Brookes’ Universal Gazetteer, page 460
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LOU    460    LOU

in 1748, taken by the English in 1758, and ceded
to them in 1763. The chief source of trade is the
cod-fishery. Long. 59. 55. W., lat. 45. 54.

Louisburg, p.t. Franklin Co. N. C. on Tar
river, 23 m. N. E. Raleigh.

Louisiana, one of the United States, bounded
N. by the territory of Arkansas and the State of
Mississippi, E. by Mississippi, S. by the Gulf of
Mexico, and W. by the Mexican province of Tex-
as. It extends from 29. to 33. N. lat. and from
89. to 94. W. long, and contains 48,220 square
miles. It is intersected by the Mississippi, Red
and Washita rivers and many inferior streams;
the western limit is washed by the Sabine.

Three quarters of this stale are without an ele-
vation, that can properly be called a hill. The
pine woods generally have a surface of a very
particular character, rising into fine swells, with ta-
ble surfaces on the summit, and valleys from thir-
ty to forty feet deep. But they are without any par-
ticular range, and like the waves of a high and reg-
ular sea. The alluvial soil of course is level, and
the swamps, which are only inundated alluvions,
are dead flats. A range of hills commences in gentle
elevations in Opelousas, rises gradually and diver-
ges towards the Sabine. In the vicinity of Natchi-
toches it preserves a distance,intermediate between
the Sabine and Red rivers,and continues to increase
in elevation to the western parts of the state. Seen
from the pine hills above Natchitoches, they have
in the distance, the blue outline, and the general
aspect of a range of mountains. Anotherline of
hills, not far from Alexandria, commences on the
north side of Red river, and separating between the
waters of that river and Dugdemony, unites with
another line of singular shaped mamelle hills,
that bound the alluvions of the Washita, as
bluffs, gradually diverging from that river as they
pass beyond the western limits of the state.
That very remote part of the parish of Natchito-
ches, called Allen’s settlement, is a high and roll-
ing country. There are also considerable hills
leyorid the Mississippi alluvions east of that
•iver. But, generally speaking, Louisiana may
je considered as one immense plain, divided, as
•espects its surface, into pine woods, prairies, al-
luvions, swamps, and hickory and oak lands.

The pine woods are generally rolling; some-
,imes, but not often level. They have almost
invariably a poor soil. The greater proportion
of the prairies is second rate land. Some of those
west of Opelousas, and between Washita and fled
river are even sterile. Some parts ofthe prairies
of Opelousas are of great fertility, and those of
Attakapas still more so. As a general fact, they
are more level, than those of the upper country.
A large belt of these prairies near the gulf is low,
marshy, and in rainy weather inundated. A
verv considerable extent of them has a cold clayey
soil, with a hard crust near the surface. In other
places the soil is of inky blaokness, and disposed
in the hot and dry season to crack in fissures of
a size to admit a man’s arm.

The bottoms are generally rich, but in very
different degrees. Those of the Mississippi and
Red river, and the bayous connected with those
streams, are more fertile and productive, than the
streams west of them, and between them and the
Sabine. The fertility of the richer bottoms of the
Mississippi and Red river is sufficiently attested
by the prodigious growth of the timber, the lux-
uriance, size and rankness of the cane, and the
cotton, the tangles of vines and creepers, the as-
stonishing size of the weeds, and the strength of
vegetation in general.

The most fertile district of Louisiana is a belt
of land called the
coast lying along the Mississip-
pi in the neighbourhood of New Orleans. It con-
sists of that part of the bottom or alluvion of the
Mississippi, which commences with the first cul-
tivation above the Balize, about forty miles below
New Orleans and extends 150 m. above the city.
Th,js belt, on each side of the river, is secured by
an embankment called a
levee, from six to eight
feet in height, and sufficiently broad, for the .most
part to furnish a fine high way.—The river in or-
dinary inundations would cover the greater part
of this belt from two to six feet in depth. It is
from one to two miles in width, and perhaps a
richer tract of land in the same extent can not be
found on the globe. The levee extends some-
thing higher on the west, than on the east side
of the river. Above the levee on the east bank
of the river are the parishes of Baton Rouge, and
East and West Feliciana. The latter parish re
ceived its name from its pleasant surface of fertile
hills and valleys, and its union of desirable cir-
cumstances for a planting country. This parish
presents a spectacle,very uncommon in this coun-
try ; the hills are covered with laurels, and for-
est trees, that denote the richest soils and which
are uncommonly productive. Here are some of the
richest planters and best plantations in the state.
The mouth of Bayou Sarah, the point of ship-
ment for this region, sends great quantities of
cotton to New Orleans. Some of the plantations
on this Bayou have from five to eight hundred
acres under cultivation, worked by a large num
ber of bands.

West of the Mississippi, the Bayous Lafourche
and Placquemine, effluxes, or outlets from the
Mississippi, have the same conformation of banks
and the same qualities of soil with the parent
stream; and, where not inundated, are equally
fertile. The sugar cane thrives as well upon
their banks. No inconsiderable portion of Atta-
kapam is of great fertility, as are smaller portions
of Opelousas, which is, however, more generally
adapted to become a grazing country. The Teche^
which meanders through Opelousas and Attaka-
pas has generally a very fertile alluvion, the low-
er courses of which are embellished with fine
plantations of the sugar cane. On the Atchafal-
aya the lands are rich, but too generally inun-
dated. The Courtableau, running through Ope-
lousas, has probably as rich a soil, as is to be found
in that parish. Approaching Red River from
Opelousas, by Bayou Boeuf, we find on that
bayou a soil, which some consider the richest
cotton land in Louisiana. Bayou Rouge has also
a fine soil, though it is as yet principally in a
state of nature. Bayou Robert, still nearer to
Red river, is of extraordinary fertility, and the cane
brake along its bank is of astonishing luxuriance.
Bayou Rapide, which gives name to the parish,
through which it runs, is a beautiful tract of land :
and the belt on either bank is laid out along its
whole course in fine cotton plantations.

The bottoms of Red river itself are well known,
as having a soil of extraordinary fertility: and
the lower courses of this river constitute the
paradise of cotton planters. The colour of the
soil is of a darkish red, and appears to derive its •
great fertility from a portion of salt intimately
mixed with it, and from its peculiar friability.

It derives its red colour from red oxide of iron.

It is a wide and deep valley, covered, while in

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Brookes' Universal Gazetteer of the World (1850)


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