From Andrew Ellicott
Lancaster December 24th. 1802
I beg leave to introduce to your acquaintance, and civilities, the bearer Mr. Levett Harriss:—he is a young Gentleman of talents, and education, and whose connexions are very respectable. He is well acquainted with merchantile transactions, and proposes settling in some commercial city in europe, where if a consulship should be vacant, I have no doubt but he would perform the duties of such an office with reputation to himself, and do credit to the appointment.
I have the honour to be with great esteem, your sincere friend, and Hbl. Servt.
RC (DNA: RG 59, LAR); at foot of text: “President U.S.”; endorsed by TJ as received 10 Jan. and “Harris Levitt. to be Consul” and so recorded in SJL; also endorsed by TJ: “Petersbg if does not accept.” PrC (DLC: Ellicott Papers).
In March 1803, Madison asked Levett Harris to choose between the consulship at Rotterdam and the one at St. Petersburg, Russia. Harris did not reply promptly, so Madison and TJ gave him the position at Rotterdam. When Harris, on receipt of the commission, expressed his preference for the other city, TJ signed a new commission appointing him consul at St. Petersburg (Madison, Papers description begins William T. Hutchinson, Robert A. Rutland, J. C. A. Stagg, and others, eds., The Papers of James Madison, Chicago and Charlottesville, 1962–, 33 vols. Sec. of State Ser., 1986–, 9 vols. Pres. Ser., 1984–, 6 vols. Ret. Ser., 2009–, 1 vol. description ends , Sec. of State Ser., 4:466).