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District of Pennsylvania, to

to wit: BE IT REMEMBERED that on the Fifteenth day of August in the Twenty-eighth year of the Independence of the United States of America, Thomas Dobson of the said District hath deposited in this Office the Title of a Book the right whereof he claims as Proprietor in the words following to wit:

“ The Journal of Andrew Ellicott, late Commissioner on behalf of “ the United States during part of the year 1796, the years 1797, 1798, “ 1799, and part of the year 1800 : for determining the Boundary be“tween the United States and the Possessions of his Catholic Majesty in America, containing Occasional Remarks on the Situation, Soil, “ Rivers, Natural Productions, and Diseases of the different Countries “ on the Ohio, Mississippi, and Gulf of Mexico, with Six Maps, com“prehending the Ohio, the Mississippi from the mouth of the Ohio to “ the Gulf of Mexico, the whole of West Florida and part of East « Florida. To which.is added an Appendix, containing all the Astro“ nomical Observations made use of for determining the Boundary, with

many others, made in different parts of the country for settling the “ geographical positions of some important points, with maps of the " boundary on a large scale ;, likewise a great number of Thermometri“ cal Observations made at different times and places.”

In conformity to the Act of the Congress of the United States, intitled “ 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 the 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

nd proprietors of such copies during the times therein mentioned.” And extending the benefits thereof to the Arts of designing, engraving, and etching, hiftorical and other prints.


Dep. Clerk of the District

of Pennsyloania.


THE following work as now handed to the public with the exception of the Appendix, was drawn up between the 14th of June 1802, and the beginning of November following. A press of business then commenced in the Land Office, which prevented not only a careful revisal of the manuscript, but even a second reading. This circumstance, added to my distance from the printer, has rendered a short preface somewhat necessary in order to make a few explanations, and include some additions.

When the journal was drawn up, it was my intention to have divided the map of the Mississippi river from the mouth of the Ohio, to the Gulf of Mexico, into two parts only; but when I came to lay it down, it appeared better to divide it into three: the map containing the third, or lower part, contains also the island of Orleans, and great part of West Florida.

The maps belonging to the Journal are all laid down by a scale of 15 miles to an inch, and may easily be annexed to each other by a little attention to the meri. dians, and parallels of latitude.

It is stated in the account of the Mississippi, and the settlements on it, that the Sieur la Salle was the


a 2

first European who descended that river to its mouth:

- This is the general opinion; it is however proper to observe, that Father Louis Hennepin, a Franciscan Friar, and missionary, claims the credit of having descended the Mississippi, to the Gulf of Mexico, in the year 1680, which is two years before it was accomplished by la Salle. Notwithstanding the relation given by Father Hennepin, and the truth, and propriety of some of his remarks, I am of the opinion that he has either been mistaken himself, or attempted to deceive his readers. This Reverend Father by his own account* left the Illinois on the 8th of March 1680, and arrived at the mouth of the Mississippi on the 25th of the same month: from which it appears, that he, and his two men, were 17 days in performing the voyage; but from these 17 days, 7 are to be deducted for the delays they met with from different causes, they were therefore but 10 days actually employed in descending the river, which is scarcely possible: but the time spent in their return to the Illinois, taken in the most favourable point of view, is too short to give the least credibility to the relation, and is moreover at variance with itself. On the 9th of April we find Father Hennepin in the neighbourhood of the Akanses, where he appears to have spent several days, for he informs us that he left them on the 24th of the same month, when he, and his men began to make use of great precaution, to prevent being seen by their comrades, whom they had left at the Illinois, and who supposed they had gone to the north up the Mississippi agreeably to the directions of la Salle, instead of to the south. They appear by the same narrative; to have passed their friends undiscovered,


* Printed in London in 1698.

and on their journey north of the Illinois river were captured by the Indians, who kept them prisoners several months; but what is still more extraordinary, Father Hennepin states that they were captured on the 12th of April the same year! at this very time they appear by his own account, to have been at the Akanses, (or Arkanses,) which they did not leave until the 24th. From Father Hennepin's own account of his voyage down, and up the Mississippi, I am inclined to believe the whole to be a fiction, and that he proceeded northerly up the river at first agreeably to the instructions of la Salle ; and that he, and his two men, were captured by the Indians as stated by him. self, which circumscribed his excursions, and left a chasm in his discoveries, which he afterwards thought proper to fill up with this relation. .

Since the following work was put to the press, a great change has taken place in the political situation of

part of the country on the Mississippi: I mean the cession of Louisiana by the Republic of France, to the United States. On the advantages to be derived to the United States from this cession, there will probably be a great variety of opinions: the security of the navigation of the Mississippi, is certainly an object of the last importance to the inhabitants of our western country, and without which it might be difficult to retain them in the union; but on the other hand, an immediate possession, and sale of the lands west of the Mississippi, might have a tendency to scatter our citizens, already too widely extended to experience all the advantages of society, civilization, the arts, sciences, and good government, and lower the price of our public lands by bringing too great a quantity to market.


It does not appear by the cession of Louisiana to the United States, that we obtain the whole of both sides of the Mississippi, for by consulting No. 5. of the maps, it will be seen that the island of Orleans, which lies on the east side of the Mississippi, only extends north to Manshack: from thence northerly along the east side of the river, to the southern boundary of the United States, is still held by his Catholic Majesty as a part of West Florida, and which separates the island of Orleans, from the other

possessions of the United States on the east side of the river: but on the other hand, the cession of Louisiana separates the possessions of his Catholic Majesty on the Gulf of Mexico. On this subject a question of great importance, and by no means a speculative one, must naturally present itself to the mind of every person who carefully considers the situation of that country as held by the United States, and his Catholic Majesty. By the cession of Louisiana to the United States, we gain but little on the Gulf of Mexico, and are but little benefitted as a maritime people. The important, and safe harbours, in both the Floridas still remain in the possession of his Catholic Majesty. On the subject of those provinces, and their importance to the United States, I have been particular in the following work.

When we take into view the great extent of that part of our southern, and western country, the trade of which naturally flows into the Gulf of Mexico, and the small part of the coast to which we have any claim, a doubt will arise, whether it would not be for the interest of the United States to exchange that part

of the cession lying west of the Mississippi, with his Catholic Majesty for the two Floridas. The posses

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