Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from William C. C. Claiborne, 20 May 1807

May 20th 1807.

Dear Sir,

When a Secretary for this Territory shall have been named, and entered on the duties of his office, I trust my temporary absence may be permitted;—I could wish to proceed direct to the U. States; but if Mrs. Claiborne’s present State of health, should continue, it would be my desire, to call either at Pensacola, or the Havannah.—

If a Citizen of this Territory, should be appointed Secretary, I know of no one, with whom, I should be more pleased than Julian Poydras or John Baptist Macarty; they are both honest men; the former is a Frenchman by birth; the latter a Creole of the Country, and would on that account be more acceptable to the people.—

I understand that on this morning, an important cause has been determined by the Superior Court of this Territory; It was one, in which Edward Levingston was the real Plaintiff & the City of New Orleans defendant; it involved a question as to the right of property, to some land in front of the Fauxbourg, of New Orleans; Land made by the River and over which the City has heretofore exercised a right of ownership;—The decision however is in favour of Mr. Levingston,× and gives to him & those concerned with him, a property which is estimated by some at two hundred thousand Dollars.—I will obtain from Mr Gurley a statement of this case, and will transmit it to the Secy of the Treasury; my impression is, that the U. States are the legal claimants to the Land in question.—

I am Sir, your faithful friend.

William C. C. Claiborne

× Mr. Levingston’s Interest in the Land is said to be one third; I am myself of opinion that its value is over-rated—I do not suppose it can be worth more than 150 thousand dollars.—

DNA: RG 59--State Department.

Index Entries