Compendium of History Reminiscence and Biography of Western Nebraska

Treaty of Cession between the United States and the French Republic

The full text of the treaty of Cession between the United States of America and the French Republic is as follows:

The President of the United States of America and the First Consul of the French Republic, in the name of the French people, desiring to remove all sources of misunderstanding relative to the objects of discussion mentioned in the second and fifth articles of the convention of the 8th Vendemaire, an 9 (30 September, 1800), relative to the rights claimed by the United States, in virtue of the treaty concluded at Madrid, the 27th of October, 1795, between his Catholic Majesty and the said United States, and willing to strengthen the union and friendship which at the time of the said convention was happily reestablished between the two nations, have respectfully named their plenipotentiaries, towit: the President of the United States of America, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate of the said States, Robert R. Livingston, Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States, and James Monroe, Minister Plenipotentiary and Envoy Extraordinary of the said States, near the government of the French Republic; and the First Consul, in the name of the French people, the French citizen Barbe Marbois, Minister of the Public Treasury, who after having respectively exchanged their full powers, have agreed to the following articles:

Article I. Whereas, By the article the third of the treaty concluded at St. Ildefonso, the 9th Vendemaire an 9, (1st October, 1800), between the First Consul of the French Republic and his Catholic Majesty, it was agreed as follows: “His Catholic Majesty promises and engages on his part to retrocede to the French Republic, six months after the full and entire execution of the conditions and stipulations herein relative to his royal highness, the Duke of Parma, the colony or province of Louisiana, with the same extent that it now has in the hands of Spain, and it had when France possessed it; and such as it should be after the treaties subsequently entered into between Spain and other States;” and

Whereas, In pursuance of the treaty, and particularly of the third article, the French Republic has an incontestable title to the domain and the possession of the said territory; the First Consul of the French Republic desiring to give to the United States a strong proof of his friendship, doth hereby cede to the United States, in the name of the French Republic, forever, and in full sovereignty, the said territory, with all its rights and appurtenances, as fully and in the same manner as they have been acquired by the French Republic in virtue of the abovementioned treaty, concluded with his Catholic Majesty.

Article II. In the cession made by the preceding article, are included the adjacent islands belonging to Louisiana, all public lots and squares, vacant lands, and all public buildings, fortifications, barracks and other edifices which are not private property. The archives, papers and documents relative to the domain and sovereignty of Louisiana and its decencies, will be left in the possession of the Commissioners of the United States, and copies will be afterwards given in due form to the magistrates and municipal officers of such of the said papers and documents as may be necessary to them.

Article III. The inhabitants of the ceded territory shall be incorporated in the Union of the United States, and admitted as soon as possible, according to the principles of the federal constitution, to the enjoyment of all the rights, advantages and immunities of citizens of the United States; and in the meantime they shall he maintained and protected in the free enjoyment of their liberty, property and the religion which they profess.

Article IV. There shall be sent, by the Government of France, a Commissary to Louisiana, to the end that he do every act necessary, as well to receive from the officers of his Catholic Majesty the said country and its dependencies in the name of the French Republic, if it has not been already done, as to transmit it in the name of the French Republic to the Commissary or agent of the United States.

Article V. Immediately after the ratification of the present treaty by the President of the United States, and in case that of the first consul shall have been previously obtained, the Commissary of the French Republic shall remit all the military posts of New Orleans and other parts of the ceded territory, to the Commissary or Commissaries named by the President to take possession; the troops, whether of France or Spain, who may be there, shall cease to occupy any military post from the time of taking possession, and shall be embarked as soon as possible, in the course of three months after the ratifications of this treaty. Article VI. The United States promises to execute such treaties and articles as may have been agreed between Spain and the tribes and nations of Indians, until by mutual consent of the United States and the said tribes or nations, other suitable articles shall have been agreed upon.

Article VII. As it is reciprocally advantageous to the commerce Of France and the United States to encourage the communication of both nations, for a limited time, in the country ceded by the present treaty, until general arrangements relative to the commerce of both nations may be agreed on, it has been agreed between the contracting parties, that the French ships coming directly from France or any of her colonies, loaded only with the produce of manufactures of France or her said colonies, and the ships of Spain coming directly from Spain or any of her colonies, loaded only with the produce or manufactures of Spain or her colonies, shall be admitted during the space of twelve years, in the ports of New Orleans, and all other legal ports of entry within the ceded territory, in the same manner as the ships of the United States, coming directly from France or Spain or any of their colonies, without being subject to any other or greater duty on merchandise, or other or greater tonnage than those paid by the citizens of the United States.

During the space of time abovementioned, no other nation shall have a right to the same privileges in the ports of the ceded territory; the twelve years shall commence three months after the exchange of ratifications, if it shall take place in France, or three months after it shall have been notified at Paris to the French Government, if it shall take place in the United States. It is, however, well understood, that the object of the above article is to favor the manufacturers, commerce, freight and navigation of Prance and Spain, so far as relates to the importations that the French and Spanish shall make into the said ports of the United States, without in any sort affecting the regulations that the United States may make concerning the exportation of the produce and merchandise of the United States, or any right they may have to make such regulations.

Article VIII. In future, and forever after the expiration of the twelve years, the ships of France shall be treated upon the footing of the most favored nations in the ports above mentioned.

Article IX. The particular conventions, signed this day by the respective Ministers, having for its object to provide for the payment of debts due to the citizens of the United States by the French Republic, prior to the 3 0th of September, 1800 (8th Vendemaire, 9), is approved, and to have its execution in the same manner as if it had been inserted in the present treaty, and it shall be ratified in the same form and in the same time, so that the one shall not be ratified distinct from the other.

Another particular convention, signed at the same date as the present treaty, relative to a definite rule between the contracting parties, is in like manner approved, and will be ratified in the same form and in the same time, and jointly.

Article X. The present treaty shall be ratified in good and due form, and the ratification shall be exchanged in the space of six months after the date of the signature by the Ministers Plenipotentiary, or sooner if possible. In faith whereof, the respective Plenipotentiaries have signed these articles in the French and English languages, declaring, nevertheless, that the present treaty was originally agreed to in the French language; and have thereunto set their seals. Done at Paris, the tenth day of Floreal, in the eleventh year of the French Republic, and the 30th April, 1803.

Robert R. Livingston, [L.S.]
James Monroe, [L.S.]
Barbe Marbois, [L.S.]

An act was passed by congress October 31, 1803, which authorized the president of the United States to take possession of Louisiana and form a temporary government thereof. By this act the government was vested in such manner as the president of the United States might direct. But the authority of the general government really dates from March 10, 1804, on which date Amos Stoddard assumed the duties of governor of Upper Louisiana. On the 26th of that month congress erected Louisiana into the territory of Orleans and the district of Louisiana. The division line was the southern boundary of Mississippi territory and the thirty-third degree of latitude. So Nebraska was then a part of the district of Louisiana, the latter being all of the French cession west of the Mississippi river except the present state of Louisiana. The government of this large district was committed to the officers of the territory of Indiana.


Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska, Alden Publishing Company, Chicago, 1912.

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