HOME

TheInfoList




Abraham Alfonse Albert Gallatin, born de Gallatin (January 29, 1761 – August 12, 1849) was an American politician, diplomat,
ethnologist Ethnology (from the grc-gre, ἔθνος, meaning 'nation') is an academic field that compares and analyzes the characteristics of different peoples A people is a plurality of person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that ...
and linguist. Biographer Nicholas Dungan states he was "America's Swiss Founding Father." He is known for being the founder of
New York University New York University (NYU) is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, after an absence of ne ...
and for serving in the
Democratic-Republican Party The Democratic-Republican Party, also referred to as the Jeffersonian Republican Party and known at the time under various other names, was an American political party founded by Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – ...
at various federal elective and appointed positions across four decades. He represented
Pennsylvania Pennsylvania ( , elsewhere ; pdc, Pennsilfaani), officially the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is a landlocked A landlocked country is a country that does not have territory connected to an ocean or whose coastlines lie on endorheic basi ...

Pennsylvania
in the
Senate The Curia Julia in the Roman Forum ">Roman_Forum.html" ;"title="Curia Julia in the Roman Forum">Curia Julia in the Roman Forum A senate is a deliberative assembly, often the upper house or Debating chamber, chamber of a bicameral legislatu ...
and the
House of Representatives House of Representatives is the name of legislative bodies A legislature is a deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of collective) who use parliamentary procedure Parliamentary procedure is ...
before becoming the longest-tenured
United States Secretary of the Treasury The United States secretary of the treasury is the head of the United States Department of the Treasury The Department of the Treasury (USDT) is the national treasury A treasury is either *A government department related to finance and ta ...
and serving as a high-ranking diplomat. Gallatin was born in
Geneva , neighboring_municipalities= Carouge Carouge () is a Municipalities of Switzerland, municipality in the Canton of Geneva, Switzerland. History Carouge is first mentioned in the Early Middle Ages as ''Quadruvium'' and ''Quatruvio''. In 124 ...

Geneva
in present-day
Switzerland , french: Suisse(sse), it, svizzero/svizzera or , rm, Svizzer/Svizra , government_type = Federalism, Federal semi-direct democracy under an assembly-independent Directorial system, directorial republic , leader_title1 = Fe ...

Switzerland
and spoke French as a first language. He immigrated to the United States in the 1780s, settling in western Pennsylvania. He served as a delegate to the 1789 Pennsylvania Constitutional Convention and won election to the
Pennsylvania General Assembly The Pennsylvania General Assembly is the legislature of the U.S. commonwealth (U.S. state), commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The legislature convenes in the Pennsylvania State Capitol, State Capitol building in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Harrisburg ...
. An opponent of
Alexander Hamilton Alexander Hamilton (January 11, 1755 or 1757July 12, 1804) was an American statesman, politician, legal scholar, military commander, lawyer, banker, and economist. He was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States The Founding Fa ...

Alexander Hamilton
's economic policies, Gallatin was elected to the United States Senate in 1793. However, he was removed from office on a party-line vote after a protest raised by his opponents suggested he did not meet the required nine years of citizenship. Returning to Pennsylvania, Gallatin helped calm many angry farmers during the
Whiskey Rebellion The Whiskey Rebellion (also known as the Whiskey Insurrection) was a violent tax protest A tax protester is someone who refuses to pay a tax claiming that the tax laws are unconstitutional or otherwise invalid. Tax protesters are differen ...
. Gallatin returned to Congress in 1795 after winning election to the House of Representatives. He became the chief spokesman on financial matters for the Democratic-Republican Party, leading opposition to the
Federalist The term ''federalist'' describes several political beliefs around the world. It may also refer to the concept of parties, whose members or supporters called themselves ''Federalists''.http://m-w.com/dictionary/federalist. History Europe In E ...
economic program. Gallatin's mastery of public finance led to his choice as Secretary of the Treasury by President
Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826) was an American statesman, diplomat, lawyer, architect, philosopher, and Founding Father The following list of national founding figures is a record, by country, of people who were cr ...

Thomas Jefferson
, despite Federalist attacks that he was a "foreigner" with a French accent. Under Jefferson and
James Madison James Madison Jr. (March 16, 1751June 28, 1836) was an American statesman, diplomat, expansionist, philosopher, and Founding Father The following list of national founding figures is a record, by country, of people who were credited wi ...

James Madison
, Gallatin served as secretary from 1801 until February 1814. Gallatin retained much of Hamilton's financial system, though he also presided over a reduction in the national debt prior to the
War of 1812 The War of 1812 (18 June 1812 – 17 February 1815) was a conflict fought by the United States of America The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country in . It ...
. Gallatin served on the American commission that agreed to the
Treaty of Ghent The Treaty of Ghent () was the peace treaty that ended the War of 1812 The War of 1812 (18 June 1812 – 17 February 1815) was a conflict fought by the United States of America The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly ...
, which ended the War of 1812. In the aftermath of the war, he helped found the
Second Bank of the United States The Second Bank of the United States was the second federally authorized Hamiltonian national bank In banking A bank is a financial institution that accepts deposits from the public and creates a demand deposit while simultaneou ...
. Declining another term at the Treasury, Gallatin served as Ambassador to
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses ...

France
from 1816 to 1823, struggling with scant success to improve relations with the government during the
Bourbon RestorationBourbon Restoration may refer to: * Bourbon Restoration in France The Bourbon Restoration was the period of French history The first written records for the history of France appeared in the Iron Age The Iron Age is the final epoch of the ...
. In the election of 1824, Gallatin was nominated for Vice President by the Democratic-Republican
Congressional caucus A congressional caucus is a group of members of the United States Congress The United States Congress is the legislature of the federal government of the United States. It is Bicameralism, bicameral, comprising a lower body, the United S ...
. Gallatin never wanted the position and was humiliated when forced to withdraw from the race because he lacked popular support. In 1826 and 1827, he served as the ambassador to
Britain Britain usually refers to: * United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United ...

