From Albert Gallatin
Decer. 27th 1801
The late Doctor Jackson of Philadelphia had formerly supplied the army with medicines. The business was very suddenly taken from him, on account solely of his politics, not by Mr Hamilton as his widow believes, but by Tench Francis purv. of supplies & by order of Mr McHenry—He had on hand, & received immediately after a large quantity of medicines imported for that sole purpose, a great part of which remained, to my knowledge, unsold for a great while & on which he was eventually a considerable loser. When, on his death-bed, he requested Mr Dallas to write to me & to remind me of the circumstance. I promised, and he received my answer the day before he expired, that I would use my endeavours to have him or rather his widow1 restored. I cannot tell whether I have been mistaken, but the only time I had touched the subject to General Dearborn, which was before the Doctor’s sickness, I thought he was not inclined to change the persons who now supply & whose name I have forgotten. On that account I concluded to wait the arrival of the members of Congress, as I knew that nothing could be more gratifying to the majority of the Pennsylvania delegation & to many other of our republican friends in Congress, than to see Mrs Jackson, who in partnership with a respectable man of the name of Betton, pursues the same business, obtaining the same kind of contract which her husband had formerly had. I have lately received a letter from her which I enclose; and, if not improper, I request the favour of your good offices for her with Gen. Dearborne & Mr Robt. Smith. I would not ask a thing, which it is true will be considered by me as in some degree a personal favour, was it not perfectly consistent with the general rule you have adopted in the appointments which depend immediately on yourself, and had not the political & private character of Doctr. Jackson deserved an interference in favor of his family.
The paper from Charleston is enclosed; it is impossible to act on anonymous information; but it may serve as a caution & induce to keep a stricter eye on the officer.
Enclosed also you will find a memorandum on the subject of the Supervisor of N. West district, which had escaped my attention till this day.
My refusing to interfere with Bank elections will, I hope, meet with your approbation.
With respect & affection Your obedt. Servt.
RC (DLC); at foot of text: “The President of the United States”; endorsed by TJ as received from the Treasury Department on 28 Dec. and “mrs Jackson Simmonds bank elections” and so recorded in SJL; also endorsed by TJ: “N.W. district.” Enclosures: (1) Susanna Kemper Jackson to Gallatin, Philadelphia, 20 Dec. 1801, wishing the Treasury secretary, as a friend, to advise her on an application to General Dearborn, entreating the secretary of war to procure medical supplies for the military establishment from the house of Jackson & Betton and thus help her recoup the loss her late husband sustained when, under the former administration, he “purchased a large quantity of articles for the use of the Army he had been accustomed to supply,” but then was deprived of the business by Alexander Hamilton (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 , 6:252). (2) Probably “An American” to TJ, 11 Dec. 1801. (3) Probably Gallatin to TJ, 26 Dec. (second letter).
On 30 Sep., Alexander J. Dallas informed Gallatin of the death of Dr. David Jackson. He observed that Susanna Jackson, his widow, was forming a partnership with Dr. Samuel Betton, a druggist of excellent character and “considerable capital.” According to Dallas, the arrangement was indispensable to the maintenance of the Jackson family. At the behest of Jackson, Dallas also reminded Gallatin of his promise to do everything possible to restore the government contract for medical supplies to the family (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 , 5:809; Philadelphia Gazette, 9 May 1801; Poulson’s American Daily Advertiser, 19 Nov. 1801).
Bank Elections: on 22 Dec., Matthew L. Davis wrote Gallatin, urging the Treasury secretary to use his influence—as Davis was certain his predecessors had done—in the election of directors for the New York City branch of the Bank of the United States. Observing that the bank was “conducted by the most violent Monarchists in this City,” Davis singled out Robert Lenox for removal and noted that while Gallatin lacked the direct power to remove Lenox and make a new appointment, he could do it indirectly. “How far you may consider an interference proper, is a question entirely for your decision,” Davis commented. “If, however, you should think it proper,” he continued, “you will do the institution no injury, & highly gratify the Republicans in this place” (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 , 6:293).
1. Preceding four words interlined.