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of discussions with the Company, and unforseen lawsuits among themselves. And furthermore, most of those possessors are retaining for a long time vast tracts of uncleared lands, with no other purpose of keeping them except for sale. The Directors of said Company pray his Majesty to rescind and annul those orders issued up to the end of the year 1723; to rescind and annul all orders of concessions of lands which might have been granted in allodium, within the Province, to be found on both sides of the River St. Louis from the stream of Manchac to the sea, by reducing to twenty arpents frontage by the ordinary depth, the concessions of greater extent of lands which might have been granted in said Province and reuniting the surplus to the domain of the Company, and to declare hunting and fishing free in the entire Colony," etc.
The above was a report to the King, by Sieur de Pelletier, Councillor of State. His Majesty being present in his Council, ordained, by Article 7, the recision and annulment of all orders of concession heretofore granted in allodium on both sides of the River St. Louis, from Manchac to the sea, as prayed for by the Directors.
The evident intent and purpose of that edict was to strike at Bienville and deprive him of his two vast concessions and of the large revenue he was deriving therefrom.
We now come to the Jesuits' Plantation. The Jesuit Fathers, whilst carrying on their missionary work in Louisiana, foresaw a great future for New Orleans, and accordingly purchased thirty-two arpents front on the Mississippi River, adjoining the upper limits of New Orleans, and forming part of the concessions made to Bienville, as stated above, as follows:
I. A tract of land from Bienville, individually, on April 11th, 1726, consisting of twenty arpents front on the Mississippi River by fifty arpents in depth, immediately adjoining the upper limits of New Orleans.
II. Another tract of land from Bienville, individually, on May 1st, 1728, consisting of five arpents front on the Mississippi River by forty arpents in depth, adjoining the above tract of land.
III. Another tract of land from Cæsar Le Breton des Chapelles, on December 2nd, 1743, consisting of seven arpents front on the Mississippi River by forty arpents in depth, adjoining the above tract of land.
1. TITLE TO THE TRACT OF TWENTY ARPENTS. I now take pleasure in submitting to your consideration the following extracts taken from a copy of the deed of sale by Bienville to the Jesuit Fathers on April 11th, 1726 :
DEED. By an act passed before Me. Caron and Chevre, Notaries, at Paris, France, on April 11th, 1726, JEAN BAPTISTE LEMOYNE de BIENVILLE, styling himself Commandant-General of Louisiana, and Chevalier of the Military Order of St. Louis, residing at rue Champ Fleury, in a house having for a sign a “Pineapple,” situated in the Parish of St. Germain L’Auxerrois, Paris, France, Sold and transferred, with all warranties unto:
The Reverend Father Louis D'AVANGOUR, religious priest of the Society of Jesus, residing in Paris, at the Royal College of “Louis Le Grand," rue St. Jacques, acting for and in the name of his said Society, by virtue of a general power of attorney granted to him by the Reverend Father Bodin, Superior of said Society of Jesus, in the Province of France, on the
at Paris, the following described property, to wit:
“Twenty (20) arpents of land front on the Mississippi River, with all the depth to the extent of fifty arpents, without, however, infringing on the lands ceded or to be ceded by the said de Bienville to the extent of forty arpents in depth, the aforesaid twenty arpents being situated above and adjoining the City of New Orleans, facing the Mississippi River, and in depth running Westward, one-quarter North-West, adjoining the limits of the City,"
This was a part of the same property which had been ceded to Bienville by the India Company, by concession dated March 27th, 1719, as above stated. The buildings and improvements on said plantation included a frame house of about fifty feet in length, also a main building, a pigeon house and fruit garden. The lands, with the improvements thereon, were sold together with a negro man named “Brisefer,” his wife and daughter (slaves), 3 bulls, 1 mare, 6 sheep, 1 ram, 4 shegoats, 1 he-goat, donkies (with the exception of one female donkey), and also all pigeons in pigeon houses.
Father de Beaubois agreed, in the deed, to cause himself to be put in possession of everything on the place by Captain de Noyan, nephew of Bienville, residing in New Orleans, or by others having authority to act, upon proper receipt and discharge being granted. It was further stipulated in said deed that the twenty arpents, buildings and cattle thereon were to be enjoyed and disposed of by the said Father de Beaubois, Superior of the Society of Jesus in the Province of Louisiana, presently living in the College of Louis Le Grand, Paris, and accepting same in full ownership; the possession thereof to commence May 1st, 1727.
