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Erik Visits an American Grave, Part 55


This is the grave of Albert Gallatin.


Born in Geneva in 1761, Albert Gallatin immigrated to the United States in the 1780s, moving to the frontier of western Pennsylvania. He soon became a local political leader, close to the Jeffersonians as the first political party system developed. He was elected to the Senate in 1793 but not allowed to serve because the Federalists claimed he had not lived in the United States long enough. Instead, he ran for Congress in 1794, where he took the lead in the House in opposing Alexander Hamilton’s financial policies that centered wealth in the pockets of his friends in the growing banking houses in the cities. Gallatin took the lead on creating the House Ways and Means Committee to increase Congressional control over the executive branch. His expertise in finance led to Thomas Jefferson picking him as Secretary of the Treasury in 1801, where he would serve until 1814, one of the longest serving Cabinet secretaries in U.S. History. He only left that position to take the lead in negotiating the treaty to end the War of 1812. He then stayed on in Paris, serving as Ambassador to France from 1816-23. He was nominated for Vice-President under William Crawford in 1824, but that collapsed when Crawford’s health went south. Instead, Gallatin went back to Europe, serving as Minister to Britain in 1826 and 1827. Upon returning to the U.S., he moved from his beloved western Pennsylvania to New York because his family hated the country life. He would go on to found New York University in 1831 and became president of the National Bank in New York from 1831-39. He also co-founded the American Ethnological Society in 1842, serving as its president until his death in 1849.

Evidently, Albert Gallatin has never been portrayed on the big screen, which is unfortunate.

Albert Gallatin in buried in Trinity Church Cemetery, Manhattan, New York.

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