Britain
and negotiated several agreements, such as a ten-year extension of the joint occupation of
Oregon Country In the 19th century, the Oregon Country was a disputed region of the Pacific Northwest The Pacific Northwest (PNW) is a geographic region in western bounded by its coastal waters of the to the west and, loosely, by the to the east. Thou ...
. He also became president of the
National Bank In banking A bank is a financial institution that accepts deposits from the public and creates a demand deposit while simultaneously making loans. Lending activities can be directly performed by the bank or indirectly through capital ...
's branch in New York City. In 1842, Gallatin joined with
John Russell Bartlett John Russell Bartlett (October 23, 1805 – May 28, 1886) was an American historian and linguist. Biography Bartlett was born in Providence, Rhode Island, on October 23, 1805. In 1819 he was a student at the Lowville Academy in Lowville (villa ...

John Russell Bartlett
to found the
American Ethnological Society The American Ethnological Society (AES) is the oldest professional anthropological Anthropology is the scientific study of human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species In biology, a species is the ...
. With his studies of the languages of
Native Americans Native Americans may refer to: Ethnic groups * Indigenous peoples of the Americas, the pre-Columbian peoples of North and South America and their descendants * Native Americans in the United States * Indigenous peoples in Canada, the indigenous p ...
, he has been called "the father of American ethnology."


Early life

Gallatin was born on January 29, 1761, in
Geneva , neighboring_municipalities= Carouge Carouge () is a Municipalities of Switzerland, municipality in the Canton of Geneva, Switzerland. History Carouge is first mentioned in the Early Middle Ages as ''Quadruvium'' and ''Quatruvio''. In 124 ...

Geneva
, and was until 1785 a citizen of the
Republic of Geneva The Canton of Geneva, officially the Republic and Canton of Geneva (french: link=no, République et canton de Genève; frp, Rèpublica et canton de Geneva; german: Republik und Kanton Genf; it, Repubblica e Cantone di Ginevra; rm, Republica e ...
. His parents were the wealthy Jean Gallatin and Jean's wife, Sophie Albertine Rollaz. Gallatin's family had great influence in the
Republic of Geneva The Canton of Geneva, officially the Republic and Canton of Geneva (french: link=no, République et canton de Genève; frp, Rèpublica et canton de Geneva; german: Republik und Kanton Genf; it, Repubblica e Cantone di Ginevra; rm, Republica e ...
, and many family members held distinguished positions in the magistracy and the military. Jean Gallatin, a prosperous merchant, died in 1765, followed by Sophie in April 1770. Now orphaned, Gallatin was taken into the care of Mademoiselle Pictet, a family friend and distant relative of Gallatin's father. In January 1773, Gallatin was sent to study at the elite
Academy of Geneva
Academy of Geneva
. While attending the academy, Gallatin read deeply in philosophy of
Jean-Jacques Rousseau Jean-Jacques Rousseau (, ; ; 28 June 1712 – 2 July 1778) was a Republic of Geneva, Genevan philosopher, writer, and composer. His political philosophy influenced the progress of the Age of Enlightenment, Enlightenment throughout Europe, as ...

Jean-Jacques Rousseau
and
Voltaire François-Marie Arouet (; 21 November 169430 May 1778), known by his ''nom de plume A pen name, also called a ''nom de plume'' () or a literary double, is a pseudonym A pseudonym () or alias () (originally: ψευδώνυμος in Greek) is a ...

Voltaire
, along with the French
Physiocrats Physiocracy (; from the Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population i ...
; he became dissatisfied with the traditionalism of Geneva. A student of the
Enlightenment Enlightenment, enlighten or enlightened may refer to: Age of Enlightenment * Age of Enlightenment, period in Western intellectual history from the late 17th to late 18th century, centered in France but also encompassing: ** Midlands Enlightenment ...
, he believed in human nature and that when free from social restrictions, it would display noble qualities and greater results, in both the physical and the moral world. The democratic spirit of the United States attracted him and he decided to emigrate. In April 1780, Gallatin secretly left Geneva with his classmate Henri Serre. Carrying letters of recommendation from eminent Americans (including
Benjamin Franklin Benjamin Franklin ( April 17, 1790) was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States The Founding Fathers of the United States, or simply the Founding Fathers or Founders, were a group of American revolutionary Patriots (also ...

Benjamin Franklin
) that the Gallatin family procured, the young men left France in May, sailing on an American ship, "the Kattie". They reached
Cape Ann Cape Ann is a rocky cape A cape is a sleeveless outer garment, which drapes the wearer's back, arms, and chest, and connects at the neck. History Capes were common in medieval Europe, especially when combined with a hood in the ch ...
on July 14 and arrived in
Boston Boston (, ), officially the City of Boston, is the capital city, capital and List of municipalities in Massachusetts, most populous city of the Commonwealth (U.S. state), Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the United States and 21st List of Unit ...

Boston
the next day, traveling the intervening thirty miles by horseback. Bored with monotonous Bostonian life, Gallatin and Serre set sail with a Swiss female companion to the settlement of Machias, located on the northeastern tip of the
Maine Maine () is a U.S. state, state in the New England region of the United States, bordered by New Hampshire to the west; the Gulf of Maine to the southeast; and the Provinces and territories of Canada, Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Qu ...

