Amendment to the Constitution to be added to Art. IV. section III.
The Province of Louisiana is incorporated with the US. and made part thereof …
Revised Amendment to the Constitution, July 9, 1803
Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Principled leaders respect the limits on their authority.
Six days prior to this draft, Jefferson received word that France would sell its North American holdings known as Louisiana to the United States. He was delighted! He also knew the Constitution did not provide full authority for this action.
Jefferson always maintained the national government had only those limited powers specifically granted by the Constitution. Adding Louisiana to the United States was not one of those powers. The solution was obvious, an amendment to that founding document that would grant that authority.
The President’s proposed amendment went on to provide all the necessary authorization to explore, police, develop and defend the new land, as well as to maintain “peace and good understanding with the Indians residing there.”
The amendment would go nowhere.