« PreviousContinue »
and without losing time let the deeds of royal donation be granted, to which, for the security of the possession and property of the legitimate possessors, the royal munificence likewise extends. And, whereas, in the record of the sales of the aforesaid lots and houses, doubt was entertained as to the legitimate property of those which were possessed by Donna Isabella Perpal, Martin Fernandez, and Manuel de Herrera, which, notwithstanding, were sold at auction as belonging to the royal patrimony as the others, give them notice, individually, or to the persons who lawfully represent them, of the royal cedula which likewise extends to these estates, in order that they may use their rights, upon which, and other incidents which might occur, and cannot be adverted to in this general provision, others will progressively be given, as the cases and circumstances will require, and of all the fiscal representation will be informed for the interest of their office.
Don Henrique White, colonel of the royal army, political and military governor of the city of St. Augustine of Florida, and of this province, for his majesty, provided and signed it, with the opinion of his lieutenant auditor of war and general assessor, on the 18th of March, 1802.
JOSE DE ZUBERRARRETA,
This is a copy of the original, which remains registered in this principal treasury of the army in my charge. St. Augustine, Florida, date aforesaid.
This is a true copy.
This is a true copy.
JUAN DE CASANOVA.
No. 5. I have received the report of your lordship, dated 16th September last, about Don Thomas Wooster, whose affairs and conduct compel this government to expel him from that province, of which event I will inform his majesty. I cannot consent to the introduction of Irish families, which your lordship proposes to me, under other conditions than those fixed to me by the king, of which I enclose a copy to your lordship for his government. "Do not admit in Louisiana, nor in Florida, any settler, if they pretend to have their passage to these colonies, and their subsistence there for any time, paid by the royal treasurer, but receive only those strangers who will, of their own accord, come to take the oath of allegiance to his majesty, and to them give land gratis in proportion to the workers of each family. They must not be disturbed in matters of religion, although no other public worship than the
catholic shall be permitted. Do not give them any other succour or help but land, protection, and polite treatment; every family being permitted to bring its property, of whatever quality, entirely free from duty, paying, however, the six per cent. established in case of exporting their goods elsewhere, and contracting the obligation of taking arms only in defence of the province against any enemy who should try to invade it." Which regulation your lordship must limit yourself to, in whatever instance, where the circumstances provided for should happen. God preserve your lordship many years. Havana, 29th of October, 1790.
To Don Juan Nepom. de Quesada.
LUIS DE LAS CASAS.
St. Augustine of Florida, 12th of December, 1790. Have it registered in the royal treasury.
Registered in the treasury of which I have charge. St. Augustine of Florida, 12th of December, 1790.
This is a copy of the original which the governor sent me to be registered, and which was returned to him. St. Augustine of Florida, 12th of December, 1790.
This is a copy of the original, which I certify, to send the royal tribunal of accounts of Havana. St. Augustine of Florida, 24th of November, 1804.
A true copy.
No. 6. Don Diego Gardoqui, in date of the 14th of March last, tells me what follows by order of the king, in virtue of your representation made by your excellency through the secretary of war, in date of the 6th of November of last year, No. 231, consulting upon the doubts entertained by the governor of St. Augustine of Florida upon the duties to be paid by the new settlers, who, after having taken the oath of allegiance, should choose to return to their country. His majesty has resolved to grant the liberty to export their capitals and goods which they had brought with them without paying any export duty to all the Spanish and foreign settlers who should choose to return to their country or former domiciles, within the first five years of their residence in that province, paying, however, the ten per cent. of the increase of their property during that time, facilitating, by this grace, the settlement of that province, so much wished by his majesty; by whose royal order I communicate this to your excellency to participate this royal determination to the governor of St. Augustine of East Florida, and trusting him
with its execution. I copy this to your lordship for its more punctual observance. God preserve your lordship many years. Havana, 27th of May, 1793.
To the Governor of Florida.
LUIS DE LAS CASAS.
Answer of the Governor.
