§ From William C. C. Claiborne
3 November 1804, New Orleans. “On yesterday I received a letter from the Deputy Collector of which the enclosd No 1 is a Copy,1 informing of the arrival in the Mississippi of a vessell with a number of Frenchmen onboard, who had captured Said vessell on the high seas under particular circumstances.
“I determined that under the Treaty, it would be improper to permit this vessell to find an assylum here, and I was further convinced that the Sudden arrival of So many frenchmen in this City (whose habits & situation are not probably calculated to render them useful members of Society) might disturb the harmony of our own community; with a view therefore to the Speedy departure of Said vessel and her Captors, I have Taken certain measures of which the enclosures No 2, 3, 4 5 and 62 will particularly inform you.”
Has acted as he judged prudent and hopes the president will approve his conduct.
RC and enclosures (DNA: RG 59, TP, Orleans, vol. 5); letterbook copy and letterbook copy of enclosures nos. 2–3 (LU: Claiborne Letterbook). RC 2 pp.; in a clerk’s hand, signed by Claiborne; docketed by Wagner as received 12 Dec., with his notation: “Barque Hero.” Printed in Rowland, Claiborne Letter Books description begins Dunbar Rowland, ed., Official Letter Books of W. C. C. Claiborne, 1801–1816 (6 vols.; Jackson, Miss., 1917). description ends , 2:378–79. For enclosures, see nn.
1. Enclosure no. 1 is a copy of William Brown to Claiborne, 2 Nov. 1804 (2 pp.), announcing the arrival on 27 Oct. 1804 at the Balize of the British bark Hero. Brown said that the vessel had left Jamaica on 3 Sept. 1804 for London carrying “about 170 French Prisoners of war,” who took over the ship on 13 Sept., and that five of the prisoners had arrived at New Orleans on 1 Nov.
2. Enclosure no. 2 is a copy of Claiborne to Col. Constant Freeman, 2 Nov. 1804 (1 p.; printed in Bradley, Interim Appointment, 62), asking him to issue orders forbidding the Hero to pass Plaquemine and to confine the passengers to the ship. Enclosure no. 3 is a copy of Claiborne to Capt. Samuel Davis, 3 Nov. 1804 (2 pp.; printed ibid., 64), ordering him to go to Plaquemine, ascertain the truth of the report about the ship, deliver an enclosed letter to the person in charge should the reports prove true, and “urge her immediate departure,” adding that should the vessel be in distress, another enclosed letter ordering departure after receipt of the necessary relief should be delivered instead. Enclosure no. 4 is a copy of Claiborne to Capt. Abimael Nicoll, commander at Plaquemine, 3 Nov. 1804 (2 pp.; printed ibid., 63), introducing Davis, repeating his orders regarding the retention of the ship, and stressing that no one from the vessel was to be allowed onshore. Enclosures nos. 5 and 6 are copies of Claiborne to “the Gentlemen Commanding the Barque Hero now detained at Plaquemine,” 2 Nov. 1804 (2 pp.; printed in Rowland, Claiborne Letter Books description begins Dunbar Rowland, ed., Official Letter Books of W. C. C. Claiborne, 1801–1816 (6 vols.; Jackson, Miss., 1917). description ends , 2:380–81), informing them that treaties between the U.S. and the belligerent powers prevented them from obtaining asylum and that they must depart as soon as possible. Claiborne added notes to the latter two enclosures indicating that no. 5 was to be delivered if the vessel was able to depart immediately and no. 6, which permitted those controlling the ship to obtain “necessary supplies,” was to be delivered if the vessel was in distress.