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Celestine Laveau Trudeau Wilkinson

  • Birth 1785
  • Death 30 Aug 1858 New Orleans, Orleans Parish, Louisiana, USA
  • Burial Unknown
  • Memorial ID 95307379

daughter of Carlos Laveau Trudeau and Charlotte Perrault

see also President George Washington

1850 Orleans Co Louisiana representative dist 3 household 2185, 5 Oct, pg 242 printed pg 481 handwritten
C F Bigot 65 teacher France
Sarah 34 LA
Louis 14 LA
James W 5
Celeste Wilkinson 65 LA
James Wilkinson 32 clerk LA

1850 Orleans, Louisiana, city of New Orleans 2nd Aug pg 331
household 923
Tousain F Bigot 63 France
Stephanie 35 female LA
Ludorie 14 male LA
Eugene ? 5 male LA
Mz Widow Wilkinson 67 LA
Theodore Wilkinson 31 LA clerk

1784 – Philadelphia, PA.
Peter Muhlenberg writes to president of Congress: The Gentlemen who received the Illinois Grant of 150,000 acres opposite Louisville on the west side of the Ohio, have already laid off a Town in that district, which is settling fast, and this would probably give rise to an immediate quarrel. [Potts, p. 80, sidebar] The Continental Congress has paid George Rogers Clark's Illinois Regiment with a land grant on lands which the United States does not own, i.e. Indiana. The men have moved to claim their grants, which turn out to be less than half of the land promised to each man, Congress having estimated less than half of the men entitled to land. [Potts, p. 80]
Note: Deeds can be found in the Filson Club library, Louisville, Kentucky dated in the late 1790's and recorded 1808 Clark Co. Indiana
James O'Fallon was a doctor and husband of Frances Eleanor Clark, youngest sister of General George Rogers Clark. The letter was addressed from George Rogers Clark's residence.
This letter was translated from the archives located in Madrid, Spain and found in the Filson Club library, Louisville, Kentucky

The Filson Club, Louisville, KY, Temple Bodley Collection, Pontalba Papers, A B668 82
pg 252
Communication No. 18
Enclosure No 2
James O'Fallon to Sr Don Esteban Miro
Residence of General Clarck, near Louisville, December 17, 1790

The last of the three letters which I have had the honor of writing to your Honor, after arrival in these Western Settlements, I delivered to General Wilkinson, a friend of your Honor's, who has assured me that he sent it by the last flat boats which he dispatched to New Orleans with Tobacco. The two former ones must have been delivered to your Honor by Mr. January, who has already returned to this country, and the other by MR. NOLAN.

These three letters stated equally and without mistake or subterfuge, not only the firm and sincere desire of the COMPANY but also those of my heart, to have immediately a settlement and an organized territory as a free state, independent and sovereign, without any connection with Congress and firmly allied with Spain, providing that she be a sincere and true friend, but of course, she must at the very beginning see in the state an ally stronger and more formidable and which will radiate the principles that will promptly break up the Union of States and originate a new confederacy from them on this side of the alleghany Mountains. The revolution must have its beginning with us, and all things are now ripe for this great operation.

Your Honor cannot but know that if we desire other alliances in Europe we could easily find them, but to your Honor we direct our first offers, and Spain alone must be blamed if we abandon her.

Congress KNOWS this, and also the advantage which the ground affords us for operating as we wish, and to separate Kentucky from its jurisdiction, as also FRANKLIN (WHICH IS STATE OF FRANKLIN WHICH WOULD BECOME TENNESSEE), Cumberland, etc, so that in a letter recently written by the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES (GEORGE WASHINGTON) to the Board of Proprietors, the forces of the Union are offered to support our Settlement if we require or desire it, and he requests besides that the Company's General Agent report regularly to the National Executive any affairs of importance that may occur with regard to the conduct of the Spaniards or their allies, the Indians, and offers besides to pay from CONGRESSIONAL FUNDS the Regiment of 750 men which I have raised, reimbursing all advances that we have made for cannons, ammunitions, equipment of our cavalry and all military stores. This is the present condition of our business, this is our actual position. We are keeping this offer as a last resort.

