It is, therefore, only during the present unsettled state. This cannot exceed six months from October 1, about which time they probably went into service. This will cost 100,000 D. The proposing to Congress to establish them during the present unsettled Edition: current; Page: [313] state of things is merely to show Spain that we seriously mean to take justice if she will not do it. The men are in service under a previous law. This is the only extra expense I contemplate to meet the present state. Mr. Smith proposes to ask only the ordinary annual appropriation.

2. As to the salt tax. If that and the Mediterranean fund, continued to the end of 1808, will pay the Florida purchase, suppose the act of commutation lets the salt tax run to the end of 1807,—will not its amount for 1808 be made up by the increase of impost and land sales beyond calculation, and the sweepings of the Treasury? or if they still leave a deficit, would not the perpetuity of the Mediterranean fund enable us to anticipate enough for the deficit?

3. The university. This proposition will pass the States in all the winter of 1807-8, and Congress will not meet, and consequently cannot act on it, till the winter of 1808-9. The Florida debt will therefore be paid off before the university can call for anything.

The only difficulty in the whole, then, seems to be the amount of the salt tax for 1808, which I am in hopes will not be insuperable.

Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
1806
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.
SKETCH OF FINANCIAL PARAGRAPH OF 1806.

The receipts into the Treasury during the year ending on the 30th day of September last have amounted to near fifteen millions of dollars (14,958,30053/100), which has enabled us, after meeting the current demands, including near four millions of interest on the public debt and 2,700,000 dollars of the American claims assumed by the Louisiana treaty, to discharge upwards of three millions of the principal of the public debt. These payments, together with the reimbursement of the five and half per cent. stock already provided for, and with those payments which had been made in four years and a half preceding, will have extinguished more than twenty-three millions of the principal of the public debt.

Edition: current; Page: [314]
Receipts.
Balance in Treasury, 1st October, 1805, $4,558,664.02
Receipt in the year ending 30th September, 1806:
Customs, $14,212,892.10 } 14,958,300.53
Lands, 595,558.68 }
Arrears, postage, incidental, 149,849.75 }
$19,516,964.55
Expenditures same year:
* But observe that one million of this sum may by our ministers be applied to the purchase of Florida, in which case an equal sum must be replaced in Holland by the Treasury, and there shall have been so much less paid last year on account of the principal of the public debt than is here stated. In our accounts the payments will appear as here stated, and the deduction of one million in the accounts of next year. This circumstance will be explained in the report of the Secretary, but cannot be satisfactorily stated in a concise paragraph of the message. And we must in that message either take credit for the whole three millions and upwards (as proposed) on account of the principal of the debt, or take credit only for upwards of two millions, and say that we have paid or remitted one million on account of the Florida purchase. The total payments for principal and interest of the debt are upwards of seven millions, from which deducting the one million leaves six millions, which, together with 1,847,500 dollars five and half stock to be paid in December and a small remittance to Holland (both of which are exclusive of the payments properly belonging to the last quarter of 1806), will make up the annual appropriation of eight millions. The payments will be, as directed by law, of eight millions for each calendar year; but a greater portion than usual falls on the last quarter of the year 1806, which makes the year ending on 30th September, 1806, pay less than the 8 millions. It is proposed to say in the message that the reimbursement of five and half per cent. stock is already provided for, which is true, since we have five millions and half in the Treasury. But, if thought more correct, the words between crotchets, which relate to that reimbursement, may be omitted, and the words twenty-one millions substituted to twenty-three. In that case it might be proper to add to the proposed paragraph in substance as followeth: “A further sum of near two million dollars will be paid before the close of this year by the Treasury in reimbursement of the principal of thefive and half per cent. stock. And it is hoped from the present flattering appearance of the revenue that we will be [able], without infringing on the annual appropriation of 8 millions of dollars for the public debt, to defray, without recurring to any loan, the expenses contemplated by the act, &c. (making provision for the Florida purchase.)”
Which will lead naturally to the paragraph proposing the repeal of the salt tax.
Civil list, miscellaneous, foreign intercourse, $1,517,755.56
Military and Indian Departments, 1,038,599.48
Naval Department, 1,767,500.00
Claims under Louisiana convention (extras), 2,700,098.52
Public debt, for. and dom., interest, $3,764,866.34 } 7,013,541.22
principal,* 3,248,674.88 }
$14,037,494.78
Balance in Treasury 1st October, 1806, 5,479,469.77
$19,516,964.55
Edition: current; Page: [315]
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
Dear Sir,

