Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Enclosure: Thomas Jefferson’s List of Batture-Related Papers and Pamphlets sent to Counsel, 23 March 1811

Enclosure

List of Batture-Related Papers and Pamphlets sent to Counsel

Papers, pamphlets, Exhibits1 Etc. made up for the use of Counsel.2

No 1. a volume in 8vo  and a volume in 4to } Note Nos 1. & 3. are sent to Messrs Hay and3 Wirt, & No 2. to mr Tazewell.
2. do and do
3. do and do

Contents as follows.

Livingston’s Address to the people of the US. in  No 1.
Report of the Case of Gravier v. the city of N.O. No 1.
Correspondence No 1. 2.
Derbigny’s opinion on the Case for Counsel. No 1. 2. 3.
Livingston’s Examination of the title of the US. No 1. 2.
Duponceau’s Opinion on the Case of the Batture. No 1. 2.
Livingston’s Case for Counsel & 13. Queries. No 1. 2.
Answers to the 13. queries by Ingersoll & Rawle. No 1. 2.
  Tilghman & Lewis No 1. 2.
Poydras’s Address to the legislature of N.O. No 1. 2. 3.
 Defence of the right of the public to the batture No 1. 2. 3.
 Further Observations No 1. 2. 3.
 Speech of Feb. 2. 10. No 1. 2. 3.
 Mar. 14. 10. No 1. 2. 3.
Examination of the jdmt of the court by Moreau de Lislet. No 1. 2. 3.
 
Thiery’s Reply to Duponceau No 1. 2. 3.
 Appendix to do No 1. 2. 3.
Derbigny’s Refutation of Duponceau No 1. 2. 3.
Thiery’s Examination of the claim of the US. No 1. 2. 3.
Pieces Probantes No 1. 2. 3.
Memoire de Moreau de Lislet. MS. No 1.

Papers for information.
Edict for establishing a West India company. 1664. May. translated.
Extracts from a Collection of Royal decrees by Neron & Girard. 1683. April. 1710. Feb. translated.
Extract from the Repertory of Guiot. translated.
Affidavit of Poydras, with a translation.
Deed of J. Gravier to Peter de la Bigarre. 1806. Dec. 14. Copy unauthenticated.
BelleChasse & Macartey’s Speech to the militia. 1807. Aug. 15. 
the Governor’s Speech to the people on the Batture. 1807. Sep. 15.4
Tanesse’s Report to the Mayor. 1809. Apr. 23. Copy unauthenticated.
Notes on the sale of the batture by B. & J. Gravier.5
Petition of the Mayor, Aldermen & citizens of N. O. to Congress. 1809. Nov. 11.
Du Jarreau’s Address to the Mayor & Aldermen of N. O. 1808. Aug. 24.
Livingston to the Public. 1810. Nov. 17. an advertisement.

Exhibits authenticated.
Deed of  B. Gravier to   Poyfaré. 415. f. ‘frente al rio.’ 88. f. depth. 1789.
Girod, Claude François; and batture controversy, 3:484Girod. 51  ½ do 160. 1794.
St  Jean 240.  do 160. 1789.
706. ½
Legendre 60. f. ‘frente a la levé de este rio.’ 160. f. depth. 1789.
Roland. 90. f. do 160. 1788.
Toledano. 60.  do 160. 1789.
Ravara. 60.  do 160. 1789.
Vessie 240.  do 160. 1789.
Laurent. 30.  do 160. 1788.
Ramos. 70.  do 160. 1788.
610
J. Gravier to   Poydras  ‘fronting the river.’ 1808.
Extract from the Register of the Cabildo of N. O.1801. June 5.
Statement of the expences of repairing the levée
The Case of Livingston v. D’Orgenois in the District court of Orleans 1810. July 4–Nov. 14.
Affidavits of Pelletier, surveyor. 1807. Dec. 5.
John Gravier v. the Mayor Etc of N. O. in the Superior court. 1807. Mar. 25.
  Depositions of Livandais & Laveau Trudeau taken in the cause.
Pelletier’s plans of the city & fauxbourgs, the Batture, Livingston’s works Etc

Exhibits from the office of the Secretary of State to be returned to that office after trial

Deed of  B. Gravier to Nicholas Gravier for 13. lots ‘haciendo frente al rio Misipi.6 1794.
Nichs Gravier to Escot. 60.f ‘de frente al rio.’ 1794.
  Girod. 39½ do 1794.
  Wiltz. 60. do 1794.
John Gravier to P. de la Bigarre ⅔ of the Batture 1804. Mar. 20.
 for the whole batture except 1. lot. 1806. Dec. 14.

