James Madison Papers
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To James Madison from Samuel Smith, 4 May 1804

From Samuel Smith

Baltimore 4t. May 1804

Dr. Sir,

Mr. Venable & myself had determined to wait on you, During the last Session to Call to your recollection Doctr. John Morton,1 now of Bordeaux, a Native of Virga. but Resident of Baltimore for years. You will recollect that Mr. Giles, Mr. Venable & myself had recommended Dr. Morton for a Consulate in France—for Bordeaux first, then for Havre & afterwards for Antwerp. Confident in the Integrity, Capacity & honor of Dr. Morton (now a Merchant & Man of property) I have pleasure in inclosing an Extract of a letter from him to his Brother of this City,2 with a View to remind you of the recommendation & to Solicit you again in his favor, Should a Vacancy happen at either of those Ports.

I pity Mr. Lee, he has a family, but a Broken Merchant Acting as Consul, I fear loses Confidence and Cannot have the Consequence which ought to attach to a public Agent in a Port So important as Bordeaux. I am Dr. Sir, with real Esteem your friend & Servt.

S. Smith

RC and enclosure (DLC). For enclosure, see n. 2.

1John A. Morton, a native of Prince Edward County, Virginia, was an American merchant trading in Bordeaux who applied repeatedly for the consular post there (VMHB description begins Virginia Magazine of History and Biography. description ends 17 [1951]: 314; Mann, A Yankee Jeffersonian, 106, 137; Morton to James Monroe, 14 Apr. 1812, DNA: RG 59, LAR, 1809–17, filed under “Morton”).

2Smith enclosed an extract of John A. Morton to Nathaniel Morton, 18 Feb. 1804 (2 pp.), announcing the financial difficulties of Perrot and Lee and requesting recommendations for his own appointment as U.S. consul at Bordeaux.

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