New Orleans, December 18, 1806.
Since my last of the 14th inst. writs of habeas corpus have issued for the bodies of Bollman, Swartwout and Ogden: the two latter by judge Workman, who is strongly suspected of being connected with Burr in this conspiracy. I have proof this man declared some time since, that “the republican who possessed power, and did not employ it to establish a despotism, was a fool.” His writ for Ogden was served on captain Shaw, of the navy, who had him in charge at my request, on board the Etna bomb ketch, and delivered him up: and Mr. Workman discharged him without giving me a word of information, although he knew he was confined by my order, for a treasonable combination with Burr; and Mr. Ogden now struts at large. Swartwout I have sent off, and shall so report, holding myself ready for consequences. Bollman was required by the superior court, but I got rid of that affair also, under the usual liability for damages, in which I shall look to our country for protection.
After repeated experiments, I can say positively, I have nothing to expect from the civil authority, which does not depend on the broad letter and tardy course of the law; and, in the mean time, treason stalks abroad, and the advocates of Burr and rebellion ridicule our apprehensions and oppose our preparations for defense.
I know nothing of our relations with Spain; but if they are not well, we must keep an eye towards Natchitoches, at the same time that we guard this point. I speak of things possible, not probable, for indeed, sir, I begin to fear the revolutionary flame will consume us. The Spaniards are so extremely jealous, that Grandpré pays no regard to the information I find it my duty to give him of Burr’s approach and intentions against Baton Rouge.
N. Pinkney, Captain
Printed Source--Ralph R. Shaw and Richard H. Shoemaker. Early American Imprints. Series II, 1801-1819 (New Canaan, CT)..