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Relations with Spain.
connexion with that on the Mississippi, had hunt out the French of La Salle's settlement? always been understood, as of right it ought, to Is it to that royal order that you appeal for proof extend to the Rio Bravo.
of the prior title of Spain ? It is even so. But 3. That the boundary, thus founded upon pos- as the voyages of Ponce de Leon in 1511, of session, was described as forming the limits of Francisco de Garay in 1518, and of Hernando Louisiana, in the grant by Louis XIV. to Crozat, de Soto in 1538, have no more bearing upon this in 1712.
question than the voyages of Christopher Colum. 4. That it was supported by the testimony of bus and Sebastian Cabot, so you must be sensible the historical writers
, Du Pratz and Champigny; that the royal exterminating order of Philip II., if by an historical and political memoir on Louisi- it proved anything, would prove fatal to the whole ana, written by the Count de Vergennes, the province or colooy of Louisiana. If that order Minister of Louis XVI.; by a chari of Louisi. could have been carried into execution, do such ana, published in 1762, by Don Thomas Lopez, colony as that of Louisiana could ever bave been geographer to the King of Spain; and by a map established by France. That order, and any proof De Lisle, of the Academy of Sciences at ceeding of the Viceroy of Mexico under it, can Paris, revised and republished there in 1782. no more affect the right of the United States to
To these principles, thus clear, equitable, and the limits marked by the settlement of La Salle, explicit ; to these facts, thus precise, authentic, than in can impair their title to the island of and unsophisticated, what was opposed by Don New Orleans. Far more honorable would it be, Pedro Cevallos at that time, and what is now sir, to the character of your nation and the credit alleged by you?
of your Government, to bury in the profoundest Mr. Cevallos began by admitting that the oblivion the memory of that atrocious order, than westero limits of Louisiana had never been ex-ai this day to produce it for the purpose of bol. actly fixed; and alleged that, in the year 1690, stering up a tiile for which you have in vain five or six years after the possession iaken, and ransaeked the records of the Spanish monarchy the settlement formed by La Salle, Captain to discover a better support. Alonzo de Leon, under a commission from the To the efficacy, however, of this royal order, Viceroy of Mexico, examined the Bay of Espiritu your whole argument, in behalf of the pretensions Santo, (St. Bernard,) took possession of the ter- of your Government, perpetually recurs; for, alritory, and founded ihe mission of St. Francisco though in some passages of your note you appear de Texas. Mr. Cevallos asserted that it would disposed to allow to the colony of Louisiana at be very easy to make it appear that France never least the eastern banks of the Mississippi, yet you had claimed this extent for Louisiana, but he did are as frequently shrinking even from this connot make it appear. He also said that, if France cession, and representing the whole colony as had claimed it, Spain had never recognised, and an encroachment upon the dominion of Spain; was not bound to acknowledge the claim. at one time representing it as a profound strata
Mr. Cevallos said that the limits between Lou gem of Louis XIV., seizing with rapacious avi. isiana and the Texas had always been known, dity the unsuspecting moment of contidence of his even when the French possessed Louisiana, but grandson Philip V., while placing him upon the he had just before acknowledged that they had Throne of Spain ; and, at another, holding it up never been fixed. He spoke of missions founded as the act of a disordered imagination of the same near the beginning of the last century by the Louis XIV., manifested in the grant of 1712 to venerable Margel, of the order of St. Francisco; Crozat. This grant you pronounce to be absurd be alluded to plans, and documents, and histori- and completely despicable ; but for what reason cal relations which were not to be found in his it is not easy to conjecture. It certainly does department, but many of which, he added, were pot favor the pretensions of your Government, in the department of the interior, besides' those and it has none of the exterminating features of which were in the Viceroyalty of Mexico. But the royal order of Philip II. ; but we consider he never pretended a possession, by Spain, of it, as it has always been considered by the world, the territories in question, of an earlier date ihan as a document not only indicative of sound 1690.
