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at 1 o'clock.  The sight of the noble river, fine plantations and splendid mansions, sure indications of prosperity and plenty, are quite cheering, after coming from the wild country and turbulent scenes that I have lately seen.

In conversation with Judge Baker he informed me that in Louisiana there are two District Courts held per annum; Parish Courts every two months; parish judge keeps records, clerk attends process, etc.  No juries in parish, only small causes tried there; it is also a court of probate.  Pleadings are simple.  Fees for suit and collection of debts, 5 per cent.  All other suits matter of contract.  Interest, legal, 5 per cent, per contract, any rate not exceeding 10 per cent.  Wife's interest in estates, one-half in all property acquired after marriage, entire in her own maiden property; entitled to one-fourth of usufruct of her husband's original property, if she be poor, and not more than four children -- if five or more, a child's part.  The parish judge sells the estate and appoints administrator.

In conversation with Captain Dowse, of the steamboat, he told me he was well acquainted with all the waters of Louisiana; says there is an island on the coast called Pecan Island, twenty miles long, of the finest cane land.  Would [make] ten or twelve good sugar plantations.  It is surrounded with a mud flat of five miles which makes it difficult to reach.  He thinks a bayou from the back part of it connects with the Mermentou; first rate for sugar; much game.  It could be reached by a canal cut through the swamp, which he thinks might easily be done.

Arrived at New Orleans in the night.

Friday, May 6, 1836

Took lodgings at the City Hotel.  Neither Triplett nor Neblett yet arrived.  The news of the day is, that Santa Anna is among the prisoners taken by Houston in his recent engagement.  It is not credited.  Saw Dr. Barton and Seth.  They have purchased of W. S. Allen about 20,000 acres of Texas land, and have taken the deed in my name, and wish me to give them a power of attorney to sell -- so that I am to have nothing to do with it.  Not a word said about any other agency in it, or commission!  I shall give them the power, but would not give much for their title.

Saw John F. Scott for a few minutes.  He is just about departing for Red River, in the Levant.  Says he will return to Vicksburg about the 20th.  Requested him to bring my trunk from Nachitoches, that I left in care of D. H. Vail.

H. M. Thompson and A. C. Cammack of Mobile are here.

Find here a number of Texeans, officers and others, raising troops.  Green, Conrad, Thornton, etc.  They fill the bar rooms of the public houses, and make too much display of uniforms, etc.

The crew of the Invincible are imprisoned and under trial for piracy, before

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The Diary of William Fairfax Gray, from Virginia to Texas, 1835-1837
Copyright 1997 William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies
Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas