James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Jonathan Jennings, 13 February 1811 (Abstract)

§ From Jonathan Jennings1

13 February 1811, Representatives Chamber. “I have again to lay before your Excellency testimony additional to the former [not found], relative to the Governor of the Indiana Territory.”2

RC and enclosures (DNA: RG 59, LAR, 1809–17, filed under “Harrison”). RC 1 p. For enclosures, see n. 2. RC and enclosures printed in Carter, Territorial Papers, Indiana, 8:108–11.

1Jonathan Jennings (1784–1834) was the delegate from the Indiana Territory in the Eleventh through Fourteenth Congresses, 1809–16.

2By the end of 1810 a sizable opposition had arisen in the Indiana Territory to the administration of William Henry Harrison over such issues as the use of blacks as indentured servants or slaves, land grants, the territorial governor’s appointment powers, apportionment in the territorial legislature, and the location of the territorial capital. In January 1811 Harrison forwarded documents to both the secretary of state and his old school friend John Wayles Eppes to acquit himself of charges made by his opponents that he was a land speculator, that he misused his authority, and that he was an associate of Aaron Burr—allegations which the governor declared were based on “perjury and forgery” (see Harrison to Robert Smith, 10 Jan. 1811, and enclosures, Eppes to Smith, Jan. 1811, and enclosures, and Harrison to Eppes, 22 Jan. 1811, and enclosures, in Carter, Territorial Papers, Indiana, 8:72–75, 76–85, 87–102). The documents forwarded to JM by Jennings, whose election as territorial delegate had been opposed by Harrison, included a transcript from the book of locations for Knox County, Indiana Territory, recording an 1804 entry for a tract of land opposite the “Grand rapids” on the Wabash River in the names of Henry Vanderburgh and William McIntosh (1 p.); and two depositions, sworn by Toussaint DuBois and William McIntosh, describing Harrison’s efforts to dispute the ownership of parts of the tract (3 pp.). Jennings also circulated copies of these and other documents among members of Congress in the hope of laying “the ground work of an impeachment” to end Harrison’s political career (Jennings to Solomon Manwaring, 22 Jan. 1811, Esarey, Letters of Harrison description begins Indiana Historical Commission, Governors Messages and Letters, vols. 7 and 9, Messages and Letters of William Henry Harrison, ed. Logan Esarey (2 vols.; Indianapolis, 1922). description ends , 1:501–3).

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