George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Gaetano Drago di Domenico, 24 December 1790

From Gaetano Drago di Domenico

Genoa Decr 24th 1790

Most Illustrious President—

I take the liberty respectfully to humiliate to your Excellency a Petition of mine.

Having Conceived the Idea to apply to the Venerable Congress to which your Excellency is the Chief to Ask for the Consulship of the thirteen United Provinces of America in this place, Several friends of Mr Peter Buttler a Member of the Congress, who are also mine had made me hope that under his Auspices Corroborated by your Excellencies Authority I Could hope to Obtain my Interest.1

Being Conscious together with all the World that your Valour & Prudence are equalld by your Goodness I make bold to expose my humble Petition for Said Place which I Could wish to Obtain not Only for the natural Inclination that I have to serve well understood without any View of Interest your New Rising Republic as also because I am Sensible that the establish⟨ment⟩ here of a Representative would Contribute towards the Advancement of Its Commerce without reckoning those of the Pecuniary Negociations so familiar to this place, & the probability of making a Truce with the Barbary Regencies by means of a Contribution by far inferior to the advantages that would accrue from a free Navigation: I humbly Ask pardon for my Boldness & the Benignity of your Excellency in reading those few Lines. Should they be so fortunate to meet with a moments’ Leasure in a Person the most Worthy & well deserving of Liberty & the Most Respectable in the Annals of Our Age I should look on it as one of the happiest Events of my life. I have the honor to be with the Most profound Respect & Veneration—Your Most Obedient—Most devoted Humble Servant & Petitioner

Gaetano Drago di Domenico


Gaetano Drago di Domenico, a Genoese merchant, met Jefferson at Genoa in 1787 and wrote to him on 4 May and 22 June 1789 seeking assistance in obtaining appointment as consul at Genoa (Jefferson Papers, description begins Julian P. Boyd et al., eds. The Papers of Thomas Jefferson. 41 vols. to date. Princeton, N.J., 1950–. description ends 15:89–90, 205). Drago later sought the assistance of James Maury, U.S. consul at Liverpool, in submitting his application. He wrote to Jefferson on 11 Mar. 1793, renewing efforts to enlist Jefferson’s support (ibid., 25:358–59). A copy of this letter, apparently presented to GW, along with a triplicate, enclosed in a letter from Drago to Jefferson of 13 July 1793, is in DLC:GW. Drago received no appointment from GW.

1Drago undoubtedly means Pierce Butler, a senator from South Carolina.

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