I enclose sketches from which to make the financial paragraph. You will perceive that there is some difficulty arising, 1st, from the contingent remittance of one million, by the Hornet, which, according to circumstances, may be applied either to the purchase of Florida or to the Dutch debt due in 1807; 2d, from the reimbursement of 5½ per cent. stock which we could not advertise for a shorter period than 1st January next, and which will be paid only next month, instead of having been paid prior to 30th September last. I am afraid that the words already provided for, as applied to that reimbursement, may be cavilled at, and had rather speak of it altogether as in prospect, as proposed in the last sketch. I will thank you, Edition: current; Page: [316] however, to let me see the paragraph you propose before it is finally adopted. The corresponding paragraph of last year’s message is enclosed for comparison.

Respectfully, your obedient servant.
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
16th November, 1806
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.
REMARKS ON PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE.

Foreign relations—“could leave no imputation on either our moderation or forbearance.” The plan to terminate the Spanish differences by the purchase of Florida will, if successful, prove highly advantageous to the United States, but is ill relished by Spain, and in case of failure will not alone afford proofs of moderation or forbearance. These must be found in the contingent instructions given to our ministers in case they should fail in the principal object. What have these been? and do they fully justify the assertion? I have not seen them, and mention this merely for consideration. [Note by T. J.—The ultimatum of your instructions is, 1st, satisfaction for spoliations; and, 2d, silence as to limits, leaving each party to pursue its own course as to these.]

England.—“Whether this (issue) will be such as, &c., must depend on that issue.” There is some inaccuracy in the construction of that sentence, the meaning of which is that the necessity of the repeal or reinforcement, &c., depends on the issue of the negotiations.

Spain—“has consented to meet us, &c.” Is the fact positively asserted by Mr. Armstrong? Mr. Erving in his last letter denies it.

Second page—“and to permit no new settlement or post to be taken within it.” The last instructions permit, as an ultimatum and under certain circumstances, the maintenance of the increased force at Bayou Pierre. But the whole of this paragraph will probably require some modification if the intelligence of an arrangement between Wilkinson and Herrera proves true.

Edition: current; Page: [317]

Army.—Might not the words “in other respects our,” or some to that effect, be substituted to “our regular”? For it seems to me that the continuance of a corps of cavalry by voluntary enlistment and for the term stated in the preceding paragraph is to all intents an increase of regular force as contradistinguished from militia or volunteers.

New Orleans.—I would omit the words “perhaps the present fort of Plaquemine;” 1st, in order to avoid unnecessary commitment of opinion; 2d, because Plaquemine is not, I believe, below all the firm lands. Observe also that the approaches by Lake Pontchartrain must be defended, as well as those by the Mississippi.

Third page—Fortifications.—Substitute a to some, as this last expression may be construed into an evidence of disregard for that mode of defence. And considering the lively interest felt in a certain quarter on that question, and the use made of it, is it necessary to speak of that object in terms as decisive as those used at the end of page 7? Might not these be omitted or modified?

Fourth page—Insurrection.—If the information received is not sufficiently decisive to affix criminality to certain individuals, the word “are” at the end of fourth line may be omitted; but if the proofs received, without being legal evidence, are sufficient to impress a conviction that the object was of an internal nature, the word should remain.

