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xn PREFACE W o r l d , a nd i n an almost equal measure to that of E urope. A l t h o u g h we h ave i gnored as far as possible t he presence of the Spanish civilization i n the affairs of A m e r i c a , a nd h ave r emained b lind t o the tremendous f ormative and directive influence w h i c h it has exerted o n t he course of our national growth, it is f r o m this c ollection t hat our o w n history is to be enriched and b rought nearer to truth. T h e Departments of M a r i n e , W a r , a nd the Provinces, together w i t h the correspondence w hich passed between the V i c e r o y s of N e w Spain a nd t he home Government d eserve s pecial mention. In t he latter collection are letters f r o m V i c e r o y Jose de I turrigaray t o D o n P e d r o Cevallos, then M i n i s t e r of S tate, which go a l o n g w a y toward explaining the conduct of General James W i l k i n s o n a t the crisis on the S abine in November, 1806. w hich r esulted i n the T h e cloudy transactions Neutral Ground lamentable T reaty and in the over-vaunted d efeat o f B u r r a re s omewhat cleared of the mist w h i c h has enshrouded t hem. T h e M ississippi V a l l e y also proved a f r u i t f u l f ield f or r esearch. N e w Orleans was the focus for the v a r i ous lines of forces which mingled i n the conspiracy: i t w as the home of the Creoles who are supposed to h ave been at the heart of the p l o t ; it was the place, i f w e follow generally accepted conclusions, specially designed by the adventurers for plunder; and it had the u nenviable distinction to be subjected for two months t o the tyranny of General W i l k i n s o n . I n its C i t y H a l l