Maine
frontier. At Machias, Gallatin operated a bartering venture, in which he dealt with a variety of goods and supplies. He enjoyed the simple life and the natural environment surrounding him.Stevens (1888), p16. Gallatin and Serre returned to Boston in October 1781 after abandoning their bartering venture in Machias. Friends of Pictet, who had learned that Gallatin had traveled to the United States, convinced
Harvard College Harvard College is the undergraduate Undergraduate education is education conducted after secondary education and prior to postgraduate education. It typically includes all postsecondary programs up to the level of a bachelor's degree A b ...
to employ Gallatin as a French tutor. Gallatin disliked living in
New England New England is a region comprising six states in the Northeastern United States The Northeastern United States (also referred to as the American Northeast, the Northeast, and the East Coast) is a geographical region In geography ...

New England
, instead preferring to become a farmer in the
Trans-Appalachia The area in United States west of the and extending vaguely to the , spanning the lower Great Lakes to the upper south, is a region known as trans-Appalachia, particularly when referring to frontier times. It included much of and at least the no ...
n West, which at that point was the frontier of American settlement. He became the interpreter and business partner of a French land speculator, Jean Savary, and traveled throughout various parts of the United States in order to purchase undeveloped Western lands. In 1785, he became an American citizen after he swore allegiance to the state of
Virginia Virginia (), officially the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), '' ...

Virginia
. Gallatin inherited a significant sum of money the following year, and he used that money to purchase a 400-acre plot of land in
Fayette County, Pennsylvania Fayette County is a County (United States), county of the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. Fayette County is located in southwestern Pennsylvania, adjacent to Maryland and West Virginia. As of the 2010 United States Census, 2010 census, the populatio ...
. He built a stone house named Friendship Hill on the new property. Gallatin co-founded a company designed to attract Swiss settlers to the United States, but the company proved unable to attract many settlers.


Marriage and family

In 1789, Gallatin married Sophie Allègre, the daughter of a
Richmond Richmond may refer to: People * Richmond (surname) * Earl of Richmond * Duke of Richmond * Richmond C. Beatty (1905–1961), American academic, biographer and critic * Richmond Avenal, character in British sitcom List of The IT Crowd characters#R ...
boardinghouse owner, but Allègre died just five months into the marriage. He was in mourning for a number of years and seriously considered returning to Geneva. However, on November 1, 1793, he married Hannah Nicholson, daughter of the well-connected Commodore James Nicholson. They had two sons and four daughters: Catherine, Sophia, Hannah Marie, Frances, James, and Albert Rolaz Gallatin. Catherine, Sophia and Hannah Marie all died as infants. Gallatin's marriage proved to be politically and economically advantageous, as the Nicholsons enjoyed connections in New York, Georgia, and Maryland. With most of his business ventures unsuccessful, Gallatin sold much of his land, excluding Friendship Hill, to
Robert MorrisRobert or Bob Morris may refer to: Politics * Robert Hunter Morris (1700–1764), Lieutenant Governor of Colonial Pennsylvania * Robert Morris (financier) (1734–1806), financier of the American Revolution and signatory to three of the United Stat ...
; he and his wife would instead live in
Philadelphia Philadelphia (colloquially known simply as Philly) is the largest city in the Commonwealth A commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is ...

Philadelphia
and other coastal cities for most of the rest of their lives.


Early political career


State legislature and Senate

In 1788, Gallatin was elected as a delegate to a state convention to discuss possible revisions to the
United States Constitution The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity, organisation An organization, or orga ...

United States Constitution
. In the next two years, he served as a delegate to a state constitutional convention and won election to the
Pennsylvania House of Representatives The Pennsylvania House of Representatives is the lower house of the bicameral Pennsylvania General Assembly The Pennsylvania General Assembly is the legislature of the U.S. commonwealth (U.S. state), commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The legisl ...
. As a public official, he aligned with
Anti-Federalists Anti-Federalism was a late-18th century movement that opposed the creation of a stronger U.S. federal government and which later opposed the ratification of the 1787 Constitution A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles A ...
and spent much of his time in the state and national capital of Philadelphia. His service on the Ways and Means Committee earned him a strong reputation as an expert in finance and taxation. Gallatin won election to the Senate in early 1793, and he took his seat in December of that year. He quickly emerged as a prominent opponent of
Alexander Hamilton Alexander Hamilton (January 11, 1755 or 1757July 12, 1804) was an American statesman, politician, legal scholar, military commander, lawyer, banker, and economist. He was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States The Founding Fa ...

Alexander Hamilton
's economic program, but was declared ineligible for a seat in the Senate in February 1794 because he had not been a citizen for the required nine years prior to election. The dispute itself had important ramifications. At the time, the Senate held closed sessions. However, with the American Revolution only a decade ended, the senators were leery of anything which might hint that they intended to establish an aristocracy, so they opened up their chamber for the first time for the debate over whether to unseat Gallatin. Soon after, open sessions became standard procedure for the Senate.


Whiskey Rebellion

Gallatin had strongly opposed the 1791 establishment of an excise tax on
whiskey Whisky or whiskey is a type of distilled alcoholic beverage made from fermented grain A grain is a small, hard, dry seed, with or without an attached husk, hull or fruit layer, harvested for human or animal consumption. A grain crop is a gr ...
, as whiskey trade and production constituted an important part of the Western economy. In 1794, after Gallatin had been removed from the Senate and returned to Friendship Hill, the
Whiskey Rebellion The Whiskey Rebellion (also known as the Whiskey Insurrection) was a violent tax protest A tax protester is someone who refuses to pay a tax claiming that the tax laws are unconstitutional or otherwise invalid. Tax protesters are differen ...
broke out among disgruntled farmers opposed to the federal collection of the whiskey tax. Gallatin did not join in the rebellion, but criticized the military response of the President
George Washington George Washington (February 22, 1732, 1799) was an American soldier, statesman, and Founding Father The following list of national founding figures is a record, by country, of people who were credited with establishing a state. Natio ...

George Washington
's administration as an overreaction. Gallatin helped persuade many of the angered farmers to end the rebellion, urging them to accept that "if any one part of the Union are suffered to oppose by force the determination of the whole, there is an end to government itself and of course to the Union." The rebellion collapsed as the army moved near, and there was no fighting.


