Page:A Topographical Description of the State of Ohio, Indiana Territory, and Louisiana.djvu/97

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purchase of Louisiana, this line was the boundary of the United States, on the south.

At a small distance below the line, the river turns short and forms a large bend to the westward. At the extremity of this curve, Red river enters the Mississippi, on the west side. This river is large, and extends far into the country in a northwesterly direction. On the banks and vicinity of this river are the thriving and populous settlement of Rapide, Avoyelles, and Natchitoches. This river is used to communicate with the frontiers of New Mexico. Three miles below Red river, on this bend, the bayau Chaffalio runs out with a great rapidity, and is the first large river which leaves the Mississippi, and falls by a separate channel into the Gulf of Mexico. Although there is a sufficient depth of water, the navigation is prevented by a prodigious quantity of drift wood, which has formed a floating bridge across it, of several miles in length. This bridge, in some places, is said to be so compact and firm, that horses and cattle are driven over it. These obstructions are constantly accumulating by the trees and rubbish which are passing into this stream from the Mississippi.

The great bend is continued below the bayau Chaffalio, until it forms a semicircle; the river then tends to the southward some distance, where it winds round to the eastward and northward, and runs back in a direction nearly opposite to its general course, until it comes within