Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Albert Gallatin, 24 January 1803

From Albert Gallatin

[24 Jan. 1803]

It appears to me that a compliance with this request would amount to a fraud on the Govt. of that country to which the vessel was bound. If a Collector of Natchez is permitted to clear a vessel lying at N. Orleans as if she was sailing from Natchez, he may with equal propriety clear for London a vessel lying at Havannah giving her papers as if she had sailed from the american territory. Will the President be pleased to communicate his opinion.

A. G.

RC (DLC); undated; endorsed by TJ as received from the Treasury Department on 24 Jan. and “clearances at N. Orleans” and so recorded in SJL.

this request: not identified, but for the 1802 effort by those in the Mississippi trade to gain authorization for the collector at Natchez to grant clearances for vessels loading at New Orleans and bound for British ports, see enclosures described at TJ to Gallatin, 13 Oct. and Gallatin’s response printed at 14 Oct. (second letter).

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