“Where an enterprise is modified, &c.” The following paragraph shows that there are cases in which the powers of prevention given by the laws are not sufficient against enterprises modified against foreign nations. On that account, and because it appears important, considering Miranda’s expedition, not to impress too forcibly the opinion that those powers are really sufficient, I would suggest not only to substitute another word to “meditated,” but to place the defect of the existing laws in that respect in a more prominent point of view than is done by the following paragraph. This may perhaps be effected by making that subject a distinct head instead of mentioning it incidentally, and by indicating it in more general terms. For pointing out a single particular defect seems to diminish its importance. Quere, whether some more direct allusion to Miranda’s expedition would not be politic and practicable?

Edition: current; Page: [318]

Indians—“we have nothing to fear from that quarter.” The assurance seems too positive, as danger may arise from causes not under our control, such as the intrigues of Spanish agents to the South and of British traders on the Northwest.

Fifth and sixth pages—Red River, Mississippi.—The details seem comparatively too long, both in relation to the other parts of the message generally and to the Missouri expedition. But I would at all events avoid a commitment respecting the northern boundary of either Louisiana or the United States. The boundary fixed by the Treaty of Utrecht might be, and probably was, intended for Canada rather than for Louisiana; and Crozat’s charter expressly limits the last province to the 45th degree of latitude.

As to the United States, we have conceded that a parallel westwardly from the Lake of the Woods was not our necessary boundary, and have agreed heretofore to a straight line from that lake to the source of the Mississippi.

Seventh page—Salt tax.—This has never amounted to 600,000 dollars, and averages about 550,000. The Mediterranean fund at present, and whilst the European war continues, is worth almost a million. The words “not materially different in amount” are not, therefore, correct. Observe also that ⅖ of the salt tax—8 cents per bushel—expire on 3d March, 1811. We may dispense with the whole of it from the present time, or say from 1st July next, provided the Mediterranean fund be continued only for two years longer, or till 1st January, 1809. If circumstances should then render a further continuation necessary, it may then be again extended. I would, on the whole, propose to suppress the words “not materially different in amount,” and that the next line should read, “by continuing for a limited time the Mediterranean fund.”

University—“they cannot then be applied to the extinguishment, &c.”

I would wish that between the words then and be the following should be inserted: “without a modification assented to by the public creditors;” or that the idea should be inserted in some other way in the paragraph. It will be consistent with the opinion expressed that the extinguishment, &c., and liberation, Edition: current; Page: [319] &c., are the most desirable of all objects, and Congress have now under consideration a plan for the purpose which I submitted last session, and was postponed because reported too late by the Committee of Ways and Means.

On Fortifications, &c.—This is the paragraph which I think might, without injury to the sense, be omitted.

Eighth page—“to be partitioned among the States in a federal and just ratio.” Would it not be best to omit these words, as neither improvements nor education can ever in practice be exactly partitioned in that manner? and the suggestion might embarrass or defeat the amendment when before the House.

The surpluses indeed which will arise, &c.”—It may be observed on whatever relates to the connection between those surpluses and the proposed improvements and university, 1st, that, war excepted, the surpluses will certainly and under any circumstances—even while the debt will be in a course of payment—be, after 1st January, 1809, sufficient for any possible improvement. I have no doubt that they will amount to at least two millions a year, and, if no modification in the debt takes place, to nearly five. 2d, that it will take at least the two intervening years to obtain an amendment, pass the laws designating improvements, and make the arrangements preparatory to any large expense. 3d, that the existing surpluses are at this moment sufficient for any university or national institute.

But the whole of this part of the message rests on the supposition that a longer time must elapse before we are ready for any considerable expenditure for improvements, and that we would not be able to meet even that for the university before the time which must elapse in obtaining an amendment.

The general scope of this part of the message seems also to give a preference to the university over general improvements; and it must not be forgotten, apart from any consideration of their relative importance, that the last proposition may probably be popular, and that the other, for university, will certainly be unpopular. I think, indeed, that the only chance of its adoption arises from the ease with which funds in public lands may be granted.

It appears to me, therefore, that the whole of that part, from Edition: current; Page: [320] the words above quoted—“the surpluses indeed, &c.”—to the words “to which our funds may become equal,” should undergo a revisal, introducing in the same place the substance of the last paragraph of the 9th page respecting a donation of lands, which seems to be misplaced where it now stands. If a total revision is not approved, the following alterations are suggested.

