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an account of louisiana at the time of its transfer to the
united states

THE precise boundaries of Louisiana, on the north, and west are
very extensive, but are at present somewhat doubtful. From the
source of the Missisippi, it is bounded eastward by the middle of the
channel of that river to the thirty-first degree of latitude: thence,
according to its limits, when formerly possessed by France, it
stretches eastward as far, at least, as the river Perdigo, which runs
into the bay of Mexico, east of the river Mobille.

Louisiana, including the Mobille settlements, was discovered and
peopled by the French. Their monarch made several grants of its
trade, one in particular, to Mr. Crosat in 1712, and some years after-
wards, with his acquiescence, to the company projected by the noto-
rious Law. This company was dissolved in the year 1731.

By a secret convention made on the 3d of November 1762, the
French government ceded so much of the province as lies west of
the Missisippi, with the island of New-Orleans, to Spain, and, by the
treaty of peace which followed in 1763, the whole territory of France
and Spain east of the middle of the Missisippi to the Iberville, thence
through the middle of that river, and the lakes Maurepas and Pon-
chartrain to the sea, was ceded to Great Britain. Spain having con-
quered the Floridas from Great Britain during the American war,
they were confirmed to her by the treaty of 1783.

By the treaty of St. Ildefonso, of the 1st of October, 1800, the king
of Spain engages to re-cede to the French Republic; six months after

  * This account carefully abstracted from a work, which was itself an abstract
of the documents, in the offices of the departments of state and of the treasury,
published by the government in 1803. The substance of that work is here de-
livered with all possible conciseness Ed.

  † So named after Louis the fourteenth, by the first discoverers.

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the full execution of the articles therein contained, relative to the
Duke of Parma, “the colony or province of Louisiana, with the same
extent that it actually has in the hands of Spain, that it had when
France possessed it, and such as it ought to be after the treaties sub-
sequently entered into between Spain and other states.” This treaty
was confirmed and enforced by that of Madrid, of the 21st of March,
1801. From France it passed to the United States by the treaty of
the 30th of April, 1803, which referred to the above clause, as de-
scriptive of the limits.

Divisions of the province.

The province is held by Spain, including a part of West Florida,
has the following principal divisions: Mobille, from Balize* to the
city; New-Orleans and the country on both sides of Lake Ponchar-
train; First and Second German coasts; Catabanose; Porche;
Venezuela; Iberville; Galvez-Town; Baton-Rouge; Pointe Coupee;
Atacapas; Opelousas; Ouachita; Avoyelles; Rapide; Nachitoches;
Arkansas; and the Illinois.

In the Illinois there are subordinate commandants, at New-Madrid,
St. Genevieve, New-Bourbon, St. Charles and St. Andrews.

Baton-Rouge‡ having been made a government, subsequently to
the treaty with Spain, the posts of Manchac and Thompson's Creek,
or Feliciana, were added to it.

Chapitoulas has sometimes been regarded as a separate command-
ery but is now included within the jurisdiction of the city. The lower,
part of the river, has likewise had occasionally a separate command-

Many of the present settlements severed from each other by im-
mense and trackless deserts, they have no singular communication
with each other by land, now and then the wilderness is traversed by
hunters, who swim rivers, expose themselves to the inclemency of
the weather, and carry their provisions on their backs during their
journey. In the regions west of the Missisippi, the communication
is kept up only by water, between the capital and the distant settle-
ments; three months being in some cases required to convey intel-
ligence from one to the other by the Missisippi. The usual distance
accomplished by a boat in ascending, is fifteen miles a day.

The rapidity of the current, especilly in spring, when the waters of
all the rivers are swelled, facilitates the descent, so that the same
voyage which requires three or four months to perform from the
capital, may be made to it in twelve or sixteen days. The principal
settlements in Louisiana, are on the Missisippi. The banks of that
river begin to be cultivated about sixty miles from the sea. At first
the plantations are thin, and owned by the poorest people. Ascend-

  * The sea mark.
  † A fork or branching point.
  ‡ A red staff.

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ing, you see them improve on each side, till you reach the city,
which is situated on the east bank, on a bend of the river, an hun-
dred and five miles from the sea.

The best and most tracts are above the city; they comprehend
what is there known by the names of Paroisse de Chapitoulas, Pre-
mier and Second Cotes des Allemands,
and extend forty-eight miles.

Above this begins the parish of Catahanose, or first Acadian set-
tlement, extending twenty-four miles on the river. Adjoining it,
and still ascending is the second Acadian settlement or parish of the
Fourche, which extends about eighteen miles. The parish of Iber-
ville then commences, and is bounded on the east by the river of the
same name, which though dry a great part of the year, yet, when the
Missisippi is raised, communicates with the lakes Maurepas and
Ponchartrain, and through them with the sea, thus forming what is
called the island of New Orleans. Except on the point just below
the Iberville, the districts are settled the whole way along the river,
and present an uninterrupted series of plantations adjoining each
other. Their fronts to the Missisippi, are all cleared and extend on
that river from a thousand feet to a mile in breadth, with a depth of
eight thousand feet; so that a plantation of a thousand feet in front
contains two hundred acres. A few sugar plantations are formed in
the parish of Catahanose, but the remainder is devoted to cotton and
provisions, and the whole have an excellent soil incapable of being
exhausted. The plantations are but one deep on the island of New-
Orleans, and on the opposite side of the river as far as the mouth of
the Iberville, which is an hundred and five miles above New Orleans.

About seventy-five miles above New Orleans on the west side of
the Missisippi, the creek or Bayou of the Fourche, called in old maps
La Riviere des Chitamaches, flows from the Missisippi, and enters
the sea west of the Balise. The entrance of the Missisippi is navi-
gable only at high water, but will then admit craft of sixty and se-
venty tons burthen. On both banks of this creek are settlements, one
plantation deep, for near forty-five miles, which are divided into two
parishes. The settlers are numerous, though poor, and the culture
is universally cotton. On all the channels detached from the main
stream of the Missisippi, the soil is the same as on the banks of the
river, and the border is the highest part of it, from whence it de-
scends gradually to the swamp. No where in the low lands is there
room for more than one plantation, before you come to the low wet
grounds incapable of cultivation. The Fourche affords one of the
communications to the two populous and rich settlements of Ataca-
pas and Opelousas formed near the small rivers Teche and Ver-
millon, which flow into the bay of Mexico. But the principal and
swiftest communication is by the Bayou or channel of Plaquemines,
whose entrance into the Missisippi is twenty-one miles higher up on
the same side, and ninety-six above New Orleans. The settlements
abound in cattle and horses, have much good land in their vicinity,
and may be made of great importance. A part of their produce is

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sent by sea to New Orleans, but the greater part is carried in bat-
teaux by the creeks above mentioned.

Immediately above the Iberville, and on both sides of the Mis-
sippi lies the parish of Manchac, which extends twelve miles on the
river, and is well cultivated. Above it commences the settlement of
Baton Rouge, extending about twenty-seven miles. It is remarkable
as being the first place, where the high land is contiguous to the
river, and here it forms a bluff from thirty to forty feet above the
greatest rise of the river. Here the settlements extend a consi-
derable way back on the east side; and this parish has that
Thompson's creek and Bayou Sara subordinate to it. The mouth
of the first of these creeks is near an hundred and fifty miles from
New Orleans, and that of the latter six or eight miles higher up.
They run from north-east to south-west, and their head waters are
north of the 31st degree of latitude. Their banks have the best soil,
and the greatest number of good cotton plantations of any part
Louisiana, and are allowed to be the garden of it.

