Washington July 8. 07.
The Secretary at War having gone on to New York for the purpose of having that place put into a state of defence, your letter of July 4. to him has been put into my hands. I see with satisfaction that in an emergency too sudden to have been provided for by orders from hence, you have, under the guidance of your own judgment & patriotism, taken the measures within your power towards supporting the rights of your country. I will pray you to consider the Proclamation of July 2. as laying down the rule of action for all our citizens in their several authorities & stations; but that it is further desired of you to employ the means under your command for defence of the country it’s citizens & property against all aggressions attempted by the British armed vessels or other force. the Governor of Virginia being in a situation to act with more promptitude on any emergency which may arise so far as respects the militia of the state, I have authorised & requested him to order into service such portions of the militia as he shall think necessary, on application from any of the persons charged with the defence of Norfolk or other place menaced. with him I recommend to you to communicate as to the militia to be employed, approving most myself whatever shall be most effectual for repelling aggressions on our peace, & maintaining the authority of the laws. Accept my salutations & assurances of great respect
DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.