Dec. 12. 06.
Th: Jefferson to mr. Gallatin
Altho’ I have the most perfect confidence in the integrity of Briggs, & very little in Davies his accuser, yet where a charge is so specific and direct, our duty calls for investigation. the distance is too great to wait for preliminary explanation. I think with you that mr Williams, the former Register, will be a proper person to enquire into the charge, but that he would probably be less willing to undertake it alone, than joined with another; & I would propose to join with him mr Dunbar who deserves entire confidence. In the case of the removal proposed by the Collector of Baltimore, I consider it as entirely out of my sphere & resting solely with yourself. were I to give an opinion on the subject, it would only be by observing that in the cases under my immediate care I have never considered the length of time a person has continued in office, nor the money he has made in it as entering at all into the reasons for a removal;—the want of a Collector at Chestertown shall be attended to with the first nominations.—the allegations against Pope of New Bedford are insufficient. altho’ medling in political caucuses is no part of that freedom of personal suffrage which ought to be allowed him, yet his mere presence at a caucus does not necessarily involve an active & official influence in opposition to the government which employs him. affectionate salutations.
P.S. I return the papers in Briggs’s & the Baltimore case.
NHi: Papers of Albert Gallatin.