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Full text of "Official letter books of W.C.C. Claiborne, 1801-1816;"

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA 

. .:;.. :/:: 




OFFICIAL LETTER BOOKS 



OF 



W. C C. CLAIBORNE 

1801-1816 



EDITED BY 

DUNBAR ROWLAND, B. S., LL. B., LL. D. 

Director Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Secretary 

Mississippi Historical Society, Member American 

Historical Association 



VOLUME V. 



JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI 

Printed for the State Department of Archives and History 

1917 



DEMOCRAT I'RINTINC, COMPANY. MADISON, WISCONSIN 



F 



v,3 

LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE 

1809-1811 



To Robert Smith 

New Orleans Novr. 12th 1809. 
Sir, 

I have the honor to enclose you Copies of letters 
(marked No. 1 & 2) I have addressed to the Consuls of 
the U. States at Havanah and Jamaica, and also of a 
Note from me, to Captain Porter (No. 3) requesting that 
if the public service permitted, he would forward these 
letters by an Armed Vessel of the U. States. - Two or 
three vessels from the City of Sto. Domingo via Jamaica 
have recently arrived in the Mississippi, with passengers 
and some slaves on board and others are expected. 

Already New-Orleans and its vicinity are crowded 
with the unfortunate Refugees from Cuba, and if the 
French of St. Domingo, Jamaica (& perhaps Guadaloupe, 
for I am told it is about to attacked) should also seek an 
asylum here, I shall deem it alike unfortunate for them 
and for us; - for independent of political considera- 
tions, this society will be totally unable to furnish con- 
veniences for so numerous and sudden as emigration, or 
to supply the wants of the poor and distressed. I am 
particularly desirous to discourage the Emigrants from 
bringing slaves with them. - Motives of humanity in- 
duced me to permit the Refugees from Cuba to land their 
slaves, but this indulgence cannot be extended much far- 
ther, for already Sir, it is represented to me, that Negro 's 
purchased from the Jails of Jamaica, have been smuggl- 



v i 



302981 



'2 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

od in to the Territory, and I suspect if it was under- 
stood, that Negro's brought by the French of Sto. Do- 
mingo were permitted to be landed, that a Negro trade 
hither would be immediately commenced. - These con- 
siderations Sir, induced me to write the Letters to our 
Consuls at Havana!) and Jamaica, and I hope the same 
will be approved by the President. 

Upon the subject of Newman Letters, the statement 
marked (A) was handed me on this morning by Mr. Mis- 
sonnet, and is the only information I have received since 
J last wrote you. 

Previous to my departure from Attackapas, I had 
understood, that (Jovernor Salcedo of St. Antoine (men- 
tioned by Newman) was in arrest; - A Citizen in whom 
T could confide, assured me, lie had read a letter from a 
Gentleman residing near St. Antoine, to an Inhabitant of 
Opellousas, in which it was stated '"that (iovernor Sal- 
cedo was arrested and the Country much agitated;" but 
no further information, relative to this arrest has reach- 
ed me. 

Colonel Hopkins, the Adjutant (ieneral of the Terri- 
tory, in whose fidelity and discretion 1 have great confi- 
dence, being on the point of seting out on a Tour thro' 
the Territory, I have addressed him a letter, of which 
the enclosed (B) is a Copy; - such information as 1 
may receive from Colo: Hopkins, or from any other 
source, touching the project alluded to in the letters sign 
ed Ki-ancis Xewman and F. N. shall be communicated; In 
the mean time you may rely on my vigilance. 

1 arrived here on the evening of the Oth Instant in 
tolerable Health ; - But 1 have felt so unwell on yester- 
day and this morning, that T fear, I have returned too 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. O 

early to the City - The weather continues warm, and 
I suspect dangerous fevers stil prevail. 
I have the honor to be 
Sir, 

very respectfully, 
yr : hble Servt. 

William C. C. Claiborne. 
The Honorable ) 

Robert Smith ) 

Secy of State ) 

P. S. I enclose you two communications, marked C. 
& D. from Mr. Deforgues, the French Consul, - - I have 
acknowledged their receipt, and added that the subjects 
to which they are related, were before the Judiciary, and 
not within my Controul. 

In order however that you might be informed on the 
business, (for judging from the temper manifested by the 
Consul, I presume the French Minister may address you 
on this occasion) I have suggested to the District Atty, 
the expediency of his laying before you a Statement of 
facts. - As relates to the French Armed Vessel - La 
Franchise, she was brought to at the Fort of Plaque- 
mine, and the French Consul, having represented to me, 
that she was in distress - I requested the Major Com- 
manding at Plaquemine to permit the Vessel to pass the 
Fort, and here my agency in this affair terminated. 

W. C. C. C. 



To William Savage 

New-Orleans, November 10th 1809 
Sir, 

I observe by the Capitulation of Sto Domingo, that 
the Inhabitants have permission, to remove with their 
effects, within a limited time, and believing it probable, 
that many may be inclined to emigrate to the U. States, 
I will thank you Sir, to inform such as should pass by 



4 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

the way of Jamaica, that it is advisable for them, to 
seek an Asylum elsewhere, than in the Territory of Or- 
leans, for the Refugees from Cuba, who have arrived 
here, are so numerous as to be embarrassing to our own 
Citizens. - New-Orleans and its vicinity are crowded 
with strangers; - House Rent and Provisions are ex- 
travagantly high, families of limited resources find them 
soon exhausted, and the number of the poor and dis- 
tressed are daily augmenting. 

Among the Refugees from Cuba, were many free peo- 
ple people of Colour; - motives of humanity induced 
us to receive the women and children ; - But all males, 
above the age of fifteen, have in pursuance of a Terri- 
torial Law been ordered to depart. This informa- 
tion, you will be pleased Sir, to use whenever the occa- 
sion may require, and it will I hope, tend to discourage 
free people of Colour of every description from emigrat- 
ing to the Territory of Orleans; AVe have at this 
time a much greater proportion of that kind of popula- 
tion than comports with our interests. 

Two vessels arriving hence from Sto Domingo, via 
Jamaica, with slaves on board have been seized and will 
experience all the rigour of the Law. - Congress at the 
last Session, passed "An Act for the remission of cer- 
"tain penalties for forfeitures and for other purposes." 

- By this Act, the President is vested with authority 
to remit the penalties in certain cases, which had accrued 
by the introduction of slaves into the U. States. But 
the Honorable the Secretary of State, has authorized 
me to inform our Consuls and Commercial Agents, that 
the provisions of the above mentioned Act embrace only 
Emigrants coming direct from Cuba with their slaves; 

- and that those coming from other foreign Countries 
bringing slaves with them, will be subjected to the pen- 
alties of the General Law prohibiting the introduction 
of slaves into the U. States. - This information may 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 

be useful to the owners and Captains of Vessels depart- 
ing from Jamaica for the U. States, and therefore I wish 
it communicated to them; You will recollect, that 
by the La\v prohibiting the introduction of Slaves, the 
vessel introducing them is forfeited, and the Captain 
liable to fine and imprisonment. 

From the state of the War in the West Indies and 
the rapid conquests of the English, it is not improbable 
but a disposition to emigrate to the U. States may be- 
come very general among the French Inhabitants, and I 
have therefore to request that you would be good enough 
to communicate the contents of this letter to the Consuls 
or other Agents of the U. States residing at Guadaloupe, 
Martinique, and indeed at all the adjacent Islands. 
Lieutenant Dexter of the Navy of the U. States Com- 
manding a public vessel dispatched for the purpose, will 
present you this Letter and I must ask the favour of 
you to acknowledge its receipt. 
I am Sir &c 

Signed/ William C. C. Claiborne 
William Savage Esqr. 
Commercial Agent of 
the U. States for the 
Island of Jamaica. 



To Vincent Gray 

Xew-Orleans, Novr. 10th 1809 
Sir, 

By the Act of Congress, "for the remission of cer- 
tain penalties and forfeitures and for other purposes," 
which was forwarded to you, under cover of a Letter of 
the 4th of August (and of which Letter a duplicate is 
herewith enclosed) you will perceive that the power of 
the President to remit, extends only to Emigrants coin- 
ing direct from Cuba, witli their slaves, and then only 
under circumstances which seldom occur, But as 



6 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

regards Emigrants coming from other Spanish Colonies, 
and bringing slaves with them, I am authorized by the 
Secretary of State, to inform you, that they will sub- 
ject themselves to the penalties of the general Law pro- 
hibiting the introduction of Slaves into the U. States. 
This information I will thank you to communicate to the 
Consuls or other Agents of the U. States, residing at 
Spanish Colonies, from whence you suppose the French 
Inhabitants may be disposed to emigrate to the U. 
States; - If, may prove particularly useful to the own- 
ers & Captains of Vessels, bound from a Spanish Colony, 
to a Port in the U. States ; - for you will recollect, that 
by the Law prohibiting the introduction of Slaves, the 
vessel bringing them is forfeited, and the Captain liable 
to fine and imprisonment. 

I have the honor to be. Sir, 
with great respect. 

Your humble servant. 
Signed William C. C. Claiborne. 
To 

Vincent dray Ks< it- 
Acting as Consul for the V. States 
At llavanah. 



To Cd]>l . Porter 

NYw-Orleans, Xovr. 10th ISO!) 
Sir, 

I have the honor to enclose yon two Letters, the one 
to Vincent (irny Ks<|r who 1 understand is acting Con- 
sul of the r. States at th" port of llavanah, and the 
other to William Savage Ksor, who I learn is Commer- 
cial Agent of the V. States for the Island of .Jamaica. 
These communications relate to a subject interesting to 
the U. States, and as no private opportunity is likely to 
occur, I will thank you (if the service will permit) to 
forward them, with all convenient dispatch to their 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. ( 

places of destination, by a public Vessel, with instruc- 
tions to the Captain or officer Commanding to deliver 
them in person to the above named Gentlemen. 
I have the honor to be Sir, 

with great respect, 

yr : hble servt. 

Signed/ William C. C. Claiborne 
Captain Porter 

Comg the Navy of the 
U. States on the 

New Orleans Station. 



To Col. Hopkins 

New-Orleans 10th Novembre 1809 
Sir, 

Information has reached me, which justifies a sus- 
picion, that certain persons in this Territory are associ- 
ating and confederating together with designs hostile 
to the Interest and Laws of the U. States. - My in- 
formation is not of such a nature, as to enable me to de- 
cide with certainty as to the existance of the association, 
or the real views of the associates. - But the primary 
object is supposed to be the rendering of Mexico & the 
Interior provinces independent of Spain, nor is it 
thought improbable, but it may also be in contempla- 
tion to attempt the severing from the United States of 
the District, which was formerly Louisiana. 

Now Sir, as your official Duties as adjutant General, 
will lead you to visit in the course of the ensuing fall 
and winter, the several Counties of the Territory, I must 
request you to bear in mind, the suspicion above ex- 
pressed, and early to communicate to me, all that you 
may see or hear, that may tend to throw light upon this 
subject. - "If the Territories of the United States arc 
aimed at, the object is treasonable; if those of Spain, 
it is contrurv to Law." In either case therefore, YOU 



8 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

will be in the faithful discharge of your duty as an Of- 
ficer and Citizen by uniting your efforts with mine to de- 
feat the project, if indeed one shall actually exist.- 

It is not improbable, but during your stay at Nachi- 
toches, you may fall in company with some of the Span- 
ish Officers, for I am told they occasionally visit that 
port; In this event, you will meet my wishes, by 
availing yourself of some fit occasion, to assure them 
that the Government of the U. States, will continue to 
adhere to that fair and honest neutrality, which has for 
so many years marked its conduct, & has kept it from 
interfering in the internal affairs of any foreign Nation. 

By addressing you this Letter, and requesting you 
from time to time, such information as you may acquire 
on the subject to which it relates, I have given you a 
proof of the confidence reposed in your patriotism and 
Discretion by 

Dr Sir, 

Your mo : obt. Servt. 
William C. C. Claiborne. 
Colo : II. Hopkins. 



To Robert Smith 

New-Orleans, Xovr. Kith. ISO!) 
Sir, 

The Civil Suits against the t\vo Spaniards, who 
handed the Letters signed "Francis Newman" and F. X. 
to Mr. Missonnet are still pending, and it has been at- 
tempted also to have them prosecuted in the District 
Court now in session Tor a Libel against the Government : 
P>ut M. (Jrymes lias thought proper (after consulting 
with me) to decline doing so for the present. There 
are sonic Citizens who believe the Letters from Xachi- 
toehes forgeries: But my present impressions are other- 
wise. - Mr. Missonnet who had taken three Copies of 
the Letters si'_ni"d Francis Newman and F. X". previous 



LETTER BOOKS OF \V. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 9 

to his returning the Originals to the person who handed 
them to him, has since been shewn two letters from Lieu- 
tenant Newman to a friend of his in this City, and he is 
persuaded that the hand writing is the same, with that 
of the Natchitoches Letters; he noticed particularly the 
signature "Francis Newman", and assures me, he could 
not recollect a difference. Mr. Missonnet has acted in 
this affaire, with much more Integrity than discretion; 
- had he retained the original Letters which were 
handed him, and given less publicity to their contents, 
the whole truth might (perhaps) have been easily ac- 
quired, but will now I fear be attended with difficulty. 

I promised in a Letter I addressed you from Attaka- 
pas a Copy of my communication to the Governor Gen- 
eral of Yucatan; upon examining my official Journal I 
find I had addressed him two Letters, and of these, 
Copies are herewith enclosed No. 1 & 2. 

The French officers from St. Domingo of whom I 
made mention in a former Letter are still here, The 
City Council had agreed I understand to advance the 
sum necessary to convey them to New York, taking Mr 
Deforgues' Bills on the French Minister for the amount. 
But within these few days past, some Bills which Mr. 
Deforgues had drawn on the French Consul General 
at New York, have been returned protested, & his credit 
is of course injured. - I suspect however, the City 
Council will nevertheless, be induced to make the prom- 
ised advance. 

I had written thus much, when Mr. Hart, a Merchant 
of this City, handed me a letter from himself, of which 
the enclosed No. 3 is a Copy. Mr. Hart also shewed 
me a Letter, he had received from Laguna, in which it 
was stated, that the Captain & Crew of a Sloop, (which 
Mr. II supposes to be the Margaret) wrecked near 
Laguna, had been imprisoned at that place. - I have 
therefore again thought it my duty to address a letter to 



10 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

the Governor General of Youcatan, and of which the en- 
closed No. 4 is a Copy. 

I have the honor to be, 

Sir, with great respect, 

yr : hble Servt. 
William C. C. Claiborne. 
Tlie Honble 

Robert Smith 

Secy, of State. 

17th Xovr 1809. 

I have opened this Letter to inform you, that William 
Brown the collector lias ran off, and taken with him a 
large sum of the Public money. - I have by Letter 
given the particulars to the Secy, of the Treasury. - 1 
have sent in pursuit of the villain; but I fear he will not 
be overtaken. 

AY. C. C. C : 



To Don Benito Perez 

Xew Orleans, November Kith 1 



Sir. 

Having this day received information, that the Super- 
cargo, Mr. .John Robert Junior <fc the Captain and Crew 
of the American Schooner Celestine from this Port, were 
stil in confinement at Lngunn, under an impression on 
the part of the Magistrates of that place, that they were 
connected with an Expedition which was Citing out at 
Xew Orleans, against the Spanish Dominions - I am 
induced to enclose your Excellency triplicate Copies of 
the Letters 1 had the honor to address you under date of 
the 17th and 19th of July last. 

Tt is also rumoured here, that the Captain & Crew of 
the American Sloop "Margaret" from this Port, wrecked 
in the vicinity of Laguna, have been confined in conse- 
quence of the supposed hostile preparations at Xew Or- 
leans, against the Spanish Provinces. - These occur- 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 11 

rences give me Sir, the most sincere regret, and I trust 
your Excellency will credit the assurances I again give 
you, that no expedition is preparing at New Orleans 
against the Dominions of Spain, or those of any other 
Power. - The Government of the U. States desires 
Peace with all the world & will (during the contest, in 
which most of the Nations of the earth are engaged) con- 
tinue to adhere to that fair and honest neutrality which 

has for so many years marked its conduct. 

I offer to your Excellency the assurances of my great 
respect and high consideration! 

Signed/ William C. C. Claiborne. 
His Excellency 

Don Benito Perez 

Captain General of Youcatan. 



To Don Benito Perez 

New. Orleans, July 17th 1809. 
Sir, 

It has been represented to me from sources entitled 
to credit, that Reports had reached your Excellency, that 
an expedition was preparing in this Territory against 
the Dominions of Spain, & that several persons trading 
from hence to Campeache & Laguna, had been arrested 
under a suspicion of being spies in the pay of the Ameri- 
can Government. 

I owe it to truth, to assure your Excellency, that such 
Reports are altogether unfounded; there is no expedi- 
tion preparing in this Territory against the Spanish Do- 
minions, nor is there any thing my Government more de- 
sires than to maintain with Spain the most friendly un- 
derstanding. 

As relates to the unfortunate individuals, who runy 
be in arrest, you will permit me to say, that nothing could 
be more unjust, than the charge that they are spies in 
the service of the American Government. If this be 



12 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

the only charge against them, I pray you to be convinced 
of their innocence. 

I avail myself of this occasion, to tender your Ex- 
cellency, the assurances of my great respect and high 
consideration. 

Signed/ William C. C. Claiborne. 
His Excellency 

Don Benito Perez 

Capt. Genl. of Youcatan. 



To Don Benito Peres 

New Orleans, July 19th 1809. 
Sir, 

Since the letter, I had the honor to address to your 
Excellency, on the 17- Instant, - Captain Vidal has 
advised me of the arrest at Campeache of certain In- 
dividuals trading from hence to that place, charged with 
designs hostile to the Spanish Government, and of their 
subsequent release under the orders of your Excellency. 

In renewing to your Excellency as I now do, the as- 
surances of the friendly disposition of my Government 
towards Spain and her Colonies, I cannot but express a 
wish to learn the names of those unworthy men residing 
in this City, who by falsehoods the most malicious, 
labour to disturb that good understanding, which il is 
the interest of our two Nations carefully to preserve. 

I pray your Excellency to be convinced of my great 
respect & High consideration. 

Signed/' William (\ C. Claiborne. 
His Excellency 

Don IViiilo IV re/, 

('apt. Genl. of Yourntan. 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 13 

New Orleans 16th Novr. 1809 
His Excellency Wm. C. C. Claiborne 
Governor of the Territory of Orleans. 

Sir, 

I honoured myself by addressing your Excellency on 
the 17 July last acquainting you of the seizure of the 
Schooner Celestine & her Cargo belonging to me & the 
Imprisonment of the Supercargo M- John Eobert Junr 
the Captain & Crew all Citizens of the United States of 
America, in consequence of a Letter received there & 
supposed to be written by a person in this City - pur- 
porting the arrival of an expedition here destined to act 
against the Spanish Possessions & I entreated your Ex- 
cellency to address yourself officially to the proper 
authorities at Laguna - in contradiction of such ne- 
farious reports & I had every expectation that your 
representations would eventuate in the restoration of 
my property & the release of the Supercargo Captain & 
Crew of the Schooner but experiencing a dis-appoint- 
ment (which may have arisen from the miscarriage of 
your Letters) I am again compelled to trouble your Ex- 
cellency as an opportunity presents itself which may be 
depended upon for the carriage of any further repre- 
sentations which you may see fit to make upon this sub- 
ject. 

I have the honour to remain 

Your very obdt Servt 

Jacob v Cart. 



To Robert Smith 

Xow-Orloans Novr 18th 1809 
Duplicate/ 
Sir, 

While I was at Attackapas, and at a period when I 
was very unwell with a fever, I received from the De- 
partment of State a Communication, without signature. 



14 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

that being under your frank, I concluded it was written 
in conformity to your Instructions. 

In this Letter, I was advised that certain writings at- 
tributed to Mr. Thierry (to whom I committed the print- 
ing of the Laws of the U. States) had fallen into your 
hands, and were viewed of "so violent and disorganizing 
a tendency," as to render Mr Thierry unworthy tin- 
patronage of the Government, and I was requested "with 
my better knowledge of Mr. Thierry and other printers 
in New Orleans, again to make the appointment from 
among them," being myself responsible for the choice." 
The receipt of the communication was immediately ac- 
knowledged, accompanied with a promise to give you on 
my return to New Orleans, the character of the several 
Papers printed in that City, as also that of their Ed- 
itors; - This promise I shall 'now perform, and it will 
afford me pleasure, if you would select yourself the pub- 
lic Printer, altho' T fear Sir, you will find it somewhat 
difficult to make a choice, which will be altogether pleas- 
ing to you. 

1st The Orleans (lazette is a daily paper printed in 
English and French; It was formerly edited by Bradford 
& Anderson, but Hill and Bradford are now (nominally 
at least) the Proprietors and Editors: - Mr Bradford 
I learn is still employed in the office, and is supposed to 
have great agency in conducting the paper. Of Mi 1 . Hill 
I know nothing - Mr Anderson is a native of the 
United States, and by profession a Printer; I believe 
him to be a young man of fair character, but of very 
limited Information. Mr. Bradford who is still sup- 
posed to have the principal direction of the paper, pos- 
sesses (ienius, but is wanting in Judg'menl and pru- 
dence; - His Father is a very worthy and n-spertabl" 
Citizen of Kentucky, but the Son has not profited as 
(jreatly as could have beeu id shed of his Fathers exam- 
ple, and Precept. The Orleans (iazette professes Repub- 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 15 

licanism, but for the last 18 months has given no proof 
thereof. - The great Patrons of this Paper are men 
unfriendly to the Government, and I consider it as de- 
voted to their views. 

2nd The Louisiana Gazette is printed twice a week 
in English: It is an avowed Federal Paper, and gen- 
erally copies from the Northern Gazettes whatever ap- 
pears most congenial with the spirit of Federalism : 
The Editor Mr Mozery, is a nativ - American, and 
enjoys in private Life a fair reputation : - I certainly 
very much dislike the politicks of this paper, but I deem 
it more deserving of support, than the Orleans Gazette. 

3rd The "Moniteur" is printed twice a Week and 
in f rench only. The editor Mr Fontaine, is a frenchman 
by birth, and a respectable, worthy man. His paper has 
been selected by me, for the purpose of publishing in 
French, such laws of the Territory, as are of general 
Concern. The Moniteur takes no part in the politicks 
of the IT. States. 

4th The "Louisiana Courier" is published three 
times a week in english and french. - It professes to 
be a Republican paper, and has hitherto evidenced a dis- 
position to support the measures of Government. This 
paper is edited my Messrs Thierry & Dacqueny. Mr. 
Thierry is a native of France, and came to this Terri- 
tory I believe, in the year 1804; - He has been well 
educated, possesses much acquired information, and is 
said to write with great elegance in his native language. 
There are Individuals who attack Mr. Thierry's 
private Character, but many citizens speak of him in 
friendly terms, and represent him to be a man of In- 
tegrity. - Several years since, perhaps in 1804-0 there 
appeared in a paper called the "Telegraph" several 
pieces of a violent and disorganizing tendency, and all 
of which have since been attributed to Mr Thierry- 
He acknowledges to have written some of them: but 



16 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

says the greater part of those productions expressed the 
sentiments of the Editor of the Telegraph and not his 
own; that they were only submitted to him previous to 
publication for correction as to stile; - Whether this 
was, or was not the case, I cannot say; But I should 
be unjust to Mr Thierry, were I not to state, that since 
he has become himself an Editor, he has manifested a 
friendly disposition towards the American Government. 
Mr Dackqueny is also a frenchman by birth, last from 
South Carolina ; he has a wife and several children, and 
is esteemed an industrious, inoffensive man, - he at- 
tends I am told only to the printing of the paper. 

5th The "Telegraph" is printed three times a week 
in french and english. It does not take an active part in 
the politicks either of the General or local government; 
but is considered as an opposition paper, and is the one, 
in which the exceptionable writings attributed to Mr 
Thierry were published. The Telegraph is edited by Mr 
Bellungy a native of France. 

6th The "Lanterne Majicale" is printed once a 
week - It is the vehicle of the most vulgar abuse of 
the officers and friends of the government, and is edited 
nominally by a frenchman of the name of "Daudet." 

7th There was lately a daily paper called the Echo 
printed in french and English, but has been discon- 
tinued. There is also a Spanish paper, published T 
understand once a week, edited by I know not whom. 

The "Monitcur" has a limited circulation, and being 
published only in French is not taken by the Citizens 
whose native language is English: so also the Louisiana 
Gazette being published only in English does not circu- 
late among the Citi/ens whose native Language is 
French. - The Louisiand Conrricr Orleans Gaxette 
and Telegraph are subscribed for by both descriptions 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 17 

of citizens. - The first is understood to have the most 
extensive circulation. 1 

As regards European politicks the Louisiana Cour- 
rier and Telegraph appear to take great Interest in the 
successes of Bonaparte the Orleans Gazette, and the 
Louisiana Gazette, manifest a Bias in favour of England 
and her allies. 

I have the honor to be 
Sir, 

With great respect 
The Honble yr hble Sevrt 

Mr Smith William C. C. Claiborne. 

Secy, of State. 
P. S. 

Since writing the above, I have seen the prospectus 
of a news paper to be called "The friend of the Laws," 
which I enclose you. You will observe that the Editor is 
a frenchman; I neither know his person, character, or 
by what Interest his paper is to be supported. I have 
not seen the number which was promised on the IGth 
Instant, nor do I believe it has made its appearance. 
But I understand "The friend of the Laws" will cer- 
tainly be published. 

W. C. C. C. 



To Robert Smith 

New Orleans, November 26th 1801). 
Sir, 

I have had an interview, with Captain (late Lieuten- 
ant) Francis Newman of the army, and now enclose you 
his answers to severel questions, which I proposed to 
him, touching the Letters from Nachitoches signed 
' ' Francis Newman F. N. ' ' - Captain Newman thro ' 
out the whole examination, betrayed evident confusion 
But I did not consider it as arisina, 1 from a Consciousness 



1 The number of papers for a city like New Orleans is unusual. 
V 2 



18 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

of Guilt; - He is naturally a diffident man, and the 
situation in which these Letters (altho' they may be for- 
geries) place him, is calculated to excite in his breast un- 
pleasant sensations. The Civil process against the 
two Spaniards, of which I have informed you will be 
tried, I understand, in 12 or 14 days, and it is not im- 
probable, but some light may then be thrown on this (at 
present) misterious transaction. 

There is no longer room to doubt the villainy of 
AYilliam Brown the Collector; he arrived at the Balize, 
on board of the Vessel called the Kingston on the after- 
noon of the 16th Instant, and having obtained a Pilot, 
put to sea on the same evening. 
I have the honor to be 

with groat respect, 

yr : mo : obt. Servt 

The Honble ) William (\ C. Clmborne. 

Mr. Smith ) 

Secv of State ) 



N en-man Statement 
New Orleans November 24th 1800. 

On this day I the undersigned Francis Newman at 
present a Captain in the army of the U. States; attended 
at the Government House, at the request of Governor 
Claiborne, and to the following questions which wen- 
put to me by the Governor, I returned the annexed an- 
swers. 

Question AVere you stationed at Natchitoches on th<' 
1st of May 1809? 

Answer I believe I arrived at Nachitoches from Fort 
Adams about the last of April 1800. 

Question AVere you at Nachitoches on the 10th of May 
1800. and the 20th July 1800. 
Answer T was. 
Question Is there any relationship Ix-twecn yours* !f. 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 19 

a Mr. Joseph Soils of New Orleans, or between Mrs. 
Newman & Mr. Soils? 

Answer There is between Mrs. Newman & Mr. Soils : 
a gentleman of the name of Soils, is the uncle of Mrs. 
Newman ; 

Question has that Gentleman a son? 
Answ r er Several. 

Question has he one of the name of Joseph? 
Answer He has. 

Question Had you asked leave of absence from Nachi- 
toches, during the last summer? 

Answer Two years ago, I asked leave of absence, but at 
no time during the summer of 1809. 
Question Was leave of absence granted? 
Answer It was not. My object in asking leave of ab- 
sence was, to convey my family from New Orleans to 
Nachitoches? 

Question Is the mother of Mrs. Newman dead, & at 
what period, did you hear of her death, & when did you 
communicate this event to your lady? 
Answer She is dead, & I believe died in October 1808. 
In December of the same year, or the month of January 
following, I received information from Lieutenant Lanc- 
uville, that her death was reported But in March Lieu- 
tenant Night brought me Letters from the family, which 
confirmed the former intelligence, & I immediately com- 
municated it to Mrs. Newman. 

Question Can you speak and write the french Lan- 
guage ? 

Answer. I can speak the French Language & write it 
imperfectly. 

Question Do you recollect writing a Letter to n Mr. 
Solis at any time during the months of May or July last ? 
Answer I never wrote a letter in my life, to any person 
of the name of Solis. 
Question Have you seen a paper, purporting to be a 



20 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

copy of a Letter, from Francis Newman, to a Mr. Joseph 
Soils fils, at New Orleans, and dated at Nachitoches 1st 
May? 

Answer I have seen such a paper on this morning, & 
never before. 

Question Did you write the letter of which the paper 
you have seen is said to be a Copy? 

Answer I did not, & I repeat that I never had a corres- 
pondence of any kind witli Joseph Solis fils or any other 
person of the name of Solis. 

Question Did you write 1 the two letters signed F. X. 
dated Nachitoches 19th May 1809 & 20th July 1809, of 
which the paper I have shown you is said to be a Copy ? 
Answer I did not. 

Question Have you any knowledge of a Correspondence 
between Governor Salcedo, of the Provinces of Techas, 
and certain Persons in New Orleans? 
Answer I have no knowledge of a correspondence be- 
tween Governor Salcedo, & any person whatever. 
Question Have you any knowledge of a Plan for the 
revolutionizing of the Spanish Provinces? 
Answer, none whatever. 

Question. Did you ever learn, that it had been proposed 
to any one or more officers of the army to unite in a pro- 
ject to effect the Independence of Mexico? 
An s w ( r X ever. 

Question By whom were you ordered to this City? 
Answer By Lieutenant Colo: Freeman in conformity 
to the orders of General Wilkinson. 
Question Fpon what business were you ordered here'? 
Answer The order itself to me, will explain - It is in 
the following words. 

Fort Claiborne f)th November 1809. 
Sir, 

I have received orders from General Wilkinson dated 
the 27" of last month, to send vou immediately to Xew 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 21 

Orleans, as a witness in a Case which deeply effects your 
your character. Certain letters said to be written by 
you, & signed with your name, to a Mr. Solis a kinsman to 
your wife have been detected in which the Government 
and several military men, are charged with being con- 
cerned in a meditated attack in the Mexican Provinces. 
You will therefore go from hence on Tomorrow morning 
& proceed to New Orleans by the shortest route and with- 
out the least delay. On your arrival there, you will call 
on A. L. Duncan Esqr. the Prosecutor in this case, who 
has required your presence. 

I am with great esteem 
Sir, 

Your humble Servt. 

Const ; Freeman 
Lieut : Colo : Acte Comd. 
directed to 

Captain Francis Newman 

Question. Having denied writing the letters to Joseph 
Solis, which bear the signature of Francis Newman" & 
F. N. I have now to ask you if you know or suspect by 
whom these Letters were written and with what motive? 
Answer It is not in my power to return an answer to 
the above question. I have no information respecting 
it 

F. Newman 



New Orleans 3 Dec 09 
Sir, 

Mrs Claiborne was seized with a malignant fever on 
the 22 and died on the 29 Ulto her loss is deeply la- 
mented by all her acquaintances. 

This melancholy circumstance has induced the Gov- 
ernor to leave the Citv he will be absent for a short time 



22 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

If in the interim any thing interesting to the public oc- 
curs you shall be duly informed 
I have the honor to be 
very respectfully 
yo ob st 

J. B. Robertson. 



To Robert Smith 

New Orleans Deer. 31st 1809 
Sir, 

Your Letter of the 2nd Instant (enclosing an Extract 
from a communication sent to you by one of the Spanisli 
Consuls) has been received. I have taken Sir, such 
means as were in my power to ascertain the truth of the 
various reports which were afloat, that certain persons in 
this Territory, had combined together for the purpose of 
effecting a Revolution in the Spanish Provinces ; but have 
as yet acquired no satisfactory proof upon the subject. 
I nevertheless am not without my suspicions that there 
may be some foundation for these Reports; and you may 
therefore Sir be assured of my continued vigilance, and 
that I shall use my best exertions to prevent as well as 
to suppress any illegal combinations. My Communica- 
tion of the 11" November informed you of my own im- 
pressions relative to the letters signed Francis Newman 
& V. N. but that by others, they were thought to be for- 
geries. On the 11" of Nov. I transmitted you a copy of 
certain Instructions I had given to Colonel Hopkins, who 
in his character as Adjutant General, was about making 
a tour of the Territory, and under cover of a Letter bear- 
ing date the of November, I forwarded you the Re- 
sult of Captain Newman's examination before me. In 
a Letter Avhich Colo Hopkins has addressed me, dated 
Lafourche Nov. 23rd 1809 he says "I have had a noc- 
"turnal interview with two person residing at this place, 
"one by the name of Hopkins, a Kinsman of C. Taylor, 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 23 

"and reported to be the natural son of Colonel Burr; 
"The other Doctor Savage the Brother in Law of Ed- 
"ward Livingston. From these men I obtained the fol- 
lowing information, Burr was never ordered from 
"Englend Burr would have received an appointment 
"in the Revolutionary Army of Spain, if his want of a 
"knowledge of the Language had not been an obstacle : 
"Burr among other enterprises in person, with four hun- 
"dred men, was to encamp in the Spanish Dominions, and 
"before the feeble (?) Government of Spain could re- 
"move them, they would be joined by twenty thousand 
" of the most brave and enterprising men men of the 
"United States;" - We have in this Territory many 
persons of similar characters to Hopkins & Savage (!), 
and whose frequent conversations as to the facility of 
revolutionizing Mexico are calculated to excite the people 
to Jealousy of our neighbors. I apprised you in one of 
my communications, that civil suits had been commenced 
against the two Spaniards, who handed in the Letters 
purporting to be from Americans to Mr. Missonnet ; 
These are still depending But it seems that Soils to 
whom the Letters were directed was prosecuted the other 
day by a Grand Jury for a Libel against the Government 
& has since been tried and acquitted. At the trial which 
was had before the Superior Court of the Territory, the 
original Letters were not produced, (they were said to 
have been destroyed by Solis) but afterwards on his oath 
denied transmitting them There are persons who yet 
believe Newman wrote the Letters; but do not attach 
credit to their contents. - There are others who believe 
them to have been counterfeited, with a design to injure 
the Spaniards mentioned ( ? ) and had together with 
other Letters containing like falsehoods, been transmit- 
ted to the Spanish Provinces by certain crowds of Span- 
iards residing in Xew Orleans with a view of exciting 
the Jealousy of the Spanish Government against the 



24 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

Americans, and thus to prevent them from participating 

in the Spanish ( 1 ). 

The Honble I am Sir, with great respect 

Mr. Smith Your Most Obt Servt, 

Secy of State William C. C. Claiborne. 



To Robert Smith 

New Orleans, 
March 30th 1810. 
Sir, 

Since my Letter of the 25th Inst. the person styling 
himself the owner of the French Corsaire Le Due de 
Montebello, has solicited the interference of the Civil 
Authority; a copy of his petition (on oath) to the Hon- 
orable Joshua Lewis, one of the Superior Judges of this 
Territory, and on the Judge's Order for the Sheriff, to 
take into his possession, the Privateer, called the Due de 
Montebello and the Cargo, & to hold the same subject to 
the further orders of the Court, are herewith enclosed 
marked (A) The Sheriff lias gone to the Balize, & I 
take it for granted, that no opposition will be made to 
the execution of the Judges order. 

I also enclose you Copies of a Letter to me from the 
French Consul, of the process verbal of the Crew of the 
Montebello and of the answer, which I have returned 
to Mr Del'orgues, marked B. C. I). Commodore Por- 
ter is now at the Balize ; On his return, he will no 
doubt forward to the Secretary of the Navy further ex- 
planations of this affair, and which will I hope place it in 
a more favorable point of view. 

You will observe by my Letter of the 25th that I had 
no agency in this Business "Until the District Attorney 
Mr. (Jrymes had inforced me that he should not libel 
the vessel and until Captain Carroll the naval officer 
in command in the absence of Mr. Porter had further 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 25 

advised me, that he should direct her release ; I then 
issued the order for the Montebello not to pass the Fort 
of Plaquemine, & to be permitted to receive her supplies 
&ca. As a measure of Police, no foreign armed ves- 
sel is permitted to pass the Fort of Plaquemine, with- 
out permission of the Governor, & I was desirous to 
enforce this Rule on the present & on all Similar occa- 
sions, as the best means of preventing foreign armed 
vessels from Smuggling Goods on shore, of discouraging 
the desertion of their Crew, and preventing any Collision 
between these foreigners and the Inhabitants or the au- 
thorities of this Territory; In further explanation of 
the part I have acted in this affair, it may be proper to 
add, that I had designed, so soon as the Montebello had 
received the Supplies & the repairs she had required, to 
have ordered her to depart the waters of the United 
States. I was induced to issue the second order for the 
Montebello to pass the Fort, as well from the consider- 
ation mentioned in the order itself, as from a wish ex- 
pressed to me by the Collector of the District, that the 
business should take that course. 

In consequence of the intimation given me by Commo- 
dore Porter, that an attack was meditated by the French 
Armed vessels on the Shipping at Pensacola or Amelia 
Island, and desirous of taking ever}* means in my power, 
to ascertain, whether if this attack was in contempla- 
tion, there were any Inhabitants of this Territory aid- 
ing and abetting therein, I addressed a Letter on the 
Subject to the Mayor of New Orleans of which the paper 
marked E is a Copy, & received the answer marked F. 

As preparatory to my departure for the United 
States, I set out on Tomorrow on a visit to Xatchez I 
Expect to return to New Orleans in the course of four- 
teen days. During my absence, there is nothing of any 
importance likely to occur except the affair of the Monte- 



26 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

bello, & that vessel will perhaps, not have ascended the 
river to this Port ; previous to my return. 

I have the honor to be, 
Sir, 

AVith great respect 

The Honble Your most obt Servt 

Mr. Smith William C. C. Clalbonic. 

Secv of State. 



Petition 

To the Honorable Joshua Lewis one of the Judges of the 
Superior Court of the Territory of Orleans. The Peti- 
tion of Ange Michel Brouard, a subject of the Emperor 
of France now at New Orleans. Humbly sheweth. 

That your Petitioner is the owner of a certain French 
Privateer, called the Duke of Montebello which was 
forced by distress to put into this Port in the beginning 
of this month. 

That on his arrival at new Orleans your petitioner did 
fulfil faithfully all the formalities which the Laws of Na- 
tions and the Laws of the United States required of him, 
by presenting to the constituted authorities the papers 
of the said vessel and furnishing them satisfactory 
proofs of the necessity which compelled the said vessel 
to put into this Port: That in consequence thereof your 
petitoiner obtained, as well from his Excellency the Gov- 
ernor of this Territory as from Captain Carroll then 
commandant of this Station pro-tempore, the necessary 
authorization for getting his said vessel repaired, tak- 
ing provisions and going out of the Mississippi. That 
after having been repaired, and having taken in the 
provisions which she wanted, the said vessel proceeded 
down the River, and was preparing to get under way, 
when on the Twenty first instant, being then moored at 
the Balise inside yet of the pass, she was boarded by a 
bodv of about sixtv or seventv armed men, having at 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 27 

their head one Captain Reid of the United States Bomb 
Ketch Vesuvius, who declaring himself to act by order 
of Commodore David Porter, took possession by force 
of arms of the said French Privateer the Duke of Monte- 
bello, and of every thing on board of her and still holds 
possession of the same, and as your petitioner is in- 
formed, plundered the said vessel & committed every out- 
rage against the people on board. That your petitioner, 
so soon as these news reached him, called on Commodore 
Porter and complianed to him of this unheard of act of 
violence, but that the said Porter answered him that it 
was by his order that the Duke of Montebello had been 
taken possession of, and that he intended to send her to 
Washington City. And your petitioner further states 
that he has every reason to apprehend that the said Por- 
ter will immediately carry his threats into effect, regard- 
less of the irreparable losses which he would thereby oc- 
casion to your Petitioner. And as your Petitioner be- 
lieves that the said Porter's conduct is an act of arbi- 
trary violence unsupported by any lawful authorization, 
since there exists in this Territory Courts of Justice ap- 
pointed by the Government of the United States to take 
cognizance of all infractions to their Laws, to which 
Courts your Petitioner has ever been ready to submit 
himself. 

Your Petitioner therefore humbly prays that the said 
Porter may be compelled by the usual process to appear 
before your honorable Court and that he may be decreed 
to restore him the possession of his Schooner Privateer 
the Duke of Montebello, and to pay him the sum of Ten 
Thousand dollars damages or such other sum as to this 
honorable Court shall seem a just indemnity for the loss 
and injury which he has caused to your petitioner and 
that in the mean time the schooner Duke of Montebello 
may be put into the custody of the Sheriff of this Court 
& by him kept subject to his orders and that your peti- 



28 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

tioner may receive such other and further relief as the 
nature of this case may require. And your Petitioner, 
as in duty bound, will ever pray &c. 

P. Derbigny 
Atty for Plaintiff 

Ange Michel Brouard, the above Petitioner, 
maketh oath, that the material facts contained 
in the foregoing petition are true to the best of 
his knowledge and belief 

A. M. B-rouard 

sworn before me at New 7 Orleans 
this 26th day of march 1810 
Missonnet 

Jue de Paix. 

"It is ordered that the Sheriff take into his 
"custody the within mentioned Privateer called 
"the Duke of Montebello and her Cargo, and 
"that he safely keep said Privateer and cargo 
"subject to the further order of the Court 

March 26th 1810 

Joshua Lewis. 

I hereby Certify that the foregoing Petition. 
Affidavit and order of the Judge are true copies 
of the originals on file in my office. 

MAKTIN GORDON, CLK. 



To Ike French 

Xew Orleans, 

March 30th 1S10. 
Sir, 

I have received and read with attention your Letter 
of the 29 Instant: and also the process verbal which 
it enclosed, relative to the seizure by Commodore Porter 
of the French Corsaire Le Due de Montebello, and the 
conduct observed towards the Captain and Crow of that 
Vessel. Commodore Porter being rendered entirelv 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 29 

independent of my orders or Controul, it only remains 
for me to lay your Communications before the President 
of the United States. The transaction at the Balize as 
detailed in the process verbal, will I assure you, be dis- 
approved by my Government; It is alike opposed to 
the American Character, and to that correct Deport- 
ment which the President requires of all his officers; 
But the old maxim ''Audi Alteram Partern" at all times 
proper, is particularly so, on the present occasion, and 
in the mean time justice demands that our opinions 
should be suspended. 

I am pleased to learn, that you did not credit the 
report, that Commodore Porter was about carrying the 
Montebello with her rich Cargo to Jamaica; The high 
standing of that officer forbids any idea of that kind. 

I have the honor to be 
Sir, 

with great respect, 

yr: Hble Servt.- 
AVilliam C. C. Claiborne 
To Mr Deforgues, 
French Consul, 
New Orleans. 



To the Mayor 

New Orleans, January 27th 1810. 
Sir, 

It has been communicated to me, that a number of 
persons principally Frenchmen had departed from this 
City, and proceeded towards the Balize Will you be 
kind enough to inform me, whether this movement has 
come to your knowledge, and if so. what you suppose to 
be the object of it, and whether among the Party, there 
are any Citizens of the IT. States. I wish this informa- 
tion, because it has been hinted to me, that there are 
several french armed vessels hovering on our Coast, and 



30 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

that an attack by them, is contemplated on the shipping 
at Pensacola or Amelia Island. This attack is of no 
further consequence to me, than to take care that it is 
not begun "or set on foot in the Territory of the U. 
States, and that no Citizen of this Territory be aiding & 
abetting therein. 

I am Sir, 
very respectfully, 

yr: hble Servt. 
William C. C. Claiborne 
The Honble 
Mr. Mather, 
Mayor of 

New Orleans. 



Extract of a Letter from the Mayor of the City of 
New Orleans, dated March 28th 1810, to His Excellency 
"William C. C. Claiborne Governor of the Territory of 
Orleans. 
Sir, 

In answer to your Excellency's Communication of 
this day, I have the honor to transmit the following, rela- 
tive to those persons who have, (within my knowledge) 
embarked, at this Port since the beginning of this month. 

I find that thirty-four persons, whereof more than 
one half are men of Color, applied to me during that 
period for passport to go as passengers in the Schooner 
Lenora, Captain John Aline, bound to St. Bartholomew; 
they stated at the same time, that Captain Aline would 
not take them on board without a pass. 

From their answers, I understood that they wore nut 

Citizens of the U. States; that they had resided in this 

Territory but seven or eight months; and were leaving 

the Country, as they could find in it no means to subsist. 

- I granted passports to twenty nine of the said per- 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 31 

sons; the other five being mulattoes (one only excepted) 
went off without, as I suppose, because they could not 
prove their freedom. 

I have no further knowledge of what relates to the 
said persons ; but I entertain no doubt that your Excel- 
lency will be more fully informed by the officers com- 
manding the Forts below, or the Station at the Balize. 



To William Wy~koff 

Washington City, June 14t 1810. 
Dear Sir, 

By the last accounts from Spain, it would seem that 
all hopes of successful resistance to Bonaparte, were at 
an end. The Supreme Junta was dissolved. Cadis, 
the last hold of the Patriots besieged, & there it was, that 
a little local committee exercised the only authority main- 
tained on the Peninsula, in the name of Ferdinand. 
Carraccas lias I find, already made a movement towards 
Independence, & it is not improbable, but the neighbor- 
ing Provinces may be disposed to follow the example. 

You know, that under the Louisiana Convention, we 
claim as far eastwardly as the Perdido. That claim 
never has, and never will I trust be abandoned But I 
am persuaded under present circumstances, it would be 
more pleasing that the taking possession of the Coun- 
try, be preceded by a Request from the Inhabitants. 
Can no means be devised to obtain such Request? 

The time may arrive, perhaps it has arrived, when 
the People of Florida, must adopt measures with a view 
to their present and future security. If Spain has 
yielded (as is believed) to Bonaparte, the People of Flor- 
ida will be assailed by a Host of Intriguers. There will 
perhaps be a French party and an English party, and a 
Party who would wish to set up for themselves ! But 
I hope the good Inhabitants, the honest Cultivators of 
the Soil will unite, silence the factions, and adopt the. 



32 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

Policy which their best interests advise. To form for 
themselves an independent Government is out of the 
question! \Yaving other considerations, the paucity of 
their numbers, their insular situation, and circumscribed 
Limits i'orbid the Idea; A connection with France is 
opposed by all their honest prejudices and would he at- 
tended with Ruin, and as to the protection of Great Brit- 
ain, it could not Tail to prove to them a Curse, for dur- 
ing the contest, with the I'nited States, which in that case 
might ensue, Florida would he the Seat of \\ ar, and its 
entire conquest could not be protracted beyond a few 
months. But the Line of Conduct which honest 1'olicy 
points out, cannot be mistaken. Nature has decreed 
the I'nion of Florida with the 1'nited States, and the 
welfare of the Inhabitants imperiously demands it. 
From the position of the District it is indeed impossible, 
that it could for any length of time, remain detached ;-- 
But to enlarge is useless. 1 now recollect that when we 
last conversed upon this subject, our wishes, our senti- 
ments, were in union and therefore it is, that I with the 
more confidence invite you to loose no time in sounding 
the r/r/r; <>f the most influential of your Neighbors on 
the opposite Shore, and in giving to tlicin a right direc- 
tion. 

Your friends and acquaintances Mr. Mickey, Mr (!. 
Mattier senr Colonel Fulton. Mr. Liuley, Mr Duval of 
the plains, Mr \Vm Ban-on, Captain Percey, Captain 
McDermot. M r Short of the (ierman Settlement, Mr. 
Brown of Ticfaw. and many others who are known to 
you, have much at stake, and should take decided meas- 
ures: All or most of these Gentlemen, it is desirable 
you should see as soon as possible; Impress upon their 
minds the importance of the Crisis; the expediency of 
scouting every tiling like French or Fnglish Influence, 
and assure them, I pray you, of the friendly disposition 
of the American Government. I am aware that among 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBQRNE. 33 

the Settlers of Florida, there are persons, who during 
the American War were disaffected to the United States, 
and who probably, may feel some uneasiness at falling 
under the American Government. It may be well to 
quiet their apprehensions by informing them, that the 
transactions of that day, will not be remembered to their 
injury; that the present is a fit occasion to return to the 
Bosom of their Country, and if embraced with Cordial- 
ity, the prodigal Son mentioned in holy writ did not 
meet a more heartfelt welcome, than they would experi- 
ence from the American family. 

The most elligible means of obtaining an expression 
of the wish of the Inhabitants of Florida, can best be 
determined by themselves. But were it done, thro' the 
medium of a Convention of Delegates, named by the 
People, it would be more satisfactory. In the event, 
that a Convention is called, it is important that every 
part of the District as far at least as the Perdido be rep- 
resented, and therefore I feel solicitous, that you should 
be at some pains to prepare for the occasion the minds 
of the more influential characters in the vicinity of Mo- 
bile. Whether this can best be done, by yourself in per- 
son, or by some Citizen of Baton Rouge in your confi- 
dence, is left to your discretion. 

You will consider this Letter as confidential, and in 
pursuing the object referred to, you will act with all the 
circumspection which its nature requires. 

You will be pleased Sir, early to acknowledge the re- 
ceipt ot this Communication, and to address your Let- 
ter, and such other Letters as you may write me, to 
Washington City where I shall probably continue until 
the last of October. 

To your Dispatches to me, your Signature may be 
omitted, if you should deem such precaution necessary. 

In case you should visit the interior of Florida, you 

v 3 



34 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

\vill keep an account of your personal expences, which 
shall be remunerated. 

With sincere esteem, 

I am l)r Sir, 
Your mot obt Sect 
William C 1 . C. Clail)orne. 
Colonel William Wykoff junr 
Opposite Baton Rouge, 
Territory of Orleans. 



To Robert Smith 

Winchester 30h October 1810- On Tuesday, 

at 12 o'clock P. M. 
Bear Sir, 

T have this moment arrived at this place/ and shall 
in one hour continue my journey. '- 

My Health is excellent, and I do not (for the present) 
feel the least fatigued. It may be advisable to forward 
the pardon for the Deserters by the next mail: I cal- 
culate on reaching Natchez on the 2<>th of next Month. 
Accept Sir, assurances of my great respect and sin- 
cere esteem. 

AVilliam C 1 . ('. Claiborne. 
The Honble 
Mr. Smith 
Secv of State. 



To Ilolrrt Smitli. 

(No. 1) Near Xatchex Deer 1st 1810. 

Sir, 

f arrived here early on this morning, and lost no 
time in communicating to f}i>rrni'>r Holme* the orders 
of tlic I'resiilent : and in advising v.itli him as to the best 

1 riaiborne was returning from a trip to Washington. D. C. 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 35 

means of carrying the same into immediate effect. 1 He 
accorded with me in opinion that a great majority of the 
Inhabitants of the District of Baton Rouge, would re- 
ceive with pleasure the american authorities, But to 
guard against the intrigues of certain individuals, be- 
lieved to be hostile to the United States, and of a few 
adventurers from the Territories of Orleans and Missis- 
sippi of desperate character and fortunes, who have 
lately joined the convention army, it was advisable to 
order a Detachment of Troops to descend the River close 
in my rear, and to place the whole effective force in this 
Territory in a situation to move at a moment's warning, 
& to be used hereafter as the occasion may require. I 
have accordingly addressed to Colonel Covington a let- 
ter of which the enclosed is a copy. 

In the meantime the proclamation of the president is 
in the hands of the printer ;- and I am making other nec- 
sary preparations to depart myself in the morning of 
the 3rd instant. In descending the River I shall call at 
Fort Adams, from whence I shall dispatch messengers to 
Florida, with instructions to distribute the president's 
proclamation, to ascertain the general sentiments of the 
people, and particularly of their Leaders ; and to report 
to me at such times and places as shall be specially 
named. 

I should have requested Colonel Covington to detach 
for immediate service a large detachment, but the means 
of transportation at present provided, would not accom- 
modate a greater number, and it was thought expedient 
by Govr Holmes and myself that I should proceed with- 

1 Claiborne was authorized to take possession of West Florida to em- 
phasize the contention that it was a part of the Louisiana Purchase, 
Mississippi Territory was the real successor of West Florida, and tc 
have maintained the old geographical and historical lines would have 
been the logical thing to do. 

2 Proclamation of October 27, 1810. 



3G MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

out delay to Baton Rouge, and that a force should im- 
mediately follow inc. 

I have the honor to be 
Sir, 

Yr. most ob: Servant 

William (.'. C. Claiborne 
The Honble. 
Mr. Smith 
Seev. of State. 



To Col. Covinyton 

Near Natchez Deer. 1. 1810 
Sir, 

Availing myself of the authority, vested in me by the 
president of the United States, and of which you are ad- 
vised, in the orders of the Secretary at War, under date 
of the 27. October, you will detach for immediate service 
under the command of a proper officer from two hundred 
and fifty to three hundred effective men (including a de- 
tachment of light artillerists with two field pieces) with 
instructions to the commanding officer to proceed with- 
out delay to the post of Point Ooupie, and then to halt 
until he shall be informed by me of "the point or sta- 
tion", within the District of Baton Rouge which he is to 
occupy. It is expected that this detachment will move 
on the morning of the )>rd instant, and that the (Jun 
Boats now lying in the Harbour of Xatche/ will be em- 
ployed as a means of transportation. 

As it is very possible a large force may be necessary, 
to effect the views of the president with respect to Flor- 
ida, I must require of you to take immediate measures to 
follow (on the shortest notice) with your whole effective 
force "leaving a detachment sufficient to furnish the nec- 
essary guards at the cantonments," and that for this 
purpose if the public means of transportation are deemed 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 37 

inadequate, you will lose no time in purchasing up the 
boats of the Country. 

( A line missing.) 

a Barge and Crew be in readiness at Fort Adams to re- 
ceive me; I have further to request that you would de- 
tail two subaltern officers to accompany me from that 
place. 

I am Sir, 
With great respect 

Yr. most Ob: Servant 
(Signed) William C. C. Claiborne 
To Col : L. Covington 

Commanding the U. S. Troops 
near the Town of Washington 
Mississippi Territory. 



To Robert Smith 

(No 2) Near Natchez Dec. 2. 1810. 

Sir, 

Since my letter of yesterday, I have received infor- 
mation that a Spanish force from Le Vera Cruix was 
daily expected at Pensacola; that the Fort of Mobile 
(which was garrisoned by about two hundred regular 
Troops) was invested by two or three hundred armed 
Citizens led on by a Mr. Kennedy late of the Mississippi 
Territory, and Mr. Reuben Kemper not long since an in- 
habitant of Orleans; 1 that several Volunteer Companies 
from the vicinity of Baton Rouge had marched to their 
aid; and that Mr. Shipworth acting as Governor of 
Florida, and other persons in the exercise of authority 
there were actively employed in levying and embodying 
Troops. I do not know how far the report of a rein- 
forcement from Le Vera Cruix may be relied on but 
the other information is for the most part believed cor- 

1 Reuben Kemper to convention of West Florida Nov. 9, 1810, in 
West Florida Papers, Library of Congress, Manuscripts Division. 

302981 



38 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

rect, and has (in the opinion of Govr. Holmes and my- 
self) rendered it expedient that I should be followed to 
Baton Rouge, by a more formidable force than I at first 
contemplated. I have accordingly addressed to Col : 
Covington a letter of which the enclosed marked (A) is 
a Copy. 

On conversing with some intelligent Citizens here, 
who are intimately acquainted with many of the influ- 
ential characters of the convention party, I find an opin- 
ion prevails, that however anxious a majority of the 
people may be, to be recognized as a part of the Ameri- 
can family, yet some of their Leaders will not be dis- 
posed to acknowledge the authority of the Government 
of the United States, but upon certain previous condi- 
tions. among which will be, an assumption of the debts 
contracted by the Convention, and a Sanction of nil tin 1 
.SY//P.S' of Ia)ids made by the former Spanish, (if/oils: No 
terms however can be countenanced, much less acceded 
to by me. The people are promised "to be protected in 
their liberty, property and Religion," which is all they 
can reasonably desire. '- 

1 am Sir, 
The Honble. AYith great respect 

^Ir. Smith yr. Ob: Servant 

Secv. of State William ('. ('. ('laibor)ir 



To Col. Covhif/ton 

(A) Near Xatche/, ilud December 1S1D. 

Sir. 

In consequence of information received on last even- 
ing. I deem it my duty to require of you to detach for 
immediate service, a much larger force, than was called 
for in mv letter of vesterdav.- - T have therefore to rc- 



1 Petition of the inhabitants of West Florida covering the adjust- 
ments of land claims in West Florida I'apers, Library of Congress, 
Manuscripts Division. 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 

quest that from seven to eight hundred men be embark- 
ed at Natchez, with all possible dispatch, and that they 
descend the Mississippi to the post of Point Cupie, there 
to await further instructions. It is my wish however 
that at least two hundred & fifty or as many more, as 
your means of transportation will admit of, be embark- 
ed on tomorrow, with orders to descend to the above 
named Post of Point Cupie without delay. 
I have the honor to be very 
Eespectfully 

Your most Servt 
William C. C. Claiborne 
Colo. L. Covington, 

Commanding U. States Troops, 
near Washington. 



To Robert Smith 

(No. 3.) 

Natchez Deer 3, 1810 
Sir, 

I received on this morning a letter from Col : Cov- 
ington, of which the enclosed (No. 1) is a copy, and re- 
turned the answer (No. 2). A letter lias also been ad- 
dressed to the Commanding Officer at Fort Stoddart, of 
which (No. 3) is a copy. 

I set out early on Tomorrow, and will in the course 
of the day be followed, by the advanced detachment ; 
The residue of the force required, will descend as soon 
.as means of transportation are provided, which it is ex- 
pected will not be delayed longer than four or five days. 
Govr Holmes will on tomorrow issue orders, to the offi- 
cers commanding the several corps of the Mississippi 
militia detailed for duty, to hold themselves in readiness 
for immediate service; and has promised to meet me in 
a few days opposite to St. Francisville, or at Baton 



40 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

Rouge, whore (acting under all the advantages of local 
information) we may the better determine on further 
measures and particularly as to the expediency of call- 
ing into the fields a co-operating Militia force. 

I am deeply impressed with the delicacy, the im- 
portance of the operation before me, and you may rely 
on my discretion. The instructions of the president, 
will be held continually in view, and in obeying them you 
may be assured that no blood will be shed, if it can pos- 
sibly be avoided. 1 - 

I have the honor to be 
Sir, 
with great respect 

Yr. Ob : servant. 
William C. C. Claiborne 
The Ilonble 
Mr. Smith 

vSecretarv of State. 



To Col. Gushing 

Natchez Deer 3. 1S10. 
Sir, 

You have enclosed one hundred copies of a proclama- 
tion by the president of the United States, which you 
will be pleased without delay to have distributed among 
the inhabitants residing below the boundary of the Mis- 
sissippi Territory, and west of the River IVrdido.'-'- 

It may happen that in executing the orders of the 
president, I may require your Zealous and active cooper- 
ation: But on this point I shall write you particularly 
from Baton Rouge In the meantime I advise and re- 

1 Orders of (lov. David Holmes in his Letter book in the Mississippi 
Department of Archives and History. 

- Ref'T to American State Papers, Foreign, 11. f>11, ."ill. <:"!(], ill. :;!4. 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 41 

quest that you would place your whole effective force 
in a situation to act on a moment's warning. 

I am Sir, 

with great respect 
To Col: Gushing yr. Ob. Servant 

or the Officer (Signed) William C. C. Claiborne 
Commanding at Fort Stoddart. 



From Col. Covington 

(Copy) Cantonment Washington 

2nd Deer 1810. 
Sir, 

In pursuance of your requisition of this day, the 
whole of the troops of my command shall be put in mo- 
tion as soon as possible, and as many as our present 
means of Transportation will allow of shall be embarked 
tomorrow if the weather will possibly permit. It may 
not however be improper to inform you, that the troops 
will move under many disadvantages resulting from 
want of Tents, Knapsacks and some other articles of 
camp-Equipage. 

I have the honor to be 

respectfully yr. Ob: hum: Servant 

(Signed) Leo. Covington Col. Comd. 
(Turn over) 

I have the pleasure to inform you that the Comdt. of 
the Gun Vessels at Nachez will have a boat ready to con- 
duct you to Fort Adams, as you wish. 

Most respectfully 
(signed) Leo. Covington 

Col. Comdt. 



To Col. Coviiif/tou 

(X. 2) Near Xatchez Deer 3. 1810. 

Sir, 

I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your let- 
ter of yesterday, and am pleased to learn that you are 
making the necessary arrangements for the speedy 



42 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

movement of the troops. It gives me sincere regret to 
hear that there is a deficiency in Tents, Knapsacks, and 
other articles of Camp Equipage. Tents and Knap- 
sacks are essential to the comfort of the troops, and in- 
deed the nature of the service will probably render them 
indispensable. I hope therefore that as far as may be 
practicable, the deficiency in this part of your Camp- 
Kquipage will (under your orders) be supplied. 

I am Sir, 

very respectfully 

Yr Obt. Servant 
(signed) Win. C. C. Claiborne 
Col : Covington 



From Col. Sparks 

Fort Stoddart Dec. 1(1. 
Sir, 

The packet containing your communication of the 3rd 
Instant and the copies of the president's proclamation 
were duly handed me by Col : James Caller, and the lat- 
ter immediately distributed agreable to your requests, 
below the boundary of the Mississippi Territory. 

I enclosed to his Excellency Z. Folch the proclama- 
tion in answer to which I received a letter a copy of 
which you have enclosed, and which I viewed as adding 
force to your request, that my effective force might be 
placed in a situation to act at a moment's warning; 
which together with the necessary orders for placing the 
militia in the same situation, I beg you to rest assured, 
will meet with prompt attention. 

Should my cooperation be called for, I hope you will 
find it not less Zealous than it has been for ////>/// i/car* 
past T await your further communications please to 
accept of my personal esteem, &c &c 

(signed) II. Sparks, Lt 

His Excellency Col: Com: 

W. C. C. Claiborne &c &c. 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORXE. 

To Robert Smith 

Natchez Deer. 3. 1810. 
Sir, 

To meet some expenditures which I am afraid will 
necessarily attend the taking possession of the District 
of Baton Rouge, in conformity to the orders of the pres- 
ident, under date of the 27. of October, I have this day 
drawn on you for thirteen hundred dollars, by two Bills 
of Exchange, the one for eight hundred dollars payable 
at five days sight to John Long or order; and the other 
for five hundred dollars payable at five days sight to 
Benjamin Wright or order. 
I am Sir, 

With great respect 

yr. ob : Servant. 

To the Honble William C. C. Claiborne 

Mr. Smith 

Secretary of State 
Washington Citv. 



To Robert Smith 

(Fort Adams Deer 5th 1810. 
Sir, 

I arrived here late on last Evening from Natchez. 
For two days past I have been very unwell, and am still 
so ; But a comfortable Barge being prepared for my 
accommodation, I propose early on Tomorrow to con- 
tinue my voyage to Baton Rouge. 

Two Citizens, who are recommended to me, as pos- 
sessing great discretion and integrity, have been dis- 
patched from hence into Florida, with Copies of the 
president's proclamation; the one goes direct to Baton 
Rouge; and the other to the Town of St. Fram-isvillc. 
To the laxt I have given special instructions, of which 
the enclosed marked (A) is a copy. 

The Florida Assembly is in session at St. Francis- 



44 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

ville and have been lately addressed by Mr Skipworth 
the Governor elect. I have not seen a copy of the ad- 
dress, nor am I yet informed of its contents. 1 Col: Wy- 
koff of the Orleans Militia in whom I place great confi- 
dence, has been instructed to meet me at Point Cupie, 
where I expect to arrive early on the morning of the 7th 
instant: He resides opposite Baton Rouge, and can 
give me much useful information as to the character and 
views of the persons now in authority. I do not believe 
that force will be necessary to enable me to take posses- 
sion ; but the circumstances of having it at command, may 
perhaps tend to render my reception the more immediate, 
and to silence the disaffected Inhabitants. There are 
certainly such But I continue to learn from various 
sources, that a great majority earnestly desire that pos- 
session of the District, be taken by the United States. 
The Gun boats from Natchez, have not as yet reached 
this place. The Troops were embarked on yesterday; 
but these Gun Boats are unwieldy machines, and make 
such little way, that I shall probably be three days in ad- 
vance. 

1 have the honor to be 
Sir, 

with great respect 
The Honble yr. ob : Servant 

Mr. Smith William ('. (". Claiboruc 

Secv. of State 



To Audrey L. 

(Fort. Adams Deer. \ 1S10. 
Sir, 

Having received information that a general assem- 
bly exercising Legislative powers, is now in session at 
,SV. Frdiicixrillr in the District of Raton Rouge, you will 

1 Printed speech of flov. Skipwith to the Senate and House of Rep- 
resentatives of the State of West Florida Nov. !!!, 1810, West Florida 
Papers, Library of Congress, .Manuscripts Division. 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 45 

be pleased to proceed thither without delay, and distrib- 
ute among the Citizens generally, and particularly such 
as you shall find in the exercise of authority, the enclosed 
copies of a proclamation by the president of the United 
States, making it my duty to take possession of "the 
Territory South of the Mississippi Territory, and East- 
ward of the River Mississippi, and extending to the 
River Perdido," as a part of the Orleans Territory. 

On your arrival at St. Francisville you will endeavor 
to ascertain the sentiments of the Citizens generally 
(and particularly of such as you shall find in the exer- 
cise of authority) towards the American Government. 
Whether in executing the orders of the president, I am 
likely to meet opposition, or a cordial reception and sup- 
port. You will further ascertain (as far as may be 
practicable) the state, strength and position of such 
troops as may have been embodied under the orders of 
the Florida Convention, or the Assembly now in session 
at St. Francisville, and particularly the state and 
strength of the Garrison at Baton Rouge. It is also im- 
portant I should acquire information on the following 
points: 1st Whether the Fort at Mobile is yet occupied 
by Spanish Troops? If so their number and by whom 
commanded. 2nd Whether the Fort at Mobile be at 
present invested by a body of armed Citizens? 1 If so, 
their number, the name and character of their Leader, 
and whether a detachment from Baton Rouge lias 
marched, or is about to mai'ch to their assistance. 
3rd The number of Spanisli Troops at Pensacola and 
whether a detachmant had advanced, or was expected to 
advance from thence towards the Mobile, and the name 
of the Officer in command. 

I shall arrive at Point Coupie on the morning of the 

1 Reuben Kemper to Don Peres, commandant, civil and military of 
Mobile, Nov. 3, 1810, West Florida Papers, Library of Congress, Manu- 
scripts Division. 



46 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

7th of this month, when you will join me and report the 
result of your inquiries. 

If you should be asked whether I had left Natchez, 
you will answer in the affirmative, and may add that my 
arrival may be momently expected in the District of 
Baton Rouge. If asked whether the troops had left 
Natchez, you will answer in the negative, but may add 
that preparations were making for a speedy movement. 
To any enquiries which may be addressed you, relative 
to the particular service in which the troops are to be 
employed, or as to the views of the American (jovern- 
ment generally towards Florida, you will answer, that 
the Proclamation of the president contains all the in- 
formation you have on the subject. 

You will receive this communication in entire confi- 
dence designed for your sole perusal, and as a proof of.' 
the high opinion I entertain of your discretion and fidel- 
ity to the Tinted States. 

I am Sir 

&c &e 

(signed) William C. C. Claiborne 
.Mr. Audlev L. Osborn. 



To Robert Smith 

District of Baton Rouge, 

St Francisville December 7. 110. 
Sir, 

I left Fort Adams on yesterday in a Barge with two- 
subaltern officers, and thirty three non commissioned of- 
ficers and privates, of the United States army: and ar- 
rived opposite this place (at Point Coupie) on this morn- 
ing at eight o'clock, when T was immediately joined by 
flov. Holmes and Mr. Osborne, one of the (Jentlemen 
whom T dispatched from Fort Adams on the fith Instant, 
with copies of the president's proclamation. Gov. 
TTolmes had reached St Francisville on vesterdav morn- 



LETTER BOOKS OF \V. C. C. CLA1BORNE. 47 

ing, when he met with Mr. Skipwith the Gov. elect, and 
the Florida assembly in session/ The president's proc- 
lamation had previously been circulated among the citi- 
zens of St. Francisville, and had become the subject of 
general conversation. Dissatisfaction as to its tenor 
was expressed by several members of the assembly, and 
some citizens ; but Mr. Skipwith in particular took great 
exceptions. Govr. Holmes gave such explanations, as 
were believed to be satisfactory to most of the former 
persons; but Mr. Skipwith continued dissatisfied, as in 
the afternoon of yesterday he returned to Baton Rouge, 
accompanied by three or four members of the Florida 
Legislature, where it is understood, the whole corps are 
to assemble on Tomorrow. 

From Mr. Osborne I received a report in writing, of 
which the enclosed marked (A) is a copy. 

There came also to the opposite shore (at Point Cou- 
pie) with Govr. Holmes and Mr. Osborne a Capt. John 
H. Johnson a member of the late Florida Convention, 
and possessed of much influence in this society. M. 
Johnson professed to be warmly attached to the Gov- 
ernment of the United States ; and much gratified by a 
perusal of the president's proclamation. He said how- 
ever that "he was charged with "a message from Govr. 
"Skipwith, which a paper he held in his hand, fully ex- 
plained and would therefore present it to me." It 
was received and read and the enclosed marked (B) is a 
literal copy. Mr. Johnson was told that as a Citizen 
Mr. Skipwitli would be respected, but I could not recog- 
nize him as Governor and Commander in Chief of Flor- 
ida, nor enter into correspondence with him. But that 
lie (Mr. Johnson) had my permission, and was requested 
to say to the people, that I came among them with vie-ir* 
the most friendly: the president's proclamation, which 

1 Report of Gov. Holmes to Dept. of State, Letter Book in Miss. Dept. 
of Archives and History. 



48 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

they had seen, was my authority ; and that I should pro- 
ceed immediately to discharge the duties required of me. 
M. Johnson then said, that Mr. Skipwith had also 
charged him to inform me verbally, that lie had retired 
to the Fort of Baton Rouge, and rather than surrender 
the Country unconditionally and without terms, he would 
with twenty men only, if a greater number could not be 
procured surround the Flag Staff and die in its defense. 
To this message I made no reply, but requested Mr. 
Johnson to repeat it; which he did. Mr. Johnson again 
took occasion to express his devotion to the Government 
of the United States, and urged me to visit immediately 
St. Francisville where I would find a Militia Troop of 
Cavalry, a company of Riflemen, and a concourse of Citi- 
zens, who would welcome my arrivel, in the Territory, 
and with pleasure recognize me as their Governor. 

I told Mr. Johnson I would in a little time cross in 
my Barge to the Florida Shore and it' a wisli was ev- 
pressed by the Militia, and assembled Citizens for me to 
visit St. Francisville, I should certainly do so. Mr. Os- 
borne however at my request passed over to St. Francis- 
ville for the purpose of learning the reception 1 was 
likely to meet, and on his return having reported, that 
my presence would give satisfaction to the Militia and 
Citizens, and that lie was authorized to say so: I imme- 
diately accompanied by Govr. Holmes came among them. 
We were received on the Beach by the Citizens, and es- 
corted by the Companies of Cavalry and Riflemen to the 
Town. There I saw a pavilion waving which was said 
to be the Colors of the State of Klorida. Tin- Mililia 
being required to form round the flag staff. I appeared 
in the center and the president's proclamation being 
read by a Citizen. I said to the Militia, that ''having 
come among them as their Governor and commander in 
Chief charged by the president of the United States to 
protect them in the enjoyment of their liberty, property 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 49 

and religion, I had only to observe, that it would be my 
pride and glory to discharge with fidelity so high a trust. 
The Florida flag was then ordered by me to be taken 
down, which was done, the Militia and Citizens cheering 
(as a mark of respect) as it descended. I then ordered 
a flag of the United States, which I had taken from my 
barge to be reared, which was also done amidst the 
huzzas of the Militia and citizens. 

