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ponding depth, to complete one hundred and forty thousand superficial arpents; the tract marked No. 2, on the left bank of the same river, commencing two leagues below Fort Miro, and at the point called L'àine, and extending one league below the Prairie de Lee, with a corresponding depth, to complete seventy thousand superficial arpents; the tract marked No. 3, to be taken in front of of the Bayou Loutre, and thence on a line, S. 75 degrees east, to the Bayou de Liar, which line to the Bayou de Liar, the Bayou Bartelemy, and the river Washita, are to include the tract No. 3; tract No. 4, on the right bank of Washita river, to be taken in front of the entry of Bayou Bartelemy, thence descending the river to Bayou la Loutre, with such depth, as that the tracts Nos. 3 and 4 shall include the quantity of eight thousand three hundred and forty-four superficial arpents, which, added to the two first tracts, makes a total superfice of two hundred and eight thousand three hundred and forty-four superficial arpents, equal to the above said thirty leagues, at the rate of two thousand five hundred toises for the side of a league, the land measure in this province. Being well understood, that the land which may be included in the above, either by title in form, or first decrees of concession, are not to be counted in computing the preceding thirty leagues; on the contrary, the Marquis de Maison Rouge promises to be of no detriment to the settlers occupying previously any part of the land, but will maintain and support them in their rights, in consideration. that, if the said thirty leagues shall suffer any diminution on account of previous occupants, the Marquis de Maison Rouge has the right, and there will be no objection to his supplying the deficiency in any other part where the land is vacant. And, that it may so appear, I give this, by order of the Governor General, Baron de Carondelet. All which I certify.
CARLOS TRUDEAU, &c. New Orleans, 14th June, 1797.
The foregoing is the substance of the proces verbal, (certificate) of the Surveyor General, subjoined to the plat, (of which that on the other side is a copy) filed in the claim of Louis Bouligny, holding under Maison Rouge.
Translator to the Board of Commissioners. Attest, L. Posey, Clerk of the Board.
Land Office, Opelousas, 15th August, 1812.
I certify that the above, and the preceding page, is a true copy from the report of the Land Commissioners of the Western District of Orleans, dated the 14th December, 1812; and that the plat attached hereto is a copy of the plat attached to the said report. The original papers, copied in pages 67, 68, and 69, of the book entitled Land Laws, are not in this office.
JOSIAH MEIGS. General Land Office, 12th December, 1820.
On the 20th June, 1797, six days after the survey is stated to have been made, the Governor General made the following order: The Baron de Carondelet, Knight of the order of St. John, Marshal de
Camp of the Royal Armies, Governor General, Vice Patron of the provinces of Louisiana and West Florida, Inspector of troops, &c.
Forasmuch as the Marquis de Maison Rouge is near completing the establishment of the Washita, which he was authorized to make for thirty families, by the royal order of July 14, 1795, and desirous to remove, for the future, all doubts respecting other families, or new colonists who may come to establish themselves, we destine and appropriate, conclusively, for the establishment of the aforesaid Marquis de Maison Rouge, by virtue of the powers granted to us by the King, the thirty superficial leagues marked in the plan annexed to the head of this instrument, with the limits and boun. daries designated, with our approbation, by the Surveyor General, Don Charles Laveau Trudeau, under the terms and conditions stipulated and contracted for by the said Marquis de Maison Rouge; and that it may, at all times, stand good, we give the present, signed with our hand, sealed with our seal at arms, and countersigned by the underwritten honorary Commis, sary of War, and Secretary of his Majesty for this commandancy General.
The BARON DE CARONDELET. ANDRES LOPES ARMESTO.
New Orleans, 20th June, 1797. On the 5th August, 1803, Don Gilbert Leonard, and Don Manuel Gonzales Armirez, Spanish officers, certified that the condition of the contract had been complied with.
No. 2. Don Gilbert Leonard, Treasurer of the army, exercising the functions of
the Royal accountant, and Don Manuel Gonzales Armirez, exercising those of the Treasurer, par interim, of the royal chests of this province of Louisiana:
We certify that the two foregoing copies are conformable to the originals which remain in the archives of the ministry of the royal domains under our charge, and that the contractor, the Marquis de Maison Rouge, complied punctually with the terms which he proposed in the said contract; and that this may be made manifest, conformably to the order above inserted of this Intendancy General, we give the present in New Orleans, the 5th of August, 1803.
MANUEL ARMIREZ. Upon this evidence, the Land Commissioners, acting under the act of Congress of the 3d March, 1807, by their report, placed this claim amongst a class of cases recommended for confirmation.
The undersigned commissioners have compared the documents, title filed in this claim, with the translation of them, in pages 67, 68, and.69, of the appendix to the book, entitled “ Land Laws, &c." and find the said translation to be correct, so far as it goes. The certificate, or proces verbal, which the Surveyor General has annexed to his plat, not appearing in said book, a translation of that document, together with a copy of the plat, is transmitted for the further elucid. tion of the claim. No oral or other testimony has been adduced before the Board, to establish the occupancy of any part of these lands, or that there has been a compliance upon the part of the grantee with the conditions stipulated in the contract, except tne certificate under date of 5th August, 1803, signed by Gilbert Leonard and Manuel Armirez, to the translation of which, in page 69 of the appendix of said book, the commissioners beg leave to refer.
