Article Title: Tribute to France. A series of extracted letters and articles about U.S. negotiations with France to persuade Spain to sell the Floridas.
Author:
Published in: Columbian Centinel
Place of Publication: Boston, MA
Publication Date: 7/30/1806




Political Miscellany.
TRIBUTE TO FRANCE.
" MILLIONS FOR TRIBUTE, NOT A CENT FOR DEFENSE."
Old Toast Jeffersonized.
THE following articles, on the subject of the Purchase of the Floridas," from Spaina mask for compliance with the demand of two millions of dollars by Franceare extracted from two able and correct papers, the New-York Commercial Advertiser," and the Philadelphia Gazette." These articles have been copied into the Aurora, and remarks made thereon by its editor. The correct substance of these remarks, divested of their Aurora embellishments," we have also subjoined. The whole is recommended to the attentive perusal, and honest meditation, of those Democrats who have exercised so much spleen in denouncing ; and so much sarcasm in toasts and paragraphs, in ridiculing the ... that France has demanded, or that the government of the United States had acceded to the demand, of Two Millions of dollarsfor permitting Spain to sell to the United States, a jurisdiction which rightfully belongs to Spain.
FROM THE COMMERCIAL ADVERTISER.
The Purchase of the Floridas.
" SOME of the democratic Editors have denied that the sum of two millions of dollars, shipped on board the Hornet, and conveyed to France is to be employed as a propitiatory offering to the French government. (1) They assert that this sum is actually to be paid for the Floridas, and add, in the common cant of the day, that, by the purchase, the U. States will gain a very great bargain ;thus leaving, or attempting to leave the impression, that the money sent to France is to be paid to Spain, and that Spain, on receiving it will give us a fee simple, or quit claim, to the territory in question ;or, in other words, that the Floridas will be ours, and will be fairly purchased for two millions of dollars. This is probably the impression of a considerable portion of our citizens. (2) It will, however, be strongly doubted by those who remember that not long since, the same sum was put into the hands of our Executive, for the express purpose of purchasing the very same territory ; and that the Executive, instead of paying two millions for the Floridas, paid fifteen millions for an undefined wilderness. (3) They who calculate that the United States are to receive the Floridas, for two millions of dollars, will in the issue, find their calculations extremely erroneous. (4)"
FROM THE PHILADELPHIA GAZETTE.
Mr. MADISON can inform us, whether the following statement, which we have received, on the subject of the impending negotiation for the purchase of the Floridas, is correct, viz.
" An agent of the Y. and Z. tribe calls upon Mr. ARMSTRONG, the American Minister, in Parisand, presenting to his view a scrap of paper, asks him if he knows the hand writing ? The Minister, aided by his spectacles, for the emissary would not permit him to take the paper into his possession, pronounces it to be the hand-writing of the Minister TALLEYRAND ; a nod tells him his conjecture is correct ; and he is desired to peruse its contentsthe paper states the necessity of an immediate compromise of our differences with Spain, and mentions the terms on which it may be effectedtwo millions of dollars as a propitiatory offering to France, and five millions to purchase the Floridas from Spain.
" The Minister is desired to communicate the intimation to his cabinethe does soand on such an intimation has the appropriation of two millions been made!" (5)
Whether this statement is correct, we cannot tell ; but we can state a fact, or two, received from high and unquestionable authority, which, in our view, renders it at least probable.
When the appropriation was made in secret conclave, the members who were unfriendly to the measure, made an effort to confine the appropriation to the specific object of purchasing the Floridas. This was strongly and effectually opposed.If the money was really intended as the payment or any portion of the price of that territory, why were not the Members who advocated the purchase willing to limit the object of the appropriation ? Why this needless departure from the salutary principle of specific appropriation ?" If it were intended that two millions of dollars [should be given] as a propitiatory offering to France," the mystery is at once disclosed.
Again. The gentlemen, who wished to limit the object of the appropriation, labored also to limit the sum (eventually to be embarked in this dubious speculation) to five millions of dollars. This was opposed with equal warmth and success ; and it was stated by those, who professed to be thoroughly initiated into the secrets of the cabinet, that the purchase would finally cost, at least, seven millions (precisely the sum mentioned in the above statement) if not ten, fifteen, or twenty millions.
