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vious treaties, as to the exercise of jurisdiction by Great Britain, that it is evident from the proceedings on the occasion particularly mentioned, that the impression was entertained “that the greater part of the territory in question was then unoccupied;" nor does it appear that the French settlement, on which the British possession is now supported, was at that time known to the plenipotentiaries of either


The undersigned learns with regret, that the United States must consider themselves mistaken in the opinion which they had formed of the rule of forbearance incul. cated on both sides. They had supposed that by it the parties stood pledged to each other to abstain from the performance of any new acts which might be construed into an exercise of the rights of sovereignty or soil over the disputed territory. As explained by lord Aberdeen, the mutual restriction would apply exclusively to the exercise of the presumed rights of the respective parties as proprietors of the soil, not to their pretensions as sovereigns of the territory.

It is difficult to reconcile with the idea now conveyed, the assurance given early in the last year by the British minister at Washington, "that the lieutenant governor of New-Brunswick cautiously abstains, on his part, from exer. cising any authority in the disputed territory, which could invite an encroachment as a measure of retaliation." And presuming that no more was intended to be asked from the American government than his majesty's authorities were prepared to grant in return, the undersigned cannot understand on

what principle, consistent with the rule they contended for, complaints were urged by Mr. Vaughan, respecting the laying out of land into townships, and marking out roads, by the agents of Maine and Massachusetts. Had the impression of the government of the United States been the same with that of his majesty's government, as now explained, it is not probable that the disparity in numbers between the American citizens and French Acadians, in the disputed territory, relied on by lord Aberdeen as a material fact, would have at this time existed.

But, as the conclusion of lord Aberdeen on the demand of the American government is founded on the opinion "that the circumstances of the two countries are extremely different," and as it is believed that this supposition has been proved to be erroneous, the undersigned still flatters himself that on a fuller examination, all objection will cease to a proposition which has for its motive the prevention of dangerous collisions between neighbouring and friendly powers, and that his majesty's government will admit the propriety of abstaining from a jurisdiction, the exercise of which, if persevered in, may lead to consequences for which the undersigned is instructed to declare that the government of the United States cannot hold themselves responsible.

The undersigned takes the liberty of observing, that great as may be the inconveniences of an absence of exclusive jurisdiction on the frontiers, they have not been, on other occasions, deemed, either by the United States or Great Britain, of sufficient magnitude to induce

sacrifices of territorial claims, as is abundantly evinced by conventions entered into by them respecting their territory.

He would also adduce a fact that has fallen within the scope of his official knowledge, which shows that the opinion of the President was, at no very remote period, participated in by one of Lord Aberdeen's predecessors in office, at the time referred to, at the head of his majesty's government. Mr. Gallatin, in a despatch to the Secretary of State of the United States, dated in July, 1827, after speaking of a conference with the First Lord of the Treasury respecting the northeastern boundary, observes, that "Mr. Canning also suggested the propriety of abstaining on both sides, pending the suit, from any act of sovereignty over the contested territory.'

That such a stipulation was not introduced into the late arbitration convention, is probably to be attributed to the supposed adequacy of the existing understanding between the parties, and to the fact that no collisions of importance, not disavowed, had then occurred.

Considering the protracted discussion on the case of Mr. Baker, and the several other grievances alluded to in the note of the 5th of May, or brought into view by the correspondence at Washington, the undersigned cannot account for the conclusion to which Lord Aber. deen has arrived, "that no practical inconvenience has been alledged by Mr. Lawrence to exist." He would observe, on the remark which Lord Aberdeen founds on this allegation, that, if British jurisdiction has been heretofore occasionally exercised in cases pre.

judicial to the rights of the United States, their omitting to notice these occurrences in a remote section of their dominions, and of which they were ignorant, is wholly different from their acquiescing in a transaction where their authority, ap. pealed to by an American citizen, has been openly set at defiance.