Above Baton Rouge, an hundred and fifty miles from New Or-
leans, and on the west side of the Missisippi is Pointe Coupee, a po-
pulous and rich settlement, extending twenty-four miles along the
river Its produce is cotton. Behind it, on an old bed of the river,
now a lake, whose outlets are closed up, is the settlement of Fausse
which is well cultivated.

The tract now described extending to the sea, and including the
last mentioned settlement, contains three-fourths of the population
and seven-eighths of the riches of Louisiana.

From the settlement of Pointe Coupee on the Missisippi, to cape
Girardeau above the mouth of the Ohio, the land on the west side is
overflowed in the spring, as far back as thirty miles from the river
with a depth between two and twelve feet, except a small spot near
New Madrid, so that in the whole extent it is impossible to form a
considerable settlement contiguous to the river on that side. The
eastern bank has in this respect an advantage over the western, [gap]
there are on it many situations which effectually command the

On the west side of the Missisippi, two hundred and ten miles from
New Orleans, is the mouth of the Red river, on whose banks are the
settlements of Rapide, Avoyelles and Natchitoches, all of them
thriving and populous. The latter is situate two hundred and twenty-
five miles up the Red river. On the north side of the Red river a
few miles from its junction with the Missisippi is the Black river,
on one of whose branches, a considerable way up, is the infant set-
tlement of Ouachita, which from the richness of the soil will become
a place of importance. Cotton is the chief produce, but they have
likewise a considerable Indian trade. The river Rouge, or Red
river, is used for intercourse with the frontiers of New Mexico.

There is no other settlement on the Missisippi except the small
one called Concord, opposite to the Natchez, till we reach the Ar-

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kansas river, whose mouth is seven hundred and fifty miles above
New Orleans.

Here there are a few families, who are more addicted to the In-
dian trade, by which chiefly they live, than to husbandry. There is
no settlement from this place to New Madrid, which is itself incon-
siderable. Ascending the river you come to cape Girardean, St.
Genevieve and St. Louis, where, though the inhabitants are numer-
ous, they raise little for exportation, and confine themselves to trad-
ing with the Indians and to working a few lead mines. This country
is very fertile, especially on the banks of the Missouri, where there
have been formed two settlements, called St. Charles and St. An-
drew, mostly by emigrants from Kentucky. The peltry procured in
the Illinois is the best sent to the Atlantic market; and the quantity
is very considerable. Lead is to be had with ease, and in such quan-
tities as to supply all Europe, if there were hands to work the nume-
rous mines to be found in many places two or three feet below the
surface. The settlements about the Illinois were first made by the
Canadians, and their inhabitants still resemble them in their aversion
to labor, and love of a wandering life. They contain but few negroes
in proportion to the whites; in general, in proportion to the distance
of the capital, the proportion of blacks diminishes; they of course
abound most on rich plantations in its neighbourhood.

Compared with the Indiana territory, Upper Louisiana has a more
broken surface, though the soil is equally fertile. The west side of
the river possesses some advantages, not generally belonging to
those regions. It is elevated and healthy, and well watered, with
many large and rapid streams, adapted to mills and other water-
works. From cape Girardeau, above the mouth of the Ohio, to the
Missouri, the land on the east side of the Missisippi is low and flat,
and occasionally exposed to inundations; on the opposite side, con-
tiguous to the river, it is generally much higher, and in many places
very rocky on the shore. Some of the heights exhibit scenes truly
picturesque. They rise to a height of at least three hundred feet,
are faced with perpendicular lime and free-stone, carved into various
phantastic figures by the hand of nature, and sometimes affording the
appearance of a groupe of antique towers. From the tops of these
eminences the land gradually slopes back from the river, without
gravel or rock, and is covered with valuable timber. In fertility of
soil, no part of the world exceeds the borders of the Missisippi, the
land yielding all the necessaries of life in abundance, and almost
spontaneously; very little labor being required in the cultivation of
the earth. That part of Upper Louisiana, which borders on northern
Mexico, is one immense prairie or natural meadow, it produces no-
thing but grass, it is crouded with buffaloes, deer, and other kinds of
game; the land is represented as too rich for the growth of forest trees.

Upper Louisiana is said to contain in its bowels many silver and
copper mines, and various specimens of both are exhibited. Several
trials have been made to ascertain the fact; but want of skill in the
enquirers has hitherto left the matter in doubt.

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The salt works are also pretty numerous; some belonging to
private persons, others to the public. They already yield an abun-
dant supply for the consumption of the neighbouring country; and
if properly managed, might become an article of exportation. The
usual price per bushel is one hundred and fifty cents in cash at the
works. This price will be still lower as soon as the manufacture is
undertaken by government, or by men who have large capitals to
employ in the business. About a thousand miles up the Missouri,
and not far from that river, a great mass of salt is said to exist by
many respectable and enterprising traders, who have visited it, and
who have exhibited several bushels of the salt to the curiosity of the
people of St. Louis. A specimen has also been sent to Marietta.

This mass is said to form one body of rock salt, one hundred and
eighty miles long, and forty-five in width*, without any trees, or even
shrubs on it. Salt springs are very numerous beneath the surface,
and they flow through its fissures and cavities.

Caves of salt-petre are found in Upper Louisiana, though at some
distance from the settlements. Four men lately discovered one se-
veral hundred miles up the Missouri. They spent five or six weeks
in the manufacture of this article, and returned to St. Louis with
four hundred weight of it. It proved to be good and they sold it for
a high price.

The geography of the Missisippi and Missouri, and their relative
distance for a great part of their course, are but little known. The
traders assert, that an hundred miles above their junction, a man may
walk from one to the other in a day; and it is also asserted that se-
ven hundred miles higher, the portage may be crossed in four or five
days. This portage is frequented by traders, who carry on a consi-
derable trade with some of the Missouri Indians. Their general
route is through Green bay, which is an arm of lake Michigan; they
then pass into a small lake connected with it, and with the Fox river;
they then cross over a short portage into the Ouisconsing river,
which enters the Missisippi some distance below the falls of St. An-
thony. It is also said that the traders communicate with the Mis-
sisippi above these falls, through lake Superior; but their trade in
that quarter is inconsiderable.

Behind New-Orleans is a canal about a mile and a half long, which
communicates with a creek called the Bayou St. Jean, flowing into
lake Ponchartrain. At the mouth of it, about seven miles from the
city is a small fort called St. Jean, which commands the entrance at
the lake. By this creek the communication is kept up through the
lake and the Rigolets with Mobille, and the settlements in West
Florida. Craft, drawing from six to eight feet water can reach the

  * The testimony of occasional travellers and traders can afford no ground
for believing in the existence of one solid continuous mass of these dimensions.
It is impossible for such observers to have ascertained the fact as here stated.
Their reports can only authorise us in believing in general, that rock-salt
abounds in this quarter. Ed.

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mouth of the creek, but unless aided by extraordinary swells of the
lake cannot pass the bar without being lightened.

