Washington: Printed for the Author, 1809. 20pp. Disbound, else Fine.
Jean Gravier, a major landowner in New Orleans, claimed title to a river bank, known as the batture. The Mississippi River covered it for three months of the year; during the other nine months it was dry and, from time immemorial, used by the public for its alluvium deposits and other purposes.
Gravier's claim triggered litigation with the City, which refused to acknowledge his title. In 1807 the Louisiana Superior Court awarded judgment to Gravier. The unpopularity of the decision resulted in years of acrimony and more litigation, which Edward Livingston, Gravier's successor in title, carried on against the City as well as the national government. Poydras, the first delegate to Congress from the Territory of Orleans, argues "that the Batture of New Orleans is municipal property beyond the possibility of refutation." Denouncing the Court's decision, he says it "tends to destroy the whole faith and rights of the sovereign." Poydras reviews and demolishes the alleged title of Gravier, and explains in detail the public's long-standing use of the Batture.
FIRST EDITION. AI 18438 . Cohen 11695. Not in Thompson, Harv. Law Cat., Marvin, Marke, Eberstadt, Decker. Item #24241