PREFACE.

Louis XV. had just, by the treaty of Versailles, restored to France the repose and traiuiiiiliity which had become an urgent necessity . Themultiiilied and bril-liant victories of the English had totally changed tne face of America. Canada had fallen a prey to the conqueror, Florida had been ceded to him in exchange for Havana, and the limits of French Louisiana had been rolled back to the right bank of the mighty Mis.sissippi ; the whole left bank, except the isle of Ncw-Orloans, formed by the Mississippi, and Iberville or Manchac River, having been surrendered to the English. They thus became the possessors of the immense tract of country which, runnnig from cast to west, lies between the Mississippi throughout its course, and the ocean which bathes the coasts of Florida, Ncw-En<rland and Canada. Hudson's bay bounded these possessions on the north, and the gulf of Mexico in part on the south.

What remained to France of her vast province of Louisiana, comprised a strip eighty leagues from east to west, from the mouth of the Mississippi to Mexico. The Del Norte (Uio Grande) on the west and the Mississippi on the east bounded these possessions, which extended from 29° N. to 50" N., and even beyond.

At the moment of the cession of a part of Louisiana to J]ngland, we shall see flashing in its French inhabitants a spark of that fire of loyalty that bound them to their king. We shall see this spark, secretly kindled, burst forth in all its violence at the moment when Spain undertook to enter into possession of a pro-vince which Franco, (through private arrangements, incident however to the treaty,) had ceded to that country to indemnify her for the expenses of the war. It will, however, I believe, be better to give first a short sketch of what part of Louisiana had been, from its discovery to the treaty of peace in 1763 ; then, con-sider it from the dismemberment, to which it was then subjected, till the arrival of the Si)aniards, and finally from their arrival to the present time.

These throe epochs will form the three ages of the colony ; they will divide, accordingly, this memoir into as many parts. The last will be subdivided into two sections : the first will comprise the period between the arrival and depar-ture of Don Antonio de UUoa; and the second, the subsequent period down to the present.

ice the repose Iilied and bril-rica. Canada in in exchange ck to the right ' isle of Ncw-r, having been f the immense he Mississippi Florida, New-s on the north,

mprised a strip ppi to Mexico. 0 east bounded ren beyond, d, we shall see lat bound them forth in all its ession of a pro-owevcr to the iscs of the war. of what part of 763 ; then, con-, till the arrival c.

hey will divide, subdivided into •ival and depar-period down to

MEMOIR

PRESENT STATE OF LOUISIANA:

BT

CHEVALIER DE CHAMPIGNY.

FIRST PART.

FRANCE will not long forget the famous projector, Law,* who was the first to give any impulse to the colony of Louisiana. After the attempt at discovery by M. dc la Salle f Iberville, a Canadian gentleman,:}: laid the foundations of an establishment in 1699 and 1701 at Mobile and Biloxi, and went around the isle of New-Orleans to reconnoitre the famous river Mississippi, the principal object of his voyage.

As long as that great man lived, he protected this rising colony, composed then of some Canadian families who had come after him. After his death, in 1700, the court neglected Louisiana; the wretched state of the kingdom excluded every

* John Law was the comptrollnr-gcncral of the finances of France, and projector of the famous " Western Company." See the charter of, in tho third volume of the Historical Collections of Louisiana.

tFor a full account of the discovery and exploration of the Mississippi valley see the first and fourth volumes of tho Historical Collections of Louisiana.

X Iberville was tho first royal Governor of Louisiana.—tfiVorica/ Collection! of toniMianof vol. iii., p. 10.

9

fl

ic\ea of colouization and expense. Louisiana was ceded to M. Crozat in 1712,* retrocedod to the king in 1717, and at last Law's project came forth with the ostensible pretext of estab-lishing the Lidia Company there.

The vast territory of Louisiana was represented as the richest part of the world ; " pearls," said they, " could be fished there in abandivnce ; the streams which watered it rolled on sands of gold, and that precious metal was found on the surlace of the earth without any need of proflming its bosom." What a bait for avarice! The company easily sold at excessive prices estates very rich and fertile indeed. But this was not the ob-ject of the purchasers, they wished gold and silver. Lnmensc grants were sold to the wealthiest men in the kingdom. Loui-siana was soon occupied by greedy possessors, whose main ob-ject was the discovery of mines; but although there are many in that great colony, they were cither not discovered at first or did not exist on the grants assigned, or were too remote or too badly located to satisfy the cupidity of the owners. Thus disappointed avarice or miscalculation threw the fault on the territory. The grantees were obliged to abandon an ill-conducted and still more badly executed project. The em-ploy<5s sent into that country perished mostly on the sands of Biloxi, the rest scattered through Louisiana or returned to Europe. Louisiana soou lost the degree of importance which it had enjoyed. The company did not however abandon its plans of colonization which it had resolved to carry out in that

vast countrv.

The settlers sent out soon felt that they must abandon the insane project of mine-seeking to apply themselves exclu-sively to the cultivation of the ground. The fertility of that,

•See Leucrs Patcnt.-f/,./«n.«/ ColM.ons of Louisiana yoliu., p^ 38^ The monopoly of Crozat was ter.ninatcd l.y its surrender. He had advanced the

HISTOUICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA.

131

Llcd to M.

uf cstab-

,lic richest ilied there u sands of uce of the hat a bait ivc prices lot the ob-

Iinrncnsc 3m. Loui-c main ob-thcre are covered at too remote le owners, he fault on don an ill-The em-

the sands 'eturned to ance which ibandon its

out in that

it abandon jlves exclu-lUty of that,

vol. iii., p- 38. id adY'inccd the

watered by the Mi.s.sissippi, encouraged .^settlements on its bank.s, and they now thought of transferring to them the chief .settlement, which had been first at Mobile, and tlien at Biloxi.

M. do Bienville,* a brother of Ibcrville\ founded Ncw-Orloans iu 1718, I7l!> and 1720. Tliis city, .situated on the banks of the Mississippi, thirty-two leagues from the mouth, becam J th3 chijf town of the colony. The company sant over many sutlers at its own expiiis,^, but of what character was their choice of persons? They gathered up the poor, mendi-cants and prostitutes, and embarked them by force on trans-ports. On arriving at Louisiana they were married, and had lands assigned tliein to cultivate; but the idle life of three-fourths of these fojks rendered them unfitted for farming. Necessity vaiidy calls us to a laborious life, if the knowledge acquired by habit do not enlighten and sustain our efforts.

colony but little. The mines .inJ oommerce of Louisiana were now Invoked to re-lieve the dcl)t of Fr.uice, which now exceeded two thousand millions of livres.

At this period of depression John I,aw proposed to the regent a credit system which should liberate the kinjjdo.n fro a its enormous burden. IJjider his auspices a new company was f.)rined, undi^rthe name of the Western Company, but better known as the Mississippi. The exclusive commerce of Louisiana was granted to this company for twenty-five ye.irs. The stock was divided into two hundred thousand shares of five hundred livres each, to bo paid in any certificates of the public debt. The stockholders fl ittcreil themselves with large profits, and the Directory soon after declared a diviilend of two hundred per cent. 'I'he delu-sion wag now com;deti'. and the stock rose to sixty times its par value. In 1719, the Bank of Law became the Hank uf France—Law was looked upon as the greatest man of his age. In I'riiK t'le pililic began to lose confidence in his management; and in May. baiiUru|ih\ was avowed by a decree which reduced the value of his notes to one half He ficil to Kngland, and afterwards to Venice, where he died on the 21st of March. 11*9, in the 58th year of his age. .Such was the issue of Law's celebrated .'systc.ii. wlr.ch left to the world a lesson on the credit system which it h.is been slow in I irn.

Although it proved disastroiis to I'r.iiice. it cannot be doubted that it gave an impetus to the successfol colonization ol Louisiana.

"See a sketch of ihe public life of iVunvillc, in the Hitlorical CilltcUimt nf Louitiana, vol. iii., p. :;;0.

;,.

HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA.

Accordingly, you cannot find twenty of tlicsc vagabond fami-lies in Louisiana now; most of them died of misery or returned to France, bringing back such idea wliicli thoir ill success hnd inspired. The most frightful accounts of the Mississippi soon began to spread among the public, at a time when German colonists were planting new and most successful establishments on its banks, Avithin five or seven leagues of New-Orleans. This tract, still occupied by their descendants, is the best culti-vated and most thickly-settled part of the colony, and I regard the Germans and Canadians as the founders of all our estab-lishments in Louisiana.

The fertility of this country presented important objects of culture ; that of tobacco alone sufficed to indemnify the French company'for all its expenses in colonization, if, in consequence of the pride which had ruined it, it had not sought to extend its possessions and assume everywhere an air of sovereignty which never sits well on a company of merchants, whose attention should be exclusively directed to the means of ex-tending commercial relations and increasing the number of articles of trade. If the company, instead of building forts at excessive prices, keeping up considerab". bodies of troops, raising buildings which served only to gratify vanity and give a vain idea of its greatness and power, and furnishing its agents every means of increasing the expcndit'ure, had confined itself to encouraging the culture of articles of which they knew the importance, wo should not now see all good citizens of France sighing over the failure of the attempts to establish a colony, whose fertility is admired and importance felt.

The company then enjoyed in France a monopoly of the tobacco trade, and drew a great quantity from Louisiana.

The post founded at Natchez was as wise as well conceived; this canton would have furnished all the tobacco needed

HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA.

133

bond fami-)r returned UCCCS3 hfid .sippi soon n Gorman blisliments w-Orleans. ! best culti-id I regard our cstab-

; objects of tlie Frencli onsequence t to extend lovcreignty nts, whose cans of ex-number of .ing forts at of troops, ty and give rnisliing its ad confined L tliey knew citizens of ) establisb a felt.

)poly of the lisiana. conceived; ,cco needed

in France, and the quantity (? quality) is superior to that which this kingdom now derives from our provinces of ^fary-land and Virginia. The misconduct, cupidity and injustice of the French commanders drove the Natchez to destroy com-pletely all the establishments begun on their lands, Tn one day they massacred the inhabitants, pillaged the storehouses, and the whole colony would have met the same fate but for the assistance of an old woman, who found a means of hasten-ing the day chosen by all the nations in unison, for massacring the French scattered through that vast province. By this means the Natchez alone massacred the settlers among them.

On escaping from this danger, the French had no alternative but to take quick vengeance, in order to strike other Indians with awe and hold them in check.

The Natchez who had struck the French post were destroy-ed, and of that nation, once the oldest and most important in all Louisiana, there remain now only some few families dis-persed in other tribes.

After this heavy loss, and the outlay of immense sums use-lessly spent in forts and buildings, the preservation of Louisi-ana became burthcnsome to the company.* Its monopoly, too, was expiring; and the king, having accepted its surrender in 1732, sent out cargoes of men and women, in whose selection the same vice prevailed, and which accordingly could not but resul! as did those of the company. The little revenue de-rived, the immense sums which had without return to be pour-ed into that rich country without any visible advantage, and

* The monopoly which Crozat and the India Company enjoyed and enforced, checked and destroyed in some degree the incipient trade which the colony en. joyed before the peace of Utrecht. Yet it cannot be denied that at the surrender of the charter, the colony was found in a prosperous condition ; the white popu-lation had increased from seven hundred to upwards of five thousand, and the black from twenty to two thousand persons.

v%

lUSTOUICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA.

the wars necessarily can-iod on with the ImUana, sickened them of a cok)ny thcncefurward regarded as a Inirtlien.

Let us say alL The Frenehniun, quielc to conceive and undertake, would have the execution and sueeess keep pace witli the vivacity of his character. Hence his inaptitude for founding colonies ; hence his failure in the attempts made by his nation ; for, if we comj)are their possessicMis to those of the Dutch and English, we must, after observing the means used by both, admit that new establishments require the same rhj ime as children; they must bo furnished with the necessary food, suitable to their development, be neither hampered iior])ushed on prematurely, leaving time and nature to bring the work to perfection.

I pass ra2)idly over the events which concern Louisiana. The notes will supply the deficiency. The various Indian wars carried on by France from 1730 to 1762, form the most interesting portion. They serve to prove that the colonists in Louisiana were animated with the same sjiirit of patriotism ' which rendered the conquest of Canada so difficult. But I in-tend to regard only the political side of Louisiana, and in this view I stop to consider an event stated in the different memoirs, which have Avithin the last few years appeared on that colony.

The money current there, as in our New-England provinces, was paper having the value of silver. In Louisiana this paper was signed by the inteudant, comptroller and treasurer; every year a certain quantity was withdrawn and bills of exchange on the royal treasury in France given instead. Nothing Avas better planned. Sales and exchanges Avere at once facilitated, and the connection between the colony and the mother country strengthened. The Avar of 174'1 multiplied expenses and pre-vented draAving bills of exchange. The quantity of paper

^^',1. -.JJSi,-: »-,,»^=

HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA.

135

!uc(l tlicm

3civo ami <o('P piice itiludo for made l)y lose of the IS used by lie irij ime sary food, orpusliod e work to

Louisiana, us Indian I the most aloiiists in jjatriotisra

But I in-md in this

difForcnt pcarcd on

provinces, tliis paper •er; every exchange )thing was facilitated, er country s and pre-' of paper

spread in the place exceeded the sums destined by the govern-ment for the colony. Tt was in coiis(<4uence called in, the holders losing two-(lfths of the value—a signal fault, though represented as necessary and indisi)ensable, but which has greatly impeded the progress of the colony.

The peace of 17-48* tended to n\ake the evils produced by the depreciation of the paper currency less sensibly felt. A contraband trade with the Spaniards of Mexico and Havana brought much silver into the colony between 17-18 and 1752. But an essential, though then unnoticed vice in this trade was, that it was not based on the productions of the colony ; it was founded on the allluence of strangers, who brought their dollars and Campeachy wood. This nourishing state could last only as long as the trade lasted ; yet all turned their attention to trade and neglected agriculture. Lands were abandoned, comfortable planters sold their negroes and cattle to engage in commerce; but from 1753, when M. de Kerlerco came to succeed M. Vaudreuil.f the Spaniards no longer ap-

• After the peace of 1748, the French ministry took a deep interest in the set-tlement of Louisiana, and held out encouragements to all those who wished to establish themselves there. They gave lands, catlle, and instruments of tillage to all settlers.

t The Marquis dc Vaudreuil was promoted to the government of Canada. He was the son of a distin«ruished officer who had been governor-general of Canada, and belonged to an influential family at the French court. His arrival in the colony was therefore hailed with joy, as the harbinger of better days. His ad-ministration was long remembered as a brilliant one.

Kerlercc, his successor, was a captain in the royal navy. He had been twenty years in active service, and was distinguished for his bravery. He reached the Balize on the 9th of January ; and on the 9th of February, 17.53, he was install-eJ Governor of Louisiana. Ho began his administration by being kind to the Indians, especially to the powerful tribe of Choctaws. He reduced the army to thirteen hundred men. Although the French government had recommended the strictest economy, and had reduced the army, the expenses for the year 1754 amounted to near a million of livres. In the following year the English had attacked the French in Canada, and he expected soon to be attacked himself In 17.')7, they had cut off nearly all communication between France and Louisiana,

HISTORICAL MEMOIKS OF LOUISIANA,

peared in Louisiana in such numbers; this governor was accused of having kept them off, but if he did it with the view of re-calhng the colonists to agriculture, they can complain only of the means he took to attain it. The fact is, that when these Spanish interlopers abandoned Louisiana the colony was loaded with all the useless mouths that had subsisted by the Spanish trade. Agriculture having been neglected, no longer furnished the same resources; the city had been peopled at the expense of the country.