The rapidity with which I recruited my troops and colonists in this district, as in Franklin, Cumberland and North Carolina, prevented me from going to New Orleans at the time I had desire to do so. I also awaited the arrival of some remittances which I have received, I had understood (although decidedly I did not believe it) that your Honor had desired to incite the Indians against our Colony even after having received my letters and that GENERAL ...of this intended slaughter. Of this there exists the declaration of a man named LEE, to whom this was told by some Chiefs of the Choctaws and Chicachas and who swore that they had shown him your Honor's letters in which your Honor recommended to them that they should kill me and my friends. He adds also that the adjutant of the Fort of Natchez, informed him that WILKINSON, INNES and BROWN hold commissions as Colonels in the service of Spain, bribed by the Court of Spain to act as spies of your Honor. The name of the adjutant is MINOR (STEPHEN MINOR). LEE is a distiller in Mr. Ellis' employ.

(MY NOTE: STEPHEN MINOR WAS THE BROTHER IN LAW OF PHILIP NOLAN a few years later, and Minor had 3 wives; one of which was Ellis. They were married to the daughters of Bernard Lintot. Minor was a friend of General Wilkinson

In 1795, the U.S. and Spain signed the Treaty of San Lorenzo which defined the American boundaries between the two countries, guaranteed U.S. navigation rights on the Mississippi and signaled the Spanish withdrawal at Natchez. American surveyor Andrew Ellicott, who marked the new boundary, was at odds with Gayoso during much of the time he spent in Natchez. ANDREW ELLICOTT was a friend of PRESIDENT GEORGE WASHINGTON and he was involved with the layout of our Nation's capital, Washington, D.C.

Gayoso, Minor & Concord:
Final days of Spanish Natchez
by Stanley Nelson - posted Wednesday, January 18th, 2012 @ 1:12 pm E-mail Story E-mail Story | Print Story Print Story
[Gayoso, Minor & Concord: Final days of Spanish Natchez] (Third in a series)
At Natchez in 1790, members of the Ezekial Forman family from Pennsylvania were greeted by the two highest ranking representatives of the Spanish government -- Gov. Manuel Gayoso and American-born Stephen Minor, who also hailed from Pennsylvania and served as Gayoso's right hand man.

"At Natchez we made many agreeable acquaintances," wrote Major David Forman in his account of the Forman family's journey by flatboat to Natchez, a destination they reached in 1790. "Governor Gayoso...was very affable and pleasant, and had an English education. The fort-major, Stephen Minor married the eldest daughter of the planter, Mr. (John) Ellis (Ellis Cliffs). Our family was much visited by the Spanish officers, who were very genteel men; and Major Minor was very intimate and seemed to take much interest in us."

The two representatives of the Spanish government described by Forman, like many who lived on the frontier, were physically strong men who survived hardships and walked away from close encounters with death.

In 1798, Spain relinquished Natchez country to the American government, but not before many disputes. The 1790s ended as one of the most remarkable periods in the history of Natchez, which included the formation of the Mississippi Territory comprising the present day states of Mississippi and Alabama. In 1798, this new U.S. territory was positioned on the southwestern border of the nation.)

These rumors may possible ruin poor Wilkinson. COLONEL MARSHALL, who as Magistrate received Lee's declaration, sent them to the National Executive for action. Lee's conversation with the Indian Chiefs was during last August.

If I had given credit to the story of the premeditated massacre, I would not now write to your Honor, nor would I renew my first assurances of friendship. I have never believed this and I fear a great deal more the treachery of the Secretary of War, and through him that of the Treasurer of these States, who look with evil intentions upon our Settlement. These parties, whether for the purpose of flattering your Honor or the Company, or to favor Great Britain in case of a war with Spain which may result from the present negotiations, have published notices with reference to a contract to supply during one year the garrison of the Yazoo and another Post higher up than Coles.

This act, which really alarmed the Company and myself, I am determined to resits.

