Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to Henry Dearborn, 6 February 1807

Feb. 6. 07.

Th:J. to Genl. Dearborne

The H. of Representves. ask what particular ports are proposed to be furnished with gunboats, & how many to each. I will give a list of the ports, but instead of saying how many to each, I will throw them into groupes as below, & say how many boats to each groupe. will you be so good as to state how many you would think necessary for each of the ports below mentd. to give them a reasonable measure of protection in time of war? also to strike out & insert ports in the list as you think best.

Misipi river } 12 } 22
L. Pontchartrain 6
Mobille River 4
St Mary’s } 2 } 32
Savanna 8
Beaufort 4
Charleston 12
Cape Fear 4
Ocracock 2
Chesapeak bay & waters— 40
Delaware bay— 12
New York } 25 } 43
N. Haven 2
New London 6
Newport 8
Boston } 12 } 38
Salem & Marblehead— 4
Newbury port 2
Portsmouth 6
Portland 4
Kennebeck 2
Penobscot &c. &c. 2
Passamaquoddy 4
in long Island Sound } 10
above Hell Gate

[Dearborn’s reply]:


the numbers I have put down, being mere opinnion, are a subject which admits of so wide a range for consideration, I cannot pretend to attach any considerable weight, to what is rather the result of the immediate impuls of the moment, than, of a mature judgment formed on a full discussion of the subject.

H. Dearborn

DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.

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