Albert Gallatin is known for his contributions to academia, namely as the founder of New York University and cofounder of the American Ethnological Society.
65 Facts About Albert Gallatin
Albert Gallatin was born in Geneva in present-day Switzerland and spoke French as a first language.
Albert Gallatin served as a delegate to the 1789 Pennsylvania Constitutional Convention and won election to the Pennsylvania General Assembly.
Albert Gallatin was elected to the United States Senate in 1793, emerging as a leading Anti-Federalist and opponent of Alexander Hamilton's economic policies.
However, he was removed from office on a party-line vote due to not meeting requisite citizenship requirements; returning to Pennsylvania, Albert Gallatin helped calm many angry farmers during the Whiskey Rebellion.
Albert Gallatin won election to the House of Representatives in 1795, where he helped establish the House Ways and Means Committee.
Albert Gallatin became the chief spokesman on financial matters for the Democratic-Republican Party and led opposition to the Federalist economic program.
Albert Gallatin helped Thomas Jefferson prevail in the contentious presidential election of 1800, and his reputation as a prudent financial manager led to his appointment as Treasury Secretary.
Under Jefferson, Albert Gallatin reduced government spending, instituted checks and balances for government expenditures, and financed the Louisiana Purchase.
Albert Gallatin retained his position through James Madison's administration until February 1814, maintaining much of Hamilton's financial system while presiding over a reduction in the national debt.
Albert Gallatin served on the American commission that agreed to the Treaty of Ghent, which ended the War of 1812.
Albert Gallatin thereafter retired from politics and dedicated the rest of his life to various civic, humanitarian, and academic causes.
Albert Gallatin's parents were the wealthy Jean Gallatin and his wife Sophie Albertine Rollaz.
Albert Gallatin's family had great influence in the Republic of Geneva, and many family members held distinguished positions in the magistracy and the army.
Now orphaned, Albert Gallatin was taken into the care of Mademoiselle Pictet, a family friend and distant relative of Albert Gallatin's father.
At Machias, Albert Gallatin operated a bartering venture, in which he dealt with a variety of goods and supplies.
Albert Gallatin enjoyed the simple life and the natural environment surrounding him.
Friends of Pictet, who had learned that Albert Gallatin had traveled to the United States, convinced Harvard College to employ Albert Gallatin as a French tutor.
Albert Gallatin disliked living in New England, instead preferring to become a farmer in the Trans-Appalachian West, which at that point was the frontier of American settlement.
Albert Gallatin 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.
Albert 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.
Albert Gallatin built a stone house named Friendship Hill on the new property.
Albert Gallatin co-founded a company designed to attract Swiss settlers to the United States, but the company proved unable to attract many settlers.
In 1789, Albert Gallatin married Sophie Allegre, the daughter of a Richmond boardinghouse owner, but Allegre died just five months into the marriage.
Albert Gallatin was in mourning for a number of years and seriously considered returning to Geneva.
Albert Gallatin's marriage proved to be politically and economically advantageous, as the Nicholsons enjoyed connections in New York, Georgia, and Maryland.
In 1788, Albert Gallatin was elected as a delegate to a state convention to discuss possible revisions to the United States Constitution.
Albert Gallatin had strongly opposed the 1791 establishment of an excise tax on whiskey, as whiskey trade and production constituted an important part of the Western economy.
In 1794, after Albert Gallatin had been removed from the Senate and returned to Friendship Hill, the Whiskey Rebellion broke out among disgruntled farmers opposed to the federal collection of the whiskey tax.
Albert Gallatin did not join in the rebellion, but criticized the military response of the President George Washington's administration as an overreaction.
In 1796, Albert 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's financial program.
Some historians and biographers believe that Albert Gallatin founded the House Ways and Means 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.
Albert Gallatin 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.
Shortly after taking office, Albert Gallatin worked with House Ways and Means Committee Chairman John Randolph to reduce federal spending and reduce or abolish all internal taxes, including the tax on whiskey.
Albert Gallatin presided over dramatic reductions in military spending, particularly for the United States Navy.
Jefferson had doubts about the constitutionality of the purchase, but Albert Gallatin helped convince the president that a constitutional amendment authorizing the purchase was impractical and unnecessary.
Albert Gallatin championed and helped plan the Lewis and Clark Expedition to explore lands west of the Mississippi River.
Three years later, Albert Gallatin put forward his Report on Roads and Canals, in which he advocated for a $20 million federal infrastructure program.
Resistance from many congressional Democratic-Republicans regarding cost, as well as hostilities with Britain, prevented the passage of a major infrastructure bill, but Albert Gallatin did win funding for the construction of the National Road.
Albert Gallatin was deeply displeased by the appointment of Smith, and he was frequently criticized by Smith's brother, Senator Samuel Smith, as well as journalist William Duane of the influential Philadelphia Aurora.
Albert Gallatin considered resigning from government service, but Madison convinced him to stay on as a key cabinet official and adviser.
In 1810, Albert 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.
Albert Gallatin was unable to convince Congress to renew the charter of the First Bank of the United States.
Shortly afterwards, Madison replaced Secretary of State Smith with James Monroe, and Albert Gallatin withdrew his resignation request.
Albert Gallatin sold US securities to investors, and an infusion of cash from wealthy investors Stephen Girard, John Jacob Astor, and David Parish proved critical to the financing of the war.
Albert Gallatin was one of four American commissioners who would negotiate the treaty, serving alongside Henry Clay, James Bayard, Jonathan Russell, and John Quincy Adams.
The British could have chosen to shift resources to North America after the temporary defeat of Napoleon in April 1814, but, as Albert Gallatin learned from Alexander Baring, many in Britain were tired of fighting.
Albert Gallatin did help convince Congress to charter the Second Bank of the United States as a replacement for the defunct First Bank of the United States.
Albert Gallatin considered going into business with his longtime friend, John Jacob Astor, but ultimately he accepted appointment as ambassador to France.
Albert Gallatin served in that position from 1816 to 1823.
Albert Gallatin had never wanted the role and was humiliated when he was forced to withdraw from the race.
Albert Gallatin moved to New York City in 1828 and became president of the National Bank of New York the following year.
Albert Gallatin 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, Albert Gallatin helped found New York University, and in 1843 he was elected president of the New York Historical Society.
Albert Gallatin was deeply interested in Native Americans, and he favored their assimilation into European-American culture as an alternative to forced relocation.
Albert 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.
Albert Gallatin's research resulted in two published works: A Table of Indian Languages of the United States and Synopsis of the Indian Tribes of North America.
Albert Gallatin's 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.
Albert Gallatin is interred at Trinity Churchyard in New York City.
Albert 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 Albert Gallatin River, named by the Lewis and Clark expedition, is one of three rivers that converge near Three Forks, Montana to form the Missouri River.
Businessman Albert Gallatin Edwards was named after Gallatin.
Albert Gallatin's name is associated with NYU's Albert Gallatin School of Individualized Study.
In 1791, Albert Gallatin was elected to the American Philosophical Society.