From Albert Gallatin
[7 July 1802]
Is it not best to do whatever is wanting at once. I have not yet answered Latimer’s letter & will not until I hear from you. But I think it is best not to answer him & to act. On that ground it seems to me that the best way would be at same time with the New England appointments to make
|T. Coxe||Supervr. Pennsylva.|
|&||Mr Page||Collectr. Petersburgh.|
I cannot help thinking that you are not doing enough in Massachts. & that intending to strike it should be done with effect & so as not to disgust our friends. Lee for Salem & either Asa Andrews (Collect. of Ipswich a converted federalist1) or John Leach of Boston for Marblehead—would do. Tyng’s successor will not be considered at home,2 though highly respectable, as a decided friend—Gerry goes & to give Lee his place is no gain. Add to that that Lee aims at & deserves something better & that it will be peculiarly grating to his feelings to take Gerry’s place. Perhaps he may decline & that will put the whole business in an awkward situation—Excuse the freedom of these remarks, but I feel great reliance on their solidity. At all events commissions should be left for Muhlenberg & Coxe.
With sincere respect & attachment Your obt. Servt.
I wish Capn. Lewis to write to me in New York as Secy. of the Treasy. directing where & in whose hands the library money is to be placed
RC (DLC); undated, but see TJ to Gallatin, 9 July; at foot of text: “The President”; with names and places written by TJ in the left margin adjacent to appearance in the text, including “Latimer,” “Muhlenbg Coxe Page,” “Lee. Salem,” “Asa Andrews John Leach } Marblehead,” “Dalton. Tyng,” and “Gerry”; endorsed by TJ as received from the Treasury Department on 8 July and “Latimer. Ting. Hiller. Gerry. Muhlenbg. Coxe. Page” and so recorded in SJL.
George LATIMER’S LETTER has not been found, but on 4 July Alexander J. Dallas wrote from Philadelphia that the collector intended to send his resignation by post the next day and that Latimer thought the public interest would be promoted by deferring acceptance of his offer until the close of the month. When the final decision to remove Latimer was made is not clear, but on 4 June Latimer noted to Dallas that reports of his probable removal from office were circulating. If he had to leave office, Latimer preferred to resign so that he might not lose his share of the commissions, which was given in cases of death or resignation, but not removal. He thought resigning would also “prevent clamour.” After consultation with Gallatin, Dallas informed Latimer that “an early change” in his office was “contemplated” and that he should go ahead with the “beneficial arrangement” (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 , 7:175, 286, 298). For Dallas’s earlier defense of Latimer as collector, see Vol. 36:182n. For the appointment of Peter Muhlenberg to the collectorship at Philadelphia and Tench Coxe to the vacancy caused by Muhlenberg’s promotion, see Coxe to TJ, [before 2 Apr. 1802]. Muhlenberg received his commission on 31 July and on 2 Aug. took office (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 , 7:402).
John PAGE received TJ’s offer of the collectorship at Petersburg on 17 Mch., but did not accept the position until 1 June (see Vol. 36:613–14; Vol. 37:124–5, 169, 525–6).
Appointed collector in May 1796, ASA ANDREWS, a Harvard graduate and attorney, remained in office at Ipswich until dismissed by President Jackson in 1829 (New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 10 , 192; JEP description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States . . . to the Termination of the Nineteenth Congress, Washington, D.C., 1828, 3 vols. description ends , 1:212–13). TYNG’S SUCCESSOR: TJ’s note in the margin—“Dalton. Tyng”—indicates that he had decided upon Tristram Dalton to replace Dudley A. Tyng, a Harvard-educated lawyer and justice of the peace who was appointed collector at Newburyport in 1795. Dalton declined the appointment (see note above and Dalton to TJ, 19 Aug.; John J. Currier, History of Newburyport, Mass., 1764–1909, 2 vols. [Newburyport, Mass., 1906–09], 2:267–8). TJ categorized Tyng’s removal as one of those made to give some participation in office to Republicans and to “disarm” those who were using their office “to oppose the order of things established” (Vol. 33:672; Vol. 38: Appendix I).
1. Preceding three words interlined.
2. Preceding two words interlined.