Louisiana (Spanish: Luisiana) was the name of an administrative district of the Viceroyalty of New Spain from 1763 to 1801 that consisted of territory west of the Mississippi River basin, plus New Orleans. Spain acquired the territory from France, which had named it La Louisiane in honor of King Louis XIV in 1682. It is sometimes known as Spanish Louisiana. The district was retroceded to France, under the terms of the Third Treaty of San Ildefonso (1800) and the Treaty of Aranjuez (1801). In 1802, King Charles IV of Spain published a royal bill on 14 October, effecting the transfer and outlining the conditions.
However, Spain agreed to continue administering the colony until French officials arrived and formalized the transfer (1803). The ceremony was conducted at the Cabildo in New Orleans on 30 November 1803, just three weeks before the formalities of cession from France to the United States pursuant to the Louisiana Purchase.
|Spanish colonial Louisiana|
|District of New Spain|
Louisiana (New Spain) (1762)
|•||Acquisition from France||10 February 1763|
|•||Return to France||21 March 1801|
|Political subdivisions||Upper Louisiana;|
|Today part of|| Canada|
Spain was largely a benign absentee landlord administering it from Havana, Cuba, and contracting out governing to people from many nationalities as long as they swore allegiance to Spain. During the American War of Independence, the Spanish funneled their supplies to the American revolutionists through New Orleans and the vast Louisiana territory beyond.
In keeping with being absentee landlords, Spanish efforts to turn Louisiana into a Spanish colony were usually fruitless. For instance, while Spanish officially was the only language of government, the majority of the populace firmly continued to speak French. Even official business conducted at the Cabildo often lapsed into French, requiring a translator on hand.
When Alejandro O'Reilly re-established Spanish rule in 1769, he issued a decree on December 7, 1769, which banned the trade of Native American slaves. Although there was no movement toward abolition of the African slave trade, Spanish rule introduced a new law called coartación, which allowed slaves to buy their freedom, and that of others.
On May 4, 1795, 57 slaves and 3 local white men were put on trial in Point Coupee. At the end of the trial 23 slaves were hanged, 31 slaves received a sentence of flogging and hard labor, and the three white men were deported, with two being sentenced to six years forced labor in Havana.
Spanish colonial officials divided Luisiana into Upper Louisiana (Alta Luisiana) and Lower Louisiana (Baja Luisiana) at 36° 35' North, at about the latitude of New Madrid. This was a higher latitude than during the French administration, for whom Lower Louisiana was the area south of about 31° North (the current northern boundary of the state of Louisiana) or the area south of where the Arkansas River joined the Mississippi River at about 33° 46' North latitude.
In 1764, French fur trading interests founded St. Louis in what was then known as the Illinois Country. The Spanish referred to St. Louis as "the city of Illinois" and governed the region from St. Louis as the "District of Illinois".
To establish Spanish colonies in Louisiana, the Spanish military leader Bernardo de Gálvez, governor of Louisiana at the time, recruited groups of Spanish-speaking Canary Islanders to emigrate to North America. In 1778, several ships embarked for Louisiana with hundreds of settlers. The ships made stops in Havana and Venezuela, where half the settlers disembarked (300 Canarians remained in Venezuela). In the end, between 2,100 and 2,736 Canarians arrived in Louisiana and settled near New Orleans. They settled in Barataria and in what is today St. Bernard Parish. However, many settlers were relocated for various reasons. Barataria suffered hurricanes in 1779 and in 1780; it was abandoned and its population distributed in other areas of colonial Louisiana (although some of its settlers moved to West Florida). In 1782, a splinter group of the Canarian settlers in Saint Bernard emigrated to Valenzuela.
In 1779, another ship with 500 people from Málaga (in Andalusia, Spain), arrived in Spanish Louisiana. These colonists, led by Lt. Col. Francisco Bouligny, settled in New Iberia, where they intermarried with Cajun settlers.
