James Madison Papers

To James Madison from William C. C. Claiborne, 4 August 1804 (Abstract)

§ From William C. C. Claiborne

4 August 1804, New Orleans. “I enclose you copies of two letters which I this morning received from Captain Turner the Commandant at Nachitoches.1

“The Caddo Indians spoken of by Captain Turner is a small tribe situated about 80 or 100 leagues from Nachitoches; their warriors are supposed to amount to between three or four hundred; I shall invite the chief of the nation and five or six of his principal men to pay a visit to New-Orleans.

“The post of Adais, which the Spaniards propose fortifying according to Captain Turner’s advices, is not far from Nachitoches; I do not know the exact distance, but I presume it cannot be further than 10 or 15 leagues.”

RC and enclosures (DNA: RG 59, TP, Orleans, vol. 4); letterbook copy (Ms-Ar: Claiborne Executive Journal, vol. 13). RC 1 p.; in a clerk’s hand, signed by Claiborne; docketed by Wagner as received 4 Sept., with his notation: “The Spaniards are strengthening Adäyes.” For enclosures (docketed by Wagner as received in Claiborne’s 4 Aug. dispatch), see n. 1.

1The enclosures are copies of two letters from Edward D. Turner to Claiborne. The first, dated 16 July 1804 (3 pp.), reported a visit from the Caddo Indians, who expressed displeasure at not receiving an annual gift. Turner wrote that he supplied them with provisions, informed them that the U.S. would “establish a Factory in the country,” and promised to write Claiborne on the subject of presents. In a 17 July postscript, Turner noted that he had information that the Spanish were establishing a post at Los Adaes and another “at the new port” and that “Louisiana Frenchmen, had the privilege of settling between Nacogdoches and Rio Grande.” In his second letter, dated 27 July 1804 (1 p.), Turner informed Claiborne of accounts that the post at Los Adaes was to be manned by five hundred soldiers.

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