From Albert Gallatin
Treasury Department Octer. 6th 1801
The Secretary of the Treasury wishes to know where the Commrs., appointed to decide on the claims under judge Symme’s purchase, reside, in order to send the commisions. There is no time to be lost.
A pardon has already been signed in favor of Hopkins & transmitted to Mr P. Freneau.
The situation of the revenue district of Massac renders an appointment necessary. The resignation of Mr Irwin shows the difficulty of finding a proper character to reside there. Mr Chribbs had been recommended by Mr Claibourne next to Mr Irwin. The two enclosed letters are also in his favour. No other application has been made—
Respectfully submitted by
RC (DLC); at foot of text: “The President of the United States”; endorsed by TJ as received 7 Oct. and “Commrs. Symmes. Hopkins Chribbs.” Enclosures not found.
On 3 Oct., TJ Appointed William Goforth of Columbia and John Reily of Cincinnati to serve as commissioners under Section 4 of “An Act giving a right of preemption to certain persons who have contracted with John Cleves Symmes, or his Associates, for lands lying between the Miami rivers, in the Territory of the United States northwest of the Ohio,” passed by Congress on 3 Mch. 1801 (U.S. Statutes at Large description begins Richard Peters, ed., The Public Statutes at Large of the United States … 1789 to March 3, 1845, Boston, 1855–56, 8 vols. description ends , 2:112–14; Vol. 33:671, 677). William McMillan, former delegate to Congress from the Northwest Territory, recommended Goforth and Reily in a 15 June letter to Madison. McMillan noted that Kentucky Senator John Brown agreed with the recommendation and requested that Madison show the letter to the president. TJ wrote on the second page of the letter: “I have in their proper place the names of Goforth & Reily: but they are not to act till Nov. 1. therefore we need not appoint till Oct. 1. this will give time to hear more about them” (RC in DNA: RG 59, LAR, 10:0376–8). TJ also received an undated memorandum in Brown’s hand, regarding appointments in the Northwest Territory. Brown may have given TJ the document before he left Washington in the spring. As well as recommending Goforth and Reily, Brown supported McMillan for district attorney and James Smith for marshal. Below the recommendations, TJ added: “James H. Stewart of Kentucky. printer of the Herald. to print the laws” (MS in same, 10:0379–80; endorsed by TJ on verso: “N.W. territory. mr Brown’s memm. Commrs. on Symmes’s purchase Atty. McMillan Marshall. James Smith”). Goforth and McMillan represented Hamilton County at the territory’s first general assembly in 1800 and Reily served as clerk of the House. Gallatin wrote Goforth and Reily on 9 Oct. and enclosed their commissions. He sent the letters to James Findlay, land office receiver at Cincinnati, with the request that Findlay immediately forward them to the newly appointed commissioners (Journal of the House of Representatives of the Territory of the United States, North-west of the river Ohio, at the Second Session of the First General Assembly [Chillicothe, 1800], 3, 5, 100; Terr. Papers description begins Clarence E. Carter and John Porter Bloom, eds., The Territorial Papers of the United States, Washington, D.C., 1934–75, 28 vols. description ends , 3:177–9).