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James Wilkinson collection

Identifier: LaRC-746

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of copies of correspondence (1788-1818) and two original land transactions (1818-1819) involving James Wilkinson (1757-1825). Wilkinson was governor of the Louisiana Territory in 1805. He was also known to be involved in what was known as the "Burr Conspiracy." Correspondents include George Washington, Juan Ventura Morales, Thomas Jefferson, and W.C.C. Claiborne.


  • 1788-1819


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open to the public. No known restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Physical rights are retained by the Louisiana Research Collection. Copyright is retained in accordance with U.S. copyright laws.

Biographical / Historical

James Wilkinson (1757-1825) served under General Horatio Gates during the Revolutionary War. Following the war, he moved to Kentucky, where he worked to gain its statehood. In 1787 Wilkinson turned traitor and began a long-lasting relationship as a secret agent of Spain. After Thomas Jefferson purchased Louisiana from Napoleon Bonaparte, Wilkinson was named territorial governor of northern Louisiana. He also served as the commander in chief of the U.S. Army. Wilkinson also engaged in a plot with Aaron Burr to set up an independent nation in the West. Wilkinson was tried for, but was later acquitted of, treason. He rose to the rank of major general in the War of 1812, but both of his campaigns failed. He published Memoirs of My Own Times in 1816 and visited Mexico in pursuit of a Texas land grant in 1821, but died while waiting. He was married to Anne Biddle and had four children.


1.00 Boxes

Language of Materials



The collection is arranged chronologically. The collection consists of one box.

Processing Information

Collection processed in 1987 by HB and ML.

James Wilkinson collection
LAC Group
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Tulane University Special Collections Repository

Jones Hall Room 202
6801 Freret Street
New Orleans 70118 US