Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Albert Gallatin, [12 November 1801]

From Albert Gallatin

[12 Nov. 1801]

Dear Sir

Will you look at Mr Ingersoll’s acct. & letters? It was objected to by this Departt. as being too high; but the point to which I request your attention is this. Does it not seem as if Mr Ingersol in concert with Mr Dallas dist. atty. acting under your positive instructions, had abandoned the senatorial prosecution against Duane under the sedition law, because you thought this unconstitutional? and had instituted it anew at common law, because you did not think this mode unconstitutional? What were the instructions to Dallas on that subject? How do you intend to introduce it to Congress? Is it necessary at present to take any notice of it either to Dallas or Ingersol? or must his account be passed without noticing that fact?

Mr Whipple’s letters deserve also consideration. If those people act so, & you will change the Supervisor, I may withdraw all our public monies from the New Hamps. Bank, & make the payments of interest & for the navy,1 out of the duties which will accumulate in hands of the collector & supervr.

The letter of T.C. is returned.

Respectfully Your obt. Servt

Albert Gallatin

RC (DLC); undated; addressed: “The Presi[dent] of the,” with remainder clipped; endorsed by TJ as received from the Treasury Department on 12 Nov. and so recorded in SJL; notations by TJ on verso: “I am ready to change the Supervisor of N.H.,” “Duane’s case,” “Isaac Smith for Cherryston’s,” and “Reed’s lre,” all subjects included in TJ’s letter to Gallatin of this date printed below. Enclosures: (1) Joseph Whipple to Gallatin, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, 27 Aug. 1801, reporting that the New Hampshire Bank was being used as “a depository for funds belonging to the United States” and describing the bank as a vehicle for the suppression of republicanism in the state, with the directors as the “chief calumniators of the Government—They are not merely the federalists of the character that supported generally the late administration, but they are of the ancient sect of Tories well known in this Country in 1775 & 76 and exert all their power & influence to bring into disrepute every measure of the Administration and all deposits placed in their hands increases in a degree their power & influence”; also noting that he places the funds he collects, at his own risk, in a bank, seeking a state charter, with John Langdon as its president (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 , 5:646–7). (2) Probably Whipple to Gallatin, 27 Oct., enclosing a petition from Hopley Yeaton (Enclosure No. 3), who requested that it be transmitted to Gallatin, who would lay it before the president; with Whipple testifying to the truth of Yeaton’s statement, but noting that he had observed the master of the revenue cutter as “intemperate” before his dismissal and had considered reporting it to the Treasury secretary; he had recently learned that Yeaton had “discontinued the habit of intemperance” and, therefore, could recommend him “with pleasure” (RC in same; at foot of text: “The Honble. Albert Gallatin Esquire”; endorsed by a clerk; with transmittal notes in Gallatin’s hand and signed by him on verso of second sheet: “Orders have been given to sell the present cutter & either purchase or build a smaller one fit for the service, discharging at the same time the crew & officers (the master & one mate excepted) until a new one shall have been fitted” and “The propriety of re-appointing Capn. Yeaton rests of course with the President. He was dismissed at same time & for same cause with Messrs. Gardner & Whipple. The information heretofore received as to his habits from Mr Langdon, & Colo. Allen of Passamaquody was not favorable”; with TJ’s undated response: “the reappointment to be decided on when Mr Gallatin shall think it needful. Th:J.”). (3) Petition from Hopley Yeaton to TJ, 1 Aug. (printed below). (4) Tench Coxe to TJ, 8 Nov. 1801. Other enclosures not found.

Ingersoll’s acct.: on 7 Sep., Jacob Wagner wrote Madison that the account submitted by Jared Ingersoll, the former U.S. attorney for Pennsylvania who had prosecuted the sedition case against William Duane, required the approval of the secretary of state. Wagner noted: “For my own part, altho’ I think the charge is too high for his services in Duane’s case, yet I do not know how to overrule Mr. Dallas’ official certificate of its being reasonable.” Ingersoll’s bill for $300 was paid by the U.S. Treasury on 19 Nov. (Madison, Papers, Sec. of State Ser., 2:90; Duane to TJ, 10 June 1801).

Madison sent instructions to Alexander J. Dallas on 20 July, noting that the president wanted the U.S. attorney to “enter a nolle prosequi upon the indictment” against Duane in the U.S. circuit court “for an offence, by a seditious libel against the Senate.” Madison observed, however, that the “interposition of the President” was limited to the proceedings under the Sedition Act, and it was to be understood that the instruction to prosecute Duane “in pursuance of the resolution of the Senate” was still in force, for “prosecution in any other form or in any other Court” (Madison, Papers, Sec. of State Ser. description begins J. C. A. Stagg, ed., The Papers of James Madison, Secretary of State Series, Charlottesville, 1986–, 8 vols. description ends , 1:442–3). See also Madison to TJ, printed at 17 July 1801.

T.c.: Tench Coxe (see Enclosure No. 4).

1Preceding three words and ampersand interlined.

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