judgment and discretion, but as marking the And what are these plans, and documents, and limits of Louisiana, as always claimed by France, historical relations, which, after the lapse of thir- and transferred, as relates to the western limits, teen years, you have drawn forth from all the with her title to that province, to the United archives of Spain, and all the historical disquisi- States. tions upon the discovery and conquest of the new It is remarkable that, in imitation of Mr. Ceworld į Is it to that catalogue, biographical, and vallos, you also, after repeatedly insisting that geographical, of Spanish adventurers, and of the the boundaries of Louisiana were well known, numberless regions explored by them in the 16th and always acknowledged by France, finally century, which swells your pote of the 5th of Jan- conclude by admitting that they never were fixed uary, that we are to look for the limits of Louisiana or agreed upon. You repeat, time after time, and Texas? Or is it to that "royal order issued that the French never disputed the right of Spain by Philip II., enjoining the extermination of all to all the territory westward of the Mississippi, foreigners who would dare to penetrate into the while you cannot deny the settlement of La Salle Gulf of Mexico," by virtue of which the Viceroy at the bay of St. Bernard, in 1684; nor that the fitted out the expedition to scour the country and French settlements of Natchez and Natchitoches Relations with Spain.
were made and maintained in spite of all the 7. A geographical work, published in 1717 at military expeditions, rigorous executions, and London, entitled "Atlas Geographicus, or a Comexterminating orders which the Viceroys of Mex- plete System of Geography, Ancient and Modern,” ico could send against them.
in which the map of Louisiana marks its extent We may admit that, so long as the Spanish from the Rio Bravo to the Perdido. In both these Viceroys could exterminate every foreigner who maps the fort built by La Salle is laid down on dared to penetrate into the Gulf of Mexico, they the spot now called Matagorda. had the royal order of Philip II. for so doing. 8. An official British map, published in 1755, The bull of Pope Alexander VI. is a document by Bowen, intended to point out the boundaries of still earlier date, and at least of less disgusting of the British, Spanish, and French colocies in import, upon which Spain once rested her claims North America. to yet inore extensive dominion in this western 9. The narratives published at Paris, of Henworld. With equal show of reason, and with pepin, in 1683; of Tonti, in 1697; and of Joutel, less outrage upon the rights of humanity, might in 1713. you have alleged that bull as the incontrovertible 10. The letter from Colonel La Harpe to Don proof of the Spanish claims, as to bring forth at Martin D’Alarconne, of 8th July, 1719. (A. No. 1. ihis day, for its only substitute, that royal order B. No. 2.) of Philip II.
11. The order from the French Governor of You know, sir, and your own potes furnish, Louisiana, Bienville, to La Harpe, of August 10, themselves, the most decisive proofs that France, 1721. (C. No. 3.) while she held the colony of Louisiana, never 12. The geographical work of Don Antonio de did acknowledge the Mississippi as the western Alcedo, a Spanish geographer of the highest emiboundary of that province. The claim of France nence. This work and the map of Lopez, havalways did extend westward to the Rio Bravo; ing been published after the cession of Louisiana and the only boundaries ever acknowledged by to Spain, in 1762, afford decisive evidence of her, before the cession to Spain of November what Spain herself considered as the western 3, 1762, were those marked out in the grant from boundary of Louisiana, when she had no interLouis XIV. 10 Crozat. She always claimed the est in contesting it against another State. (D. territory which you call Texas as being within No. 4.) the limits and forming part of Louisiana, which
On the part of Spain. in that granı, is declared to be bounded westward 1. The voyages of Ponce de Leon, Vasquez de by New Mexico, eastward by Carolina, and ex- Ayllon, Panfilo de Narvaez, Hernando de Soto, tending inward to the Illinois and to the sources Luis Moscoso, and other Spanish travellers in of the Mississippi and of its principal branches. the sixteenth century, who never made any set
Mr. Cevallos says that these claims of France tlement upon any of the territories in question, were never admitted nor recognised by Spain. but who travelled, as you observed, into countries Be it so. Neither were the claims of Spain ever too tedious to enumerate. ackoowledged or admitted by France; ihe boun
2. The establishment of the new kingdoms of dary was disputed and never settled; it still re- Leon and Santander in 1595, and the Province mains to be settled; and here is a simple state of Cohaquila in 1600. ment of the grounds alleged by each of the parties
3. The Province of Texas, founded in 1690. in support of their claims:
Here, you will please to observe, begins the
conflict with the claims of France to the western On the part of the United States. boundary of Louisiana, transferred by the cession 1. The discovery of the Mississippi, from near its of the province to the United States. The presource to the ocean, by the French from Canada, sidios, or settlements of Las Texas, were, by in 1683.
