As the president why did I
After all I was conservative and it was
thought that I would be the last person who would be in favor of expansion.*
It wasn't about Louisiana but about Napoleon Bonaparte. The purchase of Louisiana in 1803 was simply
to get the property out of that man's hands. Napoleon was a rat and we would have done
just about anything to get him out of the western hemisphere. We knew he was
going to use the money to build a fleet and an army. Then eventually he intended
to return to the west and take back Louisiana and all of North America,
like he later attempted to do to Europe and Russia.
We knew exactly what Napoleon was
up to. It was all in the secret French plans which never made it into the history books.
At the time about every second Frenchman was secretly in support of the United States and grateful
for my help during their revolution so we had all the spies in France that we wanted. We knew
every idea Napoleon ever wrote down and almost every plan he thought
up and talked about to other Frenchmen.
He intended to invade and take over the entire New World. The English destruction of the French
Fleet at Trafalgar in 1805 messed up his plans for returning to conquer America. Without
his navy he could only move on land. So he ended up attacking Europe and Russia rather than
You really didn't think Napoleon
had any intention of allowing the U.S. to keep all that land for a measly $14
million, did you?**
So American expansion was never an issue,
it was that person who owned the land that was the issue. Napoleon was an issue the likes of which the
world had never seen in modern times. With the backing of
both a peasant population and the wealthy landed he was too much of an adversary
for the U.S. to deal with.
This was the type of person no one had seen since the Carthaginians of the Roman days and in early Germanic times. Quite frankly all
the English and American officials as well as officers were very afraid of him. I was not an exception.
The intelligent decision was of course
to get him out of the New World while we had a chance. So when he wanted $14
million to build a navy and improve his army we considered it as a loan which would get
the French almost completely out of the western Hemisphere for about ten years
I grabbed the offer when he made
it. We knew he was going to make the offer months beforehand so I had agents
check up on his reputation and that of his family in Corsica going back to his
childhood. We did not like at all what we found.***
We knew the Louisiana purchase was
actually the 'Louisiana loan' and after a few years he would want it back. Then we
would have to sell it or give it back fast before he invented an excuse to invade us. This is why the focus of the U.S. Government on the Louisiana Territory was initially on making the quick buck from the furs and not at all
on settling permanently.
This focus changed to one of permanence after the British defeated the French at Trafalgar. That was when the English did the only thing
they ever did right (as far I was concerned) and performed a service to the
US by destroying Napoleon's Navy which freed
us forever from the threat of invasion by that s.o.b.
Napoleon could have been a great
builder of a New France in the Midwest and Western America. It's an unconscionable
act that he traded away such an opportunity in order to impale Frenchmen on Russian pitchforks
for that useless, depleted black dirt of Russia which was frozen hard as
a rock for about eight months of each year.
Possibly even more foolish than Napoleon
were the English who loaned the US that $14 million so that Napoleon could build a navy
so that he could fight the English. (Do you see the irony of this? Nobody else does. You can ask any history professor and they wont say anything is ironic about the purchase.)
What an impertinent fool that Napoleon
was. It is completely beyond me why some people continue to refer to this madman as some kind of a genius?
*First I was never anti anything
or anybody. I just wanted liberty for myself and my friends. I was never anti Federal or just for states rights. A powerful unchecked
Federal government with nothing to do is going to find things to do and eventually
that will lead to them interfering with everyone's rights. It's inevitable. Had
the states usurped more power than did the Federal government then I would
have changed my support and have probably been called a 'federalist' for my troubles.
I was just more inclined to support the rights of the states
over the federal in most issues simply because the states had less power. So I was called an anti federalist until the
However, I always supported both
the state and federal governments and tried to avoid denying either one. Denial is not the purpose. Why? Because
both the state and federal governments were just governments. Denials should only be used
against those who are unjust (like Napoleon) as it restricts and binds.
Bearing this in mind, to make new
states from the Louisiana Purchase (and hence make a stronger federal government)
was never a problem for me.
