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Gc M. L. 



ALLEN COUNTY PyBLIC {{f^^.^^i^. 

3 1833 01715 3591 

V3 7i 

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IN SHVliN V9i UypS 


Public Librarp 

■ AUGG 1964 

Dallas, Texas 

Weston Arthur Goodspced. LL. B. 
Editor-in- Ch icf 

VOL. II v/. % 

Madison, Wis. 

Tiii: Wkstkun lli.siDKUAi Association 


7- K'VUe Al 



COI'VKICMT, 1904, 

11 V THE $ 

Maulson, \\13. 

ViXHH of 111.- l».iii.M lul I'lliiUm,' i" , Mii>ll<..ii, \vu 

1^1 .'inni/<v to) 


y / '''> 


Tabic oi Contents 



Navigation of thi; Mississii-i-i, 1763-1783— Contontions over tlie 
Oliio Valley— Results of ihe Treaty of Ulreclit— Iroquois 
Doiuaius— Frciicli Plan a Cliaiii of I'ortb— Changes Made by 
Seven Years War— 'i'iie l\iinily Cuni|iaet— Iwance Crushed- 
Spain's Lobse 5— Louisiana Divided— Treaty of Fonlainebleau 
— Secret Cession of Louisiana- lilxtracls from Treaties — / 
English Accessions— Proclamation of King George— West*^ 
Florida— Revolutionary War— Proposition to Spain— Naviga- 
tion of the Mississippi— iMance Assists America— Si)ain 
Reluctant-Intrigues— Negotiations — Spain Demands Exclu- 
sive Navigation of Mississippi— Congress Partly Yields, but 
Finally Uefur^c:,- l'\ars of Spain — She Conquers West Flor- 
ida— Rciults of the Ivevuiuiiuii ^7'^^ 


Navigation ok the Mississirn, 1783-1799— Views of Aranda— 
Spain Claims to the Alleghanies- Claim Denied by United 
States— Negotiations— Spain Withdraws Claim— The Yazoo 
Boundary— English Kiglil to Navigate the Mississippi— The 
Natchez District— Resti ietions of Trade- Confiscation of 
American i^oducts— Western Settlers Roused— Wilkinson's 
Schemes— Spanish I ntrit;ues— American Contentions— Treaty 
with Spain, 1795— Boundary 011 Tliirty-tirst Parallel— United 
States to Navigate the Missisbippi--Spain Hohis I'osts— Can- 
ada to Attack Louisiana— Struggle at Natchez- Western Peo- 
ple Intrigue— Bitterness of l-rance and Spain 68-IO3 

tMlAPri'R HI. 

Treaty or Rktkoc kssion, iK<k)— The h'.arly Attempts of France to 
Secuu Louisiana— She Claiiiud West I'loiida— The Claim 
l)<.iiKd hy Spain— Nai.oiiou's I'-lTorts-Spaiii Delays Ratifica- 
liuii 1.1 UrliiMisMnii I. ..Ill, 1,111,1 Di livcrcd to I'laiii e- 'l'«-xt of 



.IT >i:i /':; in 


13 TAlil./: OI- CO NT UN rs. 


Treaty of Retrocession — I'niicd St;itcs Opposes Retrocession 
— ElTorts to Keep I''r.incc I rum Taking Possession — England 
Desires Louisiana— Slrng^l.s of .Mr. Livingston— He Offers 
to Buy Florida — Also Pari of I. oni^iana— Napoleon's Designs 
— Jetlerson 'I'lireatens — I'lnieli Troops to he Sent Over — 
Congress CoiUeniplates Tal.nig Po .session — (Jffers to Spain — 
Cession to ITnited States Setlle-> DilTerences 104-141 


Interdiction of Dki-osits- Gruwili 01 Trade— Deposits at New 
Orleans — Violations of Siiinisli Policy — I'rencli Inllncnoes 
Ascendant — The Intt rdicln.11 — We^lem People Iiulign.nit — 
Memorials — The l\(i->s Ri -.ohitiun^ in Congress — Question 
Dehaled — Forcible Measnle^ Conteniplateil — Trade with 
Americans Forbidden — France Thought Re>|)onsihle — Con- 
gress Acts — Secret Investigation — Nap(;leon's Designs — Si)ain 
not Interested — The Inteinlant I'xonerateii — United States . 

Mistaken — Equivalent I'^stabli.ihnienl — h'rance had an Object 
— Spain Never Paid Dam.i^es 142-176 


Cession to the United Statl^ — War Certain Between France 

and England — Li\ingston's Argunnnl-> — Na[)oleon's Outburst 
to Lonl Whitworth — I'rancL h'ears America as Well as Eng- 
land — Whit\vonh'-> N'ersion Talivyrand's Tentative Offer — 
Livingston Openly rineaieus — lMai\ce in a Diienuna — West- 
ern People .\n\iuus aiul IXu rnniK-.l - Navigation of the Mis- 
sissippi Never to l)e Snrreii.Ured - 1 .ogic of the Situation — 
France Pacticaliy h'orced l.' Sell— United Slates, Not Eng- 
land, Would Occupy Louisiana — Li\ ingston Startled — Louisi- 
ana for Sale — Terms Agrred Ui)on — Momentous Events — 
Napoleon's Eccentricities — .\slonishnient of the American 
Envoys — Spain Protects — Looted .Slates Takes Possession — 
Text of the Tieaties 1 77-226 


Constitutionality of the Cl:->sion— liivergence of Opinion — 
JefTerson's Views — Cession Ratifieil by the President — Con- 
gress to Act — The Question Debated- Vote in the Senate — 
The Excuse for Opposition— bla^t Hostile to West — Inlhience 
of I'oiilic-.— Fi(kralisis and Anli i\(h:ralists- Qneslions of 
Limits ami Title -Pii)ie(.iliu);s in th. I li»use— (iriswold's Res- 
olutions I'he Wislein Peuph- - A'c lU- in the I buise— Opposi - 
lion Disappears PalriDlisiu and W'l linm Triumph — Const! 
lutionalily Sellhil Ci-.'.ii)n Ari.plrd (\,A of lla- PrDvime. ^jy 2C1H 


CliAI'Tl'li VII. 


Fi-OKiDA AND Texas Bounuakii.s, 180.5-1808— West Florida not 
Claimed at First — France'., Title Tlicrcto Not Good — Spain 
Prolesti — Views of OlViciali- Strui^t^lc of liie luivoys — Con- 
tentions of Spain ami df the United Stales — Hostilities 
Tlircatened— Aitrnijjts to i5ny West l-^loiida— District of 
Mobile — Langnage of the 'I'reaty Discussed — Talleyrand's Dic- 
tum — Retrocession Explained — Cro/at's Patent — Negotiations 
Inconchisivc — Madison's Tmis ^Isinurum — McMaster's View 
— The Sabine Atl'air — linn's Consi)iracy — Olficial Comnunii- 
catiun Suspende<l 269-317 


Florida and Tkxas Bounuakhs, iKo8-i.S_>i — Lawlessness in Florida 
Province — Its Indeitemleiue I'stablislied — United Stales 
Takes Temi)orary Possession — Proceedings in Congress Rcla- • 
tive Thereto — I'ngland Questions the Right — United States to 
Occupy Fast Florida — The MonrDC Doctrine — War of 1812 — 
Congress Authorizes Possession — West Florida Attaclied to 
Louisiana — War F.nded — Spain Reopens Negotiations — Lim- 
its of Louisiana Purchase Again Discussed — Propositions 
Submitted — Revolutionary Fxpeditions — Jackson's Opera- 
tions — Fairness of the United States — Agreement Finally 
Reached — The Tn-aty of iSii>— h'lurida and Texas Boundaries 
Settled— Views of Henry Clay ct. al— Spain Ratiru.'S 318-365 

CllAPTl-.R IX. 

NoRTiitRN BouNDARV — Rival t"()l()nial Claims — Pope's Bull — The 
Treaty of Utrecht— I'orty- Ninth Parallel Assumed — Results 
of the Seven Years War — Results of the Revolution — Source 
of the Mississippi — Jay's Treaty — Navigation of the Missis- 
sippi — Lake of the Woods-Negotiations Unproductive- 
United States Gains Louisiana — Claims Expanded — England 
Obstinate — Inllnenced by Hudson's Bay Conii)an> — I'^ur Trade 
Desireel — Negotiations Suspended — Rebuke of Brilisli Inso- 
lence — Treaty of Ghent — I'roposilions Resumed — Unfounded 
Demands of England — Forty-Ninth Parallel Finally Adopted 
— F.ngland Gains — Treaty of 181H -The Northwestern Bmind- 
ary 366-405 

CI I APT I :r X. 

Eicmii .Aitnci.K ok Tnt Ckssidn— lis Meaning — l'"ootin({ of the 
Most i'.ivored Nulhins- ( 'onh iiliou (,f the i'lemli Minislei — 


Reply of the Unilctl States — An Imperfect Sovereignty — 
Negotiations Unavailing — Ki-taliatory and Countervailing Sys- 
tems — Inilemnities C'laimeti iiy Hulli Nations — Diplomacy of 
Envoys — Mutual Concebsious — Both Nations Alian<l(jn Claims 
for Indemniiies — France (irantecl Cunnuerciai Advantages — 
DilTcrences Sctllcd 406-417 


Boundaries ok Teruituhiks anu STAit> — Limits of the Louisiana 
Purcliase Umletermincd — lis IJoundarieb Finally I'ixed — 
Territory of Orlean^ — Territory of Louisiana — Slate of 
Louisiana — West I'"lcjnda— M issunri — Arkansas — Texas — Utaii 
— Wasliinglon — Circcii County — Tlie Platte Purcliase — Iowa — 
The Missouri and Iowa Boundary Dispute — Michigan — Wis- 
consin — Minnesota — Nebraska — Kansas — Colorado — Dakota — - 
Idaho — Montana — Wyoming— OklalnMiia — Weslern Territory . 

— Indian Territoiy 418-482 


!Old Maps of Louisiana, 1703 anu 1746 

Oi-u Mai'S of Louisiana, 1730 and 1733 

Oi.D Mai'S of Louisiana, 1718 and 1753 

Old Mats ok Louisiana, 1775 anu i8jo 

Coxu's Mat ok Louisiana, i.owtu i'akt 

J Coxe's Mai' ok Louisiana, un-tu kakt 
AuuiTiONS to iiiK Unitkl) Statks . 

luWA AND MlSbOUKl IU)l'M)AUV l")lM"UrK 









The Province and the States 

CHAP'[h:il I 

The Navigation of the Mississippi Rivci\ 


Till'', M. tiled policy of jiiilousy ami hostility between France 
and i-ieat Ihilain had iiUJie to do with the fate of I^ouibi- 
ana piior to the actjui^iiion of that pjoviniH: by the United 
States than any other eaM>i.. This hostilit)' was first seriously 
leveal'.d in Aineiiea when ihe lonnation i>f the ()hit) Company 
in luiL^land and. the Allanlie colonies on or ahoiit the )eai' l/.)*) 
;md the i^ianl to thnii ol ahoiil six hniulixd thousand acris 
in the rich valley uf the ( )liio, "llie luanlifnl Iviver," threat- 
ened the western extension of the luif^dish American colo- 
nies into the Vcduahh- teiiit'iry elaimeil by the {.government of 
France. I'y treaty, I'liif^land secured from the powerful Iro- 
r|uois domination (jver all their lands to the westward ; and as they 
claimed to ihe Mississippi, particularly in the <, )liio v.illey, I'.nf.,''- 
land likewi-e claimed a westward extension to that river. The 
h.iif^li^h under the y(»nlhfid iieorji^e W'ashinujton t(»<)k' |)osscssion 
of the present site of I'iilsbui^ ; hut were suoii driven away by the 
I'rench \sho maile i)ri'|)aratic /lis to resist any advancement of the 
Ihitish to the \s rst \n .ird ot tin- Allr{.;liaiiy iiio\nilains. About 
lliis tiiiir r.i njaniiii iManhhii conceived the plan of the federa- 
tion oi all ihe ,\|laiilii- co|..iiu', jUr their niulu.d inotLCliou and 
as a safijMi.iid a^.dnsl JMeiuh Inutility; hut the plan was rejected 
1 1- J 



';■///;■ i'U()i'i\'Li. .i.\i) rill' si.iriis. 

' I 

b)- llic l\ii,i'li>.li i.iiiii^U")' nil llu' ;;rtiuiul ll;al it wouKl ri-mki- ilic 
cHiloiiu's loo vIioiil; I'oi- ihi^'ir [)i..'';il 1/ ^.ul)]^■^■lioll lo tlr.- iiioUkt 
coiiiid y." ' l".;til\ 111 17;,5 \\;i' Inlwrui l''i;iilce ;uul I'.iij^hiiul 
scciiK'il iiicviuiMr. To ;i\.iid iliv i.oiillicl, iIk' InciicIi cabinet pio 
pohoil ihc ii't-i] 'local i\ ,!■ ualioii ol' all llu' couiilis b(.i\\c».'n llic 
river Ohio ami ilic .\lK".;liaii\ iiiounlainb ; biii il)c l\n^li>li ^u\/- 
criinic'iil rcfn^eil lo con>iiN r iliis |)roj)()>iiii)ii lor a luoiiiLiil. '1 lu'y 
claiincil llic wlwik- coiiiui\ wtrtwaid lo llic W'aba^li liwr at Ka^t 
ami cKiiiaiulcil the ^lc^l i lu lion of all llic ImiiicU sL-ltlcuuiUs in 
the teirilor\' thii> I'laiiiKil. The\' fiiillier (Kniamled the neiitial- 
ity of the .i^re.iL lal-.i ^, tl:* (Kiiiohiioii ol" all the JMeuch forts at 
Niaj^aia ami I 'hanii'l lin, aiul the at. kiiouled^ineul ol Ihiti^h 
rij^lits hoih to the noith\\ai\l and we-.tward. '^he^e demands were 
deemed so ext ravai;aiit li\- i'lan^e that they were positively 
refused, althon;;h it was ea>il\- ])eieei\ed that I'li^land desired 
\\ar in order to secure C'.ni.ida and althou;;!) the ImuuIi ^o\«rn- 
meiil, o\\ inj.', to the proilijai \' ol the rei^n of l.ouis XV, desired 
peace '"at ahiur t anv price." | 

'j'he (.K'enpatioii of the M issi^>ippi valle\' b)' the I'jij^lish was 
proposed to ( )neen .Anne, and miLdil have been accomplished as 
the rcMili i.)i the MCond init-r-ct'binial war; but ajjparently V.w^- 
laml at that time did not pl■e^b I'.er advantai;es in the ilirection of 
secuiiiii; ihe couiiir)- l(; the ulsI. The assembly of Mew York 
bad addre^.seil the (|uten on tlu- ^ubjeel (jf the •importance of ibe 
Mississippi valley, but llu ii ad-iirss was appaunth' unhi'eckd. 
William renii lecommemkd that the ci>k)nial line should ho 
cNlended to the St. I.awreiice on the north and beyond the Mis- 
sissipjii on the west. Ihit other consiileralions seem lo have 
inlliieneed the I'.ntdish iiKHiarclis. /\t the conclusion of the 
tre:ity of Utrecht, all of the ^reai west wa^ left to iMancc. 'J'he- 
settlement on the Illinois ami the iMississijipi mitdit have been 
broheii up by I'mdand as one of the legitimate re.Milts of this war, 
wherein that country .^(.x-nivd all powerful di..s|)ite llie destruction 
of the l1eet of Admiral Walker. The treaty left the vital inter 
Colonial (jucslioiis iiiisctlkil. The domains of the lro(|nois, 
elaimeil by (he hji^lish, woe deJared to Lv^tcnd westward U) the 
Mississippi and iioithward lo the i)iiawa river. Ihit the b^reiuli 
settlements of the Mississippi valk y were lix) slron^^ an arj^iimeiil 
for tlie I'lif^lish statesmen to (>\ i rconie. JMaiice retained l>f»lh 
banks of llic Mississippi. 

• Secn-l Juiii hills of I'urcitiii AKairn, C(iiikh.-«s. 
t llislory u( I'l.iiKL : MiUultl. 

/:.//v7. J- \'.li'li;.lTlO\' (V- rilli MISSISSIPPI. \(j 

lltiiiiliius w t If f(/nii..llv iiiiiiatctl by ilio tlispatcli of (uncial 
iJiaililwck aiul lii> 1'imhm I(j Au.L-rica in January, 1755. l lie 
ilf^ij;!!-. of iMaiic'i' liail Ik (.11 to (.•..iilinc llu: l\n}^Misli foloiULS to llic 
loriildiy ca^twaid of llii' Allij.;liaiiics l)\' .i sciui-Liixlc of fulls 
cxiciuliii^' fioiii llu- iimiuli c)i ilic river Si. Lawrence westward 
tliron|;li Caiiail.i. iluiu-e .-.i I'l ^ il,e Kr^-'l lal.e.i aiut (jm ihrou^di the 
Oliio ami llie .M i^.-iiS-iippi \Mlle\.^ dnwii tw .W w ( )rleaiis. liul ihe 
I\ wue i'ar fi>Mii .i.liiiiil in:; the i-'reiK-h cxclusivi.- claims to 
the \alUy of ihe ( »hii; a^ far wi.>lwaril at lea^l as the Wahash aiul 
lo the ,L;reat hil;e.s, and made ]m eijaralious on a hir^^e scale to 
atlack ihe iMench al four quarieis alonj; the northern and west- 
ern horders. Tiiu^ wa^ l)ei;im ihe "Se\eii Year> War," which 
cniled wilh the treat)' oi h'onlainehlean ni I7()_' ^^. The success 
of tile l\n^;lish in sicnriii;; fai more than they had deniaiuleil, was 
i\\w to that run.iihahle man, William fill. When the terms of 
the treaty weie Ikiiil; ilehaled hy the Hritibh parlianKMU, he 
declared they were far 1. o Knieiil; and although sick at the'time 
was carried to ihe thamlier, where, for three lujurs, he fouj^ht the 
treaty niea.sures and iKi laied that now w■a^. ihe time to des])oil 
I'raiice of ever\' C(doii)- lie j^js^essed.^ 

However, before the i oiiclusion of peace, tiie famous "Family 
Compact" was sii^iud at I'arir. ou the 15th of Auf^ust, 1761. This 
was a close and >iiici alliance lalwten the {^overnnieiUs of France 
and Spain, by wliu h it was a^K-id that any Power that became 
the cneni)' of one should alsvj be ihe enemy of 'the other; that each 
shoidil guaiaiiue ihe po •.e-^i^lll^ of the lUlier to be sustained by 
the coiiibiiud loice> of ilir two countries; that, as a first assisl- 
ance, the one of the two power.s from which it was demanded 
should in iliiee months p'ace Iwi'lve ships and six fri|;ates al the 
disposal of the other, besides twent)'-four thousand trcKjps 
if 1' ranee should dibiie ilieni and tweK'c thousand if Spain 
should desire them; llial llir operations of the war should 
be conducted by boili in ci»nimoii or conjunction; that any peace 
secured should be onb, in common; that, in other words, 
they should be allies in peace as well as in war; that at the 
conclusion of peace, wlieii iHj.;oliali(tns for mutual settlement 
were inauquraled, the .iilvaiUa};es seemed by one should be 
iialanced aj^faiiisl the losses of the other; that the two monarchies 
should act in prai e and war as a unit or one power; ami that there 
should he a compleli' coiilideiii.e belweiii iheiu as to all alliances 
and III iMilialioiiv I To this '■iMindy C'omp.ul" was api>ended a 

• I'ailiiiiiifiitiiry I h\i lU.i. 

1 N.ii I :ai vL- mill I 1 11 ii .il 1 1 i'l' p| y i,( A imi ifii : WiiiMir . 


■Jill: I'koii.wi: .1X1) '11 Hi sr.iriiS'. 

separate ai;r(.(.iiunl to the ( riVi-t iliat Spain should declare war 
aj^aiiisl Cwcal lini.iiii Ma\ i. \y()-, unless peace .slionlil have beiii 
coiichiilt,il pi ior l>) d.ii''. A- ciiiiipeiisalioii for this action, 
Spain was pioniiM.d in an\ ivenl lo receive Minorca u lien peace 
shoiihl he conchiiKd. l'"ran> r and ^^pain, ihns uniled, nsed every 
possihle imhicemv 111 for l\)iUiL;al l<< join the aUiance, even to lh'_' 
extent of ihreateiud war and iiuasiun, hut [<> no avail. 'Jdie coin- 
act and the special agreement w*. re holli Kept secret, though 
I'jiLjland learned iniuii of il.tir iuiporl soon afterward. 

In reality Spain enlered the war hile in i/di. She had scarcely 
done sii) ere J'"n^land he^an <in evrry ocean and sea to i)rey upon 
lier rich <^alleons and to Ihii'.; powei fnl forces af^fainst her vainahle 
colonial po-,.iessioiis. In ihi suinini r of 176-', llavana was'ca|)- 
tured, hy which Spain lost lii'ty niillicjii dollars' worth of property, 
hesiiles nine ships of the hiu raiiaina, St. I )oniin^o, I'Morida and 
Louisiana were all seiionsl\ lineal, iied, ami douhtless wt)uld haj'e 
falkii to the posses.-^ion oi I 'upland ha<l the war continued.'' 
Spain had cntercil the war I'.o l.iie lo he of any material assistance 
to I'rance, hnl jiisi in season lo suffer almost irreparable losses 
herself. The preliminaries oi jirace were concluded in Sepleni- 
her, 17(12, hut had l)ein cM.iMd fiu" two mouths or more hy the 
ohstinacy of the Mar(pns de (".rimaldi. Ifail he not opposeil some 
of the jieace measures al such an !■:- peiise of time, the loss of Cuha 
would lia\e heeu a\'oided. In thai event France. wiMild iujI ha\e 
heeii re(|uired uiKkr ihe m:indaies of the "Isunily Compact" to 
cede l.onisiaua lo Sp.iin ; I. cause, inasmuch as l.ouisiana was 
cedcil lo Spain to compeiisair her for the loss of Cuha, the neces- 
sity of such cession would uoi li:i\e arisen, had the Marcpiis de 
CrimaKli not delayed ihe li.aly unlil llavana had fallen before 
the ^mns of the hjij^lish. 'i'hus ihr f.ite uf Louisiana inii;ht have 
been alloj^etlu-r dilfereiil had it noi been for the ohstinacy of the 
Marquis. Ilowevrr, as "one man's loss is another man's jii'ain,"' 
the United Slates later profiled immensely h)' the sluhhoiimess of 
the Spaniaril. It sh(juld liKrwise be borne in miiul that if iM-ance 
iiad uol previously made ilie W'.d.ash, llliiu>is and Wisconsin 
valleys a dei>endencv of Can.ida, the chances are that she would 
not have been reipiired to cvik- territory lo the^lish.t 
The latter ctiuqueied Canada durin- the war, and had llnreftjre 
the ri^;hl to iKinand all tin- ile|M-ndrncies of the province. I'ul 
had lliosr drpeiidi ncifs been a pail of Louisiana, (hey could iioi 

• Ilisloi y (,( liiitilaiid A<lul|jlmh. 
t llislid y ol C.ui.ulu: .Suiilli. 

F..iia.y .\'.ii'n:.rno.w ov run Mississwri. 


have mailc micIi a ikiiiaiul, ami siu h territory wouUl luuloubleclly 
have reitiaiiieil in the pussi -.-ion ol the iMeiieli or heeii Cedeil by 
her to llie Spanish. 'I'hal eve lUnality also nii{.;lil have seriously 
alVected the transt\r ol" Louisiana [o the Dnileil Slates. Of sueh 
small ciieunislanec.-^ i.-> the loniplex l'ai)ric of civilization woven. 

The Si.ven \'eai>. war eiu.-.hed ami humiliated l'"rance to an 
cxtraorilinary decree, lln ma.i;nilicent colonial iloniains in 
America \sere torn fioui her |Ma-.|). haij^lantl had accjuired all 
the c(^uiUr)' to the eastward u\ ihr .Mississippi, a sijleudid ccjucpiest 
u|)on which ccndd he built a beautiful and powerful principality 
for the I'ji^lish crt)wn.' The historian Martin says of the results 
of the war, "A l''ieuch colony, full of promise, luiscathcil by the 
sword of the enem\, (he hist nlic of our co)itinental cmi)irc in 
America, was cided hke a lloch uf sheip. When this unhapi)y 
a^^reemcul was made |iuhhr, the cahiurt of Versailles Strove to 
appease ];ubhc opmiun, dee|/l\' irrilaled, by iusinualinp in its semi- 
oflicial justilicatii^'us, that l.caiisiaua was threatened with the s:uuc 
fate as Canada and that it was abandoned only because it would 
have been impossible lc;u{:^' to keep it. 'i'he I.ouisianians did not 
learn until the expiration ui ci};hieen moiUhs, of the treaty that 
denationalized thrm. 'kheir j^oxtinor, I\l. d'-Xbhadie, ilied of sor- 
row. The grief was imiversak" I'.ut the dismay of France was 
occasioui'd by the strcn}.;th and growth of Great Britain, her 
ancient and implacable emmy. Another such a war and bVancc 
and S'lain, it wa^ seen, would become dependeitijies of the Ikitish 
crown. If the will of Mi. I'itt iiad i)revailed in the Knglish 
parliameiil when ihe term> of peace wore ^li^cussed, both I'T'auce 
and .Spain would have suliercd far more than they dick It was a 
lesson which the iMench jieople ami the iMench ministry never 
forgot, and resulted in the leorgauization of every department of 
the government. 

The preliniinaiy convention of peace was held at Fontaincbleau 
on the 3(1 oi November, 1762, on which occasion the Duke de 
Choiscul (jn the jjarl of France and the Marquis de Griinaldi on 
the part of Spain, concluded the treaty by which I^ouisiana as 
far east as the Iberville (Man>hac) was cetled by k^rance to 
S[)ain.t In a preliminary treaty on the same day France and 
S[»ain ceded all the territory possessed by them cast of the Mis- 
sissippi and of the Iberville to Great Hritain. This left the 
island of New Orleans and the tnwn of New Orleans attached to 

• Tlif I'.iU ul NfW J'linite; lljil 

tSenuto DuciiiiieiilH, J(l SckmIoh. Jid Congress. 

22 Tiiii I'ROi i.\ci: .!.\7) 77//: srATi:s. 

tlie ti'iriior)' \\\-.l of ili> M issi^Mppi. Tlic cussiuii of Louisiana 
above iiK'HiiciKil l.\ li;.iu\ in Spain was ci >ii(liiiono'i1 upon ilio 
• ratilications ol ilic l'"i\ii h and ilir Spanish bovcrcii^ns and was 
kc|)t sl'CIlI. While (h\ u llriiain and other nations iiui)i have 
heen ajiprised ni its nainix, u was not printed in the United 
Slates until iS^i, when ii was ohtained from tlie aiehives of 
I'lanee hy niemhcis ol euui;iess to he used in setthu^ con- 
troversies over Mdiida l, in ilie courts of the United States. 
However, it had hcen piiiUed in hji).dand loUf,^ before that date 
and a few copies had found ihrir way to America. This treaty 
was ratified b)' the Kni- of Spain at San Lorenzo c^ Real 
November 13, ijoj, and by the Kint,^ of France at Versailles 
Noveni!>er 2^], 176..'. 'j'he dehniiive treaty was sip^iied by the 
ministers plenipotentiary of the two ^.governments I'V'bruary 10, 
1763. It should be noUd that the preliminary treaty hetweiMi 
(jreat Hiitain on one .side and Iwanee and Spain on the other and 
Ihc secret preliminary treaty between Kranee and Spain were both 
sig'ned at I'ontainehleau on Nowmber 3, t7(')2. Previous to this 
time Louisiana had been considered to embrace territory on both 
sides of the Mississippi; but aftir this date the term "Louisiana" 
referred only to the country west of that river though it embraced 
the Island of New Oi leans, on the east side of tlie main channel. 
As both of the preliminary treaties above mentioned were si};"ned 
at the same city and on the same day it is clear that, after it hatl 
been determined to ceile all the country east of 'the Mississipj)! to 
(Ireat I'.ritain, Spain was comi)eusated for her secrifices with tlu-. 
cession to her by Iwanci' ol the couulr\' west of the Mississippi, 
or wiih LiMii^iaua proper, .is it was afterward loiown. 

I'rior to these treaties, l.uui.^i.uia in the possession of I'Vance 
extended to the l\-'rdido on the tailf, auil stretching northward 
along the left bank of the ?\I ississipin embraced a wide tract of 
country to the eastward of ihal stream known as "the Illinois 
Counlr)'" and fmally joiiiid Canada in the exjianse of territory 
covered by the !;real lalas. The eastern boundary of Louisiana 
in the hands of iMance, iscept as to the I'erilido on the (uilf, 
was unileterniined. l-'rance claiiued eastward on the upper Mis- 
sissippi tt> the Alleghany mountains, but the I'ritisli colonies 
claimed the C)hi() valley and [;iiu rally an extensiiin westward to 
the Wab.ish or in .some instances to the Mississippi. As a dis- 
pute aflirwarti arose ovir what was meant by the term 
"I.oiiisi.iua." il should be borne in mind that the Louisiana which 
Spain leveived at the liiat) ol 17')-', was not the Louisiana which 
l'"ranee possessed prior to ihat tiealy, and this double me.m- 

i.Aiu.v Willi, . n ii).\' ui^ rill: Mississwi'i. _>< 

in;^ or application of tin.' term occasicjiicd imicli of tlie siil)si.'(iucnt 
(li>S(.niioii. 'I lie l.i.uihiaiKi i"Li."(.'iv(. tl by Sjiain was liouiulcd casi- 
waiil 1)) llic iM i^^i^-^ippi, lliL' ll)>.'i vilk- and the lakes Mauropas 
ami roiikh.irlraiii. Ilic I ..Mii>iaii,i piis>L's.sLil liy iMaiirc prior lu 
I/CjJ, \\a^ hiMimKil (Jii till' luill' It) lilt.' caslwaril by llic I'crdiilo, 
l)iit farllirr nurlhward llic' was uiidctcnuiiicd, llioui^li 
in llic ■"lIlnKiis C\)niilr)" il vn^uhcd far (.iion};]! eastward to join 
Canada, to \\lu\'li it \vas ailaclicd or ai>|)Lndcd. As a result of 
the Seven \'ears \\ ar Spa.ii lost the eonniry known as k'lorida, 
that is all last ol the IVrdido, to hai^^land, and also lost Minorea 
which has hi.'cn proniiMil h. r hy iMance, it having,' been captnreil 
by tile r>ritisli na\'y. 

The foll()W'inj( paraL;ra]>lis arc extracts from the treaties of 
1762 and 1763 :'■'■' 

"The Mo^l (.diii^tian \\\n'^ (of JMance), bein^^ firmly resolved 
to iircn^thui and pi ipi. tu.iie thr bonds oi tender amity which 
unite him to liih cousin, the C'aiiiolic Kinj; (of Spain), propc)^es 
in consc(|uence to act with Ins C'atholie Majesty at all times fciul 
in all circumstances in a perleel uniformity of |)rincii)les for the 
common i^lory oi iluir hou>e and the reciprocal interests of their 

"W'iih iliis view, his !\Io.-.t Christiau Majesty, being fully sensi- 
ble of ihr sacruices made b)' the Catholic l\in^, in f.,^enerously 
uniting with bun inv ihr resloialion of peace, desires on this 
occasion to gi\e him a proof of the strong interest which lie 
takes in satisf)inLi him and alfordini;' advantages to his crown. 

"The Mo.-t Chri^lian Kmg ha- accunliuijy aulhori/.ed his min- 
ister, the Duke de (.'hoiseul. (o deliver to the Marcpiis ile CrimaUli, 
the ami)assadoi of the Caiholic King, in the most authentic form, 
an act, wdiereby his Most C'luihiian Majesty cedes in entire pos- 
session, [uirely and simply, wiilujui e.\ce|)lion, to his Catliolic 
Maje.iiy and his buccess(jrs, in perpetuity, all the country known 
under liic name of Louisiana, as well as New Orleans and liie 
islantl in which that ])lace staiuls." 

The language used "all the lountry known under the name of 
Louisiana" meant all of the prcjvince excejit wdial on the same day 
was Ceded by I'rance to (neat Britain. Il could have meant 
nothing else, because it was the imder.itanding i)i the three |)o\\ers 
at the time that I'.ngland slundd get all the territory east of tin; 
Mi<>i.-ippi exeipt the island of .\'ew ()rleans, and because baig- 
land piineeded to take possession of that jiarl (^f I<(juisiana which 

* Sen ec / >uemiuiil'>, Jd SchM'di, _' Itl L'uii'. 

2^ nil: I'K^'llNLl-: AND Tllll S r.-llllS. 

was 1h)uiuKi1 1)11 llu- \*(^t ii\ ilic Mi<sissipi)i anil ihc Ilitrvillc. 
vSpiiin muKr llic hrri>l tualy took all ui llii- rLMiKiiiuK-r v( 
Louisiana wlii^li cxUH'Ud <. a-l w anl to llie Mississippi aipl llio 
Iberville (Maiishac). 

"WIuTcas, till the iliiul (lav 111 llic picscnl niDiUli ( iNovciulier 3, 
176J) tlu: invliiiiiiiaric:. of a praec were sii^iK-il between llie citnvns 
of Sj^aiii ami iMaiice lU lIu' iiie pari ami Uicjse of l-ln^land ami 
l'urlut;al on llic other, and the Most C'lirislian Kin^, I'ly very ilear 
and \vell-belo\ed eou.~.iii, purely fioin tlie nobleness of liis heart 
and the love and friendship in which we live, thonglu proper to 
dis|)i:)se that the IManiui^ do inimaKli, my anibassatlor extraor- 
dinary near his royal person, and the DnUe De Choiseul, his 
ininisler of state, should on tiie same day si,c;n a convention by 
which the crown of I'rance c did immediately to that of »Spain 
the country known by the name of Louisiana, together with New 
Orleans and the island in which lliaf city stands, and by which my 
said ambassador agrees to llie cession t)nly comlilicjiially stj> spc 
rati, as lie is not furnislud with c>rilers to execute it absolutely: 

"Therefore, in older to establish between the Spanish and 
French nations the same spirit (jf union and fricndshii) which 
should subsist as they i\o in the hearts of their sovereigns, I, 
therefore, take jileasure in accept iii}^'', as I do accept in proper 
form, the said act of cesdoii, proinisiuL,'' also to accept those whicli 
may hereafter be judmd incesr^aiy for carrying it into entire and 
formal execution and auihoi i/iu-- the said iMariiuis de (irimaldi 
to treat, conclude and si'.u them, (nven at San I/Orenzo el Real 
on the ibirteenili of No\'i iiibcr, 17()_'." 

'■Till'. KiNC.."^- 

"Tho said acceptation and ratification havinp been approved by 
us, and regarded as a sti oug evidence of the friendslnj) and g(xjcl 
will of our very ilear and wel^beloved cousin, the Catholic Kin,g, 
wc renew and contirin b\' these presents the cession of Louisiana 
and of New Orleans, with the island in which that city stands, 
I)ronnsint; immediately to conclude with our said brother and 
cousin a convention in which the measures to be taken in concert 
for executing and consummating this cession to our mutual satis- 
faction will be fixed by ct.mmoii accord, (liven at Versailles on 
the twenty-third day of the month of November, 1762." 


Aiiimiil K. k;islLr ( I'lik'l cli) : V..1. VI 

li.iki.y A'.n'iu.iTiox o/- riir. Mississirri. 25 

"Sir: "Versailles, April ji, 1761." 

The Kiiii,' has eausoil the Ilc'Cl•^sary oriKis to he ihsvicd 
for the sinreiuler of the euuiilry of Louisiana, with New Orleans 
and llie island in \\ln\h eitv stand>, into the hand.i ol the 
eoiiinn- >ioner whwin hi- L'atiinlic Majesty may apiJuinl to receive 
ihun. 1 lia\e suit the >anie papers lo the iMarijuis de (3-isiun, 
who will have the honor to pre^^enl them to his Calhulic Majesty. 
\'our I'.xcelkncy uiil see that the Kinf^'s orders arc entirel)' con- 
forniahle with the aets ^i^iied in iyC^^, and that his Majesty has 
caused home articles tci h'' inseiied, eijually conducive to the tran- 
([uillity oi till' countr\' alter it i^ in tlio possesbioii of his Catholic 
MajestN, and to the happiness of its inhahitants. 1 have tiie* 
lioiujr to he, with j^real e:^t^l^l, your ]-". \celleucy's most lunnhlo 
anil ol)edient servant." "Tin. Duju: !)!■; Ciioisi:ui.." 

■■']'o nil': Co.NDi'; de Imii:nii".s." 

The fcjllowinj^^ aiticie-> from those treaties explain themselves: 
".fVrlicle Vli. In oiiler lo reestahlibh peace on soli(i and 
durahle foundations, anil to remove forever all suhjects of dis- 
pute with regards to the limits of the I'.rilish and French terri- 
tories on the continent of America, that for the future the confines 
hetween the donunicjus of his Uritauuic Majesty, in that part of 
the world, shall he fixed irievocahly hy a line drawn alon^' the 
middle of the liver M i^-■i^^ipj)i, fioni its source io the river Iher- 
ville, and from thence h\ a line drawn alon{; the middle of this 
river, and the lake Mauiepas and 1 'onlcharlraiu to the sea; and 
for this puipo-ic the most Cdiri>tiaii Kin^' cedes, in full ri^ht, and 
^naianleeh to hi.-i I'liitannic Maje>ty, the river and port of Mohile, 
and e\'er) thin;.^ which he posM^ses, or oiij^ht to possess on the 
left side the river Alis^i .sij-pi, except the town of New Orleans 
and the ibland in wliich it is ^ilualcd, which shall remain to 
France; provideil that tie river Mississippi shall he etpially ficc 
as well t(j the suhjects of C.real liritain as to those of hVauce in 
its whole hreadth and length, from its source to the sea, and 
expressly that part whii h is hetween the said islaiul of New 
Orleans aiul the ri^lil hank of that river, as well as the passaj^^c 
both in and out of its nio'ith. It is further stipulated that the 
vessels heloii^iii}^'^ to the suhjicts of either nation shall not he 
slopped, visited, or suhjecletl lo the pa\nient of any duty what- 
soever. The stipulations insertid in the l\'lh article in favor iif 
the inhahitants of Canada, shall also lak'e place with regard to the 
inhahnanls of llic countries cided hy this article."* 

• Kfuislfi (I'liulihli). \'..l. VI. 


■////•: /'/ *'/'/.Vi /: .-IX'I) nil-. STATUS. 

Tlu' biiiMiliiliiMis i\ MTird It) in the last siiitt-ucc nf this article 
cxuiulnl to [\\c inhahii.iiil-. i-f llic tcnilnry ceikil the rii^hl i>) pio- 
fcss aiul f\i. rcihc the Caihclif rchiMoii aiiil to iciuovc fieiii llic 
lerriliUN- wilh llu'ii- i luot> -IhhiM tlu'v so dcsiiL-. 

"Arlick' XX. hi >. • iiiM(|ia'iicc i)f thi- i\->tiluii()ii stipulated in 
llur preceding- aiticlo ( NiiuU XIX coiiciTiiin-- 1 lavana, «.U\), his 
Catholic Majci'ty CimK -, and LMiarantces, in full ri,L;lit, to his llrilan- 
nic Majt'St)', I'lorida, wilh h'oit vSt. .\iigu>line and the Hay of 
i'cnsacola, a^ well a-, .ll thai vSpain p()s>ebS<.s on the continent of 
North America, to ih.' east, oi- to the southeast of the river Mis- 
sissip[)i ; and in j^ e\er\iliin^ that dei)ends on the said coim- 
Iries and lands, wilh li.e sovereignty, property, possession and all 
ri^ht accjnireil h\ ireaiies or niherwise, which the Catholic Kin^^ 
and the crown oi Si)ain have had till now over the said countries, 
lands, places and ollu r inliahilants; so that the Catholic King 
Cedes and makes o\er ihi- wluile It) the said Kinj^ and to the crown 
of (jreat Ihiiain, and iliat in the most ample maimer and'.form.'" 

"Article XXII. All ihe papers, letters, documents and archives 
which were found in ihe couulries, territories, towns, anil places 
that are restored, and tlmse heloui^ing [o the countries cedeil, shall 
he respectively and hiiiia iide ileliverctl or furnished at the sanic 
time, if possihle, that pw-^cssion is taken, or at latest four months « ! 
aflir the exchan;^e of (lie ratifications of .the [)resent treat) in 
whale\er jikue^ the said papers or tlocumeiUs ma)' he louud." 

"Article X X 1 1 1 . .All liie eniuuries aiul territories which may 
have heeu coiu(uered in w hat-^orxer part of the world hy the arnin \ 
of llieir Urilamiic and Md^l l'"ailliful (I'oilu^al) >daje-5tic>, as j 
Well as h\' those of lluii' M.r.t Christian (iMance) and Most | 
Catholic (vSpain) iMajelies, which are not included in the present 
treaty, either under the title of cessic;ns, or under the title of 
resliluliiJiis, shall he reslored willunU diflicultv and with.out rc(iuir- 
inj^-- any compciisation." 

".Article XXIV. . . . It is agreed that the British and 
iM-eiieh (i\><)|)s shall ciMnpkle kefoii- the 15th of March neM, all 
that shall remain to he i \i-cut' d of the Ulli and ijlli ailick.s of 
the preliminaries, signed the v' day of Novemher last (176J), 
with regard to the evacuation lo he nuuk- in the empire or else- 
where. . . . (ileal I'.rilam shall lil.ewise, at the end of three 
inoiiihs after the excli,iiii;e of the ratilicalions of the present 
treah', or so(;iier if it can he d.iue, enter into the possession of the 
river .md port y>i the Mdiile, and of all that is lo form the limits 
of ihe leiriloiy of ('.iial I'.iilam on the ade of the river Mi'is- 
sippi a , they are specilk d ill llii siveiilli ,n licic 'I'lufwit- 

/•;. IA7.)' .\'.iric;.irn)M or riiii Mississirri. 


rcss of lliL- lla\:m:i wiili all llial lias been cnii(|iKT(jii in llic island 
vi Cu\):\ shall lie i\st(iii,(l il.i\i. iiioiiilis alU'i llic L'.\i'liaii^;i.' oT llic 
ralilKaiitiiis 111 ilk' |ii\Nciii Ural)', ur soinici' if it (.■an bo iloiio; 
aiiil al tlic >anic iwiw ("iiral r.iiiani shall uiUr inlo pnsscssinii of 
the oonnii y ccdtil h) Spain ariv)iilinj.;- lo llic UvliUiciIi article."'' 

l'~n)ni AriicK' \ II al>o\o, ii will hi- seen llial IVancc ccilcil the 
river and port of Mnhile to (iixai lirilain, and therefore must 
have possessed iheiii prit)i" id (he ecssion. This cession conlirins 
the prior ownersiiiii h\- I'l.ince of the country eastward to llie 
Terilivlo. I'roni ariirle XX aluAe, it will he seen that Spain ceded 
t(j (heat r.riiain the Hay oi IViisaci'la and the country eastward to 
St. Augustine. i'his cessi.-n .--lill fiuther conlirnis the fact that 
the territtjry of Spain exi^nded n<.» farther wesiwaril than the 
I'erditlo, and that the ImciuIi l.ouisiiuia did e.xtenii eastward to 
the J'ji'dido. As wSpain had en_!.;a;;ed in the war merely to assist 
h'rance, and as in .so doinj; had lo.-.i Idoi-ida, iM'ance conii)ensated 
her with what nia) he calK d "the Spanish Louisiana." 

'i'his treat)' i^ixt^i] the we-iern limits of the Atlantic colonies in 
the niidiile of the Alississipi the Iberville and the lakes Maurepas 
and I'ontcluirlrain. 'I'his was the Inst time the Mis:5issipi)i was 
made the boundary between the possessions cjf any two or more 
nations. It was likewise the date when the province of Louisiana 
as possessed by I'rance was duided, all that portion eastward of 
the Mississippi and the Jber\ille never afterward receiving the 
appellation of "l.oui.siana." The b.n^lish map* from this lime 
forward show the Atlanlie colonies e.Mended westward to the 
Mississippi. I'".ni;land seemed all the countis' to the east of the 
Mississippi e.\cei)t the islaiivl of New Orleans, i'articnlar atten- 
tion is called to the cessii^n of the i\^\\[ to the free navigation of 
the ^^ississipJ)i from its somce to the sea, particularly to that por- 
tion between the right ban!, of the river and the Island of New 
Orleans. As will be seen, the ri^^lit to this navij^^aiion was ceded 
absolutely and without reservation from the source of the river ti), 
the Ciulf (A Mexico. Within a shoit time after this cession, Great 
Britain divided I'lorida into the two sections — East and West — 
the latter biinj.^ biunuled on the \". est by lak'es Pantchartrain and 
iNfaurepas. the river Iberville and the river Mississippi as far north 
as the ihirly-firbt tlet.,Mee of north l.iiitude. Thus it was that bji;^- 
kinti created West ]'dori«la and e.xlinded it to the Mississippi. In 
the ort^ani/ation of the teniiory thus secured by c<)n(|uest, Oreat 
ilritain purposely omitted the upp<r Mississippi country, in oriler 

'.\miiii..1 Ki i:i.-.Ut (i:iii;li-,li): V..I VI. 


Till-: /'A(>/7A'i7: .t.\'i) Tin: sr.irr.s. 

i)(.l U) ^\w I'lkiisc l>' llic Indians llu-rc, who, nc; doiibl, would 
ol.jcci lo li.ivc iluii l.iiuls iMUclcil oiU, subdivided and j^uveiiied 
\silli>iul llirn euiiM.MU and willuml paynu-nl lliLTcfor. 

"The iiadi.i- will ohservr, and ln)^^ihl^ wilh ^.une buipribc,* 
thai ill lhi^^ dislrihuli..n nuuh ihc lar^;esl and perhaps ihe niobt 
valuahle ))ari ol our >.>.ni|uesLs does uol fail into any of.the^c gov- 
cnnnentb; llial the euviiniis cil the i^real lakes, the tiiic countries 
on the whole course uf ilic i )hio and ( )uahache (Wahash;, and all llial traet ul Louisiana which lies in the hilher hranch 
of ilu: Mi^sis-iippi, arc- iioiu: ol' iliem comprehended in the disUihn- 
tion. The -overnuieiil of \\ e^l h'K)rida exteiuls in no part much 
ahove half a de_i;iee fimn the .-.ea. Many reasons may he assij^iieil 
for this appariiU (^ini^-^ion. A consideration (jf tlie Indians was, 
we presume, the jirincipal, hecausc it mi<dil have ^^iveii a sensihlc 
alarm to that people if lln-)' had seen us formally canlouiii;; (jiil 
tlit-ir wliide couniry iiilo rej;ular eslahlishmenls." 

Ill hi^, |)roelamation of Oeloher 7, 170.^, Kin^ ^^'corj^c ol Hn[^ 
land spoke of the wi' Urn jjoundary of West I'Morida, 'To the 
westward hy lake I'oiiuhartrain, the lake Maurepas and the river 
Mississippi." f The Irialy of ij(>J) allaehed delinitely the i>laiul 
aiul (own of Niew Orleans to the couniry west of the Mississipjji, 
and in all suhse(|uent desi.miaiion tiiat assi{.',iiment and h(,>undary 
were followed. The line was referred to at first as' 'The river 
Iberville, the lakes Maurcinis and ]\)nU hartrain," and spoken 
of as "vi\c of the nioulh.i of the Mississippi." Later it was 
))soken of as "'the ba\ou Manshac and ihe lakes Maurepas and 
ronlchailrain." In eail\' tiiiu>, ih) doubt, .i.mucli {.greater volume 
oi walei found its w.i)' ihroui^h this (.»ulKi from the Mississippi 
to the (rulf ihau in later limes; and iieiice the Islaiul of New 
Orleans was usually spoken of as ])art of the country west of the 

No oilier changes were made until the conclusion of the Revo- 
lutionary war; but as the rij^^ht to uavit;ati: the Mississipj)! river 
became one of the mosi serious (luestions of contention iluring 
the progress of the war and as such conlenlion slia|)ed to a con- 
siderable extenl the aftiiude of Spain and iMance, and ])erhaps 
F.ngland, toward the Ihiiird Slates and iirt^mised to ulTecl the 
welfare and destiny of Louisiana, the subject will be followed 
closely in these pages. 

The Lnglish board of trade, by recommendation dated March 

• Annii il K.xisU'i l';iii:li-,ii) : Vol. VI. K.-uistii (I'li^iliMJi): \'i.l \'l. 

I'.AKi.v x.niii.ino.x oi' run Mississirri. 


i'3(l, 17(11, askod l"i;r a pro\ isidii allcriiiL; tlir lj(»iin(lary of West 
I'loricla 1)11 ilie iioitli I'loin ila- ihiiiy-firsi ili-.L,Mec lo the iiujulh of 
the ^'azl.•o ri\Lr. 'I'liv iraM/ii ^isiii ii>\' llic iLCoinjiiciulatioii was 
lIiL' fact dial a slioiij^ icltKimiit li;iil la'cn 111. ulc on llio cast side 
of llio I\lississi|)i)i al)o\'0 llir lliiil\ liist cloi;rec, ami tlic fad that 
the liay ami town of .\lol)iK' were piesiinu'il lo he ahove that par- 
allel. Ill arcorJaiK'e with this rc>;iiiiiinemlatiuii, the I'liiglisli {^ov- 
criuueiit uiuUi" AaIc ni Juik' (j, 1764, vMeiuletl the iiorilieni 
hoimdai)' of \\'c-t J'hiiida up ijic Mississippi lo the niouth of 
the Vazoo river, tlieiice eastward lo the Apalaehieola river, 'riiis 
line was still the houiulary in 1770, as shown by (he followinij 
mandate :''" 

"Clecn'^a- the Third, by ihe (.race of Ciod, of Great Britain, 
iMance and Ireland Kint;, difriuK 1 of the faith and so forth, to 
our trusty rind well beloved I'eier I'hcster, es(|uire, ^reetin^'; 

"We, reposinj^ esiacial liiisi and ciMifideiice in the prudeuco, 
courage and loyalty of you, the said Peter Chester, of our espcdal 
grace, certain knowledj^a' and nieie motion, have thought fit lo 
constitute amf appoint \oii the said Peter Chester lo l)e our cap- 
tain general and goNcrnor in chii.-f in and over our province of 
West I'doiida in Anuiica boundeil to the southward by the (julf 
of Mexico, iiuludini; all ilie islands within six leagues of the 
coast, lioin the .Xp.ih' liwi to lal-;e I 'ontchartiain ; to the 
westward by the said lake and llie I.ake Maurej)as and ihe ri\er 
Mississippi; la the lUMihwaid by a line drawn from the mouth of 
(III' river N'a^oiis wlu le it imiles wiih the Mississippi due east to 
the liser Apalacliiv ola , and to the eastward by the saiil river." 

Wiliuss onrsell at \\'eslmiiisl( r (be J5tli day of January, and 
the tciilh )'ear of our reign ( 1770)." 

"TnK King." 

The loss to iMance in 1763 of Canada, IvOuisiana and all o{ 
tlic Mississippi valley rendered possible the condition by which 
the Colonies were enabled lo free lluinselves from (weal llritain. 
Had J'Taucc retaiiu'd possession, the ccjlonies would certainly not 
have secured the Mississippi valley, and would probably not ha\c 
secureil tluir iiidepeiiduue, e\'en with their western bouiularics in 
the Alleghany uuuiiitaius. They woubl not have had the assist- 
ance of I'lance in their struggle ller enormous losses in I7f'^3, 
K'iudKil the resentment of It. nice against ( I'litain, frijin 
wliiib ibe colonies wi'ie In milled. The jioiirbon family compact 

•AniMi..! U. iii,Ui 1 ICiiuliil.): V..I VI. 


Tim r::0\l.\Cli AS I) Till: Sr.lTliS'. 

aiul a unii\ ui inleu-is umdc v^^pain ihi.' ally nf iM-ancr. I'.vcn 
jal'uic llu' miiiiiu IK. IK 111 .■!' llu' l\(. \uliuii;ii, iMMnoc had 1kj.;iiii 
to aiUi-c and a.-Ni^l il ^ tdlwiiK^,, and cwn lu iiiliniatL- lo llicin, it 
iu>i iilaiulv i>) iMiiiiii-..', tliat iJu' wmild .su-^iaiii ilicir revolt ai^aiii^t 
llic iiiotlici- counliy. I'aii at llii> lime the lMi^sissipl)i eounlry 
was ikjI tal.en into con^ideraiiiui excipl reniutely, and the Jcar of 
Sp;iiu ot iulnre danj'.ei' lioiu llie l'".n;;li'ili colonies \sas not )et 
Ivindlcd. livery luote-^a ll;al weakened l\n.L;land sireii^llieiKd 
I'ranre as well as Sp:iin. The fale of i,^>ui^iana depended upon 
the course i r.rsned hy l'ian>e as well a^ iijjon that jjursued hy 

Hv the acl of the continenlal congress, approved Decciiiher 30, 
ij;/). tin; ft)llo\\nu; piopii^ii'u.n was made thioiij^h the h lench 
am! assador to the court of v^paiu : "Thai if 1 lis Catholic MaJe.^ty 
will ioin with llu; I'niuil Stairs in wai" against ('iieat iWitaiu, ihcy 
will a'^.i-t ill ndnciii;; to ihe pussessioii of Spain the to\>'u and 
harhci of I'lii'-acola; pio\id(.il thai the cilixeiih and inhahit^anls of 
the United States shall have the free and uuiulcrruptcd ua\ illa- 
tion of the Mi>sissippi and use of the harhor of I'eiisacola ; and 
will, providei' il he Hue that Mis I'oi lu.L;uese Majesty has insidt- 
iiiL^ls' expelled the \essrl^, of ihe-e States from his ports, or hath 
coid'iscated an\ Mich V( ^^els, declare war against the said l^in^', 
if that una: lire will he aL;ii'ealile to, and Mipporled h)', the courts 
of .' laiice and .Spain."' Tlii. act was one of the clauses in the 
letter of il:lnK■lion^ ^v•ul t" the Auiericifu cummi^^ioIU . .. \\\ 
i'.mope, in which a treat \ wa^ drawn up Ui he Mihmitted to Spain 
MiMilar to ihe one picpaicd for suliiiUs->iou lo l'"rance. The l.iltor 
h. 'd iKeii p! e\ i> 'ii-^h pi\|i,ued Sepicniher 17, 1770, in whuT. was 
the follow in;;' clause: "Slujuld Spain he ilisinclined to our CLUse 
from any aj prehensit)n of daii>;er lo his dominions in South Amer- 
ica you are empowered to ^ive the stronj^est assurances ihat that 
<rown will receive no molestation from the United States in tlio 
posse.--sion of these territories." These were the instructions piven 
ti> ihe minister to !• rancr helore a s|iecial envoy was sent to il,c 
court (jf Spain. I'roiii the aho\e il will In; ohserved that thus 
early in its caULT ihe {^cn'eiimunt of the United Slates cluiif^ lo 
the riijii of the navi}.;atii in td' the Mississippi and hence to thu" 
extension to the slates wh l\yaid to thai river. 

Al the comnienci-ment ni the re\<ilution Spain saw tliat il was 
to lur iiiicresi as a }4;uar(l a[;aiiist ihe encruachinents of the iidiah- 
ilaiUs the colonies on her l.oui.^iana possessions to encoinaj;'.' 

' lJil<lniii;itic Curu-.spomltiicc: J'.tciol Jum h.vIh ti( l'(ir« li;ii Ad.ih m, CoiiLies". 

/:. IA7.1 :\'.ll U;.il U).\' ('/■' lll/i M I SSISSl I'i'l. 


tliL' (iiballfciiuii of ilir c-ul)iii(.-, with ilic iiiollior couiilry; acconl- 
in^jlv ^Iii-' K''^'*-' ''* '' 'I""''' Mipl"'"' I" *'"■■ i>-vijlt, ;ib wi-ll as diic 
iiiilliun liMiK^ lo 1)1. liainUil tw iIk- .Ainmcaii coiniiii.-isioiin >. 
J.ak'i-, wIkii it Uiaiiic cKar thai the is:ine \',as iiulepciulL'UCi: ami 
wide i-lami- ui li iiilcay, ^lu; re;' i i.lle.1 lur i)rL'\imib coui^e, l)Ut 
was prosciitcJ Iimiu tal^iiii; exliriin action in fa\(»r of (lical liiit- 
ain b\ llic pionii^e.s and entiealy ol l''r;inee and Ij) the cxiJtclatiwn 
of j;ainiii;; the l'"li)iiila-. iMi»ni ]>()ssihle future enlanj^lenienls ami 
(hulJ.;e^^ w ith the eoliines -^he soni;ht first to free herself by meilia- 
tion with r".ii(;laml. I. air in I7;S, Count de h'lorida I'lanea pro- 
posed to i.cjrd (jranihani, the l!^iti^ll i^riiue minister, the follmv- 
in<v lernis of a heitKineiU with the eolonies:'*" 

"l. 'i'l'.e absolute iiidepi ndeliCe of llle colonies. 

".>.. The presiivalion ol L'anada and Aeadia by England. 

"5. The cession of all of hlorida to the colonies except what is 
necessarv for ihe |»ioiectioii of Spanish comnuroe in the (nilf of 

Hut this ])roposilion, made iiefcMC Spain had begui\ to fear the 
colonies, came to nauj^ht. In < )cti;ber, J77H, the Count de Ver- 
f^iimes, in spi'al.ini;^ of the free na\i}^ati<^n of the iMis>issip|)i, main- 
tained there would he no difliciill) over that (|Ue.'5ton \\lieii teiiiis 
of peace Wile disciissi-il, and oh-rr\ed that he wcnild be astoni.-.he(l 
if Spain made any oppfj^-iiiou to it. I'.ut it is cU-ar that at this 
time .S)iaiii hatl already concei\ed her plan for the rehabilitation 
c)f her ikca\inL; monaich\ 1m' the coU(pie>.l oT the Cailf and the 
po.->>ihle e^lablislimeiit uf .1 1 1 ,in-> .\ t lani ic throne at New Oilcans 
or Mexico. 

As early as 1777, it beiaiiie the settled conviction of tiie nations 
of J-'urojie lliat the iudejjeiidenci, of the liritish American colonies 
meant their eventual absorption of the valley of the M issis.sippi.i^ 
In 1778 it was impressed iiijon I'ranee that without the help of the 
Spanish navy on the ocean ai^'ainst Cireat llritain was a 
question of ^-"rave doubt, 'i'herefore, France, for her own protec- 
tion, endeav(jred to allav ilie mis^'^ivin^^s of Spain as to future 
dissensions with the United Slates and lo secure her active assist- 
ance a;.;ainst Great I'ritaiu and hence resulted the secret treaty of 
1779 bitwei'ii iMaiice and vSpam, lendered possible only by the 
"I^unil)' Compact. "i As the war proi^ressed the United Stales 
were );ivin to understand by France tliat they could not make the 

♦ Diiiliiiii.ilio Afl.iirM. b((.-nl. 

i l)is|<^iU li of l.ii/ciiic to \'cf >;(iiiifs. 

t I)i 1.1. ir.. Ci-lli llinii (.1 'rii aliiH. 


rill: i'ixt>yiA\:i: .imp run status. 

i>uii\iulcr ul ihe M i^^i-.^ii)iii li) Spain one of llio Loiulilimis o\ 
p(.'aci' ; Iml ai llio t.uiulii>i.'ii slic L-inK'a\(MCtl lo satisfy Spam willi 
llie cuiulitioii^, i1iiiiil;1i ilir l.iiui \\■a^ made to suUcr lluTcliy. As 
a niatU'i" oi facl, much was 1. n lu ihc ilrifl of cvcnls, llu- only 
stipulation hack of all ncL^oiiain 'n^ bcnii; llic indcpeuiloncc of llii! 
colonKS, to which tinalil\' v^^pain was never rect')ncile(l. 

Chi llie 3(1 of |une, 1776, .\rlhui" Lee wrote U) the committee 
of Seiiet CoiiL>piinJen>e of I i .n stress, "''Piie desire of the Court 
of Im.uicc to ma\ he iKpended on; hut they are yet tiniiil 
and ihe minisliy unsellKd. . . Spain is more reserved, her 

minister here an old w.'uian, hut assuredly when iManee moves 
Si)nin will co-opi'rale." At ihi^ time Spain and Portugal were 
on the hrink of war, the former heint,' supported hy ['ranee ami 
the latter hy h.n-.dand. In ordei- to };ain the assistanace of Spain, 
I'eau.narchais, in Sepli mher, 177^), ailvised the United Slates 
to decl.ire war a.s;aiu^t I'oituj^al a.s well as a}^^'linst Gn-at Hfitain. 
Soon after an ollicial cwpy of the Declaration of Independence 
was reeeiveil hy Silas I )e me, the .Xmerican amhassador to iMance, 
lie prep.ued a plan to he ii.ied as a hasis for an active alliance 
between the United ."^lales and Immucc and Spain. This plan 
emhraced the followiiu;- ptjini^: 

Tho independence of the United States should be recoj^nized 
hy JMance and Spam, and the vduui; republic should be ^^niaraii- 
teed "the posNt'^sion of .dl thai part uf the continent of N-uih 
.Ameiie.i which b) the Let of peace was cede<l and con- 
firmed to the Ui"own of '',i\;ii ('.niain (the tri'aty of i7<>.0; the 
United Slates should guarantee to I'lance and Spain '"all and 
singular their po^,:^e^S!on.^ ant! claims in every other part of Amer- 
ica, whether north tjr swiiili of the ecinator, and of the islands 
possessed hy them in the Ameriian seas; should France or Spain, 
durinf; the progress of the war, secure jjossessioii of the liriliMli 
ishnuU in the West Indies, the United Slates should a^;roe to 
assist in ciMifirmin'..'; >ncb •p')^ses>ion ; the three nations should sus- 
tain one an(/tlier\ ri^dUs Im fne commerce in the cod fishery on 
the banks of Newfoundland, C'ape IWeton, etc.; any iJritisb sliip 
ftniiul on the Coasts of North iiv Sonih America should "forever 
hereaflei" he C(.n->i(Ui ed a. a lawlnl pri/e m peace or in war and 
no r.rilish ship should ev< r he admitted into the ports of either 
of the three counlrie^ ilnrni); tin present war; ['ranee and Spain 
should end lleei^ to the .\meiii:m coasts to defend and protect 
the i'ii,.iMMe of Ihe Ihiihd S'.ile-. and llie United >.lales, in 
itluiii, 'lioiild dell lid till Fniiili and Spanish possessions in 
Aniei ica ; "no peace m aei ■ ■mniod.ii ion should be iiiaile w ilh ( n\ at 

li.lRL) ,V. Ii7(;. //7(;.V (>/■ 77//; Mississim. 


Hrilaiii lo llu' in 1 riii^riiK ul nr violatiuii ol any oiiu of llicso 

This |)laii \va.-> prcsciiu J liy .Mr. I)ianc lo tlic Couiil dc Vcrj^in- 
iiL'>, i'l Ills prixaU- ca|;a(.ii\, as rally as Nm •.•iiibcr J], ijyd', Itut 
.seems Id have been llii>u;lil tun srvcTo, as iiolliiii}; Uullier was 
heard of the plan. W hui (he 1 )eclaralic)ii of liulependenec was 
made ])uhlie in Tari-s, il eii.aled nid)(nuukd joy amon^'- the violent 
enemies uf (ileal lliilain. The arrival (jf "l)<>elor" l'"raiilJiii also 
occasiLiiied llie iiiosi plea-^nrahle .mlieipalions, because it was seen 
that his coiiiiiiL; me;iiU the lejeciion by the United States i>f the 
overtures t»l Clreal 1)1 itain. In (.(iidoii ihc publication of tlic Dec- 
laration caused corresponding' depression ; it meant llie end of 
peace ne^uiiations ami war to the hnisli. l'",ver)'lbiiit( .\merican 
at I'aris was prized ami admired. Mr. Deaiie wrote on December 
3 ^77'^^' "^ uuisl mention some trilles. 'i'he ipieeu is fond of paraile, 
and 1 believe wishes a w,ir, and is our Irieiul. She loves ridin}^ 
on lioisiback'. (.loulil )()ii send me a Narrowlicf^ansctt horsi or 
two? 'Idle present miL;lii be numey exceedingly well iaitl ovit. 
IvittenluHise's orrery, or .Xiiiold's collection of insects, a phaeton 
of American mal;e and a pair of bay horse.s, a few barrels of 
apples, of walnuts, of buileriims, etc., wmild be great curiosities 
here, where e\erything .\meriian is gazed at, and where the 
iAmerican contest engage.-i the attention of all ages, ranks and 

In a letter of January p 1777, Doctor JManlclin wrote to con- 
gress lb. It ibe plan o! liie Ueau with l-'iauce ba«l been laid before 
the roiiiit de \ ergeiines and that "by bis advice we have had an 
interview wilh the Spanish ambassador, Count de ;\raiula, who 
seems well di.-,posed tow a ids iis, and will forward copies (jf cnir 
memorials to his court, which will act, he says, in perfect concert 
witii this." The American aguits made a powerful appeal for 
assistance and for an alii. nice with both I'lance and Spain. Doc- 
tor I'Vanklin wrote on January 17, '"We are promisetl an answer 
from this coiut as S(K)ii as they can know the determination of 
Sj^ain, with wbieli they mean to act in perfect unanimity." On 
I'ebruary 2, tlu' three American commissioiu rs, Mes.'-rs. I'^ranklin, 
l)eaiie and T,ee, gave their personal pl(,'(l'.;e lo the COiut of iM-auce 
and S))ain "that the United States shall not separately conclude 
a |)eace, nor .aid (neat I'.iitain against )'" ranee or Sf)ain, nor 
inleriiiii their iusl (.xeriioiis .igaiiist (weal F'rilain during the 
c(>nliim,iiu e of such war: piovidnl always lliat iMaiice and Sp.iin 

• iJii.liHii.iii.- Cum -ii/iiu.UiKi-, 


77//: y','a>i'/Ai7: j.v/) inE sr.inis. 

(K) iH\ llicir pail liiU i iiiiu a simi'ar blipiilalicjii wilh our Staii-s." 
I.ailv ill l'\lini.iry, ll i r(iumiis>i()in.Ms a^iefj aiiUdi^ iIkiiim'Ivcs 
llial it wouKl lir lulu i' for ilii'iii lo ^rparalc aii<l roMilc m iliico 
ililTi'iviii (.Mimii ivs, w lu'i i ii|Kiii i\l I. \ AC ^.larud for Ahuliul aiul 
laur Ml". I)iain.' for 'I'lic I l,iL;ur, wink' IMi'. l'"ianKlpi rcinaiiKil in 
l*aris. Mr. l,cc \va^ .^-IoiiikiI by Sliam, lor |)i iiikiuial ira^ons, 
before 1k' reached Ma>biib Tbal Ci)iirl did iu)l i\cv\i\ il advisable 
at lliat juiKiiirc to receive a minister liom the I'nitetl Stales, or 
ill a public capacity any otlu r representative. 

In March, 1777, iIk coniin'ssioiiers were iiislructed by coiifjress 
"tbal in case I'rance and .Sp.un will enter into tlie war, tbe United 
Stales will assist tin; lorniei m the con(|uest of the liritish su^'^ar 
islands and the latter in ilie coiuiiiest of I'ortu^Ml, i)roinisiiii.,'' the 
assistance oi six frii^ales, lu.inned, of not less lliaii t\\ ent\-finir 
guns each, and provi>ions ei|iial lo two million dollars, Ameiii.a 
desiriiiL,' for her share ^>\\\\ wliai Hritain holds on the Conlineiil." 
()f this oukr, iManklm said, "It is a pleasure to tuul thcj ibingi 
ordered which we weie iloiii'^;- without orders." l-'rankhn suj.(- 
gesled to Lee thai, "li would be well to sound the court of Si)ain 
on the subject of |)ermillin^ our annetl ships to brin^' ])ri/.es into 
her pi:»its and there ih'pose >if llu'in." I'luler dale of iApril 7, 
Doctor I'raiildin submiiud to ihe Count de Aranda, Spanish am- 
bassador lo braiice, tin- piop^.^iiou contained in the reswlulioii of 
ctiUgrcss of I lecember V', '77''- (See supra.) 

It is no doulil Hue lli.ii Mr, 1 )eane while al l*aris rellecled tbe 
sense and temper of ilu- I 'mud States. Accordintjly, wlun be 
prepared his diall lor llie proj- 1 ed inaly, he inciMporateil therein 
the \;islus ol ilie I'liilcd Siale.^ that iheir territory, al the conchi- 
sion of peace, -bonbl (.Mend westward to the Mississippi aiul the 
lber\ille, or in his cj\\ n woitls should embrace "the poSsessii/U of 
all thai part of tbe coutiiunL of North America wlncii b\' the last 
treaty ol peace was cedi d and coiirirmed lu the Crown di (iieat 
lirilain." This .ili of tbe country eastwanl of the Missis- 
sippi and the Iberville iui ludiiii; the two i'doiidas. Neither I'lance 
iicir Sp.iin al llie lime oluied ,m\' objection to ibi.' leiriloiy thus 
asked for by the en\'oy. Neilber did they on the other 
hand stale thai the teiritoi \' asked for would bi- conceded by them. 
Mr. Deane's plan was ab.mduiud lu^'ause the coiublons were not 
)et ripe foi" its adoption. Hut there is no (juestion that the plan 
was the fouudaticju of di ep thought 011 the subject of ihe cknuis 
wliicli Wire sine to siuiiij; from ilu- indi peiidiiice of ibe coloi'.iiT. 
Il bolli I'^iami' :mil .'■-"p.iiii of llif |( iiiloi)' wanted b\' the 
Ciiilid :"l,,lrs. I'.iU iIk ; l.iliMii, n (d' Spain s(n»n K.ili/id ib.ii il 



wouUl not be iiniMactiralik', wliilc ihi.' ccjloiiiis were in sore sliaiis, 
l(j seeuio \\w Mniiil.iN, OIK nl wlihli Spain had |in pcjs- 
scssed ainl l)i.illi ol which -.he a:;ain carue.slly iU>iiril lo ^aiii, 
priiicipall)' in (;nkr W) .sli i nj.;UKn hir cMinnurcc ow ihe (inlf. 
Ina.snuKli as she eouM iu)l exiKci lo ^^ain Iheni ihroui^li the iude- 
pendenee ol the eulonies, .slie a^snnieil an allitnde of ansteiily and 
ehillineb.s Iwward ihe I'niud Stales, with an intimation that ihi- 
latter were clainnnj.^ too inueh ten itni)'. 

Under date of M'ay l, 1777, Doctor hranklin wrcjte, "The pe(jplc 
of this cijnntry ( iMance) are ahnost unanimously in our favor. 
'I'lie j;oveinment lia.^ its reasons for p(jsl|n>nin^ the war, but is 
niakiny daily the most diligent preparations wherein Spain goes 
hand in hand." And on May J5 he wrote, '"I'he interest of 
I'rance and Spain, In secnrin;^- onr friendship and commerce, 
se'enis dail\ moi e and \\\u\\: generally nnderstocxl here, antl wc 
have no douht of linally ohiainint; the estahli.-ihinent of that com- 
merce with all the fornialiliis necessary."* !l*!]f^935)^. 

Ihit in spile of the effoils of the commissioners considerable 
time passed without the ccjuclusion of a treaty with either France 
or Spain. Mr. Lee wrote iiom I'aris on December 8, 1777, "Our 
joint dispatches will inform \ou of the forwardness in wliicii 
thing^: are lure towards ilic desired conclusion. In three weeks 
we shall luar fiom Sjiain, and all wiU, I hope, be settK'd. Tlic 
late intelhm nee 1 rom .\m( rica has staL^gereil and confounded onr 
enemie.-. as much as it has elated and decided (uir friends." (?>\\ 
Decmiber iS the conunisM. Miers wrote, "the .L;reat news of Hur- 
-o\ni''^ delcal and .sui lender apparently occasioned as much gen- 
eral joy in l''raiice as if it had been a victory of their own troojjs 
over tlii-ir own enemies, su^h is the universal, warm and sincere 
go(jd will and aitachment to us and our cause in ibis nation." 
Ibis news i^ave the cominissioiiei s an excellent opportunity l(j 
push their cause, 'i'be commissioners wrcHe, "M. Gerard, one of 
the secretaries, came yesteitkiy lu infcjrm us, by order of the 
King, that after Imig and full c .nsideration of our affairs and 
prop<xsiii.)n., in council it was decided, and his Majesty was deter- 
niiiied, In acKiKjwIedge our independence and make a treaty with 
US of amity and commerce; that in this treaty no advantage would 
be taken of our piesenl siliiation to obtain terms from us which 
otlie]-wi:A \',(>iild not be cuiiveiiirul for us to agree to; 
liiat bis Majesty was fi.xed in bis determination not only to 
acknowled:;e, I)tit to Mippori uiir indi'peiidence by every means in 

• Dipli.iiiaiie Corrcbpoiiiliiioe, seen I. 


rill-. i'un\-isci: AS I' riiii sr.iri'S. 

his power ; . . llial lln. only coniliiioii lie slioiild rc(|iiire and 

rely Dii wnnld he llii-i : iliai w e in no peace lo he made wilh Mul;- 
land slidiild ;;iw up iii;i' iiidr|u iidnice and relmn to the uhrdienee 
ot thai i;w\aiUMKiil; Jial a> mkiu as the euin iei lelurned Irnui 
Spain Willi the eoiicin renee> expeeled the allair would he pro- 
ceeded in and concliuK d ; that ol this we iniylil ^ive llie congress 
.the stroii[;est ahSuiaiKr,-, in uiir dihinitehes, only cautioning' them 
lo keep the whole lor the ))ieseiit a dead secret, as Spain had three 
reasons h^r not imniediatel) declarin^'^: ller money ileel ncjl )et 
come home, her iJra/il anii) and Heel the same, and Iter peace 
W'ilh roitu_L;al nor )et i|inic completed; hut these ohstacles would 
prohahly so(;n he removed." hinally the commissioners \vr()le, on 
Fehruary 8, 1778, "We have U'lW the {^reat satisfaction of accpiaint • 
in^ 3 on and the con;.;ie.-ib thai the licaties wilh hiance are at 
lenj^lh comi)leled and Hi;iied " And in leferrin^' to Spain tluy 
said, "vSpain heini.; .slm., ihi'iv i^ a sejjarale and secret claijse, hy 
which ^he is to he receued into the alliance upon refjuisition, and 
there is no douht (^f tlu iveiit." When we mention the j^ood will 
of llii, nation to oiir caii^e we may add that of all lutrope, which 
liaviitL;' heen offriideil hy the pride and insi.>lence of I>ritain, 
wishes to see its p(»s\\i ilimiiiishetl ; aiul all who have received 
injuries from lur are h. one ol the articles lo he invited into Dur 
alliau'e. 'i'lie preparations foi wai aie carried on with immeiibe 
activit)' and it is soon e- iKCled." 

In the treaty of alliance helweeii France and the thirteen colo- 
nics called the United Si iics, c.niclniled hehruary (), 177S, the fi)l- 
JonnIiil; article was adopiv d : |" 

"Aiticle VI 11. Neither of the two parties shall conclude 
cither truce or peace with Cneat Hritain without the formal Con- 
sent of the other Inst (>htaiiied ; and they mutually euj^age not to 
lay down iheii arms uiiiil the independence of the United States 
shall have heen formally or tauil)' asisnixd hy the treaty or to aties 
that bliall terminate the war." 

r)n the same dal(', a s. parale aiul secret article helween France 
and the United States ri^cr\ed to the Kinj^ of Spain the rii;ht to 
acceile U) the treaty and to participate in its slipnlalious \vlieiie\er 
he should so desire, the lin^iia;'/' used heini;' as follows: 

"The Most Christian l.ini; (of I'rance) declares, in conse()uence 
of the intimate union which ^nlisi^ts helween him and the Kni^ 
of Spam, that in Coiieliidiiip; with the United Slates of America 

• l)i|> ic Coi I cspoinlL-iici- ->i cicl. 
t Tn..ilic-,..( Uic Oniua Si. ill 

li.iKi.Y .\'.iru:.i rio.v oi- riui Mississiri'i. 


this lixatN' of aiiiilN' ;iii(l Cdiiinniw, aiul tliat of (.■vcntual and 
:.lL'f(.ii>ivi.- alliani.c, liis\' lialli iiunulcil, and inliiuls, to 
ii'Si'i'w cxpi c> '1\ , ai lie UM i\i'^ l;y llns iirc^ciil hcparalc and\-l act, lo hi.s said l^illn ilic Majesty (the l\ini; (d Spam) llic 
power (1 aeecdnt;.'; to ilic .-aid treaties, and to parlicipalc in tlufr|)nlalions al .-^nJi lime as lie siiall jiitlKi-" pr<Jper. It being \m 11 
nndei.-tuod, ik\ i. rilu K-^s iliai il' any of the ^■lipnlaIions of tin- said 
trcalius are nnt a.t;reeaMe to ilu' Kinj^ of Spain, his Catholic 
Majesty may iircjjHjse other ei iiidiiions analagous to the principal 
aim of the alliance and confonualile to the rnles of c(|iiity, reci- 
i:)roeivy and friendship " 

It was anticipated hv the memhers of conj^rcss that, should the 
colonics j^aiu their indepindence, their western bcnnids would most 
likely l)cci)me the Mississippi ri\er, because the dominions of I'.nj,^- 
land extciidrd to that slrraiii. It was proper antl ralit^nal, tin ro- 
fore, lor the irn. mhii .^ of ilial bi)d\' to discuss, even to eventualities, 
the consetpiences and responsibilities of inde()endencc ; ac<;or(l- 
ingly the ])roceedinL;s of cuiij^iess arc Idled with references to 
and actions upon, the (pusiions ()f navif^atinj,'' the Mississippi, the 
western and southern boundaries, the possession of the Moridas, 
etc. S(;me such reference was made, or action taken, during the 
)ears 1777 and 177''^', and in 1770, <>n March 17 and 24, August 
5, and September (;. 

In a Ci)uniumicatitjn ilated I'aris, I'ebruary 10, Mr. I,ee 
informed congress of the reasons for the cautious policy of Sjinin 
ill pi<^i[.. iiini; an alliance with the Ihiited Slates, which reasons 
Were slated to he subslaiii iall\ as above given by Hoctor Franklin, 
lie said, "When the tre.isuie at sea arrives 1 have no tloubt of 
their aci-oiding lo the treaties signed here ami joining in the war." 
lie also \' rote, "1 am gi\en to understand that Sixain will wish to 
lia\e the possession of TeusaCdla secured to her in the treat)'. I 
sitali hope to receive the connuands of congress upon that i)oint 
as Soon as possible. Perhaps congress may think' that circum- 
stances are maleiially tb.mj',ed since the passing the resolve on 
this subject December 30, 177^), and that the Mississippi is likely 
to be the (jidy permanent Ixnmdary between the two people." 
ICvcr)'lliing seemed briidit to ibe commissioners al this linu-, for 
en I'Mnu.ii)' .'S ihey wr^ie, "( )nr Stales have now a solid suppi^rt 
fir till ir libeilv and iixKpend. nee in iheir alliance with iMance, 
wliieli will ciitainlv he [..lli/wid by id .Sp.dn and llie whole 
lion-' i.i lloinh((ii. and pii'bably by that of Holland ami ll (t 
o'dier lowers of l'"mope, who aie interesUd in the freedom of 
Comimice and in keepinj', down the |)ower of I'rilain." Mr. I,ce 



saitl on this dat'.', "The chief leason that induceil Spain to uin- 
porizo suli^isis siill, cxcopi ihc war with I'oriu^al, which is hap- 
pily cuuchuled 1)) her aeee^.^ioii lo the family compact," Inil he 
also reported (liat ihiee ihillioiis of livres, which had heen prc^m- 
iscd I))' v'^paiii ill addition to the Mim ])revioiisly loaned, was not 
forthcoiiiiiig and no rt'ah(/n had heen asM^iied for the ilelay. lie 
also wrcjte on iMaieh n;, "it is aMo^elher nmeitain when it wdl 
be convenient for Spain to accede to the alliance. . . . The 
conrt of .^pain will, 1 apprehend, make some diCliculties ahoiil set 
tlin^;" the dividing line lielween their possessions and tho^>e of the 
United States. They wish to have the cession of Tensacola." 

As a matter of fact it was, no douht, that at this time the deter- 
mination of Spain was fc.nined to ^ecnre the iMississip[)i river com- 
merce and to avoid therehy fnlnre conleiuioiis with the United 
Slates ^M(nvin^^ ont of conllictini;- claims in that (|naric;r. Mr. 
Lee wrote from Chaillot '^>n March 17 he "consnlted 'ihe 
Spanish ambassador whether it eonld he determined with any 
degree of cerlaiiUy how lonj^ it wonld be before tlie business I 
am pledged for with his court would retpiire my presence. Ili.^" 
answer was that it was altogether imceriain." 

The King of iManee, on March jS, apointed M. Geraril, secre- 
tary of his council of stale, minister plenipotentiary to the Uniieil 
States.*" In his instruction^ to iM . Cicrartl, the king stipulated that 
consideratiiins to he uuderl.iken in fav(M' of Sain wi>ult| demand 
all the dexterity of the minister, "lie (M. Cicrard) knows 
that that power (Spain) takrn no part in the Iwo treaties, 
though she has \\o{ i)pposed ihem, and that uj) lo the presiiU lime 
she has said nothing of iIk- conditions on which she may accetle 
to them in the future. I lowiver, we have reason to think- that she 
would desire to accpiire the I-'loridas, a share oi the fisheries of 
the bank's of Newfoundland, ami Jamaica. . . The Moridas 
enter into llie plans of coiuiuest of the Americans, it will there- 
fore he necissai)- to prepaie lliem lur the contingency oi a sur- 
render of iheir claims. Th • Kim; ch.uges .\1. (It. raid with this 
in a ])arlicular manner, and his Majesty leavi's entirely to his pin- 
deuce the means to be employed to attain this object. ... It 
is only necessary to remind him that he mn4 carefully avoid 
speaking in the name of S|iain.; for his Catholic Majesty has as 
yet said ni.llnnj^ illative to his intentions and views. Moreover, 
M. (in lid knows ihe prineip.d ii,oii\rs thai ni.d.e Spain desire 
the I'doiKkis, lie will givi such cllicac)' to ihnii as is in his 

♦ l)i|)l(iiu;au Coiuspuiuliiu 1-, ^^l.■^n.l. 

liARl.Y NAl'lC.inoN or Tim MISSISSIPPI. 39 

power, l)iu if lie cannot siklcciI in .sccurin^,^ the wlu^lc territory, lie 
will .slii\e at lca?>l to t'hlain rcnsacola and such parts of the coasts 
as arc* ct)n>iikrc(l to lie il)c nu>-,t united to the interests of the C(jnrt 
of Mailrid. . 'llie envoNs of coiij^ress (in I'aris) have 

proi)oscd to the Kinc; to inter into an en_L;a':;einent ti> favor the C(jn- 
(jnest !))■ the Anieiicans oi C'anada, Nova Sci>tia and the l-'Knidas, 
anil he has rea-^on to ihinh that conj^ies^ has taken this pn^jec' 
to liearl. Hnl the \\\U'^ has considered thai the possession i>f 
those three couniiies, or at least of Canada, hy l{n^land, will liv,' 
an element of disquiet and anxiit)' to the Ajnericans, which will 
make them feel the more the need they have of the alliance and the 
fricndshii) of the Kint;, and which it is not his interest to remove." 

From the ahove it will he seen that neilhcr l-'rancc nor S|>ain 
pretended lo have a conclusive claim tt; the I'doriilas. M. Gerarti 
was instrnclcd that "if he cannot succeed in securing" tlie whole 
torritorv (the Idoridas )," he bhouKl strive to f^ain fVMisacolu at 
least, etc. The h'loridas helou^ed to Great Britain and the qiies- 
tion at once l)ecame paramount, to which nation should they pass 
in case they were wrestiMJ from that power? Couf^ress realized 
their \alue lo the United Stales and wanted them; Spain for the 
same reasons in her inteiests desired them; ami hVance favored 
the wi>hes of Spain, 'riieir acquisition was thus an open (pies- 
tion to l)e delermincd \>y suhse(|uenl nigotialions and maneu- 

It soon hecame a mastery lo Mr. Lee what had caused the 
chauj'.ed .itiilude of llu- Spanih authorities. 'iMie ])a)nienl of 
the adtlitional mone\' that had \u\\\ piomiscd was deferred; the 
formation of an alliance wilh llie lhiit(.-(l Stales on llie hasis of 
the l-'reiich treaty was postpone d ; anel in March 1778, there was 
clearl)' perceplihle a sieaffy coldness toward the Americans. 
Un(|uestionahl\ , the approachii!;;" and inevilahle contention over 
the spoils of the. war in ^America was heins^ comi>rehendcil and 
anticipated hy ihe Spani h ministry. Mr. I .ee wrote on April 2, 
"1 have nevei' keen ahle lo learn lo what was owin^ tiic sudden 
change in the favorahle disposition of the Spanish court duriuf,' 
my al)seuce in (jermany." On April 5 he wrote, "Having pressed 
the m.'ilter of supplies wilh Spain, I reciiveil an answer yesterday 
that enikav(jrs would he useil to send you succors throuj.;h the 
JIa\ana. The inesinl ciitical situation of that court renders them 
aver-i lo heiu;; more particular or [u have applications made to 
them hm 1 think they \s dl uoi Ion;; I'l'main under this emharrass- 
ment." Spain had, unqiusi ionahly, maile her wants in .America 
known to I'r.uuf .and lli>' l.illn ex))ictrd lo secuie them il iiivt 


ill I: rL\>ri.\\ I. .i.\n nil- sr.iii-s. 

otliciwisc, il;i\ni,L;li M. r,i.r;iiil, in cucmilaiKC with tlic iiistiuclii)ns 
oi ilic ImciuIi nuiii:n\li. iWii ;ill ot" this \\;is, of couisl', mil iiowii 
li> [\\c AiiKiicau iiuin.UT>, a hose \\i>h,i.s to secure an aUiaiice 
wilh Siiaiii were lalhvr to lie iholi.'^hl. ll i^ tiiie ihal Mr. 1 .iv 
siisjie' leil thai ihe Al i;-n~si|j|ii i|iie>liiiii ha<l soiiielhiin; to >lo with 
the Spanish cnKliiess, iiiil ol this he had no po^ilu'e assurance. 
\J\Kn\ llie reeeplion of ihc I'leiich liealy in America, con-icr^s, 
lhou.';h ratil\in;^' il, e\|iress<.>l a wish to have liie ele\'enlli 
and twelllli ai tides expinii^d wlioll) I'loiu tlic liealy, because ot' 
coutenliou^ that nh;^hl arise. This was liiuiU)' a;;ree(.l to hy 

I'uder dale of May iS, 177.S, Mi'. l\ali)h 1/ard, wlio had hcen 
appointed Lhiiled Slates C(jinniissioner to ihc couil oi 'l\iM'any, 
wroie lioni I'aris to Mi 1 .ee ihal, "The fiflh article of the liealy 
of alliance (wilh iManci. ) has j;i\en nic a K'^-'d deal ol vuieasiiiess, 
as it rceiiis to ha\e he-n iiUeiuied lo c xclnde the United Stales of 
America from iJosMs^iip' ihem-A Iws ol the two I'loiidas.* 'I'lic 
article is as follows; 'If ilie I 'idled Slates should think In to 
attemijl the reduction of the jhiiish power remaining;' in the 
northcin [uii!s oj .liiwi wa, or the islands of iJcrniudas, those 
CDunliies or islands, in case ol success, shafl he Cuufedeialcd with 
or dependent upon the >a:d I'niled Slates.' I iiad the honor of 
statim;' m\' ai)prelieiisions to \u\[ and the other conuuissiouers at 
l'assa\ v\\ the ,^d inslam. |)oc|or I'ranldin did not think they 
were well founded, nor ihat an\ >uch conslruclion could possihly 
he pui upon the article. \'orih America, he said, strictly S[)eak- 
in^', Coiupi isetl all parts 01 the coiilineul luirlh of the equator, and 
ihe I'londas, lu ini; in the lalilude of ihiriy dei;reeb north, would 
he coiupi elieuiled w ilhiu ihe meanim;' oi the \V(.)r(ls 'northcin 
jiails ol Aiiierii.a.' 1 ihoii-ht it would he hesl io put it out of all 
douht, hy ;.;ettinij that explanation (d' the words under the hands 
of the I'lench ministry, especialh as thev wuuld at least admiL (jf 
dispule, and niiL;ht in future produce disa^reeahlc ct)iise(iuences. 
l)octi>r iManklin said that c()ii;_Mess had {^iven some iiislructions 
respecting ihe cession of part of i'dorida to .Spain, and ohjecle-d 
U) inaKini^- any application on the suhjecl lo the JM-ench ministry, 
as il mi>;hl he taken ill, and added if my apprehensions were ever 
so just, it was too late for an)' i\ined\' in I'rance, hut that the 
eonunissioner for the court of Madrid mij^ht (;uard any bad con- 
se{|uences in the treaty which he had to concIiuK' with that court. 
The restdution of congress of tin- 30111 oi 1 'eceinher, 177^), lo 
which l)(.ctor lu-ankliu alUnlrd, extends old)' to ihe town and har- 
bor of I \ iis;ic(ila, and ciicumslanci s are much cliau[;ed in .Amei- 

[■AULY .\'.iru,.irnKV o/' nil- Mississii'i'i. 


ica since llial rcMilutitui was made. It declares 'that if his Calh- 
vUc .Maje^!)' \',ill juiii wiih ilie United States in a war a^'aiii^t 
(Ileal lliilain, th.e)' '.ill a-.i-l in reducing to llie possession of 
Spain llie l.twn and haiht/i of I 'en>aei)la.' Had Spain complied 
willi llie i\i|ne'^l, had. ^-he stood I'oilh. our friend in the da) of 
di-.tre>s, the tiiur niad.i' l.\ con-iess mii;iii with propriety have 
heen claimed. She diil ii-'t declare war ai^ainst (ireal Britain, 
and I do noi know llial she has done anythini4- yet to eiUillc her to 
an)- .L;reat share of our ^laiiiude. . . . If the wdrtls were 
meant to exclude the Unued Slates from the acquisition of the 
I'doriilas, it must ha"e heen iniiuded for the henefit of vSpain, 
and therefore the Ks-, likels' was it lo ohtain any saiisfaclion from 
that C[narler. . . . Tlie arii^le expresses the inlenlions o^ 
the framers of it very disiinctly: 'If the United Slates should 
think' fil tt> atlempl the rednciiou of,' not ihe northern parts of 
Ameri<:a hut 'ihe I'.rili^h power remainini; in the northern parts 
of .\mirica.' 'ihis power, wllhoul lakin^ nc^ice of an inconsiiler- 
alile selllemenl on the M'lMpiilo coasl, or of Hudson I'ay, may 
he said lo have e\lended from ihe most soutliern i)oint of Florida 
to the nio'it noitheiii part of Canada; and 1 am of opinion that 
llic United Stales will noi he satisfied if any allempts are made 
lo circumscrihe liieir po>' essions williin narrower limits."'* 

He conlinued with asioni^hini;' in^i}^ht lo penetrate ihe real 
intenti;)n> of the lM"ench mnnsir\ , as revealed in the instructions of 
llie Idni; lo M. C.erard. lie .seems U) have heen the only one to 
con>line properl)' ihe aiiiele m (|ne>lion and lo perceive the;;n-> of h"ran«\', unless, perhaps, ihe olheis, percei\ ini;, llu)Ui;ht 
it wiser laiher to take ch nices ol the fuluie as rei^ards territory 
than vuu the ri-k of incurriu'^ the su>piciou or ill will of that 
countr)'. He went on to ^;i\', "'idle eighth article of the oritj^inal 
treat)- approved n\ hy conviess in Seplemher, 1776, ami trans- 
mitted h\- iliem lo the cohuui.ssiouers at this court (I'aris), not 
only contnuis me in this opinion, hut throws p;"real li^lH upon ihe 
intentions of the l''reneli ininisirv. It is as follows: 'The most 
Chrislian h'.in.^ shall never im-ade, nor under any pretense attempt 
to po>'5ess him.self of, l.ahrador, New lliilain, Ni>va vScolia, 
Acadia, hdririda, nor any of the countries, cities, or towns on the 
coniiiunl of North .\merica; nor of any of the islands of New- 
foundlaiul, Cape I'.relnn, ,St. Johns, Anlicosli, nor any (jiher island 
lyin!^- near lo the said conlineiil in the seas, or in any ^;iilf, hay, 
or river, ii heini^ the true inUnl ami meawiu}..; (»f ihis Irealy thai 

• iJii/lwiii.itic Corrcspoiiilciicf . r.i-cril. 


77//: rKOriXCI: J.V/) THE STATUS. 

the saiil Unilcil Slates sliall Iia\e the sole, excln^i\'e, uiuliviiled 
ami i»ei|ielual p()>se>>ioii ol all llie emiiUiies, cilie.s, aiul towns mi 
^aiM coniiuent, and ni all islands neai" to il which now are, or 
lately were, mider the jui i-dieiiun oi, or snhjcct to, the kin^' or 
crown nt' dreal Hruain. wlunevu" lliey ^hall he united or cunfed- 
crated with the >aid Unitiil Stales.' '^lu^e words admit oi no 
mistake; no hidden ineanini; is eoncealed under theni, nor could 
there he any l)u^l^ihility ot contentions rcspeclinj.; the countries 
therein descriheil had ihe\ been inserted in the treaty. With all 
due deference to Doctor hianklin, I caiuiot help ileclarin^ thai [ 
am firmly i)ersuaded that the court of JMance woiiKI not have suh 
slitiitnl the ei.nhlh article in the place of the ahove if lliey had not 
hail S((ine tlesi^ns coiHrar) to the luientioub of cont^ress, so clearly 
expres.sed in their ninth ai licle." 

llecontnuied with a couclii^iijii which, in the end, proved al)so- 
lutel) correct : "Nib most C'hiihiiaii iMajest)', in the eleventh afti 
cle oi the treaty ut alliaiicc, dias not j^uarantee generally to the 
United States then- pti.iSoiions, and the additions or coii(|ue^ts 
that their cuiifedriatioii niay uhtain duriiij^ the war from any of 
the cKiminions now or hereafter possessed hy (ireat Britain in 
iVorth .America, hi;l siipulaie:, thai the {^narani)' shall only he con- 
formahle lo the fifth aiul .^i .ih ariii^les. 'fhe latlei' i)i tlu-se eon- 
tains nolliiuL; hul a renunciation on the part of h^rance, of the 
islands of the iKrmndas, and oi the whole coiUinenl of North 
.America. As I'lance doe> not j-Kiend to au)- claim upon the 
Florida^, thi-5 renunciation cm, iu no respect, alTect tho^e I'rov- 
inces. Spain, who wa-. at llie jiea^e ni iji)^] ohli;.;eil io Cede them 
lo (ii'eat Britain, may he de-irou.i of nsumiiij:;;' them, and the fifth 
article in the treaty of alliance seems to lay the fouuihuion of 
such a claim. ShouM that e\ent i\er take place il Would prove 
e.\trenhl\ prejudicial to the interests of the I'niled vStales in ^^eii- 
eial, hill pai licuk'.rly to iho-^e (A the Stjuili. Spain would, hy 
that meall^, h.a\e a iliiecl coininnmcalioli with the Indians on our 
fronlier, and I'.ave il in lii'r pow^r Ui disuirh our ^elllenlents wlien- 
ever she pleased. I lorid.i was never of any advanta}.;e 

to Spain wiieii in lu-r p(jsse- .ion, nor is il prohahle il ever would 
he \\eie it mj a;.',aiii hut il w ill he of the ^reale>t importance to the 
United .Slatca, on account .4 sccniiu', which in all ne;(otialions 
has Ikcu ihoui^ht a bUli'icienl rea>oii for a claim, thoti;;h no li^ht 


'nil IS not the las^ ni the prc>v lU m^ance. 

I his i>, a in.nier ol j.;'*--'' I'oii .i.(|UeiK e, hul , how e\ er just niv .appre- 
heiibioii.-. iiM/ he on lhi> point .il-.>, I fiar il is now too lali to 
receive .iii, satisl.iclwi \ (.-.vpl ni.ii i' n ri.-.-p(.cl iiii; il at this couit. 

u.iKi.y NAru;.irio.\' oh' riiii mississivpi. 43 

and wc must aj^aiii turn our eyes towards you for relief. If the 
court of Matlrid could be jireyaikd ui)on to guarantee the Floridas 
and these i.-^lands al.'io to the United Stales, you would render an 
essential service to \our eounir\." 

It will not answer lo di-.iiiiss the criticisms of Messrs. Lee and 
Izard o\ the treaty with h'rance, with a declaration of the ])urity 
ami iniej^rity of Hocloi JManklin. Any misunderstanding 
hetween the Anurican (.iiMiyb cannot affect the merits or demerits 
of the treaty stiulpaiions. The criticisms of Mr. Tzard, at least, 
were remarkahly acute and correct and his preilictions were sub- 
stantially fnlhlU'd. It is not improbable, therefore, tiiat the Frenel) 
ministry i)urpo>ely left an openings through which the vSpanish 
court might secure an advantage in the Floriilas. This is well 
subslantiateil by the strong inslructious j;:ven M. Gerard by the 
King of l^ance in favor of gaming the l-loridas, not for France, 
but for Spain. iManee iKsired the co-operation of Spain iujhc 
struggle which the iMen.h goverui.^r.t and the Unitel States 
were making aj^ainst (heat l*riiain, and hence it is not improb- 
able tiial she imeutional!\ left an openinj; in the treaty in order 
to i^ave the way to satisfy Spain and to secure her active alliance. 
This conclusion in no wi^e relied.-, upon the purity and integrity 
of Doctor iManklin, beeau^e ilie consiileration of securmg liie 
alliance with 1' ranee (Hilweiidied all technicalities, and rightly si), 
in the mind of Ooctoi l''ranblin, and he would rather have 
accepted an imperfict treal\ th:m none at all. 

In answer to Mr. l/ard'.-, letter iMr. 1 ,ee wrote, "The fifth arti- 
cle stood originally thus' 'Si les I'.tals-lhus jut'.enl a propos de 
tenter la conquete de' la ( aiiad.i, de la Nouvelle- fu-osse, de 'i'erre- 
nueve St. h'.ui, et tks Ikriuu, ces con(|uetes eneas ile succes 
appanieiidruiU aux dits I'tats-l'nis.' V.vvw this ilid not appear 
to me ade(|uale to the iiilcnlious of C(jiigress; I therefore pro- 
posed that it slunild be so extensive and exi)licit as was marked 
out to us in the eighth ailicle i^\ the plan proposed by congress. 
My ctilleagne^^ did not a::ree wuh me, and 1 remember i)erfecily 
Doctor h'ranklin's answei was that congress had receded from 
those claims sinee by the concessi(jns dinctid to be made to Spain. 
I submiileil mine to the opinion of my colleagues. 1 have already 
asked ilie comnimids of eoni;re^s relative to concedin},-- anything 
to Spain agreeably to the in-,t i nelions of the ^olb c^f December, 
I77(., \.liieh von mention, and \ou may be a-^sm-ed that I will 
IKMT -111, iiiln the resMou u\ one ineli of what comoes-. has 
elaim.MJ ni the eiMlilli ariiele of tlieir pi;in without llieir e:-.puss 
ortlei>. I >li.dl 11' 1 t,b-ei \ .ilions re-pectini; the de;;rie of 

^j ^ riih: ri<i>rj.\\!: .l\'I) nil: sr.iTi-:s. 

i^ialiliulc to wliiili Si'.iiii iiia\ \)c (.'iititliil, Imi llic k'a\iii}^' nf arti- 
cles ho looso as lo iK\.i-won ilispuU'S, or iiiakiii;;' cc•^^i^>lls \\ 
ina\' plaiil a llmrii in llir silc of any of llio IJiiitrd Slatcb, i.-, iiol 
ihe manner I ^^lionKl cl.owsc of showing; il. 1 low llii- lillli ailiclc 
caine elianmil >o nni-li Ironi wlial il was al lirsl 1 newr couKl 
karn." U wnuKI Mcni from llir above that when tlu- treal>' \va^) 
made, Doctor l'"ranlJni was nmkr tlie impression tliat coniMX'Ss 
luul reecik'tl from ilie m-.iruciiuns j^ix'en in the act of C()iii;ress of 
Decemljer .30, lyyi). liis eoni-e in disre^'ardinj^ the criticism of 
Mr. l.eo of llie I'lfih ailiek- of the lieaiy can be eNjdained upon 
no oiber ground, unk>s upon the one previously ^ivcn ol his 
willini^ness to accept an imperfect nv objectionable treaty rather 
Mian none at all. 

On July -'J, 177>S, D'Clor bVanklin wrote, "Tho Spanish gal- 
leons, which have been impai unil)- txpccled, are at length hap- 
pily arrived. 'V\\c lleel and army iiturniuj^" from Hi"azil js slill 
out, but supi)osed to be t/u her way lionieward. When thai and 
the South Sea shi[)s art arrived it will appear whether vSi)ain's 
accession to the treat) ba.^ been delayeil for the reasons give'ii, or 
whether the reasons were imly !L;i\en to excuse the delay."* On 
August 31, Mr. wruie to ihe Commiilee of Foreii,Mi AlTairs, 
"It has been hinted to me thai there will be two important sub- 
jects of nei;oiiatiou with the Spanish C(uul, ujjon which 1 bcL,^ to 
have the orders of congress: I'rovidinu^ the Spanish navy with 
masts at a sti|)nlated auvl as reasonable pi ice a^. jjossible ; and the 
cessimi t>f bdorida, sb.oidd it be conquered, to tluni. I'or this 
ihey would, wb ne\ei pe.iee is conchukd to fuini>.h the 
hinds for iedeemiui> all "V a };uat part of the paper." Mr. l/aiil 
wrote on September 1.?. ■"'riie k tiers which Mr. has lately 
received from Spain ica\e not the least room to doubt what llu^ 
expeclations of that couit are respeclini; the Floridas. l-'or my 
own i)arl, no such addiiioiiai pinof was necessary after haviiij^- 
comi)ared the fifth article of the treaty of alliance willi the eighth 
article (if the oii-inal treaty Iran.-milted by congress. The con- 
duct of Sixain has been full of ambi}.;uiiy. She has been arminj:;^ 
with all po.ssible chIi}H'ncc ; and at the same time sent an ambas- 
sador lo London, who ha. hilheilo made use of no other lanj^na^^' 
hut that of peace and mediation. . . Should Spain be suf- 

fered to j^-et possession of the b'loiidas, perpetual causes of (piar- 
rel ma\ \n- expei-ied; and ibeiifoie I hope llie wisdom of coiif^ri'ss 
will ;Mi,od ai^ainsi ibis e\ il " Mr, [^v \\rn\v to ibr t\,mmillee 

* Dipliiiuiiiio C(;rrir,i)()ii(lciici', niil. 

liAia.v N.ifu:.ii'h).\' 01' Tim Mississiri'i. 45 

ol l'Vjrcii;ii Aflairs on (.)i,|()1a'r i»), "No nu)Vi.'niciils yd oil llic part 
of Spain. I li i\c couMiluil C'oiiiu Ac WT^viiiieb uu tlic propriety 
of 111)' taking any nira^nrrs lo l.i in;; llial conil lo a <lecisioii. 1 lis 
advice ih ui tlie.^e winds, "My opinion is lliat you will act pru- 
ilcnllv to .suspeiul llie a.Uance.-^ winch you desire lo make [o llial 
cuuit willi ilie view ot' a-u-eilaininj;- its princi|)les ami rcbolnlious 
uitli regard lo America.' 

l-'^or bonic reason Spain ililii^eiiliy sou^^dit to brin^^ the 'war 
helween (nvat Ihitain and the Ijniled Slates to an end. There 
was a bleady communion helween ihe leaders of those two coun- 
tries dunn;^ the early sla-es oi the war. ll is not at all impioh- 
ahle ihat Spain may have intimatetl at one time to ihe 
iniiiibtiy thai the reliiuiuir,hnienl (^f the l'l<M-idas to the Spanish 
f^overnmeiit would etlect an alliance between Si)ain and Cweat 
Drilain. I'ut if s(j, such an iiilimalion was disregarded by the 
jhilish, because ihey did iiul rxpect lo lose the JHoridas even 
thou}.;h ihey lost tiie colonies. ^^ 

In accordance with his in.structions, M. Gerard, soon after 
his arrival in Philadelphia, bej^an lo consider the welfare of Sl)ain 
in all negotiations in which the Floridas or the Mississii)pi ques- 
tion li,L,'ured. In the iiisiruclinus i)repared in October, 177H, by 
order oi congress, for I )oclor iManklin at Paris, much was 
omilted that Mr. Morris (wdio wr(jle the inslrucli(jns) had 
intended .should be inserted, ll was omilted pursuant to opinions 
expre.ssed by M. (lerard, who gave congress'to uiulerslaud that 
iMance diil nol care to iiicourage the conipiesl of C'anaila by ihe 
United Stales, lie aNo infoimcd cougiess lliat '"h'rance w*>uld 
be obli^^cd to discounlcnance an\ agressions by the United Stales 
upon Spain." Mr. Sparks ga\e the following: summary of a ilis- 
patch to M. (lerard lo lonnl de Vergeiines October 20, 177^:^ 
'it seemetl to him (Geraid) important for the United Slates to 
give s(;ine surely lo thai I'ower (Spain) by fixing certain limits 
which shonUI not be passed. In answer lo Mr. Morris' ques- 
tion as to the iialure and extent of this surety, Mr. Clerard said 
ihal the renunciation of any ilesign upon Pensacola,. Mobile and 
St. Augustine, and even of the navigation of the Mississijjpi, 
would perhaps be necessary to accomplish an object so important 
to both parties and insure the confidence and friendship of Spain. 
Mr. Mniris replied thai many of his colleagues ihoughl il was 
till'.' Id pass a law dc ciu'rCi'iitlu iniprrio; ihal to extend the terri- 

• iiiid Ciilii'.il lli-l'<i y "f Amiiica; Wiii-.ur. 
t J..M .1 Sli.iiU.-. M.uMi' 1 ma , 11.11 \.>mI CnlU,;.-. 


////: I'l^ci !.\\i: .i.vp run srj'iiis. 

toi)' i.l' tlio l'iiiti.'cl Stales taiiluT to the south ami west would be 
rallicr Id wcalaii ihaii i.^iirniii the L'lUou, aiul that llic povL-rty ami 
vii;or i)f llu- iiDilh wile llic hc-^l salr^uaiik of llic Rciiublic. lie 
sail! iIk'Sc same i)t.rst>ns fousiilcicij il fur ilic inlercsl of the con- 
fodcratiou ihal llie na\i';aiion ul ilie M i.ssissippi as hi^li up as 
the luouih of iho Ohio >houlil apporiaiu exclusively to his Catlu)lii: 
Maj\^l\', because il wonUl he ihe oul)' means i)f retaininj^ uniler 
(lepemlence to (lie Kepuhhc tlie mass of ])Opulatioii whicli WouKl 
si)rinL; u|) between the ( )hit) and the lahi-s and in the western set- 
tlemeiUs of Virginia; that the inhabitants of these immense 
reg"ions, whether I'.n.qlish uv AmerieaUb, havin^^ an i)utlet ilow'ii 
the St. Lawrence on th.e ■ ine side and the Mississippi on the other, 
would be in a e<,)nditiun tn domineer over the power of the United 
Slates, and e\en dl >^paMi, and woidd in tiie cud render them- 
selves independent. M. ( Iirard ashed if Ibis was the ^eneial 
sense of congress, for he knew se\eral members who thought the 
naviqalion of the Mississi|)iM shonbl belontc eijually to the bjudish 
ami the Americans. i\i i . Morris answered that these topics had 
iu;t been aL;itaied in such a manm-r as to come to any positive 
result, but the prevalent ieelini;- was that it would not be ex|)edi- 
eiU to extend dominion to the south, and he believed the persons 
who wished to lak'e iiossession uf ihe b'loridas had a scheme of 
Ceding them to Spain Ici a picuniary considerali(jn ; and that 
some of those at least wlm were bent on securinjj^ the navij^ation 
of the .Mississippi were inierested in the new establishment in that 
cpiarter." Hut accordini; lo I'lancis \\' barton "there must h.i\e 
been a misuuibrstandni^ .i^^ lo the la^i piuni on the pari oi (^lerard. 
\\halv\er ma\' ha\e been Moiii " own con\iction oi tiie impolicy 
ol a sonlhwestern eMeusiini of ihe I'nited Slates, it is not likely 
that he wonUl lia\'e eharmd ihosi members who differed with liini 
with beiiij^- governed by inleresi in the new 'establishments' in 
the southwe'st." 

Time coiiiinued to slip awas' without definite action concerning'- 
an alliance on the pari of ^''pain. M. (ieiard assumed to be the or a",eni lor Spain, and lhr(jii_L;h him comnmnications 
were had wilii the Spanish nK^nanh. ( )n I'ebiuary i;, 1779, he 
informed c.nij'ress thai "the Kin-; of Si)ain, in (jrder to put an 
end to (be lerf;ivei-salions of b.njd.iiid," had niade known lo that 
power (bat he would muk Hake mediation between her and the 
United Slates and that, "the Kiin; tjf Spain, by lakin|.( this pro- 
ceedin;; upon himself m a friemllv manner, lias shown a disposi- 
'i"ii mo I l.ivoiMble (o Ih, .dli.m.e (wiili llie I hiiled SlaUs)." 
lie therrloie askrd (hat con;;ic.s.s sluaikl hasten to appoint .somi: 


r.ARLY NAllC.lilON i)f Tllli MISSISSIPPI. .j/ 

person authorized to procrcd to Madriil to considur the problems 
hkely tu he ijrebcnted (hiring the iiej^oliations. lie also stated 
that tlie Kini4 oi JMance had .siiL;>;ehied that "at a lime in wliioh 
the United vStates are emplo)ed in lixinj^' their ])cdilieal exislenee, 
it seems to heloii!:;' to their l'oiebi;.dit to con^^ider tlie sentiments of 
the states as to tlie peaee in relation to Spain." The committee 
of congress ai)pi)iiited to ruiisidcr the teiiiis upon wlueli peaee 
would he accepted, in pnr^^ance of the mediati(jn of Spain, pre- 
pareil an elalxuate repijrt which was suhiiiitletl to congress on 
February I'j, 1779, and after being reatl was ordered to lie on the 
table until the next 'riiursilay. The report was taken from the 
table half a dozen times ami vei)' critically and fully considered. 
This Seems to have been an eanu^^t ami honest attempt on the j)art 
of both I'Tance and Spain to establish peace between Cu"eat Britain 
and the t'liited States upon ihe ba^is of the indepeiuleiicc ui the 
colonies. The delay of congress in pri'paring their ultimata 
occasit)ned an appial fioin M. Cierard on March 17,10 
hasten proceedings. I'inally llu' folhjwing ultimata were agreed 
to March 19: 

"i. That the thirteen United Stales are bounded north by a 
line to be drawn from the noithwebl angle of Nova Scolia along 
the highlaiuls which divided lho>e rivers which emi)ly themselves 
into the ri\'er St. Lawrence from which fall into the Ailaiilic 
ocean to the n(jrlheslernmoht head of Connecticut river; thence 
down along the iniildle of that river to the fotty-l'iflh degree of 
north latitude; thence i\\w wesl 111 the laliliule forty-five degrees 
north liom the ei|nator lo the noi tbwestei nmosi .^ide of the river 
St. Lawrence or Uadaraiiiii; thence straight lo the south end of 
Lake .\'ii)issing, and ilieiue sliaighl to the sources of the river 
Mississippi; by a line to be drawn along the initMle of the 
river Mississipi)i from its .vonice to where llie said line shall 
intersect the latitude thiriy-cjiie digrees lUjrih. Scmlh by a line 
to be ilrawn dw^: ea^l from the termination (jf the last mentioned 
line in the latilnde thirl \-one degrees iU)rlh from the eipiator to 
the middle of ibe river .Xpalachieola or Caiahouche ; thence along 
the middle llkieof to its junction with the I'MiiU River; tlienee 
slraighl lo llie head of St. Mar\'s river; thence down along the 
middle of St. I\lar\''s river to the .Atlantic ocean; then east by a 
line to be drawn along the middle of St. John's from its source 
lo its nionih in the I'ay of ImiikIn', or by a line to be settled and 
adjusted lutweeii thai pail of ilie Stale of iNLissachusetls I'ay, 
fornieib, e.illed ibe l'io\iiiee of Maine, and the Uolonv of Nova 
Scolia, ar.ieeable to their levpiilive rights, coinprelunding all 

^8 /'///; I'Ri'ri.wi: AND nil-: st.iths. 

islaiiil- williiii iwcnly Ka-ius of an>' iiari of llic blu^rcs i»f the 
UmUvl vSlaus ami hin;; lui\\\(-n liiirs lu l)c drawn Uul- casl fruiii 
the imiiiis where ihe aliii\>aiil homnhnies helwecii Nuva Seolia 
on the one pari ami I'.a^l h'lnriila mi the ulher part ^ha^, respec- 
tive!), touch the l!ay ol l''uiul\' ami the Athiiitic ucean : I'nnided, 
that if the hue to ho drawn fr.mi llie mouth of Lake Nipissinj^ to 
the heatl of the I\lissi>>ippi can not he ohlained w'illioul coutiuuiu<^ 
the war for that purpo e, then ilial a line or lines may be drawn 
more .^outheidy, so as wui lo he southward of a line in laliiuile 
fort\'-rive ile^rees north, 

"j. That every port and phice within the United States, and 
everv i^huid, harl)or and ruad lo llieni or any of lliem heU)nj,;in^'', 
be absolutely evacuated hy tin lautl and sea forces of his llritan- 
nio Majesty and )ieKK(l lo the ])o\\ers of the states lo which they 
respet'iU'cly heloni;." '■ 

( )n the _'-'d of Marcii. a tliiid resolution relative to the. New- 
foundland fisheries was adoptetl ; and two days later the Huirth 
resolution was rejeclid hy a \i)te of 28 to 8, liic latter beiu^^ as 
follows: "That the navii'.ation uf the river Mississippi be acknowl- 
cd^^a-d and raiilied ahsolnlel)' free to the subjects of the United 
State/)." 'IMie reast;n why so many vcjtul against this resolution 
was (Kjubtless because ihi-y deemc^l it inipolitic, in view ot ihi' 
known attitude ui both I lamr and Spain against such claim, to 
.adopt in so formal a manner a resolnticju so broad, emphatic and 
ileci^ive. 'I'his action b\ eon;^ie>s was due tiT the solicilatinn^ of 
the b'reiu'h minislei-, wh • (K^Med lo lav before SiKiiu in del'mile 
form the demands of ihe Umied J^lates. Whether S|»ain would 
form ail alliance with the United vStales auiain^t (u'eat l^iitain, 
depended wholly on ilu com.drd likely to be reached between 
vSpain and ihe Unitid Slates <jn the (|uosti(Mis of bountlaries and 
the navi^^ation of llu- Mi-sissippi. 

Lale in 1 778. and early in 1771J, IM. Gerard, the Frencii minister 
to Philadelphia, eiuU-avored to induce con^^ress [a a.t,^ree to the 
conditions reiiniied by the kill};' of vSpain, ii' order lo secure his 
active services as an ally aj^ain^t Ureal Ibitain. 1 fe assured the •■] 
Comniiitie of h'orei^n /Vlfair^ of congress "that his Kin;j^ would 
not prolonj^ the war for a single day to secure to the United Stales 
tile i>ossehsi(jns which lluy co\i li(l."-j- At this time congress did 
not ask fi»r more than an exlen.inn of their western limitb to the 
Mississippi ami the permanent li^llt lo navigate that river from 

• Dipl. nil. llu- Curie. iiiiiiiKiKi. Mint. fr 

t Sl>.ii k'l M.iiiusi 1 i|)l .: Il;ii N .ml C'lll'iM*. j] 



its sourer (o tlu' si.'a, lUii M. (uiaid iiifoiiiicd llu'iii that in liis 
(ipiiiioii \.\w I'uiU'd Stall.- ali\iul\ IkuI uujic UiriUjry lliaii tluy 
loiilil ca- il\' adiiiiui^hr, and cxim.s-Lil a Ihipc thai ihcic wmilcl 
iic\ci' ho iiidic ihaii thill. \ 11 .sl.iu-, niiU^,-, CaiKuhi became the 
fuuilcinih. Ill uiilcr li> a^>i.>t Spain, jMaiice, at the coimiienee- 
iiKiit lit' the l\i \i<hilii)ii, iuul a^heil her tu leeoyiiizc the iiule- 
peiulenci: ui tlic I'liitnl Slai.,s, that slie niii^ht have a Inisis for the 
negotialioiis whieli sluniM resiiU from the war; hut iu^lLatl of 
(loinj^ so ^he re.-.(.rve>l .-^ueh ri;.;hi in a special article attached to 
the treaty hetwecii iMancc and liie United States. Spain scju^ht 
for the po^.^ession oi liie ii\er and the j)ort of J\Ic)hile, the accpii- 
sition ol" I'ensacola, and all ot the coast of I'loiida aloiif^' the 
l^ahania channel. In okU r t(; fa\ur ySpain and curh the preten- 
sions of the Unileil Slates the iMcncli minister suppoited the 
demands ot the lornur and was ciiit and severe in the endeavor 
to elVect his ohjccls. In .i i'oiiiial inlervic'w with congress. j)il 
I'V'brnary 15, 177'j, he aninjunccd that Spain put the price (»f 
declaring'- war as^ainst Cireal llritain and of joining- I'Vance and the 
Ihiiled Slates in the strn^i;lc at ihe possession of lY'usacola and 
the exchisi\e iKui^alioii of the Mississippi, and ijeclareti that if 
these coiiihiions were iioi ai^reed to she might join Unglaiul 
instead ol' the United States. .\t-, it was vastly to the interests of 
I'rance to have ,S|;ain join against (iieal lirilain, the course of the 
h'rench minisler hecoines elear in trying le> sati^sfy Spain at the 
expen.-e of the I'niied Stales. I'lUt the importance of navigating 
the Mis^is.^ippi was fully leeogni.ed this eail)' !>)' the mcmhers of 
coiigii-^s, aiiil ilie\' did not leadiK agiee to its reliiu|uishnient. 

in a letter dated Ma\ -7, 1771;, M. (ierard urged congress lo 
hasten action anew in regaid t(j the concessions to Spain. "It is 
only hy eiiahling the ce/uit of Spain to bring its mediation to its 
critical and deci.iive point that it can he hopetl that this power, 
cominced of the injusiice of the \iews and of the ambition of 
I'.ngland, will join the alliance, ael, now ledge the independence of 
the United State.i, and lal.e an aeii\c jKirl in the war. On the 
conlraiy, by delaying', without ei Hiinmnicating to the parties 
interested the motives whieh iiidiiee them to it, the slates will he 
in danger ^A fatiguing tlii.i power, which heejis on fool the forces 
of the whole monarch)', itiineipally with a view to give respecta 
bilily to a iiiedialiMii whieli appe.iis to be neglecled ; they incur 
the lisl. ol looliug the good will i^l' his (.'atholie Majesty, and per- 
lia|)S III .dhiialiiig him a> nun h b\ delays as if lesoluiions ccjii- 
trary to llu: s)slein which be has ajipeared disposed to favor by 
his niidi.iii. ,11 shoidd give liiin lawl'iil leasoiis f<jr changing his 


111!', y/v'cr/.vc y\ .i.\'i) Tiiii ST.iriis. 

CDiiiUul. TiiL- alliaiui. will li.uii l.c iKpiivcd ol a (lcci.-.i\r siij) 
pull, wliicli llic j.;t)Oi|ih>s ol lis caUhc, lt;c wisduiii ol ils i'(iiicUKi 
aiul ilio clohi.' iini.iii ir-ul^-^i.-tin:', IrIwccm lM"aiu-f ami Spam Mciiu-d 
lo p^nnli-^c il. . . 'riu- M.'asoii ir, already ^o lar atl\ 

thai ihi.-, baiiK' uiKXTlainl)', Ia tK'Siri._\in<; tin.' iiojio of .-.cuin;^' Spain 
i^livlau' Ikim.1i" diiriiu; ihc cinir>e ot the pl■c■^cnl cainpaij;n, kavcs 
l""raii(.c' alone cxpn-eil lo ilic el'iMrls of ilic principal botl)' of tlic 
cnciii) 's foiws. TIk- \>i->diiiii of coiiL^rc^s and llic faitlifnl aiiacii- 
hienl wlnLli ihc-y .-liow on t.\> r\' occasion is as con.-^piciion- as il 
is ^ali^faclo^^ lo the alliance, and ilie respect which they have 
al\va\> t.\|)re>Med lor Spam, dx not peiinit a doubt as lo the atten- 
tion which the;.' will h. plea-rd lo [^ive to consideraiions of such 

This Wcis an el.'ihoraie ami lonnd-ahoul elYorl of the iMcnch 
niinihlei" to secure the passa;;e nf slroiii^' resohilions of coiifjress in 
fa\oi' wf Spain in oivK r to win the iminediatc alliance of the lat- 
ter and llm.^ eii,i;a};e her as^i-tance to repel the early-e.\[)ected 
attack of a fresh and ilneaUin-d eX])edilion of the I'.ritish, Of 
course cH;n;;ri.-iS was aware lh;it M. (Icraril c.Ki'ected them to 
make laii'e concessions in Spain at this critical juncture, as much 
to sa\'e the armii.s ol 1 laiice is those of the United Stales. (Jn 
the oilier liaml, it wa- nut (K (.incil wi^c Id euiicedi- immiiisely 
valualiK- rl-his to Spam, wh.n, with the assistance of h'rance, 
toU!;iess fell ahle to c i iish llie armies and the I'.ritish 
ileels. TheN' ilid iiui, ik.eii. K n e, ^nn\nder ever)iliin;..;' >pain 
de>ireil in order to .L;ar.i her ,K'ii\'e Co oeraiicju in the war. In 
the fall of i;;o. M. ii'iard \,,i'. .Mipcicedeil h\' L"he\-alier de la 
laix-eiiie, who coiuimie I the p,ilic\ (d" the former. ()n June 21 
Mr. 1 .ee wrote, "I ha\i. ihe lienor to iulorm conj.^ress that Spain 
lias declared against (.real I'.rilain and that their respective 
amha^jsadors are r*. calk I .\ pari id" the Si)anish lleel lias joined 
that oi' I'lance, which mikes ii oiitnumher (hat c;f l\nL;land." '^ 

Spain saw ihat, owiii;; to the demands of the United States, 
there was certain to hi i-oiiieiuions helw'een the two eonntries, 
shtMild the latter !..',ain llieir independence. It was therefore out 
of the (piestion for her to form an alliance with the revollin,i4 col- 
oni(.'S, unless tlie\' should recede from iluir dcmamls on the .Mi.i- 
sissipiii. I'.ut if ^he rem.iineil sikiit, the Slates wouUI, with the 
assislaiici' of I'lancc, win their independence, am! at the sanir time 
|)rohal.l\- sieuie l)\ compust thr Idoridas and in consecpunci. the 
permaiuiit and fiei- na\i;;alioii of the' M is>issip|)i. This would 

> ' • 1 ' • 1. . 1 1 : II ci-. '.i.-cicl. 


i'..ii^i.y . .\'.n u).\' or riu: Mississirri. 


lie llK'ir iiiiil()ul)li'<l ri.'Jil could tlicy ;icooini)lisli it. Ti> jjicvont 
(his icsiill, S|).iiii was lunril lo (K'clai\' wai a};ainsl (iiLat lirilaiii. 
SIk' riL;lili\' riiiK'liukd llial wliilr i'".ni;laiul was riit^a^i.'il wilh ihe 
i\!iL'llKnis roloiiirs, slu' could uiaKi- a iHiU(|U(.'.st ot the I'loriilas 
am! tluis hi. iu jiossc^sidu of tlioiii aud ( hero fore ilie inouih tjf 
the Mississippi upou till- (.(inchi^iuu of peace. Slie would ihus he 
in a uiueli IkIUt situaiinu iliau if she joined the colonies. She 
therefoie drehii"(.(l war a;;aiu--; hjii^land aud concluded a secret 
treaty April 12, 1779, \vith lvalue, hut did not secure hy the lat- 
ter any ;ldvanla^vs over ihe I'uiied vStates. 

Alter a discussion lasting' more than si.\ months, con^'rcss 
finally, on Seineuiher 17, 1779, adopted the foUowiu^^ resolution:'^ 

'AVhereas, l!y the treaties suhsistini,^ helween his Most Christian 
Majesty (of iMance) and the Lhiited vStates of .America, a p(nver 
is reserved to his Catholic Majesty (of Spain) 'to accede lo said 
treaties ami to pariieip;'.ie in their stipulations at such timcs*<is lie 
shall jndi;e proper,' " ilc. 

".\nd whereas, Should his Catholic Majesty accede to the said 
treaties wilhoui any aU>. lation, he must he under the necessity of 
renounciuL;" loiever all claims to the posbession of the Floridas, of 
the utmost C(jnse(|ueuce lo his l;iui!;'dom, and more particularly to 
his American douiiiiiiJiis. In oicUr, therefore, that noihiu*,' may 
hy waiiliiiL;' on the jtart of llw se States lo further a treat)' of 
allianct, and ol aimt\' and comnivrce wilh liiw Catholic Majesty, 
consistent with the en^avriiunls of the said Slates and at;reeal)lc 
to his mo>i ^.'hl■i^lian M.iie>i\-, their all\-, 

"KesoKed, That if lii> (."ailu/ic Maje>t)' shall accede to the said 
tri'aties, and in concurrenee with iMance ami the Uniteil Stales of 
America, continue the ];i\sent war wilh (neat l^rilain for the pur- 
pose expressed in the Irralies aforesaid, he shall not therehy he 
firccluded from securing to himself the I'doridas. C>n the con- 
trary, if he shall ohtain the Idoridas from (M"eat Britain, these 
United .States will ^.-uaranly the same to his Catholic Majesty: 
providetl alwavs that the I'niled Stati-s shall enjoy the free navi- 
gation ol the ii\'er .M ississijjpi into and from the Si.'a. 

'■Resolved, 'Idiat a committet.' he aiipoinied to jirepare instruc- 
tions conformahle to the foreiMiim;' resohitious." 

It will he iiiiU-il 11) these resoliil ioiis how allurinj^l)' the hail of 
the I'loiidas was ])i"esented, and how it w;is made to appear that 
their aii|msition hy Spain depended on :in alliance with the Uniti'd 
Stale.-.. 'I'luie e.ui he iio deiihl lli:il ihe na-oii why S|)aiu tlid nul 

• I)iiiU)iii.iiu' Ciiru siujiuliiKO. .'.i. I 111. 


rill: ri<u\'!\'cii Asn run status: 

concliuk' sulIi ;i trciity will) iIk' (.(jluiiics at llic outset, as I-'rance 
(lid, was lRcau>.c sl'c \\a-. <lirt\'rciiily bitiialcU than Franco, and 
licr illl^■^l■^lb were \\Uc\y lo sul'ur hy sucli an alliance. AcciuJ- 
ini;;ly, al tin. coinnienci.MU iil oi llu- Kcvolnl ion, Spain only favoixcl 
a rctli\ss ot j^i u'\ancc.'i I'of tlir ci-lunii's. ] Ilt statesmen saw ilial 
the proximity ot the UiiiuHJ Stales to Louisiana and the Spanish 
West liuiie^, was a incnaie In ilir .Sijanisli American posscshious. 
Sjiain iiatl iiolhin:;- [<> j^aiii li\ an alliance with llic United States, 
unless the laller shciuM unnun^i- lo her the Moridas which she 
covett'd ; hill .-^lie expeclid lu {;a n iheui without such an alliance 
while Jvu-^land was hn\ wiili her rehellious colonies. .She 
wisely Concluded that, ni an\ event, it was necessaiy for her 
to lUuve wilh exlreme prudence and caution. She disliked i'.n^,''- 
land, was the linn frieiul ol' iMance, and wi.-^hed to ^ain the frieiul- 
ship ot the United Stales. She likewise thought that, should the 
colonies fail to ^ain their inde])endence, it would he to her advan- 
tage to remain in the good gr^''^"'^-^ ^'^ hjigland, her nearest neigh- 
bor in America. The people of .Vew ( )rleans and (;f all the other 
Louisiana ccjhjuies feared the i ncroachments of the Americans, 
who had he^'un already to i)iisli their settlements into the valley 
of the ( )liic; and to send thc'ir produce ilown the Mississippi to 
New Orleans. This feai in all the more noteworthy hy reas(.n 
of the exclu.sive policy ui Spam m regard \o the trade of her c(j1- 
ony ol Loiiihiana. As the war progressed it was developed that 
her amhiti(jn was to gain the I'Knidas with a boundary as far 
north as possible ami the exclu.ive navigation of the liver Mis- 
sis.sippi and that of the C,\\\l of .Mexico. It was clearly developed 
that I he a])i)reliensions of the .'■Ipauish sovereign of future dis- 
sensions, and perhaps wain, wiih the United States, the differ- 
ences in regard to Amencan colonial boundaries, and the dis- 
agreement over the righl to navigate the Mississippi river, were 
the principal obstacles dunng tlie Revolution to a treaty between 
Spain and the United Stales. 

l!ut the colonies, in their strng.L;le, neede<l assistance — money, 
soUliers. sbiiLs, iiinnilioiis ami ;iccoriliiii;l\', in Septemln-r, 1 77<;, 
fll)poinled John Jay minister plenipotentiary to the court at ^hul- 
rid, wilh powers of ccjiiclnding a treaty with Spain similar to the 
one C(;ncluded with iMaiice in I7;S, or if that conid not be accom- 
plished, to secure such a'-iNl.iiue as was jiossible. lie was spe- 
cially iiilincled with the .ibove resolutions of congress of Sep- 
temhei !;•, 1771), and w,i. fiiilher insliiuied Sepliiiiber 25 as 
follows: "\oii aie pailieiilai L' to endea\'or to obtain some con- 
venienl p(ut or jxals below the ihiily liisl (b7;i(.e of noitli lali- 



r.AKi.v\' oh' 'run Mississirri. 


Uulo on tlio river Mississii)pi for all incrchaiU vessels' g(X)ds, 
wares, and iiicrcliaiuli-v^ liiKiiij;inL,f to the iiiliabilaiils of lliese 
States' ( >ii ()i.ii'licr i \, iyj>), a iiuaitiii in coiij^rchS to recede 
from the claim of a free navigation of the M i^si>hiiipi below the 
tliirty-ln bt di^ree on condition that S[)ain w(jnld grant a free 
port below bucli parallel of latitude was Icjst. ( )n b'ebruaiy .>., 
i/i^o, congres-i \va-> iiifijrmed b>' the I'Vencli minister of state that 
hefoie Spain conld be iiidncid to treat with the United States, 
the Kinj^ of Spain desiied the views of con}.M"ess on "certain arti- 
cles which bis Catholic .Maji^ly deems of great importance to 
the interests of his crown, and on which it is highly necessary that 
the United States explain tin niseU'is with preci.sion and with 
such moderation as ma) consiit with their essential rights." The 
ai tides were as f(jllc»ws;' 

"i. A precipe and invariable western boundary to the United 
States. 2. 'I'lie e\cliisi\e navigation of the river Misstssijjpi. 
3. The pos!Lesbion of the l-doi idas. 4. 'iMie lands on the left or 
eastern side of the river Mississippi." 

In regartl to tlu; first article, S|)ain maintained that the United 
Slates extended no farther wcstwanl than the line mentiontd in 
the proclamation of the King' of England of October 7, 17(^3, — a 
line extending- approximatel)' north and soulii a little west of the 
Alleghany mountains, thus leaving all the country to the west- 
ward as far as the 1\I ississipi)i river in the possession of the 
Indians and hence subject \o the. colonisation, conquest anil set- 
tlement oi an\' country, 'lakiiig into consiileralion this view of 
the article, the hccoiul construed that, inasmuch as the 
United States could claim no land abutting' on tiie Mississippi, 
they had no right to tlu- free navigation of that river. In reg^ard 
to the third article, it was argued that, as Spain wouUl herself 
wrest the h'loiidas from (<iiat Hritain during- the war, every 
.source of disjjute concerning them would lliereby be removed. 
Under the fourth article, it was contended that the Iiulian country 
lying Wist of the line n feiied to in the proclamation mentioned 
ab(jve and east of the Mississippi river was open to con(|Uest from 
Great liritian by the arms oi Spain. This was the vSi)anish view 
of the situation in I'ebruary, i/Si^. She took the position that, as 
Great I'.ritain had omilted to include the country east of the 
Mississippi and west of Ibe line nientioiud in the i)r(K'lamalion in 
one of the goveriimeiits she bad org.ani/.ed out of the territory 
seciiud from biaiice b\ llie Inaty of 171),^, she herself had left 

• Uil'l'i'iiatic Cl'rll•^ imiuleiii I , t.iTiii 


iiiii y'/v'c>//.V(7: .i.\'/) Tin: sr.rii:s. 

the coiiiilry with the liiilians; aiul that, therefore, Spain hatl as 
miu:h rit^hl to ciitir it .hhI lai.e |n)s^i.>sicin as had Cireal iWitaiii. 
C\>iiu;re>> was ihii.-, iiil(MiiKtl h\ the I'luuh minister of slau iliat 
tlic ahove oiilhiic eiiihi ared tin' Spani.sli view of the silnalioii in 
America, and was reque^led lo iiiiheale the j)i;silioii whieh the 
Lhiiled Stales expected to a-^snnie. Tliis wouKl he necessary 
hefore Spain was willing; to c.-nsider the buhject of a treaty wiili 

Mr. Jay, in replyini; lo this inijuir)', looU the j)osiiion that 
I'^ranee had pt)ssesseil all ihr Indian connlry ahove nieniioiud 
prcvions l(; 17(\], havin;.^ ^ecuud it hy exploiation and settleiiienf, 
particularly al Detroit, and on the W'ahash, Illiiujis and other 
rivers and elsewhere; that (neat I'rilain, hy the treaty of 1763, 
had ohtained the counlrv from I'rance, with the western honndary 
in the mitldle of the Mi sissippi river; that, in order lo retain the 
friendship of the liulian inhahilants iheiein, she had pur4)osely 
excluded the country fiom any of her otiier American colonies; 
and that she luul resersed the countr>' for future setllement, when 
she should purchajjc tlu' claims i;f the Indians residinj^'' therein.* 
In support of this \ie\\ he died the tii'aty of i7(\] and the 
proclamation of the haudish Kiiii;' of ( )elol)cr 7, i/(>^], of which 
ihe lollowini; extracts will he : nMicieiil to illustrate his argument: 

".\nd whereas, It is just and leasonahle and essential to our 
intere-il, and the seeuiit\ of our colonies, that the several nations 
or trihes of Indians, wiili whom we are connected, and wiio live 
nmler our protection, ^l oidd iiu he molested ov dislnrhed in the 
possession of ,-uch p,u I ■ oi oiii- dominions and territories as, not 
havinj; heen ceded to, or purcliaseii hy us, are reicrved to them 
or any of them, as their huniiiiL;' };r(Mnuls." 

