Monticello Aug. 18. 07.
Your favor of the 2d. did not reach me till yesterday. that from Genl. Hall, communicating the patriotic resolutions of the county of Ontario, was recieved the day before. considering War as one of the alternatives which Congress may adopt on the failure of proper satisfaction for the outrages committed on us by Great Britain, I have thought it my duty to put into train every preparation for that which the Executive powers & the interval left for their exercise, will admit of.
Whenever militia take the field of actual service, the deficiencies of their arms are of course supplied from the public magazines. and the law also permits us to lend arms to volunteers engaged, and training for immediate service. in no case is the loan of arms to militia, remaining at home, permitted or practised.
The establishment of deposits of arms, to be resorted to when occasion presses, is within the Executive direction. a distribution of these deposits, wherever there may be occasion, & in proportion to the probable occasion, either defensive or offensive, is one of the branches of preparation which circumstances call on us to make. it will be done in due time: & altho’ nothing specific can now be said, yet I may safely assure you, that whenever we proceed to settle the general arrangement, the section of country which is the subject of your letter, shall recieve a just portion of our attention & provisions.
I learn with particular satisfaction that volunteers will be readily engaged on that part of our frontier. it is a quarter in which they will be particularly useful. I presume that, in consequence of the call on the several states, the Governor will have put the engagement of volunteers into such a course as will avail us of the favorable disposition which prevails towards that service. I salute you with great esteem & respect.
DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.