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fCBUSHED EVERT THURSDAY MORNING, ... BY C. TELLES. Every description of JOB PRINT ING executed with Dispatch and Neatnas— Chkap —lor CASH. Term* of Snbicriptioa. J®- Invariably in Advance. -®t Times Dollars per annum, or Fits Dollars lor two years. Two copies, (one year,) f 5 00 Four " " " 10 00 Ten " « " 20 00 Single copies 10 cents. THE HOUMAS LAND CLAIM. A LETTER FROM JNO. CLAIBORNE. E sq., TO THE HON. C. T. BKMISS, ACCOMPA NIED BY A LETTKR FROM TIIF. HON. JOHN SLIDELL TO MR. CLAIBORNE. N ew O iu.kaxs , April 12, 1859. Dtar Sir : In accordance with your request, made several weeks ago, tbat I would furnish you with authentic information as to the nature and history of the Iloumas Land Claim, and its present condition, I have examined into the official archives at the Land Office in this city, as also into other official documents, and shall proceed as briefly as miy be compatib e with • full and fair view of the subject, to state the result of my labors. The French and Spanish laws, for the govern ment of the Colony of Louisiana, as those Pow ers successively held it, permitted to the Indian tribes the occupation of the lands upon which their villages and fields were situated, but the Crown reserved to itself the title to the soil.— Previous to the year 1774, the Iloumas aiid Ba yagoulas, together occupied a considerable tract fronting on the Mississippi, in what is now the parish o! Ascension. About that date three gentlemen, Messrs. Maurice Conway, Latil and M Namara, with the consent of the Colonial authorities, bought of the Indians their rights to a tract occupied by them, about twenty-two leagues above this city, on the left bank of the river, with the customary dcptk of forty ar pents, by a river front of ninety-six arpents. — Subsequently, Maurice Conway purchased the rights of his associates, and became thus the sole proprietor of the land. In the month of September, 1776, Conway presented to the Gov ernor of the Colony his petition, in which he alleged his ownership of the tract above descri bed. and stated that, owing to tho absence of timber on it, the Cypress Swamp being then, as he said, more than 'a league and a half from the river bank, he stood in need of the vacant lands in the rear of his property, all of which, em braced within the limits of the side lines of his property, protracted in the same directions, he prayed might, be granted him. The Governor ordered Louis Andry. the Second Adjutant of the post at New Orleans, and who. it appears, was frequently employed in matting surveys in the Colony, to proceed to the*land of Conway, and to ascertain and lix the boundaries of the vacant lands in the rear, as prayed for by him, in such manner that no injury might be done any other persons, and tfcen to put Conway into possession of them, making a return of his do ings to the Governor, iu order tbat a title in Tonn, in Conway's favor, might be made out. This work was performed by Andry in the month of October following, in presence of Don Louis Judice, the Commandant of the Post of Lafourche, (now Donaldsonville,) Maurice Con way, the proprietors of the adjacent lands on the upper and lower limits, and the Chief ot the Iloumas and Bayagoulas, for whom Judice acted as interpreter. Andry first proceeded to an examination of the boundaries of the front tracts, and certified that he found the stakes and landmarks the same as he had himself pla ced there in 1773, and that he afterwards ran the upper and lower lines oil the same compass direction for the length of two arpents in the rear of the stakes or posts at the rear extremi ties of the said lin*, at which distance lie pla ced other posts, describing their height and the wood of which they were made, so that the di rection of the prolongation of the side lines might be clearly seen, and then put Conway into possession of the vacaut lands included by the lines to be so protracted. On the 21st June, 1777. Governor Galvez. in "pursuance of what had been done in the premi ses under the orders of his predecessor. Unzaga. made out in favor of Maurice Conway, a formal title or concession, by which he vested in him the property of the vacant lands in the rear of his front tract, within the limits and bounda ries so determined by Andry. You will thus see that by the laws of the Province, Maurice Conway became the full and complete owner of all the vacant lands covered by 6a«d grant, twenty-three years before Lou isiana was retroceded to France, and twenty-six years before the latter Power ceded it to the United States, under a treaty, by the third clau-e of which the inhabitants were solemnly guaranteed in their rights of property; the United States becoming entitled only to vacant lands, forts, &c., &c. As the back limit of the vacant lands so granted to Maurice Conway, in 1777, was not absolutely fixed by Andry, or Galvez, iu the act of Concession, we must have recourse to the contempottineous acts of the private parlies in interest, or of Gove^iuient officers, to show how far the lands so conveyed to Conway did extend. Fortunately for the cause of troth and justice, such testimony is by no means wanting; for ou the 5th March, 1778. Conway sold, by act before Don Andre Abnormster y Roxas, the King's notary, to Oliver Pollock, thirty arpents in front of the property so acquired, with a depth extending to the lake. (A glance at the map of the State will show that the only lake iu the rear was Maurepas.) On the 5th day of February, 1795, William Conway, who held by conveyance from his uncle Maurice, mortgaged in favor of Alex. Baudiu, a portion of the same lands having a front of thirty arpents by a depth to^the Lake, by a notarial act; and on the 7th (fay of April, 1798, he also mortgaged iu favor of John Joyce another portion with a front of thirty arpents, and a depth to the Lake; and on the lit h of August, 1798, at a public succession sale made under the orders of Don Juan .VeuTura Morales, the Intendant of the Province, of a portion of the same Maurice Conway lands, which' had been purchased of him by Col. St. Maxent, the property was de scribed as having a front of twenty-nine ar pents, by tf depth of about four leagues; and in the adjudication to Louis Faure, who bought it, was described as having that front, by the depth which could bo found, opening al>out thirty-six degrees. Another glance at the map