A Question of Boundaries
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...
The Cartographic Setting
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...
The Exploration and Legacy of the Louisiana Territory
American Exploration of Louisiana Acquisition and exploration of American lands throughout the first decade of the 19th century began and ended with President Thomas Jefferson. Whether involved in purchasing the Louisiana Territory; promoting national interests or nurturing his own curiosity by obtaining scientific, cultural, and geographic knowledge; or, organizing expeditions by choosing their leaders; planning their goals; and raising public and private funds for...
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.