ART. II. — Commerce and Resources of Louisiana.
THIS state, the southernmost of the southern United States, was explored in 1632, by La Salle, and named Louisiana, in honor of Louis XIV. It is bounded north by Arkansas and Mississippi; east by Mississippi, from which it is separated by Mississippi river, to the 31st degree of north latitude; thence east in that parallel, to Pearl river, and down that river to its entrance in the Gulf of Mexico; southeast and south by the Gulf of Mexico, and west by Texas, from which it is separated by Sabine river, to the 32d degree of north latitude; and thence due north to 33 degrees north latitude, where it meets the south boundary of Arkansas. It is between 29 and 33 deg. north latitude, and between 88 deg. 40 min¨ and 94 deg. 25 min¨ west longitude, and is 250 miles long, from north to south. On the Gulf of Mexico, it is about 300 miles broad, and continues this width for 120 or 130 miles inland, when it suddenly contracts to the width of about 100 miles; and on the north boundary, it is 180 miles wide.
The state is divided into thirty-eight parishes, answering to counties in the other states; which, according to the official census of 1840, were as follows: —
|eastern district.||western district.|
|Baton Rouge, E.||8,138||Calcassieu||2,057|
|Baton Rouge, W.||4,638||Caldwell||2,017|
|Lafourche Interior||7,303||St. Martin's||8,674|
|St. John Baptist||5,776|
|Total||249,641||Total of state||352,411|
The population in 1810, was 76,556; in 1820, 153,407; in 1830, 215,575; and in 1840 it had increased, as will be seen by the preceding table, to 352,411; of whom 162,452 were slaves. Of the free popula. tion, in 1840, 89,744 were white males, and 68,710 white females; 11,526 colored males, 13,976 colored females.
The employments of the population, in 1840, are thus classified by the census, viz: — In agriculture, 79,289; in commerce, 8,549; in manufactures and trades, 7,565; in navigating the ocean, 1,322; in navigating canals, lakes, and rivers, 662; and in the learned professions, 1,018.
In 1699, a French settlement was begun at Ibberville, by M. Ibberville; who, in the attempt to plant the country, lost his life. His efforts were followed up by M. Crozat, a man of wealth, who held the exclusive trade of the country for a number of years. About the year 1717, he transferred his interest to a chartered company, at the head of which was the celebrated John Law, whose national bank, and Mississippi speculation, involved the ruin of half the French nobility. In 1731, the company resigned the concern to the crown; who, in 1782, ceded the whole of Louisiana to Spain. In 1800, Spain re-conveyed the province to the French, of whom it was purchased by the United States, in 1803, for about $15,000,000. This purchase included all the present territory of the United States, west of the Mississippi. Soon after the purchase, the present state of Louisiana was separated from the rest of the territory, under the namo of the territory of Orleans. In 1812, Louisiana was admitted to the Union as a state, and the part of West Florida west of Pearl river was annexed to it. In December, 1814, and for several days afterwards, the British made an attack upon New Orleans; but were repulsed, January 8th, 1815, by the Americans, under General Jackson, with the loss of about 3,000 men killed, wounded, and taken prisoners. The American loss is stated to have been only seven men killed, and six wounded. General Packenham, the British commander, was killed.