will show that the line of four leagues thus spo ken of, extended towards the Amite river. It is well to remember that Morales, as Intendant, was also Royal Treasurer of the Province, and was. a few mouths after that date, charged with the disposition of the Royal domain, which power was taken away from the Governor General on his recommandation, and he would scarcely have permiy^d the sale, as private property, of lands which were vacant, and therefore a part of the Royal domain. Indeed, if there luj| been any want of power iu Galvez i ..I... _ . . fully cured to make the grant in 1777, .. „ by the ordinance issued by Morales iu his new character, on the 17th of July, 1799, which ra tified all title« ot the inhabitants held under formal titles from former Governors. The first step taken by Congress to carry out the obligations of the treaty of cession was the passage of an act in 1805 for ascertaining and adjusting titles and «laims to laud in the Terri tory of Orleans and District of Louisiana. (Brightley 's Digest. 532.) by winch a Board of Commissioners, to be composed of the Register for the District, and two other persons, to be appointed by the President« were to hear and decide on claims founded not only on French or tipauish grants made aud completed before October lfct, 1800—the date of the Treaty of San Ildefouso—but also on other specified class es of claims. The parties claiming under such complete grants might deposit with the Regis ter. the grant, order, survey, or other evidence on which they relied, and the Board, or a ma jority of them, were to decide summarily, and according to -justice aud equity,'' on all claims fil- d. The Board, as at first constituted for the Territory of Orleans, was composed of John W. Gurley. the Register. Joshua Lewis, who long presided in the First Judicial District Court r*f VOL. X. MONROE, LA., THURSDAY MORNING, APRIL 5, IStiO. NO. li) TilK HKIilSTKIt. SAMUEL BARD, OFFICIAL PAPER OF THE PARISH OF OUACHITA. JilUTOK. this city, a man revered for his probity and learning, aud Benedict Van Prndeiles. who, it I am not in error, was an accomplished and ex perieneçd Notarial Public, familiar with the French and Spanish languages, and the laws, usages aud customs of the colony previous to the cession to the United States. They began the discharge of their duties in December. 1805. On the 20th February, 1806, William Conway filed, with the Register, hid «lai ui to a portion of the lands so bought or granted to Maurice Conway in 1774 and 1777, and the records of his titles is preceded by a figurative plan ot the tract claimed, drawn by Barthélémy Lafon, a deputy U. S. Surveyor, showing a front on the Mississippi, and side lines extending back below to Lake Maurcpas, and above to the Amite river. About the same time Daniel Clark and John W. Scott and William Donal son, who also claimed under the Maurice Con way purchase and grant, presented their claims to other portions of the laud, with fronts on the Missississippi, and side lines opening to tin rear fiud extending to the Iberville or Amite rivers. All these claims, with the testimony aud titles sustaining them, arc of record in the Land Office in this city, as is also the book con taining the minutes of the proceedings of the Commissioners, an examination of which show ed that on Monday, the 3d day of March, 1806. the Board—all its members being present—con sidered the claim No. 125, being that of Wil liam Conway, and its fiudiug is thus recorded : "No. 125. William Conway claims another tract oflatid situated in the couuty of Acadia, at the place called the Iloumas, on the left bank of the Mississippi, containing twenty-two and a half arpents in front, with an opening toward the rear of sixty degrees forty-five min utes, the upper line running north nine degrees fifteen miuules east, three huudred aud fifty-one arpents, and the lower îinè directed north, sev enty degrees east, and measuring four hundred and fifty-live arpents, bounded on the upper side by Daniel Clark's land, and on the lower by land of Simon Laveau. It appearing to the Board, from a pateut or complete title exhibit ed, that seventeen .arpents of front were, to gether wfth a greater quantity, granted by the Spanish Government to Maurice Conway, 21st June,.1777, and it appealing that the live aud ft half arpents of the front remaining of the laud aforesaid were purchased by Pierre Bart at the public sale of the estate cf the late Joa chim Mire alias Belony, on the 7th day of De cember, 1788. aud it further appearing trfr the Hoard from the several instruments of convey ance offered in testimony, that the two tracts of land aforesaid have been conveyed to the present claimant, the Board do hereby confirm his claim aforesaid." The claim cf Daniel Clark, No. 127, was con sidered tne same day and confirmed—the side lines running back to Amite river ; and the survey ottered in evidence having been made n 18U5 by Lafon, ufider the orders of Governor Claiborne, then exercising all the powers for merly held by the Governors-General of the Colony. And on Monday, 10th ( f March. 1806, the claim of Scott and Donalson, No. 133, un der a survey made iu 1804. by order of the same authority, was also considered and con firmed by the Board, all the members being again present. Illbach case the decision was unani mous, which fact it becomes the more proper to state, because it has frequently been asserted, and on one occasion, at least, has been ad ted in a pleading, that the confirmation made by only a majority of the Board, and that Thomas Boiling Robertson was then a member and dissented. The truth is, that ho was not a member of the Board at all until the 26th day of May. 1808, one of the members, J. W. Gur ley. having died on the 3d of March preceding. Consequently, these cases went adjudged things so far as the Board of Commissioners were con cerned, between the United States and claim ants, moi e than two years before Mr. Robertson ever sat in the Board ; and when, according to the terms of the act of Congress under which it had been named, the report of its decisions in the cases before it should have been before Congress for its action. But the Board seems to have gone on in the investigation of claims brought before it, not only of the character spe cified in the act of 1805. but also to those in eluded within the provisions of another act of 18U7, and no report was made