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THE two documents now first printed in this volume have been for nearly a century in the custody of the American Philosophical Society. The first is a paper written by Thomas Jefferson while President of the United States, which gives a summary of the various claims of France, Spain, and England to territory in the Mississippi Valley, and lays down the boundaries of the Louisiana Purchase. The original of this paper, in Mr. Jefferson's own hand, was deposited by him in the archives of the Society in Philadelphia, where it still remains. The second Is the manuscript known to historians as the Dunbar Journal, the importance of which has been generally recognized, though but few have had access to it. The Journal was kept by William Dunbar of Natchez, on a voyage of exploration which, in company with Dr. George Hunter, he undertook by direction of the President in 1804, as a part of Mr. Jefferson's statesmanlike plan to survey the vast new territory just coming into the possession of the United States. This manuscript was presented to the Society by Daniel Parker, Adjutant and Inspector-General, U. S. A., on the 18th of July, 1817.
The Journal of William Dunbar is comparable to the more famous Lewis and Clark Journals, which were likewise placed in the keeping of the American Philosophical Society at the instance of Mr. Jefferson, and like them is a contribution of the first
order to the history of the earliest exploration of the country west of the Mississippi. Dunbar himself was a man of note, and has already been honored in his native state as " the first scientist of Mississippi." Born at Thunderton near Elgin, Scotland, a younger son of Sir Archibald Dunbar, he united, as so many eminent men among his countrymen have done, practical and scientific abilities of a high order. He settled in America in 1771, and became a successful planter. Later he held important trusts under the Federal government, was a correspondent of Thomas Jefferson, Sir William Herschel, David Rittenhouse, and other famous men, and made many contributions of importance to the scientific interests of the country, then in their infancy.
In addition to the Journal and the paper already mentioned on the boundaries of Louisiana, the volume includes the letter from Mr. Jefferson transmitting his manuscript to the American Philosophical Society, with some mention of the circumstances under which it was written, and an extract from Mr. Jefferson's message to Congress, transmitting a summary of the Dunbar Journal. The portrait of Mr. Jefferson is from the original by Thomas Sully, which now hangs in the rooms of the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia. That of Mr. Dunbar is from the portrait at " The Forest," Dunbar's estate in Mississippi. The map is a photo-lithograph from the copper-plate engraving of Nicholas King's great map in the War Department at Washington.
In printing these rare documents, care has been taken to preserve the peculiarities of spelling and the quaint abbreviations which were characteristic of the writing of the time.
The acknowledgments of the publishers are due to the American Philosophical Society for its courtesy in permitting the use of the manuscripts here printed, and also of the portrait of Jefferson by Sully; to the Secretary of the Society, Dr. I. Minis Hays, for his assiduous care in the difficult task of comparing proof, verifying names, etc.; and to Mr. William Dunbar Jenkins for the copy which he has kindly furnished of the portrait of Dunbar.
Boston^ May 9, 1904.
By Thomas Jefferson
To PETER S. Du PONCEAU,
Corresponding Secretary of the Literary and Historical Committee of the American Philosophical Society.
Monticello, Dec. 30, '17.
1N0W send you the remains of my Indian vocabularies y some of which are perfect. I send with them the fragments of my digest of them, which were gathered up on the banks of the river where they had been strewed by the plunderers of the trunk in which they were. These will merely shew the arrangement I had given the vocabularies, according to their affinities & degrees of resemblance or dissimilitude. If you can recover Cap Lewis's collection, they will make an important addition, for there was no part of his instructions which he executed more fully or carefully, never meeting with a single Indian of a new tribe, without making his vocabulary the ri object. What Professor Adelung mentions of the Empress Catherine's having procured many vo-
cabulartes of our IndianSy is correct. She applied to M. de la Fayettey who, thro the aid of Geni Wash-ingtoUy obtained several: but I never learnt of what particular tribes. The great works of Pallas being rare I will mention that there are two editions of it the one in 2. volsy the other in ^. vols ^? in the library I ceded to Congress^ which may be consulted. But the Professor s acc^. of the supposed Mexican MS. is quite erroneous, nor can I conceive thro' whom he can have recieved his information. It has probably been founded on an imperfect knolege of the following fact. Soon after the acquisition of Louisiana, Gov^ Claiborne found, in a private family there, a MS. journal kept (I forget by whom^ but by a confidential oficer of the French government, proving exactly by what connivance between the agents of the Compa-gnie d' Occident, & the Spaniards, these last smuggled settlements into Louisiana, as far as Assinais, Adais etc. for the purpose of covering the contraband trade of the company. Claiborne being afraid to trust the original by mail, without keeping a copy, sent it on after being copied. It arrived safe and was deposited by me in the ofiice of state. He then sent me the copy. On the destruction of the ofice at Washington by the British, apprehending the original might be involved in that destruction, I sent the copy to Col° Monroe, then Secretary of State, with a request to return it, if the original was safe, & to keep it, if not. I have heard no more of it. My intention was, & is, if it is returned to me, to deposit it with your Committee, for
safe keeping or publication. While on the subject of Louisiana^ I have thought I had better commit to you also an historical Memoir of my own respecting the important question of it's limits. When we first made the purchase, we knew little of it's extent, having never before been interested to enquire into it. Possessing then in my library every thing respecting America which I had been able to collect by unremitting researches, during my residence in Europe particularly, and generally thro' my life, I availed myself of the leisure of my succeeding autumnal recess from Washington, to bring together every thing which my collection furnished on the subject of it's boundary. 'The result was the Memoire I now send you, copies of which were furnished to our Ministers at Paris and Madrid, for their information as to the extent of territory claimed under our purchase. The New Orleans MS. afterwards discovered, furnished some valuable supplementary proofs of title.
