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This webpage reproduces a section of
History of Louisiana

by
Charles Gayarré

in the edition published by
William J. Widdleton,
New York, 1867

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
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This site is not affiliated with the US Military Academy.

p640 Fourth Item from the Appendix
to Volume III

No. 1

Treaty and Conventions between the United States and the French Republic1

"Treaty between the French Republic and the United States, concerning the Cession of Louisiana, signed at Paris the 30th of April, 1803

"The President of the United States of America, and the First Consul of the French Republic, in the name of the French people, desiring to remove all source of misunderstanding relative to objects of discussion, mentioned in the second and fifth articles of the convention of the 8th Vendemiaire, an 9 (30th of September, 1800), relative to the rights claimed by the United States, in virtue of the treaty concluded at Madrid the 27th of October, 1795, between his Catholic Majesty and the said United States, and wishing to strengthen the union and friendship which at the time of the said convention was happily re-established between the two nations, have respectively named their plenipotentiaries; to wit, the President of the United States of America, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate of the said States, Robert R. Livingston, Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States, and James Monroe, Minister Plenipotentiary and Envoy Extraordinary of the said States, near the government of the French Republic; and the First Consul, in the name of the French people, the French citizen Barbé Marbois p641Minister of the Public Treasury, who, after having respectively exchanged their full powers, have agreed to the following articles:—

"Art. 1st. Whereas, by the article the third of the treaty concluded at St. Ildephonso, the 9th Vendemiaire, an 9 (1st October, 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, for ever and in full sovereignty, the said territory, with all its rights and appurtenances, as fully and in the same manner as they had been acquired by the French Republic in virtue of the above-mentioned treaty concluded with his Catholic Majesty.

"Art. 2d. In the cession made by the preceding article are included the adjacent islands belonging to Louisiana, all public lots and squares, vacant lands, and all public buildings, fortifications, barracks, and other edifices which are not private property. The archives, papers, and documents, relative to the domain and sovereignty of Louisiana and its dependencies, will be left in the possession of the commissaries of the United States, and copies will be afterwards given in due form to the magistrates and municipal officers of such of the said papers and documents as may be necessary to them.

"Art. 3d. 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 mean time they shall be maintained and protected in the free judgment of their liberty, property, and the religion which they profess.

"Art. 4th. There shall be sent by the government of France a Commissary to Louisiana, to the end that he do every act necessary, p642as well as to receive from the officers of his Catholic Majesty the said country and its dependencies, in the name of the French Republic, if it has not been already done, as to transmit it in the name of the French Republic to the commissary or agent of the United States.

"Art. 5th. Immediately after the ratification of the present treaty by the President of the United States, and in case that of the First Consul shall have been previously obtained, the Commissary of the French Republic shall remit all the military posts of New Orleans and other parts of the ceded territory, to the Commissary or Commissaries named by the President to take possession; the troops, whether of France or Spain, who may be there, shall cease to occupy any military post from the time of taking possession, and shall be embarked as soon as possible, in the course of three months after the ratification of this treaty.

"Art. 6th. The United States promise to execute such treaties and articles as may have been agreed between Spain and the tribes and nations of Indians, until, by mutual consent of the United States and the said tribes or nations, other suitable articles shall have been agreed upon.

"Art. 7th. As it is reciprocally advantageous to the commerce of France and the United States to encourage the communication of both nations for a limited time in the country ceded by the present treaty, until general arrangements relative to the commerce of both nations may be agreed on, it has been agreed between the contracting parties, that the French ships coming directly from France or any of her colonies, loaded only with the produce or manufactures of France or her said colonies; and the ships of Spain coming directly from Spain or any of her colonies, loaded only with the produce or manufactures of Spain or her colonies, shall be admitted during the space of twelve years in the ports of New Orleans, and in all other legal ports of entry within the ceded territory, in the same manner as the ships of the United States coming directly from France or Spain or any of their colonies, without being subject to any other or greater duty on merchandise, or other or greater tonnage than those paid by the citizens of the United States.

"During the space of time above-mentioned, no other nation shall have a right to the same privileges in the ports of the ceded territory: the twelve years shall commence three months after the exchange of ratifications, if it shall take place in France, or three months after it shall have been notified at Paris to the French government, if it shall take place in the United States: it is, however, p643well understood that the object of the above article is to favor the manufactures, commerce, freight, and navigation of France and of Spain, so far as relates to the importations that the French and Spanish shall make into the said ports of the United States, without in any sort affecting the regulations that the United States may make concerning the exportation of the produce and merchandise of the United States, or any right they may have to make such regulations.

"Art. 8th. In future, and for ever after the expiration of the twelve years, the ships of France shall be treated upon the footing of the most favored nations in the ports above-mentioned.

"Art. 9th. The particular convention, signed this day by the respective Ministers, having for its object to provide for the payment of debts due to the citizens of the United States by the French Republic, prior to the 30th of September, 1800 (8th Vendemiaire, an 9), is approved, and to have its execution in the same manner as if it had been inserted in the present treaty; and it shall be ratified in the same form, and in the same time, so that the one shall not be ratified distinct from the other.

