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influence of the Latin races which ruled Louisiana for more than a century that we owe the artistic temperament of our whole people, that esthetic taste for which they are celebrated.
The French domination came legally to an end in 1762, when the wretched King Louis XV donated the greater part of the province of Louisiana to his cousin, Charles III of Spain. The Louisianians, however, would not submit to the rule of the foreigner, and in 1768 rose in a revolution of which we are justly proud, for not being able to remain Frenchmen, they conceived the idea of establishing a republican form of government on the banks of the Mississippi, eight years before Jefferson wrote his immortal Declaration of Independence.
The Spanish domination is represented on the silver service by the Cabildo, built in 1794, and which still stands by the side of our historic Cathedral and in front of our no less historic Place d'Armes, now called Jackson Square, in honor of the victor of Chalmette. With the exception of O'Reilly, who put to death ruthlessly the chiefs of the revolution of 1768, the Spanish governors of Louisiana were men of merit and honor, and we like especially to recall the administration of Bernardo de Galvez, who drove the British from west Florida by the capture of Baton Rouge, Mobile and Pensacola, between the years 1779 and 1781. The Louisianians gave thus signal help to the Americans in their great contest for independence. We are glad also to recall the heroic feat of Galvez at Pensacola. When the Spanish fleet hesitated to cross the bar he embarked on board the brig "Galvestown" and entered the harbor, followed by a schooner and two gunboats, in spite of a terrible fire from Fort Barrancas. For this exploit the King of Spain allowed Galvez to put on his escutcheon the ship "Galveztown," with the glorious motto "Yo Solo," "I alone.” Let us say here that the "Galveztown" was a Louisiana vessel and was commanded by Rousseau, a brave Louisiana sailor.
On the punch bowl one sees also the representation of the scene of the transfer at the Cabildo, on December 20, 1803, of the whole province of Louisiana from France to the United States. This, after the foundation of the colony, is the most
important event in our history, for it marks the beginning of the period called the American Domination. From that time the Louisianians have not been the subjects of European rulers, but have governed themselves, and their history as Americans has not been less glorious than when they were Frenchmen or Spaniards. The star of Louisiana, on the flag of the United States, shines with a pure and brilliant light.
I have the honor and the pleasure, Captain Couden, to present to the battleship "Louisiana" in the name of the Louisiana Historical Society, and of the Committee here present, the Histories which I have described above, and to beg you to accept them."
Captain Couden, in responding, said:—
"The gallant Professor has presented to us the different histories of Louisiana, which I assure you is a most acceptable gift, and I promise you I will read every word in all of them. (A voice: 'You're a brave man.' Laughter). I admire the men of French descent. They are what I always thought they were-gallant gentlemen, every one. There are none braver. They ventured forth in a land unknown; they spread civilization and religion; they sacrificed much, but they have given us a great heritage. The sons and daughters, and particularly the daughters, of those bold cavaliers, have my unstinted admiration. There is a glamor, a poetry, a romance about them that attracts and holds one's admiration."
In conclusion, we may state that the "Louisiana" is the first ship to receive the histories of the State for which it is named, and also the first ship to receive a State flag, which was presented by the United States Daughters of 1776-1812.
W. O. HART, Chairman,
CHAS. G. GILL,
LOUIS G. LEBEUF, M. D.
T. P. THOMPSON,
H. G. DUPRÉ,
Report on the Transcripts of Documents in the Ministère des
Mr. President and Members of the Louisiana Historical Society:
In order that the members and the public might appreciate the value of the documents which the society has been endeavoring, and will continue, to collect, it was suggested to me by the president that I should give a brief account of one of the important series of original documents now in our possession.
This series, the collection of which was undertaken some years ago at the instance of the president, consists of authentic copies of documents bearing upon the history of Louisiana now in the Ministère des Colonies, at Paris. The copies are made under the personal direction of M. Victor Tantet, Sous-Directeur des Archives, in large manuscript volumes corresponding in title and content to the originals. Those believed to be of most immediate bearing and interest have been copied first; and what we already have constitute a series of the utmost value for the history of this State and city in particular, and also to a considerable extent for the whole of the territory ceded to the United States by France.
