Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Josef de Jaudenes and Josef Ignacio de Viar, 30 November 1793

From Josef de Jaudenes and Josef Ignacio de Viar

Nueva York 30. de Novre. de 1793.

Mui Señor nuestro

Corrovorando la buena disposicion de nuestros Governadores de Luisiana y Sn. Agustin hacia conservar la paz con los Estados Unidos, y los Indios fronterizos, segun lo hemos manifestado á V.S. repetidas vezes anteriormente; tenemos la honrra de pasar á manos de V.S. ahora Copia de Carta que nos escrive el ultimo Governador, y del Expediente que en ella nos incluye; y asimismo otra Copia de un Capitulo de la que hemos recivido del primero.

De todo su contenido pedimos á V.S. informe al Presidente de los Estados Unidos, á fin de que pueda convencerse mas de raiz de los hechos que en muchas ocaciones hemos insinuado, y pueda reiterar sus sabias disposiciones al tan deseado intento de preservar la buena harmonia, y amistad que felizmente reina entre ambas Naciones.

Asi esperamos suceda, y en el interin nos repetimos á la obediencia de V.S. y tenemos la honrra de subscrivirnos con el maior respeto, y estimacion los mas obedtes. y reconocidos Servidores de V.S. Q. B. S. M.

Josef de Jaudenes Josef Ignacio de Viar

RC (DNA: RG 59, NL); in Jaudenes’s hand, signed by Jaudenes and Viar; at foot of text: “Sor. Dn. Thomas Jefferson &ca.” Tr (AHN: Papeles de Estado, legajo 3895 bis); attested by Jaudenes and Viar. Recorded in SJL as received 2 Dec. 1793. Enclosures: (1) Juan Nepomuceno de Quesada to Jaudenes and Viar, St. Augustine, 12 Sep. 1793, stating that he was transmitting the enclosed documents to counteract a rumor being spread in East Florida that some of its inhabitants, supposedly inspired either by their government or by Mr. Panton (a Pensacola merchant involved in the Indian trade with the Spanish court’s approval), had requested the Indian nations by letter to kill four white men settled among them; and that it was imperative for the executive power of the United States to take action to prevent border dissensions between East Florida and Georgia from destroying the peace and harmony that Spain wished to enjoy with the United States (Tr in DNA: RG 59, NL, in Spanish, attested by Jaudenes and Viar; Tr in DNA: RG 46, Senate Records, 3d Cong., 1st sess., in English). (2) Decree by Quesada, 31 Aug. 1793, ordering John Hambly to make a declaration about whatever knowledge he may have acquired during his last visit to the Indian nations on the king’s business about a rumor that letters had been sent from East Florida asking those Indians to kill some white men settled among them, some with children. (3) Declaration by John Hambly, 31 Aug. 1793, stating as a Protestant through public interpreter Miguel Iznardy that, while staying at the house of Santiago Burgués during his visit to the Indian nations, Burgués repeatedly told him that he had seen a letter in which James Seagrove had requested Chief Juan Canard to arrange the deaths of Burgués, George Barnet, Noah Harald, and George Welbank, who were settled among those nations, so that Seagrove could thereby recover the property the Indians had taken from his brother, Robert Seagrove, and obtain that of the intended victims; that Seagrove had assured the chief that carrying out this plan would save the lives of four Indians demanded by the Americans for the murder of four of their countrymen and lead Seagrove to appoint him as commissioner of the Lower Creeks; that Burgués thought Seagrove had written this letter because Jacob Allen had told Seagrove that Burgués was responsible for Robert Seagrove’s losses; that Burgués did not know whether anyone in East Florida had conveyed Seagrove’s letter to the chief; that the chief confirmed Burgués’s report about the letter without revealing who delivered it; and that he himself believed that it was delivered by George Galphin, who had been in the chief’s house a few days before. (4) Declaration by Jacob or James Allen, 31 Aug. 1793, stating as a Protestant through Iznardy that, while recently visiting the Indian nations, he was told by Chief Pen of the Lachuas that Pen had heard from Hambly that Chief Canard of the Chiahas had received a letter in which Seagrove asked him to kill Galphin, Welbank, and Burgués with his son and an Indian named Mecaticochiske; that this request apparently stemmed from Seagrove’s anger over the murders in Georgia and the plundering of Robert Seagrove’s store by some Indians and white men, supposedly led by the intended victims; that he believed Seagrove was capable of writing such a letter but was not told by Pen whether Seagrove had offered Canard a reward or employment for the proposed murders; that, with respect to the Indians lately killed at St. Marys river, David Cornell was killed on the spot and Cornell’s companion apparently murdered; and that Mr. Hammond, a resident on the American side of that river, told Allen that two members of the company located on that coast informed him they had declared before a justice of the peace in Savannah that they had murdered the Indians by order of Mr. Randolph, their commander. (5) Certification by Public Notary Jose de Zubizarreta, 2 Sep. 1793, stating that he was present when the governor discussed the points at issue with Chief Pen through an interpreter during the chief’s last visit to St. Augustine. (6) Certification by Zubizarreta, 2 Sep. 1793, stating that, being present when Pen conversed with Quesada through an interpreter during the chief’s last visit to St. Augustine, Pen then said that he knew by hearsay of letters asking the Indians to kill some white men settled there, that he did not know the motive for it, that it was exclusively the work of Americans resentful of the slaughters perpetrated in their view under the leadership of the intended victims, and that neither he nor any other chief had killed the white men in question. (7) Decree by Quesada, 4 Sep. 1793, ordering authentic duplicate copies of Nos. 2–6 to be made (Trs in DNA: RG 59, NL, in Spanish, consisting of six consecutive pages with copies of Zubizarreta’s certifications of each enclosure and final 7 Sep. 1793 attestation, the whole attested by Jaudenes and Viar; Trs in DNA: RG 46, Senate Records, 3d Cong., 1st sess., in English). (8) Extract of Baron de Carondelet to Jaudenes and Viar, New Orleans, 15 Oct. 1793, stating that Pedro Olivier had prevented four groups of Creeks from different parts from invading Georgia in retaliation for a Georgian attack on a Creek town on the Spanish side of the Oconee river by threatening to leave their nation and deprive them of Spanish protection; that a few days later the Creeks were obliged to renew hostilities because of a Georgian attack on the small town of Hoethletiaga, forty-five miles from Cusseta, which killed four Indians, wounded three, and led to the capture of four women, three girls, and a boy; and that he cannot refuse the resultant petitions of Hallowing King, who came here asking for protection, arms, and ammunition for the Creeks in conformity with their treaty with Spain, lest the Georgians, who are the aggressors, drive them from their country into Spanish territory (Tr in DNA: RG 59, NL, in Spanish, attested by Jaudenes and Viar; Tr in DNA: RG 46, Senate Records, 3d Cong., 1st sess., in English).

TJ submitted this letter and its enclosures to the President on 10 Dec. 1793, and Washington returned them the same day (Washington, Journal, description begins Dorothy Twohig, ed., The Journal of the Proceedings of the President, 1793–1797, Charlottesville, 1981 description ends 265).

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