Article Title: The Floridas. Concerns the revolt in the Natchez District and concludes pessimistically
that the Madison administration will not seize this opportunity to acquire part of the Floridas.
Published in: Boston Gazette
Place of Publication: Boston, MA
Publication Date: 8/23/1810
We copy from the Natches Chronicle the form of a temporary government, proposed for the adoption
of the people of West Florida. In most of its features it is copied from the original plan of the territorial
government of the United States, with the additional provision for calling a convention to agree upon
a settled constitution.
West Florida as far as the River Perdido, has always been claimed by Mr. Jefferson a part of his
purchase of Louisiana, and most of the inhabitants of the Floridas are Americans by birth or descent.
The probability is therefore great, that they will make an offer of associating with our union.But in this
they will be disappointed.Mr. Madison will not, and dare not receive them. Such a step would involve
him with Bonaparte, were it even acquiesced in by the government of Spain and its ally and
guarantee Great Britain : but were Bonaparte to yield his consent, it is equally as improbable that they
would concur with him. We may conjecture, from what we know took place with respect to St.
Domingo, what would be the conduct of our magnanimous rulers, were Napoleon Ram Bullet to order
them to hold no intercourse with the rebels of the Floridas. It is the part of wisdom, therefore, for them
still to adhere to the cause of Spain, for from Cuba and the British they may expect something like
protection. By our government they will certainly be shook off, whether they meditate an admission
into the union, or whether they expected its countenance and friendly offices towards them as an
independent and insulated state.
When on the other hand, we estimate the mere advantage which the possession of the Floridas
would confer upon us, we should be justified gaining them at a considerable expense. West Florida
contains the mouth of the waters, which, in their approach to the Mexican Gulph, are called the
Mobile, an outlet essential to the convenience of a large district of western country, and by a
communication with the Tennessee river, capable of affording water conveyance from the Gulph
upwards, without the discouragement incident to the resistance of so powerful a current as moves
down the Mississippi. East Florida is in relation to the immense and valuable trade, which is floated
upon the Gulph Stream, what Gibraltar is to the Mediterranean. In our hands it would prove an
invaluable security and a powerful means to annoy our enemies ; but in the possession of others it
may become a scourge to chastise and vex us.
Mr. Jefferson used to say, in allusion to the immense emigration from our territory, that the Floridas
would fall into our hands without an effort, as a ripe cherry would descend into the hand of him, who
waited with patience for the proper season. We conceive, however, that, whilst we are governed by
such rulers as we now have, the cherry may fall to the ground and rot, before any will be found to pick
it up and appropriate it. To them it is forbidden fruitforbidden by Napoleon.