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The Southern States of America
Chapter I - Louisiana under French and Spanish Control


Introduction.

THE history of the Mississippi Valley, which for the first hundred years after its discovery, was known to political geography as the province of Louisiana, must ever be of surpassing interest to the American student.

Its existence and value were neglected by the Spaniards who sought and found fame and wealth in Central and South America. When at last this field was fully occupied the Spanish explorers turned to the Northern Continent hoping to find there territories as rich in treasure as those of the South, but disaster dogged their footsteps. After two attempts at conquest, exploration of the valley of the Mississippi was abandoned for a century.

During this time the other maritime nations of Europe had planted settlements along the coast. The country they occupied was a comparatively narrow strip bounded on the west by the densely-wooded heights of the Alleghanies. The French explorers had discovered and taken possession of the Gulf and valley of the St. Lawrence. Their intrepid hunters soon penetrated to the great lakes and learned from the Indians of the great river which might lead to the Pacific Ocean. To solve the riddle, expeditions were sent from Canada, one to ascend the river, the other under La Salle to seek the mouth, which he reached on April 9, 1682. For the king, Louis XIV., he laid claim to the whole of the lands on all the streams falling into the great river Mississippi. Iberville reaped the fruit of the discovery of La Salle and founded the colony of Louisiana at Ocean Springs (Old Biloxi) in 1699. Its growth was slow. The colonists did not attend at first to the agricultural work which was needed. Pestilence and hostile Indians were combated with difficulty. Commerce suffered from the monopolies of Crozat and Law, and when directly governed by the Crown the colony might have flourished, but a dual form of government, a governor and an intendant, and unwise commercial laws retarded the progress of colonial Louisiana.

The result of the war between England and France was to cause the dismemberment of Louisiana. The country on the eastern bank of the river was ceded to England and that on the west, together with the island of Orleans, to Spain. The French inhabitants protested in vain. Milder governors succeeded the severe O'Reilly. The strict commercial regulations of the Spanish colonies were but little observed, and Louisiana advanced rapidly in wealth. The enterprising population of the American states began to claim a free outlet for their products and were only granted a temporary place of deposit. The revolution in France called to office men who wished to recover its ancient colonies and finally Bonaparte, in 1800, dreaming of a colonial empire, under pretense of an exchange for the duchy of Parma, compelled the retrocession of Louisiana by a secret treaty. The government of the province was left in the hands of the Spanish officials, who withdrew the right of deposit. Thereupon arose such an outcry from the western settlers that the President was compelled to take immediate steps to obtain the command of the mouth of the river, and to that end offered to purchase New Orleans, but Bonaparte needed money and feared the seizure of Louisiana by England. He offered to the astonished American envoys the whole province. The price of $15,000,000 was quickly arranged and a treaty was signed. A commissioner was sent from France to receive Louisiana from Spain, and twenty days later, on Dec. 20,1803, the ancient French colony became a portion of the United States, bringing an accession of territory which gave to the young republic a great place among the nations of the world.

The Spanish, and French Explorers and the French Settlements, 1512-1763.

There are three kinds of title to unknown lands, those of gifts, discovery, and possession. The first is seldom of much validity without the addition of one of the other two. The second has in many cases been admitted, but subject to being superseded by the third, which in the hands of strong powers is invincible. All of these find illustration in the continent of North America, the title to which by the gift of Alexander VI. in the Bull of partition of 1495, lay with Spain.

It was strengthened by the discovery of Florida by Ponce de Leon in 1512 and by the settlement of St. Augustine in 1565. The maritime powers of Europe, disregarding the claims of Spain, did not hesitate to occupy the Atlantic coast by settlements from the St. Lawrence to Virginia before Spain took steps to take possession of the Gulf coast by founding Pensacola on the Gulf of Mexico.

In 1528, Pamphilo de Narvaez, seeking to rival the deeds of Cortez and Pizarro, landed in Tampa Bay with an army of 500 men. After useless wanderings in search of gold in the interior, he embarked with his few remaining companions for Mexico. They passed the mouth of the Mississippi, and after shipwreck and disaster, in which Narvaez and many others were lost, a few survivors, headed by Cabeza de Vaca, landed in Rio de las Palmas, and finally reached the Spanish settlements in Mexico.

