James Madison Papers

To James Madison from William C. C. Claiborne, 23 September 1804 (Abstract)

§ From William C. C. Claiborne

23 September 1804, New Orleans. “I enclose for your perusal a late Letter to me from the Marquis of Casa Calvo, relative to the Insurrection in West Florida, together with a Copy of my Answer thereto.1

The Marquis has considerable Influence among the old Inhabitants of this Province, and being on that account particularly desirous that a good understanding between us should exist, I have hitherto paid great attention as well to his Person, as to his Communications; But finding of late that he is becoming troublesome, I shall probably (in a short time) refuse to hold any official Correspondence with the Marquis, until he shall have been acknowledged by the President as a public Agent on the part of Spain.

“Moralis and many other Officers of Spain both civil & Military are still in this City, And two large Rooms in the public Store Houses, and the Artillery Yard, continue in possession of the Spanish Authorities, or rather serve as places of Deposit for their Military Stores.”

RC and enclosures (DNA: RG 59, TP, Orleans, vol. 5); letterbook copy and letterbook copy of enclosures (Ms-Ar: Claiborne Executive Journal, vol. 13). RC 2 pp.; docketed by Wagner, with his notation: “Kemper’s insurrection.” For enclosures, see n. 1.

1The enclosures (3 pp.; docketed by Wagner; printed in Rowland, Claiborne Letter Books description begins Dunbar Rowland, ed., Official Letter Books of W. C. C. Claiborne, 1801–1816 (6 vols.; Jackson, Miss., 1917). description ends , 2:330–32) are a translation of a 13 Sept. 1804 letter from Casa Calvo to Claiborne, asking Claiborne to arrest the Kemper brothers, Abraham Baril, and “a certain Billy & his brother sons of Arthur Cobb,” who had retreated from West Florida to Pinckneyville, Mississippi Territory, or if this was not possible, to order “that the rebels may remove at such a distance from the frontier, that nothing may be apprehended from their incursions, intrigues & the incendiary writings, with which they endeavour to disquiet the minds of the inhabitants,” and Claiborne’s 13 Sept. reply, stating that he believed he did not have the authority to seize “the Insurgents” but would “lose no time” in sending Casa Calvo’s letter to the president and would write to the acting governor of the Mississippi Territory who no doubt would take such steps as his authority allowed.

Index Entries