Page:Henry Adams' History of the United States Vol. 3.djvu/47

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1805.
35
MONROE'S DIPLOMACY.

with your Excellency's propositions for the arrangement of the whole business."[1] He flattered himself in vain; ten days passed without an answer. May 1, at a private interview, he tried to obtain some promise of action, without better result than the usual obliging Spanish expressions; a week afterward he made another attempt, with the same reply, followed on Monroe's part by an offer to concede even the point of dignity. "Would Señor Cevallos listen to a new and more advantageous offer on the part of the United States?" Cevallos replied that such a step would be premature, as the discussion was not yet ended. [2] Monroe had no choice but to break through the diplomatic net in which he had wound himself; and at length, May 12, 1805, he sent a general ultimatum to the Spanish government: If Spain would cede the Floridas, ratify the claims convention of August, 1802, and accept the Colorado as the Texan boundary, the United States would establish a neutral territory a hundred miles wide on the eastern bank of the Colorado, from the Gulf to the northern boundary of Louisiana; would assume the French spoliation claims, abandon the entrepôt claims, and accept the cession of West Florida from the King, thereby abandoning the claim that it was a part of Louisiana. [3]

  1. Monroe and Pinckney to Cevallos, April 20, 1805; State Papers, ii. 662.
  2. Monroe and Pinckney to Madison, 23 May, 1805; State Papers, ii. 668.
  3. Pinckney and Monroe to Cevallos, May 12, 1805; State Papers, ii. 665.