Cyclopædia of Political Science, Political Economy, and the Political History of the United States

Edited by: Lalor, John J.
Display paragraphs in this book containing:
First Pub. Date
New York: Maynard, Merrill, and Co.
Pub. Date
Includes articles by Frédéric Bastiat, Gustave de Molinari, Henry George, J. B. Say, Francis A. Walker, and more.
66 of 1105



ANNEXATIONS (IN U. S. HISTORY). By the treaty of 1783 "His Britannic Majesty acknowledges the said United States, viz, New Hampshire, Massachusetts-Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, to be free, sovereign, and independent states; that he treats with them as such; and for himself, his heirs and successors, relinquishes all claim to the government, propriety, and territorial rights of the same, and every part thereof." The nominal boundaries of many of the states, as constituted by their charters, extended to the Pacific ocean; but in practice they ceased at the Mississippi. Beyond that river the sovereignty, by discovery, settlement and active exercise, was vested in the king of Spain. Before the end of the eighteenth century all the territory west of the present boundary of the states above named had been ceded by them to the United States, (see TERRITORIES), and the Union consisted of the thirteen original states, with Vermont, Kentucky, and Tennessee, afterward admitted, and the territory (see ORDINANCE OF1787) comprised within the limits of the Atlantic ocean, British America, the Mississippi river, Louisiana, the gulf of Mexico, and Florida. For these states and this territory the Union had been made. The objections to the extension of the Union, without the unanimous consent of the "original partners," are elsewhere given (see SECESSION, I.; UNITED STATES); only the successive processes by which the extension was accomplished will be considered at present.


—I. LOUISIANA. One of the earliest physical problems with which American statesmen were called to deal was found in the position and necessities of the emigrants who had crossed the Alleghanies and were beginning to fill the valley of Mississippi. If they were to be permanently retained in the Union it was essential that some easier communication should be formed between them and the older states, and that they should not be annoyed by Spanish restrictions upon the free navigation of the Mississippi and its affluents. All through the closing hours of the revolution, Washington's attention was drawn to this question, and, in 1784, a tour to Pittsburgh and a personal examination of the Alleghanies convinced him that, by deepening the Potomac and the James on one side, and the head waters of the Ohio on the other, canal communication between the east and the west was possible. This scheme, which would have offered engineering difficulties then almost insurmountable, had gone so far as incorporation by Virginia and Maryland, when Washington reluctantly allowed himself to be withdrawn from it by the voice of the whole country to the presidency of the convention of 1787, and afterward of the United States.


—It had long been the fixed policy of Spain to exclude all foreign commerce from the Mississippi. She had refused, in 1780-2, to make a treaty with the United States, the main reason for her refusal being Minister Jay's demand for the free navigation of the Mississippi. She had then even designed, as appears from one of Dr. Franklin's letters to congress, to confine the United States to the territory east of the Alleghames, on the ground of a proclamation by the king of Great Britain in 1763, forbidding his North American governors to grant lands westward of the sources of the rivers falling into the Atlantic ocean. In July, 1785, when Don Diego Guardoqui, a chargé daffier, arrived at Philadelphia, the claims of Spain had been finally modified to the Florida's, all the west bank of the Mississippi, the east bank to a point considerably north of the present southerly boundary of the state of Mississippi, and an exclusive navigation thence to the mouth of the river. The commercial states of the north were anxious for a treaty of commerce with Spain even at the price of the abandonment of the interests of the western settlers, and Guardoqui refused a treaty on any other terms. Aug. 29, 1786, by a vote of seven northern to five southern states, the congress of the confederacy withdrew its demand for free navigation of the Mississippi, and before Oct. 6, their secretary of foreign affairs, Jay, had agreed upon an article by which the claim was suspended for twenty-five years, though not formally relinquished. But, while congress had been deliberating, a nation had been forming in the Mississippi valley; and the remonstrance's, public and private, of its inhabitants were so emphatic, and in some instances so violent, that in September, 1788, congress in desperation relegated the whole subject to the new federal government, which was to assemble in March, 1789. Negotiations with Spain were dropped until February, 1793, when Messrs. Carmichael and Short again attempted, but in vain, to make a treaty. The year 1795 was more auspicious. Spain was exhausted by war with the French republic; her virtual ruler, Manuel Goody, prince of the peace, was aware that hostile expeditions against New Orleans, under Genet's directions, had, in 1793, with difficulty been suppressed by the federal government, (see GENTE, CITIZEN), and, Oct. 27, 1795, Thomas Pinkney, envoy extraordinary, succeeded in negotiating a treaty of friendship, boundaries, and navigation. Its important features, in this connection, are in the fourth and twenty-second articles:

—Art. 4. ***** "And his Catholic majesty has likewise agreed that the navigation of the said river (Mississippi), in its whole breadth, from its source to the ocean, shall be free only to his subjects and the citizens of the United States, unless he should extend this privilege to the subjects of other powers by special convention.

—Art. 22. And, in consequence of the stipulations contained in the fourth article, his Catholic majesty will permit the citizens of the United States, for the space of three years from this time, to deposit their merchandises and effects in the port of New Orleans, and to export them from thence without paying any other duty than a fair price for the hire of the stores; and his majesty promises, either to continue this permission, if he finds during that time that it is not prejudicial to the interests of Spain or, if he should not agree to continue it there, he will assign to them, on another part of the banks of the Mississippi, an equivalent establishment."


—With this article, when it was some three years later, honorably executed, the people of the west were fairly satisfied.


—By the third article of the secret treaty of St. Ildefonso, Oct. 1, 1800, in return for the erection of the kingdom of Etruria for the prince of Parma, the king of Spain's son-in-law, Spain "retrocede" to France the vast province of Louisiana, stretching from the source to the mouth of the Mississippi, and thence west to the Pacific (but see OREGON). It had belonged to France until the peace of 1763, when it was ceded to Spain in compensation for her losses during the war. By its retrocession the United States were now to be hemmed in between the two professional belligerents of Europe; and a great fleet and army, which sailed toward the end of the year 1801, ostensibly against St. Domingo, but ultimately intended to take possession of New Orleans, showed Bonaparte's design to revive there the colonial glories of the former French monarchy. April 18, 1802, president Jefferson wrote to Robert R. Livingston, minister to France, as follows: "The cession of Louisiana and the Floridas by Spain to France works most sorely on the United States. It completely reverses all the political relations of the United States, and will form a new epoch in our political course. There is on the globe one single spot the possessor of which is our natural and habitual enemy. It is New Orleans, through which the produce of three-eighths of our territory must pass to market. France, placing herself in that door, assumes to us the attitude of defiance, **** (and) seals the union of two nations who, in conjunction, can maintain exclusive possession of the ocean. From that moment we must marry ourselves to the British fleet and nation, and make the first cannon which shall be fired in Europe the signal for tearing up any settlement she (France) may have made."


—The ferment in the west, caused by the retrocession of Louisiana, was increased by the orders of the Spanish intendant, Morales, issued Oct. 2, 1802, abrogating the right of deposit, without substituting any other place for New Orleans, as the treaty of 1795 above given, required. In congress James Ross, senator from Pennsylvania, introduced resolutions authorizing the president to call out 50,000 militia and take possession of New Orleans. Intend of this, congress appropriated $2,000,000 for the purchase of New Orleans, and the president, Jan. 10, 1803, sent James Monroe as minister extraordinary, with discretionary powers, to co-operate with Livingston in the proposed purchase.