I defer writing to the Secretary at war respecting the observations of Longitude & Latitude by Cap'. Lewis, until I learn from you whether they are recovered, and whether they are so compleat as to be susceptible of satisfactory calculation. I salute you with great esteem and respect.
A Chronological Series of facts relative to iLouiStaua*
1673. OPAIN declares war against France. >^ 4. Russers Mod. Eur. 68.
Joliet, an inhabitant of Quebec, & the Jesuit Marquette descended from Canada down the Missisipi to the Arkansas in 33°. & returned to Canada. 8. Rayn. 158. Hennepin N. D. 293. 1675. LaSalle goes to France to sollicit authority to explore the Misipi. Joutcl xvii.
1678. The peace of Nimezuen. 4. Russ. 92. LaSalle returned from France to Canada
with Tonti to undertake to explore the Misipi. Joutel xviii.
1679. He builds a fort at the mouth of the
Miami of the lake. Hennepin Nouv. Decouvertes. 171.
1680. Jan. He builds a fort on the river Illi-
nois. Hennep. N. D. 223. Called it Crevecoeur. Feb. 29. Hennepin with 2. men leave the Illinois to descend the Misipi in a
bark canoe. Hennep. N.D. 228. 241. Visits the Arcansas 258. The Taensas 263. Reaches the sea. 272. Returns to the Illinois 294. 349. Nouv. voyage 96. I. Du Pratz. 4.
1681. La Salle visits fort Crevecoeur & leaves
a garrison there of 15. or 16. men. Tonti. 147.
1682. La Salle & Tonti went down the Misipi
& named the country Louisiana. He went to the mouths of the Misipi, observed their latitude, & returned to Canada. Joutel xvii. xx. Tonti 153. i. Du Pratz 5. 2. Dumont 258. says in 1679. They build a fort, called Prudhomme, in the Chickasaw country 60. leagues below Ohio.
1683. Tonti 155. Reach the ocean Apr. 7.
1683. lb. 191. They have 60. persons in their company. Set out on their return Apr. II. 1683. lb. 196.
Soon after this some Canadians, enticed by the flattering accounts of the country, went & settled near the mouth of the Misipi, & on the coast. 2. Dum. 260.
1684. Spain declares war against France, but
concludes at Ratisbon a truce of 20. years. 4. Rus. 141.
Jul. 24. La Salle sails from Rochelle with 4. vessels to seek the mouth of the Misipi by sea. Joutel 2. Tonti 140. He had with him 100. souldiers & officers, in all 280. persons. Hennepin Nouveau Voyage. 12. 1685. Feb. 18. La Sale landed in the bay of S! Bernard, or S! Louis. Joutel 32. i. Dupratz 6. Tonti 245. 2. Dum. 259 Builds a fort there. Tonti 245. 276. Left 100. men there Hen. N.V. 23. 130. persons. Joutel 45.
Apr. 22. He sets out with 20. men to seek a new place. Tonti. 249.
June. He makes a 2^ settlement further up the river. 70. persons go to it. Joutel 49.
July. They abandon the first fort & go to the 2*^. Joutel. 51. Called it and the neighboring bay S! Louis. Joutel 54.
Tonti descends the Misipi with 40. men to meet LaSale. Tonti 220. reconnoitres the coast 20. leagues East and West of the mouth. On the iour de Paques (Easter) they set out on their return. 222.
Tonti builds a house on the river Arkansa & leaves 10. Frenchmen there. Tonti 225. Joutel says 6. men, 4 of whom
afterwards returned to Canada. Joutel 151. This becomes permanent. 226. i. Dupr. 6. and is afterwards included in Law's grant, who settled it with Germans in 1719. 2 Dum. 68.
1686. Apr. 22. LaSale sets out for Illinois by
land. Hennepin N.V. 39. but returns to Fort Louis. lb. 63.
1687. Jan. 7. He sets out again with 20 men.
Henn. N. V. 67. Is murdered. Joutel 99. Henn. N.V. 'j'j.
LaSale's 2f fort at S* Louis is afterwards abandoned. Tonti 329. Coxe. 39.
After the death of LaSale, Cavelier his brother, with 7. men, set out for Canada. Joutel 132.
July. They find the house on the Ar-kansa built by Tonti with only 2. men remaining in it. Jout. 151. They leave one of their company there. 157. They strike the Misipi. Joutel
Dec. 3. Tonti sets out from the Illinois, & descends the Misipi a 2^ time. Tonti. 317. Finds LaSale's 2*! settlement broke up. 329. Finds at the Coroas 2. of the 7. French men who had separated . from Cavelier after the death of La-Sale. 331. Returns to Illinois. 331.
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1689. War commenced by Spain against France. 4. Russel. 228.
1696. Spain established a post at Pensacola. 9.
1697. Sep. 20. Treaty of Ryswick 4. Russell
1698. D'Hiberville discovers the mouth of the
Misipi. by sea. 2. Dum. 260. He is made Governor. 2. Dum. 260.
He establishes a colony at Mobile, & Isle Dauphine. 260. 1701. The war of the Spanish succession begins, France & Spain being allies. 4. Rus.
1712. Sep. 14. Louis XIV. grants the exclusive
commerce of Louisiana to Crozat. Possession & extent described Joutel 196. 2. Dum. 260.
