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Bayou Bceuf, from the east, enters the Atchafalaya near its southern extremity. To the south of this bayou, and west of Lafourche, a number of small streams run in nearly a southern direction to the Gulf of Mexico. Between the Atchafalaya and the Teche is the Chetimaches, or Grand lake, the waters of which have a communication with both; and to the south of the Teche rise several streams which run into the Gulf of Mexico, viz. the Bayous Myrtle, Sale, Carline, and Cypress-morts. Vermillion river rises in the flat country of Opelousas, which it traverses for the space of fifteen or twenty miles; and after a course of 100 miles through the country of Atakapas, discharges its waters into the Gulf of Mexico, through the west end of Vermillion bay. Its current is slow, and its depth is from three to six feet. The Bayou Queue Tortue, which separates Opelousas from Atakapas, rises in 30° 15' of north latitude, runs nearly a south-west course of thirty-five miles through Little lake into Mermenteau lake. At its efflux from this last lake, the river takes the name of Mermenteau, and follows a south-western course to the Gulf of Mexico. At the outlet there is but four feet water, and in the lake but three. The Bayous Nez Pique, Mallet, and Plaquemines Brules, three considerable streams intersecting the country in every direction, join the Queue Tortue before it enters Little lake, and afford a good navigation, their channels being deep, and receiving the tide above the commencement of the Prairie Mamou. The Calcasu, which is the first river eastward of the Sabine, rises from different sources near Red river; and in its course to the Gulf of Mexico, passes through an extensive lake from which it derives its name. Many small streams which run into Red river, Calcasu, and Sabine, derive their waters from the rains of winter, and become dry in summer. In the extensive meadows of Opelousas aud Atakapas well water is seldom procured at a less depth than from thirty to forty feet.
Bays and Lakes.—Lake Borgne is a bay of the sea opposite the mouth of Pearl river, inclosing the islands named Malheureux, St Joseph, Marianne, and Cat Island. This lake receives the waters of Pearl rivqjr and of Lake Ponchartrain, and has from nine to twelve feet water. Its westermost point approaches within four or five miles of the Mississippi, about ten miles below New Orleans, and it forms a communication with the river through a bayou and canal, called Vilere's canal. It was through this channel the British passed to the banks of the river, in the winter of 1814. Lake Ponchartrain, thirty-five miles in length, twenty-five in breadth, and from ten to eighteen feet in depth, lies to the north of New Orleans, and has a communication with the city, by the canal Carondelet, and the Bayou St John. This communication has from three to nine feet water. Lake Maurepas, twelve miles in length, and eight in breadth, is situated to the west of Lake Ponchartrain, with which it has a communication, by the pass of Manchac, of six feet water. The waters of the river Amite and Tickfah pass through it. Lake Quacha, twenty-two miles in length, and six in breadth, is situated twelve miles from New Orleans, on the western side of the Mississippi, with which it has a communication. Barataria Lake, or Bay, on the west side of the Mississippi, has a passage into the gulf of nine feet water. By the Bayou St Denis, on the north-west side, and the pass d Mendiant on the south-west, it forms a communication with several lakes lying between the rivers Lafourche and Mississippi, namely, Lake des Allemands, Quaha lake, Petit lake, Lake Rond, and Lake des Islets. At the mouth of Barataria lake is an island, in latitude 29°, affording a strong military position, which, in 1811, was taken possession of and .fortified by pirates, under the command of Lafitte. The harbour is large enough for light ships of war. Atchafalaya Bay, which opens into the Gulf of Mexico, has fifty feet water; but near its entrance, on the bar, there is but nine feet. This bay has a communication with Lake Chetimaches. On the north-eastern side it communicates with Lafourche through two small lakes, Pallourde and Verret. Cote Blanche bay, separated from the former by Point Chevreuil, receives several streams from the borders of the Teche, and has twelve feet water. Vermillion Bay receives several streams from the north, and has twelve feet water. In the passes through the chain of islands stretching across the mouth of the two last bays, there are from five to six feet water. Lake Mermenteau, whose waters are discharged into the gulf through the river of the same name, is of considerable extent, and has three feet water. Calcasu Lake, which receives the river of the same name, has three feet water, extends from north
to south, and is said to be thirty-five miles in circumference. The Sabine Lake, through which run the waters of the river of the same name, is twenty-five miles long, and twelve wide. Mr Darby observes, that the coast from the mouth of the Sabine to that of the Atchafalaya is so marshy, that an army, with its implements of war, could not get into the country, except by the channels of the rivers and bayous, where a small force could stop their progress. Some of the lakes of the upper country, which have a communication with Red river, are from thirty to fifty miles in circumference, and rise and fall with this stream. Six miles above the mouth of Red river is Long Lake, fourteen miles long, and three wide. Lake Ocassu, forty miles below Natchitoches, is a considerable sheet of water. At the distance of a few miles from this place, there are two other lakes, one of which is fifty, and the other thirty, miles in circumference. Both have a channel of communication with Red river. Ten miles above Natchitoches is Lake Noix, fifty miles in circumference, which sends its waters into Red river, by the channel called Rigolet du Bon Dieu. Eight miles higher is Spanish Lake, fifty miles in circumference, which rises and falls with Red river; and twenty leagues higher is Lake Bistineau, sixty miles in length, running in a direction with the river, at the distance of from three to fifteen miles, with an average depth of water from fifteen to twenty feet.
Islands.—At the mouth of Pearl river there is an island six or seven miles in length, and from four to five in breadth. It contains some salt marshes, but the greatest part consists of high land, favourable to the growth of esculent plants. From New Orleans to the mouth of the Mississippi, a distance of 1257 miles, there are 149 isktsin the river.
Extent of Navigable Waters.—The Mississippi Proper is navigable in Louisiana, 632 miles. Ibberville and the lakes east of New Orleans, 250. Amite river, 100. Tangipao, Chefuncti, and the bayous Castain, La Combe, and Baucofuca, 300. Pearl river and Bogue Chitto, 100. Bayous Atchafalaya, Plaquemines, Lafourche, and others leaving the Mississippi, 300. Red river in Louisiana, 450. Bayous and lakes of Red river, 500. Washita, and its tributary lakes and rivers, 1500. Teche, Vermillion, Sabine, &c. 550. Gulf coast, bays, and lakes, 1000.—In all, 5682. Minerals.—Iron ore is found in the hilly country where the Sabine and Black rivers take their rise. A mass of native iron, three feet five inches in length, and two feet four inches in breadth, weighing upwards of 3000 pounds, has been lately discovered near Red river. Silver ore is said to abound above Natchitoches, near one of the villages of Cadodaquioux. According to the account given by Jonathan Swift, a company was formed about the year 1778 for working this mine, of which he was the agent; a quantity of dollars had been struck from the metal at different times; but, from fear of discovery, the workmen, in 1791, left the place, which they were afterwards unable to find. * Limestone exists on Red river, where there
» Ohio Navigator, Appendix, p. 263. Also Dupralz, Vol. 1. p. 303