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this affair in our council, of our certain knowledge, full power and royal authority, we, by these presents, signed by our hand, have appointed and do appoint the said sieur Crozat, solely to carry on a trade in all the lands, possessed by us, and bounded by New Mexico, and by the lands of the English Carolina, all the establishmeuts, ports, havens, rivers, and principally the port and haven of the Isle Dauphine, beretofore called Massacre; the river of St. Lewis, heretofore called Mississippi, from the edge of the sea, as far as the Illinois, together with the river of St. P ip, heretofore called the Missourys, and of St. Jerome, heretofore called Ouabache, with all the countries, territories, lakes within land, and the rivers which fall directly or indirectly into that part of the river St. Lewis.

The articles. 1. Our pleasure is, that all the aforesaid lands, countries, streams, rivers, and islands, be and remain comprised under the name of the government of Louisiana, which shali be dependent upon the general government of New France, to wbich it is subordinate ; and further, that all the lands which we possess from the Illinois, be united, so far as occasion requires, to the general government of New France, and become part thereof, reserving, however, to ourselves the liberty of enlarging, as we shall think fit, the ex. tent of the government of the said country of Louisiana.

3. We permit him to search for, open, and dig all sorts of mines, veins, and minerals, throughout the whole extent of the said country of Louisiana, and to transport the profits thereof into any port of France, during the said fifteen years; and we grant in perpetuity to him, bis heirs, and others, claiming under him or them, the property of, in and to the mines, veins, and minerals, which he shall bring to bear, paying us, in lieu of all claim, the fifth part of the gold and silver which the said sieur Crozat shall cause to be transported to France, at his own charges, into what port he pleases, (of which fifth we will run the risk of the sea and of war,) and the tenth part of what effects he shall draw from the other mines, veins, and minerals ; which tenth he shall transfer and convey to our magazines in the said country of Louisiana.

We likewise permit him to search for precious stones and pearls, paying us the fifth part in the same manner as is mentioned for the gold and silver.

We will, that the said sieur Crozat, his heirs, or those claiming under him or them the perpetual right, shall forfeit the propriety of the said mines, veins, and minerals, if they discontinue the work during three years, and that in such case the said mines, veins, and minerals, shall be fully reunited to our domain, by virtue of this present article, without the formality of any process of law, but only an ordinance of reunion from the subdelegate of the intendant of New France, who shall be in the said country; nor do we mean that the said penalty of forfeiture, in default of working for three years, be reputed a comminatory penalty.

7. Our edicts, ordinances, and customs, and the usages of the mayoralty and shrievalty of Paris, shall be observed for laws and customs in the said country of Louisiana.

Given at Fontainebleau, the 14th day of September, in the year of grace 1712, and of our reign the 70th.

LOUIS. By the King:

PHELIPEAUX, &c. Registered at Paris, in the Parliament, the four and twentieth of September, 1712.

Crozat surrendered this grant to the Crown, and abandoned his colony in 1717.

September 6, 1717, it was granted by Louis XIV. to “The Company of the West,” afterward the Company of the Indies (the Mississippi Commercial Company, on which was based John Law's Mississippi scheme). This failed, and the charter was surrendered in 1730.


November 3, 1762, France ceded to Spain that portion of the province of Louisiana lying east of the Mississippi River and the city of New Orleans.

Extract from the order of the King of France to Mons. L'Abbadie, Director General and Command.

ant for His Majesty in Louisiana, to deliver the province of Louisiana to the King of Spain.) Mons. L'ABBADIE: By a special act, done at Fontainebleau, November 30, 1762, of my own will and mere motion, having ceded to my very dear and best beloved cousin, the King of Spain, and to his successors, in full property, purely and simply, and without any exceptions, the whole country known by the name of Louisiana, together with New Orleans, and the island in which the said city is situated ; and by another act, done at the Escurial, November 13, in the same year, his catholic majesty having accepted the cession of the said country of Louisiana, and the city and island of New Orleans, agreeable to the copies of the said acts, which you will find hereunto annexed; I write you this letter, to inform you that my intention is, that on receipt of these presents, whether they come to your hands by the officers of his catholic majesty, or directly by such French vessels as may be charged with the same, you are to deliver up to the governor, or officer appointed for that purpose by the King of Spain, the said country and colony of Louisiana, and the posts thereon depending, likewise the city and island of New Orleans, in such state and condition as they shall be found to be on the day of the said cession, willing that in all time to come they shall be long to his catholic majesty, to be governed and administered by his governors and officers, and as possessed by him in full property, without any exceptions.

