The news of the revolution in Louisiana soon reached Spain, and a cabinet council was called, to dc'ermine whether Spain should retain Louisiana or not. The council was composed of the Duke of Alba, Don .Jaime Masones de Lima, Don Juan Gregoris Munian, Don Miguel de Muzqiz, the Count of Aranda, Bar-ron de Arriaga, and the Marquis de Picdras Albas. The king requested that each should give his opinion in writing, and it is said only one of the ministers was of opinion that Louisiana should be returned to France. The king approved of the decision of the majority of the ministers, and he ordered force to be issued, if necessary, in taking possession of the province. '

In the mean time the new deputies, St. Letle and Lesassier, who had been sent to France by the colonists to implore the crown, succeeded no better than their predecessors, and the revolutionary tide soon began to ebb, and leave stranded on

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186

HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA.

authenticated promises, if you receive him properly; and he threatens to use force, if opposed. I know that your courage prompts you to despise threats, and that his army would soon yield to your efforts. I see your patriotic hearts burn with a desire to display your courage in defence of your hearths; but against whom will you fight? Against the allies of your

the shore the patriots of Louisiana who had been homo onward by the excito-ment and nioincniary prospect of succcgs.

Reduced lo the last stage of despair, tlie patriots now proposed to expel Aubry, to proclaim New-Orleans a free port, and to form a republic ; the chief to be itylcd " Proteclnf," and to be assisted by a council of forty, elected by the people." " There is no doubt," says Gayarre, " that the colonists would have eagerly adopted this form of government if it had been possible at the time ; for it must be recollected that, from the earliest existence of the colony, almost all its governors had uniformly complained of the republican spirit of the colonists."

Thus stood matters until the morning of the 34th of July, 1769, when the colonists were thrown into commotion by the arrival of the Spanish fleet at the Balize. Lafrenierc called on Aubry, and informed him, that " having full confi-dence in the magnanimity of O'Reilly, he. Marquis, and Milhct, had resolved to go down the river and present their homages to the Spanish general, and to as-sure him, in the name of the people, of their submission." They were received in state on board his flag-ship. O'Reilly listened to their address with courtesy and aUention, and returned a conciliatory reply. He promised that all former occurrences should be forgotten ; that to all who proved themselves good citizens, and yielded a proper obedience to the Spanish authority, all former acts should be buried in oblivion, and all oflences should be forgiven to those who returned to their duty. On the 18th of August the whole fleet reached the city, and in the presence of a large assemblage of citizens, and before the troops of both powers, the public ceremony of delivering up the province to the Spanish governor was perfoimed. Although O'Reilly had promised to pardon aU who submitted quietly to his authority, he had nevertheless resolved in his own mind to punish the chiefs of the revolution. Without loss of time he invited to his house, under diflerent pretexts, nine of the leaders of the revolution, and had three others arrested in the town-hall.

After reading to them the orders of his Catholic majesty, ho had them arrested in the name of the king, and put them upon their trial.

" It is impossible," says Gayarre, " to describe the terror which the arrest of these men and the death of Viilere scattered far and wide. They were so much identified with the whole population, their family connections so extensive, that the misfortune which had befallen them could not but produce a general desola-tion."

They pleaded against the jurisdiction of the court, and dechned to be tried by

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HISTORICAL MKM0IR3 OF LOUISIANA.

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prince, and against a monarch who assures you of his good-will And who, indeed, is there among you, who would ex-pose his family to the sad sequel of the events of a war, when there is any other step left him to take? Desolate widows, orphans abandoned to public charity, families destroyed ! Believe me, citizens 1 Let these evils touch and enlighten you. ' Wc will sink,' you cry, ' beneath the ruins of our coun-try, nor bend to a yoke that exposes us to slavery.'

" Such are the words which animosity has a thousand times inspired. But what aroused it? The horror you had con-ceived at UUoa's conduct.

the laws of Spain, which had not been extended over the province at the time of the alleged insurrection. They claimed to have been the subjects of the King of France, and their acts had been in accordance with their allegiance and duty to the Kin« of France : they owed no allegiance to the King of Spain until Spanish authoril^y had been proclaimed, and the Spanis.. flag and laws duly superseded those of France ; that the acts charged could not constitute an olVencc against the Spanish laws, while those of France retained their empire over the province ; that L-lloa had never made known his authority ; that O'lleilly could not expect obedience from the people until he had made known to them hu character and powers, and that no act was charged against them after this manifestation of his authority. The plea was sustained relative to several who had been ofliccrs under the French government, but was overruled in relation to Lafrenierc and his com-patriots. The court found them guilty, and sentenced them to bo executed on the 25th of October, 1769. On the afternoon of that day they were marched into the yard fronting the barracks, and shot by a file of Spanish grenadiers.

Thus terminated the inhuman tragedy, which in one short moment consecrated the blood of the first martyrs to liberty on the continent of North America.

The martyrdom of Lafreniere was a serious blow to the cause of liberty in Louisiana. The welfare of his country was ever dear to him, and he was always ready to make any sacrifices for its happiness. Ho had ever manifested an attachment to a republican form of government, and had always supported those men and those measures which he believed most friendly to republican principles. His eloquence was rich and copious, lofty and dignified, and his mind was stored with the treasures of ancient and modern lore. As an orator and statesman, he was fitted for the management of the weightiest concerns ; and as an advocate, he was profoundly versed in Roman, French, and Spanish law.

In his manners he was courteous an.l elegant. aiTablo and warm, dignified and modest, uniting the attainments of a scholar with the deportment of a gentleman. As a patriot and legislator of tried integrity, he was the idol of his countrymen.

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" But, here is a general ofTiccr, of wliosc reputation you arc not ignorant, an Irishman by birtli, who has attained the rank of lieutenant-general only by his services in the French armies; he solemnly promises you the good-will of his sovereign, if possession is given freely. Would you excite the anger of this monarch by conduct at variance with duty, reason and common sense? f 'f:• ».

" Another motive, too, should stifle all resentment. France has just beheld with emotion your patriotic efforts; all Europe, admiring your firmness, has beheld with surprise your wise, and moderate conduct; all eyes are now upon you. AVill you, in a moment of excitement and impetuosity, tarnish the glory you have won? Hitherto they have beheld in you Frenchmen attached to their prince, burning with a desire to remain under his sway ; even the Spaniard could not without injustice regard you otherwise. But now, when the king's orders require us to receive a new regime ; now that the Spaniards are come to take authentic possession, and destroy, by a conduct far different from UUoa's, the prejudices which you have conceived against the Spanish government, why oppose their entrance ? When criminal in the eyes of the world, regarded as rebels and sedi-tious men, all will, unmoved, behold the most frightful evils overwhelm you; and your ashes, which you would fain mingle with the land of France, will not be bedewed' by the tears of the noble-hearted Frenchmen, whose sympathy you excite,

" Do not, fellow-citizens, belie the favorable opinion con-ceived of your moderation. Let all France, seeing us obey the orders of our king, cry out in transports,—' Distance does not change a Frenchman's heart; the immense space of ocean can-not weaken the attachment they have for the king, and the respect they owe his orders.' State interest requires us to be Spaniards. To lose the honorable title of Frenchmen, to re-

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n you aro . the rank c French 11 of liis ou excite vitU duty,

t. France 11 Europe, rour wise, Will you, the glory frenchmen nain unilcr itice regard pire us to me to take r different red against 2? When s and sedi-litful evils fain mingle he tears of 1 excite, linion con-as obey the ice does not ' oceuu can-ig, and the •es us to be men, to re-

nounce our native land, is a sacrifice which Franco now requires of us, and for which noble hearts will applaud us. We may anticipate all from a bcueficent priuco, of the same blood as our own king; let us listen to the promises of his re-presentative, and endeavor to deserve their execution by a submissive and respectful conduct."

Ilere, Lafreniiiro ceased to speak. The deepest silence prevailed while he spoke, but soon a general murmur arose amid the assembly. Sucb as a storm brings on, opposing minds i)roducc—a sullen noise that leaves the traveler in doubt as to the future. Thus varied opinions produced a hum in the assembly, in which it was impossible to say what advice would prevail. The majority, liowevcr, convinced by reason and the words of Lafrenii^rc, pronounced with that fire and persua-sive air which graced every syllable, leaned to moderation. Then the attorney-general resumed, and soon he alone was heard.

" My noble fellow-citizens! I see with the greatest satisfaction the effect produced on your hearts by the representations which my love for you has dictated, and my zeal for your interests inspired. The same sentiments animate and enlighten me; hear what they inspire. One single difficulty keeps some in suspense ; they fear the anger of the Sjiauish king for the expulsion of Ulloa, and behold in O'lteilly the instrument not of his goodness, but of his vengeance.

" Away with such a fear! The general's word should dispel this; and, were it well founded, we cannot appease him by meeting him in arms. On the contrary, let us show him all the submission and respect we owe his master. Do not wait for him to come and receive the solemn oath ; let us bear it to him; let us depute some one of our citizens, and let O'Keilly

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190 niSTORICAL MEMOIRS OP LOUISIANA.

judge what Ulloa would have met, had his conduct been con-formablc to justice, reason and duty.

«'I oifcr to go alone and bear your homage and your oath. If Spanish vengeance has marked out any head, it is mine. I first raised my voice against an unjust and usurping man. I will go and offer the Spaniards this head, whose sacrifice will cost me little, especially if at that price I can procure the hap-piness and tranquillity of my follow-citizens." ^ This address, where patriotism was uphold by enthusiasm,

made, as we may expect, a deep impression. All hastened to show Lafrcniore the public gratitude, and every one wished to meet the danger, if any, and share it with him.

His friends wished to divert him from an apparently rash step The Spaniards, they knew, undoubtedly considered LafreniC^rc as the cause of UHoa's expulsion; if their anger con-tinned, could they pardon him? The representations of his friends, the tears of his wife, nothing could retain lum. All felt the risk he ran, but in spite of that they had a kind of con-fidcnce in O'Reilly's promises.

Let us here draw Lafreni^re's portrait. The part he has played in the course of these events will give more interest to what I have to say of this extraordinary man. I shall describe him from the accounts of his countrymen.

M Lafreiiierc, of Canadian origin, waa born in Louisi-ana and son of a councilor in the Supreme Council. Ue had been educated in France, where he followed his fatherVs pro-fession Returning to Louisiana he was employed in the council and rose to the rank of attorney-general, at an age when most men are commencing the profession he had em-braced In this position he assumed a prominent part in colo-nial affairs. He possessed a lively imagination, and all the ardor and intrepidity which lead to great deeds.

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HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUiaLlNA.

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Speaking with that assurance which a manly and nervous eloquence in.spirc3, and whicli eouHnands all hearts, he com-bined with this advantage a noble figure, a majestic port, an open countenance and an elevated stature. To paint a warrior, you might have taken tlie towering form, the manly bearing, the fiery eye, the dark and mascuUuo complexiou of Lafrc-nii>TC for a model.

To these exterior advantages he joined a great fund of gene-rosity and sensibility; he was charitable, liberal to prodigality, a zealous patriot, ostentatious, giving dignity to all he did, popu-lar, affable and good, lie owed all these cpialities to nature, but not his faults, lie would have been the wonder of his age, if the vivacity of his character and the fire of his imagination had been tempered at an age when it is so necessary to check them. He would, perhaps, have been the admiration of Europe, if his superior talents had been better directed, and an immoderate self-love not tarnished their lustre. To this defect, perhaps, so hardly pardoned, Lafreniere owed the host of enemies whom we shall see rushing on him; perhaps, too, it is part of the fatality incident to merit, to be aluiiys the ob-ject of jealousy and critieism. Yet, it is conceded that most of those who deposed against this great man, had been loaded by him with favors, and owed him life and property.

But let us return to the deputation of the colonists.* La-freniere, in spite of all that could be said to him, went to meet O'Reilly, accompanied by a planter and a merchant. The general received them with marks of the greatest good-will ? he seemed flattered by the step, and in their presence repeated the promises made to Aubry. He prayed those gentlemen to assure the colonists of his desire to contribute to their happi-ness and repose. Bidding adieu to Lafreniere, as the latter

♦ This deputation consisted of Lafreniere, Marquis and Milhet.

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took his leave, he said: "Your conduct has been misrepre-sented at Madrid, but at a distance objects take a different form from what they really have. I see that you have done your duty; rest assured that nothing wiU happen to you. i wished to be your friend." And so saying, he grasped his

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The deputies scarcely knew how to reply to such warm greetings, so astonished and delighted were they. They hasted back to reassure their families, who had meanwhile been in the greatest alarm. The account of then- reception by the general was the subject of public admiration, and the city soon echoed with praises of O'Reilly; and his conduct to the planters, during three weeks which he spent in the nver, increased the esteem of all for him.

Some sensible men, however, saw through this deceptive exterior They felt that his politeness to Lafreni5re was only a lure to draw into his nets the men on whom Spanish anger was to fall, for no one believed that Lafrenike would fall alone They did not believe that, merely to take posses-sion of the province of Louisiana, Spain would have sent a Ueutenant-general and 3,000 men. All this preparation denoted something less pacific than was pretended. "O'BeiUy said they "is too politic to arrest Lafreni5re before establishing his authority; that would be revealing his-design. He wishes victims at any price, and then the others would have escaped; for that act of severity would have exposed him to the risk of seeing all the colonists take refuge on Engbsh soil."

These reflections struck some. In vain they tried to con-vince Lafreni5re that O'Reilly's favorable reception wa« but a dangerous snare. They reminded him of all that they had suffered from Ulloa. A hundred historical incidents were cited confirming the truth of the character imputed to the

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Spaniards. They cited him examples where promises in the name of their kings had not held good against their resent-ment, and where on all occasions an alluring exterior had pre-pared the vengeance they premeditated. But they never could make the colonists believe that duplicity and knavery could be carried to that point, and the words " M. de la Freni^re*— my^nenrf,"—rose to his mind whenever they tried to open his eyes; they showed him the horrors to which he exposed his family, already branded by the Spaniards for its hostility to Ulloa's unjust plans. In vain his relatives urged him to pass over to the English territory, as O'Reilly's stay in the river gave every opportunity for emigration, but nothing could shake the constant firmness of the attorney-general. He would have deemed it a dishonor to save his life by flight, especially as his conduct furnished nothing to create the clanger witu which they wished to alarm him. General O'Reilly's promises made the colonists feel secure. At least it stopped the emigration of many, who, though conscious of innocence, felt nevertheless tha'o the most prudent course was to avoid the resentment of a nation which deemed itself offended and never could pardon. But, in spite of that, a certain homage rendered to the human heart by virtuous souls banished the idea of dO atrocious and infamous a piece of knavery as that which we shall see tarnishing the name of O'Reilly. On the 17th of August, 1769, O'Reilly* appeared before New-

•DoN Albxandrr O'RsiLiY, the fir«t Spanish Governor of Louisiana, wa« born in Ireland, about the year 1735. He entered the Spanish army at an early age, and served with distinction in Italy, where he received a wound which lamed him for the remainder of his life.

In 1766, he obtained permission from the king to enter the Austrian army, and msde two campaigns against the Prussians. In seventeen hundred and fifty-nine h«; volunteered in the army of France, in which he distinguished himself, and was warmly recommended by the Duke de Broglie to the King of Spain, wh»

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HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA.