In 1764, British vessels began to visit the Mississippi. They would sail past the city, make fast to a tree opposite the present city of Lafayette, and trade with the citizens. The exports during the last year of its subjection to France, were $250,000; and the population of the city was 8,190. The commerce suffered by the restrictions of the Spanish. In 1785, the population of the city, exclusive of the settlements in the vicinity, was 4,980. A more liberal course of the Spanish government revived the trade of New Orleans; and French, British, and American vessels, began to visit New Orleans. In 1788, a fire consumed 900 houses. In 1791, the first company of French comedians arrived from Cape Francois, having fled from the massacre at St. Domingo. Other emigrants opened academies, the education of youth having been previously in the hands of priests and nuns. In 1792, Baron Carondelet arrived. He divided the city into four wards, and recommended lighting it, and employing watchmen. The revenue of the city did not amount to $7,000, and the lighting it required a tax of $1 12 1-2 cents on every chimney. He erected new fortifications, and had the militia trained. In 1794, the first newspaper was published in Louisiana. In 1795, permission was granted by the king to the citizens of the United States to deposit their merchandise at New Orleans, during a period often years. In 1796, the canal Carondelet was completed. On March 21st, 1801, Louisiana was ceded by Spain to the French republic; and on April 30th, 1803, Bonaparte,
413as first consul, sold it to the United States for about $15,000,000, and it was taken possession of on the 30th of November. The population of (he city did not then exceed 8,056, and of the province hut 49,473; 42,000 of whom were within the present bounds of Louisiana. The duties of the custom-house, the year preceding the cession, amounted to §117,515; which would have been greater, but for the corruption of the officers. The Roman Catholic religion was the only one publicly allowed. The revenues of the city, in 1802, were $19,278. There entered the Mississippi, this year, 256 vessels; of which 18 were public armed vessels; of American, 48 ships, 63 brigs, 50 schooners, and 9 sloops; of Spanish, 14 ships, 17 brigs, 4 polacres, 64 schooners, and 1 sloop; of French, 1 brig. In 1804, New Orleans was made a port of entry and delivery, and the bayou St. John a port of delivery. A city charter was granted New Orleans in 1805. January 10th, 1812, the first steamboat arrived at the city, from Pittsburgh; having descended in 259 hours.
The whole southern border of the state, from Pearl river to the Sabine, consists either of sea-marsh or vast prairies, which occupy about one-fifth of the surface of the state; and on the borders of the streams are timbered lands. The tract about the mouths of the Mississippi, for 30 miles, is one continued swamp, destitute of trees, and covered with a species of coarse reed, lour or five feet high. The prospect of the country, from the mast of a ship, is an extended and dreary waste. Along the whole border of the Gulf of Mexico, a sea-marsh extends inland, for 20 or 30 miles. Back of this, the land gradually rises a little, and constitutes the prairies. A large extent of country is annually overflowed by the Mississippi, and its outlets. From lat. 32 deg. to 31 deg., the average width of overflowed land is 20 miles; from lat. 31 deg. to the efflux of La Fourche, the width is about 40 miles. All the country below the La Fourche, with little exception, is overflowed. By a survey made by order of the government of the United States, in 1828, it was found that the river overflowed an extent of 5,000,000 of acres, a great proportion of which is at present unfit for cultivation. A part of this is covered by a heavy growth of timber, and an almost impenetrable growth of cane, and other shrubbery. This becomes dry on the retiring of the river to its natural channels, and has a soil of great fertility, and which might, by labor, be rendered fit for cultivation. There are, in some parts, basins or depressions, in which the water remains until it is evaporated, or absorbed by the earth. These, by draining, might constitute rice-fields. The sea-marsh is partially overflowed by the tides, and especially when driven in by the equinoxial gales. In the alluvial territory, are small bodies of prairie lands, slightly elevated, without timber, and of great fertility. More extended prairies constitute a large portion of the state. The pine woods, which are extensive, have generally a rolling surface, and a poor soil. The greater part of the prairies has a second rate soil; but some parts of those of Opelousas, and particularly of Attakapas, have great fertility, and feed extensive herds of cattle. More earth is deposited by the Mississippi in its overflow on its immedate margin, than further back; and therefore the land is higher adjoining the river, than in the rear of its banks. This alluvial margin, of a breadth from 400 yards to one and a half miles, is a rich soil; and, to prevent the river from inundating the valuable tract in the rear, and which could not be drained, an artificial embankment is raised on the margin of the river, called the Levee. On the east side of
