The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 17, July 1913 - April, 1914 Page: 4
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The Southwestern HIistorical Quarterly
While conditions on the distant frontier stirred up local problems
that speedily acquired national importance, these same problems,
because of our peculiar relations with France, England, and Spain,
after 1803 likewise acquired an international significance.. They
emphasize in a minor way our diplomatic subserviency to France,
and in a more limited degree, to England, at a time when our
government attempted to bully Spain out of territory that it right-
fully controlled. To us it seems inevitable that the United
States had to possess the greater part of the Floridas and Texas
-the areas in controversy--but it is regrettable that this acquisi-
tion was accompanied by a policy of truckling to Napoleon and
hectoring Spain, while employing numerous methods of legis-
lative and popular chicane to conceal its true purpose. In the
present instalment we do not touch the lowest depths of this trans-
action. Monroe at Aranjuez and Madison in Washington repre-
sented a nerveless attempt at independent negotiations rather than
the shameless but secret subservience that characterizes the later
policy of their responsible superior, Jefferson. But even while
fruitlessly striving for an uncertain freedom in action, they sug-
gested the unconditional surrender of Napoleon's behest that marks
the next stage of their Louisiana diplomacy. At this period Texas
is subordinate to West Florida, but one may note the general
features of the controversy that is later to rage over its posses-
sion. By midsummer of 1805, then, the stage was fully set in
Europe and in America for the combined diplomatic and frontier
drama that marks the next four decades of our territorial history.
Some description of the sources employed in this study may not
be inappropriate. In the first place I have made a careful exam-
ination of the various repositories in Washington that are open
to the historical student. The most important single documentary
source there consists of the six manuscript volumes of the Clai-
borne Correspondence, deposited in the Bureau of Rolls and
Library at the State Department. The separate documents of
these volumes have been catalogued by Mr. David W. Parker in the
Calendar of Papers in Washington Archives relating to the Terri-
tories of the United States. In my footnotes I have used the
numbers of Mr. Parker's Calendar, both to save space and to afford
those interested a ready opportunity to trace the sources. In addi-
tion to the Claiborne Correspondence I have made use of various
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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/m1/8/: accessed July 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.