April 30, 1803 — President Thomas Jefferson signed the land deal for the Louisiana Purchase today. The swath ran from the Mississippi River in the east, to the Rocky Mountains in the west, and from the Gulf of Mexico in the south to the Canadian border in the north.
The purchase doubled the size of our young republic, and opened up the continent to its westward expansion. It included the acquisition of 828,000 square miles of land from France at a price of $15 million, or approximately four cents an acre.
Part, if not all, of the 15 states in the territory were eventually created from the land deal. It is considered one of the most important achievements of Jefferson’s presidency.
Words of Wisdom
It is the case of a guardian, investing the money of his ward in purchasing an important adjacent territory; and saying to him when of age, I did this for your own good.