—Monroe found his work done to his hand. A new war between England and France was on the point of breaking out, and in such an event England's omnipotent navy would make Louisiana a worse than useless possession to France. April 11, 1803, Livingston, who had already begun a hesitating negotiation for the purchase of New Orleans alone, was suddenly invited by Napoleon to make an offer for the whole of Louisiana. On the following day Monroe arrived in Paris, and the two ministers decided to offer $10,000,000. The price was finally fixed at $15,000,000, one fourth of it to consist in the assumption by the United States of $3,750,000 worth of claims of American citizens against France. The treaty was in three conventions, all signed the same day, April 30, 1803, by Livingston and Monroe on one part, and Barbé-Marbois for France on the other. The first convention was to secure the cession, the second to ascertain the price, and the third to stipulate for the assumption by the United States of the claims above named. Its important articles in this connection are the first and third of the first convention, as follows: ART. 1. "whereas, by article the third of the treaty concluded at St. Ildefonso, the 9th Vendémiaire, an. 9 (Oct. 1, 1800), between the first consul of the French republic and his Catholic majesty it was agreed as follows: His Catholic majesty promises and engages on his part, to retrocede to the French republic, six months after the full and entire execution of the conditions and stipulations herein relative to his royal highness the duke of Parma, the colony or province of Louisiana, with the same extent that it now has in the hands of Spain, and that it had when France possessed it; and such as it should be after the treaties subsequently entered into between Spain and other states; and whereas, in pursuance of the treaty, and particularly of the third article, the French republic has an incontestable title to the domain and to the possession of the said territory: The first consul of the French republic, desiring to give to the United States a strong proof of his friendship, doth hereby cede to the said United States, in the name of the French republic, forever and in full sovereignty, the said territory, with all its rights and appurtenances, as fully and in the same manner as they have been acquired by the French republic in virtue of the above mentioned treaty, concluded with his Catholic majesty. ART. 3. The inhabitants of the ceded territory shall be incorporated in the union of the United States, and admitted as soon as possible, according to the principles of the federal constitution, to the enjoyment of all the rights, advantages and immunities of citizens of the United States; and in the meantime they shall be maintained and protected in the free enjoyment of their liberty, property, and the religion which they profess."


—The annexation of Louisiana was the source of unbounded exultation to the president and his party. Its constitutionality was at once angrily attacked by the federalists, and never defended by Jefferson. He says, in a private letter: "The constitution has made no provision for our holding foreign territory, still lese for incorporating foreign nations into our union. The executive, in seizing the fugitive occurrence which so much advances the good of their country, have done an act beyond the constitution. The legislature, in casting behind them metaphysical subtleties, and risking themselves like faithful servants, must ratify and pay for it, and throw themselves on their country for doing for them, unauthorized, what we know they would have done for themselves had they been in a situation to do it. It is the case of a guardian, investing the money of his ward in purchasing an important adjacent territory, and saying to him when of age, 'I did this for your good; I pretend to no right to bind you; you may disavow me and I must get out of the scrape as I can; I thought it my duty to risk myself for you.' " (For the amendment, which was to cover the case, see CONSTITUTION, IV.)


—"The news of the transfer of Louisiana was like a thunder-stroke for the cabinet of Madrid, who then perceived the enormous fault it had committed in sacrificing the safety of Mexico. Florida, inclosed on both sides by the United States, was separated in the middle from the Spanish dominions, and would fall on the first occasion into the hands of its neighbors." It is supposed that, in addition to the non-fulfillment by Napoleon of essential points of the treaty of St. Ildefonso, that treaty had annexed a secret condition that France should not alienate Louisiana, and that Bonaparte had, as he frequently did in other cases, contemptuously disregarded it. It is certain that Spain refused with indignation to believe the first news of its alienation, filed a formal protest against it, and only consented to it at last after a course of unfriendly conduct, which, according to a report of a house committee in January, 1806, fully justified a declaration of war against her.


—Ratifications were to be exchanged within six months from the date of the treaty, that is, before Oct. 30, 1803. The president therefore called an early session of congress for Oct. 17, and in two days the treaty was confirmed by the senate. In the house, Oct. 25, the resolution to carry the treaty into effect was passed, by a vote of 90 to 25, over the opposition of the federalists, who maintained the unconstitutionality of the annexation on the grounds assigned by Jefferson himself above. (See SECESSION, LOUISIANA.) The province of Louisiana added 1,171,931 square miles to the area of the United States, comprising Alabama and Mississippi south of parallel 31° all Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Oregon; the entire territories of Dakota, Washington, Idaho and Montana; the state of Minnesota west of the Mississippi, and Kansas except the south west part south of the Arkansas; Colorado and the territory of Wyoming east of the Rocky mountains, and Indian territory.


