James Madison Papers
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To James Madison from William C. C. Claiborne and James Wilkinson, 30 March 1804 (Abstract)

§ From William C. C. Claiborne and James Wilkinson

30 March 1804, New Orleans. “Since our last of the 11 instant, a Duplicate of which is under cover we have received the Remainder of the public Records of the Province. The Delivery of the Store-Houses and Magazines & the Evacuation of the City by the Spanish Troops are the only important unfinished Objects relating to our Commission.” Enclose a 27 Mar. 1804 letter from Laussat1 showing “that he persists in his Determination to reserve such a Portion of the public Store Houses & Magazines as he may think proper to secure the Cannon military Stores and public Property of France.” Also enclose a copy of their 16 Mar. 1804 letter to him2 proposing “that France should occupy such of the public Store houses as might be necessary, until the Opinion of the President of the United States could be known; provided that previously the Possession should be delivered in Form.” “To this Proposal he will not accede.” Request that Blanque not be recognized as French commercial agent at New Orleans. “He is a Relation and Tool of the Prefect, seconds all his Measures and is particularly linked in and connected with that Class of People here, the Bosom Friends of the Prefect, who we have Reason to believe are the least friendly to the American Government & disposed whenever they can see a favourable opportunity to foment Discontents.” Enclose a copy of their 26 Mar. 1804 letter addressed to Laussat3 “by way of protestando4 to save the Rights & Claims of the United States to that Portion of West Florida which formerly constituted a Part of Louisiana as France possessed it.” “We shall close our Commission the Moment the Spaniards have departed.”

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