James Madison Papers

To James Madison from William C. C. Claiborne, 20 October 1804 (Abstract)

§ From William C. C. Claiborne

20 October 1804, New Orleans. “I enclose you a copy of a letter which I addressed to the Marquis of Casa Calvo on the 9th instant,1 relating to the continuance of certain Spanish Officers in this Territory, as also a translation of his answer.2

“I am persuaded that these foreigners are not well disposed to the interest of the U. States, and I thought it a duty to express my disapprobation to their residence here, [‘]So much beyond the right and occasion for it.’3

“The Marquis tells me, that the Auditor & Intendant are the only Officers remaining, but I nevertheless See daily, Persons in Spanish uniform, & several others who were formerly employed in the Custom House under the Spanish Government; it is possible that those persons may have been permitted to retire on pensions, or to remain in this Territory in the enjoyment of their full pay. I have also understood that the Spanish Monarch has not yet withdrawn his Patronage from the Priests in Louisiana, and particularly that the Vicar General (a Mr. Walsh) is paid his Salary regularly by the Marquis. I cannot vouch for the accuracy of this information; But I will make further inquiries, and will communicate the result; If the information should prove correct, it may merit the attention of Government. The influence of the Priests here is considerable.”

RC and enclosures (DNA: RG 59, TP, Orleans, vol. 5); letterbook copy and letterbook copy of first enclosure (LU: Claiborne Letterbook). RC 2 pp.; in a clerk’s hand, signed by Claiborne; docketed by Wagner as received 21 Nov. For enclosures, see nn. 1–2.

1In the enclosed copy of his letter to Casa Calvo, 9 Oct. 1804 (1 p.; 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 , 2:371), Claiborne expressed his disapprobation of the continued presence “of many Spanish Officers” nearly ten months after the delivery of the province to the United States, in violation of the treaty stipulations. Claiborne mentioned as particularly desirable “the early departure of Mr. John V. Moralis.”

2The enclosed translation of Casa Calvo to Claiborne, 10 Oct. 1804 (1 p.; certified by Moreau de Lislet, “interpreter by interim”; docketed by Wagner; printed ibid., 2:370–71), states that “the Auditor of war Lieutenant Governour and the Contador (treasurer) Don Juan Ventura Morales, are the only officers remaining here” and that they were preparing to depart.

3Claiborne quoted from JM’s 28 Aug. 1804 letter to him (PJM-SS description begins Robert J. Brugger et al., eds., The Papers of James Madison: Secretary of State Series (7 vols. to date; Charlottesville, Va., 1986–). description ends , 7:643).

Index Entries