An historical narrative and topographical description of Louisiana and West-Florida

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An historical narrative and topographical description of Louisiana and West-Florida
Series Title:
Floridiana facsimile & reprint series
Added title page title:
Louisiana & West Florida
Hutchins, Thomas, 1730-1789
Tregle, Joseph George, 1919-
Place of Publication:
University of Florida Press
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Copyright Date:
Physical Description:
xlviii, 94, 3 p. : ; 21 cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
Description and travel -- Southwest, Old ( lcsh )
bibliography ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )


Includes bibliographical references.
General Note:
On spine: Louisiana & West Florida.
General Note:
Reprint of the 1784 ed., with new introd. and index by J.G. Tregle, Jr.

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University Press of Florida
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Full Text









of the 1784 EDITION





Gainesville 1968


of the 1784 EDITION






Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 68-21657





In 1962 Dr. Rembert W. Patrick, then Julien C. Yonge
Graduate Research Professor of History at the University
of Florida, was a leader among those who launched the
Floridiana Facsimile and Reprint Series, and the series
has been under his general editorship. Dr. Patrick's un-
timely death on Novzember 16, 1967, took away a scholar
and true friend of Florida history.
Joseph G. Tregle, Jr., is a native of New Orleans, and is
widely known for his studies in Jacksonian America. He
has been dean of Academic Affairs at the Louisiana State
University in New Orleans, where he currently is professor
of history, president of the Conference of Louisiana Univer-
sities and Colleges, president of the Louisiana Historical
Association, and editor of the Louisiana Historical Quar-
The University of Florida Press wishes to express its
gratitude to Mrs. Margaret Knox Goggin, head of the
University of Florida Libraries, and to Miss Elizabeth
Alexander, librarian of the P. K. Yonge Memorial Library
of Florida History, for their generous cooperation in per-
mitting the Press to use for reproduction the very rare
copy of the Hutchins volume from the Yonge Library.



FEW MENr Of the eighteenth century knew the face

of America as well as Thomas Hutchins. Fewer
Still did so much to make its lineaments familiar
to others of their own and subsequent times, and it is
ironic that the very ferment of continental growth and
expansion which his work helped so much to promote
seems to have buried his name in half-obscurity among
the profusion of later, more dramatic heroes of the young
Republic .
For a man of Hutchins' particular talents and inclina-
tions, it was his good fortune to be on the scene of several
of the pivotal events in early American history. A member
of General John Forbes' command in the conquest of Fort
Duquesne in 1758, he was to spend several years as an
officer of the first British garrison in the Ohio Valley. This
advantageous post allowed him to explore the surrounding
terrain and to prepare the first significant description of
the Ohio country as a British possession. Similar oppor-
tunities would take him into pioneer charting explorations
around Lake Michigan; into valuable military and carto-
graphical adventures during Pontiac's Conspiracy; down
the Ohio to record the Birst accurate survey of the courses
of that beautiful and strategically located stream; into the
Illinois country for the transfer of frontier holdings from
French to British hands following the First Peace of Paris;
and on to West Florida in the 1770's, where he would

( ui )
familiarize himself with the Gulf Coast and explore Lakes
Pontchartrain and Maurepas, the Amite River, Bayoti Man-
chac, the Teche, and the course of the great Mississippi.
His service in the Revolutionary War was not, ap-
parently, a saga of heroism and glory, but it did provide
him the title of "Geographer to the United States," a
distinction he was to hold for the remainder of his life
and which was to introduce him to perhaps the crowning
accomplishment of his entire career, the survey of the
famous first "Seven Ranges" of the Old Northwest Terri-
tory. While not pursuing his official duties under the com-
mission of the Confederation government, he would find
time to assist in the running of the boundary lines between
Pennsylvania and Virginia, and between New York and
Massachusetts. Out of all this work was to come a variety
of cartographic and descriptive pieces of exceptional utility
to the community of his own day and of noteworthy
interest and value to the historian of ours, particularly
the famous Topographical Description of Virginia, Penn-
sylvania, Maryland, and North Carolina, with its historic
map; the "Courses of the Ohio" already mentioned above;
the plats of the Seven Ranges; an'd the Historical Narra-
tive and Topographical Description of Louisiana and West
Florida, which occasions the present essay.
For contributions of such scope and significance, Hutch-
ins seems to have had singularly little formal or profes-
sional training. Born in 1730 in Monmouth County,
New Jersey, before his sixteenth birthday he was an
orphan seeking his future in the "western country" of
British Americal In November, 1756, he became an en-
sign in the Second Battalion of the Second Pennsylvania
Regiment, in which he was promoted by December of
the following year to lieutenant, stationed "beyond
the Susquehanna."2 Soon thereafter he assumed the duties
of quartermaster of' the Pennsylvania Third Battalion, to
find himself struggling with the unglamorous and arduous
chore of moving precious materiel over the mountains to

( vii )
Forts Bedford and Ligonier. Destined at first for the
troops converging upon Fort Duquesne, these supplies
eventually went into the storehouses of Fort Pitt, where
Hutchins added to his responsibilities as quartermaster
those of king's commissary for the new British outpost.3
It was in this appointment that he began to double as
engineer, initiating those experiences in the construction
and repair of military installations which would eventually
lead to postings in the Illinois territory and West Florida.
The withdrawal of the French from their holdings at
Venango, LeBoeuf, and Presque Isle in 1759 afforded the
British the opportunity to expand their garrisons in the:
long-coveted Ohio country, and as a preliminary to such
occupation Hutchins was sent by Colonel Henry Bouquet
to inspect the abandoned French posts, outline their site
plans, and sketch the geographical features of the country-
side in which they were located. From this assignment
came Hutchins' journal depicting the newly won British
territory, the account which Justin Wiinsor has credited
with being the first description of the Ohio country follow-
ing English occupation." From it also came, apparently, a
realization by Hutchins of the exhilarating freedom to be
found in ranging the yet uncharted land, to survey, meas-
ure, and map. His return to Fort Pitt found him growing
ever more restive in the prosaic role of housekeeper to
His Majesty's fort, and in early 1760 he resigned his
military commission.5
For the next two years Hutchins served as assistant to
George Croghan, the deputy agent fat Indian affairs in
America. Not everything in this new association was to
glisten with the excitement he was apparently seeking.
True enough, he was to play a major part in the transfer
of British troops from Fort Pitt to Fort Niagara in 1760
with an efficiency which made Bouquet begin to look up-
on him as a more reliable wilderness guide than his
superior, Croghan. But more was needed in the Ohio
than dashing incursions into the forest, and Hutchins soon

( viii )
found himself once again tied to a fort, this time as Indian
agent at Venango, where he was directed to win the
friendship of the Indians, provide the garrison with food
from Indian sources, and move provisions regularly on to
Forts LeBoeuf and Presque Isle.o In short, he was a house-
keeper again.
A transfer back to Fort Pitt in 1761 opened new oppor-
tunities. From this more central position Hutchins could
now plague Bouquet with repeated requests to be allowed
to survey a new communications route connecting the
western extension of settlement along the Susquehanna
with various creeks emptying into the Ohio. Additionally
impressed by these ambitions of the energetic young In-
dian agent, Bouquet was soon remarking on his many
talents to General Jeffrey Amherst and recommending him
strongly for a position as ensign in the Royal service.
Amherst being agreeable, Hutchins' commission was signed
on March 2, 1762.
It took some time to reach him, for he was gone again
from Fort Pitt, this time on a mission for Sir William John-
son, the British Indian Agent. Johnson had become in-
creasingly uneasy with the sullen animosity of the Indian
tribes between the Ohio and Detroit, where French in-
fluence was still strong. Unable to dispense greater sums
of money to win over the demanding savages, Johnson
proposed to send among them a British spokesman to
cajole, threaten, and observe. Croghan exercised his op-
tion to designate one of his assistants for the task, and
thus it was that Hutchins set out in April, 1762, on another
of his rewarding pioneer ventures. The trip took him from
Fort Pitt to Beaver Creek, Mohickon Johns, Sandusky,
Detroit, Mackinaw, Green Bay, St. Joseph, Fort Miami,
and the WVabash River, then to Lower Shawnee Town and
finally back to Fort Pitt, a 3,000-mile, six-months journey.
He had obtained release of many British prisoners, a con-
siderable accomplishment in face of Indian resentment at
the king's niggardliness with gifts and his government's

( ix )
ban on spiritous liquors, but, more important, he had kept
a journal of his travels, had carefully recorded his estimate
of the Indian population in each of the forts and villages
along the way, and had made a map of the lakes and
country traversed.7
While in Detroit, Hutchins' new commission had finally
caught up with him, and he returned to Fort Pitt as an
ensign in the Sixtieth, or Royal American, Regiment. It
was not long after he had taken up this new post that his
efforts for Johnson proved themselves to have been in vain.
British refusal to provide the Indians northwest of the
Ohio with continued largess, together with the rapacity
and thievery of the unregulated fur traders recently
loosed among the western tribes, had kept Indian resent-
ment aflame. Now in 1763 the Algonquian warrior Pontiac
lashed the savages into fanatical rebellion by his warnings
that the English would not rest until all red men were
despoiled of their ancient lands. The fury of the Indian
attack almost swept the northwest frontier clean of British
military installations. Venango, LeBoeuf, Presque Isle,
all fell before the onslaught, until only Detroit and Fort
Pitt remained in British hands. Behind the stockade at
Fort Pitt, Hutchins was once again busy at engineering
chores, trying desperately to shore up the defenses of
the rickety outpost against the coming Indian attack. There
was no official engineer at the fort during the critical
period, and though it meant working day and night,
Hutchins managed to oversee the construction of stronger
defenses while at the same time performing his regular
duties as ensign. Captain Ecuyer, commander of the post,
was able to write Bouquet in June that his installations
were "formidable at present, 16 pieces mounted on good
platforms," a result he attributed in large part to the ex-
ertions of Hutchins, who "oversaw the works" and "has
taken no rest.""
By July 28 Pontiac's hordes were besieging Fort Pitt.
To Hutchins' credit, the defenses held strong, and time

was provided for Bouquet to hasten with an army from
Philadelphia to raise the Indian threat. An officer of con-
siderable foresight and competence, Bouquet maneuvered
the Indians into a rash attack at Bushy Run, where he
scattered their forces with sufficient effectiveness to relieve
Fort Pitt and end the Indian menace for that year.
The success at Bushy Run had been impressive but not
complete. Bouquet therefore took up quarters at Fort
Pitt, to prepare for a final campaign in 1764. No perma-
nent engineer had yet been assigned to the post, and
Hutchins continued to busy himself in that capacity
through the early months of the new year, strengthening
t~he fort's defenses, drawingi up the sketches of the coming
campaign, and drafting the layout of the army's camp,
its line of march, its troop disposition, and its general plan
of attack. With the actual march of Bouquet's army in
October, 1764, Hutchins took to the field, supervising the
cutting of military roads through to the Muskingum.
Here Bouquet was waited upon by the finally dispirited
Indians, who released their British prisoners and pledged
honest consultations for peace with Sir William Johnson.
In all, it was a considerable victory for Bouquet. The
threat of any renewed attack by Pontiac and his cohorts
comparable to the 1763 onslaught was ended, and Britain
could turn once again to the pleasant task of gathering
up) the fruits of the Peace of Paris. Heretofore, all attempts
to assume control in the highly attractive Illinois country
had been thwarted by Indian intransigence both along
the Mississippi and in the area of the Wabash. Fresh
from the capitulation at the IMuskingum, Bouquet was
all for pushing a military campaign into the Illinois, but
the cautious Thomas Gage preferred to await the results
of the less dangerous efforts of diplomacy. It was not until
1765, therefore, that Crog~han was finally able to convince
Pontiac of British reliability and announce to the British
military command that no further Indian resistance to
their occupation of the Illinois posts would be met."

During the months of waiting for this favorable de-
nouement, Hutchins was poring over notes and maps made
during the 17641 campaign and journeying to Bushy Run
to sketch the field of Bouquet's earlier victory over the
Indians. Upon all of these materials he concentrated suc~h
assiduous labor as almost to lose his eyesight, finally for-
warding a finished map and plans to Philadelphia for
inclusion in An Historical Accoulnt of the Expedition
Against the Ohio Indians, inz the Year 1'764, undler the
Commannd of Henry Bouquet, which appeared under

WiC~th the pacificat"ion of Ptiiac, the British road to the
Illinois was finally open, so that in August, 1765, Captain
Thomas Sterling could lead a military detachment down
the Ohio and up the MIississippi to occupy Fort Chartres,
a mission accomplished by October of the same year.
Nonetheless, two concerns of major importance loomed
before General Gage--he must have a firmer under-
standing with the tribes in the Illinois as to the complete
British ownership of the: newly acquired lands, and he
must perfect the sketchy knowledge of the Ohio River
Valley, which was obviously to be the main highwtayy
linking the British eastern settlements with the new fron-
tier possessions along the M/ississippi."'
To realize these objectives Gage turned to two high-
ranking public servants, George Croghan, deputy Indian
agent, and Captain Harry Gordon, chief engineer of all
British troops in western North America. They were or-
dered to lead an expedition down the Ohio in the spring of
1766, Croghan to mollify the Indians should they be ex-
pcting payment of British money for Illinois lands, and
Gordon to map th~e Ohio River from Fort Pitt to its mouth,
recording all data which might be of military utility to
the British. Furthermore, Gordon was expected to p~ut
Fort Ch~artres in good repair, then to proceed down the
Mississippi to New Orleans, noting and scrutinizing all
French or Spanish settlements on the wetst bank. From

( xii )
New Orleans he was to proceed to Mobile and Pensacola
for inspection of these properties newly acquired from
France and Spain. As Gordon's chief assistant in this
venture, Gage appointed Thomas Hutchins.'
The expedition left Fort Pitt on June 18, the three
official agents now joined by some one hundred Iroquois,
numerous Delawares and Shawnees, and by George Mor-
gan, partner of the Philadelphia firm of Baynton, Wharton,
and Morgan, whose thirteen vessels laden with goods ac-
companied Gordon as the first British trader into the
Illinois. The journey was to inspire a friendship between
Morgan and Hutchins which would last, with significance,
throughout the latter's life.12
Though subordinate to Gordon, it was Hutchins who
apparently did the most notable part of the cartographical
and navigational work of the mission. He surveyed the
whole length of the Ohio from Fort Pitt to the 1Mississippi,
describing each course, giving its compass direction, the
time required for its passage, and the speed of the current.
The seven leisurely weeks spent by the party along the
river were put to good use, for besides charting the
courses of the stream, Hutchins also added to his de-
scriptive notes a wealth of incidental information--noting
the depth of the river at various places, marking the
latitude and longitude of principal points along the way,
and describing unusual formations in the Ohio's bed or
along its banks. His cartographic impulse always strong,
he frequently penned in sketches of the mouths of tribu-
tary streams, of particularly treacherous channels, and of
the largest islands dividing the waters of the river. Per-
haps most important, for four days he measured and
marked, sketched and plotted the area of the most trouble-
some section of all, preparing the materials which event-
ually would allow him to produce a detailed map of the
Falls of the Ohio, one of the principal tools in the opening
to navigation of that great channel of western migra-

( xiii )
The difficult pull up the Mississippi from the Ohio to
Fort Chartres brought the first lap of the journey to an
end. Here Hutchins met another British officer attached
to the engineers, Lieutenant Philip Pittman, whose even-
tual work on the Present State of the European Settle-
ments on the Mississippi would provide considerable data
for the still later studies of his new colleague. Pittman had
reached the Illinois in December, 1765, with Major Robert
Farmer's Thirty-fourth Regiment, after a long and arduous
haul up the Mississippi from New Orleans, a slow progress
which gave him time to make the observations for his
later volume. His presence at the Illinois and the careful
detail of his account of the Mississippi, which he readily
made available to Gordon and Hutchins, led to their de-
termination to forego any attempt to duplicate his ob-
servations on their own precipitous descent of the great
river. Accordingly, they left Fort Chartres on September
18, slipped quickly down to Natchez and on to Fort Bute
at the mouth of the Iberville River, today's Bayou Man-
chac. Here Hutchins had his first view of that historic
waterwayl's junction with the Mississippi, and immediately
noted its possibilities as a first link in a year-round, all-
water connection between British possessions on the Mis-
sissippi and those at Mobile and Pensacola. The question
was one which would occupy his thoughts for many years
to comle."4
Hutchins' first view of New Orleans came on October
14, when he, Gordon, and Croghan arrived at the long
anticipated city, only to find themselves considerably dis-
appointed by its still primitive development. Here the two
engineers parted company with the Indian agent, to
make their way to Mobile and Pensacola on the last leg
of their inspection tour of new British acquisitions. The
post at Pensacola was particularly distressing to them, with
its crumbling barracks, rotting stockade, and unprotected
harbor. Perhaps it might have been even more disturbing
to Hutchins had he realized that here too he was looking

( xic )

upon problems which would continue to vex him for long
days in the future.'"
Upon their return to Gage's headquarters in New York,
Gordon submitted a report to the British commander
which carried the captain's name but which in all likeli-
hood was a product of Hutchins' pen. Certainly it stressed
any number of convictions which Hutchins would con-
tinue to affirm during the remainder of his career as a
British officer, especially his glowing and optimistic im-
pressiQus of the Natchez country, and his ridiculing of the
so-called "free navigation"- of the Mississippi, supposedly
guaranteed to Britain by the Peace of 1763. So long as
Spain -controlled the lower stretch of the river and the
city of New Orleans, Hutchins insisted, free navigation must
remain an illusion.l" On this issue his views would remain
impassioned and unchanged over the years, as a reading
of the pertinent passages in the Historical Narrative will
There now followed a year's leisurely stay along the
east. coast, until Hutchins finally came full circle, to
find himself once again assigned to that Fort Pitt which
seemed destined~ to play such a continuing part in his
life. As before, it proved to be but a jumping-off place
for yet another adventure, this time in the Illinois country
which he had done so much to make accessible. From
September, 1768, to June, 1771, Hutchins was~ stationed
at Fort Chartres, and at first, the assignment seems to
have been pleasant and productive. The early weeks in
the Illinois were spent in polishing the lines of his "Journal
from Fort Pitt to the Mouth of the Ohio," a report detail-
ing his recent journey for the information of General
Frederick Haldimland. Here also he was able to renew
his friendship with George Morgan, now firmly established
in Kaskaskia, and to set about drafting plans for the re-
habilitation of the fortifications at his new post. Morgan
had become something of a frontier Dives, laying a table
rich with all the gustatory treasures of the wilderness,

( xo )
and to this gracious board Hutchins and his fellow officers
were frequent visitors. Much of this woodland opulence
stemmed from a highly questionable contract between
Morgan and the Illinois commandant, Lieutenant Colonel
John Wilkins, a moody and perhaps psychotic martinet,
who had agreed to assure a monopoly of the Illinois
trade to Morgan's company in exchange for a handsome
commissionon" When the almost inevitable rupture be-
tween Mlorgan and Wilkins finally came, Hutchins' peace-
ful days were over. He supported MIorgan's side of the
controversy without qualification, soon to find himself deep
in violent quarrel with Wilkins on almost every other
conceivable issue. The petty war raged on for months,
with any number of eventual cons equences-B aynton,
Wharton, and Morgan would be driven to bankruptcy; Mor-
gan would be forced to flee to New Orleans for his own
physical safety; Hutchins would feel himself impelled to
return to New York to demand court-martial proceedings
against Wlilkins; and that unhappy officer would finally
be recalled by Gage in disgrace.
Neither the days of pleasant leisure nor those of em-
bittered strife seem to have provided the conditions nec-
essary for successful repair of Fort Chartres. The relent-
less Mvississippi continued to bite into its foundations,
while Hutchins busied himself with completing yet an-
other manuscript, his "Remarks on the Country of the
Illinois," or in doing battle with Colonel Wilkins. The
essay was to win him membership in the American Philo-
sophical Society, before which it was read on December
20, 1771. The quarrel with Wilkins allowed him to blame
the continued disrepair of the fort on the commander's
peculations, until in the last days of the controversy, eager
to return to New York to press charges against Wilkins, he
took to advising Gage that Fort Chartres was close to
collapse~ and that the entire Illinois venture had been
subverted by malfeasance in high places."7
Gage pondered the reports, abolished the position of