Piedesclaux’s affidavit. 1807. Oct. 14.

Letter of Govr Claiborne to the Secretary of State. N.O. 1807. Sep. 3. recd Oct. 13.
do to do Sep. 16. 26.
it’s inclosures.   James Brown to Govr Claiborne. Sep. 12.
  Garland  to do 14.
  E. Livingston   to the Governor 1807. Sep. 15.
 the Governor   to E. Livingston 15.
 the Governor’s speech to the people 16.
Letter of the Atty Genl Rodney to the Secy of State. (his Opinion.) Oct. 24.
to the President (his Opinion) 24.
Letter of Govr Claiborne to Secy of State. Concordia. 1807. [. . .] Oct. 5. recd Nov. 9.
it’s inclosures. Gravier v. the Mayor Etc of N.O. record.
 do to do   N.O. 1807. Nov. 13.
[here should come in the Sec. Sta.’s lre to Gov. Claiborne of 1807. Nov. 30. misdated & misplaced 1808]7
  the Secy at War to the Commandg officer at N.O. Nov. 30.
  Govr Claiborne to the Sec. of State. N.O. 1808. 29. recd Mar. 22.
inclosures D’Orgenoy to the Governor 27.  [misdated 07.
 for 08.]8
copy of the injunction. 5.
  Govr Claiborne to the Sec. of State Apr. 26. recd June 14.
to the Presidt of the US. May 20. June 17.
to do Jan. 15. Mar. 7.
to do 29. Mar. 1.
to do Apr. 16. May 26 
to do Sep. 1. Oct. 3.
 
to do Oct. 5. Nov. 6.
to do Oct. 24. 19.
  Sec. of State to Govr Claiborne misdated 1808. for 1807. Nov. 30
Petition of the citizens of Orleans to Congress. recd   1808. Dec. 6.
letter of Govr Claiborne to the Secy of State 1809. Jan. 2. 9
inclosures Govr Claiborne to the Mayor of N.O. 1808. Dec. 22.
  the Mayor to Tanesse surveyor. 24. 10
  Tanesse to the Mayor 28.
  the Master Warden & Wardens to Govr Claiborne 28.
 the Mayor of N.O. to Govr Claiborne 30.
 the Govr to the Mayor of N.O. Nov. 17.
 the Mayor to the Governor 18.
  Tanesse’s survey.
letter of E. Livingston without date or address. [to some member of the admn]11
  E. Livingston to the Secy of State. Smith. 1809. June 27.
 the Atty Genl Rodney to the Secrety of State Sep. 27.
  E. Livingston to the Sec. of State Oct. 5.
letter of the Sec. of State to the Atty of the District of Orleans. Grymes. 1809. Oct. 5.
  Govr Claiborne to Th: Jefferson N.O. 1810. Feb. 1.
 inclosure. Vote of thanks of Legisl. of Orleans to Th:J

Resolutions of the legislature of Orleans on the subject of the batture.

Th: Jefferson
Mar. 23. 1811.
Lafon’s Plan of the city of N.O. & environs sent  to Messrs Hay & Wirt.
Boqueta’s do to mr Tazewell.

MS (NjMoHP: Lloyd W. Smith Collection); entirely in TJ’s hand; brackets in original; this copy enclosed in TJ to Littleton W. Tazewell, 23 Mar. 1811. Dft (DLC: TJ Papers, 192:34106–7); undated and unsigned.

