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This webpage reproduces an article in the
Mississippi Valley Historical Review
Vol. 19 No. 1 (Jun. 1932), pp30‑56

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though, please let me know!

This site is not affiliated with the US Military Academy.

p30 The Founding of New Madrid, Missouri

By Max Savelle

Colonel George Morgan, the chief character in this account, lived at "Prospect," New Jersey, in a house that stood on the site of the present home of the president of Princeton University. He had come to "Prospect" toward the end of the Revolution, after having served the United States as Indian agent and commissary in the Fort Pitt area during the greater part of the war. Earlier, he had been a business man in Philadelphia, junior partner in the firm of Baynton, Wharton, and Morgan, which went bankrupt in an extravagant attempt to establish its business in the Illinois Country, acquired by Great Britain at the end of the Seven Years' War. At the same time, this firm had been large stockholders in the great "Indiana" project for the settlement of an immense tract of land in the region now included in the State of West Virginia. This land was also claimed by Virginia, which was opposed to the "Indiana" project, and George Morgan had been called upon to bear the chief responsibility for the conduct of the long legal battle that took place in the halls of Congress. It was a losing fight, and the Indiana claim practically disappeared from view with the Virginia cession of her claim to the lands lying west of the Ohio River. Colonel Morgan, deprived of a fortune in lands by the loss of his claim, then sought to recuperate it in other projects, first in the Illinois Country and then in Spanish Louisiana.

The State of Virginia ceded to the United States, in March, 1784, its claim to the Northwest Territory.1 With the acceptance of the cession by Congress, Colonel Morgan lost for the time being all hope that he would be able to recover his "Indiana" lands, and turned his western interest into an entirely new venture, a speculation in the lands west of the Ohio just acquired by the government. The rush of buyers which immediately followed the Virginia cession concentrated on the eastern section of the p31Northwest Territory. Morgan, however, had spent some years of his early life in the Illinois Country and he knew the advantages of that section as to soil, convenience of location, and commercial opportunities. He therefore set about to form a company of investors to petition the Continental Congress for the sale of some two million acres along the Mississippi. The company assumed the name of the New Jersey Land Society, and included in its membership a number of persons prominent in New Jersey politics and society.2

In their memorial, presented to Congress by Morgan on May 13, 1788, the New Jersey Land Society proposed to buy from the United States a tract of land lying in the southwestern part of what is now the State of Illinois, including the old French settlements at Kaskaskia, Prairie du Rocher, and St. Philips and the land around them for a distance of many miles. The price offered to Congress was one-third of a dollar per acre.3 Congress accepted the proposal, and authorized the Treasury Board to arrange the sale; the price, however, was to be two-thirds of a dollar per acre. The sale thus authorized was never completed. George Morgan submitted a list of "Reasons" why the New Jersey Land Society would not make the proposed purchase, the chief reason being that Congress had reserved certain low lands along the river.4 But these "Reasons" do not adequately explain the abandonment of so large an undertaking. The fact is that Morgan, at the moment when Congress had the matter under debate, became interested in another scheme, a grand colonizing venture in the dominions of the Spanish king, undertaken under the auspices of the Spanish minister to the United States, Don Diego de Gardoqui.

The close of the Revolution had brought the United States knocking at the back doors of the Spanish-American empire, in Florida and in the Mississippi Valley. Never very cordial in her attitude toward the United States, Spain now found herself confronted by the practical problem of circumventing the threatening p32expansion of the young republic on her borders. She might establish a British buffer state in Florida, giving St. Augustine for Gibraltar, and by making alliances with the Indian tribes in the territory she claimed south of the Tennessee and Flint rivers, and she might encourage the settlement of American colonists in the Spanish territories, thinking thus to build up a population, loyal to herself, which could resist the expansive tendencies of the Americans.5 It was with such views in mind that Diego de Gardoqui, head of the mercantile house in Bilbao though which Spain had forwarded the money and materials furnished the colonies during the war, came to the United States as "Chargé d'Affaires" ("Encargado de Negocios") of Spain.6 While other Spanish agents were busying themselves with the negotiations relative of the St. Augustine and the creation of a buffer state among the Indians, Gardoqui came to the Americans in the north to do two things.

First, he was to buy from the Americans their acquiescence in the closing of the Mississippi. He might concede the privilege of trading in Spain and the Canary Islands, and, if necessary, an acceptance of the American contention for the line of thirty-one degrees of latitude as the boundary between the United States and West Florida. Second, he was to do what he could to alienate the Americans of the West from the United States. That is to say, while keeping the river officially closed to the Americans on the east bank, he was to encourage the foundation of colonies of Americans in the Spanish territory on the west bank, by offering them freedom of trade, land grants, and religious toleration. This policy was elaborated in orders to Gardoqui and to Esteban Miró, governor of Louisiana, in September, 1787, and November, 1788.7

As a result of this new policy, both Gardoqui and Miró received numerous applications from Americans desiring to take p33families into Spanish territory, for passports and permission to settle.8 It was during this time, that is, in the spring and summer of 1788, that Colonel George Morgan was negotiating with Congress, in the name of the New Jersey Land Society, for the purchase of land in the Illinois country. Congress was disposed to accept the society's proposals, and went so far as to authorize the Board of Treasury to make the sale.9 During June and July the negotiations neared successful conclusion; Congress made several modifications in the proposed contract to satisfy the objections of Morgan, but an impasse was encountered on the question of the amount and location of the lands to be reserved to the original French settlers.10

For the moment, Morgan hesitated. He was undecided whether to accept the conditions imposed by Congress or drop the matter entirely.11 News of his disappointment came to the ears of Don Diego de Gardoqui, and the minister determined to take advantage of the Colonel's vast influence by offering him a grant in Spanish Louisiana. But the proposal must come from Morgan, for it would hardly be diplomatic for the minister openly to propose the alienation of so prominent an American subject. So by an indirect channel, probably through Thomas Hutchins, intimate friend of both Gardoqui and Morgan, the minister conveyed to the colonel the suggestion that he would receive favorably a proposal for a grant of land on the west side of the Mississippi.12 Morgan immediately indicated to Gardoqui his willingness to undertake the settlement of a colony on the Mississippi provided he could be assured of certain conditions he considered requisite. The minister assured him of the good-will of the Spanish monarch, and told him something of the Spanish plan, whereupon Morgan put his proposal into writing.13

p34 Thus, two days after Congress made its last compromise over the Illinois purchase, Morgan wrote to Gardoqui his first proposal. He was undecided whether or not to accept the conditions imposed by Congress, and wished to know whether it would be consistent with Spanish policy to admit American families into Spanish territory and grant them a "free religious toleration?" If so, would the king be willing to make Morgan a concession opposite the mouth of the Ohio River equal to that he had requested from Congress, for the purpose of making such a settlement? If the king were willing, Morgan would undertake to lead into Louisiana a great many American families, and would take the oath of allegiance to the Spanish king; for he would thus gain the reasonable certainty of living in a country with a stable government with the assurance of receiving a legitimate return for his labors — such as he had failed to receive in the United States — and a proportionate recognition and honor in being given the command of the new colony, under the orders of the governor of Louisiana.14 The minister's reply was in the affirmative. The proposal was practicable; and Gardoqui considered his powers sufficient to enable him to negotiate with Morgan farther.15

