Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Albert Gallatin, 11 July 1801

From Albert Gallatin

Treasury departt. July 11th 1801


I have the honor to enclose a letter just received from the Comr. of loans of S. Carolina refusing the appointment of Commissioner of direct tax. The assessments of North Carolina are completed; those of Georgia nearly so. South Carolina the only delinquent State. I see no other way than that of sending a blank commission to some person at Charleston in whom you may have full confidence. Should you approve this mode; it will be only necessary that you should direct the Secretary of State to send me the blank commission, and designate the person to whom it is to be sent; and the business will be immediately attended to—   With great respect

Albert Gallatin

RC (DLC); at head of text: “Private”; at foot of text: “The President of the United States”; endorsed by TJ as received 11 July and “Commr. of Direct tax S. Carola.” and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure not found.

On 4 June TJ had appointed John Neufville the commissioner of direct tax for South Carolina, but he declined the position (Vol. 33:676).

Some Person at Charleston: TJ turned to Governor John Drayton. On 14 July, TJ received a blank commission for the South Carolina appointment from Gallatin. The Treasury secretary advised that since there were “some papers & instructions necessary to be sent along with it,” TJ should send the commission along with a letter to Drayton back to the Treasury Department that “the whole may then be sent in one packett to the Governor” (RC in DLC; undated; addressed: “The President of the United States”; endorsed by TJ as received from the Treasury Department on 14 July and “blk commn for direct tax S.C.” and so recorded in SJL). The next day TJ wrote Drayton informing him that the direct taxes, “which had been collected every where else remained still for collection in the two Carolinas,” that the commission sent to South Carolina had been declined, and that every refusal of the commission occasioned “considerable additional delay.” To expedite the process he was turning to a “person on the spot who possesses the public confidence to undertake for me the trust of making this appointment.” TJ informed the governor that he was sending the signed commission to him “from personal as well as public considerations.” He requested that Drayton complete the commission “with the name of some person competent to the office & willing to undertake it, giving us notice of the person & date.” The secretary of the Treasury would send to the governor the commission, letter, and necessary accompanying papers (PrC in DLC; faint and blurred; at foot of text: “Govr. Drayton”).

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