for several years afterwards, nor was Congress made acquainted with its decisions until the report made by Mr. Gallatin, the Secretary of the Treasury, on the 9th of Jauuary, 1812 ; nor was any action by Congress on the report or any of the cases em braced in it, had until two years afterwards, when, on the 12th ot April, 1814, an act was passed for the final adjustment of land titles in the State of Louisiana and Territory of Mis souri. And oii the 18th of April, 1814, another concerning certificates of confirmation of claims to lands iu the State ol Louisiana was also pass ed. Time rolled on, and meanwhile the lands included within the Iloumas Grant became yearly of greater value to their owners, though no final adjustment of the matter was made by the officers of the General Land Office, or the Secretary of the Treasury at Washington City. But by the provisions of the act of March 3d, 1811, all lauds in this State which were the subject of private claims, were reserved from sale or entry ; a provision of law which to this day remains unrepealed, and under which there has been a vasi and almost iucr- dible amount of discussion, as the records of that Bureau will show. All settlers, therefore, upon any portion of the lands included withiu the alleged limits of the Iloumas claim, confirmed as above stated, in lbt)6, have been from the beginning, aud still are trespassers, either asagaiust the United States— il the Spanish grant should be lieht to ha&e been jayalid, or not to have covered tin area coufiriiQd by the Board—or asagaiust the representatives of the original purchasers and ;raulce. if the concession was complete and alid, and the boundaries are really as claim d by those parties. These settlers, aud the spe u la tors by whom they are said in many install es to be backed, are thus without legal right, and as the existence of the claims and of their confirmation by the Commissioners have been notoriouimhruughout the whole region, they would seem to be without equity, as their pos ion, if they had any at all. was with fulT notice of the prior claims on tue land. ey of the tract, as described in the pa tent of Galvez, June 21, 1777, was made by lawful surveyors iu 1810 and 1811, which was Approved September 15,1841, by the U. S. Sur veyor General. The partition interest holding ufflter mesne conveyances from Conway, obtain ed from the lion. George M. Bibb, Secretary ol the Treasury, iu the year 1844. a recognition of their long delayed rights, and on the 12th day of August of that year, that distinguished and able lawyer wrote a letter of instructions to the Commissioner of the General Laud Office, in which he decided that the cases had been cov ered by f^ provisions of the above named act of 18th of April. 1814; that the parties in whose fayor the Commissioners had confirmed the claims 13|#, I'll aud 133, iucluded in Mr. Gallatin's report of Jauuary 9, 1812. or their representatives, were entitled topateuts for the lands so confirmed ; aud that the sums which a . succeeded in obtaining the passage by Congress !of - , -*•— - had been paid l»v parties who had been permit ted to make entries < uded in the claims, contrary to the prohibi ' ou portions of the lands in tions of the aot of 1811, should have their _ uey refunded. The records of the Land Office will prove that this was done in many instan ces. But the opponents to the claim were not dis posed to let the matter stop thus, for, by their efforts and representations at Washington, they ""needed in obtaining the passage by Congress a joint resolution on the Mtb of June, usifl, by which tho attorney-General of the United States was directed 'o inquire info the validity of the title, and whether any patent had been improperly or unlawfully issutd in the case of the Houmas grant, and to report thereon ; and in case a patent had been so issued, the Presi dent was requested to cause legal proceedings to be taken to have its validity judicially deter mined. Under this joint resolution, ÎÙr. Clif ford, the Attorney-General, made a report in 1847, in which, after examining the case as he understood it, he came to the conclusion that the grant by Galvez on the 21st of June, 1777. in favor of Maurice Conway, only coveied for ty-two arpents of land in depth from the river, including his front tract of forty arpents in depth. Now, when it is remembered that Con way. when he asked for the rear vacant lands in 1776, alleged that he was already the owner of the forty arpents in front, tint he needed timber for his plantation, and that the timber was no nearer than a league and a half, or at least three miles, from the river, and consider ing, also, that abont twenty-seven arpetr s front are about equal to a mile, this conclusion of the^ttorney-General was most unaccountable and inexplicable. Of what possible benefit could it have been to Maurice Conway to have a strip of two arpents tacked on to the rear line of hia plantation, which practically put him no nearer to the timber which he so much needed ? Is it to bu reasonably supposed that when he asked for all the vacant land* in his rear, follow ing the directions of his side lines, and had had those lines prolonged in the manner certified by Captain Andry, that the Governor intended to grant, and he was willing to receive after all his pains, only two additional arpcnt9 in depth to those he already owned, and upon which, according to his petition, there coilld have been no timber? But be this as it may. the President in 1849 directed suits to be brought to annul tho patens issued in favor of Clark's representatives and others, by his predecessor in 1844, and in tho bill of complaint filed "by the District Attorney, for the first time was the iutiuiation of fraud or mal-practices thrown out against the claimants under tlio Spanish grant. for it never had been done by Congress, nor, so far as the records show, by any Government official previous to that date. An immense . mass of official documentary and of her evidence ^fos brought forward by the defendants to sup "porf Invalidity of their titles, and they em phatically and snccossfull.f*flpellod the chnrge made by the bill, of fraud uhd false informa tion, in obtaining the patent. It is said again, that Judge Campbell of the Supreme Court, held that the claim was fraudulent. A copy of his decree in the case is now before me, and. so far from sustaining such a charge, it very