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Orleans with his whole fleet; his intention was to enter it as a conquered city, with drums beating, and matches lighted; but, on Aubry's representation, he consented to act more con-siderately. When Aubry spoke of UUoa's expulsion, O'Keilly cut him short, saying: " The sponge has passed over that; all is forgotten; let us speak no more of it." In the first moments he constantly affected to use similar language. The next day, the 18th, possession was taken with all the usual pomp and

promoted him to the rank of lieutenant-colonel, and as such he served with dis-tinction in the war between Spain and Portugal. Ho wan afterwards promoted to the rank of brigadier-general, and on the conclusion of the peace of seven-teen hundred and sixty-two, he was raised to the rank of major-general, in which capacity he was sent to Havana to rebuild the fortifications of that city which had been destroyed by the English.

After the expulsion of Ulloa from Louisiana, the king, apprehending much re-sistance from the colonists,prcpared a formidable expedition against that province, and gave the command of it to O'ReUly, whom he appointed governor and captain-general of the province.

He arrived at the mouth of the Mississippi with his fleet on the 24th of July, »769. On the same day he dispatched his aid to Aubry, the French governor, to announce his arrival, and notify him that he was duly authorized to receive for-mal possession of Louisiana. At the same time he expressed a desire to main-tain a good understanding between the authorities of Spain and the colonists, but that he should put down all opposition and extend the jurisdiction of his sover-eign over the province.

On the 27th, the citizens of New-Orleans sent delegates to O'Reilly to im-plore his clemency, and on the next day they returned to the city with assurances from the governor that he should be disponed to be lenient.

On the 17th of August the Spanish armament reached the city, and on the 18th Aubry surrendered the province to O'Reilly. The governor entered upon the duties of his office with every outward respect for all classes of citizens. But, although he promised pardon to all who quietly submitted, he had resolved in his mind to punish the principal agitators of the late revolution. This deter-mination was artfully concealed until he had procured from Aubiy a fuU report of that event, with the names of the principal actors.

" " It is very essential," said O'Reilly, " that I should know who is the person who wrote and circulated the documents entitled, ' Decree of the Council,' and a 'Memorial of the Inhabitant! of Louisiana on the event of the mh of October, 1769,' because all I he articles of said documents claim my special attention. I shall'put entire faith in your revelations, and I again beg you not to omit any circumstance relative to men and things in what concerns said revolution." On receiving Aubry's communication he immediately made up his mind how to act,

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195

ter it as a ted; but, lore con-I, O'Keilly that; all , moments next day, 3omp and

ved with dis-rds promoted ace of seven-Dr-general, in 9 of that city-ling much re-that province, ir and captain-

24th of July, h governor, to to receive for-esire to muin-I colonists, but 1 of his sover-

)'ReiIly to im-ith assurances

md on the 18th tercd upon the litizons. But, ) had resolved . This deter-y a full report

) is the person ! Council,'' and '.9lh of October, 1 attention. I lot to omit any volution." On ind how to act.

ceremony, and at the same instant Aubry, by virtue of his powers from the French king, absolved the colonists from their oath of allegiance to him. During the week and the following one, O'lieilly received the free oath of all who chose to become Spaniards.

Hitherto nothing had shown the knavish plots ascribed to O'Reilly. Could he arrest and punish men whose innocence he proclaimed every time he received an oath of allegiance ?

On the next day, the 21st, he communicated to Aubry the orders of his Catholic majesty to arrest and bring to trial, in accordance with the laws of Spain, the chiefs of the revolution. Under various pretexts, O'Reilly drew to his house nine of the chiefs which had been named by Aubry in his dispatch, and had three others arrested in the city-hall. After reading to them the orders of his Catholic majesty, he had them arrested in the king's name, and put them upon their trial for high treason.

On the 23d, he issued a proclamation inviting the colonists to appear before him on the 26th, to take the oath of allegiance to his Catholic majesty.

The victims of his cruelty enjoyed but a short respite between conviction and the execution of their sentence. O'Reilly remained inexorable to the earnest entreaties of the inhabitants, to suspend the sentence of death until the royal clemency could be implored.

He now proceeded to abolish the laws of France, and substitute those of Spain. On the 2Ut of November, he issued his proclamation for the abolition of the Superior Council, which he alleged had been deeply implicated in the for-mer treasonable movements against Spanish authority.

In place of the Superior Council he established the Cabildo, which was a high court and a legislative council, at which the governor presided. In its judicial capacity, it exercised only appellate jurisdiction, in appeals carried up from the Alcalde courts.

He ordered a set of instructions to be prepared for the regulation and proceed-ings in civil and criminal cases, to be conducted in the co\irts agreeably to the law and u$age» of Castile and the Indies. A commandant, with the rank of captain, was appointed for each parish, with authority to exercise a mixed, civil and military jurisdiction.

The Spanish language was henceforth made the tongue in which the judi-cial records throughout the province were kept and the proceedings conducted. The Spaniih authority and laws were now substituted for the French laws and customs. The black code {code noir) which had been previously in use in the colony, was modified and re-enacted, for the protection and government of the slaves. Foreigners were prohibited from passing through the province without passports from the governor, and the colonists were prevented from trading with.

H1B1"0MCAL MEMOIBS OF LOUISIANA.

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These reflections increased the feeling of security in those who were warned of prisons and punishment. Yet, on the 21st of August, O'Reilly arrested, as state prisoners, de la Freni^re, the attorney-general; De Maaan, a captain in the French service, a knight of St. Louis, of a very ancient provingal house; Le Marquis, also a knight of St. Louis, commanding the troops of the Swiss regiment of Aleve; Hardy de Boisblanc, a councilor; Caresse; the two Milhets, father and son; Poupet, the elder, and Petit, merchants; Brand,* the king's printer; Doucet, a lawyer,

the American colonies. Many of the local regulations and ordinances were par-ticularly oppressive. The colonists were at first permitted to emigrate, and many availed themselves of this privilege. O'Reilly finding, however, that the province was losing many of its valuable citizens, he annulled this privilege, and refused to issue any more passports. The province was soon, however, relieved from fur-ther anxiety of O'Reilly's vengeance, and at the end of a year he was superseded by Don Antonio Maria Bucarelly, as Captain-General of Louisiana.

O'Reilly now returned to Spain. Although he excited jealousies and an-tipathies by the course he adopted while in Louisiana, yet within a few years documents have come to light which go to prove not only his original powers, but the approbation of the Court of Spain of all his proceedings. (See Appendix.) It appears by these the king ordered him to proceed to Louisiana, take formal possession, chastise the ringleaders, and annex the province to his dominions. He proceeds to ratify and confirm all that had been done by OReitly, and that as relates to the administration of justice, a special tribunal was to be created, to which all appeals were to go, and from it to the council at Seville. O'Reilly made a detailed report of his proceedings to his government, which has never been made public in externa, but which was approved of by the councU and chamber of the Indies, to whom it was referred.

In 1774, he W%s placed in command of the great expedition which was .sent against Algiers. The unfortunate result of this expedition rather lowered him in the estimation of the Spanish nation, although the king remained true to him. He was afterwards appointed Governor of Cadiz, where he exhibited all the talents of a great administrator. He fell into disfavor on the death of Charles III. Subsequently he was appointed to the command of the army of the Pyreneep, and while on his way to join it, he died suddenly, at an advanced age. Some of his descendants now reside in Cuba. " O'Reilly," says Michaud, " had always been an object of malignant envy, and had many enemies, whom the flexibility of his temper, and the sort influence of his conciliating manners, could not reconcile to his advancement in a nation proverbially proud and suspicious of foreigners."

♦ Braud was arrested for having printed the memorial of the planters, &c., on the event of the 39th of October, 1768. Ho pleaded in justification, that as

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HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA.

197

and Villerd, captain in the militia. The last was on the point of passing to the English side with all his property, when a letter from Aubry enjoined him to repair to the capital to confer with O'Keilly, and pledged his honor that nothing should be done to him. Villerd hesitated, but on the word of honor of a French commander, his desire of displaying his obedience to the last triumphed over his well-founded conviction of the Spanish governor's knavery. He came to the city, was in-stantly arrested and led on board a frigate. " Traitors," he cried, "you durst not declare your odious projects. If you have the courage you parade no vauntingly, give me my liberty, let me choose two hundred of my countrymen, turn your three thousand on us, and if a single Spaniard escapes, call us infamous' cowards; but you deceive yourselves if you hope to feast your cruel and savage eyes on the spectacle of my death—Villerd was not made to die on a scaffold." "With these words he tried to break through the guard, but the oflSicer stopped him and gave him a kick in the stomach, which stretched him senseless on the ground, while a soldier gave him a bayonet thrust in the thigh. He fell, foaming with rage and fury. In this frightful state he lay three days, and died in despair at bein^ baffled in his revenge. *

None could be braver than Villere*. Canadian by origin, he had all, valor, fortitude and freedom of mind; violent and fiery, but frank, loyal and firm in his resolves. He was of good size, well made, his step firm, his look bold and martial, his devotion to his king rather a phrensy than a form of patriotism. Had all the colonists thought as he did; had they

king's printer, he was bound to print all that was sent to him by the king's com-missary, and he showed Foucault's signature, at the bottom of the manuscript which he had published. This defence being admitted good, he was released.

♦ Some of the descendants of this bravo man and distinguished patriot arc now living in Louisiana, holding high of&cial position.

W

198

HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA.

had his firm resolve, I doubt whether a single Spaniard would ever have reached New-Orleans. He had a genius for war, and was the chief elect of the Acadians and Germans in case of a rupture, and under his orders that brave body would have been invincible. I regret to leave a man of his mould; French patriots must strew laurels over his giave. Let us return to the other prisoners ; and, to judge O'Reilly better, let us see the means he took to arrest them.

Ho was aware of the influence possessed over the public by the men he intended to arrest; he feared that, by acting openly, he might excite an outbreak, and therefore to secure those whom he wished to arrest, he acted thus rj On the evening of the 20th of August, he summoned the colonels of the two regiments that he had brought to his residence. " Sir," said he, to the colonel of the Lisbon regiment, " your grenadiers have a name for man-oeuvring well. I should like to test it; those of the 'other regiment will also arm, and to encourage them, you need only join the first four companies of each regiment. Let the rest remain in their quarters, ready to march when ordered; ren-dezvous here to-morrow morning at eleven." The next morn-ing O'Reilly sent his aids-de-camp for those he wished to arrest, and as they entered made them sit down, speaking with the greatest affability, and lef>: them under the impression that his design was to confer on the affairs of the colony. He amused them in this way till the grenadiers and other compa-nies, with fixed bayonets, had surrounded the government house. He then called successively the gentlemen named above, sent them into an adjoining room, where their swords were demanded, and whence a guard accompanied them to the prison prepared for them.

M. le Marquis, on surrendering his sword, said to him: "I have, during my whole life, borne it in the French king's ser-

J.t ' -# ' !: ' Jii. ' ^!.W^J ' -^!lLM'!U ' ' ' -' W-!'-' 'Mi

rd would i for war, in case of uld have 3 mould; Let us better, let

public by ig openly, lOsewhom f the 20th nents that he colonel le for man-the 'other need only it the rest ered; ren-aext mom-wished to aking with ession that •lony. He ler compa-ovemment len named leir swords ;hem to the

Dhim: "I I king's ser-

i-BmmmkM ' .'' ' -Mif^

L

HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA.

199

vice. I regret that I did not use it better. If it be a crime to be too good a Frenchman, I die guilty, for I die a French-

)i

man.

M. de la Freniiire and M. de Mazan, who both held offices in the colony, were thrust into cells under the buildings occupied by the Spanish troops.* This apparently more distinguishing treatment was only an additional precaution of the general. The others were conveyed on board various ships, and all care-fully watched.

Their property was confiscated, sentinels were placed in their houses, and their papers examined and seized. A Spanish guard was put over the Secretary, and a French one over M. Foucault's, the commissary. Aubry, at O'Keilly's request, took a false step; ^e did more. He went to Foucault's house and wished to interrogate him. " Have you any order from your king and mine, establishing you my judge?" said Fou-cault, " if not, I protest against your injustice, and will only account to the judges who shall be appointed to examine your conduct and mine. In consequence, sir, I demand a pas-sage on the first vessel for France. One will sail to-morrow, and I shall, with your permission, embark." O'Reilly and Aubry durst not refuse. Foucault embarked the next day, and on reaching France was transferred to the Bastile, where he is still detained.f

♦In pulling down this old building, which had for some years after served for a Spanish prison, cells, (under the ground,) were discovered, in one of which were found a quantity of human bones; the remains, probably, of unfortunate prisoners who had been left there to perish.

tM. Foucaait, President of »b<« Superior Council of Louisiana, succeeded M. de llochemore, as commi$saire ordonnateur of the province, in June, 17B1. He acted with great duplicity towards the revolutionists. He took an active part himself against Ulloa, but in his official correspondence with the French cabinet he had so equivocated, as to bo able when the time came to side with the victorious party. In order to justify himself for having convened the council

HISTOEICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA.

The number of victims was not completed; one more was to be arrested. This victim was dear to the colony by the great-ness of his family, by his birth, and by the signal services of his ancestors, to whom was due the discovery and settlement of Louisiana. This victim was still more precious by his personal merit. M. Noyan was the son of an old royal lieutenant of Louisiana, whose name is never uttered without respect and gratitude. M. de Bienville, governor and founder of New-Orleans, was his uncle, as was Iberville, an officer eminent in the navy for his talents, and in the colony for having brought . over the first colony, and declared himself its protector and support. M. de Noyan was only thirty-two.* Nature seemed to have delighted in blending in this young man all exterior graces, ds well as those qualities of mind and heart which attract esteem and love. He might have been considered a model of per- . fection, were not nature so chary of it. His countenance was noble, frank and becoming, his manners pleasing, his stature tall, his bearing manly, his voice sweet and captivating. He had, in a word, all the graces that a man can have. His mind was agreeable and just; he had a general aptitude for all he undertook. His soul was a union of all the qualities that con-stitute an honest man; he had also those which render a man dear and precious; for to rectitude, which might if possible be called ultra, he joined great generosity and beneficence; he

which expelled UUoa, he wrote to his government, that " he had been compelled

^ • 11 _„i-».- <•»—- " 't I* ~--» K- ^.i™»;».».i " aava rjavnrTB. " that in the drama toyssiaonSy rsy io»>.u. ». in»iB. ./^—>.«-——. — j ,

in which he was engaged he acted his part with a consistency of infamy, and a

cool systematic regularity of treachery, which must obtain for him much credit

with congenial minds." When he arrived in France he was thrown into prison.

but afterwards released, and rewarded with an office in the East Indies.

His correspondence while in Louisiana is very voluminous, and covers a period of nine of the most eventful years in the history of that province.

* The defence of Noyan, Doucet, and Caresse may bo found in the archives of the department, " Dela Marine et des Colonies," Paris.

jSi^itfiMi ' tfaMMSasta?. '

Mi)^l4.#^.j:.JXul»^14».Uili ' ^ ' J '' -»Ut.^-jaiAai J l i. li' T ' ^"*

5re was to

the great-

lervicea of

llement of

personal

atenant of

91)ect and

• of New-

!mincnt in

g brought

tector and

seemed to

ior graces,

•act esteem

del of per-

jnance was

his stature

ating. He

His mind

I for all he

Bs that con-

ider a man

possible be

icence; he

sen compelled t in the drama infamy, and a 1 much credit n into prison, idies. overs a period

he archives of

HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA.