The Frenchman Cartier, in 1534, discovered the St. Lawrence, which gave to France access to the interior of the continent.

The pompous expedition of Hernando de Soto arrived in Florida in 1539. He penetrated among hostile tribes as far north as the 37th degree of latitude in Kentucky, and after continual fighting, in which his losses were great, reached the banks of the Mississippi in April, 1541, at a point near the present town of Memphis. He crossed the river at that place and marched through Arkansas. Harassed by hunger and fatigue, the army, led by its indomitable chief, followed the Bed River to its junction with the Mississippi. Hernando de Soto was seized with fever and died on June 30, 1542, in the forty-second year of his age. To prevent his body falling into the hands of the Indians, it was sunk in the middle of the river. His lieutenant Muscoso built ships and led the few survivors down the Mississippi to the Gulf. They went westward along the coast and eventually reached Panuco, Mexico.

For 130 years the valley of the Mississippi was un-visited by the white man. In 1584, despite the protests of Spain, an abortive attempt at the colonization of Florida on the Atlantic coast was made by the French. The Dutch and English meanwhile were rapidly laying the foundation of permanent settlements along the Atlantic coast.

In Canada the French colony was growing. In 1673 Frontenac sent Marquette and Joliet to confirm the report of a great western river. On their return, after having traveled down the Mississippi to its junction with the Arkansas, it was determined to prosecute the explorations, and Robert Cavelier de La Salle was sent to make a complete examination of the river. Under his instructions in 1680 Father Louis Hennepin with two companions ascended the river to the Falls of St. Anthony; in 1682 La Salle himself with twenty-three white men, eighteen Indians, ten squaws and three Indian children decended the river to its mouth, which he reached on April 9. He gave to the newly-discovered country the name of Louisiana after his master Louis XIV., on whose behalf he laid claim to all the lands watered by the Mississippi and its tributaries.

After building some trading-posts and fortifications along the Mississippi River, one near the mouth of the Arkansas River, and another in the neighborhood of the present city of St. Louis, La Salle went to France, to lay before King Louis XIV. his plan for the development of a French empire in the New World. He actually succeeded in securing an interview with the King himself, before whom he placed his great dream of French world-wide empire. He spoke of the possibilities of connecting the mouth of the St. Lawrence and the mouth of the Mississippi by French settlements, and of the fear of Spanish aggressions from the southwest. His representations appealed to the King, and were seconded by the French Minister Seignelay. Thereupon King Louis authorized La Salle to establish a settlement near the mouth of the Mississippi River. He also gave instructions authorizing La Barre, who had taken possession of La Salle's posts along the Mississippi, to return the same into the hands of La Salle himself.

After some delay in securing ships and settlers, La Salle in 1684 sailed from La Rochelle with four ships. The mariners were not familiar with the gulf and passed by the mouth of the Mississippi River, and a landing was effected at Matagorda Bay, which is on the coast of the present state of Texas.

At this point La Salle determined to establish a fort. Unfortunately for his enterprise his mechanics were inefficient, and dissension arose among the settlers, after Beaujeu, the commander of the small fleet, had sailed away. To add to this sad state of affairs, the only remaining vessel of La Salle, which was laden with the provisions for the colony, was wrecked, and it was necessary to secure help from some source, or the colony would perish. La Salle formed the bold purpose of proceeding overland to Canada, and on such a desperate expedition he departed with a few of his followers. He had gone only a short distance when he was shot by one of the party. Thus perished the greatest of French explorers in North America, the man who planned more broadly for the French empire in America than any of the French statesmen. A few of his followers succeeded in reaching Fort St. Louis of the Illinois, where they met Tonty, the chivalric explorer and devoted friend of La Salle, who had been exploring the Arkansas country.