On the east side of the Missisippi, about fifteen miles below New-
Orleans and at the head of the English bend, is a settlement known by
the name of the Poblacion de St. Bernardo, or the Terre aux Bœufs,
extending on both sides of a creek whose head is contiguous to the
Missisippi, and which flowing eastward, after a course of fifty-four
miles and dividing itself into two branches, falls into the sea and lake
Borgne. This settlement consists of two parishes, almost all the in-
habitants of which are Spaniards from the Canaries, who merely
raise fowls, corn, and garden vegetables for the market at New Or-
leans. The lands cannot be cultivated at any great distance from the
creek, by reason of a marsh behind them, but the place is susceptible
of great improvement and of affording another communication to
small craft of eight or ten feet draught, between the sea and the

Forty-eight miles below New Orleans, the settlements on both
sides are of small account. Between these and the fort of Plaque-
mines, the country is overflowed in the spring, and in many places is
incapable of cultivation at any time, being a morass almost impassa-
ble by man or beast. This small tongue of land extends considera-
bly into the sea, which is visible on both sides of the Missisippi from
a mast head.

From Plaquemines to the sea is thirty or forty miles. The coun-
try is a swamp, chiefly covered with reeds, and having little or no
timber and no settlement. The whole country below the English
Turn is subject, though rarely, to overflows in hurricanes, either by
the recoiling of the river or reflux from the sea on each side; and
more than once it has been covered with a depth of two to ten feet,
according to the descent of the river, whereby many lives were lost,
and cattle swept away. The last calamity of this kind happened in
1794. In the preceding year the engineer who superintended the
erection of the fort of Plaquemines was drowned in his house near
the fort, and the workmen and garrison escaped only by taking refuge
on an elevated spot in the fort, on which there were notwithstanding
two or three feet of water. These hurricanes have generally been
felt in August. Their greatest fury lasts about twelve hours. They
commence in the south east, veer about to all points of the compass,
are felt most severely below and seldom extend more than a few
leagues above New Orleans. In their whole course they are marked
with desolation. Till that of 1793, none had been felt from the year

About twenty-four miles below Plaquemines the Missisippi divides
itself into three channels, which are called the East, South, and
South West passes. Their course is from fifteen to eighteen miles
to the sea. The space between is a marsh with little or no timber on
it; but its situation may hereafter render it of some importance.
The East pass, which is on the left hand going down is divided into
two branches about six miles below the pass a la Loutre, and the Ba-

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lize, at which there is a small block house and some huts of pilots,
who reside only here. The first of these secondary channels con-
tains, at present but eight feet water; the latter from fourteen to
sixteen, according to the season. The South pass, directly in front of
the Missisippi, has always been reckoned impassable, but it has ten
feet water. The South West pass, on the right, is the longest and
narrowest. A few years ago it had eighteen feet water, and was
that by which the large ships always entered and issued from the
Missisippi. It has now but eight feet water, and will probably re-
main so for some time. We must be understood of the depth of wa-
ter on the bar of each pass; for immediately within the bar, which is
very narrow, there are from five to seven fathoms at all times.

The country east of lake Ponchartrain to Mobille and including the
whole extent between the American line, the Missisippi above New
Orleans, and the lakes, a tract of about thirty miles square, contigu-
ous to the line, and comprehending the waters of Thompson's creek,
Bayou Sara and the Amet, is a poor thin soil overgrown with pines,
and contains no good land, unless on the banks of a few small rivers.
It would, however, afford abundant supplies of pitch, tar, and pine
lumber, and would feed large herds of cattle.

The inhabitants of Louisiana are chiefly descendants of emigrants
immediately from France or from Canada. There are a considera-
ble number of English and Americans in New Orleans. The two
German coasts are peopled by the descendants of settlers from Ger-
many, and a few French mixed with them. The three succeeding
settlements up to Baton Rouge contain, mostly, Acadians, banished
from Nova Scotia by the English, and their descendants. The dis-
trict of Baton Rouge, especially the east side, which includes all the
country between the Iberville and the American line, is composed
partly of Acadians, a very few French, and of a great many Ameri-
cans. On the west side are mostly Acadians. At Point Coupee
and Faussee river are French and Acadians. Of the Atacapas and
Opelousas, a considerable part is American. Natchitoches, on the
Red river, contains few Americans, the remainder being French;
but the former are more numerous in the other settlements on that
river: Avoyelles, Rapide, and Ouacheta. At Arkansas they are
mostly French; and at New Madrid, Americans. At least two-
fifths of all the settlers on the Spanish side of the Missisippi, in the
Illinois country, are likewise supposed to be Americans. Below
New Orleans the people are altogether Frenchmen and their de-

Louisiana, in its lower part, projecting considerably into the sea,
has probably been formed by the matters brought down by the cur-
rent and deposited on the flat coast. There is therefore on the east
side but a very narrow slip along the river, from the sea to the Iberville.
The land is not generally cultivable more than a mile backward from
the river; the rest is low and swampy as far as the lakes and the sea,
but abounds with cyprus. The timber is sawed by mills, worked by

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artificial streams from the Missisippi in freshet time. They ge-
nerally run five months in the year.

On both sides of the river the soil and situation are nearly the same.
After leaving the edge there is an immense swamp, intersected by
creeks and chequered by lakes, extending to the high lands of Ata-
capas, and occupying a space of a hundred or more miles.

The city of New Orleans is regularly laid out, on the east side of
the Missisippi, in lat. 30, N. and long. 90, W. It extends nearly a
mile along the river, from the gate of France on the south, to that
of Chapitoulas above, and about a third of a mile in breadth, from the
river to the rampart: but it has an extensive suburb on the upper

The houses in front of the river and for a street or two backward,
are mostly of brick, covered with slate or tile, and many of two stories.
The remainder are of wood, roofed with shingles. The streets cross
each other at right angles, and are thirty-two French feet wide. The
intervals between the intersections of the streets, are, in length, about
three hundred feet. There is in the middle of the city, on the river,
a place d'armes, facing which are the church and town house. There
are from twelve to fourteen hundred houses in the city and suburbs.
The population may be rated at ten thousand, including the seamen
and garrison. It was fortified in 1793, but the works were originally
defective, could not have been defended, and are now in ruins. The
powder magazine is on the opposite bank of the river.

The following is public property.

Two very extensive brick warehouses, from one hundred and sixty
to one hundred and eighty feet in length, and about thirty in breadth,
one story high, and roofed with shingles.

A government house, stables, and garden, two hundred and twenty
feet in length on the river, in the middle of the town, and extending
three hundred and thirty-six feet back to the next street.

A military hospital.

A custom-house, ill-built, of wood, almost in ruins, in the upper
part of the city, near the river.

An extensive barrack in the lower part of the city, fronting the ri-
ver, suitable for twelve or fourteen hundred men.

A large lot adjoining the public warehouses, with a few sheds in it.
It serves as a park for artillery.

A prison; town house; market house; assembly room; some
ground rents; and the common about the town.

A public school for the rudiments of the Spanish language.

A cathedral church unfinished, and some houses belonging to it.

An hospital, with some houses belonging to it, and a revenue of
fifteen hundred dollars a year given by an individual lately deceased.

The canal of Carondelet.

The population of Louisiana, including Pensacola and the Nachez,
in 1785, amounted to thirty-two thousand and sixty two, of which four-
teen thousand two hundred and fifteen were free whites, one thou-

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sand three hundred and three free people of colour, and sixteen thou-
sand five hundred and forty-four slaves.

