From Thomas Jefferson
Monticello Aug. 16. 04.
Th: Jefferson to J. Madison.
I have this day written to mr. Wagner to send me the commissions for the Orleans territory with blanks for names & dates. The following is the arrangement, which I sketch for your consideration.
|Secretary.||James Brown.1 written to.|
|Judges of Superr court.||Pinkney|
|Kirby.2 written to|
|District judge.||Hall. written to|
If Pinkney should refuse, or Dickerson be otherwise disposed of, Robert Williams.
|Marshall.||Thos. Urqhart.3 a Creole native.|
|Poydrasse. of Point Coupée||Evan Jones|
|Bellechasse of Acadian coast||Roman of Attacapas|
|Fauré or Boré||Wykoff of Appalousa|
|Dow. or Geo. Pollock|
Judge of Washington District, of Misipi. Territory. Toulman.
Govr. of Misipi. Territory. Hull, or Thos. Rodney5 (the latter is now a judge, & Commissioner)
Will you be so good as to meditate on this against we recieve the commissions, which I presume will reach me on this day sennight? Affectionate salutations.
RC (DLC: Rives Collection, Madison Papers); FC (DLC: Jefferson Papers).
1. Jefferson appointed James Brown (1766–1835) secretary of the Orleans Territory but changed the appointment to that of a judge of the territorial superior court. Brown, who had accepted the appointment as secretary, declined the judgeship and resigned. He was subsequently appointed U.S. district attorney at New Orleans, served as U.S. senator from Louisiana, 1813–17 and 1819–23, and was minister to France, 1823–29. John Graham, former secretary of legation at Madrid, was appointed secretary of the Orleans Territory in Brown’s place (Conrad, Dictionary of Louisiana Biography, 1:118; Senate Exec. Proceedings description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States of America (3 vols.; Washington, 1828). description ends , 1:476, 477; Carter, Territorial Papers, Orleans, 9:341–42, 365, 448–49).
2. Ephraim Kirby (1757–1804), a Revolutionary War veteran and Connecticut legislator, practiced law in Litchfield until 1803, when Jefferson appointed him commissioner of the Spanish boundary to determine land titles east of Pearl River. Jefferson sent Kirby a commission for a temporary appointment as judge on 10 Apr. 1804, to serve until the commencement of the new government, which Kirby accepted on 1 July 1804. On 1 Dec. 1804 Jefferson wrote Kirby that he wanted French speakers in Orleans Territory offices and offered him the governorship of the Mississippi Territory instead. On 5 Dec. 1804 the president received a memorandum from Gallatin about “Kirby’s death” (DLC: Jefferson Papers).
3. Thomas Urquhart (1773–1841) was a merchant, politician, and civic leader of New Orleans. Francis Joseph Le Breton d’Orgenoy was appointed marshal (Conrad, Dictionary of Louisiana Biography, 2:805; Senate Exec. Proceedings description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States of America (3 vols.; Washington, 1828). description ends , 1:476, 477).
4. Of the members of the legislative council originally appointed—J. Étienne Boré, Evan Jones, Daniel Clark, Michael Cantrell, John Romain, Gaspard Dubuys, Joseph Deville Degoutin Bellechasse, Robert Dow, Julien Poydras, William Wykoff Sr., Benjamin Morgan, John Watkins, and William Kenner—the first eight declined to serve. George Pollock and Eugene Dorcier were then added to the council (Carter, Territorial Papers, Orleans, 9:346).
5. Neither William Hull, soon to be appointed governor of Michigan Territory, nor Thomas Rodney, one of the judges of the superior court of the Mississippi Territory, became governor. That responsibility went to Robert Williams of North Carolina (Senate Exec. Proceedings description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States of America (3 vols.; Washington, 1828). description ends , 1:484, 485).