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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From Thomas Jefferson to Albert Gallatin, 14 August 1802

To Albert Gallatin

Monticello Aug. 14. 1802

Dear Sir

I have duly considered the regulations concerning the Missisipi trade inclosed in your letter of the 7th. and should have signed them, but that a single fact, perhaps unknown to you, renders them impracticable without some alteration. neither Spain nor France allows any foreign nation to keep a consul in their colonies in time of peace. in consequence of this our Consul at N. Orleans has had his functions suspended by the Governor, and peremptorily inhibited from the use of them. I think it even doubtful whether they would permit us to have there even an informal agent to exercise any public duty. we are endeavoring by negociation to have N. Orleans considered as so peculiarly situated with respect to us, as to require an exemption from their general rule, but even if we obtain it, time will be requisite, and in the mean while some other provision should be made.1 it would be well if possible to make such provisions as could be executed at Fort Adams, and render the touching at New Orleans as indifferent as at any other foreign port. if this be impossible we may try the substitution of an informal agent at N. Orleans, but still some provision should be made for the case of his being disallowed. when you shall have made the necessary alterations, I shall be ready to sign them.

With respect to the 5th. section, taking from coasting vessels employed in this trade the privilege of carrying any foreign articles, if yourself & mr Steele concurred in this, I should be content with it. but if you were of a different opinion, I should join you on the general principle of never imposing a restriction which can be done without.

The newspapers tell us mr Clarke is returned to N. York or Philadelphia. this will delay Dr. Bache’s departure till we can inform him what he is to do there. I am in hopes mr Clarke will be able to arrange the details of the plan here, and to give such orders at N. Orleans as will begin the establishment, and provide the field for Dr. Bache to act on. will you be so good as to engage him to do this, and to give the necessary information to Dr. Bache. we have been unfortunate in the delays of this institution. Accept my constant & affectionate esteem.

Th: Jefferson

RC (NHi: Gallatin Papers); at foot of text: “The Secretary of the Treasury”; endorsed by Gallatin as answered on 19 Aug. PrC (DLC). Recorded in SJL with notation “regulns Missi.”

OUR CONSUL AT N. ORLEANS: adhering to the policy set by the Spanish government in 1799, Manuel de Salcedo, the Spanish governor of Louisiana from 1801 to 1803, refused to recognize Daniel Clark, the recently appointed U.S. consul at New Orleans. In May 1802, Salcedo also warned William E. Hulings, the U.S. vice consul at the port since 1798, to abstain from all public functions (Madison, Papers, Sec. of State Ser description begins William T. Hutchinson, Robert A. Rutland, J. C. A. Stagg, and others, eds., The Papers of James Madison, Chicago and Charlottesville, 1962–, 33 vols. Sec. of State Ser., 1986–, 9 vols.; Pres. Ser., 1984–, 6 vols.; Ret. Ser., 2009–, 1 vol. description ends ., 1:139; 3:147, 197–8, 330–1, 489).

In June 1801, the secretary of state instructed Charles Pinckney to negotiate with the Spanish government at Madrid to have New Orleans exempted FROM THEIR GENERAL RULE. Madison argued that a U.S. consul was necessary at the port “to take care of the American rights and interests” and to provide papers authenticating the cargoes shipped on American accounts. On 20 May 1802, Pinckney reported that he had been unable to gain Spanish consent to a consul or agent at New Orleans. A few days later, Pinckney wrote of his plans to make another attempt to persuade the Spanish government, using all of the arguments and suggestions he could assemble in favor of the U.S. claim. Madison wrote, on 26 July, that he hoped Pinckney would succeed in his second representation and Spain would yield (Madison, Papers, Sec. of State Ser description begins William T. Hutchinson, Robert A. Rutland, J. C. A. Stagg, and others, eds., The Papers of James Madison, Chicago and Charlottesville, 1962–, 33 vols. Sec. of State Ser., 1986–, 9 vols.; Pres. Ser., 1984–, 6 vols.; Ret. Ser., 2009–, 1 vol. description ends ., 1:277; 3:235, 250, 428).

NEWSPAPERS TELL US: on 24 July, the Philadelphia Gazette & Daily Advertiser reported that Clark was among the passengers on the schooner Eliza who landed at Wilmington, Delaware. On 28 July, the New-York Gazette & General Advertiser noted that the schooner had arrived at Philadelphia. ENGAGE HIM TO DO THIS: Gallatin wrote Clark at New York on 5 Aug. For Clark’s reply, see the enclosure at Gallatin’s first letter to TJ, on 19 Aug.

1Preceding three words interlined in place of “will be required.”

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