From Albert Gallatin
New York July 24th 1802
I received yesterday your’s of the 20th, and will attend to the dates of the several commissions. I have written to the Dept. of State in order that they should transmit to you for your signature commissions for the port of Massac, (vice Chribs the horse thief) and to fill the vacancies caused by the resignations of Foster & Goforth; also two commissions of inspector of the revenue (for signing certificates accompanying spirits transported coastways & inland) for the new collector of Marblehead & for the new supervisor of Pennsylvania. I think you may at once fill that for Commissioner in Symmes case, vice Goforth, with John Selman’s name. From Cincinnati I do not expect any better recommendation than that of Capn. Lewis.
T. Coxe wrote to me yesterday that he had been waited upon by the democratic committee of Philada., to announce to him that he was selected as candidate to fill the place of Member of Congress vice W. Jones who cannot serve after next session; but that, on account of the narrowness of his income, he meant to decline; & gave me that information, in order that an idea that he was to be the candidate might not interfere with his official restoration.
Israel Whelen has given me private intimation that, after the next winter he could not hold the office of purveyor of public supplies. I am sorry for it, as he has been the only useful agent in Philada., to procure for the Treasury remittances in Holland. The office is 2000 dollars, & I suppose T. Coxe will want it.
My health is much better & I intend leaving this place so as to arrive in Washington the last day of this month. Whilst here I have succeeded in contracting for 700,000 Guilders more on Holland—I want about one million more before 1st Septer. & am in hopes to obtain them before the end of this month. The exchange continues, and, it is generally expected, will continue unfavorable.
John Vancleve one of the Commissrs. of Bankruptcy for Philada. is dead. Several applications have been made, though not from very sound quarters. I think five are enough & that the vacancy need not be filled.
I am with attachment and respect Your obedt. Servt.
I have evidence of E. Livingston recovering the amount of bonds put in suit, & not paying the same to the Collector. If possible, I will try to probe the thing, but feel very uneasy about the consequences. He knows that all his friends here think the office of dist. atty. incompatible with that of Mayor, & that they will make it so by law at the next meeting of the State legislature; and I have no doubt he keeps it only for the sake of using the public money. His character, in money matters, is blasted; and it must be observed that dist. attornies give no security
RC (DLC); addressed: “Thomas Jefferson President of the United States at Monticello”; also addressed, probably by the Washington, D.C. post office: “Monticello near Milton, Virga.”; franked; postmarked Washington, D.C., 28 July; endorsed by TJ as received from the Treasury Department on 31 July and so recorded in SJL.
PRIVATE INTIMATION: on 19 July, Israel Whelen wrote Gallatin that he had incurred financial liabilities, which would require him to leave office. Gallatin later noted that Whelen was “totally ruined” through the “French Speculations” of his son-in-law and former partner, Joseph I. Miller. When Whelen officially resigned on 1 Aug. 1803, Tench Coxe assumed the 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 , 7:357–8; Madison, Papers, Sec. of State Ser description begins William T. Hutchinson, Robert A. Rutland, J. C. A. Stagg, and others, eds., The Papers of James Madison, Chicago and Charlottesville, 1962–, 33 vols. Sec. of State Ser., 1986–, 9 vols.; Pres. Ser., 1984–, 6 vols.; Ret. Ser., 2009–, 1 vol. description ends ., 5:168, 495, 507n).
The EXCHANGE rate for the purchase of bills on Holland for the payment of the Dutch debt had increased from 40 cents per guilder in November 1801 to 41 cents in June 1802. During his May trip to Philadelphia and New York, Gallatin learned that trade between the U.S. and Holland had decreased; he feared the purchase of four million guilders in the coming months “would indubitably raise, considerably, the rate of exchange” (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 , 7:185, 205; ASP description begins American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States, Washington, D.C., 1832–61, 38 vols. description ends , Finance, 2:9; Vol. 35:738n).
COMMISSRS. OF BANKRUPTCY FOR PHILADA: on 19 July, Clement Biddle wrote Gallatin recommending Charles Biddle for the position, noting that the Treasury secretary could consult their mutual friends Alexander J. Dallas and Aaron Burr for the character of the young attorney (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 , 7:353).
In June 1803, a Treasury Department PROBE of the accounts of the New York district attorney’s office revealed a significant shortfall in payments to the U.S. Treasury, later fixed at $44,000, which Edward Livingston promised to pay through the sale of his estate. In July, TJ and the Cabinet decided to remove him for “malversation.” Nathan Sanford replaced him as U.S. attorney in mid-August. At the same time, Livingston, who had served as MAYOR of New York since 24 Aug. 1801, offered his resignation to the New York Council of Appointment, but he remained in office until the council elected DeWitt Clinton as his successor on 7 Oct. 1803. Livingston left for New Orleans in December 1803, determined to restore his name and credit (Richard A. Harrison, Princetonians, 1776–1783: A Biographical Dictionary [Princeton, 1981], 331–42; New York Mercantile Advertiser, 15 Aug. 1801; 15 Oct. 1803; New York American Citizen and General Advertiser, 25 Aug. 1801; New York Morning Chronicle, 19 Aug. 1803; New-York Evening Post, 11 Oct. 1803; Albert Gallatin to TJ, 16 June, 11 Aug. 1803; Notes on a Cabinet Meeting, 16 July 1803).