"No g-overnor or commander in chief of onr other colonies or 
plantations in America (meaning the I'.nj^lish colonies alonj.;' ihe 
Atlantic and the JHoriilas) shall presume for the present, ami 
until our further pleasme he Kiiown, to j.;rant, warrant or survey, 
or p.iss patents for au)' lands hr)(ind the luads or sources of any 
of the rivers wdiich fall into the Atlantic ocean from ihe west ur 
northwest; or upon au)' lands whatever whieh, not haviu}.,'' ceiletl 
to, or purchased hy us, as afori'said, are reserveil lo the said 
Indi;ms, or any of them And w'e do fniiher declare- it lo he (air 
rf>\.il will and pKasure, for the piesenl, as aforesaid, to lesrive 
unio om sovei (i;;!!! y, pioiieiiou mid dominion, for tin- nse ol ihe 

• I,i(c Ml )>,hii J.iy. 

r.Aiu.v N.iiic.inox (>/• run Mississiri-i. 55 

sail! liulians, all llic laiKU ami uirilorics ikjI incliulrd williin llic 
liuiils (.1' I'lir .-aid three luw ^.,\ ltiiukiUs ; as al^u all llic laml 
and territories l\iu^- lu llie westward (it the soiiices oi the rivets 
which tall iiUu the bca tii.iii the \\e^l aiul iiorlhwe^l as alorcsaid; 
and we iKj herehy blriciK iUrhid, on jiain of mil displeasnre, all 
our liniiij4' snhjeets ir<jui niaKiiij4' any purchases or settlements 
\\'hate\'er, or taking" possi >sion of any of the huids above reserved 
without our e-pecial Ka-.e and license for lliat jnirpubC lirst 
obtamed." *" 

Mr. Jay nmintained tliat the l''.n}.,dish title from France to the 
country westuard to the Mi.sbisr^ippi was absohilc, and that the 
proclamation of iIil kin^ pi oved that h'.nj^land did not relincjuish 
the ctiuntry to the Indian,, but on the C(jntraiy made ample pro- 
vibions for their .-,ecuiii) , proieciion and [government by excluding 
setilerh from ilk' coniUi\, the appointmeiu of agents to keep in 
fiiendl)' couununicaliou wilh them, autl otherwise. 'Idiat lowing 
true, ihe Lhiiied Stales, lakin^t; their title from the British ami 
that title not havini; been pre\ iou.-^ly (|Ueili(jne(l, was entitled to 
the couiHry westward to ihe midille (.)f the M ississip[)i, and, there- 
fore, to the free navifjalii ii of that stream. 

At this point of the discussion the wIkjIc subject was jjeriiiittcd 
to remain (piiet for a jjcriod; ami in the meantime Mr. Jay pressed 
the Consideration of a tr> aiy w uh the Unitetl .Stales. In April, 
1780, the Count de I'dorida lllanca, representing Sp:.'ii, pro- 
|)ounded a series oi que-iioiis, under the insistence of Mr. Jay, 
concenuui; ilie ci\ d and nuliiai\ strenglh of the United States, 
their resonrces in remoie particulars and ability to ci>ntinue the 
war, their power, sliould she need ii, to assist Spain in case she 
became iluir ally, the .streii^lh of ilieir marine, elc.f 'i hese (pies- 
lions were so -earchirig that several members of congress look 
uinbra,L;e autl alarm and counseled the unwisdom of revealing so 
minuiely ihe military stren;,;ih of the C(jlonies. Mr. Jay, however, 
answered them as full) as s( enicd consistent wilh safety and 
dignity, statiu};, aiuoUL; (.ilier thm-s, that the United Stales Nsould 
assist Spain in iwo \va)'s : hiilKr by lighting her einMuies or by 
advantages of comnii'rce. I le urged that, as Si)ain was ali"eady 
at war wilh threat liritain, slu- should now nnile wilh the United 
States ai'.ainst the comm^in euemw 

On May ii, 17S0, ihe Count ile Florida HIanca informed Mr. 
Jay that there was biU oiu' (jliMacle from which he apprehended 

•Animal l<f;iisl.r (l-aii'-li-ili) V.-l VI 
* bil<lo:ii ilic Con. .1. .!il< II' . !• I 


rim l'l<i)\l\Cli W'l) Till: STATUS. 

any t^icat ililliciill)- in aj^r^xinL; tu llu: Icinis uf the pi'oposc'il treaty 
and that "aro--c Iriuii llic pi rl.. lU h ul^ of Anuiica to lliu navigation 
ot llic i\li^^i.^^l])lu." Mr MaUvl ilidl, whilr Conj^ I'l^-, had at lii^t 
claimed such ii;;ht, the) had aliuward rchn(iui-ih(.d il, hut had 
a[;ain "made it .m es^eiiii.d coiKhiiou of ihi' liL-at)'." 1 le tjhbcrwd 
that llic hint^ of Spam "v^.i-^ rcboKcd in hi;, miml" on the 
ijucbtiiins ol houndai)' and the nasi^alion of the Mississippi, that 
he was not hki ly to recede, lhon'_;h he desired to aid tlie Ameri- 
cans, and dial he had iri\iul\ lakin steps it) inform himself 
fully iii re>;arti to the di>pnied points. Mr. Ja)' replieil that 
ci)n^ress consiilered thai e\eral of the stales were l)(»uudetl on 
the ue-^l hy the Mississi|»pi ri\a,, and wen-, therefore, inteiested 
in its navij.;ati(jn, hut wen williii;; lo rej^ulate disputed (juestioiis 
so as to make .Spain secure. The count reiterated ihat he was 
confident liie kiuj.; would not lelincpush the navij^aticju of the 
Mississippi, and e.Kpnsse.l the hope that some way arouiul ihe 
ohstacle coidd he found. 

On May Jd, 17X0, .Mr. jay \vr<Ue as follows to conf^ress ; "If 
coiif^ress remain lirm, as I h ive no reason to douht, respecting; the 
Mississi|)pi, 1 ihiidv Spain will Imally he content with e(|iiitahle 
regulations, and 1 wish to know whether congress wuidd consider 
any rei^ulalions ueces.-ar\' lo pre\eut contrahaiul as inconsistent 
with tluir ideas of free n.i\igal lou." Sjjain was un foi innately 
situated. She realized, if llu .\merican colonies were ahh' to 
deleiid themselves against ,111 aiiin of eighty llnuisaiul troops st iit 
ngain.-,t them, they \\^a\\A i.oi iu ilie k-asl fear Spain, should they 
gain their iudepeudcnce ; w.-uld, m .•.liort, he ahle to enforce any 
claim diey mighi make. 'I lies w..uld he ahle to force their Coii • 
irahani.!, or iorhidden gtjoik , into the Spanish .American colonies— 
into l,ouisiana--desp!le ihe e.xchisive p(jlicy of Spain and the 
protests of the iuhahilauts of that prijvince. 'Idle reliiKpiishmeut 
of the navigation lighi meant the .ihsolule surrender of the Span- 
ish amhiiion to liwn the .■\clusive navigation of the (lulf of 
Mexico and ol thr .Mi.^si>sii.|)i and meant the C(jnse(juent invasic/ii 
of contrahand \\\h) New ( )rhan^ and every other seltlement in 
Louisiana to the crushing injury of Si)anish cijminorce. The 
inhahiiants of New Orlean ■ protected agaiii~l such a po-^sihilii v, 
and the policy of Spam hecmie emphatic ne\er to surrender the 
question (.f navigati.iii. The Spam.^h policy was \o exclude the- 
goods ol all other nali(jiis from I (aiisiaiia, in (jrder to give the 
manuiai liiieis of S|Kiin (Ik heiiehi ,,f e.xihisive Had.' with ihal 
<-<>lony. The navii;alioii (,l the M^sisMppi hy oih, r nalions, it 
was mamleNi. w,,iihl c.ami.iv.ail llie SiMiii-h policy and Hood 

ILIKI.V iWirii.'.U lO.V (>!• I'lll- MISSISSIPPI. 57 

Ix^uisiaiKi w iili ilic ilkap |miu(1.^ of tjihcr coiuiirics — with the uiulc- 
siralik- j.u>o(ls ul' llic I'liilnl Slaus. 'I'lii^ cmild iml be ccninlf- 
iKiiK(.'r, ami liciKX' ilic cmIumvc navigation iiiusl rtMuaia with 
Spain, 'i'ln^ was ilic poMlion oi that (.ounlry. 

William C'aiiiiii liai.-l, Aiiarican (.liar-^c d'alYairb al the court 
of Mailrid, wroiL- lron\ Si. lUUronhO, o\\ Auiju^l 22, 17S0, to liie 
coniniillcc of foici^Mi allair.-. of con^icss, lliat "llic navigation of 
the Mississippi appears to lie the };reat, anil if we can credit the 
assertions of men in i)e>\\er, the Mjle obstacle" to an a(^Meenii.rit 
concernim; terms to he emhoilieil in the proposeil treaty. As a 
mailer of fact, SiKiin and ihe Uniletl Stales had Utile or nothing 
in common. 'I'lie latter u anted as.-^islance, particularly of money; 
and ihe former wanieil ilie exclusive navij;alion ul the Mi>sis- 
sipi)i. Neither siemeil ili^posed lo yield, s<j iheie was ahnndant 
room U)V the diidomals lo display their talents. To the Ameri- 
can requests iu\- a loin, Spain replied that such demands should 
be made on l^ance, the ally i)f the Uniled States, and the. one \ 
receiviu}.; all the benefits of their traile. * ■^' 

In a letter dated September 25, 1780, Mr. Carnucliael said, 
referriiiLf to a conversation that had taken place between Mr. 
Jay and the Count de l-lorida lilanca, "in the course of this con- 
ference the C\ninl de h'loiiila lUancu asserted with warmlh that , 
the kin<( would never relimiuish the navi[;ation of the Mississippi, 
and that the minimi ry rei^arded the exclusive right to it as the 
l)rincipal advauiage which Spain would obtain J)y the war. 'I'his 
lieing ihe bar 10 ibe treaty, ii seems not imi)robable that this 
comi (Spanish) will noi be in a hurry \o ireal with us, but ; 
ratlui liu^l to her luteii.-.i in a general congress lor peace to 
oblain her lavmile object ^." 

The f(.llowing extract fr(jm a letter of October 3, 1780, from , 

Benjamin Franklin U) Mr. jay slates ihe American posilicMi at that 
(late admirably : "If you are not s(; far private in vS))ain, conlinue, 
however, the evei\ good temjjer )'oii have iiitherlo manifested. i 

Spain owes us iiolhing; tlureftJie, whatever friendship she shows 
us in lending money or furnishing clothes, etc., though nut eipial | 

to our wants and wishes, is, however, iatit dc i!,i.i\!.nc (so much I 

gain). Th(;se who havi- begun lo assist us are more lilcely to •, 
continue than to decline, and we are still so much obliged as their 
aid amounts to. Ibil I hope and am coiituhnt that court will be 
wisei- than to lake advaiitagi: of our distress and insist on (Hir 1 ^.icriliiis by an .ii;ieiiiiiiit which the circumslances of I 

such di^liess woidil bcii.ifUr wiakeii, and the very iJioposilion 
can Olds i;ive di^^Misl al preseiil. I'oor a^ we are, yet as I know 


rill'. I'KOl IX'Cli .l.\'l> nil: ST.iTliS. 

wc sliiill l>c rid:, 1 wouM kuIkt iii^rcc wiili lliim to Imy, at a [;rcat 
prici.', llic whole ol' llu'if ii,i;lil en llic M ishissippi lliaii sell a (Iriip 
i)f its waters. A iiei-lihiM uiiL;lil as will a->k me to sell luy street 
door." '■ 

'I'liai reiuaikal)le letter exliilms the iiUellectiial precision ot the 
writer, the accuracy oi hi> vie\\>, the hreadth ui iiis slatosiiKUiship, 
the wisdwin of his couu^eh, and die steadfast pnrp(<se of the Amer- 
ican leaders of the revolmioiiai \' period. It reveals the tliplo- 
nuilic spuil to an asli ini^hnii; deiMee, as well as llie severit)' ol the 
strait.s under which the c^Kinies contiiuied their heroic strui^'^les. 

In C)ct<jher, i/So, congress iiisiructcd Mr. Jay to adhere to their 
former instructi<pns [o him coucerninj.;- the ri};ht to navi^^aic the 
l\rississi[jpi and, if it could he aceoniplished, lo secure ivuiw Sixain 
an acknowledj.;nienl of that iij;lil , to ex|jlain thai the Missis.sippi 
was the western houndar\ cd' ^eee^al of tiie slates, and that the 
I'nited Slale>, w hile coum cled will) (Ireat 11 r it a in, had heen accus- 
tomed to the pri\iKL;e of na\iL;ai iiiL^^ that .stream; and to assure 
llie Spanish couil that the nuKiia! use of the river would in no 
wise jeopardize the inlere^l^ or the pi'acc of the Spanish .American 
Colonies nor of vSpain. lie was further iiistriK'tctl that, it an 
admissicju (>f the rii;lit of die United .Slates to navi);ato the Mis- 
sissi[)pi aliovc the thiriy-lusi decree and to have a i)ori or ports 
helow that i)arallel ct)nld !)> secur. d, he mii^ht enter into such re^^- 
ulatioiis as wa)uld seciue \\\c colonies a^^dnst /\nierican 
conirahand. lie was told that ii was ol the ulmosl ini|)ortani. e 
to the I'niied Sl.itcs, sluiuld Spain v.ain the Idoridas, to poSse-s 
(he rii;hl not oid\ lo iiavij.iie ilu .\l is>i^>ippi, Iml the liwrs that 
had their source^ m the -lates ami lluwed south ilir(ntL;h the 
I'doridas nuo the (hdf, and to u-^e every effort in his pi)wer t(J 
f;ain such concessions, ll he co'ild secure these rij^hts, he was 
instrucled to guarantee the Idoridas t(j Spain. 

In [\'(j\emher, 17S0, Mi Jay ollered the folloudiiL,'' punf.;ent 
remarks to M. ("jaidoipn in answer to his olfer to hiiy the navi- 
j^alion ot the M issis-ipj)) : 'i Uild Inm that ohject C(juld not come 
in (luestion in a li\ai\ for a U)aii of a hundred thousand pounds, 
and Spain should consider diat to render alliances permanent they 
shoulil he S(j formed as to I'lider ii die interest of hoih parlies to 
ohserve them; that the Anierieans, alino>i (o a man, helieved thaf 
(loil .\liniL;hly had made that ii\v 1 a hii;hw'ay for ihe people of 
the uppv 1 CMiiiiii) lo i;(i to ea h\' ; dial this country' was e\tensi\e 
and leildr, die ;;, m.ui s ulla el ■., and others ol di^- 


* I.ifl.- (ll lU Ili.lllliM I'l.Ulkllll 

r.AUi.v x.ific.nnix ur run mississwi'i. 


tiiiction and iiilluciu.c in AnuMira were (kcply inlcrcsU'd in il ; 
llial il wi'ulcl rapulh' ^^uK , and ilial the inliahitanls wmild noi 
readily lie eonvnued ui llie jn-lite ol heini;- i)l)li,i;ed either Uj live 
withoul f(Mei_L;n eoniiiiodilu s and lose the surplus i)f their pro- 
dnclions i>r he ohh^ed to liaiihp. Ml htuh o\er m^^Lfetl nionntains 
and throiiL^h an immense w ddernes.s \o and hum the sea, when 
they dail\' saw a line ri\er iiowin^" hefore their di)ors and olferiiii; 
to save ihein all the ironhle and expense and that withoul injniy 
to vSpain." '■ 

liul M. (lardixjui replied lightly to this sonorous speech and 
declared thai the jtrerient t^eneralion would not want this iiavij^a- 
tion and il should he letl to future {generations to nianaj^e their 
own allairs It was ahoui this time, al>o, that the L\)nnl de 
J'dorida lUanca inl'oimed Mr. \:\y that if Spain could not keep ail 
of the nations out of the (\u\i of Mexico, she blionld ailniit all; 
that till.' KiuL;' would never nlini|nish tlu' navigation of the Mis- 
sissippi and the (a\\i; thai ihe Spanish niinib,ter ref^^arded thil«as 
the [jiincipal ohjeci to he trained hy Spain in the war; with that 
gaineil he woidd not care if Spain gained no other cessitJii ; that 
he consideieil il more important than the ac(|nisilion of (; 
anil that if the)' could luu ;;ei it, it was a matter of indillerence 
whether the llriti^h jiossissed Mohile or not. 

'riie^-e remarks of the C'dunl de h'lorida lllanca ami the ahovc 
CNlracls from the lellers hoth of Mr. Jay and Mr. i'raid^lin reveal 
the te\i-.iou that existi'd hriween the two countrie-s in ri\L;ard to 
the na\iL;aliMn of the Mi- i-sippi (and the liull of .\le\ico) hy 
Spain. The wIimK' ;imliili'>u ol Spam duim;;' the later slaf;es 
of the war was lo secure i^ heisill the e.\i lusive ri^lil lo naviL;alo 
the tiulf ; lunce she he,L;an war against h'.nj^laini, not as the friend 
(jf I'^rance, not as an ally of the 1 'nited Slates, Ut secure the I'lor- 
idas. Iler [jossessi(jns w(;nld th( u enciicle the (julf, and her rii;ht 
lo its exclusive navi,L;alioii could he niainlained hy her coKanal 
policy <>i e.xchision. I'ul if she lost the exclusive navi{;aticjn oi 
the Mississippi, she likewise lost ihe exclusive iiavi}.;ation (;f the 
(uilf, and, therefore, she heul (.Nery effort (j1 dipioniacy with the 
United Stales auil of war with <ireal I'.ritain lo ^^ain her ohject. 
She olferi'd a larjA' sum of money to ihe United .States wilii the 
ho])e that they would )iJd. She ailvanced part of il and then 
arlfidl\ wilhhild tin- halance, when the coloniis were in tluir 
sorest -.liails urai" the elo-e of the louj;' si i n{^!..;le, hoping; their 
lleecs.ilK. would induce ihem lo smruukr the coveted |)ri/e- - 

Iniilulll.illi.- CulK -ixunli 


/'III: y'/v'iM/.V(7. .LWi) rill', sr.irr.s. 

llic ii;i\i^atiiiii i>l" tin* Mississippi. vSlic pi'ofcsscd (lie warmest 
frioiiilsliip l\ir llic culniiii s and inoaiU it, l>iit sHuliousl) ^avc ilicin 
no ails.iiilain that wa-- nut ainud al llic act'oniplislunrnl of lur 
olijicl. I Ki iisid ^■\\\y art and ai\L;unii'nt, and i.:VL-n 
scoured llu' (.aincsl, actuc and niciial snppoit ol tlic ImculIi covuI, 
and would lia\c liccn mu'CcssI id, ()\vin<^ ti» ihc diic cxlrcniity of 
tlic colonics, had uoi lli> cnldiiial leaders seen tliat llic navi!;ation 
of the .M ississip|ii wab ahsolntch essential to llic j^rowth and pios- 
jjcril)' ol the upper Mississippi valley. 

In his Icitci" of NovunluT (i. 1780, to Congress, Mr. Jay said: 
"In ni) opinion u c should cndea\'oi" lo he- as independent on the 
cliarit)' C)f our fiicuiL ,;s on die nicrc)' i)f our cucmics. Jaci)h 
look advantage vwn of his hr>/ilier's hunger, and extorted iroui 
hiui a hij-dicr i)ricc than the value of the Mississipj)! even for a 
siiij^lc dinner. The \va\ lo he uut in I'.san's coiulilion is to be pre- 
pared U) meet with Jacuh's." IWu the valiant talk of the colonial 
leaders did not clothe ihe continental army, nor provide lliem 
with nect-ssar\' fovid, muiiiiious and arms. 'iMie soldiers were in 
ra^s, l)areftK)ted, unpaid, scaniih' provided with food, and in many 
instances wholly destitute of uicdical stores. Ivussia and other 
countries of I'.urope were endeavorinj^ h)' mediation to restore 
peace. l\nj;land herself was cM ending' temi)tin^' offers to induce 
the rebels to lay down dieir anus. M;uiy in the Uniteil Slates 
were tired i>f the war, and were willing' lo concede alni'jsl any- 
thinii;' to secure peace. The jtre^sure broui;bt'to bear upon con- 
gress could scaiceh be nstained by thai bod). In this mem- 
orable e.Miennt) iliev l"iii,dl\-, on I'cbruai")' 15, 1781, prepared and 
adopted the followiuj.;' leiier of nislruclions [o Mr. ja)'. 

"Sir: C'oUL;iess haviuv;' since iheir instructions to )'ou of the 
29th September, 1779, auil .|th ( )^tober, 1780, ri'lative to the claim 
of the Ihiited States lo the free navi}.,''ation of the river Missis- 
sipjji and iu a free port or port^ below the ihirtydlrst dei.;ree of 
north latitude resumed the Consideration of that subject; and 
beiuL,^ desirous to nianifi- I to all the \\t>rld, and particularly to 
liis Calliolic Majestv, the modriatiou of their views, the hi^;li 
value ibev place on the fiieudsbii) of his Catholic Majesty, and 
their disposition to remo\e evir\ reasonable obstacle to his acces- 
sion to the alliance subsist in;.^ biiween his nu)Sl Cdu'lstian Majesty 
nnd thee United Stales, in r)iil. |- to unite the more closily in 
llieir nil asures and opiratiuus lliice ])o\vers who have so j^^riat a 
nnil)' (.1 iniercsl, and lluuby lo eonipel the common enemy lo a 
siJit'iK, pit and hoiioi,ilile jiea^ e, h.ive resolved and )()U an? 
Iu'rili\ iiisliiuicd, to fr the instinelioiis abow nfriod 

li.llU.Y N.U'KJ.illOX Hi' Till-: Mississii-ri. 


to, so far as they insist on ilic free na\'i[^atii)n of that i)arl of the 
river M issi^sipi)! wliieh lic-^ hcluw the thirty-lirsl tlej^ree nf north 
latitude and on a free pui i or polls iieK>\v the same, provided 
such ce^^il)^ shall he nnalurahl)' in^ist^.■d on jjy Spain, and j)ro- 
vided the free navij^ation oi the ^aid river ahuve the said ilegree 
of north latitude shall he acknowledged and j;naranteed hy his 
Catholic iMajesiN' to the ciii/eiis ol the United Slates in coninton 
with ills o\sn snhjects: ll is the. order o[ conj^ al the same 
time that you exert every po^sihle effort to ohtain from his Cath- . 
ulic Alajesl) the use of the n\er aforesaid with a free port or ]jort.s 
helow the saiii tlurty-i'uat de-ree of north latitude for the citizens 
of the United States under such i t-i^nlations anil restrictions only 
as nia\- he necessar)' >ali.^;iiartl a; aiu^l illicit ctJinmerce."'' 

This Kiler had heeii iiiinuliicid hy the ii'preseutatives from 
Vii'i^inia in pursuance of in ti I'.ctioiis from their ccjnslituents. A 
motion made to defeat its ado))tio;i hy congress was lost. New 
Ifampshire, Rhode Island, i\'ew jersey, I'eiinsylvania, Delawtire 
Maryland, N'irgiuia, South Carolina, and CiCorgia voted for its 
adoption. .Massaehusetts \ ou il ai^ain^t it, and Coiniecticut, New 
York and North Carolina each deposited a split vote. It was thus 
adoted. Mr. Jay was much displeased with this action and said: 
"1 Hatter myself that coui'iess will never a}.;ain attempt to lorm 
an alliance on priiuiples oi ei|ualit\' /;/ furnui pttupcns (as a poor 
man), llefore their miL;eiieroiis letter on our right to the Missis- 
si[)i)i arrived, it was known in I'.uiopo, and tho suhslauce of my 
last insiiuciioiis on that head were not secret here helore they 
leached thi> side ol ihe oee.iii." 

lie repoilcd al ilii-^ time iliat e\ery act of congress was known 
in hairope hefoie he was officially apjirised of its passage ami 
stateil that his letters were o|)ened in Spain and that many ol tliem 
never reached him. ( )n April _'5, 1781, he said in a letter to 
congress; "There is more reason to suspect that the h'rench 
court were apprised of their contents (the letters adilressed to 
liim) hefoie thev arrived, and to helieve that the construction of 
the treaty, h\' which the navigation of the Mississipi^i is supposed 
to he Comprehended in the guaranty, iloes not correspond with 
their ideas on that suhjecl. The court (at Mailrid) continues 
l)ertinaeiously to insist on our ceding that navigation, uur will 
they, as yel, listen lo any middle course." 

Spain peieiived al llii-. lime llial the Stales were almost certain 
lo g.iiii ik, II iiidepemk lu e. She had piaclicail) lakeii possession 


ilil.UU C'ul II s|, 

run y'A':)/7A'( /:■ j.v/; tiih stati-s. 

of tlic Morulas, had caluiid a few posts in tlio Uppt-T Mississippi 
Ci>uiurv tu ilic ^•a^.t i>\ lliai river, iiail cslablislieil liorsclf at 
Natchez, walehcil c\eis ael of e()iij^ie>s, ami waited as jjalieiitly 
as a kopard at a deer lieU- fur ihe slate-, [o ) ield the iiavii^atioii of 
the Mississippi. Imoih 1 lavaiia at hr^t, and later from the l''U)rida . 
and l.onisiaiia pons, her liiup^ made steady advances into the i 
British posseNsions ah>'ve the ihirty-lirsi de-ree of uuv[\\ latituiie. 
She dill cvervlhin-i^ in her power, with the sanction anil sujjport i 
of the Louisianians, to gain the Mississippi by her conquests on 
Its hanks. i\k'my of ilic l,oui>ianians eidistetl in her armies anil i 
weie the lirsl to iuvadr the conntry to the east of the Misbissip[)i j 
and above tlie thirty-liisi degree of north latitude. She advanced ] 
more money to the Anierican^ under professions of earnest sym- j 
palhy and friemkhip. Iler ministers redoubled tiieir clYoHs to j 
obtain through the art. of diplomacy the paramount object —the j 
navigation of ihe iM is i-.sippi. Iler concpiests in America alxjvo 
the thuiy-ru>t degiee of noiih latitude were designed to* -fasten 
and strengthen her claiius on the country to tlie cast of the Mis- i 
sissip|)i, as agaiu-^l tin claim-, of the states when peace shoukl 
be proclaimed, iler miuisivr. played wuh the necessities of the 
colomis and their ie([U( i^ fur money and numilious as a cat with 
a uiou^r. 

Saiiuiil Iluntinglon, president of congress, in a letter dated 
May „\S, 1781, revealed lu Mr. lav the object of receding from the 
claim to na\i",ate the Missis-ippi. lie sai^l ". "Congress have 
little doubt that the ob l.u le to your negotiations will be 
removed, and (hat M>u \, \\\ noi oulv be able without further delay 
to coucbide ibk- piopusrd alliance with bi.-i Catholic Majest\, but 
that the liberality and fncndk di^pobilion manifested on the part 
of the Lhiited Slates b\ such a cession will induce him to alforil 
them some sub.-^tanlial and elfeitual aid in the article of lUoue)'. ' 

The original articles oi instruction to Mr. Jay were drafted by 
Mr. iMadison.'- After the fall of Charleston the danger to the 
colonies seemed so great and the aid of Spain seemed so essential, 
that i-ongre^^. bad rerrded .mhu' \\ hat from the original instructions. 
In aildition to ihi-^, Mr. Ja)' was given greater (liscrciion in 
regard lo details; but lbi> he did not relish, because, should he 
make a mistake, he wmUd suIVlj- severe criticism regardless of his 
honest intentions. lie -aid in his ktter to congress, May 19, 
17S1, "TIk- it: Niou ol tlp> iia\i".;Uion will, in my i>piuioii, render 
a fuline war c.illi Spain, and I shall look upon my 
suliMiibiiig to the one a. lixing the certainty of the other." 

• Nat I :il 1 VI- and Oi it leal 1 1 ish i y (jI ,A iiKiita ; Win '.or. 

I'.ih'iA \.ifn;.ii n>.v oi' rui: missjsswi'I. 6;^ 

I^iit lime pasi-cd ciml Spain miiuciI no nearer accepting' tlic 
ailvanlaj^rs 11111I1.1" llic res'i.M'l ill^ ii uriionh ihan nIic had been under 
the former. Mr. Ja\- informal the Spani>h minihler thai ihe 
Uniled Stales eiuild tlo no mure and said: "l''ven if a desire of 
gralif\inL; hih MaJe^l^■ i ihe Km- uf S[jain ) ^lnnlhl ever melino 
coni^iess to )ield a puint .-o es^enlial to tlieir interests ) et it bliU 
remained a i|ne>iuin wlielher mw <lelays and obstacles lu a treaty 
U'onhl not ari.-^e to po.->lponi it." lie complained to coiij^'ress that 
tlie Lhiiled .Stale.^ as.^nmed the allilude oi a petitioner, and that, 
accortlini^ly, Spain treated her a.^ such, lie reiterated lliat the 
niodiiled instruelicjns oi l'"ebiuary 15, 1781, should have been 
secret. 'Hie S|>amsh .stale>men came to the conclusion, by reason 
of the suppliant attitude o\ the states, that another el'dni on their 
jjart would secure the navii^.ition oi the Mississii)pi. Mr. Jay 
couKl aecordin^l)' do nolhin^i;. I le was U)\i\ that the sin'rcnilcr of 
the Missih^ijjpi absolute and without reservation would remove 
the onl) bar to a treaty similar to that with b'rancc. 

The modilKHl proposilitMi of b'ebruary 15, 1781, was no a(uli- 
tional iuilucement to Si)ain to conclude the treaty. 'I'hc right of 
the United States to navigate the Upper Mississippi would prove 
an entering wedge to the navigation of the whole river and the 
Ciulf. ■ That advantage iiuiNt never be ctMicedeil. vSjjain thus far 
had recii\ed fi'om the Unii'd Stales ■■nothings but good words and 
fair assurances." The fru iidlv dispositic^n of ■Si)aiii toward the 
United Slates >liould inllu> nee eoii;',ress to grajil the navigation 
of the M is.-.i.s>ippi. The King regardeil ihe navigation of llial 
river moie impoiiaut (ban ilie i)o>se>sioii of (librahar; all nations 
must be excluded I rom the .\Iism >ippi aihl the (uilf ; that was the 
immemorial polic) oi Spain; the hing w(jnld never recede; .Amer- 
ica had done nothing to assist Spain ; the latter hail refused tempt- 
ing olTers from Cheat Ihiiain to turn against the Uniteil States; 
the blimhiess of congress presented the conclusion of a treaty; 
the relin((uishment ot the .MissisniiJiii woidd remove the only bar 
to the treaty. This \vas the p(;>ilion of Spain in the summer of 
1781. Nothing short ui the absoliUe relimiuishment of ihe Mis- 
sissijjpi would satisf)- Spain. 'I'his meant that the western 
boundary of the Ihiited Stales would be established east of the 
Mississipin, and Louisiana v.ould acct>rdingl\' embrace the whole 
course of ihat noble stream, 'ihcre were no railways then; the 
river was the o\\\y commercial carrier; it meant the enslavement 
of the wrsieiii counliy by S|)ain. So thought Mr. Jay; so thought 

♦ Hiiiiaik> 1.1 Uie Sii.iiiish Mini-.U 1 uf Slate. 


7///; I'UOIWil: l\'l> Till: Sr.lTIiS. 

con^qri'ss. 1 low ever, Mr. Jay lollowod his inslnictioiib aiul sub- 
iiiiltL'il lliL' lulli.wiiij; l)l■|<l).l^iliwll lu the ^^|)alli^ll niiiiislry: 

"I. 'I'lic UiiitL'il SlatL> >liall n-li^(lui^ll lo his Calh(;lic Majesty, 
ami in inline lOrhear lo ii^e, uv alleiupl Id use, the navigation of 
tlie ri\er Mib>i^siiii)i lioiii the ihii l)'-lii >l ile_i;ree ol noilh hiti- 
luile— that is, lioni the p./iiu where it lea\'es the Uniteil Slater — 
down to the oeean. 

"j. llis Cailiohc Maj'^iy si, ill ^uaraniec to the United vStatcs 
all their respeelive teirit< 'i ies. 

"3. The Lhiiled State- >hall lUiaiantee to his Catholic Majesty, 
all his cK)niinioiis in Norih Aineriea. 

"4. SpiUn .^hall at oiiee ai !.iiowded,L;e the independence of 
the Ihiiled Slates, and sw Ion;,'' :is ^he coiiliinied to do so the first 
article .shoidd he hindinj^ upon ihe United Slates. 

"5. The i\ii)L; of Spain hiiisell shall ^jiecify what j^oods 
should he con.sidered Coi.tiahand in Louisiana." 

In pre.seiilin;.; thi.-, j): op^ >.-.iiioii Mr. ja_\ .^aid, he "eonid concT.'ive 
of nolliin^ in the powei' oi conpie'ss to do which coidd more fully 
evidence their dispo.^ition loj^^raiiiy his iMajesty than their havini^ 
olTered to recede from tluir claim to the navij^ation of the Misbis- 
sippi though the preser\ ..lion nl it was deemed of the highest 
impoMaiue t(v iheir eonsiitiuiii ." I'.nt the proposition fell far 
short ol what Sfiain iKsiied and so no proi.;ress was made: C)u 
Octohi r ^\, 17S1, .Mr. Ja\ w role to con^rebS, "I think it is their 
ilosit^n ( vSpain'.-^ ) , iheiehie, lo diaw from ns cfll such concessions 
as oiir piesuil di^lle-^s and the I'.opes oi aid may e.stort, and by 
protr.iciiii;; ne;;i'ii.iiioii.^ .Jioiii ilie ireai\' uideavor lo a\ail them- 
selves ol these conce-.>ioii al a liiliire day when oiu' indueemenls 
to oiler ihem bliall Jiavi ceasrd. .\s this would evidently be 
unjusi, I think the limilaiion in (luestion can <,Mve them no 
ollense." The limitation retiiK d lo was embraced in article four 
above. The refus;il or nej^leei of Spain to accept the modified 
propo-,iiion spurred coiif^n^h, April 30, 17.SJ, t(» pas^ llie fi^low- 
i\\[^ reS(;hition : 

"Ri'solrcil, 'fhat the minisUi pleni|)oti'ntiary of the United 
States at the court of M.idiid I e informed that conj^M-e^s entirely 
ap|)ro\eb of his eondnel a^ .lelai!>d in his lelti r of the 3d of O.lo- 
her la-^l ; and that the limilaiion !i\ed by him to the proposeil sur- 
mid( r (.f tin: navi^'.atioii of iln Mississippi in particular corre- 
spond, wall the views of eoii^K -,^ ; that they observe, not wiihoiit 
•"■■'"T" '■ :ii"l I'MU-ein, ih il a piMp, ,,-.iliini m) liber. il in iKelf, ;ind 
\\l''^b itiih.ved llu widy .uowid ..h^l.ule lo a eonneelion In 1 w i en 
the I'inu-d SlaUs and hi (.'.illmhe Majesty, should iiol havi pro- 


Z:.//v7.i' .\',irn,.iiU).\ or iiit- Mississirri. 


iluii'il t^rcald" e-lVccls im llic cminsi'l of the laltci" ; lliat llic siurcn- 
ikr 1)1 ihc: iiavii;atinii nl' iIk- M ihsi.isii)|)i was iiicaiU as the price 
of the ailvaiiia^es i)iiiiiii>e(l ul an early ami intinuite alliance with 
llie vSpaiiisIi )n(.>naichy ; and if this alliaj\ce is to he procrasti- 
nated till the cwiiclu>it)n ul tin' war the reasuii of the sacrilicc will 
no lonj^er exist; anil that as ^^■l■^y clay which the proposul treaty 
is dekiNcd detracts fimn the uhli^atioii and imliiceineiit of the 
United States to adheie to their overture, it is the instruction of 
con^Tcss that he nij^e lo the ministry of his Catholic lMaje^ty the 
ohlit^ation it inipoii^s on Spain to make the treaty the nu^re liberal 
on her part, and that in iKuticular he use his endeavors to ohtain 
in consiileration of ^^cll delay (.iiher an enlargement (;f her pecun- 
iary aiil to the Uniteil Slates, a facilitatim:^ of the use of the Mis- 
sissi])pi to the citi/.ens thereof or some peculiar indulgences in the 
commerce of the Spanish cwloiiies in .America."* 

in August, J/S-', Air. Jay, who was then in Paris, IieKl an 
important interview with the Count dc Aranda, the Spanish 
aiuhassador to l-'rance, on which occasion the latter asketl what 
the United Stales claimed as their boundaries. Mr. Jay re|)lied, 
down the river to the thirty first degree of north latitude and 
thence east o\ er the ohl ct)ui>e to the ocean. Whereupon, the 
count interposed the following objections; That the western 
counli)' had never belonged to, nor been claimed by, the ancient 
colonies; that previous lo \y(,\ it had belonged lo France; that it 
had then pa.^sed to Ciieat Hiitain, but during the present war 
Spain had won it by coni|uest, having established posts at Natchez 
aM<l al several places in the Upper Mi^si^^sippi country; that if 
Spain's right did not extend f>ver all of that country, it was held 
by the Jndians; and, therefcjre, the western boundary of the 
United States should he far east of the Mississippi. Later, he 
indicated on a map such boundary "from a lake near the confines 
of Georgia, but east of the b'lint river to the conllucncc of the 
Kanawha willi the Ohio, ibence rouml the shores of Lakes b>ie 
and Huron and thence lonml Lake Michigan and Lalce Sui)erior." 
l5oih Mr. Jay and Mr. I'Vanklin (wdio was present) insisted 
that the Mississippi was the western boundary and that the United 
Slates possessed the ri-ht to navigate that stream. They stated, 
in elTect, that this was the ultimatum of the United Slates. The 
Count de Vergt luies, Imi ncli minister of slate, ex[>resse(l ihe opin- 
ion ihal Ihe United Stales claimed too nincli. He maintained that 
I'.iijd.ind iier.self, by ibe kind's proelaiiKilion of October 7, 1763, 

OlUlt. Ill, llic- Ccii U ■.liouili-lK .■ ■.c.lll 



Till: I'RUll.Wli A.\'n THE Sl.lTUS. 

had exchulcil the weslcrn counirv from licr possessions when she 
spoke (jt the Cdiiiiirv ljcl\'.ceu iln- Missis^ipjji ;iiul '"iho ancient 
Ivni^lisli t-.slahh>luiiLiils," iiuauiiii; tlie All.inlie C(jioiiics. I'ul 
hotli Air. (ay aiul Mr. l-'raiikliii a-.-.citcd lliat ihc proclanialion, a^ 
a whole, would siislain n«) ^lK'll kiiiuciiliun. The Counl dc \''cr- 
gcnnes furlliLr exprcsse-d lii:^ opinimi llial Siiain cmdd not claim 
any countiy aljove Nalelh/ ; ihal the \\■l^ll.■ln houndaiy of die 
United States .simuld hu > m a line up lhi()Ui;h Alahaiua [o the 
Cuniheiianil rivrr and down the -ame to the ( )hio; anil that Siuuii 
was entitled to die lMissih>ippi ri\( i. 'I'liis wa^ (jne of many sim- 
ilar interviews liet\seen the statesmen of hranee, Spain and the 
Uiuted Stales. The na\i::alii)ii nt the Al i^sihsij)|)i was die hiuic 
of coiUeiilion. The atteiii|il ol Spain to estahlibh the houiulaiy 
far eahl of the Ali^sissippi wa-i fuly to [(ive her a slrom^er claim 
(o that stream. 'I'lie ImukIi court favored the claims of Si)ain. 
At this point the dibcussioii \\a> lempi^iarily postponed hy.lhc 
conclusion of the preliminaiy articles of peace hetweeii the United 
States and (^reat I'ritain. 

The course of Spain is thus shown to liave heeii vacillating and 
selfish from he^innin^- to oid. A.l the commencement of the rev- 
olution there is nolhinf:^ to show that she ex[)ccted to gain any 
accession ol teiiitory tm the .\iiierican continent as a result iA 
the war. The btraiis of the slrm^Ldiiig eol(-iiies suggested lu her 
the oppiHtunity to gain tlu I'doridas either from the Uiiiled Slates 
or, Hiilain. She liii eiuKavoreil to gain them from Cneat 
Ihilaii , hut the latter \\>.idd nut relin(|ni.^ll them hecause she 
expecieil to retain ilu'iii. She ilun declared war against l>rilain 
for the purpose of wrestin- the h'loridas from the Mngli.-^h crown, 
but would not join the alliance of i'Vance and the United States 
because she expected by ni;meu\rring to gain the exclusive navi- 
gation of the Mississippi \nn\\ the latter. Toward the close of 
the war she was in po.-,sess;i>u of the h'loridas, and had made every 
effort U) extend her claims eastward of the Mississip])i in tiie 
upper portion of the valle\ of that stream. She had taken pos- 
session of the Natchez, had suit trtKJ|)s to the W'ahml Hills 
(Vickshurg) and U> the C'hicl.asaw IdulT^ (Aremphis), had 
strengthened with her colonists the French settlenwnts in the 
Illinois country, had lakm po^^^.sion oi the country acn^ss the 
Missi-Mppi ujiposite (he |.o4 of ihe Arkansas, and had captured 
^'- j"'|'''. Miihi};an, by an ciiirsion in midwintiT frou) St. 
Louis. .\i)d she niaiiai;ed lo do ;,1| ihis willioiit incurring the 
least (.]ipo,iii(jii from the Anurirnus. The latter were loo hnsdy 
engaged lo ohs. i ve lli. eucroac hmuits (;f Spain up<<ii 

i:ARLy N.-ii'JG.ino.w or Tin: mississwpi. 


their probable prt-scrves. lint the Si)anish ilcsign was to render 
as slrOiij^ as [io.^-iiMc licr riaiius lo the territory as far eastward 
as the Alleghany luoiiiitaiiii. 'iliii was her demand as early as 
the year 1780. The cuiicessions hy congress, the practical sur- 
render of the navii^atioii ui the Mississippi, the yieldinj^ policy of 
iTiany of the American slatesnuii, (jarlicnlarly Mr. Morris, and 
the desi)erate straits of the colonies, were coldly employed by 
Spain to stretch her claims in America to the utmost. France, 
in ortler to ^Min her assi.Nlance in the slru^}:,de against Britain, 
yielded to her solicitations to favor iier claims in America as 
against the United States. 


Till: l'l<u\'lN(ll AM) Tim STATUS. 

ClhW'lhAl II 

The Navigation of ilic Nfississippi River, 

Al'Tl^.R haviiit^ si^iKcl ihc In.iiy of Paris of 1783, the Span- 
ish iiiiiiistcr, (\niiil i\r Ariiiida, atUlicssctl a secret iiKiiioir 
1(1 llic kiiij^, clrclariiij; liis |)i lid' that llic American coK)nies, 
which had just secured ih' ir iudi-pendcnce from (ireat Britain 
throiiL^li the assistance of leaner and Spain, would some day 
menace ihc Spanidi Amei ii m pi).--.i.ssions, and tlial \h>[]\ I'rance 
anil Spain, in esiiuusin^ tlu' chum ul the cijlonies, acli-il in oppo- 
sition lo lluir heil inlcre^l-^. I Ir said: 

"This fideral repuhlic i> Ixiru a pit;"')'' '' ' '"''y ''^" ^'Howed S() 
lo i'.\pri'S.-> mysell. It has oijuind iho support of two such pow- 
erful slates as iMance auii Spain to ohtain Us independence. The 
day will come when she will he ,1 i;''"'^ >' cokjssus, formidahle 
even in these comitries. ."^he will forj^et the services she has 
received from the tw(j powers and will think only (jf her own 
af^fi^ramlizement. 'i'he liheiiy of conscience, the facility of estab- 
lishing; a new popidalion upon immense territories, together with 
the advanlaj^es ui a new j^oseiinni nt (meanin^^ free), will attract 
the af^ricultnralists and nieclianicb of all natii^ns, for men ever run 
after fortune; and in a few )cars we shall see the tyrannical 
existence (>i this very colo;. -us of which 1 spt'ak. 'I'he lirst step 
of this nation all«r it has luiouu' powerful, will he to take p(jsses- 
sion of the h'londas in oidir to ha\'e eommand (;f the (ndf of 
Mexico, and after having;- lendeied dirikult oiu" commerce witli 
New Spain, she will aspin to the couipie^t of that vasi empire, 
which a will he ini|»o.ssihle loi" u:. lo defend aj.'aiiist a formidahle 
power ( slal.lislud on the '.uih M.iiliueMl and in its immcdi.Ue 
neii^hhorhood. 'I'hese fear:, aie well founded; they nuisl he real- 

L.irr.u x.ii-iL.i I lo.v Oh' nil: MtssissiPi'i. uj 

izi'd in a lew \r;irs i I' ^lOim <;iralii ic\'(iliilioii even more fatal docs 
not MHiiur lakr |)la>,e- in i-iu' An ki ie as. | 

lie^esle il, as the lusl nu an^ of averting' tins danger, thai 
Spain shoniil snnender ihr Anurieas, retain I'orlo Kicoand Cnl^a, 
and e.slahUsh three id" the uil'anlas, one to he king of Mexieo, one 
of Costa h'iinu and the uliui- ni I'eru. The correctness of this 
prcchciitjn seems ahnu^t nnaccwnntahle. I'Acrything, and more, 
which he predicted lias come to pa^s. All the possessions of Spain 
have in turn throuj^h one cau^e oi' antuher been swept away — 
the hloridas, Mexicij, C'enliai America, Teni, I'orlo Kico and 
Cnl^a. The )e)nn{,'- repnhhc has become a colossus far hij^her than 
even he ilared to dream, and Sjiain has become corresiiondingly 
a pi^'iiy \vhere (Mice she slii)de with (|ueeiil)' dij^iiity and power. 
It is interesting to note his ojjinion that tiie ccjlonies owed their 
independence to the assistance of both ^^ancc and Spain. The 
iidialtitants of the C.reat Kipublic take pride in the thought tliat 
their ancestors, the colon i:- Is, achieved their independence princi- 
pally through their own courage and hardihood; but it is the 
opinion of many students of history that, had not France assisted 
with both men and moiU) , the rebels would have been confjuered 
and the leaders probably shot or hung. Indeed, it is ijrobable 
that, had l-Vance not previously agreed to assist the rebels, they 
would not have inaugurated war to gain their independence. 

The terms of the treaty of peace between Circat liritain and 
the Umled Stales at the coiulusioii of the revolution prccipilwled 
anew the discus^i()U over rights and the navigMtion of 
the Mis>issip|)i Tlu' iiih.ibiiaius of l,(juisiaiia were greatly con- 
cerned in this discussion, and from the stait, as they had done 
before, look deep interest in the' outcome, 'idle preliminar}' treaty 
between ihe two countiie's was signeel at Paris November 30, 
178-', and ill the ca|ilioii it was slated that such treaty "is not to 
be ce>nchideil until U nils of a peace shall be agreed upon between 
Great Hritain and hrance and his nritannic Majesty shall be 
ready to conclude such iieaty acc(jrelingl> ." '' This proviso was 
due Uj the agree uuiil to that effect between b'rance and the United 
vStates ill llieir Heal) of I'ebruary <>, 1778 (sec supra). A prelim- 
inary treat)' of peace- having bet 11 agreetl to at W'rsailles January 
20, 17H3, between I'lance' and ("Ireat Hiitain, the congress of the 
United Slates was at IiIatI) under this jnoviso to conclude and 
ratif)' ihe definitive treaty with (lical Hriiain which was accorel • 
ingly el. ■lie, e>n September 3, 1783. 

t u' Ccirii-spdiiilc-iici-. seLMi-l. 
♦'rii-.ait 1 ..( iln- liijiii .1 Sliili-.. 


run l'l<()\l\Cl-. AN!) Tim STATES. 

At tlic ilale ui si^iiiiii; the lutlimiiinry treaty of peace lietwccii 

the IJnilf.l SlaUs aiul Cwa l5niaiii, a separate article a^ieed upon 

was as l.>ll.)\\s: "li is lu i\l)\ im.Krstood and ai^reed that in case 

(iieat niilaiii, at the coinin^ioi) ,,|' (ho present war, shall recover, 

or he pnt in po^sessi.m (.), \\\st I'lorida, the line of north houml- 

ary hetween the said rrosuicc anil the United .States shall he a 

line drawn from the niunih of the river Ya^sons (Ya/oct), where 

it unites with the Mississippi, dnc east to the river Apalachicola."* 

It was provided in tin treaty that the sonihern honndary of 

the United Stales slunild he "a line to he drawn dne east from 

the deleiininatinii of the hue lasi mentioned (in the middle of the 

Mississippi rivc-r and at ihc- iioi ihernnio^^t pari of the thirty-first 

dcg-ree i>f north latitude k in tin: laiitnde of thirty-one ifegrecs 

north of the etpiator, to ilie middle of the river Apalachicola or 

Catahonche, thence aloni^ iln middle thereof to its jnnction with 

the Flint river; (hence siiaii;ht lo the head of St. Mary's river; 

and thence down aloii^'- ihe middle of St. Mary's river to* the 

Atlantic ocean." 

Article VllI cjf the (Kllnitive treaty was as follows: "The 
naviL,'-ati()n of the river Mississippi, ivon\ its source to the ocean, 
shall ft)rever remain free ami open to the suhjects of Great Hrilain 
and the citizens of the Uniud Slates." 

Tiic treaty of January 20, 1783, between Spain and Great 
Rriiain, lu.t resnhim;- m ihc accjuisition of West Morida hy the 
latter, as she had liujjed, rendered n\dl anil ,void the separate 
article a-reed upon hetwv.n the l^iite<l States and (neat liriiain 
(see s>ipia). .\i ihe coiu lll^,i,,|| oi the revolution, Spain was in 
possession of West i'loiid.i and Great Britain of l-ast i'lorida. In 
the preliminary articles oi peace hetween those two countries it 
was provided that, "His liritannie Afajesty shall cede to his Cath- 
olic Majesty Kast Florid;,, .-..ul Hi, Catholic Nfajesty shall keep 
West h'lorida." Hut in the deiiimive treaty of Sei)teinher 3, 178^, 
between those two coiintnes ilie followim^ lan^^iia^^e was' used: 
"His Hritannic Majesty hkewise cedes and guarantees, in full 
rii^ht to his Catholic Majesty I'.ast I'lorida as also West Florida." 
In neither the preliminary iior the definitive treaty between Siviin 
and Great liritain was anyihin^' said conccrninjr the v\\:}\i to navi- 
gate the Mississippi or th>- boundary between the United States 
and West Florida. 

The ink had scarcely become dry on the treaties between Fnp- 
••»'»'l ."id the United Stale,, and I'rance on one side and l-.ngland 




•TrcutliH ijr Uio Tliiltfd Ktati.i. 

L.iri':R NAric.iri(^\' or riii'. Mississwri. 


ami Spain .)ii ilic i.iIkt, \u>[h c..iulu(k-(l September 3, 1783, aiiJ 
ralilic>l laiiuaiv i-l, i/'^|, ^i'' I'lr (llK•^lil)ll of iiavii;a(iiij; llic Mis- 
bissippi "ami dI iIk' l.onii, lanes hehscni Spain ami tliL> lliiiied 
Stales came up f^r ^ellK iiieiil. In a Kiler ilate.l I'el.ruaiy uj. 
178^, trnin llie Marquis ,1.- i.iilayelle to llie Count do J-londa 
liianea, the h.mier a^-Ued peiiuis-u.n lo lay liefore eon^re^s llie tul- 
lowiuL; as 1ki\ m;; lieeu llie lan-na-c of a previous date between 
the two: "Willi respect lo the limits, his Calliolic Majesty iiad 
adopted those ihal are cKlenuim cl by ihe preliininai les i;t the 
301I1 of November between the Uuiteil Slates and the court of 
London. The fear of raisini; an obji'cl of disseUhiou is l''^/'"'/ 
objection the Kin- has to ihe free navigation of the Mjssissipi)i.' 
To this the C(jiint ie))lied ol h\bruary 22, as follows : " Vou have 
perfectly well understood whalever \ have had llie honor lo com- 
municate to you wilh respect to (,ur disposition towards ihe IJniied 
States. J shall only add, ihal, allhouKli it is his Majesty's inten- 
tion to abiile for ihe present by ihe limits established by the treaty 
of the 3utli of November, 178.2, between the Knj^lish and* the 
Americans, the King- intends to inform himself particularly 
whelher il can be in any ways inconvenient or prejudicial to settlo 
that alfair amicably with the Ihiited States." Later it was 
declared that the marquib had misunderstooil the court. No 
doubt the marciuis was correct in his recollection, but the views 
of the Spanish mmisirv bad undergone a great change. ^^ 

On llie 3d of June, 1781. congress passed the following: 
"Ri-soirrJ, 'Thai the ministers plenipoleuliary of the Ihiiled 
'Stale^, for ne;.;i)ii;iling conimeicial treaties wilh foreign jiowers, 
be and they are hereby iiisUucted, in any negotiations they may 
enter upon wilh the court oi Spain, not to relinquish or cede, m any 
event whatsoever, the rigbi of ihe citizens of these United States, 
to the free navigalion of the river Mississippi, from its source to 
the ocean." t In a letter dated December 19, 1784, M. Marbois 
charge d'alYair.s of iMance. communicated to congress ibe contents 
of a letter from I'lancisco Kendoii, a Si)anish gentleman, who had 
acled as charge foi Spam, residing in riiiladelplna, in which the 
latter staled that ihe king of Spain "is persuaded that congress 
will admit the justice of a claim, which is founded on all the rights 
which an entire con(|Ucsl and an uninterrupted possession can give 
to aiiv power; and that ibey (congress) will agree tliat the ces- 
sion ol ibe n;iviualion ol the Missis^ppi, m;ide by the Kmg of 

t iJiiiloiii.ilu- Cm usi.i.iiiUai 


■fill: I'k'i.)! i.wi .i.\'i) Jill: sr.iiiiS. 

Crcni I'.iiiaiii t^ ilic UiiiUil Si.ii..h in the treaty of 17S3, can have 
no i\al hiicc, uiili^b [].< L'all.cilii- l\iii;^', my uiaMcr, lo \\li(jia the 
navij^atiiiu oi ihal ri\«.r Ick/iii.s, i^hall think [)ropLi- to ralily it." 
'riiis kilcr h\-iu Mr. IviiiiImh eiiihraccd ikc .slll)^tance ui inblriic- 
tions lo him fioni Dun Jii-Lph tie (lalve/., SiJanish niiuisler tu the 
(lepannKiU i»i the IiuHl-, ihiled June 26, 178.), ih.e following' lan- 
guage hein^■ u-^-i\: '■('^i\e the Slaleb anti eonj.;ifSs lo nndevsland 
that tho)' are nui to exi>ii-e to piiKe^b antl confiscation the vessels 
which they define to eaii)- dn eoninieice i>u the river Mississippi, 
inasmuch as a treats Cciii^luded helween the Unileil States and 
lMi<;land,in whieh the former i^roiuul their pretentions iu the navi- 
gation of that ii\er, couhl nt)t li\ limits in a territc^ry which that 
power dill not |)os^ess, the two horilers of the ri\er heiuj^ aheaily 
con(iuert.d and po>sessed hy our arms the day the treaty was 
made, namel)', the ,^Oth of i\(;veml)er, 178J." 

In re.s[)onse ii> llu' al)u\e comniunication, congress, on Decem- 
ber 15, 1784, passetl llh' follow im;" resolnlion : "Thai conj^ress 
have a hi;.;h coulidenee in the jusiiee of his Catholic Majesty, and 
rely that he will suhmil the uuilual rights of Spain and the United 
States of America to amieahle discussion without adopting meas- 
lues which ma)' prejudice those rights;" and on Decemher 17, it 
was further resoKed, "That ii i:, necessaiy a minister he com- 
missioned to r>.present the I'uitid Stales at the couri of Mailriil, 
for the purpose of ailjusting tkt,' interfering claims of the two 
nations re:,pecliug the na\i,>;atiou of the Mississippi. "'' Si'ain 
ohjected to the a^^uulplion hy which Cireat I'ritain and tlic Ihiiled 
States, in iheii treatv of 17S:;, inoNiiknl inv the navii;alion of ihe 
river Mi^.sissippi (\ide, .siipi.i, Ailiele \'lll). Ilence the prole.sls 
ahove mentioned. 

it was learned from C )livcr i'ollock-, in a letter to Mr. Jay, 
dated June 3,1785, (and previously mtimated in his letter of Feh- 
ruary 10, 1785,) that C.alvez and Don Diego de (iar- 
(lo(|ui, ehar;.'e d'alTairs to the I'nited Slates on his wa)' there, 
had intimaii'd in several confcrenees at Havana, the right of S])ain 
hy reason of conqnot, not only t(. ilu' territorial limits claimed hy 
her, hut to the e.xclusive right iu navigate the Mississippi as well, 
but were douhlful of the admis^ihility of her claim hy the United 
Stales. (leneral C.alvez slated at these conferences that ihe 
Nalchez settlement fell within the limits of FHfJrida, and that, 
therefore, ('.real I'.ritain had no ri^^ht lo lede such region lo the 
United Staus, nor to ^;ranl the latter the i i|;ht to navigate ihe 

• Diplomat ic Corre.-.iJi.iuknic. 

i.iriiK NAnc.inos' or riiti Mississirri. 73 

Mississiiipi. 1 U' saiil lli;il, alki' i/t).^, tlic inlialiilaiils pclilioncil 
(jiX'at r.rilaiii lo Ijc allai^lii'l Id \\'i.>l I'Mciinla, owiii^ lt> llic- iiiec/ii- 
vciULii'X- (>i (lii'ir lia\iii^' l>> aiuiiii lo llic bcai of llic (icurgia {^ov- 
cniiiKUl; and llial this pi lilinii liail liccn _L;raiiUil aiiil llic limils 
of West l'"li>ri>la li.i.l .11 llir liiiiiilli (if the liver '■'i'ass.'iw' 
(Yazoo), lie fuillui- inaiiiiaiiu'il ilial Spain hail sIidul; claims 
to the tiiiiluiy ea~-l ol tlie Mississippi al)o\'c the mouth ol the 
Ya^iK); thai Captain l)on Kalla/ar Dcvillia ( oi <le \'iIKts), a 
Spanish i^lliccr, lia«l cio- ed llie .Missih>ippi river on Xovemhcr 
22, 17S0, at a place culled the "I'.n^lish Aikcnsaws," ahout fonr 
hniuhxHl miles alxjve Natchez and had "'hnrieil under i;round in 
a tin liox the colors u[ Sfjain as a s)inl)ol o\ his ha\'in;; taken pos- 
i-ession of that part id llu countiy lor Spain."'' 

ll was later mainlanud hy Spain, that on the 2i\ of January, 
17S1, "a deiachmenl of M\t\ U\c militiami'n anil sixty Indians of 
the natioll^ ( )ita\\a, Soin and I 'oitaw allomie, inider the comnianil 
of Don iinj^enio I'lerre, a captain of militia, accompanied hy 4)oa 
Carlos Tarjon, a siih-lieutenant of nnlilia, h\' Don l.ouis Chevalier, 
a man well veised in the lan,L;ua^e of the Indians, and hy their 
pTcal chiefs I'.lelnnio and XaipULji. n, marched from the ti>W'n uf 
St. l.ouis of the llionese (Illinois), and possessed themselves of 
the post of St. Joseph, which the l''.ii_i;lisli occupied, at two hnu- 
clred and twenty Kaj^ues ili.^lauce hum that iA the ahwve men- 
tioned St. Louis," snlferiii;; inteiisil)' fr(;m cold anil hunger and 
exposed to attacks fioiu '-aN'a^e Indians in tht; deep snow. The 
commander, hy seasouahle precauiioiis, prevented a lar{;e body 
oi Indians devoted to ilu I'rilish, from opposing; the expedition. 
"'rhe\ made pi issuers of the few I'.n^lish they found in it, the 
otheis haxiiii;' perhaps retired in consei|Ucnce of some prior notice. 
Don lui^enio j'ierre t(X)l-; possession in the name of the kin^, of 
that j)lace and its dependencies, and of the river of the Illinois; 
in con.-^eiiuence whereof, the staiulard of llis Majesty was there 
displayed durin^'^ the wlmle time. Me took' the k'nglish one and 
(leliveied it on his arrival at St. f.ouis to [)on Francisco Crii3at, 
the commanJant at that po.-.t. The destruction of the jnaf^azine 
of i)rovisions and i^cxxls which the Hnj^lish had there (the greater 
[lart of which was divided amoni.^ our Indians and those who lived 
at St. Joseph, as hail heeii otlered them in case they did not 
oppose our triK>i;s), w;is not the unlv advantaj^^- resultinf^ from the 
.success 1.1 the expedition, for thiiehy it became impossible for the 
Kn;;lish to execute ihur i)lan ui attacking the fort at St. Louis 

• AiiHii( an Stale fapcrs. 


run rROfi.\cn .ixn run sr.iri-s. 

of llie lUinoib. and it also scivl-cI to iiitiiniilatc the sava^^e 
natidii, aii>I I'Mi^r tlieiu [<> \n\)\>ObC to remain neutral which 
they ^\o at |m«m.iiI. W'hrn yon euusider thi: osteiisil>le ohject 
of tiiis expcJilioii, ihi} ih-lani\- of it, ihr foiniahlirs wiili which 
the i)hice, the ionnli\-, and ihc ii\er were lain n l)o^SL•^hion of in 
the name of his Catholic Maji>i\', I am l)n^na(k■cl it will ne>l hi' 
necessary for me to swell tins letter with icmarks that would 
occur to a reader of far li:^s prnrl ration than )oursclf."' These 
con(iiie.sls, to.L;Lihir with the h( tlKnlcnt^ ol Nalche/. ami, later, (jf 
Walnut Hills (iiow N'ickshur^), and the Chickasaw I'.lulYs (now, 
Memphis), weri- the iMounds for the Sl)anibh claim t(; the terri- 
tory east of the Mishissipi)! and north of the thirty-hrbt di<^rce of 
north latitude. (JppuM'd to thi^ claim \\ar> the coni|uc>l of the 
western country h)' deor^e ]\o^\rs Clark during; the revolution. 

To John Jay, .i secretary to the Ihiited Slates of America iov the 
(lepartnieiil of fi)rii_uii ailairh, were ai^si^ned the powers of con- 
ciudiuL;- with IX'U Diej^o Ac CarckK|ui, the riiCar\^atlo ilc iiciiifuios 
of the king- of Spain, "whatever articles, compacts and conven- 
tions may he neces^.ary for estahlishiu}; and lixiu}^^ the houndaries 
hctween the territories of the United States and those of his Cath- 
olic Majest)', and foi pronioiiuL; the general harmony and niuUial 
interests of the two uatit n.-^." ( )n August 23, 1785, this was 
moililied so ab "iiarlicularl\- to stipulate the right of the United 
Statcb to their terrilMiial houuik, and the free navigalitni of the 
Mississippi from the >ourve to the (nean as cslahlished in the 
treaties will; (neat r.ritain,"' and he was foi hidden to hign any 
treaty or com[)aei unld the .same should have been pre\iou.sly 
suhmitted to congress : | 

On September _'3, 17S5, Mr. Ciardixiui complained that in cer- 
tain douKbtic deliberations by the State of Georgia, the frontier 
limits of that state h.iil been exlunkHl over some of the territory 
recently coiuiueied b\- .Siiain fiom (heal llrilain and specified that 
Thomas (neen "clandestiiu !)■ and with a considerable number 
of families and slaves" had gone to (he vSpanish fort at Natchez, 
that they had appointed Mr. (jieen governor, but had been refused 
recog-nition by the Spanish commandant there. Congress was 
asked to remedy the difluuliy. In response lo this reijiiesl, con- 
gress I'liacted "that although liny conceive that they have an 
und(jnhled right tw all the territory within the limits speeiiied in 
the definitive articles of peace and friendship between the croun 

r \ 



* Aniiru .in .Si.iic I'lipiii 
t I'lDeiiaiiii;- u( Uoll;;!^^. 

L.m.K NAiic.iiioN or Tim MISSISSWJ'I. 


of (jiral r.ritain and tlu'sc Uiiiud States, yi I llicy view with real 
cuiiccru llic uiiaocoiitilahle atteiiijil of any iiulividiial of lliobo 
States" to iliblurl) till' i>oa<.-e Intweni tlu' two nations, and thai tlic 
(lelei;ates (if the State of (ieiut;!.! -iliDuld di.^avow the appDinlnienl 
of Thomas Cjfeen as L'.oveinor. < )n I'ehrnary J5, 1 7H0, John Jay 
informed conj^res'^ that a h( at whuh had heen sent down the Mir>- 
sissipjji hy a .Mr, A. ]'\>\\ kr, had hei.n bli'piJed at Katehe/. hy the 
Spaniarils, and ^aicl "that there i.-. ^oud rea>on to heheve that the 
kinj,;' of Si)ain is resolvech if |)l)^^lhle, to cxehulc all nati<jns frc^ni 
the navij^atiun of that part (-f the M ississipiji which rinis hetw'een 
his territories." He further ohsersed that if the United Slates 
niaintained the navi.i.Mliun of iJiat ri\er to their eiii/ens, it wouM 
have tw he h)' arms or hy treaty. 

On iMa)- 25, i7<S(t, Mr. (.ardiuiui formally asked that con^^ress 
should Consider the respeilixe cl.iiiris of the two countries over 
the western honndarie : and to the n.ivi';alion of the Mississippi, 
lie intimated that, h> reason of the coiujuesi of Captain de Vil- 
lers in 1780, Spain claimed the country east of the Mississipi>i and 
ahovc Idoiida. The appointment ni a Commission to settle the 
(lifference.s havinj;' heen sui-isted hy Mr. Jay, con^'ress "resolveil, 
that unless all c|uesiions relaliw to tlie houndaries of I'dorida shall 
(as tluy ho]K' will he the ease) he settled hy mutual a^Teement, 
the United States will cheerfully consent, and he ready to refer the 
san\e to the- ullimate ilecision of three or more impartial commis- 
sioners." Mr. Jay liavint;- heen calletl hefore cc^ij^ress August 3, 
1786. lo Communicate the proL^ress of nej^oti.'itions hetween him- 
self and Mr. C'ardoipii, inioinied that ht)d\ that the ((ueslions of luniis and of na\ii;alin;; the Mississippi were the only 
two ohstacles that ilivided ihun; that Spain was then hoKlini.;- the 
territory she claimed ;uui preventing American citizens from navi- 
gating the Mississippi; and that she was not likely to yield these 
claims w itlujiit war. ' 

On August :•';, 1786, congress re|)ealed their instructions of 
August -'S, 1785, to Mr. jay, coiiceniiug the houndaries and the 
navigation of the Mississippi. It having heen shown that the 
Spanish authorities (hnvii the Mississippi had slf)|)ped all Amer- 
icans from iKissing with llu ir hoai loads helow Natchez, nolahly 
in the cases (if A. I'owler and 'I'liomas Amis, hoth of whom had 
lost tliiir hoals and loads, Mr. Jav made the following recom- 
niendalic.ii to congress: "It is well known ihal Spain will m/t 
permit om people to navi^',ale that pait of the river wliicli runs 

* AllRi jcaii .Slali- l',i|n.-l.- 


Tin: I'uoi i\'cr. .i.\'i) rui-: sr.nns. 

ihrouj^li llu'ir c.uiiUrics, aiul siu li uf thcni as make tlio oxporiiiu-iU 
nmst lxihll >.i.iibi.i|iK'iu\ > biiiiilar to those which Amis cxpcri- 
encoil. \\n\v\lai-) i- con\iii>c(l thai the I'liilcd Slates liavc 
g-ood rif^hl to iiavi!;.ilc the v\\\ i, from its source lo ami ihrcnii^'h 
its moulh; aiul unless an accommodation should lake place, that 
ihc (liLinily ol the Ihiitcd Slates, antl llieii- duly to assert and 
niainiain tlieir rights, w dl n.nd. r it proper for them to |)rebent n 
memorial and remonstrance lo I lis (.'atholic Majebt\-, insihtiuL; on 
their ri{;ht, complaining,^ .-f its hun^' violated, and demandmj; in a 
tempirate, inollen^i\e, hni, at the same time, in a fiini ami decidetl 
manner, that his Majcst) do ceabe in future, to Innder their citi- 
zens from freJy navi;;aiin- tliat river throui^h ihe i)art of its 
course in (piesiioii. \ouv secretary is further of opinion, that in 
case of refusal, it will he (jro])er for the United Slates lo declare 
war ai^'-ainsf Spain. TIk u hun;; no respeciahle middle way 
between peace aiivf war, il w dl he expedient lo prepare without 
delay for the one e>r the "iher." 

it has heen asserted thai con-ress at this lime actually passed 
an act amhori/.in<; Mr. j.iv to proi)ose to the Spanish minister the 
suspension of .American Kinnneice on the Mississippi river for the 
period of iwenlv-t'ive >ear-,; hut there seems lo l)e no recoril that 
such an act was reall\ p.issed. Con^Tess delihcrated on such a 
hill for many nionihs; and no doulil .Mr. Jay was instructed lo 
informalU' sound the Spanish nnnister on the sid)ject. lUit the 
refusal of the killer to uileilam the proposiiiwu and the violent 
ouihre.d.s ihroui.'houi the wesUin counirv in opposition lo such a 
rumous uiea^me, so \ iok ni in l.icl as to threaten the slahilil\' of 
the l'nioi\, weie sullicienl lo prevent the actual passa_tje of the hill. 

In the meantime I'venls of ^\cM import were transpiriiifi^ in the 
west. The e.\lra'.irdinar\ eiui^i iiion into the' ( )hi(; valley imme- 
thatelv succeedin^^ the re\oluli(;n, had rendered an outlet for the 
Settlers' products down the Mississippi ahsolutely necessary; hut 
as this ])rivile"^e was denied them and as il was reported that con- 
fjress wDuld like!)- at;ree that the navi^^ation of that ri\er should 
he susptiided for the i)eri(.d of tweiity-fivi' )ears, as had heen beri- 
ousIn' considered,' i1k\' in:m;^uialed various movements calcidatei] 
to enforce their ri;.;ht lo sm h fiee navi^.;alion, re|.;ardless of what 
Con;,M'ess mi^dil think of their course. Ccn. (<eorfj^e Kof^ers Clark, 
as a measuie of retaliation aLiain-i the Sitaniards, and at the insli- 
{;ali(»ii id (Ireal lirilain, sti/.iil what Spanish properly there was at 
till- po i ui St. Vinciinus, havin;', under his cmnmand the Iroops 

t 4 

•Aiiiti i(.Mii Sliilc I'.ipci.'i. 

LATi-.K N.ii'ia.iriu\' ui' run mjssisswi'i. 


stationed lliciL-. I'lukr liib diilvi^ the baiiic action was taken 
aj^ainsl the- SiKuiiaids on tlu- Illinois. Ik- had also rccrnitc-d a 
considerable force of militia in llir westeiii country Uiv llie real 
purpose ol a^^islinL; (. ileal I'niiaiii, lail lur ilu' a\o\\rd purpose of 
resisting' SpaiUMh piilentious ami opeiiin^^ the Mississi|)|)i to the 
western country, 'riiomas (jieen and others at the Ivills of the 
Ohio (Louisville), and in the State of h'lanldand (on the Cuin- 
herlaml river), had likewise aimed and orj^ani^etl a coiisick rahlc 
hody of militia with the same ;iliject. One gentleman at the Falls 
of the Ohio, on l^eceinhcr 4, 17SO, wrote ti> New luij^lantl : " 

"Wc can raise twenty thousand troops this side the /\llej.^liany 
and Appalachian mountains; and the annual increase of them hy 
emigration from other parts i^ finm two to four thou.-^and. We 
have taken all the floods keloii^ini; to the Spanish merchants of 
Post VinceiiiKs and the llliuoi.-,, and are determined tlicy shall not 
iraife up the river, jirovideil they will not let us trade down it. 
I'reparalions .ire now making here (if necessary) to drive the, 
Spaniards from their setllemrnts at the mouth of the Mississippi. 
In case wc are not countenanced and succored by the United 
States (if we need it) our alkj^iance will be thrown off, and 
some other power a|)i)lied to. (neat Britain stands ready with 
open arms to recci\'e and support u-^. They have already offered 
to open their resources for our supplies. When once reunited to 
them "farewell, a lon^'- farewell, ti; all your boasted greatness." 
The province of Canada and the inhabitants of tUese waters, of 
themselves, in lime, will be able to coiupier )ou. You (nieanin;^' 
the i)ei*ple east oi the .Mleghaiiicb) are as ignorant of this country 
as Cireat Hriiaiii was of /America." lie further saiil, "The late 
commercial treaty with Spain (it was reported in the west that 
such a treaty hail been concliuled) in sluilling iij), as it is said, 
the navigation of the Mississipjii, for the term of twenty-five 
years, has given this western country a universal shock, and 
struck its inhabitants with an amazement. '1\) sell ns and make us 
vassal.^ of the meicil'.TS vSpaniaids, i.-. a grievance not to be borne." 
And .speaking of New OrKans he said, "We know by woeful 
experience that it is in their power, when once wo are there, to 
lake our produce at any |)iice ihey please. Large (|uantilies of 
llf>ur, tobacco, meal, etc., have been taken there the last sununcr 
and mostly coiifiscatetl ; those who iuul i)ermils from their gover- 
nor was obli'.'cd lo .^ell at a price In was jdeased to slate or sub- 
ject llu'iiistlve's lo lose the whole. Men of large property are 

•Aiiiciii III! .siiiii- riipi iH. 

78 '^'-l^'- I'KOnWI: A\'l) Till'. ST.ITIIS. 

nli"cail>' riiiiK'>! Iiy ilicir pnlic)'. 'iMie (|uaiitilics of produce \vc now 
liavi- tui liaiul arc iiioi nii uis. I'Moiir and jjork arc now srllinj,' 
here ai IweKr sliillinj^s ilic linndied, l)(.el in |jro[)oiiiijn ; any 
(juanlilics of liidian corn can 1h had al nine pence per liuslul," 

It was claimed in March, 17S7, h)- John .Snlh'van, hite in the 
coiUinenlal service, in a Iciiei' lo Mr. Ciankuini, that "from the 
Natchci; to the Kaskashiri, frum {'itishiut; to vSt. Mary's river, they 
. arc prepared to pnur forth wiih the L,Mcalest case fifty thousand 
veterans in arms in defence of ihcir comuK-rcial rij^hls tliroughout 
the na\'iL;ahle river^ of ihc sonihein part of this eni|)ire. 
May it please \(nir l\xcrllency, the Slates of Cicorj^^ia, Franklin 
and Kenlucky fctkTated ; the counties of I'oiirbon, etc., on the 
Natchez, tlie selilemenis on Cumherland, Kaskaskicb antl the 
Waliash ; and the j;uveriunenl.s of i'iiishurg-, Westmoreland, 
etc., ahouiul with the seeds of war; nor will any oLslruciion from 
New (Orleans u> the I'.ali -e imjjcde the overwhelming- iniuuLilion 
preparin<.( to pour ilown aloui;- the waters of the Mississi[)pi 'into 
the hay of Mexico. Tiie lorient will l)e irresistible. . . . 'I'he 
])crmission of congnss w ill not he scjliciti'd on this occasion. In 
congress this i)coj)le are not represented." How true the boasts 
of Mr. Sullivan were niun be, lo souie extent, a matter of con- 
jecture. I'ut 11 is certain that all of the western settlers were 
determined to have the right of freely navigating' the Missis- 
sii)i;i, and were oi\ the point of joining (neat liritain in a war 
against ;\'ew Orleans, Naichei:, ilc.'to gain it.* While the actual 
conditions were had euou di. the western people were particularly 
incensed by the report ih at cout'.ress had relini|nishecl the right 
as above ^laieil, to navigate the Mi^sissii>]M for twenty-five years. 
I'bis cour.->e iiad been su iously and elaborately considered by 
congress, but had been rejected. 

Steps were juomptly taken by congress to thwart any armed 
movement against New ( hUans or Natchez, ami the western set- 
tlers were assured (bat their rijdits to navigate the MissisMppi 
Would be protected. The follou ing lesolnlion was passed vS( p- 
tember 16, 17KS: "'j'hal the fiee navigation of the river Mis- 
sissippi is a clear and essential riidit of the United States, and that 
the same (;uglit to be con- ideied ,iiid .supported as >uch ; that the 
said report (lo reliiKiiiish the claim to navigate the Mississi])iji) 
not being fonndetl on fact, the delegates be al liberty to conimmii- 
^'•ile all 'ueh ciieunislaiice:, as mas' be necissary to i-ontradul the 
same; and that no fuilliei progu-,:. be made in ihe ne);olialioiis 
with Spam by the st'eretaiy of f.aeign alTaiis but that tin- subj( ( l 
lo wbuli ill. y lel.ile be lefi 1 K (I to ilie fediial goveiiiiiK nl wbh h i. 

L.iTHii N. I lie. m UN oi' run Mississirri. 79 

to asscnihlc in Mai\li ikxI."' Tlir procccdiuf^s over the ailojjtion 
of the Coiislitulidii ol' ihe Hiiiled Slales postponed (or sonic time 
fmlhei" con.^ideialioii .)t' ilie necessities of the weblern people. 

The secretary uf slate, Mr. Jeil'erson, informed C(jngrcss, on 
Deceml)or 2 J, 1791, that a CDnimissioner of Spain had sij^nified 
that his kin^- was wiUm^' to ctjn^ider the (picstion of the Amer- 
icans' rij^hl to navi-ale the Mi^sis^ij)pi ami their desire for a port 
tliereon. ll was sni^^j^ested thai tlie nej^otiations be helil at 
iMatlrid.^'^ l-'resiileiit Washington appointed William Carniichael 
and William Short ctinimisMonei'.-, plenipotentiary "for nej,ajti- 
ating and conchi<linj; a eouxenlioii or concerning the navi- 
gation of the rivL-r Mississippi hy the citizens of the United 
States." 'I'his proceeiling wab raiilied by ctjiigress. In March, 
1792, the powers of the commissi(jners were extended so as to 
embrace all the nieasnres of a general treaty snch as liad been 
j)revionbly iliscussed with xM r. Ciardoqui. 

It shonld be noticed that, at his ilaie, Spain no longer m:rOc 
claims to the Upper Mississipj)! valley to the eastward of the 
stream; but she still claimed ami occu|)ied Natchez and the post 
at Walnut Hills ( X'icksbiir^^). Tiie (jueslions of boundary and 
of navij^ation were still to be seltlrd. As a measure of precaution 
against any possible descent of the western settlers upon Natchez 
or New Orleans, she had vircngthened all her posts on the Mis- 
sissippi, having s^nt fifteen hundred soldiers to New Orleans 
doubtless for that purpose. Mr. Jerfersc;n said to Mr. Carnii- 
chael in a letter dated .\ugust 2, 171)0, " I say nothing of the claims 
of Spain to our leiriliMv lU'iih of the thirly-tnst ilegree and 
of the Mississippi; they luwi meiiied the respect of an answer; 
and you know it has been admitted at Madrid that tliey wore not to 
be maintained." t 'Ihns tin- contentions had settled down to the 
questions of the northern boundary of W^est Florida and the navi- 
gation of the jMississii)|ji. Spain did not dispute the right of tiie 
United States to the left bank of the river above the true bound- 
ary. The seltlenieiii (jf (Iie'-e inipoilant (picstioiis was again |)ost- 
poned by the wars in luirope. 

In Afarch, 1792, Mr. JeiTerson prepared instructions for the 
American commissioners, appointed to treat with Spain, from 
which the folKnving extracts explain themselves: 

"The southern boundary of <^aorgia, tin; only cjiie now in fjues- 
tion, was i ^lablishcd oiiginally at the thirly-Hisl ch'gree of lali- 

• I'roctt iliiu'-t <i( C<ii)i'.i<ss. 
" Writiiit;-, u( 'riiijiiKis J( Ihisoi 
I Aliiii I. ,111 SUilr i'.c|<i 1 ■ 


Till: I'Roiix^'ii .i.\i> 'run sr.iriis. 

tiulo from the Apalacliicohi w rsiw anily, and tlic wcsloni bouiul- 
ai")', oriLjiiially ilu- I'acilic ocean, was, l)y the liialy of I'aris, 
rciluccil to ilic imddlc o\ llif iM i-sihsippi. hi the (.hjui^c of the 
rcvoUitiiiii \vc were juiiied liy l-dnue as an ally, and by S[)ain 
and llollaiul as a>^oeiates; Iiaviiii; a conunt)n enemy, eaeli souglil 
that common enemy wherever tlu >■ eould lind him. 1' ranee, on 
our invitation, hmdcd a lari;e aiiiiy witiiin our territories, con- 
tinued it wall Us two yeai->, and aided us in recovering suiuhy 
l)laces from the poh^ebsioii of the enemy. Hut she ilid not pre- 
tend to keep possession of the places rescued. Spain entered into 
the remote western part of our territory, dislodged tlie conimuu 
enemy from several posts they held therein to the annO)'ance ui 
Si)ain ; and perhaps liion^^hi it m cessary to remain in scjme of 
them, as the only nuaiis of preveming- their return. We in like 
manner dislo(l,^ed them tvuiw several posts in the same western 
territory, to-\vit : \'incennt ^, (\ihiiKia, J\askaskia, etc, rescued 
the inhahitaiUs, and lelained constantly afterwartls both them an'l 
the territory under our posse sicju and ^''overnment.'*' At tiio con- 
clusion of the war, (heat Ihuain, on the 3uth of November, 
178J, by treaty acknowledged uur independence and our boundary, 
l(j-wit : the Mississippi to ihe \vi si aiul the completion of the 
thirty-iirst decree, etc., to the >(;nlh. In her treaty with Siiain, 
concluded seven weeks afterward, lo-wit: January 20, 18S3, she 
cedecl to her tiie two bdoridas, which had been defuied in the 
prcKlamation of i;''^ and Mmorca; and b)' the eighth article of 
the treat\', Spain aiMeeil to i>^iore, without Compensation, all the 
territories con(|uered by her .nid uoi nuiuded in the treaty, either 
under the head of ces>ii)ns 01 restiimions, that is to say all except 
Minorca and the blondas. According- to this stipulation Spain 
w'lis expressly bound to have ilelivi red u]) the possession she bail 
taken within the limits of Georgia, 10 ("Ireat ISritain, if they were 
Conquests on Creal Hritain, who wa^ to deliver iheni (wer to the 
United Slates; or rather, slu should have delivered them to the 
United Slates themselves, as standmg quoad hoc in liie place of 
(neat I'rilain. And --he wa^ boiuid by natural right to deliver 
them to the same I'niu'il Stales on a nuich stronger ground, as 
the real and only pioprietors of lliose places which she had taken 
possession u[ in a moment of daip;ei', without having' bad any 
cause of war with the United Slates, to whom they belonged, and 
withoul lia\iiig' declared an); but on the contrary, eonduding" 
brrsell in oilur ri'siucis as a fiieud and associate. 

• Aiiieritiiii I'aptir 

J LATliU NAl'lC.niON OP Tllli MlSSlSSIl'Pl. 8l 

"ll is. an Lsialilihlicil i)iiiuij)lc that coiKiuust j^mvcs only an 
inclioiiU- rijilit, whkli d*H> nui laconic pcrlcct till cuntiinied by the 
treat) oi pcaci', and hy a ixiiuncialion or ahandonnKiil by the 
fornKT pruprii-'tor. ilad (ji\ai I'lilain been the tOiincr [)i"c)[)rie- 
tor, she- was si> lar Ironi confirniinL; to Spain the rij^ht to the terri- 
tory of (leorj^ia, invaded by Sjiain, that slie expressly r^.lin(|nished 
to the I 'nited Sialic an)' rii^lii ilial inij^ht remain in her; and after- 
ward eoniplttcd ihat r^.lln(|ni^bnlent by proenring and eonsoii- 
datin^; with it the agrirment of Sfiain herself lo restore ^neh 
territory without conii)enhation. It is still nioie palpabje that a 
war existing lHiwei.ii two nations, as Spain and (jreat Hritain, 
coiikl give to luither thr right to seize and appropriate the terri- 
tory of a third, which is even neutral, nineh less which is an asso- 
ciate ill the wai, as the United Slates were wdlh S[)aiii. On llie 
conclusion of the general peace the United States lost no time in 
requiring from Spain an evacuation of their territory. This lias 
been hitherto dela)'cd by means we need uo[ exi)]ain lo that court, 
but which lia\c been cdually contrary to our right and to our 
consent." And in regard to the secret article between the United 
States and (iieat Uritain, tlie commissioners were instructed to 
put the case h)polheticaIl)', thus: "Sui)pose that the United 
States, exhausted b)' a blo(/d\' and expensive war with Great 
Britain, might lia\e bcm wiUing to have i)urchased peace by 
reliiKiuishing, under a particular contingency, a small i)art of their 
territ(;ry, it does not follow that the same Uiiit\-d Slates, recruited 
and belter orgaiii/ed, mu^t rt'lin(|uish the same territory to Spain 
wiihonl striking a blow." 

'IMie argument of Mr. bdlerson regarding the boundary between 
West I'doiida ami the United Slates resietl upon three principal 
grounds: i. Tlie charter of Carolina to the lords proprietors in 
1663 which fixed it on (he thirty-first ilegree; 2. The proclama- 
tion of the l^riiihb King in 1763 4 (see supra) ; 3. 'Idie treaties of 
November 30, I/Sj, and September 3, 1783, "repeating and con- 
firming the^e ancient boundaries." llis ai(;umenl on the right of 
the United SlaUs to navigate the Mississi))pi was l)ased upon the 
following gr(niiid-): 1. The tieaty of I'aris of 17<')3; 2. The 
l\evolnlion treaty 1782 3; 3. The law of nature and nations.* 
He said; 

"The war of I75S-I7'''3 was carried on jointly by Great Brilain 
and ihe thirteen t'oli.nies, now the Uuiled Stales of America, 

♦AiiufUMii SUilc r.iiHT.s. 





against iM-aiicc and Spain. At the i)ence wliich was negotiated 
by onr conuuon magistrate, a right was bccnrcil to the snbjccts of 
Great JWitain (the coniuion ilesignation of all those nmler his 
governiiKnt) to navigate the Mississippi in its whole breailth 
and length, fnjni its s(jnice to the sea, and cxjjressly that part 
which is between the island of New Orleans anil the right bank 'C 
of the river, as well as llu' i)assage both in aiul ont of its month; \ 
and that the vessels should not be st(ii)ped, vibiteil, or subjected \ 
to the payment of any duly what sue ver. 'i'hcse arc the words of |j 
the treaty, article Vll. h'lorida was at the same time cctled by ^ 
Spain, and its extent westwardlv was fixed to the lakes i\jntchar- '. 
train and Maurei)as and the ri\'er Mississi|/])i ; and Spain received I 
suon after from l-'rance a cession of the island of New Orleans, 
and all the country she held westward of the iMississipi)i, sid^ject 
of course to onr right of na\'igaiing between that covuitry and the 
island previously granted to Us by I'lance. 'JMiis right was not .'i 
parceleil out to us in sewialty, that is to say, to each the exclusive |, 
navigation of so much of the river as was adjacent to our several i,J 
shores — in wliich way it would have been useless to all — but it 
was placed on that fo(jtiiig on w hich alone it ccndd be worth any- 
thing. t(j-wit: As a tight to all In navigate the whole length of the 
river in connnon. The import of the terms and the reason of the 
thing i)r(ive it was a right of common in the wlude, and not a 
seveial right to each of a particular part, 'i'u u Inch may be added 
the evidence of the stipulation itself, that we should navi):ate 
between New ()rKans an-l the western baid:, which, being adja- 
cent t(» none ul our .--lale-, could be held b\' us only as a right of 
conuuon. Such was ibr nature of uwv right to navig'"ate the Mis- 
sissippi, as far as established by the treaty of Paris. 

"In the course of the Kevolutionary war, in which the thirteen 
colonies, Spain and I'lance were opposcil to Great P-ritain, Spain 
took possession of several posts held by the Prilish in Florida. It 
is utmecessary to incpiiri' whether the possession of half a dozen 
posts scattered lluough a country of seven or eight hundred miles 
in extent, c(ndd be considered as the possession and conc|uest of 
that country. If it was, it gave but an inchoate right, as was 
before explained, which could not be perfected but by the relin- 
quishment of the former possession at the close of the war; but cer- 
tainl)' it could not be considered as a conf|uesl of the rh'cr, even 
against Great Hrilain, since the p(>ssession of the shores, to-wit: of 
(he i-.laud of New ( )rleaus on the one side, and Louisiana on the 
other, having'- uudi r).;oUe no tbangi-, the ri^^bt in the water W(»uld 
rcm.aiu the same, if con-idered only in r( laliou to llicm; and if 



L.rri'.R S'AI'ICATION ()!■ TUli MISS/SSI I'ri. 


considcicnl as .'i distiiKt lij^lit, iiuUpLiiclcnt of the shores, then no 
naval vklmics ohiaiiud hy Spain over Great I'ritain in the course 
of the war, j^Mve her the e(-lor of eon(|uest over any water which 
the Ihilish Heel eoiihl mtei. Still K ^s can she he considered as 
havinj; contiuered tlie river as a-ainst the United Slates, with 
wlioni she was not at war. We had a common rij^hl of naviga- 
tion in the part of ihe river helween IHorida, the island of New 
Oileans, and the western hank, and nothing which passed hetween 
Spain and Cireat Ihitain, either during the war or at its conclusion, 
could lessen that riidil. Accorilini;ly, at tile treaty of Novcmher, 
1782, Great Ihitain eonfnnied tln' rights of the United States 
to the navigation of the river, fiom its source to its mouth, and in 
January, 1783, comph'ted. the right of Spain to the territory of 
I'lorida, hy an ahsf)l;Ue relin(|uishnient of all her rights in it. 
This relinquishment coidil not include the navigation held by the 
United States in their own right, hecause this right existed in 
themselves only, and was m^l in Great I'ritain. If it added any- 
thing to the rights of S])ain respecting the river between the east- 
em and western hanks, it could only he that portion of right which 
Great liriiain had retained to lierself in the treaty with the United 
States, helil seven weeks before, to-wit, a right of using it in com- 
mon with the United States. So that as by the treaty of 1763, 
the United StatcN had ohiaincd a C(jmmon right to navigate the 
whole river from its >omce to its mcMiih, so by the treaty of 1782 
that common right was contlruK.'d to them by .the only power 
which could pretend v•laim^ against them, founded on the state 
of war; nor has that common rii;lu been transferred to Spain by 
either cimtinesl or cession." 

Hut Mr. Jefferson regarded the strongest argiunent of the 
United States to the right of na\ igating the Mississippi to rest 
on the law of nature and nations, and proceeded to cite numerous 
cases from l^oman and more recent; law. liis i)osition seems 
luiassailahle so far as the (piestions of boundary ant! right to navi- 
gate the Mi>sissip[)i are concerned.''" 

The view.-5 of Spain at this time regarding these questions are 
contained in the letter of April iH, 17^3, from William Car- 
michael and William Short to Mr. Jefferson. Mr. Gardoqui, liie 
commissiciuer on the part of Spain, according to the American 
coinmissK ners. "iliscovered evidmt signs of impatience imder 
this sialriiiuit (tile arguuuul of Mr. JelTerson), and nuich sur- 
jjrise lilhu feigned or real al it. lie assured us that no con- 

* .^lacruaii PiiiJL-r.i; I'orcinii Ktlal i.iis, Vol. 1. 


7///1 I'koi'iXi'i. .iMi> riiii sT.rrr.s. 

siclriiuioii wliaUvrr wwiilil r\iT iiuliux- his Majesty tu aclviiowl- 
cclt;o a ri;;lit in us to liii^ na >. i;;atioii ; and lie scenicil to consiilcr 
our claim lo ilio liniil^ nndcr llic li\al\' with l\nj;hunl as cxlrava- 
j^ant and unw an antaM<- ; n.;;anlin^ lln^ treaty as an agreement 
made Ijeiweui l\so peupk' to ^ll^puse of the i)ro[)erly of a third. "'^ 

lie maintained suhMantially that the ar^umenl reL;ardin[^ 
natural law was (lescr\ :ii,l; of no attention, having- never yet hound 
a power furllur than suiud il> eiuu enienee ; that the tieaties 
citeil h\' Mr. lUl'ersDU did nol -ive the I'niled v^lates the ri^ht (o 
the navigaliuii, heeau>e Sjiaiu was not a ii;irl\ then to; ho 
would never consent to advi-.e llis Majesty l(j aeknowletlge the 
right of the United Slatis to navigate the whole et)ur.->e of the 
Mississippi; that Spain was (iililled hy eon(ple^t lo tlie territory 
claimed; that a.-^ v^paiii had not ael.iiowdedged the inde[)endencc 
of the United Stales, she had a right to make those et^nipiests; 
that the staleiiunls of ilie MaKjuis de l.afuye'tle were nusre[)rc- 
sentalions; iliat the (|iK>iiiHi^ td" houndary and navigatioii were 
much less im[)ortant tiian the United Slates made them; that the 
admission of foreignel■.-^ into the Spanish colonial i)ossessions was 
an innovation; that oipeiiing the navigation meant the snuig'gliiig 
of goods into J.tjuisiana ihrongh the slates; that the i)eo))le of 
the Atlantic states were ol)po^etl to the navigation in order to 
have the products of ilu' ^V'o•^l hrought there; that tiie peo|de of 
liie \\'e-.l regarded iheii adhesion to the Union as vi.iionary ; and 
that the United Slates did not leally want llie liinils and na\'iga- 
tion a>ketl fijr. 

Again there was a d. lay, and in the meaniime the discontent 
giew in the \\'e>l, the inliigne^ of Mr. ticnet against Louisiana 
were disclosed, ami the C(jiiUntions over ihe treatment of the 
Indians hy Spain and ilie United Stales were continued. The 
American commissioners said on May 5, 1793, "A few ships of 
the line would ha\'e more weight in securing peaceahly the terri- 
torial rights of the United .Stales and those wilh respect to the 
Missis>ip|ii, than all the nu)St iinansuerahle arguments and incon- 
testihle proofs that could he adduced in support iheieof." The 
l\nro[)ean war was largely the cause of the delay, hut ihe com- 
missioners of tile two c>inntries s< emed no nearer together than 
they had heen ten years hefore. 

On June J, 17(>3, Mr. Jefferson wrote to Mr. Madison, "There 
is, loo, at this lime, a loweiiiig disposiiion perceivahle hc^li in 
]''iigl.tiid and Spain. 'Uie foiiiier kei'ps herself aloof and in a 

•AiiHiliiin Hliilu I'ain'iH ; r''iiLlKii lU.liiUonii, Vol. I. 

J A'.i/7(;. i77(/.v (;/■ j'lUi mississwi'i. 


^tatc• of iiKoniimiiiicaliuu wiili us, except in tlio way uf dciuaiul. 
The latkr IkuI iii>t ln-^iiii an- piciuu- >!)■ wilh (.\ and S. (Canuicliad 
aiul SI'.oit) at Mailrid aud lias lauly bcnl lil'lcfii liiiiulrcd men lo 
New OiKaiis and i^icatly hi uiil;|1u lud her pD^ls on the Missis- 
.sipj)!." ( )n llic Jjil ol the haiiie iiioiilh lie aj^ain wrt)le, "SiJain is 
uii<(uestionahIy piclcinj; a quaiiel wilh us; a beries of letters from 
her eoniniissioncrs here i)ru\e it. We are sending' a courier to 
Madrid. 'I'he inevilahleneb-^ of war wilh the Creeks and the 
prohahilily, 1 niiidii say ceriainty, of it wilh Spain (for there is 
not one of us who (K)ul)ts ii), will certainly occasion your con- 
vocation, at what time I caimoi exactly say, hut you sIkjuU be 
prepared ior this important cliaii>;e in the state of things."' 
J'^ven while Messrs. t'armichael and Short were endeavoring to 
their utmost at Madrid to secure a treaty with vSpain, that country 
was exlenduig" her seltlenniil^. into the disputeil territ(jry along 
the Mis.iissipj.i. ( )n the contrary, the United States had pre- 
vented wilh a str<.ing show of force the settlement of a large coV 
ony of Aiuericans at the ^YallUlt Jiills (Vicksbiu'g). 

In June, iy[)j^, the American commissioners informed Mr. Jef- 
ferson that Spain regarded the rrlincjuishmenl of the hmits and 
the navigation ''as a comniencenKiii of the loss of their American 
commerce and terrilctrial i)Ohhessions." In June, 1793, I/niisiana 
having heen di'prived of its commerce wilh I'rance by reason of 
the war in luirope, Spain ailopled an ordinance extending and 
improving the ctimmerce of that cohniy. In K^ovember, 1794, 
rresidcnt W'asliington nijuunatcil Thomas I'inckney as envoy 
e.\(raordinar\' lo a^>isl the .\mcrican minister rcbiilent at Mailrid 
to negotiate the treaty wilh Sjiain There was much uneasiness 
in the western coumry in 179.^ and 1794 under tlie attem])ts of 
Mr. (jcnet to raise a force (lure ti; de.-^cend ui)on New C.Vleans. 
Congress took effective step;, to thwart any such movement, and 
reassured the we.-.iein settlers that negotiations looking to their 
right to navigate ihe Mississippi were uni.ler way.f 

On December 7, 1793, Messrs. Carnriciiael and Short at Madrid 
wrote to the SiJanish minister, the l)uke de la Alciuiia, as follows: 
"When )-our l'".xcellency shall tee from it that tliose limits were 
established so long ago as the year 1763; that the acts by which 
they were eslablished and (.Dnfuuied and pointeil out, are law- 
ful and indisputable; in line, are as precise and as valid as those 
establishing ihe right of the IJniud States to any other part of 

• Writiiii;^ uf 'I'lioiims Jillersoii. 
t rrf)i«(. iliii>;-i </( Conr.ifi'i. 


nil: I'RullXili .Lyi) THE STATES. 

tluir territory ; aiul that Spain has no title whatever to produce, 
no iloLUHKUi of any Kind KiMiiii: even the color of a ri^ht to the 
territory clanned within the hinil^ of ihr United Slates; we Irubt 
vonr l''.xcelkiicy will linnU it jnsl that that uncertainty .shall no 
'lon{.;er remain. It cannot \k uidsUown to )uur ICxcellency that 
the dilVicullies which liave h> en raised as to the rii^liLS of the 
United States on the .sui)jeci of limits and the navi^^Mtion of the 
Mibsissi|)pi, liave retaiKd llu- ne^^^otialions set on loot. After 
ail that had parsed Ik i ween the two countries relative thereto, 
the Lhuted Stales \\ far from expecting.,'- these difficuUies 
would have existed at the opening- of our ne^uitiation. We have 
hoped that time and a more accurate examination of the suhject 
would remove them. We now [)resent the claims cjf ihe Lhiiled 
States in these suhjecls m such a form, exhihilinj.^ the lilies from 
which they are derived, that we hope they will api)ear rigorously 

Soon after the arrival of Mr. Pinckncy in Spain in June, 1795, 
he was infornu-d that it was the wish of the Si)anish monarch to 
fonn a triple alliance l-i'iwten Franci-, Spain and the United 
States; hut tliis propo.siiion was diplomatically evadeil. When 
the Duke de la Alcudia was told that the United States, in the 
pending neg-otiations, c<add not guarantee the S|ianish posses- 
sions in America, he "'appeared much mortified." fCarly in 
August, 1795, nnmedialily aft^ r the treaty hetween France and 
Spain was concluded, the S|)ani'.-h minister sent word to the Amer- 
ican commissioners that iluir hnsiness ".^iiould he vei^y speedily 
settled to their satisfacli. .n, as I lis Majesty was determined to 
sacritice something of what he considered as his right to testify 
his ga.iod will to the Uniiid Slates."* In the conferences Mr. 
Pinckney argued that the susi)cnsion of the navigation of the 
^^ississippi from 17S3 to 1795 had occasioned great loss to the 
pe(;pte in the western \rM[ of the United Slates, and that as a just 
measure c>f compensation therefor Spain shoidd now grant them a 
depot at some convenient jioinl down the Mississippi, and men- 
tioned New Orleans as its location. 

'JMiere is no way of knowing, except from the various docu- 
ments of that linii', what Spain expected h") gain by her conten- 
tions over the limits and the na\igati(Mi. Mr. Carmichael while 
in T^fadrid reported that Spain at the conclusion of the revolu- 
tion expected tc> ahide Ity tin- limits and nruigalion islahlished hy 
the of N(^veniher 30, 17S.', hetween (heal Hritain and the 

•Dil)l(<iiiiaic Com -'lioi nil lice. 

J..iri:K N.ll'lC.ri'lOiV Ul' THE MiSSISSiri'l. 87 

United Slates; but tliat France lia.l persnaded her to extend her 
claims.* That ^talc^K■lU is supported by the fact that France 
sustained such chiinis of Spain 1778, and carHer, even until 
after the cession of Fonisiaiia b) luance to the United States. 
So far as can be learned ii^iw txi^iin^ sources of information, no 
stronger arguments were adduced by Spain in support of her con- 
tentions than heie piehenied. The arguments of Mr. Jefferson 
and of his successor, Mr. Kandulph, and of Mr. Pinckney, the 
envoy extraorilinary of the United States, were never answered 
by Spain, it was noted at the tune by Mr. I'inckney tliat the con- 
cluding arguments of Mr. JdYerson and himself were studiously, 
yet artfully, evaded by the Spanish ministry. The American 
position was absolutely sustained by the facts, so far as the west- 
ern and the southern boundaries and the navigation of the Mis- 
sissippi were concerncul. 

'J'hc long delayeil treaty between Spain and the United States 
was finally concluded October 27, 1795. The following extracts 
therefrom explain themselves. 

"Article II. 'I'o i)revenl all disputes on the subject of the 
boundaries which separate the territories of the two high contract- 
ing parties, it is hereby declared and agreed as follows, to-wit: 
The souihem boundary of the United States, which divides 
their territory from the Spanish colonies of East and West 
Florida, shall be designated by a line beginning on the river Mis- 
sissippi, at the northernmost part of the thirty-tirst degree of 
latitude north of the cipiaior, which from thence shall be drawn 
line east to the middle of the river Apalachicola, or Catahouche, 
thence ak)ng the nuddJe thereof to its junction with the iHint ; 
thence straight to the head of St. Mary's liver, and thence down 
the middle thereof to the Atlantic ocean. 

"Article 111. In order to carry the preceding article into effect^ 
one conunishionei" and one sur\e)'or shall be appointed by each of 
(he coiitracting parties, who hball meet al the Natchez, on the left 
side of llie Mississippi, belore the expiraticju of six months from 
the ralilicalion ul tiii.s Convenliou, and they shall [)rocee(l to run 
and mark' this boundary according to the stipulations of the said 
article (Article 11 above). They shall make plats and keep 
jonrnalb of their proceedings, which shall be considered as [)art of 
this convention, and shall have the same force as if they were 
inserted iberein. And if on any account it shall be found neces- 
sary thai ihe said c(*!nmissioneis aiul surve)ors sliouKl be accom- 

• I)ii)l(jiualic Curus|iuiMUiici-, ^ii iitt. 


Tin: rRonxcii .i.\'i) riir. status. 

panicd hy guarJs, tlu-y shall he lurnished in C(|ual proportions by 
the ct>nnnancliii};- ulVKcr <ii lii> Majesty's troops in the two 
Floriilas, and the CDinmainiin}^- nHieer of the troops of the United 
Slates in the s> nuhw esin ii territory, wlui shall act h)' eoniniou 
consent and aniieahly, as well with resi)eCl to this point as to the 
fnrnishini;- of provisions and inslrnnicnts, and niakini^ every other 
iirrani;einent whieh may he nece->ary or Ubcfnl for the execution 
of this article. 

"Article IV. It is likewise aj^rred that the western honndary of 
the LInited States, \vliicli separates tlieni from the Spanish col- 
ony of Louisiana, is in ihi' middle of the chatuicl or bed of llie 
river Mississippi, from the noitlu rn boundary of the said states 
to the com|jlelii;n oi the thirty-iirsl def^ree of latitude north of the 
equator. And his Catholic Maje ty has likewise ai^reed that the 
navigation of the said river, in its whole breadth from its ijouroe 
to the ocean, shall be free only to his subjects and the citizens of 
the United States, unless ho shoidd extend this privilege to tlie 
subjects oi other powers by s|)ecial convention. 

"Article XXI [ And in couse(iuencc of the stipula- 
tions Contained in the IV'th article, his C'allu^lic Majesty will per- 
mit the citizens of the United Slates, for the space of three years 
from this time, to deposit tlnir mervhandise anil effects in the port 
of New Orleans, anil lo export tluin from thence without paying 
any other duty than a fair price for the hire of the stores; and his 
Majesty promises eiilKr to coiUimie this permisiion, if he find-, 
during that lime that it is u> I prejudicial to the interest of Spain, 
or if he should uoi a^ree to coniinui' it there, he will assign to 
them on auoiher I'lri of the banU> of the Mississippi an equiva- 
lent establishment. ' 

The conclusion of the treaty bitwecn Spain and the United 
States in October, 171,15, wlun it 1 ecamc known in the western 
counlr)', occasioned the mosi unbonnded satisfaction. The feel- 
ings of relief, unless the situation of that clay be well understood, 
cannot be realized now. Innni-diatJy thereafter, the products of 
the West sought the port of Wew ( )rleaus, and the rivers became 
joyful with the shouts of the elated boatmen. The newspapers 
of the Atlantic cities were from being enthusiastic over the 
treaty, because it meant the loss to the l-'.ast of nearly all of the 
western trade. f Neither was the n. \\s relished at New ( )rleans, 
whose people had so often been bandied about from c^ne I'.uropean 
nation to .-mother, because ihi- aggressive connnercial enterprise of 


•Ticati«s (.( Uic liiiiU-<l Slfitfs. 
1 riltsljinx' l'.;i/i.lle. 

;; ^t 


L.iniK A'.u-ic.iriox ui- riiii mississwi'i. 89 

the Afiiciicans, it wa.-: r.-alizd, lurcshadowed tlu'ir al.sorpiion of 
llie ilwv traliir. 

In i;cy7, (he Spanish ministry ])rcscntc(l stronj; ijrotcsts against 
many wl 111..- provisions .,1 ihc inaty of i;.;.}, coiioiiKled between 
Great^ [iritam aiul the liniicl Staus, i)arlicuhniy in a-anl to the 
speciheatiuns cuiicerniu- cc.ntral)an.l, U> the viohalion of the niari- 
tune princi])le that "iixc ship, make free j^oods/' and to the con- 
firmation of the article in the treaty of 1783, by which the United 
, States reco^iii/ed the rij^hi of T.reat iiriiain to navi-ate the Mis- 
sissippi. The latter was paiiicuhirly ohjcctionahle, hecanse, in 
the estimation cf SjKiin, the United Slates had been guihy of 
duplicity in the treaty of 17^5, by which Spain was not only 
humihaled, hut was made to suffer serious injury. 'INie "ex|)Ian- 
alory article.-," of Mav .|, 17.^0, between the United Slates and 
(heat Mritain, were iuUude.l in (he protests. The Spanish view 
was presented by J )oii Carlos dc Yrujo," Spanish minister to 
America, as follows : 

"J5y the sixth article of the preliminary treaty made on the 3d 
November, I7(,3, between 1- ranee and Great Ihitain, and by the 
definitive treaty signed on the loth of February, 1763, it is stipir- 
hited that all that part of Louisiana situated on liie cast of the 
Missis:.iljpi, excei)tiuKr K,.^ Orleans and its dei)endencies, should 
beioni,r ,0 Cat llrilain. lly the 8th article of the provisional 
treaty conchuled between the United States of America and Great 
Britain on the ^uih of N'ovember, 1782, and'the definitive tieaty 
siLTued on the .^1 of Sepiembu-, 17S3. it i^ .stalcil. that the navi- 
K.ili"n oi the Mississippi, iroiu its source to the ocean, shall 
forever remain and be free lo the subjeels of (^reat I'.rilain and 
the citizens of the Uniied Slates. Hy ijie preliminary articles 
of the treaty concluded between Spain and England, and the 
defimlive treaty si|;-iied on the 3d of September, 1783, Great 
Britain ceded to Spain all Ivasl and West I-lurida, wliich two 
provinces were the only territory that that nation had remain- 
ing^- 111 Ibis jjarL of the conliiienl. In the 5th article, in which 
tins cession is stipulated, not a sint^de w(;rd js said relative to the 
navi^'ati.jii of the Mjssissipiji, nor do the other articles say any- 
Ihinp on the subject. When l-ngland signed tllese preliminary 
articles with the United Slates of America in 1782, Great Britain 
still held all the riKht to blast and West l-lorida, because then 
she had not ceded forever those provinces to Spain, as is proved 
.'iflerw ud by the Irealy of 1783. and wiihoul the least 
therein of ilu: Mississippi. Tbeiebxc, baiidan.I, iiaviuK cede.l 
i'.asl and West b"l.;ild.. in 17^5. and 11, ,t baviii}; re.seived the 


TUH rUOllNCl: A\'l) 11111 STATES. 

right to tlu' naviLjatioii of ilie Mississippi, of course h^st it 
cnliroly wlun she mailc Spain luisiicss of (he two haiilcs. The 
only rifj^lit which llic UniUnl Stales hail in the navigation of that 
river was foumlecl on the siipiihili' ins derived from iCnghuul ; 
hut having cliangetl their puhiical existence hy the dechiration 
of their inde[jendence, and liaving iiy this act separated their 
interests fruui those of Great 15ritani, tlie hherty of navigating 
the Missi^^ippi chd not fulluw to the United States, hut hy a 
special treaty which has just heen concluded helween Spain and 
this countr)'. So far good; how can the United States without 
llie consent of Spain, cede to I'aighuid the right of navigating 
the Mississippi wiiicli ih granted cHily to tlieniselves ? And in 
virtue of wiiat iirivilegc can the federal go\eriunent give the 
navig^atioii of this river to a nation who has renounced all her 
rights through the nieditiin of solenui treaties, and who not 
only does not hold a single port, hut al.^o dcjcs not possess a single 
inch of land on its hanks? This simple exposition, in conjunc- 
tion with the opini(Mi of all jiui>ts, that the navigation of rivers 
naturally helongs to him who possesses the two banks, evidently 
manifests the injury done to ilie tights of Spain in the 3d article 
of the Knglish treaty, and th ■ explanatory article signed on the 
4lh of Ma)-, 1796."' 

Mr. I'lckering, secretary of slate, fully and conclusively 
answers ihe^e points in his communication of I\lay 17, 1797. 
He pointed out that Spain A\\i\ not the United States had, by 
the treat) id" 1795, excluded t.ieat llrilain Irom the navigation 
of the Mi>sis>ippi,|< and that Spain hail been aware of the treaty 
of 1794 between (neat liritaiii and the United States before the 
treaty of 171)5 between Spain and the United States was con- 
cluded, and hence there should be no complaint now. 

In May, 171^7, the Karon d.- Carondelel, governor of the prov- 
ince of Louisiana, dispatched Thomas Power to the Upper Mis- 
sissii)pi Country on an impoiiant mission in the interests of 
Spain. t lie had learned that the .■\mericaiis eontem|jlated 
descending the river with troops to lake pijssession of Natchez 
and the Walnut Uills in conformity to the treaty of 1795; and 
in order to pievent any cla^h of authority until the methods of 
evacuation by Spain had hi i n delnmined upon, and until it 
should be learned whether the iWitish e.xijcdilion were likely to 

* OiiilDiiiiUU' C')i ifS|)i)iitlc-iici'. 

iTlii.s St 111 11 in- 111 was CUM I'd. Sec Uic licaly. 

■f Aiiicrit-iiii .M.ili- I'.iix I ■.. 

i.Ai'iiK N.irn;.rnu.\' oi- the Mississim. 


ck'scetul the Mississi])])! to alt:ick Niw Orleans, Mr. l^owcr was 
rLH|uirL*d to secure, it' pn^bihlc, fiom ( iciieral Wilkinson, the sus- 
pension oi the mareli soulliwartl (jf the detachment nnder his 
command, lie was further instructed to thoronj^hly soinul the 
people of the Western Slates ar> to iluir desi;.;ns aj^ainsl Louisi- 
ana, and in case it ^^hould he learned that a fierce of militia was 
being raised for such service 10 lose no time in putting the com- 
mandant at the Chickasaw I'lnlYs in [)Ossession of such infor- 
mation, lie was aUo told to investigate the sentiments of the 
Western [)eo[jle as i(; their desire to sei)arate themselves from 
the Union, and to hold out every imlucement ftjr them to ado[)t 
this course, relying upon the assibtance of S])ain in such a move- 
ment. Shoidd such a sentiment he found to exist generally, they 
Avere to he told that the pi^sts at Cliickasaw Bluffs, Walnut 
Hills anil Natchez were to he held hy vSpain.for the nuitual ben- 
efit of the Western pei)[)le and the Spanish crown. The baron 
said, "If a hundred thousand ckjllars distributed in Kentucky* 
coukl cause it to rise in insurrection, I am very certain that the 
minister in the i)resent circumstances would secrifice them with 
pleasure, an<l you may without e.\i)osing yourself too nuich 
l>iromise them to those who cnjijy the confidence of the people, 
with another ecpial sum to ami tlu-m in case of necessity and 
twenty pieces of field artillery. Y(ju will arrive without danger 
as bearer of a dispatch for the general where the army may be, 
whose force, discijiline and dispositions you will examine with 
care; and you will eudea\or lo discover with your natural pene- 
tration the general's di.sposiii^ m. I doubt tiiat a person of his 
character would prefer throiiL;h vanity the advantage of com- 
manding the army of the Atkmtic States, to that of being the 
founder, the liberator, in fine, the Washington of the Western 
states; his i)art is as brilliant as it is easy; all e)'es are ilrawn 
towartls him; he jjossesses the confidence of his fellow-citizens 
and of the K'enliKky volunteers; at the slightest movement the 
people will name him the genei-al of the new republic; his repu- 
tation will raise an ainiy for him and Spain as well as France . 
will furnish him the means of paying it. On taking Fort Massac 
we will Send him instantly aims and artillery, anil Spain lim- 
iting herself to the i)ossessi(.)n of the forts of Natchez and 
Walnut llills as far as iM.rt C'onfederaticjn, will cede to the 
Western stales all the eastern bank of the (.)hio, which will form 
a very e\ten>ive and powerful lepublic, connected by its situa- 
tion and by its interests with Spain. . . . Siiain and France 
are enra|;cd at the coniKclidir, (/f the Unili'd Slates with I'.nj;- 

77//: i'Ui)ri.\Lii .-].v/' nil: sr.iriis. 

land; tlu- army is wiaU ami ilcvoUd to Wilkinson; the threats 
of conj^iiss aulluiri/c nic lo sncci uii the ^juH ami openly the 

\ Westi-Tii slates; . nc;lhin;.' nioii- will eonse(|ncnlly he 

i re(iuiretl hnl an instant of lirnines^ ami le^wlnlion to make the 

\ peojjle oT the We^t piifeetlv hajipw If they bntfer this instant 

to cseape them, and if we shonld he forei:d to deliver iij) the 
posts, Kciiluek)' and lYnne: ^tc, .sniKnmdcd hy the saiil posts 

^ and wilhont eomnuuiieatiun with Kjwer Louisiana, will ever 

remain umler the oppri^sion of the .\tlantic States." 

This mission was ptrform. d with fidelity hy Mr. Power, but 
resnlted in eompkle failure, a-, he himself stated upon his return, 
lie reported that (\-iural Wilkin-^on would not now entertain 
the propositions of the .Spainhh aiuliorilii.s ; that the inhahitanls 
of the Western .st.iles, sim>' the treaty of 1795, eould not be 
shaken in thrir alK\L;ianee l<» the I'edcral Union; and that the 

■i army of the United .States eompri.ieil ahout three ihousaml men."^*' 

The eoiieebsions ui the .SpaiiianK at New Orleans to the set- 
tlers oi the western e.iuiUry, partieulaily durini; the last decade 
of the eij^hteenth eeiitnry, were eoniinued partly with the expec- 
tation that they would evenlually separate themselves from the 
Atlantic states and set up an imleiKiidenr ^n:)vernment, in which 
event, as the Missis.-^ippi was tlie arjitic artery of their cf»m- 
nierce, the)' easily could he induced, in order to ^ain the per- 
manent rij^hl lo navi^'ale ihal sliiam, to attach themselves to 
Louisiana. t in June, 171^1, Hardii i\c t'aiuiidelet issui'il carders 
lur sliciu'jlieniiij^ the pii>i al l'\)il Si. I'eriliiiand at the CMiicka- 
saw llhillS (Memphis), and i>hser\id July id in a letter lo ihe 
commanding; i;Hicei there, "l\ir the evacuation of that important 
post is not yet so certain as not ti> admit of doubt, at least so 
lon^ as the savaj^es remain attached lo us. IV'siiles, it is jjroper 
to kee]) in view that the neiidiboriii;.;- states, that is to say, Ken- 
tucky and Teiines-ee, are imeiestnl that it (the post) should 
remain in uiir power, for political reasons wliich cannot be 
trusted to paper. \\n\ must, of c(nise(pience, keep them in those 
sentiments, by treatinj^- their inhabitants, to whom the liberty 
of the navij^ation is [granted, with kindness and regard. Let 

' the frieiuMiip of the Chick, isaws and the satisfaction of the 

yXmericaus who navij^ate the river be the basis of your con- 

;^ duct." He said Sepleniber u, in a letter to ihe same ol'liciT, 

"Should (he e(<urt lliiiik pioper, as may very well happen, iujI 

* ' * Sluluiiu 111 ul Ml. I'owt-r: AiiiLiit ,111 St:iU- r.iiu-tb. 

I Slc luiiiuiuin lilicih; .\iiiii nan M.ili- I' 


i.Air.k .\'.irn;.iri(>.\' or Tim Mississirri. 9j j 

to ovacuaic oiir posts mi ilie Mississippi, I will tlispalcli a coiiritT 
lo )()ii ill all liable;" in ovAcv lliaL the foil lliiTc niij^lit be 
i\'[)aiii.'il. lie al () piiiiiiiscii, in siicli an event, to .send iciiitOrcc- 
niLiils. lie said, "\'iui uiil;1iI ti) make the latter (tlie. inhahuants 
of Kentnok) auii 'i\■nlle.-^^ccj iiii(lcrblaiul that tlieir natural inter- 
est leadint; ilicni lo separate .^oiiie day (;/;/ jour) from the Atlan- 
tic states, llie oceii|)alioii of our ]xjsls on the Mississippi by the 
trcH>ps of the laiur eould iiwi but be liisastrous to them, since 
they would cut olf all c(jiumuiiication between them and us, from 
whom alone the) could, in that case, hope to receive assistance." 
In i8oJ, Daniel Clark, a prominent American resident of the 
western couutr\-, informed the presiilent of the United States, 
that a:i agent fi^jui k'culuck)' had visiletl New Orleans, Natchez, 
etc., late in 1795 ami early in 1796 "to nej^oliate 011 the part of 
thai slate, iiidcpendeuL ol llu- general government, for the navi- 
gation of the .Mi^sissii)pi, hi. lore the result of the treaty of 1795 
was known."'' In a Liter dated June 17, 1796, Don Manuel 
Gayoso wrote lo Daniel Clark: "It is more than iirobable tiiat 
a separation of several stales will take place, which will alter 
the political existence of a power that could inlluence on the 
balance of that of oilkrs; therefore, .Spain, beings dei)rived of 
that a^si.-^taiice, which »'ould al■i.^e from her couueclion wilh the ' 
Union, will alter her views. . . There are other insur- 

mounlahle dilliculties willi rcsix'Ct to the Indians, which render 
impraciicable the execution of the i)art C(;n"erning limits; there- 
fore, e\en when no change >liould liappiu in the United States, 
the (oi 1795) will he reduced to the navigation of the 
ri\er." 'IJiis meviiil thai ihe Spaui^ih would claim that the bouiul- 
ary of West Idorida would he as higii as the Ya^oo, and that 
■the Western country ct^ntemplated a separation from the Allautic 

fn June, 17^/, i're.sideiit Adams informed congress that the 
runuiug and marking- oi ihe bouiulary between West i'dorida , 
and the United States had been delayeil by the Spanish (jflicers 
at Natchez and New ' )rleans who declared their intention of | 
inaintaining- the Sj)aiusli jurisdiciion to the territory until the j 
meanings of the article in llu- treaty concerning" the withdrawal 
of the trcK>ps and the disposal of Spanish property should have 
been settled. (" At this lime, according lo Mr. I'dlicott, the Ainer- 
icau commissioner appoiniiil lo ccjiiduct the survey, the inhab- 

* AiiiLiuiui Si. lie- l';iiJi.'rs. 

t Me^h.inib ami l'ii|)fis o( llu: I'l t-siiluiils. 

04 , Till'. ri^ot'iXi'i- .i.\n Jim sr.iriiS. 

itants of the Natchez dislrici luniiljcrcd nearly four thousand, and 
nearly all desireil to eonie umler the jiu-ibdictiou of the United 

The ostensible reasmis for the v^|<anish retention of tlic Natchez 
district aie cuiUaincd in r.overnor (layusu's proclamations of 
March, 1797, lo the inhal)ii.iiil>, a^ follows: "His Majesty has 
olTered to supijon the rij^lii.-. of ilie iidiahitants to the real prop- 
erty; anil until that ih asu rtaiiud, J am hound to l;eep (K)sses- 
sion of this country, as liliwise unid \vc are sure the Indians 
\vill he pacific," and later, "until the real property shall he iccured 
to the inhahitaiu.-i . . . hy an adtlitioiial article lo the late 
treaty, and until that article is ol'licially couumuiicated to me, 
I am hound to kee[) posse^.^ion of the country." These procla- 
mations and the course of the Spauibh ohicers in delaying" tlic 
C'va^niatioii j^reatl) alarmed the American residents in the dis- 
trict. On ihe 3 1 hi of M.nvh, lu ^ave as an additional reason 
for the <lelay that ir would he necessary for him to consult \i\c 
Spanish sovereij^n coucermiii^ the method to he adopted uniler 
the treaty of evacuaiinj:; the country, whether the buildings 
were to be removed, deuKjli-^hed, or left standing, before he would 
deliver the district U) the Ameriians, and in the meantime he 
should maintain order, protect the inhabitants and keep llie 
Indians in subjection. In July, 1 7^7' 1^*-' ^^-^^^ ^'=' '^ ^'''^ further 
reason for retaining [)cjsses-iii)U and for strengthening" the for- 
tifications "to guard against an aiiack by the British from Can- 
ada."^ lie noiihed Mr. l.lhcoti that Nogales '(Walnut Hills) 
in parlicidar wduld be stieiigiheued. 'I'he Spanish minister at 
W'aNhiugton hail U'.iined that an expedition oi the l'".nglish, the 
enemies of Spain, wa^ being organised on the great lakes for the 
purpose (.>f moving against the Spanish jjosts of St. Louis and 
New Madriil. lie reported that the expedition was desigaietl 
to descend the 1m i\ and the \Vi- cousin rivers, or the Illinois 
ri\'er, tluuce down the Missisbippi. 

This iiiformatii»n was sent to the Spanish authorities at New 
Orleans and Natchez, and preiKnations were promptly made 
there to strengthen every Spanish pobt in the Mississippi country. 
Troojjs were sent to N^atche/, Nogales, Chickasaw BlufTs, Arkan- 
sas, i\'ew Madrid, .^t. Louis (three bundled), ami el.sewheie, and 
palleys armed with cannon were stationed at intervals in lliii 
Mississippi to i)eal back any expedition of the enemy that might 
descend the river. It wa^ coinctly thought by the Spanish 

•Aineiiciiii .Stale PaiK-rs. 

LAl'IiU N.U'lC.llluS Ol- Till-. MlSSlSSII'l'I. 95 

authorities that the act «jf thi.- United States in perniitting such 
an cxiKchtion to be (UL;aniz(.cl within its borders, and to march 
throu^li its couiitr) for the purpose of aitackinj^^ a nation with 
wliieh it was at peace, furni^b>.^l them huft'icient grounds for 
retaining,' llie posts at Natelie/ and Noi^ades and of strengthen- 
ing- those garrisons. It Kamed hiler that, while rumors to 
that elYect had been circulaltd \\i some portions of Canada and 
the Unitetl Stales, no pusiti\e .steps were taken to organize sucli 
an expechlion. Hut thi> and the vtnccrtainly over the 
details of tlie evacuation were- ^u^^^cient to warrant, for the secu- 
ril)' of the Spanisli pos^-essions, tiie continued occupation by Spain 
of th'-' American pobt^ of Natchez, Chickasaw lUuffs, and 
Nogales. The uncerlamty I'f the results of the war in l'",urope on 
American alfairs had much lo do, al>o, with the delay. In the 
supjJOSLHl emergency, tin- Spanish auihoriiies did nol hesitate in 
an attemj)t to gain the assistance of the Indians of the Ujjper 
Mississippi valley. It was an imporLaiiL consitleration for tlic 
Spaniards throughout I,(juisiana, in fact it was tiieir duty for 
their own protection, to know whether they should under the 
treaty of 1795, leave standing all the posts, forts, buildings, 
earthworks, etc., which they had built and occupieil, ready for 
the Americans who seemed tc) be siding with the Engiisii, or 
ready for the occnijatiou of the I'litish troops who shoidd descend 
the Mississij)pi. W'liile it is true that the Sj)aniards were mis- 
taken in sujiposing the .Americans woidil pefmit the Hritish to 
pass ihrouLih ihtir ctamtiy to attack the Mississip])! posts, they 
acted for tlk-ir own |)ioU'ction upon what the)' then consiilercil 
good grounds. And win) will undertake to say that, iiad they 
not taken prompt measures to repel such an attack, the rumor 
might have swelled into actualit\' and the expedition been dis- 
])atched ere the United States could have prevented it? The 
United States actually sent trcjops from the Ohio to Tennessee 
to check the settlers from trespassing on the Indian lands but 
this was regarded b)' the Spanish as a covert nwvemcnt against 
tiieir possessions.* 

In his proclamation of June 14, 1797, (lovernor Cayoso inti- 
mated the possibility of a war with the Ihiited States. It was 
riuuored in New Orleans that a body of American troops, or 
nn'litia, mij;ht descend from the Tennessi'c C)r Cumberland river 
and all.iek the Spanish posts. The basis of this rumor was 
tlu; Ictur written to a fiieiid by William lUonnl from "Colonel 

• l<iHt)r<l.'. o< llie War iJiiJurlnitiil. 


rill: ruuriNii. .is'n Tim ST.irns: 

Kind's Iron WDikh" oii (lie C'uiiibcrhiml river April 21, 1797, 
liis}^ii:i,L;i-: I'Uii^' a-. I'oUoWb: "1 liclicve, but am nul (luitc 
siui-, llial llie plan tluii tall-nl of will be alleiiiplcd ibis lull, 
aiul, il it is lo br all«iiipicd, il will be in a luucli larj^cr way 
lliaii llien lalkcd of; aiul 1 1' ilic Indians act llieir part, 1 bavc 
no doubt but il will suvcced. A man of consef|uence has {40110 
to J'.n^land about tlie bu^inis^, and if be makes arrauj^cmenls 
as be cxpeeis, 1 ^liall myself bave a band in tbe business, and 
proi)ably sball be at tlu bead of the business on the part of the 
llriti^h. You are, lioweNer, to uuderslaml, that it is yet not 
quite certain that tbe ]ilau will be attempted, and to do so will 
recjuire all )'our manaj;. niLiil , I say, will recpiire all your mail- 1 
ac^enirnt, becau^>e )ou must lake care, in whatever you say lo 
l\ot;er.s, or an) bod)' ek^, not [u let the plan be discoveretl by 
]-la\\kins, fJin-^nioor, l!\rrs, or :iny other perscju in the intrrcst 
of tbe United .Stales or Spain." '^ The letter continued in much 
tbe same strain, yiiardt d, but clear in the design of an *»ltack ." 
by the I'.ritish on the Spanibb pobts. The letter revealed, also, 
that tbe hulians were to be enlisted in the cause. It was plain 
to the Spaniards that I lie American settlers on the 'J'ennessc'i 
and the Cumberland ri\'i ib were leagued with the British in the 
proposed expedition. Xo oilu r settlers of the west had sullered * 
so much from closing ilie iia\igation of the Misbibsi|)pi as the 
residents on those river^. Maii\' boat loads sent down the rivers 
to New ( )rleans b\' them bad Ivvn practically conhscaled b\ the 
Spanish, or been clu'.r'',ed ruinous lates of toll. Under the \iew that the \inerie iiis hail \u> right U) navigate the 
Misbissi()[»i, the)' were jiislilied in conliscating these loads, par- 
ticular!)-, as the Americ.iiis had been warned not lo descend the 
river, j'.ven after the terms i>f the treaty of 17^5 concerning 
navigating the Mississippi had become known, the Spanish still 
continued their exaclion,> on the river ccjinmerce ; and when it 
was determinetl not to surrender the posts the previous rule of 
l)roIiibiiiiig the na\igati'in wa- revived aiul largely carried into 
c.xeculioii. This gieall) iiicrea^eil the indignation of tht: Amer- 
icans, h may be said with truth that, at this time, .Spain, like 
France, was practically at war with the United Slates. Her 
l)rivaleers of the ocean ami the (udf seized large numbers of 
Amcricrm vessels and ci-nliscaied their go(nls. This fact was 
well known and still further widened the breach. 

Inasnuich as many of the inhabitants of Natchez were bit- 

• Aim I II Mil Slalf I'.iijcr- 

l.itl:i< N.inG.inoN or Tim Mississippi. ^7 

tcrly lu»stile to the vSiianiaids, Cicncnior Cayoso, in order to pre- 
vent or^anizalinns aj;aiii>l him, iHrecleil in his proclanuition 
that all |)ersoiis who mighl collert in hixlies shonld be promptly 
disperbed. Tiie nK•nacc•^> nf Mr. I'.llioeli and of L.ieutenant 
l\>pe conlrihmeil to the liiilcrnos of ihc silnalion. it was the 
view of Mr. Tiekerinj^, sccrtiary of state, that the real reason 
for the Spanish retention of the eonntry \vas "the ex[)CCtation 
of an imniL-diale rnplnre between J-'rance, the intiniate ally of 
Spain, and the United Slalis." This was no doubt true, so that 
Spain was justihed in retaining' the Americiui i)osts, on this 
ground alone, because a declaration of war by the United States 
a|.^ainst I'rance meant war aj^ainst Si)ain as well. The posses- 
sion of these posts would give Sj^ain inuiiense advantage at the 
comnieneement of such a war. She was, therefore, wise to retain 
the posts, owing to the immincncy of the danger; and she did 
so with such plausibility, pnidc-nce and finesse, that the reten- 
tion was [)ermitted by the United Slates far beyond the treaty 
stipulations without serious resvdis to herself, thougii a bloody 
encoiuUer at Natchez was narrowly averted.* 

The continued retention of the posts and the strengthening 
of the Spanisli garrisons, gave the American officers great uneas- 
iness, because it was construed to mean that the Spanish would 
not abide by the treaty of 1795 ami surrender the navigation 
of the Mississijjpi. In June, i/'^y, the residents made prepa- 
rations for hostilities. The- allcj'rd unjubtifiab^e arrest of one 
of their number, and his contiuiinent in chains by the Spanish, 
was the mnnediate spur It) action, 'fhe resiilents armed them- 
selves, gathered in great numbirs, organized companies and 
electeil officers, and sought to enlist the active co-operation of 
Afr. I'Ulicolt and Lieutenant I'ope. Within a few houi's Covcnior 
Gayoso and the S])anish garrison were confnied to the limits 
of the lori, while armed and or,L;anized bands of citizens sur- 
roundctl them in menacing attitude. Governor Gayoso retjnested 
an interview with Mr. J'.llicolt and Lieutenant Pope, which was 
granted, 'fhe former two were anxious to avoid hostilities, but 
the latter ileclared that he would repel with force any attempt 
to imprison American citizens, as Natchez was American terri- 

Finally, a pacific lamalion was issued by Governor Cayoso 

, ^ J _ , 

• Aiiiii u-.iii ,'^,1,1' 

I I'ln.-otl',-. J(.n- .. 


