Thomas Jefferson Papers

From Thomas Jefferson to William H. Cabell, 1 November 1807

Washington Nov. 1. 07.

Dear Sir

Your late letters have been regularly referred to the Secretary at War, who has already answered their several enquiries, or will do it immediately. I am inclined to believe that the departure of the British vessels from our waters must be in consequence of orders from England to respect the authorities of the country. within about a fortnight we think we may expect answers from England which will decide whether this cloud is to issue in a storm or calm. here we are pacifically inclined, if any thing comes which will permit us to follow our inclinations. but whether we have peace or war, I think the present legislature will authorise a compleat system of defensive works, on such a scale as they think we ought to adopt. the state of our finances now permits this. to defensive works by land they will probably add a considerable enlargement of the force in Gunboats. a combination of these will I think enable us to defend the Chesapeake at it’s mouth, and save the vast line of preparation which the defence of all it’s interior waters would otherwise require. I salute you with great esteem & respect

Th: Jefferson


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