1713. Mar. 31. Treaty of Utrecht establishing
the 49*!' degree of lat. as the division between Louisiana & the British Northern possessions.
1714. Mar. 6. Treaty of Rastadt.
1715. The French establish Natchitoches on
Red river & build a fort 35. leagues above it's mouth. 2. Dum. 65.
171 5. The Spaniards make settlements at the Assinais & Adais on one side & at Pen-
sacola on the other, i. Dupratz 9. 13. 14. (this was 7. or 10. leagues from Natchitoches) to restrict the French limits. I. Dupratz. 14. 278.
1716. Crozat cedes his charter to the West
India company. 2. Dumont. 6. 260.
1717. The company sent inhabitants to Isle
Dauphine, where were some settlers
before. 2. Dum. 7. Hubert and Page settle at the Natchez.
2. Dum. 60. Fort Rosalie is built. 2. Dum. 60.
1718. Two other vessels are sent there. 2.
Dum. 8. France and England declare war against Spain. Quadruple alliance. 5. Rus. 6.
1719. The French take Pensacola. i. DuPratz
189. 2. Dumont 9. The Spaniards retake it. 191. 12. The French take it again, ib. 195. 18.
France and Spain make peace. 5. Rus. 7.
France sends 800. settlers to Louisiana. DuPratz. xlviii.
Old Biloxi is settled. 2. Dumont 34.
Isle Dauphine is evacuated & every body removed to Old Biloxi, except a Serjeant & guard of 10. men, 2. Dum.
New Biloxi is settled. 2. Dum. 42. 43.
A cargo of Negroes arrives at Old Biloxi. ib.
The grantees now settle, every one on his own grant, to wit, at Old Biloxi, Bayagoulas, Point Coupee, Natchez, Yazous, Arkansas, Black river. 2. Dum. 44.
New Orleans is laid off, 30 leagues above the mouth of Misipi, where some settlers from Canada had already settled, & the seat of government is fixed there. 2. Dum. 47. 1720. A fort on the Missouri is built & garrisoned. 2. Dum. 74. Called Fort Orleans. JefFry. 139.
DelaHarpe & Dumont, with 22. men, go 300. leagues up the Arkansa. A fine country. Salt springs, marble, plais-ter, slate & gold. 2. Dum. 70.
1722. The Balise is established, & a fort built on piles. 2. Dum. ^j. The Spaniards attempt a settlement among the Missouris, but are all massacred to the number of 1500. 2. Dum. 282.
1733. France, Spain & Sardinia commence war against the Emperor. 5. Rus. 27.
1735. Peace is made 5. Rus. 29.
1736. The French build a fort at Tombicbee. I. DuPratz. 85.
1743. The Family compact made.
1748. The Treaty of Aix la Chapelle. 5. Rus.
1762. Spain enters as an ally with France into
the war against England.
Nov. 3. France cedes Louisiana West of Iberville to Spain by a secret treaty, and East of Iberville to England. Preliminary treaty. The King of France's order to L'Abbadie.
1763. The Treaty of Paris is made.
1783. Great Britain cedes the two Floridas to Spain.
IN 1680. the nearest settlements of Spain were on the river Panuco, 100. leagues West of the Misipi. Hennep. N.D. 274. Coxe 115. Coxe's Carolana. 4.
In 171 5. they make the settlements at Assinais & Adais, & Pensacola. i. DuPratz. 9. 13.
In 1722. they attempt one on the Missouri
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which is prevented by the Indians. 2. Du-Pratz 157. 2. Dumont 282. JefFry's hist, of the French Dominions in America. 139.
DuPratz sais * the coast is bounded to the West by S! Bernard's bay, where M. de la Salle landed.' and again *on the East the coast is bounded by Rio Perdido etc. a little to the East of Mobile etc. i. DuPratz. 216. and *the ked river bounds the country to the North.' I. DuPratz. 272.
2. DuPratz 301. says * Canada lies to the North of Ohio, & inclines more to the East than the source of Ohio.* [Consequently the Ohio was not in Canada, and must therefore have been in Louisiana, as these two provinces were co-terminous.] And again *the lands of the Illinois are reputed to be a part of Louisiana.' lb. His book was published in 1758. and the translation in 1763.
The Translator of DuPratz, in his preface, says * the mountains of New Mexico run in a chain of continued ridges from North to South, and are reckoned to divide that country from Louisiana, about 900. miles West from the Misipi. Pa. xi.'
1712. The great document establishing with precision the boundaries of Louisiana, is Louis XIV's grant of this date to Crozat. to be found in the translation of Joutel. 196.
1763. Treaty of Paris Art. VI. France cedes to England the river & port of Mobile & every thing on the left side of the Misipi, which she possesses or ought to possess except the island of N. Orleans: and Art. XIX. Spain cedes to England all she possesses East or S. E. of the Misipi. Thus all Louisiana E. of the Misipi. is acknoleged to England, and all English claims West of the Misipi acknoleged to Spain.
England divides the country South of Georgia, & East of the Iberville into two provinces. East & West Florida, by the Apalachicola.
1783. England, by Art. V. of the treaty cedes to Spain la Floride Orientale ainsi que la Floride Occidentale.
Spain re-establishes the government of Louisiana as before, & the government of Florida ; that part of what the English had called West Florida being under the Governor of N. Orleans, & the rest under the Governor of Florida. See the Baltimore American Patriot. Vol. i. N? 97. This is confirmed by M. D'Azara, Spanish Ambassador at Paris who told mf Livingston that Mobile made a part of Louisiana. See Liv's letter to Monroe. Paris. May 23. 1803.
