Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Albert Gallatin, 26 August 1807

New York 26 August 1807

Dear Sir

You have, I presume, heard of the death of the Commissioner of loans of Connecticut. I have not received any applications on the subject; but doubtless you have; and I will only observe that it is an office wh. must be filled immediately; as no deputy being allowed, every thing is at a stand until a successor be appointed. If you have obtained sufficient information, it would be eligible that you should direct the Dept. of State to issue the commission on receipt of your letter; & to give it to my principal clerk Ed. Jones, who will transmit it.

I have had nothing heretofore to communicate. The banks have been sounded on the subject of loans and have generally answered favorably. Information has been collected & the opinion of Presidents of Insurance companies confidentially taken respecting our trade beyond the Cape of Good Hope. The amount now out in that quarter is estimated at 15 to 20 millions of which at least are not expected till March next. It is agreed that no information can be given to the Calcutta vessels without creating an alarm wh. would encrease the danger; and that the proper place to meet the Batavia & Canton vessels is Anger point in the streights of Sunda, as there is not time to go to Canton. I have transmitted the whole to Mr Smith, in order that he may give the proper instructions to the public vessels to be dispatched. There is such variety of opinions here on the subject of fortifications, and these so much influenced by federalism & local politics that it is difficult to unite even our friends in favor of one rational plan. I think however that I have succeeded in defeating the extravagant & inefficient plan of defending the narrows which the corporation (this year federal) intended to promote either on their own bottom or probably in order to raise a clamor against Government. Col: Williams was unfortunately drawn in to favour the plan, for which engineers fond of displaying their talents have some predilection.   I will also, I hope, be able to collect such correct information respecting the channels & soundings as may enable us to judge whether any thing rational is practicable, and I doubt not the ultimate concurrence of all our friends here in what you may, in case of an additional appropriation, decide upon, n[. . .] agreeing to lend the money, if wanted, so [as not] to interfere with our general arrangements.

Should any information reach you tending to alter or confirm our opinions of the result of our demand for reparation, I will thank you to communicate it early, as it may affect the Treasury operations particularly in relation to the purchases of public debt.

Respectfully & with sincere attachment your obedt. Servt.

—Albert Gallatin

DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.

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