your own statement, adverse settlements to that 2. The possession taken, and establishment of La Salle, who, six years before, had taken formade, by La Salle, at the bay of St. Bernard, mal possession of the country in the name of and west of the rivers Trinity and Colorado, by auby authority of a charter from Louis XIV. They thority from Louis XIV., in 1685.
were preceded by an expedition from Mexico the 3. The charter of Louis XIV. to Crozat, in 1712. year before, (that is, 1689,) to hunt out the French 4. The historical authority of Du Pratz and remaining of the settlement of La Salle. Now, of the Count de Vergennes.
what right had the Viceroy of Mexico to hunt 5. The geographical authority of De Lisle's out the French who had formed a setilement un. map, and especially that of the map of Don der the sanction of their Sovereign's authority ? Thomas Lopez, Geographer to the King of Spain, You will tell me that, from the time when Santa published in 1762.
Fe, the capital of New Mexico, was built, Spain These documents were all referred to in the considered all the territory easi and north of that letter from Messrs. Pinckney and Monroe to Mr province, as far as the Mississippi and the MisCevallos, of 201h of April, 1805. Since which souri, as her property; that the whole circumtime, and in further confirmation of the same ference of the Gulf of Mexico was hers; and claims, the Government of the United States are
that Philip II. had issued a royal order to exter. enabled to refer you to the following:
minate every foreigner who should dare to pen6. A map published by Homann, at Nurem. etrale to it; so that the whole question of right burg, in 1712.
between the United States and Spain, with re
Relations with Spain.
gard to this boundary, centres in this: the naked my companions, and myself, have just made to pretension of Spain to the whole circumference the souih west of New France, if it had not of the Gulf of Mexico, with the exterminating been undertaken by your orders." "We have order of Philip II. on one side, and the actual oc- given the name of Louisiana to this great discupancy of France, by a solemo charter from covery, being persuaded that your Majesty would Louis XIV. on the other. Well might Messrs. not disapprove that a part of the earth, watered Pinckney and Monroe write to Mr. Cevallos, in by a river of more than eight hundred leagues, 1805, that the claim of the United States to the and much greater than Europe, which may boundary of the Rio Bravo was as clear as their be called the delight of America, and which right to ihe island of New Orleans.
is capable of forming a great empire, should In the letter of Messrs. Pinckney and Mon- henceforth be known by the august name of roe to Mr. Cevallos of the twentieth of April, Louis, that it may thereby have a sort of right 1805, referring to the historical documents rela- to your protection, and hope for the advantage tive to the discovery and naming of Louisiana, of belonging to you." they state that the Mississippi was discovered, Now, sir, permit me to request you to comwith "its waters and dependent country as low pare this authentic statement with that perversion down the river as the Arkansas, by the Sieurs of all historical evidence by which you have Joliet and Marquette, from Canada, as early styled and have attempted to make the story of as the year 1673, and to its mouth by the Father Father Hennepia's discovery of Louisiana ridicu. Hennepio, in 1680; and by De la Salle and lous. Here is a book published at Paris, dedi. Tonii, who descended the river with sixty men cated to Louis XIV., at ihe most glorious period to the ocean, and called the country Louis- of his reign, declaring to the world the discovery iana, in 1682; and, in respect to the bay of Si. of Louisiana; declaring that it was made by his Bernard, in 1685;" that this was done at these orders, and called by his name, for the express periods, in the name and under the authority of purpose of eatitling it to become his properly. France, by acts which proclaimed ber sovereigoty is this contemptible? Is this a secret thought, over the whole country to other Powers, in a or a mere mental act? Is this a transient advenmapper the most public and solemn, such as ture or incursion ? And, after calling this informaking settlements and building foris within it." mation 100 vague and uncertain upon which to
To this Mr. Cevallos made no reply in 1805. found a title, can you talk of the rights of pos. But you, after giving an account of the murder session derived_10 Spain from the travels of by Spaniards of Rédé de Laudonnière, observe, Ponce de Leon, Francisco de Garay, and Vasquez that the story related of a Recollet friar, called de Ayllon ? Father Hennepin, is still more ridiculous, who Your view of the expeditions and adventures is said to have been made a prisoner by the lo- of La Salle is equally remote from the real and dians at the time they were at war with the well-authenticated facts. “Let us see," you say, French of Canada, and taken to the Illinois, “what importance can be attached to what is whence he was occupied in exploring the country said of Bernard (Robert) de la Salle, who, in as far as the banks of the river St Louis, or Mis- 1679, descended from Canada to the Mississippi, sissippi, of which he took possession in the name and there built
Fort Crèvec@ur, according to M. of Louis XIV., and gave it the name of Louis Du Pratz, or Fort Prud'homme, according to iada, (doubtless in his secret thoughts, and by a others. What is certain amounts to this: That mere mental act."). You add that these accounts, he only made a rapid incursion from Canada to and, others of the like nature, are " contemptible the Mississippi, as any other adventurer might do, in themselves, even although the facts they re- crossing the territories of another nation, that he late were authentic ; siace nothing can be inferred returned to Quebec, without any further result from them that can favor the idea started by than that of an imperfect exploration of the counthose who speak of those transient adventures try; and that he embarked at Quebec for France, and incursions.”
