Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Albert Gallatin, 30 April 1802

From Albert Gallatin

April 30th 1802

Dear Sir

I feel extremely anxious to take my family to New York—Both my children are sick; change of air is essential in their disorder; and change of situation is not less so to Mrs. G. at present.

I called this morning, but you were absent, in order to obtain your consent for my absence on that occasion as early after the adjournment of Congress as you think it may take place without injury to the public service. I know but two laws within my department which will require attention & some new organisation. The most important is that concerning hospitals; on that subject I may give such immediate temporary directions as may be necessary and as will procure us the information wanted to organise a well digested system. The other relates to the surveying of the lands within the Vincennes grant on Wabash, which requires your co-operation only because you are to appoint a person to direct the surveying, instead of the surveyor general doing it. The thing cannot be done until the outer lines shall have been ascertained & I understand that that part of the business is left with the War department. What relates to mine may be postponed till after your & my return. I only wish you to wait till that time before you appoint the person who is to direct the laying off the land. As to the measures which relate to the sinking fund & Dutch debt, I will make my journey serviceable by acquiring the necessary information on the probability of obtaining bills &a.

I will send within two days an opinion on the subject of St. Clair; but every document substantiating the charges is missing.

I understand that a law has passed making new districts, for which new officers may be necessary. I will send you the information I can collect to morrow. The New Jersey members have been applied for in relation to the Commissioners of Bankruptcy. From Philadelphia & New York I will bring information on my return.

With sincere respect and attachment Your obedt. Servt.

Albert Gallatin

RC (DLC); addressed: “The President of the United States”; endorsed by TJ as received from the Treasury Department on 30 Apr. and so recorded in SJL.

The act regarding marine HOSPITALS, which TJ signed on 3 May, gave the president the power to distribute from a general fund the monies collected for the relief of sick and disabled seamen and to establish marine hospitals at Boston and New Orleans (see TJ to the Senate and the House of Representatives, 24 Feb.). PERSON TO DIRECT THE SURVEYING: according to the law, the president was to appoint a person or persons to survey the lands around Vincennes (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 , 2:179–80)

NEW JERSEY MEMBERS: the five congressmen—John Condit, Ebenezer Elmer, William Helms, James Mott, and Henry Southard—were all Republicans (Biog. Dir. Cong. description begins Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774–1989, Washington, D.C., 1989 description ends ; William Helms to TJ, 30 Apr.).

I WILL SEND YOU THE INFORMATION: see Memorandum from Gallatin, printed at 1 May.

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