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The American Revolution On The Gulf Side

Now, at length, the Creole and the Anglo-American were to come into active relation which, from that day to the present, has qualified every public question in Louisiana. At a happy moment the governorship of Unzaga, a man advanced in life, of impaired vision and failing health, who was begging to be put on the retired list, gave place to the virile administration of one of the most brilliant characters to be seen in the history of the Southwestern United States. Galvez was the son of the Viceroy of Mexico and nephew of the Spanish secretary of state, who was also president of the council of the Indies. He was barely grown to manhood, but he was ardent, engaging, brave, fond of achievement and display, and, withal, talented and sagacious. Says one who fought under him, “He was distinguished for the affability of his manners, the sweetness of his temper, the frankness of his character, the kindness of his heart, and his love of justice.” A change now took place, following the drift of affairs in Europe. The French, instead of the English merchants, commanded the trade of the Mississippi. The British traders found themselves suddenly treated with great rigor. Eleven of their ships, richly laden, were seized by the new governor, while he exceeded the letter of the Franco-Spanish treaty in bestowing privileges upon the French. New liberties gave fresh value to the trade with French and Spanish-American ports. Slaves were not allowed to be brought thence, owing to their insurrectionary spirit; but their importation direct from Guinea was now specially encouraged, and presently the prohibition against those...

Spanish New Orleans

In that city you may go and stand to-day on the spot still as antique and quaint as the Creole mind and heart which cherish it, where gathered in 1765 the motley throng of townsmen and planters whose bold repudiation of their barter to the King of Spain we have just reviewed; where in 1768 Lafrénière harangued them, and they, few in number and straitened in purse but not in daring, rallied in arms against Spain’s indolent show of authority and drove it into the Gulf. They were the first people in America to make open war distinctly for the expulsion of European rule. But it was not by this episode-it was not in the wearing of the white cockade-‘ that the Creoles were to become an independent republic under British protection, or an American State. We have seen them in the following year overawed by the heavy hand of Spain, and bowing to her yoke. We have seen them ten years later, under her banner and led by the chivalrous Galvez, at Manchac, at Baton Rouge, at Mobile, and at Pensacola, strike victoriously and “wiser than they knew” for the discomfiture of British power in America and the promotion of American independence and unity. But neither was this to bring them into the union of free States. For when the United States became a nation the Spanish ensign still floated from the flag-staff in the Plaza de Armas where “Cruel O’Reilly” had hoisted it, and at whose base the colonial council’s declaration of rights and wrongs had been burned. There was much more to pass through, many events...

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