(This part of the District of Florida the most 

populous, is believed to be attached to the United States, 
and to be greatly pleased with the event of the day. How 
far a like disposition may manifest itself at the Town of 
Baton Rouge, and its vicinity, remains yet to be seen. 
No efforts which my Country's honor or my own permit, 
will remain unessayed, to induce Mr. Skipwith to aban- 
don his ill-judged and rash purposes : Nor am I without 
strong hopes of succeeding. But if conciliatory meas- 
ures should obstinately fail, the troops of the United 
States will be commanded to take the fort. 

I am not advised of tlie terms which Mr. Skipwith 
would propose ; but among others it is said, he would 
wish a formal recognision of all the sales of lands under 
the Spanish authorities; the payment of debts contracted 
by the constitution; and not only a pardon of the desert- 
ers, but their discharge from the service of the United 
States. The Fort at Baton Rouge is garrisoned for 
the most part by Deserters; with them Mr. Skipwitli 
may hope to make a desperate defence, but he ought not 
to expect, that it is in their power with him at their 
Head, to command terms. I have already said, that as 
related to the Deserters, such as were found in the Dis- 
trict should meet no punishment, but on the contrary 
should receive lenient treatment until the will of the 
president of the U. S. be known and that T was fully per- 



50 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

suaded a pardon would be extended to them. But that 
if they wished for- mercy, not to remain in arms. 

The Gun Boats from Natchez \vith the advance de- 
tachment, have not yet joined me, and I fear transports 
for the whole force required cannot be obtained. 

I have the honor to be, 
SIR, 

very respectfully 
yr. ob : hum : Sert. 

The Honble William C. C. Claibome 

Mr. Smith 

Secy of State. 



To John H. Johnson, Esqr. 
Sir, 

With the advice and by the request of the honorable 
the Senate of this State, I have nominated and do hereby 
appoint you an Agent to repair immediately to the Head 
Quarters of his Excellency William C. C. Claiborne Gov- 
ernor of the Territory of Orleans, who is said to be in 
the vicinity of this place, witli an armed force, and is sup- 
posed to have some hostile intentions towards the (Jov- 
ernment and people of this State, in consequence of cer- 
tain proclamations distributed within the same as it is 
said by his order, calling upon the Inhabitants of this 
State to receive and respect the said William (\ ('. (Mai- 
borne, as their Governor ami to acknowledge allegiance 
and subjection to the Government of the Fn'ited States, 
the said proclamation bearing the signature of the presi- 
dent of the said I'nited States. You will therefore pro- 
ceed without delay on this mission and should you find 
the said officer approaching the Territory of this State, 
with or without an armed force, you will demand of him 
an explicit avowal of his views and intentions, and of the 
orders which he may have received from the president of 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 01 

the United States, respecting the people and Territory 
of this State, and also by what authority, he had caused 
the aforesaid proclamations to be distributed within the 
same. If you should be informed by the said officer that 
he has orders and instructions to take possession of the 
Territory of this State in behalf of the Government of 
the United States, you will enquire of him whether he 
has such discretionary powers as will authorize him to 
delay the execution of those orders until a communica- 
tion can be made to the president of the United States. l - 

You are requested to use all diligence in the execution 
of this mission, and to communicate to me at Baton 
Rouge the answer of the said officer by express. 

Relying on your fidelity and Zeal in the service 
of your Country, I beg you to accept the assurance of 
my high respect. 

Signed/ (Fulwar Skipwith 
St Francisville Gov. & Com. in Chief 

Deer 6. 1810 
State of Florida. 



St Francisville December 6. 1810 
Your Excellency, 

Agreeable to my instructions, as soon as I had 
crossed the line of demarcation, I proceeded to distribute 
and circulate the proclamation of the President of the 
United States. Immediately after my arrival at St 
Francisville I took - - the first opportunity of sound- 
ing the minds of leading Characters as to tho Change of 
government contemplated. My observations led me to 
suppose that the great body of the people will be de- 
lighted with the exercise of authority, by the Govern- 
ment of the United States; that all frecliolflcr* and men 

1 Letter from Skipwith to the President of Dec. 5, 1810, in West 
Florida Papers contains a clear statement of his position. 



52 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

of property; and all the most discreet part of the com- 
munity, are truly attached to the Government of the 
United States.- 

Amongst these persons who are in the exercise of au- 
thority in Florida, no opposition will be met with, ex- 
cept from Fulwar Skipwith who is denominated Gov- 
ernor of the State of Florida, Philemon Thomas, Styled 
General, Capt Smith and some others of inferior note. 
From every thing which I can collect relative to the re- 
ception of the measures of the United States, I can with 
confidence state to your Excellency, that there is no prob- 
ability of your meeting with opposition from the Citizens 
in the neighbourhood of this place in the exercise of your 
Executive functions. But Sir, it is my duty to inform 
you, that it is my impression, that some opposition may 
be expected in the Vicinage of Baton Rouge. 
In pursuance of orders, I state to your Excellency that 
whatever troops may have been raised by the Conven- 
tion and Assembly of Florida, they have been ordered 
to march to the neighbourhood of Mobile, and those or- 
ders were countermanded this day. The exact num- 
ber of those troops, I have not been able to ascertain, but 
from the most correct information which I could obtain, 
I suppose their number to amount to six hundred. Cav- 
alry and infantry. The strength of the Garrison of Bat- 
ton Rouge was this morning one hundred and twenty 
men and thirty pieces of Artillery; but will be reinforced 
on the morning of the 7th inst by seventy men and three 
pieces of artillery. 

There is no doubt but that the fort of Mobile is now in 
the hands of the Spanish Commander Folk, and the gen- 
eral belief is, that it is garrisoned by about ninety men. 
Correct information cannot be obtained relative to Pen- 
sacola, but the most intelligent, suppose its strength to 
be about ec^ual to Mobile. From the latest information 
from the waters of Mobile, Reuben Kemper. who holds a 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 53 

Commission from the Florida Convention as Colonel, 
is now in the neighborhood of the fort of Mobile with 
about three hundred armed Citizens of this Territory. 
I will further state to your Excellency, that the great 
point, at which the disaffected, seem to stickle, is, that 
the State of Florida should be treated with, as an inde- 
pendent nation, and that certain terms should be granted 
to them by your Excellency before they could submit to 
become Citizens of the United States, and come under 
your authority. I will hereafter take the first opportu- 
nity of communicating to your Excellency, minutely, sub- 
jects of minor import. 

I am Your Excellency, s 

Most Respectful sevt 

Audley L. Osborne 
His Excellency Gov. Claiborne. 



To Robert Smith 

Baton Rouge December 12. 1810. 
Sir, 

My last letter informed you that peaceable possession 
was taken on the 10th instant of the Town, Fort, and 
District of Baton Rouge in the name and in behalf of the 
United States. From the information previously re- 
ceived I certainly had reasons to apprehend resistance, 
and was prepared to meet it ; But on landing near the 
Town the agreeable intelligence was brought me that the 
armed Citizens (called here the Convention Troops) 
were ready to retire from the Fort, and to acknowledge 
the authority of the United States. It was not under- 
stood by me that terms were insisted on; But a wisli 
was expressed that the Florida flag might be treated with 
respect, and the deserters unmolested. In answer I re- 
quested that the Fort might be evacuated at half past 
two o'clock, and that the citizens should march out and 
stack their arms. As related to the Florida flag I read- 



54 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

ily assented that on striking it, such evidences of respect 
might be shown, as the armed citizens in the Fort thought 
proper. and with regard to the deserters I stated, that, 
they should remain undisturbed, until the president's 
pleasure respecting them should be known. This ar- 
rangement was satisfactory, and the Fort being evacu- 
ated in the manner and at the time proposed, it was taken 
possession of at three oclock by a Detachment of the 
United States Troops. 

I am assured that the president's proclamation was 
at first cause of Dissatisfaction ; Its general tenor w r as 
not thought sufficiently respectful to the Conventional- 
ists, nor was the manner in which I had introduced it in 
the District (by special messengers) approved. The in- 
terference of the American Government (at a moment 
altogether unexpected) went to put down a military ex- 
pedition that was on the point of seting out for pensa- 
cola and Mobile, and blasted the prospects of many as- 
piring individuals. Hence it happened that the first 
emotions were those of chagrin and disappointment, and 
a warmth of expression indulged; But a little reflec- 
tion the interposition of some good men, occasioned 
an amicable result. Among the persons whose concilia- 
tory deportment had the greatest effect I cannot omit 
to mention Governor Holmes' He preceded me (as was 
agreed on) to Baton Rouge, and profiting of the confi- 
dence which his upright course in life had inspired, made 
such explanations to influential Characters as greatly 
promoted harmony and good will. Mr Skipwitlis con- 
duct continues correct. When first apprized of the pres- 
ident's proclamation his feelings were I presume wound- 
ed, and then betrayed him into some imprudence of ex- 
pression. But from what I have since learned, the Union 

1 The influence of Gov. Holmes with the people of West Florida was 
an important factor in bringing the negotiations to a successful con- 
clusion. 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 55 

of Florida with the United States, has always been his 
avowed object, and he now professes to be much gratified 
by the late event, and to be sincerely disposed to con- 
tribute to the general welfare. 

In a former letter it was stated that I had organized 
several Corps of Volunteers, I now have to add that a 
sufficient number of justices of the peace to enforce good 
order are in commission; and that the parish Courts 
would be very soon completely organized, were I not so- 
licited most earnestly by many of the influential Citi- 
zens to delay such organization until the meeting of the 
Territorial Legislature. This delay is wished, in order 
that some private laws ma} 7 pass, w T hich the local inter- 
ests of the District imperiously demand. It is wished 
that the Courts may not have cognizance of actions of 
assault and Battery. False imprisonment, or Actions of 
Trespass generally, where the cause of action occurred 
prior to the 10. of December; and it is further wished, 
that the sale of property in this District under execu- 
tions may be delayed for a certain time Were the 
Courts immediately organized, the Society might per- 
haps be distracted with Law Suits, for Acts done, pend- 
ing the late commotion, and were property seized under 
judicial process to be immediately sold, it is apprehanded 
that a general injury to this Society would ensue. 

In the Fort of Baton Rouge there are many pieces of 
Cannon, several hundred stand of muskets, a quantity 
of powder, and other valuable military Stores, which 
were taken under the orders of the Florida Convention, 
from the late Spanish Authorities I shall cause an In- 
ventory of the whole to be taken, and with hold the same 



56 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

in safe keeping, until the further orders of the PRES1- 
DENT- 

I have the honor to be 

Sir, 

The Honble With great respect 

Mr Smith yr Ob : hum : Servant 

Secretary of State. William C. C. Claiborue. 



To Robert Smith 

(Private) Baton Rouge 17th December 1810 

My Dr Sir, 

I have seen and conversed with General Philemon 
Thomas, the Ajax of the late Revolution, 1 who has al- 
ways been esteemed an honest man; lie declares that the 
great object he had in view, was now accomplished, and 
that no man more than himself, rejoiced at the taking 
possession of the Country by the United States. I find, 
that the most influential among the Convention party, 
are very generally the friends of the United States, and 
their fidelity may I think be relied on; they however 
calculate on the United States making provision for the 
payment of certain debts contracted under the authority 
of the Convention, and on that subject, Congress, will, F 
presume, be vary soon addressed. There is however, a 
dissatisfied party, and one also, that is disaffected to 
the American Government; The late change in affairs, 
gave no satisfaction to some individuals; A state of revo- 
lution and commotion, was better suited to their views, 
than a state Government & just Laws; There are oth- 
ers, who are hand & heart devoted to the British Inter- 
ests, & whenever the occasion favors it, by their acts, 
evince their dislike of American Institutions. Perhaps 
the opinion T have formed of this Society may not be cor- 
rect : But my impression is, that a more heterogeneous 

1 The leader in the attack on and capture of the fort at Baton Rouge 
Sept. 23, 1810. 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 57 

mass of good and evil was never before met with in the 
same extent of Territory. A majority of the Inhab- 
itants are believed virtuous ; But among them are many 
adventurers of desperate fortunes and characters, and 
Mr. Skipwith in his address to the people, has I believe 
truly stated, that "the respectable & virtuous Inhabitants 
"were prohibited in most instances, from making estab- 
lishments in the "Country, while protection was never 
"denied to the worthless and depraved." - Good men 
commenced, & directed the late Revolution; but had not 
the Government of the United States interfered, bad men 
would very soon have acquired an ascendency, and the 
state of things in Florida, would have proved alike un- 
fortunate for the people inhabiting that tract, and for 
those of the Territories of the U. States adjoining. 

There are not many persons here concerned in Mora- 
lis's titles; it is thought that a few speculaters at New 
Orleans, are for the most part interested, and the public 
sympathy does not seem to be greatly excited in their 
favour. 

Applications for office crowd upon me ; Emigrants 
hasten with a view of office only, are daily arriving; 
every appointment that may be made, will add a Score 
to the number of my Enemies, and I calculate upon being- 
more traduced in the news-papers, than any man in the 
U. States. More than at any prior period, I shall have 
occasion for the indulgence, for the support of the Ad- 
ministration. The management of the old Territory of 
Orleans was an Herculean Task; But the acquisition 
of the Baton Rouge District will render my duties more 
arduous, & vastly more unpleasant. I wish to God, we 
may at the present Session of Congress be enacted into 
a State ; some confusion would perhaps arise, But the; 
majority would then govern, and Good order, and I trust 
too, good Laws would very soon predominate. 

As regards the expenditures incident to taking pos- 



58 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

session of this District, I shall keep constantly in view 
the most prudent economy: The noise made about tho 
Segars & Capers (?) at New Orleans is not forgotten, 
and no man shall ever again with my consent, smoke at 
the public expence. I have already drawn upon you for 
$1300 and expect in a few days to be obliged to draw 
for a further sum of one thousand or $1200 dollars. 

1 am momently in expectation of hearing from Mo- 
bile; the last accounts le,ft the Spaniards in possession 
of that port, as also of the Pass of Christian & the mouth 
of Pasgagala River. At Pasgagala & Christian, it is un- 
derstood, that the force was truly diminutive; A Com- 
mandant & six soldiers Avere stationed at each place; 
But I cannot act against these Posts in any manner, 
without the further orders of the President- 
Present my best wishes to Mrs Smith ! 

I am Dr Sir, 

With great respect 

The llonble ) yr faithful friend 

Mr Smith ) Wm C. C. Claiborne 

Secy of State ) 



To Robert Smith 

Baton Rouge December 2!>nl ISjl). 
Sir, 

1 forwarded on the 12th Instant by Express a Letter 
to the Commanding officer at Fort Stoddart, and re- 
quested information as to the state of tilings at Mobile. 
- Xo answer is yet received, but it cannot be delayed 
(! presume) more than two or three days. The last 
accounts left (iovenior Folch in possession of the Kort 
of Mobile and on the 4th of November a Spanish of- 
ficer with six soldiers, were at the mouth of the Pasca- 
gula and on the 6th of the same month, (i privates & a 
commissioned officer were stationed at the pass of Chris- 
tiana, and these Posts I presume are still in possession 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 59 

of the Spanish Authorities. The enclosed Map (the 
best I have ever seen) of the Coast from the Town of 
Mobile to the Head of the Lake Ponchartrain, will show 
you the position of the Pascagula and Christiana. 
The authority of the Convention, it seems was acknowl- 
edged as far as the Pearl River; But I have exercised 
jurisdiction as far as the Bay of St Louis, by naming a 
Justice of the Peace, to reside in its vicinity. On the 
Margin of the Bay St Louis, (which you will find laid 
down on the Map) I have thought the establishment of 
a Military Post expedient, & with that view, I shall make 
a requisition of Colonel Covington for 80 or 100 men. 
Such a Post is deemed essential to the safety of the set- 
tlements on the Lake Ponchartrain; it will give confi- 
dence to the well disposed Citizens, and enable the Civil 
Authority to hold the worthless in check. 
But on this subject I Avill explain myself more fully in 
a Letter which I shall address to the Secretary at War. 
In conformity to your instructions I have forwarded to 
the Captain General of Cuba, & to the Governor of Pen- 
sacola & its dependencies, Copies of the President 's Proc- 
lamation accompanied with a Letter, of which the en- 
closed (marked A) is a Copy. I hope the tenor of the 
Letter may be approved - My object was to render it 
alike firm and conciliatory But I do not know that I 
have succeeded. The subject was a delicate one, & I 
have not been enabled to introduce it in a manner alto- 
gether satisfactory to myself. A similar Letter would 
be addressed to the Captain General of the Interior 
Provinces of Mexico; But it is confidently reported 
that the people, there are in a state of Revolution & the 
Captain General imprisoned. 

I have divided the County of Feliciana into four Par- 
ishes & my ordinance to that effect is herewith enclosed 
marked (B) Parish Judges also for the parishes of 
Feliciana & East Baton Rouge have been commissioned 



60 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

& those for St. Helena & St. Tammany will soon be ap- 
pointed. But it is understood that they will not pro- 
ceed to try causes, until subsequent to the meeting of 
the Legislature, & until time is given for the passage of 
such Laws, as the actual situation, & particular Interest 
of this District may advise. I have laid out three Regi- 
mental Circles in the District of Baton Rouge; the field 
Officers will be commissioned on Tomorrow, & the Com- 
panies shall all be organized in a very short time. \ 
design to leave this on the l.Gtli Instant for New Or- 
leans, & from thence, it is probable I may find it neces- 
sary to pass the Lake Ponchartrain & visit the settle- 
ments on Pearl River & the Bay St. Louis: in that event 
I shall be obliged to prorogue the Legislature, (which 
was to meet on the 2nd monday in January) to the 1st 
Monday in February next. 

I am Sir, 
The Honble With great respect 

Mr. Smith your mot obt Servt 

Secy of State. William C. C. Claiborne 

P. S. On my arrival at Natchez, I should immediately 
have transmitted the President's Proclamation to (Jov- 
ernor Folch, but it was reported he had left Pensacola 
for the Havana. I should also at an earlier period have 
addressed the Captain (ieneral of Cuba, but it was re- 
ported and accredited, that the people of Cuba were in 
a state of Revolution & the Captain (Jeneral imprisoned : 
- Such reports are yet prevalent, but seem now to be 
discredited. 



To ('apt. GeuL of Cuba 

Baton Rouge Deer. i'fith. 1810. 
Sir, 

The subversion of the Spanish Authority in the Ter- 
ritory of West Florida, to irliicli as far as the River Per- 
dido, the United States have never ceased to lav claim. 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 61 

as a part of Louisiana; the assumption of the Sover- 
eign power by an association of Individuals; and the 
levying and embodying Troops with a view to the sup- 
port of an independent State, and the extension of its 
limits, cannot I presume be unknown to your Excellency. 
These proceedings, Sir, gave to my Government much 
solicitude and imposed upon it the necessity of resorting 
to the most prompt and effectual means, for the pres- 
erva^ion of the rights, and the tranquility of the United 
States. The taking possession of the Country as far as 
the River perdido has in consequence been determined 
on by the president, and in the execution of his orders I 
now occupy the Fort at Baton Rouge, its Dependencies, 
and the several adjoining Districts. 

Your Excellency will not I am persuaded, attribute 
this measure to an unfriendly disposition towards Spain 
but solely to those just and weighty considerations, 
which are so forcible detailed in the enclosed proclama- 
tion (by) the President of the United States of Amer- 
ica. 

I hope sincerely the period may soon arrive, when 
the limits of Louisiana, will become the subject of "fair 
and friendly discussion," between our respective Gov- 
ernments; and there is nothing I more desire than that 
at all times that good understanding may exist between 
our two nations, which it is the Interest of each to cher- 
ish. 

With Sentiments of the most distinguished consider- 
ation, I have the honor to be, 

&c &c 

(signed) W. C. C. Claiborne 
His Excellency 

The Governor and Capt. 
General of the Island 
of Cuba. 

HAVANNATi. 



62 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

To Robert Smith 

Private, Baton Kongo Doer 24- 1810. 

My dear Sir, 

My appointments to office will for the most part bo 
taken from the old inhabitants of the District. A Mr. 
George Mather an Englishman by birth, but for thirty 
five years past, an Inhabitant of the District of Baton 
Rouge, or of New Orleans, has been named Judge of the 
parish of East Baton Rouge; and Mr. Andrew Steele, 
Judge of the Parish of Foliciana. Each of those Gentle- 
men have acquired the confidence of this Society and are 
capable honest men, and well effected to the American 
Government. Judges for the parishes of St. Helena 
and St. Tammany have not yet been named; there is 
in that quarter a groat scarcity of talent, and the num- 
ber of virtuous men too (I fear) is not as groat as I 
could wish. Mr. Skipwith has boon offered a commis- 
sion of Justice of the Peace, but ho lias declined accept- 
ing: We are on good terms, and T believe lie is sin- 
cerely disposed to promote the interest of the United 
States: But the sudden fall of the State of Florida has 
evidently affected him; and I suspect he still thinks, that 
the local authorities as established here by the people, 
ought to have boon consulted, and perhaps treated with 
previous to the taking possession of the Country by the 
United States. 

It is very certain that but few of the (Mti/cns, hold 
lands under (what are called) Moralis's titles. ! had 
suspected that M. Skipxvith was concerned in that Spec- 
ulation, but I learn to the contrary, nor does he seem in 
his conversation \viTh me, to take any interest on Iho 
subject 

The People of this District are for the most part so- 
liciting that Orleans should become a State, and 1 am as- 
sured that such also is the wish of a Majority of the In- 
habitants throughout the Territory. 

F have had no confirmation of the report of a Revo- 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 63 

lution in Cuba; in the progress of events however, 
there is nothing I so much desire, as to see the flag of my 
Country reared on the Moro Castle. Cuba is the real 
mouth of the Mississippi, and the Nation possessing it 
can at any time command the trade of the Western 
States. Give us Cuba and the American Union is placed 
beyond the reach of change. 

Govr. Folch I expect will make much noise about the 
taking possession of Baton Rouge. I know well tlie man 
& shall be disappointed, if he does not hold a menacing 
and insulting language. I wait with impatience for au- 
thority to dispossess him per force of Mobile. 

The Ex-Spanish Governor of Baton Rouge Col. Las- 
suse was released from confinement (by order I believe 
of Mr. Skipwith) the day previous to my arrival, and 
has since resided with one of his friends on the opposite 
shore; I have seen him frequently and shown him all 
the friendly attention in my power. He is greatly 
chagrined at the loss of the Fort and the Country, and 
is so apprehensive that his misfortunes will be looked 
upon as crimes by his Government that he seems desir- 
ous to remain for the present under the protection of 
the United States- 

On the 26. I set out for New Orleans to encounter the 
ensuing winter, all the intrigues and all the calumny of 
Clark and Co., who have at their command every news- 
paper in New Orleans except the Courrier, most of the 
third party men, and of the disappointed Office Hunters, 
and every Bui-rite in the Territory But this coalition 
gives me no concern. It will be in my power, I trust, to 
maintain my ground against all my enemies. 

Present my best wishes to Mrs Smith. 

I am Dr Sir, 
The Ilonble Your sincere friend 

Mr. Smith William C. C. Claiborne 

Secv of State 



64 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

BY WILLIAM CHARLES COLE CLAIBORNE, 

Governor of the Territory of Orleans. 

BE IT KNOWN That, " for the execution of 
process civil and criminal" I do, by virtue of the 
powers in me vested, under the Ordinance of Con- 
gress, for the government of the Territory of Or- 
leans, Ordain and Decree, that there be estab- 
lished within the county of Fclieiana, four par- 
ishes, whose limits shall be as follow, to wit: All 
that tract of country lying below the boundary of 
the Mississippi Territory, and between the most 
eastern branch of Thompson's Creek and the 
River Mississippi, shall form the first 1'arish. and 
shall be called the Parish of Feliciana: All that 
tract of country lying between the most eastern 
branch of Thompson's Creek and the River Ibcr- 
ville, and extending from the River Mississippi to 
the Amite, shall form the second Parish, to be 
called the Parish of East Baton Rouge: All that 
tract of country lying below the boundary of the 
Mississippi Territory, and between the Amite and 
the River Ponchitoola, which empties into the lake 
Maurepas, shall form the third Parish, to be 
called the Parish of St. Helena: and all that 
tract of country east of the Ponchitoola, includ- 
ing the settlements on the Chiffonta, Rogcheto and 
Pearl Rivers, shall form the fourth Parish, to be 
called the Parish of St. Tammany: With the 
residue of the County of Feliciana there shall be 
formed such other Parishes as may hereafter be 
deemed expedient. 

(ilVEX under my hand and seal at Baton 
Rouge, on the twenty second of December, in the 
year (S. L.) of our Lord one thousand eight hun- 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 65 

dred and ten, and of the Independence of the 
United States of America the thirty fifth. 

WILLIAM C. C. CLAIBORNE. 



To Robert Smith 

(Private) New Orleans January 4. 1811 

Dr Sir, 

It is understood here that Mexico is in a state of rev- 
olution ; It is said that a Governor of one of the Prov- 
inces with his whole family has been massacred; that 
the Creoles of the Country have declared for Independ- 
ence, and are opposed by the Vice-Roy with all his regu- 
lar troops, assisted by the Europeans ; that a terrible 
battle has been fought in which several thousand men 
perished ; that the Creoles were beaten, but their cause 
was the popular one, and numbers were flocking to their 
standard. 

Rumours yet prevail of a Revolution in Cuba, but no 
accounts are received, that can be relied on. There are 
three parties in Cuba, an English party, a French party, 
and a party for Independence. The first is the most 
numerous, but the other two united include a majority 
of the Inhabitants. That union I suspect will soon take 
place, and I hope the conditions may be the immediate 
declaration of Independence, and a close commercial 
connexion with the United States. 

The intrigues of England in Spanish America should 
be met by our Government : She disavows all wish for 
acquisition of Territory: but no doubt designs to secure 
to herself a monopoly of the trade, and hence her anxi- 
ety that the Spanish possessions should be preserved 
for the unfortunate Ferdinand, or some other prince who 
would be subservient to British views. 

I am Sir 
The Honble very respectfully 

Mr. Smith yr. ob : hum: Ser: 

Sec. State William C. C. Claiborne 

v 5 



66 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

To Robert Smith 

Baton Rouge Deer. 28. 1810. 
Sir, 

In the course of yesterday and on this morning I re- 
ceived from Col : Sparks, the officer commanding at Fort 
Stoddart communications of which the enclosed No. 1, 2 
and 3 are copies; and addressed him (pr. Express) in 
reply letters of instructions of which the enclosed N- 4. 
5. and 6 are copies. I also availed myself of this occa- 
sion to write another letter to Govr. Folch of which the 
paper marked (A) is a copy. 

The late Revolution in Florida brought hither very 
many adventurers ; and I much fear lest those who have 
assembled in the vicinity of Mobile, may commit some 
outrages. The Detachment of Troops destined for the 
Bay St. Louis have departed. The presence of a small 
force in that quarter will (as I have before remarked, to 
you) give coniidence to the well disposed Citizens and 
enable the civil authority to hold the worthless in check. 

Col. Sparks seems confident, that the Fort at Mobile 
will be peaceably placed in our possession ; But for my- 
self I do not calculate on an event of the kind; and shall 
await with impatience your further orders. 

T set out on Tomorrow for New Orleans ; and 
have the honor to be 
Sir, 

very respectfully 
The Honble yr Ob : hum : Ser : 

Mr. Smith William C. C. Claibornc 

Secretary of State. 

P. S. Tn the copy (heretofore transmitted) of my letter 
under date of the 20 Instant to the several Spanish 
Governors, I suspect there was a mistake, the following 
words in the last paragraph, to wit, "between our two 
nations" were not in the original letter. You have now 
enclosed a correct copy marked (B) 

W. C. C. C. 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. CM 

To Robert Smith 

Baton Rouge Deer. 27. 1810. 
Sir, 

I fear the dissatisfaction here is much deeper rooted 
than I at first supposed. I had understood that the ob- 
jections of Mr. Skipwith and others were principally to 
the manner of taking possession; that the event was in 
itself considered a matter of mutual felicitation, but this 
impression I now believe to be erroneous. On the day 
of taking possession of Baton Rouge I never witnessed 
more apparent cheerfulness. Officers of the Regular 
Army, of the Militia of the Country, and of the Conven- 
tion Troops, (as the persons were termed who had re- 
tired from tho fort) were sociable and friendly. The 
Citizens also who were at the time at Baton Rouge, (and 
there were Individuals I believe from every part of the 
District) among who, I noticed some members of the 
Convention and of the Florida Assembly) joined in the 
hilarity of the moment, and gave me every reason to be- 
lieve that the event of the day, had diffused general sat- 
isfaction. Under these circumstances it was Sir, that 
under date of the 10th Instant I stated to you that "all 
was harmony and good will;" - but I learned on yester- 
day and to my great surprise, that the last act of the 
Florida Assembly was to leave on record an expression 
of their disapprobation of the conduct of the American 
Government. It was conveyed in an answer by the As- 
sembly to an address from Mr. Skipwith at the com- 
mencement of their session, and which answer was unani- 
mously adopted on the morning of the 10. December. 
This document is now in the possession of Mr. Skipwith, 
and by him was read to me yesterday, in the presence 
of Col. Covington. My memory does not enable me to 
detail its contents; but much dissatisfaction is expressed, 
and (if I am riot greatly mistaken) an idea is also con- 
veyed that the power of the United States and the weak- 
ness of the State of Florida had induced the uncondition- 



68 ' MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

al submission of the latter. Whether publicity will ever 
be given to this document I know not ; but I owe it to my- 
self and the Government to apprise you of its existence. 
The policies of the Florida Convention and of the Gov- 
ernor and general assembly of Florida seem to have to 
have been different. The former were solicitous for the 
protection of the United States, and earnestly desired 
that possession under the Treaty of 1803 or on any other 
grounds might be speedily taken : The latter also wished 
the protection of the United States (and such a sentiment 
is expressed in the answer I have alluded to) but they 
expected to be treated with as an independent State ; and 
to have been incorporated into the Union upon their own 
Terms. 

I certainly have reason to be confirmed in the opin- 
ion heretofore given you, that a great majority of the 
people are much pleased that possession of the Country 
has been taken by the United States : But Sir, there is a 
dissatisfied party, and if they should feel disposed to be 
troublesome there is a description of people in the Dis- 
trict well suited to their purposes : I mean those adven- 
turers of desperate character and fortunes, who always 
sicken and become restless under the rule of a good Gov- 
ernment and just laws. 

I have reason to believe that the holders of Moralis' 
titles are desirous to enlist the mass of the people in 
their favor. Many of the actual settlers have made im- 
provements, and some of them surveys by virtue of a 
permission in writing by the late Governor Grandprie, 
bearing date subsequent to the 30 of April ISO.'] and it 
is pretended by some of the Speculators that if Moralis' 
Titles fail, Grandprie's permissions will also be of no 
avail; This suggestion I find has made an impression, 
which I have endeavored to remove by adverting to the 
indulgence, the bountv of the Government on former oc- 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 69 

casions, and expressing my entire conviction that a just 
liberality would be extended to the actual settlers. 

I have the honor to be 

Sir, 

The Honble with great respect, 

Mr Smith yr. ob : hum : Ser : 

Sec : State. William C. C. Claiborne. 



To Robert Smith 

New Orleans January 3. 1811 
Sir, 

It was not until yesterday that I had the honor to re- 
ceive your letters of the 2 and 15 of November last ; the 
one covering a paper containing an official Declaration 
on the part of Great Britain respecting Spanish America, 
and the other enclosing copies of a memorial from the 
Florida Convention, and of a letter from the Secretary 
at War to Govr. Holmes, from which I have the senti- 
ments of the president on the propositions which the 
memorial contains. I have been happy in anticipating 
the opinions of the President on this subject, and my 
conduct towards the people of Florida, has been such 
as I am now assured will be approved. I avowed im- 
mediately on my entering the District, that no authority 
in Florida was recognized by my Government, and that 
so far from acceding to terms, I could not even counte- 
nance proposals of the kind. As related to the claim to 
the vacant lands it was introduced occasionally in con- 
versation, but never pressed. It seems that the General 
Assembly of Florida had passed an act making a dona- 
tion in land to each officer and soldier who should serve 
in the expedition to Mobile and Pensacola ; I have not 
seen the act ; and do not know the quantum of the pro- 
posed donation, but understand that it was liberal. When 
I arrived at S. Francisvillo, an expedition in (which 
about six hundred men were to be employed) was on the 



70 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

point of setting out, and the disappointment was to many 
individuals a source ol' regret. Then it was, that I heard 
the claim to the vacant land mentioned; But the sub- 
ject did not seem to excite much interest. The honest 
Settlers of the Country however, feel and express much 
solicitude ; and to them I have not hesitated to say, that 
they would experience the same indulgence justice and 
liberality which had been rendered by the Government 
to the actual settlers in the other Territories. 

When I left Baton Rouge good order prevailed, and 
every thing was tranquil; but there are persons in that 
vicinity Avho are not entirely satisfied witli the late 
change in their affairs; and to whom my administration 
of the Government will probably not be satisfactory. It 
is certainly very honorable to the Convention that the 
subversion of the Spanish authority was effected with 
but little blood shed, and no oppression was subsequently 
felt by any class of the Citizens: But I find that the 
most bitter prejudices were fostered by some individuals 
of the patriotic party, against those who did not ap- 
prove all their proceedings. It is wished that I also 
should participate in those prejudices, and act under 
their influence in appointing to office; but such a conduct 
does not comport with my disposition to be just to all 
parties, nor with that conciliatory deportment which it 
is my duty to observe. 

Major Milton witli one hundred men had arrival here 
and would have proceeded tomorrow towards the Bay 
St. Louis, but (Jenl. Hampton has reached Baton liouge, 
and given instructions for the immediate return of Major 
Milton and his command to that place. I n'tis xolicilous, 
fjreatly solicitous to prescribe the limits of a parish on 
the Bay St. Louis and to enforce in that quarter the 
Laws of the Territory: but without the presence of a 
military force it cannot be done. My construction of the 
orders of the Secretarv at AYar of the 27. October does 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 71 

not accord with the one which Genl. Hampton has given 
them; or the recall of Major Milton would not have been 
so immediate. 

Mobile continues in possession of the Spaniards, and 
it is not believed they will withdraw therefrom. No 
answers are yet received to the letters I addressed to 
Govr. Folch; but they will not I am sure be satisfactory. 
On the contrary I suspect he will evidence much discon- 
tent- 

I have the honor to be 
SIR, 

very respectfully 
The Honble. yr : ob : hum : Servant 

Mr. Smith William C. C. Claiborne. 

Sec : State. 



From Col. Sparks 
Copy 
SIR, 

By Lt. Wau (?) I have received a letter from you of 
the 12th Instant enclosing the proclamation of the Presi- 
dent of the IT. S. dated 27. last October, which I will send 
by express to his Excellency the Marquis de Lowenulos, 
on whom I depend, and of his answer I shall give you 
notice as soon as it comes to my hands May God pre- 
serve you many years- 
Mobile 14 Deer. 1810. 

Col: Sparks. (signed) V. Fokli 

Com : Ft, Stoddart. 



Fort Stoddart Deer. 21. 1810 
SIR, 

On the 16. Instant I wrote you enclosing a ro v n- of a 
letter I received from His Excellency Govr. Folch, on his 
receiving the President's proclamation. As a conven- 



72 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

lent opportunity offers by Mr. Nicholson I think proper 
to give you the substance of that letter, that if it should 
have miscarried you may still be possessed of its con- 
tents. - The Gov. writes thus 
' 'Sir 

By Lt. Wau I have received yours of the 12th Instant 
enclosing the proclamation of the President of the U. S. 
dated 27. last October, which I will send by express to 
his Excellency the Marquis de Lowenulos, on whom I 
depend and of his answer I shall give you notice as soon 

as it comes to my hands May God preserve you 

many years- 
Mobile 14. Deer. 1810. 

To R. Sparks. V. Folch" 

Com: Ft. Stoddart, 



Since my letter to you of the date before mentioned, 
I have in obedience to your request issued the necessary 
orders respecting the force under my command, as also 
the Militia under the command of Col. Ja. Caller. 

It is with much pleasure I assure you that five com- 
plete companies of Volunteers await with anxiety for the 
command to march, and that a small deficiency of arms 
amongst thorn, I shall be able to supply from the public 
stores at this place. 

The force under my immediate command awaits the 
moment's warning. If called on Sir to cooperate with 
you I shall rejoice to have an opportunity to convince 
my Country /whatever my services may be/ that thirty 
years of active service have not extinguished my Zeal 
for the welfare of the land that gave me birth. Waiting 
your communications, I bog leave to express to you again 
my personal esteem &c &c 

His Excellency R. SPARKS Lt. Col: Com: 

W. C. C. Claibornc 
&c &c 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 73 

From Col. Sparks 
Copy 

Fort Stoddart Deer. 21. 1810. 
Sir, 

About an hour ago I received your letter by Capt. 
Smith, and shall proceed to answer it as correctly as 
possible, also to give you satisfactory reasons for the 
steps I have taken, which I view as authorized by an 
imperious necessity, and I hope will meet your approba- 
tion. 

For several days past Col : Kemper has been assem- 
bling a second party of men in the vicinity of this place, 
the object has until a few hours ago been unknown. 
From his behaviour and expressions on seeing the proc- 
lamation, I could not believe that he meditated a second 
attack on the Town of Mobile, or that he would take any 
steps calculated to disturb its tranquility, or the arrange- 
ments you were making. I hold however undoubted 
proof that his object is to commit depredations on tlie 
Inhabitants, and probably deluge it in blood, as a re- 
venge for the late unhappy affair which took place be- 
tween a party of his men and the inhabitants of the place, 
the latter headed by the Governor Folch, and of which 
transaction you are no doubt well apprized. From every 
circumstance I have become possessed of since the proc- 
lamation reached Mobile, and from every communica- 
tion I have received from Individuals, it evidently ap- 
pears that the citizens are determined to take no part in 
the affair; but secure in the declarations of the Presi- 
dent of protection, will remain spectators. I have con- 
sequently with the advice of my officers dispatched Capt. 
Gaines, and three more commissioned officers with fifty 
men to proceed to Mobile and to take a station in the 
vicinity of the Town to stop Col: Kemper (if possible) 
and party in their carreer, after whom however I have 



74 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

sent a Gentleman to induce him to return or otherwise 
take no active part until farther orders. 

The people are quiet and returning to the place highly 
pleased, with the prospect of the meditated change. The 
fort contains from the best information from 80 to 100 
men ; - mounts 36 pieces of heavy artilery surrounded 
by a deep ditch, and a wall of 18 feet-thick built of brick. 
Part of the Soldiery are old Spanish troops apparently 
not much to be relied on ; a part Walchanangoes ; the last 
are said to be brave men. The officer who it is said has 
the real command, is called an experienced military char- 
acter. The Commandant of Mobile Don Perez is also in 
the fort. The (Jovernor I am informed is in Pensa- 
cola, from which place I do not believe there can be any 
reinforcements sent to Mobile. 

From information which I have this day received I 
feel sanquine the place will be delivered to Capt. Gaines 
immediately on his arrival, if not I feel equally so, that 
his presence will produce no disagreeable effects; one 
benefit will be gained I sincerely hope by his presence 4 , 
the effusion of blood with its horrid attendant conse- 
quences will be prevented on the part of Kemper, which 
I view as peculiarly desirable at this moment, should be 
prevented, as wounds might be inflicted at this time, 
which would make no agreeable record in the annals of 
our nation; and to which none can be or are more averse 
than yourself. Those considerations to me of great im- 
portance have induced me to take the steps 1 have, but 
also hope that they will coincide with your feelings, and 
meet perfectly your approbation. My letter by Mr. 
Nicholson will give you a correct vie\v of the force, on 
which I can rely. On the arrival of Capt. Games' com- 
munications to me, you will receive by a dispatch their 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 75 

contents, as also be apprized of whatever may take place 
here. 1 

I am with real esteem 

&c &c 

(signed) B. SPARKS Lt. Col: Com. 
His Excellency 

W. C. C. Claiborne 
&c &c 



To Col. Sparks 

Baton Rouge Deer. 27. 1810 
Sir, 

Your letter of the 16th Instant with its enclosure has 
been received. You acted correctly in transmitting to 
Govr. Folch a copy of the President's proclamation and 
I wish the letter which that officer addressed you in re- 
turn had been more satisfactory. The enclosed package 
for Govr. Folch you will be pleased to forward him by 
an officer, with instructions to the officer, to await an 
answer and to bear the same to me at New Orleans with 
all possible expidition. In the mean time I have only to 
advise and request that you hold your whole command 
in a state of readiness, to move at a moment's warning. 

It is in contemplation to establish a military post at 
or near the Bay St Louis, and with that view two Com- 
panies under the Command of Major Milton will leave 
this Garrison on Tomorrow. 

I shall be at Xew Orleans on the morning of the 2nd 
of January, to which place you will direct your acknowl- 
edgement of this Letter. 

I am Sir, 

&c ice- 
Col : SPARKS. (signed) Win. C. C. Claiborne 

1 A good account of the Kempers part in the Revolution of West Flor- 
ida may be found in Picketts Alabama, 11, 236. 



76 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

To Col. Gushing 
gir Baton Rouge Deer. 27. 1810. 

If at any time previous to the receipt of further dis- 
patches from me, you should have good reason to believe, 
that a disposition exists on the part of Govr. Folch, or 
the Officer commanding the Fort of Mobile, peaceably to 
retire therefrom, you will by letter invite such evacua- 
tion; and you have my authority forwith to receive and 
occupy the fort taking with you or detaching for that 
purpose under the command of a proper Officer, such 
number of men as you may suppose the extent of the 
Fort to be garrisoned may require. In the event that 
the Spanish Officer may wish to retire as aforesaid, he 
is not to be prevented from taking away with him the 
cannon, arms and all other military stores. But I ad- 
vise and request that you enter into no formal negotia- 
tion, nor sign any instrument of writing which should 
look like articles of convention or of capitulation. The 
President in his proclamation guaranties to the Inhabi- 
tants of the Country, about to be taken possession of 
''their liberty property and religion," and to his agents 
in the Territory it only belongs to take care, that, that 
guaranty is not violated. 

I am Sir, 

&c &c 

(signed) Wm. C. C. Claiboruc 
Col: Gushing ) 

or Officer ) 

Commanding ) 

at ) 

Fort Stoddart. ) 



To Col. Spark* 

Baton Rouge Deer. 28. 1810. 

Since my communication of yesterday forwarded by 
the way of New Orleans, your letters of the 21. instant 
have been delivered me by Capt. Smith. 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 77 

The conduct of Reuben Kemper and his associates is 
highly censurable, and the means you have resorted to 
with a view of preventing the fulfilment of their san- 
guinary purposes meet my approbation; I have only to 
regret that the force under Captain Gaines should be so 
limited: I fear it may not prove equal to the accom- 
plishment of the laudable object for which it is destined, 
the defeating of Kemper 's project: But you possess 
the advantages of local information and will send such 
reinforcements to Capt. Gaines as the occasion may re- 
quire. 

In the event that possession of the Fort of Mobile is 
not tendered on the demand which you design to make, 
it will then be proper that you inform the officer com- 
manding the Fort, that you are restricted (until further 
orders) from using force against him; but having been 
apprized that a number of Individuals, headed by Reu- 
ben Kemper, had assembled in arms for the purpose of 
committing depredations on the Inhabitants of the Dis- 
trict of Mobile, and probably deluging it in blood, you had 
assumed your present position, and would use all the 
means in your power to defend the persons and property 
of the Inhabitants of Mobile, from the lawless attacks of 
Kemper and his associates. 

If you should find that Kemper and his associates 
design an attack against Pensacola, you will be equally 
Zealous to defeat that project also; An Enterprise in 
that quarter is alike opposed to the laws of the United 
States and to that good understanding which exists, be- 
tween Spain and the United States. 
I am Sir 

&c &c 
Col: Sparks (signed) W. C. C. Claiborne 



78 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

To Gov. Folcli 

Baton Rouge Deer. 27. 1810. 
Sir, 

Having been informed that your Excellency was on 
the 14th. of this month at the Fort of Mobile, I beg leave 
to address to you at that place a duplicate of my letter 
under date of the 20. Instant covering a copy of a Procla- 
mation by the President of the United States. 

Persuaded as I am that under existing circumstances, 
the taking possession of the Country as far as the Per- 
dido (as expressed in the Proclamation) is advised by the 
mutual Interest of our respective nations ; and perfectly 
assured, Sir, that the measure has been directed by my 
Government, with no view unfriendly to yours, I cannot 
avoid Sir, the expression of a w T ish, that your Excellency 
may not feel it a duty to interpose your opposition. 

An Officer of the United States Army waits upon your 
Excellency with this communication, ready to bear to me 
such answer as you may think proper to return to it. 

I avail myself of this occasion to tender to your Ex- 
cellency the assurances of my great respect, and sincere 
esteem, and have the honor to be 

&c &c 

(signed) W. C. C. Claiborno 
His Excellency 

(iovr. Eolch. 



To ('apt. GcnL of Cuba 

Baton Rouge Dorr. 20. 1810. 
SIR, 

The subversion of the Spanish authorities, in the Ter- 
ritory of AVest Florida, to which as far as the River Per- 
dido, the United States has never ceased to lay claim as 
a part of Louisiana; the assumption of the sovereign 
power by an association of Individuals ; and the levying 
and embodying of Troops with a view to the Support of 
an Independent State, and the extension of its limits, can- 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 79 

not I presume be unknown to your Excellency. These 
proceeding Sir, gave to my Government much solicitude, 
and imposed upon it the necessity of resorting to the most 
prompt and effectual means, for the preservation of the 
rights, and the tranquility of the United States. The 
taking possession of the Country as far as the River Per- 
dido, has in consequence been determined on by the Pres- 
ident, and in the execution of his orders, I now occupy the 
Fort of Baton Rouge, its Dependencies and the several 
adjoining Districts. 

Your Excellency will not I am persuaded attribute 
this unfriendly disposition 

toward Spain, but solely to those just and weighty con- 
siderations which are so forcibly detailed in the enclosed 
proclamation by the President of the United States of 
America. 

I hope sincerely the period may soon arrive, when the 
limits of Louisiana, will become the subject of "full and 
friendly discussion," between our respective Govern- 
ments; and there is nothing I more desire, than that at 
all times, that good understanding may exist which it is 
the interest of each to cherish. 

With sentiments of the most distinguished considera- 
tion, I have the honor to be, 

Your Excellency's 
His Excellency most obedient, 

The Governor, and very humble 

and Captain General Servant, 

of the Island William C. C. Claiborne 

of Cuba 

HAVANNAH. 



To William King 

Fort Adams, Deer. 5. 1810 
Sir, 

You will proceed to the Town of Baton Rouge and 
distribute among the Citizens of that place, and its vi- 



80 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

cinity, the enclosed copies of a proclamation by the Pres- 
ident of the United States. 

On your way to Baton Rouge and on your arrival 
there, you will in your conversations with the Citizens, 
endeavour to ascertain their sentiments towards the 
American Government, and whether in executing the or- 
ders of the President, which direct me to take possession 
of the District of Baton Rouge as a part of the Territory 
of Orleans, I am likely to meet opposition or a cordial 
reception and support. 

You will continue no longer at Baton Rouge than may 
be necessary to distribute the proclamations, and you 
will then cross the river, and deliver to Col : William 
Wykoff, jnr. the enclosed letter, with whom you will pro- 
ceed up the river to Point Coupie, at which place, or 
somewhere in its vicinity, you will find me. 

If you should be asked whether I had left Natchez, 
you will answer in the affirmative ; and may add that my 
arrival may be momently expected in the District of Ba- 
ton Rouge. If asked whether the Troops had left 
Natches, you will answer in the negative, but may add 
that preparations were making for a speedy movement. 
To any enquiries which may be addressed you relative 
to the particular service in which the Troops are to be 
employed or as to the views of the American Government 
generally towards Florida, you will answer, that the 
proclamation of the President contains all the informa- 
tion you have on the subject. 

You will receive this communication in entire Confi- 
dence designed for your sole perusal, and as a proof of 
the high opinion I entertain of your discretion and fidel- 
ity to the United States. 

I am Sir 
Mr. William King. very respectfully 

Your Ob. Servt. 
(Signed) William C. C. Claiborne 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 81 

To Robert Smith 

. New Orleans January 5. 1811 

oir, 

The enclosed statements in writing No. 1. and 2 as to 
the anarchy and confusion which prevails in the vicinity 
of the Bay St. Louis, and the Rivers Viloxy and pasca- 
goula, were received on yesterday. The expediency of 
making immediate efforts to extend to that quarter the 
Laws of the Territory is now evident ; and I have accord- 
ingly passed an ordinance establishing the parishes of 
Viloxy and pascagoula, and dispatched to those places 
Doctor Flood under special instructions. Copies of the 
Ordinance and of the instructions are herewith enclosed 
marked A. & B. 

A few Gun boats will very soon be coming in the 
Lakes, under the orders of Commodore Shaw; and they 
will be instructed, to support the civil authorities. Per- 
haps I may be enabled to support good order in the par- 
ishes of Viloxy and pascagoula, without the presence of 
a military force, but I much doubt it. 1 

I have received no answer to my letters to Governor 

Folch. . 

1 am Sir, 

The Honble very respectfully, 

Mr. Smith, Your Ob : hum : Ser : 

Sec : State. William C. C. Claiborne 

1 A good, original source of information of the Revolution of West 
Florida in all its details is the letter book of Gov. David Holmes, of 
Mississippi Territory, for 1810-11, on file in the Mississippi Department 
of Archives and History. His letters to the National Government kept 
the President and Secretary of State advised as to public sentiment and 
the course of events which culminated in the declaration of independ- 
ence by the representatives of the people. 

The transcripts of Spanish archives on file in the Department, in 
connection with the Holmes journal, afford the investigator ample ma- 
terial for a thorough study of all sides of the controversy over West 
Florida and of the revolution growing out of it. A list of these tran- 
scripts of documents in Spanish archives relating to the history of the 
United States, may be found in No. 124, of the publication of Carnegie 
Institution of Washington. 

V 6 



82 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

To Dr. William Flood 1 
New Orleans January 5. 1811. 
Sir, 

Having understood that the good Citizens inhabiting 
a tract of Country situated on the Bay St. Louis; the 
Rivers Viloxy and Pascagoula and the Bayou Batin were 
in a state of Anarchy, acknowledging no authority, but 
that of a Commandant appointed by the late Florida 
Convention, or some individual acting under their or- 
ders ; I have passed an Ordinance by which the Tract of 
Country aforesaid is divided into two distinct Parishes, 
and am desirous to enforce within the same as soon as 
possible the laws of the Territory of Orleans : You will 
therefore proceed from hence by the Bay St. Louis, and 
the Bay Viloxy to the Mouth of Pascagoula. On your 
arrival at Bay St. Louis, you will cause the American 
Standard to be reared; and to be circulated among the 
Inhabitants, copies of the enclosed Ordinance establish- 
ing the Parish of Viloxy. 

You have two commissions for Justices of the Peace 
also enclosed the one for Simeion Favre- and the other 
for Fortesque Coming, which you will be pleased to have 
delivered. You have also two blank Commissions, for 
justices of the peace for Viloxy, which you will fill up 
with the names of such Citizens as you may find best en- 
titled to the Confidence. An Elderly Gentleman residing 
at the pass of Christian has been represented to me as a 
man of honesty and good demeanor, and if upon enquiry 
you find such representation correct you will be pleased 
to present him with one of said Commissions. 

From the Bay St. Louis you will proceed to the Mouth 
of Pascagoula where you will cause to be reared the 
American standard; and to be circulated among the In- 

1 Beginning of Volume VII. 

2 Simon Favre For sketch see Encyclopedia of Mississippi History, 
Vol. 1, p. 699. 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. OO 

habitants copies of the ordinance establishing the Pa- 
rish of Pascagoula. You are entrusted with four blank 
commissions for Justices of the peace in the parish of 
Pascagoula which you will fill up with the names of such 
Citizens as (from the best information you can obtain) 
you shall deem most entitled to public confidence. 

To the several Justices of the peace you will adminis- 
ter an Oath to support the Constitution of the United 
States, and also an Oath of Office ; and present to each a 
copy of the Civil Code, and of the Laws of the Territory 
of which eight copies will be delivered to your Order on 
tomorrow by Mr. Vassant. 

It has been confidently stated to me that a Mr. Duprie 
styling Major and acting as he says under a commission 
"from Reuben Kemper, styling himself Col: in the service 
of the Florida Convention, has at his command a body of 
armed men, principally Americans ; and that Duprie has 
committed depredations on the good Inhabitants of Pas- 
cagoula. It will be advisable that you see Duprie or some 
of his confidential associates; that you inform him or 
them that the powers of the Florida Convention are no 
more; that the people of Pascagoula are now under the 
protection of the American Government; and that the 
authority of the Laws will be brought to bear against 
the disturbers of the public peace, and the violaters of 
the rights of others. 

Commodore Shaw will furnish you with a Boat; and 
Captain Far ragout of the navy will accompany you. He 
is well acquainted with the Country and the people ; and 
may be serviceable as an Interpreter of the Spanish lan- 
guage. 

You will purchase on the public account two stand of 
Colors ; and keep an account of all your expences which 
shall be remunerated. 

I shall expect on your return a report in writing, stat- 
ing all occurances of importance ; and in which report you 



84 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

will give a description of the Coast, the Country, popula- 
tion soil, and productions. 1 

Wishing you an agreeable voyage and the enjoyment 
of good health 

I am Sir, &c 

Doctor Flood. (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 

P. S. You have enclosed several Copies of an address 
from me to the Inhabitants, which you will cause to be 
distributed. 



To Robert Smith 

New Orleans January 5. 1811. 
oir, 

The enclosed statements in writing No. 1 & 2 as to the 
anarchy and confusion which prevails in the Vicinity of 
the Bay St. Louis and the Rivers Viloxy and Pascagoula, 
were received on yesterday. The expediency of making 
immediate efforts to extend to that quarter the Laws of 
this Territory is now evident; and T have accordingly 
passed an Ordinance establishing the Parsihes of Viloxy 
and Pascagoula; and dispatched to those places Doctr. 
Flood under special instructions. Copies of the ordi- 
nance, and of the instructions are herewith enclosed 
marked A. and "B. 

A few (Inn boats will very soon be cruising in the 
Lakes, under the orders of Commodore Shaw, and they 
will be instructed to support the civil authorities. Per- 
haps I may be enabled to maintain good order in the 
Parishes of Viloxy and Pascagoula without the presence 
of a military force; but T much doubt it. 

T have received no answers to my letters to (lovernor 
Folch. 
The 1 rouble. T am Sir, &o &c- 

Mr. Smith (sgd) AY. C. C. Claiborne 

Sec.: State. 

1 C'laiborne was more than pleased with American possession of 
West Florida. He had urged it since 1803. 



LETTER BOOKS OF \V. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 85 

Collin's Statement, 

At the request of Gov. Claiborne I state the following 
facts as the substance of the information I have collected 
relative to the present state of the Pascagoula, the Pass 
of Christian and the Country in their vicinity. 

About five days past I Avas in conversation at the 
Bayou St. John with Joseph Rabie master of a small 
schooner from the Pascagoula River which he had left 
about four days previously, who informed me as follows : 
That one or two days previous to his Sailing he was 
obliged to take a passport from one Peter Nicola acting 
Commandant (as he said) under the Convention. That 
the Florida flag was at the time of his the said Rabies 
departure flying at the Mouth of Pascagoula River. That 
a party of forty men had come down from near the Amer- 
ican line, commanded by a certain Sterling Dupree, 1 who 
compelled the Inhabitants to swear, that if obliged to act, 
they would act in favor of the Convention, or else re- 
main neutral. That they pressed and forcibly took away 
three Schooners belonging to said settlement, which they 
laden with various articles of merchandise, and five or 
six negroes which they had stolen from the estate of John 
B. Nicolet late of the said settlement deceased. With 
those Vessels thus laden they proceeded up the Pasca- 
goula River as far as the 31 of North Latitude, where 
they have since remained. That on the said Rabies prog- 
ress to this place he passed the Bay St. Louis and the 
Pass of Christian. That the Commandant of the latter 
of these places had taken off his troops and military 
stores and proceeded on to Pensacola. That the Inhabi- 
tants of the above mentioned place were perfectly tran- 
quil, but in a state of absolute anarchy, and that having 

1 Duprie lived up the Pascagoula river near the boundary line; he 
and Hargroue held the rank of majors in the army of West Florida. 



86 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

conversed with several persons from the same quarter 
the above information was corroborated by the whole. 

As Witness my hand and seal &c &c 
Subscribed in the (signed) Jos: Collins [seal] 

presence of 
E. M. Lome 

I further state upon recollection that I was also in- 
formed by the said Joseph Rabie that a party of the In- 
habitants, to the number of thirteen assembled for the 
purpose of rescuing the said Vessels and property from 
the said Dupree and his party to effect which they fired 
upon the said Dupree and party, who being more numer- 
ous than the party attacking, beat them off and in the 
encounter Killed a certain Samuel Davis; and wounded 
a certain Allen Gooding, and another man name un- 
known, who were Inhabitants of the said settlement on 
the said River and belonging to the small party. The 
injury done to the party commanding the Vessels is not 
known. 

Subscribed and certified as before 
E. M. Lome (Signed) Jos: Collins [seal] 



Farragout ? s Statement 

At the request of Govr. Claiborne I state the follow- 
ing facts as the substance 1 of the information I have col- 
lected relative to the present state of the Pascagoula the 
Pass of Christian 1 and the Country in their vicinity. 

On the second of last December I arrived in th< i I jay 
of Pascagoula. The third of the same month 1 went 
ashore, and as I landed a party of men to the number of 
ten, came to me and said that Majors llargrave and 
Dupree, wished to see me; T declined going immediately, 
but requested those men to state to the above gentlemen 
that I Avould see them the next day. Accordingly the 

1 On the Mississippi coast. 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 87 

next day (the 4th December) I called on them at the 
house of Mr. John B. Nicolet late of the sd. place de- 
ceased ; and after my arrival they hoisted the flag of the 
Convention. The next day (the 5th) they pressed Mr. 
John B. Bodrau's Schooner. On the 6th they also 
pressed the Schooners of Mr. Anthony Krabs and Augus- 
tine a Mulatto. They brought the said Vessels before 
Mr. Nicolets house; and then took in all the personal 
property of the said Nicolet, consisting of Negroes, 
liquors, dry goods and household furniture. Even the 
locks on the doors were not left by them but taken off 
with the rest of the goods. On the 10th they left 
the place with the above Vessels under the Command of 
Major Sterling Dupree (leaving Pertu Nicola Command- 
ant of the place having been previously commissioned 
Captain by the said Dupree) and proceeded up Pas- 
cagoula River to the house of the said Dupree, which is 
about two miles below the line of demarkation. The said 
Sterling Dupree left with the strictest orders to call upon 
all the people on the Coast as far as the Bay St. Louis to 
take the Oath of Allegiance to the Convention. In com- 
ing from Pascagoula to New Orleans I met his the said 
Nicola's Sarjeant (James Havens) and two others whose 
names are unknown, ordering the people to repair, to the 
Pascagoula, and there to take the Oath to the Conven- 
tion as above. 

Witness my hand and seal &c &c 

in presence of [Signed] Geo. Farragout [seal] 

E. M. Lome 

I further state that I left Pascagoula on the 13th of 
December last at which time the Flag of the Florida 
Convention, was flying at the Mouth of Pascagoula, and 
that the settlements on the Bay St. Louis, Viloxy, Pas- 
cagoula, and the Bayou Batrie were considered as under 
the jurisdiction of Peter Nicola, who acted as Command- 
ant under the Authority of the Convention. There were 



88 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

no Spanish Authorities on the 13 December last at Bay 
St. Louis, or at the Pascagoula, Viloxy, or at the Pass 
of Christian. 

In the presence of (signed) Geo: Farragout [seal] 
Enoch M. Lome 



To William Eustis 

New Orleans January 5. 1811 
Sir, 

The enclosed statements in writing No. 1 & 2 will ap- 
prise you of the state of things on the Bay St. Louis, the 
Viloxy and Pascagoula Rivers. I deemed it a duty to 
make an immediate attempt to extend to that quarter 
the authority of this Territory I have accordingly passed 
an Ordinance establishing the parishes of Viloxy and 
Pascagoula and sent there some civil Officers ; but I much 
doubt whether they will be enabled to maintain good or- 
der without the presence of a military force. 

A terrible revolution lias commenced in the Kingdom 
of Mexico. I have seen some official statements, from 
which it appears that all the horrors of the times Cortez 
are revived. The contest is between the Europeans and 
the Creoles of the Country; the latter contending as it is 
said for independence. Immence bodies of men are 
brought into the fields; and in one engagement it is of- 
ficially stated that ten thousand Creoles perished. 

From the official accounts as published at the City of 
Mexico, on the 28th of Nevember last the Europeans had 
met with continued success; but private letters of a sub- 
sequent date represent, that numbers were repairing to 
the Creole Standard, and that they were in possession 
of immence treasure; that at one Town they had seized 
fifteen millions of dollars. The information received 
leads me to believe that the revolutionary spirit pervades 
also the interior Provinces of Mexico, and that the Prov- 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 89 

ince of Techus which adjoins this Territory is in commo- 
tion. 
The Honble. I am Sir &c &c 

Mr. Eustice (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 

Sec: War: 



To Robert Smith 

New Orleans January 6. 1811. 
Sir, 

In the month of Decmber last a party of armed men 
supposed to be thirty in number, and believed to be for 
the most part natives of the United States, acting under 
an authority derived from the Florida Convention ad- 
vanced towards the Town of Mobile, and encamped near 
it. They were supprised in the night by a detachment 
of Spanish Troops, headed by Govr. Folch in person; 
several w r ere killed and wounded and ten taken. The 
Prisoners have been carried to Pensacola where they are 
treated with great cruelty, and from whence it is pro- 
posed to send them for trial to Havannah. 

I feel great sympathy for these unfortunate men. No 
doubt they acted under an impression that the authority 
of the Convention would at least exempt them from suf- 
fering as Traitors; and consequently thought that their 
cause was honorable & just. Most willingly would I in- 
terfere in their favor with the Govr. Genl. of Cuba, but 
I doubt whether it would be proper for me to do so, with- 
out your previous sanction. 

I have seen today several Gentlemen from Baton 
Rouge; they report that every thing is tranquil there, 
but add that the clause in my instructions of the 27. Octo- 
ber which restricts me from using force against a Span- 
ish Garrison has accasioned discontent: The people 
profess to feel hurt at the idea of a force being author- 
ised against them, whilst Spanish Troops were per- 



90 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

milled to remain undisturbed in a Country claimed by 
the United States. I observed to the Gentlemen that the 
using of force against a Spanish Garrison was an act of 
hostility against a foreign Nation which Congress could 
more properly direct. But this suggestion will not I 
suspect relieve the chagrine of the people of Baton 
Rouge. In this quarter the act of taking possession is 
highly approved; and I pray God to incline Congress to 
support the measure with firmness. 

I await with impatience your orders to take posses- 
sion of the Fort of Mobile; I hold the whole Country 
designated in the President's Proclamation, except a lit- 
tle District around Mobile. 

The People of Baton Rouge feel much solicitude rela- 
tive to the debts of the Florida Convention. I have said 
to them that this was not a fit time to press the subject. 
I really do not know in what way these debts can best be 
discharged; but I hope that some means may be de- 
vised. You will not however suppose that I have made 
any promises ; my language on this subject has been I 
have no instructions from my Government, and all I can 
do is to report their case to the President. 
The Honble. I am Sir 

Mr. Smith &c &c 

Sec: State. (signd) W. C. C. Claiborne 



Letter to Mr. Earle Justice of the Peace. 

New Orleans Evening of the Gth of January 1811. 
Sir, 

It being represented to me that the riot of last night, 
between the Boatmen and the Sailors are likely to be re- 
newed this Evening, and understanding that the Mayor 
and recorded of the City are both absent I must request 
of you to make every effort for the preservation of the 
public peace. If during the night there should be any 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 91 

disturbances the City Guard are first to be called on, in 
aid of the civil Magistrate ; if they should prove incompe- 
tent for the occasion You will then make application to 
Major McRea of the Army who will turn out the Troops 
of the Garrison in aid of the Civil Authority. But you 
will recollect that the military are only to be used in the 
last resort. 

I an\ Sir, &c &c 
Mr. Earle. (signed) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To Genl. Hampton 

New Orleans January 6. 1811. 
Sir, 

I deem it a duty to communicate to you without delay, 
the following intelligence. A gentleman arrived on yes- 
terday from Pensacola, and reports that fifteen hundred 
men from Havannah and five hundred thousand dollars 
are confidently expected at that place; that he was pres- 
ent himself when Gov. Folch communicated this Intelli- 
gence to his Officers. 

The last accounts left the Spanish in possession of the 
Fort of Mobile. I have divided the Country extending 
from the Eastern Bank of Pearl River, to the Bayou 
Batin (and which includes the settelments on Bay St. 
Louis, the Pass of Christian, and the River Pascagoula) 
into three parishes, and sent there civil Officers; but I 
am sure they will not be enabled to maintain good order 
without the presence of a military force. 

A terrible civil war rages in Mexico. I have seen of- 
ficial reports from which it seems, that the horrors in 
the times of Cortez are revived. The contest is between 
the Europeans and the Creoles, of the Country. The 
Creoles have brought into the field immence armies ; and 
in one engagement it is said ten thousand of the Creoles 
were Killed. Hitherto the Europeans have met with 



92 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

great success: but private letters state that numbers 
are flocking to the Creole standard : and that they are in 
possession of immence Treasures. At one Town they 
possessed themselves of fifteen Millions of dollars. The 
object of the Creoles is said to be independence. 

The information received leads me also to believe 
that the revolutionary spirit, has extended itself to the 
interior provinces of Mexico a"nd that the adjoining 
Province to this Territory Techus is in commotion. 
How far such a state of things may make it proper, to 
strengthen the Garrison at Nachitoches you can best de- 
cide. 

I am Sir, &c &c 
Genl. Hampton. sigd. W. C. C. Claiborne 



Letter to Genl. Hampton enclosing the aforegoing. 
New Orleans January 7. 1811. 

I have received your Letter of this morning together 
with its enclosure. I am happy to hear of your arrival 
in Town and shall be more so to see you at my house. 
My residence is about a quarter of a mile below Fort St. 
Charles. It Avas certainly very proper that you should 
have opened the despatch from Col : Sparks ; its contents 
tend to confirm certain information received on last 
Evening and which I had intended to have communicated 
to you by Express (to Baton Rouge) on this morning. 
My letter on the occasion having been written I now en- 
close it to you. 

I am Sir, &c &c 
Genl. W. Hampton (signd) W. C. C. Claiborne 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 93 

To Gov. Folch 

New Orleans January 7. 1811. 
Sir, 

Having received information that your Excellency, 
designed to pass the Perdido, and enter with an armed 
force into the Territory which I have been directed by the 
President of the United States to consider as a part of 
the Territory of Orleans ; and to discharge the duties of 
Governor in and over the same: I deem it right and 
proper to inform your Excellency that such a movement 
on Your part will be viewed by me as evidence of hostile 
intentions towards my Government : and that I shall take 
such measures as my own honor, and the safety of the 
Territory Committed to my charge render necessary. 

I renew to your Excellency the assurances of my 
most distinguished consideration. 
Govr. Folch (sigd) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To Genl. Hampton 

Sir, 

I pray you to have the goodness to order, a Guard to 
the Bayou Bridge, with instructions to the Officer to per- 
mit no Negroes to pass or repass the same. 

Yrs. with respect &c &c 
9th January 1811. (signed) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To Major St. Amand. 

New Orleans January 9. 1811. 
9 O'Clock at night 
Sir, 

I have received your letter of the day. The most 
prompt measures have been taken by me to protect the 



94 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

lives and property of my fellow Citizens. Several hun- 
dred men have marched up the Coast by my orders and 
I hope will soon disperse the Brigands. We are all in 
New Orleans on the alert. Continue with your Neigh- 
bours and maintain order and discipline. I pray God 
that the force sent from this City may soon meet the 
Brigands and arrest them in their murdering carreer. 

Yr. With respect &c &c 
Ma jr. St. Amand. (signed) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To Genl. Hampton. 

New Orleans January 7. 1811 
Dr. Genl. 

Will you have the goodness to order an escort, for the 
Bearer who carries the Mail thro' such part of the Ter- 
ritory, as you suppose may be infested by the Brigands. 1 

I am Sir, &c &c 
Genl. Hampton (signed) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To the Secretary of State. 

New Orleans January 7. 1811 
Sir, 

Every measure has been taken for the public safety. 

The enclosed copies of Genl. orders will furnish you 
with such information, as I am possessed of, relative to 
the movements of the Insurgents. 
The Honble. I am Sir, &c &c 

The Sec: State (sgrl) W. C. C. Claiborno 

' A slave insurrection. 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 95 

To Major Bullingney. 

Evening of the 9th of Jan: 1811. 
Sir, 

Your letter of the Evening is received. The afflict- 
ing news to which you allude reached me on this morn- 
ing at 10 o 'clock ; and I have taken the most prompt meas- 
ures to defend the persons and property of my fellow 
Citizens against Brigands who are advancing. Assemble 
the Citizens of your Neighbourhood; Keep regular pa- 
troles throughout the night ; and apprise me by express 
of any information that may reach you, which it is prop- 
er for me to know. 

I name you for this occasion the Commandant of Pa- 
troles, and you will proceed forthwith to act in that ca- 
pacity. Several hundred men have marched from this 
City to the assistance of the People on the Coast. 

I am Sir, &c &c 
Majr. Bullingney (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To the Secretary of State. 

New Orleans January 9. 1811 
3 O'clock P. M. 
Sir, 

The Negroes in the County of German Coast in this 
Territory are in a state of Insurrection; their numbers 
are variously stated from 180 to 500. This insurrection 
commenced at the Plantation of Col: Andr^ about 36 
miles above this City. Intelligence thereof reached me 
at 10 O'clock, and the most prompt and effectual meas- 
ures, have been taken for the protection of the persons 
and property of the Citizens. 

A detachment of U. S. Troops and two Companies of 
volunteer Militia have this morning marched against the 



96 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

Insurgents. The whole militia of the City are ordered 
under arms, and you may be assured of its safety. 
The Honble. I am Sir, &c &c 

Mr. Smith (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 

Sec: of State. 



Circular 

To the Several Colonels of Regiments; and tlie several 
Parish Judges on the Coast. 

New Orleans January 10. 1811. 
Sir, 

Order strong Militia patroles by day and night; and 
cause a strict police among the Slaves to me maintained. 
Enclosed is the best account of an Insurrection, I can 
give, which has broken out on the Coast. New Orleans 
is in perfect safety. 

I am Sir, &c &c 

(sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To the Secretary of State. 

New Orleans January 11. 1811. 
Sir, 

The Insurgents were attacked on Yesterday by a 
party of armed Citizens, under the Command of Col: 
Andre; several were killed, and 18 or 20 taken, but no 
official information lias yet been received. The Insur- 
rection is by no means general and will I trust be very 
soon put down. 
The Honble. I am Sir &c &c 

Mr. Smith (sgd) AY. C. C. Claiborne 

Sec: State 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 97 

To the Secretary of State 

New Orleans January 12. 1811. 
Sir, 

My impression is that we have nothing further to ap- 
prehend (for the present) from the Brigands. The en- 
closed letter from Col: Andre gives me information of 
their entire defeat & discomfiture. Every exertion shall 
be made to cause an early arrest of such as have escaped, 
and in the mean time the measures I have ordered, with 
a view to the public safety and tranquility will be con- 
tinued. 

The Fort Mobile is still in possession of the Spaniard, 
but the Citiezns of the Town and its vicinity, refuse to 
obey the orders of the Spanish Commandant, alledging 
that the President of the United States, having promised 
to protect them in their Liberty, property and religion, 
they will be true & faithful in their allegiance to the 
United States. Such Sir is the substance of the latest in- 
formation received. 
The Honble. I am Sir &c 

Mr. Smith (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 

Sec: of State: 



To Col: Andre. 

