Thomas Jefferson Papers
Documents filtered by: Author="Austin, David" AND Recipient="Jefferson, Thomas" AND Period="Jefferson Presidency"
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To Thomas Jefferson from David Austin, 26 May 1801

From David Austin

Philadelphia, May 26th: 1801—

Mr. President:

Knowing that the matter of my Communications may labor in the minds of the well-disposed, and even of the candid; seeing the evidence of the things stated, visibly, are only to be gathered from a comprehensive view of the order of providence, set down first, in the written testimony, & secondly, commented upon in a manner, not discerned by every one; I take the liberty of observing, that the Objects sought may be obtained in either of three ways: first, by arranging appointments so, that I may stand at the President’s right hand in the Office of Sec’y of State: (forgive the least idea of wishing to discompose any arrangments already made.) or secondly, by an appointment to transact, in all foreign matters, with foreign powers: or thirdly—by accepting a Chart of proceeding, already sketched out for the president on the Conditions, last stated.

This Chart will not only direct how to move: but will move itself: It will do its own office, without any thing, but the trouble of the President’s Name.—It will comprehend the total objects of seventy six, in a second edition. It will derange no National or political Objects at home or abroad: but, in its operation will gently, & pacifically, controul the whole.

It will bless the administration of yr. Ex’y—will bless the Nation; & will bless the World.—

I submit the offer of this Chart, gained, through five year’s severity of Apprenticeship, & most laborious application to the acceptance of the President.

The Conditions, of possession are set down: and like “the Laws of the Medes and Persians” are unalterable.

The estimate is at twelve thousand dollars, today, & will gain One thousand dollars per day, until it is in the President’s possession: or of any Agent he may send for it.—

I am, with all due esteem

David Austin

P.S. The Squadron will receive its object & Orders from this Chart.—

RC (DNA: RG 59, LAR); endorsed by TJ as received 28 May and so recorded in SJL with notation “Off.”

Laws of the Medes and Persians: Daniel 6:8–15.

The Squadron: probably a reference to the U.S. naval squadron at Norfolk preparing to depart for the Mediterranean.

Austin wrote TJ again from Philadelphia on 31 May, withdrawing his request for a foreign commission or “appointment to official station,” but reiterating the demanded compensation for his chart of proceeding. “To this condition no amendment can be made. Nor can you say to me, as Felix said, tembling at the reasoning of Paul ‘Go thy way for this time, at a more convenient season I will call for thee’!—The flood, Sir is at the door! The gates you possess are needful for the service of God. To pass this door, is to betray the privileges of the Nation & to loose our birth-right” (RC in DNA: RG 59, LAR; endorsed by TJ as received 2 June and so recorded in SJL).

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