Louisiana; its colonial history and romance

If every man's life were closely analyzed, accident, or what seems to be so to human apprehension, and what usually goes by that name, whatever it may really be, would be discovered to act a more conspicuous part and to possess a more controlling influence than preconception, and that volition which proceeds from long-meditated design. My writing the history of Louisiana, from the expedition of De Soto in 1539, to the final and complete establishment of the Spanish government in 1769, after a spirited resistance from the French colonists, was owing to an accidental circumstance, which, in the shape of disease, drove me from a seat I had lately obtained in the Senate of the United States, but which, to my intense regret, I had not the good fortune to occupy. Traveling for health, not from free agency, but a slave to compulsion, I dwelt several years in France. In the peculiar state in which my mind then was, if its attention had not been forcibly diverted from what it brooded over, the anguish under which it sickened, from many causes, would soon have not been endurable. I sought for a remedy : I looked into musty archives I gathered materials and subsequently became a historian, or rather a mere pretender to that name.

Last year, as circumstance or accident would have it, I was invited by the managers of the People's Lyceum to deliver a Lecture before their Society. The invitation was flattering, but came in a most inopportune moment. The Legislature was then in session, and, as Secretary of State, my duties and my daily relations with the members of that honorable bodj were such as to allow me very little leisure. I could not decline, however, the honor conferred upon me ; and with a mind engrossed by other subjects, and with a hurried pen, I wrote the first Lecture, which is now introduced to the reader as the leading one in this volume. It happened to give satisfaction : friends desired its publication : their desire was complied with ; and in the June and July numbers of De Bow's Commercial Review, the discourse which I had delivered before the People's Lyceum made its appearance. I attached so little importance to this trifling production, the offspring of an hour's thought, that I was greatly amazed at the encomium it elicited from newspapers, in which it was copied at length, in several parts of the United States.


Table of Contents



Primitive State of the Country Expedition of De Soto in 1539 His Death Discovery of the Mississippi in 1673, by Father Marquette and Joliet They are followed in 1682 by La Salle and the Chevalier de Tonti Assassination of La Salle 15


Arrival of Iberville and Bienville Settlement of a French Colony in Louisiana Sauvolle, first Governor Events and Characters in Louisiana, or connected with that Colony, from La Salle's Death, in 1687, to 1701 36


Situation of the Colony from 1701 to 1712 The Petticoat Insurrection History and Death of Iberville Bienville, the second Governor of Louisiana History of Anthony Crozat, the great Banker Concession of Louisiana to him 85


Lamothe Cadillac, Governor of Louisiana Situation of the Colony in 1713 Feud between Cadillac and Bienville Character of Richebourg First Expedition against the Natchez De l'Epinay succeeds Cadillac The Curate de la Vente Expedition of St. Denis to Mexico His Adventures Jallot, the Surgeon In 1717 Crozat gives up his Charter His Death 123


Creation of a Royal Bank and of the Mississippi Company Effects produced in France by those Institutions Wild Hopes entertained from the Colonization of Louisiana Its twofold and opposite Description History of Law from his Birth to his Death 197


Bienville appointed Governor of Louisiana for the second time, in the place of L'Epinay Foundation of New Orleans Expedition of St. Denis, Beaulieu, and others to Mexico Adventures of St. Denis Land Concessions Slave-trade Taking of Pensacola by the French The Spaniards retake it, and besiege Dauphine Island Pensacola again taken by the French Situation of the Country as described by Bienville The Chevalier des Grieux and Manon Lescaut Changes in the Organization of the Judiciary Edict in Relation to Commerce Adventures of the Princess Charlotte of Brunswick, of Belleisle, and others Seat of Government transferred to New Orleans Other Facts and Events from 1718 to 1722 239


Origin, Customs, Manners, Traditions, and Laws of the Natchez De- cline of that Tribe Number and Power of the Choctaws and Chickasaws 292


Transfer of the Seat of Government to New Orleans Its Population and Appearance in 1724 Boisbriant, Governor ad interim Black Code Expulsion of the Jews Catholic Religion to be the sole Religion of the Land Perier appointed Governor League of all the Officers of Government against De la Chaise, the King's Commissary He triumphs over them all Republicanism of the Colonies The Ursuline Nuns and the Jesuits Public Improvements made or contemplated by Governor Perier Census in 1727 Expenses of the Colonial Administration Edict of Henry the Second against Unmarried Women Other Facts and Events from 1723 to 1727 Traditions on the Music heard at the mouth of Pascagoula River, and on the Date-tree at the corner of Dauphine and Orleans Streets 359


Arrival of the Casket Girls Royal Ordinance relative to the Concessions of Lands Manner of settling the Succession of Frenchmen married to Indian Women French Husbands Indian Wives History of Madame Dubois, an Indian Squaw Conspiracy of the Natchez against the French Massacre of the French at Natchez in 1729 Massacre of the French at the Yazoo Settlement in 1730 Attack of the Natchez against the French Settlement at Natchitoches They are beaten by St. Denis The French and Choctaws attack the Natchez Daring and Death of Navarre and of some of his companions Siege of the Natchez Forts Flight of the Natchez Cruel Treatment of Natchez Prisoners by Governor Perier Desperation of the Natchez The Chickasaws grant an Asylum to the Natchez Conspiracy of the Banbara Negroes List of the Principal Officers in the Colony in 1730 396


Expedition of Perier against the Natchez He goes up Red River and Black River in pursuit of them Siege of their Fort Most of them are taken Prisoners and sold as Slaves Continuation of the Natchez War The India Company surrenders its Charter Ordinances on the Currency of the Country Bienville reappointed Governor Situation of the Colony at that time The Natchez take Refuge among the Chickasaws Great Rise of the Mississippi arid General Inundation Extraordinary Number of Mad Dogs Expedition of Bienville against the Chickasaws He attacks their Villages Battle of Ackia Daring Exploit of the black man, Simon Bienville is beaten and forced to retreat Expedition of D'Artaguette against the Chickasaws His Defeat and Death History of John Philip Grondel Other Events and Facts from 1729 to 1736 448


State of Agriculture in 1736 Exemption from Duties on certain Articles of Importation and Exportation War between the Choctaws and Chickasaws Singular Judicial Proceeding in 1738 Bienville's Dispatch on the Sand-bars at the Mouth of the Mississippi De Noailles is sent to Louisiana to command an Expedition against the Chickasaws Bienville's Jealousy Intrigues of the Indian, Red Shoe General Rendezvous of the French at the Mouth of River Margot Failure of that Expedition Its probable Causes Bienville's Apology Effects of a Hurricane Situation of the Colony in 1741 Heroism of a French Girl in a Battle against the Indians Bienville incurs the Displeasure of his Government He demands the Establishment of a College That Demand is refused Bienville is recalled to France He departs never to return He is succeeded by the Marquis of Vaudreuil Other Facts and Events from 1736 to 1743 603


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Preface to the second series.

The success of my " Romance of the History of Louisiana," from the discovery of that country by Soto, to the surrender by Crozat of the charter which he had obtained from Louis the XlVth, in relation to that French Colony, has been such, that I deem it my duty toward my patrons to resume my pen, and to present the following work to their kind and friendly regard.