To Albert Gallatin
Monticello Aug. 30. 1802.
Your’s of the 27th. was recieved yesterday. mine of the 20th. had informed you that I approved of mr Wentworth on the recommendations of Messrs. Langdon & Whipple, & that of the 24th. gave you the name of John Shore as successor to Heath; but I write by this post to mr Madison to order his commission to be filled up & forwarded. I must take time to enquire of a good successor for Reynolds. the commission for Bloodgood for Albany is approved. the application for it left to yourself as you are on the spot. I inclose for your perusal a petition from the merchants of Marblehead in favor of Gerry. before recieving it I had written to his brother that a second appointment had rendered it impossible to do any thing; which is my view of the case. return the petition if you please. I inclose you a letter from Maury & Hampton giving reason to apprehend an attempt at smuggling some French negroes into our country. although this will of course be met by the several state authorities, yet I think it would be proper & indeed incumbent on us, that you should write a circular letter to the custom house officers to be on the alert to detect & prevent such an attempt to smuggle in these unfortunate creatures.—I sincerely lament your stay at Washington, & fear that even if you have been able to leave it it is only to carry the seeds of serious illness elsewhere. long experience & observation have taught me to fly the tidewaters in August & September. no other considerations would keep me from Washington in the present state of affairs. but I know that to go there to transact them, would shortly put it out of my power to transact them at all. I hope my bodings of your situation will prove false, & that this tho directed as you desire to Washington will find you at New York in health. accept my affectionate esteem & respect.
RC (NHi: Gallatin Papers); at foot of text: “The Secretary of the Treasury”; endorsed. PrC (DLC). Recorded in SJL with notation “various.” Enclosures: (1) Marblehead, Massachusetts, Inhabitants to TJ, 17 Aug. 1802. (2) Wade Hampton and Fontaine Maury to Madison, 21 Aug. 1802 (see enclosure described at TJ to Madison, 27 Aug.).
Gallatin may have issued a CIRCULAR LETTER, but it has not been found. On 8 Nov., Madison wrote Wade Hampton that the Treasury Department had ordered the custom house officers “to cooperate with the vigilance of the State authorities, in preventing the threatened evil” (Madison, Papers, Sec. of State Ser. description begins William T. Hutchinson, Robert A. Rutland, J. C. A. Stagg, and others, eds., The Papers of James Madison, Chicago and Charlottesville, 1962–, 33 vols. Sec. of State Ser., 1986–, 9 vols.; Pres. Ser., 1984–, 6 vols.; Ret. Ser., 2009–, 1 vol. description ends , 4:103–4).