Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Peter Poinsot to Thomas Jefferson, 12 September 1818

From Peter Poinsot

Cette (Departement de l’Hérault) 12 September 1818

Monsieur

D’aprés la lettre de recommandation de mon digne ami feu General Kosciuzsko de Soleure du 3 Juin 1817 que j’eus lhonneur de vous addresser le 25 suivant, avec le plan & Copie de mes terres par duplicata: N’ayant pas eu l’honneur d’être favorisé de vos nouvelles Je me permis de vous écrire le 18 mai der sur le même Sujet, en me référant à leur1 contenu. Je me permets de joindre inclus une Copie de celle quil eut la bonté d’ecrire a Son Excellence Mr Monroe President des Etats Unis à mon sujet que j’ai envoyé à Mr Barnet votre Consul à Paris pour la lui faire acheminer avec deux de mes lettres lune à Monsieur le Président & l’autre à Monsieur le Sécrétaire d’Etat.

Au nom & à la mémoire de mon digne ami Kosciuzsko Je viens Solliciter Votre Excellence, pour la prier d’apostiller en ma faveur la lettre incluse, par triplicata, à Mr Monroe. Monsr Barnet m’avait fait esperer que le Sénat devait S’assembler au mois de Décembre dernier, quil esperait que ma nomination aurait lieu, d’autant qu’il m’avait recommandé d’une maniere particuliere à Son Excellence. N’ayant reçu aucune nouvelle Je deviens trés inquiet, deux mots de votre Excellence suffiraient à M Monroe pour obtenir ma nomination

Je Joins aussi une lettre de Monsr Cathalan, que mes amis m’ont procuré, Je n’ai pas osé me permettre de lui faire part de mes désirs pour le Consulat de Cette, Je me suis reservé a le faire prier de Sinterresser pour moi prés de Votre Excellence.

Feu General Kosciuzsko, votre ami, peu de tems avant sa mort, m’ecrivit, sous la date du pr Septembre 1817. & voici comme il S’exprime =Je n’ai aucun doute, mon cher Poinsot, que vous n’ayez reçu votre nomination de Consul, Je l’apprendrai avec autant de plaisir, qu’il [m’a] été agreable de vous être utile=2 il était tellement dans la certitude que j’avais été nomme Consul, d’aprés la demande quil en avait faite, qu’il m’en donna le titre par la lettre qu’il m’addressa. il est mort dans cette persuasion: á lappui de ce que j’avance, Je Joins l’addresse de Sa lettre revetue de Son cachet. pleinement convaincu que vous aurez des égards à la Sollicitation d’un pere de famille qui n’a d’autres désirs que de rendre ses Enfants heureux Permettez moi je vous prie de vous offrir les sentimens de la plus vive reconnaissance & d’assurer Votre Excellence de mon plus profond respect

Votre trés humble & trés obeissant Serviteur

Poinsot (Peter)

Editors’ Translation

Cette (Department of Hérault) 12 September 1818

Sir

I write concerning the letter of recommendation of my worthy friend the late General Kosciuszko, dated 3 June 1817 from Solothurn, which I had the honor of sending you in duplicate on the 25th of the same month, along with a map and copy of my land documents. Not having had the honor of being favored with news from you, I took the liberty of writing you on the same topic on 18 May and referring to the contents of my previous letters. I now take the liberty of enclosing a copy of the letter General Kosciuszko was kind enough to write on my behalf to His Excellency Mr. Monroe, president of the United States. I have sent this letter to Mr. Barnet, your consul at Paris, for him to forward with two of my letters, one to the president and the other to the secretary of state.

In the name and memory of my worthy friend Kosciuszko, I beg Your Excellency to endorse in my favor the enclosed letter to Mr. Monroe, done in triplicate. Mr. Barnet had led me to hope that the Senate would assemble last December, and that I would be nominated, since he had especially recommended me to His Excellency. Having received no news, I am becoming very worried, and two words on my behalf from Your Excellency to Mr. Monroe would suffice for me to obtain my nomination

I also enclose a letter from Mr. Cathalan, which my friends procured for me. Not daring to advise him that I aspired to the consulship at Cette, I only asked him to intercede in my favor with Your Excellency.

