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and the intermediate space, was but partially that it had when France possessed it, and such as it traced between 1797 and 1800; and in the latter should be, after the treaties passed subsequently beyear, Mr. Ellicott returned to Philadelphia. The tween Spain and other powers."* United States had, however, in the mean time, It will probably forever remain a secret, whegained full possession of its territory to the 31st ther France really intended a recolonization of degree of north latitude, and the right of deposit, Louisiana, or merely gained the legal power over if under the recent treaty it could be called a that country with ulterior views of negotiation right, remained undisturbed until on the 2d day of with the United States. Whatever was, however, October 1802, the then intendant of Louisiana sus the motive, the peace of Amiens, signed the pended the privilege by proclamation. The com 27th of March 1802, left France free to announce merce of the inhabitants on its shores, flows as the secret article of that of St. Ildefonso; an ar naturally towards its mouth, as do the waters of ticle which totally changed the political relations of the Mississippi; therefore, the suspension of the the United States, as regarded the whole western right of deposit at New Orleans, was a declara- and south-western border of the republic. To adtion of war with the people along the numerous mit France to succeed Spain along the Mississippi, streams above that city; and to place a deposit at was an alternative to which war itself would have that time at any other place on the Mississippi, been almost unanimously preferred not only by the would have been mockery, therefore the proclama whole western inhabitants of the United States, tion of Morales was an embargo on all the vast but generally over nfost sections of the convalley of the Mississippi, as far as the United States federacy. were interested. A state of irritation preceded From the commencement of their struggle with the closing of the port of New Orleans, arising from Great Britain, it was fortunate for the United petty vexations met with by the citizens of the States that the French government and people United States, from the Spanish officers. Rage possessed no adequate means to revive their power and menace followed. Thomas Jefferson was then in America.' In 1802, with all its real, and its president of the United States, who, fortunately much greater apparent power, and with a very pre. for the people, saw the root of the mischief, and carious peace with Great Britain, it was beyond as far as on him depended the results, prepared to any exertion France could have made, to regain a apply the remedy. That remedy was, to wrest solid footing in Louisiana. Grasping in reality, Louisiana from European domination, and annex as was its administration at the epoch before us, it to the United States.
it combined too much of political talent, to so far Louisiana was an original colony of France, mistake their relative position. But there were founded by that nation at the end of the 17th cen advantages to be gained by pretending to re-occupy tury, but ceded to Spain in 1762. The cession New Orleans, and those advantages were gained. was made at a time when the Bourbon family had The promulgation of the actual retrocession of sunk in France to a depth far below its due weight Louisiana from Spain to France, though suspectin European policy, and the nation felt and re ed, produced all the effects of violent surprise in gretted the losses to which it was exposed by an the United States. The worst fears were realised. imbecile government. Amongst these losses none “ The administration," says Lyman, " watched was more bitterly remembered than Louisiana. with an anxious and vigilant eye the movements in To France, in the decline of her marine, her Ame- Europe and in its own neighbourhood. The people, rican colonies were precarious in their tenure; but at large, were probably little aware of the danger nations never reason, and the moment when a with which they were menaced; and though any chance of regaining Louisiana offered, it was seiz- great portion of secresy appears impossible in the ed on with avidity. Indeed, we have already operations of this government, yet the whole busishown in this sketch, that France was secretly at ness was managed with remarkable caution and the bottom of most of the diplomatic difficulties discretion. It is far, indeed, from being imaginary, between Spain and the United States.
that the executive looked forward at that period to Long before the port of New Orleans was closed, the contingency of a war." vague reports were propagated, both in the United The government of the United States seems, States and Europe, that the colony of Louisiana however, to have gradually unfolded its own views, was to be re-ceded to France, and as subsequently and to have shown that the actual purchase of all developed, such was the case, in October 1800, by Louisiana was not the original conception. In a the treaty of St. Ildefonso.
despatch, dated the 11th day of May 1802, from The clause of cession stands unique in treaty the secretary of state to the United States minister stipulation. It runs thus: “His Catholic Majesty in Spain, are the following remarkable passages: engages to retrocede to the French Republic six “ Should the cession (from Spain to France) acmonths after the full and entire execution of the tually fail, and Spain retain New Orleans and the conditions and stipulations above recited, relative Floridas, I repeat to you the wish of the President, · to His Royal Highness the duke of Parma, the co that every effort and address be employed to obtain lony or province of Louisiana, with the same ex the arrangement, by which the territory on the tent that it already has in the hands of Spain, and east side of the Mississippi, including New Or
* Lyman's Diplomacy, vol. i. page 368.
