The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 17, July 1913 - April, 1914 Page: 16
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16 The Southwestern Historical Quarterly
favor of closing the territory west of the Mississippi to settlement.
Then, too, the United States was not to relinquish its rights in
this region. That power was to remove all those who had settled
within it since 1800. Each nation was to be permitted to trade
with the Indians settled therein and to remove Indians from its
own territory within the zone, the police powers of which were to
be vested in the United States. Madison stated that he and his
colleagues believed that the American claim to the "Bravo" was
valid, so their proposal represented a very liberal concession which
called for an equally liberal one on the part of Spain, in regard
to the territory cast of the Perdido. The United States, the Secre-
tary warned Monroe, was to yield no more western territory than
was absolutely necessary and by no means to deprive itself of the
waters running into the Missouri or the Mississippi, or any of the
waters emptying into the Gulf between the Mississippi and the
In these instructions Madison stated the claims and conces-
sions of the United States as definitely as current knowledge per-
mitted. Further information regarding Louisiana, perhaps de-
lived from Humboldt or Wilkinson, or from Lewis's early letters,
or more probably the prospect that Spain would be forced into a
war with England, led the administration to modify them. Jeffer-
son preferred that the neutral zone should include the territory be-
tween the Rio Grande and the Colorado, or if necessary between the
former and the Sabine, but if possible he wished our commissioners
to avoid the perpetual relinquishment of any territory east of the
"Bravo"-even in exchange for the Floridas east of the Perdido.
He evidently was determined to make the most of Spain's neces-
sity. Gallatin, however, dissented from his views, so Jefferson
wrote Madison, July 6, 1804, that the previous views of the cab-
inet remained unchanged.28
Madison's instructions of July 8, 1804, therefore, did not differ
materially from the previous ones, except that the neutral zone
was to be extended westward to include the territory between the
Colorado and the Rio Grande, while all lines drawn from its eastern
limit, whether the Sabine or the Colorado, should have a northwest
trend rather than one due north. This latter provision was due
to the prospective rapid expansion of American settlement west of
2SJefferson Papers, 1st Ser., Vol. X, No. 113.
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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/m1/20/: accessed July 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.