"Another particular convention, signed at the same date as the present treaty, relative to the definitive rule between the contracting parties, is in the like manner approved, and will be ratified in the same form, and in the same time, and jointly.

"Art. 10th. The present treaty shall be ratified in good and due form, and the ratifications shall be exchanged in the space of six months after the date of the signature by the Ministers Plenipotentiary, or sooner if possible.

"In faith whereof, the respective Plenipotentiaries have signed these articles in French and English languages; declaring, nevertheless, that the present treaty was originally agreed to in the French language; and have thereunto put their seals.

"Done at Paris, the tenth day of Floreal, in the eleventh year of the French Republic, and the 30th of April, 1803.

"Robert R. Livingston,
"James Monroe,"
"Barbé Marbois."


p644 No. 2

Convention between the United States and the French Republic, of the same date with the preceding Treaty.

"The President of the United States of America, and the First Consul of the French Republic, in the name of the French people, in consequence of the treaty of cession of Louisiana, which has been signed this day, wishing to regulate definitively every thing which has relation to the said cession, have authorized to this effect the Plenipotentiaries, that is to say, the President of the United States of America has, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate of the said States, nominated for their Plenipotentiaries, Robert R. Livingston, Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States, and James Monroe, Minister Plenipotentiary and Envoy Extraordinary of the said United States, near the government of the French Republic; and the First Consul of the French Republic, in the name of the French people, has named as Plenipotentiary of the said Republic, the French citizen Barbé Marbois, who, in virtue of their full powers, have agreed to the following articles:

"Art. 1st. The Government of the United States engages to pay to the French Government, in the manner specified in the following articles, the sum of sixty millions of francs, independent of the sum which shall be fixed by another convention for the payment of debts due by France to citizens of the United States.

"Art. 2d. For the payment of the sum of sixty millions of francs, mentioned in the preceding article, the United States shall create a stock of eleven millions two hundred and fifty thousand dollars, bearing an interest of six per cent per annum, payable half-yearly in London, Amsterdam, or Paris, amounting by the half-year to three hundred and thirty-seven thousand five hundred dollars, according to the proportions which shall be determined by the French Government, to be paid at either place; the principal of the said stock to be reimbursed at the treasury of the United States, in annual payments of not less than three millions of dollars each; of which the first payment shall commence fifteen years after the date of the exchange of ratifications: this stock shall be transferred to the Government of France, or to such person or persons as shall be p645authorized to receive it, in three months at most after the exchange of the ratifications of this treaty, and after Louisiana shall be taken possession of in the name of the Government of the United States.

"It is farther agreed, that if the French Government should be desirous of disposing of the said stock to receive the capital in Europe, at shorter terms, that its measures for that purpose shall be taken so as to favor, in the greatest degree possible, the credit of the United States, and to raise to the highest price the said stock.

"Art. 3d. It is agreed that the dollar of the United States, specified in the present convention, shall be fixed at five francs 3333/10000, or five livres eight sous tournois. The present convention shall be ratified in good and due form, and the ratifications shall be exchanged in the space of six months, to date from this day, or sooner if possible.

"In faith of which, the respective Plenipotentiaries have signed the above articles both in the French and English languages; declaring, nevertheless, that the present treaty has been originally agreed on and written in the French language; to which they have hereunto affixed their seals.

"Done at Paris, the tenth day of Floreal, eleventh year of the French Republic (30th of April, 1803).

"Robert R. Livingston, (L.S.)
"James Monroe, (L.S.)
"Barbé Marbois, (L.S.)"


No. 3

Convention between the United States and the French Republic, also of the same date with the Louisiana Treaty.

"The President of the United States of America and the First Consul of the French Republic, in the name of the French people, having by a treaty of this date terminated all difficulties relative to Louisiana, and established on a solid foundation the friendship which unites the two nations, and being desirous, in compliance p646with the second and fifth articles of the convention of the 8th Vendemiaire, ninth year of the French Republic (30th September, 1800), to secure the payment of the sum due by France to the citizens of the United States, have respectively nominated as Plenipotentiaries, that is to say: the President of the United States of America has, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, Robert R. Livingston, Minister Plenipotentiary, and James Monroe, Minister Plenipotentiary and Envoy Extraordinary of the said States, near the government of the French Republic, and the First Consul, in the name of the French people, the French citizen Barbé Marbois, Minister of the Public Treasury; who, after having exchanged their full powers, have agreed to the following articles:—

"Art. 1st. The debts due by France to the citizens of the United States, contracted before the 8th Vendemiaire, ninth year of the French Republic (30th September, 1800), shall be paid according to the following regulations, with interest at six per cent, to commence from the period when the accounts and vouchers were presented to the French Government.

"Art. 2d. The debts provided for by the preceding article are those whose result is comprised in the conjectural note annexed to the present convention, and which, with the interest, cannot exceed the sum of twenty millions of francs. The claims comprised in the said note, which fall within the exceptions of the following articles, shall not be admitted to the benefit of this provision.

