The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 10, July 1906 - April, 1907 Page: 43
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The Louisiana-Texas Frontier.
Lord Dorchester, the governor-general of Canada, sent a special
agent named Beckwith to ascertain the position of the American
authorities towards Great Britain and to learn what inducements
were necessary to enlist the United States on her side.1 His mis-
sion afforded an opportunity for public leaders of the period to
express their opinions regarding Louisiana; and this fact, rather
than the position of Great Britain, constitutes the most important
feature of the whole controversy.
In his interviews with Beclkwith, 1 amilton expressed himself as
opposed to British possession of New Orleans. In case of actual
hostilities that point should pass under American control; but with
this proviso, he apparently was inclined to favor the cause of Great
Britain against Spain.2 In contrast with his opinion may be men-
tioned that of Scott, a member of the I-ouse of Representatives
from Pennsylvania, who believed it would be to the advantage of
the United States for Great Britain to possess New Orleans, and
even to gain it by American aid. Then the city could be used as a
point of advantage in the possible dismemberment of Spanish
The opinion of Jefferson with regard to England and Spain was
typical in that he attempted to square himself with both nations,
although he expressed the greater hostility towards the former.
Early in July he prepared a paper4 upon the subject, in which he
mentioned the danger from English control of New Orleans, and
favored a joint guarantee by Spain and the United States of the in-
dependence of the threatened territory. Notwithstanding this, he
later wrote Monroe,5 that either "war or indissoluble confederacy"
with England was necessary, and in the latter event he hoped that
Great Britain would content herself with Louisiana, and allow the
United States to retain New Orleans and the Floridas. This
view suggests his later position regarding France at the mouth of
'Report of the American Historical Association, 1904, 415, 416.
2American Historical Review, VII 709; Report of the American Histori-
cal Association, 1904, 416.
Ibid., VII 716, note 1; Report of the American Historical Association,
4Report of the American Historical Association, 1904, 415.
Amterican Historical Review, VII 710; Report of the American His-
torical Association, 1904, 418.
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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/m1/51/: accessed April 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.