Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Albert Gallatin, 15 June 1801

From Albert Gallatin

Treasury Department June 15th. 1801


Enclosed I have the honour of transmitting for your consideration, the Copy of a Letter from the Collector for the District of Delaware, concerning a transaction, which appears to affect the conduct of Capt. Melony of the United States Ship of War the Ganges.—

I have the honour to be very respectfully Sir, Your obedient Servant

Albert Gallatin

RC (DLC); in clerk’s hand, signed by Gallatin; at foot of text: “The President of the United States”; endorsed by TJ as received on 15 June and “Malowney’s case” and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure: Allen McLane to Gallatin, Collector’s Office, District of Delaware, 12 June 1801, reporting that the ship Ganges, Captain John Mullowny (Melony), arriving from Cuba, anchored in his district on 7 June and the next day two merchants from Havana with boxes and trunks were observed leaving the ship and on 9 June two more merchants with trunks and boxes were landed at New Castle; that ships of war were not required to register with the customs office because it was assumed only public stores were carried, but that not being the case in this instance, McLane recommended that the collection law be “extended to passengers arriving in Ships of War” and to compel the captains of those ships transporting merchants from foreign countries “to report them to the Chief Officer of the Customs of the District where they wish to land them previous to their unlading their packages &c” (Tr in same).

Letter from the Collector: evidently TJ immediately sent McLane’s letter to Henry Dearborn, who informed Captain Mullowny the same day that he had received word that several passengers from the Ganges, along with boxes and trunks, were allowed to land on 8 and 9 June without notifying the Delaware collector. On 20 June, Dearborn forwarded McLane’s letter to Samuel Smith at Baltimore, where the passengers who left the Ganges were staying. Smith immediately deposed all of the passengers and concluded that nothing “improper was done in permitting them to land.” On 25 June, Dearborn informed Mullowny that the passengers on the Ganges had “unequivocally” exonerated him from the “suspicions of improper Conduct entertained” by the Delaware collector (NDQW description begins Dudley W. Knox, ed., Naval Documents Related to the Quasi-War between the United States and France, Naval Operations, Washington, D.C., 1935–38, 7 vols. (cited by years) description ends , Dec. 1800–Dec. 1801, 253, 257, 261–2).

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