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To James Madison from William C. C. Claiborne, 12 September 1802

From William C. C. Claiborne

Mississippi Territory Town of Washington
September 12. 1802


On the 8th Instant, I had the honor to receive your Communication of the 20th of July,1 and on the next day, I published a hand Bill, addressed “to persons Claiming Lands within the Mississippi Territory,[”] and of which the enclosed is a Copy.2

In my publication, I have endeavoured to comply literally with your instructions, and I trust the Language which is used, cannot be construed “as Committing the Government on [one] hand, or damping expectations, too much on the other.”

There exist a variety of Tittles for Land in this Territory, and I fear, it will not be in my power, to detail them with accuracy, but I shall carefully collect the best information, within my reach, and will make a General Communication to you, on the subject early in November.

I find that some designing men are endeavouring to impress upon the Citizens an opinion, that the filing of their Claims will be injurious to them; I do not yet know, how far they may succeed; It is however probable, that they may excite some alarm, and prevent a General return of Claims.

Under Cover of a letter, which I addressed to you, on the 20th of January last3 was inclosed a Communication made to me, by Mr Harding, at that time, the Attorney General for this District, stating the situation of some Claims for Land: A Copy of Mr Harding’s Communication having been mislaid in my office, I will thank you to furnish me with one from your files. With great respect and Esteem I am Sir Your most obt. Servt

(Signed)   William C. C. Claiborne

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