Thomas Jefferson Papers
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From Thomas Jefferson to United States Congress, 19 March 1806

March 19. 1806.

To the Senate and
House of Representatives of the US

It was reasonably expected that while the limits between the territories of the US. and of Spain were unsettled, neither party would have innovated on the existing state of their respective positions. some time since however, we learnt that the Spanish authorities were advancing into the disputed country, to occupy new posts & make new settlements. unwilling to take any measure which might preclude a peaceable accomodation of differences, the officers of the US. were ordered to confine themselves within the country on this side of the Sabine river, which, by delivery of it’s principal post Natchitoches was understood to have been itself delivered up by Spain; and, at the same time, to permit no adverse post to be taken, nor armed men to remain within it. in consequence of these orders, the commanding officer at Natchitoches, learning that a party of Spanish troops had crossed the Sabine river, & were posting themselves on this side the Adaïs, sent a detachment of his force to require them to withdraw to the other side of the Sabine, which they accordingly did.

I have thought it proper to communicate to Congress the letters detailing this incident, that they may fully understand the state of things in that quarter, & be enabled to make such provision for it’s security as, in their wisdom, they shall deem sufficient

Th: Jefferson

DNA: RG 46—Records of the U.S. Senate.

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