201

was com))as8ionate, mild, affable, but at the same time full of courage, lirmuess and nobility. A good citizen, a good patriot, a good friend, a good father; reproached only with a too ex-treme delicacy; and for this only, because it proved his ruin. Ho had served in France, and was by leave captain of cavalry in Louisiana; this reason would seem to shield him from arrest. This is perhaps the reason why O'Reilly left hirja at liberty two days after the detention of the gentlemen of whom I have spoken. The whole colony unanimously entreated this young man to fly from Spanish wrath. De Noyan had married de la Freniisre's daughter; his intimate connection with his father-in-law was notorious, and he was known to be one of those marked out for Spanish vengeance. In vain they cm-ployed all imaginable arguments to induce him to evade by flight. Full of confidence in his own innocence, he plways opposed it as a buckler to the representations made him. When they reminded him that innocence was oflen sacrificed to so-called policy, he reminded them of his honor, which made his fate inseparable from his father-in-law's. When they showed him that, in safety, free to act and make his representations, he would be of real service to M. de la Frenitire, he seemed to yield to this powerful argument; but his pledge to his father-in-law not to forsake him, soon prevented his following the prudent advice given him. O'Reilly had just published an amnesty,* by which he seemed to declare that the anger of his

o'rEILLV's PROCLIMATION.

* " In the name of llie liiag, we, Alexander O'Reilly, commander of Benfay-an, in the order of Alcantara, major and inspector-general of the armies of his Catholic majesty, captain-general and governor of the province of Louisiana, in virtue of the orders of his Catholic majesty and of the powers with which we are invested, declare to all the inhabitants of the province of Louisiana, that whatever just cause past events may have given his majesty to make them feel his indignation, yet his majesty's intention is to listen only to the inspirations of bis royal clemency, because be is persuaded that the inhabitants of Louisiana

202

HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA.

Catholic ranjcflty would fall only on those arrested, and that this mouurch would pardon the others. This amnesty proba-bly induced the unfortunate resolution taken by De Noyan to lace all, rather than debase himself by a flight which tho Spaniards would have regarded as a confession of the crime kid to his charge. Death seemed to him less frightful than a breach of his word.

O'Reilly at last arrested Do Noyan. Ilis pretended regret, and the manner in which the arrest was made, prove at least the consideration to which he was entitled. He was conduct-ed on board a Spanish frigate and treated with the greatest distinction.

Shall I paint the despair of the wretched wives of these gentlemen? Shall I dwell on the state to which Mme. de Noyan in particular was reduced? But sixteen and a half years' old, the most deep and tender affection had for the last eighteen months united her to the amiable man, whose portrait we have just drawn. Daughter of M. de la Freni^re, niece of M. de Villerd, she wept at once the detention of husband, father and uncle, and shuddered every moment at the horrid forebodings that filled her soul. But the cruel O'Reilly incessantly reassured these ladies as to the lives of those they loved. He repeatedly sent to tell them to dismiss their fears, as the detention of the prisoners would not be long, and that they-would soon see them free. Thus the tyrant flattered their fond hopes, to ren-der the blow he was preparing more keen and penetrating.

would not have committed the offence of which they are guilty, if they had not been seduced by the intrigues of some ambitious, fanatic and evil-minded men, who had the temerity to make a criminal use of the ignorance and excessive credulity of their fellow-citizens. These men alone will answer for their crimes, and will be judged in accordance with the laws. So generous an act on the part of his majesty might be a pledge to him that-his new subjects will endeavor every day of their lives, to deserve by their fidelity, zeal and obedience, the pardon and protection which he grants them from this moment."— Gayarri.

*>»kam

'ga^/A!^S^^'tt ! ^;»iWiia^!AatitfeLU.,MJJ ' Mi*'

and that sty proba-

Noyan to which tho

the crime ful than a

eil regret, 0 at least is conduct-e greatest

!3 of these . de Noyan irs' old, the en months have just de Villerd, uncle, and that filled ured these vtedly sent ion of the 1 soon see )cs, to ren-trating.

they had not minded men, nd excesiive ' their crimes, :t on the part will endeavor ce, the pardon ■e.

HISTORICATi MEMOIKS OF LOUTSTANA.

* Shall I follow these gentlemen in their imprisonment? Shall I tell how M. de Xfazan, seized with a terrible (li.•^o^der, beheld his wife in vain implore permission to watch beside her husband ? Nay, more : tho son of that old soldier ofl'ercd to remain in prison till his father's recovery. Nothing could move the cruel and barbarous general. Mazan spent his ill-ness in prison. A month or so after their arrest the examinations began.*

• It appenr* from a MS. copy of tho proeeii verbal of this trial hpfore me, that O'Reilly baspd hia proaecution of the leaders of this revolution upon a ilatute of Alfonto XI fVihich in the first law of the seventh title of tiic first partida, which denounces the punishment of death and confiscation of property aj^ainst those who excite 3ny insurrection agiiinst the king or state, tak« up arms under any pretence of extendimg; their liberty or rights, and against those who give them any assistance.

The prisoners pleaded against the jurisdiction of the court, which was over-ruled. They denied the facts with which they were arraigned; they contended if they did take part, they did so while the French flag was Htill wavinir over the province of Louisiana, and while yet French laws were still in force ; that the facts set forth did not constitute an olTence against the laws of Spain ; that they were not bound to bear the yoke of two sovereigns; that O'Reilly could not command the obedience, nor respect of the colonists, until he had made known to them his powers, and that the King of Spain could not count upon their alle-giance until he extended to them his protection.

This trial and the proclamation of O'Reilly, fixes, beyond a doubt, the period when Spanish law was substituted for French jurisprudence in l.ouisian"..

The powers of O'Reilly were unlimited, and extended to a total change of the laws, the fiscal and military condition of the country, and upon which the treaty of cession remained entirely silent; although the letter from the king to M. d'Abadie held out some delusive hopes that they might not be.

After the execution of the prisoners, O'Reilly caused to be published in French, an abridgment of Spanish law, with references to the books in which they are contained, which he promulgated for the government of the province until the Spanish language should be better understood, and the colonists better able to read the Spanish laws in their original idiom.

This publication, which is printed in the appendix to this volume, was follow, gd by an uninterrupted observance of the Spanish code in all its parts. It is in evidence that O'Reilly's ordinances vert never repenle'l. They were approved of in 1772 by the Council of the Indiei, and to give greater force to what O'Reilly had done, they recommended that eeduhi be issued to that eiTect.

"Happily," says Judge Martin, " the Spanish laws and those of France pro-

HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA.

During tlie interval O'Eeilly had received the depositions of all who wished to speak. Animosity, resentment, jealousy, cupidity, ambition, terror and weakness, excited base and -"ale minds to dare to calumniate the worthiest of men. And what were the feelings of those generous patriots, when they beheld themselves falsely accused by their own countrymen,* by

ceeded from the same origin, the Roman code; and, as there is a great similarity in their rights, testaments, successions, &c., the translation was hardly perceived by the mass of the inhabitants before it became complete, and very little incon-venience resulted from it." The Supreme Court of Louisiana have, on several occasions, substantially sustained this view of the question, upon which now no doubt should rest.

* Auliry is here particularly alluded to, for the supple and servile part he played throughout the whole of this period; notwithstanding which, he was a brave and accomplished officer, and had served with distinction in Italy, befoi'e he came to Louisiana. In 1758 he was ordered by the commandant of Fort Chartres, Illinoie, to ascend the Ohio, and relieve Fort Duquesne, which was then menaced by an English force under Major Grant. On the 14th of Septem-ber he arrived at the fort, and aller examining the position of the English, he sallied out the next day and attacked them with great bravery. After a hard-fought battle, they retreated in great disorder, and left three hundred men dead on the field. On hearing the defeat of Major Grant, General Forbes sent forward a detachments under the command of Col. Washington to support Grant. As he drew near the fort the French troops became disheartened, and Aubry ordered the fort to be set on lire, and by the light of it he sailed down the Ohio, and returned to Fort Cliattres. Washington on the next day planted his banners on its ruins, and named it Fort Pitt.

In the following year Aubry was ordered with a strong force to Niagara, where he again attacked the English with great intrepidity, and while leading his men he fell covered with wounds. He was taken prisoner by the English. After his release he went to France for his health, andnvas rewarded for his bravery with the cross of St. Louis, di recovering from hie wounds he return-ed to Louisiana, and on the 4th of February, 1765, he succeeded D'Abadie, (who had died very suddenly,) as Governor of Louisiana.

On the 5th of March, 1766, Ulloa arrived in Louisiana, but as there was no time fixed by the treaty of cession to deliver the province to Spain, he deferred from time to time to take possession until a stronger force should arrive from Spain. In the mean time the colonists became dissatisfied, and a revolution broke out, which finally led to his expulsion.

Aubry protested against the decree of the Superior Council, and immediately informed his government cf all that had taken place. The merchants and plan-ters published a memorial to justify the expulsion of Ulloa, which will be found published in this volume.

jiTOiwyu ..i^iabauyuMai ' ^^tJ;

; ' ;!wyi'.u,; iy,tja'fc:f "gJi?-^^" ■•

WfW

)ositions of , jealousy, 36 and vile And what bey beheld jrmen,* by

reat similarity rdly perceived ry little incon-ve, on several }n which now

;rvile part he aich, he was a n Italy, befoi'e indarit of Fort ne, which was Ith of Septetn-18 English, he After a hard-d men dead on sent forward a Grant. As he iry ordered the >, and returned >anners on its

:e to Niagara, 1 while leading f the English, warded for his inds he return-D'Abadie, (who

9 there was no in, he deferred uld arrive from d a revolution

nd immediately hants and p!an-:h will be found

i ] i i ii ji-gh;n iiiii i a | i _ji «»ii i i f ( j^. i g i i !ii | > i ' .

HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA.

205

Frenchmen for the most part loaded with their favors? To crown their torture they needed but to know their accusers, and the Spaniards had the cruelty to name them.

It would be too long to dwell in detail on all the horrors called into being in those fearful moments. Why cannot I transmit to posterity the names of the w;-etches who had the

On the 34th of July, O'Reilly arrived at the Balize with throe thousand troops, and on the same day he sent Bouligny, his aid, to announce his arrival to

Aubry.

On the 18th of August, 1769, Aubry delivered up the province, and on the next day O'Reilly addressed a letter to Aubry, asking a statt i. 'it of all that had transpired in the colony from the departure of Ulloa until his arrival, and the names of the chiefs of the revolution. On the 23d. he addressed Aubry another letter on the same subject, requesting him to furnish all the documents necessary to convict the chiefs.

On the 24th, Aubry addressed a letter to O'Reilly, giving him the infonna-tion he required ; and on the first of September he wrote the following dispatch to the French Minister;—

Monteigneur,—ra.{ eu I'honneur de rendre compt^a votre grandeur de la prise de possession de la Louisiane par M. Ic General O'Reilly, et de toutes les circon-stances qui ont accompagne ce memorable evenement.

Depuis ce temps A. le Gen6ral s'est occiipee d prendre la connaissance la plus exa'cte de la cause de la rtvolte du vingt neuf d'Octobre, 1768, et des auteurs d'un attentat qui a mis t^ette colonic a deux doigts de sa perte. J'ai rc9U une lettro de lui le, 19, d'aout, dont est cy joint la traduction exacte par la quelle il me marque, quetant gouverneur de cette province pour sa niajeste tr6s Chrctienne et present a tout ce qui s'y est passii.il desirait queje I'instruisisse des causes de la .evolte et des noms de ceux qui ont seduit et excite le peuple a se presenter les axmes a la main, etpour expulscr par la violence M. Dn. Antonio da Uiloa, elu par sa majcste Catholique gouverneur de pays, et mo prie egalement de lui marquer le nom des auteurs de tous les cxees qu'on a apres continue envers tous les officers et la troupe Espagnols.

J'ai I'honneur de vous adresser, Monseigneur la copie exacte de la response en date du 20, d'Aout que j'ai cm qUe le devoir de mon etat m'ohligeait de faire a M. le General, dans laquelle je lui, expose avec tout I'honneur et la verite dont jo Buis capable toutes les connaissances que j'ai sur les causes de ce malheureux evenement. et sur les principaux auteurs de tous les exces.

Le 31,ahuitheure8du matin, M. lo General me communiqu'a pour la premiere fois les orders de S. Mte. pour faire arreter et juger selon les lois les chefs de cette conspiration, ce dont jo n'avis aucune connaissance auparavant, Jl les fit tous assembler chez lui sous differens pretextes, et en ma presence il Icur dit:

" Messieurs, la nation Espagnole est respcctce et veneree par foute la terre, La

mSTORIOAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA.

m

vileness to depose against their countrymen ? But the public voice points them out, and their deed brands their name with infamy. Kapidly would I pass over the fearful picture I have yet to trace. I would fain—but I have resolved to be exact— Let us conclude these sad details. , On the 24th of Oqtober,1769, the Spanish council, on hear-

Louisianc est done la seul pays do I'univers ou on I'ignore, et ou on manque aux egards qui lui sont dus. S. Mle. Catholique est ties oiTensee de tous les ecritg qu'on a imprimea et qui ontragent son gouverncmcnt et la nation Espagnole, ainsi que de la violence et de I'attentat qui a etc co;nmis envers 8on gouverneur, ses oflficiers, ct ses troupes. Elle m'ordonnc dc faire arrctcr, et juger selon lea lois, leg auteurs de toua ces exces, et ;]e ces violences, apres leurs avoir lu les ordres de S. Mle. a so sujet, M. le General leur ajouta, Messieurs, vous etes accuses d'etre les chefs de cette ruvolte, je vous arrete au nom du Roi, je souhaite, que vous puissiez prouver votre innocence, ct etre a merae de vous rendre bien-tot les epues que je viens de vous oter. Vous produirez toutes vos defenses devant les judges equitables qui sont devant, cc seront eux qui instruiront votre proces, et qui vous jugeroiit, il ajouta, on a couturac en Espagne de Sequestrer les biens et les fortunes dcs prisonniers d'Etat, les votrcs le seront par consequent, mai vous devez etre certains qu4,vous serez traites avec tour le soin possible dans I'endroit qui vous est destine, ct a I'egard de vos ferames et de vos enfans, soyez persuade que je leur ferai donner tous les secours dont elles pourront avoir besoin."

Aussitol plusieurs ofiiciers accompagnez d'un detachement de Grenadiers les ont conduits dans les endroits qui leur est destine, savoir, au quartier et dans les Yaifcseaux de S. Mte. Catholique.

J'ai I'honnuur de vous adresser, Monseigneur, le nom du petit nombre de ceux que M. le General a ete oblige indispensableinent de faire arreter cequi prouve sa generosite et sa bonte, y en ayant bien d'autres que leur conduite criminelle m'etat dans Ic cas d'eprouver le me'me sort, et afin de tmnquiliser le peuples, et lea habitants qui etaicnt alarmes M. le General a fait publier aussitot au nom du Koi un pardon general pour tout ce qui s'es', passe, a I'exception de ceux qui ont seduit le pcuple d conimcttre cet attentat les quels seront juges selon les lois; cette ordonnance aflichee et publiee dans les quatre coins de la ville, au son des tambours et de dilFerens instrumcns, accompagnes de toutes les compagnies de Grenadiers, n produit un tres bon effet, et cause une satisfaction generale.