In 1782, during the American Revolutionary War and the Anglo-Spanish War (1779–83), Bernardo de Gálvez recruited men from the Canarian settlements of Louisiana and Galveston (in Spanish Texas, where Canarians had settled since 1779) to join his forces. They participated in three major military campaigns: the Baton Rouge, the Mobile, and the Pensacola, which expelled the British from the Gulf Coast. In 1790 settlers of mixed Canarian and Mexican origin from Galveston settled in Galveztown, Louisiana, to escape the annual flash floods and prolonged droughts of this area.
Beginning in the 1790s, following the slave rebellion in Saint-Domingue (now Haiti) that began in 1791, waves of refugees came to Louisiana. Over the next decade, thousands of migrants from the island landed there, including ethnic Europeans, free people of color, and African slaves, some of the latter brought in by the white elites. They greatly increased the French-speaking population in New Orleans and Louisiana, as well as the number of Africans, and the slaves reinforced African culture in the city.
Alexander Milne (1742–1838) was a Scottish American entrepreneur and philanthropist and was born in Fochabers, Moray, Scotland. He was employed as a footman by the Duke of Richmond and Gordon and when ordered by the duke to powder his red hair, Milne declined, left his employment and emigrated to the American colonies. By 1776, Milne had moved to New Orleans in Louisiana (New Spain), where, after doing well in the hardware business, he set up a brick-making company using mainly slave labour—by the late 18th century most of the brick used in New Orleans was made at his works.Arkansas Post
The Arkansas Post was the first European settlement in the lower Mississippi River Valley and present-day Arkansas when Henri de Tonti established it in 1686 as a French trading post on the banks of the lower Arkansas River. The French and Spanish traded with the Quapaw for years, and the post was of strategic value to the French, Spanish, and Americans. It was designated as the first capital of the Arkansas Territory in 1819, but lost that status to Little Rock in 1821. During the years of fur trading, Arkansas Post was protected by a series of forts. The forts and associated settlements were located at three known sites and possibly a fourth, as the waterfront area was prone to erosion and flooding.The land encompassing the second (and fourth) Arkansas Post site (Red Bluff) was designated as a state park in 1929. In 1960 about 757.51-acre (306.55 ha) of land at the site was protected as a National Memorial and National Historic Landmark; it commemorates the history of several cultures and time periods: the Quapaw, the French settlers who inhabited the small entrepôt as the first Arkansans, Spanish rule, an American Revolutionary War skirmish in 1783, the first territorial capital of Arkansas, and an American Civil War battle in 1863.Three archeological excavations have been conducted at the site, beginning in the 1950s. Experts say the most extensive cultural resources at the site are archeological, both for the 18th and 19th-century settlements, and the earlier Quapaw villages. Due to changes in the river and navigation measures, the water level has risen closer to the height of the bluffs, which used to be well above the river. The site is now considered low lying. Erosion and construction on the river have resulted in the remains of three of the historic forts being under water in the river channel.Battle of St. Louis
The Battle of St. Louis (San Luis in Spanish), also known as the Battle of Fort San Carlos, was an unsuccessful attack led by the British on St. Louis (a French settlement in Spanish Louisiana, founded on the West Bank of the Mississippi River after the 1763 Treaty of Paris) on May 26, 1780, during the Anglo-Spanish War. A former British militia commander led a force primarily of Indians and attacked the settlement. Fernando de Leyba, the Lieutenant Governor of Spanish Louisiana, led the local militia to fortify the town as best as they could and successfully withstood the attack.
