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A Denunciation on the Stage of Spanish Rule: James Workman's Liberty in Louisiana (1804) Author(s): Charles S. Watson Reviewed work(s):

Source: Louisiana History: The Journal of the Louisiana Historical Association, Vol. 11, No. 3

(Summer, 1970), pp. 245-258

Published by: Louisiana Historical Association

Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4231133

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A Denunciation on the Stage of Spanish Rule: James Workman’s Liberty in Louisiana (1804)*


Assistant Professor of English University of Alabama University, Alabama

James Workman, Judge of the County of Orleans from 1805 to 1807, played a prominent part in the formative events of the new Territory of Orleans, as accounts of the period immediately following the Louisiana Purchase disclose.1 As secretary for the Legislative Council of the Territory, he was responsible for much of the first legislation passed. He became involved in the Burr Conspiracy and was accused of organizing an invasion of Mexico in 1807.2 Although an author of some importance in his time, Workman’s writings have received virtually no attention. His single play, Liberty in Louisiana, is mentioned only briefly in Arthur Hobson Quinn’s History of the American Drama. Quinn wrote that the work was in-

* This article was made possible by a grant from the University of Alabama Research Committee.


tended to celebrate the Louisiana Purchase and that two characters in the play were well portrayed in a performance.3

First, it should be noted that Liberty in Louisiana holds a pioneer position in the literature of Louisiana. It was performed in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1804, two years before the first plays in English were seen in New Orleans. Furthermore, it is certainly among the first dramatic works in English about Louisiana.4

It is the aim of this study to show that Liberty in Louisiana possesses an additional significance because it throws light on the historical period and on the political views of the author. Workman depicts conditions in Louisiana at the time of the Cession, expresses a widely held antagonism toward Spain, and presents a happy merging of the Franco-Spanish and American cultures. His political objective is to denounce Spanish colonial rule, particularly the legal order, and thus to present the new American sovereignty as all the more glorious and desirable. There was a pressing need to win approval of the American government in 1804, as the inhabitants of Louisiana objected to many changes brought by the Americans, especially the new judicial system.5 Before discussing the play and showing how Workman accomplished his purpose, it is necessary to scan the author’s background and writings.

Although considerable information exists on James Workman in scattered records and publications, it is not available in any single biographical account. The following sketch will cover his many places of residence, his writings, and his persistent interest in Spanish America. Workman was bom in

3    Arthur Hobson Quinn, A History of the American Drama from Its Beginnings to the Civil War (New York, 1943), 135 n. Workman’s play can be most readily seen in the microtext collection Three Centuries of Drama: American, ed. Henry W. Wells (New York: Readex Microprint). All subsequent references are to the edition in this collection.

4    For the first theatrical performance of a play in English, see Nelle Smither, A History of the English Theatre in New Orleans (New York, 1944), 8. I have found no earlier play in English about Louisiana in the bibliography of Quinn’s History of the American Drama or in other listings.

8 Abernethy, The Burr Conspiracy, 167-68; Garnie W. McGinty, A History of Louisiana (New York, 1949), 106.



Cavan, Ireland, and went to England to study law at the Middle Temple, which he entered in 1789.6 In 1797 and 1798, he reviewed political books for the important Monthly Review of London. Soon afterward he came to the United States. In the winter of 1801-02, he sailed from Norfolk to Charleston, where he became engaged in merchandising.3 4 He was associated with the Federalist newspaper, the Courier, in Charleston.5

Workman’s play was performed while he was still in Charleston. There is no evidence that he had been in Louisiana at any time before he wrote the work. Announcements in the Courier show that Liberty in Louisiana was produced at the Charleston Theatre on April 4, 6, and May 21, 1804. On the date of the last performance, Workman took the oath of citizenship in Charleston.6 As five years residence was required for naturalization, he must have been in the United States since 1799, at the latest.