My dear Sir, New Orleans Januai T 13. 1811 

I have received your several letters and most sincere- 
ly do I sympathize with you, in the untimely and unfor- 
tunate death of your amiable Son. But our lamentations 
are useless. He is gone to a better and a happier world ! 
I cannot too much applaud the brave and firm con- 
duct of yourself and your fellow Planters. Every thing- 
is tranquil in this City and I hope to see you in a few 
days. Accept the best &c &c 

Co; Andre (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 

V 7 



98 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

To Audrey L. Osborne. 

N. Orleans January 14. 1811. 
Sir, 

I have the honor to enclose you a Commission as 
Judge of the Parish of St. Helena. It is necessary that 
you should (under the Law) be a free holder in you pa- 
rish; and that you enter into a Bond with two Surities 
(freeholders in the Territory) in five thousand dollars 
for the faithful performance of your duties. The form 
of the Bond is enclosed. Captain Baldwin will deliver to 
you 16 Copies of the Civil Code and the other Laws of the 
Territory which you will distribute among the Magis- 
trates of the Parishes of St. Helena and St. Tammany. 

The Oaths of Office required by Law will be adminis- 
tered to you by Capt. Baldwin. 

I am Sir, &c &c 
Audley L. Osborne Esqr. (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 



A Proclamation. 

By William Charles Cole Claiborne Governor of the 
Territory of Orleans. 

Whereas considerations of public interest require 
that the Legislative Body of this Territory should be 
prorogued for a short time I have thought fit under the 
authority vested in me, by the Ordinance of the Congress 
of the United States, established for the Government of 
this Territory to issue this my Proclamation, proroguing 
the same to the fourth Monday of the present Month, and 
it is hereby accordingly prorogued. 

Given under my hand &c &c 
[L. S.] (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE.. 99 

To Major St. Amand & Col: Andre.. 

N. Orleans January 14: 1811.. 
Sir, 

Your letter of the 13th Instant has been reed. It gives 
me sincere satisfaction to learn that the late attrocious 
Insurrection has been so early put down, nor can I too 
highly applaud the bravery activity and firmness of my 
fellow Citizens. We are now all convinced of the neces- 
sity of a well organised Militia, and I really will not 
permit the ensuing Legislature to adjourn untill they 
shall have passed a strong Militia Law. In the mean; 
time we must continue our vigilance; and patroles by 
night must be maintained. 
Ma jr. St. Amand I am Sir, &c &c 

& 
Col: Andre (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To Mr. Dub our g. 

X. Orleans January 14. 1811. 
Sir, 

It being represented to me that the Insurrection 
among the slaves in the County of German Coast, was 
entirely quelled and nearly the whole of the Insurgents, 
either Killed or taken, the services of the Company under 
your Command are no longer necessary, and you will be 
pleased to discharge them from further duty. Be so 
good as to convey to each and every member of your 
meritourious Corps assurances of my confidence, in their 
patriotism and bravery, accompanied with my best 
thanks for the Services they have rendered the Territory. 

I have the honor &c &c 
Mr. Dubourg (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 



100 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL, ARCHIVES. 

To the Secretary of State, 

N. Orleans January 14. 1811. 
Sir, 

The Insurrection among the negroes is quelled; and 
nearly the whole of the Insurgents either killed or taken. 
The prompt and judicious movement of Genl. Hampton 
contributed very much to the public safety ; and the ar- 
dour activity and firmness of the Militia have made an 
impression upon the Blacks that will not (I suspect) for 
a length of time be effaced. I have also to acquaint you 
of the patriotic Conduct of the Captain and Crews of the 
Merchant Vessels in this port. These brave Tars to a 
man tendered their services, and several hundred armed 
with Cutlasses were placed by my orders under the Com- 
mand of an excellent Citizen Mr. Benjamin Morgan. One 
company was marched up the Coast and the others were 
on duty in the City, observing on all occasions the most 
correct and orderly deportment. The free men of color 
also on this occasion manifested the greatest zeal for the 
public safety. Their services were tendered and one 
Company placed by my orders under the Command of a 
respectable Citizen Major Dubourg, performed with 
great exactitude and propriety a Tour of duty. 1 
The Honble. I have the honor to be &c &c 

Mr. Smith (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborno 

Sec: State. 



To John N. Detrehan Esqr. 

N. Orleans January 1G. 1S11. 
Sir, 

I am indeed greatly solicitous to visit my follow Citi- 
zens up the Coast, but I am prevented by the multiplicity 
of business, which constantly presses on me, ami renders 

1 These men were a part of the militia. 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBOKNE. 101 

my presence at New Orleans indispensible. I sincerely 
and haitily congratulate you on the discomfiture of the 
late daring Insurrection. It is just and I believe abso- 
lutely essential to our future safety that a proper and 
great example should be made of the guilty. 

There may however be cases in which under the Tes- 
timony the Court and Jury may feel themselves bound to 
render judgment of condemnations; yet circumstances 
may exist wh : would call for mercy and justify the inter- 
position of Executive power. If any such cases should 
arrise the Court and Jury will I hope recommend the of- 
fender to clemency ; Avhich will have great wight with the 
Executive. 

I am Sir, &c &c 
J. N. Detrehan Esq. (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To Col: Vilerae 

N". Orleans January 16. .1811. 
Sir, 

Your letter of the morning is received. It is a source 
of sincere pleasure to us all, that so speedy an end has 
been put to the Insurrection. It seems to me unneces- 
sary to keep the Militia embodied; and you will permit 
them to return to their respective homes. It will be 
proper however that strict patroles by night, should be 
maintained ; and you will issue orders to that effect. 

Assure my fellow Citizens of my confidence in their 
patriotism and bravery, and tender to them my best 
thanks for the services they have rendered the Territory. 

I am Sir, &c &c 
Col: Vilarae (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 



102 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

To the Mayor of Neiv Orleans 

N. Orleans January 16. 1811. 
Sir, 

The bearers Joseph Becker and Robert Welch have 
brought to this place by the order of Simeon Favre a 
Justice of the Peace for the Parish of Viloxy, a white 
man who calls himself William Bradford, and two negroe 
men of the names of Prince and Burrell, whom Bradford 
had stolen from their master Messrs. Gathan and Batch- 
ellor, Inhabitants of Adams County in the Mississippi 
Territory. Will you be pleased Sir to cause the negroes 
to be committed to Prison; and to pay to the Bearers 
Becker and Welch forty dollars as a compensation for 
their Services, which sum I presume the masters of the 
negroes (one of whom I understand is in Town) will with 
pleasure return to you. As respects the Offender Brad- 
ford, will you be pleased to direct one of your public Of- 
ficers to convoy him before Judge Martin and to send 
Becker and Welch as Witnesses. I enclose you a letter 
from Mr. Favre to mo, which you will be pleased to re- 
quest your officer to hand to the Judge. 
The Honblo. I am Sir, &c c 

Mr. Mather (sgd.) W. C. C. Claiborne 

Mavor of N. Orleans. 



To Simeon Favre 

X. Orleans January 10. 1811. 
Sir, 

You acted correctly in sending to this place the offen- 
der Win. Bradford, and two nogroos whom lie had stolen. 

The throe horses you have detained, have most prob- 
ably boon stolen by Bradford, and you would do well to 
advertise thorn in some of the public papers in this City; 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 103 

and to request the owners to prove their property, pay 
the expences which you have incurred and to receive the 
horses. I am sorry to hear of your imposition. 
Simeon Favre Esq. I am Sir, &c &c 

Justice of the Peace (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 

for Pearl River 



To the Secretary of State 

N. Orleans January 17. 1811. 
Sir, 

Every thing is now tranquil in this quarter. For the 
convenience of the Members of the Legislature whose 
domestic affairs were greatly deranged by the late In- 
surrection, and required for the present their personal 
attention, I have prorogued the general assembly of the 
Territory for two weeks. 

Mobile remains in possession of a Spanish force; 
Govr. Folch has not answered my letters to him. I at- 
tribute this delay to a disposition on the part of Folch to 
be previously informed of the Sentiments of the Cap- 
tain General of Cuba to whom he (Folch) is responsible. 
The flag of the United States has been reared at the 
Pass Christian, and at the Mouth of Pascagoula. My 
authority is respected in that quarter and good order 
is restored. 
The Honble. I am Sir, &c &c 

Mr. Smith (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 

Secretary of State 



To Simeon Favre Esqre. 

N. Orleans January 17. 1811. 
Sir, 

I have just received from the Mayor of this City a 
letter in which he states, that Bradford according to my 
direction has been taken before Judge Martin ; and that 



104 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

Becker and Welch appeared as witnesses against him. 
These persons not being in possession of any facts which 
would justify the conviction of Bradford; and it being 
presumed that such testimony may be collected you will 
be pleased immediately to take the necessary steps for 
its procurement, and transmit the same to me without 
delay. In the mean time Bradford is committed to 
Prison in order for trial. 

I am Sir, &c &c 
Simeon Favre Esqr. (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To Judge St. Martin 

N. Orleans January 19. 1811 
Sir, 

Your letter of the 18th Instant together with its en- 
closure has been received. I have noticed with sincere 
pleasure the great fidelity with which you have dis- 
charged your official duties, and your Zealous and pru- 
dent efforts for the restoration of good order. Judge 
Moreau has ordered to your Parish for trial 6 negroes 
who were in confinement here and who are inculpated in 
the late Insurrection. The Judge and Jury of the Par- 
ish St. Charles will be obliged therefore to resume their 
Sessions. Eight of the Brigands have been condemned 
by the Tribunal of this parish, of whom one has been 
recommended to the mercy of the Executive. 

The Chief Gilbert the property of Col: Andre sur- 
rendered himself on last Evening, and is now in the 
prison of this City. 

I am Sir, &c &c 
Judge St. Martin (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 105 

To John RJiea Esgre. 

N. Orleans January 19. 1811. 
Sir, 

Mr. Soniat Dufossat is charged to deliver to you fif- 
teen Copies of the Civil Code and a like number of the 
acts of the genl. Assembly of this Territory, of which 
you will be pleased to retain a Copy for your own use; 
and to distribute the residue among the several Justices 
of the Peace of the Parish of Feliciana. You have also 
enclosed a commission by which you are appointed Judge 
of the Parish of Feliciana; and in which capacity 
I hope you will consent to serve the Public. 

I am Sir, &c &c 
John Rhea Esqr. (sgd.) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To Judge Mather 

N. Orleans January 19. 1811 

Sir, Mr. Soniat Dufassat is charged to deliver to you 
fifteen Copies of the Civil Code; and of the Act of the 
General Assembly of this Territory; of which you will 
be pleased to retain a Copy for yourself, and to dis- 
tribute the others to the several Justices of the Peace in 
the Parish of East Baton Rouge. 

The law having required that you should enter into 
Bond with Surities to the Governor for the faithful dis- 
charge of your duties as Parish Judge, I have enclosed 
you a form of such Bond; the blanks in which you will 
be pleased to fill up with the sum of five thousand dol- 
lars, and the names of two freeholders of your parish, as 
your Surities. 

I am Sir, 

Judge Mather &c &c 

Baton Rouge (Sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 



106 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

To Mr. Soniat Dufossat 

N. Orleans January 19. 1811. 
Sir, 

You will proceed from hence to Baton Rouge, and 
deliver to Judge Mather, the letter enclosed and fifteen 
Copies of the Civil Code and of the other Acts of the 
Legislature. From Baton Rouge you will proceed to St. 
Francisville, 'at the Mouth of Bayou Sarah where if you 
should not find Mr. John Rhea you will proceed to his 
house and deliver to him the letter enclosed to his ad- 
dress, and the remaining Copies of the Civil Code, and 
other Laws of the Territory of Orleans, committed to 
your care. As the Copies of the Civil Code and other 
Acts of the Legislature, will be conveyed by water to St. 
Francisville, it may perhaps be best if you should find 
Mr. Rhea at his own house to ask the favor of him to ac- 
company you to St. Francisville for the purpose of re- 
ceiving the books, and from whence (it is presumed) lie 
may with the greater convenience distribute 'the same 
among the several civil Officers of the Parish of Felici- 
ana. You are allowed as a compensation for your ser- 
vices sixty dollars, for which sum you will find herewith 
an order upon the Treasurer. 

I am Sir &c &c 
Mr. Soniat Dufossat (sgd) AY. C. C. Claiborne 



To General Hampton 

N. Orleans January 1<). 1811. 
Sir, 

Enclosed is a letter which I received on last evening 
from Col: dishing which after perusing I will thank you 
to return to me, as I would wish to send a copy to the 
S^cretarv of State. 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 107 

The state of things at Mobile is really unpleasant. I 
wish to God the Government would give orders to take 
the fort. I have much verbal information from Mobile, 
which I will communicate when we meet, I would visit 
you this morning but a press of business confines me to 
my house. 

I am Sir, &c &c 
Genl. Hampton. (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To John M. Detrehan Esqre. 

N. Orleans Jan: 19. 1811. 
Sir, 

Your interesting letter of the 18th was delivered to 
me on the Evening of the same day by Lieutenant 
Treaudeau. I am well aware of the unpleasant duties 
which have devolved upon Judge St. Martin and the 
Jury of the Parish of St. Charles; and am very sen- 
sible of the purity of the motives by which they have 
been influenced and of the Justice and prudence which 
mark their proceedings. My Counsel on the late occa- 
sion would have been unnecessary, the Judge as 
well as the Citizens who composed the Jury possess 
my entire confidence; and I am assured that their 
Judgments has been uniformly such as the testimony and 
the Law warranted. 

The example which has been made of the guilty actors 
in the late insurrection will I hope produce the desired 
effect. Justice, policy, our future safety required that 
the guilty should suffer ; for the sake of humanity how- 
ever it is greatly to be desired, that the list of the guilty 
may not be found still greater. And altho there may be 
cases when Judge and Jury must condemn the accused, 
in order to do what the law and the testimony warrants, 
and their consciences suggest ; yet perhaps humanity may 



108 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

Justify mercy, without injury to the public safety, I have 
therefore only to repeat to you, that in all cases where 
circumstances suggest the exercise of mercy a recom- 
mendation to that effect from the Court and Jury, will 
induce the Governor to extend to the convict a pardon. 

By order of Judge Moreau six of the Brigands have 
been ordered for trial to the Parish of St. Charles, of 
course Judge St. Martin and the Jury will resume their 
Sessions. 

I am happy to find from the report of the Judge so 
few Slaves are now in the woods. I hope this dreadful 
Insurrection is at an end and I pray God ! we may never 
see another. The loss of property sustained by our 
Planters is indeed considerable ; but I rejoice that it has 
not been greater. I am under great obligations to the 
Army, the volunteer Corps and the Militia for their 
prompt, and ardent exertions, for the public safety. The 
Zealous and meritorious services of our friend Treau- 
deau merit the highest Eulogium and Capt. Lacoste is 
also entitled to great credit. 

I sincerely wish your health &c &c 

(sgd) W. C. C. Claiborno 
John N. Detrehan Esqr. 



To Col: John Ballinger 

N. Orleans Jan: 20. 1811 
Dr. Sir, 

I have received your letter of the 14th Instant. It 
does not appear that the late Insurrection in this vi- 
cinity was of extensive combination; but the result only 
of previous concert between the Slaves of a few adjoin- 
ing Plantations It has been speedily and effectually 
crushed; and the occurrence has awakened a spirit of 
vigilance throughout the Territory, which, if persisted 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 109 

in will tend very much to our future safety I hope also 
it will induce the Legislature to give us a more energetic 
Militia System, and to interpose some check to that in- 
discriminate importation of Slaves from the southern 
States. 

My last accounts left the Spaniards in possession of 
the Fort of Mobile, and there they must remain undis- 
turbed until further orders; but I persuade myself that 
orders such as comport with the interest and spirit of 
our Nation may soon be received. 

The Language of the apostate American Spaniards is 
no doubt in unison with their wishes ; but will not I hope 
make an impression on any portion of the people. My 
opinion is that the Mississippi will cease to flow, before 
the Territory of Orleans in its present extent will cease 
to be a part of the American Union. 

I am sorry it has not been in my power to encourage 
the application of Captain Collins for Sheriff of the 
District. I entertain a good opinion of Mr. Collins, but 
the Office of District Sheriff (if created by the Legisla- 
ture) has been promised to another. The application 
of Mr. McCleland, was not known to me, until the office 
had been conferred on Mr. Kevinaugh, who was highly 
recommended. 

I am Sir &c &c 
(sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 
Col: J. Ballinger. 



To Major St. Amand. 

N. Orleans Jan: 20. 1811. 
Sir, 

Your letter of yesterday has been received and fur- 
nishes me with fresh proof of your Zeal for the public 
Service. 

Considering this insurrection as at an end the pa- 



110 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

troles may until further orders, be left to the discretion 
and directions of the parish Court. 

I approve of the distribution you made of powder 
and arms to the Citizens, and with regard to the public 
muskets, which still remain in your possession, I would 
wish you to distribute them among the freemen who re- 
side in the Parish of St. Charles, taking a memorandum 
of the name of each Individual to whom a musket is de- 
livered. It is surely of importance that the Militia 
should be armed; and I persuade myself that the late 
event, will induce every Citizen to whom a musket is pre- 
sented, to keep the same in good order. The public 
powder in your possession, you will be pleased also 
to distribute among the Citizens. 

I am Sir, &c &c 
Majr. St. Aniand sgd AY. C. C. Claiborne 



To the Secretary at War. 

N. Orleans Jan : 20. 1811. 
Sir, 

During the late Insurrection in this Territory, the 
public safety required, that the most immediate and en- 
ergetic measures should be resorted to. I ordered the 
Avhole Militia of the City on duty. A Detachment march- 
ed against the Insurgents, and Horses, Carts, and what- 
ever else was necessary for an instantaneous movement 
were pressed into the public Service. 

I have necessarily made some expenditures, and to 
meet them, I shall draw Bills on the Department of AVar, 
which I persuade myself will be duly honored. The ne- 
cessity was most pressing every moments delay added 
force to the Insurgents and increased the danger. My 
orders however were Zealously and promptly executed, 
and in forty eight hours the public safety was ensured. 
The Militia have not required compensation for their 
services, nor will any be offered them. The charge 



LETTER BOOKS. OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. Ill 

against the U. S. is only for provisions, horses, Carts &c, 
and the amount I presume will not exceed twelve or four- 
teen hundred dollars. I have informed the Secretary 
of State of the patriotic ardor, which on this occasion 
was manifested by every class of my fellow Citizens, nor 
did I omit to bear testimony to the very correct conduct 
of the armed force of the U. S. in this vicinity, and of the 
propt and judicious arrangements of eGneral Hampton, 
under whose Command the several detachments of Mil- 
iti, that marched against the Insurgents were placed. 
The Honble. I am Sir &c c 

Mr. Eustice (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 

Sec: War. 



To the Secretary of State. 

N. Orleans Jan: 20. 1811. 

Sir, I have the honor to enclose you a Copy of a letter 
addressed to me, by Col: Gushing dated at Mobile the 
8th of the present Month; and which contains the latest 
information I have received from that quarter. 

My authority is respected in every part of the newly 
acquired Territory, except a small District around the 
Town and Fort of Mobile ; and there until your further 
orders the Spanish must remain undisturbed. 

The Individuals whom I mentioned in a former Let- 
ter, as having been taken prisoners by Govr. Folch, re- 
main in confiement at Pensacola. Throughout the whole 
District of Baton Rouge there is a lively interest ex- 
pressed as to the fate of these unfortunate men; and I 
am frequently solicited to intercede in their favor. But 
I have thought it most correct to have your previous 
sanction. 

The Honble. I am Sir, &c &c 

Mr. Smith (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 

Sec: State. 



112 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

Private Letter to Judge Moreau Lislet. 

N. Orleans Jan: 20. 1811. 
Dr. Sir, 

It has been represented to me, that a negroe of the 
name of Telemachus, the property of Mr. Bernady is 
now confined in Jail ; and that in all the Testimony taken 
of the subject of the late conspiracy, Telemachus has 
not been in the least degree inculpated. "Will you do 
me the favor to say whether such be the fact as I am 
earnestly solicited from a respectable quarter to direct 
the release of said Slave. 

Major Trqsk also has entreated me to pardon one of 
his Slaves, condemned to die. I have said to him that 
on the recommendation of the Court and a majority of 
the Jury his request shall be granted. 

I am Dr. Sr. &c &c 
(sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 
Judge Moreau Lislet. 



To Doctor Steele. 

N. Orleans Jan: 20. 1S11. 
Dr. Sir, 

I am sorry it has not been in my power to comply 
with your solicitation in behalf of Mr. Collins, and Mr. 
McCleland. The office for which the first Gentleman was 
a candidate, has already been promised to another, and 
that which the latter desired had been previously con- 
ferred on a Mr. Kavinaugh. 

The last accounts left the Spaniards in possession of 
Mobile, but I persuade myself that orders to dispossess 
them, will very soon reach me. Congress will T trust 
act on this occasion, with energy and dicision. Such a 
course I am persuaded will meet the support of the na- 
tion. 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 113 

The late Insurrection has been effectually crushed. 
It does not appear to have been of extensive combination, 
and the mischief done is by no means as great as was at 
first apprehended. Two Citizens only were murdered, 
three dwelling houses burned and several pillaged. But 
the planters have sustained a serious loss by the number 
of Slaves killed and executed. 

I have been compelled to prorogue the Legislature 
until the 28th Instant, and I hope their first act will be 
to extend to the newly acquired Territory a just share 
in the representation to the General Assembly. 

I am Dr. Sr. &c &c 
Doctr. Steele. (sgd) "\V. C. C. Claiborne 



To Mr. Jefferson. 

N. Orleans Jan : 20. 1811. 
My dear Sir, 

I have the pleasure to inform you that the Laws of 
this Territory are in force in every part of that tract 
of Country directed to be occupied by the President's 
Proclamation of the 27th of October last except a small 
District around the Town and Fort of Mobile, there a 
Spanish force is stationed and must remain undisturbed 
until the further orders of my Government. I hope how- 
ever these orders will not be long delayed. If there be 
a foreign nation disposed to resist the taking possession 
of the Country West of the Perdido, by the United States, 
its wrath will not be deverted by a forbearance to dis- 
possess the Spaniards of Mobile by force: and the suf- 
fering them to remain there can only tend to create dis- 
satisfaction among our own Citizens, and give counte- 
nance to a charge (which is already circulated) of a want 
of firmness and decision on the part of Congress. 



114 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

We have lately experienced much alarm in conse- 
quence of an Insurrection among the Slaves in this vi- 
cinity. It at first assumed a menacing aspect; but was 
very soon quelled by the prompt and decisive movements, 
of the armed force of the United States, and the Body of 
the Militia. Livingston, had left this for the U. S. pre- 
vious to my arrivel. He had exhausted all his ingenuity 
to obtain a judgment against the late Marshal; and to 
repossess himself of the Batture; but has been com- 
pletely foiled. The Mayor of the City informs me that 
all the documents you requested have been forwarded 
to your address. 1 

The Legislature of the Territory will be in Session in 
a few days. It is probable that the case of the Bature 
will again be brought before them. I am greatly de- 
sirous to see your Memoir on that subject, in the hands 
of the People. It cannot fail to make a great and just 
impression. 

I am &c &c 

(sgd) AY. C. C. Claiborne 
Mr. Tlios. Jefferson 



To Major Dub our g. 

N. Orleans Jan : 21. 1811 

Sir, 

A Slave of the name of Gilbert has been convicted of 
the Offence of aiding and abeting in an Insurrection, and 
has been sentenced to be shot. AVill you be pleased there- 
fore to furnish the Sheriff who will present you this note, 
with a Guard from among the Company of volunteers, 
under your Command, to carry into effect the sentence 
aforesaid. 

I am Sir, &c &c 
Major Dubourg (sgd) \V. C. C. (Maibornc 

1 Jefferson showed much interest in the Batture Case and had data 
bearing on its merits sent directly to him. 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBOKNE. 115 

To the Secretary of State. 

N. Orleans January 22. 1811 
Sir, 

To enable me to meet some other expences, incident 
to the taking possession of the Territory designated in 
the President's proclamation of the 27th of last October 
I have this day drawn upon You for the further sum 
of two thousand dollars, payable at ten days sight to 
Joseph Saul or order. 

The Honble. I am Sir, &c &c 

Mr. Smith (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 

Secretary of State 



To Genl. Hampton. 

N. Orleans Morning Jan : 24. 1811 
Sir, 

Various reports having reached me of an expected 
reinforcement at Pensacola from Havannali ; and of the 
design of Governor Folch to advance in force towards 
Mobile I deem it proper to inform you that the Perdido 
being considered as the Eastern Limit of the Territory 
of Orleans, I could not view the passing of that Eiver 
by a Spanish force in any other light than as an invasion 
of the Territory committed to my care. 

As respects the Fort of Mobile w r e are restricted un- 
til further Orders from useing force against it : But 
the strengthening of the Garrison of Mobile by Govr. 
Folch is certainly inadmissable. An attempt to do so, 
will in itself be evidence of hostile views towards the 
Government of this Territory ; and in my opinion would 
justify taking immediate possession of the Fort. 1 

1 This purpose to use force to prevent reinforcements being sent to 
Mobile came to the attention of the Spanish authorities and caused them 
to hesitate after the lesson of the West Florida Revolution. 



116 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

Such Sir, are my sentiments and they are communi- 
cated to you, in full confidence that you will support them 
with the armed force under your Command. 

I am Sir &c &c 
Genl. Hampton (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To Genl. Hampton. 

N. Orleans Jan: 24. 1811. 
Sir. 

_ In my letter of the morning there was a subject of 
some moment which I omitted to introduce to your at- 
tention. It was represented to me some time since by 
Col : Sparks that a number of Individuals had assembled 
in arms (acting as was said under the authority of the 
late Florida Convention) and designed to commit dep- 
redations on the Inhabitants of "Mobile and probably 
to deluge it in blood". He in order to prevent thorn had 
directed Capt Gaines with 80 men to take a position near 
Mobile. In consequence of which movement 1 have since 
understood that the Individuals who had assembled as 
aforesaid immediately dispersed. But in the event that 
the Troops now in the vicinity of Mobile, should be 
wholly withdrawn and stationed at Fort Stoddart, it is 
very possible that depredations on the Inhabitants of 
Mobile may again be attempted. AVill you be pleased 
therefore to give Col: Gushing some suitable instructions 
on the subject. The People residing west of the Perdido, 
are promised protection by the President of the United 
States. 

I am Sir &< &c 
Genl. Hampton (sgd) AV. C. C. Claiborne 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 117 

To Genl. Hampton. 

N.Orleans Jan: 24.1811 
Sir, 

My letters to you on the subject we were conversing 
about last Evening was written early on this morning, 
and was handed to my private Secretary Mr. Lome to 
deliver but a short time previous to his visiting your 
quarters you had left the City for Baton Rouge ; and the 
letter has been placed in the Post Office to be forwarded 
by the Mail of Tomorrow. I do not believe the public 
service will sustain any injury by this delay, since such 
further Orders to Col : Cushing as you may think proper 
to issue can he transmitted in six days from Baton 
Rouge, to Fort Stoddert, and really that rout is much 
the most safe and 19 times out of twenty would prove the 
most expeditious. 

I am Sir &c &c 
Genl. Hampton (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To Mr. Bernard Genoie. 

N. Orleans Jan: 24. 1811. 
Sir, 

It has been represented to me that in the Course of 
Last Evening, you heard a conversation between several 
persons of Color of a nature calculated to induce a sus- 
picion that some project agaisrit the peace and safety of 
the City existed. 1 Will you be pleased to make a state- 
ment in writing of the substance of that conversation 
and transmit the same without delay to me. 

I am Sir, &c &c. 
(sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 
Bernard Genoie Esq. 

1 Claiborne was fearful that the negroes of New Orleans were plot- 
ting mischief. 



118 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

To Govr. Holmes. 

N. Orleans Jan: 25. 1811 
Sir, 

A man calling himself William Bradford is now in the 
Jail of this City charged with having feloniously taken 
and carried away from the County of Amite in the Mis- 
sissippi Territory, two Negroe men, the property of 
Thomas Batchellor and Agrippa Gayden Inhabitants of 
the aforesaid County and Territory. 

An application lias been made to me by Mr. John 
Leith of the Mississippi Territory to deliver to him the 
person of William Bradford; but I am advised that the 
proper Course of proceeding would be that the Offender 
should be demanded by the Executive of the Mississippi 
Territory, and such demand being made I have only to 
add, that he shall be delivered to such person as you may 
designate. 

I am Sir &c &c 
Govr. Holmes (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborno 



To Major McRea. 

N. Orleans Jan: 25. 1811 
Sir, 

Mr. Beaumond a Lt. Col: in the service of Spain died 
in this Vicinity Yesterday and will bo buried tomorrow 
at Nine 'Clock. His friends are desirous that he should 
be buried with the honors of War. Can you furnish a 
Guard under the direction of a subaltern Officer, of 30 
or 40 men to attend the ceremony. I ask for that num- 
ber only because I know the present weakness of the Gar- 
rison. The Guard may assemble opposite the Church 
at Xine O'clock and from thence accompany the Corps 
to the grave. It may at all times be proper that Mili- 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 119 

tary Men attached to a foreign service dying in our Ter- 
ritory should receive the Customary honors. But at this 
Crisis I am particularly desirous that the remains of this 
Spanish Officer be treated with military honors. Will 
you invite the Officers of the Garrison to attend the fu- 
neral from the Church. 

I am Sir &c &c 
Major McRea. (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To the Secretary of State. 

N. Orleans Jan: 25. 1811 
Sir, 

I have the honor to enclose You a Copy of the Re- 
port made by Doctor Flood who was sent by me to or- 
ganise the Parishes of Viloxy and Pascagoula and of 
which you were particularly advised in my letter of the 
5th of the present month. 

It is my intention to extend the Parish of Pascagoula 
Eastwardly as far as Dog River ; you will find that River 
laid down in the Map I forwarded you from Baton Rouge 
it is distant three miles only from the Fort of Mobile. 

Genl. Hampton has ordered two hundred men to take 
post at the Pass of Christian. He accords with me in 
opinion that it is a proper site for a permanent Garrison. 
The Honble. I have the honor &c &c 

Mr. Smith sgd, W. C. C. Claiborne 

P. S. It gives me pleasure to find from Doctor Flood's 
Report that the proceedings of Mr. Reubin Kemper, have 
not been as censurable as Col: Sparks at one time had 
calculated on. Mr. Kemper has always professed to 
be sincerely attached to the Government of the United 
States, and I hope his conduct may comport with the 
character of a good Citizen. 1 

1 For an account of the Kempers' connection with the Baton Rouge 
Revolution see Encyclopedia of Mississippi History, Vol. 1, p. 966: 



120 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

To the Secretary of State. 

N. Orleans Jan: 29. 1811 
Sir, 

I have the honor to enclose you a Copy of a letter I 
received two days since from Govr. Folch, from which 
you will perceive his entire dependence on the Captain 
Genl. of Cuba. 

I forward you also a paper of the morning contain- 
ing a French translation of an infamous publication 
which has appeared in the Federal Republican of Balti- 
more. This publication and others of a like character 
will make a groat impression in the Spanish Colonies, 
and may perhaps occasion embarrassments as to Florida, 
which would not otherwise have occurred. No man is 
more attached than myself to the liberty of the Press; 
but I wish to God some preventive to its licentiousness 
could be devised. Could not some check to Newspaper 
publications, as relates to our relations with foreign na- 
tions be interposed? The Sons of Calumny and detrac- 
tion perhaps cannot with safety to the principles of our 
Constitution be restrained in their exertions, to destroy 
at Home the influence of the best men of the Country: 
but the safety of Society requires that their malignant 
pens should not be permitted to take such a range as may 
compromise the peace of the nation. 

The Legislature of the Territory met on yesterday; 
and on this morning at 11 'Clock I had the honor to de- 
liver to them an address of which the enclosed (marked 
A) is a Copy. 

I am Sir with great respect &c &c 
The Honblo. (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborno 

Mr. Smith 

Sec. State. 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 121 

Ordinance, 

By William Charles Cole Claiborne Governor of the Ter- 
ritory of Orleans. 

Be it known that I do ordain and decree that the Parish 
of Pascagoula, whose Eastern Boundary was by an Or- 
dinance bearing date the 4th day of Jan: instant, de- 
clared to be the Bayou Batin, shall from and after the 
date hereof be extended to the Rio Peno or Dog River, 
and that all the Settlements East of said River shall 
hereafter be included within the Parish of Pascagoula. 

Given under my hand & the Seal of the Territory at 
New Orleans on the 26th day of Jan : 1811, and in the 
35th Year of the Independence of the United States of 
America. 
[L. S.] (sgd) William C. C. Claiborne 



Speech. 

Delivered by Governor Claiborne to both Houses of the 
Legislative Body of the Territory of Orleans- 
Jan: 29. 1811. 

Fellow Citizens of the Legislative Council and of the 
House of Representatives, 

A late event which extends your Authority over an 
additional tract of fertile Country, and introduces into 
the bosom of our family a brave and virtuous people, af- 
fords cause of such sincere satisfaction to every patriotic 
breast that I cannot avoid tendering you on the occasion 
my warmest congratulations. 

The just and weighty considerations which induced 
the President of the United States to direct possession 
to be taken of the Territory west of the Perdedo, as a 
part of the Territory of Orleans, are too forcibly de- 
tailed, Gentlemen, in his Proclamation of the 27th of Oc- 



122 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

tober to need further illustration, and I presume too 
fresh in your recollection to require repetition. It is 
only necessary therefore to inform you that throughout 
the whole of the Territory in question, except a small 
District around the Fort and Town of Mobile I have ex- 
ercised the powers of Chief Magistrate ; that by an Or- 
dinance bearing date on the 7th of last December, the 
County of Feliciana was established, and its Eastern 
boundary declared to be the River Perdedo ; that by sub- 
sequent Ordinances, there were created in the County 
aforesaid the parishes of Feliciana, East Baton Rouge, 
St. Helena, St. Tammany, Viloxy and Pascagoula; that 
Parish Judges and other necessary Civil Officers have 
been duly commissioned, and that good order is pre- 
served Copies of those Ordinances will be laid before 
you, and its rests with the Legislature to correct such 
defects, as they may be found to contain. 

There is nothing I more desire, than to see our newly 
adopted fellow Citizens, prosperous and happy under the 
influence of a free Government and just Laws; not do I 
doubt Gentlemen your readiness to do whatever their 
interest may advise. It is of primary importance that 
a Law should pass, according to the Inhabitants of Fe- 
liciana, their full share in the representation to the gen- 
eral Assembly. Your powers are competent, and the 
President lias expressed his earnest desire, that the pe- 
riod of their present privation should not be prolonged 
beyond the unavoidable necessity of the case. It is also ' 
important to provide for an additional Circuit Court, 
whose Sessions shall be holdcn at Baton Rouge, or else- 
where, vested with authority to try capital offoncos, and 
with appellate jurisdiction from the several Parish 
Courts. There are unquestionably other objects greatly 
interesting to the good people of Feliciana; but the con- 
siderations of such as are not of pressing concern, had 
better be defered until you shall be in possession of that 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 123 

local information, which their immediate Representatives 
will be best enabled to communicate. 

The late daring and unfortunate Insurrection, in the 
Parishes of St. John Baptist and St. Charles, does not 
appear to have been of extensive combination; but the 
result only of previous concert between the slaves of a 
few neighbouring Plantations. It has been speedily and 
entirley quelled. We have however to regret the un- 
timely death of two highly esteemed Citizens, cruelly 
massacred; and the great and serious loss of property 
sustained by many of our planters. This loss does not 
fall within the cases for which a remuneration is pro- 
vided by the existing Laivs; but I am persuaded Gentle- 
men, you will be disposed in the present instance, to ex- 
tend their provisions, as far as the public sympathy for 
private suffering may suggest and a just policy warrant. 

The example which has been made of the principals 
in this Insurrection, will I hope produce the desired ef- 
fect; the vigilance also which the event has awakened, 
throughout the Territory will conduce much to our future 
security; but above all the prompt, ardent and decisive 
movements of the armed force of the United States, in 
this vicinity; the several volunteer Corps; and the body 
of the Militia must have made an impression, that will 
not for a length of time be effaced. 

To guard however more effectually against occur- 
rences of this kind for the future, some further, and 
stronger preventive to that indiscriminate importation 
of slaves, should be devised. It is a fact of notoriety 
that negroes of Character the most desperate and con- 
duct the most infamous. Convicts pardoned on condi- 
tion of transportation, the refuse of jails, are frequently 
introduced into this Territory. To dwell on this subject 
is unnecessary. The consequences which from a con- 
tinuance of this traffic are likely to result may be easily 
anticipated. 



124 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

I could not avail myself of an occasion as favorable 
as the present, to renew my entreaties for a more en- 
ergetic Militia System. The best interest of the Ter- 
ritory; the safety of our families and of our property, 
united in recommending this subject to your early and 
most serious consideration. The present lax and dis- 
organised state of the Militia is not attributable to a 
want of exertion on the part of the Officers. The fault 
attaches to the Law; that is defective. I do not object 
to the leading principles of the System; they are be- 
lieved to be correct, and a radical change would only 
tend to embarrass and retard the introduction of order 
and discipline. A few Amendments only to the exist- 
ing Law are necessary, to effect the purposes for which 
it is designed. Prescribe the time for Regimental, Batal- 
lion and Company Musters, and direct the latter to lie 
more frequent than heretofore; augment considerably 
the fines for not-attendance (so much so as to make the 
wealthiest of our Citizens unwilling to incur them) and 
provide means for their sure and speedy collection ; vest 
the officers with power to enforce their orders; punish 
the disobedient and disorderly with fines and if necessary 
with imprisonment; and let the exemptions from duty 
be as circumscribed as possible. In a word let your 
Law lie as rigid as the Principles of a free Government, 
can be brought to sanction. The faithful Citizens can- 
not but approve such a course. They are aware of the 
many casualties, internal and external to which the Ter- 
ritory is exposed, and must be sensible of the importance 
of a well regulated Militia. 

I have noticed Gentlemen a solicitude on the part of 
many respectable Citizens for a 3rd Bank in this City. 
If indeed such an Institution promises advantages to 
commerce and to Agriculture, I shall be happy to ap- 
prove and Act of Incorporation; but it seems to me ex- 
pedient that the Territory should retain the Privilege of 



' LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 125 

subscribing for a portion of the stock, and that the Gov- 
ernment should nominate a certain number of Directors. 
The direction of a Bank carries with it much influence, 
and such checks should be interposed, as will prevent 
that influence, from being used with views to private op- 
pression or political Intrigue. 

There is another subject greatly interesting to Com- 
merce and to Society at large which I recommend to the 
attention of the Legislature. I allude to the present 
Bankrupt system. It is surely desirable that the Law 
should provide relief for the unfortunate. It is surely 
desirable that the Law should provide relief for the un- 
fortunate trader, and shield the honest debtor from the 
persecutions of a merciless Creditor. But great care 
should be taken, lest the facilities it affords, be made 
subservient to the purposes of fraud. New Orleans al- 
ready ranks among the most prosperous Cities of the 
United States. To its continued welfare a fair commer- 
cial character is essential, and to that end nothing could 
more contribute, that a strict, but humane statute of 
Bankruptcy, the provisions of which no honest man 
would have cause to censure, and no fraudulent one an 
opportunity to evade. 

The ample resources of the Treasury evince the fidel- 
ity and ability with which our fiscal concerns have been 
conducted. From the annual report of the Treasurer 
you will find a great and increasing surplus fund, and I 
advise and invite you Gentlemen to appropriate a moiety 
at least of that surplus to objects of public utility. 
Among these a liberal provision for tlio education of 
youth is entitled to precedence. It is a truth universally 
admitted that Science is the best support of liberty, and 
that to maintain our Republican Institutions Informa- 
tion must be diffused among tlio body of the people. 

I do not know Gentlemen that I shall have the small- 
est objection to any measure you may propose. But 



126 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

with great deference permit me to suggest for consid- 
eration the expediency of making provision for the es- 
tablishment of four Academies, and that a like generous 
patronage be extended to them all ; that they be so situ- 
ated as to reconcile local prejudices, and to enlist in their 
favor the pride and interest of the Citizens generally; 
that they also be so conducted as to excite among the 
professors and Students of each Institution a great and 
constant rivalship. I shall decline entering into the de- 
tails of my plan; but on a question in which my Char- 
acter as a Magistrate, a Citizen, and a father I feel so 
lively an interest, I will gladly embrace every opper- 
tunity for an interchange of Sentiments, and of com- 
municating with you individually. 

An important Crisis in our Affairs will soon arrive, 
and I trust in Heaven it may proof propitous to our 
welfare. I am persuaded Gentlemen that the Territory 
of Orleans will be early admitted into the union, as a 
Sister State nor is it at all improbable, but that Congress 
may at their present or ensuing Session, make provision 
for such admission. I am aware that the minds of many 
of our Citizens, are not entirely reconciled to such a 
change of Government ; but whatever objections may ex- 
ist, there is one point of view in which I contemplate 
with pleasure such an event. It will place beyond the 
reach of change our political destinies, and attach for 
ever the Territory of Orleans, hi it* prevent, e.rtoit to 
the American Union. 1 A Union which has established 
and which supports the freedom, the greatness of our 
Country: A Union on the perpetuity of which depends 
the safety, the liberty, the prosperity and happiness of 
ourselves and posterity. 

New Orleans (sgd) William C. C. (laiborne 

Jan: LM). 1S11. 



1 Claiborno rould not at tinu-s divest himself of the fear that Spain 
might regain possession of Louisiana. 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 127 

Answer, 

of the Legislative Council to Governor Claiborne 's 

Speech. 

The Legislative Council have perused with due at- 
tention your Excellency's communication, to both 
Branches of the Legislature. The matter contained 
therein is of a matter highly important to the interest of 
the Country at large. The happy annexation of West 
Florida to this Territory is an event that ought to be re- 
joiced in, by all classes of the Community, as it renders 
our Territory more compact in having the Sovereignty 
on both Banks of the Mississippi, heretofore held by a 
foreign power. The Legislative Council will cheerfully 
cooperate with the other Branches of the Government in 
extending as soon as possible to our newly adopted Fel- 
low Citizens the right of representation in the Terri- 
torial Legislature, upon just and equitable principles. 

The late unfortunate Insurrection among the Slaves 
and the untimely end of some of our fellow Citizens, by 
the unhallowed hands of the desperadoes, and the loss of 
property to Individuals, is a terrible warning to us all 
and doubtless has made a proper impression on the 
minds of our Citizens. This, Sir, proves to us the im- 
perious necessity of a prompt organization and discipline 
of the Militia. That organization is doubtless the sur- 
est means of securing the tranquility of our families, 
and the preservation of our properties. Therefore be- 
side the severe Laws which it may be necessary to enact 
on that subject, we think it desirable that a mode of mil- 
itary instruction should be established, which without 
harrassing the Citizens may accustom them to that dis- 
cipline and order which it is their interest to observe. 
Independently of the means which we may ourselves, and 
at our own expence resort to for the better securing our 
internal and external tranquility in this Territory, we 



128 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

intend to express to the general Government our wish 
that one Regiment of Regular Troops be permanently 
stationed at New Orleans. Such a measure it appears 
to us, would be as well calculated for the safety of the 
Union generally, as for our own. Our Territory owing 
to its situation as a frontier and to other reasons which 
it -would be too long to detail, being more exposed than 
any other part of the United States to external and in- 
ternal dangers. 

We remark with satisfaction that the time is not far 
distant when the Territory with its present boundaries 
is about to take its exalted situation as one of the States 
of Union. This dignified situation Louisianian will ever 
be proud of, in more strongly connecting the bond of 
Union of the great American family. 

It is to be lamented that thus far no plan has been 
fallen on that could be carried into execution for the 
promotion of Education in the Territory, the very Basis 
of a free Government. It is to be hoped that this Ses- 
sion both Branches of the Legislature will unite their 
efforts to carry into execution so laudable and useful an 
Object, as the instruction of the rising generation in our 
own Country, and not to be tributary to Strangers for 
what we can have at home. It is more particularly in- 
teresting at the present moment to form men for the 
purpose of Self Government. 

The Law intended for the Relief of unfortunate and 
honest debtors is very properly commented on by Your 
Excellency. Immediate Legislative Interference is nec- 
essary to establish an uniform System of Bankruptcy 
throughout the Territory to protect the really unfortu- 
nate, but as severely to punish the fraudulent. The 
present Law for the relief of Insolvent debtors has been 
fully proven to be radically bad, and ought to be cut at 
the root, till some better system can be adopted, which 
will claim our earlv attention. The fact is that to our 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORXE. 129 

knowledge but few unfortunate men have had any relief 
from the Law, but in many instances it has been a Shield 
to cover frauds. 

The Legislative Council assure your Excellency that 
they will keep in view and cooperate in any measures 
that may be proposed, that will tend to the true and es- 
sential interest of the Country. 

New Orleans (sgd) Jean Noel Detrehan 

31. Jan : 1811. Pres : Leg : Coun : 



Answer, 

of the House of Representatives to Governor 
Claiborne's Speech. 

To His Excellency William C. C. Claiborne Governor 
of the Territory of Orleans. 

The House of Representatives receives with great 
Satisfaction Your Excellency's communication. 

Its important objects will attract their earliest con- 
sideration, a coincidence of opinion, directed by a com- 
mon solicitude for the public good, will produce the re- 
sults so ardently desired, and so ably recommended. "We 
unite the public congratulations with yours in the event 
which lias extended the wing of the American constitu- 
tion over an adjacent Country, and on the restoration 
of our antient Limits, by its annexation to this Terri- 
tory. 

But one Sentiment pervades us both sincerely re- 
joice in the extension of the Circle of human liberty. Wo 
receive its inhabitants with open arms. The Tie that 
binds us together will be strengthened by the recollec- 
tion, that their destiny is united forever with ours. May 
they find in this Union tranquility and repose, a Solace 
for the anxieties and agitations they have felt during 
their political transitions. We shall avail ourselves of 
the first occasion to manifest to them our Zeal for their 

V 9 



130 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

welfare. Our first care shall be to see them fairly and 
justly represented in our Councils, leaving the organiza- 
tion of their Government to our joint labour and talents. 

The members of the Legislature mingle with the pub- 
lic condolence for the loss of our Citizens who fell a sac- 
rifice to the fury of the Blacks in their recent Insurrec- 
tion, and deeply sympathize in the private afflictions, 
and individual misfortune which mark this melancholy 
event. 

We felicitate ourselves and our fellow Citizens that 
the disaffection was partial, the effort feeble and it sup- 
pression immediate. The example has been terrible as 
the object was sanguinary. Great fidelity lias been 
evinced by the Slaves towards their master in the most 
trying circumstances. A Zeal and spirit worthy the oc- 
casion manifested itself among our Citizens, and Stran- 
gers. 

The Blacks have been taught an important lesson 
their weakness, and we have learned that our Security 
depends on the order and discipline of the Militia. 

"We justly appreciate the conduct of the Military and 
Naval forces of the United States in this quarter, and 
of our Citizens cooperating with them, and emulating 
their generous example. 

"We recur with great pleasure to the promptitude of 
their movements, and the ardor patience and firmness 
with which they sustained the most fatiguing march and 
under the most discouraging Circumstances. 

The House of Representatives will weigh with great 
deliberation the propriety of an indemnification of the 
private losses sustained during this Insurrection, how 
far that Loss ought to be rendered common is a delicate, 
interesting and novel question, aided by the best infor- 
mation and the best examples, they confidently trust 
they will be able to pursue such policy as a liberal and 
enlightened public will approve without suffering per- 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 131 

sonal sympathies of private considerations to influence 
their enquiry. 

Our remote situation from the American People, the 
internal casualties and extensional dangers to which we 
are exposed teach us to look for the means of security. 
Our own Inhabitants will be equal to this object, if or- 
ganized and disciplined under an energetic System. 
Such a System is in the contemplation of the Legisla- 
ture, and we shall avail ourselves of the valuable in- 
formation you have done us the honor to communicate. 

The flourishing condition of our Tresury places in 
our hands a large fund for objects of great public util- 
ity. Among which there are none that have such high 
claims upon public confidence as Institutions of learn- 
ing. On these our patronage will be bestowed. The 
peculiar situation of this Country forces the considera- 
tion of this subject upon us. Independent of its intrin- 
sic merits of which we are justly sensible. 

The other subjects embraced in the wide view Your 
Excellency has taken of this Country, will receive our 
peculiar attention. 

The erection of this Territory in its present extent 
into a State Sovereignty, and its admission into the 
Union, will form an interesting Epoch in the political 
history of this Country. Such an event will not be un- 
pleasing to its inhabitants. It will be received as an- 
other Testimony of the parental care with which the 
American Government has watched over us. 

Feeling that our destiny is interwoven with theirs, 
that a common fate awaits us, we shall cherish the Union 
with a sincere, cordial and permanent attachment. We 
shall cling to it as the Ark of safety. A Union which we 
pra} r God may be as lasting as time. 

(sgd) Maglore Guicliard 
Attest, Speaker of the House of Representatives. 

(sgd) Elija Fromentin C. II. R. 



132 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

Ddctor Flood's Report. 

N. Orleans Jan: 25. 1811 
Sir, 

In compliance with your instructions to me dated 
New Orleans Jan : 5. 1811 I embarked on board the Fel- 
ucca Alligator and proceeded to Simeon Favre's on the 
Eastern bank of Pearl River and delivered him his com- 
mission as Justice of the Peace in and for the Parish of 
Viloxy, a copy of the Civil Code of the Territory and the 
Laws and different Acts of the Legislature. From Pearl 
River I proceeded to the Bay of St. Louis and Pass of 
Christian where I hoisted the Flag of the United States 
on 9th Jan : 1811 at 2 'clock, and filled up a commission 
as Justice of the peace in and for the Parish of Viloxy 
for Philip Saucier delivered him a Copy of the Civil 
Code of the Territory with the Laws and different acts 
of the Legislature. From the Bay of St. Louis and Pass 
of Christian I went to the Bay of Viloxy where I filled 
up a Commission of Justice of the Peace in and for the 
Parish of Viloxy with the name of Jaque L'Adner who 
can neither read nor write, nor can an Inhabitant of the 
Bay of Viloxy, giving him at the same time a Copy of 
the Civil Code of the Territory with the Laws and Acts 
of the Legislature. From the Bay of Viloxy I proceed- 
ed to the Mouth of Pascagoula River where on the morn- 
ing of the 13th of Jan: 1811 I hoisted the flag of the 
United States. At this place I met with several men 
who a few days before had left Depra, I overtook For- 
tescu Coming who had passed on before me distributing 
Copies of the Presidents Proclamation. From Depra 's 
men I learned that all was quiet on the Pascagoula, that 
the flag of the United States was hoisted at Depra 's on 
the 2. Jan : 1811 and thatKemper had dismissed his men 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 133 

after telling them that the object of their association-^ 
was completed, that they were now under the protection 
of the United States to which he strongly and impres- 
sively advised them to pay due allegiance and respect. 1 
Conceiving as I did that Dupra could at no future 
period be so well convinced as at this, of the necessity 
of returning the property which he and his party had 
arrested from innocent people at the Mouth of Pasca- 
goula I concluded that Mr. F. Coming was a proper per- 
son for showing this necessity. I therefore declined 
presenting him with his Commission of Justice of the 
Peace in and for the Parish of Viloxy, but filled up one 
for him as Justice of the Peace for the Parish of Pas- 
cagoula, presenting him with the necessary Laws, in or- 
der that he might proceed up the Pascagoula, and new 
assurances of the determination of the Government of 
the United States, to support the people of that Coun- 
try, and by every means of persuasion and moderation 
to produce a restoration of the property, and correct the 
misunderstanding which existed among some of the In- 
habitants. Finding no person/? able either to read or 
write residing there at the ay or Mouth of the Pasca- 
goula, and the Inhabitants expressing great confidence 
in, and attachment to Geo: Farragout (Sailing master 
in the navy of the United States) I persuaded him for the 
time being to accept of a Commission of Justice of the 
Peace in and for the Parish of Pascagoula, which I ac- 
cordingly filled up, and delivered him the necessary 
Laws. I also filled up a Commission for Benjamin 
Goodin living twenty miles from the mouth of the Pas- 
cagoula as Justice of the Peace in and for the Parish of 
Pascagoula, and delivered him also the necessary Laws. 

1 The conduct of Kemper in connection with the Revolution of West 
Florida has been misunderstood by more than one commentator. He 
was a patriotic revolutionist and not a brieand. 



134 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

My proceedings to the Bayou Batin appeared unneces- 
sary as it is only the residence of one small family. I 
however put under charge of Mr. Morrison formerly of 
the United States Navy a flag with instructions to hoist 
it at the residence of the Person at Bayou Batin and 
leave it under his care. 

The whole population of the Parish of Viloxy from 
the best information I could collect may be estimated 
at four hundred and twenty, that of the Parish of Pas- 
cagoula, three hundred and fifty principally french, and 
Natives of Louisiana, a people more innocent and less 
offending than I ever say. They seem to regard noth- 
ing but the immediate necessaries for the support of life, 
and are much pleased at being attached to and protected 
by the United States. How sensibly have I been im- 
pressed with the advantages that part of Louisiana 
which has lately been taken possession of) is to the U. 
States and particularly to the Inhabitants of the lower 
part of the Mississippi. 

The high sandy Soil covered with pine and the beau- 
tiful Bays and Rivers which empty into the Sea from 
Lake Ponchartrain to the Bay of Mobile, seem to prom- 
ise full recompence for the unhealthiness of the Climate 
of New Orleans. 1 It is my Opinion in a military point 
of view for protection to the Country, and ensuring 
health to the Officer and the Soldier, the Pass of Chris- 
tian and Mouth of Pascagoula cannot be surpassed nor 
equalled either in the Mississippi Territory or that of 
Orleans. 

With great respect &c &c 

(sgd) AVilliam Flood 
His Excellency 

W. C. C. Claiborne 

1 This beautiful coast country of Missisippi is very generally used by 
the people of New Orleans for summer homes. 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 135 

To the Secretary of State. 

N. Orleans January 30. 1811. 
Sir, 

A Gentleman who left the Fort of Mobile on the 25th 
Instant reports that the Spaniards remained in the Fort, 
and evidenced no disposition to evacuate. 

Having heard various rumours of an expected rein- 
forcement at Pensacola and of the probability of Gover- 
nor Folch's passing the Perdido with a Spanish force or 
attempting to strengthen the Garrison of Mobile I have 
addressed a Letter Genl. Hampton upon the subject of 
which the enclosed is a Copy. I hope the ground I have 
taken will meet your approbation. 
The Honble. I have the honor &c &c 

Mr. Smith sgd. W. C. C. Claiborne 

Sec: State 

P. S. The last letter I received from the Department 
of State was under date of the - 

W. C. C. C. 



To Genl. Thomas. 

X. Orleans Jan: 30. 1811 
Dear Sir, 

I have received your letter of the 16th Instant. 

Several copies of the Civil Code and of the other 
Laws of the Territory have been sent to the Judge of 
the Parish of East Baton Rouge with instructions to 
distribute them among the several Justices of the Peace 
and of course you will be furnished with a Copy. 

The discontents in your vicinity afford me sincere 
regret. As relates to the Militia Officers I have commis- 
sioned none others in your Parish except a Colonel and 
one Major nor shall I appoint Company Officers until 



136 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

the Company Districts are laid out, and I acquire such 
information of the Citizens generally as may enable me 
to select the most deserving characters. 

The late insurrection among the Slaves in the County 
of German Coast, induced me to order Militia Patroles 
in most of the Parishes But this Insurrection being 
quelled my orders to the several Colonels of Militia, will 
now be revoked, and the patrole service will be left to the 
direction of the Civil Authority of the several Parishes. 1 

The first wish of my heart is to see harmony and 
good will prevail throughout the Territory, and I am 
persuaded that you will unite your efforts with mine, to 
check those little dissentions which have unfortunately 
arrisen at Baton Rouge. 

The last accounts left the Spaniards in possession 
of the Fort of Mobile ; but I trust in Heaven that orders 
to dispossess them may soon reach me. 

The Legislature of the Territory is in Session and 
far as I can learn a sincere disposition exists to do what- 
ever the interest of the good people of Feliciana may 
advise. 

I should always be happy to hear from you, and to 
have the benefit of your opinion upon such subjects, as 
may be interesting to my fellow Citizens. 

I am Dr. Sir, c &c 
Genl. Thomas. AV. C. C. Claiborne 



To William Herries Esqr. 

X. Orleans Jan: 30. 1811 
oir. 

Your letter of the 26th instant lias been received. 
I well recollect the Bayou to which you allude, and think 
the public convenience would be greatly benefitted by a 
permanent Bridge over the same. 

1 Sixty-six slaves were killed, some were hanged, and sixteen sent to 
New Orleans for trial. 



LETTER BOOKS OF \V. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 137 

I am not vested with authority to decide on the val- 
idity of the privilege granted you by the Spanish Gov- 
ernment ; But it seems to me the best course which you 
could now take would be to petition the Legislature of 
the Territory (at present in Session) for permission to 
erect a Toll Bridge over the Bayou in question. I am 
persuaded it will be readily granted you. 

I am Sir &c &c 
William Herries Esqr. (sgd) TV. C. C. Claiborne 



To Commodore Shaiv. 

New Orleans Jan : 31. 1811 
Sir, 

The enclosed Copy of a letter which I have addressed 
to Genl. Hampton, will inform you of my determination 
to oppose the passage of the Kiver Perdedo by a Span- 
ish force, and in what point of view I shall consider an 
attempt on the part of Governor Folch to strengthen the 
Garrison at Mobile. As it is not improbable therefore 
but that things may so eventuate as to require the active 
services of the Naval force on this Station, permit me to 
suggest the propriety of the armed Brig Siren being or- 
dered to some point in or near the Bay Mobile. 

I am Sir &c &c 
Comore. Shaw (sgd) TV. C. C. Claiborne 



Message to the Assembly. 

Gentlemen of the Legislative Council and of the House 

of Representatives 

I now have the honor to lay before you, Copies of 
the several Ordinances, establishing the Countv of Felic- 



138 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

iana, and the parishes of East Baton Rouge, Feliciana, 
St. Helena, St. Tammany, Viloxy and Pascagoula. 
New Orleans (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 

Jan: 31. 1811 



To James Nelson Esqre. 

N. Orleans Jan: 31. 1811. 
Dear Sir, 

I thank you for your letter of the 18th Instant. It 
gives me much useful information on subjects of great 
public interest, and shall be transmitted to the ITonble. 
the Secretary of the Treasury. 

I am sorry to hear of the discontent which exists 
among the Militia of your Parish ; but I hope it will soon 
cease and harmony and good will be restored. 

Present my best wishes to Your Lady and family. 

I am Sr. Sir &c 
Jas. Nelson Esqre. (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborno 



To Col: Fulton. 

N. Orleans Jan: 31. 181.1. 
Dear Sir, 

The Adjutant General will write you officially by this 
days Mail, on public business. I have only time to in- 
form you that I have mentioned young Mr. Grand-Prie 
to Comore. Shaw, who will receive him in the Navy, as 
an acting Midshipman, until a Warrant can be obtained 
from the President. Mr. Grand Prie had therefore best 
repair immediately to New Orleans and enter into the 
Service. I will remember the other Brother and will 
serve him if in my power. 

I am Dr. Sir, &c c 
Col: Fulton (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORXE. 139 

Circular 

To Mr. F. Skipwith and Doctr. SteeJe. 

N. Orleans Jan: 31. 1811 
oir, 

The House of Representatives passed on Yesterday a 
Law giving to the County of Feliciana six Representa- 
tives to the General Assembly, but having understood 
that the Council would probably not be disposed to act 
upon the subject, until they were informed as to the pop- 
ulation of the County generally, and of the parishes re- 
spectively, I must beg of you the favor to furnish me by 
the return Mail with such information upon the subject 
as you may be possessed of. 

I am I believe accurately advised as to the number of 
Inhabitants in Viloxy and Pascagoula, but am not so 
well informed as to the population in East Baton Rouge, 
Feliciana, St. Helena, & St. Tammany. 

I am Sir, &c &c 
Messrs. Skipwith & Steele, (Sgd- W. C. C. Claiborne. 



Circular 

To Messrs. Rliea and Johnson. 

Sir X. Orleans Jan. 31. 1811 

I have heard with sincere regret that in laying out 
the Parish of Feliciana, I have greatly curtailed its an- 
cient limits, and subjected many Citizens to inconven- 
ience by placing them within the Bounds of the Parish 
of East Baton Rouge. Will you be pleased to furnish 
me with your Sentiments upon this Subject. In pi-e- 
scribing the Bounds of Parishes, my sole object was to 
consult the convenience of the Inhabitants; and if un- 
fortunately that end has not been attained wo must en- 



140 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

deavour to correct the wrong as soon as may be prac- 
ticable. 

I am Sir &c &c 
(sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 
Messrs. Bhea & Johnson 



To the Secretary of the Treasury. 

New Orleans Feb : 1. 1811 
Sir, 

I enclose for your perusal a letter addressed to me 
by Mr. Nelson of Baton Rouge, from which you will per- 
ceive the solicitude of our newly adopted Citizens for the 
confirmation of certain titles to land called Grand-Pries 
titles. Previous to the Government making any dispo- 
sition of the lands in Baton Rouge, permit me to suggest 
the expediency of the Governor of the Territory, being 
instructed to call upon the Inhabitants respectively, to 
present to him (or to persons designated by him) a State- 
ment in writing of the nature and extent of their claims ; 
and to make to you Sir a general report upon the sub- 
ject. This was done in the Mississippi Territory under 
the orders of the Secretary of State; and I have reason 
to believe was attended with beneficial effects. 

As to the Debts of the Florida Government alluded to 
by Mr. Nelson. I wish some means of discharging them 
could ])e devised; it would afford a great and general 
satisfaction. 

I sincerely hope my estimate of the contingent ex- 
pences of my Department may be allowed by Congress. 
T declare to you Sir that my time is wholly occupied, in 
Official Duties, and that constant employment is fur- 
nished for two clerks. The new acquisition grently in- 
creases my labors, and particularly my official Corre- 
spondence. It seems to me Hint (iovernors of Terri- 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORXE. 141 

tories should possess the privilege of franking letters. I 
think it very probable that the Postage on letters ad- 
dressed to me, since the 10th of December will amount 
to $60 or $70 ; and with the exception of perhaps five or 
six, these letters are entirely on public business, or con- 
taining enquiries of the Climate, Soil, &c of the Terri- 
tory. 
The Honble. I am Sir &c &c 

Mr. Gallatin (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 

Sec: Treasury 



To Mr. Gallatin. 

Private, 

New Orleans Feb : 1. 1811 
Dear Sir, 

left this a few days since for Baton Rouge, 
accompanied by - . It is now reported by friends 
of - - that - - has made of him an extensive pur- 
chase of Lands; and among other Tracts the place 
called . 

The day previous to the - -'s leaving the City he 
gave me to understand, that Mr. - - was to accom- 
pany him and supposing it probable, that a landed nego- 
tiation between them might be the result of their Voy- 
age, I took occasion to say to the - - that the title 
to the greater part of the - - Tract was considered by 
the Secretary of the Treasury as imperfect. 

The consideration money to be paid by - is 

stated to be - - thousand dollars, one - - thous- 
and in cash, and the balance in one and two years. 

Mr. - - talks of setting out in a few days for the 
Seat of Government, and will carry with him much po- 
litical hostility towards me. I do not know the cause, 
unless it be a wish on his jjart to rise upon my ruin; and 



142 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

to effect that ruin himself and his partizans, during my 
late absence from the Territory, were busily employed. 
The Honble. I am Dr. Sir, &c &c, 

Mr. Gallatin, (sgd) , \V. C. C. Claiborne 



Private Letter to Mr. Duralde Senr. 

N. Orleans Feb: 1. 1811 
My dear Sir, 

To Mr. Clay who will hand you this letter I must re- 
fer you for the news of this City. He will inform you 
particularly of the rise, progress and termination of 
the Insurrection among the Negroes on the German 
Coast. This affair gave me much trouble ; but I am more 
than compensated by the consciousness I feel that I faith- 
fully discharged my duty; and contributed in some de- 
gree to the safety of the Territory. 

The enclosed Copy of my Discourse to the Legisla- 
ture, will furnish you with the view, I have taken of our 
public affairs; and the measures which the general in- 
terest seemed to me to recommend. As relates to Flor- 
ida things there are in as happy a state, as I could well 
expect and there is every reason to believe, that the tak- 
ing possession of the Country, AVest of the Perdedo, by 
the American Government will give offence to no foreign 
nation. From Havannah I have received information 
that no hostile disposition towards the American Govern- 
ment is felt by the Govr. Genl. of Cuba, and that the at- 
tention of the people of that Island is drawn towards 
there own safety. Inu Mexico also the Inhabitants are 
wholly occupied in their own affairs; in that quarter a 
general Spirit for change & -Revolution has manifested 
itself. A civil war rages and all the horrors of the times 
of Cortez are revived! How happy has been our Des- 
tiny! How much cause have we to return thanks to 
Heaven, for the Peace & prosperity which it has permit- 



LETTER BOOKS OF \V. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 143 

ted us to enjoy ! But enough of politicks ; I pass now to 
the dearest object of my affections. How does my dear 
little Son do? Every thing relating to him is most in- 
teresting to me. Would to God I could see him fre- 
quently ! He would be the solace of my heart ! But his 
presence tends to the happiness of yourself and my es- 
teemed mother, to promote which will always be to me a 
most pleasing duty. 

I come now to touch upon a subject which I sincerely 
hope may meet your approbation. 

Your son Martin Duralde has been made by the Presi- 
dent of the United States Marshal of the Territory. It 
is a most honorable trust and always confered on the 
most deserving Citizens. In the U. S. there is no Office 
more sought after, nor is there and Officer more respect- 
ed than a Marshal. The Office in this Territory is un- 
questionably worth from fifteen hundred to two thousand 
dollars; and I believe much more. The duties also are 
not difficult to discharge; and as relates to the responsi- 
bility, an honest man on that account lias nothing to fear. 

I entreat you to interest yourself with Duralde to ac- 
cept. He is capable and will receive further patronage 
if he embraces the present occasion to place himself in a 
situation to improve his mind. The Marshal need not 
reside permanently in New Orleans. On the contrary lie 
may without injury to the public Service pass one half 
of his time at your House, and I shall most earnestly 
intreat him to do so. 

Mr. Clay rides one of my horses and has the care 
also of my bridle and saddle ; and I must beg the favor of 
Duralde to bring the horse, saddle and bridle down for 
me. 

Present me affectionately to my Mother and to my 
esteemed Julia. Kiss for me again and again my dear 
little William and believe me to be &c &c 

(sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 



144 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

To the Secretary of State. 

N. Orleans Feb: 3.1811. 
Sir, 

I have the honor to enclose you Copies (No. 1 & 2) 
of the Answer of the Legislative Council and of the 
House of Representatives of this Territory to my Com- 
munication of the 29th Ultimo, as also a Copy of a letter 
(No. 3) addressed to me from Havannah, under date of 
the 10th of January. 

Genl. Hampton has not yet returned from Baton 
Rouge. Affairs at Mobile remain in the same unsettled 
State, as when I last wrote you. 

Dupree's party (of which I have already advised 
you) continues to disturb the peaceful and unoffending 
Citizens. My presence in that quarter would I am per- 
suaded be useful but I cannot without injury to the pub- 
lic interest withdraw myself from the Legislature. 
Should however the taking possession of Mobile be di- 
rected, I shall deem it my duty to be near the scene of 
action. 

I am Sir &c &c 

Sec: State (signed) W. C. C. Claiborno 

P. S. The enclosed marked (A) is a Copy of my Ordi- 
nance extending the limits of the Parish of Pascagoula to 
the Rio Peno or Dog River. 

W. C. C. C. 



To Judge Osbornc. 

N. Orleans Fob: (i. 1811 
Sir, 

I have the honor to enclose you a Copy of an Act 
providing "for the election of Representatives from the 
Country between the Territories of Mississippi and Or- 
leans and between the Rivers Mississippi and Perdedo 



LETTER BOOKS OF \V. C. C. CLAIBOTHSTE. 145 

to the General Assembly of the Territory of Orleans", 
together with several printed Copies of my writ of Elec- 
tion, for the Parishes of St. Helena and St. Tammany, 
which last you will be pleased to have extensively cir- 
culated. The acts of the Legislature relating to elec- 
tions you will find on pages 78 & 174 of the printed vol- 
ume of the statutes of the Territory. 

For the information of the people I have thought 
proper to add, to my writ of election such clauses of the 
Ordinance of Congress for the Government of his Terri- 
tory, as prescribes the qualifications of a Representa- 
tive, and of a voter. 

I am Sir &c &c 
W. C. C. Claiborne 
The Honble. Judge Osborne 

P. S. I enclose you also a copy of the constitution of 
the United States, and the ordinance and other Acts of 
Congress, for the Government of the Territory of Or- 
leans. 

W. C. C. C. 



To Mr. Gallatin. 
Private, 

N. Orleans Fob: 7. 1811. 
Dear Sir, 

- has returned to this City, and contradicts 
the report (mentioned to you in my last letter) of his 
having purchased - -'s landed estates in this Terri- 
tory. It is understood that an Agreement between them 
had at one time taken place but from some subsequent 
misunderstanding as to the Terms it was agreed to can- 
cel the same. 

Things at Mobile remain in the same situation as at 
the date of my last letter. 

v 10 



146 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

The Legislature of the Territory have passed a Law 
authorizing the Inhabitants of the County of Feliciana, 
(that is to say the latley acquired Territory) to send five 
Eepresentatives, to the General Assembly and the elec- 
tion is to take place on the 21st Instant. 

The Legislative Council and House of Representa- 
tives in their answer to my address express their satis- 
faction at the prospect of this Territory being erected 
into a State. 

The Honble. I am Dr. Sir &c &c 

The Sec: Treasury. sgd W. C. C. Claiborne 



To the Secretary of State. 

N. Orleans Feb : 7. 1811. 
Sir, 

The Legislature of this Territory passed an Act on 
the 5th Instant, giving to the Inhabitants of the County 
of Feliciana the privilege of sending five Representa- 
tives to the General Assembly, and on yesterday I issued 
Writs of Election to be holden in the several Parishes 
within the County of Feliciana, on thursday the 21st of 
the present Month February and the two following days. 
The State of things at Mobile remains in the same 
situation as at the date of my last letter. 
The Honble. I am Sir, &c &c 

Mr. Smith (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 

Sec: State 



To the Secretary at War. 

N. Orleans Feb: 8. 1811. 
Sir, 

I have the honor to enclose you a duplicate 1 Copy of 
my letter of the 20th of January. The charge exhibited 
for the hire of Carts, horses c for the use of the Militia 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 147 

during the late insurrection have been exorbitant; and 
the amount of provisions furnished is greater than I had 
anticipated. I suspect the whole expenditure may be 
about two thousand six hundred dollars. I had not time 
to make economical arrangements. Indeed the safety 
of the Territory and the lives and property of the Citi- 
zens depended upon prompt movements ; and I shall com- 
mence the payment of these accounts on tomorrow, or 
next day; and to enable me to do so I shall draw Bills 
upon you, which I pray may be duly honored. 
The Honble. I am Sir &c &c 

Mr. Eustice W. C. C. Claiborne 

Sec. War. 



To Genl. Hampton. 

X. Orleans Feb : 8. 1811. 
Sir, 

I now have the honor in conformity to my promise 
to enclose you a copy of an Ordinance passed on the 
26th ultimo, by which it is declared that the Rio Peno or 
Dog River shall be the Eastern boundary of the Parish 
of Pascagoula. That River in its course passes within 
three miles of the Fort of Mobile ; and discharges itself 
into the Bay about nine Miles below. Immediately at 
the point of junction with the Bay, has been suggested 
to me as a desirable Scite for a military post. The ad- 
jacent Land is said to be somewhat elevated, and to com- 
mand a view of the Vessels passing to and from Mobile. 