Therefore, this is the reason why I have excessively increased my troops, I mean the regular ones, at the same time made my militia formidable. This is the reason why I now have cannons and mortars of all kinds, ammunition and supplies, Cavalry, Artillery, Infantry, Riflemen and an Artillery Corps, and finally this is the reason why I am going down with Colonists and troops and will not be able to present myself to your Honor as I should and expected to do, until after having disembarked my forces nine miles higher up than the Yazoo, when I shall immediately go to New Orleans to arrange all the matters of which I am charged, in the manner which I have explained to you in my former letters, settling with you all that may be conducive to the defense of this Government and my Colony against anything that may be attempted by their enemies.

In case of war with Great Britain or of any insurrection of the inhabitants of the district of Natchez, which I have reason to suspect may occur, my forces will be those of your Honor. I have with me 1000 regular troops or thereabouts, and four thousand well equipped militiamen. If any federal troops attempt to enter or aim to enter in my territory, I have determined if it is possible for me to do so, not leave one alive to carry the news. The Ministers cannot do more than the three Companies. One year after my arrival I will have over ten thousand combatants. All GEORGIA, NORTH AND SOUTH CAROLINA, VIRGINIA, KENTUCKY, FRANKLIN AND CUMBERLAND are preparing to emigrate to our Colony and all the Notables of these parts are interested with us. In case of danger GENERAL CLARK(the her of Illinois) will assume supreme command; he is a man of credit, a friend of Spain, much interested in our Plan and my agent in Kentucky, Virginia, and Pennsylvania: GENERAL SEVIER (at present in Congress) is my agent in Franklin and Colonel James Robertson for Cumberland. (NOTE: COL JOHN SEVIER OF TENNESSEE, STATE OF FRANKLIN AT THAT TIME)

I have MCGILLEBRAY, one of our proprietors, behind the CHOCTGAWS, his old enemies, in case they make any movement: GENERAL MOULTRIE, the present GOVERNOR OF SOUTH CAROLINA, GENERAL HUGER, GENERAL MARIAN, GENERAL MCDOWELL, GENERAL MCINTOSH, MR. FELFAIR, THE GOVERNOR OF GEORGIA, and other proprietors of our Company, each with his respective forces, will pass to our Settlements through the Creek or Talapuche Nation.

As I expect just as soon after landing above the Yazoo to make a visit to your Honor, I earnestly beg that you arrange for my safe conduct in order that I may not be troubled on my journey for a lack of proper passport, which your Honor may have already sent me through COLONEL BRUYN, as I solicited in my last letter. I expect to see you about the first of March, or before if your Honor requires my services and so notifies me. (NOTE: COL PETER BRUYN)

At the same time I beg to advise that the Company expects as the first proof of a reciprocal good disposition on your part that your Honor will exert all of his good offices so that the Choctaws and Chicachas may favor our cause, and the Company will do the same with the people of that Government. (This sentence is not very clear, and O'Fallon evidently refers to the fact that he will use his influence so that "the Government", i. e., the U. S., should favor Spain)

Otherwise we shall find ourselves compelled to draw the sword one against the other and finally come to blows, for your Honor may depend on it that the Company also has its friends in BOTH NATIONS. (my note: U.S. and Spain) Your Honor will keep in mind MCGILLEVRAY'S desertion and a friendly condescension on the part of the Company will place all the interest of the Confederation on the side of these Indians, once this is begun, you will have us, the Talapuches, the Choctaws and Chicachas as combined and inexorable enemies. The prudent conduct of your Honor in the present circumstances may make us all everlasting friends, for the Colony has an ample field from which to choose, -America, England, the Indians and will your Honor care to destroy us?

I beg that your Honor send me an immediate reply; to that end I shall pay the expenses of a special messenger; kindly direct your letter to EDWARD PAYNE, SENIOR, near Lexington. I have been ill for several weeks and I can hardly write. I greatly desire to see your Honor, and remain with true and sincere esteem your Honor's surest and most devoted servant

Biography. James Wilkinson Once Governor of Louisiana and the Man
Date: Sunday, July 29, 1900
Paper: St. Louis Republic (St. Louis, MO)
Volume: 93
Issue: 29
Section: Magazine
Page: 6
James Wilkinson, born 1757 and died 1825, had a strange career. He was a solider of the revolution, leaving the service under a cloud, which was never satisfactorily cleared away. He was a trader in Kentucky in 1788, and afterwards, and was thought to be in league with Spaniards to alienate the colonists West of the Alleghanies from the Government of the United States. This suspicion was confirmed years after his death by his letters to Spanish officials in the archives at Madrid. He was Military Governor of Louisiana for several years after the purchase of Louisiana Territory. He was implicated in the Burr conspiracy, and finally warned the Government of the designs of that picturesque man. He was discharged from the service of the United States Army after the War of 1812, and removed to Mexico, where he died. A strange record, indeed!

