Document written by Mr. La Reanudiere in 1723,
regarding the mines at Mine La Motte, de Maramet's Mines
Submitted by Michael Miller
From French Archives. Transcripts at Washington
Memoire of the Mines of Mr. De
LaMothe and De Maramet by La Ranaudiere
Received by Mr. Perry’s letter of
Feb. 1st, 1723
L.G. from Carton 22
Aug. 23 1723
Account of the mines of Mr. de la Motte and Mr. Maramet with the
Results which I have been able to reach from evidence which I have
With eight men working at short shifts, it can
be delivered to the Illinois country, fourteen miles away, four by water
and the rest by land. One
may avoid this “portage” by forming a settlement at the mines, in
this, the lead might be shipped on a small river which passes ¼ of a
mile from the mine and falls into the Mississippi and reached within 20
miles of the Arkansas (country?).
This river is navigable wherever there is a
storm, and it only takes nor more than eight day to reach it in
pirogues; From the mine to
the Arkansas (country?) I have followed the back of this river which is
navigable fro 20 miles; from 5 to 6 thousand of lead may be hauled by
pirogue. By this route one
here is about the same distance near New Orleans to these mines as there
is to the Illinois, this river called St. Francois.
In the neighborhood of these mines there are
small prairies, about a half mile long by a quarter mile wide;
innumerable creeks and rivulets empty into the St. Francois
River; these prairies serve as a refuge to
quantities of horned cattle, bear, deers, “cerfs d’Inde”(?)
tigers, skunk and other animals in great quantities there are many fruit
trees such “asseminiers”(?), persimmons, plum, beam-tree berry,
nuts, pecans, grapes, these fruits and the rest furnish nourishments to
the Indians; when they go to make lead, the carry with them only their
weapons and ammunition.
Two miles from the mines, on the Illinois road,
there is a large mountain where there are silver mines, their wealth
cannot be estimated because they have not been opened; I dug in one
spot, about 1 ½ feet down I made a small test and found a small amount
of silver; on the other side of the St. Francois river, a large number
of mountains may be seen, in which the color of the stone gives strong
indication of mining material.
The distance between the mines of Mr. de la
Motte and those of Mr. de Maramet, is about fourteen miles distance,
abounding in woods, mountains, small prairies, creeks and small rivers;
these last mines, are very
rich in lead. They produce
as much as 80 per cent; the mines have the same exposure to the wind as
those owned by Mr. de la Motte which are from East to West, I cannot
tell exactly the size of the veins; there are some small ones which are
in sort of grooves, from which you would, in 1 day, procure two thousand
of minerals from a hole four to five feet deep by fifteen in length; six
men can operate three shafts, two at each shaft.
In order to procure much mineral from these openings, they are
like trenches, one must follow the veings which are found on the rock,
which are about one feet thick, some are less; quantities of lead
mineral, in stones which are not attached to the rock, is also to be
found, the stones are to be found in the earth.
I dug into three small mountains in the neighborhood of these
mines, and found much lead in several places.
Country, it would be a good place for
settlements; there are river in which fish abound, also turtles and a
quantity of river birds.
Detach themselves from these mountains and fall
below are minerals, the waters flowing from them, are acrid. There is no doubt that if these were excavated and dug into,
that very good mines would be found.
If a settlement could be formed here upon which there could be
put 4o Negroes under the management of capable persons, a good living
could be easily made in many ways, and approximately three hundred
millions of lead per year.
Orleans this 23rd of August 1723.