The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 10, July 1906 - April, 1907 Page: 73
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The Louisiana-Texas Frontier.
hand, aside from the control of the mouth of the Mississippi, he
believed that its possession by the United States would be a dis-
tinct detriment to the latter, for in his judgment two centuries
would pass before the country could be effectively populated, and
in the meantime centrifugal tendencies would destroy the present
form of the American government. While Spain continued to pos-
sess the Floridas and Havana, it would be comparatively easy to
blockade the mouth of the Mississippi and thus check any am-
bitious attempts of the western States upon Mexico. On the whole,
he preferred the Americans as neighbors to Victor's troops with
appetites whetted for further conquests.'
Although Casa Yrujo fully believed the cession detrimental to
the United States, he lost no time in following Cevallos' instruc-
tions to protest against the act on account of Napoleon's bad faith
in alienating Louisiana. The protest was expressed in two vigor-
ous notes of September 12th and 27th, and merely elicited from
Madison the verbal response that Cevallos had referred to France
the American desire to acquire the Floridas, that the Spanish
sovereign had consented to transfer the province to the same power,
and that any questions of good or bad faith arising outside the lan-
guage of the treaty must be settled between that power and Spain.
This controversy was later settled by Napoleon's inducing the Span-
ish government to withdraw its protest against his sale of Louis-
iana, while he agreed to assist that government to retain the Flor-
idas.2 Before instructions based upon this agreement reached
Casa Yiujo, he had already done what he could, in a small way, to
delay the transfer, by refusing to legalize certain papers in con-
nection with that act.' The only effect of his natural but mistaken
zeal was to alarm the American authorities and to exasperate the
French minister. Measures were immediately taken to gain pos-
session of Louisiana by force, should the Spanish troops therein
offer any resistance. Fortunately these precautions were unneces-
sary, and on December 20, 1803, the American commissioners re-
ceived from the French prefect the province that for a score of
'Casa Yrujo to Cevallos, August 3, November 5, 1803, in Henry Adams,
"Spanish State Papers." These papers of Mr. Adams are deposited in the
Bureau of Rolls and Library, State Department.
'Consult Adams, History of the United States, II, passim.
'Casa Yrujo to Cevallos, September 30 and October 16, 1803, in Adams,
"Spanish State Papers."
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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/m1/81/: accessed July 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.