Soon after acquiring citizenship, Workman moved to New Orleans,7 where he quickly became active in its civic and political affairs. In April 1805, he was named a regent of “The University of Orleans”; during the next month he was appointed Judge of the County of Orleans. In June of the same



year, he was named to a committee assigned to procure a Protestant church for the city.11

Workman entered national history through his involvement in the Burr Conspiracy. In New Orleans he helped organize the Mexican Association, whose announced aim was the liberation of Mexico. Aaron Burr made contacts with this organization during his visit to New Orleans in 1805.12 Workman played a prominent role in the disturbances connected with Burr’s presence in the Mississippi Valley in 1807. As Judge of the County of Orleans, he ordered the release of men charged with treason and imprisoned by General James Wilkinson. Workman himself was arrested January 14, 1807, by General Wilkinson. On February 23, 1807, he resigned his judgeship, complaining that Governor William Claiborne would not support him in bringing Wilkinson to punishment. Later he was indicted on a charge of initiating an invasion of Mexico. In his trial, Workman admitted that he had long meditated an expedition to Mexico, but he argued that criminal intention existed only if the venture had actually been set on foot. He was found not guilty.13

Workman’s career and reputation suffered temporarily as a result of the charges against him. In December 1807, he was expelled from the bar.14 After an absence from New Orleans, Workman returned and in 1817 was elected president of the Library Society, an organization he had helped to found.15 It appears that he regained his respectability in the city, for in the report of his accidental death from an overturned boat in 1832,

11AIcee Fortier, A History of Louisiana (4 vols.. New York, 1904), III, 23; Carter (ed.), IX, 598; The Louisiana Gazette, June 4, 1805.

12    Abernethy, The Btcrr Conspiracy, 29.

13    James E. Winston, Introduction to “A Faithful Picture of the Political Situation in New Orleans at the Close of the Last and the Beginning of the Present year, 1807,” Louisiana Historical Quarterly, XI (July 1928), 404-13. Winston believes that this anonymous publication attacking General Wilkinson and defending Workman and others was by Workman. See also Claiborne, IV, 119-20, 170-73.

14    Claiborne, IV, 263.

15    Roger P. McCutcheon, “Libraries in New Orleans, 1771-1833,” Louisiana Historical Quarterly, XX (January 1937), 157.



the Louisiana Advertiser stated that he was “one of our most worthy and ancient citizens.” 16

Workman was the author of several published works.17 In a collection of his earlier writings, Political Essays (1801), he proposed an invasion of Spanish America, a common scheme of the time, and expressed many sentiments that were to be repeated in Liberty in Louisiana. The proposal was made in the final essay, entitled “A Memorial proposing a plan, for the conquest of Spanish America; by means, which would contribute to the tranquillity of Ireland.” Although the plan described military action by Great Britain, Workman sent this volume of essays to Thomas Jefferson in 1801, along with a letter specifically advocating that the United States take possession of Louisiana and the Floridas from Spain before France did so.18 Advertisements for the sale of the Political Essays with a summary of the plan for conquering Spanish America ran in the Charleston Courier during May and June 1804.

Workman wrote in the “Memorial” that he had submitted his plan to the British War Minister in the summer of 1800.19 Among the places where Great Britain might begin the conquest, he suggested New Orleans, which would be “the great depot of the commerce of the western states of America.” If taken, this city would hold great importance for future operations. “It would serve as a place d’armes” for invading the richest dominions of the Spanish king.20

In the “Memorial,” Workman also explained why the plan would produce “tranquillity” in Ireland. Because of the late insurrections in that country, some Irishmen had become dissatisfied and would be a constant cause of trouble if permitted to remain. They should be the soldiers used in conquering

16    Reprinted in the Charleston Courier, October 23, 1832.

17    For a listing, see Joseph Sabin, Bibliotheca Americana (New York, 1868-1938), XXIX, 107-109.

18    James Workman, Political Essays (Alexandria, Va., 1801). This volume is listed in Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, III, 330. A copy of the letter to Jefferson is in the possession of the Missouri Historical Society.

19    Workman, Political Essays, 147.

20    Ibid., 158.



Spanish America. He believed that the Irish were well suited for fighting because they were “brave, hardy, inured to the difficulties and wants attendant on such occasions, and above all, greedy of adventure.” Workman added that since the Irish were of the same faith as most of the inhabitants of Spanish America, they would be opposed with “less of fury and acrimony.” 21

Another composition included in Political Essays deplored the “notorious” oppression of the inhabitants of the Spanish colonies. This was a letter addressed to the Duke of Portland, the cabinet secretary in charge of Irish affairs. Workman wrote that it might be impossible to subdue Spanish America by force, but to do so by “emancipating its enslaved inhabitants” would be as practicable as it would be “just and glorious.” Arms would be supported “with the generous principles of English liberty.” 22 The oppression of Spanish rule and the liberty gained by its removal were exactly the ideas Workman was to present in Liberty in Louisiana, published three years after the Political Essays. The play, thus, has a direct connection with his plan to emancipate the colonies of Spain.