Accused of traiterous designs, in at least two instances, he was doubtless unfaithful to the confidence put in him by his fellows. He had served with some distinction in the Revolution, but was deep in the "Conway cabal," for which it had for its purpose the disposing of Washington and the placing of Gates in the role of commander-in-chief. It was through him that the fact of the existence of the conspiracy leaked out. Adroit as he was, he could not explain his treachery to Gates, nor convince Washington that he was not connected with the disreputable conspiracy. Distrusted by his fellow officers he resigned his brevet rank as General, but retained his commission as Colonel. He was not again actively employed till toward the end of the Revolution, when he served for a time as clothier general of the army.

Again, when Military Governor of Louisiana, with the troops under him at New Orleans, he was deep in the scheme with Burr. When the critical moment came, however, he failed to set in accordance with the plan, and sent information against Burr to the Government at Washington. Burr always spoke with bitterness towards Wilkinson, and called that General a "traitor" to him.

This solider of the revolution, Wilkinson, removed to Kentucky about the year 1784. The history of the colonies South of the Ohio river is closely connected with Spanish intrigue. The Spaniards held New Orleans and they refused to allow the planters of the transalleghany country to navigate the Mississippi. Thus the colonists had no market for their produce save by the extremely ardous method of transporting across the mountains eastward. It was safer to let it rot in their barns than undertake such a journey. Besides this difficulty, the colonists had another pressing danger to face-the danger of incursions from the Indians. Supplied with arms and set on by Spain, the Creek Indians headed by the notorious half breed Alexander McGillivray, kept the colonists in a constant state of alarm. Spain wished to drive the pioneers from their homes, thus crippling the power of her enemy, the United States. The American Government itself was kept too busy with questions of diplomacy, the adjustment of the affairs with European nations to do more than make tentative efforts to relieve the settlers of the West. Their was much disaffection among the settlers of the Mississippi Valley, and there were those who contemplated setting up a separate government. Wilkinson was prominent among these men. He was in the pay of the Spaniards for the accomplishment of this very purpose Spain was jealous of the power of the United States, and she had sought to exterminate the hardy settlers by means of her allies, the Indians, but now another policy was to be pursued.

Writing in his history of Kentucky, Humphrey Marshall says: "Nature herself had gratuitously furnished Wilkinson with a passport which insured his favorable reception wherever he was seen and heard-a passport expressed in a language which all mankind could read, whose influence every one felt, and none which would suspect, or scrutinize on the first perusal. A person not tall enough to be perfectly elegant, was compensated by its symmetry, and the appearance of health and strength, a countenance open, mild, capacious, and beaming with intelligence; a gait firm, manly and facile, manners bland, accommodating and popular; an address, easy, polite and gracious, invited approach, gave access assured attention, cordiality and ease. By these fair forms he he conciliated; by these he captivated. The combined effect was greatly advantageous to the General, on a first acquaintance-which a further intercourse contributed to modify."

In Kentucky Wilkinson saw he could make a fortune if he could obtain a concession enabling him to navigate the Mississippi. He set about the attainment of this object with a shrewdness that would have been admirable had he been actuated by any but the most morbid personal motives. The ulterior project he might prosecute or abandon, as circumstances should render expedient.

In his "Advance Guard of Western Civilization," James R Gilmore, records that "a dense mystery overhung the whole transaction (Wilkinson's concessions from the Spanish Government) for all of fifty years, and until the curtain was lifted from it by the Spanish Government, consenting to the examination of Wilkinson's correspondence and Miro's dispatches. Then it was discovered that this native-born American, only recently in the official service of his country, and soon to be elevated to the chief command of her armies, had bargained to barter away the District of Kentucky, and in deed, the whole territory as far East as the Alleghanies, for a mass of Spanish pottage.

