Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Robert W. Fox, 8 June 1793

From Robert W. Fox

Falmouth, 8 June 1793. He acknowledges TJ’s favors of 20 Feb. and 21 Mch. addressed to Edward Fox—mistakenly, he believes, because Robert Morris, who recommended either him or his brother to serve as American consul here, has informed them that the appointment was made, and there is no Edward Fox in Falmouth—and asks for another appointment in his own name. In the meantime he will act as consul if the minister in London does not object. He will abide to the best of his ability by TJ’s directions and forward the executed bond after the American minister in London approves it. Since the outbreak of war between England and France a great number of American ships have arrived here and been permitted to leave with their cargoes to wherever their proprietors choose, though lately none has been ordered to France, but many to Spain, where wheat sells for 60/ to 70/ per 8 bushels and flour 42/ to 48/ per barrel. He hopes soon to receive his new appointment and will immediately inform the minister in London of anything important. The government will presumably attend to his representations, as he and his brother are known to several Lords of the Treasury and Admiralty.

RC (DNA: RG 59, CD); 4 p.; addressed: “For The Secretary of State for the United States of America at Philadelphia”; postmarked; endorsed by TJ as received 1 Aug. 1793 and so recorded in SJL. Tr (same); at head of text: “(Copy)”; possibly the text recorded in SJL as received 12 Sep. 1793.

Robert Were Fox (d. 1818), a Quaker shipping agent in Falmouth who was the father of the noted English scientific writer of the same name, was mistakenly nominated and confirmed as the United States consul at that port under the name of Edward Fox in February 1793. He functioned as acting consul until he was renominated and reconfirmed under his own name in May 1794 and served until his death (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, 129, 130–1, 158, 159, iii, 170, 172; DNB description begins Leslie Stephen and Sidney Lee, eds. Dictionary of National Biography, 2d ed., New York, 1908–09, 22 vols. description ends ; Fox to TJ, 10 Aug., 7 Sep. 1793). For the first of the two letters TJ mistakenly addressed to Edward Fox, see note to TJ to Robert Montgomery, 20 Feb. 1793.

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