98 Tiiii ruoi iscii .i.\'i) run sr.rnis. R 


to the t'ollowiiiL,^ c'tVccl: That the citizens should disperse aiid IQ 
relurn lo ihcir homes; that iiw person shouhl he niulesled on \\ 
account of his opinions; tliat tlie citizens were mistaken in think- H 
iny: that war had heeii dechircd hctu'een S|)ain and the United • k 
States; that no Indians had l)c(.n calletl to assist Spain; that j,, 
the Spanish reuifcHcemenis to the Mississippi posts were for use j'j; 
against an actual enemy only; tliat no inierrui)tions should be .; 
put to land or \sater comnuinications; and that no corps of mili- 
tia should be formed except in case of actual invasion, when \ I 
yohniteers should he calLnl for. The proclamation was unsat- 
isfactory to the citizens, who strenuously objected to its phraseol- V ' 
og-y, and in many instances it was torn in i)ieces. It did not ] .' 
produce the tTfect intended liy Governor Gayoso, but rather ' 
increased the gravity of ihe situation, uiUil it seemed that hos- 
tilities were inevitable. The Spanish strengthened the fort in 
every manner jjossible, ami the c()mi)anies of citizens were drilled 
and fully organized. 

At this critical stage anoliu r interview was held, at which 
Governor Gayoso was informed that no terms would be accepted 
that were not hoiiorable to Ihe citizens, wlio had felt their 
streng-th and were not to be trilled with. The next day the resi- 
dents held an immense meeting-, at which the following propo- 
sition was drafted, and lattT submitted to Governor Gayoso, 
with the api)roval of Air. illlicoit ami Lieutenant Pope: 

"l. The inhabitants oi the district of Natchez, who, under 
the belief and pers>iasit)ii that ihey were cuizens of the United 
States, agreeably to the l.ite treaty, have as.-,eml)led and embo^licd 
themselves, are not to be pioseeuted or injured for their conduct 
on that account, but to .siand exonerated and acquitted. 2. The 
iidiabitants of the govermnent aforesaid above the 31st ilegree 
of north latitude, are not to be embodied as militia, or called 
upon to aid in any military opeiation, except in case of an Indiaji 
invasion, or for the suppression i>f riots during the present state 
of uncertainty, owing to the late treaty between the United States 
and His Catholic Majesty nc;l being fully carried into effect. 
3. The laws of Spain in the above district shall be continued, 
and on all occasions be (xeculrd with mildness and moderation, 
nor shall any of the inhabitanls be transported as prisoners out 
of this j;()vernmenl on any pretext whatever; and nolwilh.Nland- 
ing the operation of ilu law aforesaid is hereby admitted, yet 
the inhabitanls shall In- considered to be in an actual stale of 
neutrality during the cntinuancc of their uncertainty, as men- 
tioned i,i (he second pi .. position. 4. The committee afore.said 

L.iriiu x.ii lo.w (>/• run Mississwi'i. (^9 

ilo engage to rc'Ci)iniiu'n(l it ti) our ODiistilutiits, and lo the utmost 
of ouv poWLi" ciulcavor to pri'.-iiTvc llio in.'iicc aiul proiuoto the 
i,luc (jXLxiilioM of ju-ilicc."' 

This piKposilioii \va^ acri'ilcd l(j hy Ciovcinor (layost), and the 
follow Jul;' priKlanialion \>\ him, dated June 22, gave gLncral 
satisfaction and terminated tlie impciuling hostilities: "Whereas,' 
the threatening ealamities to whieh the iidiabilants of this liis- 
Irict ]ia\e heen lately exposed, A^A awake the zeal of every iiuli- 
vithial, ami rou>e them to seek the most eflieacious means of 
re-estahlibhing good order and that trancpuUity which, for many 
da)'s, was lost; the good sense of a numher of the inliahitants 
dictated lo them the necessit)' fi a convention, in which Ihey 
chose perilous of the mo.-^t noioiiinis jjrobity and intelligence as 
a connnittee lo co operate with ns toward the re-establishment 
of the public ptace and tran(piillity ; and the members of the 
said committee having met at Natchez, after due deliberations 
and consultations, staled and presented us the following i)ropo- 
sitions, in the tern)s and form here exijressed, to-vvit: (the 
same as above) ; being alwa)s ilesiroiis of promoting the i)ub- 
lic gooil, we tlo ji;in in the same sentiment with the commit- 
tee, by acceding to their propo-.iiions in the manner following 
(rc]K'aied the proposilions) . 'I'his left the American citizens 
free from moleslaliun except fi-r (jffense against the law, arid 
left Governor Gayoso in charge of the administratic)n of affairs 
and in possession of the po^i. He thus attained his object of 
practical aulhorily and continued occupation. 

The Spanish go\iinmeui did not seem disposed to Inirry 
matters, and the Uniled i>iales did not deem it expedient to use 
force, so the troops of the former continued to hold the Amer- 
ican posts. The autumn of 171^7 wore away and winter came 
and still no move was made to evacuate. At length, on January 
18, i7yS, Mr. Kllicott recei\ed ilie following letter:* 

"New Orleans," January 10, 1798. 
"To Hon. Andukw Ki.t.icorr: 

"l)y a ()ackct just arrived I have received orders from court 
by which T am autlu^rized and (ordered to evacuate the forts 
of Natchez and Nogales (Walnut Hills) in consecjucnce thereof 
by this exjjress. I send the necessary orders to withdraw the 
artillery and other military effects. As the gallies will not be 
sulliciiiii (..her vessels shall be sent from this (place) to com- 

• ICUicoUs Juimial. 


nil: I'h-OI l.\'Cn .LVD Till: STATUS. 

plcte the operation with all possible speed. 1 'lease to furnish 
Majoi" Minor with thr iiiiDi malion 1 rfi|uest that I ina)' he 
enahknl to j)rovi(le everuhint; eouceniini^- the cxeeution of the 
boundary line helwren Mi:, Majesty's ili >niinicjns and the terri- 
tory of the United .Stales. It i-^ with the j^rcalesi salisfaelion 
that I have the pleasure lo announce to you this aj^reeable event, 
as it justifies our tlisposition in eoniplyinq' with our euf^agenients 
as so<.)n as political eircuiiistani, es would jublify it. 

■■M.\Niir;i. (Iwoso or: I.ii.mcj.s" 

The reception of this letter was so a}.,MX'eable to Mr. Elhcott 
that he lost no lime in uiakini;- it known to all the iuhabiiants, 
particidarly lo those who had favored the Anieriani purposes 
and Contentions. Jn his journal he said, "The disa^Meeable slate 
of suspense we had been in for almost a year relative to the fate 
of ihe treaty \sas partly lerniinaled by the following; letler^froin 
Governor Cayoso." llo\ve\'er, he was too well accpiainted with 
the methods of the Spanish to believe that they would commence 
the evacuation and the survey ai once, and he was correct in 
his conclusion. On January y, (jovcrnor Gayoso wrote that 
he would go to Natchez himself at once to assist in making the 
necessary arrangements lo run the boundary. No step having 
been taken by the middle of k\-bruary, Mr. Ellicott resolved to 
begin l! ■' survey alone as soon as the Spanish troops should 
be withdrawn. l'"inally, on the i;lh of April he left Natehez 
with liis inslrumeuis an^l his woiknien, and arrived at Clarks- 
ville on (he loih, wlier' In.' .si I \\\) his clock anil zenith sector. 
lie found thai he was llnee miles and two hinulred and ninety 
perches loo far north, lie K fi Claiksville on the 24th and 
reached Bayou Tunica on the _'()lh. Here he ascertained his 
siartnig p^>int in the middle oi the Mississippi, as set down in 
the Irealy on the norlheirnucjsi point of the thirty-first degree 
of noiih latitude. ( )n the -'isi .Major Minor and his laborers 
and on the 26lh Mr. Dunbar, ihe astronomer, arrived, all on the 
part of the S|;aiiish. y)\\ ilie \{ -[ Goveiiujr Ciayoso, accompanied 
by several ofliceis, arrivi d in ilie camp. He liad heard of the 
American movements wnlioui Ins codjieralion and had tluMight, 
doubtless, that it was lime for him [o be-■^tir himself. Having 
examined the work of the Ameiicans, he approved the same 
Jmie II, but whui reqiKsled by Mr. I'",llic()tt to confirm it he 
avoided doing so. Mr. I llie(,ii eoiitiniied the survey, with viry 
link- a.,! lance fioiu (he Spaniards. lie reached j.itlh' I'.avou 
Sara on Jniic 71I1, and I'.i;; r..i)ou on July 171I1. Me 

L.iThR x.iiia.ino.w 01' run Mississirri. loi 

arrived at Thompson's iicik oii October 27tli and Pearl river 
November Kjib. Tliey Mpriied a strip bixly feel wide through 
an abni-st impiiielrable tliicket, ibe Spaniards rekictantly assist- 
in^-.'' Governor ('.a\or,o uwned a hirj^e phmtalion at Natchez, 
havinj;- previously seemed ii with the expectation that the 
Nalcbc/. ibslrict \vt)nltl become a part of the Spanish doniinions. 
lieint^- himself an ardent Spaniard, he saw with intense re^^ret 
tlie boundary line established about tiiirty-nine miles due south 
of NalclKv. Thomas Power, a Spaniard well known in the west- 
ern ciAiniry for his pari icii)at ion in the secret acts of the Span- 
ish authorities to induce the western people to separate therrw 
selves from the Atlantic slates and unite with the Spanish Louisi- 
ana, was the commissioner for ihe survey on the part of Spain; 
but he w as more of a hindrance than an assistance to the Ameri- 
cans in the practical oi)eialious of the survey. 

The Spanish anlhoriiics in New Orleans were at this time 
exceedingly fearful of the Americans; so much so that upon tiie 
arrival of C^en. James Wilkinson about this time in the lower 
country, Governor (layi^M) armed and called out the militia and 
made other defensive operations.* Mr. I'.Uicott wrote to the 
authorities at Washington on .N'ovemher 8, 1798, that "the fears 
and jealousies of the SiKinish nation will certainly, in the course 
of a few years, occasion the less of all the country on this side 
of the Mississippi to the crown of Si>ain." His i)rediction proved 
singularly correct. They lost not only that^ territory, but ere 
long were stripped of all tlu'ir possessions in both of the Americas. 
It was inevitable— was the lo-ical result of the settled i)olicy 
of ignorance and exclusion of the Spanish government. 

It was inujueslionably the intention of the S|)anish authori- 
ties of Louisiana, under the (orders of the Spanish juonarch, to 
hoUl the American posts on the Mississipi)i, if possible, until 
it should hi determined whether I-'rance and the United States 
were to become involved in war. Spain was at this time the i)up- 
pet of the I'Vench republic. It was realized by France, under the 
stimulus of the revolutionary j^overnment, that a protracted war 
with Pngland miidit give her the coveted opi)ortum'ty to recap- 
tme Canada. It was also known to the Prencli directory that 
pressme brought to bear upon Spain would result in the relro- 
■ccssion of Louisiana to JM-ance. l^nit the Ujjijcr Mississii)pi 
valley could not be secured, ii was thought, without a war with 
the United Slates. I'rance held strong resentment against the 

• lUlii./li's Joimial. 


'lilt-: I'ROllNCli AND THE STATUS. 

Unit«.(l Stales, l)LC;msij ilic laliei had sccmin^^My favorcil the com- 
inorcc of Cux-al liiitaiu raUar than thai of I'raiKc. Slic wlio 
had hn-ii ihc issciilial iiisiriiniciil which ciiablctl tlie American 
coloiiKS to gain thrii- iiidcpLiidriioc, was now obhycd not only 
to suHcr actual and ^cl■i>lU^ iii|iiiy to her conuneice hy the acts 
of the LJnitetl Slates, hut to w iiness the in[;ratitude shown in 
the favors jj^ranted to (heal I'-iiiain, tlie former enemy of U)th. 
Such was tlie \iew of iMance. When tlie war of 1793 burst 
forlli in all its fury, h'rance k'^"^^ s^'" ni'^i'"-' hitter because the j 
llnitcv! Slates \\\)idd nol couhcnl to hecume her active ally against 
Great ilritain. The proceedim;^ of Mr. Genet were instij^ated 
by the h'rench [^■overnnunt ; ami when his course was checked 
and his recall was re(|uc>ted, ilie reseniment of l-'rancc found 
abundant fuel in privatrerin^' du American commerce and in 
humiliaiini^ the American envoys. The similar acts of Spain 
Were due to l'"rench inlhieiice. While the war, begun in 1^793, ) 
between I'rancc and Ci\a[ I'.rit.iin continued, there was no Tike- 
lihooil liiat the former would molest the United Slates; but 
shouhl she succeed in rrgainiun' Canada by concpiering Great 
I^ritain, l^niisiana was certain lo pass to her possession, and, 
if she could browbeat or whip the United Slates, all the Ui)per 
Mississi|)pi valley woidd share the same lot. This was well 
known to .Xmerican statesmen, and, thereftjre, they |)referred that 
Louisiana should r(.-ma:n ni the pc.issession of Spain rather than 
pass to Trance. The lalKr wa^ a neighbor to'be dreaded, while 
Spain was weak and )ielding. 

l!ut 1' ranee could not uu>h i neat Ihilain nor regain Canada 
in the war of I7i;3, and her di.sappointment was rellecled in her 
treatment of the Uniteil States. Her privateers ravaged Ameri- 
can commerce until in I7'>7 yH war was imnnnent and seemed 
inevitable. .Spain was coiiipklel) under the dcjuiinalion of I'rance. 
and tiie latter was no dcnibt responsible for the Si)anish reten- 
tion of the American posts on the Mississipjji.* An intima- 
tion e\en for their retention, from France to Spain, was all ibe 
inducement needed. I'.iiher preierred the (jlher to hold Louisi- 
ana rather than the United Stales. Their retention, in case of 
a war between Spain and the United Stales, not only meant 
immense early advantage to the former, but assured lier of the 
active and |>otcnlial assist. nice of l'"rance. Therefore, the p(rils 
were hekl imtil iMance had iKruiitely decided to settle without . 

♦ Moiiiut's NJtiiioiis. 



a war her disputes with tlic liiiitcd Slates. Spain, liaviiig 
already ccdeil all of the coiinlr) cdjove liic liiirty-lust (k-grcc 
to the Lliiiled States hy the treaty of 1/95, '^^^^^ "^ other iiicjtivo 
in retaining tlie Ameiieaii posts than to aid h'lance. In fact, 
having' thus cetled the eoiiiitry, it was to her atlvantage, omit- 
ting" the eons!derali(.)ns of lM"aiu;e, to surrender the posts and 
thus retain the giH;d will oi liei neighbc^r, the United States. 
But the \\ill of I'raiice prevailed, and the diplomacy of the 
Louisiana authorities enahled S])ain to retain, without war with 
the I'niteil Stales, the entire Natchez ijistrict for about a year 
and a half beyond the expiration of the treaty limits. 


riih: I'Ron.vcii .i.v/; tuh statils. 

CHAP'IIUl 111 

The Treaty of llutrocession, 1800 

Tlll{ ici)ublic of i^'raiuo li;ul scarcely heconie firmly cstab- 
lishcil lic'lorc the tlinctoiy luj^fan lo consider tlio (iiU'Stioii 
of scciiriiij^ the rcinjccssioii of Louisiana from Spain. 
The confulcnce with which I'Vancc pursued this object iiulicatis 
that owin}^ to some secret underNlandini,^ at the date oi the ces- 
sion of Louisiana to S))ain in \'/'\], t>r al some suhsecineiit dale, 
the lallei' was under olilir.aliijus t<» retrocede the jirovince to 
the JMrnch j^overnment, euher uimn demand, or up(jn the fid- 
fdlmenl of certain tonditimis i,v a}',reemenls. /\s early as 170} 
the iMench aml)a^sa(lor to the conn of Spain, Citizen iVri^non, 
was instructed to sound i;t)Vi iinnent in I'e^ard to the retro- 
cession ivf Louisiana; and u was announced in the ambassador's 
ilispatchcs thai Spain seemed to acipiiesce in the demand, in 
order to secuie for the Hnke id I'arma, as [^ance [)rt)posed, 
an enlari^ement of his states in lialy.* It slundd be particu- 
larly noted tiiat France cUinancKd at this time West Florida 
also, takini( the position thai, undrr vSpain, Louisiana end)raced 
West Florida as it did pre\ious to 1763 under iM-ance. Hut the 
French {government could not )el iKliver the territory in Italy 
desired, therefore nei^olialions wire interrupted ami delayed. 
In I797i Lelaciiiix, the ImiucIi iiiiiusiLr on exterior relations, 
wrote to Ceneral l'.ona|)arle (hat "This treat)' oui;ht to have as 
basis the ci'ssion of I.oiiihian.i and of West I'dorida to the repub- 
lic, upon the supposition th:it evenls ]H'rmil the French f,'overn- 
nient to procure for iIk- Duhc of I'arma an an^Muenlation of 
lerrilc)ry, such as KomaiMia or an', other part."|: Accordin^^ly, 

• lli^loiy .1 li.iiKi-: W'or.lil. 
I N;iiJi>ki-n C'.m ic-.i) iilc. 

nil: IKliAiV Ol' Ul'TROCIiSSIO!^. 105 

full iK)\s'crs vvtiv scut to Mr. rciif^iion U) coiicliuic the treaty 
oil lliib i)a^i^; bill Spain was iiol .^ati>l"ictl with ilic as^,inancL' that 
Francr coiild (klurr llu- ikhirc'l Uiiilory in Jtaly, ami tlurc- 
forc (IcIawHl ica^hiii^ an aiMccniuii. In iSdu iMr. Jk-ilhicr was 
sent as an cnvo) cxlraorthnai)' lo Madrid to rL-smno the nego- 
tiations, ami \\a^ inc^lriKicd by the consular gcjvcnnncnl to 
demand Louisiana and the t\V(j h'loridas. Hut an agrfCUKnt 
with vSpain on this haais eouKl nut he reached. The ainhassador 
said, in his dispatches of August .'5, 1800, "The answer of the 
king lo llie niini^ler of foreign allairs of lu-ancc was, that lie 
would piMlorni ihe priwnihc which he had given for the retro- 
cession of Louisiana, as it had Ikcii ccdeil by the treaty of \yC)\; 
that he would never con>eni to cede the I'loridas, and that lie 
was surpriseil thai, after having )ielded that which was so long 
solicited, new demands hluaild be made upon him."* 

At the same lime, he coinnmnicaled that the vS[)anish minis- 
ter, Mr. Urijuijo, "allowed him Id understand that, at a geimral 
peace, the king might cede halt uf West I-'lorida, situated 
between the left bank of the Mississijipi and the river Mobile." 
France, at tins dale, was engaged in the war with J'jigland, and 
Spain desired a general i)eace before ceding any part of I'lor- 
ida. The king ni Si)ain having thus signified his willingness, 
(ii^rcccil'l\' to piiniiisc. to reUocede l.cniisiana to I'Vance, the trans- 
fer was becrell)' made (Jciobrr 1, iH'JO, while the war was still 
in progress. After the treaty ol Amiens, whitli was concluded 
March -'5, 180J, ihe consular government instructed Cieneral 
lU-nrnonville, 1m\ ucli amb.l^^adol■ lo Madrid, to elTect the foll(.)\v- 
ing olijecls: "The iudsi important alTair with which you will 
occupy \uurself Im to facilitate ibis last delivery (of IvOuisiaiia), 
which ought to take place before I be cw^X of the season, by obtain- 
ing from the Spanish goxernnuni, that it give to the goveriu>r 
of I^ouisiana, if iioi already tlune, specific orders to deliver it 

to the captain general which ibe consul sends there 

'i'lie rel locssion made b\ Spain only exleiids from the oast of 
the Mississippi, but the .secielaiy of slate, M. LIr()nijo, had giviii 
liopes to (iciieral Uertrand, charge of this negotialicjii, and who 
insisted on the cession of one of the iHoridas, that at the g.eii- 
cral peace, he did not doubl thai ihe king would consent to 
Ce<le all lliat pail of the iloiidis which extends to Mobile, if 
the pitiiiirr con-iil asked for il. The dirhcnllies which SjKiin 
afterw.iid ihrew in ibe \\a\' of compleling ibe cession of I.ouisi- 

* Napoliiiii Ci)iit-hiM)iiiliiite. 


77//; I'ROl'I.W'li .IXn THE STATES. 

ana causinl llio ImlmuIi ^^>\ i riiiiu iil to think, hilhcili), that the 
inoincnt was nut ncI ani\rd lo u-.k an extension of territory; 
hut peaer has pkned h'ran^ e in .^luh a favoral)le position, that 
il does iu)t seem neers>ar) lo adi-mn any li)n};er the necessary 
ste|)^ to cihtaiii the aj^urandi/enu lU with whieli the niinisler of 
the kinj;- ut Spain ihillercd the I'leneh ehar^e d'aflairs. The 
part of Moricki which )ou ha\e to lay claim to, helon^'cd to 
France het"ore the peace ol" ijl'.^ It is evident she wishes to 
reaccpnie this li)rm(.r po. session where there are iloulitlcss 
a K''''''l numljer of h'reiu h famihes". ("General Uenrnonville 
was i^iven ekd)orate inbtrnclions anil full powers to treat for 
the possession of the two I'loridas, and was authorized to cede 
therefor the duchy of I'arma. Ilr look wilh him ccjmplele plans 
for the treaty, [)iepared 1)\ NapnKon, one article readin^j^ as 
follow s : '■ 

"Article IV. .Spain, in com|i. nsation for the advantages 
guaranteed to her hy the jireseni treaty, retrocedes to I'ranCe 
the river and port of iMohile, and the territory which belonged 
to it before 1763, to the west of that river only, from the most 
northern point of the thirty first decree of north latitude to the 
ri\'er of Iberville antl the (\\\\i of Mexico. Inniher, she cedes 
to b' ranee the other part el \Ve^l I'Morida and all ICast I'^lor- 
ida, wilh the rivers, lakes, pi'ils, b;i\s, isles antl straights, dejjenil- 
cnt on each se\eral terriltM \ , an<l exteiuling to the north into 
the line of demareatii)!) iraced ni .\rticle II I'f the treaty of 
friendship, i\{ limils, and oi iia\ ii^ai ion, concluded the _*7lh Octo- 
ber, 170.S, between Ills C'ailuilic M.ijesly and the United States 
of Au'eiica." 

Ikit (les))iie the inducements and the pressure brought to bear 
upon Spain, the b'rench government was unable lo obtain the 
two FKuiilas, or any part of either. The elYorts to secure tbeni 
were continued persistently f(;r nearly a decade, first by the 
I'rench directory and then by the consular government; but, 
as Spain was under no obligation to return them, though she 
had ])roniisecl to lelurn l.onisiana y she refused t(j do so, even 
though threatened by the fust coiisul. 'bhere can be no doubt 
that the consular g(ivernment fulb realized the vast iin()orlance 
C)f possessii\g Louisiana, the two k'loridas, ihe control of navi- 
gation on the Mississippi, and, ibi-ri, to a pre-eminent degree, 

K ^ 


* SliiiiIi- iJi.ciiMifiitH S(,, li»l Si s^tjl)ll. .Mil t' 

1 Siiiiiii sii-iiHil lo li;i\i- In-i 11 uiidri iiii .luii I iiiiiil coiititiiicit ill a SfCi ft ni lii le nf 
the secifl hi aly of 17(..; or ..( llii: "I'liiiily I|>;id" of \1(,\ , to relrm i ili Louisi- 
ana tu I'dilii I' Uj.oii I'uiMlilioii'. not u lioUy ii n.l< i slooil. 

run ruiiAi'v or uuriwcrssioN. 


llic coinincrcial siipmiiac)' uf the Civilf. The (jUI uiuiiarchy 
ol' J"'iaiKe IkuI hecii r>iit a^uiukr, the new citizens' ^overiiineiil 
was aleil and ainhitioiis, and eaied m>lhin|^ for the saeTedncbS 
of the "laniily compact" exeepl as it enah'.eil iheni lo demand the 
retrocession ot Louisiana acccjidini; to the promise of tlie Spanisli 
monarch, and to secure, if [)ossihle, hy cajolery or threats, a part 
or the whole of the two l-doridas. Napoleon saw the golden 
opportunity of e^lal)lishint; on the Cudf a magnificoiit empire of 
the French pee)ple, with the heaulitul capital at New Orleans, willi 
the commerce of the \M)rld on ilu- (julf unilcr French trihute and 
domination, ami with a i)rodi[;ious demand for all the products 
of the I'rench manufactories, it meant the enrichment and ^Icjri- 
tication of I'rance far beyond aii)iliint4 yet ccjujeclured or ilreamed 
of. It meant the jiractical ensla\ement of the Western states of 
America, or the purchase hy them of iMench condescension upon 
terms wiiolly at the [)lcasuie and under the dictum of France. It 
meant the absolute exclusion of (neat I>ritain from the Missis- 
sip()i and from the (adf and the ultimate loss of her West India 
possessions. It meant the probable extension of Louisiana into 
Mexico and perhaps into Central America. It was a splendid 
concei)tion — a ma^niificeiU dream of ci^ncjuest, dominion and 
power; but like many other dreams of empire during' tiiat vol- 
canic period was short-sighted, illcjyical and impossil)le of execu- 

The failure of l-'rance to comijly witli the stipulations contained 
in tile treaties with Si)ain concernint;" the retrocession t)f Louisiana, 
caused the latter to wnhhold the onlers for the delivery of the 
machiiier)' of gi»vernment at New Orleans until the conditions 
agreed upon liad been wholly fuliilled. /\s soon as the consitler- 
ations had passed, the Si)auibh niouarcli, at Barcelona, on October 
15, 180J, issued the following royal order: "Whereas, I have 
judg'ed it proper to retrocede lo the French republic the colony 
and p!"t)vince of l,(nii.siana, I command you, as soon as these pres- 
ents are exhibiled lo )uu by (ieneral Victor, or any other oflicer 
duly authorized by said republic to receive the same, to put him in 
possession of the colony of Louisiana and its depentlencies, 
together with the city and island of New C)rleans, with the same 
limits it lias at present, which it had whilst it belonged to France, 
and at the same time she ( i ded it to my royal crown, and as such 
it oughl to be lound alur the treaties successfully concludeil 
betwitn my stalis ami those of olJur p(jwers, in order that hence- 
forlli the same may behjug to saiil republic, ami that she may cause 



it to 1)0 ailininistried ami ^oviiikhI by her own offioers and gover- 
iiois, as Iktowu |>o^^^.•s .ion \villni\il any exception whatever."* 

'J'lir Spaiii.sli eouuni^sioiuMS, Mannel Salcedo ami Sehahliaii 
CaKi), appuiiuctl l)\ tlu- SpaiiiNli erown to deliver Louisiana to 
the I'lench aiilhi)i itics, issued ihe f(jlU)\vint; proclanialiou lo tlie 
inhabilauts ot the I'loviuce: 

"We make it kni)wn lo all the vassals of the king-, our master of 
all classes and cijiiditions w lialscx-ver, that his Majesty has 
resolved to make a reiriH-eMsioii of the Province of Louisiana, for 
the mutual saiisfaclion oi' hoih powers; and continuing to give the 
same proofs of piotectiim and atfeetion which the iidiahitanls of 
this pn)vince have alv,a\s reciived, he has ihoughi fit to settle 
among other ihiugs ceiiaiu i).;nits which we deem it our iluty 
publicly i(j male known iov tlu particular government and dis- 
pohiii(jn of all whom it may couccin: 

"ll's Majesiy in cou.^idei ation^ of the obligations impos^nl by 
the treaties and wishin;; lo a\oid ihe dilVerences which might 
arise, has been pleaded lo resol\e, that the delivery of the colony 
and Island of New ( )rleaMs, which is lo l)e made to General Victor, 
or oilier ofiicer. lawfully auihoi i/ed by the (lOvernment of ihe 
I'Vencli Republic, .^l;all be madt, in the same manner that it was 
ceded by Fram e to Iut MajcNl), by virtue of which the limits of 
both chores of ihe River Si. Loais or Mississii)pi shall remain as 
irrevocably fixed b) ihe ^r\•e^lll arlicle of the dehnilive treaty of 
peace, concludnl al I'ari^ on ilie loih of h^ebruary, 17^»3; and 
consecpuuily ibc scliKmuu^ fimu the liver Man^hack or Iber- 
ville, lo ihe line which divides ilic American territory from the 
ilominious of llie King, ^llall nuiain in the possession of Spain 
and annexed to We.-^l I'doi ida." f 

Acr oi' i)i.i.i\'i:;;v oi' iiii". tkovincI': of louisi.aka iiy 

S1'\I.N 'lo I K.\Nl"l':. 

'"riic undersigned, cili/eii 1'u.ire Clement Laussat, Colonial 
prefect, conunisNiouer on ilic pan of the l-'rench government, lo 
receive pi.>ssessiou in the name t)l' ihe I'rench Republic of the 
Colony or Province of Louisiana, from ihe hands of the olViccrs 
and oilier agents id" I lis Catholic Majesiy, agreeably lo the full 
|)Owers which he has n'cei\fd, in llic name of ihe I'Veiich people, 
from Cui/tu I'.onapatle, liisl ( nusul, mukr dale of ihe lyih 

♦lliM./l V u( I'l.UHC Wiiulil. 

t Atiicru'itii hl.iU- I'.iiKi-.. 

77//: TRl-.\l'Y ()!■ KliTROCl-.SSION. 


Prairial year 11 (dlli Juiio, i!^i>^), coiiiitcrbigiicd by Ilut^aies 
Marcl, sccrctai)' of .slate, aiul 1)\' his Pccros, niiiii^^lcr 
of maiiiio ami o\ tlio ctiluuits, and recently ilclivcicd in person 
to the L\)niniissittiici"s ul" his said Catholic Majesty, together with 
tile luyal oiikr, <lalcil I'loiu liaicdona, istli Octoher, 1802. 

"And the said ci>iiiiiii ^siuiicis tjf his CallK>lic Majesty, ]~)on 
Manuel de Saleedo, hiit^adiei' in the King's armies, military and 
political governor ot the provinces of Lonisiana and West I'dor- 
ida, insjiector of the veteran Iroojjs and militia of said [)rovinces, 
ro\'al vice patron, svdj-delegale, judge of the snpcrintendence of 
the posL-office department, tlvc, and Don Sebastian Calvo de la 
I'uerla y O'Farrell Marcpiis t'a^a Calvo, knight of the onkr of 
St James, brigadier in the King's armies and colonel of the 
infantry regiment (;f the Havana, appointed commissioner of his 
Catholic Majesty, for ihe delivery of this Province to the l''rench 
KciJuhlic, according to llu royal order of the i8th February, 1803: 

"Ci-KriiY by these piesenls that on this eighth day of *• Im"!- 
maire, in the twelfth year of the French Republic and thirtieth 
November, i8oj, having assembled in the hall of the hotel of the 
city of New Orleans, accompanied on either j^art by the chiefs 
and otVicers of the armies of land and sea, the sccidar and eccle- 
siastical cabildo, the atlministratitjn of t'lnances of the King of 
Spain, the civil administiaiicjii, and by other distingnisheil persons 
of their res[;ecii\e nations, said Cili/en l.aussat delivered to the 
said commissioners of hi^ Catholic Majesty the above mentioned 
fidl powers from citizen I'.onaparle, l-'irst Consul of the French 
republic; and nnniedialelv after the said Mannel de Salcedo and 
the Mari|nis o\ Casa Cab.o declaied thai b) virtne of, aiul in con- 
fornul)' to, the terms i>l the onkr of the King of Spain, dated 
from Harcelona the 15111 of October, iSoj, and countersigned by 
Don I'edro Cervallos, Inst secretary and counsellor of state, 
they from that moment tlid put the French connnissioner. Citizen 
Laiissat, in jxjssession of the Ct^lony of Louisiana and its ilepend- 
encies, as also of the city and island of New Orleans, with the 
same extent \vhich they have on this day, and which they had 
while in the hands of I'rance when she ceiled the same to the 
royal crcjwn of Spain, and such as they ought to have been since 
the treaties suceessively eonehided between the States of his Cath- 
olic Majesty and those of ollur Powers, in order that the same 
may henceforth belong i(j the Iwench Republic and be governed 
anil a<lnnnist(red by its oHic crs and governors, in such maimer as 
will best suit its interests; and they have accordingly soknudy 


77//: rh'orixcH .ix'd nil- st.iths. 

delivered to liim llie keys ol' this pi, ice, (ieclaiiiij;- that they ahsolve 
from the oath of fulelity io his saul Majesty, all such inhahilaiits 
as may choose to coniiuiK' m the service of clepeiulenee of the 
I'Vench Kepuhlic. 

"Ami [o the end that tlu same may forever hereafter appear 
hy tiiis si^lemn act, the undcrsii^iud have sij^iied these presents in 
the French antl Spanish lan^nai^es, have hereto affixed their seals, 
and can.scd the same to he countersigned hy the secretaries of the 
respecii\e cununissions, the day, niuiiih and )'ear ahove written. 



"Bv the colonial prefect and commissioner on the part of the 
French ( lovernnunt. 

"v^ecretary of the Commission. 

"Andres Lo])ez Armislo, 
'So del CK)ho. 
"y (le la Comm'on. 

"Ma\i;i:i. de, 

"I'j. .Makoukz dk C.\sa Calvo. 

Below is written : 

"Deposited in the archivts of the city hall of this conunune, 
New Orleans, the 6th Ariu;e, year 12 of the French Repuhlic, 
and 28th Decemher, A. 1). iSoj." 


"By the colonial prefect and coiumissioner on the part of the 
French (iovernmeut.'' 


"Secretary of the Commission. 

llie following is in full the text of the treaty of retrocession, 
concluded Ocloher I, iSoo, hy wliirh Louisiana was returned to 
France. acc(»rdint,'- to the promises of the Uinj^^ of Spain, contained 
in a secret article o( the secrel treaty of 1762, l)y which Louisiana 
passed to the crown oi Spain. 'I'liou^di this secret treaty was 
made pnhlie in the Unileil Slates in 183.;, the secret article of this 
secret treaty seems never t(^ have heen ])rinleil or circulated in 
this country. The douhle secrecy has thus proved an elTeclual 
har to puhluily :* 

•TuiUic '. ..I lln- Uiiili .1 .SliiUn. 

'Jim IRli.-irV oh' l^liTROCliSSION. Ill 

"I'Ki.i.iM iNAkv AND sicKi.i iKi:\i V Hi: 1 \v i:i:n 'iiii': rui:N(ii kiU'UU- 
i,r: and Ills CA'i'iioin' maji.s'iv, 'nil': king of si'ain, 

INt". '!"() Till'; ACGKANDI/I'.M INT DF JUS KUYAI, llUillNFSS, TllIC 

"His Calliolic Majesty liaviiiL; always maiiifLStcil tlic most anx- 
ious desire to i;iocure for liis l\o)al 1 Ugliness, llic Duke of I'arina, 
an agqrantlizeineiU which uii^ht place him on a fcx>ling" cone- 
sponilin|4' with his ili^nils ; aiul ilie iM-ench Repuhlic having long 
since given to his CatlK^lic IMajer^iy, the king of Spain, to under- 
staiul the ilesirc which tluy feci i() rcct)ver possessicjii of the C(;lony 
of Louisiana, hoth ( jovcinmeiils having interchanged their views 
uj)un these two suhjects of common interest and circnmstanccs 
permilliiig tluin to eiilir inio engagements in this particular 
wliich, as far as it ilcpeiids on them, may assure reciprocal satis- 
faction, have authorized for this purpose, that is to say, the lMi.'nch 
Repuhlic, the cili/en Alexaiuler lierthier, gcneral-in-chief ; and his 
Catholic Majesty, Don Mariano I^uis de Urquijo, chevalier of 
the order of Charles Hi ami ol' St. John of Jerusalem, counselor 
of stale, his envoy extraordinary and jilenipoteiitiary, near the 
Batavian JiejMihlic, and his jjiovisicjiial iirst secretary of state; 
who after having exchanged thiir jxiwers have agreed, saving the 
ratification, upon the following articles: 

"Article I. The lueiich l\epnl)lic engageS'to procure for His 
Roy;il Highness, the Infant Duke of rarma, an augmentation of 
tcrritoi \' which shall rai.-c the p»)pnlation of his estates to one mil- 
lion of inhahitants, wiih the title of king and all the rights 
annexed to r(\val (llgnil\ ; and to this elVect the L^cncli repub- 
lic engages to obtain the C(Miseiit of his Majesty, the Kmperor and 
King, and of ihc ollur .->l;aes interested, so that His Royal High- 
ness, the Infant Duke of I'arma, may, without opposition, enter 
into [jossession of said territories at the time of the confirmation 
of the peace between the ImciicIi Jvepublic and his Imperial 

"Article 2. The augmentation to be given to His Royal High- 
ness, the Duke of Parm;i, may consist of Tuscany, in casv the 
I)ri'st'iii negoii;itions oi the (jicnch Government with His Impe- 
rial M.ijesty shall periiiii tluiii to dispose of lliat country, or (A 
the tint I Roman eccle.^ia^tical provinces, or any other conlinental 
proviiur-, of Italy that may form a round(.;d estate. 

"/NrlicK.- ]. His Cathwiic ^blj^sty promi^(•s and engages f>ii his 

part Im I'lrocidi lo lb' liu.'b Ut |-iibbc,. > i i^. inoulb. ,ifl'i lb'' 


Till: /'A'()/yV(7: .l\l) Til LI STATUS. 

full and nilin.' rxciniliuii ol' (lit.- (.(UKlitions aiul stiidilations lioiciii 
cxi)r(.s>(.il in rclaliun lo II is l\())al lli^liiicss, llie 1 )uKo of I'arma, 
the coK-iiy ov inoviuco i»i I ,()iii- iaiia, willi llic same extent that 
it now lias in ilic hands oi' Spam, and had while in the posscssicjn 
(;f I'rancc, anil snch as il laiidil to he in eonl'ormily wilii the trea- 
ties snhseijnenlU eonehided het\, een Si>ain and other slates. 

"Article .\. 1 lis L'athohe .Maje sty will j^ive the necessary orders 
for the occiijiation of l.oni>iana h\ h^ance the iiionient the estates 
(lesi^iKnl fi)r liis a^i^randi/emeni shall he i)laced in the hands of 
His l\i»\al llij^hness, the Dnke of I'arma. 'I'he I-'rencli may 
accordiiiL,' lo its convenience defer the taking possession; and 
when this is to he done the Stale s ilireclly (;r indirectly interested 
shall aj^ree upon the nlterior conditions which their common 
interests ami thai of their inhahilants may demand. 

"Article 5. ilis Catholic MaieUy en}4a}.;es to deliver to the 
French K'epnhlic in the pons (tf Spain in lun'upe, one month after 
the execntion of the stipulation with re^^jard lo the l.')uke of Tarlfia, 
six ships (jf war in ^ood cc^ndilioii, of seventy-four f;uns, armed 
and e(|nippod, and in a stale lo receive the I'rench crews and 

"Article 6. The slij)ulaiions <^f tlie i)resent treaty having' no 
prejudicial ohjeci, huL on the contrary preserving untouched the 
rights of every one, i^ not lo he presumed they can excite the sus- 
picions of any power. iWii if the contrary sliouKl happen ami 
the result of their execuli^n shoiiUl he that th(! two estates aie 
attacked or threaiiiUil, hoih powers to engage to make common 
cause as to lepel aggression as also to take those conciliatory 
measures pro[)er to maintain peace \\ilh all their neighhors. 

"Article 7. The ohligalMiis coiiiained in the present treaty in 
nothing aminl those which are expressed in the treaty of alliance 
signed at Si. lldefonso on the s I'ond Fructidor, year 4 (i8ih 
August, i/i/)) ; on the contrary, ihey unile with new ties the 
interests oi the two I'owei-, and C(jnfirm tin; stipulations of the 
treaty ol alliance in all the cases in wdiich they can he applied. 

"Article iS. The ratilicaiioiis of the pr*.'sent i)reliinin;iry arti- 
cles shall he com|detetl and e\cliain;ed in ihe period of t)ne nujiilh, 
or sooner if jjossihle, counting- from the date of the signing of the 
present treaty. 

"In failh of which we the undeisigiied ministers pleniptjlentiary 
of the l''ieiich Kepnhlic and of Ilis C'atholic Majesty hy virtue of 
our respi.'ii\e poweis have signed the present i)reliminary arti- 
cles ami have aflixed our seals. 






'^ ^' 

y P 








f i: 


ji >-- 


u Jq 



P r«- 


P 0- 

Till: TJu--.rry oi- h'i:rROCi-.ssioN. 


Done at St. IKki'inisi) ilir i/tli Nriuliinairc, (>th year of the 
ImciicIi Ixcimhlic (l^l l)ct>'ln.r, i<S>h)). 

"Ai i;;k ni;i<Tiiii:K, 
"Makiano I.i'is i>i; Uiajuijo.'" 

This \\a^ latiikd by l^oiiajjarti' i K loln-r l<), iSo;), ami alli^ted 
by L liarlcs iMaiiricc 'l\ilK \ raihl, iiiini^tci" uf I'Drcij.;!! ri'lalioiis, aiul 
Hughes Marcl, sccictai} of slaU\ It docs iiol ai)i)oar ever to 
have l.'ccn raliliLcl on the ilocinnciii itself hy the kin^^ of Spain. 
]ly anolhei- lieat) eonehuKil i\lai\li Ji, 1801, hy I,vie"ien liona- 
partc and the king of v'^pain, various other ehanjj^os of lerritoiy 
were made t^) meet the wants of hoih iManee and Spain. Article 
() of this tieat)' 1-1 as fwllow.s: 

"Article 0. As this iixaiy ]\as its t)rigin in that concluded 
between the k'irsl Consul and hi> (.'alholic Majesty, by which the 
King' relrixeiles to J'rance the i)ossession of Louisiana, the con- 
tracting'' parlies a^^ree to can y into ( fleet the articles of that treaty; 
and thal^ while the diilicultiis with le^.^'-ard to them are in proct'^JS 
of arrangement, the pieseni treat) shall not ilestroy the rights of 
either i)arty." 

Late in March, 1801, it was rumored in I'aris and IvOndon that 
Louisiana and the IHorida^ had bin ceded by vSpain to i'rance; 
and soon afterward the -anie rep(»rls were swiftly circulated 
throughoul Louisiana and the rniteil Stales. In a letter dated 
Louilon, March _'(), iSid, Uufii.. l'^i"k''i minister to J''.ngland, 
informetl the secretary of .-.laie of the currency of the rmuors ui 
l'".mo|)i\ 1 Ic fui iher >:iid that the liansfer had "in all probability" 
been execuled; that the cc-^sion embraced ktMiisiaiia and the two 
l''kirida;3 ; that inlhienlial jHrsoiis in I'rance entertained the opin- 
ion that nature made the .Mleghany mountains "a mark'ed line of 
sejjaralion between the |)eoplc of the United States living upon 
the two sides ol the range of mountains which divides their ter- 
ritory;" and thai lu' wa^ "apprehensive that this cession is 
intended to have, and nia\ aclually produce, el'fects injurious to 
the union and consecpicnt liappine^s of the people of the United 
States."'- lie said in aiuHber letter dated June I, thai the 
lisli nutiistry was greatly rxorcised hy the rumors, because they 
realized that, should the)' bi; true, "the ac(piisition might enable 
I'rance to extend her inlkience, and perhaps her dominii^n up the 
Missis'-ippl, and ihri.ugb ibe lakrs even lo Canada;" that I'Vancc 
would I bus succied in rever.sing the results of the ".seven years* 

* DiploiiuMir Coot -.)«iml(.iii.i-. 



riil: I'ROl IXCI: .l.\'D Tin: STATUS. 

war" (i7.S5-(',^); '^'"1 ll'-'l l''^' proxiiiiily of the I'Moridas to the 
iiriii^li West liulus "w,!-. hln/iii; jcascjii why ]\ii^Maiul iiuihl he 
im\viniii)_; that ihi.' Iciiihiry ^h..llhl pass iiiulcr the doniiiiiiui of 
I'Vaiu c." 

( )n June 9 Mr. Maih-^.m, srrntary of slate, re(iiiestecl Cluulea 
Piiickncy, luiiiibtcr to Siiaiii, lo K'aru all that was possihio (.-oii- 
ccrniii^;' the ccssii)n. 1 Ir said, "The wliule suhject will ilcsiive 
aiul eiii^a^e your eaily and vij^ilaiit iii(|uiries and may require a 
very delicate ami eiromii-^pccl maiia^^emeiit." 1 le_ohsei"ved thai 
tlie motives oi .Spain w v re iioi ohvious, while tho.^e of I'Vaiice 
were; that, inasimieh as alarms IkuI prevailed in iM'ance dining 
and since the late war oi designs on the [)arl of Great iSritain to 
wrest the mouth ol the Mississippi from her, "she may have eoii- 
eluded a [)re-oceu])ancy of it h)' herself to he a necessary safeguard 
aj^aiust an event frcnn wliich tliat nation would derive a double 
advantage of hln ii^lhenin;; Ik 1 lujld on the United vStates, and 
of adiling' to her commerce a monopoly of the immense and fd'tile 
rej^ion conuiiunicatin^ with the >ca throu)j;h a sinj^le outlet;" that 
means should he found to divert iMance from securing" [<ouisiaua, 
amonif which were "that the United States were not disposed to 
enter, nor are in danger of being drawn, into partialities toward 
Great Britain unjust or injurious to hVance ; that our ijolitical and 
commercial interests alfoid a Miliicient guaranty against such a 
state of things; that wilhuni the co ijperatit)n of the United States 
(jreat Hrilaiu is not likeK lo acnuire any |iart iM' the Spani^h p. >s- 
sessioiis on the Mississippi, a.iil that ihe tlang;er of collision 
Ijclweiii the two rep\ihlics was not a remote contingency "from 
the conllicts in their reL;nlalions of a commerce involving the 
[)eculiarities which distini' nish ihat of the Mississippi." 

These views, which Mr. Madison represented to he tiiose of 
the presiilent, were also sent lo Mr. Livingston, minister to 
iM'ance. The latter was lustrm u'd to use every argument avail- 
able to (klcr iMance Irom secniiiig^ ],ouisiana, hut if this conkl 
not he done liei :M»od will was in be retained. In this event, he 
was instrucunl, should ilu I'liaidas be included in the cessii)n, to 
secure their transfer to tlie United States if it could be done. He 
said, "the great importance of West Florida to the United Stales 
rcconuuends lo )onr paliiolism the prudent use of every fair 
cousideiatiou wiiieh may lavor llie attainment of the object."' 

The healy by wlmh I onisian.i passed lo Iwance was secret, 
and tliongli its subsiiinlial pro\i: lous became Known to the woild, 





an; Corn- iHiiii 



the first positive eviileuei.' It) re;ieli the United Slates was cua- 
taiiieil in a cop)' (A the treaty of March 2\, iSui, hetween I.ucien 
l)Ona])arie and the kini^ ot Spain, sent hy Rnfiis Kin^^ from Lon- 
don in Noveniher, iSui, \^< the secretary ol stale, in which it was 
stated that "this treaty l)e mil; in conseqnence of that ah'cady COJi- 
cliided hetween the h' L'onsid and His Most Calhohc Majesty, 
by wliich the Kini,'" cedes to J'"rance the possession of IvOuisiana, 
the contracting parties a.LMce to carry the said treaty into exeeii- 
lion and to arrange it in confoiniity to their res[)cctive rights." 
As late as December lo, 1801, Mr. Livingston wrote that the 
bVencli minister of state had stated that "nothing bad been con- 
chided, or even resolved ><\\, in that affair." However, Mr. Liv- 
ingston aiuioimced that he was satisfied for varitjns reasons that 
the cession ba<l been reall)' cum hided. ( )ne day later ho wrote, 
"Jn addition to what 1 wrote )()U \esterday, I have only to men- 
tion, that I am more and more Confirmed notwithstanding what I 
there say of the minister's assnrance, that Louisiana is a favorite 
object and that tliey will be willing to part with it on the condition 
1 nienlionetl. vSi)eaking of the iiu'ans of paying their debts to 
one of their ministers yesterday, I hinted at this. His reply was, 
'none bnt speiuhhrifts satisfy their debts by selling their lands,' 
adding, however, after a pause, 'hut it is not onrs to give."' A 
few days later he wrote, that b'rance was preparing a large arma- 
ment ostensibly for Hisi»aiii(;la, bnt in reality for the occupation 
and government of Lcjiiisiana. lie said, "That Spain has made 
this ce.'^idii (wbicli i out r.: \ rnr.s all her former inaximM of policy) 
caimoi be doubled, bill >lu- is 110 Idiiger a flee agent. ... It 
jnits Spain in a perpeUial slate oi pupilage, since she must always 
tremblr lor the saf<.[y oi ln.r coKmicb in case of rupture, 'i'o 
avoid this evil, she must grant every ecunmercial and political 
advantage to iMMuce." 

The iMcncb ministry continued to deny that Louisiana had been 
retrocedrd lo b'rance, even after the fact became known pt>silively 
to the public through secret or private scnirces. Un(|uestionably, 
France expected vigorous op|)Osition lo the treaty from both 
Great Britain and the United Slates; therefore, she concealed it 
as long as i)OSsibl(j (the treaty not having been ratified yet by 
the king of S|)ain), and in the iiurmtimc made extensive prepara- 
tions lo send to New Orleans a l.iigi: body of tr(X)ps to lake pobses- 
sion and later a large c(yli>ny (ci ociaipy the country. The secrecy 
was paiil) ^\v\c to a surmise that b'.ngland, with whom I'^ance was 
on the point of war again, intendeil lo send a fleet to the mouth 
of the Mississippi, and sm h a iii(,vtinent was really contemplated. 


run I'uoi i\L I: 

SI) rill-. STATUS. 

iM-aiUT suspccicd lliat iIk' Uiiiuil Stales had "an eye to tlic con 
ciuot ui her W est luiha i-laiul-." Kul'iis Kin^-, at London, eeho- 
iii}^ the rei)i.irts eireiilaieW in luiLjlanil, spoke of "the estahhshnuiil 
of thi.i colon)- ( I .ouisian.i ) as a (hirhnj; i)l)jeel" of the liisl cnu- 
siil.* -Mr. l,i\ ini^sion wiote Paris I'eliruary 6, i8o_', "The 
estabhshnient (of \\h- I.duisiaiiii colony) is (Hsapproved h)' every 
statesman here as one that will occasion a [;reat waste of men 
and money, excite enmities with ns.and i)roiliioe no possible ach. in- 
take tt> the nation. I'-ui it is a ^heme to wliieli the Fir^l Consul 
is exliemel)' attached; and it nin-i, of conrse, he sn|)porteil. Vou 
will fmd hy the enclosed note that I have pressed an explanation 
on ilu' subject, but I have recii\i d no answer. 1 have il, however, 
thron.,di a friend, fiom ilu.' lMr4 t.\jnsul, that it is by no ineans 
their intention to obstrnci the navij^ation of the Mississi|)i)i, or 
violate (nir treaty with Spain, (icneral liernadotlc is luulerbtood 
to he desi<4nati.d for the loinmand and to have ask'cd ten tlunj^and 
troops." St. I >onnnj_;o, ( .uiana and i»ther I'Vench colonial p('sses- 
sions, as well as Louisiana, w > i\- [u be stren^^thened and pro- 

( )n h\bruary 20, Mr. Livim;-.ton addressed a note to Mr. Tal- 
le)'rand, iM'ench niinisttr of e\lerior relation.s, re(|uestin^ a 
stateniuit t)f the |jrobabK atiilude of I'rance on the (lueslion of 
bonndar)', na\i,L;aiion and oilu i rights secured to the United 
States h\ the treat)' with Spain, and ^ave as a reason for the 
incpiiry ""the alarms of the people in the western part of the 
Ihnted v^tates i)\cv the i^ polled future arrival of a larj;c body of 
iMeiich iroops in their \ivmil\." lie also asked whether luist or 
\Vest Idorida was included in the cession, but Mr. Talleyrand 
pleasantl)' e\aded all of his (pusiions. In his letters of March 
10 and 24 Mr. Livinc^ston said: 

"'idle fact is they (the iMeiich) believe us to be certainly hos- 
tile to this measure, and the) mean to take possession of it 
(I<oui.-.iana) as early as possibk ami with as little in)lice to us as 
they can. 'i'hey are made lo hrlu ve this is one of the most fertile 
and important countries in the world; that they have a mucJi 
preater interest with Ilu Indians than any other people; that 
New ( )rleans must command ihe trade of our whole western 
country; and of course that they will have a leadinf<- interest in its 
politics. It is a darlintr cbji'cl with the I'irsl Consul, \\\\(> sees in 
it a iiuaiis lo j;i;ilify liL fiiviids ;md to dispose of his armies. 
I cannot help lliiiil;iiii; (hat il w(juld be advisable for the 

• lJi|)I..ii,.iiic Cuiu-.poiicliiiic 

Tin-: 1 Kii.n )' ui' unrRoCESsiON. 


])rtjsc'ir ii'ii^rcsb Id take mct'-iiix^ fur cslalilisliiii^^ llie Natclicz 
or suinc Dilid" jHtil aiul Ki^''"'-i '' ^'"-'1' ailvaiila^i s as \vi)uM hrin^ 
our vessel-, to ii wiilioiii toiK'liiii;^ al Orltaiis. 1 liavc hut 
t«iic Ii"iK K 11 as I'l iKlraliii',; llii^ ^\^si(lll. ll Lousiatb iu alariniu^^' 
Si)ain aiul I'ln^lauvl. The Spaiiiili iniuislcr is udw alJ^>^.•llt, l)Ut I 
liavc iioi failed to show, in ihe ^Uon^csl lif^ht to the minister of 
Ihitain (he danger thai uill re>nh lu them froiu the extension of 
the l-'reneh posbes.sions in Alcxuo anil the jjrohahle loss of Can- 
ada if ihey arc suffered to possess it. ... 1 helievc such is 
the .stale uf ihiii.i;.^ heie ( ui Im.uicc and such the desire for 
peace, thai Ihitain may foree them to rehnquish Louisiana, par- 
ticularly as the ]aople here are far from desirinj^- the estahlish- 
nient of any fureiiMi coIoun whieli ihey consider as a weak point 
and drain for the populalidn and wealth. It is impossihle to see 
the extent of the power h ranee \,ill have in and over America. 
As part of the territor\' of .'•^i»ain, l.onisiana has no i)recise hound- 
ary, so it is easy to foresee liie fate of T^lexico. Britain wjll 
judge how far she is ahle l(j coiUend with France, enriclied by 
the treasures of vSi)aiu. The boundary between Canada and 
J,ouisiana is alike unsettled, 'i'he dispositions of a great i)art of 
the natives of that counlr) are friendly to i'rancc ; her influence 
over the Indian tribes has alwa)s been and will again be much 
greater il'an that of the r.iiiish, boih from the disposition anel 
manners of her jjetiple and from the whole body of carriers in the 
Indian trade bein:; native and nuich.lhe [greater part 
of them moiii^irl iMeiuh. ll is impossible to .--ay what their indu- 
euce may be upon u\w wesiern coimtry in case of a controversy 
with tneat Iniiain, parlicularl)' if they keep the Iceys of it by 
liossessing the nu>uth of the Mississippi or invite their aid in the 
plundi-r of Mexico."* 

In his letter of April 24 Mr. Livingston said, "It appears very 
extraonlinary that Mr. Linckney (nn'nister to Spain) still sup- 
poses that the I'loi idas are not included in the cession and that he 
has made an offer to ])urihase them. Ytni may, however, be 
fully assured that the Lloridas are given to h'rance, and that they 
are at this moment filling out an arinament from here to take 
possession. The number of troo])s designeil for this ol)jcct is 
between live and seven thousand. They will slu;rtly sail for New 
Orleans unless the stale (>[ affairs in St. Domingo shouhl change 
their tksiin.ition. It wouM be wise immediatdy to take measures 
to ihe Natchez to rival Orkaiis. If congress juake Natchez 

* .\iiitrii-:iii Sl;ite I'.iiiers. 


'iiii: i'ia)rj.\'cii .i.\'i) TiiLi sT.rriis. 

a free port, aiul if llic st;itc of .itTairs in St. noiiiinj^'o bhouM 
employ the troops i.lcsij.;iiL'il tor 1 ,i Miisiaiia, time will slill l)c left tor 
gold to operate here." 

Mr. IMadi.suii, secretary of slate, in letters dated May 1st, 
rellected the unea.sine.-.s, p^iliap^ an.xiel)', wiih which the ceSbinn 
to I'Vaiice \va^ rej^arcKtl \\y llie adminislralitJM. lie said, "W'c 
arc lullv aware ol the u:ndene\ ol the reported cession of l.onisi- 
ana to jilant in onr neighhiuhooil Irouhles of ilifferent kinds, and 
to prepare the way for very serions events. It has accordingly 
been a juimary ohjecl with ihe I'loident to obviate snch an eveni. 
The cebsiuii of J,v)nisian.i to JMance become daily more 
and more a source of painful apprehensii)ns." 'i'o Mr. I.iving- 
slon he said, "Since the receipt of your last comnuuiications, no 
liopc remains (of prevent ini; the cessicju of Louisiana to !•' ranee), 
but from the accumulating dilficullies (;f going ibrougli with the 
underlahiug and from the ci;nvicli(;n you may be able to im|jress, 
that it nuist have an instant and powerful elTect in changing the 
relations between iManee and the United States. 'I'he change 
is obvious; and tiie more it can be developed in candid and 
friendly appeals to the rellectioiis of the I'rencli govcnuuent, the 
more it will urge it to revi-e and abandon the [iroject. A mere 
neighborbootl couKl not be frieudl)' to the harmony which both 
countries have so much at imeresi in cherishing; but if a posses- 
sion of (he moulh of the Mississiiipi is to be addeii to the other 
cau->es < I di.'>^ord, the wor.^l e\'cnl:~ are to be ai)f)rehendeil. You 
will coii.M(|ucml) :-i)aie no d'forls iliat will consibl with prmleiice 
and digiuiy to lead the ciMiucils of Iwance [o proper views of this 
subject and to an abandomuenl of her pieseut purpose. You 
will also pui.sue by [)rudeni mean.s the iu(|uiry into the extent of 
the ce.^sioll, particulaily wlidlur u uicludes the Moriilas as well 
as New Oilcans, and eiuKivor to ascertain the price at which 
these, if nr luded in the cevHon, would be yieliled to the United 

In a h-tter dated April i.S, iSoj, I'resident JefTerson wrote to 
I\Ir. Livingst(m, mini^tcr to h'rance, that "The day tliat b'rance 
takes po.-^.-ie^sion of New Orleans fixes the sentence which is to 
restrain her forever within her low water mark. It seals the 
union of two nations who in c(jnjunclion can maintain exclusive 
possession of the ocean. iTom ihat moment we i\uist marry 
ourselves to the IJrilish fleet and nation. We must turn ail our 
attentifju lo a luaritime force, for which our resources place us 
on very high grouml ; and h.iving fonncd and ceuieiUi-d togi llu r 
a power which may render ri- enfoi.n uu'ut of Ium- seltlinuiUs lieie 


77/i; riULlTV Ol- RliTROCnSSlON. 119 

iiiipossililc to I'laiKc make llic first caniioii which shall be fired 
ill l'",iir(.)j)i' the si.L; tui liaiiiii; up any seltleiiiLiil slic may have 
iiiailc ami tur luildin^ tlic two ■ Diiiiiu nis of .Ami rica in sc-(|\icstra- 
lioii lor ilic common imrpoM'. ol the imitcil llrilish and Aiin'iicaii 
nations." '■ 

On MaN' 7, in icsponsc to .1 iciu^t of Mr. Kinj; for the views 
of (ucat lirilain on ihe uc>lion ol the cession, 1 .oi\l IJawkes- 
bnry ri'plicd, "Willi n-^jard to ilu' iwv navij^aiion of the Missis- 
sippi, 1 coiucive that it is |)ci fcclly ckar, aocordin)[,'' lo the law of 
nations, thai in the event of ihc district of Louisiana being' ccdeil 
to l'"rance, that country would cimik- nto the possession of it sub- 
ject to all the engagements which appertained to il at the time of 
the cession; and thai the French j;o\ernmcnt could consecpienlly 
allege no C()lorable pretext f(>r exclu<ling His Majesty's (the King 
of F.nglanil) subjects, or the citizens of the Uniteti States, from 
the na\igation of the ri\'er Mississippi." '^^ * 

Previous to May 11, iSoj, the views and intentions of Spain 
concerning" the cession were unknown to the United States, but on 
that dale Mr. Pinckney was recpusted to comniunicate all that 
couUl he learneil on the subject at Madrid. Mr. Madison said to 
liini, "What the iiUenlions of Spain may be, we wait to learn 
from yon. Verbal information from inofticial sources has led us 
to infer that she disouns the inslrument of cession and will 
rigorously oppose il. Should the cession actually fail from this 
or an}' other cause, and Spain retain New Orleans and the Fkjr- 
idas, I lepeat to )()u the wish of the Presiilenl that every elToit 
and addies.s be employed to obtain the arrangement by which the 
terrilor) on ilie east side of the Mississipjii including New Orleans 
may be cedetl to the Uniied Slates and the Mississippi made a 
common bcjundary, with a common use of its navigation for them 
and Sf)ain. ... \'ou may not only receive aiul transmit a 
projjosition of guaranty of her territory beyond the I\lississi[)pi, 
as a condition of her ceding 10 the United States the territory 
including New Orleans on this side, but in case it be necessary 
may make the proposition )'ourself in the forms recpiired by our 
constitution. You will infer from this enlargement of your 
autiioriiy, how miuli impoitance is attached to the object in ques- 
tion, as securing a jjrecious accjuisition to the United Stales, as 
well as a natural and (piiet boiiii<l,iry with Spain. "f 

• Wntl.U., o( Til (Minis JrlK-th.Ml; l'.;l(l 

•♦ l)i|)li.iii,iiic Ci>ru ^iKJiiiUiici-. 
t Maihr^Kii's I'iipcis. 


Till: l'l<0\'l\Cl: AM) run ST.lTllS. 

Laic in May, Mr. l,iviii,L;sl(iii iiil"i)rnicil llic secretary of state 
tliat " lici iiack)ttc is to cuiiiiiiaml, ^ollut second in coiniuaiui, Adct 
to be rrefcct ; but ibc c.\ia-(bli(jii in dohiyed till about Scpleiu- 
ber, on account (as Tallcyiand e.-.prcsscil liiinsclf to I>onuidotlc) 
of souiC difl'icuU) wliicb bad aiiMii from llie dirfcrcnl appre- 
hensions oi iMance and v^pain i dative to the meaning'' of the 
term Louisiana, which has been luulerstood by I'rance to include 
the Floritlas, but [)r(jbabl)' by Spain to lia\'e been con lined to 
the strict meaning of the term. This explains why 1 could never 
get an an.'jwer to my (pieslious relative to the extent of the ces- 
sions, anil upon which the iMcnch f;overnment had probably no 
doubt till we started it. 'ibis is my conjecture as to the cause 
of the delay in stariin.i^^ the expeiliiion."| 

Karly in June, in answer to an incpiiry of Mr. Livingston, 
the vSpani.-ih minister to the iMench republic, }. Nicolay D'A^^ara, 
said, ''It appears certain a treaty ceding' 1/Ouisiana lias been 
Ci)nchided, but 1 am of the opinion that the Lloriilas are not 
comprised in the cession." ( )n J idy 30 Mr. Livingston wrote 
to the secretary of stale: "1 ha\e been apphed to by one of 
the niini.sters here (I'aris) to Know what we understaml in Amer- 
ica by Louisiana. Vou can easil)' conceive my answer, I have 
just received a letter from Mr. C.raham, in which he communi- 
cates the Spanish miIli^ter'.^ an^wii to Mr. I'inckney's applica- 
tion UjXMi the same subject in these words: 'If the King shoiikl 
think proper to cede i.i»uisi,iua, hi will take cary that the inter- 
>est of the Unitctl Stales shall not be alVected by it.' It appears 
;\lso by the I'lfih article of lb,- tieai\ oi M;idrid, ALirch 21, 1801, 
(bat the cesium had been made nf Lonismiui i;i.'jiiri;//y. The 
I'Veiich, you know, have alw;iys extended it to South Carolina 
aiul all the coiuilr)' on the Ohio. vSince the i)t)ssession of the 
Floridas by llritain and the treaty of 1763, I think there can 
be no d<)ul)! as to the precise meaning of the terms." 

Lhiiler the urgmt iii.-,lriu liouh of the slate department, the 
ministers to l-'rance and Spain exhauhted every resource at their 
command to prevent (as lliey hoped they could) the ratifica- 
tion of the cession treaty. Mr. Li\'ingston, at i'aris, became 
so insistent that the iM-eiicb minisler of state adopted the pol- 
icy of evasion; but the laciful American sought and secured 
another cli;muel to tin: ears of tlie fust consul.* lie pje|)are(l 
lengthy nuniwrials, embracing every conceivable argument 

I Allirl i( .III .M.itc l'ii|)> I -. 

• l>il<li)Uiiilir t'uiu.-'i'iMi.kin.i:: .Si i ii nine Km-. lilUin. 

77//: TKliAlV 01' Nl^TROCI■:S^S^O^f. 121 

against llic ImxikIi l)().ss(.•^^il)n nl I,i)iiisiaiia, prcpan-cl particularly 
to iiilliKiicc llic jiuIl;iikiiI of ilic lirsi consul, and managed 
to lia\c iIkui, coii\L\ril ]iii\.iul\ lo MapoK'on by Jusc[)h Bona- 
parte, his lirullicr. \ cl, ,il llic same lime, he was iiiforuK'il at 
every interview with the iMciuh hiatesuian that liie aeijuisitiou 
of Louisiana was tlear to the luait ot Napoleon, who conliiuieil 
his elahorate preparations to siii«l large and exi)ensive ciihjnies 
to the .Mississippi and strong armaments to sustain them. Tims, 
although the AnK-riean minister siicceeiled in gaining the atten- 
tion of this wonilerful man, he had to combat the unerring 
judgmcni that placed a just valuation on the control of the Mis- 
sissippi and the ownership of the vast country to the westwaril. 
The orders of Naimleon lo mmkI a large armament to Louisiana 
were nc^t cksiL^ned mere!)- as a show of force to prevent an 
interference with the ImvucIi occupatic^n, hut signalized his esti- 
mate of the value of the province, -'i'he troubles in St. l)on>ingo 
were merely an inciileiil which demanded troops at the s^une 
time. Of all the statesmen of tliat era, of whatever nationality, 
Napoleon seems to have been the only one by whom Louisiana, 
as a province, was jjlaced t'nst in import. mce. The Americans, 
on the other hand, tiiouj.;h striving to secure the I'^loridas, con- 
centrated all the lire of their elVorts upon the 'retention and per- 
petualioii of their rii;ht to iiavi;;ale the Mississippi. If nothing 
better could be secured, ihe\ were pre|)ared to rest satisfied for 
a time if iMance would merely coniirm the American ri}.;lils 
stipulated in the treat v tU' 1705 with vSpain. lUit the American 
minisieis were iushucled to sp.ue no efforts, e\en to the lavish 
Use i.)i -old/ to secure the cession to the United States of \Vest 
l'"lorida, which carried wiih it, ihrough the ownership oi the left 
bank- oi the river, the ri^^lit to navigate the Mississippi. 

'I'lie aigumeiils in tlie memoi ials (jf Mr. Livingston against 
the wisdom of the l'"iench posse.\sioii of J.ouisiana were extremely 
clear, sirong and convincinj;-. Under the supi)ositi(jn that 
I'rance oieupied the coiiuliy, he endeavoied to show llie enor- 
mous e\|'ense involved, the riolous dissatisfaction of the citizi'iis 
of I'raiiee, and tin- cerlainty of losing the prt;vince to (ueat 
Britain in the end. He indicated the probable, perhaps unavoid- 
able contention-, betw-.en h'rance and the Unileil Slates, should 
the laller not be Ci:(k'x\ New Orleans and West IHorida. He 
pointed out that Louisiana, in spite of any restraining acts of 

•Tlii-y w.ic luld Id iiHc u iii,i\ i iiiiim nl } .',()iju.uijO Id .siciiic Un: Cfssloii ottlit; 
two I'loi nl.i->. 


Till-. I'uoi'i.wii .ixn run sr.iTi-s. 

the Uiiikcl SlaUh i^DvcniiiKiil, was ccrlain to be overrun with 
the CDiiiraliaiul of the we.-lern si uli-rs. h'ainihar as he was 
with the internal neids of leaner, knowint; her weakness and 
her straits sinee llie reoeni de^jKrale war witli Great Hrilain, 
and reahziii}^' and even prrdieiin^; ihe political desi^Mis and the 
thirst for '.-mpire ttf NapuKun, he luiintedly askeil, "lias France 
such a snperlluit)' of capital or people as will justify the estah- 
lishnient i«f new colonies?" 1 fe ciied St. l)uniin^o to illustrate 
the pi>int that the American colonies were an eiKjrnious burden 
to the b'.nropean natii)ns — the stinautlerers of j^obl and the causes 
of war. 

Active preparations for the Twencli occupation were continued. 
In Auf^Uht, i8oj, it was pnblicl)' known in Paris that the army 
intendeil for New Orleans a^gre-^aled three thousand men. But 
the dilYerences of opinion over the limits of the territory embraced 
in the term Louisiana, occasioned j^rotracted conferences between 
the diplomats of I'rance and vSpain and necessitated delay.. Mj". 
Livingston said. "I find all the old I'Vc-nch maps mark the 
river I'erdido as the boundary between Florida and Louisiana. 
'IMie difference relative to the Floridas is not settled. 
Spain insists that they are not ceded, and I have certain infor- 
mation thai two days ago the miniNler of marine wrote to the 
minister of foreign affairs thai without the bdoridas there could 
be no Louisiana. . ^'eslerday I made several propsi; 

tions lo the minister on the subject of Louisiaiu. lie (old me 
frankly (bat e\ery oti'er was ])remature, and that the bVench 
governuii-ut had determined i>) take possession first. ... I 
ba\e eveiy reason to believe that the b'loriilas are not included. 
They will ft)r the present at least remain in the hands of 
Spain. There ne\er \vas a gxjvernment in wdiich less could be 
done by negotiation than here. There is no people, no legis- 
lature, no Counsellors One man is everything, fie seldom 
asks advice and nevir hears it una l^ed. llis ministei-s are mere 
clerks, and his legislatuie and counsellors parade olVicers. 
Though the sense of every relle.cting man is against (his wild 
c\|)edition no one dares (o irll him so. Were it not for the 
uneasiness it e.xciles at home, it w^uld give me none; for I am 
persuaded that (he whole will end in a relinquishment of (he 
coMn(ry (West b'lorida) and (raM^fer (.A the capital (New 
Orleans) to ibe United States. Tin ir islands call for nnich more 
ib.Mi I'r.uh r V ;iii e\ ,i- fm ni'b." ' 

* l>i|ll<<|ll.lll. Ol.iU »1/UII>U'IM t' 

77//: I'Rli.llV Ol- RliTROCliSSlOI^. 123 

On Clctc^tjcr j^'', Mr. 1 .aiii^^tmi wiutc lluit llie army (Icstincil 
for I.oiiiMaiia IkuI iiiel wiili a ihccU, hut llial he couhl iiul kain 
llio ica-Miii, uiiU>h 11 \\a> the pailial nun I'uUilliiKiit hy l-'rancc 
of the cunsidcraliciiis iin. iiticiiol in ihc licaly of cession, lie 
^avc an inlcix-stin^ accuuiii dl his inUTvicus with Joseph IJona- 
parie, ba)'iii^' anion^ ulh«.r iliinj^s; "llu twKl nic tliat he wcjiihl 
receive \silh i/leasuie an) coninumicalion 1 couhl make; hnt 
as lie would mn wi.-^h to appear to interfere with the nn'nisler, 
lie bej^^^^a-d that my communiealion mij^ht be informal and 
unsigned — exactly what I wibhed, because I should act with 
less danj.fer of cominittiii^ myself and of course with more free- 
dom. He added, "^'^()U nnist lujt, however, suppose my power 
to serve yon greater than it actually is; my brother is his own 
counsellor hut we are ^ootl brothers; he hears me with pleas- 
ure, and as I have access to him at all times, I have an oppor- 
tunity of turniiii,'' his attention to a particular subject that mi^^ht 
otherwise be passetl over.' I tlien asked him whether he (Napo- 
leon) had read my notes on Louisiana. He told me he Iiad, 
niul that he had conversed upon the subject with the first con- 
sul who, he founil, luul lead tiiem with attention, and that his 
brother had told him that he li.ul nolhinj^^ more at heart than 
to be upon the best terms with (he United Stales. ... I 
told him that the oul\' cau^e u{ difference that mi^ht arise between 
us beiu^- the debt and Louisiana, I conceived that both might 
be hap[jily and easily reiiio\'ed by making ^an exchange with 
Spain, returning- them Louisiana, retaining New Orleans and 
giving- the kilter aiul the I'doridas fur our debt. He asked me 
whether wo should prefer the Lloiidas to Louisiana.* 1 told 
him that there was no eom]»ari.-5on in their value, but that we 
had no wish to extend our l)oundary across the Mississippi, or 
give color to the doubts that had been entertained of the mod- 
eration of our views, and that .all we sought was security and 
not extension of territor). He re|>lied that he believed any new 
cession on the part of Spain would be extremely difficult, iiias- 
nnich as Spain had paiU'd wiih Trinidad and Louisiana with 
great reluctance." 

On November 11, Mr. Livingston wrote that the difTicuIty over 
the consiileralion for [.ouisiana luul been seltleil, and that orders 

♦In a-.kini,' iliis fitic'stion. Jijsri)li Hoiiaparle coiiKl iiol liave meant Ijy "Louisi- 
ana' Uii- I- 1.1 ml of Niw ()i Uaiii </iily. 1 1 1- lllll|lK•^t idiiabl y nun ill tin- iirovnitt-, or 
ull of I lie > ..unliy wi -,1 of liii- M i -.Ms-,i pi.i. Alli nlioii l^, i alliil l<i I lit l.iti iliai iliis 
was I In- III I (liicil iiu iilUMi hi Mil any r>Miiu <■ (,f Oil- Handle i uI (lie < iil iii' i.i.)\ iiuc 
to llu- UiiiUil Sl.ilis. As Ji.M-i.h u lit t li (I IJii- vitws (li Nu|jul((iii. II ht-riiis t li ar 
lll.Tt llif l.iUii liad alu.atly ( nil the inj.sbible c ts.siuii ol all of Louisiana lo 
till; Ihil. .1 Sl.iUs. 


Tiiii rh'oiix'Cii Axn riir. siaths. 

had Ix'cii issiuni U>v lli<; expedition dostinctl for l/niisiana to 
einbaii';--l\\o dcmi-biii^adcs. lie did not know tliat the le.i-. :i 
for llie detenUi>n ol' the I'reneii fleet was the nfubal oi \\.c 
king oi Sixain to ralil')' iJk- ees^ion c>f Louisiana to hVance. 1 U- 
further slated that the h'rench government "will say uothiiu; 
on the cjuestion of our hniits, or our rii;ht inider the Spanish 
treaty. . . . When asked what they meant to do as to our 
right of entrepot, General Vietor (the comniander of the expc- 
^lititMi) spoke of tiie tieat\' (iKtween the United States and Spain 
in 1795) as waste jKiper. . . . The. sum voted for ihi- 
service is two milhon and a half of francs; as to the rest they 
expect to compel the people to supi)ort the cxijcnscs of the gov- 
eniment, which will he very heav\', as the number of the ol'tV 
cers is great, . . . so that the fust act of the new gov- 
cninient will be the o])pressi()n ol their people and ol our 
commerce. I believe }'ou may add to thir, an early attempt to 
corrupt our western ])eopie, and an earl)' attemi)t upon the 
Natchez, which they consitler as the rival of New' Orleans." On 
tlic same (.late, Mr. I^ivingston insisted on an answer to iiis notes 
concerning' Louisiana and was told by the French nu'nister "that 
lie was expressl)- instruclrd by the First Consul to give me the 
most positive assurances that the treaties we had entered into 
with S])ain or them relative to Louisiana shoidd be strictly 
obscrvetl." President JelTcrson, in his message to congress 
December 15, iSoJ, said: "The cession of the Siianish jjrov- 
ince of Louisiana to iMancc, which tcuik place in the cour-e of 
the later war, will, it caiiiid into elleii, ii.d.e a cliangc 11 ihf 
aspect (»f our fouigii rrlaiions, which \\;!1 doubtless liaM- ju^t 
weight in au)' deliberations of the legislature connected with tJiat 

The treaty retroceding L^>uisiana to I'^rance was sigiied Octo- 
ber I, 1800; but it was not raliCied by the king of Spain initil 
October 13, 180J. Immedia.tely after the latter date, the French 
armament was full)' organized and equi|)peel. On October 16, 
1802, the interdiction wa^ promulgated at New Orleans, and 
two months later the inhabitants were forbidden to trade in any 
manner whatever with the Americans on the Mississipjii. There 
was nothing; left to the lalUr but the fiuitless right of sailing 
iij) and down the riser. When the king of Spain fmall)' rati- 
fied tlie cr>sion treaty, he exacted, at the suggestion of (jodoy, 

• Mcssattvi , I'liiicrs of Un- I'km'Ii ii is. 


that Louisiana sIujuKI never be ali(MKitcd,''^ hut should he rclunicd 
to Spain in cai>e tlic kini; of I'.lruria lo>t tlio power granted 
to him hy Napoleon for Louisiana. The projects of the first 
consul for the colonization of Louisiana were not matured until 
late in the year 1801, when the peace with Great liritain, which 
arrived some months before the treaty, i)resentetl the opportunity 
of strengthening^ his domains, preparatory for another possible 
war. lie at first demanded the entire Gulf coast from St. Marys 
on the Atlantic to the mouth of the Kio Grande, and would prol>- 
ably have ohtainetl it all had it not been for Godoy, who was 
known as the l^rince of Peace. 

Mr. Jefferson had favored the revolution in France, admired 
the revolutionary leaders, particularly Xa[)oleon, and accord- 
int^dy did not readily susjiect the designs of that coiujueror upon 
I/-')uisiana and I'loiida. llis jiarty had blamed the ]'\'deralists 
for the troubles with l^ance in i/i)/-^)^; and so anu'd the clamor 
he chose a neutral cour>e until the truth cuuld no longer he 
denied, lie then informed N'apoleon that if France persisted 
in takin^^ possession of Louisiana, it would cost her a war that 
would sweej) her navy fr(Mn the oceans. '■■' This threat was well 
sustained, as before stated, b)' what he wrote about the same 
time to Mr. Living-ston at Paris: "I-Tom the moment that I'Tancc 
takes New Oiieans. we must marry ourselves to the 13ritish lleet 
and nation." The imminency of the. damper to be apprehended 
from the I'Vtnch occu[iation of lv^)uisiaua was realized by both 
parties in .America, but each had a dilTeri-nt remedy for the dis- 
cuder. The course pui^iuil b\' .Mr. wa> cminemlv 
wise and statesmanlike, as subsef|ii( ut e\e!tlA a'-undant! ■' pro\r.|. 

The American ministers to France and S])ain, under the stim- 
ulus of the excitement at home, redoubled their efforts to effect 
a satisfactory settlement of the Louisiana problems. Mr. Liv- 
ingston continued, through the kiiulness of Joseph P>onapartc, 
to reach the ears of Napoleon with his elaborate and CiMivinciug 
memorials. In Deceml)er, 1802, he suggested in one of 
memorials the cession of West I'lorida, the island of Nc-w 
Orleans, and all of Louisiana above the mouth of the river Arkan- 
sas to the United States; but the first consul seemed as immov- 
able as ever in his views regarding Louisiana. Mr. TalleyiTuid 
said of him that he was oitclc (obstinate) with the jjroject. 

• Til is was a m i ril ai;i« riiunt. tlic .ti tide emu i mint: \\ liic li ^cclll^ ih-\ ir to liav 
bcfii iikkIc puMii.'. 

•' \Vritiii;;s o( Tli<)mas Jl•f(cr^(•ll ; l-'oiil. 
t l'"or the (iiU ttxl ol llitM: nicniui ials, btc Aim rii an .Stale I'liptrs. 

126 THE riwi'ixcii Axn Tim states. 

The French cxpech'lion to l^oiiisiana wns still (Iclayed, u])oii \\h,a 
^aouiuls it \\;is wh.ully a nialk-r of conjoolurc, 'Phc iiitciilii - 
tion al Xcw (.)rkans was iiol removed, tlie sliipnieiUs of ih.c 
pcoi)le of the western count r)', many of whom were not apprise. 1 
of the interdiction, were practical!)' confiscateil, and attain tl;, 
forcihle possession of New Orleans ami the enforcement of the 
ri^ht to navif^ate ih.e Mississip|)i Nverc oj)enly and serioii.dy 
tlircatened. In I'ehruary, 1803, Mr. Livin.L^ston wrote that the 
Louisiana expediticm was "ice-hound." Al this time Messrs. 
Monrc>e and J'inckney were instructed, in case a cession shouUl 
W ohtained from Spain, to sccvux '"an enlargement of oiu' rii;ht 
of de[)Osit at New Orleans, the estahlishmenl of suitahle dei)0sits 
at the mouths of the rivers passing; from the IJnitetl Stales 
tlirouj^h the I'loridas, as well as the ircii navigation of those 
rivers by citizens of tlic United .States." 

As before staled, ^fr. Livingston was successful, as earh; as 
December, 1802, in securing- the attentive perusal of his memo- 
rials by Napoleon. This unoflkial course was \vholly agreeable 
to Mr. Ivivingston and to the Ronapartes. It committed neither, 
while informing both of the views of each other. If the august 
first consul was so wedded to the project of i)ossessing' and 
colonving- Louisiana, wliat did he find in the memorials of Mr. 
Livingstcm to imerest him? 'i'he American used every arg"U- 
nicnt in his power to dissuade him from taking- jiossession of 
the jjrovince. lie showed that Cireat l*riiain was certain to 
capture tlu' country timing the fust war between thi-m. He 
stati'd empiialically llie Ihiiitd« > wdu!! hiantt on at 
any cost their rights .stipulated in ihr trr.i(\ of 17';3 t'> the na\i- 
gatioii c)f the Mississippi and to a pi>rl of (lei)osil on that stre;un. 
ICvery feature o{ the situation was critically examined and 
turned to the disad\-antage of France, should she take posses- 
sion of ]x>uisiana. lie argnicd for the cession of all of Louisiana 
above the mouth of the Arkansas to the United Slates, and 
explained bow such a tract wouM serve as a protection to the 
I'^ench cokmies below from I'rilish attacks down the Missis- 
sippi from Canada, and that the cession of this tract and West 
]"1orida would };ain fur I'rance perpetual freed(')m of ctimmercc 
on the Mississippi ami its tributaries and the eternal friendship 
of the Ihiitcd Stales. 

If the project of holdiui; Louisiana was realh' (bar to the 
beait (if Napoleon, il folk;\\s that he nalnralK' Wdidd want to 
learn evei \ thing; in fa\(ir, and eveiythnig ai;ain-.t, such rtlm- 
tion. rile aigunients of Mr. Lixingston against the reUntion 



suf^pfested to the .ilcit mind of Najiolcon the arguments in favor 
of it. Mr. Livingston, in speaking of the subject, wrote on 
February 18, 181.13: "I can have a personal conference with 
him when I choose, having made arrangements for tliat pur- 
pose; but I defer it for two reasons : l^rst, I have never yet 
iiad any specific instructions from you how to act or wliat to 
ofl'cr, and to meet merely to talk of the justice of our claims 
would be only to say ungracious truths and render a future con- 
ference more diflicult; and second, because it is one of the traits 
of his character when he lias once fully avowed a sentiment not 
easily to cliange it. I have, therefore, thought it best to address 
myself ofhciall)' to the minister, and unorficially to the only man 
supjjosed to have any sort of influLMicc over him. I have accord- 
ingly put into his hands some noics conlainiug plain truth mixed 
with that species of personal attention uiiich 1 know to be most 

In his memorials, Mr. Livingston further endeavored to show 
that I'^rance wouUl gain little advantage innn the possession of 
the colony; that a successful attack by (jreat Britain could read- 
ily be made; ihat the loss of Louisiana meant also the loss of 
the French We^t Indies; that this conquest by Great Britain 
would give luT the mono])ol\- of the ("iulf commerce; and that 
an alliance with the I'nitL-d Stales would a\'ert such a mislor- 
tune. lie then proposed the relin(iuishmL-nt to the United States 
of New Orleans autl \\'e>t h'kMida as far as the river I'erdido 
and the territory l)ing west of th.e Mississippi and north (^f the 
nunuh of the .\rkan>.is. ]'.■: !'•.'•> - < --ioii, I ini;!'.iii<d tliat 
tlu- Unilid Sl.itc. \'.cie willii.; to ;-i;. a Cou-.dtrable '•um of 
money. He further saiil : "Tliese ])ropositions, with certain 
accom]:)animents, were well recci\'ed, and were some da\s under 
the First Consul's consideraliou, when it was thought a better 
bargain nu'glil be made on the spot (at WashingtCMi ) ." It scenes 
that the fn^t consul thought that by sending (jeneral llerna- 
dotte to America to treat on the subject, he might obtain a bet- 
ter bargain than that C;t1ered by Mr. Livingston. In fact, the 
latter, not ha\'ing been authori-<fed, was unable to name the spe- 
cific sum of money which the Ihiited States was willing to pay. 
As Naj)oleon needed money badly, the statement t)f the situa- 
tion by Mr. Lixingsion had pr>Hluceil the desired ettect, and 
the former i.i a pliant ami afl'able ukkkI. It is not improb- 
able to sui)[r,.-e that bail Mr. Living>ton, at this time, been fully 

• Diijluiiiatic Coi lespondcuce. 


equi])])C(l with aulhorily, he iiiij^lit liavc succeeded in securin;- 
from iMancc nml Spam rt.s|HCliv(ly, New Orleans, W'tsi I'ln 
ida, and all of l.omsiana ncjrlli of tlie mouth of the Aikan^a- 
He said, "My jilan is much rt'h^hcd hy the i)erson thiC)UL;h \\ hw:n 
it was proposed." ■' 

He cuiuinu"d on the same dale: "I told you that I'arn'.a 
would he oiTered for the J'loridas, and that General I'ournoinille 
was sent to nei^otiale the- husiness. It was never douhied a 
nionicnl here tlial it would he effected ; this I learned from Tal- 
leyrand and the Spani>h amha^sador. Tliey (intimate<l) that 
the I real V would he' siiuied the da)' the Kin^ retmneil frdiii 
Ikircelona ; ami their infnrmaliuu accorded with that which J.ord 
W'hitworth had recri\c<l. 1 learn now froiu the Sj)anish amhas- 
sador that the thin;.; has met with some difticidly, as he says, 
not because of any a\ersion in the court to make the cession, 
but of some dirfereuce between the I'rince of Peace ((iod(jy) 
and General Jiournonville. I believe, however, that thib is not 
the sole cause; but that Spain bep;ins to sec that, in receiving 
Parma, she will receive nothinq;; as it will be rendered subser- 
vient t(j anolhrr arrangement, as J hiiUed in my last. 
France is fully impresse<l with the nullity of her possession in 
Louisiana unless she has some port in the Gulf. ... 1 pre- 
simic that she will, uUimatel\-, find some way to cut the £,''or- 
dian knot ; and 1 cannot but sincerely wish tjiat you may h.ave 
availed )ourselves uf ilie [)relence Spain has L,dven you to take 
posses.-ion. It will he bi-i to neat with ilu- subiect in our bauds; 
but, at all evi-nt-^, t<l! ••■• \\'> . '. t" d>. ii \].c\ >! ■\:\A jyo ;:.: • il.'' 
bands of l'i:in>e." I'.c .il .) i.i'.'d ll...! ihe aii:..iment (ii -iMud 
for Louisiana would be detained in Ikdland until the l;^^t of 
March, and therefore' could not reach New Orleans until Jmic, 
.and added, "a ])recious interval, of which you may think it inai- 
dent to avail yourselves." j 

On this date, February 2S, Mr. Liviui^sion wrote that be had 
represented to the Fiench nunister of stale the determination 
of tlie l^iiled Stales never to suffer their rig^bts on the Missis- 
sippi to l)e im|)eded ; but the minister iiad answered that the 
United State> nuist consider the purchase of the coimlrv as out 
of the (|ucstiou, intimatin;^' that a sale was beneath the dij^niiiy 
of I'rauce. 

When once Mr. I.ivinnslon bad seemed the attention of Pona- 

• Tlic I'cis.iii u, whdtn lu i< (t ts uns i.iiilfnilitciU v Jo'-i pli ll(Mini>nnc 

1 r)il)l')lli;il K Col If-l'DllilclH r 


parte and liis niin inters, lie arp^ucd that I'rancc, by cedinc^ the 
territory asked for, wouhl not only pay the debt due the United 
Slates, but wouUl jilacc thi.' colony ol" Lx^uisiana, should she con- 
clude to retain it, in a much hetier situation than it would other- 
wise be. I le said : "The United States have at present but two 
possible causes of difference with I'Vance — the debt due to her 
citizens and the possession of Louisiana." If Krajice could pos- 
sess Pensacola and the other ix)rts to the east, she would com- 
mand the Gulf. If in adtlilion she i)0ssessed the free naviga- 
tion of the IMississippi and the territory west of that river and 
south of the mouth of the Arkansas, she would have as large 
a colony as she wouUl ever need for her surplus i)roducts and 
pojjulalion. "Louisiana within these limits can support a i)opu- 
lation of fifteen millions of peo[)le." The Unileil Slates spe- 
cially desired West I'lorida in order to gain the mouths of the 
rivers running through the southern part of their territory. 
The situation of New Orleans was very inferior; a much bet- 
ter one for a large city was on the opposite side of the river 
at I-'ort lyCon ; the impending rupture between France and Great 
Britain would give the latter the occasion and the opportunity 
of attacking Ixjuisiana; the possession of West Llorida and of 
Louisiana alx)ve the Arkansas by the United Stales would place 
a barrier bet^veen Canada and Louisana and would lake the edge 
off the British desire to wrest Louisana from France; the silence 
of the French government concerning the rights of the United 
States to the Missis.-.iiipi and Id an oiircpot at New Orleans 
was causing intense uiuasiiu>> the citi/ci.s cf ll.e I'niied 
Slates; the act ot tlu- intnulanl at New (>:li,ans -.'.as n^t justi- 
fied by any reasonable con.struclion of the treaty of 1795; "the 
United States will rather hazard their very existence than suf- 
fer the ]\]ississi])pi lo be shut against them; wdien the United 
States made their first treaty with Great Jlrilain in 17S3, their 
ministers were instructed, anxious as all were for peace on almost 
any lenus, to sign no treaty without securing the free naviga- 
tion of the Mississippi." 

Jn a letter dated hVbruary 27, 1803, Mr. Livingston made a 
direct and oi)en appeal to the first consul. He reviewed all 
tlie existing differences between l^rance and the Lhiited Slates, 
and disclosed the fact thai "a spirit of resentment has been mani- 
fested from one did of the Union to the oilier. an<l nothing but 
the inlerposilioii of the Spaiii-h nnnistir. the di.-avowal of 
the act (of iiiter(lu-lio:i) i,y tiie goveriK-r t.f New Drleaiii, ami 
the extreme solicitude of the L'nited States lo avoid everything 
J I— 9 

130 Till: i'ROVlXCll AND TUB STATLS. 

tliat might liavc a tendency to intcrnipl the existing liarmojw 
could have prcventeil an immediate lecuruiKc to 
arm's." lie said lliat "it nolliiiiL,' should he done heiVire t!.- 
season of American shipment of produce down the Ali3>i>M'.i ; 
arrived, '"the government will he compelled to follow the iir,pi;;v 
of the people. And r.dded, "sheiuld the agents of I'rnncr, \', •■.,) 
are to tal^e pcjssession of the colony, continue the reguhii. .;>..,, 
in the face of the treaty, which they may find established 1,-, 
tiie Spanish Intendant, a fatal blow will be struck at the fuiiuc 

peace and harmony in both eountries As the mouKuu 

are precious, and the United States will sufTer extremely in 
their commerce, if the officers of ]"iance, who are directed lo 
take }jossession, should not be cxi)hcitly instructed to resjieci 
the right of navigation and depc^t claimed by tlic United Stales, 
I must earnestly solicit some treaty, explanatory of the lern\.s 
on which l'"rance has received the cession of Louisiana from Spain 
and recognizing the rights of the United Slates." 

It was evident thai, at this lime, I'rance was jealous of the 
amity existing between Great Ihitain and tiie Atlantic states; 
and that she entertaineil the belief that the possession of L.nuisi- 
ana and the contri)! of the Mi;5sissii)])i were the keys by which 
the attachment of the we>-lern people lo I'rance might be secured 
iind their se])aralion from the states to the cast might in the 
•end be eJlected. Could the \\e>tern peu[)le bt; drawn from the 
Union to the siile and a^'.i^laIlce of I'Vanee, the ti'ade of the .Mis- 
sissipi)i and hence the commercial supremacy of the Gulf, ihe 
preat desideratum, would be thr uiid.-".niled result of S'.;ch .1 
•coalition. ]l wa>, theiefoie, the p./iAV ol Praiiee to i'.e\el.>;i 
this sentiment in the western people with the hope and possi- 
bly the expectation, that such a proposition, after her armament 
had arrived in New Orleans and tal;en possession, would tempt 
tlic Western iieople to effect such a separation from the Atlantic 
states and such a uniLm with iMench Louisiana. 

The arguments and the (hplomacy of Mr. Livingston did not 
blind NapoL\)n as to the true value of Louisiana to the grow- 
ing and ambitious I'Vcnch republic. He knew that the ]Kl^ses- 
sion of Louisiana and the Lloridas, couhl they be held against 
other nations generally and Great P.rilain in j)articnlar, meant 
the absoluie control of the commerce oi the Mississippi and of 
tlic Gulf. I'amiihlets were circulatcil in ]*"rance declaring the 
province of Loui-.iana to be almost a paradise.* The po^sibili- 

• Tlic itri'iiiiK Ills of Mi I,i\ iiir.- ten aK-'iinsl UicNaUie of Louisiana, couKl not 
have liail iniu li w ti,:lit w lUi N.ii;ulriiii. 



tics of iiniiiciise I'uluie advanlas^^e to I'rancc by holdiiij,^ tlie 
Louisiana country were freely diM-'ussetl tlirougliout tlie repub- 
lic, anil found no lack t>f expoundeis and supporters among tbat 
imaginative people, lint Xapoleon realized tbat witboul tbc 
Fioridas, tlie navigation of tlie ]\lississi))[)i could not be controlled 
by France. I'^or tliis reason the consular government struggled 
to add them to the I'rench possessions. ' livery inducement 
within the j)ower of I'lance was held attractively before the eyes 
of vSjjain ; and there can be no doubt that, in the end, their pos- 
session would ha\e pa.ssed to the JMcnch republic. The order 
of interdiction at New Orleans was made at the instigation of 
France, and was intended to test the temper of the western 
people. A large force of French trcnjps at New ( )ileans, it was 
thought, would prevent any serious m(.)vement to o])cn forcibly 
the Misslssipjji to western trade, wonltl check the threateiu'd 
advance of Great Firitain upon New Orleans, and would result 
in great advantage to l"'rencli commerce ami prestige. 

In all of this maneuvering for ]:)ower, the wants, wishes and 
welfare of Sixain were apparcnll)' wholly disregarded by the 
I'Vench rejjublic. ],ouibiana, "agreeably to promise," was relin- 
quished upon the nure asking, 'i'here was no doul)l in the mind 
of Napoleon that the two IHoridas wouM be secured b)" pur- 
chase. lUit liie United v^lates, unaware of the exact relations 
which chained Spain to I'lance, iu>trucled Mr. I'iiu-laiey to pur- 
chase the two L'loridas from the former. In accordance with 
these instructions, Mr. I'inckney wicMe as follows to the Sjianish 
minister of stale : 

"1 had the ]i"iior yi-sterday, tt) sl.ile to your excelK lus' the 
anxiety of our government on the subject c^f possessing the ter- 
ritor)- on tlie east side of the Mississippi. The importance of 
this acquisition to them, for the purpose of seciu'iiig to the citi- 
zens of one half of the United Slates the certain means of 
exporting their products has been so fully explained to your 
excellency in ni)' letter written in March last an<l in subsequent 
conversations, that I need not at this time go again into ihe 
subject. l\eferring your excellency to them, I luu'c now to say 
that the government of tlie IJnilid States, from many circum- 
stances, as well as from liie conduct u\ the intemlant, feel them- 
selves every day more cf>nvinced of thu necessity of their hav- 
ing a permaiUMit eslablishmeiit on tlie Mississippi, convenient 
foi the pur])o-is (.f iia\'ii;alion and belin';im;' ^oK'ly to them. 
'J\) obtain this tliey have authorized me to say that, shonUl his 
Majesty be now inclined to sell to the United Slates his pos- 


sessions on the last. side of the Mississippi, or between th.ii .,:: \ 
the river Mobile, agreeably to the i)roposilions enclo-^■.|, \\r 
United Slates will make to bis Majesty, and I do now in i!,, r 
nanxe make, tlie important offer of gnarant)'in<^ to him an/i |. v 
successors his dominions beyond the Missibsipjii. It is wiih I,,', 
Majesty and his ministers to consider, for ibe reasons 1 ].., 1 
the honor to stale in onr conver.'^ation of the last evenin-, il.i.- 
immense im]H)rtaiice of this oiler to the Spanish crown, and i,t 
rdlccl how far it may be in the jjower of any other nation lo 
make an offer so trul) vahudjle and precious as this is to Spain- 
one that the United Slatis would nevi;r liavc made, but fn^ai 
a conviction of the ini.lispi.nsable necessity of tlieir posses^iuL; a 
suitable establishment on this ri\er and whieh this terialoi y cm 
alone furnish." 

The propositions to which he referred in this communication 
were as follows : 

"i. The Uniletl vStates will jjurcbase the possessions of his 
Catholic Majesty on the east side of the river Mississipi)i, for 
which they will pay — — dollars. •' 

"2. They will purchase these [lossessions, for which they wilt 

pay dollars; and, moreover, guarant)' to his Majests" and 

liis successors his possessions be)ond the Mississij)pi. 

"3. They will inirchase the country between the rivers Mis- 
sissippi antl Moljile, belouL^ing to his Majesty, .and, also, i)laces 
of dcjjosite near the mouths of the other ri\'ers i)assin!:;' from 
their territory into that of his C'alholic M.iicslv. b-r whieh iliey 

will pay dollais, or eiiUr into oihci o' .m);.iIio:is. whivl: n.ay 

1.x: thou<4;bt iHjuivalent let ihc ac(imremeni. 

"4. If none of these jMOpo^sitions can be acceded to, they will 
then ]Mirchase certain tracts of country on the banks of the Mis- 
sissii)pi and the other rivers passing;- from tlieir territory into 

tliat of his Calholic Majesty, for wiiich they will iiay 

dollars, or enter into other oblioatic>ns which may be thought 
equivalent to the ac(|uiremeiit."t 

It is not improbable that, had not the government of France 
at that very date and for many years before been making ivery 
effort to secure the cessitMi of the I'doridas and been employ- 
ing much stronger inducemeiUs and making' much more alhu"- 
mg ofTers, the king of Spain woulil have been pleased to fTant 
to the Unitrd Slates, in accordance with this pKa. a suftu ient 

• Til is .Slim wii'. II iii.ixiiiiuiii of \ lu.(i(>(i,(iu(j. 
t AiiuMicaii :.(,ilc I' 

77//; TRl-.iry or RF.rROCIiSSIOM. 


concession to have sntisfucl tlu'in. While il was known to the 
American minister that h'rancc (Usiiwl the l■"l()ri^la^l, lie knew 
little of the intense prt'ssnre (liroctci! at the court of Spain i)y 
the fnst Consul anil ck■^i;;n^^l to aeei)iu])lisli that object. iUil 
the oficr of France was so nuich hettei- than that of the United 
States, and the cmnily of I'Vancc was so much more to he dreaded 
by Spain, that the [)ropositions of Mr. I'inckney, indefinite as 
ihey necessarily had to I)l-, possessed no sjiecial nor superior 
attractions and were accortiingly rejected. The following was 
the reply of Don Pedro (./ervaikvs, secretary of slate of Si)ain, 
April 7, 1802, to the above jiroijositions of Mr. Pinckney : 

■'Sir: — I have communicated to his IMajesty the i)ropositions 
which your excellency made in the name of your f^tn'cnuiKiit, 
in your official letter of the I'itli of Maich la^t, respectin^^ the 
cession of the Iwo h'loridas to the United States of America, 
by sale. IJis Majesty ha\ini;- been made well acquainted witii 
everylhini^ advanced b)' )our e.\cellenc\- in supj)ort of that idea, 
has commantled me to inform }ou, in reply, that his Majesty 
rejoices in every o[)[)ortunity of strengthening- the bonds of 
fricndshi]) with tiie United Slates of America, but that the sub- 
ject in question being one of the utmost weight and imi)ortance, 
merits great circumspeclion before it cm\ be determined. With 
regard to the request made by \ou in the same official letter 
that a niercantde agent of the United States siiould be jXTmilted 
to reside at New Oilcans, bis Majesl) does not accrde to it, 
as it is proliibiled by our laws of the Pulies ; and from the just 
consiiieralion that, b\' making' one example of th.'it kind, tlie d(w-ir 
would be optiied for like demands on ihe pari of oihi r ,. -hn."* 

This letter was legarded by Mr. I'mckney as a diplomatic 
rejection of his projjosilious ; but as a matter of fact it may 
not have been so inlendetl b\' the government of Spain. It seems 
more like a postponement of the American jiroj^iositions. Si)ain 
was between two fires— those of I'rance and the United States. 
The possession of Louibiana by hVance meant the terminaton 
in that pro\ince of her colonial policy of exclusion, and hence 
the idea of retaining the I'loriilas lost much of its glitter. Should 
she for any reason not cede them to hVance, there was noth- 
ing to i)revent from transferring them to the PIniled States 
for a satisfactory consideration. She therefore lempori/ed with 
the American proj)(>sitions until the demands of Iwance had l)een 
disjic^scd of. 

• Diplonialic CorrcviujiuUiice. 



77//: ]'K<iri\CI'. .l.\'l> Till-. STATES. 

in a ciMimuiiiicatiou ihitcd March J, 1803, tlic American sec* 
rclarv of slate suluiiitted a iihui to the sjjecial envoys of the 
I'nileil Stales at I'aris, Messrs. Livinj^.'^tctn aiul Monroe, for the 
adjustment of the diflicullies between the two countries. The 
followiuL^- was the plan in full : '' 

"Article I. France c^les to the United States forever the ter- 
ritory east of the river Mississijjpi, comprehending the two Flot- 
illas, the island of New Orleans, and the islands lyinj; to the 
north and east of channel of the said river which is com- 
nionly called the SmuIIi I'as-, tu-ellur with all such other islands 
as ai)pertaiu to either West or h'ast I'lorida; iM^ance reserving 
to herself all her territory on the west side of the Mississippi. 

"Anicle II. The boundary between ihe territory ceded and 
reser\ed by JM-ance, shall be a contiiiuatiuii of that already defined 
al)Ove the thiriy-first decree of north latitude, viz: the middle 
of the cbauiiel or bed of \\\v river iluoii_L;h the said South Pass 
to the >ea. The navi,L;alion of the river M ississijjin in its' whole 
breadth from its source to the ocean, and in all its passag'cs to 
and from the same shall be Cvpially free and common to citizens 
of the Ignited States and of the French rei)ublic. 

"Article III. The vessels and citizens of the French repub- 
lic may exercise conin;erce to and at such places on their respect- 
ive shores below the said thirty-first degree of north latitude 
as may be allowed for that use bv the parties to their respective 
citizens and vessels. \nd it is agreed that no other nation 
shall l;e allowed to exercise ctimmerce to or at the same or 
any other place on eilhei' .shove behiw the said thirty-lirst degree 
of latitude. I'\>r the term of ten vears, to be computed from 
the exchange of the ratilications hereof, the citizens, vessels and 
merchandise of the LInited Stales and of France shall be sub- 
ject to no other duties on their respective shores below the said 
thirty-first degree of latitude, than are imposed on their own 
citizens, vessels, and merchandises. No duty whatever shall, 
after the ex]jiralion of ten )'ears, be laid on articles the growth 
or manufacture of the United States, or of the ceded territory, 
exported through the Mississijjpi in French vessels; so long as 
such articles so exported in vessels of the United States shall 
be exempt from duly; nor shall I'rench vessels exporting such 
articles even afterward be subji'ct to pay a higher duty than 
vessels of the United States. 

"Arliile IV. 'i'he citizens of JMance may, for the term of ten 

•American State Papers. 

77//: TREATY ()!■ RTTROCTSSION. 135 

years, deposit tlieir cflects at Krw Orleans and at- such oilier 
phioes on tiie ceded shore ot the .Mississip])i, ,'is are allowed for 
the coiiiJiierce of the Ihiited Stales, without pacing" any other 
dutv than a fair price for tin- hire of stores. 

"Article A'. In th.e ports and commerce of WV'St and I'.ast 
I'lorida, France vlmll newr he (;n a worse fcnjting that the most 
fa\ored nation ; and for the ti-rni o\ ten \ears her vessels and 
nierciiandise sliaU he suhject therein to no hip^her duties tiian 
arc j)aid h\ those of the l.'nhed .Stales. Articles of the growtii 
or maniifactiH e di the United. States and of dhe ceded territor)', 
c-xpurled in JMemh \essels from any ])orl in the WV'St or I'last 
I'doritla, shall he e\t'm[)l fitmi diU)' as long- as vessels of the 
United vStates shall enjo)- thii: e.xemiition. 

"Article \'l. The Uinled States, m consideration of the ces- 
sion of territory madc^ hy this tiealy, shall pay to France- 

millions of livres iDurnois, in the manner following, viz: They 
shall ])ay — — millions of livies tournois immediately on the 
exchange of the ratilications heii'of; lhe\' shall assume in such 
order of priority as the ("iovernment of the United vStales may 
approve the ])ayment of claims which have heen or luay he 
acknowledged hy the h'rcnch repuhlic to he due to iXmcrican citi- 
zens, or so much thereof as, with the pa\inent to he made on the 

exchange of ralificalions, will not exceed the smn of ; and 

in ca^e a hal;nu'e should remain (.]\\c aftei' such payment and 
cissumi>tion, the same shall he paid at the end of one }ear from the 
final liquidalifiu of the claim hcixhy assumed, which shall he pay- 
ahle in three ecpial annual piynieiils, the In-t of which is lo lake 
place one yt-ar after the e.\'han;.;e of ratJiMii ;:>, or t' e\- shall 
hear interest at the r;ite of six per cent p^ i anmuu from \]:c dait> 
of such intended pa\inent> until lhe\- shall he discharged. All the 
ahovc lueutioued payments shall he made al the treasury of the 
United Stales and at th.e rate of one dollar and ten cents for every 
si.x livres tournois. 

"Article VH. To incori)ora(e the inhahilants of the herehy 
ceded territory with the citizens of the I'uiled States on an ecpial 
footing, heing a provisit^i wdiich cannot now he made, it is to 
be expected, fr^m ih.e character and policy of the United States, 
that such incorporation w\]\ take ])lace without unnecessary delay. 
In the lueaiilimc ihey shall he secure in their jiersons and j)rop- 
crty and in thi> free enjrtynutit of their religion." 

Snhjoiihd to this jiroposiiii -n were elahorate cxiilanatory notes, 
liresenling'' the reason f^r e\(i)' ])ri/\ i^ii >n from the standp(VJit 
of the I'nilcd Stales. Mucli was li ft to the jiidgnu nt and 

136 Tiin ['ROi'iNcr. j.\7) Tim sr.iTf.s. 

(liscrelion of llic envoys. An inkTcstini:; fLalurc was the »...••.•.. 
parativc csliniatc placed npun the vahie of chfferent poriicii, .,• 
the territory. The two l-'lorithis were csliniatcd at one-f..;'! li, 
the vahie of the wliole i>!ancl of New Orleans; and Kasi li-r- 
ida at one-half the vahie of West I'lorida. Tiie envoys weic 
instructed to evade, if possihle, any and every stipulation cii- 
ccrning gnaranlies of territory to France. It the cessicni of the 
I'loridas conld not he ohtauietl, they were instructed lo sccuri., 
in any event, the rights of dejjosil and of navi^^ation. Tluy 
were also requiixd to eft'ecl some arrangeinenl that wonld in 
future obviate a rei)etition of snch an unauthorizei,! act a-, ihe 
interdiction of the dej)osits at Xew Orleans by a sul>oriliiiate 

On February 19, 1803, M. Talk) rand retuined the follow iiii:^ 
reply to the many memorials of Mr. Livingston regarding 
IvOnisiana. The pretended transfer of the whole siibjecl to the 
United Slates was evidently a maneuver on the part of I'rancc 
to postpone a definite answer as long as possible: "The First 
Consul, always appreciating the motives which have inducetl 
you to insist on an explanation of the new relations which ought 
to exist between the two republics, has charged me to inform 
you that, aware of the solicitude, j)erhaps premature, but in 
reality natural and plausilile, which the ITiited States ha\c 
manifested in this discussion, lias come to the detcrminatic)n to 
send imniediatel\- to the Unile^l Slates a minister plenii)Otentiary, 
who will communicate on e\cry point the information neces-^ary 
to a final decision."'' ( 'ne ri.i ■■ n why !"t nice de-ir-'d •' ' iv 
was disclosed in Mr. 1 ,i\in!(ston's note oi .Maicli IJ, v.\''i\ 
he said: '"Willi res])ect to ,1 ne;.;oiiaiion for l/niisiana, I think 
nothing will be effected here. 1 have d(.>ne everything 1 can 
through the Sp:uiish ambas<:idor [<> obstruct the bargain for the 
IHoridas, and 1 have great hope that it will not be soon C(.>n- 
cludcd. The ambassador tills me that the Consul often com- 
plains to him of the delay that business meels with; and while 
Spain keeps the Floridas, ],ouisiana will be considered here as 
an object of little moment, as they are absolutely without ports 
on the Gulf. . . . Mr. >radison has never toUI me wheilier 
lie has received two little ess;iys, calculated the one to raise our 
importance in the views of this government as a naval power 
and the other to di-gust them with I.(niisi;ma, preparatory to 
our future ni gotiiitimis. The)' were both nail with coiisider- 

• Dinlomatif Ci»i usiiuiulcm f. 

TlUi TRI-AIY ()!■ RirrROCfiSSJON. 137 

able attention l)y the l-'irsl Consul, liavinir had liicm translated 
for that juirposo." It thus was known to l-Vancc that the jjos- 
scssion of Louisiana wiihi_)Ut the l'"K~)ri(las would ^ive them a 
|->ower barren of the iiuniense results they confidently and rij^htly 
conjeclurt'd would follow their additional oceu[)ancy of the Flor- 
idas. 'i'his was the iiriuci|)al rea^ni why the)' wished to delay 
giving a delniite answer to the United vSlates; and in the niean- 
tiinc they, crowded forward their negotiations with v^pain for 
the I'dvM'idas. 

But the French subterfuge to cd'ect delay did not disconcert 
nor deceive Mr. Livingston, who continued his notes and memo- 
rials to the French nu'nistt'r and the first consul. He said 
on March 18: "'S'ou will see that, on the subject of New 
Orleans, the answer to ni\ letter is \'er\' unsatisfactoi) . I at 
fu"St intended to let the mailer rest till Mi". .Monroe arrived; but 
on reflection I dreaded the consequences of delay if 1 'ranee 
should take possessiori and continue the ])olicy of .Spain; and 
as the moment was critical and the time of Mr. Monroe's arrival 
uncertain, 1 sent in the enclosed note, and am doing all that I 
can to get a speed\' and favorable answer." The "encle)sed note" 
referred to was the strongest and se\erest ever sent in by Mr. 
Livingston. lie had grown tired of the evasi(jns ami procras- 
tinations, and made u[) his miml to jjress matters to a finality, 
if possible, before the arrival of Mr. Monroe. He said:"' 

'■'riic I'^irst Consul has (Iduc me the honor through you tX) 
inform me that he i)ro])oses to ^eud a minister to the United 
States, to ac(]nire such inf.irmaliMn as he ma)' deem nceesiary 
previous lc> his taking an\' nn. .1 ■•.iii s i>ki!;\-e Vi the' sii i.ili'Ml 
in winch the aciiuisiiii.n etf Louisiana will place l-'raiKe with 
respect to the United Stales. If, sir, the question related to the 
formation of a new treaty, I should hud no objection to this 
measure. On the contrars-, 1 should readily accjuiesce in it, as 
that which would be best calculated to render the treaty mutually 
advantageous. JUit, sir, it is not a new treaty for which wc 
now juess, (though one nuUually advantageous might be luade,) 
but the recognition of an old one, by which the L'niled Stales 
have ac(|nireil rights that no change in the circumsiances of 
the country obliges tliem to relin([uish, and which they never 
will relin(|uish but wilh tluir pobtieal existence. ll\ their 
treaty with Spain lln-ir riidit to the navigation of the Missis- 
sip|)i i> recogr,i/(d ami a light oi depict granted wilh a provis- 

• Auicrii an Stntc I'.iiurs. 


77//; PKOl'JXCli J.\7) 77//;" STATUS. 

ion on tlic ]);iit of the Kin;.; of Si)ain lo revolxc this ri:l • ■ 
within ihrco years he fi)Uiul it projnchcial lo his inkn.-: ~. 
which case he is to assiiMi another ecinivaknt eslahh-!-.r. ., .•■ 
The Kino; of Spain ne\er rc\okecl ris^ht; hut aiui 1 .,• 
ing made the experiment of its eflects u[)on hiis inteiv-: ^ ; • 
three years he has continnnl it. The United States haw, ! 
this continuance, acquired a jjermanent and irre\()cal;le i;,.;- 
to a depot at New Orleans; nor can 'that ri^ht now he'., : 
in question, cither by Sitain c>r by any other nation to v, h . ••, 
slie may transfer her title, h'.ven the assit^nmient of an.iil.: 
eqviivalent establishment cannot at this day be forced upmi il- 
United Slates without their consent. The time allowed to Sp.iiu 
has pr.ssLci, and .she has jirelerred to have the dei)Ot al W w 
Orleans to placinj;- it elsewhere; and 1 will venture to say that 
in so doiuL^ she has acted wisel)-. l'\>r Xew Orleans deli\e^ ii> 
whole value from its beini; llie market for American produce 
and their j)rincipal po.'-t cjf entry; and if this consideration* wa^ 
important to Spain it is infmitt 1}- more so to I^Vance, the jModirjc 
of whose agricuUure and manufactures will fuid a ready e.\chan_:;o 
for the law material of the l^iitcd Stales. Under the>e cir- 
cumstancts, at the very momcr.l that Spain is aboui to reliiuimrh. 
the possession of that country to iM-ance, she violates her treaty 
without any apparent interest, and leaves the country with a 
stain ui)on h,er character." 

This sententious sununar\' was followed by a vivid picture oi 
the situation oi the western people, with ihe allernalive hetoie 
them of ha\ ini; llnircrop^ o^l on ilu'ir I: :'i |> oi ..| ha\ i: t'" :n 
conriscal<.d al Ww OiKan^. 'I lie f.ui was for. ;l,ly i...';\d to 
the ailentiou of J'lance that it was with the j^Mcatest dilliculiy 
that the western i)eople had been restrained by the goverimunl 
of the United Stales frc;m forcibl\' maintaining their rit^dits on 
the Mifsi-~sippi. The mini>tLr ended with a powerful aiJpi al to 
the first consul for an inmiediale adniissi(jn of the rii;hts of 
the United Slates on the Mi^^issippi as stiiuilaled in the treaty 
of 1795. -According to Mr. I.i\iii^ston, the apiioinlment of Mr. 
Monroe as a si^ecial envoy was employed by France as a pre- 
text to delay still liMij^^er a (lefmite answer to his notes, lie 
said on March _'.|, "Tlu' iM-ench minister lold me that an answer 
was prepared (t*^ .Mr. ],i\ inl;.^tol^s notes), and ihat everylhin^^ 
should be arranc^ed; and 1 have no doubt the answer containe<l all 
those assuiancts \slii'.h I ha\c Ik en ^i-) \nw^ joliciliuf:,''. Unfortn- 
natfly, di p.itche^ at lived at that moment from Mr. ri'hon, 
■inforiniu); (Ikiu that the apjHHntmeni of Mr. Monioe iiad Iran- 


f]uili/.i-cl everything'. C\>ncciviii^ tluii llial llicy iiii[;lit safely 
wait his aiiival, ihiey cleterniinetl to bce whether the .storm wouUl 
not hlow over, in wliich case they will treat to more advanta^^c. 
Tlicy accordiiii^ly snl.'Sliiuted I'ur the lirsl note, which as the min- 
ister told me arranji^ed everything, liie enclosed note which con- 
tains nothing'." lie added on the same dale, ''Florida is not yet 
ceded, nor as ] hope very likel)' to he .so. 'i'he armament in Hol- 
land, designed for J^yOnisiana, is siopjjccl for the preseiit in conse- 
quence of the state of things here." 

Late in March and early in April Mr. Livingston sent many 
strong notes, essays and letters to M. 'J'alleyrand, even at the risk 
of hecoming iniportiu'iatc, urging the consideration and settlement 
of the Lonisiana (|uestions; and seemed to think, in his letter dated 
April 11, that he had gainetl ground with all except the first 
consul. As a matter of fact, he had, on the contrary, yet 
unknown to himself, gained ground with the first consul, hut not 
with the French statcsnieii generally. He wrote, "I endeavored to 
convince the GoNernmcni that the Lhiited vSlates would avail them- 
selves of the hreach of the treat}' (of 17W5) to possess themselves 
of New Orleans and the l-doridas; thai (heat Ihitain would 
never sufi'er Spain to fMant the l-'loridas to France, even were she 
so dis])osed, hut would immediately sci/e upon them as soon as 
the tiansfei' was made; that, without the I'doridas, Louisiana 
would he indefensihle, as it possesses not one i)0rt even for 
frigates ; ancl 1 >huwed the elVeet of sniVeriiig that inipdrtanf coun- 
try to fall into the hands of the r.iiii>li, hoth as it alVecled our 
couiUrv and tin na\'al fo;re ( f a!! !■" :i"pe. Thr-e rra-.>ns. with 
the juohahility of w.-ii ([i.iw < i u ] i.i;:;c and (in.ii IWilain), 
have had, 1 tru^t, the de-ired eiTect."* 

During the last lialf of March and the first lialf of Ai)ril, 1803, 
both iM'ance and Great Britain coiuimied active preparations for 
War, and at the same time their respective ministers, in jjcrfunc- 
tory conuTiunications, endeavored to sla)' the ajiproaching storm. 
Tlie means (jf attack and defense were closely stutlied, and the 
weaknesses of each were, so far as po>^il)le, strengthened or wholly 
discarded. It \\as nianifest to Lonaparte that the lUKiueslionable 
superiority of the l^iglish navy placed all of the l-Vench colonial 
possessions in the sevei'ist jeoi)ardy and rendered their loss to 
FVance an almo-l certain result of the war. It was clear that to 
hold Louisiana agaiiist the pi'owe.^s of the l•".ngli^h anus, meant 
the dispatch to New ()ilean> of a mnch lari;er armament than 
was oi'ii'j'nally intended and a conc-pouding weakening of the 

•Aiiie-ricun Stiitc I'BiJtr.s. 


140 'i'i^l- Pl^Oll.yCII AND THE STATES. 

French contiiuiiial l):itlalions. While ilic rchnquishment <,i 
Louisiana was lu he sincLTcly rctricltLHl, \m other rcasoiiahle cour-': 
secniecl open lo J- ranee. If tlie province were returned to Sjmim 
Htlle or no read)- money wouUl he reahzecl. Its relciniou h\ 
France meant its ahui,-t certain reduction and conquest hy (ire.ii 
Ikilain. There was no other cotn-se : It must he sohl at oner 
to the United Slates for as lii^di a price as possihle. This wa.-. 
unqucstionahly the conchision of Jionaparte and the lojj^ic of the 
intricate and perilous situation. It is reasonahle to conclude 
therefore, (hat, if the prosjjcct of inevitahic war with l'.nj;laiid 
was llie cause of I'.onaparle's decision to sell Louisiana lo the 
United Stales, the armnnenls and importunities of Mr. Livin^blon 
disclosed the 0[iponun:tv oi di.spusinf; of it, hefore it was t(H> late, 
to the pecuniary advantai^e of h'rancc at a time when m«>ney was 
of the fnst im])ortance and delay was extremely danc^crous. 

It was seen hy I'.onaparte that wlun the war shoidd once hcpin, 
the United Stales, unless iheir claims under the treaty of 1795 
were acknowledged hy I'rance, \\c)uld no douht take advantage of 
the opi)ortunily lo occujiy New Orleans and the Floridas. The 
western i;eo})le, in fact, were on the jioint of takincf such a comse 
at that moment regardless of the prohahlc luiropean war or the 
protests of their govenmunl. Many of them thought that the 
occupanc)' hy France mi'ani the extinguishment of their rights on 
the Mississijipi, and \\cnil(l lic only too glad of tjie chance to take 
the count r\- at small co>l while 1 'ranee was engaged elsewhere. 
Unless the claims of ihe United States were speeilily ncl.nowl- 
edged, wai with (weat Tvm i;n i::<:iin ww ,i!-.> \\\'\\ the l';iitivl 
Stales, au'l^ theiefiue thr rcr!:rii 1..-S ('f I / )uisian.i. prohah'y lo 
the latter. I'ut the ackni 'wleilgmeiit of the claims of the United 
States, and the f;iilure to secure the Floridas from Spain, would 
render the i)OSsession of Louisiana hy I'rance harren of the 
important and inmiensely valuahle residls expected in the future. 
Spain would not willingly surrender the IHoridas ; the Lhiitet! 
States would in any event fight for their rigdus of navigation and 
deposit. 'J~he only reasonahle ccnnse left to France therefore was 
to sell Louisiana to the l.'niled Slates. 

But Lonaparle did not sell Louisiana uiUil after all hojic of 
peace with Great llrilain had heen ahahd. )ned. It is douhtful 
whether he came to the mulevialing conclusion to sell it much 
hefore the dale of actual sale. Frizing it as he did and liuild- 
ing high and gildeil lu'i-is (.n it ff»r the future, he dela>ed enter- 
taining th-' tlnuight of until circinnstances indicated the 
wisdom, if not the necessil)-, of its immediate relin(juishinent. lie 



then met with a stonii of i)i\)tesl from nearly all around him, 
even from his two l)rutIuMS, Joseph and l.vicien. Hut when once 
his course was clear anil his mind made up, he l)ro<)ked no inter- 
ference and listenetl patientlx' to no remonstrance even from his 
brothers. It is idle to invest him, as some writers do, with super- 
natural qualities, lie was an amljitious, selfish, egotistical, dom- 
inant, alert and hrilliant man, broad of com[M"ehension, unerring 
in the power to blend forces for the accomplishment of an object, 
and endowed with a will and personality that conunanded obedi- 
ence, if not- homage. He made up his mind only upon strong 
evidences, and tenaciously clung to his conclusions, knowing their 
accuracy and their cost in mental acumen. Ikit when a conclu- 
sion was proved to be wron;;', or for any sufficient reason unten- 
able, tile mental peiietral ii iii that enabled him to see his error, also 
pointed c>ut to iiis judj^meni the means for its coirection. It was 
thus that, although Louisiana was dear to his heart, he made up 
his mind to abandon it at the moment he saw the unwisdom of its 
retention. That moment arrivt'd when he abandoned the last 
liope of peace. The transfer was made so speedily that the 
American envoys were still dazed and astonished for days after 
the treaty was signed. It was Na])oleon's way — a profound yet 
impetuous dccisi\eness that won him .all his battles and his conse- 
quent imperishable fame. 


142 • Tllli rUOl'lMCE AM) Tim ST.ITJIS. 


The IiUcicliction of llic Deposits, 1802 

AKTElv the daiij;ci of war with Spain in 1797 had blown over, 
and the Sl)anish troops iiad e\acuated Chickasaw DhilTs, 
W'.dnut Hills and Xatoliez, and the survey of the thirt)-firbl 
parallel had selllcd all trouMc in thai quarter, the inlercoursc 
between the French and vSpanibh inhabitant of Louisiana and West 
Florida and the Americans from "u[) the river" grew pleasant, 
great in extent and nuUually j^rofitable. The liberal stipulations 
contained in the treaty of 1795, granting the United States a place 
of deposit for produce and goods in New Orleans, were faithfully 
carried out by the Spanish authorities. Under this desirable 
order of alTairs, ilie trade of Xew C)rleans grew to an enonnoUb 
extent coii-;idenng the sparciiy oi inhabiiants, and the Ohio valley 
qnadruj)led in pi'])ul,ili' lu ;ind pii'-.pcrii\ I-'Kcm. !;.>n pr •<l'iv-t>, 
grain, poil;. br.t, tol.ur.,, e-.'' .11. re, {■■■■.u\ ten.; r.ny I.-!,;!.!* :;t 
in Xew Orleans before beini; .^ent to every (piarter of the globe. 
The enterprising Anglo-Saxon from "up the river" so conducted 
his commercial transactioiis that he soon managed piactically to 
command the entire trade of that already famous \xnt. What be 
of the river did not succeed in securing, was largely nionopolizcd 
by (he American vessels passing between New Orleans and the 
cities of the Atlantic coast— llaliimore, rinladclphia, New York, 
Boston, etc. 

But this result was an innovation in the immemorial policy of 
colonial exclusion of the Sijanisli government, and almost com- 
pletely obliterated certain revenues which were sacred to the 
Siiani.h sovereign, bv fb>oding all of Louisiana with the contra- 
band (forbidden) of ibe United Stales. 'J^his finality had been 
anticip.-ited and div-ided by the Siianish ministry, 'i'hc jiroxim- 
ity of ilic Western st.ues to L(Hiisiana, the cheapness with wliich 


TUJi ixrr.RnicrioN ()!■ riii- luirosirs. 143 

tlic pocxls sent down tlic river couUl be pitxiucccl, and the case 
uitli which ihcy could he i)laccd in ihc li.uuls of the Spanish con- 
sumer, enabled llie industrious Americans to nndcrscll Spain 
throu^diout the wlu'le of Louisiana. The ])eoplc readily bought 
from the American llatboals rather than from the Si)anish vessels, 
because the i)rices of the former for the same articles were lower 
and usually tlie ])roducis were fresher and better. Tlie Spanish 
duty on contraband was easily e\aded b)- smugi^ding; and on 
sla])le articles, there being no dut)', the Spanish jjroducers were 
again undersold, owing mainly to tlic astonishing fertility of the 
Ainei'ican soil, and hence to thv: innuen^e crops that were raised in 
tlie Ohio valley. The result wa^ to [;lace in the peickeis of the 
Americans tiie revenues which IkhI been dedicatid fiom time 
immemorial to the Spanish crown. Complaint.-, in regaril to this 
stale of things were maile as early as i/'ijS, ami continued to 
grow in volume and severil)' during the ne.M two }ears. 

In the S])ring ol iSoi it beeanie known in New CJrleans that 
IvOuisiana 'had been relroceded to iMance, after which the com- 
jdaints largely ceased, because the Spanish crown demands for 
revenues were no longer made or heard. Harly in 1802 ii became 
known in New Orleans that I'rencli officials and ti"ooi)S were soon 
to be scut to Louisiana to take formal l;o^:^ession of the posts, 
projDcities and revenues, 'idle reasons for hostility to the Amer- 
ican trade were thus removed by the transfer of ownership, 
because the colonial ]iolieies oi I'rance and Spain were in many 
respects cssentialh' unlike. It wa< a! once rt'ali;'ed that tlie com- 
iiurcial policy oi I'lauct' wt>uld be ;i l.i ■ 1 in !,• 'isi-ian.i 
aflairs, because hi. nice at this time ^\\o extit ".ul-, pre-veil for 
ready money antl the re.-^umpiion of war with I'.ngland was a 
probajjility of the near future. Jt was realized lliat the authority 
of Spain o\-er Louisiana had jiassed to the re[)ublic of I'Vancc, 
and that the citizens in that province would be required to con- 
tribute their sliare to the adwinceinent of the French standard 
under the guidance of the (ireat Napoleon. \\ bile, therefore, 
Spanish autliorit\- in New Orleans had not yet been formally 
relimiuished to ]•" ranee, the sovereignty of the latter o\er the future 
destiny of the i)rovincc was distinctly recognized and in many 
thingb observed. .Man)' of the citizens were b'rench — probably 
as many as were Sp.uiish. Under the benign and li-hteous intUi- 
cnce of the "I-\;milv Compact" they had learned to dwell together 
in unity; but the I leneh iiad ii.-t f< a |Miiien (loveru'ir C)'R<illy. nor 
the jo\s of living under tiie lilies of i-'rance. Such were ready to 


144 77//: I'ROriXCF. .1X1) Till'. STATES. \ 


welcome the v\A glory of ImchcIi niililary trappint^s, spknd..: .• ; ■ 
heroics. ' 

The scheme of Napoleon for colonizinj;^ IvOuisiana kiiulK.l i'. \ 

liveliest senliiiKiits of pleasure and j^ride in the Itrcasis .-t {. 
I'^rLiuh residents. 'J'he New hVance that was thus to he cr^.- ; 
west of the Missis>ipi)i, with New Orleans for its capital a:.! 
mclropcdis, was a theme to conjnre hy ; and dreams of the Liraiid- 
cur to he were nol lacking' amung^ the romantic and cnioiiiw, 1 
inhahilanls. 'J'he helicf was freely and openly confessed at N\ ^v 
Orleans in 1801 and 1802. that the citizens of the western [lorn, ^ 
of the Unitetl States, hccanso it would be made immensely to tlu ir 
advantage to do so, would vulmitarily separate from the .Atl.'iutio 
states and aj^plv for admi^-^inu \^'< the new republic or tinpiic 
that was to he erected over the a^hes of wigwams and ihr gr.iws 
of their savage possessors. Aliratly the autluirits' exercised in 
the name of Spain \\'as largely ])erfunctory ; and the star of Napo 
Icon, even in New Orleans in 1802, attained a purity and brilliancy 
which it never accpiired amid the intrigues and jealousies of the 
Parisian consulate. The distance that lent enchantment \o tlio 
view hid from ear and eye the ch-eadful din and bloody pictures 
of the iMU-oix'-an balllefields. Here the rhrqisodical features shone 
out like a will-eif-the-wisp, but the lltful light brought peace and 

}'Vench iulluenccs were alreatly at work iij Louisiana. The 
name of Napoleon was on e\ei"y tcMigue and every breeze. It uas 
well kncwvn at New Orleans iliat the iroN'einmi'nt of the Tniied 
Slates \\a> hostile to (he luiub .Kiup.invv i.f tir po.\ii! i-. pri- 
marily lKcau>e the ambition oi N.!p./le"ii to louiid a new and 
dazzling empiie or republic in Louisiana indicated if it did not 
portciKl the threatened division of the Union. President jefierson 
wrote to Paris that the possession of Louisiana by France meant 
probable war between that country and the L'nited Statt. ^ ; in 
which ease Great P.rilain and the latter would join forces on land 
and sea. To what extent this prediction would prove true became 
a matter of much solicitude to Napoleon, who read with intense 
interest the elaborate communications of Mr. Livingston, ilcscrib- 
ing tiie views of the Unitetl Sl.ites, particularly those of the west- 
ern inhabitantr, in rec;:ard to the accpiisition of Louisiana bv the 
French republic. I'rom Mr. Livingston it was learned bv Najio- 
Icon that the navi!;ation of the Mi.->sissippi and the right (.f deport 
at New or some other suitable jjlace, were prized so Iu;;bly 
hy the wt-. iiiii prople and weie so neci'ssaiy to their pro-^perity, 

THE L\Ti:RnicrioM 01' Tin-, deposits. 