Spain retrocedes to France by the treaty of S! Ildefonso.
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1803. Apr. 30. France cedes to the US. Louisiana with the same extent that it now has, & that it had when France possessed it, and such as it ought to be after treaties passed subsequently between Spain & other powers.
* Objections des Commissaires Anglois sur Tin-certitude des limites de I'Acadie etc. * Les limites propres et anciennes de I'Acadie s'etendent depuis Textremite de la baye Fran9oise jusq'au cap Canseau. L'objection d'incertitude sur ces limites ne pent done tomber que sur celles de I'interieur des ter-res. Dans de pareils cas, la regie la plus usitee et la plus convenable est d'etendre les limites dans I'interieur des terres jusque a la source des rivieres qui se dechargent a la cote, c'est a dire que chaque nation a de son cote les eaux pendantes. C'est ainsi qu'on en a use a la paix des Pyrenees pour fixer les limites entre la France et I'Espagne' etc. I. Memoires de I'Amerique. 116.
The boundaries of Louisiana.
THE French having for a century and a half been in possession of Canada, and it's inhabitants penetrating to the remote waters communicating with the S! Laurence, they learned of the Indians that, in the neighborhood of those waters, arose a great river, called the Missisipi, running due South to the sea, and through a fine country unpossessed by any white nation. In 1673. ^^ Sieurs Joliet and Marquette, two Canadians, undertook to explore it, descended the Missisipi as far as the river Arkansa, in 3 3 ° & returned to Canada. Their account of it inflamed the en-terprize of M. de la Salle, who in 1675, went to France to sollicit authority to explore the Mis-sipi. He obtained it, returned to Canada, and in 1680. went as far as the river Illinois, on the
lower part of which he built & garrisoned a fort called Crevecoeur, and sent the father Hennepin with 2. men to push his discoveries down the Misipi as far as he could; &, as preparatory to a more formal essay, going himself Northwardly. Hennepin descended the Misipi to the ocean, & returned with the information collected, to the Illinois. In 1682. La Sale & Tonti undertook their expedition; went down the river with 60. men, named the country Louisiana, built a fort in the Chickasaw country, 60 leagues below the Ohio, which they called Prudhomme, reached the ocean, and returned to Canada the ensuing year 1683.
La Sale then went to France, to obtain the means of going thence to the Misipi directly by sea. In the mean time some Canadians descend the river, & settle near it's mouth, & along the coast Eastwardly, to the island of Massacre, opposite Mobile. The government of France, entering at once into the view of extending an united possession along the S* Laurence & Misipi, from sea to sea equips la Sale with 4. vessels, on board of which were 280. persons, of whom 100. were officers and soldiers furnished with all necessaries. He sailed in July 1684. from Rochelle, and missing the mouth of the Missisipi, landed Feb. 18. 1685. in the Bay of S* Bernard to the West of it. Here he takes possession, makes two successive establishments, building and garrisoning
forts at each, the second of which was called S! Louis.
The Chevalier Tonti, about this time, sets out from Canada in quest of La Sale, whom he supposed to be then on the Misipi, descends with 40. men to the mouth of the river, reconnoitres the coast 20. leagues East & West; finding nothing of La Sale, he ascends the river, builds a house on the river Arkansa, and leaves 10. men in it, which becomes a permanent settlement, and he returns to Canada.
In 1686 La Sale attempts to penetrate from fort S! Louis to the Illinois by land, but is obliged to return. In 1687 he makes another attempt with 17. men, and is murdered on the way by some of his own people. Cavelier, brother of La Sale, undertakes the same enterprize with 7. men; they find the house on the Arkansa built by Tonti, with only two men remaining in it; they leave a third, strike the Misipi, and reach Canada. Tonti descends the river a second time, finds two Frenchmen who had separated from Cavelier settled at the Coroas, and returns to the Illinois.
In 1689. a war commenced between France and Spain, which continuing till the treaty of Ryswick in 1697. suspended the aids of France to her colony: but in 1698. D'Iberville was sent as it's governor with recruits. He discovers the mouths of the Misipi, and settles his new recruits
at Isle Massacre, which he calls Isle Dauphine, and at Mobile, where they find the Canadians who had settled there in 1683. Spain had, during the war, to wit, in 1696. taken a counter-post at Pensacola.
The result from these facts is that France had formal & actual possession of the coast from Mobile to the bay of S' Bernard, & from the mouth of the Misipi up into the country as far as the river Illinois. The nearest Spanish settlements at this time were on the River Panuco, to the West, 100. leagues from the Misipi, and at Pensacola, to the East . . leagues distant. There does not appear as yet indeed to have been any formal declaration of the limits of Louisiana: but the practice of nations, on making discoveries in America, has sanctioned a principle that * when a nation takes possession of any extent of sea-coast, that possession is understood as extending into the interior country to the sources of the rivers emptying within that coast, to all their branches, & the country they cover.' i. Mem. de I'Amerique 116. It was in support of this principle of virtual and declared possession, that France entered into the war of 1755 against Great Britain, whose settlements began now to reach the Eastern waters of the Misipi, and who opposed the claim of France, not on a denial of this principle, but on a prior possession taken & declared by repeated charters, thro' the space
of an hundred years preceding, as extending from sea to sea. France then had possession of the Misipi, and all the waters running into it, and of the sea coast and all it's rivers & territories on them from Mobile to the bay of S! Bernard. The river Perdido, midway between the adversary possessions of Mobile & Pensacola, became afterwards the settled boundary between Spain & France, in the East, and the Rio Norte, or Bravo, midway between the bay of S! Bernard and the river Panuco, the then nearest settlement of Spain, was considered by France, if not by Spain, and on the same fair grounds as in the other quarter, as the boundary between them in the West. Besides being midway between the actual possessions of the two nations, that river formed a natural and well marked boundary, extending very far into the country Northwardly. And accordingly we find by several * maps, some of them published by authority of the French government, and some Spanish maps, that France claimed to that river. This claim has not been abridged, as far as is known,
* I possess three antient maps which mark the Rio bravo & it's Eastern branch as the dividing boundary between Louisiana & Mexico, i. Moll's map of the West Indies & adjacent countries. 2. Moll's map of Louisiana etc. published in 1720. in which the Southwestern parts of Louisiana are said to be copied from a French map published in Paris in 1718. and 3. Homann's Spanish map of Louisiana of about the same date.
