Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Henry Dearborn, 31 August 1803

From Henry Dearborn

Washington August 31st, 1803


I have been honoured with your letter of the 26th. inst. enclosing the letters of Judge Campbell & Mr. Jackson,—Judge Campbells opinnion on the subject of thefts, by Indians, is I concieve, in strict conformity with the General principle established by Congress, and peculiarly well1 calculated for redressing the evils to which it is intended to be applied.

Mr. Jackson2 seems to have taken for granted, that Col, Butler has been arrested & is to be tried merely on a charge relating to an order for cuting hair, but the fact is, he is to be tried for disobedience of orders & neglect of duty, for not going to Fort Adams in April or May 1802 when ordered from the War Department, and for being absent from his command near twelve months without leave.—on the subject of the Genl. order for cuting the hair of the officers & soldiers of the Army, I have never expressed an opinnion, I have however concidered it as an indiscreet & unnecessary order, and whether it was absolutely binding on the troops or not, may be a question, which the Court Martial will consider and give an opinnion upon.—There has been no directions for moving any part of the Troops from Tennessee except a small detachment on the road between Nashvill & the Chickasaw Country, for the purpose of affording more protection to travelers.—it has not been in contemplation to remove Doctr Van Dike from S.W. point.—

Mr Wagner, principle Clerk in the Secretary of States office, yesterday shew me a letter from Mr. Munro, by which it appears that he was about seting out for London, and in which he has endeavored to establish the fact, that by our Treaty with France, the whole of what has been called West Florida, is fairly included in the Cession of Louisiana and he advises us to take actual possession accordingly.—Mr. Pichon has received instructions for himself & the Prefect at New Orlians. Pichon is authorised to receive & exchange the ratifications of the Treaty, the Prefect is authorised to receive Louisiana from Spain, and deliver it to the U.S. the boundaries which the Prefect & the Spanish Govr. may agree upon, may have a considerable effect on the question stated by Mr. Munroe.—I very well3 recollect that Mr. Clark, informed me that the Spanish Officers at New Orlians always concidered, what we have called West Florida, as part of Louisiana.—

with respectfull considerations I am Your Huml Servt.

H. Dearborn

RC (DLC); at head of text: “To the President of the United States”; endorsed by TJ as received from the War Department on 5 Sep. and “Campbell. Jackson. Butler. Van dyke” and so recorded in SJL.

letter from mr. munro: James Monroe to James Madison, dated Paris, 19 June 1803, and received by the State Department on 29 Aug. In it, Monroe explains his determination to go to London, citing the departure of Rufus King, the threat to American commerce posed by the renewal of war between Britain and France, and the completion of the Louisiana negotiations in Paris. In a postscript, Monroe refers to his 7 June letter to Madison detailing his view on whether or not West Florida “is comprized in the cession made us of Louisiana, which I think too clear to admit a doubt.” He likewise feels that Spain shares this opinion and if the United States takes possession of West Florida as part of Louisiana, Monroe believes Spain will acquiesce to the measure, “or, at least that it will not be taken ill by it, or impede an amicable and favorable adjustment relative to the territory of Spain eastward of the mississippi.” Monroe left Paris on 12 July and arrived in London on 18 July (Madison, Papers, Sec. of State Ser., 5:72-7, 103-5, 201; Vol. 40:229).

For Dearborn’s meeting with Louis André pichon, see Dearborn to TJ, 28 Aug. 1803 (first letter). For the instructions Pichon received from French foreign minister Talleyrand and minister of marine Denis Decrès regarding the Louisiana treaty, see Robert R. Livingston to TJ, 2 June 1803. Pichon forwarded copies of them to Madison on 30 Aug. (Madison, Papers, Sec. of State Ser., 5:355-7).

prefect & the spanish govr.: Pierre Clément Laussat and Manuel de Salcedo.

1MS: “will.”

2Name interlined in place of “Judge Campbell.”

3MS: “will.”

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