POSSESSION IS NOT NINE-TENTHS OF THE LAW…

…It is ten-tenths.

Three Forks, Montana where Lewis and Clark proclaimed the Missouri to begin, is a long way from Charlottesville or Richmond, but the ambitions of the Virginians were very large, extending even beyond the boundaries of the Louisiana sold to Jefferson by Napoleon. The watershed of the Missouri is ample, but Virginian energy rushed with Lewis and Clark [both Virginians, as were Jefferson, James Madison, his Secretary of State, and Albert Gallatin, his Secretary of Treasury who “found the money” for the expedition, doubtless by maneuvers Donald Trump could learn a thing or two from if he really intends to build his wall–my note] across the Continental Divide, down its western slope, and into the basin of the Columbia River, which even Napoleon had neither claimed nor claimed to sell. When they reached the Pacific, Lewis and Clark asserted that the United States owned everything they had traversed, and, for a time, neither the British, Russians, Spanish or Indians, all of whom had a better title, were in a position to dispute them.

(Burr, Hamilton, and Jefferson: A Study in Character, Roger Kennedy, 2000)

Thus, was the Empire born.

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