Pictures and Illustrations.
A Draught of the River Missisippi from the Balise up to Fort Chartres 1.
A Draught of the River Missisippi from the Balise up to Fort Chartres 2.
A Draught of the River Missisippi from the Balise up to Fort Chartres 3.
THE European settlements on the river Missisippi comprehend Louisiana, part of Weft Florida, and the country of the Illinois. Five years residence as an engineer in those countries, during which time I was chiefly employed in surveying and exploring their interior parts, and an acquaintance with the principal inhabitants, enables me to speak with at least as much authority as any author who has hitherto wrote on the fame subject.
Louisiana is no longer the fame as in the time of Pere Hennepin; and all other authors that I have read on this subject rather abound with Indian stories and talks, than with useful information.
Father Charlevoix made so rapid a progress through those countries, that the greatest part of what he advances must be from the doubtful information of others, and not from his own personal knowledge. Neither is the reader recompensed by the small quantity of pure ore he can extract from that mass of dross, in the elaborate accounts of Le Page du Pratz.
It may be thought extraordinary that I have confined my accounts to the banks of the Missisippi, and not touched on the other parts of Weft Florida, which may be supposed equally interesting.
This work was originally wrote at the request, and for the perusal only, of the secretary of state for the colonies; and
viI imagined that he must have received every information necessary to form a perfect knowledge of that province, from persons who have commanded in it. Besides, my ingenious friend governor Johnstone has told me, that he intends soon to publish a book on this subject; by which means the deficiency in mine will be amply made up, and the publick will have the advantage of receiving instruction and entertainment from a much more pleasing and abler pen.
I am surprised that nobody has yet attempted to wipe off the unfavourable impressions that have taken place in the minds of many people, from the unjust reports made of the climate of West Florida, and which still retards the settling of that fine country. A regard for truth, and a desire to render service to that valuable province, the welfare of which has been obstructed by ignorance and misrepresentation, makes me take this occasion to shew the true causes of its supposed unhealthiness.
Pensacola and Mobile have both proved fatal to our troops; the former from mismanagement, the latter from its situation. When we took possession of Pensacola, in the latter end of the year 1763, it consisted of a fort and a few straggling houses; the fort was constructed of high stockades, enclosing in a very small space a house for the governor, and several miserable huts, built with pieces of bark, covered with the same materials, and most of them without floors; so that in the summer they were as hot as stoves, and the land engendered all forts of vermin: in these wretched habitations the officers and soldiers dwelt.
After we had possession some time, the commandant, with a view of making the fortification more respectable, surrounded the fort with a ditch; which, in fact, could answer no other purpose, than holding a quantity of stagnated water to empoison the little air that could find its way into the garrison. The thirty-first regiment of foot, which suffered remarkably from sickness and mortality in this place, was sent to it in the hottest part of the summer of 1765, unprovided with every thing necessary to preserve health in such a sudden change of climate. Brigadier-general Haldimand, in the beginning of 1767, immediately after his arrival here, caused the enceinte of the fort to be considerably extended, widened the streets, removed every thing that could obstruct a free circulation of air, and laid the place open to the sea, to give admission to the breezes. The ensuing summer was excessive hot, the thermometer having rose to one hundred and fourteen degrees; yet, by the salutary precautions the general had taken, the troops were remarkably healthy, few fell sick, and scarce any died; although their lodgings, which of themselves may be supposed sufficient to destroy a good constitution, were little improved: from hence I presume that Pensacola is as healthy as any English settlement in the southern provinces of North America.
Mobile is situated on the banks of the river of that name, just at the place where the fresh and salt waters mix; when the tide goes out it leaves an abundance of small fishes on the marshes which lie opposite the town, and the heat of the sun in summer kills the fish; and the stench of them, of the stagnated water in the neighbouring swamps, and the slimy mud, render the air putrid. To
viiithis may be added, that the water of the wells is brackish and there is none to be found wholsome within less than one mile and a half of the place. The twenty-first regiment of foot was sent to Mobile at the same time that the thirty-first regiment garrisoned Pensacola, and being equally unprovided with things necessary for troops newly arrived from Europe, and unseasoned to such a climate, suffered almost as much. I shall only add on this subject, which is a little distant from the true intent of my preface, that West Florida possesses the greatest advantage, as to its situation for commerce, and the communications to the different parts are rendered easy by fine navigable rivers, the banks of which are covered by a fresh luxuriant soil, capable of producing every thing natural to these climates.
I have endeavoured to be as concise as possible; indeed the purpose it was wrote for seemed to demand it: I could with safe have been much more diffuse on subjects in which so much matter is contained.
It is with fear and diffidence that I presume to appear as an author; but a desire of communicating what I have been assured by friends would be of use to the publick, has been my only inducement; and if they have judged right, my utmost wishes will be amply gratified.
The Present State of the European Settlements on the Mississippi.
THE river Missisippi has been known by a variety of names; the first discoverers from Canada gave it the name of Colbert, in honour to that great minister, who was then in power. The famous adventurer, Monsieur de Salle, when he discovered the mouth, called it the river Saint Louis, by which name it has ever been distinguished in all publick acts, respecting the province of Louissianna: But its present general appellation of Missisippi is a corruption of Metchasippi; by which name it is still known to the Northern Savages, that word signifying, in their language, the Father of Rivers.
Nothing can, with propriety, be asserted with respect to the source of this river, tho' there are people still existing, who pretend to have been there. The accounts, which I think should be paid most attention to, are those which have been given by the Sioux, a
2very numerous itinerant nation of Indians, who generally reside in the countries North of the Missisippi: A few of them have sometimes come to the French post, on the River Illinois, to barter skins and furrs; but in general they dislike the Europeans, and have little inclination to be much acquainted with them. Their account is as follows: The river Missisippi rises from a very extensive swamp, and its waters are encreased by several rivers (some of them not inconsiderable) emptying themselves into it in its course to the fall of St. Anthony, which, by their accounts, is not less than seven hundred leagues from the great swamps: This is formed by a rock running a-cross the river, and falls about twelve feet perpendicular; and this place is known to be eight hundred leagues from the sea. So that it is most probable that the Missisippi runs, at least, four thousand five hundred miles.
The principal rivers which fall into the Missisippi, below the fall of St. Anthony, are, the river St. Pierre, which comes from the West; Saint Croix, from the East; Moingona, which is two hundred and fifty leagues below the fall, comes from the West, and is said to run one hundred and fifty leagues; and the river Illinois, the source of which is near the lake Michigan, East of the Missisippi two hundred leagues.
The source of the river Missoury is unknown; the French traders go betwixt three and four hundred leagues up, to traffic with the Indians who inhabit near its banks, and this branch of commerce is very considerable; it employs annually eight thousand pounds worth of European goods, including a small quantity of rum, of all which the freight amounts to about one hundred per cent. Their returns are, at least, at the rate of three hundred per cent. so that they are certain of two hundred per cent. profit. The mouth of this great river is five leagues below the river Illinois, and is generally called five hundred from the sea, tho' in fact it is not more than four hundred and fifty. From its confluence, to its source is supposed to be
3eight hundred leagues, running from the north-west to the southeast. The muddy waters of the Missoury prevail over those of the Missisippi, running with violent rapidity to the ocean. The Missisippi glides with a gentle and clear stream, 'till it meets with this interruption. The next river of note, is the Ohio or Belle Riviere; it empties itself about seventy leagues below the Missoury: its source is near the lake Erie, running from the north-east to the south-west, upwards of four hundred leagues.
Ninety leagues further down is the river Saint Francis, on the west side of the Missisippi: this is a very small river, and is remarkable for nothing but being the general rendez-vous of the hunters from New Orleans, who winter there, and make a provision of salted meats, suet, and bears oil, for the supply of that city. The river Arkansas is thirty-five leagues lower down, and two hundred from New Orleans; it is so called from a nation of Indians of the same name; its source is said to be in the same latitude as Santa Fé in New Mexico, and holds its course near three hundred leagues.
The river Yazous comes from the north-east, and discharges itself into the Missisippi, sixty leagues from the Arkansas: formerly a nation of Indians of the same name had their villages on it, and there was a French post and settlement. The nation is entirely extinct, and there is not the lead trace of any settlement.
It is near sixty leagues from this little river to the river Rouge, which is so called from its waters, being of a reddish colour, and they tinge those of the Missisippi at the time of the floods; its source is in New Mexico, and it runs about two hundred leagues: the river Noir empties itself into this river about ten leagues from its confluence. The famous Ferdinand Soto ended his discoveries at the entrance of the river Rouge, and was buried there.
Near seventy leagues up this river is a very considerable post, belonging to the French; it is a frontier on the Spanish settlements, being twenty miles from the Fort of Adaies. The French fort is garrisoned by a captain, two subalterns, and about fifty men: there are forty families, consisting mostly of discharged soldiers, and some merchants who trade with the Spaniards. A great quantity of tobacco is cultivated at this port, and sells for a good price at New Orleans, being held in great esteem: they send also some peltry, which they receive in trade from the neighbouring Indians.
From the river Rouge to the sea, there are only some small brooks, of no account. The Bayouk of Pelousas, which is about three miles from the river Rouge and the river Ibberville, are described in the account hereafter given of the settlements on the river Missisippi.
It is peculiar to the river Missisippi, that no part of the waters which overflow its banks, ever return to their former channel: this is a circumstance, which I believe is not to be met with in any other river in the world. All the lands from the river Ibbeville to the sea, have been formed in the succession of ages, by the vast quantities of slimy mud, trees, dead wood, and leaves which the river brings down at its annual floods, which begin in the month of March, by the melting of the snow and ice in the northern parts. This innundation continues three months. The muddy lands produce long grass, canes, and reeds in great abundance: at the over-flowings of the river, the grass, canes, and reeds stop great quantities of the mud and rubbish that descend with the current. The long grass, &c. nearest the river, must receive a greater quantity of this rubbish than that which is more distant, and this causes the bank of the Missisippi to be higher than the interior land, and accounts for the waters never returning to the river; and we may reasonably suppose, that the lakes on each side are parts of the sea, not yet filled up. Thus the land is annually raised, and continually
5gains on the sea. The Balize, a small fort, erected by the French on a little island, was, in the year 1734, at the mouth of the river; it is now two miles up. In the year 1767, Don Antonio D'Ulloa erected some barracks on a small island (to which he gave the name of Saint Carlos) for the convenience of pilots, and other purposes, being near the south-east entrance of the river, and a more dry and higher situation than any thereabouts. There was not the least appearance of this island twenty years ago.
Before I quit this subject, I must observe, that on digging ten or twelve feet in the lands I have above described, large bodies of trees have been frequently found. The craw-fish abound in this country ; they are in every part of the earth, and when the inhabitants chuse a dish of them, they send to their gardens, where they have a small pond dug for that purpose, and are sure of getting as many as they have occasion for. A dish of shrimps is as easily procured by hanging a small canvas bag with a bit of meat in it, to the bank of the river, and letting it drop a little below the surface of the water; in a few hours a sufficient quantity will have got into the bag. Shrimps are found in the Missisippi as far as Natches, which is near one hundred and thirty leagues from the sea.
I have before mentioned, that the river-water is remarkably muddy: I have filled a half-pint tumbler with it, and have found a sediment of two inches of slime. It is, notwithstanding, extremely wholesome and well tasted, and very cool in the hottest seasons of the year; and the rowers, who are then employed, drink of it when they are in the strongest perspiration, and never receive any bad effects from it. The inhabitants of New Orleans use no other water than that of the river, which, by keeping in a jar, becomes perfectly clear.
The navigation of the Missisippi is confined to vessels not drawing above seventeen feet water, there being little more in the deepest
6channel on the bar, which is subject to shift very often; so that a pilot is constantly employed in founding. On every part of the bar there is nine feet water, and small vessels go over it without fear: frigates of thirty-six guns have often gone through the channel, after taking their guns out. When once a vessel has crossed the bar, the remainder of the navigation is very safe, keeping clear of the great trees, which float down with the current. When winds are contrary, vessels make fast to the trees on the banks of the river, and haul close, there being sufficient depth of water for any ship whatever. It is impossible to anchor without being exposed to the danger of the great trees which come down with the current almost continually, but more especially at the time of the floods, which if any of them should come athwart hawse, would most probably drive in the bows of the vessel; and there is a certainty of loosing the anchors, as the bottom of the river is very soft mud, covered with sunk logs, and is in general at least sixty fathoms deep, and this sort of bottom and depth continues almost as far as the Natches; and all vessels that enter the river, can go up within three miles of that post.
The merchandize necessary for the commerce to Natchitoches, Missoury, and in general the upper posts on or near the Missisippi, is carried by Batteaus, which are rowed by eighteen or twenty men, and contain about forty tons burthen; they are commonly three months going from New Orleans to the Illinois. They always go in convoys from New Orleans, and before they set out appoint an officer from amongst themselves to command them; or apply for a king's officer for that purpose; and whenever they put on shore to eat their meals, or encamp for the night, they have a regular guard mounted: they use these precautions for fear of any attack from the Indians. The Chicashaws formerly were very troublesome to them. Two of these convoys, consisting of from
7seven to twelve Batteaus, go from New Orleans twice a year, viz. in the spring and autumn.
In the spring the Missisippi is very high; and tho' the current is so strong that nothing can make head against it in the middle of the river, they have an advantge by an eddy or counter-current, which runs in the bends, and close to the banks of the river, and greatly facilitates their voyage. The current, at this season, runs at the rate of six or seven miles an hour: in autumn, when the waters are low, it in general does not run above two miles an hour, except in some parts of the river, above the Arkansas, where there are a great many islands, shoals, and sand-banks of some miles circumference, which make the voyage more dangerous, longer, and less expeditious, than in the spring; and this makes it further necessary, that boats should go in convoys, that they may assist each other in case of meeting with any of the accidents they are so evidently exposed to. Great pieces of coal are constantly found on the sand-banks, from whence it may be concluded, that there are coal-mines on the upper parts of the Missisippi.
Of the Post and Settlements on the Mississippi.
To proceed with order and facility in describing the ports which are on the Missisippi, and those which communicate with that river, I shall begin with the Balize, and so go on, ascending the river. The island of Saint Carlos, of which I have before spoke, is near the entrance of the Missisippi, and lies in twenty-nine degrees north latitude, and in eighty-nine degrees ten minutes longitude from the meridian of London: there are houses for the residence of an officer, twenty soldiers, a pilot, and a chaplain. The reason of establishing this post, is that assistance may be given to vessels coming into the river, and to forward intelligence or dispatches to New Orleans: This is called the Balize as well as the French post, which lies two miles east of the entrance of the river, and was originally built with the same design, and as a defence for the mouth of the river: its situation (which is very low and swampy) would never admit of any strong fortification; but what there was, is now gone to ruin: nothing remains but the soldiers barracks, and three or four guns en barbette. From this place nothing is to be seen but low marshes, continually overflowed, till we get within a few leagues of the Detour de L'Anglois, where there are some few plantations, most of which are but very late establishments, and are, as yet, but of very little consequence. At the Detour the river forms almost a circle; so that vessels cannot pass it with the same wind that conducted them to it, and are obliged to wait for a shift of wind. This gave the idea to the French, of
9building two forts at this Pass, one on each side of the river, to prevent the enterprises of any enemies; for although the forts are only enclosures of stockades and a defence against small arms, the batteries on each side, which are of ten twelve-pounders, are more than sufficient to stop the progress of any vessel, as there is no possibility of mooring nor of making a vessel fast on shore: the impossibility of mooring has been before accounted for by the description given of the bed of the river. The going on shore is equally impossible, as the forts are on points of land, which are bounded by the river on one side and by swamps on the other, so that any attacks against them must prove unsuccessful. Such is the situation of these forts, which might besides receive continual reinforcements from the inhabitants in their neighbourhood, and from New Orleans, which is but seventeen miles distant. The authors who have wrote concerning Louisiana have given many different reasons for this place being called the Detour des Anglois; I shall give that which appears the most probable.
The officers who had been sent to reconoitre the Missisippi, and to report the properest place to build the capital of Louisiana on, in their return to Mobile, going down the river, saw an English brig made fast to the shore, which curiosity had induced to go thus far up, and was waiting for a fair wind to proceed on further discoveries. The plantations and the well-built houses on each side the river afford a very pleasing and agreeable prospect, which continues till we arrive at New Orleans; and this, with a tolerable fair wind, is an affair of about four hours.
NEW ORLEANS stands on the east side of the river, and in 30o. north latitude; its situation is extremely well chosen, as it has a very easy communication with the northern parts of Louisiana (now West Florida) by means of the Bayouk of St. John, a little creek, which is navigable for small vessels drawing less than six feet water, six miles up from the lake Ponchartain, where there is a landing-place, at which the vessels load and unload; and this is about two miles from the city. The entrance of the Bayouk of St. John is defended by a battery of six guns and a serjeant's guard. The vessels which come up the Missisippi haul close along-side the bank next to New Orleans, to which they make fast, and take in or discharge their cargoes with the same facility as from a wharf. The town is secured from the inundations of the river by a raised bank, generally called the Levée; and this extends from the Detour des Anglois, to the upper settlement of the Germans, which is a distance of more than fifty miles, and a good coach-road all the way. The Levée before the town is repaired at the public expence, and each inhabitant keeps that part in repair which is opposite to his own plantation. Having described the situation of the city of New Orleans, I will proceed to its plan of construction.
