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To James Madison from William C. C. Claiborne, 2 October 1804 (Abstract)

§ From William C. C. Claiborne

2 October 1804, New Orleans. Acknowledges JM’s 30 Aug. 1804 letter1 enclosing his commission as governor of Orleans Territory. Asks JM to tell the president how sensible of the honor he is and that he will strive to merit continuance of the president’s confidence.

“On this morning the Oaths of Office was administered to me, by Mr. Pitot Mayor of this City,2 and a Copy of a short Address which I made on the occasion is herewith enclosed.3

“I shall in the course of four or five days issue a Proclamation convening the Legislative Council, and will do every thing in my power to organize the Government with Dispatch.

“Neither of the Judges have yet arrived; Colo. Kirbey I learn has been ill at Fort Stoddert, but is now on the recovery; Mr. Brown the Secretary is at Natchez, and does not propose adventuring into New Orleans, until about the close of this Month;4 I think this a wise precaution, for the City is not yet free from that dreadful Scourge, the Yellow fever.”

RC (DNA: RG 59, TP, Orleans, vol. 5); letterbook copy and letterbook copy of enclosure (LU: Claiborne Letterbook). RC 2 pp.; in a clerk’s hand, signed by Claiborne; docketed by Wagner; printed in Rowland, Claiborne Letter Books description begins Dunbar Rowland, ed., Official Letter Books of W. C. C. Claiborne, 1801–1816 (6 vols.; Jackson, Miss., 1917). description ends , 2:345–46. RC and letterbook copy dated 3 Oct. 1804; date assigned here by comparison with the enclosure and James Pitot to JM, 4 Oct. 1804 (see n. 4). For enclosure, see n. 3.

1PJM-SS description begins Robert J. Brugger et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Secretary of State Series (7 vols. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 1986–). description ends , 7:655–56.

2Filed with Claiborne’s letter is a copy of New Orleans mayor James Pitot to JM, 4 Oct. 1804 (1 p.; printed in Carter, Territorial Papers, Orleans, 9:306), reporting that he had administered the oaths of office to Claiborne on 2 Oct. 1804 and was enclosing copies. The enclosures in Pitot’s letter (3 pp.; in a clerk’s hand, signed by Claiborne and Pitot; docketed by Wagner as received on 8 Nov. 1804 in Claiborne’s 3 Oct. 1804 letter; printed ibid.) are copies of Claiborne’s oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution, Claiborne’s oath to perform the duties of territorial governor of Orleans, and Pitot’s deposition that he had administered the oaths to Claiborne on 2 Oct. 1804.

3Claiborne enclosed a copy of the 2 Oct. 1804 address he delivered “previous to his being sworn into office.” Filed with the RC is a clipping from the 5 Oct. 1804 Louisiana Gazette (2 pp.; filed at 16 Oct.; printed in Carter, Territorial Papers, Orleans, 9:303–4), containing a description of the induction ceremony and Claiborne’s address.

4For the appointments of James Brown and Ephraim Kirby and Kirby’s death, see Jefferson to JM, 16 Aug. 1804, PJM-SS description begins Robert J. Brugger et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Secretary of State Series (7 vols. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 1986–). description ends , 7:611, 612 nn. 1–2.

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