James Madison Papers

To James Madison from George de Passau, 10 October 1810 (Abstract)

§ From George de Passau1

10 October 1810, Pointe Coupee. Provides an account of his efforts to become a cotton planter near Baton Rouge after 1803. Owing to his political views, he was forced to abandon his plantation and immigrate to the Orleans Territory. Purchased lands in Pointe Coupee Parish in 1808 and made extensive improvements on them after receiving assurances from Armand Duplantier that his claims would not conflict with those made for Lafayette in the same area. Has since learned the deputy surveyor has instructions to survey for Lafayette lands he has developed. Has made no remonstrance to Duplantier, but at current staple prices he cannot afford to relocate his plantation. Appeals to the “exalted character & refined sentiments” of JM and Lafayette to allow him to remain on his land; suggests alterations to the survey for this purpose. Encloses letter and affidavits to support his case.

RC, duplicate, triplicate, and enclosures (DNA: RG 59, ML). RC 4 pp.; addressed to JM “as Agent for the Marquis de la Fayette.” Enclosures are John Dutton to de Passau, 15 Sept. 1810 (1 p.), and two copies of affidavits by George Mather (1 p.) and Philip Hickey (1 p.). One copy of the affidavits is certified by Fulwar Skipwith, 3 Oct. 1810, the other copy by William C. C. Claiborne, 10 Mar. 1811.

1George de Passau was extensively involved in the insurgent activities against Spanish authority in West Florida in the fall of 1810, as were his associates Philip Hickey and George Mather (see Cox, The West Florida Controversy, pp. 158, 349–51, 380, 398).

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