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One feels while reading, that the writer has been hampered here and there by the temptation to be a romancer rather than remain a historian, and one does not experience any surprise at this in view of the profusion of startling and strange incidents.”—Maurice Thompson.

LOUISIANA IN 1750-1770.

(From History of Louisiana, French Domination.)

It was in this year, 1751, that two ships, which were transporting two hundred regulars to Louisiana, stopped at Hispaniola. The Jesuits of that island obtained permission to put on board of those ships, and to send to the Jesuits of Louisiana, some sugar canes, and some negroes who were used to the cultivation of this plant. The canes were put under ground, according to the directions given, on the plantation of the reverend fathers, which was immediately above Canal street, on a portion of the space now occupied by the Second Municipality of the city of New Orleans. But it seems that the experiment proved abortive, and it was only in 1796 that the cultivation of the cane, and the manufacturing of sugar, was successfully introduced in Louisiana, and demonstrated to be practicable. It was then that this precious reed was really naturalized in the colony, and began to be a source of ever-growing wealth, [owing to the enterprise of Jean Étienne de Boré].

On board of the same ships, there came sixty girls, who were transported to Louisiana at the expense of the King. It was the last emigration of the kind. These girls were married to such soldiers as had distinguished themselves for their good conduct, and who, in consideration of their marriage, were discharged from service. Concessions of land were made to each happy pair, with one cow and its calf, one cock and five hens, one gun, one axe, and one spade.

During the first three years of their settlement, they were to receive rations of provisions, and a small quantity of powder, shot, grains and seeds of all sorts.

Such is the humble origin of many of our most respectable and wealthy families, and well may they be proud of a social position, which is due to the honest industry and hereditary virtues of several generations. Whilst some of patrician extraction, crushed under the weight of vices, or made inert by sloth, or labor-contemning pride, and degenerating from pure gold into vile dross, have been swept away, and have sunk into the dregs and sewers of the commonwealth. Thus in Louisiana, the high and the low, although the country has never suffered from any political or civil convulsions, seem to have, in the course of one century, frequently exchanged with one another their respective positions, much to the philosopher's edification.

On the 23rd of September, the intendant Commissary, Michel de la Rouvillière, made a favorable report on the state of agriculture in Louisiana. "The cultivation of the wax tree," says he, "has succeeded admirably. Mr. Dubreuil, alone, has made six thousand pounds of wax. Others have obtained as handsome results, in proportion to their forces; some went to the seashore, where the wax tree grows wild, in order to use it in its natural state. It is the only luminary used here by the inhabitants, and it is exported to other parts of America and to France. We stand in need of tillers of the ground, and of negroes. The colony prospers rapidly from its own impulse, and requires only gentle stimulation. In the last three years, forty-five brick houses were erected in New Orleans, and several fine new plantations were established."

The administration of the Marquis of Vaudreuil was long and fondly remembered in Louisiana, as an epoch of unusual

brilliancy, but which was followed up by corresponding gloom. His administration, if small things may be compared with great ones, was for Louisiana, with regard to splendor, luxury, military display, and expenses of every kind, what the reign of Louis XIV. had been for France. He was a man of patrician birth and high breeding, who liked to live in a manner worthy of his rank. Remarkable for his personal graces and comeliness, for the dignity of his bearing and the fascination of his address, he was fond of pomp, show, and pleasure; surrounded by a host of brilliant officers, of whom he was the idol, he loved to keep up a miniature court, in distant imitation of that of Versailles; and long after he had departed, old people were fond of talking of the exquisitely refined manners, of the magnificent balls, of the splendidly uniformed troops, of the highborn young officers, and of the many other unparalleled things they had seen in the days of the Great Marquis.

The inventories made of the property of the twelve gentlemen, whom the decree of the Spanish tribunal had convicted of rebellion, afford interesting proofs of the Spartan simplicity which existed in the colony. Thus the furniture of the bed-room of Madam Villeré, who was the wife of one of the most distinguished citizens of Louisiana, and the grand-daughter of De Lachaise, who came to the colony in 1723 as ordaining commissary, was described as consisting of a cypress bedstead, three feet wide by six in length, with a mattress of corn shucks and one of feathers on the top, a bolster of corn shucks, and a coarse cotton counterpane or quilt, manufactured probably by the lady herself, or by her servants; six chairs of cypress wood, with straw bottoms; some candlesticks with common wax, the candles made in the country, &c., &c.

The rest of the house was not more splendidly furnished, and the house itself, as described in the inventory, must have looked very much like one of those modest and unpainted little wood structures which are, to this day, to be seen in many parts of the banks of the river Mississippi, and in the Attakapas and Opelousas parishes. They are the tenements of our small planters who own only a few slaves, and they retain the appellation of Maisons d' Acadiens, or Acadian houses.

Villeré's plantation, situated at the German coast, was not large, and the whole of his slaves, of both sexes and of all ages, did not exceed thirty-two. His friends and brother conspirators, who were among the first gentlemen in the land, did not live with more ostentation. All the sequestrated property being sold, it was found that, after having distributed among the widows and other creditors what they were entitled to, and after paying the costs of the trial and inventories, the royal treasury had little or nothing to receive.

There were but humble dwellings in Louisiana in 1769, and he who would have judged of their tenants from their outward appearance would have thought that they were occupied by mere peasants, but had he passed their thresholds he would have been amazed at being welcomed with such manners as were habitual in the most polished court of Europe, and entertained by men and women wearing with the utmost ease and grace the elegant and rich costume of the reign of Louis XV. There, the powdered head, the silk and gold flowered coat, the lace and frills, the red-heeled shoe, the steel handled sword, the silver knee buckles, the high and courteous bearing of the gentleman, the hoop petticoat, the brocaded gown, the rich head dress, the stately bow, the slightly rouged cheeks, the artificially graceful

deportment, and the aristocratic features of the lady, formed a strange contrast with the roughness of surrounding objects. It struck one with as much astonishment as if diamonds had been found capriciously set by some unknown hand in one of the wild trees of the forest, or it reminded the imagination of those fairy tales in which a princess is found asleep in a solitude, where none but beasts of prey were expected to roam.


(From History of Louisiana.)

In a lot situated at the corner of Orleans and Dauphine streets, in the city of New Orleans, there is a tree which nobody looks at without curiosity and without wondering how it came there. For a long time it was the only one of its kind known in the state, and from its isolated position it has always been cursed with sterility. It reminds one of the warm climes of Africa or Asia, and wears the aspect of a stranger of distinction driven from his native country. Indeed with its sharp and thin foliage, sighing mournfully under the blast of one of our November northern winds, it looks as sorrowful as an exile. Its enormous trunk is nothing but an agglomeration of knots and bumps, which each passing year seems to have deposited there as a mark of age, and as a protection against the blows of time and of the world.

Inquire for its origin, and every one will tell you that it has stood there from time immemorial. A sort of vague but impressive mystery is attached to it, and it is as superstitiously respected as one of the old oaks of Dodona. Bold would be the axe that would strike the first blow at that foreign patriarch; and if it were prostrated to the ground by a profane hand, what native of the city would not mourn

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