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History of Louisiana
Charles Gayarré​a

 p7  Preface

To write history, is to narrate events, and to show their philosophy, when they are susceptible of any such demonstration. When the subject is worthy of it, this is a kind of composition of the highest order, and which affords to genius an ample scope for the display of all its powers. But the information so conveyed is limited to the few, because not suited to the intelligence of the many. The number of those who have read Tacitus, Hume, Gibbon, or Clarendon, is comparatively small, when opposed to those who have pored with delight over the fascinating pages of Walter Scott. To relate events, and, instead of elucidating and analyzing their philosophy, like the historian, to point out the hidden sources of romance which spring from them — to show what materials they contain for the dramatist, the novelist, the poet, the painter, and for all the varied conceptions of the fine arts — is perhaps an humbler task, but not without its utility. When history is not disfigured by inappropriate invention, but merely embellished and made attractive by being set in a glittering frame, this artful preparation honies the cup of useful knowledge, and makes it acceptable to the lips of the multitude. Through the immortal writings of Walter Scott, many have become familiar with historical events, and have been induced to study more serious works, who, without that tempting bait, would have turned away from what appeared to them to be but a dry and barren field, too unpromising to invite examination, much less cultivation. To the bewitching pen of the wonderful magician of her romantic hills, Scotland owes more for the popular extension of her fame, than to the doings of the united host of all her other writers, warriors, and statesmen.

It was in pursuing such a train of reasoning, that I came to the conclusion that the republication of my "Lectures on the Romance or Poetry of the History of Louisiana" might be a  p8 suitable to the history of that colony, which I have subsequently presented to the public in two other series of Lectures, closing with the French domination in Louisiana, when the Spaniards took final possession of that province in 1769. I have attempted to vary my style in accordance with the events I had to narrate, and to adapt it to the legendary, the romantic, the traditional, and the strictly historical elements I had to weave together, and which, I believe, I have kept sufficiently distinct. But when the sobriety or the importance of the subject required it, I have in no instance permitted my imagination to dally with what it was bound to respect. I have not forgotten that the historian is an impartial witness, who voluntarily appears before the tribunal of the world, to testify as to facts which he has investigated and studied for the instruction and benefit of present and future generations, and that he is under the most sacred obligation "to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth." Feeling as I did the high responsibility I had assumed, I must confess that I experienced the greatest gratification when the most competent of judges,* after a careful examination of my labors, relieved my anxiety by writing to me: "You give at once to your State an authentic history such as scarce any other in the Union possesses. I have for many years been making manuscript and other collections, and all the best that I have found appears in your volumes." If this sentiment, which is, I am afraid, the kindly biased appreciation of friendly partiality, be confirmed by the more austere judgment of the public, I need not say, I presume, that my reward has exceeded my expectations.

* Mr. Bancroft.

First Series (Vol. I Part 1)

Primitive State of the Country — Expedition of De Soto in 1539 — His Death — Discovery of the Mississippi in 1673, by Father Marquette and Joliet — They are followed in 1682 by La Salle and the Chevalier de Tonti — Assassination of La Salle

Arrival of Iberville and Bienville — Settlement of a French Colony in Louisiana — Sauvolle, first Governor — Events and Characters in Louisiana, or connected with that Colony, from La Salle's Death, in 1687, to 1701

Situation of the Colony from 1701 to 1712 — The Petticoat Insurrection — History and Death of Iberville — Bienville, the second Governor of Louisiana — History of Anthony Crozat, the great Banker — Concession of Louisiana to him

Lamothe Cadillac, Governor of Louisiana — Situation of the Colony in 1713 — Feud between Cadillac and Bienville — Character of Richebourg — First Expedition against the Natchez — De l'Epinay succeeds Cadillac — The Curate de la Vente — Expedition of St. Denis to Mexico — His Adventures — Jallot, the Surgeon — In 1717 Crozat gives up his Charter — His Death

Second Series (Vol. I Part 2)

Creation of a Royal Bank and of the Mississippi Company — Effects produced in France by those Institutions — Wild Hopes entertained from the Colonization of Louisiana — Its twofold and opposite Description — History of Law from his Birth to his Death

Bienville appointed Governor of Louisiana for the second time, in the place of L'Epinay — Foundation of New Orleans — Expedition of St. Denis, Beaulieu, and others to Mexico — Adventures of St. Denis — Land Concessions — Slave-trade — Taking of Pensacola by the French — The Spaniards retake it, and besiege Dauphine Island — Pensacola again taken by the French — Situation of the Country as described by Bienville — The Chevalier des Grieux and Manon Lescaut — Changes in the Organization of the Judiciary — Edict in Relation to Commerce — Adventures of the Princess Charlotte of Brunswick, of Belleisle, and others — Seat of Government transferred to New Orleans — Other Facts and Events from 1718 to 1722

Origin, Customs, Manners, Traditions, and Laws of the Natchez — Decline of that Tribe — Number and Power of the Choctaws and Chickasaws

Transfer of the Seat of Government to New Orleans — Its Population and Appearance in 1724 — Boisbriant, Governor ad interim — Black Code — Expulsion of the Jews — Catholic Religion to be the sole Religion of the Land — Périer appointed Governor — League of all the Officers of Government against De la Chaise, the King's Commissary — He triumphs over them all — Republicanism of the Colonies — The Ursuline Nuns and the Jesuits — Public Improvements made or contemplated by Governor Périer — Census in 1727 — Expenses of the Colonial Administration — Edict of Henry the Second against Unmarried Women — Other Facts and Events from 1723 to 1727 — Traditions on the Music heard at the mouth of Pascagoula River, and on the Date-tree at the corner of Dauphine and Orleans Streets

