Since its publication in 1803, the journal of Andrew Ellicott, “Late Commissioner on Behalf of the United States . . . for Determining the Boundary Between the United States and the Possessions of His Catholic Majesty. . . .” has been the major source of historians writing on the diplomatic and political problems facing Spain and the United States in the lower Mississippi Valley following the Treaty of San Lorenzo. Although his journal contains much of the correspondence with Spanish officials at Natchez and New Orleans, and between the commissioner and the Secretary of State, originals of which are in Record Group 76 of the National Archives, the journal contains a running narrative of Ellicott’s difficulties in convincing the Spaniards they ought to withdraw from posts above the thirty-first parallel and proceed to the drawing of the boundary line in accordance with the treaty.
In addition, Ellicott includes the astronomical and thermometrical observations made along the line as well as a number of drawings tracing the course of the Mississippi, Ohio and other rivers of the Old Southwest.
This edition is merely a reprint of the 1803 edition. It therefore has nothing in the way of an index, bibliography, or even a biographical sketch of Ellicott. It is, of course, not edited. It is a shame that a worthwhile publication of this nature was not brought up to date with subsequent research in the Spanish archives to supplement the often-biased comments of Andrew Ellicott.