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begun in the year 1797, the posts kept evacuating, which were hitherio occupied by the Spaniards, to the north of it, as well upon the Mississippi as upon the Mobile or Tombigbee river, and Alabama and West Florida were left reduced to a strip of land from the Mis. sissippi to Appalache; so that, although it is reckoned at four huo. dred and fifty lawful English miles in its greatest length, there is hardly ninety miles in its greatest width, and forty in its least. Before the establishment of these limits, West Florida was so bare of inhabitants to the south of them, that, excepting the part of the Mississippi which appertains to it, and the towns of Mobile and Pensacola, the rest was a complete desert, and, exclusive of the garrison of these two last places, and the posts of St. Mark's of Appalachy and Baton Rouge, there were only counted eight hundred men, in all the exten. sion of the province, capable of bearing arms, and these of all classes and nations, amongst them very few Spaniards; indeed, the number of these was not sixty. The emigration of the evacuated posts procured for West Florida a great number of colonists, which daily increased, to whom lands were granted by the government of Louisiana; but the greater part of these were Anglo-Americans, some Irish and Scotch, a few Germans, and about a dozen of Spaniards; the most of them unmarried.
Then began to flourish that part of West Florida between the American line, the river Mississippi, the river Manchank or Iberville
, and the other waters which divide on that side the island of New Orleans, to the east part of the lake Maurepas; and thence a line to the north until it meets the American line; which territory was ordered to be divided into three districts; and I myself made the division and drew the plan of the whole of it; and I found that it contained 1,827,856 arpents of area.
Those three districts named Feliciana, Baton Rouge, and St. Helena, although governed by their respective alcaldes, who were thus named, were placed, in 1798, under the command of Col. Charles de Grande Pre, whom the king named governor of Natchez, but of which government he never took possession, on account of the delivery and evacuation of that post The two first, Feliciana and Baton Rouge, possess a soil the most beautiful of all West Florida ; the third, or St. Helena, with the exception of the rivers and creeks which bathe and water it, is all pine barren, which produces, notwithstanding, good cotton, some maize, and excellent pasture for cattle. This last district, and that of Baton Rouge, comprehended all the northern part of the jurisdiction of Galveston. In all three there reigned peace, abundance, fraternity and subordination, until the restoration of Louisiana kept depriving them gradually of those precious gifts of heaven. The contagion went on, extending to the contiguous districts to the eastward, and latterly, we have seen it arrive to the banks of the Perdido. In fact, by the third article of the treaty concluded in St. Ildefonso, on the 1st October, 1800, between his catholic majesty and the First Consul of the French Republic, Spain ceded back to France the province of Louisiana, under certain stipulations and
conditions, which have not been complied with on the part of the latter. This back cession was of all the extent of the province at the time of the treaty, and which it possessed when France owned it, and when she ceded it to the crown of Spain ; and so it is clearly expressed in the order of the king for the delivery of the same, dated in Barcelona, 15th October, 1802. The said extension cannot be other than the island of New Orleans and the western side of the Mississippi, which was what remained to France according to the solemn treaty of 1763, already cited, by which were irrevocably fixed the boundaries of the possessions of England and France, and what France had it in her power to cede to Spain in the following year of 1764; and although, by a secret convention of 3d November, 1762, France ceded, or agreed to cede to Spain the country of Louisiana, with the city and island of New Orleans, the secret was kept so well, that France in the treaty of 1763, speaking of Louisiana, mention it as a province of her own, of which she could dispose, as indeed she did dispose of, and ceded part of it to his Britannic majesty ; and this was only made public in 1764, when his most christian majesty, in his letier to Monseur D'Abadie, governor of the province, dated in Versailles, 21st of April of the same year, told him that, having ceded to the king of Spain the country of Lousiana, he ordered him, in consequence, to make the delivery of the same, with the city and island of New Orleans. Spain received it, and the · Count O'Reilly took possession of it definitively, the 18th of August, 1769, because General Ulloa, who landed there the 28th February, 1766, did not succeed in obtaining it in a stable manner; but in no ways did he receive or take possession of Mobile, Baton Rouge, nor any other part, however small it should be, on the east bank of the river Mississippi, from Manchank to Iberville upwards, since the same belonged to the English, nor did he pretend to it, nor protest against it; nor could he pretend to nor protest against the possession and occupation by the last, since Spain was a party to the treaty of 1763, and acknowledged the territory as belonging to his Britannic majesty, under the name and denomination of West Florida, which part, as we have before said, was conquered by the Spanish arms in the war which broke out with England in 1779, during that year and the two following, 1780 and 1781. Thus, then, the commissaries named by our government for the delivery of Louisiana to the representative of the French republic, agreeably to the treaty of St. Ildefonso, and the royal order cited, declared in their manifest, published in New Orleans the 18th May, 1803, that the territory from the river Manchank or Iberville to the American line remained still in possession of Spain, and annexed to West Florida. The Citizen Laussat, colonial prefect, who was in that city, sent on the part of France to receive the province, made not the least objection to this declaration, knowing that it was conformable to the sense and meaning of the stipulations ; much less did he object when, on the 30th November of the same year of 1803, formal possession was given to him of the receded terrritory. The
French authority lasted a very few days in this part of the world; for on the 20th of December following, the same Prefect Laussat delivered it to General Wilkinson and Governor Claiborne, the United States' commissaries, to which government France ceded it by a treaty concluded at Paris the 30th April of the same year of 1803; which treaty, by agreement or consent of parties, was kept secret until its ratification by the United States; but this cession was, as the first article witnesses of the same treaty of Paris, of the territory of Louisiana and its dependencies, such as the French republic had acquired it in virtue of the treaty of St. Ildefonso with his catholic majesty. I have no time further to extend, &c.
