PRE-STATEHOOD 23 was a portent of things to come,” according to Holmes. This was even before the widespread use of the cotton gin. By the end of the Eighteenth Century, Natchez would be exporting some three million pounds of the “white gold.” Many of the holders of the Mississippi land grants issued during Spanish occupation were to become rich beyond imagination in the years that were to follow. The Spanish years may have gone on indefinitely, but in Europe the French Revolution broke out in 1793, and soon the revolutionaries launched a campaign to bring down all European monarchies. Spain, England, and several other monarchies formed a loose coalition to halt this spread of “republicanism,” but when the French revolutionary forces began winning battles against them, the coalition fell apart. Spain made its own peace with France in 1794, as did the other monarchies except for Britain and Austria. Spain’s pullout from the coalition angered Britain, who at the time was trying to bury the hatchet with their old colonies (now the United States). Spain quickly realized that if an irritated Britain and the United States became allies, they may join forces and take over Spanish Louisiana in order to open up the Mississippi River and New Orleans. Spain sought to head this off and requested negotiations to ensure peace with the United States. The result was the Treaty of San Lorenzo in 1795 (Pinckney’s Treaty) in which Spain gave the United States the right to navigate the Mississippi River and to use the port at New Orleans free from duties and tariffs. It also made the 31st parallel the northern boundary of Spanish Louisiana, thereby giving the “Yazoo Strip” (the land between the 31st parallel and the mouth of the Yazoo to the United States as a bonus. The Spanish era in old West Florida (north of the thirty first parallel) thus came to an abrupt end, and the new Territory of Mississippi soon came into being. On April 7, 1798, Congress created the Mississippi Territory from Pinckney’s Treaty lands gained in 1795. The territory comprised the area north of the 31st parallel (leaving the present-day Mississippi boot heel in Spanish Louisiana) and south of Tennessee (which had become a state in 1796). It ran from the Mississippi River east to the Chattahoochie. It contained only two areas of settlement, Natchez and St. Stephens on the Tombigbee in Alabama. St. Stephens had a population of around 200, was little more than a Native American trading post, and was largely ignored in favor of the much larger Natchez. James Hall, an early visitor and observer of the territory (1802) explains that the territorial ordinance called for appointment of a governor, a secretary of state, and three judges. The governor and judges had legislative powers (subject to Congressional approval), and would exercise them until the “free male” population reached 5,000 at which time they could select their own legislature. Andrew Ellicott, the official handling the transition from Spain including the establishment of boundaries, arrived in Natchez on February 1797. Gayoso, the Spanish governor, left for New Orleans in July 1797, leaving his right hand man Stephen Minor in charge. Ellicott tried to hasten the departure of the few Spanish soldiers still in the area. The United States dispatched troops, but not in any aggressive manner. The Spanish withdrew completely by March 30, 1798. President Adams appointed Winthrop Sargent of Massachusetts as territorial governor. Sargent had been secretary of the Northwest Territory and took the post in Mississippi only to enhance his chances of being named governor up there. He never took to westerners, and remained a haughty New Englander. He prided himself on caring nothing about popularity, especially among wild and crude frontiersmen. Sargent was described as “phlegmatic and austere.” The U.S. Secretary of State, Timothy Pickering, spoke of Sargent’s “condescending manners toward our fellow citizens of all degrees.” Not surprisingly, he got off to a bad start. He arrived six months ahead of two of the territorial judges, so he began issuing executive orders without the required quorum (with the judges) under the territorial ordinance. He created courts with no legal authority to do so, and then appointed his cronies to fill the judicial slots. He openly consulted Andrew Ellicott, the federal transition officer, and Ellicott was just as arrogant, haughty, and disliked as Sargent. The Sargent appointments, especially local judges, included many of Ellicott’s upper class friends. The people were not happy. The other two territorial judges finally arrived, one in January 1799, and the other that summer. The two were not particularly qualified as judges, and they teamed up with Sargent to make some fairly onerous laws. There was also unrest among the Native Americans. The Spanish had supplied the neighboring tribes with frequent gifts, and the United States did not. There was constant pilfering from settlers by disgruntled Native Americans, and some settlers tried to furnish gifts at their own expense in an effort to maintain peace. Sargent did not have the finesse to handle the situation well. Native American relations were a source of constant tension and even fear. The nearby Choctaws were not as big a headache as was On April 7, 1798, Congress created the Mississippi Territory from Pinckney’s Treaty lands gained in 1795.