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Bill Thayer

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This webpage reproduces a section of
History of Louisiana

Charles Gayarré

in the edition published by
William J. Widdleton,
New York, 1867

The text is in the public domain.

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and I believe it to be free of errors.
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 p631  Second Item from the Appendix
to Volume III

Unzaga's Proclamation

"We, Don Luis de Unzaga, Colonel in the armies of his Majesty, and his Intendant and Governor-General in and for the province of Louisiana:

"Make it known that having, from experience, become acquainted with the different frauds and malpractices which are apt to be committed in all sales, exchanges, permutations, barters, and generally in all alienations concerning negroes, immoveables, and real estates, which are made clandestinely and in violation of the public faith, by a simple deed in writing under private seal, whereby the inhabitants of this province are greatly distressed, their rights put in jeopardy, and the administration of justice reduced to a state of confusion; and wishing, first, to remedy such pernicious abuses, and next, to establish good order in this commonwealth and to govern it as are all the other possessions of his Majesty:

"We order and decree, that no person, whatever be his or her rank or condition, shall henceforth sell, alienate, buy, or accept as a donation or otherwise, any negroes, plantations, houses and any kind of sea-craft, except it be by a deed executed before a Notary Public; to which contracts and acts of sale and alienation shall be annexed a certificate of the Registrar of Mortgages; that all other acts made under any other form shall be null and void, and as if they had never been made; that the sellers and buyers shall have no right to the things thus sold, bought or exchanged; that they cannot acquire any just and legitimate possession thereof; and that in cases of fraud, all parties therein concerned shall be prosecuted with all the severity of the law; that the Notary who shall make a bad use of the confidence reposed in him by the public and of the faith put in the fidelity of his archives, and who shall have the audacity to antedate or postdate the deeds executed before him, shall, for this delinquency, be declared unworthy of the office he holds, and shall be condemned to undergo all the penalties provided for such a case; and said Notary, should he forget to annex to his acts the certificate of the Registrar of Mortgages as aforesaid, shall be proceeded against according to the circumstances of the case; and that no one shall plead ignorance of this proclamation we order and decree, that it be promulgated with the beat of the drum; and that copies thereof certified by the Secretary of the Government and by the Secretary of the Cabildo be  p632 posted up at the usual places in this town, and sent to all the posts dependent on this Government.

"Given at the Government-House, on the 3rd of November, 1770.

"Luis de Unzaga."

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Page updated: 14 Mar 06