Oliver Wolcott, Junior, Recommends The Louisiana Delegates
WOLCOTT, OLIVER Jr.
OLIVER WOLCOTT (1760-1833) United States Secretary of the Treasury and Governor of Connecticut. Autograph Letter Signed, “Oliv. Wolcott.” One page, 7 7/8” x 10”. New York. November 6, 1804. Addressed on integral address leaf to ROGER GRISWOLD [(1762-1812) Governor of Connecticut and U.S. Representative] Wolcott writes:
“My Dear Sir, This will be presented to you, by Mr. Peter Sauve, who with his associates Messr. Noel Destrehan & Peter Derbigny, are charged by the People of Louisiana, with a Memorial to Congress, on subjects highly interesting to that country. From sources of information, on which I place implicit reliance, I venture to recommend these Gentlemen to your particular attention, as distinguished in point of character, property and influence: - as men of intelligence and amiable manners, the will recommend themselves, in such a manner, that any observations from me would be superfluous. I have the honor to be with the highest esteem, Dr. Sir you obedt. Servt. Oliv Wolcott.”
When the United States took possession of the Province of Louisiana in 1803, the three memorialists mentioned immediately assumed important roles in the nascent government of the Louisiana Territory: Pierre Derbigny was appointed Secretary to the municipal council, and Noel Destrehan and Pierre Sauve were appointed First Adjunct and Second Adjunct, respectively. Despite the political influence these men held in Louisiana, the United States Congress passed a highly unpopular law in 1804 that divided the Louisiana Territory into two parts, The Territory of New Orleans and the District of Louisiana. Even worse, the act explicitly barred the importation of foreign slaves, a severe impediment to territorial growth. In response to these onerous restrictions, Louisiana planters and merchants quickly drafted a petition for the repeal of these restrictive portions of the recently passed act and elected Sauve, Derbigny, and Destrehan to serve as their delegates before Congress. The men proved able delegates, achieving Congressional approval for their petition in March of 1805, and paving the way for Louisiana’s admittance into the Union.
Catalog: # AM-1715