Erase from “the surpluses” in 15th line to “first” inclusively in 18th line, and insert “the surpluses are already at this moment adequate to,” or words to that effect. Erase from “to such” in 8th line from bottom to the end of the page, and insert “But whether our views be restrained.” Ninth page.—To the word “may” in 2d line substitute “will soon;” and in 3d line, between “equal” and “I,” substitute a comma to a full stop.

Ninth page.—Would it not be better to stop, when speaking of the amendment, at the words “to be applied,” 7th line? It would avoid a discussion on the words “general welfare;” and it must be observed that if even those words had the greatest extent in the Constitution of which they are susceptible, viz., that Congress had power to raise taxes, &c., for every purpose which they might consider productive of public welfare, yet that would not give them the power to open roads and canals through the several States. The first reason given, that the objects now recommended are not among those enumerated, &c., is conclusive and seems sufficient. At all events, I would suppress the paragraph which suggests an amendment to erase from the Constitution those words, as questionable in its nature, and because the proposition seems to acknowledge that the words are susceptible of a very dangerous meaning.

NOTE ON THE PARAGRAPH ENTITLED “UNIVERSITY.”

From yesterday’s conversation I thought it was agreed to restore (after the words “an accumulation of moneys in the Treasury”) the words “will ere long take place” instead of “is now taking place,” as sufficiently correct and less likely to furnish Edition: current; Page: [321] an argument against the limited extension of the Mediterranean fund, which is proposed.

It is true that, not this year, but as early as 1807, the accumulation will take place if Florida is not purchased. But if that purchase takes place, all the surpluses for 1807 and 1808, including the Mediterranean fund, which is wanted for that very purpose, will be absorbed by the payment, and the accumulation will commence only in 1809. It seems to me that that correction will not affect any part of the message, and that all which follows to the end will read very well, and is quite consistent with the restoration I propose. The word system has not been introduced as connected with fortifications. But I still think that for the sake of expressing an abstract opinion which is perhaps too general, the risk is incurred of killing the proposed amendment and university, and of politically losing the city and State of New York.

Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
November 23, 1806
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

Th. J. to Mr. Gallatin.

The words “ere long” and “systems of fortifications” were omitted by oversight in correcting the copy I sent you yesterday. I had made both those amendments in the original. But I have struck out the passage about fortifications altogether, for the principle that where there is a difference of opinion it is better to say too little than too much. Affectionate salutations.

Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
25th November, 1806
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

OBSERVATIONS.

Wm. Kettletas, said to be an inmate of General Wilkinson’s, and appointed Attorney-General by him. This last particular is a mistake.

M. Ernest was removed for delinquency in the spring 1805; Edition: current; Page: [322] and as soon as his accounts were adjusted a suit was instituted at Detroit by the Comptroller; but before the writ had been issued there (or probably on his hearing of its being in the hands of the territorial officer), he left the Territory for Kentucky. I had heard nothing more of him since, and, as he had left his family at Detroit, expected that we would still get hold of him. But I heard the other day by Mr. Hoffman, the present collector of Michilimackinac, that he (Ernest) had joined Duncan, the late absconding collector of Michilimackinac, at New York in February or March last. They have both disappeared; but I believe that they were seen in New York subsequent to Miranda’s departure. Duncan went off with more than 30,000 dollars, but I do not think that Ernest took any money away; he had spent it, probably, before his removal. It is true that Governor Hull did appoint Ernest, then a removed officer, to some territorial offices; and being informed of it through Worthington’s channel, I expostulated with the governor when here last winter on the impropriety of a territorial governor appointing a man who had just been removed by the President, and that for delinquency. Governor Hull appeared to regret that he had made the appointment, but said nothing of his having left the Territory. Observe that Hull, Woodward, and Duncan travelled together from Detroit to New York. I hope they were ignorant of Duncan’s intentions, on which they did not communicate anything. The establishment of a bank was communicated by Mr. Griswold, to whom I wrote 10th instant that he ought to send the law immediately, in order that it might be laid before Congress.

