Jan. 27. 06.
Th: Jefferson to Genl. Dearborne
As the inclosed resolution might be so construed as to lead into endless details, I entered into convasation on the subject with mr Early, who presented it. I found he wanted only general views of the subject. perhaps a tabular view under the following heads may best suit him
|port.||name of fort||condition||cost of construction hitherto||sum necessary to furnish it||miscellaneous remarks|
|under this head I presume it will suffice to say “in good condition” “midling condition” “bad condition” “in ruins &c.|
there is another head “the practicability of defending by land batteries such ports as have, by any former laws been directed to be fortified.” will not this give us an opportunity of furnishing them with the opinions of Wilkerson, Gates &c on the best means of defending our sea-ports, to wit, moveable artillery, & mortars ashore, gunboats afloat? also of opening to them the extent of the fortifications proposed at New York Rhode-island &c their immense cost, & incompetence to their object, in fact that they would only be bridles for an enemy to put into our own mouths. this part of the report, may, I think, be formed so as to establish the plans of defence we propose. I believe the mover asks it in that view. Affectionate salutations.
DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.