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|"The constant eagerness of the King towards the happiness of his beloved
vassals and considering the representations addressed to the crown, about the paralization of business
experienced by our colonies, lack of movement of their principal products and the shortage experienced of
commodities and staple goods, which caused irreparable losses to the Agriculture and Commerce, this
reason inclined His Royal intentions to issue the Royal Order of November 18th., 1797, permitting all his
vassals to freely trade with unrestricted goods on board national or foreign ships, from the ports of friendly
nations or from Spanish ports, under the rules which were found proper, in order to avoid fraud and to insure
returns to the inhabitants of the Peninsula.
Far from obtaining the favorable results expected from the said Royal resolution, this experience has convinced us in an uncontestable manner, while unable to maintain the same formalities under which it was established and since even the Spaniards have abused of the special favors they were receiving, all this hastened to convert the good effect of this law into a general detriment to the state, particularly in detriment to the vassals of America and Spain, in favor of the industry and Commerce of the enemies, placing in the hands of the enemy the most powerful weapons to continue the war, thus extending the ill effects to the whole Europe. With this positive knowledge, the King could not overlook delaying for a minute to dictate the effective remedy for such great evils, derogating, as he has been pleased to derogate, in all its parts, the said Royal Order of November 18th., 1797, and any other concessions granted by others, by individuals or through governmental measures issued by the Viceroys, Governors, Intendants and other officials in America, the laws of the Indies, remaining in full force and effect, as well as the rules of free trade, and the very same officials are compelled, under expressed responsibility, to take all the steps they may deem proper, not only towards its compliance, but also to amend the detriments caused by the excesses occurred in the use and exercise of the said Royal Order, without admitting any excuses, protests or alibis, if these tend to weaken the enforcement of this Royal Resolution.
By these means His Majesty expects that the Spanish and American commerce animated and enlivened, it will do every possible effort in order to obtain the greatest good offered by reciprocal commercial expeditions, reducing the risks caused by the war by the means adopted and other means which dire necessity suggests in similar cases, but if they still value as necessary a government aid, the Consulates of this Kingdom and those of America may represent to His Majesty whatever their sense of duty and love towards their fatherland dictates to them, assured that they will always be heard, provided, that their ideas are based in promoting the development of our commerce and industry, destroying the causes that up to now have obstructed its development, in general detriment to all its vassals and to the advantage to our enemies. I transcribe all of this to your Lordship by Royal command for its most exact compliance, in that part which concerns you, acknowledging receipt of this and informing and reporting about the measures you may take towards this end, for His Majesty's knowledge. - May God protect your Lordship many years. - Aranjuez, April 20th., 1799 - Soler - to the Intendant of Louisiana. - A true copy of the Royal Order, which original remains on file in the Secretary's office, in my charge, to which I give faith, as Secretary that I am, by appointment by His Majesty - New Orleans, September 20th., 1799 - Cayetano Valdes - Obeying and complying with the resolution of His Majesty of April 20th., ulto., which copy I am enclosing, in a meeting of the Board of the Royal Treasury, which I convoked for this purpose, it was resolved that the Royal Edict of January 22nd., 1782, and additionals of the Royal Orders of June 9th., 1793 and September 6th., 1796 remain in full force and effect, in consequence, the decree of the Board of the Royal Treasury of June 11th., 1798 is derogated., in that part which permitted trade to be carried to this Province on board of ships of friendly nations, under the rules fixed for this purpose, and without causing any detriment of the warehouse allowed for the use of the Anglo-Americans and other stipulations comprised in the Treaty of Amity, limits and navigation agreed upon between His Majesty and the United States, and concerning the trade of products with those of the same nation, inhabitants of Kentucky, and Natchez, as the said Royal Order does not revoke those comprised in the treaty, same remains in effect in the terms agreed upon by the members of the meeting held on April 12th., 1798". - I transcribe this to your Lordship for your convenience and knowledge in regard to the wishes of His Majesty - May God protect your Lordship many years. New Orleans, September 20th., 1799 - Juan Ventura Morales" To Don Nicolas Maria Vidal - A true copy of the original - New Orleans, September 26th., 1799 - Nicolas Maria Vidal - "