Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Benjamin H. Latrobe, 13 November 1802

To Benjamin H. Latrobe

Washington Nov. 13. 1802.

Dear Sir

Your favor of the 9th. is recieved as that of the 8th. had been the day before. on recieving that of the 8th. I was immediately sensible I had omitted in mine to say any thing on the subject of a just compensation for the preliminary business of a survey, estimate &c. I therefore referred your letter to the Secretary of the Navy (who was now returned, having been absent at the date of my letter) and he yesterday wrote to you to assure you of a proper compensation, and at the same time to mr George Harrison to make you an advance of1 (I believe) one hundred dollars. the work I propose is to contain the vessels we now possess, but that finished, and answering, as cannot be doubted, another will be proposed for building vessels under, and laying them up as built. so that the two will take some time for construction. the first however we should push as much as possible, to get our present vessels put out of the way of decay. I shall hope to see you here as soon as possible, because our estimate must be ready before the meeting of Congress. Accept assurances of my esteem & respect.

Th: Jefferson

PrC (DLC); at foot of text: “B. H. Latrobe esq.”

See Latrobe’s letter of 9 Nov. for that of the 8th, which has not been found.

On 12 Nov., the secretary of the navy wrote to Latrobe “that we shall not fail to provide an adequate compensation for the Services you may render.” On the same day, Smith asked george harrison, the navy agent at Philadelphia, to call on Latrobe, find out if he needed any funds before he left for Washington, and offer him $100 as an advance (DNA: RG 45, MLS; 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, 374).

1TJ here canceled “what should be necessary.”

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