1803 BUST $10, SMALL STARS REVERSE, LARGE EAGLE MS63
SMALL STARS REVERSE. SATIN SURFACES. TIED FOR HIGHEST AT NGC
In 1802 under the rule of Napoleon, France regain control of the territory of Louisiana from a weakened Spain. This frightened the US as a treaty had been struck with Spain to allow shipping through New Orleans and travel on the Mississippi River but no such deal existed with France. In response to the power shift, President Jefferson sent James Monroe to France to negotiate the possible purchase of New Orleans and West Florida and was given a maximum budget of $10 million. Napoleon had recently sent a massive fleet to retake the lucrative colony of Saint-Domingue only to see the fleet decimated by yellow fever and was advised that without the island, France’s Louisiana territory was not worth nearly as much. Napoleon proceeded to offer Monroe the entirety of the Louisiana territory and the price was negotiated to $15 million, $5 million more than what Monroe was authorized to settle on. In 1803, in what was nearly overnight, the size of the United States had doubled. This 1803 eagle represents the year in which the United States completed the largest land purchase in history.