Le 23, au matin, j'ai rcf u une lettre de M. le General dont j'ai I'honneur de vous cnvoyer la traductioa exacte, par laquclle il me marq^e qu'on lui a remis I'originat d'un papier qui a pour litre, memoire des habitants et negocians sur I'evencment du 89 d'October, qui s'est trouve chez rimpriraeur Braud, avee I'ordre signu de M. Faucault, faisant fonctions d'ordonnatcur, pour qu'il soit imprime, et qu'attendu quo ce libclle est oflfonsaut, au plus hant dcgre, a a I'autorite et au respect dii a sa niajestie Catholique, et est diflamatoire d toute la nation Espag-

:i ' .;.U^j-.'i:Ai; ' !i!r„ ' uw..i'i , • ""

HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA.

20T

the public lame with ire I have )e exact—

, on hear-

manque aux ous les ecrits n Egpagnole, 1 gouverneur, iger aelon lea r8 avoir lu les irs, V0U8 etes , je souhaite, I rendre bien-fcnseg (levant . votre proces, itrer les biens isequent, mai possible dans enfans, soyez ourront avoir

Grenadiers les ier et dans les

)mbre de ceux qui prouve sa ite criminelle

le peuples, et tot au nom du ; ceux qui ont selon les lois; le, au son dos ompagnies de ;enurale. i I'honneur de on lui a remis negocians sur d, avee I'ordre

soit imprime, 'autoritc et au nation Espag-

say calumnies refuted by the accused and by three-fourths of the colony, dared to pronounce on the gentlemen arrested the most sanguinary sentence. Let us pass for a moment over the inhumanity of this sentence to regard merely its irregularity. First, if we believe the Spaniards themselves, they had no judges but O'Reilly and the Auditor. But let us not admit facts

nole, et que le crime de M. Faucault est plainement justifie par sa signature, il ne laisse aucun doute, qu'il n'ait ete un des chef et principaux moteurs du sou-levement et extds commis contre Monsiur Don Antonio de Ulioa, et le gouverne-mentde S. Mte. Catholique, M. le General me prie en consequence de faire saisii avec la plus grande surete et promptitude la personne de M. Foucault, afin que la justification faite de sa conduite tres infidellc, ct criminelle nous puissons I'un et I'autre en rendre compte a nos souverains respectifs avec la remise du me'me proces ; J'ai I'honneur de vous addresser, Monseigneur, la reponse que j'ai cru que le devoir de mon etat, ui'oblieait de fairo d le General; quoi qu'avec bien de la doulur je n'ay pu me refuser a une aussi juste demante de sa part; enconsequence j'ai ordonner a M. de Grandmaison cy-devant Major d'aller avec Messrs. de la . Mazetiere, le plus ancier Captaine, et Aubcrt, Aide-Major, arreter au num du Roi, Faucault, dans sa maison ou j'ai envoye aussitot, avec I'agrement de Monsieur le General, un detachement Fran^ais et deux ofliciers qui sent relevus tour les jours lesquels j'a rcndui responsables de sa personne. J'ai aussi ordonne a M. da Grandmaison de mettre les celles sur les papiers, assistc dc Mps.srs. (I«> la Maze-tiere ct Aubert, en presence de M. Dobe, faisant fonction dn controlnur de la Marine, lequcl j'ai charge du soin de la comptabilite, le rendant responsable da mal qu'il pourrait faire, quoi,que je ne Ten croye nullcment capable, attend* qu'il est hoiiete hommc, et a toujours desaprouve la conduite dc son chef.

Le 26, d'Avout tous les principaux habitans de Li campagne ct ceux do la ville, on pretrs, solemncllement serment d'obeissancc et dc fidelite u S. Mto. Catholique entre les mains de M. le General. Cette ceremonic s'est fai'.e avec beaucoup d'ordrc ct dc dignite ; je lui ai prescnte tous les corps chacun scion leur rang; M. le General leur a prononce a haute voix toutes les obligations aux quelles le sorment les cngageait, ct les liait; il leur adit qu'ils avaicnt un pleine et entiere libertie pour le faire, ou pour le refuser; que ceux qui ne vou-laient point s'y engager elaient les mailres, et qu'il leur donnerait tous le terns et les facilitees pour arranger Icurs aiTaires. ct se retircr dans leur i^utrir. Presque tous geiieralemcnt Ton preto avec zulc, ctjose assurer qu'ls suront durenavant aussi iidelles sujets de S. Mte, Catholique qu'ils I'ont etu du Roi tres Chretien ; apres que tout le mondo a eu prete Serment j'ai cte avec tous MrsHicurs les officiers au dovant de M, le General, et lui ai dit que nous etions tres flattes ct honores de scrvir sous les ordres d'un general aussi rccommand&blo que lui, que nous etions prets d repandre notre sang pour le service du Roi d'Kspagne comme pour celui du Roide France, et qu'en agissant ainsi, nous cxecuterions la volonte du Roi notre maitrc, ce qui'etait la seule chose que nous desirions; il

HISTORIOAL MEKOntS OF LOUISIANA.

SO incredible; let us suppose the council named to try the' victims, was composed of a competent number of judges, the-proceedings would still be irregular. '

I One man accuses another, equity demands that they be con-fronted, and discussion is generally the torch that guides the judge. But here they merely wished a mask to cover an

a ete entiereroent satisfait de cette demarche, et noua a fait la reponio la plus obligeante.

La fdtede la St. Louis, celle du Diman^he, et lea occnpations que nous avoni euea le jour qu'on a prete serment de 6delite, ne m'ont pas permit de faire lever les celles qu'on avaient apposes sur les papiers de M. Foucault que lo 28. I'ordonne ce jour a M. de Grandiraison cy-devant Major, Messrs. de la Mazetierea et Trudeau, Capitaines assistes du 8r. Garic, notaire de cette viile, de se trans-porter dans la Maison de M. Foucrtult, pour en presence de M. Bobe, controleur de la Marine, proceder a la reconnaissance ot levee des celles apposes le 23., Du present mois sur les bureaux et cabinets contenant les papiers et coraptes dea finances et autres coraptabilites pour eusuite etre lemis a M. Dobee d I'exception ' des papiers qui pourront avoir raport a Tevenemenl du le 29 d'October, lea quels (kiivcnt in m'Stre remis par M. de Grandmaison.

J'ai egalemcnt ordonne le meme jour a M. de Grandmaison et aux memea ofliciers assistees du dit notaire de faire|a M. Foucault une declaration par serment , de tous les bieits, mcubles et immeublcs qu'il peut avoir dans cette colonie. II a -declare tres pen de biens, et beaucoup de dettns en France et dans cette colonie.

J'ai I'honneur de vous addresser, Monsieur, la copie des actes qui ont ete faita . a ce sujet, Malgre que toutes les operations precedentcs ayent donne consider* . ablcment. D'occupation a M. le General, il n'a pas neglige la les soins du gouvernement auxquels il i'est donne tout cntier ; des voitures ont ete expedieea dans tous les Pustes pour annoncer la nouvelle de son arrivee, et de la prise de possccsion.

Les commandants de la Pointe Coupee, et des Acadians out rei,'U ordrc den-Toyer a la ville les principaux habitans munis du pouvoir de tous les autres pour preter le serment de fidelite ; a I'egard des postes eloignes, M. le General a charge de ses Pouvoirs les officiers qui y commandent pour faire preter le serment aux habitans qui y sent etablis.

La saiton ne permettant point d'envoyer un convoi aux Illinois, M. le General it ' marque a M. de St. Ange qui y commande et qui y est de puis cinquante ana qu'ayant confiance dans sou experience et sa probite, il n'a qu'a lui envoyer I'etat de ce qu'il pense neceesaire, tant pour les sauvages que pour la protection ^ des habitans et qu'il aura egard a ses demahdes.

Son intention est de n'etablir des nouveautes qu'autant qu'il le sera absolument' n^essaire, II continuerk'et fera cxecuter tous les reglemens sages et utiles que la

faiblesse du gouvernement n'a pas pcrmis defairS d'observer dc puis plusieura •nneea. II suivra le code noir qui lui a paru rempli d'ordonnances sages et utilea

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HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA.

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action at which a savage would have blushed. These barba-rians, deaf to all but vengeance, would at least have shuddered to shed innocent blood. They would have dreaded to have that indelible stain cast upon them. Yet we see an enlightened nation, a people who boasts itself a scrupulous observer of a religion of peace, and not of bloodshed, of a religion breathing naught but clemency and goodness—we see a council com-posed of men respectable in age and rank, to make reparation for an insult to their flag and king, pronounce sentence of death on men whose whole attention had been to show respect for

ant pour la discipline des negrea, que pour moderes la trop grande purete des maitres. Ce qui a flatte infiniment les habitans.

J'ai i'honneur de nous addresser, I'urdonnance que M. le General a rendue a ce ■ujet.

Enfin a pres lant de troubles et de discorres qui ont desole si longtemps cette co-lonie, il est surprenant que la presence d'une seule personne y retablisse en si peu de temps le bon ordre, la paix et la tranquilite. Si pour le bonheur de ce pays, M. le General y fut arrive plutot nous n'aurions jamais ete temoins de toutes les calamitea dont il a ete afflige. A cela pres du petit nombre de families qui sont dans la consternation pour la juste disgrace de leurs parens qui ont ete arretes, tout le reste de la colonie est tranquilie ct content.

Tous les habitans sont flattes de ce que Sa Majeste Catholique leur a envoye un General qui ecoute avec bonte les personnes qui ont afiitiie a lui, craint, respecte, et aiine, pour la generosite, sa bonte, ct sa justice envers tout le monde. II fera le bonheur de cette colonic.

J'ai I'honneur d'etre avec un profound respect,

"" De. votrc Grandeur, Monseigneur,

Votre tres humble et tres obeissant serviteur,

(Signed) Aubry. Nile. Orleans, I Septsmbre, 1769.

Having transferred the province to General O'Reilly, Aubry now prepared to return to France. In the beginning of the year 1770, he embarked on board a ship bound to Bordeaux,with all his property, and the public papers belonging to the province. On the 18th of February, as the vessel entered the mouth of the Garonne, she encountered a violent storm, and was shipwrecked. All on board perished except four sailors, who succeeded in reaching the shore.

The King of France, in order to show how niuch he appreciated the services of Governor Aubry, immediately granted pensions to both his brother and sister for life. The olScial correspondence of Aubry is deposited in the archives at Paris, but his private journal, with the valuable archives of the colony, were lost with him in the shipwreck. r Y,-n"--

14

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210

HISTOmCAL MEMOIRS OP LOUISIAKA.

both-on men whoso lips, as moderate as their conduct, had uttered no insult to any Spaniard, not even to the author of their evils-on men, who had acted only against a man with no recognized title or authority ;-on men, in a word, whose innocence O'Reilly himself had attested by authentically taking possession; by absolving them from allegiance to the crown of France, and accepting an oath to the fideUty of the Spanish monarch. _

Let us for a moment suppose them to have been guilty; had not their pardon been assured them by an authentic promise, by the plighted word of honor of O'Reilly himself, to follow in his master's name only clemency and goodness, if the colony offered no opposition to his taking possession. But he made hesitation a crime on the inhabitants, and feigned to believe, as he openly declared, that the deputation sent him was only a pretext to examine his force, and see what hope there was in

resistance.

If we are to believe public report, the judge, after the inves-tigation, found nothing criminal in the accused. " Do as you like," said O'Reilly, " I must have six victims." ;;

The process was begun again, and a new form taken to palliate at least the atrocity of the sentence, which they wished to color with a hue of justice.

Shall I here repeat this unjust and barbarous sentence?* Shudder, generatioi^s yet to be I Shudder with horror and in-dignation! Six were condemned to confinement more or less

SENTENCE OF THE COCRT.

• «In the criminal trial instituted by the king, our sovereign, to discover and punish the chiefs and authors of the conspiracy which broke out in th,s colony on bie 29th of October, 1768, against its Governor, Don Antonio de Ulloa, all he orounds of the accusation having been substantially investigated, according to the Le forms of the law, between the parties on one side, the Ucent.ate. Don Fehx - del Rey, a practising advocate before the royal courts of St. Domingo and Mexico, here acting in his capacity of attorney-general appointed by me for the king.

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aduct, had ! author of man with ord, whose thentically ,ncc to the ility of the

[uilty; had ic promise, f, to follow ' the colony ut he made to believe, m was only there was in

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m taken to they wished

3 sentence?* orror and in-more or less

, to discoyer and in this colony on de UUoa, all the , according to the itiate. Don Felix lingo and Mexico, me fot the king,

UI3T0KICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA.

protracted ;* six more to be hung, and these in consideration for their families were shot next morning If In vaiu they ap-pealed from this unjust and informal judgment to the tribunal of his Catholic majesty ; in vain they demanded the rights of humanity and justice; in vain they acted the due respect of nation to nation, and sovereign to sovereign; in vain they

according to royal authority vested in me, and on the other, Nicholas Chauvin de la Frenierc, cx-attorney-gcneral for the King of France, and the senior member of the Superior Council, Jean Baptisle Noyan, his son-in-law, Pierre Caresse, Pierre Marquis, Joseph Milhet, an attorney to the memory of Joseph Villere, on account of this culprit, demise in prison, Joseph Petit. Balthasar Mazan, Jerome Doucet, Pierre Hardi de Boisblanc, Jean Milhet, and Pierre Poupct, accused of having participatrj in the aforesaid crime and in the sulisequcat seditions which broke out against the Spanish government and nation ; having compared the infor-mation, depositions and other documents insetted in the proces verbal of this case ; having compared the confessions of the accused with the papers found in the possession of some of them, and by them acknowledged as theirs ; the accused being heard in their defence, and the charges brought against them being accom-panied with their respective proofs ; having heard the conclusion of the attorney-general in his bill of indictment; all being examined and considered either in point of fact or of law, in a case replete with circumstances so grave and so extraordinary ; and taking into consideration all that results from said trial to which I refer, I have to declare, and I do declare, that the, aforesaid attorney-general has completely proved what he had to prove, and that the accused have not proved, and established allegations set up in their defence, that they have made out no exception which frees them from the crime imputed to them, and still less saves them from the penalties, which, according to our laws (Spanish), they have incurred for their respective shares in the oxcesses which have been enumerated by the attorney-general, Don Felix del Key ; so that from the pre-sent, I have to condemn the aforesaid Lafreniere, Noyan, Caresse, Marquis and Milhet, as being the chiefs and principal movers of the aforesaid conspiracy, to the ordinary pain of the gallows, which they have deserved by the infamy of their conduct; and ipso jure, by their participation in so horrible a crime, and to be led to the place of execution, mounted on asses, and each one with a rope round his neck, to be then and there hung until death ensue, and to remain suspended to the gallows until further orders ; it being hereby given to be understood, that

♦ De Mazan, Hardi de Boisblanc, Petit, Milhet, senior, Poupet and Doucet, were transferred to Spanish ships, and conveyed to Havana, where they were treated with great inhumanity, and detained till the French court solicited their liberation

t Lafreniere, Noyan, Caresse, Milhet and Marquis, were shot in the yard of the barracks on the 25th of October, 1769.

HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA.

!|

proved that they had never ceased to be Frenchmen; that never having taken any oath to the Spanish king, they could not be guilty towards him for sending oflf a man with no public or acknowledged authority; in vain they claimed the rights of subjects of the king of France, employed in his service—the sentence was passed, they had to meet it.

Now their patriotic courage, inflamed by the certainty of dying innocent, and the conviction that fidelity to their king alone brought them to the scaffold, was enkindled anew. They exhorted one another to the firmness needed in that fearful

.any one having the temerity of carrying away their bodies, without leave, or of 'Contravening in whole or in part, the execution of this very same sentence, shall ^■ufler death. And, as it results also from said trial and from the declaration of the aforesaid attorney-general, that the late Joseph Viilere stands convicted likewise of *having been one of the most obstinate promoters of the aforesaid conspiracy, I •condemn in the same manner his memory to be held and reputed for ever as infa> .mous ; and doing equal justice to the other accused, after having taken into con-sideration the enormity of their crime, as proved by the trial, I condemn the aforesaid Petit to perpetual imprisonment, in such castle or fortress as it may please his majesty to designate ; the aforesaid Masan and Doucet to ten years imprisonmrnt; Pierre Hardi de Boisblanc, Jean Milhet, and Pierre Poupet to six years imprisonment, with the understanding that none of them shall ever be per-mitted to live in any one of the dominions of bis Catholic majesty, reserving to myself the care to have every one of these sentences provisionally executed, and to cause to be gathered up together and burnt by the hand of the common hang-man, all the printed copies of the document entitled, " Memorial of the Planters, Merchants, and other inhabitants of Louisiana, on the event of the 29th of Octo-ber, 1768," and that all other publications relative to the conspiracy be dealt with in the same manner; and I have further to dec:.'ee, and I ^o decree in conformity with the same laws, that the property of every one of the accused be confiscated to the profit of the king's treasury ; and judging definitively, I pronounce this judg-ment, with the advice of Dr. Manuel Jose de Urritia, auditor of the war and the navy, for the harbor and city of Havana, and the special assessor named by me for this cause, under the royal authority; and his fees, as well as those of the officers employed in this trial, shall be paid out of the confiscated property, in tke manner prescribed by law.

(Signed) " Alexandbr O'Reillt. *Y

(Countersigned) " Mandbl Josb de Urkitia."

This sentence was atleiwards modified to shooting, instead of hanging the jiiisoners.

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lut leave, or of sentence, ahall claration of the cted likewise of id conspiracy, I or ever as infa-taken into con-[ condemn the ;re88 as it may !t to ten years e Poupet to six lall ever be per-ly, reserving to y executed, and common hang-of the Planters, le 29th of Octo-cy be dealt with :e in conformity se confiscated to junce this judg-.he war and the ■ named by me as those of the property, in the

'Reilly. DB Ubwtii." of hanging the

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HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA.

moment; but the bloody preparations were no terror for them; they advanced with that tranquillity and firmness which a feel-ing of innocence gives. Placed side by side, facing their butchers, their hands raised to the God who avenges the inno-cent and rewards the virtuous, they absolutely refused to bandage their eyes. " Death has no terror for us," said M. le Marquis, and with the greatest sang froid asked for a pinch of snuff. " Know that, foreigner as I am, my heart is French; it has always beat for Louis, tlie well-beloved, to whose service I have sacrificed thirty odd years of my life, and I glory in dying for my attachment to him."

" Let this consoling idea bear us up," said De la Freni6re, "and reconcile us to the cruel separation which the idea of our death might otherwise render insupportable. May our well-beloved king learn how dear he was to us, how we glory to die his faithful subjects. If he can be informed, let us not be solicitous for the fate of our wives and children—to his generous hands we resign them. To die for our king—to die Frenchmen—is there anything more glorious? This idea so exalts my mind, that if at this terrible moment, when I am ready to appear before the Eternal, the Spaniards offered me life on condition of my renouncing my French allegiance, I would as firmly as now say,— Fire."

Hands trembling at the sight of this heroic courage, dared execute this savage command. M. de la Frenitire fell bathed in blood; but the Eternal refused to receive a soul which he had placed on earth to be its ornament. M. de la Freni^re, still palpitating, laid his hand on his heart, they thought they heard him say, " It is French." A second discharge annihila-ted life, after these signal proofs of his patriotism. The rest were already no more.

Let us here give free vent to our tears; they are too just a

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niSTOIlICAL MKMOinS OF LOUISIANA.

tribute to be refused; they would flow despite the hardest heart. Let us transmit to posterity the names of the six victims whom we deplore : M. de la Frenitire, Le Marquis, Do Noyan and Villerd, all connected by blood and friendship, . all superior to any eulogy we can give. The other two were Messrs. Caresse and Milhet. Let us, with the colony, join in regret on the death of M. de Noyan. AH seemed to combine for his safety ; shining merit, regard due to his birth, and the ser-vices of his family in the colony, the respect due to the French king in whose service he was employed, and who alone had a right to dispose of his life. What adds still more to our regret is° the generous manner in which this young man devoted himself to death, as we have already seen that it lay with him-self to escape an arrest.

It is said that in the course of the interrogatories, O'Keilly did all he could to save him, but that M. de Noyan, in hopeq of exculoating his father-in-law, always turned the accusations on himself. It is added, that O'Reilly, when about to sentence him, said: «'Sir, it depends on yourself to save your life; give us a pretext for doing so; say that you were led to the steps laid to your charge; say that your father-in-law"—" I will not stain my name to save my life," replied this generous officer, " interrupting him, "I will die worthy of your esteem and your regret, nor will I tarnish my soul by an odious false-hood. Ko one could suggest to me the actions you make a crime; accuse my love of country, my love of the king I serve—this is the mainspring of my conduct." This magna-nimity made no impression on O'Reilly.

Wretched wives, desolate families! Your cause is that of humanity ; the whole universe is about to plead by my lips; let equity decide in this matter! The policy that they would set up in such cases is a barbarous atrocity. In vain did you

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e is that of by my lips; . they would rain did you

niSTOHICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA..

try, by your mournful cries, to mavc the hardened heart of tho most cruel of men. Bloodthirsty tiger! thy savage, barbarous soul still drinks in the tears of those wretched wives, vainly imploring at the door of justice (a virtue which you never knew), clemency and pity, sentiments foreign to your heart. . Were you even touched at the moving spectacle of Mme. de Noyan, humbled so as to kneel at your door ? Shudder wretch! you should fall. Consider the illustrious blood to which that lady is allied, and kneel! Hear the mournful cry of that wretched mother, daughter, wife; behold her youth, her love, and extend a protecting hand—but no! close thy fierce eyes, close thy ears, open only to falsehood; dread to hear the piercing cry of children for their fathers; wives for . their husbands; citizens for their virtuous countrymen. Re-spect neither the laws of humanity nor those of justice; sate thy rage and cupidity ; do more evil in a day than a Nero or a Caligula; dare more—dare to say that the sentences from thy infamous lips had been dictated by thy king. This hor-rible blasphemy alone was wanting.

But do not expect to impose upon the public by this respect-able veil. Thy conduct is still that of an impostor, a savage and a knave. Posterity will never believe that a beneficent king, a Bourbon (clemency and goodness are in the blood of every prince of that illustrious blood), resolved to shed innocent blood. It will scarcely be realized that he could have chosen one so false and unjust to bear to his sub-jects the mark of the clemency, goodness, benevolence, with which the world knows his heart is filled.* The Eternal who judges us awaits thee in that fearful moment, when a strict

♦ This is certainly carrying (lattery to its highest point. The orders of a Span-ish king of that day, were precise and without any liberty to the officer. Th« usual ending was, " So pena de muerte," which we need not translate.

HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA.

account must be rendered of thy motives in acting. But before this public indignation, the contempt of a worthy natiou whom thou wouldat make the accomplice of thy villany, the gnawing worm that will unceasingly attend thee, are the just feelings that thou shalt experience in this life.*

Let us here repeat, what Cnpt. Pittmanf writes on this fright-ful event: " You could cast your eyes on this bloody tragedy only with horror and execration. Such a treason, used to destroy an enemy or punish a criminal, dishonors a nation and degrades the name of justice."

But should public indignation fall on O'Reilly or on Ulloa? The former, it is said, only executed the orders of the court.

First let us lay it down as perfectly impossible that a cabinet as enlightened and equitable as that of Madrid, .directed by a just and merciful king, should have pronounced a sanguinary decree against men accused indeed, but not yet heard. If on Ulloa's mere report they were judged guilty, the truth of that report was still to be examined; the accused must be heard and be confronted with their accusers. All these formalities should precede judgment. Hence it would be a breach of the respect due to the cabinet of Spain to suppose it had pro-nounced a definitive sentence in the matter. That O'Reilly had orders from his court to arrest them, to try them, is probable, as the Spanish king believed them his subjects, and in this point of view they would have been guilty of expelling a recognized officer. But Aubry, by absolving the colonists from the oath of allegiance to France, declared that they ha4 not ceased to be French, and O'Reilly, by taking the oath of allegiance to the Spanish king, established authentically and

'This prognostic was soon afler realized.

t Pittman was an English officer belonginKto the corps of engineers stationed at Mobile. He wrote a work on " The State of the European Settlements on the Mississippi," which was published in London, 1770.

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HISTOBICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA.

217

manifestly the injustice of all the proceedings he was about to institute. And against whom ? Against men who could not violate an oath they had not taken; whose actions all tended to show their attachment to the monarch whose subjects they still were. Then did it become a crime to be a faithful and patriotic subject?

The Spanish court might have been deceived by the infor-mal act of possession pas.<?ed between Aubry and UUoa :* an act of no force as regards the colonists, who knew nothing of it, an act irregular on its very face. Ulloa may have persuaded his court what he could, but not O'Reilly, who was > on the spot. Did he believe the act valid ? Did he believe the colo-nists subjects of his sovereign, at a time when he sees Aubry absolve them from the oath that bound them to the king of France; at a time when he receives their oath to be as faith-ful to the king of Spain as they had hitherto been to the king of France? Do not these formalities prove that O'Reilly believed the colonists still Frenchmen when he arrived in the colony, and that the dismissal of Ulloa was not the expulsion of a Spanish governor, but of a stranger, assuming to be invested with a title which would have given him a right to authority had he shown it. Is it not public and notorious that the dismissal, far from being seditious, was done with the greatest decency, the greatest respect for the Spanish flag, and the utmost attention to insult no native of Spain ? that the colo-nists, to obtain justice, had recourse to the tribunal appointed by the French king, whose sole authority was recognized ?

Is the judgment of the Supreme Council on Ulloa made a

* See letter from Aubry to Choiseul, in the Archives at Paris, explaining the reasons why Ulloa hesitated taking possession of the province, and another from Choiseul to Aubry, approving his conduct of governing the colony for the king of Spain, July, 1766.

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HISTORICAL MBMOIRS OF LOUISIANA.

crime ? Let us read its justification in the memorial on these

Bad events.*

««If, on the part of the inhabitants, representation to the

[This meraorial wa« drawn up by Lafreniere, at the request of the merchant, and planters, to justify the Revolution of the 28th of October, 1768.]

• MEMORIAL or THE MERCHANTS AND PLANTERS OF LOUISIANA, ON THE EVENT* OF THE 29th op OCTOBER, 1768.

To tlm WorZrf .--The magistrates of the Supreme Council of Louisiana, eye-witnesses of the calamity which afflicted us, could no longer turn a deaf ear to the plaintive cries of an oppressed people. The decree of October 29th which followed our humble remonstrance, is a proof of the imminence of the dangers which environed us. and the weight of the yoke whiJ. begim to crush u.. In-duced bv tho state of aflairs to believe that great evils require prompt and power-ful remedies, our magistrates did not hesitate a moment to take the necessary step of sending off the self-styled governor, for his Catholic majesty to render him an account of his conduct. But their diligent care was not confined merely to calming the disgust of a groaning people ; they have also empowered them to bear this petition and requests to the foot of the throne, convmced tha the com-passionate eye of their natural sovereign would turn to such devoted subjects and that their respectful love for their monarch would not be rejected by his benehcent majesty, the image of the All-preserving Being for his people on earth. Zeal-ous Frenchmen, whose property and families are on this continent-you whose pure heart* need not your monarch's eye to arouse you -you, whose zeal for your incomparable monarch has suffered naught by crossing the vast ocean, by min-gling with strangers, by the constant activity of a neighboring and rival nation, cam? your disquiets as to the cession of this province. Our great k-ng -«-«'« his letter announcing it, to have a presentiment of the alarms. He made hims If mediator of our cause with his Catholic majesty, induced us to expect from h.n^ the same marks of good-will and protection as those enjoyed under »»« beloved rule These august sentiments embolden our love. May the cries of joy may the '' Vive le Rol," so often shouted around our flag on the day of the revolution and the two following days, bo renewed without (ear! May our feeble organ each the world and posterity, even that this loved rule -''-j'^f-J^! ,^^ ° , live and die. to which we offer the wreck of our fortunes, our blood, our children ' and families, is the rule of Louis, the well-beloved.

- Tho colony of Louisiana was ceded to his Catholic majesty by a private act " passed at Fontainebleau, November 3, 1762. and accepted by another ac passed at the Escurial. on the 13th of the same month. The king, by a letter wntt n a Versail: on tiie 2lst of April, 1764, to M. d'Abadie. then ^-^tor general a^^^^

commandant for his majesty in L""---'»«"-"""? '^V^lo^srand

.' the same time his hopes for the advantage and tranqu.lhty o the co onists, and

his trust that from the affection and friendship of his Catholic maje.ty, he

; II gWe orders to his governor, and all other officers employed in his service m

HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA.

219

on these

on to the

erchants and 1768.]

E EVENTS or

misiana, cye-a deaf ear to r 29th, which if the dangers ;ruBh us. In-ipt and power-the necessary esty to render )nfineJ merely wercd thetn to I that the com-d subjects, and y his beneficent 1 earth. Zeal-it—you, whose se zeal for your ocean, by min-ind rival nation, it king seems in le made himself sxpect from him idcr his beloved ries of joy, may of the revolution )ur feeble organ rhich we wish to 3od, our children

by a private act nother act passed I letter written at ector-general and ission, testifies at the colonists, and 9lic majesty, "he d in his service in

council was the only way open to themselves, was there not an obligation on the coancil to right them? Could it refuse to listen to the repeated protests of the colonists and principal in-said colony, to continue in their functions the ecclesiastics and religious in charge of parishes and missions—and continue the ordinary judges as well as the Superior Council, to render justice according to the laws, forms and usages of

the colony and would guard and maintain the colonists in their possessions—

hoping, moreover, that his Catholic majesty would show his new subjects in Louisiana, the same marks of good will and protection displayed in the previous government, and of which the miseries of war had alone prevented their feeling greater effects. He, moreover, orders his letter to be registered in the Superior Council at New-Orleans, that the different orders of the colony may be acquaint-ed with its contents, and refers to it in case of need ; his present letter having no other object." Happy and consoling prospect produced in our hearts by the promises of the most august and respected of monarchs! by V^Uat fatality have you vanished 1

Ulloa arrived at the Balizc on the 28th of February, 1766, in a 20-gun frigate, with about eighty soldiers, some Spanish capuchins and employes. He landed at the city on the 5th of March, and, accompanied by members of the council, who, in spite of a storm of rain, went to hia boat; ho passed through a double line formed by the regular troops, the provincial militia, and the roar of cannon and public acclamations. He at first responded to these signal marks by the most brilliant promises, but the sequel did not prove their solidity. Without entering into minute and ridiculous details of his private life, we shall retrace his public acts. If his principal aim was to destroy by the first acts of his clandesthie administration the flattering hopes we entertained, he succeeded perfectly.