SUBSTANCE OF THE
AURORA REMARKS.
(1.) We grant that the sum (two millions) is ACTUALLY DESTINED TO BE USED AS A PROPITIATORY OFFERING TO FRANCE. (a.)
(2.) We deny that this has been so asserted. (b.)It has been understood and always expressed, that the money was to be applied by the Executive in acquiring Florida.No man of understanding could suppose that the Peninsula of Florida (East-Florida) containing thirty millions of acres, seven-tenths of which is susceptible of cultivation, could be purchased for two millions of dollarsfor six cents an acre. (c.)The Executive, has uniformly held, that the acquisition of Florida was of great importance to the United States, as a barriera frontier, (d.) c. ; that the present time was the most favorable to seize upon it ; and "even to make VERY LARGE PECUNIARY SACRIFICES to secure the fee simple of it"The pecuniary sacrifice required is equal only to the expenses of a campaign of 5000 men. (e.)
(3.) It is false, that the same sum ; or the same amount was put into the hands of the Executive to purchase the very same territory." Mr. DUANE then goes on to give a history of the purchase of Louisiana.The amount of which is thisthat the United States instituted a negotiation for the purchase of that part of Louisiana, called by the British when they held it West-Florida ; but did not expect to obtain it for two millions :That our Ministers soon found, that it was with France and not with Spain they must negotiate :That the Paris negotiation did not include East-Florida :that our Ministers were told, they must purchase the whole of Louisiana, or none ; and that though the American Ministers had no powers to make the purchase, they boldly risked public censure, and made the contract ; thus obtaining possessions not contemplated, instead of those they were directed to purchase.The two millions, DUANE holds, were appropriated towards the limited purchase ;the fifteen millions for the Louisiana purchase. (f.)
(4.) None but ideots can be disappointed if we do not purchase the Peninsula of Florida (g.) for two millions of dollars.
(5.) We admit this to be a correct outline of the facts ; with the federal embellishments of the hand-writing, spectacles, and propitiatory offering.We will admit that a communication was made to Mr. ARMSTRONG that a sum of two millions of dollars, paid to France, might facilitate the negotiation of the United States with Spain, for the purchase of Florida ;and also, that there was an additional hint, that Five Millions (more) would put the United States into possession of the whole of Florida, c. (b.)
CURSORY REMARKS ON THE AURORA REMARKS,
(a.) For the Aurora this is a precious acknowledgment Especially when it is remembered how much has been uttered in the ministerial papers on the subject ; and how often the hired writers for those papers have sworn, until black in the face, that these millions were never sent at all ; but if sent, were to be appropriated the bona fide purpose of purchasing the Floridas of Spain. We know that a Member of Congress, when questioned by some of his constituents on the subject, declared, on his honor, that not a cent had been taken out of the treasury ; and that the assertion of RANDOLPH, and others, that two millions had been sent to France, was all a federal lie."It now appears, that this Member of Congress meant either to propagate a falshood, or to deceive his constituents by a contemptible quibble ;that because bills on the Treasury, and not bullion, had been sent in the Hornet, that no money had been shipped. The same ingenuous gentleman might say, that bank bills, or bills of exchange are not money.
(b.) Will Mr. DUANE examine the files of the democratic papers in his office, for these assertions ?
(c.) What could no man of understanding make this supposition ?Then most of the democratic editors are dunces ; for they have frequently made assertions to this effect. But what does Mr. DUANE mean by purchasing 30,000,000 of acres ?Does he intend that the United States, if they obtain the cession of Florida, will have a fee simple in all the lands it contains ; that all the present private owners or holders of the soil, under Spain, are to be ejected as squatters ; and that the United States will have the right to sell all the lands over again ? If he means thus, we wish him to say as much.Louisiana, he will recollect, was not so purchased.We believe the People whose money will be taken to pay for this purchase, will find, to their sorrow, that after Seven, or Eight, or more, additional millions are drawn from their coffers that they will have purchased the mere jurisdiction of the country, with perhaps some vacant poor lands, and public lots ;and that all the lands capable of cultivation will be found to be held under royal land speculators, who abound in Paris ; and who know by what key they can obtain admission to the interior of Prince TALLEYRAND's bureau Finding this to be fact, they will think the purchase at even two millions, to be a hard bargain.
