Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Albert Gallatin, 12 January 1802

To Albert Gallatin

Washington Jan. 12. 1802.

Dear Sir

The proceedings of the Commissioners of Washington with Maryland seem not to be accurately understood. Maryland lent them 250,000 D. of stock at par, on which they lost 15. percent. they proposed therefore that Maryland should leave Congress free to repay in stock. they did not propose, nor ever thought of, shortening the terms of paiment. Maryland agrees to recieve stock on condition it is delivered in March. they did not send this to the Commissioners, or it would have been flatly rejected; but sent it to Congress and leave the Commrs without an answer. as things are we are uncommitted. their proposition should be rejected. not knowing of this answer of Maryland or that the H. of R. were acting on it, I yesterday sent in a message with a Memorial of the Commissioners supplementary to that of Jan. 28. 1801 & a letter of later date. to understand the ground on which we stand, and on which your report to Congress should be predicated, it will be necessary you should take the trouble of reading these papers, for which purpose I inclose them to you, and will ask an interview whenever you shall be at leisure after your perusal of them, and a return of the papers. you have already had their accounts. I do not believe you will find it necessary to make any further enquiry of them; however if you should it will be better after our interview. health & best wishes.

Th: Jefferson

RC (NHi: Gallatin Papers); at foot of text: “The Secretary of the Treasury”; endorsed. PrC (DLC). Enclosures: see TJ to the Senate and the House of Representatives, 11 Jan., and enclosures.

Sent It To Congress: the resolutions of the Maryland legislature, forwarded to the state’s congressional delegation by Governor John F. Mercer (see Gallatin to TJ, 10 Jan.).

You Have Already Had Their Accounts: on 21 Dec., Gallatin sent a statement of the commissioners’ receipts and expenditures, and of “the progress made in the public buildings” from 18 Nov. 1800 to 18 Nov. 1801, to the House of Representatives, where they were immediately referred to the Committee of Ways and Means (JHR description begins Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States, Washington, D.C., 1826, 9 vols. description ends , 4:23; Letter from the Secretary of the Treasury, Covering Two Letters from the City Commissioners, with Documents, Exhibiting, I. Receipts and Expenditures by Them, and II. State and Progress of their Business and Funds [Washington, D.C., 1801]; 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. 1499).

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