James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Rufus King, 20 November 1801

From Rufus King

No. 42.

London Nov. 20. 1801.


If the annexed copy of the Treaty between France and Spain, respecting the establishment of the Prince of Parma in Tuscany, be genuine, of which I have no reason to doubt, you will perceive the value which these Powers seem to have placed upon Louisiana; the cession whereof to France is confirmed by the 7th. article of this Treaty.1

I am in hopes that I shall be able to obtain and send you a copy of the Treaty ceding Louisiana to France: this would enable us to determine whether it includes New Orleans and the Floridas.

There is, doubtless, an understanding between England and France in respect to the Expedition now nearly ready to proceed to Saint Domingo: and I think I am not mistaken in the belief, whatever may be the intentions of France in respect to the occupation of Louisiana, that no part of the Forces now collecting and which are going to St. Domingo will be employed for this purpose.

It is not a little extraordinary that during the whole negotiation between France and England not a word was mentioned on either Side respecting Louisiana, though this Government was not ignorant of the views of France in this Quarter. With perfect Respect and Esteem, I have the honour to be, Sir, Your obedient & faithful Servant

Rufus King

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