J 45 

that a war of cxtiiiciion would he \vaL;cil hy them hcforc they 
wDuUl consent to their rehnciui^h.nKut. With this view of the 
case, it is surely not necessary to slate that XajKileon saw his 
opportunity {o strenc.'then wonder full)' hi^ American colonial 
domain, lie saw that ;d;i)\'e all tliiui^s, i-liiiuld the Xew l-'rancc 
which he had projected he esiahli^hed, the acquisition of the 
Western stale^ was (he nio^t to ])e desired; hecause it meant the 
nhsolulc and exclusive domination of the ^!i^^is^ippi ri\e!" hy 
I'Vancc, the jjerfectiun of the Xajioleonic cuhjnial scheme in Amer- 
ica, and the certain remo\;d of all future eniant;lements with the 
United Stales. What, ih.en, was the fnsi ihini; that should be 
done? I'lainiy to ascertain ihc temper and sentiments of the i)eo- 
ple iiviiii^ hetween llie AlKidiany mountain^ and the Mis>i.-sippi 
river, llow ccnild ihal he accomplished:' I'.y met in;.; llieir 
commercial privile^^es at Xew Drkans, a- had heen done previ- 
ously hy Spain prior to the' liealy of 17';.-,. .And forlunaiely for 
Napoleon, inasmuch as the province of Louisiana, ihouj;h owned 
by I'rance, had not \et heen delivered to her, the deposits of the 
western peoi)lc in Xew Orleans ecndil be siopjicd at the insiij^ation 
of the (.reiich ^overnnieni and tlie wraih of the Americans he 
diverted to .Spain, w'lnch )et held t>ut\\;ird I'ossession. While it 
is not certain that the French <;o\ernmenl i.-^^ued such an order to 
the inlendanl at Xew (Jileans, the preponderance of evidence 
implies that the interdiction of the llep(*^il.^ in October, 1802, was 
occasioned by the indirect deinrmd of soiiie person hii^h in author- 
ity ill l-'rance. Ihil however occa^i^,>ned. ihe inteiulanl i>sued the 
f<.»llowin^- writ of inierilicii' in i'' 

"As lon^' a.s it wa^ nece--:u"}' lo tuleraie ihe comn\erce of neu- 
trals which is now aholi^hed, it wnuld ha\e been prejudicial to the 
province, had the InteiuhuU, in compliance with his dut\', pre- 
vented the deixisil in this city, of the pr(']Hriy of the Americans, 
granted to by the twenty-second aiticle of the treay of 
friendship, limits and ^a^■ii.^ation, of the 27th of October, 1795. 
durin^^ the iinnted term of three years. With the jniblication of 
the ratification of the treat}- of Amiens, and the re-establi^hment 
of the communication between the l■".nqli^ll and Spanish subjects, 
that inconvenience has cea.sed. Consitlerinj^ the twenty- 
second arlicU- of the said ire.aty takes from me the power of con- 
tinuing, the toliTatir/ii which necessity re(pn're(l ; sinee after the 
fulfdlminl of the --aid terni, this nn'ni-try e;m no h^m^er consent to 

•Amciicau Slalt I'nutrs. 


run I'koi'iNCF. Axn run srArr.s. 

it witliout an express order of tlic Kini^: tlicrcforc, and wiilu.-. 
])rcjudicc to the <.'\i)i>r(ation of what lias Ijccii admilLed in pro;. ; 
tinn', 1 (^rder, thai from this chite, the privik-ij;c which the Aniv ; 
icans had of ini[)orlinn" and dcixisitin;^^ their merchandise m, 
effects in this capital, shall he interdicted: antl, that the furcc^win. 
may he pnhlicl)- known, and that nohody may alk\t;c iL;norancc, 
oreler it to he jnihlished in the usual i)laces, copies to ho j)C)si. • 
up in the pnhlic siliocs: and that the necessary notice he g;\\vu i. 
it to the ofliccrs of finance, the administrator of rents, and othe; 
wise, as may be necessary. 'Jdie present hcin}:^ piven nnder n, 
liand, and coimlersii,Mied by the nntlerw ritten notary of fmani 
pro tempore, in the ofhoe of Intcndcucy of .\\\v C)rKans, Octoh^ 
16, 1802. 

'])y order of the Intendant 

"Jl'AX VllNTUKA MoKAI.r.; 

"ri;i)Ko Pi;i)i;sci,Aux/' 

Winn the news of the interdiction at New Orleans reached Mr. 
I'inckney at Madrid, he protestcil vi,c;oronsly, and was answereil 
that tl:e Spanish [government had issued no such order. He tluie- 
ujjon wrote to the Si)anish miniNler of state the loUowinii^ letter:, 
"It is with ])arlicular j)leasure 1 receivi-d from Your F.xcelKncy 
the information that this order of the Intendant had been issned 
by him without the knowletlt;e of His Majesty or his GovernmLiit, 
and that orders should he immKliately sent to New Orleans, t" 
Ibe Intendant and proper autluniiics there, to n-^ulati' the com- 
merce and inteicom ---e (>\ the ciii.'iii> of the I'liiU-d S;.i' ^ in th.u 
]K)rt by the}' of 1705. ■'OhI [•, \.\a v ilic .vi.i.e on [r.r fo-liia; 
it had been from the fuinidatiou of that treat}' to the issuing; ci 
the Inlendrmt's order." 

The issuance of the interdiction caused [ii'rcat excitement at all 
the American settlements on the Mississippi and its branches to 
their uttermost lami.'ications. W . C. C. Claii)orne, f^overiior 
of Mis>issippi tcnitor)', in a ktlcr dated ( )clohcr 28, 1802, asked 
Manual do Saleedo, governoi c)f the jirovince of Louisiana, 
"whether, since the deposit at New Orleans h;id been intertlicted 
'an ccpiivalent estahli.shment' ii;id been assi;;ned at another pkicc 
on the Mississippi, accordintj to treaty, for the deposit of .American 
merchandise and ((fects." t'.overnor darrard of l\cnti\cky in a 
letter to I'rcsident Jeiferson ^:iid. "'riie citizens of thi> .^tatc :ire 
very nnich alaniir,] and ;ii;itated, a^ thi^ nua-ure of the Sjiani'li 
p^overnmcnl will, (if iiol alt(ied) .at one blow, nit up the present 
ami future prospoiity of then be>t interests by the rc>ols." Mr. 

■')U'l '^f!' 

I l(IO',.- 


^fadison wrote lo Mr. PinckiKv on November 27, that "this pro- 
ceeding- is so direct and jialpabK' a violation of t!ie treaty of 1795 
that in candor it is lo be imiuilcd rather to the Intcndant solely 
than to instructions of his C'.overnnunt. The Spanish minister 
lakes pains to inii)ress this belief. . . . Ihit from whatever 
soin'ce the measure may have ])rocecded, the Prchielent expects 
that the Spanish (Government \\ ill neither lose a moment in coun- 
termanilinj:^ it, nor hesitate to repair e\'ery damage which may 
result fiom it. \(>u are aware c»f the sensibility of our western 
citizens to such an occurrence. 'J'his sensibility is justified by 
the interest they have at slake. The Mississippi is lo them every- 
thing."* 'J'hc legi>lalure of Kentucky i)assed a memorial to con- 
gress, comfilaining; of the act of the .Spanish authorities. Meet- 
ings of indigMumt citizens were held al many jjlaces througlKjul 
the west lo protest against the act and ask- for ihe removal of the 

'iTe whole Mississippi situation, so far as it was known at that 
dale, was laid bare in congress in ]''ebruar\', 1803, b) a protracted 
discussion which continued through se\eral tlays. In the senate 
tlie discussion was occasioned by resolutions introduced by Mr. 
Ross of ]\'nnsyh'ania. lie look a strong ])Osition which meant 
the forcible occuijation of New Oileans and ihc maintenance of 
American rights wiih militia and the regular ariuy. Among 
other things he said ;f 

"To the free na\igalion of that river we had an undoubted 
right from nature, and froiu {\\c po^iiiou of our wtslcrn counliy. 
This right and the liidii >.>[ dcp^.i .ii in the Ul.uid oi ■"■'. \e th"' iW^ 
had been soKuinh acknow leil;;ed ami li\ed by ircaiy in i/wS- 
'iTal treaty liad lieeii in actual o])eration and execuiiem for many 
years; and now without any pretense of abuse or vi(^lation on our 
])art, the officers of the Spanish ("lovernmont deny the I'ighl, refuse 
the place of deposit, and aild the most ofl'ensive of all insults, by 
forl)i(lding us from landing on an)- [)'av[ of iheir territ(jry and shut- 
ting us out as a common nuisance. ]iy wdiom has this outrage 
been offered? lly those who have constantly acknowledged our 
right, and now tell u:r) that they are no longer owners of the coun- 
try. They have given it away, and iH-cause they liavc no longer 
a riglii themselves, therefore they turn us out who have an 
inuk>ubted right. Such an insult, such unijrov(>ked malignity of 
conduct, no nation but tliis would alfect to mistake. And yet we 

•.Aiiicriciin St.itc I'aiitTS. 
1 Annals uf Cmnrii sk. 


run I'koiiNCii axd Tur. status. 

do not only hesitate as t(~» tlic course wliicli interest and lioiiMr >,..•; 
lis to pnrsue, l>ut we beai' it \vith patience, tanicness and appar, : • 
unconccin. . . 'i'lie calamity li[;iits nppn all those \\\v> 1.. 

upon the western waters— a half million cnt off from markci." 

Continuing-, he said, "l.ook at the nKintnial fr(jm the Kiji.-htir.rr 
of the Mississippi territory now on yo\ir laitle:'^ that speaks a l,ia- 
g'uag^e and disjjlays a spirit not to he mistaken. 'JMieir li\L^ ar. i 
forlunt..-. are ].lcd;;ed to .-.upjiort )ou. 'i'hc same may with vjcd 
'truth I)e asserted of Kcntnc];y, 'iVnnessee and the western piM],",- 
of Virginia and Pennsylvania. Is this a spirit to be re[)res^ed nr 
put asleej) hy nemitiation? ]f you sutler it to he c.\lini;ui>lied, 
can you recall ii in the hour of distress when you waul il i' . . 
Suppose the\' (the \\e>leiii people) do l;() and do cha^e away 
llic i")re>ent oi)])ressors and in the t.\\K\ are overpowered and 
defeated hy a slrL>ni;er \o<: than the present feeble pcissesxtr-^. 
'Jdie)' will ne\er return to you, fi >r )()U cannot jjrolict jliein. 
'J'hey will maki- the be^t compromise the)' can with the Tower 
commantliui.;- the ni'-ulh of the river, who in effect has therebx' llic 
counnand of their foriiuies. Will such a bar<;'ain be of lii;hi c)r 
trivial moment to the .Atlantic States? r.Mna|;arte will then .-a\ to 
you, ni)- I'rcnch West India colom'es and iho-e of my allies can lie 
su]")plietl from \\\\ colony of l,e)ui^iana with llour, jjiirk, beef, lum- 
ber and any other necessary. These articles can he carried b\' my 
own shijjs, na\'iL;ati'd by my own sailois. If. you on the .Allaiuic 
Cexast wi>h to trade with my colonies in tln»se articles, \o\\ uui'^t 
pay fifteen or twent\ pei cent t)f an import. \\\- want no fmiher 
supplies I roiu _\ou, and i>\emie Im l''i,,;:vi mu^t b'' the (..•;t;l.on 
of all fuime inleicouise. What w dl sou sa)- to iliis? Jt will be 
vain to address noui western brethren, and complain your cenn- 
nierce is riiineil, u'ur nwemie dwindles, and wnir coiulilie'U is 
desperate, 'bhey will repl\- that you came not to their assistance 
Avhen )ou mit^ht ha\e saved them." 

IlaviuL'; been interrupted in the couise of his remarks, he 
resumed two days later and, anion.i; other ihin<;s, saiil, "1 have 
lU'j^ed the importance of oiu- rights in llu' navi,i;ation of the Mis- 
sissippi, fouiuKd in nature and acknowledged by compact. This 
is the j,Meal and only hii;hway of commerce from the western 
countr)- to the ocian. The Spaniards after a lonj^^ execution of 
this treat}', have now naLManlly vii»Iated it and shut us (i\\\ fioiil 
all inteieourse and from the il;jlu of tU p.. it ; they have plunderer] 

•This !i pint est fuMiii',1 the iiitrnlict iuti, mid an intiiintinri Uial M i-.sis.iii'I'i 
teriitury \s .n u-;nly to :i>si^t in il » iiljii-iialiun. 

77//: INTIiRDICTlON 01- Tllli IVif'OSlTS. 1.^9 

our cilizc-ns ujion llie ocean: carried our vessels into their porls 
and conilenuicil tlieui williDut the s( iul)laucc of a trial. Our sea- 
men have heen cast into prison and (<ur merchants ruined, 'i'hus 
assailed upon the ocean and upon the land hy a loui;' course of 
oppression and hostility without provocation and without apetloqy, 
I know of but one course we can take which promises complete 
redress of our wrongs. Ivxperience has pioxed that the compact 
is no security; the S]iam'aids either cannot or will not ohserve 
tlicir treaty. If the\ are under the direction of a stroni;er Power 
(Iwance was referred toj,' who will not peiinil them to adhere to 
tlicir stipulations, or if lluy of ilicir own accord inllict these indig- 
nities under a Ijelief that we dare uol resent them, it is etiually 
incumbent upon us to act without faillui- delay. 'I'he aj.,''j^rcssors 
arc hcaijini;' indii^nity upon yuu at your own door, at the very bor- 
ders of )()Ur territoi\-, and tell )ou at the same time the)' ha\e no 
rif^ht to the countr\ frtnn whence the\' exclude )()u. If they act 
thus without riLrhl, wh)' not enforce yours b)' takdni;' possession? 
Will )'ou submit to be t.aken bv the neck and kicked out without 
a stiu{;|;le? Is there not spirit enoujdi in the country to repel 
and ])unish such unheard of insolence? Is not the maf;nitude of 
the interest at strd.c such as to warrant the most \i;-;orous and 
decisive course which can I'.xjjress public indignation? Co then, 
lake the ^iiardian-hip of our ri^dils upon )( lurseKcs, trust it no 
loui;ei' to those who ha\e so _i;rossl\- abused the power the)' have 
,lKid over it; reinstate yoursebes in the possession of ibat which 
has been wrested frcim ) ou and wiihheld by faithless men, \sho 
confess then)st'l\es no loii;;er the ow ui is of the coiinhw o\cr wbicli 
they ail' exercisin;; llie^e ai'ls'of inju-inc and oii'.i,:.,i, .\'' ••11:1- 
lion ma)' ])erhaps, he wise; but this is ilu- illielu.d me.i-ine to 
support it. \\'li(.n it is seen that you ha\c determined tc* supjjort 
your just demands with force, that you have already taken into 
your hands an ample pledi;e for future security and L;ood l)ehavior, 
your ambassador will be respected ami attended to. Ibit what 
^\■ei^^llt will his renioiisiiance ha\'e in any countr)' of I'.urope, 
Avlun they bear of no militar\- ])reparalions to vindicate \our pre- 
tcnsiijus, when the)- Karn that )du ha\'e been chased out of a pos- 
session confcssedl)' your ri-bt, that you have been insnltinqly told, 
IjCf^one, you shall not bu\-, you shall not sell, you are such a nui- 
sance we will haw nn intercourse with )'ou ? ... It may be 
said that the J-'xeiutive is pursiu'iii: another aiul \ery different 
course. 'I'he J'.xccutive will certainly pursue the course desit^'- 

• Tins ilUtimicc U, I'r.uu-i' slum Id be ijailu iil:ii 1 y not til. 


■., iiatod b)' (he loL;i^laluu'. Tu the congress has been confi.kd t; • 

j, . j)0\ver of decithiiL; what shall be done in all cases of lioslilitv I,. 

foreign Powers. 'Jlierc can be no cIouIjI that by the law of uau:; 

' (^. , and nations we are clearly authori/.ed to employ force fur nir 
■ ' redress in sncli a case as this; that we have a jnst ri-hi t'j (.;!.• 
such measures as will i)revent a rei)e(ition of the mischicl an 1 
afford ample security for the future quiet enjoyment of the vi .- 
lated right. If we leave it entirely to the I'-xecutive he can ui.I. 
employ negotiation as being the sole means in his power. . . . 
What will honorable gentlemen say on theii return home to a jjeo- 

; pie i)ressed by the heavy liand of this calamity when they inquire. 

What has been done? What are our hopes? IJow long will the 
obstruction contiiuie? Wwx answer: ^\'e have jn'ovidul a rem- 
edy but it is secret (the debates and |)roceedings on this (juestiou 
were ke])t secret by congress). W'e are not allowed to speaic of 
it there, nuicli less here. ]t was only conmiitted to confidential 
men in whispers, with closed doors; but b)' and by you will sec it 
operate like enchantment ; it is a sovereign balsam which will heal 
your wounded honor; it is a potent s[)ell, or a kind of patent med- 
icine which will extinguish and forever i)ut at rest the devouring 
spirit which has desolated so many nations of Kuro[)e. 
'J'his idle talk' may amuse children. l!ut the men of that country 
will not be satished. 'Jdiey will tell you that they expectetl better 
things of you, that their confidence has been misplaced, and will 
not wait the operation of your newly invented drugs; they v.dl 
go and redress themselves. 1 sa)- also let us i!^o and redress our- 
selves ; ytm will have llu: whole nation with \wu. ( )n no (|i:.-slion 
since the Declaration of I iiiK|. nd' ik c l.i> the ii.iImu I-. iii ;-u 
unanimous as upon this. ... As to myself or my fiuiul no 
agency is wished except that of uniting with you in rousing the 
si)irit and calling out the resources of the country, to protect itself 
against seiious aggression and the total suebjction and loss of the 
western country. If yuu act boldly and promptly, with |;erfect 
unanimity, \\)\\ will have no war, you will nuet witli no resi.-.tance. 
If the Spaniards resist yuu in t. iking possession of what by treaty 
they have ackno\)Iedged to be yours and what they now confess 
does not belong to them, ihe war certainly begins with ihem. 
Under all these circumstances, with these olTers of supi)urt, can 
gentlemen doubt, can the)' venture to ci)-, Peace, peace, when 
there is no peace, but a sword? 1 entreat {gentlemen to consider 
my resohilixii with candor. My intentifjiis are solely the atlain- 
mcnt of an (^j(ct the loss of which will destrtjy the country 
where I re.dde and hazard the P'nion it-elf. If gentlemen ihink 



the ))ro))OSL'cl nu-aiis ina(li.(ju,iti\ 1 will ;ii(roo to enlarge tluiii with 
cheerluiiicss ; all 1 wish i.s that clYcclvial moans he voted and 
employed in this i^olden monuiit, whieh if lost never will return." 
lie conehided h\' inlro<lucini^ the fdllowin;;' rescjlution :"*' 

"Resolved . Thai the I'nitetl Stales ha\e an indispulahle right 
lo the free navigation of the ri\er Mississippi, and to a eonvenient 
place of deposit for their ])roduce and merchandise in the Island 
of New Orleans; that the late infraction of such, their inuiueslion- 
ahle right, is an aggressiLm h(;slile to llieir honor and interest; 
that it docs not consort v/ilh the dignity or safety of this Union 
to hold a right so impcjrtant h)' a ti'nure so uncertain; that it 
materially concerns such of the American citizens as dwell on the 
western waters, and is essential to the union, strength and pros- 
perity of these Stales, Ihal llu}' ohlain eompUte security for the 
full and ])eaceahle cnjo)nienl oi sucli tlieir ahsojute right; that 
the President be authori/AHl to take immech'ale possession of such 
])lacc or places in the said island, or iIk' atljacenl territories as he 
may deem I'lt and convenient for the purposes aforesaidi, and to 
adopt such other measures for obtaining that complete security 
as to him in his wisdom shall si'em meet ; that he be authorixed to 
call into actual ser\ice any number (;f the militia of the States 
of South Carolina, (jeoigia, C )liiu, Keiilucl<y, Tennessee, or of the 
l\Iississip])i Terrilor)', which he ma)' lliinlc [jroin-r, not exceeding 
fifty thousand, and to emplo)' llum, together with the military and 
naval forces of the Union, fc-r elTecting the objects above men- 
tioned; that the sum of five millions of dollars be a'pijrojirialed 
to the earr\ing \\\U) ell eel the foregoing resolutions, and that the 
whole or any pail iif that ^.e'l \<c j'l.d or :\\\ lied, on \':irrant> 
drawn in puiMianeei;f such .Ir'.elii n- .is die I'kvi.KhI i;.i\ finm 
time to time think projjer lo give to the Secietar\ of the Treas- 

In sj)ite of the secrecy cujoinetl \\\)o\\ the members of congress, 
the substance of the ])roccedings became l;nown generally ihrough- 
out the counlry and occasioned all sluuKs of opinion among the 
j)arlisans. The western jjcople weie higddy ]ileast-d with the 
rcsolutir)ns of Mr. J\oss. They, as well as the substance of his 
speech, l)ecruue known in every court of Kuropc, and did not a 
little lo apprise other nations that it was jwssible to go too far in 
presumiu;-; ihal the Uniknl Slates would nrit defend its rights and 
its sovereignly. The resolutions were emplo)ed to excellent 
effect by Mr, ]Jvin{;stoH in his negoliatic>ns with bVancc to secure 

* Aiiiialb <if Cdri^rcss. 


Tim I'Roi'JXCi-: A.\'j) run sr.irns. 

tlic cession of Xcw ()ilt-aiis, llic I'^loridas, or portions of l.miisiav, i 
to the L'liitcd Slates. 'J'liey were shown to Xapolcon, Tah-.v i,,:, 
and otller^, and the jiomt was made that the I'nited Slaus u.-u, ( 
never rehnquisli it-> rii^hl to the navigation of llie Missis-ipirj 1 .■ 
"with their pulilical i.xistenec." Tliey were reaUy the slio:i-^.; 
nrf;nini.nt used h\' Mi'. Li\'in!.;>ton to convince the h'rench i^ovcii; 
inenl that the n.fn>al to rc\(ike the inteidiction of the depo.;-. . 
meant war with the Tnited v^tales.''' l>ul as liis' course wa> pr^'- 
cisel)' what Napoleon designed, and what prcibal)ly had re>i;hi i 
aheady from his imhrect order to the intendant, the effect oi il:. 
lesohitions and the .speech of Mr. l\oss must have been sMoii.; 
with the first consnl. lie Incaine satisfied that if tlie weviem 
peojiie would nndouliledl\- t^o to war to maintain their ri;dii t.i 
tlie naN'ivation of the Mississippi, they would not hesitate to sij) 
arate tllemsel\e^ from ihe .Atlantic states and attach lhem>el\es 
to New h'rance (l.ouiviana) to L;ain that ri^ht, rather than enter 
into a war with the jiowerfnl l'*rench republic in an atten*!])! t.j 
obtain the same object. Oreal j'ritain wa^ pleastid with th.e reso- 
lutions, because the)- indicatetl that the United States would oppose 
the possession of the mouth of the Mississijipi t)y France. Sjiaiu 
wotild no doubt support anv position which l-'raucc mii;ht as-ume. 
These were the llames liLjhted over the world b_\- the resi 4uiion.-. 
livery power that had an interest, direct or indirect, in the owner- 
ship oi the mouth of the Mississip[)i, reflected seriousK' on tlioc 
proceedings ol congress. 

During the progress of the debate o\\ the res(-)lutions of Mr. 
l\oss, there was read h\- Mr W'lute of lulaw.n. ihe f. ." .\ ir.,-', 

"yldri'iliscnu'iit. I'nder date of the \()\h instant (December), 
the Intendant General of these ])rovinces tells me that the citi/en.-^ 
of the I'nited States t^t /Vnierica can have no conuiierct; with iiis 
Majesty's subjects — they only having the free navigation of the 
river for the exportation of the fruits and ]-)ro(hice of their e.^tab- 
hshments to foreign countries, and the importation of what they 
may want from them. /\s such 1 ciiargc you so far as respects 
you to be zealou.-. and vigilant with particular care that the inhab- 
itants neither inuchase iir sell anything to the shi|)i)im;-, llat- 
l)Otlomevl boats, barges, or an\' other smaller ve>sels that ma\ }-;o 
along the ri\er destiucil for the Anierican jiossessions or pto- 

* AiiKi K ,111 Sliitr I'.ipi IS. 
1 .\mials (i| CiiMk;ii,ss. 

77//; iMTi-knicriOM oi- nir. nr.rosirs. 


cceiiiiit^' from lluni, that tluy shall \k- iiifoinad of it, for their duo 
comi'Iiancc of liic same." 

"Jialon Roiir;e, \)vc. 22, 1802/' "Carlos di: Gkaxdi'ki:." 

'J'liis order was eoinmenkHl mi in the se\eresl terms by many 
of the senators. Mr. W'liile said, '"1 iiese are the orders that have 
|)een i-.-^ued h_\' the Intendanl (-eneral to e\ery district of the 
Spanish i)rc>vinces, ]irohil)ilinj,^ the sul)jecis of his Callu4ic 
Majesty fri^mi ha\ini;' an)- commerce, (.lealin.14, intercourse or com- 
munion whatsoever wiih tlu: cili/.cns of the I'niled Slates; cxclud- 
\n'^ us from their shores for the distance of two lumdred and 
5-eventv miles; treating us like a nation of iiirate^ or a banditti of 
robbers, who they feared to irust in tlieir country. ... It 
lias been c;iven out to the woi Id llial the Inicndant C'eneral <^f 
the Sj)auish provinces was responsible for tlii^ act ; that the .Span- 
ish minister had issued orders for the speedy adjustment of ibe>e 
dirficulties. CJeiitlemen ma) lind when too late that this is a meie 
l)icce of diplomatic policy intended onl}- to amu^e them. Jf they 
had tal;en the trouble the\- mis^ht liaw beui informed that the 
Spanish minister iu;ir thi^ Cuu'ernmeiit has no control at New 
Orleans; that the Inteiulant (leiieral is lihe himself an immediate 
officer of the Crown and responsible onl_\ tb.ere f(jr his Conduct. 
If the Spanish minister ha^ inlerfered, it could onl)- ha\e been 
by the entreaties of men in power, as a mere mediator, to bei:^ of 
the Inlendant General of New Orleans justice and j)i.rice on 
behalf ()\ the ])eople of the Cnited States. Are honorable i^en- 
tlemen piipared to accept peace e^u such terms? And it .-eems 
that even tlie>e supplicatin;; ;id\aiK'e> are b'.flv t < .,\ lil \ uoih- 
m^. \\y accounts \ery lateh received foMi .\'e\\ *>iKaii- !<)■ a 
private letter which 1 ha\'e seen since these re>(jluiions were sub- 
mitted to the Senate, the inlendant General has c.\[)ressed nuicb 
displeasure at the interference of the Spanish minister, stating 
that it was not within his dut\ or his pro\incc, and that he, the 
Intendanl, acted not umlcr Sj-anish but iMeuch orders.* As to 
the closini^ of the ))ort of New Orleans n.c;ainst our citixens, tiie 
man who can now doubt, after viewing- all the acc(jmpanyin;i: cir- 
cumstances, that it was the deliberate act of the Spanish or b'rench 
■Government, must have locked up his mind aiL,Minst truth and 
conviction and l)e tletermined to discredit even the cvidcnci; of his 
own senses. . . . If it should be said th:it this imptutant 
(piestiou will sowii be louud in other band-^; that wluuever we 

• Tliis .'^lultiUL-iit bliwiilil 1)1- iiaiticiil.iily iioUd. 


'iiit: I'Koi i\ci'. AM) Jiiii sr.ri'Ls. 

iiKi)' liaxt.' lo lUiMiliali' <iii llii> .^nlli^^."l, cillur in tlio cabinet or llic 
IilM, It will iiiii 1)1- Willi Mi^ Cailiclic Majoty, but witb llic I'irst 
L\in^ul ; luil wiili a Jmh;;, biu willi llio Imul; of Kin^^s, 1 answer 
thai in llicsr in^ulu lo dur naliunal dignity wc at present know 
no 1'oui.i' but Spam. W lialt-wr a^enc)- lM)na|)arie may bave bad 
in tbis business, be bas been cuncealeil from our view."" It is 
vSpain ibal bas violaieil ber pli-bunl failb ; it is Spain tbat bas 
irampleil upuu ilu: lUare-l inleresi^ of tbe Unileil States and sbc 
alone is lespi-iiNibK- to us ii.>\- ibese oiUraL;es. . . . We sbouKl 
now view ber as our open enemy, as bavini^' declared war aj^ainst 
us, and clt> justice lo (;uiselves. We can never bave a i)ermanent 
place on oui' wasIiiu waurs, lill we possess ourselves of New 
Orleans and sucb oilici [lusilious as ma\' be necessary to give us 
tbe coiupKie and aiiMilute command of tbe navii^aliou of tbe Mis- 
sissippi. We ba\c now sucb an o|)portunit) of accoiuplisbinj.^ tbip 
impoiianl objcci .i-. may not be presi'Uled a;;ain in cenluries, and 
every jusiilicaliou coiiM be wislied for availing' ourselve^ of 
tbe i)|)poi lunii)'. Spain bas tlared us to tbe trial and now bids us 
deiiance. . . . Tbougb not ollicially informed, we know ibat 
tbe Spanisii frinince-i on tbe Mississippi bavc been coded to tbe. 
Fi'cncli and ibal lluy will as so».)n as possible tak'c possession ot 
tbem. W bat may we tluii expect? . . . We sball be bailed 
!))■ tbe \i'.;ilani an*! akri ImcucIi grenadier, and in tbe defence- 
less };arriM)n ibal would now sm render at our approacli, we sball 
see unfmk'd ilie >landards ibai lia\e waved irLnmiibanl in Italy, 
jurround^d b\ im[iu i^ualK- ramparis, and di.leudeil by tbe disci- 
plined NiUiaus oi r'.;\pi. , . Tlkse observations are urged 
upon llie suppo^uioii ibal il is tbe p(;wer of ibe C^overnnient to 
restrain tbe impi. iiio->ii)' of tbe western people anil to prevent tbeir 
doing justice to tin uiscK cs wbicb by tbe by 1 beg to be under- 
stood as not bcbc\'iu',;, but expressly tbe contrary. Tbey know 
tbeir own sinui^ib; ilicy Know tbe feebleness of tbe enemy; tbey 
know tbe inrnutr impoiiancc of tbe slake; ibey feel tbe insults 
and injuries ila) Ikimj received; tbey are now all alive on tbe sub- 
ject, and 1 bebe\c w dl not submit even ii)V tbe api)roacbing sea- 
son to ibru- prr-,Liil miuoUs and bumilialing situation. You 
mitdit as wi'll preli iid lo dam up tbe moiiib of tbe Mississippi, as 
lo expect ibey will be [jrevented from descuiding it. Wilboiit 
llie free n-e (jf tbe ii\rr and ibe necissary advantage of deposit 
below om line, tluii' It i tile ciMiuliy is not worlb possession; 

.* 'I'll'' '" II' Mil il iM.iiit (■ \'. .r. K |"Mi',il,lc (oi ilic jnlriilu ii(jii wjiM ikjI a i)aili^)ai» 
VK-w; l/iil u ,1 1 nil il.iiin .1 l.y man v iin n u/ ln.Ui |iailli'.. 


llifse are rirjits not only guaranteed to ihoni by treaty, Init due 
llum fron\ this C'.ovcrnuicnt, and iliey will enforce them, with or 
wiiliout your authority. . . . UiuKr your auspices and with 
the pi'oniiscs of your ])rv)tectiiin, at the hazard of their lives, they 
explored and settled a wilderness, the lonely desert they have trans- 
formed into cultivated fields. They are our fellow-citizens, our 
friends and our brothers, and we are bound by every obligation of 
good, faith and e\er) bcntiment of honor not to abandon them for 
a moment. . . . J-,et llonapartc once take possession of the 
mouth of the Mississippi, and we shall Iku'c a war indeed; noth- 
ing but the length of our swords and the best blood of our citi- 
zens will ever mak-e it ours; his object is universal dominion; 
and the hero of Italy, the milit.'iry desp(-t of France, a man whose 
towering ambition Ia^i rides the v:orld, whose will is now the 
law of nations, with hit)' millions of i)eople and the resources 
of Europe at his commond, will be a foe not easily vanquished; 
and T repeat, sir, only let him set his foot on that shore, let 
liim l>ut plant a single standard there, and he will never yield 
it but by inches to superior force. lie knows well the value 
of the position; he knows that it nuist become one of the first 
in the world, and that it now ofl'ers higher tem])tation to a pow- 
erful, ambitious and intriguing i)eoi)le than any place on earth. 
It is the oidy key to the immense regions watei'ed by the Mis- 
sissippi and its tributary stream>, to a country larger in extent 
than all lCm"ope, surpassed liy no jioriion of the world in fer- 
tility of soil and mo>t of it in clmiale a pai"a<lise. . . . Your 
Western ]>eople wdl ^-e in P.* n.ip.irte, ,it their \-er\' di>or<. a pow- 
erful fri' lid or a d.iii.;e)-'ii> u u'm>. ; .i;..! -kciuM i.e. ai'tu' "litain- 
ing comijlele cuiUrol o\er the n.uig.ition of the .Mi>Mssippi, 
approach them, not in the menacing'- attitude of an enemy, but 
imder the si:)ecious garb of a juiHeclor and a friend; should he, 
instead of embarrassing their commerce by any llscal arrange- 
ments, invite them to the free navigation of the river, and give 
Ihem jMivileges of trade not heretofore enjoyed; should he, 
instead of attempting to coerce them to his measures, contrary 
to their wishes, send missionaries into their country to court and 
intrigue with them, he may seduce their affection and thus 
accomplish .by addi-ess and cunning wliat even his force might 
not be equal to. In this wa)', having oi)erated upon their pas- 
sions, having enlisted in his service their hc)[)es and their fears, 
lie may gain .mi unijuc ascendency over them. Should these 
things be cffecteil, what will be the consequences? .... 
Wlicncver this ]>eriod shall arrive, it will be the crisis of Ajncr- 

»;i :i; 


I III- I'Ui'iiwi: .i\i> Tin: sr.iriis. 

u;in k''''* •'"'' I""-'' ir>iill. (.iilki- in llic iioliiical ^lll)ju^^'■ali(Jn of 
ll.f Ail.iiiik' Si.iU-^, ill ill lluii >>».i/;ii alidii Imm ilic wcsleni cuuu- 

Ill I i.|)l\ iiil; III llu'-~c lAiii.irl.N, Mr. I '.rri.'l,uiri(lL;i.', of KciiUicky, 
saiil ; "To iiuiiur u.-^ lo (l'|t.iii hoiii ilii^ pioprr, ihis saU', ami 

llKlUil ,|1T- iDlll-t.' Ill jilOk vCillll;;, \\llii.ll ir, |)lllMlill}; 1))' llic I'l'csi- 

(luit, iIk- i;i. mil iiiaii fri/iii I V iiii>\ h aina lir>l ami the f4L-iiik-iiian 
from |)i.k\sai\ a';aiii luM \i-u, ilial l>y Mich pacific iiKaburcs 
)()ii will iiiitau- il.'i.' \\i.>uiii piiipK; a^aiiisi )()U ; lliat tiioy will 
nol Ite ii. ^iraiiii.-l li) M'II. Iml will riilKr iiuadc-lho ccniiUry 
lliL-iu -cl\ '.^, u\- wiiluliaw fri;iii ilk: I'liiuU and unilc willi lliose 
who will ;;i\c ilk in whal [\\v\ want. Sir, 1 did iioL cxpccl lo 
hear .mkIi lan;.Mi.i ■'• held mi ihi^ llooi. 'Idic j^ciillcnian from 
rcniih\ 1\ aiiia In-i Kiiown iIk- innpLi" and \icw'S ot ihc wcslcni 
people lie lepre-^eiii-., hill il lie meant lo extend the im|)iilatioi,i 
lo the .--lale 1 Iia\i- the hoiioi to repie>eiil, I utterly di^claim 
il. Till- uli/eii^ III h.eniiu'ky \aliie to hii^hly iheir rij^hls liml 
character to eiidam^er the one or (li>hoiior the oilier. 'Idiey 
deal not, >ir, in iii-nrreciion>. Tiny lieild in loo sacrcil regard 
their fediial Coiiipacl to ^poit with it. The)' were amoii;^ llie 
rii">l to (,ppo<e \iolalioiis of il, and will, I trn.^t, he ihe la^l li> 
attempt ii^ I 'il. The link, indeed, was when nol only 
inila'.ioii hnl dis-n-t ;ji"e\aiiid in that coiinlry ; when instead 
of sciidiii:; liii\>aiid iikii to seize on ( )rleans an alteinpl 
was Ilk d. I, lied and a miKiiui \oie taken in c«»ni;ress U) haiur 
awa\' tin- liidit loi u\^iii\ \\\^ years. I'ail those times lia\c a\\a\. I'.iit I hei; lo a>k i^eiulenien who hold 

Sikh iam.ii.ii^e, will the we.-^tun people, adiiiiltini;' ihey were 
to wididiaw from ilie I'liioii, he ahle to aci (Jinpli.->h the ohjecl? 
Could they alone ;;i) to war with I'ranee and Spain? C'oiild 
llie\' hold Uilean>, weie' thee lo take possessitjii of it, wilhoiil 
llie aid nf the I'lmed Staler? Admitting; lliey ccjiild hold it, 
what ^eciiniy woiild they li.i\e for their commerce? A sii.i^le 
ship ol thi hue \vi.iild he ahK coiiipletely lo hlockade thai poll. 
See alo llie ll.i\.nia. oin' of iIm ^a fi>l and stroiii;esl of the 
SjjamMi polls and o i-iliiaUd as ti> possess every ailvantaj^e in 
aniio\iiip; our comnk ice. .\ie tin- i;eiitleiiien, I lu-|efoie, really 
serious when llie\ I iidea', or to persuade us that the western jk-o- 
fde ale ill such a -1 iti: of fui\ and mad impalience ihat lliey 
will n"l "lit evi II lor a fi w iiiouilis (o sei ihe fate of a ne^o- 
lialion, and il iiii in i i s- fiil leirive ihe aid of the whole n.ilion, 

See ( h.i.ii 1 I I. 

THE ixri'.RPicTiox' or run duposits. 


|.ul tliat thoy will madly run ti^ tlir allaok willioul a sliip, willi- 
ciui a sini;k' caniinii, \\illK)iU magazines, wiihdiu iiioiic)', or 
nrcjiaralion of an)' Kind; and wliat is wursc, willioul union anion;.,'' 
llicnisclvcs ; and wlial is sliU \\oi'sc, in face of iIk- laws ami 

Constitution (»f lluir country? It is impossible 

Allliou^li I think it incumli<.nl on us, for the reasons I lia\'C 
slateil, to tr}' the elYcct '.'i nei;otialion. )et. should that fail, I 
think it incumbent on us also lo be prepared for another resort. 
1 ai,M'ec with c;enllemeu that such an im[)ortaiit riyht should not 
be held by a tenure so uncertain. The cjidy dillerence between 
lis then is, what are the i)rf^per means lo obtain this great end? 
'J'hc course juirsued by the President is, in m\ opinion, the only 
true and diq'nilled course It is that and ibat onl\' which will 
certainly attain the object; and is the onl) mie which will lend 
to unite cordially all parts of tin; I'nion. I'-ul we ruu;lu to be 
pre])ar(.'d, in ca^e of a failure, in^lanllv to reilirhS uursrlvcs. This 
instead of bax'iiu;' an e\il. will in m_\' o[)iniun have a j;ood ellect 
on the neg'otialion." lie conchuK-d b\' mo\m<;- as an amendment 
to the res(jlulions of Mr. Kriss that all after the word "resolved"' 
be stricken out and the followin;;' be inserted in lieu thereof :"■' 

'"bhal the I'resideiil of the United States be and lie is hereby 
authorized wlunever he shall judi^e it expcdiL-nt, to reijuire of 
the ICxecutives of ib.c seseral Stales to take effectual measures 
to arm and e(|uii') according' to law anil liriKl in readiness lo march 
at a moment's warninr,'' eii;hl\' ihouvand i.lVecli\'e militin, ol'l'icers 
included; that the Tn-siiKni mav if he judi^' it expLdicnt auihor- 
i/e the bAi.culi\'es of ilu' sowral >lali- |.i accrp; .i- pari "i the 
detachment afoi'i-aiil an\' Coips n\ \i ilnnh rr^ wl,.- >bi,i . . 'U 

timie in service fe>r such lime not ixceedim;; nionihs 

and perform >uch services as shall be prescribed by law; that 

■ ■ dollars be appropriated iov \rd\-ini;; and subsisliuj; such 

part of the troojis aforesaid whose actual ser\ice m:iy be wanted 
and for clefrayin;; such other expeuM's as durinj.;' iho recess of 
('ouf^Tcss the rri'.-idi'iit ma\ deem nen'Ssary for the security of 
ihe territory of the United l^tales ; that dollars be appro- 
priated, for crectin;.^ at such place or places on the Western waters 
as the I'rcsidenl may judj_,''e most proper one ov more arsenals." 

Mr. Clint(»n of .\'ew \'ork made a powi-rful ajipeal in su[)- 
porl of the po!ic\' ai the admini-lralii n in lesiMiini; lu Uej^'otia- 
tioii iiisiead cf w:ir to secine the reNiKatinn oi the interdiction 
at Xew C)i leans. 1 U- shuwed conchisiwlv the imiuaciicability 

• .Aiuials of Cotll:u•^.s. 

158 THE i>Korj\'cii ,i.\'i) Tim ST.iriis. 

of forcibly tal<iu_L;' possi'ssion of XfW Orleans licforc cwrv ]k,, , 
ful rc•^^(l^t luul \)V(\\ cxliau^lod. Not only was the i)lau iliii,,. : 
ical, l)Ul il was excoclingiy (Iaii,t;orous to the scciiriiv ui •,; 
Ihiilcd Slates, because it wouKl nuaii a <;ii:;aiuic war with K' 
I'^rancc and Spain, with the cwnlual lo>s of Louisiana and il 
probable disnienilK'rnient of the Union, lie made liL;lit ni ;! 
threat of the xw^tcni sctiler> to sepaiale llieni^rl\'e> iruni il 
Atlantic states, and declared upon the as^itation of aliu- •, 
rvcry j)olitical difference since the formation of tlie c;ovcrnnu r.i 
sonic section had umbrai;c: and threatened to wiilulia.v 
from the Union, lie asserted that the most ha/.ardou^ com ■ 
any sectiein cinild piusue would be to sejiarale themsel\e> fri';,: 
ihc Union; and he dii'i not behe\e ihe threa^^ could be c;enur.i'; 
or in earnest. He showeil the uiir-oundiie^s of the sialenunt of 
Mr. l\oss that the sei>^uie of New Orleans would facilitate ik\U'»- 
liation ou the .Mississip))i (iue>tion. He concluded with the dec- 
laration thai the United States sluuild exhausl every measure of 
iu\q"oliation, but should be prejjared fur war as a last resort. 

Mr. Dayton of New Jersc)- ridiculed many oi the slatement.^ 
of Mr. Clinton, and insited that the deplorable situation of tlu' 
western jieriple could not be denied. He declared that nearly 
linlf a million oi fellow-citi/ens were wholK' cut (iff from mai- 
Kct, anil asked if SLiiators had any idea what that meant. He 
reatl an article to .show that three inoductions C)f the we>teiu 
states, entered at New CH leans in 1 80 1 (as taken from the cii>- 
lom hou>e books), amounted to ab(»ut one million six hundred 
tliousaiul dollus;' th^.\ were c^'iton. i.bacc.i ..ud ll:. H' 
showed fuither that iiuie or ten (l!:ir • tiple p.Hhict,^ .1' llie raised the i;raiul total that jiassed throUL;h New ( 'rlcaiis 
from that section to nearl\' four millions of dollars. U 
was officiall)' shown, he saiil, that from ]'V"l>ruary ist. to Jmie 
loth, iSo:, one hundred and fifty vessels of from one hundred 
to three hundred tons iiad cleared from the New Orleans cus- 
tom liouse, and lliat ei^hl)' more such vessels would be rei|uired 
to carry oil tliC produce )et in .sl(,ire ; 'I'lnnesst'c had produced 
one-fourth of this crop. He said: "Thus wc see that ])r>)perty 
amounting;' to ft-ur millions^ annually exported in the first six 
montlis of the \ear, is to be cmbari^oed at the will of a foreiini 
Govcrnnuiil, or the eajuice of a Siianish Intend. ml; or, if pir- 
niitted to j)ass at all, permitted undei' .such restriciiwus and impo- 

• .MiIkhi,;)! iln-vc fiiMUi s were il i->j>iilLd nl Uit- liiiu. tln-y t,riiii to linvc I;cmi sub- 
6luMli.ill> 1.1.; 1 It I. 


MiioM.^ as to take away all the profit of tiaiisi)Ortation and ren- 
der it scarcely worth the raisini^. What have wc- done to remove 
the obstruction aiul rcilrc>s the wrom;? \Vc iiavc sent a min- 
ister itinerant I'rc^m I'aris to Ahuhid and from AUulrid to Paris 
ttj iu";;>)tiate npuu thi-, suhject. Tlieie may he precedent for 
this; tliere ma\ he C'UM■te^) in the nua^ure; hut \\hat are precc- . 
('.enis? What are the forms of ei)unl\- ])i)Hleness to an injured, 
;in cuitraind, a slar\ini;- i)eoi)le? I'ul is nolhiiif;" thie to the 
(hpiity and honor of the nation most gross!)' insidtetl hy the 
act? Let them who \\'\\\ he llie dupes of the artfid, insidious 
insiiuialiou tliat it is an unautht)ri/ed act, an irregular proceed- 
ing of a sidjordinale ol'.ieer of a f nn'ernment which can punish 
with hanishnient or instant death tlie smahest devi;ition from 
duly. 1 do not heh'e\e the tale; 1 never helieved it; and a late 
oftkdal act nuisl tinilecei\e all who-e mind^ are not shut to the 
inii)ressions of triilh.'^' A late prorlamation issued fre>ui I'aton 
Kouge, a Spanish port, one hundred and lifly miles above New 
Orleans, jn'ohibits all intercourse In t ween v^paniartls and Amer- 
icans. Our peo])le ilescendin*;- the river in j)ursuit of lawful 
commerce, are forbidden to buy an eggr^ or a mess of salt, or any 
comfort of life, from the possessor of the hanks in the loui^, 
dreary distance of tv.o hundreil and sevtiUy miles. Will the 
gentlemen call this, also, an unauthorized act of a Spanish 
Intendant ?" 

Mr. Cocke of Teiuicssee sustained th.e admini>lration and 
among other things said : "Vav )ny j)art 1 do not wish to assail 
the leiritor)' or the rights of any natiou noi" to ahu<e their char- 
acters; but it is the more i'.\ti a' il diuai \ whui ll'-e jm u;h';i-en 
while doing- so Irll us at tin- ^.lme tiui'- tliat it i.v I'ran.f l!iat 
sets the Sjfaniards onj and that we are afraid lo look the hero 
of Italy and I'ranee in the face. Perhaps those who accuse us 
thus of fear would he the fust to hide their faces from real 
danger. It is not boasting that makes the jiatriot or the man 
of courage; it is coolness and resolution. We do not fear the 
licro of Italy or any other hero, but we fear the effects of war, 
of an unjust and rash war." 

Mr. J. Mason cJ Massachusetts favored the adoption of the 
Ross resolutions. He tlenied with much emphasis the justice 

• If tlie iiitcrdicliuii u IS ilip sole act of ilic lutiinlaiil. Iiy w l\oni was the mtlfr 
niillioi uc<l fni :.:i(l.- Uic i)i<.|,|<- n( ilic pioviiu-i- <.( I.oiiisinii.i m Ji.i^ic willi tlu> 
Aiiirri( .ins oil tlif Mi-M sii-i'i iivc-i ' Suu!v m.t t,i ilic I riti ikI.imI. Ooimt, 
tli'Mi, tlic I'.vi) ;^(•t^ <lr i.;ii\c ilii sl.iliiiK iH ll'.it il v. a-, tin r. ri u: I !i. .r i •( il aiM ..( iIh- 
JiH( luilv. an. I i.i.-vc that iIkv \: > \ i \\\f .lil i 1k-i .itc oi ili i s (/( >■ .nif puwil 
iiikjli III aiilliorily -i i;Jii r u( )'r.iiKf m i.l S;. nn' 

1 lie dill not lie II y lli.a I'raiu c ]iii^;lii li.ivi- lu 1 11 rcsixmsililt fi/r tlit iniridu ti.jti 

i6o Tiir. I'Rnnxcii .-i.\'i> tup. ST.irns. 

of '■(lul)liiiii;^ tlicni war icsdhiliuns." llavinj^'' read tlu m !•.,• 
remarked: "1^ iliis not iriic; do wr not a^icc in this iiiiaiii- 
nu)iisl)' ; will anv iiKinliLr of tlir scnak- Tk'ny it? Is iiui oi;; 
rii^lil lo tlu; navii^^Mlimi ol that ri\Lr a natural and inviuial/.L 
riglit ? What dors-it IuiiIkt sa\ r That we have an uiKiiic- 
tionahle nV;lu [o the diimsit at New Orleans; ha\e we not that 
right? It is fmilier declai'ed that thi^ riidit is inijiortaiU ; can 
this be denied? Upon ever)- principle oi rij^ht and safely the 
resolutions sln)uld he supported. ... 1 have no douht iliat 
this infraction of the treaty is the authorized act of either I'"ranco 
or ,S])ain.'^ li is now front twelve to eii^ditcen nionlhs since the 
rumor of the cession of Louisiana has ])revailed, and no authen- 
tic infc»ruialit in on the suhjeci has f\'er heen furnished lo the 
pco])Ie of the United Stales. Jlo\'.- ilun aie we to accoinil for 
tliis seciecy? li Sjiain deterniined Id drprive us of a ri[;ht, 
would she inform Ub oi it by me^,>aL;e? No, siie would pursue 

exactly the ci)nduct she has done 'J'he period at 

which this infraction tf/ol; place alTords strong" presumption of 
the moti\e and de.^ign. It took jjjace at the moment when the 
Frencli lluaight they had compktel\ o\ercome the blacks and 
restored the Island of St. J)omingo to (obedience; they had deter- 
mined tliat tlie subji'.galion oi tliat i^hmd should preecile the 
atlemj)! \ipon Loui>iana, and in the moment of theii" imaginary 
triimi])!!, the_\ connncnceil their oi)erations at New Orleans by 
the su-penvi(jn of our right.- .\s to the assertions that l.ouisicUia 
will be ceded or i^ Ci. ded with a special regard lo oiu' limits, 
I i\o not ugaid ibem; ihev aie rvi'luu"', i.iade (!i'\ t.i I '' n^." 
]Je argued takin;; p( -imh m :i, , irdancr \', ;!!i iPc um)- 
lulions was an act li> regain cm- own pruperiy, and couKl not 
be regarded as a war proceeding. The United Stales ^honld 
take ()osses^ion of its own property, and afterward, if there was 
anything to negdiaie, il coidd be attended to better than before, 
and in the meaiuiine the w■e^tern country would receive relief, 
lie (lid iiiii fear war with both l^ance and Spain, because Great 
Britain, in thai ca>e, wouhl assist the United States. 

Mr. Wells of Delaware said on the following day: "Have 
yon not sem the letter of the (io\cnior of New Orleans to the 
(loveinor of the .M i>-i-'-.ipp; teiiilur\ ? In this letter I learn that 
the U:>\(.in'ir couu.^ oiii auil ackui iw Kdf,es bis co-oi)eration with 
tlie Intru.l.iiit, ju^ti^l(- ih.- buM. h of the trealv, and declares 
that ihcM m->tiniiHMls ie,i>e theii- binding'- force the moment il 

•A iiuijcirily nl Uic iiii uiIm i s (i( e'oiii.'tc .-. tliniulit Uic !..'iiiic. 












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77//: jxTiih'PiCTio.v or Tin: di.posits. 


5uits tlic i!ilcMc^.t of cither i)ai ty to break llirouoh tlu'in. 
]l lias loiii;- liccii cvidrnl thai tlir iMciioh have attached to these 
li'ri itories ii])oii o\w frontier an iniportaiice which of iheniselvL-s 
\\\v\ do not hear and wliicii can u\\\y he attributed to them on 
account of their conneciiun with our Southern and Western 
Stales. Jf )ou Ileal, therefore, for an extension of your hniils, 
)ou will he disappointed. \{ )'(>u ne;.^()liatc respeclinc;' the rii;ht 
of dejiosit, and should suceeeii, }ou will obtain no liettcr security 
than that whicli has already been found ineffecturd. For my 
part, 1 a*m stronL;ly inipresst'd with an ojiinion that the h'irst 
Consul has a i)roject in view dei>pl\' hostile to tlie prosperity 
of our eoinitry. One threat object of the ]''iench is to increase 
tlu-ir maritime strength, 'i'lie pusitinn wbii-h the)' are abdut to 
take in New ()rleans will simn put them at nui" expense in i)(;s- 
session of an immense cair\in;; trade and reduce under their 
influence the fairest ])ort!on of our emiiire. I'eihaps 1 ma\' he 
asked, iloes the l-'ir^t Consul ima!;ine that tlk fieople of the 
United vStales will consent to see subjected to foreii;ii domina- 
tion any part of their territory? Tbi.^ is an in4uiry wliich Dona- 
parte lias mjt been much in the habit of makiuL;'. lie knows the 
extent of the means he possesses in this eonntr}'. It is but a 
few years since \iolent jealousies i)revailed between the Atlantic 
and the Western ^states. l'"(»rtunatel_\-, they ha\e sid)sided ; these 
jealousies lie will end.t avor to rekindle. I'o.sMdily he may cal- 
culate upon deiacliini; the people on llie seaboard frcMU the sti])- 
j)orl of their brethien tm the \\e-tein waters. ■■ 1 le'has already 
succeeded in eoncealiuL;' the hand whiJi j;uided the pen ol the 
Intendent at Xew (hlean>. lli> tomps .,:,■ pn .f..;l 1\- now 
a})proachinL;' our shore.->, and what mean^ oif p;.. tuthm l..oe you 
adopted? . . . Had the advice of the honorable p,enileman 
near me (Mr. Morris) been listened to, when yon were dis- 
bandin<!;- yotir army, this crisis would not have iiappencd. Had 
you then posted at the Natchez, as he recommended, a thousand 
soltliers, the navij^atiou of the Mississippi wduld not now haN'C 
been intcrrui)ted. He told you wlial would happen, and his pre- 
diction has been literally fidtilled. 'J'iicrc is but one fault 1 find 
with tiie-se resolutions, which is, they do not p;-o far enough. 
If I could ol^tain a second, T woidd move an amendment 
explicitly aulboriziuf^' the lakinq- possession of both the hdoridas 
as well as the i-land of New Ch leans. . . . ],et the I'lench 

• 'piis was il:r i( .»•-(. II niviii tiy many j-cr-,on'. wliy I'laiui- li.n.1 iJiuljiitily uiUhor- 
izcu ihc inlci 111 I li.ii 

H— II 

•>i| 'iir, 

)(( .-iii.jii' 

i62 THE rRon.xci: am^ the states. 

he but once sctlkil aloiiq' our souIIktu bonier and tbrv will |;;i\r 
tbc \vl)olc of your Sciulbcrn Stales at ibcir mercy." 

Mr. Wrig-bt (jf Mar)huKl delivered a siJeccb oi unusual jii.v.u 
in support of tlie administralion's ])oIic\ of ne(;otiation hci' p 
rcsorlin;^,' to war iiieasures. lie did not deny tbe llai^iancv (; 
tbc act of tbe intcndant, Ijut upbehl tbe policy of peaceful ue's,- 
liation already in proL;ress under tbe direction of Presiileiu bi- 
ferson. 'J'bere could be no Iwn \va\s ab(jnl it; redress sbmi'..! 
be soui^bt first and now llnou!^b peaceful measures, 'bliat \\a- 
tbc custom of all nations, and iiad been adopted tbus far bs 
tbe United States, particularly b)' Ceneral Wasbinciton, to wliom 
tbe op])osiliou toob sncb ])ains to refer, lie denied tbe fr^ure-^ 
of I\lr. ])a)'ton, and declared tbat tbe total exports for tbe \ear 
1802 were oidy one million niuily five ibousand four liundied 
tweh'C iKillais insli'ad of four millions.''" 

On tbe same day, Mr. .Morris of Pennsylvania said: 'it 
bebooves us, bowewr, to consider well tbe spirit of tbe ]''rg\ib 
government, wbicb in all its cban_i;es bas never lost sigbt of tbi^ 
object. Tbc I'reucb minister, M. de Luzerne, wben couj^rChS 
was debberatiuf;- on tbe ultimata for i)eace (in 1783), obtained 
a resolution tbat our ministers sbould, as (o our western bound- 
ary, treat under tlie direction of France. f Our ministers dis- 
dained tbe condition and refused to obew 'idieir manl\- con- 
duct obtained for you tbe countries wbosc fate is now sus[)ended 
in your deliberations. Never, no never, lus .l-'rancc lost siidil 
of Louisiana. Never for a moment bas sbe been l)lind to its 
impoilance. 'riu).--e wbo, driwMi from ber b^i-MJUi into exile, 
wandered about amoi..: nv lii\e callnod and ^ -imnuin- :i;ed 
tin' fulle-.t infoi mali.ii. Wlulc lb*)' enjo\ed Niur lio>pil.ililN , 
tbey probed your weakness, and meditatetl tbc means of con- 
trolint^Mour conduct. . . . 1 fad tliis transaction (tlie secret 
treaty of San Ildefonso) been intended fairly, it would bavc 
been told fraid<ly. Lut it was secret iKcausc it was bostile. Tbe 
First Con:id, in tbe moment of termiuatini; bis dilTercnces witb 
you, souj^lu tbe means of future inHuencc and control. lie found 
and seciH-ed a pivot bir tbat immense lever, by wbicb witb potent 
arm be nutans to subvert your civil and {KDlitical institutions. 
• \Vlint followed? An open ami direct violation of tbe 
treaty by a public officer of tbc S])ani'sb govcnimenl.:j; . 

'Mr. W' was evidently wroni:. h.-caiKO llie nnicial records .show Uic rxnoiH 
lo Jiavc n^;^u-,;Hl(.-d ftl^uiit llic muii iiiciiti.m«:.l l.y Mr. D.iyton. 

1 Diijluinaiic Cunc-5.i>('iulcuco, smet. I .Viinals oi Qouaxrsi.. 

THE I.\'J.lild>ICI !0M ()/• 77//: DEPOSITS. 163 

Bonnparlc lias placed liiin>rlf at llic head of the French repuhhc 
by deeds which ca^t a histre on his name. In iiis splendid 
careiT he must i)roccet!. \Vhen he ceases to act he will cease 
to reign. \\'henc\er in any plan lie fails, that moment he falls. 
lie is condemned to maf^nificence." 

In his concluding; aiLjjument Mr. Ross saiil : '"J'he .Spaniards 
delayed and evaded the execution (of the treaty of 1795) in 
a very unjustifirdile manner. ]!ut the administration of that day 
did not rely upon ne;^otiaii(jn alone; ilu \ ordered troops to the 
Ohio, and had the v'-^paniards pei.Hsted in their refusal, those 
troi^ps would have actetl decisively w iihdut any new application 
to the court of vSpain They saw ihe approachinp;' storm; tncy 
entered upon the execution of the treaty hy runninci^ the line 
and givin[^ U]) the posts; and if the war office he examined, 
gentlemen will fmd that our troops were then so disjjosed as 
to fall down the ri\'er j\lississip[)i and act with effect at any 
moment. It ^\as well known to us that Spain did not act in 
that hnsiness from the mere impulse of own interests or 
wishes. She ^yas then and is still untler the irrcsistihle inllu- 
cnce of a powerful neijdihor, with whom we at that time had 
serious differences; she was urged and pushed forward by 
iM'ancc;''' for .Spain until she hecame tlius dependent u[)on I'Vancc 
has ranked high for her good faith, and in lU)- oi)inion deserv- 
edly higher than any other court in I'.urope. . . , Wc come 
now to consitler the n-solution offered as a suhslidile. It is 
highly gratifying to find that gentlemen are at la<t inclined to 
act — to do something like defending the rights oi our countr}'. 
Is llu'ie any new shape gi\'e]i \<> lhi< h',",-iius-< l'\ (lie pr''p'ise<i 
substitute? We propose lift> t!b'ii>and nnlilia ; ;!:.•> Mil'-iilute 
eighty thousand, 'i'o do what? Will gentlemen tell us the dif- 
ference. It IS said ours are absolutely im[)erative; if so, alter 
them and give an mupialilled discretion. We will agree to it. 
My own opinion is, that they should he immediatel\- acted upon. 
If the majority \\ish for a hare disereli(.)nar)' j^owcr, I assent 
to it. There is no difference except that one set of resolutions 
puts g-rcater power in the hands of the Tresident than the other. 
Arc gentlemen on the other side afraid to trust: the President? 
Do they think he will ahuse this power? Will it hurt the nego- 
tiation? Instead of hurting'' it, our minister ought to carry tills 
act to Europe with him. He wouKl then have more means, aiuF 
more forcible aig.uincnts to urge in his negotiation." 

• Noll tli.-it Uif cli;iu;' I- oiic nly iiindc tli:it I'l iiiuc \\;\s iidt fmly ic^fiOusiljlc for 
the- uiU-uIk I inn, lull l"i Uic ii lu'.al lo !>ui i ( luU i Ua- ^'>^^h iii 1 7'/ 7. 

l64 THE I'ROriXCll AXf) Tim STATUS. 

^fany of the smalDis frmn ^\•Il<l^e s[)ccchcs these e.\tract-> a;o 
taken, wer-j ineinlicrs of llic iniiiority parly of C(tnj;M\'s< — wcii' 
oi)pose(l to the jericisoniaii admiiiislraiioii, and took an ulu.i 
position to throw the responsihihties of inaction n[)on ti..: 
majoiily, or at least to .sliniukile and develoji the ''Mi-sissiin.j 
polic)'" of Mr. JelTerson. The friends of the achninisirati...n m 
the senate counseled conservatism and tleelared that the l'rr>i- 
dcnt was (K)ing all thai should he done at that time to rLinovc 
the inlerdictii)n anil to secure a eoniinuancc of the rights granlcil 
by the treaty of 17^5: that to descend w'llh a force upon Xcw 
Orleans would he ra-h antl would react upon the United States; 
that the ri^ht to navii^ale the iMississiiij)! had not keen al.iro- 
gated, onlv the rij'lit io ihe (.lepo^il in New C)rli'ans and the 
privilege of tradiiii; wiih ihe v'^piuiidi people had heen proln'n- 
ited ; llial there was no occasion for hostile jucveedings, hecausc, 
. in any event, the wor.^^.• Spain had done was to fail as.siguing 
an "equivalent estal)lishment" for the deposits on the Mis'sis- 
sippi ; and that there was noliiing to show that the act of inter- 
diction was other than the nnauthorizcd nn'sai)ijrehensioi^ of the 
intendant. The ier,olulions of Mr. Ross were rejected ky a vole 
of fifteen lo eleven — a strict parly lest. The re^olutions of Mr. 
Breckinridge were then adoi^led wiihout a dissenting voice. All 
who had favored the Jm'iss resolutions, including Mr. Ivoss him- 
self, voted for the J heckenriilge re>olulions, (see suf^ra for kolh 

A( the session of the Imuse in Januarv, 1803, a secret commit- 
tee, of which Mr. \'b !i' ■!- 11 't .\ku\K-'.d wa- .kaiiman. was 
appi'i;ilid lo iuve^li•.;ale l!;.' .^ll^>i -qtpi (iwestioii .,:. I leporl r.;-:! 
the desirakiliiy and o.pedieiicy of ac(iuiring Xew Chleans and 
tile kdorida^.f The commitlec did not extend their investiga- 
tions keyond the immediate cause of complaint. 'Mr. Nichol- 
son said during tkc dekate in Octoker, 1803: "As one of tkc 
committee, J am free to declare tkal 1 did nut at ikat time enter- 
tain tlie most distant idea tkat tke almost boundless tract of 
country lying west of the Mississijipi could ke oklaincd ky our 
government on any terms, much less for the comparatively incon- 
siderable sum which we have agreed to pay for it. Had I then 
offered an oi^inion on the sukjecl, I skould kave kad no kesi- 
tation to say tkat tke we->t kank of tkc Mississippi was almost 

* Tlif ( .i'u:its .i iii:vl lift) itc ii.tuii.tHv a-Hiimocl n i^.iiii.nii hiu'. tlic friciult <>( tli(> 
n'liiiiuiOt ii I Ml ili'iiyme ami Uu; niiiiD^iiion ;i'.lirmiti4 I In- rcuuiiMlulit y »>( I'l .\iice 
01 llir iiUci.ln I iii:i. ( )| C);ii ^•■, tin-, w ,(s u ii'I'Tcd iJi'.--il)l<: by Uic l.ick of cwiiclu- 

ivc kinj\vlc>l,:<.- oil the subject. 

t Annuls o( CotiKic^s. 


iiicaknilaMe in its value to tlic United States, if it was only 
for the jnirposo of prcvenlin;^ any foreit^Mi nation from coloniz- 
ing^ it. If that country were thickl)' settled by a foreign nation, 
the uliole river Mississijjpi, from its source to the sea, must 
have been guarded by a strong chain of military jjosts; whereas 
the wilderness itself will now pre>ent an almost insurmount- 
able barrier to any nation that may lie inclined to disturb us 
in that quarter." 'J'he connnittee considered the interdiction at 
New OMeans with a view of having it revoked at the earliest 
possible moment, and recommemled measures which were deemed 
likely to prevent a recurrence of the act in the future. Mr. 
Nicholson said in October: "An inquiry of tiiis Kdnd naturally 
led to a view of the situation of the wcNtern country generally, 
and it was readily i)erceived that the same inconveniences 
which had occurred in relation to the mouth of the Mississippi 
might at some future period ]>erhai)S not \ery distant eml)ar- 
rass the commerce of the whole Mississip[)i 'I'erritory, the west- 
ern part of Georgia and the eastern part of Tennessee. It was 
seen that the ])roduce of this valuable coimlry nuist be carried 
fo the sea by means of the great rivers which rise in the Mis- 
sissippi 'J\'rritor\', but pass through b'.ast and W'e^^t l^'lorida 
before they reach the (ndf of .Mexico; and the connnittee were 
of oiilnion that these ought if po^sible to be .secm-ed by treaty.' 
They therefore made recommendations in accordance with their 
findings, 'kh.eir report, though made known to the memi)ers 
of congress, was not publisheil at that time. Mi". Randolph said 
in CK-tober, iSo^, "ii had been tbomdit inexpcduiit tw publi-li 
tile re])orl at ihai lime," and mo\ed lli.ii it le ui\rred to a com 
niittee to be published for the use of the members, but such 
action was jjostiioned. It was taken up later and published in 
its jiroper ])lace in the January j)roceediiigs. 'Idie committee 
recommendcti the ])urcliase of New Orleans and the Tdoridas, 
in order to get the fri'c na\igation of the southern rivers. They 
coneludeil by lecouinK'uding the adoi)lion of the following reso- 
lution : 

"Resolved, That the sum of two million dollars in adtlition 
to the provision heretofore made, be a]ipropriated to defray any 
expenses which ma\' be incurred in relation to the illtercour^c 
between tlie United States and foreign nations, to be paid out 
of any money that may be in the treasury, not otherwise ai)pro- 
priated and to be applied un(Kr the diiecliou of the l're.iiden{ 
of the U'nited Slater, \sho if iKCe>>ary is iu reby aulliorized to 

l66 THE PROl'lKCll AND Till: STATUS. 

.borro\V the whole or any pari thereof, an account whereof as bi^ .; 
as Jiiay be i>han be hiid before coni^ress." 

The action on the ''Mississippi question," as it was call.,1 
in the liouse was less jjrotracted than iu the senate, lh(juL;h li..' 
sentiment was fuUy as slroii_c;- for [hv luaintenance of ircai, 
rijjhts. The following resolution, introduced by Mr. C.riswoM 
of Connecticut, was rejected;'^ 

"RcsolzcJ, That the people of the United States are eniiiKd 
to tlie free navigation of the river Mississippi; that the naviga- 
tion of tlie river Mississipi)i has been obstructed by the regu- 
lations recently carried into effect at New Orleans; that ilic 
right of freel)- na\igaling- the river ]\Iis;.issippi ought nc\cr to 
be abandoned by the I'niied Slate.-,; that a committee be a|ipoiuled 
to inquire whether any, and, if any, what, legislative measures 
are necessary to secure to the \)cop\c of the United Slates the 
free navigation of the river jMi>.sissippi." 

The house of representativo, on January 7, passed the folKnv- 
ing act : 

"Resoii'cJ, Thai this House receive, with great sen^ibility, 
the information of a disposition in certain officers of the Span- 
ish government at New Orleans to ob.-irucl the navigation of 
the river M is>i.ssip|u, as secured to the United States b\- the 
most solemn slipulalions. That, adhering- lo thai humane and 
wise pc>licy which ought ever to characleri/e-a free peoi)le, :ind 
by which the I'niied States ha\e always professed to be gov- 
erned; willing, at the same time, to a-crlbr thiv breach (f co.n- 
l)act to the unaulhoi i/td mi-vMndn.-i ii eeria.n ind.iv ■.l.i.d-;. 
rather than to a want of g.H)d f.iiib on i!,e part of His C'aiholic 
Majesty; and relying wiih ptrfecl contidence on the vigilance 
and wisdom of the J'^xeculive, they will wait the issue of such 
measures as that department of the g-overnmenl shall ha\-c pur- 
sued for asserting the rights and vindicaliug the injuries of the 
United States; holding- it to be their duly, at the same time, 
to expre>s their unallerable (leterminati(.in to maintain the bound- 
aries, and the rights of navigation and commerce through the 
river Alississii)pi, as established by existing treaties." 

Takmg- all the data presented in the house and senate into 
consideration and weighing" ihe arguments of the niemb-ers, 
there do^s not seem tc; be a reasonable doubt that Kapole^.n 
cxpecteil to place in Xew Orleans a suliuient force, aided by 
llic mihtia there, to hold it agam^t any probable attack of the 

* Annuls of Conurc-^-s. 


western settlers or a Briiisli armament ; trj control llie interdic- 
tion of tlic deposits; to ohstrucl the navis^^ation of the Missis- 
i-ippi by the Americans below the tiiirty-th-st dec^ree without the 
]>ayment of a heav>' duty; to detach, if possible, the Western 
states from the Eastern and make them a ])arL of his l^ouisiana 
domains; to sccnrc the l-'K^ridas from v^])ain, by force if neces- 
sary; and to be then in a [tosilion t(j tab'c Canada from Great 
Britain rmd Mexico from Sjiain when he should so desire, and 
later to conquer tiic Atlantic slates, tlnis formini,'- a maj^nificent 
<.ini)ire in the New \\Virld for the priory of I'rance. 'Jdie refnsal 
of the king- of Spain, tmder the advice of the sa.i;acious Ciodoy, 
to sis^i the treaty of cession for two years saved i\e\v Orleans 
from jtassin^- into the hands of iMance imnicdi.atfly after the 
treatv of St. Ildefonso. Pnring that entire period Napoleon 
continued his demands or his entreaties, as seemed most likely 
to be efficacious, to secure the ratification of the kin«' and to 
acquire by purchase the two iHoridas as well. His threats were 
adroitly evaded by Godoy, until at len,:>lli he beg-an the forma- 
tion of the armament destined for New Orleans, intemlint]^ to 
take jxissession without the ratification of the vSi:)anisIi monarch, 
in whicli case he would douljtless soon have likewise occuiMcd 
the Floridas, shoidd the United Stales not ha\-e forestalled his 
intentions 1))' a prior possession. 

Instinctively, the people of the United .States associaied the 
cession of Louisiana to France and the inleiiliction o\ the depos- 
its. The latter seemed to them the bei-inninLT "^f iri-ubles that 
were sine to result fiom the foi-nu'r. Tlic decl.t; .1' • 11 <i d'- 
govenuir of I.Cdiisiana tb:it the act ihsapprii\ed b) l;i;n 
was not believed, j)articularly. as he did nothing;' -to remove the 
interdiction. The ministers to h'rance and Spain were instructed 
to inform the authorities of those countries that the interdic- 
tion must be removed and the riq^hts of the United Slater under 
the treaty of 1795 be fully recoj^niized. As Mr. Madison wrote 
to Mr. Uivint^'-ston under date of January 18, 1803: "Such, 
indectl, has been the imiMilse qiven to the public mind by these 
events, that every branch of the government has felt the obli- 
gation of taking the measures most likely, not onle to re-estab- 
lish our present rights, but to promote arrangementN by which 
they may be enlarged and more effectuallv secured." In f)rder 
the more surely to effect this result, the I'Dveinnu nt sent Jamc.> 
i\r<»nr(X" (jii a missii-n (■.\lraoi-dinar\' to as^i>t Mr. l.ivim^'^sliin 
at I'aris and Mr. l^iiid^ncy at Madri<l to effect tre.'Uies wiih the 
object of securing "a cession of New Oilcans and the I'luridas 

i68 'i'lii'- I'KoiiNCii .LWi) 'nil' ST.-rrHS. 

to the Uiiitetl vSlatcs, and conscfuuiuly llic cstuMisliiiuiit of ilx- 
Mississippi as tlu- houiular)- Itclwccii the Uiiilt'd Stales aii-l 
Louisiana. ]n order to draw the iMciieh t^ovornnienl intr) il,,- 
nicasure, a sum of nioncy will marl: jiart of our propositiu!i>. 
to wliieh will l)e added sueh reL^idations of the comnuree ni 
that river, and of the others enleriuL,^ the Gulf of Mexico, a-, 
ouglit to he satisfactory to France."* 

An imi)ortant stalenunl made hy Mr. Livingston cf)nceriiin:.,' 
llic act of the inlendant at Xew Orleans in interdicting the dejios- 
its should he hcirne in mind: "1 have examined the tre;ity; 
there is no pretence for this construction of il ; and as the riiL;lit 
lias been regularly exeicised till now, it will he gcner;dly heliexoil 
in the United .Sl;itt.-s that this const ructii.n could only havi- heeu 
suggested hy a wish dU the jKirt of JMance to g^et i id oi the 
j)rovisiiins of the treat)' hefi»re she took possession. "j" When 
all the circunist;inces aie t;da'n into consideratit)n :-~that SL);un 
by the tre:ity of 1795 had not only recognized the right of tiic 
United vSlates to the free navigation of the Mississippi, hut had 
granted the per|>etual privilege of tleposit, either at New Orleans 
or some other "e(|uivalent est;d)lishment" on the haid< of the 
Mississippi; th;it this jiiivilege had been continued without inter- 
ruption, to the ad\ama,L;e oi Spain, from 17(^7 to iSoj; that 
the Si)anish governor at New (^rle;uis denied having given the 
order of iuierdiction ; that the vSpanish amh;is.sador at W'ashiug- 
tou rcpuili;\tt'd all l:uowledi;e of such an order; that the Span- 
isli minister c>f st;\te at Madrid stateil that neither the king 
nor the niinislr\ h;ul diie.ud ;inv -ueh a ii.'U to he taken; 
the interdieiiou luid not been uideied uiud I'Vauve was o!i the 
]>oinl c)f si luling oni an armament to take possession; llutt no 
satisfaction to the urgent requests of the Americ;ui amb;issa- 
dor as to the attitude of b'rance on the Louisiana questions was 
rendered; that the iMeuch ministry stated that the cession of 
the coiuitry asked for "Was (<ut of the (|utstion;" that the pre)ject 
of colonizing and strengthening Louisiana was "dear to the 
heart of Naixileon ;" th:it it was well kutwvn in New Orleans 
that the province bad been retroceded tt) bVancc and would be 
soon formally turned over to her; that the mere request of the 
first con.ul was suH'cienl to cau^e the inteiidant to issue the 
order; and that l-rance w;is anxious to know what the Lnited 
States woidd ilo in case the stipulations of the treaty of 171)5 

* Aiiicriciii ^'.i.Tti- I'.TiK r^. 

t TImi <vc,i Mr. I.i\ iii^-.i j:i tiit( i i.iiiicd Uic oiniiicn tliiil France was rcsuonsiljle 
lor tlic iiiitiiluiiiiii. 


concerning' the iiavii^ation of the Mississipjji and tlic i>rivileg^e 
of deposit were ahrogateil — it is not necessary to go beyond the 
consular g'ovcrnnunt of I'^rance to learn where the order of 
interdiction originated. 

The authorities of the v'^panish government at New Orleans 
had little conception of tiie aggressive commercial spirit of the 
Americans. And the government of Spain was even farther 
removed from comj)rchending the resolution that would take 
forcible possession of the mouth of the Mississippi for the sole 
purpose of gaining a market. liari)c l\larbois said: "Spain 
thought that circumstances only required from her an easy sac- 
rifice. Slie consented in 1788 to cede the free navigation of the 
I\rississippi to the Stales, founded on the left banl'C of that river, 
liut she so little understood the spirit of those ]\ei)ul)licans that 
she had no hesitation in ])roposing as a condition of this grant 
that it shouUl only take elVect in case they determined to form 
an empire distinct from that of the Atlantic Slates." The 
threats which preceded the Siianish refusal to permit the Amer- 
icans to navigate the Mississippi, did not betoken a spirit that 
would either yield to the refusal or surrender allegiance to 
the United SlaUs. The overtures of the vSpanisli authorities, 
which had for lluir object the intention of dividing the Union, 
were never seriousi)- taken into consideration. The elTorts 
which were [)ut forth w cie occasioned b)' malcontents, law-break- 
ers, and the uninfornud. The threats themselves m'eant noth- 
ing uioie than to hasim the gowrninrnt of liie United .States 
into some acliuii would ..iHoi d elli.lual nui-r.ii-s ..{ ilief. 

The intei diction of the ileposits \\,i, ^cvertly felt 1:1 New 
Orleans, antl roused even there storms of iMotesl. The city was 
soon in sore slraits for jjrovisions, in particular flour, and the* 
com])]aint became S'j great that the intendant himself was 
obliged to modify his interdiction to tiie extent of admitting a 
few of the Staple necessities. As a matter of fact the procla- 
niTition of intenlicliou only served to make clear that all exclu- 
sive and arbitrary barriers over commerce must give way to 
human necessities. I'ut this point should be notctl : If the inter- 
diction was the act solely of the intendant, why did he not revoke 
it when it was seen to be such a burden even to ihe iniiabitants 
themselves ?•*• His i)rockmiation of I'Vbiuary 5, 180^^, gave to 
the people the nlief dcmandeil, I'.ut this was luerely a slight 
nifraetion of the edict, and not its levocalion. In view of the 

♦ Kvii vtliitiL' iii<li^;iu s Uial ilii. I nlcii.laiil w.i-, aciint; inulct Uu- oukrs of ft power 
lie dared not disobey. 


THE I'ROl'lNCll A.\'I) TUll ST.-ITES. 

hostility of llu' iiihahilants tlunisclvcs, occasioned by the Iiai ' 
slii])s thus th^u^l ii[>on thcin, it seems reasonable that the iiiui. 
rmt must lia\e been the instrument of some bij^Mier jiower. 

After the lapse of the three years stii)ulaleil in tlie trt;!-. 
the right of (lei)osit in New (Orleans was CDUtinncd b)- tacit ai;ri\- 
mcnt mitil its revocation by the interdiction in October, iS«,):. 
The report was promjitly circulated ihrouj^hout the westti;-. 
country that the ripiit to navii^i'ale the Mississi|)pi had \k\\\ \>r., 

» hibited, but ihi^ was not the fact. Spain had the right to pr,- 
hibit the tlept);,its in Mew Orleans and the right to foibid lur 

^ subjects to have any business dealings with the Americans, li 
is true thai she tlid not assign an "e(pn'valent csiablisbmeni'' 
on the Mississippi, but neither did the I'niled States j-ress for 
such a ])lace, because the Americans ditl not want another 
deposit; they wanted New Orleans. It was easy for the Amer- 
icans to use their wants as the basis of an inconleslible»riL;lii. 
Tlic}' therefore claimed about every right pertaining to the riv«.r; 
and the)- lunged for a rupture that would give ihem all they 
■desired, knowing full well that the feeble Sjianiards would prow 
no barrier to the bweep the)' should make were they to deter- 
mine to come down the riwr iov the ]iurpose of capturing New 
Orleans. At one time steps were lalaii to make Natchez the 
"equivalent establishment," but this was given up fmally as 
impracticable. It was thought b)- man) of -the settlers that the 
French g(.>\'ernment was back of the initrdiction. Had r.wt this 
been thuughi to be the pr(>bability and had not the -eltlers 
thought thai to take I .(nii-iau.i iioin r': i.'^-c v. .i-. an a,: .;i.tber 
(lilTerent Men than to take it fi>",ii Simiii, the chances an- that 
they would lia\e taken prissi s.sidu (;f New Orleans early in iSo^v 
Mr. Martin, the historian, writes: "On the first of March 
(1803), the King (of Sjiain) disai^])ro\Td of the order of Mo- 
rales (the Intciidant), prohibiting the introduction of deposit of 
goods, waie.s and merchandi-e from the United States in the 
port of Niw' r)rkans; and ordered that the United Stales shoidd 
continue to enjoy their right of deposit in New Orleans, wilb- 
oiit prejudice of his to substitute some other spot on the l)anks 
-of the Mississi[-pi." Late in May, 1803, the intendant revoked 
the interdiction which lie bad cndered in tlie jirevious OctuUr. 
It shoidd be Ui^-icd that this revocation was pronounced nearly 
two montln aftt-r Napoleon had made up his mind to sell the 
])rovince t^ the United Staii.s. Is it n^t rt-asonable to conclude 
that as So- lU as he becauir satisfied the sale would be (.llecti-n, 
he sent an order acio-^s the .Atlantic to the inlcnilant to remove 



llic iiilortlicliuii in (M'dcr to c|uict the Anui loans? Tlic order 
of the king" of Spain lo the inlcndant was wholly perfunctory, 
Ivecaiise he had issued ti decree on the 15th of the previous 
Octc^her directing' the governor of Louisiana to turn the prov- 
ince over to France and was aware that his authority iiad j)rac- 
tically ceased in Louisiana. Jt must ha\'e heeii upon the order 
of die l''rcnch republic that the interdiction was renio\ed. 

That the intendant at New Orleans was acting under the 
express request or direction of the I'^rench governnient, is proved 
hy the fact that, altliough the Spanish minister at Washington 
and the vSpanish secretar\' of stat^' al IMaihid, luuler the direc- 
tion of the king of Sjiain, had onlered llie rcuioval of the inter- 
dictioii, it was continued in force without inlrrruption and with 
increased exaclicm^ and se\erity. Mr. Madison, secrdaiy of 
state, wrote to Mr. I'inckuey under date of March _>, 1S03, that 
"our latest authentic information from New Oileans is of Janu- 
ary 20. At that date the edict of tlie Intendant against our 
right of deposit had not heen revoked, although the letters to 
him and the Governor from the Spanish minister here had heeii 
previously received. Aiul it ap[)ears that the hrst outrage had 
been followed by orders of the most rigid tenor against evci'y 
hospitable intercourse between our citizens navigating the river 
and the Spanish inhahitanis. 'J'his continuatiiMi of the obstruc- 
tion to our trade and the ajtproach of the season for^carr)ing 
down the Mississippi the expi:>rts of the western country have 
liad the natural ellect o\ incieasiug' the western irril.ui'iu and 
omhriKJenid the ad\'oeatrs fi.r ;iii i^ li. > b- ii;ns. 
Should tlie deposit \\u[ be u-Ioud lu time I r the 
arrival of the Spiing crafi, a new cri.sis will occui', which it is 
presumed that the Spanish government will have stimulated to 
prevent by the very hea\y claims of iiulemiiil'ication to which 
it would be f>therwise fairly subjected."'^ 

In his letter of April 18, 1803, to Messrs. Livingston and 
Monroe, Mr. i\[adisoii said: "Our latest authentic informntion 
from New Orleans is of the 25tli I'ebruary. At that date the 
port had heen opened for provisions carried down the Missis- 
sippi, subject to a dut)- of six per cent if consumed in the prov- 
ince and an additional duly if exported, with a restriction in 
the latter case te» Spam"sh bottoms and to the external poits per- 
mitted hy Spain to her ciilonial trade (see intra). A >econd 
letter written b}' the Sp.iuish minister heie iia^ been received 

* AiiKiitiui St.ui- l',ii)( iM. 

172 'J^m^ rRuiixcii .lyp the states. 

by the Iiitciulant l)ut without fiTcct. On the loth of March 
his interposition was repcaud in a form which you will find, 
by his translated connimnication to the department of state in 
one of the enclosed papers, was meant to be absolutely eflectual. 
You will find in the same pajjcr the translation of a letter from 
the French charge d'alTairs here to the Governor of Louisiana 
written with a co-o[)erating" view. A provisional letter to any 
French agents who might have arrived had been previously 
written by him, in consequence of a note from this department, 
foundetl on a document published at New Orleans, showing that 
orders had been given by the Si)anish (H:)venmient for the sur- 
render oi the province to I'rancc ; and he has of late aiMressed 
a third letter on the subject to hie 1 'refect saitl to have arrived 
at New Orleans. It does not ap[)ear, however, from any 
accounts received, thai Louisiana has yet changed hands. What 
the reault of the several measures taken lor restoring the righf 
of deposit will be remains to be seen. . . . The silence of 
the French Government to Mr. Livingston's representation is a 

very unfavorable indicalit)n 'i'he letter from the 

Marquis de Yrujo, of which you will find a translated copy in 
the enclosed newspaper of this date, was received yesterday. 
The letters to wdiich it refers, as containing orders for the re-es- 
tablishment of our deposit at New Orleans, were immediately 
forwarded. They will arrive in time, we hope, to mitigate con- 
siderably the losses from the luisconduct of the Spanish Intend- 
ant ; and they are the more acceptable as they are an evidence 
of the respect in the gowrniiuiit of vSpaiu to our rights and our 
frieiulship. Imoui the allusion in this communication from the 
Spanish minister to a futin\>. agreement between tiie two Gov- 
ernments on the subject of an ecpiivalent deposit, it would seem 
that the Spanish (jovernmeni regards the cession to France as 
either no longer in force or not soon to be carried into execu- 
tion, llowever this may be, it will not be allowetl, any more 
than the result of ouv remonstrance lo Spain on the violatioii 
of our rights, to slacben the negotiations for the greater secu- 
rity and the enlargement of these rights. Whether the French 
or the Spaniards or both are to be our neighbors, the consider- 
ations which leil to the nuasures, taken with respect to these 
important objects, still rt(|niic that tht!y should be pursued into 
all the success that may be attainable."* 

It seems that Mr. Madisf)n had i)een nusinformcd, for on 


•Auu-ricaii State rai)crs. 

'nill LWTHRDICTJO.W 01' TlUl DlirOSlTS. 173 

May 2S li^' Nvrole: ''You wore iufornuMl in my letters of the 
iSlli ;iiul .?c)tli of Apiil tlial onleis li;ul lieeii Iransmilted l)y tlic 
Siiani>h C'.o\-crnniLnl for rr-loriu;;- the tkposils. 'J'lu; answer;^ 
irtJin New Orleans to the Spanish and l-Veneh ministers here 
sliuw that their sneeessive interpositions, inehulini^ the peremp- 
tory one from the Marquis de Yrujo of tlie nth of Mareh, were 
nil unavailing-. The orders of the King- of .Spain will no doubt 
I'e obeyed if they arri\e before possession be ^nvcn to the Freneh 
nulhority; nor is il prcsunuablc that in that event they would 
be disregarded. vSlill it is possible that the French accents may 
choose to wail for the iM-eneh construelitui of the tri-aty before 
they rehn(iuish the f;i-ound taken by the Intendant; and the more 
possible as the orders (o the IiUrnclanl may cwulain no disavowal 
of his construction of il. Under these circmn-lanees il will be 
incumbent on the iM'eiich Go\'ernmenl to hapten the orders neccs- 
sai\' to guartl aj^ainsi a piolon_L;alion of the e\'il and the very 
scrie)us consequences incident to il." 

It should be borne in mind that in su])pressing the deposits 
at New Chleans, >Spain, when held to blame, claimed the right 
to do so.* She insiNled that the pri\ilege was a puie gratuity 
revocable at her pleasure; that tb.e rii^hl by the United States 
to navigate the Mississippi had not been inlei feied with; that 
it v.'as for the Unitid Slates and not Spain to procure another 
place of de])Osit when New Orleai-is was refused them; that the 
inconsiderable losses to American citizens, by being 'forced 
through their own want of foiesii^hl in not [irocuring another 
})lace of to bi;id and ludnad in the middl<' cf ihe riv( r, 
coidd not justly be atiribuled to' Spain, wb.. had d-i.e ,.iil\ 
she had a liyhl to do, because the thi-ee \ears stijuilated in tiic 
treaty of 1795 had C'\[)ired before the pronuilgalion of the inter- 
diction ; and that the injur)' to the ro)'al revenue was an-iplc 
justification for the revocation of the deposits at New Orleans. 
Why, it was asked in substance by the Spanish minister, di^l 
not the Un.ited Stales ask' for another "eciuivalcnt establishment" 
On the ]\lissis>ip[)i when the three years had expired, instead 
of depending upon the sufferance of Spain in permitting greatly 
to her lo'-s the continuance of the deposits at New Orleans? It 

* If llu- inttrrdiclidii w.i ; I'lii -^iianl to tlu: order of I'r.irico, ."^p.-uii wdiilil have Inkeii 
precisely tlie comse .sin- dni. hut wimiM h.Tve laki-ii an altouetliei innereiil com se 
had slic ln-i,, aetiiu: of Iwi own voUlioii, iMancc dr'iircd llu- al)i o_',\lioii of On- 
l'io\isi.,iis cinrcrnin,; llir If '..osils and llu; ii;iviiMO<iii o( Uif M e-u-.; -.ipi iMiihr.uH-d 
Hi ilic Sp 11)1' h tir:u V ol 1 . ' 1; .Spiiii did not . Ixiau M" she hid w i M i m; I y i; r arilcil 
Uuiii iiinlhad (Mjoycd th( iii ever since; and bcsidi s. uas \sh>lly uticoiiccriied, 
bcc.iuhc she \\-a5 aboUl lu siir(i:iider the utoviiue to l-'raiice. 


Till-. I'ROl'lSCE AX I) Till': STATUS. 

was for the Unitc-cl States and not for Spain to take the iniiin 
tive in securim;- another estal)hshnKnl. Wliy shonld the nei^li- 
fjence of the I'nitLnl Staks, which hrouidil ilieni loss, he made 
to react u])0n vSpain, who liad conimilled no offense? At thic 
cxjiiralion of the three years it was the (hily of the United vStales, 
in order to avoid precaricuis emergencies, to have sou^;hl for a 
new^ stipulation that would have secured their deposits s<^me- 
whcre. 1 hul thc\- ilonc so thc\' no douht would have hecn accom- 
^nodated ; hut instead of secKinj;' an "(.■<|ni\'alent cslahlishnicnt"' 
they demanded the restoration (A the deposits in Xew Orleans, 
a demand to which llie\' luul no ritdit. I'nder the treaty sti[)u- 
lations the "e(ini\alent cslahlishment" mu-.i he convenient to the 
United States, and therefore had to he selected h)' them, hut 
\vith the co-opciative assent of Spain. This assent had ne\'er 
been refused hy Spain; she had only refused the privilef;e in New 
Orleans. Had Spain, then, the rii'ht to suspend tiie de|josits in 
New Orleans before af;reeinj:^ with the United vStates on ruigther 
"cciuix'alent establishment?" Must vSpain submit to the loss and 
inconvenience of the dei)osits after the three )'cars, because tiie 
United States had nei^lected to piox'ide an "equivalent establish- 
ment?" Or must Spain submit to the inconx'em'ence after the 
expiration of the three years until a convention could be called to 
select an "e(iui\'alenl eslal.)lishmeut ?'' ('r should the United 
Stales suffer the incon\-em'ence after 'the three Ncars until another 
])laee of deposit had 'been selected? This was the maimer in 
which tlie situation was presented by ilu' Spanish ministry.^' It 
was then asked, why should Spain he h^Id accoimtabb' for the 
American lo^.^o fiom the >uppre--ioii ,,t ilu' d^l'<.^il^r I'o kiv 
the least, the riuled Slates had coninhuled to those lo-ses by 
takino no ^teps to i)rocure "an eipiivalent establishment." 

'J'he fad that the orders of hiqh Spanish ofticials for the revo- 
cation of the interdiction were wholly disregarded by the intend- 
ant, is conclusive pro^M' that he consiilered himself beyond the 
reach of the lash that invariably fell upon the backs of all 
subordinates <;uilty of disobedience to the imi)erial mandates of 
Spain. When to this observation is acKled the further fact that 
Spain, which was on the eve of surrendering- the province to 
France, couKl have had no object of her own in prohibiting,^ the 
ckposits, the resi)onsibility of the iMeiich republic for the inter- 
diction cannot will be denied. It should be noted, also, that the 

• ll is lint iMi'i',i>-.»l in. I liMii ii-.,.i,;,l,lr I,, supi,*,.,- tluit tlirsr virwH of Simiii Were 
oflcuil tui...i> iiilwi ilrii il,c v\ i-lusv)l liiUKX. .Sit i'll'loinalicCoiiOM.ondc-iicc 


first steps taken by the iiitendant to modify the severity of the 
act, were succeechng the rece])ti(in by him of the order to that 
ilToct from the h^\'iicli chari^c d'afl'airs at l^hihidclphia. Here, 
(hen, the intendant had the orders of both Freneh and Spanish 
ofTicials hij^h in authcjrity to revoke the interchction, but refused 
fully to obey either, surely because he nuist have had in his jtos- 
session an order from a nnieh higher tribunal to justify a refusal 
ag'ainst such preponderating- odds. 

It was beyond the power of ihe government of Spain to order 
tlie revocation of the interchction at New Orleans, because she 
had rclroceded Louisiana to J'Vance. '^lli^^ was known to the 
inliahilants of New Orleans, 'bhey knew lliat 1 'ranee alone had 
the authority to order the intcndant to remove that ri'slriction. 
Ihis partly ex])kuns wh)' the ortlers of ."^pain to the intendant 
were not obeyed, and why the interdiction was continued until 
orders had been recei\ed from JM'ancc to restore the privilege, 
'i'he orders of vSpaiu lo llu' inlentlanl li^ remo\e the inlerdielion 
were oid)' i)erfuncte)r\- uu'asnreh resorted to to allay ihe wrath of 
the Americans. Why were the orders of the g^oveniment of 
Si)ain unavailing? If the act of the intendant- was not pursuant 
to the direct or indiiect orders of h'rance, why did not the latter, 
when she learned of the distress and indignation in .-Vmerica, 
order the removal of the inleriliclion ? The king of .Spain had 
ratified the treaty of Si. lUU'fonso in October, ]i>02, thus perfect- 
ing the ownership of the i)ro\ince b}' I'rance ; but the latlej" took 
no steps to remedy the complaint, though well knowing that ui)on 
her order alone would the intendant act. Was it not, as herein 
stalet!, because Nai)olei>ii desireil lo biiol di^sati-f.i t ;-n aii'.'i'k;: 
the pe'ople we;.t of the .Alhghanii's with tin \iew nf their e\eii'.'.' 
separation from tiie y\tlantic states and their f(;rmal coalescence 
with Iv<'>uisiana for their own protection, j)rosi)erity ami haiipi- 

For man)' years after the province had i)assed to the possession 
of the United States, the latter endeavored to obtain from the 
Spanish government satisfaction for the damage done by the 
interdiction of the deposits at New Orleans, but without suc- 
cess. In one way or another, Si)ain managed to evade any resti- 
tution therefor. Why? Was it not because she knew that the 
order had been issued at the dictation of the French republic? If 
it had resulted from the order of I'Vance, it was very natural that 
Spain should object .^trcmunisly to paj'inont therefor. On the 
contrary, inasnnich as Spain was usually prompt to pa)' her just 


dues, ^vonl(J slie not have scttKil this chiiin, instead of conU'-i 
it to the K'l'^t, and then in tlic end totally avoiding,'- paynienl? ', 
item was not scUicd until the In.aty between Spain and the {'w 
vStatcs in 1819, when in consideration of mutual renunciaii 
the claim was rinally dropped hy the United vStates. 


CHyM^'i^l'lll V 

Tlie Cession to tlic United States 

THl'I treaty of Amiens, concliuled March 25, 1S02, between 
France and Ciieal Britain, was nnsatisfactory to botli 
nations; and it was not strani;e, therefore, that hostihlies 
soon again made their appearance. Durinj^ the antunin of 1802 
raid the succeeding- winter, both nations seemed to be drifting 
steachly and directly into the vorlex of war. 'J'lie jjossession of 
Louisiana by France made its ilefense by that nation necessary, as 
it also made its conque.-t and acclui■^ili(>n an object to Cireat P>ritain. 
The transfer by Spain was secret, and allluiu_i;h it soon leaked out, 
several months of delay were gained by France, during which time 
the preparatic^ns to occu[)y and defend it witii troops were' made. 
Keilhir the sentinu'nis of Si>ain, nor the dislri'ss of the western 
Si'liK-is in the I'niled v^tales. riL;urtd wiili nni>h imp"! i. nice in ihe 
calculations of eillu-r b'rance or rire.';t Driiain. ( ':i \ugu^l 10, 
1802, Mr. Livingston wrote from I'aris to the sccretar\- of stale, 
"There are obvious s\-mi)toms of ill humor between this country 
and F)ritain, and 1 thin.k it will not be long before they assume a 
serious aspect, (jood ma)' arise out of this c\\\, if it should hap- 
l)cn." y\nd he wrote c^n September i, "The extreme hauteur of 
this Co\'ernment to all around them will not suffer peace to be 
of long continuance. The J'reneh minister at Lisbon, it is said, 
is coming home without trd;ing leave, l-lngland is very sour. 
Helvetia is still in arms." Me wrote c»n October 28, 
"While the union between France and Russia subsists, the dis- 
contents which almr)5t every natifiu in b".urc»pe feels at the extreme 
loftiness of the I'n-i will be .suppre>-ed, Lut as fear and not 
afhciiiin (occasions tln' suppression, ihcy .ire n^ady to break out 
on the fM>t favorable monu nl. Many think that moment not very 
II — 12 


distant. . . . P.ritain is seriously dissalisficd, ami imli, 
has sonic reason to complain. . . . The prospect of a i-.i;- 
ure j;ri>\vs ni»>re serious. 1 can tell vqu with certainly \\v.\\ ., 
remonstrance in ]irelty stronp^ terms has heen prcsenUd hy 1 ■ r 
minister v\\ the subject of the C'onsul's intirference in the alT,i;i 
of Helvetia. How it will he received 1 know not; hut think ,•, 
would not have hccn made if it had not been the inteniiou ^^\ 
Britain to seek a quarrL-l." He said on February 18, 180;^ "I 
Tind that the sentimeius of the two nations (France and Criat 
Britain), with respect to each other, have totally chans^ed fro:n 
what tluy were a year a.qo ; they at present mortally hate each 
other, anil nothini^ hut the want of allies keeps I'ritain from 
break in<4 out." * 

Throut;h the friendly ofilccs of Joseph I'onapartc, Mr. Livinc:- 
ston, in one of his lung- memorials to tin- tirst consul about the 
middle of l'\bruar\-, 18V13, madt- the following;- audacious obset\a- 
tions : "It cannot be doubled that the [jcacc between JMance and 
Ihitain has been too disacUantaj^^eous to tb.e latter to be of loni; 
duration. vStronf^ symi)loms of an approaching rupture have 
already aiipeared ; and the statesmen of both countries will bei;in 
to examine the points of aliack and defense, and iJie acquisitions 
that afford tiie most permanent advanlai,as. The Cape, Malta 
and Fi^ypt have already awakened the cupidity of Great Britain. 
Should she extend her views across the Atlantic (and what is to 
limit them?) the cession of Louisiana to h'rance offers her the 
fairest i)relence to iinade that couniry either from Canada or hy 
the Atlaniic. She fell no reluctance in l'.i\m^,' them to Sp.i'.n ; 
but she will not (luietls sec them in ihe h.mds of hrance. Sl;e 
will strain every nerve to ac(|uire them. By unitint^ them with 
Canada and Xova Scotia she encircles tlie L'nited States. . 
\i she should unite Louisiana and West l-'lorida to her other 
American possessions, no power in luuope will be able to oj^i^ose 
her force." On the 11th of March he said, "thiuLi^s every day 
look more towards a rupture belween this countr)' and l:5ritain, 
and though the politicians think (;iherwise I believe a war not very 
distant." Jn his letter of March 12, he communicated the follow- 
ing ominous occurrence: 

"I broke oft this ])art of my letter to attend Matlame P)Ona- 
Jiarte^s drawinj;-nx>m, where a circumstance happened of svitTi- 
cicnt imp.. nance to merit your atttiition. . . . After the 
First Consul had {^oiie 'lie ciicuit of one room, he tm"ned to me 

•Aniericati Slate I'.iijcrs. 

Tin-: cuss lux to the unitiiD stati-.s. 


and made some of the common incjuirics usual on these occasions. 
He afterwards returned and cnterijd into further conversation. 
When he quitiod luc, he passed most of the other ministers merely 
with a how, went up \.(> Lord Whit worth (the English minister), 
and after the first civilities saiel : 'I fnid, my lord, your nation 
want war again.' I^. W. : 'No, sir, we are ver)- desirous of 
peace.' Eirst Consul : '\\)\\ have just fini^hcel a war of fifteen 
years.' L. \\'.: 'It is true, sir, and that war was fifteen )ears 
too long-.' Consul : 'Ihit you want aiKJiher war of fifteen years.' 
L. W. : 'Pardon nie, sir, we are very desirous of peace.* Consul : 
7 viHSt cither ha: c Malta or icar.' ]^. W. : 'I am not prepared, 
sir, to speak on that suhject; and I can only assure you, citizen 
First Consul, that we wish for peace.' The i)refect of the j;alacc 
then came up to the Cenisul and informed him that there were 
ladies in the next reX)m and asked him to go in. lie made no 
reply, hut howing hastily to the company retired immediately to 
his cahinet without entering the other room. Lord Whitworth 
came up to me and repealed the conversation as I now give you. 
I asked Ivord Whitworih whether there were any pending nego- 
tiations relative to Malta, lie told me that there were; that the 
conduct of France having convinced them that they still had 
views upon I'.gyi^t, and the guaranties to which the)' were entitled 
with resi)ect to Malta not having heeii executed, they thought 
Ihcy could not surrender it with safel)'. lUit what huought on 
the hiisincss today was a message from the King of Great Britain 
to the rarliammt mi the 1st which Ii.i.n jii-t heiii icccived here, 
spcal<ing with disti u ^^ uf the ;ii ui.iint in . 11 1 the I'l 1.. h p< -: ' ^ .md 
in fact ]ireparing" iliem for war. li is tluii highl_\ piuhah'.c that 
a new ru])ture will take ])lace, since it is hardly i)Ossihle that the 
First Consul would coniiiiil himself so j)uhlicly unless his determi- 
nation had heen taken."" 

The American minihtci to F.ngland, Rufus King, wrote to the 
secretary of state u\\ March 17, that "war seems more and more 
prohahle; imleed it. apjjears to lue ineviiahle. Holland will be 
involved, and Sj^ain and Portugal must ohey the commands of 
•France." He announced that the day after the king's message 
to pailiamcnt was communicated to the French government, 
Bonaparte delivered to Lord \\'hitworih a paper practically 
amounting to a declaration of war; and that the greatest activity 
prcvadcd in the I'.riiish militar\ and n.i\al dei)annk'nts. The 
"pajK't" lefcrnd [n was the uliiuKilum of Fi.ince, fioin which she 

•Ameticnii Stale Papers. 


could not rctrcnl. ami (o which C'.rcat IJrilain could not accci'.c 
with honor. 'J hus, as early as the middle of March, war v. a, 
rendered ahsolutcly inevitahlc. As this culmination f)f the jeal- 
ousies and iHjsiililies through man)- months had a diiect beariu;; 
ui)on the fate of l.ouisiana, it has here heen g-iven considcrahle 

Previous to this lime, say the middle of March, 1803, there is 
not a line to show that ]]onaparte intended otherwise than to tal.e 
possession of Louisiana with the armament still assembled in 
Holland. Indeed, in his "paper" to Loi'd Wliitworth he said, 
"The cxpetiition preparing: in the Dutch ports was, as all the 
world knew, destined for America ; but in consequence of the mes- 
sage (of the King of Mnj^land to rarliament), it had been recalled 
and wouUl not i)roce(.'d. If the ainianieni announced in the mes- 
sage be not satisfactoril)' explained, or if it take place I'rancc 
would march twenty thousand men into Holland. The forces 
debarked in the jjorts of Holland would be reinforced 'and 
assembled on the coast of Flanders. The French arm\- will be 
imme(h"ately put on a war establishment. Fngland must not 
expect, under the co\'er of an armament, to ayoid the execution 
of the treaty of Amiens."^ As Great liritain did not retreat from 
the declarations of the king's message, nor explain the meaning 
of her armament, an immediate and radical change occurred in 
all the involved policies of France. 

As early as December 20, 1802, Lord Whitworlh, the British 
ambassador to I'^ance, \\rote to his gowrnmcnt that, "The First 
Consul is (letiM iiiiued to exert hi-. ium'~' t < 'I'lrt^. 1 •■• onK i.^ <.uh- 
(hie Si. l^oiiiingo, but to sti'en;;!l;( n b'.i-.iM'lt in l.i :i-:ana and li:c 
FMoridas; and so pressing are his insistances with the Court of 
Spain for the j)ossession of those two provinces that they will 
inevitably be ceded to him in the course of the month of Jan- 
uary." f ]Ie wrote ou bVbruary 7, 1803, that if St. Domingo 
should be lost to I'rance, Napoleon would no doubt turn his 
whole attention to Louisiana and the Floridas. On Februar)' 28 
he wrote, "]n the next place, the conduct of America, from whose 
President everything subservient was expected, and by whom it is 
now foreseen that every ojiposition will be made to the projects of 
the French Government in that jiart of the world and that 
so far from being able to gain cpiiet f)ossession of the Floridas, 
the settlement even of Louisiana may be considered as doubtful." 

•Amriirnn .State I'.iixis. 

tl'orciKii Coiicvpoiidtiue i)f I'.iiulaiul. 



And ajjain on March 17 ho wrolo, "The Americans, whose fears 
never sulYcrcd them to doubt the jjiofessetl destination of the 
arniau'.cnls in the Dutch jjuits, are now dehvered from their appre- 
licnsions. Tliey are san^;uine cnouc;ii to hope that they shall hear 
no more of the threatened exchanc^e of the I'^loridas, or even of 
ilic projects on Louisiana. It is certain tiiat M. de Talleyrand 
lias f^^iven the American Minister (Mr. Livingston) reason to 
suppose that these piojecls will he deferred, and he trusts to the 
chapter of accidents fcjr the rest." I'^roin the statement above, it 
will be seen that the ]>riiish minister did not believe that the 
French armament \vas destined for Louisiana. As shown in the 
king's message to parliament, it was not doubted that the French 
force in the Dutch i)orls was intended to be used against I'.ng- 

The accoimt of his famous interview with Najtoleon is given by 
Lord Whitworlh as follows: "ile began by asking me if I had 
any news from luigland. I told him that ] had received letters 
from Yom- Lordship (the Knglish Prime Minister) two days ago. 
lie imuKHliately said, 'So you are determined to go to war.' "No, 
Premier Consul,' 1 rej)lied, 'we are too sensible of the advantages 
of peace.' 'Nous a\ons,' said he, 'dej;\ fait la guerre, jxndant 
quinzc ans.' As he seemed to wait for an answer, I observed 
only, 'Con est deja trop.' 'Mais,' said he, 'vous voulez la faire 
encore quinze aimees, et vous m'y forcez.' I told him that was 
very far from Tlis ^Lajesty's intentions. Tie then i)ro*!eede(l to 
Count Marcoff and the Che\alier Azzara, who weie standing 
tt)gether at a liltlr di^taucr liom un , .-ml saj,) i , theiu ' 
Anglais venliMit l.i gU'Tn-, \\\:\\< '<\\-- s"nt le> po MuerN .'t iMer 
rcjfee, je serai le dernier a la rcmctire. lis ne ri>pectent ]"»as les 
traites. 11 faut dorenavant les couvrii' de cre])e noir.' 1 suppose 
he meant the treaties. Pie then wont his round, and was thought 
by all those to whom he addressetl himself to betray great signs of 
irritation. In a few minutes he came back to me, to my groat 
anno\ance, and resumed the conversation, il such it can be called, 
by something personally civil to me. lie then began again: 
'Pour cjiioi des arnienients? centre (jui des measures de precau- 
tion? je n'ai jias mi seul vaisseau de K-igne dans les ports de 
France, mais si vous voulez arnier. j'armerai aiissi ; se vous voulez 
vous battre, je me batlrai aussi. \'^ous pourrez peut-etre tuer la 
I'Vance, mais jel:l;n^ I'iiitimidir.' 'f)n no \(jndi(">it,' said I, 'ni 
I'un ni I'autre. (Jn vondroil vivre en bonne intt liig'iiice avec 
die.' '11 f;uil done respi-cler les d'aites.' re]<lied he; 'n".alhcur a 
Ceux (pii ne re^pectent pas les trailes. lis (u seiDul rcspon^ibles 

i82 Tim rRoiixcii AMD mil states. 

a toute l'l*.ur()i)c.' Ho was tcxj agitated to make it advisaLU t 
prolong- the cuiiveisation. J ihrrel'ore made no answer, and 1 - 
retired to his apartnients repealing the last i)hrase. h i^ ;., |. 
remarked that all this passed loud enouj^h to be overheard \>\ t ,• 
Innidred people who were present. 1 was fortunate enomdi r, • 
to be l)etrayed into anything imprudent, or wliieh eould be ii.;» 
construed. 1 am persuaded that there was not a single per^ -i 
who (lid not leel the extreme impropriety of his conduct, and d.c 
total want of dignity as well as eif decency on the occasiem." ' 

On the iSth of -March Mr, JJvingston wrote, "W'c are here (at 
Fans) all in a bustle, not knowing whether we are to have war cr 
peace. In Knglaiul they expect war certainly. Jlcre they arc 
very an.xious to avoid it. . . . Peace will in no event last 
long. I frankly confess that though 1 believe a war would he 
extremely dangerous for Great Britain, yet 1 think her luiii 
inevitable if France continues ten years at peace." in his lettci 
of March 24111 he said, "The question of War yet remains unde- 
termined. Here there is an earnebt and sincere desire to avoid it. 
as well in the government as the people." But Mr. IJvingstoii 
evidently did not lake into consideration the views or ambitions of 
the first consul, although he had written on September 1, 180J, 
"one man is everything." f 

The earliest inemeMiitiuns of the im])ortanl changes to come 
were first observed by Mr. Livingston on i\\>v\\ 11, and i;rcsenteil 
in his letter of that date to Mr. Madison. Ik' said, "The affair 
of New Orleans gave me two very imj)unanl strings to touch: I 
endeavcMed to Cuii\ince the jMncinmeiil that the Tniieil .^tate^ 
wonUl a\.Ml Iheuist hi ., ,.| ill,. I ,,M, h ,,( i; , neatv I,, p.i.^^ -s tl.ein- 
.selvesuf .\■e^\ Dileaii^aiid the Monday that Jliii.nn weaild never 
sufTer vS]Kun to grant the I'loridas to I' ranee, even were she so 
disposed, but would immediately seize upon them as soon as the 
transfer was made; that witheuit the Floridas Louisiana would be 
indefensible, as it pe^ssesses not one port even for frigates; and T 
showed the effect of suffering that im]iortant country to fall into 
the hands of the J'.ritish, both as it aflected our coimtry and the 
naval force of all l{uro])e. These reasons, with the ])robabnity 
of war, liave had, I trust, the desired effect. AL Talleyrand asked 
me this day, when pressing the subject, whether we wi.',hed to 
have the whole of Louisiana. I told him no; that our wishes 
extended only to New Orleans and the Floridas ; that tlie jwlicy of 

• Memoir; <.( I.ord Wlutwortli. 
1 Anicricui Stale I'ajKis. 


I'Vance, however, shouUl tlictale (as I ha\e shown in an ofTicial 
note) to give us the count ry ahove the ri\er Arkansas, in order 
10 place a harrier hetweeu them and Canachi. He said that if 
llie)' gave New Orleans the rest would he of little value; and that 
he woukl wish to kunw "wli;il we would gi\e for the whole.' T 
told him il was a suhjeet I ha<l not ihou_L;hl o7 ; hut that 1 sup- 
posctl we should not dhjeci tu iwc'iUy millidus (iivres), jirovided 
our citi^'ens were j)aid. He lold me that this was too low an offer, 
and that he would he glad if 1 would relied upon it and tell him 
tomorrow. 1 told him thai, as Mr. Momue would he in town in 
two days, 1 would delay m}' further offer until 1 had the pleasure 
of introducing him. He said that he did not speak from author- 
ity, hut that the idea had sliuck him. I have reason, however, to 
think that this resolution was tak-in in C(nuu-il on Saturda)-. On 
l''iiday I received Mr. l-Jpss's nuHion (made in the United States 
Senate for the adoiition of his resuluiiou> : see elsewhere): I 
immediately sent it to M. Talleyrand, with an informrd note 
expressive of my fears that it would be carried into effect; and 
requesting tlial General ]jernadottc (minister to he sent to Amer- 
ica) nn'ght not go till something effectual was done. I also trans- 
lated il, aiul gave it In General llernadoUe, and jtressed upon him 
the necessity of asking ex[)ress instruction>, in case he should find 
the island (of New Orleans) in possession of the Americans. He 
went immediately to Jo.-eph IJonaparle. These I believe were 
exciting causes to the train we are now ifi, and which I flatter 
myself we shall be able on the arrival of Mr. Monroe to pursue to 
eflect. J ihiidv from e\eiy appe.iranee ihai war is ver)- near at 
hand ; and mider these circmn>laiK-es 1 ha\ e eudi.:iv. u ■\ to i:. ..ness 
the CjoNeinmein that not a nu'memi should be Iu>.t li ,^l b.iitain 
should aniicijfate us. I h.ave used every exertiun with the Span- 
ish ambassador and Lord Whiiworth to jirevent the transfer of 
the I'loridas; and wrote to Mr. Graham (at Madrid) in Mr. 
Pinckney's absence, to give every attention to tiiat object, and to 
avail himself of the eoolne.-s which subsisted between the French 
aml)assa(lor and the Prince of Peace (Godoy). Tiiis has retarded 
the negotiation; an<l unless they gel Florida, I have convinced 
them I/-)uisiana is worth iitile. 1 would rather have confined our 
views to smaller objicts; and I ihink that if we succeed, il would 
be good jKilicy to exchange ihe west bank of the ^^ississiplli with 
Spain for the h', resi^rving New Orleans. I'eihaiis, how- 
ever, T am too saiu'uinc in my expict.-iti. .us ; we will not, there- 
fore, di.^posc cif the skin till we have killed the biar."* 

• Ainci ican Slntc I'.ipi rs. 

J 8.^ Tllli l'RO]'I\'CR AND THE STATUS. - 

From this extract it will he seen lu»\v little Mr. Livinf^^ston co;,-,- 
prchcncleil what was at that inonieiU Iranspiriut;- hctwccn il.c 
French leaders. Ihit no one coulcl luive forecast coining even'.-, 
altlionj^h they cast their shadows hefore. lie seemed in his Ki- 
tcr of Ai)ril 1 1 to think' that his efforts were succeedinfi", and lli.u 
lie was instrnn^ental in retarding- the ncL;otiations at Madrid for 
the cession of the hdoridas to I'rance hetween the iMcnch anihas- 
sador and Coiloy. Notwilhslandini,'- that Talleyrand hroaclK-d 
the snhject of ihe sale of all of Louisiana, Mr. Liviny;slon did nut 
sec, had no way of seeint;-, that its sale was practically tendered. 
He had heen instructed at the outset to use every endeavor to 
prevent the transfer of l.ouisi.uia to I'Vancc; and after the trans- 
fer was hnown to ha\e heen made had employed all his i)Owers to 
induce I'lance lo relinquish the i)rovince; and when lie found ihat 
object (Mit of the cpieslii'ii had soui;ht wilh arguments and threats, 
under limited autlunit)', to gain the recognition of suhstantial 
advantages for America. Consequentl)', \s'hen Talleyrand asked 
liini if he wished the whole of Louisiana, he, nor dreaming what 
was coming, answered "no," because the worthlessness of 
I<ouisiana witiiout the Floridas had been the burden of his own 
-arguments, and it \vould ajjpear like stultit'icatifju to show an 
eagerness, under the circumstances, to possess the wdiolc jjiovince. 
It is no (k)ubt true thai the resolutions of Mr. Ivoss in the United 
States Senate, when presented to the French governiuent with the 
views of Mr. Livingston that they were likely lo be carried into 
■eflect and i)ossebsion be taken of New ( hU-ans by the /Vmericans, 
.had nuu'h 1*) do in ha-lrnip.'.'' !ke neg« >;;, ! :i .us i,f < « -sion. 

The I'liiled Sl.itts, 111 in ihc ii'.MUieul M was K.iMud that l"iaiue 
bad secuit-tl Louisiana, was inteiisel)' opposed to the transfer, aiul 
this feeling grew in strength as time passed and the rapacity and 
power of Napoleon were developed. The government soon 
realized that war with L'rance would almobt certainly result from 
the transfer, owing lo Nai)oleon's polic)' of hostility to every 
resistance to this ambition for doiuinion. The French govern- 
ment was told of this senliment in the United States. It was 
also infoinK-d at divers times and in various ways that the Lhiited 
States wouUl ti)' to maintain, peaceal)ly if jiossiblc, forcibly if 
ueces.sary, their rights on the Mississi])pi as stipulated in the Span- 
ish trealv of 1795. b'.very efloit was made by Mr.' Living'-slon to 
secure frolu the b'rench government an acknowledgment of the 
rights of ilie L'niled Slates on the Mississipjii, but without avail. 
Any coinmilment on that {|uestif>n was rigidly avoided by Fiance. 
UnquestiMiiabl)-, i\'apc»let»n, who expected uiUil the last moment 


to take possession of T.ouibiana and make it a i)0\verful colony, 
did not care to liamlicap liis future arrant^^emcnis and policy in 
America with any questionable or unnecessary pronn'scs to the 
United Slates. As his policy would most certainly have been to 
close the Mississippi against the United States, and as liie United 
States would never have surrendered that right but "with their 
political existence," as Mr. l<ivingston informed the I'rench min- 
ister of state, the result would undouljtedly have been war. Of 
course Na^)oleon realized that the United States alone would 
prove no mean antagonist, and he was lunhei- well aware that in 
case of such a war Great I'rilain and the United States would 
join hands against him. Therefore, as he came to see that war 
with Great Britain was inex'ilahle, he lil<e\vise realized that the 
United States woidd not hesilale, while ;dl the streni'lh of ] 'ranee 
was engaged to cnili or lioKl in cheek her anei(Mit enemy, to lake 
possession of the mouth of the Mississi])pi, with force if necessary. 
It was not necessary to tell Xajjoleon thai this could ea-ily be done 
by the United States, allhuugh such a hnality was laid before 
him, Owing, then, to the certainty of losing lx)uisiana to the 
United Slates in case of a war with (^.real Britain, and to the 
inevilableness of such a war, his only course was to get rid of 
Louisiana before the commencement of hostilities, lie could 
return it to Spain, or ccndd sell it to the United Stales. There 
would be no immediate gain by returning it to Spain; he could 
scciire immediately from the United Slates a gooiUy sunt. Hence 
his determination to sell. 

The United Stales, umI knowing- of the state of the negotia- 
tions at Paris, in^trueled .Me>M.^. 1 .i\ iiiL;st( .n .ii.-l .dii.; 'C on 
April ]8, iSoj, to i)re.^s ihe bVench go\einnieul lor a seltlenient 
of rights and claims. They were instructed that "If the French 
Government, instead of friendly arrangements or views, should 
be found to medilale hostilities, or to have formed projects which 
will constrain the United Slates to resort to hostilities, such coiu- 
inunications are then to be held with the Britibh Govemmcnt as 
will sound its dispositions and invite its conairrcnce in the war. 
Your own prudence will suggest that the conuiumications be so 
matle, as, on one hand, not to precipilale France inlo hostile 
operations, and, on the other, not k> lead Great r.ritain from the 
supposition that war depeiuls on the cluiice of the United States, 
and tliat their choice of war will dei^nd on her pnrtieip.ilion in 
it. If war is U) he the re-ult, it is manifestly de>irable tlial it be 
del:i\ed until the certainly of this refill can be known, and the 
le{;islalive and other jaovisions can lie made here; and also of 

l86 ^V//-: J'ROl'lXCn A.\D THE ST.lTliS. 

great ImporlaiKi.' that ihc certninly should not bo known to Cr, -,• 
Britain, who mij^ht lake atlvania<;c of the i)Ostnrc of lllin^^ \ 
press on the Unilocl Stales clisaf;reeahlc conditions of her cnitm,/ 
into the war. . . . Notwithstanding- the just repugnan^u ci 
this country to a coahlion of any sort with tlic l)elH{:,'-ereni puhiK- 
of ICuropc, the advantages to he derived from the co-oi)eratiiin of 
Great Britain in a war of the United States at this pcrie>d again^ 
France and her alhes, are too obvious and too im])orlant to \.z 
renounceck . . The jjrioe which she may attach to li'cr 

co-Oj)eration cannot be foreseen, and therefore caimot be the sub- 
ject of full and precise instructions. It may be exjjected that .'■Ik- 
will insist at least on a stipulation that neither of the parties shall 
make peace or truce without the consent of the other; and as sucli* 
an aiticlc cannot be deemed tmreasonable and will secure us 
against the possibility of her beinc; detached in the course of the 
uar by seducing overtures from I'Vance, it will not be proper to 
raise difficulties on that accoimi. It may be useful, ho\\evei», to 
draw from her a definition as far as the case will admit of the 
objects contemplated by her that whenever with ours they may bo 
attainable by jjcace, she may be duly pressed to listen to it. 
On another point, it may be answered at once that Great 
Britain shall enj(jy a free trade with all the ports to be acquired 
by the United vStates on the terms allowed to the most favorcct 
nations in the ports generally of the United States. Tf macle an 
essential condition, )0u may admit that in the ports to be actjuireJ 
within the Mississippi, the trade of her subjects shall be on tiie 
same footing fur a term of abmit ten \ear-^ wiih of cur fiwn 
citizens. . . . 'Die anxiitv which ti!\,n I'.iu.i.n has -lt.>\\n 
to extend her dominitjn to the .M i.s>i.ssippi, the imcertain extent 
of her claims from north to south beyond the western limits of 
the United States, and the attention she lias paid to the northwest 
coast of America, make it probable that she will connect witli a 
war on this occasion a pretension to the acquisition of the coiuitry 
on the west side of the Mississippi, understootl to be ceded by 
Spain to l-'rance, or at least of that portion of it 1) ing between that 
river and the Missouri. The evils involved in such an extension 
of her possessions in c>ur neighborhood and in such a hold on the 
Mississippi, are obvious. The accpiisiiion is the more objection- 
able as it would bo extremely dispKasing to our western citizens, 
and as its evident bearing on South America might be cx|H-ctC(! 
to arouse all the jealou>ics of l-'rance and Spain, and to pr(^long 
the war on which the event would deitend. Should this preten- 
sion, theiefore, be pressed, it \\n\A be resisted as altogether 

Tim cr.ssioM to the uxTrr.n statj-s. 187 

rcpviK"'^'^^ ^*^ ^'"■' ?<-iit'"icnts niul to the sound policy of the United 
States, ... A separate letter to )ou is enclosed, anthoriz- 
iiif^ )0U to enter into such conmuinications and conferences witli 
l;riti^ll nlini^tL■rs as may possibly be recpiired by the conduct of 
France. The letter is niad.o a separate one, that it may be used 
with the cft'ect but without the formality (t\ a commission. It is 
hoped that sound calculations oi interest as well as a sense of ripHt 
in the Krench Cuvernment, will prevent the necessity of usinj,; the 
aiith.ority expressed in this letter. ... If l-'rance sltrmlH 
avow or evince a determination to deny to the United States the 
free navif;"alion of the Mississipj)!, your consultations with Great- 
lliilam ma\' br held on the ground that war is inevitable. vShould 
the navigation not be disputed and the de()osits alone be denied, 
it will be j)rudent to adapt your consullatifins to the possibility 
that ciiUfM'ess may distinguish bclNseen the [wo cases and make a 
(lueslion how far tlK latter right ma\- call for an instant resort to 
arms, or liow far a procrastination of that remedy may be sug- 
gested and justified by the jjrosjDect of a more favorable con- 
juncture. . . . These instructions have thus far supposed 
that Great Biitain and iM-ance are at peace and that neither oT 
them intend at present to interrupt it."^' 

Thus it will be seen that the United States, whether they were 
joined by Great Britain or not, intended to conduct war if neces- 
sary against France, to gain the rights claimed on the Mississiiijii. 
Of course, an active alliance with Great Britain, if it could bq 
secured without too severe a sacrifice, was a residt earnestly to He 
desired. Should war comment c JKtwern iMance ami Fnglnnd, 
the United Si;'.ti-s c^.uld no cuhei I'^rm ;i!i .u.iive ;r;: imc 
with the latter or srcure valuable conce.sMi.ns on tlie Mi^^l -'ii'pi, 
upon liberal terms, from the former. War between Franco and 
Hngland, it was sclii, cotdd not result otherwise than to the vast 
advantage of the United States. But the international comiili- 
cafions whicli had been lieating with such intensity for so many 
months, were now almost ready to boil over. The crisis was 
reached, as is shown by the f(j|lowing kttci s to the state depart- 
ment from Mr. Livingston: 

"Paris, AjMil 13, 1803, midnight. 

"I have just come from the Minister of the Treasury. Our 
conversation was so important, that I thinf< it necessary to write 
it, while the impressions are strong upon my mind ; and the ratliL-r, 

'American .Slate P.-ii>ers. 


as 1 fear that I shall iiol have the lime to coj))' and send iliib I,-.. 
ter, if 1 (.lefer it till niorniuL;-. 

"Hy ni\- lollei" of yesterday, )'t>u learned that the minister a4,, i 
me whether 1 wcndd a^rre Id ])urchase Louibiana, &:c. ; on the u;'... 
I called ui)on hini to press this matter further, lie then llioii'^;i ; 
proper to declare that his i)rop(jsiiion was only personal, hut m;'.. 
rcqucstetl me to make an ofler; and, upcjn my declining to do >> 
as I cxitecietl Mr. Monroe the ne.xt day, he shrug-ged \\\) \v.- 
shoulders, and changed the conversation. Not willing, lio\\e\ei. 
to lose sight of it, 1 told him 1 had heen long endeavoring to hriu.; 
him to some point ; hut, unfortunately, without cfTect : that 1 
wished merely to have the negotiation oju^ned hy any propositii'U 
on his l^art ; and, with that view, had writUn hiiu a note which 
contained that re(]uest, grounded upon mv api)rehensie)n of the 
consequence of sending mil Oncral r>ernadolle williDUl enahhng 
liini to say a treat}' was hegun. He tokl me he would an.swer mv 
note, hut that he must do it evasively, hecause Louisiana \va*s not 
theirs. I smiled at this assertion, and told him that 1 had seen 
the treaty recognizing it; that 1 knew the Consul had aj'ipointcd 
ofTicers to govern the country; and that he hail himself told me 
that General Victoi" was to take possession; that, in a note written 
by the cx|)ress order of the jMr.^l Consul, he had told me that 
General I'ernadotte was to treat relati\'e to it in the United .States, 
&c. He still persisted that they had it in contemplation to tihtain 
it, but hail it not. 1 told him that I was ve'ry well jjleased to 
understand this from him, hecausc, if so. we shouhl no! commit 
ourselves with them in takiii" ii from .'■^; lin, !•> \'.h.'ir.. I \' hi^ 
account, is still heloilgeil; and ihil, as we hid jii-1 <■! cuin- 
jilaint against her, if Mr. Monroe concurred in ojunion with me, 
we should negotiate no further on the subject, but advise our 
Government to talcc possession. He seemed alarmed at the bold- 
ness of the measure, ;md told me he would answer my note, but 
that it would be evasively, i told him 1 should receive with' 
I)leasiire any communication from him, but that we were not dis- 
posed to trifle; that the times were critical, and though I did not 
know what instructions i\lr. Monroe might bring, I was perfectly 
satisfied that they would rcfpiire a precise and pronij)! notice; 
that I was very fearful, from the little progress I had made, that 
niy Government would consider me as a very indolent negotiatC'r. 
lie laughed, and told me th;il he would gi\'e me a certificate fliat I 
was the mo-^l importunate \\c had yet nut \sith, 

'"I'lure was sfMiielhing so e\ti aoi din;iry in all this, that 1 did 
not detail il to )C'U till 1 found some clue to the labyrinth, \', Inch 


I have done, as you will liiid hcfcjrc I fmisli lliis letter; and the 
rather, as I was almost certain that I could rely upon the intelli- 
gence I had received of the resolution to dispose of this country, 
"This day Mr. Monroe passed with me in cxaniinin^- my papers ; 
and while he and several others were at dinner with nie, I ohserved 
llie Minister of the Treasury (Marhois) \\;dkin<4 in my garden. 
I sent out Colonel Livingston to him; he told him lie would return 
when wc had dined. While we \vere taking coffee he came in; 
and, after heing some time in tiie roc>m, we strolled into the next 
room, when lie told me he heard that I liad heen at his house two 
days before, when he was at St. Cloud ; that he thought I might 
have something jxirlicular to say to him, and had taken the first 
oi)portunity to call on me. 1 saw that this was nn'ant as an ojien- 
ing to one of those free con\'ersali(»ns w liicli 1 had fre(]uenll}' had 
with him. I accordingly hegan on tlu suhject of the delit, and 
related to him the extraf^irdinary conduct of the minister, 6^c. He 
told me that this Idl to something important, that had heen curi- 
ously mentioned to him at St. Cloud; hm, as my house was full of 
company, he thought T had better call uprui him any lime before 
eleven that night. He went away, and a little after, when Mr. 
Monroe took lca\e. I followed him. ] le told me that he wished 
me to repeat ^vhat 1 had said relative to .M. Talleyraud"s recpiest- 
ing a propositicm from me as tc) the puichasi- of Louisiana. 1 
did so; and concluded with the extreme absmxlity of his evasions 
of that day, and slated the consequence of any delay cui this sub- 
ject, as it would enable iJiiiain to tal^e possession, who would 
readily reliuiiuisli it to us. lie saiil this |ii'. ceeded u])on a 
snppositi' Ml ^A lur ma kin,; si> su> ccv^iul a a ar a ^ (o b-' < '■ i' le"! to 
retain her coiuiui-:^is. 1 told him that n ^^as piobabli- inai the 
same idea might suggest itself to the l^iiietl States; in which case, 
it wonUl be their interest ti) contribute to render her successiul; 
and I asked whether it was prudent to throw us into her scale? 
This led to l'>n;;' discussions of no moment to repeat. W^e re- 
turned to the point: he said, that what 1 had told him led him to 
think that what the Consul had said to him on Sunday, at St. 
Cloud, (the day on which, as I told him, the determination had 
been taken to sell,) had more of earnest than he tlunight at the 
time; that the Consul had asked him what news from l'.ns.;land? 
As he knew he riail the papers atlenti\cly, he told him that he had 
seen in the London i)apeis the jjroposition for raising fifty thou- 
sand men to t.d.e .\'ew r)ileans. 'JMu\ Consul said he seen it 
tCK^, and hrul al-o seen thai something wa^ said abf>ut t\vo millions 
of iloilars beiiii' disponed among the p'opU- about liim^ to bribe 



them, iKc. ; ami tlicii lol't liiin. Tliat aftfrwards, wlicn walkiii;.^ m 
the ^arclrii, the Consul cauic a_i;aiii to him, and spoke to him ahu;;i 
tlie troiihle.s that were eNcited in /\merica, and in(juired how far I 
was salisfieil with his hist note. Here some civil tliin^^s weu- 
introduced, for which 1 presume I am more indehtetl to the min- 
ister's jioliteness than to his \cracity; so let them sleej). ] K- 
(Marhois) then took occasion to mention liis sorrow that an\ 
cause of ditVercncc should exist lietween our countries. Tiic Con- 
sul told him, in rej)!)', "Well, \ou ha\e the charg^e of the ']'reasur\-: 
let them give you one Inmdred millions of Francs, and pay their 
owni claims, and take the whole country.' Seeing", hy my look>, 
that i was surprised at so extravagant a demand, he added thai 
he cousitleretl the demand a^^ i xrjrhilant, antl luul told the Fir;l 
Consul that the thing was i!n|)(>ssible ; that wc had not the means 
of raising that. Tlie Consul toUl him we might borrow it. I 
now plainly saw the whole business: first, the Consul was dis])0sed 
to sell; next, he distrusted 'i'alleyrand, on account of the business 
of the supposed intention to bribe, and meant to put the negotia- 
tion into the hands of Marhois, whose character for intcgrily is 
cstablisJK'd. J told him that the United States were anxious to 
preserve peace with I'rance ; that, for that reason, they wished to 
remove them to the we^t side of the Mississippi ; that we would be 
perfectly satisfied witlu Xew Orleans and the Floridas, and had 
no disposition to e.xteiid acro.-s the river; tJiat, of course, wc 
woidd nut gi\e any great sum for the iiuichase; that he was right 
in his idea of the exireme cxorhitanc\ of the demand, which 
would 11' a fall slioi'l 'A o;ir I uudied .'.i twrn'* fi'.e ui'.i. 'II-. , 
that, h.owevcr, we we.uld he le.idy lo pui.hase, p; Aided the .-urn 
was reduced to reasonable limits, lie then pressed me to name 
the sum. 1 told him that this was not worth while, because, 
as he only treated the incjuiry as a matter of curiosity, any dec- 
larations of mine would have no effect. If a negotiation was 
to be i;prneil, we shouM (Mr. .Monroe and my.self) make (he 
offer after mature rellection. This compelled him to declare, 
that, though he was not authorized exjuessly to make the iiK[uiry 
from me, yet, that, if I could mention any sum that came near 
the mark, that could be accepted, he would communicate it to 
the V'wA Consul. 1 (old him tli.ii we had no sort of authority 
lo a sum that bore any i)rope)riion to what he mentioned; but 
that, as he himself c<->nsidered tlu- demand as l(X) hiidi, lie would 
oblige iiii by tclliu.i; me \^hal lie lliMii-bt would be reason, ible. 
He replied that, il w c w.nild n.iiiu- sixty uiillioiis, and take \\\n>\\ 
us the Ameriean claims, to the amount of twenty nu'ie, he would 


try lu)\v far this would lio accepted. 1 told him that it was vain 
10 ask anythiiif^- that was so j^^rcatly hcyond our nu.'ans ; that 
tnie policy would dictate to the First Consul not to press such 
a dcinand ; that he nnisl Know that it would reuilor the pres- 
ent Ciovcnnnenl nni)opnlar, and have a tendency, at liie next 
election, to throw the ]X)wer into the hands of men who were 
most hostile to a comuriion with iM'ance ; and that this would 
prohahl)' happen in the nii(Ut of a war. 1 asked him whether 
the few millions actpiired at this expense would not he too dearly 
houghl. lie frankly confessed that he was of my sentiments; 
but that he. feared the Consul would not relax. I asked him 
to press this argimient np'in him, top^ether with the dant;er of 
seein^c the countr\' pass into the hands (»f I'ritain. 1 told him 
that he had seen the ardor of the Americans to take it hy force, 
and the diflicult)- with which lln'y weie restrained hy the 
prudence of the president ; that he mu^t easily see how much 
the hands of the war party would be strcngtiiened, when they 
learned that k^ance was u\)on the eve of a rnjiture with Kng- 
land. He admitted the wei^^ht of all this: 'But,' says he, 
'you know the temper of a }0uthful ccjucpieror; everything" he 
does is rapid as lightnin!,; ; we ha\'e onl_\- to speak to him as an 
opportunity presents itself, perhajjs in a crowd, when he Lairs 
no contradiction. When 1 am alone with him, 1 can speak 
more freely, and he attends; hut this ojjportunity seldom hap- 
pens, and is always accidental. '\'\\, then, if you c;inuol come 
lip to my mark-. COn^ider the extent of the couutiy, the exclu- 
sive n;iNi_L;aiion of the ri\er, ami the imp. n tance ,.t' h.-iv'-ny no 
neii^hhors to dispute you, no war to duad.' I t'!l him that 
I considered all the>e as important con.sideiations, hut there was 
a point he\ond which we could not [!^o, .and that fell Jar sliiirt 
of tl.e sum he nicntic^ned. 