The parade is a large square, in the middle of that part of the town which fronts the river; in the back part of the square is the church dedicated to St. Louis, a very poor building, framed with wood; it is in so ruinous a condition that divine service has not been performed in it since the year 1766, one of the king's storehouses being at present used for that purpose. The capuchins are the curates of New Orleans; on the left hand side of the church
11they had a very handsome and commodious brick house, which is totally deserted and gone to ruin; they now live on their plantation, and in a hired house in town. On the right hand side of the church is the prison and guard-house, which are very strong and good buildings. The two sides of the square were formerly occupied by barracks for the troops, which are entirely destroyed. The square is open to the river, and on that side are twenty-one pieces of ordnance, en barbette, which are fired on public rejoicings. All the streets are perfectly straight, and cross each other at right angles, and these divide the town into sixty-six squares, eleven in length by the river's side, and six in depth; the sides of these squares are one hundred yards each, and are divided into twelve lotts, for the establishment of the inhabitants. The intendant's house and gardens take up the right side of the parade, the left side is occupied by the king's store-houses and an artillery-yard. There is at present no building set on part for the governor; his general residence is in a large house, which was formerly the property of the company who were the proprietors of Louisiana, known by the name of la compagnie d'occident. The agent of the company is now owner of the house. The convent of the Ursulines and general hospital, which is attended by the nuns, occupy the two left hand squares facing the river: these buildings are strong and plain, well answering the purposes for which they were designed. The general plan of building in the town, is with timber frames filled up with brick; and most of the houses are but of one floor, raised about eight feet from the ground, with large galleries round them, and the cellars under the floors level with the ground; it is impossible to have any subterraneous buildings, as they would be constantly full of water. I imagine that there are betwixt seven and eight hundred houses in the town, most of which have gardens. The squares at the back and sides of the town are mostly laid out in gardens; the orange-trees, with which they are planted, are not unpleasant objects, and in the spring afford an agreeable smell.
There are, exclusive of the slaves, about seven thousand inhabitants in town, of all ages and sexes. The fortifications are only an enceinte of stockades, with a banquette within and a very trifling ditch without; these can answer no end but against Indians, or negroes, in case of an insurrection, and keep the slaves of the town and country from having any communication in the night. There are about four hundred soldiers kept for the police of the town and country; these belong to the detached companies of the marines: there are also ten companies of militia, four chosen from the inhabitants of the town, the planters and their servants form the remainder.
The government of Louisiana is composed of a governor, an intendant, and a royal council. The governor is invested with a great deal of power, which, however, on the side of the crown is checked by the intendant, who has the care of the king's rights, and whatever relates to the revenue; and on the side of the people it is checked by the royal council, whose office it partly is to see that the people are not oppressed by the one nor defrauded by the other. The royal council, who stile themselves Le Conseil Superieur de la Louisiane, consist of the intendant, who is first judge, the king's attorney, six of the principal inhabitants, and the register of the province; and they judge in all criminal and civil matters. Every man has a right to plead his own cause before them, either verbally or by a written petition; and the evidences called on by each party attend the examination of the council. In a court like this, eloquence or great abilities cannot support injustice or confound truth.
The intendant is commissary of the marine and judge of the admiralty; and he decides, in a summary manner, all disputes between merchants, or whatever else has a relation to trade. A final reference may be made from any judgment given by the intendant
13or council to the parliament of Paris. On the first establishment of the colony, nothing that could tend to render it flourishing or happy was unthought of. I shall mention one instance of the lenity and wisdom of the legislature; but the dishonesty of governors and intendants, as well as the corruption and relaxation of the government in France since that time, has totally perverted or sunk into oblivion regulations that were so evidently calculated for the happiness of the subject. The planter is considered as a Frenchman venturing his life, enduring a species of banishment, and undergoing great hardships for the benefit of his country; for which reason be has great indulgence shewn. Whenever by hurricanes, earthquakes, or bad seasons, the planters suffer, a stop is put to the rigor of exacting creditors. The few taxes which are levied are remitted, and even advances are made to repair their losses and set them forward. On the other hand, there can be no temptation to the planter to run fraudulently into debt, to the prejudice of the French merchant, as all debts, though contracted by the planters in France, are levied with great ease. The process, properly authenticated, is transmitted to America, and admitted as proof there, and levied on the planter's estate, of whatever kind it may be. However, care is taken that whilst compulsory methods are used to make the planter do justice, the state shall not lose the industry of a useful member of the community; the debt is always levied according to the substance of the debtor. Thus one party is not sacrificed to the other, they both subsist; the creditor is satisfied, and the debtor not ruined.
The paper money which circulated in this province has almost effected its ruin, owing to the mal-administration of Mons. Kerlerec, who was governor during the last war. As the sending money from France, at that time, to pay the civil and military officers, troops, and other exigences of government, would have been attended with too much risque, the governor and intendant were ordered to issue out paper money, which were
15by the arrival of two English flags of truce, during the war, loaded with dry goods, one of which was from Jamaica and the other from Rhode Island. Whilst Mons. de Kerlerec held a congress with the Creek and Chactaw Indians at Mobile, Mons. de Rochemaure seized the vessels, imprisoned the captains and crew, and lodged the cargoes in the king's store-houses. Mons. de Kerlerec on his return to New Orleans, ordered the captains and sailors to be released, restored their vessels to them, and permitted them to sell the cargoes for the benefit of the owners. Many of the most respectable inhabitants and some officers remonstrated against this proceeding, and represented the danger of admitting English subjects to trade in the time of war, who would become acquainted with the navigation of the river, and be enabled to give a true account of the then weak situation of the province, which would fall an easy prey to their enemies. The friends of Mons. Kerlerec, on the other hand, petitioned that the cargoes might be publickly sold, and the English protected; that the colony was in the greatest want of the goods brought by the flags of truce; that it was an act of humanity in the English governors who had granted those commissions; that this was the only method by which they could be supplied with what they were in the greatest necessity for; and should he take harsh measures with these people, the colony must be totally excluded from all hopes of future assistance till a peace, of which there was not then the least prospect. But to return to the paper money: Mons. D'Abbadie called in a great quantity of the bills of exchange and Bons, depreciating their value seventy-five per cent. and issued out new paper money, signed by him, which he put on a par with specie; as, for example, a Bon of five livres was equal to one dollar or piece of eight, and seventy livres of the old paper was only equal to one dollar. Thus the industrious planter was defrauded of three-fourths of his property.
Mons. D'Abbadie died in February 1765, since which the paper money issued by him has fallen twenty-five per cent. from its original value. On the death of Mons. D'Abbadie, Mons. Aubry, commandant of the troops, succeeded him as governor, and Mons. Foucault, commissaire ordonnateur, as intendant. These gentlemen continued to act in their respective stations, notwithstanding the cession of the colony to the crown of Spain in 1764. Don Antonio D'Ulloa arrived at New Orleans about the middle of the year 1766, but refused to take the government of the colony on him, until he should have a sufficient armed force to establish his authority. In the beginning of the year 1767 two hundred Spanish soldiers were sent from the Havanna, but these he did not think sufficient to enforce his commands in a country where the Spanish government was held in the utmost abhorrence and detestation; he sent about sixty of these troops to erect two forts, one opposite fort Bute, on the mouth of the Ibbeville, and the other on the west side of the Missisippi, opposite the Natches; the remainder were sent in the autumn of 1767 to build a fort at the mouth of the river Missoury; but the commandant was forbid to interfere with the civil government of their settlements in the Illinois country, where Mons. De Saint Ange continues to command with about twenty French soldiers. Don Antonio D'Ulloa, who had already carried a high hand over the inhabitants, received some orders from his court, by which the commerce of the colony was greatly restricted, and which were so disagreeable to the colonists, that they revolted from the dominion of the crown of Spain; and the council, by an edict, inserted at the end of this work, obliged him and the principal Spanish officers to leave the province in November 1768, notwithstanding M. Aubry's remonstrances and the protest he made against the edict of the council.
Mons. de Sacier, one of the council, with two other gentlemen of the colony, was sent to France with this edict, and to implore
17the protection of the king; they were imprisoned on their arrival, and have never been heard of since.
During six months, which elapsed before news could be received from Europe, the unhappy colonists vainly flattered themselves with hopes of being justified for the steps they had taken by the court of France. On the 23d of July, 1769, news was brought to New Orleans of the arrival of general O'Reily at the Balize, with eighteen transports, followed by ten more from the Havanna, having four thousand five hundred troops on board, and loaded with stores and ammunition. This intelligence threw the town into the greatest consternation and perplexity, as, but a few days before, letters had arrived from Europe signifying that the colony was restored to France.
In the general distraction that took place, the inhabitants of the town and the adjacent plantations determined to oppose the landing of the Spaniards, and sent couriers requiring the Germans and Accadian neutrals to join them. On the 24th an express arrived from general O'Reily, which was read by Mons. Aubry to the people in church; by this they were informed that he was sent by his catholic majesty to take possession of the colony, but not to distress the inhabitants; and that when he should be in possession he would publish the remaining part of the orders he had in charge from the king his master; and should any attempt be made to oppose his landing, he was resolved not to depart until he could put his majesty's commands in execution.
The people, dissatisfied with this ambiguous message, came to a resolution of sending three deputies to Mr. O'Reily, viz. Messrs. Grandmaison, town-major, La Friniere, attorney-general, and De Mazant, formerly captain in the colony's troops and a man of very considerable property; these gentlemen acquainted him, that the inhabitants had come to a resolution of abandoning the province,
18and demanded no other favour than that he would grant them two years to remove themselves and effects. The general received the deputies with great politeness, but did not enter into the merits of their embassy, farther than assuring them that he would comply with every reasonable request of the colonies; that he had the interest of their country much at heart, and nothing on his part should be wanting to promote it; that all past transactions should be buried in oblivion, and all who had offended should be forgiven: to this he added every thing that he imagined could flatter the expectations of the people. On the 1st of August the deputies returned, and made publick the kind reception the general had given them, and the fair promises he had made. The minds of the people were now greatly tranquilized, and those who had before determined suddenly to quit their plantations now resolved to remain until their crops were off the ground.
During the absence of the deputies, several of the principal inhabitants applied to captain-lieutenant Campbell, late of the thirty-fourth regiment, then at New Orleans, to acquaint the governor of West Florida that they were desirous of becoming British subjects, and to beg that he would send a proper person to tender them the oath of allegiance, and to distribute the lands, on the banks of the river betwixt the Ibbeville and Natches, for them to settle on; and that they were to be joined by near two-thirds of the French inhabitants, and by German and Accadian families, of which six hundred men were capable of bearing arms. These would have proved a valuable acquisition to the province of West Florida, and it is rather unfortunate that at this time there were no troops in the forts of Natches and Ibbeville to give them protection.
On the 16th of August general O'Reily arrived at New Orleans with one frigate and twenty-two transports, and came on shore the day following to reconnoitre the ground for disembarking, and
19the grand parade for drawing up his troops; he was attended by Mons. Aubry and the staff of the garrison; he returned on board soon after, and was saluted by the frigate and the garrison. Orders were given for the troops to disembark on the 18th, at four o'clock in the morning, by firing one gun from the frigate; stages being previously made to reach from the shore to the sides of the ships for the soldiers to pass over.
On a signal being given all the troops began to move, and in less than ten minutes were formed on the bank of the river, and from thence marched to the grand parade, where they formed the square. The ships were dressed with the colours of different nations, and the shrouds and yards crouded with sailors. On the general's going on shore he was saluted by the frigate, and received four cheers from the sailors; and on his coming on the parade there was a general discharge of cannon and small arms from the garrison and militia, attended with musick and drums. Don Alex. O'Reily and Mons. Aubry, with their attendants, followed by a croud of inhabitants, went to that angle of the parade where the flag-staff stood. Mons. Aubry, as governor, opened his orders from his most christian majesty, to deliver up the town and island of New Orleans, and province of Louisiana, to Don Alex. O'Reily, in the name of his catholick majesty; and expressed his happiness and satisfaction in being succeeded in the command of that country by a man of his humanity and worth; to which general O'Reily answered, "I shall make it the rule of my future conduct in government, to imitate those wife and prudent maxims in administring justice by which you have gained the hearts of the people, even at the most critical juncture." The Spanish colours were now hoisted, and honoured by another general discharge of artillery and small arms from the garrison; his excellency and attendants went to church, and sung Te Deum, whilst the guards were relieving: after church was over, the parade was dismissed, and the soldiers went to the barracks appointed for them.
On the 19th of August the town militia was reviewed: from this day the time was passed in receiving and making visits until the 25th in the morning, when the inhabitants went to pay their respects to their new governor; as they entered the hall, he desired them to place themselves singly round the room, and holding a paper in his hand, containing the names of the persons principally concerned in the late insurrection, such as were present he begged to walk into the next room, where an officer and guard attended to take them into custody; such as were absent he sent for, to the number of thirteen, and confined them in separate apartments, some on board ship, others to guards and common prisons, where they were detained to take their trials for high treason; their slaves and other effects were seized in the king's name. On the 27th a proclamation was published, ordering the inhabitants to take the oaths of allegiance; and an amnesty to all concerned in the late revolt, except those already in custody; and another was published prohibiting negroes from monopolizing provisions coming to market, or buying or selling without a written leave from their masters. Shortly after, other orders were given out, by which all the English subjects, protestants, and Jews of every nation, were enjoined to depart from the province of Louisiana, and all commerce prohibited, except with Old Spain and her islands, and neither of these having demand for the produce of Louisiana and their returns, if any trade should take place, could not be employed in the commerce of the Missisippi.
General O'Reily made great prosessions of friendship to the governor of West Florida, and assured him, upon every occasion, of his wishes to live in harmony with his English neighbours. His words and actions widely differed; he endeavoured to tamper with the Indians settled on our territories, and behaved with great inhospitality towards all English subjects who had occasion to go up the river Missisippi, and infringed the articles of peace, by sending a party of soldiers to cut the hawsers of an English vessel, called
21the Sea Flower, that had made fast to the bank of the river above the town; the order was obeyed, and the vessel narrowly escaped being loft. It is impossible for vessels to navigate upon the Missisippi, unless they are permitted to make fast to the shore, as has been explained in the foregoing part of this work; and if English vessels are prevented, they cannot be said to enjoy the free navigation of the river, conformable to the articles of the last peace.
In October, great and solemn preparations were made for the trial of the prisoners charged with high treason, who continued to undergo a cruel and rigorous imprisonment until the 31st of this month. When they were brought before the high court of justice, as it was called, (it was more properly a court martial, the general himself presiding, and the other members being mostly Spanish officers) all the prisoners were found guilty of the charge exhibited against them; five were sentenced to be shot, and seven to be confined for ten years to the Moro castle at the Havanna. Those condemned to death were executed the day following; their names, Mons. Lafriniere, king's attorney; Mons. De Marquis, formerly commandant of the Swiss companies at New Orleans, and knight of the order of St. Louis; Mons. De Noyant. captain of dragoons, son of the late king's lieutenant of Louisiana; Pierre Caresse and Petit, merchants. The names of those banished to the Moro, Mons. De Mazant, formerly captain in the colony troops; Mons. Garic, register of the council; Meffrs. Douffet, Millet, fen. and jun. and Poupet, merchants.
Mons. Foucault, the intendant, was sent prisoner to France. Mons. Villeroy, one of the persons first arrested, had embarked with his slaves and most valuable effects, designing to throw himself under the protection of the English; but being afterwards persuaded of the sincerity of the Spanish general's promises, he landed with his slaves and effects, and returned to his plantation: he was so enraged at the treachery that had been used
22towards him, and at the cruel treatment he received when in confinement, that he died raving mad. The fate of Mons. Lafrinier's daughter and only child is particularly lamentable; this young lady was married but some months before this dreadful event to Mons. De Noyant, who was handsome in his person, and amiable in his disposition.
It is impossible to reflect on this tragedy but with horror and detestation. When fraud or treachery are made use of to destroy an enemy, or punish the guilty, it disgraces a nation and the name of justice.
It is remarkable, that the king of Spain, in his acceptation of Louisiana, promises the inhabitants their original form of government, and to continue the French counsellors in his council: he also offers to receive all the troops employed by the king of France in that country into his service; but the soldiers finding that they were to receive no more pay than they had formerly been allowed, which is considerably less than the pay of Spanish troops, refused entering into that service to a man.
I have entered into this long digression concerning the government of Louisiana, with a view of giving some idea of its present political state. I shall now return to an account of the settlements.
There are some plantations on the Bayouk of St. John, and on the road from thence to New Orleans. The settlements of Gentilly are one mile from the Bayouk of St. John, on the side of a small creek, which also communicates with the lake Ponchartrain. Cannes, Brulé, Chapitoula, and the German settlements join each other, and are a continuation of well cultivated plantations of near forty miles from New Orleans, on each side of the river. At the German settlements, on the west side of the river, is a church
23served by the capuchins; and a small stockaded fort in the center of the settlements on the east side of the river; an officer and twelve soldiers are kept there for the police of that quarter. This post was originally erected as an asylum for the inhabitants who first settled there, and were much molested by the Chactaws and Chickashaws, who in alliance carried on a war against the settlers on the Missisippi. Their entry into this part of the colony was very easy, as they went up a small creek, called Tigahoe, in canoes. The entrance of this creek, which is in the lake Ponchartrain, is defended by a small redoubt and a serjeant's guard.
Having now gone through the richest and most cultivated plantations on the Missisippi, it is necessary to say something of their produce, which form the greatest part of the commerce of Louisiana. The different articles are indigo, cotton, rice, maiz, beans, myrtle wax-candles, and lumber. The indigo of this country is much esteemed for its beautiful colour and good quality; the colour is brighter than that which is fabricated at St. Domingo. The cotton, though of a most perfect white, is of a very short staple, and is therefore not in great request. The maiz, different forts of beans, rice, and myrtle candles, are articles in constant demand at St. Domingo.