House of Representatives

In the aftermath of the Whiskey Rebellion, Gallatin won election to the
United States House of Representatives The United States House of Representatives is the lower house of the United States Congress, with the United States Senate, Senate being the upper house. Together they compose the national Bicameralism, bicameral legislature of the United S ...
, taking his seat in March 1795. Upon his return to Congress, Gallatin became the leading financial expert of the
Democratic-Republican Party The Democratic-Republican Party, also referred to as the Jeffersonian Republican Party and known at the time under various other names, was an American political party founded by Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – ...
. In 1796, Gallatin published ''A Sketch on the Finances of the United States'', which discussed the operations of the Treasury Department and strongly attacked the
Federalist Party The Federalist Party was the first political party in the United States American electoral politics has been dominated by two major political parties since shortly after the founding of the republic. Since the 1850s, they have been the Histo ...
's financial program. Some historians and biographers believe that Gallatin founded the House Ways and Means and Committee in order to check Hamilton's influence over financial issues, but historian Patrick Furlong argues that Hamilton's Federalist allies were actually responsible for founding the committee. After
James Madison James Madison Jr. (March 16, 1751June 28, 1836) was an American statesman, diplomat, expansionist, philosopher, and Founding Father The following list of national founding figures is a record, by country, of people who were credited wi ...

James Madison
declined to seek re-election in 1796, Gallatin emerged as the Democratic-Republican leader in the House of Representatives. During the
Quasi-War The Quasi-War (french: Quasi-guerre) was an undeclared naval war fought from 1798 to 1800 between the United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country ...
with France, Gallatin criticized military expenditures and opposed passage of the
Alien and Sedition Acts The Alien and Sedition Acts were four laws passed by the Federalist The term ''federalist'' describes several political beliefs around the world. It may also refer to the concept of parties, whose members or supporters called themselves ''Fede ...
. In the
contingent election In the United States, a contingent election is the procedure used to elect the president or vice president if no candidate for one or both of these offices wins an absolute majority of votes in the Electoral College An electoral college is ...
that decided the outcome of the 1800 presidential election, Gallatin helped
Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826) was an American statesman, diplomat, lawyer, architect, philosopher, and Founding Father The following list of national founding figures is a record, by country, of people who were cr ...

Thomas Jefferson
secure victory over his ostensible running mate,
Aaron Burr Aaron Burr Jr. (February 6, 1756 – September 14, 1836) was an American politician and lawyer. He served as the third vice president of the United States The vice president of the United States (VPOTUS) is the second-highest officer in ...

Aaron Burr
.


Secretary of the Treasury


Jefferson administration

Gallatin's mastery of public finance made him the obvious choice as Jefferson's
Secretary of the Treasury The United States secretary of the treasury is the head of the United States Department of the Treasury The Department of the Treasury (USDT) is the national treasury A treasury is either *A government department related to finance and t ...
; as Jefferson put it, Gallatin was "the only man in the United States who understands, through all the labyrinths Hamilton involved it, the precise state of the Treasury." Gallatin received a
recess appointment In the United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, st ...
in May 1801 and was confirmed by the Senate in January 1802. Along with Secretary of State Madison and Jefferson himself, Gallatin became one of the three key officials in the Jefferson administration. As Jefferson and Madison spent the majority of the summer months at their respective estates, Gallatin was frequently left to preside over the operations of the federal government. He also acted as a moderating force on Jefferson's speeches and policies, in one case convincing Jefferson to refrain from calling for the abolition of the
General Welfare Clause A general welfare clause is a section that appears in many constitution A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles A principle is a proposition or value that is a guide for behavior or evaluation. In law, it is a rule Rul ...
. Gallatin also argued against the United States going into trade with the newly liberated Haiti, going as far as to claim that the right of self-determination should be denied to others occasionally, especially if those "others" in question were not white. With Gallatin taking charge of fiscal policy, the new administration sought to lower taxation (though not import duties), spending, and the
national debt In public finance Public finance is the study of the role of the government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and me ...
; debt reduction in particular had long been a key goal of the party and Gallatin himself. When Gallatin took office in 1801, the national debt stood at $83 million. By 1812, the U.S. national debt had fallen to $45.2 million. Burrows says of Gallatin:
His own fears of personal dependency and his small-shopkeeper's sense of integrity, both reinforced by a strain of radical republican thought that originated in England a century earlier, convinced him that public debts were a nursery of multiple public evils—corruption, legislative impotence, executive tyranny, social inequality, financial speculation, and personal indolence. Not only was it necessary to extinguish the existing debt as rapidly as possible, he argued, but Congress would have to ensure against the accumulation of future debts by more diligently supervising government expenditures.
Shortly after taking office, Gallatin worked with House Ways and Means Committee Chairman
John Randolph
John Randolph
to reduce federal spending and reduce or abolish all internal taxes, including the tax on whiskey. He presided over dramatic reductions in military spending, particularly for the
United States Navy ), (unofficial)."''Non sibi sed patriae''" ( en, "Not for self but for country") (unofficial). , colors = Blue and gold  , colors_label = Colors , march = "Anchors Aweigh" , mascot = , equipment = List of equipment of the United St ...
. Despite his opposition to debt, Gallatin strongly supported and arranged the financing for the
Louisiana Purchase The Louisiana Purchase (french: Vente de la Louisiane, translation=Sale of Louisiana) was the acquisition of the territory of Louisiana by the United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United St ...