(d.) Pray, Mr. DUANE, tell the public, since the United States have purchased Louisiana, for what purpose does the Executive mow wish to purchase Florida If for a barrier ;" against what is it to be a barrier ?Against the waters of the Gulph of Mexico, or of the Atlantic ocean ?
(e.) A more degrading calculation could not be made in any independent State. The idea conveyed is, that a Nation ought not to refuse compliance with any demand of pecuniary sacrifice ; because the refusal may produce a war ; which would cost more to support it, than the money demanded This is but the counterpart of the language held by the Tories to the American people in 1774,5.Those ministerialists then assured the people, that it would be much cheaper for them to pay the two-penny duty on tea, c. than to risk the expense of even a campaign of a thousand men. In those days of patriotism and public spirit, this language was treated with scorn and indignation ; and ought to be now.
(f.) There are some precious discoveries in this history, which we have not time to notice.
(g.) DUANE frequently mentions the" Peninsula of Florida," as being the object of the existing negotiation. Does he mean what is called by geographers East Florida ? Or to contend that what is called West-Florida, was included in the limits of Louisiana, purchased by the treaty of 1803 ?
(h.) Yes, gentle reader, all this is now admitted in the Aurora, the leading Ministerial paper of the United States :And this too, notwithstanding all the denials of the Executive ear-wigs in Congress ; and the plump assertions to the contrary of the numerous hirelings scattered over the United States :And notwithstanding all the denunciations of Mr. RANDOLPH as a madman, for his boldness and honesty in asserting that such a demand had been made by France !a demand, the compliance with which, as now admitted, he said, would fix a stain on our country which all the waters of the newly discovered rivers in Louisiana will never wash out.
We have not room for further remarks.



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Article Title: Tribute to France. A series of extracted letters and articles about U.S. negotiations with
France to persuade Spain to sell the Floridas.
Author:
Published in: Columbian Centinel
Place of Publication: Boston, MA
Publication Date: 7/30/1806




Political Miscellany.
TRIBUTE TO FRANCE.
" MILLIONS FOR TRIBUTE, NOT A CENT FOR DEFENSE."
Old Toast Jeffersonized.
THE following articles, on the subject of the Purchase of the Floridas," from Spaina mask for
compliance with the demand of two millions of dollars by Franceare extracted from two able and
correct papers, the New-York Commercial Advertiser," and the Philadelphia Gazette." These
articles have been copied into the Aurora, and remarks made thereon by its editor. The correct
substance of these remarks, divested of their Aurora embellishments," we have also subjoined. The
whole is recommended to the attentive perusal, and honest meditation, of those Democrats who
have exercised so much spleen in denouncing ; and so much sarcasm in toasts and paragraphs, in
ridiculing the ... that France has demanded, or that the government of the United States had acceded
to the demand, of Two Millions of dollarsfor permitting Spain to sell to the United States, a jurisdiction
which rightfully belongs to Spain.
FROM THE COMMERCIAL ADVERTISER.
The Purchase of the Floridas.
" SOME of the democratic Editors have denied that the sum of two millions of dollars, shipped on
board the Hornet, and conveyed to France is to be employed as a propitiatory offering to the French
government. (1) They assert that this sum is actually to be paid for the Floridas, and add, in the
common cant of the day, that, by the purchase, the U. States will gain a very great bargain ;thus
leaving, or attempting to leave the impression, that the money sent to France is to be paid to Spain,
and that Spain, on receiving it will give us a fee simple, or quit claim, to the territory in question ;or, in
other words, that the Floridas will be ours, and will be fairly purchased for two millions of dollars. This
is probably the impression of a considerable portion of our citizens. (2) It will, however, be strongly
doubted by those who remember that not long since, the same sum was put into the hands of our
Executive, for the express purpose of purchasing the very same territory ; and that the Executive,
instead of paying two millions for the Floridas, paid fifteen millions for an undefined wilderness. (3)
They who calculate that the United States are to receive the Floridas, for two millions of dollars, will in
the issue, find their calculations extremely erroneous. (4)"
FROM THE PHILADELPHIA GAZETTE.
