1775–1817, governor of Louisiana, b. Sussex co., Va.
He began law practice in Sullivan co., Tenn., and was appointed a judge
of the state supreme court in 1796.
As a Congressman (1797–1801) he supported Jefferson, and in 1801 the President
made him governor of Mississippi Territory.
In 1803, Claiborne was one of the commissioners appointed to receive Louisiana
from France after the Louisiana Purchase, and he was governor (1804–12)
of the newly organized Territory of Orleans.
American government was not well received by the Creoles, and Claiborne
had many quarrels with legislators and others. He was also criticized for
his apparent approval of the questionable activities of Gen. James Wilkinson.
However, when the Territory of Orleans was admitted to the Union in 1812
as the state of Louisiana, Claiborne was elected governor and served until
In 1817 he was elected to the U.S. Senate but died before he could take
See D. Rowland, ed., Official Letterbooks of W. C. C. Claiborne, 1801–1816
(6 vol., 1917).