At the same time, I hope, for the prosperity and peace of the inhabitants of the colony of Louisiana, and promise myself, from the friendship and affection of his catholic majesty, that he will be pleased to give orders to his governor, and all other officers employed in his service in the said colony, and in the city of New Orleans, that the ecclesiastics and religious houses which have the care of the parishes, and of the missions, may continue to exercise their functions, and enjoy the rights, privileges, and immunities, granted by their several charters of establishment; that the ordinary judges do continue, together with the superior council, to administer jnstice according to the laws, forms, and usages of the colonies; that the inhabitants be preserved and maintained in their possessions; that they may be confirmed in the possession of their estates, according to the grants which have been made by the governors and directors of the colony, and that all the grants be holder and taken as confirmed by his catholic majesty, even though not as yet confirmed by me.

Hoping, above all, that his catholic majesty will be pleased to bestow on his new colony of Louisiana, the same marks of protection and good will which they enjoyed while under my dominion, and of which the misfortunes of war alone have prevented their experiencing greater effects, I command you to cause my present letter to be recorded in the superior council of New Orleans, to the end that the several estates of the colony may be informed of its contents, and may have recourse thereto when necessary. And the present being for no other purposes, I pray God, Mons. l'Abbadie, to have you in his holy keeping.

LOUIS. Given at Versailles, April 21, 1764.

Spain held under this treaty thirty-eight years. February 10, 1763, in a definitive treaty of peace at Paris, between the King of Great Britain, the King of Spain, and the King of France, the boundaries between their colonial and other possessions in America were fixed, a line down the middle of the Mississippi River and through the Iberville Lakes to the sea becoming the international boundary (to the west of the American colonies), and the line between the possessions of France and Great Britain; Mobile and all the French possessions east of the Mississippi River, except the town of New Orleans and the island on which it stands, were awarded to Great Britain. By this same treaty Spain ceded to England all her possessions east of the Mississippi River, and Great Britain proceeded at once to organize this acquisition. By the proclamation of George III., of October 7, 1763, the province of West Florida was constituted as extending from the Mississippi River on the west to the Appalachicola on the east. During the Revolutionary War, in 1778, the British troops in East Florida marched into Georgia capturing Savannah. The Spanish authorities of Louisiana, taking advantage of this disposition of the British forces, organized an expedition to Florida, and had so far succeeded in conquering both East and West Florida, that, opon the general pacification at the close of the Revolutionary War, both provinces were retroceded to Spain.

LOUISIANA TRANSFERRED BACK TO FRANCE BY SPAIN. Spain by the treaty of San Ildefonso, October 1, 1000, transferred the province of Louisiana back to France. This was confirmed by the treaty of Madrid, March 21, 1801.

The territory of Louisiana west of the Mississippi River and the city of New Orleans and island thereof had been already ceded by the King of France to the King of Spain, as shown by the letter of delivery to Mons. l'Abbadie (at the time of the treaty at Paris between the three Powers of Great Britain, France, and Spain, February 10, When the United States obtained title by purchase in 1803 from France, she insisted upon the ancient boundaries which France claimed for the province being maintained.

By treaty with Spain, October 27, 1795, the United States obtained acknowledgment of the southern boundary line of the nation at 31° north latitude from the Mississippi river going east, as defined by the British treaty of peace of 1783.

The fourth article of this treaty was :

It is likewise agreed that the western boundary of the United States, which separates them from the Spanish colony of Louisiana, is in the middle of the channel or bed of the river Mississippi, from the northern boundary of the said States to the completion of the thirty-first degree of latitude north of the equator. And his catholic majesty has likewise agreed that the navigation of the said river, in its whole breadth from its source to the ocean, shall be free only to his subjects and the citizens of the United States, unless he should extend this privilege to the subjects of other powers by special convention.

Propositions had been made in and prior to the Congress of the Confederation looking toward a cession of the right of navigation of the Mississippi River to a foreign nation for a pecuniary consideration to aid the war of the Revolution. It was contemplated to offer it to Spain. The American minister at the court of Madrid suggested to the Congress the cession of the navigation of the Mississippi River to Spain with a view to procuring recognition from that country. A resolution was passed to that effect, and an act of Congress followed giving the minister full authority to treat for its cession upon the above conditions. This was bitterly opposed. Mr. Jay, Secretary of State, was called before the Congress and gave his views favoring a treaty of commerce with Spain according to her the right to the navigation of the Mississippi for twenty-five years.

