With respect to Spain our dispositions are sincerely amicable & even affectionate. we consider her possession of the adjacent country [Louisiana, the land west of the Mississippi River] as most favorable to our interests, & should see, with extreme pain any other nation substituted for them: in all communications therefore with their officers, conciliation and mutual accomodation are to be duly attended to, every thing irritating to be avoided, every thing friendly to be done for them … temper & justice will be the best guides through those intricacies. Should France get possession of that country it will be more to be lamented than remedied by us, and will furnish ground for profound consideration on our part how best to conduct ourselves in that case …
Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Far-sighted leaders begin signaling their intentions well in advance.
Claiborne was to be appointed governor of the Mississippi Territory, bordering Spanish-held Louisiana just across the river. Jefferson was insistent on maintaining the best possible terms with Spain, who was not a threat to American interests. France was a threat, and her possession of Louisiana would provoke a profoundly different response.
Jefferson knew of rumors that Spain had already ceded Louisiana to France. That was not common knowledge at this point. Chances are Claiborne didn’t know that, either. So, Jefferson, who was shrewd in his diplomacy, was starting to build his case for not wanting France as our next door neighbor, able to control traffic on the Mississippi River.
Jefferson’s guidelines for getting along with the Spanish could be his guidelines for getting along with anyone:
1. Be conciliatory
2. Look for areas of agreement
3. Avoid irritation
4. Be as friendly as possible
5. Hold your temper
6. Be just
“Your ability to work on your own, to generate different ideas,
and to produce without supervision are all qualities
that make you and your company outstanding to work with.
Executive Director, Jefferson City Convention and Visitors Bureau
Your audience will find Mr. Jefferson outstanding!
Invite him to speak. Call 573-657-2739
Originally posted at http://ThomasJeffersonLeadership.com
The Moral Liberal Thomas Jefferson Editor, Patrick Lee, is a professional speaker, actor and writer. Since 1990, he has inspired, entertained and educated audiences from Maine to Hawaii with his authentic, first person leadership presentations as President Thomas Jefferson, Frontiersman Daniel Boone, and Lewis & Clark Co-Leader William Clark. He also appears as himself, The Hopeful Humorist™, with a program of motivational humor, patriotism and inspiration.