15th. Decr. 1806.
The liberty I take in communicating these few lines you will please excuse. A few days ago I arrived in this city from New-York, and being professionally bred a printer I made application to the different Printing Offices at this place but have not met with that encouragement as I expected. I have been doing business in the Office of Messrs. Way, but he had engaged a sufficient number of Journeyman before my arrival and am at this time without employment, and feel very much at a loss. For several years I have been a Midshipman in the Navy, & have met with considerable losses in travelling from N. York to this City. From a former acquaintance I have had with you I am sorry to say that I am compelled to ask your friendly aid, having lost all of my best Wardrobe, by some person unknown to me. Soliciting you to give me some small assistance until I can get into business and if I can’t find some vacancy in this place shall be obliged to take my departure to Richmond among my connexions. I have not a doub⟨t⟩ but you are acquainted with my relations in Virginia, & as soon as I get on I shall be enabled to return to you with many obligatio⟨ns.⟩ I am with great respect, Hond. Sir, your Obt. Servt.
Jesse V. Lewis
PS. Please to excuse the paper.
DLC: Papers of James Madison.