Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from James Bowdoin, 3 July 1806

Paris July 3rd 1806


I take the liberty of acquainting you with the sudden death of Mr Lewis oBrien, late Consul of the U States for the Port of St. Ander in Spain. He was at Madrid making reclamations of the property of our Citizens, condemned in the lower [prvat] Courts, where he died in a most distressing manner on the 24th of April last, as will appear by the enclosed letters.

I was not personally acquainted with Mr. OBrien, but I understand that he has been an active and faitful Consul of the U States at that port for many years. He has left a large and respectable family a wife, a very worthy well informed and venerable Lady, and seven children of different ages from twenty four down to two years of age, who are principally well educated. His widow proposes to continue the business of her late husband, and expects to be aided therein by her eldest Son Lewis OBrien (certificates of whose character and qualifications I take thy liberty to enclose.) As Mrs. OBrien possesses remarkable activity and information, I have no doubt, that she will be able to carry on the business she proposes with great fitness and propriety, and as it is probable that there are a number of adventures and cargoes connected with the house of OBrien, which remain unsettled, I conceive it will be a great advantage to a number of our citizens, that she should be encouraged on the undertaking. She has requested my recommendation of her Son to you Sir, that he may succeed to the place of his Father. I should not trouble you Sir, with recommendations of this sort upon common occasions; but I owe so much gratitude to the kindness and protection of Mrs. O’Brien and her worthy family during My extreme sickness at St. Ander, for the very great and unwearied attention that both she and they paid to me and my family at a most distressing period. call from me this recommendation, and makes me hope that unless there should be a much better one, which I greatly doubt, knowing as much as I do of St. Ander, that you will be pleased to nominate the son of the Late Mr OBrien to be consul of the U States at the port of St. Ander.

The attentions of Mrs. OBrien and her family were personal, but they originated from my character, as minister, and on that account merit attention.

I had the honor to write to you on the 1st of March and on the 20th of May last to which permit me most respectfully to refer you.

I am with the highest consideration and attachment, Sir, Your faithful and most obedt Sevt.

James Bowdoin

MeB: James Bowdoin Letterbook.

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