To Hore Browse Trist
Washington Feb. 9. 1802.
My information of the death of mr Steele was premature, altho’ recieved from mr Hunter the member from Missisipi. the facts are these. early in autumn I was informed that mr Steele’s state of health was desperate, and that he would send me his resignation & leave the territory, to try the only chance for his recovery. soon after this he grew so much worse as to be unable to leave his room, & has been going down hill ever since, his recovery being impossible. from this state of things arose a report of his actual death, which was sent on to mr Hunter. but it is now known that he was not dead on the th. of December, which was subsequent to the date of the report. still we expect by every post to recieve information of his actual death. in the mean time many considerations enjoin that we say nothing about the eventual arrangement I had proposed to you. be so good as to present my respectful salutations to the ladies, & to accept assurances yourself of my esteem & best wishes.
PrC (MHi); blurred; at foot of text: “H. B. Trist.”; endorsed by TJ in ink on verso.
Information of the death of Mr Steele: see TJ to Trist, 17 Jan. 1802. Narsworthy Hunter was the congressional delegate from the Mississippi Territory (see Resolution of the Mississippi Territory General Assembly, 21 Dec. 1801).