Thomas Jefferson Papers
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To Thomas Jefferson from David Austin, 8 January 1802

From David Austin

Jan’y 8th. A.D 1801 [i.e. 1802].

May it please yr. Excellency.

A Bill is about to be offered to the House of Representatives by the Senate, in which it is proposed that the nomination of the person to take charge of the books of the Congressional Library, shall be made by the President to the Senate, as is usual in other official appointments. I have several particular friends and acquaintances in the Senate: and should my name be so fortunate as to meet the nomination of the President; I doubt not but the decision of the Senate would prove their readiness to concur in the appointment.—

I am, Sir, with all esteem,

David Austin

RC (DLC); at foot of text: “Th: Jefferson”; endorsed by TJ as received 8 Jan. and “to be librarian” and so recorded in SJL.

A Bill: on 26 Jan., Congress passed “An Act concerning the Library for the use of both Houses of Congress,” which directed that all books and maps acquired for the library be placed in the Capitol room previously occupied by the House of Representatives. The act also authorized the president to appoint, without Senate consent, a librarian, who was to receive $2 for each day in attendance (U.S. Statutes at Large description begins Richard Peters, ed., The Public Statutes at Large of the United States … 1789 to March 3, 1845, Boston, 1855–56, 8 vols. description ends , 2:128–9). TJ appointed John Beckley on 29 Jan. (Vol. 33:678).

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