Subscribe to the FREE Newsletter     

Help Support
Louisiana is Ceded by France -- The Thing is Fixed!

Since our last accounts and papers have been received here from France, to the middle of May.

The most interesting to Americans, is that Louisiana has been ceded by France to the United States, for a sum of money, of which certain liquidated American claims, to the amount of about four millions of dollars are to be offered as part. The cession is said to have been negotiated by Mr. Livingston prior to the arrival of Mr. Monroe in France ; but who has since ratified and confirmed the contract.

It may not be unnecessary to mention, it is understood, that claims thus provided for, are not those which have usually been denominated Spoliation Claims -- There as we have before observed, were annihilated by the ratification of the last convention with France. The more fortunate claims, are those which accrued from the embargo laid upon American vessels at Bourdeaux, and other French ports during the revolution ; -- and from property taken or purchased from France, with bills drawn on Hamburg, &ct. which were proposed ; -- from provisions and supplies taken in St. Domingo, Isle of France, Senegal, Guadalupe, &ct. and bills given to therefore drawn upon the French treasury. Such we understand to be the nature of those claims.

Respecting the dispute between Great Britain and France, these accounts still indicated the near approach of the decisive moment, on which war or peace depended -- Lord Whitworth actually left Paris, on his return to England, the 12th May ; -- the numerous English lately, resident in France, were quitting it with the utmost speed ; and an embargo was said to have been laid on all French vessels in the ports of France. -- Such are the prominences of the information -- That they indicate that approaching war is most true ; but well informed men in Europe, think them no more than evidences of the inflexibility of the negotiating parties. ; -- who nevertheless will not resort to actual hostilities ; -- and the Paris "Argus" of the 11th May says, "we have uniformly persisted in denying the equipment of any formidable arrangements in the ports of France and Holland ; and the fact is so obvious that we forbear from further assertion." -- On the other hand there are many who pronounce immediate war inevitable.


Extracts of a letter from Paris, received by the way of Havre April 28, 1803

"We have now the moral certainty of being paid in the United States, for what France owes to the Americans. This government CEDES LOUISIANA, for a certain sum of which the Americans credits are to be in part, and whether we be paid in cash or stocks, it is still a good payment."

"I at last have the satisfaction to inform you that the American Creditors are to be paid by the American Government in Exchange for Louisiana -- THE THING IS FIXED -- five months are given for the ratification, and six weeks after, those accounts which are liquidated will be paid by Mr. Livingston's Bills on the Treasury of the United States, and those unliquidated within six months after!" "Paris, May 13, 1803"

"I include you a Memorial which Mr. Livingston , our Minister here, presented to the French Government which was really the primary cause of the cession of Louisiana to the United States. I beg you to have it translated and published, that the tribute due to the exertions of that able negotiator be rendered by every citizen, who is capable of appreciating the inestimatable benefit he has obtained. The cession was voted in the Council of State the 8th of April. I was at St. Cloud that day -- The 9th propositions were made to Mr. Livingston to fix a price. The 10th, the thing was talked over, and the principals agreed upon, when news of Mr. Monroe's arrival at Havre got to town. The 12th, in the evening, Mr. M. did arrive in Paris. The previous negotiations of Mr. L. were communicated to him and every thing was closed and signed the 30th -- even before Mr. Monroe was presented at Court.

"A convention, for the payment of the American debts by France, to our Citizens, has also been signed. They are estimated at four millions of dollars ; -- and are to be paid by the United States in part of the compensation for Louisiana. Thus, the most important event to our Country since the Declaration of Independence, has been effected by a man without authority from his government, and who, to insure the good to be wished to obtain, pledged his fortune for the execution. Merit of such a kind is so rare that it ought to be well understood and appreciated. Mr. Monroe has the satisfaction of having been commissioned expressly for the purpose, and which to eternity, will render him celebrated without posterity knowing the part he had in the benefits.

"The British Minister went off last evening but I do not believe in war."

The document alluded to is entitled, The document alluded to is entitled, "A Memorial on the question whether it be advantageous for France to take possession of Louisiana?" It would seem the French Government was, or effected to be convinced by it.