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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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8695. UNITED STATES, Disputed territory.—[continued].
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8695. UNITED STATES, Disputed territory.—[continued].

Should Spain pretend
* * * that there was a secret article of
treaty between the United States and Great
Britain, agreeing if, at the close of the [Revolutionary] war, the latter should retain the
Floridas, that then the southern boundary of
Georgia should be the completion of the 32d
degree of North latitude, the commissioners
[appointed to negotiate with Spain to secure
the free navigation of the Mississippi], May
safely deny all knowledge of the fact, and refuse
conference on any such postulatum. Or,
should they find it necessary to enter into any
argument on the subject, they will, of course,
do it hypothetically; and in that way May
justly say, on the part of the United States:
“Suppose that the United States, exhausted
by a bloody and expensive war with Great
Britain, might have been willing to have purchased
peace by relinquishing, under a particular
contingency, a small part of their territory,
it does not follow that the same United
States, recruited and better organized, must
relinquish the same territory to Spain without
striking a blow. The United States, too, have
irrevocably put it out of their power to do it,
by a new Constitution, which guarantees
every State against the invasion of its territory.
A disastrous war, indeed, might, by
necessity, supersede this stipulation (as necessity
is above all law), and oblige them to
abandon a part of a State; but nothing short
of this can justify, or obtain such an abandonment.—
Mississippi River Instructions. Washington ed. vii, 572. Ford ed., v, 463.