Thomas Jefferson Papers
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William C. C. Claiborne to Thomas Jefferson, 24 January 1810

From William C. C. Claiborne

New-Orleans 24h Jany 1810

My Dr Sir,

I have the honor to enclose you a paper containing a late Report of the Adjutant General of this Territory upon the subject of the militia; It will shew you the great difficulty which will attend the rendering of that force efficient.—

Assured as I am, that in your retirement the welfare of your Country will be most dear to you, I shall do myself the pleasure from time to time, to acquaint you with such events, as shall most concern the Territory of Orleans.

The Gun Vessel I sent to Jamaica in pursuit of Brown, has returned, without accomplishing the object for which she was dispatched;—The enclosed account furnished by the Captain of the Vessel, to a Printer, will acquaint you of the particulars.—

I am Dr Sir, with great respect Your faithful friend

William C. C. Claiborne

RC (DLC); at foot of text: “Mr Thos Jefferson Monticello Virginia”; endorsed by TJ as received 22 Feb. 1810 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure: Henry Hopkins to Claiborne, New Orleans, 28 Oct. 1809, stating that the Orleans militia consisted of 6,193 men in the last official return; remarking that a dispersed population spread out along the banks of the Mississippi River and scattered elsewhere made it difficult for units to muster regularly, a problem exacerbated by ethnic and linguistic diversity and lax laws; and proposing that the law be amended to require annual regimental musters, semiannual battalion musters, and monthly company musters, with greatly increased fines for absence, and that units be supplied with muskets and bayonets (Tr in DNA: RG 107, LRSW; at head of text: “(Copy)”; printed in Terr. Papers description begins Clarence E. Carter and John Porter Bloom, eds., The Territorial Papers of the United States, 1934–75, 28 vols. description ends , 9:854–7).

The enclosed account was probably a newspaper report of the return to New Orleans from Jamaica on 23 Jan. 1810 of United States Gunboat No. 65, commanded by William Carter. Carter had been thwarted in his effort to arrest William Brown, the customs collector who had fled New Orleans with embezzled public funds, by the governor of Jamaica’s refusal to interfere and Brown’s evasion of an arrest warrant from the mayor that did not authorize a search (Washington National Intelligencer, 19 Feb. 1810).

Index Entries

  • Brown, William; absconds with public funds search
  • Carter, William search
  • Claiborne, William Charles Coles; letters from search
  • gunboats search
  • Hopkins, Henry search
  • Jamaica; W. Brown’s flight to search
  • Navy Department, U.S.; gunboats of search
  • Orleans Territory; militia of search
  • United States Gunboat No.65 search