The Louisiana Purchase was ratified by the US Senate on this day in 1803.
A long-term goal of the US, spearheaded by Thomas Jefferson, was to gain control of the Mississippi River and primarily of the port city of New Orleans.
This was finally achieved at the cost of $15 million upon the transfer of this vast area from France stretching from Louisiana to modern day Canada.
The presumed “control” of the interior of North America varied vastly into the 19th century among Britain, France, Spain, and the new county of the US. To illustrate this, here is Weigel’s 1734 map showing the French and British possessions in North America. The French had a smaller piece of land to sell to the US in 1803.
Steve Kovacs and his wife Theresa reside in Loveland, Ohio where they raised their two children. He is a passionate collector of antique maps.