On the opposite bank of the Mississippi, a second simultaneous attack on the nearby former British colonial outpost of Cahokia, occupied by Patriot Virginians, was also repulsed. The retreating Indians destroyed the crops and took captive civilians outside the protected area. The British failed to defend their side of the river and, thus, effectively ended any attempts to gain control of the Mississippi River during the war.Bussa's rebellion
Bussa's rebellion (14–16 April 1816) was the largest slave revolt in Barbadian history. The rebellion takes its name from the African-born slave, Bussa, who led the rebellion which was defeated by British forces. Bussa's Rebellion was the first of three large-scale slave rebellions in the British West Indies that shook public faith in slavery in the years leading up to the abolition of slavery in the British Empire and emancipation of former slaves. It was followed by the large-scale rebellion in Demerara in 1823 and by an even larger rebellion in Jamaica in 1831–32. Collectively these are often referred to as the "late slave rebellions".Cession
The act of cession is the assignment of property to another entity. In international law it commonly refers to land transferred by treaty. Ballentine's Law Dictionary defines cession as "a surrender; a giving up; a relinquishment of jurisdiction by a board in favor of another agency" In contrast with annexation, where property is forcibly given up, cession is voluntary or at least apparently so.Charles Dominique Joseph Bouligny
Charles "Dominique" Joseph Bouligny (August 22, 1773 – March 4, 1833) was a lawyer and politician, elected as U.S. Senator from Louisiana, serving 1824 to 1829. He had earlier served in the state House of Representatives. Of French and Spanish descent, he was brother to Louis Bouligny, a state representative, and uncle of John Edward Bouligny, who was elected as US Representative from New Orleans.Claude Trénonay
Claude Trénonay (Jean Claude Trénonay de Chanfrey) (1733–1792) was a wealthy slave-owner who owned a plantation near Point Coupee, Louisiana (New Spain).
Claude was the nephew and heir of Trénonay de Chanfret, who had been the sub-delegate of the Ordonnateur Michel in Point Coupee.
He died on 9 July 1792 when Latulipe, an enslaved Ibo, shot him with a musket while he was eating his dinner.His nephew Armand Duplantier inherited his estate after his death.Great New Orleans Fire (1788)
The Great New Orleans Fire (1788) (Spanish: Gran Incendio de Nueva Orleans) was a fire that destroyed 856 of the 1,100 structures in New Orleans, Louisiana (New Spain), on March 21, 1788, spanning the south central Vieux Carré from Burgundy to Chartres Street, almost to the Mississippi River front buildings. An additional 212 buildings were destroyed in a later citywide fire, on December 8, 1794.Illinois Country
The Illinois Country (French: Pays des Illinois, lit. "land of the Illinois (plural)", i.e. the Illinois people) — sometimes referred to as Upper Louisiana (French: la Haute-Louisiane; Spanish: Alta Luisiana) — was a vast region of New France in what is now the Midwestern United States. While these names generally referred to the entire Upper Mississippi River watershed, French colonial settlement was concentrated along the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers in what is now the U.S. states of Illinois and Missouri, with outposts in Indiana. Explored in 1673 from Green Bay to the Arkansas River by the Canadien expedition of Louis Jolliet and Jacques Marquette, the area was claimed by France. It was settled primarily from the Pays d'en Haut in the context of the fur trade. Over time, the fur trade took some French to the far reaches of the Rocky Mountains, especially along the branches of the broad Missouri River valley. The French name, Pays des Illinois, means "Land of the Illinois [plural]" and is a reference to the Illinois Confederation, a group of related Algonquian native peoples.
Up until 1717, the Illinois Country was governed by the French province of Canada, but by order of King Louis XV, the Illinois Country was annexed to the French province of Louisiana, with the northeastern administrative border being somewhat vaguely on or near the upper Illinois River. The territory thus became known as "Upper Louisiana." By the mid-18th century, the major settlements included Cahokia, Kaskaskia, Chartres, Saint Philippe, and Prairie du Rocher, all on the east side of the Mississippi in present-day Illinois; and Ste. Genevieve across the river in Missouri, as well as Fort Vincennes in what is now Indiana.As a consequence of the French defeat in the Seven Years' War, the Illinois Country east of the Mississippi River was ceded to the British, and the land west of the river to the Spanish. Following the British occupation of the left bank (when heading downstream) of the Mississippi in 1764, some Canadien settlers remained in the area, while others crossed the river, forming new settlements such as St. Louis.
