The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 10, July 1906 - April, 1907 Page: 44
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Texas Historical Association Quarterly.
Yet Jefferson felt strongly opposed to Great Britain as a neigh-
bor in Louisiana, even under the most favorable conditions, and
this feeling appears in his instructions to Gouverneur Morris,' then
in London. He was to inform the British ministry that the United
States could not regard with indifference their acquisition of neigh-
boring territory. He instructed Carmichael2 at Madrid to repre-
sent to the Spanish government the desirability of a cession of New
Orleans and the Floridas to the United States, in return for a
guaranty of Spanish possessions upon the west bank of the Missis-
sippi. This suggestion reached Carmichael too late for effective
use, but it was in keeping with the later policy of Jefferson just
before the Louisiana purchase.
As a question of policy the possible march of British troops
across our territory from Detroit to St. Louis gave Washington and
his cabinet some concern," but added nothing to their views respect-
ing Louisiana. Early in the next year the British consul at Phila-
delphia suggested to his home government the advisability of con-
sidering the mouth of the Ohio as a point for collecting a force
to be conveyed against the Spanish settlements on the lower Misis-
sippi. This movement could hardly be undertaken without the
concurrence of the United States 'and upon a basis or reciprocal
advantages, but he believed that the cooperation of the western
settlers might be secured in any movement that promised to open
the Mississippi.4 Fortunately for the future peaceful growth of
the United States, the threatening war clouds were already dissi-
pated and Spain remained in undisturbed possession of Louisiana.
It was the temper of the West, uncertain in its allegiance to ex-
ternal sovereignty, but with its whole economic development cen-
tered in the free navigation of the Mississippi, that proved such an
element of danger during the first critical decade of the new na-
tional government. In August, 1790, Jefferson wrote Carmichael5
that it was impossible to answer for the further forebearance of our
western citizens. At that very time the Yazoo Land Company of
South Carolina, through Dr. James O'Fallon, was offering to locate
WReport of the American Historical Association, 1904, 420, 421.
"Ibid., 1904, 421, 4-22.
'Ibid., 1904, 418-420.
lIbid., 1897, 471.
5American State Papers, Foreign Relations, I 247.
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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/m1/52/: accessed November 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.