Louisiana Purchase Stamp

The Louisiana Purchase: Lots of Land at a Very Low Price…

In 1803, President Thomas Jefferson and his fellow Americans made a terrific real estate deal. With the backing of Congress, Jefferson arranged for the U.S.A. to purchase a huge territory from the French government. It was a purchase that almost doubled the size of the United States.

So how much did America pay for all that land? About $15,000,000, which amounted to less than 3 cents per acre.

At the time of the purchase, the land was mostly wilderness. But as America expanded to the west, the nation used the land to create new states. Part or all of of what are now 15 states were included in the the Louisiana Purchase. Those states are: North and South Dakota, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska, Wyoming, Montana, Minnesota, New Mexico, and Texas.

That’s a lot of land at a good price. A very good price!

Bright Ideas

Quotes by Thomas Jefferson

“Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.”

“I’m a greater believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.”

“Take care of your cents; dollars will take care of themselves.”

Thomas Jefferson

“Every day is lost in which we do not learn something useful. Man has no nobler or more valuable possession than time.”

“When angry count to ten before you speak. If very angry, count to one hundred.”

“Delay is preferable to error.”

Nifty Fifty

About the Louisiana Purchase

It’s a Fact: The territory that America purchased from France was west of the original 13 colonies. The purchase nearly doubled the size of the United States.

It’s a Fact: The Louisiana Purchase was an acquisition of 828,000 square miles which was mostly wilderness. But the important river city of New Orleans was also included in the deal.

It’s a Fact: A famous man named Napoleon was the leader of France at the time of the Louisiana Purchase. He spent the money he received from America to strengthen France’s army.

It’s a Fact: After he made The Louisiana Purchase, Thomas Jefferson sent a group of explorers to check out the territory. That group was called The Lewis and Clark Expedition.

More Fun Facts
Fun Fact: A dollar isn’t worth as much today as it was in 1803. But even if you take into account the change in the value of American money, the cost of the Louisiana Purchase is still less than 50 cents an acre in today’s dollars.

Fun Fact: Although Jefferson was president at the time of the Louisiana purchase, two other men actually went to France and negotiated the deal. They were James Monroe and Robert Livingston.

Fun Fact: The Americans first offered $5 million for New Orleans and the land around it. Then, they raised their offer to $10 million. Napoleon then countered by offering all of the Louisiana Territory for $15 million. That deal was simply too good to pass up.

Fun Fact: The Lewis and Clark Expedition took 863 days to check out the land America purchased from France. The explorers traveled 7,689 miles through unmapped, unsettled wilderness. Along the way, they discovered 122 new animals and 178 new plants. One of their biggest problems on the expedition was mosquitoes.

Fun Fact: Even though it hasn’t been part of France for over 200 years, the state of Louisiana still has lots of influences. In fact, some people who live in Louisiana still speak a French-based language called Louisiana Creole. In 1990, a census survey found that about 250,000 Louisianans claimed to use or speak French in their homes.

Questions and Answers
Just for fun,
see if you can answer these questions.
When he made the Louisiana Purchase, whom did Thomas Jefferson buy it from? France, England, or Canada?
Jefferson bought the Louisiana territory from France. At the time, France’s leader was an important historical figure named Napoleon. Napoleon used the money to fund his army.
Was the Louisiana Purchase made in 1776, 1803, or 1865?
Did the Louisiana Purchase double the size of America or triple it?
The Louisiana Purchase doubled the size of America.
How much did America pay for the Louisiana Purchase? Was it $15 million, $15 billion, or $15 trillion
$15 million.
Write Your Own Story

If you have time, you can write a story of your own.

Here are a couple of story ideas you can choose from if you like.

Story Idea #1: You can write a story about some of the amazing things you learned about the Louisiana Purchase.


Story Idea #2 What do you think would have happened to America if the French had decided not to sell the Louisiana Territory? Would the United States have eventually taken over the territory anyway? If not, what would the United States look like today?

To help you write a great story, we have included some helpful hints and timely tips.

Today's Ryder Riddle
Here's a riddle for you:
Which two words in the English dictionary are actually French?
“actually,” and “French”
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