—II FLORIDA. Until 1763 the eastern boundary of Louisiana was the river Perdido. When Great Britain in that year became the owner of that part of Louisiana east of the Mississippi she at once united it to Florida, and created two territories, east and west Florida, separated by the Appalachicola. By the fifth article of the treaty of 1783, "his Britannic majesty ceded and guaranteed to his Catholic majesty eastern and western Florida." Spain therefore claimed, and not without considerable appearance of reason, that she could not retrocede to France what France had not ceded to her in 1763; that Louisiana east of the Mississippi had disappeared from the map in 1763 and become a part of Florida, and that, when she retroceded "Louisiana" to France in 1800, she had no intention of ceding with it the separate territory of west Florida, acquired by her after 1763, from Great Britain. She had therefore retained Mobile, the key to the rivers of Alabama, and in its custom house levied heavy duties on goods to or from the upper country. The United States, however, claimed that, as Spain's retrocession and France's cession were, of "Louisiana, with the same extent that it had when France possessed it" (see treaty above) Louisiana's eastern boundary was now again the Perdido. To avoid war with Spain the claim was not forcibly asserted until 1810, when, the king of Spain being dethroned, and the cortes having been driven to the isle of Leon and dissolved, the hereditary government had to all appearances disappeared, and a large part of the people of west Florida, having met in convention at Baton Rouge, declared themselves independent and assumed the lone star as a symbol for their flag. Against the protests of the Spanish governor and of the British chargé d'affaires, governor Claiborne, of the territory of Orleans, was sent by the president to take possession of west Florida, and accomplished it, with the exception of the city of Mobile, late in 1810. In 1812 the Pearl river was made the eastern boundary of the state of Louisiana, and the rest of west Florida was annexed to Mississippi territory. In 1813 possession of the fort and city of Mobile, and of the whole of west Florida, was at last secured by general Wilkinson.


—Through all this period the determination of the southern states to gain east Florida also had been rapidly growing. Acts of congress of Jan. 15, and March 3, 1811, passed in secret, and first published in 1818, had authorized the president to take "temporary possession" of east Florida. The commissioners appointed under these acts, Matthews, and his successor, Mitchell, both of Georgia, had stirred up an insurrection in the coveted territory, and, when the president refused to sustain the commissioners, the state of Georgia declared Florida necessary to its peace and welfare, and practically declared war on its own private account. Its expedition, however, resulted in nothing. In 1814 general Andrew Jackson, then in command at Mobile, having, by a raid into Pensacola, driven out a British force which had settled there, restored the place to the Spanish authorities and retired. In 1818, during the Seminole war, being annoyed by Spanish assistance afforded to the Indians, Jackson again raided east Florida, captured St. Marks and Pensacola, hung Arbuthnot and Ambrister, two British subjects who had given aid and comfort to the Seminoles, as "outlaws and pirates," and again demonstrated the fact that Florida was completely at the mercy of the United States. The Spanish minister at Washington therefore signed a treaty, Feb. 22, 1819, by which Spain ceded Florida, 59,268 square miles, to the United States, in return for the payment by the latter country of claims of American citizens against Spain, amounting to $5,000,000. The ratification of Spain was only obtained in 1821, after an unsuccessful effort on her part to secure, as the price of it, the refusal of the United States to recognize the independence of the revolted Spanish-American colonies. By this treaty the western boundary of Louisiana was fixed as follows: "Beginning at the mouth of the Sabine in the gulf of Mexico; up the west bank of the Sabine to the 32nd degree of north latitude; thence north to the Red river; along the south bank of the Red river to the 100th degree of longitude east from Greenwich; thence north to the Arkansas; thence along the south bank of the Arkansas to its source; thence south or north, as the case might be, to the 42nd degree of north latitude, and along that parallel to the Pacific." As the price of Florida, therefore, the United States gave up the claim to Texas and the Rio Grande as its western boundary.


—III. TEXAS. The inevitable result of the two previous annexations was the annexation of Texas. It had been persistently claimed before 1763 by Spain; and France, though claiming it as part of Louisiana, had made only a few futile attempts to colonize it. It had been one of the ultimate objects of the Burr conspiracy. During Wilkinson's hasty preparations to defend New Orleans against Burr in October, 1806, he had agreed with the Spanish commander upon the Sabine as a provisional boundary between the Spanish and American territory, and upon the consequent suspension of the American claim to Texas as part of Louisiana; and the treaty of 1819 above mentioned made this boundary permanent, Considerable opposition, of which resolutions offered by Henry Clay were an expression, was manifested against the "alienation" by treaty of soil to which the United States had a claim, but the annexation of Florida covered all dissatisfaction in the south, and when Mexico's revolt was successful, by the treaty of Cordova, Feb. 24, 1821, "Texas and Coahuila" became one of the states of the Mexican republic.


