of that river and of the lakes Maurepas and Pontchartrain to the sea. New Orleans and the island on which it stands shall belong to France.' Such is still to-day the eastern limit of Louisiana. All to the east and north of this limit makes part of the United States or of West Florida."
Nothing could be clearer. Louisiana stretched from the Iberville to the Rio Bravo; West Florida from the Iberville to the Appalachicola. The retrocession of Louisiana by Spain to France could restore only what France had ceded to Spain in 1762. West Florida had nothing to do with the cession of 1762 or the retrocession of 1800, and being Spanish by a wholly different title could not even be brought in question by the First Consul, much as he wanted Baton Rouge, Mobile, and Pensacola. Victor's orders were emphatic:—
- "There is therefore no obscurity as to our boundary on this side any more than as to that of our allies; and although Florida belongs to Spain, Spain's right of property in this quarter will have as much interest for the Captain-General of Louisiana as though Florida were a French possession."
After thus establishing the boundary, as far as possible, in every direction, the minister treated at some length of the English claim to navigation on the Mississippi, and at last reached the general subject of the relation between Louisiana and the world about it,—the subject in which Jefferson would have found acute interest:—