Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Christopher Ellery, 10 March 1802

From Christopher Ellery

March 10th. 1802—

C. Ellery begs permission to state to the President the contents of two letters, received by him, recommending Robert Champlin Gardiner, of the State of Rhode Island, for the place of Consul for the U. States at Gothenburg—One of these letters is from Lieut. Gov. Potter of R. Island—the other from John Gardiner esquire of R. Island, father of Robert, formerly a member of congress—   Gov. Potter asks, as a favor, my “solicitations with our worthy President” in behalf of Mr. Gardiner, and for information sends to me the enclosed letter—He mentions that Col. Gardiner, the father, is a firm friend to the present administration—And declares that he should be happy in the appointment of his son, provided a Consul is to be named for the place of Mr. Gardiner’s residence, Gothenburg— Col. Gardiner says that his son has resided four years at Gothenburg and is master of the language of that country & of the french, as well as versed in the trade of the Baltic— Messrs Foster, Stanton & Tillinghast can give more complete information on this subject—For my own part, I should be pleased by a compliance with the wishes of these gentlemen, if consistent with the public good—C. Ellery tenders his highest respects to the President—

RC (DNA: RG 59, LAR); at foot of text: “President of the U. States”; endorsed by TJ as received 10 Mch. and so recorded in SJL with notation “Gardiner to be Consul”; also endorsed by TJ: “Robert Champlin Gardiner to be Consul at Gothenburg.” Enclosure not found.

TJ’s nomination of ROBERT CHAMPLIN GARDINER as consul at gothenburg, Sweden, was presented to the Senate on 27 Apr. and approved two days later (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, 3 vols. description ends , 1:422–3). Gardiner’s commission was dated 3 May (FC in Lb in DNA: RG 59, PTCC).

Samuel J. POTTER served as lieutenant governor of Rhode Island from 1790 until 1803, when he was elected to the United States Senate (Biog. Dir. Cong. description begins Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774–1989, Washington, D.C., 1989 description ends )

JOHN GARDINER of South Kingstown represented Rhode Island in the last Confederation Congress in 1789 (Biog. Dir. Cong. description begins Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774–1989, Washington, D.C., 1989 description ends ; Vol. 15:218).

MESSRS FOSTER, STANTON & TILLINGHAST: Senator Theodore Foster and Representatives Joseph Stanton and Thomas Tillinghast of Rhode Island.

On 11 Mch., Joseph Stanton sent TJ another letter supporting Gardiner’s candidacy, which likewise cited recommendations received from Samuel J. Potter and John Gardiner. “I know not the young Gentleman,” Stanton admitted, but suggested to TJ that his colleagues in the Rhode Island delegation “may Give more Correct information” and deferred the nomination to TJ’s “Superior Judgment and Uniform adherence to the public Interest” (RC in DNA: RG 59, LAR; at head of text: “President Jefferson”; endorsed by TJ as received 11 Mch. and “Gardner to be Consul at Gothenburg” and so recorded in SJL).

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