Thomas Jefferson Papers

Memorandum from Albert Gallatin, with Jefferson’s Note, 11 July 1803

Memorandum from Albert Gallatin, with Jefferson’s Note

[ca. 11 July 1803]

Officers of the external revenue

The sea shore from St. Croix to St. Mary’s, the northern frontier from Lake Champlain to Lake Superior both inclusive, the Mississippi, & the Ohio below the Pennsylvania line are divided into Districts. In each District there is one Port of entry; and in several districts, there are, besides the port of entry, one or more Ports of delivery only. Every port of entry is also a port of delivery. All goods imported in a district must be entered at the port of entry, whether they are intended to be landed there or at any port of delivery in the district; and goods must be landed at the port of entry or at one of the ports of delivery. For each District there is one Collector whose authority extends over the whole district & who must reside at the Port of entry. There are, at present   Districts & Collectors. In   of the districts there is a Naval Officer residing at the Port of entry. In   , including the   last mentioned, there is also for the Port of entry a Surveyor residing there. In the other districts the duties of Surveyor devolve on the Collector. There is a number of Districts having subordinate ports of delivery, where the powers of the officers residing at the port of entry extend in every instance over all the ports of delivery; but in several extensive Districts, although the powers of the Collector extend over the whole district, there is a Surveyor attached to each port of delivery. In every port, whether of entry or delivery, where there is a Surveyor, he receives also a commission of Inspector of the revenue for the port: that commission, in ports of entry where there is no Survey[or,] is given to the Collector.

[Note by TJ:]

 duty of Collectors.

1799. Mar. 2. Surveyors

c. 128. § 21. Naval officers


MS (DLC: TJ Papers, 133:22992); in Gallatin’s hand, with TJ’s note in left margin; undated; frayed at margin; endorsed by TJ as received from the Treasury Department in July 1803 and “organization of [. . .].”

Gallatin may have sent TJ this memorandum on revenue districts about the same time he enclosed the List of Officers of the External Revenue, 4 Mch. 1801-16 June 1803 (see Enclosure No. 3, described at Gallatin to TJ, [11 July 1803], first letter). The list included the collector for each district and the naval officer and surveyor, where applicable, all officers appointed by the president. Here Gallatin notes that if a surveyor is appointed, he receives the commission of inspector as well. The collector receives the commission only if the district has no surveyor. In several instances, TJ had to issue separate commissions for inspector, because they were not included with the original appointment (see Vol. 37:324-5; Vol. 38:680, 682n; Vol. 39:130-3). In his note, TJ referred to the 2 Mch. 1799 “Act to regulate the collection of duties on imports and tonnage,” which names the port of entry and ports of delivery for each collection district. For instance, the state of New Hampshire had one district, with Portsmouth being the sole port of entry and New Castle, Dover, and Exeter named ports of delivery. Section 21 of the act describes the duties of the revenue officers (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 , 1:627, 642-4).

Index Entries