Louisiana Purchase
, in which the U.S. bought
French Louisiana This map shows the Louisiana Purchase area, which corresponds with much of colonial French Louisiana, but the colony extended further into the Illinois Country.The term French Louisiana refers to two distinct regions: * first, to Louisiana (New F ...
. Both Jefferson and Gallatin regarded control of the port of
New Orleans New Orleans (,New Orleans
, which was ceded in the purchase, as the key to the development of the Western United States. Jefferson had doubts about the constitutionality of the purchase, but Gallatin helped convince the president that a constitutional amendment authorizing the purchase was impractical and unnecessary. Gallatin also championed and helped plan the
Lewis and Clark Expedition The Lewis and Clark Expedition from August 31, 1803, to September 25, 1806, also known as the Corps of Discovery Expedition, was the United States expedition to cross the newly acquired western portion of the country after the Louisiana Pur ...
to explore lands west of the
Mississippi River The Mississippi River is the second-longest river and chief river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases, a river flows into the ground and b ...

Mississippi River
. Before and after the Louisiana Purchase, Gallatin presided over a major expansion of public land sales. With the goal of selling land directly to settlers rather than to land speculators, Gallatin increased the number of federal land offices from four to eighteen. In 1812, Congress established the
General Land Office The General Land Office (GLO) was an independent agency of the United States government Independent agencies of the United States federal government The federal government of the United States (U.S. federal government or U.S. governmen ...
as part of the Department of Treasury, charging the new office with overseeing public lands. To help develop western lands, Gallatin advocated for
internal improvements Internal improvements is the term used historically in the United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located ...
such as roads and canals, especially those that would connect to territories west of the Appalachian Mountains. In 1805, despite his earlier constitutional reservations, Jefferson announced his support for federally-financed infrastructure projects. Three years later, Gallatin put forward his ''Report on Roads and Canals'', in which he advocated for a $20 million federal infrastructure program. Among his proposals were canals through
Cape Cod Cape Cod is a geographic cape extending into the Atlantic Ocean from the southeastern corner of mainland Massachusetts Massachusetts (, ), officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is the most populous state State may refer to: Art ...

Cape Cod
, the
Delmarva Peninsula The Delmarva Peninsula, or simply Delmarva, is a large peninsula on the East Coast of the United States, occupied by the vast majority of the state of Delaware and parts of the Eastern Shore regions of Eastern Shore of Maryland, Maryland and E ...
, and the
Great Dismal Swamp 220px, Map of the Great Dismal Swamp The Great Dismal Swamp is a large swamp A swamp is a forested wetland.Keddy, P.A. 2010. Wetland Ecology: Principles and Conservation (2nd edition). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK. 497 p. Swamps ...
, a road stretching from Maine to Georgia, a series of canals connecting the
Hudson River The Hudson River is a river that flows from north to south primarily through eastern New York (state), New York in the United States. It originates in the Adirondack Mountains of Upstate New York and flows southward through the Hudson Valley ...

Hudson River
with the
Great Lakes The Great Lakes also called the Great Lakes of North America or the Laurentian Great Lakes, is a series of large interconnected freshwater lake A lake is an area filled with water, localized in a basin, surrounded by land Land ...

Great Lakes
, and various other canals to connect seaports like
Charleston Charleston most commonly refers to: * Charleston, South Carolina Charleston is the largest city in the U.S. state of South Carolina, the county seat of Charleston County, South Carolina, Charleston County, and the principal city in the Charle ...

Charleston
with interior regions. Resistance from many congressional Democratic-Republicans regarding cost, as well as hostilities with Britain, prevented the passage of a major infrastructure bill, but Gallatin did win funding for the construction of the
National Road The National Road (also known as the Cumberland Road) was the first major improved highway in the United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country ...

National Road
. The National Road linked the town of
Cumberland Cumberland ( ) is a historic counties of England, historic county of North West England that had an administrative function from the 12th century until 1974. It is bordered by the historic counties of Northumberland to the northeast, County Dur ...
, on the
Potomac River The Potomac River () is found within the Mid-AtlanticMid-Atlantic or Mid Atlantic can refer to: *The middle of the Atlantic Ocean *Mid-Atlantic English, a mix between British English and American English *Mid-Atlantic Region (Little League Worl ...

Potomac River
, with the town of Wheeling, which sat on the
Ohio River The Ohio River is a long river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases, a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at the end of its course wi ...

Ohio River
. Many of Gallatin's other proposals were eventually carried out years later by state and local governments, as well as private actors. Throughout much of Jefferson's presidency, France and Britain engaged in the
Napoleonic Wars The Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) were a series of major World war, global conflicts pitting the First French Empire, French Empire and its allies, led by Napoleon, Napoleon I, against a fluctuating array of Coalition forces of the Napoleonic W ...
. During Jefferson's second term, both the British and French stepped up efforts to prevent American trade with their respective enemy. Particularly offensive to many Americans was the British practice of
impressment Impressment, colloquially "the press" or the "press gang", is the taking of men into a military or naval force by compulsion, with or without notice. European navies of several nations used forced recruitment by various means. The large size of ...
, in which the British forced captured American sailors to crew British ships. Jefferson sent
James Monroe James Monroe (; April 28, 1758July 4, 1831) was an American statesman, lawyer, diplomat and Founding Father The following list of national founding figures is a record, by country, of people who were credited with establishing a state. ...
to Britain to negotiate a renewal and revision of the 1795
Jay Treaty The Treaty of Amity, Commerce, and Navigation, Between His Britannic Majesty and the United States of America, commonly known as the Jay Treaty, and also as Jay's Treaty, was a 1794 treaty between the United States and Great Britain that averted ...
, but Jefferson rejected the treaty that Monroe reached with the British. After the 1807 Chesapeake–Leopard affair, Jefferson proposed, over Gallatin's strong objections, what would become the
Embargo Act of 1807 The Embargo Act of 1807 was a general trade embargo Economic sanctions are commercial Commercial may refer to: * a dose of advertising conveyed through media (such as - for example - radio or television) ** Radio advertisement ** Televisio ...
. That act forbade all American ships from engaging in almost all foreign trade, and it remained in place until its repeal in the final days of Jefferson's presidency. Despite Gallatin's objection to the embargo, he was tasked with enforcing it against smugglers, who were able to evade the embargo in various ways. The embargo proved ineffective at accomplishing its intended purpose of punishing Britain and France, and it contributed to growing dissent in New England against the Jefferson administration. Overcoming Jefferson's declining popularity and the resentment at the embargo, Secretary of State Madison won the 1808 presidential election.


