GALLATIN, Abraham Alfonse Albert, generally known as ALBERT GALLATIN, American statesman and diplomat, and one of the fore most public financiers of the United States: b. Geneva, Switzerland, 29 Jan. 1761; d. Astoria, N. Y., 12 Aug. 1849. In 1773, both his parents having died a few years previously, the boy was sent to a boarding-school and in August 1775 to the Academy of Geneva, from which he gradu ated in May 1779, the first in his class in mathe matics, natural philosophy and Latin translation. In 1780, after refusing a commission as lieuten ant-colonel of a regiment of mercenaries under the Landgrave of Hesse, he and a friend, Henri Sente, secretly left Geneva for the United ,States and established themselves in business at Machias, Me., but in 1781 abandoned this un successful enterprise, Gallatin going to Boston where he supported himself by teaching French. In July 1782 he received permission to teach French in Harvard College, in which occupation he remained for about a year. In July 1783 he left Boston and purchased several thousand acres of land on the south side of the Ohio be tween the Monongahela and Kanawha rivers, in March 1784 establishing himself in a country store in Fayette County, Pa. In May 1789, against the wish of her mother, he married Sophie Allegre, but in the following October she 'died.
• Gallatin had early evinced an intense interest in the political affairs of his adopted country and, after the adoption of the Constitution by the Federal Convention, joined the Anti-Fed eralists (q.v.). In September 1788, after Penn sylvania had ratified the Constitution, Gallatin represented Fayette County at a conference at Harrisburg for the purpose of suggesting amendments. In 1789-90 he was a delegate to a convention called to revise the constitution of Pennsylvania, and in October 1790, as also in the two following years, was elected to repre sent Fayette County in the State legislature. In this body he was conspicuously active, being a member of 4 committees, preparing all their reports and drawing all their bills, his report prepared for the committee of ways and means of the session of 1790-91, laying the foundation of his reputation. He bitterly opposed the ex cise laws, acting as secretary of meetings and drafting resolutions which, if not criminal, at least reached the utmost limit of indiscretion and expressed sentiments which he himself later acknowledged to be "violent, intemperate, and reprehensible.* On 28 Feb. 1793 the Pennsyl
vania legislature elected Gallatin a United States Senator and on 2 December he took his seat, but on 28 Feb. 1794 the Senate refused his admission to that body because he had not ac tually been a citizen for nine years as pre scribed in the Constitution. On 11 Nov. 1793, prior to taking his seat in the Senate, he had married Hannah Nicholson, daughter of Com modore James Nicholson, and for a few months was engaged in cultivating his lands, but in 1794 again plunged into the vortex of public life in connection with the Whisky Insurrection (q.v.). In October 1794 he was elected both .to the State legislature and to Congress; his elec tion to the legislature was declared. void on 9 Jan. 1795, but he was immediately re-elected and sat from 14 February to 12 March, when he was granted leave of absence. In December 1795 he took his scat in the House of Representatives, joining the Republican party, became a member of the finance committee, and immediately ex hibited his grasp of national affairs and his unique financial talents. He steadfastly opposed the Jay treaty (q.v.)• and the increase of the army and navy, earnesitly advocated the pro tection of the frontier, favored direct taxes, criticized the operations of the Treasury De partment, objected to the manner of handling relations with France, fought the passage of the Alien and Sedition laws (q.v.) and by 1801 had become a powerful influence in the councils of his party.
Gallatin's 'Sketch of the Finances of the United States' (1796) and his 'Views of the Public Debt, Receipts and Expenditures of the United States' (1800) gained for him great re nown as an economist and statistician, and to gether with his known abilities as an adminis trator of public finances brought him in 1801 the appointment as Secretary of the Treasury, which office he held continuously until 1813. He persistently urged and to a considerable degree effected a rigid economy in governmental finan cial operations, improved the internal revenue and sinking fund systems, reduced the public debt, provided funds to carry on the war without disturbing the financial system of the country, and devised a comprehensive plan for internal improvements. (_See UNITED STATES - Ft