( xcui )
engineer at Fort Chartres, and set to drafting instruc-
tions for a sweeping new assignment for Thomas Hutch-
ins. Before these could reach the Illinois, W~ilkins ordered
Hutchins back to New York, a brief and inglorious victory
before his own impending recall. It would not be long
before Britain was to abandon Fort Chartres completely
to the Mississippi and the wilderness.
Hutchins left the doomed post on June 10, 1771, anxious
to report to General Gage on the Illinois scandals. At
almost that precise moment Gage was himself writing to
advise Hutchins of his new assignment: he was to pro-
ceed immediately via the Mississippi to Pensacola, where
his services as engineer had been earnestly requested by
General Haldimand, now in command in Florida.
Much was behind this seemingly ingenuous appoint-
ment of a simple engineer to a distant, dilapidated post
on the sand beaches of the Gulf. Whether or not because
of the 1766 admonitions of Gordon and Hutchins, Gage
was anxious over the exposed position of Pensacola, which
the British conceived as the point of control from which
to rule the lands along the Mississippi won as spoils of
war in 1763. Certainly his engineers had at that time
underscored the power of Spain to control all access to the
Mississippi so long as she commanded New Orleans, and
now Gage was distinctly disturbed by the rapid deteriora-
tion in relations between that country and his own. In
the face of approaching war it was obviously imperative
that Pensacola be able to withstand attack and that Britain
be assured free use of the Mississippi, either by the seizure
of New Orleans or by the development of some avenue to
the great river through Lakes Pontchartrain, Maurepas, and
the River Iberville. It would not do, should conflict erupt,
to be caught unprepared or lacking the information nec-
essary for swift and purposeful military action. Thus it
was that Gage now instructed Hutchins to move down
the Mississippi, inspecting all Spanish settlements on its
banks, noting the details of their fortifications and how

( xcii )
they might be breached. Particular attention was to be
given to the Gulf approaches to the Mississippi, to the
defenses of New Orleans, and to the individual merits of
the various plans of attack by which the city might be
taken. To impress upon Hutchins the great delicacy of
his mission, Gage ordered him to commit his instructions
to memory and then to destroy them.
Hutchins, of course, was already making his way back
up the Ohio when Gage's orders were dispatched. If the
General was disgruntled by this miscarriage of his plans,
he was not dissuaded from them. Hutchins was promoted
to a lieutenancy on August 7, 1771, then hurried along
as quickly as possible to Pensacola, where he arrived in
March, 1772.18
The Pensacola to which he came still bore the marks
of decay and disrepair which he had noted back in 1766.
So once again he turned to the task of raising His Majesty's
defenses in the wilderness, this time outlining plans for
four blockhouses to be built in the angles of a new stock-
ade around the town, thus providing barracks for the
four companies of men guarding the post. To watch the
entrance to the bay, five batteries of large guns were to
be placed at the Red Cliff and at Santa Rosa Island,
manned ,by troops housed in three additional new block-
houses and commanded by officers quartered in an eight-
roomn structure.
Not surprisingly, the work moved slowly. Hutchins was
frequently shunted off into other responsibilities of his
multipurpose assignment, financial stringency still ham-
pered British efforts in America, and the post was further
debilitated by a noisy quarrel between its civil governor
and its military commander as to who had final authority
over the engineer's labors in planning and constructing
the fortifications. It was impossible for Hutchins to remain
entirely free of the squabble, but his Fort Chartres ex-
perience seems to have given him sufficient self-restraint
to allow him to remain reasonably friendly with Governor

( xciii )
Peter Chester, while still getting on with his work. By
mid-1774 he had completed the blockhouses, but scarcity
of cedar pickets delayed the progress of the stockade, and
lack of proper bricks and cedar planks halted work on
the officers' barracks and the gun emplacements.l"
Actually, he was destined never to finish this phase of
his work, and though his Historical Narrative does quietly
assert that the "present fort [at Pensacola] was built by
the writer .. in 1775," honesty compelled him to confess
that it "can be of no great service towards the defence of
the place, in case an attack be made upon it, either by
the natives or a civilized enemy."
Hutchins' stay in West Florida was, however, by no
means unproductive. His primary interests had always
been other than engineering, and he was anxious to turn
his hand to geographic surveying and to the espionage
which Gage had projected for him along the Mississippi.
H-e could not expect to produce in the area of this new
assignment cartographic or descriptive accounts compara-
ble in primacy to those which he had devoted to the
Ohio River, the Fort Pitt-Niagara country, and the Lake
Michigan region. Europeans had long been active in the
Gulf and along the Mississippi, and much had already
been done in making the area's major configurations of
land and sea familiar to those who cared about such things.
Even his British predecessors in West Florida had labored
effectively and well in studying the region surrounding
their king's new dominion. George Gauld, "surveyor of
the coast" in the 1760's, had made scrupulously detailed
soundings of the mouths of the Mississippi, the waters of
the M~ississippi Sound, and those along the whole stretch
of the West Florida shore.20 Elias Durnford had mapped
Pensacola in 1765 and the Iberville-Mississippi juncture in
1770. Philip Pittman, prior to his journey to the Illinois,
had prepared a draft of the Bay of Pensacola and, with
Gauld, a sketch of the entrance from the sea to the
Apalachicola. In addition, he had mapped the Pontchar-

( xix )
train-Manchac-Maurepas passage, drawn a plan of the
city of New Orleans, and sketched the Mississippi from
the Balize to Fort Cavendish.?' Shortly before Hutchins'
arrival in Florida, Thomas Sowers had prepared a map
of the Pensacola Bay fortifications, while Bernard Romans
was already at work in West Florida by 1772, preparing
his map~ of the coastline from the Mississippi delta to
Nonetheless, Hutchins found much to report on to Gage
and Haldimand, and various maps and descriptive ac-
counts of Louisiana and West Florida began to flow from
his pen. These included "A Description of the Sea Coast,
Harbours, Lakes, Rivers, etc., of the Province of West
Florida"; "A Few Remarks on the Principal Rivers, etc., in
the Province of West Florida"; "Remarks on the River
Amit"; "Remarks Relating to the Rivers Mississippi, Ib-
berville, Amit, and Lakes Maurepas and Pontchartrain";
sketch of the "Horizontal Line from Manchac to the Forks
of the Iberville, distant 9 miles"; "A Plan of the *Lakes
Pontchartrain and M/aurepas, and the River Ibberville and
also of the River Mississippi from its Mouth to the River
Yazou, a distance of 450 Miles"; "Courses of the Tage
River [Bayou Teche]"; and a "Sketch Map of the River
Apelouse and Bay." Copies of most of these were kept by
Hutchins for his own files, to become eventually the foun-
dation material for much of the text of his Historical
Narrativje andc Topographical Description of Louisiana and
WCIest Florida.23 &
He found time for spying as well. A pa-rticularly efficient
rescue of His Majesty's schooner Mercury and her crew,
disabled off the Florida coast by a severe hurricane in
September, 1772,24 Seems to have reminded Haldimand~
that the hero of that adventure, Lieutenant Hutchins,
had been dispatched to the South by Gage for more than
mapping and building. Not long thereafter Hutchins was
making his way up the Mississippi from the Balize, noting
the bearings for easiest entrance to the river, and com-

( xx )
mitting to paper appraisals of fortifications, troops, gun
emplacements, and whatever else he deemed important
should the British ever determine to seize New Orleans
as the key to the great valley. It was useless, he wrote
his superiors, to attempt any invasion from the river's
mouth. Here the Spaniards need only sink a few vessels
to block the channels completely. Hutchins maintained
that the treacherous haul up from the Balize was too un-
certain, in any case, to make such an attempt feasible. He
went on to underline the military hazards, ruling out the
advisability of any attack through Lake Pontchartrain and
Bayou St. John, or Lakes Maurepas and Manchac. By all
odds, he argued, the surest line of British attack would
be down the Ohio from Fort Pitt, into the Mississippi, and
on to New Orleans from upstream.
But he did have a second choice, and to read his
description of it is to have a fifty-year preview of the Battle
of New Orleans. In a remarkable passage, he sketched
out this alternate line of attack for Gage-into Lake
Borgne, up Bayou Mazant, and on to what would be-
come immortalized as the Plains of Chalmette. From
here, Hutchins pointed out, the way was clear to New
Orleans. Geography and nature had done their part; noth-
ing could prevent British success, he observed in a
phrase heavy with yet unrealized tragedy, except a clear
defeat of His Majesty's army in the field.25 At the time,
Andrew Jackson was a six-year-old boy in the Waxhaws
of Carolina.
Hutchins' reports on New Orleans and the defenses of
Louisiana in 1773 provide a good deal more than formal
military information. His sensitive ear was receptive to the
sounds of local discontent in the Spanish colony, and
it is clear that much of his advice to Gage is based upon
intelligence which could have been obtained only from
Louisianians fully aware of the uses to which their dis-
closures were meant to be put. Memories of Ulloa and
O'Reilly still rankled in New Orleans, impelling French-

men to confidences which they normally would have re-
fused the British at the cost of death. Even the light and
paternal guidance of the new Governor Unzaga was ap-
parently suspect, leading Hutchins to observe that the
Spanish onus of hatred in Louisiana was one which they
would never be able to lighten.26 The transforming magic
of Bernardo de Gilvez was yet to come.
Haldimand was so impressed by this latest evidence of
his lieutenant's abilities that he further determined to send
Hutchins once again up the M~ississippi and the Ohio, all
the way to Fort Pitt, to refine and correct the British
survey of the two great river valleys. Hutchins, delighted
by the news, responded with a request for permission to
build a vessel at Pensacola specially designed for the new
assignment. This he followed with an order to England
for a perambulatorr," the surveyor's device for measuring
distances. By now, however, Britain's attention was fixed
elsewYhere in her North American colonies. Adventures on
the western waterways yielded to the compelling de-
mands in Mlassachusetts, and all expenditures henceforth
were to be geared to the resolution of the growing crisis
in imperial control. Hutchins waited in vain for his per-
ambulator, as indeed for his orders authorizing the am-
bitious surveying expedition. New construction plans at Pen-
sacola were forbidden, while work even on essential proj-
ects already begun was allowed to falter. Bunker Hill
cut the flow of construction funds to Pensacola altogether.27
Enforced idleness had little attraction for Hutchins.
But the cessation of activity in Florida could not have
been completely unwelcomed by him, for it did indeed
open the way to immediate prosecution of yet another
project dear to his heart. This was the publication of those
extensive geographic studies of the trans-Aillegheny West
which had occupied so much of his time since 1758.
Realizing the impossibility of advancing such a venture in
the rebellious colonies, Hutchins could look only to Eng-
land itself. He took passage for London in March, 1776.

( xxii )
All of Hutchins' actions during the next few years indi-
cate his firm resolution to return to W~est Florida at the
first favorable opportunity. He had left behind there
much, indeed, to return to. As early as 1766 he had re-
marked on the many advantages of the Natchez region,
and it is reasonable to assume that it was largely as a
result of his enthusiastic comments on the area that his
older brother, Colonel Anthony Hutchins, took up his
residence there six months after Thomas' arrival in 1772.
The colonel was to become one of the most powerful
landholders in the Natchez district, skillfully weathering
the successive transitions of its control from British to
Spanish and finally to American hands. For his own part,
Thomas Hutchins moved quickly to capitalize on his su-
perior knowledge of where the best lands were to be
found in Florida, encouraged by the liberal land policy
of the British in their new possession. Governor Chester
was determined to populate the colony as rapidly as
possible, and in short order Hutchins had found himself the
recipient of 2,000 acres in the vicinity of his brother's hold-
ings near Natchez; 2,000 acres on the north side of the
Comite River; 2,000 acres just east of the Mississippi River
on Bayou Sara, near Baton Rouge; and 600 acres on the
Homochitto River. In addition he petitioned for a grant
of 25,000 acres along Second Creek in the Natchez region,
proposing in return to transport hundreds of settlers from
Pennsylvania to colonize the great tract."s
It was, therefore, as a substantial colonial landholder
and would-be entrepreneur that Hutchins arrived in Lon-
don in 1776, a status further enhanced by his promotion
to the rank of captain in November of that year. His
objectives seem to have been twofold--the publication of
his geographic studies and the arrangement of profitable
and advantageous reassignment to West Florida, where he
might enjoy the blessings of extensive landownership. The
first goal was attained in November, 1778, with the ap-
pearance of A New Map of the Western Parts of Vir-

( xxiii)
ginia, Pennsulcania, Manryland, andE North Carolina, ac-
companied by a Topographical Description of the region
represented in the chart. The work attracted immediate
favorable attention, being placed on sale in America by
Robert Aitken of Philadelphia, and finding a French pub-
lisher in Paris in 1781.'"
With the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury, how-
ever, H-utchins was unable to fare so well. He had begun
to petition the Lords almost immediately- upon his arrival
for payment of what hie represented as obligations to him
of long standing. These dated as far back as supposed
British delinquencies in compensation for hiis extra serv-
ices at Venango, LeBoeuf, and Presque Isle in 1759 and
extended down to such recent date as the month following
the outbreak of hostilities in America betweenn the colonies
and the mother country. At this time, Hutchins main-
tained, he had been forced to finance defense projects at
Pensacola out of his own pocket. Generals Gage and Hal-
dimand having come to Hutchins' support in this last as-
sertion, the Lords of the Treasury honored his claim,
whereupon Hutchins complained that since his suit had
thus been decreed just, the Crown should pay all expenses
incurred b~y him in coming to Lond~on to press it.
The boldness of Hutchins' contention is little altered by
the proposal which he immediately brought forward as
a reasonable resolution of his claim against the Lords. Hle
proposed, in short, that he: be compensated by additional
grants of land in West Florida. To round out his master
plan, he at the same time urged the military establishment
to reassign him to Pensacola, where his services were
described as essential to completion of desperately need-
ed military defenses. Once again he extolled the benefits
Britain might expect from developing the Natchez terri-
tory, and he pleaded for the opportunity to supervise the
construction of forts in that area and at Manchac. So fer-
vent were his protestations that he now even reversed his
earlier judgments against the feasibility of a cut from the

( xxic )
Mississippi into the River Iberville, proclaiming his ability
to engineer such a desirable all-water route between the
British posts on the Mississippi and those on the Gulf for
a mere 2,500 pounds.
His arguments appear to have carried weight, so much
so that the British did indeed determine upon recon-
struction of Fort Bute at Manchac, with apparent hopes
of effecting the Mississippi-Iberville cut."" But none of this
was to be done with the assistance of Captain Hutchins,
who lamentably found himself instead languishing in Cler-
kenwell prison under charges of high treason.
Throughout his later career Hutchins was to maintain
that this crisis in his life had been suddenly precipitated
by a British demand that he take up arms against his
fellow Americans, a move which he attributed to concern
over his supposed repeated attempts to sell his com-
mission once war had erupted between the colonies and
the mother country. This version of his fall from British
grace, first recounted by Hutchins in a memorial to Ben-
jamin Franklin in February, 1780, would seem to have
little basis in fact. There is no support to be found for
his contention that he refused a commission as major
which would have necessitated his joining the struggle
against the Americans, just as there is not the slightest
evidence in any of his surviving correspondence that he
had the remotest interest of any kind in the Revolutionary
cause. His whole concern after 1775 seems to have cen-
tered on his geographic publications and upon the many
schemes he had under way to increase his landholdings
in West Florida. Until his arrest in August, 1779, rather
than attempting to sell his commission, Hutchins was ex-
erting every effort to remain in British military service,
flooding his superiors with descriptions of the virtues of
the many projects which he proposed to push to comple-
tion on the banks of the Mississippi and along the shores
of the Gulf.
The actions leading to his imprisonment were more a

part of a petty profit-seeking scheme than any responsi-
ble intelligence effort in behalf of the American states,
as they have been interpreted by some of Hutchins' de-
fenders.32 Certainly there is no truth to the statements
frequently made by his admirers in later days that he
was engaged in forwarding secret information to his close
friend Franklin in Paris."" That gentleman, it might be ob-
served, advised intimate allies at the time of Hutchins'
arrest that he had never heard of the captain from New
Jersey.34 There is no doubt at all, however, that Hutchins
was indeed engaged in correspondence with someone in
France when he was apprehended and imprisoned. His
correspondent was Samuel Wharton, ex-partner and now
bitter enemy of Hutchins' best friend, George Morgan.
Wharton, apparently aware of Hutchins' continual flirta-
tion with penury, had prevailed upon him to dispatch to
Paris certain information useful to Wharton for speculating
in British securities. It was all done in mysterious coded
messages, employing fabricated names and indirect ad-
dresses, with Hutchins secreting his documents behind a
shelf of books in his closet, where their discovery led to his
final downfall.
Amateurish and probably inconsequential, the Hutchins-
Wharton intrigue was nonetheless surrounded with suffi-
cient signs and devices of true espionage to give the British
pause. For some seven weeks Hutchins was detained and
periodically interrogated, until finally even his accusers
felt that he was guilty of little more than harmless stu-
pidity and he was released without conviction or punish-
ment."" The simple fact of his arrest did, however, have
certain ponderable results, not only for Hutchins person-
ally but also for those in England who actually were
working closely with Franklin in Paris. Terrified by Hutch-
ins' experience, these American agents quickly adopted
far greater security measures than any they had previously
employed, so that Hutchins may, in truth, have indirectly
contributed to the American cause."" But to his own

( xxci )
frightened eyes in 1780, only one thing was clear--his future
as a British offcer was compromised beyond hope of any
reasonable recovery. So it was that he finally did begin a
series of fruitless attempts to win permission to sell his
commission. When Hutchins received no answer to his
communications, he interpreted the silence as an ominous
sign, dashed off a letter resigning his commission, and
fled to France. The resignation, at least, did prompt a
reply from General Amherst, advising Hutchins that it
was not seemly for an officer to abandon his place in time
of war and ordering him to take charge of a group of
recruits destined for his regiment at Jamaica. The depart-
ed Hutchins, no longer in England to receive these orders,
was henceforth recorded by the British as a deserter in
tim~e of war."'
Upon his arrival in France, Hutchins hurried to present
himself to Franklin, before whom at Passy he took the
oath of allegiance to the United States. It was here also
that he prepared his memorial to the ambassador, be-
seeching Franklin's assistance in obtaining a position with
the American army and recounting his version of the
Lsufferings, and losses" sustained because of his devotion
to his countrymen. Convinced of Hutchins' sincerity,
Franklin forwarded a letter to the President of the Con-
gress, praising Hutchins as one who had "suffered con-
siderably for his attachment to the American cause," and
recommending him "to the favorable notice of Congress,
when any affair occurs in which his talents may be use-
ful.""8 Passage to America was arranged for Hutchins on
board the Alliance of John Paul Jones, whom he served as
secretary during the days awaiting departure. By Febru-
ary, 1781, he was back home in America."9
A soldier almost all of his adult life, it was natural for
Hutchins to look toward the American army as his best
hope of advancement now that he had embraced the rebel
cause. To that end he had secured Franklin's recommen-
dation, no doubt wisely, for in May, 1781, his hopes were

( xxcii )
gratified by congressional appointment as "geographer to
the southern army, with the same pay and emoluments as
are allowed to the geographer of the main army.""o Hutch-
ins formally accepted this commission in a letter of July
11, 1781, addressed to the President of the Congress. Never
loath to push his good fortune, he accompanied his ex-
pressions of appreciation with the blunt observation that
the "precariousness" of the title "Geographer of the South-
ern Army," as well as its "local and Temporary" character,
compelled him to ask that it be changed to "Geographer
to the United States.""' His wish granted, Hutchins moved
promptly to another point of challenge, this time demand-
ing all "back salary" due him from the date of his appoint-
ment, plus a cash advance of $2,000 before he would leave
Philadelphia to join General .Nathanael Greene's com-
mand. It was obvious that he had no taste for the southern
campaign, preferring, as he told General Washington, to
bte assigned to the rebuilding of Fort Pitt or the running
of the southern boundary of Pennsylvania. Even when the
harassed Treasury managed to meet his monetary de-
mands in February, 1782~, he dallied in Philadelphia until
April of that year before making his way south to join
Greene. His remaining year of service in the Revolution-
ary War was unremarkable in any way, and in the spring
of 1783 he returned to Philadelphia anxious for geograph-
ical undertakings more to his liking.42
The next two years were largely active and profitable
ones, except perhaps in a monetary sense, for Hutchins
shared the general economic plight of national officers
dependent upon the anemic Confederation government.
But he did have the satisfaction of finding himself after
November, 1783, the sole holder of the title "Geographer
to the United States," his one-time compeer in that place,
Simeon DeWitt, having resigned to become surveyor-gen-
eral of New York.43 Between quarrels with Congress over
his salary, he surveyed the area around the falls of the Dela-
ware as a possible site for the proposed Federal City, stud-

( xxciii )
ied the region between the Susquehanna and Schuylkill
Rivers in search of the best way to effect a communications
link between them, and joined David Rittenhouse, John
Ewing, and John Lukens as the Pennsylvania representa-
tives on the commission to run the boundary line between
that state and Virginia."" Some time during the months of
1783-84 he also found time to collate, revise, and add to the
various reports and descriptions he had prepared while a
British officer in West Florida, and in 1784 there appeared
his An Historical Nar~rative and Topographical Description
of Louisiana and West Florida, "printed for the Author,
and sold .. near the Coffee-House, in Market-Street,"
by that same Robert Aitken who had championed his
Topographical Description and map of 1778. Even Mr.
Aitken's exertions were unable, however, to sell the neces-
sary subscriptions for a map to accompany the book, and
the companion chart to the Historical Narrative was
never published.
The completion of the extension of the Mason-Dixon
line between Pennsylvania and Virginia found Hutchins so
delighted with the generosity and promptness of. his
remuneration that he expressed keen interest in being
allowed to run the western boundary of the Quaker state.
Congress demurred, and turned him instead to the crown-
ing work of his life.45
Most of the land area of the world has been surveyed
under an "unsystematic" procedure, and this was certainly
the experience of the thirteen original American states,
of Kentucky, Vermont, Tennessee, and Texas. There had
indeed been some very early attempts to devise a survey
system based on standardized shape and measuring tech-
niques, for even thle republican Romans had experiment-
ed with a rectangular module for this purpose. Seven-
teenth-century Holland, Cromwellian Ireland, and colonial
New England had likewise tried at least limited adapta-
tions of systematized surveying in their communities.
But it remained for the Articles of Confederation Congress

