Thomas Jefferson Papers
Documents filtered by: Author="Jefferson, Thomas" AND Period="Jefferson Presidency" AND Project="Jefferson Papers" AND Starting date=5 March 1802
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Memorandum to Albert Gallatin [on or before 21 June 1802]

Memorandum to Albert Gallatin

[on or before 21 June 1802]

A Premium of 50. D. is offered for

The most approved plan of an Hospital of 4000. square feet area, two stories of 10 & 8. f. high with cellars below; the rooms for the sick to be well aired, & of varied sizes from 10. to 20. f. square. the appearance of the building, convenient distribution of the rooms, and economy of space & construction will be principally regarded in the decision. a ground plan, elevation & section will be expected to be delivered at the Treasury office on or before the day of plans not approved shall be returned.

Th:J. proposes to mr Gallatin that some such advertisement as the above be published in Washington where there are many architects who will probably compete for the premium.

in the erection of public buildings, taste, convenience & economy should all be respected.

MS (NHi: Gallatin Papers); entirely in TJ’s hand; undated. Not recorded in SJL.

PLAN OF AN HOSPITAL: the 3 May 1802 act for the relief of sick and disabled seamen included a $15,000 appropriation for the erection of a marine hospital in Massachusetts. On 21 June, Gallatin wrote Benjamin Lincoln, the customs collector at Boston, requesting that he advertise in one of the local newspapers to obtain an “eligible plan” for the hospital. Gallatin included the specifications provided by TJ above, noting that the designs were to be transmitted to the office of the secretary of the Treasury by 15 Aug. Lincoln sent an extract of Gallatin’s letter to the Boston Columbian Centinel. On 30 June, the newspaper printed the extract and advertised a $50 premium for the plan chosen. The Independent Chronicle and other New England newspapers also printed the notice (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 , 2:192; Gallatin, Papers description begins Carl E. Prince and Helene E. Fineman, eds., The Papers of Albert Gallatin, microfilm edition in 46 reels, Philadelphia, 1969, and Supplement, Barbara B. Oberg, ed., reels 47–51, Wilmington, Del., 1985 description ends , 7:243; Boston Independent Chronicle, 1 July; Newburyport Herald, 2 July; Salem Register, 12 July; Burlington Vermont Centinel, 22 July; TJ to the Senate and the House of Representatives, 24 Feb. 1802).

VARIED SIZES: in his letter to Lincoln, Gallatin specified that the rooms should be 12 to 20 feet square and did not include APPEARANCE OF THE BUILDING as one of the deciding factors in the choice of a plan (Gallatin, Papers description begins Carl E. Prince and Helene E. Fineman, eds., The Papers of Albert Gallatin, microfilm edition in 46 reels, Philadelphia, 1969, and Supplement, Barbara B. Oberg, ed., reels 47–51, Wilmington, Del., 1985 description ends , 7:243).

Gallatin did not advertise in a WASHINGTON newspaper, explaining that it would please the people of Boston to have the hospital designed by “one of their own architects” (Gallatin to TJ, 7 Oct. 1802).

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