leans, may be ceded to the United States, and the Britain than military encroachments, was, that Mississippi made a common boundary, with the France, by means of her conimercial relations and common use of its navigation to them and Spain. the resources of her industry, assimilated to herThe inducements to be held out to Spain were in self every country over which she had planted her timated in your original instructions on this point. victorious standards. She transplanted every where I am charged by the President now to add, that her habits and her manners. The flexible and penyou may not only receive and transmit a proposi- etrating genius of the French was admirably cal. tion of guarantee of her territory beyond the Miss- culated to effect this moral colonization of Europe, issippi, as a condition of her ceding to the United and every attending circumstance seemed to favour States the territory including New Orleans on its development. Ancient barriers fell, and the this side, but in case it be necessary, may make natural limits were effaced. It was thus that the the proposition yourself, in the forms required by military roads of the Simplon, of Mount Cenis, our constitution. ""*
and Mount Genevre interlaced France to Italy, The contingency of the recession to France fail. and united by short and facile routes the basins of ing, was so far from taking place, that, towards the Rhone and the Po. Other immense works the end of 1802, it was fully ascertained that active united France to Belgium and the Lower Rhine: preparations were making in the ports of France rich conquests which restored the ancient importto take possession. The situation of the United ance of Antwerp, and destined it to become again States became extremely embarrassing. By the the centre of immense maritime action-an object ancient French province of Canada not becoming a at the same time most dangerous to Great Bripart of the confederacy, Great Britain retained her tain.”+ footing to the northward, and now her inveterate Nor were British statesmen blind to their rival was, to appearance, ready to recover her po- danger, and war was determined on, though Lord sition on the south, and again expose the vast fron- Hawkesbury, who negotiated the treaty of Amiens, tiers of the United States to their contentions; and those who advised the measure, exerted themand what was little less disastrous, to their in- selves to preserve the peace. trigues. The real danger was, nevertheless, most The government of the United States seems to astonishingly magnified. France was formidable have, in a singular manner, at that time, misunderin Europe, but still more formidable were the evi- stood the real situation of European policy, if Mr. dent obstacles to an extension of her power into Lyman has quoted correctly, and we have no doubt America. It demanded a small share of political of his accuracy in that or any other respect. knowledge to have seen the flames of war through “In April and May 1803, Mr. Madison, secrethe parchment on which was written the treaty of tary of state, sent the following confidential and imAmiens. That treaty “consented to by France, portant communications to Messrs Monroe and says an elegant and sagacious writer, " to satisfy Livingston in Paris.” the public wish, had been on the side of England a “ If the French government, instead of friendly concession to much more imperious necessity, and arrangements or views, should be found to medithe result of a political sitụation much more disad tate hostilities, or to have formed projects which vantageous than that of France. Nevertheless, the will constrain the. United States to resort to hosopposition party from whom this peace had been tilities, such communications are then to be held conquered, never ceased to make it the text for with the British government as will sound its dispomost virulent declamation, and to represent it as a sitions, and invite its concurrence in the war. treaty not less injurious to the honor than to the “ Notwithstanding the just repugnance of this interests of Great Britain. Lord Grenville, who country to a coalition of any sort with the belligerent was at that epoch at the head of the opposition in parties of Europe, the advantages to be derived the British parliament, at the opening of the ses from the co-operation of Great Britain, in a war sion of 1802, declared, that this peace had been of the United States at this period against France more fatal to England, than could have been the and her allies, are too obvious and too important most ruinous war. He attacked the French go to be renounced. And, notwithstanding the apvernment with peculiar severity, and depicted it parent disinclination of the British councils to a as pressing with all the weight of an absolute renewal of hostilities with France, it will probably tyranny on humiliated Europe; and followed this yield to the various motives which will be felt, to charge with a detailed enumeration of all the have the United States in the scale of Britain breaches of public faith; encroachments on the against France, and, particularly, for the immerights of neutrals; of all the usurpations of terri- diate purpose of defeating a , roject of the latter, tory, which he could right or wrong impute to the which has evidently created much solicitude in the French republic, and terminated with the manifest British government." wish of an inmediate rupture.”