by any public treaty ; and those which are secret, if any such have taken place, cannot bind nations having no notice of them, & succeeding fairly to the rights of France, as publicly avowed & believed to exist.*
But the extent of Louisiana into the interior country is not left merely on the principle of it's dependency on the coast into which it's waters disembogue: nor on the settlements extending up it's great rivers, the Misipi, the Missouri, & the Illinois; but on an authoritative and public document announcing it's extent, and making a temporary disposition of it. This is the Letter patent of Sep. 14. 1712. by which Louis XIV. grants to the Sieur Anthony Crozat the exclusive commerce of that country for 15. years. The following extracts from it ascertain the extent of the country.
' Louis by the grace of god, king of France & Navarre to all etc.
* The care we have always had to procure the welfare & advantage of our subjects having induced us etc. to seek for all possible opportunities of enlarging & extending the trade of our American colonies, we did, in the year 1683. give our orders to undertake a discovery of the countries & lands which are situated in the Northern part of America, between
* To this may be added the verbal declaration of the French CommT to those of the US. on the delivery of possession, that his positive instructions from his government were to take possession to the Rio Bravo.
New France & New Mexico : & the Sieur de la Sale, to whom we committed that enterprize, having had success enough to confirm a belief that a communication might be settled from New France to the gul-ph of Mexico, by means of large rivers; this obliged us, immediately after the peace of Ryswick, to give orders for the establishing a colony there, & maintaining a garrison, which has kept and preserved the possession we had taken in the very year 168J. of the lands, coasts & islands which are situated in the gulph of Mexico, between Carolina on the East, & Old & New Mexico on the West. But a new war having broke out in Europe shortly after, there was no possibility till now, of reaping from that new colony the advantages that might have been expected from thence etc. And whereas upon the information we have received, concerning the disposition and situation of the said countries known at present by the name of the province of Louisiana, we are of opinion that there may be established therein a considerable commerce etc. we have resolved to grant the commerce of the country of Louisiana to the Sieur Anthony Crozat etc. For these reasons etc. we, by these presents, signed by our hand, have appointed, & do appoint the said Sieur Crozat to carry on a trade in all the lands possessed by us, and bounded by New Mexico, & by the lands of the English of Carolina, all the establishment, ports, havens, rivers, & principally the port & haven of the Isle Dauphine, heretofore called Massacre, the river of S'. Louis, heretofore called Missisipi, from the edge of the sea as far as the * Illinois; together with the river S'. Philip, heretofore called the Missourys, and
* The French & Spaniards called by the name of the Illinois, or Illinois country, the whole country on both sides
of S'. Jerome^ heretofore called Ouabache, with all the countries^ territorieSy lakes within landy and the rivers which fall directly or indirectly into that part of the river S! Louis.'
The Articles. I. Our pleasure is that all the aforesaid lands, countries^ streams, rivers & islands be, and remain comprised under the name of the government of Louisiana, which shall be dependant upon the general government of New France, to which it is subordinate: & further that all the lands which we possess from the Illinois be united etc. to the general government of New France, & become part thereof etc' [here follow 15. other articles relating to commerce only] * Given at Fontainebleau the \a^ day of Sep. in the year of grace 1712 and of our reign the 70*^ Louis. By the king Phelipeaux.'
'Here then is a solemn & public declaration sufficiently special to shew that all the waters running directly or indirectly into the Misipi, and the country embraced by them, are held and acted on by France, under the name of the province of Louisiana ; and is a full & unequivocal supplement, if any supplement were necessary, to the titles derived, i. from the actual settlements on the river and it's waters, 2. from the possession of the coast, & 3. from the principle which annexes to it all the depending
of the Upper Mi?ipi. That on the Eastern side was called East Illinois, that on the West side West Illinois.
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waters. The treaties of Ryswick, in 1697, where France & Spain were adversary powers, & those of Utrecht in 1713. & Rastadt in 1714. where they were aUies, by their silence, as well as by their provisions, as to these countries, must be considered as sanctioning the rights of France to this province: to which add the progress made by France, undisturbed & unquestioned, by Spain, in extending her settlements ad libitum within them, till 1763. It is true that in 1715. some Spaniards made small settlements at the Assinais, & Adais, & in 1722. attempted one on the Missouri. The last was prevented by the Indians, and the former were connived at by the Agents of France to favor a smugling commerce with New Mexico. But these contraband encroachments cannot weigh as evidence of ownership against the possession taken by France 30. years before, & the solemn establishment of boundary by Louis XIV.
War breaking out between them in 1718. the French took Pensacola; the Spaniards retook it, but the French recovered & retained it till the peace in 1719 when it was restored to Spain; and from this epoch the river Perdido has been the acknowledged and undisturbed boundary between Louisiana and Florida.
