[LOUISIANA PURCHASE] - DUANE, William (1760-1835)
Mississippi Question. Report of a Debate in the Senate of the United States, on the 23rd, 24th, & 25th February, 1803, on Certain Resolutions Concerning the Violation of the Right of Deposit in the Island of New Orleans
Philadelphia: Printed by W. Duane, 1803. 8vo, uncut. (9 x 5 1/4 inches). ,198pp. Modern quarter calf and cloth, spine lettered gilt.
These Senate debates were printed by William Duane, the mercurial editor of the Aurora. The debates were prompted when the Spanish intendent at New Orleans suspended the American right to deposit goods at New Orleans in October 1802. The right had been guaranteed by Pinckney's Treaty with Spain of 1795, but was revocable. Among the issues debated by the Senate were resolutions authorizing the President to take the Mississippi Territory by force, and providing militia and money for that purpose. Fears that the United States might lose access to New Orleans prompted Thomas Jefferson to negotiate with the French for the Louisiana Purchase, which was signed in April 1803. At this time there was no regular record kept of the debates on the Senate floor, and the legislative body only admitted stenographers and note takers into the chamber in 1802. William Duane's account of the debate over the right to deposit goods at New Orleans and potential military action to enforce that right, then, is a rare and valuable glimpse into the deliberations of the Senate on a question of great importance to the territorial expansion of the United States.
Howes D517; Eberstadt 103:161; Sabin 20990; Thompson 990; Schwartz Sale 244; Shaw & Shoemaker 4113; Cohen 7268.