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Documents filtered by: Author="Claiborne, William C. C." AND Period="Jefferson Presidency"
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2 August 1801, Nashville. Acknowledges receipt of JM’s letter of 10 July enclosing his commission as governor of Mississippi Territory. Requests JM to inform president that he accepts appointment. Expects to depart for Mississippi by late September or early October. Letterbook copy ( Ms-Ar : Claiborne Executive Journal). 2 pp. Printed in Rowland, Claiborne Letter Books Dunbar Rowland, ed.,...
16 September 1801, Knoxville. Reports that arrangements for his descent of the Mississippi are nearly completed; expects to leave the first week of October. Has received information from the Mississippi Territory that “the public Mind is tranquil,” party spirit has considerably subsided, population is increasing, and relations with the Spanish and the Indians are harmonious. Requests regular...
7 October 1801, Nashville. Plans to depart for the Mississippi Territory on 8 Oct. Reports that the territorial assembly was convened by Secretary John Steele on 20 July. It conducted little business during a five-week session and what it did remains incomplete without gubernatorial sanction. Steele is reported ill; his life is despaired of. Quotes a passage from a 3 Sept. letter received from...
24 November 1801, Natchez. Reports his arrival on 23 Nov. after a journey made unduly difficult and dangerous by low rivers and high winds. Describes the land on the Mississippi as “pretty well adapted to Cultivation” but notes that “this extensive Country has been greatly forsaken, or rather, neglected by man,” there being only three small settlements on the Spanish side between the mouth of...
12 December 1801, Natchez. Encloses a copy of his 2 Dec. address to the territorial legislature together with their answer [of 4 Dec.]. The legislature seems to be composed of “honest men, much attached to the United States, and devoted to the Interest of this Territory,” despite their inexperience. Believes that all opposition to admitting the Mississippi Territory to the second grade of...
20 December 1801, Natchez. Has just received word that U.S. commissioners have concluded a treaty at Fort Adams with the Choctaw, who consented to a road through their lands to Tennessee; presumes construction will begin immediately. Large quantities of flour and other exports have passed by Natchez recently, demonstrating the increase of industry and wealth in the West. Mentions reports that...
8 January 1802, Natchez. Reports that “nothing very interesting” has occurred since his letter of 20 Dec. Territorial legislature transacts business slowly, but with care and prudence. “Political disquietude is nearly exiled,” and the judiciary is the sole subject of popular discontent. Regrets that territorial Supreme Court is “so deficient in Law Knowledge.” The chief justice “was...
20 January 1802, Natchez. Encloses a letter received from Mississippi attorney general Harding regarding land claims in the territory. Believes that the information contained in Harding’s letter, if true, will affect legality of the Supreme Court decision referred to in his own letter to JM of 20 Dec. Asks JM to lay enclosed letter before U.S. attorney general and to request his opinion on...
23 January 1802, Natchez. Announces arrival on 21 Jan. of Jefferson’s recent message to Congress. Prospects for unanimity in the territory are not as pleasing as he had supposed. Factions still exist, and it will take time to lay their “Evil Spirit” to rest. The territorial legislature is “amply supplied” with love of country and honest intentions, but “there is a deficiency in Legislative...
5 February 1802, Natchez. Encloses copies of his 29 Jan. letter to General Wilkinson and Wilkinson’s reply. Hopes the request he made of the general was not improper but fears the peace of the territory is precarious, “surrounded as it is, by numerous Indian Tribes, and with a Population of Negroes, nearly equal to the number of Whites, … and it seemed to me advisable, to have the Spare Arms...
16 February 1802 , “ Near Natchez .” States that he does not know whether his frequent letters to JM have been received as he has had no communications from the State Department since his arrival. Reports that an election for the territorial legislature will be held in July and the people are already agitated. “Popular favor is uncommonly fluctuating; the population of the District, is...
6 March 1802 , “ Near Natchez. ” Refers to his letter of 5 Feb. advising JM of his request to Wilkinson to construct a blockhouse at a central location to store spare arms from Fort Adams; hopes the president will approve it. Is currently occupied with the difficult task of organizing the militia. The election of members of the territorial legislature, to be held the fourth Monday in July, has...
3 April 1802 , “ Near Natchez. ” “It is confidently reported at New Orleans that East & West Florida’s are Ceded to France; I have understood, that no official information of the Cession, had reached the Governor General of Louisiana, and that he denies the truth of the report; it is nevertheless generally believed and has occasioned much anxiety & uneasiness among the Inhabitants of Orleans.”...