With these assurances, Morgan decided to abandon the Illinois purchase. To the disappointment of some of its members,16 the New Jersey Land Society was dissolved, on the grounds that the conditions imposed by the Congress were unacceptable; and Morgan proceeded in his negotiations with Gardoqui.17 He now submitted to Gardoqui a detailed plan for the settlement of the proposed colony.18 It was to include a large area of Louisiana north and south of the mouth of the Ohio River, extending back from the Mississippi. Morgan proposed that he be given command of the colony, with power to appoint the necessary officials, including an Indian agent, a geographer, judges, and magistrates, and to raise two companies of militia to defend it. If possible, the new p35inhabitants should be permitted to make their own laws, in a body of their representatives, such laws to be always subject to the veto of the representative of the king. Morgan should have power to make concessions of land in full title, and to establishment a system of schools. In addition to its local self-government, the colony was to have complete freedom of religion. The city was to be established as a port of entry for the direct control of trade, and the immigrants were to be allowed to bring in their slaves, cattle, tools, and other belongings free of duty. In return for his services as colonizer and director, Colonel Morgan asked for the same rank in the Spanish service that he held in the American army, but without pay except in case of active duty. For each of his five children, his wife, and himself, he asked a grant of land, to be at least one thousand acres. He should be paid a salary, and his children should be placed under the protection of the Spanish king: the two little girls were to be sent to some religious school in New Orleans. The advantages of the king of such a colony, Morgan believed, would be tremendous; with such a port as his city would be, Spain would be able to control all the commerce of the lands lying west of the Allegheny Mountains.

By the end of September, negotiations between Morgan and Gardoqui had progressed so rapidly that Gardoqui authorized the colonel to go to the West to find a location for the city and survey the land for the colony, advancing him money for his expenses out of the secret fund provided the minister by his government.19 Gardoqui considered Morgan's plan excellent, and of the "greatest importance" for the purpose of Spain. It was the one proposal, out of many, which gave promise of genuine worth. "Because his [Morgan's] character of honor and ability is confirmed universally, " the minister recommended Morgan's plan to his government, particularly since it proposed "to deny the navigation of that River [the Mississippi] to all who were not Vassals of his Majesty" which was the thing His Majesty most wanted, with regard to that river.20 The minister therefore approved the proposed grant, conditioned only upon the final consent of the king, which he felt sure would be obtained.21

p36 Colonel Morgan immediately prepared to set out, and issued broadsides advertising his project, inviting farmers and tradesmen to join with him in his trip of exploration. To any who would go with him immediately, he promised free transportation and provisions on the trip down the Ohio, with the privilege of buying three hundred and twenty acres of land at one-eighth of a dollar per acre22 in any part of the colony except that reserved for a town. They were promised free navigation of the Mississippi and a market at New Orleans, free of all duties, for the produce of their lands. Provisions were made for supplying food; credit was promised to those who might need it, with payments to be made in produce; farming equipment, future and other belongings would be transported to the colony free of charge.23 About seventy men, farmers, artisans, and tradesmen, and sons of Pennsylvania Germans, were selected by Morgan out of the many who applied for the privilege of accompanying him. These he gathered at Fort Pitt in December, whence they went down the river in four armed boats on January 3, 1789.24

This expedition of Morgan's was one of the spectacular events of the winter of 1788‑89. Gardoqui was a little perturbed by the Colonel's impetuous plunge into the business without waiting for the royal confirmation; but he justified it as a wise move to take advantage of the extremely demoralized state of affairs in the American Confederation. That the project was extremely important to Spain, the minister was convinced, and he repeatedly recommended it to the approval of Floridablanca, and the king. The sensible people of the United States, he wrote, were beginning to fear Morgan's colony; "and there have been many, who in confidence have told me that I have been able to take advantage of an opportunity to alienate one of the most important and most loved men in the country. Therefore, I may without vanity feel that by the acquisition of this subject I have had the honor of presenting to His Majesty many thousands of vassals, who, I fervently hope, will serve as a barrier to defend the just rights which belong to him."25

It was evident that in the United States a great deal of interest p37was being taken in the scheme. Others were requesting to be allowed to join Morgan, and the politicians of the country were more or less frankly worried, because this "barrier" of which Gardoqui was so proud was closely associated with the threat of Kentucky to secede from the Confederation. The inhabitants of that region, irritated by the continued closure of their normal economic outlet and the failure of Congress to open it, were threatening to abandon altogether the eastern states and the spineless Confederation Congress, and set up a government for themselves. The situation of the region was impossible. If Kentucky were not granted the navigation of the Mississippi, either through the American government or by independent negotiations with Spain, the only remedy for the inhabitants lay in moving over into Spanish Louisiana and becoming Spanish subjects.26

Moreover, Colonel Morgan's expedition took place at precisely the moment when the old government of the Confederation had died and the new government of the Constitution was not yet born. The old Congress had failed; the new constitution, though ratified, was not yet in operation; and no man knew just how effective it would be. Many were discontented and afraid; and it was considered an ominous thing that so many of the leaders in American society were willing to renounce their allegiance to the United States, if necessary, in favor of the Spanish king, for the sake of being attached to a government which could guarantee them economic security and political order.27 Morgan's plan was considered far superior to that of Congress for the settlement of its western lands, and more attractive to eastern men who were willing to emigrate. It was therefore feared not only that Morgan would draw away from the United States some of its best manhood, but also that the privileges promised the settlers would give a great impulse to the secession movement, which, in turn, might result in the eventual break-up of the American union.28

p38 This, of course, was the extreme view. There were others who thought very differently. Madison, for example, while he recognized it as a part of the Spanish intrigue in the West, considered it "silly" comparing it with the settlement of the Gauls on the Roman side of the Danube.29 Yet he was not entirely unconcerned by it, and intimated darkly to Washington that the new government should heed the condition of which it was a symptom, in the government's policy with regard to the West and Spain.30 Jefferson was frankly delighted, considering it suicidal on Spain's part.31 General Josiah Harmar, commanding at Fort Harmar, considered it a good riddance. "The people are all taken up with Colonel Morgan's New Madrid," he said. "They are in my opinion Mad-rid indeed."32

In November, Colonel Morgan went to Fort Pitt, where he gathered about him the men who were to accompany him on his trip. As an important part of his mission was to sound out the attitude of the westerners toward Spain and to do what he could to convince them of the good will of the Spanish king, he took particular pains to observe the situation in the West as he found it. From Morganza, where he and his brother John owned a number of farms, he wrote Gardoqui his first report.33