"It has been questioned whether Wilkinson went further than to deceive the Spanish authorities with a pretended disloyal intent towards his own Government. He exaggerated, it has been said, his own importance and influence and promised much to the Spaniard which he never could have performed, and scarce thought of performing. And he did so purposely, that he might extract the money which his extravagance required. He kept no promise made to the Spanish Intendant, but regularly received the King's money. In other words, he was a traitor to both the Spaniards and his own countrymen."

The plans of Wilkinson to swing the Western settlements away from the Union were not fulfilled, and the purchase of Louisiana by the United States Government forever settled the question of the ownership of the Mississippi River. Wilkinson had been made military commander of Louisiana. To him came Aaron Burr, whose disastrous duel with Hamilton had occurred a short time previously. It seems that Burr's project to found a great Southwestern empire came slowly into shape, and that Wilkinson was a party to the plan. Wilkinson gave to Burr a letter of introduction to Daniel Clark, a prominent citizen of New Orleans.

"My dear Sir-This will be delivered to you by Colonel Burr, whose worth you know well how to estimate. If the persecutions of a great and honorable man can give title to generous attentions, he has claims to all your civilities and all your services. You cannot oblige me more than by such conduct, and I pledge my life to you it will not be misapplied. To him I refer you for many things improper to letter, and which he will not say to any other. I shall be in St. Louis in two weeks, and if you were there, we could open a mine, a commercial one at least."

The phrase "many things improper to letter" is significant. Clark's own comments on Wilkinson's letter are as follows, written Pardon in his "Life of Burr": " the things which it was improper to letter to me are pretty plainly expressed in a communication made about the same time (by Wilkinson) to General Adair. The letter is dated Rapid of Ohio, May 25, 1805/6 (?) and contains these expressions: "I was to have introduced my friend Burr to you, but in this I failed by accident. He understands your merits and reckons on you. Repair to me and I will tell you all. We must have a peep at the unknown world beyond me' The letter to me I think fully proves that some secret plan of Burr's was known to Wilkinson in May, 1805. That to General Adair leaves no doubt on the subject. Immediately after this he went to St. Louis, where his very first act, before he had broken bread in the territory was an endeavor to bring Major Bruff into his plans. He tells him that he had "a grand scheme" that would make the fortunes of all concerned; and although Major Bruff's manor of receiving this overture put a stop to any further disclosure; yet we may judge of the nature for it was introduced by a philippie against democracy, and the ingratitude of Republican Governments."

The plan to conquer Mexico and establish a government with Burr at the head seemed feasible with Wilkinson's aid. Wilkinson was at New Orleans, with well drilled troops at his command, and it seemed that war with Spain was imminent. "The summer of 1805 was a busy one indeed, with Wilkinson." writes Mr. Parton. "What with fortifying New Orleans, transporting troops to the Sabine, and writing long dispatches to the Secretary of War, the portly General had his hands full. He had never before been such an important personage. Besides being Governor of a Territory, he was the commander-in-chief of the army; and the critical relations existing between Spain and the United States fixed upon him, for the time, the eyes of two nations.

"At the last moment Wilkinson shrank from the work expected of him. The probability is strong that he always meant to do so. That he was a weak, vain, false, greedy man, is likely enough. That carried away by the magic of Burr's resistless presence, and hoping the scheme would never involve him in its folds, he suggested, encouraged, and aided it, is very probable. That he had given Burr to understand in some way that he would strike a blow which would begin war whenever it should be needed, is also probable. That he chose the part that he did choose from a calculation of advantage to himself, from motives mean and mercenary, rests upon evidence that convinces. Nevertheless, the fact remains, that he did not strike the blow; he did not involve two nations in war; he did not shape his course to the wishes of Aaron Burr, instead of the orders of Thomas Jefferson. If he was a traitor, he was a traitor to his confederates, not to his country, his commission, his flag.

