Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Thomas Attwood Digges, 29 July 1807

Warburton W Piscataway 29 July 1807

Dear Sir

In compliance with your request I hastend all in my power to obtain an accurate survey & plot made of that part of my Warburton Farm where its extreme point (a high promontary) at the narrowest part of Potomack hereabouts, and where the channel makes an angular bending close in with the shore, forms a seemingly favourable position for a Fort on its heights as well as a battery near the shore. It is the spot designated by General Washington (and was recommended by Him) as the most favourable station on the Potok. River for annoying vessels passing up or down: General Washington has often had foot on it, and I was told by the late Colonel Fitzgerald (my Brother in Law) That He once made a survey of the premises in company with a French Engineer Officer of some celebrity.

I lookd out, but to no effect, for a proper Draftsman in the City on the day I left You, and finally engaged Colo. Gilpin of Alexanda. who is esteemd a very accurate draftsman & surveyor. He got through the laborious part on the 24th & 25th Inst., after employing here Chain carriers, and three other men (particularly well acquainted with the Channel) to stake its edges on both sides for a mile or two above & below Warburton point; to which, and to conspicuous objects, He took, from four or five favorable stations, the course & bearings of each.   I make no doubt (for I closely attended to Him myself) but that He is correct, and that his Draft (which has but just now got to my hands) will enable Yourself, The Secy at War, and others, to designate the proper spot for a Fort or Battery, or both.

The position is spoken of by some Military men, and all who have seen it, as a very favourable one—may it be effectually so if ever put to the test—

I hasten to send up the Draft of Colo. Gilpin by my Nephew John Fitzgerald (who has promptly & heretofore made a profer of His service in any way in which He can be useful to His Country or the administration of it) and if, after examining the Plot, there may be any required additions I will attend particularly to your instructions therein, And I not only hope for the pleasure of soon waiting upon You & the other gentlemen You may bring to Warburton, but of personally paying my respects in the City a few days hence

I am with great regard & esteem Dr Sir Yr obt Hbe Serv

Thos Digges

PHi: Daniel Parker Papers.

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