Empire of Liberty

“When in early 1806 Jefferson requested $2 million from Congress to help obtain the Floridas, Senator Stephen Bradley of Vermont proposed an amendment to give the president authority to acquire not only West and East Florida but also Canada and Nova Scotia, by purchase or “otherwise,” by which he meant military means. The amendment gained some support but was defeated. The “Two Million Dollar Act,” as it was called, was bitterly opposed by John Randolph, the Virginia spokesman for the States’ Rights Principles of 1798, largely because the money was to be paid to France, which presumably would influence Spain to surrender the Floridas. Randolph “considered it a base prostration of the national character, to excite one nation by money to bully another out of its property,” and he used this incident to break decisively with Jefferson.” (Randolph, Annals of Congress, 9th Congress, 1st Session (April 1806), 947.)

Wood, Gordon S. “Empire of Liberty, A History of the Early Republic, 1789-1815”. Oxford Univerty Press, 2009.