"I asked him, in case of a purchase, whether they would stipu- 
late that iM-ance would ne\er the k'lorida>, and that she 
would aid us to i:»iocure them, and relin(|uish all ri,i;lu that she 
niig-ht have to them. He told me that she would y,o thus far. 
1 addeil, that I would now ^ay noihini; more on the subject, 
but that J would coiivcise with Mr. Monroe; and that 1 was 
sure to find him ilisjjosed to do cverythiiiLC that was reasonable 
or could be expected, to remove every cause of difference between 
the two countries. Thai, howe\cr, if an\ nei[n)ti;ilion should ^o 
on, 1 would wish (hat the I'n-^t C\in-ul would depute somebcKly 
to treat with us, who had more lei>uie than the Minister for 
Foreign Affairs. I saiil this to see whether my conjectures 



relative to liiin were well hmniled. lie told me tluit as the 
First Consul knew our personal friendship, he having several 
times liad occasion to speak of nie and my family, and tiie prin- 
ciples that we held, he helieved that there would be no difficulty, 
when this negotiation was somewhat advanced, to have the man- 
agement of it put into his hamls. . . . He earnestly pressed 
me to make some proposition that was so near the First Consul's 
as to admit his mentioning it to him. I told him that I would 
consult Mr. Monroe, hut that neither he nor I could accede to 
his ideas on the subject " 

"Paris, April 17, 1803. 

"On the 14th I called ui)on Mr. Monroe, to present him to the 
minister, who had, upon my application, fixed three o'clock that 
day for his reception. 

"On waiting upon the minister, we found M. Marbois there, 
who told me that he had come to communicate to the minister 
what had passed between us, and that he greatly regretted the 
not being able to bring us to such an offer as he might men- 
tion to the First Consul. I told him that it was unnecessary 
to repeat what would comjiel us to limit our ofTers to a much 
more moderate sum, as 1 had already detailed them at large; 
and he knew they exceeded our means. We were very gra- 
ciously received by the nunister, whom I pressed to obtain as 
early a day as possible for the reception of Mr. Monroe, as time 
pressed, and we were an.xious to conclude our business, for rea- 
sons arising out of the prrsent disturbed state of Ajiierica. He 
told me he would spiak to the h'irst Consul that night on the 
subje*.t; autl that he ]ioi)iil some person would be appointed to 
treat with us, even before Mr. Monroe was presented. After 
a little general conversation, he took leave, in expectation that 
Mr. ^lonroe would be presented this day (Sunday), being a 
day of reception for the civil officers of the Government. The 
next day, Mr. AbjuiDt' and m\>(-lf, after spending some time 
in consultation, deteniiiucd to offer fifty millions, including our 
debts; we presumed it would be best only to mention forty in 
the first instance, 'fhis 1 accordingly did, in a conference I had 
on the 15th with M. Ahirbois. He expressed great sorrow that we 
could not go lje3()nd that sum, because he was sure that it would 
not be accepted, and that jjerliaps the whole business would be 
defeated, which he the more feared, as he had just received a 
note from the minisli.r, imlicative of the Consul's not being 
quite pka^td that he had so greatly lowered his original propo- 


silion. lie said lliat he saw our situation, aiul he knew that 
(here was a |.oint Ik-voucI which we couUl not go with safety 
io ourselves or the l^re^iclenl ; hut lie w i^heil us to advance to 
that point, lie said lluit he uoidd, if 1 wished, go that very 
day to St. Cloud, and let nic know the result. 1 reminded him 
of the Consul's promise to pay the deht. I ]^laced in the strong- 
est light his l)eI"^onal ohligation on this suhjeet; and desired 
liiui to urge it as an additional reason to conclude an agreement 
which wo'ulcl facilitate the means of (k^ing it. The morn- 
ing, which was yesterday, 1 again called to see him. He told 
nic that he had liecn to St. Cloml ; that the Consul received 
liis proposition very coldly; and that I might consider the husi- 
ness as no longer in his hantls, since he had given him no fuillur 
powers; that he had urged the Consul's pr(jmi>e relati\'e to the. 
deht, which he admilteil ; hut said, at the same time, he did 
not thiid< it had exceeded three millions, though my letter 
expressly mentioned twenty, lie expressed great sorrow upon 
the occasion ; and advised mc to press M. 'J\alle}'rand to jirc- 
sent Mr. Monroe the next day (that is, this day) ; that he hoped 
that, if the Consul saw me, as he had a very particular esteem 
for me, he would renew the suhjeet with me himself. 

"I went to Mr. Moriroe, and cari-ied to the mini.^ter, who 
had not returned frc'in vSt. Cloud ; and afterward went again, 
but could not see him. 1 dined wiih the Second Consul yes- 
tcrdav ; antl in the evening M. Marhoi^ came in. I took him 
asitlc, and asked him if any thing furllu'i- had pi'-<=ed; he ^aid 
not; hut, thai as he was 10 l^o to Si. t'l^ud (l.( next «'.i\, it 
was j)o.ssihle that the ^.'onsul might louch upon l!ie suhjeet ag.iin ; 
and that, if he did not, 1 mi^ht consider the jilan as relinquished; 
and that, if I had an)' fui-ther j^roposition tf) make, it would 
he well to state it. I then told him, that on further conversa- 
tion with Mr. Monroe, we had resolved to go to the greatest 
possible length, aiul that we woidd give fifty millions, lie said 
lie hati very little hopes that any thing short of his propositions 
would succeed; but that lie would make the best use of the 
arguments I had furnishcil him with, if an opfioitunity was 
oflered ; and if nolhing was done the next ilav, I mi<;lit con- 
chide that the Consul had changed his sentiments; that, hav- 
ing given the kingd.dni of ICtruria, whose revenues were twenty- 
five millions, in exchange for this country, it was natural that 
the I'irst Consul should estimate it beyr-nd its real value."* 

• Aniei icaii Stall- I'.r.xi-.. 
• n-13 


As is staU'd in iIr- Memoirs of Lucicn l^.onai)artc, NapuK',,;) 
IukI made up liis mind as early as the 6ili of April, \'6ci\, to 
sell Louisiana to the I'uited Stales."^ U is related there thai 
luU'ing- tuld his brother Joseph of his intention, the latter \ipwr- 
ousl)' ojiposed it and a (piariel resulted between the brother^. 
Joseph iiiimediatel)- went ti> l.ucien and told him of the inUn- 
lion of Napt)leon, the follow ini;- beinL,^ the language: "Tlic 
General means to give up j.cjuisiana." To whieh Lucien rei)]iul, 
"Bah, who'll bu\- it of him?" Joseph answered, "The Ameri- 
cans." Whereupon Lucien declared that the chambers would 
not give their ccMisent. Joseph replied that Napoleon intended 
to get along" without the consent of the chrunbers — meant to 
carry it through regardless of the chambers, 'i'he two brothers, 
Joscjiii and Lucien, tailed the matter over se\eral hours, and 
detern'.ir.ed to oppose the sale of "iJeautiful Louisiana." 'I'he 
next iiii>ining', April 7th, by agreement Lucien called ujjon Nai)0- 
leon at the Tuileries, and found him engaged in taking his morn- 
ing bath. A little later Joseph called, and thus the three 
brothers met in the bathroom, with Napoleon in the tub appar- 
entlv grcally enjoying himself. Lucien had thought that Napo- 
leon Would not dare to sell Louisiana without ])arliamentary 
autliorit\ ; and Josei)h had thought he wciuld dare to do so, but 
would desist \\lien told of tlie disasters sure to result to the 
Bonapiu'te fanul) from ^uch a transaction, j^either of the broth- 
ers was whol!\- light. Josiph and Lucien hesitated iov some 
time to nunii'n the pi-p"-!. I .^.ile of 1. >uisiaiii luit nu;i'!\ did 
and we;e mrt wilh the .mu' mi', cmeiit sui M was tb-' ii;i>n- 
lion. Loth declared their o])pCisiii()n to the sale. CJne compUmU 
led to another until the inter\iew resulted in a violent (juarrel, 
in wdnch the elder brother, Joseph, and Nai^oleon were the chief 
actors. Complaints led to recriminations until the brothers 
seemed c^n the i^oint (.)f n persr)nal encounter. Finally Jt)bei)h 
matle some extremely e.xasperaling charge against Napoleon, 
wdiercui)On the latter drenched him with water dashed from the 
bathtub, which lu-occeding ended their dispute for the lime, ^n 
fact, as far as those two were concerned, the question was settled. 
I'he province would l.>e scild. In subsecpient intirviews, LucLlmi 
could not pre\ail u[>on .N'aijolcon not to sell Louisiana. ]^>ut 
it nuist be ob cv\m\ neither of the two brothers fidly undiT- 
steK)d Napolei'n's reason for selhng. The Luciiii memoirs show 
that they did not consider the absolute necessity of selling before 

•Mem I l.'Ji-ioii Honftiinilc; II urvanl C('11«l'<'>inry. 



the province shoulil lie captured either l)y the luighsh or by 
the Americans. In rc-ard to resuUs, llic) either (Hd not under- 
stantl the situation of I'rancc and l.ouibiana at the time, or were 
kept in the dark on tliis particuhar point h\' Xapoleon for pur- 
poses of his own. W'liat the Kn^li^h niiglu do or what the 
Americans mii;ht do sccniinyi)' had iidi cnicred their heads; l)u[ 
Napoelon knew the inevitahle resuhs; and history lias since 
shown that had he not talcen the course iic chd and sohl Louisiana 
it woukl have been been taken possession of hy the United States 
at the first movement of llie J{ni;hsh to send a llect across the 
ocean for its con (ju est. 

On the lotli of Aprik if^o^, I'laster .Sunday, Napoleon called 
Barbe Marbois and Alexandre Ik'rthier in Tor a priwate consulta- 
tion rep^ardinj^'' Louisiana. r«olh of those i;entle!nen were famil- 
iar with I^ouisiana and the United Stales, and he desired their 
views ct)nceininf^ the rdienation of the jMnxince. Mr. Mnrbois 
favored the sale to the United Stales and .stated his reasons there- 
for at great lenj^th, Napoleon lislenin^^- atteiitiwly to all that 
he said, and asking- an occasional fpiestion. Mr. lu-rthier 
Oj)posed the sale ami likewise iiresenlcd his reasons at great 
length, to all of which Napoleon listened just as intently. 
IJefore the)' had made their statements he said: "I know the 
full value of Louisiana, and 1 have been desirous of rejxiiring 
the fatdi of the French negotiator who abandoned, it in 1763. 
A few lines of a treat)- ]ia\e restoreil it to me, and I have scarcely 
received it when I mn-t expect to lu^e it. I'.ut if it cscai)es 
fjom me, it shall t'lie day Cd-i deari.r tn t!,' > who < ''''i-:e me 
to strip 111} .self oi it iliaii to tlh/>c ix wlicm 1 wish i'* delix'cr 
it. Tlie Knglisli haw successivel)- taken from l^ance Canada, 
Cape iJreton, Newfoundland, Nova Scoiia and the richest por- 
tions of Asia. The)' are engaged in exciting troubles in St. 
Domingo. They shall not have the Arississipi)i which they 
covet, l.ouisiana is nothing in c(jmparison with their conquests 
in other p.iris of the globe, and )et the jealousy they feel at 
the restoration of this colony to the sovereignty of I'Vancc, 
acquaints me with tJuir wish to take possession of it, and it is 
thus that they will be-in the war. They have twenty ships of 
war in the Chlf of Mexico, they sail o\-er those seas as sover- 
eigns, whilst our afl.iirs in St. I)(imiiiL;o have been growing 
worse e\ei\ il,'i\ since the de.itli of l.ecleic. The conquest of 
Louisian.a would be ea^x, if the)' oiilv ti>ol< the trouble to make 
the descent there. 1 h.ive not a moment to lost: in putting it 
out of their reach. 1 biio\s' not wliclln r the) are not already 


there. It is their usual course, auil if 1 had becu iu their jilarc, 
I would iKit have waited. I wish, if there is still time, lo tal c 
from them any idea that they may have of ever ])ossessiii;j; ili.ii 
colony. 1 thinlv of ceding; it \i> the United v^tale>. 1 can 
scarcely sav 1 cede it to them, for it is not yet in our jiosse^- 
sion. ]f, however, I leave the lea^t time to our enemies, 1 sha'l 
onl)- transmit an empL)' title to tlu^se re[)uhlicans, whose frienil- 
ship 1 seek. The)' only ask of me one town in Louisiana, but 
I already consitler the colony as entirely lost, and it apjiears lo 
me that in the hands of this ^rowini,'- power, it will be more 
useful to the jjolicN' and even to the commerce of I'rance than 
if I should attempt to kee]) it.'"'' 

IMic discussion was continued far into the niidit, and termi- 
nated without other statement from Xapokcn than the above. 
At da)break' the next morning; Napoleon sinnmoned Mr. 
Marl.iois, who had favored the sale of I,(niisiana, and asked him 
to read aloud tiie dispatches which had just bceiv recei\-ed frfmi 
London. 'J'he infonnntion tiiey contained showed that in all 
England naval and military i)reparations of every descrijition 
were in prog"rcss "with extraordinary rapidity." Najjolcon was 
intensely moved by the dispatches. He said: "The h'.nglish 
ask of me Laini)edonso, which does not belong" to me, and at 
the same time wish lo keej') Malta for ten )'ears. This island, 
where miliiar_\' genius has e^:hau-^ted all the means of defensive 
fortification to an extent of which no one without seeing ii can 
form an idea, woidd be to them another (ubraltar. To leave 
it to the l'".n;;li>h would be to i'i\r up I > !';■ Co;;r''''ice 
ol the Levant, and to t. !> nn '■•;u!iun provinces .M it. Tlu v 
wish to keep this possession and lia\e me immedialel) vacate 
lloUand. Irresolution and deliberation are no longer in season. 
I renounce Loui^iana. ' It is not only New Orleans that I will 
cede; it is the whole colony without an)- reservation. 1 know 
the price of what I abandon, and I have stifficienlly [noved the 
imiiortance that 1 attach to this province, since my first diplo- 
matic act with Spain had for its object the recovery of it. I 
renounce it with the greatest regret. 'J'o attempt obstinately to 
retain it would be folly. I direct you to negotiale this affair 
with the envoys c>f the L^nited vSlates. Po not even await the 
arrival of .Mr. iMonroe; have an inierview this very day with 
Mr. Livingston; but 1 lecpiire a gnal deal of mc)iuN- for this 
war, and 1 would not like to commence it with new conti ibulions. 

• llisloiy of L(uiisiaii(i: l<nrt)6 Matbois. 

Tin: CESSION to tub vxrrnn states. 


For a Inuidrccl years I'Vaiicc and Siiain liavo been incurring 
cxi)enscs tor iinpro\cni».'nlb in Louisiana, for \sliich its trade 
has never indemnified tlieni. Large sums which will never "he 
returned to the treasury, have been Knt to conijjanies and agri- 
culturalists. The i)rice of all these things is justly due to us. 
If I should regulate my terms according to the value of these 
vast regions to the United vStales, the indemnity would have no 
limits. I will he moderate in coubideration of the necessity in 
which J am of mailing a sale, l^ut keep this to yourself, i 
want fifty millitjus (of livres), and for less than that sum I 
will not treat. 1 would rather make a desj^erate attempt to keep 
these fine countries. Tomorrow )'ou shall have your full powers."* 
At this point of the interview Mr. Alarhois interposed some 
observations in regard to whellur the bOuL ol the people in 
Louisiana could he nuule the subject oi contract and sale, where- 
upon he was interrupted by Napoleon, who said: "You arc 
giving me in all its perfection the ideology of the law of nature 
and of nations. Jiut I require money to make war on the rich- 
est nation of the world. Send }Our maxims to London. I am 
sure they will be greatly admired there, and )et no great atten- 
tion is paid to them when the fjuestion is the occupation of the 
finest regions of Asia." Continuing, he said: "Mr. Monroe 
is on the jDoint of arriving. 'J'o this minister going two thousand 
leagues from his constituents, the j'resident must have given, 
after defining the object of his mission, secret insirfictions more 
extensive than the o^tensible authori/atit)n of Congress, for the 
stii)ul<ition of the p;i\meius to l)e made. Xei'her lhi> minister 
nor his colleague is pie|)ared for a decision whi'b ^;'>.> intinileL' 
beyond auMhing that they are about to ask- of us. J'egin by 
making them the o\erture without any subterfuge. You will 
acquaint me, day by da}-, hour by hour, of your jnogress. The 
cabinet of London is infcjrmetl of the measures adi'<pted at Wash- 
ington, but it can have no suspicion of those of which I am 
now making. (}bser\e the greatest secrecy, and recommend it 
to the American ministers; the)- have not a less interest than 
yourself in conforming to this counsel. You \\'\\\ corres[)ond 
with M. de Talleyrand who alone knows my intentions. If I 
atlended to his advice France \s'0uld confine her ambition to the 
left bank of the Rhine, and would only make war to i>rolcct our 
weak states and to prevent any dismemberment of her jiosses- 
sions. I)Ut he aUo admits that the cession of Louisiana Is not 

• Ilistoi y of I.ouisi.iiia; ll;iil)c Mm hois. 


Tiiii ]'h'ori\'ci: .ixn Tim stati-s. 

a clisincnibernient of iMancc. l\r<.p him iiiforiucd of tlic pn ;; 
less of lliis iillaii." 

As I)(.f()ii- slated, llic overnms wtTc made, as sut;;^i.sicd 1. 
Napoleon, to Mr. I.ivin^sloii heftjic the arrival of Mr. Monii., . 
but the latter, arrivini;- the next day, was at once informed of 
the situation of affairs. Amitl the snrprise anil confusion neccv- 
sarily kindled in the minds of both of the American cnvo\~. 
they still instantly i)creeived the importance and value of the 
overtures and were not one whit behind in meeting them in the 
sj)irit in whieh they were offered, 'blie conferences were fre- 
quent and the deliberations rap'd. There were three points [o 
be considered: i. The cession of the province. 2. The i)rico 
to be paid for it. 3. The claimed indemnity for ))rizes and car- 
goes. It was at once revealed that the American envoys weic 
not clothed with sufficient j)o\\err> [o contract for the whole of 
Louisiana. Such a contingene\ had not eiiteied the minds of 
the American ^oxermnenl. At be.^l they had only exi)ectcil (o 
get the island of Xew C)rleans, or West Florida, or both. lUit 
it was reali/^ed by all that it would be too late to await the arrival 
of sufficient instructions from 1 'hiladelphia. In this emerL;ency, 
the Americans resolved to exceed their instructions, accept the 
cession, and take the chances uf the ratifications of their actions 
by the president and coiii^ress. The consent of tiie [iresidenl 
and the senate would be nece.■^^ar\• for the ratification of the 
treaty; but the iiousc would have the tlisi)Osal of the finaiuial 
measures necessary \i> pa)' for the ])ruvince. Thoui:;;li nut with- 
out misj;ivin^s as to the outcome' at riiiladelphia. the invo\s 
resolved to take the li-k \h\i\ nw .iin i; ,:t b ii.,. if.d w..;\id b<- 
in p(')^se^-i')ll befi'ii' il.iic mi,!,ili> >h(tuKl elapse. The Ameri- 
cans liad bif)U_L;bt with them the draft oT a treaty, but as the 
whole aspect was changed by il;e ImciicIi overtures, the draft 
proposed b)' the latter was used as the basis. In fact, the draft 
prej)aie(l b\- Xai)ole(>n himself, a copy of which may be found 
herein, was the f(»uiidati(;n id the negotiations. The first serious 
obstacle encountered was in regard to the limits of Louisiana. 
'J'he Americans a^ked for the customar}- guaranty of the prop- 
erty they were about to acquire by ))urchase ; but were told b)' 
the French eiu'oy that the limits id' j.oivisiana had never been 
fulls and wholly drl'imd; that they wnuld li.i\e to lake the pruv- 
inee as l''raiue had received it from Spain in hScx). The treaty 
of IldefoiibO was produced and carefully gone owv, the lan- 
guage sliidiid, ami the chances wiie fully weighed. The .Amer- 
icans saw that if every rdlowanee was m.ade for cnitailment, 

77//: ci:ssio.\' to rui: uxithij sr.-iThS. 


lliey still would receive an immense and maj^^nificcnt tract of 
country, more tliau sufficient to satif\' all llieir future require- 
jnents. The ImcucIi envoy avoided ciunmitling iiimsclf on the 
subject of linuis, nierel\ slatini; that the I'nitcd States \v(juUl 
receive what li;nl het n relr(.)ceded lo l'"rance.. However, in one of 
the conferences he nuule the slateiiienl that although the Uishopric 
of Lom'siana had been extended to the I'acific ocean, the province 
itself, concerning; the rights of j)ro[)erl\ and sovereignty, had 
not thus been extended. In this connection M. Marbois after- 
\\ard ?aiil : "If in appearing to be resigned to these general 
terms (of the tieai)' of San jldefon^o) through necessii}', the 
American plenipotentiaries consitlered them really preferable to 
more j)recise stipulations, ii must be admitted that the event just- 
ified their foresight. The shores of the AWslern ocean were cer- 
tainly not included in tiie cession ; but the United Slates are 
already established there (this ^talemelll was made about the 
)-ear 1830)." Napoleon al.^o said in ibis connection that "If an 
obscurity did not already exist, it would perhaps be good pol- 
icy to j)ul one there." M. Marljois at lirst put the price of the 
cession at one hundred niillicjiis of li\res; but when the Amer- 
icans said this ])rice was ])rohil)itory he dropjted to eighty millions. 
The Americans iniall\' yielded this t'lgure upon the condition that 
twenty millions of the eighty millions should be used to licpii- 
dale the /\niei"ie;ni claim>. This was agreed to by ^f. Marlx)is. 
It was agii-ed that the t)iiginal drafts of the tieaty should be 
in the iMeneli language. The originals wtie comirleled on tlic 
30th of April, there beinr; three of tlu'in. but as they had to be 
co|)ieil, the signatures ware not ap]HiuKd until the >d I'l Mav.'^ 
It is a notewoiihy and ninail;able la.t lb. it the ic-.pecii\ e 
envoys were greatly elated at the liainiony of the prtKcedings 
and the completion of the cession. All were impressed with the 
momentous character of the negotiation. M. Marbois himself 
afterward said : "A sentiment superior even to glory seemed lo 
animate the three ministers ancl never perha])s did negotiators 
taste a i)uier jo)." is extremely strong language, and 
betokens thai ihey were in a stale of sj^iritual ecslacy, so 
impressed were they with the extraordinary nature of the act. 
As soon as the treaties were signed, all si)onlaneously arose ancl 
shook hands with intense feeling. Mr. Livingston, who had 
labored so long and earnestly for the g<K>d of his country, saut: 
'A\'e have lived long, but this is the noblest work of our whole 

llislorj' of I,<)ui' iaiia: Hart,^- M;ubois. 

200 '/^/^" I'l^Ol'lA'CE AND THE STATES. 

lives. Tiic treaty which \vc have just signed has not been 
obtained by art ur dictated by force; c(iuall) advantageous to ibo 
two conliactiui; parlies, it will cliange vast suliludes inio nour- 
ishing districts. I'roni. this da)' the United Slates take iliL-ir 
place among the powers of tiie hrst rank; the l.'*nglish lose all 
exclusive infiruiice in the affairs of America." 

Napoleon had followed the progress of the negotiations with* 
all the interest and earnestness of his imi)etuous and decisive 
nature, in>pircd as he was with intense regret at the loss of the 
province and llie imperative necessity of speedy action. He was 
greatly pleased wIkii the negotiations were fully comitleted; 
but here the contradictory and inexplicable (pialities of his nature 
revealed thenisehes. lie had himself set the price of the ces- 
sion at the mniimum of fifty millions of li\'res. ]\1. Marbois 
afterward said of him at this jjoint that ""lie learned that the 
eight)' millions had been a^'reetl on; but tiiat they were reduced 
to sixty millions b)- the deduction stipulated to be previously 
made for the seiilement o\ the debt tlue by l-'rance to the Amer- 
icans. Then forgetting, or feigning to forget, the consent that 
he had given, he said with vivacil)', 'I would that these twenty 
millions be paid into the treasur)'. W'bo has authorized yuu 
(Marbois) to di^jn^se of the money of the State? The rights 
of the claimants cannot come before our own.' But when his 
attention was called ie> his own ligures of fifty millions for the 
treasury and that really si.M)' millions were Jo be put there, 
he said: 'It is true; the mgoliaiion does not lea\'e me an\ihing 
to desire; sixty millions for an occui)ali<in that will not pet baps 
last but a da\'. I W( uM lb..l ii.ince -!. •'.ild «ui''\ thi^ i;:;<\- 
pecled, aiid that i'. ti.i. be iinplf.iil in wmk.s beneiicial 
to her marine.'" Later XapDleon said: "This accession of ter- 
ritory strengthens fon ver the p.-wer of the United States; and 
I have just given to I'.ngland a maritime rival that will sooner 
or later humble her pride." 

To show that Xapoleon was right as to the inmiinency of war 
between I'rani-e and I'.ngland, it is cmly necessary to state that 
the respecii\e ministers t)f the two countries left for home on 
Ihc 17th of May, and that hostilities were begun by France on 
ihc 22il of Ma)' by the capture of some F.nglish merclumtmen, 
.'yid on the same day the tre;it)' of cession w;is r:itifiet( r)y Xa])0- 
leon without waiting for the aciii.n of the l.^n'ted States. The 
transfer was made none too soon. 

'i'he American en\'0)s form;dl\ comnnmicated to congress on 
Nfay 1,^ th;ii they had concluded with l-Vance a treaty for the 

run CF.ssiox ro the uxited st.itiis. 201 

Avliole of the j)rc>vince of Louisiana and ^iwc llicir reasons to 
juslify lluin in llius (.xcccding their iiislriictions. 'I'licy stated 
lliat the first consul at the outset had expressed the wish to 
cede the whole and not a part ; and that as they i)roceeded with 
the nccj^otialion they found "that >Mr. Marhois was absolutely 
restricted to the disposition of the whole and that he would treat 
for no less a jiorlion."'*'- 'J'his forced the Americans to con- 
sider the cession of the whole. They e\idently were careful to 
view so iinporlant an ac(|uisition from every standj)oint that was 
likely to alTect the United States, all of which was set forth" 
in their letter of May 13. They saiil: "l>y this acfpiisilion, 
which compiises within our limits this f^rcat river and all the 
streams that empty into it from tlu'ir sources to the ocean, the 
apprehension of di^a^ll'rs is hanished for ai^es from the I'nileJ 
States. W'e adjust hy it the onlv leinaininL;' l:nc»s\n cause of 
variance with this \'ery [)0\verful nation (iMance) ; we antici- 
pate the discontent of the ^reat rival of I'^rance, who would 
jirohahly ha\'e been womuled at anv stipulation of a i)ermanent 
nature which favored the latter and which it would have been 
dillicult to avoid, liad .^lie retained the rii^ht bank'. We cease 
to have a motixe of urj;ency at least for iuclininq- to one Power 
to avert the unjust J)res^ure of another. W'c separate ourselves 
'.n a f^reat measuie from the I'.uropean world and its concerns, 
especiall)' its wars and intrigues. \\T' make, in fine, a great 
stride in real and sub.-tantial independence, the gpod eflect 
whereof will we trust be felt essentially and extensively in all 
our foreign ancl tkime,--tic relations. Without exciiing the appre- 
hensions ol an\' Power, we t.d^e a niwie i;iip( isin.^ .iMUii.'.i' with 
respect (o all. The bond ol oiw I'mou will be .^ti engiheued 
and its mo\'ements become more harmonious by the increased 
purity oT interest which it will communicate to the se\eral 
parts which comjjose it. . . . Louisiana was accpiired of 
Spain 1))' I'Tance in exchange for Tuscany, which latter is settled 
by treat)' on the son-indaw of the Kin;-; of Sprun, with tfie title 
of King of I'.truria. an;l was estimated m the exchrmge in con- 
sideration of its revenue at one hundred millions of francs. The 
I'irst Consul thovighl he had made an advantageous bargain in 
that exchange, as apjiears by the high idea which he entertained 
of its value as shown (>:\ many cjccasions. Louisiana was the 
territory which he promised in his jiroelamatirin at the peace as 
an as}lum to Lho^e w Ikj had become unfortunate bv the revo- 

* American Stale T.-xi-cis. 

202 THIi I'KOl'lNCli .IXP Tin: STATES. >• 


lutioii, and which he spol^e ot as vast and fertile. Wdun l.c 

made up hi.-> nnnd to oiler the ocssiuii oi it to llie L.'niled Siau 
it was contemplated to ask for it one hunched niilhons, cxelus-.'. , 
of the dehis they e>wed to our citizens, wiiicii lhe\' pr(ji)o-i-; 
we should pay, with a perpetual exemption from forei;^':i 
duties on tiie manufactures, jiroduclions and vessel^ (;f Tiaiu* 
anil Sjjain in the ports o\ the ceded territory. I'roui tlu; 
demand, however, he receded under the deliberations of hi^ own 
cabinet; foi" the fust j)ro])ositi< 'ii which M. Marhois made to i'.> 
was that we slu)uKl pa\' i'i^ht\ millions, sixlv oi which in casii, 
the balance to oui' citizens, the whole in one year in I'ari^, with 
a pcri)ctual exemption from forei[;n duties as above. The modi- 
fication in the mode of ])a\nunl, that is, by stock' (for from 
the quantum he ne\er would dep.'irl ) and llie limitation of die 
term of the duties to tweh'c \e:u">, with the jMo'ciso annexed 
to it, which was iiUroduced iiUo the treat\' with ever\' other 
change from his project, was the effect of uegotfatlon and accom- 
motlation, in which we ex])erienced on his ))arl and on that of 
his govermuent a i)romptitude and candor whicli were liighly 
grateful to us. . . . Ternut us to ex])ress an earnest wi.-^li 
that tile 1 'resilient and Senate ma\- decide with the least ])os- 
sil)le dela\' on the treat)' and conventions which we have con- 
cluded and have the pleasure to transmit you. If it is tlie sen>e 
of our C.o'.erununi to ratify them, the sooner that fact is known 
to this C.o\ernment the betier its effect will be," 

Just before the news of the cession of Louisiana to tlk- United 
States reachecl the president, the attitude of C.reat luilain con- 
cerning ih.i! pii.\ ince ,md the b|oi i.!,i , 1„ .-.u ,,• a i . . ^ i' ot ;.,;;. h 
solicitude to the .\nu! ican aulli-iiln^. The ]iieM.;i;it had Ireii 
informed that in case of a wai between iT-ance and Cueai Ihil- 
ain tlie latter would endeavor to take possession of Xew 
Orleans. In such an event the question arose, How would such 
I)osscssion affect the rights of the United States in that quar- 
ter? It intim.ited b)' the Ihitish minister that the I'nited 
Slates niiglii expect in that event betier terms than they had 
expeclecf from either I'rauce or Spain. This intimatic>n may 
liavc been made in g-x^d faith, but it was also made no doubf 
lo gam the gmid will of the United States. It was intimated 
also th<it the United Stale.s should nuake as little concession to 
I'rance as j^ossible "on ])(;ints disagreeable to Ureal lirilain." 
Mr. MadiS(iii in^truc^■d the .Aniericui envoys to I'lance that 
slundd the (pusti-n ,iM>e "how far in ;i st.ite of war one oi the 
I^-iriies can of right convey liriitory U) a neutral Tower, an'd 

77//: CF.SSIO.W TO Tllli L'\'iniP STATUS. 203 

tlicTcby deprive its cikiuv of tlu' cIkhicc of conquest incident 
to war, especially wIkh the concpusl may have licen actually 
projected, it is lIu)U[;iit proper to oh.scrve to you, first, That in 
the i^rescnt case the ])rojecl of peaceable acquisition hy the 
United v*^tatcs orij:;inated prior to the war, and consequently 
before a project of cwiupicst could have existed; second, thai 
the right of a neutral to procure for itself hy a bona fide trans- 
action })ropertv of an\- sort from a hclHgereui Tower, ought not 
10 he frustrated hy the chance that a lighlful concjuesl thereof 
might thereby be ])rechuled." "' 

As soon as possible after the conclusion of the cession of Loui- 
siana to the United Slates, Missrs. Livingston and MonrcK' lost 
no time in acquainting the jjn.'.-^ident with all that had trans- 
jiiied. 'rhe\- likew ii-e pn(m[)tly infoiuKd Mr. King', the Ameri- 
can minister to U.nat liritaiii, of the cession, in order that the 
latter might check any inliMided expedition of the Ihilish against 
New Orleans. On Mav 7, Mr. King liad written 'from nc>ndou 
that "in case of v/ar (between ]-' ranee and I'jigiand) it is the 
[)in-pose of this Oowrnmcnt to send an expedition to occupy 
New Orleans. If it be cedeil to us (the United States) would 
it not be expedient openly or conlidenliall> to ccunuumicate iTTe 
fact here? I have reason to be satisfied that it would prevent 
the piiijected expedition." | This letter t)Cca,sioned tlu' prompt 
action of Messrs. Uivingstciu and Monroe. The)- furilier told 
Mr. King that he might inform the ]'jigli.-,h governmeni that 
in framing the cessitm treat) care had been taken not to infringe 
an)' of the rights of t^eat Ibiiain to ibe n.uigaliou of the Mis- 
si.ssippi. C>ii Ma\' 15, this mfoi :ii.:;i. .ii u.i-> convv ,(d b\ ^li. 
King to llie r)riii>li niini>tr)-, who a hiile later told him th.ti 11 
met the approbation of the king. 

In a communic.Uion to Uhaiies Pinckney daletl, .Xranjuez, 
May ^, 1803, Mr. Cervallos, Spanish minister of stale, said: 
"i'hc system adoi)ted by llis Majesty not to disposses himseli* 
of any portion of hi.- States, deprives him of the pleasure of 
.issenling to the Cessions which the United States wish to obtain 
by purchase, as I h:i\e intimated for their information to the 
Marquis of Casa ^'rujo. ]\y the relrocessiun made to France 
of Louisiana, this Tower regains the said proxince with the lim- 
its it had, and saxiug the rigbtr. acquired by other I'owers. 
I'lie United Stales can aildress themselves to the b'rench Gov- 

•Aiiiericaii .Suit- l', 

t bil'liiiii.TUc Ci'msixaiilt ncc. 



eminent to negotiate tlie ae(|nisition of territories wliioh may 
suit (heir interest."' This was the first definite information 
which Mr. Tinckney receivnl from Spain to show that his elYorts 
to secure concessions on the .Mississiiipi from tliat government 
were wholly wasted ; for JKre was an absolute acknowletlgement 
that tile province had i)assed to France, and here was the singu- 
lar observation tiiat the United vStates must go to Paris to secure 
the concessions desired on ilie Mississippi. The al)ove state- 
nxiint of Mr. Cervallos, wiiluuU straining the natural meaning of 
the language, nui)' he ciaistruetl to embrace the admission that 
West iHorida was inchuled in the retrocession of Louisiana to 
France, because Mr. I'mckney had asked only for West Florida — 
that for many months had been the sole and announced object 
of his mission — and was now told, in answer to his importuni- 
ties, to go to France, to whom Louisiana had been retroceded. 
Why go to France after West Florida if the latter was not 
includetl in the Louisiana retroceded? Was this not an inad- 
vertent admission by the Spanish minister that West Florida had 
passed to I'Tance with the retrocession of Louisiana? 

In a communication dated May 12, 1803, Mr. Livingston 
expressed the opinion that, at the time Napoleon had read with 
much attention his memorirds sent to him through the favor 
of his brother Joseph, "ilu-y had determined to let us have New 
Orleans and the territor) above the Arkansas in exchange for 
certain commercial advantages, and that if they could iiave con- 
cluck-d with Spain, we .should also have had West i'dorida."t 
This may have been tiiie, lucanse about the same time the inter- 
dictii.>n a! New ( )rleans was ordered revoked, and Mr. Livingston 
was accorded far bt'tter treatment by the French minister 
and the first consul. .\s early as the first of February, 1803, 
something had occurred to change the attitude of tlie French 
leaders toward the Americans. Mr. Livingston was shown 
high privileges and distin^iiished personal considerations. He 
was led to believe that his efforts would prove successful to a 
reasonable degree in case the IHoridas could be secured from 
Spain by France. He soon became aware of the fact that the 
first consul "had conceived an idea that by taking possession 
of the country (Louisiana) be ccjuld more advantageously treat 
with our (jovernment ;" and that "Mr. Talleyrand accordingly 
told me several times, in general terms, that everything would 

*Tliis slalcmcnt should l)i; l)onic in iiiiiid. 

+ This i-1 fill I her i>hjuI tlial linr inteidiclioii was upon the order of Prance. 

TUP. cnssio.v TO run umtrd status. 205 

1)C arrang-cd, IjuL ihai llicv must first take possession." Mr. 
Livingston further said: "What 1 liclicvc i)rincipally ilrovc llic-ni 
lo this nu-asure was the jMoniisc which the h'irst Consul had 
hastily niaile me to jia)- our dchl fully and prumptly, and which 
he found himself in no situation to luhill and )el knew not how 
(0 elude, as I jn-cssed it at every turn." 'J'hc attitude of con- 
};ress and the threatened rupture with Cireat J'ritain, Mr. Liv- 
ini^slon stated, contrilmleil to ilie conclusions of the hrst consul 
lo sell Louisiana. 

It was stated h)' Mr. Livingston on June 3, "that since the 
ratification (of the cession treaty) we have had a grtat deal 
. of trouhle with it, an 0])inion prevailing that we have made too 
favorahle a bargain. ... I nnist earnestly press )ou, if 
you think the object important, lo get the raiilication as soon 
as possible and to do all that on our i)art remains to he done. 
During this transaction I have thought it improper to press any 
other business that might excite the smallest irritation. How 
hapjiy, my dear sir, are we to have concluded a treaty which 
will forever exclude us from the ])olitics (jf this stormy quarlef 
of the globe. I hope that you will not let it totally pass through 
>our hands." 

The importance of speedy action on the treaty was again called 
to the attention of the president by Messrs. Livingston and 
Monroe in a letter dated June 7. In order to prevent any pos- 
i-ible accident and It) insure the prompt arrival C)f the tfeaty 
jinpers in Washington, the .Ameiican envo\s sent tbe orii^inaU 
and tw(^ copies by three dilTeient nu'ssingei (hi I '!\ i ;. 1! ■• 
one sent by Mr. llui'lus was placed in tin hamU ci I're-ni. ;' 
JelTerson. vSome misgivings ha\ing arisen m the mind-, of the 
I'rencii aut(u)iities concerning the securit\' of l-'rance as lo the 
I>ayments to be made for Louisiana and the ti.msfer of the prt)v- 
incc to the Lhiitcd vStates, efforts were made by M. Marbois, 
at the instigation of the first consul, to correct any possible 
misunderstanding. The /\mericaii envois were giwn to under- 
stand that the first consul cc>nsidered the province worth fi-oin 
three to four huiulred millions of livres.* In other ways it was 
intimated lo them that they had made a spleiulitl bargain for 
Ihemselves and that nuiny I'renchnien were sorry of the ces- 
sion and would be pleased to learn that the tnaly had not been 
ratified by the United Sl.iles. 'J'his alarmed the .American envoys, 
who in all of their letters of that date, urged congress and the 

•AiiHiican Stale I'npcrs. 

2o6 TIIR PliOllNCli A.\'D run STATUS. 

prcsitknt to i;'.tify the treaty and do it (iviickly. Tlu y v. i,.-: 
June 7: "\Vc thou^dil we couUl discern some symptoms of /. • 
content in ilie Government (of iMance) with ihc harj^am it 1.., ! 
made. 'I'lie letter from M. Marhois left no donhl on that 1h.,l ; 
Wc are convinced that if the transaction was not comj)leir, i: 
was within the reach of the (".overnmenl, it would not tal;e pl.u;' 
even cm terms veiy different from those stipulated. 'J'lieru i-, 
much reason to helie\e that thii, letter was written not solely f..r 
the purpose of manifestini:: a sentiment of regret al what li.i-i 
been done hut to create diflkulties and embarrass the transaction 
in the e.xeailion of it. '■*'■ =*^ We learncfj from the minister ef 
foreign affairs that the first consul consiilered the ratlhcatiun a> 
under his control till the exchange took jjlace, and that he mijdu 
annex to it such conditions as apix'ared to him to be proper; that 
be cl. limed every act stipulated nn the jiart of the Lhiiteei States 
to be performed slrictl\- within the terms specified, or on failure 
that the parlies he restored to the state they were in if the treaties 
were nev<.r made. We asked him what had created any tlouht on 
that point ; he said that the clause in the article of the convention 
resjiectins; the ])a\nient of si.\t\' millions of francs to France, 
which was laide de[)endent on the delivery of [)ossession of the 
country to our commissar)', might b)' accitlent or otlier causes 
become nugatorN- ; the Jsj)aniards might not surrender it al once, 
tlic Ilritish might take it, etc. We lold biiu that these things 
were contemplated b> the parlies when the treaties were made 
and provided for; that we could not add a lU'W article to iTic 
treaty (>r explain aii\ i.iie 1:1 it. sinci- ii iiivist i'<' txi'loiud h) 
itself onl\ ; iJiaL (kl.i\> whuh pri>ceedvd 1 rom bad faitii wi. i e 
those only for which our CjO\ernment was resixMisiblc ; that such 
?.s were unavoidable attached to them no blame and could not 
affect the treaty. Me reidied that after the example of our Gov- 
ernment in the last treaty, the Consul might nevertheless amiex 
a Condition lo the ratification explanatory of his sense of it, which 
lie would tlu if we did not satisfy him either with respect to the 
proiupt maimer in which the treaty would be executetl b)- cjur 
Government, f»r ai-ree to exiMinge the terms in that convention 
which resj)t'cled takings p(~)ssession of the territt)rv. We Hid nol 
fail to ruiiaik that tiie treaty must stand as it was to be adopte<l, 
rejected or ino<hfied by the parlies having the right to do the 
same and in.i by us." 

ihc .Niiimcm invo\s tberiupon ga\e the best assurance they 
could of iiir |.;,,(ul conduct of tlir Unitrd States, but at tlu- same 
tune ui(;id the anihuiiiiiN in .Ainciica to k>'..e not a monunt to 


ratify the treaty. "It i^ our canicsi \\\A\ and acUicc, if the 
treaties are approved h)- the 1 'resident, lliat he conwiie tlie Con- 
press to proN'ide the linids for .an ininiediale coni])liance with 
thcni. ]l is hi'St to lea\e nothing to hazard. The surrender of 
tlie i)OSts cuiglit to precede the ereation of the fund; hut as there 
will he no donht on that point after taldni;- the neeessar)' meas- 
ures, we would cousiiler it a^ clone and aei aceordint^d}'. If we 
execute our part strictly within the leims specified, ihe transac- 
tion is at an end; there will he no ohslacle from this quarter. 
. . . We cannot loo .slr(»n^ly impress an idea, if our contluct is 
approved, of the moii j)ronipl execution of the stiijuiatietns to he 
performed ow our jiart and of a course of i-)rocei'din^- which 
leaves nothinii; to cliance, h\ j,d\in;,^ rni\ iau>e f)f complaint to this 
Government." To protect itself the jMench j^overnment instructed 
its minister at W'asliington that, on i xchaiii^dn^i;- the ratifications 
with the Uniled Stales, he shouKl declare such ral ifications void, 
unless the funds, etc., were created hy congress in the term 

In a comni'unicalion dated June 25, Mr. [,ivin<;slrui wrote: "I 
hope that nolhinj:^ will prevent )our imimdlate raiification with- 
out alleriiif^;- a syllahle of ilie terms. If you w isH anythiiif;- 
chanyed, ratify nnconditioiiall)' and set on foot a new nec:"tia- 
tion. lie ])ersuaded that JMance is sick of the hargain ; that 
Si-ain is much di-^alished, and that the slii^hlesl i)rtflense will 
lose you the treaty. Nothing; has laied the repuiation of our 
ei)unli\- in llurope so hiidi as the conduct tif o.n Ctvernment 
lipt'U ihi.s occaMiiii, hwih ;ii li,.iiii' ^\\^ ,i!.|,.id"* In ,ii, ■ u' t.. 
a conij)laint from Mr. 1 ,i\in;^^i(.ii ih.ii Mr. M.oiiu.e had heen 
given greater powers than he, Mr. Madi-on wrote on July 29: 
"The difference in the diplonjalic title.- t;iven to Mr. MonrcK" from 
that p;iven to you and which you undeisturxl to have ranked him 
above you, was the result merel\- of an errc-r in the clerk who 
coi)ied the document, and which escaj^d attentic'ii wlien they 
were sipiied. It was not the intenliun of the President that any 
di.stinction t)f pra.K' should he made h.tweeii yon." Mr. IJvinp- 
stfiU was instructed to investigate thoroughly the (piestion of 
the boundaries of Louisiana. 

The act of Messrs. Livinpslon and Monroe in securing the 
cession of Louisiana, thouidi wIkiIIn' be\oiid tfieir iiislructions aiid 
Jiuihoiiiy, met liir approval of the Jdlt is. .ui.-ni adminisl ralii/ii 
and /'(IK rally (.f the pi opK- ,d (Ik- I'mied States, h cannot be 

• Diplomrilic Currtspoiulcuce. 


run PROi'iNCii AND Tin: states. 

said tt) have been tlie ixsuli of tlic good work of tlir iiivovs 
though iho iiicnioriids of iMr. Livingston indicalcd to I'lancc .^ 
would be inn chaser ; nor was it brought about by the statesiuar.- 
sliii) ol Mr. KlTerson, tbouidi be possi'Ssei.1 t(j an eminent di,L;ri.' 
such quahtii-s; neither chd the arrival of Mr. Monroe m I'ar,'^ 
have anything to do with fixing in the mind of the first coll^^;l 
the determination to sell, because the conclusion to dispo>e of 
the wh(,>Ie of liie province instead of a i)ait was nnabciablv 
readied by Napoleon some da>s before the arrival of Mr. Mon- 
* roc. The determination to sell resulted Irom the conclusion th;a 
I'^rance w;is certain soon to lose the [jrovince either to I'.nglaiul 
or the United States. As between the two, France, of course, 
had but one choice, even if the conditions bad been the same or 
similar, whicli they were not. It wouUl pas:, to Hngland as the 
result of war, to the IJmled v^tates for a consideration. Its \aluc 
was known to Napolecju, but mere was not asked, because the 
chances were that the Ameiican envois would not i)ay more 
without loo long a wait, and because great haste was necessary to 
forestall the I'.ritisb from taking possession of New Orleans. 
Thus the ac(jui.',iiion of l^ouisiana by the United States was the 
unexpected and extraonlinai)- result of the international situalioii 
in Kuroiie. 

Tile American enve))S were informed by Mr. Madison that 
their acts were approveil by the ailministration. lie wrote: 
"In concurring with, the disi-n)sition of the l'"iench Government to 
treat for tlie whole of I.oui.siana, although the western p;iit of it 
was not embraced 1)\- \i>ur pi>\\ei"s, emi u-i.. ju-ii:".v-d l)\' t':.' .--olil 
reasons which n'ou gi\e l"V it; and I am i.!i.iigid. hy the I'le-^i- 
deiil to express te) ) ou bis eiitiie approbation o\ \our so deiing.* 
I'his ai)prol)atiou is in lU) re.-pect jtrecluded by tlie silence of 
your commission and instructions. When these were made out 
the object of the most sanguine was limited to the establishment 
of the Mississi])j)i as our beiundary. It was not presumetl that 
more could be sought by the l-iiited States, either with a chance 
of success or perhaps without being susjiected of a greedy ambi- 
tion, than the island of New r)rleans and the two Floridas, it 
being little doubted that the latter was or would be compre- 
hemled in tJie ces^ion from Spain to l-'rance. To tlTe accpilsiticai 
<->f New Orleans and the Florida.s, the j)rovision was tlurifore 
accommcxlaied. Nor was it to be suppo-ed that in ca^-e the I'Vench 
Gr)wrnnuiit should be willing t(^ part with more than the terri- 


(iic.Tti SlnU- Till)! IS. 

Til II ci:ssiu.\' TO TJiJi uxrn:i) s'i\ir}:s. 


tory on our si(,lc of llu- Mississipiii, an aiiaiii^i'iiK'iU willi S[)ain 
for resloriiij:^ [o In r the ti.-nitor\- on i1k- other side, wtjuKI iu)l he 
I)iefciTe(! to a sale of it to the Vhiited Slates. 'I'he elYect of such 
considerations was (h'nunishcd h\- no information or just [irc- 
suniplions whatever. ... In truth the conimuniealions in 
general hetwecu Mr. Livingston and the l-Vench (juveiiunent, 
both of prior and ^uhseijuent date, m.-niifested a reiJUjiaiance to 
our views of purchase, which left no expectation oi any arrange- 
luent with France', hy which an e.\ten^i\•e acquisition was to be 
made, uidess in a favorable crisis, of which acK'aiUage should be 
taken. vSuch was thouidil to be llu- crisis which L',a\e birth to the 
cxtraordiuar)' ccMumissiiiii in which you are joined. It consisted 
of tiic state of things jjroduced by the breach of our deposits at 
New Orleans; the situation of the Imip.cIi i.-lands, jiariicularly 
tlie important island of St. ]!)oming"o; the distress of the I'reneh 
finances; the unsettled pn^tvn■e of Murojie; the jt-alousy 
betwcm Great Ibitain and l''rance; and the known aversion of 
the former to see the mouth of the Mississippi in the hands of 
the latter. These consiilei"alions, it was hoi)ed, might so far open 
the C)-es of France to her real inte)e>l, and her cars ti") the moni- 
tory truths which were cou\'e\-ed to her through dilTerenl chan- 
nels, as to reconcile her to the establishment of the Mississippi as 
a natural boundar\' to the United Staler; or at least to some con- 
cession which wiiuld ju>lify our patiently waiting for a fuller 
accomplishment of oiu" wishes under auspicious events. '1 he 
crisis lelii'd on \\:\> deri\ed peculiar foice from the rapidity with 
which the compl,iiut> and (|iu 11011- I 1 w een ]•':.. n,e a"! 'beat 
Ibitaiu 1 i].eued I. )\\ ai d a 1 uplui e ; and i; 1 ju^t g: 'Uud ft >; ;.".uual 
autl general felicitation that it has is>ueil under your zealous 
exertions in the extensive accpiisiliou bcyiiud the Mississip[)i." 

The following interesting letter was written by ] 'resident Jef- 
ferson to John C. Ibeckeiu-idge under dale of .Auj^ust 12, 1R03:"'' 
"Tlie boundaries, which 1 tleem not admitting (|Ue>tion, are the 
highk'uuU on the western side of the Mi.ssissippi enclosing all its 
waters, the Missouri of course, and terminating in the line drawn 
from the northwestern jjoiut of the Fake of the Woods to the 
nearest source of the Mi'^.sissippi as kiiel\' settled between Great 
Britain and the Ignited States. We lia\e some claims to extend 
on the seacoast wotwardly to the Kio Xorlc (^r lba\o, and better 
lo go eastwardly to the Kio l\rtlido beiween Mobile atul Pensa- 

• Wiitiiik;s of Thcma-, Jvfl«rM,n: I' 




run FRoyjNCH a.wd the statfs. 

cola, Ihc ancicnl huuiularv of I.t.uisiana. These claims will bo :i 
subject of no^Hnialioii willi Si)aiii an. I if, as scon as she is at war, 
we push Iheni slron-ly with one liaiul, holding out a price in the 
other, we shall certainly obtain the h'loridas and all in good time. 
In the meanwhile, without wailini-; for permission, we shall enter 
into the exercise of the natural ri-hl we have always insisted on 
with Spain, to-wit : That of a nation holding- the ui)per i)art of 
streams having a right of innocent passage through them to the 
ocean. We shall prepare her to sec us practice and she will not 
opi:)Osc it by force. Objections are raised to the eastward (in the 
New ]uigland States probably) ai;ainst the vast extent of our 
boundaries, and proi)ositions are nmde to exchange Ix)uisiana or 
.1 part of it for the I'loridas. I'ul as I have said we shall get the 
Floridas without, ami I would not };ive one inch of the waters of 
the Mississippi to any nation, because 1 see in a light very impor- 
tant to our ix-ace. tiie exclusive n;;ht to its navigation antl tlje 
admission of no nation into it, but as into the Potomac or Dela- 
ware with our consent and under our police. These Federalists 
sec in this acquisition the formation of a new confederacy, 
embracing all the waters of the .Mississippi on both sides of it, 
and a separalicni of its eastern waters from us. These combma- 
tions depend on so many circumstances which we cannot forsee, 
that I i)lace little reliance on tliem. We have seldom seen neigh- 
borhood produce affection among nations. The i^:verse is almost 
the universal truth, liesides, if it should became the great inter- 
est of those nations to separate from this, if their happ;ne<^s 
shouUl dr]iend uu il so -li^'ni-,!', :i-> to indu. c tli..Mi i.« );o tin- iy\\ 
that Cuiivulsiun, whv should ilk' .\ilantic Males diead it? I'.nt 
especially why should we, their piesent inhabitants, take side in 
such a (jueslion? When 1 v\ew the Atlantic States, procuring 
for those on the eastern waters of ihe Mississippi friendly instead 
of hostile neighbois on its western waters, 1 ilo not view it as an 
l\nglishman would the jircKuring future blessings for the French 
nation with whom he has no iel;iii(3ns of blood or affection. The 
future inhabitants of the Atlantic and Mississi])pi States will be 
our sons. W'e lea\e them in distinct but bordering establish- 
ments. W'c think we see their hap|iiiu'ss in their union and we 
wish it. ]{vints may juove it otherwise; and if they see their 
interest in separation, why should we tak'c siile with\nil Atlantic 
rather than our .Mississi|)f)i descendants? It is the eltler and the 
)'ounger s'Ui dilUiing. (-od bless them b<>tb aiul ke<.p them in 
nnion, if it be fur llu ir g^Kxl. but separate them if it be l>e-tler." 
It was at this time that Mr. Jefferson and other American stales- 


men j)ici);irci,l tlrafts of an ainenihneiit to ihc constitution pro- 
viding; for the admission of now states into the Union. 

As soon as it hecanie known to Spain that Xapoleon had ceded 
Louisiana to the I'nited Slates, the iMcueh authorities encountered 
serious remonstrances from the Spaui^.h g^overnment. They 
declared tliat the cession was a hrcach uf faitli ; that France had 
solcniidy ai^reed not to ahrnate the iin,)\ince (which was true) ; 
and thiat lliey (Si)ain) wouUl use every endeavor in their power 
to ohstrucl the transfer. 'J'he Spanisli minister at Paris was 
instructed to i)revenl, if ])0ssihle, the cession from heinj^'- carried 
into execution and was authc)rized to us "pecuniary ar<.;'uments" 
if they were hkely to succeed. "*' The following C(')mmunication 
was sent to the American mini.ster to Spain h) the Sjianish ^gov- 
ernment : 

"i'alace, July 19, 1803. 
''To the Minister of the United States c>f America: 

"Sir: His Majesty the King havini; ^iwu ortlers to his min- 
ister near the United .Slates of America 10 make known to that 
Cfovcrnment the ahsohite nidhty of the proceedings of France in 
disposing of j.ouisiana, which slie had fcnnially and positixely 
engaged not to sell, T now coiinnunicale i\\c same to )C)U, in order 
that you may sidmiit it to your govL-rmucnt, which will thus 
receive it b)' distinct channels. At the s;une lime, 1 must inform 
you, in repl)' to the assurance given nu- l»y you at our* last con- 
ference that France h:id also ceded \\'e>l h'lorida, that the said 
;)rovince never has at any time or jjy any title belonp^ed to the 

"1 am ».K;c l'i.t)Ke) CriawLi.oS."* 

The opposition of .Spain to the cession of Louisiana to tlie 
United States was communicated to the kitter from Madrid by 
Charles Pinckncy on August 2, 1803, in the following words: 
"He (Ccrvallos) then went on to converse with me on the sub- 
ject of the cession of Louisiana by the I'Vench to us, in which lie 
expressed an opinion so important and cxiraordinary that 1 made 
a ix)int of transmitting it to you by the post the next day by the 
rout of Lisbon, and which 1 trust you will .'^oon receive. f The 
substance was thia : That in the CL-ssic>n of Louisiana by Spain 
to France, there- a secret article that l-'rance shoidd ne\cr 
part with I/juisiana except to Spain; that if she (France) should 

* History of rraiice: WriKhl. 
tAincricui) Slate rai)iis. 

212 run rKori\'cii the states. 

ever wish to disjiosc of it, Si)ain sliouKl always have the rip^ht of 
I)re-enii)lion ; from which lie aiLaud ihal JMaiicc had not the right 
lo make siuh i-essiuii without the C()n>cnt of Spain, and tlial he 
was asloni>h(,d our eommis^ioiurs had not apiihed to their Cov- 
cnnncnt to know the actual Icrnis upc^n which France was to 
receive Louisiana, and in fact to examine their title. I answered 
him b}- sa\in^' that he could not he more astonished at their not 
doing- so than 1 was at his rcuiarl':; that he well knew Mr. Livint; 
ston and rnvhclf had been a])plyin<,^ for upwards of a year inces- 
santly to the (jovcrnmcnts of h'rance antl Spain to know if Louisi- 
ana was ceded and ujion what terms; that for more than a \-ear tlie 
niObt guarch-d silence was ohseixed h\' both and that at last when 
■Spain had answered and avi'wed the cissiou, not a wrird was men- 
tioned in his (Mr. C'ervallos's) letter to me of any secret article; 
tlial the letter only avowed the cession and that it had been made 
subject to the conditions of oiu" treaty ; that 1 transmitted ibis 
to Mr. Li\inc;stou and Mr. Memroe; and J asked whether after the 
sight of this letter from him, acknowlecb^ing the cession, they 
could for a moment doubt the perfect right of iM-ance to sell. I 
then further asked him whetlur if Spain still continued in ])0S- 
scssion and our Government ratified the treaty there would be any 
hesitation on the part ol llis Majest)' to i;i\e us the possession: 
to which be made no p\:)siti\e icjily, nor could I bring him to cl(> 
so during the whole even;hg^ 1 Ciudtl ivisily discover in the 
course of it that there exists at present much uneasiness on the 
part of ibis court with ie>pect lo the ciiidnet of I'rance in the 
sale of l/'uisiana, and p.u lu iilarl\' in ibe I'p.iirin lit I i b\- om 
inissioners that it includes W'esi blorida, which both .Mr. L'erv.d- 
los and the Prince of I'eace (Godoy) exiiressly tleny." 

The aclicju of the Spanish minister at Washington was equally 
emphatic and decisive. Mr. Matlison wrote to Mr. Living.ston on 
October T). "'Mr. i'inckney (the .American uu'nister to Spain) will 
doubtless ha\e communicated to you his ceuiversation with Mr. 
Cervallos (the Sijauish prime minister), in which the latter denied 
the right of l'"rance to alienate Louisiana lo the Lhiited States, 
alleging a secret stipul.ition by I'rance not to alienate.* Two 
notes on the same subject ba\e latel\- been i)resented here b}- the 
Marcpiis de ^'rujo. lu the fust dated SeplemU r .}, 1k' euleis a 
caveat ag.iinst the right of iMauce to aben.ite Louisiana, found- 
ing it on ;i deelaraiion of t!ie b'rench amb.issadi;r at Madrid in 
July, iSi^j, that I'r.iuce \'. ould ne\er part with ibni territory; and 

• I'ranci- •.rciiia to li.ivc tlcliljtraUly viulaieil Uiis blipiilation. 



aftirming" that on no oiIut contlition Spain wouKl have ceiled it 
to l-'ranoe. In tlic scconil note dated Sei)teniher 27, it is ui\L,aMl as 
an adchtional ohjcetion to the treaty hetween the United States 
ani-l iM'ance, that tlie l-'rench (lo\'ernnuMit liad never completed 
the title of Iwanec, liavini;' failc^d to procure the stii)nlated recog- 
nition of the Kinc;^ of h'.truria from I\ussia and (jreat liritain, 
which was a condition on which Spain aL;reed to cede the country 
to France." Mr. Madison ])resent(.(l conclusive arguments 
ag'ainst the tenahility of the Spanish oppo.-.ition. Anion[; other 
things he cited the reply of the Spanish prime minister to I^Ir. 
rinckney at Aladrid t'.niy in May that, "tlic entire i)ro\'ince of 
Louisiana, with the limits it had wlun luld hy France, was retro- 
ceded to that Power, and that the FJniird States might atldress 
themselves to the French Cjovcrnment in order t(j negotiate the 
acijuisition of the territt)ries which would suit then' inl(,-rest." Ho 
stated that the Ihiited Slates should ])roceed to carry out the 
provisions of the treaty. Jlc further said, '"I'lie United States 
have ohtained h)' just and honorahle means a clear title to a terri- 
tory tcio valuable in itself and too important to their tran(]uillity 
and security not to be effeclually maintained. And they coiuit 
on every ])0siti\c concurrence on the part of the hVench Covern- 
inent which the occasion may demand from their friendship and 
their good faith." 

The Spanish opposition to the treaty was grounded on the fol- 
lowing principal reasons: i. That the iMcnch government had 
contracted willi the king of Sjjain the most solemn engagaiuent 
never to alienate the pio\iiM e ; ..'. That the t-onditi. mi-; imd. i w hich 
}'^ance secured I.oiu'siana by ihi- tuatv oi San lldcioii-«i P ,d uoi 

been fulfilleil, ami therefore hVauce could not Cunw)' a g 1 anil 

suflicienl title. 'I'hese objections were ])resentcd and argued hy 
VA Marquis de Casa Yrujo, the Spanish ambassador at Washing- 
ton, in communications to the secietaiy of state. The latter sent 
copies of the letters lo the iMench ambassador at Washington, 
and requested lo hear from him on the subject. On the first 
l^oint above he rei)lied that "the treaty of St. Ildefouso relrocedcs 
]^ouisiana in full sovereignly and without any limitation as to the 
future domain of iMance. To operate a limitation so essential as 
is that to which the Court of Madrid apjieals, nothing less would 
have been necessary, according to the nature of contracts in gen- 7 
cral and of iieati<s in paiiitular, thrm a siiiiulaiiou to thi^ effect 
inserted in the treaty it>-elf.* .\ promise m.ade fifteen months after 

• Oliservr lli:il the l-(i-iicli .TmJi;i>.sador di.l imI (Icnyllic cl.\iiii Uial liis i'o\ cm- 
uiciil Jiacl i)iomiscil iioi lo alii-iiaJi- 1 oiiisiaiia. 



the si^Miatuie of this pact, aiul wliich inij:^hl on one side have htiii 
yicklcd to the soHcitaiions of one of the contraelinj^ parties, and 
on the other (hctated hy (hspositions which nii^ht then exist in 
the otiier part)', hut which idli riur circumstances nni^ht ha\'c 
changed ; sucli a promise cannot create in favor of Spain a ric^ht 
sufficient to enahle her to charge with invahthty the transactions 
which liave conlravened it. The contrary pretension would cer- 
tainly confound all tlie iirincipdes r(.I.uive to the nature of ohli- 
gations and would tlcstroy the solemnity of treaties. These gen- 
eral reasonings wouUI receive a new force from the circunistanccs 
which are peculiar to diiVercnt nations in relation tcj the suhject 
of i)acts ; hul the nnde."sigue<l will not enlei into the examiuaiion 
of these circinnstances, under the persuasion that general princi- 
l)les sufficientl)' repel the j-relensions oi the Court of Madrid. 
On the second point the ohjcctions of that court do not appear \o 
the luulcrsigned to he hetlcr ftiunded. It is known that the King 
of Hlruria was i:)laced on the throne since the treaty of St. lUfe- 
fonso. We have a right to su])i)0se that his Catholic Majesty was 
satisfied from that period with the measures and efforts cmplo)ed 
by I'^rance to cause the title of this i)rince to he ackno\\ledL;ed hy 
the other nations. It is at least what might he concluded from 
facts within the knowledge of all the woild. In the treat)' of 
Aniier.s, concluded cm ilie J/lh of .March, iSuJ, Great Ihitain did 
not acknowledge the King oi l'".truria. i\ot\Yilhstanding the 
silence of the court of I.ondon, on so solemn an occasion, that of 
Madrid ordered in \\w month of Ocioher followim,' the drli\i.r\' of 
(he cf>lony to I '"i .nice, as i-> pro\rd li\ llir o . ..1 > cdn' i .1 w 1 ii ■ .: ), 
which the undeisiioied has rrcristd and txhihilcd \^ .Mr. .M.idi- 
son ; a cednla which as all the world knows was long ago for- 
warded to the Cajnain Ceneral of l.omsiana, wdio sent the Mar- 
quis (le Casa Calvo to New Cirleans to superintend its execution. 
To these conclusive c>hservations the undersigned will add that 
the coml of Madrid might have' keen infornird in the course of 
the monih of I'Vhruary last hy its minister to the Ihiited States, 
that the .American Ciovernment was sending to Paris a minister 
extraordinary m order to neg^oliate w ith the French (-overnnKiit 
the ac(juisition 01 New Orkans. If the coml of Madrid IkuI seen 
in the ohjiri of this mission an injuiy offered to its rights, what 
prevented it, after being thus e.nly apjiriscd, from informing^ 
thereof the minister of the I'niteil Slatis at Paris and the k'rench 
(lOvenimiMii, and frt)m interposln- hcfoie the conclusion of the 
treaty its ii.urvention m a form ad.ipicd t<) suspend it? It (kns 
not appear that that couit has lal.en at Pans any steps of this 

THE cr.ssio.x to the v sited ST.niis. 215 

nnturc.'"'' This was also in siibslancc tlu- rc]>ly of ihc secretary 
of slaie to the coniinunioations of the Spanish anihassador. 

'I'lie necessary laws lor taking po-^-i.ssion were no sooner 
passed hy congress in (_)cli.)lier, than stcjjs wrre taken to \)\\{ iheni 
into execution. A joint and several cunmiission was forwarded 
lo (>ov. \V. C. C C'laihorne and C^en. James Wilkinson author- 
ii:in{:^ llieni to receive possessit^n of the jjrovince and to occupy it. 
A sei)aratc conmhssion was sent to Cio\(jriU)r Claihorne as teni- 
j)orary governor. 'J'he contingency oi lorcihlc opposition from 
Spain was taken into consideration, and a consideraMe force was 
sent with the commissioners and another assembled at Natchez in 
readiness for any emergency — five hundred mounted militia from 
'J'ennessce being onkied to the latter ])lace. TIkv took with them 
"such regular troc»ps a> had been assenibKd at I'oi I Adanis from 
tile nearest ])Osts and some militia of ilu- .Missi>vij)pi Territory." 
To he in readiness for an\- enu rgenc)' that nn'gbi arise "a respect- 
able body, of militia was ordered to be in reailiness in the States of 
Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. Xo occasion however arose for 
llieir services. The French olTicials in all respects supplenlented 
and supported the j)roceedings of the Tnited Stales. There was 
ncj indication whatever that S]\'un intended to use force to prevent 
the transfer of the province to the United States.' 

The messenger, iM. Landais, sent from Washington to New 
Orleans with tlu' conmn.-sion to M. J.aussat to receixe the province 
from Spain and then turn it o\er to the I'niled Slalcs, ariiveil 
Novcmlier 23, 1803. 'Jdie messenger tra\ersed the Indian coun- 
try, going b\' lainl instead of by water, to jMin ti::;e. ( )n the 30th 
of No\cmber, .M ., in bi- ib.o.uler of liench >.innus- 
siiMier, issued a )iri.K-|,uuaiion, announcing to the nihabiiants the 
cession of the province to the United States. To be sure of no 
mistake, all of the formalities were observed. On the same day 
all the Spanish tioojjs and militia were drawn up in front of the 
city hall, and the inhabitants a?sembled to witness the proceed- 
ings, so im])ortant to tiiem. In the council chamber three chairs 
were provided, (iOvernor Salcedo occupying the middle one. 
Laussat handed him a copy of the ro)al decree of October 15^ 
1802, by which the kmg of Sj)ain ordered his representative in 
]/)uisiana to deli\'er tl)e colony to the l-'rench conunissioner. Al 
the same time Uaussat produced iiis own authority to take pos- 
session of Louisiana (*n beiialf of l-'rance. When all were read 
and ])ronounce(i satisfactorv, Uowrnor Salcedo left his chair and 

American Slute TiiM'ts. 


(lolivcrcd the keys of the cily to ].;ivis;-at. Tlie Miirquis C;i<-a 
Calvo annouiK-c(l that all l.oiibianiaiis who diil not wibh lo leave 
Louisiana were from lliat moment absolved from future al!eL;iancc 
to Spain. At a sii^iial the eanuon oul>iile were fired, the Spanish 
colors lowered, and t!ie tri-color of France, after tlie lapse of 
nearly a century ami ;i cpiarter from the discovery hy La v'-^alle, 
a^'-ain announced the a.-cendency of the latter at the mouth of the 
Missi.-.sippi. iM'anee v. a> aijain in possession/'' 

'J'wenly days later, or on' Decemher 20, 1803, the same proceed- 
ings were enacted between the l^rench and the Americans. Gen- 
eral Wilkinson in command of the American troops established 
his camp on the left bank of the river about half a leag-uc from 
New Orleans on the 17th and 18th of the month. On the 20th, 
by permission of Lau>sal. he entered New Orleans with his forces 
lo take part in the proceedings, 'l^ie iMench olVicers, troops and 
all the inhabitants as before assembled at the city ball. The 
American commissioners, Claiborne and Wilkinson, were there 
received by Laussat ^U(\ the other iMench officials. The treaty 
of cession was formally read, as were also the various powers of 
the commissioners. ]<aus?ai said, "In conformity with the treaty, 
I put the United States in possession of Louisiana and its deiKiul- 
cncics. The citi;^ens and inhabilanis who wish to remain here and 
obey the laws are from this moment exonerated from the oath of 
fidelity to the Lreiieh Ke[)ublic." 'i'he Frcncii flag was then 
lowered, and the stars and stripe:, raided over the heads of the 
multitude, amitl the roar of the guns.'' The fate of Louisiana was 
finally settled; but who i^ ibere to iui\-iMire i';.- jo\s ..m I griefs in 
the health c-f the \),-^:\Ac who had b-nu' so nuich. 

While the i^oceediiigs at Xew Orleans were designed lo trans- 
fer Ihe whole j)rovince to the United States, it was deemed best 
to observe the formalities of transfer in Upper Louisiana as v/ell 
as^ in that city. Accordingly, the necessary powers were trans- 
mitted to Major Amos Slodd'ard by the l-rencb minister at Wa<li- 
ington to receive on behalf of France Upper Louisiana from the 
representative of Spain, which Iransfei" was formally made on the 
9tb 01 March, iSo.^. The following day, March 10, he observed 
the formality of turning it over to a representative of the United 
States. f 

Mr. Martin, the hihtorian of Louisiana, said that on the i8ih' 
of May, ]8.)3, Governor Salcedo and Mar(iuis Casa Calvo issued 

Skclclics llisu.11c.1l jukI bivcniilivc of I.oiii-.iana : Sludilaid. 

riIJi CllSSlO.W TO Till' U.\'ITJ:I) STATUS. 217 

a proclainatioii to the oflccl "that the cessicm of the colony and 
island of New Orleans shonKl he on the same terms as that of 
IJis Most Christian to His Catholic Majesty; antl ci^nsefjiiently 
the limits on hotli sides of the river St. Lonis or Mississipj)! should 
conliiuic as they remained hy the liflh article of the defmitivc 
treaty of jx-acc conoludotl at Paris on the lolh uf Decemher, 1763: 
and accordini^ly the settlements from the hayoii M;inshac as far 
as the line which separated the dominion^ of Spain and those of 
the Um'led ^Slales should remain a part cjI' liie monarchy of Spain 
and bo annexed to the province of West Floritla." 

The opinion of Mr. ],ivinost(;n as to the causes which induced 
or determineil the Inst consul to sell ]<onisiana to the United 
vStates, if no doubt existed of its bciuL;' unbiased, sluudd he woiih' 
more than that of any other American, owin^- to his unusual 
powers of pentration, to his intimacy w iih the ImcucIi leaders and 
lo liis knowledge of h'reuch public allaiis of that lime, llis 
opinion was expressed in his letter of Xovember 15, 1803, to 
Mr. Madison, as follows: ''The war (the one about to break 
forth between France and ]{ngland) doubtless had its effect upon 
the I'irst Consul; but it is e(inall)' true that every person he con- 
sulted had long- before been convinced, and even the Consvd's 
opinion shaken and 1 will venture to sa\' b}' my meauv, of the little 
advantage France would derive from the possession of ihat cuun- 
Iry; and he had even, as I have before informed }'ou, through 
Joseph Ikinaparte, given me assurances that such arrangements 
should be nuule as we should apiMove. The not selling was a 
jjersonal jioint of honor, parliculai 1\' as he wa^ bo\ind b\- the 
express stipulatiou im' hi-^ ileal v wiih Sp.iiu n..t 1 . d^ so N'or 
\uitil he found him-'elf hampered b\' another p'.i-i'Ual Considera- 
tion, to-wit: His iiromise to jxiy the American claims whiih I 
had purposel)' iiultli.shed, could he bring himself to lake the step 
which the prospect of war and the spirited measures of our dov- 
crnnuiit, among wliicli 1 number the special mission of Mr. M(mi- 
roe, gave him the slrongest apology for doing; ixarlicularly as in 
case of war he had no other means of keeping his word with us. 
On looking over the original instructions, of which Mr. 
Monroe was the bearer, 1 find that we were authorized to give 
fifty millions for New Orleans and the hdoridas; so that we could 
without too an cxtraordin.iry assumption of powers, have gone lo 
the price they e\p<eted for I,f)ui>ian,'i." ^ 

As sr)^m as the iiansfer to the Ihiiied Stales was formally 

'Amciicaii Stiilc r.ii)ci! 


acconiplislu'd, (jnwrnor ClailuiriK' issued a proclamation rccuuiu- 
iiig the circiini.>laiic\s of the transfer and dechirin^- "thai ihr 
government heretofore cxcrci'^ed over the said province i.f 
l^onisiana, as well muKr the auilmiiiy of Spain as of the ]'"rrn>.!i 
l\epul)lic, lias ceased and that ot the United States of America i> 
cslahlished over the same; that the inhahitants thereof will ho 
incorporated in the Union of llie I'nited States and admitted a.i 
soon as possihle, according- to the principles of the federal consti- 
tution, to the enjo\nicni of all the ric;hts, advantages and imnnini- 
tics of citizens of the l.^nited Stairs; ihafin the meantime they 
shall he maintained and protected in the free enjoyment of their 
hberty, propert\' antl the relii^ion which they jM-ofess ; that ail 
laws and nuniiciijal regulations w hich were in existence at the ces- 
sation of the late Ciovtinment remain in full force; and that all 
civil officers charijed with tluir execution, except tho>e whose 
powers have been especially vcNied in me, and cxcej)! also such 
officers as have lieen entrusted with the collection of the revenue, 
are continued in ilKir tunctioiis during the pleasure of the Gover- 
nor for the time heing, or until ]iiu\ision shall otherwise he made. 
And I do lierch)- exhort and cnjiiii all the inhabitants and other 
persons within the said province to he faithful and true in their 
allegiance to thi' I'nited Siale> and obedient to the laws and 
authorities of the same, under full assurance that their just rights 
will Ijc under the ^uardiansliii) of tlie United States and will he 
inaiutaiued from all force or \iijlence fmm without or within." 
(necemher jo, JS03.) ^ 

'file Spanish f;o\ ei nni. ui n .t d- 1 fro:-) it-, ( ip; . . .it i.m to the 
(lauster ot l.i'ui-Mn;i to d'l- U;i:;ei! St.uvS on the n.ih o! 1 il. 
juary, i8(.)-j, the .Mim\lei- (,i Slate, Don i'edro Cervallos, 
writing as follows to Charles I'inchney, American envoy to Spain: 
"At the same time that the minister of His Majestv in the United 
vStatcs is charged to inform the American Covernment resijecting 
the faUit\ of the rumor referred ie>. he has likewise orders to 
declare to il that ilis .Maje>ly has thought fit to renounce his 
opposition to the alienation of Louisiana made by France, not- 
withstanding the solid reasons on which it is' founded, thereby 
giving a new proof c.f his bene\'olenee and friendship towards the 
United States." 'fhe Spanish minister at I'hiladelphia comnnini- 
caled the same information to Mr. Madison, secretary of state. 

*Ainriica» ,Sl.'\tc I'iiiicrs. 


"I'liil.uKlpliia, May 15, 1S04. 

"Tlie explanations which the (joverinneiit of I'raiice has <::;'i\cn 
to liis Cathohc .Majc-^ty et-nurrninL; the sale of l.ouisiana to the 
United Statis antl the aniicahle (iisi)ositi(ins on the part 01 the 
Kini;' ni)' master towanls these States, have determinecl him to 
abandon the opi)Osition whieh at a prior pi.-ri()d ami with the nK>st^ 
siihslaiilial nioti\fS he iiad manifested ai;ain.^i the iransaction. In 
conscqiieitee, and hy special cjrder of his Majest), 1 ha\e the 
pleasure to comniunieate to yon his ro\al inleniir)ii> on an alYair 
SO im|)ortant ; well per>naded that the American Go\ernment will 
see in this Cundncl of the Kini; m\' ma->ier a new proof oi hi> 
consideration for the United States and that they will ecirre-j^oud 
with a true leciprucity with the sincere friendship of the Kin^; of 
which he has _';i\en so many pr^njfs."' 

"Cod preserve )on man\- )ears 

"'J'lii; M.\iuji;is 01' Casa Vul'jo."^ 

An agreement as to the terms of the ?ale of Lonisiana to the 
UnitC(i States had no sooner heen reached hy the envoys oi the 
two repnhlics steps were talan to t'.raw np the ncces>ary 
papers to that elTect. Prohaldy th.e most inlere.-lim; of all the>e 
documents is the hr.^t draft drawn hy Xapdleun of the treaty man- 
uscript, ne\er pulili^hed in the I'niled Stales nntil a few Ncars 
a£^o, ami ohlained from the archi\es at I'aris. 'Die ffillowiiiL;' is 
the full text of the original draft thus diawn hy Napoleon:^ 

"Paris, ..; I'lnieal, an 1 1 ( Apid .y^d, I-^^V 
"'idle I'irst Consul of the l-'reuch Kepidhc, in lie iian.c ot the 
I'rench people, and the I'le-ident of the United States of Amer- 
ica, desiring to jjievent all possible misundei.slanchng relating' to 
the tojjics mentioned in Articles II and V of the Agreement of 
the 8th X'endeim'aire, year 9 ((3cl(>her 1st, 1802), and wi>hing to 
prouKite as far as possible the close and friendly relalion^ which 
at the time uf tlu' said Agreement were fortunately establisheil 
between the two slates, have named as M misters I'lenipoleniiary 
Citizen Darbe Marbois, Minister of the rublic 'I'reasuiv (the 
American names are oinilled), who, after having exchanged their 
credentials, ha\e agreed on the following arliclcs: 

"Alt. I. The iMcnch Republic yiihls and iiansmits to the 
United Staler, of America all the right which it has acquired over 

•American State I'^ii-crs. 

* Corre'.pODiliiiiri' .!'• Nai)(»l<'on I'miiier. piilili^c i)rir or<trp dc I/loiU'Cf c»ir Nn- 
poKou 111. (Ill Uic I.iliiaiy o( ihe Univcr.sUy o( Wimoiisiu.) 

220 'i'ii^ PRoriiyci: and run states. 

l.ouisiaiia (1u\>ul;1i the treaty made with llis Catluilic Majr;-, . 
tlic Kiiii;' ol Spam, the 8lh \'\ ndeiiiiaiic, year (j of llie I'iahI, 
jvepulilio; aiul in conseiiuence of said cession, JyOuisiana, its ivir;- 
loi'y, and llie dejiendencies apiiei tainin<:^^ tlierolo, shall heconie pa:; 
of llie .Anieiiean Union, and shall constitute in due course one < r 
several States according' to the terms of the Constitution oi il.- 
llmteil States. 

"Alt. II. The United States undertake to favor in a sjjcci d 
way the commerce and navination of I'rencli citizens and of tl:c 
subjects of I lis Catholic iMajesl}-, in the towns, harbors, road.<, 
seas, rivers, etc., cif Louisiana, and to es])i'cially secure to tliei;i 
by a i)ri\'ileL;e not in future to be granted to any other natiun, the 
perpetual right of deposit and naxigaiimi which was Cdiici'dcd Ili 
the Americans by the Treaty uf CAtuhcr J^ib, 1795, betv, c^-n 
Spain and the United Slates. 

"Moreover, it is agreed that in the ports and towns of Louisiana, 
Krencb and vSi)anisii commerce shall enjoy perfect freed*cjm to 
import goods. iM-encb and Spanish vessels and merchandise 
shall never be subjected to any of the customs or dues which may 
be imposed \\\)o\\ the commerce of other nations. They shall, in 
tlie ports of jLouisiana, be lieati'il in all like b'rench- 
American nu'ichandise coming frtim some other American juut. 

"Art. 111. Three othei' places ul CDniniercial dejxisii sh.ill ho 
accorded to ]•" ranee and Spain, on the right bank of the Missis- 
si])pi, toward the mouth of the Ixeil l^iver an'd the mouths 01 the 
Arkansas and Missouii, and two points on the left bank of i!ie 
Illinois Kiver and toward the m^.nih >A i' e ( )),: . I'len '; ;■ . r 
clianls sii.dl enjoy in iImm-, , ,ill il.^ .1 1 v.mi., . i ■> ac>...|.led to 
Americans by the King ui Spain, on the ..7111 of CX'tober, i;i)5. 
It is also agreed that France may appoint in these places, as well 
as at New Orleans, commercial agents, who, according- to .Article 
X of the AgreLinenI of the 8ih Aeiidemiaire. year 9, shall enjoy 
the u'-.ual rights and prerogatives of such officials. 

"Art. 1\'. It is agreed that the obh\gatif)ns assumed by the (lov- 
cniment of the iMeiicb Ivepnblic as respects the debt due to Amei i- 
can citizens, specified in Article V of the Ap^rccment of the 8ih 
Vendomiaire, sh.ill be held to be cancelle<l, and that the obligation 
shall be regarded as transferred by the present treaty, to the (.Gov- 
ernment of the United Stales, which undertakes to satisfy every 
ckniin which has been or may be addressed on that score lo iIk; 
Coveniiii, nt of the iNepubb. - ii lu iiig well understood the 
''''''J'-''"'"'' coiiliiuled low.iid Liencb citizens by the C.overnnunt 
^'^ ^''^' ^'iiiUd .''.lates, by \\\[ur (,f ihr said aiticle, rem.nn 

Till'. CF.SSlO.y TO Tin: UNIT in STATUS. 221 

iinloiiclK(l, as well as (lie rii'hts of iMciuii (.ili.ans to the payniciU 
of clcl>ls (\\\C tl.CIIl. 

"Art. \'. Aside from tlu- salisfaclion of the claims specified in 
llie iirccedin^' ailicle, t!ie ('.ovcrnmeiit of ilie I'liiled vStales aj^rces 
to pav to l-'rance the sum of uiie hundred luillioii francs, in twelve 
CHjual installments, tlic li'rm for each iu' laUment to ho twelve 
months, and the |)a_Nnient of the fn^-t installment to he made a 
month after the present date. 

"Tl;0 i)rejem conviniion shall he ratified in i^ood an<l due form, 
and the ratihcations shall he cxchans^^ed within six months of the 
date of the signatures of the Ministers rieiiiijotentiary, or sooner 
if it is possihle." 

"Archives de Finance." "nv okdkk oi' tiii: iik.ST consul." 

TRKATV I'OK 'I'll I". CI-SSHJX Ol' I.OUISI.ANA I O llli: rNlTI.O SlAli;S; 
''CONCLUIJI:!) Al'KIL 3(1, 1 803 ; KAIll'IC AllONS i:.\(l I A NCI 1) .\'r W.\SH- 

iNGroN oCTOi;i:i< 21, iiSo^; i-Roci. aim ij) uctohkr 21, 1803. 

_[\r^\\ ;ui I Ihr -;ii.l I 'nilcd Slates, 
ami willim;' to stren;;tl:en ihe iiniini and liund hip whuh .1! ihc 
lime of ihe s.aid ccjiu'eiitiwii was liappiK' 1 e-est;ihli-^hed l,n'l\secn 
the two nations, h;i\e respectively naiiu'd their rienipolenliarics, 
low'il : the President of the United Stales, hy and with the advice 
and consent of the Senate of the said Stales, Ivohert 1\. Livinj^- 
ston, Minister rienipoleiitiarv of the United States, and James 
Monroe, Alinister 1 'leiiipoteiitiary and I'.nvo)' ICxtraortlinary of 
the said Stales, near the (lOvermiient of the Prench Kepuhlic; 
and the First Consul, in the name of the I'leiich people, Citi/cn 
iM'ancis ll.arhc Mai hois. Minister of the I'uhlic Tiaasury ; who, 
after having res]iccti\elv t'xchanjved their full piowcrs, have agreed 
to the following articles: 

"Aitich- I, Win reas hy the article tin third of tlie treaty con- 
cluded at St. lid' f.,iro. the (^ih \'aiid« miiii e, .lu •; (i-l < )aoher, 
iH(Ki) hel\>.ten the iMrsl ('on ul of the i'un.h lu'puhlic and His 
Catholic Majesty, i; was a.c;rei-d as follows: 'llis Catholic 



Majesty j)roniiscs and cn.[,^1!;t•s on his part, to cede to the I'lench 
Kcpublic, six iiK Millie after the full and entire execulicjn of the 
condiiimis and stipulations herein relative to His ]\oyal llij;hne^s 
the Duke of I'arnia, the colony or province of Louisiana, with the 
same extent that it now has in the hantls of Spain, and that ii had 
when hVance possessed U, and such as it should be after the 
treaties suhsequenlly entered into between Spain and other 
States.' And whereas, in pursuance of the treaty, and i)articu- 
larJy of tiie third article, the I'rench Reiiublic has an incontestiblo 
title to ihe domain and to the possession 6i the said territory ; 
tlie First Consul of the French Republic desirin^i^ to t,Mve to the 
United States a stronj;' proof of his friendshi[), doth hereby cede 
to the said I'niled States, in the name of the French l\epublic, 
forever and in fidl soverei^ni\ , the said territory, with all its 
jitdits and api)urunances, as full)' and in the same manner as they 
liave been accpiired b}' the l''rench Republic, in virtue of the above- 
mentioned treat), concluded with His Catholic Majesty. 

"Article IJ. In the cession made by tlic preceding article are 
included the adjacent islands beloni^in;^- to Lotiisiana, all ptiblic 
lots and squares, vacant lands, and all [lublic buildings, Fortifica- 
tions, barracks and other edifices which are not private property. 
'J'hc archives, ]);ipers and docimienls, relative to the domain and 
sovereignt)- of j.raiisiana and its de|)cndencios, will be left in the 
j)OSsession of the commissaries of the Unuetl States, and copies 
will be afterwards given in due ioww to the magistrates and mu- 
nicipal oftkers of ^uch of the said papers and docmneiits as may 
be nece.^sar)- tt.. them. 

"Article 111. 'I'hc iidiabit.-nits o{ the cmU.! teriiiory shall \ic 
incorj:»cirated in the Inirm t>f the United States, and admitted as 
soon as possible, according to the princi])les of tlic Federal con- 
stilnlion, to the enjoyment of all the rights, advantages and 
immunities of citizens of the L'nited States; and in the mean 
time they shall be maintained and jirotectcd in the free enjoy- 
ment of iheii' libertv, i)ropertv and the reli!,Mon which they prO' 

"Article 1\'. There shall be sent by the Government of France 
:i Commissary to Lcnii^iana. to the end that he do every act neces- 
sary, as well to recei\e from the officers of His Catholic Majesty 
the said country and its dependencies, in the name of the French 
}\epublic, if It nut been ah(\- dune, a*; t<"> transmit it in the 
name of the I-'reuch Republic to the Commiisary or Agent of the 
United .Stale-. 

"Article \'. Immediately after the ratification of the present 

run ciiSsioN to riih uNirnn stati:s. 223 

treaty I'V tlie President of the United Slates, and in case that of 
the V\\i{ Consul shall have heen idevimisly ohtaincd, llie Com- 
niissary of the h'rench Kepuhlic shall remit all military i)OSts of 
New Orleans, and other parts of the ctdcd territor), to the Com- 
niissary or Commissaries named by the J 'resident to take pos- 
session; the troojis, wluther of h' ranee or Spain, who may be 
there, shall cease to occnjjy any military ]wst from the time of 
taking possession, and shall he embarked as soon as possible, in 
the course of three months, after the ratifiealion of this treat)'. 

"Article \'I. The United States promise to execute such 
treaties and articles as may have been aj:,Meed between Spain and 
(he tribes and nations of Indians, until, by mutual e(jnsent of ilie 
LInited States and the said tribes or nations, (jlhcr suitabk- articles 
shall have been aL^reed upon. 

"Article \'II. As it is reciprocally adwiniagecnis to the com- 
merce of I^rancc and the I'nited v^tates to encourap;c the con)- 
miuiication of b(")th nations for a hmitnl timi' in the coinitry ceded 
by the jiresent treaty, until general ariangements relative to the 
commerce of both nations may be agreed on ; it has heen agreed 
between the contracting parties that the J'rench ships coming 
directly from France or an\- of her colonies, loaded onl)' with the 
produce and manufactures of I'rance or her said colonies; and 
liie shij)s of Sjiain conn'ng direcll\ from Si:)ain or any of her 
colonies, loaded only wiih tiie produee or manufactures of Sjiain 
or her colonies, shall be admitted during the space- of twelve 
years in the port of Xew C)iiean.-^, and in ;dl f>ther legal ports of 
entr\' within the ceded ierrltor\-, in ih, ->.ime miir.iur a- th'' ships 
of the United St.Ues d'niin;' diueils \\ •■w I'r.MK. <u : ; i.n. it 
any of their colonies, without being suIm'aI toanv"iheroi >Me;iter 
duly on merchandise, or other or greater toimage than that i>ai<l 
by the citizens of the IJnited States. 

During the s[)ace of lime above mentioned, no other nation shall 
have a right to the same iirivilegi.'^ in the ports of the ceded terri- 
tory ; the twelve years shall comnu'uce three months after it shall 
have been notilk-d at I'aris to the French Government, if it shall 
take jilace in the Umted .Stales; it is, however, well understood 
that the object of the above article is to favor the manufactures, 
commerce, freight and navigation of l^ance and of Spain, so far 
as relates to the imf)ortations that the I'lench and Spanish bhall 
make intri ilu- said porl^ of the Uniltd Sta!cs, v.ilhout in any sort 
.iflecling the legidaiions that the United Slates may m.iki- con- 
cerning the expiirtation of the pioduee and merehandi-e o\ the 


Till: I'Ronxci: .iXD the states. 

United Stales, or any right they may have to make such rei^ula- 

"Article \'lll. In future ami forever after tiic expiration of 
the twelve years, the ships of iMance shall he treated upon tht? 
footin<i^ of the most favoured naticjus in the ports above mentioned. 

"Article IX. The particular convention si^nied this day by the 
respective ministers, having- for its object to provide for the pay- 
ment of debts due to the citizens of the United States by the 
I'Vench Republic prior to the 30th Septr. 1800, (8th Vendemiaire, 
an 9) is approved, and to have its execution in the same maimer 
as if it had ])een inserted ui this present treaty; and it shall be 
ratified in the same form and in the same time, so that the one 
shall not be ratified distinct from the other. 

Another i)articular convention signed at the same date as the 
present treaty relative to a definitive rule between the contracting 
parties is in the like manner approved, and will be ratified in the 
same form, and in the same time, and jointl)-. 

"Article X. 'I'he present treaty shall be ratified in j:;ood and 
due f(jrm ami the ratifications shall Ije exchanged in tlie space of 
six months after the date of the signature of the Ministers Pleni- 
potentiary, (jr sooner if pos>i])le. 

"Jn faith whereof, the re>])ective Pleni])otentiaries have signed 
these articles in the b'rench and b'.nglisli languages; declaring 
nevertheless that the present treaty was originally agreed to in 
the iMeiich language; and have hereunto allixed their seals. 

"Done at Paris, the tuilli day of b'loreal, in the eleventh year 
of the ImcucIi Uepublic, and the 3t)th of ,\pril, 1803. 

"(^lAi.) "Roi;t. R. Livingston. 

(-S1:.\l) . "J AS. MONUOE. 

(sli.M-)" "B.\Rui£ IMarbois.'' 

C0N\ i:Nrio.\' lou i'.\^'Mi;Nr oi' .sixiv million ol fk.ancs hy thk 
UNiria; ST.\'n;s; (.()\ci.i:i)i:i) .m-uil 30, 1803; K.\riFic.\TioNS 


ocroi;i;k 21, 1803. 

"The President of the United States of America and the First 
Consul of the French Republic, in the name of the French jjcople, 
in consefiiKuce of the treaty of cession of Louisiana, which has 
been sigui-d this day, wi>hing to regulate definitively everything 
which has ulalion to the said cession, have authorized to ibis 
effect llie Plenipotentiaries, that is to say: The President of the 

run ci-ssio.x to the uxitiuj st.itfs. 225 

Unilod Stales iia^, li\' ami witli the ac.lvioc and cnnsoiU of the 
Senate of the said Slates, nominated iov their I'Unipotentiarios, 
Kohcrt K. LivinL;slon, Minister i'lcnipotentiary of the United 
States, and janics Ahiniue, Minister rienii)ot(.nliary and J\nvoy 
liixtraordinary of the said United Stales, near the Ciovcrnmenl of 
Ihc I'Vench Ivepuljhe ; and tlie First Consul vi the FrLueh Kepuhlic, 
in tiic name of the ]''i\nch peojjle, has nametl as l^lenipoUiitiary of 
the said Kepuhlic, the citizen I'Vancis llarhe Marhqis; who, in 
virtue of t^heir full j)0\vei"s, which have heen exchang'ed this day, 
have aj^reed to the followint^ articles: 

"Article 1. 'J'lie Ciuveiimient of the Lhiitetl States engages to 
pay to the hVench CiO\eninunt in the manner sijccified in the fol- 
lowing article, the sum of sixty millions of francs, indei)endent 
of tiic sum which shall he fixed hy another convention for the 
payment of the dehls due hy France to citizens of ihe United 

"Article 11. h'or the jiayment of the sum of sixt)- millions of 
francs, mentioned in the preceding article, the United States shall 
create a slock of ele\eu millions two hundred and fifty thousand 
dollars, licaring an interest of six per cent, per annum, j)a>ahle 
half yearly in London, Amsterdam, or l\iris, amouming hy the 
half year, to three hundred and thirl)\en thousand lAe hun- 
dred dollars, according to the proijorlions which shall he deter- 
mined hy the French Cio\enmient to he paid at either place; the 
princi]\-il of the saiil stock to he re-imhursed at the Tivasury of 
the United vStates, in annual j)a)nients of not less than three mil- 
lions of iloUars each, of which ihe f)r>t iiaymeiit shall commence 
fiftt'cn yiars after the date of the e.\chan;;v- of r.a.ii. aliou^ : this 
stock shall he transferred to ilie Uo\ernnKiu of h"rance, or to such 
person or persons as shall he authorized to receive it, in three 
months at most after the exchange of the ratifications of this 
treaty, and after Fcjuisiana shall he taken possession of in the 
name of the (Government of the United States. 

"It is further agreed, that if the iMench Government should 
be desirous of disposing of the said stock to receive the in 
Hurope, at shorter terms, that its measures for that purpose shall 
be taken so as to favtir, in the greatest degree possihle, the credit 
of the United States, and to raise to the highest price the said 

"Article III. It is agreed that the dollars of the United Stales, 
Sj)ccified in ihe pre^ent convention, shall he fixed at five francs, 
iT^i ^'" ^'^'^" I'vres tight soiix tournois. 


''The present convention shall be ratified in good and due form, 
and the ratification shall he cxchan[;cd in the space of six monllr. 
to date from this day, or sooner if possible. 

"Jw faiih of which, the rcsj^ective Plenii)otentiaries have si.e^ned 
the aljove articles, both in the French and Hnglish languagCb, 
declaring, nevertheless, that the present treaty has been originally 
agreed on and written in the French language; to which ihcy have 
hereunto afllxed their seals. 

"Done at Paris the tenth of l-'loreal, eleventh year of the French 
Republic, (30th April, 1803.) 

"(si:.\l) "Rout. R. Livixgston. 

(si'Ai.) "J.AS. MoNur)!-:. 

(SK.M.)" "]3aK1!1: M.MUiOlS." 

coNsriTUTJOx.u.iry or the ciissio\'. 227 


The Coiistltulionality of tlic Cession 

THE unexi)octtcl acquisition of I.ouisiana occasioiicil uiibouiKlccl 
satisfaction in every section of the United Stales, cxccpl 
certain portions of New l-jigland, which liad iic\er looked 
with favor upon the Western countr)'. Many there had rigitUy 
maintained that the ori[^inal linn'tN of tiie thirteen colonies should 
not be enlarged, and that expansion westward nuanl future dis- 
satisfaction, di.sunion and war. In }jroi,>f of this opinion, the 
])revious procet-dinj^s of the wcbtern iKc>ple, eiilier to se[)arate 
themselves from the Atlantic stales, or to secure the uninter- 
rupted right to navigate the Mississippi, were cited wTih triumph - 
anl formalit)- lo clinch ihe ari^umenl. Others declaied that the 
AlU-idianies were llie naluial l.iiiirr luiween I'e l{a-l atid the 
\\'e>l, and thai tin.' i;ei).;r.ijilii'\d 'IIU.iU'MI wf ll,( v\'e>lel,i v'lUntlN 
rendered the conelusiini furi._L;iine so \a^t an extent ui lerri 
lory, with so many tlilVerenl iniere>ts, couKl not be maintained 
under one sovereignty. lUit a large majority of the people, both 
luist an J ^\'e^t, fully realized and proclaimed the value of (he 
acquisition. The adnn'nistration of iMr. Jefferson was at once 
Confronted with the seiious problem of ce»m[jl)ing with the terms 
of the cession, which embraced the future formation of states 
from the ccdeil territory and their fuial atlnn'ssion into ihe Union. 
Immediately, the que-tion of the coUblitutionalily of the ste])s 
necessary lo be tal.en absorbed ihe alteiuion of tlu' j)ie>ident and 
Congress. It becanu' at once ajiparuU that the wide diverbity of 
opinion on that im])orlant subject might not f'uly m;d<e it neces- 
rary to amend Ibr conslluiiit,n (o meet the new conditions, but 
might even fncvcnt the- ratiricati<'n r,f the treaty of ce-si..n. ']Mn"s 
dilTerence of opinion wrts mo^t pronc-vmced in the two houses of 

228 TiiJ'' riWl'lNCE .'1\'D Till': Sr.iTFS. 

congress; ami llio oiUcoinc was rci:;-arilcd willi earnest coiicciii by 
all wl.o favtiixd the ac(iuisilioii of ilic province ui)on almost any 
terms lliat e»nil<i lie constnad as cun.-tiuiliona!, even thoiiL;li liic 
iidciplion of an ainrndmenl to iliat insiruiiicnl should beccjmc 
iicccssar)-. llowexcr, as lime passed, llii.s dillcreiicc in \ iL\vs 
was shown U) he more ihe result of ])artisanship than a belief that 
the treaty should \]o[ be ratiticd, or that the constitution j)roIiibited 
the admission of new slates inti:) the Union. While, therefore, 
the debates of congress reveal pronounced views expressed in 
vigorous language, the charges, counter-charges and arguments 
also show ihat ihe opj.osiiion was directed more to the mctlunl c»f 
precedure than to an attack ui)on the quesliiiU itsc-lf. 

As early as jamiar\-, ^'■'o3, rrrsidrnt bfYerson wrote to Mr. 
Gallatin,'' "^'ou arc right in m\' opinic)n as to Mr. L.'s jni/piisi- 
lion ; iherr is no C'on^tiiuiional difiiculi)' as to the ac(]uisiiiiin of 
tcrrilor\', and whether, wIku aci|uired, it may be taken into the 
Union b)' the C\)nslilulion as it now stands, will become a <|uis- 
tion of expedienc}'. 1 think' it will be safer not to jjcrmit the 
enlargcmenl of the Union but by amendment of the Constitution." 
These remarks \\cre made in regard to the admission into ihc 
Union of the Floridas or (jllK-r Urrilory which the government 
llien desired to sicure. 

In a communication ilaletl August 25, 1S03, President Jelierson 
wrote to the SLcritar\' cjf stale as follows: "I supi-iose M(inroc 
will touch on the limits of Louisiana onl\- inciifenlally, inasmuch 
as its extensicin to PcMlido cuitails Florida and nnders it oi less 
worth. 1 lia\i' liM'l m\ -\ a\c nivmcius [<■ 'urstij- ^<,• \,\ thr b' ']> 
of my bo\>1.5 liiie ilu- si.kjicl uf the linm > ..if ],oll.^l.^na. 1 am 
satisfied our right to the iVrdido is substantial and can be O[)|)oscd 
by a cpiibble on form only; and our right westwai-dly to the bay 
of St. r.ernard may be strongly maintained. . . . Further 
reflection on th.e amendment to the Consiitution necessary in the 
case c>f Louisiana saiisfies me it will be belter to give general 
powers with specitled cxcei)tions somewhat in the way slated 
below;" and on September 7, 1803, he wrote to W. C. Nicholas 
that he was "aware of the force of the observation you make on 
the power given by the Consiitution to Congress, to admit new 
States into the Um'on, w ithoul restraining the subject to the terri- 
tory then constitniim,' the U'm'ted States. Lul when I consider 
that the limits of the I'liiiid Slates are precisely fixed by the 
treaty of i;';"^^, thai the C wMslituiicn exj'res^ly declares itself to be 

Wrilinus (>( Tlioiiia.s Jcfleison . I'ord. 



made for tlie United Sl.itcs, I cannol \w\\\ hclieviuf; the iiitfiilion 
was to pt-nuit Coiifjrcss to ailniit into the Lhuon new States, \vhicli 
slionld lie farmed o\\\ vi the territory for which and iwuler whose 
authi.irity akme, they were then acting. I do not heheve it was 
meant that the)' nn\t;hl reciive ]''.nj;land, Ireland, lloUand, <S:c., 
into it. . . . Onr pecidiar seenrity is in j)ossebsion of a 
written constitntion. Let ns not make it l)lank pajuT hy con- 
struction. 1 say tlie i-anic as to the opinion of ihc;se who con- 
sider iK' j^rant of the treaty makin.L^ [)0\\er Ijonndless. ]f it is 
then we liaxe no C'onstitntiun. . . , Nothinj^f is more hkcly 
than that tlicir (llie governmental functions named in the Consti- 
tution) emnneration t)f powers is defecti\e. 'kliis is the orih'nary 
case of all human \\oik>. ]<el us t;() on then perfecting it hy 
adding hy wav of amendment to the ConslittUiou, ilio>e powers 
which time and trial show are still wanting. ... 1 coiitess 
I think it projK'r in the i)resent case to set an example against 
broad consti'uclion, h}- apfiealing for new power to the i)eoplc. If 
however our friends shall ihinlc dilTerenily, certainly I shall 
acquiesce with satisfaction."'^ 

On the 16th of July, i'^03. President Jefferson issued a procla- 
mation for the convocation of congress on October 17, called 
together earlier than the regidar opening, for the special ()urpose 
of considering, among other things, the cession of Louisiana by 
France to the United States. In his message to that liod)- on the 
latter dale, he re\ie\ved the Louisiana question, describing the 
interdiction of the deposits, its effects ui)on the Uniteil Slates, the 
action taken by the admiiiisli atii mi for rrlief. ih< > • '!|vi',|M' iii revo- 
cation (^f the iiUerdicii> n, the steps that Imah i.iben 10 secure 
and peri)etuate .American rights on the Mi^-^i^^ippi, ami the trans- 
fer of the whole of Louisiana to the United v^tat(."S. lie said. 
"With the wisdom of Congress it will rest to talce those ulterior 
measures which may be necessary for the immediate occiqxition 
and temporary go\ernment of the country; for its incorpoiation 
into our Union; for rendering the change of g''o\ernment a bless- 
ing to our newly adopted brethren; for securing to them the 
rights of conscience and of properly; for confirming to the Indian 
inhabitants their occujiancv and self-government, establishing 
friendly and commercial relations with them ; and for ascertain- 
ing tb.e geogra|)Iiy of the country ac(|uircil." He further said, 
"rro[)ositions bad therefore been authorized (b\- ('ongress") for 
C)btaining, on fair conditions, the sovereignlv of New CVlcans and 

Wiiti»>;s o( 'riioiins JcKfi^yii; J'ord. 

230 TlJIi I'KOriNCII .-LXl) Till: STATES. 

of olluT j)o.->sossi(ins in that ([uaitcr inlcrcsting to our quid, to 
such extent as was (lemicd i)racticalilr ; and the provisional appro- 
priation of two niillitius of dollars, to be applied and accounted 
for 1))' the President of the United States, intended as pari of the 
price, was considered as conveying the sanction of Cons:;ress to the 
ac(iuisi-lion proposed." He continued, "The sum of fifty thousand 
dollars, approjjriated by Congress for providing gunboats remains 
unexpended. Tiie favorable and peaceable turn of affairs on the 
Mississippi lendered an ininiediate executi()n of that law unneces- 
sary, 'fhe same is^ue of events dis])ensed with a resort to the 
appropriation of a million and a half of dollars, contemplated for 
purposes which were elfectcd by happier means."! 

In another message' four cla)s iaUr Mr. Jefferson said, "In my 
communication to )'<)U of the 17th in~.tant, 1 informed you that 
coiu'cntions had been entered into wiih thi.- government of l'"rance 
for the cession of Lousiana to the I 'niied .Slates. 'J'hese, w ith the 
advice and consent of the Senate, ha\'ing now been ratified, and 
my ratification exch;>iu:ed for that of the iMrst Consul of hVancc 
in clui.' form, the)' ai'e communieatevl to )'ou for consideralic>n in 
your legisl.itive capaeii\. \o\\ will ol)ser\-e that some important 
conditions c.mnot be cairieil into exeeulion but with ihc aid of the 
legislature, and that time presses a decision on them wiihout delay. 
The ulterior jMOvisions al>o, suggested in the same comimmica- 
tion, for the occujritiou and sMwermnent of ihc Cj>untr\-, will call 
for early attention. Such information relative to its ginernment 
as time and di^lanee ba\e penniiled me to obtain, will be ready 
to lu- laid bell ii e V 'U ni a lr\', d,i\ s. I'.ul .. - pn ii' ii > ;il .'o 1 .iM,'f- 
nienls for ibis (ibjret m,i\ iei|nire time and delibt 1 .il.wii, ii i> for 
your consideration wbeiber you will not ft)nliwitli make such 
tempcjiar)- jirovisions for the preset \ation, in the meanwhile, of 
order and tiaiKiuillity in the countr)' as the case ina\- reipiire."* 

Roth branches of C(^ngress immedialelN- proceeded to act upon 
the adx'ice and recommendations of the jnesident. liill^ were 
introdncetl anlhorizing the execuli\e to take jxjssession of l.ouisi- 
ana and to provide for the tempoiarv government thereof; for 
ihe creatic>n of stock certificates to the amoimt of eleven million 
two luuidred and fifty thousand dollars to be emploved in the pay- 
ment \ov that province, specifyim; bow ])a\nunts should be made; 
and for pro\iding means to pay the claims of American citizens 
against j'* e, wbirb bid been assumed bv the Tnited Slates as 
one of the (■■.uilitions i.f cession." In the senate, on Friday, 

t Mcss:iti". unci Pajirrs i>l llu I'lcsi'lciitt. 
• Aniinl!4 u( CiiiiLTf.s-'. 



October 21, Mr. r)rockcnrii.lj;c f^ave notice that, on tomorrow, lie 
sliouUl ask leave to l)rin<^ in a hill to enable the jjresident to lake 
possession of l.ouisiaTia and for other purposes, and the ncNl day 
acoordinj;])' introduced such a bill, which was read. It became 
the basis of the act subsiquenlly passed, the house making- a few 
light amendments thereto. On October 2.\, the bill "was read a 
second time and referred to M(.>sis. lireckenridge, Dayton anil 
J'aldwin to consider and report ihereon." On the 25th the bill 
was repbrled without amendments by this committee, and was 
ordered to pass to a thiid reading'. The next day, the 26th of 
October, it was rrad the ihird time; and upon the question being 
put, Shall this bill jiass? it wa^ determined in the aftn nialiw — 
yeas 26, nays 6. The .-ix senators who vf)led in the negaiive were 
John Oiiincy Adams, James llillhouse, Simeon ()lc()U, Timothy 
I'ickering, W^illiam riumer and Uriah Tracy, all of New Hamp- 
shire, Massachusetts and Connecticut. On the 2tjih, the bill was 
returned by the house with amendments, to which the senate disa- 
greed, but later the same day receded from their disag-rcement and 
accepted the amendments. Senate amendments to the house 
amendments were rejected. Thus within the space of eight days 
the bill was introduced and reatl in the senate three times on three 
different da\s; was considereil, amendeil and passe'd b)' the hou^e ; 
was considered again by the senate with the house amenelnunts 
and saved from change in the senate' ; and was then 
passed by a lu'uulsome majcirily. An anal) bis tif the negative 
vote anel of the spce'clu s kite'r m;idi' b\' the abo\e nameil .se'uators, 
reveals the fact that their eiiipositiMii was nuiinly i'lluen. ed by llu' 
remoteness of Louisiana, by theii disinclinatiin t'> any el;.ingf 111 
the cunslUutional comiiact of tiie thiiteeu slates, anel by their 
belief that the methods proposeel required the delegation of specihc 
constitutional anel exclusive rights of the senate or the house, to 
the presidctit. The debate in the senate on the Lexiisiana treaty 
came up in consielering the bill jnovieling for the issuance of stock 
lo pay for the province. 

liy this act Louisiana was to be paid for in certil'icales ol slock 
amounting to eleven million two hundred and lift;.' thousanel el<>l- 
lars, bearing six pe-r cent inteie-st, to be paiel in installments from a 
sinking fund created for that purpose. The ceriiticatcs were to 
be delivereel to a representative f)f b'rance within ihree months 
after the raliluailtin e-f the treat}' and afle-r Louisiana had been 
fc-rmally eieli\(i<d tu the I'niied Slates. C)n llie same date an 
act was a[)pre)Ved to apjjiopt iale three milliein seven iunulreel and 
fift)- thousanel dollars, ihus making a total of fii'ieeii million dol- 

232 ^^{li'■ Pi^or/xcn and the states. 

lars provided for, lo be used in pasiuf^' ihe American claims slip- 
vilatcd in llie cession treaty. V>o{\\ of tlicse acts were approvetl 
Novemlier lo, i<^03. In proviilint^- for the payment of these 
amounts, and in iia)ing- the s;uiie, tiie United Slates was prompt 
and punctiUous, because it was desired that no cause whatever on 
that score shouUl he given to Iwance to evade or renounce tlie 

During the debate in the senate Mr. White, of Delaware, said,* 
"k is now a well known fact that Spain considers herself injured 
by this treaty, and if it should he in her power to prevent it, will 
not agree to the ce^^ion of New Orleans and Louisiana to the 
United States. She c(.Misiders herself absolved from her cc)ntract 
with France, in conseipience of the laller having neglected to 
comi)ly v.ilh C(.iiain siipulaiiuns in ihe treaty of San lldefonso, to 
be jicrformed on her part, and of ha\ing violated her eng. ii^emenl 
never to transfer this counti)- into other hands. ... I have 
no liesitatiiMi in sa)-ing that if, in acquiring this territory under 
the treaty, we liave to lire a siui^le luusket, to charge a bayonet, or 
to lose a drop of hloo(l, it will not be such a cession on tiie part of 
France as should justify to the people of this country the payment 
of any, and much less so enorniDUS a sum of mone\'. What 
would the case be, sir? It wovdd be bu\ing of iMance aiuhority 
to make war upon Spain; it would be i^iving the I'irsl Consul 
fifteen millions of dollars to stand aloof uniil \ye can settle our 
differences wiih Ilih Catholic Majesty. ... I wish n(;l to 
1>c undcr.slCKHl as predicting that the iMcnch will not cede to us 
tlic actual and (|uiel po>vc--ion of the tu;;'..ts. I hope lo (",.)d 
they may, for po^sessi^n of it we nuiM l,,i\e — 1 mem of .\ew 
Orleans and of such oiher posiiions on the Mississippi as may be 
necessary to secure I') us fore\-er the comijletc and iminier- 
rupted navigation of that river. This 1 have ever been in favor 
of; I think it essential to the peace of the United States and to 
the i>rosi)erity of our western country. JUit as to Ix)uisiana, this 
new, immense, tmbounded world, if il should ever be incorporated 
into thi.-, lhiii>n, which 1 have no idea can be done but by altering 
the constiluli(»n, I believe it will be the greatest curse that could 
at present bef.dl us; it may be productive of iiuuuuerable evils. 
\\'e iiave alieady territory enough, and when I conlem- 
l)late the evils that mav ari.^e to these stales from this intended 
incorporation of I.oui^ into iln' Union, I would lalher ^ce it 
^;i\-en to li.mcc-. lo Spain, or lo .luy olher nation on the earth, 

* Aiiii.'ils uf C<jIi,;k'^s. 



upon tlu- mere coiuliiion tlinl no cili/cii of tlio United Slates 
should ever settle wi'liin its limits, tlinn to sec the territory sold 
for an lunidred niil!ii>ns of dollars and \vc retain the sovereignty. 
]lul however daugeroi's the possession of I.ouisiana nii<j;ht pro\'C 
to us, 1 do not i)resnnie to say that the retention of it wonKl not 
have 1)cen ver\' convenient to ]"'rance, and we know that at the 
time of the mission f>f Mr. Monroe, our atfministration had never 
tliouc;ht of the i)iu"ch.ase of Louisiana, and that nothing" short of 
the fullest conviction on the part of the ]"irsL Consul that he was 
on the very eve of a war with I'jigland ; that this heing the most 
defenceless point of his possessions, if such they could he called, 
was the one at which the British would first strike, and that it 
must inevital)!)' fall into their hruids, cotdd (.\er have induced his 
pri(ie and amhilion in make the sale. He judged wisely that he 
liad hetler sell it for as luuch as he could gel than lose it enlirt'ly. 
And I do sav that under existing circumslances. even sui)j)osing 
that this extent of territory was a desirahlc acciuisition, fifteen* 
nn'llions of dollars was a most enonuous sum to give." 

Mr. W'ells of Delaware said, "The hill on yoiu- tahle gives to the 
president this power (of paying for Louisiana). 1 am for our 
retaining and exercising it ourselves. I may he asked, wh)' not 
delegate this jiower to the Lresident? Sir, I answer hy incjuiring 
why we should delegate it? To us it pruiieii}' helongs ; and 
unless some advantage will he cleri\eil to the United Stales, it 
shall not he liansfrrred with m)' consent. Congress will he in 
session at the lime that the deli\'ery oi the- ceded lerrilor\- t;ti:rs 
place; and if we shnidd then he sati-l'ied l!;:il the i'riiuh h.i\e 
executed with luitlii)- that i):irl of tk.e I real v whuli i- m.umh iil 
wpon them fu>t to ])erform, J ])ledge niNSelf to vote for ihe pay 
mcnt oi the purchase money. ... 1 am slrongl)' im])re.-sed 
with an opinion ihal even if possession is rendered to us, the ter- 
ritory will come into our hands without any title to justify our 
holding it. Is there not on the face of this instiumeiU itself some 
mark of susj-ieion? You fmd in the treaty not a single word 
relating to any suhslantial consideration to he paid l)\' the Ihu'ied 
States. . . . It is true you {)i'rceive in the niiUh arlicle of 
the treaty a general reference to two convent mns, signed at the 
same lime with the treaty, with respect to the p;i\ineiU of nKmey 
by the United Slates to l""rance, and which we rei;ard as the cnly 
ce-)nsi(lcralii;i for ihe lerritore ceded to u<. . . . The con- 
vention here referreil to is saiil {o he 'relati\e to a definitive rule 
lictueui the contracting parlies.' Why tlu-e dark, chscure and 
iniinlelliijihle expressions? Is a consideration a 'defmiiive inle?' 

234 T^l^' PROF INCH /1\'D run STATES. 

'J'lic fust ariiclo speaks of tlic cession as Iiciiij,' made 'from a desiic 
to give lo ihc United Stales a slronj; proof of the friendshiij of 
the l-'irst Consul, and when you turn to the convention, which is 
said lo estal;hsh the 'definiiixe rule' you iiud a provision hindini^ 
llic United Slates to the payment of money to the French Rejjuh- 
lic, but not a word is said about its beiuL;- the consideration of ihe 
cession. Suspicion han<;s over the whole of this business." 

In repl)' to the remarks of Senat^lI■^ White and Wells, Mr. 
Ja^ckson, of Ceor^i-i, said, "lUu the honorable gentleman (Mr. 
Wells) has said that the I'rcnch have no title, and baviiifj no title 
herself, we can deri\e none Irc-m her. I"^ not, T ask, the Kinj;^ of 
Spain's ])r(/clamation, declaring;' the cession of I^ouisiana to 
Franco, and his orders to bis ti^overnor and onkers to deliver it 
to l-'rance a title? Do nations _Qive any either? I belie\e the 
honorable j'cntleman cm hnd no solitary' instance of feoffment 
or convo)'ance between states. The treat)' of San Ildefonso was 
the p;"round\vork of the cession, and whatever mifjbt have ])cf'n 
the terms to be performed b\' l^ance, the K'inf;^ of Spain's jirocla- 
ination and orders ha\'e declared to all the world that they were 
complied with. The honorable c^cntlemau, however, insists that 
there is no consideration cxijresscd in ilu- treat)', and therefore ii 
must be void; if he will but look altenti\'t 1)- at the ninth aiiicle, 
I am j)ersuaded he will perceive one: the conventions arc made 
part ol the treaty; the)' are declared lo ha\e execution in tlie .sanie 
manner as if they had beei\ in.-erted in the treat)'; they are to be 
ratified in the same form and in ihe same lime, so that the one 
shall not be ilistinct from ilu- oilu-r. \\\v.\' iuferenct c.:n p- • ibl\' 
he drawn, but that ihc pa)nienis to be m.i I-.' bv ibem were full 
consideration for Loiiisiana. ... I <lo not believe that 
Spain will venture war with the United Stales. I believe she 
dare not: if she does she will i)ay the cost. The Floridas will he 
immediately ours; they will almost take themselves. The inbal>- 
itaiits pant lor the blessings of )our (([ual and wise government ; 
they ardently lf>n!.^- to become a part oi the United States." 

Mr. Pickering', of Massachusetts, said, "I never doubted the 
ri^dit of the Unitetl States to ac(|uire new territory, either by pur- 
chase or by Conf|uest, and to i^cuern the territory so acquired as a 
dependent i)rovince; and in this way mi.q;hl Louisiana have become 
a territory of the United Slate-, and b;ive iici'ived a form of yov- 
criumnt infiniiely preferable lo that to which its inliabilanis arc 
now subject. . . . \\\ \\\c treaty of S.ui lldefoiiso I-rance 
acquired a iiidit to demand an actual cession of the territorv, i-ro- 
vided she fnliillcd all llie coudiiicins on which v'>i)ain promised to 

coxsTirnrioNALiTV oi- iiir. cr.ssio.v. 


cc'do. lUit wc lau)\v Spain (K'tl.iros llial those conditions have 
not hocn fully iicrfoiiiR'cl ; ami 1)\' hrr ifmouslranccs warns the 
United Slates nui to touch ],(>uisiaua. Ntnv \\v, stan(hn<;' (as 
some peiitlenuMi have exi)rcssed tlicnisclves) in the slioes of 
j'lanco, can ha\e onl\' tlic same rij^ht ri'lative to llie snhjc-ct in 
question. W'e can asl; of Si)ain an actual cession or a coufirnia- 
tion of the claim \vc liave purchased of the jMcuch ]\e])uhlic, pro- 
vided \vc will and can fulfdl tlie conditions of the treaty of San 
Ildefonso; and what are these cfjudilions? W'e cannot tell. I 
helieve our executive knew not what the)' were; and I believe too 
that even oin- envoys who nc<;-otiated the treaty foi' Louisiana 
were alilvc uninformed. J hclu-\e that the)' nexcr saw (for they 
had not intimalcd thai they had iver st'cu) any oiher part of the 
treaty of vSan Ildefonso than vJiat ih icciied in the first article 
of our treat)' with ]'r;iiice; and this ikfecl has not heen sui)i)lied 
hy any gnaraut\' of the terriliir\' on the jiarl C)f I'rance. vShe 
had not stipulated, nor is under any ohlit^alion, to jjrocure tiio 
assent of Spain, as a confirniatidu of the cessifjn to the Ihiited 
States. vSuch is the natuie of (tur title to Louisiana. 
Another honoiahle gentleman has entertained us with an account 
of the aninialin;.;- address of the l''rench Trefecl to the iuhahilants 
of Louisiana, the largest portion of whom are h'rench ; and of the 
cordiality with which they recti\'ed and echoed in their answer the 
sentiments (jf the Prrfeci. Hut what were the leelinc:s and con- 
duct of the S|iauish cd'hcers on seeiui;' these iMcnch prc>cee<linc;s ? 
I have heard from an honorahle ;u"nileman in ni\' e\e (Mr. IXay- 
tiMi of New Icr>ey), thai iht \- ^tul for the j'i'uiri- and foihadv' 
rdl fui till, r pri 'inulv.atioii of the a^ lili. s and ;in w i-r on \'.\\n ol hi-% 
being' sent to the duuL;eoii or to iln' nnucs for liie. Thu^ tenacious 
was S[)ain in lu r rii;ht to l^ouisiana, and thus se\'eie in her j^rohi- 
bitioii of whales er miu:lit disparai;e her title. . . . It is like- 
wise supposed ihat the Si)anish oiTicers in TvOuisiana will not dare 
to refuse obedience to that order (to deliver the province to 
]M"ance) ; and one j.;Milleman has expressed his opinion, in case 
such refusal should hapjien, the Americ.'ui troops whom the 
President should send thither would be justified in compelling- 
them to obe)-. Hut what if a subseciiunt ro)al order had been 
issued refiuiiing those oflicers not to deli\er up Louisiana to 
]'Vance, or to the United States? W'e have some reason to think 
that such is thf f.ict ; and resistance I pie^ume was apprihcndcd. 
Why el-e all this parade of war? Why had tlir rieHiUiit been 
authorized to (.iiipk.y the army and navy of the riiitrd Stales and 
(o call forth any portion of eijdily thousand miliiia? ... I 

236 THE PROVlNCi: AS I) Till'. STATES. 

believe that lliis \\1k)1c traiusaclioii has i)ui[)Osely been \vrap[)etl in 
obscurity by the I'lcnch f;ovcinnK'iil. The boundary of Louisi- 
ana, for instance, on tlie side of I'lorida was, in the treaty, really 
uninteUi'^'-ilile, and yet nolhini^' is ea^iei to define. The bVench 
government, however, would find no diUkulty in the construction. 
An honorable gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Dayton) has 
informed us thai the- Jwench l''refect at Xew Orleans told him 
that as soon as General \'ictor should arrive with the iM'ench 
troo])5 he should extent! Louisiana far into West Florida." 

Mr. Dayton in his si)eech remarked, "W'hen I said tliat there 
existed an essential ditlerence between the l''rencii and vSi)anish 
officers at New Orleans as to the real boundaries of the ])rovince 
of Louisiana, I did imI mean l(j insinuate that this disagreement 
extended so far as an i^jppiwiiion lo the b'lench taking ])()ssessi<in. 
It was a (jui'slion of limits only, \ai\ing however so much in 
extent as would have ])i"oduced a serious altercation between those 
two countries although closely allied. The Spanish governor had 
taken it upon himself to proclaim that the province lately ceded 
aiul about to be gi\-en over lo I'rance would Ijc confined on the 
east of the Mississippi to the river Iberville and the lakes Maure- 
pas and I'ontchai train or in (;ther \\ord.s lo the island of Xew 
Orleans; but the b'rench 1 'refect on the contrary declared that he 
neilhei" had nor would giw his assent to the establishment of those 
limits, which would be regarded no longer than until the arrival 
of their troops." ''■• 

Mr. 'i'aylor, of \'irginia, su.-tained tlie bill ami discussed two 
features of the (iiK^siicii : i-l, the icn^i ii mi. -n dii v of •■'• l^iilr-l 
v^lales to aeqniie lernti.i\ . .iiul .'tl ihc tieal;. s!ii)ukil ' n of the 
admission of a new slate inio the I'nioii. He said, "J'efore the 
confederation, each Stale in the L'nion possessed a right, as 
attached to sovereignty, of acquiring territory, by war, purchase, 
or treaty. This right must be either still jjossessed, or forbidden 
both to each Stale ami to the r.eneral Government, or transferred 
to the General Governmeiil. It is not possessed by the vStates 
separately, because war and compacts with foreigii pinvers and 
with each other are prohil)ited to a sei)arate Slate; and no other 
means of accjuiring territory exist. I'.y depriving every Stale of 
the means of exercising ihe right of accpiiring territory, the con- 
stitution lias deprived each separate State of the right itself. 
Neither the means nrn- the right of ac(piiring teiriloiv are for- 
bidden to ihe I'm'ted Stales; on the coutnuv, in the fouilh .iilicle 

• Annuls of Conj.'fess. 

CONSTITU riONALlTY Oh' Tlili CliSSlOX'. 2T,y 

of the conslitulion, congress is emijowered 'to clisjwse of aiul reg- 
ulate the territory h^lDiii^inp^ to the United v^tatcs.' This rcc- 
o<,nii/^cs the ri^ht of ihc United vSlalcs to hold terriloiy. Tlie 
nicans-of ac(|uirini^ territory consist of war and c(jnii)acl ; hoih 
are expressly surrendered to Congress anil forhidden to the sev- 
eral .Stales; and no right in a separate Stale to hold territory with- 
out its limit is recLigni/ed hy the Consiitnli(jn, nor any mode 
of effecting it possihle, consistent with il. 'I'he means of accjuir- 
ing and the right of holding terrilory, heing both gi\en to the 
United States and prohiliiied lo tach Stale, it follows that ihese 
allrihules of si)\ereignt\- once held h}' each .Stale are thus trans- 
fcrreil to the United SuiU-s ; and that if the means of acquir- 
ing anti the right of holding are e(|uivalenl to tln' right c^f 
aci[uiiing leiiilor), llien this right nieiged from llie separate 
States to the Lhiiled States, as indi,-peu>ahl\ annexed to the 
treaty-making ])r)\\tr aiu! the pr)\\er of making war; or indeed 
is lilerall)' gi\'en to the Ueneral ('.o\eiumeiU h\' the Conslilu- 
tion. . . . 'khe ihird article declares ihal 'the inhal.iilauts 
of the ceded territor\- shall he incorporated in the Union of the 
United Stales.' And these word> arc said to reipiirc the terri- 
lory lo he erected into a Stale. This the)' do not e.xi)ress, and the 
words are literally >;'.tishe(l h_\- incoip. iraiing iliem into the Union 
as a territory and not as a Stale. The Constitution recogni/cs 
and the practice wananls an incorporation of a 'J'errilory autl its 
inhahitanls into ihe L'uion without admitling eiUur as a Stale. 
And this consiruciion of the lirsl meniher of ihe article is neces- 
sar)' lo shield its Iwo other memlic is fr<im a charge i>f siu'j^lus- 
age and even alisurdilv: • ko|- ii il ,■ wo!.'.- iln' .■'. tun- • 1 
the ceded lerritor\- shall he incoi p. .r.iled in the I n. 'ii of l! •' 
Unileii Slatc's' inlenilcd that Ix)uisiana and its inhahiiauls should 
become a Slate in the Ihiion oi Statis, there existed no reason 
for piocecding to stipulate that these same inhahitanls shouKl 
be made ciii/cns as soon as possible according lo the principles 
of the ]'\xleral Constilution. 'JTeir admibsion into the Union of 
States would lia\'e made them citi/ens of the United Slates. Is 
it nol llien absurd to supi)Osc thai the first member of this third 
article, intended to admit Louisiana into the Union as a State, 
which would instaiuly entitle the iidiabitanls to the benefit of 
the articles of the CouMiluliou declaring that "ihe cili/.ens of each 
Stale shall be entitled lo all the privileges and innuunitics of 
citizens in ilie federal Stales,' and yet to have gone on to stipu- 
late for cili;'eu:.hip undt'r the hmltaliou 'as sihmi as possible 
according to the iwincijjles of ibe iTderal Cc^n.'^liluliuu' after it 


run j'Koi'Lwci: and the sta-iils. 

had been bcslowetl without Uinilalion? Apain : the coiicUidini:^ 
member of the article is to bestow 'protection in the nieanlirno ;' 
incorporating;- this stipulation and the stipulation for citizcnsliiji 
witli the construction which accuses the treaty of unconstiluiH-n- 
alily, the articl': altogether be luulerstood thus: The inhab- 
itants of the ccck-d territory irJiall be taken into the Unic^n of 
States, which will instantly g'wc them all the rij^dits of citi/.cn- 
5ihip, after which they shall be made citizens as soon as possible; 
and after they are taken into the Union of States, they shall 
be protected in the interim between becoming a State in the 
Union and beiiig made citizens in their liberty, proj^ert)' and 

Mr. Tracy, of Connecticut, ojtposed the bill. He said, "The 
paragraph in the Constitution which says thai ne'w .States may 
be admitted b)- Congress into this Union,' has been (|UOted to 
justify this treaty. To this two answers may be given, cither 
of which is conclubive in my favor. iMrst, if Congress have the' 
power collectively of admitting Louisiana, it cannot be vested 
in the President and Senate alone. Second, Congress have no 
l)Ower to admit new foreign .Slates inlo the Union, without the 
consent of the old j)arlners. The article of the Constitution, if 
any person will take the trouble to examine it, refers to domes- 
tic Slates only, and not at all to foreign States; and it is unrea- 
sonable to suppose that Congress should, by a majorit)' only 
admit new foreign Slates, and swallow up by it the old part- 
ners, when two-thirds of all the members arc made recphsite for 
the least alteration in the Con^titution. The wcids r.f ihe C< n • 
stilnlion are completely saiisfud by a con^li ik ii. .n vsl.ieh sb -M 
include only the ailmission of ilome.siic Stale.s, who were all 
parlies to the Revolutionary war and to the compact; and titc 
spirit of the associalic^n seems to embrace no other. . . 
The seventh article admits for twelve years the ships of France 
and Spain into the QK^X^^il territory free of foreign duty — this 
is giving a commercial preference to those ports over the other 
ports of the United States; because it is well known that a duty 
of fort3'-four cents on tonnage and ten per cent on tluties is 
paid ])y all foreign ships or vessels in all the ports of the Ihiitcd 
States. If it be said, we must repeal those laws and then the 
preference will cease, Ihe answer is that this >eventh article 
gives the cxclusi\'c right of entering the ports of Louisiana to 
the ships of France and Spain, and if our discriminating duties 
were repealed this day the j)refereuce would be pivi'ii to the ports 
of the United Stales against of ],'>ui.siana, so ihat the pref- 

coNsriTUTJONALny or run cession. 


crcncc by any rcfi^vilatidii of common-c or revenue which tlic 
C!onslitntion expressly pruhiljils from hcinjj; ^n'vcii to ihe pons 
of one State o\er those ol another, wtuiKl he j^ivin l)y this treaty 
in violation of the Cunstilulicjn. 1 aekno\vie(lj;e if l^ouisiana 
is not admitted into the Union and if there promise to 
admit lirr, then this part of our art;ument will nut apply. 
] siiuU he asked, sir, what can he^dune? To this (piestion 1 have 
two answers: One is, that nothing' unconstilntional can or 
oiig'hl ^o he done; and if it he ever so desirahle that \\c acquire 
forcig'n States and the navigation of the Mississippi, etc., no 
excuse can he farmed for violating the Constitution; and if all 
those desirahle etYecls cannot take place withoul violating it, 
they must he gi\-en up. Hut another and more satisfactory 
answer can he given. 1 have no douht hut we can ohtain terri- 
tory either by couiiuest c^r compact and hold it, even all Loui- 
siana and a thou -and times more, if you please, withoul violating 
the Constitution. We can hold lerritnry ; hut to admit the inhab- 
itants into the Union to make citizens of them and States, by 
treaty, we caiuiot constitiuionally do; and no sul)sequent act of 
leg'islation or even ordinar}' amendment t^ (jur constitution can 
leg^^lize such measiu'cs. If done at all they must lie done by 
universal consc-nt of all the Stales or partners to our i)oiiticaI 
association. And this tmiversal consent 1 am po..iti\e can ne\er 
be obtained to ^uch a pernicious measure as the admission of 
Louisiana, of a wuild, and such a world, into our 1,'^nLon." 