The twenty-second article of this same Spanish treaty of October 27, 1795, was as follows:

ART. 22. The two high contracting parties, hopping that the good correspondence and friendship which happily reigns between them will be further increased by this treaty, and that it will contribute to augment their prosperity and opulence, will in future give to their mutual commerce all the extension and favor which the advantage of both conntries may require.

And in consequence of the stipulations contained in the IV article, his catholic majesty will permit the citizens of the United States, for the space of three years from this time, to deposit their merchandize and effects in the port of New Orleans, and to export them from thence without paying any other duty than a fair price for the hire of the stores; and his majesty promises either to continue this permission, if he finds during that time that it is not prejudicial to the interests of Spain, or if he should not agree to continue it there, he will assign to them on another part of the banks of the Mississippi an equivalent establishment.

There was almost constant trouble between the United States and the Spanish authorities during the period from 1795 to 1800. Spain in 1800 was in possession, or claimed ownership, of all the territory south of the United States, now in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and the entire Louisiana purchase, also the territory embraced in the Texas annexation of 1845, and the Mexican cession by the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.

Threats were made and fears incited of closing the Mississippi River and preventing the transportation of the produce of the United States to the sea.

October 1, 1800, after the alliance, Spain, by the secret treaty of San Ildefonso, ceded the province of Louisiana back to rance with no restrictions as to limits, but with her ancient boundaries as they were when France in 1762 ceded the province to Spain. The consideration from France to Spain was the granting in succession to the Duke of Parma (a Spanish prince, son-in-law of the King) of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, The clause of cession was as follows: “His catholic majesty promises and engages on his part to retrocede to the French Republic, six months after the full and entire execution of the conditions and stipulations herein, relative to his royal highness the Duke of Parma, the colony or province of Louisiana, with the same extent it now has in the hands of Spain, and that it had when France possessed it, and such as it should be after the creaty subsequently entered into between Spain and other States."

This treaty was kept secret for a long time. President Jefferson at once, upon the treaty being known, began to consider the necessity of obtaining at least a free right of way and use of the Mississippi, or a purchase of a place of deposit in a portion of the province of Louisiana. At this date but little was known of the area, resources, physical character or condition of the territory west of the Mississippi, beyond a few miles outside and in the rear of the settlements, on the right bank of the river, the remainder being occupied by roving bands of savage Indians. This ignorance of the Great West was slightly broken by the explorations from Missouri and elsewhere in the Red River country, New Mexico, and along the Pacific Coast, where there were a few missions and some few straggling settlements and trading posts of Spanish, English, Russians, or Americans. The provincial authorities in Louisiana soon gave notice that, in consequence of the changed conditions of the relations of Spain with Great Britain, the privileges previously accorded to the United States had ceased, and that without a new order from the King of Spain the stipulations as to deposit and navigation no longer existed.


The acquisition of Louisiana by Napoleon Bonaparte was viewed with great alarm in the United States.

The proximity of a neighbor with such eminent desires for and novel methods of acquirement of territory was a serious question, in consideration of the fact that tho United States was not on the best terms with France, and had not been for several years prior, beginning with the refusal of the French Directory, December 9, 1796, to receive Mr. Pinckney as United States minister, followed by the act to protect tho commerce of the United States of date May 28, 1798, and the subsequent acts of like character of date July 9, 1798, February 9, 1799, and July 27, 1800, to suspend commercial intercourse with France.

France acquired Louisiana October 1, 1800. It was not delivered to France by the Spanish authorities until November 30, 1803.

The United States, by a convention with France, at Paris, September 30, 1800, between Oliver Ellsworth, W. R. Davie, and W. V. Murry, on behalf of the United States, and Joseph Bonaparte, Charles Pierre Claret Fleurien, and Pierre Louis Roederer, on behalf of France, settled all differences between the two Republics, and the convention was to remain in force eight years.

The second and fifth articles of this convention were afterward the subject of much controversy, for they related to rights claimed by the United States in virtue of the treaty of Madrid with Spain (above cited) October 27, 1795.