Most of the documents listed above are described in lists of batture-related papers enclosed in Robert Smith to TJ, 4, 6 June 1810, James Mather to TJ, 30 Nov. 1810, and TJ to Robert Smith, 20 Mar. 1811, and in William C. C. Claiborne to TJ, 19 June 1809, 13 Aug. 1810, Resolutions of the Orleans Territorial Legislature, [19 Jan. 1810], William Eustis to TJ, 4 June 1810, James Madison to TJ, 4 June 1810, Albert Gallatin to TJ, 14 July 1810, Caesar A. Rodney to TJ, 18 Oct. 1810, and TJ to Tazewell, 23 Mar. 1811. Exceptions include: (1) affidavit of poydras, New Orleans, 18 Apr. 1808, in which Julien Poydras states that in 1788 he advised Bertrand Gravier to convert his plantation into a suburb; that he purchased a lot from Gravier on 19 Apr. 1788; that his motivation for this purchase was to minimize the risk of fire, since there were no buildings between it and the river; that at the time of purchase a bluff stood in place of the batture, and large vessels anchored there; that because the river in its decrease did not uncover more ground in that place, one may say that no batture existed; that if it now exists it postdates the Poydras purchase, and is an accretion to his property; that in 1799 Poydras purchased land from Jean Gravier over and above the quantity sold by Bertrand Gravier, solidifying his property fronting the river; that since that time he has paid to maintain said property, including keeping and repairing the road and levee; that within a few years of this purchase Gravier initiated a suit to claim ownership over both the batture and the ground which may have been formed by accretion to the road; that Poydras did not urge his prior claims because he thought that Gravier would fail; that after winning the suit Gravier sold Edward Livingston the batture and ground adjoining the road of the Faubourg Sainte Marie extending from the city to Rue Girod; that Livingston’s intention to erect buildings would deprive Poydras of his unobstructed path to the river and take the portion of the batture that faces his property; and that Poydras will initiate an action to recover damages and interest for whatever may have been done prejudicial to his rights (Tr in DNA: RG 59, LCBNO, in French; Tr in same, English translation). (2) tanesse’s report to the mayor, New Orleans, 23 Apr. 1809, in which Jacques Tanesse states as city surveyor that the elevation of the levee on the shore opposite the batture in the direction of Rue Gravier is eight inches; that the elevation of the levee in front of Rue Poydras is five inches; in front of the Faubourg Sainte Marie on the side of New Orleans, fourteen inches; in front of Rue Girod, two inches; and in front of Rue Saint Joseph, eight inches; that the different results show that the levee on the shore opposite the batture has a mean height of seven and two-fifths inches; that the water at the foot of the levee on the side of New Orleans and opposite the shore where he initially measured has a depth of three feet three inches; that the depth in the direction of Rue Gravier is three feet nine inches, and four feet in front of Rue Poydras; that he sounded at sixty feet from the banks of the river in order to complete a space of one hundred ten feet, which is the distance between the houses on the wharf and the foot of the levee, and that he found a depth of one foot seven inches; that for the same reason he sounded fifty feet from the edge of the water in front of Rue Saint Joseph, and found a depth of two feet; that the mean depth at the foot of the levee bounding the batture is two feet eleven inches; that if deducted from this depth, the mean height of the levee constructed on the opposite shore (before it is overflowed by the river) covers the batture by a mean depth of two feet three and three-fifths inches; and that consequently the batture is part of the riverbed, since “there is not a single point of compass which I have chosen, which is not covered with water before the river reaches the summit of the opposite shore” (Tr in DNA: RG 59, LCBNO). (3) extract from the register of the cabildo of New Orleans, which states that on 5 June 1801 the Cabildo rejected Claude Girod’s petition to build a flour mill between the royal road and the river in front of his house in the Faubourg Sainte Marie, eventually deciding “that notice be given to the owners to remove their buildings and their enclosures and to leave those grounds free” (Tr in DNA: RG 59, LCBNO; endorsed by unidentified hand: “The foregoing is translated from the Spanish, and is the same decree to be found at page 4 of the Collection of documents entitled Piéces probantes to which the reader may be referred”). (4) Claiborne to sec. of state Madison, New Orleans, 26 Apr. 1808, expressing the wish for a speedy resolution to the controversy over the right to the batture; suggesting that if Congress decides that it belongs to the United States, the batture should then be transferred to the corporation of New Orleans; adding that such a cession should include a stipulation prohibiting the exaction of wharfage, since such a charge would unfairly tax western citizens; proposing that the city corporation be confirmed in possession of “the Hotel de Ville, the Square adjoining it & of the Market,” as well as the public schoolhouse; and describing the use of vacant government lots adjoining military barracks, a hospital, public stores, and a customhouse, with the suggestion that the United States cede these lots to New Orleans on condition that they remain forever undeveloped (RC in DNA: RG 59, LCBNO; in a clerk’s hand, signed by Claiborne; franked; postmarked; addressed: “The Honorable The Secy of State City of Washington”; endorsed by TJ as received 14 June 1808, with his notation: “Congress”). (5) Claiborne to the presidt of the us, 20 May 1807, 15, 29 Jan., 16 Apr., 1 Sept., 5, 24 Oct. 1808 (DNA: RG 59, LCBNO). (6) Bartholemew lafon’s “Plan of the City and Environs of New Orleans,” a version of which was published in New Orleans in 1816.