He found economic and social conditions particularly favorable for attracting the western people to Spain. The marvellous growth of population that had taken place west of the mountains since the war had resulted in a vast production of agricultural commodities which could find no market, because the cost of transportation over the mountains to Philadelphia was prohibitive. The result was that the people had no money with which to pay taxes, and often had their goods or their cattle p39seized by the agents the government. Transportation down the river being easy and cheap, the natural market for these goods was New Orleans, where Spanish merchants might supply all the West with manufactured goods, which, indeed, they could deliver fifty per cent more cheaply than the merchants of Philadelphia or Baltimore. But Spain must act now. Otherwise, the opportunity would soon pass. Unless Spain offered the people a market for their agricultural products and a supply of manufactured articles, the inhabitants of the upper Ohio region would be compelled by their situation to become a manufacturing people. This would be relatively easy, moreover, for the country abounded in coal, building materials, and iron ore of an extraordinary quality. These facts made evident the ease with which the country was certain to make the transition from agriculture to manufacturing, a transition which would be greatly hastened by the failure of Spain to seize upon her opportunity.34

Because of the current dissatisfaction, Colonel Morgan found it easy to get all the immigrants he wanted, and more. He carefully selected seventy men to accompany him — farmers, artificers, and surveyors — and made ready to set out about the end of December.35 He was delayed, however, by his discovery and exposure of the intrigue of Dr. John Connolly, a British spy who was suggesting to the people of the West that they seize New Orleans. The title of Spain to New Orleans was a false one, Connolly said, because that island should have been ceded to England at the end of the Seven Years' War and to the United States at the end of the Revolution. Now, the United States could not claim it; but the people of the West would be justified, by every consideration of natural law, in seizing New Orleans as the port intended by nature for the outlet of their produce.36 In doing this, the westerners could count upon the aid of Great Britain, in arms, ammunition, and money.37 Morgan warned Gardoqui of Connolly's scheme, forwarding him a copy of Connolly's proposals, at the same time advising the Spanish commandant at St. Louis and the governor at New Orleans of Connolly's p40doings. Connolly met with an accidenta and retired to Canada, but his propaganda was carried on by one McGinnis, of whom also, Morgan warned Governor Miró.

Morgan and his party set out from Fort Pitt on January 3, 1789, and on his way down the Ohio he stopped occasionally, sounding the attitude of the people toward Spain. He was interested to find the inhabitants cool, both toward the scheme of General James Wilkinson for an alliance of Kentucky with Spain and toward the proposals of Connolly for the seizure of New Orleans with the aid of Great Britain. He was persuaded, however, that had it not been for the liberal Spanish policy inaugurated by Gardoqui, the Kentuckians would have favored the Connolly plan. He found a good deal of anti-Spanish prejudice, but the promise of perfect religious freedom and liberty of trade converted many, he believed, to an attitude favorable to the Spanish king.38

Arriving at the Mississippi on the fourteenth of February, Morgan found a party of Delaware Indians camped opposite the mouth of the Ohio, who agreed to go to the new hunting grounds he offered them. Then, leaving the main body of his followers at the Indian camp, the colonel turned north to visit the Spanish commandant at St. Louis.39 Finding the river frozen, he disembarked and tramped over-land to Kaskaskia, in the American Illinois, where he hired a horse and carriage to take him to St. Louis. There, Señor Perez, the commandant, met him with cordiality and politeness, furnishing him with horses, guides, and provisions for his exploring trip in the interior of the country.40 After exploring the territory lying back from the river, he rejoined his party at the confluence of the Chepoussa, or St. John's River, with the Mississippi. They had removed to this point, twelve leagues south of the mouth of the Ohio, during his absence at St. Louis. He now proceeded to the work of surveying his grant and laying out his city.41

Morgan's grant, provisionally made by Gardoqui, lay between p41Cape Cinque Hommes (now St. Come, in Perry County, Missouri) and the mouth of the St. Francis River in the present State of Arkansas. This huge tract of land, extending both north and south of the Ohio, reached back from the Mississippi two degrees of longitude, and contained some fifteen million acres.42 He proposed to build his city as near the mouth of the Ohio as would be convenient, and finally settled upon the spot where the Chepoussa joins the Mississippi, only a few miles north of the later famous line of "thirty-six thirty."43 This, said Morgan, was the most important spot in his Catholic Majesty's North American dominions, both for military and commercial reasons. A post there could command both the Ohio and the Mississippi Rivers; it stood within easy access of the highlands west of the river; it would be a splendid location for an entrepôt for the staples of the Kentucky and Ohio River regions; and it was thought sufficiently close to the Missouri River to control the fur trade of that area, lying, as it did, only one hundred and fifty miles from the Osage River by land, whereas the distance by water was five hundred. Such a market would render the navigation of the Mississippi unnecessary to the Americans, and put it in the power of his Majesty's new subjects to control all the commerce of the American West, as well as furnish His Majesty great profits to be derived from the duties he would impose upon the American goods. It would be a mistake to open the river to the Americans, even on the condition of paying a large duty, for it was easy to see that, so long as they had an open river, the Americans would not emigrate to Spanish soil. Rather, it was advisable to close the river to them, and impose a smaller, say a five per cent duty, upon the goods to be brought to New Madrid.44

Having selected the site for his city, Morgan opened his land office, and began his survey. He had the land divided into farms and began assigning them to the men who had come with him, three hundred and twenty acres to each man on condition that he build a house and settle there before the following May p42(1790), take an oath of allegiance to "His Most Catholic Majesty" and pay the sum of forty-eight Mexican dollars. A good many grants were made thus tentatively, but he would not demand, nor receive payments until he should receive final authorization from the king of Spain.45

As for the city, Morgan determined to lay it out along the banks of the Chepoussa and Mississippi rivers, extending four miles southward along the latter. It was to be a city beautiful; all the streets were to be at right angles to each other, four rods wide, with a fifteen foot sidewalk on each side. The squares were to be all of the same dimensions, subdivided into twelve lots of one-half acre each. Certain blocks on King Street were to be "given to the citizens" for the purposes of market places; other lots were to be reserved for Roman Catholic churches and schools, others for the Episcopalians, the Presbyterians, and other denominations. Schoolmasters were to be employed by the town, and every encouragement was to be given to religion and education.46 The landings on the river were to be free for the use of all persons, under regulation by the police of the city. There was to be a parkway of trees and a highway four rods wide along the bank of the Mississippi forever, and no trees in any street might be injured or cut down save by direction of the magistrates. Likewise, in the center of the city, where there was a natural lake, there was to be a broad parked highway running around the lake, and farther away another twelve acre park, all to be maintained by the magistrates.47

Of even greater interest in the planning of this utopia, however, were Morgan's extraordinary provisions for the conservation of game. No white person who was a hunter by profession was to be allowed to live in the territory, nor would anyone else who made a practice of killing buffalo or deer unless he brought it into New Madrid to his family or the public market there. "This regulation," said Morgan, "is intended for the preservation of those animals, and for the benefit of the neighboring Indians, p43whose dependence is on hunting particularly; — this settlement being wholly agricultural and commercial, no encouragement shall be given to white men hunters."48