Whilst the Spanish Troops are permitted to occupy 
the Town of Mobile, I do not think it prudent to leave 
the Parish of Pascagoula wholly unprotected; and I 
therefore Sir submit to you the expediency of Stationing 
some where near the Eastern limit of that Parish a mili- 
tary force perhaps on further enquiry the point of June- 



148 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

tion of Dog River With the Bay may not be found the 
most elgible position. But there is one circumstance in 
its favor, which will I am sure have great weight. It 
can be approached (I am told) by our Gun Boats, which 
in many points of view may prove highly beneficial. 

I am Sir &c &c 
Genl. Hampton (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To Colonel Pike. 

N. Orleans Feb: 8. 1811. 
Dear Sir, 

I have received your letter of the third Instant. It 
gives me pleasure to find that Genl. Hampton is friendly 
towards you. Previously to his leaving New Orleans for 
Baton Rouge he often mentioned you in conversation, 
and always with great respect. 

There were I suspect Individuals who laboured to 
prejudice Hampton against me; but I persuade myself 
that that good understanding which at present exists be- 
tween us, will continue. 

I think very favorably of Major Milton and were he 
to settle in this Territory, I should certainly be disposed 
to serve him. The person holding the Office of Post Mas- 
ter at Baton Rouge, was recommended to me by several 
respectable Citizens of that vicinity, as a Man or hon- 
esty probity and good demeanour, and that recommenda- 
tion has been forwarded to the Post Master General. 

I have no late intelligence from Washington. At tin- 
date of my last letter it was believed that a great ma- 
jority of Congress would approve the Conduct of the 
President in relation to Florida: and that the Territory 
of Orleans would be admitted into the Union as a mem- 
ber State As to the State of our foreign relations, I am 
at present uninformed. My impression is that the tak- 
ing possession of Florida, will give great displeasure to 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 149 

England and Spain ; but whether they will be disposed on 
that account to hostilities entirely depends in my opin- 
ion upon the success of Bonaparte in Portugal and Spain. 

I am Dr. Sir &c &c 
Col: Pike. (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To Judge Rhea. 

N. Orleans Feb: 8. 1811. 
Sir, 

The form of the Bond enclosed in your letter of the 
29th Ultimo, is correct and the Securities are approved. 
In my opinion it is proper that you should decline giv- 
ing final judgment in any Civil Actions, until the Legis- 
lature shall by Law make provision for appeal from the 
decision of the Parish Courts of Feliciana a provision 
which already exists as relates to Parish Courts in 
every other part of the Territory. My impression how- 
ever is that no exception can be taken to the immideate 
exercise of such other authority as is vested in you by 
the Laws of the Territory. 

I fear that in prescribing the limits of the Parishes 
of East Baton Rouge and Feliciana my only object (the 
public convenience) has not been attained; and if so I 
hope the Legislature will correct my error. My writs 
of Election for East Baton Rouge and Feliciana were 
forwarded to you on yesterday. 
The Honbl. I am Sir &c &c 

Judge Rhea (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 



Private, to John H. Johnson Esqre. 
Dear gir> N. Orleans Feb: 8. 1811. 

I have received your letter of the 2nd Instant. So 
soon as the Legislature lias created a circuit Court for 
the District of Baton Rouge, you will be offered the ap- 
pointment of District Sheriff, for I am assured you 



150 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

would discharge the duties of that Office, with credit to 
yourself and great fidelity to the public. 

I find hower that a project exists to annex the Par- 
ishes of East Baton Rouge and Feliciana to the Circuit 
Court of Pointe Coupee; but I presume nothing defi- 
nitively will be done until your representatives take their 
Seats in the Legislature. My wish is that the Parishes 
of East Baton Rouge, Feliciana, St. Helena and St. Tam- 
many shall form a seperate Circuit District; and such 
an arrangement will I hope be proposed by the Repre- 
sentatives from these Parishes. 

You will have seen before this reaches you my writ 
of Election. Perhaps it would have been best to have 
named a more remote period for the Election. But I 
deemed it of great importance to the good People of 
Feliciana to be represented in the present General As- 
sembly. I persuade myself that the Citizens of your 
district will on this occasion, make a judicious choice. 

Accept my best wishes &c &c 
Jno: H. Johnson Esqre. (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 



A Proclamation 

By William Charles Cole Claiborne Governor of the 
Territory of Orleans 

To all who shall see these presents but more particu- 
larly to the Sheriff of the first Superior Court District. 

Be it know that virtue of the powers in me vested; 
I do hereby order an direct, that the execution of the 
Sentence pronounced against a negroe man named Theo- 
dore, who has been duly convicted of the Offence of In- 
surrection, be suspended until the first friday in the 
Month of March next. 

Given under my hand &c, at &c, this 12th day of 
February 1811. 
[L. S.] (Signed) William C. C. Claiborne 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 151 

Message 

Gentlemen of the Legislative Council and of the House 
of Representatives 

In conformity to your request I transmitted to Mr. 
Jefferson late President of the United States under 
cover of a letter bearing date the 1st Feb: 1810, your 
Resolutions entered into on the 19th day of the preced- 
ing month, expressive of a high sense of his "long, faith- 
ful, and important public Services', and of a grateful 
recollection of his "interference in the case of Batture". 
A copy of my letter & of one from Mr. Jefferson, in 
reply, which was received during your late recess, I now 
have the honor to lay before you. The perusal of Mr. 
Jefferson's letter will be the more pleasing; since it fur- 
nishes a concise but satisfactory view of the just consid- 
erations, which produced his interposition in the par- 
ticular case alluded to by the Legislature. 1 

The preservation of the Batture Gentlemen as a pub- 
lic Common, is not only "an object of public utility, but 
of national justice"; nor do I doubt but that such will 
be the final disposition made of it by the Congress of 
the United States, who manifest in all their Acts, a de- 
votion to the general interests of the nation. 
New Orleans (sgd) William C. C. Claiborne 

Feb : 12. 1811. 



To Josiah S. Johnson Esqre. 

N. Orleans Feb : 13. 1811. 
Sir, 

I am informed by your letter of the 12th Instant, of 
the seizure and imprisonment at Pensacola of Mr. Cyrus 

1 For items on the Batture Case see Ford's Works of Thomas Jeffer- 
son. 



152 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

Sibley, the Nephew of Doctor Sibley of Nachitoches ; and 
I notice with pleasure the interest you take, in behalf of 
this young man, whom it is believed has committed no of- 
fence against the Government and Laws of Spain. 

I shall avail myself of the first occasion to enquire 
of Governor Folch (by letter) the cause of Mr. Sibley 's 
arrest^ and if his answer should be such to justify an 
opinion that Mr. Sibley is wrongfully detained in Cus- 
tody, you may be assured that I shall make such repre- 
sentations upon the subject as the nature of the case re- 
quires ; and my duty enjoins. 

I am Sir &c &c 
Josiah S. Johnson Esq. (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To tlie Secretary at War. 

New Orleans Feb: 13. 1811 
Sir, 

To meet the expences of supplies furnished the mil- 
itia who were ordered into the Service of the United 
States, during the late Insurrection among the Negroes 
in this Territory, I have this day drawn upon you for 
two thousand five hundred dollars, payable at ten days 
sight to Mr. Benjamin Morgan or order. The accounts 
& vouchers will be sent you as soon as possible the 
payments will be made under my orders by my friend 
Mr. Geo. AV. Morgan (a very correct Accountant), and 
as soon as completed a statement will be forwarded you. 
Perhaps the amount may be somewhat more than the 
money now drawn for; but I am not without hopes that 
it will be less. I shall observe the greatest economy, 
and will admit no account, that 1 can with justice refuse. 

T must confess Sir. tliat this Bill is drawn upon yon 

J ' See Kemper's invasion of Mobile, Encyclopedia of Mississippi 
History, Vol. II, p. 270. 



LETTER BOOKS OF \V. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 153 

with sincere regret, since I am not possessed of your pre- 
vious authority; but the nature of the charge, the press- 
ing demand of the claimants, will be received I hope as 
my apology. 
The Honble. I am Sir c &c 

Mr. Eustise (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 

Sec : War. 



To Genl. Hampton 

N. Orleans Feb : 14. 1811 
Dear Sir, 

Your letter of the 10th enclosing one to you from Mr. 
McCall of Georgia has been received. Should Mr. McCall 
take up his residence in this Country, I certainly shall be 
disposed to be friendly towards him. Citizens of his 
Character will be a great acquisition to the Territory. 

I am Dr. Sir, &c &c 
Genl. Hampton. (signed) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To Genl. W. Hampton 

N. Orleans Feb: 14. 1811 
Sir, 

I am honored with the receipt of your letter of the 9th 
instant, enclosing a Copy of your instructions to Col: 
Gushing founded as you inform me on my requisition. I 
did not design that my communications to you of the 8th 
of this month should be considered in the light of a re- 
qusition it grew out of a conversation we had a few days 
previously, on the subject to which it alluded and was 
written under an impression, that the contents would 
meet your approbation. 

The Country from Dog River to the Perdido a dis- 
tance I suspect of thirty or forty miles has not yet been 



154 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

taken possession of, and I therefore do not consider the 
power vested in me by the President's Proclamation of 
the 27th of October or my authority to call upon the Com- 
manding Officer of the Troops for military aid as being 
at an end. 

In suggesting the expediency of establishing a post 
on Dog River, I had not in view the suppression of disor- 
der among the Citizens ; for it is believed there are very 
settlers on its Eastern bank; nor had I understood that 
they had manifested any symptoms of opposition to the 
Laws ; but my objects were to guard against the Spanish 
force, at Mobile attempting to encroach on the District 
included within the Parish of Pascagoula; and further 
that a position should be assumed, which would enable 
you to act more immediately against Mobile when orders 
to that effect were received. But of this you will certain- 
ly be the better enabled to judge when you shall be furn- 
ished with the report of Col : Gushing, who will write 
under the advantages of local information. 

You were not correct in beleiving that I am destitute 
of military rank. The Ordinance and Acts of Congress, 
give to Governors of Territories, iciihin the limits of 
their jurisdiction, a respectable military rank; nor has it 
been unusual for the President to delegate to them (thro' 
the Sec: at War) military powers: But I shall dwell no 
longer on this subject. On two points I am assured we 
shall always be in unison, and these are a sincere disposi- 
tion to provide for the safety of the Territory, now oc- 
cupied; and to obtain possession of the Tract extending 
to the Uerdido, as soon as the orders of the Government 
will permit; nor do I doubt Sir but that to this end you 
will make a proper disposition of the force under your 
Command. 

I am Sir &c &c 
Genl. Hampton (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 



vLETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 155 

To the Secretary of State 

New Orleans Feb: 15. 1811 
Sir, 

A few days since, I stated to you a Eeport that had 
reached me of the resignation of Mr. Tully Eobinson, the 
Attorney for this District; and took the liberty to add, 
that if a Successor to Mr. Eobinson, was selected from 
among the Citizens of this Territory, Mr. John E. Grymes 
was in my Opinion best entiled to the confidence of the 
President. 

I have now the pleasure to enclose you a testimonial 
of Mr. Grymes merit. The Signatures of the letter ad- 
dressed to me, are those of our most respectable Citizens. 
Mr. Thos. H. Williams is the Collector of the District, 
and Mr. Croudson the Naval Officer. Mr. Urquhart was 
late Speaker of the House of Eepresentatives ; and is 
now a member of the Legislative Council. Mr. Mather 
is Mayor of the City ; and Mr. Trudeau a Eepresentative 
in the Genl. Assembly of the Territory. Mr. Duncan is a 
distinguished Lawyer ; and Messrs. Morgan Saul and the 
other Signers, are worthy members of Society; and 
whose favourable impressions of Mr. Grymes, tend to 
confirm me in the good opinion I have formed of him. 
The Honble. I am Sir &c &c 

Mr. Smith (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 

Sec : State. 



To the Secretary of State 

New Orleans Feb : 15. 1811. 
Sir, 

The enclosed (Nos. 1. 2. & 3) are copies of letters 
which have recently passed between Genl. Hampton and 
myself. We do not entirely agree as to the powers and 



156 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

authority with which I am invested under the President's 
Proclamation of the 27th of October last ; and the orders 
of the Sec : at War of the same date, but the public inter- 
est will not on that account receive injury. There exists 
between us a friendly understanding ; and I feel assured, 
that when the occasion demands, we shall cordially and 
zealously cooperate in all measures for the public safety. 
The llonble. I am Sir c &c 

Sec: State. (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 

The above letter having been presented to Genl. 
Hampton at his request for perusal, he subjoined the fol- 
lowing remarks: 

His Excellency the Governor has had the goodness, to 
send this letter for my inspection. It is true we do not 
agree in our ideas as relates, to what I conceive to be my 
military rights ; but in the desire to promote the interest 
of the Country; and the honor of its Government it is 
impossible for us to differ. We have witnessed together 
an interesting Crisis, if not suffered to pass away in a 
controversy about Military ettiquette. In a work I am 
prepared to make for my Country every sacrifice, but 
that of my honor, and that I trust will not be pressed 
upon me. Upon this subject the honble. the Sec : at War 
is apprized of my Sentiments. 

W. Hampton; 

And then Governor Claiborne added the following post- 
srip: 

P. S. I really consider the point of difference between 
the Genl. and myself of little importance. If I am not 
mistaken it turns upon this Question, how far I have au- 
thority to make of him a requisition ; and to designate a 
position within West Florida, as proper to be occupied, 
by the forces under his Command. I have thought myself 
that until the whole of the Country pointed out, in the 
President's Proclamation was taken possession of, that 
I had the right to designate such a position but the point 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORXE. 157 

lias not been insisted on, and shall for the future be wav- 
ed. No man is more indifferent to military etiquette 
than myself nor is there the smallest disposition on my 
part to trespass on the "rights" of others. 

I am assured of the General's devotion to his Coun- 
try's welfare; I can bear testimony to his very meritor- 
ious conduct, during the Crisis (the late insurrection) to 
which he alludes. 

signed - - W. C. C. Claiborne 



To Mr. Sterling Duprie 

N. Orleans Feb : 16. 1811. 
Sir, 

I have received information that you still hold sub- 
ject to your orders, the men whom you embodied, under 
the authority of the late Florida Convention; and that 
you & they continue to depredate on the property of the 
good people of the Parish of Pascagoula. As it is pos- 
sible that this conduct may proceed from a mistaken idea, 
of the State of the Government of West Florida at this 
time, and an ignorance of the illegality of your proceed- 
ings; I have thought proper before a resort is had, to 
more rigorous measures, to make this communication, 
requiring you to disperse the men that you have assembl- 
ed, and to advise and request you to restore to those of 
whom you have taken any property, as much thereof, as 
you have it in your power now to surrender. 

I am Sir, &c &c 
Mr. Sterling Duprie sg. W. C. C. Claiborne 



Circular, 
Dr Sir New Orleans Feb : 18. 1811 

I sincerely hope previous to the rising of Congress, 
that authority may be given the President to remove by 
force, the Spanish Garrison at Mobile. If indeed there be 



158 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

a foreign power disposed to resent the taking possession 
of Florida by the United States enough has already been 
done to serve as a pretext for the commencement of hos- 
tilities. 

I am happy to find that this Territory is likely to be 
admitted into the Union as a Sister State; I do not be- 
lieve Sir, that the Government has anything to appre- 
hend from the population of this District; on the con- 
trary I shall be greatly disappointed, if the politicks of 
the New State are not found to be in unison, with the 
principles of the present administration; I could have 
wished that our Eastern Limits could have extended to 
the Perdedo; but it is probable that under existing cir- 
cumstances, Congress will deem it most expedient to an- 
nex Florida to the Mississippi Territory, or to erect it 
into a separate Territorial Government. 1 In this latter 
event there will no doubt be several applicants for the 
Office of Governor: But permit me Sir to mention to 
you the name of a Gentleman of talents and merit, who 
would discharge with credit to himself and fidelity to the 
Country the duties of that office ; I allude to Col : Zebulon 
Pike, of the Army now in Command at Baton Rouge. 
He is a native of the State of New Jersey ; the Son of an 
Old Revolutionary Officer, whose integrity, valor and 
seventy six principles, he has inherited. 

T heard two days since that the Attorney for this Dis- 
trict Mr. Tully Robinson, had resigned. Mr. John R. 
Grymes late of Virginia but for the last three Years an 
Inhabitant of New Orleans has been recommended to 
the President as his Successor. Mr. Grymes' talents are 
highly respectable, and such has been his political course 
here, as to interest in his favour, such of the Citizens of 



1 This movement to form another Territory had little support, and 
was abandoned. 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 159 

Orleans, as are in my opinion the best supporters of the 
present administration. 

I am Dr. Sir, &c &c 
To Mr.- (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 

Message 

Gentlemen of the Legislative Council and of the House 
of Representatives. 

I now lay before you a report which has been made to 
me, by the Judge of the Parish of St. John Baptiste, in 
conformity to a late Resolution of the Legislature. 
New Orleans (sgd) William C. C. Claiborne 

Feb: 20. 1811 



To the Secretary of State 

New Orleans February 20. 1811. 
Sir, 

The enclosed paragraph taken from the National In- 
telligencer, has given offence to Mr. Skipwith who is now 
in this City. He and his friends seem to think it is a 
literal extract from my Official Correspondence with 
your Department; and Mr. Skipwith 's vindication of 
himself and his fellow Citizens will I am told be soon 
published. 

My Official letters to you Sir, furnished a statement 
of facts, which it was my duty to communicate; and as 
relates to Mr. Skipwith it was not in saying any thing 
of him that was untrue, but in not having detailed more 
minutely, all the information I received at St. Francis- 
ville of his sentiments and views. Of the correct course 
of conduct which Mr. Skipwith afterwards observed at 
Baton Rouge, I did not fail fully to aprize you and gave 
him on the occasion as much credit as he was entitled to. 
In a letter I had the honor to address you from Point 
Coupie under date of the of December, I stated that 



160 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

one of the Deserters, in the Fort had been promoted to 
the rank of a Lieutenant. This was incorrect and my 
informant mistaken. The Officers of the Fort were as 
far as I believe Men of fair character; some of them I 
know personally, and they possess my confidence and 
esteem. 

We are greatly solicitous to learn the fate of the Bill 
for the admission of Orleans as a Member State into the 
Union, and to know in what manner West Florida is dis- 
posed of. 
The Honble. I am Sir &c &c 

Mr. Smith. (sgnd) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To Govr. Folch 

New Orleans Feb: 21. 1S11. 
Sir, 

It having been represented to me, that a young man 
of the name Cyrus Sibley, a native Citizen of the United 
States, had been recently arrested at Pensacola, under 
the orders of your Excellency, I have to entreat of you 
the goodness, to inform me of the charges, against him. 
The friends and connexions of this youth are highly re- 
spectable; and from their knowledge of his disposition 
and character, cherish a hope that he has committed no 
offence, against the Government or Laws of Spain. 

May I also avail myself of this occasion to enquire 
of your Excellency, as to probable fate of Hargrove and 
his companions, who were a few months since taken in 
Arms in the vicinity of Mobile? The families of these 
unfortunate men, are greatly distressed and have ex- 
pressed in letters to me much solicitude to learn, whether 
they yet live; and whether there be a prospect of their 
release from confinement. It will be a source of pleas- 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 161 

ure I am assured to us both, if your Excellency's care be 
such, as will administer comfort to the Afflicted. 

I pray God to extend to Your Excellency a long and 
happy life. 

His Excellency (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 

Govr. Folch 
Pensacola 



To the Secretary of State 

New Orleans Feb : 23. 1811 
Sir, 

The enclosed extract of a letter was this moment 
handed me by my friend Mr. Banjamin Morgan. You 
may give entire credence to its contents. It comes from 
a friend and commercial correspondent of Mr. Morgan's 
residing in the province of Techus. Mexico must and 
will soon be independent. It certainly is interesting to 
the United States, that the Revolution now commenced 
should take a proper direction. If it is believed by the 
President that I could render any services on this occa- 
sion I should be happy to obey your orders. 
The Honble. I am Sir &c &c 

Mr. Smith (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 

Sec: State. 



To Commodore Shaw. 

New Orleans Feb: 23. 1811. 
Sir, 

Having understood from the Navy Agent that the 
House you now occupy, cost the United States $900 per 
Annum; and having learned from yourself that it is in- 

v 11 



162 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

conveniently situated; I offer for your present accomo- 
dation, the use of the Government House. It is out of 
repair and to make it comfortable some reparations are 
indispensible ; but these I presume may be executed by 
the Artificers in the employ of the Government, under 
your orders; and as the improvements will be made to 
a building the property of the U. S. I presume there can 
be no objection to the Artificers being thus employed. 
How long the Government House may remain at my dis- 
position I know not; it is not improbable but that Con- 
gress may at their ensuing Session direct its sale, pos- 
sibly this may be done at their present Session, but I do 
not think it probable. 

I am Sir &c &c 
Comore. Shaw. (sgd) AV. C. C. Claiborne 



To the Secretary of State. 

N. Orleans Feb: 24. 1811. 
(Private) 
Dr. Sir, 

I had the honor to write you on yesterday by the Ship 
Orleans, bound to Baltimore; and enclosed you an ox- 
tract of a letter from Nacogdoches, which stated the en- 
tire overthrow of the Spanish Authorities in the five in- 
ternal Provinces of Mexico. It seems that the Revolu- 
tion commenced near the City of Mexico, but the Revo- 
lutionists yielding to the superior discipline of the regu- 
lar Troops, an dbeing in great want of arms retreated to 
the Interior Provinces, where the army and people 
rallied with enthusiasm round their standard. What 
will be the final issue of this Revolution I know not ; the 
Leaders are not believed to be men of talents, and it is 
feared it will be a length of time before the people will 
enjoy the blessings of a stable Government. From what 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE.. 163 

I can learn the great majority of the People of Mexico, 
wish to be totally independent of Europe. Among the 
Creoles of the Country there is on this question great 
unison in Sentiment; but the more prudent and enlight- 
ened have taken as yet no part in the contest. But I 
have been furnished in confidence, and from a quarter 
entitled to credence, with the names of several Creoles 
of Talents, great wealth, high standing, and extensive 
influence at Le Vera Cruiz and in the City of Mexico, 
who would Zealously support the cause of Independence, 
provided they were assured that the United States would 
not prove unfriendly to them. It is a fact that the Peo- 
ple of Spanish America, are taught to believe, that the 
Government of the United States is devoted to the views 
of France, and on that account inimical to their emanci- 
pation. As far as my sources of information will enable 
me you should be particularly advised of the progress of 
the Revolution. 
The Honbe. I am Dr. Sir &c &c 

Mr. Smith sgd W. C. C. Claiborne 

Sec: State. 



Message 

Gentlemen of the Legislative Council and House of 
Representatives 

I have the honor to lay before you a report made to 
me by the Judge of the Parish of St. Charles, in con- 
formity to a late Resolution of the Legislature. Also to 
lay before you an Instrument of writing, signed by sev- 
eral Respectable Inhabitants bearing testimony to the 
good conduct of certain free men of color during the late 
Insurrection, and recommending them the favourable at- 
tention of the Legislature. 
N. Orleans Feb : 25 : 1811 (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 



1G4 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

To the Secretary of State, 

N. Orleans Feb : 25. 1811. 
Sir, 

Deeming it my duty to keep you advised of the nature 
of any correspondence, I may with a foreign Agent, or 
Officer, I enclose for your perusal a letter, I have lately 
addressed to Govr. Folch, making certain enquiries rela- 
tive to some unfortunate Citizens of the United States, 
who are in confinement at Pensacola. 

To the Letter which I addressed to the Capt. Genl. at 
Cuba, from Baton Rouge, I have not yet received an 
answer : but I presume that however disposed the Span- 
ish Authorities might have been, to take offence at the 
United States occupying Florida, the late events in the 
interior of Mexico, will now incline them to observe the 
most conciliatory deportment. 

The Legislature of the Territory continues in Ses- 
sion, but without much utility to the public interest ; for 
they have not as yet adopted a single measure of im- 
portance, an opinion unanimously prevails, that we shall 
soon be a State, and in expectation of that event, I fear 
the Territorial authorities will become less zealous, in 
their efforts for the public welfare. 

If I recollect aright I informed you verbally before I 
left Washington, that I should not on my return occupy 
the Government house ; and the reasons which influenced 
me, I offered to the Legislature in an indirect manner, 
the use of the Government House on condition, that 
they would provide the Executive of the Territory with 
other apartments: But there being some reluctance 
manifested, arising from an apprehension, that would at 
their present Session, direct the sale of this property, 
the exchange has not been pressed; and with inv permis- 
sion; the Government House will be occupied, by Com- 
modore Shaw, which will save the U. S. 900$, per: An- 
num the rent paid for a house for the use of the Commo- 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 165 

dore. Two small buildings on the Government lot, I 
have rented to Individuals for. the sum of 60$ per : Month 
which enables me to procure for my own accomodation 
comfortable quarters near the City, where I may reside 
during the ensuing Summer, without endangering my 
health. I hope these arrangements will not be disap- 
proved by the President. 
The Honble. I have the honor &c &c 

The Sec: State. (Signed) W. C. C. Claiborne 



Capt. Genl. of Cuba. 

N. Orleans Feb : 27. 1811 
Sir, 

Having this day received information, that Hargrave 
and his Companions, who were some time since, taken in 
arms near the Fort of Mobile, were ordered for trial to 
Havana, I request the favour of your Excellency to ad- 
vise me of their present situation. The unhappy men 
are natives of the United States and their distressed 
families, and friends, feel the greatest solicitude for 
their safety. May I therefore enquire of your Excel- 
lency, whether Hargrave and his unfortunate Com- 
panions yet live? and whether there be any prospect of 
their release from confinement? Your Excellency will 
justly appreciate the humane motives by which I am 
actuated, in addressing you this letter ; and I am assured, 
it will be cause of sincere satisfaction to your Excellency, 
if your answer can be such, as to administer comfort to 
the afflicted. 

Accept my best wishes for the happiness for the wel- 
fare of the Spanish Nation; & to your Excellency indi- 
vidually I tender the assurances of my great respect and 
esteem. 

His Excellency (Signed) William C. C. Claiborne 
The Capt. Genl. of the 
Island of Cuba 



16G MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 



N. Orleans Feb : 27. 1811. 

Your resignation as Judge of the Parish of East 
Baton Rouge is accepted ; and I have nominated as your 
Successor, your friend Doctor Steele. 

I take this occasion to return you my best thanks for 
you faithful public services and to assure you of my 
respect and esteem. 
Judge Mather, sgd. W. C. C. Claiborne 



N. Orleans Feb: 27. 1811. 
Sir, 

Desirous of availing the public of your servics as 
Judge of the Parish of East Baton Rouge, I have the 
honor to enclose your Commission. In the event of 
your acceptance your predecessor Mr. Mather is hereby 
authorized to administer to you, the oaths of Office; the 
Law requires that you should give bond with surities to 
the Governor of the Territory in the sum of live thous- 
and dollars, for faithful discharge, of the duties of your 
Office. The form of the bond is enclosed. 

I am Sir &c &c 
Doctr. Steele. (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 



('apt. Genl. of Cuba 

Xew Orleans March 3. 1811. 
Capt. Genl. of Cuba 
Sir, 

On the 27th ultimo T had the honor to address to your 
Excellency certain enquiries cowei'iiing Ilargrave and 
his companions in misfortune, who were taken in arms 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 167 

a few months since near the Fort of Mobile; and have 
been ordered for trial to Havana. It now becomes my 
duty to solicit the attention of your Excellency more par- 
ticularly to the case of Cyrus Sibley, an inhabitant of 
the Territory of Orleans. This young man was recently 
arrested at Pensacola, under the orders of Govr. Folch; 
and has been sent in irons to Havana. I am persuaded 
Sir, that Cyrus Sibley has committed no offence against 
the Government or Laws of Spain, and that his arrest 
and detention are wrongs offered an American Citizen, 
which from the known justice of your Excellency will 
be speedily remidied. My opinion of Sibley 's innocence 
is founded on the enclosed extracts of letters, addressed 
to me by two highly respectable Citizens, of the Missis- 
sippi Territory, whose representations are entitled to 
entire credence. 

The Commanding Officer of an armed Vessel of the 
United States, will have the honor to deliver this Com- 
munication to your Excellency, and to bear to me such 
answer, as you may think proper to return. The Com- 
manding Officer is further instructed, in the event that 
your Excellency should think proper to direct the release 
of Sibley, to receive him on board of his Vessel. 

As relates to the unfortunate Hargrave and his Com- 
panions, I have only to repeat my request to your Ex- 
cellency, to be informed of their present situation; and 
whether there is any prospect of their liberation. How 
far it may comport with the Justice and policy of the 
Spanish Government, to punish with severity those un- 
happy men, Your Excellency can best determine : per- 
mit me however Sir, to observe, that their release would 
not only serve the cause of humanity : but would tend in 
a great degree to calm those angry feelings, which the 
late Revolution at Baton Rouge has caused to exist, be- 
tween the Inhabitants at Pensacola, and the people of 
the District, now composing a part of the Territory com- 



168 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL, ARCHIVES. 

mitted to my care. These feelings I am assured Sir illy 
comport with the wishes of our respective Governments, 
for it is their interests and will I hope too be their first 
care to cultivate and to perpetuate the most friendly 
understanding. 

I renew to your Excellency the assurances, of my 
most distinguished consideration. 
His Excellency (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 

The Capt. Genl. 
of the Island of Cuba 



To William Slialer Esquire 

N. Orleans March 3. 1811. 

Sir, 

I am under obligations to you for the two interesting 
letters which you have addressed to me. The last under 
date of the 26 of January was received a few days since. 

In this Territory everything is quiet - - a Spanish 
Garrison occupies the Fort of Mobile ; and must remain 
undisturbed until the President shall give me further 
orders. 

The five interior Provinces of Mexico are completely 
revolutionised; and it is believed here that the City of 
Mexico, is by this time in possession of the Revolution- 
ists. 

At the date of my last accounts from Washington it 
was believed that the charter of the United States Bank 
would not be renewed. As to the state of our foreign re- 
lations I have no particular information. There is ru- 
mour that the British Government had repealed their or- 
ders in Council & nominated a minister to the U. S. but 
it is not generally accredited. 

The Naval Officer who will hand you this letter is 
charged with a communication to the Capt. Genl. of Cuba. 



LETTEE BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 169 

It relates to those persons who were taken in arms, near 
the Fort of Mobile, & to a Mr. Cyrus Sibley who was re- 
cently arrested at Pensacola; and sent in Irons to Hav- 
ana. I hope sincerely it may comport with the policy of 
the Spanish Government to direct the release of these un- 
happy men. Their further punishment will only tend to 
promote that ill will which at present exists between the 
Inhabitants of the District of Baton Rouge ; and those of 
the Town and vicinity of Pensacola, and which may in 
the end give much trouble to both Governments. 

I shall be happy to hear from you by all safe occa- 
sions. 

Wm. Shaler Esqr. I am Sir, &c &c 

Havana. sgd W. C. C. Claiborne 



To Vincent Gray Esqre. 

New Orleans March 3. 1811. 
Dr. Sir, 

I thank you for the letter you did me the favour to ad- 
dress me, some time since. I should have acknowledged 
the receipt at an earlier period, but it occured to me that 
your private interest might suffer, if the Spanish Gov- 
ernment should by any means learn that we were in cor- 
respondence. 

The most perfect good order prevails throughout this 
Territory; and I am in possession of all the Country 
West of the Perdedo, except the Town and Fort of Mo- 
bile, and a small District around, & there the Spanish au- 
thorities, must remain undisturbed, until the further 
orders of my Government. 

I have no late intelligence from the City of Washing- 
ton. It is understood that the Charter of the U. S. Bank 
will not be renewed and that the Territory of Orleans will 
be erected into a State. 



170 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

We have certain information of the entire overthrow 
of the Spanish Authority in the five interior Provinces of 
Mexico. It is believed here that the Revolutionists are 
by this time in possession of the City of Mexico. 

The Officer of the Navy who will hand you this letter 
is charged with the delivery of a Communication to the 
Capt. Genl. of Cuba. It relates to those unfortunate men 
who were taken in arms near the fort of Mobile : and Mr. 
Cyrus Sibley who was not long since arrested at Pensa- 
cola by order of Govr. Folch, and sent in irons to Havana. 
Sibley has I am well assured committed no offence 
against the Government of Spain; and as regards the 
persons taken near Mobile, I hope it may comport with 
the policy of the Spanish Authorities, to direct their re- 
lease. Such a measure would tend greatly to promote a 
good understanding, between the Citizens of this Terri- 
tory; and the Inhabitants of the Town and neighbour- 
hood of Pensncola. 

I am &c 

(sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To Commodore Shair. 

X. Orleans .March '.}. 1S11. 
Sir, 

If the public service permits, I pray you to have the 
goodness, to dispatch immediately an armed Vessel to 
Havana, with instructions to the Capt. or Officer Com- 
manding to deliver in person the enclosed Idler to the 
Capt. Genl. of Cuba; and to await his answer. My letter 
to the Capt. Genl. relates to certain native Citixens, of 
the U. States now in confinement at Havana, and its 
early reception may perhaps be the means of restoring 
them to their liberty and to their Country. In the event 
that the Capt. Genl. should direct the release of all or any 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 171 

of those unfortunate men (believed to be ten in number) 
will you instruct the Capt. or Officer Commanding, to re- 
ceive them on board his Vessel, and to convey them to the 
Port of New Orleans. 

I am Sir, &c &c 
Comore. Shaw (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To Govr. Monroe 

N. Orleans March 4. 1811. 
Sir, 

I am honored with your Excellency's letter of the 21st 
of January last, together with the documents it enclosed. 

On my arrival at Baton Rouge I was informed that 
two persons were in confinement charged with the mur- 
der of Gardner Mayes alias - - Smith; but being at 
the same time advised of some particulars attending the 
killing which suggested the exercise of mercy, they were 
immediately pardoned. 

I am happy to find from the documents your Excel- 
lency has transmitted me, that this act of mine has been 
so very correct ; and that it will be cause of satisfaction 
to the Governor and Council of Virginia. 

I pray you Sir, to accept the assurances of my great 
respect, and sincere esteem. 
His Excellency (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 

Jas. Monroe 

Gov: of Virginia 



To Vincent Gray Esquire 

N. Orleans March 7. 1811 

oir. 

The armed Brig bound to Havana with my dispatches, 
being still detained in this Port affords me an opportun- 
ity of again addressing you ; and again intreating yon to 



172 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

use your influence with the Spanish authorities to effect 
the release of Hargrave and his unfortunate Companions. 
These men were in the service of the Florida Conven- 
tion, and acted under their orders and authority. 

I have no recent news from Washington. The five in- 
terior Provinces of Mexico, are certainly in possession of 
the Revolutionists; and the former Spanish Government 
in that quarter is at an end. 
I am Sir, 
Vincent Gray Esqr. 

Havana sgd W. C. C. Claiborne 



To Joseph Carson Esqre. 1 

N. Orleans March 7. 1811 
Sir, 

Your letter of the lo'th ultimo informing me of the re- 
moval of tjiose unfortunate Citizens, taken by Govr. 
Folch near Mobile, from Pensacola to Havana for trial; 
and of the arrest and imprisonment of Mr. Cyrus Sibley 
who you say is sent to Havana has been received. 1 have 
written to the Capt. General, of Cuba, demanding the 
release of Sibley an American Citizen; and entreating 
also the release of Ilargrave and his Companions. This 
communication has been sent to Havana in a national 
Vessel dispatched specially for the purpose. No man 
sympathizes more sincerely than myself, in the fate of 
those unhappy Citizens; and I sincerely hope that my in- 
tercession may be attended with success. 

I am Sir, &c &c 
Jos: Carson Esqre. (sgd) AV. C. C. Claiborne 

1 For sketch of Carson see Encyclopedia of Mississippi History, 
Vol. 1, p. :; 7tJ. 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 173 

To William Buford Esqre. 

N. Orleans March 7. 1811. 
Sir, 

Your letter of the 8th ultimo has been received. The 
unhappy situation of the Individuals to whom you allude, 
is to me cause of sincere regret. I have been lately in- 
formed of their removal from Pensacola to the Havana 
for trial ; and have written to the Capt. Genl. of Cuba in 
their behalf. With this communication a National Vessel 
has been dispatched, with orders to sail direct for Hav- 
ana. What may be the effect of my application I cannot 
tell ; but I indulge a hope that these unfortunate Citizens 
will soon be restored to their liberty, Country and fam- 
ilies. 

I am Sir, &c &c 
William Buford Esquire (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To the President of the U. States 

N. Orleans March 8. 1811. 
Sir, 

I have the honor to lay before you a Memorial from 
the Legislative Council, & House of Representatives, of 
the Territory of Orleans, and to subscribe myself. 

With Sentiments &c &c 
The Pres: U. S. (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To the Secretary of State 

N. Orleans March 8. 1811. 
Sir, 

The enclosed No. 1 & 2 are letters addressed to me by 
Mr. William Buford and Mr. Joseph Carson of the Mis- 
sissippi Territory, advising me of the arrest at Pensa- 



174 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

cola of Cyrus Sibley a citizen of this Territory; and of 
his being sent in irons to Havana. From the represen- 
tations of those Gentlemen (whose respectabel standing 
in Society entitle them to credence) I was impressed with 
an opinion, that Cyrus Sibley had committed no offence, 
against the Government and Laws of Spain; and that it 
was my duty to solicit his release. I profited also of the 
opportunity which Sibley 's case afforded me, again to 
recommend to the clemency of the Spanish Government 
'/the unfortunate men of Kemper's party, who were taken 
in arms by Govr. Folch, near the Town of Mobile. They 
are beleived to be native Americans ; and their liberation 
is an object of general solcitude. The enclosed No. 3 & 4 
are copies of my letters to the Capt. Gonl. of Cuba; and 
I sincerely hope their tenor may be approved by the Pres- 
ident. To give the more weight to my intercession, I 
thought it best that a national Vessel should be sent to 
the Havana for the occasion; and Commodore Shaw has 
been pleased to dispatch the armed Brig Viper Capt. 
Bainbridge. 

Several letters received from Nachitoches confirm the 
information heretofore communicated, of the Revolution 
in the interior provinces of Mexico; and my correspon- 
dents further assure me that, the persons now in author- 
ity, have removed all the former commercial restrictions. 
How far such a state of things in the vicinity of our 
western frontier, may merit the attention of the Govern- 
ment is not for me to decide. But permit me Sir, with 
great deference to hazard an opinion, that the V. S. may 
(if they will it) ensure success to the Revolutionists; and 
obtain in return all such benefits commercial and political 
as can reasonably be desired. 

We are yet uniformed whether the Bill for the admis- 
sion of Orleans into the Union has passed into a Law, or 
what disposition Congress has made for the Government 
of Florida. The great uncertainty which exists on the 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 175 

latter point tends to delay the passing by the Territorial 
Legislature (now in Session) of several Laws, which the 
interests of our newly acquired fellow Citizens demand. 
The Honbe. I have the honor &c &c 

Mr. Smith (signed) W. C. C. Claiborne 

Sec: State. 



To the Secretary of the Navy 

N. Orleans March 8. 1811. 
Sir, 

Cyrus Sibley a Citizen of the United States was re- 
cently arrested at Pensacola by order of Govr. Folch, and 
sent in irons to Havana. From representations made me 
by the friends of Sibley, my impressions are that he has 
committed no offence, against the Government of Laws 
of Spain ; and therefore I deemed it a duty to request of 
the Capt. Genl. of Cuba his immediate release. To give 
the more weight to my intercessions I thought it best 
that my dispatches should be conveyed in a National Ves- 
sel, and committed to the care of the Commanding Offi- 
cer. "\Yith that view I addressed a letter to Commodore 
Shaw of which the enclosed is a Copy. I availed myself 
of the occasion which Sibley 's case afforded me, to rec- 
ommend the unfortunate men of Kempers party, who 
were taken in arms some time since near the fort of Mo- 
bile to the clemency of the Spanish Government. These 
men are native Citizens of the United States and tlieir 
restoration to liberty and to their Country, is an object 
of general solicitude. 

Commodore Shaw has been good enough to comply 
with my request: and dispatched to the Havana the 
Brig Viper Capt. Bainbridge. 
The Honble. T am Sir, &c &c 

Mr. Hamilton (sgd) AY. C. C. Claiborne 

Sec : Navy. 



176 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

To Doctor Sibley 

N. Orleans March 10. 1811 
Dr. Sir, 

I thank you for the several letters you have adrdessed 
me, since my return to this City. The Revolution in the 
interior Provinces excites much solicitude. I sincerely 
hope it may assume a proper direction; and that the In- 
habitants may soon enjoy all the blessings of an inde- 
pendent and stable Government. I pray you to furnish 
me from time to time, with such information as you may 
receive relative to the progress and views of the Revolu- 
tionists. 

A young Gentleman of the name of Cyrus Sibley (who 
I understand is nearly related to you) has been arrested 
at Pensacola and sent in irons to Havana. Beleiving 
from the information received, that Mr. C. Sibley had 
committed no offence against the Government or Laws of 
Spain, I have demanded of the Capt. Genl. of Cuba his 
release. 

I am Dr. Sir, &c &c 
Doctr. Sibley. (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To John C. Carr Esquire 

N. Orleans March 10. 1811 
Dr. Sir, 

I have the pleasure to enclose you a Commission by 
which you are reappointed Judge of the Parish of Nachi- 
toches. The Oaths of Office may be administered to yon 
by Mr. Nancarrow, and you will be pleased to forward to 
me as early as convenient, a bond with two Surities, in 
the sum of five thousand dollars, for the faithful dis- 
charge of the duties of your office. 

I take this occasion to acknowledge the receipt of the 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORISTE. 177 

several letters you have addressed me since my return 
to the Territory. The late events in the interior of Mexi- 
co, excite much solicitude. The Ee volution will I hope 
assume a proper direction; and the People soon enjoy the 
blessings of an independent and stable Government. 

I pray you to keep me advised of the progress and 
views of the Revolutionists, since it is important to our 
interests, that on these points the Secretary of State for 
the IT. S. should receive early and correct information. 

Mr. Nancarrow has mentioned to me that a work in 
manuscript, giving an interesting account of the popula- 
tion, Society, agriculture, manufactures &c, of the inter- 
ior provinces is in your possession. Will you do me the 
favour to give me a perusal and to forward it by the first 
opportunity. 

I am Dr. Sir &c &c 
J. C. Carr Esqre. (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To Messrs. Shaler & Gray Circular 

N. Orleans March 11. 1811. 
Sir, 

Since the communication I had the honor to address 
you, by Capt. Brainbride, of the Brig Viper on the sub- 
ject of certain native Americans, in confinement at Hav- 
ana Mrs. Hargrave the wife of - - Hargrave one of 
these unfortunate persons, has arrived in this City, bring- 
ing with her a petition signed by a number of the Inhabi- 
tants of the Mississippi Territory, as also letters from 
several highly respectable Citizens entreating my inter- 
ference with the Capt. Genl. of Cuba. The release of 
Hargrave and his unfortunate Companions is an object 
of general solicitude in this quarter; and I must again en- 
treat for them your best offices. If the occasion serves 

v 12 



178 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

you may state to the Capt. Genl. that Hargrave and his 
men acted under the authority of the Florida Convention ; 
and you may add, that, of the several Spanish Officers 
that were taken prisoners by the Conventionalists, there 
was no instance of any injury being offered their persons. 
On the contrary they were all discharged; and are now in 
the enjoyment of the most ample protection under the 
Government and Laws of the Territory of Orleans. 

I am the more solicitous for the liberation of Har- 
grave and his Companions, since it would tend to put 
down, all that ill-will which the Citizens of Baton Rouge, 
and the Settlers on the Tombigbee now feel towards the 
Spanish authorities at Mobile and Pensacola ; and which 
should those men be executed, I shall find great difficulty 
in controlling. 

Hargrave has always supported a very fair character. 
He is said to have entered the army of the United States 
in the year 76 as as Private soldier; to have served with 
reputation throughout the war with Great Britain; and 
to have risen from Grade to Grade to the Rank of Cap- 
tain. 

Win. Shaler Ksqr. T am Sir &c &c 

or in his absence (sgd) AY. C. C. Claiborne 

Vincent Gray Esqr. 



Circular 
To Messrs. Shaler & Gray 

X. Orleans March 13. 1811 
Dr. Sir, 

Since my communication to you of yesterday, the en- 
closed letter has been placed in my hands from Mrs. liar- 
grave the wife of Mr. Hargrave, one of the Persons in 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 179 

confinement at Havana. Will you do me the favour to 

procure its delivery as directed. 

Wm. Shaler Esqr. I am Sir &c &c 

or sgd. W. C. C. Claiborne 

Vincent Gray Esqr. 



Message 

Gentlemen of the Legislative Council and of the House 

of Representatives. 

I have the honor to lay before you the Reports which 
have been made to me by the Judges of the Parishes of 
New Orleans St. Charles and St. John Baptiste, of the 
loss sustained by the Inhabitants of said Parishes dur- 
ing the late Insurrection. 

sgd William C. C. Claiborne 
New Orleans March 12. 1811. 



To the Sec: State 

New Orleans March 13. 1811. 
Sir, 

I enclose for your perusal copies of a Correspondence 
between the French Consul and myself, on the subject 
of the seizure and detention at this port of the French 
Corsaire Syrene. 
The Honble. I am Sir &c &c 

Mr. Smith (sigd) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To Colonel Covington 

N. Orleans March 13. 1811. 
Dr. Sir, 

Since we parted at Baton Rouge I am indebted to you 
for two very friendly and interesting Communications. 
Their receipt would have been promptly acknowledged, 



180 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

had I not have been under an impression from the mili- 
tary arrangements directed, that my letters might not 
have found you in the Mississippi Territory. 

The harmony and good will which existed between 
us, during the late operations at Baton Rouge, I shall 
always recollect with pleasure; and I feel assured that 
your Conduct on that occasion is entirely approved by 
the President. 

General Hampton and myself did not entirely agree 
as to my powers, under the Presidents Proclamation; 
but the difference is on points which at present are not 
material, and has not interrupted a friendly intercourse. 

I can give you no certain information as to the State 
of our foreign relations. (Jenl. Wilkinson, writes from 
Washington under a late date, that war with England is 
inevitable; but the reasons on which that opinion is haz- 
arded, are not stated. What is to be the fate of that old 
persecuted Veteran I know not. I have seen a part of 
his book it does credit to his head and heart, but until I 
can peruse the whole publication, I cannot form an opin- 
ion of its merits or venture a conjecture, as to the effect 
it is likely to produce. 

(Jenl. Hampton in all his conversations with me 
speaks in the most respectful terms of you; and is I be- 
lieve disposed to promote your interest. 

T am Dr. Sir, &c 
Col: Covincrton W. (.'. C. Claiborne 



To tlic French Consul 

New Orleans March 14. 1811. 
Sir, 

T have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your 
letter of the llth Instant, together with its enclosure: 
and to inform you that on conversing with Commodore 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 181 

Shaw the Naval Commander on this station, I learn that 
the French Privateer Le Syrene, was seized under an 
impression, that she had committed within the waters of 
the United States, violations of their Laws, and more 
particularly of those, which prohibit the introduction of 
Slaves. I have only to add Sir, that the case of the 
Syrene has been submitted to the consideration of the 
proper Law-Officers and if it should appear there are 
not good grounds for the seizure, She will be immediately 
liberated. 
The Honble. I am Sir &c &c &c 

Mr. Poree (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 

French Consul 
N. 0. 



To tlie Secretary of the Navy 

N. Orleans March 15. 1811. 
Private, 
My dear Sir, 

I have addressed you several official dispatches and 
one or two private letters ; but have not yet been advised 
of their reception. Your silence is attributable I pre- 
sume to the mass of business which the frequent call for 
information by Congress, and by Committees occasion 
the Heads of Departments. But now that these hon- 
orable bodies have retired from Washington, I hope you 
A\ 7 ill find leisure to favour me occasionally with a line. 

I have every reason to be satisfied with the conduct 
of Commodore Shaw; he evinces a sincere disposition 
faithfully and Zealously to discharge his duty. Of the 
Naval Agent also (Mr. Smith) I continue to think well. 
He is economical and in his arrangements watchful of 
the public interest, and greatly desirous to put down all 
abuses. 



182 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

As relates to your Officers generally you no doubt 
will receive correct information from the Commodore. 
But your determination to make frequent changes of 
them on this Station will produce a good effect. It will 
prevent them from feeling like Citizens ; and forming 
those partialities and connexions, which may lead them 
to take an interest in the parties of the Territory. 

I am yet uninformed whether this Territory is to be- 
come a State. In expectation of that event, our local 
parties are becoming more violent. Clark and his 
friends will use all their efforts to prevent my having 
any Agency in managing the affairs of the State ; and in 
this object he will meet all the support, which a third 
party formed under the auspices of the Secretary of the 
Territory can give. But I am accustomed to opposition 
and never shrink from it, and in proportion to the activ- 
ity and violence of my opponents will be my exertions 
to rise superior to all their machinations. What has 
so much indisposed Mr. Robertson to my prosperity in 
life, he can best tell. I am not sensible of having either 
attempted or done ought to his injury; but if in my 
power to prevent it he shall never rise on my own ruin, 
or that of any of my friends. 

If this is destined to be shortly a State, the public 
interest and my own honor will not admit of my absence. 
If otherwise I will endeavour to visit Washington during 
the ensuing Summer. I have many reasons to induce 
me to that visit. 
The Honble. I am Dr. Sir, &o &c 

Mr. Hamilton (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborn 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 183 

To the Secretary of the Navy 

N. Orleans March 17. 1811. 
Sir, 

I had the honor to receive on yesterday, your letter 
of the 29 of January enclosing a Copy of an ordered is- 
sued on that day. 

I see in that order a proof of confidence which Sir, I 
beg you to beleive, shall always be a favorite object of 
my heart to deserve. Of the duties assigned General 
Matthews I am not advised ; but it is sufficient for me to 
know, that he is employed in the public Service, to ensure 
him all the support in my power to afford. Your Com- 
munication of the 29th of January is the only official dis- 
patch which has reached me from Washington since the 
10th of January. I wish it may not appear that official 
dispatches to and from me, have been intercepted. 
The Honble. I am Sir, &c &c 

Secretary of the Navy. (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To the Secretary of State 

N. Orleans March 18. 1811. 
Dr. Sir, 

The enclosed letter from Mr. Duralde who was re- 
cently named by the President of the U. States, marshal 
of the District of Orleans, will advise you of his declin- 
ing to accept that appointment. Mr. Duralde in a pri- 
vate letter to me assignes as the principal cause, the de- 
clining state of Health in which he finds himself, arising 
from a breast complaint. 

I had wished the office of Marshal to be filled by some 
native Louisianian but so great is the dread of this good 
People of Courts and Lawyers, that they seem unwilling 
to come within their vortex, even in character as Officers. 

I had hoped that Doctor Upshaw formerly of Vir- 



184 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

ginia, a man of Sense, firmness and integrity, and a firm 
supporter of the Government, would have consented to 
serve as marshal; and if so I should have taken much 
pleasure in recommending him; But he informs me to 
day, that the Office does not at all correspond with his 
views of life. There is however among the former ap- 
plicants for the appointment of Marshal one who in my 
opinion merits the confidence of the Government. Mr. 
Peter L. B. Duplessis is the Gentleman I allude to. He 
is a native of Philadelphia; but has resided in this City 
since the Month of December 1803; he is married to a 
Creole of the Country, and the father of four Sons. Mr. 
Duplessis is himself the Son of a frenchman, and speaks 
and writes English and French alike well. He is a man 
of business and his conduct has been such, as to secure 
him the best wishes of those who best know him. By the 
friends of the Administration in this City the appoint- 
ment of Mr. Duplessis seems to be greatly desired; and 
my opinion is that reliance may be placed in his integ- 
rity, prudence 1 and fidelity to the Government. 

Some doubts T learn are entertained by the District 
Judge (Mr. Hall) whether Mr. Fortier can longer act as 
Marshal and it is probable that no business will be trans- 
acted by the District Court, until another Marshal is 
named. This circumstance induces me to regret the 
more the non-acceptance of Mr. Duralde: but T hope a 
new appointment may be made in time to prevent the 
public Service from receiving any serious injury. 
The Ilonble. I am Dr. ' Sir &c &c 

Mr. Smith (sgd) AY. C. C. Claiborne 

Secretarv of State. 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 185 

To Fortesque Coming Esqre. 

New Orleans March 18. 1811. 
Sir, 

Your choice of Springfield for your place of residence 
meets my approbation. It is very probable you will 
have some difficulties to encounter, but a just an firm 
discharge of your duties united to a conciliatory deport- 
ment, cannot fail in the end to ensure respect for the 
Laws, and regard for your person. 

The report of the redelivery of the District to Spain 
is without foundation. With bad men it has originated ; 
and none but the ignorant can give it credence. 
I am Sir, &c &c 

(sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 
Fortesque Coming Esqre. 



Message 

Gentlemen of the Legislative Council and of the House 
of Representatives. 

I now lay before you the Petition of Robert R. Liv- 
ingston and of Robert Fulton two distinguished Citizens 
of the United States praying you "to grant them the ex- 
clusive right to navigate the Waters of this Territory, 
with boats moved by steam of fire", on certain condi- 
tions. Of the power of the Legislature to conform to 
the prayer of the petitioners I have no doubt; but as to 
the expediency of doing so, you Gentlemen, can best de- 
termine. During my Journey through the Middle and 
Northern States, the past Summer, I noticed with great 
pleasure this new and useful mode of improving the navi- 
gation of our Rivers; and I feel confident that the intro- 
duction of Steam boats on the Mississippi and its waters, 



186 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

would greatly conduce to the convenience and welfare of 
the Inhabitants of this Territory. 
N. Orleans (sgd) William C. C. Claiborne 

March 19. 1811 



To Messrs. Bartlet & Cox 

New Orleans March 21. 1811. 
Gentlemen, 

The complaint, which under the impression you en- 
tertained, you had properly exhibited, on the 15th Inst. 
against the Inspector of flour, was referred to three very 
respectable Officers of the Territorial Government, with 
a request that they would hear the explanations of the 
Inspector, and report the same to me, together with their 
opinion thereon. The report was received on yesterday, 
& concludes with an opinion, "that the Inspector has not 
been guilty of fraud, that he has merely followed the 
letter of the Law, and in doing so there lias been nothing 
improper". 

I am Gentlemen &c &e. 
Messrs. Bartlet Cox (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To Mr. John Poultney 

New Orleans March 21. 1811. 
Sir, 

I have received your note of the 19th hist, together 
with its enclosure. There is one item in the account of 
Mr. Montgomery which is inadmissible. 1 mean the one 
for wine and there will be some objection to the charge 
for cheese in the bill of Mr. Packwood. These articles 
form no part of the Rations allowed Militia whilst in 
actual service; and I do not recollect to have authorised 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 187 

the purchase. The other items are property chargeable 
to the public; and will be paid so soon as public funds 
to meet them shall be placed at my command ; and which 
I calculate on in the course of 15 days. 

I am sorry that any expence (incurred during the 
late Insurrection) with a view to the public Service 
should fall on you individually. Perhaps if you were 
to call on me at my own house such explanations might 
be given as may enable me to meet the two exceptionable 
items. You are aware (I presume) of the great strict- 
ness observed in the settlement of accounts at the War 
Dept. and that no payments of mine will pass to my 
credit, but such as the proper accounting Officer shall 
deem correct. 

I am Sir &c &c 

Jno. Poultney Esqr. sgd W. C. C. Claiborne 

P. S. The account of Mr. Packwood, & Mr. Montgom- 
ery's note to you are herewith enclosed. 



To the Secretary of State 

New Orleans March 22. 1811. 
Sir, 

I learn that some of the Inhabitants of St. Francis- 
ville in Feliciana have lately conducted themselves, very 
improperly and that among other acts of great indiscre- 
tion, they had reared the Florida flag. It however was 
soon taken down (without producing any serious com- 
motion) by the orders of Genl. Hampton; and the Pa- 
vilion of the U. States again displayed. The people of 
Feliciana are greatly dissatisfied at the proposition made 
in Congress to seperate them from the Territory of 
Orleans. 1 It occasions many good Citizens to believe 
that their political destiny is yet uncertain ; and the base 

1 The plan to annex them to the Mississippi Territory. 



188 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

and designing are incessant in their efforts to promote 
discontent. 

Some of the Inhabitants of Pascagoula (as I informed 
you in a former letter) continue to complain of the in- 
juries they received from certain individuals, acting 
under the authority of the Florida Convention. A man 
of the name of Duprie still has in his possession much 
property which has been forcibly taken from the unof- 
fending Inhabitants of Pascagoula, and has retired with 
it to the Settlement on Tombigbee, in the Mississippi 
Territory. I have advised the principal sufferer to pur- 
sue Duprie and to resort to Judicial authority, for the 
recovery of the property. But he is not inclined to do 
so. 

We have as yet no certain information of the passage 
of the Law, erecting the Territory of Orleans into a 
State. At the date of my last accounts from Natchez, it 
was there understood that, the Revolutionists maintained 
their Authority in the interior Provinces of Mexico. 
Xo Dispatches from the Department of State 1 has been 
received by me, since early in the month of January. 
The Honble. I am Sir &c &c 

Mr. Smith (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 

Sec : State. 



To the Officer Command ing the Fort St. Philip at 
Plaquimene 

N. Orleans March 23. 1811. 
Sir, 

You will permit the Spanish armed Vessel "The 
Prosperine" Capt. Garcia, to pass the fort. 
The Officer I am Sir &c, 

Comg. Fort St. Philip. W. C. C. Claiborne 

Plaquimene. 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 189 



New Orleans March 23. 1811. 

Sir, 

Mr. Samuel Cornell who is interested in a Vessel un- 
der Seizure at Pensacola having solicited me to state to 
your Excellency, his Character and course in life - - I 
beg leave to observe that Mr. Cornell is a native Citizen 
of the U. States, a Merchant of respectable standing in 
this City and possesses the esteem and confidence of his 
fellow Citizens. 

I tender to your Excellency the assurances of my re- 
spect and Esteem. 

His Excellency (sgd) AV. C. C. Claiborne 

Govr. Folch 

Pensacola 



To Colonel Wikoff 

N. Orleans March 26. 1811 
My dear Sir, 

The Legislature has a good Militia Law under consid- 
eration. I hope to God it may pass, and in that event you 
will be enabled to enforce your orders, and to make your 
Command respectable. 

I am yet uninformed officially as to the admission of 
this Territory into the Union, but I have no doubt of the 
fact and that the people will soon be called upon to name 
a convention to form a Constitution. What provision is 
made for the Government of Florida, I know not, I fool 
much mortified at the idea of its being seporatod from the 
Orleans Territory. But on this subjcet I r'aimot dwell, 
since my duty does not permit mo to censure any of the 
Acts of the Government. 

I hope my dear Sir, you will always consider the cor- 



190 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

respondence between us, during my stay at the City of 
Washington as confidential. There are persons who 
would gladly learn the whole contents of my letters to 
you in order to use them to my injury, and to that of the 
Government; and it is not impossible but that such per- 
sons may labour to approach you. 

I have seen the second volume of Genl. Wilkinson's 
Memoir's. It is well written and will unquestionably 
make a deep impression. I hope and beleive the old vet- 
eran will ultimately do well. 

Present my best respects to Mrs. Wikoff and beleive 
me to be &c &c 
Col: Wikoff (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To Major Carmick 

New Orleans March 26. 1811. 
Sir, 

Will you be good enough to inform mo of the strength 
of the Corps of Marines under your Command -- stating 
the number now at New Orleans ; and of those attached 
to the several armed Vessels on this Station. 

I am Sir &c &c 
Ma jr. Carmick sgd. W. C. C. Claiborne 



To the Secretary of State 

New Orleans March 26. 1811. 
Sir, 

I have the honor to enclose you a Spanish Manuscript, 
which purports to be a sketch present by Baron de Hum- 
boldt in the Year 1804, to the then Viceroy of New Spain 
and contains a brief of the Barons observations made in 
the Year 1803, with respect to the extent, population, ag- 
riculture, manufactures, trade, mines, and military force 
of the Kingdom of Xew Spain. I have understood that 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 191 

the travels of Baron de Humboldt have been published in 
Europe; and it may be that the subject of the manu- 
script has been treated on more at large : But if the Ba- 
rons travels in New Spain are not yet in print or should 
not have reached you, the manuscript will present useful 
information relative to that interesting Country, which 
with the advantages of a free Government, and free 
trade, cannot fail to become an agreeable neighbour to 
the IT. States. These advantages the Creoles of New 
Spain are making great, efforts to secure for themselves 
and posterity ; and I sincerely wish them success. 

Mrs. Hargrave the wife of one of the unfortunate 
men, taken near Mobile & sent by Govr. Folch to Havana 
for trial reached this place a few days since bringing 
with here several letters and a petition signed by many 
of the Inhabitants of the Mississippi Territory, entreat- 
ing me to intercede with the Capt. General of Cuba, for 
the release of Hargrave and his Companions. I indulge 
a hope that my letters to the Capt. Genl. forwarded by 
the Viper and of which Copies were sent on, may pro- 
duce the desired effect. But if unfortunately these men 
should be executed, it will be difficult to prevent their 
friends on the Tombigbee from committing some act of 
outrage, against the Inhabitants of Mobile or Pensacola. 

It was reported here yesterday that some english 
Troops were daily expected at Pensacola; and that the 
English flag had been raised at Mobile. The Eeport 
however wants confirmation and is not believed. Should 
any foreign flag other than Spanish, be raised at Mobile, 
I shall consider it my duty, (in conformity to the Spirit 
of my orders, of the 27 October, and with a view to the 
safety of the Territory committed to my care) to direct 
that immediate possession be taken of the Fort of Mobile. 
The Honble. I am Sir &c &c 

Mr. Smith (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 

Secretary of State 



192 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

To Robert R. Livingston Esqre. 

New Orleans March 26. 1811. 
Dr. Sir, 

On the 19th inst. I had the honor to transmit to the 
Legislature of this Territory, the Petition signed by you 
and Mr. Fulton, accompanied with a message of which 
the enclosed is a Copy. The subject was in the House 
of Representatives referred 'to a select Committee, who 
have this day (I undertsand) reported favorably. 

I feel desirous that the exclusive privilege solicited 
may be granted by Law, since I am convinced that the in- 
troduction of Steam boats on the Mississippi and its 
waters will conduce greatly to the convenience of the 
whole western Country. 

Accept Dr. Sir the assurances of my respect and es- 
teem. 

The Honble. William C. C. Claiborno 

Robert R. Livingston 



To tlie Secretary of tlie Navy. 

Now Orleans March 27. 1811. 
Sir: 

It being reported on yesterday, that an English force 
was momently expected at Pensacola; and the English 
Flag was displayed at Mobile, I requested Comoro. Shaw 
to be in readiness to move with every armed Vessel under 
his Command. But the report turns out to be erroneous 
- had it proved correct I should have esteemed it my 
duty (in conformity to the Spirit of my instructions, and 
with a view to the safety of the Territory committed to 
my care) to direct immediate possession to be taken of 
the Fort of Mobile. 

I have no advice from the Brig Viper since her depar- 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 193 

ture for the Havana. I hope my intercession with the 
Capt. Genl. of Cuba, in behalf of the Persons taken by 
Govr. Folch, near Mobile may be attended with success. 
These unfortunate men (eleven in number) are native 
Citizens of the United States, and that consideration 
alone, would make their release from confinement, an ob- 
ject dear to my heart. 
The Honble. I have the honor &c &c 

Mr. Hamilton (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To Judge Lislet 

New Orleans March 28. 1811. 
Sir, 

I have the honor to enclose you a commission by 
which you are reappointed Judge of the Parish of New 
Orleans, and to subscribe myself 

&C&C 

Judge Moreau Lislet. W. C. C. Claiborne 



To Colonel Henry Hopkins 

New Orleans March 28. 1811. 
Sir, 

I now enclose you a list of the Gentlemen recommend- 
ed as Captain and subalterns, in the 15. Regiment of In- 
fantry, and to whom you will present Commissions, un- 
less on enquiry you shall find, any of their characters to 
be such as to render them unworthy of public confidence. 

Your presence on public Service being necessary in 
this City, you will be pleased on the receipt of this letter 
to repair hither halting at Baton Rouge, no longer than 

v is 



194 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

is absolutely necessary, to distribute the Commissions to 
the Captains and Subalterns of the 15. Regiment. 

The Legislature will I hope give us a good Militia 
Law, the Office of Adjutant General will be preserved, 
and with its present emoluments. 
I am Sir &c &c 
Col : H. Hopkins (sigd) AV. C. C. Claiborne 



To Judges St. Martin, Cantrelle and Hubbart 

N. Orleans March 28. 1811 

I have the pleasure to enclose you a Commission, by 
which you are reappointed Judge of the Parish of 
and to subscribe myself, 

With great respect c &c 

(sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 

P. S. It will be necessary before you enter upon the 
functions of your Office under the New Commission; to 
enter into a bond to the Governor with two Surities, in 
the sum of five thousand dollars, conditioned for the 
faithful discharge of your duties. Any two free, holders 
who are inhabitants of the Territory, will be satisfactory 
surities. 



To Judge King 

New Orleans March 28. 1811. 
Dr. Sir, 

I have the pleasure to enclose you a Commission by 
which you are reappointed, Judge of the Parish of Opel- 
ousas. It will be necessary that yon enter into a new 
bond, in the sum of five thousand dollars, with two Suri- 
ties, conditioned for the faithful performance of your du- 
ties ; and that you transmit the bond as soon as conveni- 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 195 

ent to my Office. Any two freeholders, who are Inhabi- 
tants of the Territory, will be satisfactory Surities. 

I am not yet officially advised of the erection of this 
Territory into a State, but I have no doubt but that a 
Law to that effect has passed ; and that the Citizens will 
soon be called on to elect a convention; for the purpose 
of forming a Constitution. In that event I shall be happy 
to see you a member of that Convention, since I am as- 
sured of your love of Country; and attachment to cor- 
rect principles. 

The Territorial Legislature has now under considera- 
tion, a Militia Law, which if adopted will enable you, to 
cause your orders to be obeyed, and to render your Com- 
mand respectable. 

Present my respects to your Lady and believe me to 
be &c &c 
Judge King sgd William C. C. Claiborne 



To William Lindsey Esqre. 
Sir New Orleans March 28. 1811. 

The Legislature of this Territory have passed a Law 
(of which the enclosed is a Copy) dividing Concordia 
into two Parishes ; and being desirous to avail the public 
of your Services as Judge of the New Parish (Warren) 
I have the honor to forward you your Commission. 

In the event of your acceptance you will be pleased to 
repair without delay to Judge Lattimore, who will ad- 
minister to you the oaths of Office; and will also (I am 
sure) on application permit you the use of the Civil 
Code; and other Laws of the Territory, until I can have 
an opportunity to transmit to your Parish Copies of the 
Laws. It will be necessary also previous to your enter- 
ing on the functions of your Office, that you sign a bond 
with two surities for the faithful dischai'ge of your duty. 
The form of the bond is enclosed. Anv two freeholders 



196 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

who are inhabitants of Concordia will be received as 
your Surities and when the signatures of such are ob- 
tained, you will transmit the bond under cover to me. 

I will thank you to recommend a suitable person as 
Sheriff of Warren; and also to give me names of such 
Citizens as are best calculated to act as Justices of the 
Peace. Will you be pleased to add to what places my 
Communications to your Parish, had best directed. 

I am Sir &c 
William Lindsey Esqre. William C. C. Claiborne 



To Colonel Danl. Burnet 

N. Orleans March 28. 1811 
Dr. Sir, 

I thank you for the letter you wrote me under date of 
the ultimo. The Legislature of the Territory have di- 
vided Concordia into two Parishes ; and I have appointed 
Mr. William Lindsey Judge of the New Parish which is 
called Warren. Mr. Lindsey 's Commission is contained 
in the enclosed packet, w r hich I take the liberty to commit 
to your care, and must ask the favour of you to forward 
it to him with all convenient dispatch. 
Colonel Daniel Burnet I am Dr. Sir, &c &c 

Mi. Territory sgd W. C. C. Claiborne 



To Major Milton 

N. Orleans March 28. 1811 
Dr. Sir, 

It is not yet determined, whether the United States, 
or the Territory will meet the expences attending the Mi- 
litia ordered on duty, during the late insurrection. In 
either case I will endeavour to secure you payment for 
the Horse. 

I am Dr. Sir &c &c 
Major Milton (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 197 

To Judge Steele 

N. Orleans March 28. 1811 
Sir, 

Your Surities are satisfactory, and I learn with 
pleasure, that you had entered on the duties of your Of- 
fice. 

A Bill has passed the two houses of the Legislature 
forming the County of Feliciana into a seperate superior 
Court District; and directing the Session of the Court 
to be holden at St. Francisville 

I am &c 

W. C. C. Claiborne 



To P. Grymes Esqre. 

New Orelans March 29. 1811. 
Sir, 

The enclosed letters which have been addressed to me 
by Mr. Fagot & Mr. Boisquivais are submitted for yonr 
perusal. You may attach entire credit to their contents 
the integrity of these Gentlemen is well established. 

How far it may be expedient to grant to the purchaser 
of the land at Terre aux Buf, in which Brown had an in- 
terest, a longer term for the payment, is with you to de- 
cide. But I feel convinced that the security offered by 
the purchaser is amply and sufficient, to ensure against 
ultimate Loss. I learn that Messrs. Morgan, Donaldson 
and Girod (the other parties interested) meet on this 
morning at the House of Mr. Girod, for the purpose of 
receiveing the proposals, of the purchasers perhaps 
you had better attend this meeting. 

I am Sir &c &c 
P. Grymes Esqre. W. C. C. Claiborne 



198 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

To William Lindsey Esqre. 

N. Orleans March 29. 1811. 
Sir, 

The Legislature of this Territory, having erected the 
Tract of Country above the line of Concordia, and below 
the thirty third degree of Latitude into a Parish, by the 
name of Warren, I have appointed you Judge of said 
Parish ; and enclosed your Commission with other docu- 
ments, under cover to Col: Burnett of the Grind Stone 
ford in the Miss: Territory. I fear my dispatches to 
your parish will be subject to much delay, and may oc- 
casionally be lost. I have supposed that Gipson Post 
was the nearest Post Town, to the Parish Warren, and 
to that place I have though it best to direct this Com- 
munication. 

I am Sir 
W. Lindsey Esqre. (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 



By William Charles Cole Claiborne Governor of the Ter- 
itory of Orleans. 

To all who shall see these presents and more particu- 
larly, to the Sheriff of the first superior Court District. 

Whereas a negroe man named Theodore the property 
of Achilles Truard Escjre. of the Parish of St. John 
Baptiste was lately convicted, before the Judge of the 
Parish of Xew Orleans and a Jury duly and legally con- 
vened of the crime of Insurrection, and was thereupon 
sentenced to death. And whereas at the moment of the 
arrest of the said Theodore he was induced to make a 
frank and ful confession, under promises of Pardon 
made him by three highly respectable Citi/ens of this 
Territory. And whereas Achilles Truard Esqr. the Mas- 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 199 

ter of the negroe man Theodore represents him to have 
been heretofore of fair character, and a most faithful 
Domestic. Now therefore be it known that for the above 
and other good causes, I have considered the aforesaid 
Negroe man Theodore a fit object of mercy; and that I 
do hereby pardon the offence of which he has been con- 
victed as aforesaid, on condition that he receive thirty 
Lashes on this bare back, that he return to the Service of 
his master, and shall not be Absent from his said Mas- 
ters farm, for the term of two Years from the date here- 
of. 

Given under my hand and the Seal of the Territory 
at the City of New Orleans, this first day of April in the 
Year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eleven 
and in the 35th year of the Independence of the United 
States of America. 
L. S. (sgd) William C. C. Claiborne 



To the Secretary of State 

New Orleans April 2. 1811. 
Sir, 

Enclosed is a letter I have this moment received from 
Govr. Folch, informing me that for the future, Troops 
of the L^nited States, will not be permitted to pass under 
any pretext, without the express orders of the Capt. 
Genl. of Cuba. I am not advised of the quarter to which 
this restriction is to apply, but I take it for granted that 
the fort of Mobile and the Waters of Mobile are referred 
to. 

