From Andrew Sterett
Baltimore, December 3, 1801.
I do myself the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your excellency’s letter of the first instant.
It has been my greatest ambition to discharge my duty as an officer of the American navy, at all times, with promptness and fidelity; and to have received my country’s and your excellency’s approbation of the late conquest over a faithless and barbarian enemy, achieved1 by the valour and good conduct of the officers and crew I had the honor to command, is a reward which I estimate beyond my merits; but of which I shall ever cherish a greatful recollection, particularly for the very flattering manner in which your excellency has been pleased to convey it.
I have the honor to be with profound respect your excellency’s obliged humble servant,
Lieut. and commander of the United States
Printed in the Federal Gazette & Baltimore Daily Advertiser, 12 Dec. 1801. Recorded in SJL as received 4 Dec.
The Baltimore newspaper printed both this letter and TJ’s communication of the 1st and introduced them with the following comment: “The editors were politely favored with the following letters several days since; but they overcame their impatience to lay before the public the meed of merit to a brave officer, until it should be published by the proper department. It has not yet appeared, and they can repress their feelings no longer, to withhold it.”
1. Federal Gazette: “achived.”