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part of America. That would be a precarious and feeble mode, indeed, either of asserting or supporting a claim. But she enjoyed the privilege conditionally ;-by purchase. The cession of the province was a generous and abundant equivalent for it. M. Pasquier informed Mr. Gallatin in 1819, that the stipulation of the eighth article was the solid, real compensation, made to France, for the transfer of this vast property;-the purchase money, the 80,000,000 of livres, could be viewed in no other light than, as an incidental, or accessary portion of the just value. And this consideration, as far as regards the ports of Louisiana, is as much an equivalent for a privilege, as those equivalents, that other nations offer to America, to be received in all the ports of that extensive country, without suffering the penalty of a discriminating duty. The United States and England have made a bargain, by the terms of which the vessels of the two nations, laden with certain descriptions of produce, enjoy, in the ports of each other, the same, and mutual exemptions. This is a bargain of a general nature, applying to all the ports of a country. The United States have offered substantially the same commercial compact to France. In 1803, the First Consul entered into a contract with America of a specific, or local description. An extensive and valua ble province was transferred for various considerations or reservations, viz., that the inhabitants of the ceded territory should be incorporated into the union, &c.—that the United States should execute the treaties, made by Spain with the Indians, that for twelve years the ships of France and Spain should enjoy special privileges in the ports of Louisia na. These, for example, may be considered reservations;we need not say, all equally binding. Then, in another convention we find the United States agreeing to pay France a specified sum of money, and to pay debts, due by France to the citizens of the United States. Whether we apply to these different conditions the same reservation or consideration, it is quite clear and undeniable, that they all form a part of the price, paid for Louisiana. By this arrangement France abandoned the sovereignty of Louisiana, but by no

means the exclusive use of the property. The distinction between these two positions is not a difficult one to understand. Even if the eighth article of the first convention was striken out, an illustration of the principle still exists in that instrument, for it was quite as competent to the United States to reserve to France a perpetual use of the ports of Louisiana as a use for twelve years. It was not the business of France to enquire into the reasons, that induced the United States to prefer this mode of compensation, and that government would, probably, not be much gratified by the supposition, that the reasons were not good ones. Indeed, a very short experience has convinced Europe, that the very last reproach, we can offer the American government, is an indifference, or a want of attention and vigilance to the interests of its citizens. The United States, holding the sovereignty, could enforce within the territory of Louisiana, the observance of all its municipal laws, and the exact execution of treaties with foreign powers. This species of authority is, by no means, incompatible with perpetual commercial privileges, granted to foreign nations. They confer no right in executing laws. This right, which literally constitutes sovereignty, belongs to the nation in this particular instance, possessing the territory. The parties to this contract knew, that the federal constitution allowed no preference among the states,-by the compact of union they are subject to the same charges and enjoy the same privileges. Louisiana, acquired as a territory, was entitled, under the provisions of the third article, to be incorporated into the union with the least possible delay. "No preference in the words of the ninth section (first article of the constitution) shall be given by any regulation of commerce or revenue to the ports of one state over those of another." "But this peculiar condition of the ports of Louisiana arose from a state of things, preexistent to her admission as a state, or acquisition, even as a territory. In the opinion of Congress, the instrument of cession of Louisiana comprised no resemblance to statutes, containing commercial regulations, or prescribing the modes of ascertaining and collecting revenue. It is well

here to mark the obvious difference of the two principles,the one forbids Congress to encumber with restrictions, or foster with advantages, not common to all, a territory, created a state, the other principle requires Congress carefully to fulfil terms or provisions, exacted or consented to as the condition of its admission. The parties, having, therefore, agreed to admit Louisiana as soon as possible, it only remains to enquire upon what terms this act should take place. There was but one mode, and that in conformity with the conditions of the treaty. Two years after the admission of Louisiana (which took place in 1812) France and Spain enjoyed in her ports all the benefits, secured by the seventh article, and which could never be granted to any other nation.-Congress, therefore, determined that the conditions of the seventh article, were not at variance with the provisions of the constitution in regard to the regulations of commerce or revenue in the different ports of the United States, though it never could be said, that a preference was not shown to the ports of Louisiana in the French and Spanish trade. is true this inequality lasted only two years, but it is unnecessary to observe, that that circumstance affects only the duration of the privilege, not the value or soundness of the principle. If, therefore, there was at this day any contradiction between the third and eighth article, how could Congress, in 1812, surmount the objection from the much stronger inconsistency, which, on this supposition, must have existed between the third and seventh article.*


