James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Hore Browse Trist, 13 February 1801

From Hore Browse Trist

Charlottesville. Feby. 13th. 1801.

Dear sir

Mr Peter Dobell of Philadelphia (an Intimate & very particular friend of mine for many years) in case of a Republican Administration intends applying for the Consulship at Bordeaux.1 For that purpose he has already obtained the recommendatory signatures of all the respectable commercial part of that City. Those of the Assembly of Pennsylvania—Gov: McKeans & Dallas’s—Doctors Shippen—Wistar2 & many other professional Gentlemen. Shall I request you for your opinion “whether there will be a chance of his succeeding, with the above recommendations? & in what manner the petition must be delivered?⟨”⟩ He has asked my advice & in order to give him a more correct Answer I hope you will excuse the liberty I have taken in wishing to obtain yours. He has an offer for Bengall which must be decided upon immediately & which I shall advise him to accept in case you think the Consulship cannot be obtained.

Benj. Franklin Bache entered this World of Perplexity a Week ago—rather Puny.3 Mrs. B. is extremely well. I have just returned from thence & the Mail closing must excuse the hurry of this. With my Best respects to Mrs M. & Miss P. I am as ever your much obliged Friend

Hore Browse Trist.

RC (DLC). Docketed by JM.

1Peter Dobell (or Dobel), “a respectable Young Gentleman,” had returned to his native Philadelphia in 1801 after being captured by the French on a voyage to India. Jefferson named him commercial agent at Le Havre on 3 June 1801 (Caspar Wistar to Jefferson, ca. 9 Apr. 1801 [DNA: RG 59, Letters of Application and Recommendation, 1801–9]; Washington National Intelligencer, 27 July 1801).

2Philadelphia-born Caspar Wistar (1761–1818) succeeded Benjamin Rush as professor of chemistry in 1789 and in 1792 also became professor of anatomy at the University of Pennsylvania. He later served as president of the American Philosophical Society.

3Benjamin Franklin Bache was the son of Dr. William Bache and Catharine Wistar Bache, who had recently moved to Albemarle County, Virginia (William Bache to Jefferson, 11 Mar. 1801 [DNA: RG 59, Letters of Application and Recommendation, 1801–9]).

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