Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Albert Gallatin, 28 November 1807

[28 Nov. 1807]

Orleans defence bill

Amendments A. B. Dd. G. H. may be introduced without difficulty.

C. The reason, why the phraseology of the printed bill was adopted, was to encourage the intruders in Indiana, but particularly in upper Louisiana to remove to the territory of Orleans. All those intruders are Americans & such as we want to leave the first & to go to the last: the French Creoles will not migrate.

D. I would propose to strike out the words military duty &c. from the bill & insert, that they should perform militia service whenever called upon without restriction of time. If ever that should, when the bill is under consideration appear likely to cause its rejection, the condition might then be striken out altogether as the President proposes

E. F. I think these provisions essentially necessary in order to enforce an actual settlement & to prevent evasions & speculations. We have had in Pennsylvania, until conditions of this kind were inserted, and in Virginia always, as much engrossing of land & speculation under colour of settlement as in any other manner. A few individuals hire men to make “tom[. . .]ack improvements” reside & convey the land to them. The provisions necessary to enforce & ascertain residence, if settlements be omitted & sales permitted, will be so difficult to effect at that distance that I would despair of their success.

DLC: Papers of Thomas Jefferson.

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