Mr. llreckem idgi- o{ Kentucky spoke eloi|ueutl\' in favor of 
the bill anil said among oilier lhing^ that "The ^o nuicb scouted 
process t>f lu ;;.>liation was jKi^i'^ud ui [ \ >: (he a. <niir(.r,'' .it 
of rights on llu Mlssi^■^ippi), anil in.siead oi u iwiiug the rii^'it 
of deposit and securing more effectually for the futiu-e our right 
to na\'igate the Miss:ssip|ii, the Mississii)[>i itself was ac(|uireii 
and everything which ajipertained to it. 1 did su[)pose 
those g'enllemen who at the last session so strc>ngly urged war 
nicasincs for ihe atl.iinment oi this object, upon an avowal that 
it was loo important to trust to the tardy autl less elTectual 
process of negotiation, would have sI^kxI foremost in carr)ing 
the treaty into effect, and that the jieacefnl ni.xle by which it 
was accpiired would not lessen with them the imj)ortance of the 
aC([iiisitiou. . . .If my ciiiinion were of :my 'n^e(|uence, 
I shouKl be flee to declare that this trans.itMioii from its com- 
mencement to \\< close, not onl\- as lo the mode in which it was 
pursui'd, but a^ to ilic- objict a<hii-ved, is one (^1 the mo-t spKn- 
did which the annals of any natiwii can produce. 'J'o acipure an 

2^0 '-/v//-; rRori.ycr ixn run sr.iri-.s. 

cmiMiL' of jJi'ilKip'^ Iialf llie I'xtciU of the inic we possi'Sscd, fi. .■ •. 
the nujst i)0\vc'rful aiul warhkc nation on cailh wiiliout hloMil-! ^ '. 
withont tlie oj)i)icssion of a sini;lc in(hvidual, witlioul in the K .1 i 
cniharrassin^^ the ortlwiary operations t>t )our finances, aiiil ■.'.l 
ihis througli the peaceful forms of ncgotialion, and in ik>p::r. 
loo, of tlie ojiposition of a considerahlc portion of the coinn.i,- 
nity, is an achievement of which the archives of the predeces- 
sors at least of those now in olVice, cannot furnish a paralK! 
W'h)- not acquire territory on the west, as well a-, cii 
the cast side of the Mississippi? Is the Goddess of Ijheiiv 
restrained hy water courses?' Is she Governed by geographic. d 
limits? Is her doniinii->n on this continiiit conlmed to tlie e.i-i 
side of the Mississippi? So far from helieving the doctrine tli.ii 
a Rci»uhlic ought to be confined within narrow limits, I believe 
on the coiitrai)- tliot the more extensive its dominion the nioie 
safe ami more durable il will be. In proporticMi to the number 
of haiuls you intrust the pieci(jus blessings of a free governiHent 
lo. in the same proportion do you inultiijly the chances for their 
preservation. I entertain, thenfore, no fears for the Confeder- 
acy on account of its extent. 'J'lie American people too well 
know the art of governing- and of being governed lo become 
the victims of i^arty factions or of domestic t)ranny. 'J'hey net 
only understand the true theory of a free government, but as 
well understand a much rarer thing-, the true art of practicing 
it. . . . It is e\'idenl, as this country liTid jjassed out of 
the hands of Sjxiin, that wheiber it remained with France, c>r 
should l)e aciiuired by b'.nglaiul, iis populati-'ii wonM ha\<- l'<t.n 
altem])led. Such is the pol;e\- of all naii.'ii- bm Si>ain. 1 iwiii 
wlience would that p'lpulallwn come? Certainly not I rum 
]uiropc. It would come almost exclusively from the United 
Slates. 'Jdic question then would simply be, ]s the Confeder- 
acy more in danger from Louisiana when colonized by American 
])eople under American jmisdiction than when populated by 
Americans under the control oi some foreign, jjowerful and ri\al 
nation? Or, in olhei" words, whether it would be safer for the 
United States to ])opulatc this country when and how she pleased, 
or permit some foreign nation to do it at her expense? 
The gentlemen atlmit, if I (\o understand them, that the acqm- 
sition of a part, at least, of this tiumiry is essential to the United 
Slates and be made, 'fhat this aciiuisilion must extend 
to the soil; and to use the words of their resolutions last ses- 
sion, 'that it i> not consistent with the dignity of tlie Union 
lo jiold a rigdu so imi)0rtant by a tenure so imcerlain.' How, 



I ask, is this 'ccrlain Uiiurc' to be .'u-quircd but by coiUjuest or 
a nurcluisc of ibe .soil? Did ik)1 j^eiilKincii iiUciul wbcn ihcy 
iirgid its seizure that the United States, if successful, should 
hold it in al)solute sovereignly? Were any Constitutional diih- 
cultics then in the w.iy? And will ihe) now be so ^ood as to 
]K)int out that I'ari ol the C\inslilution which autiiorizcs us to 
accjuire territor\- b_\- coiiquesl, but forbids us to acijuire it by 
treat}'? . . . lla\e the [;enllenien who intend to vole 
againslMhis measure well weig-hed the stale of thiii{^^s which will 
result in case the\' should be succe.s>ful in their opijosilion? Is 
not the national honor pletlj^^-d to ])rocure ibis rij;hi ? What 
course do gentlemen mean to pursue to attain it? Or do lliey 
mean to .abandon near a million of )aiur western citizens to ruin 
and desjjair? If you reject this treaty, with what face can you 
oi)cn another negotiation? What l^esideni would venture 
another mission, or what minister could be prevailed on to be 
made the instrument of another negotiation? You adopt the 
treah', direct ])osscssion to be taken of the country, and tlien 
refuse to pay for it! What palliation can we offer to our west- 
ern citizens for a condr.ct like this?" 

Mr. Cocke, of Tennessee, represented the seniimeids of ihe 
Western settlers when he said, "What mn>t wc think of gentlemen 
in whom this sudden change has taken jJace and who now cxcUiini 
against the passage of this bill, when we recollect that last winter 
they were read\' to sloiin the v^pani<b garrisons, and who then 
|M"onn'sed by their \alor to secme us a free trade down the Mis- 
sissiiijii and to male \'r\\ (hle.rn-. and the kf' tliir own'' 
Dill the t "ouvlilulion linn for a baiii-'i- .'.■■.. ivA ll.>:.i,' 'I li' > 
have nol onl\ veiled against the I real \' that secures to us more ihan 
they could ba\'e conleniplaleil b\' their .arms ruid their valor, but 
they lia\'e also \'oled .•|g■ain^t ihe law for carrying the objects of 
that lie.aly into effect after the treat v has been ratified and the 
exchange of ratifications t.dan i)lace in duv. form; and now wc 
hear those w.arlibe spirits expressing' their fears that the western 
country will s'e'U become too i)owerfnl for the East, aiul that a 
separation must inevitably t.ake place between us. I ask gentle- 
men the ground on which they builil their fears? It cannot bo 
that we have p.aid les^, re^jjcct to the laws of the Union than any 
other portion of our fellow citi/ms ; or h.i\e we in anv instrmcc 
shown le~-s ie;;ard for (,ur C.o\ei iimuil or its honesl adminisira- 
'i"ii. Is it lb. 11 lb:il j'enllemeii bad deleiiniiud in tlieir own 
minds to tieai us wiili smh m.obed indifferuice or injustice as 

242 ^'^^ rRoriNcr. and the statps. 

slioulcl rouse us (o just iosluIukuI ? Whcu that bliall lie il ,■ 
CISC 1 a'^^ri'i: \villi ui)' friend from Kentucky, that there is a p.. in; 
beyond which we cannot i;o. ] .et not t;entlenicn l)e alarmed ai li ■ 
acquisition of Louisiana, this Kew World as they ])lease to call u, 
and \\ln\h tluy seem at so loeat a loss to know wdiat to (\o \\\\\.. 
1 hoiie }^;enllemeu will excuse me if 1 a^ain lepi-.u a 
desire to know the exteiU of tlieir objects when they so lou.!'\ 
clamored for war. \\'ere I as suspicious as thenrselves I mi-!,i 

' readily induli;e a belief from the present state of thiut^^s, that tluy 
wished to cheek the risini;- j^n'owth of the Western \)Qy>\>V- h\ 
getting- them into a war, make them a handsome Ijow and K.ivr 
them to fi-hi ihrir battles. I'.iU happily our treaty secures a-ain-'. 
all such apinxlHusions. . . And I ai;ain assure i^rnllriiuii 

that 1 am uc;l amon^t;- those who believe that iMance, v^pain or even 
the British government woidd govern the Western country nicic 
to our intere>l than we de) ; nor do T credit a doctrine so ab-m-d 
as to believe the pe(-i])le of the Western country will abandon their 

.interest and ])r(\slitute their honor to create dan.Q'ers so imminent 
as the f^entlenian from Coimeclicut (Mr. llillhouse) seems to 
apprehend, and who is so fearful of the day in which the Western 
people sh.all invc laws to the Union; but if ever it should so haj) 
pen, I hope they will be at least as just and salutary as they weie 
when this honorable gentleman and liis friends formed the pohti- 
cal majorit)' in this House." 

The remarks of Mr. Adam-, of Abissachu'seits. voiced peihap^. 
better than tho^e c>f anv other speaker the real senliments and 
Cipiniour. of the sen.aioi-. I le viid, " !"• i iM\ ow M part 1 .>m II' ■" t'l 
confe>^. lb'.' third at tide and iii"! i -leciab^ the si-\ - inli. con 
tain cugageuKnts pkicing us in a dilenuna, from which i >ee n'> 
])ossible mode of extricating' ourselves but iiy an amendment, or 
rather an addition to the Constitution. 'Jdie gentleman from Con- 
necticut (Mr. Tracv) lioth on a former occasion and in this da}'s 
debate, appears to me to have shown this to demonstration. I'ait 
wliat is this more than saying, that the I'resident and Senate 
bomid the nation to engagements which re(pnre the cooi)eration oi 
more extcnsiw powers tlian theirs to carr\- them into execulion. 
Nothing is more common in the negoli.aiions between nation and 
nation than for a minister to agree to and i.ign articles be\ond the 
extent of bis powers. This is wliat yoiu' mini>tcrs in the very 
case before >ou ha\'e confessedly done. It is well known that 
their powers did not authorize them to conclude this tre.ilv; but 
they acted for the Uiierit (jf their country, and this hou.e hy a 
kirge majority advi.scd to the ratiticati' >n of their pnxeedings. 


Sui)po>c then not cmly that llic ministers who sij_pK-il, l)iil tin; IVcs- 
i(,Knt and Senate who ratified tliis Cuinpaet, have exceeded llieir 
powers. vSnppose that tlic other llonse of Congress who have 
given their assent hy passing this and oihcr hills for the Inlfillnient 
of llic ohligations it imposes on ns, have exceeded their powers. 
Nay, sn{)i)osc even that the majority of vStates competent to amend 
the Constiuui*:)n in other cases, could ncjt amend it in this without 
exceeding theii- jiowers — ami this is the extremest point to which 
any gentleman on this lloor has extended his scruples — sui)poso 
all this and there still ninains in the country a power comi)etent 
to adoj)t and sancliou every part ot our (.ngagements and to carry 
them into execution. Vov notwithstanding the ohjcctions and 
appreiicnsions of many individuals, of many wise, ahle and excel- 
lent men in various parts of the Uni(^n, yet such is the puhlic favor 
attending the transaction which C(.Mnin«.nced h\ the negotiation of 
this treaty and which I hojie will terminate in our full, undis- 
turhcd and luulisputed possession of the ceded territor)', that I 
firmly helicve if an amendment to the Constitution amply sulfi- 
cient for the accomplishment of everything for w hich wc have con- 
tracted shall he pro[)(jsed as T think it ought, it \\\\\ he adopted hy 
the ],egislature of every State in the Union." 

The hill i)roviding for the issuance of stock to he usctl in pay- 
ing for Louisiana passed the senate — yeas 26, nays 5, those voting 
in the negative heing James Ililihouse, Timothy Pick'ering, Uriah 
Tracy, William 11. Wells and Samuel White, the lat'ter two of 
Delaware. Senators Adams, v.n^\ riumer. who had vc)ted 
against the hill anlhori/ing''. ih'' |iiril>;)l to t • • |i.i- .--i"n <\ 
Ix'ui'-iana, voted in favor of this hill. 'I'lic f^H^wing i>- llie text 
of tin. act in full, anthoi iziug" iJu- president to take |)o.-.>e.->sic>n of 
Louisiana, as jiassed hy the senate with the house amendments :* 

"An Act to enable the President of the United States to take 
possession of the leirili'rics ceded b\ France to the United Slates, 
by the treaty conclnded at Paris on the thirtieth of April last, and 
for the tonporary (^oreriunc)it thereof. 

"Be it enacted hy the Senate and House of Rciirescntativcs of 
the United States of America, in Congress assemhled, That the 
President of the United States be, and he is iicrehy, authorized to 
take ])osscssion of, and to occupy the territories ceded hy I'rancc 
to the Ihiiled s, hv the treaty concluded at l\aris on the 
thirtieth day of .\pril la^t, Ktween the two nations, and that he 
may for that purpose, and in order to maintain in the sai<l lerri- 

• Annals of Ci)ni;ifss. 

2^4 '^''^'' l'[^<Ol'lNCli .-LM.) THE STylTHS. 

torics the .-mtlicnily of ibe United v^tatcs, cni|)loy any part cn' i!:. 
arniv or na\\' of the Unileil Slates, and of the force auilmi;,,, 
!))• an act ))asse<l \\\v third ila\ of March la^.!, enlilK-d An .',■. 
chreclinp^ a xletachnKiit frt)Mi the mihiia of the United States, ;'.:' i 
for eiectiniy ceilain arsenals, which he may deem necessar\- : iii.'. 
so much of the sum approijrialed hy the said act as ma\' he 
necessary, is ht reh\- a])proi)riatrd fcir llie purpose of carr\in;^ il.:> 
act into cfTecl ; to he applied under the direction of the I'resid^ni 
of the United States. 

"Sec. 2. Ami hi' it fiiiihrr enacted, That until the expiraii.^n 
of the ])resenl session of Con}.;ress, unless provision for the tem- 
porary j^overnment of the said Icrrilori^s he sfjitiKT made hy d n- 
j;ress, all the iuilitar\, ci\il ami iu<liei;il powi-rs e,\"ercisi-d h\ the 
ofllcers of tlie existing; j.;o\ n nmeni nf the same, shall he veiled m 
such ])erson and persons, antl shall he exercised in such uKuuur, 
as the ]*resident of the United Slates sliall direct, for majjitaiuinc; 
and prcyiectiuL; the inhahitants of Louisiana in the free enjo\nieiit 
of their liherty, projjei t\' ami rtdiL;ion." 

"A])proved, Octoh(.'r 31, 1S03." '< 

In order to understand the attitude of the senators lowaril the-e 
bills, a consi(U laliwu of prev'ious ])olitical occurrences will ho 
nect's.-;:ry. Near the clo-e of \\'ashiri;:;ton's administration l\so 
j)arties were deveKijJed — ihe l-'cderalists le(l hy Adams, Ilannlliii, 
and others, and ihe Ivi'puhlicans, of whom Jefferson was the 
leader. In i/w-*^. wlu'U war with hoth l'"ranee ;ind Sixain seinied 
inevitahlr, ihr h". d( r.disl- \\.ir >!;a;.'d h\ ll ■ K'.] :'•' ear.-: with 
the re -ixinsihiht V (A thr daii"i i.nis .lud deplt.i.J.'.e stale of all i;i.^. 
'idiis chari^e, of comse, wa> unfounded. l>ecause it was wi.ll known 
that the an;.;i'r of h'rance was kiutUetl hy what she considered the 
violation of the tiealy of 177^^ in the refusal of the United State.^ to 
cncoura^^c her in her war ac;^ainst Great llritain and in prexenlin.: 
licr from seiidiiiL;" out privateers to prey on I'ritish conimerce lioin 
the jiorls of America, ht)th of which slipulations. the ImcucIi 
ister nrtrued, were incumhenl upon the United States to ]K-rfoini 
under that treaty. In retaliation for tiiis unfounded chari^^e. the 
I'Vderalists, wlun the inttidictioii of the deposits at New^ 
was pronud-.iled and the western country thrown into ;m uproar, 
demanded the forcihle occui)ation of that city and the lower Mis- 
sissippi; and when their dcinands were rej'.cled hy conu^ress they 
cndcaxored to ca^t the respon>il)ihly for the distress ujjon the 
admini>tr;ition. I'.ut the |ioli(.\- nf nej,'otiaiion instead of wai' pie- 
vailcd, and finally the interdiction was revoked. Wlun I'rancc 


Ci.h1i.h1 Louisiana U) llic UiuIlhI Slates, the men wlii) had i)reviously 
aiKocated takini^ foreihle iiossessiwn ut' Xew Orleans, were the 
ernes to oppose the necessary jjioceedint^s under the stipulations 
((f the cession treaty to i)laee the province under American control. 
X'crs' few, if an\' in L-arnesi, ll[)[)()^e(l the ac(iiiiremenl of Louisiana; 
the (.>jij)Osilion was, in almost every in.^iance, hased upon other 
grounds. It was a pohiieal niaiKuver against piueeedings cnia- 
natinf^ from the majorit\- party and the administration, and not 
an attertipt to prevent the acquirement of Louisiana. In addition, 
imlividnal senators, ])articularly ol the Xew h.nj^dand slates, 
entertained lukewarm sentiments toward the \\e>tern section of 
the countr)', throuidi mistaken noti(>ns. and nolahly toward the 
uncN)tlored and almost wholly unknown wilderne>s of Louisiana 
and its vSj^anish., iMench anil mi.xeil inhahilanls. jelTerson himself 
was a strict const met ioni.-^l of the constiuuion, hut changeil hib 
\iews in liider to secure and thus add a magnificent 
doiuain to the leriitu!\- of the I'niled Slates. This expansion 
ap])litd to the con>tilulii)n has since keen several times repeated, 
to the advantage, credit and glory of the countrw 

The polic)' of jelTer^on and of the I'iepuhlicans was to limit 
instead of to extend the piiwers of ll;e general g'. >\ ei nment. The 
Ivcjiuhlicaus hail their origin mainl_\- during the second term of 
W'ashmglun when ceiUrali/ation wuit so far as to threaten the 
assumption of other gc>\crnmental functiuus h)' the j)resident. 
'Idius intrenched, the l*T•derali^l^ surrendered \:\>l iiri\ile ;es to 
Creat llritain, thus kindling' the jealousv ami ho.iilii\ i)i lu>th 
k'ranee and .Spain. 'J'he ekciinii of j i.llerr>v'n l- ike pic-idenex 
was a pn4e>l against the Ci 'ucenii aii'^n of s»» nmJ.i puwu" in the 
hands of the jiresident. The Keinihlicans favoied a strict con- 
struction of the Constitution; the ]"ederalists tlic reverse. Wiicn 
the Louisiana question came up for immediate settlement, the 
leaders of the administration saw they must either ahandon 
their policy of blricl construction or adopt an amendment to the 
constitution. ]^>olli e\entualities were hurriedl)- \et amply con- 
sidered. While the necessar)' amendment would undoubtedly 
carry, it woidd ci>nsume loo much time. It was necessar)' to make 
the greatest haste for two reasons: i. France might get sick' of 
the hargain and hack out; 2. I'ingland might take pt)ssession of 
New Orleans. In this extremity, l)e it said to the umlying credit 
of tin- statesmen, partisanship was sunk out of sight, 
ami the hro.'id and accniate fon. iL;hl o\ ^eveut \ ->-i\, which saw 
<'iil\' iIk- l)i<i,-pciir, and gl'Ty (if llir icpuhlic, dii-l.itivl the CMiieil 
Course to he pur>ued. The partism di.sappeareil and the .-tale.s- 


Tim rkorixcii .ixn hie status. 

man rosi.' iriuuipliaut. 'i'lic iiia;;niriC(.nl province was lucMiipiK 
acccplcd. r>ul it sliciuKl l)c uotnl lliat, in llie senate (lel)ates, ihr 
Federalists were the strict eunslructionisl^, while llie l\epnll!lcall^ 
ridicnletl their views. 

The ])roceeilinps in the honse on the Louisiana treaty were 
interesting and nieniorahle. On (X'toher 17, llie president's nu>- 
sage was received, read and referred to the eonmiittcc of the wlnde 
house on th'.- stale of the Union. The president's second niessai,'e 
* (see snjjra for a summary of lioth messages) was received, read 
and referred to the same committee on Saturday, (Xnoher 22, 
with an urder for its ei./nsideralion the following Monday. On 
tliat date the fallowing resolutiiai was introduced by ]\i\ger Gris- 
wold of C'onnectiau, llu leader of the t)ppi).-iiion in the house:* 

"A\\so//;'r(//JMiaUhe President of the United States he letjuoteil 
to caube to he laid before this House a cop)' of the )realy between 
the I'rench Republic and Spain, of the fir^t of Ocl(;bcr, onelhou- 
sand eight hundred, together with a cu\)y of the i^ctd of cession 
from Spain, executed in pursuance of the same treaty, convey- 
ing Loui^iana to Fi'ance (if any such deed exists) ; also copies 
of such correspondence between the Cioxtrnment of the United 
States and the Government or minister of Spain (if an)' such 
concs))f/ndence has taken [ilaei ), as will show the assent or di.-..sent 
of Spain \o the puicha.>e of Uonisirma b)' the l.^nited Slates; 
together with copies o\ such other document*^ as may be in llie 
deparlment of Stale, or any other deparlmeiu of this Government, 
tencbug to ascertain whether the United States, have, in tact, 
accpiired aiu tille to the pi oviiice of !.■ 'U '.-;.. ni b\ ;iie tr^.r. . - \\ iih 
France, of ihe thiriieih of A[iril. one th«>u-and eight lumdred and 

In supijort of his resolution, Mr. Griswold offered the following 
remarks: "In the tieal)' between Sixain and France (October i, 
1800) the former slipulaUd to cede to the latter, upon certain con- 
ditions, the [Province of fvOuisiana. The treaty between the United 
States and the French Government does not ascertain wheiher 
these terms ha\e been complied with by I-'rance, or whether the 
cession h;is been actually made by Spain to France. .Ml that 
api)ears is a promise made by Sjjain to cciXc. If the terms stii)U- 
late(l b)- bVance ha\'e not lutu complied with, and vSpain has not 
delivered the province to bianee, then it lesults that ]''r;uice has 
no title, and of a conseipuni c that the United Stalis has ;u(iuired 
no title fioui I'lance. If llii. le coned, the conrC(pienc<- will be 

• Aiiimlb ci( Cfjiiniv'hs. 

coNSTiTuriOA'.iijrv oi- run cnssioN. 2.17 

that Wf have a(.(|uirc(l no new ((.nitory or new snhjccls, and that 
it is jicrleclly idle to spcntl the lime in passinj,^ hiws for ])o^)M-ssin^ 
the territory and oovL'rniii};- tlie peo])le. O'liis i)oint. not bein}^ 
.'isccrtained hy ilie lani^aia.Qi; of the treaty, it may 1)e inipcM'tant to 
ohtaiii (locnnienls that may satisfy the House wiicther the United 
Stales ha\'e actjuired cither new territory or new snhjects. In 
the treaty lalel)- eonehided wilii I'Vanci', the treats hclween France 
and Spain is referred to; onl)- a ])ait of it is copied. 'J'he treaty 
referral to must he a jnihlic treaty. In the nature of thinj^s it 
must he llie title-deed for the province of l^ouisiana. The Gov- 
ernment must have a copy of it. As there is hut a part recited, 
it is cviilently imjierfvct. It hecomes ihcreforL- neci'ssary to he 
furnished with the Nvhole, in order to ascertain the conditions 
relative to the Duke of I'arma ; it also hecomes necessar)' to q;et 
the i]c{:d of ce>sion ; for the promise to cc-de is no ce.^sion. This 
deed of cession, it is to. he ])resunied, is in the possession of the 
government. It is also important to know under what circum- 
stances Louisiana is to he taken possession of, and whether with 
the consent of Spain, as she is still pt)ssesse(l of it. If it is to he 
taken possession of with her consent, the i)Ossession will he ]">eace- 
able and one kin<l of pro\ision will he necessary; hut if it ih to he 
taken jiossessiou of in opposition to .Spain, a dift'ereiil prciyisi()n 
may be necessar)'. I helie\ e it will he admitted llial, hy the ex[)i ess 
terms of the treaty, the l-niled Stales has neiiher accjuired new 
territory nor new subjects. 1 therefore consider it my duty. l)efore 
the House ^;oe-. into :\ Consideration of the resolutions laid on the 
table, to submit this resolution." 

In answeriii,;' liie e remarks. Mi. | ,-aid, " i'lie ti- I'y 
which we are now called upon to sanction, ha.> been Imied b)' ih*- 
acclamation of the nation. It is not dillicult to foresee, from the 
opinions manifested in e\'ery (juarter, that it will receive ihc 
cordial approbati(^n of a lrium])hant majority of this House. If 
sucli i)e the .L;eneral ojaniou— if we are not barely satislled with 
the terms of this treaty, but lost in aslonishmenl at the .all-impor- 
tant benefits wiiich we have so ciieaply acipiired, to purpose 
do we ask information res])e(iiii<;" the details of the nei^oliatidn ? 
] his any one \entuicd to hint dis.ipprobation of I lie conduct of the 
Ministers who ha\e effected this ne^(>tialion ? Has any .-nc 
insinu.aled th.a our inleresis have been bitiayed? If ihen we arc 
satisfied as to the teinis of this treaty and with the conduct of our 
Ministers abroad, let us pas> the laws ntces-ary for e.arryint,' it 
irilo (.lieel. To refii-c -to delay upon the pK a now oiYered is to 
jeop.irdi/e the bevi mitie-ls of tiie I'liion. Sliall we t.ike e.\Cep- 


Tim PROl'lXCn AND Tim STATfS. 

tion lo t)ur own title? Shall \vi' refuse the offered po>sc^siiin - 
Sliall this iefu>al [)rocee(I from those who st) lately al'linned th.n 
\vc ou>;ht to i^ursue this \cr\- (jhject at every iiatii)iial hazard? 1 
shoidd rather su])j)o>e tlu- (.ai^orness of [;eiitleinen would he read.- 
to outstrip the forms of law in mahing' themselves masters of this 
couiitr)', than that now when it is olYeied to our grasp, the\ slioul.i 
disjday an nnwillingiiess or at least an indifference fcjr that whieh 
so late!)- was all-important to them. After tlie message which ihe 
President has sent us, to demand if indeed we have acijuiied' an\- 
new sul)jeels, as the gentleman cxi)resscs it, which renders the 
exercise of our legdslalive functions necessary, would he nothing 
less than a mockery of him, of tins solemn, business and of our- 
selves. C'autioiiar\- provisions may he introducrd into the laws 
for securing us against every hazard, aithuugji 1 rom the nature i^i 
our stipulations wc are exposed to none. We retain in our own 
liand? t!ie consideiation mone\' e\en after wc have possession. 
If 1 could for a moment l)elie\e thai even a minority, respectable 
as to numbers, recpiired any other evitlence of the fact of our 
having acquired new territors' and people to govern than the 
extract from the treats' which has just been read, I would ieadil\- 
concur with th.e gentleman from Connect icut in asking of the 
■executive whether iiuleed we lia\'e a new accession of territory 
and of citizens, or as the gentleman has been pleased to express 
himself, subjrcis lo gON'crn. ] hope the i-esolution will not be 
agreed to." 

Mr. Coddard of Comiedicut s])oke in favor of the re-''!nlion 
and said, "Tl)ere is \]r> r\i.Kn''' th.d l*i.>i' r ll.l^ .i-i inci ii'' -li!!'' 
title to Louisiana. If in \ ii iU'' < m' tbi> iri' ii\ v, e ] ai >. base a ] :.•;.. 
ise on tbt.- pait of his t'aihdic .Majesty to ^-'i-ilr, and not an incoii- 
Icstibie title, 1 will ask' if the promise constilules a title? 'Jdiis 
and this o]]\\ is the kmguage of the treat}' of ( )ctober 1, icSiO. If 
this i.^ the case, is it not ])roper to inipiire whether there are other 
acts by which v^pain has ceded Louisiana to France? vSuch acts 
may exist. Certain slipidations were made by France, to Spain 
on which the cession depended. Do wc not then wish to know 
whether these stiixilalions iiave been fulfilled and whether they 
arc l)inding. or whether Spain has waived them? .\re there in 
existence any ilocumenls to that efi'ect? It has been hinted that 
such dcKuments exi.^t in tlie newspapers; biU .are wc, in an all.dr 
of this mai'.nitude, to be referred to the dittum of a news|)ap<-r .'' 
1 ai)pri.ln.nd that this i> a novt'l mode of Kgiskiiidii. What is the 
Ci>nimissai \' t<^ be sint bv the Covernment of fiance to I,r)ui>iana 
to dc>? He is in the fust inMance lo iecei\'e the ]irovince lii)m 

COXSTITL'riO.Y.IlJTV Ol- Till'. CliSSlOX'. 249 

Siiain. Can lie liansniil it to the Ignited Slates Ijcfore lie receives 
it fn)!ii S|)ain? We leiiiiiic to know, if Si>ain refuses to deliver to J'rance, can iMance transmit it to us? We desire to 
know whether there is au)' i^rospect ^<i a refusal on the i)<art of 
Spain. Su])pose we shall receive the colony from France, under 
the dictation of the l'ir^l Consul to Si)ain, without experiencing 
any oi)position from her. May not the time arrive, on a revolu- 
tion in the affairs of i;uroi)e, when she will fnquire by what title 
we iir)ld it? Is it not proper then for us to c^htain papers, by 
which our title may he fully undersliKxl ?" 

Mr. Thatcher, of Massachusetts, said, "The first article of the 
Louisiana treaty goes to say that Spain may have altered the 
bounclaric^s of that province dirfereiill}- fioin what they wi're when 
Franct: before jjossessed it. And for \\li;it we know she has done 
so. Hence the impoilauce of ^eeillg the papers a^ked lor. If 
we obtain tlu' bare po-.^e>Niuii, it is one thin;,''; the legal jjossession 
is anotlui- thing. It is one thing to govern the cok^ny with a 
corps of civilians, and another and a different thing to govern it 
with an army. 'I'he President may perhaps have considered it a 
good bargain to obtain, for the payment of fifteen millions, the 
mere quit-claim of ]'"rance to the province. At any rate it is 
proper that we should act with our e\(. s cipeii ; and iheiefore the 
imi)ortance of haviiii; a cop)- of the treat)' entered into between 
the Governments of Sjjaiii and bVrmcc, or evidence that Spain has 
acquiesced in the cession to the United Stales." 

The resolution was opp'^sed bv Mr. Xicholson. of .Maryland, 
who said. "I ar,i\e with L;ei;tlrnu 11 that if a lua'orilv of ;!;'• I hm-e 
entertain any dmibl as to ibc wiliditv ■ >f tin' i;il> we haw .:.(juiri- i, 
they uuc^bt lo lall for p.apeis; and 1 ha\e no doulH, if ibeie is any 
dissatisfaction, they will call. 1 should ha\e no objection to vote 
for the resolution if it was confined to i)rciper objects, not indeed 
to satisfy myself, for 1 am already fully satisfied, but to satisfy 
other gentlemen; to satisfy the American people that the insinua- 
tions tbrtnvn out about the title are totall)' without foiind.ili(Mi. 
The resolution in its present shape, however, is highly imijro|)er; 
it looks to extrinsic circumstances and contemplates an iiupiiry 
into subjeel^ tr)lally uncomucled with the treaty with I'Vance. 
What has Spam to do in this business? (\ntleinen a>lc if she has 
accpnesced in our luiicba-e and call for lur c< ii responiK nee with 
our CKn'ernmi lit. What is the ae(piiescence of Sjiain to us? If 
the Ibni^e i> sati>fied from tin- inf^i inati"ii laid on the table, that 
Spain iias ci-drd I.oui-i.aria to T'rance. and liiat I'rance has since 
ceded it to ibv Uniled Stales, what m<>rc do they require? Are 

250 '^'^^^'' I'ROVlKCll J.VP 77//: STATES. 

we not an inJ(-iKNnlonl nation? Have wo wol a \\[\\\{ to iii.ikc 
treaties for ourselves willuoul asking- leave of vSpain? What i- n 
to us whellier she acquiesces or not? v'^lie is no party to tl,e 
Ireal)- of ei^^iou; she has no claim to the cecletl icrrilory. Ao: 
^vc to pause till Spain thinks proi)cr to consent, or are wr i.. 
in(]uiro uhelher like a cross child she has thrown away lur laiilc 
and cries for it afterward? The treaty itself and the con\euii.>iis 
attaclied to it, furnish all the necessary information. l,oui-ian;i 
»is ceded to the United vStales with the same houndarics that it had 
before heen ceded with h)' .Sjjain to I'rance ; and France has 
ohlij^ed iKiself to send a commissary to New Oilcans to recuivc 
Ihc i^ossession from Spain and to transfer it to us. For this the 
United Stales are to pa}- fiftren millions of dollars to the ImiucIi 
Governuieiit. Hut how and when? Xot immediately; not till we 
have actually acquired the possession. And if I'rance shall fail 
to }nit us into actual possession, the Ihiitecl Slates arc not bouu'l 
to pa}- a siiif^le dollar. So that the call fui- papers can he of no 
possible use. 1 shall have no objection to have the treaty of 
San IKlcfonso laid before the House, if it is in the possessioii of 
the Executive. In all probabilit}', howe^•er, this is not the c;i>e, 
as it is known to be a secret Ircaly on other subjects of pre;it 
imiK)rtance be'tueen l^rance and Spain. If there are any oiIkt 
papers which can i^ive i;"eiulemen more information, 1 have no 
objection eilher that tlu'se shall be laid before thcui for tluir 
satisfaction. C)ne ver\- important pai)er, 1 know from biidi 
authority, is c( rtainh- in existence and jio-^ibl}- m.iv be in ihr 
l)Owcr of the I'.xecmive. Thi-- i< a f. •ri:Ml . idti. under tlr O'-. .1 
signature of Spain, ci>mmand;!',- the >p.t!ii.->b cfticers at .New 
Orle.'uis to (lcli\->.T the ])rovince to ihe biaiich IVefecl, \\hieh I 
consider equal perhaps superitjr to any (\v^i\ of cession; for it is 
equal to an express recognition on the ])arl of S])aiu that iMancc 
has performed all the coiuliiions referred to in the Treaty of 
St. Ildetonso. It is an acknowledgment that Spain has no fur- 
ther claims upon Louisiana and will show that any interference on 
lier p.'irt ought to have no inlluence on the ..Xmeiican Government. 
lo call for ihe coi respondence between Spain and the I'niU'l 
States, if ihere is any such, I shall not assent to, as it can be of 
no possible imiiortance." 

'J'he resoluiidu \\;is also oi)]iosed h}- MV. Milchill. c/f \ew \o\\:. 
.^mong oiJKr iieriineul things be said. "The gcnlK-m.-m from Gon- 
neclicnt (Mr. ('.ri^W(.!(h sa\s thai ihe cc^-ion i-\pressed in ll;e 
treat}-, is n,, cr-sion al all bul a uwrv preUiue. Ik sa\s thai or.r 
title is d(.ii\ed from I'Vance, who has nr; tille whatever to Loui>i- 

cox'STiruTiox.ii.iTV or riii-!0.\'. 


ana, and of ccmrso can convc-y none to the Ignited Stali-s. I differ 
in opinion cnliirly with that gonllcnian. 'JMic treaty contains 
internal evidence (.nouidi fur me to act ui)on. And it is aceom 
jianied with t.'Xtiiu^ie twnts and circnnislances of L,M"eat i)ul)Heily. 
The nniled evidence of these we cainiot resist witlionl rejecting 
all Ininian testimony and finking into ahsohite scepticism. 
]n the treat)' of ^^t. lldefnnso ^^pain prouiises to cede; 
but the sti[Hdatiiin is accompanied with a condition which, as 
allef;e(l by the mover nf the resolnlion, lia- never been i)crformcd. 
'I'his condition, though not expressed at large in the first article, 
is well understood to be the eslablishment of the Duke of Tarma 
in tiie full and eiiiire possession of TuM'any, and the making him 
a luonarch undrr thr title of the King of k'.tiuiia. This has breii 
done in the face of all J'",urope. And the deliin'raiic^ns in the Pi'. I 
of Ratishon, concerning flerman indemnities, shows that the 
J'rince, who was turned out of that country to make room for a 
younger member of the blood royal of Spain, was one of those 
who suffered a loss of donn'nion and re\'enue when Italy was 
borne down by the victorious arms of iMancc. 1 urge u])on the 
attention of the House, that France has put the Duke of ]\irma 
on the throne of lururia, and has thereb\- acquired a title to 
Louisiana, This was the consideration of price with which the 
American i)ro\ince was purchased from Spain. J'.ut the right of 
France to Louisiana does not rest here — it is not a viidiiiii pac- 
tioii — so far from it, effective measures have bctTi adojited to 
carry il into operation by addin;; poSsessic'U to right. :\ com- 
missioner has briMi srnl to N'cw ( )i 011 i'k- put of i!:e l'"r. :: h 
Repulilii' to ruiiw till' pro\-inC(.' i.| l.onvi.m.i iomii . , iin ! ! e 
is required to do c\'ery act necessaiv, as wrll to reCLisi. iwdw il.e 
officcis of his Catholic Majesty the said country and its 
depcmleucies, if it has not been alreadv done, as to transmit it in 
the name of the iMrnch Republic to the commissary ov ageiu of 
the United States. . . . An objection has been raised on 
the ground of the uncerlainly of the limits of Louisi:ma. 1 do 
not feel the foree of this. 1 know perfectly well that uncertainty 
overhangs the subject; but this will be dissipated by degrees as 
the unknown regi(^ns shall be visitcil and described. We may 
then proceed to adjust the limits in a manner similar t(» that we 
have repeatedly adojited with respect to the pusenl terriloi y of 
the LIm'led Slates. . . . The opci';Uir)n o\ the re.-M.»lution if 
adopteil will certainly be to procrastin.ile and tnib;irra>-s ; .and I 
do noi discern what j'oo.l \\i|] ln> wion;du at this time by aL:r(.e- 
ing to il. 'J'licre is an ad'lilional re;i.-on .and a \cry wei;;hly 


Till: l'RO\l\'Cli AX I) rim STATUS. 

one for rcfuhini; iho motion ai this liiur. I'y the treaty it niu i 
'be ralified in j^ooJ and due form and the ralihcatioiis cxchanind 
within six months after execution.' The chite of this deed of ci^- 
si*:)!) is llie 3C)tli of April last; ami consequently the limited time 
will expire on the ^ntli of the cum nt monfh. A doubt has bei.n 
expressed by some j^xntleMiun for whose judgment 1 entertain tlie 
greatest respect whether the ratilication will be consummated in 
'good and due form,' unless the declaration and act of this Houm.- 
shall follow uj) the determination of the President and Senate. 
It will, therefore, be better to proceed without delay to com[<!y 
with all the prerecjuisites." lie therefore moved a postponeniem 
of the resohuion to the 30th of the foUowini^ I\la\'. 

The motion to postpone the resolution of Mr. fniswold led to 
a long; discussion, during' which many arguments, jiro and con, 
were acKaiiced on the Louisiana (juestion. Mr. C.riswold Cun- 
tinued, "Hy the fust article of the treaty of St. lldefonso it appears 
that S]>ain jiromised to cede Louisiana to I'rance on certain sii|^u- 
lations. She proiniscs to cede, (lentlemen cannot mistake the 
import of the languaj^e; it is a promise and not a cession. Will 
it be said that ]M;inc( accpiired an\' title b)- this i<romise? This 
canno'. be conlemled ; the treaty does not declare wbeilu'r the term-^ 
stipulated by France have been ct)mplied with, or whether the 
cession was actually n.ade. The terms of the treat)' aie 'whereas 
in jjursuance of the treaty and ])arlicularl\ of the ihirtl article 
the Lrench Republic has an inconiestible title.' cic. Will genlb - 
men say that this assertion on the jiart of Prance gives lu-r a 
title? Tt giN'cS Ik'I' no title. ,\u a — e; li' .n 1 '. I'lan*' ■ \not;.'T >i 

Mr. l-Jandolph, in airswering^ this argument, did not controvert 
:t-; but showed al '(.ngth the utter laclc of wisdom of placing' 
Iccimicalities in the way of such an imjiortant acciuisition. Ifc 
said, "How arc we to reconcile this reluctant caution to the doc- 
trine of forcible possession so latel\' inculcated by gentlemen? 
At one time it was necessary to ])ossess ourselves of the key of 
the Mississi])[)i on any terms and in any way. There was no 
waiting to examine into the title of other natir)ns or scarcely into 
our own. The Mississippi nuist be had at every hazard and in 
any mode. Now tha.t it is olTercd u-^, genllemen can devise no 
mode of geitling it. They are so embarrassed with forms, which 
sometime iia^l were held as nothing, that the value of the Mis- 
sissippi, which was held as ever\ thing, h.'is sunk- in their estima- 
tion. Th:it .Missi.s^ip|M, for who.e .■icijni.siiii-ii the"ii>n was 10 
be i)recipilaled al once into w.ii, is now ol so little conse(|Uence 



(hat (ho most trivial fi-nn oulwei^fhs it in tluir (.'StiniatiDU. 1 had 
expected {o see those gentlenieii foremost in zeal for taking jxis- 
session of the country in (|uestion, and so far from throwing- 
iiupediuKnt.N in ihe \\a_\', that in case Spain manifested any opposi- 
tion to the step, they would have heen the first to originate meas- 
ures for compelliiii;" licr assent. This would have been con- 

T'hc motion to ])osti)onc was withdrawn and the Iiousc pro- 
ceeded to vote ujion the resolution in sections. On tiie tirst mrm- 
bcr, "Rcsol.wl, 'JMiat the J 'resident of the United States he 
requested to cause to he laid before this 1 louse a cop)' of the 
treaty between the iMcnch Keiniblic and Sjjain, of the 1st of 
October, i8o(i/' the house divitKcl, the a)es beini; 59 and the 
noes 59; wluieupou the cUclaied hiuiscll in the aliirni- 
ative and the niemhLr was carried. All ilu- other member^ of Mr. 
Grisw'old's resoluticni were rejeclcil. .Mr. Xicholson had movrd 
to amend the second member \)\ addintj;-, "'roc;elher with a co])y^ 
of any insirmuent in jjossession of the l",.\ecuti\e, showin*; that the 
Spanish [government has ordiied the province of Louisiana to be 
delivered to the Commissary or other agent of the French Cov- 
ennnent," aud this amendment was a,i[;rced to. lUil the resolu- 
tion as ameruled was then voted upon ami lo>t — \eas },'/, nays 5l^'* 
The rejection of the resolution merely showed that the fiieiul.- of 
the administration were unwilling" to embarrass the e\cculi\e in 
measures to confirm the tieat\' and carrv it into efil'Ct. 

On the .^^ih the hou^e l•e^ol\•ed itself into a committee of the 
wlioK' to ci'ii^idei' the lU'' ■:iL;es of tlu- pu-i'lcut. run! und.i the 
follow uil; I ■.■-' ilulioii, \\ In h |;:id In-i n p! e\ i< 11 -i \ mo\ • !. pi 1 ^ i ■ .■ d 
to a ccdisidciatioii (jf the l.oui.-^iana treaty: " l\csoL\\i , That pio- 
vision ouj;lu to be made for carr)inj,^ into etfect llie tieal> am! 
convention concluded at Paris on the 30th of April, 1803, betwren 
the Unili'd States of America and the iMrnch ]\epublic." ' Mr. 
Gaylord Griswold of N'ew York said that he found in the ihiid 
article of the Louisiana treaty "a compact between the iMeiich 
Govcinmc'iU and that of llie l.^nited Stales to admit to citizenship 
persons oiit oi the jurisdn'ction of the United States as it now is, 
and to admit terriloi) ijut of the United Stales to be incorporated 
into tiie Onion. 1 d(j not bud in the Gon^iitutioii such a power 
vested in the Pre-^idnit and Senate. \\ Mich a power be not 
c.xpressl)- w.-trd, it mu-l be rc'^dved to tlu- proi)le. it wa.> not 
consisUnl wiih the sj-iiil (jf tlieUonsiinni.,n that territory other 

• Aimal,, i,f C'"iiv;i<-'>s. 

254 'i'iii'- I'Rin'isci'. .iM) rill', stati-s. 

than llial atCiclicd lo \hc I'liilcil Slates at the time of tlic adojiiicn 
of llic Constitution slionid be adniiltcd ; because at that time the 
persons wlio formed the Constitution of the United States ha<l a 
jiartieuhir respect lo the thru suh^islini; territory, 'i'hey cauied 
their ideas to ilie time when there mit;hl he an extendetl popula- 
tion ; hut they (hd not carry them forward to the time when an 
adchlion mii;hl he made to the Union ol a territory e(iual to the 
wliole Uniled States, which additional territory mi^hl overbalance 
the existing- territory, and iheieijy the riL;his of the present citi- 
zens of the Uhiited States he swallowed up and lost. Such a 
measure euuld not he consistent either with the sjiirit or the 
genius of the j;ove)iunint. . . . I'lU if the rip^lit of extend- 
ing^ our territory be given by the Constitution, its exercise ib ve>ted 
in the Legislative hrrmehes cjf the Cuvernnient. In the third sec- 
tion of the fourth article of the Consiiiution it is said, 'New States 
may be admitteil by the Cc^ngress into this Union.' Congress may 
admit new Stales, but according lo ni)' construction of this afticle, 
are confined to the terrilor)- beionging to the Uniled vStates at the 
formation of the Coi^siilution— to tlie territory then within the 
United vStates. I'.xisling terriloiy not wiiiiin the limits (<f any 
particular States ma)' be incorporated inlo the Union. I contend, 
therefore, thai the power to incorporate new teriitory did not 
exist ; and that if it ilid exist it belonged lo the Legislature and not 
the ]'!xccutiN-e to inccn'j^orate it in the Union. If this is the case it 
is tlie duly of the House to resist the usur|)ed power exercised by 
the ]\xecutive." 

In u'pl\- .Mr. Ivandolph s.iid, "I nudei-'uid ihi' :m "'len .'■. i; >;n 
New ^'oll. as den\ing llial ll'.ne i \i-i'> ni ihe I e *• d >;..:^ ■« aj 
such a caj-auly lo aci|mre tenilor\ ; ihal b\' the (.' lii^lilutinn ihey 
are restricted lo the limits which existed at the time of its adop- 
tion. If this i)osilii>n be correct, it undeniable follows that those 
limits nni-.L have been accmalely defined and generally known at 
the lime when the GoNernment loc»k effect. I'.ither the)' ha\'e been 
particularly described in (he constitutional compact, or are referred 
to as settled beyond dispute and universally acknowledged. Hut 
this is not the fact in either case. The Constitution not only does 
not describe any particular bound.ary beyond which the United 
States couKl not extend, but our boundary was unsettled on our 
iiortheasiern, southern and norlhw esU'in frontier at the time of 
its adoption. . . . That the Con>tiluiion should lie us ilown 
U> limits without ex|ire.'siiig lhi--e limils; ihat we .should 
be icslrained lo ihe llun boundaiies oi the United States when if 
is in [uixtf to the ciJinniitlee that no such bounds existetl or do now 


exist, was altof^ctlier iin'onipri'Iicnsihlo and inadniissiblo. For if 
the Conslitulioii iiic.uU the practical limits of the United Slates, 
tlie exienl of countr\' which we then l^o.wscsscd — our recent ac(.|ui- 
sitiuiis on the side of Canada and the X'atche/ can not be defended. 
My iiosition is not only maintainable by tiie reason of the Consti- 
tution, but by the piaciici- mider it. ConiMess ha\'e expressed in 
their own acts a solemn recoi^nilion of ijie ])rinciplc that the 
United States in tluir l'*ederative capacity may acipiire and have 
accjuired territory ; namel\', the territory in di^pule between 
Geort^ia and iHoi ida. . . . No gentleman will deny the 
riidit of the Tresidt ut to initiate business here by message rccom- 
niendmg particular subjects to our attention. If the C^overnmenl 
of the United vSi;ites jios.^ess the Conslittilicjnal ])ow(r lo accpiirc 
territory from forei;^n St.ites, the l\xecuti\e as the organ by which 
we comminiicate with such vStalc s must be the prime agent in 
negotiating such an accpiisition. (.\ needing then ihai the power 
cif conlirming this act and annexing to the I'nited .Stales the terri- 
tory thus ac(juired ultimately resl> with congress, where has been 
the invasion oi the pri\i!e<^i.s of thai body? Does not the Tresi- 
dent of the United Stales submit this subject to Congress for their 
sanction"'' Does he not lecogni/e the princi])le, which 1 trust we 
will ne\'er give up, that no treaty is binding until we ])ass the laws 
for executing it — that the powers conferred by the Conslilulion on 
Congress cannot be modified or abridged by any tieaty whatever — 
that the subjects of w hicli lhe\ ha\-e cognixance cannot in any way 
be taken out oi their jurisdiction'-' In this jjroceilure'niMhing is 
to be seen but a respect on the i)arl of the Executive for our rights ; 
a reco,L:uili< Ml of a di-co-tidii i'M o;u poi lo av->''d (<v i^ fu>e our 
sancti(jn. W'luie ilu-n is ihe \:"l.iti"!i i-f our n'lii>:' ">- lo ili'' 
initiative in a mailer lll<e ihi,->, it necessaril\- de\dl\e> on ihe 
ICxecutive. . . . Let iis su])po>e that our ne,i;otialioUv tor 
our rights on the ^rississi])pi, insleatl of its ])resenl happ\' issue, 
had terminaU'd in a nfusal of justice. I belie\-c there would in 
that event ha\e been but one senlimeiit in this House and in this 
iiatic>n. We should ha\e appealed to arms, and if fortune had 
onl)' been as impartial as our cause was just, we shoubl have 
jKissessed ourselves of at least a part of the territory in (juesiion. 
Does any one dream of denying our right to the forcible posses- 
sion of New ()rleans if neces>ai'y to secure the na\igation of the 
Mississip])i ? Can a nation actpiire b\ force that which she can- 
not acipiire b\- ir.'.itv? Must not ihe evi'utual riqht to the country 
possessed b\- u iii((ui-.--L be confumed b\- treaty? And is it not idle 
to contend thai st) long as we luijiloy fiirce we may occups' tln' 

236 '^■//^'" mo'-'i-yci: .ix'D run s'i\-irjis. 

country hut no longer — that \vc cannut retain it hy convini;. ;-, 
Now as to tlu' cxpcditucy of the measure. W'liai i- 
tlic slate of our traile in relation to the cetled territory? Hui a 
sliort time a-^u \". h(^ \\oul«I have asketl more than t^) he juit (.11 .:■, 
equal fe")oting- with the i)o:5sessors of thai cmnUry? We now h:i\.' 
the sovereignlv (jf it anil only stipulate that (for twelve yeai; » 
]'Vanee and vSpain shall he admitted, n(jt on an ciiual footini; v. uii 
us, but. that their vessels laden with their own produce, not other- 
wise, shall ])ay no hii^ duties than our own. At the exijiraiica 
of that period we can gi\e a tlecided proponderance to our lr;i.l'. 
hy discriminatinj; duties. Will the hardy and enlir])risinj; Xev, 
]'~nglander shimk from a cunipelition \\iih I'rance and Spain wu 
these terms? I'aimut the tli^criimnatiiiL; diuies he still enlcrved 
by the e.xistini;' rc^ulalinns in re^pet t lu imports Ironi .\\ \v 
Orleans to other parts of the L'niied States? vSo far from a cIwl^ 
on our Commerce, does not this treaty unfetter the i\Iississipi)i 
trade and ,t;i\'e us a jirel eri.iice o\er all other nations except the 
case of the J"ieneh and Spanish vessels, laden with the proiluce oi 
their respective comUries, an^l there we are on a footinc;- with 

Continuing;-, Mr. ]\andolph said, ".\s Ioul,^ a^^o as the year 1^73 
the inhahitants of the iMench prcAinoe oi Canada explored the 
country on the Mississippi. .A. few years afterward (1085) 
La Salle with emi<; rants from old iM'ance, made a settlement on the 
Bay of St. I'.ernard, and at the close of the ijtfi cemury, previvuv- 
to the existence ui TeUsacola, anoiln.r iMxnch settlement \\;t-^ 
made by the (io\eru,>r 1 )'lh> i\ die ,1 \!^ '. and ih..-; • ' ■ ! 
I'laupliin oi- .Mas.--acre at [\\c m^mii ..i' tl .11 i^ay. !" 17!-' .1 l."il 
time pieuous tei the lie.Uy of I'lrecht, l,uuis Xl\' described the 
ixtcnt of the colon)- of Louisiana (by the settlements) in his ^"'"^^''^ 
of its exclusi\e commeice to Cri.)/.at. Three years subsequent ti> 
this the v^panish establishment at IVnsacola was formed, as well 
as the .settlements im the Adaes on the river Mexicana. Alter 
varioi'.s conllictinLj elYorts on both sides, the bay and river IVr- 
dido was established (from the jxace of 17 19) as the boundary 
between the iMench province of Louisiana 01^ the one side and 
the Spanish province of b'lorida on the other, this river bcini; 
nearly equi-distant between Mobile and Tensacola. Near the clo.^e 
of the war between l-ji^dand and hiance, rendered memorable for 
the muxampU-d success with which it was CDuducled by that 
imriNaKil statesman, the jMeat Lord ^."hatliam. ^-p.dn became a 
]~'arty on the side of I'lance. The k'-s of the lla\aii.i and odier 
nnjiortant iK'pendencies, was the immeiltate C(;n^equence. lu 

N6XIK. Carolana,n.11 >l^0t „,, 

" co.\STjruTio.\,iLiry or the cussion. 257 

1762 France, bv a Sfcrtl treaty of coiUrinporancous date willi 
tlic preliminary treaty of peace, rLlinquislied l.onisiana lo vSi)ain, 
as an indemnity for her losses, snslained by advocatinj; the 
cause of iManee. I'.y the definitive tnaty of 1763, 1'" ranee 
ceded to Knjdand all thai part of l.ouisiana which lies east of 
the Mississipjji i. xcejit the ishind of New Orleans— the rest of the 
province lo Si)ain. It is to be observed thai although osten- 
sibly l-'rance ceded this country to lCnL;land. virtually the cession 
was on, the part of v'^pain, betause ]'"rance was no longer inter- 
ested in the bn>iness, but as the frieml of Spain (having pre- 
viously relinquished the whule to her) and because in 1783 
restitution was made by luigland, not to l^ance, but to Spain, 
I'jigland having ac(juired this portion of Louisiana, together v;ilh 
tlie Spanish province of Florida, annexed lo the former that 
])art of I'lorida wdiich lies west of the Aajialaehicola and east 
of the I'crdido, thereby forming the i^rovince of West l-'lorida. 
It is only in l-jiglish geography ami dming this perioil, from 

1763 to 17S3, that such a country as West Florida is known. 
For Spain, having acquired bf4h the Floridas in 1783, rc-an- 
nexed lo Louisiana the country west of the I'erdido subject lo 
the government of New Orleans, and established the ancient 
boundaries of h'lorida, the country between tlie I'erdido and 
Apalachieola being subject to the Governor of St. Augustine. 
]3y the treaty of St. lldefonso, Spain ceded to 1 'ranee the \no\'- 
incc of Louisiana with the same extent that it now lias in the 
hands of Sjjain" : \\/:., to tlu' l'erdide>, 'and that it had when 
I'^ance p()^^e^^ed it,' to the I'erdido, and Su li as it vhonld be 
after tie.ilies .'.ub,se(|Uv. nil)' entered into bvlv.iui Spam .uid oiln r 
powers:' that is, saving to the United Slale> I be couiuiy given 
\\p by the treat)' of San Lorenzo. W'e have succeeded to all the 
right of iM-ance. If the navigation of the Mississijipi alone were 
C)f sufficient importance to justify war, surely what \vc have now 
gained by ibis treaty will be acknowledged lo be inestimably valu- 

Ar<'ssrs. J. Lewis and Griffm of Virginia regarded the treaty 
as unconstitutional in the respect that "Cc)ngress possessed no 
power to gi\e a commercial i)reference to one State oNer 
another; and if the ships of I'rance and Si)ain are permitted 
to enter New (Orleans on terms more advanta;;eous than they 
are jjermitti-d to cntei" other ports of the L'lhled States, it is 
a palpable \i.Fition of the C'on.stilutiMii." Mr. (irillin also 

• Aiinnls of C(iiii;nss. 

258 '^■•/^^-' i'iioi'isci: A.\'D Tin: status. 

observed lliat "the conslilutiiMi says, 'Congress shall have power 
to rei^ailale coininerce wilh fi^reign nalious.' Who are (\)ni;it>>? 
The SeiiaU- ami House of Iveprcsentalix i. s. If, ihcu, the l*re,-i- 
deiit ami Senate make a treaty for the rec^-'ulalioii of eDiniiieiee, 
they iiifiiiiL;e the L\)iislilutioii hy (Kmiil; that which COii^revs ainiu- 
can do." lioth gentlemen asketl to he set right if ihey were 
wrong in their conclusions. Mr. Grifrm further said, "I ilo fear 
that though this lanil is rej>resented as flowing' with milk and 
honey, it will i)rove a ceuietery for the hodies of ovir cili/ens." 

An clociuenl speech made in favor of the treaty Nvas delivered 
by Mr. I'urviance of North Carc^lina. He said: "I am clearly 
and decidedly in favor of the resolution on yonr table, i)remis- 
ing the appropriations for carrying the treaty between iMance 
and this country into eTiect. . . . It is true I am, and 
always have been, opposed to the gen( 1 al tenor of the presmt 
administration. It has not apjteared to me to possess that bold, 
commanding aspect, that erect and roolute front, which CiUght 
to be assumed I))' the l^xeculive of a free jieople, when claiming 
satisfaction for wrong sustained. It has not shown that strc>ng, 
muscular, athletic shape, which is calculated to intimidate 
aggression, or which is enabled to resist it; nor do 1 think that 
it has manifested that firm, digniiied, manly tone of virliic and 
of spirit which, resting on the love of a free peojjle, and con- 
scious of their strength, can ask for the prompt, direct and 
inicquivocal satisfaction to which it is entitled, and being denied 
■can take it. . . . It has to my mind somewhat resembli d 
a militia subaltern, whu in lime of war directed his m. n not 
to Uvc on ihe enem\ lest ihr uieiny !::!;;lit 111 e .u\i:!i. I 'ii'ier 
such an adniimstraliou, 1 have lliDUi^ht that it wouUi he better 
to have the ceded territory on any terms than not to have it 
at all. . . . Yes, thank (lod! We have now a treaty, 
signed by themselves, in which the\' have \oluntariIy passed away 
the only means of annoyance which they j)Osscssed (meaning 
France). But I do not thank the honorable gentleman who is 
at the head of our Mxeciitive. At the time this negotiation was 
commenced,* there coidtl not be the smallest hope of its being 
carried into elTect. The I'^'eiub consul IkuI obtained it perhajis 
for the cx])ress [>urpose of carrying into elfect his favorite scheme 
of universal domination; it might give him the chance of injur- 
ing the Ihitish, controlling the Spaniards, and dismembering 
America. Compared with these objects a handful of h.aid; ^l^^.~k 
Was of \\n niore coii.^eipu nee to him than a handful of sand. 
His fleet and army were ready to sail, and his colonial prefect 

coNSTrnTio.wAury ()!■ iiiii CESSiON. 259 

liad already anivtd. liiU mark! The King of Great I'.ritain, 
who al l!iis crisis 1 lal;c to have h(.\ii by far the most able nego- 
(iator we had, declares war. The ^oeiie is now changed. That 
\vhich iMance luui letUbcd to our intercessions, she was now 
compelled to grant fiom mere necessity. A state of warfare 
took- |)lace about the last of March, and the treat)' \vas signed 
soon afterwards. As long as 1 retain the small stock of under- 
standing which it lias i)leased God to give me, I shall never 
be induced to belie\'e that it was owing in the smallest degree 
to the efhcacy of diplomatic representation. The mind of that 
great man (NapoletMi) is not made of such soft materials as 
to receive an impression from the cullision of very gentle hands. 
No, sir; had it not been for this happy coincidence 
of circumstances, the |>ersonal solicitations of our ministers wuuld 
Iiave been regarded with as listless an ear as if the)' had been 
whispered across the ocean. . . . If, then, the claim which 
has been transferred (Louisiana) should be invested with any • 
latent embarrassment ; if the comt of Madrid has already sig- 
nified any hostilil)' to this treaty, in consequence of the nou-pci- 
formance of ih.e stipulations contained in that o{ St. Ildcfonso 
rcsjiecting the recognition of the late King of I'Jruria; if our 
{possession should be opposed, or our right of ])r(.iperly iu-re- 
after contested, let the i'residenl look to it. lie only will become 
resjH)nsible for every drop of American blood which may be 
drawn in such a contest, as he ought to have cominimicaied any 
information to this elTect which he ]iossessed, in okUt that our 
iliscielion miglit Ik- icgulalrd accoi dii)id\'. .\s no >\\:\\ obstacles 
liave lueu«- known |o ll^ bs ilic ^le>^id^^l, 1 •.■.;.! su])i>-'e 
that none siieh tlo ^.^i■^l, and I will therefore \ot(.- for the treat)." 
Mr. Claiborne of \'irginia declared bis firm belief in the con- 
stitutionality aiul the expediency of the treat). Mr. Sanford 
of North Carolina expressed similar views. Mr. Thatcher of 
MassaebusetlN opposed the trt-aty on constitutional grtumds. He 
maintained that jiower not e.Kpressl)- delegated b)- the states was 
still held by thnn ; that power to admit states to the. Union was 
not granted to the president even admitting that it had been 
granted to congress; that it was luA correct to state that con- 
gress had already ])racliced the piinciple of atlmitiing territory; 
that the preferi'iict- gdveii to I'^rncb and Spanish vessels by the 
treaty could not l)e considered part of the |)urchase price, because 
Louisiana was bouilit from I'l-uice alone, wlureas iirefennee 
was given to the ve.-sels of l)oth I'rance and Spain ; that the 
power contended for by the admini>l ration I'arly imj)lied the 

26o '^■/^^'" I'l'OllSCl- AND THE STAinS. 

j)0\vor of alirUHtiiiL;' oilici" parts of the United States, as Maine 
lo Great Jliilain; ami that to say the (|nestion was a kadui;^', 
not a coiislilutioiial one was inislcaclin^, l)ccause all clrparliucnL, 
of the ^o\-ciiiiiieiit, iiicludinj^' president and senate, were hnuii 1 
by tliL' eon^iitulioii. .Mr. I'Jamiolph corrected by statinfj that 
be had said "the prcfrrenee of our ships over foreign shi])s v.a^ 
a legal regulation ; and that therefore liiose gentlemen who were 
so lender with legard to the Constitution might ha\e il in tluir 
power entirtl) to get rid ui the Constitutional difhculty, by tak- 
ing off from the ships of brance and Si)ain such duties as were 
bigbcr than the duties ])aid by Ameriean vessels. When 1 say 
ibis I speak for them and not for myself; nor shall I move to 
take off these hea\'y dulies, as I do not feel the force of the 
Constitutional oljjectiuns ur;',ed by gentlemen. '1 he ailiele (d tlu; 
treaty S(j cWlen (juoted shows thai no |)rererence is gi\cn to one 
port over another." 

Mr. Smilie of l'enns)-lvania considered the "right of aiTnexing 
territory incidental to all go\ernments. If 1 am correct in this 
opinion, such a power is vested in some department of govern- 
ment in the United States. That it is not vested in the States 
is clear, as the}' are expressly divested of the right. 'riie\- arc 
by the Constitution expressl\- divested of the right of forming 
treaties and making war. It can then reside in the general Cio\'- 
ernincnt only. It is a position that cannot be ilenied, that all 
societies possess the riglit of self proteiliou'. . . . The 
treaty sa\s we are obli^ji'd to admit the inbaliilants according^ 
to the principles of the t wii lilutiwu. *^np]"'-'' the-e jiineipl ^ 
foibid their admi^si. I'.i ; thui we are U"! fbln.til to a<b;'!t ih.em. 
'idiis follows a-i an ah-olnte C(insc(|Ueuee from the j)rcmises." 

Mr. Crowninshield (jf Massachusetts said: '"reeling as 1 do 
that we have acquired this c(junlry at a cheap price, that it is 
<i necessary barrier in the soutlu'rn and western fpiartcrs of the 
Union, that il offers imnu'iise advantages to us as an agricult- 
ural and commercial nation, I am highly in favor of the acqui- 

Mr. Criswold of Connecticut argued at considerable length 
against the treaty, although be said, "I do not personally feel any 
particular hostility to it." Uc luesented objections both of crn\- 
stilutionalily ;ind expediency with greater jjower than any (-iber 
representative, and said that "until those doubts were cle.ned 
up be should feel comiielK'd to vote carrying the Ir^Mty 
into exieution." Amr)ng'- m;my important things which he said 
Nvas the following: "It is clear that it was intended to inc(jr- 


|X)ratc the inhahilants of (lie ceded territory into the Union by 
ihe treaty itself, oi- to ]>K'd;;e the faith of the nation tliat snch 
an incorporalion should take jilace wiihin a reas(')nahle time- 
It is i)ro])ei", therefore, to eon^idel" the ()Uesliun with a leferencc 
lo both constructions. It is ir. my opinion scarcely possible for 
any gentleman on this llot)r to advance an opinion that tlic 
I'resitleut and Senate ma)' add to the memt)ers of the I'liion by 
treat)' \vhcne\er they jilease, C)r, in the words of this treaty, may 
'incorporate in the Union of ihe United .States' a foreij^Mi nation 
who from interest or ambitiini may wish to become a memljer 
of our Cio\-ernnient. Suth a po\-/er would be direcllv repug- 
nant lo the original compact between the States, and a violation 
of the principles on which that compact was formed. It lias 
been ahead)' well o])sei\ed that the Union of the Slates was 
formed on the principles of a coi)artnei'.Nhip, and it wouUl be 
absurd to supjiose that the agents of the parlies who have been 
appointed to execute the business of the C()mi)act in behalf of 
the principal^, could admit a new partner without tiie consent 
of the partit's ihemselves. And yet if the hrst con.structioii is 
assumed, such must be the ca^e under this Constitution, and the 
President and Senate ma)' admit at will any foreign nation into 
this coi)artuev>hip witlu)ut the con.sent of the States. The Gov- 
eniment of this country is formed by a union of States, and 
the jx-ople have declared that the ( "oustitution \jas establis]ic<l 
'to form a m. ire jierfect union of llic L'nited States.' The Uuiled 
States here mentioned caimot be mistaken. They were the 
States linn in exi-leiice, :a: ! -uch sillier wv. Stau < a-> sh'vill 
be fornird, wiiliin the then limii> of ilie I'ni.'U, o< »n !■ -i mabl) 10 
the pro\i.'-iuus of the C'dnstilulion. blver)- mi'asure, lheref>»re, 
^vhich tends to infringe the perfect union of the States herein 
described, is a \'iolalion of the first sentiment expressed in the 
constituliiMi. The incoi poralion of a fcMei^^n nation into the 
Union, so far from tending to preserve the linion, is a direct 
inroad upon it ; it destroys the perfect union contemplated 
between ibe original parlies b)- inleri)Osing an alien anil a strangaT 
to share the poweis of Clovernment with them. Tk.e (io\eru- 
ment of the United Slates was not formed for llie purpose of 
distributing its principles and advantages to foreign nations. 
It was fi>imed w iih ihe sole \'ie\v of securing" tho.>c blessings 
to omseKe- and our ])M.>(rrii)'. It foll()\ss fi'MU these piinciples 
that no p. )\\(r can residt in any pui)lic functiouar)- to coniracl 
any engagemeni, cir to pursue any measure which shall change 
the Union of ihe Slates. Nor was it necessary that any restrict- 

262 THE PROrJXCl- ,L\'}) THE ST.ITHS. 

ivc clause sliouKl Iiuvl- l)ceii iiiscrlcd in tlic C^;nst;Uiti(i:i lo 

restrain the jjiiljlic agoiils i\\,]u exercising; those cxtraordinai v 

powers, because the reslricliou qrows out of the natuie ol' i!n- 

GovcrnuKiil. Thr President with the aiKice oi the Senate h..^ 

undouhtedly the rigiit to form treaties, hut in exercising ihc>e 

powers he cannot barter away the Constilulion or t!ie rights of 

particular Stales. It is easy lo conceive thai it must have been 

considered ver\- important b\- the original ])arties lo the cc^nsli- 

. tution, that the limits of the I'nikHl Slates should not be extended. 

'Jlie (jovernn.eul ha\iiig' been fmnied b\- a union of Slate>, it 

is sui^pusable that the fear of an undue or preponderating inlhi- 

cnce in certain parts of this l.'nion must have great weight in 

the minds of those wiio might api;rehend that such an inlluence 

might ultimately injure the interests of the Slau's to which they 

belonged; and alihough the\- might consent lo become i)ariie> 

to the Union as it was then formed, it is highly ijrobable, thai 

they would never have con.^ented lo such a connection if a new 

world was to \n- thrown into the scale to weigh down the inihience 

which they might otherwise i)ossess in the national cr)imcils. 

From this vii-w of the subject. ] have been persuaded that the 

framcrs of the Constitution m-vir inlendrtl that a powrr .sli.nild 

reside in the Trcsident and Smale to foim a tieatv b\- which 

a foreign nalii>n and ix"oi)le shall be incorporated in the Union, 

and that tins treaty so far as it stiptdate.s fey such an inc<Mpo- 

ration is void. 

"A new territory and new subjects mav imdoubledK be 
ol)lained by coih|uest and by piiich.i-c; b,ii n.itlir the c.-;ii'"l 
nor the iiurchase can incorpoiaie iIkiu mi«. ilie Union. i bf\- 
must remain in the couditiLin of culduies and be go\erne(l accord- 
ingly. The objection to the third article is not that the prov- 
ince of Louisiana could not ha\e been purchased, but that neither 
this nor any other foreign nation can be incorporated intt> the 
Union by treaty or by a law; and as this counlr)' has been ^:c(]it\ 
to the United Slates only imder the condition of an lncoriK>ia- 
!ion, it residts that if the condition is unconstitutional or impos- 
sible the cession itself falls to the ground. . . . The gen- 
tleman from \irginia (Mr. Randolph) has said that the dis- 
criminating dulies of impost and tonnage are not a constitutional 
but a statute regidaticMi. This is undoubtedly true, but it mnsi 
be recolKcied that the statutes are in force, and so long as i1k\- 
remain uniepealcJ, the prifi-rence is given to the ports on the 
Mississippi and the miiformity of duties is violated; and it can- 
not most assnrdl)- be Correct to viol.atc a principle of the L"on- 

coxsriTLTJOwiLi'i y oi- Tim cession. 


stitution for a tiny under tlio cxjxclation of cuiin,L,' the violation 
l)v a lof^'iblaiivc iiitci fereiicc. . . . The ships of iMance ami 
Spain are to he a^liuiued into Ww ()rleans on the same terms 
with our own slii[)>. 'J'lie discriminating' dul)', therefore, in 
respect to them in that port is virtually repealed. But we ohtain 
110 repeal of the countervail in<i^ duties in French and Spanish 
ports. The consei|uence must he that while we are lahorinj^' 
under all the embarra^smcnt of extra duties in their ports, they 
are liberated from every embarrassment in ours. The effect is 
easy to be seen: the whole trade from the mouth of the .Mis- 
sissij)])i to the J-'rench and S]^'mish coKmics and i)rt)!jal)l)- to their 
lCurC)pean po>sessii>n^, must ullimatels' be carried on in iMench 
and vSpanish bottoms, to the mtiic exclusion of .American shiits. 
Nor will the injin'y stop lure; both bVance and Spain will doubt- 
less prefer })rocurin_L; their sui)])lie.s ) rt;m the I'nited Stales in 
their (jw n ships, and while they hold the mono|)oIy of the trade 
at the mouih of the .Mi.^sissijipi the)' will be able to draw frouT 
that point an abundant supply of Hour and other ai'ticles of 
produce, to the great prejudice if not to the ruin of the trade 
from the Atlantic ports to the French and Spanish colonies." 

One of the stronj^e.-t ari;unKiUs in favor of the resolution 
before the liou>e \\a< deliwred b\' Mr. Xicholson of Mar\lami. 
lie reviewed ever\' feat\u"e of the proposed acquisilion, and 
cmphasi/etl every argument in its fa\or. Amon^:^ other thinj^s, 
he said: "Whether the I'nited vSiates as a sovereign and inde- 
pendent empire \va> a ri;Ju to ac(|nire tei"rii«'iy is one (piestion; 
but whether llie\- c;m admit I'liijoiN i".'.m tbc I'lr.^n ri-'U 
an e(pi;d fu- .1 in;,-- wiili llic ollur '-lites i> a i;ue-li -i '■! .1 \<\\ 
different nature. . . . Had I been asked an_\\'. here bui in 
this J louse whether a sovereign nation had a right to actpnre 
new territory, I should have thought the (pusiion an al)surd 
C)ne. It apjiears to me too plain and undeniable to admit of 
demoi:stration. Is it necessary to resort to ancient authorities 
to establish a position which is proved by the coiuluct pursued 
by all nations from the earliest perioils of the wC)rKl and wbieh 
arises fi-um the very nature of societ\? Can il be doubled 
that when a Stale is att.icked it has the right to a.^>ail ils enemy 
in tmn and weaken the aggresst)r by dispossessing him of a 
l)art of his territory? Surely the t>pinions of all writers both 
ancient .and m-idern and the examples of all nations in all ages, 
can lea\-e no reason to doubt on this subject. I'ut, sir, on this 
as on niD^t ollu-r occasions, we are told that thr Coiistiiniiwu 
stares Us in the face, and that this Meats' cann(.>t be carried into 

264 '^^^^-" PJiOl'JNCH AND run STATES. 

cITccl williDiit \ iolatiiiL;- llic C'ciislitiilion. If, iiulccd, this s;id\.l 
inslrunuiil forbids the iicfiuisiiion of tcrrilor)' l)y iho I'mtrti 
States, 1 will most rvadily achiiii that \vc r)ui;iit to slop lirrr. 
Let the C'onsliiution, however, he txaiuincd, let the i)iinci]<li. - 
oil which it Nvas formed he taken into view, and it will he fuuuil 
that in^lead of fi irhiddinj;-, the Ci in>titntion recoc^Mii/x-s the aulli'i;- 
ity to aciiuiie territorv. . . . 'V\\c rif;ht to declare war i^ 
given to l\)iiL;re>^ ; the rii;ht to make treaties, to the President 
and Senate. C^oncincst and imrehase rdune are the ntean^ h\- 
which nations ac(|nire territory The one can onl)' be effected 
by war, the other by treat)-, and when the States divested them- 
selves of these i)t)\\eis and v^axc tlnin to the f^eneral Cluwrn- 
nient, the\' i;a\-e at the same lime the rii^dil to ac(|nire terrileuy 
which the\- ihemseK'es original!)' had. 'J'he right must exist 
somewhere. It is essential to indeiKiident sovereignty The 
tenth section of the hrsl article of tlie Conslilnlion^Iy 
prohibits the States from entining into treaties or levying war 
and even from forming any compact or agreement with another 
State or a foreign l''ower without the consent of Congress. All 
llie rights which the Slates originally enjrned are either reserved 
to the Slates or are \-ested in the (leneral (li>vi'rnmnt. ]f lhe\- 
once had the power individually to acquire territory and this 
is now jirohibiled to them by ihc ConstiliUion, it follows of course 
that the in.wer is vested in the United Slates. The t'lntleman 
from Connecticut (Mr. C.risw(7ld) admits that during the la>t 
session he was an atl\-ocate for \er\- \-igorons measures. \\\ vig- 
orous niea>nre> he means war. Will lie -kin ;' .it it \v i> 1,:^ 
wish to sei/e upon Xrw ( hkan- hv f..!ce? Will he (len\ that 
tliis and this alone was the reason why his friends .and him^elf 
did not unite with us in the measures ihen adopted for the pur- 
])ose of accjniring this comur\? If the genllen'.an"s oljject wa< 
war, if hi-s mcasme was con(|nest, did he mean that we should 
drive all the inhabitants of the island into the Gulf of Mexico 
and afterwards retire into oiu" own limits? If he then thought 
that after conquering Xew Orleans we should have a right (o 
liold it, surely it will not now be denied that wc can liold it 
after having oluained it by peacealile measures. 
\\'here one )>art>- vi< Tales an article in a treaty, the other has the 
right to (kel lie the w hok- void, because the violation is a breach 
of faith and is a vol'.mlary acl. Ihit wlure some of the stipu- 
lations of a treaty are impovMble to be performed or cann 't be 
fulfilled consistently with the engage inents of an anii-ceduil 
treaty with a third I'owei, the-e are of ci.ur>e void, but other 

coxsirn''no.\'.ii.irv oi' riin ci-ssio.w. 


nnrts will stand j^'-ood. . . . If il shall finally \>c dclcrniincd 
that ("ongrcss cannot admit the coiled territory into the Union 
as a v'^tate, yet the oilier parts of the treaty with France will 
btaiidt^ootl. If this was the iiitenlion of our Mini.^tirs (which 
|)erhai)S may he douhted), they seem to have j^uarded aj^ainst 
the event of a refusal eitlk-r h\' Coni^ress or by the pecjple. I\)r 
it is declared expressly that until the inhabitants can he incor- 
porated into the Ihiion and can he admitted to all the j)rivile.^es 
of citizenship, they shall he i)rotected in the enjoyment of their 
civil and reh"<^ious riidils." 

Messrs. ]\odiie\' of Delaware and Mitchill of New ^''ork spok'O 
in favor of the resolution. The former said: "ilow are these 
peojile to he aihiiitted? .Acccm iliiiL; to the principles vi the l'\d- 
eral Cc')nstilutioii. l.s it an open violation of any i)art i>f the I'ou- 
stitution. No; an express reservation is made hy those who 
formed the treaty that they 1 e admittetl under the Consti- 
tution. Now, if admitted aiireeahh' to the C "(;iislitulion it can- 
not he said to he in vii')lalion of it ; and if not in violation of it 
the fears c»f p^enllemen are t;roundless." .Mr. Mitchill said: "We 
aie constantl}' in the |Maclice of recei\in.Q- territory 1)\' cession 
from the red men of the W'est, the al)orip;ini's of our country, 
'idle ver>- tre:ity mentioned in th.e President's mr:.>;i-4e with the 
l\askaski;i Indians whereby we h:\\c ac(|uired a larf^e extent of 
land, would according;' to this doctrine be unconstitional ; and so 
would all the treaties with the numerous tribes of ttie natives on 
our frontiers. . . . v^uppose for a iiKMuent that our jMe-ent 
limits were full ^^\ people, would il l^' une. iM^tituti. n.d to i.'urlia-e 
addiliouid teiiilMi\- lor them to velil-' upon,'' Mu--I tli>' hi\> 
alwa)s contain its l)re^elll number.^ and no swarm ever jm' torth .' 
. P.y the third article (of the treaty) it is stipulated that 
the inhabitants of Louisiana shall hereafter be made citizens; 
Cfi^o they are lu^t m;ide citizens of the United States bv mere 
operation of treaty. In conrii-ni;ition of this construction, 1 will 
mention the seiund ailielr of the Ticat)' of Amitv. Uomnn. rce and 
Na\-i£;ation between th^ United States and his I'.ritannic Majesty 
concluded in i/yl. It is therein stipulated that all r.rilish sub- 
jects who shall continue within the evacuated posts anil precincts, 
should be consiik-retl if they remained there lonj^er than one \ear 
to have abandoned all alUj^iance to the crown of Rrilain and to 
have made their ekeliiai to become citizens of the United Stales; 
after which by t:ikin'.' the o.ith of a!K irianci' they bec;\me in^t;mlly 
by aei of treal\- and b\' fuiee of --l.i'.nle cili/en> of the Unilol 
Stales. I tlieri-fore consider llii- p liul already ;idjud;;ed, wluii 

266 'i'^ll'- l'l^(>ri\'CIi AMD THE STATES. 

tlic tical}' of 171)4 was ck'cidiul on, that williout an act of Congress 
aliens can lio converted into citizens by the provisions of a treaty 
chily ratitied hy the i 'resident and Senate. In the treaty respect- 
ing Louisiana there is happily no cause for alarm. This power 
of making citi/ens has not been exerciseil hy the President and 
Senate, but a future day may be used by Congress. . . . Hy 
the treaty there is no preference given to one State over another 
in any commercial regulations. The j^ort of New Orleans is not 
a part of any State in the I'nion. The abolition of the discrimi- 
nating duties in fa\'or of the two liuropean nations is confined 
absoliUely t(.> the ports of Louisiana. They have no preference in 
the ports t)f anv of the States. .\'or is there given to one an 
advantage over the other. In right construction these indul- 
gences are in fact a part of the purchase money; and on account 
of this valuable consideration. Congress will have less money to 
appropriate and the nation thereby be saved from several mil- 
lions additignal debt." 

Mr. Randolph concluded the argument on the resolution with 
a concise arid general summary of all the points advanced for and 
against the treaty. It had been shown, he contended, that every 
consideration oi exiK'diency demanded not only the adoption of 
the resolution but tlie acceptance of the treat)'. lUit it mu>t be 
admitted that tb.e debate did not de\elop a specific right inherent 
in the constitution to admit a state into the Union from foreign ter- 
ritory aci|uired. ( )n the other band, the si)irit of definite consti- 
tutional provisions clearly implied such a right. Therefore, the 
debate ile\ eloped imm^.n^^el\ i)re[)onderating ach'antages in favor 
of the treaty, \\ ith ni) specitic constitiuional prohibition against 
the admission of such a state. It should be said, however, that 
the latter -point was not exhaustively discussed at this debate, 
because it was not proi)erl)- embraced in the resolution under dis- 

The committee of the whole arose, the house proi)er resumed 
the Consideration of business, and the chairman of the conuuittec 
reported the following resolntious :* 

" Rcsol:\'il , pnni.sions ought to be matle for carr\-ing into 
effect the treat)' and c<;nventions concluded at Paris on the 
thirtieth of .\pril, one thftusand eight lumdred and three, between 
the United States of Anierira and the Fn-nch Republic. 

"/vt'.vc/, .(/, That so niU( b of the .Message (;f the President of 
the twinty lirsl instant, a.-. rel.ili> to the establishment of a Pro- 

• .Annuls u( Ciinmcss. 

co.\'st[T[:tio.\f.-ii.jtv or run cnssio.v. 267 

vi>ional CjOvcrnnn'ut o\cr the (cnilory acc|uircil hy the lliiiltnl 
Slates, in vii'lue of the tr<.-aty ami conventions lately nej^olialetl 
with the iMench l^epnliHc, in- nfeired to a select committee; and 
that they report h\' hill or otherwise. 

"J^i'soli'Cil, That so much oi the afori-said conventions as 
relates to the payment hy the United States of sixty millions of 
francs to the French Uepuhlic and to the paement hy the United 
States of dehts due hy iMance to ciii/en^ of the I'nited Stales, he 
referred to the crimmilike of \\'a\s and Akans." 

'J'he thht resdluiion was carrird hy }(.as 90, nays 25. Tiic sec- 
ond was amended hy an iiis(.rlii.>n of the words '\)CCupation and" 
hefore the \sdiii "esiril JishiiK iil,' and was then a:.;ieed In. The 
third was ado])tvd. These- acts of the house nia\ he construed as 
a fidl acceptance of the cession of Louisiana ()\i the terms sii|iu- 
l.ited in the treaty, and sul)se(jueul dehaUs were merel)' inlemled 
to clear u|) the details of rii^hl and priicedure. 

On Ocloher 27, the house in committee of the whole considered 
the senate hill to enahle the presidrni to take p(jssession of the 
territor)' ceded h}' l^-ant'e {o tin- Uniled States /\pril 30, 1803, and 
for other purposes (see the hill sujjra). All". Griswold of Con- 
necticut moveil to strike C'\U the whole second section, and 
explained that he made the molion in order '"to ol)lain an explana- 
tion resijcclin;; ihe nature ami extent of the delei^ated power." 
This led to a spirited discussit^n, in which man)' memhers JMiucd, 
of the power thus to he delei^ated to the president, se\'eral ccm- 
tendiu':;^ that tin- secliiiu was uueous;iiulio!ial and others ihal it 
was not. The moii(iii lo sliiki out was deicU'd l'\' a\' - -' ^ In 
()rder to euie faults which ihe m;ii''!Uv jijii ihiiii-ii\i^ eon 
sielered mi[;]u he jusll) held ai'ainst the hUl, .Mr. Randolph mo\'ed 
an amendment to the second section h_\- adtlini;' at the close the 
words, "for mainiainin^;" and protectim^ the iuhaljiiants of Louisi- 
ana in the full enjoyment of their lil)erl\-, i)ropert}- and religion." 
As this limited the ])OWers deU\L;ateil to the president, it was 
ap;reed to without division. On the 28th the hill came hack fnini 
the senate where the house amemlmenls had liecn accepted, and 
was \oted upon with the ifsult of 89 yeas and 23 nays. 'I'his 
made it a law so far as compress was concerned, one of the most 
important evei parsed h\- the law-m.akin^ hranch of the govern- 
ment. It cainiiit he douhted. when the conj^'ressional deh.ite is 
careful!)- riTul -.^wA anah/ed, that the hill ma the approval of 
almost ever)- uamlKT (jf conj:^Me^s, e\en (if tht<se who, duiin|( the 
discussion, mi^evl stroui;- f)hji\ti<'ns to the metluKls proposed ftu' 
acce|)lin^^ the lie.-il)-. Xearl)' all al lieait were williu;,' lo t.-d<e 

268 Tim ruori.xcji run states. 

ihc ixiiioie chances vi infiingini:^ tlie constitution in oiiUr to 
settle perniaiKuil)- tin; Mississippi (picstiein and to scenic liic 
splendid tloniain beyond thai river. 

Tiie bill for carryini;- into itTcct the convention of April 30, 
1803, hetwctn the iJniied States and l-^rancc passed the house — 
yeas 85, na}S 7. Tins bill v/as amended by the scnattj, but ili.: 
amendments were at^rced to by the house on November 7. The 
act providin.i^^ for the payment of the claims of American citizens 
ag-aii>.si I'rance was a])proved by congress November 12. Two 
other ads, one allowini; tlrawbacks of ilulics on goods cxi)orled 
to New Orleans, and another layinif and collecting- duties on 
imports and tonnage within Louisiana, were i)assed at this ses- 
sion of congress. U may be projur to add at this puinl that the 
total lost lo the Uniteil vStates of the J.oui.siana |nucha^e ujj to 
June 30, 18S0, including- principal, interest, claims, debts, etc., 
reached the grand aggregate of twenty-.^even million two Uundred 
and sixty-seven thousand six luuulred and twenty-one dollars and 
ninety- eight cents. 

run ri.oRiDA and ti-.xas j^ouxDAkius. 26c) 


Tlic I'lorida ami tlic Texas Boundaries, 
1803-1 808 

WHEN llic United Slates conunissioners received from the 
iMencli con-'iiiissionor, Peter Clement Laussat, the 
jnovinee of Lduisiana on DcCfmlter 20, 1803, they were 
tnider orders to refrain from layinj.^^ any chiim to West Florida.* 
It had been learned that at the time the province was transferred 
by Spain to France a few weeks before, nothinc; denotinj,^ the 
limits or the boundaries iransjjired. The iMxnch aiuhorities were 
not ordered, when they thus secnrcd Louisiana from Spain, to 
claim any portion of the Floridas. M. Lau^sal, wlnj had been 
the iM-ench couunissitMU r tt) receive tiie pi\)vince from Spain and 
later to transfer il to llie lanled Stale., vtated p. .Mli\ ilv that no 
Jiart o\ the l''loi]da^ \\a> ineluded s^ii'nn tla ta-lun l-.aiidary 
aTul that allhouiji ]-"rance had ^lrenM<)U^I\■ in-.i>ieil (hi aii exten- 
sion of I^ouisiana to the Mobile ri\'er, their demrmds were peremj)- 
loi'ily refused by SjiaMi. After the treaty of San IhK'fonso the 
consular government had used every arL;ument within their power 
to stretch the eastern l)oundary of the province to the I'erdido, 
but Spain had i-eisislenil)' refused [n concede the claim, larL;ely 
through the influence C;l the acute Codoy. Had iMance jjossessed 
the least claim to an eastward extensie.n beyond the Iberville, the 
fust consul, wlun he seeured the retrocession of I.oui>iana in 
1800 and when he so intensely tlesired the acquisition of the 
I'doridas, would scarcely lia\e failid to (ut part at least of West 
^'!ori^la, ha\in<; as he did '\uh inlluence and ]ne--tii,'e with the 
vSpani.^h court. I'.eini; unable i<» ^llo•,^■ a iij;ht to such a claim, 

•Aniot icMii Slalu I' s. 

270 Till: I'koi'iscE AM) run status. 1 

tlioui;h liaviiiji;^ tlic ])roiiiisc of the Spanish monarch to icIkkkIo 
Louisiana, he was forced to he content with the eastern hiur.v 
at the river Iherville. Mail he kept J.ouisiana, lie undouhuiil, 
wouhl liave hrought pressure enough to hear hiter on llic Si>an:-:i 
. government to secure West l-'lorida at least, h\' purcliasc or oth'.r 
equivalent. The inahihiy of !•" ranee t(j show a just claim to ter- 
ritory east of the Iherville and the ])Obitive stanii of the Spani-h 
(hat Louisiana extended no farther eastward, were the j)rincii);d 
circumstance which induced the United States to forej^o for a 
while laying- any claun to a portion .of West l-'lorida. Tluy 
realized the immediate imijortance of gaining i)osscssion c-f 
Louisiana heforc anything should transjjire to prevent the acces- 
sion, and trusted to negotiation afterward to effect the rehu- 
quishnunt of We^l h'hirida hy Spain. .Many of the hrij;lite-l, 
clearest- sighted ami u'.osl hunorahle oi" tlie American statesnun 
helievid the United Slates possessed a \'alid claim [u the terri- 
tory eastward t(t the I'erdido. The citizens generally jtlesired 
very much to possess the h'loridas; and accordingly, the transfer 
of Louisiana to the L'uiled States had no sooner heeu efficted 
than the Americans in the \icinity of Xew Orleans "and Natchez, 
began oj)enl)- to claim the country tu the I'erdido. ]n a shuil 
time these claims hecame so annoying to the Spani.~>h at New ' 
Orleans, that the lullowing cumnnmications passed hetween the 
commissioners of I'rance and Si)ain still in that city : 

"New Orleans, March 31, 1S04." 
'"Jo till- Colonial Trefect and ComiMissioiuT of the Iwench 
]\( puhlic : 
"Su': 1 should he jMiili)- of a great dereliction from m\- iluiy 
and from the nece^^ilie^ imposed hy the confidence of the l\ing 
ni)' master when he ga\e me my commission, if, while nou are 
preparing for your voyage, and terminating the operalions in 
which 1 was also destined to hear a jiart, T should neglect to com- 
municale to you, in the n.ime of the King, that Spain cannot with 
indilTeience leganl the e.xurhilant propositions which the United 
States are hegiiming to set forth, with regard to the limits, hoth 
to the (ast and the we>t, of the {)rovince of Louisiana. The 
Hmits on the east are e>lahlished hy solemn treaties, and for that 
very ri-ason are ahsolutely lUKpiestionahle ; it however appears 
that ]'rance herself is supi)oiting the estahlishment of ihosi- on the 
wc-.t at the mouth of the river I'.ravo (Kio Grande). I cannot, 
theiefiiri-, refrain from intermii; my nuxt solemn prijtest against 
any opc!,inMii.> (;r iiitcnli>iii> of e^tahli.sjiini; the limits he\ond the 


ri\cr Sabine, until In's Majcsl)' ^llall li;ivc resolved upon sonic 
measure with ri\i;ar(l to the subject ; as ^neh ;i iJioceeding would 
be prejudieial to tlie intere>ls ol Spain, and \\ould lend to dis- 
member a considerable jjorliitn of the internal provinces of Mexico 
U> tlie great daniaj.;e oi the dolniniun^. of bis Majesty and of bis 
subjects. And in oider tbat tbis may forever be public, J 
beseecii you, sir, to inform your goveriuneni of il, in order that 
the limits may be settled truly, which now ai)i)car5 undetermined, 
and the operations of tracing them ma\' be begun upon the bases 
already acknowK'dged I))' I'rance when she formally jiossessed 
the province of Louisiana." 

"May CjOcI j)reserve )ou many yeai>, 

"TiiK. Makoui.s 1)i; C'asa Caia'o."* 

"New Orleans, u of Germinal, ^'ear 12. 

(2d of Apiil, 1S04). 
"To the Marcjuis de Casa Calvo, 

"Brigadier of the Armies of vSpain, 

"and Commissioner of his Catholic ]\Iajesty: 
''Sir: ] will faithfully submit to my government the declara- 
tion in the form of a protest, which )ou i^laced in ni)- hands by 
.voui" letter of the 10th of Cu'rminal of the present \ear ( .March 31, 
lSo.j)j ri'speclmg' the limits \\iii>.h should be i-.->labli^hed for 
Loui.siana, acciMiling to the treaty of re>toration and of cession, in 
execution of which 1 here represent the b'rench pci^j^le, by com- 
mission from the Fir^t Consul. 1 have the honor to salute you, 
sir, with the greatest consideration." 

"Lai ~>AT." 

At the time of the transfer of Louisiana to the L'nited 
States, the l-'rencb commissioner, Ab Lanssat, while i)ositive that 
the eastern bomidary did not extend beyond the river Iberville, 
was equally po.-itive that the southwestern bountlary did extend 
to the l\io Lravo or Del Norte. Mr. Living>ton, in his letter 
dated May 20, 1S03, states that at Hrst be thought that the b'lori- 
das extended westward to the river Iberville. "The moment I 
saw the wt)rds of the treat v of Madrid I had no doubt but it 
included all the country that iManee possessed by the name of 
Louisiana previous I'.i their cession to Spain, except what had been 
conve)ed by ^ub^e<iiunt treaties. I accordingly in>i.-<led with 
M. Maiboi- at the linn we iK-gotialed tbat this would be con- 

♦ Aiiici iriiii Sl.Tlc I'lipti s. 

272 Till'. rROi'ixci- Ayii) the status. 

sidcrcd as within our i)urcliasi.'. lie neither assented nor ileni^i',, 
but said tlial all they received from Spain was intended to !;•: 
conveyed to n.^. 'Idiat my coii-truclion was ri^hl is fairly Icj It 
inferred from the words of the treaties, and from a eomment \\\n,:\ 
them contained in the Spani-^h minister's letter t(.> Mr. rinchiicx, 
in which he expressly says thai l^anee had recovered I.(nii>.iana 
as it ft:rmerly helonged to her, .-^avini;- the ric^dits of ttther Towers. 
This leaves no douht upon tlu' snljiject of the intention of the coii- 

.tracliii;.', parties. Xow, it i.s well known that J.ouisiana as 
possessed hy JM'ance was bounded by the river Pcrdido and that 
Mobile was the metropolis. l'V)r the facts relative to this 1 refer 
yon to J\a)nal and to his ma[)S. I have also seen maps here which 
put the matter out of dispute. 1 called this mornin;^ uiuiii 

' M. Marbois for a fuither explanation on this subject, and to 
remind him of his havint;' told lui- that MwbiU' made a part of the 
ce.ssion, He told me that he had no precise iilea on the subject, 
but that he knew it to be an historical fact, and that on tiiat only 
he had formcil his opinion, i asked him what orders had been 
given to the Prefect who was tcj take ])ossession, or wiiat orders 
iiad been <;iven by S]»aiu as to the lioundary in cetlini.,'' it? lie 
assured mc that he did nc)l l:uow ; but that he would mal;e the 
iiU[uiry and let me know. .\l fcnir o'clock I called for Mr. 
Monroe to lake him to the minister of foreij^n affairs, but he was 
prevented from accompanyin<:; me. I ask'cd the minister what 
were the east bounds of the territory ceded *to us?* lie s;ii 1 lie 
(lid not know; we must take it as ihev had recei'/ed it. 1 asked 
liim how Sjiain meant tn ;.M\e ibein - ion ■' lie said, .ici ord 
\n^ to till- w\>rd> of the treaty. I'-ut did \'.;i mean '..i t d.e r' 
1 do ni.'l know. 'J"hen you mean that we shall cc-nstrue it cnir 
own wa)? 1 can V'\\c you no direction; yi")u ha\e made a noble 
barg-ain for )-ourselves, and I su]-)pose yon \sill make the most 
of it." 

As scM>n as the pro\'ince had been turned over to the American 
commis.siiaiers, the tioops under (leiieral Wilkinstjii were placed 
in the redoubts surroundinq the city for want of better cpiarters. 
This was a sevi-ri' hardshi]^ of which he entereil strenuous com- 
plaint. On January l('), iSo.i, be wrote, "We' did not until this 
day receive the oideis of the I'i'eiich and Si»anish conunissioncrs 
for the delivery of the i)o>ls in L'p|)er I.Mui^i;lna." As late as 
March, iSo.}. he iepf;rlrd that the Spanish tr(>ops wvxv still in 
New Oikans, in pM-.-e--sioii of the ma,L,'a/.ine and storebon-es 
while the .\meriean tinop^ were ir,|iiired t>)pa\' foi tlieii .accoiM- 
n)Ovl.itiuns. lb- lepi.ited thai bi> patience was n^aii} exb.uisletl. 

run l-I.OklDA AND TI.XAS lUH'XnARlES. 273 

Late in March a detail of Spanisli g-uards was inoiinlcd in New 
Orleans, of which General Wilkinson said, '"hut } ou must not 
helieve tiiat this sinr^ular spectacle is permit led !))• my consent." 
On the 251!) of April he wrote, "1 have thr satisfaction to inform 
you that ahout three hundied vSpanish trciops iinl)arki'd for I'ensa- 
cola on the 8ih instant, hut I am informeil that twelve or fifteen 
cifiicers and hetwcen sixty and one hundred men will continue in 
this city, 'i'hey have delivered uj) the harracks, but occupy the 
))ospital and ^^\■eral detached hnil(linj;s. The I'refect nuule his 
conti^e (farewell) to our commissioners on the 12th instant, hut is 
still in town exercising his pic fectorial and commissarial func- 
tions." On April 25th he wrote: "I lie Prefect o\ h'rance 
embarked on the 21st instant. Yesterday the commissioners e»f 
the United Slates t0f)k leave of the connniNsioncr.s of Spain and 
1 numbered twenty-five Spanish officer^ at the audienci'. On 
July 14 he wrote that the powder mai;a/iiie had laen delivered 
to him. On October 30th (loxernor L'laihorne notified the sec- 
retary of war that six hundred Spanish troops IkuI arrived at 
Pcnsacola ; that Mobile and l^atc^n Koui^e were to be streni;th- 
ened ; tliat a Spanish briL;adiiri;(.-nei al h;id arrived at San Antcj- 
nio, and a fort had been erected on Trinit}' river. 

The Spanish troops not liavini,' left New Orleans by AuL^Uhi, 
1805, Oiovcrnor Claiborne complained to the secretary of state 
and said: "\''ou no doubt will be surprisid to find so many 
foreign ofTicers in this city; tlie fact is, sir, they arc'weddcd to 
Louisiana and nccessit)' alone will induce tlu-m lo dip;irl. f 
have repe;itcdl\' by K'ticr and \Trball\ inl'Mrii'.d the ^l,.!ip;i-- 
(Casa Calvo) the coiilinnaiiee in tb,. ivinli'M oi ■ h..m.' 
Spanish oriicers so long beNciul the ii^dit occasion foi it, w;l^ 
not seen with approbation, and urged their departure, ^fbe 
Marcpiis lias as often assure'd me of his disposition to comply 
with nty wishes." l.ate in August, 1805, it was reported in 
New Orleans that Louisiana had been transferred by the United 
States to vS^|)ain. The Mar(]uis Casa CaKo told (u>veinor Clai- 
borne, in answer to (juestions of the latter, that the Spanish min- 
ister of slate iiad communicated to him ib.e failure of the 
nep^otiations of Messrs. Monroe and I'iiickney at Madrid and 
had slated that the desire of the couil of Sp:nn was lo make 
"the Mississippi ri\er the boundary, and in time it was e.\|)ected 
that objict would be att.aiiicd." ' |',y tbi.s was nu ant that 

•Tliis stalfiiietit .shoild l)c home in iiiiiid 

274 'J'fl^-- PJ^Ol'IXCf. .l.\'D 71 Hi STATUS. 

Sliain cxprcicd uUiinatcly to pccuic Louisiana in return foi- tlic 
cession of tlu' I'Moiidas to iho United States. C.ovcrnor C"la\- 
bonie said, "'I'lie prospect of a letiocossion of tlic west liank 
of till.' Mississippi now is and lias always been the theme of 
the v^panish otlicers who leiiiain in this territor_\', and many 
citizens seem to view it as an e\enl lil<el) to liai)[)cn — an inii)rcs- 
sion which I f^MTatly re;;ret, since it tends lo lessen their con- 
fidence in the .Aiiuiican (lowrnment and to ciierish a Spanish 
party amonf^-' us. I most desire to see ever)' Spanish oflicer 
removed fnim the ceded terriior)-. There certainly must be a 
jjouer somewhere \h ;-teil lo cau^e to be executed the clause in the 
treaty which directs 'the forces to be withdrawn (wiiliin 
three monlhs) from the ceded lei riloi)'," and 1 slunild indeed he 
pleased to ha\e it hinted to me that in m\- character a^ coinmis 
sioned or Ciovernor, I could on this occasion take (if iiecessai)) 
compulsor\- measui'es." 

Go\'eriior Claiborne wrote on October 2.\: "I have coalain 
information of the at rensacola of four luindred tiwips 
from Havana ami that a much larger number is daily e.xiiecled. 
I also leam from a source entitled to credit that three hundred 
men are ordered from I'eiisacdla to luilon Koui;e, and that 
eight hundred Spanish troops ha\e lately Ijcen posted on the 
frontier of the province of Texas. 1 1 is a fact known to mc 
that a v^]iauish accent has contracted with a merchant of this 
city for the delivery at the town of McjbiU- of four ihousiud 
barrels of Hour, and thai this same aj^'enl not bemi:^ able to effeel 
a contiacl for the dcli\ci\- nf four t!i 'ii and jsiii of -b... s ;ii 
Mobile lias purcbasi'd a i|ii.iiiiii, ,.i' Ki'.!.;. . h is 

niy intention to leiiuire (d (,'.' >\ t luur bob h an e.\j)laiiaiion of ilie 
object ol these military mu\rments. ... 1 am inclined 
to tliiiik that the vSpanish agents calculate on a speed}' rujiture 
and are making; all the inxi'iarations which their means jHTiiiit 
to commence the war in this (piarler [o advanta.>j^e. New Oilcans 
would uni|i;estio!iah!\- be the lirst object of attack', and with a 
^'iew to its security I should be pleased to see Fort St. John 
repaired ami jiut in a stale of defense; that fort coniiuaiuis the 
mouth of the I'.ayou St. b'hn, and if strent;thened would pre- 
sent a great impediment to the i)assat;c of lrcH:)j)s from iVns.acola 
and i\b»bile by the way of the lakes to this city."^ 

The stirntjtheniiif^ at this time of all the Spanish ])orls alonj;; 
the Cull and the diki)' of the v^panish lomp-, to e\acuaie the 

•Aujtriiuu Mule J' 

Tini n.oRinA j.v/; nouxD.ikir.s. 


posts of tlic ctnlocl iL-rriloi)-, wen.- due to ilic lad llint llic iiilialj- 
iiants there did not lielie\e that the cession would be carried 
into cflect, and did l)elie\e tliat llie province would he retro- 
oeiled lo Spain.''' 'riieixfoie, the warlike proceedings of the 
Spanish authorities in Havana, l^ouisiana and tlie I'loridas were 
in anticipalioii of such retrocession, and were juohahly not ii; 
obedience lo orders from tiie Sjjanish court. Xo dmiljt the prob- 
able eventuality of serious trouble with the United vSlates had 
somclhin^'" to do in causing' these militar)- ])reparations. As a 
niaitcr of fact, the attitude of the I'niletl Stales in claiming^ 
^^'(•st I'lorida in face of the declaiaiion of both l-'rance and Sj^ain 
that it was ii()( included in ihe cessinn of Louisiana, was re';arilcd 

by the latter a.^ an act of Imsiiliiy as an intention to occupy 

and hold th;it pro\inct,. In ilii> view Spain was only partly 
ri^ht. While many bilimetl tiial l.i>ui>iana extended to the 
I'eiclidc^ no foi'cible occupation of tlu- province would have 
ri-sulted fri>m the refusal of Spain tc) .iccede to the idra. The 
Vniteil States would h;i\e paid Spain for its jjossession. X)u[ 
iiad an}' other cou.nir) attempted to wrtst it from Spain, the 
United States would not have hesitated to occupy it, and after- 
ward would ria\-e settled with Spain for the invasion. 

It was un(|uestionably the dehiiMi of the Si) government 
to secure from the United Stale.> the cession of all the country 
west of the Mi>>issipi;'i and probabl\- llie island of New Orleans 
in addition (because the latter had alwa>s hem (!onsidered as 
a part of the territory lo the we>t\\ard) as a considerativ)n for 
the cession bv Spain oi the l-.o I'lo.i id-K. Tb'-. f;ui i- ^hown 
in the sl.ileui' iiS of ihe .M;'.i ip'.i^ d' Ta-a <.";iKo .did I'''!') C\ i - 
vallos, the Spanish jirime minisUr, and i.-^ iuither evidenced 
by the claims (»f the Spanish envoy in subsccpient ne.<;oiiations. 
It was to the interest, therefore, of the Spanish pretensions that 
the I'loridas should be made to seem as valuable as i)ossiblo, 
anrl to be ownetl wholly and exclusively by Spain. C)n the other 
hand, the American statesmen, although they made strong 
.'irgmiients and presented demands of great breadth and ampli- 
tude, were at all times doubtful of the righteousness of their 
claini.s to the Perdido, but ncjt of their clain\s to territory beyond 
the Sabine. The chances are that had the I'nited States relin- 
quished all claim U) West l"*lorida, a much greater extension lo 
tlie westvs.'ird would have been secured. iTance would prob- 
ably have Mipporu-d the I'mted Slater in lhi> contention, and 

Hibluiy of I.iiuisiaiia . Marliii. 



thus iciult-'icd ihc ar()uisiiion casirr. As it was, ]'>ancc, not 
liavinj^ l)t.i.n able to coiniiu-o .Spain that West I'Morida was 
cnihraceil in ilic treaty oi vSl. llik'l'oiiso, could not in turn be 
induced to admit that llie cession to the United v'^latcs cnihraced 
the country eastward to tlie Teiahdo. llul the United Slates 
wanted the Floridas at that time far more than it wanted tlic 
country west of the J^ahine ; and tlierefore, in suhsecjuent neij;o 
tialions the poh'cy of the f;(A'ernnunt as to Texas was )iel(hnt';, 
but as to the Florichis was ohstinale as death. In jjursuit ()f 
tlie Floridas, congress, earl\' in i8().}, having- extended the reve- 
nue district of the United vStates over Mobile, the president 
issued the following;- proclamation : 

"Whereas, by an act cf Uon;;rc>s. autln^rity has been L^i'.en to 
the President of the United Stales, whenexer In- sh.dl derni U 
expedient, t(j erect the shnres. walers and inlets t)f the ba\' and 
river of Mobile and of the other rivers, creeks, inlets and bays 
cm])Uing into the Uulf of Mexico east of srud river Mobile 
and west thereof to the I'ascaL^uola inclnsi\'e, into a sej'arate 
district for the collect inn cif duties on imposts and tonnaj^c, and 
to establish such jjlace within the same as he shall deem expe- 
dient to be the jjorl of entry and deliwry for such district ; and 
to desii;iiale such other i)laces w ilhin the same district not exceed- 
ing' tw(,) to be \)OV{ of deli\ery only: 

"Now L'iioi>.' _V(', 'J'hal 1, Thomas JelTerson,. ] 'resident of the 
United States, do hereb\- decide that all the above mentioned 
shores, waters, inU'ts, cieel>s and ri\ers. hin.'; 'x'tlltin Ihc Iwiiiida- 
tics (>f llw (iiilrd Si!!'-, di.ill e.^u>tiriit. .iiul \ '^n a s.j.iiale 
distiict to ])v denoniHi.iled 'llh di-liicl ••! Moluk . and d.» ,ii-" 
(lesip^iate b'ort Stoddert wiihin the district aforesaid to be the 
port of eiUr\ and deliwry for the saitl district." f 

The lanL;iKi_L;e used in the act of con<;ress which extended the 
revenue district f>ver ihe ba)' anil town of Mcjbilc was as fol- 
lows: "Tiial from and after the fust day of Aui^usl next 
(1804), the town of Mobile shall be, and the same is hereby 
established the sole poit of entry fc>r the district, including; the 
shores, waters and inlets of the bay and river Mobile, and of 
the other rivers, creiKs, inlets and bays emplyiuLj into the Uiulf 
of Mexico east of the said river Mobile and west thereof to the 
eastern boundary of ilu- Slate of l/)ui<i:ma."* 

The Spanish amb:ivs;ith>4". M;irfiuis de Ca'^a 'N'rujo, on Octo- 
ber 13, i;'i}, pii'sented the fMllt^v^ing re(|uesl to the bccrehary 

1 Mt•^:.;l^«■.>^ :iiiil I'.iprr^ <j( Uii- I'lcsidiiil 1 
• Annals of Conj:itbs. 

run h'LORiDA .ixn novyiDARirs. 277 

C)f slnto: "The GovcrniiRul o\ tlu- I'nilrd Stali-s will suppress 
or modify, as I proposed to )<)ii in one of my letters in the 
month of Maieh past, the ekwnlh section of the act of Con- 
gress of the _'-|lh of l-"ehrnar\ last, . . . or if it sliouM 
be more a;;ri'eahle lo this ^owrnmenl, it will deelnre to me in 
writing lhrouj;h you, that hy the said eleventh section of (he 
bcforementionrtl act, it had not intended to offer an insult to 
His Catholic ?\lajesty, nor any aj;tMession u\nm the rii;ht^ of 
Ills sovercignt), and that the I'xecutive, as the true interpreter 
of th.e said law, shall declare that the object or intention of 
what is C(-)ntaincd in the said section is and ou^^ht to be only 
applicaltle to the territory of the I'niied States, and not lo the 
country bektUi^inj^ to and in the actual iiossessic^n of His Catho- 
lic Majesty; it beini;- well understood that imlil the commission 
destined to the (kinarcaiion ol" limits shall have decided by com- 
mon consent that the terrilnry clainu'd \)\ the United Slates 
did not bel(>n<; lo lli-, Majesl\- but lo the said States, they nor. 
llie President runhorizin^;" them shall make no change in it nor 
publish laws noi- I'stablish custom-houses nor any other species 
of ref^nlations in said tenitt)r\-; but on the cunlraiy that they 
shall leave things /;/ .s"/(j//; qnn, as ihe\' were before the resolu- 
tion of Cons^ress complained of. Moreoxer, ihere shall be gi\en 
the corresponding- iKJtoriel)' to this acl of ratification on the part 
of the United States in a mode that without in any maimer com- 
promisinij;; its dij^,nil\- may prove that satisfactory explanations 
were Lii\en on this jioint lo His Catholic Majesty."* 

At this remaiKablc reiiii'--! Mr. Madisijii t \picssrd m\ich sur- 
prise and s.iid : "1 ain U' t\\ > li.ii ;;('i to rncl. . ^ n ii In - > ila- l\ .: .,: 
ol Spain) iiift innalion the exeoUi\e act i»f ibc I'reMdeiH, fuuniu<i 
on and of a nalure ei|Uall\- public with tlie act of Congress afore- 
said, by which it will be seen that in cNpomuling' and apply- 
int^ the latter there is the most exact conformity to liie assurance 
given in the Ktter of Maich the Kjlh, that the operation of the 
ele\'enlh seclinn v. ould ta!;e place wilhin ihe acl^nowled-eij 
limits of the United States and would not be extended beyond 
them, until it should be rendered expedient by friendly eluci- 
dation and adjustments with the Sjianish Cio\Lrnment. In t>rder 
to hasten those, a S])ecial mission to Madrid was some time since 
provided for; and if the destined minister extraordinary has 
not already rejiaired thitlui", the instructions \\lii«."h will now 
be re]»eatcd, if no unfavorable considerations present ihemseKes, 

• Aitii 1 icaii SI: i( I'.iptis. 


Tilt: j'ROi'ixci: .1X1) the states. 

may be cxiicitcd suon to have tliat cflVct. In llie ^K■alUi^l^■^ 
the I'rrsiik'iit euiK-urs with llic Spaiii.sli ( iovcriuncnl in llic l-.\|m 
dii-iioy of lea\ini:; lliini,'-:; //; stolit quo. And he persuades him- 
self llial it will he deemed e(|ually cxpeiiienl on both .sides lo 
give to this i)recaution its full etTeci h}' a mutual foi-ljearaiK-.; 
lo increase unneeessarily cither wiihin or on the lx>rders of ter- 
ritories the limits of which lemain to he ailjubled, militar\- pro- 
visions of any kind, which hy excitin^i:^ jealousies on one side 
or the other, may liave tendencies equally disaf;reeablc to both." 

When the news was received in Spain that conj^rcss had jKis-^cd 
the act extending;- the revenue district of the United Slates o\nr 
the ba>' of Mobile, the Spanisli mini-ter of slate asl;ed for a 
CO])}' of .such act anil replevied an i-xplauatiou fiom llic Aniri- 
ican ambassador. Mr. rincl.ney replic'd, June 1, that he had 
not him^elf )-el received a ci>])y of the act, and that in ref^■l^d 
lo the cession he had informed the Spanish government a^scniu 
as he ri'ceived the news of the transfer of Louisiana that the 
American envo)'s at ]\iris had infc>rmed him "that they con- 
sidered a great part of West Idorida, so called by the J-jiglish, 
as included. Sucii letter coidd not have been written to me 
oflicially by them withoiu their having been so informeii bv the 
French i>lenii)oientiar)' and Ciovernment. The i)rice paid is a 
proof of the territory being considered as extremely extensive." 
But the Spanish minister em])]iatically recpresled the "re\uca- 
lion of the part of tlie act of tin- Congress oi the .^aid Slates, 
approvid on the j.ith I'\bni.ii\ last, w'^ieh ha- UMui fe-t!v \i.>- 
lated the right- oi tb.- • .\ n. i,;i'- ..f JP .M.ij, ■.. !.-, ui;p...v>r 
ing the i'resideiit In exncise aulbxrity and estabbshmg cu>t<'m- 
houses within a tcriiiory which belongs to the crown of Sj^ain. 
His Majesty being, as he is, peisuaded thai ihrough a mistake 
only could there iiave been introduced into the sruil act the 
expressions which assail the rights of his sovereigiit)', docs not 
doubt thai the L'nitetl Slates will give in relation to said act 
those explanations which may be mc^sl conformable to the jus- 
tice he claims and the most conciliating autl respectful to the 
rights of his cr(.)\\n." 'i'his was (>nc of three indispensable con- 
dilions reipiired b) the Spanisli go\ermneiU, so st.ated Mr. Cer- 
vallos, before the treaty to indemnify American citizens for 
from Spanish pii\aleers coidil be conclucled. 

Thi;. h Iter in the natuie of an uliimntinn, in which it was 
deemed unjustiliable demands weie made upon the I'nittd .'Malc^ 
brou;;ht forth the f'.«llo\\ing >liaip lejils fron> Mr. i'incl.uiv: 
"J wish yoiu' I'.xcellency to sa) whither i am to understand your 

Tlin I'l.OKlDA A\'n TI'.X.IS noLWD.-iRins. 


letter in this scn?o: That if the srcond i-oiulition which iLSpc'Cls 
the sup])rcssion of the claims iov iMcnch spoliations within the 
Spanish territory, and the third, the repeal of the law passed 
!))■ Cont;]-ess in l-\I)ruar\-, are not a^^reed to, His Majest\- will 
not ratif}" the convention (of An<^n>t 11, iSoj), 
I wish til have y(Mn' excellency's an^^wer as quickly as possihle, 
as on Tluir>day I send a courier willi circular letters to all tnir 
consuls in the ports of Spain statini^- to iheni the critical situa- 
tion ot* thin<:^s hetween Spriin and the United States, the proha- 
hility of a speedy and serious niisunderslandint^f, and direclini^ 
them to ^i\'e notice theivof to all our citizens, advisin;; them 
so to arran<^^e and prepare their affairs as [o he aide to nio\c 
ofY within the time limited 1)\' the treat}', should thin;^s end 
as I now expect. 1 am al^o jjreparin;:;' the same infitrmaiiou for 
the commander of our srpiadron in the Mediterranean for his 
own notice and i;cn'ernment and that of all the American mer- 
chant vessels In- may meet. 1 confess after the st)le of )-onr 
cxccllenc\'s letter of the 31st of May (mi the suhjeci of the late 
law of C(^nt;ress and the manner in which you annex to the 
ratification of a convention vou yoinself hatl si.qned. the humili- 
ating' ccmditions of our ( iovernment's pre\'iou:-l;,' suppre>sm_n a 
claim of j^reat maj^nilnde auil which they cou-ider as a jioint 
of nalic>nrd honor, and also of lepealniL'; an act lately ])a^^ed 
\vith rdl the deliheration and solemnities jirescrihed 1)\ our con- 
stitution, 1 see little hope oi ;m amicahle accomnf<)daliou ; p;o'- 
licid.oly when I tell ) on that in m\' l:i>l l\s'0 desi>aicln,s lately 
recei\'eil I am I har_;;ed In im\ ( io\ ei imu-ni to re|ie;il to \ • I'.u" e\> '1- 
ienc)' thai not one sliil!;!!- i^{ the pri'inil\ < l.mi.e.l ! . the . o- 
i'ens of the I'niied Stales from v'^pam f.>r hieucli v[)t.)liali<'!is 
within the ports and territories or on the coasts of Spain, has 
ever hecn lelinqm'shed to or paiil or provided for hy I'rance in 
any mode or e\'en claimed from her.'"'' 

Ihit the Spanish minister sent a moUifyinj^ answer, saying 
anionr;- other thini:^'s "when I ])resented to }'ou tiic motives there 
were for desiriu;^ to add in the r.-itificaliou two or ihiee circum- 
stances which do not alter the suhst.ance of the convention (of 
Au^i;ust 11, lI^o2,) nor lake anMliiuLX fron; its ohject. it is not 
possihle to comiirehend the motive for your hreakinL^ out in the 
decisions, not to say thre.ils, contained in )'our said letter, nor 
why yrui .-^ho.ild pri>cee(| ;is vou s;in' \ ■ >u will to in>truct the con- 
suls and commandants of the vessels of \our n.itinn to ;;i\'e ui'ticc 

• Dll)lu!Ii:itii- CulIC-I'i'luKlUf. 



of llio critical situation of affairs between Sjiain and ilif I'ni;. I 
Stales, with an anticipatimi certainly not called for by ilic -pii ; 
of conciliation whicli > cm say animates you. . . . 'J'lic si.- 
ond cundilioii which )(jn consider inilccorous and huniilialini^ i r 
the I'nilcd Stales, ai)i)cars tv~> nie to lie (juitc the cunlrar)-. 11;, 
MajeslN' is |>c!suadcd lh<it tl;e intcntiim of Congress ha> not \n^ ;> 
to usurp the ric;hts of his sovereignt}'. lie has not nor docs l.c 
demand the revocation of the act, nor of its provisions, uhiiii 
relate to the internal regulation of the countr)-, but a satisfactory 
explanation of the clauses of the eleventh section, which impin;.;.- 
the rights of the crown of Si>ain." lie ended the letter by slating 
that inasmuch as Mr. Tinckney iiad delerniined to terminate 
"every idterior explanation rdatiw to the convcniion, and n^.t 
l)cing able to ))er.suade liinisell (the King ) that the Cloxcrniuenl «n 
the Llnited States has auihori/.cd the i»art which )on haxa- thoiigl'i 
proper to take, has resol\ed lo desi)alcli an extraordniar\ cc)nMer 
to the L'niled .Slates and bv this means to make that (io\ernmeul 
acquainied wiih the state of the negotiations." 

This reply left Mr. I'inclsney no option but to return to the 
United States as he had threatened; this he did, but befcjre going 
he prei)ared a long comnumicaiion to the vSpanish go\ernm(.nt 
justifying himself and exi)laining the reasons for hi> course. 
I lis j)rincipal reason fc)r insisting on a settlement of the .American 
claims, was owing to tiie apparent intention of the court of Spain 
lo jiosipone them or lo make it a]ipear, unjustili.ably, that they ha>l 
already been paid by I'rance umler the con\entions of the .^oih 
of April, 1803, at the same tini" and 1 '. '. ^r [\\- - ime . . ^i.i:!;. >!.< 
that the .American indi\idnal ckLUi;- .i::.i:h>i li.mce w u ■■ p.nd. 
He also slrouglv obiectdl to the language Used in ibe mmister'^ 
(Ccrvallos's) liiier ()f May 31st, and saiil, "In this letter \\>\\ 
l)lainl\ call t'le act of Cc)ngress of which )'ou speak an outrage and 
an insuli to His Majesty's so\-ereignty, ludeavoring lo smooth 
it over b\ sa\ing vuu hoped the TresideiU and Congi'ess were not 
aw-are of what they ditl, atlding thereb)- the reproach of jirecipi- 
lancy as well as ignorance of their rights an duties; and conclud- 
ing with saying in ver)' direct terms that such a law lessens tb.eir 
good name — language that a monarch may hold to his vassels, 
or a country to one which she has lunnbled, but which lo the 
unbroken spirit of the l'niled States will not certain!)' be viiy 
pleasing." Hut there is no doubt thai .Mr. Tinckney w.iS tt-o 
hasty and precipiiate, although, lo ]k: sure, the annoying di lays 
were eMunul\' irritalnig and Innnibatini,'. 

By act appro\iil I'ebruaiy 2(), 1803, congress enacted "that a 


run i'Loi-i>).\ j.'V/) TEXAS nouxD.ih'iiis. 281 

sum c>f $2,0e)0,oo() in :i(hliliiiii to tin- |)ri)visi()ii iKrctofoic made, 
bo ami the same is lierehy apjuupiialeil lor the i)ur|t<ise of defray- 
ing ail) exiraonlinai y expense wliieli may he incurred in the 
intercourse lietweeii the I'mted Slates an*! foreij^n nations, to he 
paid out of any muney in the lieasur\ iioi otherwise ajipropriatcd, 
and to he apphed under the diieetioii of the Tresidenl (jf the 
Uniteil Slates, who shall cause an account of the expenditure 
thereof to he laid hefoie C"onL;ress as s(;on as ma) he." 1 he 
jiresideAl was aulhoii: ed to hoirow this sum. While the l:'.n- 
guaj^e of this act was j;;eiu ral, it was wcdl understood that the 
amount was to he emplo\ed in secmiii;.,^ the cession of the IHor- 
idas. Indeed there seem- to he no douhl ilial the envo\s at 
]'aris Wire afterward au'.hoiized to use as hi^h a-^ ten million 
dollars to secure the h'loiiilas from I'lance should the latter main- 
tain that they were included in ih,e treat) of St. ihUfonso. Other- 
wise they were authorized to employ that sum as a maximum to 
induce Spain to cede them to the United Slates. At this time 
the report was circulated in Paris that M. Tallexraud had heeii 
offered a larj;e sum in the nature of a hrihe to he paid him in the 
event of his success in assi-tin^'- the I'niled StaU- lo oljlain the- 
cession of the two J'loridas. There is no douht that owiiif; to 
this report, he lost caste with Na]ioli.on. 

Messrs. Livini'ston ami Monroe wrote under dale of June 7, 
1803, "\Vc are hajip) to ha\e it in our to a-^<nre you that 
on a thorough examination of ihe sulijecl, we consider it uncon- 
trovcrlihle that We .1 h'lorida is comprised in ihe cession of 
Louisiana. \\\st I'lond.i was a pari of l...n'-^; •.;.! \vh-n it wa- 
in the hands of h'rauc aiul it wa> not m h.. i h.r; 1. in ..:;) c/du 1 
situation, 'idle iraiisfer of the whole was on ilu- same day. the 
3d of Novemher, 1762, that heing; the day of the secret conven- 
tion i)ctwcen iM-ancc and Sjiain, and of the preliminary articles of 
the tre.'.lv of tl:e ii.)!h of l'\-hruar\-, 17I)',. hetwcea tl-o^; rowers 
and Creal r.riiain. The treaty of 1783 hetween Ihilaiii and Sjiain 
by wdiioh the h'loridas were cetleil lo the latter, put Louisiana in 
her hands in the same slate it was in the hands of France; and 
the reniaininL;- or third nieiuher of the article in the treaty of 
St. lld^fonso helwceii h'lancc and Spain, under which we cl lim, 
by referring- to that of 17S3 (as (o that helwein Spain and the 
United Sl;'.les of 17<>' ) . and of com .m- in the aht.M idiaiavMer. onl\ 
teiuls to coni'irm tiiis dociiine. We consider ouiseUis so stronglv 
founded in ihis coin, hi don, ihat wi' are of opinion ihe I'nited 
States should aci on il in all the uuasnies rel.ili\e to I/^uiHana 
in the same manner as if Wesi i'loiid.a was comjjrised wiihin the 


THE rRoi'iNcr. .1X1) Tim states. 

island of New Oilcans; or lay to the west of the river llurviilo 
and to the lakes ihroui^h wliieli its waters i>ass to the cxwin. 
Hence the ac(]iiisition heconies of proporlionably greater value to 
the United Stales." 

In the instructions of the United Slates jidy 29, 1803, to Mr. 
Monroe, niinislcr c.xlraonlinai \- to the court of .Spain, it w;,- 
slaletl that "It is ihoui^ht proper lo observe lo yon that alilu.U'.di 
Lc>uisinna may in some resiiecis he more important that the I'jon- 
das and has more than e.xhansted the funds allotted for the jmr- 
cliase of tiie latter, the acquisition of the Kloriilas is still to he piu- 
siicd, cs])ecially as the crisis must he favorable to it. . . . 
Should no barj;ain be ma<K^ on tlu' subject of the Idoridas, our 
claims of every sort are lo be kept in foice. If it be inipo.->sible 
lo brin^-- Spain [o a ces.sion of ihe whole of the two Floridas, a 
trial is to be made for obtaininj:,^ either or an)' important part of 
either. 'J'he jiart of West Florida adjoininj^ the lerriloriesjunv 
ours and including- the princii)al rivers falliiif^- into the j^ulf, will 
be ])articidarly importaiU and convenient. It is not imiirobablc 
that Spain in treating on a cession of the Moridas, may ])rupo-e 
an e.xchant^e of them for Louisiana beyond the Mississippi, or 
may make a serious i)oint of some particular boundarv lo th.a 
territory. Such an txchau-e is inadmissiMe. . . . \\'e are 
the less disposed also to make sacrifices to oblain the l''li.;ridas, 
because their po^iiiou and the manifist coui-e.of events ouarautv 
an early and reasonable actjuisiiion of them. . . . I'erhap^ 
the iMlcrcoiMuumicaliou.s wilh the ."^paui h ( "iCi\ri iniu-ul • <'.] \\.\-- 
subjecl wilh oilier oppoi nmil i' - .il M.i.'iid. m..\ eiiab!. \..u () 
collect Useful iiiforiiKilion and pio )f> ot il.e fixed limits or oi iIk' 
AViuit of fixed limits to WV'slein Louisiana, ^'oiir in(|uiiies may 
also be directed to the questiuii, whether any and how much of 
what passes for West l-dorida be fairly included- in the territory 
ceded lo us by ]M-ance." 

Mr. M.idison wrote to .Mi-. Livingston at Paris on July 29, 
1803, '"J'lie lH)undaries of Lcniisiana seem to bo so imperfectly 
imderstood and are of so much imi)orl,iiiee, that the Liesideiil 
wislies them to be iiuestigaled whenever information Is likelv to 
be oblaineil. ^\.u will be pleased to attend jiarticularly to tbi^ 
object as it relates lo the Spanish possessions both on tb.e we^t 
and on the east side of the Mississippi. The proofs 
ing our il.dui to a part u\ We i florida, may be of immedi.iie u e 
in the negotialioii- which .ire lo e i>lace at Madrid '' Mr like- 
wise wrote on ( )eiober (>, '"I'lie ri-jitful limits of Louisi.m.i are 
under inve.stigatie>n. It si^^'ui- undeniable from the presenl stale 

run i-lokida .ixn riix.-is ijoua'd.irihs. 283 

of the cvickncc, that il extends casiwanlly as far at least as the 
river Pcrdido; and there is hllle doubt that we shall niahe ^ood 
both a wchtcrn and a northern extent hii^ldy satibfactory to us." 
In the letter dated July 2y. 1803, Mr. Madison coniniunicate<l to 
Mr. rinckncv at Madrid that "the I'loridas are not inchiiK;d in 
the treaty (ceding Louisiana to the I'mted Slates), beinq- it 
ajipears still luld hy vSpain. . . . As the indcmnifiealions 
claimed from Spain are to Ik- incorporated in the oviitures f(>r the 
Floridas, it will he advisable to lea\e them, althouj^h within )0ur 
ordinary functions, tor the jt)int nei;otiations of yourself and Mi". 
Monroe." 'i'he position tala'U by In ili h'rance and .^i)ain that the 
Louisiana ceded to the L'nited Stales extended no farther easl- 
waril than the Ibei ville, wholly di^arnud al fust the claim after- 
ward made by the Uniteil States to the I'erdido. Mr. ALadison 
himself, who afierward became the cham[iion of the extension, 
dill not at f\v>[ ])retend tcj claim eastward of the Iberville; but 
even while instructing the envoys to Spain to secure the cession 
of both of the Florid;is, he sup;p,ested in the same letters that it 
would be advi>able for them to examine whclher the United 
Stales had an)- ri^^lit lo a poiti(jn of W'r^l Florida. A lillle later 
he made the stri^ni^est ar<;umeni C/f any .American for ihe exten- 
sion. ]^ul he weakened his case \'er)' j^reatly at the start by not 
promi)tly claiminj.:^ \\'e.-t h'lorida, for his instructions to the en\'0)S 
show thai the latter ai)proaclu(l both .Spain and I'lance in an 
attitude of sup])licalion to secure the cession of the tur> I'loriilas, 
thus conveyin;.;- the. inference thai the)' ditl nol claim ihc owncr- 
shij) of ellher, but ueie ihrie for tlir piiipv.-. ■.! jHiiJ :i inu^ « .iv* 
or both of iIrhi. Ad)iii.--^ions lo tlii> (.lii\i wire n.a le by Mr. 
Monroe to the I'lench ct)urt, and of course i)ic)m[)ily conuuuni- 
catcd to Madrid by the latter. Lul Mr. Monroe was not to blame 
for this cour.^e, because he was simpl)' followini;' the instructions 
of the state deparliuenl. 

