James Madison Papers
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To James Madison from John Graham, 24 August 1810

From John Graham

Dept of State 24th Augt 1810

Dear Sir

The inclosed are Copies of Letters from Governor Holmes1 and Mr Robinson2 relative to the affairs of West Florida. The originals were sent to the Secretary of State.

We yesterday recieved from Mrs Skipwith two large Books entitled “Official Register” commencing in 1797 and ending in 1808. These are I presume the Books about which Genl Armstrong and Mr Barnet have written to this Dept. With the greatest Respect I have the Honor to be, Sir, Your Most Obt Sert

John Graham

RC (DLC). Enclosures (see nn. 1 and 2) were forwarded by JM in his letter to William Eustis, 30 Aug. 1810.

1David Holmes to Robert Smith, 31 July 1810 (printed with its enclosure in Carter, Territorial Papers, Orleans, 9:889–91). Holmes reported on the deliberations of a convention of American settlers in West Florida at St. Johns Plains near Baton Rouge on 25 July 1810. He included a list of the members of the convention and an extract from a letter dated 26 July, which he had just received, declaring that although a majority of the convention members wished for West Florida to be incorporated into the U.S., they hesitated to apply for American protection out of fear that the Spanish authorities in Cuba would crush their revolt before the U.S. could respond. Holmes also mentioned rumors of plans by American settlers to attack Mobile but believed these had been abandoned.

2Thomas B. Robertson to Robert Smith, 28 July 1810. Robertson discussed the political allegiances of the English and American settlers in West Florida. The former, Robertson believed, masked “their real wish for an union with England” behind “an affected zeal in favor of Ferdinand the 7th,” while the latter aimed at “absolute independence … from every kind of European subordination.” Robertson also included a letter addressed to him by William Wykoff, Jr., dated 24 July 1810, reporting on the elections for delegates to the convention due to meet on 25 July and enclosing for Robertson a copy of the address of the electors of Baton Rouge to their delegates.

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