Thomas Jefferson Papers

Topics for Consultation with the Secretary of War, 16 May 1804

Topics for Consultation with the Secretary of War

May 16. Deptmt War. Pichon’s complt of not returng salute to flag at N.O.

Presents to Indns. at St. Louis. tobo. Whiskey. Capt. Lewis says 2000 D

war between Kickapoos & oth. Indns. E. of Misipi, & Osages

Homestubbe’s talk.

Poutewatamies have killed the Indian murderers

Capt Stoddart. barracks wanted at St. Louis

a stone fort intended as only a bastion. gorge wants closing

best to erect barracks in that. the side of the bastion 111. f.

height of wall 15. f. thickness 3. to 2. f. 250. yds from river

Upper Louisa. in 9. districts. from one extreme to another 260. miles

the Commandts. have had salary of 100. D. a year.

Spain had no treaties with Indians there. presents whiskey. tobo.

he is collecting records to one place

employ Interpreter of French & Span. @ 1.50 pr day

the old confidential Secy. of the Lt. Govr. acts as Interpreter

Indian interpreter also necessary @ 200. D. a year

has rented house @ 25. D. pr. month. expresses

monopoly of Indn. trade. will expire in 2. or 3. years.

great sums due to monopolists from Indiana.

iron at St. Louis 50 cents pr lb. nails 90. C. boards 6. D. pr. 100 f

MS (DLC: TJ Papers, 140:24332); entirely in TJ’s hand; follows, on same sheet, Topics for Consultation with Heads of Departments, 15 May.

salute to flag: in an 18 Mch. dispatch to Louis André Pichon, Pierre Clément Laussat reported that American forts on the lower Mississippi River had failed to acknowledge salutes by the French brig Argo, even though the salute of a Spanish corvette had been returned. Pichon forwarded the complaint to Madison on 27 Apr. (Madison, Papers, Sec. of State Ser. description begins William T. Hutchinson, Robert A. Rutland, J. C. A. Stagg, and others, eds., The Papers of James Madison, Chicago and Charlottesville, 1962- , 39 vols.; Sec. of State Ser., 1986- , 11 vols.; Pres. Ser., 1984- , 8 vols.; Ret. Ser., 2009- , 3 vols. description ends , 7:118). Writing to the commanding officer at New Orleans on 8 May, Dearborn instructed him to observe the “strictest impartiality” toward the officers, citizens, and public armed vessels of all European nations at peace with the United States (DNA: RG 107, LSMA).

capt. lewis says: letters from Meriwether Lewis dated 25, 26 Feb., and 24 Mch. are recorded in SJL as received 4 May but have not been found.

indian murderers: on 15 May, the War Department received a letter dated 18 Apr. from William Henry Harrison reporting that two Potawatomi chiefs claimed to have brought in the scalp of Turkey Foot, “a leader of a Banditti on Illinois River” (DNA: RG 107, RLRMS; Logan Esarey, ed., Messages and Letters of William Henry Harrison, 2 vols. [Indianapolis, 1922, repr., New York, 1975], 1:506-7). For the 1802 murder of two white farmers by a band of Potawatomis led by Turkey Foot, see Vol. 38:314-15.

Writing Dearborn on 17 Mch., Amos Stoddard (stoddart) provided a description of the fortifications at St. Louis. He estimated the need for up to $11,000 to complete the works and erect a barracks, and provided information on the cost of building materials in the area. Replying on 4 May, Dearborn authorized Stoddard to construct a temporary barracks, to employ interpreters as needed at a reasonable cost, and to draw bills on the War Department for up to $3,000. Dearborn would order bar iron, glass, and nails for the construction and send tobacco and whiskey to be used as presents for the Indians (Glimpses of the Past, 2 [1934-35], 94-5, 99-100).

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