New-Orleans Feby 3rd. 1815
8 O'clock P.M.
Your several Letters of the 1st. and 2nd. Instant, and of this date have been received. Judge James Pitot has been requested by Letter, to make a requisition on the Inhabitants of this Parish for 100 negro Labourers, to work in the fortifications at Chef-Menteur, and a few Dragoons were furnished, to expedite his Dispatches. How far the Inhabitants have met the Requistion, I am not yet informed, as an Inducement to their ready and cheerful acquiescence, I have promised to each Labourer, a per diem allowance of one Dollar. Captain Cannon of the Bayou Company has been ordered to resume his former command, and to take post at the Batteries. As preparatory to the organization of the militia, in manner as you direct, I have called for exact Returns of the different Corps at or near New Orleans, and to facilitate them, I have dispatched two of my Aides, one to Camp Vilere, & the other to Camp Morgan, and the adjutant generals sends a special Messenger, with the necessary orders to the officer commanding at Chef-Menteur. I see however many obstacles to this organization in the way you advise. Obstacles growing out of the militia Laws of the State, and of a nature so serious, that I wish for an opportunity of explaining them to you, in person. If therefore you will name the hour on tomorrow, when I can have a private audience with you, alone, and in your office, I will be punctual in my attendance. Having been nearly the whole day engaged as a witness at a Court Martial, it was not until late this afternoon, that your Letter of this morning was delivered me, and its contents make me the more desirous for the interview I have solicited. In the meantime, i can only say, that I have been far from supposing, that it was expected of me to make any Reports to you relative to the militia at Camp Vilere. Indeed the arrangements have been such, as at no time, to give me any immediate command, other than of the Detachments which have been ordered on the Gentilly Road, and at the Point of Chef-Menteur. Orders have already been issued by me, enjoining it upon every person absent without leave from the 1st. 2nd. & 4th. regiments forthwith to return; but of this I will speak more fully at our personal Interview.
May I ask sir, what was thr answer brought from the English Commander by Captain Henly relative to the negroes? and whether Captain White or any other person departs on tomorrow under your authority on a mission respecting them? I have heard, that such a mission was in contemplation, & if it be so, it will, for the present, supercede the necessity of my sending a commission, composed of two or more distinguished Inhabitants, which, with the approbation of the Legislature, I had determined on. I am Sir, very respectuflly your hble srvt
William C.C. Claiborne
Courtesy of the Andrew Jackson Papers