Article Title: Interesting from Spain. Letter to a Philadelphia merchant from Cadiz, July 20. Spain will not relinquish West Florida as part of the Louisiana Purchase; U.S. intrusion into this colony will lead to war.
Author:
Published in: Boston Gazette
Place of Publication: Boston, MA
Publication Date: 9/13/1804




BOSTON,
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 1804.
Interesting from Spain.
An intelligent merchant of Philadelphia has received the following important Letter from a character of the first respectability in Spain, dated
"Cadiz, July 20, 1804
" In my last of the 19th inst. I advise you of the failure of my crops, since which our harvest has turned out even more unfavourably than was first apprehended, and I know not from whence we can receive supplies adequate to our wants unless from your side of the Atlantic. The threatening appearances of hostilities between this country and yours, have lately arisen to so alarming a height, that your Ambassador Mr. Pinckney, has actually demanded his passports, and I presume before this time he has left Madrid. If War takes place, we shall be reluctantly forced into the measure in defense of our dearest and best rights, and as it must be interesting to you to be informed of the principal cause of dispute, I enclose you and extract of a letter I have just received from a Spanish gentlemen at Madrid, who possesses the best opportunities of information. It will explain to you the unfounded pretensions of your administration in regard to the extent of Louisiana, which in order to enforce a submission to their unwarrantable claims to West Florida, may involve our countries in a contest, which would be deeply distressing to us, and could never be approved of our become popular in the United States, because unsupported by even a plausible pretest or the shadow of equity.
"Madrid, July 12, 1804."
" Although 'tis understood that the refusal of this Government to ratify the Convention with the United States was produced by the inadmissible demands of the latter respecting the extent of Louisiana, yet the most alarming grounds of misunderstanding between our Court and Mr. Pinckney, are in reality the pretensions set up by the American government to West Florida, which is all the tract of country lying east of the Missisippi, and extending as far as the river Perdido, excepting however therefrom the Island of New-Orleans, which attaches to Louisiana.
This territory, Spain will never relinquish unless for a fair equivalent, but, she does not dispute the title of the United States to Louisiana properly, so called, although France has never complied with those conditions by the execution of which she was to have acquired a right to that Province. In regard to East and West Florida, they were originally ceded by France to England by the treaty of peace of 1763, who at the same time ceded to Spain the Island of New Orleans and territory west of the Missisippi, which we have held ever since without any alterations of boundaries whatever.
In 1780, we conquered from Great Britain all the country east of the Missisippi, then divided into East and West Florida, which conquests were confirmed to us by the definitive treaty of peace of 1783. It is here to be observed that West Florida, has ever since retained that name, formed no part of Louisiana, as originally ceded by France to Spain, but having been conquered by the latter it remained a separate government as when under the dominion of England, and Independent of Louisiana, possessing a Governor appointed by the Crown, who was in a certain degree as well as the Governor of Louisiana dependent on the government of Havana.
It is evident that the treaty of Cession of Louisiana first by Spain to France, and secondly by France to the United States never did or could be remotest degree contemplate or include West Florida, inasmuch as the instrument makes no mention of Florida by which name alone that country has being known ever since 1663, a period of 41 years.
The description of the ceded territory given in the royal order of the Spanish court, addressed to the intendant of Louisiana to deliver up that province to General Victor, is also clear and precise, 'tis therein styled a Retrocession of Louisiana, with the same extent it possessed, when ceded by France to the Crown of Spain.
As well might the American Government claim East Florida also under her Construction of the terms of the Cession, because previous to the year 1719 France claimed all the country East of the Missisippi under the appelation of Louisiana, and did actually grant an exclusive privilege to the commerce thereof, to the famous Crozat.
If any thing further can be required to render the treaty still more clear and definite on this head, the intentions and meaning of the originally contracting parties must surely be deemed conclusive and final. The marquis deCasaCalvo, commisisioner on the part of Spain, and Monsieur L'Aussat on the part of France, had respectively orders, the one to deliver, and the other to receive Louisiana, without any reference or allusion whatever to West Florida, and the act of delivery was thus completed conformably to these instructions from the two courts.