New Madrid was a busy scene, in the spring of 1789. While the surveyors were out, the emigrants themselves were erecting store-houses for provisions, making gardens, and clearing a great one-hundred acre field, here they would plant corn, potatoes, and other food-plants as provision against the needs of the following winter, as well as flax and hemp, cotton, and tobacco, for the founding of a trade down the river.49

From all the foregoing, Colonel Morgan's attitude toward the administration of the city is clearly to be seen. Similarly, he approached the problem of Indian relations in the same spirit that had earned for him among the savages of the Ohio the affectionate appellation of "Tamenend." From Fort Pitt he had sent them a message inviting them to go over the great river with him, and he invited them to settle on the new hunting grounds he would show them in the lands of the king of Spain. The lands around New Madrid were not claimed by any Indian nation; they could therefore come where they could be sure of their lands and a trade with the settlers. At a conference with the Indians who went with him to New Madrid he promised them that no white man should kill game in his territory for furs, and that animals should be killed only for food, following the custom of the Indians themselves.50

His enterprise thus happily in motion, Colonel Morgan was now ready to go farther; and the month of May found him in New Orleans, prepared to discuss his colony with Don Estevan Miró, governor and intendent of Louisiana. Then he would take ship for home, where he would report to Diego de Gardoqui the progress he had made and the information he had collected, and receive the royal authorization and instruction for his colony. p44He had planned only to select a site and lay out the city; but the numbers of people who followed him made it necessary to leave definite arrangements for the distribution of land. He left Joseph Story in charge of the colony, with Benjamin Harrison to complete the surveys of a thousand farms. Many of the people who came to Morgan's colony were from Kentucky; many were French settlers discontented with conditions in the Illinois. Not all of them went to New Madrid, however; a Baptist minister, for example, with his congregation, settled at a point four leagues from the Ohio under Colonel Morgan's direction.51

At New Orleans, Colonel Morgan met a check, in the person of Estevan Miró, governor of Louisiana, who differed from the minister, Gardoqui, in his interpretation of their mutual government's plans to open Louisiana to settlement. Miró represented a cautious, partial opening of the empire, in harmony with the real designs of Spain; Gardoqui had rashly committed himself to the extremely liberal processes embodied in Morgan's plan. Gardoqui was following, all too easily, the suggestions of Morgan; Miró was largely influenced by another American, General James Wilkinson of Kentucky.52

Wilkinson had begun his negotiations with Governor Miró in the summer of 1787. He had come to New Orleans, he said, representing the people of Kentucky, with the aim of finding out the disposition of the Spanish government toward them. He submitted jointly to Miró, the governor, and Martin Navarro, the then intendent-general, a lengthy memorial summarizing the situation in the West and suggesting the policy that Spain ought to pursue toward the discontented communities.53 These communities, he said, had grown enormously since the war, and the rate of immigration was increasing, due to the desire of the people of the east to escape the taxes imposed upon them to pay off the foreign debt. During the period of British occupation, after the French and Indian War, they had come to consider the p45navigation of the Mississippi River as a right; they had thought the closing of the river after the war only temporary, and expected its immediate reopening. But their hopes had been dashed by the failure of the Jay-Gardoqui negotiations, and they were now taking measures to insure their own happiness. Divided and distracted, the United States could not hope to force Spain to concede the navigation of the Mississippi. Therefore, the western people would be compelled to form their own independent federation, a step which Congress was powerless to prevent. The confederation once formed, its first business would be to secure the navigation of the Mississippi. For this they had two plans: first, they would attempt to secure the navigation of the river by amicable negotiation; but failing this method, they would soon open the river by force, with the aid of Great Britain.

Spain, he said, thus found herself confronted by an irresistible necessary. God had made the western lands fertile for no other reason than for the good of man; to oppose the development of the West, therefore, would be to oppose both God and man. Successful resistance would be impossible, in any case, and any sort of resistance would be harmful to the interests of Spain. Therefore, it would be more politic to win the friendship of the West by a partial indulgence, gradually drawing it under Spanish control, than to drive it into the arms of Great Britain by an unmodified exclusion. Don Diego de Gardoqui should refuse to grant the navigation of the river, for to do so would be a surrender of Spain's most valuable negotiable asset in her dealings with the West. On the other hand, Spain should fortify Louisiana, particularly L'Anse à la Graisse (the spot later selected by Morgan as the site of New Madrid), to prevent the Kentuckians from seizing the province by force. But she should invite them to come over into the Spanish territory to settle, where they would enjoy all the commercial privileges of Spanish citizens. They should be permitted the private exercise of their religion, but the churches should be Catholic, ministered by priests who understood English, preferably Irishmen. Thus Spain would build up the wealth and strength of Louisiana, without surrendering the navigation of the river. As for Kentucky, Wilkinson was committed to inquire if Spain was disposed to negotiate with the Kentuckians for the admission of that territory into the p46Spanish dominions. If Spain were so inclined, he suggested that he be appointed agent to work among the Kentuckians for a favorable attitude toward Spain. For himself, he would like to have the privilege of bringing his produce down the river for sale at New Orleans; and the same privilege might very profitably be extended to other Kentucky "notables."54

Miró and Navarro were greatly impressed by the situation as presented by Wilkinson. The Americans in Kentucky did present a real menace, leaving Spain only two alternatives: either she must in time lose Louisiana, or she must embrace one of the two projects in Wilkinson's memorial — that is to say, the acquisition of Kentucky or the fortification and colonization of Louisiana. The most advantageous, of course, would be the acquisition of Kentucky; but this would be difficult and hazardous. In the meantime, it would be prudent to carry out the plan of colonization and fortification suggested by Wilkinson, using him as agent for the business. The governor therefore asked authority to employ Wilkinson, granting him the privileges he had asked. This authority was granted in the order of the Junta de Estado of November 20, 1788. The order did not go as far as Wilkinson had suggested, however, in the matter of fomenting rebellion in Kentucky.55

The similarity of this plan with Colonel George Morgan's is clear. Both planned to conserve to Spain the closure of the river; both proposed to build up the strength of Louisiana by colonies of Americans. But the two projects differed widely, otherwise. Morgan demanded complete religious toleration for the American settlers. Wilkinson would prohibit any church but the Catholic, expecting that, little by little, the settlers would be brought over to Catholicism. Morgan would win the friendship of the Kentuckians by the establishment of a port of entry of their p47goods at New Madrid. Wilkinson would attempt to separate Kentucky from the United States and annex it to Spain. Wilkinson would play upon the interests of the Kentuckians by subversive propaganda, extending to some of them concessions in the Spanish trade regulations; Morgan's plan envisaged nothing more than attracting emigrants by offering them more political stability and safety and a greater economic opportunity than they had under the United States. Morgan's plan was straightforward and clean-cut, proposing nothing offensive to the good relations between Spain and the United States. Wilkinson's scheme, on the contrary, was mixed in motive and in execution, and was chiefly calculated to alienate part of the territory and population of the United States, a procedure which could not fail to disturb the relations between the two countries.

