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The Letter That Bought An Empire
Written in haste, on an April midnight in 1803, the unedited text of the message that led to the Louisiana Purchase is printed for the first time.
April 1955 | Volume 6, Issue 3
2. Obviously, Napoleon means one hundred million francs—approximately §20,000,000 at that time. The word “claims” refers to debts owed by the French government to U.S. citizens. In the final settlement, the United States paid $15,000,000, of which 83,750,000 covered the expense of the assumption of these claims.
3. Outbreak of war between England and France was expected at any moment.