Workman’s remarks on Spanish America in his Political Essays indicate the considerable amount of knowledge he had acquired about Louisiana before composing his play and moving there. In his “Memorial,” Workman wrote that he had consulted all books about the Spanish colonies in the languages known to him, which included Spanish and French. He described the economy and geography of New Orleans and Louisiana on the basis of this reading.23

After 1801, Workman could have gathered information from additional sources, both written and oral. A number of publications concerning the area appeared around the time of the Cession. Two volumes printed in 1803 were An Account of Louisiana, prepared for the Department of State, and Vue de la colonie espagnole du Mississippi, by the French traveler

21    Ibid.. 152, 159.

22    Ibid., 139.

23    Ibid., 146-47 and 157-58.



Berquin-Duvallon.24 In 1803 and 1804, the Charleston Courier frequently printed reports of events in New Orleans and announced the arrival of ships from that port and Natchez. Firsthand accounts could have been obtained from passengers on these ships or from other travelers.25

Workman’s play was widely seen and read. After the first performances at the Charleston Theatre in 1804, the play was presented in New York and Philadelphia during the same year and in Savannah in 1805.26 In Charleston, criticism appeared in two newspapers: the Times and the Courier. The former, on April 9, 1804, noted the laughter of the audience and reported that leading actor John Hodgkinson gave as “animated a picture of the character of O’Flinn” as the best performer on the British stage could offer. Stephen Carpenter, editor of the Courier, praised the play highly in the issue of April 19, 1804.27 Carpenter noted some grumblings from the audience because of the portrayals of an Irishman, a Scotsman, and a New Englander as “knaves.” He answered that “a knave” as well as an honest man is to be found in every country and asked public support of the play because of its object: “the commemoration of the introduction of the blessings of liberty into Louisiana.”

In 1804, Query and Evans of Charleston printed a second edition of the play, the only one now extant, so far as is known.28 Joseph Sabin lists a third edition of the play pub-

24    An Account of Louisiana, ISOS (Washington, 1803). It is reprinted in Old South Leaflets (8 vols., New York, 1964), V, No. 105. Berquin-Duvallon, Vue de la colonie espagnole du Mississippi (Paris, 1803). For a list of contemporary travel books that Workman might have read, see Thomas D. Clark (ed.), Travels in the Old South: A Bibliography (3 vols., Norman, Oklahoma, 1956), II (1750-1825).

25    For instance, the Courier reported on Dec. 9, 1803, that it had learned from “a gentleman lately arrived from New Orleans” that the Spaniards would offer no resistance to the American government.

26    Quinn, 135 n.; J. Max Patrick, Savannah’s Pioneer Theater from Its Origins to 1810 (Athens, Ga„ 1953), 68.

27    For information on Carpenter and his review, see my article “Stephen Cullen Carpenter: First Drama Critic of the Charleston Courier,” South Carolina Historical Magazine, LXIX (October 1968), 243-52.

28    These printers advertised the play for sale in the Courier, April 4, 1804. The second edition is included in Three Centuries of Drama: American.


lished in Natchez in 1807, but calls it a “doubtful” imprint.29 Since Workman’s Political Essays followed him from Virginia to Charleston, as advertisements in the Courier show, copies of Liberty in Louisiana probably accompanied him to New Orleans.

The available facts on Workman’s life and writings and on the composition, production and printing of his play demonstrate that he was a man of energy and ideas, significantly involved in the affairs of his time and place. Next, it will be seen what the ideas and contents of Liberty in Louisiana add to his portrait and to a knowledge of this historical period.

Liberty in Louisiana, with its intrigues, disguise of a character, and reform of the carefree hero at the end, resembles such contemporary comedies as Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s School for Scandal. The play begins the day before the Americans take possession of Louisiana, and its theme soon becomes apparent: the deliverance from Spanish oppression and the gaining of American liberty. The involved plot concerns the wooing of a wealthy Spanish beauty by a young Irish adventurer, Phelim O’Flinn.