Some of the richest planters, since the year 1762, have begun the cultivation of sugar, and have erected mills for squeezing the canes; the sugar produced in this country is of a very fine quality, and some of the crops have been very large; but no dependance can be had on this, as some years the winters are too cold, and kill the canes in the ground.
In the autumn the planters employ their slaves in cutting down and squaring timber, for sawing into boards and scantling; the carriage of this timber is very easy, for those who cut it at the back
24of their plantations make a ditch, which is supplied with water from the back swamps, and by that means conduct their timber to the river side without labour; others send their slaves up to the cypress swamps, of which there are a great many betwixt New Orleans and Pointe Coupée; there they make rafts of the timber they cut, and float them down to New Orleans.
Many of the planters have saw-mills, which are worked by the waters of the Missisippi in the time of the floods, and then they are kept going night and day till the waters fall. The quantity of lumber sent from the Missisippi to the West India islands is prodigious, and it generally goes to a good market.
About ten leagues from the fort at the German settlements are the villages of the Houmas and Alibamons. The former were once a considerable nation of Indians, they are reduced now to about forty warriors: the latter are about twenty families, being part of a nation which lived near fort Toulouse, on the river Alibamons, and followed the French when they quitted that post in the year 1762. One league further up is the Fourche de Chetimachas, near which is the village of a tribe of Indians of that name; they reckon about sixty warriors. Three leagues above this is the Concession of Mons. Paris, a pleasant situation and good land; large herds of cattle are now kept there, belonging to the inhabitants of Pointe Coupée. The new settlements of the Accadians are on both sides of the river, and reach from the Germans to within seven or eight miles of the river Ibbeville. These are the remainder of the families which were sent by general Lawrence from Nova Scotia to our southern provinces; where, by their industry, they did and might have continued to live very happy, but that they could not publickly enjoy the Roman Catholic religion, to which they are greatly bigotted. They took the earliest opportunity, after the peace, of transporting themselves to St. Domingo,
25where the climate disagreed with them so much, that they in a few months lost near half their numbers; the remainder, few only excepted, were, in the latter end of the year 1763, removed to New Orleans, at the expence of the king of France. There are about three hundred families of this unfortunate people settled in different parts of Louisiana,
WE now come to the river Ibbeville, the south boundary of West Florida, and of the English possessions on the river Missisippi. The junction of the Ibbeville with the Missisippi is thirty-two leagues from New Orleans, sixty leagues from the Balize, and ninety leagues from Pensacola, by the way of the lakes. The post at the mouth of the river Ibbeville, on the banks of the Missisippi, has ever struck me, from its situation, as of the greatest consequence to the commerce of West Florida; for it may with reason be supposed, that the inhabitants and traders who reside at Pointe Coupée, at Natchitoches, Attacappa, Arcansas, the Illinois, and the post of St. Vincent's on the Ouabache, would rather trade at this place than at New Orleans, if they could have as good returns for their peltry and the produce of their country; for it makes a difference of ten days in their voyage, which is no inconsiderable saving of labour, money, and time. The goods these people take in return for their peltry, furs, tobacco, tallow, and bear's oil, are, spirituous liquors, grocery, dry goods of all kinds, and all the articles necessary for their commerce with the savages. The only difficulty that opposes itself to this necessary settlement is the want of a navigation through the river Ibbeville; so that vessels might carry on a constant intercourse betwixt this place and Pensacola, without going up the Missisippi, which is a tedious navigation. The better to shew the facility of accomplishing this, I shall here insert a description of the passage from lake Ponchartrain to the Missisippi, and directions necessary to be observed in that navigation. The coast of West Florida, from Pensacola to lake Ponchartrain, is so well known that it is not necessary to say any thing on that head. The description of the river Ibbeville, &c. was a report transmitted with plans and draughts, in the year 1765, to his excellency general Gage.
Description of Massiac, Part of the River Amit, and the River Ibbeville.
BEFORE I begin the description and directions, it is necessary I should mention some errors which have subsisted in all geographical accounts hitherto given of that part of the country, which I have examined; these I will endeavour to explain. The names Massiac, Manchaque, Ascantia, Amit, and Ibbeville, have been so confounded, that it is with difficulty a stranger can know what part of the country to apply one or other of them to; and these errors still subsist with the French, so that when this passage is talked of even amongst themselves they confound one another, and he who would speak of that part next the Missisippi, is thought by another to have said something of the communication betwixt the lakes Ponchartrain and Maurepas. In order to avoid the same mistakes, it is proper these names should be distinctly separated; the way I think they should be understood is this: The passage from lake Ponchartrain to lake Maurepas should be called the Massiac, and the two channels be distinguished, by one being called the S. W. and the other the N. W. The Amit should carry its name as far as its current runs, which is from its source, near Natches, to where it empties itself into lake Maurepas, which is seventy leagues. The Ibbeville I cannot understand to be any thing more
28than a small creek, which is supplied with water by the Missisippi and Amit. From March to September the former generally affords water enough to make a navigation through; the rest of the year its whole supply is from the latter, and that only for six leagues and a half up. By this rule I shall go on with the description and directions, which are as follow. Off the pass at Massiac, next to the lake of Ponchartrain, is found three fathoms of water; and there are not less steering W. for the center of the pass, which when entered there is four or five fathoms, keeping mid-channel: this depth of water will be carried all the way to lake Maurepas. Two miles and a half up this channel is the point of an island, which is formed by two channels; the entrance of the great channel, called by the French Grand Massiac, lies N. W. and the little one, which they call Le Petit Massiac, N. W. by N. The great channel is the best, although the depth of water is the same in both; but as the shoals do not run so far off the points, and as the turnings are not so great, nor so many, the distance is consequently less; for these reasons I should recommend the great channel for our constant navigation. However advantageous it may appear at first sight to have a post on the east end of the island, it would answer no purpose, as the savages go frequently into lake Maurepas from lake Ponchartrain, by the river Tanchipao; which for canoes and small boats is equally as good a navigation, because about three leagues up a branch of the Nitabani empties itself into that river, and which is the communication from Tanchipao to lake Maurepas. The opening of the lake Maurepas is about seven miles from the east point of the island; here it is necessary to keep near the island, as a shoal bank runs off a point that lies south about one mile and a half from the pass. Steering by this direction, there will not be found less than seven feet water on the bar, and never less than eight feet going through the lake. The mouth of the river Amit bears west southerly; by keeping near the north shore we do not lessen the water, but come at once into four fathoms; but go as we please, we cannot find less than five feet.
The mouth of this river is remarkable from being embayed, and from a number of trees which stand off the land in the lake and are almost covered with water. The land is overflowed when the waters are high, about one foot and a half, as appears by the marks on the trees, and continues so near a league up the river, where there is a spot of land which appears to be never covered: all such spots I have shewn in the annexed draught. But this is an observation which may be made of the country throughout; that the lands grow lower as we advance in the woods, and at three and four hundred yards back from the river we never fail meeting with bogs and swamps. As the land is not much overflowed at the mouth, it would be no difficult matter to make a bank for the security of a small post there; and if it should be ever thought necessary, materials are ready; there being shells, with which lime may be made, and very fine timber, such as cypress and elm. As I have been very careful in making the draught, and marking every little river that empties itself into this, I shall say nothing of them, only that unless this draught is followed, or a pilot, taken, mistakes may be made by going up one of them, instead of the river to be pursued. The nearer we approach the junction of the Amit with the Ibbeville the current becomes stronger. When I went up, in the month of March, I found within about three leagues of that place a current running at the rate of three miles an hour, though at the entrance at lake Maurepas it was scarcely perceptible. From the mouth of the Amit to the junction of the Ibbeville several trees are fallen down, which should be removed, otherwise the navigation is continually liable to interruptions by the logs floating down, and being intercepted by them, which in a very little time would form a barricado quite across, such as there was when I went up, and which was cleared by ten negroes sent down for that purpose, and my detachment. The depth of water from lake Maurepas to the Ibbeville is from four to nine fathoms, and the distance fourteen leagues: here it is necessary to strike the masts when the waters are high, as the branches of the trees hang very low, and
30intervene so that in some parts they form an arbour over the river. Four leagues further up the lands are lower than in any other part of the country, the marks of the water on the trees being ten feet above the land. At irregular distances, as from one to three hundred yards on each side of the river, there are high lands overgrown with canes, and this place is called Tagoulasay; here are a number of small rivulets which run into the river; one league higher is Anatamaha, which, in the Indian language, signifies the fish-place: it is properly called, for they abound here all the year, which accounts for the vast number of crocodiles that are continually on the banks of this river. Sloops and schooners may come as far as this place when the waters are at the lowest, here never being less than twelve feet water; and at this time there is an eddy from the river Amit which sets to the westward. From hence to the Missisippi I think the trees should be cut down forty feet back from the river side, that a road might be made for carriages when the waters are low, at which time the bed of the river is dry from the Missisippi; when the waters are high it will still be necessary for the navigation, as vessels may be tracked up by horses or men to the Missisippi, in the same manner as lighters in England. The river is too deep for setting conveniently with poles, and too narrow for rowing; and the vast strength of the current, at the time of the floods, without there should be room for the oars, would drive the batteaux into the woods, and it would be a difficult matter to find the way back to the river. My batteau went about one mile above Anatamaha, but I could not get her any higher, although there was not less than four and five feet water all the way to the Missisippi, which is more than three leagues distance (including the turnings of the river), and when the waters are up there will be from eleven to eighteen feet water. At two leagues to the westward of Anatamaha the land is never covered above one foot, which, when secured from the inundations of the river by a bank being thrown up, will be as good as any in Louisiana, and will yield every produce natural to the climate.
More than six miles of the passage of the river Ibbeville is choaked up by wood, which has been drawn in by the eddy from the Missisippi at the annual floods. The river, for six miles below its entrance, is not in general above fifty feet wide; many large trees had fallen across the river, which stopped the logs that were floating down, and so formed a barricado. In the beginning of the year 1764, captain-lieutenant Campbell, late of the thirty-fourth regiment, undertook to clear the river, and make it navigable; and by order of major Farmer (who at that time commanded in West Florida) hired upwards of fifty negroes for that purpose. In the month of October, when the bed of the river was dry, they cut the trees which had fallen across into short logs, and cleared a path-way on the side of the river about eight miles down, throwing the canes and all the rubbish into it ; expecting that when the Missisippi should rise it would carry all before it. In December captain Campbell reported that he had made the river perfectly navigable. The negroes had unfortunately begun to cut the logs next the Missisippi, and had not cleared the embarrassments that were on the lower parts of the river, which, when the floods came on, intercepted such logs as floated down, and made the river in a worse condition than ever. A post was established in the spring following, and a detachment of thirty soldiers of the thirty-fourth regiment, with officers, and an engineer; they built some huts to lodge themselves, provisions, stores, and Indian presents; and they continued to work at the river, but to as little purpose as the negroes had done before. In July, the thirty-fourth regiment being on their way to the Illinois, major Farmer took off the detachment, leaving the engineer, an artillery officer, and three or four artificers, (most of whom were in a sickly state) and the stores, to the mercy of the neighbouring Indians; who, within a few days after the departure of the regiment, pillaged the post, and the poor defenceless people were happy to escape with their lives to New Orleans, leaving the artillery and such things as the Indians
32could not destroy behind them. In the month of December, 1766, governor Johnstone sent a detachment of the Scots fusileers, who were lately arrived in West Florida, to repossess that post; they built a small stockaded fort, which continued to be garrisoned by the troops from Pensacola in the year 1768, when I left that place. I have since heard that the garrisons at this post and Natches are withdrawn.
THE settlements at Pointe Coupée commence about ten leagues from the river Ibbeville; they extend twenty miles on the west side of the Missisippi; and there are some plantations back on the side of (what is generally called) la fausse riviere, thro' which the Missisippi passed about sixty years ago; making the shape of a crescent, and made a difference to the voyager of near eight leagues. It is said that about that time two Canadians were descending the river, but were stopped at the beginning of this crescent by the roughness of the waves, occasioned by the wind blowing very hard against the current. One of these travellers chose to amuse himself with his gun until the wind should abate: and that he might not lose his way in the woods, he determined to follow a little brook, which had been made by the inundations of the river; he had gone but a small distance, when he again found himself by the side of the river, and saw the white cliffs before him; which he knew by the course of the Missisippi to be eight leagues from the place where he left his companion; to whom he immediately returned, and acquainted him with this discovery. They agreed to endeavour to get their canoe across, as there was about a foot water in the brook, which had a little slope towards the lower part of the river; they got their canoe into the brook, and cut away the roots of trees and bushes that obstructed its passage, and the waters of the Missisippi entering seconded their endeavours, so that in a short time they effected their purpose. It is reported that in less than six years after the Missisippi passed entirely through this channel, leaving its former bed quite dry, and which is now difficult to trace, being mostly filled up, and overgrown with trees.
The fort, which is a quadrangle with four bastions, is built with with stockades, and contains a very handsome house for the commanding officer, good barracks for the soldiers, store-houses, and a prison. The commanding officer is chosen from one of the eldest captains of the colony; the authority of the governor is delegated to him, and the storekeeper is the representative of the intendant. There are seldom more than twelve soldiers at this place, who are for no other purpose than to preserve good order. The fort is situated on the side of the Missisippi, about six miles above the lowest plantation. The church is very near the fort, and is served by a capuchin; there are three companies of militia in this canton, chosen from the white inhabitants, who amount to about two thousand of all ages and sexes, and about seven thousand slaves. They cultivate tobacco and indigo, raise vast quantities of poultry, which they send to the market of New Orleans, and furnish to the shipping; they square a great deal of timber and make staves, which they send down in rafts to New Orleans. The inhabitants cultivated maize and other provisions on the east side of the river; but after the peace, when that side of the Missisippi was ceded to the English, such as had houses there, who were but few, removed to the west side, which remained to the French.
ON the east side of the river, and about two miles above the last plantation of Pointe Coupée, is the village of the Tonicas, formerly a numerous nation of Indians; but their constant intercourse with the French, and immoderate use of spirituous liquors, has reduced them to about thirty warriors. They attacked the 22d regiment, commanded by major Loftus, when on their way to take possession of the Illinois, on the 20th of March, 1764, at the Roche de Davion; they killed five men and wounded four, that were in two canoes which went a-head of the convoy: although they fired on the other boats they did no other damage, but prevented the regiment proceeding on its enterprize. The soldiers did not land, as their enemies were concealed in the wood, and their numbers unknown; they occupied both sides of the river, and the current in the middle of the stream run at the rate of five miles an hour: we have been very credibly informed that some of the French of Pointe Coupée, and their slaves, assisted the Tonicas in this attack.
THE small river of Pelousas is ten leagues above the settlements of Pointe Coupée, and one league below the mouth of the river Rouge; it receives its name from the natives, and its waters from a lake which lies about forty leagues S. W. of the place where it empties itself into the Missisippi. Twenty-five leagues up this river is a settlement, known by the name of Pelousas and Attacappa; it is formed by about sixty families of Accadians, discharged soldiers, and inhabitants from fort Toulouse, on the river Alibamons, who have a few slaves. They raise tobacco, maize, and wheat; the latter only for their own consumption. They have large herds of cattle, and follow the Indian commerce. They have a small church, and a capuchin missionary resides with them. This settlement was made under the direction of Mons. D'Abbadie, in the year 1763, and was governed by a French officer, named Pelrin, till the year 1767, when the inhabitants, who had been oppressed by the tyranny, which has been always exerted by officers of that nation commanding out-posts, complained to Don Antonio D'Ulloa, and Mons. Aubry accusing him also of sacrilege, he having forcibly taken possession of the plate destined to the use of the altar, and used it at his own table, under pretence of keeping it in security. This worked his ruin more effectually than his ill treatment of the inhabitants, and he was threatened with excommunication; however he was punished by undergoing severe penances enjoined by the priests, and rendered incapable, by the sentence of a court-martial of French officers, of any employment military or civil. The government of this settlement was afterwards vested in a magistrate to be chosen annually by the inhabitants from amongst themselves. One company of militia was also raised for the defence of the establishment, and the officers receive pay from the Spanish government.