The latest documents make the whole number forty-two thousand
three hundred and seventy-five, the free whites twenty-one thousand
two hundred and forty-four, the free people of colour one thousand
seven hundred and sixty-eight, and the slaves twelve thousand nine
hundred and twenty.

These estimates are certainly below the truth. From an official
account drawn up, in 1802, it appears that it contained two thousand
two hundred and seventy whites, two hundred and ten free people of
colour, one thousand two hundred and sixty-six slaves, in all three
thousand seven hundred and forty-six souls.

A conjectural, but probable estimate made, raises the number of
whites in the island of New Orleans, on the west side of the river,
and some settlements on the east side, to fifty thousand one hundred
and fifty, and the number of blacks to thirty-nine thousand eight hun-
dred and twenty.

Of the militia in Louisiana, the following is the return made by
the baron of Carondelet.

From Balize to the city; volunteers of the Missisippi; four
companies of one hundred men each, complete 
City. Battalion of the city, five companies,  500 
Artillery company, with supernumeraries,  120 
Carabineers, or privileged companies of horse, two com-
panies of seventy each---incomplete, 
Mulattoes, two companies; negroes one do.  300 

Mixed legion of the Missisippi, comprehending Galveztown,
Baton Rouge, Pointe Coupee, Atacapas, and Opelousas, viz.

companies of grenadiers. 
do.  of fusileers. 
do.  of dragoons. 
do.  lately added from bayou Sara. 
16 companies of 100 men each,  1600 
Avoyelles, one company of infantry,  100 
Oucheta, one  do.  of cavalry,  100 
Natchitoches, one  do.  of infantry and one of cavalry,  200 
Arkansas, one  do.  of infantry and cavalry,  100 
Illinois, four  do.  of cavalry, These are always above the compliment.  800 
four  do.  of infantry, 
Provincial regiment of Germans and Acadians, from the first
German coast to Iberville, 
Ten companies, viz. two of grenadiers,
eight of fusileers, 
Mobile and the country east of lake Ponchartrain.
Two companies of horse and foot incomplete, 

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The person before alluded to, makes the militia amount to ten
thousand three hundred and forty men within the same limits to
which his estimate of the population applies. He distributes them in
the several settlements, as follows:

1.  The island of New Orleans, with the opposite margin and
the adjacent settlements, 
2.  The west margin from Manchac, including Pointe Cou-
pee, and extending to the Red river, 
3.  Atacapas, along the coast between the Delta of the Mis-
sisippi and the river Sabine, 
4.  Opelousas,  750 
5.  Red river including bayou Bœuf, Avoyelles, Rapide, and
6.  Ouacheta,  300 
7.  Concord,  40 
8.  Arkansas,  150 
9.  New Madrid and its vicinity,  350 
10.  Illinois and Missouri,  1000 
11.  The settlements on the east side of the Missisippi, from
the American line to the Iberville, and some other settle-

None of these statements include the country beyond the river Sa-
bine, nor even all those which lie eastward of it.

St. Louis has a lieutenant colonel and a few troops. Baton Rouge
is an ill constructed fort, and has about fifty men. We may add to
these the small fort of St. Jean, and the block house at the Balize.
The fortifications of New Orleans consist of five ill constructed re-
doubts, with a covered way, palisade and ditch. The whole is going
fast to decay, and would be of little service if attacked. The powder
magazine is on the opposite side of the river, and no sufficient provi-
sion is made for its removal to the city, in time of need.

The fort of Plaquemines, about thirty-six miles from the sea, is an
ill constructed, irregular brick work, in a ruinous state, on the eas-
tern side of the Missisippi, with a ditch towards the river, and pro-
tected on the lower side by a deep creek, flowing from the river to
the sea. It is, however, almost without defence behind; too much
reliance having been placed on the swampiness of the ground, which
hardens daily. It might be taken, perhaps, by escalade, without diffi-
culty. The principal front is meant to defend the approach from the
sea, and can mount, at most, but eight heavy guns. It is built at a
turn in the river, where ships in general must anchor, as the wind
which brings them up so far, is contrary in the next reach, which
they mostly warp through, and are therefore exposed to the fire of
the fort. On the opposite bank are the ruins of a small closed re-
doubt, called fort Bourbon, usually guarded by a serjeant's command.
Its fire was intended to flank that of the fort of Plaquemines, and pre-

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vent vessels passing on that side. When a vessel appears, a signal
is made on one side, and answered on the other. She must send a
boat on shore, or be fired on.

On the eastern bank of the Missisippi, about seventy-five miles
above Orleans, are found the remains of the nation of Houmas, or
Red Men, which do not exceed sixty persons. No other Indians
are settled on this side of the river, either in Louisiana or West Flo-
rida, though parties of wandering Choctaws sometimes visit this

On the west side of the Missisippi are the remains of the Tounicas
settled near, Pointe Coupee, consisting of fifty or sixty persons.

On the lower parts of the bayou Teche, about thirty miles from
the sea, are two villages of Chitimachas, consisting of about an hun-
dred souls.

The Atacapas, properly so called, dispersed throughout the dis-
trict, and chiefly on the bayou or creek of vermillion, are about one
hundred souls.

The wanderers of the tribes of Bilexis and Choctaws on bayou Cro-
codile, which empties into the Teche, are about fifty souls.

Two villages of Alibamas in the centre of the district near the
church, consist of one hundred persons.

Conchates dispersed through the country as far west as the ri-
ver Sabinas and its neighbourhood, are about three hundred and
fifty persons.

At Avoyelles, sixty miles from the Missisippi, is a village of the
Biloni nation, and another on the lake of the Avoyelles, in the whole
about sixty souls.

At the Rapide, eighty miles from the Missisippi, is a village of
Choctaws of one hundred souls, and another of Biloxes, about six
miles from it, of about one hundred more: about thirty miles higher
up the Red river, is a village of about fifty souls. All these are oc-
casionally employed by the settlers in their neighbourhood as boat-

About two hundred miles above Natchitoches, on the Red river,
are the Cadoquies, called Cados. They can raise from three to four
hundred warriors, are friends of the whites, and are esteemed the
bravest and most generous of all the native tribes. They are rapidly
decreasing, owing to intemperance and the numbers annually des-
troyed by the Osages and Choctaws.

There are four or five hundred families of Choctaws dispersed on
the west side of the Missisippi, on the Ouacheta and Red rivers, as
far west as Natchitoches, and the whole tribe would have crossed the
Missisippi, but for the opposition of the Spaniards and the Indians on
that side who had suffered by their depredations.

Between the Red river and the Arkansas there are scattered the re-
mains of tribes now almost extinct. On the last river is a tribe of
the same name, consisting of about two hundred and sixty warriors;
they are brave, yet peaceable and well disposed, have always been
attached to the French, and joined them against the Chickasaws,

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whom they have always encountered with success. They live in three
villages, the first is fifty miles from the Missisippi on the Arkansas
river, and the others are nine and twelve miles from the first. A
scarcity of game on the eastern side of the Missisippi has lately in-
duced a number of Cherokees, Choctaws, Chickasaws, &c. to fre-
quent the borders of the Arkansas, where game still abounds: they
intermarry with the Arkansas, and seem inclined to incorporate them-
selves with that nation. The number is considerable, and is every
day increasing.

