Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Dupont, Robert L.

Second Advisor

Millett, Allan

Third Advisor

Mizell-Nelson, Michael


William C. C. Claiborne found himself a stranger in a strange land. Almost more a colonial governor of a European power rather than an American statesman, Claiborne grappled with maintaining a militia force for the Territory of Orleans, now the present day state of Louisiana. He built upon the volunteer companies he found within the city of New Orleans, but had little success molding the entire militia into an effective, efficient military force. Claiborne, hoping to use the fear generated by the January 1811 slave revolt to spur militia reform, maintained an active correspondence with the state's legislators, the area's military commanders, the members of the Louisiana congressional delegation, and even the President of the United States for assistance with militia matters. Ultimately, Claiborne failed and the British attack on New Orleans in 1814/1815 made the matter of reform academic.


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