Imatges de pàgina

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 honorary Commissary of War, and Secretary of his Majesty for this commandancy-general.



Upon the 12th June, 1797, De Bastrop presents another petition to the Governor General, in the following words:

To the Governor General:

Baron De Bastrop has the honor 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 the 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 are pleased 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 labors, 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. DE BASTROP,

New Orleans, June 12, 1797.

And, upon the same day, the Governor General gave the grant, a copy of which follows: NEW ORLEANS, June 12, 1797.

Considering the advantages 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 conditions 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 relationt o which the surveys are to be continued, and the commandant, Don John Fethiol, 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. The BARON DE CARONDELET.

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It also appears, that a petition was made, and decree granted, the same as the last mentioned, except that the petition asks for six toises of ground on cach side of the Bayou de Liar, from its source to its mouth.

It also appears, that, upon 16th June, 1797, De Bastrop made a contract with the Spanish Government, as follows:

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 of 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, by the commandant of that post. Under which conditions, I oblige myself, with my person and estate, to the fulfilment of the present contract, subjecting myself, in all things, to the jurisdiction of this general Intendency.

In testimony of which, I sign it at New Orleans, the 16th of June, 1797. BARON DE BASTROP. And, upon the same day, the last contract was proved, as follows:

NEW ORLEANS, (date as above.)

I approve this contract in the name of his Majesty, with the intervention of Senor Gilbert Leonard, principal Contador of the army in these Provinces, for its validity. Two certified copies are to be directed to the Secretary, Juan Ventura Morales. With my intervention.

GILBERT LEONARD. Copy of the original, which remains in my keeping, and which I certify, and is taken out to be passed to the Secretary of this general Intendency. GILBERT LEONARD.

New Orleans, ut supra.

Upon the 18th June, 1797, the Governor directed the following order and decree to "De Bastrop:"

Whereas the Intendant, from the want of funds, has solicited the suspension of the last remittance of families, until the decision of his Majesty,

there ought to be no prejudice occasioned to you by the last paragraph of my decree, which expresses, that, if, within three years, the major part of the establishment shall not have been made good, such families as may first present themselves, shall be located within the twelve leagues destined for the settlement which you have commenced; and this shall only have effect two years after the course of the contract shall have again commenced to be executed, and the determination of his Majesty shall have been made known to you. You will always remain persuaded, that, on my part, I will observe religiously the engagements I have contracted; a principle which has constantly distinguished the Spanish nation. God preserve you many years.



New Orleans, June 18, 1797.

The above statement contains all the title papers which have been presented, and which were before the Land Commissioners for the Western District of the late Territory of Orleans, who reported against the legal representatives of De Bastrop, or the right of De Bastrop to any part of the intended grant of twelve leagues square, as will be seen by their several reports, as made and numbered in their report upon land claims in said Western District, made to the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, upon the 14th December, 1812.

The Land Commissioners of the United States having refused the confirmation of this claim, as aforesaid, the owners now present themselves, and ask that Congress will confirm to them the aforesaid twelve leagues square, which they claim as deriving a legal title from De Bastrop.

From the evidence and documents which have been before the committee, it is proven that many persons were introduced under the contract of De Bastrop, but not to the number contracted, for; and, without touching the question as to the individual right of De Bastrop to the land, or of any person claiming under him, by purchase or otherwise, except those who came to Ouachita under the contract, the committee think, that, in equity, the Government of the United States ought to confirm to every person, or th os claiming under them, who went to Ouachita, under the contract with De Bastrop, the number of acres of land which the Governor General of Louisiana agreed to give to each family or person, according to said contract. The Government of the United States resists the confirmation of this claim to De Bastrop, or those claiming under him by purchase or otherwise, for the following reasons, amongst others, viz:

1st. That the contract and grant, if any there was, were for the 500 families De Bastrop was to settle upon the lands, and not to De Bastrop in his individual right, so that he could sell or dispose of the same. 2dly. That the conditions never were fulfilled.

3dly. That the contract was revoked by the Spanish Government 4thly. That the contract was never approved by the King of Spain. 5thly. That the Governor General had not the power of making such contract without the authority of the Spanish Government.

Gthly. That, if De Bastrop was entitled to any part of said land, it could only be for the surplus after the 500 families had taken, each family 400 arpents, according to said contract.

In support of these objections and others, to the confirmation of this claim, or any part of it, to those who hold under De Bastrop in his individual right, a reference has been made to the documents aforesaid.

From a careful examination of the foregoing documents and evidence, the committee are of the opinion, that the decision, in the present claim, (as to the right of De Bastrop, or or those who claim under him in his individual right) depends entirely upon a question of law, and upon the examination of many witnesses, as to several important points; and that an examination of it by Congress would be attended with great delay and many difficulties, and that justice to the interested, as well as to the Government, requires a reference of this particular point to the United States' Courts. The committee are also of opinion, that, in case it should ultimately be decided that the said land belongs to the United States, it would be but fair and just to extend to all those who were settled upon the said land at the time the United States took possession of that part of the country, the same provisions, and privileges, and donations, as were granted to the actual settlers under the act of Congress of the 2d of March, 1805, and the amendments thereto, as well as all other privileges extended to the inhabitants of Louisiana, settled upon other public lands, by any subsequent act of Congress, so as to place the settlers upon the said land upon an equality with the settlers upon other public lands.

To prevent further delay, and with a view of finally adjusting the claim upon what the committee considers to be fair and equitable principles, they report a bill.

1st Session.


[To accompany bill H. R. No. 412.}

APRIL 7, 1830.

Mr. MERCER, from the select committee to which the subject had been referred, made the following


The committee to whom were referred the memorial of the American Society for colonizing the free people of color of the United States; also, sundry memorials from the inhabitants of the State of Kentucky, and a memorial from certain free people of color of the State of Ohio, report:

That the leading object of the memorialists has been often brought to the view of Congress, as will appear from a reference to the accompanying documents, containing an act of Congress and various resolutions and reports of committees and proceedings of this House, the earliest of which bears date the 11th of February, 1817. (See Appendix.)

A wish to provide, somewhere beyond the limits of the United States, a country to which the free people of color of the several States and Territories might voluntarily remove from their present abode, has long been widely diffused.

The State of Virginia, early in the administration of Mr. Jefferson, sought, through the agency of the General Government, to obtain such an asylum for this class of her population. Her efforts for the accomplishment of this object were repeated before as well as shortly after the acquisition of Louisiana, to the Western borders of which her hopes were at one time directed. (See Appendix.) Disappointed in this direction, after the lapse of more than ten years, her General Assembly adopted, with great unanimity, the first of the resolutions annexed to the memorial of the Board of Managers of the American Society for Colonizing the Free People of Color: (See Appendix.) This resolution requests the Executive of the State "to correspond with the President of the United States, for the purpose of obtaining a territory upon the coast of Africa, or at some other place not within any of the States or Territorial Governments of the United States, to serve as an asylum for such persons of color as are now free, and may desire the same, and for those who may be hereafter emancipated" within the Commonwealth. This resolution, further, requests the Senators and Representatives of the State in the Congress of the United States to contribute their best efforts, in aid of those of the President, for the attainment of its object,

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