James Madison Papers

To James Madison from William C. C. Claiborne, 7 August 1805 (Abstract)

From William C. C. Claiborne, 7 August 1805 (Abstract)

§ From William C. C. Claiborne. 7 August 1805, New Orleans. “In my communication of the 29 ultimo, was inclosed a Letter to me, from the Marquis of Casa Calvo, (soliciting that the Spanish Officers now in this Territory, may be exempted from the payment of the Municipal Tax) together with a Copy of my answer thereto.

“I now have the Honor to transmit you, a second Letter from the Marquis on the same subject, together with a list of the Officers alluded to;1 and if it be not improper, I should be glad to hear your sentiment, as to the propriety of the exemtion solicited: my own opinion is, ‘that the Officers generally who possess property within this Territory, are liable to Taxation; nor can exemtion be made in favor of the Marquis and the members of his Family, until he shall have been recognized by the President as an Agent of Spain.’ You no doubt will be surprised to find so many Foreign Officers in this City; the fact is th⟨at⟩; they are wedded to Loisiana, and necessity alone will induce them to depart. I have repeatedly by Letter, and verbally, informed the Marquis, that the continuance in this Territory, of ‘so many Spanish officers so long beyond the right occasion for it’ was not seen with approbation, and urged their departure: The Marquis has as often assured me of his disposition to comply with my wishes, but you will percieve that the inconveniance is not yet remedied.”

RC and enclosures (DNA: RG 59, TP, Orleans, vol. 7); letterbook copy (Ms-Ar: Claiborne Executive Journal, vol. 15); Tr and Tr of enclosures (DNA: RG 233, President’s Messages, 9A–D1); Tr and Tr of enclosures (DNA: RG 46, President’s Messages, 9B–B1). RC 2 pp.; in a clerk’s hand, signed by Claiborne; docketed by Wagner as received 18 Oct.; 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 3:154. The second Tr and Tr of enclosures are letter-press copies of the first Tr and Tr of enclosures. Minor differences between the copies have not been noted. For enclosures, see n. 1.

1The enclosures (7 pp.; docketed by Wagner; printed in Carter, Territorial Papers, Orleans, description begins Clarence Carter et al., eds., The Territorial Papers of the United States (28 vols.; Washington, 1934–75). description ends 9:484–87) are a translation, certified by interpreter Moreau Lislet, of Casa Calvo to Claiborne, 2 Aug. 1805, enclosing translations certified by Lislet of 30 July 1805 lists signed by Andrés López Armesto of (1) “individuals composing the expedition of the limits of the province of Louisiana, as approved by his C. M.’s order of the 20th. august 1804”; (2) “Persons employed by his Catholic Majesty who are to depart as soon as their business shall be terminated”; (3) “officers in his C. M.’s service, who are to Depart immediately after having terminated their business”; and (4) “the retired officers and… other persons employed in the service of his Catholic Majesty who are to remain in this Province, in order to settle their business or on account of their old Age or usual infirmities,” for a total of fifty-eight persons, and nine widows who “are unable to Go to Pensacola.” The first list contains a note that a naval officer and his clerk were also there on a mission to purchase timber for the navy, and the last list contains a note that a small number of retired sergeants and privates were to go to Baton Rouge or Pensacola.

Index Entries