To evmce more clearly the first ground of complaint on our side, we must ob-serve, that the trade with the Indian tribes is one of the principal branches of commerce ; so intimately connected with the planter's interest, thiit one is the spring of the other. This trade is a very profitable market for the productions of several factories, and with encouragement would extend. It is a rich mine-7 the opening of which offers treasures more considerable than the metallic veins of Potosi, and to increase as the trader increases his commerce. From this inexhaustible source flow advantages both public and private; the merchant finds in it a market—the man without means, employed as a trader and voya-geur, finds means of subsistence and lays up some money. The affection of the people is sustained by the intercourse with Frenchmen, eager to procure things which a knowledge of them has rendered necessary. And, lastly, public security, which this trade with the Indian tribes that surround us has created, is main-tained by it; but this is not the only benefit which results from it, for the colony in general. Ships from Europe and the West Indies, attracted by the hope of a profitable return, bring us the provisions we need, and finding in our stores peltries, on which they hope to profit, furnish us these supplies at a fair price ;

W^

HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA.

habitants, against the formation of new establishments in the country without the formal act of oppression? Did not the very orders of the king make that tribunal a guardian of tho

which becomes excessive when they have to sail away in ballast. These facts— these solid advantages, have been regarded by our worthy ministers, whenever their express orders have encouraged traders, by recommending free-trade. The reality has been acknowledged and expressly declared by the Duke de Choiseul, in his letter to M. d'Abadie, under date of February 9th, 1765. All the Upper Mississippi, and the northwest on the Missouri, was then offered to our activity. Countless tribes, rich in rare furs, inhabiting these unknown parts, would soon be subjected to our factories alone. The discoveries to be made in those fine countries would be reserved to our efforts, and our eyes would for the first time explore that part of the globe still unknown to civiliied man. How encouraging for us are the intentions of this wise minister 1 With transports of gratitude we beheld him turn his attention not only to the re-establishment of our fortunes, ruined by the evils of war, and the increase of our resources almost annihilated by the very conditions of peace, but also extend his views to geographical dis-coveries, and trace in the same tableau the path of fortune and glory. A mag-nificent project which Ulloa deranged, and would doubtless have destroyed. We do not seek to fathom his motives, and confine ourselves to the narrative of his persevering efforts against free-trade. They began on the very spot by a general prohibition. The traders and settlers in Illinois complained. They showed M. de Saint Ange, the French commander in that port, the certainty of their ruin, and the inevitable danger of their being plundered and perhaps mur-dered by the Indians, who, ignorant and careless of political considerations, ask only for a constant supply of goods and a market for their furs. In spite of the repugnance of Seiior Rice, a Spanish captain sent by Ulloa to Illinois, as com-mandant, the traders went to the villages this year also, although limited to a certain number; these, howeverwere the last efforts of their expiring privileges, and Ulloa about the same time granted to five or six individuals an exclusive trade in the country, recommended by our ministers to general emulation.

The lumber trade is another object of attention to the merchants, whose interests we have just seen are so closely connected with those of the planter. In the representations made to the Superior Council of the province, it was shown that the value of this article exceeded 100,000 livres a-year-an assertion which no one contradicts. This business, which the nature of the country presents to each with a profit in proportion to the means which he can employ, but always certain in that degree, is the first effort of the new planter, and the steady object of the old one. Deprive Louisiana of free-trade, close the market for her wood, and from that moment you condemn the merchant and planter to indolence and want The ordinance issued September 6th, 1766, was but a warning of this misfortune. His Catholic majesty informed, we were told, of all that concerned the provisioning and utilizing of the country, deigned so far to favor the inhabit-ants a. to permit the export of lumber in vessels from St. Domingo and Mar-

HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA.

221

ts in the

I not the in of tho

lie«e fact*— 8, whenever -trade. The ]e Choiseul,

II the Upper our activity, would Boon in those fine he first time encouraging gratitude we our fortunes, t annihilated graphical dis -iry. A mag-re destroyed. i narrative of ery spot by a lined. They e certainty of perhaps mur-lerations, ask n spite of the inois, as com-;h limited to a ing privileges, sxclusive trade n.

chants, whose if the planter. I, it was shown, sserlion which try presents to oy, but always e steady object t for her wood, indolence and taming of this that concerned vor the inhabit-aingo and Mar-

public peace, over which it was expressly enjoined and recom-mended to watch." Did not all these reasons tend to convince O'Reilly of the

Unique, till means were found in Spain of carrying on that trade. But what probability is there of our lumber trade being taken up in Spain ? This was plunging the dagger gradually in ; the death-blow was given by the decree. In the first article it is said that the shipping shall be only at the ports of Seville, Alicant, Carthagena, Malaga, Darcelona, Corunna, &c. In the eighth, that the Teturns shall be made to the same ports ; in the third article, vessels sent to Louisiana must be Spanish bottoms, and the captains and crews Spanish or naturalized. Finally, in the fourth and ninth articles, voluntarily putting into any American port, even in Spanish territory, is forbidden, and an involuntary one, aubjected to onerous versifications and impositions. Had we then the faintest gleam of hope for our lumber trade to the French colonies of St. Domingo and Martinique, the only spots where it had any value 1 Ye imprudent censors, whose unfounded reflections may extend to our conduct in this revolution, try, by your mathematical combinations, to restore the broken harmony, by according it to the decree, but first think of furnishing us means of subsistence.

Besides, what apparent resource could even suspend our just forebodings 1 The products of our lands and commerce consist in lumber, indigo, furs, tobacco, cotton, sugar, pitch and tar. Furs have little value in Spain, as they are not in use, and those used are made up abroad. Havana and Peru supply wood and sugar far preferable to ours; Guatemala, a superior indigo, and in quantities greater than their factories consume; Peru, Havana and Campeachy, cotton ; the Isle of Pines, pitch and tar; Havana and the Spanish part of St. Domingo, tobacco. Those grown by us, inferior to those produced by those vast territo-ries, and useless and superabundant in her ports, are rejected there, or reduced to a nominal value. What return then can we expect from shipments made to the ports named in the decree t On the other hand, the small number of factories in Spain, with the little aid given there to maritime cities by home agriculture, forces Spanish subjects there to resort to foreign ports for provisions of every kind. Marseilles supplies her ports with grain, as they cannot obtain it at home without the excessive expense of a laborious land carriage in a mountain country. The whole nation too, is tributary to all the manufacturing countries, and the most signal favor that Providence has done her, was to make her mistress of Mexico and Peru to purchase her first necessaries. Rich by industry alone, can we expect Spain to furnish ours sufficiently and cheaply, when she herself is obliged to buy her own in cash and at high rates 1 In spite of the perhaps momentary exemption announced by the decree of all duties on shipments to Louisiana, these sad truths known to the whole world, coupled with the certain depreciation of our products in the Spanish ports, have made us justly fear, that our crops, though abundant, far from rewarding our industry as heretofore, by often giving us superfluities, will cease to supply even pure, simple necessaries.

From these observations, superficial indeed compared to the certainties from '1*

rij i l i(|i« [( i1il ia

HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISUNA.

picture21

innocence of the accused? And even if lie had received from his royal master, which is out of the question, the cruel order to coudemu them to death, should he not, before pronouncing

which they arc deducted, can we for a moment doubt that this colony, at far as its productions are concerned, will be useless to Spain, and that the political views in the treaty of cession was confined to the sole object of making a bulwark for Mexico. Dut will the misery of the colonists give strength to that bulwark 1 What madness to undermine our rising fortunes by destroying free-trade, when even these political views do not seem to require the sacrifice ! Everything induces us to believe that his Catholic majesty desired first to learn by the reports of his envoy, the causes which produced and the means which maintained our prosperity. Our king's promises assured us of the good will of our new sove« reign and the mildness of his intended administration. The officers of the Span* ish king, on their arrival, announced the continuance of our commerce for at least ten years ; the source of our wants known in Spain, without our even indicating it, was left open to our activity; but on seeing the decree, can we doubt that Ulloa, charged with that report, as stated in the ordinance published here on the 6th of September, 1766, is the author of the calamities which threaten us, and that having projected our ruin, his untrue reports have prevented the efTect of that good will, which his master undoubtedly intended to show us.

It is vain to object that the last article of the decree permits us to draw from Spanish ports the fruits and goods from I^uisiana to sell them in foreign coun-tries, if there is no market in Spain, and that without pajing any export duty. What avail is all this pretended advantage to us 1 Let us not count the articles of the di crce, but observe its spirit, and read none of the articles without follow-ing the close cor.ncction between them all. We are indeed permitted to sell in foreign countries, products unsaleable in Spain, but on what conditions i. Our merchants, naturalized in Spain (decree, art. 3), must go to the ports of Seville, Malaga, &c . and pay five per cent. (art. 12); forced by the refusal of their cargo to leave these ports and go to seek a market in (he neighboring countries, they must return in ballast to Spain (art. 1) ; to take in a cargo of fruits and goods already info Spain after pacing import duties (art 7). Docs this expensive voyage dispel our sad reflections on the general want that threatens us ? Add to this, the ships' expenses, estimated by our chambers of commerce at 3,000 livre* a month for a vessel of 300 tons, the unloading in a Spanish port, reloading for a foreign market, double commission, insurance and storage, the increase of avaries, (duties) which foreign nations will of course charge on goods coming from Spain, and we behold the decree as a kind of alembic, devouring, rarefying our crops to their quintessence.

Our king's promises in his letter of April 21st, 1704, induced us to hope that we would always have the same laws to follow and the same judges to hearken to. Yet, what a blow was given to this article by Ulloa at the very outset of his administration ^ He had not yet taken possession ; his commission has never been verified, enrolled, or even presented ; no tie yet binds us to his authority;

HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA.

228

/cd from iiel order louncing

ly, as far aa lie political g a bulwark it bulwark 1 trade, when Everything f the reports intained our r new sove* of the Span, merce for at out our even •crce.can wo CO published hich threaten revented the ihow us. to draw from foreign coun-■ export duty, it the articles ithoul foUow-ttcd to sell in liiions 1 Our rtsi of Seville, of their cargo ountries, they Is and goods his expensive 3 us 1 Add to at 3,000 livres reloading for a iase of avanes, rig from Spain, ig our crops to

IS to hope that ges to hearken ry outset of his ion has never his authority;

Bcntenco, prove to the king that ho had been deceived, that the colony never Jiaving ceased to be governed in the name of the French monarch, the inhabitants were not guilty of any

nothing but a respectful deference for the character which he is supposed to bear, promises him our obedience ; and yet severe punishments, chastisements unknown under the still subsisting French rule, are already inflicted by his orders, on the i<lightcst faults ; even if supposed to be faults at all. Now, it is not to be inia^rined that the^c false principles of administration, these end novel-ties of an unknown domination, are the only motives of our fears and the alarm spread through our families. The Spanish law may have beauties and advan-tages unknown to us ; but an antipathy to all that is humane, a natural disposal to injure, seen and proved in the individual who comes to proffer us that law, make us feel the hardest consequences, while appearing to act only by those very consequences. Spanish policy closes its ports as much as possible, in order to close it at will to foreigners, and absolutely to cut off contraband trade. In con-•equence of this law, the envoy of his Catholic majesty has closed all the passes of the Mississippi but one, and that the most shallow, diflicult and dangerous. An almost universal law forbids establishments within a certain distance of the citadels and fortifications of the frontier towns. Seuor Ulloa has thought that establishments formed in the primitive towns of the rising colony by grant from our prince and under the eyes of his governors, should be destroyed, on account of their proximity to the palisade with which the city has within a few years been surrounded. Condemnation to the mines is decreed by the Spanish law against malefactors and dangerous men. Ulloa has not hesitated to pronounce it against respectable men, wh.Ose only crime was their being the spokesmen of their fellow-colonists and bearers of respectful representations, exposing our wants and tending only to t|ie encouragement of agriculture, the increase of commerce, the importation of; necessaries, and the general good of the country. Dispatches given by persons ;in office require more diligence and exactness as they may interest the genei(al welfare; but the hearers have never been held responsible for superior strength, head-winds, the risks and perils of the sea! What harsh treatment, whiit vexation was not exercised by Ulloa successively towards Messrs. Gaynard and Gachon, because their ships did not deliver pack-ages at Havana in lime oii account of the weather. A decree of the Superior Council of this province had for wise and just motives forbidden the introduction of negroes ercolized or d/jmesticatcd, in St. Domingo and the other isles ; but it was all reduced to visifing slavers on their arrival, and sending immediately back such as were within the prohibition. To this Ulloa added sequestration of property, imprisonment, and without any commendatory ordinancc,which should always precede first punishments, he has exercised them on Mersrs. Cades and Leblanc, whose sole Crime was their not having had a prophetip spirit, and hav-ing been ignorant of'the existence of his decree. These facts, which are not notorious, and of which many individuals have been victims, interest all as much and more than can be imagined. To make this consequence more evident, we hall enter into the, details of several.

"P^fWtB!"*"

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picture22

224

HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA.

crime against the king of Spain; that it would be a violation of the law of nations, and what is more, of the respect due to the French king, to judge men in his service, and condemn and

Ai to the interdiction of the paisei of the Mi.iiiagippi, it must be linown that Ulloa, in spite of all representation!, and what he could have seen himself or learnt by the disasters, stubbornly insisted on their frequenting only the North-East Pass, which, in the highest tides, has only nine or ten feet of water, pre-venting all vessels from entering or leaving by the others which have ordinarily ten or twelve. To this restrictive and dangerous prohibition be added another still more so ; he forbid pilots to sleep on board of vessels anchored outside the pass, and kept out by head-winds or shallow water. Difficulties and accident! followed, but this did not dissuade him from his first plan. The first difficulty was the delay of vessels going out, frequent and expensive at all seasons, but almost inevitable in winter when the north and north-northwest winds prevail, as these are useless for the North-East Pass, while they nut only serve to carry vessels out of the Eastern Pass, but also to drive them on their way, without any necessity of their waiting for a wind. Entering was as bad. The North-East Pass could not be entered with a south or south-southwest wind, though the eastern could. Besides this, the Spanish officer at the Dalize obliged them to anchor as soon as entered opposite the houses of the Balize, to be examined there, in an exposed anchorage. Thus great risk was run, which could have been avoided by anchoring in the fork, or keeping on theii way up the river, as was done under their former liberty, which was not more favorable to those to whom they wished to forbid entrance. Moreover, in all countries when a coast-pilot sets foot on board, he never leaves till the vessel is in or out, and in safety, and acting day and night as the case and weather may require. If this rule should be inviolable anywhere, it should be undoubtedly in our parts border-ing on low countries and a large river,with a bed of mud in one place, and of sand in another, where winds change, and water rises or falls from hour to hour. By preventing pilots from sleeping on board in a gale and sending them off at night, an inexperienced captain, ignorant of the bars and passes, was helpless , obliged to hoist sail to get off, often with the loss of anchor and cable, he would run on the reefs opposite, called " Les Moutons," or at least would get in the wind of the pasS) without any hope of getting up easily; and finally, if he was fortunate enough to get ofT, he returned after much time and trouble only to face the same danger again.