**An interesting footnote is something that
influenced me personally. To decide whether the Louisiana Purchase would be
worth 'loaning' $14 million to Napoleon I asked my 'Alligator
lady' girlfriend, about the dollar amounts she had made from the skins of alligators. She had cornered the market
on Georgia Alligator pelts (most of them were actually smuggled in to America's Mississippi
territory from then French Louisiana).
We had a straight forward (honest)
relationship so we told each other the truth whenever we asked each other
direct questions. We never involved ourselves in small talk and never took advantage
of our openness to find out information that could be used as leverage in our
relationship. Since money was never an issue between us I had no idea about
the exact amount of money she had made. However, now I wanted to know the amount in order to determine if the
Louisiana Purchase would be profitable.
She had previously talked openly about the alligator pelts
that she exported from Charleston Harbor on the East Coast to Europe. The harbor was open to the
public so she had readily told the dollar amounts to others. Money was not of personal interest to me
during the time I was the president (it prevents corruption) so I had not bothered to keep up
with the grand total. I knew it was in the range of a couple hundred thousand
dollars, which had increased her worth 50% in two years time and would double
it again in about 3-4 more years.
I asked her how much the total amount that the alligator pelts she had shipped to Europe had been worth, in dollars,. She looked at me curiously and I explained why I wanted to know. She replied curtly, 'Just short of $7,900,000'
and without telling her trade secrets she added 'Well Charleston is so far from
where I am located in the Mississippi Territory that we don't always ship from there'.
Suddenly I was thrust into complete shock from hearing that huge amount and her casual admission of being a major smuggler. Trying
not to give up anything myself
I said 'Well then I think we should buy Louisiana.' She watched my reaction
and only when my face began to relax a bit did she quickly add '$5.4 million
of it was pure profit'.
She had only taken 4% of the pelts out
of US ports. I found out that she was running most of them out out of Biloxi
(which was Spanish and then French territory) on moonless nights and under the
eyes of both the French and the Spanish who owned that little strip of land along the Gulf
of Mexico east of New Orleans (see map).
We all know that money then was worth more
than it does now. This page has different
methods by which the amount can be calculated. I calculated the amount that the $7,900,000
she took out in alligator pelts would be worth in 2003 dollars.
$7,900,000.00 in 1800
$115,132,821.19 using the Consumer Price Index
$121,478,311.50 using the GDP deflator
$1,980,588,723.33 using the unskilled wage
$3,052,550,824.21 using the GDP per capita
$166,999,249,422.63 using the relative share of GDP
So I decided the Louisiana Territory was worth the purchase if only for the Alligator pelts that could be taken out of there in ten years time.
***Our spies found out that once as a child Napoleon sold
his landlord's shovel. Then he said that he knew nothing about it and therefore someone else must have stolen it.
Except that he was seen by several people
walking through town with the shovel over his shoulder.
He was told that he had to return the
shovel or the other peasants would tell the landlord. Then he would probably
be dealt with Castilian style (dead with his throat cut). His family got together
the money from relatives and made him go buy back the shovel. He pocketed some
of the money and offered to pay only part of the money.
The person would not sell it back
since they couldn't buy a new shovel for what Napoleon offered for it.
So Napoleon went and bought a better
shovel to trade for the old one. He offered the new one in exchange but by this time the new owner of the shovel was suspicious of Napoleon.
They had asked and found out from others all the details of the theft.
The problem was that if a thief was not caught often the charges
and punishment were transferred fully to those who had received the stolen goods. So
the person who was sold the stolen shovel hated Napoleon for putting them in that predicament. They then decided to get revenge and see that Napoleon
got punished. So they refused the better shovel immediately when he showed up with it.
So Napoleon beat them with the new shovel almost killing her. He took
his landlords shovel from her and seeing the woman was almost dead he took the new one
as well. The woman recovered and there was a court case that was pending when
the judge got bribed to prevent it from proceeding.
Without his getting punished it established
the worst kind of character. This was the pattern of behavior that he continued with for the rest of
Also, during wars he had 9 prisoners lined up in front of his tent almost every morning. Then he personally murdered them all. He said that it made him feel superior to them.
He could never have created the horrors that he did if he had devoted his life to building up the new world.
2005 John Pinil