THIRTY-four leagues from the river Rouge is the Natches, which, from its situation and soil, is the finest and most fertile part of West Florida. The fort is about fix hundred and seventy yards from the river's side. The road to it is very bad, on account of a steep high ground which is at a small distance from the landing-place, very difficult to ascend, and almost impracticable for carriages; a small distance from this high land is a hill, on the summit of which stands the fort, and the road becomes much better, ascending with a gradual slope. The trouble of going up is recompensed by the fight of a most delightful country of great extent, the prospect of which is beautifully varied by a number of little hills and fine meadows, separated by small copses, the trees of which are mostly walnut and oak. The country is well watered, hops grow wild, and all kinds of European fruits come to great perfection. The fences of many of the gardens made by the French still remain, and several fruit-trees, mostly figs, peaches, and wild cherries. The French always esteemed the tobacco produced here, as preferable to any cultivated in other parts of America. This country was once famous for its inhabitants, who from their great numbers, and the state of society they lived in, were considered as the most civilized Indians on the continent of America. They lived some years in great friendship with the French, whom they permitted to settle on their lands, and to whom they rendered every service in their power. Their hospitality was repaid with ingratitude. The French debauched, and sometimes ravished the women, and tyrannized over the men; every day brought them some new disgrace. They determined to get rid of their oppressors, and on the eve of St. Andrew, 1729, they surprised the fort, and put the whole garrison to death; at the same time they made
38a massacre of the inhabitants, in which upwards of five hundred were killed, some of the women and children they made prisoner; very few of either sex escaped. The whole colony armed to revenge their slaughtered countrymen, and they had several skirmishes with the Natches, in which the success was various. In 1730 Mons. De Perrier de Salvert, brother to the governor, arrived from France, with the rank of lieutenant-general in Louisiana, and five hundred regular troops, who joined the troops and militia of the colony. This army, amounting to fifteen hundred men, went, under the command of the two brothers, to attack the nation of Natches; who, with their chiefs, determined to defend themselves in a fort they had built near a lake which communicates with the Bayouk Dargent, lying west of the Natches, and north of the river Rouge. They invested this fort, and the Indians made a very resolute and vigorous sally on them, but were repulsed, after a considerable loss on both sides. The French, having brought two or three mortars, threw some shells into the fort; which making a havock amongst their women and children, so terrified the Indians, unused to this fort of war, that they surrendered at discretion, and were conducted to New Orleans, except a few who had escaped to the Chickashaws, with their hunters, who were providing provisions for their garrison. Some of the unfortunate prisoners were burnt at New Orleans, and the rest were sent as slaves to the West India islands; some of whom, shewing their resentment by upbraiding the authors of their misery, were thrown into the sea. Nothing now remains of this nation but their name, by which their country continues to be called.
When I made the survey of fort Rosalia, which was in the month of August, I observed that the Missisippi had fallen thirty-six feet. The breadth of the river at this place is exactly eighteen hundred and seventy feet, and the fort hands one hundred and eighty feet above the surface of the water. It is an irregular pentagon, without bastions, and is built of plank of five inches thick; the buildings within the fort are a store-house, a house for the officers, a barrack
39for the soldiers, and a guard-house. These buildings are made of framed timber, filled up with mud and barbe Espagnole, (a kind of moss, which grows in great abundance on all the trees in Louisiana) and in this country that manner of building houses is very common. The barbe Espagnole (which much resembles a black curly beard) is also made use of for fluffing mattresses.
The ditch is partly made and partly natural; the bottom is in most places nineteen feet from the top of the rampart, and in many twelve and thirteen from the top of the counterscarp; on the north side of the fort there is no ditch at all, but it is fenced with pickets, to prevent an enemy getting under the cover of the counterscarp or into the ditch. The rampart is nearly the same height above the pickets as it is in other parts above the bottom of the ditch. The fort received the name of Rosalia in honour to Mad. la ducheffe de Ponchartrain, whose husband was minister of France when it was built.
Post of Arcansas.
THE fort is situated three leagues up the river Arcansas, and is built with stockades, in a quadrangular form; the sides of the exterior polygon are about one hundred and eighty feet, and one three pounder is mounted in the flanks and faces of each bastion. The buildings within the fort are, a barrack with three rooms for the soldiers, commanding officer's house, a powder magazine, and a magazine for provision, and an apartment for the commissary, all which are in a ruinous condition. The fort stands about two hundred yards from the water-side, and is garrisoned by a captain, a lieutenant, and thirty French soldiers, including serjeants and corporals. There are eight houses without the fort, occupied by as many families, who have cleared the land about nine hundred yards in depth; but on account of the sandiness of the soil, and the lowness of the situation, which makes it subject to be overflowed, they do not raise their necessary provisions. These people subsist mostly by hunting, and every season send to New Orleans great quantities of bear's oil, tallow, salted buffaloe meat, and a few skins. The Arcansas or Quapas Indians live three leagues above the fort, on the side of the river; they are divided into three villages, over each of which presides a chief, and a great chief over all; they amount in all to about six hundred warriors; they are reckoned amongst the bravest of the southern Indians; they hunt little more than for their common subsistence, and are generally at war with the nations to the westward of them, as far as the river Bravo, and they bring in very frequently young prisoners and horses from the Cadodaquias, Paneise, Podoquias, &c. of which they dispose to the best advantage.
The river Arcansas is generally esteemed to be in the most moderate climate of any part of Louisiana, and the lands six leagues
41up the river are reckoned as fertile. It was here that the famous Mr. Laws had his Concession, which was a tract of four leagues square; when he failed, the Germans, whom he settled in this country, left it, being too remote. They, on their petition, had lands granted them ten leagues above New Orleans, and which their posterity at present possess.
There are no more settlements or posts near the banks of the Missisippi, until we come to Cascasquias,which is three hundred and seventy leagues from the sea, but generally called four hundred; it lies in the latitude 37° 43' north, and is the first village in the country of the Illinois.
THE village of Notre Dame de Cascasquias is by far the most considerable settlement in the country of the Illinois, as well from its number of inhabitants, as from its advantageous situation; it stands on the side of a small river, which is about eighty yards across; its source lies north-east, about sixty leagues from the village, and fifteen leagues east of the remarkable rock of Peorya
43of stone, and, considering this part of the world, make a very good appearance. The jesuits plantation consisted of two hundred and forty arpens of cultivated land, a very good stock of cattle, and a brewery; which was sold by the French commandant, after the country was ceded to the English, for the crown, in consequence of the suppression of the order. Mons. Beauvais was the purchaser, who is the richest of the English subjects in this country; he keeps eighty slaves; he furnished eighty-six thousand weight of flour to the king's magazine, which was only a part of the harvest he reaped in one year. Sixty-five families reside in this village, besides merchants, other casual people, and slaves. The fort, which was burnt down in October 1766, stood on the summit of a high rock opposite the village, and on the other side of the river; it was an oblongular quadrangle, of which the exterior polygon measured two hundred and ninety by two hundred and fifty-one feet; it was built of very thick squared timber, and dove-tailed at the angles. An officer and twenty soldiers are quartered in the village. The officer governs the inhabitants, under the direction of the commandant at Fort Chartres. Here are also two companies of militia.
La Praire de Rochés.
LA PRAIRIE DE ROCHÉS is about seventeen miles from Cascasquias,; it is a small village, consisting of twelve dwelling-houses, all which are inhabited by as many families; here is a little chapel, formerly a chapel of ease to the church at Fort de Chartres. The inhabitants here are very industrious, and raise a great deal of corn and every kind of stock. This village is two miles from Fort Chartres; it takes its name from its situation, being built under a rock that runs parallel with the river Missisippi at a league distance, for forty leagues up. Here is a company of militia, the captain of which regulates the police of the village.
Fort Chartres when it belonged to France was the seat of government of the Illinois; the head quarters of the English commanding officer is now here, who is, in fact, the arbitrary governor of this country. The fort is an irregular quadrangle, the sides of the exterior polygon are four hundred and ninety feet; it is built of stone and plaistered over, and is only designed as a defence against the Indians, the walls being two feet two inches thick, and pierced with loop-holes at regular distances, and with two portholes for cannon in the faces, and two in the flanks of each bastion; the ditch has never been finished; the entrance to the fort is through a very handsome rustic gate: within the wall is a small banquette, raised three feet, for the men to stand on when they fire through the loop-holes. The buildings within the fort are, the commandant's and commissary's houses, the magazine of stores, corps de garde, and two barracks; these occupy the square. Within the gorges of the bastions are, a powder magazine, a bakehouse, a prison, in the lower floor of which are four dungeons, and in the upper two rooms, and an out-house belonging to the commandant. The commandant's house is thirty-two yards long, and ten broad; it contains a kitchen, a dining-room, a bed-chamber, one small room, five closets for servants, and a cellar. The commissary's house (now occupied by officers) is built in the same line as this, its proportions and distribution of apartments are the same. Opposite these are the store-house and guard-house, they are each thirty yards long and eight broad; the former consists of two large store-rooms (under which is a large vaulted cellar) and a large room, a bed-chamber, and a closet for the store-keeper; the latter, of a soldier's and officer's guard-rooms, a chapel, a bed-chamber and closet for the chaplain, and an artillery store-room. The lines of
46barracks have never been finished; they at present consist of two rooms each, for officers, and three rooms for soldiers; they are good spacious rooms of twenty-two feet square, and have betwixt them a small passage. There are fine spacious lofts over each building which reach from end to end; these are made use of to lodge regimental stores, working and intrenching tools, &c. It is generally allowed that this is the most commodious and best built fort in North America. The bank of the Missisippi, next the fort, is continually falling in, being worn away by the current, which has been turned from its course by a sand-bank, now encreased to a considerable island covered with willows: many experiments have been tried to stop this growing evil, but to no purpose. When the fort was began in the year 1756, it was a good half mile from the water-side; in the year 1766 it was but eighty paces; eight years ago the river was fordable to the island, the channel is now forty feet deep. In the year 1764 there were about forty families in the village near the fort, and a parish church, served by a Franciscan friar, dedicated to St. Anne. In the following year, when the English took possession of the country, they abandoned their houses, except three or four poor families, and settled at the villages on the west side of the Missisippi, chusing to continue under the French government.
SAINT PHILIPPE is a small village about five miles from Fort Chartres, in the road to Kaoquias; there are about sixteen houses and a small church standing; all the inhabitants, except the captain of militia, deserted it in 1765, and went to the French side: the captain of militia has about twenty slaves, a good stock of cattle, and a water-mill for corn and planks. This village stands in a very fine meadow, about one mile from the Missisippi.
THE village of Sainte Famille de Kaoquias is generally reckoned fifteen leagues from Fort Chartres, and six leagues below the mouth of the river Missoury; it stands near the side of the Missisippi, and is masked from the river by an island of two leagues long; the village is opposite the center of this island; it is long and straggling, being three quarters of a mile from one end to the other; it contains forty-five dwelling-houses, and a church near its center. The situation is not well chosen, as in the floods it is generally overflowed two or three feet. This was the first settlement on the river Missisippi. The land was purchased of the savages by a few Canadians, some of whom married women of the Kaoquias nation, and others brought wives from Canada, and then resided there, leaving their children to succeed them. The inhabitants of this place depend more on hunting, and their Indian trade, than on agriculture, as they scarcely raise corn enough for their own consumption: they have a great deal of poultry and good stocks of horned cattle. The mission of St. Sulpice had a very fine plantation here, and an excellent house built on it; they sold this estate, and a very good mill for corn and planks, to a Frenchman who chose to remain under the English government. They also disposed of thirty negroes and a good stock of cattle to different people in the country, and returned to France in the year 1764. What is called the fort is a small house standing in the center of the village; it differs in nothing from the other houses except in being one of the poorest; it was formerly enclosed with high pallisades, but these were torn down and burnt. Indeed a fort at this place could be of but little use.
Sainte Louis, or Paincourt.
THIS village is one league and a half above Kaoquias, on the west side of the Missisippi, being the present head quarters of the French in these parts. It was first established in the year 1764, by a company of merchants, to whom Mons. D'Abbadie had given an exclusive grant for the commerce with the Indian nations on the river Missoury; and for the security and encouragement of this settlement, the staff of French officers and the commissary were ordered to remove there, upon the rendering Fort Chartres to the English; and great encouragement was given to the inhabitants to remove with them, most of whom did. The company has built a large house, and stores here, and there are about forty private houses, and as many families. No fort or barracks are yet built. The French garrison consists of a captain-commandant, two lieutenants, a fort-major, one serjeant, one corporal, and twenty men.
Sainte Genevieuve, or Misere.
THE first settlers of this village removed about twenty-eight years ago from Cascasquias,: the goodness of the soil and the plentiful harvests they reaped made them perfectly satisfied with the place they had chosen. The situation of the village is very convenient, being within one league of the salt spring, which is for the general use of the French subjects, and several persons belonging to this village have works here, and make great quantities of salt for the supply of the Indians, hunters, and the other settlements. A lead mine, which supplies the whole country with shot, is about fifteen leagues distance. The communication of this village with Cascasquias is very short and easy, it being only to cross the Missisippi, which is about three quarters of a mile broad at this place, and then there is a portage, two miles distance, to Cascasquias. This cuts off eighteen miles by water, six down the river Cascasquias and twelve up the Missisippi. The village of St. Louis is supplied with flour and other provisions from hence. An officer appointed by the French commandant has the entire regulation of the police. Here is a company of militia, commanded by a Mons. Valet, who resides at this place, and is the richest inhabitant of the country of the Illinois; he raises great quantities of corn and provisions of every kind; he has one hundred negroes, besides hired white people, constantly employed. The village is about one mile in length and contains about seventy families. Here is a very fine water-mill, for corn and planks, belonging to Mons. Valet.
Of the Country of the Illinois.
THE country of the Illinois is bounded by the Missisippi on the west, by the river Illinois on the north, by the rivers Ouabache and Miamis on the east, and the Ohio on the south.
The air in general is pure, and the sky serene, except in the month of March and the latter end of September, when there are heavy rains and hard gales of wind. The months of May, June, July, and August, are excessive hot, and subject to sudden and violent storms; January and February are extremely cold; the other months of the year are moderate. The principal Indian nations in this country are, the Cascasquias, Kaoquias, Mitchigamias, and Peoryas; these four tribes are generally called the Illinois Indians: except in the hunting seasons, they reside near the English settlements in this country, where they have built their huts. They are a poor, debauched, and dastardly people. They count about three hundred and fifty warriors. The Peanquichas, Mascoutins, Miamis, Kickapous, and Pyatonons, though not very numerous, are a brave and warlike people. The soil of this country in general is very rich and luxuriant; it produces all sorts of European grains, hops, hemp, flax, cotton, and tobacco, and European fruits come to great perfection. The inhabitants make wine of the wild grapes, which is very inebriating, and is, in colour and taste, very like the red wine of Provence. The country abounds with buffalo, deer, and wild-fowl, particularly ducks, geese, swans, turkies, and pheasants. The rivers and lakes afford plenty of fish.
In the late wars, New Orleans and the lower parts of Louisiana were supplied with flour, beer, wines, hams, and other provisions from this country: at present its commerce is mostly confined to the peltry and furs, which are got in traffic from the Indians; for which are received in return such European commodities as are necessary to carry on that commerce and the support of the inhabitants.
Of the Government of the Country of Illinois, When Belonging to the French.
THIS country, when in possession of the French, was governed by a military officer, called the major-commandant, who was appointed by the governor of New Orleans; he was always a man connected with the governor by interest or relationship; he was absolute in his authority, except in matters of life and death; capital offences were tried by the council at New Orleans: the whole Indian trade was so much in the power of the commandant, that nobody was permitted to be concerned in it, but on condition of giving him part of the profits. Whenever he made presents to the Indians, in the name of his king, he received peltry and furs in return; as the presents he gave were to be considered as marks of his favour and love for them, so the returns they made were to be regarded as proofs of their attachment to him. Speeches accompanied by presents were called paroles de valeur; any Indians who came to a French post were subsisted at the expence of the king during their stay, and the swelling this account was no inconsiderable emolument.
As every business the commandant had with the Indians was attended with certain profit, it is not surprising that he spared no pains to gain their affections; and he made it equally the interest of the officers under him to please them, by permitting them to
54trade, and making them his agents in the Indian countries. If any person brought goods within the limits of his jurisdiction, without his particular licence, he would oblige them to sell their merchandise, at a very moderate profit, to the commissary, on the king's account, calling it an emergency of government, and employ the same goods in his own private commerce: it may easily be supposed, from what has been before said, that a complaint to the governor of New Orleans would meet with very little redress. It may be asked, if the inhabitants were not offended at this monopoly of trade and arbitrary proceedings? The commandant could bestow many favours on them, such as giving contracts for furnishing provisions, or performing publick works; by employing them in his trade, or by making their children cadets, who were allowed pay and provisions, and could when they were grown up recommend them for commissions. They were happy if by the most servile and submissive behaviour they could gain his confidence and favour. Every person capable of bearing arms was enrolled in the militia, and a captain of militia and officers were appointed to each parish: the captain of militia regulated corvées and other personal service. From this military form of government the authority of the commandant was almost universal. The commissary was a mere cypher, and rather kept for form than for any real use; he was always a person of low dependence, and never dared counteract the will of the commandant.
Of the Inhabitants.
THE first white inhabitants of the Illinois came from Canada; some brought wives and families with them, others married Indian women in those countries; there is still a continual intercourse between them and the Canadians. The men of these countries are very superstitious and ignorant; they are in general active and well made; they are as good hunters, can bear as much fatigue, and are as well acquainted with the woods, as the Indians; most of them have some knowledge of the dialects of the neighbouring Indians and much affect their manners. The price of labour in general is very high, as most of the young men rather chuse to hunt and trade amongst the Indians, than apply to agriculture or become handicrafts. At the Illinois a man may be boarded and lodged the year round on condition of his working two months, one month in ploughing the land and sowing the corn, and one month in the harvest. The only trades they have amongst them are carpenters, smiths, masons, taylors, and millwrights. The number of white inhabitants in this country, exclusive of the troops, are about two thousand, of all ages and sexes; in this number are included those who live at Fort St. Vincent's, on the Ouabache. Thirty French soldiers were withdrawn from thence in the latter end of the year 1764. The inhabitants at this post live much at their ease, having every thing necessary for their subsistence of their own production. Their commerce is the same as that of the other inhabitants of this country.
Note: For the remainder of the text, the English version appears on odd numbered pages.
L'a rret de la Cour Superieure de la Province Mentioné Å la Page 16.
