From Albert Gallatin
October 17h. 1803.
I have the honor of returning the letters respecting the late Mr: Beaumarchais claim. They throw no further light on the subject; and cannot alter the opinion formed by this Department, and communicated at large to the Secretary of State in a letter of the 20th: November ulto. We still conceive it just that the French Government should communicate to us the name of the person to whom the million was paid, if, contrary to the official information received from that Government, by Mr. Morris then our minister at Paris, it was not paid to Mr: Beaumarchais: and until that communication shall be made, we must consider the payment as having been made to him.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, Sir, Your obedient Servant
RC (DLC: Gallatin Papers); 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 17 Oct. and “Beaumarchais” and recorded in SJL as a single entry for the letters from the department at this date with notation “Beaumarchais. Message.” Enclosures: (1) probably John A. Chevallié to TJ, 16 Sep., and enclosures. (2) Chevallié to TJ, 14 Oct.
opinion formed by this department: in a 20 Nov. 1802 letter to Madison, the Treasury Department reviewed the Beaumarchais claim and enclosed documents that supported the decision against the claimant. The evidence included a 21 June 1794 letter from Gouverneur morris to Philibert Buchot, the French minister of foreign affairs, and Buchot’s reply of 7 July 1794, enclosing a copy of Beaumarchais’s receipt for one million livres dated 10 June 1776. On 2 Dec., Madison forwarded the opinion to Louis André Pichon, who had requested the review (Madison, Papers, Sec. of State Ser., 4:127, 173-4; Syrett, Hamilton description begins Harold C. Syrett and others, eds., The Papers of Alexander Hamilton, New York, 1961-87, 27 vols. description ends , 11:209; ASP description begins American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States, Washington, D.C., 1832-61, 38 vols. description ends , Claims, 1:314-15, 580-1; Vol. 26:277).