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This is simply a legal construction of the 8th article, wholly extracted from the instruments themselves. But we shall find that very considerable force may be given to it by circumstances, arising from the nature of the trade, and the situation of the province. We cannot be long in discovering

*The third article is in these words. "The inhabitants of the ceded territory shall be incorporated into the union of the United States, and admitted as soon as possible, according to the principle of the federal constitution, to the enjoyment of all the rights, immunities and advantages of citizens of the United States."




the reasons, that should make it extremely important to France to obtain the perpetual possession of this trade. The literal, scholastic view of the subject is much indebted to considerations of policy, thus obvious and impressive. observe, therefore, that great emphasis is laid on the fact, that Louisiana was a French colony, entirely imbued with French habits; and having always been accustomed to the products and manufactures of that country, it would have been regarded as an act of injustice and infidelity in the Metropole to abandon them to the uncertain mercy of a government, that, to say the least, could not feel the least sympathy with them. France sought to secure to this colony a perpetual enjoyment of the luxuries and necessaries of her fertile soil,-of her rich and ingenious manufactures,-to herself the benefit of the great trade, this consumption, daily and rapidly augmenting, would create and maintain.

The value of this cession has been estimated at 600,000,000 dollars, it was stated by a member on the floor of Congress to exceed the sum of 50,000,000 dollars, and, yet, the First Consul parted with it for a sum not exceeding 17,000,000 dollars. There is no other way to reconcile these different statements than by supposing, that the 8th article constituted a portion of the compensation.

This is a view of the manner, in which the French claim, under the 8th article of the treaty of Louisiana, has been presented to the consideration of the United States. The reader, we believe, will not be much struck by the ingenuity, certainly not by the force of the argument. It will, immediately, occur to every one, that the 7th and 8th articles, themselves, already quoted on the preceding page, are the The 7th article gives best answer possible to the demand. all possible encouragement for a "limited time" to the commerce of France and the United States, "as it is reciprocally advantageous." But that limited time, having expired by the terms of the article, and for the reason given in the article, it is declared in the next stipulation, that the ships of France shall, thereafter, be treated on the footing of the most favoured nation. It will, also, not escape notice that

the stipulation, upon which the claim is founded, applied only to the ports of Louisiana, but the concessions to other nations, from which the claim originated, extended to all the ports of the Union. The demand is, therefore, broader than the stipulation upon which it rests. At any rate, taking the 8th article in its most literal and rigid sense, it is sufficient to say, that France is now on the footing of the most favoured nation in the ports of Louisiana. In other words, France possesses all the advantages and privileges, enjoys all the favours granted to any nation. If the vessels of England, the Netherlands, of Sweden and several of the Hans Towns are admitted on the same terms as American, shall it be said, the United States have granted favours to those vessels,-by no means ;-those vessels enjoy no favours, they exercise a right perfectly earned by conceding to American vessels similar privileges in their own ports. Reciprocity of duties is a bargain of which all nations can avail themselves. But the 8th article neither declares, nor can it be made to intimate, that France shall enjoy, as a free gift, that, which is granted to other nations for a full equivalent. The amount of the demand is, therefore, in strict language, not to be treated as favourably, but more favourably than the nations France calls most favoured. To have ceded to France a perpetual privilege in the ports of Louisiana would have despoiled the United States, at least, of one portion of sovereignty,-the impossibility, hereafter, of making a commercial treaty with mutual advantages. The inalienable immunities of a foreign nation in our ports would, forever, have disabled the government from meeting all others on an equal footing; it is very little short, indeed, of a stipulation never to conclude a commercial convention with any other nation than France. Thus encumbered, the sovereignty is not full and perfect. And yet France professes in one article of the treaty to cede the territory in full sovereignty, and in another to require that Louisiana shall be admitted as soon as possible into the family union ;-two arrangements entirely incompatible with the French construction of the 8th article, We have already shown that the sovereignty

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