Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Peter de Franchi to Robert Morris, 14 July 1791

Peter de Franchi to Robert Morris

Tenerife, Port Orotava, 14 July 1791. Recommends his friend and neighbor, John Culnan, for the consulship of these islands as he knows “no person better qualifyed in every respect to serve his Country, as he did during the war in capacity of Deputy Clothier Genl.” He will be further indebted to Morris for his exertions, joined to his “powerful influence to carry my friends point.”

RC (DLC: Washington Papers); endorsed by TJ: “Culnan for Teneriffe. given in by Mr. R. Morris.” Enclosures: (1) Pasley Barry & Little to Morris, 14 July 1791; (2) John Cologan & Sons to Robert Morris, 16 Aug. 1791, both recommending Culnan; (3) statement dated 12 Aug. 1791, signed by John Cologan & Sons, John Pasley & A. Little, and Peter de Franchi, testifying to the genuineness of an enclosed copy of an affidavit sworn to in Philadelphia on 4 Dec. 1782 by Plunket Fleeson stating that John Culnan, “a Gentleman from Ireland, hath voluntarily taken and subscribed the Oath of Allegiance, and Fidelity as directed by an Act of General Assembly of Pennsylvania” (same; all in the same clerk’s hand except for signatures).

On a later list of candidates for appointment as U.S. consuls, TJ wrote and then struck out the following note after Tenerife: “John Culnan. of to be Consul. recommended by John and Moylan and others. see the papers. there is rather more reason for than against the appointment, tho it is not very important” (List of U.S. Consuls, 15 Feb. 1793, PrC: DLC). On 30 Dec. 1793 Stephen Moylan wrote to TJ urging Culnan’s appointment. On verso TJ wrote: “John Culnan to be Consul for Oratava in Teneriffe” (RC in DLC: Washington Papers). Culnan was appointed consul there 29 May 1794 and served until 1 Jan. 1800 (JEP description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States … to the Termination of the Nineteenth Congress, Washington, D.C., 1828 description ends , i, 158).

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