( xxix )
to embrace the first large-scale project of this kind in the
famous Land Ordinance of 1785, which has been described
as an "astonishing advance over other systems used else-
where in the world," and praised as being among the
"few important state papers upon which the rights of
mankind are founded." 6 In short, it established the ree-
tangular township system of land survey under which the
great preponderance of what is now the territory of the
United States was brought into settlement. Together
with its mate, the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, it pro-
vided the mechanism for continental expansion of the peo-
ple and institutions of the American Republic. The main
occupation of the last years of Thomas Hutchins' life was
to translate the intention of the Ordinance of 1785 into
actual fact.
Under the provisions of the act, Hutchins, as Geogra-
pher to the United States, was made responsible for direct-
ing the work of a corps of deputy surveyors appointed
by the various states, men subject to his orders but whom
he could neither select nor dismiss.47 In September, 1785,
Hutchins, with this motley crew, moved west from the
point at which the Pennsylvania boundary meets the north
bank of the Ohio River, to begin running the so-called
Geographer's Line for the original tier of ranges. His goal
was forty-two miles due west, where the farthest stake
would mark the northwest corner of the Seventh Range.
At each mile along the base line a post was set and
witness trees were marked; at each six-mile point a town
corner was fixed, from which deputy surveyors were to run
the meridian or range lines south to the Ohio, pre-
paratory to plotting the interior lines which would de-
termine the townships and sections.48
From the very start the project was handicapped by
almost insuperable obstacles. The cession of the vast west-
ern acres to Congress had already drawn the close atten-
tion of speculators anxious to carve fortunes out of the
new national domain, and several of Hutchins' deputies

( xxx )
were more concerned with private schemes than they were
with their official duties. An example is Rufus Putnam,
appointed to such a post by the state of Massachusetts.
This shrewd planner had engaged in further deputizing
his assignment by sending out Colonel Benjamin Tup-
per in his place.4" Tupper's favorable reports on the western
lands visited by Hutchins' party during the first months of
its work so excited Putnam's ambitions that he moved at
once to help found the Ohio Company and to attempt to
preempt for himself Hutchins' position as geographer to
the United States and director of the Seven Ranges proi
Hutchins' troubles, however, involved more than the
unreliability of his deputies. The very terrain of the Seven
Ranges was itself a major problem, with dissection and
local relief so pronounced as to frustrate all but the most
determined attacks upon it. Over all lay a dense growth of
forest, ideal lurking place for Indian braves frightened
and upset by this further incursion of the white man, and
stimulated in their concern by the incitements of British
personnel in the still held northwestern fur posts."1 Hardly
less dangerous were the bands of squatters already settled
in some areas of the proposed survey, determined to hold
their own by distressing the government party in any way
possible. Against these dangers the army could advance
only raw, undisciplined, poorly trained troops, too few and
too scattered to do much good.52
In the face of these threats Hutchins was able to push
the Geographer's Line only six miles in his first expedition
in 1785. The next year was somewhat better, despite con-
tinued harassment by the Ohio Company leaders through
General H-enry Knox, and the ever-present danger that
Congress might yield to the rising demands of the land-
hungry that the Ordinance of 1785 be scrapped for im-
mediate and pell-mell filing of unsurveyed claims.
Despite continued threat of Indian and squatter violence,
by early September, 1786, Hutchins had completed the

( xxxi )
base line through the Seventh Range,"3 only to have the
work of running the interior lines halted in November by
the army's warning of a possible Indian attack. All told,
his report of December 2, 1786, could point to only 26
townships, about 675,000 acres, as having been finally
surveyed.54 The delay, of course, was critical, with the
faltering Confederation Congress desperately in need of
the funds which might come from the sale of Seven
Ranges land.
And yet for Hutchins the crisis seems to have brought
out a dedication not discernible in certain of his earlier
relations with the Congress. To retain the services of his
deputies in the field, he had even expended $2,'799.43 of
his own money which he added to the inadequate pay
Congress had authorized for the surveyors during 1786.
Moreover, he must have known that his attempts to ar-
range for an equitable adjustment by Congress were likely
to meet with failure at a time when even General Knox
described the Confederation Treasury as "in its last gasp."66
But the work continued. On April 18, 1787, Hutchins
delivered to Congress the finished plats of the first four
ranges, and during the spring and summer of 1787 his
deputies were engaged in running the remaining internal
lines of the unfinished segments of the trace. This left
him free to accept an assignment to join Ewing and
Rittenhouse in running the boundary between New York
and Penlnsylvania, which occupied him until the fall of
1787, when the internal surveys of the Seven Ranges were
completed. It was then possible for Hutchins to turn to
the preparation of the finished plats of the entire survey.
Apparently enervated by pressures centering on the whole
question of the Seven Ranges, Hutchins offered no oppo-
sition when the Ohio Company leaders pushed to have
one of their number, Winthrop Sargent, prepare the final
drafts, anxious as they were to have fullest and quickest
information on the lands west of the Fifth Range. With
Hutchins' appointment of Sargent andi Israel Ludlow to

( xxxii)
complete the documents of the survey, his own direct
association with the great project of running the first
Seven Ranges was at an end.56
But his association with the western lands was by no
means over. The exasperating slowness of the Seven
Ranges survey had stimulated demands .for immediate re-
lief-Congress was reeling from lack of funds; Revolu-
tionary veterans were clamoring for access to land; and
the Ohio Company was impatient for profits. Shays' Re-
bellion raised the fear that any further delay in opening
thne West might lead to defiant migration into the terri-
tory, while the seductive blandishments of Spain toward
dissatisfied American elements in the West injected yet
another disturbing factor into the crisis. In rapid response
to these threats Congress, in the summer of 1787, granted
a contract to the Ohio Company, allowing them to pur-
chase 1,500,000 acres between the Seven Ranges and the
Scioto River. The price was to be no less than a dollar
an acre, with $500,000 down, $500,000 to be paid upon
completion of the survey of the tract's exterior lines, and
the remainder to be met in six annual installments. Be-
cause of the enormously depreciated value of the certifi-
cates to be used in the payment of this obligation, the
Ohio Company had won a tremendously advantageous
bargain, and was for that reason all the more anxious to
bring it to fruition."' For his part, General Knox was able
to push passage of legislation in 1787 creating two mili-
tary districts in which veterans might locate their claims,
one north of the Ohio Company purchase, and one at the
mouth of the Ohio. Congressional amendment of the Land
Ordinance in July, 1788, placed responsibility for sur-
veying the two military tracts upon the geographer to the
United States, who might appoint a deputy for each of the
areas. Persons with military warrants were authorized to
locate anywhere in either of the tracts, so long as the
location was bounded on one side by an external line of
the tract or a prior survey.58

( xxxiii )
All of this activity was made an immediate concern of
Hutchins because of his re-election to a new two-year term
as geographer on M~ay 26, 1788."9 Payment of the second
installment of the Ohio Company's obligation depended
upon completion of the running of the external boundaries
of the tract. Therefore Congress, on July 18, 1788, ordered
Hutchins to draw upon the treasury for the necessary
funds and to proceed directly to a survey of the Ohio
Company grant. Arriving in the West in October, he per-
sonally supervised determination of the latitude of the
four angles of the Ohio Company purchase, fixed the
location of the mouth of the Scioto, and surveyed twelve
miles up the Ohio River from that point. His deputies,
Absalom Martin and Israel Ludlow, then took over to
finish the survey in the summer of
Aside from the Ohio company project, C~ongress had
also placed upon Hutchins' shoulders responsibility for the
survey of the military tracts and of three Indian towns
reserved by the Land Ordinance as dwelling places for
Christian Indians north of the Ohio River."' But it was to
neither of these assignments that he turned upon leaving
Martin and Ludlow. Rather, in November, 1788, he hur-
ried back to familiar Pittsburgh to join his old friend
George Morgan in pursuit of the last dream of his life.
It is impossible to determine at this late date what
particular dissatisfactions or ambitions impelled Hutchins
to turn away from the UCnited States. He had become a
strong champion of the proposed new federal constitu-
tion,"' and his willingness to sacrifice his own immediate
interests to those of his country in perfecting the survey
of the Seven Ranges and of the Ohio Company grant had
nr-t gone unnoticed.'' Yet he appears to have become
more and more disturbed by fears that an inept Congress
would never adopt an Indian policy capable of guarantee-
ing peace in the Old Northwest, while his old confidant
Mlorgan railed against the perfidy of a government which
w~ou;ld hand out largess to the Ohio Company but refuse

( xxxic )
it to one such as he. Morgan's plans for a huge tract along
the Mississippi had been granted by the Congress, only to
be nullified in effect by restrictive conditions imposed by
the national legislature. The disgruntled Morgan turned
for relief to Spain, and it was to help in this undertaking
that Hutchins hurriedi to Pittsburgh.1ate in 1788."" In his
own mind there loomed as well the necessity to confirm
his title to those thousands of acres of land granted to
him in West Florida by Britain, but now under the control
of the Span-ish governor of Louisiana.
In some fashion not clear, Hutchins had developed a
close friendship with Don Diego de Gardoqui, Spain's
envoy to the United States."" It was with Gardoqui that
Hutch~ins now began a busy and detailed correspondence,
supporting Morgan's petitions to the Spanish government
and attesting to his own ability to persuade countless
prominent Pennsylvanians to~ transport themselves to any
lands Spain might make available upon the Mississippi.
Morg~an's proposals for an Amnerican settlement at New
Madrid near the mouth of the Ohio won Hutchins' full
approbation, so muchl so that soon after opening corres-
pondence with Gardoqui he proclaimed his own int~en-
tions to quit his position as geographer in order to*'join ~in
the great colonizing venture. Meanwhile; he advanced
MVorgan $600 to finance a trip to the proposed Mississippi
grant, an outlay eventually assumed by Gardoqui, while
offering his own services to run the survey of the New
M/adrid Tract. Eventually this interest intensified to the
point that Hutchins took up correspondence not only with
Gardoqui but also with Governor Esteban Mir6 and
Daniel Clark in New Orleans. From the former he request-
ed appointment as geographer or surveyor-general to His
Catholic Majesty, while to the latter he confided his
determination to quit the United States for service with
Spain should Morgan's plan prove successful, a move in
which he expected to be joined by the "best citizens" of
New Jersey, Fort Pitt, and Kentucky. Perhaps over-op-

( xxxy )
timistically, or to represent as an accomplished fact one of
his great hopes, Hutchins also assured Clark that his de-
cision to join Spain had been facilitated by Mir6's pledge
to guarantee him title to his lands at Natchez.6<
Much in all of this appears to be simple ebullience on
the part of Hutchins, heightened perhaps by the excite-
ment of working so closely again with his ambitious friend.
Mir6, for his part, moved cautiously and skeptically, dis-
trustful of the intentions of Americans who proclaimed
their anxiety to become subjects of the king of Spain.
With considerable candor he advised Morgan of the folly
of misunderstanding Spain's purposes in this colonizing
venture, underlining those very areas of possible confusion
which were eventually to spell the dissolution of Morgan's
hopes and the complete collapse of the New Madrid enter-
Morgan, it is true, chose not to listen, but in this
decision, at least, Hutchins could play no part. Through
the early months of 1789 his health had begun to break,
and he was caught in the grip of what his contemporaries
called a "failing of the nerves and an almost insensible
waste of the constitution." Death came on April 28, 1789,
fittingly enough in Pittsburgh, center of so much of his
Funeral services were conducted by the Reverend John
Heckewelder, a Moravian clergyman closely attached to
those three Christian Indian villages which Hutchins was
never to survey. For more than a century his remains
lay in the graveyard of the First Presbyterian Church of
Pittsburgh, until in 1900 the burial ground was moved to
make way for an addition to the main building. Along
with many others, Hutchins was reinterred in Allegheny
Cemetery."' No records were then made of individual
burial plots, and the man who did so much to chart the
unmapped lands of the Old Northwest lies today in an
unmarked Pittsburgh grave.

( xxxcji
Of Hutchins the man, of his appearance, temperament,
and personality, there is hardly any record. One isolated,
off-hand remark of his own indicates that he was rather
slight of build,'0 though certainly he must have been robust
enough, considering his years of active life in the Ameri-
can wilderness. As to his character, those of his contem-
poraries who have left any comment at all seem to have
thought well of him, Ebenezer Hazard finding him a man
of "polite manners, of great integrity, who made a regular
profession of religion."" His imaginative reconstruction of
his actions and motives during the Revolutionary War may
indeed reveal some disposition to stretch the truth to his
own advantage, but in this he certainly does not stand
alone, in his day or our own. Nothing in his record points
to meanness or malice, and much there does bespeak
attentive regard to responsibility and duty. In all, he seems
to have contained the usual human balance of strengths
and frailties-whaat may have been a sincere concern with
the religious commitment, for example, did not stand in
the way of his siring at least tht~ree natural children.''
Concerning the importance and significance of his work
there can be no question, though various admirers over
the years have tried to bestow upon him laurels which
are not properly his. Because he prepared the illustrations
for the account of Bouquet's expedition of 1764, for ex-
ample, there were many during his lifetime who assumed
that he was the author of the texti as well. The New York
Daily Gazette so reported in his obituary of Mvay 20,
1789; the same version was also reported in an American.
2Mercu~ry article of April, 1790; and as late as 1888 Charles
WhiLttlsey was still ascribing authorship of the vrolumne to
Hr.tchins, through it was already clear- that the real autholr
of the text was Wrilliam Smith, prlouist of the college that
became the University of Pennsylvania. More interesting-
lyi, Whittlesey, an important figure in late nineteenth-cen-
tury engineering, leaped from Hiutchins' supposed author-
ship of the Bouquet volume to the rnore staggering claim

( xxxc~ii )
that the backwoods geographer was indeed the true crea-
tor of the rectangular survey system embraced in the
Land Ordinance of 1785, thus placing him, WhittleseyI
maintained, among the greatest of American geniuses.
Wlhittlesey based his contention upon the inclusion in the
Bouquet volume of a plan for military settlements north of
the Ohio to discourage Indian attack, with villages laid
out on the simple six-mile rectangular pattern adopted
in 1785. In Whittlesey's thesis, Hutchins had been the
author of everything in the Bouquet volume and thus
must be credited with invention of the survey scheme.'"
WYriting some years later, in 1904, Frederick Charles
Hicks prepared a biographical sketch of Hutchins to serve
as an introduction to a reprint of the Topographical
Descriptionz of Vir~ginia. Here he made the more cautious
claim that the "system of land platting now used by the
Commissioner of the General Land Office is supposed to
have been the invention of Thomas Hutchins." Aware of
the flimsy basis for WVhittlesey's claims, Hicks did not at-
tempt to buttress them, and more modern scholarship
has, of course, indicated the variegated sources from
which Jefferson and his colleagues derived the idea of
the survey system of 1785. Hicks argued, nonetheless, that
while "the question of the authorship of this system may
never be settled absolutely, it is certain that to no one
belongs to a greater meed of praise than to the man who
first applied the system in the 'seven ranges' from which
has spread out the great network of western surveys."74
Even this would appear to give perhaps undue promi-
nence to Hutchins as against Jefferson and the members
of Congress who actually conceived the Ordinance. It
could hardly be disputed, however, that in his steadfast
implementation of the great idea, despite internal and
external disruptions of the gravest order, Hutchins has
indeed earned some place of note in the chronicles of his
If, like Wlhittlesey and others, Hicks seems determined

( xxxciii )
to pile greatness on the head of Hutchins because of his
association with the undoubted greatness of the Land
Ordinance, he does not thereby lose sight of what is closer
to the true significance of Hutchins' work. "By his travels
in the western country," Hicks wrote, "he contributed to
one of the greatest influences in American history, namely,
the influence of movement. His pioneer work, and his
survey of roads and land tracts, when recorded in his
books and maps, showed, first, what there was to be
attained and, second, how it might be reached."''
This was in fact Hutchins' great importance. During his
lifetime he was to travel widely, observe carefully, and
map well, and though there were to be serious errors
detected in some of his work by such sharp eyes as those
of Jefferson, by and large his finished products were reliable
and highly usable. The early 1762 sketch of his journey
to Lake Michigan, for example, has been described as
"by far the best and most accurate map of the lower
peninsula of Michigan which had appeared up to that time,
and more accurate in its general dimensions than any map
appearing for more than sixty years later."'"
His charting of the courses of the Ohio and his map of
the great river's falls were such major improvements over
anything else available at the time that Gage had them
widely distributed for use among British officers in the
western country, facilitating greatly the activities after
1766 in the Ohio Valley and the Illinois."7 These materials
formed the basis for Hutchins' New Map of the Western
Parts of Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and North Caro-
lina, with its companion Topographical Description of
1778. The most widely acclaimed of Hutchins' cartographic
contributions, it marked a real advance over the earlier
efforts of Lewis Evans and Christopher Gist, whose prior
labors Hutchins freely acknowledged. While Jefferson
might correctly challenge the work's exaggerated state-
ment of the square mileage of countryside watered by the
Ohio, and others might question the reliability of its repre-

( xxxix )
sentation of the northern lake areas, the southern tip of
Lake Huron, or the course of the Illinois and Cumberland
rivers, it nevertheless quickly became a major guidebook
for those anxious to move down and beyond the Ohio.
It received a second printing in the very year of its publi-
cation, was translated into French in 1781, appeared in an
American edition in 1787, and became a section of Gil-
bert Imlay's A Topographical Description of the Western
Territory of North America, published in 1797. In the
early nineteenth century Zadock Cramer incorporated
major sections of it in repeated editions of his Navigator,
or the Trader's Useful Guide inr Navigating the Mononga-
hela, Allegheny, Ohio, and Mississippi Rivers. All told,
Hutchins' work, in the words of Beverly Bond, "became
of very great importance in the extension of American
power and settlement in the Ohio Valley," a virtual
"Western Baedeker" for the floods of immigrants who
would eventually far outnumber the early traders and
soldiers in the push toward the West.'" Through the years
others would continue to acknowledge their fundamental
debt to Thomas Hutchins-Jedidiah Morse in his American
Geography and Map of the Northern and Middle States;
the Reverend Heckewelder in the Map and Description
of Northwestern Ohio; William McMurray in The United
States According to the Definitive Treaty of Peace Signed
at Paris, September 3, 1783; Thomas Jefferson in A Map
of the Country between Albermarle Sound and Lake Erie;
and John Fitch in the dedication of his famous 1785 Map
of the Northwest, which honors Hutchins as "so bright
an ornament" of the science of geography."
While overshadowed in significance by Hutchins' earlier
work, the Historical Narrative and Topographical De-
scription of. Louisiana and West Florida is not without
considerable interest and importance in its own right. It,
too, attracted critical acclaim, and with its predecessor
found a reprinting in Imlay's 1797 version of his Topo-
graphical Description of the Western Territory of North

( xl )
America. Like all of Hutchins' efforts, it is characterized
not only by overall accuracy and careful detail, but also
by directness of approach, a leanness of style and content
bespeaking impatience with untidy rambling or ground-
less speculation, and the true pioneer impulse to gather
and report on geographic data which had eluded or not
interested previous recorders.
Examination of the Hutchins Manuscripts in the His-
torical Society of Pennsylvania gives a fairly clear but by
no means complete view of the process by which the
Historical Narrative was brought to publication. That por-
tion of the printed text beginning at the bottom of page
57 and continuing down to the appendix introducing
George Gauld's observations on the Tortugas is basically
Hutchins' early report to Gage on the "General Descrip-
tion of the Sea Coasts, Harbours, Lakes, Rivers, etc., of the
Province of West Florida," which he had originally pre-
pared during the early days of his assignment at Pensa-
cola. Sometime during later years, interestingly enough,
he seems to have become confused as to the actual period
of its first composition. The date 1769 may be noted
affixed to the end of the title which heads it, a superscrip-
tion obviously added subsequent to the writing of the body
of the report, as is indicated by the cramped space into
which it is squeezed at the top of the sheet. Two other
copies of this report are to be found in the manuscripts,so0
and the best guess from internal evidence is that both of
these were made while Hutchins was in London. They
include, for instance, added statements relative to his
having built the fort at Pensacola in 1775, a date not long
prior to his departure from Florida, while they also retain
such references as those to "our" fort at Manchac and to
"His Majesty's ships," which would testify to a yet un-
broken attachment to the British service.
In the matter of fixing the date of the primary report,
Hutchins' reworking of the first copy seems to have sharp-
ened his memory, fortunately, and any doubts raised by

