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The Adams-Onis Treaty

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I just missed this anniversary. The Adams-Onis Treaty was approved by the United States Senate and signed into law on February 22, 1821. This is the treaty where the United States gained Florida territory from Spain. Also in the treaty, the United States dropped all claims to Texas. (Of course they soon changed their mind and tried again for Texas only 15 years later.)

Below: territorial boundaries defined by the Adams-Onis Treaty.

From reading the treaty, the main purpose was to set territorial boundaries. Second was for Spain to unload Florida, which had always been a great expense anyway. In school we were taught that the United States paid $5 million for Florida, but this is not true. The U.S. would pay up to $5 million in claims for damages from the War of 1812 / Patriot War. And as far as we know, there no money was ever paid to Spain. Those who did file in court for damages just happened to be those who were the U.S. supporters during the Patriot War. (U.S. & Georgia's incursions into Florida during the War of 1812 in an attempt to establish as republic separate from Spain. Easier said: a failed land grab.)

The treaty does not cover the status of the people in Florida. It does not attempt to define the issue of slavery and free blacks, nor the large Seminole population in Florida. I imagine if they ever did try to tackle those issues on the treaty, it would have never been passed. Those would be defined by the territorial and state laws.
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On February 26th, 2009 11:48 am (UTC), seminolewar commented:
Re: Time line of battles
The book is long out of print, but I can provide it on cd with the original material.
And I am not sure how to edit/change my old website because the ftp has changed.
The cd includes more than just the book, to make it worth the effort. It has many of my Seminole war research.
Send me $10 which includes to postage to:
Chris Kimball
P.O. Box 861
Goodland, FL 34140
I don't get to the post office more than about once a week, but I don't get mail at the house.
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