In spite of their earlier support, by 1806, citizens of the Louisiana Territory had changed their minds about Governor Wilkinson. He had been involved in some scandalous affairs and removed by President Jefferson. However, they were not satisfied with the intended replacement, so they signed a petition to urge Jefferson to consider either Colonel Return J. Meigs Junior or Colonel Samuel Hammond.


“To the President of the United States

The subscribers Citizens of the Territory of Louisiana, respectfully represent; That they have learned with regret, a Petition is now in circulation, in this Territory, for the appointment of a person, to succeed General Wilkinson, in the office of Governor, whom we believe will not give satisfaction to the people in general. Without intending to dictate to the President, we beg leave to observe, that we have the fullest confidence, in the talents, and integrity of both Colonel Return J Meigs Junior, and Colonel Samuel Hammond, either of whom, should they meet your approbation, will we believe, by their mildness, and Republicanism, restore harmony to the Territory, and administer its Government, with ability and satisfaction.” [from Clarence Edwin Carter, Territorial Papers XIII—Louisiana-Missouri Territory, 1803–1806 (Washington D.C: Government Printing Office: 1948): 468–486.]

When an X appears following the name, it indicates that person signed with his mark. The other men signed with their actual signature.

The signers of this petition were divided into twenty-eight sections. Sometimes the sections provide a location, such as St. Ferdinand, others are without names. It is often possible to identify the section based on land records. It is also possible roads in that section contain the name of some of these early settlers. The sections cover the entire territory as it was in 1806.

The numbers in the “Signing Order” column indicate the order of signing. People and family members living in the same neighborhood often signed in consecutive order. If three people with the same surname signed together, chances are good that those three men are related. Cross reference these names with other records. Did they serve as witnesses in marriages and probate files for each other? Did they live on adjoining or nearby property? By analyzing the list, you can often establish a neighborhood.

The list below is organized alphabetically, but if you want to search for a particular name, click on the “Refine Search” button.

Last Modified: 11-Nov-2023 16:36