Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from David Austin, 18 June 1801

From David Austin

City Hotel
June 18th: 1801.

Mr: Austin presumes to ask, if it would meet with the countenance of the President, that a discourse should be delivered in the Capitol, to any disposed to attend, on the approaching fourth of July?—Mr: A. is accustomed to public exercises on this National day; & if the matter should meet the approbation of the President, he would be happy to occupy an apartment in the Capitol, on that day: but if there be any exceptions, the matter may be attended to at George Town: and will be announced from the pulpit, next Lord’s day.

RC (DNA: RG 59, LAR); addressed: “The President”; endorsed by TJ as received 19 June and so recorded in SJL.

Beginning on 29 June, advertisements appeared in the National Intelligencer announcing that Austin would deliver a discourse on 4 July in the Representatives’ Chamber of the U.S. Capitol. Austin based his sermon on Psalms 22:28: “For the kingdom is the Lord’s: and he is the Governor among the nations.” His discourse appeared in the 24 July edition of the Washington Federalist and was later published in a pamphlet of collected sermons entitled The National “Barley Cake,” or, The “Rock of Offence” Into A “Glorious Holy Mountain”: in Discourses and Letters (Washington, D.C., 1802).

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