Page:Henry Adams' History of the United States Vol. 2.djvu/26

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1803.
9
RUPTURE OF THE PEACE OF AMIENS.
"The greatest circumspection will be required in directing the colonial administration. A little local experience will soon enable you to discern the sentiments of the western provinces of the Federal Government. It will be well to maintain sources of intelligence in that country, whose numerous, warlike, and sober population may present you a redoubtable enemy. The inhabitants of Kentucky especially should fix the attention of the captain-general. . . . He must also fortify himself against them by alliance with the Indian nations scattered to the east of the river. The Chibackas, Choctaws, Alabamas, Creeks, etc., are represented as being entirely devoted to us. . . . He will not forget that the French government wishes peace; but that if war takes place, Louisiana will certainly become the theatre of hostilities. . . . The intention of the First Consul is to raise Louisiana to a degree of strength which will allow him in time of war to abandon it to its own resources without anxiety; so that enemies may be forced to the greatest sacrifices in attempting to attack it."

In these instructions not a word could be found which clashed with Jefferson's pacific views; and partly for that reason they were more dangerous to the United States than if they had ordered Victor to seize American property on the Mississippi and occupy Natchez with his three thousand men. Victor was instructed, in effect, to tamper with every adventurer from Pittsburg to Natchez; buy up every Indian tribe in the Georgia and Northwestern Territory; fortify every bluff on the western bank from St. Louis to New Orleans; and in a few years create a series