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To James Madison from William C. C. Claiborne, 24 January 1806 (Abstract)

From William C. C. Claiborne, 24 January 1806 (Abstract)

§ From William C. C. Claiborne. 24 January 1806, New Orleans. “I have the honor to enclose you a Copy of a statement made me on Oath, by Stephen a free black man;1 I do not credit it in whole; I however, have no doubt, but that the free people of Color have been tampered with, and that some of them are devoted to the spanish Interest.

“Mr. Morales is yet in this City, and should I not an [sic] Tomorrow learn that his preparations for a departure are in forwardness, I shall remind him of the President’s Orders, and add, that a Compliance therewith will be expected in the course of the present month.

“Good order prevails in this City, and I believe thro’out the Territory; My vigilence shall be unceasing, and I pray you to be persuaded, that the Public Peace and safety will be maintained.”

RC and enclosure (DNA: RG 59, TP, Orleans, vol. 8). RC 1 p.; in a clerk’s hand; signed by Claiborne; docketed by Wagner. For enclosure, see n. 1.

1The enclosure (2 pp.; docketed by Wagner; printed in Carter, Territorial Papers description begins Clarence Carter et al., (28 vols.; Washington, 1934–75). description ends , Orleans, 9:575–76) is a transcript of Stephen’s 23 Jan. 1806 statement that all the “Creoles of color” in New Orleans and the neighborhood “with the exceptions of John Saduff, Nallefrois Trudeaux, and a few others” held nightly meetings at the homes of various free blacks; that they all owned “Guns and other military arms, and of powder and Ball”; that he had frequently overheard them mention the names of the marqués de Casa Calvo, Juan Ventura Morales, and several others, including one Landau “who carries about the paper to ascertain those who are friendly to the Spaniards”; that they only awaited Casa Calvo’s return “to give the whoop, to commence the Massacre”; that they expected Casa Calvo to arrive “with three to four thousand troops” and “one or two nations of Indians”; that they offer to free all blacks who join them; and that if the Americans were to “hear the cry of Fire,” they should not go out but “stand upon their guard.”

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