The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 35, July 1931 - April, 1932 Page: 96
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Historians have long puzzled over the language in the treaty
of San Ildefonso, 1800, reiterated in 1803, describing the extent
of Louisiana, which splendid province Spain transferred back to
France, and Napoleon ceded to the United States, "with the same
extent that it now has in the hands of Spain, and that it had
when France possessed it, and as it should be after the treaties sub-
sequently entered into between Spain and other states." As Pro-
fessor Latan6 remarks, this "language was indefinite and [ap-
parently] contradictory. French Louisiana had extended as far
east as the Perdido . .. while Spanish Louisiana had in-
cluded nothing east of the Mississippi."2 Many writers distin-
guish for convenience between "Eastern" and "Western" Louis-
iana, and say that the former went to England in 1762-63 and
the latter to Spain, though these terms were not called for by
treaties. By the treaty of Paris the King of France ceded to
England "everything which he possesses, or ought to possess, on
the left [eastern] side of the river Mississippi, except the town
of New Orleans;" and nothing is said of "Louisiana," of which
this territory passing to England had been a part. Again, by
the secret cession of Fontainebleau, November 3, 1762, ceding to
Spain the rest of French territory, His Most Christian Majesty
gave to His Most Catholic kinsman not "Western Louisiana" but
the whole province-"tout le pays connu sous le nom de la
Louisiane, ainsi que la Nouvelle Orleans et l'Isle."3 Louisiana
having formerly included land east of the Perdido, how did "tout
le pays connu sous le nom de la Louisiane" become restricted to
land west of the Mississippi? The deed of cession does not de-
fine the new Louisiana.
Before 1762 no de jure boundary separated the French and
Spanish territories. The peace negotiations of that year saw
Grimaldi, the Spanish diplomat, peevishly reminding Choiseul,
the French Foreign Minister, that Frenchmen were mere inter-
lopers in the great valley. Their territorial claim being "not
legitimate nor recognized by Spain," the King of Spain felt him-
self entitled to be consulted somewhat in the disposition of that
French claim. He objected strenuously to the contemplated di-
vision of Louisiana along the Mississippi, because the British
VJ. H. Latane, American Foreign Policy, 110, 111; see note 11.
3A. Fortier, A aHstory of 'Louisiana, I, 263, 264, gives the deed.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 35, July 1931 - April, 1932, periodical, 1932; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101092/m1/100/: accessed April 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.