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The Jeffersonian cyclopedia;

a comprehensive collection of the views of Thomas Jefferson classified and arranged in alphabetical order under nine thousand titles relating to government, politics, law, education, political economy, finance, science, art, literature, religious freedom, morals, etc.;

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785. BATTURE, Jefferson's action in.—
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785. BATTURE, Jefferson's action in.—

The interposition noticed by the Legislature
of Orleans was an act of duty of the office
I then occupied. Charged with the care of
the general interests of the nation, and among
these with the preservation of their lands from
intrusion, I exercised, on their behalf, a right
given by nature to all men, individual or associated,
that of rescuing their own property
wrongfully taken. In cases of forcible entry
on individual possessions, special provisions,
both of the common and civil law, have restrained
the right of rescue by private force,
and substituted the aid of the civil power. But
no law has restrained the right of the nation
itself from removing by its own arm, intruders
on its possessions. On the contrary,
a statute recently passed, had required that
such removals should be diligently made. The
Batture of New Orleans, being a part of the
bed contained between the two banks of the
river, a naked shoal indeed at low water, but
covered through the whole season of its regular
full tides, and then forming the ground of the
port and harbor for the upper navigation, over
which vessels ride of necessity when moored to
the bank, I deemed it public property, in
which all had a common use. The removal,
too, of the force which had possessed itself of
it, was the more urgent from the interruption
it might give to the commerce, and other lawful
uses, of the inhabitants of the city and of
the Western waters generally.—
To Governor Claiborne. Washington ed. v, 518.
(M. 1810)