decidedly negatives it; for after stating that the claim No. 127, the one in favor of Daniel Clark, and which was before the Court, had been confirmed by the Board of Commissioners. aud that the act of 1811 had provided that no land should be offered for sale a claim to which had been iu due time filed before the Register for investigation, until the decision of Congress was made thereon, ho says of the act of 1811 : '• This act. is one founded on tho plainest prin ciples of justice, and has been uniformly main tained, in the fullness of its spirit, by the Su preme Court of the United States. Nothing would be more inequitable than an attempt on the part of the United States to involve the claimants, whom they had brought before their own tribunals, with the expectation that their rights would be ascertained iu a summary way. but in a spirit of equity aud liberality in litiga tions with other claimants deriving their titles ex post facto from the United Slatts ; no such conduct has been countenanced by Congress, though this case shows very wanton violations of the act. of subordinate officers of the Land Office 1811, by subordinate officers of the Land Office department," and again, "The land embraced in thiS"claim was thus protected from sale until the pleasure of Congress upon the report of th Hoard ofCommissioners should be made known.'-' He then proceeded to declare, that he did not, believe that the provisions of the act of April 18, 1814, were applicable to the case ; for,said he. "The act does not apply to any of the claims upon which the final action of Congre; was required to impart to them validity, or to relieve them from the burden of a claim on tin part of the United States. ThelUvornblo judg ment of the Commissioners iu regard to the Houmas claim is not adopted by this act, nor does the act empower tin» President to renounce the claim of the United,States to it. The pa tent, consequently, was issued without th< thority of law." And he concludes, " I do not decide any questiou v upon tho validity of the defendants' title to the land they claim, upon the effect of any acts of the officer.* of the Land Office in respect to determining its boun daries, nor the effect of the patent, in any other respect than that of its being a paper issued without legal authority." Our distinguished Senator. Mr. Benjamin, has been attacked, and his course in Congress with regard to the confirmation by the act of June 2. 1858, of this and other claims reported upon ibly by the Board of Commissioners in 181.1, has been denounced in most violent terms by parties interested in the defeat of the Hou nas claim. He has been uccuscd of " smug gling" the bill through Congress, and of lend ng himself to the promotion of the interests of his colleague, to the injury of worthy and inno cent settlers. &e. Happily for him, if he neeo any defence iu the eyes of the great mass of a constitu 'Miey which he has so well aud so ably served—the journals of Congress remain as a record of all that is done there. They show that in the Senate, the bill which finally be came the law so much complained of, was re to the Committee on Private Land Claims, and that on the 6th of February, Ib57, a unanimous report was made in its favor, with ndmcnts, giviug the reasons why the con firmations which had been so long delayed should no longer be postponed. This was at fhe Second Session of th*PThirty-fourth Con gress. At tho First Session of the Thirty-fifth Congress, the same Committee again reported favorably of the measure, on the 12th of March, 1858. the reports in each case being printed and furnished to evevy member of each House for information. After passing fhe Senate, the bill went down to the House, on the 19th of April, 1858; was referred to its Committee on Private Land Claims, whose Choiriiiau was the Hon. J. M. Sandidge. of this St£e. on the 12th of May ; was reported back on the 29th May ; ami passed June 1st, 1858. Now, how much more time and opportunity for the examination of this claim could have reasonably been asked by Representatives watchful of the rights or interests of their constituents? Besides, the bill «arefully reserves the lights of all adver e claimants, aud permits their being tested.in any court or courts of justice, thus securingto the very men who have fcren most conspicuous in this work of denunciation of Mr. Benjamin, the benefit of their own Siate tribunals, and e juries of the vicinage to fry their causes aud maintain their rights, if any they have. ^Vere out*,to credit ike clamor and out-cry wliioii have been raised by the adverse claim ants and the journals aud newspaper cöi res pondents in their interest, he would concilie that the Houmas Claim was the only one con firmed by the second section of the Act of 1858. But such, in truth, is far from being the ♦se, for the reporlfcof Mr. Gallatin embraced hun dreds of claim«—many of which still remain^" unacted ou by Congress—and the etfeet of CM act will l>e to remove a cloud from the land.t ties of a large number of our citizens, which has hung for near sixty years, through the dila toriness of Congress, over their homes a-id plantations, which have grown so much in value during this lapse of time as now to be worth millions of dollars ; at the same time it will re move, in uo inconsiderable degree, one of the greatest obstacle« to our prosperity »rising Mr. Slidell, too, comes in for his share of de nunciation, and has been held up before the community on the charge of prostituting his high office for his private benefit. Committee men, anonymous newspaper correspondents, aud conductors of journals, nofoiiously and bitterly hostile tolmVi. assert that lie owns more than tweniy-two thousand acres of the Iloumas claim, which they value at a mill on of dollars. 1 addressed a note to this gentleman, asking such documentary or other evidence with re gard to the claim, as he might have in his pos session. It appears that, in IS."