The interpretation given by the United States to the treaty of Cession, is therefore equally extravagant and untenable, and will never be sanctioned or submitted to by the Spanish court, although the annihilation of the monarchy should become a possible consequence of its rejecting so degrading a proposal
You may judge from the translation of my friend's letter, of the unjust pretensions of your government, an adherence to which, and that too for a barren and unimportant tract of country compare with Louisiana, would forever tarnish the honor of your nation, and stamp it with the character of that grasping ambition from which she alone of all powers of treaty, ahs been heretofore exempt."



Article Title: From the National Intelligencer. Report from the House of Representatives on funds to negotiate the purchase of New Orleans and the Floridas.
Author:
Published in: Philadelphia Gazette and Daily Advertiser
Place of Publication: Philadelphia, PA
Publication Date: 10/31/1803




The Philadelphia Gazette.ANDDAILY ADVERTISER.From the National Intelligencer.
The House of Representatives have taken off the injunction of secrecy respecting the following proceedings of the last session, and ordered them to be printed.
IN THE
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
OF
THE UNITED STATES,
WEDNESDAY, 12th January, 1803.
Ordered, That the committee of the whole House, to whom was yesterday committed a motion in words following, to wit :
" Resolved, That a sum of two millions of dollars in addition to the provision heretofore made be appropriated to defray any expences which may be incurred in relation to the intercourse between the United States and foreign nations, to be paid out of any money that may be in the Treasury, not otherwise appropriated, and to be applied under the direction of the President of the United States, who, if necessary, is hereby authorized to borrow the whole or any part thereof; an account whereof, as soon as may be, shall be laid before Congress"be discharged from the consideration thereof ; and that the said motion be referred to Mr. Nicholson, Mr. Lustis, Mr. Bayard, Mr. Dickson, Mr. Lowndes, Mr. Thompson, and Mr. Gregg, that they do examine the matter thereof, and report the same with their opinion thereupon, to the House.
The Committee, to whom was referred a resolution proposing an appropriation of two millions of dollars, in addition to the sum initially appropriated for the purposes of intercourse between the United States and foreign nations, submit the following
REPORT.
The object of this resolution is to enable the executive to commence with more effect, a negotiation with the French and Spanish governments relative to the purchase from them of the island of New-Orleans, and the provinces of East and West Florida. This object is deemed highly important and has received the attentive consideration of the Committee. The free and unmolested navigation of the river Mississippi, is a point to which the attention of the general government has been directed, ever since the peace of 1783, by which our independence as a nation was finally acknowledged. The immense tract of country owned by the United States, which lies immediately on the Mississippi, or communicates with it by means of large navigable rivers rising within our boundaries, an object, not only of inestimable advantage, but of the very first necessity. The Mississippi forms the western boundary of the United States from its source to the thirty-fifth degree of north latitude, and empties itself into the Gulf of Mexico about the twenty-ninth degree of north latitude. It furnishes the only outlet through which the produce of the Indiana Territory, of the States of Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee, and of the Western parts of Pennsylvania and Virginia, and a portion of the Mississippi Territory, can be transported to a foreign market, or to parts of the Atlantic states. From the thirty-first degree of north latitude, which is the southern boundary of the United States, to the mouth of the river, the territory on each side has heretofore been in possession of the Spanish government; the province of Louisiana lying to the west, and those of East Florida, with the island of New Orleans to the east. Although the United States have insisted on an uncontrollable right to pass up and down the river from its source to the sea, yet this right, if admitted in its most ample latitude, will not secure to them the full advantages of navigation. The strength and rapidity of the current of the Mississippi are known to render its ascent so extremely difficult, that few vessels of any burthen have attempted to go as far as our boundary. This circumstance obliges the citizens of the western country to carry their produce down the river in boats, from which it is put on board of ships capable of sustaining a sea voyage. It follows, therefore, that to enjoy the full benefits of navigation, some place should be fixed which sea vessels can approach without great inconvenience, where the American produce may be deposited until it is again shipped to be carried abroad. This great point was secured to us in the year 1795 by the Spanish Government, who agreed to the treaty of San Lorenzo el Real, that Americans should have the right of deposit at N. Orleans. This right has been used at that time till a late period ; but the conduct of the Intendant at that place shews how liable the advantageous navigation of the river is to interruption, and strongly points out the impolicy of relying in a foreign nation for benefits which our citizens have a right to expect should be secured to them by their own government. It is hoped that the port of New Orleans may again be opened, before any very material injuries arise; but should this be the case, or if, as the treaty provides, a new place of deposit should be assigned, the late occurrence shews the uncertainty of its continuance. Experience proves, that the caprice, or the interested views of a single officer, may perpetually subject us to the alternative of submitting to injury, or of resorting to war.
