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it may concern, advising me of the receipt of this.” And to the end that this disposition may be punctually observed, I transcribe it to you for your intelligence, and that you may give the necessary directions to your deputy in that province, with a notice to the claimants that, according to their merits and circumstances, they will be in due time attended to, as soon as the process regarding the regulation of this interesting branch shall be terminated. God preserve you many years. Havana, 17th of November of 1817.

ALEXANDER RAMIREZ. To Don Vincente Sebastian Pintado.

ANSWER OF THE SURVEYOR GENERAL.

I received the official letter of your lordship of the 17th inst., in which you were pleased to transcribe to me that which, under the same date, your lordship had thought proper to address to the governor of West Florida, Colonel Don Joseph Masot, relative to the concessions of lands which the said governor was considered to have the faculty of granting, indiscriminately, as well to his majesty's subjects as to American citizens, and without regard to the proportion or practice prescribed by the regulations there in force, extending it so far as to deal out some portions of the Indian territory. And that my deputy in that province does not fulfil the orders and instructions which I left him, thereby causing disturbance and confusion, and perhaps a prejudice to the royal treasury, and to the grantees and purchasers themselves; your lordship declaring as null and without effect all those concessions which had been made from the third of July of the year last past, in which your lordship took possession of this superintendency general, with other remarks therein contained. And, impressed with the whole, I shall give to it the most punctual compliance in the part which concerns me; and that it may meet with equal punctuality of compliance from my aforesaid deputy, I addressed him by duplicate on the 18th instant, giving him the necessary instructions, to the end that he may observe exactly what your lordship has been pleased to order. But as from the concessions of Indian territory which are mentioned,

consequences may ensue, particularly in the critical situation in which the province now stands, I deem it appropriate, in case none of the various reports which I have given on this subject have reached your lordship, to hand to your lordship the annexed copy, in which, from leaf third to the turning of the fifth, I give an account of the boundaries between the crown lands of that remnant of a province, and then of the property of the bordering Indian tribes, in order that your lordship may form a judgment and determine whether they should be respected or not, in view of the thirteenth article of the treaty of peace and friendship concluded on the 31st May and 1st June, 1784. which your lordship will find enclosed.

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VOL. 11.

God preserve your lordship many years. Havana, 220 November, 1817.

VINCENTE SEBASTIAN PINTADO. To the Intendant of the Army and Superintendent General of the

Island of Cuba and the two Floridas. Information to which the reply of the Surveyor General alludes.

