Citizen Explorer: The Life of Zebulon Pike

Home » Pike: On This Day » 4. April 1807 » April 08, 1807. Nolan Party

April 08, 1807. Nolan Party

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8th April, Wednesday. Visited the treasurer, who showed me the double-barrel gun given by governor Claiborne, and another formerly the property of Nolan.

He is referring here to William C.C. Claiborne, the territorial governor of the Orleans Territory, previously the governor of Mississippi Territory.

Phillip Nolan will be important tomorrow. A long-time aide to General James Wilkinson and a frontier trader and adventurer, Nolan took a private expedition of approximately thirty men into Spanish Texas in 1800. The purpose of the expedition is not known with certainty. Ostensibly the party aimed to capture wild horses for future sale. Spanish officials, however, interpreted it as one of the numerous filibustering efforts that Americans of the era frequently schemed and occasionally carried out. Spanish dragoons captured his party in 1801, Nolan dying in the skirmish. They imprisoned the Americans at various garrisons in northern Mexico. Pike will encounter one of the men tomorrow.

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