"While Wilkinson was still in some doubt what course to pursue, he received a letter from an acquaintance in Natchez which (he says) decided him. It stated that a well-authenticated rumor was a float that a plan to revolutionize the Western country had been formed, matured and ready to explode; that Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, Orleans, and Indiana are combined to declare themselves independent on November 15. That proposals have been made to some of the most influential characters of St. Louis, by an accredited agent of the conspiracy, to join in the plan. And pages more to the same effect.

"Then it was that the General, perceiving the golden opportunity, fully resolved to set up in the character of deliverer of his country."

The fame of such an action of loyalty might have crowned a man was not destined to be General Wilkinson's. Although he has written a lengthy memoir, defending the various positions which he took and about which his loyalty was so much questioned, this work is not convincing. He was courtmartialed in 1811, charged with treasonable connection with Burr, and acquitted. At the close of the War of 1812 he was discharged from the United States service. He then removed to Mexico, where he owned much property. He died there December 28, 1825. The verdict of history seems to be that Wilkinson's claim to be a deliverer of his country is not in accordance with facts.

See the grandson, Luovic Felix Theodore Bigot memorial, son of daughter Stephanie Wilkinson who married Toussaint Francois Bigot, the artist.

the grandson of Gen Wilkinson that Dr Edward Everett Hale, author of "A Man Without a County" which portrayed PHILIP NOLAN as his character, met with in Louisville that Hale talks about an unnamed man there who identified himself as Wilkinson's grandson. Hale stated that he spent half a day looking through General Wilkinson's papers in a large chest in the grandson's possession which he found of such significance he made efforts to have Congress purchase the collection. He recounts how the purchase never took place and how the grandson out of indignation burned all of the letters. Though he may have burned the correspondence he did not destroy the portrait since six years later on November 13, 1882, he sold the subject portrait to Richard H Collins, an attorney in Louisville, Kentucky. The portrait is of his grandfather, General James Wilkinson, which now hangs in the Filson Club library.

Andrew Ellicott
(January 24, 1754 – August 28, 1820) was a U.S. surveyor who helped map many of the territories west of the Appalachians, surveyed the boundaries of the District of Columbia, continued and completed Pierre (Peter) Charles L'Enfant's work on the plan for Washington, D.C., and served as a teacher in survey methods for Meriwether Lewis.

Letter from Daniel Clark to Thomas Jefferson

Daniel Clark to Thomas Jefferson, February 12, 1799
Thomas Jefferson Papers, Library of Congress
Daniel Clark, of New Orleans, writes to Thomas Jefferson on behalf of Philip Nolan, promising a summary of Nolan's information and impressions about New Mexico and the Louisiana Territory. Clark also uses the letter to introduce Jefferson to the work of William Dunbar.

New Orleans 12 February 1799

You will pardon the Liberty I take in addressing you when I inform you that your Letter of the 24th. June of last Year directed to Mr Philip Nolan (with whom for many Years I have been connected in the strictest Friendship) has in his absence come into my possession. That extraordinary and enterprising Man is now and has been for some Years past employed in the Countries bordering on the Kingdom of New Mexico either in catching or purchasing Horses, and is looked for on the Banks of the Mississippi Maps » at the fall of the waters Maps » with a thousand Head which he will in all probability drive into the U.S. Having directions from him to peruse all Letters addressed to him previous to their being forwarded that in case of accident, no expression contained in them should awaken the Jealousy of the suspicious people among whom he has by a coincidence of fortunate Circumstances introduced himself, I have by this means acquired a knowledge of the object of your researches, & shall feel particular pleasure in affording my mete of assistance to forward your Letter in safety to him.

You judge right in supposing him to be the only person capable of fulfilling your Views as no Person possessed of his talents has ever visited that Country to unite information with projects of utility.

Shortly after his return, but not before on acct. of the impossibility of applying himself during his travels with that attention he could wish to the subject, I will be responsible for giving you every information he has collected, and it will require all the good Opinion you may have been led to entertain of his veracity not to have your Belief staggered with the accounts you will receive of the numbers, & habits, of the Horses of that Country and the people who live in that Neighborhood whose Customs & ideas are as different from ours as those of the Hordes of Grand Tartary. Did it not interfere too much with your other occupations I would presume to request you would point out particular subjects on which my Friend should enlarge, as some which would be probably very interesting to you, might be overlooked or seem too trivial to him to notice from having come so often under his observation. In this case your Letters addressed to the care of Mr Tench Coxe of Philadelphia to be forwarded to me will shortly get to Nolan's hands, and I take the Liberty of referring you to Mr Coxe for a knowledge of my Character, that you may not be under any apprehension concerning the Person to whom you write.

