James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Daniel Clark, 17 August 1803

From Daniel Clark

New Orleans 17 August 1803


I received by last Post a Letter from Governor Claiborne in which he asked for information respecting the Boundaries & population of Louisiana and supposing that he meant to communicate the result of his enquiries to you I have taken pains to obtain the best official statements which I now forward.1 By the Census of 1785 and a Comparison with that of the present Year you will see the increase that has taken place and will be able to judge of the tendency of emigration to particular districts. The number of Slaves has decreased since 1785 notwithstanding the importations that took place till the end of 1792, but this must be principally attributed to the ravages of the small Pox and a want of a proportionate number of females to keep up the Stock. In the Census, I have begun with the lowest district viz that between the Balize & the City & have continued them as you ascend the River, so that by an inspection of the Manuscript map,2 now inclosed which is the most exact ever made of the Western part of this Country you will be able to see the situation of each and the distance from the Capital. Monsr Lafon3 of this City who to oblige me has made this map, has in his possession materials to compleat almost a perfect map of the Country, and would undertake the work on a large Scale if it suited our Government to give him encouragement to prosecute the work. On the subject of Lands I have said in the remarks already forwarded you all that I know & for fear of accident I now send a duplicate of them & of my Letter of the 26th. ulto. which inclosed them. I have the Honor to remain with respect Sir Your most obedient & most humble Servt.

Daniel Clark

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