From Albert Gallatin
April 21st 1802
I enclose a rough draft of articles which have been substantially agreed on with the Commissioners on the part of Georgia. Will you be good enough to examine them; and I will wait on you to morrow in order to know the result of your observations & give some necessary explanations.
Respectfully your obedt. Servt.
RC (NNPM); at foot of text: “The President of the United States”; endorsed by TJ as received from “<Departmt. Treasury> Gallatin Albert” on 21 Apr. and “Georgia convention” and so recorded in SJL with Gallatin’s name written over Treasury Department. Enclosure: perhaps Gallatin’s sketch of an agreement with the Georgia commissioners arranged as seven articles, including the first calling for a “mutual cession & release of lands on either side of the boundary line which lines shall be Chatahochie from the Spanish line to & thence by a straight line to Nickajack”; the second establishing a territory from the lands ceded to the U.S. to be organized with the privileges granted by the Northwest Ordinance, “the non slave clause excepted,” and following the same procedures to become a state; the third article consisting of two options: in the first the U.S. agrees to pay Georgia $1,000,000 out of the first proceeds of sales of land, in the second the U.S. agrees to pay $1,500,000 “in the same manner, provided that if they shall lose any part of the sd. lands, by a legal decision confirmed by the Supreme Court of the United States,” a proportionate deduction shall be made “estimating for that purpose the whole territory at 50 millions of acres”; the fourth article stating that lands in Georgia for which “the indian title has not been extinguished shall be purchased as early as they can be obtained on reasonable terms” from the Indians “for the use of Georgia & at the expense of the United States,” being “fully understood that no lands shall be thus obtained except by the free consent of the Indians”; the fifth article, stating that the proceeds from land sales, after the payment to Georgia, shall be “applied solely for the common use of the U. States Georgia included,” with the U.S. confirming “such title, obtained from Great Britain & Spain, as they may think reasonable”; the sixth article defining conditions for the settlement of claims within the territory; and the seventh conditioning the agreement on the nonrepeal of the U.S. law authorizing the negotiations and Georgia’s “fixing the boundary line above stated as that of the cession” by a date to be determined (Dft in NHi; undated; entirely in Gallatin’s hand; endorsed by Gallatin: “Sketch of agreement with Georgia Comrs.”). See 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 , 7:33.
Abraham Baldwin, James Jackson, and John Milledge served as COMMISSIONERS for the state of Georgia. All were members of the Seventh Congress (Biog. Dir. Cong. description begins Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774–1989, Washington, D.C., 1989 description ends ). For the appointment of Gallatin, Madison, and Lincoln to serve as the U.S. commissioners in the boundary negotiations with Georgia, see TJ to the Senate, 5 Jan. 1802. YOUR OBSERVATIONS: on 23 Apr., Gallatin noted TJ’s objection to the provision “that the Indian title to all lands in Georgia should be at the expense of U.S.” (that is, the fourth article described in the enclosure above). When Gallatin communicated the president’s objections to Jackson, the congressman became “violently incensed” and threatened Georgia’s withdrawal from the agreement, noting in one of four letters he wrote to Gallatin on 23 Apr. that it was a great “departure from Mr Gallatin’s own proposals, made with the consent of his Colleagues.” According to the Treasury secretary, TJ “seeing that the Commrs. had really verbally agreed withdrew his objection.” Gallatin concluded: “I think that his objection was proper, & that we had been too hasty in agreeing to the condition” (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 , 7:39–41). For the negotiations between 22 and 24 Apr., which led to the signing of the articles of agreement on the evening of Saturday, 24 Apr., see Jackson’s letters to Gallatin, in same, 7:32, 39–44. For the articles of agreement, see TJ to the Senate and the House of Representatives, 26 Apr., described in Enclosure No. 2.