This establishment must be either a landed or a swindling speculation, and I think that some inquiry should be made respecting the motives of the governor. He may certainly be written to on the subject; the objections arising both from want of apparent utility and from the charter of the Bank United States stated, and an explanation asked.

It is true that Mr. Jackson was the chairman of the committee who reported two extraordinary bills last session, one to alter the form of territorial government for Michigan on principles so opposed to those of our political institutions that I am at a loss to guess how it could pass the House without animadversion; Edition: current; Page: [323] the other to give to the governor and judges the power of deciding on all land claims in the Territory, disposing of the vacant lands within the Indian extinguished lines. Both passed the House; Nicholson had resigned; Randolph attending to other objects; no man yet considering himself as obliged to watch over every proceeding; in fact, nobody had attended to the business. I found it necessary to interfere by speaking to members of the Senate, and succeeded in having the government bill postponed sine die, and the general principles of the land bill rejected.

But Woodward hung to as a leech, and obtained from Tracy, the chairman of the Senate committee, that at least the governor and judges should be permitted to settle and compromise the claims to lots in the town of Detroit, on account of its destruction by fire and the necessity of laying it out on a better plan. To this I assented; but after all they added 10,000 acres adjoining Detroit to the town, giving unlimited powers to the governor and judges to settle all claims to land within it, and without either describing which way the 10,000 acres should be laid, or enacting a single principle on which the decision should be founded. This I never knew till after the bill had become a law, Woodward and Tracy having both told me that the report would be only for the town lots. I have no doubt that there was and still is some object beyond that of having the trouble of settling complex and opposite claims. Whatever relates to land cannot be too much watched. Nicholson in the House was the only man who had attended a little to it, and Worthington is the only one in the Senate, since Breckenridge left it, who understands the subject. He has been perfectly faithful in that respect, trying only to relieve as much as possible the purchasers generally from being hard pressed for payment. The suspicion arising from the law forbidding the taking stock in payment for land, as tending to accumulate money in the land offices to the westward, is intended for me, as I proposed the alteration in an official report. The object was simply to prevent speculation and preserve purity of our land offices. For if permitted to pay in stock, the consequence was that the real purchasers paid all in cash, and the clerks (the principals would have soon done it) and others paid the United States in certificates, and pocketed the profit.

Edition: current; Page: [324]

Precisely so did the sheriffs of Virginia during and after the war, when taxes were payable in certificates, &c. In this instance, James Ross and Bell, and Jenkinson, had formed two companies for the purpose, and actually paid near 100,000 dollars in stock within a few months, for which they had received cash from the purchasers. Worthington, too, had begun to speculate upon it to the amount of 10 to 20 thousand dollars. As to the accumulations of cash to the westward, it is always difficult to draw the money from the public officers there, on account of distance. Yet though 600,000 dollars were paid last year, so far from accumulating, the balances in hands of receivers have diminished since the law was passed. On 1st April last they had 395,000 dollars on hand, on the 1st October not more than 290,000. It would, to be sure, be a good prize for insurgents, but we cannot avoid it. The money must be carried at the expense of the officers two or five hundred miles to Pittsburgh; and it is only twice a year that they can take it up the Ohio from Cincinnati.

NOTES ON PARAGRAPH.1

The criminal attempts.” Might not the word illegal be added or substituted? or the words “contrary to law” be inserted in the first paragraph when speaking of the combination? It is merely in order to introduce the idea that the enterprise is expressly forbidden by law, and that it was, therefore, the duty of the Executive to stop it.

It does not seem to follow absolutely that the enterprise if carried into effect should have decided the question of peace or war. For then it would follow that Miranda’s expedition must necessarily have produced, or was to Spain a just cause of, war.

It seems to me that the last line should read “should be” instead of “ought to be,”—it was due to good faith, &c., that the attempts, &c., {should be ought to be} suppressed.

Edition: current; Page: [325]
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
December 12, 1806
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

Th. Jefferson to Mr. Gallatin.

