County of Iberville
110 Miles from New Orleans
July 20th. 1806.
I am now relieved from fever, but am so enfebled that I cannot complete the Journey, which I had contemplated;—Instead of visiting the Country on the Mississippi, as high as Natchez which was originally my intention, I shall pass over to Atakapas & Opelousas, where I shall breathe a healthy air, & where probably my health will soon be restored.
The Route by water to Attakapas will be disagreeable; we have to navigate many small Bayou’s, & cannot be well accommodated in the Small Batteau’s, which we must resort to; but the passage is generally performed in two Days.
I regret my Indisposition the more, since it has deprived me of attending in person, & assisting (with my advice) the Adjutant General in exercising the officers of the Militia;—but this duty will not be neglected; the Adjutant General will visit the several Counties, and will discharge with fidelity the service required of him.
I received on this evening Letters from the City; everything was quiet, & the public service sustained no injury from my absence; the Mayor of the City, Doctor Watkins is a faithful, vigilant officer, and well deserves the confidence which I have placed on him. Several persons have died in the City, and one Case had the appearance of yellow fever; but the Physicians have not given an opinion upon the subject. I have thought myself fortunate in having retired to the Country; I am persuaded, that had I remained in the City, I should have experienced a long, & perhaps a dangerous attack of fever.
I am, Dear Sir, With great respect your faithful friend.
William C. C. Claiborne
DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.