Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from James Wilkinson, 25 April 1799

From James Wilkinson

Head Quarters Loftus’ Heights [Mississippi Territory]
25th. April 1799.


A confidential opportunity having offered to New Orleans, I avail myself of it, to give you the following extract from a Letter just recd. from Governor Gayoso & dated the 15th Inst.

“Your instructions to Captn Shaum Burgh,1 are not only according to the strictest discipline, but they show your Genls. evident disposition, to cultivate the best understanding between our Nations.

“The party arrived yesterday within a League of this Capital, from whence Capt Shaum Burgh acquainted me with it, & we agreed that the Day ensuing at ten oClock in the Morning, the Troops should pass through this Town, to the place appointed for their Encampment which was executed.

“The movement was performed in the most military manner & seemed rather calculated to give a publick testimony of the cordiality & sincere Friend ship between our Nations, than with any other object. I assure you no attention shall be wanting to compleat this operation.”

The remainder of the Letter, with several of a similar cast, I will reserve to make a smile, when I have the Honor to see you.

You have under cover a duplicate of my last;2 which I hazard by Sea, under the necessary precautions for its safety again in proper Hands.

Should Gayoso furnish the Guaranty I have asked, I hope for the pleasure of presenting myself to you on the 20th. June.

And have the Honor to be most respectfully   Sir Your Obedt Servant

Ja Wilkinson

Majr. General Hamilton

N. B. This Moment I learn by Letter from Mobile dated the 3rd. Inst: that a party of Creeks had called on the Commissioner of limits3 at that place, & at first were insolent, but on finding they were treated with contempt, they changed their tone, & it is presumed no difficulty will be opposed to the progress of the Commissioner. The line crosses the Mobile River twenty one Miles above the Town of the same Name.


ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

3On May 24, 1796, Andrew Ellicott of Pennsylvania had been appointed United States commissioner to determine and mark “the southern boundary of the United States; which divides their territory from the Spanish colonies of East and West Florida; agreeably to the second and third articles …” of the Treaty of Friendship, Limits, and Navigation between the United States and Spain (Pinckney’s Treaty), signed at San Lorenzo el Real on October 27, 1795 (Executive Journal, I description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate (Washington, 1828), I. description ends , 210, 211; Miller, Treaties, II description begins Hunter Miller, ed., Treaties and Other International Acts of the United States of America (Washington, 1931), II. description ends , 319–21).

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