This item is a detailed description of the geography, population, natural resources, and agriculture of the Ouachita River area of the Louisiana Territory. Describes mounds; mentions Cataoulou Indians; also gives figures as to numbers of white and Indian hunters. These pages are a record of travel on a road built between Choctaw and Chickasaw country, with comments on the condition of Indian-white relations, the increase in white population, and Wilson's stay, at Muscle Shoals, with Cherokee chiefs Doublehead and Skiowska. Wilson finds the Indians have good farms, furnishings, fences, and stock, and one Indian runs an inn.

Background note

Paulmier (aka: d'Annemours, d'Anemours, and Danmours) was the consul general of France for Virginia and Maryland.

James Patriot Wilson was a clergyman, and was elected to the American Philosophical Society in 1814.

Collection information


Restrictions on Access:

Restrictions apply; consult the repository.


Presented by Thomas Jefferson and accessioned, 1805 (50595).

General physical description

1 volume, 43 p.

General note

In addition to the original, there is a 1973 translation by Robert H. Cain (20 p.).

Early American History Note

This collection includes three different travel accounts to the Louisiana Territory in the early 19th century.

The first is a Journal up the Red and Washita River by George Hunter as he traveled with William Dunbar. That portion of the collection is described separately under “Hunter.”

The collection also houses the “Observations” of James Patriot Wilson while traveling through Indian Country in the South. This short account provides a rich window into life in these areas. Wilson opens with a story about a man that he met who had been shot by a “half-breed” out of “revenge” for the loss of his brother. He then describes the operation of various political offices in the area, grist mills, and the importance of “military roads.” This brief account does provide insight into the way the United States attempted to establish its political authority in frontier areas.

The third collection, and subject of this entry, is the account of the Louisiana Territory written by Paulmier D’ Danemours, who was France’s general consul to Virginia and Maryland. The original is in French, but the APS has a translation done by Robert Cain in 1973. Paulmier’s journal provides a very detailed account of the geography of the Louisiana, especially its waterways. The Ouachita District is the primary focus of his report. He describes its geography in much detail and also some of its crops and economic potential. In addition, Paulmier does provide a series of observations about Indian culture and history in the area, including trading cultures and hunting patterns.

Indexing Terms

Family Name(s)

  • Cain, Robert H., -- tr.
  • Doublehead.
  • Skiowska.


  • Travel Narratives and Journals

Geographic Name(s)

  • Louisiana -- Description and travel.
  • Ouachita County (Ark.) -- Economic conditions -- To 1803.
  • Ouachita County (Ark.) -- Population -- To 1803.
  • Ouachita River (Ark. and La.)


  • Cherokee Indians
  • Chickasaw Indians
  • Choctaw Indians
  • Exploration.
  • Indians of North America--Social life and customs
  • Louisiana Purchase -- Discovery and exploration.
  • Mines and mineral resources -- Arkansas.
  • Native America
  • Travel

Detailed Inventory
Journal up the Red and Washita Rivers, with William Dunbar, by order of the U.S. with list of common names of some of the trees and vegetables from the River Washita;
Observations while passing thro' the Choctaw, Chickasaw & Cherokee nations;

D. 2p.and add.: "For John Vaughan Esq." end.

Memoire sur le district du ouachita dans la province de la Louisianne;

D. 43p.and end. Accompanied originally by a letter from Jefferson; Mary 5, 1805, to J. Vaughan. (see B:J35.Le, no.41.)