Arrival of the Casket Girls — Royal Ordinance relative to the Concessions of Lands — Manner of settling the Succession of Frenchmen married to Indian Women — French Husbands — Indian Wives — History of Madame Dubois, an Indian Squaw — Conspiracy of the Natchez against the French — Massacre of the French at Natchez in 1729 — Attack of the Natchez against the French Settlement in 1730 — Attack of the Natchez against the French Settlement at Natchitochesº — They are beaten by St. Denis — The French and Choctaws attack the Natchez — Daring and Death of Navarre and of some of his Companions — Siege of the Natchez Forts — Flight of the Natchez — Cruel Treatment of Natchez Prisoners by Governor Périer — Desperation of the Natchez — The Chickasaws grant an Asylum to the Natchez — Conspiracy of the Banbara Negroes — List of the Principal Officers in the Colony in 1730

Expedition of Périer against the Natchez — He goes up Red River and Black River in pursuit of them — Siege of their Fort — Most of them are taken Prisoners and sold as Slaves — Continuation of the Natchez War — The India Company surrenders its Charter — Ordinances on the Currency of the Country — Bienville reappointed Governor — Situation of the Colony at that time — The Natchez take Refuge among the Chickasaws — Great Rise of the Mississippi and General Inundation — Extraordinary Number of Mad Dogs — Expedition of Bienville against the Chickasaws — He attacks their Villages — Battle of Ackia — Daring Exploit of the Black Man, Simon — Bienville is beaten and forced to retreat — Expedition of D'Artaguette against the Chickasaws — His Defeat and Death — History of John Philip Grondel — Other Events and Facts from 1729 to 1736

State of Agriculture in 1736 — Exemption from Duties on certain Articles of Importation and Exportation — War between the Choctaws and Chickasaws — Singular Judicial Proceeding in 1738 — Bienville's Dispatch on the Sand-bars at the Mouth of the Mississippi — De Noailles is sent to Louisiana to command an Expedition against the Chickasaws — Bienville's Jealousy — Intrigues of the Indians, Red Shoe — General Rendezvous of the French at the Mouth of River Margot — Failure of that Expedition — Its probable Causes — Bienville's Apology — Effects of a Hurricane — Situation of the Colony in 1741 — Heroism of a French Girl in a Battle against the Indians — Bienville incurs the Displeasure of his Government — He demands the Establishment of a College — That Demand is refused — Bienville is recalled to France — He departs never to return — He is succeeded by the Marquis of Vaudreuil — Other Events and Facts from 1729 to 1736

The Black Code of Louisiana (1724)

Third Series (Volume II)

Anecdotes of De Vaudreuil — The Chickasaws sue for peace — Effects of Paper Currency in the Colony — Trading Monopoly granted to Déruisseau — Lead Mines discovered in Illinois — Indian Difficulties — Proposed Expedition against the Chickasaws — Census of Louisiana in 1745 — Dispute between Lenormant and Vaudreuil — Obstructions at the mouth of the Mississippi — Proposed Fortifications on the Mississippi — Means of Defence of the Colony — Terrible Hurricane in Louisiana — Lenormant's Remarks on Paper Money — Extent of the New Orleans District — Civil War among the Choctaws — Outrages committed by the Choctaws — Red Shoe killed — Renewal of Hostilities — Tixerant discomfited by Choctaw Hunters — The Indians attack the German Coast Planters — Baby, the Dancing Master, repulses the Indians — Death of Baby — Close of the year 1748 — Views of the Government on Commerce — Ascendency of the French — Tranquillity re‑established — Paper Money — Increase of the Military Forces — Paper Money counterfeited — Pierre Boucher — Lettres de Cachet — Distribution of the Troops — Complaints against Vaudreuil — Complaints against Rouvillière — Condition of the Colony — Introduction of the Sugar-Cane — Expedition against the Chickasaws — State of Agriculture — The Marquis of Vaudreuil

Kerlerec's Opinion of the Indians — Kerlerec's Endeavors to Conciliate the Indians — Changes among the Officers — State of the Colony — Character of the Troops — Tribute to the Indians — Tragic Occurrence — Fears of Invasion — Gain of the Mississippi on the Gulf — Fears of British Invasion — Religious Warfare — Intrigues of the English — Discontent of the Indians — Attack on Fort Duquesne — Rochemore — Introduction of the Sugar Cane — Recall of Rochemore — Help solicited from Spain — Departure of Rochemore — Cession of Louisiana to Spain — Treaty of Peace signed at Paris — Indignation of the Indians — Dissensions in the Colony — Description of Louisiana, by Redon de Rassac — Disputes between the French and English — Opposition of the Indians to the English — Expulsion of the Jesuits from Louisiana — Complaints against the English — Major Loftus ascends the Mississippi — Loftus attacked by the Indians — Loftus returns to New Orleans — Condition of Louisiana — Memorial of Kerlerec — Anxiety of the French Government — Letters of Louis XV to D'Abbadie — Reflections on the Fate of Louisiana

Arrival of the Acadians — Expulsion of the Acadians — Fate of the Acadians — Dispersion of the Acadians — Hatred of the Acadians to the English — Settlement of Acadians in Louisiana — The Mississippi a common thoroughfare — English Fortifications — Description of Baton Rouge — Protest against the Cession — Presentation of the Petition — Result of the Mission — Ulloa appointed Governor of Louisiana — Arrival of Ulloa — Treatment of the Superior Council — Character of Charles III — Military Career of Charles III — Administration of Charles III — His Death — Career of Antonio de Ulloa — Early Career of Antonio de Ulloa — Character of Antonio de Ulloa — Don Estevan Gayarre — Don Martin Navarro

