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Extract of a Report Made to Government by Engineer Cambell


To prove the certainty still further of foreign American settlers removing to the British Dominions on the Mississippi, the reader is


presented with the following extract of a Report made to the Government by Engineer Cambell, on the subject of Louisiana:


I was treated by the French and lndians,of every denomination with hospitality and friendship. Their regret on OUR posts being deserted was apparent and unanimous, and declared that were they at present occupied, they would all remove to our side; even their Priests expressed a desire of becoming British subjects. One of them assured me that were our settlements re-established, and admitting them the privileges of religion, he would engage at a short notice to remove three hundred French families into the Province of West-Florida, and attach the different tribes of Indians to us in the strongest manner. I visited Humas, Jansaws, and Alabamas, among whom I distributed the few presents sent with me; they showed me every mark of friendship and distinction in their power, and solemnly promised an inviolable alliance towards us. The Indians are to the full as civilized as our peasants, are very industrious, and have been very useful to the French, under whose direction they are entirely. Most of them speak good French; and I am fully convinced that their hatred to the Spaniards is very pleasing to the French, the latter using their influence to heighten it, and at the same time to attach them to us; they tell them the French and English are one people, friends and brothers. They very much encourage and establish religion among them, and the Indians are in general very devout. On their hearing the arrival of the Spaniards, they assembled and waited on Mr˙ Aubrey, and in presence of General O' Reiley, demanded the reason why the French permitted the Spaniards to possess the Province of Louisiana. He answered them that as he had but few troops, the Spaniards were too powerful for him to oppose; whereupon O' Reiley showed them the Spanish Troops under arms; they replied, his troops were of no consequence, for that if the French chose to resist or expel, they would engage to supply a sufficient force for that purpose. The most reputable of the French, Dutch, and Acadian inhabitants desired to know if I could give them any assurance when our posts could be re-established. I told them they might rest assured that it would happen very soon, and referred to my instructions from Government, and the motive of my being sent up the River, as a confirmation of it. This created a general satisfaction among them.

The establishment of proper posts would undoubtedly draw away most of the inhabitants of Louisiana, many of whom are rich, experienced planters; and as to the few that would remain, we should have all their produce on the most advantageous terms, in exchange for the produce and manufactures of Britain; as Spain will never think of supplying them on any other terms than she does her other American Colonies. Thus, while we preserve our right to a free navigation, and give a necessary protection to our subjects, it is impossible to fail in carrying off not only the produce of this country, but also the money sent by Spain to defray their Government expenses, without the least violation or infringement of treaty on our side; for in this Province the Spaniards' necessities compel them to meet us more than half way, and run every risk to be supplied by us.

We have an immense tract of the most fertile land on our side of the Mississippi, the produce of which does not interfere with that of Great Britain. French wines have flourished in as great perfection there as in any part of France, on which accounts the inhabitants of Louisiana were restrained under severe penalties from cultivating vines. This shows that we might be supplied with a sufficient quantity of wine from West-Florida, the growth of that country, in exchange for our commodities. I am likewise, with certainty, assured that it is capable of producing the best silk in abundance. These are advantages well worthy that spirit of trade, from which the wealth and happiness of our State in general derive their source. To expatiate further on this matter is needless; the benefits to he derived from such an establishment are too obvious to be further enlarged upon.

But I must add, that no other country produces better or greater quantities of indigo, cotton, rice, Indian corn, tobacco, and hemp; which, together with the fur and peltry trade, which can be easily secured to ourselves by prudent management, are, in my opinion, advantages infinitely superiour to those of the Spanish mines.

Thus far Engineer Cambell.

Engineer Putnam, who lately visited Louisiana, and published an account of his expedition, coincides entirely with Mr˙ Cambell, and naturally enough ascribes the impatience of the French under a Spanish Government, among other causes, to the tyranny of General O' Reiley, who, without any process whatsoever, ordered six of their chief inhabitants to be executed upon his taking possession of the Country.