Phelim and his Scottish friend, Sawney McGregor, come to a fine house just above New Orleans, after having stopped earlier at Natchez on their journey west. It is the residence of a corrupt and lecherous old Spanish judge, Don Bertholdo de la Plata. In Act I, Scene 2, they meet his housekeeper, Theresa, who feigns fright of men, saying that one of “those tall, strong Kentucky crackers” may run away with her. Next, Phelim meets the judge’s ward, Donna Laura, with whom Don Bertholdo is infatuated. On hearing that Laura is very rich, Phelim hatches a plot with the judge’s wife to impersonate Laura’s suitor, Captain O’Brien, a young American soldier, and marry her. Senora de la Plata is happy to assist because she wants to have the Captain to herself. Theresa and Laura thwart the schemes of Phelim. They succeed in marrying him to Lucy Margland, a girl he left pregnant in Tennessee, by disguising Lucy as Laura. All ends well as Captain O’Brien and Laura are

Sabin, XXIX, 109.



reunited. Theresa catches Sawney for a husband, the American general prevents Don Bertholdo from taking Laura to Havana, and the Americans raise their flag in New Orleans, thus bringing liberty to Louisiana.

In the preface, Workman states expressly his purpose in composing this comedy. At first, he thought of writing a political pamphlet, but after considering how sentiments embodied in a character or story can produce a superior effect, “with the splendor of theatrical decoration,” he decided on a play as “the engine of enforcing his political opinions.” He wrote in order to convey to the people of Louisiana the advantages they would derive from becoming part of the United States, “by illustrating the great principles of general and genuine liberty, and holding up despotism to alternate derision and abhorrence.” 30

Workman denounces “despotism” primarily through a satirical attack on the Spanish legal system in Louisiana. Although this theme pervades the whole comedy in the portrayal of the corrupt judge, it is emphasized most strongly in Act IV, Scene 2, when Don Bertholdo delivers as many decisions as possible at his last “audience,” that is, session of court. The cases are heard privately and are presented by a “Scrivano,” according to the Spanish system.31 Although contemporary comment provides a basis for the corruption depicted in this scene, Workman has altered history by having a Spanish judge deliver decisions on the day before the Americans’ arrival. During his brief term, the French Colonial Prefect, Pierre Clement Laussat, abolished the Spanish judiciary before he formally transferred Louisiana to the United States.38

Failure of heirs to obtain the land they inherited is the sub-

30 Workman, Liberty in Louisiana, iv.

31A “Communication” to the Charleston Courier of November 14, 1803, attacked the Spanish custom of hearing a case privately. The writer stated that the privacy facilitated corruption and that bribing a Spanish judge was so much in the “common course of business, that it may be generally done without the slightest ceremony.”

32 Carter (ed.), IX, 124, 339. For an approving estimate of the Spanish judiciary, see H. P. Dart, “Courts and Law in Colonial Louisiana,” Louisiana Historical Quarterly, IV (July 1921), 255-89.



ject of two cases brought before Don Bertholdo’s audience. Don Antonio Gaspar complains that he has not received the land he inherited five years ago because it was seized by Don Felix, who raised five crops on it and paid Don Bertholdo $1000 at various times to prolong the suit. The judge awards half the land to Don Felix and half to Don Antonio after the latter has bribed him with the sum of $1000. As Don Antonio leaves, he says, in an aside, that he hopes he will never again have to seek justice “from such a polluted tribunal.” In this and succeeding cases it should be noted that Spaniards condemn a court established by their own nation.

An especially pathetic case follows. The Widow Sanchez declares that after her husband died, the court delayed in settling his affairs. Don Bertholdo himself had the use of the small farm owned by her husband and exhausted its soil by “taking from it four crops of tobacco.” After some surreptitious promptings by the Scrivano, an expert in how to please, the widow offers to transfer half of the land to the judge if she can have one-half. To this arrangement, Don Bertholdo agrees.

Contemporary observers of Spanish courts in Louisiana describe similar difficulties concerning inheritance. According to Berquin-Duvallon, the obstacles to inheriting land were among the worst abuses of the Spanish judiciary. He comments that if a father puts his affairs in order before his death, that condition will not correspond to the legal order afterward. The procedure of the courts is characterized by extreme slowness, resulting in great detriment to the inheritance.8 It is not surprising that Workman emphasizes the problems of heirs, as he served as Judge of the Courts of Probate for the Territory of Orleans9 in addition to being Judge of the County of Orleans.