Li the instructions fjiven Aj)ril 15, 180-I, by the deparlment of 
state to the en\'oys at Madrid, it was ret)uiretl that they sh'juld 
secure an acknowledgment and connrmation "to the United 
Stales the cession of Lom'siana in an extent eastwnrdly to the 
river Perdido." and the ce>sion of "all the territory remaining to 
her (Spain) between the Mississii)])!, the .Atlantic and the C,u\i 
of Mexico. tfn;ether with all the i>land- annexeil thereto, eitlur 
whilst the l'*l. Midas brlon^ed to Great I'.ritain or after thev became 
firovinccs of Sp.un. ()r if the ailicle be un.iitainable in (hat form, 
Spain shall cede to the Unite<l Slates forever all the ti'rriiory, 
with the iskinil> beKiUj^dnL; tlu reto, which remain to her belweeu 

284 'I'l^^- l'f^(^l'i-\'Cl'. .}WD THE STATUS. 

the Mis^issipi'i, \.\\c Athmlic ;ii\il llic (lulf of Moxicu; aiiil llie 
envoys wen.' aullu>ri;'(.'il lo pay a luaxiiiuiin of ion million dollar^ 
lliercfor." ll was rxplainnl llial the llr^l arliric was ])ri,f>. ralilc 
because it lecoinii/ed tlic iij;''l <-'f tl't" United States to the tcr- 
ritoiy hetwecn the Mississip|)i and the Perdido, whiei) rij^lU was 
deemed to hi' 'Aell foniided. Ihit princiially was it preferahlo 
"because it is l:no\vn thai a jMcai proportion of the most valuahle 
lands helween the .M ississippi and the Tenlido have been ;.;ranted 
by Spanish oitieers since the cession was made by Sj)ain {\o 
France). These illieit speculations canno"l otherwise be frustrated 
tlian by considering' the terrilor\- as included in the cession made hy 
Si>ain and thereby making- void all Spanish j^rants of subsequent 
date. It is represented that lhe-r yra.nls have been extende'd, not 
only to citizens vi the I'nited .^'^lates, but lo ollier.s w ho>,e inlerest 
now lies in sujipnrlin^" the claim ol Spain lo that i)arl C)l Louisiana, 
in opposition lo that of tiie Unik'd States. Jt is conjectured that 
M. Laussat liimself has entered into these speculations, and that 
be felt their inilnence in the tlcclaration made confidenily to our 
commissioners at New Orleans that no part of W'cst Morida 
was inchuled in Louisiana." 'i'hey were also instructed, in order 
to ()uiet Spain anil gi\e her no present cause of complaint, lo 
exclude wholly from seitlement for a term of years by the inhabit- 
ants of both Spain and the I'nited Slates, the territory with the 
following- linnis: "l?)' a limits consistint; on one side f>f the 
river Sabine or Mexicano from the sea lo it's source; thenee a 
straig:ht line to the conOuence of the rivers Osat^es and Mi-,<ouri; 
and by a limit on the other side eMnsi^tin',^ of ihc \\\cv do 
(or some other ii\er enipi\in;.: im<i the h,i\ of St r.ernaidj, f;. in 
its mouth to its source; thence a strai£:;"hl line to the most sonth- 
westwardly source of the Red river, with such dellections ho\s'- 
ever as will bead all the waters of that river; thence aloni^^ the 
ridge of the hiidilands which divide the waleis helony^inp^ to the 
Mis'.omi and the .M issi^sip])i fioMi tho-e belon-viu'; lo the ]\io 
l^ravo lo the latitude of il:e noiihernmosl source of that river; 
and thence a meridian to llie northern boundary of Louisiana." 
Iveasonable inducements were lo be olTered to iidiabilanls already 
withm those bunts lo remove therefrom, wbetbcr of Spain or of 
the United SiaU s. 'I'he inhabitants of both countries were left 
free to mini^le with the Indian n wiiliin the limits. Certain 
pnrrisons were to be erected and maintaiiud iheri'in in order to 
bold ihe Indians in ^rubjeciion. .After a leini of years lo be 
a^'reed upon the line bonndary of western Louisiana was li; be 
determined by a joinl conimi-.ion ov convention. l'<ul it was 

fur. rLoRiDA Axn tuxas housdaru-.s. 285 

stipulated lliat "if Spain should iuilexihly refuse to cede the ter- 
ritory eastward of the IVrdidi) no money is to he stipulated. If 
she should refuse also to relincjuish the territory westward of 
that river, no arrangement is to he made with respect to the ter- 
ritory westward of the Mississippi; anil )(ni will limit )Our nej^o- 
liatiiMis to the claim of redress f(jr the ca-rs of spoliatiiMi ahove 
<lescrihed. If Spain should yield on the suhject of the territory 
westward of the J^enlido, and particular!) if a comj)rehcnsive 
provision for liie claims should he comhined thei'cwith, )ou may 
admit an arrangement \\'eslward of the AIississii)pi on the prin- 
ciple of ])roposi.(l, with modilicalions however, if attainable, 
varying the dcj^ree of concession on the pail of the United Stales 
accordinpf to the dei^ne in which Spain may concur in a satis- 
factory provision for llu' cases of the territory \\e>l\vard of the 
Perdido autl of the claims of inck-mml'icalinn. 'Idle lJnit«.d Stales 
ha\'inG^ sustained a very extensi\e thoupji indefinite loss hy the 
unlawful suspension of their liqlit of dei)osile at New Orleans, 
and the Spanish Govenimenl;; aclmiiied the injury hy 
restoring the dejiosite, it will he fair to avail yourself of this claim 
in your negotiations, and to lei Spain understand that if no 
accommodation should ri-f>ult from them it will remain in force 
against her. . . . Xcj final cession is iri he made to Spain of 
any part of the terriioi)' (>n this sitle of the Kio llravo, hut in 
the event of a cession to the Li^niled Slates of th.e teniluiy east 
of the I'erdido, and in that event in ca^e of ah^oliUe nece^^sity 
only and to an extent that will not deprive the I'niied v^tales of 
any of ihe waters running into the Mi^^-onri of the Mi<<i--ii)pi or 
of the ol her w atrrs en;pt\ in;; mio the t ".',:1 : of .Mi ■. ico !■■:.■ n the 
Mississippi and the ri\tr C'olorailo emptyings iiiio tlu i ay of 
St. Jiernard." .As will he seen from the ahove, the en\oys were 
told to modify their claims on the Texas horder in the same jh'o- 
portion as Spain should grant the re(|uirements of the Ignited 
States between the ]\Iississii>|;i and the I'erdido. 

Inasmuch as both iMance and Spain agreed thai ihc Louisiana 
rctroceded to h'rance autl thence ceded to the Ihiited Slates did 
not extend eastward of the Mississippi and the Ihci"\ille, only the 
l)Osls west of that line were turned over to France first and then 
to the Ihiited States. Mr. Madison said, "With resi^ect to the 
posts in West I'doii la, oniers for the delivery were neither 
oflered to, nor demanded by, our commissioners. Xo insiructions 
have, in fact, beni ever [;iven then to make the demand, 'i'his 
sil( net.- on the part of the I'.Neculixe was deemed eligible: lir^t, 
because it wa^- fore em that tlu- dtinand would not onlv be 

286 T'lf-- /'/vO/'/.VC7: ANP Tllli STATUS. 

rejected !))• tin- Spanish aulhoiily of New Orleans, wliicli liad in 
an oflicial puhlicalion, liniilcil tlie ci'ssion web-twardly by the Mis- 
sissippi anil the irdand of N'cw Orleans, but it was apprehended 
as has turned out that (he I'leiicli coniiuissioner might nr)t be 
ready to .support the ceinand, and might even i)e disi^osed to sec- 
ond the Si)anish opposition to il : Second, because in liie latter 
of these three cabcs a serious check would be given to our title, 
and in cither of tliem a premature dilemma would result between 
an overt submisbion to the refusal and a resort to force: 'i'hird, 
because mere silence would be no bar to a itlea at any time that a 
delivery of a part, ])articularly of the seat of Government, was a 
virtual deli\'ery of the whole: whilst in the meantime we could 
ascertain the views and claim the inlerpositiDU of the l-'rcnch Cio\- 
crnmeut and avail ourseKes of that and an\' other favorable cir- 
cumstances foi" effecting an amicable adjustment of the (juestion 
Avith the Clovernment of Spain. In this slate of things il was 
deemed proi)er by Congress, in making the regidations necessary 
for the collection of revenue in the ceded teriitory and guarding 
against the new danger of smuggling into the United States 
through tlie channels ojicned by it, to include a provision for the 
case of West h'hjfida b)' \e.^ting in the I're.-idenl a wliieh 
his discretion might accommodate to ewnts. This i)rovision is 
contained in the art which has been pending in (^~)ngress for many 
weeks." lie fuither states that when the act became known to 
tiic Spanish ambassador he became \ery angr)-, but was ans\\ereil 
M'ith the (leclaraliou that "we considered alt of West I'loritla 
westward of the I'erdido a< clearK' fuirs h\ (be trea(\ of April ^^o, 
l8o,V and IImI t)! St IhKi.iuso. . . . 1 he tei i Uory cedv d to 
tlu: I'niled .Stall's is desciibeil in the words following: 'I'lie col- 
ony or province of IvOuisIana, with the same extent that it now 
has in the hamls of vSi)ain, that it had when France possessed it, 
and such as it ought to be, according to the treaties subsequently 
passed between .Sjtain and other .Slates.' In ex[)ounding this 
three-fold descripiion, the dilTerent forms used must be so under- 
stood as to give a meaning to each description, and to make the 
meaning of each coincide with that of the others. 

"The fust form of descrijjiion is a reference to the extent which 
Louisiana in>:,' has in the h:mds of Spain. What is that extiul 
as determined by its eastern lin^its.^ It is not denied that the I'er 
dido was dwcc the easli'rn limit of Louisiana. It is not denied 
thai the liuitoiy now pos- .•vv.cil h\' .Sp;iin extends to the n\er 
Perilidi). 'idle river I'erdido, we say tlu-n, is llic limit to the 
eastern cxunt of Louisiana ceded to the L'nited States. This 

rilli I'l.OKIDA ANP I'l.XAS liOUN DAUl I'S. 287 

construction j^m'vcs an obvious and i)L'rlincnt nicanin};- to llic 
term 'now' and to the expression 'in the lianels of vS|)ain,' which 
can l)e found in no other consti iiclion. h'or a considcrahle lime 
previous to the treaty of peace in 178,^ between (nxal liritain and 
Spain, Louisiana as in the hands of Spain was hmited castwardly 
by the Mississippi, the lhcr\illc, etc. The term 'now' fixes its 
extent as cnhari^ed h\' ihal treaty, in cuulraihstinction to the more 
limited extent in whicli Spain heKl it prior to that treat)'. Attain, 
the expression 'in the hands of Spain' fixes the same extent; 
because the exj>ression cannot rebate to the extent which Sjxain 
by her internal regulations may ha\c j^iven to a [larlicular district 
under the name of I.cniisiana; but e\idently to the extent in 
which it was known to other nations, particularly to the nation in 
treat)' with her, ami in which it was relaliwl)' to olher nations in 
licr hands and not in the hands of aii)' other nation. It would 
be absurd to consider the expression 'in tlu- bands of Spain' as 
relating' not to otliers, but to herself and io her own regulations; 
for the territory of Louisiana in her bands must lie ci|ually so 
and be the same whether formed into one or twenty districts, or 
by whatever name or names it may be called by herself. 

''The next form of description refers to the extent which 
Louisiana had wb.en possessed b)' iMance. What i:s this extent? 
It will be admitted that for the wIkjIc period jirior to the division 
of Louisiana between Spain and Great IJritain in 17(12-3, or at 
least from the adjustment of boundai\' between France and 
vSpain in 1719 to that e\ent, Louisiana extended in the jjossession 
of iMance to the ri\ei I'eidido. J lad the meaning then of tlio 
first description been le.-s deleniiinate .uid had Ixanct been in 
possession of Louisiana at an\' lime \'. iih le^> e\ii ;it i1i.l;i l>) the 
Perdido, a reference to thib primitive and long continued extent 
would be more naluial and probable than to aii)' other. lUit it 
happens that France newr jiossessed L<'iii>iana with less extent 
than to the I'erdido; because on the same day that she ceded a 
part to Spain, tlie residue was ceded to (>rcat l^.ritain; and con- 
sequently as long as she possessed Louisiana at all she i)OSscsscd 
it entire, that is in its extent to the ]'erdid(^. 

"The third and last desciiption of Louisiana may be considered 
as auxiliary to the two others and is conclusive as an argument 
for compri'hendiiii'; wiihin tlu cession of Spain leriil(>ry eastward 
of the Mississippi and the Iberville and for extending the ces- 
sion to the river Perdidri. The only treaties between Spain and 
other nations that alTtcl the extent of Louisiana as being subse- 
quent to the i)ossession of it by J'raiue, are first the treat)' in 1 7S3 

288 run I'h'onx'cn .ixn tup. status. 

between Spniii .-md Cucat Uritam, and sccoiully the treaty of 17(^5 
between Spain and tlic Umicd Statc-s. The last of these treaties 
afteets the extent of Loni^'ana as in the hands of Spain hy dclni- 
in.q- tlie nculheni boundary of that pan of it whieh hcs east of the 
Mississippi and the Iberville; and the fn^l affeets tlie extrnt of 
Louisiana hy includin.^ in the eessiun from (neat Ihilain to Spain 
tlic tt-rritory iutwcL'n that river and the iVrdido; and hy ^ivinLT 
to Louisiana in eonsequcnce of that reunion of tlie eastern and 
western part the same extent eastwardly in the Iiands of Spam 
as It had when I'ranee possessed it. Louisiana then as it ouf;l)t 
to be nccorchn- to treaties of Spain snl)sequrntly to the possession 
by France, is hmitcd by the line of demarcation settled with the 
United States and formin;,- a northern boundary, and is extended 
to the river Perdido as its easleiii homidary. This is not only 
the plain and necessary C(-)nst ruction of the \vi)rds, hut is the only 
construction that can nrive a meaninj; to them. For they are 
without ineanin-- on the sup|iosition that Louisiana as in .the 
bands of Spain, is limited by the Alississijiiii amf the Iberville, 
since neither the one nor the other of ihosc treaties liave any 
lelatir)!! to Louisiana that can affect its extent, but throut^b their 
relation to the Inniis of that j-art of it which lies eastward of the 
Mississippi and the Iberville. Includin-- this pa.rt therefore as 
we contend within the extent of Louisiana and a meanini;- is 
given to h(,th as ])ertiiKin as it is important. I'xcludc this part- 
as S])am contends from Louisiana, and no ireat-ies exist to wIimIi 
the reference is applicable. ... hi fnie the coiislruction 
which we m.iini.u'n -.Iv.s lo everv part of the dccription • >\ the 
tciiiiory Ceded (., ihe Luiied Slai.'. a ineamn- el, .r in 11 -^ \\ ,uid 
111 harmonv \yith every other p.irt and 1.. no less couforinaMe to 
facts than it is founded on the ordinary use and analoi,^v of the 
expressions. The Construction ur-rd by Spain £;ives on the con- 
trary a meanino- to the first description which is inconsistent with 
the verv terms of it; it prefers in the second a meaniiifr I' is 
impossible or absurd, and it from the last all meaning what- 
ever. In confirmation of the meaning:,- which extends Lonisiana 
to the river IVrdido, it may be re;;ardc(l as consistent with 
the object (J the I'iisl ("onvul in the cession obtained hv him fioni 
Spain. J'very appearance, eveiy circumstance, [nonounccs this 
to have been to rive hitter to his administration and to jnaiify a 
natural piide in Ins nation, and by re-annexin-- to his domain 
possession, v.hich had unlioiii ;,n^ snffici. ni cuh-K rations b-eii 
■''■^■'■'''■'' ^"■=" " : ""' V. hi. h brim; m the h.inds of Spain it was in 
the po\v( r ^A Sjiain to reslMie. 


"It only roiiiains to lake nulicc of llic ar};ununt derived from a 
criticism on the Iciin 'rctrocLile' by wliicli the cession from Spain 
to France is expressed. The literal meanin;^ of this term is said 
to be that .Si)ain L;i\'es hack' to iMance wliat she received from 
France; and that as slie received from I'rancc no more than the 
territory west of the Mississipju and the Iberville, that and no 
more could lie gi\'eii back b)' Spain. W'iliiout denyini:;" that such 
a meaning if uncontrolled by other terms \voj.ild have been prop- 
erly cx])ressed b)' the term 'retrocede' it is sull'icient and more 
than suflicienl to obser\e first that with respect to Iwancc the 
literal meaning is satisfied; I'rance receivingback wiiat she liad 
before alienated; secondly that with resjjcct to Spain not only 
the greater jiart of Louisiana had been confessedly recei\cd by 
her from I'rance and C(.>nsei)uenily was literally ceded liack'by 
Spain as well as ceded back to iMaiice; but with re.^iuci to the 
l)art in question Sjxiin nn'glit not unfairly be cemsiileretl as ceding 
back to iM'ance what I'rance had ceded to her; inasmuch as the 
cession of it to Cinat Britain was made for the benefit of Spain to 
whom on that account Cuba was restored. 'J'he effect was ])rc- 
cisely the same as if I'rancc; had in form made the cession to Spain 
and Spain had assigned it o\ir to (.reat Ihitain ; and the cession 
may llie more aj)tly be consideied as i)assing through Spain, as 
Spain herself wa.s a party to the treat)' by which it was conviyed to 
Great Britain. In tlii.s jjoint of view not onl\' brance receive(J back 
wdiat she had ceded, but S|)ain ceded back what slu- had received, 
and the elymokjgy rven of the teim 'r>,lrocede' i^ sati^a'led. Tins 
view of the ca-e i- the m(»re ^ub l.inti i!K- ju-t . ■ llu- '.■•••.\iiv\ n 
question ])assed frmn l^rance to (ii(.il I'.niain I 'V tbi- .u.-'Uiil '■! 
Spain, but pa.->>ed frum (neat Britain into the bands of Spain in 
1783 in consequence of a war to which vSpain liad contributed but 
little compared with b'rance and in terminating which so fa\orably 
in this article for .Spain, b'rance had doubtless a preponderalin;: 
influence. Thirdly, that if a coln.^e c>f proceeding might liaxc 
existed to which the term 'retrocede' would be more literally 
apiilicable, it may be ei[ually said that there is no other particular 
terms which \\ould he more ajiplicable to the whole proceeding as 
it did exist. I'ourthly that if this were not the case a nice criti- 
cism on the cl) nioloL')- of a singk.- term can be allowcii no weight 
against a conclusion drawn from the clear meaning of every other 
term and frr/ni the whole context."^ 

* AuiciK'aii Sl.iif I'.ii.L-iH. 




I'\irllnr views liavinj;- bcm olitaiiKcl with respect to tlie inte- 
rior of Louisiana tlio deparlnient of stale, on Jul\' 8, iSo.], sent 
additional inslrnotions. Tlie envoys were told that the president 
was "not a little averse to llie occlusion for a very loni; ])eri(>(l 
of a Very wide space of territory westward c»f the Mississipj)!, 
and ef|iially so to a ])erpelnal relini]uislnnenl of any territory 
whatever cast u aid of the Kio Rravo. If this river cc^nld he 
made the limit to the S])anish selllenients and the Kio L.'olo- 
rado the limit to which those of the United vStates may he 
extended ; and if a line northwest or west from the sotirco of 
whatever river may he taken for the limit of our scfllemenls 
coidd hi' sulisliluled fur the ultimatum line rnnninc;- from the 
source of the Sahine to the junction c>f the ()saL;es with the Mib- 
souri, and tluiKX- norlliwaid jjarallel with the M issi>.sipj>i. the 
interval to Ix.- unsettled for a ti-rm of years would he defiiu'd 
in a manner perfectly v;itisfactory. . . . It is to he luuler- 
stood that a perpetual relinquishment of the territory hetwcen 
the Rio Uravo antl Colorado is not to be made, nor the sum of 
ten million dollars paid without the entire cession of the l-'lori- 
das, nor any money paid in consideration of the acknowledc^ment 
by Spain of our title to the territory between the Iberville and 
the I'erdido, . . . nor that Spain or the United States shall 
durinf;;- the nei;c)tiation strenj^then their situation in the territory 
between the Iberville and. the Perdido, and that the navif^alion 
of the Mobilr shall not be inlerrupted." 

It havini^^ been learned b\ the depailment of stale that Mr. 
Pinckiuy had K ft Ma hid, Mr. Mont-- ■Aa^ <ht<vi,-d on () (..b<r 
26, 180. }, to lepair to that cny to open ni-;^^.ii.iihins amw with 
Spain. The previous instructions were repe.iteil, and he was 
told that "in case the Spanish Government shall refuse to cede 
the territory eastward of the Perdido and shall reciuire as indis- 
pensable to an acknowledgement of our title to the territ(M y west- 
ward of that river ati acknowledgment on our part that in 
ultimately cstablishinof tiie western boundary of Louisiana, the 
pretensions of the United States shall not go beyond the pro- 
posed western limit to the interval of desert, to-wit : the river 
Colorado, a line thence to the source of Red river, thence ak'up 
the bi;.di!ands, etc., \ou arc autliorized after reasonable endeavors 
otherwise to efiect your object to ac(iiiiescc in the acknowledf,'- 
jncnt sri required." 

In order to secure the dermilc views of l-'rance in ret^ard to 
the bfiundaiv of Louisi.uia. Mr. Monroe, on .X'ovenilxr S, i8o|, 
while on his way to Madiid addressetl a letter to M. Talley- 

TUJl 1-LOKIDA A.\l} TllXAS BOUX'D.U^lIiS. 291 

rand requesting- a statement of the iMcneh inleri)retalion of the 
language used in the treaties of 1762, 1800, )8t)i and 1803. In 
j)resenling: the, he said: "It is not stipulated llial vSpain 
.shouKl eede to Krauee that portion of Louisiana only whieh she 
had received from France, or thai West h'lurichi should he 
excepted from the cession. It is, on ihe contrary, stipulated that 
she shall cede it such as it was when France possessed it; that 
is, such as it was hcfore it was dismembered hy the cessions 
afterward made to Sjiain hy (neat I'.ritain; that she should cede 
it with the same extent th.U it now has in the hands of Spain; 
tliat is, entire, whieh it became by the treaty of 17S3. whereby 
\\'est Florida was ce<k{l by (neat I'.ritain to Spain; such as it 
is aecordinj,^ to subsequent irralies lieiween Spain and other 
])Owers." Mr. Monroe presented his recpiest in tlie Jorm of a 
powerful argument in supjjort of the American claims. 

M. Talleyrand wholly disagreed with his contentions, saying 
among other things: "iMance, in gdvin,g uj) Louisiana to the 
United Stales, transleiretl to them all the rights over that col- 
ony whieh she had accpiired from Spain; she could not nor 
did she wish to cede any other; and that no ro<.im might be 
left for doubt in this respect she repealed in her treaty of 30lh 
of Ai)ril, 1803, the literal expressions of the treaty of St. llde- 
fonso, 1))' which she had accpiired that colony twL> years before. 
Now it was stipulated in hei- treaty of the ye;u" iSui that the 
ae(]uisition of Louisiana b\- l^auce was a 1 clroci'ssio)i ; that is 
to say, that Sp;iin restored to b'rance wh;it she b;ul receiveil from 
her in 176.'. .\i that period she h;id reeii\e>l the teiritoiy 
boimded on the east by tlu' Mi>sissippi, the river Iberville, the 
lakes Maurei)as and Pontcharlrain ; the same (la\- b'rance ceded 
to I'jigland 1))- the preliminaries of i)eace all the territory to 
the eastward. Of this Spain had received no i)art and could 
therefore give back none t.) lM;mce. All the territory lyings to 
the eastward (>f the .Mississippi and the river Iberville and 
south of the thirty-second degne of north latitude, bears the 
name of I'lorida. It has been constantlv designated in that way 
during the time that Spain held it; it bears the same name in 
the treaties of limits between Sp:iin and the I'niled .St;Ues ; and 
in dilY(,rei\t iiote^ of .Mr. 1 .i\in';vl(in of a l.'iler d;ite th:m the 
treaty of retroces>ion, in which the name of Louisiana is given 
to the territory on the west side of the Mississippi; of I'loiida 
to lh;'t on the (ast of it. .Accnrding^ to this desii;nati"n thus 
consecrated by lime and cvtii piior to the period when Sp;iia 
beg-an to possess the whole territory between the ihirty-fnst 

21)2 'i^if^'- i'KOl'I^Cli .■L\P THE STATES. 

(Icp^rcc, tlic Mi^sissi])pi aiul llic sea, lliis coimlry ouf;lU in {V^-^^'I 
failh and jusli^'c lo be dislinguiblit'cl from Ix-)ui^iana. Youv 
excellency knows that bcfon- llic prcliminaiics of 1762 confirmed 
by the treaty of 1763, the French possessions sitnatcd near the 
Missis sip])i extended as far frum the east of this river towards 
the Ohio and the Illinois as in the quarters of Mobile; and you 
must think it as unnatural after all the chanfj^cs of sovcreii^nty 
which that part of America has underf^ono to j^ive the name 
of Louisiana to the district of Mobile, as lo the territory more 
to the north on the same hank of the river whicii formerly 
belon[^ed to I'rance. ... It was muKr this impression that 
the Flench and S])anish plenipotentiaries lui^oliated and it was 
under this imprecision that 1 liax'e since had cKcasion to jd\'0 
the necessary exjilanations v.luii a ])roii'c( was formed to take 
possession of it. ] have laid brfore 11 is Imperial Majesty the 
negotiations of Madrid which preceded the treaty of iHoi.^aii'.l 
I lis Majesty is convinced that during- the whole course of these 
negotiations the Spanish Government has constantly refused to 
cede an)- part of the Idoridas even from the Mississippi to the 
^Toliile. His Imperial Majesty (Bona])arte) has moreover 
authorized me to declare to )ou that at the beginning of the 
year it, General Ijournonville was chari'.c-d to open a new 
negotiation with Spain for the acquisition of the Floridas. This 
project which has not been followed by any treaty is an evident 
jiroof that J-^aiice had not acquired bv the treat\' retrocecling 
l.ouihiana the country east of the Mi<:'^i^<ippi."*^ 

It was furilui- stal'- I by M 'r.dleyi;,!id ih.u l. na|)arte "-aw 
with ]iain the I'nitLd Slates commence their dii'lerence.-- with 
vSpain in an unusual manner, and conduct themselves toward the 
Floridas l)y acts of violence, which not bting founded on right 
could have no other efTect but to injure its lawful owners. Such 
an aggression gave the more surprise to His iMajesty, because 
tlie United Stales .seemed in this measure to avail themselves 
of their treaty with I'rance as an authority for their proceed- 
ings." Gen. John Armstrong, minister at Paris, in an effort 
to secure the views of France on the questions, wrote as fol- 
lows: "On the subject of indemnity for the suspended right 
of deposit (professim: to Iukiw nothing of the ground on which 
the interruption had been given), they (the iMcnch GoverniiKMil) 
would olT'-r no ripiiiir.u. On that of reparation for spoliations 
committed f'li f)ur Commerce by I'renchmeu wiihin the territory 

*AtiK'iic.iii Sl;itf I'lipcrs. 

77//; I'l.OR'.nA .-WD TF.XAS BOVXD.IRIES. 


of His Catholic Majesty (.Spain), they were ef|iiall) jironipt 
and (lecibixe, dcehirint;- that our claim iiavint^^ nothing of solidity 
in it must he ahandnned. With rejj^ard lo honndary, \vc have, 
they said, already j^ixen an opinion and see no cause to change 
it. To ihc (iiK-slion, what woultl he the coiu'se of this Cka'ciii- 
nieiit in the event of a ruj)ture hetwccn us and Spain? they 
answered, we can neitliei" douht nor hrsilate ; we niu?>t laKe jKirt 
with Spain; and our note of 30lh I''riniaire was intended to 
coninufnieafe and impress this idea." 

Pursuant to tlieir instructions, Messrs. Monroe and Pinckncy, 
under date of Jannaiy 2S, 1805, i)resented to Hon ]~'edio Cer- 
vallos at Aranjuez, a prcijiosilion for the settlement of the diffi- 
culiies hetwein vSj)ain and the United Slates. 'I'hey called atten- 
tion to the fad that the l(isst.s inllicted on American citizens 
by the sup])res>ion of the rii;lu of deposit at New Orleans liad 
never been adjusted; that it was imjjorlanl that the honndary 
between Louisiana and the terrilor)' of Si)ain in the sonihwest 
should soon he determined; that the eastern boundary between 
T.ouisiana ami iHorida was yet unacknowdedged ; that the said 
lx)imtlaries were "tlie ri\-er Perdido on the east and the Rio 
Pravo to the west;" that the facts and principles lo sustain this 
conclusion were clear and absolute; that the Uniteil Slates bad 
forborne to ])ress for an adjustment from motives of fairness 
and accommodation ; and that the inli'rests of both governments 
now dem.'inded that i!ie>e qne>lions should hv. settled withmit 
further mmece^^ars' delaw Thev therefore submitted a project 
C'f a conveniioii helwciMi the two Cdumiir-, ami «N'bra>.t '. thcrci;) 
their claim^ to t!ie leiiilor\ menlioucd, ..nd uvoine.iended 
the ai)i)ointm(iit of a commission to settle th.e i[nestions in dis 
jnite. In reply lo this communication the Spanish minister sig- 
nified his willingness to lake stej)S to settle the existing diO'er- 
cnccs. l>oth sides then began the ]>resentatic)n of tlu'ir argu- 
ments in support of tiieir respective claims. The Americans 
argued in lines mentioned in the j^revious jviges of this \olumc. 
The Spanish minister . stateil among other things tliat Spanish 
citizens held imadjusted claims against the United States; that 
the act of compress in extending the revenue di-trici over the 
Mobile coimtrs' and the further proceeilin^s to take ]ios>«cssioM 
of West I'lorid.a, were unjust to Siiain and calculated tr) involve 
the t\\o coimiiK^ in jeiious dilliculties; that \\'e>t Idorida lo 
the Mi'-si^ ipp; .ind the il..r\il!e were o\s U' d h\- J-'pain, hccaii>e, 
nul having been recci\i'd [\^<\\\ I'rance in 17')-', they wiie not 
and could not ha\e been reiruceded to b'lance in iS«a); liiat 

2C)4 'J'Jif^ PROi'i.\'Cii AX I) run status. 

the French fjovernnuMit luul ahi-ady satisfied tlie United Stales 
for daniacjes done hv lier privateers in Spanish ports by the 
conventions of Ai)ril 30, 1803; tliat the estahhslinient of tlie 
port of entry at I'^ort Sloddert as su^'-gested by the United States 
did not remove tlic objection to the act of con|;ress coniphiined 
of, because the vessels of the United States would have to trav- 
erse the waters of Spain to reach such fort, but that the just 
complaints as to the act wf>ul(l he waived for the time bein;:^; 
liud that the Spanish government could ncA agree to the terms 
suggested by tin- American envo)S' regai-ding claims alleged to 
be due them from Sixiin for damages done by iMench j)rivalcers 
in the ports of Spain. As it was seen by the Americans that 
Spain would not yield on the latter jtoint, they dro])i)ed it ami 
proceedcil to discuss the remaining questions in dispute. Tlicy 
asked for an answer on the question of the reclamations on 
account of the interdiction at Xcw Orleans and on that of the 
boundaries. * 

To these queries the Spanish minister returned the following 
sweeping Tc\)\y In-bruary 16: '"i'o deternn'ne whether Spain is 
or is not responsible for the damages which )Our cxcillencic^s sup- 
j)osc to have been sustained by llu' cili/cns of the United States 
by the suppression of ihc dejiosils al Xcw Orleans in consecjuence 
of the edict of the Inlmdant of that city, it is necessary to examine 
what are those damages and from whence ^they have arinn. 
Such suspension did not inlerrnpt, nor was it llie intention lo 
interrupt, the free navii-atii^n of the Mississijipi : consequently 
lliese pretrnded injmirs are reduced to t!ii^ .^mall i"-int, n-r a 
short time the ve^seU loailed in ihe --ticani of taknig in 
(heir cargoes at the wharfs. This ob>tructi()n will apjjear still 
less when we consieler that during a great part of the time that 
Ihc deposit was susjieiuled it was in thcmiddle of the winter when 
the exportation of produce from the western jKirts of the United 
States by th.e Mississippi is very inconsitlerable. If the erroneous 
opinions which were formed in the United States upon the occur- 
rences at New Orleans; if the comi)kiinls published in the papers 
of yom- country, as f.alse as they were repealed, that the naviga- 
tion of the Mississippi was inlerru])ted ; if the virulent writings 
by which the public mind was heated, and which led lo compromit 
the American Cio\ermnent and tarni>h the good name of ."^ijain, 
were caun-s that tbj- inhabitants of the western territory of the 
United Slati's Ciuild iioi fmin a eonect idia of ]Kis-ed ;il 
New Oileaiis; and if in thi> unceilainiy they were di>;q)pointed 
in the exliaclion of their j^roduce, c^r sulTeied tilher incoiueui- 

nii: I'l.ORlDA AND ri'.XAS nouNPARins. 295 

dices, tlicy ou[;lu to altrihiitc llu- same to iiileninl causes, which 
originatetl in their own couiury, such as the w ritiiif^s hefore nieii- 
lioned, filled with iiinaiuiiiatory falsehoods, the violence of 
enthusiastic partisans, and other occurrences, \vhich on those 
occasions ser\ed to conceal the truth. The Government of Spain, 
so far from beins; resptjnsihlc for the jirejudices occasioned by these 
errors and erroneous ideas, ouLjht in justice to complain of the 
irregular conduct piusutd by various \vriters and other individuals 
of the United States, which was ado|)ted to exasperate and mis- 
lead the public opinion, and went to divui{:;c sentiments the most 
ignominious and absurdities the most false against the Govern- 
ment of His Majesty and his accredited good faith, b'.stimatc 
the damages which may have arisen to the citi/ens of the llniled 
States by their erroneous conception of what look place at New 
Orleans, and tluv will be found to be no other than the trillinj; 
inconvenience hefore mentioned, of their shijjs loading- in a situa- 
tion not so commodious— an inconvenience for wduch the Govern- 
inent of Spain is not responsible (neither ought it to be), and 
which docs not in any manner merit to hi- mentioned, more esjje- 
cially wlien it i^ considered that those who ex])erienced it had 
been enjoying the riglit of deposit for four years more than w^as 
stipulated in the treaty, and this notwithstanding the great 
prejudice it occasioned to His Majesty's revinue, by uLaking New 
Orleans the center of a most scandalous contraband trade, the 
profits of which il is not improbable but that some of those indi- 
viduals have in part received, who now supp^^e themscKes 
injuri'd by said trillin:' inc<>M\ tiiii ihi'. .\flir I un' \ear- nmre 
than the treaty expre^^sed,' l<> w it - lbi> ■■ \t.ii-. n..>kir,g m a'.l 
seven Nears, the liitendant thuu-ht that 11 wa^ lii> diil\ no ImiL^er 
to permit a depo^,it which gave an o])portunity for carrying on a 
fraudvdent commerce, prejudicial to the interests of His Majesty, 
for which he was accountable; he thought il was necessary that 
New Orleans shonM no longer be the ])lace of de[)osit on account 
of those incon\ euiciices, and in consequence prf>hibited tlie same. 
. The lutendant ought to have asked instructions from 
liis Government. . . . What in strict justice was the 
dcpositc at Kew Orleans? A generous and gratuitous conces- 
sion of the King my Master for three years. It is true tliat His 
Majesty agreed to contimie the favor of the deposite, if it should 
lie found that U" inconvenience resulted from it, and f)f this no 
person was a b<it(.r judge than His Majesty and his agent in that 
colony. . . . Ihit this is not intended to '^^lpIlo^t the edict 
of tlie Intend, ml ; Hi. M;ijrsl)- has disappujvrd tlii' act. 


Tin; Ph'oi-ixcr. .-wd the status. 

Most certainly llic liileiidani IkuI a rii^lit lo pn^liil)!! the (K'lujsitc, 
and consequeiilly tlie CoveniiiKiit of Spain cannot he responsihle 
on this point; and this rellcctiun ac(|uires a donl)Ic weight, if wc 
consider the (rillino- inconvenience occasioned hy the true eltect 
of the said edict of iis short tiuralion, and on the other hand the 
serions dania-es which the Kin-'s revenue has experienced hy the 
continnance of the deposiie fcr hun- years over and ahove tlie 
term sli])nlatrd in the treaty." In a suhse(iuent communication 
]\lr. Cer\;dlos deliiK-d the houn.hiries helween Spain and the 
United Stales on the west as follows: 

"Jt woidd l)e very easy to make it appear that the most cxa^^- 
p:eratetl claims of ]Mance never had the extent which )our excel- 
lencies wi>h to ;;ive ti; 1 .(Uiisiana on this (wcNt) side. Hut even 
if ihey should have had ^nch cl:iim>. or J-rance i)o>ilivelv >honld 
have tried to includi', under the name oi I .i-uisiaiia, the ten Utn ies 
which J lis Calhe.lic Majesty possessed, what rij^dit or claim cr.nid 
be founded in a document which Spain never has reco.<.:;ni/ed,*nor 
does rccoc^nii^e, and which never could prejuilicc in an\- manner 
licr acquired ri-hts^ The answer of Spain on this occasi<,n is as 
simple as just: 'iMiat, if Louis Xl\', or the Government of 
1' ranee exceeded its powers in fMantinq territories or rif^hts over 
territories which were not their own, or that Spain claimed \)(>^- 
session of, or property in, that .i^rant ou.^lii to he CJiisidered as 
null as far as it extended over these territories, and that it flowed, 
without douht, from the total i-norance which'pievailed in tho^J 
days with lesiicci to the _<.'eoc^rnpliv of the tirriloties -situated at a 
little distance to the \\e~l cf ih. Mi-wisv,, -i, o,,.| .{ ,1,^. .•^;.,M'\!i- 
mcnls of the SpaniauU in tii.-., p.irts. .\!.,re an ;> r,!, and \\'>\, \ 
hy repeated art>, of po.s>e.^vi. -n, ilian ihe aforesaid patent (.f 
Louis XI\', is the royal ortler of the ]2th NovemlKT, 1692, already 
cited, hy which J lis Catholic .Majesty ordered them to make new 
expeditions to the Texas; ami the same are the otiier antluntic 
acts and e->tal)li,shments of the Spaniartls in that (piarter. The 
Innits helween Louisiana and the Texas have hceii always hnown, 
even when the iMench possessed Louisiana. Xear the he.iijiimini.^- 
of the last Century, the vencrahle Alanjet, of the order of St. I'ran- 
cisco, foundetl, in the j^rovince of Texas, towards the confines of 
Louisiana, diiTeient missions, amont,^ ilicni ihat of Nccot^doehes. 
And a few years after he wrote, and it was ^^eiurally kn..wn in 
the writiiii^s of those times, that the province of Texas, or N'ew 
l'hihi)piiies, hati its houndarie.- .ihoiit the middle of iho (nilf of 
Mexico to I'onceiies. tin- Rio Cr.mde, and to the l\ast L<nii-iaiia. 
nri-endiii;; oil Louisiana, we liml upon the Colorado (Red) uhuh 

Tin: iLOian.i A:<n iiovxdarjes. 


discharp-cs into ihc iM!Ssissi])|ii, llic post of Natcliitochos, which 
the I'lciich took fruiii Si)aiii. I hit, at m'Vi'u leagues from this, 
you will find llu' aforLiiiontiuned po.>l of Niicstra Scnora ile I.os 
Adncs, belong in;,;- to the prosinor of 'J\'.\as ; and it is undoul)lcd 
that ihc P.aron de Kiporda, hrin;;" Governor Ccncral of lliis 
])rovincc, and successor of 1 )on Ans^al dc Manos, appeared to 
liavc made treaties and conventions with the Indians of the same 
I)i"ovincc of 'i\-.\as, siiinilalion tliat the Spaniards mit^lit make 
among" thon such cslahli^hnients as lhe\ pleaded achnow led:dng 
from thai lime as dependinj^ on the pi\)vince of Texas, the Indians 
Styiles, Nacogdixdies, Assenares, Noltedacuis, Vidais, Oxtiuiies, 
j\lala)es, Ocnanes, Tancriiies, and Apaches. To the year 1770, 
there always was in the \o\{ of the Adaes, from the lime of its 
establishment, a competent number of Spanish soldiers, and the 
same in thai ()f Ozquisa/ el St. vS;il)a; antl it was not until the 
year 1773 that the I.ieutenanl \^^)\\ josef ('lon/ales evacuated the 
post of Adaes, whose i;airi,'-on was no longei" necessary, as S]^iin 
[X)ssesscd Louisiana. 

"It follows, iherefore, tliat the botmdary between the provinces 
of Te.xas and Louisiana inijdil to be b\' a line which, be,i.;innini2;' at 
the Gidf of AK.xico, between the ri\er Caricul, or Cascassia, and 
the Armenia, or Marmenloa, shouhl go to the north, i)assing 
between the Adaes and Nalchiloches, uiUil il cuts the b'.ed ri\er. 
And as from this point the limits which ought to be eslablisbed on 
ihe northern side are doublfid auil little known, il ap])ears indis- 
l)ensable to refer them to the prudent investigation of connuis; 
si(^nerb to be named I v both jiailii^. in or<h r :b.!l th.-v. \i.\vin'.y 
the territoiy, and ha\iiig wiih tlum i!;e diKu;i"n!^ and (i..u . lb. a 
\\\\\ be gi\en iliein, rectif\ing what ou^bt lu be reciiiie-1, auil 
furnishing the necessary liidil to both L.overnmcnls, upon limits 
wiiich have never been bxed or determined with exactness, may 
thus enable them to fix the demarcation complelel)' conformable to 
the wishes of brith." 

In claimnig the extension of l<ouisiana westward to the Rio 
liravo or (^rande the American envctys, Messrs. Monroe and 
Linck'ney, wiie at a disadvantage, because their arguments were 
recjuired to be based on those of I'rance, and the arguments of 
the latter were largcl)' unknown. Nevertheless, they made a 
strong' showing, as was expected from twc) such powerful logi- 
cians. 'J'he\' pl.ieed tluin^Les, so to speak, in the shoes of 
I'lancc-, and n id tb.e ;irgumenl- th.U l''rance would mov| hkely 
l)ave u-ed >he not partv.l with Louisiana. 'I'hey stated that 
the Mississippi had b(,en explored and claimed for I'lance by 

2c;8 'i'^ll'- i'-'^OI'l.\'Cr. A\'I) Tim STATES. 

Sicurs Jolicl, MarqucUo, La Salic aiul l'\ithcr Ilcnncpin from 
1673 to 1(i8j; thai 1-a Salic with two iuuulicci and forty j.crsous 
in 16S5 had formed a settlement and erected a fort on the I'ay of 
St. Hcrnard; that this extension was reco^'uizcd in the letters 
patent to .\nlhon) (?ro/at in 171J hy Lonis XIV of I'^ranee, show- 
ing- that he claimed the country to that hay hy reason of this dis- 
covery and sctllcment, in tact claimed the country westward to 
Old Mexico and Xew Mexico and that the coimtry as far as the 
Rio del Xuitc had hccn explored in 1713-14 hy Sienr D'Sl. Denis, 
a Frenchman. As I,a Salle's settlement was made on the west 
bank of the Colorado, the Americans claimed all the country 
watered hy that ii\er. 'i'lie j;iant of l.ouis XIV' to Cro/at was 
stated hy ihcm to be the princiiial basis of ihcir claim>. Xnmer- 
•ous anlhoriiics were cited by them in sui^porl of their contentions. 
Many ^U('i;raphers had iiuMi.shcd maps showinj^' the cxlnisinn i)f 
IvOnisiana to the Kio Ibaxo or (nande; these anlhoriiics were 
named. 'J'hcy made lii;hi of the claims of vSjjain fc)unded on -the 
missions established amcuii^ the Indians, and showed that many 
of the selllemenls claimed had been aband(Mied. ]^>nt it was also 
shown that the JM'ench scliKnuiit on the Ha)' of vSt. P>ernard had 
been abandoned, and that hc)ond Xalcbituches the J'rench had 
few if any sclllcmcnt.s. 

The lan;;ua;;e used b}' I .onis X 1 \' in the i)atent of Louisiana 
granted at I'^onlaineblean, September 14, 1712, to Anthony Crozat, 
was as follows: "The care we have always liTid to procure the 
wellare and advanta;;e of our subjects havin'^ induced us 
to seek all po- -ibh- i 'ppitrlun 1 i(S of fiilair in:' and 
extrndini;- ihc liadc of .;;; .\ni< iumm c.M■'ll!^^. we ilnl in th.- \<-.\r 
10S3 >^i\v our orders lo midcrial;e a discoxery of the ct)umrics 
and lands which are situated in the northeni part of America 
between Xcw b^ance and Xew Mexico; and the Sienr de la Salle, 
to whom w c commiiled the enterprise, havinf> had success cnon^ii 
to confnin a belief that a comnnmication mit^bt be settled from 
New iMaiue to the (»nif ol Mexico by means of larc^e livers; this 
(»blige(l us inunediately after the peace of Kyswicb, to give oiders 
for establi.-,hinL; a cohjuy there and mainlainiui^^ a f^'^frison, which 
has kept and i)rcser\ed the ])Ossession we had taken in the very 
year, 1683, of the lands, coasts and islands which are situated in 
the Gulf of Mexico between Caiolina on the east and ()lil and 
New Mexico on the west, lint a new war bavin;,' broke out 
sboitly afi'i. tlnrc was no p(.^Mbdilv till now of rcapim,' from 
that Colon;,- the ad\anl;c4cs that mii;ht ha\-i' U-en expected from 
tlience. . . . And wheuav, upon the information we have 

THE Fl.Oh'in.i A.Wn 77-.Y.-L9 liOVN DARIUS. 299 

received coiiceniinc;" ihc dispositions aiul situation of the said 
countries known at present by the name of the I'lovince of 
Louisiana, we are of opinion tlial tlierc may he cstahlishcd therein 
a considcrahle conunerce, . . . we have ix'scjlved to grant 
the conuneree of the comitry of Louisiana to the v^icur Antliony 
Crozat. . . . For these reasons, . . . we by tliese 
presents signed by our hand have- appointed and do apix)int the 
said Sieur Cro/at to earry on a trade in all the lands possessed 
by us and boiuided by New Mexico and by the lands of the 
Knglish of Carolina, all the establi'^hnients, ports, havens, rivers 
i\\u\ principally the port and hawu of the Isle Daunhine hereto- 
fore called Massacre; the river of vSl. I<ouis heretofore called 
Mississipj)! from the edge of the sea as far as the Illinois, together 
with the river v*^t. T'hillip heretofore called the Mi^.-om-i and of 
St. Jerome heretofrvie called C)uabache, with all the countries, 
territories and lakes within land and the -rivers which fall directly 
or indirectly into that part of the river vSt. 1/Ouis. Our pleasure 
is that all the aforesaid lands, e')untries, stream.s, ri\'ers and 
islands l)e and remain comjirised imder the name of the Goveni- 
mcnt of Louisiana, which shall be de[)endent \\\n>\\ the (nneral 
Government of Nev; bVance, to which it is subordinate; and fur- 
ther that all the lands which we j)ossess from the Illinois be 
united . . . tri the General Govtrnment of Xew 1 lance 
and become j)arl thereof, . .- .'"'' 

'khe authoi'it\- of D'Si. Ornis is ^liown in tlie follow'ing letter: 
"We, Antoine de la Motte Cadillac, Seigneur of I )avaguet and 
Monderet, Governor of l^aui)hin Inland, k'orl 1/ n-. I'.ilovi. and 
of the country and province of l.oui-iaiia, d-t b'i>bs- .luiliori'v' 
the Sieur IVSt. ])■ ni^ an^l the lwent\ -foui Gan.idi.m-^ of Ins I'arty, 
to tak'C with him any nimiber of Indians, whom he thinks neces- 
sary, to the l\ed T\iver, or wherever else he may choose to go, 
in search of the mission of the Kecollet, J'atlKM- bVancisco Hidalgo, 
agreeably to the letter written by him, on the 17th of April, 171 1, 
for the purpose (•>f Iniying horses and cattle for the colony and 
province of Louisiana; and we re(|uest all whom it may concern, 
to suffer the said Sieiu' D'St. Denis and his parly to pass without 
impediment. Li faith v.lureof. we have signed this, and seal it 
with the seal of our arms, and have caused it to be counter>igncd 
by our secretary, at Fort Louis, Louisiana, this \2\.h of Sej)tcm- 
ber, 1713."! 

• N a I naive nil. 1 llistni y o( Anu-i ice W'lniur. 
t .Viiiial'. of Cciiitrc -^ 

300 THE rRorixcr. .ixn riu: stati:s. 

Don I'cclio Ccrvallos in Ins note of I'Vhruary 2.}, 1805, to the 
Aincrican oivoys said, "The )ii>t lln'njj^ which calls our attention 
in explaining,'- tlic said article is the expression rctroccilc, and 
which also ser\e.s lo ileMoniiiiate the treat}- of St. lldefon.M), called 
the treaty of rclroccisioii. The sense of this exprebsion ii 
ohvions; it cannot lie misinterpreted or confonnded; its nieaniiiL;- 
is evidenil)' this: ThcJ J lis Calholic Majcsly rctunis lo I'rancc 
the tcnitory whicJi he (JMancc) had received from her (Si>ain). 
^Now let ns examine if iMance [int vSi)ain into ])ossession of the 
territory which occasions the present discussion. It i^, wiihouL 
douht that by the treaty of ijh], it was a-^reed that the separation 
between France aiid'i'ji.cHaiul of their i)ossessions in that (|uarter, 
shoidd he hy a line through ihe middle of the rivers Mississipjii 
and Ihervilic and (he lakes .Maurepas and I '..ntcharlraiii l(j the 
sea; conseiiueiilly iM-ance ceded to J-'n-land the river and jioit of 
Mobile, as well as all her other jHossessii.ns on the east of the 
MissisH'pi^i, the island and city of New Orleans cxceijted. 'I'Voni 
that Inne this territory formed a part of the possessions of tlie 
Kno;lish under the name of West I'lorida, and France lost all 
claim and title to it. 'JTus it became an ]-".ni;lisIi ])ossession ; and 
clurin,^ the war of 1779 Si-ain conquered fr.-m h'.ni^land all 
the latter ].ossessed by the title of West l-'lcnida ; and in the 
definitive treaty of 1803 (17S3), Fnp:land ceded to vSpain under a 
guaranty both I'loridas. Ii is then seen that the title b)- which 
Spain holds possession of \\Tst I'lorida was acquired by the right 
of concjuesl and also bv the cession luade b\- I'ngland un<ler the 
treaty of ]yS<T,. Im-omi that time the title . f Spain ! ^ that 1 •. riti.ry 
is entirely in(le[)endent of I'r.uice and ><\ il'e ces>;..;i of l...;ii.iana 
made by her; and coii^(.(|nently Sp.ain cnuKl not give back to 
Franci- what she did not receive from her. It is said in tiie third 
article that J lis .Majest)- retrocedes Louisiana 'with the bame 
extent of territory which it now has in the hands of Spain." This 
cxi)ression conlirnrs inos( explicitly the right which Si)ain pre.serves 
over the said territory to the east of the Mississippi ; because it is 
well known that Spain pcs^esscs West I'lorida, not as I.ouisiana but 
as Mond.a. This is conhrmed by the title of the Governors of 
Havana -rc/'/c;/; Ceiiemls of Ihe lu'o J'londas: and the tiealy of 
l/*-)^ where we read tlu" followin;.;^ conclusive words, 'that tl'.e 
southern limits of the I 'niied States, whi.-h .'ejiarale them fiom the 
Spanish eulwiiies (jf i:,is| .-m,! \\\st" elc. . . Ii is 

tbar thil if ill thr |ir,it\ .,f Si. lld.foiiM. it had b.rn wi-hed tu 
inchide \\\ M it woid I h.i\e b.-.n e-.pre>.slv inenti. 'iied bv 
the name which aiil luuli. aled it and under which it is -enerally 

tjij: i-i.ORU'A A\n tuxas uouxnAians. 


known : for it would have Lccn riilicnlous to liavc {^ivcn the name 
of I/>uibiana uj that Icniiur)' because it liad once fornied a part 
C)f tliat province, as niiich so as it would he at ])rcscMU to call the 
Slate of Ohio Louisiana. . . . 'J'lie second clause, 'and 
which it had when Iwance possessed it,' allude.^ only to the man- 
ner in which iMance i)0sscssed il in 1763 when she delivered it to 
Spain; for if an\ other sense is L'iwn U) it that expression cannot 
be consistent willi the anterior which sa)>, 'with the same extent 
which it now has in the hands of v'^pain,' for if in liic second 
clause a greater extent should ho L;iven to Louisiana thaji that 
which it had in the hands of Sixain, how could il be 'with the 
same extent it iiad in llie hand.-, of Sixain? . . . 'J'he third 
clause is still more (.kci-ive, 'siuli as it ou[^ht to be aceordin}^- to 
subsetjuent treaties between v'^pain and other J'owers.' The 
treaties liere alluded lo are not nor can be others than those of 
1783 between .^jiain and ]{n<;land, and L'VS briween vSpain and 
the United vStales. ]lv the fusl Ilis Majesl)- ac(|uireil the terri- 
tory cast of the Missis^-ippi uudi r the name i>[ West I'lorida, and 
conscquenll)' to be 'as il ouidil to be' since the treaty of 1793 
(1783) is with Uie exclusion (■[ a leii ilory ae(iuired at that pc-nod 
and with a naua: so dilferenl. \\y the second His Majesty per- 
mitted the de])osile and fixed the limits betwem Louisiana, the 
l-'loridas and the Uiiiled Slale.s 'lo be as they ouLjhl to be' after 
the treaty of 1795, ib with the (.■xclusion of l^rance to the rights of 
the United Slates in this liealw And {\\\\> as the treaty of St. 
]ldcfonso could iu)l affect the ri<'his which the United Stales 


l im: 

i!d It 

acc|uired by thai of 17^5. "' 
alTect tile riidilv aci|uiird b\ II:- l'.uh..h. M.ii.-lv by \\'r ire;ity 
of 17S3 with J'ai-land. 'fhe cefbraled i;t.oiMapli(.r of ibe iMiiud 
States, Mr. l-'llieijlt, aiipoinled to run the hue of di\'isiLin belween 
tlie said Stales aiul the vSpani.di i)ro\'inces, in his work published 
in 1S03, says, 'It does not appear b) the cession of Louisiana to 
the United v^tates we obtain the whole of both sides of the Mis- 
sissijjpi, for . . . il will be seen that the islaiul of New 
Orleans, whioli lies on the ea>t side of the Mis>issi]ipi only extends 
north of Manshak, from thence northerly alomij the easl side of 
the river lo the sr)ulliein boundary of the United Slates, is still 
lield [)y His Catholic Majesty as a i)art of West I'lorida.' He 
ai^ain says, 'the important and safe h.irbors in both tlie 
still remain in ilie possession of llis Catholic Majest)'.' 
'J'he treaty (.>f nirwce'^Mon <>[ iS"<> was a couliact Ixtween Sp.ain 
and I'^mnce, .and coiis.(pieuily it wa. for I'lauce to have rr])i-e- 
Senled in case .-be had unt iei.ii\(d all llie In i ilm i.;<i expressed in 


tliat stiimlalittn. And il is ooilaiii tliat tlic Profcoi I,.■lU^sat, 
char<;etl lo carry the ticaly iiilo clTccl, 1)liii^ ptrfcclly iiislrucU'd 
in it, and boiiif^ possessed witli llic intenlicMis of his Covenuncnt, 
has expressed himself satisfud with the manner in wliirh il was 
carried into effect, wilhonl his havini^- lieen ])ul into possession of 
the territory in qneslion." 

On the i_'th oi May, i.'^05, the Americans submitted the follow- 
ing- prt)posilion to llie Spanish eonrt : "Tlial upcjn condition that 
His Catholic Majesty will cede to the I'mted vStates all of his 
possessions eastward of the Mississippi and arbitrate the claims 
of the citizens of each I'owei- according; to the deferreil treaty of 
August II, iSo?, we will make tin.' Colorado the boundaiy 
between Louisiana and Si)ain. . We will relin(|ni>h the 

claims to si)oliatioiis which \\ere commilied h\- the JMench wiihm 
the jurisdiction of Spain in the Course r)f ilie last war, 
and we will al^o reh.ncphhh all claim to compensation lor the 
injuries which \sere received hy the suppression of the deposit at 
New Orleans." 

In reply to this proposition, Mr. Cer\'allos said that he could 
not see anything; therein to induce Spain to accept ; that "althouf^h 
Mis Majesty has the i)Ower to bargain inv the hdoi'ltlas as owner 
of them, and al^o has the rit^bt if he i)lease> lo ratify the conven- 
tions of August II, 1802, which is suspended for the reason your 
excellencies know, there are wantinj;' equal ri^hl and p(jwer in 
the Ihiiled States to make the cession your I'xeelleneies mention. 
The United Slale,> ha\e no riidil to demand of Sp.iin compen^.itiou 
.ft>r damaees i>ee:iviuin'd li\ \\\.- Tri iich ]'.;\al'iiN, uiitlhi li.\i 
the\- Iv) the cl.aim jor iiiMiiii- l.\ the si.; • u .•^--ion .f ilu- d' po.ii 
at New C)iieans. .And as to the t hum to fix the limit of Louisiana 
at the Rio iiravo, from which llows the assertion that the fixiiii.,' 
it at the Colorado is to be considered as a cession, it is ecpially 
necessary for me to ol)ser\'e to \our excellencies that the Spanish 
Government has made il ajipcar and ib eiiuall)- ready lo show more 
and more by the niovt iirefi arable proof that the limit which sepa- 
rates l.ouisiana and the Spanish possessions is a line which, be^iin- 
ninr,^ in the Cliilf of Mexio between the river Caracul or Carca-c 
and the Armienia or Marmenlao, ascends toward the north between 
the Atlais aiul Natchitoches until it cuts the l\e(.l river; and as 
from this point they aie doiiblful and little known the limits 
Nviiich onidil to be marked on tlx' noithern side a|)|iear to be jnoper 
subjects for lefiTinec to the prudiiiti.'d in\ i. ' tiiyations (>f com- 
niissioncrs of limits tc^ be n;im<i| bv both parties. . . . Il 
camuit be coneealed that, ris a Consequence of the prDposition? )cni 



have made in your nolo of ilic 121I1, Spain would code lo llic 
United Sialic, not i)nl\ tlie territories wliicli indispulalily heltni;^ 
to her to the ea<l of tlie Mississippi, that is the two h'loridas, hut 
also others ecpially her own in the interior province of New Si)ain 
without receiviuf,' an\thin^i; in return luU the renunciation of a 
right which she does not achno\\lcdL;e in the Ihiited Slates, which 
is to reclaim fur the damages arising' from tlie suspension cf the 
depc)sitc and ior those occasional h\- the hVench privateers on the 
coast f.nd in the ports of SiJaiii durin;;- the lasi war." 

This ])osili\i.- refusal of the Sp>anish {government to accede to 
the American ])ropositions or to ccmcur in the of tlu' Amer- 
ican envois, terminated the nci.;otiations which Mr. Monroe had 
heen S])cciall)' sent to Madrid to conduct in conjunction with Mr. 
]'inckne\-. 'Jdic)' returned a hrief answer Ma)' 18, 1805, to the 
letter ol Mi', ("ervaljos, in wliicli ih.ey said, "We consider llie 
nc[;oiiation concluded, and haw theiefori' onl)- to remark- that 
wc sh.all hasten to comnumicate the n-sult to our Government,' 
who will nol fail to heslow on it the altciitir)U which is i\\\c to a 
concern of such hi.^h imporlance to the United .Slates." Mr. 
Meniroe asked for his jiasspoils,' in order to i'e|iair to London, to 
which [)ost he had heen as-i;;ned, as sc>on as the Si)anish nei^olia- 
tions shoukl he ended. In their report to ihe dep.artnient of stale, 
the cnvo)S said, 'A\'c experienced on the part of Spain neilher a 
sj)irit of candor nor conciliation in the management of the husi- 
ness nor of accommodaiion in the conditions. In tliis latter point 
it has disclainuil our i-iglit in every (puNlioii on which it was po>- 
sihle ihat a dilTereuce o\ opinion could evi.i; ji has puhed li'f^ 
preleiitions of Spain to ihr mo-l ext ra\ .'(I'.mt cyient m i ach ; an-l 
insisted linali)' in a I'lue lujt ;i little iiii[)erious that ilio^e cxa;/;- 
gerated pretentions should he the standard hv which ihe suhsist- 
ing differences and their future relations should he regulatotl." 

During the negotiations lo elTect a selllement with Spain, the 
deparinient of slate informed Mr. Monroe im May 23. 1805, that 
"it appears that l^aiice has arranged heiself on the side of Sjiain 
in such a manner Spain will neither he dis|X)SO(l nor he per- 
mitted to hend to our claims either with respect to \\'esl h^lorida 
or the ]''rench spoliations. What part l''rance may lake in rela- 
tion to the western houndary of Louisiana seems not to have hoon 
disclosed. I'roin the siKiice on that point in 'I'alleyrand's n(jlc 
of Xovemhcr Sih in an^'Acr lo yours, in which the claim of the 
United Stales U) the Kio I'.ravo is expressly a^'^eitod, auil from 
the confidiiiti.d a( kiiowled;'menl rif ihal hr.undary l)y .M. Laussal 
lo GoN'einor Claiboiiie and General Wilkinson, it mijdu he 

304 Tim rkoi'iwcii a.xd the status. 

cxpccled lliaL on ihii. imporianl puiiil I'rancc wcmUl side with us 
against Spain." J5ut it was rcali/cd thai, owinj;- to jicnjini,' 
events, no reliance eouKl be jilaced on iMancc to substantiate the 
Anieiican claims. '>['A\n semied wliully averse to any conces- 
sions and ]wance seemed uKue iban v, illinj;' to support lier. Wilh 
this view of the situation Mr. Machson wrote, "Tlie ahernalive 
presented by this event is that of war, or a state of lhin{;s guard- 
ing against war for llie present and leaving in vigor our churns 
to be hereafter effectuated. Against war if to be safely and hon- 
orably avoided the considerations aie obvious and powerful." 
O'wo csbeniial article.^ were to be insisted upon: "That vSi)ain 
should not strengthen her arniauKiits within the dis]nitcd limits, 
and that she should not obslruei the fri.e navigation (jf the Mobile 
and other rivers jKissmg from the United vSlates lhrou[;h the 
Floridas to Anienc.m ^■essels." 

Thus the view'b of bcjth counliies were presented with the 
Strongest pos.sible arguments, during which time the diplomats 
exhibited surprising skill in the art of expression, presentation, 
attack and defense. .Severe and a])])arently traducing statements 
by one were countered by niullifying observations of the other; 
tlirust was followed either by parr\- or by tkxlging. 'J'he argu- 
ments advanced in suhseiiuent stages of the diplomatic contest did 
not vary materially from those already given ; but they were vastly 
elaborated and extended. The in.siruction^ to the American 
envoys requiretl them to secure West Florida ululer the claim to 
Loui.siana if [jossihle, which nu'ant if they could oulargue or out- 
nianeuver the vSp.mish miiiisirw Tli.\' il-icfMie ''indit ( \ <Ty 
pretense that faxcied the a^ i|iii-il i .u > ■! Wet I'loni j ,i ^ ., [...n i,i On the oilier baud, ike v^panish mimsny ailre)iily 
evaded the snares prepared by the Americans, and held vigorously 
against the spoliation claims, the de[)osit indemnilications and the 
boundaries demanded by the envoxs of the United States. 

In an rn4e written by (ien. h)hn Armstrong in a ]>amphK'l 
entitled a "]\eview of Adams's Kulogium upon James Monroe," 
occurs the following .statement: "Mr. Adams asserts that nmch 
ability was shown in ihib abortive negotiation i)y Mr. Monroe and 
his colleague, Mr. I'inckney. ])oes he forget, or liad he over- 
looked, the admission to be found in Mr. Monroe's i)reliminary 
letter to 'J\i!leyrand, 'that we had bought from I'rance only what 
France had Umghi from Spain?' ]'.y this a^hnission the question 
became om . not of construction, but of fact. It was no longer 
wliat the terms of the tie;ily of St. would wairani us in 
demanding, but how tlio:e lernr; wt le imdei .sIckxI by the jtarties 


Uppci* Pcvrt ot Coxo'3 
^f•lP of CarolAi-ia 


to tliat inslrunu'iu. vSpain (kiiiid that she liad ceded West 
Florida to I'Vance, and I'Vaiice denied lliat she had eitlier sold, or 
intended to sell to us, more than she had houL;iit from Spain. 
Such was the Pons . tsiiioniin'* which stoj^ped the proj^rcss of Mr. 
^^onroc and iiis culkj,i;iie at Machid. ]\\ tin.' \\:\\, tlie CDUStruc- 
tion given to the treaty of St. Ildcl'on-^o, on wliicdi the L^iileJ 
vStates so long and pcrLinaeiou>ly rrhrd and which Mr. Madison'.s 
ingenuity made so idausihle, was a suggestion of Mr. Livingston's, 
sul)niil(ed by him to his Government and adopted hy it, but to 
which Mr. Madison /or Si)iiic lliiic refused his assoit. See Mr. 
Livingston's official correspondmce with Mr. Mailison in the 
spring of 1803." 

When strii)])ed of all unncwssary \i.ibiagi\ the important points 
in the cc)ntro\'ersy e)\'ir the eastern b"undar\- of l,oui>iana nar- 
rowed down to, isl, the meanin;; and iiUeiid<d application of the 
term "retrocession;" and, 2d, the Louisiana (hat was intended to 
be conveyed by the retr(^cession of iS(jo to I'rauce and of 1803 lo 
the United States, or in other words, the Louisiana as held by 
France prior t<-/ \/C)2, or as held by vSpain subseipient to 1762, the 
latter with or without West I'lorida attached. 'Idic heading of 
the treaty of St. lldefonso concluded October 1, 1800, is in I'rench 
as follows: "Traite ])relinu'nairc et secret enlre la rei)ublique 
]"'ran^aise at Sa ■\lajeste Calliolique. touchaut ragrandissement 
de Son.Altessc Loyale le Due de Parma, en Italic, et la retrocession 
de la Louisiane;" and in the thiid article the word "retrc>ccde" is 
employed. In many trauslatiojts of (his treat)' the word "restore" 
is used, as being the ncare-l (■[•.•.iv.di'ut of ih. wid "1 .ti- H.-e<K "' 
Sorn^: translalois employ the w"i'l> "lecede" and "r ■.i^si 'U." 
'Lhe adiuitled meaning in the urigin.d was, to gi\e hack what had 
been i)revicnisly receiveil. West Florida was never received by 
Spain from IVance; conse(iucntly it was contended by both 
France and Spain that the treaty of retrocession of October 1, 
1800, gave back' only the Louisiana which Spain hail received 
from France in 1762 and which extended no farther eastward 
than the Missis.^ijjpi and the Iberville. West b'lorida was secured 
to Spain by conquest from (Ireat I'.ritain in 1 783. After 1783, 
ii|)on which date Spain secured West bdorida from Great Luit- 
ain, it was not attached to Louisiana but remained a sejjarate 
province; consenuentl}-, ne\er afttr 171').:! was West Floricla a 
])art of Ivouisiaua. If, then, the Louisiana conveyed by Spain 

• A Latin ixi.ri ^•.il II meaning iiii assS l)ri<l>;c or a hc\\t \o dull i-upits. 
II— 2U 


Till: I'ROriXCi: ./A'/) 77//T STATI'lS. 

to France in iSdo jnul by l-'rancc to the Unitetl States in 1^113, 
enilir.iced W'eNt I'loricla, tlir onnwyanee inuht have nkaut 
tlie Louisiana as il existeil in the ])()Sbessi>in ul hVanee 
prior to iyC)2. In the treaty df St. Iklefonso llie Louisiana con- 
ve)'e(,l was "in the same extent which il now has undei" tlie 
dominion of Spain and of other States," and in the treat)' 
conve\ini:;" llie province to the L.'nited States the hm;^uaj;c 
was, "with the same extent that it now has in the hands of S[)ain, 
and that it hail \\\\^u ]•" ranee possessed it, and such as it should 
be after the treaties suh^ec|uentl\' entered into Ijetween Spain 
and other vStates." L'uder the lan|^ua,L;e of the treat \- of St. llde- 
fonso, the IvOuisiana referred to could have hern no othei" than 
the one extendin;; no farther to the eastward than the .Mi>>i:^- 
si|)pi and llie lhii\ille, because tliat was the limits of "now." 
'J'he same is true undri" the fn^t of the three clauses above in 
the treaty of 1S03. 'I'he second clause, "with the same extent 
that it had when b'rance possessed it," is ctniformable, becau^e 
LVancc possessed it from 1800 to i<So3 no farther than the 
Iberville. The last of the three clauses above is conformable 
(o the Spanish I'leuch conienlion. So that neither of the c1.uisl-s 
disfax'ors the claim that l.iiui>i:ma extt-Uiucl no tartlier eaNl- 
ward than the Mir>sis>ippi and the lber\ille. Thu> all I'f the 
leadiuL;' [joints serm lo ta\'or the .Spanish construction. It should 
be said that aUhoui;h tlu- Ameiican en\'0\s pir<rnted stroiiL,^ 
and aihoit arj;iunent-, tlio\- ue\er succeeded in concluM\alv 
answrrini;' the pM.Hiion uf the Spanish ministrv. bach«.'d with 
enlpha^is b\' llu- opiiii. us >.{ ib, j' )•,.'..; Muitnl The 
slriil;;lh o\ till-. pO'-ilLiti w.i- U'm'n u I ■ 'M.i.'i-d . . llie I ■ \[tA 
States ; and by rea^ mi oi l\\v f.ici ili;il the pc 'ple \ar\ mui h w .mtcd 
West Florida, and a< the "wish is father to the thc)Uf;ht." the 
judi^inent of man\' was ^uiiled b\- their wants and accordingly 
the)' tliou<;ht they had a riL;ht to the iiossession of West ]'"lorida. 
It \sa.s ea' y to lno'x o\\ the pii|iul;ir side — the one f;i\(ji in;.; ihi- 
Lhiited StaUs. It was h.ird t.) s^'e anytlnii'.;" in fa\'or of tin- 
S])aniards, whom luarly ewi) lH)d\' disliked. 

The views of Sjiain ami of the Lhiited States are well stated 
by the historian McMastcr, who says: "SjKiin in i7.'^3 reC(i\ed 
the two l''k)ridas from k!ni;land, never havint; received lillkr 
of them frinn j'raui e. When, tlurcfnie, in iSoo, bs' the ^rcrrt 
treaty of San Ikkfonsn, Spain bwund herself to leturn Louivjan.! 
to iM.iuce, ^hc bt.imd lurMJl lo i;i\a' bark kiau'.e bad i;ie<.n 
lur iu l)Y)j ;in<l ni>l k'.m^l.nid h,id fpven brr in 1783." In 
repaid td the \ic\',s of leifii-^'Mi and M.idisun he said, 

Tim Fi.oRin.i .w'l) rnxAS hovxdarip.s. 


staliiiiL; ihcii jiositioii: "Spain in 1800 ownnl West ]'"l(iriila. 
W'c'.sl l'"k)iida w as once a pail (it Louisiana. Spain in 18(H) M'C(.ck'il 
Louisiana lo iMancc. Slir ilurcknc ixcrdrd W'csl I'lDiida. 
ILid such reasoning Iron applied to a real estate transaction in 
])rivate life, the folly would ha\e Leen at once n|)i)arcnt. The 
treaty of 1800 was a tix-ai}' e)f leli (.cession. vSpain tlien .t;a\i; 
hack lo JMance what L'ranct' had f^i\eu to her in 1762, and noth- 
ing'- more nor kss. In \yi\2 Spain did not own West l-'lorida. 
She cotdd not, therefore, in 1800 ha\t' receded it to France."'''' 
As a matter of fact, it recpiired the skill of such men as JelTer- 
son and Madison to make a case o\ any moment whatever in 
favor of the contention that L(^uisiaiia included West I'lorida. 
Althout^h it does not seem that Spain drlihc-i aii'h' cli'-ed all 
negotiations, and althouj^h it seems clear that she simply insisted 
on noi }ielding au_\' o\ her ri;;hls [u the ,\merican env(j\s, the 
United States \ii'weil the matter in an alto;.;eiher dilferent 
lij^iil. The most that can he said is that the nej^otiators were 
so far a|)art in their \'ie\vs and so unwiliini;- to yield rui)- mate- 
rial claim, that the Americans were as much to hlame as the 
Spaniards tiiat an adjustmc'Ut of the dilYerences could nol at 
that time he idTected. l''arl\- in iSoo, it was delermiiied h\ the 
))resident :f "ist, 'Lhat tlu' manner in wlmh the ne^oiialions 
at Madrid had keen closed 1)\ vSpain ft^hade an\- application 
\vhate\er to her for a renew ;d of them; :'d, 'Lhat the case should 
be prescntt'd to Con;^ress for such juDvisiou as it mi,L;ht he 
lhouL;ht to reipiire on their jiarl ; _vh That in the meantime )aiu 
(Cleu. John .\ 1 m-.t roui;, mini^tei lo k'laucel O.r.ld \<. ( liar;;ed 
to |ilacc hefore the L'uiuh 1 n '\ rruiui. nl li.i neCe^-if. l" whi^h 
Spain, hy refusing- to dmcur in a diplomatic ndjustment of her 
controversies with the I'nited States, had reduced the latter of 
seeking- justice by those ulterior measures which the occasion 
called for." Cieuerc'd .Xnuslron;^- was told to i-each Spain with 
the views and intentions of the I'nited Stales throui^h the medium 
of the I-'rench <.i-overnment. .\i the same time he was sent tlic 
draft of a treat) lo be i-oucluded with Spain, which embraced the 
claims oi the I 'nited States already mentioneij herein. 1 le w ;'.s (old 
that the I'lench ,L'd\ ernuieul shouM be informed that the I lUted 
States wouUl make no open o\eitures to Spain; the rejection 
by Sitain of ;1m special o\ert\nes lately coueluded, "followed 
b)' her militar\- and nieuaciui; indicaiious within and near the 

♦ )l ivloiy o( Uii- I'oiplf o( Uic rnili il .Si.iUs .McM nsui. 
t American .Si.iif l'; 

3o8 i'liii rROiiscii A\D nil: sr.-irns. 

controverted teiiitdries, ihc United States, llioug^li rcadv lo meet 
Spain in nc^utialiun nndei- iIk- au.^iiiecs of a eoininon friend, 
do ncjt eonsiikr il heloni^ini; to iluni lo eonil a furilirr iK-^oliaiion 
in any form; that consecinently the stei)S necessary on the i)art 
of Spain niii-t hr the rcsuli citlicr u\ lirr own rrtlrelioiis, or 
of tile prudent counsel wliieli l-'rance may undertake to L^ive 
lier;" that the methods of accejmijhshiuL;" tliis ohject nuist he 
left to the .^t-und (h>crctioii of General Armstrong-; that !•' ranee 
should he made to see that an amicaliK' adjustment of the dif- 
ferences hetween v^pain and the l.'nited States would he much 
more preferal>le lo XaiKjUon than a resejri to arms; that the 
United Slates were henl on an eaily settlement of those differ- 
ences; and that in this favorah'e eri.^.-, mailers should he jjre^scl 
within reasonahle limits. Tlu' ohjecls were to secure W'lSt 
Florida certainly, either as already cefled lo the United States 
as a jiart of lx)uisiana (,r otherwise, to' imrchasc ]\ast I'dorida, 
to obtain the indemnities claimed, and lo eslalilish ihe hound- 
ary between Louisiana and Texas on the Colorado, or farther 
westward if ])Ossihle. Tt was stipulated that, as a last resort, 
the Sabine niii-ht he fixed as the western hemndarv of l/misi- 
ana. It was also i)rovided : "isi, 'J'hat the sum to he made 
payable to Si)ain for her ces>ic)n is not to exceed five millions 
of dollars; 2d. That as little a.-, possi!)le a.nd in no event more 
than two millions are U) he paiel prior te» the delivery of pos- 
session or the ralihcalion ; 3d, That as am'jile a ]irovi>io!i as 
possible be made for indcmnilies, . . . which claim is not 
less than four millions of dollar^: .jth, t!'.- aqre^; he 
made to cover case-> where both ITi nc!i :;iid S-j^anish •■,:hi<ctb 
are the wroni;-doers, «!ve." 

It was difficult for the United States to see what object S|)ain 
had in rejectiiu,^ the offers of the American envoys. Mr. Madi- 
son wrote. May 25, 1807. to Mr. lk-)wdoin, that "the conduct 
of Spain is not easily explained. Several eau>es have ])rohahlv 
united in ])roducing her obstinate repiijjnance to meet our rea- 
sonable oserlures; ])erliaps the most powerful may have l>cen a 
calculation that she would have in any event the support of one 
or the other of the two vrvM riwils of luirope; and that her 
dexterity would he able to conn- et her with whichever of ihem 
should nllimaul)' \>v ascendant, li wi.uld see'in lo be imp<.>sible, 
however, that a crisis can he much lon^uT proeraslinated. The 
obslrueiioiis which are thrown in the wav of ilie trade lhrou.i:li 
the Mobile, and even ihe ii-e of the river by the I'niteil States 

Tiiii i-Loum.i .ix!) ' uoumku^ij-.s. 


for puMic [)uri>C)S(.'S, arc Kindlinj; a llanie which will udI be very 

Uiulcr (laic of Jul\ 15, 1807, Mr. Madison wrote to Messrs. 
Arinslrcmc^ and I'owdoin that, owinj;" to very recent hostile and 
llaj^rant acts of (ircat Drilain in Anu rican waiers, war with that 
country seemed lil:e to hrr;il< lurlh al anv moment ; lliat inas- 
much as such a wai' would lequire larj^e sums of uK^ncy, it 
was thou;.,dit im|)erali\e llial, il an a<;iicmeiil in pay to Spain 
the sum stipulated for the ]''loridas had not heen concluded, 
ncj^otiations for their innehase slu)uld fur the time heinj^'' be sub- 
pendcd ; that if such ai;reenKni had been concluded, a re-niodi- 
fication of the terms of ])aynHiit slundd be souj;ht ; that shonUl 
war occur between the LIniled Slates and ' (neal Ihiiain, the 
hitler nii_L;ht jjroceed lo oecujiy the h'loridas, to the injmy both 
of Spain and the United vStates ; and that "slu»uld Spain still 
obstinately ])ersist in rcjecliuLj;' or rt'lardinq' an arrangement C(^n- 
cernin<^ the Floridas, slu- nni>i al least see the necessity of 
hastening' a salisfactor\' one on other subjects, particularly in 
the case of the MobiK, for llie free u>e of which, by llie United 
vStates, orders oughl lo be sent withoui a monuiu's delay." 

In his messai^'c to congress oi 1 )eceniber 6, i''^('3, I'resident 
Jefferson reviewed the relations existing- between Spain and the 
United States."^ lie stated that a convention (of August ii, 
1802) had been entered into by the rm'nislers of l^ie two coun- 
tries; that it had betn agreed thai ?i)oliations commiiled by 
Si)rmish subjecls should be paid for; that those ci-^nnnilted by 
]M-ench \essels in the jjoris ni' Spa'u -h.-nld r.M.on f ; fnnh.ei 
discu-'sion ; befi-ir such «.un\ union had bon ralili" d, "the 
transfer of T^ouisiana by Iwance to ihe United vSlales texjk place, 
an c\'ent as unexpected as disagreeable to Spain;" that "brom 
that moment she seemed lo change her conduct and dispositions 
toward us;" that she had at first jirotestcd against the right of 
iM'ance lo alienate ihe ])ro\ince, but soon letracled and confirmed 
the right; that she had then taken great offense "at the act of 
Congress eslablishing a colleclion <listriel on the Mobile although 
by an authentic declaration innnedialely made, it was expressly 
confined to our acknowledged limits, and she now refused lo 
ratify the coiuenliou signed by her own minister uiuUr the 
cvc of his sovereign, unless we should consent to alleralions 
of its terms, which would have anVcleil our claims against h' r 
for llie spoliations by Imciu h s\ibjrvts carrird into Spanish;ij:i:?t and I'a|)crs o( Uie rrvsidtiils. 


run rRoii.wci: .ixn riir. sr.irr.s. 

ports;" thai Mr. MriurcH' IkuI luen stiil on a special iiiissiitu 
to Maclriil to (.iTcot tlic ilcsirnl iihjccls; lliat liis niis.>iiiu had 
resulted in t<-)tal I'aihnc; that lui satisfaction luul hnii LMx'i.n as 
to the homulariLS of Louisiana; thai Spain scenic-d (Kliiininrd 
to acKanci' on the ]iossc>sions i in (he Texas and the 
Florida liordris; llial lie had iustrncu-il ihc Anuriean oiViccrs 
there to prciteet our eiti/.rns ,^nd patrol the frontier; that the 
vSjianish olVieers at Ww ( Orleans were "ri'(juired to depart with 
out further ilela\- ;" and that the conduct of I'rance was e(|ually 
as had. ]Ie concluded l'\' referring;' the suhject to the considei- 
alion and settleinenl of con^ros, intiniatin^ that as the (Kj-ari- 
mcnt of state hail heen vniahle to secure the ri;iits of the I'nilrd 
States, it was the pro\'uice of cniij.Mess ti^ de\ise means t<> eliecl 
such scrurity. 

In the house C)f repri'S(.'nlali\es, Mi\ Randolph, from the com- 
mittee to whom weie referred the messai;e and its accompany- 
ing" papers, rt'ported that " Tlie committee ha\e heheld with jn>t 
indig^nation tlie hostile spirit manifested h\' the C^mrt of .Madrid 
toward the Ignited States in withholding the ratification of it.s 
convention with us," unless with luirdlowahle alterations in its 
terms; "the piratical depredations upon our fair connnerce ; the 
ohslruction of the navigation of the Mohile ; the refusal to agiec 
to a fair adjustment of the l/iamdaries of Louisiana;" and th.e 
invasion of the undisputed territory of the I'riiled Stale>. lie 
declared that though there was ample cause for a formal dec- 
laratiou of war, the citizens lowd peace .and would noi u -ort 
to war t'xcepi as a l;i-'t; tl.i '■ iv \ r ' ■ "\ 
the llnilrd Slates wnuld reii 1> i .1 war ivtiei;:i'. «']i].!i i\e; 
that when that diht should ha\e heen paid, "then and ui ■! td! 
then may we hid defiance to the worUl. The present moment 
is pecnliarl)- ausijicious for this g'^reat and desiiahle work. Now, 
if ever, the nation.d deht is to he paid h\- sn>'h (Inancial ai"range- 
nients as will accelerate its cxiinclion hy reaping the rich har- 
vest of ncutrrdty and thus providing f(:»r that diminution of 
revenue which experience teaches us to expect on the geui'ial 
pacification of I'.urope. .And ihe committee indulge a iiope that 
in the changed aspect of affairs in that rpiarter, vSpain will fnul 
motives for a ju-t fulfdhnent of her stipulations with us and 
an amieahle scltlemerit of limils upon terms not more lienifkiai 
to the I'luhd .'^t.ites than adx.antageous to lui^clf. 
lUit wiiihi the commitlee peiC(i\-e in the g-^eneral uproar of 
I'lurope a slate of things pecnh.nly fa\iual)le to the peaciahle 
inirsuil c»f our he-t interests, thev are neither iu--i. iisihle t" the 

Till-: iLoum.i -i.v/^ nouxn.iians. 31 1 

indig^iiity which has hec-n ofloiod o]\ the i)art (»f Spain nor unwill- 
ing^ to rcpol similar oiUra.^c." 

'An iniparlial rcvii-w of ihc relations of Spain and the United 
States of that tiuiL- leads to the conclusion that the former tlitl 
not merit the severe restrictions of Mr. Jellerson. In re^anl 
to the h'rench spoliations, S[)ain had the opinions of a half d.t/cn 
of the best lawyers in the l.'niieil Slates that she was not liable, 
and in addition had the i)osiii\e slatcinent of I'rance that they 
liad heen paid hy the latter under the Louisiana cession 
treaty. Slie, iherefcjre, on tlu-. face of the situation, fell her- 
self justified in refusini^- to accede to the demamls of the Uniletl 
States. In rei.;ard to the ]'"k)ridas, it was clear then and has 
been proved since, thai the I'niled States had lU) coiiclnsiic 
claim to any ]}orlii,»n of the wesurn province. With res[)ect to 
the boundary between Lc)uisiana autl 'JVxas. Spain had much 
the belter claim as far eastward as the Sabine, if not farther, 
b)' reason of numerous permanent settlements, unless it may 
have been to a small lerriior)' in the vicinii)' of Yatiasse. She 
was justified in extending; her domains as far as her righteous 
claims would allov/. 

Alarming letters were received in 1805 from Natchitoches by 
the American aulhorilies of the serious slate of aflair^ there 
and farther to the we.'.l\\ard.'* Jn .Augu.Ni, Captain Turner 
wrote from there that "our neighbors btill keep up that sort 
of conduct towards us. which a .slate of war alone wi-uld ju.^lil\. 
Every person who gi'>es from here is strictly ex.amiiieil and 
Searched, aiul all UiUis fomid in iheir ]>-'-"-^siou are br. l.tu 
open and perused with an e\pev iii 1 .11 of liii.Iiii.; il^m big \. ,;h 
treason, stratagems and ciime-^.' On ()ci.'bcr 15, be \\ r^ie : 
''The Spaniards are undoubtedl\' meditating mischief in tbia 
C|uarter; their emissaries have been at work among the Indians 
and negroes. The night before last, nine of the laiter ran oil 
for Nacogdoches." Jl v. as clearh' an attempt on the \>:i\i oi 
the Si)aniards to win the negroes and the Indians to their side 
in what was considerinl a pending war between the llnited 
Stales and Si)ain. Captain 'J\inier wrote C)ctober 15: "The 
wliolc district is in the most alarming state, and inevitable ruin 
to it and perhaps all L(»uisiana nuist be the coiisefiuencc, unless 
p»ronipt measures are taken to si,,|) the infamous piocctdings 
of the infernal Spaniards. Tlie olijcct (■)f the Spaniards seemed 

to be to iiid'.Ke all ibe Indians and ne„M(AS to nio\e across ilie 

• Aiiuric.ui Sl.ttc I'ai'L-rs. 

312 Tllli }'KOl'J.\'CIl ,}\'l) THE STATES. 

Sabine river to the western side, to he in readiness for a war 
against the Americans. The news was received that at many 
posts on the western side of the Sahine, the Spaniards were rccon- 
structin<;- old forts and huihhnL;- new ones; that the Si)aniards 
intcndeil to march eastward and fnudly take New Orleans. 
Nearly all of the jmsts in what is now 'I'lxas were strenL^lla-iK-d, 
and in every way it was manifest that the i)relinn"nary work of 
war was in progress. 

In a message dated Marcii 19, 1806, the [)resident informed 
congress thai the vSpanish authorities had invaded the territory 
in disi)Ute between th.e two countries, and were building new 
])osts and m.aldng new sellleinenls ; that he had ordered the 
lrooi)S of the United .Stales in ihe soiil]iwe>t to rcipiire (with 
force if neccssar)-) the S])aniardr, to remain on the west side 
of the Sabine river; that the inbabilants of the United States 
\verc requested to confine themselves on the east side of that 
river, "which by delivery of its princijial post, Natchitoches, was 
understood to have been itself ileli\ered \\\) by Spain, and al 
the same lime lo permit no ad\erse post lo be taken nor armed 
men lo remain within it (the country east of the Sabine)." In 
ticcordancc with the orders of the war department, Major Porter, 
American commander at Natch'toches, having learned that a 
detacliment of vSpaiiish tror)ps had e>lablishetl themselves east 
of the Sabine, dis])atcbed Capt. \\. D. Turner with a force of 
sixty men to remove the Siianiaids lieyond that river and lo 
patrol that region to sre that no fuither attempts were made 
lo occui\v the terrilorv tb\i< e]air.ied. Twrntv Sp'tn: li li^-'ps 
\vcre f()und briNseeu llir S.ibiin- and ihe Ad I's and t'teed uracil 
against their inclinalionh lo deiiari beyonH the Sabine and told 
iiol to return under anv circumstances. 

This ))roceeding of the American forces was promjjtly resented 
by the S]nmish authorities in that rejdon, who threw a consid- 
cralilc force of troops aci'oss the Sabine and established a camp, 
with the ajiparent intention of remaining. This force was com- 
manded by Col. Simon de IFerrera.''' luirly in August llieir 
withdrawal was denuuuKd by Col. 'J\ II. Cushing, stationed at 
Natchitoches, on the g^round that the country was claimed by 
tlie Ihiiled Slates, that the two countries were at peace, and 
that, inasmuch as neg(;liation? were then pcn<Iing to settle the 
owncrshii) of ihc co)unlry, an advance of Spanish troo])S into 
the disputed country could not be tr.lerated by the United 

• Aiiiericnn Sl.itc I'upcis. 

run FLORlfll .IXI) 7'i:X.iS BOUXP.IRIHS. 


Slates. Colonol Ilcrrora |)()lilcly replied llial the country was 
owned 1))' Spain, and tlial therefore it was ikcnicti rij^dit for 
tlic Spanish lrooi)S to oceup\' the same. He trusted that tio 
trouhlc wouKl l)e the resuU of thr rightful ael^ of i^pain. dov- 
crnor Chailiorne alsi:) wrote at lcnj;lh lo the Sjianish commander 
that his rcmo\al to the western siile o[ the Sahine was re(iuircd 
and a1)Sohitely necessary. Ai^ain Colonel lleriera replied fidni 
the "Spanish Camp," art^uiii;.; mildly at cc»nsiderahle lenj:^lh, of 
the ri[;hts of Spain to the territor\' and in iu>lit"ication of cer- 
tain acts complained of and of his coursi- qenerall}'. Ai^ain 
Governor Claihorne answered his ar_L;\imcnts and demandetl his 
removal, l-'inally specific orders from W^ashinnion were received 
to the effect "tliat the actual (juieL possession of the country 
by the United vSlates east of the ri\er Sahine, ouc^dit and will 
he considered as fully within the limits c;f the country sui ren- 
dered to the I'nili-d Stales on t;d-in_L;' jjossesvion of this place 
(Natchitoches); anil therefore any attempt on the i)arl of llis* 
Catholic .Majesty's cjfhcers to disturb the e.xistiui,' state' of thiu;..:s 
by ende.'ivorini^" to occupy an\- new i)ost east of the Sabine, or 
westward or northward of the former boundaries of what ha^ bi-en 
called West I'loriila, must he considered b\' the (Io\ernment of 
the United Stales as an actual imasion of their territorial rights, 
and will be resisted accordiu^l) ." 

W'liereupon, Ccn. Janies Wilkinson, with headquarters at 
Natchitoches, in a slroui;- )el pUasanl conuiiunfcation to the 
Spanish commander, demanded the removal of the Spanish 
forces, declaring' aiuoiiL;" oilui' thiu::s that, "M\- sen-c of ibe 
hi;.;h respect which is lUiv liiin om- wld -<>Mi. i to .m-'lui po-- 
hibits the idea of menace; Iml as our lu/uor teubids sliala'.;un 
or dccci)lion before oar swoids have been drawn, 1 owe it to 
my own lame and to the national character to warn nou that 
the ultimate decision of the competent authority has been taben ; 
and that ni)' orders are absi)lute and my determination fixed 
to assert and, under God, tcj sustain the jnristliclion, of the 
United States to the Sabine river aj:^ainst any force which may 
be opposed to me. Retire then, sir, I conjme you, the trcxips 
of your command from the <:,M-ound in controversy and spare 
tlic effusion of human blood, without prejudicing'" >our own 
honor or the substantial interest of His Majesty, your l\0)al 
master." I'nl tlu' Spanish eummander at .\'acoL;doelus, ( ol. 
Antr^iio Coidi ro, sent a lempori/in;^ nply, ant! contiinied to hold 
his ]->osition. 'W) match the policv of the Spaniards, 
Wilkinson, eaily in Oclfjber, adwuiced Ins command near to the 


'Hill I'Konxci'. ,1X1) the states. 

Spanish cauip, scndiiitf \V(i d beforehand tlial he niochtalod no 
inmicdiatc act of lioslihly toward the v^|)ani<h forcrs. 

]l was afti.-rwai"d Icainnl that Dun Antonio Conlcro, the 
Spanish f^ovcnior of the province- of Texas, had inarched from 
the vicinity of San Antonio with six hun(h-ed rci,''idars, a con- 
sidcrahle hody of niihlia and Indians, and larL;c (h'ovcs of horses, 
nuiles and cattle, lie slojtped on the 'J'rinily river, where he 
was joined hy the forces oi Hon Simon llerrera, tin- com- 
mandant of Monteray in the pr>Aince of New l.con, who was 
sent with reinfoicemenls hy Don Xeniesio Salcedo, captain gen- 
eral of the internal i)ro\'ince.^. C\)rder(^ immediately sent larj^c 
reinforcemtnts to Xacotidochcs. Later he proceeded to the 
Sahine and threw part of hi^ coiiii:iand a;.i').-s that river, in the 
ne<^a>tiatiuns which follow id, it wa> a^Meed that llu: Spani>h 
shonkl retire beyond the Sabine and the .\niericans shonld nt)t 
advance beyond the Aiioy^i Jlondo; and that both cc)mman(ls 
shonld await the settlement of the boundary by the neL;otiali(Mis 
then j)ending between tin- two countries. The Sj^anish com- 
mander was informed tliat the cjuiet possession of the country 
cast of the Sabine should be. in^ibtetl on, and that any attempt 
of the Spanish to occupy the countiy to the eastward of the 
Sabine would be ret^arded as an act of inwasic^n. 

The liislorian, Martin, .-.a\s: "On the ba)ou (\ci^ Lauriers 
(Laurel Creek), six miles .southwest l)y south from the town of 
Katchitoches on Kevl l\i\i.r, and fifteen mile- flom the /\da\e;>, 
where the roail \.o Xaco;;doehes crosses the ba\on, tlie ImcucIi 
hail placed leaden pl.iU - on a tie(> on ii. h >-ide .>f the iokT, 
with an in--ciiptiou eNjiO' inv. i'imi ibe -i'"! ^^as ibe b' •■.mkIh y 
between tlie J'lench and Si)anish ih^minions, without imlicaiim^ 
the continuance of the line on either side. Similar i)lates were 
also fixed at \'atlassees, a \illa-e (;f the Xadoc.i Indians, liftv 
leaj^ues norlhwest of Xatchitoclies. The biundar\- line from 
bayf»u des I.anriers to the sea was iKwer run, and each fieelv 
claimed mui h more than the other was willing; to allow.' The 
v'^pnniards contended that tlie line was to be run due sc;uth, in 
which case it would strihe the sea near the ri\er Ciircosson (, Cal- 
casieu ?)."* 

It was about this lime that l.ieiil. /ibulon M. TiKe was sent by 
the <M.\eiimient to exploie the li.adwatii> of the Red and the 
Arkansas iimis. but f^eliiiu; too far lo the westward he wa> caj)- 
tnre<l by tin Spanish, lakeii lo Saiiia ]"e, and later lo Cliiliuahua, 

• II islui J- (if I.Miiisi.-ma : Mm I in 

run florip.i .lyd nors'n.iRir.s. 


where all his papers wrrc lakcn from him, ami he was S(.'nt hack 
tci Nalchil(xhts.'' Tlu- Spanish claiiiuil all the U-rriiory at ihc 
head ol ihc rivers Ri-tl and Aikansas, hut this was cknied hy the *-«'^^ 
Americans. W'lien ca|)luri(l, liowcwr, \\v ^^■as on one ol the 
western hranches of tlie J<io del Norte, a manifest invasion of 
Spanish territory. It was at this time, also, that General Willdn- 
£011 heeame full)' apprised of ihc dcsii^ns of Aaron llnrr if he had 
not i)ccn hcfore. lie made immediah- preparations to strciif^ihcn 
all points on the Missi'-sippi and in I,(-nisiana that would most 
liluly feel the fn'st hlows should such an expetlilion he sent ch^wn 
the ii\'er. The effects in New CJricans reached the projjortions 
of a ])anic. vSeveral pronn'iienl men there became- more or less 
identilietl with llurr's plans wilhoul l;no;\in_L;' of iheir real siL;nifi- 
cance. The (lissii)atic.n of the i;audy dreanib of iuiir in smoke, 
soon quieted the comniotie)n down die riwr. 

'i'he conspirac)' of Aaron lUnr in 1806 7 was made possible hy, 
and grew from, the jiresumed l)ilterness of the western people for • 
the Spanish of l^ouisiana, their feelintj^s of resenlment toward the 
peojile of the Atlantic states, and the immunit}' offered aj^ainsl 
interference amoni;' the scattered scltlements of the west.^ 
Undoubtedly, the wlli^ky insurrection of westtin l'enn>yl\'ania 
further indicated to the mind of Aaron lUirr that, if the western 
j^cople could be pri/\-i(led with coiii;'eleul Jeadt. r>hi|), a.nd be con- 
vinced of probable success, they would join such a nK)\einent. It 
was de\c-loped thai he had two diNiimt objects: T. To separate 
the we>t from the ea^l b\ the Alle;;lian\ nlouu;:dn■^; J. 'W') sei.e 
New Orleans, jihuider the bank ibeir. pi.i\i.l' bi^ \:\<>, wn'i 
arms and milii.iry ^lo^(■^ and undeii,d e ibe c '■ [ue-i ..i .Me\i. ' 
]t may be said that he had a ihiitl object, w hicb be \.\>vd a> a blind 
to deceive the oftkers of the ^oveinment and secure folK)wers: 
"The settlement of a pretended purchase of a tract of country on 
the AX'ashita, claimed by I'aron llastrop." His protestations of 
honoralde intentions and his aliility and prominence won many to 
his side, but as soon as his real purpose was revealed thev one by 
one left him until adwniurers and bo\s were almost his only fol- 
lowers. He misjuilijed the ch.iracler of the we-^tem i)eo|ile, and 
believed they were bound to separate lbem^elves from the Atlantic 
states. There had been a time w lun the west mii.,du have joined 
such a m:m and such a movenunl. 'Idiev would n«>t h.ive done it 
because tin \- [..ved the l",i.>l less, becau-v- they kned their 
lijdits to n.ivi.'ale the Missi>vi|ipi nioie. l!ul now ihini^S weic 

AuKiiraii Stiac I'.-ii/irs. 



vastly (liffcrrnl ; tlic'r ri^^lUs to llu- sra were luulispuli'd, and llicir 
Cbtran<;iiiKiil iiuin Uic J:a>l had htm l)ri(li; by tlu' ccs-^ion of 
Louisiana. So that Colonel r.urr oouUl find no suflicicnl follow- 
ing for such a niuvcnicnt. Tlie \^c^u■!"n jK'ople did not wish to 
see the Union disinmihered. 1 lis principal tlesign was to unite 
all of the country west of the Aik^hanies and east of the ]\ocl<y 
mountains into one s{)lendid enipirL-, the capital and metropolis 
of which should he New Orleans. 

When his desi<Mis for a western emj)ire dissolved in mist and 
dreams, he ))romptly turned his atlcniion to the conquest of Me.\- 
ico. lie could not return to the Atlantic stales, where he was 
practically ostracised and pcr.sisl(,iul\' e.xciuialed for the killing of 
Alexander Hamilton, lie therefore sou'^ht for a lu-mt.- and a 
country, and while doing sf) ihouglil thai his deserts nieriud his 
becoming the n;onarch of the Icingdom he sluudd set up in the land 
of the IMonlezumas. lie made pieparatious at the falls of the 
Ohio (Louisville) — -building boats, colleciiiig stores and recruit- 
ing a motley company of border ruffians and adventurers, but was 
checked by the governors of Ohio and Kentucky, under orders 
from the gosernnienl ; an^l when he fin;dl\' departed down the 
rivers late in 1806 his lleet, which he had boasted would carry an 
army of from seven Ihousand lo twelve llmMsand men. consihled of 
ten boats rn)d about one hundred rrsikss and disallecled [lersons, 
very few of wdioni were aware of his iral iiUeniions. lie was 
arrested in Mississippi Irrriioiv, and his trial I'T treason and other 
high crimes and mi- denieanoi s is well known to hi^t'>ians. At one 
time New ( b liMiis, X'atihv ,-. .Ill 1, 1:1 l.ic(..i',l illirl a»i i":i:i:i\ 
w I'le in a pai;ic, the u p> n I ^ > 1 oix e\ in,; llie si oi liiig in:, .t mail' i;i ili.a 
a large arin\ was (ksceiuliiiL; the ri\<. rs t(j capture the wIkjIc coun- 
try. Cowles Mead, secrelai\- U) the acting secretary of slate of Mis- 
sissippi terriiory, in a letter to the secretary of war, under dale of 
January 19, iSoy, said, "Thus, sir, this mighly alarm, with all its 
exaggerations, h;is eventuated in nine boats and one hundred men, 
and the major (jf these are boys, or \-oung men just fiom 
school. Many of their depositions have been taken 
but they besj)eak ignorance of the views or designis of the colonel. 
I believe them really igiK^rrmt and deluded." The only effect the 
movement had on Louisiana was to friiduen the ])eople ami ihus 
oblige the aulhorilies to call out the militia to rej^el the expected 
and dreaded army f>f invaders. 

After the \e,ir 1 S: iS .ill oltiel.d ci imiiumii ,it ii ai bilwien ."^p.iin 
and the Ihiihd SUil'-s ce.ised, princii/.dly by reason of the. 
stupendous \sai r.ip.iiig in I'.uidi.e. The former was mk/II 

Tlin I-l.ORin.l .-WD THX.IS I!0U\'I)ARI1-S. 


involved in the strugi^le, and her \ei\' existence was seriously 
threatened by the ami ilion of I'lanoe. She not only t()r)k no 
steps to contiiuie the nrt^otiation^ fur a settlement of the ditfer- 
ences with the Lhnleil Slalt^'S, hut left ihr two hdoridas aImo^t 
wholly to shift for llnnisiK rs. 'J'lu-)- iluis heeame (llled will) 
advenlnrcTs and hu-.-hreaker.s, wcie soon a source of intense 
annoyance to the Unil-il S!alt.s, and in the end involved the 
border in a blooil)' Im'ian war. The lawlessness in West I'lorida 
bocamo, so rampant that the i)eopU' ihcinsclvcs fmall)' look mat- 
ters ink) their own hands aiul e^lal)]i^h^ d llirir inch pcndence. 


Tim i'h'onxcr. axd the states. 

CHAP'ri<]l VJII 

- I'hc I'Moriehi and the TcXcis J>ouiKlarics, 


Ol'l'lClAL C(jiiiniunicati()ii lK-t\\i.'i.'n Spain and the United 
States was not rei^umcd until NapoKon had been cruslied 
at Waterloo ami the former vS]\'inisli monarchy had hecn 
restored. lUit in liie nuantime, iuijiorlaut e\enlN had occurred in 
ihe two Kloridas and in the other Sjianish American possessions. 
Durint;' the bondage o{ Sjiain to Xa|)ole(jn, the I'Moridas, left to 
themselves, Ik'uI hec<.)me the prev of ad\ ciilurers ami factions, 
until their occupation h\ the I'liiled Slali s seemed absolutely 
necessary to prevent lluir hecDmin;.-; a nunace to the lives and 
propeil) of all the ciii.iu- of tlw I.iUm \\\\\\\ ui'!;'n a lv.;i.diid 
miles of the horder. 'I lie law If^-m -.^ m ,;I1 die ijull poMs hi >. .mie 
sogrL-at, thai piracy i;aiiied a dan_L,^rous fovilhold in several places 
so as seriously to threaUn all coMimercial ir.tercouise on the :(ulf. 
]t was loarne(.l a little later that the pirates and i>crsons little bet- 
ter than piiates could u".u->lei- one thou.-and lis^htin;; men at ("ial\''3- 
ton Island. At Xew ( )rL-ans there conj;rec;ated all th.e elements 
opposed in any way to the government oi Spain: and fi'om that 
city many of the mo\emenis, despite the pioclamation of the |)resi- 
dent''' to terminate the e\il, found either a complete or a partial 
encouragenuiU and eipnpnient to in\rst and occupv the Si);mish 
American jnovinces, including the I'loiidas. .Aside from this 
l)rcKlamalioii and earne-l efforts f>f the t;o\ernmeiU tt) chcclv all 
liostile mo\ements a;;aiii>l Sp.iin, nothiiiL; \va> done 1»\- 
luilil the pi ople cslabli^hei! an indepeiidun j.^o\-ernmeni in West 

* Sec Mcs.iir.tM mid I'-ii-ii-, '.f llii- I'li-suli iiU. 

riiL iLOh'in.i .ixn i:ul'\'pjrij-.s. 


I'loiicla ;iiul unlil it li'.cainc (,\i(KiU Ciicai l^.iitain wouKI 
probably take ijosscssimi of one 01 bolh ct the provinces. What 
followed is shown in subsequent J'aycs. 


wi'.sr I'LouiDA IX co.wi;.\Tio.\ ASSKMia.r.i). 

"It is known to the world with Iiow much fidelity the good 
people V>f this territory ha\e priifessecl and niainiaiiied allegiance 
to lliL-ir legitimate sowicign while any hupe remained of receiving 
from liim protection fur iheir properly and lives. W'illioul ma;:ing 
any unncccssarv inno\aiion in the established ])iinciples of the 
Government, we had Miluwlarily adopii 1 ct riain r' L-ulalion in con- 
cert with our First Ma-i.-^trale for the express purp> of preserv- 
ing this terril()r\' and sliowing our atlachinent lo ihe CioNennneiit 
which had heretofore [irotected ii^. Tins compact which wa.-i 
enteiod into with gCKjd faith on our i)art, will fore\'er remain an 
hojiorable lestimon_\' ol our ujjrighl inunlions and in\-if)Iable tidel- 
ity to our l\ing and paient CL)unlr\-, while so much as a .vIuuKtw 
of legilimale aulhorilx lemained to lie e.\erci^-ed o\er us. We 
sought only a speed\' reiiudy for such e\-ils as seeir.ed to endangt'r 
our existence and i)ro.->perit\ , anil were encouraged b\' our Tlowr- 
nor \-,ilh j^olcuiu proi;,isi> of ^i.-.-i; ;:r. lee and co o;ieiaii -n. lau 
those measures which were inlen<led for our preservation he has 
endeavored to pervert into an engine of di .sirucii' 'U by encourag- 
ing in the nu»t peifidious mannei ihe violation of orilinance.> 
sanclioncd and esiabli.-lied b\ him-tlf a- ihr ' .-.v i>\ the lan^! 
I'eing thus left wilho;;: an\ li^pe >'f j.!-. .'. ■ ik 'U 1 1 • 'Ui il.e motla r 
country, betrayed b\- a .Magi-lralc wIim-c duty ii was to have pro- 
videil for the safety aiid tranquillil\ of ll'.e pci'.c and ii..\ern- 
nK-nt committed to Ids charge and exposed to all the e\ils of a 
itati' of anarch)- which we ha\e so long endeavored to aveit, it 
becomes our duly to pr. '\ide for our own securil)- as a free aiul 
independent Slate, ab-olved from all allegiance lo a Ciovernmenl 
which no longer |)rolecis us. 

"We, therefore, tin- representatives aforesaid, .appealing to the 
Supreme Ruler (^f the world for the rectitude of our iutenlioii.^, 
do solemnly publish an<l declare the .several disiricis comjjo^ing 
this territory of West b'lorid.i to be a /'/.•.' ami f/i. /.•/'. •/!,/.•;(/ SUifc: 
and that they have a right lo institute for tluiusehis such form of 
CiON'ernment as they may ihinlc conduci\e to their safely and hap- 
piness; to form treaties; to e^tabli-h ccninuice; to pnnido lor 
their eommcin defence; aiul to d(j all ads which m.i) (>f right be 


77//; rUUilSCl: .iXn TJIli ST.lTJiS. 

done by a sc)Vi.'i\'i<.;n and iiukju. mlt ill naticii; at tlu- same tiuKj 
declariiu; all acls williin ilie said kiiiic^r)' ol West J'lDiida after 
lliis date, 1)V ail) trilnnial or aiilluu iiies not deriving; tlieir priwers 
from llie peoijle, aj;rei'al)ly to the provisions esiaMislied hy this 
convi'iitioii, to lie null and xoid ; and c.dlin^ uptiii all l\>rei;j,Ti 
nations to re.spect this our declaraiiou,\vlcd!:^inj^ our inde- 
pendence, and j;i\iii[; us such aid as ina\- he consistent with the 
laws and nsaj^es <m naliuus. 'J'lii,-^ declaration, maile in conv( iili(-n 
al the town of llaton Immil^c on the J^th day of vSeplemher, iSio, 
we iho represent. ili\c-. in the iiaiiie aforesaid and cm hehalf of our 
constituents, tlo lierehy soleiinily pledj;e ourselves to sui)porl with 
our lives and foriunes." - 

")))' order of the Coiu'eution : "|oii:« J\11i;a, President. 

A.N'iiKi.w S'ri:i:(.r., Secretary.'" 

After thus adoplinj; their declaraiiou (if independence, the fol- 
iowiiii^'' cominunicalion \\a- seiii the same day to the j;o\'einor of 
Mississii^pi territory, l)a\id lh)lmes: "We, the llelef,^'ltes of the 
pcojde of this State, ha\e the honor to enclose to you an offnaal 
copy C'f their act o\ in(!ei>endeiu e. re()ucstinu' that it ma>' he forth- 
with IranMiiilled h)' \ou to the I'resideiit of the I'nited State-', 
with the expression of tluir nioM eonfideiit and aident liujie that 
it may accord with the policy (jf the CK)vernment, as it does with 
the safet)' and haiipincss of ihi' people of the, I'nited vStaies, tn 
take the pre>ent Coxn mneiit and jtiople of this Slate uiuK-r their 
immediate and special piotecliou as an inie'^ral and inali-nahlc 
p«>ilion of the Ihiiud Si. lies." (",i,\ain.! Ijohii-.- •.- as rei/ir le.j 
by the president of liii.> Ceini'iili-M \'> ir. ,1,-11, it the i. ■Ilowiii;; coiu- 
ninnicalion to the secietar\- of stale .at Wa>hint;ton : 

'"Jdiat the commonwealth of Jdorida mi^lil be immediately 
ackiiowledL;ed and pr.itected by the ('ovenuiKnt of the United 
States as an intecial part of the Ainoricau I'nioii; that owini^ to 
tiieir Weak' and uupiotei led situation they ilesiied such an 
ackiio\\leili;ment w iilu.ut delay, in the absence of which, for their 
own support. lhe\' would \\' ohlijM d "to k^olc to sdine foreij;n 
GoNXTnment." In order to procure such ])ioteclion they offi-rcd 
the followint^^ considerations: ist, The Ciovernment of the 
United vStates, in their instructii-ns t(t the envoys extraordinary al 
Paris in .Marcii, iSofi, authciii/ed the purchase of I'.ast Idoiid.i, 
direct ini'' them at the same time to eni',aj;e ]*rance to intercede 
with the cabinet of Sp.iin to rebii'ini'h .m_\ claim to ihe teiiUory 

• Aim I itiiii Si. lie I'apii: 

77//: j'j.ouip.i .i.\'i> ri' liouxn.iuii-.s. 3..1 

Nvliich now forms this coiniUDiiwcalili. jd, In all diploiiuiiic 
corrcspomlcncc willi Ainciican lnini^U■ls abroad llic (jO\omiiiu iii 
of the United Slates liaw spola n of West l-lorida as a i>arl of the 
Louisiana cession. They have !i<^islated for the countiy as a 
l)ait of their own teriiim)', and h; dcK-iied lo l.d;e jjossosiun oi 
it in expectation that Spain niiijit he induced to relin(iuish her 
claim hy amicahle ne^ioliatiiui. ^]A, The Ameiican (government 
lias already refused io accredit any minister from the Spanish 
Junta, which hndx was certriiid}' more legally urbanized as the 
rej)rescnlati\ e of the so\ereii;nt\ than that now called the rej^ency 
of Si-^iin. Therefore, the Ihiited .States cannot hut rei^ard any 
force or aulhoiity emanatini;' from them with an intention to sub- 
jugate us, as- the^' would an in\aNion ol iheir lenUury b)' a lurei'.Mi 
enemy. 4th, The hjuperor c)f I'rant'e has in\iud the Spanish 
Americans to declare their independenee rather than remain in 
subjection to the old Spanish CuAennneni ; iherefore an acKuowl- 
cdt^inenl of our inde)H'ndence by the United .Slates could not be 
comi)laincd of b\' I'^rance or in\iil\e the American (jovernment in 
any contest with that Tower, cih, Neither can it alYonl any 
just cause of ccnnplaint to Ureal Ihitain, alihouLdi she be the ally 
of vSpain, that the Uniteil Stales should acknow ledi'^e and support 
our indei)endence, as this measure was neces.-ary lo save the 
country from fall:n<;- info tiie bands of the h'rench exiles from the 
island of Cuba, and (4her paitisans of llonaiiarle \iho are the 
eternal enemies of Cereal lirilain." 

It was then stated that shoidd ihe Unitcil State- leluin a fa\or- 
able reply lo ihi'. i'et|uesl, i| iii::M 1m np.n il,. .,.• 1 1( 1: ■ • • i!.ii 
W'esl I'ddrida sb'",dd be adnniud in diu l;me U' 'die I'edei.d I niun 
either as an indei)endent slate, or as a territor)' (^f the Unileil 
Slates, or '"to be united with (uie of the nei_L^Iibiirin;; leri'ilories or 
a pait of one of them in such manner as to form a vSlate." A 
preference was expressed to be annexed lo the i--land of .\'ew 
Orleans, should ihe latter cotnse be pursued by the United Stales. 
( )tlier re(|uests weii' m.ade (luieeinim; laihb., embiM'.^') and iinn- 
inlercourse laws, moneys arisiuLi: from the sale of l.inds, the par- 
don of deserters, and a loan ol onr bimdied tbou>,-md dollars from 
the Uniled Stale>. 

This proceedhii;- on the jiart of tlu> peopU' of \\'est I'lorida lo 
form an independent i;o\enimtnt from terriloi v which was 
claimed b)' the I 'mied States, wa in its naluie r< \ ohilionary, noi- 
w ilh-l.nidui;^ ib.i! llie i( hi\-( nl loii reipie^led an mniiediale aiuiex- 
ation lo the' fetlei.d ^;o\-einnunl ll w.r. llniefoie m»po.,sible for 
IJ- ..'1 


run I'Kuii.ycr. .i.\'f) run statls. 

llic prcsiciont lo i\ci ><;iiizo as lawful the acts of the convention, 
because l)y so doini; he would expose tiic <^^)vei nnient either to 
the al)surilit\- of sanclioniiij; ihr levoll oi a pmliiai ol the I 'nitiMl 
States and of ;ipiiro\'inL; its j)r( KHndin^^s ol iudi'pt.ndencr and of 
snhscquent aj>pliealioii for ailuiis.siou into the l"nion of whieli 
they were already a part, or to the nfces.siiy of adniiltini; that the 
people of West h'lorida, hrin- suhjeets of Spain, had the rif^hl to 
declare their ind(.'|)endener from Spain, owini;- to wronj^s and insc- 
*curity, and had the rij^ht to form a separate };-overnnunt ami apply 
for admission into the federal Unit)n. As it was out of ihr (jnes- 
tion for the I'nited Slates to n.iniinK-e tlair claims to West V h.n'ida, 
the president was under llie necessil)' (;f di^-e^ardiuL^ the ads of 
tlic convi-nlion, >el al Ih-.' same lime was al>o nndei' ihe necessity 
of ininiedialely takini; possession of that province, or see it remain 
intlei)endent or hecome a part of some forei^Mi power. ]ie there- 
fore promjtlly issued the follow ini; proclamation:"'^^ 


"Whereas the li'rrilory soulh of the Mississippi Territory rmd 
eastward of the river .M ississiiqii and extending: to the river ]'er- 
dido, of which posse^^ion was not delivered to ihe United States 
in pursuance of the treatv concluded at I'iuis on the 30lh of 
Ai)ril, i8cj3, has al all times, as is well known, Ivcen considered and 
claimed hv them as luiu'.; within the colon\ ,,f 1 ouiiana coiivr\.(l 
hy said treaty in llw ■ ime extent lli.U il 1 ..d in li •• \>mvU oI Sp.on 
and that il had when I'ran* e oni.;mall\ po->e--.ed n; And, 
whereas, the acciuiescence of the I'nited States to the temporary 
continuance of ihe said territory nntler the Si)anish authority was 
not the result of any distrust of lluir title, as has heen i)articularly 
evinced hv the ;',eneral tenor of iheir laws and \>\- the di.-ti;iction 
made in the application of those laws between that lerriiory and 
forcij^n countries, Init was occasie)ned by their conciliatory vuws 
and by a confuUiice in the justice of their cause and in the suc- 
cess of candid discnssioi\ and amicable ne,!^U)liation with a ju-t 
and frientUy J'ower: And, wheieas, a satisfactory adjiistment, 
too lonj:^ delayed without the faidl of ihe Unite. 1 Stales, has for 
sonic time been entirely suspended by events over which they 
ba<! no control : And, whereas, a crisis has at leni;lh arrived sub- 
versive of the onh r of ihiu}^-. mider the Spanidi anlhoriiie>, 

' AuK-iiciiii SUiU- I'lipci-.. 

TiiJi I'Lukin.i .1X1) noiwn.iuiLS. 

3 -'3 

\s'Iii'rcl)y ;i faiUnc of '.In.' I'liiUil Slates to take the said territory 
into its ]iosscssiun may kaJ U) c vciiu ulimiatoly coiUrax'fiiiiig- the 

N'icws of lutth ii.iitics, \vliil:4 ill tlic uu-.iiiiiiiii.' iIk- tr.iiKjuillily ami 
socurit)' u\ our adjoiniiiL;- Ic ri iuuies arc cii(laii!.;c-ri d and new facil- 
ities gi\c!i to \iulaicrs of uur revenue and conuncrcial laws ami 
of those i)roliil)llin^ llic iiUroduclion of slaves: Considering^, 
moreover, that under lliese ])eeuliar anil nnperativc circumstances 
a forLeaiance on the pari of the United v'^iales Ic; occup)' the ter- 
ritory "in (juestion ami llieieb)' <:;uard against the confusion and 
contingencies which threaten it, mi^dit he construed into a dere- 
liction of iheii' title or an in^(.■n^ihilily to the iniporlance of the 
stake: Considering' lh;it in the hamls of the I'nited Stales it 
will not cease to he a suhject of fair ;md i'ii(.ndl\- nei;otiation and 
adjuslnunt: I i)n>ideriii;4, liii:dl\\ the ael-^ of L o!;;.o.\>s, 
though contemplating a prt.<enl |K)Sses^ion h\' a foreign atuhoritv, 
have contemi)l:itetl also an (,\(.iitual po.M^>ioii of the said terri- 
tory by the United Slates and ;ire accordingly so framed as in that 
case to extend in their ojk ration to the s:iiiie : 

"Now he it l:nown, tii;U 1, James Madison, rresitlent of the 
United States of America, in pm^uanee of tlie--e weight) and 
lirgenl coiisidei'ations, lia\e deemed it right ami reijui.-ile tli;it 
possessioiii should he tak«.ii of the said ti'iiil(.M\- in the name and 
behalf of the United Si;ites. William C. C. Claihurne, Ciovernor 
of the Orleans Territory, of which the said territory it* to he tal;en 
as ])arl, will aceoidiiigh- proeecd to execnle the same and lo exer- 
cise o\'er the said lerriloi\- the authi ii"iiie> and functii-)!- legally 
ai)peilainiilg to l;is oUtie Ant tlir ;;•■■! pi ■ '| ' inl:.i' !:;ig l''.'' 
same are invited and uiji>iueil to p;i\- (hu u -pr^ i to him in 
character, to he ohedienl to ilie laws, to maiiit;un order, to cherish 
h;irnK)n_\' ami in e\ery n.aniier to coudiu't themselves a^ pe;;ce- 
ahle citizens, under full aNSurance that they will he protected in 
the enjoyment of their liherly, properly and religion." 

"Washington, October 27, iSio." 

I'his proclamation was inimediatch' followed by an order from 
the dcpartmeni of stale to Cov. W. C. C. Claiborne of Orlean*^ 
teiriloi)-, under <late of ( )etolni" .?7, iSio, to l;i];e |)Ossession ol 
We.'.l b'lorida "in the name and in behalf of the Uinied Stales;" 
to print in I'.nglih, I'leiuli and Spani:~li the president's proelarna- 
lion above an.l ciieulat'' it llirouidiont the tiiril' 1 \' ; lo lu i with 
his loici-s in Ci mi luiiol li 'U with ( "n .\'ei ii"i- Ib'lmr^ ..f Ml--i^^ippi 
'J'erritory ; [o oii';mi/c the mlliiia of Wcl l"loritl.i aflcr t;d^ing 
possession; to luisciibe the boimds of p;nisbos, establish p:iribb 


THE rh'Oi'i.\'Cfi ./.v/) Tnn sr.iT/:S. 

courts, iiiaiiil:iin (irdcr under the laws of Oilcans 'J\irilory, 
aflord Sfcurily to the inlialiilanls, "and to jtlacc tlKiu as far as 
may lie ou the same foi^iiiuL; with the inhabitants of the othei" dis- 
tricts under )our authority." It was ordered that, shoidd the 
Americans encounter ojiposini; forces, the troops on the Missis- 
sippi would assist in the (execution of the onler C)f occupation. In 
addition theniililia of Orleans and Mississiitpi territories were to 
be drawn u|)on b\ the two ,!.;i:>\crnors in ca^e of necessity. (lOv- 
crnor Claiborne was directed to tran>mit co[)ieM of the ])resident's 
proclamation to iJie several i;i)\ernors of the nei{.,diborinL;; Span- 
ish provinces, and to draw for reaxmable and necessary expenses 
upon the l^iited States i.M>\ einnieut in aii\ amount not exceedini];' 
twenty thousand dollars. In eoiiclnsiou C.owi n. ir Claiboine was 
told that "lioin the coiiiideiice whieh the I'le iirent iu-ll\ li.i.-, in 
your judQuunt and discretion, he is persuaded that in the exe- 
cution of this trust, as delicate as it is imi)ortant, )our deporimenl 
will be temjjcrate and conciliator)'. Such a line oi conduct 
towards the inhabitants is prescribed as well by jxdicy as by 

In a communication of (he stale department to Governor Il(jlmos 
of Mississip[)i Terrilor)-, dated Xo\ember 15, i8icj, ii was staled 
that "the riLjbl of the I'nited Stales to the territory of West 
I'lorida as far a<^ the ri\'er I'erdido was fairly actpiireil b\' purchase 
and has been fe>rmall)' ratified by treaty. The. delivery of pos- 
session has indeed been defeiud, and the proeraslinalion lia> been 
heretofore acquiesced in b\ ihi- <^ n>\ei nnuiii from a hope p;itientl\' 
indulj^ed that auiicable r.(.;;wii,iii m \. • >uld .e ■ "iiiplt-b :be i ipr. 


puijio^e of the L'nile(l .■^'liu,-.. \'.\\i tlii,-. tU lay wliudi |jr(.>vi i ded 
only from the fi;rbearanc(. of the Unitid Slates to enforce a 
lei^itimate and wclbhiuAvn claim, could not impair the le!:,^dity of 
their title; nor could any chanL;e in the internal slate of thinj^s 
without their sanction howsoe\er lirout^ht about vary tiieir ri;.;ht. 
It remains as perfect of course as it was before llic interposition 
of the Cornell t ion. And the ])eople of \\'e>t b'lorida must not for 
a moment be misled by the expectation that the l.^nitcd States will 
surrender for their exclusive JKnefit whal had been purchased 
with the (reasme and fr)r the benefit of the whole. The vacant 
land of this teriit()ry, thrown into common slock with all the 
other vacant land of tlu' Union, will be n pri'pi'riy in common for 
the national u-es of all the pi. /pie of the I'niled Slates. The 
coninnmiiv of interests upon \shicli this (MA'einmenl iiuariably 
acts, the poli(\' whii h il b.i- miifiMiiilv ch'-pl.iyed iMu.ird-. 
the [)eople c>f the territoiies (a jiail of which policy has ever been 

77//: }'LOi:il)A AN I) Tl'.XAS liOU.\'J)ARlliS. 


a just rcgainl lo lioiiisl soHIlts), will ncvtillicK'ss lie a sufficient 
])lcilyc to the inliahiianls of WVst l'"lori(la for the early and con- 
liinictl allention of the l-'ccloral LcL^islaiurc lo ihcir siliialion aiul 
their wants. . . . Von will, howivcr, hecp in mind that lln- 
I'rcsidcnt cannot rccoi;ni/.c in the convention of West iHorida any 
independent authoril)- whatever to propose or to fornt a conij)act 
with the United Stales."'^ 

I'lic Si)anish L;o\ernor of W^'st I'lorida, \'icente Fc)lch, 
addressed a Itiler uii<ler date of Deeenilier 2, to the secretary of 
slate, coniplainiuL; in ^evere ternis nf the acts of the party under 
the command of Keuhen Kemper, oi tiie proceeding's of the inhab- 
itants of ]lalon l^ou^e in lakini^ possession of other districts of 
the ])rovince, and of the f;eneral disturbance ])revailinj'. lie 
stated tiiat he had ■"decided on delivering ihi^ province to the 
United States under an ecjuiiahle capitulation, provided I do not 
receive succor from tlie lla\ana or \'era Cru/ during the present 
month, or that his ]{xcelkncy the Marquis of Someruelos (on 
wliom I dci)end) sln)uld not ha\'e opene^l direcil)- a negotiation on 
this point. 'J'he incomprehensiljle abandonment in which I see 
myself and the afllicled situation in which this province sees itself 
reduced not only autlujrize me but fcrce me to have recourse to 
this determinalion, the on!) oiu: to sa\e it from tlie ruin which 
threatens it. The Uriite^l States are also aulhori/.ed lo accept it. 
. The United Stales v, ho jjrofess tlic exercise of equity 
cannot exem\)t themselves frcMU talcing i)arl wifli the party 
unjustly oppiesscd. In tliis belief I recur to ils l-.xecutive, 
ihrougii the medium oi your excelleiicv, suppbcitim.'- him that b-- 
will be pleased to send orders to tin- comman i .ut ft )• 'M Slo.l- 
dert, that he should assist me with the troops winch he has under 
liis orders for the pmi)ose of forcing the ])arty under the com- 
mand of Reuben ]\em])er to retire within the limits of the district 
of IJaton I\on!;e, intimating b> him that if in future he should 
ri-])eat iiis incur iwus in the district of Mobile and Pensacola, the 
troops of the I'nited Stale.>, ji.iiud to the Spanish troops, wdl 
use force to Keep ihem back. 'JMiese districts have the more 
reason to expect from the n'Ctitude of the United States the 
assistance which T a^k', as the parly which Kemper commands has 
been lecrviited, armed and i)rovisioned within the limits of their 
sovereignty. .At ibe j.une lime, if my pn^ixisition is .accepted, 
ordeis may be given autliwri/ing some person to treat with me 
for regulating the ev.icnatiou of tlie piovince and what ought to 

AiiK-r ic.iii Stall I'.ii/i 1 1. 


run ri^orixcii .ixn i in-. sr.irj:s. 

preccclc il." 1 U' ;^l^c> wintc lo llir s.iiiic illccl (o Cu\. John 
]\lc]\(.'0, coiniiKUuliT of l'\)il SioiKU'il, ami irvcaUil therein his 
qrcat eidieeru to treat with the I'liiied Siati.s for the evaeuation 
of the proxince. At the siiiic tune he admilled his iiiahilily to 
COj)e successfiiHy witli the silnaiion. 

Oil Di'ceinhcr 5, i.Sio, I'lesiiluit .\hi(hsoii sciU to coii^ness the 
following,,'' cominiinicaiion : "Anion;; the events grow inj^ cnit of 
the State of the Sllani^h monarchy, vuv attention was iiniieiionsly 
attlacted to the chanj^e, tle\ek)[)ini;' itself in that portion of \\ e^t 
Florida, wliieh, thoni^h of riijlil appertainint; to tlie Ihiited States, 
liad remained in tlie po session of Spain, awailin;.; the rcsnll of 
negotiations for its aetnal deH\er\' to them. The Spani-li author- 
ity was sul^cTted, and a '-ilnalion ]>ro(hi.-''(h exposing the connliy 
to ulterior events, whieh might e>senli;d_\ al'ieel the rights and 
welfare of the rniiin. In Mieh a eo;,i' i Inre, I did i.^-l dv la\ tlie 
interposition re(|uired fm' the (K'enpane_\ of the territory west of 
the river I'enlido, to whieh tlie title of the I'nited States extends, 
and to which the laws, jirovided for ilie Territory of Orleans, arc 
applicahle. With this \ iew, the ])roclamatioii, c)f which a Copy is 
laid before \on, was Cunfided to the (aixerncr of that territory, 
to be carried into elYeki. 'J"h ■ le';.dn\ and neei-sit\- cf the diurse 
pursued, assure me of the faviiralile li;^hl in whieh it will present 
itself to the Legislature; and of the promi)litude with which they 
will supph' whate\er i)ro\-isi"ns may he due in thg essential right-. 
and e(juital)!e inteiests (^f the peoi)le thu^ hroUL^ht into the In >som 
of the American famil\."'' I'ut congress did not act with the 
promptitude expected h\ the pre-^iili;il In f u 1 it w..- uuTe iliau 
a year heftue any po>iii\ e oidi. r conci 1 niuj.; i!.v 1' lor id. is was ii..ide 
by congress. 

In the senate of the Uniteil Slates, on the 18th of December, 
]8io, Mr. (liles of \'irgiuia, chainuan of the special cc>nuuittee 
appoiuti «1 fi'r that i)m"pose, reported a hill, from which the fol- 
lowing is an extract : '"That the 'J\iritoi\ of Oilcans, as dcscrihcd 
by an act, passed the rolh da\' of March, iSop intiiled, '.-^n act 
erecting Louisiana iiUo two lerritoiii--^. and jMoxidin;.; for the 
temporary {;()veriuuent tlureof,' >hall he (Kerned, and is hereby 
declaied, to extend to the ri\'er iVrdido; and to include all that 
tcrrilor)' S(-nth of the Mississippi Territory, and eastwaid C)f the 
river Mississi])|ji, to the said ri\er I'erdido, according to the 
provisions t/f (he treat\, M.nJndetl at I'aris, bet ween the Ihiilecl 
States and Im .uici-, on thr .^olh of .\pLd. l^'o^^." ( )n l)ecenibei ..• I , 

* Mcss(i;;is iiii'l I'aj)'!-. Iff 111'.- l'i(.-.ul(iils. 

TUP. Fi.ORin.i .txn nouxi^iRins. 327 

a motion by Mr. I.IoniI, of Massaoliui^Lils, to rrfcr the hill to a 
C()inniitlcc "willi ill^t^uoliolls to rcj)ort their opinion on the title 
of the United States to the territory in cjuestion and the {:^rounds 
on which tiiat 0]»inion nia)' he fuiiiuUd," was Id-l. \eas 5, na\s 17. 
A motion to jxistpone the consideration of the hill was net^atived. 
Mr. Horsey, of Delaware, movcti, "liiat the I'resident of the 
United States he rccjiusied to cause to he laid before the Senate, 
all the docnmenis, papers, or other evidences in his ];ossession, 
relalinj^- to the title ol the Uniiid Sla(c> to the teirilory sovuh of 
the Mississi])i)i 'iVrriloi)-, and eastward of tlie river Missibsippi 
to the ri\'er J'eidido and to the boundaries of the sai<l trrritt)ry," 
hut the motion was lo>t, yeas 7, nays 13. It was evident that a 
juajoril)' of the senators at this time wire detenimn.-d to supp'Ml 
the h.ill to extend the territory <.i{ ()rUau> (Aei We.t hlurida as 
far as the IVrdido, and were n;it williu;^- {>> he thwarted nor 
delayed in this inliiUiou. 

UndouhtedK, the ]i;esident had ixpicted to he supported by 
conj^^ress in thus takiu;.; possessidu and holding'. West I'dorida, an<l 
the bill before the senate was tKsi^iied to sanciirin his proceed- 
ings. A k)]\'j; and iiuerestint;- dehale succeeded the attempts to 
posti)Gne the bill, or ollierwise ihfcal its object; but as the subject 
at odds was the rijdil uf the Unitrd Stales to West Florida as a 
jxirl of ],ouisiana, and as the ar-umeni.> on that subject have been 
f;"iven before in these pa^es, they will not be rcj)eated. The 
friends of the administration argued that as the territory was 
embraced in the cession of Louisiana, the i)re.-idint had the ri'dit 
to occu))y and hold it. Th(M)ppo iij. u uKiini.i-- • : il:.ii;'' I um. ! 
States did not possess a {^ood tule l.. \\ r-t ll '' !.i. :m.l I'-.e c- n- 
elusion was .'-uniiiied uj) by .Mr. iloi^cy in the tollowm.; lau- 
j.,aiap;e: "Upon the whole, sir, 1 have not been able to discover 
the shadow of authority, on the u;rountl of which the Pie-idenl 
issued this procl.iinalion (to occui)y W'est I'lorida). He has 
recited none, amidst all his recital;, and none appear.s to me but 
his own mere will and jdeasure. 'idie act I therefore cannot view 
in any other lii^ht than an unwarranted assumiUion of power atid 
a violation of the Constitution." I'.ut this was not the view of a 
maiorily of the senators, unless it may be concedeil that, having' 
such views, they were determined to prevent (iieat liritain fiom 
lal:in<^ ])OSSCss;on of Wist Idorida, and to niahe the mo>l ol the 
chiims under whr h tliC United Stales declared its ri-iit to occupy 
that province. Later it was seen to he imncce--;ir\ auij prob.ihly 
imprudent for con^n -■> to m.tKe anv foimal d( in re;;.iid 
to West j'lorida It was thoU:;hl best to lia\e llie president in 

328 Till: I'kOi'lXCE AM) Tllli STATUS. 

possession of tlic pruviiicr uiuKr the claim (hat llic I'liiicd 
States IkuI llie riL;l)l to oocu])y thai (crritoi)' by the cession of 

Tlic hill for the admission oi Louisiana to statehood became a 
storm center at this iin;e. At hrst the boundaries were defined as 
follows: "r.e^inniu^;- at the iiiDUlh (if the iv'er Sahine, thence 
by a line to be drawn aloii^^- the middle of the said river, includinp^ 
all islands, to the thiity-second de;;ree of latitude, thence due 
north to the nortlKMnmo>t i>art of the thirty-third degree of north 
latitude; thence aloui^' the said parallel of' latitude to the river 
l\lississii:)pi ; thence down the said river to the southern bound- 
ary of the Missis.sip])! Tenitory; llience aloiiy; the saitl br>undary 
line to I'earl river; theiice ilow n the western haul: of the said 
river to Lake lU^'i^iie; thence aloui', the middle of said lake to 
the Cjulf of Mexico; thence hc)undrd b\- the said <^\\\[ to the place 
of beL;innini4- ; . . . Provided, however, that the (Govern- 
ment of the United Slates hereby retains the power of alltr- 
innf, in any manner it may hereafter deem proper, the limits of 
all that portion of the said ilcscribed territorv which lies east 
of the river Mississippi and tlu- island of New Orleans." 'J'his 
lan[;ua<4e was amended and oiherwi.-^e cbani^^ed many limes by 
congress, until linall)- all reference to the territory east t.f the 
Mississippi, excepiing tlie island of New (hleans, was omitted 
from the bdk 'J^his omission in no way prejudiced the claims 
of the Ihiiled Stales to \\\'sL J'lorida. 

i iuis the bill lo extend the Urrilory of l,(>uisi;ina eastward 
to the I'erdido wa-. imriM,! ini^ ikc i.n. !,. .iduil 'i ,! pi ■. muc 
inlo (he I', and linallN' ihr pp \i i-n t • rnihr.i . \\\-t l'!'>r- 
itla therein was wholly onntted, wiih.iul pi .judicing-- the rights 
of the United Stales. This was expert juggling, or, to use the 
language uf dipkjiiiac)-, I'rofound and i)rudent statesmanship; 
because, wdiile accomplishing^ the oecnpancw ik) cause was giwn 
either Spain or (heat Urilain to de.kire war. llio.-^i- nations at 
that time being allies, lint the i)niceedings in congress were 
long, erratic, brilliaiu, and on the whole wise and digmified. 
The bill to extend the territory of Orleans over West l'l.)rida 
was first read in ihe senate in secret session January 7, 181 1; 
a motion to print llie bill for the use of the senate was lost, 
yeas I.J, na>s 16. .Anollirr molidn tu print one cups' for the 
use of each senator and to adi.j.t necessarv means lo bee)) the 
proceedings secret was lost, ye.m -. nays 2.V .At h\A the lan- 
K'uage (,{ llu- bill va. emplialic - ih;i( \\\--| riMiid.i should be 
atlarhcil tc. the leiiitoi\- of OrK.nis. UaUr, thai de--ig,n was 

rilli Fl.ORIiKl .l.yp TliX.lS llOU.WD.lRlliS. 