The late violation of our treaty with Spain necessarily leads to the enquiry how far the western country may be affected in other points, not connected with New Orleans. The Mississippi Territory extends from the confines of Georgia to the river Mississippi, and from the 31st to the 35th degree of north latitude. It is estimated to contain more than fifty millions of acres, and from its numerous advantages, must one day or other possess an immense population. The variety, richness and abundance of its productions, hold out to settlers the strongest inducements to resort thither, and the United States may safely calculate on drawing a considerable revenue from the sale of lands in this, as well as in other quarters of the western country. The value of these, however, may be diminished or increased, and the sale impeded or advanced by the impression made on the public mind, by shutting the port of New Orleans, and by eventual measures which may be adopted to guard against similar injuries.
West Florida is bounded on the North by the Mississippi Territory, from which it is separated by no natural boundary ; on the east by the river Apalachicola which divides it from East Florida; on the West by the river Mississippi, and on the south by the Gulph of Mexico. The Mississippi Territory is intersected by many large and valuable rivers, which rise within its own boundaries, and meander thro' it in a general direction from North to South, but empty themselves into the Gulph of Mexico thro' the province of West Florida. In fact with the exception of that part of the territory which lies immediately on the Mississippi, the whole tract must depend upon the Mobile the Apalachicola, with their numerous branches, on someother rivers of inferior note, for the means of sending its produce to market, and of returning to itself such foreign supplies, at the necessities or convenience of its inhabitants may require. In these rivers to the eastern parts of the state of Tennessee are deeply [illegible], as some of the great branches of the Mobile approach very near to some of those branches of the Tennessee river, which lie above the great Muscle shoals. Even if it should prove difficult to connect them, yet the land carriage will be shorter, and the route to the sea more direct, than the river Tennessee furnishes. These rivers possess likewise an advantage which is denied to the Mississippi. As their sources are not in the mountains, and their course is thro' a level country, their current is gentle and their tide flows considerably above our boundary. This circumstance together with the depth of water which many of them afford, render them accessible to sea-vessels ; and ships of two hundred tons burthen ; may ascend for several hundred miles into the heart of the Mississippi territory. These rivers, however, which run almost exclusively within our own limits, and which it would seem as if nature had intended for our own benefit, we must be indebted to others for the beneficial use of, so long as the province of West Florida shall continue in the possession of a foreign nation. If the province of West Florida were of itself an independent empire, it would be the interest of its government to promote the freedom of trade, by laying open the mouths of the rivers to all nations, this having been the policy of those powers who possess the mouths of the Rhine, the Danube, the Po and the Tagus, with some others. But the system of colonization, which has always heretofore prevailed, proves, that the mother country is ever anxious to engross to itself the trade of its colonies, and afford us every reason to apprehend that Spain will not readily admit us to pass through her territory to carry on a trade either with each other or with foreign nations. This right we may insist on, and perhaps it may be conceded to us; but it is possible that it may be denied. At all events it may prove the source of endless disagreement and perpetual hostility.
In this respect East Florida may not perhaps be so important, but its acquisition is nevertheless deemed desirable. From its junction with the state of Georgia at the river St. Mary's it stretches nearly four hundred miles into the sea, forming a large peninsula, and has some very fine harbors. The southern point, Cape Florida, is not more than one hundred miles distant from the Havannah, and the possession of it may be beneficial to us in relation to our trade with the West Indies. It would likewise make our whole territory compact, would add considerably to our sea-coast, and by giving us the Gulf of Mexico for our southern boundary would render us less liable to attack, in what is now deemed the most vulnerable part of the Union.
