Article Title: Of the Cession of the Floridas. Announcement lauding the acquisition of the Floridas.
Published in: National Intelligencer
Place of Publication: Washington, DC
Publication Date: 3/9/1819
OF THE CESSION OF THE FLORIDAS.
FROM THE NATIONAL ADVOCATE.
After many years of expensive and perplexing negotiation ; after having nearly exhausted pacific measures, in relation to our affairs with Spain, we have at length concluded a treaty, which has been unanimously confirmed by the Senate, and by which we become possessed of the Floridas, and with them terminate our differences with that kingdom. This event is calculated to give the most general satisfaction because it prevents a resort to arms, an alternative which, however necessary at times, is always painful, expensive, and doubtful in its effects, and also gives us, in full sovereignty, a territory more valuable from its position than its extent, and indispensable to the safety of our frontier, and to the peace, security, and prosperity of the southern states. We have to pay for this purchase the sum of five millions of dollars, a trivial amount, compared with its value to us; and, what is more satisfactory, this sum is to be paid out of the sales of land in the Floridas, and out of it our citizens are to be indemnified for Spanish spoliations on our commerce ; thus giving indemnity for the past, and promising security for the future. The boundaries are as extensive as we could require, and as fully commensurate with all our views as to satisfy. The treaty requires to be confirmed by the Spanish government, which will, no doubt, be effected with promptness. It is contemplated to be sent out by Mr. Forsyth, lately appointed minister at that court.
By a calculation made in 1813, the Floridas brought the Spanish government in debt upwards of 800,000 dollars annually ; and during the existence of the cortez, the regents of the kingdom would gladly have made the transfer, had their ally, Great Britain, permitted them to do so. It is, however, more secure to us now, coming from a government less liable to change than it was during the revolution ; and it will remain to be seen, how very different the prospect of the Floridas will be since they have changed masters.The excellent maritime ports in that territory ; its soil, productions, and ample quantities of ship timber, cannot be too highly appreciated ; and, for safety as well as for profit, it is an invaluable possession.
The administration of Mr. Jefferson, among other valuable measures, was distinguished by the purchase of Louisiana ; a purchase which for incalculable benefits, has never been equaled in any part of the world ; and the commerce of New Orleans, the rapid increase of the western states, and richly freighted vessels on the Ohio and Mississippi, bear evidence of the policy and material advantages of that measure. The administration of Mr. Monroe will be remarkable for the accession of the Floridas ; and these adventitious events will not fail to give additional celebrity to their names. In truth, our Spanish affairs have been ably and judiciously managed by the present administrationthere is a caution, tempered with firmness ; a sound discretion and close adherence to the national interest, evinced in all measures connected with our foreign, relations ; and the cabinet may be considered as ably organized. If the administration is not brilliant, it is, nevertheless, safe, and though partial causes may arise for discontent, the general interest of the country is closely studied and correctly pursued.