Ulloa's Instructions — Excitement Concerning the Paper Currency — Difficulty with the French Troops — Wretched Condition of Louisiana — Hostility of the Inhabitants to Ulloa — Character of the Inhabitants — Embarrassment of the Government — Commercial Decree — Anecdote — Commercial Regulations — Remonstrances of the Merchants — Doubts as to the Act of Cession — Seclusion of Ulloa — Proposition of Ulloa — Sojourn of Ulloa at the Balize — Marriage of Ulloa — Letter of the Marquis of Grimaldi — Return of Jean Milhet — Ulloa's Tastes, Habits, and Disposition — Unpopularity of his Wife — Conversational Powers of Ulloa — Letter of Aubry — Conspiracy against the Spaniards — General Insurrection — Petition for the Expulsion of Ulloa — Proceedings before the Council — Decree of the Council — Opinion of Foucault — Protest of Aubry — Reflections on Lafrénière's Address — Quotations from Lafrénière's Address — Character of Ulloa as Governor

Delegates appointed by the Insurgents — Embarkation of Ulloa — Manifesto of the Colonists — Appointment of a Committee of Inquiry — Depositions of the Witnesses — The Council's Letter to the Duke of Praslin — Representations to the King — Foucault's Letter to the Duke of Praslin — Aubry's Letter to the Duke of Praslin — Position of the Revolutionists — Letters of Ulloa on the Revolution — Petition of the Colonists — Foucault's Despatches — Aubrey's Despatches — Council of Ministers in Spain — Grimaldi's Letter to Fuentes — Symptoms of Reaction

Letter of Aubry — Aubry and the Council — New Delegates sent to France — Foucault's Treachery — Departure of the Frigate — Increase of the Reaction — Scheme of a Republic — Anxieties of the Public Mind — Reaction in Favor of the Spanish Officers — Arrival of O'Reilly — Message from O'Reilly to Aubry — Aubry's Speech to the People — Deputation from the City — Address of Lafrénière — O'Reilly's Reply — Close of the Interview — Landing of the Spaniards — Landing of the Troops — Reception of O'Reilly — The Closing Ceremonies — Aubry's Despatches — Letter from O'Reilly to Aubry — Aubry's Answer — Arrest of the Insurgent Leaders — Death of Villeré — O'Reilly's Proclamation — Arrest of Foucault — Ceremony of Swearing Allegiance — Proceedings with respect to Foucault — Letter from Aubry — Foucault sent to France — Release of Braud

A State Trial — Presentment of the Attorney-General — Remarks on the Plea of the Accused — Quotation from Vattel — The Judgment — Appeals to O'Reilly — His Inflexibility — The Negro Jeannot — Execution of the Prisoners — Death of Aubry — Comments on the Execution — Despatch of O'Reilly to Grimaldi — Feelings and Ideas of the Time — Charge of Duplicity against O'Reilly — Anecdote of Cardinal Richelieu — Maisons d'Acadiens — Polished Manners of the Colonists — Census of the Inhabitants — Concluding Remarks

Volume III: The Spanish Domination

O'Reilly's Administration — Organization of the Government — Oath of Office — O'Reilly's Proclamation — Duties and Jurisdiction of Public Officers — O'Reilly's Legislation — Its Effects on the Laws previously Existing — O'Reilly's Instructions to Commandants — O'Reilly's Enlightened Views on the Commercial Wants of the Colony — O'Reilly's Liberal Policy — Raising of the Louisiana Regiment — Inauguration of the Cabildo — Concessions of Vacant Lands — Regulations for Grants of Land — New Orleans — Its Annual Revenue — Commercial Regulations — The Capuchins and the Nuns — The French Black Code re-enacted — O'Reilly's Administration approved by the King — O'Reilly's Character

Unzaga's Administration — Commerce of the Colony — Disastrous Hurricane — Religious Quarrels — Father Dagobert — Character of Father Dagobert — Character of Father Génoveaux — Arrival of Spanish Capuchins — Father Cirilo's Despatches on the Clergy and Inhabitants of Louisiana — The Clergy of Louisiana in 1772 — The Clergy of Louisiana in 1773 — Unzaga's Despatch on the Quarrels of the Clergy — The Colony reconciled to the New Government — Its Interference between Debtors and Creditors — Power of granting Lands where Vested — Defensive Resources of the Colony — Unzaga desires his Recall — Unzaga recommends a Better Organization — End of Unzaga's Administration

