Washington Nov. 1. 07.
Your late letters have been regularly referred to the Secretary at War, who has already answered their several enquiries, or will do it immediately. I am inclined to believe that the departure of the British vessels from our waters must be in consequence of orders from England to respect the authorities of the country. within about a fortnight we think we may expect answers from England which will decide whether this cloud is to issue in a storm or calm. here we are pacifically inclined, if any thing comes which will permit us to follow our inclinations. but whether we have peace or war, I think the present legislature will authorise a compleat system of defensive works, on such a scale as they think we ought to adopt. the state of our finances now permits this. to defensive works by land they will probably add a considerable enlargement of the force in Gunboats. a combination of these will I think enable us to defend the Chesapeake at it’s mouth, and save the vast line of preparation which the defence of all it’s interior waters would otherwise require. I salute you with great esteem & respect