Interesting Things

By Ray L. Bellande

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Spanish Colonial Period [1780-1811]

 

 1780


           On March 14, 1780, General Galvez captured Fort Charlotte and the city of Mobile, Alabama.  The Mississippi Gulf Coast became a part of Spanish West Florida.

 

1781


           In May 1781, the English at Pensacola, Florida surrendered to Spanish forces led by General Galvez.
          


1783


           American Revolutionary War ends with Great Britain the signing of the Treaty of Paris.  America is now bounded on the north by Canada; east by Atlantic Ocean; south by Spanish West Florida; and west by the Mississippi River.

 

1790


           Jean-Baptiste Carquotte [Carco], settles on Biloxi peninsula.(American State Papers Vol. 3, p. 38)

1793
           Louis Fayard; Angelique Ladner Fayard, the Widow Fayard; and Jacques Mathurin Ladner settle Biloxi peninsula.(American State Papers Vol. 3, p. 38)

1797
            The Mississippi Territory was organized on April 7, 1798, from territory ceded by Georgia and South Carolina; it was later twice expanded to include disputed territory claimed by both the U.S. and Spain. Land was purchased (generally through unequal treaties) from Native American tribes from 1800 to about 1830.

 

1803


          The Louisiana Purchase was the acquisition by the United States of approximately 530 million acres (828,000 sq mi or 2,100,000 km²) of French territory on April 30, 1803, at the cost of about 3¢ per acre (7¢ per ha); totaling $15 million or 80 million French francs. Including interest, America finally paid $23,213,568 for the Louisiana territory.[1] The land purchased contained all of present-day Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Minnesota south of Mississippi River, much of North Dakota, nearly all of South Dakota, northeastern New Mexico, northern Texas, the portions of Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado east of the Continental Divide, and Louisiana on both sides of the Mississippi River, including the city of New Orleans. (The Oklahoma Panhandle, and southwestern portions of Kansas and Louisiana were still claimed by Spain at the time of the Purchase.) In addition, the Purchase contained small portions of land that would eventually become part of the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. The land included in the purchase comprises around 23% of the territory of the modern United States.[1] The purchase was an important moment in the presidency of Thomas Jefferson. At the time, it faced domestic opposition as being possibly unconstitutional. Although he felt that the Constitution did not contain any provisions for acquiring territory, Jefferson decided to purchase Louisiana because he felt uneasy about France and Spain having the power to block American traders' access to the port of New Orleans.

                                                                       

1807


            Valentine Dorsette Richard settle on Biloxi peninsula.(American State Papers Vol. 3, p. 38)
                  
United States of America [1811-2007+]

                                                                       

1810


            The Republic of West Florida was declared independent of Spain in September at St. Francisville, Louisiana.  It lasted only forty-five days.

                                                                         

1811


             When Dr. William 'Fat Doctor' Flood, the representative of Governor Claiborne of the Orleans Territory, was dispatched to the Mississippi coast to hoist the flag of the United States in January 1811, he found the population between the Pearl River and Biloxi to be about four hundred people chiefly French and Creoles.  Dr. Flood in his report to Governor Claiborne wrote:  proceeded to the Bay of Biloxi, where I found Mr. Ladnier (Jacques), and gave him the commission (Justice of the Peace).  He is a man of excellent sense, but can neither read or write, nor can any      inhabitants of the bay of Biloxi that I can hear of. They are, all along this beautiful coast, a primitive people, of mixed origin, retaining the gaiety and politeness of the French, blended with the abstemiousness and indolence of the Indian.  They plant a little rice, and a few roots and vegetables, but depend on subsistence chiefly on game and fish.  I left with all these appointees copies of the laws, ordinances, etc.  But few laws will be wanted here.  The people are universally honest.  There are no crimes.  The father of the family or the oldest inhabitant, settles all disputes......A more innocent and inoffensive people may not be found.  They seem to desire only the simple necessities of life, and to be let alone in their tranquility.  I am greatly impressed with the beauty and value of this coast.  The high sandy lands, heavily timbered with pine, and the lovely bays and rivers, from Pearl River to Mobile will furnish New Orleans with a rich commerce, and with a delightful summer resort.  For a cantonment or military post, in consideration of the health of the troops, this whole coast is admirably fitted.