—The Missouri struggle, (see COMPROMISES, IV.), had shown that the union of the two sections in the United States was as yet only factitious; that the operation of economic laws would inevitably drive immigration away from slave soil and toward the free territory of the northwest; and that, consequently, in the sectional race for the manufacture of new states and the control of the senate, the south was doomed to defeat if the Sabine remained as the boundary. Therefore, so early as 1821, the adventurous and lawless population of the southwest, under the direction or with the silent sympathy of far-seeing southern leaders, began systematic efforts to pierce the barrier of Mexican exclusiveness and effect an entrance into Texas. Under the guise of persecuted American Roman Catholics, enterprising men obtained land grants from Mexico and filled them with settlers who had at least as much reverence for Catholicism as for any other form of religion. Offers were made in 1827 and 1829 by Clay and Van Buren, successively secretaries of state, of $1,000,000 and $5,000,000 for Texas, but without effect. In 1833 Texas had grown so far in population that it disdained to be longer a part of Coahuila, and by convention, April 1, formed a Mexican state constitution of its own. In 1835 the Mexican congress abolished all the state constitutions, and created a dictator; and, March 2, 1836, Texas put into practice the doctrine of secession by declaring its independence of Mexico. After a brief war, marked by the inhuman Mexican massacres of Goliad and the Alamo, Houston, the Texan commander, with 700 men, met Santa Anna, the Mexican president, with 5,000 men, at the Sau Jacinto, April 10, and totally defeated him. Santa Anna, a captive and in mortal fear, was glad to obtain his freedom by signing a treaty-which acknowledged the independence of the republic of Texas, but which Mexico naturally refused to ratify. In March, 1837, the United States, and, soon after, England, France and Belgium, recognized the new republic, which may thereafter be fairly considered independent, though never acknowledged as such by Mexico.


—The finances of Texas early fell into extreme disorder. Her government had borrowed and expended so recklessly that borrowing would no longer avail, and its operations had almost come to a stand-still for sheer want of money. Under these circumstances annexation was as desirable to Texas as to the south, and in August, 1837, by her minister at Washington, Texas made application to the executive for membership in the United States. A proposition to that effect was introduced in the senate, by Preston, of South Carolina, and tabled by a vote of 24 to 14. The matter then rested for some years, and Texas, undisturbed by Mexico's continued refusal to recognize her, proceeded in the prodigal sale and distribution throughout the south and southwest of a vast mass of land warrants, whose owners were at once converted into advocacy of Texas and annexation. Jan. 10, 1843, Gilmer, member of congress from Virginia, in a letter to a Baltimore newspaper, eloquently appealed to the people to annex Texas in order to forestall Great Britain in so doing; and his appeal was seconded by the legislatures of various southern states. From this time Texas annexation became a game, skillfully played in partnership by the southern politicians, who wished to increase the number of southern states, and the Texas land and scrip speculators, who wished to make their worthless ventures profitable. A letter was obtained from ex-president Jackson, March 12, 1843, warmly counseling immediate annexation. The democratic national convention was put off from December, 1843, until May, 1844, and in the interval Van Buren, the chosen candidate of the northern democracy, was formally questioned by letter as to his position on annexation. April 20, 1844, Van Buren declared against it, as also did Clay, the leading whig candidate, April 17. May 17, the democratic convention met at Baltimore, and as a preliminary adopted the rule of the conventions of 1832 and 1835, which has since been the rule in all democratic conventions, that a nomination should only be by a two-thirds vote. This made Van Buren's nomination impossible, and insured to the southern minority the ultimate choice of an annexation candidate. On the 8th ballot Van Buren was withdrawn, having fallen from 146 to 104 out of 266 votes, and on the next ballot Polk was nominated. Not only was the candidate strongly in favor of immediate annexation; the platform also warmly demanded the re-occupation of Oregon, and the re-annexation of Texas.


