Washington: A. & G. Way, Printers, 1810. 15pp. Dbd. Minor toning to titlepage, occasional light foxing. Very good. Item #WRCAM55525
One of the five publications by Julien Poydras concerning the famous New Orleans "batture case." The case was one of the several bitter controversies of Thomas Jefferson's administration and the remaining years of the Federal era. Edward Livingston, a prominent New Orleans attorney, claimed ownership of a strip of alluvial land (the batture) at New Orleans which had long been used as a common boat landing. Jefferson took up the case of the city of New Orleans, asserting government ownership up to the high water mark, and had a federal marshal forcibly dispossess Livingston. This resulted in a celebrated case of the use of federal power which continued to be bitterly argued, so much so that Jefferson felt constrained, four years after leaving the presidency, to compose his legal reasoning in a pamphlet, one of only three full-scale works published under his name in his lifetime. It also brought about one of the few civil suits ever allowed against a sitting President. The case set important precedents in the interaction of federal and state power and had important local ramifications. Julien de Lallande Poydras (1746-1824), a French-born Louisiana poet and philanthropist, was a delegate from the territory of Orleans to the Eleventh United States Congress from 1809 to 1811. Although he had a compelling legal claim to the batture himself, Poydras argues forcefully in the present speech "against any resolution, bill, or other measure, which can have the least tendency to violate the sacred right of the public" to the Batture. Calling New Orleans "the great mart" of the Ohio and Mississippi River areas, Poydras explains graphically that acceptance of Livington's claims would be disastrous. The speech follows three pamphlets on the subject - one in French, published in New Orleans in 1808, and two English-language pamphlets published in Washington in 1809 - and is preceded by another speech delivered before Congress on February 2, 1810, which was also published in Washington. A rare speech. OCLC indicates just seven physical copies in institutions. This is the first copy of the March speech ever handled by this firm. SABIN 64846. SHAW & SHOEMAKER 21129. SOWERBY 3489. COHEN 11698. DAB XV, pp.163-64. OCLC 17535548.