A letter from a friend of mine at Fort Stoddard un- 
der date of the 25. Ultimo announces the arrival at that 
place of Genl. Mathews and Col: Mclvee. My friend 
adds "these Gentlemen are clothed with important 
powers, from our Executive Government, and have 



200 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL, ARCHIVES. 

opened a correspondence with Govr. Folch, but so little 
has yet transpired, that we have, not sufficient ground 
upon which to form an opinion as to the probable result 
of their mission. I rather think that a part of your Gov- 
ernment may be embraced in some way or other, in the 
contemplated mutations and alterations". Such is all 
the information I have as to the object and progress of 
this negotiation. 

The Session of the Territorial Legislature is con- 
tinued in expectation of daily receiving a Copy of the 
Law erecting the Territory of Orleans into a State ; but 
on this subject I have no official information ; and indeed 
not a line from the Department of State has reached me 
of a date later than the fifteenth of November 1810. 
The Honble. I have the honor to be &c 

Mr. Smith (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 

Sec: State. 



To Genl. Hampton 

April 3. 1811. 
Sir, 

I have received a letter from Govr. Folch, under 
date of the 22. of March advising me, "that for the future 
no Troops of the United States will be permitted to pass 
under any pretext, without the express orders of the 
Capt. Genl. of Cuba". It is not stated in what quarter 
this restriction is to operate, but I take it for granted 
that the Fort of Mobile, and the waters of Mobile are 
referred to. 

Will you be good onought to inform me, whether any 
report has been made to you, by the Officer who under 
your orders conveyed dispatches from me to the Parish 
of Pascagoula. Late accounts represent that Duprie's 
party continued to violate with impunity, the rights of 
the good Citizens of that Parish, and that the Civil 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 201 

Authority, was not enabled to maintain good order. If 
the public Service permits, I wish you would order a 
subaltern Officer, and twenty five men, to occupy some 
point at or near the Mouth of Pascagoula Eiver. 

I have the honor to be &c. 
Genl. Wade Hampton. W. C. C. Claiborne 



To the Lady Abbess of the Ursuline Convent. 

N. Orleans April 4. 1811. 
Holy Sister, 

I am honored with the interesting letter which you 
addressed me under date of the 21st of March last, stat- 
ing the ascession to your Community, of the Nuns re- 
cently arrived from france, the extended plan of Educa- 
tion you have adopted, the encreased number of young 
Ladies under your charge, the necessity enlarging the 
buildings, for their accommodation, and expressing a 
wish to obtain from the Government of the United 
States, by purchase or otherwise the public Hospital ad- 
joining the Convent. I beg you to be assured Holy Sister 
of the interest I take in whatever may contribute to the 
welfare of the Institution committed to your care; and 
that I will with great pleasure recommend your applica- 
tion to the favorable consideration of my Government. 
I have the honor to be &c 

W. C. C. Claiborne 



To the Secretary of the Navy 

New Orleans April 4. 1811. 
Sir, 

The Naval Commander on this Station Comoro, Shaw, 
will no doubt advise you of an Ordinance of tho City 
Council, which directs the removal of the public Ship- 
yard, on or before the first day of August next. It did 



202 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

not seem to me necessary to raise the question how far 
the Council have authority to direct such removal this 
question is here in some measure one of party; and there 
are Individuals engaged in contests with the Corpora- 
tion, whose views will be promoted, if the Ordinance in 
question should be considered as invalid. In my inter- 
position therefore with the Mayor and Council, I have 
only touched upon the inexpediency of the order, and 
expressed my entire confidence in their disposition to 
extend to the Navy on this Station every necessary ac- 
commodation, as will appear from the enclosed letters 
No. 1 & 2. I feel certain that the business will be satis- 
factorily arranged. 

Govr. Folch has notified me by letter under day of 
the 22 March, that Troops of the U. S. will not for the 
future be permitted to pass Mobile without the express 
orders of the Capt. Genl. of Cuba. 

The Revolutionists continue to maintain their ground 
in the Interior provinces of Mexico, and to evidence a 
friendly disposition, towards the Citizens of the IT. S. 
How far it may comport with a prudent policy on the 
part of the administration to cherish that disposition, is 
not for me to determine. 

We are all tranquil in this quarter and anxiously 
awaiting a Copy of the Law (said to have passed) erect- 
ing Orleans into a State. In expectation of early official 
information on this subject, the Territorial Legislature 
continues in Session. 

I have had no intelligence of the Brig Viper since her 
departure from the "Balise -- her return to this Port is 
now daily expected. 

I am Sir &c &c 
Secretary of the Xavv W. (\ C. Claibornc 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 203 

To Judge Cantrelle 

N. 0. April 4. 1811. 

Sir, 

I have received your communication of the 25. of 
March, and entirely approve the measures you directed, 
for the apprehension of the Offender Roman, the negroe 
Commander of Mr. Robin Delogny. The conduct of the 
Indians entitled them to great credit, and I am sorry it 
is not in my power, to direct the payment at the Treasury 
department of the reward of one hundred dollars which 
you promised them : But the subject shall be mentioned 
to the Legislature and I doubt not but they will make 
the necessary appropriation. 

I am Sir, 
Judge Cantrelle W. C. C. Claiborne 



To the Secretary of the Treasury 

N. 0. April 4. 1811. 
Sir, 

I have the honor to lay before you a letter which has' 
been addressed to me by the Lady Abbess of the Ursu- 
lines of this City, stating the necessity of enlarging their 
Convent, and expressing a wish to obtain by purchase or 
otherwise a building of the U. S. now used as a military 
Hospital. 

The Lady Abbess and her amiable community devote 
all their temporal cares to the education of female youth; 
and in this point of view are of such public utility, that 
I feel a great interest in whatever may contribute to 
their welfare. For the present I do not suppose the use 
of the military Hospital can be dispensed with ; but I feel 
assured the Government will soon find it expedient to 
dispose, of all the military Lots and buildings in this 



204 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

City and to erect other barracks some where in this 
vicinity. When that period arrives (which cannot be 
distant) I hope it may comport with the views of Gov- 
ernment either to make a donation to the Ladies of the 
Convent of the building they solicit, or to concede to 
them the right of first purchase. 
The Honble. I am Sir c &c 

Mr. Gallatin W. C. C. Claiborne 



To Blddle Wilkinson Entire. 

New Orleans April 4. 1811. 
Dear Sir, 

The applications for Office are really so numerous, 
that I am necessarily obliged to decline answering Let- 
ters addressed to me on that subject; or else more of my 
time, would be employed in that way, than the duties of 
my Office will justify: to this consideration therefore, 
may be attributed the circumstance of my not acknowl- 
edging the receipt of the letter alluded to, in your com- 
munication of the Ultimo. 1 certainly Sir feel the 

most friendly disposition towards yourself and Mr. An- 
drews, I believe you both to be deserving of public and 
private confidence; but as relates to the local appoint- 
ments in this Territory, T have deemed it an Act of Jus- 
tice to the Inhabitants to give them in all cases the pref- 
erence hence it is that your want of previous resi- 
dence in the Territory induces me to confer the Office in 
Feliciana which likely to become vacant on some other 
candidate. 

I am sorry it is not in my power to render this letter 
more satisfactory; but it is due to candor and to friend- 
ship to be thus explicit. 

I am Dr. Sir &c &c 
Biddle Wilkinson Esqr. (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 205 

The Mayor of N. Orleans 

N. Orleans April 4. 1811. 
Sir, 

Do me the favor to submit to the Honble. the City 
Council, the enclosed Correspondence between Comore. 
Shaw and myself, relative to an Ordinance w r hich passes 
on the 25. of March "to amend the Ordinance concern- 
ing the Port of New Orleans, and the Ship-yards". Per- 
mit me to repeat to you Sir, that the removal of the pub- 
lic Ship Yard, would be attended with the most serious 
inconvenience to the public Service; and to express the 
confidence I feel in the City Council to extend to the 
Navy of the United States all necessary accommodation 
in the Port of New Orleans. 
The Honble. I have the honor &c &c 

Mr. Mather. (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To Commodore Shaw. 

N. Orleans April 4. 1811. 
Sir, 

Your letter of the 28th ultimo enclosing a copy of an 
Ordinance of the City Council which directs the public 
Ship- Yard to be removed on or before the first of August 
next has been received. 

I am not inclined to discuss the question how far the 
powers of the Council to whom the police of the City is 
committed, are adequate to the passage of the Ordinance 
aforesaid; but I agree with you in opinion that the re- 
moval of the Ship- Yard, would be attended with the most 
serious inconvenience, and loss to the United States: 
on these points I have expressed myself fully to the 
Mayor of the City, and was happy to find in that offi- 
cer, a sincere disposition to promote the interest of the 



206 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

Government, and to subject the naval Commander on 
this Station to no unnecessary embarrassment. I am 
very confident Sir, that a like disposition will be found 
to exist, on the part of the City Council, and that on fur- 
ther consideration, the Ordinance of the 25. of March, 
will be so modified, as not to embrace, the ship-Yard 
under your direction. 

I have the honor &c &c 
Com: Shaw. (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 

To Geo: F array out 1 

New Orleans April 4. 1811. 
Dr. Sir, 

I am happy to learn, that good order is at length re- 
established in your quarter. The conduct of Duprie is 
outrageous; but by retiring to Tombigbee he is no longer 
within the controul.of the Authorities of this Territory. 
I have suggested to Leforest the necessity of his pursu- 
ing Duprie to Tombigbee, and to apply to the Courts 
there for redress ; but Leforest (in common with the rest 
of the old Inhabitants) seems impressed with an opinion, 
that all power is rested in the Governor, and is not in- 
clined to make application elsewhere. 

Of the propriety of establishing a military Post on 
Dog River, I am fully convinced ; and have so expressed 
myself to CJenl. Hampton. ~\Ve have no late news from 
the City of "\Vashington. 

I wish you health and happiness. 
Geo: Farragout Esqr. .. AY. C. C. Claiborne 



Message 

Gentlemen 'of the Legislative Council and of the House 
of Representatives 
The Bill entitled ''An Act to establish a Sixth and 

1 The father of Admiral Farragut. 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 207 

seventh District of the Superior Court in the Territory 
of Orleans and for other purposes", does not meet my 
approbation. I object only to the last Section. From 
the french text it would seem the wish of the Legislature 
was to suspend the operation of this Bill for three 
months; but the english text admits of an opposite con- 
struction. By it the Act itself ceases to operate three 
months after its passage. 

I request you Gentlemen to reconsider the subject; 
and so to modify the last section as to give perpetuity 
to the Act and to permit'its provisions to go into immedi- 
ate force in the County of Feliciana, where for want of 
a Court of superior jurisdiction, the good people are 
exposed to serious inconvenience. 
New Orleans sg'. W. C. C. Claiborne 

April 4. 1811 



To the Secretary of State 

N. Orleans April 9. 1811. 
Sir, 

I have no news from Mobile or Pensacola since the 
letter from Govr. Folch of which a copy was enclosed 
you by the last Mail. My last accounts from Xachi- 
toches represent that the Revolutionists in the interior 
Provinces of Mexico had met with no reverse of fortune. 

It is believed that a Bill erecting this Territory into 
a State, has passed into a Law, but I remain without any 
official information on this subject. The Territorial 
Legislature are continued in Session in expectation of 
that if a Law erecting Orleans into a State has passed 
it will devolve upon it to apportion the members of the 
Convention among the several Counties, and to prescribe 
the period and mode of election. The Representatives 
however are greatly solicitous to return to their families, 



208 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

and I am fearful they cannot be kept together much 
longer. 

Of the disposition Congress may have made for the 
government of Florida, I am wholly unadvised. The re- 
port of its being detached from the Territory of Orleans 
occasions discontent. My political enemies have la- 
boured to render me personally unpopular, by represent- 
ing that I advised the measure, and had traduced & mis- 
represented the characters of the People. 1 

The Secretary of the Territory Mr. Robertson leaves 
this in the National Brig Siren, in eight or ten days for 
the United States. His friends report that his resigna- 
tion may possibly be tendered on his arrival. If so and 
it be accepted, the duties of my Office would be rendered 
more agreeable if some capable Citizen of this or an ad- 
joining Territory (between whom and myself there exists 
a good understanding) should be named his Successor. 
The Honble. I have the honor &c &c 

Mr. Smith (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To Genl. Thomas 

New Orleans April 9. 1811. 
Dear Sir, 

I have received the letter you had the goodness to ad- 
dress me by Mr. Selley a Commission appointing Mr. 
Ben: P. Thomas a Justice of the Peace is enclosed, and 
which I will thank you to deliver. This Gentleman be- 
ing in your vicinity, will participate in the duties now de- 
volving upon you and which circumstance will I hope in- 
duce you not to press your resignation. 

The transactions at St. Francisville are by me much 
regretted, not from any personal considerations, but on 

1 Claiborne's influence caused the Florida parishes to be annexed to 
Louisiana rather than to Mississippi. 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 209 

account of the political effect, which such conduct may 
produce. The evidence of ill will toward me personally 
which some persons at St. Francisville (according to re- 
port) thought proper to manifest, gives me no concern. 
I am not conscious of deserving it, and do not suppose 
that any personal injury can result. But the rearing of 
the Florida flag and the reluctance with which it was 
taken down, may by some be construed as evidence of 
ill-will towards the American Government. For myself 
I feel assured that the great majority of the people of 
Feliciana are real Americans, and would support with 
their lives the Government & Union. But their charac- 
ters are not as well understood elsewhere, and the con- 
duct of a few thoughtless young men, may prejudice the 
whole Society. 

I wish you health and happiness 
Genl. Thomas. (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To the Secretary of State. 

N. Orleans April 10. 1811 
Sir, 

Since my letter of yesterday there has been published 
in a public print of this City a Copy of the Act admitting 
this Territory into the Union. Under an impression 
that the authenticity of this publication might be relied 
on I this morning sent a written message to the Legis- 
lature of which the enclosed is a copy. It is understood 
that the Legislature will lose no time in apportioning the 
representatives of the Convention among the several 
Counties, and bringing the Session to a close. 
The Honble. I am Sir, &c &c 

Mr. Smith W. C. C. Claiborne 

V 14 



210 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

Message 

Gentlemen of the Legislative Council and of the House 
of Representatives. 

I have the honor to transmit you a publication, ex- 
tracted from a public print of yesterday, purporting to 
be a copy of ''an Act" passed by the Congress of the 
United States, to enable the People of the Territory of 
Orleans to form a Constitution and State Government, 
and for the admission of such State into the Union, on 
an equal footing with the original States and for other 
purposes". Of this Act of Congress I have not yet been 
officially advised; but believing that the authenticity of 
the enclosed publication may be relied on, I have es- 
teemed it a duty, to lay the same before the Legislature. 
New Orleans (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 

April 10. 1811 



To the Secretary of the Navy 

N. Orleans April 12. 1811. 
Sir, 

By the last Mail I advised you of the Ordinance of 
the Council of this City, which directed the removal of 
the public Ship- Yard and transmitted for your perusal 
a Copy of a letter which I had addressed on the subject 
to the Mayor of New Orleans. I now enclose you the 
Mayor's answer from which you will perceive, that there 
is no wisli on the part of that Officer or the Council to 
subject the Navy on this Station to inconvenience; and 
that the Ordinance in question will not be insisted on. 

As relates to the removal of the Navy yard, without 
the limits of New Orleans, I have always thought it ex- 
pedient. An eligible Scite near the City might be pur- 
chased, and all necessary buildings erected for a less 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 211 

sum than a building and adjoining Lot, the property of 
the United States, where naval Stores are now deposited 
would sell for. 
The Honble. I have the honor &c &c 

Mr. Hamilton (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To the Secretary of State 

New Orleans April 16. 1811. 
Sir, 

On a former occasion I stated to you the reasons, 
which induced me, to intercede with the Capt. Genl. of 
Cuba in behalf of the Americans in confinement at Ha- 
vana, and transmitted copies of my letters to that Officer. 
His answer was brought to me last Evening by Capt. 
Bainbridge of the Brig Viper, and of which I now have 
the honor to enclose you a Copy. 

In a letter from Mr. Vincent Gray dated Havana 30. 
March 1811, he says "I believe your letters by Capt. 
Bainbridge may be the cause of saving the lives of those 
unfortunate men, provided the Act of Grace herein en- 
closed does not reach them ; but as the public authorities 
here move slow, we cannot calculate upon any given time 
when Government will decide upon their fate:" But 
Capt. Shaler in a letter of the same date does not write as 
favorably: he says "I have always believed that the cau- 
tious and timid character of the Captain General, would 
prevent him ever giving an opinion on the Accession of 
Florida, and that he would never do any thing, that would 
in the most distant degree, be construed into a recognition 
of the Sovereignty of the United States in that Country, 
consequently that he would not listen to any interference 
in favor of the unfortunate men brought here as prison- 
ers from Pensacola; I expected however that he would 
have treated them with lenity, and perhaps suffer them 



212 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

to escape. Mr. Sibley addressed a letter to me as I am 
informed from prison, which was retained by the Gov- 
ernment. ' ' I have to regret that my intercession with the 
Captain General has not proved successful. It will be 
cause of further regret if the policy of the Spanish Gov- 
ernment, should direct the execution of these unhappy 
captives since I much fear it would be followed by some 
sanguinary Act, of retaliation on the part of their friends 
in this, and the Mississippi Territory. 
The. Honble. I am Sir &c &c 

Mr. Smith &c (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To the Secretary of the Navy 

New Orleans April 16. 1811. 
Sir, 

I have the honor to enclose you a Copy of a letter 
addressed to me by Comore. Shaw together with my an- 
swer. From the state of my foreign relations I think 
it a proper measure of precaution to detain the Siren on 
this Station; and as Comore. Shaw's orders relative to 
her departure are not imperative, I hope it may become 
unnecessary by recruiting at this Port the requisite num- 
ber of Seamen. 

Capt. Bainbridge of the Brig Viper reached this City 
on last Evening. I am am sorry to add that my interces- 
sion with the Capt. <!enl. of Cuba in behalf of the Ameri- 
can's in confinement at Havana lias not been attended 
with success. 
The Honble. Tarn Sir &c &c 

Mr. Hamilton (sgd) \V. C. C. Claiborne 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 213 

To Commodore Shaiv. 

New Orleans April 16. 1811. 
Sir, 

I am honored with the receipt of your letter of yester- 
day. 

From the state of our foreign relations I do not think 
it prudent to deminish our naval force on this Station 
and am therefore of opinion, that exersions should be 
made to enter at the Port "a crew for the United States 
Brig Siren, to supply the place of the one about to be 
discharged." But how far you may be authorised to 
offer a bounty of $10. to each Seaman is a question, 
which (from the general tenor of your instructions, and 
from precedents) you can best determine. 

I am &c 
Comre. Shaw W. C. C. Claiborne 



To Doctor Sibley 
- Dear sir New Orelans April 18. 1811. 

I am sorry to inform you that my intercession with 
the Capt. Genl. of Cuba in behalf of Mr. Cyrus Sibley has 
not been attended with the desired success. I am not 
however without hopes that my interference may lead 
(ultimately) to his liberation; and indeed letters from 
Havana give me very reason to anticipate such an event. 

I wish you health and happiness. 
Doctr. Sibley (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To Judge Lewis 
Dear Sir, New Orleans April 19. 1811. 

I have received your letter of the 7th Inst. The Act 
of the Legislature to which you allude has not yet been 
approved by the Governor. In the event of its passage 



214 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

(which is somewhat uncertain) your recommendation of 
Mr. Wrenn will be attended to. 

You have no doubt understood that your Parish has 
been divided. Will you do me the favor to name a Citi- 
zen of the Parish St. Mary (the name given the new Pa- 
rish) capacitated to act as Judge thereof, and possessing 
the confidence of the people. 

I wish you health and happiness. 
Judge Lewis (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 



Message 

Gentlemen of the Legislative Council and of the House 

of Representatives. 

At the commencement of the late Insurrection of the 
negroes, in the parishes of St. Charles and St. John Bap- 
tiste, I deemed it a duty to offer a very liberal reward for 
the apprehension of the principal Chiefs. This reward 
has not yet been claimed but it is known to me that some 
of the Citizens of German Coast, are entitled to a part 
thereof. To enable me therefore to fulfill a promise 
which I made in my Official Character, and solely with a 
view to the public safety, I must request the Legislature 
to have the goodness, to place at the disposition of the 
Governor of the Territory, a sum not exceeding fifteen 
hundred dollars, which it is believed will meet the de- 
mands alluded to. 

New Orleans (sgd) AY. C 1 . C. Claiborne 

April 19. 1811 



To Col: Sparks 

New Orleans April 21. 1811. 
My dear Sir, 

I have received your letter of the - - and regret it 
is not in my power to come immediately to Baton Rouge. 
The Legislature of the Territory of Orleans is in Session, 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 215 

and it is essential to the public interest, that I should re- 
main at the Seat of Government. It is however expected 
that the Legislature will rise some time about the last 
of this week ; in that event should my presence at Baton 
Rouge be necessary to your defence, you may rest as- 
sured I shall not fail to be there. In the mean time 
should you feel a disposition to have my Answers to any 
particular interrogotaries, you have only to forward 
them to me at New Orleans, and the answers shall be im- 
mediately returned to you at Baton Rouge. 

I am Sir &c &c 
Col: Sparks sgd W. C. C. Claiborne 



To Col: Sparks 

New Orleans April 22. 1811. 
Dear Sir, 

The Legislature of the Territory have agreed to ad- 
journ on Thursday next, and in conformity to your wish 
and the summons of the Court Martial I shall set out 
for Baton Rouge on Friday or Saturday. 

I am Sir &c &c 
ColiSparks s. W. C. C. Claiborne 



To Genl. Hampton. 

New Orleans April 22. 1811. 
Dear Sir, 

Col: Sparks has summoned me to Baton Rouge as 
a witness. I do not know that any thing I can say, would 
be of importance at the trial ; but as my presence is do- 
sired it is an Act of Justice to a man whom I have long 
know & esteemed to attend. 

The Legislature adjourns on Tomorrow and I shall 



216 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

leave this on Saturday. I anticipate the pleasure of see- 
ing you at the Homars, or at Baton Rouge. 

I am D. Sir, &c &c 
Genl. Hampton si. W. C. C. Claiborne 



Gentlemen of the Legislative Council and of the House 

of Representatives. 

On examining the Bill entitled "An Act Supplemen- 
tary to An Act regulating and governing the Militia of 
the Territory of Orleans" I find that by the second Sec- 
tion the Adjutant General is charged with the annual in- 
spection of each and every Regiment in the Territory. 
I find also that by the fifteenth Section the Same Of- 
ficer is directed to furnish blank forms of returns to the 
Several Colonels or Commandants of Corps, and to ex- 
plain the principles upon which these should be made ; 
to receive from the several Officers commanding Corps, 
returns of the Militia under their command, reporting 
the actual situation of their arms, ammunition, accoutre- 
ments &c I submit it therefore to the Legislature 
whether the Regimental Inspection had not bettor be con- 
fided to the several Colonels Commandants or Officers 
commanding Regiments; and with this view I recom- 
mend to their reconsideration the second Section of the 
Bill. Should this Inspection remain with the Adjutant 
General, he must necessarily neglect the various other 
duties, required of him under the fifteenth Section; and 
his Journey through every part of the Territory will of 
itself subject him to an expence, which his Salary of one 
thousand dollars Pr. Annum, will not more than meet. 
New Orleans W. C. C. Claiborne 

April 24. 1811. 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLA1BORNE. 217 

To Woods on Wrenn Esqr. 

New Orleans April 25. 1811. 
Sir, 

I have the pleasure to enclose you two Commissions 
signed by the President of the United States, by which 
you are appointed Collector of the District of Tache, and 
Inspector of the Eevenue of Nova Iberia. 

The necessary forms and instructions for your Gov- 
ernment, I expect will be very soon enclosed, to me by 
the Comptroller of the Treasury, and immediately on 
their reception shall be forwarded. 

The Collector's salary is $250 Per Ann: exclusive of 
fees, and commissions ; as Inspector also you will be al- 
lowed certain fees which in a few years may render the 
Office valuable. You will be pleased to acknowledge the 
receipt of this Letter, and advise me of your acceptance 
or non-acceptance of the office. 

I am Sir &c 
Woodson Wrenn Esqr. W. C. C. Claiborne 



To P. Grymes Esqr. 

New Orleans April 25. 1811. 
Sir, 

Your letter of yesterday has been received : I assent 
to your absence from the Territory; but it is expected 
you will return to New Orleans, as soon as your conven- 
ience permits ; and in any event prior to the first of De- 
cember. 

I am Sir &c 
P. Grymes Esqre. 



218 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

Proclamation 

By William C. C. Claiborne Governor of the Territory 
of Orleans 

Whereas it is made known to. the undersigned, that 
the Legislature and House of Representatives, of the 
Territory of Orleans, had by a joint Resolution agreed 
to close their Session on this day, the twenty fifth of the 
present month (April) ; And whereas a Resolution which 
had passed the Legislative Council to postpone the con- 
templated adjournment, was this day rejected by the 
House of Representatives, and the said House of Rep- 
resentatives fourthwith adjourned sine die; leaving un- 
acted upon several subjects of great importance to the 
welfare to this Territory. Now therefore be it known 
that I William C. C. Claiborne Governor as aforesaid, 
do by virtue of the powers in me vested issue this my 
Proclamation, hereby requiring each and every member 
of the Legislative Council & House of Representatives 
of this Territory to assemble together in their respective 
Chambers on this day at 5. 'Clock P. M. and to continue 
in the discharge of their Legislative functions. 

Given under my hand and the Seal of the Territory 
this 25th day of April in the year of our Lord 1811. and 
in the 35th year of American Independence. 
[L. S.] W. C. C. Claiborne 



Message 

Gentlemen of the Legislative Council and of the House 

of Representatives 

By the Act providing for the payment of Slaves, 
killed and executed on account of the late Insurrection 
in this Territory, and for other purposes, which has this 
day been approved, the public faith is pledged for the 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 219 

payment of a great Sum, than the unappropriated 
monies at this time in the Treasury amount to. It is be- 
leived that the demand under Act aforesaid, will be about 
$29,000, and from the report of the Treasurer herewith 
transmitted, there remained in the Treasury on the 19. 
Inst. an unappropriated of only $19,250. I submit there- 
fore to the Legislature the expediency of providing by 
a supplementary Bill, for the remuneration of the losses 
sustained during the late Insurrection by instalments; 
or otherwise the Treasury will for several months be 
left with monies sufficient to meet the current expences 
of the Government. It will not escape the observation 
of the Legislature ; that these expences will be much in- 
creased the present year, under the Law providing for 
the election of Representatives, for forming a Conven- 
tion and for other purposes. 

New Orleans William C. C. Claiborne 

April 25. 1811 



Message 

Gentlemen of the Legislative Council and of the House 
of Representatives 

I have considered with respectful attention the Bill 
supplementary to and amending An Act entitled An Act, 
relative to roads, Levees, and to the police of Cattle & 
for other purposes", and cannot approve the same. My 
objections attach more immediately to the fourth Sec- 
tion which vests the parish meetings or Police Jury with 
power to appoint Parish Treasurers and to define their 
duties and qualifications ' '. 

It is not permitted me to sanction a provision of that 
kind, because it is opposed to that part of tho Ordinance 
for the Government of the Territory which says, that tho 
powers and duties of Magistrates and other civil officers, 



220 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

shall be defined by the Legislature, and that all Magis- 
trates and other civil officers whose appointments are not 
otherwise directed by the Ordinance shall be made by 
the Governor". Treasurers are unquestionably civil 
officers. 

New Orleans sg. W. C. C. Claiborne 

April 26. 1811. 



To Robert Fulton Esqre. 

New Orleans April 26. 1811. 
Dear Sir, 

I have the pleasure to enclose you a copy of "an Act 
granting to Robert R. Livingston, and Robert Fulton the 
sole privilege of using Steam boats for a Limited time 
in this Territory, and to subscribe myself. 

With great respect &c 
Robert Fulton Es. (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To William Lindsay Esqre. 

New Orleans April 26. 1811. 
Sir, 

I request you to have the goodness to transmit to Mr. 
Patterson the enclosed Commission, appointing him 
Sheriff of the Parish of Warren, and in the event of his 
acceptance to administer to him an Oath to support the 
Constitution of the United States, and also an Oath 
faithfully and diligently to perform the duties of his 
Office. 

Will you be pleased to advise me at what point on 
the River, packets directed to you should be left. I wish 
to send to your Parish by some boats ascending the Mis- 
sissippi several copies of the Laws of the Territory. 

I am &c &c 
Judge Lindsay W. C. C. Claiborne 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 221 

To the Secretary of the Treasury. 

New Orleans April 26. 11. 
Dear Sir, 

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your 
private Letter of the 19th of March, and to inform you 
that I have filled up the blanks in the Commissions for 
the Offices of Collector and Inspector of the Revenue 
which you forwarded to me with the name of Woodson 
Wrenn. He is a native of Virginia and resides near to 
Nova Iberia. I have very little personal knowledge of 
Mr. Wrenn ; but several of my friends and more particu- 
larly Mr. Benjamin Morgan have assured me that he 
possesses great integrity ; and is capable, prudent and in- 
dustrous. As soon as the forms and instructions which 
you are pleased to say, will be transmitted under cover 
to me, by the Comptroller shall reach me they shall be 
forwarded to Mr. "Wrenn. 

The Legislature have passed a Law providing for the 
election of Members of the Convention, and in expecta- 
tion of a speedy admission into the Union, have declared 
by a Resolution that it was not expedient to nominate 
another Delegate to Congress. The Convention I pre- 
sume will elect some Citizen to bear to Congress a Copy 
of the Constitution, which may be adopted. 

At the earnest request of Mr. Fortier the acting Mar- 
shal of this District I take the liberty to mention to you, 
that that Officer is greatly harrassed, witli applications 
for little sums of money due to Jurors, Witnesses and 
others, for attendance at the District Court; and that 
he is anxious to be authorized to draw upon you for an 
amount sufficient to cover these claims. 

I am Sir &c 
The Hon. W. Gallatin W. C. C. Claiborne 



222 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

To Henry Johuson Esqre. 

New Orleans May 1, 1811. 
oir, 

I have the pleasure to enclose you a Commission as 
Judge of the Parish of St. Mary. In the event of your 
acceptance it will be necessary that you enter into Bond 
(with two Sureties owners of real Estate in the Terri- 
tory of Orleans) with the Governor of the Territory for 
the sum of five thousand dollars, for the faithful dis- 
charge of your duties. The Oaths of office will be ad- 
ministered to you by the Honble. Judge Lewis of At- 

tackapas. - 

I am Sir &c &c 

Heny. Johnson Esqr. (sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 

P. S. I will thank you to forward the enclosed Commis- 
sions to the Gentlemen to whom they are directed. In 
the event of their acceptance you will be pleased to ad- 
minister to each of the Gentlemen the Oaths of Office. 

AY. C. C. C. 



To John line/lies E*(fre.. 
gir New Orleans May 1, 1811. 

Desirous of availing the public of your Services as 
of the Sixth Superior Court District, I have the 



honor to enclose you a Commission and to subscribe my- 
self c 
John Hughes Esqr. (sgd) AY. C. C. Claiborne 



To Lloyd Posey Esqr, 
Sir, 

Desirous of availing the public of your services as 
of the Sixth Superior Court District, 1 have the 
honor to enclose you a Commission and to subscribe my- 
self &c 
Lloyd Posey Ksqre. sgd. AY. C. C. Claiborne 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 223 

To the Secretary of State 

New Orleans May 3. 1811. x 
Sir, 

The Territorial Legislature adjourned a few days 
since, and the Members greatly dissatisfied with each 
other as also with the Executive. This ill-will was gen- 
erated by a project of a Bankrupt Law ; as warmly sup- 
ported by the Members whose native language is f rench ; 
as it was opposed by those whose native language is Eng- 
lish. Among the Citizens also there existed on this 
question great disunion in Sentiment. The native 
French and Creoles rallying around the Majority of the 
Legislature : and the native Americans adhering to a 
man to the minority. The proposed Law however con- 
tained provisions which it was impossible for me to sanc- 
tion they were opposed to the spirit of American juris- 
prudence, and would I am assured have proven more or 
less oppressive to the whole community. But for more 
particular information as to the grounds on which the 
Law was rejected, I beg leave to refer you to the en- 
closed Copy of my Message on the subject to the Legis- 
lature. 

The last accounts from the interior provinces of Mex- 
ico were unfavorable to the Revolutionists. Their Chief 
(the Priest Hedelgo) it is said has been betrayed, and 
delivered up to the partizans of the vice-Koy. As far as 
I can learn the public sympathy, as well as numbers are 
greatly on the side of the Revolutionists: but they are in 
great want of arms; and their Leaders are so evidently 
deficient in Judgment and prudence, that their cause is 
despaired of. 
The Honble. I have the honor &c &c 

Mr. Monroe s. W. C. C. Claiborne 

Sec: State. 



224 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

To the Mayor of New Orleans. 

New Orleans May 3. 1811. 
Sir, 

In conformity to the instruction of the Board of 
Regents of the University of Orleans I have the honor 
to transmit to you a Copy of their Resolution unani- 
mously adopted on the 2nd Inst. relative to the estab- 
lishment of a College on the Scit.e of the Plantation 
Treme, allotted for that purpose by the City Corpora- 
tion and to request you to submit the same to the City 
Council at their next meeting. From the generous and 
enlightened policy which has on this occasion been al- 
ready displayed by that Honble. Body the Regents are 
induced to believe that they will receive such further en- 
couragement and support from the Corporation as may 
tend to the advancement of so desirable an Institution. 
To that end it is deemed indespencible to unite, the means 
appropriated by the Legislature, with such as have al- 
ready been granted by the City Corporation, and a num- 
ber of good Citizens; and the Regents persuade them- 
selves, that the Mayor and Aldermen of New Orleans 
will pass some deed or other writing, which shall place 
at their disposition the Lots & buildings on the Planta- 
tion Treme, and also the amount of the private subscrip- 
tion List. 

I am Sir, 
The Rouble. very respectfully 

Mr. Mather Your most ob : hum : Ser : 

Mayor of (signed) William C. C. Claiborne 
New Orleans. 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBOKNE. 225 

Translation of a letter from the Capt. Genl. of Cuba. 

Havana March 29. 1811. 
Sir, 

I have received two of your Excellency's letters, one 
oi the 23rd Feby. and the other of the 3rd March in- 
stant, for the purpose of recommending a certain Har- 
grave and others his companions apprehended near Mo- 
bile by the Spanish troops, under the Command of Briga- 
dier General Don Vincente Folch, wherein your Excel- 
lency extends particularly to request the release of Mr. 
Cyrus Sibley; the Circumstances relative to whom and 
who 's innocence you wish to corroborate by the two Let- 
ters of information which accompany yours. 

After being fully informed of the whole affair, I have 
to state to your Elxcellency in reply that it would in truth 
afford me the greatest satisfaction at this moment, If the 
information which I have received, as to the blameless 
state in which those insurgents are conceived to be, could 
agree with the true merits and aspect which their Case 
presents. 

As I should with the greatest pleasure accede to the 
delivery of Sibley and to the alleviating the Lot of his 
Companions, in order to add this new proof of the Con- 
stant good understanding which I wish to maintain be- 
tween two friendly Governments in Avhich rank I class 
the United States ; but unfortunately occurrences oppose 
so doing in this affair. Of the Eleven persons belonging 
to the insurrection formed against the Fort & Town of 
Mobile, Ten were taken among those encamped with 
HKemper who was at the head of that Rebellion, and whon 
we treat of judging them for Crime of Such Magnitude, 
committed in Violation of national rights and in the face 
of the Spanish Government, I cannot as first Chief of the 
Province dissemble in their case, nor bleach their delin- 
quency, without the clearest proof ; neither can your Ex- 

V 15 



226 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

cellency as Solicitor in there behalf think yourself unat- 
tended to in your request, because the prosecution is car- 
ried on for its due and proper Conclusion; on the con- 
trary I trust that when your Excellency shall be con- 
vinced of the truth of the facts which have preceded the 
steps and measures now in agitation you will feel with 
me interested that the most prompt Justice, which the 
magnitude of such an injury requires, should be strictly 
administered. 

Mr. Cyrus Sibley may be know by the fair Character 
by which you recommend him, but until now he appears 
to be a true agent of the Revolutionary Kemper for the 
purpose of delivering into the hands of the Commandant 
of Pensacola letters from said Kemper tending to the 
ends of his perfidious project, and what is further against 
him is the aggravating circumstances of his being a 
Settler in the Spanish District of Mobile, having sworn 
to observe our Laws and having obtained the consequent 
Decree of naturalization. How then could I under the 
circumstances thus circumscribed agree to release and 
send back Mr. Sibley without directly violating the confi- 
dence placed in my hands by the Sovereignty of the na- 
tion, for the Government of the Province and the defense 
of the national rights committed to my charge. Both 
those extremes are incompatible, consequently the first 
is impracticable Yet in compliance with the contents of 
said Letters, I can grant that they be attached to the pro- 
ceedings, in order that the information therein contained 
may work its adequate weight on the merits of the Case. 
The officer Commanding the Vessel of War of the United 
States, who came to this Port, delivered me your Excys. 
two aforesaid letters, and the same person takes the pres- 
ent Answer, The Lord preserve you many years. 

(Sigd.) The Marqyis of Someruelos 
His Ecln. filovr. a Translation by San : Moore 
W. C. C. Claiborne 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 227 

Message 

Gentlemen of the Legislative Council and of the Honse 
of Representatives 

During the late Insurrection in this Territory I nec- 
essarily incurred some expenditures with a view to the 
equipment, the Comfort and Speedy movement of several 
detachments of militia, ordered into Service. These 
expenditures, which include only the amount of Horse 
hire carts &ca. and the purchase of Provisions and Am- 
unition) I was of opinion were properly chargeable to 
the United States ; and to enable me to meet them, I drew 
Bills upon the Department of War, for $2500, which Sum 
was to be paid me in this City, by the Merchants in whose 
favor the Bills were drawn, on information being re- 
ceived that they had been honored : but in a Letter from 
the Honble. the Secretary at War recently received and 
of which a Copy is herewith enclosed, he represents, that 
"there being no appropriation by Congress for the pay- 
ment of Militia called out for any purpose whatever, he 
was under the necessity of returning the Bills unsatis- 
fied; and he suggests the expediency, of the Legislature 
of the Territory providing for the payment, and that ap- 
plication be hereafter made to congress for an approp- 
priation". 

I cannot State with certainty the extent of these Ex- 
penditures ; Claims to the amount of Eleven hundred Dol- 
lars have been paid ; a part out of my own private funds ; 
and part by advances made by Mr. Francis Duplossis 
Junr. who acted as Quarter Master and other accounts 
exhibited by Sundry Individuals remain unliquidated, 
it is believed however that two Thousand and five Hun- 
dred Dollars, will meet the whole demand; and which I 
request the Legislature to place at the disposition of the 
Executive for the above purpose. 
April 29th 1811 sigd. Wm. C. C. Claiborne 



228 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

Message 

Gentlmen of the Legislative Council and of the House 

of Representatives 

I have considered with all the attention due to the im- 
portance of the subject; the Bill entitled "An Act con- 
cerning failures and Bankruptcies" which on the Even- 
ing of the 27th inst. was laid before me, many of its pro- 
visions are wise and Salutary, but there are others which 
to my mind are so very exceptionable, that I cannot con- 
sistently with my duty approve them. It will not be ex- 
pected of me to State in detail my various objections. 
Such a Course on the part of the executive is Seldom 
pursued ; and would moreover on the present occasion be 
useless; since there is little ground to hope that at this 
late period of your Session, and with so strong a desire 
as has already been manifested to adjourn that the Bill 
could be so modified, as to meet the wishes of the three 
Brandies of the Legislature On a question however, of 
such general interest, which has occupied so great a share 
of the deliberations of the Legislative body, and excited 
so much public solicitude, I beg leave to state in general 
and concise terms, the Considerations which have in- 
duced my Veto: I object to the System in the first place 
because in its execution the aid of persons learned in the 
Law, is rendered so necessary, and to resort to judges 
and Courts so frequent, that, I am assured a greater por- 
tion of Bankrupt's Estate, would be appropriated to the 
discharge of the demands of 'Lawyers, Sheriffs, No- 
taries, and Clerks, than is consistent with equity and 
good Policy. I object also to the System, because its 
general principles are not in unison, with tin; genius and 
the spirits of American jurisprudence It seems to me 
desirable that our Regulations concerning Bankruptcies 
should be assimilated as far as is practicable to those of 
the United States generally 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. ,C. CLAIBORNE. 229 

< 

From the Geographical position of this Territory, our 
traders will always be intimately connected with the 
great Commercial Houses of the Northern and Middle 
States ; and our exporting merchants will have large and 
extensive dealings, with the Inhabitants of that rich and 
immense tract of Country West of the Alleghany Moun- 
tains, whose various products descend annually to New 
Orleans, the great Commercial Depot of the Western 
World. Hence, to this people, a municipal regulation of 
ours respecting Bankruptcies, is as interesting as to our- 
selves. It is due therefore, on this occasion, to the great 
American family, of which this Territory forms a part, 
to profit by their experience, and to be guided in some 
measure by their opinions ; These we can without diffi- 
culty ascertain, by an examination of the Several State 
Statutes relative to Bankrupts and insolvent debtors, or 
of a perusal of the late uniform System of Bankruptcy 
of the U: States. Among the particular Provisions, 
which I deem objectionable, is the one which declares that 
when fraud is presumed, a Satisfactory explanation, on 
oath, by two witnesses, can alone rescue the Bankrupt 
from the Penalties of the Law; On the trial of other 
offences of equal moral turpitude, with that of fraud in 
a Bankrupt, the testimony of one competent witness, 
(under the Law) justifies an acquital, and I do not see the 
necessity of introducing a different rule in the present 
instance. It is not the number but the Credit of wit- 
nesses that produces conviction. I have also great 
doubts as to the propriety of the provisions which de- 
clare invalid or presume to be fraudulent all Sales of real 
property, houses, or Slaves (the last particularly) : Com- 
mercial contracts entered into, monies paid (except notes 
at order or other negociable notes), or judgments ob- 
tained ten days previous to a failure. This may indeed 
tend in Some degree to the prevention of fraud, but I 
must fear their operation will prove often injurious to 



230 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

many Citizens as well of this as of the Western States 
and Territories, who trade annually to New Orleans, and 
who are in the habit of buying and selling upon the best 
terms without enquiring as to the solvency of those with 
whom they traffic. 

There is another objection to the Bill I cannot omit to 
state; no provision is made for the temporary support 
of the fair trader and his family while the whole of his 
Property is under Seizure, and during the period he is 
Sueing for a discharge a provision strongly recom- 
mended by every principle of equity of humanity. And 
Lastly Gentlemen, the rigour of the Law generally, 
seems to me to be the more exceptionable, since the Bank- 
rupt gains nothing in the end, but an exemption from im- 
prisonment, for if his Estate is not sufficient to pay all 
his debts, the law holds responsible for the residue such 
property as he may thereafter acquire. Do me the Jus- 
tice, Gentlemen, to believe that no individual is more so- 
licitous than I am to introduce into this Territory some 
efficient system of Bankruptcy. I am very sensible of the 
defects of the one now in use, and am inclined to believe 
that its facilities have in many instances been made sub- 
servient to the purposes of fraud. I noticed with pleas- 
ure that the attention of the Legislature had been drawn 
to the subject, and 1 have sincerely to regret that a dif- 
ference in opinion, should have arisen as to the measure 
proper to be adopted. 
X. Orleans 30 April, Sigd. AY. C. C. Claiborne 



By William C. C. Claiborne Governor of the Territory 

of Orleans. 

Whereas by an Act of the Legislature of the Territory 
of Orleans, "p]ntitled an Act to incorporate the Bank of 
Orleans", it is declared that Subscriptions shall be 
opened on the fifteenth day of the present Month, May. 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBOKSTE. 231 

under the Superintendence of such persons as shall be ap- 
pointed by the Governor of the Territory, and not being 
less than three, which said subscription shall be continued 
open until the whole of the Capital Stock of said Bank 
shall be subscribed. Now therefore be it known, That I 
William C. C. Claiborne Governor as aforesaid ; Do nomi- 
nate and appoint as Commissioners under the Act afore- 
said. Benjamin Morgan, David Olivier, Thomas Pore, 
William Kenner, Denis Laronde, Anty. Cavalier Junr. 
John C. Wederstrandt Joseph McNeil, John M : Fortier, 
R. D. Shepherd, and Bartholomew Macarty. and I do 
authorize them, or any three or more of them, to as- 
semble at the Commercial Coffee House on the fifteenth 
day of the Present Month, (May) at the hour of Ten in 
the forenoon, for the purpose of receiving Subscriptions 
as aforesaid, and to continue the Books open after the 
fifteenth day of the present Month, May, at such place 
as may be considered proper by the acting Commission- 
ers, giving public notice thereof, and I do further au- 
thorize them to perform all and Singular the Duties, re- 
quired of them, under the act "to Incorporate the Bank 
of Orleans. 

Given under my hand and the Seal of the Territory at 
New Orleans on the 3rd day of May in the year of our 
Lord. One Thousand Eight hundred & Eleven. 
Seal signed, William C. C. Claiborne 



Private New Orleans May 3. 1811 

The Rouble. Mr. Hamilton Secy, of the Navy. 

My dear Sir, 

The Newspapers have advised us here of a change in 
the Cabinet; thro' the same medium we are told of fur- 
ther changes, but I know not, what degree of Credit is 



232 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

due these reports. Permit me to hope, my dear Sir, 

that the Conjectures of , as to your 

speedy retirement is unfounded. Devoted as I am to 
the administration and to Republicanism, 1 see with pain 
the smallest symptoms of division, and among your many 
friends there is not one, who would more sincerely re- 
gret any event that would tend to deprive the Nation of 
your public services. I do not understand, that a change 
of affairs at Mobile is likely to take place ; I fear the ad- 
ministration attached more importance to the propos- 
tions of Governor Folch, than they deserved, and gave 
him Credit for a greater share of good faith and sin- 
cerity than he possesses. The Mission of 

has my best wishes; but I fear it will be of no avail, my 
opinion is, that the Bayonet alone will put us in posses- 
sion of Mobile and of East Florida and that tin 1 sooner 
it is resorted to, the better. 

The Territorial Legislature adjourned two days since, 
much dissatisfied with the Executive for having rejected 
a favorite Bankrupt System. This Act of mine affects 
materially for the present my popularity with the freiich 
part of this Community; Hut it gives me no Concern 
there was ill truth, no alternative. The System was a 
Compilation of French and Spanish Law; opposed to the 
Spirit the genious of American jurisprudence, and in my 
Judgment, could not fail to prove oppressive to the fail' 
Trader; Under these impressions, if every man, Woman 
and Child in the Territory, had desired its passage, I 
nevertheless would with pleasure have rejected it. Thf 
last accounts from the interior of .Mexico were unfavor- 
able to tin- Revolutionists: their Chief (the Pries Hidal- 
go) had been betrayed, and delivered up to the par- 
tisans of the Vice Roy. The Public Sympathies in Mex- 
ico are (I learn ) greatly on the side of the Revolutionists, 
P>ut they are for the most part without arms, aii't their 
Leaders are so deficient in judgment and prudence. iu;it 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 233 

their Cause is dispaired of. I had anticipated the pleas- 
ure of visiting Washington in the course of the Summer ; 
But the state of things will not I fear, admit of my ab- 
sence from the Territory. The has 

obtained permission to repair to the U. States, & will 
very soon take his departure. The Territory therefore 
cannot be left without either Secretary or Governor, and 
I must of course remain at my Post. 

You will find an entilligent, agreeable 

Man, and entitled to your friendly Civilities with me 
however he is not on Terms his course and mine as re- 
gards local politicks has not been in unison, and he is 

my enemy personal and political; his friend , 

a purser in the navy who will probably accompany him, 
is alike hostile to me. I hope our friends in the white 
house are in the enjoyment of health and happiness, my 
best wishes will always attend them. It is said here, 
that the Minister from the Emperor of the Russia's, 
makes visits other than official and that he is well re- 
ceived by the amaible personage to whom his attentions 
are directed. You will agree, that a rival of such respec- 
table standing, public as well as private, is calculated to 
excite apprehension. 

I pray You to present me with Respect and affection 
to .... and to your amaible Daughters. 

I am Dr. Sir, 

Your faithful friend 
The Honble. Sigd. W. C. C. Claiborno 



To the Secretary of the Treasury. 

Xcw Orleans May Oth 181.1. 
Sir, 

Having observed in the Law, making Appropriations 
for the support of Government for the year 1S11, as pub- 
lished in the Newspapers, an Appropriation of two 



234 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

Thousand eight hundred and fifty Dollars for Contin- 
gent expences of the Territory of Orleans, including the 
Sum of one thousand dollars, for a dificiency in the ap- 
propriation for the past year, I have this day drawn 
upon you, for fourteen hundred Dollars payable at ten 
days sight to Thomas II. Williams, Collector or order, 
my Accounts & Vouchers shall be forwarded at the end 
of the quarter. I am Sir 
The Honble. With great respect 

Mr. Gallatin Your mo: ob: Sev. 

(sigd.) W. C. C. Claiborne 



William C. C. Claiborne, Governor of the Territory of 
Orleans. 

To the Sheriff of the first Superior Court District. 

William Bradford now in Confinement in the Joal of 
this City, Charged with a Felony Committed within the 
Mississippi Territory having been demanded according 
to Law by the Governor of the Mississippi Territory, 
who at the same time transmitted to me certain affidav- 
its going to prove the guilt of the accused, You are here- 
by required to deliver the person of the said Win. Brad- 
ford to the bearer of this Warrant, Thomas Torrence 
under whose care, lie will be Conveyed to the Mississippi 
Territory, and there dealt with, as the Laws of said 
Territory shall prescribe. 

(liven under my hand and the Seal of the Territory, 
at X: Orleans on the 9th of May 1811. 

(Signed) W. C. C. Claiborne. 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 235 

Private 

Note: The following Letter was omitted in its proper 
place to General Wilkinson. 

New York Sept. 24th 1810 
Dear Sir, 

A few days since; at the moment of my departure 
from Boston, I received your Letters of the Instant, & 
should immediately have answered them, had not the 
News Papers announced your arrival in Rhod Island, 
which I thought was probably Correct, and where I had 
expected to see you. 

My Answers to the Queries you addressed to me, 
were committed to writing, previous to my departure 
from Washington, but by an inadvertance, which I re- 
gret, instead of being sent you, were placed in a packet 
of papers, which I brought with me; These Answers, I 
now enclose will I hope reach you in due time. The 
News from France has produced much bustle among the 
Merchants, and great astonishment among the Politi- 
cians; What course England may now pursue, becomes 
a question of great importance, on that Course I suspect, 
peace or War depends. If the orders in Counsel are not 
revoked, and the paper Blockades abandoned, I do not 
see, how the U : States can longer avoid a Resort to the 
"unprofitable experiment, of seeing which power can do 
the other the greatest harm". I leave this in two days, 
& shall be at Washington on the 2d or 3d of October. 

I am Dr. Sir, 

With great Regard 
Your mo : ob : hm : Servt. 
(Sigd) W. C. C. Claiborne 

P. S. I really do not recollect whether or not 

accompanyed us, on our Visit to Torre aux Boeuf my 



236 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

impression has been, that he was not of the party, but I 
am by no means Certain. 

Genl. Wilkinson (sigd.) W. C. C. C. 

Washington City. 



To Genl. James Wilkinson. 

Sir, 

Your Letter of the 14th of July, has been received, 
and I now answer the Queries addressed to me in the 
order you have placed them! 

1st. I was advised in the year 1805, by letters from 
several of my friends in Tennessee, that at the Congres- 
sional Election, then next ensuing, A. Burr would prob- 
ably be a Candidate for the Cumbeerland District. 
2nd. I was also informed that Burr & Clarke were 
desirous to effect my removal from office, & to obtain the 
nomination of one of them as my Successor. 
3rd A Gentleman residing at New Orleans did state to 
me some time in the winter of 1806., 7. that Burr had 
been contemplated as the Delegate to Congress from the 
Orleans Territory; but that at the meeting of the Ter- 
ritorial Legislature, he was absent, & it was thought best 
not to propose him. 

4th. You did appear to me Solicitous to Select an eli- 
gible position for the encampment of the Troops. 
5th. Gal vex. Town was "first spoken of" and was 
abandoned, as I understood at the same for the reason 
you suggest. 

6th. Mr ..supports an amiable Character; 

he is etseemed a man of honor, and a worthy member 
of Society. T am Sir, 

Very Respectfully, 

Genl. Jas. Wilkinson Your Hum: Servt. 

Washington Citv fsiird.) Wm. C. C. Claiborne 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 237 

To Messrs. Felix Arnaud; Michael Fortier; Francis 

Caissergues; Richd. Butler, Robert Dow, J. D. 

Belchasse, 

Circular 

New Orleans 12th May 1811 
Sir, 

Desirous to avail the Public of your Services as a 
Member of the Council of Administration of the Char- 
ity Hospital of New Orleans, I have the honor to Enclose 
you a Commission and to Subscribe myself. 

Very Respectfully 

Your mo: ob: Servt. 
(Sigd.) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To James MatJier 

New Orleans 13th May 1811 
Sir, 

I have the honor to inform you, that I have nom- 
inated and appointed on my part Messrs. Robert Dow, 
Michael Fortier, Francis Cassergues, Richard Butler, 
J. D. Belchasse, and Felix Arnaud, Members of the 
Council of administration of the Charity Hospital of 
New Orleans, for 12 months ensuing the first day of the 
present month May; you will oblige me, by transmitting 
to me the names of the Gentlemen, who may have been 
appointed members of said Council of administration, 
on the part of the City Council ! 

I am, Sir, 

The Honble. With great respect 

Mr. Mather Mayor of Your mo : ob : Hble. Serv. 
New Orleans sigd. Willm. C. C. Claiborne 



238 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

The Honble. New Orleans May 13th 1811 

Mr. Duval 

Comptroller of the Treasury 

Sir, 

I have the honor to acknowledge the Receipt of your 
Letter of the 3rd of April, and to inform you, that the 
papers it enclosed have been forwarded to Woodson 
"VVrenn Esqre. the Collector of the District of Teche. 

I am, Sir, 

AYith great respect 
Your mo: ob: Humble Serv. 

(sigd.) AA^. C. C. Claiborne 



To Woodson Wrenn 

New Orleans May 13. 1811 
Collector of the District 

of Teche. 
Sir, 

By Col: Declouet, I transmitted you, the President's 
Commission, appointing you Collector for the District of 
Teche ; and I now enclose you a packet from the Honble. 
Grabriel Duval Comptroller of the Treasury, which was 
forwarded to my care. 

As to the duties devolving upon you, are probably 
such, as you have not heretofore been accustom 'd to, it 
may perhaps be prudent on you part to pass a few days 
in this City, and observe the manner of transacting busi- 
ness at the Custom house, under the orders of Mr. AYil- 
liams, the Collector of the District of Orleans. I am Sir, 

Very Respectfully 
Your mo : ob : humble. Serv. 
(signed) W. C. C. Claiborne 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 239 

John Williams Esqre. New Orleans May 13th 1811. 

Atty. at Law: Knoxville 

Sir, 

I have received your letter of the 26th of April en- 
closing a Copy of a Deed of Conveyance from Stockley 
Donelson to Robert Cotton for 5000 Acres of Land, and 
which Deed it is alledged was proven before me on the 
13th of April 1796. and ordered to be registered. I have 
no recollection of this transaction, or of the persons of 
Stockley, Sharp and Henry Bond two of the Subscrib- 
ing witnesses. 

The name of Lane is familiar to me ; I believe I knew 
persons of that name in Tennessee; but I have no par- 
ticular recollection of Jno. Lane, or, his having been ex- 
amined as a witness before me in any case. 

If the acknowledgement of the Deed in question, was 
in truth proven before me, the Copy which you enclose, 
cannot be correct, for I certainly could not have made a 
mistake in spelling my own name. It was I beleive, my 
usual practice to write myself the Certificate of probate : 
But this probably was not invariably adhered to: per- 
haps in the present instance, the Certificat was prepared 
by another, and in that way, its language may be ac- 
counted for, But I must confess, that the Certificate 
and more particularly the error in the Signature have 
raised in my mind a Suspicion that "all is not right". 
You observe Sir, that notice had been served on Raw- 
lings and Clark, parties interested in the Land conveyed 
by the Deed in question to Cotton, that my deposition 
would be taken at my office in New Orleans on the 22nd 
of July next. 

I probably shall be absent from New Orleans, during 
the whole of July, since as well with a view to the pres- 
ervation of my health, as to the discharge of my official 
duties, I am in the habit of visiting during the summer 
months, the interior Counties of the Territory. If you 



240 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

would name the third Monday in November next, as the 
period for taking my deposition, I shall then most prob- 
ably be at New Orleans; Mr. James Mather, Mayor of 
New Orleans, Laveau Trudeau Recorder of New Orleans, 
and Moreau Lislet Judge of the Parish of New Orleans, 
.or either of them may be named Commissioners. 

I am Sir 
With great Respect 

Your ob: H: Servt. 
(Signed) Wm. C. C. Claiborne 



Extract of a Private Letter from Governor Claiborne 
to. Cesar Rodney Esqre. 

New Orleans May 14th 1811 

Atty. Genl. of the U: States. 
My dear Sir, 

I am honored with the receipt of your Letter of the 
27th of March. The appointment of Mr. Grymes af- 
fords me pleasure; he is a young man of great promise, 
and will I trust, do well. 

The Change in the Cabinet will be attended T hope, 
with no serious divisions amoung our Republican 
friends. For myself I sincerely regret the misunder- 
standing which had arisen between Mr. Gallatin and Mr. 
Smith; I have long known, respected and esteemed the 
former and I should be wanting in Candeur, were I not 
to add that for Mr. Smith also, I had a .sincere friend- 
ship, with Mr. Monroe the present Secretary of State, 
I have not the honor of an intimate acquaintance ; I how- 
ever doubt not, but lie will discharge with great ability 
and fidelity the high duties devolving upon him. Some 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 241 

persons here, who boast of enjoying the entire Confi- 
dence of Mr. Monroe, are greatly hostile to me, and will, 
I am assured, labour to impress the new Minister un- 
favorably towards me; But I intertain no apprehen- 
sions; The course which the public Interests advise, 
and my Judgement approves, I shall firmly pursue, rely- 
ing with Confidence on the Justice of the President. 

I am sorry, that Mr. Smith declined the mission to 
Russia; It was Certainly a very delicate mode of effect- 
ing a Change in the Department of State, and one too, 
that really Confered honor on the retiring Minister. I 
hope and beleive the Report as to further Changes in the 
Cabinet is unfounded, unless indeed the present Secy. 
at War and Post Master General should wish to be 
otherwise employed; As regards myself, there are Con- 
siderations that would make it most agreeable to me to 
be called to Washington : But there are Citizens in the 
States, whose Claims to high Executive Confidence, are 
so superior to any I could adduce, that I have no expec- 
tation of filling the office to which Rumour had attached 
my name. I rejoice at the favorable change of Senti- 
ment in the Case of General Wilkinson ; this old Veteran 
has many foibles; But he is no traitor, and in my opin- 
ion, a greatly injured and persecuted Man. 1 

There is a strong party here in opposition to the ad- 
mission of this Territory into the Union as a state; This 
party is composed of the great Majority of the native 
Citizens of the U. States, residing here, and a few of the 
Influential Creoles; But I beleive, a Majority of the In- 
habitants, will be pleased with the Change. I am 

Your mo : ob : H. Serv. 
(signed) Wm. C. C. Claiborne 

1 An expression of opinion on the charges of Daniel Clark. 
V -16 



242 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

To James Monroe 1 

Secy, of State. New Orleans May 17th 1811 

Sir, 

The Judge of the Parish of Nachitoches within this 
Territory, writes me under date of the 25th Ult. that 
"advices from Nacogdoches, (a Town in the province of 
Techus) as late as the 19th of April were very favorable 
to the Revolutionary Cause and its ultimate Success, was 
at that period deemed probable"; that "the Revolution- 
ists were still in Considerable force"; and that "two 
persons had been appointed by them, to solicit a supply 
of arms & amunition from the Government of the U: 
States. 

I have the honor to be 

Your ob. Servt. 
(signed) AV. C. C. Claiborne 



To Woodson Wrenn 

Now Orleans May 17th 1811. 

Collector of the District of Teche. 
Sir, 

I have received your letter of the 8th Instant. The 
appointments confered upon you by the (Joneral Gov- 
ernment are high proofs of Confidence, & I IVel pur- 
suaded you will discharge the duties Hereof, with Credit 
to yourself and usefulness to you Country. I forward- 
ed to you, a few days since by a Mi-. Bryant* ascending 
to Attackapas by water, a packet from the Comptroller 
of the Treasury which F hope will reach you in Safety. 

T presume no inconvenience to the Public Interest 
will result from your remaining for a Short time at your 
present place of residence; but I \vuuld advis" your re- 



Succeodetl Smith April 2, 1811. 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 243 

moval to Nova Iberia as soon as your Convenience will 
permit. 

I am Sir, 

Very Respectfully 

Your ob. H. Serv. 
signed W. C. C. Claiborne 



To Judge King 

New Orleans May 17th 1811 
Oppelousas. 
Dear Sir, 

I have received your Letter of the 4th Instant. The 
report of Mr. Voorhies's removal from office is not cor- 
rect; But it is true, that a serious complaint has been 
exhibited against him by the Treasurer of the Territory, 
and is as follows to wit. That Mr. Voorhies had ad- 
vised him (the Treasurer) that a Sum of public Money 
was in his possession, and awaited orders as to its deposi- 
tion ; That the Treasurer had instructed Mr. Voorhies to 
pay the amount to Col. Wykoff and Avhich instruction 
(without any reason being assigned by Mr. Voorhies) 
had not been Complyed with". 

Will you do me the favor to inform Mr. Voorhies of 
the nature of the Charge against him, & to add, that I 
should be happy to receive from him a Satisfactory ex- 
planation. 

I am Dear Sir 

With respect & Esteem 

Your ob : H. Serv. 
(signed) W. C. C. Claiborno 



244 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

To Commodore Shaw. 

New Orleans May 18th 1811. 
Sir, 

The bearer James Fortune, under an impression as 
he says, that it was in my power to release him from the 
services, absented himself (without leave) a few days 
since from the Brig Siren, and has this morning en- 
treated his discharge. I have advised James of his 
error, and on condition of a promise on his part, to dis- 
charge his duty (for the future) with great fidelity, I 
have engaged to recommend him to you Sir, for for- 
givenes, accordingly I now ask the favor of you, (If it 
be consistent with the Rules of Service) to extend to 
James a pardon for the offense he lias committed. I am 

Sir 

Very Respect. 
Your oh. Hum. Serv. 
siard. W. C. C. Claiborne 



To Mr. Dnval 

New Orleans May 18th 1811. 
Comptroller of the Treasury. 
Sir, 

I am honored with the receipt of your letter of the 
20th April, and am happy to learn, that my accounts in 
relation to the expenses of the Civil (lovernment of Lou- 
isiana, had been adjusted at the Treasury, and the sum 
of 200-75 Cents found to be due me from the U. States. 
Will you do me the favor Sir, to inform me the State of 
my accounts for the Contingent expenses of the Execu- 
tive Government of the Territory of Orleans; previous 
to my departure from Washington, these accounts had I 
beleive been all examined, and the only obstacled to a 
final Settlement were, the suspension or rejection of 
some Items, probably to the amount of three or four 
hundred Dollars, and the dificiency in the Appropriation 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 245 

to Cover my expenses for the first quarter of the year 
1810. This latter obstacle is now removed; Congress 
having appropriated $1,000. to meet that deficiency as ap- 
pears from the appropriation Law for the year 1811, as 
published in the News Papers. 

I am Sir, 
With great Respect 

Your mo. ob. Servt. 
Sigd. Win. C. C. Claiborne 



To Benjamin Romans 

New Orleans May 18th 1811. 
Sir, 

I am honored with the receipt of your Letter of the 
24th of March last, Covering a Resolution of the Legis- 
lative authorities of the Commonwealth of Massachu- 
setts. Copies of the Stature Laws of Massachusetts will 
be very acceptable to the Government of this Territory 
and on its part, the proposed exchange will with pleas- 
ure be complied with. The most direct, and eligible 
mode of conveyance Avill be by some Vessel coming di- 
rect from Boston to New Orleans, and the commercial 
intercourse between these Cities is becoming so consid- 
erable, that opportunities of this Kind frequently occur., 

I am Sir, 

The Honble. With great respect 

Benjamin Homans Your mo: ob: H. Servt. 

Secy, of the Commonwealth Wm. C. C. Claiborne 
of Massachusetts. 



To Paul Hamilton 

Secretary of the Navy. New Orleans 18th May 1811. 
My dear Sir, 

I have received the letters you were good enough to 
write me by Mr. Thornton, of the Marine Corps. Mr. 
Shields the newly appointed Purser in this Station has 



246 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

not reached New Orleans; I am the more Solicitous for 
his arrival from a desire to receive the very interesting 
communication of which he is the Bearer. Sincerely do 
I wish to visit Washington, and were it in my power, 
would gladly fix my permanent residence in its vicinity. 
But the Secretary of the Territory availing himself of 
his leave of absence, takes his departure on tomorrow, 
and I am destined to pass the ensuing Summer in this 
inhospitable Climate. Genl. Hampton left this a few 
days since, and will be with you, previous to the 4th of 
July next. The Genl. gave me the perusal of your let- 
ter to him under date of the 4th of April. It tends to 
highten my regret at Mr. Smith's refusal of the mission 
to Russia ; I have sincere regard for Mr. Smith, and wish 
his prosperity in life; The offer of that embassy was 
certainly evidence of the continued Confidence, and 
friendly disposition of the President towards him, and 
at the present Crisis of the affairs of the World, I do 
not know a more important Trust. I may indeed be 
mistaken; but it seems to me, the peace of the Continent 
cannot long be preserved. 

The Emperor Alexander must see with pain the as- 
cendency of Bonaparte in the Councils of Sweden and 
Denmark, nor can the growing intimacy between France 
and Austria fail to awaken the Jealousy and excite the 
fears of every faithful Russian. The successful resist- 
ance of Spain must tend to revive the Spirits and the 
hopes of Subjugated Nations; The crisis is indeed im- 
portant, and many circumstances seem to me to favor 
the formation of another Coalition. In such Coalition, 
the Emperor of Russia will be the rallying point, and to 
an American Minister near him, a fine field would be 
presented for a display of Talents, address, and patrio- 
tism. 

I feel sensibly the very difficult situation in which 
Mr. Madison is placed; But I am fully pursuaded, that 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 247 

his wisdom, firmness and virtues will insure him the 
support of a grateful Country. 

As to the Course of Congress, our opinions are in 
unison. That body is too much influenced by young 
Men. Little importance is attached to the suggestions 
of experience, and even Boys will presume to question 
the motives of our good old patriarchs, and to ridicule 
measures, which a Jefferson, a Madison, or a Clinton 
would advise. It was not so in Rome, when that Repub- 
lic was in the Meridian of its Splendour. In the hour of 
difficulty, the opinions of her most experienced Citizens 
were sought and adopted; The respect for age, was 
among the first principles instil 'ed into the minds of the 
Roman youth, and they were taught to beleive, that there 
was safety in the Councils of aged and long-tried pa- 
triots. I fear the Revolutionists in Mexico, will not be 
successful ; It seems to be true, that Hidalgo, and several 
other of their Chiefs are in Captivity. Folch has receiv- 
ed a remittance of fifty thousand Dollrs. from Vera 
Cruix, and is in expectation of a much larger sum, in the 
course of a few days : such is the report and it is added 
too, that throe Regiments of regular Troops were about 
embarking at Le vera Cruix for Pensacola : This is high- 
ly improbable; 1 But I should not be surprised if an Eng- 
lish force should occupy Pensacola in the Course of the 
Summer. Govr. Folch 's overtures to our Government 
the past year were deceptive; they were not made (I am 
confident) with good faith, and were intended to deceive; 
The Mission of Messrs. Mathews & McKee will do no 
good ; The Bayonet must at last be the Negociator. The 
Navy on this Station does credit to the Commanding Of- 
ficers ; The Vessels are for the most part in fine order, 
and the officers are made to do their duty. Our local 
parties are not so violent as formerly; But nevertheless 

1 The Spanish menace again. 



248 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

there is a groat want of Union among the Native Ameri- 
cans, and more particularly among the higher officers of 
the Civil Govermt. of the Territory. Clark's influence 
is nearly at an end, & he is preparing to depart from the 
Territory ; His Man Powers represents him to be unprin- 
cipled, and may probably expose to the public more of his 
Corrupt course, than has yet been brought to light by 
Genl. Wilkinson. 

My little Son is now with me; he enjoys good health 
and promises to do well; I could wish to live to rear him 
up in the paths of virtue, and my prayer to Heaven will 
be accomplished, if at some future day, his Integrity, 
Talents and attachment to Civil & religious Liberty, 
sholuld recommend him to the Patronage of his Country. 

Present me respectfully to Mrs. Hamilton and to your 
aimable Daughters. & beleive me to be. Dear Sir, 
The Honble. Your faithful friend 

Mr. Hamilton signed AY. C. C. Claiborne 

Secy, of the Navy. 



To Abner L. Duncan 

New Orleans New Orleans 21 st May 1811. 

Dear Sir, 

Having understood, that in a Criminal prosecution 
now depending before the Superior Court for the first 
District, Mr. John Grymes, the Gentleman representing 
the Atty. General, has been employed in behalf of the ac- 
cused, I have to ask of you the favor in this particular 
Case, to appear in behalf of the Territory. Mr. John 
Grymes will point out to you the particular case I allude 
to, & your Compliance with my request will serve the 
public & oblige. 

Your friende 

Signed W. C. C. Claiborne 



LETTER BOOKS OF \V. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 249 

John Grymes Esqr. New Orleans 21st May 1811. 

Atty. at Law, 

Sir, 

The members of the Council of Administration of the 
Charity Hospital of New Orleans, will assemble on this 
day at 10 o Clock. We shall need the advice and official 
aid of the Attorney General to carry into effect, a Law 
of the Legislature, relative to the Hospital, and I have 
therefore to request that you would be good enough to 
attend the meeting. 

I am Sir, 

With great respect 
Your mo : ob : Hum. Servt. 
(signed) Win. C. C. Claibornc 



To the Post-Master at Fort Stoddart. 

New Orleans 1st May 1811 
Sir, 

Will you be good enough to forward the enclosed Let- 
ter to Mrs. Hargrave; It is from her husband, now in 
confinement at Havana, and its early reception, will no 
doubt afford sincere satisfaction to that distressed Wo- 
man. 

On the 8th of May Hargrave and his Companions in 
misfortune were well ; It is not understood, that they are 
rigorously treated; on the contrary, it is stated, that 
they are as Comfortable in their Prison, as circumstances 
will permit. I cannot say, what will be the fate of these 
unfortunate men; perhaps they may experience a long 
confinement. But I have great reason to believe, they 
will ultimately be released ; 

I am Sir, 

Very Eespectfully 
Your mo : ob : II. Servt. 
Sigd. W. C. C. Claiborne 



250 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

The Honble. Mr. Eustis Secy, at War. 
Sir New Orleans 23d May 1811. 

I have before me, your letter of the 25th Ultimo, ac- 
knowledging the receipt by the President of the United 
States of the Memorial of the Legislative Council and 
House of Representatives of the Territory of Orleans, 
which solicited an increase of the Military force at this 
Post. 

The Plan you Suggest for raising and maintaining 
the force desired, shall be made the subject of my own 
reflection, and of enquiry of those Citizens, whose opin- 
ions deserve respect, and the result, I will do myself the 
honor to communicate to you, by the ensuing Mail. 

