(New Orleans) Jonathan Dayton Autograph Letter Signed "Jona. Dayton." One page, 8" x 10", New Orleans, June 24, 1803 to an unknown correspondent. Dayton (1760-1824), a signer of the Constitution and at the time of this letter he was a Senator from New Jersey. In this letter he announces his arrival at New Orleans and makes important observations regarding the confused political situation there. In part: "... Altho' the right of deposit is established on it's former footing, the trade of this place has not revived as was expected. The present stagnation must however be ascribed in great measure to causes over which our country can have no direct controul [sic], viz. the precarious state of European politics. It is now a month at least since rumors of war recommenced, or about to recommence, have reached these territories, and have occasioned a slate of suspense, not a little embarrassing to people of all descriptions, but particularly so to the Spaniards of the French. Many of them fear to put their produce and their property afloat, whilst there exist so great a probability of it's meeting an enemy on the Atlantic cruising to make prize of it. The entire suspension of the expedition from Holland destined for Louisiana, & the scanty reinforcements of troops for the island of St. Domingo have made the demand for flour so limited as to reduce it to a drug & to leave it almost without price. The French Prefect is here indeed, but without troops, in consequence of which he is subject to many mortifications form the Spanish officers, all of whom regard the cession with dissatisfaction & disgust, & are consequently pleased with any event which promises to postpone or eventually to defeat it. I should write much more upon this subject, were it not for the closing of the mail..." They were completely unaware that in two weeks Thomas Jefferson would announce the Louisiana Purchase. The city was under formal American control by the end of the year. Dayton's visit to New Orleans caused him to break with the Federalist Party and argue in favor of the ratification of the treaty which doubled the size of the United States. Light folds, left margin reinforced on verso with paper, else fine.

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