Boston Decr 5th 1808 1807
Permit me to introduce to your notice the bearer Coll. Hatch from this state. He is a gent of reputation and of attachment to the Genl. Govt. and waits on you to submit to your inspection and consideration, an apparently formidable military contrivance which he calls a floating castle. He expresses confidence in it; and if the project in practice, will perform the one half, that it has promissed the inventor, it will commend attention; I who am totally unacquaintd with military arrangements, can have only impressions on the subject, & could I by reasoning on all these impressions to opinions, modesty would forbid my expressing them to characters of experience. I have assured Mr. Hatch that the man who brings to the cheif majestrate of our nation: a thing useful to our Country, & especially its defence at this time needs no other recommendation. I have wished him to call on Coll. Williams at New York & submit to him his the machine, with his reasenings & ideas concerning it, for which purpose I have given him a letter to the Coll—
Since my arrival in this town which was thre days since I find a very considerable disappointment & excitement has been produced by a late appointment in the marine hospital. The opinions of individuals of both cost of politicks seem to have anticipated a very different appointment; I think the arrangement in view an unfortunate one; I do not know that any thing can be done to cure a difficulty that now exists. At present my information is not complete in reference to the qualifications of the gent. oppointed or to his possitive & relative claims to the notice & confidence of the public—The subject is a delicate one. Doct Custice’s friends are hurt, & much is said respecting the politics and surgecal skill & experience or rather the want of experience of his successfull rival—
From the leading federalists we hear expressions of disapprobation of the embargo & of violence beyond every thing which is seen in the papers. To morrow our Legislature will convene from its members may be learnt the sentiments of Massachusetts on this measure—
with sentiments of the highest esteem I am most respectfully your most obt hum. Sevt
DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.