24 April 1802, Natchez. On 18 Apr. received JM’s letter of 22 Feb. enclosing Dr. David Lattimore’s commission as a member of the legislative council of the Mississippi Territory; Lattimore, who has accepted the appointment, “unites to pure Republicanism, handsome Talents & an Honest Heart.” The “utmost harmony” exists between Americans and Spaniards at New Orleans. Supports the president’s...
14 May 1802 , “ Near Natchez .” “The Legislature of this Territory met in Session on the 3rd. Instant and on the day following I made to the two Houses a Communication of which the enclosed is a Copy.” The legislature adjourned 13 May after making “several very wholesome Laws, amongst which is an Act to establish a College in the Mississippi Territory.… This College shall bear the name of...
28 May 1802, Washington, Mississippi Territory. “I have the honor to enclose you, a Manuscript Copy of the Laws passed at the last Session of the Territorial Legislature; There being at present, no Secretary in the Territory, (Colo. Steele’s time of service having expired) the original Laws, are deposited with me for safe keeping. The acts passed at the Session, previous to the last, are yet...
1 June 1802, Washington, Mississippi Territory. Acknowledges receipt of JM’s letter of 9 Apr. enclosing his commission as governor of the Mississippi Territory. Letterbook copy ( Ms-Ar : Claiborne Executive Journal). 1 p. Printed in Rowland, Claiborne Letter Books Dunbar Rowland, ed., Official Letter Books of W. C. C. Claiborne, 1801–1816 (6 vols.; Jackson, Miss., 1917). , 1:116.
31 [sic] June 1802 , “ Near Natchez .” Acknowledges JM’s letter of 11 May enclosing the opinion of the attorney general. Observes that the Spanish governor was “extremely liberal in his donations, after the promulgation of the treaty between the United States, and Spain. And there is no doubt but many tracts of land in this District are claimed by antidated grants; and I believe the fraud may...
19 August 1802, Natchez. “In a former letter I stated to you the want of confidence on the part of many of the Citizens of this Territory in their Supreme Judiciary; the deficiency of legal talents in two of the Judges; and the propriety there was, in supplying the first vacancy with a character of good law information. It is now reported that Judge Tilton has resigned.… But there is another...
On the 8th Instant, I had the honor to receive your Communication of the 20th of July, and on the next day, I published a hand Bill, addressed “to persons Claiming Lands within the Mississippi Territory,[”] and of which the enclosed is a Copy. In my publication, I have endeavoured to comply literally with your instructions, and I trust the Language which is used, cannot be construed “as...
29 October 1802 , “ Near Natchez .” Encloses a letter received “last evening” from Hũlings together with a translation of an extract from Morales’s 16 Oct. proclamation. “These despatches, announce ’that the Port of New Orleans, is shut against foreign commerce and the American deposit .[’] Not understanding from the Intendant’s Proclamation, whether or not, another place on the banks of the...
5 November 1802 , “ Near Natchez .” Sends such information as he has been able to collect in reply to JM’s inquiries of 26 July. In conformity with JM’s request, land claimants of the descriptions mentioned were invited by public advertisement to file “the particular Authority and extent of their respective claims, and the chain of Title derived to the present claimants from the Original...
6 November 1802 , “ Near Natchez .” “The embarrassment of our trade at N: Orleans, still continues, private letters state, that American produce may be landed by paying a duty of 6 pCent, but not otherwise.” Encloses an extract in Spanish [not found] from the intendant’s proclamation, as “the translation, which was sent you is sufficiently faithful, but does not possess the strength of the...
6 November 1802 , “ Near Natchez .” “I have this day drawn upon you, for the sum of Eighty dollars, payable at five days sight to Ferdinand L. Claiborne, merchant at Natchez, or to his order.” Explains that he paid this sum to Samuel May “for going express from Natchez to Nashville, as will appear from the vouchers enclosed” [not found]. The letters that May carried “communicated the late...
24 November 1802 , “ Near Natchez .” Encloses a duplicate [not found] of his 5 Nov. letter , having discovered an omission of a few words in the third inquiry regarding claims derived under the British and Spanish governments previous to the treaty of 1795 and unsettled at the date of the treaty. “After the word Settlement these words should have been inserted, ‘ within the ceded Territory .’”...