( xli )

the peculiar "1769" affixed to the first draft are removed
by his editing the original copy's statement that "The
Chandleurs are five in number," to read in the second
version, "The Chandleurs, which were five in number
when I visited them in 1772. . ." Remembering Hutchins'
determination to interest the British in a Manchac project
which might promote his own return to Florida, it is also
revealing to see that the original report's silence on any
such engineering endeavor is remedied by inclusion in
the second draft of the statement, "It would certainly
require some trouble and expence to clear the Iberville of
logs and cut a deeper channel between it and the Missis-
sippi, but its [sic] undoubtedly practicable." All of this
would seem to indicate that Hutchins intended these
revised copies to play a part in the promotion schemes he
had unloosed upon his superiors in London prior to the
catastrophe of his exposure as the ally of Samuel Wharton.
While the third draft is the most polished of the three,
even it is not the copy from which the Historical Narra-
tive was actually set, for it too eventually had to be
brought up to date in phraseology and content to accom-
modate Hutchins' attachment to the United States rather
than to Britain. In essence, however, it does represent that
portion of the Histor~ical Narrativje which concerns itself
with West Florida. Hutchins, it should be pointed out, while
not the pioneer explorer or cartographer to the same de-
gree in Florida that he had been in the Ohio Valley, was
nonetheless an experienced observer of the West Florida
coast, and his description of it in the Historical Narrative
is in many ways superior to anything published earlier.
Bernard Romans, for example, in his famous Concise Nat-
ural History of East and West Florida,81 anticipates Hutch-
ins in his navigational descriptions of West Florida, but
Romans' volume is nowhere so full in its directions or so
well organized in its content as the Historical Narrative.
On the other hand it must be acknowledged that Hutchins
confines his discourse fairly closely to the coastline, with

( xlii )
nothing approaching the engrossing, detailed account of
Indians, flora and fauna, disease, and general folkways to
be found in Romans' pages. It is interesting to note that
both authors acknowledge freely their debt to George
Gauld, who took soundings at the mouths of the Mississippi
and along the entire West Florida coast, but whose own
observations were generally not to be published until
some time after the appearance of the Romans and Hutch-
ins volumes.
For earlier sections of the Historical Narrative, those
describing the early history of Louisiana, the French co-
lonial resistance to Ulloa, the crushing of rebellion by
O'Reilly, and the descriptions of the settlements along
the Mississippi and the Teche, Hutchins turned to field
notes he had made on various expeditions through the area
and to the pages of his friend Philip Pittman's The Present
State of the Eur~opean Settlements on the Mississippi,
published in 1770.82 His debt to Pittman, acknowledged
in the Historical Narrative's preface, is quite heavy, whole
sections of Hutchins' text being literal transcriptions of
passages in his predecessor's work. Hutchins borrowed from
Pittman particularly in his account of Ulloa's early diffi-
culties in New Orleans and in his description of O'Reilly's
assumption of authority in the colony. But his entire treat-
ment of the Revolution of 1768 is conditioned by his own
visits to Louisiana in the days of Unzaga, and it is clear
that conversations at that time with the still unhappy
colonials helped Hutchins to give a more searching look
into the rebellion against Spain than that to be found in
Pittman. Especially noteworthy is Hutchins' somewhat
skeptical approach to certain of the revolutionary leaders,
such as LaFreniibre and Foucault, whose overtures to Bri-
tain are reported in the same critical tone as to be found
in the work of much' later historians, such as Georges
Pittman is also the source for much of Hutchins' de-
scription of the Balize,8" the city of New Orleans,s4 the

(xliii )
German and Acadian Coasts,"5 and for such historical
accounts as that of the Natchez uprising against Fort
Rosalie in 1729."6 But again, Hutchins adds much of his
own material to Pittman's, providing, for example, a con-
siderably more detailed description of the countryside
around Natchez than is to be found in the earlier work.
It is in his account of the regions west of the Mississippi,
along Bayou Teche, or the Tage River, as he called it,
and down the Atchafalaya, that Hutchins becomes once
again the true pioneer, reporting upon a region which
those before him had completely neglected. Charlevoix,
Bossu, Le Page du Pratz, La Harpe, Dumont-none of
these earlier writers give any notice at all to this area
which Hutchins immediately recognized as of great con-
sequence in the eventual growth of the territory. For this
reason his pages on the Teche and the surrounding coun-
tryside are among the most significant in his work and
give it a place of particular importance in the literature
on Louisiana.
The Historical Narrative also deserves attention as one
of the first published demands that the American people
awaken to their great dependence upon the M'ississippi
River for their future well-being and security, and in this
respect not even Thomas Jefferson was to write anything
with more conviction or authority. "The safety and com-
mercial prosperity which may be secured to the United
States by the definitive treaty of peace," Hutchins notes
in his work, "will chiefly depend upon the share of the
navigation of the Mississippi which shall be allowed to
them. Is it not amazing, true as it is, that few amongst
us know this to be the key to the northern part of the
western continent?" His added comment that to "expect
the free navigation of the Mississippi is absurd, whilst
the Spaniards are in possession of New Orleans," actually
represents a considerable amelioration of ideas he had
originally set down in his manuscript and which imply
more forcibly than the printed version the possibility of a

( xlio )
suggested course of action. These more vigorous thoughts
were eventually deleted from the material included in the
Historical Narrative, perhaps because Hutchins thought
them not proper in the expressions of an official of the
government of the United States. His unpublished obser-
vations, nonetheless, represent a startling and acute analy-
sis of American continental destiny, for he wrote, "The free
navigation of the Mississippi is a joke whilst the Spaniards
are in possession of Nuew Orleans, which is the key to that
river. They are words calculated to amuse the credilous
[sic] and weak minded. The power and grandeur of that
part of the United States on and westward of the Ohio,
which at some future period may probably give law to
America will most certainly depend on our having pos-
session of Orleans."8' In this, as in most other things,
Hutchins grasped easily the concept of sweeping change
and the relentless pull of geography, and it is no surprise
to find among his papers a copy of a proposal he once
made to his British superiors--"An Estimate for Exploring
the Country Westward of the Sources of the River Mis-
sissippi, towards the Pacific Ocean."""
Thus it is all the more ironic that Hutchins was even-
tually to despair of the willingness of his countrymen to
make the sacrifices necessary for greatness. He turned to
Spain to help in the development of those fabulous lands
along the Mississippi which he had so long admired, only
to die before it was possible to cut his ties to the United
States. For those who now have the opportunity to under-
stand the great contributions this man made to the growth
of the American Republic, it may be pleasing to note that
when Thomas Jefferson filed his brief in "The Limits and
Bounds of Louisiana," one of the few authorities cited by
him in defense of the American claim to the great interior
of the continent was Thomas Hutchins' Historical Nar-
rative andl Topogiraphical Description of Louisiana andE
West Florida.""

( xic


1. The fullest account of Hutchins' life is to be found in Anna M.
Quattrocchi, "Thomas Hutchins, 1730-1789" (Ph.D. Dissertation,
University of Pittsburgh, 1944). See also the biographical sketch
in Frederick Charles Hicks' edition of Hutchins, A Topographical
Description of Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and North Caro-
lina ( Cleveland, 1904), and the brief entry in the Dictionary of
American Biography.
2. Pennsyltvania Archices, Fifth Series, I, 63, 90, 98.
3. Quattrocchi, 6.
4. Justin W~insor, A Narrative and Critical History of America
(Boston, 1884-89), VI, 608. Captain Charles Lee had made an
earlier trip than that of Hutchins, but his account has limited value
since he traveled entirely by water. The Hutchins manuscript has
been published in the Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biog-
raphy, II (1878), 149 ff.
5;. Quattrocchi, 15. 6. Quattrocchi, 22-25.
7. For a detailed analysis of this trip, see Beverly W. Bond, Jr.
(ed.), The Couzrses of the Ohio River Taken by Lt. T. Hutchins
Anno 1766 and Two Accompanying Maps (Cincinnati, 1942).
8. Ecuyer to Bouquet, June 16, 1763, in Mary Carson Darlington,
Fort Pitt and Letters fromr the Frontier (Pittsburgh, 1892), 131.
9. Quattrocchi, 56-73. 10. Quattrocchi, 74-77.
11. Quattrocchi, 77-80.
12. The friendship between M~organ and Hutchins is documented
in Max Savelle, George Mlorgan, Colony Builder (New York, 1932),
p~assim .
13. Bond, 12-14.
14. See Captain Gordon's "Journal" in Newton Mereness (ed.),
Travels in the American Colonies ( New York, 1916), 478
15. Gordon, 482-86. 16. Cordon, 480.
17. Quattrocchi, 95-125. 18. Quattrocchi, 129-38.
19. Quattrocchi, 138-39.
20. J. Clarence Simpson, Florida Place Names of Indian Deri-
cation ( Tallahassee, Fla., 1956), 153.
21. Christian Brun, Gulide to the 2Manuscript Maps in the William
L. Clements Library ( Ann Arbor, Mich., 1959), 154-69.
22. P. Lee Phillips, Notes on the Life and Works of Bernard
Romans (DeLand, Fla., 1924), 48.
23. Copies of most of these materials may be found in the
Hutchins Manuscripts of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania,
Ph-iladelphia. The originals of Hutchins' reports are generally to
be found in the papers of General Haldimand in the British
Museum or in the papers of General G~age in the William L. Clem-
ents Library of the University of Michiganl.
24. Hutchins to Haldimnand, October 25, Nov-ember 113, 21, 1772.

( xlvi )

in Additional Manuscripts, British Museum, 21729, in the Division
of Manuscripts, Library of Congress.
25. A copy of this report is found in the Hutchins Manuscripts,
II, 73 ff .
26. Hutchins Manuscripts, II, 73. 27. Quattrocchi, 150-55.
28. Quattrocchi, 159-66.
29. For a complete record of the publication history of this work,
see the appendix prepared by Hicks in his 1904 edition cited in
note 1 above.
30. Quattrocchi, 178-86.
31. See Jared Sparks (ed.), The Works of Benjamin Franklin
'(Boston, 1840), VIII, 436.
32. The fullest account of this episode is found in William Bell
Clark, "In Defense of Thomas Digges," in Pennsyloania Magazine
of History and Biography, LXXVII (1953), 400-402, 423, 433.
33. Hicks, working in 1904 without the advantage of materials
subsequently brought to light, was convinced that Hutchins and
Franklin were intimate friends, lending credence to Hutchins' ver-
sion of his persecution by the British. See Hicks, 23-26.
34. Clark, 400-402. 35. Quattrocchi, 187.
36. Clark, 433. 37. Quattrocchi, 205.
38. John Bigelow (ed.), The Works of Benjamin Franklin (New
York and London, 1904), VIII, 203.
39. Quattrocchi, 203.
40. The original commission may be found in the Hutchins Manu-
scripts, dated September 8, 1781.
41. Hutchins to the President of Congress, July 11, 1781, in
Hutchins Manuscripts, II, 6.
42. Quattrocchi, 213. 43. Hicks, 28.
44. Pennsylvania Archives, First Series, X, 130, 223, 334.
45. Joseph W. Ernst, "With Compass and Chain: Federal Land
Surveyors in the Old Northwest, 1785-1816" (Ph.D. Dissertation,
Columbia University, 1958), 33.
46. Norman J. Thrower, "Original Survey and Land Subdivision
in Rural Ohio" (Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Wisconsin, 1958),
47. Ernst, 37.
48. Charles Whittlesey, "Surveys of the Public Lands in Ohio," in
Western Reserve and Northern Ohio Historical Society Tracts, No.
61, p. 281.
49. Ernst, 38. 50. Ernst, 44-49.
51. Thrower, 32; Ernst, 39. 52. Ernst, 40-42.
53. Ernst, 66. 54. Ernst, 67-74.
55. Ernst, 79.
56. Ernst, 82-88. Hutchins' relations with the directors of the
Ohio Company were not all unpleasant. He actually consulted
with them as to the best regions in which to fix their grant, and
Richard Hildreth maintains that had the company followed his
advice to settle on the forks of the Muskingum rather than at its

( xloii )

mouth, they would have received far superior lands. See Hicks, 36.
57. Merrill Jensen, The New Nation ( New York, 1950), 356.
58. Ernst, 103. 59. Quattrocchi, 256.
60. Quattrocchi, 272-76. 61. Ernst, 112.
62. See, for example, his letter to Colonel Harmer, July 22, 1789
(copy), in Hutchins Manscripts, III, 27.
63. Ebenezer Hazard to Jeremy Belknap, June 13, 1789, in
"'Correspondence between Jeremy Belknap and Ebenezer Hazard,"
in M~assachusetts Historical Society Collections, Fifth Series, III, 139.
64. Quattrocchi, 281-84.
65. Savelle, 203.
66. Actually, most of Hutchins' claims were eventually honored
by the United States government, and the lands passed to his
three illegitimate children according to the terms of his will. See
Quattrocchi, 159-66. On the whole question of Hutchins' involve-
ment in the New M/adrid venture, see Savelle, 203, Quattrocchi,
284-89, Esteban Mir6 to the Minister for Indies, June 12, 1789,
in Caroline M. Burson, The Stewardship of Don Esteban Mird',
1782-1792 (New Orleans, 1940), 133, and Hutchins to Clark,
December 20, 1788, in Lawrence Kinnaird (ed.), Spain in the
Mississip~pi Valley, 1765-1794, in Annual Report of the American
Historical Association for the year 1945, III, Pt. II, 263-64.
67. Quattrocchi, 290.
68. Pittsburgh Gazette, May 2, 1789.
69. Hicks, 49. 70. Quattrocchi, 4.
71. Ebenezer Hazard to Jeremy Belknap, June 13, 1789, in Mas-
sachusetts Historical Society Collections, Fifth Series, III, 139.
72. Quattrocchi, 167.
73. Whittlesey's thesis is developed in a series of articles in the
1887-88 Western Reserve and Northern Ohio Historical Society
Tracts: "Captain Hutchins," Tract 22, "Ohio Surveys," Tract 59,
"Surveys of the Public Lands in Ohio," Tract 61, and "First United
States Land Surveys, 1786," Tract 71.
74. Hicks, 8. 75. Hicks, 9.
76. William L. Jenks, "The 'Hutchins' Map of Michigan," in
Michigan History Maga~zine, X (1926), 362. See also Reuben G.
Thwaites, "The Boundaries of Wisconsin," in State Historical Society
of Wisconsin C'ollections, XI, 451-501.
77. Quattrocchi, 329. 78. Bond, 14.
79. John Fitch to Hutchins, April 18, 1785, in Hutchins Manu-
scripts, III, 14. See also Philip Lee Phillips, The Rare Malp of the
~Northw~est, 1785, by John Fitch ( Washington, 1916), 7.
80. Because of the confusing pagination of these reports in the
Hutchins M~anuscripts, no attempt is made here to cite individual
items in theml. The relative sparseness of the collection facilitates
location of materials contained within it.
81. A modern reprint of the Romans work was published in New
Orleans in 1961, and a facsimile edition by the University of
Florida Press, Gainesville, 1962.

( xloiii )

82. Frank Heywood Hopper edited a modern printing of Pitt-
man published in Cleveland in 1906.
83. Pittmian, 34, 38; Hutchins, 33, 34.
84. Pittman, 41, 42, 43; Hutchins, 36, 37.
85. Pittman, 60, 61; Hutchins, 41.
86. Pittman, 79-80; Hutchins, 51.
87. Hutchins Manuscripts, II, 73.
88. Hutchins Manuscripts, II, 70.
89. Thomas Jefferson, "The Limits and Bounds of Louisiana,"
in Documents Relating to the Purchase and Exploration of Louisi-
ana (Boston and New York, 1904), 41. Jefferson, it should be
added, was not unaware of the many weaknesses in Hutchins' gen-
eralities in the early pages of the Historical Narrative, as he notes
in certain jottings to be found in the Thomas Jefferson Papers, Vol.
137, p. 23711, Division of Manuscripts, Library of Congress.











w lT ri
Directions for Sailing into all the Bays, Lakes, Harbours and Rivers on
the North Side of the Gulf of Mexico, and for Naviga~ting between the
Iflands frtuated along that Coalti and af~endiing the MiffifiTppi Rircr.




-_- -- ~11I--~ U- __



SE VE R AL years refdencne inr the Prov~ince of WefT-
Floridia, dutring whiciLh I en2tTEredinto a nminute ex--
amination of its coap/is, harbours, lak~es, and river-s,
having malde me per~fealy acqulainted wuith the~irftuat-
ti'on, bearings, foulndiings, an~d every par-ticurlar requ~i-
Jite to be knownt by Navigators, for their blen2eft I am
indulced to make mzy obfrvationrs public. The e~xpence
and trouble at wLhich this knowledge has been acquired,
arre far from inconfiderable ; howerver, if the accurate
furvZey'S and de/c~ription~s I amt thereby enabled to givec,
prove inlfrlruaive and beizeficial to mzy country, IShall
efeem my~lf amply repaid.
It m1ay be proper to ob/ervae that I havze had the
aff~iance of the remarks and furveys, fo far as r-elates
to the moulths of the MT~iffippi and the coaff and furnd-
in-gs of We/1~-Floridan, of the late ingSenio~us Mr. George
Gauld, a Gentlemcan who15 wa(S employed by the Lords of
the Br-iti/b7 Admziralty for the expre/s purpose of making
an accurate chart of the abovemenstioned places.
I have alfo had r-ecoulrfe, in deferibing~ fame parts of
the Miftppi, to the publicantionl ofCaptainPitman, who
reJfded manly years on2 that river, and wavs well acquaint -
ed with the coulntryl through~ which it flows.
A particurlar detazil of the advantanges that may int
time accrute to the pofefors of ltefl-Florida, nwith a com-
plete de/crliption2 of the country an~d its produanio2S,

( v )

would not make an im~proper addition to the following
*work ; but as the more immediate putrpo/e of it is to
point out the dangers 9f its coq//s to the approaching
mariner, I fha~llconfine the curfory remarks I make on
tho/e heads, to fuch particulars only as are mo/i deferving
of notice.
Before I enter on the prosecution of my deSfgn, I
*would juf2 obferve, that I/hall be more solicitous to make
the ret/idt of my in~vef ~igations useful than amufing, I
/hall endeavour rather to be clear and intelligible than
flud~y to deliver myfelf in f~orid language.







and the country through wh~lich it flows,
called Louifiana, would have been the Birit
objects submitted to the reader's attention; were it not
humbly presumed that a thort account of the dif~co-
very of the river Mifffl~iTppi, and a view of the differ-
ent States to which its banks have been fubjedted are
judged necefagry, before their description is attempted.
The merit of firf1 discovering the river M~vifif~lippi, Disoavery of
(or in the language of the natives, Melchailpi, for the Miffilippi.
the general appellation of the former is a corruption
of the latter) according to Lewis Henuepin's account
published in London I 698, is due to the Sieur la
Salle, who discovered that,river in I682. It feems
that father Hennepin forgot that this river was previ-
ouily difcovered by Ferdinand de Soto in 154r, alfo
by Col. Wood in I654, and by Captain Bolt in I670.
]Modieur dle la Salle wvas the firf1 who traversed thatArilan
river. In the spring of the fame year i 682, he palred murter of Ig
down to the mouths of the Mi~flifippi ; he afterwards sale.
remounted that river, and returned to Canada in the
month of Odlober following, from whence he took
his paffage to France, where he gave To flattering an
account of the advantages that would certainly accrue
from the settling a colony in thofe parts, that a com-
pany was formed for carrying thiofe defigns into exe.
Fution, with a squadron confifting of four veffe~s;


having on board a sufficient number of persons, and
all kinds of goods and. provisions, neceffary for the
fervice of the n'ew colony, which he propof~ed to fix
at or near the mouth' of the Mif~ifippi. But having
failed beyond the mouth of the river, he attempted
to fix a. colony at the bay of St. Bernard, where he ar-
rived the I8th of February I684, about 100 leagues
weiftward of the Mviflif~lippi. There his men under-
went fuch hardships that moff of them pecifhed mife-
Jably. The leader, animated with an ardent desire of
extending his difcoferies, made various excurflons
writh fuch of them who were able to travel; but on the
I 9th of Mlarch 168 7, two ofi his men villainoufly mur-
dered him, when exploring the interior parts of the
country, in f~earch of mines, and of the traR which
led to thofe of St. Barbe in New Mexico.
Imrym's Aout even years after, Monf Ibberville, a refpect-
Arrival. able officer in the French navy, undertook to execute
whatever La Salle had promised; and his reputation
being eftablifh~ed already, the court intruffed him with
the condua of the project. He carried his people
very safely to the mouth of the great river, and there
laid the 'foundation of the firft colony thle French
ever had in the Mliiflifippi. He took care to provide
them with every thing neceffary for their f~ubliftance,
and obliged them to crea a fort, for their defence
againfl: the Indians. This being done, he returned to
France in order to obtain f~upplies.
The f~uccefs of his voyage made himn extremely
welcome at court, and he was f~oon in a condition to
put to Tea again. His Cecond voyage was as fortunate
as the firit; but very unluckily for his colony, he
died whilfk he was preparing for the third. The de-
fign might have been abandoned, had not Crozat, a.
private man of an immense fortune, undertaken its
:!:2an support at his own expence. In a 7 I2, the K~ing gave
tdtCo*him Louifiiana. Thus Lewils imitated the Pope,

who divided between the kings of Spain and Portu-
gal the territories of America, where the holy fee had
not one inch of ground.
In this grant the bounds are frixed by the Illinois Bouldsor
river and the lake of that name on the NTorth; by Ca. oifaa
rolina on the Eaft, the gSulph of Mexico on the South,
and New Mexico on the Weft. As to Canada, or
New France, the French court would fecarcely admit it
had any other northern boundary than the Pole. The
avidity of Great Britain was equal, but France having
been unfortunate in the war of I7 I0, the northern
boundaryT of Canada was fixed by the treaty of Utrecht trnits of
in 2 7 I3. It affligns N~ew Britain and Huldfon's Ba3y, ILoui'7ans and
Canada by the
on the North of Canada, to Great B~ritain ; and com- tr~ty ot
miffloners afterwards on both fides af~certained the li- U-t;eCht.'
mits by an imaginary line, running from a cape or
promontory in New Britain to the Atlantic ocean, in
58 degrees 3o minutes North latitude, thence Sout~h-
w~ef to the lake Milgofink or Mifitafim; fromn thence
farther South-weft direAtly to the latitude of 49 de-
grees. AHl the lands to the North of the imaginary
line, being afirgned to Great Britatin; and azll
fouthwrard of that line, as far as the river of St. Lau-
rence, to the French. Thefe were at that time the
true limits of Louifiana and Canada, Crozat's grant
not farbifting long after the death of Lewis XIVT.
In order to have fomne plausible pretence for fet- crozat's grant
ting on foot a projea for changing the face of pub- vaLcated.
lic affairs in France, this f~ettlement was thought the
moft convenient; and therefore all imaginable pains
were taken to repref~ieat it as a paradise, and place
from whence inexhauffible riches might be derived,
provided~ due encouragement could be olxalined from
government. For this purpof~e it was thought re-
qukirte hat a new company should be ereated, to make
way for which Mr. Crozat was to reign his grant ;
which he did accordingly.

