Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Albert Gallatin, 22 June 1803

To Albert Gallatin

June 22. 1803.

Th:J. to mr Gallatin

The letter to Thornton is civil both in matter & manner, and entirely proper. I dare say Irvine will do very well as Surveyor at Buffalo. he seems so far to have conducted himself well as Indian agent.

I do not know Oliver Phelps’s particular character, except that he has all the sagacity of a Connecticut man, and is attached to the little band. but I do not see that his recommendation need be distrusted on this account. I should think it best to write to him to recommend a Collector.

RC (NHi: Gallatin Papers); endorsed. PrC (DLC). Recorded in SJL with notation “Thornton.—Irvine—Phelps.”

letter to thornton: not found (see Gallatin to TJ, 21 June, second letter). A few days later, Gallatin sent TJ the following: “Be pleased to examine this letter which is intended for Mr Thornton, and to suggest the alterations which you may think proper. Respectfully Your obt. Servt. Albert Gallatin” (RC in DLC; undated; addressed: “The President of the United States”; endorsed by TJ as received from the Treasury Department on 28 June and “with copy of lre to Thornton on seisure of Mc.kenz’s goods” and so recorded in SJL). The enclosed letter has not been found, but as TJ’s endorsement indicates it probably had to do with the collection of duties and smuggling along the Canadian border (see Gallatin to TJ, 21 Mch.).

attached to the little band: at the urging of Albany Burrites, Oliver Phelps agreed to fill the ticket as Burr’s running mate in the New York gubernatorial election of 1804 (Kline, Burr description begins Mary-Jo Kline, ed., Political Correspondence and Public Papers of Aaron Burr, Princeton, 1983, 2 vols. description ends , 2:835).

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