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Dauphin Island, AL
Archive of Historical Data, Books, Maps
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Excerpt from the book
"Dauphin Island AL:
French Possession 1699-1763"

by Jo Myrtle Kennedy

"Cadillac is Dissatisfied - 1714"
In October of 1714, Cadillac reported to Count Ponchartrain that the inhabitants of the colony were "a mass of rapscallions from Canada, a cut-throat set, without subordination, with no respect for religion, and abandoned in vice to Indian women, whom they prefer to French girls. They know nothing of cultivating silk, tobacco or indigo, but only corn and vegetables."
To his list of complaints he added Bienville, Chateaugue and their cousin Boibriant, Mayor of Mobile, saying that they had all three come to the colony too young to drill soldiers and had not learned anything of discipline.

After spending much time on Dauphin Island, thus escaping the conflicts his presence caused in Mobile, Cadillac finally decided to make his home on Dauphin Island. He ordered to be constructed a cabin of palm logs, fortified with four barracks of pallisades, covered with rushes, a guardhouse,and prison, all within his island fortress. When all was completed, he broguht his family to live on the island, in June 1715.

After moving to Dauphin Island, Cadillac passed an ordinance in an attempt to enforce discipline: "We must positively prohibit all persons of low birth, all clerks of M. Crozat, all sailors and strangers lately arrived from France, if they are not provided with a commission from His Majesty, from carrying a sword or any other weapons, either by day or by night, on Dauphin Island, or in any other settlement where there is an actual garrison, under penalty of a 300 livre fine, to be applied to the erection of a church on Dauphin Island, and in default of payment, the offender shall be confined in prison for one month, and the penalty shall increase with each repeat offense. We grant to all gentlemen the privilege of wearing a sword after having proved their nobility and presented their titles to the secretary of the council for examination. We also grant to all civil and military officers actually serving in the country, permission to carry a sword...."

During that same year, 1715, the earliest preserved land grant in the region which would later become Alabama was made on Dauphin Island by Cadillac, to Joseph Simon de la Pointe, for the purpose of a cattle ranch, on November 12th. The grant was executed and registered the same day on Dauphin Island by Raguet in the office of the Supreme Council of Louisiana, indicating that that important office was on Dauphin Island. There is known to be an earlier grant, in November, 1710 to Nicolas Baudin at Grosse Point on the mainland opposite Dauphin Island, but that record perished long ago.

Another land grant of interest is a plantation on the Pascagoula River given to Mme. Chaumont, who sent her nephew Colonel de la Pointe, to settle there with 300 German immigrants to raise rice, indigo and corn. In 1718, de la Pointe built several houses with a fort wall overlooking the Pascagoula River, called Singing Water by the Indians. Between heavy beams of timber, laborers packed 18 inches of heavy plaster made from oyster shell, mud, moss, and animal hair. One of the strongly constructed houses stands today in Pascagoula, less than twenty miles from the early fort on Biloxi Bay. That house, which is an excellent state of preservation, is the oldest house in the Mississippi Valley.

With continued complaints on matters of business and government, Crozat recalled Cadillac in 1716 with the denounciation that "all the disorders of which M. Cadillac complains, proceed from the mal-administration of M. Cadillac himself."

Bienville, who was busy at Natchez trying to keep peace with the Indians, was ordered to descend the Mississippi River and sail to Mobile to take command of the colony until the arrival of the new governor, L'Epinay.

On March 9, 1717, L'Epinay, the fourth governor of Louisiana, with three companies of infantry and fifty colonists, arrived at Dauphin Island aboard three ships which belonged to Crozat.

Bienville was disaappointed at not being made governor, but he did receive the Cross of the Order of St. Louis, an honor rarely bestowed on anyone in the new world. He was also granted Horn Island as his personal property.

Fort Gaines Sand Island Light House Shell Mounds on Dauphin Island Dauphin Island History Dauphin Island Sea Lab Estuarium

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