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Pinckney's Treaty

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(Redirected from Treaty of Madrid (1795))

Pinckney's Treaty, also known as the Treaty of San Lorenzo or the Treaty of Madrid, was signed in San Lorenzo de El Escorial on October 27, 1795 and established intentions of friendship between the United States and Spain. It also defined the boundaries of the U.S. with the Spanish colonies and guaranteed U.S. navigation rights on the Mississippi River. The treaty's full title is Treaty of Friendship, Limits, and Navigation Between Spain and the United States. Thomas Pinckney negotiated the treaty for the U.S and Don Manuel de Godoy represented Spain.

The treaty was submitted to the U.S. Senate on February 26, 1796 and ratified by the U.S. on March 7, 1796. It was ratified by Spain on April 25, 1796 and ratifications were exchanged on that date. The treaty was proclaimed on August 2, 1796.

By terms of the treaty, Spain and the U.S. agreed that the southern boundary of the U.S. with the Spanish Colonies of East and West Florida was a line beginning on the Mississippi River at the 31st degree north latitude drawn due east to the middle of the Chattahoochee River and from there along the middle of the river to the junction with the Flint River and from there straight to the headwaters of the St. Marys River and from there along the middle of the channel to the Atlantic Ocean. This describes the current boundary between the present state of Florida and Georgia and the line from the northern boundary of the Florida panhandle to the northern boundary of that portion of Louisiana east of the Mississippi.

This boundary had been in dispute since the British had expanded the territory of the Florida colonies while it was in possession of them. It had moved the boundary from the 31st degree latitude northwards to a line drawn due east from the junction of the Yazoo River and the Mississippi (the present day location of Vicksburg, Mississippi). After the American Revolutionary War, Spain claimed the British border adjustment while the U.S. insisted on the original boundary.

The treaty directed the U.S. and Spain to jointly survey the boundary line. Andrew Ellicott was the U.S. Commissioner for this survey party.

The treaty set the western boundary of the U.S., separating it from the Spanish Colony of Louisiana as the middle of the Mississippi River from the northern boundary of the United States to the 31st degree north latitude. The agreement therefore put the lands of the Chickasaw Nation of American Indians within the new boundaries of the United Sates. The U.S. and Spain agreed to not incite native tribes to warfare. (Previously Spain had been supplying arms to local tribes for many years.)

Spain and the United States also agreed to protect the vessels of the other party anywhere within their jurisdictions and to not detain or embargo the other's citizens or vessels. The treaty also guaranteed navigation of the entire length of the river for both the U.S. and Spain.

The territory ceded by Spain in this treaty was organized by the U.S. into the Mississippi Territory in 1798.

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