The Mission of William Carmichael to Spain

By Samuel Gwynn Coe | Go to book overview

CHAPTER V
FLORIDA BLANCA AND CARMICHAEL

Among American historians in general the view seems to be generally accepted that the Count de Florida Blanca was personally hostile to the United States, and that the blame for all the misunderstandings between the United States and Spain prior to the treaty of 1795 lies with him. The most exhaustive treatment of the relations of Spain and America during this period is found in Phillips, who detracts from an unusually excellent piece of work by representing the Count de Florida Blanca as a bitter enemy of the United States the Count de Galvez, Minister of the Indies, as the friend through whom we obtained most of the favors granted by Spain.1

It is an undisputed fact that Florida Blanca was quite an able foreign minister. As such a minister he could readily see the danger of the infection of the spirit of independence disseminating itself among the Spanish Colonies from contact with the United States. What more natural than for him to contend for the closure of the Mississippi to American commerce and to restrict their boundaries to prevent such infection. As a patriotic Spaniard he would certainly have been justified in this. As for the navigation of the Mississippi, it was well known that Carlos III was determined to make the Gulf of Mexico a Spanish lake, and the minister who yielded on that point would stand in grave danger of replacement.2 No Spaniard in Florida Blanca's responsible position would have dared do otherwise. The blame for the Spanish insistence on boundaries for West Florida as high as the Ohio river must rest on the shoulders of Don Joseph Galvez, Minister for the Indies.3 However, the same pen

____________________
1
P. C. Phillips, "The West in the Diplomacy of the American Revolution," in Univ. of Illinois Stud. in Social Sciences, II, 111-247.
2
Wharton, III, 724, Jay to Pres. of Congress, May 26, 1780,

-99-

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The Mission of William Carmichael to Spain
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Preface v
  • Contents vii
  • Chapter I Carmichael's Early Life 1
  • Chapter II Secretary to John Jay 11
  • Chapter III Acting ChangÉ D'Appairs 47
  • Chapter IV ChargÉ D'Affaires 80
  • Chapter V Florida Blanca and Carmichael 99
  • Bibliography 113
  • Index 115
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