To Sarah Savage Thatcher

    “In the Capitol,” Washington, D.C.        11 February 1801

    Prayers have been read by the Bishop1—The members are ranging themselves in squads according to their respective States—

    At twelve oClock we adjourn to the Senate Chamber, to attend the opening of the Presidential votes—immediately after that we retire to our own Chamber, & proceed to vote by States according to the Constitution—Should a President be elected to day it will be literally true that he comes in a Storm—Since some time in the night before last it has not ceased a moment to snow—& from appearances it will continue.

    Half past one oClock—returned from the Senate Chamber—where the votes were opened. The Tellers handed the Slate of the votes to Mr. Jefferson Vice President & the President of the Senate—When he observed—The Tellers having returned to me the Slate of the Votes it is my duty to declare them, which I accordingly do “by the return of the Tellers it appears there are seventy three votes for Thomas Jefferson; Seventy three for Aaron Burr; Sixty five for John Adams; Sixty four for Charles Coatsworth Pinckney; and one for John Jay—One hundred & thirty eight being the whole number of votes <page torn> Thomas Jefferson & Aaron Burr each having a majority & an equal number—there is no choice—The remaining duty, Gentlemen of the House of Representatives, devolves upon you”—Whereupon the Speaker & Representatives left the Senate & retired to their own Chamber—A message is gone to inform the Senate the House is now ready to proceed to choose a President2—& for their Attendance—

    26 minutes past three oClock—the House have balloted seven times for President. And the result has been the same each time, eight States for Mr. Jefferson—six States for Mr. Burr—and two States divided—The subject is postponed for one hour3

    Twenty six minutes past four—I have been with Mr. [Silas] Lee & dined—He is so unwell with a sore throat that he will not be able to attend this afternoon Mrs. [Temperance Hedge] Lee is very well—

    Great tranquility & pleasantness pervade the House—I see no prospect of a choice—One member from the State of Maryland is sick with a fever, but [was] brought into a committee [room] upon his bed4

    The mail closes at five & I must say I am your most affectionate

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    ALS, TFP. Addressed to Biddeford; franked; postmarked.