From the foregoing view of facts, it must be seen that the possession of New Orleans and the Floridas will not only be required for the convenience of the United States, but will be demanded by their most imperious necessities. The Mississippi and its branches, with those other rivers above referred to, drain an extent of country not less perhaps than one half our whole territory, containing at this time one eighth of our population, and progressing with a rapidity beyond the experience of any former time, or of any other nation. The Floridas New Orleans command the only outlets to the sea, and our best interests require that we should get possession of them. This requisition however arises not from a disposition to increase our territory ;for neither the Floridas nor N. Orleans offer any other inducements than their mere geographical relation to the United States. But if we look forward to the free use of the Mississippi, the Mobile, the Apalachicola, and the other rivers of the west, by ourselves and our posterity, New Orleans and the Floridas must become a part of the United States, either by purchase or by conquest.
The great question then which presents itself is, shall we at this time lay the foundation for future peace, by offering a fair and equivalent consideration; or shall we hereafter incur the hazards and the horrors of war?The government of the United States is differently organized from any other in the world. Its object is the happiness of man; its policy and its interest, to pursue right by right means. War is the great scourge of the human race, and should never be resorted to but in cases of the most imperious necessity. A wise government will avoid it when its views can be attained by peaceful measures. Princes fight for glory, and the blood and treasure of their subjects is the price they pay. In all nations, the people bear the burthen of war, and in the United States, the people rule. Their representatives are the guardians of their rights, and it is the duty of those representatives to provide against any event which may, even at a distant day, involve the interests and the happiness of the nation. We may indeed have our rights restored to us by treaty, but there is a want of fortitude in applying temporary remedies to permanent evils ; thereby imposing on our posterity a burthen which we ourselves ought to bear. If the purchase can be made, we ought not to hesitate. If the attempt should fail, we shall have discharged an important duty. War may be the result; but the American nation, satisfied with our conduct, will be animated by one soul, and will unite all its energies in the contest. Foreign powers will be convinced that it is not a way of aggrandisement on our part, and will therefore feel no unreasonable jealousies towards us. We shall have proved that our object was justice ; it will be seen that our propositions were fair ; and it will be acknowledged that our cause is honorable. Should alliances be necessary they may be advantageously formed. We shall have merited and shall therefore possess general confidence. Our measures will stand justified not only to ourselves and our country, but to the world.
In another point of view perhaps, it would be preferable to make the purchase, as it is believed that a smaller sum would be required for this object, than would necessarily be expended, if we should attempt to take possession by force, the expences of a war being indeed almost incalculable. The committee have no information before them, to ascertain the amount for which the purchase can be made, but it is hoped, that with the assistance of two millions of dollars in hand, this will not be unreasonable. A similar course was pursued for the purpose of settling our differences with the regency of Algiers, by an appropriation of one million of dollars prior to the commencement of the negociation, and we have since experienced its beneficial effects.
Under these impressions therefore the committee recommend the adoption of the resolution referred to them in the following words, viz.
Resolved, That a sum of two millions of dollars in addition to the provision heretofore made be appropriated to defray any expense which may be incurred in relation to the intercourse between the United States and foreign nations ; to be paid out of any money that may be in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, and to be applied under the direction of the President of the United States; who if necessary is hereby authorized to borrow the same or any part thereof, an account whereof, as soon as may be, shall be laid before Congress.



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Article Title: Interesting from Spain. Letter to a Philadelphia merchant from Cadiz, July 20. Spain will
not relinquish West Florida as part of the Louisiana Purchase; U.S. intrusion into this colony will lead
to war.
Author:
Published in: Boston Gazette
Place of Publication: Boston, MA
Publication Date: 9/13/1804




BOSTON,
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 1804.
Interesting from Spain.
