Thursday, January 21, 2010

Property From A Famous Court Case

"Historians credit Daniel Clark with being the first to suggest the
purchase of the Louisiana territory." "One local resident
concluded that the United States owed the
acquisition of Louisiana to Daniel Clark," according
to this source. Mr. Clark was Louisiana's first United States
Congressional representative.

Daniel Clark, born in 1766 in Ireland, joined his uncle,
Daniel Clark, in the uncle's business in New Orleans.

He became a rich property owner and much of
that property was at the heart of a famous and contentious
court case by Daniel's daughter, Myra.
An 1850 rendering
of Myra (Clark) Whitney Gaines' court case

can be found here (see property excerpt below).


The first Bill in Chancery was filed by Mrs.
on July 28, 1836, in the United
States Circuit Court,
before Judge Samuel K.
Harper. This bill was prepared
by James W.
White, solicitor. The orator and oratrix

are William Wallace Whitney and Myra Clark
his wife. The bill proceeds to
enumerate certain
properties of which Daniel
Clark died possessed, to

1. One plantation, five leagues from the city,
on the left bank
of the Mississippi. including
all the buildings, etc.; purchased by

Clark of Stephen Henderson, for $120,000.00.

2. A square in faubourg St. Mary, Second
Municipality, bounded
by Philippa [O'Keefe],
Poydras, Circus [Rampart] and Perdido streets,
together with
ail tenements, etc. [This square
is worth at least $50.000.]

3. A tract of land on Gentilly Road,22 arpents

4. Lots number 184 and 186 on Royal Street,
New Orleans.

5. Three lots, each 60 feet front by 120 deep,
at the southern
corner formed by the intersection
of Toulouse and Burgundy

6. A tract of 135 arpents on the Bayou St. John,
adjoining the
property of Evariste Blanc.

7. A lot in the Faubourg St John, half a league
from the city of
New Orleans.

8. Eight Lots, from No. 1 to No. 8 inclusive,
in Suburb St. John.

9. A lot in Washington street, in Faubourg
St. John.

10. A square in Faubourg St. John, 300 feet
front on St. John
street, 200 on Washington street.

11. A plantation on the right bank of Bayou
Lafourche, oppo
sits Donaldsonville, 11 arpents
front on the Mississippi River and
29 on Bayou Lafourche.
This plantation, the Bill avers, was
bought by
Wade Hampton for Daniel Clark, and after Clark's

death conveyed to one of the defendants in this
suit, Richard
Relf, as executor of Clark, who
subsequently sold to Barthelemy

12. A tract purchased by Clark of Wm. Sampson, in June,
1812, situate in Ascension Parish, on left bank of
Mississippi, 18 1/2 arpents front on Mississippi,
and 40 in depth.

13. A lot in Second Municpality of New Orleans
bounded by
Delord street, Tivoli Place,
St. Charles, St. Joseph and Camp,
being lot at
S. E. corner of said square, formed by intersection
Camp and Delord — 60 feet front on Camp by
120 on Delord.

14. The undivided half of a tract of land at
Manchac. on East
bank of the Mississippi, sold
by Daniel Clark to Celestine St.
____M ; said sale
being rescinded by District Court of Third

District of Louisiana.

15. A tract of land near Duval's Plain, two leagues,
from the
town of Baton Rouge, bought by Clark from
Charles Ferrin, con
taining 500 arpents.

16. A tract of 14,046 arpents on the river Comite,
9 miles from
the Amite.

17. A tract of 1248 arpents in East Baton Rouge,
6 1/4 miles
from the Mississippi,10 miles from
Baton Rouge.

18. A tract of 4364 arpents in Baton Rouge, 19 miles
south of
the line of demarcation.

19. A tract of 3864 arpents on West side of the
Comite, 3 1/3
miles above Redwood Creek.

20. A tract of 2500 arpents on Jones's Creek,
in Baton Rouge.

21. A tract of 2000 arpents, 9 1/4 miles from
fort of Baton Rouge.

22. A tract of 21,000 on East side of the Comite,
8 miles from the Amite.

23. Undivided half of a tract in Parish St.
John the Baptist, 12
leagues from New Orleans,
on the Mississippi.

24. Undivided half of a plantation in St. John
Baptist, 4 1/2 ar
pents front on the Mississippi.

25. A tract on left bank of Bayou Lafourche,
6 arpents front
on the Bayou.

26. A tract of 5470 arpents on the Comite, on the
Eastern side
of the Comite, 12 3/4 miles from the
old boundary line between
the Spanish and American

The bill then enumerates the slaves of which
Clark died possessed :they are two hundred
twenty-six in number. Then follows an
of all his other property : cows, oxen,
and other ani
mals ; furniture,flowers,etc.,
of the value of $4044 ;
and farming implements etc.,
of the value of $3084.
Then comes the particular
debts due to Clark, amount
ing to §28,000;and
then his debts in general, amount
ing to $85,438;
to which the petitioners also annex
the claim
filed by Chew and Relf, administrators, of
debts due and other property, of Daniel Clark,
the value of $323,188.

A time line of the life of Daniel Clark, including some real estate
acquisitions, can be found here. Cemetery property
was involved in
the Myra Clark Gaines suit.
Myra's attempt to sell some of the
property as portrayed in the New York Times can be found here.

Update: See my blog about Daniel Clark here.

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