Eventually, the eastern part of the Illinois Country became part of the British Province of Quebec, while the inhabitants chose to side with the Americans during the Revolutionary War. Although the lands west of the Mississippi were sold in 1803 to the United States by France—which had reclaimed possession of Luisiana from the Spanish in the Third Treaty of San Ildefonso—French language and culture continued to exist in the area, with the Missouri French dialect still being spoken into the 20th century.Because of the deforestation that resulted from the cutting of much wood for fuel during the 19th-century age of steamboats, the Mississippi River became more shallow and broad, with more severe flooding and lateral changes in its channel in the stretch from St. Louis to the confluence with the Ohio River. As a consequence, many architectural and archaeological resources were lost to flooding and destruction of early French colonial villages originally located near the river, including Kaskaskia, St. Philippe, Cahokia, and Ste. Genevieve.Indian Reserve (1763)
The Indian Reserve is a historical term for the largely uncolonized area in North America acquired by Great Britain from France through the Treaty of Paris (1763) at the end of the Seven Years' War (known as the French and Indian War in the North American theatre), and set aside in the Royal Proclamation of 1763 for use by Native Americans, who already inhabited it. The British government had contemplated establishing an Indian barrier state in the portion of the reserve west of the Appalachian Mountains, and bounded by the Ohio and Mississippi rivers and the Great Lakes. British officials aspired to establish such a state even after the region was assigned to the United States in the Treaty of Paris (1783) ending the American Revolutionary War, but abandoned their efforts in 1814 after losing military control of the region during the War of 1812.In present-day United States, it consisted of all the territory north of Florida and New Orleans that was east of the Mississippi River and west of the Eastern Continental Divide in the Appalachian Mountains that formerly comprised the eastern half of Louisiana (New France). In modern Canada, it consisted of all the land immediately north of the Great Lakes but south of Rupert's Land belonging to the Hudson's Bay Company, as well as a buffer between the Province of Canada and Rupert's Land stretching from Lake Nipissing to Newfoundland.
The Royal Proclamation of 1763 organized on paper much of the new territorial gains in three colonies in North America—East Florida, West Florida, and Quebec. The rest of the expanded British territory was left to Native Americans. The delineation of the Eastern Divide, following the Allegheny Ridge of the Appalachians, confirmed the limit to British settlement established at the 1758 Treaty of Easton, before Pontiac's War. Additionally, all European settlers in the territory (who were mostly French) were supposed to leave the territory or get official permission to stay. Many of the settlers moved to New Orleans and the French land on the west side of the Mississippi (particularly St. Louis), which in turn had been ceded secretly to Spain to become Louisiana (New Spain). However, many of the settlers remained and the British did not actively attempt to evict them.In 1768, lands west of the Alleghenies and south of the Ohio were ceded to the colonies by the Cherokee at the Treaty of Hard Labour and by the Six Nations at the Treaty of Fort Stanwix. However, several other aboriginal nations, particularly Shawnee and Mingo, continued to inhabit and claim their lands that had been sold to the British by other tribes. This conflict led to Dunmore's War in 1774, ended by the Treaty of Camp Charlotte where these nations agreed to accept the Ohio River as the new boundary.
Restrictions on settlement were to become a flash point in the American Revolutionary War, following the Henderson Purchase of much of Kentucky from the Cherokee in 1775. The renegade Cherokee chief Dragging Canoe did not agree to the sale, nor did the Royal Government in London, which forbade settlement in this region. As an act of revolution in defiance of the crown, white pioneer settlers began pouring into Kentucky in 1776, opposed by Dragging Canoe in the Cherokee–American wars, which continued until 1794.James Mather
James Mather (c. 1750 in England – 1821 in St. James Parish, Louisiana) was mayor of New Orleans from March 9, 1807 to May 23, 1812, at which time he resigned. Mather's five-year administration overlapped, by a few weeks, the transition from the United States' Territory of Orleans period to the State of Louisiana's antebellum period, with New Orleans serving as the first state capital.
His place of birth is variously given as Coupland in Northumberland; or London. A merchant by trade, he moved to America in 1776, and by 1780 he was working in New Orleans, contracting with the Spanish Government to operate two vessels out of the port and importing articles required in the trade with the Indians of Louisiana (New Spain) and West Florida.
Mather and his descendants owned a large sugar plantation in Lutcher, Louisiana, until 1879.He was appointed mayor of New Orleans by William C.C. Claiborne, the territorial governor. Almost as soon as became mayor, he was obliged to take measures to defend the city against the possibility of a conspiracy by the friends of Aaron Burr, which, however, did not eventuate. In November 1809, through similar measures, he is credited with averting an insurrection of the black population.