—In the meantime, an annexation treaty had actually been concluded with Texas, April 12, 1844, by Calhoun, whom Tyler, in the course of his drift back toward the democratic party, had called into his cabinet (see ADMINISTRATIONS, as secretary of state, and who had declared his only object in the cabinet to be the annexation of Texas; but it was rejected by the senate by a vote of 16 ayes to 35 nays. This treaty fixed the western boundary of Texas, as Texas herself had done in 1836, at the Rio Grande, thus taking in the country between the Nueces and the Rio Grande, which had been settled by Spaniards since 1694 as the province of Coahuila, and had been peaceably in Spanish and Mexican possession ever since, though Texas had attempted some formal exercises of jurisdiction over it. In this disputed territory lay the germs of the Mexican war.


—In the presidential election of 1844 votes were gained for Polk in the north by the demand for the re-occupation of Oregon, and by the cry of "Polk, Dallas and the tariff of 1842," (see TARIFF; but in the south the whole question turned on Texas, and "Texas or disunion" became a common toast. Polk's election was accomplished in part by the vote which the liberty part, (see ABOLITION, II.), threw away on Birney, which would have given New York and Michigan to Clay, and in part by indubitable fraudulent voting in Plaquemines parish, in Louisiana, which gave the vote of that state to Polk. Nevertheless, his success was taken as a popular indorsement of Texas annexation, and in the next session of congress the doubtful members hurried to join the popular side. Jan. 25, 1845, a joint resolution was passed by the house, by a vote of 120 to 97, that "Congress doth consent that the territory properly included within, and rightfully belonging to, the republic of Texas, may be erected into a new state, to be called "the state of Texas," the consent being given on three conditions, 1st, that evidence of the formation of the new state should be sent to congress for final action on or before Jan. 1, 1846; 2nd, that the public property of the republic should be transferred to the United States; and 3rd, and most important, (see DRED SCOTT CASE, KANSAS-NEBRASKA BILL, COMPROMISES, V.), as follows: "Third: New states of convenient size, not exceeding four in number, in addition to the said state of Texas, and having sufficient population, may hereafter, by the consent of said state, be formed out of the territory thereof, which shall be entitled to admission under the provisions of the federal constitution; and such states as may be formed out of that portion of said territory lying south of thirty-six degrees thirty minutes north latitude, commonly known as the Missouri compromise line, shall be admitted into the union with or without slavery, as the people of each state asking admission may desire. And in such state or states as shall be formed out of said territory north of said Missouri compromise line, slavery or involuntary servitude, (except for crime), shall be prohibited." To some of the senators this formation of a new state out of territory which had never been formally annexed seemed utterly unconstitutional, and an amendment, prepared by senator Walker, of Wisconsin, was added, authorizing the president, if he should deem it advisable, to first make a treaty of annexation with Texas. The whole was then passed by a vote of 27 to 25, and agreed to by the house. No such treaty was ever made. Tyler leaped at the chance of ending his presidency with éclat, and on the last day of his term sent a special messenger who secured the unanimous assent, June 18, of the Texas congress, to annexation, which action was ratified, July 4, by a popular convention. A joint resolution was passed in the house, Dec. 16, 1845, by 141 to 56, and in the senate, Dec. 22, by 31 to 13, for the admission of Texas as a state, and its annexation was complete without the formality of a treaty. The power of annexation by treaty, which had been doubted, but exercised, in 1803, had thus been carried, in 1845, to annexation even without treaty, and both by the strict constructionist party. (For the further results see WILMOT PROVISO, COMPROMISES, V.). The annexation of Texas added 376,133 square miles to the United States.


—IV. NEW MEXICO, AND UPPER CALIFORNIA. These two pieces of territory had been conquered during the Mexican war, the former, (including Utah, Nevada, and a large part of Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado), by Kearney, and the latter by the navy under commodore Stockton and a small land force under Fremont, and both were held as conquered territory until the end of the war. From the opening of hostilities, the acquisition, by force or purchase of a liberal tract of Mexican territory as "indemnity for the past and security for the future," had been a principal object of the war, and at its close, by the treaty known as the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, signed Feb. 2, 1848, by Mr. Nicholas P. Trist and three Mexican commissioners, and ratified by the senate March 10, the territory above named was added to the United States, the price being fixed at $15,000,000, besides the assumption by the United States of $3,250,000 in claims of American citizens against Mexico. The territory thus annexed, including that part of New Mexico east of the Rio Grande, which was claimed by Texas, and for which Texas was afterwards paid $10,000,000 by the United States, added to the area of the United States 545,783 square miles.


