Saturday, November 3, 2012

250 Years Ago ... November 3, 1762

 *Part of my continuing blog series leading up to the 250th anniversary of the founding of St. Louis in February 2014.

On November 3, 1762 the representative of Louis, the most Christian king, finally managed to convince the representative of Carlos, the most Catholic king, that they could work a deal to put Spain and France in a position to end the war with Britain.  The most Christian king, understanding completely the sacrifices that his dear relative, the most Catholic king, was going to make in giving up Florida to the British in order to get back Havana, was willing to do something really nice for him.

And, thus, the most Christian king betrayed his subjects then living in Louisiana.

Preliminary Convention between the Kings of France and Spain for the Session of Louisiana to the Latter

The most Christian king being firmly resolved to strengthen and perpetuate the bonds of tender amity which unite him to his cousin, the Catholic king, proposes in consequence to act with his Catholic majesty at all times and in all circumstances, in a perfect uniformity of principles, for the common glory of their house and the reciprocal interests of their kingdoms.

With this view, his most Christian majesty, being fully sensible of the sacrifices made by the Catholic king, in generously uniting with him for the restoration of peace, desires, on this occasion, to give him a proof of the strong interest which he takes in satisfying him and affording advantages to his crown.

The most Christian king has accordingly authorized his minister, the Duke de Choiseul, to deliver to the Marquius de Grimaldi, the ambassador of the Catholic king, in the most authentic form, an act, whereby his most Christian majesty cedes in entire possession, purely and simply, without exception, to his Catholic majesty and his successors, in perpetuity, all the country known as Louisiana, as well as New-Orleans and the island in which that place stands.

But as the Marquis de Grimaldi is not informed with sufficient precision of the intentions of his Catholic majesty, he has thought proper only to accept the said cession conditionally, and sub spe rati [under expectation that it will be ratified] until he receives the orders expected by him from the king, his master, which, if conformable with the desires of his most Christian majesty, as he hopes they will be, will be followed by the authentic act of cession of the said country; stipulating also the measures and the time, to be fixed by common accord, for the evacuation of Louisiana and New-Orleans, by the subjects of his most Christian majesty, and for the possession of the same by those of his Catholic majesty.

In testimony whereof, we, the respective ministers, have signed the present preliminary convention, and have affixed to it the seals of our arms.

Done at Fontainebleu, on the third of November, one thousand seven hundred and sixty two.


(a true copy from the original)



French, Benjamin Franklin. Historical Memoirs of Louisiana, from the first settlement of the colony to the departure of Governor O'Reilly in 1770 (1853, Lamport Blakeman and Law) ebook version