Although I have the most perfect confidence in the integrity of Briggs, and very little in Davies, his accuser, yet where a charge is so specific and direct, our duty calls for investigation. The distance is too great to wait for preliminary explanation. I think with you that Mr. Williams, the former register, will be a proper person to inquire into the charge, but that he would probably be less willing to undertake it alone than joined with another; and I would propose to join with him Mr. Dunbar, who deserves entire confidence. In the case of the removal proposed by the collector of Baltimore, I consider it as entirely out of my sphere, and resting solely with yourself. Were I to give an opinion on the subject, it would only be by observing that in the cases under my immediate care, I have never considered the length of time a person has continued in office, nor the money he has made in it, as entering at all into the reasons for a removal. The want of a collector at Chestertown shall be attended to with the first nominations. The allegations against Pope, of New Bedford, are insufficient. Although meddling in political caucuses is no part of that freedom of personal suffrage which ought to be allowed him, yet his mere presence at a caucus does not necessarily involve an active and official influence in opposition to the government which employs him. Affectionate salutations.

P.S.—I return the papers in Briggs’s and the Baltimore case.

Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
6th January, 1807
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.

Dear Sir,

On 10th April, 1801, Dufour (the Swiss who has planted a vineyard in Kentucky) purchased at the sales at Cincinnati 795½ acres at 2 dollars per acre, and paid the first Edition: current; Page: [326] instalment of 397 dollars 75/100. Last winter he passed through this city, and inquired whether, as the time fixed for completing the payment would expire in 1806, there was any probability of the time being extended. To which I answered in the negative. He then informed me that he was on his way to Switzerland to bring his wife and child, whom he had left there till he was settled here, and would leave funds with a house in New York to complete the payment. That house neglected it till November, when they made inquiry respecting the amount due and the place of payment. I answered that the money must be paid in Cincinnati to the register before the 2d of December, which was the day advertised for the sales of forfeited lands, and offered, in order to insure the transmission of money, that if they would pay the amount into the Treasury, I would send the receipt to the receiver or register, with whom, provided he received it before the sales, it would be a sufficient evidence of payment. They accordingly paid the money, 1600 dollars, in the Treasury on the 21st November, and on the same day I transmitted the Treasurer’s receipt to the register. My letter did not reach him till the 8th December, and the land had been sold on the 2d. Although I consider this as a very hard case, because the money was paid, not, it is true, to the proper officer, but to the Treasurer before the sale took place, yet I think the sale legal and the purchaser entitled to a patent.

But what induces me to lay the case before you is that Mr. Mansfield, the Surveyor-General, is the purchaser, and has refused, though apprised of all the facts by Mr. Findlay, the receiver, to relinquish his purchase. I enclose his letter and that of Mr. Findlay. On principles of common honesty he ought, even if he had been a private individual, to have given up his bargain. But it appears to me that as a public officer, and under the circumstances of payment to the Treasury, and transmitted through the Secretary, it was his duty particularly so to do. Yet I can give him no orders on the subject, as the purchase is made in his private capacity. I wish, if you view the subject as I do, that you would either write him a private letter, or authorize me to use your name, not by way of orders to him, but of the opinion entertained of the transaction. My best endeavors, Edition: current; Page: [327] knowing the abuses committed in almost every State, have been exerted, and, I think, with success, in preserving the purity of our land offices; and I see with great regret an act committed by an otherwise very worthy man and vigilant officer, which has a tendency to render the officers obnoxious and to justify similar or worse acts in others.

With respectful attachment, your obedient servant.
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
January, 1807
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

Th. J. to Mr. Gallatin.

The sale of Dufour’s land appears to have been regular. The purchase, too, by Mr. Mansfield is valid in law and in the equity of the courts. It is true Mansfield was an officer of the United States, but his office was noways connected with the sale of the lands. Had Findlay purchased, it would have been different, because he would have been both seller and buyer; but Mansfield was as much a private citizen as to that sale as the marshal of Washington would have been, or as any private citizen. It might indeed be a very honorable delicacy in him to relinquish it, but I doubt if sound morality requires it.

