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so large as those seen by Dumont at the Arkansaw, which roared as loud as an ox, had eyes as large as that animal, and weighed thirty-two pounds.
Fishes.—These are cat-fish, in the Mississippi river, weighing from 60 to 120 pounds. They are eatable, but not very palatable. Carp, called Buffalo-fish, from two to four feet in length. The best of these inhabit the lakes. The sturgeon are but about three feet in length, with a soft shelly covering, resembling in some sort a sea turtle. Sheep's head is also found; and a fish, called by the French La Barre, about five feet in length, and as thick as a man's waist, at the outlet of Pascagoula. Pearl fish, or Barbie, called by the French La Barbue; there are two kinds, the largest of which is from two to four feet in length; the other about half the size. It is wholesome, but rather insipid. The mullet is found in the lakes, and is about the size of a herring. It is dried and cured by some of the inhabitants. The Burgo Breaker, Casse Burgo, is more than a foot in length. It is a firm and delicate fish, and is eaten for breakfast. The old wife, or hickery shad, inhabits the waters near the Delta. The pike is about a foot in length, but is rarely caught. The sprat, sardine, or small pilchard, (Clupea sprattus,) is about six or seven inches, and is common, as is the fresh water mullet, roach, or patassa. Eels of a large size are found in both the rivers and lakes. The thornback is found as high as New Orleans, near the limits of salt water. The armed Jish, which is found only in the lakes, is about three feet in length, and is armed with long teeth and scales*
the tissue of which is like the seed of the pine tree, and of so hard a texture as to resist the stroke of the hatchet. The stingray inhabits the shallowest waters, near the Gulf of Mexico. Of shell Jish there are oysters, lobsters, craw-fish, shrimps, mussels.
Birds.—The wild turkey, tufted woodcock, heath hen; the wood pigeon, which are very numerous in the winter; wild duck, pigeon, and other water fowl, are abundant. The paroquet, the eagle, swan, crook, or saw-bill; the hatchet-bill, or red foot; ivory-bill, kingfisher, halcyon, corbijeau; the pelican, or grand gosier, which has a pouch or reservoir for food, large enough to hold four or five gallons; flamingo, buzzard, or carrion crow of the Antilles; the owl, woodpecker, blackbird, ortolan, swallow, wren, and humming bird. It has been remarked, that most of the fowl of the northern lakes frequent those of Louisiana in winter. Swan, geese, brant, and ducks, are so numerous on the lakes of Red river, that their noise is often stunning.
Population.—In the year 1712, when the colony was granted to Crozat, the population consisted of 400 whites, and twenty negro slaves. A great number of slaves were afterwards imported from the coast of Guinea, and distributed by the company among the inhabitants of the colony at the rate of 1000 livres a-head, payable in three years, in the produce of the country. The population of the state, according to the census of 1810, amounted to 86,556, distributed among the different parishes as follows:
The following estimate was made in 1814, the state being divided into three great sections: 1. The northwest section, including Red river and the Washita country, of 21,649 square miles, 12,700 inhabitants; 2. The-south-west, including those of Opelousas and Atakapas, 12,100 square miles, 13,800; 3. The southeast, including New Orleans and West Florida, 12,120, 75,200. * In all, 101,700.
* Weitem Gazetteer, p. 147. VOL. II. L I
Indians.—When the French took possession of this country, it was inhabited by various Indian nations; the Tchenakas and Mackas, between the river Mississippi and the lakes; the Sitimachas, above the lakes; the Atakapas, near the coast, described as man-eaters; the Collapissas, or Aquilonpissas, above and below New Orleans, where they had about twenty cabins. Above Pointe Coupee stood the village of the Tunicas, who, joining in the wars of the French, their chief was raised to the rank of General of Red men. The Avoyelles, who lived on the banks of Red river, supplied the French with cattle and horses. The Cadodaquioux also lived on this river, about 100 leagues from its mouth, and were associated with the Ouachittas, who had been driven by the Chickasaws from their residence on Black river. The first settlers on the Mississippi were much molested by the Choctaws and Chickasaws. The present Indians, within the limits of this state, reside chiefly on Red river. The Howmas, who formerly occupied the island of New Orleans, are united with the Otakapas, forming about 200 in number. The latter are most numerous on Vermillion creek. They have no fixed habitation, and are often seen near the towns and villages, seeking spirituous liquors, of which they are very fond. The Opelousas, 150 in number, reside near the church of the same name. The Tunicas, or Tounicas, reduced to 140, reside chiefly at Avoyelles. The Choctaws live on the branches of Bayou Boeuf, of which they are said to be the aborigines, and are dispersed as far as Natchitoches on the Washita and Red river. Their number is reduced to 400 or 500 families. The Biloxis are almost extinct, their warriors not exceeding forty in number. The Alabamas (about seventy families) reside at Opelousas, and near the Caddo towns. The Tensaws are few in number; they live on Bayou Bceuf. A few individuals (the remnant of the Wachas) are servants in French families. The Conchates, who are about 350 in number, live near the borders of Saline river. The Chetimachas live on the lower parts of the Bayou Teche, in two villages, of about 100 persons. The Natchitoches, reduced to thirty individuals, reside about twenty-five miles above the town of the same name on the lake De Misere.
Of the State of the New Settlements in the Year 1815.—In New Feliciana, the settlements were on or near the Mississippi, on Thompson's creek, and the Bayou Sara; on the rivers Amite and Tickfah, where there are fine cotton plantations. Some few families live on the Tangipaoe and Chefuncti rivers. On the right bank of the latter, two miles above its entrance into Lake Ponchartrain, and twenty-six miles southeast of New Orleans, is situated Madisonville. The settlements along Pearl river and its tributary streams were disturbed, during the last war, by neighbouring Indians. Numerous flocks of cattle range along the borders of the Bogue Chitto branch, which opens upon fine meadows. Near the junction of the Amite and Ibberville stands the village of Galvez, consisting of forty or fifty houses. The first settlements on the Mississippi commence fifteen miles below New Orleans. Thence to the sea the whole country is subject