THE PURCHASE OF LOUISIANA
AMERICAN SETTLEMENT IN THE MISSISSIPPI BASIN. In November, 1762, before the end of the Seven Years' War, when it had become obvious that France would inevitably lose all her American possessions, Louis XV ceded to Spain the town and neighbourhood of New Orleans and all that part of Louisiana which lay west of the Mississippi. In the following year, France lost to England all her territories east of the Mississippi, and the great river became the boundary between Spanish Louisiana and the American dominions of England. When the American colonies gained their independence, they succeeded to this western boundary with Spain, and American settlers poured westward over the Appalachians into the area drained by the eastern tributaries of the Mississippi. The growth of population was very rapid; by 1790 there were over one hundred thousand settlers in the western area and it became necessary to divide it into political divisions. Kentucky and Tennessee became States in 1792 and 1796 respectively; the Territory of Mississippi was organised in 1798,1 and in 1803 the State of Ohio was created (Fig. 6).
The settlers of these new states were compelled to use the Mississippi and its tributaries as their principal means of communication with their markets. The waterways were consequently of great importance and large numbers of boats carried various kinds of produce downstream to New Orleans. Not only river-craft but also sea-going vessels were built at Pittsburgh and other places in the Ohio valley. These ships sailed down the river and sometimes continued their voyage across the Atlantic. Most of the larger American settlements were ports of call for the boatmen.
The American pioneers were soon pressing against the restraints of the Spanish boundaries; very few of them attempted____________________