Another case reveals the plight of a man held many years in jail without being convicted at a trial. Don Rodriguez states that he “lay in jail” for three years on suspicion of doubting the authority of the Pope to grant pardons for murder and ten years more for complaining of being confined so long without a trial. Finally released, he asks that his property be restored, but is refused. He condemns the judge and says that “the American government will do us justice.” Reports of the time corroborate such an imprisonment without conviction. Governor Claiborne informed the Secretary of State that he found upwards of one hundred prisoners in the jails, some from ten to thirteen years, on suspicions of crimes for which it appeared they were never convicted.35

The last and most ludicrous case heard by Don Bertholdo concerns the bringing of contraband into the province by a New England trader, whose ship is anchored in the river. Smuggling in Louisiana was common at this time, and bribery of Spanish officials to permit it was notorious.36 The New Englander Fairtrade protests that he is only carrying “a few onions and other small notions.” Don Bertholdo replies that if he finds a single contraband article, he will throw him in chains for seven years.

Then the haggling contest begins to determine the bribe which will permit the illegal cargo to pass uninspected. When Fairtrade offers the judge butter and cheese, he finds that Don Bertholdo is only interested in money. The judge says that the way he reconciles his “obliging disposition” with his conscience is to replace the glasses in his spectacles with a substance he cannot see through. Fairtrade, thereupon, offers him a copper coin, but Don Bertholdo says that all metals except gold are “porous” to him. Finally, Fairtrade gives him two doubloons after sighing, “The whale that swallowed Jonas was not half so voracious.” The Yankee trader has the last laugh, however, when Don Bertholdo discovers after the smuggler has gone that the gold pieces are in fact “cased dollars.”

35    Claiborne, I, 325.

36    See Thomas P. Abemethy, The South in the New Nation, 1189-1819 (Baton Rouge, 1961), 255-56; Carter (ed.), IX, 43, 45.


There are strong indications that the character Don Ber-tholdo was based on the principal Spanish legal officer in Louisiana during this period, Don Nicolas Maria Vidal, whose official title was Auditor of War and Assessor of the Governor. Two observers in New Orleans emphasized the venality and lechery of Vidal, leading characteristics of Don Bertholdo. The Colonial Prefect Laussat pictured Vidal as “a cunning old dog who sells almost publicly his decisions, and who is the sole authority to pass judgment over the most important civil and criminal cases.” 37 Berquin-Duvallon, in his mordant commentary on Louisiana under the Spanish, wrote that Vidal had so much devotion to the coin stamped with his sovereign’s image “that there is nothing that can not be obtained from him by means of that talisman multiplied up to a certain point.” He adds that “that old rake with a monkey face” is seen openly with “a French mulatress,” whom he has enriched with part of his plunder.38 Even if Workman did not model his cunning Don Bertholdo after Vidal, these remarks provide further contemporary criticism of misconduct in the Spanish courts.

A speech in the last scene of the play praises American rule and thus completes Workman’s objective of winning approval for the transfer of Louisiana to the United States. After the stars and stripes have replaced the French colors on a fort, the American general addresses the citizens gathered in a New Orleans square. He contrasts freedom with “despotic rule,” and then counsels his hearers: “Cast your eyes on the country to which your’s [sic] will be united.” The best judgment on America’s government and laws are her extended commerce and universal prosperity. Now, he declares, the inhabitants of Louisiana will also have the privileges which constitute America’s freedom. He names freedom of the press and trial by jury; the latter is “the brightest gem in the diadem of a sovereign people.” It is significant that the general stresses trial by jury 10 11



in view of the fact that this practice met strong opposition among a French population unaccustomed to judgment by their peers.39

A final feature of the play to observe is the favorable portrayal of Irish characters and their triumph over the Spanish. Phelim O’Flinn and Captain O’Brien, two Irishmen, prevail over Don Bertholdo. Previously, Workman had envisioned the Irish as conquerors of the Spaniards in his Political Essays.

At first, Workman’s portrayal of Phelim seems ambiguous. As a new citizen, the author certainly agreed with Phelim’s remark in Act II, Scene 1, that after five years in America you become a citizen “and good luck to the brave boys that so ginerously [rzc] share their noble privileges with strangers!” On the other hand, Workman would have opposed other views of this character. In Act I, Scene 1, referring to the repeal of the Judiciary Act by Jefferson’s Republicans, Phelim says that Congress, instead of just turning out a few “Judges awhile ago,” should have sent all “the blackguards about their business.” In this instance, Workman is satirizing an opinion directly opposite to his own Federalist sympathies.40 Any bad impression made by Phelim, however, is offset by two of his actions: the Irishman’s chastising of the Spanish characters Don Bertholdo and his guards when they try to put him in handcuffs, and his renunciation of roguery at the end.