Mr. Jefferson, soon after his inauguration, March 4, 1801, began diligently to ascertain the character of the country in the province of Louisiana. In a letter to Mr. Liv. ingston, at Paris, April 18, 1802, Mr. Jefferson regretted the cession of Louisiana to France, and said: “There is on the globe one single spot the possessor of which is our natural and habitual enemy. It is New Orleans-through which the produce of threeeighths of our territory must pass to market; and from its fertility it will ere long yield more than half of our whole produce and contain more than half of our inhabitants." Railroads were not then contemplated. He deprecated the transfer to France, whom he considered a vastly more dangerous neighbor than Spain. He says: “The day that France takes possession of New Orleans fixes the sentence which is to retain her forever below low-water mark.”

Robert Livingston, United States minister to France, and Thomas Pinckney, United States minister to Spain, were instructed by President Jefferson to inform the French and Spanish Governments of the claims of the United States against Spain for violation of the treaty of Madrid in 1795, in relation to the navigation of the Mississippi River.

January 10, 1803, James Monroe, of Virginia, was accredited to France as minister plenipotentiary and envoy extraordinary on behalf of the United States, and in con

nection with gentlemen above-named was to negotiate a convention or treaty to socure the right of way to the Mississippi for the citizens of the United States. The nominations were confirmed by the Senate, and an appropriation of $2,000,000 was made for the purposes of the mission.

Mr. Jefferson in the entire correspondence relating to this purchase was impressed with the desirability of getting rid of all foreign neighbors of a warlike and territorytrading propensity. He considered that the future of the country rested upon the acquisition of a continental republic from ocean to ocean and from the Lakes to the Gulf. He objected to contiguous neighbors who would, with the signature of a sovereign, make French from Spanish citizens or vice versa, or perhaps begin a war with the United States, claim a nominal victory, cede “conquered” territory, and then join with the nation to whom the cession was made for a war to complete title.

His policy was to select our neighbors, and they to be of the best and most peaceful character. He did not wish to see Louisiana a Gallo-American province.

It was claimed for many years after the recognition of the United States by Great Britain in 1783, and up to 1800, that the Spanish authorities and English were conniving at and aiding to cause a separation of the West and South from the East. During 1796–97, and the troubles with France, war was anxiously desired by the Spanish authorities in America. [See case of Blount, Senator from Tennessee, as to British interferences in 1797.]


After the definitive treaty of peace with Great Britain, September 3, 1783, up to the year 1800, the question of the permanence of the United States and the retention of her vast area seemed to be of serious interest to Europe. She was menaced with war by France, harassed by Great Britain, and had navigation and boundary troubles with Spain. There were many reasons why the United States should acquire Louisiana, and the control of the Mississippi River thereby, and as many on the side of France that she should sell it. The ministers of the United States at Paris, Madrid, and London had been charged, after the alliance between France and Spain, to prevent, if possible, the cession to France by Spain of Louisiana and Florida. The cession of Louisiana was made, as above noted, October 1, 1800, France was urged after this treaty to consent to the sale of the city of New Orleans and the island of that name in the Province of Louisiana to the United States. Mr. Livingston, our minister to France, failed to convince Bonaparte, First Consul, of the necessity of his selling the province, and wrote to President Jefferson in November, 1802, that a special expedition was being fitted out to sail to and occupy the province.

October 16, 1802, Don Morales, Spanish intendant of Louisiana, issued a proclamation probibiting the further use by the United States of the city of New Orleans as a place of deposit for merchandise, as guaranteed by the treaty of 1795, and failed to designate another point or place on the river for such purpose. Great excitement ensued throughout the United States. The legislature of Kentucky remonstrated, and public meetings were held for the same purpose. Congress also remonstrated, and the right was afterward restored.

President Jefferson, December 15, 1802, notified Congress of the cession of Louisiana to France, and of the action of the Spanish authorities at New Orleans. Excitement ensued in Congress, but finally President Jefferson obtained the consent of the Senate to the confirmation of Mr. Monroe (armed with an appropriation of $2,000,000) to proceed to France, and, in connection with Mr. Livingston, minister of the United States at Paris, to treat with France for the cession of New Orleans and the island of New Orleans, and Florida. Mr. Livingston held to the opinion at that time that the United States would never be able to acquire New Orleans by treaty or purchase, and that it ought to be taken, at once, by force.

Mr. Monroe, upon his arrival in France, found Bonaparte meditating on and in denger of a rupture with Great Britain. Just before his arrival, M. Talleyrand had

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