Washington July 12th. 1816
I have been informed that the Government intend building an observatory in this place.
Though the commission on the sum to erect such a building would be necessarily small, I am desirous to be appointed agent to purchase the ground and erect the building. The performance of the duty with that fidelity which I purpose will develop to the Government my talent for business and thereby render me an essential Service.
I am authorised to say that Col: Lane is particularly anxious for me to be appointed: becaus his present avocation claims his undivided attention. I have the honor to be With the highest Respt Your Most Obt. Servt.
DLC: Papers of James Madison.