Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Albert Gallatin, 21 December 1802

To Albert Gallatin

Dec. 21. 1802.

Th:J. to Mr. Gallatin.

If there be any doubt about the position of the Marine hospital at Boston, we are hardly competent here to decide it. I should have supposed it might be decided by Genl. Lincoln as a military man as well as a citizen. would Doctr. Eustis think it better to join the Govr. or any other person or persons with the Genl. to fix on the best position? I suggest this for your consideration.   With respect to Colo. Mc.lane his letter was fairly construed as a request to remain in office to a certain day only, & consequently a resignation, & has been the foundation of ulterior arrangements, no longer revocable. and in fact it must be so evident to himself that his continuance in office excites perpetual irritation, that I considered his letter as an evidence of his candor & attention to our peace as well as his own.

RC (NHi: Gallatin Papers); addressed: “Mr. Gallatin.” Not recorded in SJL.

position of the marine hospital: on 23 Dec., Gallatin instructed Benjamin Lincoln that when drawing up the construction contract, the hospital site laid out by the navy agent should “not be specifically and exclusively designated.” Gallatin continued: “the contractors may be bound to erect the building on such spot, within the navy yard-ground, as shall be designated and laid out; it having been suggested that a spot nearer the water would be more convenient for the use of the hospital, and less in the way of any fortifications, which it may be found necessary hereafter to erect.” Gallatin requested Lincoln’s opinion on the issue. On 17 Feb., Gallatin authorized the site for the hospital recommended by the Boston collector (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 , 7:846; 8:107).

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