Thomas Jefferson Papers
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From Thomas Jefferson to Albert Gallatin, 6 January 1807

Jan. 6. 07.

Th:J. to mr Gallatin.

Mr Clarke left with me the papers I now send you presenting the claim of the Corporation of N. Orleans to all the lands between the city and the Bayou St. Jean, as a common. what is to be done? the subject is broader than these papers present. I presume this claim would be proper for an investigation & report by the Commissioners. I believe it to be a plot against Lafayette. that there should be left a reasonable Common for them we had directed: but they might as well claim to the ocean as to Bayou St. Jean. I am certain there is in some of Claiborne’s letters, information that they never had a right to a common but under a kind of lease or permission for a term of years, expired long since.

But I think we should go further, and direct the Governor to report to us in detail all the lots & buildings owned by the public in New Orleans, stating the use they were applied to under the former government, and that for which they would be proper now; to be laid before Congress at their next session for their determination. indeed I am not certain but that Claiborne has made such a report to the Secretary at War. Affectionate salutations.

NHi: Papers of Albert Gallatin.

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