James Madison Papers
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To James Madison from William C. C. Claiborne, 13 May 1804 (Abstract)

§ From William C. C. Claiborne

13 May 1804, New Orleans. “I received on this morning the enclosed letter from Captain Turner,1 the Commandant Civil and Military of the District of Nachitoches on the Red River, and immediately returned an Answer of which the paper, marked A, is a copy.2

“In my letter to you of the 10h. instant, I mentioned that, the Marquis of Casa Calvo, Governor Salcedo, and the Intendant, Moralis, were still in Orleans; I may also add that, the late Secretary to the province, the Auditore, Contadore and twelve or fifteen officers of the Spanish Army, together with one company of Dragoons, and a small detachment of Spanish infantry have not yet removed from New-Orleans.

“The Marquis (with whom I am in habits of friendly intercourse) informed me on yesterday, that the Dragoons would proceed to Mexico in a few days. With respect to the officers whom I have enumerated I think it probable, the greater part of them will pass the summer here; The Marquis (as I heretofore informed you) is appointed a Commissioner of limits, and contemplates I understand a residence in this city, until he receives further instructions from his Court.”

RC and enclosures (DNA: RG 59, TP, Orleans, vol. 4); letterbook copy and letterbook copy of second enclosure (Ms-Ar: Claiborne Executive Journal, vol. 13). RC 2 pp.; in a clerk’s hand, signed by Claiborne; docketed by Wagner as received 14 June. For enclosures, see nn.

1Claiborne enclosed Edward D. Turner’s letter to him of 1 May 1804 (2 pp.; docketed by Wagner; printed in Carter, Territorial Papers, Orleans, 9:238–39) informing him that the French had relinquished control of the post at Natchitoches to the U.S. on 26 Apr. 1804. Turner also described his conversations with the Spanish commandant about the movement of people across the frontier, in which Turner had questioned the need for passports.

2Claiborne enclosed a copy of his 13 May reply to Turner (2 pp.; docketed by Wagner; printed in Rowland, Claiborne Letter Books, 2:145–46), in which he authorized the use of passports for Americans traveling into Spanish colonial territory.

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