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1734, when they built their convent house on Condé street, now Chartres, between Hospital and Ursulines streets; being the site of the old Archbishopric; which building is considered to be the oldest in the Crescent City.
On January 23rd, 1731, the “West India Company” failed, and surrendered its charter to the Government of France; and then the commerce of the Province became free to all French subjects.
Bienville was appointed Governor of the Province of Louisiana in 1732, arriving in New Orleans in January, 1733. Francois Saucier, Surveyor, examined and inspected, from September 20th to November 25th, 1737, by order of Bienville, all the lands on both sides of the Mississippi River previously conceded to Bienville, giving a full and detailed report of the names of the owners and condition of said lands, as the whole will appear by reference to the aforesaid Book of Concessions, from page 36 to page 144.
Bienville continued to govern the affairs of the Colony until May, 1743, when he departed for Paris, France, where he died on March 7th, 1768, after a long service of forty-five years in the Province, with the exception of a few intervals.
Le Marquis de Vaudreuil succeeded Bienville, in 1743, and continued in office until 1753. It was during de Vaudreuil's administration, in 1751, that Lieutenant Guy de Soniat du Fossat, great ancestor of the undersigned, came to Louisiana, where he served the Colony, in various capacities, until his death in 1794. Louis Billouart de Kerlérec arrived in New Orleans in February, 1753, succeeding de Vaudreuil; he remained in office until 1763, when he was recalled and sent to the Bastille in Paris, France.
Louis XV, King of France, on November 3rd, 1762, ceded, in full ownership, purely and simply, and without exception, to his cousin Charles III, King of Spain, all the country known as Louisiana, including New Orleans, and the island on which the city is situated; which cession was accepted by the King of Spain, on November 13th, 1762; both acts of cession and acceptance were kept secret. The King of France, however, continued to act as possessor of the ceded Province of Louisiana. Nicholas Chauvin de La Frénière was appointed Attorney-General, on January 1st, 1763; he is the same person who vigorously prosecuted the Jesuit Fathers in 1763, and was shot by O'Reilly in 1769. D’Abbadie was appointed March 6th, 1763, as Commissary-General of the Navy and Comptroller of Louisiana, to supersede Kerlérec.
Both La Frénière and D’Abbadie landed together at New Orleans on June 29th, 1763. La Frénière was instructed to prosecute, before the Superior Council, the seizure and sale of all the property of the Jesuit Fathers in Louisiana.
Louis XV, on April 21st, 1764, publicly made known the cession of Louisiana to the King of Spain; and by letter instructed D’Abbadie to transfer Louisiana, in conformity with the act of cession of November 3rd, 1762, to the accredited officer or commissioner designated by the King of Spain, whenever appointed; which official communication was received by D'Abbadie, in New Orleans, in October, 1764. On the 4th day of February, 1765, D'Abbadie died. Aubry succeeded D'Abbadie and remained in office until March 5th, 1766, when Don Antonio de Ulloa arrived in New Orleans to take possession of the Province of Louisiana for and in the name of the King of Spain.
Aubry immediately recognized Ulloa as Governor on behalf of Spain, and then issued orders to the inhabitants to obey all orders or decrees emanating from said official. The Superior Council of the Province refused to submit to Spanish authority, due to the fact that Ulloa had never properly submitted his credentials to the said Superior Council. On October 29th, 1768, a revolt was organized by the Superior Council, and the Colony took up arms against the Spanish ruler and requested the Superior Council to expel Ulloa from the Province, notwithstanding the earnest protest of Aubry. Ulloa then took French leave and departed for Spain.
Aubry continued to administer the affairs of the Colony until August 18th, 1769, when General Alejandro O'Reilly landed in New Orleans, with 3000 soldiers, to take formal possession of the Province of Louisiana, for and in the name of the King of Spain. On August 21st, 1769, O'Reilly caused the insurgents of the revolution of October 29th, 1768, to be arrested. Villeré, one of the leaders of the revolution, was advised by Aubry to return to the city; on his arrival he was arrested; he resisted arrest and was pierced by the bayonets of his guards, and then sent on board a frigate, where he expired. The other leaders, namely, Nicholas Chauvin de La Frénière, Jean Baptiste Noyan, Pierre Carresse, Pierre Marquis and Joseph Milhet, were tried and condemned to death by O'Reilly, and they were shot on October 25th, 1769.
Thus and then ended the French régime in Louisiana, to be replaced by that of Spain.