I am Sir, 

With great respect 

Your mo. ob. servt. 
(sigd.) Wm. C. C. Claibornc 



The Honble. Mr. Eustis Sec)/, at War. 
Dear Sir? New Orleans 23d May 1811. 

Will you do me the favor to recommend to the patron- 
age of the President, Mr. Soniat Dufossat Junr. a young 
Gentleman of this Territory who is Solicitous to enter 
the Army of the United States. Mr. Soniat Dufossat 
is about 20 years of age; his person is agreeable- and his 
disposition and Deportment very amaiblo; he speaks the 
French, Spanish & English languages, is a native of 
Louisiana & the Son of a Citizen as generally esteemed 
as any inhabitants of the Territory. 

Mr. Dufossat is not partial to any particular Corps, 
but being at present wholly unoccupied it would be alike 
agreeable to him, to his father (whose wishes on the 
occasion I have Consulted) that he should be early em- 
ployed perhaps there may at this time be a vacancy for 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 251 

an Ensign or a Second Lieutenant in some of the Ar- 
tillery or infantry Companies stationed in this or the ad- 
joining Territory; in that event, I should really be grati- 
fied if young Duf ossat should fill the vacancy ; to his other 
good qualities he adds a high sence of honor, and an 
ardent attachment to the U : States. I am persuaded he 
will make an excellent officer. 

I am Dear Sir, 
With great respect & Sincere Esteem 

Your mo. ob. Serv. 
(Signed) W. C. C. Claiborne 



The Horible. Judge Goferth 

New Orleans 24th May 1811. 
Dr. Sir, 

I enclose you a Commission for Mr. Kerr, as Sheriff 
of the Parish of the Laf ourch ; you will be pleased to ad- 
minister to him the Oaths of office, & to receive the Se- 
curity required by Law. It affords me pleasure to learn 
the tranquility which reigns in your Parish ; it is a proof 
of the honest Integrity and benevolent views with which 
your official duties are performed. 

With a sincere wish for a Continuation of your Pri- 
vate and Domestic happiness. 

I am Dr. Sir 
With great respect 

Your mo : ob : Serv. 
(Signed) W. C. C. Claiborne 



The Horible. Judge Rhea St. Francisville. 

New Orleans 24th May 1811. 
Sir, 

Your letter of the 20th Inst : reached me on this morn- 
ing, and has been submitted to the Acting Attorney Gen- 
eral, Mr. John Grymes for his opinions and advice on 



252 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

the subject you refer to. So soon as the Attorney Gen- 
eral shall furnish me with his opinion, a Copy shall be 
transmitted to you. 

I am Sir, 

Your mo. obt. Serv. 
(signed) W. C. C. Claiborne 



The Honble. Mr. Monroe Secy, of State. 

New Orleans 18th May 1811 
Sir, 

I suspect the Intelligence from Nachitoches commu- 
nicated in my Letter of yesterday will prove incorrect; 
a Gentleman attached to the Spanisli Service, has just 
informed me, that official information had been received 
of the Capture of Hidalgo and several other Chiefs of 
the Revolutionists. My informant added, that among 
the papers of Hidalgo, were found certain propositions 
made by him to the President, and which circumstance 
has excited among the Spanish Agents in Mexico much 
Jealousy of, and some ill-will towards the United States. 
I have the honor to be, Sir, 
With great Respect 

Your mo. obt. Servt. 
AY. C. C. Claiborne 



The Reverend Father St. Pierre 

New Orleans May 24th 1811. 
Dear Sir, 

I have this moment received your Lotto r of the 20th 
Inst :. Its contents deserve & shall receive my Attention. 
Some measures must be taken, to diminish the number of 
Vagabond Indians, who infest our Settlements, and to 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORXE. 253 

punish those who rob and trespass on the rights of the 
Citizens. The United States Agent among the Chac- 
taws shall be immediately written to & urged to induce 
the Chiefs to recall such of their people as are now in 
this Territory and to restrain for the futrue, their visits 
as much as possible. I am sorry the Indian you men- 
tion as having been latly confined at Lafourche, should 
have escaped with impunity, and I also regret, that those 
Indians suspected of having robbed the Church, should 
not have been pursued & overtaken. The Militia will 
I hope be soon placed on a good footing; a very excellt. 
Militia Law was passed by the last Legislature; it will 
soon be printed, & I hope the Militia will soon be in a Sit- 
uation, to enable them at least to prevent our Settlement 
from being plundered by Vagrant Indians. 

I regret that the Church should bo despoiled of its 
sacred Vestments : But it is a Consolation to learn, that 
so scariligious an act has not been committed by Civil- 
ized Man, but by an untutored Indian. 

I am Sir, 
With great respect 

Your mo. obt. Servt. 
(signed) W. C. C. Claiborne 



The Honble. Mr. Hamilton Secy, of the Navy. 

New Orleans Ma 24th 1811. 



T)ear 

Your letter of the 1st Instant has this moment reached 
me, all difficulty respecting the navy Yard has been re- 
moved, and of which I did myself the honor to inform 
you by a Letter under date of the 12th of April. 

I am anxious to hear of tlie arrival of the new Eng- 
lish Minister, and still more so to learn the nature of 
his propositions; I very much suspect, that the now Mis- 
sion, will ovontnato in a manifestation of that temporis- 
ing, wicanfled, Corrupt (& if I may use the expression) 



254 MISSISSIPPI TERK1TORIAL ARCHIVES. 

Corrupting Policy which has heretofore marked the con- 
duct of the English Government towards the United 
States ; A Policy solely designated to prevent the Ameri- 
can Government from abandoning all hopes of Amicable 
adjustment ; to discourage our Government from resort- 
ing to war Measures, and to Create divisions among the 
Citizens of the Unit'd States. We are perfectly tran- 
quil in this quarter; in a day or two, I shall publish a 
Proclamation directing the election of Members to the 
Convention, which I presume will awaken the people 
from their present state of apathy, and excite thro 'out 
the Territory, a great Spirit of electioneering. 

I am Dear Sir, 

With gt. respt. & sincr. Estm. 
Your mo. obt. Servt. 
(signed) W. C. C. Claiborne 



Circular 
To the Several Notaries Public 

New Orleans 24th May 1811. 
Sir, 

On noticing particularly the Notarial Documents ex- 
hibited at my office, I have observed, there was no uni- 
form mode of recording the proofs offered by persons 
claiming Citizenship under the Louisiana Convention; 
The form use by Mr. ; Lynd is the most correct, & as it 
is desirable to introduce 1 on this occasion a uniformity of 
procedure, / now enclose you a Copy of Mr. Lynd's form 
(with some little alteration made by myself) and I re- 
quest that it may be adopted by the several Notaries Pub- 
lic. 

I am Sir, 

Very TCpspoct fully 

Your mo : obt. Sorv. 
(Si-ncrl) W. C. C 1 . Clniborne 



LETTER BOOKS OF \V. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 255 

Private 

Mr. Latrobe City of Washington. 

New Orleans 24th May 1811. 
Dear Sir, 

I await with great anxiety the arrival of the monu- 
ment, which you was so good, as to promise to have pre- 
pared at Washington, & to forward to New Orleans. The 
Monument which was made at Philadelphia has arrived, 
& is erected near the Remains of the last Mrs. Claiborne ; 
I shall feel unhappy, until a like respect is paid by me, to 
the Remains of the first Mrs. Claiborne, for these two 
amiable Women were alike the objects of my affection, 
and I cherish the 'same fond remembrance of each. I 
have paid your Son $100 on account, & I said to him the 
other day, that if he wanted Money, I would advance him 
a further Sum; Your Son's Conduct in this City has 
been marked with great prudence, & he has made many 
friends. It affords me pleasure to add that your Son's 
propositions relative to watering the City, are accepted 
by the Council, and I sincerely hope, this business may 
eventuate to your advantage. I must again repeat to 
you, my solicitude for the arrival of the Monument; If 
unfortunately it should not have been Commenced ; or if 
Commenced, it should not have so far advanced, as to 
promise a speady completion, I entreat that it may din- 
continued, and that you would do me the favour, to order 
at Baltimore a plain Monument, (with the inscriptions 
we had agreed on) & to have it forwarded on to New Or- 
leans as soon as possible, directed to the address of Ben- 
jamin Morgan, Merchant, who will immediately pay the 
Costs and Charge?. I presume a plain, but neat Monu- 



256 - MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

ment, may be prepared at Baltimore in two Weeks and 
that it would not Cost more than 250. or 300 Dollars. I 
pray you to present my best wishes to your amiable Lady. 

I am Dear Sir, 
With Esteem 
Your mo : obt. Servt. 
(sigd.) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To John Grymex 

Acting Atty. Oenl. New Orleans 24th May 1811 

Dear Sir, 

I enclose for your perusal a Letter from Judge Rhea 
of the Parish Feliciana, stating that it had been made a 
question how far Justices of the Peace, were vested with 
authority to appoint Constables, and I have to request, 
that you give me an opinion in writinv: MI that point, as 
soon as your leasure permits. I am Sir, 

Very Respectfully 
Your mo. obt. Servt. 
(Signed) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To Benj. If. Latrobe 

Private New Orleans 2Stli May 181 1. 

Washington City. 
Dear Sir, 

Enclosed is Duplicate Copy of my Letter of the 24th 
Inst : The Tomb of the first Mrs. Claiborne will in a few 
days be encircled by a brick Wall, and every thing in 
readiness to erect the Monument immediately on its ar- 
rival. I beg leave to renew to you my Request that in 
the event, the Monument we designed at Washington, 
should not have been began, or it' began, it should not 
have so far progressed, as to promise a Speedy Comple- 
tion, it be discontinued altogether, and that you would do 
me the favour, to order a plain but neat Monument to be 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 257 

constructed at Baltimore, and to be forwarded on as soon 
as possible to New Orleans. Present my Respects to 
your amiable Lady. I am Dr. Sir 

With Esteem 

Your mo : ob. Serv. 
(signed) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To James Mather 

New Orleans 29th May 1811 
Mayor of New Orleans 
Sir, 

I owe it to the respect I entertain for the Mayor & 
Council of New Orleans, to announce to your Sir, that 
Mr. John Grymes the acting Attorney General, has de- 
livered me an opinion in writing, that the "Act contain- 
ing additional provisions to the Act to authorise the Cor- 
poration of New Orleans to Compromise with the Patron 
of the Hospital of Charity of the said City, and for other 
purposes" is binding on the City Council, & that it is 
their duty forthwith to nominate on their part three Ad- 
ministrators of the said Hospital. The Attorney Gen- 
eral further advices, in the event of the Council's refus- 
ing to make such nominations, that application be made 
to the Supreme Court of the Territory for Compulsory 
process against them, Commonly called "a Mandamus"; 
a high Perogative writ, which the Superior Court is 
authorised by statute to issue, & which where no specific 
remedy is provided, is the only means of enforcing the 
execution of a Public Law, I sincerely hope however, that 
the City Council, may at their next meeting, reconsider 
the subject of the Law in question, and may adopt such 
measures, as will supercede the necessity of any further 

V 17 



258 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

proceedings other than the most Zealous exertions to 
promote the welfare of an Institution, so greatly enter- 
esting to suffering humanity. 

I have the honor to be, Sir, 
With great respect & Esteem 

Your mo : obt. Serv. 
(sigd.) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To James Monroe 

New Orleans 31st May 1811. 
Secy, of State 
Sir, 

Enclosed is a Copy of my Proclamation directing the 
election of Members of the Convention. It is by no 
means certain, that the Convention will deem it expedi- 
ent to form a Constitution or State Government: There 
are many persons of influence here, who do not think the 
people of this Territory are yet prepared for self Gov- 
ernment, and it would not surprise me, if such a senti- 
ment should prevail in the Convention. For myself how- 
ever I sincerely wish, to see this Territory organized as 
a State authority, and that too at an early period, be- 
cause, I believe it would tend to strengthen the Ameri- 
can Union ; to place the political destiny of Louisiana be- 
yond the reach of change, and to discourage Foreign Na- 
tions and Domestic Trators from any further attempts 
to alienate the affections of these people from the Amer- 
ican Government. 1 It is very probable that in manag- 
ing the affairs of the State a great want of political in- 
formation would bo manifested by the Intrigues of sev- 
eral unprincipled little factions ; But the experience of a 
year or two would remedy the first inconvenience, and 

1 Claiborne had been slow in coming to the conclusion that Louis- 
iana should be admitted to the Union. 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBOKNE. 259 

the factions would I am assured be soon put down, by the 
virtuous part of the Community. 

I also have the honor to transmit for your perusal, a 
Copy of an Act of the Territorial Legislature entittled 
"An Act supplementary to an Act to institute an Uni- 
versity in the Territory of Orleans", from which you 
will perceive the very Liberal patronage afforded to Pub- 
lic Schools. 1 The Bdard of Regents of the University 
of Orleans, are now making every exertion to carry into 
effect the Patriotic intentions of the Legislature, & I 
persuaded myself, that their efforts will be attended with 
success. I propose to cross the Lake Ponchartrain in 
the Course of next week on a visit to the Parishes of St.. 
Tammany, Beloxcy & Pascagoula, with a view of acquir- 
ing better knowledge of that Country, and of its Inhabi- 
tants & their Interests; I shall probably be absent from 
New Orleans three Weeks. 

I am Sir, 
The Honble. With great Respect 

Mr. Monroe Your mo : obt. Serv. 

Secy, of State. (sigd.) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To William Eustis 

New Orleans May 31st 1811. 
Secretary of the Navy 
Sir, 

I have the honor to inclose you a Copy of the Militia 
Laws of the Territory of Orleans. You will find the last 
sufficiently rigorous, & as far as depends upon myself 
every exertion shall be made to Carry its provisions in- 
to full effect. 

But the various description of people which inhabit 
this Territory, the Contrariety of Language spoken, & 

1 The public school idea prevailed in the Southwest at this time,, 
later it lost its appeal to the large planting class. 



260 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

the dispersed situation of the Settlements are great ob- 
stacles to rendering the Militia an effecient force. I am 
Sir, 

With great respect 

Your mo. obt. Serv. 
(signed) W: C. C. Claiborne 



To the Lady Abbess 

New Orleans od. Juno 1811. 
of the Ursuline Convent 
New Orleans 
Holy Sister, 

I communicated with promptitude and pleasure to 
the Honble. Mr. Gallatin, the Secrety. of the Treasury of 
the United States, the wish you had expressed to obtain 
possession (by purchase or otherwise) of the Building, 
at present used as a Military Hospital, nor did I omit to 
state, how necessary such possession was, to the Con- 
venience of your Community, and to that of the female 
Youth, committed to your care. I now lay before you 
Holy Sister, a Copy of the answer return 'd by Mr. Gal- 
latin from which you will perceive the great Interest that 
Minister takes in the welfare of your Community, and 
the respect paid by the Governmt. to your request. You 
will observe, that Mr. Gallatin suggests the expediency 
of Petitioning Congress upon the subject, as the most 
regular mode of proceeding, and I take this opportunity 
to say to you Madam, that it would afford me sincere 
satisfaction not only to be the Medium, of Conveying 
your Petition, but to assist in Drafting it. 

I renew to you Madam, & to your whole Community 
the assurances of my great respect, & Sincere esteem. 

(Sigd.) W. C. C. Claibornc 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 261 

A Proclamation 

By William Charles Cole Claiborne 
Governor of the Territory of Orleans 

Whereas by an Act of the Congress of the United 
States of America, passed on the 16th day of Feby. last, 
the people residing within certain prescribed Limits of 
the Territory of Orleans, are authorised to elect mem- 
bers to a Convention, to meet at the City of New Orleans, 
on the first Monday in November next; and " which Con- 
vention shall first determine by the Majority of the whole 
number elected, whether it be expedient or not, at that 
time to form a Constitution or State Government for the 
people within the said Territory ; and if it be determined 
to be expedient, then, the Convention shall in like man- 
ner declare, in behalf of the said Territory, that it adopts 
the Constitution of the United States. 

Whereupon the said Convention shall be and is auth- 
orized to adopt a Constitution or State Government for 
the people of said Territory," and which Constitution is 
to be transmitted to Congress ; and if the same be not dis- 
approved by Congress at their next Session after the re- 
ceipt thereof, the said State shall be admitted into the 
union, upon the same footing with the Original States." 

And whereas by an act of the Territorial Legislature, 
passed on the 24th of April last, providing for the elec- 
tion of Eepresentatives to the Convention aforesaid, it 
is directed, "That the elections shall take place on the 
third Monday in September next, and shall be conducted 
in the same manner as is now provided ~by tlie Laws of 
this Territory, for electing members of the House of Rep- 
resentatives." 

Now therefore be it known, that I, William Charles 
Cole Claiborne, Governor of the Territory of Orleans, do, 
in Conformity to the provision of the Laws aforesaid, 



262 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

issue this my Proclamation, hereby requiring and direct- 
ing that elections be holden at the usual places of holding 
elections, in the several Counties, on the third Monday in 
September next, and the two following days, for the pur- 
pose of electing forty five Representatives to the Con- 
vention as aforesaid. "And that there shall be returned 
by the County of Orleans, twelve Representatives to the 
said Convention ; by the County of German Coast, three ; 
by the County of Acadia, four; by the County of La- 
fourche, four; by the County of Iberville, three; by the 
County of Attakapas, five ; by the County of Opellousas, 
four ; by the County of Pointe Coupee, two ; by the County 
of Rapide, three ; by the County of Concordia, two ; by 
the County of Xatchitoches, two; and by the County of 
Ouachitta, one ; ' ' 

And I do further direct and require, that in the sev- 
eral Counties as aforesaid, notice shall be given of the 
times and places of election for Representatives of the 
Convention ; that the said elections, shall, under the direc- 
tion of the Parish Judges and other officers, be conducted 
with the same formalities, and the like returns made to 
the Governor of the Territory, of the person or persons, 
that shall appear to have been duly elected, as the Laws 
enjoin in Cases of election of Representatives to the Gen- 
eral Assembly of this Territory: and which will be found 
particularly detailed in the "Act prescribing the formali- 
ties to be observed in the election of Representatives of 
the Territory of Orleans," passed on the 4th of June, 
1806; and "An Act snplementary" to the Act last men- 
tioned, passed on the 14th of April, 1807. 

Given under my hand, and the Seal of the Territory, 
at New Orleans, on the 30th of May, 1811. -- and in the 
35th year of the Independence of the United States. 
[L. S.] Signed William C. 0. Claiborne 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 263 

To the Officer Commanding 
the Fort at Plaquemine. 

New Orleans 5th June 1811. 
Sir, 

You will permit, the French armed Vessel La Fran- 
chise, Captn. Chevalier (outward bound) to pass the 
Fort. I am Sir 

Your ob. Serv. 

(Sigd) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To John Grymes 

Acting Atty. Genl. New Orleans June 6th 1811 

Sir, 

The enclosed Letter is submitted for your perusal, 
and I request, that you would apply (without delay), to 
Judge Hall for such process, as you may suppose, the in- 
formation communicated by Major McRae may justify. 
The La Franchise sails early on tomorrow and if a 
Search should be deemed adviseable, it had best be di- 
rected in this evening. Captn. Humphrys of the Army, 
or Major McRae himself, can identify the Arms, which 
La Franchise is represented to have received at this 
Port. 

I am Sir, 

Very Respectfully 

Your obt. Servt. 
(sigd.) AY. C. C. Claiborne 



To John Grymes 

Acting Atty. Genl. New Orleans 6th June 1811 

Dear Sir, 

I am sorry so often to trouble you ; But the Bearer, an 
honest and ignorant Justice of Peace in the Parish of 
Beloxy, is harrassed for an Act, which altho' not strictly 



264 . MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

Legal, appears nevertheless to have been very just ; hear 
his story thro' an Interpreter, and advice him for the 
best ; If Justices of the Peace are to be proceeded against 
for every regularity, I shall very soon receive the resig- 
nations of all in Commission. The poor Man informs me, 
that Mr. Ellery demands from him fifty Dollars, and 
promises to discontinue his process ; It is indeed a heavy 
Tax on an honest act ; But if nothing better can be done, 
it may be well to gratify Mr. Ellery. I often see in- 
stances of these poor people, being oppressed under 
Colour of Law, & Sincerely do I regret, that it is not in 
my power to furnish a Corrective. 
I am Dear Sir 

Very Respectfully 

Your obt. Sev. 
(Signed) AV. C. C. Claiborne 



To Thomas H. Williams 

New Orleans June 7th 1811 
Collector &c 
Sir, 

The Captain of the French Privateer La Franchise 
is ordered by me, not to depart from the fializc, until 
twenty four hours after a Spanish Merchantman called 
Emprendedora, shall have sailed form that place, and 
Captain Shaw, has given orders to the Commanding offi- 
cer of the Brig Viper, to cause my orders to be obeyed. 
It is not improbable however but the Viper may have 
gone to Sea, and in that event, will you be pleased to 
furnish the bearer with your instructions to the Com- 
manding officer of tlie Revenue Cutter to take care, that 
the Privateer be detained as directed. T am Sir, 
"With groat respect 

Your obt. Servt. 

(Sigd.) AV. C. C. Claiborne 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 265 

To Albert Gallatin 

New Orleans June 7th 1811. 
Secrety. of the Treasury. 
Sir, 

I have had the honor to transmit to the Lady Abbess 
of the Ursuline Convent, a Copy of your letter of the 4th 
of April, and to suggest, the expediency of a petition to 
Congress, as the most elegible means, that could be adopt- 
ed to obtain possession of the building desired. That 
course, the Lady Abbess has determined to pursue ; In 
the meantime, she requests me to convey to you her most 
grateful thanks for the Polite attention you have paid 
to her application, and for the favorable opinion you are 
pleased to express of the Ursulines of New Orleans. I 
am Sir, 

Your obt. Servt. 
(signed) William C. C. Claiborne 



To Judge Rhea 

Sir, New Orleans June 6th 1811 

The enclosed opinion of the acting Attorney General, 
which has this moment been delivered to me, is enclosed 
for your perusal. 

I am Sir 

Very Respectfully 
Your ob. Servt. 

(sigd.) "W. C. C. Claiborne 



Circular to the Several Parish Judges. 

New Orleans June 6th 1811. 

I have the honor to enclose you several Copies of my 
Proclamation relative to the election of Members to the 
Convention which you will be pleased to distribute thro'- 



266 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

out your Parish. Having understood that several Par- 
ish Judges would probably be Candidates for the Con- 
vention, I have to observe, that there is certainly no in- 
compatibility; But where a Parish Judge shall himself 
be a Candidate, it may perhaps be more satisfactory, that 
he should name some Justices of the Peace to act in his 
Place as a Commissioners of the election. 

I am Sir, 

Your mo. obt. Servt. 
W. C. C. Claiborne 



To Albert Gallatin 
Private New Orleans June 7th 1811. 

Secrety. of the Treasury. 
Dear Sir, 

Your private letter under date of the 3rd of May 
reached me a few days since. 

The situation of the young Gentleman in whose wel- 
far you feel an Interest, bacame an immediate object of 
my Enquiry's; he had lived with Mr. Benjamin Morgan 
(to whom I communicated the contents of your Letter) 
but being dificient in education, and having no partiality 
for Mercantile pursuits, he left him sonic time since, and 
now resides with a Mr. Declouct near the English Turn, 
with whom he is associated in the profits of a little Farm, 
a Brother of Mr. Declouet was with me on yesterday, 
and makes a favorable report on the character and De- 
portment of Mr. (lallatiu. lie represents him to be ami- 
able, prudent and temporate; but says also, that his per- 
sonal Industry constitutes his best resource; 1 however 
will endeavour to see him, and to acquire a better Knowl- 
edge of his prospects in Life, and will write you fully. 
In the mean time you may be assured of the pleasure 
it will afford me, to render this young man, such services 
as may be in my power. 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 267 

Mr. Poidrass had not reached Pointe Coupee at the 
date of my last accounts; but was daily expected; The 
prospect of admission unto the Union, is not cause of 
General Satisfaction ; It will meet with opposition in the 
Convention, but I presume a Majority "will deem it ex- 
pedient to form a Constitution or State Government. ' ' 

It is understood here that a number of African Slaves, 
have been introduced into the Town of Mobile, from 
whence they will no doubt be brought to the several Pa- 
rishes of this Territory! Can no means be devised, to 
acquire possession of Mobile. The present state of 
things is greatly embarrassing: I have never known the 
Missippi as high as at the present moment ; It has broken 
thro ' the Levee in several places above & below New Or- 
leans and destroyed the Crops of several Farmers ; when 
the Waters retire disease will commence, and the ensu- 
ing Season will most probably be unusually unhealthy. 
I could wish it were possible for me, to pass the summer 
at Washington, or at the Berkley Springs, or some where 
near to Harpers Ferry. Remember me with sincere af- 
fection to Mrs. Gallatin. 

I am Dr. Sir 

With great respect 

Your faithful frd. 

W. C. C. Claiborno 



, i ' To James Mather 

New Orleans June 8th 1811. 
Mayor of New Orleans 
Sir, 

As the enclosed Letter relates to a Subject over which 
the Corporation Continues to exercise an Agency I deem 
it proper to submit it to your perusal. 



268 . MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

May I take this occasion, to enquire whether the City 
Council have made any late dispositions relative to the 
Charity Hospital. 

I renew to you the assurances of my respect and es- 
teem. 

W. C. C. Claiborne 



To James Monroe 

Secy, of State. New Orleans June 7th 1811. 

Sir, 

I am honored w 7 ith the receipt of your letter of the 
9th Ulto. enclosing an authenticated Copy of "An Act 
to enable the people of the Territory of Orleans to form 
a Constitution or State Government, and for the admis- 
sion of such State into the Union, on an equal footing 
with the original States." 

No Public inconvenience has resulted, from my not 
having been apprised officially, at an earlier period of 
this important Act, since the Territorial Legislature act- 
ed on a Communication I made them under date of the 
10th of April, of which you were informed, and my last 
letter enclosed a Copy of my Proclamation directing 
elections of Kepresentatives to the Convention. 

The Approbation which the President has been pleas- 
ed to express of my agency in taking possession of Flor- 
ida, and extending over it the Government and Laws of 
the United States, affords me the sincerest satisfaction, 
& will render me the more emulous to merit a Continu- 
ance of his Confidence. 

Mr. Sibley and the other Men who were made pris- 
oners in AVest Florida, by Governor Fold), are still in 
confinement at Havana: But is is not understood, that 
they are treated witli more Rigour, than is essential to 

1 Art of Feby. 20, 1811. 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 269 

their safe keeping. The liberation of these unfortunate 
persons will continue a favorite object, and I shall renew 
my efforts in their behalf with the greater Zeal from the 
assurance I now have of your Sanction. 

I have not yet been enabled to set out on my voyage 
across the lake Pontchartrain ; but calculated on doing so, 
in the course of eight or ten days. 

It is reported & believed, that a Number of African 
Slaves have been introduced into the Town of Mobile; 
from whence, they will no doubt be conveyed to the dif- 
ferent parts of this Territory. I wish some means could 
be devised, to obtain possession of Mobile! the present 
state of things is greatly embarrassing. There is a small 
tract of Country, lying between the Bay of Mobile and 
the Perdido, that had been in the possession of the Con- 
ventionalists, and over which, I have not yet attempted 
to conf orce the Laws of the U : States. 

But the expediency of doing so is at this time a matter 
of Consideration, and of which I shall be the better en- 
abled to Judge when possessed of that local knowledge, 
which I expect to acquire in the course of my voyage, 
it is understood, that within the tract of Country al- 
luded to, there are only a few Inhabitants; but by ex- 
tending over the same the Laws of this Territory, the 
Eastern Bank of the Mobile, thro 'out its whole course, 
will be completely under the Control of the United States, 
& Spanish Agents at the Town of Mobile will no longer 
be enabled to offer embarrassments to our Commerce. 
In the event, that the measure I contemplate, should be 
taken, it would be advisable, nay indispensible to occupy 
with Troops, some portion Eastward of the Mobile Bay. 
I am Sir, 

With great respect 

Your mo : obt. Servt. 
(signed) W. C. C. Claiborno 



270 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

To Capt. Swan 

Military Agent New Orleans 10th June 1811 

New Orleans. 
Sir, 

In answer to your letter of the morning, informing 
me that a Vessel charged with Articles of Camp Equip- 
age & Ammunition, for the Garrison of Fort Stoddart, 
having been stoped at the Fort of Mobile by the Spanish 
Commandant, and ordered to return, had arrived at the 
Bayou St. John on the 7th Inst :, & requesting my Coun- 
cil & assistance as to the mode of conveying these arti- 
cles and others now in readiness for Fort Stoddard, & 
which are indispensible, I advise you to Charter with- 
out delay the same or another Vessel & Commodore 
Shaw, in Conformity to my Requisition, will give to such 
Vessel a Safe Convoy to her place of destination. 

I am Sir, 

Your &ca. &ce. 
W. C. C. Claiborne 



To Commodore Shaw 

New Orleans New Orleans 10th June 1811. 

Sir, 

You will furnish such Vessel or Vessels as Captn. 
Swan the Military Agent at New Orleans may inform 
you in writing, are charged with Military Stores for Fort 
Stoddart, a safe Convoy to their place of destination. 
Such Convoy has become the more necessary from the 
Circumstance that a Vessel charged with Stores for the 
Garrison of Fort Stoddart, was recently stoped at the 
Fort of Mobile by the Spanish Commandant: 

To a like detention at that Fort, or any other Molesta- 
tion, you will not suffer the Vessels under your Convoy 
to be subjected, & to this end you will oppose force to 
force always bearing in mind that you Act on the de- 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 271 

fensive only and that you are to be as careful in avoid- 
ing aggression as prompt in repelling any, that may be 
offered you. 

I am Sir, 

Very Respectfully 
Your mo : obt. Servt. 

W. C. C. Claiborne 



To John Grymes 

Attorney General New Orleans llth June 1811 

Sir, 

The City Council persisting in their determination 
not to carry into effect on their part, the act of the Legis- 
lature of the 25th of April last, relative to the Charity 
Hospital, it becomes my duty, to resort to all the means 
in my power to enforce the execution of a public Law; 
You are therefore enstructed, to solicit on this occasion, 
the immediate interference of the Supreme Judiciary. 
The mode of bringing the subject before the Court, will 
be directed by your own Judgment, but I must request 
you to press an early decision. I am Sir 
With great Respect 

Your obt. Servt. 
(Signed) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To Paul Hamilton 

New Orleans llth June 1811 
Secy, of the Navy 
Sir, 

I have the honor to enclose you Copies of Letters, 
which passed on yesterday between the Military Agent, 
Commodore Shaw and myself. The right of the Span- 
ish Commandant at Mobile, to exercise the smallest Con- 
troul over American Vessels navigating the Mobile, could 



272 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

not (under existing Circumstances) be acquiesced in, 
and I deem'd it a duty, to give to the Vessels charged 
with Military Stores, for the Garrison of Fort Stoddart, 
a save Convoy to their Port of destination. It only re- 
maines for me, to express a desire that my conduct in 
this particular, may be approved. 

I am Sir, 

With great respect 

Your mo : ob : Serv. 
(Sigd) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To James Monroe 

New Orleans llth June 1811. 
Secy, of State 
Sir, 

The enclosed Copies of Letters (Nos. 1. 2. 3. & 4) 
which passed on the 10th Instant, between the military 
Agent, Commodore Shaw & myself, will inform you that 
a vessel, charged with Stores for the Garrison of Fort 
Stoddart was not permitted to pass the Fort of Mobile, 
& the measures I have directed with a view to prevent a 
like occurrences. 

The peculiar Situation in which the Tract of Coun- 
try watered by the Mobile is placed, The whole being 
claimed by the United States & considered as falling 
within the Mississippi or Orleans Territory; The great 
Public Inconvenience which would result, wore the pre- 
tensions of the Spanish Agents to the Controul of the 
Navigation of the Mobile acquiesced in, & the probability 
there is that such acquiescence would envite further In- 
sult to our Flag: My great distance from the Seat of 
Government, & the extent of the discretionary powers, 
which an Officer so far removed from his Superiors might 
safely venture to exercise, have afforded matter for my 
most Serious reflection, and the result lias been, that my 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 273 

Letter to Commodore Shaw requiring a Convoy; ap- 
peared to be a duty, 

The Report of the introduction of African Slaves into 
the Mobile Settlement mentioned in my Letter of the 
7th Inst: is confirmed; 

I have thought it right and proper to put an imme- 
diate Check to this traffic and have accordingly addressed 
a Letter on the occasion, to Commodore Shaw of which 
the enclosed (A) is a Copy. It occured to me, that one 
among the many just reasons assigned by the President 
for directing possession to be taken of the Country, as 
far as Perdido, was, "the facilities given to the viola- 
tions of our Laws prohibiting the introduction of 
Slaves"; to discourage then such violations for the 
future, and if possable, to prevent them, seemed to me, 
under existing circumstances, to be a duty. 
I have the honor to be, Sir, 

With the greatest respect 

Your mo : ob. Serv. 
(sigd.) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To Commodore Sliaw 

New Orleans New Orleans 1 1th June 1811 

Sir, 

You will conform to my wishes, by extending your 
Cruising ground, as far Eastwardly as the Latitude of 
the Perdido, and by giving orders to your officers to Cap- 
ture, and to send to New Orleans, for Trial any Vessel 
from a Foreign Port, with Slaves on board, that you may 
find hovering on our Coast or attempting to enter the 
Bay of Mobile. I am Sir, 

With groat Respect 
Your mo. ob. IT. Sorv. 

W. C. C. Claiborne 

V 18 



274 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

To Commodore Shaw 

New Orleans June 12th 1811 
Naval Commander 
New Orleans. 
Sir, 

Having understood that a Number of African Negroes 
had been introduced into Mobile and there sold to Citi- 
zens of this Territory and it being desirable to put an 
immediate check to such violations of the Laws of the 
United States, I have to request you Sir, to extend your 
Cruising ground as far Eastwardly as the Latitude of 
the Perdido, and to give orders to your officers to Cap- 
ture and to send in to New Orleans for trial, such Vessels 
from a foreign Port, with Negroes on board, as may be 
found hovering on our Coast, or attempting to enter the 
Bay of Mobile. 

I am Sir, 

Your hum : Servt. 
(Sigd.) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To Paul Hamilton 

New Orleans 13th June 1811. 
Secretary of the Navy 
Sir, 

I have the honor to enclose you a Copy of a Letter, 1 
addressed on yesterday, to Commodore Shaw, request- 
ing him to extend his Cruising ground as far Eastwardly 
as the Perdido, and to Capture & send to New Orleans 
for Trial, any Vessels from a foreign Port with Negroes 
on board, that my found hovering on our Coast or at- 
tempting to enter the Bay of Mobile. A number of Afri- 
can Slaves, have lately been introduced into the Town 
of Mobile, & are sold daily to the Citizens of this the 
Mississippi Territory; To prevent therefore the Laws of 
the U: States, prohibiting the importation of Slaves, bo- 
ing wholly useless and inopperative in this Quarter, I 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBOENE. 275 

did not hesitate to require interposition of the Naval 
force. How far the Judiciary may deem itself Author- 
ised to Co-operate, is not for me to determine ; For my- 
self I feel that I have faithfully discharged my duty, & 
I shall be greatly gratified, if such should be the opinion 
of my Superior Officers. Two Vessels with Military 
Stores for the Garrison of Fort Stoddard, sail on the 15th 
June under the Convoy of Six Gun Boats. 

I am Sir, 

Your mo : ob : Serv. 
(Signed) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To Judge Cantrelle 

. New Orleans June 14th 1811. 

Sir, 

Your letter of the 8th Inst: was delivered to me by 
the Houmas Chief Chac-chouma. You did right in Send- 
ing this good old Man & his people to N : Orleans, I have 
expressed my approbation of their Conduct ; made them 
presents to the Amount of $100: and furnished them 
with provisions for their return home. 

I take this opportunity, to urge your acceptance of 
the Commission of Colo : which was offered you the past 
year, and to transmit you a Copy of the Militia Laws. I 
am Sir, 

Your mo : ob. Ser. 
W. C. C. Claiborno 



To Fortesque Cummin >g 

New Orleans 14th Juno 1811 
Sir, 

I have been informed, that the Expences incident to 
the Conveying of Baldwin (charged with Murder to New 
Orleans) has been paid by the Treasurer of tlx 1 Terri- 
tory; But of this, the Bearer will give you more certain 
information. 



276 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

As relates to the expences incident to the safe keep- 
ing of Prisoners generally, & the mode of paying them, 
you will be pleased to make inquiry of Mr. George W. 
Morgan, the Treasurer of the Territory, who is best ad- 
vised on this subject; a part of such expences devolve 
upon Parishes, & a part upon the Territory, but without 
consulting the Laws, which at present I have not time to 
do, I cannot say in what manner, the discrimination is 
made. 

The good order which prevails in your Parish affords 
me Sincere pleasure, & is received as a strong proof of 
the great fidelity, with which the Civil Magistrates, dis- 
charge the Trusts reposed in them. 

I am Sir, 

Your mo. ob. S. 
(signed) W. C. C. Claiborno 



To Dr. Sibley 

Nachitochos Nc\v Orleans .June i:>lh 181 1 

Dear Sir, 

My last accounts from Havana left Mr. Cyrus Sib- 
ley and his Companions in misfortune, stil in Confine- 
ment; But it is not understood that they were treated 
with great Rigour, our Commercial Agent at Havana 
informs me, that their wants are all supplied. 

The President has been pleased to approve my inter- 
position in behalf of these unfortunate Citizens, and T 
shall Continue with great Zeal my exertions to effect 
their release. In my next Letter to the American Con- 
sul at Havana, T will request him to make to your 
Nephew, the advance you desire, & I am very sure it will 
be done. I am Dr. Sir 

Your mo: ob. Serv. 

AY. C. C. Claiborne 



LETTEE' BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 277 

To Judge Johnson 

Private New Orleans 15th June 1811. 

Attakapas 
Dear Sir, 

Your Letter of the 6th of June has been received. I 
enclose you a Commission of Justice of the Peace for 
my old friend Col: Baker, which you will be pleased to 
deliver. 

The Gentlemen you mention, as being likely to be 
elected Members of the Convention from Attakapas, 
merit the Confidence of the people, & they have my best 
wishes. In this County it is understood, that the ap- 
proaching election, has already given rise to much In- 
trigue, and that the Inhabitants are not likely to unite 
in favor of any one Ticket. 

The election of a Governor also, engages much of the 
attention of the Intriguers, & great exertions will be 
made at New Orleans, to prevent the success of any 
Native Citizen of the U: States: It is however, prob- 
able, that these exertions will be of no avail, unless in 
the Western Counties, the people should be so divided 
in opinion, as to loose their weight, on the General Vote. 
I sincerely hope, that Judge Lewis & yourself may 
Agree, as to the Construction of the Laiv, creating the 
New Parish of St. Mary, and that such disposition may 
be made of the Eecords, as shall conform to the true in- 
tent and meaning of the same. 
I am Dear Sir, 

With respect & Esteem 

(signed) W. C. C. Claiborne 



278 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

To Judge Carr 

Nachitoches. New Orleans 15 June 1811. 

Sir, 

I thank you for the information Contained in your 
Letter of the 23d May. The Revolutionists of Mexico, 
have discovered in their Course, a great want of Judg- 
ment, discretion and firmness, nor does their entire dis- 
comfiture excite any surprise. Their cause was certain- 
ly Calculated to call forth Men of Talents & Genius ; But 
it seems, the enfluence of Religious Superstition, gave to 
Priests & Monks the Command of Armies, and that those 
moments, which should be passed in fighting, were em- 
ployed in praying, fasting & Sleeping. 

My circular Letter, enclosing you a Copy of my Proc- 
lamation, will inform you my opinion as to your Ellegi- 
bility to the Convention; there is certainly no in compat- 
ibility, & you have on the occasion my best wishes. 

The period for an election of a Governor of the new 
State, is (probably) so remote, that it is difficult at this 
time to name the Citizen who may have the fairest pre- 
tentious for that office; 

I sincerely thank you for your favorable disposition 
towards me ; Should I be in the New State at the period 
of the election, it is probable I may be a Candidate for 
the honor of the public suffrage, but T cannot at present 
.speak with Certainty. 

T am Dear Sir, 

Your Mo : ob. Serv. 

W. C. C. ClaiboriH- 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 279 

To Col. Covington 

Commanding Officer New Orleans 15th June 1811 

Fort Stoddart 
Sir, 

Two Vessels charged with Military Stores for Fort 
Stoddart, will sail on the 17th Instant, under Convoy of 
Seven or eight Gun Boats. I enclose for your informa- 
tion, a Copy of a Letter, I addressed on this occasion to 
Commodore Shaw, from which you will perceive, that it 
will not be permitted to the Spanish Agents, to exercise 
the smallest Controulover American Vessels, navigating 
the Waters of the Mobile. 

On Tomorrow, I set out on a voyage across the Lake 
Ponchartrain, on a visit to the several Parishes; I shall 
proceed no further than Pascagoula, unless things at Mo- 
bile may so evenuate, as to make my presence there nec- 
cessary. 

I am Sir 

With great Respect 

Your mo : ob : Serv. 

W. C. C. Claiborne 



To James Monroe 

Secy, of State. New Orleans 16 June 1811 

Sir, 

I shall commence in the course of the day my voyage 
across the Lake & propose previous to my return to visit 
the Parishes of St. Tammany, Biloxi 1 & Pascagoula. Two 
Vessels loaded with Military Stores, for the use of the 
Garrison of Fort Stoddart, will sail on tomorrow, under 
the Convoy of the Armed Schooner Viper, & Eleven Gun 
Boats. I hope & believe, those Vessels will meet no oppo- 
sition in passing the Fort of Mobile ; But if any violence 
is attempted, I have no doubt, but it will be repelled with 

1 As in the instance of Mississippi and other proper names, it is in- 
teresting to note the gradual change in the spelling of Biloxi. 



280 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

promptitude and firmness. I am very sensible of the 
high responsiblity I have assumed, by the requisitions 
made of Commodore Shaw, & it is very possible, that 
things may so eventuate, as to make it a duty, to proceed 
still further in the exercise of discretionary power. But 
you may be assured I shall not act rashly, & that all my 
measures shall be such, as my best Judg'ment shall dic- 
tate. 

On my return to New Orleans, which will be in 17 or 
18 days. I will transmit to you an Account of my ex- 
penditures in taking possession of the Country desig- 
nated in the President's Proclamation of the 27th of Oc- 
tober last. These expenditures do not for the present 
exceed three thousand five hundred Dollars. 
I have the honor to be, Sir, 

Your mo: ob: Sorv. 

W. C. C. Claiborne 



To the Officer Commanding the Squadron of Gun Boats 
at present near the Bay of Pascagoula 

Bav of Pascagoula 28th June 1811. 
oir, 

Desirous to forward dispatches of Public Inport, by 
the Schooner Aligator, I request that you would order the 
officer Commanding said Schooner to come too, near 
Gun Boat No. 24., and await my further orders. 
I am Sir 

Very Respectfully 

Your mo: ob. Ser. 

W. C. C. Claiborne 



To the Naval Commander on the Mobile Station. 

Sir, 

T request you to cause the enclosed Letter to Governor 
Folch, or the officer Commanding the Fort at Mobile, to 
be delivered, previous to the Armed Vessels under your 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 281 

Command, appearing before that Fort, & so soon, as you 
shall have passed the Fort, I request you to inform me 
thereof by Express, & to state whether or not your pas- 
sage was opposed. I shall await at Pascagoula for your 
Communications. 

I am Sir 

Very Respectfully 

Your mo : ob. Ser. 
29th June 1811. W. C. C. Claiborne 



To Gov. Folcli 

or the Officer Commanding the Fort at Mobile 
Sir, 

Desirous that a Vessel bearing the American Flag, 
& Charged with Military Stores for the Garrison of Fort 
Stoddart, should pass unmolested, I have placed her un- 
der Convoy of several Armed Vessels of the United 
States ; A measure of precaution, deemed the more nec- 
essary in Consequence of the late detention (under your 
order P) at the Fort of Mobile, of a Vessel charged with 
Stores for the same Garrison. 

I owe it Sir, to Candour, to humanity, and to the So- 
licitude I feel, to preserve a good understanding with the 
Agents of a Nation, at peace with the United States, to 
inform you, that the officer Commanding the Convoy is 
instructed to oppose force to force; But to be as careful 
in avoiding aggression as prompt in repelling any that 
may be offered him. If therefore Sir, it be not your wish 
to Commence hostilities, & to cause the effusion of Blood, 
it is Confidently expected, that you will on your part re- 
frain from aggression. As relates to the right of the 
United States to the free & uninterrupted use of the 
Waters of the Mobile, it is too evident to need illustra- 



282 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

tion, and that Right, I have Considered it my duty, on the 
present occasion, to maintain. 1 

I have the honor to be Sir, 
Territory of Orleans With great Respect 
Parish of Pascagoula Your mo : obt. Serv. 

29th June 1811 (signd.) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To James Monroe 

Territory of Orleans 
Parish of Pascagoula 29 June 1811 
Secy, of State. 
Sir, 

Previous to my departure from New Orleans, I had 
the honor to advise you of the Convoy which had been 
ordered for a Vessel Charged with Military Stores for 
the Garrison of Fort Stoddart; & of the Instructions to 
the Naval Commander ; It seeming to me to Comport with 
a Candid and honest policy- to apprise the Spanish 
Agents of the object of the Convoy, I have addressed to 
Governor Folch or the officer Commanding the Fort of 
Mobile a Letter of which the enclosed is a Copy. I shall 
remain in this Parish Seven or Eight days, & will then 
return to New Orleans, unless the Passage of the Mobile 
is opposed by force; in which event, I shall proceed im- 
mediately to Fort Stoddart, and will consult with the 
Commanding officer of that Post, as to such further meas- 
ures, as our Instructions may justify and the Public Sa- 
fity require. I have the honor to be, 

Your mo : ob : Serv. 
(sigd) W. C. C. Claiborne 

P. S. The Squadron of Gun Boats is now off this 
Place with a fair wind, & every prospect of reaching the 
Bay of Mobile in the Course of Tomorrow. 

1 The condition of public feeling above Mobile in Mississippi Ter- 
ritory demanded prompt action on the part of Claiborne. 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 283 

My Letter to Governor Folch, is committed to the Na- 
val Commander, who will cause it to be delivered, pre- 
vious to the Armed Vessels appearing before the Fort. 

sigd. W. C. C. C. 



To Paul Hamilton 

Territory of Orleans 
Secy, of the Navy. 

Parish of Pascagoula June 29th 1811. 
Sir, 

Previous to my departure from New Orleans I advis- 
ed you of the Convoy, which had been ordered for a Ves- 
sel Charged with Military Stores for the Garrison of 
Fort Stoddart. 

It seemed to me, to Comport with a Candid and honest 
Policy to apprise the Spanish Agents of the object of the 
Convoy, and therefore I have this day addressed to Gov- 
ernor Folch or the officer Commanding the Fort of Mo- 
bile a Letter of which the enclosed is Copy ; 

The Squadron of Gun Boats Composing the Convoy is 
now off this place, with a fair wind, & every porspect of 
reaching the Bay of Mobile in the Course of tomorrow. 
My Letter to Governor Folch is entrusted to the Naval 
Commander, who will cause it to be delivered, previdus 
to the Gun Boats appearing before the Fort. 

I shall return from hence in Six or Seven days to New 
Orleans, unless things at Mobile should so evenuate, as 
to render my presence in its vicinity necessary. 
I have the honor to be, 

Your mo : ob. Ser. 
(sigd.) W. C. C. Claiborne 



284 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

To Paul Hamilton 

Private Pascagoula 29th June 1811. 
Secy, of the Navy. 
My dear Sir, 

As relates to the events, that may arise at Mobile, my 
only cause of solicitude, is that my Conduct may be ap- 
proved by the President. The whole tract of Country, 
watered by the Mobile and its tributary streams apper- 
tains to the United States; That part of West Florida 
lying West of the Perdido, is attached to the Orleans Ter- 
ritory, & the Local Authorities, have legislated for the 
same. Under these Circumstances, it seemed to me, I 
should have Compromised my own and my Country's 
honor to have submitted to the attempt, of the Spanish 
Agents at Mobile, to inhibit the United States, the free 
Naviagation of the Mobile. I should certaintly feel much 
relief, had I previously been informed of the sentiments 
of the President; But the occurrence was of a nature to 
require prompt measures; The Military Stores were in- 
dispensible for the Garrison of Fort Stoddart, & I availed 
myself of such means as were in my power, to ensure 
them a safe & Speedy Conveyance. 

T know not the Course Folch may persue; My own 
opinion is (to use a Western phrase) that, "he will back 
out". I shall return from hence to New Orleans, unless 
the Gun Boats are fired on, by the Fort of Mobile; in 
which event, I shall proceed immediately to Fort Stod- 
dart, for the purpose of Consulting with the Command- 
ing Officer of that Post, as to such further measures, as 
our Instructions may justify & the Public Safety require. 
My present impression is, that the firing on the Convoy 
will be such an act of aggression as to justify the reduc- 
tion of the Fort. The Commanding Officer of Fort Stod- 
dart, has been apprised of the object of the Convoy, & 
will of course hold his force in a state of readiness; 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 285 

I can receive intelligince from Mobile in 12 hours, & 
can reach Fort Stoddart from this place in two days. 

I am 

Your mo: ob. 
(sigd.) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To Commodore Shaw 

Private Pascagoula 3d July 1811. 

Dear Sir, 

Be so good as to place the enclosed Letter in the Post 
office. The Convoy for Mobile passed by this place on 
the 27th Ultimo, since which they have been much fav- 
ored by the Wind, but I remain without information, as 
to the reception, the Fort of Mobile gave them. I re- 
quested Captn. Read to give me the particulars on the re- 
turn of the Alligator, & I am momently in expectation of 
receiving them. 

If the Convoy is fired on, I shall proceed immediately 
to Fort Stoddart ; If it meets no Molestation, I shall re- 
turn to New Orleans. Hence my Anxiety to hear from 
Capt. Read. 

If the Convoy is fired on, I shall consider it, such an 
Act of Aggression as to justify the taking of the Fort 
of Mobile. I am Dear Sir 
To Commodore Shaw Your mo : ob. S 

New Orleans (sigd.) W. C. C. Claiborne 



The Honble. Territory of Orleans. 

Mr. Hamilton Pascagoula 2d. July 1811. 

Secy, of the Navy. 
Sir. 

The wind has favored the passage of our Armed Ves- 
sels by the Fort of Mobile, & I am momently in expecta- 
tion of receiving intelligence from the Naval Commander. 



286 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

I presume no difficulty has occurred, or information of 
the same, would (most probably) have already reached 
me. 

The Lands bordering on the Lakes Maurepas, Pon- 
chartrain and Borgne abound in Live Oak of the best 
quality and near the Florida Shore, and on several 
Islands in this vicinity, it also grows Luxuriantly. On 
the Pearl & Pascagoula Rivers, & the Waters of the Tom- 
bigbee, I learn there is an abundance of Cedar, Mulberry 
and Locust, the Cypres of the Mississippi is enexhaust- 
ible, & the high Lands of Florida are covered with Pine. 
There is perhaps no District in the United States where 
as good Materials for Ship Building are to be found, or 
where such Materials can be prepared at a lesser ex- 
pence. Is it not advisable to direct some Capable & Con- 
fidential officer to visit the several Tracts of Country, 
where Ship Timber is situated, & to report to your De- 
partment its quality & quantity. And may it not also be 
advisable to reserve a Considerable portion of such 
Tracts for Public use, & to provide by law, for the pun- 
ishment of such persons as shall depredate thereon. 
Without these provisions, private Individuals will cm- 
brace the first occasion, to become owners of such valu- 
able property, & in the mean time they cannot be re- 
strained from using the Timber at will. 

ft is understood, that most of the Tracts where the 
Timber alluded to grows, appertain to the National Do- 
main; there is however some owned by Individuals but 
which could 1 presume at this time be obtained in ex- 
change for other Lands, or for a small pecuniary Con- 
sideration, when Compared to their intrinsic value. 
I have the honor to be, Sir, 

Your mo : ob : Sev. 
(Sigd.) \V. C. C. Claiborne 



LETTER BOOKS OF \V. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 287 

To the Naval Commander on the Mobile Station. 

Sir, 

I have this day, received by a Spanish officer, a Let- 
ter from Col : Maxent the acting Governor of Pensacola, 
under date of the 3d Inst :, in which he advises me of his 
intention, to repair immediately to the parish of Pasca- 
goula, for the purpose of Confering with me, relative to 
the object of my Letter of the 29th of June. 

The Letter refered to by Col: Maxent is the one you 
delivered to the Commanding Officer at Mobile, & which 
Conveyed in terms so explicit & decisive the objects of 
the Convoy under your Command, that it surely cannot 
be supposed, I am prepared to recede ; I presume there- 
fore Col: Maxent comes disposed to acknowledge the 
right of the United States to the free and undisturbed 
use of the Waters of the Mobile, or otherwise he would 
not subject himself to the trouble of a voyage to Pasca- 
goula. Thus impressed it would meet my approbation 
if on the receipt of this Letter, you should not have 
passed the Fort, that you delay doing so, until you re- 
ceive another Communication from me. 

In the mean time ; I request you not to relax in your 
preparations to force a passage. The right of the 
United States to the free Navigation of the Mobile ; must 
be maintained; if Col. Maxent is disposed to acknowl- 
edge that right & to treat the American Flag with all the 
respect to which it is entitled, the object of the Convoy 
is attained; But if such be not the disposition of the 
Spanish Agents at Mobile, it will be left to you (on the 
present occasion) to enforce the right. 

I am well aware, it would be more regular, that all 
Communications relating to the Service, in which you 
are employed, should come from your immediate Xaval 
Chief Commodore Shaw; But my distance from Xew 
Orleans & the urgency of the moment, admitting not of 
the delay necessary to Communicate previously with the 



288 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

Commodore, I have (with a view to the Public Interest) 
addressed myself immediately to you. 
Territory of Orleans, I have the honor to be, Sir, 
Parish of Pascagoula With great respect &ca. 

5th July 1811. (Signed) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To the Commanding officer at Fort Stoddart 

Parish of Pascagoula July 5th 1811. 
Sir, 

Previous to my departure from New Orleans, I en- 
closed you a Copy of my Letter to Commodore Shaw, 
requiring a Convoy for a Vessel Charged with Military 
Stores, for the Garrison of Fort Stoddart, & I now trans- 
mit for your perusal a Letter, I have this day addressed 
to the naval Commander on the Mobile Station. 

You will perceive Sir, my determination to enforce 
the right of the United States to the free & uninterrupted 
use of the waters of the Mobile & it is not improbable but 
things may so evenuate, as to require your Co-operation. 
I am, Sir, 

Your mo. ob. Sev. 

W. C. C. Claiborne 



To James Monroe 

Territory of Orleans 

Secy, of State. Pascagoula July 5th 1811. 

Sir, 

I have the honor to enclose you a Copy, of a Letter 
from Col : Maxent, the Acting Governor at Pensacola, 
which was delivered to me, on this Morning by a Spanish 
officer, as also of one, which I have this moment addressed 
to the Xaval Commander on the Mobile Station. 

I trust Col : Maxent will come disposed to accede to 
my demand, for the free & uninterrupted use of the 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 289 

Waters of the Mobile by American Vessels, or otherwise 
it must be left for the Naval Commander, to carry into 
effect my instructions of the 10th of June. I feel that 
the stand taken, is one which the honor of the Govern- 
ment enjoined, & our rights sanctioned; It is impossible 
therefore for me whatever may be the event (unless the 
President should so direct) to tread back my steps. I 
am not altogether certain, that I was correct in request- 
ing the Naval Commander to suspend a moment, his 
passage by the Fort ; But as it is probable Colo : Maxent 
may come prepared to conform my wishes, it seemed to 
me Consistent with a just & Conciliatory Policy to await 
his arrival, & in the mean time, that our armed Vessels, 
should postpone their operations. There is no doubt, 
but the Commandant at Mobile was instructed to oppose 
by force, the passage of our Vessels, & I learn among 
other preparations for offence, he had erected within a 
few days past (in front of the Fort) a Water Battery, 
which mounted Six Guns. I am Sir, 
Your mo. ob. Sev. 

(sigd.) W. C. C. Claiborne 

P. S. I do not know, that my Letter of this morning 
to the Naval Commander, will reach him in time to retard 
his Movements; He will be acting in strict Conformity 
to his orders, if he should pass the Fort, without a mo- 
ments delay. 

W. C. C. C. 



To Paul Hamilton 

Territory of Orleans 

Secy, of the Navy. Pascagoula July 6th 1811 

Sir, 

Having received on yesterday by express a Letter 
under date of the 3d Inst : from Col : Maxent, the acting 
Governor at Pensacola, advising me of his intention to re- 

V 19 



290 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

pair immediately to Paseagoula, for the purpose of Con- 
fering with me, on the subject of my Letter of the 29th 
Ulto., to the Commandant at Mobile, I have addressed a 
Communication to the Naval officer on the Mobile Station, 
of which the enclosed is a Copy. 

I am this moment favored with a Duplicate of Colo : 
Maxent's Letter, & from the course of the wind for the 
last two days, I shall expect his arrival here on Tomor- 
row. It is impossible to say what may be the issue of 
the contemplated Conference ! I have nothing to ask, 
but the free & uninterrupt'd passage of the Mobile to 
American Vessels, & unless this reasonable demand be 
promptly acceded to, it remains for Commodore Shaw, to 
carry into effect my instructions of the 10th of June ; I 
understand, that the Duke del Infantado a Grandee of 
Spain, has been named Captn. General of Cuba ; and that 
in expectation of his early arrival, the Spanish Agents 
are greatly desirous, that things at Mobile, should for 
the present, remain in Statue quo. As regards Cuba, 
permit me to observe that its dependance on a foreign 
power, is seen by me, with sincere regret; The destiny of 
that Island, is highly interesting to the II : States. It 
is in truth the Mouth of the Mississippi, the Nation 
possessing it may Controul the Western Commerce. 1 
Next to acquiring the Sovereignty of Cuba, it is most im- 
portant to my country that it be placed in the Situation, 
Malta formerly was; erected into an independance State, 
& its Sovereignty guarantied by the II: States and other 
Nations. Unless an Act of that kind takes place, the 
possession of the Island of Cuba, will sooner or later be 
cause of War; & may tend to destroy the good under- 
standing, which might otherwise exist, between the IT: 
States, the Country vmr tcrmc.d Spanish America! A 

1 The people of the Gulf Toast prompted the various movements 
for the ownership of Cuba by the United States. Claiborne seems to 
have been a pioneer in the policy. 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBOENE. 291 

Country that cannot from the nature of things long re- 
main, in its present Collonial Condition. I have the 
honor to be, Sir 

Your mo. ob. Ser. 
(sigd) W. C. C. Claiborne 

P. S. There is no doubt, but the Commandant at Mobile, 
had received orders, to oppose the passage of our Ves- 
sels, & with this view, I have information that among 
other preparations for offence, he had erected (within a 
few days past) a Battery in front of the Fort & near the 
Waters edge, which mounted Six Guns. 

W. C. C. C. 



To Colonel Maximilien Maxent 

Territory of Orleans ; 
Pascagoula July 6th 1811. 
Sir, 

I am honored with the receipt of your Letter of the 
3d Ultimo, and shall with great pleasure, await your 
arrival at Pascagoula. 

I tender to } 7 ou Sir, the assurances of my Respect and 
Esteem! 

(Sigd.) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To Colonel Maxmilien Maxent 

Pascagoula July 7th 1811. 
Sir, 

Your letter of this date, has been considered with the 
most respectful attention. 

I shall sincerely regret, if your dependancc upon the 
Captain General of Cuba, should forbid your Acquies- 
cence in the just & reasonable Demand, which a due re- 
spect for the rights of my Country Compel me to press. 



292 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

It is known to you Sir, that the Territory of Orleans 
over which I have the honor to preside, is declared by 
my Government to extend Eastwardly to the River Per- 
dido, & that the Waters of the Mobile, in their whole 
course (with the exception of a small District, which in- 
cludes the Fort & Town of Mobile) pass thro' a tract of 
Country, in the actual possession of the U : States ; Hence 
it is Sir, that the free & uninterrupted Navigation of the 
Mobile by American Vessels, is insisted upon as a right. 
I cannot accede to your proposition, that the Vessel 
Charged with Stores for the Garrison of Fort Stoddart, 
should be compelled to pass by the Tensaw, without the 
reach of the Cannon of the Fort; Since it would be an 
Acknowledgement of an authority on the part of the 
Spanish officers to exercise a Controul over American 
Vessels and a Surrender of the point in question. 

My Letter of the 29th of June, stated the event which 
induced me, to place under Convoy the vessel destined 
for Fort Stoddard, nor did I omit to acquaint you of the 
orders, which the Naval Commander had reed, carefully 
to avoid aggression. 

I have no wish Sir, that a naval force should pass on 
to fort Stoddard; the most perfect good understanding 
between our two Nations is believed to exist, I feel a 
sincere disposition to preserve with you Sir, the most 
friendly relations. The naval force 1 therefore now with- 
in view of the Fort under your Command, shall be re- 
called, if 7 am previously assured that the private & un- 
armed Vessel under its Convoy, would, unprotected, be 
permitted without detention, or other molestation to Con- 
tinue her Voyage to Fort Stoddart. 

I have the honor to be Sir 
With great respect 

Your mo : ob. Sev. 
(signed) \V. C. C. Claiborne 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 293 

To Colonel Maximilien Maxent. 

Pascagoula 8th July 1811. 
Sir, 

I understand from your letter of the morning, that 
you will give such orders, as will insure to the Vessel 
charged with Stores for the Garrison of Fort Stoddard, 
a free passage ~by way of the Mobile & that such Vessel 
will meet no detention at the Fort of Mobile, or any other 
molestation by the force under your Command. Under 
this impression, your answer is Satisfactory, since the 
object of the Convoy is attained. & the Armed Vessels 
of the United States near the Fort of Mobile, will con- 
sequently be ordered to their former Stations. The de- 
sire you are pleased to express, to maintain the good un- 
derstanding, which exists between our two Nations, af- 
fords me pleasure, & I beg you to beleive, that a Similar 
Sentiment, is cherished on my part. I cannot however, 
refrain from remarking, that the unmolested passaged 
of the Vessel by the way of the Mobile to Fort Stoddart, 
is not received as a favor, but considered as a Matter of 
right. As relates to the other points in my Letter of yes- 
terday, which you have declined to notice, I owe it to that 
Spirit of Candour, which I wish always to observe, to 
apprise you, that whenever the occasion requires, these 
points will be insisted on, and that the free & uninter- 
rupted use of the Waters of the Mobile is viewed as a 
privilege appertaining to all Vessels under the Flag of 
the United States, whether armed or unarmed. I have 
the honor to be &ca. 

Your mo : ob : Sev. 
W. C. C. Claiborm- 



294 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

To the Naval Commander of the Mobile Station. 

Pascagoula July 8th 1811. 
Sir, 

I have received the most satisfactory assurances from 
Col : Maxent, Governor par Interim, & on whom the Com- 
mand of the Spanish Force at Mobile devolves that the 
Vessel charged with Stores for the Garrison of Fort 
Stoddart, might continue (uninterrupted) her voyage by 
the way of the Mobile and that he would give the neces- 
sary orders, to prevent her being detained at the Fort 
of Mobile or receiving any other molestation. 

The object I had in view, in requiring of Commodore 
Shaw a Convoy, being thus attained, I request you Sir, to 
retire with the several armed Vessels under your Com- 
mand to the Stations assigned to each Vessel respectively 
and that you direct the Patron of the Vessel charged with 
Stores for Fort Stoddart, forthwith ((' without (jiving 
him any Convoy) to pass by the Fort of Mobile, & con- 
tinue his course without delay to his place of destination. 
Had I time Sir, (and did the occasion permit) to Com- 
municate previously with Commodore Shaw, the requests 
now made to you, would come in the Shape of orders, 
which being the more regular mode, would on that ac- 
count, be the most agreeable to us both ; But when I ob- 
serve to you Sir, that these requexfx of mine, are made in 
Conformity to an Arrangement between Col: Maxent & 
myself, in our official Capacities that your adherence to 
them, is interext'nirj to our Government & to good faith, 
I feel assured of your prompt compliance. 

As it is important that the enclosed Letter to Col: 
Covington or the officer Commanding at Fort Stoddart, 
should be early received, do me Ihe favor Sir, to Commit 
it to the care of an officer attached to the Squadron, Avith 
instructions to the officer, to take his passage on board 
the Vessel charged with the Stores for Fort Stoddart, & 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 295 

to deliver the Letter in person. I feel a wish that the 
officer should accompany the Store Vessel, in as much 
as his presence might insure more expedient & the 
greater care on the part of the Patron. Will you be good 
enough to say to the Gentleman, you may send to Fort 
Stoddart, that if he will be pleased to keep an account 
of his personal expences in going & returning the amount 
shall be repaid him. 

I take this occasion to express my entire Confidence 
in the valor Zeal & Patriotism of the officers & Crews of 
the several Vessels under your Command, and to assure 
them individually of my Respect and Esteem. 

(signed) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To Col. Covington 

Pascagoula July 8th 1811 
Fort Stoddart 
Sir, 

Colo : Maxent acting as Governor par Interim, pend- 
ing the indisposition of Governor Folch, having given 
me the most positive assurances that the Vessel charged 
with Stores for the Garrison of Fort Stoddart, would be 
permitted to persue her Course, without experiencing de- 
tention at the Fort of Mobile, or any other molestation 
by the forces under his Command, I have to inform you, 
that the officer Commanding the Armed Vessels detached 
as a Convoy, has been requested to order said Vessels 
to resume the former Stations assigned to each respec- 
tively & to direct the Patron of the Vessel ivitli Stores 
for Fort Stoddart to proceed on (ivithout further Con- 
voy) to her place of destination. 

It may be proper, for you to be informed, that in my 
Correspondance with Colo : Moxont, I claimed the free 
unmolested use of the Waters of the Mobile as a Right 
appertaining to all Vessels under the flag of the United 



296 . _ , MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

States, & gave him to understand, that, that right, when- 
ever the occasion required, would be insisted upon. 

I am Sir, 

Your mo: ob. Ser. 
W. C. C. Claiborne 



To Judge Toulmin 1 

Pascagoula July 8th 1811 
near Fort Stoddart 
Dear Sir, 

The Spanish Agents at Mobile, having detained a 
Vessel charged with Stores for the Garrison of Fort 
Stoddart, I determined to enforce (on that occasion) 
the right to the free Navigation of the Mobile & with 
that view, the same Vessel charged with Stores as afore- 
said w r as placed under Convoy of respectable Naval force, 
with all necessary powers to the Naval Commander; 
This force appeared before the Fort, but its operations 
were suspended, in Consequence of Col : Maxent the Act- 
ing Governor having requested an interview with me; 
That interview has taken place, and the result has been, 
"An Assurance that the Vessel with Stores for Fort 
Stoddart, might persue her course uninterrupted, and 
that she should experience no detention at the Fort of 
Mobile or any other Molestation by the Spanish Forces". 
Thus this affair has ended, and the Officer Commanding 
the Naval Force, has been requested by me, to retire to 
the former Station assigned him. 

By a Law of the Territory, the Parish of Pascagoula 
extends to the Perdido; The Laws therefore will be en- 
forced over the District between the Perdido & the Mo- 
bile, with which view, T enclose you a Commission for 
Mr. Theodore Brightwell as a Justice of the Peace & 

'Toulmin as the spokesman of the people of the Tombigby settle- 
tlements had been urgent for prompt action against the Spaniards. 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 297 

which I beg you to forward, & I hereby authorize you to 
administer to Mr. Brightwell an Oath to support the Con- 
stitution of the United States & also an Oath of Office. 
To avoid Confusion & any premature Conflict with the 
Spanish Garrison I shall request the Civil Officers by Let- 
ter within the Parish of Pascagoula, not to extend their 
authority within certain Limits which I propose to define, 
as to enclude within the Same the Town & Fort of Mo- 
bile, & you will much oblige me, if by the first mail after 
the receipt of this Letter, you would delineate to me the 
Bounds of a District, which you suppose will meet the 
object. 

I cannot much longer delay appointing a Judge of 
Pascagoula! You once intimated to me that that office 
would be agreeable to you ; But in the present confused 
State, I presume it is not worthy your acceptance ! Can 
you recommend to me a suitable Character! 

I am, Dear Sir, 

Your mo : ob : Sert 
(signed) W. C. C. Claiborne 
P. S. 

I shall set out in four days to New Orleans. 



To Colonel Maximilien Maxent. 

Pascagoula, 9th July 1811. 

half past 10, A.M. 
Sir, 

Captain Farragout whom I had dispatched on the 
evening of the 5th Instant with dispatches to the officer 
commanding the United States Naval force, near Mobile, 
has this moment arrived, and brings me intelligence, that 
previous to the receipt of my dispatches by the Naval 
officer, the vessel with Stores for Fort Stoddart, had 
passed on to her Port of destination, in Consequence of 



298 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

an arrangement between, the Naval officer & the Spanish 
Commandant. 

Yon will recollect Sir, that I stated to yon, that the 
orders to the Naval Commander were such, that I was 
not certain, but he would act, previous to the receipt of 
the Letter, which I had addressed him. 

I tender you Sir, the assurance of my Respect and 
Esteem. 

(signed) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To Col. Maxent 
Pensacola. 



Pascagoula 9th June 1811. 



Sir, 

Captn Farragout lias presented me your Letter, ac- 
knowledging the receipt of mine of this date. The Wind 
being very favorable 1 concluded on last evening to dis- 
patch Lieut: Merril to Mobile, with my Instructions, & I 
learn, with regret, that this officer had not called upon 
you as had been previously agreed between us. Ue was 
requested to do so, & I know not how to account for the 
omission, unless from the circumstance of his having 
continued his voyage in the night & might have passed 
your Vessel, without perceiving her. I renew to you the 
assurances of my Respect and Esteem. 

(sigd) AV. C. C. Claiborne 



To Pfdil If (i mil I on 

Private. Parish of Pascagoula 9th July 18U 

Secy of the Navy. 
Dear Sir, 

I have the honor to advise you that the difficulties at 
Mobile, are for the present arranged, and the vessel with 
Military Store*, continued her voyage uninterrupted to 
Fort Stoddart, 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORXE. 299 

For a perusal of the Correspondence between Colo 
Maxent & myself & for other particulars, I beg leave to 
refer you (being much pressed for time) to my official 
Letter of this date to the Secretary of State. You will 
perceive Sir, the object for which the Convoy was or- 
dered, has been attained; that the right to the free and 
uninterrupted use of the Waters of the Mobile has been 
asserted, and Col. Maxent notified, that the same would 
be insisted on, whenever the occasion required. 

If the President approves the stand I have taken, the 
Spaniards at Mobile will have wholly to disobey the or- 
ders of the Captn. General, or a state of things must arise, 
that will lead to the fall of the Fort. I must confess Sir, 
I most ardently wish the possession of Mobile ; Its occu- 
pancy by a foreign force, is cause of discontent to the 
Citizens of this Territory, & some embarrassment to me. 

The Scite of the Fort of Mobile, with a view to de- 
fence has been well chosen, & is a strong and regular 
Work.- It mounts thirty heavy (and several smaller) 
pieces of Cannon; Is well supplied with Stores of every 
description, and defended by about 180 or 200 regular 
Troops; The Commandant Col: Collell is an officer of 
merit, nor is there a doubt, but he would be bravely sup- 
ported by the whole Garrison. I think, however, that 
the navy on this Station, aided by the regular Troops at 
Fort Stoddart & Pass of Christian, would insure the 
speedy possession of Mobile. 

I take pleasure in informing you that Commodore 
Shaw, Complied with my requisitions for a Convoy, with 
a promptitude evincive of the most ardent attachment to 
the honor of the American Flag, and that the conduct of 
Lieut: Bainbridge who commanded the Convoy, & indeed 
of the officers generally, who were ordered on that Serv- 
ice, has been marked with great correctness. Permit 
me also to assure you Sir, that if the passage of the Ves- 
sel with Military Stores had been opposed, it would have 



300 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

been Commanded, and with a degree of Valour too, that 
would have done Credit to the American Character. Ac- 
cept the best wishes of 

Dear Sir, 

your H Servt 
(sig'd) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To James Monroe 

Territory of Orleans 
Parish of Pascagoula July 9th 1811. 

