Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Albert Gallatin, 14 October 1802

From Albert Gallatin

Oct. 14. 1802

Dear Sir

I enclose the report of the persons appointed to survey the sound together with some other papers connected with the same subject, and the rough draught of a letter intended for the Commr. of the revenue, for the purpose of carrying the law into effect

Respectfully Your obt. Servt.

Albert Gallatin

RC (DLC); at foot of text: “The President”; endorsed by TJ as received from the Treasury Department on 14 Oct. and “lighthouses in Sound” and so recorded in SJL. Enclosures not found.

The 6 Apr. 1802 act for the erection of lighthouses directed that the Treasury secretary appoint “proper and intelligent persons” to SURVEY Long Island SOUND to determine where lighthouses should be built and buoys placed. In June, Gallatin appointed Captain Nathan Post of Bridgehampton, New York; merchant John Cahoone, of Newport, Rhode Island; and Nicholl Fosdick, of New London, Connecticut, to make the survey and requested that the revenue cutter at New London be placed at their disposal. The men conducted the survey in August. CARRYING THE LAW INTO EFFECT: the law directed the Treasury secretary to purchase the land, build the lighthouses, and appoint lighthouse keepers, using funds from the U.S. Treasury, provided the states ceded jurisdiction over the proposed sites to the United States (U.S. Statutes at Large description begins Richard Peters, ed., The Public Statutes at Large of the United States . . . 1789 to March 3, 1845, Boston, 1855–56, 8 vols. description ends , 2:150–1; 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 , 7:76, 259; 8:197).

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