Thomas Jefferson Papers

Gallatin’s Comments on Address from Philadelphia Ward Committees, 17 July 1803

Gallatin’s Comments on Address from Philadelphia Ward Committees

[17-18 July 1803]

+ Lewis Rush carver, a respectable & firm republican—not known personally
+ Sallows Shewell— shop-keeper, a consistant republican, honest man, rather weak, candidate for office } known persony.
+ James Ker— coachmaker, an old, warm, consistant republican, honest man— }  do
+ John Barker I presume the General of Militia, same as Ker, but more intelligent & conspicuous— }  do
John L. Leib— lawyer, the Doctor’s brother—  do. slightly
+ P. Gravenstine— keeps a fruit shop, old republican— not known persony
Joseph Scott— the Geographer—warm, & I believe honest—a new man— known person[ly]
W. Duane ———also new—  do.

The five marked + which are distinguished by the name of old republicans were active whigs during the war & republican ever since—Scott & Duane came since the war but uniform republicans since they came—Of Leib’s former politics I know nothing; the family were I presume whigs; but it is only since the French revolution that the Doctr. was with us. Before that he wanted to support Fred. Muhlenberg for Govr. against Mifflin whom the repub. then1 supported. That, however, might be merely personal. I do not know a single one amongst the other signers, but have heard the names of Geyer, Willis, Gibbs, Purdon, & Shoemaker. My not knowing them is no proof of their not being conspicuous in their respective spheres or wards. I never mixed with the people, & hardly any of the citizens in Philada.

As I will stay a few days in Philada., would it not be better, if you intend to answer, to wait until I have been there.

The assertion that public employment in Philada. under the fed. administration in all its grades is confined to federalist is singular.

The Marshal Smith,2 Superintt. Irvine3 of military stores, store keeper Leonard,4 Supervisor, & Collector are republicans. They have in their hands the appointment of almost the whole subordinate offices. The naval officer, Surveyor, & Commissioner of Loans do not appoint a single subordinate officer. The clerk hire of the three together is only 4,696 dollars; of which 2,500 dollars are in the last office. The patronage of the two obnoxious officers is clerk hire to the annual amount of 2,196 dollars. The total amount of custom house expences in Philada. was for 1800—56,115 dollars; of which 9,847 was the compensation & patronage of M’pherson & Jackson; the whole remainder is Muhlenberg’s, about 1500 dollars excepted which belong to the revenue cutter; and the officers of this are republicans.

MS (DLC: TJ Papers, 119:20589); entirely in Gallatin’s hand; undated, but see below; frayed at margin.

After TJ received the address from the Philadelphia ward committees on 17 July, he immediately shared it with Gallatin. They conversed and the Treasury secretary drew up these observations before the president left for Monticello on the 19th (TJ to Gallatin, 25 July 1803). TJ relied heavily on Gallatin’s last paragraph when he drafted a letter to William Duane on 24 July.

In 1811, lewis rush succeeded john barker as commander of the Militia Legion of Philadelphia (PMHB description begins Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, 1877- description ends , 49 [1925], 91-2).

i never mixed with the people: during the 1790s, Gallatin had divided his time between Philadelphia and his home in western Pennsylvania, first as a state legislator, briefly as a U.S. senator, and then as a congressman (ANB description begins John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes, eds., American National Biography, New York and Oxford, 1999, 24 vols. description ends ; Biog. Dir. Cong. description begins Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774-1989, Washington, D.C., 1989 description ends ).

store keeper leonard: probably William Linnard, the military agent at Philadelphia responsible for obtaining and transporting military stores (Vol. 37:194-5).

Tench Coxe became supervisor of the revenue after Peter Muhlenberg replaced Federalist George Latimer as collector at Philadelphia in the summer of 1802 (Vol. 38:31-2; Vol. 40:636n).

naval officer, surveyor, & commissioner of loans: William McPherson, William Jackson, and Stephen Moylan, respectively. Moylan received a $1,500 salary and $289 in commissions. He was allowed five clerks, each with a $500 salary. The compensation and patronage figures cited by Gallatin conform exactly to those published in the 1802 roll of federal officers (see 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, 1:271-2, 305; Vol. 36:568-71). The revenue cutter officers were Richard Howard and Joseph Sawyer (see Document VI in Party Affiliation of Federal Officeholders, printed at 11 July).

1MS: “than.”

2Name interlined above “Marshal.”

3Name interlined above “Superintt.”

4Name interlined above “store keeper.”

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