GUNSTON HALL, March 13, 1789.
. . . I have not yet made an application on behalf of Mr. Fenwick for the appointment of consul, as the President of the United States has the nomination to offices. I thought there was some impropriety and indelicacy in making application before General Washington has accepted the office of President, to which he has been elected by the unanimous suffrage of the electors in all the ratifying States. You may assure Mr. Fenwick that as soon as this ceremonial is adjusted I shall not fail to exert whatever interest I have in his favor. You know the friendship which has long existed (indeed from our early youth) between General Washington and myself. I believe there are few men in whom he placed greater confidence; but it is possible my opposition to the new government, both as a member of the national and of the Virginia Convention, may have altered the case. In this important trust, I am truly conscious of having acted from the purest motives of honesty, and love to my country, according to that measure of judgment which God has bestowed on me, and I would not forfeit the approbation of my own mind for the approbation of any man, or all the men upon earth. My conduct as a public man, through the whole of the late glorious Revolution, has been such as, I trust, will administer comfort to me in those moments when I shall most want it, and smooth the bed of death. But as Shakespeare says, 'Something too much of this.' .. .
Send me by the first good ship to Potomac River insured, six half hogsheads viz.: about one hundred and eighty or ninety American gallons of good cogniac brandy in barrels or casks of about thirty gallons each, iron-bound or very well secured and tight, and covered each with a double empty cask to prevent the sailors or the craftsmen in this country from making free with it. Also a piece of silk, a pattern for your sister Betsy. I would have it a handsome but not a very expensive silk, and depend upon your taste in the choice of it. If trimmings are necessary they should be sent with it, and sewing silk to make it up.