Baltimore 5. Aug. 1807
An untoward Circumstance has greatly mortified the Master Mariners of this City, (who had lately made an Offer to you of their Services.) in your Answer you unfortunately directed to William Cowper & others instead of Thorndick Chase, (their Chairman), under whose letter their Address was sent—Copy whereof I now inclose—Capt. Cowper was formerly a Master Commandant in the Navy, his Conduct exceptionable, his animosity to the present Administration open & avowed (as I am informed)—he is properly of Norfolk and was in this City seeking employ—being present “when the Address was ready for Signing” he officiously Signed first, in Consiquence whereof, It is presumed, that your Answer was directed to him,—which he published immy without authority or Consultation—The mortification to the respectable Signers has been great—your rectifying it by a letter to Thorndick Chase (as Chairman) would gratify their self Pride & reconcile them to the former Mistake—I am Dr. Sir/
In truth your friend
NB. I am just now informed, that Fourteen Signatures were to the Address prior to it being Seen by Capt. Cowper—and that he audaciously put his name in front
DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.