James Madison Papers

To James Madison from William C. C. Claiborne, 2 June 1804 (Abstract)

§ From William C. C. Claiborne

2 June 1804, New Orleans. “I received on last evening a letter from Governor Folch of Pensacola, of which the enclosed No. 1 is a translation,1 and returned on this morning, an answer, of which the enclosure No. 2. is a copy.2 I was much disposed to have answered Governor Folch’s letter with some asperity, but thinking that, a Conciliatory Style, would be more agreeable to the Executive, I avoided every thing that might tend to irritate.” Adds in a postscript: “I have thought it best to send the original of Governor Folch’s letter.”

RC and enclosures (DNA: RG 59, TP, Orleans, vol. 4); letterbook copy and letterbook copy of enclosures (Ms-Ar: Claiborne Executive Journal, vol. 13); Tr and Tr of enclosures (DLC: Monroe Papers). RC 2 pp.; in a clerk’s hand, signed by Claiborne; docketed by Wagner, with his notation: “Correspondence with Govr. Folch.” For enclosures, see nn.

1Claiborne enclosed Folch’s letter of 1 May 1804 (5 pp.; in Spanish; docketed by Wagner), with translation (4 pp.; docketed by Wagner; printed in Rowland, Claiborne Letter Books, 2:182–85), in which Folch protested the inclusion of Mobile in the list of U.S. ports affected by a late act of Congress providing for the collection of import duties. Folch went on to argue against the U.S. assumption that West Florida had been included in the Louisiana Purchase.

2Claiborne enclosed a copy of his letter to Folch, 2 June 1804 (3 pp.; docketed by Wagner; printed ibid., 2:185–86), in which he noted that as governor of Louisiana he had no power to undertake diplomatic discussions of the extent of the acquired territory. He also criticized Folch for “the tone of menace” he had assumed in his letter.

Index Entries