Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Albert Gallatin, 25 June 1802

From Albert Gallatin

Treasury Department June 25th. 1802.


I have the honor to enclose letters from the collectors of Charleston, and Norfolk, in relation to the Marine Hospitals.

If the corporation of Charleston, will agree to the arrangement proposed by the collector, that is to say, consent to defray all the expenses incident to the support of sick seamen, provided that they shall receive the monies collected in charleston, it will prove so economical an arrangement for the United States, that I think it would be eligible on that condition, to agree that the building should be erected out of the general Fund. The result would be that we should have three hospitals, the property of the United States at Boston; Norfolk and charleston.

The Gosport Hospital is much too large, but it appears from the Collectors letter that some repairs are necessary in that part which is occupied. To what extent these should be carried, and whether a conditional engagement to erect the buildings at charleston should be entered into, it remains for the President to determine.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, Sir, Your obdt. Servant:

Albert Gallatin

RC (DLC); in a clerk’s hand, signed by Gallatin; at foot of text: “The President of the United States”; endorsed by TJ as received from the Treasury Department on 26 June and “Marine hospitals at Charleston & Norfolk” and so recorded in SJL. Enclosures not found.

COLLECTORS OF CHARLESTON, AND NORFOLK: James Simons and William Davies, respectively. The seamen’s act of 3 May 1802 directed that MONIES COLLECTED for sick and disabled seamen at the ports be sent to the U.S. Treasury to be distributed, under the president’s direction, from the GENERAL FUND established for the purpose (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 , 7:276–7; Vol. 36:632n).

For Davies’s earlier description of the repairs needed at GOSPORT HOSPITAL, see the enclosure described at Gallatin to TJ, 29 July 1801. See also Gallatin to TJ, 16 Feb. 1802.

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