Captain O’Brien, Laura’s sweetheart, is described as an Irish gentleman in the American service. At the end of the drama, O’Brien brings Don Bertholdo before the American general and accuses him of trying to carry off Laura to Havana. Because of his high rank, Don Bertholdo demands that Laura be awarded to him, but the general says that she is mature enough to act independently. Laura spurns Don Bertholdo, Workman’s comic embodiment of Spanish misrule, and chooses the Irishman and life in Louisiana under American administration.

39    McGinty, 106.

40    Workman’s Federalist bias is shown clearly in his dedication of this play to the Federalist Chief Justice John Marshall and in his association with the Charleston Courier.



The message is clear. The inhabitants of Louisiana, Spain’s former colony, should unite with the Irish and other settlers from the United States under the aegis of American law.

It is worth noting that the Irish characters in Workman’s play had a factual basis in the presence of Irishmen in Louisiana during this time, some of whom were active in the movement to invade Spanish America. Thomas P. Abemethy in his Burr Conspiracy names these Irishmen in the Mexican Association: Daniel Clark, American consul in New Orleans before the Cession; Lewis Kerr, brigadier-general of the militia and sheriff of the city; and Workman.12 A sizeable number of Irishmen in New Orleans is indicated by the existence of a Hibernian Society. Workman belonged to this organization and included it in his will, thus perpetuating a lifelong concern for his countrymen.13

In this pioneer play about Louisiana, James Workman presents his view of conditions in New Orleans just before the Cession; most notably, he satirizes and condemns corruption in the Spanish courts. He proves himself a vigorous advocate of the acceptance of the American government, which he extols and makes more appealing by the contrast of Spanish misrule. He foresees a happy union of the old residents, like Theresa and Laura, with the newcomers from the United States, like Phelim, Captain O’Brien and the American general. Finally, as an advocate of the conquest of Spanish America, he has a special reason for celebrating the Purchase: it is a partial, peaceful attainment of his goal.


   See Charles Gayarre, History of Louisiana (4 vols., New Orleans, 1879), IV, 170-72, 175, 601; William C. C. Claiborne, Official Letter Books, ed. Dunbar Rowland (6 vols., Jackson, Miss., 1917), IV, 69-70, 95, 119-20, 167, 170-73 , 263; Clarence E. Carter (ed.), Territorial Papers of the United States (25 vols., Washington, 1940), IX, 598, 742; Thomas P. Abernethy, The Burr Conspiracy (New York, 1954), 25, 167-69, 179-82, 227, 272.


   Abernethy, The Burr Conspiracy, 168, 179-82 , 227.


   Register of Admissions to the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple from the Fifteenth Century to the Year 1944, compiled by H. A. C. Sturgess (3 vols., London, 1949), II, 405. This fact indicates that Workman was a Protestant since Catholics were not permitted to study law until the Catholic Relief Act of 1792.


   Joseph C. Cabell to Thomas Jefferson, March 13, 1807, Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, ed. E. Millicent Sowerby (5 vols., Washington, 1953), III, 330-31.


   Abernethy, The Burr Conspiracy, 25. Workmen bequeathed twenty-five hundred dollars to the eldest daughter of Stephen Carpenter, editor of the Courier, in his will, held now by the Civil District Court, Parish of Orleans, La.


   United States District Court, Charleston, S. C., Circuit Court Journal, 1790-1809, I, 224, deposited at the Federal Records Center, East Point, Ga.


70 Workman wrote in a letter to the citizens of Louisiana in March 1807, that he had been residing with them for a period of about three years. See his Essays and Letters on Various Political Subjects (New York, 1809), 112. The first reference I have found to Workman in New Orleans is in The Louisiana Gazette, December 7, 1804, where he is mentioned in a story on the first session of the Legislative Council of the Territory of Orleans.


   Translation in James A. Robertson (ed.), Louisiana Under the Rule of Spain, France, and the United States, 1785-1807 (2 vols., Cleveland, 1911), I, 176-81.


   The latter position is named by Workman on the title page of the essay “A Letter to the Respectable Citizens, Inhabitants of the County of Orleans” in Essays and Letters on Various Political Subjects.


   Letter to French Minister of Marine (1803), translated in Gayarre, III, 593.


   Translation in Robertson (ed.), I, 207-208. For a favorable sketch of Vidal, see Jack D. L. Holmes, “Dramatis Personae in Spanish Louisiana,” Louisiana Studies, VI (Summer 1967), 152-55.


   Abemethy, Burr Conspiracy, 24-25.


   Workman’s will, held by Civil District Court, Parish of Orleans, La.