LOUIS, par la grace de Dieu, roi de France & de Navarre, Å tous ceux qui ces présentes verront, salut: Savoir faisons, que vÅ± par le conseil supérieur de la province de Louisianne, les trÄs-humbles representations faites cejourd'hui Å la cour, par tous les habitans, négocians, artizans, &autres peuples, icelles expositives, que le soulagement d'un peuple dont le conseil est le pere, le maintien des loix dont il est le depositaire & l'interprette, les progrÄs de l'agriculture & du commerce dont il est le protecteur, sont les motifs des representations des dits habitans & negocians, &c. Quels objets pour le conseil! Pourroit-il, aprÄs les avoir envisagez en regarder d'autres, qu'autant qu'ils concourent Å favoriser ceux-lÅ? Qu'il suspende pour quelques momens ses penibles travaux, pour se livrer aux sujets qui sont representés aujourd'hui, comme les plus dignes de son attention & de son ministere: & toi dont le prospérité fait l'objet de nos plus ardens defirs, toi qui es pour nous ce que Sparthe, Athenes, & Rome etoient pour leurs zélés citoyens; O chere patrie! Permets nous d'acquitter une dette legitime en te consacrant ce foible tribut de notre amour ; nos coeurs vont le dicter, une main docile va fe preter é leurs inspirations.
Sept millions de papiers royaux formoient tout le numéraire de cette colonie & la fortune des citoyens; la privation totale de ce capital, dont S. M. suspendit le payement par un arrÄt du mois
Note: For the remainder of the text, the French version appears on even numbered pages.
Arret of the Superior Council of the Province, Referred to in Page 16.
LOUIS, by the grace of God, king of France and of Navarre, to all those who shall see these presents, greeting, We make it known that the superior council of the province of Louisiana, having taken into consideration the humble representations made this day to that court by all the inhabitants, merchants, artisans, and others; and these laying before it, that the relief of a people, to whom the council is a father; the support of the laws, of which it is the depository and interpreter; and the improvement of agriculture and commerce, of which it is the patron, are the motives of the representations of said inhabitants and merchants, &c. What important objects are these for the council! Can it, after having duly considered them, give attention to any other, farther than as they contribute to favour these? Let it for a few moments suspend its labours to attach itself to those subjects, which are now represented as most worthy of its attention and its ministry: and you, whose prosperity is the object of our most ardent wishes; you who are to us what Sparta, Athens, and Rome were to their zealous citizens, O dear country! suffer us to pay a lawful debt, by consecrating to you this weak tribute of our love, a tribute dictated by our hearts, which are seconded by an obedient hand, ready to perform what they inspire.
Seven millions of royal paper made all the currency of this colony, and the fortune of its citizens the total privation of this capital, the payment of which his majesty suspended by an edict of
58d'Octobre 1759, a mis la province de la Louisiane dans la plus deplorable situátion. On n'entreprendra pas de faire un detail des calamités, des renversemens des fortunes, de la ruine des familles qui ont été les suites funestes de cette catastrophe; la cour en a sous les yeux un tableau plus frappant qu'on ne sç auroit le peindre, toutes les fois qu'elle s'assemble pour Ätre les arbitres des malheureuses victimes de cet evénement. Revenus de l'abattement dans lequel ils avoient été plongés, les citoyens de la Louisiane commencoient enfin Å respirer; ils avoient envisagé la fin de la guerre comme la fin de leurs malheurs, & vivoient dans l'esperance que le retour de la paix auroit été le moment destiné pour leur soulagement. L'agriculture, (disoit l'habitant) cette richesse la plus réelle des nations, cette source seconde dont coulent tous les biens dont on jouit, va Ätre animée & restituera au centuple pendant la paix, les pertes que l'on a effuyé pendant la guerre; le commerce, sans lequel les fruits de la terre n'ont ni prix, ni valeur, va Ätre vivisié & protégé (disoit le negociant) douces illusions! Projets flateurs, qu'Ätes vous devenus? Le cultivateur, le commerçant, tous les états de la colonie éprouvent dans la plus profonde paix, des revers & des calamités qu'ils n'avoient point ressenti pendant une longue & cruelle guerre. Le premier coup dont la colonie a été frappé est la nouvelle de la cession que sa majesté en a faite Å l'Espagne; on ne s'étonnera point sans doute, de la profonde tristesse dont cet evénement a pénétré tous les coeurs; les François aiment leur prince par dessus toutes choses, & un heureux préjugé fait pancher naturellement tous les hommes vers le gouvernement dans lequel ils sont nés; jettons une voile sur cet evénement, la plume tombe des mains d'un François quand il veut l'approfondir. Ce qui occupe serieusement aujourd'hui & qui doit aussi fixer toute l'attention de la cour, ce sont les avant-coureurs des chaines dont une nouvelle administration menace les colons de la Louisiane. Tantôt c'est une compagnie exclusive, qui doit au préjudice de la nation, faire le commerce de toutes les possessions qui restent aux
59the month of October, 1759, has reduced the province of Louisiana to the most deplorable situation. We shall not undertake to enter into a detail of the calamities, of the ruined fortunes, of the downfal of families, which were the fatal consequences of that catastrophe; the court has before its eyes a more striking picture of those than it is possible for us to paint, every time it assembles to take cognizance of the unhappy victims of this event. Recovered from the dejection into which they had been plunged, the citizens of Louisiana at last began to take heart. They had considered the conclusion of the war as the end of their misfortunes, and entertained hopes that the return of peace would be the moment destined for their relief. Agriculture, said the inhabitants, that real wealth of a nation, that prolific source from whence flow all the blessings which we enjoy, will now be revived, and will restore a hundred fold during the peace, the losses which we underwent during the war; commerce, without which the fruits of the earth have neither worth nor value, will be revived and encouraged, (said the merchant) pleasing illusions! flattering projects! what is now become of you! The farmer, the dealer, all ranks and classes in the colony, undergo, in the most profound peace, misfortunes and calamities which they never felt during a long and bloody war. The first stroke by which the colony was afflicted, was the information it received of the cession made of it by his majesty to Spain: nobody, doubtless, will be surprised at the profound melancholy which this news excited in all hearts. The French love their monarch above all things, and a happy prejudice makes all men naturally incline to the government under which they are born. Let us cast a veil over this event, the pen drops from the hand of a Frenchman when he attempts to dive into it: what at present seriously occupies and should engross the whole attention of the court, is the apprehension of that slavery with which a new administration threatens the colonies of Louisiana. At one time we behold an exclusive company, which, to the prejudice of the nation, is empowered to carry on all the commerce of the
60François dans l'Amerique Septentrionale; on voit ensuite paroître un arret, qui renferme la liberté necessaire au commerce dans les bornes les plus étroites, & defend aux François toute liaison avec leur propre nation, tout y respire les prohibitions & la gÄne, partout les commerçans de Louisiane trouvent des obstacles Å surmonter, des difficultés Å vaincre & (s'il est permis de se servir de cette expression) des ennemies de la patrie Å combattre. En Europe il s'ecoule quelquefois six mois avant qu'un armateur parvienne Å sçavoir s'il obtiendra un passeport; on n'est pas mieux reçu Å St. Domingue lorsqu'il est question d'expeditions pour ce fleuve. Mr. le Prince Monbazon, général de l'Isle, commence Å les refuser. A la Louisiane dans le centre mÄme de la colonie, oÅ¯ le génie le plus borné voit au premier coup d'oeil combien elle a besoin d'encouragement & de protection, on n'est pas plus favorisé. Le gouvernement defendit il y a prÄs d'un an, l'importation des négres, sous pretexte que la concurrence auroit fait tort Å un négociant des colonies Angloises qui devoit en fournir. Quelle marche effrayante & destructive! C'est priver la colonie de l'aliment le plus propre Å son accroissement; c'est couper les racines d'une branche de commerce qui vaut seule pour la Louisiane plus que toutes les autres réunies: accrediter des semblables sistemes, c'est vouloir convertir en une vaste sorÄt des établissemens qui ont couté des peines & des soins Å l'infini. La vigilance de la cour découvrira facilement la cause de ces contrariétés, les efforts de son zéle la detruiront, & son affection pour la colonie la sauvera du naufrage. La contrainte tient tout dans la langueur & dans la faiblesse, la liberté au contraire anime tout: personne n'ignore aujourd'hui que l'octroi des priveléges exclusifs est Å proprement parler une espece de vampire, qui peu Å peu mine le peuple, tarit le numeraire, écrase l'agriculture, & le commerce; voye oppressive, qui, pour le bonheur de l'humanité, est depuis long-tems bannie des colonies Françoises.
61remaining possessions of the French in North America; we next see an edict make its appearance, which confines the liberty necessary for carrying on commerce within the narrowest bounds, and forbids the French to have any connexion with their own nation; prohibitions and constraint prevail every where ; the merchants of Louisiana every where meet with obstacles to surmount, difficulties to overcome, and (if it be allowable to make use of such an expression) enemies of their country to combat. In Europe there sometimes passes six months, before a person who fits out a vessel knows whether he shall obtain a passport; we have no better success at St. Domingo when expeditions to that river are in question: Prince Monbazon, general of the island, begins to refuse them. In Louisiana, in the very center of the colony, where a person of the meanest genius sees at the very first glance how much it stands in need of encouragement and patronage, we do not meet with more favour. The government almost a twelvemonth ago forbid the importation of negroes, upon pretext that the competition would have hurt a merchant belonging to the English colonies, who was to furnish them. How terrible and how destructive a bargain is this! It is depriving the colony of the food best adapted to its nourishment; it is cutting up by the roots a branch of commerce, which is of more consequence to Louisiana than all the rest put together: to promote systems of this fort is desiring to convert into a vast forest establishments which have cost infinite pains and trouble. The vigilance of the court will easily discover the cause of these contrarieties; the efforts of its zeal will destroy it; and its affection for the colony will save it from destruction. Constraint keeps the affairs of the province in a state of languor and weakness; liberty, on the contrary animates all things: nobody is at present ignorant that the granting of exclusive privileges may be justly considered as a sort of devouring fire, which imperceptibly undermines and consumes the people, drains the currency, and crushes agriculture and commerce; an oppressive method, which, for the honour of humanity, has been long since banished from the French colonies.
62Par quelle fatalité faut-il que la Louisiane seule voie renaître des étincelles d'un feu si devorant. Ce ne sont point ici des terreurs paniques, la cour en demeurera convaincue aprÄs qu'elle aura pris lecture de l'arrÄt dont on a l'honneur de lui presenter l'extrait. On ne balance point Å dire que l'execution du plan qu'il renferme ruineroit la colonie, en portant Å l'agriculture & au commerce les plus dangereuses atteintes. Les colons de la Louisiane despérent d'avance du selut de leur patrie, si les privéléges & exemptions, dont elle a joui jusqu'Å present, ne font maintenus; fi l'exécution de ce fatal arrÄt qui a porté l'allarme & la desolation dans tous les coeurs n'est detournée; si une ordonnance rendue au nom de S. M. C. & publiée Å la Nouvelle Orleans le 6 Septembre 1766, dont on joint ici copie, n'est annullée comme illegale dans tous ses points, & contraire Å l'accroissement de l'agriculture & du commerce: si enfin l'on permettoit que les douces loix sous lesquelles les colons ont vécu jusques Å aujourd'hui fussent violées. On ne doit jamais oublier le discours sublime qu'un magistrat illustre addresse aux législateurs de la terre (voulez-vous dit-il abroger quelque loy, n'y touchez que d'une main tremblante. Observez tant de solemnités, apportez tant de précautions que le peuple en conclut naturellement, que les loix sont bien saintes puisqu'il faut tant de formalités pour les abroger.)
Qu'il est douloureux sans doute pour des François, d'éprouver toutes les rigueurs aux quelles on soumet aujourd'hui leur commerce, pendant qu'une nation étrangere, leur ambitieuse rivale, fait ouvertement & sans trouble le commerce de la colonie au prejudice de la nation Å qui elle appartient, qui a contribué Å son établissement & qui en fait les fraix: on ne craint point qu'on objecte que les François seuls, ne sont point en état de fournir le continent de ses besoins; un prÄt de sept millions que les citoyens de la Louisiane ont fait au roi, depuis l'année 1758, jusqu'en 1763, sera
63To what fatality is it owing that Louisiana alone sees sparks of this devouring fire again struck out? These are not panick terrors, and this the court will be convinced of, after perusing the sentence, an extract of which we have here the honour of presenting them with. We shall not scruple to affirm, that the carrying the plan which it contains into execution, would ruin the colony, by giving agriculture and commerce the most dangerous wounds. The inhabitants of Louisiana despair beforehand of the preservation of their country, if the privileges and exemptions which it has hitherto enjoyed are not continued; if the execution of this fatal decree, which has alarmed all hearts and filled them with consternation, is not prevented; if an ordonnance published in the name of his Catholic majesty at New Orleans on the 6th of September 1766, of which a copy is here subjoined, is not annulled, as illegal in all these points, and an obstruction to the increase of agriculture and commerce; if in fine the mild laws, under which the inhabitants have lived till now, were suffered to be violated. We should never forget the sublime discourse, which a renowned magistrate addresses to the legislators of the earth "Are you, says he, desirous of abrogating any law, touch it with a trembling hand. Observe so many formalities, have recourse to so many enquiries, that the people may naturally conclude that the laws are sacred, since so many precautions are required in the abrogation of them."
We will likewise, without hesitation, affirm that it is a high mortification for Frenchmen to suffer all the rigours to which their commerce is subjected, whilst a foreign nation, their ambitious rival, openly carries on the trade of the colony, to the prejudice of the nation to which it belongs, which contributed to its establishment, and which is at the expence of it: we do not fear that it will be objected, that the French alone are not able to supply the continent with all the commodities which they want; a loan of seven millions, which the inhabitants of Louisiana have made the king since the year 1758 to 1763, will be an eternal monument
64un monument éternel de l'étendue du commerce François & de l'attachment des colons pour le service de leur souverain.
Que c'est au moment qu'une nouvelle Mine vient d'Ätre decouverte, que le cotton dont la culture assurée par l'experience, promet au cultivateur la recompense de ses travaux, & Å l'armateur le chargement de ses navires, que la fabrique de l'indigo peut aller de pair avec celle de Saint Domingue, que le commerce des pelleteries est poussé au plus haut point oú il soit encore parvenu, c'est dans ces heureuses circonstances que quelques ennemis de la patrie & créateurs d'un faux sisteme, ont sans doute surpris la religion des personnes en place, pour sacrifier les habitans de la Nouvelle Orleans. Que la cour ne renvoye pas Å des tems plus éloignés le soulagement d'un peuple qui lui est cher; qu'elle fasse connoître aux personnes revétues de l'autorité royale, l'épuisement ou seroit reduite cette province si elle n'étoit point desormais affranchie des prohibitions qui la plongeroit dans une ruine irremédiable; que pense-roit-on d'un médecin, qui ayant le remede universel attendroit une peste pour s'en servir. Que c'est Å la faveur de la navigation des isles du vent, & sous le vent, que les habitans de la Louisiane trouvent chaque année le debit de quatre-vingt Å cent cargaisons de bois ; qu'on ôte cette branche de commerce, on prive la colonle d'un revenu annuel de cinq cent mille livres au moins, somme que le travail seul des négres & l'application du maître produit sans autre mise dehors. Qu'il vaudroit mieux, suivant un fameux auteur, perdre dans un grand royaume cent mille hommes par une faute de politique, que d'en commettre une qui arrÄte le cours de l'agriculture & du commerce: que l'on sçait que ceux qui présentent des projets pour obtenir des privéléges exclusifs, ne manquent jamais de raisons plausibles pour les faire paroitre oeconomiques & avantageux, soit au roi, soit au public ; mais l'experience de tous les fiécles & de tous les lieux démontre evidemment
65of the extent of the French commerce, and of the attachment of the people of the colonies to their sovereign's service.
