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pleased to order it; considering, on the other side, that all the lands which could be sold in this place have been distributed on the said terms; and, finally, judging that it is proper to encourage the erection of houses in this place, the sale of these lots will likewise remain suspended until the king be pleased to decide upon the representation of the said commandant of this province; in which time if the lots already distributed were sold in favour of the royal finance, their prices will be fixed by the junta, according to their quality and situation. 7th. That, likewise, the records (expedientes) begun to pray for lots in Mobile be suspended until the plan which that city is to have be determined upon, and the military commanderie give its opinion as to what lots, not interfering with the defence of the fort, may be sold in favour of the public finances, in which time, according to the situation and circumstances, the junta will fix their price. 8th. That the intendency shall conditionally give its assent to the settlement of the king's subjects who have established themselves in the land distributed to them by the governor of Baton Rouge, in the neighbourhood of the fort of that district, for the object indicated in the official letters which are filed in the record (expediente,) and that, together with a copy of that record, a report be sent to his majesty, in order that he may be pleased to resolve according to his royal pleasure. To all of which the said president agreed, judging it to be conformable to the royal intention, as shown in the cited royal order of the 31st of March of this year. And in order to give it execution, he ordered that the necessary notification be given to the assessor, the fiscal, the surveyor general, and the subdelegations of Baton Rouge and Mobile; that a certified copy of this agreement be annexed in continuation of the record (expediente) which was under consideration, and that three copies (testimonios) be made, in order to apprise his majesty, with the other aforesaid documents. In testimony of which, I give the present in Pensacola, on the 14th day of August, 1811.


A true copy of the original. In absence of the Secretary,






[*545] * No. 19. Papers respecting Bastrop's Claim on Washita.


The Baron de Bastrop, desirous of encouraging the population and cultivation of the Ouachita and its neighbourhood, of passing into the United States to complete the plan of emigration which he has projected, and from thence to return with his family, makes known to your lordship that it is absolutely indispensable on the part of the government, that a district be designated, of about twelve leagues square, including the Bayou Liar and its vicinity, in which your petitioner may, without the least obstacle or delay, place the families he is about to bring in, on the express condition that concessions of land are to be made gratis, and under no title or pretext to exceed, at most, four hundred arpents square, with a view to prevent the introduction of negroes, and the making of indigo, which, in that district, will be entirely contrary and prejudicial to the cultivation of wheat, and will cause your petitioner irrecoverably to lose the expenses of his establishment. Your petitioner prays also that you will be pleased to grant him permission to export for the Havana, the flour which may be manufactured at the mills on the Ouachita, without confining him to sell it absolutely in New Orleans and other posts in this province, unless it should be necessary for their subsistence, in which case they ought always to have the preference. It is also indispensable that the government should charge itself with the conducting and support of the families which the petitioner may introduce, from the post of New Madrid to Ouachita, by furnishing them with some provisions [*546] for the subsistence of the first months, and assisting them to commence the sowing of their seeds, granting to those inhabitants who are not catholics, the same liberty of conscience as is enjoyed by those of Baton Rouge, Natchez, and other districts of the province, and without fixing, on the part of the government, conclusively, the number of families which your petitioner is to introduce.

The zeal which I feel for the prosperity and encouragement of the province, joined to a desire of securing tranquillity and quietude to that establishment, by removing, at once, whatever obstacles might be opposed to those interesting objects, have induced me to represent to you what I have here done, hoping that you will recognize in these dispositions the best service of the king, and advancement of the province confided to your authority. New Orleans, June 20, 1796.*


* It is presumed that this date, as well as that of the decree of the Baron de Carondelet immediately succeeding, ought to have been 1795, instead of 1796. Note of the editor of the Land Laws, &c.

New Orleans, June 21, 1796. Seeing the advantage which will result from the establishment projected by Baron Bastrop, the commandant of Ouachita, Don John Fathiol, will designate twelve leagues square, half on the side of the Bayou of Liar, and half on the side opposite the Ouachita, for the purpose of placing there the families which the said baron may direct, it being understood that no greater concession of land is to be given to any one, than four hundred square arpents at most, gratis and free from all dues. With regard to the object of this establishment, it is to be for the cultivation of wheat alone. The exportation of the products of this province being free, the petitioner need not doubt that it will be allowed to him, for the flour which he may manufacture at the mills of the Ouachita, to the Havana and other places open to the free commerce of this province. The government will charge itself with the conducting of the families from New Madrid to Ouachita, and will give them such provisions as may appear sufficient for their support during six months, and proportionably for their seeds. They shall not be molested in matters of religion, but the apostolic Roman catholic worship shall alone be publicly permitted. The petitioner shall be allowed to bring in as many as five hundred families provided, that after the lapse of three years, if the major part of the establishment shall not have been made good, the twelve leagues square destined for those whom the petitioner may place there, shall be occupied by the families which may first present themselves for that purpose.


