From Juan Nepomuceno de Quesada
St. Augustine, 6 Aug. 1791. Replying to TJ’s letter of 10 Mch. regarding the king’s ruling on fugitive slaves in Spanish territory adjacent to the United States, he is sending his written opinion on the matter by James Seagrove.
RC (DNA: RG 59, MLR); 3 p.; endorsed by TJ as received 3 Oct. 1791 and so recorded in SJL.
Quesada’s opinion on the matter was incorporated in his proclamation of 20 June 1791, which he sent to TJ and which appeared in the National Gazette on 17 Nov. 1791. Quesada simply decreed that immigrants to Florida had to swear on oath that they were bona fide owners of the slaves accompanying them, hardly a resolution of the complicated matter of fugitives in his jurisdiction. This issue is discussed in Editorial Note and group of documents on the threat of disunion in the West, at 10 Mch. 1791. See also TJ to Governors of Georgia and South Carolina, 15 Dec. 1791.