On the river St. Francis, near New Madrid, cape Girardeau, ri-
viere a la Pomme and the environs, are settled a number of outcast
Delawares, Shawnese, Miamis, Chickasaws, Cherokees, Piorias, and
are supposed to consist in all of five hundred families: they are some-
times troublesome to the boats descending the river, and have even
plundered some of them, and committed a few murders: they are
addicted to liquor, seldom remain long in one place; many of them
speak English, all understand it, and some even read and write it.

At St. Genevieve, mixed with the whites, are about thirty Piorias,
Kaskaskias, and Illinois, who seldom hunt, for fear of the other In-
dians: they are the remnant of a tribe which, fifty years ago, could
bring into the field twelve hundred warriors.

On the Missouri and its waters are many large tribes, the best
known of which are, the Osages, situated on the river of the same
name, on the right of the Missouri, about two hundred miles from its
confluence with it: they consist of one thousand warriors, who live in
two settlements near each other. They are of gigantic stature and
well proportioned, are enemies of the whites and of all other Indian
nations, and commit depredations from the Illinois to the Arkansas.
The trade of this nation is said to be under an exclusive grant. They
are a cruel and ferocious race, and are hated and feared by all the
other Indians. The confluence of the Osage river with the Missouri
is about twenty-five miles from the Missisippi.

An hundred and eighty miles higher up the Missouri, and onth e
same bank, is the river Kanzas, and on it the nation of the same name,
but at about two hundred miles from its mouth. It consists of about
two hundred and fifty warriors, who are as fierce and cruel as the
Osages, and often maltreat those who trade among them.

An hundred and eighty miles above the river Kanzas, and at six
hundred from the mouth of the Missouri, on the right bank, is the
rivierre Platte, or Shallow river, remarkable for quicksands and bad
navigation; and near its confluence with the Missouri dwells the Oc-
tolactos, commonly called Otos, consisting of about two hundred
warriors, among whom are twenty-five or thirty of the Missouri na-
tion, who took refuge among them about twenty-five years ago.

An hundred miles up the river Platte are the nation of the Panis,
composed of about seven hundred warriors in four neighbouring vil-
lages; they hunt but little, and are ill provided with fire arms: they
often make war on the Spaniards in the neighbourhood of Santa Fe,
from which they are not far distant.

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Nine hundred miles from the Missisippi, and three hundred from
the river Platte, on the same bank, are situated the villages of the
Mahas. They consisted, in 1799, of five hundred warriors, but are
said to have been lately almost extinguished by the small pox.

An hundred and fifty miles above the Mahas, and on the left bank
of the Missouri, dwell the Poncas, with two hundred and fifty warri-
ors, possessing in common with the Mahas, their language, ferocity
and vices. Their trade has never been of much value, and those
engaged in it are exposed to pillage and ill treatment.

Thirteen hundred miles from the Missisippi, and on the right
bank of the Missouri, dwell the Aricaras, who have seven hundred
warriors; and an hundred and eighty miles above them the Mandane
nation, consisting of about seven hundred warriors. The two last
are well disposed to the whites, but have been the victims of the Si-
oux, or Nandowessies, who being themselves well provided with
fire arms, have taken advantage of the defenceless situation of the
others, and have, on all occasions, murdered them without mercy.

No accurate discoveries on the Missouri, beyond the Mandane na-
tion, have been made, though the traders say that many large naviga-
ble rivers discharge their waters into it far above, and that there are
many numerous nations settled on them.

The Sioux, or Nandowessies, who frequent the country between
the north bank of the Missouri and Missisippi, are great impediments
to trade. They endeavour to prevent all communication with the
nations dwelling high up the Missouri, to deprive them of ammuni-
tion and arms, and thus keep them subservient to themselves. In
the winter they are chiefly on the banks of the Missouri, and massa-
cre all who fall into their hands.

Of the tribes at a distance from the banks of the Missouri, to the
north and south, little information has been received. Returning to
the Missisippi, and ascending it about two hundred and twenty-five
miles above the mouth of the Missouri, the river Moingona, or ri-
vierre de Moine, enters the Missisippi on the west side, and on it are
situated the Ayoas, a nation originally from the Missouri, speaking
the language of the Otachatas: it consisted of two hundred warriors
before the small pox lately raged among them.

The Sacs and Renards dwell on the Missisippi, about nine hundred
miles above St. Louis, and frequently trade with it: they live toge-
ther, and consisted of five hundred warriors; their chief trade is with
Michilimakinac, and they have always been peaceable and friendly.

The other tribes on the Missisippi higher up, are but little known
to us. Those of the Missouri, though cruel, treacherous, and inso-
lent, may doubtless be kept in order by the United States, if proper
regulations are adopted with respect to them.

No treaties have been made by Spain with the Indians westward of
the Missisippi, and its treaties with the Creeks, Choctaws, &c. are
superseded by the American treaty with that power of the 27th Oc-
tober, 1795.

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The lands are held in some cases by grants from the crown, but
mostly from the colonial government. Perhaps not a quarter of the
whole are held by complete titles; and much of the remainder de-
pends on a written permission of a commandant. A great propor-
tion is held by occupancy with a mere verbal permission of the offi-
cer last mentioned. This practice has always been countenanced by
the Spanish government, that poor men, when a little at ease, might, at
their own convenience, apply for complete titles; meanwhile such im-
perfect rights were suffered by the government to descend by inheri-
tance, and even to be transferred by contract. When requisite, they
have been seized by judicial authority, and sold for the payment of

Till within a few years, the governor of Upper Louisiana was au-
thorised to make surveys of any extent. In the exercise of this dis-
cretionary power, some abuses were committed: a few small mono-
polies were created. About three years ago, he was restricted in
this privilege, and only authorised to make surveys to emigrants in
the following manner: two hundred acres for each man and wife,
fifty acres for each child, and twenty acres for each slave. Hence
the quantity of land allowed to settlers depended on the number in
each family; and they only paid the expense of survey. These sur-
veys were necessary to entitle the settlers to grants; and the gover-
nor, and after him the intendant at New Orleans, was alone authori-
sed to execute grants on the receipt of the surveys from the settlers.
The land office is at present under the care of the intendant of the

There are no feudal rights nor nobility.

All the lands on both sides of the Missisippi, from the distance of
fifty miles below New Orleans to Baton Rouge, are granted to the
depth of forty acres, or near a mile and an half, which is the usual
depth of all grants. Some have double and triple grants; that is to
say, they have twice or thrice forty acres in depth; and others have
grants extending from the Missisippi to the sea or the lakes behind
them. In other parts of the country the people, generally settling
near creeks or rivers, have a front of from six to forty acres, and
almost invariably a depth of forty acres. All the lands ungranted in
the island of New Orleans or on the opposite bank of the Missisippi,
are sunken, inundated, and, at present, unfit for cultivation; but
may in part be reclaimed at a future day by efforts of the rich and

Sugar may be grown between the river Iberville and the city, on
both sides of the river, and as far back as the swamps. Below the
city, however, the lands decline so rapidly that beyond fifteen miles
the soil is not well adapted to it. Above the Iberville the cane would
be affected by the cold, and its produce would, therefore, be uncer-
tain. Within these limits the best planters admit that one quarter of
the cultivated lands of any considerable plantation may be planted in
cane, one quarter left in pasture, and the remaining half employed
for provisions, &c. and a reserve for a change of crops. One English

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acre may be expected to produce, on an average, sixteen hundred
weight of sugar, and sixty six gallons of rum.