Avarice, which always finds real or apparent means of satis-fying itself, invented a very onerous one to repair the evil caused by the departure of the Spaniards; this was to increase the royal expenses, and we may say that they had no more moderate limits than the motives to which they owed their ex-istence and their excess. The forts vv^hich the French king had in different parts of the colony were objects of ofEce-seekers.* These men, led there by cupidity, carried the ex-

and he had to send to Vera Cruz for ammunition and supplies. The faf e of the colony was approaching. The Choctaws and Alibamons threatened to join the English, unless they received supplies. Things continued to get gradually worse, when, on the Od of November, 1762, the king of France ceded to the king of Spain this splendid province, which extended from the Gulf of Mexico to the shores of the Pacific. On the 29th of June, 1763, D'Abadie landed at New-Orleans, and Kerlercc soon after departed for France, where he was thrown nto the Bastile to answer charges made against him. Here he was confined for some time, and after his release, it is said, he died of grief— Qayarri's Archives of France. — Martin. '

♦ These posts were Point Coupfie, Natchitoches, Natchez, Arkansas, Illinois, Mobile,Tombeckbe and Alibamons. They served as retreats for Indian traders. Under Kerlerec's administration the commanders of these exclusively carried on the trade, and disposed at will of the royal stores intended as presents for the Indians. After exhausting these, they sold goods to the king at exorbitant prices, and frequently the very articles which they had abstracted. I have heard on this point strange items of expense, the most entertaining are these, viz : it cost the king of France ten thousand francs to clear a prairie ! and in another post twenty thousand francs in one year for milk for the hospital. The garrison of the post must have been suckled all that year !

!!

HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA.

137

pcnscs to unheard-of suras, for they dopcndcd on their will, or rather on their caprice. They drew bills of exchange, which the comptroller (commissaire-ordonnateur) of New-Orleans Avas obliged to accept in the king's name. All this took place during the last war, and expenses are mentioned which arc perfectly incredible, So barefaced and ridiculous are they.

The great quantity of paper showed the necessity of depre-ciating its value, and before the king had spoken, commerce had taxed it. His Christian majesty acted much more favor-ably than was supposed; for the paper was reduced only half, while on 'change at New-Orleans they lost three-quarters.*

It is easy to see how such shocks injured the progress of the colony. They soon combined with other causes to pro-duce the unhappy state into which that province fell, at the time when I was drawn there with the troops sent by the English government, to begin establishments on the ceded ter-ritory. The information which I acquired enables me to say positively, that the two main causes of the weakness of the colony at all times are, first, a neglect to encourage agriculture and thereby a medium of exchange; and secondly, the mis-management in the expenses incurred in the king's name. All believe that Louisiana would have been able to sustain Canada and carry French conquest into the very heart of the English possessions in North America, had the French gove:^nmcnt thought more seriously of the means of increasing the power of that portion of the new world! —had it animated the dif-ferent branches of cultivation, for which it is better adapted than any other part of North America—had posts been opened

* Thfi amount of paper at this time afloat in tho colony was about seven mil-lions of livres, whieli was Belling at the rate of about five livres in paper for ono of specie. About this time, too, a memorial was written proposing to restore confKlenco by adopting a plan for the withdrawing of all paper money in the colony.

HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA.

for commerce, means of exchange instead of means of cupidity and revulsions been presented, and a deaf ear been turned to tliosc who, impelled by avarice, proposed at times to shackle agriculture under the false pretext of encouraging commerce.

Such is the idea that I conceived of the main causes of the languishuig state of that colony; and we* shall be convinced of their accuracy, when in the second part we sec Louisiana re-covering her strength when the colonists turned their attention to agriculture.

This part will embrace the period between the peace and the arrival of the Spaniartts; and the success of so short a period will tend to prove what I have advanced in the first part, " that the neglect of agriculture was the main cause of the state of weakness in which the colony was in 1762."*

* In the Archives of the Escurial, there is a document in which Spain states her impossitiility to send supplies to the colonists, but recommends it as the in-terest of France and Spain to retain Louisiana. As early as 1762, the king of France wrote to Kerlerec, that, by the preliminaries of peace, he had ceded to the king of England a part of Louisiana, and had also resolved upon ceding the other part to his cousin, the king of Spain.

HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA.

139

SECOND PART.

frH.iT LOUlSIJLyA WAS FROM THE PEACE OF 1762 TILL TIIK ARIUI'AL OF THE SPAyiARUS.

THE Frenchman loves his king as the Englishman loves his country; this love, more disinterested in the former, is as worthy of high praise. These two dillerent springs produce in each nation similar acts of patriotism. In the last war we saw the Canadian recognize welflu'e and hap-piness only under French rule, and for it sacrifice fortune, children, life; and, after the peace, half the inhabitants of Cana-da abandon their lands, and run the risk of dying from want in France rather than enjoy the ease which their possessions assured them under a free and peaceful government.

We see this same patriotic fire extend to Louisiana among all the colonists who were on the part ceded to the English.

We shall, in the third part of this work, show this spark the origin of a great conflagration which might liave produced the most surprising revolution; but we are, at present, to consider what transpired between the peace of 17G2 and the arrival of Don Antonio do Ulloa. This period embraces, if we may use the expression, the manhood of the colony—a glorious time, indeed, but too short.

The English, as I have already said, had acquired the ces-sion of Florida and all Louisiana east of the Mississippi, whoso course became common to the two nations, French and English. The former, however, preserved the isle of New-Orlcan.s, formed by Iberville iiiver and the lakes. The circumference of this island is about 150 leagues, but all the land is not inhabitable; in fact, only the banks of the Mississippi are. The city lies on

\

I i

'-iiiiiA^ii^V-'^'-^* =- -VM-.i

HISTORICAL MEM0IB3 OF LOUISIANA.

V

the island wliich bears its name, tliirty-two leagues from the mouth of the river, and one league from a narrow channel running to Lake Ponchartrain, which connects with the gulf. As the entrance to this lake belonged to the English,* commerce with the French was secured to them on all sides, as the prin-cipal French establishments are on New-Orleans island, and communicate with the city by the river and lakes. The gulf-shore at Pensacola and Mobile is of a white sand, unfit for culti-vation, rendering it indispensable to communicate and trade with the French colony of Louisiana. The English govern-ment had felt it, and by leaving the'isle of New-Orleans to the French, they assured themselves a trade which cannot possibly be prevented, and which is, moreover, necessary and very ad-vantageous to the inhabitants.

At the moment when the treaty of peace was published, the French, whose possessions lay on the part now become English territory,! were seen abandoning their lands and proceeding with their negroes and stock to territory which they believed, as the treaty pretended them, to be still French. In some places they had only to cross the river. They showed no regret at the constant sight of the plantations which they had abandoned.

Who can refuse a tribute to such sacrifices? The promises of the English, the flicilities which they afforded, retained only such colonists as could not abandon their possessions without exposing themselves to starvation. •

* Sop the correspondence between Col. Robertson and Gov. d'Abadio, in 1763, on the commerce of the lakes.

t Prior to this period the whole territory on both sides of the Mississippi, situ-ated between the northern lakes and the Gulf of Mexico, and between the Mexi-can and Alleghany Mountains, went under the name of Louisiana. That part of it ceded to the English lost the name, but the new acquisition of Spain re-tained it. In 1702, the king of France sent instructions to M. d'Abadio respect-ing the delivery of Louisiana to England and Spain.

HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA,

141

Monsieur d'Abadie was appointed by the French king governor of the part of Louisiana wliich had been left him by the treaty of peace. The city had the rank of a port of entry, and M. d'Abadie had the direction of the custom-house, thus uniting the two offices of intcndant and governor of that wretched colony; the deplorable state in which he found it, left him no hope of ever seeing it attain the splendor to which he saw it could bo raised. Yet, he employed wisely and understandingly the best means to attain it. lie felt that a spirit of trade and exchange had seduced many . To recall some to agriculture and inspire a taste for it, and destroy all hopes of making fortunes otherwise, he diminished the exces-sive expenses of the government, giving a surer and more profitable direction to agriculture; he flattered the hopes of the colonist, and endeavored to open markets for articles that could employ the greatest number of inhabitants, such as tobacco and rice. Lastly, he permitted the English to trade with the colonists, and even encouraged them to supply negroes.*

No governor had till then perceived, as M. d'Abadie did, the real means of prosperity for Louisiana; but the colony was three or four years in arrear, and this debt was first to be liqui-dated. The Louisiana merchants owed a great part of the invoices shipped by houses in France, and M. d'Abadie had to seek means to send back all these sums in order to restore the colony's credit, entirely lost since the war. This he could not effect without incurring the hostility of the mer-chants, who looked with a jealous eye on the English stores at New-Orleans. But the welfare of the colonial cultivator called for his first attention. Commerce he could always

t:.!^

* English merchants for a number of years Bupplird Louisiana and the Ameri-can colonies with negroes from Africa.

\'t

HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA.

I!

\,

restore, and with applause, when the colonial produce, aug-mented by the facilities ofFercd the cultivator, had furnished the merchants sure means of exchange and speculation.*

A premature death unfortunately carried off this worthy man, at the very moment when he was most occupied with means of elevating the colony ; which had as yet but slightly experienced the efficacy and certainty of those means. His death was not accordingly as much regretted as it should have been.f

lie was, moreover, replaced by M. Aubry a man whose valor had won the highest praise in the last war, and whose

♦Till" merchants adilresBod a memorial to M. d'Abadie on the 7th of June, 'l7fi4, (io|)icliiii5 the wretched condition of the colony produced by the depreciation of paper iiioni'y. This document contains a practical refutation of the paper system, and shows its demoralizing effects.— Archive! of France.

tM. d'Abadie was appointed by the king, director-general in 1774, in which year he arrived in Louisiana. This magistrate was profoundly distressed with the duty ho was instructed to perform, and the grief which it occasioned caused bis death on the 4th of February, 1765. It is stated by a writer ai this period, that he died universally regretted. " A disinterested ruler, just towards all. and inflexibly firm in causing the laws to be respected, he severely repress-ed the excesses of masers towards their slaves, and prolccted the Indians from every kind of oppression. Uy his example, he caused religion and morality to be honored ; and left a memory dear to all Louisianians."

In October. 1764, M. d'Abadie announced the cession to the colonists. This intelligence plunged the inhabitants into the deepest consternation. They in-dulged however the fond hope that their united exertions might avert the im-pendmg calamity. Every parish was accordingly invited to send its most notable planters to a general meeting m New-Orleans in the beginning of the following year. It was attended by almost every respectable planter from the province, and by almost every person of note in New Orleans Lafreniere, the attorney-general, addressed themceling in a patriotic speech, which he concluded with a proposition, "that the sovereign should be entreated to retrace his steps, and that an agent should be sent to France to supplicate his majesty." The propo-sition was iissented to without a dissenting voice, and Jean Milhct was selected for the iiuportant mission. He went to France, and at Paris he was assisted by Bienville, the former governor of Louisiana, who bewailed the dismemberment of Louisiana. He called with Milhet on the Due de Choiseul, but as he was the prime mover of the measure, they were denied access to tht king, and the mission failed. Milhet returned to New-Orleans ; reported the ill success of his mission, and ended his days as a state prisoner in the .Moro Castle, Havana,

