The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 17, July 1913 - April, 1914 Page: 25
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The Louisiana-Texas Frontier
received the province from Salcedo and Casa Calvo, preparatory to
handing it over to the Americans.
The tidings of this transfer to France, though welcome, caused
Madison's anxiety to assume a new turn. In that act nothing was
said of the boundaries in general, and, of course, nothing about
West Florida, the chief concern of the administration. On Decem-
ber 20 occurred the formal transfer of the province to the Amer-
ican commissioners, Claiborne and Wilkinson. Some days before
the tidings of this event reached Washington the administration
learned through Charles Pinckney, our minister at Madrid, that
the Spanish government had withdrawn all opposition to. this trans-
fer. So no untoward event occurred to mar the ceremony. Clai-
borne, uncomfortable in his new surroundings, did, indeed, report
a warning given by Laussat, that the Spaniards were reinforcing
the Mexican border-a policy which his colleague Wilkinson ad-
vised them to follow.7 Another chance remark, attributed to. Laus-
sat, that "the harvest of Louisiana were (sic) not yet secured to
the United States," caused Claiborne to fear that the province
might still revert to France, if hostilities in Europe should cease,
and to express the wish that Laussat would not delay his de-
parture.8 In view of the service that Laussat was then rendering
in regard to the western boundary, such insistence savors of in-
gratitude. Claiborne soon found that there were others tarrying
at New Orleans, whose departure he would regret even less than
that of Laussat.
After the formal ceremony at New Orleans, the French commis-
sioner, in conjunction with the Spanish officials, proceeded to
issue the necessary orders for the delivery of the outlying posts to
the Americans. Those for the posts at Attakapas, Opelousas, and
Concord were promptly forthcoming; those for Natchitoches,
Washita, and the posts of upper Louisiana, only after a month's
delay. This was due to the tardiness of the Spanish officials, and
their action was not surprising in view of their desire to retain the
western bank of the Mississippi. Claiborne later explained that
his own subsequent delay in taking possession of the posts on the
Washita, and at Natchitoches arose from the continued presence
'Claiborne to Madison, February 26, 1804, Olaiborne Correspondence,
MSS., Vol. II, Parker, 6950. Cf. also Robertson, No. 4885.
8Claiborne to Madison, May 14, 1804. Parker, No. 6933.
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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/m1/29/: accessed April 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.