From Aaron Burr
16 March 1801
From many hundreds of applications I have selected, as most worthy of your attention, those Contained in the enclosed sheet.
As there is in fact No Minister of the Navy, I take the Liberty to suggest through you to the gentleman who may fill that office, that all of those who have obtained Wealth and influence by Means of public appointment, James Watson, now Naval Agent at Nyork, is, to our Citizens, the Most obnoxious. Daniel Ludlow now Prest. of the Manhattan Co. would discharge the duties of that office with Economy, punctuality & discernment—to the satisfaction of Government & to that of Reasonable Men of all parties—He has a perfect knowledge of every thing Relating to the equipment of Vessels having fitted out more than any Man in our City—a Correct indefatiguable Man of business & of Mild amiable temper—
William Temple Broome is about 28 yrs of age—bred to the law—He is a Young Man of the Most classical acquirements and taste of any that know in our state & will probably be eminent as a literary Man—Son of our Republican John Broome who was long president of our Chamber of Commerce, but finally turned out by tory influence. Wm. T. B—would be useful & ornamental as Sec. to any foreign Minister & might thus become eminently qualified for promotion in that line—but his temper & Manners are not calculated to advance him in the popular line.
My brother in Law Joseph Browne is known to every Republican in NYork and my Stepson John B. Prevost, very particularly to Mr Monroe having been his Secy.—The fortifications detain me till tomorrow—
Respectfully & Affecy Yrs
RC (DNA: RG 59, LAR); torn; at foot of text: “[Th.] Jefferson […] &c &c [&c]”; endorsed by TJ and recorded in SJL as received 16 Mch. Enclosure not identified; Kline, Burr description begins Mary-Jo Kline, ed., Political Correspondence and Public Papers of Aaron Burr, Princeton, 1983, 2 vols. description ends , l:531n.
Daniel Ludlow was appointed U.S. navy agent at New York in place of Ebenezer and James Watson on 1 Apr. James Watson ran as the Federalist candidate for lieutenant governor in 1801 (Kline, Burr description begins Mary-Jo Kline, ed., Political Correspondence and Public Papers of Aaron Burr, Princeton, 1983, 2 vols. description ends , l:522–3n, 553n; NDQW description begins Dudley W. Knox, ed., Naval Documents Related to the Quasi-War between the United States and France, Naval Operations, Washington, D.C., 1935–38, 7 vols. (cited by years) description ends , Dec. 1800-Dec. 1801, 172, 374).
Fortifications: statutes passed from 1797 to 1799 allowed a state to undertake the fortification of its harbors in exchange for credit against the state’s debt to the U.S. On 16 Mch. Burr agreed to review plans under way by New York State to augment the defenses of New York harbor (Kline, Burr description begins Mary-Jo Kline, ed., Political Correspondence and Public Papers of Aaron Burr, Princeton, 1983, 2 vols. description ends , 1:527–8).