§ From William C. C. Claiborne
17 November 1804, New Orleans. “I enclose you two other original Letters from the Marquis of Casa Calvo to me, relating to the late News from Nachitoches and Point Coupie.1
“A small Detachment of Troops has been ordered to Point Coupie, & I believe everything is now tranquil at that place. I have received no late Dispatches from Nachitoches; but I persuade myself that there also, the cause for alarm has in a measure ceased. If my Communications have reached Washington regularly, you are furnished with copies of the various Letters which I have addressed to the Marquis upon the subject of the Royal Decree concerning Slaves. It is a length of time since I have been honored with a Letter from you. My Impressions are, that the Post from Washington to this City is not at this time a safe Conveyance for official Dispatches, and I advise, that Duplicates of such as are of Importance, be forwarded by Water.”
RC and enclosures (DNA: RG 59, TP, Orleans, vol. 5); letterbook copy (LU: Claiborne Letterbook). RC 2 pp.; docketed by Wagner as received 24 Jan. For enclosures, see nn.
1. The enclosed letters from Casa Calvo to Claiborne are dated 9 Nov. 1804 (2 pp.; in Spanish; docketed by Wagner; printed with translation in Carter, Territorial Papers, Orleans, 9:328–29) and 10 Nov. 1804 (3 pp.; in Spanish; docketed by Wagner; printed with translation ibid., 329–32). In the first letter Casa Calvo acknowledged receipt of Claiborne’s letter of 8 Nov. (see Claiborne to JM, 8 Nov. 1804, and n. 3), reiterated that he had informed the Spanish court of the affair and written to Nacogdoches, and suggested that the inhabitants of Pointe Coupée were oversensitive to such rumors in view of the losses they had suffered in the last insurrection. In his second letter Casa Calvo acknowledged receipt of Claiborne’s 9 Nov. letter (see Claiborne to JM, 10 Nov. 1804, and n. 3), reiterated his opinion that it was through the imprudence of the residents of Natchitoches that their slaves had heard of any official proclamations from the commandant at Nacogdoches, recognized Claiborne’s responsibility for the safety of the property of U.S. citizens, argued that his request for mercy for any returned slaves was standard policy between nations, and enclosed letters to the commandant general of Texas and the commandant of Nacogdoches (see Claiborne to JM, 10 Nov. 1804, n. 4), which he asked Claiborne to forward to them.