Mr. MADISON can inform us, whether the following statement, which we have received, on the
subject of the impending negotiation for the purchase of the Floridas, is correct, viz.
" An agent of theY. and Z. tribe calls upon Mr. ARMSTRONG, the American Minister, in Parisand,
presenting to his view a scrap of paper, asks him if he knows the hand writing ? The Minister, aided
by his spectacles, for the emissary would not permit him to take the paper into his possession,
pronounces it to be the hand-writing of the Minister TALLEYRAND ; a nod tells him his conjecture is
correct ; and he is desired to peruse its contentsthe paper states the necessity of an immediate
compromise of our differences with Spain, and mentions the terms on which it may be effectedtwo
millions of dollars as a propitiatory offering to France, and five millions to purchase the Floridas from
Spain.
" The Minister is desired to communicate the intimation to his cabinethe does soand on such an
intimation has the appropriation of two millions been made!" (5)






Whether this statement is correct, we cannot tell; but we can state a fact, or two, received from high
and unquestionable authority, which, in our view, renders it at least probable.
When the appropriation was made in secret conclave, the members who were unfriendly to the
measure, made an effort to confine the appropriation to the specific object of purchasing the Floridas.
This was strongly and effectually opposed. If the money was really intended as the payment or any
portion of the price of that territory, why were not the Members who advocated the purchase willing to
limit the object of the appropriation ? Why this needless departure from the salutary principle of"
specific appropriation ?" If it were intended that two millions of dollars [should be given] as a
propitiatory offering to France," the mystery is at once disclosed.
Again. The gentlemen, who wished to limit the object of the appropriation, labored also to limit the
sum (eventually to be embarked in this dubious speculation) to five millions of dollars. This was
opposed with equal warmth and success ; and it was stated by those, who professed to be thoroughly
initiated into the secrets of the cabinet, that the purchase would finally cost, at least, seven millions
(precisely the sum mentioned in the above statement) if not ten, fifteen, or twenty millions.
SUBSTANCE OF THE
AURORA REMARKS.
(1.) We grant that the sum (two millions) is ACTUALLY DESTINED TO BE USED AS A
PROPITIATORY OFFERING TO FRANCE. (a.)
(2.) We deny that this has been so asserted. (b.)It has been understood and always expressed, that
the money was to be applied by the Executive in acquiring Florida. No man of understanding could
suppose that the Peninsula of Florida (East-Florida) containing thirty millions of acres, seven-tenths of
which is susceptible of cultivation, could be purchased for two millions of dollarsfor six cents an acre.
(c.)The Executive, has uniformly held, that the acquisition of Florida was of great importance to the
United States, as a barrier frontier, (d.) c.; that the present time was the most favorable to seize
upon it; and "even to make VERY LARGE PECUNIARY SACRIFICES to secure the fee simple of
it"The pecuniary sacrifice required is equal only to the expenses of a campaign of 5000 men. (e.)
(3.) It is false, that the same sum ; or the same amount was put into the hands of the Executive to
purchase the very same territory." Mr. DUANE then goes on to give a history of the purchase of
Louisiana.The amount of which is thisthat the United States instituted a negotiation for the purchase
of that part of Louisiana, called by the British when they held it West-Florida ; but did not expect to
obtain it for two millions :That our Ministers soon found, that it was with France and not with Spain
they must negotiate :That the Paris negotiation did not include East-Florida :that our Ministers were
told, they must purchase the whole of Louisiana, or none ; and that though the American Ministers
had no powers to make the purchase, they boldly risked public censure, and made the contract; thus
obtaining possessions not contemplated, instead of those they were directed to purchase.The two
millions, DUANE holds, were appropriated towards the limited purchase ;the fifteen millions for the
Louisiana purchase. (f.)
(4.) None but ideots can be disappointed if we do not purchase the Peninsula of Florida (g.) for two
millions of dollars.