414the river, this embankment commences 60 miles above Now Orleans, and extends down the river more than 120 miles. On the west shore, it commences at Point Coupee, 172 miles above New Orleans. Along this portion of the river, its sides present many beautiful and finely cultivated plantations, and a continued succession of pleasant residences. The country between the Mississippi, Ibberville, and Pearl rivers, in its southern parts, is generally level, and highly productive in cotton, sugar, rice Indian corn, and indigo. The northern part has an undulating surface, and has a heavy natural growth of white, rod, and yellow oak, hickory black walnut, sassafras, magnolia, and poplar. In the northwest part, Red river, after entering the state by a single channel, and flowing about 30 miles, spreads out into a great number of channels, forming many lakes, islands, and swamps, over a space of 50 miles long, and 6 broad. Here the fallen timber, floated down by the stream, has collected, and formed the celebrated raft, which formerly extended 160 miles, obstructing the navigation of the river. Most of it has been removed by order of the general government, and the remainder will, ere long, be cleared away, opening this fine river to an extensive steamboat navigation. The bottoms on this river are from one to ten miles wide, and are of great fertility, with a natural growth of willow, cotton-wood, honey-locust, papaw, and buckeye. On the rich uplands grow elm, ash, hickory, mulberry, black walnut, with a profusion of grape-vines. On the less fertile and sandy uplands of the state, are white pitch and yellow pines, and various kinds of oak. The lower courses of lied river have been denominated the paradise of cotton-planters.
The staple productions of this state are cotton, sugar, and rice. Sugar, cane grows chiefly on the shores of the gulf, and the bayous Teche, La Fourche, and Plaquemine, and in some parts of Attakapas, south of 31 degrees north latitude. No cultivation yields a richer harvest, though the labor of the hands is severe. There is a vast amount of sugar lands not brought into cultivation. The quantity of land adapted to sugar has been computed at 250,000 acres; of rice, at 250,000 acres; and,of cotton, at 2,400,000. Rice is principally confined to the banks of the Mississippi, where irrigation is easy.
There were in this state, in 1840, 98,888 horses and mules, 381,248 neat cattle, 98,072 sheep, 323,220 swine; poultry was raised to the value of $283,559. There were produced 60 bushels of wheat, 1,812 of rye, 5,952,912 of Indian corn, 107,353 of oats, 834,341 of potatoes, 119,824 pounds of tobacco, 3,604,534 of rice, 152,555,368 of cotton, 119,947,720 of sugar, 24,651 tons of hay, 49,283 pounds of wool, 1,012 of wax. The products of the dairy were valued at $153,069; of the orchard, at $11,769; of lumber, at $66,106. There were made 2,884 gallons of wine, and 2,233 barrels of tar, pitch, or turpentine.
The climate is mild, though the winters are more severe than in the same latitude on the Atlantic coast. The summers in the wet and marshy parts are unhealthy, and New Orleans has been frequently visited by the yellow fever. But a considerable portion of the state is healthy.
The Mississippi river divides the state from Mississippi for a course of 450 miles, and enters the state wholly, 350 miles from its mouth, by the course of the channel of the river, and divides into several branches or outlets; which, diverging from the main river, wind their way slowly to the Gulf of Mexico, carrying off its surplus waters in times of flood, and dividing the southern part of the state into a number of large islands.
415The Atchafalaya, called here the Chaffalio, leaves the Mississippi on the westside, a little below the mouth of Red river, and is supposed to carry off as much water as Red river brings in; and, inclining to the E. of S., it enters Atchafalaya bay, in the Gulf of Mexico. The outlet Plaquemine leaves the Mississippi 128 miles below the outlet of Atchafalaya, with which the main stream at length unites. Thirty-one miles below the Plaquemine, and 81 above New Orleans, is the outlet of La Fourche, which communicates with the Gulf of Mexico. Below the La Fourche, numerous other smaller streams leave the Mississippi, at various points. On the east side of the Mississippi, the principal outlet from that river is the Ibberville, which passes to the Gulf of Mexico through lakes Maurepas, Pontchartrain, and Borgne. This outlet on the east, and Atchafalaya on the west, bound what is denominated the Delta of the Mississippi. The Mississippi is navigable for vessels of any size, though the bar at its mouth has on it but 16 or 17 feet of water. Red river crosses the state in a southeasterly direction, and enters the Mississippi 240 miles above New Orleans. Washita river runs in a southerly direction, and enters Red river a little above its entrance into the Mississippi. The other rivers are Black, Tensaw, Sabine, Calcasieu, Mermentau, Vermillion, Teche, Pearl, Amite, and Ibberville. The largest lakes are Pontchartrain, Maurepas, Borgne, Chetimaches, Mermentau, Calcasieu, and Sabine.
