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Digest of the Acts and Deliberations of the Cabildo
Chronological--1799

Introduction to the Digest

Subject Book Volume Page Date Description
Officials--Annual Elections 4 III 1 1/1/1799 Don Francisco de Riano, Senior Judge; Don Gabriel Fonvergne, Junior Judge; Don Juan Soulier, Attorney General; Don Juan de Castanedo, City Treasurer - Don Juan Soulier refused this position and Don Felix Arnaud was elected in his place.
Wards and Districts 4 III 4 1/4/1799 Governor: Gayoso; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - Syndics: Livaudais, Jr., Hardy Boisblan, Doricourt - District: Coast of Tchoupitoulas; Syndics: Dupare (or Dupart), Lastigue - District: Other side of river - upper section; Syndics: Robin, Bosiclair Delery, Moliere Fazende - District: Other side of river - lower section; Syndics: Longay, Siben* - District: Outside the Gate to St. Charles; Syndic: Laurens Farascou - District: Bayou St. John and Metairie; Syndic: Le Chevalier Morand - District: Gentilly. (*Don Francisco Siben resigned (page 5) and Chauvin Delery was appointed.)
Wards and Districts 4 III 4 1/4/1799 Governor: Gayoso; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - Don Pedro Rose (Noe) - First Ward; Don Francisco Duplesis - Second Ward; Don Simon Ducournay - Third Ward; Don Santiago Carrick *- Fourth Ward; Don Juan Bautista Sarpy - Santa Maria Ward; Luis Bienvenu Girandeau (Girodiau) - New Ward by St. Charles Fort; Don Carlos Grifon - New Ward outside the Gate of the Bayou up to the bridge used by the washerwoman. (*Carrick resinged (page 5) and Monsieur Col was elected in his place.)
Cabildo--The New Building 4 III 7 1/25/1799 Governor: Gayoso; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - A plan of a gallery which must be constructed in the center of the chambers of the Cabildo, was shown at this meeting. This was approved and ordered constructed according to plan.
Lighting 4 III 10 1/30/1799 Governor: Gayoso; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - At this time the Commissioners discussed ways and means of collecting the established tax for the upkeep of the lighting department, stating they believed the method in actual use the proper one; although the bakers complained, they voluntarily imposed the tax upon themselves. They ordered the merchants to furnish a report showing the amount of flour sold each week, giving the name of each buyer. The buyer to furnish a similar report to the Commissioner.
Streets - Bridges and Gutters 4 III 9 1/30/1799 Governor: Gayoso; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - At this meeting the Commissioners stated that the bridges could not properly be called bridges, but covered gutters; that when O’Reilly ordered that they be repaired for account of the residents, the city had but little funds, but not that the funds are considerable and are contributed by the said residents, these funds must be expended for the comfort and utility of the residents. They mentioned that Galvez, at one time, ordered the repairs to the bridges to be paid by the City Treasury. For these reasons, they decided that the repairs be made at once for account of the City Treasury, and that His Majesty be duly informed. The Governor approved the decision of the majority and a plan providing that the bottoms of the gutters be constructed of brick and cement, was ordered made.
Drainage 4 III 13 2/15/1799 Governor: Gayoso; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - At this time the Commissioners discussed the lack of proper sewerage and the amount of stagnant water in the streets due to the fact that after the fire each individual made his own ditch and sidewalk without attention to the proper level. (See "Streets, Gutters and Bridges.")
Lighting 4 III 12 2/15/1799 Governor: Gayoso; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - At this time the Governor and President informed the Council that in a meeting held by the merchants of the city, they unanimously agreed to furnish a report of the quantity of flour sold. Also that the Attorney General has submitted rules concerning the collection of taxes on the flour consumed. (Pages 13, 14, 15, and 16).
Prisons 4 III 13 2/15/1799 Governor: Gayoso; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - At this time it was decided to lay bricks in the yard of the Royal Jail, repair the cells and roof that section close to the Cabildo, in accordance with the plan of Don Gilberto Guillemard, Major of this Post.
