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alcabala or export duty be laid on goods leaving that port for Louisiana: that all the vessels belonging to the colony, should be admitted as Spanish into Havana, and all other ports of Spain, with the restriction, however, that no vessel be admitted into New Orleans, or employed in transportation, unless it be Spanish, or belonging to the province: that vessels arriving from Catalonia with red wine, should take away wood and other articles to Havana, and thence carry sugar: that, for just reasons, he had expelled from Louisiana, the English merchants who were established there, and who ruined and empoverished the country, by their monopolies and illicit trade; for which he hoped to receive your majesty's approbation.
He merited such approbation in reality, as appears from the royal order accompanying ; and the council having heard the opinions of the attorneys and comptrollers general, declares, that the measures set forth in the said statement, by General O'Reilly, are so proper, and so well calculated to render that province happy, that they alone are sufficient to show the profoundness of his comprehension, the sublimity of his spirit, and the correctness of his judgment; that there is nothing which should be altered in them ; and that in those measures, it can see the germ of many improvements, and much that may conduce to the advantage and prosperity of the colony.
The council, however, considers, that it is not proper to exempt forever from duty, goods transported from Louisiana to Havana, but only for a time, and until the motives for such an extraordinary favour shall have ceased. Your majesty is to resolve, also, whether they shall pay the duty of almoxarifazgo ;* and, upon the whole, it is the opinion of the council, that proper cedulas should be issued for carrying into effect the system of commerce, as proposed by the said O'Reilly.
General O'Reilly, in his second statement, considers it necessary that the satd province should be subject to the same laws as the other dominions in America; and that all the proceedings should be carried on in the Spanish language: that a new tribunal should be created, composed of judges. understanding both languages, the appeals from which, should not be carried to the audiencia (a high court) of Santo Domingo, with which the province has but little intercourse, but to Havana, where a tribunal should be established for the purpose, composed of the governor, the auditors of war and marine, the attorney of the royal hacienda, and the clerk of the government; and from which they should come to the council. Finally, that the government of Louisiana should be dependent on the captain generalcy and ministry of the royal hacienda of Havana.
Your majesty approved these dispositions of O'Reilly, and the council, considering this as an evidence of the advantages to be derived, admires the measures of the said general, which prove the vastness of his genius, and that the establishment proposed by him, is so far worthy of being made, that the necessary cedulas should be issued to the ministers of Havana, and New Orleans, regulated in all points according to your prudent orders, but with the condition, that the intendants of the royal hacienda and marine, are to have voice and votes in the new tribunal to be formed in Havana
Note.-Peculiar duty on goods imported and exported.
O'Reilly, in his third statement, declares that he has chosen six regidores or magistrates of New Orleans, to form a municipal council, (cabildo), two ordinary alcaldes, a syndic attorney general, and a superintendent of public property (Mayordomo de Propios) ; giving the names of these persons, and annexing two printed copies of instructions—the one for the regulation of the cabildo, and the instruction of its members—the other for the direction of the judges: that in the said cabildo, he had put Don Luis de Unzaga in possession of the government, and had abolished and suppressed the old council; that he had assigned more proper salaries to the regidores, clerk, and assessor, and made arrangements for building a house of ayuntamiento (meeting of the municipal body), by a person to whom he had ceded the proprietorship of the land destined for the gov. ernment garden; and that as funds for the city, he had assigned certain duties on shops, taverns, gaming houses, &c., the arrangements respecting which, were received by the inhabitants with great satisfaction: that there had been long established in that capital, a duty, under the denomination of anchorage, destined for the preservation of the levy; and as repairs were constantly required, he had made no innovation either in the duty or in its destination. Finally, that the appointments of regidores, clerk, &c., as well as the assignment of funds for the city, merit your majesty's approbation to their firm establishment.
Your majesty has given this approval; and the council respects so wise a resolution; admiring in O'Reilly the energy with which he has proceeded in matters which were out of his ordinary employ. ment and sphere; in his provisions for the civil, economical, and political government, nothing has been found requiring amendment or addition; moreover, in both undertakings, there appears a delicate knowledge, and acute discernment of the laws of both kingdoms, as well as of the practical and the forensic styles of our courts. The council, therefore, conceives that proper cedulas should be issued, for the formal establishment of these excellent provisions, it being also ordered that some copies of the digests (Recopilacion) of the laws of the Indies, and of Castile, be sent to the colony, and be deposited among the archives of the ayuntamiento, in order that the natives of the country may instruct themselves in the form of our government, more minutely than they can from the manual drawn up, with such discretion, by the said general, inasmuch as the latter, though very clearly and methodically expressed, is only an abridgement or compendium.
O'Reilly declares in his fourth statement, that conformably with
your majesty's resolution, he had put Don Louis de Unzaga in possession of the political and military government, with a salary of six thousand dollars, from which are to be discounted one-fifth as security, to be restored to him when his term of office expires; it appearing proper that he should be freed from the duty of media anata, as the office was one of recent creation.
These dispositions, also, merited your majesty's approval ; and the council is of opinion that the cedula should be made out; conformably with what is proposed by the said general, who, in these, as well as in other provisions, has acted with the most consummate policy.
With this fifth statement he sent a minute regulation, in which he detailed all the expenses of your majesty in that province, and which were considered necessary, under present circumstances, taking into view the commerce, genius, character, climate, and the causes of the late difficulties among the colonists: he showed that he had reduced the number of persons employed in the comptroller's office, and in the public store, without any detriment to the prosecution of business in either office: that eighteen priests, understanding both French and Spanish, were required for the parishes of the country ; and that suppposing the spiritual affairs to remain under the direction of the bishop of Havana, that prelate might direct some friars of the community of Saint Francis, at that city, to learn the French language, in order that these missions may at all times be filled : and that if your majesty approved the enclosed regulation, 130 dollars a year would be saved of the 250 with which the colony was endowed.
