Page:Henry Adams' History of the United States Vol. 2.djvu/39

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22
Ch. 1.
HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES.

the treaty of Morfontaine, reserving to the United States the right to press these demands at a future time.

So well pleased was Jefferson with the conduct of Spain and the Spanish ministers, that not a complaint was made of ill treatment; and even the conduct of Morales did not shake the President’s faith in the friendliness of King Charles. No doubt he mistook the motives of this friendliness, for Spain had no other object than to protect her colonies and commerce on the Gulf of Mexico, and hoped to prevent attack by conciliation; while Madison imagined that Spain might be induced by money to part with her colonies and admit the United States to the Gulf. In this hope he instructed Pinckney,[1] in case he should find that Louisiana had not been retroceded to France, to offer a guaranty of Spanish territory west of the Mississippi as part of the consideration for New Orleans and the Floridas. The offer was made with a degree of cordiality very unlike the similar offer to France, and was pressed by Pinckney so zealously that at last Cevallos evaded his earnestness by a civil equivocation.

"The system adopted by his Majesty," said he[2], "not to dispossess himself of any portion of his States, deprives him of the pleasure of assenting to the cessions which the United States wish to obtain by purchase. . . .
  1. Madison to Pinckney, May 11, 1802; State Papers, ii. 517.
  2. Cevallos to Pinckney, May 4, 1803; State Papers, ii. 557.