Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Enclosure: Draft Section of Bill for Organization of Upper Louisiana, 7 February 1804

Enclosure: Draft Section of Bill for
Organization of Upper Louisiana

Each of the portions of country on the Western side of the river Missisipi hereby annexed to the Indiana & Missisipi territories shall be divided into counties by their respective Governours, under the direction of the Pres. of the US. as the convenience of the settlements shall require, & subject to such alterations hereafter as experience may prove more convenient. the free1 inhabitants of each county between the ages of     and     shall be formed into a militia, with proper officers, according to their numbers, to be appointed by the Governour, except the Commanding officer, who shall be appointed by the Pres. of the US. and who whether a captain, Major, or Colonel Commandant, shall be the County Lieutenant, and, as such, shall under the Governor, have command of the regular officers & troops in his county, as well as of the militia, for which purpose he shall have a regular brevet commission giving him such command, and the pay and emoluments of an officer of the same grade in the regular army. he shall be specially charged with the emploiment of the military & militia of his county, in cases of sudden invasion or insurrection, and until the orders of the governor can be recieved; & at all times with the duty of ordering a military patrole, aided by militia if necessary, to arrest unauthorised settlers in any part of his county, or persons who, not having been settled therein on the _______ day of _______ shall be found without a passport from the Governor of the territory, and to remand the same to the Governor to be dealt with according to law, destroying at the same time the buildings, enclosures & property found on such unauthorised settlement: and on any repetition of the offense thereafter by the same person, the Governor shall be authorised to commit the offender to jail there to remain until he shall give security for his good behavior for 3. years, of which a repetition of the same offence, in any part of the sd territories on the Western side of the river Missisipi, shall be a breach.

PrC (DLC: TJ Papers, 138:23854); undated; entirely in TJ’s hand.

hereby annexed: this draft formed the basis for an amendment to the bill to divide Louisiana and provide for its temporary government, which Nicholas introduced in the Senate on 9 Feb. (see TJ’s draft bill at 23 Nov. 1803). Nicholas’s amendment, in a modified form, was subsequently incorporated into section 12 of the final version of the bill as approved by the Senate on 18 Feb. and enacted by Congress on 26 Mch. It differed, however, with TJ’s “sketch” in several particulars. The residue of Louisiana not included in the Orleans Territory would be called the district of Louisiana and would come under the executive authority of the governor of Indiana alone. The area would be divided into districts instead of counties. Free inhabitants between the ages of 18 and 45 were to be formed into a militia. TJ’s term “County Lieutenant” was replaced with “commanding officer.” The commanding officer of each district was to have a brevet commission giving him rank and pay equal to the regular army. Most of TJ’s specifics regarding the removal and punishment of unauthorized settlers were included in Nicholas’s amendment, but were removed from the final version of the act. Instead, section 12 authorized military patrols and militia to arrest unauthorized settlers found in their respective districts, “and to commit such offenders to jail to be dealt with according to law” (Nicholas’s amendment, 9 Feb., printed for the Senate [Washington, D.C., 1804; Shaw-Shoemaker description begins Ralph R. Shaw and Richard H. Shoemaker, comps., American Bibliography: A Preliminary Checklist for 1801-1819, New York, 1958-63, 22 vols. description ends , No. 7575]; bill as read in the House of Representatives, 20 Feb. [Washington, D.C., 1804; Shaw-Shoemaker description begins Ralph R. Shaw and Richard H. Shoemaker, comps., American Bibliography: A Preliminary Checklist for 1801-1819, New York, 1958-63, 22 vols. description ends , No. 7406], 10-13; U.S. Statutes at Large description begins Richard Peters, ed., The Public Statutes at Large of the United States … 1789 to March 3, 1845, Boston, 1855-56, 8 vols. description ends , 2:287; JS description begins Journal of the Senate of the United States, Washington, D.C., 1820-21, 5 vols. description ends , 3:353, 359-60).

1Word interlined.

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