The colony which had been planted by La Salle in Texas was destroyed by the Indians. The Spaniards had not been unmindful of the action of La Salle, and themselves had sent a force from Mexico against the colony, but they found only the ruins of the settlement. After the death of La Salle in 1687, several years elapsed before the French made any further effort to settle the lower Louisiana region. France was not in a position to push her colonial schemes. Louis XIV. was engaged in many European wars, and the long war with Holland and England from 1688 to 1697 occupied his entire attention. The treaty of Ryswick, however, left open to him an opportunity to consider the development of his American colonial schemes. The Count de Pont-chartrain, Louis XIV.'s minister of marine, was favorable to the same colonial schemes and policies which had been advocated by Colbert and Seignelay. He, therefore, selected a brilliant young officer, Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville, to lead an expedition into the Mississippi country, to rediscover the great river and to make a settlement somewhere in the surrounding region.

Louisiana Settled.

After the failure of La Salle's expedition, Iberville, who had won fame by successful attacks on the English on Hudson's Bay, went to Paris to urge the necessity for action in the Gulf of Mexico. The lack of money and of interest in colonial questions delayed his departure. English and Spanish spies reported the intended expedition to their governments, and Spain, the most interested, sent an expedition to found Pensacola, so that on the arrival of Bienville she had strengthened her claim to the gulf coast by actual settlement. Nothing daunted, Iberville, with his brother Bienville, aged nineteen,' continued their voyage, and in February, 1699, cast anchor at Ship Island. Both brothers were familiar with Indian signs, so that they rapidly acquired means of communication with the few natives whom they encountered.

Iberville and his brother left their ships at Ship Island, and proceeding in some small boats rediscovered the Mississippi River on March 2, 1699. After several days they found a very muddy stream flowing into the Gulf, which they assumed to be the Mississippi River, and this they ascended past the present site of the city of New Orleans, returning by the way of the lake, which Iberville called Pontchartrain, to Ocean Springs (Old Biloxi), where the first French settlement in the Mississippi Valley was planted.

Iberville then appointed Sauvole as governor, and his brother, Bienville, second in command, and on May 4 of the same year he sailed for France. During the absence of Iberville the colonists explored the surrounding region, Bienville going up to the lands of the Mobile, Chickasaw and Alabama Indians.

In December, 1699, Iberville returned from France with supplies and additional settlers. His object now was to make a settlement on the Mississippi River proper, and he ordered a fort to be built about fifty-four miles from the mouth of the river. He himself proceeded up the river as far as the present site of Natchez. In command of this fort on the Mississippi he placed his brother, Bienville. His last visit to Louisiana was in December, 1701. Sauvole, who had been put in charge of the colony at Biloxi, died of fever in August, 1701, and the seat of the colony was removed in 1702 to a settlement on the Mobile River. Iberville was sent on an expedition to the West Indies in 1705, and died at Havana in July, 1706. The present city of Mobile was founded in 1711.

The colony was in an unfortunate position; communication with the mother country, on which it depended for almost every necessity, was prevented by the state of war with England, and the colonists suffered from disease and privations. In 1702 it was decided, as mentioned above, to leave Biloxi for Mobile, but war with the Alabamas broke out in that year and a little later with the Chickasaws. The outlook was improved in 1704 by the arrival of ships with provisions and colonists to whom lands were allotted along the river, but, unfortunately, there was an outbreak of an epidemic supposed to be yellow fever, and among the victims in 1704 was the brave Tonty, who had been with La Salle. Much dissatisfaction was unjustly felt with the management of Bienville. The colony was neglected by France, and suffered from want of food and supplies. Cadillac became governor in 1713 and Bienville was sent against the Natchez to punish them for the murder of some Frenchmen.

The early years of the Louisiana colony were not profitable in a financial way. At one time the colony was almost at the point of starvation and was saved by securing provisions from the Spaniards at Pensacola in Florida, which settlement had also been saved by provisions the year before secured from the French at Biloxi. Beginning with 1702, the French and Spanish powers became friendly in the New "World, due to the fact that a French prince was made King of Spain, and France and Spain were fighting as allies against Austria and England.

The War of the Spanish Succession, as it was called, was very hurtful to the growth of the colony, as the king could give no attention to it. The population in 1706 was about eighty-two and the total head of cattle was about forty-six.

