Thomas Jefferson approved the Louisiana Purchase and sent Lewis and Clarke to explore America’s newly acquired land. But Albert Gallatin paid the bills.
Gallatin served as Secretary of the Treasury for 13 years, under Jefferson and James Madison. Only one other person, Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes, who served from 1933 to 1946, held a cabinet-level position longer.
The Swiss-born Gallatin immigrated to America in 1780. He lived for awhile in Maine and taught French at Harvard University before moving to a rural estate in Pennsylvania, which he named Friendship Hill.
A strong advocate of states rights, Gallatin ran for the Senate in 1793, but was rejected because he hadn’t been a U.S. citizen for the required nine years. He completed three terms in the House of Representatives before joining Jefferson’s cabinet.
Friendship Hill National Historic Site recalls Gallatin’s political career, his varied business ventures, and his love of rural living.
The house includes exhibits about his life and authentic late 18th-century furnishings. Outside, you can stroll ten miles of hiking trails through a landscape that is gradually returning to the woods and meadows Gallatin enjoyed.