Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Albert Gallatin, 11 July 1803

From Albert Gallatin

Monday [11 July 1803]

Dear Sir

I enclose a letter from the Collector of Philada respecting a new modification of mr Bond’s complaint

a letter from a gentleman in Providence respecting a New Bank

a letter from the Superint. of mil. stores

recommendations in favr. of Mr Nicholas & Mr Garrard which I had forgotten to enclose

a list of officers of the external revenues and some corrections of your own list

Be good enough to look at them & I will call tomorrow to explain some parts & to have some conversation on those several subjects as well as on Louisiana.

With respectful attachment Your obedt. Servt.

Albert Gallatin

RC (DLC); partially dated; endorsed by TJ as received from the Treasury Department on 11 July and “Bond’s complt. republican bank. Superintendt. mily. stores” and so recorded in SJL. Enclosures: (1) Peter Muhlenberg to Gallatin, Philadelphia, 8 July 1803, noting that Phineas Bond was giving “a different turn” to his concern over vessels clearing the port with articles of contraband on board; Bond now charges that two vessels, the schooners Nancy and Adventure, are owned by Frenchmen and armed as privateers; Muhlenberg assures Gallatin that the two vessels “are not own’d by Frenchmen, but by Citizens of the United States” and there is no evidence “the vessels were intended for Cruizers”; the Nancy cleared for Cap-Français, Saint-Domingue, on 5 July, with neither guns nor military stores on board; the Adventure cleared on 7 July, with a cargo of flour, soap, and nankeens, and armed with four mounted gun carriages and ammunition for defense of the vessel; the owner of the Adventure is French-born, but Alexander J. Dallas, the district attorney, reports that he is a naturalized U.S. citizen and “A Merchant of great respectability and generally esteem’d”; the owner produced his papers along with instructions to the captain to proceed to Jamaica in case of a blockade at Cap-Français (Tr in DNA: RG 59, NL). (2) Seth Wheaton and Henry Smith to Gallatin, Providence, Rhode Island, 1 July 1803, informing the Treasury secretary that Providence Republicans are considering the establishment of a bank “supported entirely by Individuals who are warmly attached to the present Administration”; the Providence Bank, where U.S. Treasury funds are now deposited, is controlled by Federalists, who favor others of their party and influence “the political conduct of their more dependant fellow citizens,” indicating the need for another bank; assurances that Gallatin will transfer public deposits to the new bank “will greatly promote the undertaking,” gratify the Republican “monied Interest” in Providence, and “advance the public wellfare” (RC in NHi: Gallatin Papers; endorsed: “Henry Smith on Establishing a Bank”). (3) List of Officers of the External Revenue, 4 Mch. 1801-16 June 1803, organized by states and territories with seven columns labeled “Districts,” “Ports,” “Offices,” “Officers on the 4th of March 1801,” “Remarks,” “Successors,” and “date of first Commission”; the “Offices” column includes that of collector, naval officer, and surveyor at the various ports, with many districts in Massachusetts having ports with collectors only and those in North Carolina with surveyors only; the “Remarks” column gives reasons for a new appointment, with comments including “dead,” “misbehaviour,” “resigned,” “vacant,” “abolished,” and “erected” or “organized,” with the date for newly established offices; there is no entry under “Remarks” for many changes in officers; the “Successors” column names TJ’s appointees, including collectors at 35 out of a total of 90 ports, naval officers at 4 out of 13, and surveyors at 20 out of 65 (MS in DNA: RG 59, Appointment Papers; in a clerk’s hand). (4) For Gallatin’s corrections of a list by TJ, see Document VI of the group of documents on the party affiliation of federal officeholders, at 11 July. For other enclosures, see below.

bond’s complaint: see Enclosure No. 1, above, and Enclosure No. 2, described at Gallatin to TJ, 12 July (second letter).

The Roger Williams Bank in providence received a charter from the Rhode Island General Assembly in late 1803. Seth Wheaton and Sylvanus Martin, bankruptcy commissioners at Providence, Jonathan Russell, collector at Bristol, Samuel Thurber, Jr., and Henry Smith were among the Republican directors of the new bank. In the next three years, the Roger Williams Bank received over $500,000 in public deposits (The Charter of the Roger Williams Bank, in Providence [Providence, 1803; Shaw-Shoemaker description begins Ralph R. Shaw and Richard H. Shoemaker, comps., American Bibliography: A Preliminary Checklist for 1801-1819, New York, 1958-63, 22 vols. description ends , No. 4990], 12; 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 , Finance, 2:216-17; Vol. 33:187-8; Vol. 37:602-3).

superint. of mil. stores: William Irvine (Vol. 38:93n). The correspondence has not been found.

TJ may have given Gallatin the recommendations he had received for Robert C. nicholas and William garrard, as TJ and his secretary of the Treasury were deciding on the appointment of a commissioner to serve along with Ephraim Kirby in the district East of Pearl River (see TJ to Gallatin, [9 July 1803], second letter, and Gallatin to TJ, 9 July). Gallatin had evidently forgotten to return them in his letter of the 9th. For the recommendations, see John Brown to TJ, 5 Dec. 1802, and Wilson Cary Nicholas to TJ, 31 May 1803.

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