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Letter from Samuel Parsons to Richard Caswell
Parsons, Samuel
September 18, 1786
Volume 22, Pages 785-786


St. Pierre, Martinique, 18th September, 1786.


Your Excellency cannot be unacquainted that in the year 1780, when your State was invaded by the British, the Marquis de Bretigny was sent here to procure arms and ammunition and clothing. I was at that time deputed by William Bingham, Esq., to his place of agent for the United States; and by my application and interest procured very considerable supply of those articles from this government, besides making large advances myself, for which I was not reimbursed without a good deal of loss, as well as trouble. If there is any merit in these services, done purely from principles of attachment to the American cause, I think I may have some pretensions to your Excellency’s protection in the following matter:

Ever since Mr. Bingham’s departure, I have neither been contradicted nor confirmed in the employment, but have been often assured by the President and others that when Congress should make an arrangement of consuls I should be appointed for this island. This election seems now to be taking place. A person has arrived here from the continent of America, with letters from the President and others of Congress, requesting that the title of consul might be conferred on him, to which the government has refused its concurrence, as well from a conviction of my deserving the place as that the person proposed bears a character both here and on the

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continent incompatible with the employment solicited in his behalf, and such that the honorable gentlemen who have patronized him must have been entirely unacquainted with to have subscribed to the recommendations with which his application to this government were accompanied.

I am now forwarding Viscount Damas, the Commander in Chief’s, answer to his Excellency, the President of Congress, with a petition for my confirmation in the employment of consul. Permit me to request your Excellency’s protection and support therein, through the honorable the Delegates of the State under your government, when these papers may come before their notice in Congress. If zeal for the interests of America and the entire possession of confidence of the government here, together with twenty-one years’ residence in this island, are any recommendation, I think none can be better than those on which my petitions are founded. The commerce of your State to Martinique and its dependencies is pretty considerable. I beg leave to assure you how happy I shall be in promoting it at all times, whether in a public or private capacity.

I have the honor to be, with the greatest respect,
Your Excellency’s most obedient and most humble servant,