From Albert Gallatin, with Jefferson’s Reply
Treasury Department Decer. 21st 1801
It appears to me that the whole amounts to this—that the Bargemen have repeatedly been employed in levelling the wharf of the Collector—but, that it does not appear, that they were ever so employed to the detriment of the public business—If so, it should seem that there is not sufficient cause of removal; but that he should be advised not to employ the boatmen hereafter at any time in any occupation but relative to the revenue. If you approve, I will prepare an official report & transmit it to you.
With sincere respect Your obedt. Servt.
I enclose a private letter from Dallas—He like the other Philadelphians are more particularly averse to Maj. Jackson than to any other of the custom officers—
[Reply by TJ:]
Mclane’s conduct appears to me not to have been honourable; but yet not criminal enough to call for removal.
I retain the paper respecting Ebenezer Thompson.
RC (NHi: Gallatin Papers); addressed: “The President”; with TJ’s reply subjoined. Enclosures: (1) Alexander J. Dallas to Gallatin, 16 Dec. 1801, contending that a complaint brought against George Latimer as customs collector was groundless; Dallas derides “a certain arrangement in the Excise department” and responds negatively to reports that customs officer William McPherson “is to be turned out” but Major William Jackson is to be retained; lastly, Dallas requests that Wilson Cary Nicholas, Joseph H. Nicholson, or John Randolph provide him “with a hint of what is designed in relation to the Judiciary Department” (RC in same; Gallatin, Papers description begins Carl E. Prince and Helene E. Fineman, eds., The Papers of Albert Gallatin, microfilm edition in 46 reels, Philadelphia, 1969, and Supplement, Barbara B. Oberg, ed., reels 47–51, Wilmington, Del., 1985 description ends , 6:205). (2) Probably “Weekly list of Warrants issued on the Treasurer by the Sec. of the Treasy. for the week ending 19th Decer. 1801,” reporting 17 warrants, Nos. 181 to 197, including 6 warrants to loan commissioners for the payment of interest and principal on the public debt, totaling $657,600, and one of $50,000 for the military establishment, with a total of $719,692.14 for all warrants (MS in DLC; entirely in Gallatin’s hand).
The long report has not been found. M’clene’s Case: for the accusations brought against Allen McLane, the collector at Wilmington, Delaware, and the appointment of George Read, Jr., and James Tilton to investigate the case, see Gallatin to TJ, 23 May. According to one charge, McLane had employed bargemen “in menial services for himself, to the detriment of the public service” (same). I will Prepare an Official Report: on 2 Jan. 1802, Gallatin wrote McLane that the president had “examined the evidence given in relation to certain charges exhibited against” him by Benjamin Reynolds and approved the opinion formed by the Treasury Department that there were “no grounds for a removal.” Gallatin enclosed an extract of the Department’s report, dated 1 Jan. 1802, with TJ’s signature of approval. In the report Gallatin concluded that McLane was a “vigilent and active officer” and that the barges under his direction were “employed with more benefit to the public than has generally been the case” (Gallatin, Papers description begins Carl E. Prince and Helene E. Fineman, eds., The Papers of Albert Gallatin, microfilm edition in 46 reels, Philadelphia, 1969, and Supplement, Barbara B. Oberg, ed., reels 47–51, Wilmington, Del., 1985 description ends , 6:410).
For an earlier letter from Philadelphia recommending the replacement of William Jackson, the surveyor of customs, but not William McPherson, the naval officer, see Enclosure No. 3, listed at Gallatin to TJ, 17 Aug.