If both sides of the river be planted for ninety miles in length and
about three fourths of a mile in depth, the annual product may
amount to twenty-five thousand hogsheads of sugar and twelve thou-
sand puncheons of rum. Enterprising young planters say that one
third, or even one half of the arable land might be planted with cane.
A regular supply of provisions from above, at a moderate price would
enable the planter to give a greater portion of his land to cane. The
whole of these lands, as may be supposed, are granted; but in the
Atacapas country, there is undoubtedly a portion lying on the sea
coast, fit for the culture of the sugar cane; there vacant land is to be
found, but the proportion is at present unknown.

The lands at Terre aux Bœufs, on the Fourche, bayou St Jean
and other inlets of the Missisippi, are south of the latitude supposed
to divide those which are fit, from those which are unfit for the cul-
tivation of the cane. Including these and taking one third instead of
one fourth of the lands fit for sugar, the produce of the whole would
be fifty thousand hogsheads of sugar.

The following quantities of sugar, brown, clayed and refined,
have been imported into the United States, from Louisiana and the

In  1799  773,542 lbs.  
1800  1,560,865 
1801  967,619 
1802  1,576,933 

When the country was first ceded to Spain, she preserved many of
the French regulations, but by almost imperceptible degrees they
have disappeared, and at present the province is governed entirely
by the laws of Spain, and the ordinances formed expressly for the

The governor has civil and military jurisdiction throughout the
province. The lieutenant governor has the same in civil cases

Two alcades have jurisdiction, civil and criminal, over the city of
New Orleans and fifteen miles around it. Parties that have fuero
or military privilege, can appeal to the governor.

The intendant has cognizance of maritime and fiscal causes, and
suits for the recovery of money due by or to the king.

The alcade provincial has cognizance of criminal offences com-
mitted in the country, or when the criminal takes refuge there, and
in some other cases.

The ecclesiastical tribunal decides in all matters respecting the

The governor, lieutenant governor, alcades, intendant, provincial
Alcade, and the provisor in ecclesiastical causes, are, respectively,
sole judges. All sentences affecting the life of the culprit, except those
of the alcade provincial, must be ratified by the superior tribunal, or
captain general, according to the nature of the cause. The governor

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cannot pardon criminals. An auditor and an assessor, who are doc-
tors of law, are appointed to give counsel to those judges; but for
some time there has been no assessor. If the judges do not consult
those officers, or reject their opinions, they make themselves respon-
sible for their decisions.

The commandants of districts have judicial power in all pecuniary
causes not exceeding the value of one hundred dollars. When the
suit is for a larger sum, they commence the process, collect the
proofs and remit the whole to the governor, to be decided by the pro-
per tribunal. They can inflict no corporal punishment except on
slaves; but they can arrest and imprison when they think it neces-
sary; advice of which and their reasons must be transmitted to the

Small suits are determined in a summary way, by hearing both
parties viva voce; but in suits of greater magnitude the proceedings
are carried on by petition and reply, replication and rejoinder reite-
rated, till the auditor thinks they have nothing new to say [gap]hen all
the proofs are taken before the keeper of the records of the court,
who is always a notary public.

The parties have now an opportunity of making their remarks on
the evidence by way of petition, and of bringing forward adverse tes-
timony. When the auditor is satisfied, he issues his decree, which
receives its binding force from the governor's signature, where the
cause depends before him.

There is an appeal to Havanna, to be made within five days after
the date of the decree, in causes above a certain value. An ulterior
appeal lies to the audience, formerly at St. Domingo, but now re-
moved to some part of Cuba, and thence to the council of the Indies
in Spain.

Suits are of various duration. In pecuniary matters the laws en-
courage summary proceedings. An execution may be had on a bond
in four days, and in the same time on a note of hand after the party
acknowledges it, or after his signature is proved. Moveable property
is sold after nine days warning, and having it three times publicly cried
in that interval. Landed property must be likewise cried three
times, with an interval of nine days between each, and may then be
sold. All property taken in execution must be appraised and sold
for at least half of the appraisement. In pecuniary matters the go-
vernor decides verbally without appeal, when the sum does not ex-
ceed one hundred dollars. The alcades do the same when the
amount is not above twenty dollars.

In 1799 there were established four alcades de barrio, or petty
magistrates, one for each quarter of the city, with a view to improve
its police. They adjust all demands not exceeding ten dollars, com-
mit to prison, and in case of robbery, riot or assassination they can,
by calling in a notary, take cognizance of the affair; but then they are
bound to remit the proceedings to some other judge, and in all cases
to inform them when they have committed any person to prison.

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Most suits are on personal contracts, rights to dower, inheritances,
and titles to land. Those arising from personal quarrels are gene-
rally decided in a summary way. The inhabitants are not litigious.

There are not more than three or four attornies: their fees are
small. Suits are carried on in writings or escritos, which may be
drawn up by the parties themselves, but must be presented by the es-
or notary who is the keeper of the records of the court.

The judges take twenty-five cents for a half signature or flourish,
which is usual on common occasions; fifty cents for a whole signa-
ture, and two dollars and three-fourths for an attendance, as at a sale
or the taking of evidence.

The Abogado, or person consulted by the judges on law points,
receives twelve and a half cents for every leaf of which the process
consists, and four dollars for every point of law cited. The attorney,
when employed, has sixty-two and a half cents for a simple petition
or escrito, but if it be necessary to read a process in order to form his
petition, which requires much time and labour, he is paid in propor-
tion, besides twelve and a half cents per leaf for what he reads. For
attendance on any business he is allowed one dollar and fifty cents for
the assistance of two and an half hours. The notary has fifty cents
for each decree of the judge, twenty-five cents for a notification in
his office, and fifty cents for one out of it but within the city; one
dollar and seven-eighths for every attendance of two and a half hours
on business, and twenty-five cents additional for every leaf of paper
written by him.

A counsellor or two have sometimes resided at New Orleans, but
being generally obnoxious to the officers of government, they have
not continued there. The counsellor taxes his own services, and in
general exacts large sums. The attorney general receives from the
party who employs him, more than is allowed by law.

In petty crimes, the cognizance of the proper court is without ap-
peal; and most commonly such causes are decided in a summary
way. With respect to crimes of deeper dye more solemnity is used.
A person skilled in the laws is always named by the court to defend
the accused. The trial is private but examinations and depositions
in writing are taken privately by the auditor at the time most conve-
nient to himself, at which nevertheless the counsel of the accused
may be present. The accused has also every kind of indulgence in
making his defence. Suits are generally tedious and expensive
when the culprit is wealthy. The condemned may appeal, as in civil
cases, giving security for the payment of the future costs. A capital
sentence must be confirmed by a grand tribunal established at St.
Jago de Cuba, consisting of five judges, before whom counsellors
plead as in our courts.

Great crimes are rare. Murder, by stabbing, seems to be con-
fined to the Spanish soldiers and sailors. The terror of the ma-
gistrate restrains assaults, batteries and riots.