In a brief report it will not be possible to give a syllabus of each of the volumes now in the library of the society. I shall confine myself, therefore, to enumerating the volumes by title, giving a summary of the general nature of the contents of each, and a table of contents of the last volume received. In the enumeration below I have arranged the volumes, for convenience, in something like chronological order, giving the period covered by the matter in each.
1. Correspondance générale de la Louisiane. Letters, royal orders, reports, etc., covering the period from 1678 to 1706. Bound in two volumes.
2. Correspondance générale de la Louisiane. Tables des matières dans ce volume. The nature of the contents is indicated by the title; the volume covers the period from 1707 to 1712.
3. Correspondance générale de la Louisiane. Tome 48. 1768. 4. Correspondance générale de la Louisiane. Tome 49. 1769. These two volumes cover a most interesting period of Louisiana history, and give the most important official accounts of the various romantic and tragic episodes in the story of the change of rulers at New Orleans.
5. Concessions à la Louisiane. Grants and concessions in Louisiana from 1719 to 1769.
6. Concession Ste. Catherine. 1719 to 1730. Contents given below.
7. Passages à la Louisiane. A most valuable list of the vessels that made trips to Louisiana, and of the passengers they carried, statistical information covering practically the active period of the Company of the West, 1719 to 1724.
Censuses of Louisiana, including the
various settlements, from 1706 to 1741.
9. Etat civil. Censuses, reports and other statistical matter, from 1720 to 1734.
10. Inventaire des plans, cartes, et mémoires relatifs à la Louisiane. Dépot des fortifications des colonies. The contents are indicated by the title.
11. Renseignements sur divers qui étaient passés à la Louisiane. From 1725 to 1729. Miscellaneous items.
12. Documents de 1803. Rétrocession à la France/. Remise aux Etats Unis. All of the official documents covering the close of French rule in Louisiana.
The utter inadequacy of any general title to convey a correct idea of the matters contained in many of these volumes will be appreciated when we examine one of them more particularly. I have chosen for this purpose the one most recently received, both because it contains matter of special interest, and because the members of the Society have already heard something of the contents of volumes received earlier.
The volume on the Concession Ste. Catherine aux Natchez contains a great mass of matter dealing with the affairs of the
settlement at Natchez, from mere statistics to quarrels with the resident agent and wars with the Indians. For convenience, I have numbered the items; they do not, of course, appear so numbered in the volume.
1. Charges presented against M. Dumanoir, Directeur des concessions, by certain of the residents in the Ste. Catherine settlement, accusing him of what we should call non-feasance in office. Compare the other papers on this trial of strength between Dumanoir and the settlers, in Nos. 9, 11, 13, 15, and 18. The quarrel seems to have begun about 1724.
2. Memorial of the settlers at Ste. Catherine to the Compagnie des Indes, presenting claims for re-imbursement on account of the failure of the said company to fulfill its obligations as to furnishing transportation for emigrants, etc.
3. Blank procuration générale of Dumanoir to unnamed party, dated at New Orleans, March 16, 1731.
4. Permission granted to the Sieur Deucher, et als., to import into the settlement 1,500 negroes. February 6, 1720.
5. A very interesting extract from a letter (May 11, 1721), from the Sieur Des Longrais at Natchez, describing the damages inflicted by the Indian outbreak. Witnessed by Dumanoir, New Orleans, May 21, 1721.
6. A memorial on the subject of the Natchez Indians and their outrages, presented to the Conseil supérieur de la Louisiane, May 20, 1723. Attested, January 10, 1725, by Le Page Duprat, Bidaulx, et als.
7. Account of the attack on the settlement by the Natchez Indians, October 21st to November 6, 1722, signed by the Inspectors, by clerks, and settlers, January 26, 1723.
8. Official report of the Indian attack, February 9, 1722, signed by Dumanoir, Bienville, Delatour, and Delorme Dal
9. Report upon Dumanoir's stewardship as director for the company.
10. Acts of the company affecting the rights of the settlers.