James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Pierre S. Compere, [ca. 14 December 1813]

From Pierre S. Compere

[ca. 14 December 1813]

The petition of the Congregation of the Roman Catholic Church of St. Francis, in Natchitoches County State of Louisiana, respectfully sheweth

That your petitioners are the legal owners of a tract of land in, & contiguous to the village of Natchitoches; a part of which land your petitioners did intend to dispose of for the use of a Court House.

That part of the aforesaid land which has all along been intended for a Court House, has been applied to the use of an Indian Factory, for the erecting of which, all the valuable timber has been taken: & for this privation, no compensation has been offered.

The present situation of the Indian Factory & Agency is found to be not only unsuitable & inconvenient to the Indians themselves, but extremely injurious & annoying to the inhabitants of this village & parish generally. It affords a pretext for the introduction among us of great numbers of Indians, who subsist by plundering our farms & who are indeed a nuisance to the country.

Wherefore your petitioners, believing that the Factory & agency will be removed to some other more suitable place, humbly pray that the house now occupied for a Factory may be delivered to the congregation aforesaid, as a proper compensation1—And your petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray—&ca

Pre S. Compere
President of the Roman catholic congregation
of St francis of Natchitoches.

RC (DNA: RG 107, LRRS, M-436:9). Undated; conjectural date assigned on the basis of Compere to JM, 10 Sept. 1816 (ibid.), which states that Compere petitioned JM regarding the Indian factory as authorized by a 13 Dec. 1813 order of the church wardens.

1For JM’s response and the outcome of this petition, see P. D. Cailleau Lafontaine to JM, ca. 8 Dec. 1813, n. 5.

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