The boundaries of Louisiana then, as held by France, were the sea-coast & islands from the river Perdido to the Rio Norte or Bravo,
then up the Rio Bravo to it's source; thence to the highlands encompassing the waters of the Misipi, and along those highlands round the heads of the Missouri & Misipi & their waters to where those highlands assume the name of the Alleganey or Apalachian mountains, thence along those mountains, and the highlands encompassing the waters of the Mobile, to the source of the Perdido, & down that to the ocean.
In opposition to these claims, both of France and Spain, were those of the then English colonies, now the US. whose charters extended from sea to sea, and consequently covered all Louisiana & Mexico, above the parallel of latitude which formed the Southern boundary of Georgia. These adversary claims were settled by the war of 1755—1763. and the treaty of Paris which closed it, and which made the Misipi & Iberville the Western limit of the English possessions, and thenceforward the Eastern limit of Louisiana.
This war had begun between France & England, Spain being unconcerned in the grounds of it. In the beginning, France had sensibly the advantage, but after awhile it's successes were signally on the side of England. In 1762 Spain entered into it as a volunteer & ally of France. Great Britain immediately attacked & took the town of Havanna, & an important portion of the
island of Cuba; which imminently endangering the continental possessions of Spain within "the gulf, and her communication with them, negociations for peace were very soon set on foot. Great Britain, in exchange for her conquest in Cuba, required Florida, & that part of Louisiana from the Perdido to the Iberville. Besides the just sympathy which France felt for Spain, who had sustained this incalculable loss by friendly endeavors to aid her, she was bound by the family compact, lately renewed. Article XVIII. * to consider the interests of Spain as her own, & to share in it's losses and advantages.' A considerable change too had taken place in the minds of the government of France, against the possession of distant colonies, which could not be protected but by a great navy. France therefore, by a secret treaty, Nov. 3. 1762. (being the same day on which they publicly signed the preliminary articles with Gr. Britain) consented to cede all Louisiana to Spain, in order to enable her, by the sacrifice of such part of it as she thought proper, to ransom Cuba, and to indemnify her for the loss of Florida, required also by Great Britain to make up the equivalent. The portion of Louisiana from Iberville to Perdido therefore, ceded to Great Britain by the definitive treaty of Feb. 10. 1763. did in substance move from Spain to Gr. Britain, altho' France, as not having publicly conveyed
it to Spain, was the formal conveyor to England. Yet she acted herein merely as the friend & agent of Spain, who was become in truth the real proprietor of all Louisiana. The importance of seeing this transaction in it's true light will hereafter appear.
England immediately laid off this portion of Louisiana, with so much of Florida as laid West of the Apalachicola, into a separate government, to which she gave the name of West Florida; and the residue of Florida into another government, to which she gave the name of East Florida. And Spain, now proprietor of Louisiana, & of course free to curtail it's future boundary to the Westward, according to her own convenience, extended the limits & jurisdiction of New Mexico to the waters of the river Mexicana inclusively. But this cannot disprove the former extent of Louisiana, as it had been held & ceded by France; but was done in virtue of the right ceded by France.
The war of 1775-1783. began between Great Britain & the US. but France and Spain at length became parties to it. By the treaty of Paris of 1783. which terminated it, Gr. Britain was constrained to restore to Spain Florida, and the territory East of the Iberville, which she had received at the close of the former war in exchange for Cuba. If the portion of Louisiana comprised in it had really moved from
France, then the restitution of the portion between Iberville & Perdido should have been to France, and that of Florida only to Spain. But as the whole had moved substantially from Spain, the whole was restored to her. On reentering into possession Aug. 18. 1769. she continued the English annexation of the Eastern portion of Louisiana with a part of Florida, under the name of West Florida; restoring however the whole to the jurisdiction of the Governor of Louisiana, residing at N. Orleans : and in public * instruments, as well as in common parlance that portion has been spoken of under the names of Louisiana, or of West Florida indifferently.