Wilkinson recognized the difference, sensing likewise the threat at his own success inherent in Morgan's plea; for if the Kentuckians could dispose of their products at New Madrid, as Morgan proposed, they would lose their chief motive for separating themselves from the United States. All his own labor would be lost, and the glory of solving the pressing problem to the satisfaction of everyone concerned would go to another man; to say nothing of Wilkinson's personal profits.56 The general sent his friend Major Isaac Dunn to New York to "separate Gardoqui from" Morgan's ideas, but Gardoqui cautiously put him off. When, therefore, Wilkinson heard of Morgan's expedition and colony, he set himself deliberately to destroy it. He and his associates first wrote to Gardoqui asking a grant of land on the Mississippi above the Yazoo, with the same privileges which had been extended to Morgan, with the intention of drawing immigrants away from the New Madrid enterprise.57 Then he turned petulantly to Miró, complaining of Morgan and his plan, and of Gardoqui for accepting it.58

The Spanish ministry had made a great mistake, Wilkinson thought, in charging Gardoqui with the Kentucky problem instead of placing it in the hands of Miró. For Gardoqui was making p48his contacts with men who lived in the eastern states, whoº were little interested in the separation of Kentucky, whereas the contacts of Miró were with the Kentuckians themselves, whose most vital interest was the political and economic well-being of that region; which, to Wilkinson, meant a Spanish Kentucky. As for Morgan, Wilkinson said, "he is a man of education and understanding, but a deep speculator. He has been bankrupt twice, and finds himself at the present moment in extreme necessity. He was sent to New York by a company of New Jersey gentlemen to negotiate with Congress the purchase of a vast parcel of land. . . . But while this business was pending he . . . found it advantageous to change his negotiation from America to Spain . . ." Morgan's project could produce no good effect; on the contrary, the Americans who settled at New Madrid, by constant contact with their compatriots in Kentucky, would retain all their old prejudices and principles, continuing to be as truly American as when living on the Ohio. Besides, the detention of the products of Kentucky at the free port of New Madrid, so far from the market at New Orleans, would only cause dissatisfaction, embroil the two countries, and thus probably destroy the great scheme the foundations of which Wilkinson and Miró had so carefully laid.59

Miró was again impressed, and took fright at Morgan and his expedition. He reported to the secretary for the Indies, Don Antonio Valdez, that he considered the Morgan project extremely prejudicial to the hoped-for annexation of Kentucky, and attacked Gardoqui's policy as inimical to the king's best interest.60 The danger both to Louisiana and to New Spain (Mexico), inherent in a self-governing colony enjoying complete religious freedom was, he thought, obvious, and needed no comment. Besides, he, Miró, could populate Louisiana by bringing in families of Americans through his own agents; why was it necessary to give away a vast parcel of the province to a man whose success was doubtful, and whose methods were dangerous, to say the least?

The governor had planned to establish posts along the river, and particularly at "L'Anse à la Graisse," where Morgan proposed p49to build his city. At each of his proposed posts there would be a small detachment of soldiers, a church, and a priest. This was the only way, he thought, to conserve the tranquility of the province and attach the affections of the people to the Spanish government. In this way, too, the second generation, not having known any other government, loving the country of their birth, educated by the priests in the language of Spain, would become true Spaniards, embracing the religion of their king. In view of all these considerations, Miró proposed to say to the American that his colony was inadmissible under the conditions that Morgan proposed. However, if Colonel Morgan cared to bring in families of Americans under the conditions approved by the king, the governor would recommend him for compensation according to his merit.61 Miró was in this state of mind when Morgan came to New Orleans in May, 1789. After talking with the colonel, however, and finding himself mistaken as to the powers actually granted by Gardoqui and as to the character of Morgan himself, the governor's attitude was considerably softened. Nevertheless, Miró proved to be the rock upon which Morgan's plan was wrecked, although the city that Morgan had founded continued to grow.

Morgan had already written Miró in April, telling him of his arrival at the Mississippi, of Gardoqui's support and of his plans for the new colony. On his arrival in New Orleans, May 20, 1789, he immediately conferred with the governor, and was astonished to find him unalterably opposed to the admission of the American colonists on the terms that Morgan had proposed.62 Miró had heard from Wilkinson and others that Morgan had been authorized by Gardoqui to sell land. In this he was mistaken, for although Morgan had surveyed the land and allotted portions of it to his companions, he had received no money, and would not, until his authority should come from the king. Miró objected to selling the land at all, and proposed to grant it freely, in amounts varying according to the number of people in the families receiving the grants. But he approved the allotments Morgan had already made. In the second place, Miró told Morgan that he p50could not approve the plan for complete religious freedom. The incoming settlers would be welcome, and would not be molested in their religion; but there could be no public worship other than the Roman Catholic. Parish churches would be erected, served by Irish priests or others speaking the English language. He would establish there a body of soldiers under a commanding officer to protect the colonists and maintain justice among them. Furthermore every immigrant must take the oath of allegiance to His Catholic Majesty and undertake to defend the country in case of invasion. The hand of Wilkinson is seen in all Miró's objections, particularly in his statement that a colony erected according to the plan of Morgan would remain American, a republic within the dominions of the king.63

Finally, the governor rebuked Morgan for his conduct in giving to prospective settlers an incorrect impression by telling them he had received a large grant of land from the king. In addition to this, Morgan had usurped the rights of the sovereign in laying out a city, giving it a name, and calling it "our city," whereas Don Diego de Gardoqui had authorized him only to examine the country. However, he expressed himself as impressed by Colonel Morgan's personal qualities, and, convinced that the colonel's errors were but the manifestations of an excess of zeal, he was willing to confirm Morgan's grants to the settlers; furthermore, he would commission Morgan to bring in more settlers, if they were willing to remain under the conditions that he, Miró, proposed. At the same time he promised to recommend Colonel Morgan to the approval of his Majesty and make him a grant of one thousand acres, with an equal amount for each of his sons, if he would accept it.64

Morgan, in his turn, apologized for his excess of zeal, and assured Miró of his desire to do nothing to the laws of His Majesty. In using the term "our city," and naming it "New Madrid," he had been innocent of offence and intended to show devotion, respect, and attachment to His Majesty. In moving into Spanish territory he felt he was placing himself under a government capable of assuring him justice; for the sake of gaining p51this comfortable certainty, he was willing to modify his plans to conform with the conditions imposed by the governor, and expressed himself as willing to continue bringing families into Louisiana under Miró's direction.65 The governor then gave Morgan two commissions, one empowering him to introduce settlers into Spanish territory, and the other appointing him a sort of vice-commandant of the settle of "Anse à la Graisse," second to the military officer to be appointed commander of that post.66 He also gave Morgan a set of instructions to govern his work with prospective immigrants to New Madrid. Land grants were to be gratis; no person would be molested in his religion, but there could be no public worship except the Catholic; new settlers would have the same commercial privileges as the old inhabitants, with a free market at New Orleans, and all goods brought with them to New Madrid would be free of duty and could be sold. The new settlers must take the oath of allegiance to His Majesty, and engage to take up arms in defense of the province. They would be governed by the laws of the Spanish king, administered by good officers appointed by him.67

