To Albert Gallatin
Washington May 1. 1802
Decide according to your own & mrs Gallatin’s inclinations on the time and extent of your absence from hence. I sincerely sympathize with you on the circumstances which produce the necessity. I leave this myself on Thursday, and shall stay at home one fortnight. mr Madison goes about the 11th. as I learn and will return a little after me. I wish to write finally to mr Page on the subject of the Petersburg collection. can you now say to what it has been reduced, so that I may inform him? have you thought of an Additional auditor, & does not the law give us a fortunate occasion of enlisting Clay in our service? I must have a conference with you on the subject of defending ourselves regularly in the newspapers, on the case of Steele of Missisipi &c but I shall probably be at the Capitol a good part of to-day, if not to-night, if that will facilitate the rising of Congress to-day. accept assurances of my cordial esteem & respect
RC (NHi: Gallatin Papers); addressed: “The Secretary of the Treasury”; endorsed by Gallatin on address sheet: “oath of allegiance.” PrC (DLC); endorsed by TJ in ink on verso.
SYMPATHIZE WITH YOU: all of the Gallatin children had been “sick with the measles & hooping cough.” Catherine Gallatin, born the previous August, died on 24 Apr. (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 , 7:75; Vol. 35:170n). TJ wrote John Page about the collectorship on 7 May.
In March 1802, Gallatin proposed to eliminate the offices of the accountants in the war and navy departments and replace them with a second AUDITOR of the Treasury. A bill was introduced in the House of Representatives on 2 Apr. 1802 to carry out the Treasury secretary’s recommendations, but on 30 Apr. further action on the measure was postponed until the next session of Congress. A second auditor in the Treasury Department was not appointed until 1817. In August 1801, Gallatin and TJ had considered possible positions for Joseph clay, a Philadelphia Republican who served as a clerk at the Bank of North America (Cunningham, Process of Government description begins Noble E. Cunningham, Jr., The Process of Government under Jefferson, Princeton, 1978 description ends , 106–7; JHR description begins Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States, Washington, D.C., 1826, 9 vols. description ends , 4:229; Charles Lanman, Biographical Annals of the Civil Government of the United States, During its First Century [Washington, D.C., 1876], 509; Vol. 35:23, 100–1, 102n, 107, 118, 125). For Gallatin’s evaluation of Clay for a Treasury position, see Gallatin to TJ, 19 Oct. 1802.