The nation of France had seen with considerable dissatisfaction the separation of Louisiana from the mother country. That province had ever been viewed by it with great partiality. It was inhabited by their relations & fellow citizens : & they considered Spain, in the immensity of her possessions, as not entitled to such a sacrifice from France. Besides she had now got back both Florida & Cuba: and there was no justice in her continuing to retain Louisiana, which had been ceded to her only as an indemnification for the loss of one, & the means of getting back the other. As soon therefore as the successful administration of the first Consul of * One of these was deposited in the office of state;
France had raised her into a condition for re-demanding from other nations what she deemed her rights, Spain was required to make restitution of Louisiana, under the friendly cover indeed of an exchange, but it's inequality shews it was but a cover. The real grounds of restitution required that it should not be mutilated, but full and entire as she received it. For what had she ever given for it ? She was compleatly replaced in her antient possessions. On what just ground then could she propose to retain any portion of the equivalent ceded only as an indemnity for them ? Accordingly a compleat retro-cession was provided for by the treaty of S! Ildefonso of Oct. 1. 1800. by definitions studiously formed to reach every thing which had been ceded to or for her by France. By that instrument she re-cedes to France the colony or province of Louisiana, with the same extent i. that it now has in the hands of Spain. 2. that it had when France possessed it, and 3. such as it ought to be after the treaties passed subsequently between Spain and other powers. That is i. she is to recede the antient country of Louisiana, as it is now recovered back into the hands of Spain & held by her under the name of Louisiana, or West Florida, or Mexico, or by whatever other names she or other powers may since have chosen to designate certain parts of it, or to sever it by overlapping Mexico on it's West, and West
Florida on it's Eastern quarter: she is to recede the thingy as it is in her hands, unaffected by new names. To make it still plainer, she is to retrocede it 2^? with the same extent that it had when France possessed it. Now France never possessed it one day with any less extent than from the Perdido to the Rio Norte, & inland to the sources of all it's rivers. The whole of this extent she transferred on the same day by two treaties of equal date, to wit, all Westward of the Misipi & Iberville to Spain, & all Eastward to Great Britain. But, of the Eastern portion, Spain having since recovered back all below 31°. of latitude, that, with the Western side, composes Louisiana, as now in the hands of Spain, and as it had been possessed by France. But, not to disturb the right of the US. to the portion North of 31°. and to shew that it was only so much of the Louisiana held by France, as was now in the hands of Spain, it is expressly limited 3*^^ to be such as it ought to be after the treaties passed subsequently between Spain & other powers. Subsequently to what ? To the cession of the country by France. When was that session .? Nov. 3. 1762. and Feb. 10. 1763. What are the treaties subsequent to this ? Those affecting the limits of Louisiana are the treaty of Sep. 3. 1783. with Great Britain, & that of Oct. 27. 1795. with the US. The former was a restitution, by Gr. Britain to Spain, of Florida,
& the portion of Louisiana from the Perdido to the Iberville : and consequently, after this treaty, the extent of Louisiana ought to be, as again consolidated to the Perdido. But inasmuch as by the latter of these two treaties, Spain had confirmed to the US. a degree of latitude [from 32°. to 31°.] which she had long contended to be an unceded part of Louisiana, & consequently not within the limits of the US., therefore by this provision, that right is saved to the US. & the extent of Eastern Louisiana, after this treaty, ought to be only to the latitude
Should it be alledged that this confirmation
of the diminutions of Louisiana by treaties subsequent to it's alienation by France, goes to the treaty of 1763. with Gr. Britain also; the answer is that this treaty was simultaneous with the alienation, & not subsequent to it, and therefore could not be within the scope of this definition. The confirmation too is in favor of treaties made by Spain, with other nations. That with Great Britain is by France and Spain. But it might also be justly observed that Louisiana was not lessened in it's dimensions by that treaty; it was only divided, the Eastern portion thereof transferred to Great Britain, the Western to Spain; who might new-name a part of it West Florida, & a part Mexico, for their internal purposes, as they pleased ; but when the portion newly called
West Florida came back to the hands of Spaitiy it was still a part of antient Louisiana, as possessed by France, as now in the hands of Spain, & unalienated by subsequent treaties of Spain with other powers.
On the whole, the intention of the treaty of S* Ildefonso is clearly this. France had in 1763. generously ceded all Louisiana to, or for Spain. Spain consented that the Eastern portion of it, below Georgia, together with her Florida, should go to recover Cuba. Afterwards however, in another war, by the arms of France and of the US. (for Spain came in late, & then did little more than waste her resources on the rock of Gibraltar) she recovers back, and has secured to her, her antient Florida, & the Eastern portion of Louisiana, below Georgia. The treaty of SJ Ildefonso therefore meant to review this whole transaction, & to restore France & Spain to the Status quo prior to the war of 1755.—63. Spain being now in possession of her original colonies of Florida and Cuba, it was just, & was meant, that France should also be reinstated in Louisiana, so far as Spain, while it was in her hands, had not transferred portions of it by permanent alienations to other powers. She con-lined her reclamation therefore to the part of her antient possession which was in the hands of Spain, not touching the portions which had been validly transferred to the US.
If Spain then were not to deliver the country from the Iberville & Missipi to the Perdido, this would not be delivering Louisiana with the extent it had when France possessed it, & before it had ever been dismembered: nor with the extent it now has in the hands of Spain, since it has been restored to it's antient & integral form: nor such as it ought to be after the treaty subsequently passed with England in 1783. And we trust that these definitions are too exact & unequivocal, & Spain too just, to admit any doubt of what we are entitled to demand, & she bound to deliver.
Whatever Louisiana was, as retroceded by Spain to France, such exactly it is, as ceded by France to the US. by the treaty of Paris of April 30. 1803.
Sept. 7, 1803
P. S, The Northern boundary of Louisiana, Coterminous with the possessions of England.
THE limits of Louisiana have been spoken of in the preceding statement, as if those established to the West & North, by the charter of Louis XIV. remained still unaltered. In the West they are so, as already explained. But, in
the North, a material change has taken place. With this however it was unnecessary to complicate our subject, while considering the interests of Spain alone: because the possessions of Great Britain, & not of Spain, are coterminous with Louisiana on it's Northern boundary. We will now therefore proceed to examine the state of that boundary, as between Gr. Britain & the US.
