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|DON CARLOS, by the Grace of God, King of Castile, of Leon, of Aragon, of the
two Sicilies, of Jerusalem, of Navarre, of Granada, of Toledo, of Galicia, of Mallorca, of Minorca, of Seville,
of. Sardinia, of Cordova, of Corsica,of
Murcia, of Jaen, of the Algecirians of Algeciras, of Gibraltar, of the Canary Islands, of the East Indies, of the
South Sea Islands; Archduke of Austria, Duke of Burgundy, of Brabant, and of Milan; Count of Hapsburg, of
Flanders, of Tyrol, and Barcelona; Lord of Biscay, of Molina, etc., has deemed it convenient to retrocede the
Colony and Province of
Louisiana to the French Republic.
I order that, upon the presentation of this Royal Order by General Victor or some other authorized French official, you place him in possession of the Province and its dependencies, as well as the City and the Isle of Orleans, with its present dimensions, those it had at the time France ceded it to my Royal Crown, and those that were negotiated by the treaties between my commonwealth and those of other sovereignties, so that in the future it will belong to the French Republic to be governed and administered with its own officials and governors with no exceptions.
I order that, after the troops of the French Republic have taken possession of the Colony, you withdraw all of the officers, soldiers, and the employees who guard and govern the Province, so that they may be sent to Spain or any other of my possessions in America, with the exception of those who prefer to remain in the service of France. Furthermore, under no circumstances whatsoever shall you place any obstacles in the way of those persons who wish to remain.
Likewise, I order that, after the evacuation of the posts and the City of New Orleans, you gather all of the papers and documents pertaining to the Royal Treasury and the administration of Louisiana, so that they may be brought back to Spain, and an account be rendered. Also, you are to turn over to the governor or other French official in charge of taking possession of the colony all of the documents pertaining to the boundaries and demarcations, the uncharted lands, and other Posts of the territory, taking the precaution of requesting the appropriate receipt for your protection when you render accounts. Furthermore, you are to give the French governor all the information he needs to administer the colony to the satisfaction of the Republic.
In order that the cession of the Colony be made to the mutual satisfaction of both sovereignties, you will take an inventory, in duplicate, and signed by both you and the official authorized by the Republic, of all the artillery, arms, ammunitions, assets, warehouses, hospitals, naval supplies, and other effects throughout the various posts in the colony, etc., belonging to me and proceed to make an exact estimate or appraisal, so that their value will be reimbursed to me by the French Government.
We expect, from the sincere friendship and ultimate alliance between us and the French Government, and hope, 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 title of their establishment; to permit the ordinary judges and established tribunals to continue to administer justice according to 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, we hope that the French Government will give its new subjects the same protection and affection which they received while they were under my rule. Given in Barcelona on October 15, 1802. I the King. Pedro Cevallos. It is in accordance with the original.
This is a copy of the Royal order received in the office of the Secretary of the Government in my charge. I certify to it. New Orleans, May 24, 1803.
(Rubric) Andres Lopez de Armesto