Galvez' Administration — Encouragement to Commerce and Agriculture — Joint Despatch of Villars and D'Aunoy — George Morgan's Letter to Galvez — Galvez provides for the Defence of the Colony — Views of Spain as to the American War in 1777 — Galvez gives Assistance to the Americans — Captain Willing's Expedition — New Facilities granted to Commerce in 1778 — Spanish Colonists from the Canary Islands — The English Trade excluded from the Colony — The Confiscation of Noyan's Estate — Other Colonists from the Canary Islands — Ravages of the Small-Pox and of Hurricanes — Spain declares War against England — Galvez' Military Preparations — Galvez' Address to the Louisianians — Galvez ready to attack the English — Departure of the Expedition — Fort Manchac carried by Storm — Siege of Baton Rouge — Baton Rouge and Natchez taken — Naval Exploit of Vincent Rieux — Good Behavior of the Militia — Good Behavior of the Blacks and Indians — Rewards granted by the Spanish Court — An Epic Poem by Julien Poydras — Galvez attacks Mobile — Surrender of Mobile — Galvez prepares to attack Pensacola — Sounding of the Pensacola Channel — The Spanish Admiral refuses to enter it — Galvez causes the Channel to be sounded — Heroism of Galvez — Siege of Pensacola — Blowing-up of a Redoubt — Capitulation of Pensacola — Insurrection and retaking of Fort Panmure — Retreat of the Insurgents from Natchez — Distress of the Insurgents — Martin Navarro's Circular — Answer of the Colonists — Privileges granted to the Colony — Father Cirilo made a Bishop — Treaty between Spain and other Powers — M'Gillivray the Half-Breed Indian — His Propositions and Disclosures to Spain — A Congress of the Indian Nations — Treaty of Spain with the Indians — Regulations for the Indian Trade — Extraordinary Severity of the Winter of 1784 — Galvez Viceroy of Mexico — The Character of Galvez — Death of Galvez

What is a Juez de Residencia? — Census of 1785 — Arrival of Acadian Families — Respite granted to Debtors — Commerce of the Colony — Mirò's View on the same Subject — Navarro's Recommendations on the Subject — Royal Order as to the Natchez District in 1786 — Mirò's Bando de Buen Gobierno — Arrival of Irish Priests — Navarro's Fears of the Americans — Defenceless State of the Colony — Navarro's Advice to his Government — Navarro's Fears of American Ambition — Epidemics in the Colony — Mirò conciliates the Indians — Cost of Indian Friendship — Schemes to dismember the United States — Plans of Mirò and Gardoqui — Wilkinson's Visit to New Orleans — Wilkinson's Memorial — George Morgan, Leader of Emigrants — Mirò and Wower D'Argès — Mirò's Views on American Emigration — Mirò advocates Commercial Franchises — Mirò's Instructions to Grandpré — Oath imposed on Emigrants — Great Fire in New Orleans — Public Education in 1788 — Spanish Intrigues with Wilkinson — Wilkinson's Letter to Mirò — Major Isaac Dun — Alexander Leatt Bullit and Harry Innis — Daniel Clark, Wilkinson's Agent — Wilkinson's Flatboats — Spanish Loan to Wilkinson — M'Gillivray's Letter to Mirò — Intrigues in Cumberland District — Census of Louisiana in 1788 — Navarro's Memorial — Spanish Intrigues in the West — Colonel Morgan's Memorial — Gardoqui's Letter to Major Dunn — Oliver Pollock and James Brown — Inundations in Louisiana — Wilkinson's Intrigues — Col. Marshall and Col. Muter — Caleb Wallace and Benjamin Sebastian — Intrigues in the Kentucky Convention — Action of Wilkinson in that Body — Wilkinson communicates his Views to Spain — Wilkinson's Advice to Spain — Wilkinson's Apprehensions of Detection — English Intrigues in the West — Wilkinson dupes Colonel Connelly — Wilkinson denounces the French — Wilkinson's Devotion to Spain — Gen. St. Clair's Letter to Major Dunn — Wilkinson and James Brown — Gardoqui and Major Dunn — Wilkinson denounces Colonel Morgan — Peter Paulus, Dorsey and Paulin — Wilkinson's Letter to Gardoqui — Mirò's Dealings with Peter Paulus — Mirò's Despatch to his Government — Mirò's Instructions to Wilkinson — He recommends to reward Wilkinson

Governor Sevier's Letter to Gardoqui — Dr. James White's Letter to Mirò — Mirò's Answer — Districts of Mirò and Frankland — Mirò and General Daniel Smith — Mirò and Gardoqui at Variance — Mirò rebukes Colonel Morgan — Colonel Morgan's Apology — Surveyor-General Thos. Hutchins — Pierre Foucher and New Madrid — The Holy Inquisition — Father Antonio de Sedella — The Cathedral in New Orleans — The South Carolina Company — Moultrie, Huger, Snipes, Washington — Wilkinson's Advice to the S. C. Company — Sebastian begging Remuneration — Continuation of Wilkinson's Intrigues — G. Nicholas, S. M'Dowell and Payton Short — Continual of Wilkinson's Intrigues — Wilkinson's Wish to become a Spaniard — Moultrie's Letter to Wilkinson — Mirò's Letter to Wilkinson — Mirò's Contemptuous Language — A Lesson to Traitors — Mirò's Distrust of Wilkinson — Sebastian, a Spy on Wilkinson — Mirò praising Wilkinson — James O'Fallon's Letter to Mirò — Plan of the South Carolina Company — O'Fallon's Credentials — Scheme to set up an Independent Government — Wilkinson's Opinion of O'Fallon — Mirò's Cautious Reserve — Mirò and the South Carolina Company — Mirò's Suggestions — Spain and the Half-Breed M'Gillivray — The Cabildo's Memorial to the King — Apprehensions of an English War — Negotiations between Spain and the United States — Failure of Mirò's Schemes — Revenue of Louisiana in 1790 — Mirò's Departure — Spanish Domination growing popular