The undersigned doubts not that the government of the United States will do full justice to the spirit in which Lord Aberdeen disclaims, by command of his sovereign, all intention of influencing the decision of the arbitrator by any exercise of jurisdiction over the disputed territory; and he takes this opportunity to remark, that it has not been his intention, either on the present or other occasions, by any designation which he may, for convenience, or for the purpose of expressing the conviction of his government on that subject, have given to the district, to assume as uncontroverted any of the points in dispute. He is fully aware that, in the face of a solemn instrument, to which his country is a party, setting forth that differences as to the settlement of the boundary in question do exist, and agreeing to refer them to the decision of a friendly sovereign or state, such an attempt, if made, would be worse than useless.

He has, moreover, endeavoured, as far as practicable, to abstain from any investigation of the question of right-the true province of the arbiter. He can only now add his regret, that there is not the same accordance of views between their respective governments on the subject to which this note relates, as was on a recent occasion happily found to exist on a more

important business, affecting the same territory, which the undersigned had the satisfaction to arrange with Lord Aberdeen. The undersigned renews to Lord

Aberdeen the assurances of his highest consideration.

W. B. LAWRENCE. 16, Lower Seymour-street, August 22, 1928.


Letter from the Secretary of the Treasury, transmitting to con. gress the information required by a resolution of the house of the 24th December last, in relation to lands on the Mississippi, in the state of Louisiana, which are rendered unfit for cultivation by the inundations of said river.


Sir, In compliance with a resolution of the house of representatives, "directing the Secretary of the Treasury to communicate to this house any information in his possession, showing the quantity and quality of the public lands in the state of Louisiana which are rendered unfit for cultivation from the inundations of the Mississippi, and the value of said lands when reclaimed, and the probable cost of reclaiming them," I have the honour to report, that the Mississippi, in its course between the 33d degree of north latitude, the northern boundary of Louisiana, and the Gulf of Mexico, inundates, when at its greatest height, a tract of country, the superficial area of which may be estimated at 5,429,260 acres: that portion of the country thus inundated which lies below the 31st degree of lati. tude may be estimated at 3,183,580 acres; and that portion above the

31st degree of north latitude may be estimated at 2,245,680 acres, of which 398,000 acres lie in the state of Mississippi. This estimate includes the whole of the country which is subject to inundation by the Mississippi and the waters of the gulf. A portion of this area, however, including both banks of the Mississippi, from some distance below New-Orleans to Baton Rouge, and the west bank nearly up to the 31st degree of latitude, and both sides of the Lafourche for about fifty miles from the Mississippi, has, by means of levees or embankments, been reclaimed at the expense of individuals. The strips of lands thus reclaimed are of limited extent; and, estimating their amount as equal to the depth of forty acres on each side of the Mississippi and Lafourche for the distance above stated, they will amount to about 500,000 acres, which, deducted from 3,183,580 acres, will leave the quantity of 2,683,580 acres below the 31st degree of latitude, which is now subject to annual or occasional inundations; this added to the quantity of inundated lands above the 31st degree of latitude, makes the whole quantity of lands within the area stated, and not protected by embankments, equal to 4,929,160


By deepening and clearing out the existing natural channels, and by opening other artificial ones, through which the surplus water, that the bed of the Mississippi is not of sufficient capacity to take off, may be discharged into the gulf; with the aid of embankments and natural or artificial reservoirs, and by the use of machinery (worked in the commencement by steam, and as the country becomes open and cleared of timber by windmills,) to take off the rain water that may fall during the period that the Mississippi may be above its natural banks, it is believed that the whole of this country may be reclaimed, and made in the highest degree productive.

The immense value of this district of country when reclaimed, is not to be estimated so much by the extent of its superfices as by the extraordinary and inexhaustible quality of the soil, the richness of its products, and the extent of the population it would be capable of sustaining. Every acre of this land lying below the 31st degree of north latitude might be made to produce three thousand weight of sugar; and the whole of it is par. ticularly adapted to the production of the most luxuriant crops of rice, indigo and cotton. Good sugar lands on the Mississippi, partially cleared, may be estimated as worth $100 per acre, and rapidly advancing in value. The rice lands of South Carolina, from their limited quantity, are of greater value. It is believed that the exchangeable value of the maximum products of these lands, when placed in a high state of cultivation, would be adequate to the comfortable support of 2,250,000 people, giving a popula

tion of one individual for every two acres; and it is highly probable that the population would rapidly accumulate to such an extent as to banish every kind of labour from agriculture except that of the human species, as is now the case in many of the best districts of China; and this result would also have been produced in many parts of Holland, had not that country become, from the nature of its climate, a grazing country.