The whole document, of which the preceding That rupture was inevitable from still deeper forms a part, is in itself a proof how very narrowly reasons given by our author; reasons which were the United States escaped an entangling alliance to conclusive as to Great Britain permitting France to obtain an object which was falling into its bands regain Louisiana in full sovereignty and possession. by the irresistible course of human events. So far
“ But what was much more inquieting to Great from any unwillingness to enter on war with France
Lyman, vol. i. pages 376, 377.
early in 1803, no concession that government could the United States being Robert R. Livingston and
We have already informed the reader, that an Gulf of Mexico, the boundaries of Louisiana, as annunciation of her acquisition of Louisiana by ceded by France to the United States, were vague cession from Spain, was promulgated by France and undetermined. As held by France, previous to immediately after the ratification of the treaty of the first cession to Spain, the river Perdido formed Amiens; and we may very safely say, that without the boundary between Louisiana and Florida. any understanding with the United States, prepara. Spain, becoming mistress of both provinces, extendtions on the part of France to form an establish- ed the name of Florida to the Mississippi, and ment at New Orleans contributed its full share to under that term ceded the country to Great Britain. the declaration of war on the part of Great Britain. The latter government divided Florida into two
Here again we may pause upon the reflection, provinces, East Florida, and West Florida; the how much and how salutary has been the rivalry latter extending from the river Perdido to the Misof France and Great Britain to the United States. sissippi, and separated from Louisiana by the IberSanguinary as was that rivalry, some compensa- ville and Amite rivers, and lakes Maurepas and tions to its evils have been produced, and of those Pontchartrain. Thus stood those respective proin its remote consequences, if the interests of the vinces, when war between Spain and Great Britain whole civilized world are taken into the estimate, burst forth during the American revolutionary was the union or incorporation of the vast regions contest. Spain, in possession of New Orleans, and of central North America with the original United other parts of Louisiana, availing herself of a States.
favourable position, invaded and conquered West The union of Louisiana with the United States Florida, which with East Florida was formally was foreseen by Count Vergennes, but the imme ceded to her by the government of Great Britain diate causes were very different from those antici. in 1783. pated by that French statesman. The conquest of The name of West Florida had become establish. that country from Spain was held in prospect, and ed, and that of Louisiana antiquated between the it is probable that a feeling that such an attempt Mississippi and the Perdido rivers, and remained would be made on the part of the United States, so in common language during the existence of ass sted to influence Spain to retrocede the whole Spanish domination. There was evidently from immense territory to France. It was so retroced these historical facts, either an intentional or accied, and so much was the transfer dreaded in the dental contradiction in the article of cession from United States, that we have shown that the pacific Spain to France, which to save reference we recite: councils of Jefferson and Madison, considered war “The colony or province of Louisiana, with the same with France and alliance with @reat Britain as pre extent, that it already has in the hands of Spain, and ferable alternatives; and yet, the United States that it had when France possessed it." stand indebted to the retrocession to France for the The United States, receiving Louisiana from peaceable and comparatively cheap acquisition of France, as the latter did from Spain, claimed the Louisiana.
Perdido as its eastern boundary; but Spain resisted Involved once more in war with great Britain, that construction, and continued to hold all that and awaiting the shock of a coalition, France at was included under the relative terms East and once abandoned her scheme, if such a scheme was West Florida; and of course still exercised domin. ever seriously formed, and made an overture to sell ion on the left.bank of the Mississippi, from N. the country to the United States for a valuable con. Lat. 31° near the mouth of Red river, down that sideration in money. We have already premised, stream to the outlet of Iberville river. It must be that the views of the United States government also conceded from the foregoing, that Spain had expanded as circumstances developed themselves, plausibility if not justice on her side. Mr Lyman and from an inchoate design of obtaining New Or enters into a long explanation of this intricate quesleans and the Floridas, all Louisiana was finally tion, but we may safely pronounce that when France purchased. It is not within the scope of this sketch obtained the recession, both parties understood by to go over the negotiations which led to the great Louisiana "as France possessed it," to mean that result; but we proceed to their happy termination. the eastern boundary was to be the Perdido, and
The convention by which Louisiana was secured no man who understands the history of Louisiana to the United States, was signed at Paris, on the can doubt for a moment that if France had actually 30th of April 1803; the negotiators on the part of regained that province, her government would have
extended its authority to the bounds of what the ing that of the United States with proceedings colony comprised previous to 1763.