Carondelet's Administration — Factions in the Colony — Capture of Wm. Augustus Bowles — Life of Wm. Augustus Bowles — M'Gillivray's Death — M'Gillivray's Character — Extension of Commercial Franchises — Jacobinism in Louisiana — Carondelet's Defensive Measures — Fortifications at New Orleans — Spanish Alliance with the Indians — Carondelet's Policy and Views — Interference between Debtors and Creditors — Carondelet favors the Natchez District — Emancipation of Indian Slaves — Great Conflagration of New Orleans — Address of French jacobins — Intrigues of Genet — Military Resources of the Colony — De la Chaise's Address — De la Chaise's Death — Renewal of Wilkinson's Schemes — Etienne de Boré, the First Sugar Planter — Carondelet's Proclamation — The Carondelet Canal — Encouragement to Emigrants — A Slave Conspiracy — The Madrid Treaty of 1795 — Spanish Intrigues in the West — Power, the Agent of Carondelet — Carondelet's Propositions — Carondelet's Appeal to Wilkinson — Failure of Carondelet's Schemes — War declared against England — Gayoso and Ellicott — Gayoso's Subterfuges — Excitement in the Natchez District — The Committee of Public Safety — Gayoso's Concessions — Intendant Rendon's Despatch — Taking of the Balize by the French — Improvements in New Orleans — First Appearance of Yellow Fever — Bishop Penalvert's Despatch — General Victor Collot — The New Orleans Fortifications — The Inhabitants of the Illinois District — General Collot's Arrest — The End of Carondelet's Administration

Gayoso's Administration — Gayoso's Bando de Buen Gobierno — Illustrious Strangers in 1798 — Duke of Orleans and his Brothers — Captain Guion at Natchez — Formation of the Mississippi Territory — Count Aranda's Prophecy — Reflections on General Wilkinson — Change in Gen. Wilkinson's Views — Daniel Clark appointed Consul — Intendant Morales and his Measures — Morales quarrels with Gayoso — Morales' Despatch — Morales' Complaints — Morales and Wilkinson — Fine imposed on Carondelet — Gayoso's Death — Census of Upper Louisiana — Casa Calvo appointed Governor — Bishop Penalvert's Comments — Designs of the Americans on Louisiana — Bonaparte and Louisiana — Pontalba's Memoir — Treaty of St. Ildephonso

Rufus King's Despatch — Mr. Madison to Mr. Pinckney — Treaty between Spain and France — Livingston's Despatch to Rufus King — Revolutionary Spirit in the Colony — Dread of the Americans — Morales' Proclamation in 1802 — Mr. King on the Cession of Louisiana — Livingston to Talleyrand — Livingston to Madison — Treaty of Amiens — Mr. Madison to Mr. Livingston — Mr. King and Lord Hawkesbury — Livingston's Exertions in France — His Views on the Cession of Louisiana — Mr Livingston's Negotiations — Livingston and Joseph Bonaparte — Daniel Clarke and General Victor — Talleyrand's Assurances — The Right of Deposit at New Orleans — Madison's Despatch on Colonial Officers — The President to Congress — The President to Monroe — Debates in Congress — Mr. Ross in the Senate — The House of Representatives to the Senate — Mr. Ross's Resolutions — Mr. White's Speech in the Senate — Mr. White in the Senate — Mr. Jackson in the Senate — Mr. Clinton in the Senate — Mr. Breckenridge's Resolutions in the Senate — Mr. Griswold's Resolutions in the House — Mr. Randolph's Motion in the House — Mr. Madison's Despatch to Livingston — Livingston's Propositions to Talleyrand — Credentials to Monroe and Livingston — Mr. Livingston's Energetic Address — Mr. King and Mr. Addington — Livingston's Dealings with Talleyrand — Talleyrand shrugs his Shoulders — Barbé Marbois's Walk in the Garden — The Struggle of the Diplomatists — What is Louisiana worth? — The Negotiation fairly opened — The Way to make a Bargain — Barbé Marbois' Diplomacy — Bonaparte and his Advisers — M. Marbois in Cabinet Council — Decrès in the Council — Bonaparte in the Council — Treaty of Cession to the United States — Diplomatic Hand-Sharking — Bonaparte's Prophecy

Importance of the Cession — Talleyrand's Way of Explaining — Was West Florida ceded? — French View of the Question — Spain's Protest — Mr. Madison on the Protest — Casa Irujo to Mr. Madison — Madison to Pinckney — The French Chargé on the Protest — The President's Message in 1803 — Debates in congress — Mr. White in the Senate — Mr. Pickering in the Senate — Mr. Tracy in the Senate — Mr. Breckenridge in the Senate — John Quincy Adams in the Senate — Mr. Griswold in the House — Arguments of his Opponents — Thomas Randolph in the House — Mr. Griswold in the House — Mr. Dana in the House — Mr. Thomas Randolph in Reply — Mr. John Randolph in the House — Resolutions adopted — What Bills finally adopted

Morales and Casa Irujo in Conflict — Intended Reorganization of the Colony — The Colonial Prefect Laussat — Fears of the Colonists — The French coldly received — Laussat on the State of the Colony — Laussat on the Right of Deposit — Laussat's Proclamation — Address of the Planters — Address of the Inhabitants of New Orleans — Spanish Commissioners' Proclamation — Laussat's Despatch to his Government — Laussat's Discontent — Quarrels between Burthe and Laussat — News of the Cession to the United States — Possession given to the French — Laussat's Proclamation — New Organization of the Colony — Withdrawal of the Spanish Troops — Laussat's Version of what happened — The First Mayor of New Orleans — Laussat's Preparations — Laussat's Embarrassment — Laussat and the Disaffected Militia — Laussat's Distrust of the Spaniards — Laussat's Excitement — Review of Laussat's Course — Splendid Festivities — Claiborne and Wilkinson's Joint Commission — The Americans take Possession — Claiborne's Proclamation — Situation of the Colony in 1803 — Louisiana an Incumbrance to Spain — Concluding Remarks