( 7


This occafxoned the n~oife that wras made a1bouit the
hfifirflip~pi, not in France only, but throughout all
Europe, which was filled with romantic flories of the
vaft fru~itfulnefs of the banks of this great river, and
the incredible wealth that was likely to flow from
thence; and thofe accounts, though true in part, inr
the end proved ruinous to many.
"dna Before the treaty of peace in I7652, Louifiana, or
befo~re the the southern part of New France, extended in the
peatc of l761. French maps from the gulph of Mexico, in about 29
degrees, to near 45 degrees of North latitude, on the
Weft of the MiffLlippi, and to near 39 degrees on its
eastern bank. Its boundaries were Canada on the
North; New York, Pendrylvania, Maryland, ~Virgi-
nia, North and South Carolina, Georgia, and the
North-weft part of the eafternmeft pe~ninf~ula of Flo-
rida, on the Eaft; the Gulf of Mexico on the South r
and laffly the kingdom pf New Mlexico on the W;Peft.
Absurd claims. The European ftates having o'bferved that kings and
republics claimed the fovereignty of every traft which
had been feen, and were pretended to have been difY
covered by navigators failing under their flags, their
geographers were not permitted to publifh maps which
might have contradicted fu~ch wild claims. This was
the abf~urdity of former days. But political circum-
ftances often emboldened pretenders to urge their chi-
Inerical rights; and their no lefs chimerical opponents
then yielded what they had no better right to cede.
But the abfurd recognition of fuch abfurd pretenfions
is but a temporary compliance. It ever did and ever
will fow the f~eeds of implacabjle animofities and con-
tendions, until pre-occupancy and cultivation, the
true tefts of lawful1 poffeffon, thall have remedied
the former invalidity of the claim.
Both fides of the M~ifTfliippi continued under the do-
Ininion of his moft Chriftian M~ajefty till the- peace of
1762r when the eastern fide was ceded to the king of


Great Britain by the 7th article of the definitive treaty,
in the following words. In order to re-eftablifh
peace on folid and durable foundations, and to re- "),~f: ~ine
mlove for ever all futbjeat of dispute with regard to the French and
limits of the Britifh and Fre~nch territories on the Eq al\i
continent of America, it is agreed, that for the fu-
ture, the confines between the dominions of his Bri-
tannic 191ajefly, in that part of the world, hall be
fixed irrevocably by a line drawn along the middle of
the river MiflifiTppi, fr~om its source to the river Ib-
berville, and from thence, by a line drawn along the
middle of this river, and the Lakes Maurepas and
Ponchartrain, to the fea; and for this purpose the
moft Chrifian King cedes in full right and guaran-
ties to his Britannic Majefly, the river and port of
the Mobille, and every thing which he poffeffes, or
ought to poffefs, on the left fide of the river MiflifiTp-
pi, except the town of New Orleans, and the ifland
in which it is situated, which hall remain to Frances
provided that the navigation of the: river Mifififippi
hall be equally free, as well to the fubjeats of Great:
'Britain, as to thofe of France, in its whole length,
fr~om its source to the fea, and exprefly that part
which is between the faid ifland of New Orleans, and
the right bank of that: river, as well as the pafl~ge
both in an-d out of its mouth: it ;s further flipulated
that the veffels belonging to the fubjeats of either na-
tion, thlall not be flopped, vifited, or fubjeated to
the payment of any duty whatever. The fiptipati-
ons inserted in the 4th article, in favour of the in-
habitants of Canada, hall alfo take place with regard
to the inhabitants of the countries ceded by thiis ar-
In the year r762, and the day before the preli- Th~l~eceIrtionot
minary articles to the peace were signed, his Chrifhian Ivajeity to
Majefty ceded to Spain all his territories on the w'eft- Spain.
ern fide of the M1'iffifiippi,, together with the town of
B New

( 0

New Orleans, and the peninfula in which it is fituat-
ed on the eastern bank. But the inhabitants of Loui-
fiana were ignorant of this ceffion before the year
I764, when Mr. D'Abbadie, then governor, pub-
lithled the king's letter to him on that f~ubjeat, men-
tioning the date of the ceflion, and containing a de-
claration that he had [tipulated with Spain that the
French laws and ufages should not be altered.
Eounds by the The definitive treaty, between Great-Britain and
''-at the United States of America, figned at Paris the 3d
1783. day of September : 783, runs as follows:
"' ARTICLE I. His Britannic Majefly acknow-
ledges the fiaid United States, vizL. New-Hampfhire,
Mlaffachul~etts-Bay, Rhode-Ifland and Providence
Plantations, Connecdicut, New-York,, New-Jerf~ey,
Pendyilvania, Delaware, M'aryland, Virginia, North-
Carolina, South-Carolina, and Georgia, to be free,.
f~over-eign, and independent states; that he treats with
them as l~uch, and for himself, his heirs and fuccef-
fors, relinquishes all claims to the government, pro-
perty, and territorial rights of the f~ame, and every
part .thereof.
ART. 2. And that all disputes which might arife
in f uture, on the fubjeQ of the boundaries o~f the
~faid United States, may be prevented, it is hereby
agreed and declared, that the following are and hall
be their boundaries, viz. From the N~orth-weft~ angle
of Nova-Scotia, viz. that angle which is formed by
a line drawn due NJorth from the f~ource of St. Croix
river to thle Highlands, along the fiaid Highlands, which
divide thofe rivers that empty themselves into the ri-
ver St. Laurence fr~om thof~e which fall into the At-
Jantic ocean, to the Nosrth-weffermoft head of Con-
ne~ticut river; thence down along the middle of that
river to the forty-fifth degree of North latitude; fr~om
thence by a line due Weft on f~aid latitude, until it
firikes the river Irriquois or Cataraquis thence along

[ rr )

the middle of the faid river into L~ake On~tario;
through the middle of the faid lake until it firikes the
communication by water between that lake and Lake
Erie; thence along the middle of faid communication
into Lake Erie, through the middle of faid lake, un-
til it arrives at th~e water communication between th~at
lake and Lake E-ur~on, thence through the middle of
faid lake to the water communication between that
lake and Lake Superior; thence through Lake Supe-
rior, northward of the Ifles Royal and Phelipeaux to
the Long Lake; thence through the middle of faid
Long Lake and the water communication between it
and th~e Lake of the W~oods, to the fa3id Lak;e of the
Woods, thence through the faid Lake to the moft
North-wel~tern point thereof, and fromt thence on a
due Weft courfe to the river Mifliflippi; thence by a
line to be drawn along the middle of the faJid river
Mflif~iT~ppi thence by a line to be drawn along the
middle of the faid river Mvififiippi until it hall inter-
f~eQ the northernmoft part of the thirty-firft degree of
North latitude. South, by a line to be drawn due
Eaft fr~om the determination of the line laft mention-
ed in the latitude of thirty-one degrees North of the
Equator, to the middle of the river Apalachicola or
Catanouche: thence along the middle thereof to its
junnion with the Flint-River: thence 11traight to thle
head of St. Mary's River: and thence down along
the middle of St. Mary's River to the Atlantic ocean:
Eatft, by a line to be drawn along the middle of the
River St. Croix, from its mouth in the Bay of Fundy
to its source, and fr~om its source direly North to
the aforesaid Highlands which divide th~e rivers thiat
fall into the Atlantic ocean from thofe which fall1
into the River St. Laurence, comprehending all
iflands within twenty leagues of any part of the fhores
of the United States, and lying between lines to be
drawn due E~aft from the points where the aforefaid

It )

boundaries between Nova-Scotia on the one part,
and Eaft-Florida on the other, hall refpeaively touch
the Bay of Fundy and the Atlantic ocean, excepting
foch iflands as now are or heretofore have been within
the limits of the faid province of Nova-Scotia.
ART. 8. The navigation of the river MififiTppi,
from its source to the ocean, hall for ever remain
fr~ee and open to the f~ubie~ts of Great Britain, and
the citizens of the Unitedt States."
Having mentioned all the boundaries that were at
different periods afirgned to Louifiana, the conduat
of the Spaniards on poffeffing themselves of that co-
lony, is to be considered next in courf~e.
Arrival of Don Antonio Ulloa arrived at New Orleans about
Ne trrn he middle of the year I766, but deferred to take
with soldiers* poffefflon of the government of the colony in his Ca-
tholic Majefty's name, until he had received speciall
orders to that effect.
In the beginning of the year I767, two thoufagnd
Spanifh soldiers were fent from the Havanna, but he
did not then take poffeffion of the country. He fent
however about fixty of there troops to ereat two forts,
one opposite to the Britifh fort, named Bute, on the
south of the Ibberville, and the other on the weft-
crn fide of the Miif~lippi, a little below the Natchez,
where a detachment of Britifh troops had taken pof1;
another party was fent in the autumn of I767 to
build a fort at the mouth of the river Miffouri; but
the commandant had positive orders not to interfere
with the civil government of the Illinois country,
where Monf. de Saint Ange the French command-
ant continued to command with about twenty French
soldiers. Don Antonio Ulloa, without taking pof~-
feffiTon in his Catholic Majefly's name, and conf~e-
quently without authority from France or Spain,
eflablifhed monopolies, reftriated commerce, and
committed f~everal abuses, which rendered him odious

I3 )

to the colonists. At lait, on the 29th of Oaober San a'Sb
r768, the council ifued a decree to oblige him and part from
the principal Spanifh officers to leave the province Louiliana.
in November following, notwithstanding M. Aubry's
remonfirances, and the protect he made against the
ediat of the council.
Don Ulloa's conduat had rendered him the more Don Ulloa
obnoxious to
obnoxious, as, from the letter written by the king of the peopic.
France, acquainting Mr. D'Abbadie with the cefiron
he had made to Spain, it appeared that the two kings
had agreed, that Louifiana should retain her laws,
privileges and cuf10ms. The French, nay the Spa-
niards themselves, all blamed Mr. Aubry's acquief~-
ence; for every one was fenfible that the king of
France never would have directed him to treat Don
Ulloa with an oblequioufunefs which degraded royal
authority and the French nation; and that his in-
firuations could, at moft, authorif~e Mr. Aubry to
follow that officer's advice, until the government of
Louiiiana should be delivered to Spain. Whatever
entreaties had been uf~ed to perfiuade Don Ulloa to
take poffeflion, and by that mealizrc render the ex-
ercif~e of his authority lawful, he evaded, but did not
ceafe to opprefs ; fo that he loff the efteem which he
had acquired by the publication of his voyages; and
the colonists having been informed of the freverity with
which he had governed the city of Quito in Peru, he
was only considered as a tyrant, whole fole merit was
to be learned in the mathematics.
The fulperior council, guided by the Intendant and Threcatened
with a profe-
the Attorney General, having threatened him with a cuuiou.
profecution, he declared that, at the Balize, Mr.
Aubry had privately delivered to him the command
of the colony. As none could conceive that a clan-
deftine poffeilon ought to authorize the public exer-
cif~e of sovereign power, Ulloa's declaration was jud~g-
ed an artifice of the groffeft: texture ; and Mr. Aubry,

( 4

wpho affirmed the declaration to be true, was not be-
lieved. It made him fall into contempt, and em~bolden-
ed the leaders of the party which oppof~ed him.o There
Doubts of the increased the doubts of the public relative to the cef-
u bsrdped-on, and served to convince every one, that the Spa-
dua. niards did not f~erioufly intend taking poffefiron :---
"( The ceiron," fanid they*, was made in I762, the
day before the preliminary articles of peace were
"' signed : near two years elapf~ed before it was firft
"< known by the king's letter to Mr. D'Abbadie :
"~ more than another year paired before the arrival of
"C Don Ul10a, who has been above two years in the
"c country and did not yet take poffefiron." If the
reflec~ions occafioned by thef~e circumstances put to-
gether ; if the conjeAures fcattered in the Englifh
news-papers, or by the Englith who came into the coun-
try, led the inhabitants to think that the cefflon was
~fi~itious, and a flate manc~euvre, their fears were at
the ~fame time quieted, fince they did not apprehend
thofe evils which the change of sovereignty makes al-
moff unavoidable, even when the new government is
milder and more favourable. On the other hand,
their indignation was the greater against Don Ulloa,
who abuf~ed the reasons of itate that were fuppo~fed to
be the caufe of his having been f~ent to Louifiana;
who availed himself of Mr. Aubry's imbecility, to
eftabliih a f~pecies of deifpotifin, the more intolerant,
as it shocked the manners of th~e French nation.
Their want To put a flop to this tyranny, it would have been
o~fic~lumfpec- Cufficient to commence, with circumfpeation, a juri-
dical prosecution against him, and inform the mini-
firy of the proceedings. But the council began by
ifiruin~g a decree for expelling him and the Spaniards.
To reduce the people to the neceffity of supporting
that violence, the leaders excited them to offend the
king of Splain, from whom they had received no in-
jury, and who doub~tlef~s would have punifh~ed his of-

( S

ficer, had the council proceeded with refpeA, and
ufed lawful means to tranfmit to him their grievances.
But, indignities were offered to the Spanifh flag; a rndignities,
itep which rendered the infult personal to the king of &.ofrd
Spain, and made him overlook his envoyi's mif~de-
meanors. This is not all : the council and the inha-
bitants fent deputies to France, charged them to re- Deputiesfent
present the grievances of the colony to their f~oveireign, to France--
and f~upplicate him to retain the province. Their
prayers were accompanied with protestations of devo-
tion and loyalty. But before the departure of there
deputies, the leaders of the fa~tion f~educed fomne
members of the council, secretly fent another depu-
tation to Penfacola ; and, without the people's know-
ledge, offered Louifiana to Great Britain, !
The dread of being called to account, with
which the crafty Don Ulloa had often threatened the
Intendant and the Attorn~ey Genleral, that he might
obftruat their prosecutions, and filence them, relative-
ly to his own conduat, was doubtlefs the fole caufe
of that desperate fiep, the authors of which might
have forefeen the unfuccefsful ifrue, had they not been
bereft of their Fenfes. It is true that there has been
no public inquiry on that head; and therefore, the
public~ has no juridical proof of this faRt; but the
charadteriftics of f~uch inquiry as was made, its terri-
fying apparatus, its refult, and the concerted filence
of thof~e by whom it was directed, fufficiently confirm
not only what is openly faid among the Englifh, but
what the inhabitants of Louifiana whiirper to each
other, when complaining of their miseries with which
the perfidioufnefs of their leaders had loaded themn,
though not accomplices of their crimes. It is alfo
f~aid, that the governor of Weft-Florida was unwil-
ling to countenance the treafon and revolt of: the fub-
jeas of a prince -then in peace with Greatt Britain :
it is afarmed that' he feat to M/r. Aubry the original

( z )

offers he had received, and that Don Ullea, wpho had
not yet failed, carried them with him to Europe for
his juffification. Why then did not Mr. Aubry pro-
duce that paper to confound the codipirators ? They
would have been looked upon wuith execration by
the people whom they had betrayed, and the diflurb-l
ances would have immediately f~ubtded Cani it be
believed, that the governor of Florida infifted on f'e-
crecy, as it is intimated by f~ome perfons who would
be glad to apologize for Mr. A-ubry's conduat refpeat-
ing this matter ? Had the inteffine divifxons, which
then rent the Britifh colonies of North-America, m-
duced the Britifh governor to discover the coalpiracy
in order to prevent the fatal -confequences of io dan-
gerous an example, would not fecrecy have deprived
him of the only fruit he could expeQ from his policy ?
--w~evr Monfieur de Sacier, one of the council, with two
heard of. other Gentlemen of the colony, who were feat to
France with the edit: of the superior council, and to
implore the protection of the king, as before mention-
ed, were imprisoned on their arrival, and have never
been heard of fince.
During fix months, which elapsed before news
could be received from Europe, the unhappy coloi
nifts vainly flattered themfrelves with hopes of being
juffified for the iteps they had taken by the court of
Gen. O'Ri- France. On the 23d of July I?69, news was brought
ley's arrival
at thle Balize. to New Orleans of the arrival of General O'Riley at
the B~alize, with eighteen tranfpar~ts, followed by ten
more from the Haivanna, having four thouf~and five
hundred troops on board, and loaded with flores and
ammunition. This intelligence threw the town into
the greatest confternation and perplexity, as but a few
days before, letters had arrived from Europe fignify-
ing that the colony was reffored to France.
InhamantsIn the general diffra~ion that took place, the in-
oppole him. habitants of the town and the adjacent plantations

I7 )

determined to oppose the landing of the Spaniards,
and fent couriers requiring the Germans and Acadian
NJeutrals to join them. On the 24th an expreils ar-
rived from General O'Riley, which was read by Mon-
fieur Aubry to the people in church; by this they
were informed that he was fent by his Catholic MCa-
jefty to take poeffemon of the colony, but not to dif~
trefs the inhabitants; and that when he should be in
poffeflion, he would publifh the remaining part of the
orders he had in charge fr~om the king his matter
and should any attempt be made to oppose his landing,
he was resolved not to depart until he could put his
majesty's commands in execution.
The people, diffatisfied with this ambiguolus meflkge, fep:uti$hes a
came to a resolution of fending three deputies to Gene-
rat O'Riley, viz. MefiTeurs Grandmaifon town-major,
La Friniere attorney-general, and De Mazant for-
merely captain In the colony's troops, and a man of
very considerable property; there gentlemen acquaint-
ed him, that the inhabitants had come to a ef~olution
of abandoning the province, and demanded no other
favour than that he would grant them twTo years to
remove themselves and effeas. The general received
the deputies 'with great politeness, but did not enter
into the merits of their embaff~y, farther than afi'uring
them, that he would comply with every reasonable
request of the colonists; that he had rlhe interei]; of
their country much at heart, and nothing on his part
should be wanting to promote it; that all paft tranfac-
tions flhould be buried in oblivion, and all who had
offended should be forgiven: to this he added every
thing that he imagined could flatter the expectations
of the people. On the firft of Auguff the deputies
returned, and made public the kind reception the
general had given them, and the fair promifes he had
made, The minds of the people were now greatly
tranquilized, and thof~e who had before determined
C f~uddenly

(18 )

i'uddenly to quit their plantations now ref~olved to re-
main until their crops were off the ground.
ar O the r6th of Auguft I769, General O'Riley
of the troops with the frigate, tranfp~orts and troops on bo-ard ar-
Ne~~w orle- rived opposite to New Orleans. On the I8th. the
troops difembarked, and the general took poffefiron
in form, of New Orleans and the province of Louifiana,
in the name of his Catholic Majefly, as quietly as a
French governor would have done in the happiest
Attorney-Ge- times; and on the 25th, ordered the attorney gene-
neral anid I,. ral and twelve others amongft the principal inhabi-
thers arrdktd. tants to be arrefled.
Of there thirteen, no more than one was released :
this was the printer, who produced the positive orders
which the intendant had given him, for printing the
decree iffrued against Don Ulloa, and several other
writings. A few clays before the proceedings began,
a young gentleman nearly related to the attorney ge-
neral, and one of the prifoners, feigned a defign of
forcibly refc~uing himfellf from the soldiers who guard-
ed him., He received f~everal wounds, which gave
him that death which he fought. The proceedings
againf1l the eleven others, were condudied in a military
manner by Gen. O'Rifey, and the members of the court
sentence of were mostly Spanifh offcers. The council of w ar
the council of pronounced their featence on thof~e proceedings. In
wa.vain did the attorney general and the other prifon-
ers demand to be tried by the French laws. Thefe
would not have proved favourable to their accusers.
General O'Riley was fo unjufk as to refuse that rea-
f~onable request. The attorney general and four
others, who were fhot with him, died with fortitude.
IHad they really deserved that fate, their condemnaz
tion is not the lefs criminal, in the eyes of thofe who
are not flupid enough to reverence authority when
trampling upon the laws. The sentence of the court
martial diifhonours the authors and tools of that in-
jiuffice 5 it difhonours no others. The

