James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Robert Johnson, 5 December 1802

From Robert Johnson

Decemr. 5th. 1802

Dear Sr.

We have heard from Kallander1 considerable abuse against Mr. Jeferrson, I think not worth attention as it comes from so infamous a Charector. I have strong suspisions of Mr. Burr, from severall circumstances, & think it will be unsafe to run him with Mr. Jefeson for the next Presidenty. I hear Rhuphus King Intends offering for the next Presidency. We hear Louisiany is to be given up to the French Goverment in that case they will be our near neighbours. Our Legislature are of oppinion, The Intendants Proclamation In the City of New Orleans is an Infraction of the treaty with Spain, as you will see by our Resolution.2 Unless the place of Deposit some whare near the mouth of Missippi suitable to Land Sea Vessells, Can be protected under or by our own Government it will not be very much to our advantage or prosperity, to have this right of deposit, in my oppinion, because they being Enimical to our Interest, will find many Indirect ways to Injure us. I have understood the Indians about Post Vincenes have agree that a Certain Territory Shall be assertained & Given up to the U. Sts. formerly Granted to the French & that the Salean Lick below the Wabash may be worked by the U. S. &c.3

A Diversity of oppinions in our Country Lately on Bletonism,4 a Great number of Experiments have been & are making to find Salt Water, some of which prove to be good others fail by fresh Water Breaking in &c. Salt Water is found by direction of persons that uses the Rod or twig, in Nicholass County Burbourn, Scott, Madison &c. The Company of Bleatonists that are most in practice Require $100 if The place they shoe proves Suffitiant for working twenty Kettles of good salt water. King at Holron Rented Prestons lick to lay Idle—those at Mans lick in Kentucky Rented Bulletts Lick & does not work it, by this means Salt is not so easy baught. My son & Co. sunk a well under the direction of the Bletonist Lately on Elkhorn Waters about 7 miles from my house about three Quarters of a mile from a small deer lick whare there was no appearance of a Lick or Salt Water & about the debth of 25 feet Which he was told by the person, he has found Salt Water supposed to be as good as Manns or Bulletts lick. This has hapened in a few days past. Many other Things these Bletonists undertake to tell &c. If the Salean Lick is to be occupied by authority or permision of The Government Will thank you to Let me know if I can Rent or purchase the priviledge of working The whole or one half sd lick. Colo. Greenup5 would probably Join me. Your attention & answer to this and other parts of this Letter Will Oblidge me. I live in Scott about two miles from Geo Town. I am With Much Respect Your Obt. Hle. Servt.

Robt. Johnson6

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