Thomas Jefferson Papers

Louis C. Le Breton Deschapelles to Thomas Jefferson, 15 January 1817

From Louis C. Le Breton Deschapelles

New orleans January 15th 1817


the kindeness you have Ever Shewn to the inhabitants of Louisiana during your administration induces me to inform you of the attempt made By Mr Livingston to Exact from us Damages for having been Dispossessed of the Bature pursuance to a mandat of the president of the U.S.

in Such Situation, We beg Leave to Claim your interference towards the Government for Supporting us in the Supreme Court of the u.S. on a Writ of Errors Which Mr Livingston hath interposed from a final Judgment rendered against him in the District Court of Louisiana. We Need not to mention you that the fate of a Large family is involved in that Suit.

Permit us, Sir to Suggest you the heavy Expences to Which We have been Subject for defending the Suit here and for retaining a Counsel for the Supreme Court We have already Expended fifteen hundred dollars for the Counsels only independant of our trouble & of the Smaler Expenses. We hope that our Equitable Claim on the Government upon that Subject Will be Supported By you

I Remain With the Greatest Regard,
Your most obedient servt

L: C. Le Breton Deschapelles

RC (DLC); endorsed by TJ as received 16 Feb. 1817 and so recorded in SJL.

Louis Césaire Le Breton Deschapelles (1774–1839), planter and public official, was a native of New Orleans who sat for a number of terms on his hometown’s city council between 1803 and 1812. Elected to the newly established state legislature in the latter year, he resigned before taking office. During the War of 1812, Le Breton Deschapelles pledged funds to the war effort and served as a lieutenant in the Louisiana militia. Toward the end of his life he lived on a farm a few miles outside of New Orleans (Maurice Bernard, “Famille Le Bretton des Chapelles,” Généalogie et Histoire de la Caraïbe 64 [1994]: 1163; “Mayors of New Orleans, 1803–1936,” Works Project Administration project 665-64-3-112 [1940 typescript at LN]; Dunbar Rowland, ed., Official Letter Books of W. C. C. Claiborne, 1801–1816 [1917; repr. 1972], 6:198; Alcée Fortier, A History of Louisiana [1904], 3:87; Marion John Bennett Pierson, comp., Louisiana Soldiers in the War of 1812 [1963; repr. 1999], 36; John Adems Paxton, The New-Orleans Directory and Register [New Orleans, 1823]; New-Orleans Argus, 2 Oct. 1828; DNA: RG 29, CS, La., New Orleans, 1830).

Le Breton Deschapelles seems to be referring to the case of Livingston v. D’orgenoy, which had come before the supreme court of the u.s. in February 1813 before being returned to and settled by the district court of louisiana in Edward Livingston’s favor later that same year (Thomas B. Robertson to TJ, 7 Dec. 1810; U.S. Reports description begins Cases Argued and Decided in the Supreme Court of the United States, 1790–  (title varies; originally issued in distinct editions of separately numbered volumes with U.S. Reports volume numbers retroactively assigned; original volume numbers here given parenthetically) description ends , 11 [7 Cranch]: 577–88; William C. C. Claiborne to TJ, 14 Aug. 1813).

Index Entries

  • Batture Sainte Marie, controversy over; E. Livingston seeks damages locally in search
  • Le Breton Deschapelles, Louis Césaire; and batture controversy search
  • Le Breton Deschapelles, Louis Césaire; identified search
  • Le Breton Deschapelles, Louis Césaire; letter from search
  • Livingston v. D’orgenoy search
  • Louisiana (state); U.S. district court in search
  • Supreme Court, U.S.; and batture controversy search
  • United States District Court, Louisiana District search