!», nine gentle n, of whom Mr. Slidell was one. became the purchasers of an interest of nin ty thousand four huudred and thirty superficial 'arpents in cluded in the Houmas claim, at the price of two dollars and fifty cents the arpent, tor whicli a cash pay meut was made iu part, and notes giv en for the remaining payments at from one to six years' date. Tho purchasers afterwards complained of combination and misrepresenta tion on tho part of their seller, and one of their own number as to the quality of tho lands, and also of defect of title, liar of eviction, disturb mice, etc. The plaintiff, however, recovered, in a subsequent action in injunction, brought by Mr. Slidell against Rightor, the vendor, and his wife, (3 Annual Reports, 199) the Supreme Court of this State, by Judge Rost, said that Mr. Slidell ball examined the titles and found them satisfactory». Indeed, on no occasion, or iu any manner, has Mr. Slidell over said that the title to the Houmas grant was not a good and valid one ; his objection having been to that of Rightor. A* to the immense value of the land owned by Mr. Slidell. the assessors of Ascension parish tor years past have valued it at the moderate sum of jïfhai thousand dollars ; and fixed its area at ten "thousand superficial arpents. If any one wishes to make a specula tion by buyiug Mr. Slidell's interest, 1 learn Jliat he will cheerfully seR it for forty thousand dollars, on a long credit, which sum does not approach the amount it cost him in principal, interest and taxes. lu justice to that gentleman, I enclose you a copy of the letter which lie wrote in answer to my note addressed to him, because you will see from it what has been his entire course iu Con grcss-with regard to the*claim. and how little he is amenable to censure, iu the matter, from fair and impartial men. I have thus laid before you what, I trust, will.be found a candid and fair history and re view of the Iloumas Claim-^indicating tho mean? of Information on the subject, which are open to all who desire to investigate it. and lorm their own opinions. In conclusion. I trust, also, that y ceive how little our two distinguished Semi are worthy of the wholesale detraction and abuse which have been showered upon them from hostile quarters. They arc men. to both of whortM-he State of Louisiana owes much for great aud signal services, aud to all ri0vt tninded citizens their characters and reputa tions should be cherished objects. Your frigid and servant. J ohn C i.ai-bohne. Hou. C. T. Bemiss, Jefferson Parish, LETTER FROM THE HON. JOHN" SLIDELL TO JOHN CLAIBORNE. My Dear Sir: I have your note of the 7th inst., asking me to communicate any facts or documents iu relation t. » the Hominis claims, and the legislation of Congress on those claims and others of n similar character. I send vou I P-T herewith ! pa pert ni'i-m, and think that they will furnish tie information. It is my intention, at the meeting of Congress, to call up an«, refer the petition of certain inhabitants of the parish of Ascension, which was presented towards the close of the last session, with the view of having a report thereon, giving a full history of the claim and a review of all the faets connected with it My coHeaguo, Mr. Benjamin« n« Chairman the Senate Commit-too of Private Laud Clai to whom the petition was rob rred, report two or three days before the adjournment of Congress, a joint resolution directing the Secre tary of Interiorto suspend the issuing of pa tents for the lands embraced in the 2d section of the Act of the 2d of June, 1858, until the close of th next session ol^ongn sou of this action of the Committee was. that there was not sufficient time for the invcßtlsn tiou of tho case before the adjournment. The joint resolut iowas passed by a dispensation of the rules (wmch the objection of a single Seuator would have i^vf n'tod ) through nlllts ner. You have seen enough of the modi doing business in Conuress to know that either my colleague or 1 had wished to offer the lightest indirect obstacle to the passage of tlic resolution, it could not possibly have gone through its several readings in both Houses tie fore the adjournment ; the patent,« for the Hou mas lands would have been issued by this time —when issued, they will add nothing to the .-alidify of a title which is already complete,— The petition of the inhabitants «'.f Asceiisi«»n, and the resolutions said to have been adopted at a public meeting at New River, wore con cocted by persons having uo pecuniary interest in the matter, and gotten up for purposes pure ly political. They contain assertions which their authors knew to be false. My individual share of the land is ten thousand arpents, or eight thousand acres ; it is represented to be twenty-two thousand'acres, worth one million of dollars. You will find among the papers nt you my tax bill for the last your, by which you will see that my interest of ten thousand lipeiits is estimated by the sworn Assessors of the parish at fifteen thousand dollars. I believe that it has never been assessed, during the twenty-three years that I have been paying taxes on It, at a higher rate. Judge Campbell is said to have set aside fhe patents in two of the Iloumas cases, on the ground that the claim was fraudulent. You have a copy of the opinion ; by it you will per ceive that fie expressly declined that the title was not in question before him ; that he scru pulously abstained from any allusion to lis merits, but decreed the patents to be cance]lT>d, on the ground that the Secretary of the Trea sury had signed them without authority of law. No patent was efer issued for the William Con way tract, in which I am interested, and con sequently no suit was brought in ielation to it. The number of families settled on the different tracts is said to be five hundred. This is a gross eÄpgeraiion ; but whatever may be the num ber, they have, each ami all of them, made their settleui'-nt* with the full knowledge that they were trespassers u-.d invaders of rights as red anQ complete as those of any proprietor r; Iu lri3'i. that tract of the Houmas grant which 1 and others then purchased, was an un broken wilderness, known imperfectly to the surveyors mid to a very few adventurous hunters, who with great difficulty could make their way fr-fli the Mississippi to*the Amite.— If you will take the trouble to look into the list of pre-emption claims iu the Register's office, you wHl not, I think, find one on the land puichased from Rightor; all the settlements have been imftle since. I p iid tor my share $25.111 9S, average cash form 17th May. 183!); thatbhare. with proportion of faxes and oth-i expenses and interest not compounded, stands me in over $7U.