- "The system of this, as of all our other colonies, should be to concentrate its commerce in the national commerce; it should have in particular the aim of establishing its relations with our Antilles, so as to take the place, in these colonies, of the American commerce for all the objects whose import and export is permitted to them. The captain-general should especially abstain from every innovation favorable to strangers, who should be restricted to such communications as are absolutely indispensable to the prosperity of Louisiana and to such as are explicitly determined by the treaties."
Commercial relations with the Spanish colonies were to be encouraged and extended as much as possible, while the utmost caution was to be observed toward the United States:—
- "From what has been said of Louisiana and the adjacent States, it is clear that the republic of France, being master of both banks at the mouth of the Mississippi, holds the key to its navigation. This navigation is nevertheless a matter of the highest importance for the western States of the Federal Government. . . . This is enough to show with what jealousy the Federal Government will see us take possession of Louisiana. Whatever may be the events which this new part of the continent has to expect, the arrival of the French forces should be marked there by the expression of sentiments of great benevolence for these new neighbors."
Expression of benevolent sentiments was a pleasing duty; but it was not to interfere with practical measures, both defensive and offensive:—