First Across the Continent - Noah Brooks - Страница 1 из 412


FIRST ACROSS THE CONTINENT
The Story of The Exploring Expedition of Lewis and Clark in 1804-5-6
By Noah Brooks
Chapter I -- A Great Transaction in Land
The people of the young Republic of the United States were greatly
astonished, in the summer of 1803, to learn that Napoleon Bonaparte,
then First Consul of France, had sold to us the vast tract of land known
as the country of Louisiana. The details of this purchase were arranged
in Paris (on the part of the United States) by Robert R. Livingston and
James Monroe. The French government was represented by Barbe-Marbois,
Minister of the Public Treasury.
The price to be paid for this vast domain was fifteen million dollars.
The area of the country ceded was reckoned to be more than one million
square miles, greater than the total area of the United States, as the
Republic then existed. Roughly described, the territory comprised all
that part of the continent west of the Mississippi River, bounded on the
north by the British possessions and on the west and south by dominions
of Spain. This included the region in which now lie the States of
Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, parts of Colorado, Minnesota, the
States of Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming, a part
of Idaho, all of Montana and Territory of Oklahoma. At that time, the
entire population of the region, exclusive of the Indian tribes that
roamed over its trackless spaces, was barely ninety thousand persons,
of whom forty thousand were negro slaves. The civilized inhabitants


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