Shortly before his death your friend the late General Kosciuszko wrote me a letter dated 1 September 1817. He expressed himself thus: “There is no doubt in my mind, my dear Poinsot, that by now you have received your nomination as consul. I will be as pleased to learn this as I was pleased to be useful to you.” He was so certain that I had been nominated to the consulship following his request that he gave me that title in his letter. He died in this belief. In support of this claim I enclose here the address cover of his letter with his seal affixed to it. Fully convinced that you will honor this as you would an application from a father whose only wish is to make his children happy, please let me offer you my deepest gratitude and assure Your Excellency of my most profound respect

Your very humble and very obedient servant

Poinsot (Peter)

RC (DLC); with first enclosure on verso of attached address leaf; torn at seal; addressed: “Thomas Jefferson Esqre late President of the United States Montecello America”; stamp canceled; franked; postmarked Charleston, 26 Nov.; endorsed by TJ as received 6 Dec. 1818 and so recorded in SJL. Translation by Dr. Genevieve Moene. Enclosures: (1) Isaac Cox Barnet to Poinsot, Paris, 16 Feb. and 14 Mar. 1817, the former indicating that Poinsot’s letter along with a copy of that of Tadeusz Kosciuszko has been sent to President James Monroe but noting that Monroe is away on a tour and Congress not in session; and the latter stating that Poinsot’s and Kosciuszko’s letters to Monroe have been forwarded via Le Havre, that Barnet has retained a copy of Kosciuszko’s letter to show to Albert Gallatin, and that Gallatin might issue a temporary appointment (Trs in DLC; in Poinsot’s hand; on verso of address leaf of covering letter). (2) Kosciuszko to Monroe, Solothurn, 20 Feb. 1817, congratulating him on becoming president, encouraging him to establish a military school, recommending Poinsot for the consulship at Cette, and testifying that he personally knows him to have conducted himself well in America and to have been thought worthy and knowledgeable by Franciszek Bukaty, the Polish minister in London (Dupl in DNA: RG 59, LAR, 1817–25, in French, mutilated, endorsed by TJ, enclosed in Poinsot to TJ, 6 June 1819; Tr in DLC: TJ Papers, 209:37327, entirely in Poinsot’s hand, at head of text: “Copie litérale de la Lettre du feu Général Kosciuzsko à Son Excellence Monsieur Monroe Président des Etats Unis” [“Literal copy of the letter of General Kosciuszko, deceased, to His Excellency Mr. Monroe, president of the United States”], at foot of text: “le duplicata, en original, est entre mes mains” [“the original duplicate is in my hands”]). (3) Poinsot to Monroe, Cette, 5 Mar. 1817, seeking the consulship at Cette, which has been vacant since the death of Peter Walsh; citing Kosciuszko’s support; enclosing testimonials; recalling his prior residence in the United States and the attachment to that country that “Still warms my heart”; noting that he is proud to own property in Virginia; and indicating that his residence and vineyard are in the neighborhood of Cette (RC in DNA: RG 59, LAR, 1817–25, addressed: “À Son Excellence Monsieur Monroe President des Etats Unis de l. Amerique”; Tr in DLC: TJ Papers, 209:37326, in Poinsot’s hand, with his statement at foot of text that copies have been sent through Barnet and by duplicate via Bordeaux and that the same has been done for a letter of the same date to Secretary of State John Quincy Adams). (4) Kosciuszko to Poinsot, Solothurn, 1 Sept. 1817 (RC in DLC: TJ Papers, 209:37328; address cover only; addressed: “À Monsieur Monsieur Poinsot Consul des Etats Unis de l’Amerique à Cette”; postmarked Solothurn; endorsed by Poinsot; with unrelated notes on recto in Poinsot’s hand and his extract from this letter on verso, given and translated in the covering letter above, headed “Expression de Sa lettre du 1er Septembre 1817”). (5) Stephen Cathalan to TJ, 7 Sept. 1818.

Alexander de Tubeuf was appointed to the consulat de cette in 1822 (JEP description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States description ends , 3:278, 279 [13, 20 Mar. 1822]).

1Manuscript: “à leur a leur” (“to their to their”).

2Omitted closing quotation mark editorially supplied.

Index Entries

  • Adams, John Quincy; as secretary of state search
  • Barnet, Isaac Cox; as consul search
  • Bukaty, Franciszek; Polish envoy in London search
  • Cathalan, Stephen (Étienne) (1757–1819); and P. Poinsot search
  • Cette (Sète), France; U.S. consul at search
  • French language; letters in, from; P. Poinsot search
  • Gallatin, Albert; as minister plenipotentiary to France search
  • Kosciuszko, Tadeusz (Thaddeus) Andrzej Bonawentura; and P. Poinsot’s consular nomination search
  • Kosciuszko, Tadeusz (Thaddeus) Andrzej Bonawentura; and P. Poinsot’s land grant search
  • Monroe, James; and appointments search
  • Monroe, James; presidency of search
  • Poinsot, Peter; land grant to search
  • Poinsot, Peter; letters from search
  • Poinsot, Peter; seeks consulship search
  • Tubeuf, Alexander de; as U.S. consul at Cette (Sète) search
  • Walsh, Peter; as U.S. consul at Cette (Sète) search