Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Albert Gallatin, 3 January 1802

From Albert Gallatin

Jany. 3d 1802

Dear Sir

If you wish to avoid the formality of a message in relation to the Supervisor North West of the Ohio, I may write the enclosed letter to the Chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means. Please to return it, if you approve that mode.

But if you think it better to make the communication by message, you may make one out of the letter, as this contains all the necessary facts.

Respectfully Your most obt. Servt.

Albert Gallatin

RC (DLC); addressed: “The President of the United States”; endorsed by TJ as received from the Treasury Department on 4 Jan. and so recorded in SJL with notation “Inspections. communcn to Congr.”; also endorsed by TJ: “Suppression of inspections &c—Notice to Congress.” Enclosure: see below.

On 6 Jan., Gallatin wrote John Randolph, chairman of the committee of ways and means, and enclosed the president’s Executive Order on Revenue Districts of 29 July 1801. Gallatin explained why a new revenue district had been erected northwest of the Ohio River, formerly part of the district that included the state of Kentucky. He also noted that the old arrangement was “always incompetent to the complete execution of the revenue laws,” and with the great increase in population, it had “become extremely inconvenient in practice.” While the laws authorized the president to erect new districts, the act of 11 July 1798 had given Congress the right “to determine whether any, and if any, what compensation shall be allowed” to the supervisor of the new district. “It is of some importance,” Gallatin concluded, “that this should be ascertained, as, in the mean while, the duties of supervisor are done by an inspector, who, under existing laws, has no power to fill the vacancies in the offices of collectors” (Report from the Committee of Ways and Means, Who Were Instructed to Enquire into the Expediency of Repealing the Laws Laying Duties … 8th March, 1802 [Washington, D.C., 1802], 17–19; Shaw-Shoemaker description begins Ralph R. Shaw and Richard H. Shoemaker, comps., American Bibliography: A Preliminary Checklist for 1801–1819, New York, 1958–63, 22 vols. description ends , No. 3388). Rather than passing separate legislation, Congress decided to include the salary of $500 for the supervisor and $300 for a clerk for the Northwest District as Section 4 of the “Act to repeal the Internal Taxes” (U.S. Statutes at Large description begins Richard Peters, ed., The Public Statutes at Large of the United States … 1789 to March 3, 1845, Boston, 1855–56, 8 vols. description ends , 2:148, 150; Gallatin to TJ, 12 Apr. 1802).

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