Chapter 10 Section 2 Notes: The Louisiana Purchase

Chapter 10 Section 2 Notes: The Louisiana Purchase
Western farmers needed the Mississippi River to transport their wheat and corn. They
sent it to New Orleans and then by ocean transport to ports along the Atlantic coast.
The port in New Orleans was vital to Americans. When the Spanish threatened to close
it to Americans, Thomas Pinckney proposed the Pinckney Treaty. In it, Spain agreed to
let Americans ship their goods down the Mississippi and store them in New Orleans.
In 1800, Jefferson was upset to know that Spain had traded Louisiana back to France.
He feared that Napoleon would try to conquer North America.
Napoleon wanted to grow food in Louisiana and supply Haiti. However, Haiti broke from
France and became independent in 1804.
Jefferson decided to buy New Orleans to stop this from happening. He sent delegates
to debate with Talleyrand, a foreign minister. When the delegates offered 4 million, he
said too low, but he said that France would be willing to sell the United States all of
Louisiana. The delegates debated, and they decided to buy it for 15 million even though
they did not have the authority. The delegates knew that Jefferson wanted control of
the Mississippi. Talleyrand agreed.
Jefferson wondered if he, as President, was allowed to buy land, because it did not say
in the Constitution. It was, because the President was allowed to make treaties, and the
Purchase was considered to be a treaty.
In 1803, the Louisiana Purchase went into effect.
An expedition is a long voyage of exploration. Thomas Jefferson chose Meriwether
Lewis, his private secretary, to explore the Louisiana Territory. Lewis chose William
Clark to accompany him on the journey. Clark also brought York, an enslaved African
American who had been Clark’s companion since childhood. The expedition started up
the Missouri River from St. Louis in May 1804.
Jefferson asked the men to map a route to the Pacific Ocean and to study the geography
of the territory. He also instructed them to learn about the Indian tribes who lived
there. These tribes liked to trade. He told them to make peace with them.
About 50 men accompanied Lewis and Clark on the expedition.
Lewis and Clark traded with Native Americans.
During the first winter, the group stayed with the Mandans, where they met
Sacagawea(a Shoshone). She and her French Canadian husband agreed to be
translators for the voyage.
When the group crossed the Rockies, they came across the Shoshones, who traded
them food and horses. Sacagawea saw her brother, whom she had not seen in years.
In the Rocky Mountains, Lewis and Clark crossed the Continental divide which is a
mountain ridge that separates river systems flowing toward opposite sides of the
On November 7, 1805, they reached the Pacific Ocean. It took them another year to
make it back to St. Louis.
From 1805-1807, Zebulon Pike explored the Southwest. Pike explored the upper
Mississippi River, the Arkansas River, and parts of present day Colorado and New
He and his men were arrested by Spanish troops, who took all but one of his maps and
The journeys of Pike and Lewis and Clark excited Americans. However, settlers did not
move into the western lands for a number of years. They first settled the region closest
to the Mississippi River.
The territory around New Orleans had a large enough population of American citizens
for the settlers to apply to be a state. In 1812, this territory entered the Union as the
state of Louisiana.