Aaron Burr: A Biography Compiled from Rare, and in Many Cases Unpublished, Sources - Vol. 2

Aaron Burr: A Biography Compiled from Rare, and in Many Cases Unpublished, Sources - Vol. 2

Aaron Burr: A Biography Compiled from Rare, and in Many Cases Unpublished, Sources - Vol. 2

Aaron Burr: A Biography Compiled from Rare, and in Many Cases Unpublished, Sources - Vol. 2

Excerpt

MR. JEFFERSON was in a good deal of a quandary in the spring of 1805. "We want nothing of hers [Spain] and we want no other nation to possess what is hers," he was writing in April, to Mr. Bowdoin, his newly selected Minister to Madrid, "but she has met our advances with jealousy, secret malice and ill faith. Our patience . . . is now on its last trial, and the issue of what is now depending between us will decide whether our relations with her are to be sincerely friendly or permanently hostile." Of course, Mr. Jefferson did not really mean that-- indeed, at the time, he particularly wanted something of Spain's, namely the Floridas--but he thought that he meant it. . . .

It all went back to the Treaty of Paris, in 1763, under the terms of which France had lost her American colonial empire, Canada to England, and Louisiana to Spain--the latter really by secret cession the year before. In place of the old French peril, there was now, to the Colonies, the threat of a new Spanish danger, to the southern Colonies and . . .

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