An intelligent merchant of Philadelphia has received the following important Letter from a character of
the first respectability in Spain, dated
"Cadiz, July 20, 1804
" In my last of the 19th inst. I advise you of the failure of my crops, since which our harvest has turned
out even more unfavourably than was first apprehended, and I know not from whence we can receive
supplies adequate to our wants unless from your side of the Atlantic. The threatening appearances
of hostilities between this country and yours, have lately arisen to so alarming a height, that your
Ambassador Mr. Pinckney, has actually demanded his passports, and I presume before this time he
has left Madrid. If War takes place, we shall be reluctantly forced into the measure in defense of our
dearest and best rights, and as it must be interesting to you to be informed of the principal cause of
dispute, I enclose you and extract of a letter I have just received from a Spanish gentlemen at Madrid,
who possesses the best opportunities of information. It will explain to you the unfounded pretensions
of your administration in regard to the extent of Louisiana, which in order to enforce a submission to
their unwarrantable claims to West Florida, may involve our countries in a contest, which would be
deeply distressing to us, and could never be approved of our become popular in the United States,
because unsupported by even a plausible pretest or the shadow of equity.
"Madrid, July 12, 1804."
" Although 'tis understood that the refusal of this Government to ratify the Convention with the United
States was produced by the inadmissible demands of the latter respecting the extent of Louisiana, yet
the most alarming grounds of misunderstanding between our Court and Mr. Pinckney, are in reality
the pretensions set up by the American government to West Florida, which is all the tract of country
lying east of the Missisippi, and extending as far as the river Perdido, excepting however therefrom
the Island of New-Orleans, which attaches to Louisiana.
This territory, Spain will never relinquish unless for a fair equivalent, but, she does not dispute the title
of the United States to Louisiana properly, so called, although France has never complied with those
conditions by the execution of which she was to have acquired a right to that Province. In regard to
East and West Florida, they were originally ceded by France to England by the treaty of peace of
1763, who at the same time ceded to Spain the Island of New Orleans and territory west of the
Missisippi, which we have held ever since without any alterations of boundaries whatever.
In 1780, we conquered from Great Britain all the country east of the Missisippi, then divided into East
and West Florida, which conquests were confirmed to us by the definitive treaty of peace of 1783. It
is here to be observed that West Florida, has ever since retained that name, formed no part of
Louisiana, as originally ceded by France to Spain, but having been conquered by the latter it
remained a separate government as when under the dominion of England, and Independent of
Louisiana, possessing a Governor appointed by the Crown, who was in a certain degree as well as
the Governor of Louisiana dependent on the government of Havana.
It is evident that the treaty of Cession of Louisiana first by Spain to France, and secondly by France to
the United States never did or could be remotest degree contemplate or include West Florida,






inasmuch as the instrument makes no mention of Florida by which name alone that country has being
known ever since 1663, a period of 41 years.
The description of the ceded territory given in the royal order of the Spanish court, addressed to the
intendant of Louisiana to deliver up that province to General Victor, is also clear and precise, 'tis
therein styled a Retrocession of Louisiana, with the same extent it possessed, when ceded by France
to the Crown of Spain.
As well might the American Government claim East Florida also under her Construction of the terms
of the Cession, because previous to the year 1719 France claimed all the country East of the
Missisippi under the appelation of Louisiana, and did actually grant an exclusive privilege to the
commerce thereof, to the famous Crozat.
If any thing further can be required to render the treaty still more clear and definite on this head, the
intentions and meaning of the originally contracting parties must surely be deemed conclusive and
final. The marquis deCasaCalvo, commissioner on the part of Spain, and Monsieur L'Aussat on the
part of France, had respectively orders, the one to deliver, and the other to receive Louisiana, without
any reference or allusion whatever to West Florida, and the act of delivery was thus completed
conformably to these instructions from the two courts.
The interpretation given by the United States to the treaty of Cession, is therefore equally extravagant
and untenable, and will never be sanctioned or submitted to by the Spanish court, although the
annihilation of the monarchy should become a possible consequence of its rejecting so degrading a
proposal
You may judge from the translation of my friend's letter, of the unjust pretensions of your government,
an adherence to which, and that too for a barren and unimportant tract of country compare with
Louisiana, would forever tarnish the honor of your nation, and stamp it with the character of that
grasping ambition from which she alone of all powers of treaty, ahs been heretofore exempt."




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