Mount Vernon 10th October 1796
Your letter of the 5th instant with its enclosure, came to hand by Friday’s Post.
The extracts therein produced both pleasure & pain—the former at hearing that our Citizens are at length released from their unfortunate confinement in Algiers; the latter to find that others of them have fallen into a similar situation at Tunis; contrary to the Truce, & to the arrangement made with Mr Donaldson.
’Tis difficult to understand, precisely what the French government design, relative to this Country, from the accounts given by Mr Monroe.
The enclosed letter respecting a judge for the District of Rhode Island, has just been received; and as it is the most eligible choice I see a prospect of ma[king,] a Commission may issue accordingly, app[oint]ing Benjamin Bourn to that Office: provided it is the same Gentleman who represents that State in Congress; otherwise not, until further enquiry and consideration are had on the subject.
A short time before I left Philadelphia last, a character was brought forward and well recommended as Attorney for the District of Kentucky; and the Appointment met my approbation, but whether a Commission issued in consequence of it or not, my recollection does not serve me. His name I have forgot, but the letters of recommendation (from the Attorney General of the United States and others) were, I think, put into Your hands with my sentiments thereon.
DNA: RG 59—ML—Miscellaneous Letters.