( 9

The fix other flate prisoners were fent to fort IVo-
ro in the ifland of Cubat, whence they were releaf~ed
after one year's confinement. The estates of the
eleven persons, who were condemned by the court
martial, were confiscated, according to the pra~ice
of moft. countries; a pra~tice as impolitic as it is
unjust. It reflects difgrace on princes, occaflons the
impunity of the greatest crimes, and often multiplies
the number of criminals. Many might be virtuous
enough not to fkreen a guilty kinsman from juffice;
but few have fufficient magnanimity to fee with indif-
ference the estate of that kinfmnan palTs into the
prince's coffers, or thof~e of his miniffers. How ma-
ny has not this f~ole reafon reduced to engage in
confp~iracies or rebellions, which they would other-
wife have wished to destroy : in fuch cafes it frequently
happens that the prince, whom confiscations caufe to
behold as an enemy, is deservedly opposed for his ra-
pacioufnels or inattention to his own interest.
The French beheld, with horror, their countrymen The Frtnch
given up to foreigners, privately tried and arbitrarily )\ro, theihhlwt
punishedd, for crimes of which they were accused in countrymen
a country f~ubjeat to France. The indignity offered gie u ofri2es
to Spain was the oftenfible cauf~e of their conde~mna-
tion; but whatever their crime might have been,
France alone ought to have had cognizance of it. If
the accused were guilty of nothing elfe; or if, for
flcate reasons, it was thought proper to mention that
offnce only, the king of Spain would have caused
his name to be for ever bleffed in the colony, had he,
a judge in his own caufe, generoufly forgiven. The
measures that have been adopted, have produced a
very different effea. They are nearly the fame as
thof~e of the Portuguefe government, which contrived
Father Malagrida's being burnt by the inqu~irtion, on
the pretence of his having boated that he had fome-
times convrF~ed with the Holy Virgin s but whole


real crime was an attempt againR' his fovereign's life,
in order to make another family ascend the throne.
iCrimes like thefes, openly perpetrated by the adm~ini-
f ication againit the laws, common fedei and public
faf~ety ; can no where be palliated with the pretence
of neceiity. Whatever thofec who advile them
may think on the fubjeat, they betray their country
and their f~overeign himfeclf. In fr~ee flates, where
the perfonal fafetry of the meaneit individual is as in-
tereflting to the whole nation as that of the greatellt,
crimes of this kind are never fecen. They can be com-
mitted in iich countries only, where defp~otifmi is efla~-
blithled ; where~ a f'ew, fa~voured 11ar-ves, rediuce the ref't
secretly to with for the annihilation of thofe whom
they f~eemingly adore.
The fame dif'ordered br~ains whIich projeated the il-
legal prosecutions carried on againflt the fa~tious lead-
ers of Louiliana, have doubtlefs fanciedl, that they
would def~erve immortality for a maiterly ithoke of po-
tAboltion ofr licy, when they~ procured the abolition of the law~s, pri-
Louilianar. vileges, and fuperior council of Louifiana, under the
pretence of a decree liked agiinf't Don Ulloa. Have
they ready thought that people could be deceived by
names which were to reprel~ent nothing ? The shadow
of a tribunal was eftablithed under- the namne of Ca-
bildo government, that is civil government, but the
governor and his affeffor are in faat the only judges.
Since the judgments given by them jointly have the
fame virtue as thof~e of that Cabildo government fe~w
are fo unikrilf-ul as to apply to this tribunal. Nay,
who would dare: to do it except in trifling matters.s
Was i;t likewife believed that, for the governor and
his affexfor's conveniency, the fubilituting of the Spa-
niih iLaguage to the French, in all the juridical pro-
ceedlings of~ Louifiana, where the inhabitants under-
fland the French language only; the impartial difpen-
[a~tion of justice, which is the true glory of the itate,

( 1 )

would thence be effe~tually promoted Things will
certainly go well, as long as governors and their af~-
f~effors fhall have all the qualifications that perfect
judges ought to have, anid whilft the parties can pro-
cure faithful inlterpr~eters: but it is as tr-ue that, wife
as there regulations are boafted to be, they depopu-
late the colony.
General O'Riley confirmed all the decrees of the G:en". O'Rij~ley
superior council, except that which had been iffued decrees of the
against Don Ulloa. This was folemnnly approving the ('iroucl
feditious nomination of the members of Mlr. Fou-
cault's and the Attorney-General's making; it was
therefore arrogantly annulling the protect which M/r.
Aubry had entered in behalf of the king of France
and the public, againft that nomination, and all the
decrees ifibed ount of that tribunal during the anarchy;
it was depriving tlhofe who had been oppreffed from
the hopes of obtaining redrefs in the colony. For,
the council being abolished, how could any one take
the benefit of the Frenchr laws, (fince trials by peers or
juries are difufed) or think defpotic rulers would allow
of applying to lotvereigni courts for obtaining new trials
of the caufcs, whiich they themselves may have tried it-
legally, or againft evidence ? But, to flatter the Spaniard s,
Gen. O'Riley had determined that they alone th~ould be
judges; and military men of that nation could not, with
the leaft plaufibility, pretend that they were acquaint-
ed with the French laws; he, therefore, htad rather
cut off than untie. Such is the difpofitionl of tyrants The difpoGti-
of every rank and denomination : Alexander cutting on of tyraqts.
the Gordian Knot is, perhaps, of all the fables that
are confounded with hiflory, that which more truly
charafterifes defpotifm. Men who led by avarice
and ambition obtain admittance to tha~t or'der, difl-
regarding the people to whole prefervation they
feem to brave profeffedly devoted themselves, but whlo
are determined on making their fortunes, are never

( 22 )

diflurbed inl the leaft about the means which can pro-
mote their grand design. Their eyes being fixed on
all thofe who have a fhare in the difpenfation of
wealth and honours, they fee them only. Their
mercenary zeal prompts them to with for their being
entruffed with iniquitous and inhuman orders, which
they alone ar~e fit to execute. Strangers to nature,
they are deaf to the voice of juffice and the cries
of humanity ; and, unable to rif~e by noble and gene-
rous actions, they glory in displaying their zeal for
the prince, by wholly loading themselves with that
public execration which attends the execution of fan-
guinary orders. It is not from fuchi abjea fouls that
a prince, inebriated with power, can ever learn that
there are moments, not numerous indeed, but yet
frequent enough to comfort the oppreffed and cha-
fifie the oppreffor----moments, when, after having
made himself odious to his f~ubjeats; after having
weakened and degraded them, he may regret their
attachment, the courage which derpotifm has endea-
voured to enervate, and the patriotism which it has
attempted to dlefiroy.
Galvez takes After- this General G~alvez Governor of New Or-
Re n o~f leans, inl the year I779, poffeffed himfelf of the Bri-
ports. tiih poffs at the Ibberville anid Batoni Rouge. By ca-
pitulation, the poft at the Natchez was evacuated, and
the garrison permitted to join thre troops at Penfacola.
The Spaniards likewise reduced the forts of Mobille
and Pediacola; the former in the year I780, and
the latter in I781. The above conquefis not only
fubjec~ed the eastern fide of the 1Vifif~lippi, but the
whole province of Weft-Florida to the dominion of
Having briefly touched on the principal revoluti-
ons which have happened in Louifiana, I hall now
proceed with a thort account of the Miffillippi.
The safety and commercial prosperity which may

( 23

be f'ecured to the United States by the definitive trea. Commercial
ty of peace, will chiefly depend upon the ihare of },do :hae ea-
the navigation of the MififT~ppi which thall be allow- ty of peace.
ed to them. Is it not amazing, true as it is, that few
amongst us know this to be the key to the northern
part of the wellern continent ? It is the only channel Account of
through which that extensive region, bathed by its
waters, and enriched by the many fireams it receives,
communicates with the fea. A~nd her~e let us further
observe, that the Mvififir~ppi river maiy truly be con-
fidered as the great paffage made by thie hand ofna-
ture for a variety of valuable purposes, but princi-
pally to promote: the happiness and benefit of man-
kind; amnongit which, the conveyance of the pro-
duce of that immense and fertile country, lying wrefl-
ward of the United States, down its ftrea-m to the
Gulf of M'vexico, is not the leaft. To expecc1 the free
navigation of the MifiTiT~ppi is abf~urd, whilft th:e Spa-
niards are in poffeflion of New Orleans, which com-
mands the entrance to the wellerln country above-
mentioned ; this is an idea calculated to im pole only
upon the weak. The Spaniards have forts on the
Mififippi, and whenever they may think it confift-
ent with their interest, they will make uf~e of them to
prevent our navigating on it. Treaties are not al-
ways to be depended on; the moft folemnn have been
broken* : therefore we learn that no one fh~ould puLt
much faith in the princes of any country : for he that
trusts to any thing but the operation of their intereft,
is a poor politician ; and he that complains of deceit,
where there is an interest to deceive, will ever be con-
fidered as deficient in underfltanding.
The great length and uncommon depth of that
Notwithflanding the free navigation of the Mifill~ippi allowed by
the treaty of ly6z, General O'Riley, in the year 1769, feait a party of
f~oldiers to cut the hawfetrs of a Britifh~ veffel calledl th~e Sea Flow~er,
that hail made faff to the banik of the river above the tow~n of New Or-
leans; the order was obeyed, and thec veffe~l nar;owly cleaped being'loft.

( 24

river, a~n the exceffive muddinefs and fal~ubrious
quality ofr its waters, after its junalion with the Mesf.
f~ouri, are vc y fingular#. The direction of the chan-
nel is to crooked, that from New Orleans to the
mouth of the Ohio, a distance which. does not ex-
seed 460 miles in a ffraight line, is about 8 5 by
water. It may be th~ortened at leaf 250 miles, by
cutting acrofs eight or ten necks of land, f~ome of
which are not 30 yards wide. Charlevoix relates
that in the year 1722, at Point Coupe& or Cut Point,
the river made a great turn, *.nd fome Canadlians, by
deepening the channel of a fmnall brook, diverted ths
waters of: the river into it. The impetuof ty of the
fiream was fo violent and the foil of f~o rich and loofe
a quality that, in a th~ort time, the point was entirely
cut through, and travellers f~aved I4 leagues of their
voyage. Thle old bed has no water in it, the times of
thle periodical overflowing only excepted. The new
channel hias been fince founded with a line of thirty
fathoms, wvithiout finding bottom.
In the spring floods the Mifliflippi is very high,
and the current f~o firong that with difficulty it can
be af'cended; but that dif advantage is compenfaited by
eddies or counter-currents, which always run in the
bends clofe to the banks of the river with nearly
equal velocity ~galinfl the fiream-, and afif~t the af-
cending boats. TIhe current at this f~eafon defcends
at the rate of about five miles an hour. In autumn,
when the waters are low, it does not run faifter than
two miles, but it is rapid in fuch parts of the river,
which have cluffers of iflands, thloals and fand-banks.
The circumference of many of thee shoals being fe-
T n a half pint tumbler of this water has been found a fediment of
two inches of lime. It is, niotwithltanding, extremely wholesome and
well tasted, and ver~y cool in the hottest feaf'ons of thle year; the row-
ers wvho are thien employed drink of it when they are in the ftrongef2
perfpiration, andi never receive any had effetts from it. T'he inhabi-
tants of New Or~lean-s d~e no other water thian that of the river, which
by keeping in jars becomes perfectly clear.

veral miles, the voyage is longer and in fome parts
more dangerous than in the f~pring. The merchan-
dize neceffary for the commerce of the upper fCettle-
mnents on or near the IV~iiflifippi, is conveyed in thhk
spring and autumn in batteaux rowed by I8 or 20
men, and carrying about 40 tons. From New Or-
leans to the Illinois, the voyage is commronly perform-
ed in eight or ten weeks. A prodigious number of
islands, fome of which are of great extent, interfperre
that mighty river. Its depth increases as you afcend
it. Its waters, after overflowing its banks below
the river Ibberville, never return within them again.
There singularities diftinguifh it from every other
known river in the world. Below New Orleans the
land begins to be very low on both fides of the river
acrof~s the country, and gradually declines as it ap-
proaches nearer to the fea. This point of land which
in the treaty of peace in r762, is mistaken for an
ifland, is to all appearance of no long date ; for in
digging ever fo little below the surface, you find
water and great quantities of trees. The many beaches
and breakers, as well as inlets, which arole out of
the channel within the laft half century, at the f~eve-
ral mouths of the river, are convincing proofs that;
this peninfilla was wholly formed in the f'ame manner.
And it is certain that when La Salle failed down the
Miffiffippi to the fea, the opening of that river was
very different from what Et is at pref~ent.
The nearer you approach to the fea, this truth be-
comes more firiking. The bars that crofs moft of
thefe finall channels, opened by the current, have
been multiplied by means of the trees carried down
with the fireams; one of which fl~opped by its roots
or branches, in a- fhallow part, is sufficient to obltruat
the paffag~e of thousands more, and to fix them at the
fame place. Such colleaions of trees are daily f~een
between the Balize and the Mifl'ouri, which fingly
D w tould

(26 )

would f~upply the largest city in Europe, with fuel for
several years. No human force being fufficient for
removing them, the mud carried down by the river
serves to bind and cement them together. They are
gradually covered, and every inundation not only
extends their length and breadth, but adds another
layer to their height. In lef~s than ten years time,
canes and shrubs grow on then, and form points and
iflands, which forcibly thift the bed of the~ river.
Nothing can be afferted, with certainty, refpelting
its length. Its source is not known, but f~uppof~ed to
be upwards of 3000omiles from the fea as the river runs.
We only know that, from St. A nthony's falls, it glides
with a pleasant clear fiream, and becomes compara-
tively narrow before its jua~tion with the Miiffouri, the
m`uddy waters of which immediately dif~colour the
lower part of the river to the fea. Its rapidity,
breadth, and other peculiarities then begin to give it
tire majeffic appearance of the Miffouri which affords
a more extensive navigation, and is a longer, broad-
er and deeper river than the Miifliippi. It has been
ascended by French traders about twelve or thirteen
hundred miles, and from the depth of water, and
breadth of the river at that difiance, it appeared
to be navigable many miles fur~ther.
From t'he lViffouri river to nearly opposite the Ohio,
the weffern bank of the Mifliflippi is (fome few places
excepted) higher than the eaft~ern. From Mine au
fer to the Ibberville, the eaftern bank is higher than
the weffern, on which there is not a single discernable
rifing or eminence, the difiance of 750 miles. From
the Ibberville to the fea, there are no eminences on
either fide, though the eastern bank appears rather
the higher of th~e two, as far as the Englifh turn.
Thence the ~banks gradually diminish in height to the
mouths of the river, where they are not two or three
feet higher than the common surface of the water.

The flime which the annual floods of the river t p~i e."
MiFfliffppi leaves on the surface of the adjacent chores,
may be compared with that of the Nile, which depo-
fits a similar manure, and for many centuries paft has
injured the fertility of Egypt. When its banks hall
have been cultivated as the excellency of its foil and
temperature of the climate def~erve, its population will
equal that, or any other part of the world. The
trade, wealth and power of America will at f~ome
future period, depend and perhaps center upon the
MiflifiTppi. This alfo refembles the Nile in the num-
ber of its mouths, all iffuing into a fea that may be
compared to the Medite-rranean, which is bounded
on the North and South by the two continents of
Europe and Africa, as the Mexican bay is by North
and South America. The rilmaller mouths of this
river might be eafily flopped up, by means of thof~e
floating trees with which the river during the floods
is always covered. The whole force of the channel Probability of
being united, the only opening then left would pro- cdte~nilog th
bably grow deep as well as the bar.
To judge of the produce to be expelled from the Produee or
foil of Louifiana, let us turn our eyes to Egypt, A- Lomorana.
rabia Felix, Perfia, India, China, and Japan, all lying
in correspondent latitudes. Of thefe China alone has
a tolerable government; and yet it muff be acknow-
ledged they all are, or have been, famous for their
riches and fertility. W~7hen our wandering imagina-
tion foars to regions of wealth and terrestrial blifs, it
delights in refting on thefe countries we have juft
Louifiana is agreeably fituated between the extremes its pleasant
of heat and cold. Its climate varies as it extends to-
wards the North. The f~outhern parts, lying within
the reach of the refreshing breezes from the f~ea, are
not scorched like thof~e under the f~ame latitudes in
Africa; and its northern regions are colder than

( 8

thofe of Europe under the fame parallels, with a
wholefome' serene air, very fimrilar to the South of
France and Lifbon. New Orleans, situated in 3od.
2 m. which nearly answers to the northern coats of
Barbary and Egypt, enjoys the fame temperature of
climate with Marfe~illes. Not quite two degrees high-
er in the country of the Natchez, the climate is much
more uniform and temperate than at Newr Orleans.
And in the country of the Illinois, which lies about
37 degrees, the summer feafon is nearly the fame as
at Paris in France.
Objettonsto An objeation has been often made by mifinformed
the navigati- men, otherwif~e of great abilities, who too creduloufly
on orf the
IMiffiffippi believed that the navigation of the IViffillippi river,
removed. On accoutit of its rapid current, was more difficult
than it is in reality. It appears from the calculation
made by f~everal ikilful and experienced travellers,
that in the autumn when the waters are low, the cur-
rent descends at the rate of about one and a half or
two miles in an hour ; and that the waters are in this
flate more than one half of the year. In the f~pring
when the fr~efhes are up, or at their greatest height,
the current runs at the rate of five or fix miles. It
is true that the navigation would be difficult at that
feafon, to th~ofe who fail or row up againft the itream;
but there is no .example of fuch folly. When the
waters of this river are high, the commodities and
produce of the interior country are gathered and pre-
pared for exportation with the defcending current.
And when the waters are low, the produce of the in-
terior country is growing to maturity. This is the
time for the navigator's importation. Great advan-
tages are likewmife taken then from eddy currents. At
pref~ent there are few builders fkilful enough to con-
firuatveffels better calculated for that navigation, than
thofe already mentioned. Time and experience will
doubtlef~s produce improvements, and render the na-

ligation of this river nearly as cheap as any other.
But that the Mififi~ppi can answer every purpose of
trade and commerce, is proved to a demonstration, :}ts::adant~aare
by the rapid progref~s the French, German, and Aca- commerce.
dian inhabitants on that river, have made. They
have attained a flate of opulence never before fo fboon
acquired in any new country. And this was effeflt-
ed under all the discouragements of an indolent and
rapacious government. It may be further afferted,
that no country in North-America, or perhaps in the Equal to any
univerfe, exceeds the neighbourhood of the Miif~ffppi r- mthY~e,
in fertility of foil and temperature of climate. Both rica.
fides of this river are truly remarkable for the very
great diversity and luxuriancy of their produffions.
They might probably be brought, from the favoura-
bleners of the climate, to produce two annual crops
of Indian corn as well as rice, and with little cultiva-
tion would furnif~h grain of every kind in the greatest
abundance. But this value is not confined to the fer-
tility and immenfity of champaign lands; their tim-
ber is as Eine as any in the world, and the quantities
of live and other oak, afh, mulberry, walnut, cherry,
cyprefs, and cedar, are affonifhing. The neighbour-.
hood of the Mififippi, besides, furnishes the richest
fruits in great variety, particularly grapes, oranges,
and lemons in the highest perfection. It produces
filk, cotton, faff'afrals, fCaffron and rhubarb; is pecu.-
liarly adapted for hemp and flax, and in goodness
of tobacco equals the Brazils; and indigo is at this
present a flaple commodity, which commonly yields
the planter from three to four cuttings. In a word,
wThatever is rich or rare in the moft desirable climates
in Europe, feems natural to f~uch a degree on the
MifTflilppi s that France, though the fent few or no
emigrants into Louifiana but decayed soldiers, or per-
f~ons in indigent circumstances, (and thee very poor-
ly supplied with the implements of husbandry) foon

