TO THE GOVERNOR OF VIRGINIA (WILLIAM H. CABELL.) - Thomas Jefferson, The Works, vol. 10 (Correspondence and Papers 1803-1807) 
The Works of Thomas Jefferson, Federal Edition (New York and London, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904-5). Vol. 10.
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TO THE GOVERNOR OF VIRGINIA
(WILLIAM H. CABELL.)
Washington June 29, 1807.
—Your favor by express was safely received on Saturday night, and I am thankful to you for the attention of which it is a proof. Considering the General and State governments as co-operators in the same holy concerns, the interest and happiness of our country, the interchange of mutual aid is among the most pleasing of the exercises of our duty. Captn. Gordon 2d in command of the Chesapeake, has arrived here with the details of that affair. Yet as the precaution you took of securing us against the accident of wanting information, was entirely proper, & the expense of the express justly a national one, I have directed him to be paid here, so that he is enabled to refund any money you may have advanced him. Mr. Gallatin & Genl. Dearborne happening to be absent, I have asked their immediate attendance here, and I expect them this day. We shall then determine on the course which the exigency and our constitutional powers call for. Whether the outrage is a proper cause of war, belonging exclusively to Congress, it is our duty not to commit them by doing anything which would have to be retracted. We may, however, exercise the powers entrusted to us for preventing future insults within our harbors, & claim firmly satisfaction for the past. This will leave Congress free to decide whether war is the most efficacious mode of redress in our case, or whether, having taught so many other useful lessons to Europe, we may not add that of showing them that there are peaceable means of repressing injustice, by making it the interest of the aggressor to do what is just, and abstain from future wrong. It is probable you will hear from us in the course of the week. I salute you with great esteem and respect.
Washington July 8, ’07.
—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 anything comes which will permit us to follow our inclinations. But whether we have peace or war, I think the present Legislature will authorize a complete 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 gun-boats. 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 and respect.