"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
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.
Whitney, 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
Whitney, his wife. The bill proceeds to
enumerate certain properties of which Daniel
Clark died possessed, to wit:
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,
5. Three lots, each 60 feet front by 120 deep,
at the southern corner formed by the intersection
of Toulouse and Burgundy streets.
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
10. A square in Faubourg St. John, 300 feet
front on St. Johnstreet, 200 on Washington street.
11. A plantation on the right bank of Bayou
Lafourche, opposits 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 Lafore.
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
of 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, containing 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
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 arpents 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
Daniel Clark died possessed :they are two hundred
and twenty-six in number. Then follows an
enumeration of all his other property : cows, oxen,
and other animals ; 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, amounting to §28,000;and
then his debts in general, amounting to $85,438;
to which the petitioners also annex the claim
filed by Chew and Relf, administrators, of the
debts due and other property, of Daniel Clark,
of 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.