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Eastern District of Louisiana, ss.
BE IT REMEMBERED, That on the Seventh day of June, in the year of our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and Twenty-seven, and of the Independence of the United States the Fifty-first, FRANCOIS-XAVIER MARTIN, of the said district, hath deposited in the Clerk's office for the District Court of the United States for the Eastern District of Louisiana, the title of a book, the right whereof he claims as Proprietor and Publisher, to wil
“ The History of Louisiana, from the earliest period. By François-Xavier Martin.
Hæc igitur formam crescendo mutat, et olim
Ovid. Metam. xv. 434 & 435." In conformity to an act of Congress of the United States, entitled " An Act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of Maps, Charts and Books to the Authors and Proprietors of such copies during the times therein mentioned;" And also, to an Act entitled An Act, supplementary to an Act, entitled, an Act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned, and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching, historical and other prints.”
W. F. LEA, DPT. CLERK, U. S. Court.
Eastern District of Louisiana.
THE country, covered by the state of Louisiana, was within the short span of a century and a half, exclusively occupied by savages and wild beasts. A knowledge of the means, used by providence, in substituting to these the vassals of the monarchs of France and Spain, and finally to the latter, the race of freemen by whom the state is rapidly to be brought to the acmé of political felicity, cannot be a matter of indifference to any contemplative mind, and must be ardently sought after by her youthful citizens. To exhibit those means to them, is the object of this work; for the writer had not the vanity to believe he had aught to impart to those of mature years.
What theme, indeed, can be more interesting to a young Louisianian, than the contemplation of his more remote progenitors, a handful of men, left on the sandy shore of Biloxi, harrassed during the day by the inroads, disturbed at night by the yells, of hovering Indians—to mark the incipient state of civil government, under the authority of the crown, the tardy progress of agriculture and trade, under the monopolies of Crozat and the western company, the massacre of the French among the Natchez, the destruction of that nation and the subsequent war with the Chickasaws to notice the slow advances of the colony, after the crown resumed its government, the cession to Spain and the languishing state of his country, while a colony of that kingdom-afterwards to behold the dawn of liberty on his natal soil, under the territorial government of the United States, and finally, the rise of Louisiana to the rank of a sovereign state!
A VERY jejune performance would have been produced, if the work had been confined to events, of which the tract of country, now occupied by the state, was the theatre. The discovery of the northeast shore of the gulf of Mexico, the traverse of Florida by a Spanish army under Soto, and the abortive attempt of the French at colonization in Caroline, are events too intimately connected with the history of Louisiana to have remained unnoticed.
Much would have been left to be desired, if the work had abruptly begun at the landing of the colonists, brought over by Iberville. The settlement of Canada, through which the French discovered the Mississippi, the descent of that stream by Lasalle, his fruitless efforts to plant a colony on its shores, are also events the knowledge of which is necessary to a correct understanding of those which followed, in Louisiana.
It has likewise been thought proper to notice, in
a chronological order, the settlement of each of the English provinces, which afterwards formed the confederacy of North America, with that of the colonies which the Dutch and Swedes planted in their neighbourhood.
The attention of the reader has, at times, necessarily been drawn to transactions on the opposite side of the Atlantic. A colony is always more or less affected by the wars, in which the mother country is engaged. Accordingly, hostilities between France, Spain and England, with the treaties by which they were terminated, have been related : and for a reason nearly similar, the mutations of the crown in these kingdoms are stated.
The writer has availed himself of every publication of merit, that has any relation to the country the history of which he now presents, and he has found in the archives of the state many important documents.
He has to lament that, although for almost a score of years, his attention has been given to the collection of materials, public duties have prevented his bestowing much time on the revision and correction of what he has written. Age has crept on him, and the decay of his constitution has given more than one warning, that if the sheets now committed to the
press were longer withholden, the work would probably be a posthumous one.