( 3o

began to dread a rival in her colony, particularly in
the cultivation of vines, from which the prohibited
soil and~thua- the coloniifts under a very heavy penalty; yet foil and
oer pi icah situation triumphed over all political reftraints, and
reltraints. the adventurers, at the end of the war in I76j2, were
very little inferior to the moft ancient settlements of
Amierica in all the modern refinements of luxury.
R;~river wi- 'I'he Milliflippi furnishes in great plenty several
fippi furnith~es forts of fifh, particularly perch, pike, fturgeon, cel,
ih. and calts of a monfirous fize. Craw-fifh abound in
this country; they are in every part of the earth, and
when the: inhabitants chuf~e a difh~ of them, they fend
to their gardens where they have a mall pond dug
for that purpol~e, and are fure of getting as many as
they have occafion for. A dith of fhrimps is as ea-
fily procured : by hanging a small canvas bag with a
bit of meat in it to the bank of the river, and letting:
it drop a little below the f~urface of the water, in a few
hours a fidfficient quantity will have got into the bag.
Shrimps are found in the MififiTppi as far as the
Natchez> 348 miles fr~om the f~ea.
Defediption of Having glanced at the many advantages that will
the coa~tand refult from thle cultivation and improvement of the
n;~oas osuof lands in the neighbourhood of the Mififlippi, we nowv
the Miffiffippi~proceed with a defeription of the coats and iflands
about the mouths of that river with directions to
The coat here is very low and marthy, and it
would be difficult to find the entrances of that river,
were it not for the houf~es at thle old and new Balize,
and the flag flaff at the former, which appear f~ome
distance at fea. The white clayey colour of the river
water remaining unmixed on the surface, is another
indication th-at the Mfi~fifippi is not far diftant; and
though it may be alarming to firangers, as it was to
myself when I firft beheld it, as it has the appearance
of a thoal, yet the f~oundings are much deeper off' the
Milifiirppi than any where elfe on the coat. It

S 3r

It is an observation faid to be founded one experience,
that where the water of the M~ififlippi incorporates
with, and apparently lofes itself in the bay of Mexico,
the current divides, and generally fets north-eafterly
and fouth-wefterly, but out of f~oundings the currents
are in a great meaf'ure governed by the winds; and
if they are not attended to, veffels miay be driven
fouth-wveftward beyond the Balize into the bay of St.
B~ernard, which is reported to be full of thoals, and
consequently a very dangerous navigation.
To come to an anchor off the Balize, vefiels ap- j~ei~~ to
-proaching the land ought to bring the old Ealize to
bear about W by S, and the new B~alize nearly W N
W; they will then be about two miles dif~ant fr~om,
and oppof~te to the Eaft pals, or mo~thl, in I3 or
I4 fath~omi rather : and the firong N E and S E
winds always occasion great fwells off~ thie Balize, yet
when anchored as above direfled they may ride in
fa8fety; except a SE wind, which is the moft dan-
gerous, as it blows directly on fh~ore, should come on
fo violent as to part them fr~om their anchors, and
prevent their carrying fail; in which cafe, if care has
not been taken to obtain a good ofang, they will drift
either on the mud banks into the pafs ala Loutre,
which has only eight feet water, or into the bay Bri-
ton, where they will be in a critical situation, on ac-
count of the thoal water for which that bay is remark-
The belt precaution against the confeqjuences of a Precaution;.
fouth-eaft wind will be to get under way before the
firength of the gale comes on, and to fleer about N
by W half W for the ifland called Grand Gofier dift~ant
7 leagues. In failing round the fouth wellermoft
part of which, care should be taken to fleer clear of
a thoal that runs out from it -W SW about two miles,
which being paffed, veff~els th~ould luff up, until the
S W end of the ifland bears nearly 8 E two miles i

(31 )

there is then good anchoring in three and an half
fathoms f~oft bottom.
There is another fafe anchoring place in 2 fathom
water, juff within the S W point of the Ifle au Briton;
fr~om the S W end of which a thloal runs out nearly
half a mile. This ifland is about a league to the weft-
ward of the Grand Gofier, and there is good an chor-
ing between them in 3 and 4 fathoms.
If a ruth-eaft gale should happen at night, it would
be impoffble to f~ee the way between the above iflands.
In that cafe, a N N E courf~e from the mouths of
the Mififfiippi will clear the chandelures, situated
about 3 leagues to the north-wtard of the Ifle au
Grand Gofier, which are better than 91leagues in length.
ALs all the above iflands are low and have no trees
growing on them, they cannot be feen at any difiance.
On that account it will be neceffary when fagiling to-
wards theml, to keep a good look out. There is drift
wood on thef~e iflands, and fr~eih water may be got
by digging. The water between the chandelures and
the peninsula of Orleans is full of shoals, and the na-
vigation fit only for fmnall craft.
thMoinh 0f The river MiflifiTppi discharges itrelfinto the gulph
howw formed. of Mexico by several mouths of different depths of
water : in the year '772, that called the fouth-eaff
in latitude 29 d Io m Nbrth, and longitude 89 d Io
m W~eft from London afforded I2 feet; th~e EIaft
mouth, which before the above period furnifh~ed r g
feet, had then no more than I0 and an half feet,
and the north-eaft only 9 and an half feet on the bar
of it. The latter now affords I 2 feet, and SW~ has
fixteen feet. The bars are f~ubje1 to thift; but home-
diately after entering the river, there is from 3 to 7,
8 and I0 fathoms as far as the fouth-weft pafs, and
fr~om thence x 2, I5, 20 and 30 fathoms is the ge-
neral depth for I I42 computed miles to the Miffouri

(33 )

The shoals about the M~ififiT~ppi are formed from
th~e trees, mud, leaves, and a variety of other rr atter
continually brought down by the waters of the river,
which being forced along by the current, until repel-
led by the tides, then fubfide, and occasion what ar~e
commonly called the bar~s: their difiance from the
entrances of the river-, which is generally about 2
miles, depend much on the winds being accidentally
with or againfi:he tides : when therTe bars accumulate
fuffcientlv to refiit the tides and the current of ihe
river, they form~i numerous fmcall iflalnds, wJhich by
constantly increasing, join to each other and at laft
reach the continent.
All the lan~d borde~ringr the mouths of the Mcilifi;-
fippi has been made in th~is manner. It is more than
probable that the whole of the country on both 1Jes
of the river as far as the Ibb~erville, a difiance of 204
miles, has been produced in a fucceflion of ages by the
vaft quantities of mud, trees, leaves &rc. brought
down by thle annual foods which over~f-low the banks
of the Mif-limpipi; the large trunks or bodies of trees
which have been fr~equenitly found in digging in the
above dillcance, feems to confirm this opinion ; and it
may r~ea~ona~bly be fupgpofed, that the lakes on each
fide of this river ar~e parts of the ~fea not yet filled up:
thus the land is annually raileid and conflantly gains on
the f~ea. 'The old Balize, a finall port ere1-ed by the
French on a little ifland, was in the year I734, .at
the mnotth of the river, it is now two m~iles above it.
In the year r-766, Don Antonio D'Ulloa eredled
fome barracks on a fmnall ifland, the new Balize, (to
which he gav~e the name of: St. Carlos) for the conve-
trience of pilots, and other purposes, being near the
fouth-eaft entrance of~ the river, and a more dry and
higher fxtuation than any there about. There was
not the leaft appearance of this ifland 30 years ago#.
E T~he
r lWhatever doubts may arife refpeating the above account, there are

S 34

Oijland Ntwmcd' The old and new Balize were formerly ery incon-
fider~able potls, with 3 or 4 cannon in each, and
garrifoned by a fubaltern's command. Such are their
Stations that they neither defend the MifiTflippi, nor
the deepest channel into it, and appear to have been
eftablifh~ed only for the purpofets of afifiting veffels
coming into the river, and forwarding intelligence or
dilpatches to New Orleans.
in iclenri~ns In amending the MilimTppi there are extensive na-
tu' h":;ianispp.tural mealdows, with a prorfpeaof th~e fea, on both
Fidfes, moll part of the difiance to the Detour aux
Plaquleminess which is 32 miles: from thence to the
fettlements 20 miles further, the wvhole is a continu-
cd track' of low and miarthiy grounds, generally over-
flowed, and covered with thick wood, Palmetto
bushes, &c. which appear almoff impenetrable to either
man or beaff. Fr~om1 thence the banks of the river
Dtou les are wecll inhabited to the Detour des Anglois, where

not inltances wantingS to prove thiat fa~me other parts of the earth have
bEeen formed~c in a Llmilar manner, as will appear by thle following faits.
H-avre de Gr-ace is litualtedc in thle Pa~ys die Caux, about 18 leagues
fr-om Rouen, andt as; much fromt D~ieppe, onl thle point ofa large valley
irt thet mouth of thet river Seinle, in ~the latitude of 4 North. It Ltands upon'' a plain~ if at of ground, full of moraffes, and
croffed by a great nuimber of creeks, and ditches fuill of water, which~
contribute not, a little to its security. This ground was originally gain-
ed out of th~e fea, and formedl fr~ods the large quantities of lund, gravel,
and tmudl, whlich the force of the tidle and the river conveyed to that
place in a long course of time and by infenrible dlegrees. And as it
was formed, fo it feems to be daily incr-eafed by the fame means : for
woe are atfiured by aI late author*, tha: about ;o or 80 years ago, th~e fea,
at high~ water, camie very nerar that gate' of the city which is next the
hlarb~our; wh~ereas now the high water mark is nearly half a mile diftailt
from it. So tha3t it appears, the fea has gradually givetn way, and, as
it we~re, retiredl to leave ther earth at liberty to enlarge andt extend itself.
Nor sought w~e to b~e flirprifedl at this. Thle groundl on which the city of
T'yre is built, thought~ now o~nited to ther continent, being formerly part
of an island. Venice would have hiad th~e fame fatz long ago, had it not
been for the griat pains the inhab tannts have taken to prevent it: the
fea faimnerly wanthed the walls of Ravenna,, which is now a league diffant
fromi it; nor are others intanclnes of thIs kind wanting, even in thle fame
kingdocm of F'ranec, particularly Fre uis and Narbonnee a few centuries
ago, wrere onl th~e lb;or of' the Miiiterrc~laneln ; b~ut nowY the one is a
league, andi the ot~er alo two, ditianti from it.---Defeription de la
Haute No~rmandie, tom. i. p. 193-
Pigtaniol de la Force, Nouvelle deferip~tion de la France, tomI iX.
Page 59;7*

( 35 )

the circular direction of the river is fo ver~y confider-
able that veffels cannot pars it with the fame wind
that conducted them to it, and muff either wait for a
favourable wind, or make faft to the bank, and haul
clofe, there being sufficient depth'of water for any
veffel that can enter the river. The two forts and
batteries at this place, one of each, on both1 fides of
the river, are more than f~ufficient to flop the progrel~s
of any veffel whatever#. The difiance fr~om hence to
New Orleans is r8 miles. The Banks of the river
are settled and well cultivated, and there is a goodI
road for carriages all the way.
Nothing with certainty can be determined refpea-
ing the time a veffel may take in failing from the Ba-
lize to New Orleans, a difiance of 105 miles. With
favourable winds the voyage has been performed in
3 or'4, but it generally takes 7 or 8 days, and f~ome-
times two or three weeks. There is always fhofll
water near the low points of land covered with wil--
lows. In approaching them, a few cats of the lead
will be necefrry; and in several places there are trees
fixed with one end in the bottom, and the other juft
below the surface of the river, and in the fame di-
reation with the current, which by continual frialion
of the water, are reduced to a point; and as there
are instances of veffels failing with force against them
being run through their bottoms, and link~ing imme-
diately after, too much care cannot be takien to avoid
them. Attention thlould alfo be paid to keep clear of
the trees floating down the river during the floodst.

*Do~tor Cox of New Jerfey ascended the Ml~fjfl~ipipi to this place in
the year 1698, took poiffeton, and calledl the country Carolina.

t It is impolible to anchlor without being expofedl to thle danger of
the great trees, which frequently come down with the current, ut~n
more efpecially at the time of the floods, which if any of them thoul~d
some athwart hawle, would moit probably drive in the bows of th~e veirel;

( 36

The water is every where deep enough (except at the
'Willow Points) to admit veffe!s clofe to either fh~ore,
where instead of letting go an anchor, which would
probably be loft among the logs f~unk in the bottom
of the river, veirels may thf~ely make faff to the trees
on th~e bank; which lare generally tall and in fuch
abundance, in fome parts, that they prevent the
wtinds fr~omi being of that service to veH'ls in afcending
the Mlifamlppi, that might be expedied. It will be
therefore neceffairy for expedition fake, to rigg as
many topfatils as poilible, which commonly reach
above thle tr~ees and are of more d~e than all the
other fails together; however, care muft he taken to
ftandl by thle halliards to prevent the wrind, which
fr~equently comes in very firong puffs, from carrying
away the top mlarts, falils, &rc.
rTown andon The: town of New Orleans, the metropolis of Loui-
of New orle- fiana, was regularly laid out by the French in the year
ans. sq 20, is situated on the Eaft fide of the river in 30 d
2 m North latitude, I05 miles fromt the B41ize, as al-
ready mentioned; all the f~ireets are perfectly firaight
but too narrow, and crofs each other at right angles.
There are betwixt freven and eight hundred houf~es
in this town, generally built wYith timber frames raised
about eight feet from the ground, with large galle-
ries round them, and the cellars under the floors le-
vel with the ground: any fulbteraneous buildings
would be conflantly full of water. Moft of the houf~es,
have gardens. Exclufive of flaves, there are about fe-
ven thioufacnd inhabitants of both fex~es. The fortifi-
cation is only a line of ft~ockades, with bastions of

andi there is a certainty of lofing the anchors, as the bottom of the rIver
is very foft mud, covered with lunk logs, th~is points out the impoff~ibi
lity for arffels to navigate upon the~Iii filippi, unilefs they are permit ted
to make falt to the thore; and no veffel canl be faid to enjoy thie free- na
vigation of the river, if depri-ved of this neccflary privilege.

( 37

the fame materials, on three fides, a banquet within,
and a very trifling ditch without, and is only a de-
fence against mufquetry. The fide next the river is
open, and is secured from the inundation of the river
by a railed bank, generally called the Levee, which
extends from thle Englifh Turr 1 or the Detour dies
Anglois, to the upper fettlemrents of the Germans,
a difiance of more than 50 miles, with a good road
all the way. There is reafon to believe the period is it may be-
not very difiant when New Orleans may become a COme a gr'eat
a nd~ opulent
great and opulent city, ifwe consider the advantages miy.
of its situation, but a few Leagues frocm the fea, on a
noble river, in a moft fertile country, unider- a moft
delightful and wholesome climate, within two weeks
fa~il of Mexico by fea, and flill nearer the French
Spanifh and Britiih iflands in the Weft Indies, with
a moral certainty of its becoming a general receptacle
for the produce of that extensive and valuable coun-
try on the Mifif~iTppi, Ohio, and its other branches; all
which are much more than f~ufc~ient to ensure the fu-
ture wealth, power and prosperity of this city.
The veffels whiich fail up the Mifif~T~ppi haul clore Ealy loading
along fide thle bank next to Orleans, to which they io~dhn 1l~
make faft, and take in or dif~charge their cargoes with
the fatme eaf~e as from a w~harf.
From New Orleans there is a very eafy communi-
cation with Weft-Florida, by means of the BSayouk
of St. John, a little creek which is navigable for vef~-
f~els drawing about four feet water fix miles up -from
the lake Ponchartrain, where there is a landing-place,
at which vefrels load and~ unload : this is about two
miles from the town. The entrance of the Bay~ouk
of St. John is defended by a battery of five or fix
cannon. There are f~ome plantations on the Bayouk,
and on the road from thence to NewN Orleans.
Canes-Brul4, Chapitoula, and the German fettle- ':;~lf
ments Join each other, and are a continuatIon of and the Ger-
manl iettic-
well- ments.~

( 38

well-cultivated plantations, of near fifty miles from
New Orleans, on each fide of the river. At the Ger-
man settlements, on the Weft fide of the river, is a
church fierved by the Capuchins. There was for-
merly a fmnall flocka~ded fort in the centre of the f'et-
tlemients on the EaftL fde of the river : this poft was
I originally ereaed as an afy-lum for the inhabitants who
frirt fettled there, and were much molefied by the
Cha~taws and Chickafaws, who in alliance carried
on a war againf1 the settlers on the Miif~ifippi. Their
entry into this part of the colony was very eafy, as
they went up a fmall creek, Tigahoe, in canoes. The
entratnce of this creek, which is in the lake Pont-
chartrain, was defended by a Cmall redoubt, fince in
Produ~ce of the The produce of the plantations, commencing below
p stations' the Englifh Turn, and continuing to the upper fettle-
ments of the Germans, form a very confiderable
part of the commerce of this country; the different
articles are indigo, cotton, rice, beans, myrtle-
wax and lumber. The indigo is much eitffemed for
its beautiful colour and good quality; the colour is
brighter than that which is fabricated at St. Domin-
go. The cotton formerly cultivated, though of a moft
perfeat white, is of a very fhort flaple, and is there-
fore not in great request. The different fortsofbeans,
rice, and myrtle candles, are articles in conflant
demand at St. Domingo.
suaarmhade In the year I762, several of the richest planters
ih ccf.begun the cultivation of f~ugar, and ere~ted mills to
Sprees the canes; the fugar produced was of a very
fine quality, and fome of the crops were very large :
but no dependance can be had on this article, as f~ome
years the winters are too cold, and kill the canes in
the ground.
,laves how In1 the autumn, the planters employ their -flaves in
<~pL yein cutting down and fquaring timber, for fa8wing into

S 39

boards and f~cantling. TIhe carriage of this timber is
very eafy, for thofe who cut it at th~e back of their
plantations make a ditch, which is supplied with wa-
ter from the back fwcamps, and by that means con-
duCEt their timber to the river with very little labour:
others fend their flaves up to the cypref~s fwvamps, of
which there are a great many between New Orleans;
and Point Couped. There they make rafts of the
timber they cut, and float down to New Orleans.
Many of the planters have f~aw-mills, which are work.-
ed by the waters of the MiifiTppi, in the time of the
floods, and then they are kept going night and day
till the waters fall. The quantity of lurober f~ent from
the Miflfi~ppi to, the Weft India iflands is prodigious,
and it generally goes to a go~od market.
About 60 miles from Nezw Or~lealls are the villages s~l~:of he
of the Humas and Alibamas. The former were Alibamas.
once a considerable nation of Indians, but are re-
duced now to about 25 warrior~s; the latter confifts
of about 30, being part of a nation which lived near
fort Touloufe, on the river Al~ibama, and followed
the French when they abandoned that: poft in the year
1962. Three- miles further up is the Fourche de Fourche Chetimachas, near which is the village of a tribe of chrlimachas.
Indians of the fame name; they reckon about 27

It is truly furprifing, that the nations who have
fuccefiTvely poffeffred Louifiana, never endeavoured
to obtain an exa~l knowledge of the fea coat weft-
ward of the mouths of the M~illflippi. The many difE-
ficulties and dangers to which veffels are expof~ed in
making, and getting over the shallow and shifting bars
of that river, as well as in a long and tedious naviga-
tion upwards of thirty leagues to New Orleans, would
render a harbour to the wseftward of the B3alize, and
a water communication with the upper parts of the
Mifliflippi of vaft importance. The nature of the nar-

( 40 )

1-ow flip of land extending upwards of 60 leagues be-
tween that river and therea, in a weff erly courfec, indi-
cates very firongly the probability ofa better and more
caly communication from that quarter, than that by
the river Ibberville through the lakes Ponchartrain
and Maurepas. This opinion is fully confirmed by
the information received from Natchiabe, an intelli-
gent chief of the Humas tribe, who inhabit the banks
of a creck known by the name of the Chetimachas
fork, already mentioned, and which I am now to def~-
cribe. The Chetimachas forms one of the outlets of
the Mlif~ifippi about 30 leagues above N~ew Orleans,
and after running in a foutherly direction about 8
leagues from the river, divides into two branches, one
of which runs fouth-wefferly and the other fouth-
eafterly, to the difiane of 7 leagues, when they both
empty their waters into the Mexican Gulph.
On the Chetimachas, 6 leagues from the MififiiTppi,
is a mall fettlement of a tribe of Indians of the fame
name. To this settlement the Chetimnachas is uni-
formly about I00 y-ards in width, the depth from 2
to 4: fathoms, when the water is lowest. The courfe
southerly, without any material winding or thoal,
except at its rife from the Miim~ppi, where there are
large collections of drifted logs, which have probably
occafioned the fand bank formed at the fame plate,
This bank however extends no farther than 60 yards,
and through which a paffage might eafly- be cleared
for batteauxr. Th~e uIpper part of this outlet is alfo
obftruaed, in federal places, by heaps of drifted logs
Similar to thofe juff mentioned, but at the water, at
all times, runs deep under them, they could eafily be
cleared off. It would be as eafy to prevent any fur-
ther colleation of logs, or fagnds, at the entrance of
this creek, by ereating a fpar, with piles or caffoons,
a1 little above it, in an oblique direction with the cur-
rent of the M~iflifl~ippi. That difficulty once overcome,

( 4!

