Thomas Jefferson Papers
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From Thomas Jefferson to Albert Gallatin, 26 February 1804

To Albert Gallatin

Feb. 26. 04.

Th:J. to Mr. Gallatin

You are so much the best judge of the propriety of adding 25. D. to the salary of the light housekeeper at New London that whatever you determine thereon I will approve. is a vault necessary to keep oil which is not to be eaten? usage must have settled this point. the building a wharf meerly to land their oil at would seem to be the fore horse of a very long team. how many places are there in the US. where we land something or another at, and where a wharf would make the landing more convenient. if the salt water overflows their well, they should keep it out by a high curb. I sent the N.O. revenue laws to the office of state on Thursday morning with directions to make out a copy for you which you have doubtless recieved. I now inclose a copy of the register law and return the rough draught of your instructions to the Collector. I think it would be well to charge him more particularly with the duty of using vigilance and energy to suppress the terrible corruption which has prevailed there and which it will be difficult to eradicate. the Naval officer & Surveyor should be equally charged on that head. they should instantly remove any officer who accepts more than his legal fee, and indict every individual known to offer a bribe. I sent your rough draught to mr Madison this morning and I inclose you his notes on it. Garland’s commission will be made out tomorrow. affectionate salutations.

PoC (DLC). Recorded in SJL with notation “Lt. hous N. Lond. N. Orleans commns.” Enclosures: (1) “An Act relating to the recording, registering and enrolling of ships or vessels in the district of Orleans,” 25 Feb. 1804 (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 , 2:259-60). (2) Dft of Gallatin to Hore Browse Trist, 27 Feb. (see Gallatin to TJ, 25 Feb., first letter). Other enclosure not found.

In a 25 Jan. 1804 letter to the commissioner of the revenue, which has not been found, Jedediah Huntington, the customs collector at new london, recommended “several objects” for consideration by the Treasury Department. Writing Huntington on 29 Feb., Gallatin acknowledged the receipt of his letter and informed him that the president had approved an additional $25 allowance for the New London lighthouse keeper. Huntington was also authorized to erect an oil vault at Lynde Point and a wharf on Falkner Island (Lb in DNA: RG 26, LL; Vol. 37:407n).

charge him more particularly: in his 27 Feb. instructions to Trist, Gallatin urged the collector to take great care “in selecting Inspectors & other subordinate officers” and to pay strict attention to their conduct. Gallatin continued: “on this subject the President of the United States has directed me to say that he expects particular vigilance & energy shall be used by the Collector, Naval Officer & Surveyor, for the purpose of eradicating the shameful and systematic corruption which has heretofore prevailed at New Orleans” (Terr. Papers description begins Clarence E. Carter and John Porter Bloom, eds., The Territorial Papers of the United States, Washington, D.C., 1934-75, 28 vols. description ends , 9:195).

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