Newyork July 17th. 1807
I was yesterday honored with your letter of the 13th.—I have been constantly imploy’d, since my arrival here, in examining the various sites contemplated for works of defence; the Vice president the Govr. and Col. Williams have been with us, and I presume we shall ultimately agree on such arrangements in regard to the defence of this place as you will approve, on as will give general satisfaction to the Citizans. I hope we shall be able to finish our business by saturday or sunnday at farthest, and I shall then set out on my return to Washington, unless I shall in the mean time receive notice from you that my return is unnecessary—or unless my health should be so impaired as to prevent my return,—
The contractor for the District of Virginia will when requested supply the rations for the Militia in that State when in the field. a loan of field artillery to the Militia ought in my opinnion to be declined, for if the public arsenals are once opened for the supply of any one Corps or party of the Militia, the demand will be such as every field piece and musket from our arsenals in a very short time. and unless the respective States will take effectual measures, for arming their Militia with a suitable proportion of field artillery, as well as muskets they may as will give up all ideas of Militia defence, and follow the example of Maryland, & Delaware, by having not even any laws or regulations respecting Militias.—under the existing laws of the U.S. I think it at least doubtfull, whether the Militia of any State, are intitled to pay when call’d out, unless they are armed and equiped according to law.—
Mr. Fulton will exhibit a specimen of his projects for blowing up ships, on monday next. I feel very anxious for his success, but he appears so confident of compleet success, as to have no anxiety or fears about it.—
with the most respectfull esteem, I am Sir, your obedt. Sevt.
DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.