The vast trade of the valley of the Mississippi centres at New Orleans — a valley which, for its extent and fertility, has not its like in the world. The exports of this state amounted, in 1840, to $34,236,936; but these exports extensively belong to the groat and fertile states of the great valley. Its imports were $10,873,190.
The following table, exhibiting the value of the exports and imports of Louisiana, we have compiled with care, from the reports of the secretary of the treasury, on commerce and navigation. It shows the progress of the commerce of Louisiana, from October 1st, 1820, to the present time.
In 1840, there were 24 commercial, and 381 commission houses in Louisiana, engaged in foreign trade, with a capital of $16,770,000; 2,465 Retail stores, with a capital of $14,301,024; 597 persons in the lumber trade, with a capital of 260,045; 3 persons employed in internal transportation, with 291 butchers, packers, &c., employing a capital of $144,523.
The exports of New Orleans consist chiefly of cotton, tobacco, sugar molasses, flour, pork, bacon, lard, beef, lead, whiskey, corn, &c. The following table shows the quantity of cotton exported from New Orleans to the different ports in the United States and Europe; for the last five years, commencing on the 1st of September, 1839, and ending on the 31st of August in each year: —
|Glasgow and Grsenock,||21,265||35,831||15,574||20,415||26,603|
|Cowes, Falmouth, &c.||14,893||15.939||10,740||9,188||13,560|
|Cork, Belfast, &c.||2,182||2,936||1,108||4,393||4,549|
|Nantz, Cette, & Rouen,||3,127||8,374||2,930||1,914||5,609|
|Rotterdam and Ghent||512||2,173||2,907||709|
|Spain and Gibraltar, —||401||78||561||1,508|
|Genoa, Trieste, &c.||19,704||17,662||10,610||16,801||25,652|
|Other foreign ports||1,208||1,342||174||90||1,044|
|Providence, R. I.||211||674||1,910||3,132||1,811|
|Other coastwise ports||3,230||3,000||3,716||581||6,020|
The quantity of cotton exported as above, during the five years, (from 1839 to 1844,) was distributed as follows: —
|North of Europe||17,907||50,832||21,207||9,836||23,742|
|S. of Europe, and China,||52,855||43,543||23,506||36,364||57,754|
The exports of tobacco, during the same years, (1839 to 1844,) were as follows: — (See next page.)
