• The Cartographic Setting -- Louisiana: European Explorations and the Louisiana Purchase

    Evolving European and American Conceptions of Louisiana to 1803 Until 1803 the exploration and mapping of the territory acquired by the United States in the Louisiana Purchase was undertaken by the major colonial powers for a variety of reasons. Chief among them was the occupation of the lower Mississippi Valley, as well as the attempted possession of the Great Plains, the Missouri Basin, and ...

    • Date: 1650
  • The Louisiana Purchase -- Louisiana: European Explorations and the Louisiana Purchase

    Napoleonic France Acquires Louisiana On October 1, 1800, within 24 hours of signing a peace settlement with the United States, First Consul of the Republic of France Napoleon Bonaparte, acquired Louisiana from Spain by the secret Treaty of San Ildefonso. To the distress of the United States, Napoleon held title to the Mississippi River and the port of New Orleans. Napoleon I, Emperor of ...

    • Date: 1800
  • A Question of Boundaries -- Louisiana: European Explorations and the Louisiana Purchase

    French and American representatives faced a vexing issue when they met in Paris in April 1803 to negotiate a treaty by which the United States would purchase the province of Louisiana from France. Since most of the territory to be exchanged had never been explored, surveyed, or mapped by any European nation or the United States, the negotiators were unable to include within the ...

    • Date: 1803