Your Excellency: In date of the 27th of May last, your excellency is pleased to enclose me the royal order, which, together with the one of the preceding 14th of March, had been communicated to him by Don Diego Gardoqui, in consequence of the doubts which I had proposed to your excellency about the duties which the new settlers have to pay, who, after having sworn allegiance, chose to return to their country. And notwithstanding that the royal determination is so much in harmony with the kind heart of his majesty, and with his wish to improve this province, to which I have no doubt the clemency shown to these settlers will contribute a great deal, still the desire which I have of the greatest possible certainty, and the doubt which I have of having badly explained myself in my last communication, induces me to expose to your excellency with the greatest respect, in order to be submitted to the consideration of his majesty, that until now there is not a single settler who has augmented here his property, nor any who has asked to retire with all which he had brought. Those who are in this case intend only to profit of the advantage offered them by the royal clemency of importing them without any duty; they bring the greatest part in goods, they spend them in a few days, and then ask to return, under the pretext that they have no way of living. Add to this, that the greatest part of what they bring does not belong to them, although they prove the property, according to their usages, by certificate of the justice of the peace of the United States, who, it has been ascertained, are generally the true owners, whilst their conductors are smugglers, who continue their illicit trade through the means of perjury. In order to put a stop to this injury, I was of opinion, submitting myself, however, to the more perspicacious judgment of your excellency, and to the royal determination which will follow after this explanation, that keeping in force the royal order of the 14th of March, in what relates to those settlers who should come with negroes, families, and with other indications of good faith in the cultivation of the lands, who should do that for two or three years, and who, taught by experience, that they could not live here, should solicit to return with their property, it should be added, that from those who are in the case previously adverted to, of alienating here their properties from the moment of their arrival, this property consisting of goods not appropriated for agriculture, the duty of importation should be exacted for what they have spent. It has been done so since your excellency was pleased
to tell me, in answer to my aforesaid representation, that, until the decision of his majesty should come, to exact the greatest possible established duty in this case, and by that the abuse which had been begun to be experienced was much lessened, and I have no doubt the generous intention of his majesty would publicly increase, which I thought proper to reserve until the decision of what I again expose, being led to that course by the interest I take in the royal service; the whole of which I hope will be approved by your excellency. God preserve your excellency many years. St. Augustine of Florida, 10th of June, 1793.
To his Excellency Don Luis de Las Casas.
SURVEYOR GENERAL OF WEST FLORIDA.
OFFICIAL LETTER TO THE SURVEYOR GENERAL OF WEST FLORIDA.
In an official letter of to-day, I say to the commandant of West Florida as follows: I have understood that your lordship considers yourself as having the faculty of granting, indiscriminately, lands in your province to his majesty's subjects, as, also, to citizens of the United States, without regard to the proportions of the regulation of seventeenth of July, 1799, made by the intendency general which was in Louisiana before its retrocession, the which was transferred to your place in 1805, and the unshaken practice which has been observed in the sales, compositions, and distributions of the crown lands, your lordship extending it to the conceding some portions of the territory of the Indians, recognised as such in the general congress celebrated in your place, and in Mobile, in the year 1784; also, that your lordship had directed that Lieutenant Don Pedro Reggio, deputy of the surveyor general of that province, Captain Don Vincente Sebastian Pintado, should not fulfil the orders and instructions which the latter had left him, communicated for his government, which must cause much disturbance and confusion, and perhaps serious injuries to the royal exchequer, and to the grantees or purchasers themselves. And this procedure being entirely in opposition to those faculties which his majesty has deigned to point out to the intendants and superintendents with the consent of the superior council of the royal exchequer, I cannot forbear declaring, as, from henceforth I do declare, null and without effect all those concessions which may have been made in your province from the third of July of the year last past, in which I took possession of this intendency and superintendency, until the processes are concluded, which are now on foot, for the regulation of this important branch, and until I have in my possession the books, documents, and the rest of the papers of the land tribunals of Louisiana, and your Florida, (which I require of you for the second time in official letter of the 12th inst.) when, with ample knowledge, rules may be prescribed which ought to be observed in future. And that this determination may have its punctual observance, I transcribe it under date to the surveyor general, Don Vincente Sebastian Pintado, for his intelligence, and that he may give the necessary directions to his substitute; as, also, you will be pleased to do to "those whom