The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 10, July 1906 - April, 1907 Page: 40
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Texas Historical Association Quarterly.
the Illinois country; that dictated the policy of refusing to receive
an American envoy; and that directed the mission of Rayneval to
England in a futile attempt to enclose the United States between
the Atlantic and the Appalachians.1 When, despite these efforts,
covertly aided by Vergennes, the American commissioners cleverly
succeeded in making favorable terms with England, the Spanish
minister, Count d'Aranda, could but sadly utter his notable
prophecy, "This federal republic is born a pigmy. A day will
come when it will be a giant, even a colossus, formidable in these
The marked friendliness of France for Spain was in keeping
with its general policy to obtain Louisiana and to make that prov-
ince as valuable as possible. That France did not succeed in 1783
in gaining actual possession of the coveted territory was due to her
financial weakness." This financial inability, however, did not in-
terfere with the preparation of memoirs reciting the advantages
that Louisiana would bring to France. One of these, written about
1787 and designed for De Moustier, the French minister to the
United States, came into possession of the Canadian authorities.4
in one of his most important dispatches De Moustier likewise
showed his own interest in the subject, and in such a way as to
justify Jefferson's suspicions of his motives and of those of his
The position of the West towards Louisiana, particularly with
regard to the navigation of the Mississippi, early becane impor-
tant. Spain appealed to this sentiment through Wilkinson and
other leaders of the famous conspiracy of 1788, in an endeavor to
detach that section from the Union. On the other hand, the Can-
adian authorities later attempted to make use of this feeling to
organize an attack upon Louisiana with the aid of Kentucky volun-
'For a review of the attitude of Spain and France towards the U. S.,
cf. Foster, Century of American Diplomacy, Chapter II; Ogg, Opening of
the Mississippi, Chapter VIII; Turner, in American Historical Review,
X, 249-255; McLaughlin, The Confederation and the Constitution, Chap. II.
2Quoted in Ogg, 399.
"Ogg, Opening of the Mississippi, 462; American Historical Review, X
Report on Canadian Archives, 1890, 108-119.
'American Historical Rcviewo, X 257, note 3.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 10, July 1906 - April, 1907, periodical, 1907; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101040/m1/48/: accessed July 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.