Madison administration

After taking office, Madison sought to appoint Gallatin as Secretary of State, which was generally seen as the most prestigious cabinet position. Opposition from the Senate convinced Madison to retain Gallatin as Secretary of the Treasury, and Robert Smith instead received the appointment as Secretary of State. Gallatin was deeply displeased by the appointment of Smith, and he was frequently criticized by Smith's brother, Senator
Samuel Smith Samuel Smith may refer to: In politics *Samuel Smith (Connecticut politician) (1646–1735), early settler of Norwalk, Connecticut and deputy of the General Assembly of the Colony of Connecticut in 1691 *Samuel Smith (1754–1834), British Member ...
, as well as journalist William Duane of the influential '' Philadelphia Aurora''. He considered resigning from government service, but Madison convinced him to stay on as a key cabinet official and adviser.McGraw (2012), pp. 285–287 In 1810, Gallatin published ''Report on the Subject of Manufactures'', in which he unsuccessfully urged Congress to create a $20 million federal loan program to support fledgling manufacturers. He was also unable to convince Congress to renew the charter of the
First Bank of the United States The President, Directors and Company of the Bank of the United States, commonly known as the First Bank of the United States, was a National Bank#United States of America, national bank, chartered for a term of twenty years, by the United States ...

First Bank of the United States
(commonly known as the
national bank In banking A bank is a financial institution that accepts deposits from the public and creates a demand deposit while simultaneously making loans. Lending activities can be directly performed by the bank or indirectly through capital ...
). Although the national bank had been established as part of Hamilton's economic program, and Jefferson believed that it was "one of the most deadly hostility existing against the principles and form of our Constitution," Gallatin saw the national bank as a key part of the country's financial system. In a letter to Jefferson, Gallatin argued that the bank was indispensable because it served as a place of deposit for government funds, a source of credit, and a regulator of currency. In January 1811, the national bank was effectively abolished after the House and the Senate both defeated bills to recharter the national bank in extremely narrow votes. In response, Gallatin sent a letter to Madison, asking for permission to resign and criticizing the president for various actions, including his failure to take a strong stance on the national bank. Shortly afterwards, Madison replaced Secretary of State Smith with James Monroe, and Gallatin withdrew his resignation request. Following the repeal of the Embargo Act of 1807, Gallatin was charged with enforcing the Non-Intercourse Act of 1809, which lifted parts of the trade embargo but still prevented American ships from engaging in trade with the British and French empires. In 1811, Congress replaced the Non-Intercourse Act of 1809 with a law known as
Macon's Bill Number 2 Macon's Bill Number 2, which became law in the United States on May 14, 1810, was intended to motivate Great Britain and France to stop seizing American ships, cargoes, and crews during the Napoleonic Wars. This was a revision of the original bill ...
, which authorized the president to restore trade with either France or Britain if either promised to respect American neutrality. As with previous embargo policies pursued by the federal government under Jefferson and Madison, Macon's Bill Number 2 proved to be ineffective at halting the attacks on American shipping. In June 1812, Madison signed a declaration of war against Britain, beginning the
War of 1812 The War of 1812 (18 June 1812 – 17 February 1815) was a conflict fought by the United States of America The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country in . It ...
. Madison ordered an invasion of
Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, ...

Canada
by relying on mostly state militias, but British forces defeated the invasion. The U.S. experienced some successes at sea, but were unable to break a British blockade of the United States. With the abolition of the national bank, the drop in import duties due to the war, and the inability or unwillingness of state banks to furnish credit, Gallatin struggled to fund the war. Reluctantly, he drafted and won passage of several new tax laws, as well as an increase in tariff rates. He also sold U.S.
securities A security is a tradable financial asset A financial asset is a non-physical asset In financial accounting Financial accounting is the field of accounting Accounting or Accountancy is the measurement, processing, and communication o ...
to investors, and an infusion of cash from wealthy investors
Stephen Girard Stephen Girard (May 20, 1750 – December 26, 1831; born Étienne Girard) was a naturalized American philanthropist Philanthropy consists of "private initiatives, for the Public good (economics), public good, focusing on quality of life". Phi ...

Stephen Girard
,
John Jacob Astor John Jacob Astor (born Johann Jakob Astor; July 17, 1763 – March 29, 1848) was a German-American businessman, merchant, real estate mogul, and investor who made his fortune mainly in a fur trade The fur trade is a worldwide industr ...

John Jacob Astor
, and
David Parish David Parish (December 4, 1778April 27, 1826) was a German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also G ...
proved critical to the financing of the war. During the War of 1812, the national debt grew dramatically, going from $45 million in early 1812 to $127 million in January 1816.


Diplomat

In 1813, President
James Madison James Madison Jr. (March 16, 1751June 28, 1836) was an American statesman, diplomat, expansionist, philosopher, and Founding Father The following list of national founding figures is a record, by country, of people who were credited wi ...

James Madison
sent Gallatin to
St. Petersburg Saint Petersburg ( rus, links=no, Санкт-Петербург, a=Ru-Sankt Peterburg Leningrad Petrograd Piter.ogg, r=Sankt-Peterburg, p=ˈsankt pʲɪtʲɪrˈburk), formerly known as Petrograd (1914–1924) and later Leningrad (1924–1991), ...

St. Petersburg
,
Russia Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the eastern region of . There is no consistent definition of the precise area it covers, partly because th ...

