To Albert Gallatin
[on or after 7 Oct. 1802]
Th:J. to mr Gallatin
Altho’ the plan of the hospital has but moderate merit, yet having no other I suppose we must use it, and, using it, pay for it. I presume therefore we may at once adopt it and call for estimates or undertakers.
RC (NHi: Gallatin Papers); undated, but see Gallatin to TJ, immediately above; written on verso of an address sheet; addressed by TJ: “The Secretary of the Treasury” in place of “The President of the United States” in Gallatin’s hand; endorsed: “for the building of an hospital at or near Boston.” Not recorded in SJL.
On 11 Oct., Gallatin informed Benjamin Lincoln, collector at Boston, that Asher Benjamin should receive the reward for his PLAN OF THE HOSPITAL, although “not possessed of very great merit.” Gallatin enclosed the adopted plan with alterations of the second floor marked in pencil and requested that Lincoln prepare a newspaper advertisement to secure bids for the construction of the two-story brick building with a stone cellar. The edifice was to be completed by 1 Dec. 1803, at the latest, and not to exceed the appropriated sum. Gallatin advised that the contract be drawn “to secure the best materials, good workmanship, and a compliance with the intended Plan.” When Lincoln received the proposals, he was to compare and then transmit them to the Treasury Department with his recommendations (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 , 7:625). The advertisement appeared in the 30 Oct. issue of the Boston Columbian Centinel. Lincoln detailed the specifications for the hospital. Noting that it was “difficult to give a very minute detail of all the particulars which must be embraced by a full execution of the plan,” he invited those interested to study the plans for the building at his office. Contractors were to submit “their terms in writing sealed” to Lincoln by 1 Dec. 1802.