Disputes having arisen between Gr. Britain & France as to the limits between Canada & Louisiana on the one side, & the countries of the Hudson's bay, & North Western companies on the other, it was agreed by the treaty of Utrecht (1713) Art. X. that * Commissaries should be forthwith named by each party to determine the limits between the bay of Hudson and the places appertaining to the French, & to describe & settle the boundaries between the other British and French colonies in those parts ' these Commissaries accordingly fixed the Northern boundaries of Canada & Louisiana, by a line beginning on the Atlantic, at a Cape or Promontory in 58°—30' N. Lat. thence South Westwardly to the lake Misgosink, or Mista-sin, thence farther S. W. to the lat. of 49? North from the Equator, and along that line indefinitely. [Hutchins's topographical description of Louisiana, pa. 7.] Thus the Northern boundary of Canada and Louisiana became fixed, & the
latter particularly became changed to the parallel of 49? from the Equator, instead of the highlands inclosing the Northern waters running directly or indirectly into the Misipi, as settled by Louis XIV. Canada being, by the peace of 1763. transferred to England, it's Southern boundary was settled by the treaty of 1783. with the US. along the S' Croix & highlands bounding the Southern waters of the S! Laurence, the 45^ degree of latitude to the water communication between the lakes, and along that communication to the lake of the woods; whence the line of the US. was to run due West, till it should strike the Missisipi. Now, according to the maps of that time, and particularly Mitchell's on * which the boundary of 1783. was predicated, the line of 49? passes through the Southern part of the lake of the Woods: and the North Western point of the lake of the Woods, as observed by Thompson, Astronomer to the North West company, is in Lat. 49°—37'. [McKenzie's 2. voyage chapt. 13.] At that lake therefore the English negotiators ceased to pursue the water communication, because, South of the latitude of that lake, they owned nothing: and to have followed the water line further Northwardly, would have broken in upon the continuity of their Southern boundary. Canada
* The identical map used by the negociators, with their MS. marks on it, is deposited in the office of state.
was thus closed to the West, by it's Northern & Southern limits meeting in a point in the lake of the Woods. It was at that time believed that the Missisipi, heading North of 49! would have been intersected by that line of latitude, and our possessions consequently closed. But subsequent information rendered it probable that that river did not extend so far North; (it is now said only to 47! 38') and consequently that there was an unclosed space between it's source & the lake of the woods. Without undertaking to decide what were the limits dividing Great Britain & Spain in that quarter, we concluded it would be safest to settle, as occasions should offer, our boundary there with both nations, on the principle of * valeat quantum valere potest * with each. Having to form a convention with England for ascertaining our limits in the North Eastern quarter, we took that occasion for closing, as far as depended on her right, the vacancy in our North Western angle; & therefore proposed it to her. While negociations were going on at London for this purpose, an opportunity occurred of our acquiring Louisiana: and the stipulations being promptly concluded, a treaty for that acquisition was actually signed at Paris twelve days before that of London was concluded. But this treaty was not known to the negociators of either party at London ; nor could the rights acquired by it, be affected by arrange-
ments instituted & compleated there merely for the purpose of explaining and supplying the provisions in the treaty of 1783. In result, this acquisition rendered these explanations unnecessary, and the V^ article respecting them merely nugatory. For England holding nothing in that quarter Southward of 49? the line proposed in the V'^ article, from the North Western point of the lake of the Woods Southwardly to the nearest source of the Misipi, is through a country, not belonging to her, but now to the US. Consequently the consent of no other nation can now be necessary to authorize it. It may be run, or not, and in any direction which suits ourselves. It has become a merely municipal object respecting the line of division which we may chuse to establish between two of our territories. It follows then that the V*^ Article of the Convention of London of May 12. 1803. should be expunged, as nugatory; and that instead of it, should be substituted one declaring that the dividing line between Louisiana & the British possessions adjacent to it, shall be from the North Western point of the Lake of the Woods, along the water edge Westwardly to it's intersection with the parallel of 49? North from the Equator, then along that parallel (as established by the treaty of Utretcht between Gr. Britain & France) until it shall meet the limits of the Spanish province next adjacent. And it
would be desirable to agree further that, if that parallel shall, in any part, intersect any waters of the Missouri, then the dividing line shall pass round all those waters to the North until it shall again fall into the same parallel, or meet the limits of the Spanish province next adjacent. Or, unapprised that Spain has any right as far North as that, & Westward of Louisiana, it may be as well to leave the extent of the boundary of 49f indefinite, as was done on the former occasion. Jan. 15. 1804.
THE EXPLORATION OF THE RED, THE BLACK, AND THE WASHirA RIVERS.
This Manuscript presented to the American Philosophical Society
by D. Parker
Phil? 18 July 1817 Rec"^ thro' Dr Cutbush
Extract from the iW^eSSage from the President of the United States, read in Congress, February 19, 1806.
**Tr TAVING been disappointed, after consider-
I 1 able preparation, in the purpose of sending
-■--*- an exploring party up that river, in the summer of one thousand eight hundred and four, it was thought best to employ the autumn of that year in procuring a knowledge of an interesting branch of the [Red] river called the Washita. This was undertaken under the direction of Mr. Dunbar, of Natchez, a citizen of distinguished science, who had aided, and continues to aid us, with his disinterested and valuable services in the prosecution of these enterprises. He ascended the river to the remarkable hot springs near it, in latitude 34° 31'4''.i6, longitude 92° 50^45'' west from Greenwich, taking its courses and distances, and correcting them by frequent celestial observations. Extracts from his observations, and copies of his map of the river, from its mouth to the hot springs, make part of the present communications. The examination of the Red river itself, is but now commencing.
February 19, 1806.
Commencing at S[ Catherines landing, on the East bank of the Missisippi^ proceeding downwards to the mouth of the Red river, and from thence ascending that river, the Black river and the Washita river as high as the Hot-Springs in the proximity of the last mentioned river.
This voyage was undertaken by
the late William Dunbar Esq of Natchez 1804
in Company with George Hunter.—
was kept by M' Dunbar — & is 200 pages
The Geometrical Survey of the
Rout will be found at the End consist'g of 64
Pages in his hand writing.
Philad. 18 July 1817