|Glasgow and Greenock,|
|Cowes, Falmouth, &c.||5,424||10,798||6,827.||6,681||992|
|Cork, Belfast, &c.|
|Nantz, Celte, & Rouen,|
|Rotterdam and Ghent||917||2,933||1,882|
|Spain and Gibraltar||10,681||4,496||7,204||4,142||3,843|
|Genoa, Trieste, &c.||1,556||1,760||550||2||44|
|Other foreign ports||1,177||217||516||687||343|
|Providence, R. I.,|
|Other coastwise ports||1,100||2,194||225||287||482|
The exports of tobacco, as above, were distributed as follows: —
|North of Europe||20,175||21,618||20,252||8,040||6,005|
|S. of Europe, and China,||14,349||7,536||9,053||5,645||5,002|
The following table shows the comparative arrivals, exports, and stocks of cotton and tobacco, at New Orleans, for ten years, from 1st of September to 31st of August, in each year: —
The exports of sugar, in each of the five years, (from 1839 to 1844,) were —
|Charleston, S. C.||1,502||1,090||100||614||2|
|Providence and Bristol, R. I.|
|Richmond and Petersburg, Va.||1,590||1||2,337||1,419||56|
|Alexandria, D. C.||280||592||539|
|Apalachicola and Pensacola||1,070||548||565||306||517||548|
|Charleston, S. C.||1,716||1||1,513||88|
|Providence and Bristol, R. I.||3||20||12|
|Richmond and Petersburgh, Va.||1,520||64||1,923||179|
|Alexandria, D. C.||374||2||372|
|Apalachicola and Pensacola||566||782||947||1,567|
The exports of molasses, in each of the five years, (from 1839 to 1844,) were —
|Charleston, S. C.||5,467||63||3,986||270||3,311|
|Providence and Bristol, R.. I.||475||55||576||103||345||347|
|Richmond and Petersburg, Va.||1,581||216||2,316||11||2,843|
|Alexandria, D. C.||350||575||182||934|
|Apalachicola and Pensacola||2,440||2,260||1,290|
|Charleston, S. C.||550||5,216||2,309|
|Providence and Bristol, R.. I.||208||103||99||251|
|Richmond and Petersburg, Va.||91||716||89||1,694|
|Alexandria, D. C.||85||153||98|
|Apalachicola and Pensacola||1,124||51||1,710|
We give, below, the exports of flour, pork, bacon, lard, beef, lead, and corn, for the two last years. This table includes the exports to Mobile, via the Pontchartrain railroad; but the vessels reported in the clearances as having provisions and merchandise, are not included.
|Other coastwise p'ts,||48,718||9,229||10,424||13,327||2,640||2,455||33,536||60,278|
|Other foreign ports,||108,679||26,491||157||151,382||15,192||154,955||53,516|
|Other coastwise p'ts,||40,717||6,974||6,678||6,705||638||20,663||128,266|
|Other foreign ports,||82,916||10,885||2,810||298,861||1,905||135,556||135||193,314|
The arrival of ships, barks, brigs, schooners, and steamboats, at New Orleans, for five years, from September 1st, to 31st of October, has been as follows: —
The following table shows the receipts of the principal articles of produce
420from the interior, into New Orleans, during the year ending 3lst August, 1844, with their estimated average, and total value: —
|Apples, bbls.||43,969||$2. 00||$87,938|
|Bacon, assorted, hhds. and casks||19,563||25 00||479,075|
|Bacon, assorted, boxes||556||14 00||7,784|
|Bacon hams, hhds¨ and tcs.||19,070||30 00||572,100|
|Bacon, in bulk, Ibs.||1,203,821||3||36,114|
|Bale rope, coils||83,684||6 00||502,104|
|Beans, bbls.||7,619||3 50||26,666|
|Butter, kegs and firkins||18,831||4 00||75,324|
|Butter, bbls.||500||12 00||6,000|
|Beeswax, bbls.||1,909||40 00||76,360|
|Beef, bbls.||49,363||4 50||222,133|
|Beef, hhds.||480||33 00||15,840|
|Beef, dried, Ibs.||55,610||6||3,336|
|Buffalo robes, packs||4,901||40 00||217,800|
|Cotton, bales||910,854||32 00||29,147,328|
|Corn meal, bbls.||3,769||3 00||11,307|
|Corn, in ear,||165,354||50||82,677|
|Corn, shelled, sacks||360,052||90||324,468|
|Cheese, casks||12,583||12 00||150,996|
|Candles, boxes||3,913||3 00||10,239|
