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makes hats,' which show he was a hatter. It was struck out. The next observed that the word makes' might as well be omitted, because his customers would not care who made the hats. If good and to their mind, they would buy, by whomsoever made. He struck it out. A third said he thought the words 'for ready money' were useless, as it was not the custom of the place to sell on credit. Every one who purchased expected to pay. They were parted with, and the inscription now stood, John Thompson sells hats. Sells hats' says his next friend ! Why nobody will expect you to give them away, what then is the use of that word ? It was stricken out, and hats' followed it, the rather as there was one painted on the board. So the inscription was reduced ultimately to · John Thompson' with the figure of a hat subjoined."

The Doctor told me at Paris the two following anecdotes of the Abbé Raynal. He had a party to dine with him one day at Passy, of whom one half were Americans, the other half French, and among the last was the Abbé. During the dinner he got on his favorite theory of the degeneracy of animals, and even of man, in America, and urged it with his usual eloquence. The Doctor at length noticing the accidental stature and position of his guests, at table, “Come," says he, “M. l'Abbé, let us try this question by the fact before us. We are here one half Americans, and one half French, and it happens that the Americans have placed themselves on one side of the table, and our French friends are on the other. Let both parties rise, and we will see on which side nature has degenerated.” It happened that his American guests were Carmichael, Harmer, Humphreys, and others of the finest stature and form ; while those of the other side were remarkably diminutive, and the Abbé himself particularly, was a mere shrimp. He parried the appeal, however, by a complimentary admission of exceptions, among which the Doctor himself was a conspicuous one.

The Doctor and Silas Deane were in conversation one day at Passy, on the numerous errors in the Abbé's Histoire des deux Indes,” when he happened to step in. After the usual salutations, Silas Deane said to him, " The Doctor and myself, Abbé,

were just speaking of the errors of fact into which you have been led in your history.” “Oh, no, Sir," said the Abbé, " that is impossible. I took the greatest care not to insert a single fact, for which I had not the most unquestionable authority.” “Why," says Deane, “ there is the story of Polly Baker, and the eloquent apology you have put into her mouth, when brought before a court of Massachusetts to suífer punishment under a law which you cite, for having had a bastard. I know there never was such a law in Massachusetts." “Be assured," said the Abbé, “you are mistaken, and that that is a true story. I do not immediately recollect indeed the particular information on which I quote it; but I am certain that I had for it unquestionable authority." Doctor Franklin, who had been for some time shaking with unrestrained laughter at the Abbé's confidence in his authority for that tale, said, “I will tell you, Abbé, the origin of that story. When I was a printer and editor of a newspaper, we were sometimes slack of news, and, to amuse our customers, I used to fill up our vacant columns with anecdotes and fables, and fancies of my own, and this of Polly Baker is a story of my making, on one of these occasions." The Abbé, without the least disconcert, exclaimed with a laugh, “ Oh, very well, Doctor, I had rather relate your stories than other men's truths.”

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MISSISSIPPI, ADJACENT TO NEW ORLEANS, AGAINST THE

INTRUSION OF EDWARD LIVINGSTON.

PREPARED FOR THE USE OF COUNSEL,

BY THOMAS JEFFERSON.

CONTENTS.*

-

-

66

Page

Page

Title of the Jesuits,

5 The bed, beach, bank of a river,

Term 'face au fleuve,'

5 Missisipi,

49

Confiscation,

5 | Nile,

50

Title of B. Gravier,

5 Property of the bed and bank, 52

Establishment into a fauxbourg, 5 Limitations of the rights of prop-

Gravier's sale,

6

erty,

54

Streets,

8 Surety,

58

Beach or batture,

9 Levées and Police of Missisipi, 61

Purchase by Inventory,

9 Suspension of Livingston's works,
Livingston's arrival,

11 and the authorities by which, 62

Parisien,

11 Nature of those works,

63

De la Bigarre,

13 Remedies, to wit, Abatement of

Decision of Court,

14 Nuisance,

64

Alarm occasioned,

14 Forcible entry, recaption,

65

Servitude of maintaining road,

14 Roman law de vi bonorum rapto-
United States no party to the de-

rum,

cision,

16 Squatters,

68

Livingston's Intrusion,

17 Jurisdiction over public property,
Appeal to government of U. States, 18 in whom,

68
Livingston's works,
19 When it results to the courts,

68

Deliberation of the Cabinet,

21 Act of Congress, 1807, c. 91,

68

What law to decide,

21 Remitter,

69

Proclamation of O'Reilly,

21 Recapitulation,

70

French code,

22 Opinions and Orders of the Gov.

Roman law,

23 ernment,

72

Alluvion,

26 Proceedings under them,

72

Edict of Louis XIV.

33 Chancery injunction from the court, 73

Napoleon Code,

34 Proceedings of the legislature of

Portalis,

34

Orleans,

76

M. Moreau de Lislet,

36 Message to Congress,

76

Note.—M. Thierry,

Removal of the case before them, 77

Rural and Urban possessions, 39 Responsibility of a public function-

Principal and accessory,

41

ary,

78

The Beach or Batture not Alluvion, 42

* The figures in this table refer to the pages of the original edition of Mr.
Jefferson's pamphlet, which in this edition are marked with an asterisk, and
placed in the margin,

PRE FACE

Edward LIVINGSTON, of the territory of Orleans, having taken possession of the beach of the river Missisipi adjacent to the city of NewOrleans, in defiance of the general right of the nation to the property and use of the beaches and beds of their rivers, it became my duty, as charged with the preservation of the public property, to remove the intrusion, and to maintain the citizens of the United States in their right to a common use of that beach. Instead of viewing this as a public act, and having recourse to those proceedings which are regularly provided for conflicting claims between the public and an individual, he chose to consider it as a private trespass committed on his freehold, by myself personally, and instituted against me, after my retirement from office, an action of trespass, in the circuit court of the United States for the district of Virginia.

Being requested by my Counsel to furnish them with a statement of the facts of the case, as well as of my own ideas of the questions of right, I proceeded to make such a statement, fully as to facts, but briefly and generally as to the questions of right. In the progress of the work, however, I found myself drawn insensibly into details, and finally concluded to meet the questions generally which the case would present, and to expose the weakness of the plaintiff's pretensions, in addition to the strength of the public right. These questions were of course to arise under the laws of the territory of Orleans, composed of the Roman, the French, and Spanish codes, and written in those languages. The books containing them are so rare in this country as scarcely to be found in the best-furnished libraries. Having more time than my Counsel, consistently with their duties to others, could bestow on researches so much out of the ordinary line, I thought myself bound to facilitate their labors, and furnish them with such materials as I could collect. I did it by full extracts from the several authorities, and in the languages in which they were originally written, that they might judge for themselves whether I misinterpreted them. These materials and topics, expressed in the technical style of the law, familiar to them, they were of course to use

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