George Washington Papers

Dominick Lynch to Tobias Lear, 4 June 1790

Dominick Lynch to Tobias Lear

New York 4th June 1790


I hope you will excuse the Liberty I take in addressing you on a subject which my Inclination wou’d lead me not to interfere in, but the wish to serve a most respectable friend induces me to intrude upon you.

Mr John Street of Fyal who in consideration of his services to American Prisoners &c. was by the Portuguese Senate for the western Islands appointed during the war American agent & Consul, at present entertains no pretentions not being a Citizen of the united States, one of his family & a near relation Mr John Street who was sent by him to this Country has been naturalized, & at present resides in Philadelphia. this Gentleman agreeable to the wishes of his Kinsman sollicits the Honor of the appointment & from the respectability of his Connections & family both in Portugal & in the Islands am sure he will at all times act with Integrity.1

if not too presumptious request you will be pleased to communicate the purport of this Letter to His Excellency the President. I have the Honor to be with great respect Sir Your most obedient & most humble Servant

Dom. Lynch


For an identification of Dominick Lynch, see Robert Adams to GW, 13 Oct. 1788, n.2.

1John Street (Jean Street d’Harriague; c.1760-1807) served as French consul at Fayal from 1783 to 1793. Despite his temporary appointment, Street did not solicit the appointment as U.S. consul because on 16 March 1784 the Continental Congress had resolved "That it is inconsistent with the interest of the United States to appoint any person not a citizen thereof, to the office of Minister, chargé des affaires, Consul, vice-consul, or to any other civil department in a foreign country" (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 26:144). John D. Street (b. c.1767) of Philadelphia was John Street’s cousin. The younger Street, a naturalized American citizen who worked for John Telles & Company, was also recommended for the consulship by Telles and Daniel Carroll. Robert Morris and Thomas FitzSimons, however, supported John Street of Fayal, and on 2 Aug. 1790 he, rather than John D. Street of Philadelphia, received the appointment as vice-consul of the United States, “for the said Island of Fayal, and for such other of the Azores or Western Islands as shall be nearer to Fayal than to the residence of any other Consul or Vice-Consul of the United States within the same allegiance” (statement that John Street solicits the appointment of John D. Street, n.d., John Telles to Robert Morris, 12 May 1790, and Lynch to Daniel Carroll, n.d., all in DLC:GW; Boyd, Jefferson Papers description begins Julian P. Boyd et al., eds. The Papers of Thomas Jefferson. 40 vols. to date. Princeton, N.J., 1950—. description ends , 17:251, 19:312, n.46; DHFC description begins Linda Grant De Pauw et al., eds. Documentary History of the First Federal Congress of the United States of America, March 4, 1789-March 3, 1791. 20 vols. to date. Baltimore, 1972—. description ends , 2:84).

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