^--_.u.-".^^.jl . . ,.fnM0$* I** HISTORICAL MKMOIRS OF LOUISIAKA. 143 luce, aug-furnished ion.* 3 worthy-pied with it slightly ans. His ould have an whose md whose 7th of June, depreciation of the paper 74, in which itressed with t occasioned vriter df this just towards rely repress-Indians from 1 morality to mists. This n. They in-avert the im-most notable ;he following the province, the attorney-luded with a lis steps, and The propo-was selected s assisted by memberment It as he was iing, and the ucccss of his Havana, social virtues made hira generally respected. It was not remarked that the qualities of a good soldier and a good citi-zen do not necessarily suppose those necessary for govi'mment, the administration and finances. M. Aubry, an excellent grenadier, had no quality to fit him for governing properly a colony situated as Louisiana was then. A talent far superior to this governor's was needed to carry out the important wuvk begun by M. d'Abadie, and to fulfil worthily the dillieult commission imposed upon him. The planter who, under M. d'Abadie, had felt the necessity of devoting his time to cultivation, and whose es.<;iys had proved how advantageous it would be, did not relax under M. Aubry, from whom he expected as much protet.'lion and encouragement as he had received from his predecessor. But sometime before his death, in 1703, M. d'Abadie had received from the French court notice of the cession of Louisi-ana to Spain, by an act passed at Madrid and Versailles at the time of the peace of 1764. No one knew why this cessi(m had been so long kept secret, or why France had after that sent a governor and troops in her pay. The French king, an-nouncing the cession, ordered M. d'Abadie to enter the letter* * Louis the Fi/lcenth to M. d'Abadie. "Monsieur n'AnADiE :—Having, by a special act, passed at Fonlainel'lniiu, November 3d, 1762, ceded, voluntarily, to my dear and well-bploved coui-iii. the king of Spain, his heirs and succcssjrs in full right, purely and simply wil t exception, the whole country known under the name of Louisiiuii, as \v< li as New-Orleans and the island on which that city is situated ; and the king of N; .nil having, by another act, passed at the Escurial, on the 13th of Novenilicr, in tliu same year, accepted the cession of the said country of Louisiana, city .-iikI isl uid of New-Orleans, according to the annexed copies of these acts ; I ii(kliri.s ilns letter to inform you that my intention is, that on the receipt of this letter and the copies annexed, whether it reaches you through the officers of his Spaiiislv majesty, or directly by the French vessels charged with its ilelivcry. jou will resign into the hands of the governor therefor appointed by the king of Spain, {■■I 144 HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA. i "''i tJ5 in the council minutes, that the different departments in the province might refer to it when necessary. I was an eye-witness of the consternation which this over-whehning news produced at New-Orleans. A general despair would have followed, had they not fondly hoped that the ces-sion would never actually take place. They could not conceive the said country and colony of Louisiana and its dependencies, with the city and island of Ncw-Oricans, in such state as they may be at the date of such cession, wishing that in future they belong to his Catholic majesty, to be governed and administered by his governors and officers as belong to him, m full right and without exception. I accordingly order, that as soon as the governor and troops of his Catholic majesty arrive in the said country and colony, you put them in possession, and withdraw all the officers, soldiers, and employes in my service in garrison there, to send them to France or my other American colonies, or such of them as are not disposed to remain under the Spanish authorities. I moreover desire, that after the entire evacuation of the said port and city of New-Orleans, you collect all papers relative to the finances and administration of the colony of Louisiana, and come to France and account for them. It is, nevertheless, my intention that you hand over to the governor or officer thereto appointed all the papers and documents which especially concern the government of the colony, citl'er relative to the colony and its limits, or relative to the Indians and the varitus posts, after having drawn proper receipts for your discharge, and given said governor all the information in your power to enable him to govern said colony to the reciprocal satisfaction of both nations. It is my will that there be made an inventory, signed in duplicate by you and his Catholic .majesty's com-missary, of all artillery, effects, magazines, hospitals, ships, &c., belonging to mo in said colony, in order, that after putting said commissary in possession of the civil edifices ai.l buildings, an estimate be made up of the value of all the said effects rcmain:-..g on the spot, the price whereof shall be paid by his Catholic majesty according to such estimate. I hope, at the same time, for the advantage and tra'nquillity of the inhabitants of the colony of Louisiana ; and in consequence of the friendship and affection of his Catholic majesty, I trust that he will give orders to his governor or other officer employed in his service, in said colony and city of New-Orleans, to continue in their functions the ecclesiastical and reli-gious houses in charge of the parishes and missions, as well as in the enjoyment of the rights, privileges and exemptions granted to them by their original titles; to continue the ordinary judges, as well as the superior council; to render justice according to the laws, forms and usages of the colony ; to guard and maintain the inhabitants in their possessions; to confirm them in possession of their estates according to the grants made by the governors and intendants (ordonna-teurs) of said colony, and that such grants be deemed and reputed confirmed by his Catholic majesty, even though not yet confirmed by me. Hoping, moreover, that his Catholic majesty will bo pleased to give his subjects in Louisiana the HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OP LOUISIANA. 145 mts in the this over-iral despair liat the ces-ot conceive ih the city and f Buch Cfssion, governed and full right and nor and troops a put them in in my service ilonics, or such !B. I moreover ' New-Orleans, if the colony of vertheless, my pointed all the of the colony, ndians and iho irge, and given to govern said ill that there be niajesty's com-, belonging to n possession of e of all the said by his Catholic r the advantage in consequence liat he will give said colony and stical and reli-i the enjoyment • original titles; to render justice rd and maintain session of their dants (ordonna-id confirmed by iping, moreover, n Louisiana the how France could abandon a colony so convenient for her European and West Indian trade. They saw how little benefit it could be to Spain. They still imagined, so much did they fear a chaiigc of government, that the cession of Louisiana was oidy a temporary political arrangement, and such as could conceive it to be real, redoubled their ardor to increase the revenue in the hope and desire of laying up a competence in Europe. Nobody accordingly thought of becoming a Span-iard, so dear is country to every virtuous heart. Then was felt what encouragement and emulation the several objects of produce would have done. The various motives which animated the colonists all concurred to the same end ; industry was carried to its highest point; machines wero every whore raised to multiply force and facilitate works. Kevenucs everywhere doubled, nay tripled in some places. Louisiana indigo, till then depressed, equaled that of St. Domingo in quality and value, such was the care devoted to its manufacture. More expeditious and convenient saw-mills considerably increased the lumber trade; cotton was planted, and its quality tested by manufacture.* All took life, and the colony of Louisiana would have become the richest, most populous and powerful establishments in the New Workl. same marks of aflection and good-will which they experienced under my govern-ment, the greater elfecls of which the evils of war alone prevented their feeling. I order you to register this, my present letter, in the superior journal at New-Orhans in order that the difft-rent slates of the colony may be informed of its contents, tliat they may have recourse to it in time of need. The present letter having nn other object, I pray God, M. d'Abadie, to preserve you in his holy keep-ing.—Given ut Versailles, April 21, 1764, (Signed) " Louis. (Countersigned) " The Dukb de Choisedl." • Tndiiro and cotton appear to have been the only staple productions of Louisi-ana at this timi, although sugar-cane had been cultivated by the Jesuits as early as I'iUl. 10 r-;= r--,P ^r'--Tsiiiy-l- -^^^ .f n I fell 146 HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA. We read in the memoirs published about tliis colony, that a great number of Acadians prepared to leave New-England to come and join tlieir countrymen on tlic banks of the Missis-sippi, but the news of the cession of Louisiana to Spain, in-duced some to remain where they were, others to go to St. Domingo or Cayenne. Many took refuge in France, and were Bcnt to'corsica; Canadian families were on their way to settle in Louisiana, believing it still French, but learning the change of government in time, settled at Detroit. Yet, who would have been happier than the Acadians, had they chosen to avail themselves of the offers of the English government?* But their love of country rose above every other consideration; they aspired only to live under a French rule, and to enjoy it faced the greatest dangers. They would in preference have gone to Louisiana, the climate of which was more like that of Acadia. What an advantage for France! what a population for Louisi-ana if it had not changed rulers! " Happy," says the author of one of these memoirs, " Happy, if France had only to regret these generous citizens!" But the total loss of the colony of Louisiana will necessarily foHow its cession to a power so little fitted to turn it to advantage. In fact,if we examine the. Spanish colonies, what do we sec ? Misery and oppression spread over a few wretched set-tlers scattered over vast territories, rendered deserts by the cruelties of that nation; thousands of slaves a thousand times . This is mere flattery of England. There is scarcely an -\;f ^;"f 7"^; ment more disgraceful to common sense and common humanity than her treat-m If the Acadians. Williamson, in his History of the State o, Mame, ha. Zn a thrilling account of their cruel treatment and expuls.on l.y the Enghsh Som Acadia. From the 1st of January to the 15lh of May about s.x hund d and fifty arrived at New-Orleans. Part of this number were sent to form settle-LentsTn Attakapas and Opelousas, and the remainder settled on the ba.J.8 of the Mississippi, which is to this day called the Acadian Coast. mSTORIOAL MEMOIRS OP LOUISIANA. ur )ny, that a liigland to ;hc Missis-Spain, in- go to St. >, and were \y to settle the change vlio would len to avail !nt?* But ation; ttey joy it faced xve gone to ; of Acadia. for Louisi-3 tlic author ily to regret le colony of wer so little ivhat do we rrctcbed set-serts by the )usand times t of her govem-than her treat-te of Maine, has I liy the English out six hundred it to form settle-the banks of the more unlmppy than the most abused beasts, for they arc better able to know the extent of their misery, and all employed in wringing from the bowels of the earth the contemptible metals which drew that nation to the new world. The men whom they pretend to call free in Spanish colonies arc born serfs to every man sent to command in the name of His Catholic Majesty, and who all successively become gorged with the blood of those whom they harass and oppress. By abusing the power confided to them, these tyrants become arbitrary, and the wretch who dares complain or mourn soon falls a victim for his natural feelings. Is it possible, that under a just king, engaged in Europe in elevating the well-being of his states'and extending abundance and fertility, not one generous soul can be found to carry to the foot of his august throne the cries of the wretched inhabi-tants of his colonies ? The picture that eoukl be drawn of the horrible vexations to which they are subjected, would touch his great and magnanimous soul, but cupidity carefully keeps aloof the man bold enough to address the monarch in accents of truth. For soon would follow the destruction of the means which the rapacity of his officers finds of sating itself in the blood of the wretches whom it overwhelms with misery. There are too many interested in maintaining them. This picture, which the sight of the Spanish colonies daily presents to the people of Louisiana in still more odious colors, was brought to New-Orleans with the announcement of the speedy arrival of the Spaniards. The general terror would necessarily call up the patriotic feelings which attach French-men to their king, and in general every man sensible to a government which watches over its happiness and well-being. We shall see the effects in the third part of this work, which J % HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA. will comprise the interval between >ho arrival of Dc Ulloa and that of O'Reilly. It is unhappily the period of the deca-dence of Louisiana. It had since the peace enjoyed some splendor only to prove itsolf susceptible of it. Wo shall see its nattering hopes vanish, like the flash of lightning followed by the storm. -i.f,:>te-v r^i.—^rf.--,-- (HJ3C.'4p,\i,-gS^;*»£^e^>: . t:a^^r-«, :-i- ,-.--.-^3?r«j:::?*Ji-:^:i^ ■■^^-«- HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OP LOUISIANA. 149 fDcUlloa the deca-)yed somo 0 shall see g followed THIRD PART. WHAT LOUISIANA WAS FROM TUB AKRIVAL OK THE SPANIAKDS TO TUB YEAR 1771. SECTION I. FROM THE ARRIVAL OF ULLOA TO HIS DEPARTURE. WHEN posterity shall cast a serious glance on preceding ages, and a natural feeling of justice and humanity shall fix their attention on the events which I have now to relate, they will scarcely believe that an age as polished as ours could have produced acts of such cruel severity; they will confront epochs, and be tempted to ascribe facts so incredible to those barbarous times when the human heart, abandoned to itself, ■was capable of the most sanguinary acts. When posterity shall read that a judgment so iniquitous and so full of inhumanity as that pronounced against some inhabit-ants of Louisiana, issued from a court where somo enlighten-ment and philosophy too are reigning, they Avill doubt the authenticity of the facts, or at least will draw the reflection of the wise man on the misery inseparable from the throne. " Truth never approaches it; daily deceived by those around him, the best king commits the evil he abhors, and lets the guilty go unpunished, innocent in his belief, while desolated families mourn the death of the just man." With the torch of truth in my hand, I am about to mark with care the steps of those noble-hearted men whose patriot-ism I can never sufficiently praise; of those men, whose i ■I (■ i if I! [ \ i : I 150 HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OP LOUISIANA. virtues, firmness and magnanimity will ever be an honor to our race—of those men whom a barbarous animosity seems to have chosen, that the splendor of their merit might make it more remarkable. So, in u numerous herd, the fattest and best-looking are selected for sacrifice. So, in his garden, the cruel Koman struck down the poppy-heads that nature had raised above the others. Sad emblem of that reflective cruelty which the world calls prudence and policy, but which the wise man more justly deems barbarity. However, let us first relate the facts which usher in that cruel event. A year had elapsed since the receipt of the king's letter an-nouncing the cession of Louisiana, when Don Antonio de UUoa wrote from Havana to the superior council at New-Orleans a letter, in which he assumed the title of Governor of Louisiana, —announcing the protection of a beneficent king was prepar-ing all hearts to gratitude, and such was the feeling which pre-pared the brilliant reception given to UUoa. A man threatened with a great danger believes that he has escaped as soon as he sees the least help, no matter how bar-barous the hand that profiers it. Such was the position of the inhabitants^of Louisiana.* They justly shuddered at the cruel-ties and vexations with which the Spanish colonies were op- * Vlloa to the Superior Council. " Gentlemen, —Having lately received orders from his Catholic majesty to repair to your city and take possession of it in his name, and in conformity there-with, I avail myself of this occasion to acquaint you with my mission, and to give you notice that I shall soon have the honor of coming among you to fulfill this commission. I flatter myself in anticipation, that it will afford me a favor-able occasion to render all the service that you or the colonists can desire, of which I beg you to assure them that in this 1 will but discharge my duty and gratify my inclinations. " I have the honor to be, &c., " Antonio »■ Ulloa." "Havana, Jtt/j/10, 1765." i;.;^f-i? : an honor osity seems [light make the fattest his garden, that nature ^.t reflective , but which her iu that ;'s letter an-aio de UUoa w-Orleans a F Louisiana, was prepar->• which pre- that he has er how bar-sition of the at the cruel-ies were op- olic majesty to inforniity there-mission, and to ig you to fulfill brd me a favor-8 can desire, of e my duty and &o., ) DE UlLOA." HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA. 151 pressed; but an animal to be broken to the yoke must be petted for a time. No one expected that the first years of this domination would not be stamped with beaeficence and equity. Hope the faithful companion of desire, showed a retreat to Europe as an easy thing at the end of a few years, and it was supposed that, at the moment of taking possession, a term would be fixed for those who should decide to leave the country. The entry of the Spanish governor was too flattering not to seduce three-fourths of the colonists, but sensible men easily discovered the poison under the honey. Some superstitious minds viewed as an ill omen the thunder and lightning which accompanied the Spaniards from their entrance into the river till their arrival at New-Orleans. We leave to ages of ignorance these auguries and omens; our business is with facts. ' They sufficed to strike terror into the firmest minds. Polite-ness, courtesy, civility, nothing was spared to prove to Ulloa-the desire of corresponding to the happy intentions which he manifested. The Creole, naturally good, credulous, generous and sensible, carried his attentions even to meanness. Per-haps this conduct excited the interior contempt of a man who had imbibed all the Spaniard's hatred for other nations, and especially the French. It and his character soon appeared m their true colors in this way. Don Antonio de Ulloa,* a man to whom knowledge and »Don Antonio de UUoa was descended from a family distinguished in the mariUme annals of his country. He was born in Seville, on the 12th of January mtZ entered the navy at a very early age. The first —^^ ^P^*^^ tion n which he served was that which was sent out by franco and Spam to measurran arc of the meridian at the equator, to determine the configuration of %rrlrned to Spain in 1746, and in two years afterwards published his J __„!>■(. ^^.■.= .*i.;_S7J/;.. TJ ■ HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA. erudition were ascribed, Lad not the proper ♦alenta for manag-ing men. He had not penetration enough to know them, nor impartiahty enough to avoid injustice or correct a false judg-ment, lie had not that amenity, that mildness, that engaging way which gains all hearts, and above all a Frenchman's. He had not that happy combination of severity and clemency which can punish or pardon in reason. Obstinate, nothing was better than his own plans; violent, he confounded in his rage all those he dealt with ; imperious, his will was law ; minute in his projects, vexatious in their execution, arr6gant when yielded to, timid and supple when resisted, inconsiderate in his plans, destitute of dignity, of generosity, shut up in his cabinet, appearing only to disoblige. Such was the man in soul. In body it would be hard to be thinner or smaller than Ulloa; a sharp, weak voice announced his disposition. His " Historical Relation of a Voyage to South America." Shortly after, he was pro-moted to a captaincy in the navy, and set out on a tour through Europe by order of the king. On Charles III. ascending the throne, he was promoted to the com-mand of a fleet to the East Indies. He returned to Spain, and was appointed to the government of Louisiana. On the 5th of March, 1766, he arrived at New-Orleans. Acting with his usual benevolence, the king instructed Ulloa not to make any changes in the laws and usages of the province, and so desirous was Ulloa to conciliate those over whose destinies he had come to preside, that on his arrival he promised to keep at a fixed rate the depreciated paper of the coun-try, which now amounted to about seven millions of livres. He likewise ascer-tained the wants and resources of the country, and agreed to discharge the most pressing demands against it. On the Cth of May, Spain issued a decree, permitting a direct commerce be-tween Louisiana and the French islands. The colonists, however, became dis-satisfied with subsequent commercial restrictions, which produced a great ex-citement in the colony, and Ulloa had to flee for safety to the Balizo. Here he eflected an arrangement with Aubry, the nominal French governor, to deliver the province up to him, which was accordingly done. A greater part of the year passed away in comparative quiet, but a secret conspiracy had been set on foot to drive him from the province ; among whom, were Lafreniere, Foucault, Mar-quis, Noyan, Viller6, Milhet, Petit, Caresse, Poupct and Boisblanc. On the 28th of October, a petition was signed by about six hundred persons, demanding restoration of some ancient rights and liberties, and the expulsion of he Spaniards from the country. This was presented to the superior council, .;.y---J^-I^i/-'--;', -• - ^-^ .jfffti'>ii.