Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from William C. C. Claiborne, 10 April 1806

New Orleans April 10. 1806.

Dear Sir

I cannot hear, without much anxiety, of the great events which are passing in Europe. The whole Continent seems to have acknowledged the superiority of France, and it is probable that England will ultimately submit to the Will of Bounaparte. When Armies are destroyed in a day, and Nations rise and fall in a month,—you will I trust excuse me in expressing my solicitude to hear of the present state of our foreign relations,... whether there is yet a prospect of an amicable adjustment of differences? or whether recourse will probably be had to Force to decide the question of Right? My mind is prepared for either event.—If Peace with honor is preserved I shall acknowledge with gratitude the wisdom and virtue of the Administration.—If War should ensue, I shall regret the necessity which produced it; but will with pleasure devote my life to the service of my Country.

I await with impatience the receipt of intelligence from Nachetoches. The Spanish Troops on the Sabine assumed a hostile front, but had not crossed the river at the date of my last letters.—The passage of the Mobile is still denied us, and Governor Folch indicates by his movements a strong apprehension of war:—but for more minute details, I must refer you to my official letters to the Secretaries of State and War.

The Territorial Legislature make but little progress in the dispatch of business. The ancient Louisianians are greatly jealous of the few native Americans who are in the House of Representatives; nor are their wanting some designing Malcontents out of office, (and confidence) who have recourse to every expedient to disseminate the seeds of distrust and discontent. I am at present upon excellent terms with the two Houses of assembly; but I fear this good understanding will not continue throughout the Session. Many laws will be offered for my approbation,—and my duty will compell me to reject several.—Then commences a jealousy of the Executive—and the base Intriguers will spare no pains to widen the Breach.

With sentiments of great respect, I have the honor to be, Sir, Your faithful Friend!

William C. C. Claiborne

DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.

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