Navigation, that art so useful to states, hardly deserves that men should com-bine with nature to increase its difficulties and dangers. Is the fortune of ship-owners and the life of mariners so worthless, that they may be exposed to almost unavoidable danger by the caprice of a single man ? Ask the European and the India captains and crews, who have been here within the last two years and a half. All have seen the new perils invented by Ulloa; many have been the foot-balls and victims of his malignant combinations. Without citing many examples, the accident of Capt Sarron while leaving the river, is striking. After having lain a considerable time to get out by the North-East Pass, aa the

whic Tl ordci sup] —a nion< Tl hibit

HISTORICAL MKMOIRS OF LOUISIANA.

225

violation ct due to lemn and

known that I himself or y the North-r water, pre-rc ordinarily Ided another 1 outside the nd accident! irst difficulty geasoni, but ds prevail, ai ■rve to carry , without any B North-Eait i, though the obliged them be examined h could have ) the river, a* able to those itries when a or out, and in luire. If this t parts bordcr-;e, and of sand : to hour. By m off* at night, ess, obliged to uld run on the ind of the pas8> e enough to get ; danger again. '.a should com-}rtune of ship-)osed to almost ropean and the vo years and a have been tho ut citing many striking. After 9t Pass, as the

punish thcni for their attachment to him. Slioukl he not have added that LTlloa, wishing to govern without showing his right,

wind was n. .iml n. n. k., the wind changed at loHt, and his time oaiiio. Diit the water hail (jIU'ii so that he got fast uii tlio pass, thou;,'h he liail the gnod fi)rtunc to get »ir anil roturn. He came Imck to ihn city to cari'en iiis vckhpI again. (AnJ obsfirvi" tlir city is nearly ninety niilos from the numtli, and that vessels Jiavc often to gel up by towing, anil this has taknn sonic filly or sixty days, with-out any means of doing it otherwise.) Capt. ISarron lost his voy.-ige anil spent uselessly much money ; while had the Eastern Pass been furbiiiden, and pilots been able to frequent it, he could have got out without delay or danger.

At tho very time that we arc drawing this memorial, the trumpet announces the sale by auction of tho rigging and artillery saved from the ship ('arloto, from Rochello, half buried in tho sand. Captain LaCoste would not cuniplain of the loss of his vessel, if, when ho wished to enter, ho could have kept his |)ilot on board, as the pilot, if he could not get him ui the pass, could have shown him a sandy bottom where he could lie to, as many, and among others Capt. Couriac, have done.

Some colonists here are engaged in manufacturing brick for home consump-tion. The three principal kilns arc at the city gates ; the largest, employing a considerable number, is the patrimony of four minors, and sometimes yields 150,000 livres a-year. This ground is susceptible of no other reveimes, und the men cannot even make a living there. The city, moreover, is not ineonnuoded by it, and the pits whence the clay is dug being removed from the highway, the public road is neither narrowed nor impeded. Ulloa first attacked the adminis-trator of this brick kiln, and absolutely forbid him to continue, under paiiiof for-feiting his negroes, oxen, carts and tools. The parties interested, after many efforts, at last wrung from him the grounds of this prohibition. He told tiiem that tho pits corrupted tho salubrity of the air. To disabuse him, they furnished certificates of physicians and surgeons. M. Lebeau, M. D., in his majesty's pay, even drew up some learned and perfuclly conclusive observations. As to com-mon reflections, they were, " that the country had always been very healthy in spite of all the clay-pits and cypress groves on the river and aruund the city." According to his system it would be necessary also to fill those into which tho water runs and remains most of the year. Ulloa undoubtedly had not foreseen those objections, but he imagined or adopted another reason which lie believed unanswerable, namely, that establishments should be kept off from the fortifica-tions, as he called the palisade, which has nothing secr^et, and an approach to which is of no consequence.

The affair was however spun out, and they could neither obtain of him an order in writing to stop, nor a verbal permission to continue, and many have justly supposed that the brick business was aimed at by some two or three individuals —a plan which coincided exactly with the Spanish envoy's turn to reduce all to monopidies.

This unconquerable inclination was more clearly evinced last year in his pro-hibition to introduce negroes into thu colony, as it would have been prejudicial

220 ■ UlSTOBICAL MEMOIRS OP LOUISIANA.

should be roganled as, having violated the usages established tyZon a,:! eau.ty. O'Uomy might say. .o, that the sub-

«Uh hin. the contract for '"PP^"'^ ;^ 7;„,,.„„,iuook acon,iJeral,lcSranch commerce and our agriculture, t rom ^ho "c c prejudicial to

of trade, and cut o.fthe I'»-'"\'-;;;f„ ;7;2„:t. «ho would'have prefcr-the EnBli.l. ."crchant wa. »J-" »8''f''^J, J;;j,,„, Deprive the new .abject. ,„d cheap and vvel.-conditioned -lave. ^^^^^^^^ ^J^ , ,„,,^„,,, ,. thi. of the ,no.t natural mean. » P^^^;," , ; .^j ,„,h order, from hi. ma.terl

.hat the new rule promued ^^'^^^ ^„ ,„,,,« that v.le rea.on. of

Who dare presume .o ! Are wo no r

lnterc.t..nlercdintothe.en.onopohe.^ alway. been regarded by

our governor., commandant. -^ 3 ^te ha y^^^^^^^ ^^^^^^^ ^^^

«. as our father.. A. oftena. we «-;;/';;;;; „,,,y received ; when we

particular want, or the general '""*•;• .^;;;J „f ^^^^^^^^

Lre..ed our governor, and commandan.--^^^^ J^ ^^ ^^^^^

,„ulineerH, (a favorite expre.B.on of Ulloa "^^ y P ^^^ ^^^^ ^^ j„„,, ir65, in a true citizen. Wc »--» P^^f^^^^'^of.l';. He di.pel. our uncertainty v to ,he memorial of the ™7''''"^';;,^*;i ^J ;;i„..e,f U o( the sovereign', will, the organ of the minister to -•;; JjJ^;'';;;', ,,, g^e. u, copies of letter, he communicates to u. order. '-"^J/ "'"^'^^^^ J^, p„,t, I„ the end he which he has written in con.equence to ^^^ j"^""J ^^^„ ^, „ad,ess the excites, encourage., and evoUe. .n «;«=;;;;;,„ j^,, the voice of the council our memoir, are examined , .f our dema" PP ^ ^^^„,^ „f ^^c

p,ocu,ator.gencral --^;/;/;j;i,r;a. p lat i„auced'u. to expect the 29th October, are a recent proof. Hoy p .^ ^^^ ^^^ government.

.ame mildness, the same '^"'y/'^^.J^^^J/'uiw will not ever, allow their But far from a.^suring -^/J^; ^ ' "„ J^^ed on the 6th of September, 1766. .emblance to rema n^ ^^j;;t"7epre.entation. which they addressed to the.r exhorts merchants to make Uie rep ^^^„- them ; and

magistrates. Ulloa treated them ^'J";;^ j.j j^jg^

altJough our judges by ""'';-"^;; jlfj^'Xrv , would'n future dare to proper to try an example capable of alarmmg ^^^^ ^^ ^^^^^

!peak of '^•V"r"";bl of re rept'taL:: attached .0 the country by less believed the author, of 'he** J^PJ^ nicnaced with imprison-

' ^ s::::;;r:s^"tr::Late .0.. .om .10.. tribun.. .a

which they with J'W-Xt of his Catholic majesty 1 With what com-

.. B"^ *^°; »'.'" ""•: w th what powers clad, to exercise so tyrannical an

missions IS ho invested 1 W'"» J"" J , ..,,„ vvhich we have never yet

authority even before showing his powers and titie. ^.^^ ^

.eeni A confused rumor ^^l^^^^^'Z'"^;^^^^^^^^^ -''^'' P''^^ -"• Aubry, our commandant an ct o transfe P ^^. ^ ^^ ^^^ ^^^,^^.

picture23

HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA.

227

ablishcil the sub-to arrange ixith at our able Srancli (•judicial to l»ave prefcr-ew BubjccU iirr! !■ thi» hU mauler 1 B reaions of

regarded by s humbly our 1; when we aa rcbeU and ps, as proper f June, 1766. uncertainly i ;crpign'»wiU» >ie8 of lellerR In Ihe end he 6 address the e voice of the events of the lo expect the ff government, en allow their pteniber, 1766, Iressed lo their ng them ; and enl, be thought future dare to vhom he doubt-the country by with imprison-t's tribunal, and

With what com-Bo tyrannical an have never yet e Baliie with M. leir private seals, tis act and declar-Ihe French rule t

mission of the inhabitants to hitn, proves what Ulloa wonlcl have received had he I'lilflUod the u.sual and necessary formaU-

The term tyranny may seem loo itroni;; lot lu -uU] that of vexation, to keep pace with tin- fncts. ^\'ith what inenarin)f "how, even at tho liiiif wlii'ti lie re-ceived from us only marks of blind subinisRion, did he not preaeiit in one hand the first fruits o( the new law, in the other the avenginK sword t The ordinance of September Glh, 1780, (the first decree of his will publiHhrd here, anil wherein the august name of his Catholic majesty was almslvely employed,) tliia ordinance was promulgated in our roads ut the sound of tlio drum, and at the br.ad of twenty SpaiilKh soldiers with muiikets and bayonets. Was it to insult us or prevent our murmurs? If the former, what would lllloa have done in a city concpiered and taken by assault! AVbat pomp would he have selected to deliver his ordinances, when he acts thus to friends and allies ? Did he take us fur Indians of Mexico or Peru ! If the latter, was the .Spanish envuv ignorant that this ordinance, the fruit of his false "latements, w.ts diametrically opposed to our welfare, and at the first blush rilculated to excite our murmurs'! Loaded with our deserved hatred, his country may approach him with want of policy in forcing tis to fear all Spanish rufe.

We have with indignation beheld him sell to an Englishman the liberty of four Germans at fifteci dollars ahead; and when, on the day of the revolution, Aubry, our commandant, urged by our prayers and entreaties, authoritatively demanded their restoranon, we beheld these enfranchised men come down from the Spanish frigate wften their new master retained them, and on the levee cast themselves at the feet of their liberators. We have "een those unfortunate victims of the scourge of war, those persevering citizens, who have sacrificed their hereditary possessions to the patriotic sentiment, unfortunate Acadians, who, hitherto gathered in our parts, and protected by our commanders and judges, began to find consolation in their disasters, and labored to retrieve them—wo have seen them alarmed by the frantic rage of Ulloa at their humble representations, and trembling at his threats, believe they behold them already carried out on the liberty of their families, and all sold at auction as slaves to repay the king's rations. Are we at Fez, or at Morocco t

What has not this singular man done in the actions of his private life 1 What ahumili.-ition has not France received during his stay here, not only in the viola-tion of the right of nations, but also in the contempt of the ecclcsiastieal laws! Besides, doubtless in his contempt for French Catholics, he has refrained from frequenting our churches, and has had mass said in his house for eighteen months, and by his chaplain conferred the sacrament of marriage on two persons, the woman a negress and a slave, and the man white, and this without permis-sion of the parish priest, without any publication of banns, without any forms or solemnities required by the church, to the great scandal oflhe public, in contempt of the council of Trent, and against the positive tenor of our ordinances, civil and canonical.

What is there then culpable in the course which Ulloa's conduct and vexations compelled us to lake 1 What evil have we done in throwing off a foreign yoke

f ' t-m'issi^m&SM:

<"T*^

228

HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA.

ties; that there miu^t have been some great irregularity in his conduct to induce the stops to which the inhabitants proceeded,

rendered still more crushing by the hand that imposed iti What harm have we indcrd done, in demanding our laws, our country, our king, and vowing a per-eovering love to him 1 Are these praises unexampled in our history ? More than oni! city in France, provinces even, Qucrcy, Roucrgyno, Gascony, Cahora, Montauban, did they not again and again throw off the English yoke or obsti-n.:tely refufce his chains ! In vain did the treaties, cessions, even repeated orders of our kings, sometimes try to eflVct, what English arms cnuld^not compass; and this noble resistance to tlhc will jf their native sovereigns, instead of enkindling their anger, excited their lova, obtained their aid, and ctrectcd an entire deliver-ance.

And besides, of what use could th« colony of Louisiana be to Spain T Inferior in its productions to the rich countries which she possesses, our country can only serve as a bulwark to Mexico. Now, will this bulwark be impenetrable to the forces of England, already mistress of the east bank of the Mississippi, with a right to the navigation and owning above, posts accessible not only from the mouth of the river, but also by their immrdiute proximUy to other countries in the north where th ur sway is established !

The preservation of this colony by France, is a better guaraiitee to the Spanish possessions on that side than a cession made to that crown ; the unfavorable im-pressions already conceived against it by the Indian tvibes, which drew on the Spanish Captai'i Rice, commandant of the Illinois, not only insults, but fierce threats, would langc them among the enemy in case of attack. On the contrary, these tribes abvays march with the French soldier, without asking against what foe ; this is the true bulwark.

As Spain can derive no advantage from the acquisition of this immense pro-vince, and as evidently the restrictions of conmierce will reduce us to a bare living, why should the two sovereigns agree to make us unhappy, merely for the pleasure of doing sol It is a crime to think so—such sentiments do not enter the hearts of kings. The protection of our new prince, promised by ours in hia letter of April 21st, 1764, shows their mutual wish for our happiness; and the respected silence, which we have hitherto preserved on our real interests, has doubtless prevented their attaining the true means to render us happy.

As to the utility of this colony to France, the slightest rctlectiori shows it. The loss of Canada having closed that market to French manufactures, the pre-servation of Louisiana can in a short time redeem this loss so injurious to homo industry. The efforts of the French already settled here and of those who come in daily, can easily render available that Missouri trade already so well planned, and which needs only the encouragement and help which the French rule can give. Even the Canada Indians come daily to Illinois for French goods, prefer-ring them to thoEC which the English carry to their villages. Let them cease fettering our activity, and England will cease selling France what furs she needs. In their cargoes, our manufactures will tind a ready sale and constitute their gain, and in the return of furs, to which may be added our indigo, sugar, cotton,

ing of 4 mo Th Fr

.

•mi*

HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA.

229

ty in his oceeded,

■m have wc ving a pcr-iry 1 More ly, Cahors, le or obsti-•atrtl orders mimas; and r enkindling tire deliver-

1 1 Inferior country can )enetrablc to lissippi, with ily from the countries in

i the Spanish favorable im-

drew on the Its, but fierce

the contrary, against what

immense pro-e us to a bare merely for the B do not enter by ours in his iness; and the interests, has jppy.

ctiori shows it. itures, the pre-iirious to homo hose who come ) well planned, ^rench rule can i goods, prcfer-,ct them cease furs she needs, jonslitute their I, sugar, cotton,

as the French governors had always experienced their fidelity and submission. '

they will also have the supply of the raw material on which their industry is engaged. If, then, the utility of manufaccurcs in the kingdom is acknowledged —and rhey have always obtained the special protection of our kings—is it not in the political order to extend this protection to the preservation of resources, which it would employ all the forces of the state to acquire, if not possessed of

them 1

To these considerations add the suspended payment (since 1759) of seven millions in royal paper, which formed the currency of our exchange and the sinews of our commerce. Add the mutual engagement of French merchants to us, and us to them, whose fate depends on the disposal to be made by the king of this province ; add, too, our obligation to endeavor to restore our ruined for-tunes, unaided by the funds heretofore shared by all, in proportion to economy, emulation, patrimmiy of each, and all must see that our new efforts deserve the encouragement of our king.

