Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Clearing the Forest. Photo Credit: A drawing by Rowland Robinson...


More info from my research about William Dunbar the Scot who went on the expedition to discover what the Ouachita River was all about.

It isn't really exciting unless you know these people really existed. They really worried about how they were ruled. Not much different than today. We tend to think it was all settled and no one has ever had the struggle with government like we have. Not true. Our lives are always on the balance as to how to live as free men in territories-physical and mental- that are hostile to reason.
You gotta love it.

Copyright (c) 2009 Tulane University School of Law
The Tulane European and Civil Law Forum

The Bicentennial of the Digest of 1808 - Collected Papers: The de la Vergne Volume and the Digest of 1808


24 Tul. Eur. & Civ. L.F. 31


John W. Cairns*


I. Introduction

A. The de la Vergne Volume

It has long been recognised that a version of the law applied in the Spanish overseas colonies was in force in Louisiana at the time of its cession to the U.S.A. in 1803. 1 As one correspondent told Thomas Jefferson in 1803, "the province is governed entirely by the laws of Spain, and ordinances formed expressly for the colony". 2 This has led some students of Louisiana's legal history to see the Digest of the Civil Laws Now in Force in the Territory of Orleans of 1808, understood as based on the French Code civil, as marking a puzzling change in the law, even if it did contain some Spanish material. 3

In 1938, Pierre de la Vergne informed Professor Ferdinand F. Stone of the Tulane Law School that his family possessed a volume of the Digest with manuscript notes associated with Louis Casimir Elisabeth Moreau Lislet (1766-1832). This had been passed down through the de la Vergne family from Hugues de la Vergne (1785-1843), an associate of Moreau Lislet. 4 A refugee from St. Domingue, Moreau had been appointed in 1806 with James Brown, a Virginia-born Kentucky lawyer, "to compile and prepare ... a Civil Code for the use of this territory". 5 Next, in 1941, Professor Mitchell Franklin, also of the Tulane Law School, made the scholarly world aware that the de la Vergne family possessed what he described as "an unpublished manuscript in which Moreau Lislet gave, in ...

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