from whence he returned in 1684, with an expeI have in my possession, sir, (and it shall, dition composed of four vessels, commanded by when you please, be subject to your inspection,) Captain Beaujeau, to explore the mouth of the a volume, published at Paris in the year 1683, Mississippi," &c. In inis passage you reprethe title of which is, “Description de la Louis- sentiane, nouvellement decouverte, au Sudouest de 1. The facts attending the expedition of La la Nouvelle France, par ordre du Roy, dediée à Salle as uncertain. Sa Majesté; par le R. P. Louis Hennepin, Miss- 2. That he only made a rapid incursion, as a ionnaire Recollet et Notaire Apostolique." (De private adventurer, and, so far as related to his scription of Louisiana, recently discovered, to exploring expedition, with an imperfect result. the south west of New France, by order of the 3. That he only went from Canada to ibe MisKing; dedicated to His Majesty by the Rev. sissippi, and thence returned to Quebec, whence Father Louis Heonepin, a Recoilet missionary he embarked for France. and apostolic notary.) In the preface to the 4. That he only crossed the territories of anoKing, the author says: “Sire, I should never ther nation, (meaning Spain.) have dared to take the liberty of offering to your I examine this part of your note with a miMajesty the narrative of a new discovery, which puteness which will be tedious to you, because it the Sieur de la Salle, governor of Fort Frontenac, I is precisely upon the character of 'La Salle's ex
Relations with Spain.
peditions that the grant of Louisiana to Crozat and, after some time, was released by them, found by Louis XIV. is, in express terms, founded ; be- his way back to Quebec, and thence returned to cause you have represented these expeditions in France, and published the book of which I have the colors thus marked with the avowed purpose spoken. In ihis book, published in 1683, at Paris, of weakening the original title of Louisiana ; and and marked as having been finished printing the because you know that the characters, diametri- 5th of January of that year, three months before cally opposite which I shall now prove to have La Salle had reached the mouth of the Missisbelonged to them, must lead to the result of an sippi, there is a map of the river as far down as incontestable title in France, and, consequently, Hennepin descended it, after he parted from La at this time, in the United States. I answer the Salle, and upwards to the falls of St. Anthony, above insinuations in the order in which they and the river St. Francis above them; at some have been stated.
distance above which, within a few leagues of There are three narratives of the expeditions of its source, is the oak tree upon which the arms La Salle, all published at Paris, by persons who of France were carved by the detachment from accompanied him in them.
La Salle's expedition, authenticating, with the The first in 1683, by Father Louis Hennepin; most minute precision, the discovery of the Mis. the same volume from which I have already pre sissippi, to within a small distance of its source, sented you an extract.
as well as its course to the Gulf of Mexico. On The second by the Chevalier Tonti, Governor the same map are also marked the fort at the of Fort St. Louis, at the Illinois, published in Miamies, and ihat of Crèveceur, on the Illinois 1697.
river, constructed by La Salle's orders. The third by Joutel, who was with him in his In the meanwhile La Salle was obliged to leave last expedition, and almost by his side when he the other part of his company, under_the comfell by the hands of an assassin.
mand of Tonti, and go back to Fort Frontenac of all the heroic enterprises which, in the six- for the supplies and reinforcements which had teenth and seventeenth centuries, sigoalized the failed him by the loss of his boat. He returned discoveries of Europeans upon this continent, and joined ihem again in November, 1682, prothere is not one of which the evidence is more ceeded down to the Mississippi, and to the mouth certain, authentic, and particular, than those of of the Wabash, where they built the Fort Prud'. La Salle.
homme, (which you have confounded with that La Salle, after baving resided many years in of Crêveceur,) after which they continued deCanada, as Governor of Fort Frontenat, formed scending and successively meeting the Cappa, the project of exploring the country from Arkansas, Tensas, Abenake, Tacucas, and Natchez thence to the Gulf of Mexico, and of taking Indians, and, on the 7th of April, 1683, reached possession of it in the name of his Sovereign. the mouth of the Mississippi, where, after the He went to France for the purpose of obtaining religious solemnity of a Te Deurn, they took the sanction to his enterprise. “ His Majesty, formal possession of the country, erected a cross, (says Tonti,) not content with merely approving fastened the arms of France upon a tree, and his design, caused orders to be given to him, built several huts, which they surrounded with granting him permission to go and put it in exe suitable intrenchments. La Salle, having thus cution; and, to assist him to carry so vast a pro- accomplished the object of his expedition, reject into effect, shortly after the necessary suc- turned by the same way, ascending the river to cors were furnished him, with entire liberty to his fort of Prud'homme, which he reached on the dispose of all the countries which he might dis- 12th of May, and where he was some time decover."
tained by sickness. "Oa his arrival at Quebec, He sailed from La Rochelle the 14th of July, (again says Tonti,) he informed the whole city 1678, and arrived at Quebec the 15th of Septem- of his great discoveries, and of the voluntary subber. On the 18th of November of the same year mission of so many different lodian nations to he left Fort Frontenac, to proceed upon his ex- the power of the King. A Te Deum was celepedition, with thirty men, Tonti and Father brated as a thanksgiving for this happy accession Hennepin being
of the company. After spending to the glory of the Crown. The eagerness of M. more than a year in traversing the four lakes, now de la Salle to go and make known to the King known by the names of Ontario, Erie, Huron, and and his Ministers the success of his travels obliged Michigan, and erecting forts at suitable places, him to hasten his departure. He left Canada in where he landed, from them he embarked upon the the beginning of October, 1683.” Da bis return Illioois river, and, having descended it for some dis- to France, he was received with many marks of tance, was obliged to stop, from the disappoint. distinction by the King and his Ministers, and a ment of losing a boat from which he expected new expedition was fitted out of four vessels and supplies. Here, upon the Illinois river, he built Fort pearly ihree hundred persons, for the purpose of Crèvecæur
, divided his company into two sepa- forming a colony at the mouth of the Mississippi. rate partiesmone for ascending the Mississippi io One of these ships was a frigate of the King, of forty its source, and the other for proceeding down guns, commanded by M. de Beaujeau, in which La that river. Father Hennepin was of the former Salle bimself, his brother Cavelier, and the princiof these parties, and in their progress upwards, pal persons belonging to the expedition embarked; which they accomplished higher than the falls of another was a smaller armed vessel, which the St. Anthony, was taken prisoner by the Indians, King had given to La Salle; the third, a Aute of Relations with Spain.
15th Con. 2d SESS.-56
three hundred tons, laden with all the articles Viceroy would have to send an army and de. necessary for the settlement of the country; and stroy the city of New Orleans. It was a part of the fourth, a small sloop of thirty tons, freighted Louisiana, discovered by La Salle, under formal for St. Domingo, where the expedition stopped and express authority from the King of France; on its way, but before their arrival at which this and ibe royal exterminating order of Philip II., last vessel was taken by Spanish cruisers. This was but one of the multitude of sanguipary acis expedition sailed from La Rochelle on the 24th which signalized the reign and name of that of July, 1684.
monarch, while the name of La Salle is entitled They failed in finding the mouth of the Missist to stand high in the glorious roll of the benefacsippi, their destination-an accident siınilar to that tors of mankind. Alter this stalement, founded which had happened to the first settlers of New upon the most authentic documepis, the foundaEngland; and, after many disasters, landed and tion of the presidio of Texas, in 1693, was, by built a fort in February, 1685, at the head of the your own showing, an uolawful encroachment bay of St. Bernard, or, as they call it, of St. Louis, upon the territories of France, which, by the and westward of ihe river Colorado. Beaujeau first of the three principles laid down by Messrs. returned with the frigale to France; the two other Pinckoey and Monroe at Aranjuez, and above vessels were lost in the bay; and La Salle, after referred to, extended on the coast of the Gulf of several unsuccessful attempts to find the Missis- Mexico, half-way to the nearest Spanish settlesippi, on the 12th of January, 1687, left at his ment of Panuco, namely, to the Rio Bravo. fori iwenly persons, including seven women, un- Your "thorough investigation" of the history der the command of Le Barbier, and took his of the original French selilements at the Illinois departure with sixteen others, to go by land 10 and the Arkansas is as unfortunale and as wide the Illinois, and thence through Canada 10 from the facts as all the rest of your dissertation France, to seek further reinforcement and sup- upon the history of Louisiana. The following plies. On this journey he was basely assassi- translated extracts from the work entitled " Der Dated on the 19th of March, 1687, by iwo of his nières Decouverles dans l'Amérique Septentrio. own men, and left a name among the illustrious nale de M. de la Salle, mises au jour par M. le discoverers of the new world second only to that Chevalier de Tonti, gouverneur du Fort St. of Columbus, with whose history and adventures Louis, aux Illinois.” (Last discoveries in North his own bear in many particolars a striking re- America of Mr. de la Salle, published by the semblance. His brother Cavelier, however, with Chevalier
. Tonti, governor of Port St. Louis at Jourel, Father Anastase, and several others of the the Illinois : Paris, 1697.) will furnish you more party with whom he had commenced the jour, correct ideas upon the subject. Dey, successfully accomplished it, arrived at the When La Salle left his fort, Crèvec@ur, on the French fort at the Illinois, where they found 8th of November, 1680, to go back to Canada Tonti still in command, after having again been for supplies, "on the third day (says Tonti) he down to the mouth of the Mississippi, conforme arrived at the great village of the Illinois, where, ably to his orders from Sa Salle, to meet the ex. after baving observed the situation of the coun pedition from Europe, and, after waiting some try, in the midst of several nations of ibe Mitime there, returning to his post. From ihe fortamies, Kickapoos, Ainoos, Mesconiaws, and seval the Illinois, Cavelier, Jouiel, and Father An- eral others, watered by a beautiful river, he astase proceeded to Quebec, and thence returned thought he ought to build a fort upon a height to France, where they arrived in October, 1688, commanding the whole country, as well 10 make and where Joutel published the narrative of the himself master of all these different cribes as to expedition to which I have referred.
serve as a retreat and a rampart for our French From this work of Joutel it likewise appears people.” (p. 94.) M. de la Salle, after learning that the fort and colony left by La Salle at the ibai his buat was "lost, was nut in the least dis. westward of the Colorado was destroyed, not as composed, but wrote to me immediately, sent me you state by the lodians, but by the Spaniards with his letter the plan of the fort that he had from Mexico, who, until that time, had never designed ; and ordered me to come and set to bad any settlement of any kind nearer than Pa- work upon it without delay. Tonti accordingly Duco, and who, by your own account, had no went, and began the building of the fort, which, other right or authority for this act than the from various untoward events, he was soon royal order of Philip II. to exterminate all for- obliged to abandun. La Salle alterwards, before eigners penetrating into the Gulf of Mexico. rejoining Tooli to proceed down the river, went
The settlements of La Salle, therefore, at the to the new fort, and left several workmen to con head of the bay of St. Bernard, westward of the tinue, and some soldiers to guard it. But it was river which he called Rivière aux Beufs, but upon his return from the mouth of the Missiswhich you call Colorado of Texas, was not, as sippi
, on leaving Michilimackinac, to go to you have represented it, the unauthorized incur- France, that he gave orders to Tonii to finish sion of a private adventurer into the territories the fort. of Spain, but an establishment having every “He charged me with the duty to go and finish character that could sanction the formation of Fort St. Louis, of which he gave me the governany European colony upon this continent; and ment, with a full power to dispose of the lands the Viceroy of Mexico had no more right to de- in the neighborhood, and left all his people under stroy it by a military force than the present my command, with the exception of six French.