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[40] the military establishment of the United States has been incurred in defending the South-Western frontier. The troops, meanly surprised and betrayed in Texas, were sent there to protect her defenseless border settlements from the tomahawk and scalping-knife. If to all this expenditure we add that of the forts, the navy yards, the court-houses, the custom-houses, and the other public buildings in these regions, 500,000,000 dollars of the public funds, of which at least five-sixths have been levied by indirect taxation from the North and North-West, have been expended in and for the Gulf States in this century. Would England, would France, would any government on the face of the earth surrender, without a death-struggle, such a dear-bought territory?

The United States cannot give up the control of the outlet of the Mississippi.

But of this I make no account; the dollars are spent; let them go. But look at the subject for a moment in its relations to the safety, to the prosperity, and the growth of the country. The Missouri and the Mississippi Rivers, with their hundred tributaries, give to the great central basin of our continent its character and destiny. The outlet of this mighty system lies between the States of Tennessee and Missouri, of Mississippi and Arkansas, and through the State of Louisiana. The ancient province so-called, the proudest monument of the mighty monarch whose name it bears, passed from the jurisdiction of France to that of Spain in 1763. Spain coveted it, not that she might fill it with prosperous colonies and rising States, but that it might stretch as a broad waste barrier, infested with warlike tribes, between the Anglo-American power and the silver mines of Mexico. With the independence of the United States, the fear of a still more dangerous neighbor grew upon Spain, and in the insane expectation of checking the progress of the Union westward, she threatened, and at times attempted, to close the mouth of the Mississippi, on the rapidly increasing trade of the West. The bare suggestion of such a policy roused the population upon the banks of the Ohio, then inconsiderable, as one man. Their confidence in Washington scarcely restrained them from rushing to the seizure of New Orleans, when the treaty of San Lorenzo El Real in 1795 stipulated for them a precarious right of navigating the noble river to the sea, with a right of deposit at New Orleans. This subject was for years the turning point of the politics of the West, and it was perfectly well understood, that, sooner or later, she would be content with nothing less than the sovereign control of the mighty stream from its head spring to its outlet in the Gulf; and that is as true now as it was then.

So stood affairs at the close of the last century, when the colossal power of the first Napoleon burst upon the world. In the vast recesses of his Titanic ambition, he cherished as a leading object of his policy, to acquire for France a colonial empire which should balance that of England. In pursuit of this policy, he fixed his eye on the ancient regal colony which Louis XIV. had founded in the heart of North America, and he tempted Spain by the paltry bribe of creating a kingdom of Etruria for a Bourbon prince, to give back to France the then boundless waste of the territory of Louisiana. The cession was made by the secret treaty of San Ildefonso of the 1st of October, 1800, (of which one sentence only has ever been published, but that sentence gave away half a continent,) and the youthful conqueror concentrated all the resources of his mighty genius on the accomplishment of the

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