Thomas Jefferson Papers

William C. C. Claiborne to Thomas Jefferson, 4 November 1814

From William C. C. Claiborne

New-Orleans Novr 4h 1814.

Very Dr Sir,

By Mr Dorsey, a very respectable Citizen of this place, I took the liberty a short time since to address You, and to refer you to him for the news in this quarter.—The Louisianians continue to manifest the most patriotic disposition, and we have arrayed, as great a portion of the local Militia, as our population will well admit of:—But unless soon reinforced by the militia from the Western States; (which is expected) this State if attacked with a Considerable force, cannot be defended. The Gallant General Jackson continues with a respectable Army, (say 45000 Men Militia included) near Mobile, & if the Enemy, should advance in that quarter, a good account will be given of him;—If he takes the direct route by way of the Missippi, all my means will be exerted to resist him, and if his force be not an overwhelming one, you need be under no apprehensions for our Safety;—We however look with great Confidence to our Western Brethren for succour.

Mr Livingston has seized upon this perilous moment, when all hearts Should be united, again1 to stir the question of the Batture, and the inclosed handbill will shew You the light in which this subject is still2 viewed by the City Council.

I am Dr Sir with sentiments of3 the greatest Respect Your faithful friend

William C. C. Claiborne

RC (DLC); at foot of text: “Mr Thomas Jefferson Monticello Virginia”; endorsed by TJ as received 1 Dec. 1814 and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure: Resolutions of the New Orleans City Council, approved 2 Nov. 1814 and signed by both Felix Arnaud, the recorder, and Nicolas Girod, the mayor, reporting that “Edward Livingston resorts to every means and intricacy of chicanery to wrest the Batture fronting the suburb St. Mary from the public,” including a recent attempt to obtain a declaration from a jury that “a new dyke or levee nearer to the river than that now existing … could be erected”; repeating its determination “to support with all their means and power” the public’s right to the batture and to protect the citizens of Louisiana and other states from any prosecution by Livingston that would “hinder them from taking earth from the said Batture or from any other legal enjoyment of that public property”; and resolving that “the present deliberation” be sent to Claiborne, the judge of Orleans Parish, and every nearby planter, be reprinted in both French and English in the local newspapers, and be posted as necessary (printed broadside in CtY: Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library; in French and English; docketed as filed 4 June 1818 by Martin Gordon, clerk of the United States District Court in New Orleans).

1Word interlined.

2Manuscript: “stil.”

3Manuscript: “of of.”

Index Entries

  • Arnaud, Felix; and batture controversy search
  • Batture Sainte Marie, controversy over; and New Orleans city council search
  • Batture Sainte Marie, controversy over; W. C. C. Claiborne on search
  • Claiborne, William Charles Coles; and batture controversy search
  • Claiborne, William Charles Coles; and War of1812 search
  • Claiborne, William Charles Coles; introduces G. Dorsey search
  • Claiborne, William Charles Coles; letters from search
  • Claiborne, William Charles Coles; on E. Livingston search
  • Dorsey, Greenberry; introduced to TJ search
  • Girod, Nicolas; and batture controversy search
  • Gordon, Martin; U.S. district court clerk search
  • Jackson, Andrew; War of1812service of search
  • Livingston, Edward; W. C. C. Claiborne on search
  • Louisiana (state); and War of1812 search
  • militia; and War of1812 search
  • New Orleans; city council of search
  • New Orleans; judges in search
  • War of1812; and La. search
  • War of1812; militia activity search