The indisposition of the President of the United States will not permit him to write; he has therefore directed me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter to him of the 19th ulto. in which you recommend Mr. Joseph Fenwick to be appointed Consul for the United States at Bourdeaux or Counsul General for France, and to inform you that the establishment of Consuls has not yet been taken up by Congress, but whenever it is, and he's called upon by the Law to nominate persons to fill that Department, he shall endeavor to bring forward such, as, from every information and upon every consideration have the best pretensions that are best qualified to discharge the duties annexed to the office. This line of conduct in the case of nominations, he marked out to himself from the beginning and he has in no instance departed from it.
The President has moreover, directed me to observe to you, that if his memory does not deceive him, Mr. Bonifield whom you mention to have acted as Consul in Bourdeaux was not, as you observe, a deputy of Mr. Barclay, but appointed to that office by Doctr. Franklin—and he is spoken favorably of by Mr. Jefferson in his letters to Congress. However as Mr. Jefferson has obtained leave to return to America and will probably soon be in this Country it is not likely that the establishment of Consuls will be taken up before his arrival when he will undoubtedly have it in his power to give some useful information on the subject. I am, Sir, Very respectfully Your Most Obedient Servant