Secretary of State. 



Sir, 

On the 5th of this month I transmitted to you, a Copy 
of a Letter, received by express from Colonel Maxent, 
Governor par Interim, (pending the indisposition of 
Governor Folch) at Pensacola (advising me of his inten- 
tion, to set out the first favorable wind for Pascagoula, 
in order to confer with me on the subject of my Letter 
of the 29th Ulto, as also a Copy of my Communication, 
under date of the 5th Inst :, to the Naval Commander on 
the Mobile Station, apprising him of the expected Inter- 
view with Colo Maxent, & requesting for the present a 
suspension of his operations. 

I now have the honor to inform you, that Colo. Maxent 
arrived hence on the morning of the 7th & was received 
with that respectful attention, to which ho was entitled 
as well from his distinguished rank, as the supposed pa- 
cific object of his visit. An early occasion, was cm- 
braced by the Colonel to assure me of his disposition to 
preserve the friendly understanding which existed be- 
tween our two nations, & to express his sincere desire 
that sonic means might bo fallen on, to accommodate the 
difficulty, likely to arise at Mobile. 1 replied that our 
wishes were in unison: That the present cause of dis- 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 301 

pute, was neither complicated, or difficult of arrange- 
ment; That the free & uninterrupted use of the Wa- 
ters of the Mobile, was a right appertaining to every 
Vessel carrying the Flag of the U. States, & of the vio- 
lation of that right I complained. A private and un- 
armed Vessel charged with powder & other Military 
Stores for the Garrison of Fort Stoddart unprotected & 
unoffending had been arrested in her course, under the 
orders of the Commandant of the Fort of Mobile ; That, 
I had in Consequence placed her, under the Convoy, of 
several armed Vessels of the U. States, & of the instruc- 
tions to the officer Commanding the Convoy he was ap- 
prised:" - I added; that the presence of a Naval force, 
at this time, at Fort Stoddart, was not desired, & the 
sole object of the one, then within view of Mobile, was 
to give safety to the vessel charged with Military Stores ; 
- were I therefore previously assured, that such Vessel 
would receive no detention, or other molestation by the 
Spanish Troops under his Command, the armed Vessels 
would be recalled, & ordered to their former Stations." 
Colo. Maxent would not enter into the discussion of the 
question of right; But observed that he was dependent 
upon the Captain General of Cuba, whose orders were 
not to permit the passage of armed Vessels, or Vessels 
with Troops or ammunition." But that an officer should 
be immediately dispatched to the Havana, for the pur- 
pose of stating to the Captain General the difficulty that 
had occurred, & requesting his further orders, // iu tlie 
meantime, I would suspend all further operations on my 
part, & he proposed, that I should grant him (for the oc- 
casion) the use of a fast sailing Vessel. To this delay, I 
would not assent, and adhered to my demand for the im- 
mediate passage of the Vessel charged with Stores; 
which being admitted, the present difficulty would be re- 
moved, but I stated explicitly, that if the orders of the 
Captain General were not speedily revoked, our authori- 



302 - MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

ties & duties would often bring us into conflict, since the 
uninterrupted use of the Waters of the Mobile by Amer- 
ican Vessels of every description, ivould be asserted & 
concluded with observing, that it would be more agree- 
able to me, were he to commit to writing, such further 
propositions, as he was disposed to offer. It may be 
proper here to inform you that Colo. Maxent delivered 
himself in Spanish; a Language I do not understand, nor 
was there a Gentleman of my suite who could act as an 
interpreter ; I was indebted therefore to Captain Pier- 
nass (Secretary to Colo. Maxent) for a French transla- 
tion ; The conversation on my part was holden in Eng- 
lish & afterwards translated into French. Under these 
circumstances, it is not improbable, but we might have 
misapprehanded each other on some immaterial points; 
But I am sure I have given you the substance of what 
passed. 

In conformity to my wish, Colo. Maxent on the after- 
noon of the 7th addressed me a Letter of which the en- 
closed No 1. is a Copy, proposing that the Vessels with 
Stores, should pass by way of the River Tensaw, witli- 
out the reach of the cannon of the Fort of Mobile. 
This proposition being wholly inadmissable I returned 
instanter, the answer No. 2, & insisted on my first de- 
mand. On the following day the Colo, made me the Com- 
munication No. 3: It manifested a Conciliatory dispo- 
sition & in effect, yielded the point contended for. I 
therefore returned the answer No. 4, & a Letter from 
Colo. Maxent of which No. 5 is a Copy dosed our Corre- 
spondence. The most satisfactory assurances having 
been thus given me, that the Vessels with Stores for Fort 
Stoddart would not be detained or otherwise molested, & 
considering the particular object for which the Convoy 
was ordered, as being attained, I made to our Naval Com- 
mander near Mobile a Communication of which No. (1 is 
a Copy, & one also to the Commanding officer at Fort 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBOENE. 303 

Stoddart, of which No. 7. is a Copy. The unauthori- 
tative stile of my letter to the Naval Commander, you 
Avill attribute to the circumstance, that my requisition for 
a Convoy was addressed to the Superior Naval Officer on 
the New Orleans Station Commodore Shaw, by whom 
special orders were given to the Commander of the Con- 
voy ; therefore that the latter was bound to obey any sub- 
sequent instructions from me, & the language of entreaty 
was used under an impression, it was most proper- 
would be best received, & equally calculated to effect my 
object. 

On yesterday evening Colo. Maxent took his leave, giv- 
ing me to understand, that he should forward an officer 
to the Captain General of Cuba for further orders, & in 
the mean time, he hoped, no new difficultys would arise. 

I had written thus much Sir, when Capt. Farragut, 
who had left this place late on the evening of the 5th 
Inst: with my Letter of that date to the Naval Com- 
mander near Mobile, requesting a suspension of his op- 
erations, delivered me an answer from that officer, by 
which I was informed, that previous to the receipt of my 
dispatch, the Vessel ivith Military Stores, had passed on 
to Fort Stoddart; But for the particulars, I beg leave to 
refer you, to the answer itself, of which the enclosed 
marked A. is a Copy. The Vessel with Colo. Maxent 
on board, being still at anchor within view, I have this 
moment dispatched Captn Farragut with a note advis- 
ing him of the Intelligence from Mobile; It ought not, 
& I presume will not excite surprise. Since I suggested 
in Conversation with Colo. Maxent my apprehensions, 
that my Letter of the 5th would not reach the Naval Com- 
mander in time, to produce the object desired, for his or- 
ders were imperative, & it was probable he had attempted 
to carry them into immediate effect. 

I have now Sir, ended my long narrative; It has been 
rendered the more particular from the wish I feel, that 



304 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

my whole agency in this business should be brought to 
the view of the President, since next to an approving 
conscience, his approbation is to me, the most desirable. 
If the principle I have contended for, to with the right of 
the U. States to the uninterrupted use of the Waters of 
the Mobile, be approved, events will probably again arise, 
to put the question of right at issue. In which case, & 
should the Sanish Agents at Mobile, be so far the aggres- 
sors, as to fire on an American Vessel peacefully navi- 
gating the Mobile, I should be happy to learn the manner, 
in which the President would wish the aggression to be 
resented. I have every reason to believe, that the re- 
tention of the Fort of Mobile, is at the present crisis a 
favorable object with the Spanish Agents; & has been 
the cause of their acquiescence in the demand, fro the 
passage of the Vessel charged with Military Stores, lest 
a refusal, might bring in a state of things, that would 
eventuate in the fall of the Post. 

I have the honor to be, 
Sir, 

With great Respect 

your mo : ob : Servt 
(signed) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To James Monroe 

New Orleans July 18th 1811. 
This Letter was not Sent ; for a 
Communication on the same subject, 
see page 353. 
Secrety of State. 
Sir, 

I returned hence from Pascagoula on the evening of 
the 15th Ins:, & had the pleasure to find, that the public 
service had received no inconvenience from my late ab- 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 305 

sence. My official letter of the 9th Inst ; informed you of 
the arrangement of the difficulty at Mobile; I cannot 
however withhold from your information of the very se- 
rious embarrassments, to which the possession of that 
place, by a Foreign Force subject me. In conformity to 
the spirit & Letter of the President's Proclamation; & in 
the exercise of my Powers, I declared by ordinance that 
the country extending from the Mississippi to the Per- 
dido, should compose one County by the name of Felici- 
ana ; By subsequent ordinances, I divided that County, 
into several Parishes, & to avoid (for the time being) the 
difficulty which presented itself at Mobile, I limited the 
most Eastern Parish Pascagoula by Dog River; But at 
the late session of the Legislature of the Territory of 
Orleans, Laws were passed according to the County of 
Feliciana five Representatives to the General Assembly; 
For erecting the said County into a Superior Court Dis- 
trict & for levying within the same a Tax. The Bounds 
also of the Parishes in Feliciana were altered by the Leg- 
islature, and Pascagoula made to extend to the Perdido. 
To execute these several Laws is a duty devolving upon 
me: But the Spanish Force at Mobile presents a seri- 
our difficulty, unless I were authorized to drive it out. 
Under these circumstances, I beg your advice as to the 
course proper for me to pursue. I have appointed a 
Gentleman, who resides in a Settlement lying between 
the Mobile and the Perdido, a Justice of the Peace, & I 
design so soon as I can select a suitable Character, to 
send a Justice of the Peace to the Town of Mobile. In 
the event however, that the Spanish Agents should op- 
pose the authority of my officer at the Town of Mobile, 
what measures ought I to adopt ? I consider myself (un- 
der the Letter of the President's Proclamation) author- 
ized to assume Jurisdiction over the Town of Mobile, 

V 20 



306 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

since the Spanish Force (has for several Weeks past) 
confined itself exclusively to the Fort; 

I have the honor to be 

yours &c@ 
(signed) AY. C. C. Claiborne 



To Col. Covington 

(Private) 

New Orleans 18 July 1811. 
Fort Stoddart. 
Dear Sir, 

I arrived hence on the evening of the 15th Inst:, 
greatly fatigued, & a little unwell. But my health is 
now sufficiently restored to meet the mass of business in 
my office, which accumulated during my absence. 

Had I time, I would Copy & transmit to you, the 
Correspondence between Colo. Maxent & myself. But 
my last Letter to him will fully explain, the ultimate 
arrangement & of which I now enclose a Copy for your 
Sole perusal. 

If the Government approves the stand I have taken, 
events will follow, that must again bring me in conflict 
with the Spanish Agents, unless the orders of the Cap- 
tain General are by them wholly disobeyed. 

Can you recommend to me two suitable persons, to 
act as Justice of the Peace in the settlements, between the 
Mobile and the Perdido? By an act of the Territorial 
Legislature, the Parish of Pascagoula, is made to extend 
to the Perdido! Can you recommend to me a suiable 
person to act as Parish Judge in said Parish, a man of 
Integrity, firmness Talents! AYrite me I pray you by 
the return Mail. 

The last intelligence from Genl. Wilkinson was favor- 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 307 

able; His persecutions are drawing to a Close & his 
Country will again be just to him. 
I wish you health and happiness 

Your friend 
(signed) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To Jidien Poydras 

( Private ) . New Orleans July 18th 1811. 

Pointe Coupee 
Dear Sir, 

On my return hence from Pascagoula, on the evening 
of the 15th Inst:, I received the very friendly Letter, 
which you were good enough to write me. I congratulate 
you on your return to your agreeable Home & I hope & 
trust that a grateful people have given you a hearty 
welcome! for faithful public services, next to conscious 
rectitude, the most pleasing reward, is the public appro- 
bation ; of the first, you cannot I know be deprived, & of 
the last also, I verily believe you are in the full posses- 
sion of. 

I wish much to see and to converse with you on sub- 
jects interesting to our Common Country. The duties 
devolving upon the Convention, are of the utmost im- 
portance, & it is incumbent on every Citizen to take care 
that honest men whose objects are pure & patriotic, 
should be returned ! Your services on this occasion will 
not I hope be withholden. Good Men, wish your election, 
and you will disappoint your friends, if you do not be- 
come a Candidate for the County of Pointe Coupee. 
Here Sir, Intrigue is the order of the day! ~\Vo have 
Candidates innumerable! among many others, Living- 
ston, Massero, Moreau Lislet, Fromentin, Dubigny, 
James Brown, and Watkins have their partisans, & will 
I am told be warmly supported! How far the Planters 
may be opposed to their election I know not ! 



308 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

In the County of Rapide you have a friend, that might 
be of great service at the approaching election for the 
Convention! Mr. Alexander Planche at Avoyelle has 
(deservedly) great Influence with his Neighbours ; ad- 
vise him to offer himself, or to give his support to some 
honest Men Residents & freeholders in the County. 
I wish you health & happiness 

(signed) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To Thos C. Warren 

New Orleans July 18th 1811. 

St. Tammany. 
Sir, 

Desirous to avail the public of your services as Judge 
of the Parish of St. Tammany, I have the honor to en- 
close you a Commission. 

Previous to your Commencing the duties of your of- 
fice, it is necessary, that you enter into Bond, to the Gov- 
ernor of the Territory, (with two sureties) for the sum 
of five thousand Dollars, conditioned for the faithful dis- 
charge of your duties. The form of the Bond enclosed, 
which you will be pleased to transmit to me, as soon as it 
is executed. 

I send you by this opportunity, a Copy of the Civil 
Code, & several Copies of the Laws passed at the late 
session of the Legislature, which last you will distribute 
(retaining one Copy for your own use) among the several 
Civil officers of your Parish. 

I am &c@ 

(signed) W. C. C. Claiborno 
P. S. 

It is also necessary, that previous to your doing 
business you should take an Oath of Office, & also an Oath 
to support the Constitution of the U. States, which Oaths 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 309 

I do hereby authorize, any Citizen duly Commissioned 
as Justice of the peace for the Parish of St. Tammany 
to administer. 

W. C. C. C. 



To Judge Toulmin 

Private. New Orleans July 19th 1811 

near Fort Stoddart 



Dear Sir, 

I arrived hence on the evening of the 15th Inst : from 
Pascagoula. 

The possession of the Fort of Mobile by a Spanish 
Force is really a source of great embarrassment, & I am 
not certain, what course is most proper to pursue ; But 
my best Judgment must direct me. 

By my own ordinance, the Eastward Limit of the 
County of Feliciana is declared to be the Perdido & by 
certain Acts of the Legislature five Representatives are 
accorded to the County of Feliciana; It is made to com- 
pose a Superior Court District, and a Tax is to be levied 
within the said County. My Ordinance limited the Par- 
ish of Pascagoula Eastwardly, by Dog River : But an 
Act of the Legislature has since extended the said parish 
to the Perdido. Under these circumstances, I cannot do 
less than Commission such Civil officers/as may be nec- 
essary to the due execution of the Law ; with this view, 
I beg you to give me the name of a Citizen, who would 
be willing to reside at the Town of Mobile as a Justice 
of the Peace, and who in your opinion, would discharge 
his duties with firmness and Integrity. 

I am Sir, 

With Esteem 

Your 1110 : ob : Servt 
(Signed) W. C. C. Claiborne 



310 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

To Commodore Sliaw 

New Orleans July 20th 1811 
New Orleans. 
Sir, 

In the course of my late correspondence with Colo. 
Maxent, I stated explicitly, that the free and uninter- 
rupted use of the Waters of the Mobile, was a right ap- 
pertaining to American Vessels whether armed or un- 
armed, and that whenever the occasion required, that 
right would be insisted on. 

If at any time therefore Sir, the public service should 
make it convenient, that one or more of the armed Ves- 
sels under your Command, should ascend the Mobile to 
any Point above the Fort at present in the occupancy of 
Spanish Troops, you will be pleased to issue your or- 
ders accordingly. 

I am Sir, &c 
(signed) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To Jud()e John so a, 

New Orleans 20th. July 1811. 
Parish St Mary 



Sir, 

I have received your Letter of the 2()th. Tito. Your 
sureties are approved, and the Bond duly filed in the 
Secretary's office, you have enclosed a Commission for 
Mr. Riggs which you will be pleased to deliver and admin- 
ister to him the Oath of Office. 

I will certainly visit your Parish in the course of the 
summer ; but I cannot at present name the time. I thank 
you for your friendly offer, & will with pleasure avail 
myself of the same. 

I am Sir, &ea 
(signed) W. C. C. Claiborne 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 311 



To James Neilson 

New Orleans July 20th 1811 



Baton Rouge. 



Dear Sir, 

On my return from Pascagoula a few days since, I 
had the pleasure to receive your Letter of the 20th Ulto. 

The embarrassments to which you are subjected on 
account of the Contracts entered into under authority of 
the Florida Convention is to me, cause of regret ; I can 
however only repeat to you, that the Executive Govern- 
ment of the U: States is informed of these Contracts, & 
that I remain, without instructions upon the subject. 

The Laws of the last session of the Legislature have 
been sent to the Parish Judge of Baton rouge, & by him 
you will be presented with a Copy. 

The manner in which the 4th of July has been cele- 
brated at Baton Rouge does Credit to the Civil and Mili- 
tary Authorities: I sincerely wish the present harmony 
between them may long exist, & that the time may never 
come when the Birthday of American freedom shall cease 
to be hailed as a Jubilee by every virtuous Citizen. 
I wish you health and happiness. 

(signed) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To Albert GaUatin 

New Orleans 21st Julv 1811. 



(Private) 

Secy of the Treasury. 



Dear Sir, 

Your private Letter of the 25th of May (with its en- 
closures) did not reach me until a few days ago. This 
delay is attributable to my late absence from the City, 



312 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

on a Journey towards Mobile, for the purpose of meet- 
ing a difficulty that had occured, relative to the passage 
of a Vessel by the Fort of Mobile, & which has since 
been accommodated. 

Your Letter to the Land Commissioners for the 
Western District expose (conclusively) the error of 
their proceedings, and will I hope put an end to deci- 
sions so manifestly opposed to the Laws. But I have 
not yet been furnished with the Copy of the Commission- 
ers answer, which you instructed them to send me. Will 
you be pleased therefore Sir, to inform me how long I 
am to await a Copy of the answer, and in the event that 
no such Copy be sent me, in what manner I am to dis- 
pose of the Sealed Letter to Messrs. William Garrard 
and Gideon Fitz. 
I am 
Sir, 

With groat Respect 

your mo : ob : Serv- 
( signed ) W. C. C. Claiborno. 



To James Monroe 

New Orleans July 24th 1811. 



Secy of State. 



Sir, 

I returned hence from Pascagoula on the evening of 
the 15th Inst :, & had the pleasure to find that the public 
service sustained no inconvenience from my absence. 
My official Letter of the 9th Instant advised you of the 
arrangement of the difficulty at Mobile. I cannot how- 
ever, withold from you, information of the very serious 
embarrassments, to which I am still subjected. In con- 
formity to the Spirit and Letter of the President's Proc- 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLA1BORNE. 313 

lamation, and in the exercise of my powers, I declared 
by Ordinance that the Country extending from the Mis- 
sissippi to the Perdido, should compose one County by the 
name of Feliciana; By subsequent ordinances, I divided 
the County into several parishes, & to avoid (for the 
time being) the difficulty which presented itself at Mo- 
bile, I limited the most Eastern Parish (Pascagoula) by 
Dog Biver. But at the late session of the Legislature 
of the Territory of Orleans, Laws were passed accord- 
ing to the County of Feliciana, five Representatives to 
the General Assembly; For erecting the said County 
into a Superior Court District & for levying within the 
same a Tax. The Bounds also of the Parishes in Feli- 
ciana were altered by the Legislature & and the Parish 
of Pascagoula made to extend to the Perdido. To exe- 
cute these several Laws is a duty devolving upon me. 
But the Spanish force at Mobile presents a serious diffi- 
culty, unless I were authorised to drive it out. I have 
appointed a Gentleman, who resides in a settlement ly- 
ing between the Mobile & the Perdido a Justice of the 
Peace, & I have in contemplation to send a Justice of the 
Peace to the Town of Mobile. The Spanish force has 
for several w r eeks past confined itself, exclusively to the 
Fort of Mobile, & in Consequence, I consider myself au- 
thorized, (under the President's Proclamation) to assume 
Jurisdiction over the Town. In the event however, 
that the authority of my officer, should be opposed by 
the Spanish Agents, I shall feel greatly relieved, if you 
would advise the measures, proper to be observed on my 
part." 

Having in my Correspondence with Colo. Maxent de- 
clared, that the free and uninterrupted use of the Wa- 
ters of the Mobile, was a right appertaining to all Ves- 
carrying the Flag of the IT. States, whether armed 

1 See Hamilton's Colonial Mobile. 



314 . MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

or unarmed, I have addressed a Letter to Commodore 
Shaw, of which the enclosed is a Copy, requesting, "that 
whenever the Public Service requires, that one or more 
of the Armed Vessels under his Command, should as- 
cend the Mobile to any point, above the Fort, he would 
issue his orders to that effect," 
I have the honor to be, 
Sir, 

With great Respect 

Your mo : ob Ser 
(signed) W. C. C. Claiborne. 



To Albert GaUatin 

New Orleans 24 July 1811. 
Secy of the Treasury. 



Sir, 

I have the honor to enclose you an Account of the 
Contingent expences of my department, for the two first 
quarters of the present year 1811, including also the 
payment of $374 Dollars to John Vassant for his ser- 
vices as clerk in the office of the secretary of the Terri- 
tory, for the year 1810. which account I bog you Sir, 
to have examined, & the amount passed to my Credit. 
By the appropriation Law for the year 1811, the sum of 
one thousand Dollars is appropriated to moot the defi- 
ciency in the appropriation for the Contingent expences 
of my Department for the year 1810, & which sum be- 
ing sufficient to enable me to make the payment above 
stated to Mr Vassant & to cover also my expenditures 
for the 1st. quarter of that year (1810). I bog that the 
account of the same which was duly transmitted to your 
Department may be examined, & the amount also, passed 
to mv Credit. 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 315 

The delay in transmitting the enclosed accounts, you 
will attribute to two causes, first, that the first quarter 
had expired previous to my knowing the amount of the 
appropriation, & the second, that my late absence from 
New Orleans, prevented me from making out the state- 
ment at an earlier period. I am Sir, 

Your ob serv 
(Signed) W. C. Claiborne 



To Benj. Hawkins 

Creek Agency. New Orleans July 26th 1811 
Dear Sir, 

I have received your Letter of the 10th Instant, to- 
gether with its enclosure. There are several News- 
papers in this City, But none of them has yet acquired 
a high reputation. The Louisiana Courrier, is in my 
opinion Conducted with the most Talent, and presents 
also much local information; I have therefore had your 
name put down as a subscriber, and paid the Editor five 
Dollars, in advance as you will perceive from the en- 
closed Receipt. 

The State of things at Mobile is really embarrassing, 
The Spanish Authorities manifest no disposition to 
retire; On the contrary, the retaining possession, seems 
to be a favorite object. My impression is, that the 
United States must ultimately resort to force, and that 
to delay it much longer, will not Comport with the honor 
of the Government. 

I wish you health and happiness. 

I am 

Dear Sir 

With Respect Esteem, 
(Sigd) W. C. C. Claiborne. 



316 - MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

To Col. Covington 

(Private) 

New Orleans July 28th 1811. 
Commandg Officer 
at Fort Stoddart, 



Dear Sir, 

It is confidently expected, that no Vessel carrying 
the American Flag will for the future, meet detention 
at Mobile, or any other Molestation by the Spanish Gar- 
rison; should however an occurrence of this kind, come 
to your knowledge, I beg you to advise me thereof. 

The Letters of Governor Folch to Mr. Secretary 
Smith & Colo. MeKee, as published in the News-papers, 
I take it for granted are genuine; It is matter of re- 
gret, that our Government should so readily have met 
those overtures ; its Credulity affords much Mirth to the 
enemies of the administration. 

I am Dear Sir, 
(signed) W. C. C. Claiborne. 



To Albert GaUatin 

New Orleans July 28th 1811. 
Private. 
Secy of the Treasury 



Dear Sir, 

I have the honor to transmit to you, a Letter from the 
Opelousas Land Commissioners, which was forwarded 
under Cover to me, & left open for my perusal. Ob- 
serving from its Contents, that these Commissioners in 
Conformity to the instructions of the President, will 
"suspend their decisions the issuing of Certificates in 
cases of order of survey requ'ete not accompanied 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 317 

with Settlement, "I now return to you Sir, the Letter 
directed to Messrs. William Garrard & Gideon Fitz 
Esqrs. which had been committed to my care. 

I am &ca 
(signed) W. C. C. Claiborne. 



To Col Z. Pike 
Private 

New Orleans July 28th. 1811 
of the U. States Army 
Baton Rouge 



Dear Sir, 

I have before me, your letter of the 12th. of July. 

The enquiry respecting Colo. Smith's visit to Terre 
aux Boeuf, was made of me the past summer, by Genl. 
Wilkinson. My impression then was & stil is, that Colo. 
Smith was not of the Company when Genl. Wilkinson & 
myself first visited Terre aux Boeuf. But I cannot an- 
swer with entire Certainty. 

You have heard of the arrangement of the difficulty 
at Mobile ; I entered into no treaty with Colo. Maxent 
as is stated in the Newspapers. A passage for the Pow- 
der Vessel was required and acceded to, & Colo. Max- 
ent was informed, that the free use of the Navigation of 
the Waters of the Mobile, was considered as a right ap- 
pertaining to all American Vessels armed and unarmed, 
& would be insisted on whenever the occasion demend- 
ed.- 

The persecuted old Veteran, will yet do well ; the 
last accounts from Washington, assure me, that the hour 
of his deliverance will soon follow the mooting: of the 



318 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

Court, & that his Government is disposed to render him 
ample Justice. 

I probably shall have the pleasure of seeing you at 
Baton Rouge in 12 or 14 days. I am Dear Sir 

(signed) AY. C. C. Claiborne 



m . New Orleans July 29th. 1811. 

The Honble. 

The Charge des Affaires 
of the United States 



near the English Govt. 



Sir, 

I take the liberty to recommend to your protection, 
Mr. Soniat Dufossat (a native of Louisiana & the Son 
of a highly esteemed Citizen) who is on his way to 
France, with a view of attending to some private af- 
fairs of his family. 

Mr. Soniat is young & inexperienced, and will be 
greatly benefitted by your friendly Countenance ; May 
I particularly ask of you the goodness to point out to 
Mr. Soniat, the best means of obtaining a passage for 
France, & to interest yourself in his behalf should a 
passport from the English Government be necessary. 

I have the honor to be, 
Sir 

Your mo : ob : S 
(signed) W. C. C. Claiborne. 



To Thoniax McCoy 

Chickasaw Agency. New Orleans 30th. 1811. 
Sir, 

I now return to you three Bank Notes of fifty Dollars 
each, which you forwarded to mo under Cover of a Let- 
ter of the 21st. Ulto. These notes were presented at 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 319 

the Branch Bank in this City, & are declared Counter- 
feit & marked as such by the Cashier. 

I am Sir, 

Your mo. ob. 
(Sigd) W. C. C. Claiborne. 



To Albert Gallatin 
Private 

New Orleans July 30th. 1811 
Dear Sir, 

I have this day drawn upon you for three hundred 
Dollars, payable at thirty days sight to Peter A. B. Du- 
plessis or order. This Bill meets the Sum, I have ad- 
vanced to Mr. Albert Gallatin of Orleans, as will appear 
from the enclosed Receipt. 
I am 

Dear Sir, 

With great Respect 
and Esteem, 

your mo : ob : St. 
(Sig'd) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To Judge Carr 
Nachitoches New Orleans July 30th. 1811 



Sir, 

Your letter of the 4th. Inst. reached me a few days 
since. The Robbery of the Spaniards is matter of re- 
gret. The punishment of such offences is greatly to be 
desired, & with a view to their prevention for the future, 
the Civil Magistrates should exercise the most active 
vigilance. 



320 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

In the event, that information be given you, that the 
Robbery was committed within the Tract of Country ly- 
ing East of the Sabine, you cannot I presume do wrong 
in causing the offenders to be arrested, and either com- 
mit, or bind them to appear at the next Superior Court 
for the Nachitoches District. 

The question of Jurisdiction can best be determined 
by the Court, & in support of it the late Act of Congress, 
authorizing the people of Orleans to form a Constitution 
or State Government & which declares, that the new 
State shall extend Westwardly to the middle of the 
River Sabine, may be urged. 

As regards the project of attacking Nachitoches, it is 
advisable that you cause to be arrested, & bound over 
to their good behaviour all persons engaged in the same, 
or against whom any well grounded suspicions exist. 
If a Military expedition or enterprise against the Do- 
minions of a foreign Prince or State, at peace with the 
United States, should be began or set on foot within the 
Territory or Jurisdiction of the IT. States, any person 
engaged or concerned in the same is guilty of a high Mis- 
demeanor, & by an Act of Congress, passed I believe in 
the year 1794, is punishable by a fine not exceeding $3000. 
- & by imprisonment, not exceeding three years. Should 
you find the Civil Authority inadequate to the suppres- 
sion of any Military expedition or enterprise began or 
set on foot as aforesaid, you will apply for assistance to 
the Officer Commanding the U. States Troops at Fort 
Claiborne, & to Colo. Shaumburg of the Militia, to each of 
whom I shall write by this occasion. 
I am Sir, Your &ca 

(signed) W. C. C. Claiborne. 

P. S. As relates to the tenure of the Commissions of 
the Justices of the Peace for the several Parishes, my im- 
pression is that they are holden during the pleasure of 
the Governor of the Territory for the time being. Jus- 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 321 

tices of the Peace for the Counties (formerly) under the 
Law of the Territory, & in conformity to the first act of 
Congress for the Government of the Territory, held their 
Commissions for four years. But the Act of the Legis- 
lature erecting Parishes prescribes no term of office for 
the Justices of the Peace, nor does the ordinance by 
which we are now Governed. 

W. C. C. C. 



To Col. Shaumburg 

New Orleans 30th July 1811 



Nachitoches. 



Sir, 

Having understood that sundry Individuals in the 
neighbourhood of Natchitoches, had associated together 
& with a view to plunder, designed to carry on an expedi- 
tion or enterprise against the Spanish settlements in 
your vicinity, you will on the application of the Judge of 
the Parish of Natchitchoes, give to the Civil Authority 
the most prompt & effectual aid in suppressing the same, 
& to this effect you will order out the whole, or such 
part of the Regiment of Militia under your Command, 
as you shall deem necessary. 

I am Sir, your r : ob : st 

(signed) W. C. C. Claiborne. 



To tlie Officer Commanding at Fort Claiborne 

New Orleans 30th. July 1811 
Sir, 

Having understood that several Individuals in the 
neighbourhood of Natchitoches, had associated together 
with a view to plunder, designed to carry on an expedi- 

v 21 



322 - MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

tion or enterprise, against the Spanish settlement in our 
Vicinity & it being doubtful how far the Civil authority 
may be enabled to suppress the same, I have to request 
you Sir on t)ie application of the judge of the Parish 
of Natchitoches, to give to the Civil Authority the most 
prompt and effectual support. I am Sir, 

your mo : ob : Sert, 
(sig'd) W. C. C. Claiborne. 



To the Consul of the United States at Liverpool 

New Orleans Augt. 1st. 1811. 
Sir, 

Permit me the liberty to introduce to your acquaint- 
ance, my young friend Mr. Soniat Dufossat a native of 
Louisiana, (and the son of a highly respectable Citizen of 
this Territory) who is in his way to France, with a view 
of attending to some private affairs in which his family 
have an Interest. 

The youth and inexperience of Mr. Soniat Dufassat 
will serve as my apology for entreating in his behalf, the 
benefit of your protection, and I must ask of you the 
goodness to point out to him the best means of obtaining 
a safe and speedy conveyance to his place of destination. 
I have the honor to, Sir, your &c 

(signed) W. C. C. Claiborno. 



To William E us! is 

Now Orleans Auui IM 1811. 



The Secv at AVar. 



Sir, 

I have this day drawn upon you for $100 Dollrs pay- 
able 1 at ten days sight to Smiths & Morrison or order, 
which sum T have expended in the purchase of certain 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 323 

articles of Merchandises presented to the Chief of the 
Houmas Indians & his attendants who lately visited this 
City. The Houmas were formerly a numerous Tribe, & 
occupied the greater part of lower Louisiana ; their con- 
duct was always most friendly towards the white settlers 
& from the different Governors of Louisiana, they were 
accustomed to receive marks of friendly attention. At 
the present day, the number of this Tribe is greatly di- 
minished ; it does not exceed 80 souls, but their conduct 
is exemplary and the late visit of the Chief being the first 
he paid me, I thought it a matter of policy to make him 
a small present. I am, Sir, &ca 
-P (signed) W. C. C. Claiborne 

-T.O. 

The account & vouchers are enclosed. 



Xew Orleans 



To Commodore Shaiv 

New Orleans 4 Augst 1811 



The Bearer Charles Robert Dillon is the Lad Con- 
cerning whom I spoke to you on yesterday. He seems 
very penitent for his offence, which with his youth and 
inexperience, will I hope induce his pardon. Dillon says, 
he was at Baton Rouge, a short time previous to the 
American Government's taking possession; But that ho 
thought the Lafourche a safer refuge, to which he re- 
tired, & cannot therefore claim the benefit of the Presi- 
dent's pardon. This candid declaration recommends 
him further to favor. 

Mr. Thomas Dillon, the Father of this Lad was an 
old and intimate acquaintance of mine; he was a na- 
tive of Ireland, of accomplished manners & education, & 
of the strictest integrity; But pecuniary misfortune 
thickened on him: his fortitude forsook him, & he sunk 
the Character of a (ientleman into that of the Sot.- I 
know also the mother of the Lad. She was an amiable 



324 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL, ARCHIVES. 

female, a native of Virginia, & connected with a very re- 
spectable family in that State. I should suppose the 
habits of Dillon illy fit him for a Mariner ; His consti- 
tution also seems to be delicate, & his mind feeble. If 
the state of the service permits, & your powers are ade- 
quate, I should esteem it a favor conferred on me were 
you to give this Lad his discharge. 

I am Dear Sir, &ca 
(Signed) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To Judge Lindsey 

New Orleans August 3rd 1811. 



Warren Parish 



Sir, 

Your several Letters have been received. The sure- 
ties you offer are satisfactory, & your Bond has been filed 
in the Secretary's office. Enclosed are Commissions for 
Samuel Dorsey, Thomas Gibson, John Millikin, & 
Thomas Tomkins as Justices of the Peace which you will 
be pleased to deliver & to administer to each Gentleman 
an Oatli to support the Constitution of the U. States, & 
also an Oatli of office. I am pleased to learn of Mr. 
Patterson's acceptance of the office of Sheriff, and have 
no doubt, but he will discharge his duties with fidelity. 

The Laws of the Territory shall be transmitted to 
your Parish by the first opportunity. Do you not think, 
that the population of Concordia & Warren Parishes is 
sufficiently groat to form a Regiment? I wish sincerely 
to place the Militia on a Respectable footing, but in doing 
so, I have many difficulties to encounter. 

I am Sir, &ca 
P.S. (sig'd) W. C. C. Claiborno. 

I enclose you also a Copy of my Proclamation direct- 
ing an election for members of the Convention. 

w. c. c. c, 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 325 

To Thomas A. Rogers 

Private. New Orleans Angst 3d 1811. 

Rogersville 
Tennessee. 

Dear Sir, 

Your letter of the 18th. of June is the only one from 
you, that has reached me. 

This Territory presents fair prospects for young Men 
of enterprise, prudence & Talents, and Gentlemen of your 
professions, have met, & I am persuaded will continue to 
meet with very great encouragement. But here, as in 
every other part of the U. States, we have Lawyers of 
eminence, & a young Practitioner ought not to be dis- 
couraged, should he find the rivalship such, as to exclude 
him for a time from a lucrative practice. As relates to 
a Clerkship, which would be pleasing to you, there is at 
present no vacancy; Nor is any likely to occur, unless 
it be from deaths. As relates the patronage of office, I 
can only say, that for myself, it has always afforded me 
a pleasure to serve young Men of Merit of which number, 
I am assured you are one. But my powers as a Gov- 
ernor will probably be soon at end, since by an Act of 
Congress, the people of Orleans have authority on cer- 
tain conditions to form a Constitution or State Govern- 
ment & I have no doubt but the Convention, which meets 
in November next, will readily accede to the Conditions. 
- Previous however to selecting your place of residence, 
I would advise you to visit Orleans, & on your way down 
to call at Natchez, & to take a view of the adjacent Coun- 
try. In the Mississippi Territory, a young Man of merit 
will find many friends & a warm support. 

Presuming that you are a Son of my old friend Captn 
Rogers, I beg you to present to him & to your amiable 
Mother, my best wishes. 

I am Dr Sir &ca 
(sig'd) W. C. C. Claiborne. 



326 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

To Paul Hamilton 

Private New Orleans Augt 3d 1811. 

Secy of the Navy. 



My dear Sir, 

Commodore Shaw has acquainted me of the contents 
of your Letter of instruction of the 3d. Ulto. relative to 
the Commerce of the Mobile, from which I perceive, that 
the measures recently taken by me, to secure a safe pas- 
sage for the Vessel with Military Stores for Fort Stod- 
dart, are not likely to be approved. I shall readily re- 
trace my steps on the command of the President, and 
shall sincerely regret if my conduct in this particular, 
has not been in unison with the wishes of the Adminis- 
tration. I considered the free Navigation of the Waters 
of the Mobile, a right as clearly appertaining to Ameri- 
can Vessels, as was that of the Mississippi, and in as 
much as the Territory of Orleans over which I preside, 
is declared to include the tract of Country on each side 
of the Bay of Mobile, it seemed to me, to be as much a 
duty on my part, to oppose violence in that Quarter, as 
on the Mississippi. But perhaps I have been in Error ; 
The pacific manner however in which the difficulty lias 
terminated, is matter of sincere satisfaction, and will I 
trust, be attended with beneficial Results. 

I observe by the papers that the new English Envoy 
is with you ; I trust he comes prepared to make atone- 
ment for past injuries, & to give some surety against 
their repetition! If such be the object of the Mission, I 
have no doubt but an arrangement alike honorable and 
satisfactory to both Nations, will be speedily agreed 
on. 

Your interesting Letter, relative to the affair of the 
little Belt was received a few days after my return from 
Pascagoula, & was read, T assure you Sir, with the most 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 327 

pleasing sensations! I rejoice at the occurence: It is 
some satisfaction for the affair of the Chessapeak; It 
rescues the American Character from those humiliating 
suspicions which our long forbearance had engendered. 
It has given to aggressors a lesson from which they may 
proffit; It has afforded to Commodore Rogers & his 
officers & Crew, an occasion to exhibit an energy of Char- 
acter, honorable to themselves & to the Minister under 
whose orders they are placed. 

I have read Mr. Smith's pamphlet. It will do him 
much harm, & on that account, I regret its publication. 
As relates to the President it will be wholly harmless ; 
many will believe the statements incorrect, others will 
think them highly colored, & few indeed will attach the 
smallest importance to them. That Mr. Madison's ad- 
ministration shauld progress without opposition, was not 
to have been expected ; But that he will have the support 
of the great Majority of the nation, I am assured from 
the evidence of Public Confidence he has already re- 
ceived, & my firm impression, that he has done, as much 
as any Man in these times could have done, to deserve 
that Confidence. Mr. Smith ought to have gone to 
Russia; It was a Mission of the highest importance & 
not unworthy of him. I have always wished the pros- 
perity of Mr. Smith ; whilst at the head of the Depart- 
ment of State, he was invariably just toAvards me, often 
friendly, and the recollection of good offices, is strongest 
on my mind, when those by whom they were conf ered, are 
no longer in a situation to continue them. Mr. Smith's 
publication may induce the Federalists to look upon him 
with Complacency; But their smiles are deceptive & 
Judas like they will kiss, & then betray him. 1 

The armed Vessels on this Station are in excellent 
order the officers & Crews are kept by Commodore 

1 The best account of Smith's troubles with Madison is found in 
Henry Adams' History of the United States, 1801-17. 



328 - MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

Shaw on active duty. The Navy Agent (Mr. Smith) 
continues to evidence a faithful regard to the public In- 
terests; & will I am persuaded, check as far as he can 
the expenditures of this very expensive station. 

The election for the Convention begins to excite much 
attention, & the Candidates for the public suffrage are 
vastly numerous. For myself I shall decline taking any 
part whatever in this contest; My popularity such as it 
is, shall be put on trial under the States authority. 
My political opponents, my personal enemies (two of 
whom Messrs. Robertson & Prevost were lately at Wash- 
ington) seem solicitous, that I should not be Governor of 
the State, & which with me is a strong inducement to my 
offering. 

I have been unwell for several days but my indisposi- 
tion is not serious, & I hope to be enabled to set out on a 
visit to Baton Rouge in two or three days. 
I have the honor to be 

(sigd.) W. C. C. Claiborne. 



To James Monroe 

New Orleans August 4th. 1811. 
Secty of State. 
Sir, 

The enclosed extract of a Letter from the Parish 
Judge of Nachitoches, marked A will apprise you of the 
particulars of an outrage committed near the River 
Sabine, by an Armed Banditti & of a threat made to aug- 
ment their numbers & attack Nacogdoclies. I have in 
Consequence addressed a Letter to the Parish Judge of 
which the enclosed No. 1. is a Copy, & ordered the Com- 
mandant of the Militia, & requested the officer Com- 
manding the IT. States Troops at Nachitoches to give to 
the Civil Authority, the most prompt & effectual support, 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 329 

as will appear from my Letters of instruction No. 2 & 
3. I have the honor to be 

(sigd.) W. C. C. Claiborne. 



To Dr. Martin 

New Orleans 5th. Augst. 1811. 
surgeon of the Charity 

Hospital. 
Sir, 

The Bearer Mr Lubar professing to be a Botanist and 
maintaining as I understand a fair Character, says that 
during a long residence in South America, he acquired a 
Knowledge of removing Fevers by the use of Herbs : 
As this Gentleman is extremely desirous to apply his 
knowledge usefully, I take the Liberty to introduce him 
to your acquaintance ; It is probable, that if you were to 
permit Mr. Lubar to visit occasionally the Hospital under 
your Charge, you might soon be enabled to ascertain, 
how far it w r as in his power to relieve suffering Human- 
ity.- 

I am Sir Yours &c 

(sigd.) W. C. C. Claiborne. 



To Capt. Colson 

New Orleans August 6th. 1811. 
Sir, 

Two privates of your Company Francis Ciblos & 
Ursin Demiellem, who are fined for non-attendance at the 
last Company Parade, having assured me, that their 
negligence preceeded from ignorance of the Law & hav- 
ing promised for the future to discharge with the utmost 
fidelity their duty ; It is my wish that the Collection of 
the fine of 7 Dollars on each of these Privates may not 
be insisted on, & that it be remitted. As regards the 
fees of the Justice of the Peace, Ihey must be paid. 



330 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

I approve highly of your determination to execute 
with rigid Justice the Law; If your example be fol- 
lowed by the other officers, we shall soon have an excel- 
lent Militia. I am 

Very Respectfully, 

(Signed) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To the several Justices of the Peace in the Parish of 

Pascagoula. 

New Orleans Angst. 10th. 1811. 
Gentlemen: 

To avoid for the present collision with the Spanish 
force at Mobile, it is my wish, that you should exercise 
no jurisdiction within that Tract of Country, which in- 
cludes the Fort and Town of Mobile and is bounded by 
Dog River, by that branch of it called the Bayou Moulins ; 
by a line direct from thence to the Bayou St. Louis 
(lately called 3 Mile Creek) by the said Bayou, and by 
the Mobile River & Bay. 

I am, Gentlemen, yours &c 

(Signed) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To Judge Toulmin 

New Orleans Angst. 10th. 1811. 
Dear Sir, 

At the moment of my departure for Baton Rouge, I 
am favored with your Letter of the 29th. Ulto. 1 You 
have enclosed several Commissions for Justices of the 
Peace, which you will do me the favor to forward, and to 

1 The letters from Toulmin to Gov. David Holmes are on file in the 
Missisippi Department of Archives and History and are valuable 
sources for the troubles about Mobile 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 331 

administer to such Gentlemen as may accept, the Oaths 
of Office. You have also enclosed a Letter of instruc- 
tion to the several Justices, which you will be pleased to 
Communicate to each respectively. I greatly desire to 
have Jurisdiction over the town of Mobile & I had de- 
termined to do so; But late information was of such a 
nature as to induce me to suspend my project, until I had 
previously advised with the Secretary of State. 

Offer to Captain Gaines my best thanks for the Patri- 
otic tender of his services, & assure him, that possessing 
as he does my entire Confidence, I should be happy of an 
occasion to avail the Public of his Services. 

Your recommendation of a Parish Judge will be at- 
tended to. In a few days I shall write you more fully. 
I am, Dear Sir, yours &ca 

(sig'd) W. C. C. Claiborne 

P. S. By the first occasion, I will take the Liberty to 
forward to your address Copies of the Laws of this Ter- 
ritory, for the use of the Justices of the Peace for the 
Parish of Pascagoula. W. C. C. C. 



To Paul Hamilton 
Private four Leagues above 

New Orleans August 14th 1811 
Secy, of the Navy. 
My dear Sir, 

In my letter of the 30 Instant I expressed apprehen- 
sions that the stand I had taken, relative to the free 
Navigation of the Mobile, would be disapproved. But 
upon better reflection, I find so many strong reasons in 
support of my course, that I have persuaded myself these 
apprehensions were groundless. Wishing most sin- 
cerely, that all my official Acts, should be in unison with 
the views of the Administration, I am best pleased, when 



332 - MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

it only remains for me, to evince my zeal & fidelity, in the 
execution of Orders, To proceed on my own discretion 
is by no means desirable ; But whenever in my Judg- 
ment the occasion demands, (as was the case in the late 
instance) I most willingly encounter responsibility, al- 
ways relying on the purity of my motives, & the Justice 
of the Executive. 

The time cannot be distant when possession of Mo- 
bile must be acquired in some icay; whatever be the 
means resorted to, I hope & trust, the President may 
give me the honor of an Agency; My primary object 
has been to deserve his continued Confidence, & I confess 
to you Sir, that a favorite wish of my heart is to be the 
officer confided in to complete the taking possession of 
the Territory West of the Perdido. I have assumed jur- 
isdiction over the Tract of Country lying between the 
Mobile & the Perdido, by appointing three Justices of 
the Peace within the same. I had designed to send a 
Justice of the Peace to the Town of Mobile ; But upon 
further Consideration, I have thought it best, to receive 
(previously) the Instructions of the Secretary of State. 

This Territory is really at the present day an Emblem 
of that " tumultuous Sea of Liberty" to which Mr. Jef- 
ferson in one of his Letters, makes allusion; It is in 
truth vastly preferable to the ''Calm of Despotism;" 
but is nevertheless subject to those Storms tempests 
which render a safe Harbour always desirable. The 
approaching election of Members to the Convention, agi- 
tates this whole Community; But the Intrigues of the 
Day, are not Confined to that obejct. they have in view 
the Chief Magistracy of the New State, & every other 
important trust, in the (new order of ?) of things. We 
have innumerable Candidates for the public favor & new 
parties & factions are daily forming. 

The News-papers I observe say but Little of the Eng- 
lish ( - ?) Envoy his Mission! This argurs well! It 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 333 

proves ( ?) that Negotiation is in train! I fear 

however that the late successes in Spain & Portugal, will 
render the English Government stil more intolerant in 
their pretentious, & should it so happen that a rupture 
between France & Russia takes place, an event by no 
means improbable, I should not be surprised if, as a 
preliminary, to Negotiation, satisfaction for returning 
the fire from The Little Belt be insisted on. 

Is there a minister named for Russia? At the pres- 
ent Crisis, I consider Russia as the most important power 
of Europe, & that our Interests at that Court should be 
ably represented. 

In Mexico, the Revolutionary spirit is for the present 
put down; The mass of the people were solicitous to 
break their Chains; But unfortunately their Councils 
were feeble, & their Military Chiefs without energy or 
experience. The Vice Roy (Vinegas) a Soldier of some 
merit, displayed on the occasion, a decision of Character 
that would have done him honor, had it been tempered 
with Humanity ; But in disposition, he is represented as a 
second Cortez, & the tranquillity which now reigns, is 
said to be the effect of a System of Blood & Cruelty, un- 
heard of in modern times. 

I left New Orleans on the llth Inst: on my way to 
Baton Rouge ; But on the same day, I was seized with a 
slight indisposition, which has delayed my Journey; I 
feel however so much better today that I contemplate 
continuing ( -?) tomorrow. 

Present my best wishes to Mrs Hamilton and to 
your - daughters, and believe me to be 
Your faithful friend, 

(Sigd) W. C. C. Claiborno 



334 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

To James Monroe 

Four leagues above 
New Orleans August 14th 1811. 
Secy, of State. 

I left New Orleans on the llth Instant, with an inten- 
tion of proceeding without delay, to the Parishes of 
Baton Rouge & Feliciana, where the Public service re- 
quires my presence; But on the same day, I was seized 
with a slight indisposition, which has retarded my Jour- 
ney, I am now however so far recovered, as to be enabled 
I hope on tomorrow or next day to continue my route. 

I do not calculate on experiencing difficulty in enforc- 
ing the Laws of this Territory, within the Tract of Coun- 
try, lying East of the Mobile & extending to the Perdido ; 
Three Gentlemen residing within that Tract, have been 
commissioned Justices of the Peace, & will I presume 
enter immediately upon the duties of their office. I had 
designed also to assume Jurisdiction over the Town of 
Mobile; But upon mature reflection, I have deemed it 
most proper to await your previous instructions. In the 
meantime, to avoid Collision witli the Spanish force at 
Mobile, I have addressed a Letter of instruction to the 
several Justices of the Peace of the Parish of Pasca- 
goula, of which the enclosed marked (A) is a Copy, re- 
questing thorn to refrain from exercising jurisdiction 
within a certain District which is so defined as to include 
the Town & Fort of Mobile. 

At the date of my last advices from Xachiloches, an 
Armed Banditti continued to infest tiie (District?) of 
Country between the Arroya Honda and the Sabine, com- 
monly called the Neutral Territory; But I trust an en- 
tire disperstion will speedily follow the receipt of my 
Letters of the 30th Tito to the Parish" Judge, & the Coin- 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 335 

raandant of the Militia, of which I had the honor to trans- 
mit you Copies. 

I am, Sir, your &c a &c a 

(signed) W. C. C. Claiborne. 



To Edmond P. Gaines 

New Orleans August 15th 1811. 
Fort Stoddart. 
Sir, 

Having understood that you had obtained a furlough 
for five Months, and that you contemplate retiring final- 
ly from the Army, I beg leave to enclose for your ac- 
ceptance a Commission as Judge of the Parish of Pasca- 
goula; An office of great Trust, & one too, that will 
very soon, become lucrative, In the event that you 
accept this Commission, it will be necessary, that you en- 
ter into Bond (with two sureties Residents of the Terri- 
tory) to the Governor of the Territory, of Orleans for 
the time being, in the sum of five thousand Dollars, con- 
ditioned for the faithful discharge of your duties, & that 
you also take an Oath of Office, & an Oath to support the 
Constitution of the United States. 

To avoid for the present collision with the Spanish 
Agents in 'Mobile, it is my wish, that you should exercise 
no jurisdiction within that Tract of Country, which in- 
cludes the Fort & Town of Mobile, & is bounded by Dog 
River, by that branch of it called the Bayou Moulins, by 
a line direct from thence, to the Bayou St. Louis (lately 
called 3 Mile Creek) by the said Bayou, & by the Mobile 
River and Bay. Most willingly would I remove this re- 
striction; but lest an attempt on my part, to enforce the 
Laws of the Territory, under tlie very Cannon of tlie 
Fort of Mobile, might lead to events which might not per- 
haps accord with the 4 policy of my Superiors, I have 



336 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

thought it a duty to await the instructions of the Honble 
the Secretary of State 

I do hereby authorize Judge Toulmin to administer 
to you the Oath of Office, & as to your sureties, any Citi- 
zen you may offer residing in the Territory as aforesaid, 
will be approved. 

I am now on my way to Baton Rouge; but Contem- 
plate returning to New Orleans in three weeks. I am 
General 

(Signed) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To Major Carmich 

At Mr. Dufossat August 16th 1811. 
Dear Sir, 

A Slight indisposition has retarded my Journey; 
But I am now so far recovered, as to be enabled (I hope) 
on tomorrow, to continue my route. The Barge is small 
and so crowded with baggage, that six Oars-men cannot 
proceed w r ith convenience ; I have therefore concluded to 
send back two Marines Hy. Logue & Chs. Price who will 
hand this note. 

I am Dr. Sir, yrs 

W. C. C. Claiborne 



To Col. J. B. Labaluf 
At Mr. Dufossat 's Augt 16th 1811. 

New Orleans. 
Dear Sir, 

I Slight indisposition has detained me here for some 
days; But I am now recovered shall proceed on my 
journey tomorrow. 

I pray you not to relax in your efforts to render the 
Militia an efficient force; Urge the officers Commanding 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 337 

Companies, to Compel attendance at Company Musters, 
by bringing the Law to bear against all Defaulters. 

In five or six Months attendance at Musters will be- 
come familiar; It will I hope be also considered by 
every Citizen, subject to Militia service, as a sacred duty; 
and we shall then have an armed force among ourselves, 
that will give safety to the Territory. 

Write me by the Mail of next week, & give me the 
News of the City ; Direct your letters to Baton Rouge, 
where it will meet me. My Respects to your Lady and 
family. I am, Dear Sir, your ob. Sert 

(signed) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To James Mather 

At Mr. Dufossat's August 16th 1811 

Mayor of New Orleans. 
Dear Sir, 

I fear the present will be a sickly season ; But my im- 
pression is that with due caution, the salubrity of New 
Orleans may be much benefitted. If a ( f ) 
was prescribed for removing the filth, ( ? ) 
prepared, by which it might be conveyed absolutely to the 
stream of the Mississippi, If a certain hour at night, 
say eleven 'Clock, was also prescribed for sweeping & 
Cleansing the Vessels in the habour of Bilge Water, & 
if during the dry season a dozen or more Carts were con- 
stantly employed in watering the streets, I am sure some 
valuable Lives might be preserved. 

I have been detained here for several days by a slight 
indisposition of which however I am now recovered and 
propose to continue my Journey on tomorrow. 

Will you write me the News & State of things at New 

v 22 



338 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

Orleans by the Mail of next week, Direct your Letter 
to Baton Rouge, where it will meet me, I sincerely wish 
you health and happiness. 

Yr friend, 

(Signed) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To Col. Henry Hopkins 

At Mr. Dufossat August 16th 1811. 

Ad jut General. 
Sir, 

Write without delay to Colonels Fauche & Larande, & 
urge them to loose no time in organizing their respective 
Regiments. 

In the fauxburg St Mary the Militia is wholly, neglect- 
ed ; you had best see Colo. Fauche & advise with him, 
as to the arrangements proper to be made. Major La- 
lande Ferier, will of course see that the Colonel's orders 
as to the Militia of the Fauxburg are executed and for 
any neglect will be held responsible. 

If you should not have received an answer from 
( ) Johnson, to the note you addressed him by my 
orders some time since, you will write him again, & re- 
quest him to report without delay the State of his regi- 
ment; make like request by letter of Colonels Shaum- 
burg, King & Declouet, & add that "it would be agreeable 
to Commander in Chief, if they would recommend fit per- 
sons to fill such vacancies as may exist." 

You will cuter this, such other Letters as you may 
receive from me, relative to the Service, on Record. I 
have been detained here by a slight indisposition, of which 
however. I am now recovered & shall continue by route 
to Baton Rouge on tomorrow. 

I am &e 
(Sigd.) W. C. C. Claiborne. 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 339 

To P. L. B. Duplessis 
Private. 

At Mr. Soniat August 17th 1811. 
Dear Sir, 

The engagement you have entered into on my behalf 
shall be faithfully complied with; I am well pleased 
with the purchase, and sincerely thank you for the ser- 
vices you have rendered me. 

If the sickness in the City promises to increase, I 
should deem you imprudent to remain there, & the sooner 
you proceed to the Lakes the better. I continue my 
route on this morning; But propose to move slowly on, 
& to avoid as much as possible the influence of a warm 
Sun. I wish you health & happiness. 

(sigd) W. C. C. Claiborne. 



To Dr. Wm. Upshaiv 

(Private) 

At Mr. Dufossat's 

New Orleans. August 17th. 1811. 

Dear Sir, 

I thank you for your Letter of yesterday. I received 
on last evening a Communication from Mr. Gordon en- 
closing his deposition, which I shall forward with great 
pleasure to the persecuted old Veteran. I do not like 
his Court ; Colonels Burbank & Smith, Lieutenant Colo. 
Freeman & Major Baccus ought to be objected to ; the 
three last feel (I suspect) strong prejudices against the 
General & I have heard, that Burbec was alike un- 
friendly. 

I am not surprised at Daegueney's speaking disre- 
spectful of me ; Men of his Cast, see in me principles so 
unlike their own, that to esteem them would be to aban- 
don their own self Love. 

On my return to New Orleans, I shall not be unmind- 



340 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

f ul of the Gentleman you have named to me ; I will en- 
deavour to advance his Interests. 

I sincerely wish you health and happiness. 

(Sig'd) W. C. C. Claiborne. 



To Albert Gallatin 

Four leagues from 
German Coast Augst. 19th. 1811 
Secy of the Treasury. 
Sir, 

The enclosed is a Letter of resignation from Mr. John 
Thibaud, the Surveyor of the Port of St. John. I do not 
know that there will be many Candidates for this va- 
cancy; But of the number, I am sure there will be no 
one, more deserving than Mr. Evariste Blanc, who I beg 
leave to recommend to the patronage of the President. 
Mr. Evariste Blanc is a Native of Louisiana & a very 
promising young Man; He speaks French & English 
alike well has been brought up to business ; is indus- 
trious & prudent ; Suports a fair Character, & has lately 
been married to a very beautiful Creole Lady. 
I am Sir, yours &c. 

(Sigd.) W. C. C. Claiborne. 



To Albert Gallatin 

Private. Territory of Orleans 

New Orleans Augst. 18th. 1811. 
Secy of the Treasury. 
Dear Sir, 

I am now on my way to Baton Rouge, as well with a 
view to the better organization of the Civil Authority, 
as to avoid the fevers of New Orleans, which have al- 
ready commenced & with Symtoms which forebode much 
mortality. I have myself been indisposed, but the at- 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBOKNE. 341 

tack was slight, & by moderate exertions & a change of 
scene & Climate, I hope to enjoy, thro' the summer, a 
tolerable share of health. 

I left Mr. Poydras in New Orleans, where he had re- 
ceived a very friendly and flattering welcome; He 
speaks in the most exalted terms of the Government & 
administration, & will I am sure, greatly contribute in 
this quarter, to the prevalence of correct political prin- 
ciples. The proposed change of Government will meet 
with opposition; But I continue of opinion, that a Ma- 
jority of the Convention, will deem it expedient to form a 
Constitution, and to accede to the Conditions prescribed. 
- Some of my enemies, thro' the medium of the News- 
papers have stated that I was opposed to a State author- 
ity ; But they misrepresent my sentiments. No one is 
more f avoriable to the measure than myself ; Not from 
any personal Considerations, but from an impression 
that it will produce National Benefits ; that it will place 
beyond the reach of change the political destiny of Lou- 
isiana that it will tend to check the growth of opinions 
and parties unferable (unfavorable) to the Union of the 
State, & to give permanancy to our Republican Institu- 
tions; I much fear, that for want of political experi- 
ence, the State Authorities will at first be somewhat em- 
barrassed, not is at all improbable, but some unprincipled 
Intriguers may be brought into power: But in a year 
or two the first Inconvenience will be remidied, & the 
virtuous part of Society will very soon find it their In- 
terest to put down the factions. It is very uncertain, 
whether under the New Order of things I shall receive 
many marks of public Confidence; Were the election of 
Governor to take place at this time, & to depend upon the 
public Voice, my friends are much deceived, (for I will 
not believe they designedly deceive me) if it did not prove 
favorable to my pretensions: But I have many Ene- 
mies, who (with Messrs. Robertson & Prevost now at 



342 .MISSISSIPPI TERRITOKIAL ARCHIVES. 

Washington) are laboring incessantly to effect my poli- 
tical Ruin. 

Private Letters from Washington have induced me to 
think it probable, that my late Correspondence with the , 
Spanish Agents relative to the Navigation of the Mobile, 
would not be approved ; But as yet, I have on this point 
no official Information. It will be a source of sincere 
regret, if my Conduct on this occasion has not been in 
unison with the views of the administration ; I however 
am exempt from the greatest of all Censure, Self re- 
proach; since my best Judgment directed me & my mo- 
tives were pure & Honest. The Mobile being within the 
Territory committed to my Charge, I thought it as much 
my duty to have resisted aggression in that quarter, as it 
would have been to have opposed a violence on the Mis- 
sissippi: Perhaps I was in error; The affair how- 
ever was happily terminated, & I hope, it may be at- 
tended with the most salutary Results. Remember me 
with respect & affection to your amiable Lady and be- 
lieve me to be, 

Your sincere friend 

W. C. C. Claiborne 



To James Wilkinson 

Private. 

German Coast, 

Washington City. August 20th 1811. 

Dear Sir, 

Enclosed is the deposition of Mr. Martin Gordon 
which has lately boon received by mo. I had calculated 
on Mr. Gordon's ontoring more into dotail ; But his 
statement may nevertheless be serviceable and therefore 
I transmit it to you with much pleasure. 

T loft the City on the 11th Tnst. and am producing 
(proceeding) by short Journeys to Baton Rouge. Mrs. 
Wilkinson has boon indisposed; But being Convalos- 



LETTEK BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 343 

cent, and deeming a Change of Climate advisable, she 
had set out on a voyage across the Lakes ; Her depar- 
ture was sudden, & I am sorry, I had not been previously 
advised thereof; She was made comfortable on board 
of a Gun Boat, commanded by her Cousin, Mr. Perrault ; 
but had I previously known her intention to cross the lake 
(with the Co-operation of our mutual friend Commodore 
Shaw) the most convenient accommodations should have 
been provided. Previous to my leaving New Orleans, I 
returned answers to your several questions, & delivered 
the same to Doctor Upshaw, who has no doubt forwarded 
them. Keep me advised of the progress of your Court, 
and of the prospect of ample Justice being speedily ren- 
dered you. Your Letters are the more agreeable, which 
they convey Information favorable to your Interests, 
since I always do myself the pleasure of Communicating 
the same to your amiable Lady. Health & happiness ! 

Your friend, 
(Sigd.) W. C. C. Claiborne. 



To James Monroe 

Baton Rouge 27th August 1811. 
Secretary of State. 
Sir, 

My letters from New Orleans, are as late as the 23d. 
Instant; It was becoming very unhealthy, and several 
cases of yellow fever had occured. Captain William 
Shaler, writes me from Havana under date of the 21st of 
July as follows. ''The secret proceedings of Congress 
in their last session having by some unfair means been 
divulged, have found their way here in the Public papers ; 
By means of a friend I have learnt thro' Colonel Howard 
that the Captain General disclaims any knowledge of 
Governor Folch's communications to the Secretarv of 



344 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

State on the subject of the occupation of the Floridas, 
which he declares he now hears for the first time. A 
small Vessel of War is perparing for Pensacola and if 
an opinion can be formed from what Colonel Howard & 
others, who frequent the Marquis ' parties say on the sub- 
ject, the arrest of Folch will be ordered. This is an un- 
fortunate affair! for hereafter what individual will run 
the risk of ruin by making any communication to our gov- 
ernment ? 

"Mrs Hargrove has arrived here, but will not obtain 
permission to see her husband, she will be forced to re- 
turn in the Vessel she came in. The Marquis told Mr. 
Gray who undertook to intercede for her, that he dust not 
grant the permission; he says those men were taken in 
open rebellions with arms in their hands; that by Law 
they ought to suffer death ; that motives of humanity and 
Policy have hitherto shielded them, but that he cannot 
permit any communication with them. 

"These objections being unanswerable, I see no 
chance of the poor woman's even seeing her unfortunate 
husband." The Mrs Hargrave mentioned by Captain , 
Shaler is the wife of one of the persons of Kemper's 
party who were made prisonners by Governor Folch, & 
sont to Havana for Trial. T am sorry to find the Cap- 
tain General of Cuba so little inclined to favour those un- 
fortunate Men; I fear they are destined to experience 
a long rigorous confinement. But Captain Shaler & 
Mr. Gray shall be solicited to continue to interest them- 
selves in their behalf, nor am T without hopes that the 
Spanish Agents may in a short time bo induced from 
Motives of Humanity and Policy to direct their release. 

The good people of that part of West Florida which 
is now called the County of Feliciana are greatly solici- 
tous to he permanently attached to the Territory of Or- 
leans, & they evidence some regret at being left for future 
nogociations. 1 have assured them of the favorable dis- 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 345 

position of tfhe Government and that every exertion 
would be made on the part of the President to place be- 
yond the reach of change their present connection with 
United America. I expressed my apprehensions lest 
the present agitated State of the World, might retard 
those previous arrangements upon the subject with some 
of the European Countries, which were indispensable. 
But I added that in the mean time, their rights would be 
protected and their Interests affectionately Cherished. 
A Colonel John Ballenger, has been named by the 
people of Feliciana their agent to Congress, and will 
be the Bearer of their extreme solicitude upon the points 
above suggested. There is unquestionably in Feliciana, 
a disaffected party, nor are there wanting individuals, 
who incessantly labour to Convert the present regret of 
the people, at remaining "the subject of future Negocia- 
tion " to a decided hostility towards our Government ; 
But as yet Sir, these unprincipled Intriguers have made 
very little impression. The late & only letter from you, 
which I have had the honor to receive, was under date 
of the 9th of May last. 

I am Sir, 

Yours &c a 
(Signed) W. C. C. Claiborno. 



To James Monroe 

Baton Rouge 28th August 1811. 

Secretary of State. 
Dear Sir, 

I take the liberty to introduce to your acquaintance & 
to recommend to your Civilities Colo. John Ballcngor <i 
native of the United States who has boon named by the 
people of the County of Foliciann their agent to -present 
to the view of the Government, certain subjects in which 
their Interests are believed to bo involved.- 



346 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

Colo. Ballenger, was a very active & Confidential of- 
ficer under the authority of the Florida Convention. 
And lie has represented the County of Feliciana in the 
General Assembly of the Territory of Orleans; His 
principles & sentiments are understood to be purely 
American & his Conduct has been in unison. 
I am Dear Sir, 

Yrs, 
(Sigd) W. C. C. Claiborne. 



To Col. Henry Hopkins 

Baton Rouge 28th Augst 1811 
Adjutant General. 
Dear Sir, 

If this note should find you at New Orleans, I have to 
request that you would meet me at Point Coupie on the 
14th day of the ensuing month, to bring with you, 
thirty blank Military Commissions. 

If Colo. Andry's health should (as I hope it may) be 
reinstated, you will take occasion to hint to him, that in 
as much as he has remained out of the limits of his 
Regimental Circle, he cannot according to the tenor and 
spirit of the Militia Law, continue in Command, & that 
therefore his resignation is expected. You will be 
pleased also to address a second letter to Colo.s. Fauehi' 
& Laronde urging the necessity of an immediate organi- 
zation of their Corps and in your Letter to Colo. Fauche, 
you will add, "that you have it in Command from the 
Commander in Chief to say to him, that the Monthly 
Musters of the several Companys in the Fauxburg St. 
Mary must be regularly holden, that it is expected, 
he will not fail to notice any neglect of duty on the part 
of the Company officers." - And that so soon as the Com- 
panies above the City can be organized, a like attention 
to Monthly Musters on their part, must be enforced." 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 347 

In your Letter to Colo. Laronde, you will express your- 
self to the like effect, inserting the Fauxburg Marigny, 
instead of Sr. Mary's & the words "below the City," in- 
stead of above the City. I wish you health & happiness. 

(Sigd) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To Mr. Johnson 

Baton Kouge 28th Angst 1811. 
Post-Master at 

New Orleans. 
Dr Sir, 

Such letters as may be in the Post office at New Or- 
leans, on the receipt of this Note, I will thank you to for- 
ward to me at Natchez by the return Mail & such as may 
subsequently reach New Orleans, you will be pleased to 
retain until you shall hear further from me. It would 
be most convenient, if you would mark all my letters post 
Paid, charge the amount to my account, & forward them 
in a leather packet directed to my address ; I am sorry 
to give you this trouble ; But it is the best means of in- 
suring their safe Delivery. The last Mail from New 
Orleans to Baton Rouge brought me no official Communi- 
cations, & I have reason to believe, that some of import- 
ance left Washington in time to have reached New Or- 
leans two Weeks ago. 

I set out on the day after for Natchez where I shall 
not remain more than three or four days. 

Yours &c 
(Sig'd) W. C. C. Claiborne. 



348- MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

To William Eustis 

Territory of Orleans 
Point Coupee August 31st 1811 
Secretary at War. 
Sir, 

I have received your letter advising me of the receipt 
by the President of the Memorial of the Legislative Coun- 
cil & House of Representatives of the Orleans Territory, 
on the subject of stationing an additional Military force 
within this District, & in which you do me the honor to 
suggest for my Consideration, the expediency of embody- 
ing a Corps (under certain restrictions) from among 
the Inhabitants of the City of New Orleans. My impres- 
sion is Sir, that such a Corps would meet the wishes of 
the Legislature and that it might be readily raised on 
two Conditions, The one that the men to be enlisted, 
should not be subject to Corporal punishment ; And the 
other That they shall not be marched, beyond tin; 
Limits of the Territory, without their consent, expect in 
time of actual War. It is not probable, that many of 
the Creoles, the natives of Louisiana would enlist: 
They for the most part, are engaged in Agricultural Per- 
suits, would unwillingly relinquish them, for the pur- 
pose of serving as non-Commissioned officers & Pri- 
vates; But the fall of the French West-India Islands, 
the expulsion of the French from Cuba, & the uncertain 
destiny of the Spanish Provinces, have caused to emi- 
grate to this Territory a description of persons who I 
presume would cheerfully enter the service; The habits 
of those persons fit them for Military life, and their Con- 
stitutions being formed in Southern Latitude, are not 
likely to be affected by the (Miniate of lower Louisiana; 
But to maintain a due degree of subordination a strict 
Discipline should be maintained, nor would T advise any 
other amelioration of the principles of Martial Law, than 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 349 

the two Conditions already mentioned. As relates to 
Quarters, this should be furnished by the Government ; 
The expense of obtaining private dwellings (for few if 
any of the Recruits will be proprietors of Houses) would 
be much greater, than a prudent economy could justify; 
and unless all the Members of the Corps were so quar- 
tered, as at all times to be under the immediate Controul 
of the Officers, a Spirit of disorder & Licentiousness 
would prevail, which must at least, render the Corps use- 
less. 

I cannot undertake to state the strength of a Corps, 
that could at present be raised in New Orleans & its 
vicinity: Much would depend upon the Character and 
popularity of the Officers: My opinion however is, a 
Battalion could be speedily embodyed, on which reliance 
might be placed, in case of Internal Insurrection, or re- 
sistance to the Laws, & if properly officered & disciplined, 
its loyalty also may be confidently calculated on, in case 
of Invasion by any European Power. You will observe 
Sir, that I am speaking of a Corps to be raised in time 
of Peace ; In the event of War, and particularly of In- 
vasion, I have no doubt that Louisianians would very 
generally repair to the American Standard, & prove 
themselves faithful Citizens. This opinion, may pos- 
sibly prove erroneous ; a Contrary Sentiment is I know 
entertained by many of my Countrymen. There may be, 
& I am persuaded, there are many disaffected Charac- 
ters. But from the great Majority of the population, 
The old Settlers of the Country whose families & Inter- 
ests are here; from the Creoles, who own the farms 
where they were born and who can point to the Spot, 
where their ancestors are entombed, I should expect as 
ardent a display of Patriotism as from a like number of 
Native Citizens of the United States. 