Mather attempted to establish a viable police force for the city, but failed. He succeeded, however, in creating a tolerably efficient fire department.
The last years of his administration saw him under fire for being under the influence of certain individuals, for failing to protect the city's interests by vetoing the resolutions of the city council, and for hiring people to write anonymous letters attacking his enemies and paying them with public funds: whether any of this was true has proved impossible to determine. In 1812, however, his health was infirm, and he resigned.
James Mather retired to his son's property on the "Acadian Coast" along the Mississippi River, where he died in 1821.List of colonial governors of Louisiana
This is a list of the colonial governors of Louisiana, from the founding of the first settlement by the French in 1699 to the territory's acquisition by the United States in 1803.
The French and Spanish governors administered a territory which was much larger than the modern U.S. state of Louisiana, comprising Louisiana (New France) and Louisiana (New Spain), respectively.
At the same time, there are parts of present-day Louisiana which were historically administered by other colonial powers, with the most prominent example being the area known as the Florida Parishes, north of Lake Pontchartrain and east of the Mississippi River. This territory was originally part of French Louisiana, but it belonged to the Kingdom of Great Britain for twenty years (1763–83) following the French and Indian War.Louisiana Rebellion of 1768
The Rebellion of 1768 was an unsuccessful attempt by Creole and German settlers around New Orleans, Louisiana to stop the handover of the French Louisiana Territory to Spain, as had been stipulated in the 1762 Treaty of Fontainebleau.
The rebellion aimed to force the new Spanish Louisiana Governor Antonio de Ulloa to leave New Orleans and return to Spain but his replacement Alejandro O'Reilly was able to crush the rebellion, execute five of its ringleaders and firmly establish Spanish law in the territory.Manuel Lisa
Manuel Lisa, also known as Manuel de Lisa (September 8, 1772 in New Orleans Louisiana (New Spain) – August 12, 1820 in St. Louis, Missouri), was a Spanish citizen and later, became an American citizen who, while living on the western frontier, became a land owner, merchant, fur trader, United States Indian agent, and explorer. Lisa was among the founders, in St. Louis, of the Missouri Fur Company, an early fur trading company. Manuel Lisa gained respect through his trading among Native American tribes of the upper Missouri River region, such as the Teton Sioux, Omaha and Ponca.
After being appointed, as US Indian agent, during the War of 1812, Lisa used his standing among the tribes to encourage their alliance with the United States and their warfare against tribes allied with the United Kingdom. While still married to a European-American woman in St. Louis, where he kept a residence, in 1814 Lisa married Mitane, a daughter of Big Elk, the principal chief of the Omaha people, as part of securing their alliance. They had two children together, whom Lisa provided for equally in his will with his children by his other marriage.New York Slave Revolt of 1712
The New York Slave Revolt of 1712 was an uprising in New York City, in the British Province of New York, of 23 enslaved Africans. They killed nine whites and injured another six before they were stopped. More than three times that number of blacks, 70, were arrested and jailed. Of these, 27 were put on trial, and 21 convicted and executed.Spanish missions in Louisiana
The Spanish missions in Louisiana were religious outposts in Spanish Louisiana (La Louisiane) region of the Viceroyalty of New Spain, located within the present-day U.S. states of Louisiana and East Texas.
They were established by Spanish missionaries for Indian Reductions of the local Native Americans.Third Treaty of San Ildefonso
The Third Treaty of San Ildefonso was a secret agreement signed on 1 October 1800 between the Spanish Empire and the First French Republic by which Spain agreed in principle to exchange their North American colony of Louisiana for territories in Tuscany. The terms were later confirmed by the March 1801 Treaty of Aranjuez.Three Flags Day
Three Flags Day commemorates March 9 and 10, 1804, when Spain officially completed turning over the Louisiana (New Spain) colonial territory to France, who then officially turned over the same lands to the United States, in order to finalize the 1803 Louisiana Purchase.
The ceremony in St. Louis cleared the way for Lewis and Clark to begin their exploration.Zénon Trudeau
Zénon Trudeau (1748–1813) was a soldier, planter, and administrator who served as Lieutenant-governor of Upper Louisiana, New Spain, between 1792 and 1799.
in New Spain