|Cider, bbls.||1,419||3 50||4,961|
|Dried apples and peaches,||2,001||2 50||5,002|
|Feathers, bags||4,568||15 00||67,860|
|Flaxseed, tcs.||4,273||7 50||32,047|
|Flour, bbls.||502,507||4 00||2,018,028|
|Furs, hhds., bundles, and boxes||800,000|
|Hemp, bundles||33,062||11 00||418,682|
|Iron, pig, tons||100||25 00||2,500|
|Lard, hhds.||212||45 00||9,540|
|Lard, bbls.||119,717||11 00||1,316,887|
|Lard, kegs||373,341||2 25||840,017|
|Leather, bundles||1,785||18 00||32,130|
|Lime, western, bbls.||3,767||1 00||3,767|
|Lead, pigs||639,269||2 15||1,374,428|
|Lend, bnr, kegs and boxes||851||12 00||10,212|
|Molasses, (estimated crop, gallons||5,000,000||20 00||1,000,000|
|Oil, liiifced,||2,260||30 00||67,800|
|Oil, castor,||2,757||32 00||88,224|
|Oil, lard,||2,647||20 00||52,940|
|Peach brandy,||49||13 00||637|
|Pork, hhds.||8,800||20 00||176,005|
|Pork, in bulk, Ibs.||7,792,000||3 1/8||243,720|
|Porter and sle, bbls.||604||5 00||3,020|
|Packing yarn, reels||1,164||4 00||4,656|
|Skins, deer, packs||1,939||25 00||48,475|
|Skins, bear,||69||15 00||1,035|
|Shor, kegs||4,714||13 00||61,262|
|Soap, boxes||7,399||$3 00||$22,197|
|Staves, No.||1,362,000||25 00||3,405,000|
|Sugar, (estimated crop,) rmds.||140,316||60 00||8,418,960|
|Spanish mops, bales||2,347||6 00||14,622|
|Tallow, bbls.||7,323||13 50||98,310|
|Tobacco, leaf, hhds.||70,435||40 00||2,817,400|
|Tobacco, strips,||12,000||100 00||1,200,000|
|Tobacco, chewing, kegs and boxes||7,695||12 00||92,540|
|Tobacco, bales||4,771||2 50||11,927|
|Twine, bundles and boxes||2,099||5 00||10,495|
|Vinegar, bbls.||318||2 50||795|
|Window glass, boxes||2,066||4 00||8,264|
|Wheat, bbls. and sacks||86,014||2 25||193,531|
|Other various articles, estimated at||4,000,000|
|Total in 1842 43,||53,728,054|
|Total in 1841 42,||45,716,045|
The manufactures of Louisiana are less considerable. Home-made, or family manufactures, amounted to $65,190; two cotton factories, with 706 spindles, employed 23 persons, producing articles to the amount of $18,900, with a capital of $22,000; six furnaces produced 1,400 tons of cast iron, and two forges produced 1,366 tons of bar iron, employing 145 persons, and a capital of $357,000; 25 tanneries employed 88 persons, and a capital of $132,025; seven other manufactories of leather, as saddleries, &c., produced articles to the amount of $108,500, with a capital of $89,550; one pottery employed 18 persons, producing articles to the amount of Si,000, with a capital of $3,000; five sugar refineries produced to the amount of $770,000; 101 persons produced confectionary to the amount of $20,000; machinery was produced to the amount of $5,000, and hardware and cutlery to the amount of $30,000; 51 persons produced carriages and wagons to the amount of $23,350, employing a capital of $15,780; mills of various kinds produced articles to the amount of $706,785, employing 972 persons, and a capital of $1,870,795; vessels were built to the amount of $80,500; 129 persons manufactured furniture to the amount of $2,300, with a capital of $576,050; five distilleries produced 285,520 gallons, and one brewery 2,400 gallons, employing 27 persons, and a capital of $110,000; 75 persons manufactured 2,202,200 pounds of soap, 3,500,030 pounds of tallow candles, and 4,000 pounds of wax or spermaceti candles, with a capital of $115,500; 248 brick or stone houses, and 619 wooden houses, were built by 1,484 persons, and cost $2,736,944; 35 printing-offices, five binderies, 11 daily, 21 weekly, and two semi-weekly newspapers, and three periodicals, employed 392 persons, and a capital of $193,700. The total amount of capital employed in manufactures, was $6,430,699.