Under the adverse circumstances existing, Louis XIV. in 1712 granted the whole of Louisiana to a wealthy merchant named Antoine Crozat. The population was now about 400, scattered among several settlements and trading-posts. Crozat's charter was for fifteen years, with the exclusive right to control all trade to and from the colony. Crozat was thus made a sort of proprietor, though the king bore part of the expense of running the colony. Under Crozat's orders, efforts were made to open up trade with Mexico, but they did not succeed. By 1717 there were some 700 persons in Louisiana, chiefly on the Mississippi and Mobile Rivers, and at Biloxi.

The rising of the Natchez Indians in 1716 compelled immediate action. Bienville was sent with only a few soldiers to inflict punishment. By strategy he succeeded, and compelled the natives to assist in the building of Fort Rosalie. In 1716 Crozat, being dissatisfied, recalled Cadillac and left Bienville to govern the colony until the arrival of de L'Epinay, the new governor. Hardly had de L'Epinay arrived before Crozat, finding that his monopoly was unprofitable, surrendered it in 1717, and soon after he had done this the Mississippi or Western Company, under the direction of a shrewd Scotchman, John Law, secured a charter good for twenty-five years to the Louisiana Territory, with exclusive commercial rights and power to form settlements and to develop industries. The king gave the company all the forts, magazines, guns, ammunition, vessels, boats and provisions, etc., in Louisiana which had been surrendered by Crozat.

Bienville was appointed commander-general and governor, and he determined at once to make a permanent settlement on the Mississippi River. In February, 1718, he selected the present site of New Orleans, which was named in honor of Philip of Orleans, the Regent of France. It was Bienville's intention to move the seat of government immediately to New Orleans, but this was opposed by the Superior Council. France now being at war with Spain, an expedition was undertaken against Pensacola, which was captured, but later returned to the Spaniards.

The more accessible portions of the colony had been granted to capitalist shareholders in the company who sent out shiploads of workers and their wives and children. Biloxi and Mobile were too small to deal readily with the numbers who had arrived and much sickness resulted.

The failure of Law in 1721 for a time threatened the destruction of the colony, but the Mississippi Company showed faith in its value, and continued its shipments of men and material. The settlers on Law's concession, abandoned after his failure, went to New Orleans and were given lands above the city. By their industry the Cote des Allemands or German Coast soon became one of the richest parts of the state.

Further troubles with the Natchez occurred in 1723, and a year later the many complaints made against Bienville resulted in his being recalled; before his departure he issued a revision of the Black Code for the management of the slaves in the colony. The government of Perier, who arrived in 1726, was marked by the coming of the Ursulines in 1727 and by a great war with the Natchez Indians. From 1727 to 1731 the existence of the colony was endangered by Indian troubles, but considerable reinforcements were sent from France, and after much bloodshed the Natchez were practically exterminated.

In 1731, after fourteen years of continuous expenditure with little hope of eventual profit, the company resigned its charter and Louisiana became a crown colony. Bienville, exonerated from the charges brought against him, was reinstated as governor. He determined to protect the colony by securing the submission of the Chickasaws. In the attempt he suffered great losses and returned to New Orleans after only partial success. To his difficulties were added the financial troubles resulting from the edict which withdrew the paper of the Mississippi Company from circulation. The last years of his administration were devoted to measures beneficial to Louisiana. He left New Orleans on May 10, 1743. During his two terms of office, covering thirty-five years, he had constantly believed in and worked for the success of the colony in the history of which he had been the most important factor.

The ten years (1743-1753) of the administration of Vaudreuil were rendered difficult by the war between England and France and by Indian wars. The colony, however, made considerable progress. Vaudreuil was succeeded by Kerlérec in 1753 who labored under many difficulties, internal and external. The colony was deprived of communication with Europe by the presence of English cruisers. France suffered defeat in Canada, and by the treaty of Paris in 1763 surrendered the territory east of the Mississippi, excepting the Island of Orleans, to Great Britain, and to Spain, by the secret treaty of Fontainebleau in 1762, all the rest of Louisiana.

Louisiana under Spain.

Kerlérec, being recalled to France in 1763 to answer various charges brought against him, was succeeded by D'Abbadie, whose short term of office was marked by the expulsion of the Jesuits and the publication of the cession of Louisiana to Spain. He died in 1765 and was followed by Aubry who was little fitted for the difficult position created by the delay of Spain in taking possession of the territory.

