Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Albert Gallatin, 28 November 1801

From Albert Gallatin

T. Dt. Nover. 28th 1801

Dear Sir

I had yesterday enclosed a rough draft of a letter to the Collector of New York in relation to the erection of the beacon at Sandy hook—You have returned it without remarks. Yet it is a delicate subject & I would wish to have your opinion on the propriety of the act. For that purpose it is returned together with a draft of the letter to the Govr. of N. Jersey to which I also request your attention. Is there any thing in it improper or disrespectful?

With great respect Your obt. Servt.

Albert Gallatin

RC (DLC); at foot of text: “The President of the United States”; endorsed by TJ as received 28 Nov. and “beacon at Sandy hook” and so recorded in SJL. Enclosures not found.

David Gelston, customs collector of new york, became the superintendent of lighthouses in the state in the fall of 1801. His jurisdiction extended to the lighthouse and beacon at Sandy Hook, New Jersey. Built at the insistence of New York City merchants with New York funds, the lighthouse, at the southern entrance to New York harbor, was completed in 1764 and ceded to the United States in March 1790. Alexander Hamilton oversaw the erection of a beacon at Sandy Hook in the early 1790s, replacing one destroyed in a storm that struck New York City in November 1789 (George R. Putnam, Lighthouses and Lightships of the United States [Boston, 1933], 2–4, 11–14; Washington, Papers, Pres. Ser. description begins W. W. Abbot, Dorothy Twohig, Philander D. Chase, Theodore J. Crackel, and others, eds., The Papers of George Washington, Charlottesville, 1983–, 48 vols.: Presidential Series, 1987–, 12 vols. description ends , 5:544; Enclosure No. 13, at Gallatin to TJ, 24 Aug.).

Govr. of N. Jersey: Joseph Bloomfield.

On this date, Gallatin also sent TJ the “Weekly list of Warrants week ending 28th Nover. 1801,” with information on 13 warrants, Nos. 142 to 154. Five under the civil list, totaling $2,729.70, included Nos. 142 to 144 to the assignee of Rufus Putnam, surveyor general, for surveying expenses of $2,412.39. Two under “Miscellaneous,” totaling $1,800, included No. 151 to Jared Ingersoll for $300 for “fees in sundry suit—unprovd. claim.” One warrant for $942.21 was specified for intercourse with foreign nations. Two warrants were issued, totaling $35,000, for the interest and reimbursement of the public debt. Three warrants, totaling $28,400, were issued for the purchase of bills on Holland at 40 cents per guilder for the payment of the Dutch debt, including No. 146 at New York for $4,000, No. 153 at Boston for $24,000, and No. 154 on Gallatin for $400. No warrants were issued for the military or navy. The warrants for the week totaled $68,871.91 (MS in DLC: TJ Papers, 118:20343; entirely in Gallatin’s hand; endorsed by TJ as received from the Treasury Department on 28 Nov. and “Warrants” and so recorded in SJL).

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