^-»Sa* 1 HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA. 168 features, though regular, had something false withal; large eyes, always bent on the ground, darted only stealthy glances, seek-ing to see and be unseen. A mouth, whose forced laugh an-nounced knavery, duplicity and hypocrisy, completes the por-trait of Don Antonio de Ulloa. Let us have the French governor's to act as companion-piece. A knowledge of a man's natural disposition often enables us to judge a man's actions more certainly than we can judge character by actions often misrepresented. M. Aubry was a little, dry, lean, ugly man, without nobility, dignity or car-riage. His face would seem to announce a hypocrite, but in him this vice sprang from, excessive goodness, which granted all, rather than displease; always trembling for the conse-quences of the most indifferent actions, a natural effect of a mind without resource or light; always allowing itself to be guided, who issued a decree that Uiloa and the Spanish troops should leave the colony in three days. On the evening of the ZUt of October, Uiloa embarked with all his troops and sailed for Cadiz, where he arrived on the 4th of December, 1768. Here he wrote an account of all that had transpired to the Marquis of Gnmaldi. Aubry, the French governor, also wrote a dispatch to the same minister, stating, that " notwithstanding his great learning, Ulloa was not the proper per-son to govern Louisiana-for, instead of endeavoring to gain the hearts of the colonists, he did every thing to alienate them ; while Foucault wrote that Ulloa committed every day some act of inhumanity or despotism. The superior coun-cil represented to the Duke de Praslin that through the misdeeds of Ulloa the colony had been thrown into a state of beggary and starvation, and by malicious and restrictive legislation they were prevented from aciuiring the means to pay their debts. They concluded, by supplicating the king to retake possession of the colony and annul the treaty of cession. Atter Ulloa retuincd to Spain he was promoted to the grade of lieutenant-general of the royal navies ol Spam. He died in the island of Leon, on the 3d of July, 179.5, at the advanced age of eighty. He published, in 1772, a work entitled " Noticias Americanas ;" and in 1773, a valuable work on the Naval Forces of Europe and Africa. Townsond, who visited him a short time before his death in Cadiz, represent, d him as a true philosopher, full of wit and learning, sprightly in conversation, and of elegant manners. The diircrcnt points of his character have been discussed by Gayarro in his admirably written History of Louisiana, from which this sketch has been in part drawn up. ' - ^-^ ^m^{'^-i^^;4£M [ J HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA. and thus often swerving from rectitude in conduct; religious tbrougli weakness rather than from principle; incapable of wishing evil, but doing it through a charitable, human weak-ness; destitute of magnanimity or reflection; a good soldier, but a bad leader; ambitious of honors and dignity, but possess-ing neither firmness nor capacity to bear the weight. Su(;h is the portrait of the two men who ruined Louisiana, the one through malice, the other by weakness; the Spaniard from hatred and animosity, the Frenchman by ignorance of his powers and what he owed to the position be filled. Let us see them in action. The first act which should have followed Ulloa's arrival in New-Orleana was the taking possession of Louisiana in the name of the Spanish king; but eighty wretched soldiers whom he had brought with him were not in his eyes a sufficiently re-spectable force to control a colony of which he had already con-ceived a most unfiivorable idea, and this was the pretext which he gave when called upon to take possession. An offer was made to let the French troops remain in Spanish pay, but the soldiers demanded their discharge. The term of their engage-ment was already tripled, and they could not without injustice be made to serve another prince; they were accordingly left in the French pay, because Ulloa threatened, in case they persisted in pressing him to take possession, to leave and report to the king, his master, the reasons of his retirement. Aubry, fearful of prejudicing the courts of Versailles and Madrid against him, if he pressed it, acquiesced in all that Ulloa wished, abstained from pressing the act of taking posses-sion, and let himself be guided completely by that man's caprice. Examine the memoirs published on the revolution which took place in that country, and we see Aubry acting as ser- ^ ^^m^ -.ti»jMci a^?..»-j j«a:a ai"- k; religious ncapable of imnn weak-ood soldior, but possess-t. I Louisiana, le Spaniard irance of his 5 arrival in ana in the diers whom DB,ciently re-ilready con-etext which m offer was ay, but the leir engage-)ut injustice ingly left in ey persisted eport to the rsailles and in all that liing posses-that man's * ition which ting as ser- ^ HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA. 155 geant-raajor, and often as valet to Ulloa. We see him blindly follow his will, and obey him as eagerly as he would a supe-rior. At every step we see this French governor and his authority exposed to humiliation and the contempt of an arro-gant Spaniard. Meanwhile, the French troops continued to act under their national flag; the eighty Spanish soldiers were in barracks and unemployed. The council acted in the name of the French king, and it appeared natural that till possession was taken all orders should emanate from Aubry. The whole colony turned to him ; when anything was asked of Ulloa he put it off till after the taking possession, and that moment was considered as that of the change of government. The Spaifiard's delay in taking this authentic and necessary step left a hope that he would sicken his country of a colony which he every day repeated was unfit for Spain, and this hope stifled some of the groans which his conduct would otherwise have elicited. When Ulloa was sufficiently certain that his threats had alarmed the feeble mind, and his promises seduced the inter-ested heart c t Aubry, he no longer kept up appearances. If he neede \ a conference with the French governor, ho sent a sergeant or a negro for him; if he spoke to him, it was with the arrogance of an insolent superior. Once only Aubry, . moved by his impertinence, resented it. The supple Spaniard at once bent and yielded, to resume soon after, with more assu-rance than ever, an empire which he feared to dispute too long. The colony witnessed with lively indignation Aubry, daily for hours together, awaiting in Ulloa's ante-chamber, until the moment when the haughty man should deign to appear. Authority was weakened, the royal dignity dishonored in the man appointed to sustain it. All the French were mortified HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA. at this humiliation, and when it falls on hearts unused to it, it inspires rage and fury, if vengeance is not prompt enough. Ulloa daily extended his powers, and Aubry kept only a shadow of authority ;* and this went so far that it was impos-sible to distinguish which was the head. Each gave orders ; yet i^.iibry oft<:in sent men to Ulloa, and the Spaniard always affected to leave the whole authority to Aubry, always say-ing that he had not taken possession. He had, however, per-B laded the court of the contrary in this way : An act was passed between Aubry and Ulloa, by which the former certified that he had resigned to the latter the colony of Louisiana agreeably to the orders of the king, his master, and in virtue of the powers received by said Ulloa frcSm his court. This act was signed by the two governors in duplicate, and was to be exchanged to the two courts. It will, perhaps, be imagined that this treaty was made pub-lic, read, posted up, and attended with all the formalities that announce a change of government. Not at all. The inhabit-ants of Louisiana had not even on this occasion the necessary satisfaction given to a sold slave, that of knowing the moment when he was to obey his new master. M. Aubry communi-cated this iniquitous and informal act to only two persons, after pledging them to the most profound secrecy, and they divulged it only afler the revolution. But it'is not e^ugh to have put this invalid and unjust act before the reader; but let us hear from Aubry's own lips the means employed by Ulloa to extort it. " Ulloa, intimidated by the representations of the merchants to the council, and by some threats purposely pronounced in • We shall hereaflor eee, however, Aubry avowing in open council, that Ulloa had never shown him anything but a letter of M. de Grimaldi, in Spanish, a language that Aubry did not understand, and this letter announced to Ulloai as he explained it, his appointment as Governor of Louisiana. T h t I c s ''-!s,-£>S'M&^5 ^ .^^= HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA. 157 sed to it, it nough. ept only a ivas impos-ie orders; ,rd always ways say-vevcr, per- which the e colony of naster, and 1 his court, (licate, and made pub-alities that he inhabit-e necessary he moment ' communi-iTO persons, ■, and they ; cftDugh to ler; but let d by Ulloa ! merchants lounced in 1 council, that Ji, in Spanish, need to Ulloa > his hearuig, retired to the Balizo, which is at the mouth of the river, thirty-two leagues from the capital. I received a letter from him, in which he informed me that ho had matters of the greatest importance to communicate. I at first hesitated as to abandoning my government, but circumstances, it seemed to me, required this step on my part, and I went to the Balize. Ulloa represented to me that the two courts would, perhaps, take it amiss that possession had not yet been taken, and I knew it was impossible for him to take it; that, accordingly, to satisfy both monarchs he begged me to sign an act which ho proffered, by which I certified that I transferred the colony to him by virtue of the powers I had from my court and he from his. So informal a transaction shocked me, and I in-sisted on an authentic taking of possession, which could be ignored by none—such, in a word, as good sense, custom and the law of nations required, Ulloa tried to convince me of its inutility; I insisted. He then promised to take possession as soon as he returned to town, I was some days irresolute. Ulloa was continually after me; at one time he entreated, at another he threatened to complain of my refusal. I was greatly embarrassed; but I at last accepted a proposal he made me, and which seemed to fulfil the object of the publicity. I signed the act in question, on condition that the act of taking should be performed publicly on his return to town, and that the act passed between us should be read publicly before the garrison of Balize, which was to be immediately relieved by a Spanish detachment." Have you never seen a school-boy threatened, coaxed, fright-ened, by a severe master, to do something he required? The child resists, cries, is stubborn, but yields at last, but under conditions that seem to him a complete victory gained over hia HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA. -v master. Such was M. Aubry before Ulloa. But let us con-clude the French Governor's account. " The act passed between us," continues Aubry, "and it wus agreed that each should send a copy to his court. I gave orders to M. dc Lorme, a French officer commanding at the Balizc, to have his troops under arms next day at eight o'clock. Ulloa gave the same order to the Spanish officer, who had accom-nied him with a detachment; but at daybreak Ulloa enter-ed my room to tell me that it was useless to read the act before the troops at the Balizc, as he would soon go to town. I countermanded the order given to the French officer, and ho did the same with the Spanish officer. The next day I return-ed to town, leaving Ulloa at the Balizc." Soon after, difficulties arose between the Spanish governor and the French officer commanding at the Balize. The latter had orders from Aubry to obey Ulloa as himself, in con-sequence of which the orders of Ulloa were obeyed. He changed the position of Balizc and placed it on the left bank of the river, proceeded there and raised the Spanish flag.* The French flag floated on the other side, where the French officer and his detachment still continued. During his stay at the Balize, Ulloa sent twelve boats, loaded with troops and munitions, to go and take possession of the posts in the Illinois. The whole colony was amazed at this infraction of received usages. Nothing seemed more extraor- ♦ Balize was the port at the entrance of the Mississippi on the west side in French times. Ulloa took it into his head to change this post, or rather to establish another on a little island, to which he gave the pompous name of Real Catolico San Carlos. This island, like all others at the mouth of the Mississippi, was not permanent, but exposed to the ravages of the sea and river. Ulloa under-took to make it solid, and spent .£25,000 in his attempt, half of which was a dead loss. '*t«^^-~^-" et us con- and it wiiS avc orders I Btilizc, to 3k. Ulloa lad accom-lloa enter-td the act ;o to town, jer, and ho <f I return- 1 governor The latter If, in con-eyed. He n the left le Spanish where the )ats, loaded sion of the ;ed at this Te extraor- c west side in ler to establish Real CatoUco ssissippi, was Ulloa under-r which was a HISTORICAL MEMOIIUS OF LOUISIANA. 169 dinary than to see two different governments, two flags, and two commanding officers in the same country.* The colonists went to Aubry, who pacified them, by saying that ho was to retain command till possession was taken, which Ulloa would do as soon as he came from the Balize. This moment was always deferred. " The trooi)s," said the Spaniard, " were on the way," in fact, at Havana, as he pretended, although it is an indisputable fact he knew that at that port there were only fifteen or twenty men for Louisiana, intended to replace as many dead or deserted. •This comlilion of things is confirmed by Aubry's dispatch to the French government, dated 20lh of January, 1768. " I command," says Aubry, " for the King of France, at the same time I govern the colony as if it belonged to the King of Spain. A French commander is gradually moulding Frenchmen to Spanish domination. The Spanish governor urges mc to issue ordinances in relation to the police and commerce of the country, which takes the people by surprise, considering that they are not used to such novelties. The Spanish flag is now waving at the extremities of the province. It is at the Balize, at Mis-souri, on the banks of Iberville River, and opposite Natchez. M. Ulloa has just established these posts, which was done peaceably. It has produced no change in our posts, which still continue in existence. So that, in all those which are on the banks of the Mississippi, from the Balize to the Illinois, the French flag is kept up as before." Again, in another dispatch, Aubry says : " The governor whom His Catholic Majesty has sent here, is a man full of merit, of learning and of talents ; but as an exception to the well-known temperament of his nation, ho is exceedingly hasty, and it seems to me, that he does not listen suflicicntly to the representations addressed to him It is a cause of discontent in those who have business with him. I had wished that the oflicer sent to take command of this government had possessed the art of managing the public mind, and of gaining the hearts of the inhabitants. Men arc not to be ruled with haughtiness and pride, with threats and punishments. Marks of kindness and benevolence, with judicious promises, would have been necessary to reconcile the colonists to the exchange of dominion which has come upon them. This was the only course to be pur-sued, in order to win the affection of new subjects who regret their former master. " If the Spaniards do not act with mildness, and if they attempt to govern this colony like a Mexican one, most of the people will abandon their lands, and cross over to the English, who are on the opposite side of the river. Thus, in a few years, the Spanish part of Louisiana will become a desert." He concluded with informing the French court that the measures taken by Ulloa were not calculated to give popularity to the Spanish govemnient.— Gayane. (Y HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OP LOUISIANA. M i Who docs not feel indignant at such conduct ? What base, mean trickery! And yet it was on this illegal act only that O'Kcilly was to judge as Spaniards, men who had been ceded without being told of it. But all I have thus far related is only a slight sketch compared to what remains for me to tell, or to omit, as I may think best. Money at last came from Havana. Ulloa knew that the non-payment of the troops had caused some murmuring; he hoped, by appeasing them, to be able to appear in town with a little more security for his life; for, according to the idea which he had formed, he was in constant fear that the colonists would make an attempt on it.* " On returning to the city he was as polite as possible, flattered them with the fondest hopes, announced advantage-ous projects, which he never entertained, read letters of con-gratulation on the conduct of the colonists towards him, re-ceived, as he pretended, from the court. He flattered cupidity, promised to take possession soon, auJ somewhat restored calm in the public mind. But this calm lasted only as long as he could contain his temper, and above all his hatred and con-tempt for the French. In spite of the complaints which Ulloa repeated a thousand times, he never received from the inhabitants anything but politeness, deference and respect. Complaints and murmurs were carried to Aubry, who appeased them, exhorted all to patience, assuring them that the French court was informed by all his letters of the just ground on which the colonists had based their complaints. Meanwhile, tyranny was gradually being established and * This fear was pardonable in a man who, if we believe public report, had been obliged to escape by night from a town he commanded in I'eru, on hia hearing that the discontented inhabitants wished to burn him in his house. -j:gtgr _,:ii:, :";fe^jgi ^ .i " IIISTOUICAI- MKMOIIW OF LOnSIAXA. 161 rhat base, only that sen ceded related is tne to tell, it the non-lie hoped, Lh a little , which he ists would I possible, idvantagc-iTS of con-Is him, re-:1 cupidity, torcd calm long as he 1 and con- j, thousand lathing but L murniurs rted all to iformed by onists had lished and port, had been n his hearing despotism gained now strength. Ordinances were annulled, or made a dead letter; the sulijects of the French king were ill treated and itnpri.souod by ordL>r of the man invested with authority by no public or recognized act. % Never was there a more cruel and critical position than that of the colonists of Ijouisiana. "Was the colony ceded or not ?* If ceded, why did not lllloa take possession? and why did Aubry continue to govern ? Why did the council judge in the name of the King of France? If not ceded to Spain, wluit was Ulloa doing in Louisiana? Why did he command, unop-posed by Aubry ? Why, too, was French authority alono recognized and predominant ? What was the object of this mixture of authoritj^, the more destructive, as no one knew to whom to apply for a redress of the gi'ievanccs which occurred daily? •■ The act of cession, if it took enect, was to bring under a now domination the hapi)iness of a people of which they could not have as yet lost the remembrance. Such was the sacred promise of the French king to his Louisiana subjects—a promise which only confirmed the natural feeling that kings have received power oidy for the happiness of the people. But, where were they to claim these sacred rights of man ? To whom address their representations? Ulloa would not listen to them, protested that he had no right, and threatened those who made them with the greatest chastisement on his reception. If they applied to M. Aubry he promised the sup-port of the French court, and evils but increased amid this frightful perplexity. An edictf announced from Europe crowned their despair.. * By a private arrangement entered into between Ulloa and Aubr .. the 20lli of January, 1707, it was agreed tliat the colony should delivered up to Ulloa, and that Aubry should govern it for the time being. tXhia decree was issued by Ulloa on the Olh of September, 1706. The ex- li / L ••n . I |Jl"W " -.'•■MMMM»<'«MiliMHItft>« ^1 yj$ IIISTOUICAL MKM0IR3 OF LOUISIANA.

