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In the printed “ Observations” that accompany this map are the following:
The River Mississippi is known about 60 miles above the Falls of St. Anthony but is not navigable ; its source is supposed by all travellers to be in about 46° N., therefore the line to be drawn W. from the Lake of the Woods till it strikes Mississippi will probably run on a parallel 3 degrees or 180 miles above its source.
But this boundary line, otherwise insignificant, seems to have been extended to the Lake of the Woods in 49° N. to approximate the United States to the boundary of the Hudson's Bay Company, in 49° N.
A south line should have been drawn from the Lake of the Woods to strike the Mississippi, as the west line beginning at 180 miles distance, if extended, would increase its distance from that river.
The map illustrating the route of the Lewis and Clark expedition of 1804–1806, “ from the original drawing by Wm. Clark,” shows the boundary of Louisiana as including the drainage basin of the Missouri River north of the 49th parallel, and near the north end of the Lake of the Woods there is this note: “Northern boundary of the United States, lat. 49° 37' N.”
It seems probable that Congress considered the Red River Basin (see fig. 18) as far north as the Lake of the Woods to be a part of the Louisiana Purchase, but no specific reference was made to it in any statute prior to 1834.
There were many who believed that the Louisiana Purchase extended even farther north than the 49th parallel and included the entire drainage basin of Missouri River. This uncertainty was settled by the treaty of 1818. James White,91 after an extended review of this question, states: “ The true northern boundary of Louisiana was the watershed of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers.” The approximate area of this “ watershed" north of the 49th parallel is 12,300 square miles.
The Melish map, referred to in the treaty with Spain of 1819 (see p. 36), but printed before the convention with Great Britain of 1818 (see p. 13) was signed, shows the boundary line of the United States as running due west from the northwesternmost point of the Lake of the Woods to the Red River, thence up that river to the Assiniboine, up that river, and by an irregular line westward so as to include the Missouri River drainage basin north of the 49th parallel.
This question is now a matter of historical interest only, for the boundary line was definitely fixed by the British treaty of 1818 (p. 13).
It has often been said that by the treaty of Utrecht 92 of 1713 the 49th parallel was made the boundary line between Great Britain and the French Province of Louisiana, but a careful reading of the treaty fails to disclose any ground for this statement. It is doubtless true that during the negotiations which followed the signing of the treaty the British commission endeavored to have the 49th parallel fixed as the boundary and that the French commission contended for a boundary a degree or more farther north, but the commissioners failed to agree, and no latitude was mentioned in the treaty. Article X of this treaty provided for the appointment of “commissaries” to fix a boundary line between the Hudson Bay territory and the Louisiana territory. The “commissaries” were probably appointed, but no final decision resulted from their labors.98
91 Canada and its provinces, p. 842, Toronto, 1914.
% There are several printed copies of the treaty of Utrecht in the Library of Congress. See also Freschot, C., The compleat history of the treaty of Utrecht (etc.), 2 vols., London, A. Roper and S. Butler, 1715.
The western boundary of the Louisiana Purchase is the western boundary of the Mississippi drainage basin as claimed by La Salle. However the northern and northeastern boundaries of the Lousiana Purchase may be considered, there is no doubt that they included the drainage basin of the Missouri south of the 49th parallel and the western drainage basin of the Mississippi from its source to the Gulf.
94 FLORIDA PURCHASE
The second addition to the territory of the United States consisted of the Floridas, ceded by Spain in 1819 in exchange for large areas west of the Mississippi River relinquished by the United States to Spain and the assumption by the United States of all claims of its citizens against Spain for damages received, to an amount not exceeding $5,000,000, Spain likewise assuming responsibility for claims of its citizens against the United States.
From the date of the Louisiana Purchase, in 1803, the territory bounded by the Mississippi River on the west, the Perdido on the cast, the parallel of 31° on the north, and the Gulf of Mexico on the south, known as West Florida, had been in dispute between the two countries. During at least part of this time it had been practically in the possession of the United States. The clause from the treaty of San Ildefonso quoted on page 29 was interpreted by Jefferson and others in this country to mean the inclusion of West Florida. Their reasoning was this: In 1800 Spain owned West Florida ; West Florida was once a part of Louisiana; in 1800 Spain receded Louisiana to France; she therefore receded West Florida with it.
03 See Hermann, Binger, The Louisiana Purchase and our title west of the Rocky Mountains (etc.), pp. 55–59, Washington, 1900; also Bond, Frank, Historical sketch of Louisiana and the Louisiana Purchase, Washington, 1912.
04 For a historical sketch of the Florida Purchase and of events leading to its acquisition see Hinsdale, B. A., The establishment of the first southern boundary of the United States : Am. Hist. Assoc. Ann. Rept. for 1893 (53d Cong., 2d sess., S. Misc. Doc. 104), pp. 330-366, 1893; also Mowry, W. A., op. cit., ch. 4.
Spain, however, held that this was merely a treaty of recession, by which she gave back to France what France had given to her in 1762. As in 1762 she did not own West Florida, she could not have receded it to France. Barbé-Marbois, the French plenipotentiary, was very positive in stating that West Florida formed no part of the Louisiana Purchase, and that the southeastern boundary of that purchase consisted of the Iberville River and Lakes Maurepas and Pontchartrain. (See fig. 12.)