(lrc>pi)CiI, the (ririloiy was ailiuillcd without West Florida, and 
the bill was so allciwl as to piiinil tlic president under certain 
cohlingcncies to cceup)- tlie l.iller. In fact, this hill was alto- 
gether difrerent fruni tlu; urij^iiial. 

Under date of Deci'mher 15, the l')rilish nu'nister at Washini^- 
ton, "withf)ut ]ircsuniini;- to discuss the validity of the title of 
the United Stairs to West Florida," expressed his deep re£:,^ret 
in sccinn^ "thai i)art of the I'resiiUnt's niessat^e to Con[;ress in 
which the dedrinination of this Ikncnunenl to take i)t)ssession 
of West I'lorida is avowed." He asked, "May it not he asked 
wliy that province could not have been as fairly a subject of nc^;o- 
(ialion and adiustmcnt in the hands of the Spaniartls, \\\\o pos 
sess the actual sovcreijMil\' tlu re, a^ in the lunuN of the .Ameri- 
cans, wh.O ti.> ojitaiu p.(t^^-^■S-•ll)ll niu^t br;Mii b\' Ci .1 Mini I li;ii| 

an act of hostilil\' towards vSpain. I'ut it ma)- be said that the 
Si)anish forces i)i Mexico, in I'uba, or in l'eu^aci)la, are unccjual 
to (]uell the rebellious assc^cialion of a band of desi>eradoes who 
are known here (at Washinj'lon) b)' the conleniptuous appel- 
kition of land-jobbeis. . . . The act, consequentl)', of seiul- 
ino- a force to West I'lorida to secure by arms wdiat was bcf(Tre 
a subject of friendly negotiation, cannot, 1 much fear, under rmy 
prdliation be considered as other than as an act of open hostil- 
ity against v^pain." lie was therefore "induced to request in 
answer such exjdanation on the subject as will at once convince 
His Majesty's Covernment ( F.ngiand's) of the jncific disjiosi- 
tion of the Umle^l v^iates towards His Majesty's allien, the Sjiau- 
iards." Mr. Siiiitb, secrel:ii\- i^i ' I ile, repi;. ' "lb;ii .i'",!'.' r,v.:!i ;t 
is sufl'iciently e\ ideiU from the f:ic( > >\ ilh; d .. uiiunu l.<li'i< ti.,- 
public that no hostile or unfriendU' puipo^e i> entertaiiKd 
towards Si^iin, the oidy Power known to the United States in 
the transaction, yet our functionar\- at London has been enabled 
to gi\'e to )(.iur (lovernn'.ent whatever explanations may comport 
with the frankness and the sjjiiil of conciliation which have been 
invariabl)' manifested on the part of the United vSlates."* 

It was pro\'ided in the bill adnn'tting Louisiana as a state, 
])assed by congiess in January, 1811, "Tiiat said state shall be 
composed of all that part of the territory or country ceded under 
the name of Louisiana, b)- the treatv made at l\aris on the 
thirtieth da\ of April, one thousand eight hundred and thne, 
Ijelwccn the Uniied Slates and l-'rance, nr;w contained within the 
limits of the Turilory of^, txee])t th.U part l\ing east of 

•Aiiiciirati Stiiti- I'ainrs. 


Till: /'A'()i7.V(7i .l\'n Till' STATUS. 

tlie river llK-rvillc ami a lino t.) be drawn alon^- the iniddle of the 
lakes iManrepas and 1 Vmtchartrain lo the oeean." In usin^^ tins 
lanmiai^c and in making this provision, conLjress did not disclaim 
its "rij^ht to tlie possession of West Florida, but simply honored 
the pretension of Spam, and postprnud the settlement of mutual 
ri[,^hts to some future ilay. Durint; all the period when Spain was 
helpless in the i^rasp of N'apoleon. this was the course invariably 
pursued by the'United States. While in every way taking: pains 
to make clear and jjublic the claims of the United States, no 
hostile act ai^ainsl Spain was countenanced, h'ven the sending of 
troops into the IHciridas was dune as well to protect the interests 
of Spain as of those of the United States. 

In lanuarv, 1811, President Madistjn communicated to congress 
that, inasmuch as a recent order of the British government had 
contemplated taking possession of that i)ortit)n of West Florida 
claimed bv the United States, and inasmuch as no information on 
that sciire had been sent to the United States by Great Britain 
that such occupation was contemplated, ''I recommend to the con- 
sideration of Congress the seasonablencss of a declaration that 
the United States could not see, without serious inquietude, any 
part of a neighboring territory, in which they have in different 
respects so deep and so just a concern, i)ass froni the hands of 
Spain into those of any other foreign Power. I recommend to 
their consideration also the expediency of authorizing the 
Executive to take temporary possession of any part or parts of 
the said territory, in pur>uance of arrangements which may be 
desired by the Spanish authorities, and for making provision for 
the government of the same during such'i)Ossession. The wisdom 
of Congress will at the same time determine how far it may be 
exjiedient to provide for the event of a subversion of the Spanish 
authorities wilhin (he territory in (|uestion and an apprehended 
occupancy thereof by any other foreign Power."* 

In response (o this comnuuiication, an act of congress approved 
Januar\' 15, i<Sii, l(; the following dVect was ])asseil. "That the 
President of the United Slates be and lie is hereby authorized to 
• talce possession of and occnp\- all or any j^art of the territory lying 
east of the river Perdido and south of the State of Georgia and 
the Mississippi 'iVrritor\-, in case an arrangement has been, or 
siiall be made with the local authr>rity of the said territory for 
delivering up the possession of the same, or any part thereof to 
the United States, or in the event of an attempt to occupy the said 

* Mcss.Tct > ;in(l Papers of the I'ri'^idciits. 

THE FLOi-in.i .1X1) iJouxn.iRias. 


territory or any pari thereof by any foreign GovornnKiU ; aiul he 
may lor ihc purpose of taking pobsc^sion and oceupying the ter- 
ritory aforesaid and in oriler to maintain there the aulhorily of 
the United vStaies, einiilo}' an> pait of the arni\- and navy of the 
Vhiited Slates wliieli hi' nia\ deem iieeessar_\'."" 'Ihe snm 
of one hnudred lh.>us,ind dollars was api)r>)p! laled \o pay 
the exi)enses of this muvem.ent, to he used at the diserelion of 
the president. Shouhl sneh territor\- he oecnpied as ahove i)ro- 
vided, lie was emjiowereil Id form a temporary government therein 
and to appoint the neeessary offieers. liy an act api)roved 
March 3, iSii, it was piin'iiled that the al)Ovc act siioukl not he 
l^rinled nt)r puhlislK-d unhl ihe md of the next session of congress. 
In com])lian(e with the i)ro\isi(jns of this act, the i>residi.nt on 
Jannary 26, j8ii, apjioinled i\\\. (;eurge Alaliliews and C\'l. 
jolm .McKee commissioners to repaii" "wiili all jjossihle expedi- 
tion" to the Idoiidas .and when lliere to he go\irned in their pro- 
ceedings h\- the eoii.liliwn nf aliairs. ■"Shmild viui Inul t j(.)\erni a' 
l-'ollc or the local authority existing there inclined to surrender in 
an amicahlc manner the i)ossession of the rem.aining portion or 
portions of West I'lorida now held l)y him in the name of the 
S])anish monarchy, \ou are to accept in hehall of the l^nitrd 
States the ahdicatic>n of his or uf the other existing authuril)' and 
the jin>ah'cti()ii of die CDimlry owr which it extends. And 
shouhl a stipulation he insisted on for the- re-(leli\ery of the coun- 
try at a future perii)d, you may engage fur such rc-dclivery to the 
lawful sovereign."' The commissinners were authorizcil to guar- 
antee all the ci\'il riidils wf the iidiahii.inl^, ai' ' ;''ni'''d'> to l.i'-' 
control of alVairs, all suh)ret lo a fiili'.ir ^(■^i.■)l;(ut \>.i:ii >p,o;:. 
"vShdiiKl )aai discover an inclinalion in the (".owriior cif l-.a^t 
Florida or in the existing' loc.d rmlhorit\' amicahly to surrender 
that province into the jiossession of the United .States, )<)U are to 
accept it on the same terms that are pre-crihed hy lhe.>e inslri;c- 
lions in relation to West Florida. And in case of the actual 
appearance of any attempt to take possession hy a foreign 
Power, yon \',ill jmrsue llu' same ehectivc measures for the 
occupation of the territory and for the exclusion of the foreign 
force as you are dinnlctl io pursue with res])tct to the cc)untry 
west of tiie Penlido, funning at this tinu- the extent of Ciovenior 
FoU-c's jurisdiction. lUit should the arrangement contemplated 
hy the statute not he made, :nul should tlure he rc^m to tuteriain 
a suspieion (.1 an existing dl•^i|.•u in anv foreign I'ower to occup'' 

.fimul> o( Ciiiii',! CSS. 


the countr)- in quoslitiu, yoii arc lo koc]) yourselves on llic alerl, 
and on the fnsl undoubted nianifeslalion of the aj)i)roaeh of a 
force for that purpose, you will exereise with pronii)tness and 
vigor the i)o\\ers with wliieh )ou are invested by the President 
lo pre-oceui)y bv forer the territory to the entire exclusion of any 
armament that ma)- be advancing- to take the ])ossession (;f it. 
If in ihr executii;u (J any ])art of these instructions you 
should need (be aid e.f a niililary force, the same will be affordL-d 
you ui)on your application to the commandinj.;- officer of the Irm^^s 
of the United Stales on that slatiun, or to the Cdininandinj.,' officer 
of the neaiesi post, in virtue of orders which have been is>ued 
from the War Drparluunl. ... If (lovernor I'olk jbould 
unexpectedly recpiire ami iiertinaeiously insist that the stipula- 
tions for the re delivery of the territory should also include that 
portion of the cciunlry which is situated west oi the ri\er rcrdido, 
)'OU are in yicldim^' to such di-mand oidy to use general words 
that may i)y implicalicii eomprebciul that poiliuii of country; but 
at the same time \cni are expressly to jirovide that such stii)ulation 
shall not in any wav impair ov affect the ri{,dit or title of the 
Ihn'tcd States to (he same."^'' 

In the sulisccpient stejjs taken by General Matthews, he 
exceeded his auth(;rily and employed force in occujjyinc^ i)orlions 
of Itast l^'lorida, much to the annoyance of the government. As a 
consequence, his authority was re\-oked and Gov. D. B. Mitchell of 
Georf^ia was appointe<l in his stead to carry into efTect the ]jrovi- 
sions of the conQrc^sional acts. lie \\as direcled tt) restore (o 
S|)ain Amelia inland and ollna- pmiiwus (^f 1: ' I'f.ii'i 'if ■ -i I",- 
(ieueial Mallliews. In W\w he \^a•^ in ^t ru- ','. d lliil. i'..iNmU'. li .i> 
the act of ei»n;;ress "made it the diU)' oi the I'lesiilent to i)r(.\ent 
the occupation of Mast b'lorida b>' any forei^m Power, it loll(>ws 
that you are authorized lo consider the entrance or attemi)t to 
enter es[)ecially under existin;.;- circmnstances of British troojis of 
any description as the case contemplated by the law and to use 
the proper means to defeat it." 

Early in July, 181 1, Mr. booster, the British minister at Wash- 
ington, requested a further exjdanation of the "measm"es pur- 
sued by the Panted States for the mililaiy occupation of West 
Florida.' lie referred ti; the act of congress concerning that 
piovince and the pioceedim^s of ihe presiiK-nt, and declared that 
they were "so man\- direct and jjositive pro'jfs ihat liie Govern 
nienl of .AuKiiia i- prepared lo subject ilie piii\ince (.<f \\ ( ^t 
Morida to the aullioi ity of the I 'niicd States." 1 le .observed 
P.nj;laiid "is still willing; lo hope that the .\meiican Go\'crnmuil 

Tiiii j-j.oi.'in.i .ixj) Ti:.\.is i<()Uxn.ih'ii:S. 


has not l)ecii uri^xd lo this .sUp liy aiiiliilious motives or I))' a 
ck'siro of l'oicij;u coiU|iu>l aiul urrilwiial aL;.i;raii(lizciiKnl," ami 
coiKlii(k-(l wiili the ^-latcmciil thai lie was "commaiKUil in ll;c 
event of its apijoarini; on my ani\al in this city that liic United 
States still ])crsevcre \>y menaces and actual demonstration io 
claim the mililarv occni)aii('n of West l''l(.)rida noiw iihstandin;.^^ 
Ihc remonstrances of IJis .Majesty's charge des allaires and tiie 
manifest injustice of the act, to i)resenl to you the solemn protest 
of llis Jvo\al llii;hne.-s in the name and o\\ the helialf of 11 is 
]\Iajesty ai^ainsl an alU'm])t so contrary to every princi)jle of i)uh- 
lie justice, faith and national hunor and so injurious to the alliance 
suhsislini; hetween Mis Majests' autl the Spanish nation."* 

Mr. Monroe replied that "ahhou.L;li ihe I'resident cannot admit 
the: riidit of C'jreal I'.ritain to interfere in an\- (piestion lelaliuLi to 
that ])ro\'inci' (W' I'loiid.i), he is willmi; to explain in a 
friendly manner the consideration which induced the United 
Stales to take the step complained of." lie hrielly levieued the 
situation existing;' hetween the United Slates ami Spain: Thai 
the latter hail refused to settle or nei;otiate the claims for indemni- 
ties fr(jm spoliations antl for damages from the su|)])resbion of 
the deposits at Xew Orleans; thai while this refusal would alone 
have heen sufl'icient cause for wai' and while any l".ur(ipean 
country would ha\-e ni.ide il the ]iieU\t for war, the Uniu-d 
Slates had souj^hl fe^r peaceahle methods of settlement until the' 
positive refusal of Spain to ne<;otiate had forced lh^ <',o\ernmenl 
to consitler other means of secnrin^;' satisfaction; that ahoye auil 
he_\ond all this the United Si ii' - had .\\\ imd'i;hied li It li» W'l t 
J'doiida. ha\ iui; secmid it :.- ,i p.iii i.| I .( .ni- i.n i.i ; ih.,: i'imW I'I 
bearance in uol takim; pi'ssessiun in iSc\5 did not wai'.e tlxir 
rif;hl to the province; thai while well grounded in their right they 
had recognized the claims of Spain and had pressed for a setlle- 
ment through friendl\- negotiation, hiU had been repulsed hy 
vSjjain, who refused to eonsiiler the jn^t claims of the United 
Stall's; that now vSpaiu had neglecled the province and il had 
fallen into seiious disordei'; that even \el the L'nited Slates tool: 
no adx'antage ; that the inhahitants the last year, desiiing |)rotec- 
tion and security had taken the gownmunl into their own hands; 
and that the United .'stales in this emei^mcy and in order to ])ro- 
lecl their rights had authorized the ]iroceeding> to tal;e iiosse^sidu 
of the pro\-iiiCe." lie concluded with the ^talenunt, "!'>)■ this 
event the United Stales ha\e ae(|mied no new title to \\'e-l 

* Aiiu-iiciiii St.iU J'aixis. 



I'loiitla. They waiiR'cl ikhk-. In adjusiint;- iKTrafter all the 
other points which remain to he adjiibled with Spain and which 
it is ])ii)posetl to make the snhjecl Cif amioahle nct^utialic^n as soon 
ns the CK>\enuneiU ol .Spain shall he settled, her claim to this ter- 
ritory may also he hron^ht into ^■ie\\• and receive all the attention 
which is due to it." 

]Carly in Seplemher, i8ii, Mr. I'osler wrote a;:^ain, tlemandin<^ 
to know hy what ri^dit the United States presumed to adopt 
measures to inwule and tak'C possession of liasi Florida. He 
called aitention to the fact thai Governor Matthews of Georgia 
was at that moment within the houndaries of Hasl Florida, under 
orders of the jiresident, and was endeavorinjj;' to treat with the 
inhahitants for the piaceahle deli\er\' of the pro\iiici.' to the 
I'nited Slater. lie llieiel'ore Con^ideied il his diii\- "1,1 j. .sr uo 
time in calling;" upon yon for :m explanation of the alarming 
stejis which (lovernor Matthews is stated to he taking;' for suh- 
vcrtint:^ the vSjtanish aulhorit\ in that countr)', re(|ne.Ttint; t(*i he 
informed h\' }ou ni>on what authoril\- he can he acting' and what 
measures have hcen taken to put a slop to his proceedings." 

Mr. M<')nroc calml\- re])l!e(l, re])eating- the grie\ances of the 
Um'ted Stales again^l Spain, autl .showing that the gONcrnment 
liad just cause to declaie war, or to t.ake pos.session of Spanibh 
teriilory to recoup them for the indeuiniiies and damages so oftt'U 
demanded and as ofirn ri-luseil or a\oided. lie said, "'rhe 
United States ha\e cou>iilrred the Go\ernment of Spain indebted 
to them a greater sum fur the injuries ahove slaud, than the 
province o\ I' I'lwiidi c.m l'\ an\ I'im land i ' lelwt.u ihi' 
jXiitiis he e.^timalcd .il Thev li,i\c l"l..d to thi ]>io\!iue tor 
theii' indemmty rmd w iih ilie grealei' reason becan.-e the Govein- 
nient of Spain itself has countenanced it (he referred lo the fa<l 
llial al one time vSpain was on the point of selling l\ast IHorida 
to the United Slates lov a monetary consideration). That the 
United Slates have sulVered their jusl claims to remain so long 
inisaiisricd is a new and strong proof of their moderation as it 
is of their respect for the disordered condition of that I'owcr. 
There is a |)eriod luiwever heyond which those claims ought not 
to he neglected." It had hecome plainl\' e\ ident to the United 
Stales ihal Gre.'il I'ritain seriously meditated takinp^ possession of 
ICast I'lorida, either for herself or on hi.-half of }^j)ain. .M.any 
occunence^ pointed strongly to that conclusion. Under no cir- 
cumstances lould such a finality In- pei"miited. AccordingK', Mr, 
Monioe, in older to show the attitude of the I'uiled Slalis on the 
questii.)U of such an (Kcujiancy hy Great I'.rllain, made the folKnv- 

• I 

77//: I'l.oKin.i .wn iHn'xn.uiias. 333 

in;^' l)lain avowal to the Hrilisli minister: "IhukT these- circuin- 
slances il would he ec|ua!ly uiijust ami dishonorahlc in the Uniieil 
vSlatcs to suffer l'",asl ]"l(Mi(,la to pass into the i)osscssi()n of any 
other Power. Unjust, hecausr iluy would therehy lose the endy 
indemnity within their naeh lor injuries which ouj^iit Ions;- sineo 
to have been redressed. 1 )i-liouorahle, because in pcrniitlinc;- 
another Power to wrest from them thai indemuiiy, their inactiv- 
ity and ;ic(|uie>i. eiice CiM\\i.\ o;d\ he imputed to unworih)' niotiws. 
Situikteil as ]'.[{-■{ i'lixida is, eui off from the tUfTer possessions of 
Spain, and surrouudul in a .qreat measure hy the territor\' of the 
PInitcd vStales and havinq- also an important hearing- on their com- 
merce, no other Power could think of taking- possessi(^n of it with 
other than hostile \ie\>.s lo them. Nor could any other I'ower 
take possession oi it without endai^;^erin;^- their i^ro.-iperitN- and 
best interests, 'i'hc l/niled States have not l>een i^niorant or 
tcnlive IC) what has been ai^italed in ]vurc>pe at dillerenl ])erio(ls 
since the commencement of the ])resent war, in rci^ard to tho' 
Spanisli provinces in this hemi^phere; nor have they been unmind- 
ful of the consequences into which the disorders of Sjxain mi.qlU 
lead in regard to the provinces in fjueslion without i.\\\c care to 
prevent it. The)' have I».en per>uaded that remissness on tlieii 
part might invili' the danger if it had not ahead}' (Knic it, which 
it is so nuich their interest and desire lo prevent. Deeply 
impressed with these considerations and anxieuis while they 
aciiuilted themselves to the just claims of their constituents to 
preserve frienddiip with other Powers, the subject was brought 
before Con;;re->N at ii.- l.i^l -^e^^i.'n, when an a'l was ]n-svil aull a - 
izing tiie P.xecu ti\'e tii .iccepi p( '-.-e-^-ioii ' >\ li ' IfMi !, i r^ 'in ;!'>• 
local authorities, or to t.akc it .against the allempt of a loreigu 
I'ower to occup)- it, luiding- it in either case subject to future and 
friendly negdiiation. This act therefore e\'inces the just and 
anu'cal.'le views h)- which the United St.ates ha\-e been governed 
towards Sp.ain in the measure authori/.etl b)- it.""' 

Succeetling the unauthori/ed acl> .and pH)Ceedmg''s of ( iovernor 
Matthews in bast I'loiida, the peiiple who joined his cane 
revolted from the authority and jurisdiction of .S|)ain, established 
a temporary government "lo avoid confusion." took possession of 
the C(>untry .and finali\' passed .an act aulhori/ing, their commis- 
sioners to sm 1 < nder the pi<u ini e to the I 'iiiud Stales. In.asmneh 
as they h:id bren .a^^ured the |>ii ierediMi;> of ("'.(n-ern"r 
Matthews wci'' .authnri/ed by the I'niled Slalt -, '"ihe wlioli- plaiit- 

• Aiiiciiciiii St Uc Tapeis. 


77//: rUOVlXCr. A^l) THE S FATES. 

\n^ intcrcsl declared llicni>-el\es free" of v^pain, and askn-il for 
admission into the I'nion ; l)ut the Stales rel'n^ed to reC0L;ni/e the 
rcvohuio!li^l^ cir to accept their so-called ces^ion. Such a recog'- 
nition would liaxe liceu ecpiixaleni to a declaration c>f war a.^ain^t 
Sl)ain. (hi tl'c other hand, the LInitcd States (juiell)' stimidaled 
llie sentiments of the rcN'olutiunists, sli])idated fur their protect ii.n, 
and otherwise ])repared to tal:e possession vhonld (neat IWitain 
undertake to occnp\' the province. 

»Soon after the declaration of war a[::^ainst r.reat Britain in iSi.?, 
a hill authorizinj,' ib.e president to occupy all that part of West 
JHorida not already in the possession of the L'nited Stales and all 
of J£a>t I'dorida, passetl tin- house of reproentatives, hut was 
rejected 1)\' the senate/ As une of ihe ohjecl^ dI such hill \\a^ to 
jM'Cvent the lliili'^h or an)' other foreij^jn cuuiUry \\\)\\\ laKiuL,' 
])OSSCSsion ol llu; I'loridas, and as it did not .^-eem then that >uch 
were the imnii'diate iiiteiilion.s of that of any oilu-r country, it was 
lhouf;iit wiser b)- man)- to wait until some deliniio movement In 
that direction should a})ix\'ir. It was also arg^ued that if the 
r.ritish had ni:)t landed in F.ast Florida, the American forces lluM-e 
should l)e w ilhdiawn ; or on the other hand if the P)ritish had 
landed an)' ti-oc)ps in that province, the American foi'ces should 
occupy and hold l-'ast IHorida as well as West h'lorida. It will 
be noticed that the act of januar)' 15, iS) I, did not autbori/.e the 
president to cjccup)' Ivast IHorida, unless certain arran<;emenls 
could be made with the inhabitants for n;ainincf possessio;i, or 
unless an atteuipt should be made to occup\ it by some foreiL;ii 
power. This made it necc--:tr\- to di^.'i\i",\ i!ii' prtHeedin ; .f 
tI()\ernor Matthews, but it al-o peinr.titil il'.' pris; l.-nl to .i''<r 
r.asl iMorida for the jjurpose of condnciin^; nej^oliations with the 
view ci' p^ettini;' possession, and such course was fiursued with con- 
siderable force and all that was intended was accomplished, 
namel)', the obstruction of an\- attempt to occupy the li'rritory b)' 
Creal Dritain. 

In a resolution adopted December 22, 1812, the United States 
senate reciuesied ihe president to la)' before thai bo(.l)' such infor- 
mation as he had secured of the intentions of the enemy (Great 
P.ritairi) to lai.e possessicin of ]'"ast I'Morida, of the disposition of 
the people there to be received under the proUclion of the LJniled 
vSlates, of au\ recent m';;oiiatious with Spain IcxjKini^' to a sillle- 
inent of the dill\-rences belweui the two countries, of an\' pio- 
eeedini.'s ('f the pt-ojde of Fast |"l..iida to ha\e that pro\'iiu:e ceded 

• Amiiil.s uf C'lMi,;! I'.s, 



to tlie United States or for its suneiulcr to or occupancy by Ihc 
Lhiitcd States, and of the relations suhsistin^^ between the two 
Cdunlries respeelin;^' l'",a^t I'loiida/^ In response to this rccpKst 
tbc senate was infornietl of the cc^ndilion of affairs. In boih 
liousc and senate llie project of taking' possession of JCast blorida 
began to be discnssctl with intense sincerii\ and the proceecHnt^fs of 
Jaiuuiry resulted. A similar reipiebl to ihe abriw ^vas made by 
the senate January iS, 1S13, and met with sncli re'-ponse that soon 
afterward the enactment to take possession of Ivist I'lorida under 
certain contingencies was deemed premature, and the project to 
take iK)SSession in an)' event was considered and discussed with- 
out resulting in any ilefinite action. 

After war had actually begun belwci'n (ireal llritain and the 
United Stati'S and llu' ])o\\\rful na\'\' of llie laltLi' had bloel<aded 
the Atlantic and the gulf ports and had even landed trrxips ii\ 
some of the towns, couiMess did no lungi r delay an act to occujjy 
West IHorida and establish the govermncut therein, when it 
seemed certain lliat, unless such cour>e was taken, Ttngland was 
sure to tak'e possission of the jjrovince. Congress did not )-et 
feel justified in taking j^ossession in a similar fa'-hii.iu of Kast 
I'Morida. though the Aiuerican forces remainrd in and around that 
teiritory, prepared to repel any advance or occupancy of that 
province b)' J\ngland or an\- other foreign T'ower. By the act 
of lubruary 12, 1813, it was p)rovided "that the President lie 
autl he is lierebx aulhorii-cd lo occupN' and hold all thai tiacl t»f 
counti\- called \\ e->l l'"loiid,i vliicli lirs \\cs| oi" ih^' ii\er I'ndido 
and now in p. is,^^ -^ion i,|' ih,' I 'nilrd ."-'tatr- ." i' 1 !i> •, ie>'.i. i;i w ;o 
atuhorixud lo um the army and nav\' for thi> puipose; and the 
sum of tweiUy thousand dollars was appropijatvd to defra\' the 
expenses. The act of January 15, 181T, had authorized the presi- 
dent to occupy \\'esL I'dorida, provitling jieaceablc possession coidd 
be obtained from the inhabitants. Under this act portions of the 
pro\ince had been occupied; but a considerable ptirtion still 
remained in the i)os.-ession of the Si)ani.-.h authorilirs. who refused 
to deliver the posts oecu|)ied b\- them. The act of l'\bruar>- 12, 
1813, authorized the pre-idrnt to take possession of the remainder 
of the province re;;.irdle-s of the renuinstranccs of Spain. This 
act was deemed iniperali\e b\' reascMi of the manifest intention of 
Great I'ritain to ixeui)\ the (Uilf i)orls of the province; or in 
oilier w(;rds to iK'cniiy lerrit(.ir)' claimed by the United States. 

• Scnatt.- iKicumeiUs. 
1 .•\linals of CoiicH ^s. 

338 Tim PRorixcii .j.v/) Tim staths. 

No otlicr events of ^rcwi imporlancc in relation to the Floridas 
occnrred until the termination cif the war with Great Hritain. 
Tlie United vStates remained in i)c)Ssession of \Vest I"'lorida, but 
had removed the troops from Ivast h'lorida, as there was no longer 
any cxeuse to oceupy that })rovince. Order had been restored, 
tiie law-hreakers had been shot, arrested or driven ofT, and the 
fierce savat^^es had been reduced to subjection. 

In his proclamation dated September i, 1815, President Mad- 
ison said, ''Whereas, information has been received that sinulry j 
persons, citizens of the United Stales, or residents williin the j 
same, and esi)ecially within the Slate of Louisiana, arc conspiring j 
together to begin and set on fool, provide and prepare the means | 
for a military expedition or euterpiise against the dominions (^f i 
Spain; . . . and for this purpose they are collecting arms, j 
military stores, provisions, vessels and other means, and deceiving ' 
and seilucing honehl and well meaning citizens to engage in.lheir 
unlawful enterprises, or organizing, oflicering and arming them- \ 
selves for the same; ... I have therefore thought fit lo ' 
issue this my j^roclamalion warning and enjoining all faithful 
citizens . . . lo withdraw from the same without delav, and 
commantling all |)er.^ons whatsoever engaged or concerned in the » 
same to cease all furllier j)roceedings therein as they will answer 
the contrary at their ])eril." ^ ]le directed that all civil anrl mili- 
tary oflicers should be vigilant in seizing and preventing such ' 
persons from efi'ecling such unlawful object. i 

y\fler the year iSu8 and until the year 1S15. Sp.ain, knowing her | 
inability to iiKiiui.i 111 bei .lut horn \ in We 1 llonl i, bad .1. jui..--.,. . d j 
in their occupation b)- the United Siau ■«. bong a>.>ured a> .^be was | 
by the latter that her rights wiadd be fully resin-cted and secured 
by subse(iuent negotiations between the tW(-> comuries. However, 
on the 30th of December, 1815, Chevalier l.uis de Onis, nn'nister 
of Spain recenlly appointed to the United Stales, commimicated 
to the authorities at Washington that, inasmuch as the (lii)l(jmatic 
relations between llic two countrich had been restored, the terri- 
tories of both nations should be jmt in the same state as ihey 
were when the oflicial relations had been sus])endcd in 1808; that 
"the part of West Florida which the I'nited Slates took po.ssession 
of during the glorious iuMirnetirni of Spain and have retained 
imtil this day, should be restored to His Catholic Majestv;" that 
the United States should at once i)revent the fornuition of expe- 
ditions ol .ill kinds within their borders agauist tiie Si)ani>h pos- 

• Mcssancs ami I'apcr.s of tlie I'fChidciits. • 

TlUi ri.ORIDA AND TI:X,IS IU)U.\'DA NH:S. 339 

sessions ill ihc soulliwcsi ; and thai llic United Slates should in 
no manner leeogni/.e the insurrectional)' movements of the Span- 
ish American provinces, lie said, "The jjionipL intei"i)usition of 
the I 'resident wuuld he a new proof llial he is delermijied to i)Ut 
an tMul l() the incakulahle extortions and injuries which Spain 
has suffered for tiie space of seven years from tlic [(ang of 
advcnluiers who have assailed her from the bosom of this reinih- 
lic, and would he, fmally, a suie preh'minar)' to the removal of 
all the diHicullies which may ])resent themselves in the negotia- 
tions which ought to It rminate all the pending ili>cussions hetween 
the two CK)vernn]ents and to fix forever hiiween them a perpetual 
and solid friendsliii). . . . The 1 'resident cannot hut ha\e 
seen with sensihilily as well, the tfdal wani df effeet of lii^ procla- 
mation f)f the lenient ineasuri:s whicli he iiad ad()pled against ihesC 
criminrds who hoast of recognizing no law, subordination or moral 
Ijrinci|»le, as the protection and sui)porl wliich they have received 
ajul do receive from the authorities at New Orleans contrary to 
Ills ex]iress orders." 

Ill his reply to this ccMnniiniicalion Mr. Monroe briefly reviewed 
all the suspended relatii^iiis between the two countries. He staled 
thai inasmuch as the United Stales claimed within the limits of 
Louisiana the counlry on the coast from the river iV'rihd'* to the 
Rio (Mamie, the l.^iitid Stales could a.s well demand from Spain 
the surrender oi all that territor)', as the latter could'demand the 
surrender of the l-doridas, as a preliminary to subsei|uenl negotia- 
tions. The negoiiatii, ns coidd be entered iii)on with tin- United 
States in possession as well a. with Sj'iin in p. --e- .-n. il>' 
said: "The United Slates lonk no in. i-'.;ie Id indeuDUiv them 
selves for losses and injuries; none to guard against the occu- 
]:)ancy of the vSpanish territory by the I'riiish forces in the late 
war, or to ocoufjy the territory to which the Unileil Slates con- 
sidered their title goo.l, except in the instance of West Florida; 
and in thai instance under circiuiislances which made their 
interpr)silion as much an act of acciMumodalion to the Spanish 
authority there as of securit)- to themscK es. They have also 
prohibited their citizens from taking an)' part in the war, and 
the inhabitants of the colonies and otlur foreigners Cuiniecteil 
wdtli them from recruiting men in the United Slates for that 
l)inpe)se." After citing all the dereliclions of Spain, he observed: 
"The conduct of vour Uo\ernment would have justified if it 
did nol iii\ile the nio-1 dci'isive niia^uiis on the p.iit "t the 
Uniletl Slates, 'idle lefusal to inaki' leparation for preceding 
injuries or to surrender any portion of the territory in the i)os- 


77//:" ri^Oi'JXCli .L\/) THE STATUS. 

scssiLHi of Spain U) wliicli lliey ciiiisidcrccl their title undisinitahle 
or lo accejii fair ami lilKial piopcjsitioiis t'or tiie accoimiiixlatinu 
of these differences or lo make a pro])Osition of any kind for 
the pliijiose, left the Ignited Stales pcifeolly free to puisne sucii 
course as in llnir judj^'juent a jn>l rt-;;ard to the honor, ri<^hls 
and inlci'csts of the nation niij^liL dictate. In the condition of 
Spain there was nothinf,^ to excite apprehension of the conse- 
quences, \vhate\'er nn'idit he the course decided on. 
The friendly policy which the United Slates have since pur- 
sued is the niiuc conspicuous from the consideration that your 
Government has intltxihly maintained the unjust and hostile 
attitiule which it tlu'U a.'-sumed, rmd has even added iu-\v inju- 
ries and insults to thosi' of which ] have already complained. 
I refer in this latlrr mnarl; to the luraclics of tin- luutralilN of 
Sl)ain, which her Cowiument permitted, if it did not authori/c, 
by British tr(x>ps and lliilish ainiUs in J'"k)rida, and ilnouidi 
that ])rovince with the tVeeks and otlicr trihes of Indians in the 
late war with Great J'.ritain, to the great injury of tlie United 

On the question of West l''lorida, Mr. de ('^nis presented tlic 
arguments ]jrcviousl\- mentioned lierrin upon which Sj)ain relied 
to justify her claim to all of the twt) J'"loridas, and Mr. .Moin-oc 
iirged the iX;sition which had keen assumed !))• the United States. 
The Si)anisii ministo dwelt at len-lh (ni the word "retroces- 
sion," ar-uing that as Spain had n(»t leceived either of the Tlor- 
)das fiom iManci', sh- ikerclore could iioi retroe^de it to her. 
Mr. Monroe m.ide lid i ,,f (!h \\..i,l a.:d said. .\^ to tl.. 'v .rd 
'retrocession,' ii is e\).kiit that n was n..: \\w nuuni.,u oi ike pai- 
tics that It skould have an)' elYect wh.atevcr on the extent t)f the 
territory ceded. The import ol this term is loo vaj;ue and the 
term itsell was used in a manner too casual lo admit such an 
inference, even had there heeii ih-ihing else in the treat)- between 
Si)ain and bVancc of i8. )u to show that the construction you con- 
tend for is alto;;ether iiiccinsistent \vith the manifest inlenti(jn 
of the parties. 'I'lu' import of this term would in my opinion 
be satisfied if tlu' whole province had p;issed in the llr.^l instance 
from iM-ance to (ileal Ikilain and keen conveyed afterwards ky 
Great Ikitain to Sp.iin and k\' Spain k.iek ai^ain to iM'.mei-. lii 
regard to i~raiue, thi . la-t conve)ance would li.ave keen a 'relrtj- 
cession." as k) it ike leirijMr) would liave keen ceded li.Kdc to 
her. Jl was vei\ n.ilui d lliei.|,,ie lliis teim skonld ke 
used, keini; apjdicakle in tke mosi kniiled scum' in wkiJi il cm 
be taken to at least niiuteen-lw cnlieih.v of the province and in a 

Till- FLORin.l .l.\'D 'JHX.IS JJObW'D.U^lllS. 311 

qiKilified soiisc Id tlio \\h>.)le." Mr. dc Onis said, "\W the iiitcr- 
prctntioii wliich may lie wished to he ^ivcn to tlic treat)' of 
'retrocession' of l,oui>iaua made Letweeii I'ranec and Si)ain what 
it may, the two Floriihis can ne\er l)e directly nor indirectly 
incUuled in it: 1st, hecansc these jjrovinces being in the leL;iti- 
mate [)ossession of lin^lanil from the year 1763 to the yiar 1783, 
l^rance could nt^t cede them to Spain by the treat)- of ^j(>-\ — nor 
S])ain. rctrocede tlkni to I'l'ance, not liaxinj;' reci ived them from 
her, iinIcss there should ha\e been an article vu this ])oint, in 
which express and direct was made of the cesbion ; and 
2nd, because the two ccjiilraclinj^ jiarties (Spain and b'rance) 
lia\e declared in the most M.ikiun manner, the former that she 
did not cede to l-'ranee any j-aii of the bloridas - the latter 
she had not ac(iniied them b)' the treat)' of St. lldefonsc) or of 
relrcicessir>n of iSoo, n(;r bad bad the least inliiilioii to set nj) a 
claim to them. . . . The countr)' to which you allude, 
extending to the Rio Ibavo or del \orte, has been untler the 
dominic^n of Si)aiu, not t)nl)' before and since brance ceded Loui- 
siana to llis Maie^ly by the treat)' of 1764, but from the time of 
the discovery and ccmcjuest of Mexico, witlu)Ul e\cr having passed 
by treaty to any other nation." 

i\lr. Monroe's argument, intentionally prepared to avoid arti- 
fice, was extremel)' clear, strtnig autl cons'inciuL;. The e\pies- 
sion "With the same extent that it now has in the hands of Spain" 
woidd not have been \ised, woidd not liave been necessary, had 
the Louisiana which was ceded extended no farther ea.-iward 
than the Iberxille. Tin- ixpre^Mon must ha\e ti\aut t.> inclmle 
West l'"loritla, becau-e that prii\i:ice was "um-.', " d in t!u 
civil governnienl >.>{ Louisiana. I'be stalenunl "ihat it b.ivl wIku 
France possessed it" must have meant prior to 1703 when it 
extended to the I'erdidc), because b^auce bad never possessed it 
farther to the westward than that river. The expression "such 
as it should be after the treaties subsequently entered into between 
Spain .and other slates," he ar<^;iied, could have been used for no 
other purjjope than to exclude that portion of Lonisian.a above 
the thirty-first degree of north latitude, which had p.assed in 1783 
to the United States, but which prior to 1763 belonged to 
France as a ])arl of Louisiana. Mr. Monroe declared there liad 
never been a treaty in \yi>4 as claimed b\' Mr. de Hnis. It seems 
that so far as the language was concerned the <-laims of the two 
countries weie about e([uall)' balanced. The exjiression'; above 
Seem to faN'or the I'niled Slato, but the leini "i elrocession" 

•Auiciicaii Slule I'.ii'frs. 



unqiicstioiiabl)' favors the Si>ani.sli contention. However, it was 
proper lliat eacli side slionld present its slroni^est points, and this 
\vas accordinj;!) done. In tliis manifest cil).scurit\ , the intentions 
of the parlies to the retroees.sion were the detenninatinL;' facl()r>. 
Both France and .*^i)ain denied tliat any part of the h'lorichis was 
inchided in the Louisiana retroceded While the strenj^th of this 
position was recoj^uized in the' I'nited Slates, there was nothin;;- 
lo ])revent the l;( i\ernnienl fr^nn ])i'essin_i;' its ehiinis to the nliiu-^t 
'and eniplo) iuL,'' e\er\- lionorahle ail and ari;unient to acipiire \\'i..>t 
Florida at lea^l, Ijeeause its pos.session nn-ant so nuich in the 
interests of order and seeurit\. It could mean nothings else, alM», 
than that lu'ist I'lorida would evenlually fullow the same course. 
Nor was there anylhin;^ to i)ie\'ent ihe I'niled .Slates from press- 
ing" to the utmost its claims to the terrilory exlendiuL;' westward 
to the l\io (irande, when h) means t»f such i)ersistenee heller 
terms were lil;ely to he secma-d tliereh)' from .Spain. The )jeL;i)- 
tiations terminated in a diplomatic contest in which the Ihiited 
States had con^ideralily the advantap;e hy reason of i")roximily to 
the terrilor\ in dispute and the i)osscssion of a considerahle por- 
tion of the I'loridas. Neither is it imj)rohahle that Spain, realiz- 
ing' this fact and the furlhrr consideralio)i thai the clainr^ ol the 
United Slates were unduuhtedly ahout as strong as lur (.)wn, 
came to the imwilling conclusion, by reason of the firmness and 
persistence of Mr. Monroe, ihat unless she yi(;lded imuh of what 
the Ihiited States claimcil, the latter might he inclined to lake all 
that was wanted without itermissiou, Ka\ing to ihe crown ol 
Sjiain a com --e that llu n to her \vh'!lv in pi .ictii'.d le - the 
iiecessit) of \\;igiiii; \\ar again t the I'n:',' ! SlaU >. 

After the neg<<tiati(;ns progrcs.M.d thus far, Mr. de Oiiis 
informed the secretary of state that he did not possess full jjoweis 
to treat, whereupon (jcorge \V. Erving was a])pointed special 
envoy to the court of Madrid to conclude a treaty with the S[)an- 
ish government. The latter upon opening' negotialious at 
Madrid, was informed thai full powers luul lalel)' been si'iit lo 
Mr. (le Onis at Washington. :\ccortlingl)', communications were 
resumed hetween Mr. i\K)nioe and Mr. de (^iiis. The fornur 
stated that, ha\iug understood from the latter that he "would 
not agree to an arrangement by which Spain should ce<ie her 
claims toterritory ea'-tward of the MissisMppi unless the I'niled 
Stales <v<\i:^ tlnir claims to all the territory \wsiwaril of that 
liver, and that cmii thiMi youi .ijm cement would tte restri<trd to 
a recomniendat ioii (o ynnr ( io\ i i niiienl lo ailojii an ai i anr.iini'ut 
to llial ellicl, \\ 1-. deennd uuiuct lo make \ on an\ fuilher 
l)roi)0sitioii or to i)rolong, the neg,olialion on the subject of lim- 


its. I liavc now to ncjucst that you will have the poodiicss to 
inform nic wlietiicr yuu are willing' to tntcr into a convention 
to provide compeiusation for spoliations and for the injury lesnlt- 
ing to the United Slates from the siipprcs^i(jn of the cKi)osit at 
New Orleans?"' 

Again there seemed to he an ohstruetic^n to the i)roccedinp^s, as 
it not only became cviileiil that Mr. de Onis was not fully 
empowered to treat, jjut the S])anish secrc tary of state submitted 
to Mr. Erving" a "project of conditions or articles of agreement" 
on the I7tb of August, 1817, which the latter stated he could not 
officially consider, because the .Spanish minister himself had trans- 
ferred the nej^M)lialion.s to Washini^ton. This "prt)ject of con- 
ditions" embraced the fiillowing points: 'Idiat all (juestions of 
indenuiification duwii to the present time should be settled; that 
this settlement should be ellected by a commission appc)iiiled from 
other nations than .Sjiain or the United States; that the said 
commission should decide on the damat;;es resulting from the 
sujjpression of the dejjo.sils at New OrUans in 180J-3, "provided 
it is not desiretl to attribute to such suspension the prejudices 
produced by false rumors of a suspension in the navigation of 
the Mississipj)i, which never existed, and the rumors of an early 
rupture, which sr)mc bad inlentioned jiersons delighted to propa- 
gate at that time in the ti-iriiory of the I'nited .States, for the 
bad efTects and prejudices residting from such false rumors can 
only be attribntetl to the authors of them ; that the king of Spain 
"obliges himself to employ his efforts in union with the United 
States to rt'claim and cau.^e to be restored to the Kgitimati- pro- 
jM'ietors the value of the vexj'ls and <;oii.U whivli \\( re la' ( n from 
tluin, i)rovidetl that these reclamations have not biin extin- 
guished by the said com-ention of iSoo, as I'rance has assui"ed 
tiic Government of Spain in its repeated ccnnmunications ; that 
His Catholic Majesty, master of I'lorida, b'.asl and West, in all 
the extension in which he recei\'ed them from England ])\ the 
treaty of 1783, and which ihev had in i)ossession of Great l^rit- 
ain before said treaty, will l)e v.illini; for his part to cede them 
, with the same extention to the United Slates of America, in full 
*"• J^'opcrty and pt'ri)etual sovereignty, ])ro\'ided that the United 
. ■-' States are ecpially ilisposed on their part to cede in the same form 
I0 His CatlKjlic .Majesty that [lart of Eouisiana which is situated 
to the west of the Mississippi, and is the territory which lies 
between said ri\er and llie v.all l<no\\ n limit which now sepa- 
rates and has separated Eouisiana when I'rance i)Ossessctl it 

*Aiiu-iicnii Stale I'aiicrs. 

344 'J HI: J'KOl -IXC]: AND Tllli STATUS. 

before tlK- year 1761, a.ul rvcu In'fo.o tlu- <lcatl, ..f Uu' KinK of 
Spain, CliaiK'. li., fn-n, iIk- Spanish pp.vnKc callrd J exas ; .0 
that alter these leeiproeal cessions are ve.iried. the course of the 
river Mississipj.i frun. its s.nree to where it chschar^es nilo the 
sea. will he the only liniil of the donunionsof hs I alhohc 
Majcsly and those of'the United Slates," that the chan- 
nel Lafonrche shonld he the diyidiuR line at the mouth of tlu= 
MississiiMM; that owin^ to the provisions cmbrnccd ni the treaty 
of Utrecht to the effect that Spain should never dispose of the 
Fioridas without the consent of l-n-land. it would he necessary, 
should the U))iled States desire the ac.|uisit.on of those provnices 
to sectne the i)ennission of that power; and that pn-aaes and 

( .1. ,>.,i;,,ii >.lionld he supiMi'ssed witlnn the 
insurrections aL;ainst eai 11 nation snoum i'>- -^ 1 1 

limits and authority of the other. 

While statin.- that he had nol the authority to treat fuHy on 

Ihc lines propu'sed, Mr. I^rviuK .uvertiulcss proceeded to di.scuss 

unofHcially the "project of con.lilions" suhmitted by Don Jose 

Pizarro. After showing H.c unfairness ofthe proposii.ous, ho 

stated that they wouhl prove wholly inadim.ssihlc to the Urn ed 

States. Mr. I'i/.arro aimouiu-ed that h<- would at once dispatch 

full authority to Mr. de Ouis at Washin.^ton to settle all (|ues- 

tions in dispute; whereupon Mr. de Onis an< Mr. Adams hej;an 

anew negotiations to terminate the It was now 

December, 18)7. Mr. ^e (^ms entered at once mto an elaborate 

1 • . • 1 < r <i, r,,-,^^v1ll of tlie Spanish provinces m the 

bistorical account ol the {mowoi 01 uk • I' ' 

.1 . f V .0, A,,,,.,;.-, conteiulinp- •that the iiossessions 

southern part ol .\oilli yXim 1 ua, i-onu hw. f'. . » 

re- ♦ 11 -.ciyy^vA 1.) till' Mississu)pi. He luoduce*! 

of Spam cxtenckHi eastwaid 10 un j^'- '■ , ' 

■1 o . .1, <,>., siitlements bad been made east- 

Slron,"- evidi-nce that tlie .spaiirn siuunun 

^vard of the Sahihe river, uM.d^ly at .VW- . •> "l-t d>^.,>ncc 

Nvesl of Natchitoches and tl>at all of the couuiry west of tha 

111 -1 ^■,^r fr,,ni one hum rec to two lumdred 

river had been occupied lor liom oul imn 

, ,, • • • , ,. 1 c,.ol,Ts of Spam. Consulermn- that 
years by the luissu^nanes and seliuis <" > I •' , , , . n- 

Ibc Spanish settlements east of the river Sabme would about ofT- 
' set the iMcnch settlements west of the Sabme and .southwest of 
the upper course of Red uwv, justice m.hcated that those stream, 
sbould be the demarcation between Louisiana and the Spanish 
province of Texas. While Mr. .le On.s aroaicd or an exten- 
ion of the Spanish dominions eastward to the Mississippi he 
succeeded in showin,^ little or no riKhl .0 any territory ease 
the Sabine and north of Kio Koxo. or Kd nver. On the other 
IT- 11- . <iw. t, rrilorv Ns'csl Ol llic >al)ine were 
band, the French claims to tin toiiioi\ ^^ ^ 

,, , , 1 'ri,M^ (lie ri\er Sa hme aiu tlie uppi r 

ciiuallv weak an<l unsound. lhustiun\M.. ,. , ',' 

' , •. ■ ,.,, K, (I,,, lust am p am houndary 

Red river weie approMmal>ly tin jn^i -"' I J 

. , T . . ,, 1 'i\.v-ic; It only remained to lix tlie exact 

between 1 .ouisana and 1 exas. Ji •-"".' 


lino. Mr. lie Oiiis did not ill^ on tlic extension c)f llic Span- 
ish possessions to the Mississippi, hccausc snliSL-cpicnl treaties and 
nct;-oliations, he said, had placed the Inmndar)' farther to tin- 
west. To his lonj^'- and nunurons kltcrs, Mr. Adams replied 
hriedy that the suhject had heen so often tliscnssed, particularly 
in the years i8o-}--6, nothing- new c(jnld he learned iherehy ; lie 
therefore suhniitti'd, on January 16, 1818, the followinj:^ "arrant^e- 
inent" for the settlement of the difficulties hetween the two coun- 

"i. Spain to C(:(\c all her claims to territory eastward of the 

"2. The Colorado from its mouth to its source and from thence 
to the northern limits e)f Louisiana, to he the western l)Oundar\ ; 
or {o leave that houndary unseiiled for fnluu' ai ran_!;ement. 

"3. 'idle claims of indemnities for sj)olialions, whether S]jan- 
ish or French, within Spanish jurisdiction, and for the supi)res- 
sion of the de])()sits al New Orleans, to he arhitrated and settled 
by commissioners in the manner aj^reed upon in the unratifieil 
convention of i8(J2. 

"4. The lands in F.ast hlorida aiul in West Florida to the 
Pcrdido to be made answerable for the amount of the indemni- 
ties which may be awarded by the commissioners uiuler this arbi- 
tration ; with an option to the l.'nited .Slates to take the lands and 
pay the debts, or to sell the lands for the itayment of the ilebts, 
distributiniif the amount received equally accordinjf to^thc amount 
of their respeeli\e liquidated claims amon^; the claimants. No 
{^lant of laud sub'tuiuent to the 1 lib of .\m'uM to be valid. 

"5- Spain to be exonerated ;'•.. n \\ ■■ p.iMr^ • • .t' t'- .' b(s or 
any part of them." 

In presenting; this "arrangement," Mr. Adams callerl the atten- 
tion of Mr. de Onis to the necessity of comin<; to some ai^reement 
at once, owini,'' to the importance of deciding; immediately wdiether 
Si^'iin or the United States was to be held responsible for the 
expense of suppressinij the incursions and insurrections alouQ the 
boundary between Louisiana and Texas. lie saiil: "Spain 
cainiot ex]ject that the United States should employ their forces 
for the defense of her territories, or to rescue them for her exclu- 
sive a(lvantap,e from the ad\euturers who aie ])rojc-clint,^ and 
in the act of executing;' expeditions a,<.,Minst them from the ter- 
ritories without the jurisdiction of the United Stales, j't'either 
can the United Slates permit that the adjcjinin;,,^ territories of 

•Aiuc-iicaii SUilc I'npcr.s. 

3-1 6 

Tim PRoiixcn 'run staths. 

Spam shouKl he misused hy (;lln'is for purposes of aimovancc 
to them." 

I'liis '•arran^^cmeiit" was nul satisfactory to I\Ir. dc Onis, who 
presented tlie counter pri)])o.sition : 

"i. 'J'he (hvidini; \\\\v helween Louisiana and the Spanish pos- 
sessions to \k- e.^l;lhh,^h^■(l in one of the hranches of the Missis- 
sippi, either that of Laiuurche or of the Atchafalaya, followin<^'- 
tlic course of llial river to iis source. fJi- if thi- shouhl he inad- 
missihle, the western hue to he estahh^hed from the sea at a 
point helween tlie rivers Carcassa and the Alcrmcnto or Mermen- 
tao, rumn'ni;- thence 1)) Arrtjyo Hondo till it crosses the Colorado 
of Natchiloehc.^ helween tliat pi.^t and Adaes, ihenct- n(-rlhward 
to a i)omt to he lixed and laid down hy commissioners respect- 
ively appointed fur that l.urpo^e. Si)ain lo cede the two Floridas 
to the Tnited States in full ainl complete sovei(i^nt\-. 

"2. I he (piestiiiii of indemnities lo he settled h)' a conuuission. 

"3. Spain lo unite with tin: Tnited Slates in an en(le;r\'(;r to' 
secure from l^anco a scttiemenl for the spoliations claimed. 

"4. 11ic United Slates to enj^a^e to prevent the insurrections 
alon^^ the houndary in the southwest." 

'JMiis prt)iJo.-.iliun was the inducement for i\Ir. y\dams to write 
the strongest and leni^lhiest couununication yet prepared in sup- 
l)ort of the contentions of the I'niled Slates. Jle reviewed in 
detail all the facts of the early selllemeul hy hoih France ami 
Sjiain and replied lo every ar^unient ihat Ind heen preseuled lo 
sustain the Spani.vh claims. IK- \\as ver)- carel'ul lo make no 
assertion which he did not support with ilocum':ilar\- ov other 
evidence. lie lud.d .^iih il,. f.)ll, .,.,:,- si..'-:::i ill : "\\ nU 
rc^^ard lo those pans .1 ti.r p;..Muee .1 Lorn 1. ma which ha\e 
been incorporated within the stale of lliat name, it is time that 
the discussion should cease, {''ormiiii; part of ihe territory of 
a sovereiLrn and inde]jeiident Stale of this Union, lo of 
them is not within the comiKlency of the Executive Government 
of tile United Slates, nor will the discussion he hereafter con- 
tinued. JUil if you iiave jiroposals to make lo which it is jiossible 
for the (iovernmeiil of tlu- I'niled Slates to lislin with a pros- 
pect of hrinj^iu^t; them lo any praclicahie conclusion, 1 am author- 
ized to receive them and to conclude with you a trcatv for the 
adjustment of all the dilTereiices helwem the two nations u]i(;n 
terms whiih may he satisfactorv lo holh.'" 

In hi^ messa-e lo eon- less of I ). eemher _>, 1S17. I'lesident .Mon- 
roe statui ihal the relations wiih Sjiain were the same as they 
Were under his predecessor; thai il lia.l evidently hreu tlie ])olicy 
of Spain to]) the iieyolialion.s conceriiiii|; iKMimlaiies, etc., sus- 



pciidvd, to which ihc L^iiitcd SlaU'S had acqnicsccil "from an 
aiiiicahlc di?iiOsition t(.>\vards Spain and in the cxpcctatinn Ihal 
her Government would from a sense of justice fmally accede U) 
such an arran<;emenl as wouUl be equal between the i)arlies. A 
disposition has been lately ihown \^\ the Spanish Government lo 
move in the net^oliation, which has been niel by this Go\ern- 
nient." Jle staled th.a lalei}' an exi)edition from tiie rexoltinc,^ 
Sjiauish American colonies had undertalan to occupy jxirlions of 
East * l-'lorida, and that "as this province lies eastward of the 
I\lississi])i)i and is bounded by the I'nited States and the (jcian 
on every side, and has been a subject of negotiation with the 
Government of Spain as an iiiileumity for lo>ses l)y speiliation 
or in exchanj:,^" for lerritor)- of iTpial \alue westward of the .Mis- 
sissipiM (a fact well kn(,>wn to the wculd), it exciletl surjuisc 
that any countenance shoidd be gi\en to thi^ measure b)' any of 
the (Spani>h) colonies." He also ccjmmunicated that a similar 
establishment had been made on Galveston island within terri- 
tory contended to be a i)art of the Uniteil States under the treaty 
of J 803 cedini; J,ouisiana, and that ortlers had been issued fur 
the sup]Mession of both nK)\ements or expeditions. The desi;^n 
of the re\'ollinL; colonies was to oeeup\' both of the I'doridas and 
form an iiuk pendent f;i i\enmuut. As this de.-i;^ii was ;in 
intended infi in;;emenl ol the rights of the I niled Stales, in 
West I'lorida, at least, the u\ wlutionists were dispersed and driven 
from those pro\inee.s. In his message, the president, in order to 
justify his course in re[ul]im; the revolutionists, st.ited that he 
liad proceeiled under the .n.1 of inniMess nf binuai'\ 1 3. iSii, 
which authiiii/e(| him "to prevent the po \iiki- of l-.i-t II'm; m 
from J)as^in|^ into the bands of any foieii.;n I'ouer. it iloes i;..t 
ap])ear that amonj,'' these itinerant establisbers of republics and 
distributers cif Morida lands there is a single individual inhab- 
itant of the coimtr\- where the rei)ublic was {o be constituted and 
whose lands were to be thus bestowed. The j^roject was, there- 
fore, an attemjit to occujiy that territory by a foreii^n Tower." 
In his message of January 13, 1818, he saiil : "In repelling these 
adventurers from these posts it was not intended to make any 
conquest from S[)ain or to injure in any dei;ree the cause of the 
colonies. Gare will be tal:en that no part of the territory con- 
templated b}- tlie law of 181 I shall be oeiiipied b\- a f'»ri-iL:n Gi.\- 
ernment of any kind, oi' that injvnies of the naliue of those 
Comi'laimd of shall be repeatid ; hni this it is expeeied will In: 
pio\idi-il for Willi e\erv ullur intere-t 111 a spinl of ;imil\ m the 
ne}.;o(iali«in iii'\s- dependin;; with the Go\einiii(nt of Spam."* 

• Mfs .ui:< M (111.; I'ui.i 18 III the I'lc uh iiL-i. 

348 Tim rROl'IX'CE AND Tin: STATES. 

In March 1818, the president commnnioaled to coiif^^ress, that, 
inasmuch as the L;t)veriiiii(iit of Spain had heen unahic, in accord- 
ance Nvidi the treaty i>i 1795, to keep the Indians within the 
boundaries of the Moridas from mal;in<;- repeated incursions into 
tlie territory of the United Slates, troops had been sent against 
tliein, but that "orders had been given to the general in com- 
mand not to enter Idorida unless it be in pur>uit of the c'Uemy, 
and in that case to respect tlie S])anisli authority wherever it 
ivas maintained; and that he would be inslructetl to withdraw 
his forces from the i)rovince as soon as he shall have reduced 
that tribe to order and Secured our fellow citizens in thai cpiar- 
ler by salisfactoiv arran.!;ements a^ain^t its un])rov(;l:ed and 
savage hostilities in future." lie further said in November, 1818, 
that although the convention of 1 8oj had at length been ratified 
by Si)ain, no arrangement had been entered into to settle the (|Ues- 
tion of bciuudaries. "'J'hroughout the whole of the I'doridas to 
which the Spanish title extends, the Govermnent of S])ain'has 
scarcely been felt. Its authority has been confined almost exclu- 
sively to the walls of Pensac(da and St. Augustine, within. which 
only small garrisons have been maintained. Adventurers from 
every countr)", fugitives from justice, and absconding slaves have 
found an asylum there. Several tribes of Indians, sti-oug in 
the number of their warriors, remarkable for iheir ferocit\', anil 
whose settlements extend to our limits, inhabit those provinces. 
These different hordes of people, connected trrgether and disre- 
garding on the one side the authority of S].aiu, and protected 
on the other by an iuuiijinary line which s<p,ii-aies blorid.a from 
the llmled States, ha\'e vi"lated our l.iws prohit.;;mg lb- miio 
duction ot sla\e.^, have practised \ariou^ f lands on t)ur rr\enne, 
and committed every kind of outrage on oui' ])eaceable citizens, 
which their |)roximity to us enabled them to perpetrate. 
In authorizing Major (k'neral Jaclcson to enter IHorida in pur- 
suit of the Seminok-s, care was taken not to encroach on the 
rights of Spain. 1 regret to have to add that in exi-cuting this 
order, facts were disclosed respecting the conduct of the ofticers 
of Spain in authority there, in encouraging the war, furnish- 
ing munitions of war and other supplies to carry it on and in 
other acts not less marked, which evinced their jxarticipatiiju in 
the hostile of th;il combination and justifierl the (onfi- 
dencc widi which it in^pirrd the savages that by those oflicers 
they wciidd be |)rotei li d. . . . An order was in couserpience 
issued lo ih'- gciii in conmi.uid theie lo deliver the ]»o^Is — 
Pen.sacoI;i, nnconduion.dly, to aii\' pel son didy aullioi i/id to 
receive it, and Si. Maik:., whiJi is in the heart of ihe Indian 


counliy, on the nniwil oi a c\)miirtciil force to dcfeiul it aj^;ain^t 
tliose savages and their associates. In enterinj^'^ hloiida to sup- 
press this coiiihinatit)n, no idea was entertained of hostiHty icj 
Spain; and h(.)\ve\er jvisliliaMe the- eoninianihnf; ;;eneral was, in 
consecjnencc of the misconduct of the Spanisli ofiicers in enter- 
ing" S. Marks antl Pensaeohi, to terminate it hy prtjving to the 
savages aiul their associates that they should not he protected 
even there, \et the aniicahle relations existing helw(cn the United 
States and vSpaiii couhl \\u\ he aUeied hy thai act alone. ]'<y ortler- 
ing the restitution of the j^osts, those relations were preserved. 
\\y this measure so i)roniptly taken, due respect was shown to 
the Clovernment of Sjiain. . . , If the emh.'iirassnients of 
Spain prevented her from making an indenniily to c)ur citizens 
for so long a time from her treasury for tiieir lo>se> l)y spolialiem 
and otherwise, it was alwa)S in \wy power to have provided it hy 
tlie cession of this territory. Of this her Government has been 
rcpcaledly apprised. . . . There is nevertheless a limit 
beyond which this sjiiril of amil)' and forbearance can in no 
instance be justified.'" ''■ 

i 'ending the negotiations between Mr. cle Onis and Mr. Adams, 
the movement of Cleneral Jackson into the hdoridas in pursuit of 
the Seminoles occurred. 'Jdiis met with a storm of ])rolest from 
the Sjianish mini.sier who said, "Cu'ueral Jackson with the Ameri- 
can foices under his command has not only violatetl the Spanish 
territory imder the jiretext of piu'suing and chastisin;* the Semi- 
nole Indians, but he has taki'U possessidu 1)\- force of arms of the 
fc)rl and bay of St. .Maik', dri\cn the Spanish garii ■ m from tho.'.e 
l)laces, and sent them as jnisomis lii I'm-, u' It, the ... ::a! "i 
\\'es( I'lorida. Xot sati:,ried with ibis enwn)^..|;;■^ oul;.i.:e, lu 
inarched against the latter jilace, and has b)' open rupture and 
bloodshed \iolated the peace existing between ,'^pain and the 
United States. He deiuanded the surrender of Tensacola as if 
war had been cK'clared l)etween the two nations ; and on the 
refusal of the Spanish governor to surnnder or deli\er up the 
place, the American commandei", a\ailing himself of his su[)eriur 
force, attacked il and bombarded tlu' castle of I'-arrancas, whither 
the Governor had relireil with his small garrison and such of the 
inhabitants as chose to follow him. 1 laving surrc>nnded that 
fortri'ss, he gave orders for the a^saidt and carried it. The C>ov- 
ernor and all his ])eoi)le were made j)risoners of war." 'Idiis com- 
j)laint was made on July S, i8t8, and v/as follnued b\ others in 
still strcmger l.ui;;nagt,-, crmpled \\ilh the demand f< ^r the restilu- 

•AliKlican Slul<; l'.i|itis. 



tion cif llic posts taKon thus 1>\' the United Statt'S fol'Ci'S. As sfiou 
ns the (,il)j(.-i.M nl llir <.'.\]n(lilioii was accomplished, iho j)resi(leiit 
f;ave orders for the siirieudei of the places taken. This act 
conii)Ietely (hspro\ed the \ie\\s of Mr. de Onis thai the pr.isuii 
of the SeniinL^les was l)ul a pretext for the occupation and cwii- 
qucsl of the Idoiidas h)- the I'niled Slates. L'pon recei])! of ihe 
information thai orders had heen issued for the resloralion of ihe 
forts and towns to Spain and for the evaciialit)n of tlie jMovince 
by llie American troLJjjs, Mr. de Onis exiiressed the livehost satis- 
faction, and si-nified his anxiety to hasten the i)en(Hnj::; ne,L;otia- 
tions between the two countries. ])urinf; the period under \\hich 
Ibe expedition of Cieneral Jackson was conthicted, and in response 
to the comphdnt oi the Sl)ani^]l minister, Mr. Adams exi)lanKd 
to him fully the reasons lor the com se pursuetl h\' the .\mericans; 
but witii extraordinary fatuity he could not sec any justification 
for such course, nor belie\e that the L'niteii States meditated other 
than the most ho.siile intentions toward the possessions of ;>pain.* 
The ccpiitable and rii;hteous act of evacuation greatly softened the 
asj)crity and initahilily of Mr. de Onis, and made him much more 
l)liable and reasonable in tlu- pending nt'gotiations. 

While the net;oliations were proceeding' as fast as i')ossil)le in 
the United States, communication letoking to a settlement c;t the ' 
difTerences between the two countries was being held between .Mr. 
Erving and Jose I'i/.arro at Mailrid. The)' likewise reiteratcil the 
old arguments and endea\'ored to reach some 4lei"mite arrangi. uirnl. 
\\'hile thus engaged the .American minister learned that tlu- Span 
ish government was graiUing large tracts oi land in the I' 
(o promiui nl suhjicls or fa\ oiili . > if tlu v i -w n. v ! . t eup' ••.! 'p' !• i-t 
IK) lime in ac(|uainling the aulliwtiti'.s at \\'a.shi;igton wiih such 
facts, managing [n secure and send coj^ies of the grams. 

'idle Convention of August ii, i8u2, between .Spain and the 
United Slates, which was ratified by ihe latter January 9, iSo.^, 
but not b)' the former until July 9, 181S, provided for the ajtiKiinl- 
ment of a bo.ard uf commissioners to meet at Madrid to settle the 
nnitual claims of the two counlrii's. While provision was thus 
made for ihe selllemei\l of the claims (;f American citizens for 
damages resulting from the supjjression of the deposits at New 
Orleans in iSoj 3, none was made by this conxention for the 
adjustment of disputed bound. iries. 

In a CMinmuuicilion d.ited (> J4. 1818, Mr. de C)nis sub- 
milted the followmg i»roi)()>iiiuns lo the secretary of st.ite : That 
the Umliil Staler shoidd disa\o\\ the in\asi..(n of the I' b) 

• .^Ilu•l i( nil Stuti,- r.ili(-i: 


iho troops uiulor (JciKial Jackson aiul restore tin- places that had 
been captured ; thai Spain should cede the l'dorida> to the United 
States; hut that all {;rants of lantl therein to the present time 
should not he in\ahdateil ; that the houndary helween Louisiana 
and Texas sliould "be^MU on the Ciulf of Mexico between the risers 
^fcrnlcnto and Calcasieu, following- the Arroyo Hondo Jjetween 
the Adaes and Natchitoches, crossing;" the \\<:^\ ri\er at the thiil\- 
sccond dei;ree of latitude and ninety-third of longitude from Lon- 
don accortlint;^ to Meli.^h's nia|), and thence runninj^ directly 
north, crossinj^ the Arkansas, the \\ lute and the Csage rivers, till 
it strikes the Missoina, ami then follow ing the middle of that ri\cr 
to its source, so that the tenilory on the right bank of the said 
river will belong to Spain and that on the left hank to the United 
Slates. 'Idle navigation as well i>\ the Mi.s.souri as of the Mi-.sis- 
sipi)i and Mermento shall lemain frc-e to the subjects of both 

In repl)ing' to this pro])osition in a ct^mniunication ilated <')cto- 
ber 31, 181S, Mr. Adams >aid, "The right of the United States \o 
the river Mississippi and all the wateis llowing into it, and tcj all 
the territories watered by theni, remains as entire and unshaken by 
anything' now adduced 1))' you as by an_\thing which had ever 
preceded it in the discussion l)et\\een the two ( iovernments. It 
is established be\ond the powei' of further coiUro\-ersy ; nor C(ndd 
it answer any u.^eful purpose to reproduce proofs which iia\e 
alreaily more than once been shown, and wiiich remarning unim- 
paired nnist luMicefoilh be Cou-idered b\' the United St.ites a> not 
susceptible of 1 efut.itiou." \\\. de ( hii^ was I'Tl that the g*>\- 
ernnieul h.n! ah ead\ gi\en 01 . 1 : s |. .1 ' lie 1 e- 1. •; ■., . ii ' ; Ti > •- 
taken by lieneral Jacksiin, but lii.a ih'; demau 1 <. "luv 1 !;:..>; land 
grants could not be acceded to by the Unitid States, nor Coidd 
the boundary between Texas and Louisiana proposed 1)\' Mr. 
dc Onis be acce|ited. Mr. .Adams iIku ]lrol)o^ed the following' 
boundary and slated that "1 am authorized to as.-^ure ycni that it 
is to be con.sidered as the hnal olYer on the part cd the I nited 
States :"^^ 

"Uegiiming at the mouth of the river Sabine in\ the Gulf of 
Mexico; following the course of said river to the thirty-second 
degree of latitude; the eastern bank' and all the islautls in raid 
river to belong to the United .States and the western b.ank' to 
Sixain; thence i\\\^ \\o\\.\\ to the nortliernmo.-t ]i.iit of the thirty- 
third di\gree of north latitude and until it stiike> the Kio Rono or 
l\ed river; thence following the cour.^e of said ri\er to its source 

•American Slate I'aiiers. 



loncliiiii^' the cliaiii of tlu' Sncw numntaiiis in latiUuk' thirty-5.e\cn 
degrees twcnl)' fiNc niimUes iioiih, loiigiliKk' ouv luiiulrrd aiul six 
degrees fifteen miiuites west or tlureahouts :is ni;irl;ed on Mili.^h's 
map; thence to the summit of the said iiiounlains and loHowing 
tlie ehain of the same to the forly-lirst parallel of latitude; tlienee 
following the said parallel of latitude fuity-one degrees to the 
South Sea. 'J'he northern hank uf the said Red ri\'er and all the 
islands therein to helong to the I'nited States and the southern 
i)ank of the same to Spain." 

He further stipulated that holh countrit's should renounee all 
claims for injuries or damages, and that all land grants in the 
l-'loridas suhse(pKut Id icSuj should he mdl and void. 1 lowewr, 
the amount of the claims to he assumed h\ the United States was 
not to e.xceed five milli(jns of dollars, lie concluded hy sa)ing, 
"Tile Presi(k'nl is deeply penetrated with the couN'iction fur- 
ther protracted discussion of the jioints at i.'.Mie helweeii our Cio\'- 
crnments cannot terminate in a manner satisfactory to triem. 
I'^rom )-our answer to this letter he must conclude whether a final 
adjustment of all our dilfereuces is now io he accomi^lished, or 
whether all ho])C of such a desirahle result is on the part of the 
United States to he ahandoned." 

'Jdie rej)!)' of Mr. de Onis slu)wc(l that the two parties were get- 
ting closer together in their negcUiations. While claiming that 
Spain was thus making great sacrifices out of her wish to retain 
the fricnd.dii]) of the I'niled Stales, he was w'lhng to accede to 
the river Sahinr as the Nvestern Ijouudary of l,ouisiana "on con- 
diti(Mi that the same hue proposed h\' \ ou •■U.A\ r\ui cjue noiih f;.ini 
the poiiU w hei e il ero.-se.i ihe Rio Ro\o ( 1;. d li vi i' ) till ii - ii iLe^ 
tile Missouri, and extend thenee along the middle of the Litter 
to its source, lea\ing to Spain the territory l\ing to the right and 
to the Uniti'd State.-, the territory l\ing to the left of the same." 
He stated that he was unautlK)ri/eil to negotiate on the proi)c>sed 
extension of L(;uisiana to the Pacilic ocean ; that the northwestern 
boundary should remain 0|)en for futiue negotiation; that "if it 
should he propo.-ed oidy to diaw the line from the point mentioncil 
on the ]\ed iiver (Rio Roxo) somewhat ohli(|uely (con algmia 
ohlicuidad) to the westward of the right line due north, which I 
oiler as the boundary of the [\\o countries, 1 shall not hesitate to 
tak'c ui)On myself the arran;.;emenl of this point, it being alwa\.-i 
iuiderslor)d that the proposed line shall strike the Missouri;" and 
that he would be w illmg to agree thai all grants of I.uid since |an- 
uary 2.} last in the I'liaidas should he mdl and \'oid. 

To this letter .Mr. leplicil under date of Xovcniber 30, 
that, inasmuch as the former proj.ositions of the United Slates 



concerning llic western boundary were final, and inasmuch as Mr. 
(le Onis had stated that he was unauthorized tu a<^rL-c on the Rio 
Roxo iM" (lie forty-tii'.sl paiaUcl of lalilude as sucli hounciai)', "the 
President deems it useless to piu'sue any further the atlem])l at an 
adjustment of this ohjeet hy the present negotiation. I am theie- 
fore direcletl to stale to \o\\ that llie ofler of a hue for the 
western houndary, made to you in n!\ last letter, is no lon{:;;er 
ohhi^Mtory upon this (iovernment." lie therefore stated that he 
^vas ready to conliime tlie diseussioii of oilier points of difference, 
and proceeded Nvith an arj^uiuent to justify the I'nited .States in 
pursuincj the Seminolrs and rohhers into the I'loridas anil the 
necessity of the stejvs taken hy General hackson. 

No answer was given to this communieatiou until December 12, 
181S, when Mr. de Onis w rut(- a soniewhat leuL^thly arL;ument 
in support of the position he had taken, and mildly erilicized the 
course pursued by the I'uited States in exaetinf^ so much from 
Spain, lie insistetl that S]>ain was thus makin^^ very groat sac- 
rifices in oixler to pro\e her good will for the United .Stales; 
but lie did not in this letter |)iesent ulliei' ov modified proposi- 
tions, llowever, on Jaiuiai\' 11, 1819, he wrote hriilly, slating^ 
that he had "just rt'eeiwil a courii'r (.xtr.icjrdinar)- of my Clov- 
ernmenl with dispatches by whieh I am authori/ed to gix'c a 
greater extent to the proposals whieh 1 made to \ou for adjust- 
ing and terminating amieal)l\' all the subjects in di-~pule betwee'U 
the two Pcnvcrs.'' Ik' therefore asked to have ihe nlgotiations 
renewed. He wrote again januarv K), and said that he was 
authon/ed {o extend the noithwesteni lioundarv uo the /lis^^ouri 
river to its source, llunee lo the lu .idw at* 1 - ol ibi i oluii.I'M. and 
theuce down tlu' same to the Paeific. Mi-. .Ad, mis replied 
this ])ropusition was neit acceptable, and that the government 
would do nothing but repeat the proiHtsition made on the 31st 
of October last. Mr. de Onis then proposed the following line: 
"i^»eginning at llie mouth of the ii\er .Subiue on the liulf of 
iMexieo; following; tlu- eouise of said ri\er to llie thirl)-secon(l 
degree of latitude, the eastern bank auil all the isl.inds in the 
river to belong to the United States and the western bank to 
Spain; thence due north to the northernmost part of the thirly- 
third degree of north latitude and until it strikes the l\io Roxo 
or Red river; thence liy s.'u'd river to the nortbermuosl point of 
the bend between long;itude one hundred and one digrees 
and one hundred and two degrees; tlienee b\ tlie shorte-l line lo 
the southernmost point of the ben<l of the ri\-ei .Arkansas between 
the same degrees ot Iciiigiuule tjue liuiulied and one and one bun- 


TJiii ruorixc}-: and the states. 

drcd and two; llu-ncc fuil lowing;- llic course of the ri\or Arkansas 
to its souixe in latitude forl\-ono degrees north ; thence folh^win:; 
tlic same parallel of latitude forty-one dct^rees to the South Sea. 
If the source of the Arkansas river should fall south or 
north of latitude fort\'-t)ne det^rees, then the line from the said 
source shall run due north or south, as the case may he, till it meets 
the said parallel of latitude, and thence as aforesaid to the South 
Sea; the navi^alion of tiie srdd rivers shall helou}^' exclusively 
to the United States fori'ver." A few days later, or on I'Vhru- 
ary 9, lie chanj^ed this proposition so that the line should extend 
wcstwanl on the Rio Jvoxo to the one huiulred dej^ree of longitude 
and thirty^three and one-fourth degrees of latitude, where it crosses 
that river; "thence hy a hue due north hy the said one hundred 
degree of l(;iigitude from l.ondun, according to Melish's map, till 
it enters the river Arkansas ; thence along the iniddle of the Arkan- 
sas to the forty-second degree of latitude; thence a line shall he 
drawn to the westward b)' the same parallel of latitude to the 
source of the river San (demente, or Multnomah, follow- 
ing the comse of that river to the forty-third degree of latitude; 
and thence hy a line due west to the Pacific Ocean."* Both 
I'^loridas by his proposition were to be cedetl to the I'niled States; 
and both countries were to renounce all claims against each other, 
for damages, injuries, etc. 

On l'>bruar\ 13, Mr. Adams presented the following covmter 
proposition: "The boundary line between the two countries west 
of the i\lssissipi)i shall begin on the (iulf of Mexico at the mouth 
of the river Sabine in the >ea ; (-MUtiir.iing nnuh almr- ilu- uc-t- 
crn haul; of liiat ri\er to the ihii i\-see.ind (l<i;ree «'i l.itu\i'k ; 
thence by a line due noilli to the digMce of latitu<K- wheie it 
strikes the ]\io Roxo of Nalchiloches, or RcA Iviver; thence fol- 
lowing the com-i-e of the Rio Ivoxo westward to the ilegrec of 
longitude one hundreil and two west from Lontlon and twenly- 
five from Washington; then crossing the said Red River and 
running thence by a line due north to the river Arkansas; thence 
following the course of the southern bank of the Arkansas to its 
source in latitude forlyone degrees north; and thence by the 
parallel of latitude to the South Sea." If the soiu-ce of the 
Arkansas was north or south of forty-one degrees, a straight line 
due n<.>rth or south was to be nui thereto. The other iircipositions 
were the same as ]jropt'^ed b)- Mr. <le Onis. 

In the fnial di-cu--ii'n, in which, owing \o the indisposition 
of Mr. de ()i\\<, Mr. Il}c!e de Xeuville took i>art, llie Sj-anivh 

•Aineric.tii Stall- I'aiK-rs. 



cin'ows asked llial [\\c lioiincl.ny lie I'lxeil in llic niicMlL' of the 
rivers named, hul l!u- I'uiUtl Slates insisted llial the line shoidd 
be on the weslriii hani;, lhMii;.;h sliimlalini; that the na\-iyalion 
of the strrani.s shonld he c-jumi tu the \essels u\ both connlries. 
The United States agreed to the proposilii^n of Spain that the 
line should extend no farther westward than the one hundredth 
des^ree of lonj;ilude on the Red ri\er, and also ai^reed to the 
forty-second det^rec of latitude instead of the forl)'-lhird for 
the extension to the Paeihc ocean, 'ilie reason given for the 
objection of the Sjjanish minister to the extension of the line 
so far up the Ked ri\er, was that it carried the limits of the 
Ihiited States to(3 near Santa be, the eajiiial of New Mexico, 
a Spanish ])rovine(.'. The following is the full text of several of 
the articles eml)raeed in the latilud treat) :• 

"Article ]ir. 'i"he boundai)- line betwc(.-n the two countries 
west of the Mississippi shall bei^in on the Culi of Mexico at the 
month of the river Sabine, in the sea, continuing; north along the 
western banic of that river, to the thirt)'-second degree of lati- 
tude; thence, b\' a line ihie nurtii, to the degi'ee of latitude wliere 
it strikes the Kio Ivoxo of Natchitoches, or Ked Ri\'er; thence 
following the course of the J^io Roxo westward, to the degree 
of longitude one hundred west from London .and twenty-three 
from W'asbingtuii ; then, crL'.'sing the said J\ed River, and run- 
ning thence, b}' a line due north, to the river Arkansas; thence 
following the cnurse of the southern bank cif the Arkansas, to 
its sotn"ce, in latiu\de forl)-l\\ii de;;rees north; ami thence, !.)■ that 
parallel of latitude, to the SoiUh .Se,i. Th'' wlb'ie 1m in^; ,i ! ii<l 
down in Mehsh's map ol the'l'mled .Si.Ui •■, piilili ^lied ,ii i i,ii,i- 
delphia, imi)ro\eil to the lirst ol jaun.oy, iSiS. Rut if the 
source of the Arkansas river shall be found tc; fall north or south 
of latitude foitytwo ilegrees, then the line shall run from the said 
sourci- (.\\.\c south or north, as the case ma\' be, till it meets the 
said parallel of latiiucK' forty- two, and thence, along the said par- 
allel, to the .Stnilli Sea: All the islands in the Sabine and the s.iid 
Ivctl and Arkansas rivers, throughout the course thus described, to 
belong to the United States; but the use of the waters, and the 
navigation of the Sabine to the se.i, and of the said ri\'ers Roxo 
and y\rlcansas, througlu)ut the extent of the said boundar)', on 
theii" respecti\e ImuIcs, shall be common to the respective inli.ib- 
ilants of both nations. 

"'Jhe two high contiacting paities aiMee to cede auil renounce 
all their rights, t bums and iintentioiis, \n the terrUories 

Titiitics of llic I'lntcil Slalcs. 



(Icsciilxxl 1))- tlu' saiM liiu', (hat is ti) say: The Uiiikd Slati-^ 
Ik'IcI))' ccik' U» his C'athohc Majesty, ami renounce fdixwr, all 
their ri^;Iits, claims and |)rc■ten^i()ns, to the territories \y\\\<^ wr-t 
aiul south ol ihe ahove descriiicd line; anil, in li!<e maiuKr, hi- 
Catholic Majesty ceded to the I'nitcil Slates all his rights, clai.ii- 
and ])retcnsiiiu> to an\- Irrritories east and north t)f the said liiu , 
and for hinTilf, his hrirs and successors, renounces all claim lo 
the said terrilorifs forever." 

"Article 11. His Catholic Majesty cetles to the United State, 
in full properly and sovereiiMilx', all the territories which heloUL; 
to him, silualed to the eastward of the Mississipi)i, known h\ 
the name of ]Ca>t and W' 1-dorida. The adjacent island. 
dei)endi.:nt (ui ^aid ])r()\'inces, all puhlic lots and S()uares. vacant 
lands, pulilic edilices, forlihcaiions, harracks, and other huiUlin^L;.--, 
which are noi j)ri\ale jMoperl)-, archives and di^cuments which 
relate direclly lo the jiriiperlN and so\'i.rei^n(\' of said pro\mKc<, 
are included in this article. The said arclii\es and documenl.-. 
shall he left in the possession of the commissioners or officers of 
the Unilc:(l Slates duly authori/.ed to receive them," 

It was fuilher provided '"that Siianish vessels comini.^ laden 
only with inoductions e)f Spani.sli "growth or manufaclure dne(~tly 
from the porls of Spain or of lur colonies, shall he admilled for 
the term of twelve )ears to the ports of I'ensacola antl St. Auf^iis- 
tine in the kdoridas, wilhoul i)avin;^ olher^ or hij.;her duties on 
their cargoes (jr of lonna^;e than will he jiaid h\' the \es>els of llie 
Ihiited Slates." And in ailicle 1 .\ , the I'niud Stales made the 
followiuL; renunciation : "lo all claim, of iuileiimilies < <■] .i. . omit 
of the su^))en^.i()n of the rij'lii ..j' ilip>i-n al \'ew ' )r!eaii- m iSoj." 

it was provided that commissiijuers and surve\or,s .should he 
a|)i)ointed to h.\ the houndaries defuiitel)- within one )ear from 
the date of ralif\in^- the treat) ; that the ceded lerritors should 
in (\uc course of time he admilled into the l.^nion ; that f'r.uit,. 
of lantl by the kini; of Sjiain in the I'loridas after the J ph of 
Januar)', j8i.S, should he mill and \oid ; that t;ranls hy his t'alh- 
lic majesty ))revious to that dale "shall he ratii'ied ami eonfnnieil 
lo the persons in possession of the lands to the same extent that 
the same {giants would he valid if the territories had remained 
under the dnminion of His Catholic Majesl\. lUil the t)wner^ 
in i)C)SSession nf ..uch lands who hy rea.^MU of the recent circum- 
stances of the .Spanish nation and the re\'olulii ins in I'urupe ha\c 
been i>re\eii;ed Iiimu fulhllim^ all the CMuditi'iUs of their ,i;raiit^. 
shall Ci;m|jlete them within the ti.rnis limited in the same I'especl- 
ively from the dale of this treaty, in <!el'aull of which the said 
grants shall he null and void;" that ihe I'niled Slates should sat- 



isfy its own citizens U)V claims against S])ain t(.) ihc extent of five 
millions of dollars, the claims l(} he settled by a commission. 
Mr. dc Onis ohjtcted to llie slipulation limilinjj to li\'e millii)ns 
of dollars llic: aniuunl U) he paiti by the l.'nited States on acconnt 
of damages claimed by American citizens, on tlie ground lliat the 
territories ceded were woi Ih four or fue times that amoimi^ but 
in the end it was allowed lo remain, 'ihc treaty was concluded 
l'\'l)rnary 22, ratified by the senate b'ebruary 24, and by llie 
l)resident b'ebruar)' 25, l8ly. 

l]y an act approved Maicb 3, i8i(>, congress enacted "That the 
President of the United States be ancl be is hereby authorized to 
take possession of and occup)' the territories of h'.ast and \\ e.vt 
IHorida, and the appendages and apjiurtenanci'.s theieof ; and to 
remove and transjjort the oUicers ani.1 soldiers t)f the King ()f 
Spain being there lo the Havana, agreeably to the stipuKition of 
a treaty between the Lhiitetl States rmd Spain, e.xecutetl at Wash- 
ington on the 22d day of l'\'hruary in the \i-ar i8l(;. pro\-lihng ^ 
for the cession of said terrilor\ to the Ihiiled States; and he may 
for these jjurposes and in order to maintain in said territories 
the authority of the Lhnled States, employ any part of the army 
and navy of the United Stales and the militia of any Slate vv 
territory which he may deem necessary." Idie president \\'as 
authorized to e> a temporary government therein, and the 
sum of twenty tiiousand dollars was appropriated to defray the 
necessary exi)enses. I'his enactment closed with .the following 
paragraph: "'J1iat this act shall lake effect and be in force when- 
ever the aforesaid treat)' pioviding" for the ce^^i<)n of said terri- 
tories to the United States shall have h'.-en !,.M'i.-d b, \' •■ Kip.,' 
of Siiain, and th*.' ratil"n',ithai> exehaiigt d, and llu- Ixing "t Spam 
shall be read)' lo surrender said territory to the Unileil Stales 
according to the pro\isions of said treaty." ' 'J'his clause rendered 
the act inoperative until after the ratihcalion of the Spanish mon- 
arch on October 24, 1820. On the 3d of March, 1821, the clause 
above concerning- the (x-eupanc)' b)' the L'niled States and the 
removal of the .Spanish troojjs was re-enacted b)'' congress. 

The king of S|)ain did not ratify the treaty within the six 
months stipulated, nor foi- a considerable time after the exjiira- 
tion of that limit. Serious objections were found to the details 
of the several articles of the treaty. Si)ain desired an explana- 
tion of "an imputed system of hostilit)' on the part of citizens 
of the United States ag^ainst the subji~cls and deuninions of .^pain, 
and to obtain n>-w .^lii<nlations against lhe>e allegi'd injuiies as 

* Aminlh o( CoiiKii'f'H. 

358 Till: I'ROVIh'Cl- AND THE STATPS. 

Uk- coiidiliuii on wliicli the Iroaty sliould 1)0 ralificd." '.''lu-c 
cxplanati(,)iis wctl- com li-oiisly j^ivoii by tlic Llnitcd StatC'^. Sin- 
also ii)si,<k'cl as a condition of the ratification "that the Tuil^d 
States should ahandmi tlu; rij^ht to icc(\L^nizc the ri-vohiti( inai \ 
colonies in Sontli America or to form olluT relations with them," 
whicli demand was |jositivcly refused hy the I'niled States. ( )ii 
llic other hantl, the United Stales insi^-lcd that certain grants of 
land, cmhracin-- nearly all of West hdorida and ninrh of h'a-t 
]'dc)rida, should he alisolutel)' null and void. In the meauliuK', 
Sjiain held po.sscNsion (d' tl;e ]'"l()ridas. I'.arly in 1S20 Mr. de ( )ui;, 
owinj^ to ill health, wa-. lecalled, and was succeeded hy (ien. Dun 
I'Vancisco Dionisio \'i\es, who insisted on further explanations 
before the treaty would he ratilu-d h\- Si);dn. Thei-e is no douht 
that much assistance was furni.^hed hy citi/ens of the United 
Stales to the re\oltim; colonies of .Mexict) and Sonth Ainerie.i. 
This was v.cdl kuowii at New C)rlean^;, which seemed to- he tin- 
])rinci])al point from which hostile expeditions were disp'atched. 
Si)ain theiefore ri;.;htfully demanded tha.t sonic prcA-ision should 
l)c adopted h\' the United Slates to prevent such lutslile procci-d- 
in^^s ai;:;iiist a friendly i)ower. After iM'vinq- what he con'^idered 
full explanations to the demands of Spain, Mr. Adams, who had 
become tired of the delay, wrote to ( ieneral \'ives as follow s: 
"Jlut it is pro])er to apprise yon that, if lliis C)lTer he not aeci|ite<l, 
the United Slates, besides beiiyq- entitled to resume all the riidits, 
claims and i)relensions which they luul renounced bv.lhe liealw 
can no Ioniser consent to reliufiuish llieir claims of indeinniiv and 
those t)f their citi/ens fr^u) Spain fi r all the injuries whieh thev 
have sulVered and aie ;nlVeim'^ h. the dJav .if lli. ( ',iil|. he 
Maje-ty to ratilv th.e tieatw The an.. .mil of claims oi the uti- 
zen.s of ihe United Slates which existc'd at the lime when the 
treaty was sij^ned far exceeded thai whi(di the I'nitetl Slates con- 
sented lu accpt as indemnity. Their riqlit of territory was and 
yet is to the Rio del Xorte. 1 am instnicted to declare that if 
any fuither delay to the ratification hv His Catholic Majesty of 
the treat V should occur, the U'nited States could not hereafter 
accept eillier of fi\e millions of dollars for the indennn'tii-s dui- 
to their citizins by Spain, nor of the Sabine for the h^)undary 
between the United Slates an<l the Spanish territories." lint this 
threat di<l not seem to disconcert Cuiirral \'ives in the. least, fur 
be proceeded Coolly to iliscuss ihe differences. l''inall\-, a com- 
mittee (.d the house of I epresi ntati\ cs submitted a bill "to author- 
ize the I'lesidenl (/f the United States tu t.d.e possession of h'.ast 
and \\'( a Murid.i and iM.ddidi a t<ir,poi.iiy };owinment iheiein." 
Ihe cmmitlee ahu staled th.d inasmiuh .is ibc crow 11 lands in 

run II. OKI P. I AND rr.xAs boundaries. 


the two Floii(his wouKl prohal)!)' 1/c iiisufricicnt (o pa)' the imlfiii- 
iiilics tliK' tlir cili/A'iis of llio Uiiilr(l SlaU's, llie latter would bo 
inuKr the nccessit}' of looking; to the clominious of Spain to the 
wc.^lwaid to supply the (k-ncicnoy. iMiially, on the 2_|th of Oclo- 
her, i8jo, the treat)' was dul)- ratified \)\ the Spauish nionareh. 
The suiate a^^ain ralilud il I'rhruary itj, i8_'i. 

In the month of -\piil, i8jo, ])r(.\iou>. Xci the ratification, llcury 
Clay, who favored iieroic measures in le^ard to the l-loridas, and 
l)arlicularl}- in rep;ard to the treatment of Spain, introduced into 
the house the follow inc!^ resolution: " Rcsoli'cd, That the Consti- 
tution of the L'nited States vi'sls in Contjress the power to dis- 
pose of the territory l)eloni,dn_L;- to them, and that no treaty i")ur- 
l)0rting to alicnati; any jjoitioii tlierrof is \-alid without the 
concurrence of Con^rrs.s; that llu- ecpiiwdcut proposed to he i;i\\n 
by Sjiain to the Cniled States in the tri'al)- eonelnded hctwein 
them on the 22d of Fehruai), 1819, for th;it part of Louisiana 
l)irig west of the Sahiue was inadicpiate ; and that il would he 
inexpedient to mal.e a transfer thereof to any forei^^n Tower or 
renew tiie aforesaid treaty."* 

Mr. ("lay, wdio favored the occupation of West Mnrida l)y the 
United Stales said, in support of his resolution: ''In llie peace 
of 1783 Gre;it I'.ritain ^urrendl■lcd the eo\uilr)- (Wist I'doritla) 
to .Spain, who for the first time came into the actual pM.ssession 
of il. She re-aunc.xed it li_) the residue of Louisiana; extended 
the jurisdiction of ihal CiiwrmiKiil to il, and suhjeclc^l the Gov- 
ernors or comm;uid;iiits of the tlislritis of l';iUin l'ou;;e. I'\'lici;m;i, 
Mobile ;uid I'ensacol.i to the ;iulhoiit\- of the (lowrnor o\ l.oui- 
sian;i residing;; at W'W ( )rlc,iii> ; wlui<,i> the (i-viib'i • i 1 .1-; 
]-"lorid;i pl,M,\il wholl)- wilh'Mil hi iimtinl .nid w .1 - m;id,c 
rmienable ilireell) lo \\\v (iox'ernor of the Havana. 1 h;i\e been 
creililil)- informed iIkiI all the concessions or ^n-ants of l:md made 
in West Floriila umkr the authority of Spain, run in the name 
of the ([Oi'cr)i)]iciJ cf Loiiisijini. . . . West I'doricLa, then, 
not Ciul)- as b'rance has held il, but as it was in the h;mds of 
Spain, made a p;iri ol the province of Louisi;ma, as niuch so 
as the jurisdiction or district of I'.aton ]\Ou<^e constiluled a part 
of West Idorid;!. . . . l'"rance in i/fij tiansferred Louisi- 
ana west of the .Mississii)pi to .'■ip;iin, and at the same lime con- 
veyed the eastern ])ortion of il, exclusive of New ()rleans, to 
Cireat I!rit;iin. Tw\nt)' one )e;irs after, that is, in 178^^, Great 
Ihitain ceded hu part to .Spain, who thus brcame i)o.ssrssed of 
the iiiiire province -cmic portion b)- ilireet cession frenn l-rance, 

* Annals of Coiii;rcs^ 

360 '})!!: l'RO\'l!<CIi AND THE SrATP.S. \ 

and the rcsidiu- hy iiuliixcl C(.>siciii. Spain tlicii lieM the wlmlc 
of Louisiana mulcr I'lancc and in virtue of iho title of iMance. 
The whole in(jved (jr i)a.sNed fiuiu iM-ance to her. When, iheic- 
fore, in this state of thiuL^s, she says in the tuaty of St. Jlde- 
fonso that she letroccdes the provinee to iMauce, ean a di.ulit 
exist that she jjarts with ami .qives hack to h'l-anee the entire 
colony? To preclude the ])ossihihty of such a duuht, she added 
that she restored il, not in a mutilated condilicju, hut in that 
precise condition in which l^ance had, and she herself, possessed 
it. ■ • . l>y the act of the 2.^lh of ]\'hruary, i8cxi, for 
layin<; duties on fj;oods iinpt)rted into the ceded territories, the 
President is empowered i^'lwnci'cr he dci'iiis if cvf^iuUcnt , to erect 
the hay and river Mohile, lK:c., into a separate di.-liict and to eslah- 
lish theiein a jtort ui entry and delivery. ]',\ ihi.s same act the 
Orleans 'JV-rritor) i^, laid ^>ii and its houndaiie.s are so (Kenned 
as to comj)rehend West h'lorida. . . . Ne\er could a more 
j)roi)ilious uioineni jnesenl itself for the exerci-^e of the. discre- 
tionary power placed in the President of the I'jn'led States, and 
had he failed to embrace il he would have been ciiminally inat- 
tentive to the dearest interests of this country. It cannot be too 
often repeated, that if Cuba on the one hand and ]-"lorida on the 
other, arc in the possession of a foreit^Mi maritime l'<<\ver, the* 
immense country hclon^L;in.L; to ihe I'nited Stales, watered by 
streams diseharj^in- themselves into the (ailf of Mexicv— that is, 
one-third, na)-, m»>re than two thirds of lluw I'liited .States, com- 
preliendino- Louisiana, is j. laced at the mercy of that Lower. 
The possession of hdorida is a ,L;uara)ilee ab-,iliuelv necessiry 
to the enjoymenl <<i llie ua\ i;;,ili. .n ..f iieanis. 
It is concei\'ed a:^ un-eiier. .n> we shoni 1 .at this moment, 
when Spain is encompassed and jMessed ou all sides bv the 
immense power of her enemy. occui)y West 1-dMiitla. Shall we 
sit hy, jjassive spectators, and witness the inteiesliui; trausacliuns 
in that countr\- -transactions which tend to jeoparili/e in the most 
imminent (]ei;ree caw riL;hls wilhoul interference!' Are \uu pre- 
pared to see a foreiti^n l*ower sei/e what belongs to us.'' ] have 
heard in the most credible manner that ab. ml the period when the 
President took his measm-es in relation to ihat countrv, the agents 
of a forei-u I'ower were intri_L;uinL; wilh ib.e people there to induce 
them to come under his dominion. \\ liether be the fact or 
not, it canuMi be doubu-d thai if \uu neidect the present auspi- 
cious niwiiient- if \(.u ri'jtet the ]ir.-ll\ied boon, some other n.Uion 
proiitini; by )our inors. will :-i i/e the .iccasi..;i to y^d .i lai.d 
foolini^' ill your soullurn fioiilier. 1 b.ive n.. hesii.iliMii m 
sa_\iii;.,' ihal if a paunl eounli)- will not nr eaiiiidl mainlain its 

THE I-I.ORin.l .-IMP 'J'JiXAS nou.wn.iRiiis. 


authority in a cclony adjacent to us, and tlicro exists in it a 
state of niisnilc aiul (li.^ordci' mt.nacinq- (nir peace, aiul if, ni(jie- 
ovcr, such C(.)loii\' \)y \>as>>]w^ into the hands o\ any other I'ower 
would become dangerous to the iniej;ril}' of the I'nion and niani- 
fcstl\' tend to the subversion of our laws, we ha\'e a rii^ht upon 
eternal principles of si-lf pre.- erwation tc) lay hold of it. This 
princiide alone, iuikpendent of an\' tilk-, wonkl warrant our occu- 
pation of West ]'"lorida. I'lit it is not necessary to resort to it, 
our title heini^' in ni}' judj^nent incontestahly i;ood. 
lUil if (Ireat I'.rilain persist^. in a denial of justice to us, or if 
she avails herself of the occupation of West Florida to coninicncc 
war upon us, 1 trust and hojie that all hearts will unite in a hold 
and vigor(nis vindication of C'ur ri;^dits. ... I am not 
in fa\'or of chci i.-diiuL;- the pas.^ion o\ con(juest. Ihil I nnist 
be permitted to conclude by deeh'.rin^;" my hoiu- to see ere lonj.^ 
the new Ignited States (if you will r.llow me the expr(.->>ion ) , 
embraciiii.;' not onle the cjld ihiileen .SlaU-s, but the entire Country 
cast of the Mississiiijji, includini^ Mast hdorida, and some of the 
territories to the north o{ us also." 

Senator ]\)pe of Kentuck}' said: ''r>efore 1762-3 Louisiana 
extended east to the riM-i- Terdido. l''rance and Sjiain by the 
treats' of 17 U) e^.tablished thi^ boundar_\- between I'loiida now 
called l\;ist bdorida and koui^ian i. . . . Thus JMaiu-e prior 
to 1762-3 claimed the river l'evdi(k) as their eastern limit, nor 
does this fact ai)])ear to bax'e l)eei\ contested b\- the Ijrili-h min- 
ister. . . . The cession of \\\'st Louisiana with the i-land 
of New Orleans to .Spain and of l'".asl 1 (niisiana. since call< d \\'est 
klorida to ("neat I'.ril.un, waie made at the .nr.e time in l' • year 
1762-3. It i>, howe\-ei-, Well l.nowu ;iiad'. l!:e ces- 
sion to (heal r.iilain at ihe in^lance and for the benel'it of Spain, 
to enable hei" with thi' cesbion ot Florida, now calle(l k'ast klor- 
ida, to obtain a restitution of Cuba. The whole of j.ouisiana 
not conqiUMed b\' (ireat Ihilain, ma)' \s-iih propriety be said to 
have been <;iven up or ceded to Spain. I'.y the treaty of 1S03, 
wc acquired 1-Ouisiana as full)' and in the saiue manner as it had 
been ac(iuired b\' l-'rance from .'^jiain in \'iitue of the Treaty of 
St. Ildefonso, of the tir-l of Octobei', l8(K). ... 1 i\o uo{, 
iiowever, thinl; it diliicuU to account feir the conduct of Spain. 
My conjecture is that i'lancc.-, aftei' she had sold l.oui^i.ina tc") 
tlie United Sl.ili ^ and receivi-d the price- stipulated, .--ecrelly 
achi-^ed Spain Uvil to surrend( r it, bavin.; at that tin;e formed 
the proji-ct which she is now alli-mptim; to execute of .'ic<nn'rinj4 
the wli(de Spani:F emjaii'. ller interi--i \'.-;is. thevefort', id'.ntil'ied 
with that of .Spam, and she was no doubt williuj; to unite with 

362 Till: I'ROl'lNCE /J A'/) TUR STATUS. 

Spain in [;iviiiL; tlio most liniitrd construction to the cession to j 
llic United States. . . . Why shc)uKl our sympathies he j 
awakened in favor of Si»ain ? What chiini has the Spanish Gov- 
ernment upon our moderation and forhearance? W'liat has heen 
her conduct? hVom the moment we hecame an indejiendent 
nation, she has heen intri;;uin_i;- to se]>arale Ihc Western country 
from the Atlantic Slates. She has made at different periods ami j 
as late as the year 1797, in violation f)f licr treaty of 1705 with j 
this country, (.liieel jiropositions lo the Western jjcople to secede : 
from the Union; and, to accomplish her ohject, at least attempted ' 
the use of means the most corrupt. . . . If the French arms 
shall he suecesbful in Spain, of which 1 helieve few eiitei tain nuich I 
douht, and llie Junta ,>liall he driven I'lum OM Spain to any of 
the colonies, their political eharactei- niu.-^l cea^e and \\\c\ can 1 
DO lonfi^er claim the exercist: on any jmisdiclion cir soveiei^nity I 
over the colonies. The C(jlonies are not hound toj;ether h\- any ' 
political hond uncoiniected with the mother cctunlry; they arf snh- 1 
jcct to the mother country, hut the monient she is conquered they 
arc at liherly to ))njvi<le for themselves; unless, indeed, the 
I'.mperor of iM-ance or Kin^;- hiseph can claim them. iMance in 
an ollicial expose and Kin.L;' Jo>e))h hy prt>clamation have declared 
their willinj^ne-^s that the colomes should heconie indejiendent, ' 
l)rovided the)- ilo n(,il coimeet ihemsehes with Cireat Ihitain. If 
France, therefore, shall eoncpier the country, which is prohahle, 
we are fully authorized hv her puhlic declaration to the wor' 1 to 
acquire with the consent of the inliahitants not only \\'e>l hut 
I'dorida, L'uha oi- \\\w dilui province \-. ( A\:\\\ d'-.'ni it <■ jiediint 
lo comu el w ilh the 1 ';; !^ d .' : A<:.." 

The views of Mi. ( l.,s ,ind .Mi. Top. u^re oMihailed I--, Mi. 
Horsey of Delaware, who .said: "1 cannot adnul that l-'rance has 
acquired a le<.;itimate title to the crown and colonies of Spain. 
\\ as not tin- loyal fainil)' decoyed hy artifice from .Mad- 
rid to r.a\oiine? Was not the old iMonarch com]Hlled to re>i,L;n 
his crown to iVrdinaiid ilie Seventh, and was not that Trince a 
])risoner of I'.oiiaparte, and wdiile in this conditon and, for 
au<;hl we know, the hayonel at his hreast or the cup to his lips, 
constrained to resii.;n his crown lo the F.mperor of I'^-ance?'" Sir, 
what sort of lilK' i-> thi>? Upon the eternal princi]>les of justice, 
\\\)OU tliL principles of nimmoii law and i-ommon sen^i-, an iiiMiii- 
menl thii.-. (.hlamed i.s ikjI ohliL;atory on the partv cxecntins.;- il. 
Ihit ha\-e the peojile of ."^pain accpiiesci d ? .\'o, ^i,-, the in-tanl 
jiuhlieiiy uas yjww to the t r.lll^.le^lon, thev hecaiiie indl.i;naiit and 
with oiu' \i>ice Io^e re^oKad id resi.--l this usvnpation. To this 
hour they hav4j nut suhinilted. I'.ul the L^eiitleman has s.iid that 


SjKiiii is 110 lonj:;xr able lo lujKl IHorida; that foreign einissarics 
\\\\\ take it if the Ihiiteil Stales iKt not, ami that it may bo law- 
fully taken by the United Slates on tlie groinul of the law of occu- 
l)anc\' ; but to olitain a till'.' in this w a \ the cuuiilry must be 
vacant, luiinhabileil ami not claimed by another proprietor, wdiich 
is not the case willi West Florida. ... It apiiears that in 
1764 when the whole of l.oni.siana with the island and town 
of New Oileans was deli\ered lo Spain, (Ireat Ihilain was in 
the peaccibie possession of all the countr)- on the east of the Mis- 
sissippi ; that with resi>ect to Morida parlicularl) Cireat r.rilain 
was in possession, and nobody dreanieil at that lime that Fkir- 
ida, either l-last or WV-sl, was an\' part of Louisiana. IL'ul it 
been so considered, under the order.s df the lM\iirh KinL( to 
deliver the whole of the jjrovince lu Sjjain, umKuibiedly Idorida 
would have been delivered. . . . The 'J'reai\ of St. IKle- 
fonso of 1800 is a nuie treaty of retrocession. 'Jdie translation 
purports to be a treaty oi ces.sion, il is true, but aeknowledp^ed 
on all sides to be erron<,(jus. The original treaty was in the 
iM'ench Kanj^iiac;e, and it is by that we are to be L;o\'erned. 'Jdie 
expression in the original is, 'Sa Majeste Calholique promil et 
s'engage, dc son cote, a retroceder a la ]\epubli(iue iManc^aise,' &c. 
A retroceder, signifying lo rt'trocede, lo resloie, or, to u>e a term 
familiar in the Stale 1 lia\-e ihe honoi" lo ripre.-ent, r(.-eon\ey 
the colony of l.oui.--iana li> b'rance as it was when I'ranee con- 
veyed it to Spain. 'J'he honorable gentleman from- Kentucky 
(Mr. Pope), pressed by bis aignment. could only get rotnid 
by alleging- that ilie tuig/mal tre.ity bitween iM.nice auil I^jiain 
was ilated in 1701, pri(M to the .^titlmient of ilie bii'- ait.! i!;e ce-- 
si(^ns to Cireat Ibitain. Hut unfui Innately, he ewjl 1 uw( produce 
one title of authentic e\idi.nce to eslablish his po.^ilion. 
It is said that when b'rance ceded Louisiana to S])ain in 1762, the 
country exendetl on the west of the river Sabine, and that [irior 
to the treaty of jSoo delached from Louisiana the territory south 
of the waters empl)ing into the Led liver anil ereeled it into a 
new province under the name of the Province of Texas. Sir, 
the ojieralions on the Sabine are memorable. It is well known 
how niysleriousl)' they were suspendi'tl by an arrangement in 
1806, by which il was agreed thai the Spaniards ^llould not cro.-s 
the Sabine and that the .-Xnurieans should mil extend the'.r 
sellU'iuenls as as that river. And f(>r this pnr], to prevent 
cc'llisicins imtil ila dilYerence .should In- settled, in^truclions were 
given thai 111! .sur\eys sboidd bi- ni.ide \', i>l of a nui idian pas.>-ing 
by Xatchitoclu-.s. . . . When jiosses.^ion \'. .\s ongdnally 
delivered by bVance to Spain, Florida was not dili\ered or con- 

364 '^'^/^'" PROl'ISCli A.WD THE STATES. 

sidcred any iKut of the cohsion. WMicn l,(Hii>iana was ifstorod 
to I'^raiicc, ]'1(iri(Ia was not dclivcml. Wlicii llio pi\)vincc was 
clcliwrrd io the nniloil Stales, I'^lorida was not coniprclu'niKd. 
Indeed the ("iovenunent llun treated the conutry west of the 
Mississippi, iuehidini;' the town anil island of Xew (Orleans, as 
the whole oi I.onisiana, b)' recei\'ing- it and l^i)iny- the ]iurchase 
money, which hy the terms of the treaty tlicy were n(jt honnd to 
do, and whieh h\- the Act of C'ongre.^s creating:,'' the Lonisiana 
stock they wer^- not authoiizt-d to do, till aflei" full and entire 
possession had heen deli\ered." 

Man\' minor (piestions of importance with which these volumes 
arc not coneeriud were settled h)- the treat)- (;f iSkj helween 
Spain and the Ihiited States. 'I he ohject of this and the prcNious 
cha])ter has been to follow the steps lalsen hy the two i^ox enmients 
in cstahlisliini; the Idorida and the Texas boundaries. Xo person 
of this day can correctly assert that the Louisiana cvaI'.^I to the 
United Slates was boundctl on the southwa'st b\- the Rio (irande, 
or the Colorado, or the Sabine. The truth is, the boimdary was 
imdetcrmiiied. \\ hen it is dechuatl that the claims of the United 
States to the counlr)' westward to the Kio CIrande or the Colorado 
were better than those of Si)ain, that is another (piestion. It then 
becomes a (.[Ucstion oi fact to be determined b\- e\ idences. .All the 
evidences in existence were dul\ considered al the time, and the 
bouudar\' was esl.d)li-lied on the Sabine. In securinj; an exten- 
sion on the n.jrth to the I'acihc ocean, the Ciuli'd Stales was rc(\>.'(\ 
territory to which al the time of ol>tainin<; Louisiana it laid no 
claim. This bad been no \):\vl of the Lcui-^iana ceded be b'rance 
and relioceded by ."^p.-nn and liu.dl'.- acij'iiied b\- ib.- Cniud ."^tati.s 
in 1803. X'o cLd'.u bad been ni,i<le to iMiitoi\ westward of the 
Mississippi walershed. Theiefore, the couuliy west u{ the 
mountains, so far as Si)ain owin-d it, was ceded b\- that Cio\ern- 
mcnt in 1819 [0 the United States. Jlut (jreat llritain clainieil a 
jjart of it. and it therefore tool; another treaty to fuiallv settle the 

'Jdiere was no necessit)' for a lieat)' with any nation lo warrant 
the United States in claiming as the western boundary of l.ouisi- 
ima north of the forty-second deforce of lalituile, the highlands 
sei)aratin[; the Upper Missouri valley from t!ie river basins 
dcsccndini^ to the Pacific. That claim was never disputed until 
the SiKuiish coiiiniissic^ner in iSiS-n; atieuipted to locate .-uch 
boundai)- farther to the eastward as h<-reinbefoi e nai rated. 'I bi^ 
Contention by Sjiain was wholly unfoitmied. becau e no sound e\i- 
dcncc was ever produced to di^pr()ve the justice of the claim that 
Louisiana in the uoiihwest e.xleudeil to the bei[^hl of land beyond 

Tin: rix)RiDA and tuxas boundaries. 


tlic sources of tlir .Missouri. I'.ul llio treaty of i8i() with Spain, 
may for all that, he said to ha\e .settlnl definitely this line, i)ar- 
ticularly its soulliern iioinl where the forlN-seeond ])arallel inter- 
sected the prinei|>a] chain of ihe Ivocky mountains. i\nd in the 
same manner, it may he said that the northern ])oint was defmilely 
settled hy the treaty with iMis^land in 181 8, when the forty-p.inlh 
parallel from the I .ake of the Woods to the K(.)cky or Stonv niDun- 
lains ai:;'rLed on as the noilht.-iii houndar\' of the I'nileiJ States. 

366 'fill- rROVlNCE AND TUJ-. STATUS. 


Tlic Norllicin 13 oun clary 

UNDE1\ the lihcral charters t^ranlcd l)y the kiiii;s of }Cn<^daii(l 
to the carl)' navic^alors wlio disoowrcd the Atlantic c(5ast 
claims were at iirst nuulc to extensions of territory west- 
ward to the I'ticific. ocean, or the Sonth Sea as it was llicn gener- 
ally calletl. 'Idle [)ractice of niakinf^ such clainis was common 
to every colony on the Atlantic seahoard ; and the claims were 
usually extended westward alun','' ])ara!lels (if latitude correspund- 
ing" to the northern and southern limits of each colony."* 
This ^vas the cusIcmu of the Juii^lish, hut not that of the l''reneh 
nor the Spanish. Nur had tlu' jxipe previou^f)' paid any all«.u- 
tion to such par.dlels in his famous hull which di\idcd the wlu-le 
of the Wi^tern hcmi^pliere hetwecn Spain .md r..!lu;;;d. 'i'hv- 
practice i»f I'oth hiance and Spain was t.) (;ilce f"i;i.,il ))(iv-i->- i^ai 
of the lUDUlli of a riwr, and thi ii in ci MiM.i|Ui.-ncu claim the cnluc 
hasin of that stnam. As is well known, the cublom of the I'ait;- 
lish in mak'iu','' such claims encounlrred vi^^orous opjjosilion when 
attempts were made to extend their limits weslwartl of the Alle- 
ghany mountains. It was then that the practices of colonial expan- 
sion which had hccn adopted h_\- l^ance and C^reat Ihitain resulted 
in distinct and hloody conlhct and in an ai-jgravation of the 
ancient jealously and hostility, with which each of those countries 
regarded the other. 

Still, thcbc parallels continued to ho important factors in the 
licttlemenl of disputes over qucstirjiis of houndarv throu>;hi)tU 
the interior of the continent, e\en after tlic colonial peiind 
ended. I'lancc pre-enled the Jirst seii'iu^ ohstruiliMH to tin-;- 
lish pretensions h) e.stendiu}^' Canada to ihe we^twartl cuer the 

• lli.story of tin- IJuiUil SlaU's: UanciuU. 

Tim NORTllllRN BOiJKDARY. 367 

valk'}' of the Si. Lawrence ri\x-r, inchuliiit; llie Great Lakes, to llic 
Mississipj)! river. 'Jlieucc, by exj)aiKliiij:^ lier doiniiiions soutliward 
to the Gulf of Mexico, she completely checked the prof^ress of the 
Enc^lish colonics to the westward, at least as far lo the westward 
as the Mississi[)pi. Tliis result was premeditated by the l''rench, 
who cxprcssh' dcsif.;ned to obstruct the territorial growth of 
the Enf^lish American colonies.* At first it seemed that the ICng- were thus prevented from ri<j^htfull)- extendinc;- their limits 
to the westward of the Allei^hanies ; but later it becanie ai)i)arent 
that they had the belter riidil to the ujtper Ohio valley at least. 
]n consequence of the rival claims, the conflict at Fort Duquesne, 
the present site of Littsburi;, formed one of the momentous [ire- 
liminaries lo the bloody "Seven ^'ears War." 

J)uring the early slashes of the dispute: over .American tcirilor\'j 
Great lirilain did not ckiim so\'erei^i)ly of the cotmtry much if any 
to the westward of the \\'abash river. Her claims were mainly 
confmed, and rightfully so, to the tract of country embraced by the 
u(j[)er branches of the river Ohio. The blench for many )'ears 
previous, possessed setllemenis at \^incennes, C)n the Illinois river, 
at Kaskaskia, and elsewhere, which were not disputed by the J'^ng'- 
lish colonies; but ihere was nothing, in the judgment of the Lug- 
lish, whose colonial [)olicy of expansion diltered so essentially 
from that of the iMench, to ])revent their occupancy of the upper 
Ohio valley, disclaiming as they did the right of France to the 
ownership of the whole valley of the Mississii)pi (iu'cludin;; ihc 
upper Ohio) by simjily taking po.ssession of the ukjuiIi (>f that 
ii\erand in realit\' not occup\ini; wilb ; eilriiup.ts inunen^c tiacts 
of counlr\' on ils upptr somcis. .Sn> h prcli n ;• •;i ^ liv tbr 1 icuvli 
wcic therefore inipiiatically denied b)' the I'.ngli^b, and m <-onse- 
quencc contests of the bitterest character were resorted to by those 
nations to settle the (]ueslion of owiu'rship of the upper Ohio 
valley. Aside from this valley, the b'rench had cemented their 
right to the remainder of the country to the westward of the Alle- 
ghanics by the stipulations of the treaty of Utrecht, concluded 
April II, 1713 ; and at that jXMiod it must be admitted that b'rance 
had the better right to the territory extending from the Alle- 
ghanies to the Wabash river; but they slejn on their rights and 
made very little effort to form settlements in that great exjxansc 
of country. Later, the Fnglish gained foolhold> therein by fi>rm- 
iiig settlements, which the French soon attempted to dislodge or 

One of the articles of the treaty of Utncbl j^rtA-ided that the 

•Hi-itoi y of New I'laiice: Slica. 


English pos.'^ossions on IIiuImiu l);i\', captured li\' I'Vaiu'c iluiinL,^ 
the war, slioultl be ri'sturcd, (he folluwiiif:;' bciii;.!;^ the lanL,Mia^o 
used;' ""llic said Mo.^l Christian Kinq- sliall restore to the Kin;^- 
(loiii and (Jneen of (Ireal Ihilaiii, to he ]:)ossessed in fnU ri<;l!l for- 
ever, the hay and straits of Hudson, toj^ether with all lands, seas, 
scaeoasts, rivers and jilaees situate on the saitl hay and straits 
and which heloni,^ thereunto, no tracts of land beint^- excei)ted, 
wliich are at present possessed b)- the subjects of hVance." The 
French du[ilicate of the ])rovisioii was worded as follows; 
"Ouant aux liniites entre la I'.aie de Hudson el les lieux apparte- 
nans a la hrance, on est coiiwnu reciproquenienl (|u'ie sera 
noninie incressaninieiit des C'onnnissaires, (pii les deterininertjut 
dans le terme cVuw an ; . . . les nieuies C'oniniissaires auront 
Ic pouv(jir de re[;Ier pareillenienl les liniites entre les .autres col- 
onies iMancjaises et Ihitainuques dans ce pa\'s-!a." This treat) 
left iM-ance in i)osscssion of her lerritor)' on the St. Lawrence and 
the Mississip|)i rivers, and left ICn^land in possession of li(?r terri- 
tories on Hudscjn ba;,- antl alf)ni; the Atlantic coast south c;f the 
Gulf of St. ],awrence. In addition she acquired Novo Scotia and 
Ncwfoundlanel as a result of the war. In Article X oi this treaty 
the following;' lan[;uas',e was used : "Ihit it is ai^reed on both sides 
to determine within a year by C'oniiiiissaries to be forthwith named 
b)' each part}', the limits which are to be lixed between the said 
bay of Hudson and the ])laces a|)|)ertainin{^^ to the I'Vench ; which 
limits both the IWitish and I'^rench subjects .shall be whollv forbid 
to ))ass cner or thereby to ^o to each other Iin- sea or b\' land. The 
san)c ('ommi-^sai ies -hall al-o h,i\ e ord' r^ I- • diMiibe and - ■tile in 
Jibe nianni.r the b.>niidaiies belwieii lb> oibd I'.nlish and 1 leuch 
colonies in tliost' parts." The Latin duiilicate read as fijjlows : 
"Ex ntracpie antem jiarte cousensnm est de l-'nnbus, inter dictum 
Smunn de lludsou, a loca ad Callos spectantia slatuendis, \)cv 
Conimissarios, utriucpie cpiantocius nominandos, inter annum 
deccrnere ; quos (piidem Liniites Subditis tam Ihittanicis (juani 
G.'dlicis pertransire, ant aherntros sive Mari si\e 'i'erra adire, 
prohibitum (ininino cril. Lisdeni (pioquc Commissariis in Man- 
datis erit datum, nt Limiti-s parilir inter alias Hritannicas Gal- 
licasque Colonias iis in Oris describant. statuant(pie." It was the 
intention of both jiarties to the treaty, as shown by the lanquap^e 
ai)Ove, that the bi,nm<larv between the Hud<ou bav counirv rmd 
Canada should he the hij^dilands seiiaratniL;' the wali'is llowin;; 
into Hudson bay from those llowin;; into the .*~-t. L.iwience ii\(T. 
'i his line a|ipro.\iniately, at the tlate of the lrial\', was iissiiiiu\l 

•Cljnlmer.s' CoUiclioii of 1 itiilies. 


to 1)0 about tlu' forty-ninth cU'^m-co of north latitude, thouc^h vary- 
ing; nuioh from tliat [)ai"allcl on the Atlantic coast. In accordance 
with the provisions oi the treaty, ccjuiniissioners were appointed 
by each pc>wer to asceitain within the specihed time the bound- 
aries between the pos.'-essions of tiie two countiies in America. 
They met on the Atlantic coast and, havinp: ai;reed as a startini,' 
point on a cape or pi'oniMutory in latitude lifl\-eiv;hl dei^rees thirty 
miiniles north, pruceeiled thence southwest to Mista.sin, 
tlicnce still farther southwest until the parallel of forty-nine 
degrees was intersected, and Ihcncc west alon^ that line indefi- 

When the wlu.le territory jiasst'd to Great I'.rilain as a result 
of the "Seven ^'ears War," it was noi necessary lonj^er to con- 
sider such line for any ])urpose; but al'ier the Kevolution, when 
the rights of the Lhiited .Stales began U) I'igure, the t)ld boundary 
between the Hudson bay settlements and Canada was revived to 
show the intentions of the parties and to show that the Knglish 
]K)Sscssions had extended siiulhward to the fort\--nintli degree of 
latitude. If such had been the intentions, the northern boundary 
of Canada would, of course, have been the forty-ninth [jarallel, 
and its extension to the westward would have been bounded on 
the north by the same line. I'.y i.«aril\ of reasoning, other things 
being equal, it was argiie<l that the line should \n: conliuued west- 
ward to the Pacihc in an extension to that ocean of the domains of 
tlic United States and Great ihiiain. This would hare been the 
logical result of the lilnglish i)olicy of colonial expansion, had not 
other countries secmxcl a foMthuJd cmi the racirc.- coa'^l and liad 
it not been nec<'\' to tal.c 'ihrr >. ii-idtrati ::> ml" ..^<"U'iI. 
Spain, Great Ihii.tin and llu' t mud .^i.itr.-, .icip.iiid sepaiate and 
independent claims gener.dly to the I'acihc coa-^l where the forty- 
ninth parallel inler>ected the shore line and to other places above 
and below that point, with or without good grounds. It should 
be noted that in the contentions with Great Drilain the westward 
extension on parallels of latitude cut much more of a ligure than 
they did in the negotiations w ith Sjjain. the reason therefor being 
that I'Vancc had based her claims to the whole basin of the Mis- 
sissipi)i on the encompassing watershed regardless of parallels of 
latitude or meridians. 

It was reasoned that if Canada was bomided on the north by 
the feirty-ninth degree of latituile after the treaty of Ctrecht, that 
parallel must h.i\r lieen its boundary when acipiired by Great 
Jhilain in 17^.?.^ ancl was the' U'Uthirn boundary oi the I luted 
Stales fre)m the Lake of the Woods due westward to the Missis- 


run PROVINCE and the states. 

s\\)p'i wlini the latter secuied tluir independence. This was the 
argument before the peace commission in 1782-3. Later, this 
assumed hounchiry on the forty-ninth parallel, ahandoned wiiolly 
from 1762-3 to 1782-3, regarded with apparent unconctrn from 
1783 lo 1800, became the suggested parallel that should separate 
the ]5riti^ll from the American ])ossessions. However, had it not 
been for one consideration, the United States would never have 
been able to claim in 1782 3 farther north than the foity-ninth 
parallel or cwn that far. That consideration was the right under 
the Louisiana purchase to all of the territory watered by the 
Missiuni and its branches. 'I'his would have thrown the bound- 
ary near the Kock)' mountains north of the forly-m'nth parallel. 
But the treaty of 1782-3 settled the (piestion by carrying the 
northern boundary in the noi lliwest up lo the ''northwcsternmo.-,t 
point of the Lal:e of the \\'oMd->." llad it not lu'en for the sli)iu- 
lations of this tieat)-, the chance-^ are that the United States west 
of Lake Su|)ei ior would ha\e been bounded on the north by the 
forty-fifth parallel, the boundary mentioned in the grant to Crozat 
in 1712. Succeeding the ]\e\(jlution,had the L^iited States insisted 
on an exten>inn westward from the "uoi thwe^termnost ])oint of 
the Lake of the Woods," as they had an imdoubted right to do, 
a large stri|) of land now possessed l)y Canada would ba\e- fallen 
to the United Slate.s. lUit il nuist also bo borne in mind that the 
boundary mentioned in the treaty of U'trecht and the natural 
Nvatcr-way extending from Lak'C Sui>erior To the Lake of the 
Woods, \wvc the conclu.>i\c' factors b\' which the United States 
could claim so high as that lake in lb'' |i'acr d'lilK ration-- of 
1782-3, .At that time the I I'M-ide and 1 'U-i'.y; ;■ -f the \ .A.r ..f 
the WcK)ds Were unknown, bi;l ihe lake w.i.s ^ujijio-ed to l>e nUet- 
sected by the forty-ninth parallel. 

In the ])rovipional articles of peace of No\'ember 30, 1782 and 
in the defmitiNe treaty of September 3, 1783, part of Article H 
was maile to read as follows, reference being had to the line 
bountling the b'niled States on the northwest: "Thence through 
Lake Sui)erior northward of the isles Ro}al and Philippeaux to the 
Long I-ak'c ; thence through the middle of saiil Long Lake and 
the water communication between it and the Lake of the Woods 
lo the said Lak-e of the Woods; thencr through the saitl lake to 
the nK)sl northwesiern ])()int ibeiei)f, and fr(jm thence on a due 
west course to tin.' river .Mi--si.ssipi)i ; thence b)' a lint: to be drawn 
along the middle of s:iid river .M is^i'^^ijjpi until it .^hall intersect 
the norllui nmo t pait of the thirls-fir^-t degree of north latitude." 
Article \'lll of lhi> lieat)'. .a^ stated iLewhere, granted (.leat 
Ibitain the right lo navij^;ate the Missis.sippi fioni its source to 



the sea, because it was then tlujug^lu that the Mississijjpi extended 
as far to the north as the norlhcnunost point of the LaUc of the 
Woods and to the westward of sueh i)0!nt, thus giving that nation 
territory on its hanks. 'Jhis was in accordance with the opinion 
expressed then and argued afterward by the United States, that 
the laws of nature and of nations [^ave any country which |)0s- 
sessed territory on an)' part of the hanks of a ri\'er the rig^ht to 
navigate sncli river from its source to the sea. It is clear 
from the,aho\e article tliat the commissioners who negotiated the 
peace of 1783 thought that tlie Mississi])pi lay to the westward of 
the Lake of the W'ootls — that is, thai its scjurces were located at a 
degree of latitude as far north as the norlhw e.slernmost jjoint of 
that lak'c. Therefore, tlieir dear iuteiiti'iu was to extend the 
northern hoimdar)' of the I'liited Stales westwanl .alun!^ the 
parallel whieh intersceled the no! tll\^•e.^lenlm<'•,l puinl of the lake. 
Under date of Augu.^t 6, \y\).\, John Jay, miniMter of the I'nited 
States to Great Britain, presented the following proposition to 
Lord Grenvillc:* '"Whereas, the boundaries of the United 
Stales, as delineated in the sai(.l treaty of peace (1783), and 
every article in the said treaty contained, are hereby recognized, 
ratified ami fore\er confn-med ; . . . and whereas, it is 
doubtful whetlier the river Mississipjji extends so far lo the north- 
ward as to be intei'sected by tlie \\ est line from the Lalce of the 
Woods, which is mentioned in the said treaty, it is agreed that 
the actual extent of the said river to the northward shall be 
explored and ascertained by conunissioners for that purpose, to 
be appointed and aulhori/ed as lollows, \i.' : It i^ a:;reed that if, 
from the report t)t the saiil loniwiiv^ionei -, it sli.iM .ip','«-.ii i!:il the 
said ri\er (l"i.^ not extend .so far t>) the n-olbward .i^ to !■. inter- 
sected by tlie wesl line aft)rc.-aid, by rea^'U where(;f the bound- 
ary lines of he liniled States in tliat quarter would not close, then 
and forthwith thereupon such a closing line shall be established 
as shall be ailjudged and determined to be most consistent with 
the true intent an<l meaning (jf the said treaty by commis>ioners 
to be aj)pointed and authorized in the manner prescribed in other 
articles herein." To this conununication Lord (irenville returned 
the following counter jiroposition : "That whereas it is now 
understood that the river Mississippi would at no point thereof, be 
intersected by such weslwaril line as is described in the said 
treaty; and whereas il was stijinlated by the said treaty that the 
navigation of the Mississippi sh.»ul<l be free to both parties, it 
is agreed that the boniKkiry line shall run in the m.mner described 

* .\iiKiican St Alt' r;ii'Ci:>. 


Tin- PROVlNCn AND 7} in STATUS. 

by ihc treaty fi\un the Lal.c lluron lo the iioilluvard of the Isle 
I'hihiipeaiix in Lake Superior; and that from thence the said hue 
shall |)roceed to the bottom of West I'.ay in the said lake; aiul 
■from thence in a tlue \ve^l couise to the river of the Kcd Lake or 
eastern branch of the Missi>sippi and down the s;iid branch 
to ihe main river of the Mississippi ; and that as Avell 

on the saiei branch as on [ or through Lake Sui)e- 

rior ; and from thence to the water communication between the 
said lake and the Lake of the Woods lo the point where the said 
water communication shall be intersected by a line runnin^^ due 
north from the nK)Ulh of the river St. Croix, which falls into the 
Mississii)pi below the h'alls of St. Anthony, and that the boundary 
line shall i)roceed from such pt)int of intersection in a due south- 
erly course alon^ the said line to the Missi.-^sippi, and that as well 
on the said water cc^mmunication as on] every [)arl of the Missis- 
sippi where the same bounds the territory of the United States, the 
navij^alion shall be free to both j)arties, and his majesty's sub- 
jects shall always be admitted to enter freely into the bays, ports 
and creeks on the American side and to land and dwell there f()r 
the purposes of their ccjmmerce ; and for greater certainty the 
imdersi^;ned ministers have annexed lo each of the copies of this 
treaty a cojiy of the. map made use of b)- them with the bound- 
aries marked thei"eon ai^reealil)' to this article; and the bound- 
aries of the United Stales as fixed by the saitl treaty of jtcace and 
by this treaty, tot;ether with all the other articles of the said treaty 
are hereb\' recof^nized, ratified and fnrewr confirnud." The 
matter within the brackets dt ibis proposition was an alirin:tli\e 
olTer i>riseiited iov l\)c Ci )n.-idi raluui of Mr. J.iv. h -hoidd bo 
noted that these pi oi)0sition> of the Jlriti^h mini>ter ditVered \astly 
from the manifest intention of the parties to the tieaty of ijS,^. 

Mr. jay returned an answer lo the effect that if the provisions 
of the treaty of 1783 could not be carried out in toto they should 
be so far a^ i)ossible by closin<^- over the shorlesl and most reason- 
Jible jKith or line the gaj) between the northwesternmost point of 
the Lake of the Woods and the source of the main branch of the 
Mississippi; that such source bail not yet been ascertained; 
the only sources of that ri\ei" governinp^ the deliberations of the 
convention were wholly a matt