Thomas Jefferson Papers
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To Thomas Jefferson from William Tatham, 24 July 1807

Lynhaven 25 24th. July 1807.

Dr. Sir

This morning has produced nothing very material that we yet know of. The Triumph, Leopard, & Melampus appear to occupy their yesterdays station; which Capt. Decatur says they shall not continue to hold. The Tenders occupied as usual. Capt. Decatur has rounded the Inlet, out as far as the Tideway in front of the British Ships; & will communicate his sentiments to You on such subjects as we coincide in touching the public improvement of this Haven, &c, which ought to be minutely surveyed: I have assistants at hand, who may be advantageously employed in the topographical Department, if Government so direct.

My Boat returned from the Inlet, and reported a Brig at the Cape, a signal fired by the Triumph, & a tender standing towards the Brig: They supposed her to be a British Gun Brig; & have since reported the firing of several vollies towards the Cape.—These circumstances induced me to order out the Whale Boat immediately, & to ride down to the Inlet. I have seen say, 50 to 100 Men, marching hastily & rather in sailor like disorder from the Cape Towards the Inlet; & some few of our light house scattered in the Desart. I observed the Brig standing up the Chesapeake & a Ship coming down from Hampton road, Towards the British Ships.—I have left the Boat (with two good glasses) to watch the Movements of the Party on the Cape Lands & Desart; & have come up to save the post hour at three O. Clock.

I have no intercourse with Genl. Mathews’s People; nor help from them. Neither have I either a guard at the Inlet, or arms for my own People. Though both should be attended to as primary objects: especially as the same intelligence which I convey by a direct rout of thirteen miles, is carried twenty three, by the rout followed by the Volunteer Cavalry; & thus, if I had a trusty Corporal & four Horse Men, added to those I have in my Boats & Express, I should be able to give You up to three O Clock (every day) fresh from the Cape (on our own eye sight) the same news which the volunteer Cavalry convey to Genl. Mathews ten miles too late for the first post; & which must necessarily stop one day longer with Governor Cabell, before it comes on to You.

I have the honor to be in haste Dr. Sir Yrs.

Wm Tatham

DNA: RG 59—ML—Miscellaneous Letters.

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