Volume IV: The American Domination

Cession of Louisiana to the United States — 1803‑1804. Effects of the Cession — Feelings of the Inhabitants — Organization of the Territory — Powers of Governor Claiborne — Act of Congress about Slavery — Laussat's Dispatch — His Views and Predictions — Affrays and Tumults — Unpopularity of the Cession — Secession of the Western States — The Louisiana Bank — Condition of the Militia — Public Meetings — Insurrection above Manchac — Kemper and his Followers — Opposition to the Government — Judicial Organization — Adoption of Laws — Governor Claiborne Sworn into Office — Spanish Intrigues — A Political Pamphlet — Popular Excitement — Governor Claiborne's Vindication — Two Hundred Frenchmen Ordered Away — Garcia and Morgan — Arrest of Garcia — Casa Calvo's Complaints — Claiborne's Answers — Importation of Slaves — First Legislative Assembly — Belief in Re-cession — The Yellow Fever — Prevention of Yellow Fever — Debates in Congress — Reflections on the Debates

Governor Claiborne's Administration — 1805. Petition of the Louisianians — John Randolph's Report — Congressional Legislation — Claiborne to Madison — New Territorial Government — Grants of Land by Morales — Casa Calvo and his Body-Guard — Quarrels between Morales and Casa Calvo — Disciplined Departure of the Spaniards — Increase of Spanish Armaments — Apprehensions of Spanish Hostilities — Suspected Spanish Agents — Aaron Burr Arranges in New Orleans — Claiborne' Secret Correspondence — The Spaniards Unwilling to Depart — Claiborne's Remonstrances — Claiborne and Casa Calvo — Departure of Casa Calvo — Casa Calvo Goes to Texas — Claiborne Prepares for War — Suspicious Movements of Casa Calvo — Claiborne Asks for Reinforcements — Organization of the militia — Negotiations with Spain — Pinckney and Cevallos — Monroe Sent to Spain — France Unfavorable to the U. S. — Negotiations with Spain — Ultimatum of the United States — Negotiations with Spain at an end — Attacks Against Claiborne — Claiborne's Self-Vindication — Claiborne not on a Bed of Roses — New Orleans Incorporated — Religious Quarrels — Claiborne and his Enemies — Sauvé, Destréhan and Derbigny — Claiborne's Report to Madison — Important Manuscript Found — The Ursuline Nuns put on the Stage — Meeting of the Legislature — Claiborne's Message — Father Walsh and Father Antonio — A Schism Among the Catholics — The Fortifications of New Orleans — Claiborne and Land Titles — List of the Public Buildings — Conflict of Civil and Military Authority — Condition of the Judiciary

Governor Claiborne's Administration — 1806. Military Resources of the Territory — Secretary Graham to Madison — The Spaniards still Linger in Louisiana — Claiborne's Alarms — The Mulatto Corps — Claiborne to Casa Calvo — Battalion of Orleans Volunteers — Indifference to the Right of Suffrage — Expulsion of Morales — Expulsion of Casa Calvo — High Charges in Louisiana — Internal Improvements — Claiborne on Education — Increase of Troops Required — Hostile Act of the Spaniards — John Randolph and Claiborne — Regulations on Citizenship — Governor Claiborne's Veto — Claiborne's Opinion of the Natives — Another Veto by Claiborne — Claiborne and the French Consul — Election of D. Clarke to Congress — Emigration from Louisiana — Causes of Discontent — Claiborne and the Lady Abbess — Judicial Decision on Allegiance — Celebration of the Fourth of July — Claiborne and General Herrera — Claiborne's Military Measures — Arrival of Wilkinson — father Antoine Suspected — Father Antoine Swears Allegiance — Claiborne's Conflicting Opinions — Claiborne's Despondency — Wilkinson Denounces Burr — Daniel Clarke Suspected — Commotion in New Orleans — Claiborne and Martial Law — Wilkinson and Martial Law — Claiborne and the Embargo — Proposed Impressment of Sailors — Wilkinson and Aaron Burr — Claiborne and Wilkinson Disagree — Cowles Meade on Burr — Arrest of Citizens — Swartwout and Ogden — Claiborne and Judge Workman — The Embargo Repealed

Governor Claiborne's Administration — 1807‑1808. Arrest of Workman and Kerr — Suspicious Movements of Folch — Claiborne to Cowles Meade — The Legislature and Wilkinson — Arrest of Aaron Burr — Claiborne on the Plans of Burr — Claiborne and the Habeas Corpus — Military Interference with Slavery — Claiborne and the Batture — Edward Livingston and the Batture — Riots about the Batture Claim — Claiborne and the Rioters — Proceedings of the Rioters — Governor Claiborne on the Judiciary — The President and the Batture — Claiborne's Instructions to a Judge — Demolition of Fort St. Louis — Digest of Civil Law — Circular to Militia Officers — Riots and Disturbances — Claiborne on the Civil Law — Reflections on the Civil Law — Proceedings in Courts — Aversion to Militia Duty — Negroes Running Away to Texas

