Exhibit Theme

Creating a National Community

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Proclamation to the residents of...
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Proclamation to the residents of the Province of Louisiana, December 20, 1803

In this proclamation William Claiborne, Territorial Governor of Mississippi, announced that “Louisiana” was now part of the Union and promised that the U.S. government would protect residents’ rights to liberty, property, and religion. His proclamation was issued in English, French, and Spanish. Claiborne later became the first governor of the Orleans Territory.

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…all the military, civil and judicial powers…shall be exercised…for the maintaining and protecting the inhabitants of Louisiana, in the free enjoyment of their liberty, property and religion…

Records of the U.S. House of Representatives, National Archives and Records Administration