Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Albert Gallatin, 30 June 1803

From Albert Gallatin

Treasury Department June 30th. 1803.


I have the honor of enclosing a report of the commissioner of the revenue, by which it appears that the collection of the Direct Tax and of the Internal Revenues, has been so far completed in the States of New-Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode-Island, New-York, and New-Jersey, that the office of Supervisor may, in those several districts, be discontinued without injury to the public service. The following arrangements are, therefore submitted to your consideration.

1st. The office of Supervisor shall be immediately discontinued in the Districts abovementioned.

2. For the purpose of closing the business in the Districts of Vermont, New-York, Rhode-Island and New-Jersey, the duties of Supervisor shall, in conformity to the provision made, for that purpose, last session be attached to the several following offices: Vizt.

in Vermont, to the office of Marshall:

in New-York, to the office of naval officer:

in Rhode-Island, to the office either of collector of   Surveyor of some Port, or Marshal:

in New-Jersey, to the office of commr. of loans, Marshal, or surveyor of Brunswick.

3. To each of the four officers selected as aforesaid in the said districts, there shall be allowed for the ensuing quarter, in addition to such allowance for clerk-hire as shall be approved by the Secretary of the Treasury, the highest compensation provided in this case: vzt. at the rate of two hundred & fifty dollars a year.

It is expected that within a very short time, similar measures may be adopted in all the other states; North & South Carolina, Georgia, and Kentucky excepted.

The two last States, but especially Kentucky, are so much in arrears, that doubts may reasonably be entertained of the regularity & energy of the Supervisors. In the two Carolinas, every exertion has been made by those officers; and the delays in the assessment of the Direct Tax, are the only causes why the business is not terminated in those two states.

Whatever relates to the Internal revenues, is so far advanced in South Carolina, that, as the assessment of the Direct Tax is not yet completed, there is not at present any use for the Supervisor’s Office; and the only reason why the office should not be discontinued, is that it would hereafter be impracticable to find an officer who would undertake the collection of the Direct Tax, for the consideration of two hundred and fifty dollars a year.—

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, Sir, Your obed. Servant

Albert Gallatin

RC (DLC); in a clerk’s hand, signed by Gallatin; at foot of text: “The President of the United States”; endorsed by TJ as received from the Treasury Department on 1 July and “Supervisors discontince” and so recorded in SJL; also endorsed by TJ: “N.H. R.I. Verm. N.Y. N.J.” Enclosure: William Miller to Gallatin, Revenue Office, Treasury Department, 27 June 1803, recommending the discontinuance of the office of supervisor in New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, New York, New Jersey, and South Carolina, under the conditions of the report, noting that commissions and allowances in New York should remain in Samuel Osgood’s hands, but as “proceedings in Vermont, Rhode Island & New Jersey, have been rather dilatory, it may be proper to designate some active officer in each of these Districts, to take charge” of the accounts that remain unsettled; supervisors of Massachusetts, Maryland, and Virginia “will require but a short period to complete their Collections” and may be able to render final accounts during the ensuing quarter; declining to say anything definitive about Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, and Tennessee, Miller observes, “much will depend on the future exertions of the Supervisors & Subordinate Officers”; and enclosing “A Statement relative to the Accounts of the Supervisors of the Revenue,” with a summary of districts, including Connecticut and Delaware, where the offices have been suppresed after the resignation of the supervisors; in Pennsylvania, Miller notes, “the business which Mr Coxe has undertaken will occupy his attention for some months longer,” and he will not be able to submit his final account until J. P. G. Muhlenberg’s statement has been completed; although Miller has “repeatedly urged” the supervisor of Georgia to render his account, the last received was that of 30 Apr. 1801; accounts and remittances from Kentucky are also overdue as “Collections do not progress with alacrity,” Miller contends, and the “attempts of the Officers to enforce Collection, appear to have been less strenuous or much less successful than in other districts” (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 , 47:831–44; ASP description begins American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States, Washington, D.C., 1832–61, 38 vols. description ends , Miscellaneous, 1:280–8; Vol. 38:420, 482–3).

provision made: the act of 3 Mch. 1803 gave the president the authority to transfer the duties of the office of supervisor to any other U.S. officer within the district. The designated officer would receive the same commissions as the supervisor was allowed, an allowance for clerk hire not to exceed that fixed by law and “such salary not exceeding” $250 per year, as the president “shall deem a sufficient compensation” (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 , 2:243–4).

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