NoM-lutcrcour.sc with Im-uuco, .lutios, iinporiti«. AVan this a foretaste of the promised felicity ? to lose all hope of inter-course with their country, and almost the hope of ever reach-ing it. What a future for Frenehnien, whoso sacrifices had proved their attachment to their prince !-for Frenchmen, who breathed only for the moment when they sho«iKl bo permitted to renew in Europe an oatb of allegiance from which nothing as yet had dispensed them.

Here, their patriotic feeling awoke with all the energy that an essay of tyrannical power could give them even before its recognition. The desire of escaping it was naturally the lirst movement which succeeded this outburst. But to do so with-out being criminal, this is the next thought of a Frenchman. The colonists certainly are not accused of having abandoned

this principle.

They had many ways of escaping the growing tyranny, and enjoying the rights given theni by nature, and by the royal promise to liappiness and repose. They knew that under the En-dish government they would have all the prerogatives of liberty. They beheld the victorious Britons extending them the hand; they had but to cross the river to escape vexations; but an oath of lidelity attached them to France. Nothing as yet had destroyed this dear and sacred bond. Duty, love, honor all opposed their emigration ; all prevented their listen-in., to tlie favorable proposals of the English government; alii in fine, obliged them to close their ears to the flattering

her colonies."

as thid a ; ul" iiilor-vor roacli-•il'iccs bad unon, who pcMuitlcd h nothing

tiergy that 1 before its ly tLe lirst lo 80 with-'rcnchman. abiimloned

■ranny, and Y the royal t under tho rogatives of iding them vexations; Nothing as Duty, love, their listcu-)vcrnment; le flattering

o throw off the epcndoncc was banJoned as a 9 early as 17C5i liis regrets for t soon become en England and

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IIISTOHTCAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA.

103

protnlac.-i mado to such as should settle on tho pcssossions of the Kiiglish king.

They could not complain to tho court of Spain of tho evils threatened them by IJlloa, and with which he smote the colony. They were induced to believe that political reasons kept tho courts of Madrid and Ver.-!aillcs in sufl[)cnsc as to the possession of Louisiana, inasmuch as the Spanish envoy did not carry out his i)owers. lie might bo commissioned by his court to examine the colony and render an account. It is well known that IJlloa frequently styled himself simply Inspector. In this quality, without taking possession, and not having been re-cognized, ho had no right to command, still less to harass; for not even the act of taking possession would give this, contrary to the orders, will and desire of the king, his master. Another reason confirmed the French in the idea that particular arrangements still preserved Louisiana for France; among others, that Aubr}-- had not executed the French king's order* announcing the cession, and ordering the Governor of Louisi-ana to transfer the colony as soon as any came entitled to re-ceive it in the name of the Spanish king—at least, they were justified in believing Ulloa not that person.

The inhabitants of Louisiana, always regarding themselves as subjects of tho king of France, and being so in fact—as no taking of possession, no public act, either on their part or that of their magistrates, had attached xhem to any other rule—could recur to none but the Frencb tribunals established for tho relief of his subjects, to render them justice when necessary. The French king announcing the cession, seemed to foresee all the difaculties it would entail, as he ordered M. d'Abadie to have his royal letter enrolled in the superior council of Louisi-

* Aubry had received ofBcial instructions to cede Louisicna in April, 1766.

HISTORICAL MEMOIBS OF LOUISIANA,,

1 "^

ana, that " tlio people of the colony of all ranks and conditions might, in case of need, recur thereto, and to publish and post the same;" all of which D'Abadie had done.

Could the people of Louisiana follow any path but that mark-ed out by iho king's letter? They accordingly drew up a memo-orial, in which some of their complaints against UUoa are set

DECREE OF THE SUl'KUIOK COUNCIL.

Louis, by the grace of Go.]. King of France and of Navarre, to all Tvho shall sec these presents, greeting ■. We make it known that the Superior Councl of the Province of Louisiana, having taken into consideration the humble repre-sentations. made this day to that court, by the planters, merchants, mechanics and others ; and whereas the relief of a people, to whom the council is a lather; the support of the laws, of which it is the depository and interpreter; and the improvement of agriculture and commerce, of which it is the patron, are the mo-tives of the representations of said planters, merchants and others ; said council has proceeded to adjudicate as follows on these important matters :

What momentous objects are these for the council! Can it, after having duly wei<rhed them, give attention to any other subject, except so far as it may con-tribute 10 these favors 1 I^t it, for a few moments, suspend its arduous labors, to attend to those subjects, which are now represented as most worthy of its atten-tion and ministry : and thou, dear country, whose prosperity is the object of our most ardent wishe. ; and you who are to us what Sparta, Athrns and Rome were to their zealous citizens, sulTcr us to pay a legitimate debt by consecrating to thee this weak tribute of our love ! It will be dictated by our hearts, whose inspirations an obedient hand is ready to record.

Seven millions of royal paper constituted all the currency of this colony and the fortune of its citizens ; the total withdrawing of this capital, the payment of which his majesty suspended by an edict of October, 1759, has reduced the pro-vince of Louisiana to the most deplorable situation. We shall not undertake to enter into a detail of the calamities, of the ruined fortunes, of the downfall of families which were the fatal consequences of that catas'trophe. The council, every lime it assembles to take cognizance of the affairs of the unhappy victims of that event, has before its eyes a more striking picture of our misfortunes than it IS possible for us to paint. Recovered from the depression into which they had been pUinTed, the citizens of Louisiana had begun at last to breathe ; they had considered the conclusion of the war as the end of their misfortunes, and enter-tained hopes that the return of peace would be the moment destined for their re-lief A-riculture. said the planter, that surest and most positive wealth for a nation, That prolific source from which flow all the blessings which we enjoy, will now be reviv.d, and will repair, a hundred fold during the peace, the los.scs which we underwent during the war ; commerce, without which the fruits of the earth have ncillior worth nor value, will be vivified and protected, said the mor-

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niSTORICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA.

165

conditions :i aud post

tliat mark-p a memo-iloa are set

all who shall ior Council of lunible rppre-itd, mpohanics ;il is a father ; >tpr; and the n, arc the mo-

; said council

er having duly as it may con-uous labors, to liy of its atlrn-e olijoct of our ns and Rome y consecrating hearts, whose

his colony and the payment of !ducrd the pro-nt undertake to the downfall of The council, nhappy victims isfortunes than which they had alhe ; they had ines, and cntcr-icd for their ro-ve wealth for a hich wp enjoy, pacp, the losses the fruits of the d, said the mer-

foi til. That against wliicli tliey could most justly weigh, was Itis obstinacy in wishing to govern without taking possession; and they asked that this man, from whose tyranny they had all

chant. Sweet illusions and (littering projects, what is now become of you ! The planter, the merchant, all ranks and classes in the colony, undergo, in the most profound peace, misfortunes and calamities which they never felt during a long and bloody war.

The first stroke by which the colony was afflicted, was the information it re-ceived of the cession made of it by his majesty to Spain. Nobody, doubtless, will he surprised at the profound grief which this news excited in all hearts. The French love their monarch above all things, and a happy prejudice makes all men naturally incline to the government under which they are born. Let us cast a veil over this event; the pen drops from the hand of a Frenchman when he at-tempts to analyse it. What at present seriously occupies, and should engross the whole attention of the court, is the contemplation of those facts which are the forerunners of that slavery with which a new administration threatens the colonists of Louisiana. At one time we behold an exclusive company, which, to the prejudice of the nation, is empowered to carry on all the commerce of the re-maining possessions of the French in North America; we next see the appear-ance of an edict which confines within the narrowest bounds the liberty neces-sary to commerce, and forbids the French to have any connection with their own nation ; it is replete with prohibitions and restraints ; the merchants of Louisi-ana everywhere meet with obstacles to be surmounted, difl'iculties to be overcome, and (if it be allowable to make use of such an expression) enemies of their coun-try to be overthrown. In Europe, a period of six months will sometimes elapse before persons that fit out vessels know whether they shall obtain passports ; wo have no better success at St. Domingo, when expeditions to this river (Missis-sippi) are in question. The Prince of Monbazon, commander-general of the island, begins to refuse them. In Louisiana, in the very centre of the colony, where a person of the meanest understanding sees, at the very first glance, how much it stands in need of encouragement and patronage, we do meet with more

favor.

The government, about twelve months ago, forbade the importation of negroes, on the pretext that the competition would ha"e proved injurious to a merchant of the English colonies, who was to furnish them. How terrible and how destruc-tive a course of action is this I It is depriving the colony of the materials best calculated to develop its resources ; it is cutting up by the roots a branch of com-merce which is of more conseqtience to Louisiana than all the restp\it together. To promote systems of this sort is tantamount to the desire to convert into a vast forest, establishments which have cost infinite pains and trouble. The vigilance of the court will easily discover the cause of these contrarieties ; the efforts of its zeal will destroy it ; and its affection for the colony will save it from destruc-tion. Constraint keeps the affairs of the province in a state of languor and weakness ; liberty, on the contrary, animates all things ; no one is at present

niSTOBICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA.

to fear, should leave tlic colony with the frigate and the Span-iards he had brought, and that the act of taking possession should be postponed till the French king decided their fate.

ignorant that tlio granting of exclusive priviloges may bo justly conBiileroil as a sort of vampire, whicli inipprccptil)ly sucks and consumes the people, ilrains the currency, and crushes agriculture and commerce ; it is an oppressive method, which, for the happiness of mankind, has been long since banished from the French colonics.

To what fatality is it owing that Louisiana alone sees sparks of this devouring fire again struck out I These are no panic terrors ; and of this the court will be convinced, after perusing the decree, with an extract of which we have the honor of presenting them. We shall not scruple to affirm, that the carrying of the plan which it contains into execution, w«uld ruin the colony, by giving agriculture and commerce the most dangerous wounds. The inhabitants of Louisiana already despair of the preservation of their country, if the privileges and exemptions which it has hitherto enjoyed are not continued ; if the execution of the fatal decree, which has alarmed all hearts and filled them with consternation, is not prevented ; if an ordinance, published in the name of His Catholic Majesty, on the 0th of September, 1766, of which a copy is here subjoined, is not annulled as illegal in all its points, and as contrary to the increase of agriculture and conv merce ; if, finally, the mild laws, under which the inhabitants have lived till now, were suffered to be violated. We should never forget the sublime discourse which an illustrious magistrate addresses to the legislators of the earth : " Are you," says he, " desirous of abrogating any law, touch it but with a trembling hand. Approach it with so much solemnity, use so many precautions, that the people may naturally conclude that the laws are sacred, since so many formali-ties are required in the abrogation of them."

How mortifying it is for Frenchmen to sufiTer all the rigors to which their com-merce is subjected, whilst their ambitious rival openly carries on the trade of the colony, to the prejudice of the nation to which it belongs, which contributed to its establishment, and which is at the expense of it! "We do not fear that it will be objected, that the French alone are not able to supply Uie continent with all the commodities which it wants. A loan of seven millions, which the inhabitants of Louisiana made to the king, from the year 1758 to 1763, will be an efernal monu-ment of the extent of the French commerce, and of the attachment of the colo-nists to their sovereign's service.

It is just at the time when a new mine has been discovered ; when the culture of cotton, improved by experience, promises tlie planter the recompense of his toils, furnishes persons engaged in fitting out vessels, with cargoes to load them; when the manufacture of indigo may vie with that of St. Domingo ; when the fur-trade has been carried to the highest degree of perfection which it has as yet attained ; it is in these happy circumstances that certain enemies to their coun-try, andbroachers of a false system, have imposed upon persons in office, to in-duce them to sacrifice the inhabitants of New-Urlcans. Let the court no longer

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HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA.

1G7

the Span-possession their fate.

nsiderrd an a Ir, ilraiiiH tlie Rsivc mclhoil, iked from the

lis devouring court will be ive the honor rig of the plan iriculture and isiana already d exemptions n of the fatal rnation, is not c Majesty, on Jt annulled as tare and coin-lived till now, ime discourse earth : " Are th a trembling tions, that tlie many forniali-

lich their com-le trade of the contributed to car that it will tinent with all :\\e inhabitants I eternal monu-nt of the colo-

icn the culture )mpense of his s to load them; igo; when the ;h it has as yet 1 to Ihoir coun-in nflicc, to in-;ourt no longer

This memorial, signed by a majority of the inliabitants, was carried to the Superior Council, and the 28th of October, 17G8, was appointed for the day of the general assembly.

defer the relief of a people which is dear to it; let it m.ike known to those in-vested with royal authority the exhausted state to which this province would bo reduced, if it were not soon to be freed from the prohibitions which would plunge it into irremediable ruin. What would be thought of a physician, who. boin-T possessed of a panacea, or universal remedy, should wait fora plasruo in order to reveal it 1 It is by the trade to the Leeward Islands that the inhabit-ants of Louisiana find means, every year, to dispose of fourscore or a hundred cargoes of lumber. Should this branch of trade be taken away, the colony would be deprived of an annual income of five hundred thousand livres at least—a sum which the work of the negroes and the application of the master produce alone without any other disbursement. According to the observation of a celeb^ted author, it would be better to lose a hundred thousand men in a great kingdom by an error in politics, than to be guilty of one which should stop the progress of agriculture and commerce. It is well known that those who present plans to obtain exclusive privileges, arc never without plausible reasons to make them appear economic and advantageous, as well to the king as to the public ; but the experience of all ages and all countries evidently demonstrates, that those who seek exclusions ha've their private interest solely in view ; that they have less zeal than others for the prosperity of the state, and have less the spirit of

patriotism.

The execution of the decree relative to the commerce of Louisiana would re-duce the inhabitants to the sad alternative of either losing their harvests for want of vessels to export them, or of exchanging their commodities in a fraudulent manner with a foreign nation, exposing themselves to undergo the rigor of the law, which ordains that those who carry on a contraband trade shall lose both their lives and liberties. What a life is this ! what a struggle ! It is but too true, as has been already observed, that the rejmrt of the new ordinance alone has caused a considerable diminution, not only in the articles of luxury, but like-wise in landed estates. A house which was heretofore worth twenty thousand livres would hardly sell for five thousand. Some will, perhaps, assert that the scarcity of money contributes also to this diminution. But how much greater will be the scarcity of specie, when the colony shall either be delivered up to an exclusive company, or the ambition of five or »ix individuals, who form but one body ? It will then resemble a member grown to a monstrous bulk, at the ex-pense of the substance of the rest, which would become withered and palsied. The body would thereby find itself threatened with a total destruction. It was only by openly favoring the introduction of negroes, that this colony was raised to the flourishing state which it appeared to have attained in 17.59.

