William Webber and John Capidy Letters
This collection consists of two letters dated December 5 and 17, 1805, addressed to the Governor of the Louisiana Territory, James Wilkinson, from William Webber and John Capidy in regards to Cherokee land claims near the White River. Webber begins his own letter by acknowledging Wilkinson’s desire for peace, and replies that the chief men amongst them also seek peace. Webber goes on to discuss the evil of the liquor being traded to his people and remarks that “the large quantities of liquor bought here proves the ruin of a number of our own people.”
John Capsidy’s letter discusses a talk that he has asked John B. Treat to give to the Cherokee as the leaders were away on a hunt. As he expected to be in Natchez when they returned, he gave his talk to William Webber “who is considered to be one of their principal men.”
The material in this collection is in English.
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Conditions Governing Use
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0.1 Linear Feet
This collection consists of two letters dated December 5 and 17, 1805, addressed to the Governor of the Louisiana Territory, James Wilkinson, from William Webber and John Capidy in regards to Cherokee land claims near the White River.
A Revolutionary War veteran, James Wilkinson was entrusted with the control of the newly acquired territory from the Louisiana Purchase (1803) and also served as a double agent for the Spanish and co-conspirator with the traitor Aaron Burr.
In 1787, Wilkinson began a long term employment as a secret agent of Spain. After Thomas Jefferson purchased Louisiana from France, Wilkinson was named territorial governor of northern Louisiana. Between 1804 and 1805, Wilkinson exchanged correspondence with Aaron Burr regarding Burr's conspiracy to set up an independent nation in the west. When support for the new nation failed to appear, Wilkinson exposed Burr’s plans to Jefferson and facilitated his capture and trial.
After the scandal, Wilkinson rose to the rank of major general, but after a devastating defeat at Montreal during the War of 1812, Wilkinson retired from service.
This collection was purchased by Special Collections in 1999.