James Madison Papers

To James Madison from William C. C. Claiborne, 8 December 1804 (Abstract)

§ From William C. C. Claiborne

8 December 1804, New Orleans. “On the fourth Instant the Legislative Council formed a Quorum, and on the following day I delivered to them an address of which the enclosure Marked A is a copy.1

“The Meeting of the Council has had a happy effect; it has checked a Spirit of Anarchy that had made its appearance, and given to the good disposed2 Citizens a Confidence in the Government.

“The Answer of the Council to my address, you will find in the News-Papers enclosed.”3

RC (DNA: RG 59, TP, Orleans, vol. 5); letterbook copy and letterbook copy of enclosures (LU: Claiborne Letterbook). RC 1 p.; addressed to “The President of the United States”; docketed by Wagner as received 23 Jan. Letterbook copy addressed to JM. For enclosures, see nn. 1 and 3.

1The enclosures sent with the RC have not been found but are printed in the National Intelligencer, 25 Jan. 1804, where Claiborne’s address is dated 4 Dec. 1804. The letterbook copy of the address is undated (10 pp.; printed in Bradley, Interim Appointment, 110–15). In his speech, Claiborne congratulated the legislative council on their selection and suggested as immediate priorities the establishment of a proper judicial system, a code of criminal laws, municipal improvements, and provision for the education of youth.

2The letterbook copy omits “disposed.”

3The letterbook includes a copy of council president Julien Poydras’s reply to Claiborne, 7 Dec. 1804 (4 pp.; printed in Bradley, Interim Appointment, 115–17), saying the council would direct its attention to the issues he suggested.

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