Many of the Acadians, expelled from Nova Scotia in 1755, arrived in Louisiana after ten years of wandering. They were hospitably received and a tract of land was granted to them westward of the German Coast. By their devotion to agriculture they have done much to advance the wealth of Louisiana. In July, 1765, came definite news of the arrival in Havana of Antonio de Ulloa, the official charged with the duty of receiving the cession of the colony. He arrived in New Orleans in 1766. He was a man of merit and a distinguished savant, but he utterly lacked the qualifications necessary for the discharge of his instructions. The government remained in the hands of Aubry at the expense of Spain.

The cession of Louisiana to Spain was generally obnoxious to the people of New Orleans and the surrounding country. They were greatly attached to France, so they held a meeting in New Orleans, composed of delegates from every parish, and the richest merchant of the state was sent to France, begging that steps should be taken whereby the cession should not go into effect.

Bienville, then eighty-six years of age, residing in Paris, begged the king to take back Louisiana, but the king declared that the matter had gone too far, and that Louisiana must pass into the hands of the Spaniards. When this announcement was made the people were filled with consternation, and when Don Antonio de Ulloa arrived, representative of the King of Spain he was very coolly received. He feared the state of affairs and would not take official possession until some troops arrived.

The people wished to remain French, and were much opposed to the rule of Spain. As Louis XV. had not listened to their entreaties they thought of establishing a republican form of government in Louisiana. The French banner was not yet taken down and the people asked that Ulloa be withdrawn. In October, 1768, a revolution broke out against his rule, and Ulloa departed from the colony. As a matter of fact, he had been given notice that he had to embark. The inhabitants thereupon printed a long memorial in explanation of their conduct and making charges against Ulloa, but the expelled governor was heard at the court of Spain. The chief of the Revolution of 1768 was Lafrénière, a heroic and eloquent man.

Don Alejandro O'Reilly was then appointed as captain-general of the province, and sailed to Louisiana. He took possession of the country in the name of the King of Spain. The Louisianians hesitated, and were almost ready to resist, but they were overawed by O'Reilly's military spirit and the strength of his soldiers and ships, so finally, on Aug. 18, 1769, Louisiana was surrendered into the hands of O'Reilly as a representative of the King of Spain, and Spanish domination prevailed in Louisiana.

The first step of O'Reilly was to establish a firm government assimilating Louisiana to other Spanish colonies. Claiming that the domination of Spain dated from the coming of Ulloa, he arrested and sent for trial to the Spanish court twelve of the most prominent of those who had resisted the cession. They were all convicted and six sentenced to death, the others to different terms of imprisonment. O'Reilly's severity was inexcusable, and his victims are known as the "Martyrs of Louisiana." He abolished the Superior Council and established a cabildo, a form of government which lasted during the entire time of the Spanish domination. His successor, Luis de Unzaga, took up office in 1770 and married a Creole, a Louisianian of French origin. Under his mile rule the dissatisfaction of the French disappeared.

Though commerce was restricted by the narrow policy of Spain, necessary supplies were allowed to enter by smuggling, and prosperity increased. The War of Independence in 1775 increased the difficulties of Spanish rule. It was the cause of the coming to New Orleans of a great number of Americans, which continually increased until the final union with the United States. When the American colonies began to struggle for independence in 1775 the people of Louisiana were greatly interested. They were in full sympathy with the colonies. The population of Louisiana had increased considerably, for in 1769 New Orleans had a population of over 3,000 and the whole province of about 14,000, and by 1776 the colony had increased still more.

A report of 1776 shows that there were a number of settlements along the river other than New Orleans, and gives the resources of the country with reference to commercial products, indicating the great possibilities to Spain from these sources.

The commerce of the colony amounted annually to about $600,000. Most of this commerce went to England. It is not to be forgotten in this connection that the English had secured East and West Florida from Spain by the treaty of 1763, thus giving England all of old Louisiana east of the Mississippi River, except the Island of Orleans. Consequently the English people were in close touch with this Mississippi trade, and vessels went direct from London to New Orleans.