Colonel Morgan stayed in New Orleans about a month, talking over the conditions of his colony with Miró. He was particularly interested in the possibility of growing hemp and cordage at New Madrid, and made inquiry of the prices the New Madrid settlers might expect at New Orleans. The king had made special provisions for the encouragement of these crops, for the sake of the royal navy, and Miró was able to assure Morgan of certain minimum prices which the colonel believed sufficient in general to induce the settlers to devote themselves to the production of these commodities — a matter which Morgan considered of great importance to the king.68

After his negotiations with Morgan, Miró summarized the situation in a report to Valdez. He found Morgan guilty of nothing worse than a zealous impatience to carry out his plans, but he was amazed that Gardoqui had promised Morgan so much. Such a community as Gardoqui had countenanced, would, if allowed p52self-government, certainly attract many people; but these people would never develop the slightest affection for Spanish government and customs. At the first dispute they would declare themselves independent, and would then constitute the gravest sort of threat at the safety of New Spain. Worst of all, having the free exercise of their religion, they could never be brought to become Catholic, and His Most Catholic Majesty would be harboring within his empire a flourishing nest of Protestants. Yet, despite these dangers to the political and religious safety of the empire, Gardoqui had led Morgan to believe his plan admissible.69

As for Colonel Morgan, Miró found him a man of probity, of ability, and of great influence in his country. Convinced, therefore, that the colonel would be a great asset to the Spanish policy in Louisiana, he had offered the American a grant of land, and had committed him to bring immigrants into Louisiana, which Morgan had accepted. "From which," said the governor, "I am confident Your Excellency will find I have changed a very bad business into a good one."70 As prudence dictated that the Americans at "L'Anse à la Graisse" should not be permitted to make a beginning at self-government, he had appointed Pedro Foucher commandant, with instructions to build a fort and govern the settlers, but in the most liberal manner possible. He requested the king's authority to name the new city "New Madrid," since that would give considerable satisfaction to Morgan and his companions.71 Valdez conveyed to Miró the king's approval of the governor's negotiations with Morgan, and the royal approval of "New Madrid" as the name for the new settlement.72

Morgan left New Orleans about the end of June, and arrived in Philadelphia on July 28.73 Almost as soon as he arrived he issued an eight-page folder advertising his new colony. This folder consisted of a series of questions and answers relative to New Madrid, to which were appended two letters from colonists p53already there. The queries had to do with the soil, climate, vegetation, location, and government in the new colony, all of which were answered in the most glowing terms. At the end of the document was printed a letter from a group of the settlers to Dr. John Morgan, describing with enthusiasm the land and arrangements for the new colony and expressing their confidence that they had "at last found a country equal to our most sanguine wishes."74 On August 20, Morgan submitted to Gardoqui a report of his expedition, which had lasted almost a year. In this report he surveyed the whole situation in the American West, and discussed his own project in relation to it. He had sounded the people he had met on the way down the Ohio, and accurately reported the state of their feeling. He found that the men in the Kentucky settlements "had long viewed their situation in a proper light, and treated General Wilkinson's scheme as highly impertinent, although they supposed it had answered his purposes from the contract and partnership he had entered into at New Orleans." He attacked the partnership between Miró and Wilkinson as injurious to His Majesty's service. Wilkinson's inability to fulfill his contract, however, had defeated its ill effects.75

Colonel Morgan had closely watched the effects of Dr. John Connolly's propaganda among the Kentuckians. His scheme, too, in Morgan's opinion, was failing from lack of interest. Yet Connolly had been encouraged to believe his plans for a Kentucky-British alliance might bear fruit if the separatist movement in Kentucky should succeed. Morgan was convinced that this project would have been satisfactory to the majority of the Kentuckians, had they not been informed, by the actions of Gardoqui, of the good will and intentions of the Spanish king and the advantages to be gained simply by crossing the river. On the other hand, Morgan was convinced that so long as the problem of the river remained unadjusted, there would be repeated attempts to open it by force. Spain must in that case always look upon the Kentuckians as enemies. New Orleans, if attacked, could be taken in ten days. It was practical wisdom for the power controlling the entrance to the river to populate its banks from p54the Missouri River downward, so as to build up a living buffer against attack from that side. By adopting this policy, Spain had laid the foundation for a great and lasting empire; only two things could now separate the empire from His Majesty's government: oppression of the people by the government, or an unwise system of trade. The existing system, putting as it did, a premium upon smuggling, Morgan considered suicidal.76

Morgan pointed out to Gardoqui the great wave of Americans that had swept into Kentucky in the twenty years that had elapsed since he last visited the Illinois Country, estimating the number at about one hundred fifty thousand souls. In that great westward movement lay at once Spain's danger and her opportunity, Miró, while possessing the "necessary ideas" as to this object, was following a course altogether harmful to the interests of Spain. The partial adoption of Morgan's plan would disturb the confidence of prospective immigrants, while the free gift of land would have a positively demoralizing effect, without making any appeal whatever to the type of immigrant they hoped to attract to the Spanish side. In the situation and quality of her land, coupled with the restless expansiveness of the Americans, Spain had a priceless opportunity to build for himself an empire of immense wealth. But at the same time there was grave import to her in the partial or unwise policies that might convert this opportunity into a threat.77

Notwithstanding the modification of his plans by Miró, Morgan was willing to continue the work for the emigration of Americans to Louisiana; it was only a short after this report that his "Queries and Answers" appeared as a part of his propaganda for New Madrid. Suddenly, however, he lost interest in the venture; and it is impossible clearly to explain the reason. It may be that the death of his brother, Dr. John Morgan, which took place only a few days after the appearance of Morgan's folder, was the chief cause. The doctor left to his brother the bulk of his estate, for the use of the colonel's children, and this property included a large amount of land in western Pennsylvania. It is possible, therefore, that the colonel, relieved of the necessity for improving his own fortune and immersed in p55the administration of the doctor's estate, desired to take possession of this Pennsylvania land and found it to his advantage to give up the New Madrid venture.78 On the other hand, during Morgan's absence from the United States the new government under the Constitution had been established, and with it the federal Supreme Court. It is very probable that, with the prospect of an unbiased tribunal backed by the power of the new union, Colonel Morgan abandoned the New Madrid project in the hope that his suit for the Indiana Company against the State of Virginia might at last be successful.

