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Commissary D'Artagnette, and two years afterwards Isle Dauphin was plundered by the English. In the year 1712 Antoine Crozat, who, in the commerce with India, had amassed a fortune of 40,000,000, purchased a grant of this country, with the exclusive right of commerce for sixteen years. In the letters-patent were included all the rivers which flow into the Mississippi, and all the lands, coast, and islands situated on the Gulf of Mexico, between Carolina on the east, and Old and New Mexico on the west. The whole colony at this period, owing to the unhealthy situation, and other disadvantages, consisted only of 400 whites, 20 negro slaves, and 300 head of cattle. In 1713 different establishments were made on the river Wabash, in the Illinois territory. In the year 1713, De St Denis, with a view to trade with the Mexican provinces, ascended Red river with thirty men, and erected the fort of Natchitoches, from which he crossed through the Cenis nation to the Spanish establishment on the river Del Norte, and returned in 1716. In 1717 Crozat, disappointed in his speculations concerning this country, gave up the grant; and another was made of it, for the space of twenty-five years, in favour of the Mississippi Commercial Company. For the purpose of encouraging adventurers thither, the country was represented as rich in mines of gold and silver, and abounding in every desirable commodity. A new government was formed, consisting of a governor, intendant, and royal council, each with distinct and separate functions. And grants of lands were made to individuals at different points of the coast, and on the
banks of the Mississippi as high as the Arkansas. In 1718, New Orleans, which previously consisted of a few hovels constructed by traders from the Illinois country, was extended under the direction of the go. vernor-general, Mr de Bienville, according to the plan of the engineer De la Tour. The company to whom Louisiana now belonged sent persons to Natchez, in 1720, for the purpose of cultivating tobacco, and establishing a fort and warehouse in that place. Every person who came to settle, and exercise his profession, was entitled to 120 acres of land. A company of miners were also sent to work the silver and lead mines near the fort of St Louis, or Illinois. For some time French criminals, and women of bad fame, were imported; but this practice was discontinued on a remonstrance from the Company. In 1721, De la: Harpe, in the quality of captain commander, was sent with a detachment of twenty-two men to discover an emerald rock supposed to exist in the river Arkansas, which he was unable to find, though he ascended more than 250 leagues. In 1722, De Paugé, the second engineer of the colony, established the Balize at the mouth of the river Mississippi, as a guide and protection for vessels ascending the river. In 1724, a royal edict was issued for the expulsion of the Jews, as declared enemies of the Christian name, in the space of three months from the date thereof, under pain of confiscation of body and goods.
In 1729, the colony was disturbed by Indian hostilities, and in consequence of this and other discour.. agements, the company gave up the country in 1731
to the king. * In 1762, (30 Nov.) the cabinet of Versailles, fearing that the loss of her northern possessions in Canada would bring about that of the country of Louisiana, the colony, by a secret treaty, was ceded to Spain, as an indemnity for expences incurred during the war; and, at the same time, the Floridas were made over to England. By the peace of Paris, signed the following year, (10th Feb.) the limits between the French and English possessions were fixed. In 1764, Don Antonio de Ulloa arrived at New Orleans in quality of Spanish governor, with a detachment of troops; and finding that the inhabitants were strongly inclined to remain under the French domination, and that the expences of the government would far exceed the amount of revenue, he wrote to his court against the cession, and remained two years in the country without taking possession of it in a formal manner. In the year 1769, O'Reilly, in quality of governor and intendant general, arrived with 4500 regular troops, a good train of artillery, stores, and ammunition, with which he drove away all the English Protestants and Jews, prohibited all commerce except with Spain and her Islands, and established a courtmartial for the trial of the French officers who re
* In 1752, the French force in Louisiana consisted of 37 French companies of 50 men each, and 2 Swiss companies of 75 each, stationed as follows: the garrison of New Orleans, 957 men; of Mobile, 475; of Illinois, 300; of Arkansas, 50; of Natchez, 50; of Natcbitoches, 50; of Pointe Coupée, 50; of the German settlement, 50; in all, 2000,- Vandreuil's Letter to the Court as Go. vernor of Canada.
mained, five of whom were shot, and seven sent to confinement for ten years in the Moro Castle at the Havannah. This conduct inspired a general indignation against him, and the colony was happily delivered from his violence by his removal in 1770. In 1780, the English fort of Mobile surrendered to the Spanish governor, which led to the reduction of Pensacola, in consequence of which, West Florida fell into the hands of Spain. In 1795, a treaty was entered into between the United States and Spain, by which a line of boundary was agreed to, and the free navigation of the river secured. In 1798, all the Spanish posts to the north of the 31st degree were evacuated; and the year following, the line of demarcation between Spain and the United States was settled by commissioners. Notwithstanding these treaties, Spanish privateers and ships of war committed spoliations on the commerce of the United States; and the free navigation of the river Mississippi, and the right of deposit at New Orleans, was refused. This induced the president of the United States to prepare a force on the river Ohio to act against this colony, which, however, from a change of political circumstances, was disbanded in 1800. The year following, Mr Jefferson, who was called to the presidency, demanded from Spain the execution of the treaty; and she, unwilling to comply, and fearing a rupture, sold the colony to the French republic, on the 21st of March 1801. The French expedition, prepared in the ports of Holland for the purpose of taking possession of this country, was prevented from sailing by an English squadron; and the French government sold it on the 3d of April 1803 to the United States, for the sum of 60,000,000 of francs, in which sum was to be included the amount of debts due by France to citizens of the United States. The terms of this treaty led to a discussion about the limits of the ceded territory, which is not yet concluded. A pretty full account has been given of the points in dispute in the first chapter of this work, which renders it unnecessary to resume the subject here. In 1816, various complaints were made by the Spanish minister, at Washington, of assistance being rendered to the revolutionists in Mexico by persons in Louisiana. In answer to these complaints, it was shown that all means had been used by the civil officers at New Orleans, to prevent bodies of armed men from collecting within the state, for the object alluded to. If arms had been exported by sea from New Orleans, and sold to the revolutionists, this was a species of commerce open to each party, and not prohibited by law. All vessels (of which a list was given) employed in violation of the neutrality of the United States, and in aid of the United Provinces of New Grenada and Mexico, had been seized and libelled under the act of the 5th June 1794, and the property restored to the original Spanish owners. The demand of the Spanish minister, that possession should be given to Spain of West Florida, that the Spanish insurgents within the limits of the United States should be given up to their officers or agents, and that the Spanish flags of Carthagena, Mexico, and Buenos Ayres, should be excluded from the American ports, was formally refused by the American government in the reply of the secretary of state, dated the 16th of January 1816.