Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Albert Gallatin, 5 October 1802

From Albert Gallatin

Treasury Department 5th Octer. 1802


I have the honor to enclose the following papers vizt.

A letter from the collector of New-York announcing that the keeper of the light house at Sandy hook had resigned, and that he had appointed W. P. Schenck as a temperary keeper

Sundry recommendations for the office of light house keeper at Cape Hatteras

The resignation of Mr Carey who had been appointed collector at Yorktown, and a recommendation by Mr J. Page in favor of Mr T. Archer as a proper person to fill that office

A recommendation in favor of Joseph Turner for the collectorship of Brunswick in Georgia, vice Claud Thompson incapacitated from the effects of intemperance.

Whilst at New York, I made some enquiries relative to Mr Schenck, & think his appointment proper: it is difficult in that place to find a suitable character for so small a salary, and it is fortunate that he was willing to accept. I have no personal knowledge or other information in the other cases.

Permit me to refer to a former report in which the propriety of removing the collector of Louisville in Kentucky has been urged. Robert New Esqre. of Kentuckey had been strongly recommended for that office, and the papers transmitted to you.

I have the honor to be with great respect Sir Your obedt. Servt.

Albert Gallatin

RC (DLC); at foot of text: “The President of the United States”; endorsed by TJ as received from the Treasury Department on 6 Oct. and “Collectors of York, Brunswick, Louisville Keepr. lighthouses Sandy Hook & Hatteras, & beacon Shellcastle” and so recorded in SJL. Enclosures: (1) David Gelston to Gallatin, New York, 30 Sep. 1802, announcing the resignation of Matthew Ely as lighthouse keeper at Sandy Hook and recommending the permanent appointment of William P. Schenck, an honest man “capable of performing the duties of the Office with propriety” (RC in DNA: RG 59, LAR; endorsed by TJ: “Schenck. William P. keeper of lighthouse at Sandy hook vice Matthew Ely resigned. David Gelston’s letter to mr Gallatin”). (2) John Page to Gallatin, Rosewell, 4 Oct. 1802, recommending Thomas Archer, a resident of Yorktown and highly respected by Page’s friends there, as a proper person to be appointed collector at that port (RC in NHi: Gallatin Papers). Other enclosures not found.

On 8 Oct., Gallatin appointed John Mayo keeper of the beacon at Shell Castle Island, part of the lighthouse establishment at CAPE HATTERAS. Mayo declined the appointment (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 , 8:227).

JOSEPH TURNER became collector at Brunswick, Georgia, in March 1803 (Gallatin to TJ, 14 Mch. 1803). For the Treasury secretary’s search for a candidate to replace Claud Thomson, see Gallatin to TJ, 17 Aug. 1802.

SO SMALL A SALARY: the lighthouse keeper at Sandy Hook received $333 in annual compensation (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 , Miscellaneous, 1:306).

COLLECTOR OF LOUISVILLE: for Gallatin’s previous effort to have Robert Anderson New replace James McConnell at Louisville, see Gallatin to TJ, 24 Apr. 1802. Although New’s name appeared on TJ’s 24 Apr. list of candidates for appointments, it was not among those TJ submitted to the Senate on 27 Apr. One of the earlier PAPERS TRANSMITTED to TJ was a letter from Kentucky congressman Thomas T. Davis to Gallatin, 4 Oct. 1801, recommending Robert A. New, son of Virginia congressman Anthony New, as a young man of fair character who had moved to Kentucky and would be an eligible replacement for McConnell (RC in DNA: RG 59, LAR; endorsed by TJ: “New Robert Anderson. to be Collector at Louisville Thos. T. Davis to mr Gallatin”).

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