Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to William Bache, 1 July 1802

To William Bache

Washington July 1. 1802.

Dear Doctor

Your’s of June 19. was not recieved till the 28th. I immediately consulted with mr Gallatin and we concluded that it would be best that you should proceed immediately, or as early as you can, to New Orleans, where you will be able by your advice to assist mr Clarke in making such arrangements for the season, as it’s advancing state and our limited funds will permit. you consequently recieve letters by this post from the Secretary of the Treasury, one addressed to yourself, and the other to mr Clarke, with authority to draw on the treasury for a quarter’s salary (250. D.) in advance. the reasons for silence being now at an end you are free to mention the subject as you shall think proper. I am afraid it is but too probable the French will become masters of Louisiana. I presume they will render it a more agreeable residence; altho’ it would have been safer for our peace that it should not change masters. Accept my best wishes for a safe & pleasant journey with assurances of my great esteem & friendship, and be so good as to present me respectfully to mrs Bache.

Th: Jefferson

P.S. will you be so good as to notify me in the moment of your actual departure?

RC (facsimile in Adam A. Weschler & Son, Washington, D.C., Catalogue for May 22–24, 1970, Item 411); addressed: “Doctr. William Bache at Franklin near Charlottesville”; franked and postmarked. PrC (DLC).

For Bache’s appointment as the physician for the projected marine hospital at NEW ORLEANS, see his letter to TJ of 19 June. For the 3 May 1802 act to provide assistance to sick and disabled seamen, including river boatmen at New Orleans, see Vol. 36:632n.

LETTERS BY THIS POST: in a letter to Bache dated 2 July, Gallatin stated that Bache’s pay as physician at New Orleans had been fixed by TJ at $1,000 per year. The salary would begin on 12 July, on the assumption that Bache would depart for Louisiana by that day. Bache could draw on Gallatin for his salary for the first quarter, with the remaining quarterly payments to come from Daniel Clark. Gallatin also wrote to Clark, the United States consul at New Orleans, enclosing that letter in the one to Bache. The act for the relief of ailing seamen, Gallatin explained to Clark, allowed an expenditure of no more than $3,000 at New Orleans. As that amount was considered insufficient for the construction of a hospital, Gallatin authorized Clark to pay Bache’s salary and to disburse funds, within the limits of the appropriation, for the occasional and temporary relief of the medical needs of sailors and boatmen (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 , 47:559, 560–2).

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