PENSACOLA, 18th February, 1814. Dear Sir: Under the name of Florida was formerly comprehended all the tract of land from the Gulf of Mexico to the most northern regions. Garcilasco de la Vega, in his history of Florida, says that this name was given to the continent of North America from the river Panuco, in Mexico, following the sea coast as far as the confines of Canada and Terra Nova; but this unlimited denomination was afterwards reduced to that peninsula in form of the letter L, divided into two provinces, east and west, which is situated between the river Mississippi, the river Iberville or Manchack, the lakes Maurepas and Ponchartrain, the Gulf of Mexico, the Bahama channel, and the Atlantic ocean and the province of Georgia, which is now one of the United States of America, and the most southern of them. This last limit was more clearly established by the second article of the treaty of amity, limits, and navigation, between our government and the United States of America, signed at St. Lorenzo on the 17th October, 1795, by which is fixed the boundary which separates the territory of the said states from those of the two Floridas, by a line which begins upon the river Mississippi in the most northern part of the 31° north of the equator, and from thence directly east as far as the middle of the river Appalachicola or Chatahoochie; from thence through or along the middle of the said river, to its confluence with the Flint; from thence straight forward to the source of the St. Mary's river, and descending this in the middle as far as the Atlantic ocean. Florida, according to some, was first discovered in 1496, and according to others in 1497, by Sebastian Cabot, a Venetian, then in the English service; but although he contented himself with simply seeing the country, from thence, notwithstanding, originated the right of sovereignty of the discovered territory claimed by the kings of England, and this, with that of Georgia, was included in the charter granted to Carolina by Charles II. In 1512 Florida was more fully discovered by the expert Spanish navigator, Ponce de Leon, who, according to some, was sent hither by the king of Castile for the purpose of establishing a colony, but was repulsed by the natives; and, according to others, he undertook his voyage with the idea of immortalizing himself by the discovery of a third world, on which continent is found a fount which possessed the virtue of restoring youth to the aged who should drink of its waters, according to a tradition of the Indians of the Carribean islands; and, directing his course towards the clime where fable had placed the fount, he discovered Florida, from whence he returned to Puerto Rico older than he had come. I will not detain myself with all that did happen after the return of Ponce, not believing it necessary for your purpose. I will observe, the name of Florida was given by Ferdinand de Soto, (who arrived there in the spring of 1534,) from the soft, smiling, and flowery aspect which the country presented, and does now present, at that season of the year; although others pretend that he arrived on the day of the feast of flowers, and that from thence it derives its name. Passing over in silence the other events of those remote times, of which many should be forgotten, I proceed to give you all the remarks which I am able respecting modern Florida, (which is the peninsula which I have designated,) as briefly as possible. Ancient Louisiana comprehended both sides of the famous river Mississippi, and on the eastern part was claimed by the French, who occupied Mobile, all the country contained between the aforesaid river and the river Perdido, and ascending the Mississippi as far as the Ohio, with unlimited depth. The English disputed this pretended right, and claimed the same territory as part of their dominions of North America, the island of New Orleans excepted. After the English conquered Canada, there continued various altercations and negotiations concerning the limits of their possessions and those of the French of Louisiana, the whole of which were terminated by the definitive treaty of peace concluded at Paris on the 10th February, 1763; it being agreed by article 7th that the boundaries between his Britannic majesty and his most Christian majesty should be irrevocably fixed by a line drawn through the middle of the Mississippi, from its source to the river Iberville, and from thence by a line drawn through the middle of this river and the lakes Maurepas and Ponchartrain to the sea; and to this end his most Christian majesty ceded to his Britannic majesty, in full property and with guarantees, the river and port of Mobile, and all which he possessed or ought to possess on the left side of the river Mississippi, except New Orleans and the island upon which it is situated, which remained to France. His catholic majesty ceded, at the same time, to his Britannic majesty, Florida, including the fortress of St. Augustine and the bay of Pensacola. His Britannic majesty united these newly acquired territories to his possessions in North America, under the title of East and West Florida, consequently dividing it into two distinct provinces and governments. West Florida (the capital of which is Pensacola) extended from east to west from the river Appalachicola or Chatahoochie to the Mississippi, ascending the same as far as Yazoo. The remainder of the peninsula was called East Florida, the capital of which is St. Augustine. In the years 1765, 1770, 1777, 1779, the British government of West Florida regulated (by means of treaties con cluded with Indian nations who inhabit said province, the limits and boundaries between the English establishments and the country reserved to themselves by those nations. Mr. Purcell, who in part established and marked them out, describes them in a letter to General Wilkinson, dated Charleston, 31st July, 1802, in the following manner: Beginning at the mouth of Yazoo river, from a gum