• which nothing can authorise towards a power, The writer of this article resided in Louisiana at which has long occupied, and still occupies, one of the time of the controversy, and heard an opinion the first ranks in Europe.” This was the diplogenerally expressed which he still believes correct, matic language of M. Talleyrand in December that had the government of the United States pro 1804, when France was treating the whole Spanish ceeded to take possession in 1803, of all ancient monarchy with far less ceremony than she would Louisiana, the subsequent idle dispute would have have dared to do one of her own departments. The been avoided, and without incurring even the real fact was, that from the beginning of this cen. danger of war. As had been the case in every tury, and in particular from 1808, the power of former instance of controversy between the United Spain had ceased as to all
beneficent purposes, and States and Spain, France leaned with all her weight existed on the continent of America for ihose only in favour of the latter. The inhabitants of West injurious to mankind. West Florida, and after. Florida were divided into two unequal parties. A
wards East Florida, afforded instances, which, infew who held offices, and some persons from parti- termingling with the history of the United States, cular reasons, sided with Spain, and its governor
we feel interested to trace to the abatement of the Folch; but the much greater number regarding evil. We cannot however follow, step by step, themselves rightfully citizens of the United States, negotiations, which on one side were conducted and well knowing that peace and tranquillity, as with evident design of delay. The shores and well as individual security, depended on their being havens of Florida became the resort of every spereceived into the union, regretted that such had not cies of armament which, without national responsibeen their lot, with other parts of ancient Louisia- bility, could vex and plunder those employed in the na. A state of irritation was the consequence, legal pursuits of commerce. In the war between attended with violence and some bloodshed. The the United States and Great Britain, the whole United States government paid more respect to the province became a hostile flank to the former, and claims of Spain than was reciprocated; but the it is amongst the most singular instances of a depeople of West Florida, at length driven to despe- parture from the ratio ultima regum, of which ration, openly revolted in 1810, seized the Spanish history affords us an example, that it was not Fort at Baton Rouge, and compelled the United permanently occupied by the military and naval States to do what ought to have been done in 1803. force of the United States. More rational and Orders were sent to Wm. C. C. Claiborne, governor more positively efficacious measures were adopted, of Louisiana, to occupy West Florida; orders which and after tedious preliminary discussions and corwere promptly executed, and the former eastern respondence, a treaty of amity, settlement, and boundary restored.
limits, was signed at Washington on the 22d It seems, however, that the boundaries between February 1819. The negotiators were, on the the Anglo-American territories, and those of His- part of the United States, John Quincy Adams, and pano-America, were to remain an inexhaustible on that of Spain Don Louis de Onis. Of this source of vexatious litigation, in the form of diplo-. treaty, the parts relevant to our purpose are: matic controversy. France sold Louisiana, as "ART. 2. His catholic majesty cedes to the France held that province under original discovery United States, in full property and sovereignty, all and original colonization. From the time that the the territories which belong to him, situated to the first French colony landed on the northern coast of eastward of the Mississippi, known by the name of the Gulf of Mexico, to the treaty of 1763, the west- East and West Florida, &c." ern boundary of the French province was matter “ Art. 3. The boundary line between the two of perpetual dispute between the two governments countries, west of the Mississippi, shall begin on and their respective agents. France claimed to St. the Gulf of Mexico, at the mouth of the Sabine, in Bernard's Bay, where La Salle landed in 1685; the sea, continuing north along the western bank Spain claimed to within nine miles of Natchitoches of that river, to the 32d degree of north latitude; on Red River, at a small creek called by the Span- thence by a line due north, to the degree of latitude
The disputed territory included where it strikes the Rio Roxo of Natchitoches, or a great part of the large country of Texas. The Red River; .then, following the course of the Rio entire cession of Louisiana to Spain, silenced the Roxo westward, to the degree of longitude 100, contest during the 40 years from 1763 to 1803. west from London, and 23 from Washington; then The United States, representing France, very natu• crossing the said Red River, and running thence, rally revived the claim to the westward, and the by a line due north, to the river Arkansas; thence, field of negotiation on that subject was again following the course of the southern bank of the thrown open; but the importance of the western Arkansas, to its source, in latitude 42° North; and boundary was soon lost sight of, in a discovery that thence, by that parallel of latitude, to the South whilst Spain nominally held East Florida, distrac- Sea; the whole being, as laid down on Melish's tion reigned on the southern border of the United Map of the United States, published at PhiladelStates. In all diplomatic discussions, the highest phia, and improved to the first of January 1818. object at issue is the happiness of the people who But, if the source of the Arkansas river shall be are to be affected by interstipulations. If the lives found to fall north or south of latitude 42°, then the even of millions had not been at jeopardy, we might line shall run from the said source due south or well smile to hear the government of France charge north, as the case may be, till it meets the said par
allel of latitude 42°, and thence, along said parallel the day must come, and is not very distant, when a to the South Sea. All the islands in the Sabine, most complex, and-unless more prompt than the and the said Red and Arkansas rivers, throughout mother country, a most tedious negotiation will the course thus described, to belong to the United arise with Mexico. If we except a small share of States; but the use of the waters, and the navigation
this extended national border on the Sabine, every of the Sabine to the sea, and of the said rivers Roxo other part is liable to conflicting construction from and Arkansas, throughout the extent of the said the terms of the treaty: boundary, on their respective banks, shall be com We now proceed to notice the boundary of the mon to the respective inhabitants of both nations.” United States on the side of the British provinces
“ The two high contracting parties agree to cede of New Brunswick and Lower Carada, by quotand renounce all their rights, claims and preten- ing the whole second article of the treaty of
peace sions, to the territories described by the said line, of 1783, between Great Britain and the United that is to say: the United States hereby cede to his States, which affords a striking example of how Catholic Majesty, and renounce forever, all their inadequate are the terms of human language to rights, claims, and pretensions, to the territories defend against human ingenuity. lying west and south of the above described line; " Art 2.-And that all disputes which might and, in like manner, his Catholic Majesty cedes to arise in future, on the subject of the BoundARIES the said 'United States, all his rights, claims, and
of the said United States, may be prevented, it is pretensions, to any territories east and north of hereby agreed and declared, that the following are the said line; and for himself, his heirs and suc and shall be their boundaries:—from the north, cessors, renounces all claim to the said territories west angle of Nova Scotia, viz. that angle which forever."