With your permission I will now retrace my steps back to the year 1763, when the Jesuits' Plantation was seized and sold. Nicholas Chauvin de La Frénière, Attorney-General of the Province of Louisiana, immediately after his arrival in New Orleans, on June 29th, 1763, commenced judicial proceedings of seizure and sale, before the Superior Council at New Orleans, of all the property, movable and immovable, belonging to the Jesuit Fathers in the Province of Louisiana, by virtue of the instructions and powers granted unto him by the French authorities. After all the necessary proceedings had been complied with, the Superior Council rendered a decree, on July 9th, 1763, ordering the seizure and sale of all the property, movable and immovable, belonging to said Jesuit Fathers, situated in the said Province of Louisiana, at public auction, in accordance with law.
D'Abbadie, in pursuance of the aforesaid decree, gave, on July 13th, 1763, orders to Olivier Devezin, Surveyor General of Louisiana, to proceed to the Jesuits' Plantation, adjoining the slopes of the fortifications of Fort St. Louis, above the City of New Orleans, and there to examine the titles and papers relating to said lands belonging to the said Order of Jesuits, and also to survey same into lots suitable to purchasers. Upon examination of said titles it appeared to the said Devezin, Surveyor, that said plantation measured thirty-two arpents front on the Mississippi River by fifty arpents in depth. On July 14 and 16, 1763, said plantation was surveyed by Devezin, who found that it measured thirty-three and one-third arpents front on said Mississippi River, instead of thirty-two arpents, according to titles; however, Devezin recommended that the thirty-two arpents be divided into six (6) lots, numbered 1 to 6; lot No. 1 to have seven arpents front on the river hy. fifty arpents in depth, and the other lots, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6, to have each five arpents front on the river by fifty arpents in depth. For more details I refer you to a certified copy of the proces-verbal of survey made by said Olivier Devezin, Surveyor, under date of July 22nd, 1763, to be found among the archives at the City Hall, in the City of New Orleans, the original being on file in the proceedings of the Superior Council of the Province of Louisiana against the Jesuit Fathers, bearing Nos. 144 to 147 of the docket of said Court.
I will now give you the following extract of the procesverbal of sale of lot No. 5, adjudicated to one Joseph Petit, which I found in proceedings No. 267 of the Supreme Court of the United States, in the suit of Saulet et al. vs. Shepherd, in error to the Circuit Court of Louisiana (kindly loaned to me by my friend Edgar Grima), the same being very interesting and of value to show how judicial sales were made and conducted at that time.
EXTRACTS from proces-verbal of sale of lot No. 5 to Petit and Saulet.
In obedience to the decree rendered by the Superior Council of the Province of Louisiana, dated July 9th, 1763, rendered at the instance of Mr. de La Frénière, Attorney-General of the King, ordering the judicial sale of all the effects, movable and immovable, belonging to the Jesuits, by Mr. Denis Nicolas Foucault, Comptroller of the Navy, Second Judge of the Superior Council and commissioner for this purpose; said sale to be made in the presence of the said Attorney-General, to the end that the money derived therefrom be placed under the King's authority; and in pursuance of the publications and posted bills, published and put up accordingly, in all the customary and usual places of the City of New Orleans, by Marin Lenormand, public crier, dated the 17 July, 1763, announcing that, on the 23rd July, 1763, at 8 o'clock in the morning, he would proceed, at the bar of the Court, for the first time and the first outcry, at auction, to the sale and adjudication, to the highest and last bidder, of a piece of land of five arpents in length in front, running, on its upper limit, 52 degrees, 50 minutes and 31 second and 2-3 and a half, North by West, with a depth of fifty arpents, known as No. 5, with no buildings thereon, with the appurtenances and dependencies thereof without exception or reservation, as the whole is and appears, bordering on one side by the piece of land No. 4, and on the other that known as No. 6, forming part of the land belonging to the heretofore styled Jesuits; the purchaser to pay the price of the adjudication in eight months from the day of sale, with good and sufficient security being meanwhile given therefor, and to pay cash for all the costs incurred and to be incurred, into the hands of the clerk, before being placed in possession.
1st outcry: Thereupon an audience was held, at the bar of the Court, on July 23rd, 1763, at 8 a. m., before said Mr. Denis Nicolas Foucault, Comptroller of the Navy, Second Judge in said Council, and Commissioner, in presence of Mr. de la Frénière, Attorney-General of the King, and many persons being there assembled, and the clauses and conditions having been read and explained in a loud and intelligible voice, by the public crier, and no person having appeared to bid on said land; after having waited until the hour of 10 o'clock, by consent of the Attorney-General of the King, it was decreed on the said day that new posted bills should be published and put up in all the places and marts customary and usual of this city, on the following Sunday, July 31st, 1763, to expose said property at auction anew, on the following Thursday, August 4th, 1763, at 8 o'clock a. m., on which day all persons would be received to make their bids, on the aforesaid terms and conditions.