Claiborne's Administration — 1809‑1810. Claiborne on Public Schools — Criminal Jurisprudence and Punishments — Claiborne on Foreign Relations — Surrender of Runaway Negroes — Arrival of United States Troops — Violent Feuds in Pointe Coupée — Admission into the Union Demanded — Census of Inhabitants — Opposition to State Government — French Emigration from Cuba — Claiborne and the French Emigrants — Claiborne Checking Immigration — Arrival of too Many Strangers — Sickness Among the U. S. Troops — Mortality Among the U. S. Troops — Encouragement to Domestic Industry — The Yellow Fever and Health Laws — Necessity of Public Education — Claiborne on Public Appointments — Hostility of Claiborne Increasing — Claiborne's Noble Letter — Smuggling of Slaves and Merchandise — Heroism of Louis Grandpré — A Declaration of Independence — Convention of West Florida — West Florida Annexed — The President's Proclamation — Instructions to Claiborne — Address to the Floridians — Great Britain's Protest — New Parishes Formed

Claiborne's Administration — 1811‑1812. Debates in Congress — Mr. Miller's Speech — Mr. Rhea's Speech — Josiah Quincy's Speech — Poindexter's Speech — Mr. Gold's Speech — A Convention Called — Conditions of Admission as a State — Insurrection of Negroes — The Negroes Defeated — Livingston and Fulton — Meeting of the State Convention — Speech of Poydras — Proceedings of the Convention — The Constitution of Louisiana

Administration of Governor Claiborne — 1812‑1813. Debates in Congress — Enlargement of the State — State Government Organized — War with Great Britain — Aversion for Public Life — A Want of Men for Offices — A number of Resignations — Madison's Inaugural Address — The Smugglers of Barataria — Danger of Indian Hostilities — Conflagrations and Overflows — F. X. Martin on the Constitution — Credit of U. S. Impaired — Inadequate Protection from the U. S. — The Militia to be called out — Judicial Decision on the Batture — Massacres by the Indians — Claiborne's Indian Talk — Proclamation Against Smugglers — John and Pierre Lafitte — Deeds of the Buccaneers — The Baratarians — Anxieties of the Public Mind

Claiborne's Administration — 1814. Effects of War — Suggested Ameliorations — Too Much Legislation — The Baratarians — F. X. Martin on the Constitution — Projected Invasion of Texas — Re­quisition on the Militia — Insubordination of the Militia — Danger of a Civil War — Claiborne and the Militia — Unpopularity of Militia Duty — The Militia Refractory — Federal Re­quisition Rejected — Claiborne on the Press — Claiborne's Appeal — Danger of Invasion Increasing — Claiborne to be impeached — Peace with the Creeks — Louisiana's Destiny — The Free Men of Color — Claiborne's Military Orders — English Proclamation — British Colonel Nicholls — Colonel Nicholls to his Troops — Claiborne's Apprehensions — Claiborne to General Jackson — Claiborne to the Louisianians — Public Meeting — Patriotic Resolutions — Committee's Address to Louisianians — Claiborne to Major Girod — Attack on Fort Bowyer — The British Repulsed — General Jackson's Proclamation — Jackson to the Colored Men — Colonel Nicholls to John Lafitte — Sir W. H. Percy to John Lafitte — John Lafitte to Claiborne — Pierre Lafitte to Blanque — Expeditions against the Baratarians — Claiborne on the Colored Men — Claiborne trusts the Louisianians — Claiborne on Smuggling — Smuggling no Crime — Sympathy for Smugglers — Jackson and the Spaniards — Pensacola Taken — The French Consul Insulted — Extra Session of the Legislature — Claiborne to the Legislature — Call for the Whole Militia — Claiborne on the Legislature

Governor Claiborne's Administration — 1814. The Banks Suspend Payment — Arrival of General Jackson — General Jackson's Character — Defenceless Condition of the State — Jackson's Preparations — Importance of Louisiana — General Jackson's Oath — Claiborne's Military Claims — Claiborne to the Senate — Literature in Louisiana — Approach of the British — Debates in the Legislature — Louaillier's Report — Action of the Legislature — Effects of Jackson's Presence — Battle on Lake Borgne — Federal Neglect of Louisiana — Claiborne's Pithy Message — Martial Law Proclaimed — Jackson's Address to the Citizens — Jackson's Military Measures — Savary, the Colored Man — Jackson's Address to the Militia — Jackson's Military Orders — Services of Lafitte Accepted — A Stay Law Enacted — Arrival of Tennesseeans — Feelings in New Orleans — Forces of the Invaders — Bayou Bienvenu — The Fishermen's Village — Treachery of Fishermen — Landing of the British — Jackson Marching — Skirmishes with the Enemy — Attack by the Carolina — Attack by General Jackson — Battle of the 23d of December — Jackson's Report — General D. Morgan's Corps — Excitement in New Orleans — Reflections — United as One Man

Governor Claiborne's Administration — 1814‑1815. Preparations of the British — Cutting of the Levee — The Carolina Blown up — Attack of the 28th of December — Death of Colonel Henderson — The Congreve Rockets — Artillery Duel — Effective Firing from the Louisiana — Americans Strengthening their Lines — British Black Troops — The Rifle and the Dirty Shirts — Our Mode of Warfare — Cannonade on the 31st of December — Battle of the 1st of January — British Redoubts — Movements of the Enemy — Arrival of the Kentuckians — The Women of Louisiana — Arrival of British Reinforcements — Description of our Lines — Admirable Behaviour of Our Troops — Full Preparations on Both Sides — Battle of the 8th of January — Comments on the Battle — Marshal Soult's Opinion — Military Commentaries — Tribute to Our Troops — Sympathy for the Wounded — Colored Nurses of New Orleans — Incapacity of General D. Morgan — Condition of Morgan's Troops — The Kentuckians Demoralized — Mayor Arnaud's Command — Defeat of General Morgan — Kentuckians Justifying Themselves — Colonel Thornton's Expedition — Thornton Not Arriving in Time — Jackson to Morgan's Defeated Troops — General Humbert — Condition of Morgan's Troops — Suspension of Hostilities — Attack on Fort St. Philip — Evacuation of the British Army — Retreat of the British — Jackson visits the British Camp — Jackson Orders a Thanksgiving — Jackson to his Army — The Results Obtained — Compliments to the Baratarians — General Jackson' Report — Report of a Court-Martial — Reception of Jackson in New Orleans — Address of Abbé Dubourg — Jackson's Answer to Dubourg

