James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Albert Gallatin, [13 May 1805]

From Albert Gallatin

Monday morning [13 May 1805]1

Dear Sir

A commission is wanted in the name of Peter A. Schenk of New York as Marshal of do., which should be sent to me, as I am to transmit it to the district attorney in order that it may be used only in case Mr Swartwout shall not pay over the public monies in his hands.2

I make restitution of Lord Grenville’s speech,3 & Cobbet to Addington;4 to which I have added, tho’ not sure that it comes from you, Cobbet’s facts &. on peace.5 Your’s

Albert Gallatin

RC (NN). Undated; date assigned on the basis of Gallatin to Jefferson, 9 May 1805, and Gallatin to DeWitt Clinton, 13 May 1805 (see n. 1 below). In 1805 the Monday following 9 May was 13 May.

1On 9 May 1805 Gallatin wrote to Jefferson stating, “if you continue of opinion that Swartwout shall be removed unless he pays, and you will be pleased to direct a commission in the name of Peter A. Schenk, the person recommended by DeWitt Clinton, to be sent to me, I will transmit it to Mr Sanford, with instructions to give it, unless Mr Swartwout shall make payment within a limited time” (DLC: Jefferson Papers). On 13 May 1805 Gallatin wrote DeWitt Clinton, acknowledging receipt of Clinton’s 1 May letter and stating that he intended to send Nathan Sanford a commission in Schenck’s name “to be used only in case Mr Swartwout shall not pay the public monies in his hands, that being the contingency on which the President has decided that his continuance in office should depend” (NNC: DeWitt Clinton Papers).

2Although Jefferson and his supporters had been unhappy with Burrite John Swartwout since October 1804, it was not until the spring and summer of 1806 that the president and the cabinet agreed to remove Swartwout as marshal because he had summoned a jury panel sympathetic to the defendants in the trial of Samuel G. Ogden and William Steuben Smith for aiding Francisco de Miranda in his attempt earlier that year to overthrow Spanish rule in South America. Peter Curtenius was named marshal on 13 Dec. 1806. New York Republican merchant Peter A. Schenck (d. 1824), who had been an inspector of the state prison and served in the state assembly from 1804 to 1806, was named surveyor of the port of New York on 17 Mar. 1806 and inspector of the revenue in December 1806 (PJM-PS, description begins Robert A. Rutland et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Presidential Series (6 vols. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 1984–). description ends 4:60 n. 12; “Jefferson’s Anas,” Jefferson to DeWitt Clinton, 6 Oct. 1804, Jefferson to Gallatin, 15 Aug. 1806, Ford, Writings of Thomas Jefferson, description begins Paul Leicester Ford, ed., The Writings of Thomas Jefferson (10 vols.; New York, 1892–99). description ends 1:316, 317, 8:322, 464; “Diary and Letters of Henry Ingersoll, Prisoner at Carthagena, 1806–1809,” American Historical Review 3 [1898]: 674; Senate Exec. Proceedings, description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States of America (3 vols.; Washington, D.C., 1828). description ends 2:30, 44, 45; Elizabeth Heyward Jervey, comp., “Marriage and Death Notices from the City Gazette of Charleston,” South Carolina Historical Magazine 55 [1954]: 49; New York American Citizen, 25 Jan. 1804; New-York Evening Post, 19 Apr. 1805; S. C. Hutchins, comp., Civil List and Forms of Government of the Colony and State of New York: Containing Notes on the Various Governmental Organizations; Lists of the Principal Colonial, State and County Officers, and the Congressional Delegations and Presidential Electors, with the Votes of the Electoral Colleges: The Whole Arranged in Constitutional Periods [Albany, 1869], 150–52).

3This was probably a copy of William Wyndham Grenville’s Substance of the Speech Delivered by Lord Grenville in the House of Lords, November 13, 1801, on the Motion for an Address, Approving of the Convention with Russia (London, 1802).

4Gallatin probably referred to William Cobbett’s Letters to the Right Honourable Henry Addington, Chancellor of His Majesty’s Exchequer, on the Fatal Effects of the Peace with Buonaparté, Particularly with Respect to the Colonies, the Commerce, the Manufactures, and the Constitution, of the United Kingdom (London, 1802).

5Gallatin probably referred to William Cobbett’s A Collection of Facts and Observations, Relative to the Peace with Bonaparte, Chiefly Extracted from the Porcupine, and Including Mr. Cobbett’s Letters to Lord Hawkesbury (Philadelphia, 1802; Shaw and Shoemaker description begins R. R. Shaw and R. H. Shoemaker, comps., American Bibliography: A Preliminary Checklist for 1801–1819 (22 vols.; New York, 1958–66). description ends 2044).

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