25 November 1802, Natchez. Encloses “an Original Copy of a Communication (together with a translation thereof)” received “this morning” from the governor general of Louisiana, in answer to Claiborne’s 28 Oct. letter. Letterbook copy and copy of enclosure ( Ms-Ar : Claiborne Executive Journal); Tr ( DNA : RG 233, President’s Messages, 7A-D1); Tr of enclosure ( DLC : Jefferson Papers)....
21 December 1802, “ Near Natchez .” The legislature met at Washington [Mississippi Territory] on 5 Dec. Encloses a copy of the address he delivered on 8 Dec. to an assembly of both houses “together with the answers returned.” David Ker received his commission “by the last mail” and has undertaken his official duties. Ker’s appointment has satisfied “ a great portion ” of the citizenry, and he...
3 January 1803, Natchez. “The enclosed hand bill [not found] has this moment reached me; it has every appearance of being an official publication.” The conduct of the Spanish government in Louisiana is “indeed extraordinary.” Recent acts manifest “determined hostility” to the U.S. “The violation of the Treaty, so far as related to the deposit at Orleans, gave rise to much agitation in this...
19 January 1803 , “ Near Natchez .” Reports that he received JM’s 29 Nov. 1802 letter with its enclosures on 10 Jan. and forwarded the letter to Hũlings by hired express. “I presume it has by this time reached him.” “At the date of the last advices from New Orleans, that post continues shut to the American deposit, and it was not understood that the Intendant was likely to revoke his decree. I...
20 January 1803 , “ Near Natchez .” Encloses “general abstracts” [not found] of a recently received return of the claims filed in Washington County. Most titles exhibited in the county “are very incomplete.” “It is not believed, that any of the citizens claiming under Spanish sales, had obtained patents previous to October 1795, but remained in possession of their lands, by virtue of an Order...
28 January 1803 , “ Near Natchez .” “The express which I despatched to New-Orleans, on the 11: instant, returned yesterday and brought me the enclosed packet, accompanied by a letter from Mr. Hulings [not found], a copy of which is herewith forwarded.” The intendant “is firm to his purposes,” and the deposit will not be restored. “The Intendant is represented to be a man of handsome talents,...
3 March 1803 , “ Near Natchez .” Has received JM’s 17 Jan. letter enclosing one from the Spanish minister to the intendant, which he forwarded to Hũlings with a copy of JM’s letter. The enclosed copy [not found] of a proclamation “lately issued at Orleans by the Intendant” will show how successful the steps taken to revoke the ban on the deposit have been. “The Port is now partially open, but...
5 March 1803 , “ Near Natchez .” Encloses a letter from Hũlings communicating the latest intelligence from New Orleans. “The Western Boats are arriving daily at Natchez; our Markets are low but there is no difficulty in exporting Produce from hence to the Atlantic States or to Europe. There are many Vessels yet lying opposite to Orleans, waiting for return cargoes, & there are several now on...
15 March 1803 , “ Near Natchez .” Has been requested to forward the enclosed petition from the Mississippi Territory House of Representatives [not found] regarding “the free Navigation of certain Navigable Rivers, ‘falling into the Bay of Mexico, from the Territories of the United States, and passing thro’ the Dominions of his Catholic Majesty’”; asks that it be laid before the president. On...
27 March 1803 , “ Near Natchez .” Acknowledges receipt of JM’s 14 Feb. letter with its enclosure on the evening of 24 Mar. Forwarded the New Orleans packet to Hũlings by express on 25 Mar. “It is reported that several french Officers have arrived at Orleans and Certain information received of the sailing of the fleet with the army for Louisiana.” He will learn if the report is true when the...
The Road leading from this Territory thro’ the Chickasaw & chactaw country to Tennessee has become Very insecure. Robberies are frequent, one Citizen has recently been killed, and two others wounded. The robberies are supposed to have been committed by a party of abandoned white-men who alternately infest the Mississippi River & the road; the other Depredations may be attributed to a few...
7 September 1803 , “ Near Natchez .” Has reason to believe “that much of the vacant Land in Louisiana, will be covered by fraudulent grants” before the U.S. takes possession. Don Joseph Vidal, commander of the Spanish post across the river from Natchez, “manifests great solicitude” that his friends in the Mississippi Territory “should possess themselves of Lands in his vicinity .” Has learned...