and sycamore marked x 3, and runs N. 84° E. 12 miles 60 chains (a) to a post marked x 3; from thence S. 9° E. 17 miles 60 chains to Lassa Chitto or Big Black river; thence up the said river one mile ; thence from the said river S. 9° E. 16 miles 15 chains; thence S. 30° W. 10 chains; thence S. 6° E. 15 miles five chains, to the ford of Hooma Chitto river, where the road from the Choctaws to the Natchez crosses the said river ; from thence S. 6° E. 7 miles 15 chains; thence S. 16° E. 19 miles to the Axiet river; thence across the said river S. 61° E. 20 chains; thence S. 16° E. 14 miles to a pine, and red oak marked x 3, near Hawithathee; from thence N. 84o E. 24 miles, to Bogue Chitto; thence E. 53 miles 50 chains 10 Bogue Hooma; thence N. 84o E. 27 miles 30 chains, to a pine and chinquepin marked x 3, on the west bank of Pascagoula river; from thence up the Pascagoula river and Hacha Cowesa, to the conflux of Chickasa whay and Buckhatawie rivers; thence up Buckhatawie river to Bogue Hooma; thence up the said Bogue to where it crosses the trading path from Mobile to the Choctaws; thence upon southeastern course to the fork of Samtee Bogue; thence down the said Bogue to Tombigbee river, down the said river to the mouth of Fallon Bogue; thence across the said river, eastwardly, to the upper end of Nanahaba island; thence across to the east side of Alibammo; thence upon a southeastern direction to the mouth of Muddy creek, on the west side of Escambia river (1); thence east to the head of Clear Water creek (1), down the said creek to Middle river (1); thence east to Yellow Water river (1), and from thence eastwardly: along the coast, the boundary is regulated by the flowing of the tide. Mr. Purcell adds that the directions or courses mentioned were taken by the compass or magnetic needle, at the time of the survey: that the line from the river Yazoo, as far as the river Pascagoula, is in conformity with the cession made by the Choctaws, in May, 1777, and with the conference held with the chiefs of the Ocoola Fulgha, of said nation, in January of 1779, and that he ran and marked them in February and April of the same year of 1779; and that the limits from Pascagoula to Yellow Water river, and farther east, are according to the treaties made with the Choctaws and Creeks in 1765 and 1770, and that they were in part established and marked in 1774. He also adds, that the Indians made concession for a certain value which they received in merchandise, and that the titles which they granted for said lands were perpetual. This information given by Mr. Purcell is all that I have been able to find out, in regard to the limits of the Indian territory in West Florida, after seven years' inquiry; for few or no documents are found in the archives of the province respecting the time of the English, for they carried with them when they evacuated after the conquest of our arms, and according to positive information are found deposited in Somerset house, in London; and although, in the Secretary's office

of the government of Pensacola, is found a treaty of peace and amity between the Spaniards and the Creek and Tallapuche Indians, ratified and agreed to in the congress celebrated in said place on the 31st May and 1st of June, 1784, none of the limits are mentioned in it, only in the thirteenth and last article of said treaty it is stipulated, That the generous intention of his catholic majesty was not to exact from the Indian nation any lands in order to form establishments in prejudice of the property of those who enjoyed them. Therefore, and with the knowledge of the paternal love of his majesty towards said nations, the contracting parties offered in his royal name the security and guarantee of those which they had at that period, according to the right of legitimacy with which they held them, provided that they should remain comprehended within the time and limits of his catholic majesty.

With regard to East Florida, I have never been able to discover that there has ever been any treaty or agreement with the nations of that province, concerning the limits of their possessions in the time of the English government, nor in that of the Spanish authority ; on that account, I can say nothing to you on the subject. During the revolutionary war of America, the Spanish arms conquered West Florida, beginning at fort Manchack, which they assaulted and surprised on the 7th of September, 1799, and a short time after that of Baton Rouge surrendered.

In 1780, they took fort Mobile, and in May, 1781, they took the post of Pensacola. The possession of this province was confirmed, and that of East Florida ceded to Spain by the fifth article of the definitive treaty of peace signed in Versailles on the 3d of September 1783. The Spaniards extended their jurisdiction of West Florida eastwardly as far as Appalachy bay, and the rivers Wakhulla and St. Mark's, which empty themselves into said bay, between which rivers there is a fort (called likewise fort St. Mark's) at the point which the confluence of said river forms at a distance of three and a half miles from the sea. On the west side and margin of the Mississippi, they occupied and garrisoned all the English posts belonging to said province, from Manchack upwards, and established other new ones. The governor of Louisiana was also governor of West Florida, and although there was always a governor at the post of Pensacola, he was subordinate to the first. second article of the treaty of amity, limits, and navigation, signed in St. Lorenzo the Royal, the 27th day of October, 1795, it was agreed and declared, as I have before said, that the most southern limit of the United States of America, which separates its territory from that of the two Floridas, shall be marked by a line beginning on the Mississippi, and at the most northern part of the thirty-first degree, thence direct east to the middle of Appalachicola river, &c.; which confines are the same which his Britannic majesty pointed out when he recognised the independence of said states; and, in consequence, as fast as the line was extended by the commissaries, astronomers, and geometricians employed, as well as that which was

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