From Joseph Fay
New York 20th. April 1802
At the request of Mr. Rathbone, I take the freedom to mention my acquaintance with his son, who is Esteemed a young Gentleman of respectable Character and connections, a regular bread Merchant, and promising Talents; I am informed that he is desirous of obtaining an appointment as commercial Agent to some Port in Europe. I am of opinion that he would be Capable of discharging the duties of such an office with reputation to himself, and to his Country.
I am very respectfully Your most Obedient Humble Servant
RC (DNA: RG 59, LAR); at head of text: “His Excellency Thomas Jefferson”; endorsed by TJ as received 23 Apr. and “Rathbone John to be Consul” and so recorded in SJL.
On 16 Apr., New York merchant John RATHBONE had written James Madison on behalf of his son, John Rathbone, Jr., who was in France and desirous of a consular appointment in Europe. Enclosing an unidentified letter of recommendation, Rathbone’s letter also included a list of 11 cities for which his son wished to be considered, ranked in order of interest. Rathbone closed by asking that Madison “lay this application before the President of the United States” (RC in DNA: RG 59, LAR; endorsed by TJ).