30 September 1803 , “ Near Natchez .” Advised JM in his letter of 7 Sept. that citizens of the Mississippi Territory were surveying lands west of the Mississippi River “with a view … to obtain fraudulent Titles” from Spain. Encloses a copy of his letter to Clark on this subject and Clark’s answer. “It seems that Captain Vidal has no authority to grant Lands or even to authorise a Location, but...
On last evening, I received by the express Mail, your Letter of the 31st. Ultimo, together with its several enclosures. The Appointments with which I have been honored by the President demand from me, the warmest expressions of Gratitude. Impressed as I am with the importance of our newly acquired Territories to the Glory and permanent Interest of my Country, I cannot express to you, the...
18 November 1803, Natchez. “Shortly after closing my despatches of this morning I received the enclosed letter from Mr Clarke to which I returned an answer, a copy of which is likewise enclosed.” RC and enclosure ( DNA : RG 59, TP , Orleans, vol. 2); letterbook copy ( Ms-Ar : Claiborne Executive Journal, vol. 13). RC 1 p.; printed in Rowland, Claiborne Letter Books Dunbar Rowland, ed.,...
Captain Turner, the commanding officer at Fort Adams has just arrived. He tells me that by letters from General Wilkinson dated at Pensacola on the 27th of last month, he learns that in three days the General was to set out from that place by the way of New Orleans for Fort Adams, and would probably arrive there on to morrow. Captain Turner adds that all the troops at Fort Adams in sufficient...
26 November 1803, Natchez. “I have certain information that on the 11th Instant General Wilkinson left Fort St Stephens for Mobile from whence by the way of the Lakes he would proceed to New Orleans and thence to Fort Adams, where his arrival may be soon expected. To my dispatches to the Prefect and Mr. Clark (copies of which I transmitted to you by the last Mail) I have not yet received...
The special messenger whom I despatched to New Orleans on the 18th instant, returned this evening, and brought with him the enclosed communications from Mr Clark and M. Laussat. The French officer, M. Landais, whose arrival at New Orleans was so much wished for by the Prefect, passed thro’ Natchez three days ago; And I presume that, before this time, he has placed in the hands of the French...
30 November 1803 , “ Near Natchez .” Received JM’s communication of 14 Nov. with its enclosures and will pay “faithful attention” to the contents. “I am pleased to find that provision has been made to relieve me from the labours and responsibility of the Revenue Department at New Orleans, and I learn with satisfaction that the President has selected for the Collector Mr. H. B Trist; A...
1 December 1803, Natchez. “This day having proved fair, I embarked, a Company of the Natchez Artillery, another of Riflemen, and one Company of Militia Infantry, in all about one hundred Men, on Board of a Vessel at the Natchez Landing, with orders to Sail immediately for Fort Adams.” Impressed a schooner into public service; this schooner will assist in transporting troops and stores to New...
2 December 1803, Natchez. “The Mail this evening brought me a Letter from Mr. Clark, which I here inclose with sincere pleasure, as it contains additional grounds of expectation, that the Province of Louisiana &c will be delivered over to us without the necessity of our having recourse to Hostile extremities. As there is I believe no doubt but that Mr. Landais brought with him the original...
I arrived here this evening and had the pleasure to meet General Wilkinson. I find that the boats &c, are not yet ready for embarkation, but the General supposes he will be able to make a movement on the 6th instant. On my route hither, I met the express mail from New Orleans, and received by that conveyance a communication from Mr Clark of which the enclosed is a copy. I congratulate you,...
The General is apparently making every possible preparation to embark immediately, but I fear we shall not be able to proceed tomorrow as was expected. The boats are not yet all covered, but will probably be completed this evening. I feel a great anxiety to be at New Orleans. But I find it is no easy task to put even a small army into motion. I am happy at the pleasing prospect now before us...
The transports as fast as they are completed receive their lading: and there is a prospect of a final embarkation tomorrow evening. I am daily learning the serious expence of military preparations; and shall therfore pray to my god, more fervently than ever, that our country may never be forced to the ruinous necessity of extensive armaments. In preparing transports, equipping soldiery and...
7 December 1803, Fort Adams. “Yesterday evening and until about noon this day we had so heavy a fall of rain as greatly to retard our embarkation. The General however expects that we shall be able to proceed in the course of tomorrow. “I understand that there is a small corps of rifle men on their way hither from Jefferson County. But I should Suppose that the volunteers already here together...