The U.S. Population Shift Begins

Great Britain also restricted emigration between 1800 and 1820 because it was locked into a life and death struggle with France. This prevented English citizens from coming to their former colony. Famine and poverty in Ireland drove many to leave the Emerald Isle. The Napoleonic Wars limited shipping to carry passengers, but there were other pressures on citizens all over Europe that encouraged emigration to the United States.

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Hunters of the Corps of Discovery

When the Spanish learned of the Lewis and Clark’s expedition, they sent Pedro Vidal and 51 – a mix of soldiers, local settlers, and Pueblo Indians – to arrest the members of the Corps of Discovery. Spain’s rationale was that the Americans were trespassing Spanish Territory.

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Captain Meriwether Lewis’ Best Friend

Lewis did, however, bring what every man would insist on having and that is a dog. He paid $20 for a Newfoundland he named Seaman. He was a little over a year old when acquired and when fully grown weighed about 160 lbs.

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Jefferson’s Constitutional Gamble

Article II, Section 2, Clause 2 gives the President the power to negotiate treaties and the Senate the duty to ratify them. The power to purchase land from a foreign nation is not listed amongst the presidential powers.

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An 1800 Act of Union

Fast forward 171 years to 1707, to when Queen Anne added Scotland so the Kingdom of Great Britain now included, England, Scotland, and Wales. The English and Scottish parliaments, legal systems and economies were merged.

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The 1807 Tale of Ograbme

Jefferson sent James Monroe and Thomas Pinkney to England to negotiate a treaty that would resolve our differences. In December 1806, the pair brought back a proposed treaty that did not include an agreement by England to end impressment. Jefferson refused to send the document to Congress for ratification in January 1807 so the treaty died.

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The Chesapeake-Leopard Incident

In June 1807, the Royal Navy was blockading two, 80-gun French ships of the line which had called in Hampton, VA and were waiting for an opportunity to escape into the Atlantic. The British squadron commander, Sir George Berkeley, learned that Royal Navy deserters were on board U.S.S. Chesapeake, 38 guns and he dispatched H.MS. Leopard, 50 guns, with a search warrant and orders to seize any deserters, by force if necessary.

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The Laundry List of Section 8

Section 8 is the longest in the Constitution and has 18 clauses that gives the House of Representatives the most power in the Federal government. What is amazing is that most of the clauses are only a single short sentence long.

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Jefferson’s National Defense Conundrum

Jefferson and his Secretary of the Navy – Robert Smith – were faced with executing an expeditionary warfare campaign in the Mediterranean. This meant a significant expansion in the size of the U.S. Neither the Navy, nor the Army, had any experience this type of warfare which today, we would call power projection.

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The Legacy of the Sedition and Alien Acts of 1798

While the Sedition Act expired in 1800 and the Alien Friends Acts in 1801, the Naturalization Act and the Alien Enemies Acts had no termination date. Today, the Alien Enemies Act lives on as Chapter 3, Sections 21-24 of Title 50 of the United States Code.

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