George Hay returned the pamphlets and papers listed above to TJ on 29 Jan. and 5 May 1812.

The phrases “frente al rio,” “frente a la levé de este rio,” and “haciendo frente al rio Misipi” respectively mean “fronting the river,” “fronting the levee of this river,” and “fronting on the Mississippi River.”

1Word interlined in Dft.

2For preceding five words Dft substitutes “& sent to my Counsel in the case of the Batture.”

3MS: “and &.” Dft: “and.”

4Preceding two entries interlined in Dft.

5Entry interlined in Dft.

6Omitted closing quotation mark editorially supplied.

7Omitted closing bracket editorially supplied. For bracketed section Dft substitutes “see below in 1808,” interlined.

8Omitted closing bracket editorially supplied.

9In Dft this letter is listed below all but the last of its enclosures, which are grouped with a brace and the notation: “these were inclosed in Gov. Claiborne’s lre of Jan. 2. 09. and recd.” Following final enclosure, Dft reads “making part of the communicns of the preceding letter.”

10Entry interlined in Dft.

11Closing parenthesis changed to closing bracket by Editors for clarity.

Index Entries

  • Address to the People of the United States, on the measures pursued by the Executive with respect to the Batture at New-Orleans (Livingston) search
  • A Review of the Cause of the New Orleans Batture (Du Ponceau) search
  • Batture Sainte Marie, controversy over; communications between TJ and his counsel concerning search
  • Bellechasse, Joseph Deville Degoutin; and batture controversy search
  • Brown, James; and batture controversy search
  • Case laid before Counsel for their opinion on the claim to the Batture, situated in front of the Suburb St. Mary (Derbigny) search
  • Claiborne, William Charles Coles; and annual message to legislature search
  • Claiborne, William Charles Coles; and batture controversy search
  • Colcock, William search
  • Delabigarre, Peter; and batture controversy search
  • Derbigny, Pierre (Peter) Augustin Bourguignon; Case laid before Counsel for their opinion on the claim to the Batture, situated in front of the Suburb St. Mary search
  • Derbigny, Pierre (Peter) Augustin Bourguignon; Réfutation du Mémoire en forme de consultation search
  • Du Jareau, Godefroi; and J. Mather search
  • Du Ponceau, Peter Stephen; A Review of the Cause of the New Orleans Batture search
  • Escot, John search
  • Eustis, William; and batture controversy search
  • Examen de la Sentence rendue dans la Cause entre Jean Gravier et la Ville de la Nouvelle-Orléans (Moreau Lislet) search
  • Examen des Droits des Etats-Unis et des pretensions de Mr. Edouard Livingston sur la Batture en Face du Faubourg Ste. Marie (Thierry) search
  • Examination of the title of the United States (Livingston) search
  • France; edict of1664 search
  • France; edict of1710 search
  • Gallatin, Albert; and batture controversy search
  • Gallatin, Albert; and TJ’s statement on the batture controversy search
  • Garland, William G.; and batture controversy search
  • Girard, Etienne; Recueil d’edits et d’ordonnances royaux search
  • Girod, Claude François; and batture controversy search
  • Gravier, Bertrand; and batture controversy search
  • Gravier, Jean (John); and batture controversy search
  • Grymes, Philip; and batture controversy search
  • Guyot, Joseph Nicolas; Répertoire universel et raisonné de jurisprudence civile, criminelle, canonique et béneficiale search
  • Hay, George; and batture controversy search
  • Ingersoll, Jared; on batture controversy search