()U0. I w ill gladly -take for it $10,UU0, aud give a long credit at a moderute rate of iutorest. You are hereby authorized to sell it for mo on those t'-rm a . In this matter I entertain no ill-feeling to werd the simplc-min-le 1 s : gncr& c -f tho wmo rial, with whom I and my co-proprietors are prepared to deal most liberally. They are the ' t™'* <'f unscrupulous knaves, combined ffect by any agencies, however base, the gratification of their personal malice, and the mproveinent of their broken political fortunes. My collcaiiue introduced fhe amendment con firming the Louisiana claim«, and carried the bill through without consulting me, directly or "irectly. 1 think that I can assert without ilifft-ation. that we ivver exchanged a word the subject until lie infoimed me that It had been returned from the Hons-» of Represcnta . I never spoke of It, in any stase of its progress, to any member ot either House of Congress, nor. indeed, to any one in Washing ton. By referring to the papers I have given yon will see that it has been considered during two sessions, and accompanied by print ed reports. You know that these printed bills and reports nre placed in possession of every member of hot-It Houses; and if Mr. Miles Tay» lor knew, as he pretends, nothing of it. it be rays gross inattention to his duties : if he did. lis attempt now to screen himself from respon ibilify to his constituents on New R ver, bv nsiniuifions of trick and concealment, can on ly be qualified by terms which it would be in bad taste to express, but which arc not the less ose'rved. \ on are perfectly at liberty to make such use of this letter as you may^Jeem proper. Very respectfully, your olxdienf servant, J ohn S upem.. John Claiborne. Esq. New Orleans, April 11, 1859. A Dnrkey Ooiivcntioii in Camilla. A convention of all the darkies iu Essex and Kent countieH. in her Majesty's dominions, was called to meet at Sandwich yesterday, to take •n on the Detroit Free Press and New York Herald. A grand pow-wow was expected, but the thing failed. The authorities at Sandwich scd to let them have the town-hall, and th Sheriff declined an invitation to open the court, house for the same purpose. A considerable number of them accordingly repaired to a di lapidated old building half a mile out of town, 1 organized for business. The first, thing the etiug did was to make a sally on an unof fending Canadian gentleman, who was present spectator, and ohaso him out of doors, un the impression that he was a Free lfess re porter, an em if unit degree *>f dissatisfaction uiing to prevail in regard to our report of their last convention. This summary treatment of one who was innocent of any hostile inten tions was the more unkind, as they drovo the wrong one out. Having accomplished )his feat, they returned and made an attempt to proceed to business, but their proceedings were iutenupled by a fight "between two colored clergymen, who felt into a dispute on some knotty theological topic, aud came to sturdy blows. Tho combatants were the Rev. Mr. Jones, pastor of tho Zion Society at Windsor, aud tho Rev. Mr. lloler, of Philadelphia, a distinguished colored divine, who had Gome all the way from the Quaker City to attend the Con vent ion. Th® Rev. Jones " sailed iu " unexpectedly, and delivered a scientific 44 one, two " on Rev. Holer's nose, bringing tho claret. The liov. Holer retaliated oy getting in a stunner on the Rev. Jones' breadbasket, which the Convention now deeply interested, pronounced foul. Loud cries of " bull him, Jones, butt him," emanated from the audience, ueting upon which, the Rev. Mr. Jones doubled up and planted the top of his skull in fhe Rev. Mi. Boler's abdomen villi fearful effect. The downfall of Philadelphia caused shouts of triumph from the spectators, which \^is cut short by au artful dodge on flu part of^ the Rev. Boler, who shut himself u] like ajack-knifo, and opened with such veloci. ty that the collision tripped up the Rev. Jones and brought hiin down, where, with his head '• in chancery," he took a healthy pummelling They were finally pulled apart by some of I tho sisters and turned out, after which the ^^ - « heads isted liy office warfare until both thui damaged. They were Port, and locked up for ■um. .. , Tho light between tho reverend gont)em<.' excited so much debate that tho Conveutio was forgotten, und the discussion turned upon the merits of the combatants. Tho general opinion was iu favor of tho Rev. Joues, as a home champion ; flic sentiment being entirely averse to allowing Philadelphia darkies to come out here and take oil airs over thu abori. gincs. A majority of the sisters sided with " do gommati from Filmadelfy," on account of hi.s wearing a white hat, and heilig withal rather a good looking darkey ; but they were indignantly frowned down. Some of the know ing ones went so far as to intimate that the good clothes he wore were a part of the pro ceeds of some $700 which he had collected for the abolition cause and appropriated to his own benefit. This may have been the cause of the fight, which actually occurred as described, and which promises to cre^e no Hi tie distur bance in the church before the matter is. set tled. Perilous A<1 venture of Miirinme Lullranso. The Courrier des Dal» Unis luis received a ch, the husband of the king startling incident is re i ' j j The Brandon (Miss.) paper says the plant-m j in Rinkia county are busily engaged in plant ingebrn." celebrated Ivrio • in which the folio lilted : ■ •• We profited by the delay of the Tocn at St. Catharine (between Rio Janeiro Montevideo) to breakfast on shore. The t lior was very fUie at the time of our nrriv Wr strolled about the beach until info that the steamer was about to leave, win hastened to the linb- row boat wehad« ngi k" quicker progress, raised a sidl ; on gust of was carried au ay, our. oars broken, aud our little bark fill- d with water. A few minutes more my family and the others with us would have perished, when by unexpected good for tune the wind blew us towards the steamer Princc/.a (Jo Join ville, then returning from Montevideo, and we were taken on boaid, half drowned and quite exhausted. We were sub sequently convey d to tho Tooantiiis, where we were all taken down with the fever, which did not leave us till we arrived at Montevideo." but u r Chief Justice Taney was eighty-three years 17th inst.. having been born iu Cal t couuty, Maryland. March 17 1777. Ten THomiutrt Dollars ltewnrd. The above reward is offered by the N. York l*reemau'sJournal lot-he N. Y. Commercial Advertiser, if it will prove I hat "Bellurmlm laid it down as a fuiidemental maxim of the Papacy, that absolute monarchy is incomparably the btst of (ioiYnmnit.'' The Commercial Adverti ser, true to ils Republican tenets and prejudi ces had attacked the Catholic portion of our com mil nil y and asserted flint the pn copts ot their religion tanght the above sentiments,— The Freeman 's Journal, which Is one of the organs of that denomination in New York, and therefore speaks -by authority.'' indig nantly denies it, aud offers this reward as the ptvof. Without reference to this controversy, we as. sert, savs the New York News of the Rth In«., that the Catholic citizens of our country have ever beim as true and as fast friends of liberty and of our form of Government as any other portion. They have been as brave ou our bat tle fields, and have as freely shed their blood there defending our liberties as any other.