In any case, he did not go back to New Madrid. Miró had appointed as commandant a young French officer, Pedro Foucher, who, in Morgan's opinion, was little suited for the job of civil government because he could speak no English.79 Foucher took over the post in October, and governed it under instructions similar to those Miró had given George Morgan.80 The new commandant, replying to a petition by John Ward, Benjamin Harrison, and others, conveyed to the settlers the news that they would not have to pay for their lands; and he continued to receive newcomers.81 Practically all those who had come with Morgan, however, returned to their homes; in the summer after the colonel left, the river "overflowed amazingly," and many left in disgust.82 The place proved unhealthful, and the fort had to be moved to higher ground.83 Nevertheless, families continued to come, especially Frenchmen from Vincennes and the Illinois;84 a number of Indians came, too, and asked for land, because of their troubles with the United States.85

p56 Whatever Morgan's reasons for abandoning the New Madrid project, he remained at "Prospect," and his chief efforts during the next two or three years were directed to the affairs of the Indiana Company. He still continued, however, to hope that his original plan for establishing a colony in Louisiana would be approved by the king. He believed that Miró's policy was the wrong one for the most effective handling of the Mississippi problem and the inevitable expansion of the American West. He remained on terms of cordial friendship with Gardoqui; but he thoroughly understood the clash of economic interests in the Mississippi Valley that would make inevitable the loss of Louisiana to Spain. By 1791 he saw that the United States was in a position to drive the Indians of the Northwest Territory across the Mississippi, where, he said, "we shall be obliged to follow them in a few years unless the Spanish Settlements there & the Government" shall restrain them. This Spain would not be able to do, under the present plan. The only alternative then, would be the employment of force, and the "removing all foreign Obstructions from the Mississippi at a day not very far distant."

"Our love of Liberty Civil and religious is our ruling Passion: Give us these & all Princes or Rulers & all Countries are alike to Us: but they must be given as our Right & not as an Indulgence which we may be deprived of at Pleasure by any man or Sett of Men whatever. If Spain does not adopt this Idea in regard to forming her Settlements on the Mississippi She will have no Settlements there six Months after the first Dispute between her and the U. S." The partial liberty given in the settlements at the Natchez and elsewhere would not be sufficient, "whilst a liberal Conduct would secure the command of her Western Country for Ages."86


The Author's Notes:

1 J. Bioren (ed.), Laws of the United States (Philadelphia, 1815), I, 472 ff.

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2 M. Carbonneaux to George Morgan, January, 1785 (in private collection of Mrs. J. A. Happer, Washington, Pennsylvania); Memorandum of the New Jersey Land Society, May 1, 1788, Papers of the Continental Congress (in Library of Congress).

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3 Proposals of the New Jersey Land Society, May 15, 1788, ibid.

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4 Reports of the Committee on the Memorial of the New Jersey Land Society, July 1, July 30, August 11, 1788, ibid.

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5 Arthur P. Whitaker, The Spanish American Frontier: 1783‑1795 (New York, 192), chaps. IIIV.

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6 The records of this traffic are largely in the Papeles de Estado at the Archivo Historico Nacional, Madrid (hereinafter cited as A. H. N., Est.), legs. 3884 and 3884 bis.

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7 Instructions to Gardoqui, 1784, A. H. N., Est., leg. 3885; Gardoqui to Floridablanca, April 18, 1788, A. H. N., Est., leg. 3894; order of the Junta Suprema de Estado, November 20, 1788, A. H. N., Est., leg. 3888 bis; Whitaker, op. cit., chaps. IIIV.

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8 A. H. N., Est., legs. 3893, 3894, 3888 bis, passim; plan of Baron von Steuben, A. H. N., Est., leg. 3894.

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9 Papers of the Continental Congress, vol. 19, part IV, fols. 145‑56, 159.

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10 Ibid., vol. 138, part II, fol. 173; vol. 41, part VI, fol. 514; vol. 19, part IV, fols. 159, 165.

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11 Morgan to Gardoqui, August 30, 1788, A. H. N., Est., leg. 3894.

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12 Gardoqui to Miró, October 4, 1788 (in Papeles de Cuba at the Archivo General de Indias, Seville, Spain, hereinafter cited as A. G. I., Cuba), leg. 2352 (there is a copy in the private collection of Mr. Robert R. Reed, of Washington, Pennsylvania); Gardoqui to Morgan, September 11, 1789, Reed Collection.

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13 Morgan to Gardoqui, August 30, 1788, loc. cit.; Gardoqui to Floridablanca, October 24, 1788 and Gardoqui to Miró, October 4, 1788, A. H. N., Est., leg. 3894.

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14 Morgan to Gardoqui, August 30, 1788, loc. cit.

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15 Gardoqui to Morgan, September 2, 1788, A. H. N., Est., leg. 3894.

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16 Baron Poellnitz to Morgan, September 16, 1788, Franklin MSS. (in library of the American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania).

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17 Morgan to Gardoqui, September 9, 1788, A. H. N., Est., leg. 3894.

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18 September, 1788: A. H. N., Est., leg. 3894; cf. Charles Gayarré, History of Louisiana (New Orleans, 1885), III, 197.

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19 Whitaker, op. cit., 72.

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20 Gardoqui to Floridablanca, October 24, 1788 and Gardoqui to Miró, October 4, 1788, A. H. N., Est., leg. 3894.

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21 Gardoqui to Morgan, September 2, 1788, A. H. N., Est., leg. 3894.

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22 Compare the congressional price of two-thirds of a dollar.

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23 The handbill, October 30, 1788 (original in Happer Collection).

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24 Correspondence of Morgan, Hutchins, Gardoqui, passim, A. H. N., Est.

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25 Gardoqui to Floridablanca, December 24, 1788, A. H. N., Est., leg. 3894.

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26 Lardner Clark to Colonel Hawkins, member of Congress from North Carolina, May, 1789, A. G. I., Cuba, leg. 120; M. Montflorence to Colonel Hawkins, May 11, 1789, ibid.

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27 Samuel F. Bemis, Pinckney's Treaty (Baltimore, 1926), chaps. IV, V, VII; Whitaker, op. cit., chap. V.

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28 J. Dawson to Governor Beverly Randolph, January 29, 1789, William Palmer (ed.), Calendar of Virginia State Papers and other Manuscripts, January 1, 1785-July 2, 1789 (Richmond, 1884), IV, 554‑56; also James Madison to George Washington, March 8, 1789, Gaillard Hunt (ed.), The Writings of James Madison (New York, 1900‑1904), V, 329; Montflorence to Hawkins, May 11, 1789, loc. cit.; T. Hutchins to Daniel Clarke, December 2, 1788, A. G. I., Cuba, leg. 2370. Patrick Henry was one of those who at the time expressed a desire to emigrate. Whitaker, op. cit., 126.

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29 Madison to Jefferson, March 29, 1789, Hunt, op. cit., V, 337; Madison to Washington, March 26, 1789, Madison MSS. (in Library of Congress).

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30 Madison to Washington, March 8, 1789, ibid.

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31 Bemis, op. cit., 182; Whitaker, op. cit., 103.

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32 Harmar to Arthur St. Clair, May 8, 1789, "North West" Papers, 1775‑89 (in Library of Congress).

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33 Morgan to Gardoqui, December 9, 1788, A. H. N., Est., leg. 3894.

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34 Ibid.

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35 Ibid. Also Hutchins to Gardoqui, November 20, 1788, A. H. N., Est., leg. 3894.

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36 John Connolly to [?], n. d., A. H. N., Est., leg. 3894 (copy).

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37 Morgan to Gardoqui, December 19, 1788, A. H. N., Est., leg. 3894; Montflorence to Hawkins, May 11, 1789, loc. cit.

