In 1801, following the unexpected death of Toussaint L'Ouverture, Napoleon Bonaparte redirected his attention from the revolt in Haiti to his grander ambitions for the vast territory of Louisiana; L'Empereur sends his brother-in-law General Charles Leclerc with thousands of troops and numerous warships to establish French control of New Orleans.
Long Tom's War of 1801Expecting the French to clamp down on the rights of Americans to use the Mississippi River to float their goods and produce to New Orleans for overseas shipment, US farmers and traders howl in protest. In principle, President Thomas Jefferson sides with the British, threatening "The day France takes possession of New Orleans, we must marry ourselves to the British fleet and nation". But he hides behind negotiations for two years, needing that time in order to reverse himself on disbanding the army and fleet his predecessor John Adams was constructing."The day France takes possession of New Orleans, we must marry ourselves to the British fleet and nation" Jefferson finally made the offer of a military alliance in 1803; sensing a unique opportunity to humiliate Napoleon, the Prime Minister of Great Britain, William Pitt the Younger, seizes the offer with both hands. As soon as the news reaches Washington DC, the US declares war on France.
Not for the first time, "Long Tom" demonstrated that his mind was a bundle of contradictions; a strict follower of the constitution who was prepared to bend the rules, a slave owner who hated slavery, a white supremacist who fathered dual heritage children, a balanced budget advocate who died $100,000 in debt. And now, a revolutionary founding founder who was prepared to ally with his bitter enemy, the British in order to prevent Napoleon from creating a vast new French empire on the North American continent.