Washington Mar. 22. 1806.
I return you the papers which inform us of the construction of the law respecting land claims by the Commissioners of Louisiana, with the Attorney General’s opinion on that construction. this opinion is approved by every member of the administration, as it is by myself. satisfied that no improper motive has produced this mistake of the object of the law in the minds of the Commissioners, I rely that they will correct themselves on being brought to a reconsideration of it. in cases of moderate injury I should have left them to the dictates of their own judgment in the report of titles which they are required to make. but it is my duty to arrest an error which, forming the basis of their report, and wandering entirely out of the views of the law, would probably render a new work necessary, with all the disadvantages which delay expence & dissatisfaction would super-induce. Accept my salutations & assurances of esteem & respect.
NHi: Papers of Albert Gallatin.