British policy in North America after 1763

Dear Editor:

As a member of the Lancaster, PA, Torch Club, I thoroughly enjoy the articles that are selected to appear in our magazine. Thank you and the editorial advisory committee for your careful and effective work.

I would like, however, to call to your attention a factual error in Ed Weber’s “The Revolution That Should Not Have Happened” in the Winter 2019 issue. On page 22, writing of British policy in North America after 1763, Weber asserts that Great Britain “would keep a force of 10,000 […] soldiers in the colonies to repel the French, who still held Louisiana and the mouth of the Mississippi […]”.

Actually, in 1763 France ceded the Louisiana Territory, including the mouth of the Mississippi, to Spain, an ally of France in the Seven Years’ War, to compensate Spain for the loss of Florida to Great Britain at a late stage in the war. By the end of the Seven Years’ War, France would yield all its territory on the North American mainland, thus removing that presence as a reason for maintaining British troops in the colonies. In 1800, Napoleon would force Spain to return Louisiana to France, thereby prompting the negotiations that resulted in the Louisiana Purchase.

This historical point aside, I found the article, like so many others in The Torch magazine, to be both thought-provoking and enjoyable.

Please keep up the good work!



Dennis E. Simmons