To Nathaniel Barrett
Philadelphia Dec. 15. 1791.
In answer to your favor of the 6th. inst. I take the liberty of mentioning to you that the consulates of Lisbon and Cadiz, have both of them been for some time otherwise destined, tho’ not yet named to; and consequently that Mr. Appleton cannot be appointed to either. I had not answered his letters on this subject, because were I to answer one, I must answer every application of this nature and you will readily conceive to what this would lead, and consequently that it has been a matter of necessity to establish it as a general rule to give no answers to the parties except where the appointment takes place.—I am with great esteem Dr. Sir your most obedt humble servt,
Barrett, who had just returned from Europe, had written TJ on 6 Dec. at the request of Thomas APPLETON, although he did not mention Cadiz (RC in DNA: RG 59, CD; endorsed by TJ as received 13 Dec. 1791 and so recorded in SJL). Appleton had applied for the Lisbon post in letters to TJ of 12 Dec. 1790 and 10 July 1791, and his father had recently supported his application in a letter to the President (Nathaniel Appleton to Washington, 3 Dec. 1791, DLC: Washington Papers). For the candidates who were currently under consideration for consular appointments in Lisbon and Cadiz, see TJ to Washington, 22 Dec. 1791.