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that name-the bayou crossed by the vacherie bridge, the bayou which traverses and forms the Coteau, and a little bayou running parallel to the Mississippi river, and emptying into the second one now mentioned, about twelve chains above the intersection of the latter by the north boundary of township 14. It is this latent ambiguity in the term Bayou Crocodile, as occurring in the requête, which defeats the application of the general rule of evidence above, and has therefore induced the office to prefer the numerical call for depth, as affording, in the peculiar difficulties of the case, a greater probability of correctness than is afforded by the call for Bayou Crocodile.

The depth assigned by the certificate is equal to 606.05 chains; that obtained by the approved location is 642.90 chains, adopting as the test the lineal distances given in the SE. lines of the claim-a mode of measurement adopted by the deputy with the previous approbation of the office. The location thus manifests an excess in depth of 35.85 chains; and it is a singular coincidence, at least, that this distance deducted from the north end of the claim, by a line parallel to the backs of the 80 arpents tracts fronting on the Mississippi river, in township 13 south, ranges 20 and 21 east, would make the end line of the claim cross the bayou forming the Coteau at the mouth of the third Bayou Crocodile, above mentioned.

A location reaching the' rear lines of the 80 arpents tracts has been approved, because the claimants have thus held the land for many years, (as will fully appear from the testimony transmitted to the Commissioner on 5th of May last,) and because such location gives a quantity more, in accordance with that resulting from the certificate, than would be obtained by the depth if limited to Third Bayou Crocodile above.

I have, as required, recalled the map of township 14 south, range 20 east, and diagram of township 13 south, range 20 east, from the register at New Orleans, and shall detain them until your decision be communicated to me.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,


Surveyor General, Louisiana.

Commissioner General Land Office, Washington City, D. C.

SURVEYOR GENERAL'S OFFICE, Donaldsonville, Louisiana, June 9, 1856.

I certify the foregoing, with the interlineations on pages 5 and 8, to be a true copy of the original recorded in this office.


Surveyor General, Louisiana.

Aside from such surveys the petitioner and those under whom he claims, has been in uninterrupted possession of the said lands for up

wards of sixty years; one of the claims has been confirmed over forty years and the other over thirty-five years.

Notwithstanding the fact of such possession, together with the survey, regularly made out and regularly approved, the General Land Office has instructed the surveyor general to cause the aforesaid survey to be obliterated, and all that part of the Toups claim north of Bayou Crocodile to be surveyed as public lands.

Your committee are of opinion that the survey of the Toups claim was made in accordance with the concession and the rules and orders of the Spanish government; they therefore cannot agree that the claimant shall be deprived of his lands, over which he has exercised ownership for so long a period of time.

From every consideration of justice and right the committee believe that the claimant is entitled to the said lands as surveyed and approved of by the surveyor general on the fifth day of May, 1855; they therefore report a bill confirming the said survey of the "Toups" claim, No. 74, as also the survey of the "St. Amand" claim, No. 529, and respectfully recommend its passage.


1st Session.

No. 224.


JULY 14, 1856.-Submitted, agreed to, and ordered to be printed.

Mr. WELLER made the following


The Committee on Military Affairs, to whom was referred "Papers relating to the claim of Major James Belger to be released from liability on account of public money under his charge, and out of which he was defrauded by his confidential clerk," having had the same under consideration, report :

Major Belger was quartermaster in the United States army stationed at Corpus Christi, in Texas, in June, 1855, and as such he there had a large amount of the public money under his charge. His clerk, J. S. Sheahan, to whom he confided the care of his money, defrauded him out of $8,372 25 by false entries in his books; and it is from liability to account for this sum that application is now made for relief.

Soon after this defalcation was discovered, Major Belger called a court of inquiry, (in August, 1855,) by which he was acquitted in the fullest degree of anything that could cast the slightest shadow on his integrity, but at the same time the court disapproved of the practice of committing to any irresponsible agent, however long tried, or under any circumstances whatever, the custody of, or access to, the public funds which government confides to disbursing officers.

The committee agreeing with the court in the opinion, recommend that Major Belger be not relieved from liability for this loss. The false entries were made while Major Belger was present, and while it was his duty to give personal attention to his accounts and money, and he has been defrauded in consequence of a want of proper diligence and care over the funds entrusted to him, and not by an unavoidable accident.

The committee ask to be discharged from the further consideration of the case.

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