James Madison Papers

To James Madison from John Thomas Ricketts, 31 October 1803 (Abstract)

§ From John Thomas Ricketts

31 October 1803, Cameron Mills. Encloses a letter to the president1 with “Certificates, and the Translation of that in the Spanish Language,”2 all of which was sent to him to lay “before the Senate and President when the Cession of Louissiana should be ratified.” Notes that the signatures on the Spanish certificate “are those of all The principle civil and military officers of the Government and Intendancy Togeather with those of the Principle French and Spanish merchants not acquainted with our Language attested by Their Governor.” The other certificate is signed by “the Principle american Merchants” as well as “Those of the French and Spanish nations in Habits of business and Interested in American Houses.” “During a short Residence at orleans the preceeding Summer, I found Mr Garland3 Highly in the Confidence and Esteeme of the Inhabitants.” Garland is a native of Richmond County, Virginia, and wishes to be named collector of the port of New Orleans. “I cannot Hesitate to believe that no Other Individual whatever, could fill the Office in question, more to the Satisfaction of the Inhabitants.… By his Conduct, and Long residence and laterly Intermarried with a native, a knowledge of the French and Spanish languages which are General in that country The Habits, manners as well as the prejudices of the people to him are well known.” Believes that “if the Issue depended on the Suffrage of The merchants, and better Inhabitants of the place, he would be opposed by but very few.”

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