The opinion on the back of one of the letters respecting the collections of the direct tax in South Carolina, signed D. L., seems to be a very sound one, and the application by William Smith to a court of equity the most extraordinary one I have ever known. The law carefully prescribing the precise procedure in everything respecting a tax, from the moment of the demand till it is in the Treasury, and all in that summary way necessary in tax-gathering, does in effect prescribe what procedure it shall not be subject to, and particularly that it shall not be subject to the dilatory process of the courts: a collector cannot bring an action in a court for a tax, because that is not the remedy the law has provided, and the courts would be filled with these actions, and the people loaded with heavy costs; and, e converso, the citizen cannot carry the case into a court. It is impossible that Judge Bee should sustain the injunction. If he does, the Edition: current; Page: [328] remedies are appeal and impeachment. It would be against usage to be amending the laws on every error of a single judge. Should Bee maintain the injunction, as we have no Attorney-General here, we should take the opinion of Dallas, Hay, or other good lawyers. Affectionate salutations.

Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas
January 13, 1807
Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert

JEFFERSON TO GALLATIN.

Th. J. to Mr. Gallatin.

The appointment of a woman to office is an innovation for which the public is not prepared, nor am I. Shall we appoint Springs, or wait the further recommendations spoken of by Bloodworth? Briggs has resigned, and I wish to consult with you when convenient on his successor, as well as on an Attorney-General. Affectionate salutations.

Albert Gallatin
Gallatin, Albert
8th February, 1807
Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson, Thomas

GALLATIN TO JEFFERSON.
NOTES.—MESSAGE RESPECTING GUNBOATS.

Second paragraph.—Might not this be altogether omitted? It is true that the resolution of the House has arisen from the debate on fortifications versus gunboats. But as it does ask information only on the last subject, it is not necessary to allude to the other subject,—such allusion will be construed as taking side against New York fortifications,—and the expression of that opinion of the President is necessary neither to prevent too large a fortification appropriation nor to show the efficiency of gunboats. On the contrary, the third paragraph, with some trifling alterations in its introduction, would present the whole system contemplated by the Executive (which, in fact, embraces, under the name of land-batteries, a species of fortifications), without giving offence or interfering with the question of permanent Edition: current; Page: [329] and detached fortifications. It may be added that Castle William, Mud Island, Fort Johnson, and even the works now going on on Governor’s Island, must be considered as regular fortifications, not properly embraced under the designation of land-batteries, and from their insular and detached situation to be necessarily manned by a standing military force.

Fifth paragraph.—Omit or modify the words “inhabited by, &c., whose system like ours is peace and defence;” otherwise Algiers will be stated as having a system of peace and defence exclusively. Omit the sentence already pencilled relating to our squadron; it is not, I think, altogether correct in point of fact; we wanted gunboats there to attack theirs in shallow water, and even to attack their batteries; but our frigates never avoided them, for their ground (of the frigates) was on the high seas, where the Tripolitan boats dared not come. To gunboats, properly so called, I do not think that the British have much resorted in the Channel; but they did under Curtis, in completing the destruction of the floating batteries at Gibraltar. It is well known that during that long siege they found it indispensable to have such an armament to meet a similar enemy’s force. The Swedes and Russians have used them to a greater extent than any other nation. The most splendid achievement by gunboats was the destruction (on 28th and 29th January, 1788) of a great part of the Turkish fleet, under their celebrated Captain Pacha Hassan Aly, in the Liman, or mouth of the Dnieper, by the Russian flotilla under Prince of Nassau. Nassau had 22 one-gun boats and 27 galleys. Hassan attacked him in order to force the passage and besiege Kinburn, with 16 ships of the line and several frigates, and lost nine of his ships.

The latter part of this paragraph, commencing with the words “and indeed,” to the end, might be omitted.

Seventh paragraph—“and the 127, &c., would cost from five to six hundred thousand dollars.”

Quere, whether any gunboats fit for sea, including rigging, guns, &c., have actually been built for less