The above is a copy of a report transmitted to Madrid, with the above date. Havana, 17th November, 1817.
Notes which the copies omitted in their respective places. (a) The miles here spoken of are lawful English, of 1760 yards
, and the chains are those of Gunter, of 22 yards or 66 English feet, and eighty of these answer to a mile.
Page 4th, (1) (1) (1) rivers which empty into the bays of Escambia and Galvez, contiguous to Pensacola, which are a continuation of this.
Page 6, (a). The arpent is a square which has for its side ten perches of Paris, and encloses one hundred perches of area; it is a rural measure, used by us in Louisiana and West Florida-valid. Dated as above.
VINCENTE SEBASTIAN PINTADO.
ORDER OF THE INTENDENCY
ANGLO-AMERICANS OBTAINING GRANTS.
1, Don Francisco Gutierrez de Arroyo, provisory secretary, with royal approbation of the intendency general of this province of West Florida, and of the junta of royal finances, with a vote in it, do certify, that in a junta held on the 22d of November, 1806, by the order of Don Juan Ventura Morales, provisory honourary intendent of Province in this province, with the subdelegation of this superintendency general of royal finances annexed, at which were present Doctor Don Jose Francisco de Heredia, assessor of the said intendency; Don Juan Francisco Armaud de Courville, accounting officer and treasurer of these royal treasuries, with the rank of a royal officer, and acting as fiscal of royal finances; Don Manuel Gonzalez Armirez, formerly provisory treasurer of the royal treasury of New Orleans, and commissioned to conclude the unfinished business of the retroceded province of Louisiana ; and I, the aforesaid provisory secretary of this intendency of the junta, with a vote in it; the said intendant presiding. Among several points which were discussed, was the following: I read a record (expediente) begun, ex officio, by the president, in consequence of the receipt of the royal order of the 31st of March, of this year, in which his excellency Don Miguel Cayetano Soler, secretary of state, and of the universal despatch of finances of Spain and the Indies, in the name of the king, among other things, provides, that for no cause, or under any pretext whatever, lands in the province should be sold to the Anglo-Americans, suspending immediately the records (expedientes) already begun, and that the sale be made entirely in favour of the king's subjects. And likewise having read several other papers relating to the affair, and having conferred diffusely upon the subject although they felt persuaded that the rules adopted in the junta of royal finances, held on the 21st of May last, were the best calculated to obtain the end which they thought was recommended by the royal order of the 20th February, 1805. Notwithstanding, considering that a blind obedience to the royal dispositions, according to the opinion of the assessor of the intendency, as stated in that which he gave to the president, is the basis of the best service, they Vol. 11.
were unanimously of opinion, and agreed upon the following points : 1st. That in accordance with the sovereign determination, contained in the cited royal order of the 31st of March last, and until answers may be had to the representations sent up to the intendency on the 31st December, 1805, and 30th of June of the present year, under the Nos. 388 and 430, no demands for purchase of land be admitted from any individual who may be Anglo-American; and likewise, that all the records (expedientes) which, by the names of those who began them, or by other considerations, seem to be strangers, or who, not being established in this province, are not at this time reputed as subjects of his majesty, be suspended, and remain without
2d. 'l'hat as his majesty only forbids the sale of lands to the Anglo-Americans, and to other strangers who are not reputed the king's subjects, sales of lands may be made to the Spaniards, and to strangers who are not Anglo-Americans, who are in this province, and who will show, by a certificate of government, which they must present, that they have remained the necessary time, and have taken the oath of fidelity, in virtue of which they are held and reputed, by the said government, in the class of good and faithful subjects of the king. 3d. That in order to avoid the frauds which may have been introduced in the valuations, and which the intendency endeavoured to remedy, by establishing a fixed price for the lands and lots which were asked for, this method shall be adopted; that the price of each superficial arpent of land, which may be asked for by those persons comprehended in the 2d article, be that of two dollars, which the aforesaid royal order points out as established by the American government for the sale of lands in Louisiana, which, in the royal opinion, are not better than those of this province. 4th. That the same price of two dollars for each arpent be that which is to be paid by the inhabitants who have asked for lands in this district, as well as in those of Baton Rogue and Mobile; provided that those who have begun the records (expedientes) choose to comply with this requisition, and, on the other side, there being no impediment in the way on account of their being Anglo-Americans or strangers not established, nor reputed by government as subjects of the king, as it has already been explained. 5th. That the gratuitous concessions, if there was any particular cause to make them under the conditions established by the regulation of 1799, be excepted from the preceding rules, it being well understood that the stranger of Anglo-American origin shall have no right to obtain a concession, until the king shall change his determination. 6th. That although it is determined in this 34th article of this said regulation of the 17th of July, 1799, that all the royal lots and lands vacant in the settlements established, or to be established, should be sold for cash, still, considering on one side that, as is shown by the decrees of the commandant of this province, Don Vincente Folch, granting the said lots to those who asked for them, among others, this condition was established, that they should pay their value, if the king, to whom it was referred, should be