Russia
to serve as a negotiator for a peace agreement to end the War of 1812. He was one of four American commissioners who would negotiate the treaty, serving alongside
Henry Clay Henry Clay Sr. (April 12, 1777June 29, 1852) was an American attorney Attorney may refer to: Roles * Attorney at law, an official title of lawyers in some jurisdictions * Attorney general, the principal legal officer of (or advisor to) a gov ...

Henry Clay
, James Bayard,
Jonathan Russell Jonathan Russell (February 27, 1771 – February 17, 1832) was a United States Representative from Massachusetts and diplomat. Born in Providence, Rhode Island, Providence in the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Rhode Island Col ...
, and
John Quincy Adams John Quincy Adams (; July 11, 1767 – February 23, 1848) was an American statesman, diplomat, lawyer, and diarist, who served as the 6th president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the and of the . ...

John Quincy Adams
. Efforts at starting negotiations in Russia quickly collapsed. While waiting abroad in the hope of future negotiations, Gallatin was replaced as Secretary of the Treasury by George W. Campbell, with the expectation that Gallatin would take up his old post upon his return to the United States. Negotiations with the British finally commenced in
Ghent Ghent ( ; Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" Castle * Du ...

Ghent
in mid-1814. Negotiations at Ghent lasted for four months. The British could have chosen to shift resources to North America after the temporary defeat of
Napoleon Napoléon Bonaparte (15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) was a French military and political leader. He rose to prominence during the French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) refers to the period that began with the Estates General o ...

Napoleon
in April 1814, but, as Gallatin learned from Alexander Baring, many in Britain were tired of fighting. In December 1814, the two sides agreed to sign the
Treaty of Ghent The Treaty of Ghent () was the peace treaty that ended the War of 1812 The War of 1812 (18 June 1812 – 17 February 1815) was a conflict fought by the United States of America The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly ...
, which essentially represented a return to the
status quo ante bellum The term ''status quo ante bellum'' is a Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. ...
. The treaty did not address the issue of impressment, but that issue became a moot point after the British and their allies defeated Napoleon for a final time at the June 1815
Battle of Waterloo The Battle of Waterloo was fought on Sunday, 18 June 1815, near Waterloo Waterloo most commonly refers to: * Battle of Waterloo, a battle on 18 June 1815 in which Napoleon met his final defeat :* Waterloo, Belgium, a municipality in Belgium fr ...

Battle of Waterloo
. Gallatin's patience and skill in dealing with not only the British but also his fellow members of the American commission, including Clay and Adams, made the treaty "the special and peculiar triumph of Mr. Gallatin." After the end of the war, Gallatin negotiated a commercial treaty providing for a resumption of trade between the United States and Britain.McGraw (2012), pp. 309–314 Though the war with Britain had at best been a stalemate, Gallatin was pleased that it resulted in the consolidation of U.S. control over western territories, as the British withdrew their support from dissident Native Americans who had sought to create an
independent state Independence is a condition of a person, nation, country, or Sovereign state, state in which residents and population, or some portion thereof, exercise self-government, and usually sovereignty, over its territory. The opposite of independe ...
in the
Great Lakes region The Great Lakes region of North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographic ...

Great Lakes region
. He also noted that "the war has laid the foundation of permanent taxes and military establishments...under our former system we were becoming too selfish, too much attached exclusively to the acquisition of wealth...too much confined in our political feelings to local and State objects." When Gallatin returned from Europe in September 1815, he declined Madison's request to take up his old post as Secretary of the Treasury. He did, however, help convince Congress to charter the
Second Bank of the United States The Second Bank of the United States was the second federally authorized Hamiltonian national bank In banking A bank is a financial institution that accepts deposits from the public and creates a demand deposit while simultaneou ...
as a replacement for the defunct First Bank of the United States. Gallatin considered going into business with his longtime friend, John Jacob Astor, but ultimately he accepted appointment as ambassador to France. He served in that position from 1816 to 1823. Though he did not approve of the prevailing ideology of the
Bourbon RestorationBourbon Restoration may refer to: * Bourbon Restoration in France The Bourbon Restoration was the period of French history The first written records for the history of France appeared in the Iron Age The Iron Age is the final epoch of the ...
, Gallatin and his family enjoyed living in
Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most populous city of France, with an estimated population of 2,175,601 residents , in an area of more than . Since the 17th century, Paris ha ...

Paris
. While serving as ambassador to France, he helped negotiate the
Rush–Bagot Treaty The Rush–Bagot Treaty or Rush–Bagot Disarmament was a treaty between the United States and Great Britain limiting naval armaments on the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain, following the War of 1812. It was ratified by the United States Senate o ...
and the
Treaty of 1818 The Convention respecting fisheries, boundary and the restoration of slaves, also known as the London Convention, Anglo-American Convention of 1818, Convention of 1818, or simply the Treaty of 1818, is an international treaty A treaty is ...
, two treaties with Britain that settled several issues left over from the War of 1812 and established joint Anglo-American over
Oregon Country In the 19th century, the Oregon Country was a disputed region of the Pacific Northwest The Pacific Northwest (PNW) is a geographic region in western bounded by its coastal waters of the to the west and, loosely, by the to the east. Thou ...
. Upon returning to the United States, Gallatin agreed to serve as William H. Crawford's running mate in the 1824 United States presidential election, 1824 presidential election, but later withdrew from the race at Crawford's request. Crawford had originally hoped that Gallatin's presence on the ticket would help him win the support of Pennsylvania voters, but the emergence of General Andrew Jackson as a presidential contender caused Crawford to refocus his campaign on other states. Gallatin had never wanted the role and was humiliated when he was forced to withdraw from the race. He was alarmed at the possibility Jackson might win, as he saw Jackson as "an honest man and the idol of the worshippers of military glory, but from incapacity, military habits, and habitual disregard of laws and constitutional provisions, altogether unfit for the office." Ultimately,
John Quincy Adams John Quincy Adams (; July 11, 1767 – February 23, 1848) was an American statesman, diplomat, lawyer, and diarist, who served as the 6th president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the and of the . ...