Mr. Ellicott the Commissioner on the part of the U.S. for running the Line of demarcation with Spain being now Visitor in my House

page 3

and having at his arrival in this Country been acquainted with Nolan who gave him considerable information on the subject in Question, I have hinted to him your Wish of acquiring the same Knowledge, and he will doubtless think himself happy in contributing as far as lies in his power to this End until Nolan himself can have an Opportunity of giving you perfect Satisfaction.

In the mean time I must suggest to you the necessity of keeping to yourself for the present all the information that may be forwarded to you as the slightest Hint would point out the Channel from whence it flowed and might probably be attended with the most fatal consequences to a man, who will at all times have it in his Power to render important Services to the U.S., and whom Nature seems to have formed for Enterprizes of which the rest of Mankind are incapable.

Should any accident happen which would deprive the World of this extraordinary Character, his Papers which are confided to me & a mutual Friend now in the Spanish Service, shall be carefully examined, and every thing relating to that Country shall be forwarded to you with such other remarks as both of us from our own Knowledge & information have acquired.

The desire I have that you should be possessed of every information and the certainty that the Philosopher & Politician will excuse the freedom of the Persons interesting themselves in procuring such as may be useful embolden

page 4

me to mention Mr William Dunbar a Citizen of Natchez in the Mississippi territory as a person worthy of being consulted by you on subjects relating to this Country its productions, or any philosophical Question connected with them.

He was for some time employed by the Spanish Government as their Astronomer on the Line of demarcation, but has retired to his Estate, and for Science, Probity & general information is the first Character in this part of the World. His long residence in this Country still but little known to Men of letters, its Situation with respect to many Savage tribes, some of which lately inhabited the very Place where he resides & where their Vestiges are still perceptible, the extensive Communication with remote parts presented by the Mississippi Maps » and concourse of Indians & traders, have given him many Opportunities of making Observations which may not have presented themselves to others & may not probably occur in future, to these may be added those he has made on the Country itself, its population, manners Customs of the Inhabitants, the different Changes in their Government for the last 40 Years, the Climate, soil & Trade which are but little known abroad and they will I hope appear so important to a person whose reputation is so great as yours as to procure me your Indulgence for the Liberty I have taken.
I have the Honor to remain with Sentiments of the greatest respect & Esteem Sir Your most obedient & most humble Servant
Daniel Clark Junr

US Congressman.
He was educated at Eton College and immigrated to New Orleans in 1786. He was active in land speculation, banking, slave dealing, and the import and export of manufactured goods and food items including sugar and flour. New Orleans was under Spanish and then French control, so Clark made use of his relationships with members of the government to became a broker for US businessmen. When Orleans Territory was organized Clark was appointed to its Legislative Council, but declined to serve. In 1805 and 1806 he was accused of taking part in Aaron Burr's alleged plot to sever New Orleans and surrounding territory from the United States, a charge Clark denied, with Clark being the first to accuse General James Wilkinson and others of lying about Burr's intent. In 1806 he was elected as Orleans Territory's Delegate to the US House of Representatives and served one partial term and one full term, December 1806 to March 1809. In 1807 Clark's dispute with Governor William Claiborne over control of territorial politics and culpability in the Burr affair ended in a duel, with Clark wounding Claiborne in the thigh. Clark was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1808 and returned to his business interests. Settling his estate, valued at over $35 million dollars by the 1860s, led to a series of landmark lawsuits that were not resolved until the 1870s. (bio by: Bill McKern)

Family Members


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  • Created by: civilwarbuff
  • Added: 13 Aug 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 95307379
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Celestine Laveau Trudeau Wilkinson (1785–30 Aug 1858), Find A Grave Memorial no. 95307379, ; Maintained by civilwarbuff (contributor 47049540) Unknown.