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The Baron de Carondelet, chevalier of the religion of St. John, marshal de camp of the royal armies, governor general, vice patron of the provinces of Louisiana, West Florida, and in- [ *547 ] spector of the troops, &c. Whereas, Baron Bastrop, in pursuance

of his petition, dated the 20th of June of the year last past, and the decree of the 21st of the same month, has commenced the establishment of the Ouachita; that for the fulfilment of the stipulation on the part of the government; for avoiding, progressively, all obstacles, difficulties, and delays; and that the said baron might proceed with every facility in fixing the families, which, to the number of five hundred, he was held to place or cause to be placed there, we have proceeded to designate the twelve leagues intended for the said establishment, in the terms, with the limits, metes, and bounds, and in the place marked, fixed, and defined, by the figured plan and description affixed to the head of this instrument, verified by the surveyor general, Don Charles Laveau Trudeau, it having now appeared to us to be also most expedient for avoiding all contest and dispute, and approving them as we do approve them, by virtue of the authority which the king has granted to us, we do destine and appropriate, in his royal name, the aforesaid twelve leagues, in order that the said Baron Bastrop may establish them in the manner and under the conditions expressed in the said petition and decree. We give the present, signed with our hand, sealed with the seal of our arms, and countersigned by the underwritten honourary commissary of war, and secretary of his majesty for this commandancy general. New Orleans, June 20, 1796.



Baron de Bastrop has the honour to make known to you, that, it being his intention to establish in the Ouachita, it is expedient that you should grant to him a corresponding permission to erect there one or more mills, as the population may require, as also to shut up the Bayou de Liar, where he proposes to establish the said mills, with a dike in the place most convenient for his works; and as it appears necessary to prevent disputes in the progress of the affair, he begs also the grant, along the Bayou Barthelemi, from its source to its mouth, of six toises on each bank, to construct upon them the mills and works which he may find necessary; and prohibiting every person from making upon said bayou any bridge, in order that its navigation may never be interrupted, as it ought, at all times, to remain free and unobstructed. This request, sir, will not appear exorbitant, when you will please to observe that your petitioner, who will expend in these works twenty thousand dollars, or more, will be exposed, without these grants, to lose all the fruits of his labours, by the caprice or jealousy of any individual who, being established on this bayou, may cut off the water or obstruct the navigation; not to mention the loss, which the province will sustain of the immense advantages to result from the useful project

proposed for the encouragement of the agriculture and population of those parts. New Orleans, June 12, 1797.


* New Orleans, June 12, 1797. Considering the advan- [ *548 ] tages to the population on the Ouachita and the province in general, to result from the encouragement of the cultivation of wheat, and the construction of flour mills, which the petitioner proposes to make at his own expense, I grant him, in the name of his majesty, and by virtue of the authorities which he has conferred upon me, liberty to shut the Bayou de Liar on which he is about to establish his mills, with a dike, at the place most proper for the carrying on of his works. I also grant him the exclusive enjoyment of six toises of ground on each side of the Bayou Barthelemi, from its source to its mouth, to enable him to construct the works and dams necessary for his mills, it being understood, that by this grant, it is not intended to prohibit the free navigation of the said bayou to the rest of the inhabitants, who shall be free to use the same, without, however, being permitted to throw across it any bridge, or to obstruct the navigation, which shall at all times remain free and open. Under the couditions here expressed, such mills as he may think proper to erect, may be disposed of by the petitioner, together with the lands adjoining, as estates belonging entirely to him in virtue of this decree, in relation to which the surveys are to be continued, and the commandant, Don John Fathiol, will verify and remit them to me, so that the person interested may obtain a corresponding title in form. It being a formal and express condition of this grant, that at least one mill shall be constructed within two years, otherwise it is to remain null.




[Here follows a petition and decree the same as the preceding, except that the petition asks for six toises of ground on each side of the Bayou de Liar, from its source to its mouth, which are granted by the decree. Note of the editor of the Land Laws, &c.]

The Baron de Bastrop contracts with his majesty, to furnish, for the term of six months, rations to the families which he has latterly introduced at the post of the Ouachita, which are to be composed of twenty-four ounces of fresh bread, or an equivalent in flour, twelve ounces fresh beef, or six of bacon, two ounces of fine menestra, or three of ordinary, and one thousandth part of a celemin (about a peck) of salt, for which there is to be paid to him, by the royal chests, at the rate of a real and a-half for each ration. For which purpose there shall be made out, monthly, a particular account, the truth and regularity of which shall be attested at foot,

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