is formed by a line drawn due north from the Art. 4. Provides for the survey of the boundary, source of St. Croix river to the highlands; along as designated in the preceding, by a commissioner the said highlands which divide those rivers that and surveyor, who were to have been appointed by empty themselves into the rivet St. Lawrence from each nation, and who were “ to meet before the ter- those which fall into the Atlantic Ocean, to the mination of one year, from the date of the ratifica. north-westernmost head of Connecticut river. tion of this treaty, at Natchitoches, on the Red Thence down along the middle of that river, to the river, and proceed to run and mark the said line, forty-fifth degree of north latitude; from thence by
But, the delays in the ratification of the a line due west on said latitude until it strikes the treaty on the part of Spain, and other causes, have river Iroquois or Cataraquy;t thence along the operated to prevent any steps being taken to estab. middle of said river, into Lake Ontario, through lish any part of the immense boundary which ob the middle of said lake until it strikes the commuliquely crosses the continent of North America, nication by water between that lake and Lake Erie; and, without estimating the minute curves of rivers, thence along the middle of said communication amounts to at least 2300 statute miles.
into Lake Erie, through the middle of said lake When we read the treaty of Washington, we are until it arrives at the water communication beled to infer from its phraseology, that the original tween that lake and Lake Huron; thence along the draught had been made in English, and that uncom
middle of said water communication into the Lake mon care had been used to render the stipulations. Huron; thence through the middle of said lake to clear and perspicuous; but it appeared that no lan- the water commupication between that lake and guage could protect the United States from tedious Lake Superior; thence through_Lake Superior, delay on the part of Spain, even in cases where no northward of the isles Royal and Philipeaux, to the assignable pretext or benefit gave excuse. Pretexts Long Lake; thence through the middle of the said were made, however, and though in this instance Long Lake, and the water communication between Spain received no countenance from the other it and the Lake of the Woods, to the said Lake of powers of Europe, but rather on the contrary was the Woods; thence through the said lake to the advised to close amicably a negotiation in which most north-western point thereof—and from thence the entire civilized world was directly or indirectly on a due west course to the river Mississippi; concerned, yet it was not until the 24th of October thence by a line to be drawn along the middle of 1820, that the treaty was ratified by the king of the said river Mississippi, until it shall intersect the Spain; and on the 22d February 1821 the ratifica. northernmost part of the thirty-first degree of tions were exchanged at Washington.
north latitude. South, by a line to be drawn due If we regard it in all its bearings, the treaty of east írom the determination of the line last menWashington with Spain, was one of the most im- tioned, in the latitude of thirty-one degrees north portant transactions in which the United States of the equator, to the middle of the river Apalachi. were ever engaged. It closed, at least for the pre- cola or Catahouche; thence along the middle thereof sent age, a most intricate series of negotiations of to its junction with the Flint river; thence straight nearly 40 years duration, and extended the land bor: to the head of St. Mary's river; and thence down der of the United States to the Gulf of Mexico. But along the middle of St. Mary's river to the Atlantic
Lyman, vol. ii. page 136~-137. t Now St. Lawrence. From old maps and geographical sketches, it appears that the river now called Ottaway was in the early period of French colonization called St. Lawrence, whilst above the island of Montreal to Lake Ontario, the intermediate river was known under the naine of Iroquois or Cataaquy.