Perhaps it will be saiil. to dispel these alarms, that the gold and silver which have been made to abound in the plice by a new administration, may indemnify for the losses of agriculture and commerce. Hut, judging of the future by the

I

tm

HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA.

M. d'Ulloa, alarmed at tliese steps of the colonists, concerted with Aubry means of stopping tlicm. They found none more prompt and efficacious than to intimidate by threats; but men

experience of llie past and of the present, that resource will be found to be very weak, as nobody oan pretend not to know that, among the various treasures which the earth contains in its bosom, gold and silver arc neither the cliief riches nor the most desirable. These metals have reduced their natural possessors to a dc-plorable state, and the masters of those slaves have not thereby become more powerful. They appear, from that moment, to have lost all spirit of industry, all disposition to work, like a laborer who should find a treasure in the midst of his field, and thereupon forsake his plow forever. Besides, how many acts of severity have been committed against peaceable citizens by a stranger, who, though invested with a respectable character, has observed none of the formali-ties, nor performed any of the duties prescribed by the act of cession, which pro-vides for their peace and tranquillity. We shall mention an old ship-captain who was confined by his orders, and whose vessel was detained in port during eight or ten months, for not having been able to read in the decrees of Providence that the vessel, in which he had dispatched certain packets intrusted to his care, would be cast away. A similar tyranny was exercised by the person invested with this illegal and unjust authority, against two captains belonging to iMarti-nico. who had been guilty of no other crime than that of not having guessed that the Council of Louisiana had issued an edict forbidding the introduction of the crcolizcd negroes of the Leeward Islands. AVhat ill usage has an old citizen sulfered, on account of a packet which had been put into the hands of the captain of one of his ships, who, having met with contrary winds, was unable to deliver it at Havana !

How shall we describe the barbarity with which the Acadians were treated ! These people, the sport of fortune, had determined, under the impulse of a patriotic spirit, to forsake all that they might possess on the English territories, in order to go and live under the happy laws of their ancient master. They arrived in this colony at a great expense, and scarce had they cleared out a place sulficient for a poor thatched hut to stand upon, when, in.consequence of some representations which they happened to make to Mr. Ulloa, ho threatened to drive them out of the colony, and have them sold as slaves, in order to pay for the rations which the king had given them ; at the same time directing the Germans to refuse them a retreat. It remains to bo determined whether this conduct docs not border upon barbarism ; but we think we can presume to conclude, without exaggeration, that it is diametrically con-trary to the political system which favors the encouragement of population, in all its branches and by every means. Those who complain (and who is there so far broke to the yoke as to bear, without nuirmuring, inhumanities so horrid !)— yes, we declare it, those who complain are threatened with imprisonment, banished to the Dalize, and sent to the mines. Now, though Mr. Ulloa may have been invested with some authority, his prince never commanded him to exert it

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HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA.

169

concerted lont; more ; but men

nd to be very iiNurcs which ef riches nor ssors to a dc-become iiioro t ot" industry, I the midst of many acts of trangcr, who, f the formali-in, which pro-p-captain who t diiriiijf eight 3! Providence ed to iiis care, rson invested ging to Marti-g guessed that iduclion of the an old citizen of the captain able to deliver

were treated !

impulse of a li»h territories, master. They red out a place uence of some

ho threatened 'g, in order to he bame time

bo determined we think we metrically con-population, in who is there so 's so horrid !)—

imprisonment, IJlloa may have

him to exert it

impelled by right are not easily intimidated; seditious men would have been alarmed; but the colonists were very far from being such. They followed a plan dictated by their

in a tyrannical manner, nor to exercise it before having made known his titles and powers. Such oppressions arc not dictated by the hearts of kings ; they agree but ill with that humanity which constitutes their character, and directs their actions.

Were wc to enter into a detail of all the mortifications which the French of New-Orleans have undergone, wc should hardly make an end of the recital. It ■wore to be wished, for the honor of the nation, that as maity of thorn as have transpired might be obliterated by the precious effects of tlic protection of the Superior Council, which is now applied for. And it i.s foretold that the inhabitants of Louisiana will, in order that their tribulations be complete, be reduced, in pro-cess of time, to live barely on tortillas, although the most frugal sort of food would not be a matter of complaint on their part. In the mean time, the pre-servation of their lives, their obligations to their creditors, their sense of honor, which flows from the sacred source of patriotism and of duty ; finally, the circum-stance of the attack made on their property and means of subsistence by that very decree, induce them to offer their possessions and their blood, to preserve forever the dear inviolable title of French citizen. All that has hitherto been said leads them naturally to demands or requests, to which the zeal of the court for the public good, and its steadiness in supporting the laws of which his most Christian majesty has made them the depositories, assure them tliat it will give the most favorable reception. Hut before they proceed to state their rccpiests, they must acknowledge the kindness with which they were treated by Mr. Aubry. The wishes of the public have always corresjwnded with the choice of the prince in assigning him the chief command over the province of Louisiana ; his virtues have caused the titles of honest man and equitable governor to be adjudged him ; he never made use of his power but to do good, and all unjust deeds have to him ever appeared impossible. They are not afraid of being reproached that grati-tude has made thein exaggerate in any particular; to neglect bestowing de-served praises is to keep back a lawful debt. And then conclude, finally, by entreating the court:

1. To obtain that the privileges and exemptions which the colony has enjoyed since the cession made by the company to his most Christian majesty, should bo maintained, without any innovations being suffered to inteirupt their course, and disturb the security of the citizens.

2. That passports and permissions be granted from the governors and com-missioners of his most Christian majesty, to such captains of vessels as shall set sail from this colony to any ports of France or America whatever.

3. That any ship sailing from any port of France or America whatever, shall have free entrance into the river, whether it sail directly for the colony, or only put in accidentally, according to the custom which has hitherto prevailed.

4. That freedom of trade with all the nations under the government of liis most

»**<-

HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA.

fil.

king; tlicy addressed his tribunal; but tliey thereby destroyed Ulloa's work ; they opposed a legal obstacle to the chains he would have imposed. UUoa menaced hanging, the galleys, kc'.

Christian majesty be granted to all the cili«en», in conformity to the king's orders to the Lie Mr. d'Abadie, registered in the archives of this city, and like-wise in conformity to the letter of his grace the Duke of Choiseul, addressed to the same Mr. d'Abadie, and dated the 9th of February, 1766.

5. That Mr. Ulloa bo declared to have, in many points, infringed and usurped the authority hitherto possessed by the government and council of the colony, because all the laws, ordinances and customs direct that said authority shall not be exercised by any officer until he shall have complied with all the formali-ties prescribed; and this condition Mr. Ulloa has not observed. He should, therefore, be declared to have infringed and usurped the authority of the govern-ment :—1. For having caused the Spanish flag to be set up in several parts of the colony, without having caused to be registered in the archives of the Superior Council, the titles and powers which he may have had, and of which the assem-bled citizens may have been informed. 2. For having, of his own accord, and by his own private authority, insisted upon captains being detained with their ships in the port, without any cause, and for having ordered subjects of France to be confined on board of a Spanish frigate. 3. For having caused councils, in which decrees were issued concerning the inhabitants of Louisiana, to be held in the house of Mr. De6tr6han. They request that, on account of these grievances, and many others publicly known, and likewise for the tranquillity of all the citi-zens who apply for the protection of the council, they be freed, for the future, from the fear of a tyrannical authority, and exempted from observing the condi-tions in the said decree, by means of the dismission of Mr Ulloa, who should bo ordered to embark on board of the first vessel which shall set sail, in order to depart, whenever he thinks proper, out of the dependencies of this province.

6. That orders be given to all the Spanish officers who are in this city, or scattered throughout the posts appertaining to the colony, to quit them, in order to depart likewise, when they shall think proper, out of the dependencies of the province ; and, finally, that the court be pleased to ordeft that its decree, when rendered, be read, published, and set up in all the usual places of the town, and collated copi'-'s sent to all the posts of the said colony.

The foregoing representations being signed by five hundred and thirty-six persons—planters, merchants, tradesmen, and men of note ; considering, like-wise, the copy of the decree, published by orders of his Catholic majesty, neither signed nor dated, and another copy of an ordinance published in this city, by order of Mr. Ulloa, of the 6th of September, 1766; the interlocutory decree issued yesterday, upon the requisition of the king's attorney-general, ordering and directing that, before the decision of the court, the said representations be put in the hands of Messrs. Huchet de Kernion, and Riot de Launay, titular councilors, to be by them examined, and afterwards communicated to the king's council, in order that what the law directs may be enacted concerning them—all

_;ES5S!r"

HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA.

m

f tlestroyecl

chains he

galleys, ^c'.

to the king's city, and likc-I, addressed to

id and usurped of the colony, ' authority shall all the formali-1. He should, of the govern-everal parts of of the Superior lich the assera-vn accord, and incd with their ects of France 9ed councils, in a, to be held in ese grievances, y of all the citi-for the future, ■ving the condi-, who should be sail, in order to lis province, in this city, or t thein, in order indencies of the ts decree, when f the town, and

and thirty-six jnsidering, like-najesty, neither I in this city, by ■locutory decree eneral, ordering presentations be

Launay, titular ed to the king's rning them—all

Aubry promised to support liirn. The inhabitants, informed of these resolutions, proceeded to Aubry's; they represented the evils under which they groaned, and the necegsity of resisti ng the

these particulars being taken into consideration, the king's attorney stood up and said :

" Gentlemen,—The first and most interesting point to be examined is the step taken by all the planters and merchants in concert, who, being threatened with slavery, and laboring under grievances which have been enumerated, aiUlress your tribunal, and require justice for violations of the solemn act of cession of this colony. "Is yours a competent tribunal T Are these just complaints 1 " I shall now proceed to demonstrate the extent of the royal authority invested in the Superior Council. The parliaments and superior councils arc the deposi-tories of the laws, under the protection of which the people live happy ; they arc created and organized to be, from the very nature of their official tenure, the sworn patrons of virtuous citizens, and they arc established for the purpose of executing the ordinances, edicts, and declarations of king", after they are regis-tered. 8uch has been the will and pleasure of Louis, the well-beloved, our liege lord and king, in whose name all your decrees, to the present day, have been issued and carried into execution. The act of cession, the only title of which his Catholic majesty's commissary can avail himself, to make his demands auclorilate et proprieiate, was addressed to the late Mr. d'Abadie, with orders to cause it to be registered in the superior council of the colony, to the end that the different classes of the said colony may be enabled to have recourse to it upon occasion, that instrument being calculated for no other purpose.

" Mr. Ulloa's letter, dated from Havana, July 10th, 1765, which expresse his disposition to do the inhabitants all the services they can desire, was addressed to you, gentlemen, with a request to make it known to the said inhabitants that, in thus acting, he would only discharge his duty and gratify his inclination. The said letter was, by your decree, after full deliberation, published, set up and registered, as a pledge of happiness and tranquillity to the inhabitants. Another letter of the month of October last, written to Mr. Aubry, proves that justice still continues to be administered in the colony in the name of Louis the well-beloved. It results from the solemn act of cession and its accessories, that the planters, merchants and other inhabitants have the most solid basis to stand upon, when they present you with their most humble remonstrances; and that you, gentle-men, are fully authorized to pronounce thereupon. Let us now proceed to a scrupulous examination of the act of cession, and of the letter written by I'lloa to the Superior Council. I think it likewise incumbent on me to cite, word for word, an extract of the king's letter, which was published, set up and registered. '• This very solemn act of cession, which gives the title of property to his Catholic majesty, secures for the inhabitants of the colony the preservation of ancient and known privileges ; and the royal word of sovereign lord, the king, promises, and gives us ground to hope for others, which the calamities of war

HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA.

violence of a man who had no recognized title. They reminded him of the king's letter, whioli enjoined them to apply to the council for the ratification of the articles of cession. They

liavo prrvrntcd him from makin|T his siihjpcts fnjoy. Tho nnripnt privilpgcs haviti|,'l)priisiipprcsspi1 hy the aiitht>rity of his Cithnlic majesty's (•oininissioner, property bpcoiiips prpcnrious. The act of cpBsion, which was fhp more result of good-will and friciidship, was made with rcscrvps wiiich conlirm the liliprtips and privilpaps of the iiiliabifantfi, and promisps thpm a life of tranquillity, under the protpctiim and shpllcr of their canon and civil laws. .\8 property accruing from a cession liy frpp gift cannot be claimed and obtained, except on the condi-tion of complying, during the whole possession of said property, with tho reserves contained in said act of cession, our sovereign lord, the king, hopps, and promises himsplf that, ■ in consequence of the friendship anil affection ahotcn to him hij hit Catholic mifjctty, he (said C. M.,) tcill be pleased to give tuch ordtri to hiaisovernor, and to alt o'her officeri employed in his service in said colony as may be eomlucive to the advanlasre and tranqHillilii of the inhnbilants, and t'.at they shall be ruled, and Ihcirfortunes and estates managed, according to the laws, forms and customs laid colony.' Can Mr. Ulloa's titles give authority to ordinances and orders which violate the respect due to the solemn act of cession 7 The ancient privileges, tho tranquillity of the subjects of France, the laws, forms and customs of the colony, are rendered sacred by a royal promise, by a registering ordered by the .Superior Council, and by a publication solemnly decreed and universally known. The solo aim of the letter of our sovereign lord, the king, was to grant to the dillerent classes of the colony a recourse to the act of cession. Therefore, nothing can bo better grounded or more legal than the right of remonstrating, which the inhabit-ants and citizensof the colony have acquired by royal authority.

" Let us proceed to an examination of the letter of Mr. Ulloa, written to tho Superior Council of New-Orleans, dated the 10th of July, 1765. I shall here cito» word for word, the article relative to the Superior Council and the inhabitants :

" ' I flatter myself, beforehand, that it will afford me favorable opportunities to render you all the services that you and the inhabitants of your toan may desire, of which I bi'gyou to give them the assurance from me, and to let them know that, in acting thuf I only discharge my duty and gratify my inclinations.'

■' Mr. Ulloa proved thereby the orders which ho had received from his Catholic majesty, conformably to the solpmn .act of cession, and manifested a sentiment which is indispensable in any governor who is desirous of rendering good ser-vices to his king in the colonies.

" Without population there can be no commerce ; and without'commerce, no population. In proportion to the extent of both is the solidity of thrones ; both arc fed by liberty and competition, which are the nursing mothers of the state, of which the spirit of monopoly is the tyrant and step-mother. Without liberty there are but few virtues. Despotism breeds pusillanimity and deepens the abyss of vices. Man is considered as sinning before God, only because he retains his free will. Where is the liberty of our planters, of our merchants, and of all our other

f reminded > apply to ion. They

rnt privilpgcB ■ominissionpr, mere result of m llid liliprlira qiiillily, umlor iprfy acmiiiig on the condi-th tho reserves , am) promises 1 to him hi/ hit

0 hinL'ovcrnor, y be. mnihicive shall be ruled, and cimtomi

tl orders w)iich privileges, tho

1 of the colony, y the Superior iwn. The solo

the dilTercnt lothing can bo ;h the inhabit-

written to the sliall here citCf inhabitants : nportunilies to ;n may desire, I know that, in

n his Catholic ■A a sentiment ing good ser-

commcrce, no ihrones ; both [)f the state, of it liberty there s the abyss of etains his free fall our other

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niSTOIUCAL MEMOIHS OF LOUISI^VXA.