At Baton Rouge was a large English settlement, and it was feared by the Spanish power that too many English would come into the province. Complaint was made that the English were also friendly with the Indians, and were inciting them to rebellion and insurrection; hence the report of 1776 favored Spain's entering into the war against England because the Spanish settlers still residing in Florida were in sympathy with Spain, and because the rebellion of the American colonies would tend to increase Spain's chances of success. As is well known, this suggestion proved true, for at the end of the American Revolution Spain secured possession of East and West Florida, and thus, with Louisana and Mexico, encircled the Gulf.

At this time the governor of Louisiana was Bernardo de Galvez, who had been appointed to this position in 1777. He was the son of the Viceroy of Mexico and nephew of the president of the council of the Indies. He had acquired a reputation for bravery in Africa and had come to Louisiana as captain of the local regiment of militia. On the declaration of war between Spain and England, Galvez, with an army of 1,400 men, captured Baton Rouge and the British settlements on the Mississippi in 1779. In spite of great difficulties, in the following year he took Mobile and Pensacola in 1781, and thereby won the whole of West Florida for Spain. By the Treaty of Paris in 1783 a boundary was found between the territories of Spain and of the United States and the navigation of the Mississippi was declared free. These great successes won great rewards and Galvez was named Viceroy of Mexico in succession to his father. It is due to the efforts of Galvez that Louisianians by right claim that they took part in the war for American independence.

In 1783 Miro became governor of Louisiana. He also married a French Creole and by his liberal interpretation of the Spanish laws permitted the rapid growth of the surrounding settlements of the Anglo-Saxon colonies. The king of Spain also granted more liberal commercial privileges to the Louisianians and this greatly increased the wealth of the people.

Miro conciliated the Indians, chiefly through the influence of Alexander McGillivray, the halfbreed Indian chief of the Talaponches. He was led to hope that he might induce some of the Western states to secede and place themselves under Spanish rule. New Orleans prospered greatly but suffered much loss from a great fire in 1788, according to the governor, amounting to $2,595,000. In 1785 New Orleans contained about 5,000 persons and Louisiana and "West Florida about 32,000. The census of 1789 shows about 5,500 in New Orleans, and in Lower Louisiana 35,000 and Upper Louisiana 2,000. Louisiana proper had increased 10,000 in five years. The white population in 1788 was 19,500.

The language in use was chiefly French, and Governor Mir6 reported that he could not get the people, except Spanish families, to consent to the use of Spanish in the schools, though that language was used in all court proceedings. Mir6 prevented the introduction of the Inquisition. The French revolution and its results, both in France and Santo Domingo, brought into the colony large numbers of Frenchmen, thus accentuating this element in Louisiana. Miro resigned in 1791 and was succeeded by Baron Carondelet, who continued the liberal commercial policy of his predecessor. The peace of the colony was much disturbed by the presence of revolutionary Frenchmen who had some hopes of regaining Louisiana for France. The fortifications of the city were put in good condition, and the movement subsided. In 1795, by the Treaty of Madrid, the free navigation of the Mississippi was reap-proved and a right of deposit in New Orleans was granted to the citizens of the United States, renewable at the end of three years. The sugar industry which had been abandoned for nearly thirty years became vastly important through the discovery of the means of granulation, and prosperity reigned in the colony. New Orleans was provided with public lighting and police protection.

In 1797 Carondelet received promotion and was followed by Gayoso de Lemos, during whose government the presence of incoming American settlers was more and more felt. Spain revoked the right of deposit, and the whole west demanded its reenactment. The United States prepared for war, but Spain gave way and restored the right. On the death of Gayoso, Bouligny took temporary charge and was followed in 1797 by Casa Calvo.