Governor Claiborne's Administration — 1815. Jackson Displeased with Claiborne — Surrender of Fort Bowyer — Admiral Cochrane's Complaint — General Keane's Sword — Abducted Negroes Claimed — British Infatuation — Abducted Slaves Claimed — Arbitration of Russia — Historic Contrast — Major Lacoste and his Slaves — British Love of Plunder — Booty and Beauty — Jackson and the Legislature — Jackson's Answer to the Legislature — Claiborne's Answer to the Legislature — Colonel Fortier's Testimony — Abner Duncan's Testimony — Major Davezac's Testimony — Colonel Déclouet's Testimony — Character of Déclouet — Guichard's Testimony — The Committee of Investigation — No Thanks Voted to Jackson — General Coffee to the Legislature — Jackson to the Mayor of New Orleans — Reflections — Skipwith to Jackson — Thibodaux to Skipwith — Blanque's Letter to the Citizens — Reflections

Claiborne's Administration — 1815. Jackson's Quarrel with the French in New Orleans — Jackson's Address to the Militia — General Jackson and the French — Louaillier's Publication — Arrest of Louaillier — Arrest of Judge Hall — Firmness of Duplessis — Arrest of Dick and Hollander — The Militia Disbanded — Jackson on Popularity — Claiborne and Jackson on Bad Terms — Claiborne to Moreau — Claiborne to Jackson — Large Meetings of Citizens — Livingston's Inconsistencies — Trial of Louaillier — Jackson on Martial Law — Martial Law Revoked — Jackson's Farewell Address — The Uniform Companies to Jackson — Jackson to the Uniform Companies — Trial of General Jackson — Jackson's Noble Speech — Jackson's Violent Temper — Federal Compliments to Louisiana — The President's Pardon Proclamation — Claiborne Vindicating Himself — Washington's Advice

Supplemental Chapter — 1816‑1861. Death of Governor Claiborne — Governor James Villeré — Governor T. Bolling Robertson — Governor Henry Johnson — Governor Peter Derbigny — Governor A. B. Roman — Governor E. D. White — Governor A. B. Roman — Governor Alexander Mouton — Governor Isaac Johnson — Governor Joseph Walker — Governor P. O. Hebert — Governor Robert C. Wickliffe — Governor T. O. Moore — The Doom of Louisiana

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Technical Details

Edition Used

The edition transcribed here is that by William J. Widdleton, New York, 1867. It is thus in the public domain: details here on the copyright law involved.


As almost always, I retyped the text by hand rather than scanning it — not only to minimize errors prior to proofreading, but as an opportunity for me to become intimately familiar with the work, an exercise which I heartily recommend: Qui scribit, bis legit. (Well-meaning attempts to get me to scan text, if success­ful, would merely turn me into some kind of machine: gambit declined.)

This transcription is being minutely proofread. In the table of contents above, sections shown on blue backgrounds, indicate that I believe the text of them to be completely errorfree; any shown on red backgrounds have not been proofread. As elsewhere onsite, the header bar at the top of each chapter's webpage will remind you with the same color scheme.

The edition I followed was remarkably well proofread, with maybe only one typographical error in a hundred pages. Most of these few errors, then, have been indicated in the sourcecode, but otherwise have been tacit­ly corrected. In the case of some, I marked the correction, when important (or unavoidable because inside a link), with a bullet like this;º and when trivial, with a dotted underscore like this: as elsewhere on my site, glide your cursor over the bullet or the underscored words to read the variant. Similarly, bullets before measurements provide conversions to metric, e.g., 10 miles.

Where an error is manifest, but for some reason I couldn't fix it, or where it appears in text not written by Gayarré but quoted by him, or again where there might otherwise be some latitude, I marked it º. Inconsistencies in punctuation have been corrected to the author's usual style, in a slightly different color — barely noticeable on the page, but it shows up in the sourcecode as <SPAN CLASS="emend">. Finally, a number of odd spellings, curious turns of phrase, etc. have been marked <!‑‑ sic  in the sourcecode, just to confirm that they were checked.

Any over­looked mistakes, please drop me a line, of course: especially if you have a copy of the printed book in front of you.

Pagination and Local Links

For citation and indexing purposes, the pagination is shown in the right margin of the text at the page turns (like at the end of this line); p57  these are also local anchors. Sticklers for total accuracy will of course find the anchor at its exact place in the sourcecode.

In addition, I've inserted a number of other local anchors: whatever links might be required to accommodate the author's own cross-references, as well as a few others for my own purposes. If in turn you have a website and would like to target a link to some specific passage of the text, please let me know: I'll be glad to insert a local anchor there as well.

[image ALT: An engraving of the head of a bearded man. It is a portrait of the Louisiana historian Charles Gayarré.]

The icon I use to indicate this subsite is a contemporary portrait of the historian.

The Author

a For the inquisitive reader, this quick biographical sketch of Charles Gayarré.

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Site updated: 7 Apr 10