The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 17, July 1913 - April, 1914 Page: 24
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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly
He also cited the presence of Merriwether Lewis on the Missouri as
a specific instance of an American design to possess the entire course
of that river and also portions of Sonora and Sinaloa. This could
not be prevented as long as the Americans controlled the lower
courses of the Mississippi's western tributaries. In closing his dis-
patch he apologetically reminded Cevallos that he who preserved
Mexico for Spain would gain greater renown than Cortes who con-
quered it.8 The Governor of West Florida, Vizente Folch, despite
the advice of Wilkinson, wished Spain to retain both the Floridas
and the right bank of the Mississippi, for he considered the former
the "antemural" of Cuba, and the latter of New Spain. If the
Americans were permitted to pass such an important natural bar-
rier as the, Mississippi, which no one would have imagined possible
five years before, they would soon realize their ambition to possess
a port on the Pacific. What, then, would become of Spain's Ameri-
can possessions ?4 The next ten years were to answer his question.
While Spanish officials were predicting the fearful consequences
to follow the French or American possession of Louisiana, the
Americans themselves were giving serious attention to its boundary
problems. On May 1, 1803, Madison wrote Monroe that Citizen
Laussat had arrived at New Orleans and that Casa Calvo was
shortly expected. The main purpose of this dispatch was to assure
Monroe that in the formal transfer, in which these two men were
concerned, our rights under the Treaty of 1795 were to be pre-
served.5 Possibly Madison wished to conceal his own anxiety upon
this point. In July, however, this anxiety assumed a new phase
and one of unexpected personal interest. The Americans were
to possess Louisiana, provided Casa Yrujo's protests against the
transfer to them and his refusal to sign certain documents con-
nected with that act, did not prevent its consummation. However,
in due time, Governor Claiborne reported the passage through
Natchez, on November 26, of the French officer bearing the neces-
sary credentials for Laussat.o On the 30th that official formally
Casa Calvo to Cevallos, January 13, 1804, Ibid., 166; Casa Calvo to
Prince of Peace, September 30, 1804. Robertson, No. 5001.
4Folch to Someruelos, April 10, 1804 (Cf. n. 16, page 38, below.)
'Letters and Other Writings of Madison, II, 182.
'Louisiana Purchase, 1803-1804, MSS., Bureau of Rolls and Library,
Parker, No. 6893.
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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/m1/28/: accessed December 12, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.