From Albert Gallatin
Treasury Department June 12th 1801
In the case of W. Priestmann, the Secretary of the Treasury conceives that by the manner in which the enclosed draft of a pardon is executed, Gideon will receive any part of the forfeiture to which by law he may be entitled. If he is not entitled to any part by law, the Secretary, from a consideration of the case, does not perceive the propriety or justice of making him a compensation at the expense of W. Priestmann.
But in the instrament of pardon a special clause should be inserted specifying that said pardon shall operate only upon said Priestmann paying all the costs & also * Dollars being the amount of the fee paid by the United States to Mr Rawle in that Unit—
Respectfully submitted by
RC (DLC); addressed: “The President of the United States”; endorsed by TJ as received 13 June and “Priestman’s case” and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure not found.
Gallatin feared that the wording of the draft of a pardon would make Priestman responsible for paying all costs in the case, including the reward to Jacob Gideon, who had informed on him. On 14 June, Gallatin asked Madison whether the pardon could be extended to include the “remission of the informer’s share” and observed: “I do know this to be a persecution case.” He informed the secretary of state that Priestman was an eccentric Englishman who had loaned money to Republicans, some of whom were “persecuted & obnoxious” and surmised this was the reason Oliver Wolcott had found against Priestman in the original case. Priestman himself delivered Gallatin’s letter and supporting documents to Madison. For the issuance of the pardon, see Gallatin to TJ, 26 June. Priestman had to pay only the costs connected with the government’s prosecution of the case, but a special clause indicating the specific amount was not included in the pardon (Madison, Papers, Sec. of State Ser. description begins J. C. A. Stagg, ed., The Papers of James Madison, Secretary of State Series, Charlottesville, 1986–, 8 vols. description ends , 1:313–14; presidential pardon for William Priestman in DNA: RG 59, GPR).