there is no other that can impede navigation fr~om
th~e river to the above mentioned settlement of the
Chetimachas village; nor, as thee Indians inform,
to the Gulph. The banks on both fides of the Che-
timachas, are generally higher than thofe of the
MifiTflippi, and To elevated in fome places as never to
be overflowed. The ground rifes gradually from its
banks about 200 yards, and then gently defcends to
extensive cypress swamps. The natural produ~ti-
ons are the fame as on the Mififlippi, but the foil
from the extraordinary fize and companies of the
canes growing on it, is something superior. If mea-
fures were adopted and purf~ued with a view to im-
prove that communication, there would foon be, on
its banks, the moft profpercius and important f~ettle-
ments of that colony.
Nine miles above the Chetimachas is the concefkn
of M~ionfieur Paris, a pleasant situation and good
land. Large herds of cattle are generally kept here,
belonging to the inhabitants of Point Coupee.
The settlements of the Acadians are on both fides'h ict f -
of the river, and reach from the G~ermans to the Ib- cadians.
berville. Thefe are the remainder of the families
which were fent by Gen. Lawrance from Nova Scotia
to the then Britifh~ southern provinces; where, by
their induffry, they did and might have continued to
live very happy, but that they could not publicly en-
joy the Roman catholic religion, to which they are
greatly bigoted. They took the earliest opportuni-
ty, after the peace, of tranfporting themselves to St.
Domingo, where the climate dif~agreed with them fo
much, that they, ini a few months, loft near half their
numbers; the remainder, few only excepted, were, in
the latter end of the year I763, removed to New Or-
leans at the expence of the king of France. There
are about three hundred families of this unfortunate
people settled in different parts of Louifiana. They
F are

( 43

are fober and induffrious; they clothe themfeBlves in
almost every refpeat with the produce of their own
fields, and the work of their own hands, and are very
obedient and useful fubjeats.
r be- The river Ibberville is 99 miles from New Orleans,
204 miles from the Balize, and 270 miles from Pen-
facola, by the way of the lakes Ponchartrain and
In 1765 a poft was eftablifhed here, and the gar-
rifon, which was a detachment of the 34th regiment,
withdrawn in the month of July in the fame year. In
December I766, this poft was re-poff~effd, and a
finall flockaded fort built by a party of the 2 tft regi-
mient, and was de ~nolifhedl and abandoned in I768.
And in the year I778 it was again poff~effed by part
of the I6th regiment, who were made prlfoners by
the Spania2rds in the year following.
Before the ceffion of Louifiana to Spain, the peltries
of the Britith and French chores of the Illinois have:
been moitly carried in the Britifh dominions, either in
Canada, by the upper parts of the Milliflippi through
M~achillimakinak, or by the wvay of New Orleans at
the mouth of that river. Philadelphia and New-York
have alfo received great quantities of peltries in re-
turn for their flour and the dry goods which they
have fent to New Orleans, ~for the Indian trade, or
the det of the inhabitants. Penfacola received like-
wife large parcels of fkins and fuirs, which have been
exported thence to London, to South-Carolina, or
other parts of America., This is the reason why the
importance of the Illinois or upper MififiiTppi has, till
now, been little known. It is even certain, that it has
been artfully concealed by many, who availed them-
f~elves of the ignorance of the public on that head.
This would not have been the caf~e, had not the
Bijtifh government withdrawn in x 768, the garrison
of fort Bute, which was confiruated at Manchac, on

S 43

the bank of the Mi~flifippi, opposite to another fort
which the French created in r767, at the difiance of
about 400O paces from the Britifh fort. There forts
were fituated near the place which, in the treaty of
peace in I 762, is deferibed as the mouth of Ibberville
river to the Nor~th of New Orleans ifland, and the
then boundary-line of the poffeflions of the two
crowns in thofe parts; but the plenipotentiaries of
the two powers were mifinformed; for, as we have
already obferved, the city of New Orleans is not: irl
an ifland, but on the continent. Or if the tra&t of land
on which that city is fituated, can be termed an ifland,
that name can with propriety be applied to it during
only two, or at moft three months every year, when
the MifIfippi overflows ; an accidental communica-
tion with lake Ponchartrain is then opened through
the Gut of Ibberville. It may be dignified, during
that fhort period, with the title of river, but dries
up as foon as the Miflifli~ppi ceafes to overflow. At
any other time the walking from Engliih to French,
now Spanifh M~anchac, is perfectly dry.
This place, if attended to, might be of consequence
to the commerce of WJeft-Florida; for it may with
reason be fuppofed, that the inhabitants and traders
who reside at Point Coupe&, at Natchitochies, Atta-
cappa, the Natchez, on the Eaft fide of the Mifiilippi
above and below the NTatchez, at the illinois, and St.
Vincents on the Ouabathe, would rather trade at this
place than at New Orleans, if they could have as
good returns for their peltry and the produce of their
country ; for it makes a difference of tenl days in their
voyage, which is no inconfiderable faiving of labour,
rooney, and time. The only difficulty which op-
pofes itself to this neceffary eftablifhment, is the want
of a navigation through the river Ibberville, io that
veffels might carry on a constant intercourse betwixt
this place and Pentfacola without going up the Mifliif-

(44 )

fippi, which is a more tedious navigation. However,
this difficulty is greatly obviated by a good road made
for carriages between the navigable water of the Ib-
berville (a distance of ten miles) and the MififiT~ppi;
and~ when the latter is highi enough to run into the
former, which it generally is during the months of
May, June, and July, veffels drawing from three to four
feet, or more, may then pafs from one to the other.
Village of About a mile above the Ibberville, on the Eaft fide
ALibama In-
ans, confifting of twenty-five: warriors.
Point cooper F~rom the Ibberville to the settlements of Point
Coupee is 3 5 miles; they extend full 20 miles on the
Wieft fide of thle Milifliirppi, and there are fome plan-
tations back on the fide of what is generally called La
Fad~e Riviere, through which the Milliflippi paffed
about 7o years ago, making the fhape of a cref~cent.
The fort, which is a square figure with four ballions,
built with flockades, is fituated on the fame fide of
the MififfiTppi, about four and a half miles above the
lowell plantation. The inhaLbitants of Point Coupe&
amount to about 2000 of all ages and fexes, and 7000
flaves. They cultivate: tobacco, indigo, and Indian
corr"; raife v.3ft quantities of poultry, which they
fe~cnd to market at New Orleans, and fulrnifh to the
i[hipping. They fqluare a great deal of timber and
make flaves, which they convey in rafts to Newv Or
leans. Eight miles above the fort at Point Couped,
on the fame fide of the river, is a fmnall village of the
Affagoula Affagoula Indians. They have only about a dozen
Iindians. warriors.
On the Eaft fide of the river, and opposite to the.
upper plantations of Point Coupeb, is the village of
vrillage of the Tonicas, formerly a numerous nation of Indidns ;
but their con~thnt intercourfe with the white people,
and immoderate ufe of fpirituous liquors, have re-
duced them to about twenty warriors.

( 45

About ten miles above the Tonicas village, on the vainages of
fTame fide of the river, is a village of Pafcagoula In- and Biloxi
dians, of twenty warriors; and a little lower down, on 'ndians.
the oppofite fide, there is a village of Biloxi Indians,
containing thirty warriors.
The Chafala a is about 30 miles above the fettle- chartay
mnent of Point Coupee, and 3 miles below the mouth of tle Minis
of the river Rouge. It is the uppermost mouth of fippi.
the Mif~iiiTppi, and after running many miles through
one of the moff fertile countries in the world, falls
into the Bay of St. Bernard, a considerable difiance
westward of the mouths of the MififiTppi.
Fifty-four miles fr~om the MiiT~flippi down the Cha-
falaya, on the eaftern fide, is the place called t-he
Portage, juft above the mouth of a finall rivulet. This
Portage is I 8 miles from Point Coupee. Twelve miles
below this Portage is a narrow ifland 24 miles long.
The eastern channel is choaked up with logs, but the
weffern affords good navigation. The river Appa-
loufad communicates with this channel nearly oppofite
the middle of the ifland, on the W-eft fide. There
are two settlements on the Appalou~fa; the firf1 is 30
miles, and the other I 2 miles further, from its mouth.
In def~cending the Chafazlaya it is 3 miles fr~om the laft
mentioned ifland to Ifle au Vauche; and to the bay de
Chafalaya, which is on the eastern fide of the river,
it is 3 miles more. This bay is ofatriangular figure,
about 6 miles in length, and something better than a
mile in width at its entrance. 'When the Chafalaya
is not raif~ed with frefhles, there is feldom more than 5
feet water in this bay. Fifteen miles from it on the
caftern fide, is the bay of Plaquiaxenes. About half the
difiance between thefe bays, is a rivulet which com-
municates with the former bed of the Mififl~ippi, back
of Point Coupeb, during the annual floods in that ri-
ver. The country between them is very low, fwampy
and full of ponds of water.
NTe a

( 46

Nearl lihe fo~urce of the Chafatays the current is very
rapid, but gradually diminifhes to the mouth, where
it is very gentle.
Inr aub W7e will now return to the Ifle au Vauche, and pro-
ceed from thence to lake de Portage, which is 3 miles
fr~om the ifland. This lake is I 3 triiles long, and not
more than one and an half broad. It coaxmunicates
at the fonthern end, by a firait a quarter of a mile
wide, with the grand lake of Chetimachas, which is
24 miles in length and 9 in width. The country
bordering there lakes is low and flat, and timbered
principally with cypress, fome live and other kinds
of oak ; and on the eafitern fide, the land between it
and the Chafalayai river, is divided and again fubdivid-
ed by innumera'ole rmal firiearnis, which occafion as
many iflands. Sorre of thefe fireams are navigable.
At a little difiance fi-ro the fout-h-eaftern fhore of
the lake Chetimachas, is an ifland where persons paffing
that way generally halt as a reffing place. Nearrly
opposite this ifland, along the weffern fhore, there is
an opening which leads to the f~ea. It is about I Sc
yards wide, and has I 6 or 17 fathoms water. From
the lake along this opening it is 3 miles to the Tage
river, whic-h is on the North fide. Three fmnall rivd-
lets fall in on the fame fide, in the above distance; arid
3 miles below the Tage river on the weffern fide is a
large fa3vanna known by the name of Prairu de Jacko.
From this f~avanna it is about 33 miles to the fea.
Tag rier. In afcending the Tage river, it is ro leagues from its
mouth~to an old Indian village, on the Eaft fice, called
Mingo Luoac, which signifies Fire Chief. From this
village to the habitation of Monf Mafs, which is on
the Weft fide, it is 2 leagues. One and an half
leagues further up, on the Eaft fde, is the villagede
Selieu Rouge, from whence there is a, portage of half
a mile to lake Chetimacha. Two leagues further up
the river, and on the Weft fide, is the habitation of

( 47

1Vonf. Sorrel. From whence, to the town la Nouvrelle
Iberie, on the fame fide, it is ix. leagues. The whole
of this difiance is tolerably well f~ettled. From this
town about fix leagues wefferly acrof~s the country is
ficuated the village de Skunnemoke or the Tuckapas,
on the Vermillion river, which runs into the bay of
St. Bernard. The river Tage, is in general better than
zoo yards wide, with a gentle current, and a fmnall
ebb and flowm of about 8 or Io inches. It narrows as
you af~cend it, where in fome places, it is not go yards
over. Veffels drawing from 7 to 8 feet water may go
from the fea to this town without anyobitru~tions.About
3 leagues above la Nouvelle Iberie is la Force Point,
formerly settled by French neutrals. It is now inha-
bited by creoles of the country, Spaniards fi~rom the
Canarie iflands, and a few Englifh fr~om the eastern
dide of the MiTfifippi. Then to la Shute branch,
whichpaffesover a fall of about to feet, near to where
it enters into th'e Tage river, it is 3 leagues, and inha-
bited the whole difiance. From this branch to Monf.
Flemming's i's 2 leagues more. A quarter of a mile
back from IMr. Flemiming's there is lake 3 leagues
in circuit. From Mr. Flemming's to the church De Church De-
fagta cappau, which is on the Weft fide of the Tage, it: fata cappan.
is I league further, all which is inhabited. From the
church to what is called the bottom of the bite, is two
leagues, and the whole difiance clofe~ly fettled. From
thence to the point settlement of Alcadians is one
league, to the plantation of Mo~nf. 1'Dee is alfo a
league, and to the point of M~onf. Dee it is half a
league further. Fro~ ~Monf. Dee's to Muod.f Fuzel-
liere's is 5 leagues by water, but only three by land.
Fuzelliere's fork, or branch, is juff below~ his houfe,
and divides the diaria~s of Attacappau and Appaloufe. Diatriesr of
And, at the difiance of about 2 leagues, this branch Attacappau
communicates with the Vermillion river wefferly. ~fld Aqppa-
The river Tage itill continues to the eastward. At one

( 8

and an half leagues from the fork, or branch,, is the
Prairie de Monf. Man, to Monf. Man's plantation it
is one and an half leagues further ; from thence up-
wards the river divides into little brooks, and lofes
itself in rich and extenfive favannahs.
inhabitants. All the Indians in this part of the country, cone
fitting of several fmnall tribes, do not exceed I00 fami-
lies. The white people are about 400 Eamilies, and
catx raife 500 militia. The; number of negroes are
nearly equal to the whites.
soil and Pro- Although this country might produce all the valu-
ducc. able articles raifed in other parts of the globe, situated
in the fame latitudes, yet the inhabitants principally
cultivate indigo, rice, tobacco, indian corn and fome
wheat; and they raife large flocks of black cattle,
horses, mules, hogs, the-ep and poultry. The theep
is faid to be the fweeteft mutton in the world. The
black cattle, when fat enough for fale, which they com-
monly are the year round, are driven a'crofs the coun-
try to New Orleans, where there is always a good
This country is principally timbered with all the
different kinds of oak, but m^oftly with live oak of
the largest and beft quality, uncommonly large cy-
prefs, black walnut, hickory, white ath, cherry,
plumb, poplar trees, and grape vines ; here is found
alfo a great variety of shrubs and medicinal roots.
The lands bordering the rivers and lakes are general-
ly well wooded, but at a fmlall difiance from them
are very extensive natural meadows, or savannas, of
the moft~ luxuriant: foil, composed of a black mould
about one and a half feet deep, very loofe and rich,
occafioned, in part, by the frequent burning of the
favannas; below the black mould, it is a ftiff clay of
different colours. It is f~aid this clay, after being ex-
pofed f~ometime to the fun, become fo hard that it
is difficult either to break or bend, but when wet by
a light

( 49

a light fhower of rain, it flack~ens in the fame manner
as lime does when exposed to moisture, and becomes
loofe and moulders away; after which it is found ex-
cellent for vegetation.
This country being fituated between the latitudes climate.
of 30 and 3' d. North, the climate is of course: very
mild and temperate ; white froffs, and sometimes thin
ice have been experienced here; but [now is very un-
comm on.
The river Rouge, which is to called from its wa- River RouSe.
ters being of a reddish colour, and faid to tinge thoer
of the MififiTppi at the time of the floods. Its f~oure:
is in New Mexico, and it runs about 600 m-iles.
The river Noir empties itfelft into this river about 30
miles from its confluence with the Mifliflippi, which
is I87 miles from New Orleans. The famous Fer-
dinand Soto ended his discoveries and his life at the
entrance of this river, and was buried there. Near
7o leagues up this river the French had a very cott-
fiderable pof1, Natchitoches. It was a frontier on the
Spanith fettlements, being 20 miles from the fort of
Adaies. The French fort was garrisoned by a captain's
t~ommand. There were forty families settled here,
con~ifting mofily of difcharged f~oldiers and fome mer-
chants who traded with the Spaniards. A great
quantity of tobacco was cultivated at this poft. anid
fold for a good price at New Orleans, being held in
great efteem. They fent alfo fome peltry, which they
received in trade from the neighboring Indians.
From the river Rouge to fort Rofalie it is fifty-fix Fort Rofalie.
and a quarter miles. This fort is fituated in the
country known by the name of the Natchez, in 3 Id.
40m. North latitude, about 243 computed miles from
New Orleans, and 348 from the Balize, following
the courfe of the river. The foil, at this place, is soil at the
fu~perior to any of the lands on the borders of the ri- NatchrZ.
ver MifiTflippi, for the production of many articles.
G2 Its

( so

Its fituation being higher, affords a greater variety of
foil, and isin a more favourable climate for the growth
of wheat, rye, barley, oats, &~c. than the country lower
down, and near~er to the fea. The foil alf~o produces,
in equal abundance, Indian corn, rice, hemp, flax, in-
digo, cotton, pot-herbs, pulf~e of every kind, and
pallurage s and the tobacco made here is effeemed
preferable to any cultivated in other parts of Ameri-
ca. Hops grow wild ; all kinds of fEuropean fruits ar-
rive to great perfection, and no part of the known
world is more favourable for the raifing of every kind
of flock. The climate is healthy and temperate ; the
country delightful and well watered ; and the profpelt
is beautiful and extensive, variegated by many inequa-
lities and fine meadows, separated by innumerable
copl~es, the trees of which are of different kinds, but
mnofily of walnut and oak. The rifing grounds, which
are clothed with grafs and other herbs of the finest
verdure, are properly dif~poled for the culture of
vines; the mulberry trees are very numerous, and
the wilnte~s ~fufficiently moderate for the breed of filk
worms. Clay of different colours, fit for glafs works
and pottery, is found here in great abundance; and
alf~o a variety of ifately timber fit for houfe and fhip
building, &~c. The elevated, open, and airy fltuation
of this country renders it leis liable to fevers and
agues (the only dif~orders ever known in its neigh-
bourhood) than f~ome other parts bordering on the
MififiTppi, where the want of fufficient decent to
convey the waters off occafions numbers of flagnant
ponds, whole exhalations infe~l the air.
This country was once famous for its inhabitants,
who from their great numbers, and the flate of f~ociety
they lived in, were confidered as the moft civilizedE
Indians on the continent of America. They lived
fome years in great friendship with the French, whom
they permitted to f~ettle on their lands, and to whom

(sI )

they rendered every service in their power. Their
hospitality, it feems, was repaid in fuch a manner, that
they determined to get rid of their guefts; for on the
eve of St. Andrew I729, they furprifed the fort, and f wlfe ~fin
put the whole garrison to death. Atthe fame time they I:29.
made a maffacre of the inhabitants, in which upwards
of 500 were killed ; fome of the women and children
they made prisoners; and very few of either fex escaped.
The whole colony armed to revenge their flaughtered
countrymen, and they had several fkirmithes with the
Natchez, in which the f~uccefs was various. In I730, DelfcuaLonOr
Monfieur De Perrier de Salvert, brother to the go- xianri 7s
vernor, arrived from France, with the rank of lieu-
tenant-general in Louifiana, and 500 regular troops,
who joined the troops and militia of the colony. This
army, amounting to I500 men, went, under the com-
mand of the two brothers, to attack the nation of the
Natchez ; who, with their chiefs, determined to de-
fend themselves in a fort they had built near a lake
which communicates with the Bayouk Dargent, lying
Weft of the Natchez, and North of the river Rouge.
They invefied this fort, and the Indians made a very
resolute and vigorous ally on them, but were repulf-
ed, after a confiderable lofs on both fides. The French
having brought two or three mortars, threw fome
shells into the fort, which making a havoc amongft
their women and children, fo terrified the Indians,
unused to this fort of war, that they surrendered at
direretion, and were condu~ed to New Orleans; ex-
cept a few who had ef~caped to the Chickaf~iaws, within
their hunters who were providing provisions for their
garrison. Nothing now remains of this nation but
their name, by which their country continues to be
called. The diffria of the Natchez, as well as all
along the eafte~rn bank of the Mifliflippi to the river
Ibberville, was settling very faft: by daily emigrations
from the northern flates, but the capture of the Br1i-


tith troops on the MiTflifippi, 17i9, put an entire
flop~ to it.
Pctit Godfre* Firom fort Rolalie to thle Petit Goufre is thirty-
one and a half miles. There is a firm rock on the
Eaft fide of the MIlfliflippi for near a mile, which
fetems to be of the nature of limeflone. The land
near the river is much broken and very high, with a
good foil, and several plantations on it.
Bayouk Pierre. From the Petit Goufr~e to Bayouk Pierre, or Stoney
River, is four miles and a quarter. From the mouth
to what is called the fork of this river, is computed
to be 2 x miles. In this difiance there are f~everal
quarries of flone, and the land has a clay foil with
gravel on the surface of the ground. On the North
fide of this river the land, in general, is low and rich;
that on the South fide is much higher, but broken
into hills and vales ; but here the low lands are not
often overfllowedl: both fides are thaided with a variety
of ufeful timber. At the fork the river parts almost
at right angles, and the lands between, and on each
fide of them, are faid to be clay and marl foil, not fo
uneven as the lands on this river lower down.
Loufa Chitto. From the Bayouk Pierre to Loufa Chitto, or the
Big Black, at the Grand Goufr~e, is I0 miles. The Big
Black (or Loufa Chitto) is, at the mouth, about 30
yards wide, but within, fr~om 30 to 50 yards, and is
faid to be navigable for canoes 30 or 40 leagues.
About a mile and a half up this river, the high lands
are clofe on the right and are miuch broken. A mile
and a half further, the high lands appear again on
thle right, where there are several springs of water,
but none as yet has been difccrered on the left. At
about eight miles further, the high lands are near the
river, on the left, and appear to be the fame range
that comes from the Yazou cliffs, which are about
twelve miles up the Yazou river At fix miles fur-
ther the high lands ar~e near the river on both fides,