Thomas Jefferson Papers
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To Thomas Jefferson from Samuel Smith, 22 June 1801

From Samuel Smith

Balte. 22. June 1801

Dr Sir/

I send you inclosed two letters I have recieved in behalf of Mr Forbes appointed to Havre by Mr Adams. I know Nothing of that Gentleman, but presume he Cannot be otherwise than Federal, in the late Acceptation of the Term,—From his letters he appears sensible—but It may perhaps be proper not to Appoint all the Consuls from one part of the Union.—Understanding from Mr Maddison that Mr. Doble was to be appointed for Havre I declined saying anything on the subject in favor of Mr. O’Mealy of this City & therefore proposed him for Hamburg—If Mr. Doble does not expect or wish the appointment to Havre & no more proper persons offer—I will hope that Mr. O’Mealy’s pretension may be considered & Beg leave to refer to his letter to the Secy. of State—if he cannot get Havre, I hope he may be deemed worthy of being appointed to Hamburg—

I confess I am extremely Anxious that Mr. W. Buchanan may have the Appointment to the Isles of France & Bourbon—If he is appointed I would send a Vessell (I now have here) Immdy. to him, otherwise I will give her another Destination & Order him to return home. But I would not wish the appointment on any Consideration—if any Inconvenience will arise therefrom—Believe me to be truly

your freind & servt.

S. Smith

RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as received 23 June and so recorded in SJL. Enclosures: (1) William Stephens Smith to Samuel Smith, 15 June 1801, introducing John Murray Forbes as “a young Gentleman of great merit, and respectable Connections,” who travels to Washington to solicit from TJ the confirmation of his appointment as consul at Le Havre (RC in DNA: RG 59, LAR; endorsed by TJ: “Forbes to be a Consul”). (2) William Lee to Samuel Smith, 16 June 1801, recommending Forbes as “a man of strict integrity and virtue” and as possessing a liberal education, commercial talents, and a thorough knowledge of the French language (same; endorsed by TJ: “Forbes to be Consul”).

For the efforts by John Murray Forbes to secure a consular appointment, see Theodore Foster to TJ, 23 Mch. 1801.

TJ appointed Peter Dobell (Doble) commercial agent at Le Havre in place of Forbes in June 1801 (commission in Lb in DNA: RG 59, PTCC, dated 1 June; Vol. 33:671, 676).

Michael O’Mealy solicited a commercial agency in France in His Letter to James Madison of 29 May, which noted that his application for office in 1797 had been ignored “most probably on account of my political principles.” Although not a native of the United States, O’Mealy had been a citizen of the country for seventeen years and he referred Madison to memorials in support of his previous application, to General Smith, and to other “respectable Merchants” of Baltimore to vouch for his “moral or political character” (RC in DNA: RG 59, LAR; endorsed by TJ: “to be Consul to a French port”).

For the appointment of William Buchanan as commercial agent for the isles of france and Bourbon, see Smith to TJ, 12 Mch. 1801.

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