Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Jacob Lewis, [11 November 1802]

From Jacob Lewis

Barney’s Hotel George Town
Thursday. 2 ock PM [11 Nov. 1802]


The repeated disopointments which I meet with, In my Consular appointments, has brought upon me a series of Expenses, & thereby greatly disminished my fortune—having a perfect Confidence In the Justice & loyalty of the President of the U.S., I came hither for the purpose of once more soliciting your Patronage—you have assurd me that I still hold my rank In the mind of the President—this Circumstance Is highly gratifying, and alone flatters me to hope, that his good will toward me will be evinced by that readiness which he has at all times shown to repare the sufferings of all those who reliy on his Justice,—I am perfectly Aware of the many applications which are now before you for Consulur offices,—I trust (notwithstanding) that among the whole number of applicants few, if any, will be found, whose claims stand anteceedant to my own, and I will venture to add, that, None, be them whom they may, have sacrificed more or have been more ready In supporting republicans and the administration of Mr. Jefferson, than myself—Mr. Granger the Postmaster General, Is perfectly well acquainted with my politicul creed & carracter. & Knows well, In what manner I have been persecuted by Federal wrath—

I have the Honor to be with the highest Consideration & Respt your very Obt. Servt

J Lewis

RC (DNA: RG 59, LAR); partially dated; endorsed by TJ as a letter of 12 Nov. received the same day and “to be consul” and so recorded in SJL.

For Lewis’s previous CONSULAR APPOINTMENTS to Île de France and Calcutta, see Vol. 33:378–9 and Vol. 34:656–7. Lewis arrived in New York from London on the Jupiter about 20 Oct. and proceeded to Washington. George W. Erving entrusted Lewis with a letter to the secretary of state, dated 1 and 3 Sep., in which he characterized Rufus King’s “ministry” at London. In the same letter, Erving described Lewis as “a man of very good sense, full of spirit & activity, of a very firm & Energetic character, & a sound republican.” While he assumed Lewis would solicit another consular appointment, Erving thought he would be “a valuable acquisition” at the Navy Department, being fit “Either for the command of a frigate or the direction of a navy yard” (Madison, Papers, Sec. of State Ser description begins William T. Hutchinson, Robert A. Rutland, J. C. A. Stagg, and others, eds., The Papers of James Madison, Chicago and Charlottesville, 1962–, 33 vols. Sec. of State Ser., 1986–, 9 vols.; Pres. Ser., 1984–, 6 vols.; Ret. Ser., 2009–, 1 vol. description ends ., 3:531–6; New-York Evening Post, 21 Oct. 1802). Lewis evidently applied to Madison for a consulship, but declined the positions offered to him (Lewis to TJ, 13 Mch. 1803).

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