It is just at the instant that a new mine has been discovered, when the culture of cotton, improved by experience, promises the planter the recompense of his toil, and the person who is concerned in fitting out vessels, cargoes to load them; when the manufacture of indigo may vie with that of St. Dominico; when the fur trade has been carried to the highest degree of perfection; it is in these happy circumstances that certain enemies to their country, and broachers of a false system, have doubtless drawn in persons in public office to sacrifice the inhabitants of New Orleans. The court should not longer defer the relief of a people which is dear to it; it should make known to those invested with royal authority the exhausted state to which this province would be reduced, if it was not for the time to come freed from the prohibitions, which would plunge it into irremediable ruin. What should we think of a physician, who being possessed of the panacea, or universal remedy, should wait for a plague in order to apply it? It is by the trade to the Leeward Islands that the inhabitants of Louisiana find means every year to dispose of fourscore or a hundred loads of wood; if this branch of trade was to be taken away, the colony would be deprived of an annual income of 300,000 livres at least, a sum which the work of the negroes and the application of the master produces alone, without any foreign assistance. According to the observation of a celebrated author, it would be better to lose a hundred thousand men in a great kingdom by an error in politicks, than to be guilty of one which should slop the progress of agriculture and commerce. It is well known that those who present plans to obtain exclusive privileges, are never without plausible reasons to make them appear saving and advantageous, as well to the king as the public; but the experience of all ages and all countries evidently demonstrates, that those who seek exclusions,
66que ceux qui sollicitent des exclusions ont uniquement en vue leur intérÄt particulier; qu'ils sont moins zelés que les autres pour le bien de l'état & moins bons patriotes. Que l'execution de l'arrÄt pour le commerce de la Louisiane réduiroit les habitans Å l'affligeante alternative, ou de perdre leurs recoltes, faute de navires pour en faire l'exportation, ou de changer leurs denrées en fraude avec une nation étrangere, en s'exposant Å subir la rigueur de la loi qui prononce la perte des biens & de la liberté contre les contrebandistes ; quelle vie! & quel combat! Qu'il n'est que trop vrai comme on l'a déja observé, que le bruit seul de la nouvelle ordonnance a causé une diminution considerable, non seulement sur les objets de luxe, mais aussi fur les biens fonds. Une maison qui valoit ci-devant vingt mille livres auroit de la peine aujourd'hui d'en produire cinq; on dira peut-Ätre que la rareté de l'argent contribue aussi Å cette diminution, mais combien sera plus grande la disette des espéces, lorsque la colonie se verra livrée, soit Å une compagnie exclusive, soit Å l'ambition de cinq Å fix particuliers qui ne forment qu'une masse? Ce sera alors un membre qui s'accroitra monstrueusement aux depens de la substance des autres qui deviendront secs, & paralitiques; le corps se verra par lÅ menacé d'une destruction totale: que ce n'a été qu'en favorisant ouvertement l'introduction des négres que l'on étoit parvenu Å mettre cette colonie dans l'embonpoint, ou l'on l'a vue en 1759. Qu'on dira peut-Ätre, pour diffiper les allarmes, que l'or & l'argent qui s'est repandu sur la place, au moyen d'une nouvelle administration, pourra dédommager des pertes de l'agriculture, & du commerce, mais qu'a juger de l'avenir par l'experience du passé & du présent, on trouvera cette ressource bien foible, personne n'ignorant d'ailleurs que, parmi les différens trésors que la terre renferme dans son sein, l'or & l'argent ne font ni les premieres richesses, ni les plus desirables, ces matieres ont reduit dans un état déplorable leurs possesseurs naturels & les maîtres de ces esclaves ne sont pas devenus plus puissants. Il semble que dÄs le moment ils ayent perdu tout esprit d'industrie, tout
67have their private interest solely in view; that they have less zeal than others for the prosperity of the state, and have less of the spirit of patriotism. The execution of the decree with regard to the commerce of Louisiana, would reduce the inhabitants to the sad alternative of either losing their harvests for want of vessels to export them, or to exchange their commodities in a fraudulent manner with a foreign nation, exposing themselves to undergo the rigour of the law, which ordains that those who carry on a contraband trade shall lose both their lives and liberties. What a life is this! what a struggle! It is but too true, as has been already observed, that the report of the new ordinance alone has caused a considerable diminution, not only in the articles of luxury, but likewise in landed estates. A house which was heretofore worth twenty thousand livres would hardly sell for five thousand: some will, perhaps, assert that the scarcity of money contributes likewise to this diminution; but how much greater will be the scarcity of specie, when the colony shall either be delivered up to an exclusive company, or to the ambition of five or six individuals, who form but one body? It will resemble a member grown to a monstrous bulk at the expence of the substance of the rest, which would become withered and paralytic; the body would thereby find itself threatened with a total destruction: it was only by openly favouring the introduction of negroes that this colony was raised to the flourishing state which it appeared to have attained in 1759. Perhaps it will be said, to dispel these alarms, that the gold and silver which has been made to abound in the place by a new administration, may indemnify for the losses of agriculture and commerce; but to judge of the future by the experience of the past and the present, that resource will be found to be very weak, as nobody can be ignorant, that amongst the various treasures which the earth contains in its bosom, gold and silver are neither the chief riches nor the most desirable; these metals have reduced their natural possessors to a deplorable state, and the masters of those slaves are not thereby become more powerful. They appear from that moment to have lost all spirit and industry, all disposition
68aptitude au travail, comme un laboureur qui trouveroit un tréfor au milieu de son champ abandoneroit pour toujours la charrue; que d'ailleurs combien d'actes de rigueur n'ont pas été exercées contre des paisibles citoyens par un étranger, qui, quoique revétu d'un caractére respectable, n'a satisfait Å aucuns des formalités ni Å aucuns des devoirs prescrits par l'acte de cession, leur objet de tranquilité. On citera un ancien capitaine qui a été detenu, par ses ordres, aux arrÄts & son navire dans le port pendant l'espace de huit Å dix mois, pour n'avoir pas sçu lire dans les decrets de la providence que le bâteau dans lequel il avoit envoyé des paquets qu'on lui avoit confié, feroit naufrage. Une semblable tyrannie a été exercée par le dépositaire de cette mÄme autorité informe & illegale, envers deux capitaines de la Martinique qui n'avoient commis d'autre crime, que celui de n'avoir pas deviné que le conseil de la Louisiane avoit rendu un arrÄt qui interdisoit l'entrée des négres créolisés des Isles du Vent & sous le Vent: quel traitement un ancien citoyen n'a-t-il pas essuyé Å l'occasion d'un paquet qui avoit été remis au capitaine de son navire, & qui ayant été contrarié par les vents, n'a pÅ± le remettre Å la Havanne? Comment décrira-t-on l'inhumanité avec laquelle ont été ménés les Accadiens? Ce peuple, le jouet des evénemens, s'est déterminé, par un esprit patriotique, d'abandonner tout ce qu'il pouvoit posseder sur les terres Angloises pour venir vivre sous les heureuses loix de leur ancien maître: ils sont arrivés Å grand fraix dans cette colonie; Å peine sont-ils parvenus Å deffricher l'emplacement necessaire Å une pauvre chaumiere que, sur quelques representations qu'ils ont voulu faire Å M. Ulloa, il les a menacé de les chasser de la colonie & de les faire vendre comme des esclaves pour payer les rations que le roi leur avoit donné, en enjoignant aux Allemands de leur refuser retraite. On laisse Å décider, si cette conduite ne tient point de la barbarie; mais on croit pouvoir conclure, sans rien exagérer, qu'elle est diametralement opposée au sisteme politique qui veut que l'on
69to work; like a labourer who should find a treasure in the midst of his field, and thereupon forsake his plough for ever. Besides, how many acts of severity have been exercised against peaceable citizens by a stranger; who, though invested with a respectable character, has observed none of the formalities, nor performed any of the duties prescribed by the act of cession, their object of tranquility. We shall mention an old captain of a ship who was confined by his orders, and his vessel detained in the port during eight or ten months, for not having been able to read in the decrees of providence, that the vessel in which he had dispatched certain packets entrusted to his care would be cast away. A similar tyranny was exercised by the person invested with this illegal and unjust authority, against two captains belonging to Martinico, who had been guilty of no other crime but that of not having guessed that the council of Louisiana had issued an edict, which forbid the entrance of the negroes naturalized amongst the Creolians into the Leeward Islands. What ill usage has an old citizen suffered upon account of a pacquet, which had been put into the hands of the captain of one of his ships, who, having met with contrary winds, was unable to deliver it at the Havannah? How shall we describe the barbarity with which the people of Accadia were treated? This people, the sport of fortune, were determined, by a patriotic spirit, to forsake all they might be possessed of upon the English territories, in order to go to live under the happy laws of their ancient master : they arrived in this colony at a great expence, and scarce had they cleared out a place sufficient for a poor thatched hut to stand upon, when in consequence of some representations, which they happened to make to Mr. Ulloa, he threatened to drive them out of the colony, and have them sold for slaves, to pay the rations which the king had given them, at the same time directing the Germans to refuse them a retreat. The court is left to determine whether this conduct does not border upon barbarism; but we think we may take upon us to conclude that it is diametrically opposite to the political system, which directs us to promote every
70favorise toutes les branches de populationes. Ceux qui se plaignent, & quel homme assez anéanti sous le joug peut essuyer sans murmure de telles inhumanités? Oui, on l'ose dire, ceux qui se plaignent sont menacés d'Ätre emprisonnés, exilés Å la Balises, & envoyés aux mines. Que si M. Ulloa a été revétu de quelque autorité, son prince ne lui a jamais ordonné de la rendre tirannique, ni de l'exercer avant d'avoir fait connoître ses titres & fes pouvoirs. De telles vexations ne sont pas l'ouyrage des coeurs des rois, elles s'accordent peu avec l'humanité qui fait leur caractére & qui dirige leurs actions: qu'on n e finiroit point si on entreprenoit le detail de toutes les humiliations que les François de la Nouvelle Orleans ont éprouvé. Il est Å desirer, pour l'honneur de la nation, que ce qui a pÅ± en transpirer puisse Ätre effacé par les precieux effets de la protection du conseil supérieur que l'on reclame aujourd'hui, & que pour mettre le comble Å tant de tribulations on leur predit, qu'avec le tems, on reduira les colons de la Louisiane Å la simple nourriture de la tortilla, tandis que l'aliment le plus sobre ne fera jamais leur peine. Que cependant le conservation de leurs jours, leurs obligations envers leurs créanciers, leur honneur émanant du patriotisme & de leur devoir, leurs fortunes enfin se trouvant attaquées par le dit décret, les portent Å offrir leurs biens & leur sang pour conserver Å jamais le doux & inviolable titre de citoyen François. Que tout cet exposé les conduit naturellement Å des conclusions auxquelles le zéle de la cour pour le bien public, sa fermeté pour le maintien des loix dont S. M. T. C. l'a établie depositaire, les assure qu'elle fera l'accueil le plus favorable. Mais avant d'entrer dans ces conclusions ils doivent rendre homage aux bontés de M. Aubry. Les voeux du public se sont toujours accordés avec le choix du prince Å lui donner le commandement en chef de la Louisiane, ses vertus lui ont fait décerner le titre d'honnÄte homme & de gouverneur equitable: il n'a jamais usé de ses pouvoirs que pour faire le bien, &
71branch of population. Those who complain, (and who is there so far broke to the yoke as to bear without murmuring such horrid inhumanities?) yes, we dare to declare it, those who complain are threatened with imprisonment, banished to Balises, and sent to the mines. Now, though Mr. Ulloa might have been invested with some authority, his prince never commanded him to exert it in a tyrannical manner, nor to exercise it before he had made known his titles and his powers. Such oppressions are not dictated by the hearts of kings; they agree but ill with that humanity which constitutes their character and directs their actions. We should hardly ever make an end, were we to enter into a detail of all the mortifications which the French of New Orleans have undergone. It were to be wished for the honour of the nation, that as many of them as have transpired might be obliterated by the precious effects of the protection of the superior court, which is now applied for, and that to render so much tribulation complete, it should be fortold to them, that in time the inhabitants of Louisiana will be reduced to live upon turtle alone, whilst the most frugal sort of food will now be a punishment to them. In the mean time, the preservation of their lives, their obligations to their creditors, their honour, which is the result of patriotism and of their duty, in fine, their very fortune being attacked by the said decree, reduce them to offer their possessions and their blood to preserve for ever the clear and inviolable title of Frenchmen. All that has hitherto been said leads them naturally to make demands or requests to which the zeal for the public good, its steddiness in supporting the laws which his most christian majesty has made them the depositories of, assures them that it will give the most favourable reception. But before they proceed to these demands, they must pay their homage to the goodness of Mons. Aubry. The wishes of the public have always corresponded with the choice of the prince in assigning him the chief command over the province of Louisiana; his virtues have caused the titles of honest man and equitable governor to be adjudged him; he never made use of his power but to do good, and all
72tout ce qui a été injuste lui a toujours paru impossible. Qu'ils ne craignent point qu'on ait Å leur reprocher que la reconnoissance les ait fait exagérer en quelques choses: negliger des louanges meritées, c'est voler une dette legitime, & concluent ensin en suppliant le cour,
1. D'obtenir que les privéléges & exemptions dont la colonie a joui, depuis la retrocession que la compagnie en fit Å S. M. T. C. soient maintenus sans qu'aucune innovation puisse en arrÄter le cours, & troubler la sureté des citoyens.
2. Qu'il soit accordé des passeports, congés & permissions emanant de messieurs le gouverneur & commissaire de S. M. T. C. aux capitaines de navires qui s'expedieront de cette colonie pour tel port de France & de l'Amerique que ce puisse Ätre.
3. Que tout bâtiment expédié de tel port de France & de l'Amerique que ce puisse Ätre, aura l'entrée libre du fleuve; soit qu'il vienne directement pour cette colonie, ou qu'il y aborde de Relâche, afin que cela s'est toujours pratiqué.
4. Que la liberté du commerce avec toutes les nations qui sont sous la domination de S. M. T. C. soit accordé Å tous les citoyens, en conformité des ordres du roi Å feu M. D'Abbadie, enrégistrés au greffe de cette ville, & conformément aussi Å la lettre de monseigneur le duc de Choiseuil au mÄme M. D'Abbadie, en datte du 9 Fevrier 1766.
5. Que M. Ulloa soit declaré infractaire & usurpateur, en plusieurs points, de l'autorité dévolue au gouvernement & au conseil, puisque toutes les loix, ordonnances & coutumes, veulent que cette autorité ne soit exercée par aucun officier, qu'aprés qu'il aura rempli toutes les formalités prescrites, & c'est Å quoi M. Ulloa
73unjust deeds have to him ever appeared impossible. They are not afraid of being reproached that gratitude has made them exaggerate in any particular: to neglect deserved praises is to keep back a lawful debt, and they conclude, in fine, by intreating the court,
1. To obtain that the privileges and exemptions, which the colony has enjoyed since the cession, which the company made to his most christian majesty, should be supported without any innovations being suffered to interrupt their course and disturb the security and quiet enjoyment of the citizens.
2. That passports and permissions should be granted from the governors and commissioners of his most christian majesty, to such captains of vessels as shall set sail from this colony to any ports of France or America whatever.
3. That any ship which sails from any port of France or America whatever, shall have free entrance into the river, whether it sail directly for the colony, or only put into it occasionally, as has been always observed.
4. That the freedom of trade with the several nations under the government of his most christian majesty, shall be granted to all the citizens, in conformity to the king's orders to the late Mr. D'Abbadie, registered at the secretary's office of this city, and likewise in conformity to the letter of his grace the duke de Choiseuil, addressed to the same Mr. D'Abbadie, and dated the 9th of February 1766.
5. That Mr. Ulloa shall be declared to have, in many points, infringed and usurped the authority which had devolved to the government and the council, because all the laws, ordonances, and customs, direct, that the said authority shall not be exercised by any officer, till he shall have performed all the formalities prescribed;
74n'a point satisfait; pourquoi, il doit Ätre declaré infractaire & usurpateur, 1. Pour avoir fait arborer pavilion Espagnol en plusieurs endroits de la colonie, sans avoir préalablement montré & fait enrégistrer au conseil, les titres & pouvoirs dont il a pÅ± Ätre munis & que les citoyens assemblés ayent pÅ± en Ätre informés. 2. Pour avoir, de son chef & autorité privée, exigé que des capitaines de navires fussent détenus & leurs batimens dans le port sans aucun fondement & pour avoir faire mettre aux arrÄts Å bord d'une fregate Espagnole des citoyens François. 3. Pour avoir fait tenir des conseils, dans la maison du sieur Detrehan, par des officiers Espagnols, dans lesquels il a été rendu des arrÄts concernant les citoyens de la Louisiane; & demandent, qu'en vertu de tous ces griefs & tant d'autres de notoriété publique & aussi pour la tranquilité de tous les citoyens qui reclament la protection du conseil, ils soient affranchis desormais de la crainte d'une autorité tiranique & des conditions portées par le dit décret, au moyen de l'éloignement de M. Ulloa, auquel il doit Ätre enjoint de s'embarquer, dans le premier batiment qui partira, pour se rendre oÅ¯ bon lui semblera, hors de la dependance de cette province.
6. Qu'il foit ordonné Å tous les officiers Espagnols, qui sont dans cette ville ou repandus dans les postes dépendans de la colonie, d'en sortir pour se rendre également lÅ ou ils jugeront Å propos, hors de la dependence de la dite province, & qu'enfin il plaise Å la cour, ordonner que l'arrÄt Å intervenir sera lÅ±, publié & affiché dans tous les lieux & endroits accoutumés de cette ville & copies collationées envoyées dans tous les postes de la dite colonie. Les dites représentations sont signées par cinq cent trente sx personnes, habitans, négotians, marchands, & notables. VÅ± aussi la copie du décret publié par ordre de S. M. C. non signée, ni dattée, autre copie d'une
75and this condition Mr. Ulloa has not complied with. He should therefore be declared to have infringed and usurped the authority of the government; l. For having caused Spanish colours to be set up in several parts of the colony, without having previously caused to be registered in the council books, the titles and powers which he might have received, and of which the assembly of the citizens might have been informed. 2. For having of his own accord, and by his own private authority, insisted upon captains of vessels being detained with their ships in the port without any cause, and for having ordered subjects of France to be confined aboard a Spanish frigate. 3. For having caused councils to be held in the house of Mr. Detrehan by Spanish officers, in which decrees were issued concerning the inhabitants of Louisiana. And they request, that on account of these grievances, and many others publickly known, and likewise for the tranquility of all the citizens who apply for the patronage of the council, they shall for the time to come be freed from the fear of a tyrannical authority, and exempted from observing the conditions enjoined by the said decree, by means of the dismission of Mr. Ulloa, who should be ordered to embark aboard the first vessel which shall set sail, in order to depart, whenever he thinks proper, out of the countries depending upon this province.