- They have been as wise in our councils and as honest in our executive departments as any other. We believe that should a foreign pow er invado our shores to-morrow to overthrow our Government and erect iu its place a mon archy, and even though it was proclaimed that the monarch who was to îeign o\r us was the Sovereign Pontiff himself, that eviry Catholic arm iu our land would be nerved to repel the invader, and every Catholic bosom bared to the baffle spark for the same In ly purpose. We have no fear—Democrats never bad- -of the loyally, honesty or love of country of our Catholic fellow-citizens. Th(|Miavc not us yet proved false; why should we fear them in the future? We know, mid they know, that ours Is a Government for free white men. and not to teach or enforce religious tenets or creeds.- We democrats hold that religion is a question solely between man and his God, and that no one has a right to interfere therewith. Our Government is founded on this principle, and Catholics, as well as Protestants, united in laying its foundations in their blood. Never until the name of Carroll, of Carrollton. is erased from tho Declaration of our ludcpou nee, can we believe that Catholics do not e liberty, the Republican or any other party the contrary notw'thstanding, -Exchange. Public Opinion iu Frmwe. When we read about the unanimity of publU' sentiment in Prance —about tho enthusiasm o (he people .in their uittttohuiont to their Km peror—-about the warm encomiums of tho Pres we are too apt to take It utyas it seems, aud in The Express would say, " run with thu.ma chine. " Not. accustomed to any of tho ruling traits of despotism, aud not mindful of tlicl necessary onVprin^'iuaiiufactured sentiments,' and " gagging of the Press " we aro prone to think such things do not prevail. When un; man in Paris, or any other section of France speaks out his thoughts on any political ques Mon, or even on any high political person, wlia is his doom? Au overwhelming fine or a sen tence of Imprisonment or of torturing exile. ~ With such prospeels how few are llicy who will he found ready to b 11 their honest thoughts? Freedom of speech does not exist iu France. - Freedom of the Press has not even an existence' in name* You are free to nppbuul, ami praise, and thank, and incense, aud pray for the powers that be ; but if y«:u give expression to /one view, either iu a speech or in a pamphlet, or in a newspaper, which is pointedly dissenting from the ftxpftsscd views of the Governumnt, }«»ur speech, pamphlet or newspaper is at once held as the vehicle of crime and you are punished petrator. In a state of things like this, win ihn u will Wholly harn imperial authority iiit or the utter other thoughts y,e with the dictates of 'ho can discover the depth or tho truth of popular opinion? Tho applause, tho p»aise, tho com monts, spoken or written, until shaped to order. Little or nothing Is IrusSi to any kind of spontaneous action. The bayonet, tho gtig and tho prison manufacture* tho whole ruling sentiment, which is not originated iu real love or admiration. We can never, therefore, while public opinion is thus munulaejiircd, know, of a verity, wljat the French people think on any given public question. But we can know whyrc. and history shows us most plainly how, the French mind, which may keep still for years, at last explodes and tears to* atoms bolts and bars and oppressive laws, and pays small heed to those who frame or administer them. ft is manifest that Franco, as well ns nil Klimpe, is now In a very critical pa«s of Its history. Tho opinions we hear of if- emanating from certain portions of the people are no true test of tho popular sentiment, for we know they are at least but manufactured by office holders, aud we know, too, that the other side Is Im peratively silenced. How long that other sid< will endure its silence without bursting fhe in junction*, or what particular spark will fall oi the chapter of political accidents fo ignite th. whole wot k, Is more than any one eau decided ly «ay ; bill we Incline to believe that "the em Is drawing nigh," and the "Papal question" i the destined spark. ThoHiort of public opinio! which, when aroipojj, has been most effective it. past episodes of -FrStioh history was ulwavs quietest before the storm It presaged. I n fortunate Louis lost his head when he thoifght the whole people worshiped him. The predeces sor of tho present Km peror lost his throne when he was most sure that the whole people were devoted to their "Citizen King." Public opinion as evinced in France is no proof of what the people mean.— /./. As A voki. with B oo ouut xpla s\- -There n's inventio lation ofvdngs. Two little prat 11 wero looking out of a window nt a weafh vane on the top of the steeple of n Univers ist church. This weathervano which was j up there to tell which way the wind blew, u ii. the shape of a man with boots on. Tli wondered what it could Is». "It is nil angel!'' saysone. "No," said the other, "it can't bo angel, because angels have wing*, aud th don't wear boots." "Ohl" said tho first, "J tell you what it is, it's a CJnivertniist un^d with boot? on, going to heaven ou foot." ADVERTISING BATES. For one square of ten Hues, or les», fôi f!r§t insertion oo For each additional insertion, per square 50 jz-ù' Liberal discount made to quarterly sciui-anuual and yearly advertisers. Steamboat Notices, for the season. .115 Atinouneing candidates for office (to be paid in advance) ...$10 Professional and Business Cards, (not to exceed six lines.) published twelvemonths. .