The firm is named in honor of Albert Gallatin, a native of Geneva, who came to the United States in 1780 at the age of 19, and later was Secretary of the Treasury in the cabinets of Presidents Jefferson and Madison, where he played a leading role in the Louisiana Purchase as well as the funding of the Lewis and Clark expedition. The Gallatin River, one of the three main tributaries of the Missouri that were explored by Lewis and Clark, was named after him. He was a negotiator of the Treaty of Ghent ending the War of 1812, American Minister to France and Britain, a founder of New York University and one of the earliest students of American ethnography.
Nicholas Dungan, in his biography of Gallatin published in 2010, writes: “Albert Gallatin contributed to the welfare and independence of the United States as fully as any other statesman of his age.”
A statue of Albert Gallatin stands in front of the U.S. Treasury Department headquarters in Washington D.C.