The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 49, July 1945 - April, 1946 Page: 87
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The House of Barr and Davenport
not appear to have engaged in further activities of this nature.
In 1814 he was living in Natchitoches and experimenting with
the growth of sugar cane on his plantation on the river. He
reported to Dr. John Sibley that in 1814 he had planted three-
fourths of an arpent of plants brought from the coast. The
sugar cane grew luxuriantly and ripened to a considerable
height. In the fall of 1814, he had assayed three-fourths of an
arpent of cane and found that it produced one thousand pounds
of good sugar. He planted more cane in the spring of 1815
and was enthusiastic at the possibility of cultivating sugar cane
that far north.84 "I am encouraged to continue," he asserted,
"and I think will be enabled to grind from thirty to forty arpents
In 1823 Davenport was in New Orleans. He had been sum-
moned to appear before the United States District Court to
answer charges filed against him by Agnes Gibson Barr, William
Barr's mother, for his refusal to turn over to her all of Barr's
property. The case was initiated on February 6, 1818, and
appears to have been concluded in 1824. At the conclusion,
Davenport declared that, in conformity with Barr's will, he had
executed all its dispositions, except that in favor of Agnes
Gibson Barr, and that he was ready and willing to carry out
its disposition in her behalf.86
Davenport's last will and testament was filed in Natchitoches
on June 21, 1824.87 In this will he named John Bernardino
Benigno [Benigno Bernardino] and Mary Teresa Eliza [Marie
Therese Eliza] as his only living legitimate children and also
recognized John Durst as his adopted son, and bequeathed him
ten thousand acres of land.88 Item VII gives a list of the
84A planter in Natchitoches reported that he had obtained 2,500 pounds
of sugar per arpent.- T. Bossie, December 29, 1815, in William Darby,
A Geographical Description of the State of Louisiana, 228.
$5S. Davenport to Dr. John Sibley, January 3, 1816, ibid., 228-229.
86Case No. 1144, 1, 57, 59.
T70nly an incomplete copy has been available to this writer. This copy
is to be found in Abstract, 30-31. Several futile attempts have been made
to obtain a complete copy of the original will from the clerk of the court
88The will states that this land was not part of La Nana or Las Ormigas
grant. It may have been a ranch obtained by the House of Barr and
Davenport in 1810 on the Angelina River, about fifteen miles south of
Nacogdoches. This tract was originally granted to Pedro de Lara Pasos
on May 16, 1792. After subsequent transfers, it was given to the House
of Barr and Davenport on May 28, 1810, by Estevan Goget in payment of
a note for eight hundred pesos. - MS., of original grant in the General
Land Office, Austin, Texas. Photostatic copy in the Archives of The Uni-
versity of Texas.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 49, July 1945 - April, 1946, periodical, 1946; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146056/m1/98/: accessed June 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.