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Contact: Kitty Seifert, 724-725-9190
POINT MARION, Pa., The National Park Service invites area residents and visitors to a Sestercentennial Birthday Celebration for Albert Gallatin Saturday, January 29 at 2 p.m. at his Fayette County home at Friendship Hill National Historic Site.
Deux Sons will provide music of the period played on flute and bassoon. Cake and other refreshments will be provided by the Friendship Hill Association. There will be a special display of the winning artwork from the Albert Gallatin 250th Birthday Art Contest. The entries were from 5th graders of the Albert Gallatin Area School District. The students depicted moments in Gallatin's life which acknowledge his contributions.
Gallatin was born 250 years ago, on January 29, 1761, in Geneva (now part of Switzerland). After receiving an education he shunned the aristocratic lifestyle of Geneva and came to America in 1780. He served his adopted country as a Pennsylvania congressman helping to draft a new state constitution. As a member of the U.S. Congress, serving in both houses, Gallatin’s keen financial abilities tamed a debt ridden treasury with the development of the Ways & Means committee. President Thomas Jefferson took note of the young Gallatin and offered him a cabinet position as Secretary of the Treasury. Gallatin served almost thirteen years as secretary, still the longest term in that post. During his tenure, Gallatin arranged financing for the Louisiana Purchase – doubling the area of the United States – and Lewis & Clark’s exploration. The two explorers honored Gallatin by naming a river for him. Gallatin was still able to reduce the national debt by half.
During the War of 1812, he was asked to broker a peace with Britain. His negotiation skills gained an acceptable treaty and led to diplomatic appointment in France and England. He remained active after retiring from the government. In 1831, at age seventy, he was named president of the new National Bank of New York. He served on the council to establish New York University that same year. His lifelong interest in American Indian language led to several books on the subject and the founding of the American Ethnological Society. In all Gallatin will serve this country for nearly fifty years in public service. Gallatin died in 1849 at age eighty-eight, but his legacy lives on.
This celebration is the kickoff to a year of special acknowledgment of Gallatin’s contributions to making our fledgling nation stronger. Joining us in this effort are the members of the Friendship Hill Association, and park volunteers. Please come join in our celebration.
Friendship Hill National Historic Site is located on Rt. 166 between Point Marion, PA and New Geneva, PA. For further information contact the National Park Service at 724-725-9190 or visit Friendship Hill National Historic Site on the web at www.nps.gov/frhi.