Punishments are generally mild, consisting mostly of imprison-
ment and payment of costs; sometimes the stocks. White men, not

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military, are rarely, if ever, degraded by whipping; and no fines go
into the public treasury. Murder, arson, and aggravated robbery of
the king's effects, are punished with death. Robbery of private per-
sons to any amount is punished only by restitution, imprisonment,
and sometimes by enormous costs. Crimes against the king's re-
venue, such as contraband trade, are punished with hard labour for
life, or for years on board the gallies, in the mines, or on the public

There are no colleges and only one public school, which is at New
Orleans. The tutors in this are paid by the king. They teach the
Spanish language only. There are a few private schools for children.
Not more than half of the inhabitants are able to read and write, of
whom not more than two hundred are able to do these well. In ge-
neral they learn nothing beyond those two arts; though they seem
to be endowed with good natural genius, and an uncommon facility
of learning whatever they undertake.

The clergy consists of a bishop, who does not reside in the pro-
vince, and whose salary of four thousand dollars is drawn from certain
bishopricks in Mexico and Cuba; two canons with each a salary of
six hundred dollars, and twenty-five curates, five for New Orleans,
and twenty for as many country parishes, who receive each from
three hundred and sixty to four hundred and eighty dollars a year.
Those salaries, except that of the bishop, together with an allowance
for sacristans and chapel expenses, are paid by the public treasury
and amount annually to thirteen thousand dollars.

There is also a convent of Ursalines to which is attached about a
thousand acres of land, rented out in three farms. It has ten or
twelve nuns, of whom all are French. Formerly about the same
number of Spanish ladies belonged to the convent, but they retired
to Havanna when it was expected that the province would return to
France. The nuns receive young ladies as boarders and instruct them
in reading, writing, and needle work.

They have always acted with great propriety, and are generally
respected and beloved. With an annual allowance of six hundred
dollars from the treasury, they always support and educate twelve
female orphans.

The executive officers appointed by the governor for each district
and called commandants, are generally taken from the army or mili-
tia. When the settlement is small, some respectable member of it
has the civil command, and the militia officer has the direction of mi-
litary matters. Where there is a garrison, the commandant is deputy
to the intendant, and draws on him for all expenses. In that case
he has the charge of all matters relating to the revenue within his

The commandants superintend the police, preserve the peace of
the district, examine the passports of travellers and suffer no strangers
to settle within their limits without regular leave obtained from go-
vernment. They prevent smuggling, certify that all lands petitioned
for are vacant before they are granted, and, when required, put the

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owner in possession. They are besides notaries public, and in their
offices are registered all sales of lands and slaves. The contracts for
those purposes are made before them. As sheriffs they levy execu-
tions on property, attend and certify the sale, and collect the proceeds.
They also take inventories of the property of intestates. Syndics are
established every nine miles who are subordinate to the commandant,
decide small causes, and have the police of roads, levies, travellers
and negroes.

The officers of the general government are the following. Beside
his judicial power the governor is chief of the army and militia, and
head of the civil government. He is also president of the Cabildo, or
provincial council. He appoints and removes at pleasure the com-
mandants of districts. He appoints the officers of the militia, who
are nevertheless commissioned by the king, and he recommends mi-
litary officers for preferment. He is superintendant of Indian affairs.
He promulgates ordinances for the good government of the province,
but he cannot assess taxes on the inhabitants without their consent.
Till the year 1798 he possessed the sole power of granting lands, but
it then passed into the hands of the intendant.

The cabildo is an hereditary council of twelve, chosen originally
from the most wealthy and respectable families. The governor pre-
sides at their meetings. Their office is very honourable, but it is
acquired by purchase. They have a right to represent, and even re-
monstrate to the governor, with respect to the interior government of
the province. The police of the city is under their control. In it
they regulate the admission of physicians and surgeons to practise.
Two members of the cabildo serve by turn monthly, and take on
themselves the immediate superintendence of markets, bakers,
streets, bridges, and the general police of the city. This council dis-
tributes among its members several important offices, such as algua-
zil mayor, or high sheriff, alcade provincial, procureur general, &c.
The last mentioned is a very important charge. The person who
holds it is not merely the king's attorney, but an officer peculiar to
the civil law. He does not always prosecute, but after conviction he
points out the punishment annexed by law to the crime, and which
may be, and is mitigated by the court. Like the chancellor in the
English system, he is the curator and protector of orphans and mani-
acs, and finally he is the expounder of the law, the defender of the
privileges belonging to the town, province or colony, and the accuser
of every public officer that infringes them.

The intendant is head of the deparments of finance and com-
merce, and exercises the judicial powers already mentioned. He is
entirely independent of the governor, and no public monies can be
issued without his express order. The land office is under his di-

The contador, treasurer, and interventor, are officers subordinate
to the intendant. The first has four clerks under him, and keeps all
accounts respecting the receipt and expenditure of the revenue, and
is therefore a check on the intendant. The treasurer is no more than

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a cashier, and is allowed one clerk. The interventor superintends
all public purchases, and bargains. The administrador is also sub-
ordinate to the intendant, and with a number of inferior officers, ma-
nages the custom house. Every clerk in these offices receives his
commission from the king.

The auditor is the king's council, who is to furnish the governor
with legal advice in all cases of judicial proceedings, whether civil or

The assessor's functions are similar to those of the auditor, and are
properly applicable to the intendant's department.

Both of them are also counsellors of some of the other tribunals.

A secretary of the government and another of the intendancy.

A surveyor general.

A harbor master.

A store-keeper, who takes charge of all public moveable pro-

An interpreter of the French and Spanish languages, and many
other inferior officers.

All appointments with a salary of more than thirty dollars a month,
are made by the king, and most of those with a lower salary by the
governor or intendant as belong to their respective departments.
There are no officers chosen by the people.

The following are the salaries and perquisites of the principal of-

Governor annually,  6,000 p. salary  2,000 p. perquisites. 
Intendant,  4,000  none. 
Auditor,  2,000  2,000 
Contador,  2,000  none. 
Assessor,  1,200  1,000 
Treasurer,  1,200  none. 
Administrador,  1,200  none. 
Secretary of government  600  2,000 

The district commandants receive each an hundred dollars from
the king annually, unless they are posssesed of a military employ-
ment or pension.

Instead of local taxes, each inhabitant is bound to make and repair
roads, bridges, and embankments through his own land.

A duty of six per cent on the transfer of shipping is assessed upon
the sum the buyer and seller declare to be the real consideration. No
oath is required from either, and they seldom report more than half
the price.

Two per cent on legacies and inheritances, coming from collate-
rals and exceeding two thousand dollars.

Four per cent on legacies, given to persons who are not akin to the

Civil employments, the salaries of which exceed three hundred
dollars annually, pay half of the first year's salary. Certain officers
pay it in two annual instalments, and others in four. The first per-
son appointed to a newly created office pays nothing, but the tax is
levied on all who succeed him.

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Seven dollars are deducted from twenty paid as pilotage by every
vessel entering or leaving the Missisippi; but the treasury provides
the boats, and pays the salary of the pilots and sailors employed at
the Balize. The remainder is thus distributed: To the head pilot
four---to the pilot who is in the vessel four, and five to the crew of
the row boat, that goes out to put the pilot on board, or take him

Forty dollars per annum on licences to sell liquors.

A tax on certain places when sold, such as those of regidor, no-
tary, attorney, &c.

