Memorandum from Albert Gallatin
[10 Apr. 1802]
The paper “Sinking fund” is sent to show Steeles sentiments in 1799 & the project then existing to destroy the sinking fund. Steele did not understand fully the subject & is mistaken as to the application of a particular law; but it is immaterial to the general purpose—
The letters from Baltimore give me hopes that we will not be losers by A. Brown’s failure—
MS (DLC); entirely in Gallatin’s hand; undated; on a scrap of paper, clipped at foot of text; addressed: “[Pr]esident of the United States”; endorsed by TJ as received from the Treasury Department on 10 Apr. and so recorded in SJL with notation “project in 1799. to stop paimt. of public debt”; also endorsed by TJ: “that in 1799. there was an intention to suppress sinking fund. i.e. stop paimt of debt.” Enclosure: perhaps “A Review of the Sinking Fund Since the 8th of May, 1792, by John Steele as Comptroller,” 29 Sep. 1799, prepared for the secretary of the Treasury (Henry M. Wagstaff, ed., The Papers of John Steele, 2 vols. [Raleigh, N.C., 1924], 2:778–84).
BROWN’S FAILURE: the Treasury Department had endorsed Baltimore merchant Aquila Brown’s bills of exchange on Amsterdam for the payment of the Dutch debt. The bills, including one for 60,000 guilders, were protested for nonpayment and returned to the Treasury Department (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 , 13:760; 15:101, 563, 570; Wagstaff, John Steele, 1:299; Henry Wheaton, Reports of Cases Argued and Adjudged in the Supreme Court of the United States, 12 vols. [Philadelphia, 1816–27], 3:172–4).