Official Document

Page 12 of 13

Figure 3

American Louisiana Purchase Claims Convention

Photo of a old bound document

Three documents were transmitted detailing the sale and purchase of Louisiana. Each is covered with purple velvet embroidered with silver and gold thread and white silk appliqué. The initials in the center stand for "Peuple Francais"—The People of France. The object attached by the braided cord, called a skippet, contains the seal of the French government impressed in wax.

The treaty of cession is written both in French and English on both sides of three sheets and one side of a fourth, measuring 9-5/8 inches by 14-3/8 inches. Article I declares, in part:

The First Consul of the French Republic desiring to give to the United States a strong proof of his friendship doth hereby cede to the United States in the name of the French Republic for ever and in full Sovereignty the said territory with all its rights and appurtenances as fully and in the Same manner as they have been acquired by the French Republic.

The convention, or international agreement, for payment is written on both sides of one sheet and one side of a second. Article I states:

The Government of the United States engages to pay to the French Government in the manner Specified in the following article the sum of Sixty millions of francs independent of the Sum which Shall be fixed by another Convention for the payment of the debts due by France to citizens of the United States.

The claims convention, pictured above and on the next page, is written on both sides of three sheets. Article I reads:

The debts due by France to citizens of the United States contracted before the 8th Vendémiaire1 ninth year of the French Republic/30th September 1800/ Shall be paid according to the following regulations with interest at Six per Cent; to commence from the period when the accounts and vouchers were presented to the French Government.

All three document are signed by Robert Livingston, James Monroe, Francois de Barbe-Marbois, and Bonaparte.


1. The first month of the of the calendar inaugurated in 1792 by the short-lived First French Republic. In the Gregorian calendar, used elsewhere throughout Europe and North America, Vendémiaire extended from September 22nd or 23rd to October 21st or 22nd, depending on the year.