  • Jean Gravier v. the mayor, aldermen, and inhabitants of the City of New Orleans search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Writings; List of Batture-Related Papers and Pamphlets sent to Counsel search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Writings; Statement of Facts in the Batture Case search
  • Lafon, Bartholemew; “Plan of the City and Environs of New Orleans,” search
  • Laurent, Simon search
  • Lewis, William (of Philadelphia); and batture controversy search
  • Livaudais, Jacques M. search
  • Livingston, Edward; Address to the People of the United States, on the measures pursued by the Executive with respect to the Batture at New-Orleans search
  • Livingston, Edward; Examination of the title of the United States search
  • Livingston, Edward; proclaims right to batture search
  • Livingston v. D’orgenoy search
  • Louis XIV, king of France; and edict of1710 search
  • Macarty, Jean Baptiste; and batture controversy search
  • Madison, James; and batture controversy search
  • Mansuy Pelletier, Charles V.; and batture surveys search
  • maps; of New Orleans search
  • Mather, James; and batture controversy search
  • Mather, James; and G. Du Jareau search
  • Moreau Lislet, Louis; Examen de la Sentence rendue dans la Cause entre Jean Gravier et la Ville de la Nouvelle-Orléans search
  • Moreau Lislet, Louis; “Mémoire au soutien des droits des Etats-unis à la Batture du faubourg Ste Marie,” search
  • Néron, Pierre; Recueil d’edits et d’ordonnances royaux search
  • New Orleans; maps of search
  • New Orleans; petitions from inhabitants search
  • New Orleans; wardens at search
  • Pedesclaux, Pierre search
  • Pieces Probantes search
  • Poeyfarré, Juan search
  • Pollock, George search
  • Poydras, Julien Lalande; affidavit on batture search
  • Poydras, Julien Lalande; and batture controversy search
  • Poydras, Julien Lalande; Speech of Julien Poydras, Esq. the Delegate of the Territory of Orleans, in support of the right of the public to the Batture search
  • Price, Andrew search
  • Ramos, Raphaël search
  • Ravassa, Joseph search
  • Rawle, William search
  • Recueil d’edits et d’ordonnances royaux (Girard & Néron) search
  • Réfutation du Mémoire en forme de consultation (Derbigny) search
  • Répertoire universel et raisonné de jurisprudence civile, criminelle, canonique et béneficiale (Guyot) search
  • Reply to Mr. Duponceau (Thierry) search
  • Rodney, Caesar Augustus; and batture controversy search
  • Rolland, Juan Baptiste; and batture controversy search
  • Speech of Julien Poydras, Esq. the Delegate of the Territory of Orleans, in support of the right of the public to the Batture (Poydras) search
  • St. Jean, Maria; and batture controversy search
  • State Department, U.S.; and batture controversy search
  • Statement of Facts in the Batture Case (Thomas Jefferson) search
  • Tanesse, Jacques; and batture controversy search
  • Thierry, Jean Baptiste Simon; Examen des Droits des Etats-Unis et des pretensions de Mr. Edouard Livingston sur la Batture en Face du Faubourg Ste. Marie search
  • Thierry, Jean Baptiste Simon; Reply to Mr. Duponceau search
  • Tilghman, Edward; and batture controversy search
  • Toledano, Manuel search
  • Trudeau, Lavau search
  • Vessié, Jean search
  • West India Company search
  • Wiltz, Françoise search
  • Wirt, William; and batture controversy search
  • “Mémoire au soutien des droits des Etats-unis à la Batture du faubourg Ste Marie” (Moreau Lislet); TJ sends to counsel search
  • “Plan of the City and Environs of New Orleans” (Lafon) search