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Cacasotte, as soon as the robbers had taken possession of the barge, began to make every demonstration of uncontrollable joy. He danced, sang, laughed, and soon induced his captors to believe that they had liberated him from irksome slavery, and that his actions were the ebullitions of pleasure. His constant attention to their smallest wants and wishes, too, won their confidence, and whilst they kept a watchful eye on the other prisoners, they permitted him to roam through the vessel unmolested and unwatched. This was the state of things that the negro desired; he seized the first opportunity to speak to Mr. Beausoliel, and beg permission to rid him of the dangerous intruders. He laid his plan before his

. master, who, after a great deal of hesitation, acceded to it. Cacasotte then spoke to two of the crew, likewise negroes, and engaged them in the conspiracy. Cacasotte was cook, and it was agreed between him and his fellow conspirators, that the signal for dinner should be the signal for action. The hour of dinner at length arrived. The robbers assembled in considerable numbers on the deck, and stationed themselves at the bow and stern, and along the sides, to prevent any rising of the men. Cacasotte went among them with the most unconcerned look and demeanor imaginable. As soon as he perceived that his comrades had taken the stations he had assigned them, he took his position at the bow of the boat, near one of the robbers, a stout, herculean man, who was armed cap-a-pie. Every thing being arranged to his satisfaction, Cacasotte gave the preconcerted signal, and immediately the rob

ber near him was struggling in the waters. With the speed of lightning, he went from one robber to another, and in less than three minutes, he had thrown fourteen of them overboard. Then seizing an oar, he struck on the head those who attempted to save themselves by grappling the running boards, then shot with the muskets that had been dropped on deck, those who swam away. In the mean time, the other conspirators were not idle, but did almost as much execution as their leader. The deck was soon cleared, and the robbers that remained below, were too few in number to offer any resistance.

Having got rid of his troublesome visitors, Mr. Beausoliel deemed it prudent to return to New Orleans. This he accordingly did, taking care when he arrived near the Cottonwood creek, to keep the opposite side of the river. He reached New Orleans, and gave an account of his capture and liberation to the Governor, who thereupon issued an order, that the boats bound for St. Louis in the following spring, should all go in company, to afford mutual assistance in case of necessity. Spring came, and ten keel-boats, each provided with swivels, and their respective crews well armed, took their departure from New Orleans, determined, if possible, to destroy the nest of robbers. When they neared the Cottonwood creek, the foremost boat perceived several men near the mouth, among the trees. The anchor was dropped, and she waited until the other boats should come up. In a few moments they ap

. peared, and a consultation was held, in which it was determined that a sufficient number of men should

remain on board, whilst the others should proceed on shore to attack the robbers. The boats were rowed to shore in a line, and those appointed for that purpose, landed and began to search the island in quest of the robbers, but in vain! They had disappeared. Three or four flat-boats were found in a bend of the creek, laden with all kinds of valuable merchandise — the fruits of their depredations. A long low hut was discovered - the dwelling of the robbers—in which were stored away numerous cases of guns, destined for the fur trade, ammunition and provisions of all kinds. The greater part of these things were put on board the boats, and restored to their respective owners, at St. Louis.

This proceeding had the effect of dispersing the robbers, for they were never after heard of. The arrival of ten barges together at St. Louis, was an unusual spectacle, and the year 1788, has ever since been called the year of the ten boats.

As we do not design to speak of the history of the French settlements in minute detail, we shall only add that there were several others, cotemporaneous with those which we have mentioned, the chief of which were Detroit and Vincennes. The former was founded in 1670, the latter in 1702. The manners and habits of the people, and their adventures were similar to those we have described; except that Detroit being situated at a more exposed point, and surrounded by warlike tribes," who were engaged in hostilities with each other, experienced more of the vicissitudes of war.

The French seem to have been mainly induced to penetrate into these remote regions, in search of the

precious metals; an eager desire for which, had been awakened in Europe by the discoveries of the Spaniards in South America, and by a general belief of the existence of similar treasures on the northern continent. That such was the fact, is sufficiently proved by the frequent mention of mines and minerals, in all the charters and larger grants of territory made by the French crown, as well as by the numerous and expensive efforts of individuals and companies, in the pursuit of the precious ores.

The leaders in these enterprises were gentlemen of education and talents, who had no inducements to remain in these remote settlements, after the disappointment of their hopes, and either returned to France, or settled in Lower Louisiana, where they found a more genial climate than in the higher latitudes. The remainder were pacific and illiterate rustics, who brought no property, nor entertained any ambitious views. Few of them had come prepared for either agricultural or commercial pursuits, and when the dreams of sudden wealth, with which they had been deluded, faded from before them, they were not disposed to engage in the ordinary employments of enlightened industry. Perhaps the inducement, as well as the means, was wanting. There was little encouragement for agriculture, where there was no market for produce; there could be few arts, and but little commerce, at points so distant from the abodes of civilized men. They were besides an unenterprising and contented race, who were ignorant of the prolific resources of the country around them, and destitute of the slightest perception of its probable destiny-its rapid advancement in population

and improvement. Whatever might have been the views of their government, the French settlers indulged no ambitious visions, and laid no plans, either for territorial aggrandizement or political domination. They made no attempt to acquire land from the Indians, to organize a social system, to introduce municipal regulations, or to establish military defences; but cheerfully obeyed the priests and the king's officers, and enjoyed the present, without troubling their heads about the future. They seem to have been even careless as to the acquisition of property, and its transmission to their heirs. Finding themselves in a fruitful country, abounding in game, where the necessaries of life could be procured with little labor, where no restraints were imposed by government, and neither tribute nor personal service was exacted, they were content to live in unambitious peace, and comfortable poverty. They took possession of so much of the vacant land around them, as they were disposed to till, and no more. Their agriculture was rude; and even to this day, some of the implements of husbandry, and modes of cultivation, brought from France a century ago, remain unchanged by the march of mind, or the hand of innovation. Their houses were comfortable, and they reared fruits and flowers; evincing, in this respect, an attention to comfort and luxury, which has not been practised among the English or American first settlers; but in the accumulation of property, and in all the essentials of industry, they were indolent and improvident, rearing only the bare necessaries of life, and living from generation to generation without change or improvement.

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