James Madison Papers
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To James Madison from William C. C. Claiborne, 25 March 1804 (Abstract)

§ From William C. C. Claiborne

25 March 1804, New Orleans. “In a conversation some days ago, with Major Stephen Minor,” was told “that some men in the Mississippi Territory who had heretofore been most clamorous against the Land Speculation, had now become conspicuous Speculators, and that an officer of the Government, had, (to his own knowledge) been guilty of what he conceived a fraudulent transaction.” Asked Minor to send him the facts. “On this day, I received from Major Minor, a Statement of facts, which although I do not conceive to be so fraudulent as Major Minor had Supposed I have nevertheless thought it my duty to enclose them to you.1

“My own opinion is, that it was not the intention of Congress, to put it in the power of a Citizen claiming two or three hundred acres by virtue of a Spanish Patent, to arrest the Patent, and receive a donation of Six hundred and forty acres in consequence of an early Settlement;2 but this Species of Speculation it seems is practised, and will continue, unless the law should be So amended as to put a Stop thereto.”

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