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38 Montflorence to Hawkins, May 11, 1789, loc. cit. Also Morgan to Gardoqui, August 20, 1789, "Missouri," New Madrid MSS. (in Library of Congress).

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39 Ibid.; Morgan to Miró, April 14, 1789, A. G. I., Cuba, leg. 2352.

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40 Ibid., Perez to Miró, March 27, 1789, A. G. I., Cuba, leg. 15; Miró-Perez correspondence, A. G. I., Cuba, legs. 6, 15, and 2361.

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41 Morgan to Gardoqui, August 20, 1789, loc. cit.

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42 Mr. Moran'sº Speech to the Indians, April 7, 1789, Reed Collection.

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43 Letter of Morgan's emigrants to Turnbull and Company, April 14, 1789, A. G. I., Cuba, leg. 2361.

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44 Morgan to Gardoqui, August 20, 1789, loc. cit.; Zadok Cramer, The Navigator (Pittsburgh, 1817), 262; Whitaker, op. cit., 102.

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45 Morgan to Gardoqui, August 20, 1789, loc. cit.; applications for land, Reed Collection, also in A. G. I., Cuba, legs. 15 and 202; Land Office advertisement, Reed Collection.

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46 "General Directions," "Missouri," New Madrid MSS.; emigrants to Turnbull and Company, loc. cit.; Morgan's handbill, Happer Collection.

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47 Ibid. Emigrants to Turnbull and Company, loc. cit.

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48 "General Directions," loc. cit.

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49 Ibid.; letter of the settlers to Doctor John Morgan, April 14, 1789, printed copy in A. G. I., Cuba, leg. 2361.

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50 Ibid.; Morgan to Kayashuta and the Indian nations, December 3, 1788, Happer Collection; Moran'sº speech, Reed Collection; speech of George Morgan to the Indians, April, 1789, Wayne MSS. (in Library of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia); speech of George Morgan at St. Louis, March 23, 1789, Reed Collection; Morgan to Gardoqui, August 20, 1789, loc. cit.

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51 Madison to Washington, March 8, 1789, loc. cit.; Harmar to St. Clair, May 8, 1789, loc. cit.; Gayarre, op. cit., III, 267; Miró to Valdez, June 12, 1789, A. G. I., Cuba, leg. 1425‑A.

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52 Miró to Valdez, March 15, 1789, A. H. N., Est., leg. 3888 bis; compare Miró's protest against Morgan's colony with Wilkinson's memorial of September 5, 1787, and Wilkinson's letter to Miró, February 14, 1789, A. H. N., Est., leg. 3888 bis.

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53 Presented September 5, 1787, A. H. N., Est., leg. 3888 bis.

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54 Wilkinson's memorial, September 5, 1787; Miró to [?], September 25, 1787; Resumen del Extracto General sobre Poblacion en la Provincia de la Luisiana, September 25, 1787, in A. H. N., Est., leg. 3888 bis.

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55 The success of Wilkinson in drawing personal profit from the troubled situation in the American West is amazing. He not only got the privileges he asked, but a pension as well. He formed a partnership with Miró which proved lucrative to both, but it is difficult to see the slightest profit to Spain resulting from her dealings with this great schemer. Time and again he "took the hair" of the Spanish administration, always to his own profit. Serrano y Sanz, El Brigadier Jaime Wilkinson (Madrid, 1915).º (The correspondence is in A. H. N., Est., leg. 3888 bis.)

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56 Miró to Valdez, March 15, 1789, loc. cit.

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57 Brown, Wilkinson, and Dunn to Gardoqui, January 15, 1789, A. H. N., Est., leg. 3894.

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58 Gardoqui to Floridablanca, March 4, 1789, A. H. N., Est., leg. 3893; Wilkinson to Miró, February 14, 1789, A. H. N., Est., leg. 3888 bis.

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59 Wilkinson to Miró, February 14, 1789, loc. cit.

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60 Miró to Valdez, March 15, 1789, loc. cit.

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61 Ibid.

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62 Morgan to Miró, April 14, 1789, A. G. I., Cuba, leg. 2352; Morgan to Gardoqui, August 20, 1789, loc. cit.

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63 Miró to Morgan, May 23, 1789, Reed Collection (copies in A. G. I., Cuba, leg. 202, and in A. H. N., Est., leg. 3888 bis.).

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64 Ibid.

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65 Morgan to Miró, May 24, 1789, A. G. I., Cuba, leg. 202.

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66 "Missouri," New Madrid MSS.

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67 Instructions to Morgan (copy in Morgan's hand), A. G. I., Cuba, leg. 202.

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68 Morgan to Miró, June 9 and June 24, 1789, A. G. I., Cuba, leg. 202; id. to id., June 27, 1789, A. G. I., Cuba, leg. 120.

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69 Miró to Valdez, June 12, 1789, A. H. N., Est., leg. 3888 bis.

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70 Ibid.

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71 Valdez to Miró, October 25, 1789, A. G. I., Cuba, leg. 176‑B; instructions to Foucher, September 12, 1789, A. H. N., Est., leg. 3888 bis.

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72 Morgan to Gardoqui, August 20, 1789, loc. cit.

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73 Morgan to Miró, July 28, 1789, A. G. I., Cuba, leg. 2352.

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74 Morgan to Gardoqui, August 20, 1789, loc. cit.

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75 Ibid.

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76 Ibid.

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77 Ibid.

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78 Entries in the Morgan family Bible, in possession of Mrs. H. D. Coffinbury, Cleveland, Ohio.

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79 Morgan to Gardoqui, August 20, 1789, loc. cit.; Miró to Valdez, September 12, 1789, A. H. N., Est., leg. 3888 bis; appointment of Foucher, July 28, 1789, A. G. I., Cuba, leg. 2361.

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80 Foucher to Miró, November 19, 1789, A. G. I., Cuba, leg. 15; Foucher's instructions (copy), A. H. N., Est., leg. 3888 bis.

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81 Petition of Juan Ward, et al. (copy) enclosed with Miró to Valdez, April 15, 1790, A. G. I., Cuba, leg. 16; correspondence of Foucher and Tomas Portell with Miró, 1790‑92, A. G. I., Cuba, legs. 15, 16, 17.

[decorative delimiter]

82 B. Hawkins to James Madison, August 27, 1789, Madison MSS.

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83 Portell to Miró, July 24, September 19, 1791, A. G. I., Cuba, leg. 17.

[decorative delimiter]

84 Foucher to Miró, December 11, 1789, A. G. I., Cuba, leg. 15; id. to id., March 15, 1791, A. G. I., Cuba, leg. 17; Portell to Miró, November 29, 1791, A. G. I., Cuba, leg. 17.

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85 Portell to Miró, April 19, 1792, A. G. I., Cuba, leg. 17.

[decorative delimiter]

86 Morgan to Gardoqui, February 24, 1791, Happer Collection.


Thayer's Note:

a This is shorthand for something most of us would hardly call an "accident". The picaresque goings-on are told by James Ripley Jacobs, Tarnished Warrior, p89.


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Page updated: 11 Nov 13