The undersigned have observed a remark in the 25th page of the introductory part of the book, entitled “ Land Laws,” that no patent has issued on the claim under consideration. With great deference for that authority, the undersigned commissioners cannot but be of opinion, that the instrument, under date of the 20th June, 1797, is a patent, (or what was usually, in Louisiana, denominated a title in form) transferring to the Marquis de Maison Rouge the title, in as fulļ and ample a manner as lands were usually granted by the Spanish Government, subject, however, to the conditions stipulated in his contract with the Government. The plat of survey above referred to, will be found subjoined to this report.
All claims which did not exceed a league square, were confirmed by act of Congress, of 29th April, 1816, and this being for a greater number of acres than are contained in a league square, was excluded from confirmation by said act, and is now presented for confirmation or rejection by Congress.
The confirmation of this claim is resisted by the Government of the Unit, ed States, upon several grounds, amongst which are the following:
Ist. That the documents relied upon to establish the claim of the representatives of the Marquis de Maison Rouge to the thirty superficial leagues claimed, show, that no contract, or grant, has ever been made to the Marquis de Maison Rouge, in his own individual right, and that it was only a contract with him, as agent of the persons he was to bring with him, by which the Spanish Government bound itself to grant to each person, according to the conditions of the contract, u certain number of acres of land, and that de Maison Rouge did not acquire, by said contract, a right to dispose of said land by sale, deed, or last will and testament, or in any other way.
2dly. That the conditions of said contract were never fulfilled by the said Marquis de Maison Rouge.
3dly. That the said land never was surveyed, as certified under the Spanish Government; and, if it were, that it was not done with a view to vest the Marquis de Maison Rouge with any right, individually, but for the sole purpose of designating a certain number of acres of land, upon which the new settlers might establish themselves as they came in; and out of which the promised grants of 400 arpents each, were to be made to each family, containing two white persons, according to the 4th condition in said contract, and that said families not having settled the land as agreed, it remains as public land.
4thly. That the said land never was intended, nor never was located, as pretended by the representatives of de Maison Rouge, but was at a different place.
In support of these objections, and of others, to the confirmation of this claim, a reference has been made to the documents aforesaid, and to the depositions of sundry old inhabitants of Lousiana, and of Spanish officers, which were taken by proper authority, after due notice given, and which estimony is marked W, and accompanies this report; also, to the certificate of Carlos Trudeau, translated by L. Derbigny, on the 17th April, 1804.
[TRANSLATION. ] 1, Don Carlos Trudeau, Surveyor royal and particular of the province of Louisiana, &c. do certify, that the present draft contains 144 superficial leagues, each league forming a square, the sides of which are in length 2,500 toises (a toise is six French feet long,) measure of the city of Paris, according to the custom and practice of this colony, the said land being situate in the post of Ouachita, about 80 leagues above the mouth of that river, falling into Red river, adjoining on the part of the S. W. to the Eastern shore of the river and bayou Ouachita, Bartelemy, and Sicard, conformable to the red line which borders the said river and bayous; bounded on the South part, by a line drawn from the South, 75° East, about three leagues and one mile long: beginning from the shore C, of the Bayou Sicard, and continuing as far as the heiglit of the junction A of the said Bayou Sicard, with the Bayou Bartelemy, the said point A being as a basis on the line of measurement A B of 12 leagues in length, parallel with the plane of Bayou Bartelemy, from the point A to the end of the said 12 leagues, which terminates at point B, where is the mouth of the rivulet named Bayou Turniro; the lines D E and F G, are parallel lines directed North 52 degrees East, without minding the variation of the compass, which varies eight degrees to the Northeast. In testimony, I deliver the present certificate, with the draft hereto affixed, for the use of the Baron de Bastrop, on the 14th day of June, 1797. I, the Surveyor, having signed the same, and recorded in the book A, No. 1, folio 38, department No. 922 of the surveys. I do certify the present copies to be conformable to the original, which are lodged in the office under my care, to which I refer, and, at the request of a party, I deliver the present, same date as above.
CARLOS TRUDEAU, Surveyor. I certify the above to be a true and faithful translation of the original certificate of survey written in the Spanish language, and to which is prefixed the plat of the land therein mentioned.
Interpreter to the Government. New Orleans, 17th April, 1804..
From a careful examination of the foregoing documents and testimony, the committee are of the opinion, that the decision, in the present claim, depends entirely upon a question of law as to the title, and upon the examination of witnesses as to several important points to be ascertained; and that an investigation of the claim by Congress, would not only be attended with
great delay, but with so many difficulties, that justice as well to the parties interested, as to the Government of the United States, requires a reference of the decision of this claim to the United States' Court, for the Western District of Louisiana, with an appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States; and, for that purpose, report a bill.
FEBRUARY 11, 1825.
The select committee to which was referred, upon the day of December, 1824, the petitions of inhabitants of Ouachita, in the State of Louisiana, and the owners of the land called “ Bastrop's Grant," in said county of Ouachita, having had the same under consideration, together with the accompanying documents, report:
That, from the documents furnished, and from the title papers aš published in the land laws of the United States, (of the authenticity of which they are unable to form any opinion) it appears a petition was addressed to the GoTernor General of Louisiana, by De Bastrop, upon the 20th June, 1795, of which the following is a copy: To the Governor General:
The Baron de Bastrop, desirous of encouraging the population and cultivation of the Ouachita and its neighborhood, 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 four 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 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 tranquil