"Art. 3d. The principal and interest of the said debts shall be discharged by the United States by orders drawn by their Minister Plenipotentiary on their treasury; these orders shall be payable sixty days after the exchange of the ratifications of the treaty and of the conventions signed this day, and after possession shall be given of Louisiana by the Commissioners of France to those of the United States.

"Art. 4th. It is expressly agreed, that the preceding articles shall comprehend no debts but such as are due to citizens of the United States, who have been and are yet creditors of France for supplies, embargoes, and for prizes made at sea, in which the appeal has been properly lodged within the time mentioned in the said convention of the 8th Vendemiaire, ninth year (30th September, 1800).

"Art. 5th. The preceding articles shall apply only, 1st, to captures of which the Council of Prizes shall have ordered restitution; it being well understood that the claimant cannot have recourse to p647the United States otherwise than he might have had to the Government of the French Republic, and only in case of the insufficiency of the captors; 2d, the debts mentioned in the said fifth article of the convention, contracted before the 8th Vendemiaire, an 9 (30th September, 1800), the payment of which has been heretofore claimed of the actual Government of France, and for which the creditors have a right to the protection of the United States; the said fifth article does not comprehend prizes whose condemnation has been or shall be confirmed: it is the express intention of the contracting parties not to extend the benefit of the present convention to reclamations of American citizens, who shall have established houses of commerce in France, England, or other countries than the United States, in partnership with foreigners, and who by that reason and the nature of their commerce ought to be regarded as domiciliated in the places where such houses exist. All agreements and bargains concerning merchandise, which shall not be the property of American citizens, are equally excepted from the benefit of the said convention, saving, however, to such persons their claims in like manner as if this treaty had not been made.

"Art. 6th. And that the different questions which may arise under the preceding article may be fairly investigated, the Ministers Plenipotentiary of the United States shall name three persons, who shall act from the present and provisionally, and who shall have full power to examine, without removing the documents, all the accounts of the different claims already liquidated by the bureau established for this purpose by the French Republic; and to ascertain whether they belong to the classes designated by the present convention and the principles established in it, or if they are not in one of its exceptions, and on their certificate, declaring that the debt is due to an American citizen or his representative, and that it existed before the 8th Vendemiaire, ninth year (30th September, 1800), the creditor shall be entitled to an order on the treasury of the United States, in the manner prescribed by the third article.

"Art. 7th. The same agents shall likewise have power, without removing the documents, to examine the claims which are prepared for verification, and to certify those which ought to be admitted by uniting the necessary qualifications, and not being comprised in the exceptions contained in the present convention.

"Art. 8th. The same agents shall likewise examine the claims which are not prepared for liquidation, and certify in writing p648those which, in their judgments, ought to be admitted to liquidation.

"Art. 9th. In proportion as the debts mentioned in these articles shall be admitted, they shall be discharged with interest at six per cent, by the treasury of the United States.

"Art. 10th. And that no debt which shall not have the qualifications above-mentioned, and that no unjust or exorbitant demand may be admitted, the commercial agent of the United States at Paris, or such other agents as the Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States shall think proper to nominate, shall assist at the operations of the bureau, and co-operate in the examination of the claims; and if this agent shall be of opinion that any debt is not completely proved, or if he shall judge that it is not comprised in the principles of the fifth article above-mentioned; and if notwithstanding his opinion, the bureau established by the French Government should think that it ought to be liquidated, he shall transmit his observations to the board established by the United States, who, without removing the documents, shall make a complete examination of the debt and vouchers which support it, and report the result to the Minister of the United States. The Minister of the United States shall transmit his observations, in all such cases, to the Minister of the Treasury of the French Republic, on whose report the French Government shall decide definitively in every case.

"The rejection of any claim shall have no other effect than to exempt the United States from the payment of it, the French Government reserving to itself the right to decide definitively on such claim so far as it concerns itself.

"Art. 11th. Every necessary decision shall be made in the course of a year, to commence from the exchange of ratifications, and no reclamation shall be admitted afterwards.

"Art. 12th. In case of claims for debts contracted by the Government of France with citizens of the United States, since the 8th Vendemiaire, ninth year (30th September, 1800), not being comprised in this convention, they may be pursued, and the payment demanded in the same manner as if it had not been made.

"Art. 13th. The present convention shall be ratified in good and due form, and the ratifications shall be exchanged in six months from the time of the signature of the Ministers Plenipotentiary, or sooner if possible.

"In faith of which, the respective Ministers Plenipotentiary have signed the above articles, both in the French and English languages; p649declaring, nevertheless, that the present treaty has been originally agreed on and written in the French language; to which they have hereunto affixed their seals.

"Done at Paris, the tenth day of Floreal, eleventh year of the French Republic (30th of April, 1803).

"Robert R. Livingston, (L.S.)
"James Monroe, (L.S.)
"Barbé Marbois, (L.S.)"


The Editor's Note:

1 The treaty and convention are given from the American copies, and the United States are consequently named first in them. —Trans.


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