John Quincy Adams
won the 1824 presidential election in a contingent election held in the House of Representatives. Gallatin and his wife returned to Friendship Hill after the presidential election, living there until 1826. That year, Gallatin accepted appointment as List of ambassadors of the United States to the United Kingdom, ambassador to Britain. After negotiating an extension of the Anglo-American control of Oregon Country, Gallatin returned to the United States in November 1827.


Later life

Gallatin moved to New York City in 1828 and became president of the National Bank of New York the following year. He attempted to persuade President Jackson to recharter the Second Bank of the United States, but Jackson vetoed a recharter bill and the Second Bank lost its federal charter in 1836. In 1831, Gallatin helped found
New York University New York University (NYU) is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, after an absence of ne ...
, and in 1843 he was elected president of the New–York Historical Society. In the mid-1840s, he opposed President James K. Polk's expansionist policies and wrote a widely-read pamphlet, ''Peace with Mexico'', that called for an end to the Mexican–American War. Gallatin was deeply interested in Native Americans, and he favored their assimilation into European-American culture as an alternative to Indian removal, forced relocation.McGraw (2012), p. 322 He drew upon government contacts to research Native Americans, gathering information through Lewis Cass, explorer William Clark, and Thomas McKenney of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Gallatin developed a personal relationship with Cherokee tribal leader John Ridge, who provided him with information on the vocabulary and the structure of the Cherokee language. Gallatin's research resulted in two published works: ''A Table of Indian Languages of the United States'' (1826) and ''Synopsis of the Indian Tribes of North America'' (1836). His research led him to conclude that the natives of North and South America were linguistically and culturally related and that their common ancestors had migrated from Asia in prehistoric times. Later research efforts include examination of selected Pueblo societies, the Akimel O'odham (Pima people, Pima) peoples, and the Maricopa people, Maricopa of the Southwest. In 1843, he co-founded the
American Ethnological Society The American Ethnological Society (AES) is the oldest professional anthropological Anthropology is the scientific study of human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species In biology, a species is the ...
, serving as the society's first president. Due to his studies of the languages of the Native Americans, he has been called "the father of American ethnology." The health of both Gallatin and his wife declined in the late 1840s, and Hannah died in May 1849. On August 12, 1849, Gallatin died in Astoria, New York, Astoria, now in the Borough of Queens, New York at age 88. He is interred at Trinity Churchyard in New York City. Prior to his death, Gallatin had been the last surviving member of the Jefferson cabinet and the last surviving senator from the 18th century.


Legacy

Gallatin is commemorated in the naming of a number of counties, roads, and streets, as well as through his association with New York University. The Gallatin River, named by the Lewis and Clark expedition, is one of three rivers (along with the Jefferson River and the Madison River) that converge near Three Forks, Montana to form the Missouri River. The town of Three Forks is in Gallatin County, Montana, and Montana also hosts Gallatin National Forest and Gallatin Range. Gallatin, Tennessee, the seat of Sumner County, Tennessee, Sumner County and Gallatin County, Kentucky are also named for Gallatin. Gallatin's home of Friendship Hill is maintained by the National Park Service. A Statue of Albert Gallatin, statue of Gallatin stands at the northern entrance of the Treasury Building (Washington, D.C.), Treasury Building; a Statue of Alexander Hamilton (Washington, D.C.), statue of Hamilton stands at the building's southern entrance. The Albert Gallatin Area School District, located in south western Fayette County, Pennsylvania, and having contained within Gallatin's home, Friendship Hill, is also named after Gallatin. Gallatin's name is associated with Gallatin School of Individualized Study, NYU's Gallatin School of Individualized Study. In 1791, Gallatin was elected to the American Philosophical Society. File:GallatinTreas.jpg, Statue of Albert Gallatin in front of the northern entrance to the United States Department of the Treasury, United States Treasury Building File:Alby Gallatin.JPG, Friendship Hill National Historic Site, Albert Gallatin House; Friendship Hill National Historic Site


See also

* Friendship Hill National Historic Site * Gallatin Bank Building * List of foreign-born United States Cabinet Secretaries * List of United States Senators born outside the United States * Seconds pendulum


Notes


References


Works cited

*
online edition
* * * * * * * * * *
online edition


Further reading


Secondary sources

* * * * * * * * * *


Primary sources

*
Volume I
(PDF)
Volume II
(PDF
Volume III
(PDF) * * *


External links

* * * * * * *
Friendship Hill National Historical Site


Exhibition, 14.10.2011–17.03.2012, Library of Genava, Switzerland *
Albert Gallatin's papers
at the Indiana State Library , - , - , - , - , - , - , - {{DEFAULTSORT:Gallatin, Albert 1761 births 1849 deaths People from Geneva Politicians from the Republic of Geneva Emigrants from former countries United States Secretaries of the Treasury Jefferson administration cabinet members Madison administration cabinet members Anti-Administration Party United States senators from Pennsylvania Democratic-Republican Party members of the United States House of Representatives from Pennsylvania Ambassadors of the United States to France Ambassadors of the United States to the United Kingdom 19th-century American diplomats Activists from Maine Activists from Pennsylvania Activists from Virginia American anti-war activists People from Machias, Maine Politicians from Morgantown, West Virginia Politicians from Pittsburgh American ethnologists Linguists of indigenous languages of North America New York University faculty Harvard University faculty Members of the American Antiquarian Society People of the Whiskey Rebellion American people of the War of 1812 Burials at Trinity Church Cemetery Members of the United States Senate declared not entitled to their seat