But the principal tax is that of six per cent levied on all imports
and exports, according to a low tariff. The proceeds of which nett
about one hundred and twenty thousand dollars, while all the other
taxes are said not to yield more than five or six thousand dollars an-

The expenses of the present government comprehend the pay and
support of the regiment of Louisiana, part of a battalion of the regi-
ment of Mexico, a company of dragoons, and one of artillery, which
form the garrison of the country, including Mobille; the repairs of
public buildings and fortifications; the maintenance of a few gallies
to convey troops and stores throughout the province; Indian pre-
sents and salaries of officers, clergy, and persons employed for pub-
lic purposes, and amount to about six hundred and fifty thousand
dollars. A sum in specie, not generally exceeding four hundred
thousand dollars, is annually sent from Vera Cruz; but this, toge-
ther with the duties and taxes collected in the province, leaves usu-
ally a deficiency of one hundred or one hundred and fifty thousand
dollars, for which certificates are issued to the persons who may have
furnished supplies, or to officers and workmen for their salaries.
Hence a debt has accumulated, which it is said, amounts at present
to about four hundred and fifty thousand dollars. It bears no interest.
It is now depreciated thirty per cent, not from want of confidence in
the ultimate payment of the certificates, but from the uncertainty of
the time when, and the want and general value of specie. The whole
debt is said to be due to the inhabitants, and to American residents.
It would have been long since paid off, but for a diversion of the
funds, destined for that purpose, to different and foreign objects.

The products of Louisiana are sugar, cotton, indigo, rice, furs, and
peltry, lumber, tar, pitch, lead, flour, horses and cattle. Hands only
are wanting to multiply them to an astonishing degree. The soil is
fertile, the climate salubrious, and the means of communication be-
tween most parts of the province certain, and by water.

The following is a sketch of the present exports of Louisiana:

20,000 bales of cotton of 3 cwt. each,
at twenty cents per lb. 
$1,344,000  increasing. 
45,000 casks of sugar, 10 cwt. each,
at six cents per lb. 
802,400 ditto. 
800 do. molasses, 100 gallons each,  32,000 ditto. 

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Indigo,  100,000  diminishing
Peltry  200,000 
Lumber,  80,000 
Lead, corn, horses and cattle, uncertain,
All other articles 

There were imported into our territory from Louisiana and the
Floridas, merchandise to the following value:

In  1799 to the value of  $507,132 
1800  904,322 
1801  956,635 
1802  1,006,214 

The total exports amount to 2,158,000 dollars, the imports, in
merchandise, plantation utensils, slaves, &c. to two and an half mil-
lions, the difference being made up by the money introduced by the
government, to pay the expenses of governing and protecting the

Exports from the United States to Louisiana and the Floridas:

In 1799 to the value of  $3,056,268 in foreign articles. 
447,824 in domestic do. 
In 1800,  1,795,127 in foreign articles.
240,662 in domestic do.
In 1801,  1,770,794 in foreign articles.
137,204 in domestic do.
In 1802,  1,054,600 in foreign articles.
170,110 in domestic do.

If the total imports and exports in these provinces, of which the
two Floridas form a very unimportant part, be as above stated,

Imports,  $2,500,000 
Exports,  2,158,000 
Making together,  $4,658,000 

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The duty of six per cent alone ought to produce two hundred seven-
ty-nine thousand four hundred and eighty dollars. The difference
between that sum and the actual nett produce, arises partly from the
low tariff adopted, but principally from smuggling, which is openly
countenanced by most of the revenue officers.

There are few domestic manufactures. The Acadians manufac-
ture a little cotton into quilts and cottonades; and in the remote parts
of the province, the poorer planters spin and weave some negro
clothes of cotton and wool mixed. There is one machine for spin-
ning cotton in the parish of Iberville, and another in the Opelousas;
but they do little or nothing. In the city, besides the trades abso-
lutely necessary, there is a considerable manufacture of cordage, and
some small ones of shot and hair-powder. In and about the town,
there are twelve distilleries for making taffia, which are said to distil
annually a very considerable quantity; and one sugar refinery, said to
make about two hundred thousand pounds of loaf sugar.

In the year 1802, entered the Missisippi two hundred and sixty-
eight vessels, eighteen being public armed vessels, and the remainder
merchantmen, as follows;

American.   Spanish.   French.  
Ships,  48  14 
Brigs,  63  17 
Polacres,  — 
Schooners,  50  61 
Total,  170  97 

Of American vessels, twenty-three ships, twenty-five brigs, nine-
teen schooners, and five sloops came in ballast, the remainder were
wholly, or in part laden.

Five Spanish ships and seven schooners came in ballast, the ton-
nage of all the shipping that entered the river, exclusive of public
armed vessels, was thirty-three thousand seven hundred twenty-five,
register tons.

In the same year sailed from the Missisippi, two hundred and
sixty-five vessels.

American.   Tons.   Spanish.   Tons.  
Ships  40 of which 1 in ballast,  8,972  18  3,714 
Brigs,  58  7,546  22 one in ballast  1,944 
Sch'rs,  52  4,346  58  3,747 
Sloops,  519  3 one in ballast  108 
Polacres,  ---  ---  3 one in ballast  240 
158  21,383  104  9,753 

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French.   Tons.   Total.   Tons.  
Sch'rs,  105  Americans  158  21,383 
---  ---  Spanish  104  9,753 
French  105 
Total,  265 sail.  tons. 31,241 

The tonnage of vessels which went away in ballast, and of the pub-
lic armed ships are not included; the latter carried away at least
a thousand tons of masts, yards, spars, pitch, tar, &c.

In the first six months of the year 1803, there entered the Missi-
sippi, one hundred and seventy-three sail, of all nations, four of which
were public armed vessels, two French and two Spanish, whose ton-
nage is not enumerated.

American.   Tons.   Spanish.   Tons.   French.   Tons.  
Ships,  23  5,396  14  3,080  1, 002 
Brigs,  44  5,701  20  2,173  878 
Polacres,  ---  ---  480  436 
Sch'rs,  22  1,899  18  1, 187  488 
Sloops,  278  167 
Total,  93  13,264  58  7, 087  22  2, 804 
Total of Ships.   Total of Tons.  
American,  93  13,264 
Spanish,  58  7,087 
French,  22  2,804 
Grand total,  173  23,155 tons. 

In the same six months there sailed from the Missisippi, one hun-
dred and fifty-six vessels:

American.   Spanish.   French.  
Ships,  21  18 
Brigs,  28  31 
Polacres,  ---  --- 
Schooners,  17  26 
Sloops,  --- 
68  80 

There is a considerable coasting trade from Pensacola, Mobille,
and the creeks and rivers near, and falling into lake Pontchartrain,
from whence New Orleans is principally supplied with ship timber,
charcoal, lime, pitch and tar, and partly with cattle, and the places
before named are supplied with foreign produce in the same way
from Orleans. The vessels employed are sloops and schooners,

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some of which are half-decked, from eight to fifty tons: Five hun-
dred of these, including their repeated voyages, and thirteen gallies
and gun-boats entered the Bayou St. Jean last year. There is likewise
a small coasting trade between the Atacapas and Opelousas, and
New Orleans, by way of the Balize, which would much increase, if
there was any encouragement given by government, to clear away a
few obstructions, chiefly caused by fallen timber, in the small rivers
and creeks leading to them.

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