(5.) We admit this to be a correct outline of the facts ; with the federal embellishments of the
hand-writing, spectacles, and propitiatory offering.We will admit that a communication was made to
Mr. ARMSTRONG that a sum of two millions of dollars, paid to France, might facilitate the negotiation
of the United States with Spain, for the purchase of Florida ;and also, that there was an additional
hint, that Five Millions (more) would put the United States into possession of the whole of Florida, c.
(b.)
CURSORY REMARKS ON THE AURORA REMARKS,
(a.) For the Aurora this is a precious acknowledgment Especially when it is remembered how much
has been uttered in the ministerial papers on the subject; and how often the hired writers for those
papers have sworn, until black in the face, that these millions were never sent at all; but if sent, were
to be appropriated the bona fide purpose of purchasing the Floridas of Spain. We know that a
Member of Congress, when questioned by some of his constituents on the subject, declared, on his
honor, that not a cent had been taken out of the treasury ; and that the assertion of RANDOLPH, and






others, that two millions had been sent to France, was all a federal lie."It now appears, that this
Member of Congress meant either to propagate a falshood, or to deceive his constituents by a
contemptible quibble ;that because bills on the Treasury, and not bullion, had been sent in the Hornet,
that no money had been shipped. The same ingenuous gentleman might say, that bank bills, or bills
of exchange are not money.
(b.) Will Mr. DUANE examine the files of the democratic papers in his office, for these assertions ?
(c.) What could no man of understanding make this supposition ?Then most of the democratic
editors are dunces ; for they have frequently made assertions to this effect. But what does Mr.
DUANE mean by purchasing 30,000,000 of acres ?Does he intend that the United States, if they
obtain the cession of Florida, will have a fee simple in all the lands it contains ; that all the present
private owners or holders of the soil, under Spain, are to be ejected as squatters ; and that the United
States will have the right to sell all the lands over again ? If he means thus, we wish him to say as
much.Louisiana, he will recollect, was not so purchased.We believe the People whose money will be
taken to pay for this purchase, will find, to their sorrow, that after Seven, or Eight, or more, additional
millions are drawn from their coffers that they will have purchased the mere jurisdiction of the country,
with perhaps some vacant poor lands, and public lots ;and that all the lands capable of cultivation will
be found to be held under royal land speculators, who abound in Paris ; and who know by what key
they can obtain admission to the interior of Prince TALLEYRAND's bureau Finding this to be fact, they
will think the purchase at even two millions, to be a hard bargain.
(d.) Pray, Mr. DUANE, tell the public, since the United States have purchased Louisiana, for what
purpose does the Executive mow wish to purchase Florida If for a barrier ;" against what is it to be
a barrier ?Against the waters of the Gulph of Mexico, or of the Atlantic ocean ?
(e.) A more degrading calculation could not be made in any independent State. The idea conveyed
is, that a Nation ought not to refuse compliance with any demand of pecuniary sacrifice ; because the
refusal may produce a war; which would cost more to support it, than the money demanded This is
but the counterpart of the language held by the Tories to the American people in 1774,5.Those
ministerialists then assured the people, that it would be much cheaper for them to pay the two-penny
duty on tea, c. than to risk the expense of even a campaign of a thousand men. In those days of
patriotism and public spirit, this language was treated with scorn and indignation ; and ought to be
now.
(f.) There are some precious discoveries in this history, which we have not time to notice.
(g.) DUANE frequently mentions the" Peninsula of Florida," as being the object of the existing
negotiation. Does he mean what is called by geographers East Florida ? Or to contend that what is
called West-Florida, was included in the limits of Louisiana, purchased by the treaty of 1803 ?
(h.) Yes, gentle reader, all this is now admitted in the Aurora, the leading Ministerial paper of the
United States :And this too, notwithstanding all the denials of the Executive ear-wigs in Congress;
and the plump assertions to the contrary of the numerous hirelings scattered over the United States
:And notwithstanding all the denunciations of Mr. RANDOLPH as a madman, for his boldness and
honesty in asserting that such a demand had been made by France !a demand, the compliance with
which, as now admitted, he said, would fix a stain on our country which all the waters of the newly
discovered rivers in Louisiana will never wash out.
We have not room for further remarks.




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