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May 18, 1803

Don Manuel de Salcedo, Brigadier of the Royal Armies, Military and Civil Governor of the Province of Louisiana and West Florida, Inspector of the Veteran Troops and Militias of same, Royal Vice Patron, Judge Sub-delegate of the General Superintendency of the Post Office, etc., and Don Sebastián Calvo de la Puerta y O'Farrill, Marquis de Casa-Calvo, Knight of the Order of Santiago, Brigadier of the Royal Armies and Colonel of the Regiment of Infantry stationed in Havana, Commissioned by His Majesty to deliver this Province to the French Republic.

We hereby make it known to all the vassals of the King, Our Lord, of any class and condition that they may be, that His Majesty has resolved that the retrocession of the Province of Louisiana be done to the mutual satisfaction of both powers; and that the vassals shall continue to enjoy the same proofs of protection and affection which have always been experienced by the inhabitants of this Province. His Majesty has also been kind enough to determine, among other things, certain points which we believe to be our duty to bring to public knowledge for the guidance and dispositions of those who may be interested.

First, His Majesty, bearing in mind the obligations imposed by the treaties and wishing to avoid the disputes that may arise, has deigned to resolve: That the delivery of the Colony and Island of New Orleans must be made to Division General Victor, or to another officer legitimately authorized by the Government of the French Republic; that the transfer of the Province by confirmed in the same terms under which France ceded it to His Majesty, by virtue of which the boundaries of both banks of the Rivers St. Louis or Mississippi shall remain as they were, irrevocably fixed on February 10, 1763, by Article 7 of the Treaty of Paris. Consequently, the settlements from the Rivers Manchac or Iberville to the line which separates the American Territory from that of the dominions of the king shall remain under the power of Spain and be annexed to West Florida.

Second, all the individuals who are presently employed in any branch of government and who wish to continue under the dominion of the King shall be transferred to the City of Havana or other points in the possessions of His Majesty, unless they prefer to remain in the service of France, which they can freely do. However, if for the present those who wish to be transferred are unable to do so because of other pressing matters, they shall report it to their superiors, so that a decision may be rendered on the case.

Third, due to the generous piety of the King, the pensions of the widows and retired persons shall not be discontinued, and in due time the recipients shall be informed of the manner in which this will be arranged.

Fourth, His Majesty expects from the sincere friendship and intimate alliance between us and the French Republic, and hopes that for the benefit and tranquility of the inhabitants, the French government will order its governors and other colonial officials to permit the ecclesiastics and other religious groups to continue to exercise their duties and enjoy the privileges, prerogatives, and exemptions granted them in the titles of their establishment; to permit the ordinary judges and established tribunals to continue to administer justice in accordance with the laws and customs of the Colony; to allow the inhabitants to retain possession of their property and to confirm all the concessions granted to them by my governors, although they may not have received my royal confirmation; finally, His Majesty hopes that the French Government will give its new subjects the same protection and affection which they enjoyed while they were under his rule.

Fifth, in order that all parties be able to make the final decisions on matters pertaining to their interest, we hereby make it equally known that they must come to any one of us, so that we may render judgement in accordance with the Royal Orders and other instructions in our possessions.

And, in order that this proclamation be made known to everyone, we ordered it published and announced with the greatest solemnity and other requisites at the sound of the military drums, as well as having ordered that it be posted in the designated places.

Given in New Orleans on May 18, 1803.

Manuel de Salcedo      El Marqués de Casa-Calvo

By order of their Lordships.
Carlos Ximénex, War Notary

This is a copy.
Andrés López Armesto