Your majesty also approved all that had been proposed and done by the said general; and the council considers that it justly merited the royal approval, nothing appearing among the provisions which does not conduce to the interests of your majesty, and the happiness of the colony. It sees, that by the admirable arrangement of pay, and destination, which he has proposed in the military and political classes, the treasury gains 130 dollars, which advantage is due to the comprehensive and indefatigable genius of the commissioner.
The council also is of opinion that the missionaries should be sent, as proposed, and that the proper cedulas should be sent, for both purposes, as also for the establishment, as your majesty ordains, of public schools, in which the first principles of the christian doctrine may be taught in the Spanish language, in order that the use of the same may be extended. The council hopes your majesty will have sent to him a copy of the contracts to be made with the director and masters of public schools, and the salaries to be paid to the friars, while studying, in order that they be transmitted to the comptroller general, to be included in the accounts of Louisiana.
In the sixth and last statement, he informs your majesty that he had appointed a lieutenant governor for the district of Illinois, Natchitoches, &c., and giving instructions for the purpose of putting an end to illicit commerce, preserving good order, and maintaining VOL. 11.
the provisions of the supreme government; he also encloses copies of the said instructions, adding that the colonists had admitted the regulations with good will, and that they were likely to secure their affections for the sovereign under whose mild government they lived: that in order to complete this, he had gone himself into that distant province, visiting each village, listening to the colonists, and deciding in their disputes and complaints, without the embarrassing forms of forensic proceedings: that he had caused the lands of the inhabitants to be surveyed, fixing the limits, and subjecting this distribution to the forms contained in a paper accompanying: that he considered it proper, that grants of lands to the colonists should, in future, be made by the governor alone; your majesty first authorizing him to make these grants; and that they should be regulated according to a paper which O'Reilly caused to be drawn up, in a meeting (junta) called for that purpose, and composed of the persons best acquainted with the affairs of the colony.
Your majesty deigned to approve the provisions of this last statement, as well as those of all the preceding ones, except the article relating to the punishment of adulterers, which was ordered to be left in suspense. And the council considers, that in a commission 80 troublesome and difficult, and which, from the number of intricate matters embraced, met with numerous obstacles, and demanded a high degree of method and order, Don Alexandro O'Reilly has had the good fortune to be right in all cases, and to arrange things with so much prudence, that (provided his plans are suffered to continue) all will infallibly be conducted for the best interests of both their majesties. He has caused the new power under which the colonists are placed, to be loved and respected; he has enforced justice and the laws; has protected and extended commerce; has established harmony and concord with the neighbouring Indians; has ordered and placed troops at convenient positions, disciplining them with that skill which is so remarkable even among the many extraordinary qualities of this general officer: nothing has escaped his comprehensive penetration. The particular employments of persons destined for the public service-utensils to be distributed to the troops—the formation of various companies of militia, and their duties--and in a word, all that belongs to the political and military government of that province, has been disposed by this general, with so much accuracy, prudence, and wisdom, that the council finds nothing requiring the slightest amendment; but, on the con. trary, many things worthy of its admiration and praise, which it justly bestows: all of which, it appears to the council proper that your majesty should approve, and that royal cedulas should be issued conformably with the representations, instructions, and notices of this commissioner.
The chamber represents to your majesty, that at the same time the cedulas are sent, the royal will be expressed to the bishop of Cuba, that he, in exercise of his new jurisdiction and pastoral ministry, promote all that may conduce to the spiritual government and good of those parishes, and that he give account of what occurs, as well as of what he considers necessary for the improvement.
Determined March 23, 1772, thus:
“ Let the above be carried into effect, and the proper cedulas be issued by the council, for the confirmation of those establishments, in all their points.”
From Don Estevan Miro, Governor of Louisiana, to Don Martin
Navarro, Intendant of that Province.
New Orleans, January 7, 1788. When his majesty resolved, in consequence of my representations, made through the Conde de Galvez, to establish parishes for Irish clergymen, in Natchez and other places, in both the Floridas, he commanded the said Conde de Galvez, to form a plan or account of the method to be pursued in the said parishes, together with a note of the number of clergymen required for them. The conde requested me to give him such information as would be necessary for the execution of the said royal order; but, before I had an opportunity to reply, notice came of his death; upon which I resolved to draw up a plan myself, and send it to the court. While this was going on, the four Irish priests arrived, to take charge of the said parishes; and as I had already received official notice that my plan had been submitted to the court, you and I agreed to send two despatches for greater security in case the approval should arrive: however, his excellency Don Antonio de Valdes, without giving me an exact answer in his letter of the 23d of August last, made various observations about the increase of population in Natchez, and added—“ The four Irish priests, of whose embarcation I gave you notice, will have arrived ere this, in your capital, in order to take spiritual charge of the English and Americans who established themselves in various parts of that province, at the end of the last war. Should there be need of a greater number of such, on account of the increase of the number of colonists, other ecclesiastics, of proper character, will, with your advice, be appointed for that purpose.” In consequence of that notice, which makes known the desires of his majesty, for the administration of spiritual food to these colonists, it appears to me, that I and you can only wait for the proper time to establish these parishes: as the expense must be placed to the account of the royal hacienda, for those colonists, not being catholics, will not voluntarily contribute to its support; and it is important that churches should be built, so that