Gregory May on "Jefferson's Treasure: How Albert Gallatin Saved the New Nation from Debt"

Lunch and Learn Series

Gregory May on \

Thursday, December 6, 2018 | 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM

Event location: 
48 Wall Street, 5th Floor
New York City

Watch this program on C-SPAN.

To this day, the fight over fiscal policy lies at the center of American politics. Jefferson’s champion in that fight was Albert Gallatin—a Swiss immigrant who served as Treasury Secretary for 12 years because he was the only man in Jefferson’s party who understood finance well enough to reform Alexander Hamilton’s financial system.

Gallatin first came to national attention as a rebel spokesman in the tax uprising later called the Whiskey Rebellion. Despite anti-immigrant bias and Hamilton’s attempts to destroy him, he became the Congressional leader of the Republican opposition during John Adams’s administration. After the Republicans elected Jefferson as President, Gallatin took charge of the Treasury—the largest and most powerful department of government. By the time Gallatin left office, he had undone Hamilton’s system and set the country’s finances on a bold new republican course.

In Jefferson's Treasure, Gregory May takes a penetrating look at Gallatin's rise to power, his tumultuous years at the Treasury and his enduring influence on American fiscal policy. By probing deeply into the evidence, the book exposes the visceral motives behind the Republican financial reforms and shows why Gallatin more than Hamilton was the nation’s financial founder.

About the Author
Gregory May is an internationally-known tax expert who has written extensively about tax and tax policy. He brings a fresh and vigorous perspective to American financial history. Decades of work on historic preservation have given him a lively sense of the past as a tangible world, and long familiarity with finance has helped him to decode the evidence about America’s financial founding. After working as a Supreme Court law clerk, Greg practiced law in Washington, DC and New York for 30 years. He is a graduate of the College of William and Mary, where he wrote a thesis about the War of 1812, and Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review.