Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from James Bowdoin, 23 November 1804

Boston Nov. 23. 1804.


I should be insensible to the marked & distinguished notice, you have been pleased to take of me, in nominating me, as one of the foreign ministers of the united States, did I not avail myself of the earliest opportunity, to thank you for your condescension & politeness, in thus thinking of me.—

Should it Sir, not meet the sanction of the Senate or should I, from ill-health, or other cause, find myself under the necessity of declining the honour of the appointment, I shall ever feel grateful to you, for this mark of distinction. My Health Sir, has been very indifferent for sometime past, & for these last six weeks, I have been quite unwell. I hope, Sir, that yr. appointment will not require an immediate attendance at the seat of Government, for such is the present state of my health, that I am satisfied, my Physcian will absolutely prohibit me, from suddenly undertaking so long a Journey. A Voyage to Europe would probably contribute to my general Health, but whether the public business will allow of any delay, is a question, I am quite unable to determine—

Permit me, Sir, to say, that under every circumstance of the case, I shall always feel an unalterable attachment to your Person, character & Administration.

Permit me, Sir, before I close my Letter, to particularly thank you for nominating Mr. Erving, as Secretary of Legation to the court of Madrid. He is a man of Talents, my Relation & particular Friend.

Believe me with the highest consideration & esteem, very respectfully, Sir, Your much obliged & faithful hble Servant

James Bowdoin

DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.

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