According to the Act to create the Louisiana Territory, Congress gave William Henry Harrison as Governor and the Justices of the Indiana Territory the right preside over the people in the Louisiana Territory, until they had established a self-supporting government there.
Copy of a Letter written by and signed as Willm. "Harry" Harrison 18 Nov 1803 at Vincennes (Indiana Territory) to The Honorable Charles Dehault Delashes. [I'm sure this is a phonetic spelling of this Frenchman's surname] Text is in English. This is just one month before the Louisiana Purchase was finalized and signed on 20 December 1803 in a secret room in the Spanish Cabildo building in New Orleans.
Found on microfilm copy of the originals housed in the Archives of Seville, Spain; Papeles des Procedentes de Isla Cuba [The Cuban Papers]. Most of this archive houses papers originating and/or dealing with the continental U.S. Documents appear in the languages of Spanish, French, English, Flemish, Dutch and possibly others. The first three being the most common.
Legajo [Bundle] 220-B, Folio 301 . [The documents were folded and stacked, then tied into neat bundles for shipment from Cuba to Spain in the 1880’s. They were removed 1804-1812 from the various outposts in the Spanish Provinces, primarily from the Gulf South, Mississippi River and Carribbean Islands, but remained in Cuba. Hence their name.] Text is presented here, as near to the original, with added text, for clarification] in brackets. The one time use of parentheses was in the original. Submitted by Houston Tracy, Jr. TreSearch3@aol.com
My Dear Sir - Since the Beginning of September I have been so severly afflicted with an inflamation in the eyes as to be entirely unable to answer the several kind letters which you have written me.
I believe that my stop to your country will be postponed for some time. I have been waiting for final orders which I have not yet received but it is not impossible that I may receive orders this very day to go on immediately - Enclosed herewith you will receive the sessage of the President to Congress in which he communicates the purchase of Louisiana to that body - the Treaty is now before the Senate whose constitutional power it is to advise the President to ratify it or not. That it will be ratified there is little doubt, but I cannot say where possession will be taken. - There is nothing new from Europe but the probability of a revolt in France everthing seems to prognosticate it; Bonaparte still threatens England with an invasion and the English [are] straining every new[s] to be in readiness to receive him - it is said of late however that the first consul will not command in person because it is supposed that the moment of his embarcation will be the signal for the malecontents to rise - Spain is not yet that we know of taken part in the War, it is even said that the Wishes of the Court are strongles [?] in Savour in England, the Northern Powers (Russia particularly) are very much offended at the operations of the French in Hanover, a strong squadron of Prusian ships of War have been put in commission and are Daily expected in one of the British Ports, What there [their] ultimate destination may be is not known, but it cannot be unfavorable to England as they are to use the ports of that Kingdom to refit.
6 Oclock P.M.
The mail has just arrived and has in the intelligence of the Treaty with France having been ratified by the President and Senate of the United States enclosed herewith you will receive a copy of the Treaty and Convention.
Some public business demanding my attention. I conclude with requesting you to present me in the most respectful terms to Madame and Mr. Deluziere.
LETTER FROM WILLIAM H. HARRISON, GOVERNOR OF THE INDIANA TERRITORY AND THE UPPER LOUISIANA TERRITORY (West of the Mississippi River) TO ANTONIO SOULARD, SURVEYOR GENERAL, DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA;
Dated at St. Louis, 8 November 1804 As Defined In The Act of Congress To Create The Territory of Louisiana
National Archives Microcopy No. 200, Roll 5
Territorial Papers of the Senate, 1789-1873
Orleans Territory, Feb 26 1803 - Dec 26 1815
I having continued you in the office of Surveyor General for the District of upper Louisiana, you will continue to execute the duties of that office in the manner that you have hither to done; under the Spanish government. That is, you are to survey, when applied to by the proprietors , all Grants made by the Spanish government, prior to the Treaty of St. Ildefonso (Alfonso ?), grants made subsequent to that treaty are either declared void by the Law of Congress providing for the Governor of Louisiana, or they require proof of Settlement, which does not come within my control. It has been represented to me that the few allowed by the Spanish government to the Surveyor General & his Deputies are very exorbitant, & that one half of those formerly given, would be a sufficient compensation, you will therefore in future, receive only one half of the few heretofore allowed.
I have no documents with me to ascertain the date of the Treaty of Ildefonso, but you shall be made acquainted with it as soon as I arrive at Vincennes.
It will be proper that you should give notice in the several Districts that you are ready to survey all the claims, which come within the descriptions mentioned and the names of your Deputies that the People may know where to apply. When any difficulty arises or you wish for information, you will be pleased to address yourself to me, through the channel of the Secretary of the Territory, General John Gibson.
P.S. You will be pleased to observe, that you are not to survey any lands for Individuals, whether their grants are before or after the Treaty of Ildefonso, if they lay any considerable distance from the settlements, in the Indian country, as Mr. Dubuc (Dubuque).
I am respectfully,
(signed) William Henry Harrison
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