Norfolk July 4th. 1807.
The perpetual anxiety which subsists here, to hear speedily from the Federal City, has induced me to submit to Your consideration the adoption of a public, & commercial, Tellagraph, in some plan similar to the idea transmitted.
I would recommend the adoption of the following method vizt.
[GRAPHIC IN MANUSCRIPT] As these numerical Characters are competent to denote any extent in Numbers, some particular Dictionary may be numbered as a Key; and Common Place Sentences, Questions & Answers, &c, may be found to suit numbering (under some Especial Signal) denoting sentences, & printed in a Sentence book, which may be afterward numbered by hand, to suit the Confidential intercourse of Government. Flag Staffs may be also planted at the Tellegraphs, & Signals denoting Nations, Ships, Brigs, &c. &c may be hoisted in further explanation; & to confer with our Ships at Sea; with our Forts &c.
Thus if we allow fifteen Stations between the City of Washington & Cape Henry; & each movement (per Question & Answer) to require One minute of time, on a clear day, The Question will be put & Answered in half an Hour.
If you think it proper to go into farther detail Enquiries I will chearfully pursue them, or carry them into effect.
All is Quiet here, in haste Dr Sir Your obt H Servt
3d. July (for 4th. Post) 1807
DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.