Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Albert Gallatin, 18 May 1801

From Albert Gallatin

Treasury Department May 18th. 1801


The valuations & enumerations for the State of South Carolina, directed to be made under the Act entitled “An Act to provide for the valuation of lands and dwelling Houses and the enumeration of Slaves within the United States,” are not yet completed. Mr. William A. Deas late Commissioner for the first division of that State, resigned his Commission on the 10th. of October last, and his vacancy has not yet been filled.—It appears impossible that the assessment should be completed unless an appointment shall take place.

I have the honour to be very respectfully Sir Your obedient Servant

Albert Gallatiin

RC (DLC); in clerk’s hand, signed by Gallatin; at foot of text: “The President of the United States”; endorsed by TJ as received 19 May and so recorded in SJL with notation “Off”; also endorsed by TJ: “S. Carola. a Commr. for the direct tax wanted.”

President Adams had trouble finding a person to serve as first commissioner of valuations for the Direct Tax in South Carolina. Between July 1798 and May 1800 he appointed Arnoldus Vanderhorst, John Huger, Daniel Hall, Simeon Theus, and William A. Deas to the position. Vanderhorst and Hall declined the appointment and the others resigned after serving less than a year (JEP description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States … to the Termination of the Nineteenth Congress, Washington, D.C., 1828, 3 vols. description ends , 1:288, 296, 329, 337, 350–1). Writing John Drayton on 15 July 1801, TJ reviewed his difficulties in filling the position and requested the governor’s help. In late July, Charleston attorney Edward Darrell accepted the commission (see Vol. 33:331, 332n, 513; John Drayton to TJ, 29 July 1801).

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