From Frederick Folger
Baltimore 8th May 1792
Seeing some provision has been made by the Legislature of the United States for the Support of Consuls in the States of Barbary;1
A number of respectable charactors in this town Encouraged me to Apply to your Excelleny for one of those Places—Should the Nomination not be filled up, & your Excelleny will pleas to notice my name as a Petitioner.
Recommendations of my Experience knoledge & Abilities Adequate to the Discharge of Such a Trust can be forwarded from here as soon as required.2
With the most profound respect & veneration I beg leav to Subscribe myself Your Excellency’ Most Obedient & most devoted Servant
ALS, DLC:GW. Folger wrote a similar letter of application to Thomas Jefferson on this date (DLC:GW).
Capt. Frederick Folger (d. 1797) of Baltimore, a relative of Benjamin Franklin, had commanded the schooners Felicity and Antelope during the last years of the Revolutionary War. Folger did not receive an appointment from GW at this time, but on 2 Mar. 1797 GW nominated him U.S. consul for the port and district of Aux Cayes on the island of Saint Domingue. Upon learning of Folger’s death later that year, President John Adams appointed a successor on 4 Dec. 1797 (Executive Journal, description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States of America: From the commencement of the First, to the termination of the Nineteenth Congress. Vol. 1. Washington, D.C., 1828. description ends 1:228, 253).
1. Folger apparently is referring to a bill “concerning Consuls and Vice Consuls” which the U.S. Senate passed on 29 Nov. 1791. Section 5 of this bill reads: “That in case it be found necessary for the interest of the United States, that a consul or consuls be appointed to reside on the coast of Barbary, the President be authorized to allow an annual salary, not exceeding two thousand dollars to each person so to be appointed: Provided, That such salary be not allowed to more than one consul for any one of the States on the said coast” (Journal of the Senate description begins The Journal of the Senate including The Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate: George Washington Administration 1789–1797. Edited by Martin P. Claussen. 9 vols. Wilmington, Del., 1977. description ends , 4:37–38). The bill passed in the House on 10 April, and GW signed it into law four days later (Journal of the House description begins The Journal of the House of Representatives: George Washington Administration 1789–1797. Edited by Martin P. Claussen. 9 vols. Wilmington, Del., 1977. description ends , 4:177, 187).
2. On 31 May 1792 Maryland congressman Samuel Sterett (1758–1833) wrote Secretary of State Jefferson that Folger was “an useful & respectable Citizen—During the late War he was distinguished for enterprise & activity, and he is again ambitious of serving his Country. Believing him to be worthy of confidence & capable in business, whether of a commercial or political Nature, I have no hesitation in” recommending him (DLC:GW).