From Albert Gallatin
Tuesday 21. June 1803
The enclosed letter from the Collector of Presque Isle seems to render the organization of the district of Niagara, which is authorized by the last paragraph of the 5th Sect. of the Collection Law, (Vol. 4. page 288), necessary. A collector at Niagara & a surveyor on Buffaloe will be necessary. But the place is so remote that it is difficult to obtain recommendations. Oliver Phelps is the republican member of Congress for that district. A son of General Irvine is Indian agent on Buffaloe & might act as surveyor there if a collector could be obtained for Niagara.
The propriety of sending the within letter to Mr Thornton is submitted. Is it sufficiently civil?
With respect Your obedt. Servt.
RC (DLC); addressed: “The President”; endorsed by TJ as received from the Treasury Department on 21 June and “Collector at Niagara. Surveyor at Buffalo. Irvine” and so recorded in SJL. Enclosures not found.
collector of presque isle: Thomas Forster (Vol. 36:428–9). Congress established the district of niagara, extending from Lake Ontario and Lake Erie “and the rivers connected therewith” to the west bank of the Genesee River, in the 2 Mch. 1799 collection law. The president was authorized to appoint a collector at Niagara, the port of entry, and up to two surveyors at places designated by him (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 , 1:627, 631). Callender Irvine served as the U.S. indian agent to the Six Nations tribes (Vol. 38:274n). Gallatin’s letter to Edward thornton has not been found but it probably concerned customs violations on the Great Lakes. For the custom house officers appointed for the Niagara district, see Gallatin to TJ, 11 Aug. 1803 (first letter).