Havre de Grace 26th May, 1788
When I had the honor to see you in London a few days previous to your departure for America, I took the liberty of mentioning to you my intention of taking up residence at this place in a Mercantile capacity: I now beg permission to acquaint you, that wishing to render my abilties as extensively useful as possible, I have offered myself a Candidate for the American Consulate in the Northern District of France. With the approbation and advice of the Honble. Mr. Gorham & the Honble. Mr. King, I last year applied to the honble. the Continental Congress upon this Subject; but it being at a time when they were occupied by business of infinitely greater importance, my memorial was referr’d to the Secretary for Foreign Affairs, where I suppose it has lain dormant ever since. The uncertainty what mode of Government, or what Commercial regulations would be establish’d by my Country, has hitherto prevented a renewal of my application, but flattering myself that before this can have the honor of being presented to you, the new Federal Constitution will be so generally acceded to that there will not remain a doubt of its permanency. I shall again beg leave to call the attention of my Friends in America to an object which may so essentially serve the Commercial interest of that Country which gave me Birth, and to which, from principle and habit, I feel the firmest attachment.
Permit me, Sir, respectfully to solicit your influence in behalf of my appointment to the Consulate beforemention’d.
The respectability of this Office may induce men of more brilliant Talents than I can boast, to become Candidates for it, but I dare affirm, with the greatest confidence, that no one will ever more zealously strive to promote the interest of his Constituents than myself.
Those Fathers of our Country who will have the appointing all its executive Officers, are undoubtedly competent judges of the qualifications requisite to render any office productive of that utility which is the primary object of its institution.—
I beg leave only to subjoin, that from my general acquaintance with Commercial affairs, and that knowledge of the language, manners & customs of this Country which I have already acquired and shall assiduously endeavour to improve, I flatter myself I shall be enabled to render my Countrymen such services at this Port, as will insure me the pleasure of their approbation.—
I have the honor to be, with the greatest Respect, Sir, Your most obedt. & very huml. Servt.
MHi: Adams Papers.