New York Septer. 2d 1807
I do not know one person in Connecticut to whom I could apply for information respecting Jonathan Bull who is recommended for the office of Commisr. of loans. But I recollect that at an early period of your administration it was the wish of a number of republicans in that State that he should have that office: nor was there any other objection, but a disinclination to depart by a general removal from the principles of the answer to the New Haven petition. I think that he may be safely appointed: I mentioned before that a vacancy prevented any business being done; and if before the meeting of Congress it shall be discovered that the appointment was improper, you may rectify the mistake in your nomination to the Senate.
Some months ago, the delinquency of —— Cuttler collector of Snowhill (Maryland) was officially stated to you; and you directed that he should be removed as soon as a proper successor could be found. Disappointed in my enquiries I requested Mr Duval to write to the most conspicuous republicans of the county. The answer of Judge Polk recommending Josiah Hubbel is enclosed; and Mr Duval assures that full confidence may be placed in it. Cuttler’s sureties having lately applied for his removal renders the speedy appointment of a successor necessary. Should you direct a commission to be issued, the style of office is “Collector of the district of Snowhill and Inspector of the revenue for the port of Snowhill.”
You will have seen by the papers of this city the report of the corporation on the subject of fortifications or rather obstructions, which is perfectly agreeable to the plan on which we had conversed, and is approved by the Vice President, & by the Governor of the State, as well as by Gen. Wilkinson & Captn. Chauncey. The report has been adopted & the corporation is now acting upon it. I believe the plan will not be expensive & will prove efficient; and it is at all events eligible that it should have originated with the city council specially considering their politics.
Mr Robt. Smith informed me that he had declined sending a vessel to give notice to our China trade, principally for want of funds. As there was with the insurers but one opinion on the subject, and I felt satisfied that you approved the plan, & that, in case of disaster happening there from want of information, much blame would & not altogether without foundation attach to the administration, I wrote to him that I would, if he assented, direct the collector of Baltimore to make the necessary advances, relying on the sanction of Congress if our existing appropriations were not sufficient, & leaving it to future discussion whether the expense should be charged to the Navy, or diplomatic department. I was the then more decided in my opinion from the consideration that, if in this instance we pleaded want of funds as an apology for having omitted any proper measure, it would be replied that Congress ought then to have been called at an earlier period. I have not yet received his answer.
With respect & sincere attachment Your obedt. Servt.
DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.