Jealous observers of all the respect due to crowned heads, and the mutual rerrard which civilized nations owe each other, we should despair, did our con-du°ct seem to fail in either. There is nothing offensive to the court of Madrid in the expofdl of our wants and the assurance of our love, which we bear to the feet of our august sovereign. We venture to hope that these marks of our zeal will also serve to prove to the nations, the truth of the surname wcll-belovcd, which the whole v/orld gives him, and which no monarch has hitherto enjoyed. Perhaps even at Madrid they will say : " Happy the prince, our r.lly. who finds an obstacle to his treaty of cession, in the inviolable attachment of his subjects to his rule and glorious person."

We know full well that the Spanish envoy before his departure obtained, and by his emissaries is still collecting, certificates from some individuals among us, mercenary clients whom he has won by brilliant promises, and who seek prose-lytes here by persuading the simple and alarming the weak. But whatever these unauthentic documents may contain, they cannot belie the general voice and public notoriety. The Genevese, English and Dutch merchants who wit-nessed the revolution, will relate the truth in their several countries; in a still more certain way will they attest the fact that our flag was raised without any insult to the Spanish frigate; that Ulloa embarked in all possible liberty and with-out any unbecoming act on our part; that then and since we have redoubled our attention and respect to the other officers of his Catholic majesty ; that dur-ing the three days of the revolution (a singular and remarkable fact by the avowal of the Spaniards themselves), no cry of insult to their nation was heard amid the more than twelve hundred militia, and the women, children or whole people. The only cries heard, in which even foreigners joined, were " Vive le Roi de France," " Vive Loms le bien-aime."

To his beneficent majesty then do we, the planters, merchants and colonists of Louisiana, address our humble petition, that he will immediately resume his colony, and as resolved to live and die under his beloved rule, as determined to

mrm/uft

HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA.

Let O'Reilly then cease to palliate his cruelty and barbarity, by cloaking himself by his orders from court* They could

do all that the prosperity of his arms, the extension of his power, and the glory of his reign require, we beseech him to deign to preserve to us, our patriotic name, our privileges and our laws. _ _^

♦ Great doubts have, until recently, hung over the precise nature of the king's instructions to O'Reilly. Even Marbois, an abje writer, and a statesman of acknowledged abilities, has followed the beaten track of previous writers in cen-suring the conduct and acts of O'Reilly. Gayarre is the only historian who has taken the trouble to examine this subject with any degree of care : and yet, he does not seem to have been able to procure a copy of the instructions to O'Reilly. U is more than probable they were suppressed. In ihe absence of them, however, he refers us to a letter, written by the Marquis of Grimaldi to the Count of Fuentes, then Spanish Ambassador at the Court of Versailles, which is the only document that appears to embody the substance of these instructions-except those published in the appendix to this work. ♦ * * *

" The instructions given to O'Reilly," says Grimaldi, " is, that he is to take at Havanna the battalions of infantry, the ammunition and other materials which he mi"ht deem necessary, to transport himself to Louisiana, and after having taken possession of her in the name of his majesty, to have the heads of the re-bellion tried and punished according to law, and then remove out of the colony all the individuals and families, whose presence might endanger its tranquillity. He is also ordered to provide for the military and police organization of the pro-vince ; to eslablish the necessary rules for a correct administration of justice and of the finances ; to secure the dependence and the aubordination of the inhabit-ants, and to frame a now form of government-the whole, according to the ver-bal instructions which had, or might be given Wm. But as the king, whose character is well known, is always inclined to oe mild and clement, he has order-ed O'Reilly to be informed that his will is, that a lenient course b* pursued in the colony, and that expulsion from it be the only punishment inflicted, on those who

have deserved a more severe one.

♦ * • • • « ' *

" You will give an account of the whole of this letter to the Duke of Choiseul.

You will beg that minister to invite his most Christian majesty to declare, that

the said inhabitants of the colony being the subjects of the king, his cousin, must

throw themselves upon his mercy, and live under his laws ; the act of cession

of the colony, being absolute, and without any obligation whatever on the part of

"" It"would seem," says Gayarte, " from.this document, that O'Reilly should have contented himself with having expelled from the colony those who had de-served a severer punishment—for instance, the pain of death. But were the in-structions shown to the court and those really given to O'Reilly, of the same nature T That is the question. If O'Reilly received tjie instructions which are mentioned in the dispatch of G rimaldi, would he have dared to disobey them ; and

-oMM

miV ■L.'4jM«l|J> "

mSTORICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA.

231

irbarity, 3y could

I the glory r patriotic

r the king's^ itcsinan of ers in cen-in who has and yet, he ructions to ! absence of nalili to the es, which is nstructions' ■» ♦

lie is to take erials which after having Is of the ra-the colony tranquillity, n of the pro-f justice and the inhabit-ig to the ver-king, whose \\e has order-ursued in the on those who t

i of Choiseul. declare, that ; cousin, must act of cession on the part of

'Reilly should B who had de-i were the in-f, of the same ons which are bey them j and

not be sanguinary, and even had knavery circumvented the court it was his business to draw down the Spanish kings anger on the man who had perilled the dignity of his station by not giving it due authenticity.

Let us banish from a work dictated by truth, the political V maxim promulgated in a philosophical and enliglitenod age, a savage maxim, which less civilized nationshave most sedulous-ly rejected, but which Spaniards adopt with mexcus-

'able blindness.

" Happen what will," says a certain writer, " the chief must never be wrong, and it is dangerous to think so." I shudder to think that a sensible man could even entertain such an ex-traordinary idea, which i's even now repudiated by despotism itself. Ah! what would become of wretched man, if he should have to submit for ever to the caprices and crneltics of a barba-rous tyrant, who has not the good sense to seethe injustice of his acts. A government founded on injustice is weak in its foundation, and maybe easily overturned •,-respect is a feeble tie against the effects of cruelty. A people live tranquil and contented, when they know they have laws to protect them and obey without a murmur, if they do not have to dread the insolence of a superior. They also bear insults calmly, if as-sured the law will sooner or later avenge them. We then say boldly, nothing can screen an unjust' governor, from the anger of the king, who has been appointed to com-

wouldhe. when such strong appeals were made to him to save the liv^f Lafre-«iere and hi, companions, have had the unblushing effrontery, on-f5lus.ng that boon, to plead the orders of the king, and thus falsely throw upon h.B «overe.gn the odium of a measure which was contrary to the expressed will of the king .

There can then be no doubt that O IleiUy obeyed to the letter, the instructions of the king, for we have, in evidence before us, the report of the Council and Chamber of the Indies approving, in the most pompous and sonorous Castilian phraseology, the act. and conduct of OlteiUy in Louisiana.

-iflM

iWPS

mftiflMHa

HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA.

mand his subjects. Nothing then should have preserved Ulloa from the exemplary punishment, which the irregularity of his conduct deserved, and all should have induced the Louisianiuns to believe that the Spanish king would regard with other eyes the motives of their conduct; all induced them to believe'that the French king would give them protection at the Spanish court; that he would insist on the rights of sub-' jects, whose fidelity to him had exposed them to the wrath of a whole nation that believed itself insulted.

The world has beheld with surprise the silence of the French ministry as to O'Reilly's conduct, its neglect to exact repara-tion for his inhumanity, its silence as to the violation of the law of nations in pronouncing sentence on French subjects. Still more is Europe surprised to learn that the remnants of those wretched families, stripped of everything, languish* in silence and misery.

Is there then no beneficence, no humanity on earth? Assured of the contrary, let us say that till now the truth was unknown, the French ministry were deceived. May the faith-ful narrative which I now present to faithful souls, excite in them those feelings which honor humanity.

Generous and compassionate hearts I Let us mingle our tears with those of the wretched widows and.orphans, whom those virtuous men commended to us, as they died 'for their king. Let us join our regrets to the sighs of those desolated families,

' The property of the prisoners were, in conformity with the lawa of Spain, sequBBtrated from the time of their arrest. "I have," »a.ya O'Reilly, "given •triot orders for the liquidation of said property in accordance with the laws, in order that what belongs to the widows and other creditors may be given to them, and the remainder delivered up to the king's treasury." Viilere, Mazan and Lal'reniero, had three of the finest plantations in all the province. They were ■old at auction for so inconsiderable a sum, that after paying costs and distribut-ing among the widows and creditors the portions to which they were entitled, the Royal treasury had but little to receive.

i j ii ■ p i i i .rijiu .i jiin i WL ' i ^

HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF LOUISIANA.

233

and shudder over the evils to which virtue is exposed. Aid rae to erect an altar to virtue ; be the pillars of that I have just erected; pour into cold and inanimate hearts the fire which in-flames you, and my feeble and powerful voice; and let the cry of persecuted innocence rouse the, numbed arm of justice.

O, Heavenly Power! send forth the light of truth into the hearts of those raised up to protect it. Unveil iniquity to their eyes, unmask imposture. Let it tremble on the very steps of the throne, where it seeks to escape thy avenging hand, and let me in transports at the sight of thy justice exclaim: " There is then on earth an asylum for virtue, a support for that innocence, and no place where iniquity and crime can find a shelter."

ii

* W\

"WWH**'^

,■ j. :jii ■'■■•'<

APPENDIX

or

HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS AND ELUCIDATIONS.

I.

4

■A

Preliminary Convention between the Kings of France and Spain, for the cession of Louisiana to the latter.

The most Christian liing being firmly resolved to strengthen and perpetuate the bonds of tender amity which unite him to his cousin, the Catholic king, proposes in consequence to act with liis Catholic majesty at all times and in all circumstances, in a perfect uniformity of principles, for the common glory of their house and the reciprocal interests of their kingdoms.

With this view, his most Christian majesty, being fully sensible of the sacrifices made by the Catholic king, in generously uniting with him for the restoration of peace, desires, on this occasion, to give him a proof of the strong interest which he takes in satisfying him and afibrding advantages to his crown.

The most Christian king has accordingly authorized his minister, the Duke de Choiseul, to deliver to the Marquis de Grimaldi, the ambassador of the Catholic king, in the most authentic form, an act, whereby his most Christian majesty cedes in entire possession, purely and simply, without exception, to his Catholic majesty and his succes-sors, in perpetuity, all the country known under the name of Louisi-ana, as well as New-Orleans and the island in which that place stands.

But as the Marquis de Grimaldi is not informed with sufficient precision of the intentions of his Catholic majesty, he has thought proper only to accept the said cession conditionally, and sub spe rati, \under expectation that it leill be ratified.^ until he receives the orders expected by him from the king, his master, which, if conformable with the desires of his most Christian majesty, as he hopes they will be, will be followed by the authentic act of cession of the said coun-

•^MPIMMiPWl*

r

236

APPENDIX.

try ; stipulating also the measures and the time, to be fixed by coiniiiou accord, for the evacuation of Louisiana and Ne\v-<Jrlea»s, by the subjects of his most Christian majesty, and for the possession of the same by those of his Catholic majesty.

In testimony whereof, we, the respective ministers, have signed the present preliminary convention, and have affixed to it the seals

of our arms.

Done at Fontaincbleau, on the third of November, one thousand

seven hundred and sixty-two.

The Duke de Ciioiseul. The Makqcis bk Ghimaldi.

(A true copy from the original.) _ ^ ^

^ ' "^ The Duke dk Choisbul.

II.

Definite act of cession of Louisiana by the King of France to the

King df Spain.

Louis, by the grace of God, king of France and Navarre, to all to whom these presents shall come, greeting: Whereas our very dear and well.beloved cousin, the Duke de Choiseul, peer of our realm, kni<^htof our orders and of the golden fleece, lieutenant-general of our" armies, governor of Touraine, colonel-general of the Swiss and Orisons, grandmaster and superintendant-general of the posts and relays of France, our minister and secretary of state for the depart-mento of war and marine and the correspondence with the courts of Madrid and Lisbon, did sign, in our name, with the Marquis de Gri-maldi, knight of our orders, gentlemen of the chamber, in exercise of our very dear and well-beloved brother and cousin, the Catholic king and his ambassador extraordinary near us, a preliminary con-vention, whereby, in order to give to our said brother and cousin a new testimonial of our tender friendship, of the strong interest which we take in satisfying him and promoting the welfare of his crown, and of our.sincere desire to strengthen and render indissoluble the bonds which unite the French and Spanish nations, we ceded to hira entire and perpetual possession of all the country known under the name of Louisiana, together with New-Orleans and the island m which that city stands, which convention had only been signed con-

allUM»l.aW] W 'i«-i Jl'« ' » l iM > M i | l .lW! » ll«' >l '»' i l'"*

J

APPENDIX.

28r

fixed by (Jrlenae,

>ssesHiun

3 signed Jic seals

thousand

SUL. IMALDI.

EUL.

ice to the

, to all to very dear ur realm, general of Swiss and posts and he depart-5 courts of uis de Gri-exercise of e Catholic linary con-id cousin a jrest which his crown, soluble the ■ded to him t under the e island in signed con-

ditionally and sub sperati by the Marquis do Grimaldi: and whereas our said brother and cousin, the Catholic king, animated by the same sentiments towards us which wc have evinced on this occasion, has OTreed to the said cession, and ratified the conditional acceptation made by his said ambassador extraordinaiy, which convention and ratification are here inserted word for word, as follows:

Don Carlos, by the grace of God King of Castile, of Leon, of Arra-gon, of the Two Sicilies, of Jerusalem, of Navarre, of Granada, of Toledo, of Valencia, of Gallicia, of Majorca, of Seville, of Sardinia, of Algesiras, of Gibraltar, of the Canary Islands, of the East and West Indies and the islands and main land of the ocean, archduke of Austria, duke of Burgundy, of Brabant and Milan, count of Ilaps-burg, of Flanders, of Tyrol, and of Barcelona, lord of Biscay and of Molina, &c.

Whereas, on the third day of the present month, the preliminaries of a peace were signed between the crowns of Spain and France on the one part, and those of England and Portugal on the other, and the most Christian king, my very dear and well-bolovcd cousin, purely from the nobleness of his heart, and the love and friendship in which we live, thought proper to dispose that the Marquis do Grimaldi, my ambassador extraordinary near his royal person, and the Duke de Choiseul, his minister of state, should on the same day sign a convention by which the crown of France ceded immediately to that of Spain the country known by the name of Louisiana, toge-ther with New-Orleans and the island in which that city stands, and by which, said ambassador agrees to the cession only conditionally 8ub sperati, as he is not furnished with orders to execute it absolute-ly ; the tenor of which convention is the following:

The most Christian king being firmly resolved to strengthen and perpetuate the bonds of tender amity which unite him to his cousin, the Catholic king, proposes in consequence to act with his Catholic majesty at all times and in all circumstances, in a perfect uniformity of principle, for the common glory of their house and the reciprocal interests of their kingdoms.