178

assured liim, moreover, that Ullon liad no ground to fonr his life ; tluit tlioy respected the title with which he jjretendcd to bo invested, but at the same time requested Aubry that the assembled council should pronounce.

inhabitants ! Protection and bcncvohnce have given way to despotism ; a single authority would absorb and annihilate everything. All ranks, witlioiit diHlinc-tion, can no longer, without running the risk of being taxed with guilt, do anything else but tremble, bow their necks to tlm yoke, and lick the dust. 'I'lie Superior Council, the bulwark of the tranquillity of virtuous citizens, has sup-ported itself only by the combined force of the probity and disintereslnlnrsK of its members, and of the confidence of tho people in that tribunal. Without taking possession of the colony ; without registering, as was necessary, in the .Superior Council, his titles and patents, according to the laws, forms and cusloms of the colony, and without presentation of the act of cession, Mr. Ulloa has caused a president, three councilors, and a secretary, numinaled for the purpose, to take cognizance of facts which belonged to the jurisdiction of the Superior Council, and in which French citizens were concerned. Often did dii-contcnts and dis-gusts seem to force you to resign your places, but you have always considered it as a duty of your station of councilors to the most Christian king, to alleviate and calm the murmurs of the oppressed citizens. The love of your country, and the sense of the justice due to every citizen who applies for it, have nourished your zeal; it has always been rendered with the some exactness, although you never thought proper to make representations on the infractions of the act of cession. You have always feared to give encouragement to a mass of disconlcrited people, threatened with the most dreadful calamities ; you have prelerred public tranquillity. But now the whole body of the planters, merchants and other in-habitants of Louisiana apply to you for justice.

" Let us now proceed to an accurate and scrupulous examination of tho griev-ances, complaints and imputations contained in the representations of the planters, merchants and other inhabitants. What sad and disma! pictures do the said representations bring before your eyes ! The scourges of the last war, a suspension to this day of the payment of seven millions of tho king's paper money, issued to supply the calls of the service, and received with confidence by the inhabitants of the colony, had obstructed the ease and facility of the circula-tion ; but the activity and industry of tho planter, and of the French merchant, had almost got the better of all dilhculties. 'I'he most remote coriicr.s of the pos-sessions of the savages had been discovered, the fur-trade had been carried to its highest perfection, and the new culture of cotton, joined to that of indigo and tobacco, secured cargoes to those who were engaged in fitting out ships. The commissioner of his Catholic majesty had promised ten years of free tr.ide, that period being sufTicient for every subject of France, attached to his sovereiirn lord and king. But tho tobacco of this colony being prohibited in Siiuiii, whore those of Havana are the only ones allowed, the timber (a considerable branch of the in-

■l yyifW ^* r^ww *

mSTOmCAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA.

1|

ill'

Aubry promised that tbo troops should be armed only to prevent disorder, and to prevent any intended violence to Ulloa. lie was present at the council, when it was decided that Ulloa and all the Spaniards should leave the colony, and

cnmc of the inhabitants) hcing ubpIcbs to Spain, which is furnished in this article by its iiossrssions, and the indigo being inferior to that of Guatemala, which suppli( n more than is requisite to the manufactures of Spain, the returns of the commodities of the inhabitants of this colony to the peninsula became a ruinous trade, and the said inhabitants were delivered up to the most dreadful misery. His Catholic majesty's commissioner had publicly declared his convic-tion of the impossibility of this country's trading with Spain ; all patronage, favor, encouragement, were formally promised to the inhabitants; the title of protector was decreed to Mr. Ulloa; the hope and activity necessary to the suc-cess of the planter were nourished by the faith and confidence reposed in these assurances of the Spanish governor.

" Hut by the effect of what undcnnining and imperceptible fatality have we seen a house worth twenty thousand livres sold for six thousand, and plantations, all on a sudden, lose one-half or two-thirds of their intrinsic value t Fortunes waste away, and specie is more scarce than ever; confidence is lost, and dis-couragement becomes general; the planter's cries of distress are heard on every side ; the j)rccioiis name of subject of France is in an eclipse, and the fatal decree concerning the commerce of Louisiana gives to ihe colony the last fatal stroke, which must lead to its total annihilation. The Spanish flag is set up at the Balize, at the Illinois, and other places; no title, no letters patent were pre-sented to the Superior Council; time flies apace ; the delays fixed for the liberty of emigration will soon expire ; force will tyrannize. We shall be reduced to live in slavery and loaded with chains, or precipitately to forsake establishments handed down from the grandfather to the grandson. All the planters merchants, and other inhabitants of Louisiana call upon you to restore to them their sovereign lord, the king, Louis the well-beloved ; they tender to you their treasures and their blood, Frenchmen to live and Frenchmen to die. " I,et us proceed to sum up the charges, grievances and imputations : " Mr. Ulloa has caused councilors, named by himself, to take cognizance of facts concerning French subjects, which appertained only to the jurisdiction of the Superior Council. The sentences of that new tribunal have been signified to, and put in execution against, Messrs. Cadis and Lcblanc. Mr. Ulloa has sup-ported the negroes, dissatisfied with their masters. He has presented to the Superior Council none of his titles, powers and provisions, as commissioner of his Catholic majesty ; he has not exhibited his copy of the act of cession, in order to have it registered; he has, without the said indispensable formalities, set up the Spanish"flag at the Balize, at the Illinois, and at other places ; he has without legal authority, vexed, punished and oppressed subjects of France ; he has even confined some of them in the frigate of his Catholic majesty ; has, by

1 I

HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA,

176

■med only iolence to \s decided >lony, and

Hheil in this f Guatemala, 1, the returns lula became a most dreadful »d his convic-ill patronage, ; the title of ry to the suc-)08ed in these

ality have wo d plantations, B t Fortunes

lost, and dis-leard on every le fatal decree t fatal stroke,

set up at the ent were prc-r the liberty of iced to live in mcnts handed lerchants, and icir sovereign treasures and

ons :

cognizance of jurisdiction of been signified Ulloa has sup-!Qented to the mmissioner of of cession, in lie formalities, jiaces; he has of France ; he jesty ; has, by

that the act of taking possession should not be attempted till the French king had answered the representations of tho inhabitants, whose deputies were named to bear them, Ulloa iu fact left the colony. This frigate did nofcgicavo till live

his authority alone, usurped thf fourth part of the common of the inhabitants of the town, has appropriated it to himself, and has caused it to be fenced in, that his horses might graze there.

" Having maturely weighed all this, I require in behalf of tho king : " That the sentences pronounced by tho councilors nominated for the purpose, and put in execution against Messrs. Cadis and Leblanc, subjects of Franco, be declared encroachments upon the authority of our sovereign lord, the king, and destructive of the respect due to his supreme justice, seated in the Superior Council, iiiaNmuch as lliey violate the laws, forms and customs of the colony, confirmed and guarantied by the solemn act of cession.

" That Mr. Ulloa be declared to have violated our laws, forms and customs, and the orders of his Catholic majesty, in relation to the act of cession, as it ap-pears by his letter, dated from Havana, on the 10th of July, 1765.

" That he be declared usurper of illegal authority, by causing subjects of France to be punished and oppressed, without having previously complied with the laws, forms and customs, in having his powers, titles and provisions regis-tered by the Superior Council, with the copy of tho act of cession.

" That .Mr. Ulloa, commissioner of his Catholic majesty, be enjoined to leave the colony in tho frigate in which he came, without delay, to avoid accidents or now clamors, and to gj and give an account to his Catholic majesty ; and, with regard to the different posts established by the said Mr. Ulloa, that he be desired to leave in writing such orders as he shall think necessary; that he be declared responsible for all the events which he might have foreseen ; and that Messrs. Aubry and Foucault be requested, and even summoned, in the name of our sovereign lord, the king, to govern and administer the colony as heretofore.

"That no ship sailing from this colony shall be dispatched without passports signed by Mr. Foucault, as intendant commissary of his most Christian majesty. " That the taking possession of the colony can neither be proposed nor at-tempted by any means, without new orders from his most Christian majesty.

"That Messrs Loyola, Gayarre and Navarro be declared guaranties of their signature on the bonds which they have issued, if they do not produce the orders of his Catholic majesty, empowering them to issue said bonds and papers; and that a sufficient time be granted to settle their accounts.

"That the planters, merchants, and other inhabitants, be empowered to elect deputies to carry their petitions and supplications to our sovereign lord, the

" That it be resolved and determined that the Superior Council shall make re-presentations to our sovereign lord, the king ; that its decree, when ready to be issued, bo read, set up, published and registered.

" That collated copies thereof be sent to his grace the Duke of Praslin, with a

mj^iiiin^:nm..tAt***i^ '"'

HISTORICAL MEMOIIIS OF LOUISIAXA.

months after; the garrisons that he had stationed in the various forts along the river all fell back on that of New-Orleans. This wan all done without the slightest insult to the Spanish flag, m the Spaniards who remained in the colony.

letter to the Suprrior Council, and likrwisc to all the poitH of the colony, to b« lliero road, set up, pulilishcd and registered."

Tlip report being lieard of Messrs. Hucliet de Kcrnion and Riot do Launay, counrilors and coniniissioncrs appointed for this |)urpose, the whole being duly weighed, and the subject deliberated upon, the attorney-general having been heard and having retired :

The council, composed of thirteen members, of which nix were named nd hoe, having each of Ihcni given his opinion in writing, pronouncing uj)on the said rc-prcBcntalions, has declared and dccl.ires the sentences rendered liy the councilors nominated by Mr. Ulloa, and carried into execution against Messrs. Cadis and Loblar.c, subjects of France, to be encroachments upon the authority of our sovereign lord, the king, and destructivelof the respect due to his supremo justice, vested in hi* Superior Council; has declared, and declares him a usurper of illegal authority, in causing subjects of France to be punished and oppressed, without having previously complied with the laws and forms, having neither produced his powers, titles and provisions, nor caused them to be registered, and that to the prejudice of the privileges insured to them by the said act of cession ; and, to prevent any violence of the populace, and avoid any dangerous tumult, the council, with its usual prudence, finds itself obliged to enjoin, as in fact it enjoins, Mr. Ulloa to quit the colony, allowing him only the space of three days, either in the frigate of his Catholic majesty in which he came, or in whatever vessel he may think proper, and go and give an account of his conduct to his Catholic majesty. It has likewise ordained, and it ordains that, with regard to the posts established by him at the upper part of the river, he shall leave such orders as he judges expedient, making him at the same time responsible for all the events which he might have foreseen. It has requested, and requests Messrs. Aubry and Foucault, and even summoned them in the name of our sovereign lord, the king, to command and govern the colony as they did heretofore. At the same lime, it expressly forbids all those who fit out vessels, and all captains of ships, to dispatch any vessel with any other passport than th.il of Mr. Fou-cault, who is to do the office of intendant commissary; it has also ordered, and orders, that the taking possession for his Catholic majesty can neither be pro-posed nor attempted by any means, without new orders from his most Christian majesty ; that, in consequence, Mr. Ulloa. shall embark in the space of three days in whatever ship he shall think proper.

With regard to what relates to Messrs. Loyola, Gayarro and Navarro,* the coun-cil has decreed that they may slay in the colony and discharge their respective functions until they have received new orders from his Catholic majesty, and shall

• Onicors of the crown who accompanied the expedition of O'Rielly.

H#Wi:.VSi^.^M^.«.-M.?J.i*MMM«.

3(1 in tlie t of New-suit to the ic colony.

colony, to be

ilo Launay,

Ic liriiig duly

having been

nnmod nd hoc, 111 the saiil rc-:he councilors iTs. Cadis and ihority of our promo justice,

a UHiirpor of ind oppressed, aving neither cgistnred, and ct of cession ; Tcrous tumult, n, as in fact it I of three days, jr in whatever ;onduct to his with regard to lall leave such ^onsible for all quests Messrs,

our sovereign eretofore. At nd all captains U of Mr. Fou-io ordered, and leither be pro-most Christian space of three

trro,* the coun-heir respective jesty, and shall

ielly.

^t-»t-^-i»ii »wi a*^l w-~i ifc-3«»ti T^ "^' ^ii'i rtji i w •

HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA.

m

From their own lips, the Spanish court should have taken cvidonce of tho moderation of the colonists in so critical a moment. The unanimous report of all strangers there makes it out to have been a most extraordinary and suriirising event for the order, decency and moderation to which all sponta-neously contributed. These testimonials of attachment to tho king of France were the only clamors that disturbed silence and tranquillity during tho three days that the inhabitants were assembled at New-Orleans, Immediately after UUoa's departure peace and tranquillity reigned. Aubry met with the most marked obedience from the colonists, who awaited news from France, in the fond hope that there would be no change of rule.

remain eureties of their signatures for the bonds they have issued, except they produce the orders of his Catholic majesty. It has likewise authorized, and author-izes the planters and merchants to choose whatever persons they think proper, to take up their petition to our sovereign lord, the king, and has decreed that the Supe-rior Council shall in like manner make representations to our sovereign lord, the king ; it orders that the present decree shall be read, printed, set up, published and registered in all places and posts of this colony, and that a copy of it shall be sent to his grace the Duke of I'raslin, Minister of tho Marine Department.

We order all our baililTa and sorg. ants to perform all the acts and ceremonies requisite for carrying the present decree into execution ; we, at tho same time, empower them to do so. We also enjoin the substitute of tho king's attorney-general to superintend its ;cxecution, and to apprise tho court of it in due time.

Given at the Council Chamber, on the 2Uth of October, 17G8.

By the Council,

Gakic,

Principal Secretary.

I protest against the decree of the council which dismisses Don Antonio de Ulloa from this colony. Their most Christian and Catholic majesties will bo offended at the treatment inflicted on a person of his character; and, notwithstanding the small force which I have at my disposal, I would, with all my might, oppose his departure, were I not apprehensive of endangering his life, as well as the lives of all the Spaniards in this country.

Deliberated at the Council Chamber, this 29th of October, 1768.

(Signed) Aubby.

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HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA.

THIRD PART.

SECTION II.

FROM THE DEPARTURE OF DON ANTONIA ULLOA TO THE TEAR 1771.

Deputies* had been named to bear to tlic King of France tbc testimonials of tlio attaclimcnt of liis faithful subjects in Louisiana, who asked only to live and die as Frenchmen; but these deputies could not reach Europe before the end of March. llUoa had arrived there six weeks before, and had represented his own conduct and that of the inhabitants in such colors as he chose, and the Sovereign Hand which directs all events did not permit the truth to penetrate first to the courts of Madrid and Versailles.

The act passed between Aubry and Ulloa, of which it is need-less to show the informality, had apparently enabled Ulloa to

♦ Tlie deputies, St. Lette and Lesassier, presented the following petition to the Duke de Choiseul, minister of the king, on their arrival in Paris:

PETITION OK THE COLONISTS AND MBRCHANTS TO THJB KINO.

Sire,— It has pleased your majesty to cede, by a particular act signed at Fon-tainebleau, 3d of November, 1762, ail your country known by the name of Louisi-ana, together with New-Orleans and the island on which this city is situated, to his Catholic majesty.

