The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 17, July 1913 - April, 1914 Page: 14
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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly
its. John Randolph claimed to have "some light"-probably a
reflection from Jefferson's Monticello library-upon the western
limit of Louisiana. La Salle's colony, he believed, afforded the
United States a claim to the "grand river of the North," which
limit embraced some very valuable Spanish territory, including the
"rich mines of St. Barbe" and Santa F6. On the other hand, he
believed that the settlement at Adaes gave Spain a right to the
Sabine and the highlands dividing the waters of the "North
River" from those of the Mississippi, but not the "shadow of a
claim" beyond. The extensive territory in dispute he expected to
be profitably employed in exchange for the Floridas and in secur-
ing all the country watered by the Mississippi."
None of the senators ventured to make a definite statement re-
garding the limits of Louisiana. Breckenridge forgot the Ken-
tucky Resolutions sufficiently to favor the expansion of our re-
public beyond the Mississippi, for he asserted that the Goddess of
Liberty was not to be restrained by-water courses. Pickering be-
lieved that the French government had purposely obscured the
question of limits as well as other features of the treaty. Dayton,
of New Jersey, who, thanks to Wilkinson, had spent a very pleas-
ant summer among the New Orleans creoles, emphasized the fact
that the French and Spanish officials each had a different interpre-
tation of the western boundary of Louisiana. On the whole these
utterances show that the members of neither house possessed any
definite knowledge regarding the extent of Louisiana. In lieu of
anything better the majority were willing to accept the president's
view and trust the future to decide the question in a way most
favorable to the United States.17
A few months later Congress attempted to hasten this decision.
The Spanish government had formally withdrawn' its protest
against the alienation of Louisiana, and the formal transfer of the
province had occurred at New Orleans. Feeling secure in their
new acquisition, Congress, by the so-called "Mobile Act" of Febru-
ary, 1804, attempted the first distinct assertion of the West Florida
claim.18 Before the fiasco of this act became clearly manifest, the
same body approached, but in a different manner, the western
1eCf. Annals 8th Cong., 1st Sess., 401, 486.
1Annals 8th Cong., 1st Sess., 47, 48, 60.
COf. H. Adams, History of the United States, II, 257, 258.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 17, July 1913 - April, 1914, periodical, 1914; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101061/m1/18/: accessed May 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.