From David Austin
Washington Decr. 19th A.D. 1801—
Will you have the goodness to look over a communication of 28th ulto & seriously to weigh its contents.—
Your Excell’y will ee’r all is over, be as anxious to find water with which to quench this enkindling, & flaming fire, as you have had opportunity to discern me willing to lend my aid, in preserving an equipoise in favor of this tottering Ship; which “the winds & waves” have, & will again mightily assail.—
With all due esteem
RC (DNA: RG 59, LAR); at foot of text: “Th: Jefferson”; endorsed by TJ as received 19 Dec. and so recorded in SJL.
Austin’s communication of 28 Nov. requested a place in the secretary of state’s office.