Thomas Jefferson Papers

Peter Poinsot to Thomas Jefferson, 6 June 1819

From Peter Poinsot

Cette June 6th 1819

Dear Sir—

I have had the pleasure of writing to you on the 12th of September last enclosing a Copy of a letter from the late General Kosiwszko; but apprehensive of it’s not reached you, I now beg leave to trouble you with the duplicate of the original which I request you will have the goodness to forward to his Excellency the President together with your own recommandation of me to the Consulate here—The possession of that honourable office would be of incalculable advantage to me at the present period, as I am forming the plan of a Commercial Establishment for my Eldest Son, which would be totally founded on America relation with this country

M Barnet, Consul General had given me hopes of being appointed in the penultimate meeting of Congress; had no doubt of that event in the last—Notwithstanding, I have been disappointed, at least no orders to that effect have yet reached M B—this Gentleman had hoped that having exhibited my Certificate of having been received as a Citizen of the United States, His Excellency M Gallatin would appoint me to the pro tempore Consulship: however M Gallatin does not wish to undertake that responsability—whereof M B advises me to apply to you, and as, under your auspices, a Consul has been appointed at Nice, he says there is no doubt of the success of your interrest for me—I offer every Security that it will please the Government to require, Even that a considerable Landed property which I possess in this neighbourhood, free of all Incumbrances. M Barnet advises me to offer Government two resident Citizens who would subscribe the Consular Bonds with me for $2000—

as to the presentation of personal Securities in the US I have no friends there, whom I could so present—were my worthy & honourable friend the late General Kosciwszko Still in existence, I should want but little additionnal influence to attain the object of my wishes—however, as I am now addressing myself to a person1 who must revere the memory of that great man, with whose friendship I was honoured & in whose company I passed many happy days in 1784 having also subsequently maintained a regular correspondance with him during his residence on this Continent, Surely I may flatter myself with the expectation of being honoured with your interrest on the present occasion. It may happened, that in the pressure of more important matters, my object has been neglected, in which event it would be material to me not to be obliged to wait the result of the ensuing Congress, but if possible to be appointed provisionnally. I therefore rely now principally on your kind interference, & hope that you will excuse the liberty which your known liberality & goodness of heart have induced me to take—and Should it be in my power on any occasion to prove my acknowledgments, nothing will afford more Sincere satisfaction to,

Dear Sir Your already much obliged & very obedient Servant

Peter Poinsot

RC (DNA: RG 59, LAR, 1817–25); endorsed by TJ. RC (ViU: TJP); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to Thomas Mann Randolph, 16 Sept. 1820, on verso; addressed: “Ths Jefferson Esqre late President of the United States Monticello. America”; stamped “SHIP”; with additional stamp indicating that it was “Received & Forwarded by Bonnaffé, Sagory & Co”; franked; postmarked New York, 10 Aug. Recorded in SJL as received 16 Aug. 1819, with the additional notation: “inclosd to Pr. US.” Enclosures: (1) Dupl of Kosciuszko to James Monroe, 20 Feb. 1817, enclosure no. 2 of Poinsot to TJ, 12 Sept. 1818. (2) Poinsot to Monroe, [7 June 1819], observing that, as he has yet to receive a response to his application for the consulship at Cette, he wishes to be considered instead for the consulship at Marseille in place of Stephen Cathalan, who died on 24 May; citing Tadeusz Kosciuszko’s recommendation of him; offering whatever security the government may require, including his property outside Cette; and listing his American citizenship and his 1,200-acre property in Monongalia County (later in West Virginia) as further evidence of his qualification for the post (RC in DNA: RG 59, LAR, 1817–25; undated; addressed: “To His Excellency ______ Monroe President of the United States”; recorded in SJL as a letter to TJ dated Cette, 7 June 1819, and received 16 Aug. 1819, with additional notation: “inclosd to Pr. US.”). Enclosed in TJ to Monroe, 17 Aug. 1819.

The consul recently appointed at nice was Victor Adolphus Sasserno.

1Reworked from “to you.”

Index Entries

  • Barnet, Isaac Cox; as consul search
  • Bonnaffé, Sagory & Compagnie (Le Havre firm) search
  • Cathalan, Stephen (Étienne) (1757–1819); death of search
  • Cette (Sète), France; U.S. consul at search
  • Congress, U.S.; and consular appointments search
  • Gallatin, Albert; as minister plenipotentiary to France search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Correspondence; letters of application and recommendation to search
  • Kosciuszko, Tadeusz (Thaddeus) Andrzej Bonawentura; and P. Poinsot’s consular ambitions search
  • Marseille; U.S. consulship at search
  • Monroe, James; and appointments search
  • Nice; U.S. consul at search
  • patronage; letters of application and recommendation to TJ search
  • Poinsot, Peter; family of search
  • Poinsot, Peter; land grant to search
  • Poinsot, Peter; letters from search
  • Poinsot, Peter; seeks consulship search
  • Sasserno, Joseph Victor Adolphus; consulship for search