6. That orders shall be given to all the Spanish officers who are in this city, or scattered up and down at the ports depending upon the colony, to quit them, in order to repair likewise, whenever they shall think proper, out of the dependencies of the province; and, finally, that the court would be pleased to order that the decree shall be read, published, and set up, in all the usual places of this city, and collated copies sent to all the posts of the said colony. The said representations signed by five hundred and thirty-six inhabitants, eminent merchants and dealers. On account, likewise, of the copy of the decree, published by orders of his catholic majesty, neither signed nor dated, and of another copy of an
76ordonnance publiée en cette ville par ordre de M. Ulloa, du 6 Septembre 1766, l'arrÄt interlocutoire rendu le jour d'hier sur le requisitoire de M. le procureur general du roi, portant & ordonnant avant dire droit, que les dites représentations seroient mises entre les mains de messieurs, Mtre Uchet, écuyer, sieur de Knion, & Piot Delaunay, conseillers titulaires, pour Ätre par eux examinées & ensuite communiquées messieurs les gens du roi, pour Ätre requis & ordonné ce qu'il appartiendra de droit ; le tout vÅ±, M. le procureur general du roi s'est levé & remis, a dit,
"Le premier point le plus intéressant Å examiner, est la demarche de tous les habitans & negocians unis, qui dans leur servitude préparée, & leurs malheurs démontrés, s'addressent Å votre tribunal & vous demandent justice des infractions faites Å l'acte solemnel de cession de cette colonie: votre tribunal est-il compétant? Sont-ils fondés? Je vais prouver l'étendue de l'autorité royale déférée au conseil supérieur. Les parlemens & les conseils superieurs sont les dépositaires des loix Å l'abri desquels les peuples vivent heureux; sont protecteurs nés par état des vertueux citoyens, & sont établis pour faire exécuter les ordonnances, édits, & déclarations, des rois aprÄs leur enrégistrement: telle a été la volonté de Louis le bien-aimé, notre seigneur roi, & au nom duquel tous vos arrÄts jusqu'Å ce jour, ont été rendus & mis Å exécution. L'acte de cession, seul titre dont le commissaire de S. M. C. puisse se prevaloir pour réclamer autorité & propriété fut addressé Å défunt M. D'Abbadie, avec ordre de le faire enrégistrer au conseil supérieur de la colonie, afin que les différens états de la dite colonie soient informés de son contenu & qu'ils puissent y avoir recours au besoin, la présente n'étant Å autres
77ordonance published in this city, by order of Mr. Ulloa, of the 6th of September 1766, the interlocutory decree issued yesterday, upon the requisition of the king's attorney-general, orders and directs, that before the decision of the court, the said representations shall be put into the hands of Messrs. Attre Uchet, esquire, lord of Knion, and Piot Delaunay, titular counsellors, to be by them examined, and afterwards communicated to the king's council; that what the law directs may be enacted concerning them. All these particulars being taken into consideration, the king's attorney-general stood up and said,
"The first and most interesting point to be examined is the step taken by all the inhabitants and merchants in concert, who, being threatened with slavery, and labouring under grievances which have been enumerated, address your tribunal, and require justice for the violations of the solemn act of the cession of that colony. Is your's a competent tribunal? Are these complaints just? I shall now shew the extent of the royal authority vested in the superior council. The parliaments and superior council are the depositaries of the laws, under the protection of which the people live happily; they are, by their rank and dignity the patrons of virtuous citizens, and they are established for the purpose of executing the ordonances, edicts, and declarations of kings after they are registered. Such was the will and pleasure of Lewis the well-beloved, our sovereign lord, in whose name all your decrees to the present day have been issued out and carried into execution. The act of cession, the only title of which his catholic majesty's commissary can avail himself, to make his demands auctoritate & proprietate, was addressed to the late Mr. D'Abbadie, with orders to cause it to be registered in the superior council of the colony, to the end that the different classes of the said colony may be informed of its contents, and may be enabled to have recourse to it upon occasion;
78fins. La lettre de M. Ulloa dattée de la Havanne du 10 Juillet 1765, qui caractérise ses desirs de rendre Å messieurs les habitans tous les services qu'ils pourront souhaiter, vous fÅ±t addressée, messieurs, avec priere de faire participer aux dits habitans qu'en cela il ne feroit que remplir son devoir & flater son inclination. La dite lettre fÅ±t, par votre arrÄt de delibéré, publiée, affichée, &enregistrée comme un garant que les habitans auroient de leur bonheur & de leur tranquilité. Une autre lettre du mois d' Octobre dernier écrite Å M. Aubry, constate que la justice se rende toujours dans la colonie au nom du roi Louis le bien-aimé. Il résulte du puissant point d'appui de l'acte solemnel de cession & des autres accessoires, que messieurs les habitans & negocians sont bien fondés Å vous presenter leurs trÄs humbles représentations, & vous, messieurs, trÄs autorisés Å prononcer. Examinons actuellement avec scrupule l'acte de cession, & la lettre de M. Ulloa ecrite au conseil supérieur. Je crois devoir rapporter mot Å mot l'extrait de la lettre du roi, qui fut publiée, affichée, & enregistrée.
"Ce mÄme acte solemnel de cession qui donne titre de propriété Å S. M. C. statue pour les colons des privileges anciens & connus, & la parole royale de notre seigneur roi, en promet & en fait espérer de nouveaux dont les malheurs de la guerre l'ont privé de faire jouir ses sujets, les priviléges anciens étant suprimés par l'autorité du commissaire de S. M. C. la propriété devient caduque; l'acte de cession par pure, simple & bonne amitié s'est fait avec ses reserves qui confirment les priviléges & libertés, & promet aux habitans une vie tranquile, Å l'abri de leurs loix canoniques & civiles. La propriété resultant d'une cession par don gratuit, ne peut se repéter & Ätre obtenu qu'en satisfaisant pendant toute la propriété aux reserves
79"this instrument being calculated for no other purpose. The letter of Mr. Ulloa dated from the Havannah July 10, 1765, which intimates his disposition to do the inhabitants all the services they can desire, was addressed to you, gentlemen, with a request to intimate to the said inhabitants, that therein he would only discharge his duty and gratify his own inclinations. The said letter was, by your decree, published, set up, and registered, as a pledge to the inhabitants of happiness and tranquility. Another letter, of the month of October last, written to Mr. Aubry, certifies that justice should be always administered in the colony in the name of Louis the well-beloved. It results from the solid basis of the solemn act of cession and other accessories, that the inhabitants and merchants have good reason to present you with their most humble remonstrances; and you, gentlemen, fully authorized to pronounce thereupon. Let us now accurately examine the act of cession and the letter written by Mr. Ulloa to the superior council. I think it likewise incumbent on me to cite, word for word, the extract of the king's letter, which was published, set up, and registered.
"This very solemn act of cession, which gives the title of property to his catholic majesty, establishes for the inhabitants of the colony ancient and known privileges, and the royal word of our sovereign lord the king promises, and gives us ground to hope for, others, which the calamities of war have prevented him from making his subjects enjoy. The antient privileges having been suppressed by the authority of his catholic majesty's commissioner, property becomes precarious; the act of cession, through pure good will and friendship, was made with these reserves, which confirm their liberties and privileges, and promises the inhabitants a life of tranquility, under the protection and shelter of their canon and civil laws. The property which results from a cession by free gift cannot be claimed and obtained, except by complying with the reserves contained in the
80contenues dans le dit acte de cession. Notre seigneur roi, espere & se promet en consequence de l'amitié &de l'affection de S. M. C. qu'elle voudra bien donner des ordres Å son gouverneur & Å tous autres officiers employés Å son service dans cette colonie pour l'avantage & la tranquilité des habitans de cette mÄme colonie, & qu'ils soient jugés & leurs biens régis suivant les loix, formes & usages de la colonie. Les titres de M. Ulloa peuvent ils faire prevaloir des ordonnances & des ordres infractaires au respect dÅ± Å l'acte solemnel de cession. Les priviléges anciens, la tranquilité des citoyens François, les loix, formes & usages de la colonie sont sacrés par une promesse royale, par un enrégistrement ordonné au conseil supérieur, & par une publication notoire & prescrite. Le recours Å l'acte de cession par les différens états de la colonie, est l'unique fin de la lettre de notre seigneur roi ; rien de mieux fondé & de plus legal que le droit de représentations, acquis par autorité royale aux habitans & citoyens de la colonie.
"Passons Å l'examen de la lettre de M. Ulloa, écrite au conseil supérieur de la Nouvelle Orleans en datte du 10 Juillet 1765. Je rapporterai mot Å mot l'article concernant M. le conseil superieur & messieurs les habitans.
"Se me flate d'avance qu'elle pourra me proportionner des occasions favorables pour vous témoigner les desirs qu'ils m'assistent de pouvoir vous rendre tous les services, que vous & messieurs les habitans pourront souhaiter, de quoi je vous prie de les assurer de ma part, & qu'en cela ne serai que remplir mes devoirs & flater mon inclination.
"M. Ulloa a prouvé par lÅ les ordres qu'il avoit reçu de S. M. C. conformes Å l'acte solemnel de cession, & il annonçoit un sentiment
81"said act of cession, during the time of possessing that property. Our sovereign lord the king hopes, and promises himself, that in consequence of the friendship and affection shewn by his catholic majesty, that he will be pleased to give orders to his governor, and to all other officers employed in his service in that colony, for the advantage and tranquility of the inhabitants of the colony, and that they should be ruled and their fortunes and estates managed according to the laws, forms, and customs of the colony. Can Mr. Ulloa's titles give weight to ordinances and orders which violate the respect due to the solemn act of cession? The antient privileges, the tranquility of the subjects of France, the laws, forms, and customs of the colony, are rendered sacred by a royal promise, by a registering ordered by the superior council, and by a publication universally known. The recourse had to the act of cession by the different classes of the colony is the sole aim of the letter of our sovereign lord the king; nothing can be better grounded or more legal than the right of remonstrating, which the inhabitants and citizens of the colony have acquired by royal authority.
"Let us proceed to an examination of the letter of Mr. Ulloa, written to the superior council of New Orleans, dated the 10th of July, 1765. (I shall here cite, word for word, the article relative to the superior council and the inhabitants.)
"I flatter myself beforehand, that it will be able to procure me favourable opportunities to testify to you my desires of having it in my power to do you all the service that you and the inhabitants can with, which I beg you would assure them of from me, and let them know that in acting thus I shall at once discharge my duty and gratify my inclinations"
"Mr. Ulloa proved thereby the orders which he had received from his catholic majesty, conformable to the solemn act of
82indispensable Å tout gouverneur qui veut bien servir son roi dans les colonies. Specialement sans habitans point de commerce, sans commerce peu d'habitans. Le rapport des deux industries Å la masse de l'état, étaye les trônes. La liberté & la concurrence sont meres nourrices des deux états; l'exclusion, le tiran & le maratre. Sans liberté peu de vertus. Du despotisme nait la pusillanimité & l'abime des vices. L'homme n'est reconnu pÄcher vis-Å-vis de Dieu, que parce qu'il conserve le libre arbitre, oÅ¯ est la liberté des habitans & des négoçians? Les marques de protection & de bienveillance sont converties en despotisme: une seule autorité veut tout anéantir. Tous les états sans distinction ne doivent plus, sans courir risque d'Ätre taxés de crime, que trembler, Ätre asservis & ramper: le conseil supérieur, boulevard de la tranquilité des citoyens vertueux, ne s'est soutenu que par la probité, le desintéressement des magistrats, & la confiance réunie des citoyens en eux. Sans prise de possession, sans l'enrégistrement indispensable au conseil supérieur des titres & patentes suivant les loix, formes, & usages de la colonie & de la présentation de l'acte de cession, M. Ulloa a fait juger par un president, trois conseillers, & un greffier, nommé d'office des faits de la compétence du conseil supérieur & concernant des citoyens François. Vingt fois les mecontentemens, & desagremens sembloient vous forcer Å vous demettre de vos places, mais vous avez toujours regardé annexé Å votre état de conseiller du roi trÄs-chretien, d'adoucir & de calmer les murmures des citoyens vexés. L'amour de la patrie, & la justice due Å tout citoyen qui la reclame ont nourri votre zéle. Elle s'est rendue avec la mÄme exactitude, vous n'avez jamais voulu faire vos éprésentations aux infractions faites Å l'acte de cession, vous avez toujours craint d'autoriser une masse de colonie
83cession, and he discovered a sentiment indispensable in every governor who is desirous of serving his king in the colonies: especially as without inhabitants there can be no commerce, and without commerce few inhabitants. The proportion of industry to the bulk of the state supports and props the throne. Liberty and emulation are the nursing mothers of the state; monopoly or exclusion, the tyrant and the step-mother. Without liberty there are but few virtues. From despotism springs pusillanimity and the abyss of vices. Man is considered as sinning before God only because he retains his free-will, upon which depends the liberty of inhabitants and merchants. Instances of protection and benevolence are converted into despotism: a single authority would absorb and annihilate every thing. All ranks, without distinction, can no longer, without running the risk of being taxed with guilt, do any thing else but tremble, bow their necks to the yoke, and lick the dust. The superior council, bulwark of the tranquility of virtuous citizens, has supported itself only by the probity, the disinterestedness of merchants, and confidence of the united citizens in that tribunal. Without taking possession, without registering, as was necessary, in the superior council, titles and patents according to the laws, forms, and customs of the colony, and to the requisition of the ad of cession, Mr. Ulloa has caused a president, three counsellors, and a secretary, nominated for the purpose, to take cognizance of facts which should properly be determined by the superior council, and in which French citizens were concerned. Often did discontents and disgusts seem to force you to resign your places, but you have always considered it as a duty of your station of counsellors to the most christian king, to alleviate and calm the murmurs of the oppressed citizens. The love of your country, and the justice due to every citizen who applies for it, have nourished your zeal. It has been always rendered with the same exactness; you never thought proper to make your representations upon the act of cession; you declined to authorise a numerous
84"mécontante & ménacée des plus grands malheurs, vous avez préféré la tranquilité publique: mais la masse des habitans & negocians vous demandent justice.
"Passons Å l'examen exact & scrupuleux des griefs, plaintes, & imputations contenues dans les représentations des habitans & des negocians. Quels tristes ¬oires tableaux vous exposent les dites représentations! les fleaux de la derniere guerre, une suspension jusqu'Å ce jour de payment de sept millions de papier du roi mis sur la place pour les besoins du service & reçus avec consiance par les negocians & habitans avoient reculé l'aisance & les facilités de la circulation; mais l'activité &l'industrie du cultivateur & negocians François avoient presque surmonté les echecs. Les coins les plus reculés des possessions sauvages avoient été découverts, le commerce des pelleteries étoit poussé Å son plus haut point, la nouvelle culture du cotton adoptée, jointe aux indigots & tabacs, assuroient des chargemens aux armateurs. Le commissaire de S. M. C. avoit annoncé & promis dix ans de liberté de commerce, ce tems suffisoit pour tout citoyen François attaché Å son seigneur roi. Les tabacs de cette colonie prohibés en Espagne, oú ceux de la Havanne sont les seuls permis: les bois (branche considerable des revenus des habitans) inutiles Å l'Espagne fournis dans cet objet par ses possessions, & enfin l'indigo inférieur Å celui de Guatimala qui en fournit plus qu'il n'en faut aux manufactures d'Efpagne, rendoient ruineux les retours des denrées des habitans en Efpagne & livroient les dits habitans Å la plus grande misere. Le commissaire de S. M. C. avoit constaté publiquement l'impossibilité du commerce de ce pays avec l'Espagne: toute protection, faveur, encouragement, étoient journellement promis Å l'habitant, le titre de protecteur
85"discontented colony, threatened with the most dreadful calamities; you preferred public tranquility: but the bulk of the inhabitants and merchants apply to you for justice.
"Let us now proceed to an accurate and scrupulous examination of the grievances, complaints, and imputations contained in the representations of the inhabitants and merchants. What sad and dismal pictures do the said representations bring before your eyes! The scourges of the last war, a suspension to this day of the payment of seven millions of paper-money of the king's, laid down to supply the calls of the service, and received with confidence by the merchants and inhabitants, had obstructed the ease and facility of the circulation, but the activity and industry of the planter and French merchants had almost got the better of all difficulties. The most remote corners of the possessions of the savages had been discovered, the fur trade had been carried to its highest perfection, the new culture of cotton adopted, these, joined to the indigoes and tobaccos, secured cargoes to those who were concerned in fitting out ships. His catholic majesty's commissioner had promised a free trade for ten years, that period being sufficient for every subject of France attached to his sovereign the king. The tobaccos of this colony prohibited in Spain, or those of the Havannah, are the only ones allowed: the woods (a considerable branch of the income of the inhabitants) being useless to Spain, furnished in this article by its plantations, and the indigo being inferior to that of Guatimala, which supplies more than requisite to the manufactures of Spain, these circumstances ruined the returns of the commodities of the inhabitants of this colony to Spain, and delivered up the said inhabitants a prey to the most dreadful misery. His catholic majesty's commissioner had publickly proved the impossibility of this country's trading with Spain: all patronage, favour, encouragement, were every day promised the inhabitant; the title of protector was decreed to Mr. Ulloa ;
86"fut décerné Å M. Ulloa, la bonne foi & la consiance nourissoient l'espérance & l'activité necessaire au cultivateur; mais par quelle fatalité ruinante & imperceptible a-t-on vu une maison de vingt mille livres vendue six mille livres, & les habitations tout-Å-coup perdre sur leur valeur intrinsique la moitié & les deux tiers? Les fortunes s'écroulent, & le numeraire est plus rare que jamais; la consiance est perdue, & le decouragement est general, tout retentit du cri lugubre de la misere, & le precieux titre de citoyen François se voit eclipser, & le fatal décret conçernant le commerce de la Louisiane porte le dernier coup de massue Å l'anéantissement total de la colonie. Le pavilion Espagnol est arboré Å la Balise & aux Illinois, & autres lieux, aucuns titres, aucunes patentes, n'ont été présentées au conseil supérieur: le tems fuit, les délais fixés pour la liberté de l'émigration se trouveront expirés, la force tiranisera, il faudra vivre asservis, chargés de chaines ou abandonner précipitamment des établissemens transportés du grand-pere au petit-fils. Tous les habitans & negocians vous demandent leur seigneur roi, Louis le bienaimé! leur fortunes & leur sang sont offert pour vivre & mourir François.