The alluvial lands of Louisiana may be divided into two portions; the first, extending from the 33d to the 31st degree of north latitude, in a direction west of south, may be termed the upper plain, is 120 miles in length, and generally from 25 to 80 miles in breadth, and, at particular points, is of still greater width. That portion below the 31st degree of north latitude, may be termed the lower plain. It extends in a direction from northwest to south-east for about 240 miles, to the mouth of the Missis. sippi; is compressed at its northern point, but opening rapidly, it forms at its base a semi-circle, as it protrudes into the gulf of Mexico, of 200 miles in extent, from the Chafalaya to the Rigoletts. The elevation of the plain at the 33d degree of north latitude, above the common tide waters of the gulf of Mexico, must exceed one hundred and thirty feet.

This plain embraces lands of various descriptions, which may be arranged into four classes:

The first class, which is probably equal in quantity to two thirds of the whole, is covered with heavy timber, and an almost impenetrable undergrowth of cane and other shrubbery. This portion, from natural causes, is rapid

ly drained as fast as the waters retire within their natural channels, and, possessing a soil of the greatest fertility, tempts the settler, af. ter a few years of low water, to make an establishment, from which he is driven off by the first extraordinary flood.

The second class consists of cyprus swamps: these are basins, or depressions of the surface, from which there is no natural outlet; and which filling with water during the floods, remain covered by it until the water be evaporated, or be gradually absorbed by the earth. The beds of these depressions being very universally above the common low water mark of the rivers and bayous, they may be readily drained, and would then be more conveniently converted into rice fields than any other portions of the plain.

The third class embraces the sea marsh, which is a belt of land extending along the Gulf of Mexico, from the Chafalaya to the Rigoletts. This belt is but partially covered by the common tides, but is subject to inundation from the high waters of the gulf during the autumnal equinoctial gales; it is generally without timber.

The fourth class consists of small bodies of prairie lands, dispersed through different portions of the plain; these pieces of land, generally the most elevated spots, are without timber, but of great fertility.

The alluvial plain of Louisiana, and that of Egypt, having been created by the deposite of large rivers watering immense extents of country, and disemboguing themselves into shallow oceans, mode. rately elevated by the tide, but which, from the influence of the winds, are constantly tending in a

rapid manner to throw up obstruc tions at the mouths of all water courses emptying into them, it is fairly to be inferred that the alluvial plain of Egypt has, in time past, been as much subject to inundation from the waters of the Nile, as that of Louisiana now is from those of the Mississippi, and that the floods of the Nile have not only been controlled and restricted within its banks by the labour and ingenuity of man, but have been regulated and directed to the irrigation and improvement of the soil of the adjacent plain: a work better entitled to have been handed down to posterity by the erection of those massive monuments, the pyramids of Egypt, than any other event that could have occurred in the history of that country.

That the labour and ingenuity of man are adequate to produce the same result in relation to the Mis. sissippi river and the plain of Louisiana, is a position not to be doubted; and it is believed that there are circumstances incident to the topography of this plain, that will facilitate such results.

The Mississippi river, on entering this plain at the 33d degree of north latitude, crosses it diagonally to the high lands a little below the mouth of the Yazoo; from thence it winds along the highlands of the states of Mississippi and Louisiana to Baton Rouge, leaving in this distance, the alluvial lands on its wes. tern branch; from a point a little below Baton Rouge it takes an easterly course through the alluvial plain, and nearly parallel to the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, until it reaches the English Turn: and from thence, bending to the south, it disembogues itself into the Gulf of Mexico by six or seven different channels. The banks of the Mis

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