Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from William Tatham, 11 November 1807

Novemr. 11th. 1807. Norfolk.

Dr. Sir.

Just as I completed the Land part of my Survey, (forming a correct base, and accurate adjustment of the most prominent objects) by Compass & Chain, perambulating high Water level from the Southward of the Light House on Cape Henry to the Mouth of Long Creek, including Lynhaven Inlet, a British tender [with] two row boats (one of them large) came to an Anchor Close to the Western junction of the Bar with the Pleasure House Beach; and a large party landed & staid (apparently Duck & fowl shooting) a good part of the day. What their real object was I know not; but, judging from appearances, they viewed the Coast Well, before landing, & appeared to be prepared for consequences. These, & the adjacent, premises are full of Nt. Cattle & Hogs; & several guns were fired in the dead of the Night before, but it seems doubtful whether by them or our own people.

I wish some friendly mode of suspending hostilities could be adopted; for, it seems to be drawing to a focus that we either punish them, or (begging his B. Majestys pardon for assuming a right to govern ourselves) humbly ask the King’s acceptance of our recantation, & the surrender of his revolted Colonies in America!!!

I confess, my feelings were almost beyond my philoshy, & forbearance, at seeing Your official interdictions so impudently treated and, I sincerely regreat an approaching necessity of committing this business to the care of a Rifle Corps from the interior, or committing the Whole Coun[try] into a state of desultory Warfare.

I am Dr. Sir Yours

Wm Tatham

P.S. I found the inclosed letter delayed on the Way.—

W. T.

DNA: RG 45--Miscellaneous Letters Received by the Secretary of the Navy.

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