Immediately after the Louisiana Purchase was acquired the claim was made by the United States that it included most of West Florida and part of the Texas coast, but this claim was not entertained by Spain. In 1810 a revolution was effected in that part of West Florida lying west of the Pearl River, and application was made by the inhabitants for annexation to the United States. The governor of Louisiana, under instructions from Washington, at once took possession. Immediately a counter revolution was organized against him, but it was put down by force of arms, and in 1812 this part of West Florida was annexed to the Territory of Louisiana.95 In the meantime the insurrection spread eastward and, although put down by the Spanish authorities, the movement received the sympathy of the United States, and Congress passed an act, approved January 15, 1811,98 authorizing the President, under certain specified contingencies, to use force in taking possession of East Florida and appropriating $100,000 for carrying the act into effect.97 In 1812 that portion of West Florida lying between the Perdido and Pearl Rivers was annexed to the Territory of Mississippi. (See p. 164.)
The treaty of February 22, 1819, with Spain settled these conflicting claims 98 by the following clause: 1
ARTICLE II. His Catholic Majesty cedes to the United States, in full property and sovereignty, all the territories which belong to him, situated to the eastward of the Mississippi, known by the name of East and West Florida. The adjacent islands dependent on said province
are included in this article.
The third article in this treaty defines the boundary between the United States and the Spanish possessions in the Southwest as follows:
ARTICLE III. The boundary line between the two countries, west of the Mississippi, shall begin on the Gulph of Mexico, at the nrouth of the river Sabine, in the sea, continuing north, along the western bank of that river, to the 32nd degree of latitude; thence, by a line due north to the degree of latitude where it strikes the Rio Roxo of Nachitoches, or Red River; then following the course of the Rio Roxo westward, to the degree of longitude 100 west from London, and 23 from Washington; then, crossing the said Red River and running thence, by a line due north, to the river Arkansas; thence, following the course of the southern bank of the Arkansas, to its source in latitude 42 north; and thence, by that parallel of latitude to the South Sea. The whole being as laid down in Melish's map of the United States, published at Philadelphia, improved to the 1st of January, 1818. But if the source of the Arkansas River shall be found to fall north or south of latitude 42, then the line shall run from the said source due south or north, as the case may be, till it meets the said parallel of latitude 42, and thence, along the said parallel, to the South Sea : All the islands in the Sabine, and the said Red and Arkansas Rivers, throughout the course thus described, to belong to the United States; but the use of the waters, and the navigation of the Sabine to the sea, and of the said rivers Roxo and Arkansas, throughout the extent of the said boundar their respective banks, shall be common to the respective inhabitants of both nations.
85 2 Stat. L. 108. 06 3 Stat. L. 471.
07 The publication of this act before the end of the following session of Congress was forbidden by act of March 3, 1811 (3 Stat. L. 472).
B8 For reference to the East Florida and West Florida boundary disputes see Cox, I. J., The West Florida controversy, 1798–1813, Baltimore, Johns Hopkins Press, 1918; and Paxson, F. L., History of the American frontier, 1763–1893, ch. 16, Cambridge, 1924.
1 Malloy, W. M., op. cit., vol. 2, p. 1652. For a sketch of events leading up to this treaty, see Marshall, T. M., op. cit., pp. 46–85.
This treaty was ratified promptly by the United States Senate, but Spain did not ratify it until October 20, 1820, which was after the time allowed for ratification had expired. The United States Senate again ratified it February 19, 1821, and it was proclaimed by the President February 22, 1821.
The western boundary of the United States south of latitude 42° as fixed by this treaty was confirmed by Mexico by treaty concluded January 12, 1828,3 Mexico having in the meantime gained her independence from Spain.
The next acquisition of territory was that of the Republic of Texas, which was admitted as a State by joint resolution of December 29, 1845. The area which Texas brought into the Union was limited as follows, as defined by the Republic of Texas, December 19, 18366 (see fig. 14):
2 The zero point of the London meridian is the cross on St. Paul's Cathedral in London, which is 0° 05' 48.356" (4.17 miles) west of Greenwich (Ordnance Survey of Great Britain, letter of Sept. 6, 1927). For reference to the establishment of the meridians of London and Greenwich see The Mariner's Mirror, vol. 13, No. 2, London, Cambridge Press, April, 1927. Longitudes on the Mitchell map of 1755 (see p. 26) are referred to the London meridian. The Melish map of 1818 has the degrees west of London indicated along the lower edge, and the degrees west of Washington near the upper edge ; the 0° of the Washington meridian coincides with 77° west of London. In 1804 a line through the center of the White House was run out and marked for the zero of the Washington meridian. This line is 76° 56' 25'' west of London. It will be seen from these statements that the location of this boundary was somewhat uncertain, but the position was recognized as the 100th degree west of Greenwich in acts of Sept. 9, 1850, and June 5, 1858. (See p. 171.)
3 Malloy, W. M., op. cit., vol. 1, p. 1082.
49 Stat. L. 108. For reference to efforts made by the United States to acquire Texas between 1829 and 1835 by purchase or otherwise, see Marshall, T. M., A history of the western boundary of the Louisiana Purchase : California Univ. Pub. History, vol. 2, pp. 86–112, 1914.
6 Laws of the Republic of Texas, vol. 1, p. 133, Houston, 1838.