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Mississippi was called Florida by Sebastian Cabot, who visited that part of America by order of Henry VIIth of England, about the

1497. John Pontio de Leon, a Spaniard, arrived on the coast, Anno 1512, attempted a settlement, and erected a small fort. The subjects of Charles X. of France, seem to have made several attempts to settle in the country, but were always defeated by the Spaniards, until the year 1684, when M. de la Sale, discovered the mouth of the Mississippi, and built on the bay a fort which he called Fort Louis. The founder having been assassinated, the fort was abandoned until Anno 1698, when Captain Iberville penetrated up the Mississippi, and, having planted a few settlers, called the country Louisiana. Until this time, the Spaniards had a few forts on the coast, of which Pensacola seems to have been the


principal ; fourteen leagues east of the Isle of Dauphin. About the year 1720, M. la Sueur navigated the river seven hundred and sixty leagues up, and asserted that he had not arrived at its source. From that time it remained in the hands of France, whose monarchs made several grants to its traders, in particular to M. Crossat, in 1712, and some years after to the well known projector, M. Law, who relinquished it in 1781.

By a secret convention, 3d of November, 1762, the French Government ceded so much of the province of Louisiana as lies beyond the Mississippi, as well as the island of New Orleans, to Spain.

In 1763, it was ceded by France and Spain to Great Britain, from whom it was conquered by Spain during the American Revolutionary War, and confirmed to Spain by treaty, 1783.

By the treaty of St. Ildefonso, Ist October, 1800, which was confirmed by that of Madrid, of the 21st March, 1801, the whole province was ceded by Spain to France; and from France it passed by treaty and sale to the American Government, who took possession of it on the 20th of December, 1803.

It now goes by the name of the Upper and Lower Louisiana ; St. Louis being the chief town of the former, and New Orleans that of the latter province. Each has a Governor residing in the respective principal places, and the laws and administrations are changed from the Spanish to the American.

The Eastern boundary is the Mississippi, the Western is not ascertained. The Southern is the Gulph of Mexico, and the Northern is the country of Hudson's Bay and the Lakes.

I no sooner landed on the Louisiana shore, than I made for the only house I could perceive in sight. I reached it in a few minutes, and was very courteously received by Don Castro, the proprietor.

He also keeps a tavern or house of entertainment, as it is called, adjoining his own dwelling, and furnishes travellers, merchants, and boatmen, with every accommodation during their stay, and with the provisions, &c.

When Louisiana belonged to the King of Spain, the Spanish cultivators valued their improved lands at from twenty to one hundred dollars per acre. Now that it appertains to the United States, they offer the same settlements for one dollar per acre;

instances for a quarter of a dollar, and some families of a high sense of honor and national pride, abandon their possessions and go into Mexico without receiving any advantage from their former pursuits, or the many years they consumed in the application and toil attending agricultural improvement.

in many

I passed but one night at Don Castro's. In the morning he provided me with a guide, and horses for myself and servant. I departed very early, as it was my intention to reach Cape Jarido, a distance of forty-five miles by night. I found the country very much broken, hilly, and so thick of wood, that the prospect was every where intercepted.

After a toilsome ride, and an indifferent accommodation during the night at a Louisiana inn, on turning out with the sun in the morning, I discovered Cape Jarido to be a small settlement inhabited by a few French Canadeans. Several Spanish families resided in it a few years ago : they abandoned it when it became subject to the laws of the American Government.

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