This sale was made for the sum of 12,000 livres, payable in an annual and perpetual rent of 600 livres to Bienville or bearer, in Paris, in four equal payments, quarterly every year, the first to fall due July 1st, 1727, and this to continue as long as said rent shall remain due, and the principal unpaid. It was stipulated in said deed that the arrears of said rent, and the principal of the sale, were to be paid to said Bienville only in gold and silver, and never in royal paper-money, notwithstanding all edicts, decrees and declarations of the King to the contrary. The said rent-annuity was redeemable at any time, by the payment to Bienville of the sum of 12,000 livres, in two equal payments of 6,000 each, with all arrears of rent due and exigible, in gold and silver; said payments to be made only after notice, in writing, to be given to Bienville, at his domicile in Paris, France, one month before quarterly payment.
On June 27th, 1730, before Caron and Chevre, Notaries at Paris, Bienville acknowledged to have received, at his residence in Paris, from Reverend Father D’Avangour, in gold and silver, for and in the name and for account of the Society of Jesus, the sum of 12,000 livres, for and in consideration of the reimbursement of the 600 livres of rent annuity constituted in the above mentioned deed of sale, and for which the said Bienville granted a full receipt, acquittance and discharge. The whole will more fully appear by reference to a copy of the aforesaid sale passed before Caron and Chevre, Notaries, at Paris, France, of record among the archives at the City Hall in New Orleans; the original deed being in the office of Me. Gillet, Notary, successor to Me. Chevre, at Paris. I take pleasure in submitting to you a copy translated from French of said act of sale by which Bienville conveyed to the Jesuit Fathers, under date of April 11th, 1726, his country residence and farm, then adjoining the upper limits of the old Carré.
II. TITLE TO THE TRACT OF FIVE ARPENTS. By an act passed before Me. Rossard, Royal Notary in New Orleans, Louisiana, and Clerk of the Superior Council, dated May 1st, 1728, le Sieur de Noyan, acting as the agent and attorney in fact of his uncle Bienville, sold to the Jesuit Fathers, in perpetuity, a tract of land measuring five (5) arpents front on the Mississippi River, by forty (40) arpents in depth, and adjoining the tract of land above described, with charge to pay six livres of rent for each arpent, also two capons and two days of labor for each arpent.
III. TITLE TO THE SEVEN ARPENTS TRACT. By an act passed before Henry, Notary, on December 2nd, 1743, Cæsar Le Breton des Chapelles, Comptroller of the Navy and First Council of the Province of Louisiana, sold to the Society of Jesus seven (7) arpents front on the Mississippi River by forty (40) arpents in depth and adjoining the above tract of five arpents.
THE COMMONS OR TERRE COMMUNE. A certain tract of land in the form of a triangle ambligone was ceded to the Society of Jesus, on the 10th day of August, 1734, by Bienville and Salomon, from the extreme boundary limit of the City of New Orleans, up to the main source of Bayou St. John; making in superficies 339 arpents 200 toises square, taken from the commons of the City of New Orleans; which tract of land was ceded to the Jesuit Fathers in consideration of a canal which they obligated themselves to make, up to the branch of Bayou St. John, in order to procure a waterway to the City, with the express stipulation that it be confirmed by his Majesty within two years, and in default thereof, said lands were to be reunited to the domain of the King. The said obligation was never complied with by the Jesuits, hence said tract of land remained the property of the crown, and did not figure in the seizure proceedings against the Jesuit Fathers in 1763.
The first three tracts of land as described above, and united together, constituted, in 1743, one large property, called the “Jesuits' Plantation,” having a front of thirty-two arpents on the Mississippi River by fifty arpents in depth and adjoining the upper limits of New Orleans; which plantation, outside of the city limits, was under the jurisdiction of the Syndic of "Tchoupitoulas.” In accordance with the stipulations contained in the deed of sale by Bienville to the Jesuit Fathers, Reverend Nicholas Ignace de Beaubois formally took possession of Bienville's plantation on May 1st, 1727.
Mention may be made here that he is the same Father de Beaubois who had suggested to Perrier, Commanding General, successor to Bienville, to invite the Ursuline Nuns to come to New Orleans to educate the girls of the Province. And it was on August 6th, 1727, that the Ursuline Nuns arrived in New Orleans with several Jesuit Fathers; the said Nuns were given the former residence of Bienville, where they lived until