§ From William C. C. Claiborne
8 May 1804, New Orleans. “The enclosed proclamation of the Captain General of Cuba,1 was transmitted to me, yesterday by the Marquis of Casa Calvo, who has often expressed to me the desire of his Catholic Majesty to observe the Strictest neutrality during the present War.
“The emigration from the West Indies to Louisiana continues great; few vessels arrive from that quarter, but are crowded with passengers, and among them, many Slaves; I am inclined to think that, previous to the 1st. of October thousands of African Negroes will be imported into this province; for the Citizens seem impressed with an opinion that, a great, very great Supply of Slaves is essential to the prosperity of Louisiana: Hence Sir, you may conclude that the prohibition as to the importation, subsequent to the 1st of October,2 is a source of some discontent; Nay Sir it is at present a cause of much clamor, but I indulge a hope, that the Louisianians will very soon see the justice and policy of the Measure.
“In a former letter I stated that some repairs to the ‘Governor’s House’ were much wanting;3 perhaps twelve or fifteen hundred dollars would effect all the repairs necessary to preserve it from decay; but, the expenditure of about Six hundred dollars would make the house comfortable.”
RC and enclosure (DNA: RG 59, TP, Orleans, vol. 4); letterbook copy (Ms-Ar: Claiborne Executive Journal, vol. 13). RC 2 pp.; in a clerk’s hand, signed by Claiborne; docketed by Wagner as received 14 June, with his notation: “Repairs of the Governt. House.” For enclosure, see n. 1.
1. Claiborne enclosed a copy of Someruelos’s 13 Mar. 1804 proclamation (printed broadside; in Spanish) reiterating Spanish neutrality and strictly forbidding all inhabitants of Cuba, native or foreign, resident or transient, from assisting either of the belligerents with any military supplies.
2. Section 10 of “An Act erecting Louisiana into two territories, and providing for the temporary government thereof,” 26 Mar. 1804, forbade the importation of slaves from outside the U.S. and of slaves from within the U.S. who were brought into the country after 1 May 1798. It also restricted the movement of other slaves into Louisiana to those owned by U.S. citizens. The act was to take effect on 1 Oct. 1804 (U.S. Statutes at Large description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America … (17 vols.; Boston, 1848–73). description ends , 2:286, 289).