Commercial Warfare The Louisiana Purchase
WITH the inauguration of Thomas Jefferson in 1801 the twelve years of Federalist government under the administrations of Washington and John Adams came to an end. During all this time Hamilton as Secretary of the Treasury or as the directive force back of Wolcott and Dexter, his successors in that office, had ably guided the financial interests of the infant nation.
The financier of the Jefferson administration was Albert Gallatin, of Swiss extraction and early training. He did not have the great constructive ability of Hamilton but was well fitted for his office, having for many years been a close student of financial matters, especially of our own national finances. To him we are indebted for the installation of many of the methods for the orderly administration of the affairs of the Treasury Department which have survived to this day. The publication of regular annual reports on the condition of the national finances was inaugurated by Gallatin in 1801. Galla- tin was not as successful as a financier as he was as a financial administrator. This fact will become more in evidence when we consider the financial methods which he devised for the conduct of the War of 1812.
When Gallatin assumed office he found that the national debt was slightly less than $80,000,000. This was in round figures an increase of about three million dollars for the