$10 Cards of a pkusonai . character can only be published in this paper as advertisements, at double rates, aud paid for in advance. Advertisements not marked on flic copy will be inserted until forbid and charged aw* •dingly Joiiriinlifttic Mistakes. We are often laughed at by our over exact neighbors of England, who think themselvre impeccable in tho matter of correct informa tion, and we arc often very justly lunght d at, too. When, for instance on the strength of some indistinctly worded telegraph one of our cotemporarlcs lately described the "Royal mews at Picdally" as the species or cat "culti vated" in the aforesaid "Piçdally;" when an other spoke of the "eloquent Chancellor of the Kxcheqner, who sits among their lordships on the wool sack;" when another told its eager readers that, as "/<vr of the realm, Lord John Russell, Is the superior of Lord Lyons who Is only a-mlnistcr to this comftry Julien nnotlnr assures its readers that "Ötteen 1, VfctorT& v flve« in Westminister Palace and goes regularly to church at the Abbey, which Is a part df tho Palace; 0 when some editors write of these sort of things, in their ludicrous variety, the cock ney laughs and pronounces our "hlgneranco hawfully 'eathenlsh." But we have not ofteu —except they were aided by the telegraph noticed our own journals falling into blunder« as ivfrcslilngly cool as this which we copy from The London Star of the 241 h uU., and which does us tho hotter to notice tho storm wo had a few days ago. A heavy gale has ragnd in Now York. Both bridges to Jersey wrro demolished,4pd (lie city ferry was unroofed." Both fhe "Jersey bridges demolishid" and tho "city ferry unroofed!" That was truly a wondrrous gale which had blow n across thu Atlantic such a result, Where did these bridgea span the river, and where wis tho city ferry!— But there I n a moral in nil this. It is ever safest to fake hurriedly arranged fbrelgn news (end it applies here ns well as In Englund)wllh. very large allowances for the gale. Tho London Morning Uernld says in Its edi torial columns that '«|£crnundo Wood, Mayor of Now York, hnu been unanimously chosen Chairman of the Charleston delegation.'' No doubt tlie editor thought only of the New York delegation. One of our neighboring journals flu« other day said that Lord Palmerston tai mode Lord >tayur of London. Po sttoh mis takes, or mero inaccuracies, as I n the tnse with the announcement in The London Hcl'ald, aro by no means inexcusable. Besides, an no ono in H*' bogus New York delegation was ever heard of inl.omloit, and as Fernando Wood liai now a Kuroprnn as well ns national fame, the inaccuracy was natural. It ^oes, howevir, to further illustrate Wie inoral we have poluted 'out.—• iV. P. EiChantft. Influence of It nil roads. In tho report of Juo. T. Miller, of tho survey of tho Central (Ala.) Railroad, is the following account of the influence of flic Georgia State road on the country, through which it passes: " I ii 1837 I was engaged on the Georgia Slate road, lust then commenced. 1 there be came ucqualnt«d with the people along flint road—their habits aud means. Beyond their actual wants for food. they raised nothing at all. Tho men 4froj>cd around and shot at u milk. The women seemed to do but little, whilst tin !r children, poorly cured foi', saun d about from place to place, as if their highest thoughts w;ero bent on catching rabits or some Mich small game. What to work, when It would cost them per bushel to get their wheat to market, 1 then only get ounfe lu 1857, 1 went back uuuiii, and what a change! Thu livers wero he same- -the Kcnncsaw Mountain had not hanged - tho "Crook" d Spoon" sfill rolled a long the men and women that oticc 1 knew there—-tho boys had grown to mon, tfcnd the girls to women; but their mien wuift changed. The men stood orceins with con clous prid«" they looked upon flit' waving fields of grain. Tho matrons busied theniMdvof a bout their dairies aud their rooms; whilst tho sturdy boys were grappling with the plough. What had brought this change about? Listen for a while and soon you will hear the iron horse come storming along. Ho stops at a slu wutw u man gels offlho He nt of the Montgomery Mills. and he goes to the lionne, lie meets tho ■farmer—they have met before. His busluere is to buy grain. Htiange, but true, (hat thu demand for wheat should bo so great in to Induce the merchant to buy nt fhe farmer's door! He offers SI 50 per bushel, enflh, for his crop and furnish tho sacks to put it in.— •That won't do.' Savannah was hero yester day, ami Columbus fhe day before, and they offered more. Here is a key to this change.— This solves the mistery. Tho great Slate Road -the Iron horse—the dollar aud a half per bushel cash tells the tale. This is literally true, as any one enn ascertain by enquiring of the men that know." lü'i^ Vom- Temper. Tlin foibcu ) who have tho truth, justice ami the their side can nfibrd to be patient mid nig. There never was a more erlticul period in the history of tho country, never an arena w here there was more at stake than on fhe floor of the House of Representatives.— Tho conduct of the scctiounlists ami their aid ers and abettors is calculated to arouse the in dignation of Nnlionul men both North and .South -on one side they are taunted as timor ous lime-servers and dough-faces, on the other as criminals. The evident design is to provoke a wrong which may, in sotno pa it, obliterate the horrible crime of flic Kansas horse thief ami his wretched companions iu treas.ou and The conservative members of Congress m mt Ik ; firm, und not give their antagonists an op portunity to get up nil extraneous issue. If they are taxed as criminals because they own slaves, with tho same propriety-might Wash ington and Jefferson be so denoniioob d, wl.il« every Northern man who set his band to tho Constitution, according tojlhc modern stand ard, was a doughface'. Ii i», indeed, liai d to bear insult ami lir-fen to false »tutcincuts from those who have subscribed to the abominations of Helper's book of treason, but those who do command themselves will be cousoled by the gratitude of fhe country iu that coming time when, as we hope, thesu delusions wiil have passed away before the bright day when North and South will be again united iu the fruterual bonds of mutual good feeling, based on 1 bet fee knowledge of each other's social relation« reciprocal <lepcnd «m>.