Dec. 18. 1807
I really do not know what to answer to Dr. Barnwell. I find, what I did not know, that an assistant has been employed at Norfolk, tho’ without previous authority. The notes, on the back of the enclosed letter, signed D.S. will shew the general situation of both Norfolk & N. Orleans hospitals.
That no assistant is wanted at N. Orleans I am satisfied. The enclosed paper, (which please to return) shews that on the present establishment we spend more at that place than we receive, even in healthy years as 1806. That is also the case at Norfolk: and the perpetual jealousy which has existed in relation to that fund, on account of our necessarily applying a part of the money collected north for defraying the expenses South, renders it ineligible to increase the expense. But I do not think that he will mind what I may say more than he does the Govr. & the Collector. By the present arrangement, the marine hospitals are exclusively under the Superintendence of the collectors so far as relates to expense; and except at Boston & N. Orleans the physician or physicians are appointed by them. At Philada. & N. York medical attendance is gratuitous.
Respectfully Your obedt. Servt.
DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.