James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Jonathan Russell, 2 December 1811

From Jonathan Russell

London 2 Decr 1811.


As there will be no doubt many Candidates for the consulate which has become vacant here by the death of Genl Lyman, I beg leave to bear testimony in favour of Mr Reuben Gaunt Beasley who has been provisionally appointed by Mr Smith. I have known Mr Beasley for some years & have a full conviction that his zeal—integrity & talents well fit him for the office in question. He is the Gentleman whom I first recommended to Genl Armstrong for commercial Agent of the United States at Stockholm1 but his business at the time rendering it inconvenient for him to accept that trust Mr. Speyer2 was named in his place. This fact will I trust prove the early good opinion I have had of Mr Beasley & be evidence of the sincerity with which I recommend him to you. He is indeed better qualified by his disposition—diligence & inflexibility to dectect [sic] & repress in these times the multiform abuses of our neutral character than any other person within my knowledge. I have the honour to be Sir with the highest respect Your most Obedient & faithful Servant

Jona Russell

FC (RPB-JH: Russell Papers).

1As one of his final acts before leaving France in September 1810, John Armstrong had sent Russell an unsealed commission for Reuben Beasley to present in Stockholm on the assumption that the amount of American property sequestered in Swedish ports was “of a magnitude to justify an extra-official act” (Armstrong to Russell, 26 Sept. 1810 [ibid.]).

2JM nominated John Speyer to be American consul in Stockholm on 27 Jan. 1812 (Senate Exec. Proceedings description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States of America (3 vols.; Washington, 1828). description ends , 2:207).

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