Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Alexander Wolcott, 12 May 1807

Middletown Cont—12 May 1807.


Mr. Benjamin Richard, a citizen of New York, formerly of New London in this State, is about to establish himself in business at Malaga in Spain. Mr Kirkpatrick the present Consul at that place is said to be a subject of the King of G. Britain. Mr. Richard supposes that a native citizen of America, suitably qualified for the office, would be prefered to a foreigner, and, in short, is desirous of being himself appointed to the Office.

With regard to the propriety of removing, or continuing the present Consul I have no opinion, and certainly should not think myself authorize to obtrude on you if I had sufficient information on the subject to enable me to form one, But in respect to Mr Richards, as I have been acquainted with him from his childhood I can speak of him with some confidence.

His profession has been that of a Sailor, and for many years he has been amongst the most respectable of our Sea-Captains.

His education has not been classical, but his information on those subjects that would be likely require official attention is probably as correct and extensive as would be necessary. He is a plain, sensible, respectable, honest man, and I have no doubt would execute the Office with credit to himself and to the Government

I am with perfect respect Sir your Obedt Servt—

Alex. Wolcott

P.S. It occurrs to me that in the present case it would be wrong to omit in the enumeration of Mr. Rs qualifications, that he has at all times been a firm friend of the high interests of his country and of those principles by which its councils are now guided, and that firmness ougt to have been named among his Moral[cratic] Traits

DNA: RG 59—LAR—Letters of Application and Recommendation.

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