In 1801 Salcedo became governor, and under him happened the event which brought about the termination of the Spanish rule. The intendant Morales withdrew by proclamation the right of deposit which the citizens of the United States had. About this time a great man had injected himself into European politics, Napoleon Bonaparte. He dreamed of a colonial empire. On Oct. 1, 1780, he negotiated a secret treaty of peace through his minister, Berthier, at St. Ildefonso, with the king of Spain, whereby all of Louisiana was retroceded to France. But not till 1802 did the king of Spain finally ratify the treaty. The First Consul appointed Bernadotte, afterward to be king of Sweden, as governor-general to take formal possession of Louisiana, but Bernadotte would not go to America unless he had a sufficient armed force, which Bonaparte refused to furnish. He even went so far as to draw up a complete system of government for the province. General Victor was then appointed to take possession of Louisiana, but at this time the peace of Amiens between England and France was broken and Bonaparte never sent an expedition to America. So during this period the Spanish officials continued to rule just as some forty years before the French officials were in charge awaiting the arrival of Spanish authorities. In the meantime, the United States was becoming very-much disturbed about the navigation of the Mississippi. How could the tobacco raised in Tennessee and Kentucky be shipped if the Mississippi River should be closed? The grain trade of the Northwest would have no other outlet. The position became daily more critical for the United States, which feared that England might eventually seize Louisiana. Bonaparte was therefore approached by the representatives of the United States for the purchase of the city of New Orleans. To strengthen these offers the representatives were to explain to the French that this government could with difficulty keep back the army of Western settlers which was preparing to take possession of the city.

Bonaparte, whose hopes of the reconquest of Santo Domingo had been defeated, resolved to prevent the fall of Louisiana into the hands of the English, hence he was willing to listen to American overtures. The infant republic of the United States had become a giant in strength, but so rapidly that control of its members was difficult, if not impossible. From 1783 an increasing proportion of the surplus products of the settlers on the eastern bank of the Mississippi had, by the consent of the Spanish governors of Louisiana, found its way to New Orleans, a right of deposit having been granted. The pressure of the Western settlers for an outlet by the Mississippi River became so great that President Jefferson felt compelled to instruct Robert Livingston, the ambassador in Paris, to immediately secure the mouth of the river. He was to offer $2,500,000 for the city and for the Floridas. Monroe was sent to assist Livingston, but before his arrival Bonaparte had come to the decision to cede the whole province. When Monroe arrived he and Livingston agreed to listen to Bonaparte's plan. With great wisdom they accepted the proposition. After a little negotiation the sum of $15,000,000 was fixed on as the purchase price and a treaty was signed on April 30, 1803. The transfer of the province of Louisiana by Spain to France took place on Nov. 30, 1803, in the Cabildo building in New Orleans. At the same place, on Dec. 20, 1803, Laussat, the French Colonial Prefect, transferred the province to the American commissioners, Wilkinson and Claiborne. When the treaty of cession was signed Bonaparte remarked: "This accession of territory strengthens forever the power of the United States, and I have just given to England a maritime rival that will sooner or later humble her pride." Certain it is that the acquisition of Louisiana was the beginning of the making of the United States into a world power.

Bibliography.— For the student manuscript material must be sought in the national and departmental archives of England, France, Spain and Mexico, in the collections of the historical societies of Louisiana at New Orleans, of Missouri at St. Louis, of Illinois at Chicago, and Wisconsin at Madison, also in the manuscript department of the Library of Congress at Washington.

The principal printed sources of foreign languages are the histories by Le Page du Pratz (Paris, 1758); Laussat: Memories (Paris, 1831); Ga-yarre (2 vols., New Orleans, 1846); Villiers du Terrage (Paris, 1906); Margry: Origines Francaises des Pays d'Outre-Mer (6 vols., Paris, 1879-88); and Franz (Leipzig, 1906). In English consult histories of Louisiana by Martin (New Orleans, 1827); Gayarré (4 vols., New Orleans, 1854-1866) and Fortier (4 vols., New York, 1904); Houck: History of Missouri (3 vols., St. Louis, 1908); Hamilton: Colonial Mobile (Boston, 1897); King: Biography of Bienville (New York, 1892). For the language and literature see Fortier: Louisiana Studies (New Orleans, 1894); the folk-lore see Fortier: Louisiana Folk Tales (Boston, 1894); for the history and description of New Orleans, see History of New Orleans, edited by Rightor; King: New Orleans, The Place and the People (New York, 1896). The Howard Memorial Library of New Orleans contains complete apparatus for the study of Louisiana and New Orleans history.

Alcee Forties,
Professor of Romance Languages, Tulane University.


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