—V. GADSDEN PURCHASE. During the next five years disputes arose as to the present southern part of Arizona, the Mesilla valley, from the Gila river to Chihuahua. A Mexican army was marched into it by Santa Anna and preparations were begun for a renewal of war. By the Gadsden treaty, Dec. 30, 1853, so called from its negotiator, the United States, at the price of $10,000,000, obtained the disputed territory, as well as a right of transit for troops, mails, and merchandise over the isthmus of Tehuantepec. By this annexation, 45,535 square miles were added to the United States.


—VI. ALASKA. This territory, distant about 400 miles from the United States, and valuable only for its fur-bearing animals, was first claimed by Russia by right of discovery; and by right of possession of opposite shores, Siberia and Alaska, (or Aliaska), Russia also claimed the northern Pacific as a sort of inland water. By treaty of March 30, 1867, ratified by the senate in special session June 20, 1867, Russia ceded the whole of this territory, 577,390 square miles, to the United States for $7,200,000.



 Square Miles
United States in 1783... 827,844
Louisiana (1803)... 1,171,931
Florida (1819)... 59,263
Texas (1845)... 376,133
Mexican cossion (1848)... 543,783
Gadsden parchase (1853)... 45,535
Alaska (1867)... 577,390
Total... 3,603,884

The boundaries of the United States were established by art. 2 of the provisional treaty of Nov. 30, 1782, (8 Stat. at Large, 54), and by art. 2 of the definitive treaty of Sept. 3, 1783, (8 Stat. at Large, 80).


—I. See Barbé-Marbois' History of Louisiana and its Cession; Gayarre's History of Louisiana; Monette's History of the Mississippi Valley; 1 Lyman's Diplomacy of the United States, 107; 5 Hildreth's United States, 449, 480; 3 Benton's Debates of Congress; 2 von Holst's United States, 548; 3 Jefferson's Works, (edit. 1829), 491, 512; and earlier authorities under SECESSION. The Spanish treaty of Oct. 27, 1795, is in 8 Mat at Large, 138; the Louisiana treaty and subsidiary conventions of April 30, 1803, are in 8 Stat at Large, 200, 206, 208. II. See 6 Hildreth's United States, 223, 658-712; 2 Lyman's Diplomacy, 126; 4 Adams' Memoirs of John Quincy Adams; 4 Calhoun's Works; and other authorities under JACKSON, ANDREW; FLORIDA. The Florida treaty of Feb. 22, 1819, is in 8 Stat. at Large, 252; the acts of Jan. 15 and March 3, 1811, are in 3 Stat. at Large, 471, 472. III. See 2 von Holst's United States, 551; 1 Greeley's American Conflict, 147; Wise's Seven Decades; 7, 11 Adams' Memoirs of John Quincy Adams; Jay's Review of the Mexican War; 4 Calhoun's Works; 2 Benton's Thirty Years View, 94, 581; 2 Statesman's Manual; 15, 16 Benton's Debates of Congress; and authorities under TEXAS. The resolution to annex Texas, March 1, 1845, is in 5 Stat. at Large, 797; the resolution to admit Texas, Dec. 29, 1845, is in 9 Stat. at Large, 108. IV. See authorities last cited, and those under CALIFORNIA, and COMPROMISES, V. The Mexican treaty of Jan. 12, 1828, (art. 2, defining boundary), is in 8 Stat. at Large, 374; the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, Feb. 2, 1848, is in 9 Stat. at Large, 922. V. The Gadsden treaty, of Dec. 30, 1853, is in 10 Stat. at Large, 1031. VI. The Russian treaty of March 30, 1867, is in 15 Stat. at Large, 539.


—For areas, summary, etc., see Walker's Statistical Atlas of the United States, (ninth census).


66 of 1105

Return to top