The United States Constitution has no specific grant to acquire territory, yet the U.S. has expanded from the East Coast to the West, from thirteen colonies to fifty states. One of the nation's most important-and very early-acquisitions was the Louisiana Purchase during Thomas Jefferson's presidential administration.
In The Constitutional History of the Louisiana Purchase, author Everett Somerville Brown examines the legal aspects of this purchase and the constitutional interpretations the statesmen and legislators of the time developed as a consequence. Brown also looks at the Breckinridge Bill, which granted the president the power to appoint all government officials in the new territory; Jefferson's plans for the settlement of Louisiana; and the status of the inhabitants of the territory, with special emphasis on Native American and slavery issues.
EVERETT SOMERVILLE BROWN (1886-1964) also authored William Plumer's Memorandum of Proceedings in the United States Senate 1803-1807 and Ratification of the Twenty-First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.