"Passons au résumé des points de charge, griefs & imputations. M. Ulloa a fait juger par des conseillers par lui nommés d'office des faits de la compétence du conseil supérieur concernant les seuls citoyens François: les sentences ont été signifiées & mises Å l'exécution contre les sieurs Cadis & Leblanc; M. Ulloa a soutenu les négres mecontens de leurs maitres, M. le commissaire de S. M. C. n'a presenté au conseil supérieur aucun de ses titres, pouvoirs, & provisions, n'a point exhibé la copie de l'acte de cession pour en demander acte, a sans les dites formalités indispensables arboré pavilion Espagnol Å la Balise, aux Illinois & autres lieux ; a, sans autorité legale, puni & chatié & vexé des
87"sincerity and confidence nourished hope and the activity necessary to the planter: but by what undermining and imperceptible fatality have we seen a house worth twenty thousand livres sold for six thousand, and habitations all on a sudden lose one half and two-thirds of their intrinsic value? Fortunes waste away, and specie is more scarce than ever; confidence is lost, and the discouragement becomes general; the plaintive cries of distress are heard on every side, the precious name of subject of France is seen to be eclipsed, and the fatal decree concerning the commerce of Louisiana gives the last fatal stroke to the colony, that must totally annihilate it. The Spanish standard is set up at Balise and at the Illinois, and other places: no titles, no patents were presented to the superior council: time flies apace, the delays fixed for the liberty of emigration will soon expire, force will tyrannise, we must live in slavery and loaded with chains, or precipitately forsake establishments delivered down from the grandfather to the grandson. All the inhabitants and merchants call upon you, their sovereign lord the king, Lewis the well-beloved; their treasures and their blood are offered, they are resolved to live and die French.
"Let us proceed to resume the points of the charge, grievances and imputations. Mr. Ulloa has caused counsellors, named by himself, to take cognizance of facts, which should by right be determined by the superior council, relative to the subjects of France alone: the sentences have been signified and put in execution against messieurs Cadis and Leblanc ; Mr. Ulloa has supported the negroes, dissatisfied with their matters; the commissary of his catholic majesty has presented to the superior council none of his titles, powers, and provisions; has not exhibited a copy of the act of cession, in order to have it registered; has, without the said indispensable formalities, set up the Spanish standard at Balise, at the Illinois, and other places; has, without legal authority, punished and oppressed subjects of France;
88"citoyens François; en a mÄme envoyé aux arrÄts dans la fregate de S. M. C. a usurpé, de sa seule autorité, le quart des communes des habitans de la ville, se l'est approprié & l'a fait entourer pour y faire paroitre ses chevaux.
"Le tout murement examiné, je requiers pour le roi, que les sentences rendues par les conseillers nommés d'office & mises Å exécution contre les sieurs Cadis & Leblanc, citoyens Françis, soient declarés attentatoires Å l'autorité de notre seigneur roi, & destructives du respect dÅ± Å sa justice souveraine séantes en son conseil supérieur, en ce qu'elles violent les loix, formes, & usages de la colonie, confirmés &guarantis par l'acte solemnel de cession; que M. Ulloa soit declaré infractaire Å nos loix, formes, usages, & aux ordres de S. M. C. par l'acte de cession & certifié par sa lettre dattée de la Havanne du dix Juillet 1765 ; qu'il soit déclaré usurpateur d'une autorité illegale en faisaht chatier & vexer des citoyens François sans avoir au préalable satisfait aux loix, formes, & usages de faire enrégistrer au conseil supérieur ses pouvoirs titres & provisions & la copie de l'acte de cession pour en demander acte; qu'il soit enjoint Å M. Ulloa commissaire de S. M. C. de sortir de la colonie dans la fregate sur laquelle il est venu sous le plus court délai pour éviter des accidens ou de nouvelles rumeurs; & d'aller rendre compte de sa conduite Å S. M. C. & quant aux differens postes établis par mon dit sieur Ulloa qu'il soit dit qu'il laissera les ordres par écrit qu'il jugera convenable; qu'il soit declaré responsable de tous les evénemens qu'il auroit pÅ± prevoir; que messieurs Aubry & Foucault soient priés & mÄme sommés, au nom de notre seigneur roi, de continuer Å commander & regir la colonie comme ils faisoient cidevant, que tous bâtimens sortant de cette colonie ne puissent
89has even confined some in the frigate of his catholic majesty; has by his authority alone usurped the fourth part of the common of the inhabitants of the city; has appropriated it to himself, and has caused it to be surrounded, that his horses might graze there.
"Having maturely weighed all this, I require, in behalf of the king, that the sentences pronounced by the counsellors nominated for the purpose, and put in execution against messieurs Cadi and Le Blanc, subjects of France, be declared encroachments upon the authority of our sovereign lord the king, and destructive of the respect due to his supreme justice, seated in his superior council, inasmuch as they violate the laws, forms, and customs of the colony, confirmed and guaranteed by the solemn act of cession; that Mr. Ulloa be declared to have violated our laws, forms, customs, and the orders of his catholic majesty in the act of cession, which is confirmed by his letter from the Havannah, dated the 20th of July 1765; that he be declared usurper of illegal authority, by causing subjects of France to be punished and oppressed, without having previously complied with the laws, forms, and customs, in causing his powers, titles, and provisions to be registered in the superior council, with the copy of the act of cession; that it be enjoined Mr. Ulloa, commissioner of his catholic majesty, to leave the colony in the frigate in which he came, without delay, to avoid accidents and new clamours, and to go and give an account of his conduct to his catholic majesty: and with regard to the different posts established by the said Mr. Ulloa, he is desired to leave in writing such orders, as he shall think necessary; that he be declared responsible for all the events which he might have foreseen; that Messrs. Aubry and Foucault be requested, and even summoned, in the name of our sovereign lord the king, to continue to command and govern the colony as they did heretofore; that such ships as sail from this colony shall not
90"Ätre expediés que sous des passeports signés de M. Foucault faisant fonctions d'ordonnateur; que la prise de possession ne pourra Ätre proposée ni tentée par aucuns moyens sans de nouveaux ordres de S. M. T. C. que messieurs Loyola, Gayarro, & Navarro seront declarés Ätre garants de leur signature dans les bons qu'il sont mis sur la place s'ils ne font apparoir des ordres de S. M. C. qui les ait autorisés Å mettre les dits Bons & papiers sur la place; qu'il leur soit accordé les delais nécessaires pour donner l'ordre qu'ils jugeront convenable Å leur comptabilité. Que les habitans & negocians soient autorisés Å choisir des députés pour aller porter leurs suppliques au seigneur roi ; qu'il soit fixé & arrÄté, que le conseil superieur addressera des représentations Å notre seigneur roi, que l'arrÄt Å intervenir soit lÅ±, publié, affiché, & enrégistré; que copies collationnées en soient envoyées Å monseigneur le duc de Praslin avec une lettre du conseil supérieur & aussi dans les postes de la colonie pour y Ätre lues, publiées, affichées, & enrégistrées."
Oui le rapport de messieurs, Mtre Uchet écuyer, sieur de Knion, & Piot Delaunay, conseillers commissaires en cette partie, le tout murement examiné & la matiere mise en délibération, le procureur-général oui & retiré:
Le conseil composé de treize membres dont six nommés d'office, ayant chacun donné son avis par écrit, disant droit sur les dites repréfentations, a declaré & déclare les sentences rendues par des conseillers nommés d'office pat M. Ulloa, & mises Å execution contre les sieurs Cadis & Leblanc citoyens François, attentatoires Å l'autorité de notre seigneur roi & destructives du respect du Å sa justice souveraine séante en son conseil superieur; l'a declaré usurpateur
91"be dispatched without passports signed by Mr. Foucault, invested with the office of regulator, and discharging the duties enjoined by it; that the taking possession can neither be proposed nor attempted by any means, without new orders being issued by his most christian majesty; that Messrs. Loyala, Gayarro, and Navarro, shall be declared guarantees of their signature for the goods and paper-circulation which they have caused to be exposed in the market-place, if they do not produce the orders of his catholic majesty, empowering them to expose the said goods and paper-circulation in the public market-place; that a sufficient time be granted them to take the proper measures to be ready to give an account of their proceedings. That the inhabitants and merchants be empowered to elect deputies to carry their petitions and supplications to our sovereign lord the king; that it be fixed and determined, that the superior council shall make representations to our sovereign lord the king; that the decree which is issued shall be read, set up, published, and registered; that confronted copies be sent to his grace the duke of Praslin, with a letter of the superior council, and likewise to the posts of the colony, to be there read, set up, published, and registered."
The report being heard of Messrs. Attre Uchet, esq. le sieur de Knion, and Piot Delaunay, counsellors and commissioners appointed for this purpose, the whole being duly weighed and the subject deliberated upon, the attorney-general having been heard and having retired:
The council composed of thirteen members, of which six are nominated to officiate, having each of them given their opinion in writing, pronouncing upon the said representations, has declared and declares the sentences pronounced by the counsellors nominated by Mr. Ulloa, and carried into execution against Messrs. Cadis and Le Blanc, subjects of France, to be encroachments upon the authority of our sovereign lord the king, and destructive of the respect due to his supreme justice, vested in his superior council;
92d'une autorité illegale en faisant chatier & vexer des citoyens Françis, sans avoir au préalable satisfait aux loix & formes, n'ayant fait apparoir ni enrégistrer ses pouvoirs, titres & provisions; & au préjudice des priviléges Å eux conservés par le dit acte de cession: & pour prévenir quelque violence du peuple, & éviter quelque tumulte dangereux, le conseil par sa prudence ordinaire, se trouve obligé d'enjoindre, comme de fait il enjoint Å M. Ulloa de sortir de la colonie sous trois jours pour tout délai, soit dans la fregate de S.M.C. sur laquelle il est venu, ou dans tel autre bâtiment qui lui paroîtra convenable, & d'aller rendre compte de sa conduite Å S.M.C. a ordonné & ordonne que concernant les postes par lui établis dans le haut du fleuve, il laissera tels ordres qu'il jugera convenables, le rendant responsable de tous les evénemens qu'il auroit pÅ± prévoir. A prié & prie messieurs Aubry & Foucault & les somme mÄme au nom de notre seigneur roi, de continuer Å commander & regir, comme ils faisoient ci-devant la colonie: defend expressement Å tous armateurs & capitaines d'expédier aucun bâtiment sous autre passeport que celui de M. Foucault, faisant fonction de l'ordonnateur : a ordonné & ordonne que la prise de possession pour S.M.C. ne pourra Ätre proposée & tentée, par aucun moyens, sans des nouveaux ordres de S.M.T.C. qu'en consequence M. Ulloa s'embarquera sous le dit délai de trois jours dans tel bâtiment qu'il jugera Å propos avec tous les matelots qui font Å la Balise. Pour ce qui concerne messieurs Loyola, Gayarro, & Navarro, le conseil a ordonné qu'ils pourront rester pour suivre leur comptabilité jusques Å de nouveaux ordres de S.M.T.C. en par eux demeurer garans de leurs signatures dans les bons qu'ils ont mis fur la place, Å moins qu'ils ne fassent apparoir des ordres de S.M.C. A autorisé & autorise les habitans & négocians, Å choisir
93has declared and declares him an usurper of illegal authority, in causing subjects of France to be punished and oppressed without having previously complied with the laws and forms, having neither produced his powers, titles, and provisions, nor caused them to be registered, and that in prejudice of the privileges insured to them by the said act of cession: and to prevent any violence of the populace, and avoid any dangerous tumult, the council, in its usual prudence, finds itself obliged to enjoin, as in fact it enjoins, Mr. Ulloa to quit the colony, allowing him only the space of three days, either in the frigate of his catholic majesty, in which he came, or in whatever vessel he shall think proper, and go and give an account of his conduct to his catholic majesty: it has likewise ordained and ordains, that with regard to the posts established by him at the upper part of the river, he shall leave such orders as he judges expedient, making him at the same time responsible for all the events which he might have foreseen. It has likewise requested and requests Messrs. Aubry and Foucault, and even cites them in the name of our sovereign lord the king, to continue to command and govern the colony as they did heretofore: at the same time expressly forbids all those who fit out vessels, and all captains of ships, to dispatch any vessel with any other passport but that of Mr. Foucault, who is to do the office of regulator: has likewise ordered and orders, that the taking possession for his catholic majesty can neither be proposed nor attempted by any means without new orders from his most christian majesty: that in consequence Mr. Ulloa shall embark in the space of three days in whatever ship he shall think proper. With regard to what relates to Messrs. Loyola, Gayarro, and Navarro, the counsel has decreed that they may stay and follow their respective business, till they have received new orders from the most christian king, and remain sureties of their signatures for the goods and paper-circulation which they exposed to public view in the market-place, except they produce the orders of his catholic majesty. Has likewise authorised and authorises the
94telles personnes qu'ils croiront convenable pour aller porter leur supplique au seigneur roi, & a arrÄté que pareillement le conseil supérieur addressera des représentations Å notre dit seigneur roi; ordonne que le présent arrât sera imprimé, lÅ±, publié & affiché & enregistré en tous les lieux & postes de cette colonie, & que copie en sera envoyée Å Mgr. le duc de Praslin, ministre de la marine.
Mandons, Å tous nos huissiers ou sergents sur ce requis, faire pour l'exécution du présent tous actes & exploits necessaires, de ce faire donnons pouvoir. Et enjoignons au substitut du procureur géneral du roi, tenir le main Å l'exécution, & d'en avertir la cour en son tems.
Donné, en la chambre de conseil, le vingt neuf Octobre 1768.
Par le conseil,
GARIC, gressier en chef,
Je proteste contre l'arrÄt du conseil, qui renvoye monsieur Don Antonio de Ulloa de cette colonie ; leurs majestés trés chrétienne & catholique seront offensés du traitement que l'on fait éprouver Å une personne de son caractere, & malgré le peu de forces qui j'ai sous mes ordres, je m'opposerois de tout mon pouvoir Å son départ, si je ne craignois que sa vie ne fÅ±t exposée, aussi bien que celle de tous les Espagnols qui se trouvent ici.
Délibéré Å la chambre de conseil, ce 29 Octobre 1768.
95inhabitants and merchants to chuse whatever persons they think proper to go with their petition to our sovereign lord the king, and has decreed that the superior council shall in like manner make representations to our said sovereign lord the king: orders that the present decree shall be printed, read, set up, published, and registered in all places and posts of this colony, and that a copy of it shall be sent to his grace the duke of Praslin, minister of the marine.
We order all our bailiffs and serjeants to perform all the acts and ceremonies requisite for carrying the present decree into execution; we at the same time empower them to do so. We also enjoin the substitute of the king's attorney-general to superintend the execution, and to apprize the court at a proper time.
Given at the council-chamber on the 29th of October, 1768.
By the council,
GARIC, principal secretary.
I protest against the decree of the council, which dismisses don Antonio de Ulloa from this colony; their most christian and catholic majesties will be offended at this usage of a person of his character; and tho' I have so small a force subject to my orders, I should with all my might oppose his departure, were I not apprehensive of endangering his life, as well as the lives of all the Spaniards in this country.
Deliberated at the council-chamber this 29th of October 1768.
Collationé sur l'originÅl demeuré es minutes de greffe, par nous greffier en chef souffigné, Å la Nouvelle Orléans le deux Novembre 1768.
GARIC, greffier en chef.
Compared with the original, left amongst the minutes of the secretary's office, by me, the first secretary, whose name is hereto signed, at New Orleans, 2d of November 1768.
GARIC, principal secretary.
de la LOUISIANE, du 31 Octobre 1768.
Vu par le conseil supérieur, la protestation faite par M. Aubry, chevalier de l'ordre royal & militaire de St. Louis, commandant pour sa majesté trÄs-chretienne de la ditte province, Å l'arrÄt de la cour rendu le 29 du present mois, contre M. Ulloa cdmmissaire de S.M.C. icelle lue l'audience tenante; oui sur ce, le procureur-général du roi en ses conclusions; la matiere mise en deliberations: le conseil, sans condamner les motifs qui ont donné lieu Å M. Aubry, de protester contre l'arrÄt de la cour du 29 du présent, a declaré & declare la ditte protestation nulle, & comme non avenue; ordonne que le dit arrÄt sortira son plein & entier effet, ce qui sera exécuté en toute sa forme & teneur.
Donné & delibéré en la chambre de conseil, le 31 Octobre 1768.
Par le conseil,
GARIC, greffier en chef.
PROVINCE of LOUISIANA, 31st October 1768.
The superior council having taken into consideration the protest made by Mr. Aubry, knight of the royal and military order of St. Louis, governor of said province for his most christian majesty, against the decree of court delivered on the 29th of the present month against Mr. Ulloa, commissioner of his catholic majesty; and this protest being read whilst the audience was holding, and the king's attorney-general being heard thereupon, and the matter thoroughly debated; the council, without condemning the motives which have caused Mr. Aubry to protest against the decree of court of the 29th of the present month, has declared and declares the said protest null and void, and orders that the said decree shall have its entire effect, which shall be executed in its full force and tenor.
Given and resolved at the council-chamber, October 31, 1768.
By the council,
GARIC, principal secretary.
N° a la Nouvelle Orleans.
Bon pour la somme de — payable en lettres — de change fur le tresor
The Governor and Intendant.