At the commencement of 1840, the state had 16 banks, with 31 branches, with an aggregate capital of $41,736,768, and a circulation of $4,345,533. In 1842, the state debt amounted to $20,820,889. The public debt consists almost entirely of state bonds, issued to the different banks, which bonds have been sold in Europe; and the proceeds constitute the capitals of the banks, which are loaned to the stockholders on mortgages of their landed property. These mortgages are estimated to be worth $25,400,000.
Several works of internal improvement have been undertaken.
422Pontchartrain railroad extends from New Orleans four and a half miles, to Lake Pontchartrain, and cost originally $200,000; and, with its improvements, $500,000. West Feliciana railroad extends from St. Francisville, on Mississippi river, twenty miles, to Woodville, Miss. Orleans-street railroad, through Orleans-street, is one and a half miles long, and connects New Orleans with the bayou St. Johns, and cost $12,000. New Orleans and Carrolton railroad extends from New Orleans six and a half miles, to Carrolton, passing through Lafayette. It has city branches, making its whole length eleven and a half miles. Various other railroads and canals have been projected, and some work has been done upon them, but they are at present suspended.
423dividing the city into three municipalities, ranking them, according to their population. The first includes the city proper, extending, with that width, from the river back to Lake Pontchartrain, and occupying the centre; the second adjoining it above, and the third below, both extending from the river to the lake. Each municipality has a distinct council for the management of its internal affairs, which do not encroach on the general government.
New Orleans is often familiarly called the Crescent city, from its form; for, though the streets are straight, those which follow the river have two turns at large angles, giving it something of this form. The river, opposite to the city, is half a mile wide, and from 100 to 160 feet deep, and it preserves the same width to near its entrance into the Gulf of Mexico. On the bar at its mouth it has a depth of from 13 1-2 to 16 feet of water, with a soft muddy bottom. Large and powerful steam tow-boats, some of which will tow six large vessels, are constantly employed, to facilitate the passage of vessels to and from the gulf. A canal, four and a half miles long, leads from a basin within the city to Lake Pontchartrain, through the bayou St. John. Through this canal, the trade of the country bordering on Lake Pontchartrain and Borgne, and all the coast of the north part of the Gulf of Mexico, as far as Florida, comes to the city, and a considerable fleet of sloops is often seen in the basin. A railroad, also, four and a half miles long, connects the city with Lake Pontchartrain, which will probably supersede the use of the canal. A harbor is formed in the lake, at the termination of the railroad, and a considerable village is there springing up. The facilities for trade are great, and well improved. The exports, including the foreign and coasting trade, are not less than $40,000,000, which are greater than those of any other city in the United States; but its imports are vastly less. Much of the western country, which exports its produce by the way of New Orleans, imports its goods from New York. In 1842, 740,267 bales of cotton were exported to foreign ports, and coastwise. New Orleans is growing rapidly, but will never probably equal New York; though it is very likely to become the second city in the Union. The licensed and enrolled tonnage, in 1840, was 126,613. Its unhealthiness is against it, though this has often been exaggerated; and the same is true of its morals. It is said to be an orderly and peaceable city, and its inhabitants are distinguished for their politeness, hospitality, and kindness to the distressed.
According to the census of 1840, there were 8 commercial, and 375 commission houses in foreign trade, with a capital of $16,490,000; 1,881 retail stores, with a capital of $11,018,225; 32 lumber-yards, with a capital of $67,800; 6 furnaces, with a capital of $355,000; hardware was manufactured to the amount of $30,000; one cotton factory, with 700 spindles, employed a capital of $20,000; tobacco manufactures employed a capital of $60,000; 1 tannery had a capital of $50,000; 2 distilleries employed a capital of $56,000; 3 sugar refineries produced to the amount of $700,000; 3 steam saw-mills had a capital of $175,000; 18 printing. offices, 5 binderies, 9 daily, 6 weekly, and 2 semi-weekly newspapers, employed a capital of $162,200; 201 brick or stone houses, and 210 wooden houses, were built, at a cost of $2,234,300. The total capital employed in manufactures was $1,774,200. There were 2 colleges, with 105 students; 10 academies, with 440 students; 25 schools, with 975 scholars.