I have no doubt, but a very appropriate selection of 
Officers to Command the Corps under Consideration, 



350' MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL, ARCHIVES. 

from among the Gentlemen, now attached to the Army, 
might be made. but it would conduce to the good of 
this Service, and be a Source of gratification to the peo- 
ple of this Territory, if some of the Creoles of the Coun- 
try were on this occasion Commissioned; I am ac- 
quainted with several young Men of Merit, Natives of 
Louisiana, (whose Connections in this Territory are 
numerous & respectable) who were formerly in the serv- 
ice of Spain, that would willingly enter into that of the 
United States, and on their valor & fidelity I would risque 
my Life. I have the honor to be Sir, 

Yours, 

(Sigd) W. C. C. Claiborne. 

P. S. In New Orleans & its vicinity, there are a number 
of Free-men of Colour; how far it may be proper, 
under any Circumstances to take this description of per- 
sons into the Service of the United States, is a question, 
well worthy your Consideration ; I have myself thought 
that they ought to be organized as a Militia Corps; 
But a Contrary opinion has uniformly been maintained 
by the Territorial Legislature. 

(sigd W. C. C. C. 



To Julia) Poijdras 
(Private) 

Pointo Couple. Pointe Coupie, Sept. 2d 1811 

My dear Sir, 

I proceed immediately to Natchez & propose on my 
return, which will be in ten or twelve days, to call at 
your friendly Mansion. 

On my Journey thro' the different Parishes, I found 
the Citizens much divided on the question of a State 
Authority; But my opinion is, that a Majority of the 
Convention, will deem it expedient to form a Constitu- 
tion or State of Government. My own Sentiments on 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 351 

this interesting question have been freely expressed. I 
am sincerely friendly to the proposed Change My sup- 
port of this measure does not proceed from personal 
Considerations. But from an impression that it will be 
attended with great national Benefits; that it will fix 
beyond the reach of Vicissitude, the political destiny of 
Louisiana ; that it will tend to put down the efforts of 
Foreign Agents & domestic traitors to alienate the af- 
fections of the Inhabitants from our Government ; that 
it will strengthen the American Union, and give perma- 
nency to our American Institutions. I much fear, that 
for want of political experience, our state authorities 
will at first, feel some embarrassments, & that several 
unprincipled Intriguers will raise themselves into 
power ; But in a very few years the former Inconven- 
ience will be removed, & the virtuous Citizens will soon 
find it their Interest to unite in suppressing the fac- 
tions. 

You no doubt, have heard of the purchase I have made 
of a farm ; I am now on my way to Natchez with a view 
of removing my negroes. I shall be a plain simple 
planter ; great Wealth is not desired by me ; I wish 
only a Competency, and that I shall be in possession of 
as soon as I shall have made necessary improvements on 
my farm, the which I hope to accomplish in three or four 
years. I sincerely wish you health, happiness & pros- 
perity. 

(Sigd.) W. C. C. Claiborne. 



To Judge Me Shane 

Pointe Coupie Sept: 2d 1811 
Pointe Coupie. 
Sir, 

In answer to your enquiry of last evening, I have the 
honor to state, that previous to my departure from New 
Orleans, I did sign an instrument of writing which par- 



352 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

doned a Negro Man Slave of Pointe Couple who had been 
convicted of the Crime of administering Poison, & sen- 
tenced to death. 

If my memory serves me right, I left instructions with 
Mr. Vassant to forward the pardon, to the Master of 
the Slave. But in as much as the same has not been pre- 
sented to you, it may perhaps have miscarried. On my 
return however to New Orleans, I will cause a Copy to be 
taken from the original Act of pardon, which is on rec- 
ord, & to be transmitted to you. 
I am 
Sir, 

Very Respectfully 

Your mo : ob : sert 
(Sigd) W. C. C. Claiborne. 



To James Monroe 

Territory of Orleans, 
St. Francisville, Sept. 2d, 1811 
Secretary of State. 
Sir, 

A News-paper printed here, called "The time Piece," 
has assumed a shape by no means calculated to conciliate 
the affections of the people toward the government. 
The Editor possesses Genius, But neither Judgment nor 
discretion. This paper teems with abuse of Congress & 
their Conduct toward (Louisiana?) is represented as 
wrongful & oppressive; That these publications have 
made some injurious impressions is certain; But I have 
reason to believe, that the great Majority of the people, 
remain firm in their attachment to the Government & 
the Administration; It is understood that a general 
meeting of the Citizens is to take place on the 26th of this 
Month to Celebrate the Capture of the Fort of Baton 
Rouge by the Conventionalists, & that the occasion will 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBOfiNE. 353 

be embraced by some restless Individuals, to obtain the 
adoption of some inflamatory Resolutions; I however 
rely with confidence on the patriotism & good sence of the 
Cultivators of the soil, & I persuade myself that the In- 
triguers will not be enabled to do mischief. I have seen 
at this place Mr. John Rhea formerly President of the 
Convention, & at present Judge of the Parish of Felici- 
ana ; He is a prudent, judicious, well disposed Man, & 
seems to be much attached to the Government of the 
United States; He spoke to me of the Debts of the 
Convention, & expressed a great desire that the Govern- 
ment would direct their payment ; I told him I had al- 
ready apprised the President of the Nature of the Debts, 
& that I sincerely hoped some provision would be made 
to meet them; But I was inclined to think the present 
an unfavorable period to press the subject, & that the 
persons interested, had better wait, until the Government 
had come to some understanding with Foreign Nations 
relative to the possession of Florida. I proceed from 
hence to the Parish of Concordia, where I shall remain a 
few Days, & then return towards New Orleans. I have 
the honor to be 

Yours &ca 

(Sigd.) W. C. C. Claiborne. 



To Judge RJiea 

St. Francisvillo, September 3d 1811 
Parish of Feliciana. 
Sir, 

You will be pleased to request such of the Syndics 
under the former Government of Spain, & of the Conven- 
tion, as reside within the Limits of your parish, to de- 
liver to you, such records & papers as came into their 
possession by virtue of their former offices, to take the 

V 20 



354 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

same into your safe keeping. If among those records, 
or papers, there be any, interesting to Individuals, such 
as Bonds or Notes on which processes were 1 commenced & 
not completed, you may on application deliver the same 
to the parties ; But in all cases, where the process ap- 
pears to have been Completed, you may furnish Copies 
of the Record, but I advise & request that the original 
record, may not be delivered unless in conformity to an 
order of the Superior Court. '- 

(Sigd) \V. C. C. Claiborne. 



To Gideon Granger 

Territory of Orleans, 
County of Felieiana, St. Francisville, 

September 3d 1811 
Post-Master. 
Dear Sir, 

During my Journey from New Orleans to this place, 
I found the Citizens greatly desirous, that their should 
be established on the Post Road, several additional post- 
offices; Between New Orleans & Pinckneyville in the 
Mississippi Territory a distance 190 Miles, the Post- 
Road passes thro' a rich & populous District & on the 
whole route, there is only one Regular post-office near the 
little Town of Donaldsonville, which is distant from New 
Orleans about sixty-five Miles. T beg leave therefore 
Sir, to suggest to you the expediency of establishing a 
Post-Office, at the town of Baton Rouge & another near 
to St. Francisville, at the plantation of John H. Johnson. 
at Baton Rouge, I beg leave to recommend as the Post- 
master, Mr. Henry Ourley, a younger Brother of our mu- 
tual friend John W. Hurley, deceased. Mr. Henry (lur- 
ley is by profession a Lawyer. But being very young 
in the practice, he has sufficient time to attend to the du- 

1 These are papers of the period at Mobile and Baton Rouge. 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 355 

ties of Post-master, the profits arising, would be of 
great service, to this deserving young Man. For Post- 
master on Mr. Johnson's plantation, near St. Francis- 
ville, I would recommend the owner of the farm, Mr. 
John H. Johnson, a man of great respectability & of the 
most influential ( - ? - ) in that part of West 
Florida which was lately taken possession of in the name 
& behalf of the United States. The Post Road passes by 
Mr. Johnson's plantation within a short Mile of St. 
Francisville ; If the General regulations of your De- 
partment, would permit the course of the present Road 
to be so altered, as to pass thro ' St. Francisville, it would 
be more convenient to the people, that a post-office be 
established at that place, & in which case I would also 
recommend Mr. Johnson as the Post-master : St. Fran- 
cisville is a small Village in the parish of Feliciana, 
And the Place where the sessions of one of the Parish 
Court & the Superior Court of the District are holden. 

It is also very desirable, that there should be a Post- 
office at some Central position between Donaldsonville & 
New Orleans ; I cannot however at present name the 
particular Spot, or recommend to you, a suitable person 
for Post-master ; But so soon as I can inform myself on 
these points, I will take the liberty again to write you. 

I have nothing new in this quarter ; the question as 
to State authority, occupies every mind, & some divi- 
sion in the public sentiment exists; But my impres- 
sion is, that a Majority of the Convention will deem it 
expedient to form a Constitution or State Government. 

Things at Mobile remain in Statue-quo & the Span- 
iards evidence no disposition to evacuate. 

Yours, 
(Sigd) AV. C. C. Claiborno. 



356 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

To Paul Hamilton 

Private. Concordia, September 9th 1811. 

Secretary of the Navy. 
My dear Sir, 

Your public letter of the 19th of July has afforded 
me sincere satisfaction. The approbation of my Con- 
duct (at all times so desirable) is on the present occasion, 
the more agreeable, since I previously apprehended, that 
it would (probably) be Censured. This apprehension 
arose principally from the Contents of certain private 
Letters of a Gentleman lately in Washington to his 
friends in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, representing 
that my proceedings were unauthorized, & would not be 
approved. But it seems the Gentleman was illy advised. 

I have understood, that the Spaniards have recently 
sent from Mobile a small Detachment of Troops to Dol- 
phin Island, & in a Letter from Commodore Shaw receiv- 
ed on last evening, he asks my advice, as to the course 
proper to be pursued on his part, in the event "that the 
passage of our Vessels into the Bay of Mobile be denied" 
or "in case the Spaniards should proceed to fortify 
the Island." - Commodore Shaw's Letter shall be made 
the subject of my serious reflection and a Copy of the 
answer I shall return, will be forwarded to you by the 
ensuing Mail. 

New Orleans is unusually unhealthy, and many Indi- 
viduals recently settled there, have fallen Victims to the 
Yellow Fever. 

My best wishes to your amiable Lady & family. 

I am &ca 
(Sigd) W. C. C. Claiborno. 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 357 

To Paul Hamilton 

Territory of Orleans, 
Concordia (opposite Natchez) 

Sept: 9th 1811 
Secretary of the Navy. 

Owing to my absence from New Orleans, to which 
place your letter of the 19 of July was directed, that 
agreeable communication, did not reach me, until last 
evening. I feel much gratified, that "in furnishing the 
Vessels charged with Military Stores for the garrison of 
Fort Stoddart a safe Convoy to their port of destina- 
tion," I have met your entire approbation, & I persuade 
myself that the result of that measure, (of which I trans- 
mitted the earliest information) will be alike satisfactory 
to my superior officers. 

I have the honor to be c 

(Sigd) TV. C. C. Claiborne. 



To Commodore Sliaiv 

Concordia Septbr 9th 1811. 
NEW ORLEANS. 
My dear Sir, 

I enclose for your perusal, a Copy of a Letter, which 
I have received from the secretary of the Navy, approv- 
ing my Conduct in furnishing a Convoy to the Vessel, 
charged with Stores for Fort Stoddart, nor do I doubt, 
but that the result of that measure will be alike satisfac- 
tory to our Superior Officers. 

I am, Dear Sir, 

(Sigd) TV. C. C. Claiborno. 



To Judge Latthnore 
Corcordia. 

Dr. Sir, I have the honor to inform you that I have 
this day commissioned Mr. James Dunlap, your successor 
in Office to whom you will be pleased to deliver the Rec- 



358 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

ords & papers appertaining to the Office of Judge of the 
Parish of Concordia. 

I take this occasion to thank you for your faithful 
public services & to assure you of my Respect & Esteem. 

(Sigd) W. C. C. Claiborne. 



To James Dunlap 

Concordia, Sept: 13, 1811 
Concordia. 
Sir, 

Desirous of availing the public of your services, as 
Judge of the Parish of Concordia, I have the honor to 
enclose you a Commission and to subscribe myself 
With great Respect 

your mo : ob : Sert 

(Sigd) W. C. C. Claiborne. 



To Paul Hamilton 

Territory of Orleans, 
Concordia Sept: 14th 1811 
Secretary of the Navy. 
Sir, 

My last Letter apprised you of the (report) communi- 
cated by Commodore Shaw, relative to the Spaniards 
having taken post ai Dolphin Island. 

On request of the Commodore for advice, "as to the 
course proper for him to pursue, in the event that pas- 
sage for our Vessels into the Bay of Mobile be refused, 
or in case an attempt be made on the part of the Span- 
iards to fortify;" - F now Sir, have the honor to enclose 
you a Copy of my letter of instruction to Commodore 
Shaw of the 9th Tnst: as also of a Communication of the 
same date which T have addressed to (Jovernor Folch, or 
the officer Commanding the Spanish force at Mobile. 

My impression is i should be wanting in duty, were T 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 359 

to permit the Spanish Agents (under any pretext) to as- 
sume a Military position the District of Country declared 
by my government to form a part of the Territory com- 
mitted to my care. As regards Dolphin Island (which 
Commands the passes into the Bay of Mobile) a small 
Spanish Guard has always been stationed there, else I 
should long since have taken possession of the spot; 
But should that guard be augmented it seems to me a 
prudent measure of precaution on our part, to occupy 
with a Military force, some position on the same Island, 
for the express purpose of watching the movements of 
the Spaniards and preventing them from erecting forti- 
fications. Until however an answer to the Letter ad- 
dressed to Governor Folch is received, & which I do not 
calculate on previous to the 12 of October, I cannot de- 
termine on my course; In the mean time I should be 
greatly relieved, if by some general Instructions from the 
President, the case under consideration was ( - ? 
) that it be only left for me to evince my zeal for 
the prompt & faithful execution of Orders. 

(Sigd) W. C. C. Claiborne. 



To John H. Johnson 

Sheriff of the Seventh ) 
Superior Court District ) 

Point Coupee 28th Sept: 1811 
Sir, 

The Spanish Agents at Mobile are Considered by me, 
as in possession of a small tract of Country which in- 
cludes the Fort & Town of Mobile, and is bounded by Dog 
River, by that part of it called The Bayou Moulins ; by 
a line drawn from thence to the Bayou St Louis, (lately 
called the three mile Creek) by the said Bayou, and by 
the Mobile River & Bay; The residue of the Country 
lying, between the Rivers Mississippi & Pordido, & be- 



360 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

low the Boundary of the Mississippi Territory, has been 
taken possession of, in the name of the United States & 
composes the seventh District of the Territory of Or- 
leans. 

I am Sir, 

(Sigd) W. C. C. Claiborne. 



To Paul Hamilton 

Near New Orleans Octber 8. 1811. 
Secretary of the Navy. 
Dear Sir, 

I arrived hence on the 4th Instant. My stay in the 
vicinity of Natchez, was prolonged by an indisposition 
from which I have not wholly recovered; but my com- 
plaint is not dangerous; It is only a species of Rheuma- 
tism, which subjects me to some inconvenience. 

I have not yet received an answer to the inquiry ad- 
dressed to the commandant of Mobile relative to his tak- 
ing possession of & fortifying Dolphin Island. I sus- 
pect the Spaniards do not for the present intend to for- 
tify, but only to keep possession, to act hereafter as 
occasion may serve. 

Dolphin Island is a most important point; It com- 
mands the entrance into the Bay of Mobile, any Ene- 
my in possession of it, might do great injury to our set- 
tlements in that Quarter. situated as affairs are with 
England; menaced with a hostile Fleet, & immediate 
War, are we not authorized to provide for you safety? 
I sincerely wish I was ordered to take immediate posses- 
sion of the Island. 

(lovernor Folch has gone to Havana & it is reported 
(?) that he is suspended from Command. 

(Signed) W. C. C. Claibornc 



LETTER BOOKS OF \V. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 361 

To Commodore Shaw 

At Mr. Soniat's 
near New Orleans Oct. 9. 1811 
Dear Sir, 

I enclose for your perusal an extract of a Letter, 
which has been addressed to me by the Secretary of the 
Navy. 

I shall set out from hence on tomorrow for Attakapas, 
and on my return, which will be in fifteen days, I hope we 
may have received an answer from the Commandant at 
Mobile, relative to the occupancy of Dolphin Island. In 
the mean time, if you should wish to communicate with 
me on matters relating to the public Interest, you will be 
pleased to request the bearer of your dispatches to pre- 
ceed by the way of Lafourche to the residence of Mr. 
Martin Duralde in Attakapas, and he will meet me, either 
there, or on my return to New Orleans. 
I sincerely wish you health and happiness. 
I am 
Dear Sir 

Very Respectfully 

Yours &c 
(Sigd) W. C. C. Claiborno. 



To James Mather 
Mayor of New Orleans, ) at Mr. Soniat's 

or ) Evening of the 10th Oct. 1811. 

in his absence to ) 

Mr. Chabaud, Secy ) 

of the Mayoralty. ) 

Dear Sir, 

Will you have the goodness to send one of your young 
Men to Mr. Thierry's & request of him to furnish you, 
for my use, a Copy of the paper in which there are cer- 
tain Letters, said to have been addressed bv Governor 



362 - MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

Folch to the Secretary of State, & Colo. McKee relative 
to the surrender of West Florida to the United States ; 
If Mr. Thierry should not be enabled to find the paper 
alluded to, will you be good enough to obtain the same 
for me from some other of the printers. Be so obliging 
as to present the enclosed order to Mr. Johnson & lie will 
deliver you such Letters & papers as the Mail of tomor- 
row may bring to my address, & lastly, will you dispatch 
a Messenger to me as soon as the Mail arrives, charging 
to my account any Compensation you may give him. If 
you should be at a loss for a Messenger, on application 
to the Deputy Sheriff Mr. Drawillard, lie will do me 
the favor to furnish one. I would not impose upon you 
so much trouble, But I have understood that Mr. Vassant, 
the first Clerk in my office, is too much indisposed to at- 
tend to business. 

I had a high fever on last night. But it left me this 
morning & my feelings are now such as to justify hope 
that it will not return. 

I wish you health & happiness. I am &c &c 

(Signed) W. C. C. Claiborne. 



To Major McRea 

at Mr. Soniat's four Leagues 
above Xc\v Orleans Oetbr. 11 1S11 
or ) 

the Officer Commanding ) 
the Marine Corps at ) 
New Orleans. ) 

Sir, 

Corporal Clark of the Marine Corps and Robert Brax- 
ton a private, two of the Barge Crew, that conveyed me 
to Natchez, are ordered to deposit a Barge of the United 
States, with the officer having charge of the navy yard, & 
to report themselves to you. 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORXE. 363 

One the Crew Daniel Shay was left sick in the Mili- 
tary Hospital at Baton Rouge ; another Jacob Nichols 
is now very sick at this place, & a third Benjamin Car- 
penter has also been extremely indisposed but is now 
Convalescent. I however have permited him to remain 
here for the present in Consequence of his great unwill- 
ingness to approach New Orleans, & for the purpose of 
attending to his sick comrade Jacob Nichols, who will ex- 
perience from my friend Mr. Soniat all the attention 
which humanity suggests. I have promised Corporal 
Clark & Braxton, earnestly to entreat you to permit them 
to proceed to the Bayou St. John & report themselves to 
Li out. Paterson, (with whom I have conversed on the 
subject), who will put them on board ( 1 ) Vessel. 
I think humanity strongly urges that these two men 
should be indulged in their wish to leave Town immedi- 
ately. Exposed as they have been to the hot Sun of 
Louisiana on a voyage of several weeks on the Missis- 
sippi, they are certainly fit objects for the Yellow River 
& witli a view to the preservation of the lives of two 
faithful soldiers, I have addressed you. 
I am Sir, Yours &c, 

(Signed) AY. C. C. Claiborne. 



To. James Monroe 

Four leagues above. 
New Orleans 12th Octbr. 1811 
Secretary of State. 
Sir, 

Governor Claiborne being very much indisposed, de- 
sires me to forward to you, the enclosed Letters from 
the Mayor of New Orleans, which will inform you the 
ravages, which the yellow or some other Malignant Fever, 
has made in that unfortunate City. I am sorry to add 
Sir, that this fever still rages, & with melancholy effect, 



364 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

nor is it probable, that it will cease, prior to the Month 
of December. 

There having appeared in a paper published at New 
Orleans a paragraph, purporting that the Governor had 
received a Letter from the Secretary of State, announc- 
ing that War with England was inevitable, I have by the 
Governor's order contradicted it, in a note to the printer. 
I have the honor to be, 
Sir, 

With Sentiments of the greatest 
Respect, 

Your mo: ob: Servant, 
(Signed) Claude Dejan, Pri: Secy. 



To His Excellency Maximilian Maxent; 

Sir, 

Governor Claiborne being very much indisposed and 
Confined to his bed, Charges me to inform your Excel- 
lency that he will embrace the first moments of return- 
ing health to reply to your Letter under date of the 30th 
Illto. which was this day delivered to him. 
I have the honor to be, 
Your Excellency's 

Most ol) : very H : Serf, 
(Signed) Claude Dejan, Pri: Secy 
four Leagues above 
New Orleans 12th October 1811. 



To all who shall see those presents, and more par- 
ticularly the Sheriff of the 1st Superior Court District. 

Be it known, that by virtue of the powers in me vested, 
T do direct & require, that trie execution of the sentence 
of Death which has been announced by Iho Judge of the 
Parish of New Orleans, & a .Jury duly impanelled nc- 
cordir.u' to La\v, against the ne-rro man l!enrv, the Slave 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBOBJSTE. 365 

of Messrs. Laymere & Grounx, be suspended until the 
first Friday in the Month of January of the year 1812. 
Given near to New Orleans, on the 25th day of Octo- 
ber in the year 1811. 

(Sigd) William C. C. Claiborne 



To James Monroe 

Four leagues above 
New Orleans 27th Oct : 1811 
Secretary of State 
Sir, 

Having received information that the Spanish Agent 
had occupied Dolphin Island, and designed to erect forti- 
fications, I commenced a Correspondence upon the sub- 
ject with the Governor at Pensacola, & of the Letters 
which ensued the enclosed No. 1. 2. & 3 are Copies. 

If my memory serves me right, in the year 1805 in 
Conformity to my instructions from the President, I 
remonstrated to the Marquis of Casa Calvo, against 
these Spanish Agents assuming any new Military posi- 
tion within the Tract of Country, which altho ' possessed 
by Spain, was claimed by the United States, & I gave him 
to understand that in case any new fortifications were 
erected, the American Government would feel itself 
authorized to take measures to break them up. I 
thought it no less my duty at the present day to notify 
the Spanish Agents, that the occupying and fortifying 
of Dolphin Island, would not be seen with approbation, 
& in such event, that some correspondent dispositions 
would be directed on my part. Dolphin Island is near 
tlie entrance of Mobile, & may be so fortified, as com- 
pletely to command the passes into that Bay. At the 
date of my last information, there was a very inconsider- 
able Spanish Force on the Island ; But should this force 
be augmented, and fortifications erected, I should deem 
it advisable to take measures to break them up. But 



366 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

without the orders of the President, no force on my part 
shall be resorted to; unless indeed some flagrant act 
of violence be committed, which it would be my duty im- 
mediately to resent. 

You will notice in the Letter of Governor Maxent's 
the very indecorous & warm manner, in which he speaks 
of the act of taking possession of the Country West of 
the Perdido. My impression is, that he was encouraged 
to use this Language from the existing differences be- 
tween the United States & England, & I could not re- 
frain telling him so ; perhaps it had better been avoided, 
but his Letter really would not admit of a very Civil 
answer. 

I am just recovering from a serious Indiposition. 
I had a fever for 10 days ; it has left me extremely feeble, 
& in a State so illy prepared to attend to business, that 
I hasten to subscribe myself 

With very great respect, &c a 

(Sigd) William C. C. Claibornc. 



To His Excellency Governor Maxent Pensacola. 

Xear New-Orleans 27th Get: 1811 
Sir, 

A serious Indisposition lias hitherto prevented me 
from acknowledging the receipt of your Letter under 
date of the 30th Ulto.- 

How far your Excellency may have been correct in 
declining to answer my Enquiries, relative to the occu- 
pancy of Dolphin Island, with a Military force, I leave 
to your own reflections; but you must permit me Sir, 
to express my conviction of the propriety of these en- 
quiries, and to add, that they ought not to have excited 
the astonishment which you profess to have felt. 

I presume your Excellency must be well acquainted 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 367 

with the duties which Nations owe to each other; It 
is a principle well established, that the Agents of one 
Power have not the right, even within their own acknowl- 
edged Dominions, to direct unusual Military Movements, 
without giving satisfactory explanations to their neigh- 
bouring States; And if such explanation is denied, it 
is just cause of offense. But as regards Dolphin Island, 
altho' at present possessed by Spain, it is claimed by 
the United States, & I am at a loss to know Avhat ground 
you have formed the opinion that the measures you might 
take respecting it did not Concern my Government, & 
that by requesting information upon the subject, I had 
evenced a degree of impertinent curiosity, which you 
ought not to satisfy. 

Had I been disposed to discuss with your Excellency 
all the just and weighty Considerations, which induced 
the President to direct passession to be taken of the dis- 
trict of Country, lying West of the Perdido, the very in- 
decorous language, which your Excellency uses towards 
my Government, would have precluded me. To your 
assertion Sir, that the Americans in immitation of the 
Tyrant of Europe, & to the great astonishment of the 
whole world, had possessed themselves of a part of the 
Territory, dependent upon West Florida, I do not hesi- 
tate to reply, that your Excellency is in error. My Gov- 
ernment has only taken possession of her own; of a 
tract of Country, she acquired by fair purchase from its 
lawful owner; & if there is anything in the transaction, 
calculated to attract the attention of the world, it is Sir, 
the long forbearance of my Government, & the mild & 
conciliatory Course which she has so uniformly ob- 
served. But how has it happened that your Excellency's 
feelings have been so long suppressed? It is a matter 
of surprise that an earlier occasion, had not been em- 
braced to declare your Indignation ! Why is the present 
moment chosen? There is probably a moving Cause! 



368 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

Perhaps it is attributable to some recent ground of mis- 
understanding between our two Nations, of which I am 
not advised ! Or perhaps it is in some manner connected 
with the Difficulties, believed to exist, between the United 
States & that power, whom a short time ago, your Ex- 
cellency would have designed the * * Tyrant of the Seas ! ' ' 

At the moment of refusing to respond to my en- 
quiries, I had not calculated on your requiring informa- 
tion as to the measures I should direct. I however will 
inform your Excellency, that these will depend upon the 
extent of the fortifications you may erect on Dolphin 
Island, & of the force which is to defend them! 

I with pleasure, seize this occasion, to renew to your 
Excellency, the assurances of my great respect & high 
Consideration. 

Signed/ W: C. C. Claiborne. 



To Commodore Shaiv 

Four leagues above 

Bay St Louis. New-Orleans 27. Octbr : 1811. 

Sir, 

Will you do me the favor to forward the enclosed Let- 
ter, by an Officer to the Spanish Commandant at Mobile, 
who will no doubt, transmit it with safety, & expedition 
to Governor Maxent. 

I will thank you to keep me advised from time to time 
of the movements of the Spaniards at Mobile and Dol- 
phin Island, particularly as to the force stationed at this 
last place, & whether any & what preparations are mak- 
ing to fortify. As my measures must depend upon the 
nature of these movements, it is desirable I should have, 
the earliest information. 

I am just recovering from a severe Indisposition; 
A fever wihch continued for 10 days has left me ex- 
tremely feeble. 

I am Sir, &c 

(Signed) William C. C. Claiborne. 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 369 

To Paul Hamilton 

Near New Orleans 28 Oct: 1811. 
Secretary of the Navy. 
Dear Sir, 

I recollect to have transmitted you a Copy, of my Let- 
ter to the Commandant at Mobile, requesting informa- 
tion as to the truth of a report, which had reached me, 
that he had occupied Dolphin Island with a Military force 
& designed to erect fortifications. I now Sir enclose 
you a Copy of Colonel Maxent's answer, & of a Letter 
which in Consequence, I have addressed to him. 

There is no doubt with me, but the differences between 
the United States & England have tended in some manner 
to produce this extreme Irritability on the part of the 
Colonel, nor could I refrain from giving him a hint to 
that effect. 

The fever still rages in New Orleans. It has proved 
particularly destructive to the Marine Corps; you have 
lost two valuable Subaltern Officers, Lieutenants Thorn- 
ton & Eiddle, I believe more than a third of the pri- 
vates. 

Commodore Shaw, very prudently retired with 
( -? ) Vessels to the Bay St. Louis, & I under- 
stand the Crews generally experience a great share of 
health.- 

I have myself been seriously indisposed; A fever 
which lasted for 10 days has left me very feeble. but in 
a fair way for a speedy & entire recovery. 

Present me respectfully & affectionately to your ami- 
able Lady and family. 

Your faithful friend, 

Signed/ W: C. C. Claiborne. 

V 24 



370 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

To Capt. Genl. of Cuba 

His Excellency Near New Orleans 30th Oct: 1811 

The Marquis de Someruilos 
Governor & Captain General 

of the Island of Cuba. 
Sir, 

I take the liberty to recommend to the hospitality & 
kind protection of the Government of Cuba, Lieutenant 
Benjamin Franklin Read of the Navy of the United 
States. This Valuable young Officer is seriously afflict- 
ed with a breast Complaint, & being advised by his Phy- 
sicians to a change of Scene and Climate, he visits Hav- 
ana, solely with a View to benefitting his health. 

I tender to your Excellency the assurances of my 
great respect and high Consideration. 

(Signed) W. C. C. Claiborne. 



To Capt. Wm. Shaler 
Havana. 
Sir, 

Permit me to introduce to your acquaintance & to rec- 
ommend to your Civilities, Lieutenant Read of the Navy, 
who visits Havana solely with a view to benefit his health 
which at present is very much impaired. 

I presume your Information from the IT. States is 
much later than any I could communicate ; It would 
seem as if our differences with England were brought to 
a Crisis, that left the U. States, but one of two alterna- 
tives. War, or an entire abandonment of our rights on the 
Ocean. 

Accounts from the Western Erontier of this Terri- 
tory, represent that the Interior Provinces of Mexico, 
are again in a State of Revolution, and that the Revolu- 
tionists have gained many advantages. 

I beg you to keep mo advised of Hargrove & his Com- 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 371 

panions, & to avail yourself of every fit occasion, to in- 
terest yourself in their behalf; Hargrove was an Officer 
during the Revolutionary War, & has uniformly main- 
tained a very fair reputation; Cyrus Sibley, one of his 
Companions in misfortune, is an estimable young Man. 

I am Sir c a &c a 

Sigd./ W: C. C. Claiborne. 



To Albert Gallatin 

New Orleans Nov: 9. 1811 
Secretary of the Treasury. 
Sir, 

I have the honor to enclose you an account of the Con- 
tingent expences of my department for the third quar- 
ter of the present year, and to subscribe myself. 
With very great respect &c 

(Sigd) William C. C. Claiborne. 



To Col. B. Shawriburg 

Nachitoches. New Orleans 5 November 1811. 

Sir, 

You no doubt have heard of the death of the adjutant 
General Colo. Hopkins, & the object of this Letter is to 
express the very sincere pleasure, it would afford me, to 
have you for his successor. But I must confess, that 
since the passage of the late Militia Law, (recollecting 
also your Conversation on the Subject when last I saw 
you), I have no expectation that the position would be 
acceptable to you. A thousand Dollars pr. Annum, will 
not I suspect be a sufficient inducement to fix your resi- 
dence in this City & to undertake duties which will re- 
quire your attention two or three hours every day. 
Having however offered you the appointment, previous 
to the passage of the late Laws when Colo. Hopkins 



372 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

talked of resigning, I think it right, to await making a 
Nomination until you shall have had time, to signify to 
me your wishes on the subject, & I shall accordingly so 
await, until the 16th of December, unless I shall sooner 
hear from you. 

I am the more anxious to have the vacancy filled, & 
the Adjutant General near me, from the extreme solici- 
tude I feel to make every exertion on my part, to place 
the Militia in the best possible State, previous to the 
Change of Government, which from the Sentiments of a 
Majority of the Convention, will not I presume be long 
delayed. 

Accept my best wishes, 

& believe me to be your friend, 

(Sigd./ W. C. C. Claiborne 

P. S. Perhaps you might find, New Orleans an elig- 
ible position for your mercantile pussuits, & in that event 
the Office of Adjutant General would be serviceable to 
you, & I am sure, would prove agreeable. Make your 
own Calculations, & let your Judgment (which I know to 
be good), be your guide. My sincere wisli is to have 
your services, but not at the expence of your Interest. 
When the 16th. of December arrives, If I have not heard 
from you, I shall delay the appointment until the 25th 
of that Month. If you should make up your mind to 
accept, it will oblige you to repair to the City without 
delay; The whole of this Territory is in a wretched State. 
My enemies will clamour, let me act as I may. Rut to 
satisfy myself irith my 0101 Conduct (which is now my 
rule) it is requisite, that I use every possible exertion to 
better their Condition, & with your assistance, I am cer- 
tain, this might speedily be effected. 

Sig. AY. C. C. C. 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 373 

To John H. Ludeling 

Point Coupee New Orleans 8 Novbr. 1811 
Sir, 

I have the honor to enclose you a Commission appoint- 
ing you Judge of the parish of Pointe Coupee. previous 
to you entering upon the duties of your office, you will 
enter into Bond (of which a form is enclosed) to the 
Governor of the Territory with two sureties, freeholders, 
in the sum of five thousand Dollars, and will also take an 
Oath, to support the Constitution of the United States, 
& also an Oath of Office, & which Oaths, I hereby author- 
ize any Justice of the Peace in the Parish of Pointe Cou- 
pee to administer to you. I am (fee- 
Signed/ W. C. C. Claiborne. 

P. S. Copies of the Civil Code & of the other Laws of 
the Territory encluding those passed by the last session 
of the Legisalture, will be found in the office of the late 
Judge McShane, & which as his successor in office you are 
entitled to receive. 

W. C. C. C. 



To F. Cuming 

Springfield, New Orleans Novbr. 1811. 

Parish of St. Helena. 
Sir, 

Your letter under date of the 5th. Inst., (together 
with its enclosure) has been delivered to me by Captain 
Akers. 

I do not believe, that Depositions can be taken, on a 
Charge of Murder, unless it should be made to appear 
to the satisfaction of the Court, that the "Witnesses are 
not in a situation to attend personally. for the present 
therefore the most regular mode of proceeding, would 
be to bind the several Witnesses to appear personally at 



374 - MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

the next Term of the Superior Court for the Seventh Su- 
perior Court District, to be holden at the Town of St. 
Francisville ; But the Atty. General, to whom I have 
refered your letter, will give you particular instructions 
on this point. 

I am, Very Respectfully 

(sgd) W. C. C. Claiborne 



To the Attorney General 

New Orleans 9 Novbr. 1811. 
New Orleans. 
Sir, 

I enclose you sundry Depositions, relative to a Mur- 
der lately committed in the parish of St. Helena, together 
with a Letter to me upon the subject from F. Cuming, 
sheriff & Justice of the Peace for that parish. 

Mr. Cuming seems to wish, that the Depositions of 
Witnesses might be taken; But this would I presume 
be irregular. Will you be pleased to give Mr. Cuming 
your instructions as to the steps proper to be taken to 
secure the attendance of the Witnesses ; A Captn. Akers, 
will call on tomorrow or next day for your Letter to Mr. 
Cuming, & deliver it in person. 

It may be well also, that you advise Captain Johnson 
sheriff of the seventh superior Court District of this case, 
in order that a Jury may be summoned in such manner 
as the law directs. I am &c a 

Sigd. W. C. C. Claiborne. 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBOBNE. 375 

To Col Pike 

New. Orleans Nov. llth. 1811 
of the Army of the U. S. 

Baton Rouge. 
Sir, 

I am indebted to you for two friendly & interesting 
communications, the receipt of positions for the offices & 
the persons best calculated to act as post-masters. 
I have the honor to be, &c. 

(Signed/ W. C. C. Claiborne. 



To Joseph Nourse 

New Orleans 12 Nov: 1811 
Register of the Treasury. 
Sir, 

In compliance with the request contained in your Let- 
ter, under date of the 7th. Ulto. which only reached me 
by the last Mail, I now have the honor to enclose you an 
estimate for the Contingent expences of my Department 
for the year 1812.- 

I am, Sir, &ca 

Sigd. W. C. C. Claiborne. 



To Eliphalet Glllet 

Hallowell New Orleans Xovbr. 13. 1811 

Massachusetts. 
Sir, 

Govr. Claiborne being much occupied, desires me to 
acknowledge the receipt of your Letter of the 23. of 
September, & to add that Mr. Henry A. Gurley arrived 
in this Territory three or four Months ago; that he has 
settled in a little town called St. Francisville about 150 
miles above New Orleans, & is believed to be in good 



376 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

health. He is engaged in the practice of Law, & in per- 
forming the duties of a Justice of the Peace, to which of- 
fice he has been appointed by the Govn. 
Very Eespectfully 

Sng C. Dejan, Pri : Secy 



BY WILLIAM CHARLES COLE CLAIBORNE 
Governor of the Territory of Orleans. 

To all ye, that placing special Trust in the Integrity 
& Benevolence of Joseph Montegut, Senior, I do hereby 
appoint him, a member of the Council of Administration 
of the Charity Hospital of New Orleans, & I do hereby 
authorize & empower him to exercise & discharge all the 
powers & duties, appertaining to a Member of the said 
Council of Administration, from & after the date hereof, 
until the first day of May, in the year of our Lord, one 
thousand eight hundred and twelve. 

Given under my hand & the Seal of the 
Territory at New Orleans on the 13th. day of 
November, 1811, & in the 36th. year of the 
Independence of the United States. 

(Sigd) W. C. C. Claiborne. 

Captain Lynd will be pleased to show this Map to Mr. 
Proffit, & to ask him, if it is the one he claims. 

If Mr. Proffit answers in the affirmative Capt. Lynd 
will then ask him, whether the right to the Map had not 
passed to the Spanish Government ? If a Negative Ans- 
wer is returned Captain Lynd will deliver Mr. Proffit 
the Map. 

The Map in question was found among the Archives 
at Baton Rouge & was a paper of that description which 
of right, under the Treaty of Cession, passed into the 
hands of the Agents of the U. States. 

But if in truth it is private property, I am very will- 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 377 

ing to deliver it to the owner. For myself, I attach very 
little value to the paper : I have seen two or three Maps 
of the same Coast, which I consider more correct. 

Sigd. W. C. C. Claiborne. 



Capt. Richard Butler 

New Orleans 13th Novr. 1811. 
near Pinkneyville 
Dear Sir, 

In the course of the past summer, the City Council 
determined to conform to the Acts of the Legislature, 
relative to the Charity Hospital, and have appointed Ad- 
ministrators on their part. It now becomes my duty to 
call together frequently the General Council of Adminis- 
tration, & to recommend their carrying to immediate 
effect, the object of the Legislature. I am aware, that 
the Interest of the Hospital will often suffer, from the 
difficulty of bringing together a quorum of the adminis- 
trators to transact business; Indeed this difficulty has 
already occurred, & at two successive meetings, a quo- 
rum have not attended. At the meeting proposed on 
this day, Messrs. Don, Bellechasse, Arward Fortier & 
Caissergues attended; your absence from the City, 
was sincerely regretted by them, & considering the un- 
certainty of your return, & the urgency there was for a 
Full Board, these Gentlemen suggested to me, the ex- 
pediency of considering your seat as vacated. I beg you 
to be assured of the sincere pleasure it would have af- 
forded me to have you present at our meetings to profit 
of your aid in promoting the cause of humanity ; But a 
friend of ours, having told me, that your avocations stil 
detained you in the Country, & that you would not visit 
New Orleans until Christmas, & then without your Lady, 
I have concluded that your residence in this City, this 
winter would not be permanent. Under these Circum- 



378 . MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

stances I have thought it a duty to consider you resigned, 
or rather to view your seat vacated by a residence in the 
Country, & the more so, since the prosperity of the Hos- 
pital, & particularly the settling of the question as to the 
proper Scite which excites great Interest, & about which 
the public sentiment is somewhat divided, requires that 
there should be a full Board : 

In the spring of next year one half the present Ad- 
ministrators must (under the Law) be relieved, & if at 
that time you should reside in the City, & the selection 
depends upon me, I shall again endeavor to avail the 
public of your services, for I repeat that it would give 
me sincere pleasure to see you a Member of the Admin- 
istration. 

The Convention assembles again on Monday next; 
On the question as to a state authority, there is some 
difference of opinion; But my impression is, that a Ma- 
jority of the Members will deem it expedient at this time, 
to form a Constitution. 

I have been seriously indisposed, but am now conva- 
lescent, & with a fair prospect of a speedy & entire re- 
covery. 

I beg you to present me respectfully to Mrs. Butler, 
& believe me to be, 

Yours &c a 

Sigd. W. C. C. Claiborne. 



To Col. George King 

Opelousas. New Orleans 13th Nov: 1811 

Sir, 

I enclose you Commissions for Major Fontenit, & for 
the several Captains, first & second Lieutenants, whom 
you have recommended. As respects the vacancies, 
which still exist, I will thank you to recommend to me 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 379 

suitable Characters & Commissions shall be immediately 
forwarded. 

It is expected, that your Regiment will not be speedily 
organized, & I shall be disappointed, if it does not in a 
short time, become a respectable & efficient Corps. 

The Laws passed at the last session of the Legislature 
were sent you some time since, & I learn with surprise 
that you have not received them; other Copies shall be 
transmitted by the first opportunity. 
I am &c a 

Sigd. W. C. C. Claiborne. 

P. S. You will be pleased to administer to the several 
Officers an Oath to support the Constitution of the United 
States, & an Oath of Office. 

Captain John Thompson is promoted to the rank of 
Major & his Commission has been delivered to him. 

W. C. C. C. 



To Mr. Trudeau 

New Orleans 14 Novber. 1811. 
Recorder-exercising 
the powers of Mayor 

of New Orleans. 
Sir, 

On the receipt of your letter of the 6th Inst. by which 
I learned the determination of the City Council to con- 
form to the Act of the Legislature, relative to the Charity 
Hospital, I lost no time in convoking a meeting of the 
General Council of Administration, but a quorum of the 
Members did not attend. A second meeting has since 
been called, but without a quorum. A third meeting is 
required on Saturday the 16th Instant, at which time I 
persuade myself a Majority of the Members will be 
present, & that measures will be taken to carry into im- 



380 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

mediate effect, the objects of the Legislature, & to re- 
lieve the City Council from any further Charge of the 
Hospital. 

I am Sir, 

Signed AY C C Claiborne. 



To James Monroe 

New. Orleans 14th. Nov. 1811 
Secretary of State. 
Sir, 

The Convention of Orleans, assembled on the 5th. of 
this Month, in Conformity to the Act of Congress; 
But under Apprehensions, that the City was not yet free 
from Yellow Fever, an adjournment until the 18th. In- 
stant was moved & carried. 

I have no doubt, but the Convention will deem it ex- 
pedient at this time, to form a Constitution or State Gov- 
ernment; I however calculate on great diversity of 
sentiment as to its features. Few of the Members with 
whom I have conversed, seem to accord in sentiment, & 
I think it probable that several forms of Government 
differing widely from each other will be submitted to the 
Convention & Zealously supported. 

I have the honor to be Sir, 
Yours, 

Sigd. AY. C. C. Claiborne. 



To Doctor Ribelot, Stephen Henderson & Castcuiedo. 

Circular. 
Sir, 

You are requested to attend a Meeting of the Coun- 
cil of Administration of the Charity Hospital to be holden 
in the Library Koom, at the Government House on Sat- 
urday next at 11 oClock, A. M. 

Sigd. AY. C. C. Claiborne. 
Thursdav 14th Xovber. 1S11 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORISTE. 381 

To H. A. Gurley 

St Francisville. Now. Orleans 14 Novber. 1811 
Dear Sir, 

I now enclose you a printed Commission, in the place 
of the one made out for you at Pointe Coupee & which 
last you will be pleased to return. 

I also enclose you a Commission for Mr. Brouder as 
Coroner of the Seventh Superior Court District; I 
have forgotten his Christian name, which you will be 
good enough to ensert, & to deliver him the Commission 
& to administer to him an Oath to support the Consti- 
tution of the United States & also an Oath of Office. 

I was for some time very seriously indisposed, But 
am now Convalescent & with a fair prospects of a speedy 
entire recovery. I learn from Washington, that previ- 
ous to the receipt of my Letter addressed to the Post- 
Master General from St. Francisville, Post offices had 
been established near to that place & at Baton Rouge. 
I am Dr. Sir 

Your 's 

Sig'd. W. C. C. Claiborne. 

P. S. Inform me the Christian name of Mr. Brouder in 
order that his appointment may be duly recorded. 

W. C. C. C. 



To Judge Claiborne 

Rapide Xe\v. Orleans 15 Xovbr. 1811 

Sir, 

I have the pleasure to enclose you a Commission con- 
tinuing you in the Office of Judge of the Parish of Rapide. 
Previous to the exercise of any authority under this new 
Commission, you will enter into Bond to the Governor 
of the Territory with two sureties (freeholders) in the 



382 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

sum of five thousand Dollars, Conditioned for the faith- 
ful performance of your duties, & will take an Oath to 
support the Constitution of the U: States, & also an 
Oath of Office, which Oaths I do hereby authorize the 
Honorable Judge Mathews or in his absence, any Justice 
of the Peace, to administer. 
I am Sir, 

Very Respectfully, 

Sigd. W/C. C. Claiborne. 



To James Pleasants 

New. Orleans Novber. 15th. 1811 

Editor of the Virginia Argus 
Dear Sir, 

I received some Weeks since, a Letter (which has 
been mislaid) from a Gentleman in your employ, stating, 
that your account against me for the " Argus," amounted 
to I think 62 Dollars, & requesting that I would forward 
the amount in Bank Notes. I had thought, that I had 
settled my subscription for the "Argus" up to March 
1801 ; but if such Settlement does not appear on your 
Books & you have no recollection of the same, I presume 
I am mistaken. 

It is not in my power to procure any other Notes in 
this City, than those of the Banks of this Territory, 
which I presume you would meet some difficulty in pass- 
ing at Richmond, nor is the Mail from hence to the Atlan- 
tic States Considered as perfectly safe for the Convey- 
ance of Notes ; ; I would prefer therefore, that you draw 
a Bill upon me, payable at 5 days sight, for the amount 
of your account, which shall be honored, or that you 
draw an order in favour of some acquaintance, or Cor- 
respondence of yours, at this place. 

The "Argus" is always perused by me with pleasure; 
I admire the principles it supports and I beg yon to have 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 383 

the goodness to continue my name on your subscription, 
& to direct that the Newspapers be forwarded to me with- 
out interruption. 

I am Dr Sir, 
Your 's 
Sigd. W. C. C. Claiborne. 



To James Monroe 

Ne\v. Orleans 19. November 1811. 
Secretary of State. 
Sir, 

The Convention formed a quorum on yeaterday, & 
elected Mr. Julian Poydras their President. 

A Resolution has been offered declaring it expedient 
to form a Constitution or State Government, & to accede 
to the Conditions required by Congress. Such of the 
Members as have spoken, supported the Resolution; It 
is probable however that on tomorrow, there will be some 
opposition: But its ultimate adoption & by a Consider- 
able Majority is Confidently expected. 

It is reported that a Number of Armed men, princi- 
pally Americans, had moved from Nachitoches, with a 
view of subverting the present Spanish Government of 
the Province of Texas; that they advanced as far as 
the Sabine, when their Leader (a Captain Marshall) de- 
serted them & sought the protection of the royalists & 
that in Consequence the expedition was abandoned, & 
the Men for the most part had returned to Nachitoches. 
I do not know what credit is due to this report ; No offi- 
cial information has reached me upon the subject & in- 
deed after the very positive orders, which I had given 
to the Parish Judge of Natchitoches, & to the Command- 
ing Officer of the Militia, to put down any enterprise of 
that nature, & the request I made of the Commanding 



384 . MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

Officer of the Troops of the U. States at Naehitoches to 
aid the Civil Authority, if called upon. I really know 
not how to accredit the Intelligence. But from private 
information, it would seem that there has been some 
Movements, which our Laws do not sanction. 

I continue in a State of Convalesence. - - But the re- 
turn of my former health is very much impeded by a de- 
bility of Body, which very generally follows the Fevers 
of this Climate. 

The Secretary Mr. Robertson lias not yet reached the 
City; His friends (I learn) are informed that lie had 
set out on his Journey hither, & by them his arrival is 
daily expected. 

I have the honor to be Sir, 
Your 's 

Sigd. W. C. C. Claiborne. 



To Judge Meriam 

New Orleans 22nd. Novbr. 181.1 
Parish of Tberville. 
Sir, 

Your Letter of the 12th Instant is before me. Enclos- 
ed is a Commission for Mr. Brown as Sheriff, & for 
Messrs. Bush & Landry as Justices of the Peace for your 
Parish, which Commissions you will be pleased to de- 
liver & to administer to each of the Gentlemen an Oath to 
support the Constitution of the United States, & also an 
Oath of Office. 

I am Sir, 

Very Respectfully, 

Sigd. W. C. C. Claiborne. 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 385 

To Gideon Granger 

New. Orelans 23rd Nov: 1811 
Post-Master Genl. 
Dear Sir, 

I take the liberty again to recommend, the establish- 
ment of a Post-Office, at Johnson's Plantation, within a 
mile of St. Francisville in West Florida, & to mention 
John H. Johnson Esqr as a suitable person for Post- 
Master. 

The post-office lately established at St. John's Plains, 
is I believe (for I cannot speak with certainty) about 
twenty two Miles from St. Francisville and therefore not 
satisfactory. St. Francisville is a flourishing little vil- 
lage, near the Banks of the Mississippi ; It is the seat of 
Justice for the Parish of Feliciana, & the place of hold- 
ing one of the Circuit Courts of the Territory. The 
Inhabitants of the Parish of Feliciana are for the most 
part native Americans, honest Cultivators of the Soil 
who feel a great Interest, in whatever concerns the wel- 
fare of the United States. There are some local dis- 
contents, arising principally from West Florida, being 
excluded as a part of the New State ; But (if I am not 
much deceived) the great Mass of the Population is 
Composed of excellent Citizens who are sincerely at- 
tached to the American Government. Opposite to St. 
Francisville & on the other Margin of the Mississippi is 
the rich Settlement of Pointe Coupee whose Inhabitants 
would also derive great Convenience from a Post-office 
being established near St. Francisville. The present 
Post Route passes (as I understand) by Johnson's Plan- 
tation which is one mile from St. Francisville, & Mr. 
John H. Johnson whom I recommend as Post-master, is 
one of the most respectable & influential men of the Dis- 
trict. 

v 25 



386 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

The Convention of Orleans, have by a vote of Thirty 
five to Seven determined that it was expedient at this 
time to form a Constitution or State Government & to 
accede to the Conditions required by Congress. 

A Committee is named to draft a Constitution & will 
I presume make a Report in Eight days. 

I am, Dr Sir, 

Yours 
Sigd W. C. C. Claiborne 



To H. II. Gurleij 

New. Orleans 23rd Novbr 1811 

St. Francisville. 
Dear Sir, 

I have received your letter of the 19. Inst:, with its 
enclosure. 

My impression is, that the Post-Master General must 
have thought St. John's Plains very near to St. Francis- 
ville, and that the office was established with a view to 
the accommodation of the People of the Parish of Feli- 
ciana. 

I am thus impressed, from a Letter addressed to me 
by the Deputy Post-Master General ; acknowledging in 
the absence of Mr. Grainger, the receipt of a letter I had 
written from St. Francisville, in which he says "Post 
offices have already been established at Baton Rouge & 
to St. Francisville." I however have again recommend- 
ed the establishment of a Post-office at Johnson's Plan- 
tation with in a mile of St. Francisvillo stated how 
necessary it was to the Public Convenience. 

I am Dear Sir, 

Tour's 
Riffd. W. C. C. Claiborne. 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBOBNE. 387 

To James Williams 

New. Orleans 26th. Nov: 1811 

at Captain Farrar 's splan :n 

near New. Orleans. 
Sir, 

I take the liberty to enclose for your perusal a Letter 
which has been addressed to me, by Judge Moreau Lislet 
of this Parish. You will observe the very bad Char- 
acter which is given by the Judge of the Negro Man 
named Ambroise, at present in your possession, & the 
solicitude which is felt, that, as well for your own, as the 
Public Surety, you should send the said Negro out of 
this Territory. 

After having perused the Judge 's Letter, I will thank 
you to return it to me. 

I am, 
Sir, 
With great respect 

Your mo: ob: Sert. 
Sigd. W. C. C. Claiborne. 



To John H. Johnson 
Private. 

New Orleans 27th. Novbr. 1811 
Sheriff of the 7th Superior 

Court District. 
Dear Sir, 

A decided Majority of the Convention is in favor of 
annexing Florida to the New State, & a strong but re- 
spectful Memorial, will I suspect be presented on the oc- 
casion, to the Congress of the United States. For my- 
self, there is no political event I more desire, than that 
the eighteenth State may extend from the Sabine to the 
Perdido, & I indulge a hope that during the present or 
the ensuing Session of Congress, an Act rnay pass, which 
shall recognize such Limits. 

Upon the subject of a Post-office near to St. Francis- 



388 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

ville, I have addressed a second Letter to the Post-Mas- 
ter General, nor do I doubt, but the object will be at- 
tained. 

I wish you health & happiness, 
I am, 
Dear Sir, 

With great respect, 

Your mo : ob : Servt 
Sigd. W. C. C. Claiborne. 



To his Excellency The Governor of the Province of 

Texas. 

Sir, 

It being represented to me, that two Negro Slaves, 
the property of Doctor John Sibley of Nachitoches had 
escaped from the Service of their Master, & were now 
within the Province Texas, I have to request your Ex- 
cellency to give the necessary orders, for their delivery 
to their Master, or to his agent. It is not necessary for 
me to remind your Excellency, of the amicable Arrange- 
ment, I had the honor to make some years ago, with his 
Excellency the Captain General of the five Interior Prov- 
inces of Mexico for the Mutual delivery up of Slaves & 
to assure you of the promptitude with which, Slaves be- 
longing to subjects of his Catholic Majesty & fleeing into 
the Territory of Orleans, would be surrendered to their 
owners. 

I avail myself of this occasion to offer to your Ex- 
cellency, the assurances of my great respect and high 
Consideration. 



Sigd. W. C. C. Claiborne. 



New Orleans 
November 28th. 1811. 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 389 

To Dr. Sibley 

Nachitoches. New. Orleans 28th. Nov: 1811 

Dear Sir, 

Your letter of the 24th. Ultimo received. 

Enclosed is a Letter, to the Governor of the Province 
of Texas, upon the subject of your Negros, which you 
will be pleased to forward, if you shall find it neces- 
sary. 

The Convention, have declared it expedient at this 
time, to form a Constitution or State Government, & to 
accede to the Conditions required by Congress. A de- 
cided Majority of the Convention, are in favor of an- 
nexing Florida to the New State, and will memorialize 
Congress to that effect. My sincere wish is, that the 
eighteenth State may extend from the Sabine to the Per- 
dido, & I am not without hopes that Congress may at 
their present or ensuing Sessions pass an Act which 
shall recognize such Limits. 

At the date of my last advices from Havana, Mr. 
Cyrus Sibley & his Companions in Misfortune were stil 
in Confinement; But in other respects it was not under- 
stood, that they were rigorously treated. 

I am Sir, 

Your's 
Sigd W. C. C. Claiborne. 



To Capt. Gaines 

New. Orleans Novber 28th. 1811 

Fort Stoddart. 
Dear Sir, 

I sent you some time since a Copy of the Civil Code 
& of the other Laws of the Territory. 

The Inhabitants of Pascagoula are Complaining in- 
cessantly of the great Inconvenience experienced, from 



390 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

the Parish Judge, not residing within the Limits of the 
Parish. Their Marriages are illegal ; & Wills, Deeds, 
Conveyances, Mortgages, &c a. cannot be made and re- 
corded according to Law. 

I hope it may suit your Convenience, very shortly 
after the receipt of this Letter to remove to Pascagoula ; 
or otherwise I must, (Greatly as I shall regret it) loose 
the benefit of your Services. In addition to the Incon- 
venience of the People, the Public Interest makes it In- 
dispensable that the Judge of Pascagoula should reside 
within his Parish since a Tax is imposed upon the 
County of Feliciana, & the part to be paid by the Parish 
of Pascagoula, is to be collected by the Judge. 

Accept the assurances of my respect & Esteem. 

Sigd. W. C. C. Claiborne. 



To Judge Toulmin 

New. Orleans 28th. November 1811 
Fort Stoddart. 
Dear Sir, 

Your letter covering a Copy of your address to the 
Civil officers of the Parish of Pascagoula, upon swear- 
ing them into office, was duly received ; But I have 
been prevented from earlier acknowledging the same, 
from a lengthy Indisposition, which I experienced the 
past summer, & the Mass of business, that, since my re- 
covery has crowded on me. 

I am indebted to you for the very appropriate advice 
you gave to the Civil Officers of Pascagoula & of which 
I trust, they will profit. 

A Report is in Circulation, that the Spanish Agents 
have been instructed to evacuate Mobile ; It is possible 
that such may be the fact, but I do not myself attach 
credit to the Rumour; As however, you are near to 
Mobile I must beg of you, to give me the earliest infor- 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 391 

mation of any movements in that Quarter which may in- 
dicate a disposition, either to evacuate, or to strengthen 
the Port. 

I lately sent the Civil Code, & the other Laws of this 
Territory to Fort Stoddart, directed to Capt. Gaines, 
which I hope have reached him. 

The people of Pascagoula complain heavily of the 
Judge not residing within the Limits of the Parish; 
their Marriages are represented as illegal; & their 
Deeds, Conveyances, Mortgages, Wills, &c a. (it is said) 
cannot be made & recorded according to Law. I know 
these Inconveniences exist, & that the residence of the 
Judge in his Parish is indispensable. I hope therefore, 
it may suit the Interest of Captain Gaines to remove to 
Pascagoula, or otherwise, I shall be obliged to Consider 
him as resigned. I have great Confidence in Captain 
Gaines, & a sincere esteem for him ; & should be sorry 
to be deprived of his services; But the residence of 
the Judge in the Parish of Pascagoula has become not 
only essential to the Convenience of the Citizens, & to 
the public Interest. 

I am, Dr. Sir 

Your 's 
Sigd/ W. C. C. Claiborne. 



To James Monroe 

New. Orleans Nov 29th. 1811. 
Secretary of State. 
Sir, 

The Constitution of the New. State, as drawn up by 
a Committee, was this day read before the Convention. 
- It is for the most part, Copied from the Constitution 
of Kentucky. The Legislative Power is vested in a Sen- 
ate & House of Representatives ; The Members of the 
House of representatives to be elected for four years, 



392 . MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

One half going out every second year ; The members of 
the House of representatives to be elected for two 
years. The Executive Power is vested in a Governor, to 
be elected by the people, & to continue in office four four 
years, & ineligible the succeeding four years ; he is to 
Nominate, $ by & with the advice & assent of the Senate 
to appoint to office, & has a qualified Negative on Bills 
which may pass the senate & House of Representatives. 
I think it highly probable, that the Constitution as re- 
ported by the Committee, will be approved by the Con- 
vention. 

I have the honor to be 

Sir, 

Your 's 

Sigd. W. C. C. Claiborne. 

P. S. The first elections under the State Authority is 
to take place on the 3d. Monday of October in the year 
1812.- 

W. C. C. C. 



To Allan B. Magruder 

New. Orleans 4th December 1811 
Dear Sir, 

I have received & read with great attention, your let- 
ter of the 30th. Ultimo. It furnishes me with much 
useful Information relative to the State of Landed prop- 
erty within this Territory, & wliicli I should be happy 
to use in a manner, best calculated to serve the cause of 
Justice. I shall avail myself of an early occasion to 
converse generally with you on the subject matter of 
your Communication; for the present however I feel no 
hesitation in saying, that Registers ought again to be 
opened for the Entry & decision of Claims ; Time after 
time, an Indulgence of this nature, was extended to the 
Mississippi Territory, & the people of Orleans, from a 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 393 

variety of Considerations have strong pretensions to a 
like liberal treatment. As relates to Titles resting on 
Requitto only, I am not prepared to say, that in all cases 
they should be confirmed; In every instance however 
where at the time of filing the Claim, there was an actual 
settlement; it seems to me, a wise & liberal policy would 
recommend a Confirmation ; But on this point & others, 
I will explain myself more fully, during the Interview, 
w T hich I propose very soon to request. In the mean 
time, be assured of my sincere disposition, to Co-oper- 
ate in all Measures, which justice to the Inhabitants de- 
mands, or the general Interests of the Territory may ad- 
vise. 

I am, Dr Sir 

Your &c a 
Sigd. W. C. C. Claiborne 



To Abraham Bradley Jr. 

New. Orleans December 4th 1811 
Deputy Post-Master Genl. ) 
Dear Sir, 

I do not believe it necessary at the present time to 
establish more than two Post-Offices, between Blanch- 
ardsville, & New Orleans and these would in truth be a 
great accommodation to the Inhabitants. I would 
therefore recommend one at Butler's Plantation, an- 
other at Godberry's Tavern. Butler's Plantation is im- 
mediately on the Post Eoad about 25 Miles above New 
Orleans; & Godberry's Tavern, about thirty Miles fur- 
ther on. At Butler's Plantation, I would recommend 
as Post Master, Mr. Samuel McCutchon, a Native Amer- 
ican of great Integrity & respectability of Character ; 
At Godberry's Tavern, I would recommend as Post Mas- 
ter Mr. James Godberry. My acquaintance with this 
Gentleman is very limited, but he is represented to me, 



394 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

as a very honest man, & Capable to the discharge of the 
duties of Post Master. 

Permit me again to suggest the expediency of estab- 
lishing a Post-Office at Johnson's Plantation near St. 
Francisville in the Parish of Feliciana. the Post Office 
at St. John's Plains, is about 20 Miles distant from St. 
Francisville, & of little accommodation to the Inhabi- 
tants of Feliciana. 

It would be more Convenient that an office be estab- 
lished in St. Francisville. but as the present Post 
Route does not pass thro' that Town, I have recom- 
mended Johnson's Plantation, about one Mile distant, 
nor do I know a more suitable Character for Post-Mas- 
ter than Mr. John H. Johnson, of whom I have spoken 
in my two last Letters. 

I am, Dr Sir, 

Yours &c a 
Sigd. W. C. C. Claiborne. 



WILLIAM C. C. CLAIBORNE GOVERNOR OF THE 
TERRITORY OF ORLEANS.- 

To all who shall see these presents, & more particu- 
larly, the Sheriff of the Parish of St. Tammany : 

Whereas James Graham, of the Parish of St. Tam- 
many, has been duly convicted before a Justice of the 
Peace in & for the said Parish of St. Tammany, of the 
offence of having sold by retail to Travelers & others 
Spiritous Liquors without having previously obtained a 
License as prescribed by Law, & was thereupon sen- 
tenced to pay a fine of forty nine Dollars, with Costs of 
prosecution ; 

And whereas the said James Graham, has been rep- 
resented to me as an unoffending, industrious, honest & 
poor Man, and as a fit object for the mercy of the Ex- 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 395 

ecutive, I have thought proper by virtue of the powers 
in me vested, wholly to remit the fine of forty nine Dol- 
lars to which the said Graham has been sentenced as 
aforesaid, upon Condition that the Costs of prosecution 
be paid by the said Graham without delay. 

Given under my hand & the Seal of the 
Territory at New Orleans on the 4th day 
of December in the year 1811 & in the 
[Seal] 36th year of the Independence of the 

United States. 

Sigd William C. C. Claiborne. 



To Judge Claiborne 

New Orleans December 4th 1811 
Kapides. 
Sir, 

Governor Claiborne being very much occupied, I have 
the honor (by his order) to enclose you a Commission 
of Justice of the Peace, for Mr. Heritage Howerton, & to 
request that you would deliver the same & administer to 
Mr. Howerton, an Oath to support the Constitution of the 
United States & also an Oath of Office. 

I am, Sir, 

Yours &ca 

(Sigd) Claude Dejan, 
Pri Secy. 



Private New. Orleans 5 december 1811 

To Paul Hamilton 

Secretary of the Navy. 
My dear Sir, 

Your Letters of the 9th September & 27th of October, 
were each received by the last Mail I do not know how 
to account for the long delay of the former; But such 



396 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

delay is now cause of pleasure to me, since the painful 
anxiety, which by its early reception, I would have ex- 
perienced for the safe recovery of your amiable Lady, 
is entirely relieved by your silence as to her Indisposi- 
tion in your letter of the 27th. Hence I have concluded, 
that Mrs. Hamilton is again restored to health & to the 
Bosom of her affectionate family & friends. Familiar- 
ized to affliction, my Heart is feelingly alive, to the mis- 
fortunes of others; The loss of two lovely Women, the 
fondest objects of my affection whose smiles sweetened 
the pleasures, & whose virtues softened the cares of Life, 
awaken all my sensibilities when a domestic Calamity 
befals a friend! But thanks to a gracious Providence, 
your domestic happiness remains unimpaired, & I trust 
it may long continue uninterrupted. 

I have seen and read with very sincere satisfaction 
the President's Speech at the Opening of Congress;--, 
The language is firm & dignified : the Sentiments purely 
American, & the Measures recommended are such, as 
every lover of his Country ought to approbate. It re- 
mains for Congress to give to our Chief Magistrate a 
support worthy a great & free Nation, & which a brave 
and virtuous People ought to expect from their Repre- 
sentatives. If hostilities ensue the occasion should be 
embraced, to banish all European influence from the Con- 
tinent of America. Mexico should without delay be ren- 
dered free & independent. Fifteen thousand American 
Troops, marched to St. Antoine in the Province of Texas, 
& one hundred thousand Muskets would be equal to the 
object. The Island of Cuba also should be early at- 
tended to. It is the real mouth of the Mississippi & be- 
ing possessed by the United States, the Western Com- 
merce would be safe. I pray you to write me occasion- 
ally during the Session of Congress ; I shall take a deep 
Interest in whatever passes by Washington. If there is 
War, I may possibly, in this quarter, render some serv- 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 397 

ice to my Country, by entering the Army, & If such 
should be the opinion of the President, I would be happy 
to serve in any grade, which he might think proper to 
assign me. If Peace should happily be preserved the 
pursuits of Civil Life are most Congenial to my habits 
& wishes. 

It would afford me great pleasure to visit Washing- 
ton; But at the present Crisis in the Affairs of the 
United States & of this Territory, I cannot with propriety 
be absent from my post. 

The Convention of Orleans have declared it expedient 
to form a Constitution, & to accede to the Terms required 
by Congress. The form of a Constitution has been re- 
ported by a Committee, & ordered to be printed; The 
Committee have taken the Constitution of Kentucky for 
their Model, & the Constitution as reported, will proba- 
bly (with a few immaterial amendments) be approved. 
The Convention will I think close its Sessions about the 
last of this Month. The election for Governor under the 
State Authority, cannot take place at an earlier period, 
not than the fall of 1812; what at that time may be my 
prospects of success, I know not. But if my friends are 
not greatly deceived, (for I cannot believe they inten- 
tionally deceive me), were the election now to come on, 
the public Sentiment would be found favorable to my 
pretensions. I shall reserve for another occasion, a 
more particular reply to your interesting Communica- 
tions; Since I must now hasten to prepare some dis- 
patches for the Western Counties of this Territory, to 
be forwarded by the Mail, which sets out on this day. 

I am recovering my former health & Strength ; but 
by no means as speedily as I could wish. The fevers of 
this Climate, make a serious impression upon the human 
frame, & it requires some time before their effects arc 
entirely removed. 



398 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

Remember me with great affection to Mrs. Hamilton 
& to your amiable family. And believe me to be 

With great respect 

Your mo : ob : Servt 
Sigd W. C. C. Claiborne. 



To Wm Duval 

New. Orleans Decber 5th. 1811 

Comptroller of the Treasury. 
Sir, 

Your letter of the 30th of October, was received by the 
last Mail. The Instructions to Woodson Wrenn, the 
Collector at Nova Iberia, which accompanied your letter 
to me of the 3d of April last, have long since been for- 
warded by Mail to that Office: It is possible they have 
miscarried; but my impression is, that these Instruc- 
tions have been duly received. 

The several Volumes of the Laws of the United States 
destined for the use of Mr Wrenn are still in my posses- 
sion in as much, as no private opportunity for Nova 
Iberia presented, & I had expected that Mr. Wrenn would 
himself, very soon have visited New Orleans; But it' a 
Private Conveyance should not offer in a fo\v days, I 
will transmit the Laws by Mail. 

I havo the honor to be, 
Sir, 

Your mo : &ca 

W. C. C. Claiborne 



To Woodxon Wre.nn 

Now Orleans 5th december 1811 
Nova Iberia. 
Sir, 

The Comptroller of the Treasurer informs me, that 
in a letter you had addressed to him under date of the 



LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 399 

25th of August you had stated that you had not received 
the Laws or his Instructions. As regards the Instruc- 
tions, they were long since forwarded to you by Mail, & 
I had understood my Letter enclosing them, had been 
duly received by you. The several Volumes of the Laws 
are still in my possession; It would have been more 
Convenient, to have sent them by a Private Conveyance ; 
But if one should not offer in a few days, I shall send 
two or three Volumes by each mail, until the whole shall 
have reached you. 

When I transmitted you your appointment, I took 
the Liberty solely with a view to your own Interest to 
advise you to pay a short visit to New Orleans, & to con- 
fer with the Collector of this Port (an able & experienced 
officer) as to the manner of discharging the duties of 
your office ; I still think, you would have been benefitted 
by such Conference. 

I am, Sir, 

Yours &ca 
Sigd. W. C. C. Claiborne. 



To Thos. C. Scott 

Alexandria New Orleans 5th decernber 1811 

Rapides. 
D. Sir, 

Observing by the Official Return of the late elections, 
that you were duly elected a Representative from the 
County of Rapide to the General Assembly & which As- 
sembly is to meet in April next, it becomes proper that I 
should be informed whether or not you will act in that 
Capacity. It has not I presume, escaped your Notice, 
that by a Law of this Territory no Civil Officer other than 
a Justice of the Peace, can serve on tho General Assem- 
bly; In the event therefore of your acceptance of the 
Representative Trust, it will be my duty to appoint some 



400 MISSISSIPPI TERRITORIAL ARCHIVES. 

Gentleman to succeed you as Clerk of the fifth Superior 
Court District. 

I am D. Sir 

Your's &ca 
Sigd W. C. C. Claiborne. 



To John Daivson 

New. Orleans llth December 1811. 

Member of Congress 
Dr Sir, 

The Convention of Orleans is still in Session; en- 
closed is a Copy of the Constitution as reported, & which 
after undergoing a few immaterial Amendments will I 
think be adopted. 

I have enclosed to the Speaker, a Petition from the 
Ursuline Nuns of this City, entreating Congress to cede 
to them the Military Hospital in New Orleans, in ex- 
change for a vacant Lot the property of the ursulines, 
& which is esteemed a more Convenient Scite for the Hos- 
pital. I beg you to pay some attention to this Petition. 
- It may perhaps be advisable in the first Instant, to 
move its reference to the Secretary at War. This Com- 
munity of Nuns are worthy and useful Members of So- 
ciety; Their Deportment is exemplary correct & the 
whole of their temporal cares being devoted to the edu- 
cation of Female youth, they have a just Claim to the 
Patronage of the Government. I have seen and read 
with sincere satisfaction, the President's speech; The 
Language is firm & dignified; The Sentiments purely 
American, & the measures revised, ought in my opin- 
ion, to be approved by every Lover of his Country. 

I sincerely wisli you health happiness. 

Sigd W. C. C. Claiborne. 



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