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The Jeffersonian cyclopedia;

a comprehensive collection of the views of Thomas Jefferson classified and arranged in alphabetical order under nine thousand titles relating to government, politics, law, education, political economy, finance, science, art, literature, religious freedom, morals, etc.;

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5295. MISSISSIPPI RIVER NAVIGATION, Treaty of Paris and.—
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5295. MISSISSIPPI RIVER NAVIGATION, Treaty of Paris and.—

The war of
1755-1763, was carried on jointly by Great
Britain and the Thirteen Colonies, now the
United States of America, against France and
Spain. At the peace which was negotiated by
our common magistrate, a right was secured to
the subjects of Great Britain (the common designation
of all those under his government) to
navigate the Mississippi in its whole breadth
and length, from its source to the sea, and expressly
that part which is between the Island
of New Orleans and the right bank of the river,
as well as the passage both in and out of its
mouth; and that the vessels should not be
stopped, visited, or subjected to the payment of
any duty whatsoever. These are the words of
the treaty, article VII. Florida was at the same
time ceded by Spain, and its extent westwardly
was fixed to the Lakes Pontchartrain and Maurepas,
and the River Mississippi; and Spain
received soon after from France a cession of
the island of New Orleans, and all the country
she held westward of the Mississippi, subject,
of course, to our right of navigating between
that country and the island previously granted
to us by France. This right was not parcelled
out to us in severalty, that is to say, to each the
exclusive navigation of so much of the river
as was adjacent to our several shores, in which
way it would have been useless to all; but it
was placed on that footing, on which alone it
could be worth anything, to wit: as a right to
all to navigate the whole length of the river in
common. The import of the terms, and the
reason of the thing, prove it was a right of
common in the whole, and not a several right
to each of a particular part. To which may be
added the evidence of the stipulation itself, that
we should navigate between New Orleans and
the western bank, which, being adjacent to none
of our States, could be held by us only as a
right of common. Such was the nature of our
right to navigate the Mississippi, as far as established
by the Treaty of Paris.—
Mississippi River Instructions. Washington ed. vii, 575. Ford ed., v, 466.