James Madison Papers

Albert Gallatin to James Madison, 27 February 1828

New York Feby. 27. 1828

Dear Sir

I have just received your letter of 14th inst. When Mr King left England, he transferred to my credit the unexpended balance of the £2000 which had been remitted on account of the University of Virginia. I made sundry payments and in like manner, on my leaving London, I transferred the unexpended balance, amounting to about £300 as far as I can recollect, to the credit of the Secretary of Legation, Mr William Beach Lawrence, whom I left & who still remains as Chargé d’Affaires. I ought to have sent you an account of the expenditure during my stay and regret that this was neglected. Every thing however is in perfect order; and all the accounts or advances entered in a book, which, as well as the accounts, vouchers and correspondence, was left, with proper instructions, in Mr Lawrence’s hands. I write to him to send you a copy of the general account as well as of that with the Barings which I settled whilst in London.

Mr Jefferson had directed that a portion of the money (I think £1200) should be applied to the purchase of philosophical apparatus & of instruments, and the residue to that of anatomical preparations. He designated at the same time two gentlemen in or near London, to whom he must have given the necessary instructions and who were to procure the objects for the two purposes respectively. The Minister of the United States was requested to pay to each the sums they might require to the extent of the fund assigned to each; and he has also generally attended to the shipment and insurance. Those two persons have from time to time rendered an account of the application of the money advanced to them. A short time before I left London, the Professor, who had the charge of the philosophical fund, applied for the balance of it amounting to about £200, which was accordingly paid him: and that balance was the only sum unaccounted for, when I left London. Instruments or apparatus to that amount you are still to receive from him; and that fund, so far as regards the American Minister, is exhausted. The unexpended balance, (£300 or more) which remained on 4th of Octer. last in hands of Messrs. Baring, & which I transferred to the credit of Mr Lawrence, was entirely on account of the anatomical fund and is subject to a small payment, say about £15, for shipment & insurance of the instruments & philosophical apparatus not yet delivered. It seems to me that, during the 14 months I remained in London, no application was made to me on account of the anatomical fund. If you want other objects in preference, it would be well to write so both to Mr Lawrence and to the gentleman who was to purchase articles of that description, directing how to dispose of the unexpended balance which may then remain, whatever this may be. I send him the letter for Mr Brown; and he will forward it and see that his draft is paid.

We have taken for the ensuing year a house in this city: but I expect to travel at least as far as Washington next autumn; and I need not say how delighted we will be if it is in our power to pay you and Mrs. Madison our long intended visit. Mrs Gallatin sends her best love to her. I am ever with great respect and unalterable attachment Your most obedient and faithful Servant

Albert Gallatin

RC (ViU).

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