A feeble motive of consolation stirted our grief-it was the hope of a protection and good-will, like that experienced under your happy sway, and such as your sacred promise, in your majesty's letter to Monsieur d'Abadie, of April 21, 1764, leads us to expect. Our artectionate obedience silenced our regret till an un-known and strange vexation has wrung from us cries too long withheld. An officer, (Don Anlonio de Vlloa,) who, without justifying his titles, pretends to orders from his Catholic majesty, has presented us new laws, destructive of our commerce, abrogating our privileges, and attacking our liberties. Our goods, in less than the thirty months of his sla, ^st two-thirds of their value ; culti-

Tation became useless, and our efforts in every branch, hampered by multiplied

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r of France subjects in hmen; but (1 of March, represented li colors as I all events e courts of

;li it is need-ed Ulloa to

[ petition to the

NO.

signed at Fon-lame of Louisi-|r is situated, to

i of a protection ul such as your April 21, 1764, ■gret till an un-witlilield. An ies, pretends to Biructive cf our Our goods, in iir value ; culti-d \>y niullipUed

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HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA.

179

represent tlic inhabitants of Louisiana as criminal to the Span-ish king. France, on the other hand, regarding the cession as long since consummated, would scarcely listen to the deputies; and°thc answer made to their representations was, that nothing could be done in the matter, as it was altogether in the hands of Spain. Yet, when it was proved to the coart of Versailles that the government of Aubry had not ceased in Louisiana, and that since the peace all had been conducted in the name of the French king; when they saw the details of Ulloa's con-duct and that of the French governor and inhabitants, all were indignant against the Spaniards and filled with contempt for the French governor, and they wept with joy to sec in the Louisianiars the patriotism which all discovered in their hearts. All admired the wise, firm, moderate and reflective conduct of the colonists, and all France looked with anxiety on the result. The French ministry felt that they could not without injustice

efforts (restrictions 1), became a fruitless toil. We have had recourse to the magistrates appointed by your majesty to assemble the people under your august law°s • we have exposed to them the excessive evils accrued, our zeal, our lovo for our natural sovereign, and his promises announced in his letter, registered, as he directed, in our sUUe office, to have reco.r.e to in nred. They have enjo.n^ the envoy of his Catholic majesty to depart in throe days, and have authorized us to come to the foot of the throne, .ire. to implore your clemency, clann your protection, and present our petition.

The execution of the treaty of cession has not even begun on our part. The

French flag alone has hitherto appeared on our square, and at the head of our

militia. The French flag alone has been hoisted on our shippmg. Justice is

exercised, sire, in your name alone, and our churches echo with prayers for your

august plrson only. We are Frenchmen still, and too happy to transmit the

. name to our children ; it is a choice title, which we deem a part of our inhentance^

Deign, sire, to have an account rendered to you of the details set forth in our

memoir, which contains only facts and wishes of universal notoriety, and is ad,

dressed to the world. • • „, „„,i

Dei.'n to take back under your beloved sway your colony of I-ouisiana, and

dispos; at your will of the blood, property and families of your faithful subjects,

.ncrchants and colonists of said province, who, by the voice of their deputie ,

make you sincere offers of the most ardent zeal, respectful submission and invi-

olatc attachment.

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HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA.

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abandon subjects whose only crime, in the eyes of the Span-iards, was their too great attachment to a king who so well deserved the title of woll-beloved. Tliey intended to write to Spain, but it was too late; the dcla^ had been too great; tho blow was struck. The council at Madrid had not unreasonably feared that i**ranee might discover the mendacity of UUoa's report* and a :mand justice. No expedition accordingly was ever got up with greater celerity in Spain. Orders were already given. O'Keilly, lieutenant-general, was already cleared for Havana, with orders to proceed to Louisiana and take possession in the name of the Spanish king.

We approach the dreadful moment that is to decide forever the fate of the colony. Before casting our eyes on the scenes of horror I have yet to trace, let us go to Louisiana and see how the inhabitants were employed after Ulloa's departure.

Along tho river I admire the happy fruits of liberty and contentment; all redoubled their efforts ; the plantations are in the flnest state; the revenues will be greater than they were in times of torpidity caused by Ulloa's stay. Everywhere joy and peace reign undisturbed; the hope of being French-men inspires all, and the government which the inhabitants enjoy gives new life to all the colony. "What is that building which I behold rising in the midst of the city ? It is the temple of the Lord; it is a tribute of thanksgiving offered by

♦ Ulloa's report contains about 300 manuscript pages. It is very full and well drawn up. It gives an account of his expulsion, and clearly shows that Aubry was, in the whole matter, the principal informer against the patriots ; that La-freniore, Foucault, Noyan, Marquis, Villerc and others, had planned the revolu-tion ; that it was not so much for the purpose of getting rid of the Spanish governor, as to declare the province independent ; that, for that purpose, Noyan and Massan were deputed to tho English governor of Florida, for the purpose of securing protection of the British government; that the governor having refused his aid, the address to France was resorted to as the means of concealing their plan. This document is full of interest, and its particulars are fully corroborated by tho letters of Aubry to tho French mimsieT.—Archivet of France.

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181

tlic Span-10 so well ) write to rcat; tho casonably oi UUca's ingly was ders were 3 already Louisiana dng.

de forever the scenes a and see parturc. iberty and tatious are til an tliey very where ig Frcucli-nhabitants it building It is the offered by

full and well fs that Aubry ots ; that La-'d the rcvolu-

the Spanish irpose, Noyan he purpose of aviiig refused iccaling their ' corruborated ce.

the colony to Ilim who directs events. They will soon chant his praises there—it will soon echo with the prayers of each citizen for his king. Further on, I sec another building; curiosity leads me to it. On its portal is this beautiful inscrip-tion:

^^ Asylum for the Poor and tite Orphan."

Within I see beds for the sick, rooms for the lying-in, nurses for orphans, and paupers to be supported. All is in complete order. The rooms are so arranged that help is given to each in season, without noise or confusion. I ask to whom we owe this establishment, and the foundation of the church which I see rising. " To the patriotism of the citizens," is the answer, " and to their respect for the Deity, to our mutual love, to the pity inspired by the unfortunate, but of which we had but a faint idea previous to Ulloa's coming." A imanimous im-pulse has founded these; the general voice proposed them; each gave according to his means, without tax or impost. One gave the wood necessary for the framework; another, building materials; one, beds; and then, furniture. All strove in emu-lation, and have thus provided the funds necessary for the ex-pense incurred in this hospital.

" O virtue!" I cried, full of enthusiasm; " 0 divine patriotism! of what are we not capable, when inQamed by thy sacred lire! Among what men am I transported I 0 you, whom I see ready to condemn them as seditious rebels, judge whether such actions would take place amid the tumult of a revolt; and whether hearts, crushed under the weight of remorse which follows the intoxication of sedition, would be capable of senti-ments so pure, so indicative of the tranquillity of soul and con-science ! 0 happy monarch that reigns over the French! how worthy are such subjects of thy support! What happiness do they not deserve to enjoy! Their lot should ever be to see

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182

HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA.

ever flourishing under thy sway the sentiments of religion, humanity, charity and generosity, whioh I see displayed at a moment when their will has no guide but their heart, and r.o check but the desire of proving to the whole world their attach-ment to thee I These feelings arc upheld by the hope of living under thy happy laws, and seeing their children enjoy this happiness with them."

But whence comes this general murmur throughout the city? They whisper, they dare not raise their voice, they come and go without knowing what they do. Pallor sits on every face, and tears soon begin to flow. Sobs stifle cries of grief. I share in the general fright. I ask the cause of this public alarm, of the frightful evil with which each seems over-powered.

" We are lost," says a citizen to me; " our king abandons us; the Spaniards arc at the Balize, and are coming to take possession of the colony."

This news was the less credible, as letters which arrived on the 19th of July in that year left the colony some hope of not passing under the Spanish sway, and it was now only the 25th. The news was but too soon confirmed. A Spanish officer,* dis-patched by O'Reilly, brought Aubry a letter, by which that commander announced that he came in the name of the king,

♦ This officer was Don Francisco Bouligny, a gentleman of noble birth. He was born in .\licant, Spain, on the 5th of March, 1735, and entered the army as a cadet at the age of eighteen. In 1762 he went to Havana with his regiment, where he remained until he was ordered to join the expedition to Louisiana. On the 34lh of July, the fleet arrived at the mouth of the Mississippi. On the next day ho was dispatched by O'Reilly to New-Orleans with a letter to M. Aubry, announcing his arrival to take possession of the province. On the 26th, he re-turned to the Balize, and in a few days after he was ordered to repair again to the city to prepare quarters for the Spanish troops of the expedition. After the departure of O'Reilly for Spain, Col. Bouligny remained in New-Orleans at the head of his regiment, until he was ordered to join the expedition of Galvcz, which took Mobile and Pcnsacola in 1780-'l. For his daring exploits in this campaign

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HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA.

183

f religion, ayed at a rt, and r.o eir attach-e of living enjoy tliia

it the city? come and jvery face, F grief. I .liis public ems over-

f abandons Qg to take

arrived on ope of not y the 25th. »fBeer,* dis-which that f the king,

)le birth. He ;J the army as 1 his regiment, Louisiana. On On the next r to M. Aubry, :ie 26tii, he re-repair again to on. After the -Orleans at the ■ Galvcz, which 1 this campaign

his master, to take possession of the colony, to reduce it to sub-r^ission in case of opposition, but to load it with benehts, if he wa..received as he was entitled to expect. This letter wa.. accompanied by orders from the king of Erance to Aubry to surrender the colony to the Spaniards.

Aubry who knew the intention of the colonists to refuse absolutely the Spanish rule, and to prevent their entering the river, without positive orders from the French king, immedi-ately published those he had received. He had also precau-tions to take against an emigration on which the colonists seemed bent. He accordingly convoked a general assembly ; read O'Reilly's letter, with its promise of favorable treatment, if they did not oppose his taking possession, but also his threats in case of refusal. These threats produced an effect contrary to what Aubry expected, so unfit were they to intimidate the people of Louisiana. Besides, all knew that two hundred resolute men could have prevented O'Reilly s reach-in<r New-Orleans, although that Spanish general had three thousand men, regulars and militia, in twenty-five transports. To feel convinced of this, it is enough to have some idea of the country. It is easy then to judge of the effects of O'Reilly s threats. They roused the resolute to action ; white cockades were worn; all were ready to march against the enemy, when M. de la Freni^re,* attorney-general, a member of the Superior

he wa« promoted to the rank of brigadier-general. He died in New-Oto on the 25th of NoTember, 1800, and was buried with m.htary honors m the Cathedral ofthatcitv His name is among the most honored in Louisiana.

In eJn, Colonel BouUgny w^s rather tall and slight, with a "ob e mihUry bearing easy and dignified in his manners, and warm m his riendsh.p^ So mild and conciliatfng wore his actions, that obedience went hand and hand lirlts comm.nd ; while his ardor and zeal for the service of his country seemed rather to seek the post of danger than to avoid it.

rNicholas Chauvin de la Freniere, Attorney-General of Louisiana, was born in the same year, (1736,) which gave ^irtU to the great American orator and .talesman, Patrick Henry, of Virginia; and, like him, ho was a Inend to

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HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA.

Council, an eloquent man, in whom tliey had the greatest confidence, arrested this tide by an address in substance as follows:

" Fellow-citizens! When you came to present to the council your just representations, which his majesty authorized in the act of cession, you saw me approve your patriotic zeal, and

republican form of government and liberal institutions. These two champions of liberty came upon the stage of action together, about the same time, and both were highly gifted for their cloijucnce.

The question of taxing America had just been agitated by the British parlia-ment, and had created a great deal of excitement in the North American colonies, when Lafrcnifere came into oflicc. The stamp act was passed in January, 17(>5, and the spirit of resistance to this arbitrary measure flew from Maine to Georgia, and found a response in the bosoms of the patriots of Louisi-ana. The question with them was not, however, whether the colony of Louisi-ana should be taxed, but whether Frenchmen could be transmuted into Spaniards ■without their consent, and r.uled with military despotism. In the discussion of this vital question to their happiness and political well-being, the attorney-general took sides with the people, and resisted the Spanish occupation of the country. From this moment he was looked upon by them as the great champion of liberty ; and his conduct throughout the struggle for independence was firm and undaunted.

Early in the year 1765, a general meeting of inhabitants and planters was convened in the city of New-Orleans for the purpose of discussing the subject of their distracted condition, and sending to the throne of France their united ap-peal for royal interposition in their behalf.

Lafreniere made on this occasion an eloquent speech on the situation of the colony, and ofl'ered a resolution to supplicate the king, which was unanimously adopted ; and Jean Milhet, of New-Orleans, was selected to carry the petition to the foot of the throne.

The minister (Do Choiseul) was averse to the petition, and artfully prevented him from having an interview with the king. Milhet returned to Louisiana, and reported the unsuccessful result of his mission. Still the colonists continued to flatter themselves with the hope that the treaty of cession would not be carried into execution, and Milhet was sent again to France with the same result.

Many of the colonists became desperate ; and began to manifest their opposi-tion to Ulloa, who still declined a public recognition of his authority as governor.

Public meetings were held in dilFercnt parts of the province, and delegates were appointed to meet in convention in New-Orleans. This convention peti-tioned the Suj)erior Council to direct Ulloa to leave the province. They de-nounced him a disturber of the public peace, and he was ordered to depart from the colony in three days' time. The speech delivered by Lafreniero on this occasion is a masterly piece of eloquence and logical argument. " In it there is

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HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISI.VNA.

185

greatest stance as

10 council

ied in tlie

zeal, and

> champions ne, and both

'itish parlia-1 American was passed re flew from s of Louisi-ly of Louiei-,0 Spaniards ! discussion [le attorncy-ation of the chaiiipiunof vas firm and

[ilanters was : the subject ir united ap-

ation of the inanimously le petition to

Ijpreyented luisiana, and continued to Bt be carried result, heir opposi-as governor, id delegates mention peti-They de-depart from iero on this n it there is

your demands were satisfied. The common desire is, I am aware, the ratification of tlie articles of the act of cession, and the accomplishment of the orders of our well-beloved king; now his majesty orders the transfer of the colony to the Siiaiiiards, and M. O'Keilly, who has come to take possession in the name of his Catholic majesty, makes you, on his behalf, the most

a passage," says Gayarre, " of which Louisiana may well be proud, and of which she can boast, as having been spoken by one of her most favored patriots,"

"In proportion," said he, "to the extent both of commerce and population is the solidity of thrones ; both are fed by liberty and competition, which are the nursing mothers of the state, of which the spirit of monopoly is the slopiiiother. WUhont liherlif there are but few virtues. Despotism breeds pusillairmuty, and deepens the abyss of vices. Man is considered as sinning before God only be-cause he retains his free will."

To appreciate this bold language, it must be remembered that it was the out-pourings of an .ittorncy-general of an absolute king, and was intoii.lcd to reach the cars of the desixitic government of France. After the expulsion of riloa, the planters and merchants put forth a memorial in justification of the revolution of the 28tb of October, and which, it is said, was drawn up by L.irrcui.rc. It repeats in substance all that had been said by Lafreniere in his speech before the council; and, for reference, it is inserted in this volume, with the address to the king. With the Superior Council's address to the king, there went at '.he same time a letter from Foucalt, the king's commissary, to the Duke de I'raslin, in which he justified, in guarded language, the revolution that had taken place, in which he said of Ulloa : " Without taking possession of the colony, and even without exhibiting his credentials, he arrogated all power to himself He was very harsh and absolute, refusing to listen to the representations of the colonists. He showed, without the least hesitation or equivocation, an implacable hatred for the French nation, and marked every day that ho passed hero with acts of inhumanity and despotism."