Streets - Bridges and Gutters 4 III 12 2/15/1799 Governor: Gayoso; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - At this meeting the Commissioners agreed to have two bridges built with gutter bottoms constructed of brick in accordance with a plan suggested at the last session. One to be built at the corner of the quarters of the Guard, and another, larger, to be built in the last block and corner of the same street; the best one to serve as a guide for the construction of others. It was also resolved (page 13) that Don Gilberto Guillemard, Major of the Post, and Finiel, Engineer, be requested to grade the ditches of all the streets.
Streets - Streets and Sidewalks 4 III 13 2/15/1799 Governor: Gayoso; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - At this time the Commissioners discussed the need of proper sewerage in the city due to the fact that after the fire (1794) each individual had constructed his sidewalk and ditch without attention to the proper level. Don Gilberto Guillemard and Don Finiel were authorized to grade the ditches of all the streets.Governor: Gayoso; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - At this time the Commissioners discussed the need of proper sewerage in the city due to the fact that after the fire (1794) each individual had constructed his sidewalk and ditch without attention to the proper level. Don Gilberto Guillemard and Don Finiel were authorized to grade the ditches of all the streets.
Fire 4 III 18 3/8/1799 Governor: Gayoso; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - The Commissioners agree to appoint Monsieur Finel, a talented engineer, to inspect the fire engines and order the necessary repairs made by the proper workers; also to operate them once a month to keep them in order. The Commissioners also resolve to assign a salary to him.
Garbage 4 III 20 3/29/1799 Governor: Gayoso; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - The Governor and President of the Cabildo suggested that three more wagons be added to the streets cleaning service during the summer months. The Commissioners resolved to have the contract for the street cleaning let out on bids, and that this service be paid for out of the city funds.
Markets 4 III 21 3/29/1799 Governor: Gayoso; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - It was agreed at this meeting that the pillars of the Fish Market be built with 12 inch stakes instead of 8 inch stakes.
Slaves and Savage Negroes 4 III 21 3/29/1799 Governor: Gayoso; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - The Governor informs the Cabildo of an agreement made with the Governor of Natchez,, to mutually arrest and detain runaway Negroes. He states that several Negroes have escaped due to rumors that they would be free on reaching the American Possessions.
Lighting 4 III 22 4/5/1799 Governor: Gayoso; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - At this time permits were ordered printed to be given individuals buying flour for their own use - as such flour will not be charged with the tax.
Lighting 4 III 25 4/19/1799 Governor: Gayoso; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - The City Treasurer submits reports on the amount of flour consumed during the months January, February, and March.
Streets - Bridges and Gutters 4 III 25 4/19/1799 Governor: Gayoso; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - At this meeting Don Bartholeme Lafond requested that after the two covered gutters are economically built by the city, the construction of the others be awarded to him at the same cost. The Commissioners agreed.
Sugar Cane 4 III 24 4/19/1799 Governor: Gayoso; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - At this meeting a representation made by Don Josef Solis and sent to the Cabildo by the Governor, was read; in which he asked the Commissioners to testify to his hardships and steady work in cultivating sugar cane, the small profits obtained by him, and the great benefits accruing to this Province from his labors. The Commissioners found his statements true and just and resolved to ask a grace from His Majesty, in accordance with his petition.
Cabildo--The New Building 4 III 29 5/10/1799 Governor: Gayoso; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - At the end of a meeting held on this date, the Secretary was ordered by the Governor, as well as the members, to record the fact that the previous session of the Cabildo was the first session held in the New Cabildo Building.
Ecclesiastical 4 III 30 5/17/1799 Governor: Gayoso; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - Don Antonio Ramis, Sexton of the Cathedral, petitions the Cabildo to grant him 14 or 15 feet in the back of the Cathedral for use as storage room.
Hospitals - Lepers' Hospital 4 III 31 5/17/1799 Governor: Gayoso; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - At this time the City Treasurer presents the accounts of the “San Lazaro” Hospital during the past year, which were submitted to the Annual Commissioners for audit.
Lighting 4 III 31 5/17/1799 Governor: Gayoso; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - The City Treasurer presents a statement covering the funds he has had in his charge belonging to the Lighting Department during the years 1796, 1797, and 1798.
Officials--Notary Public for the City--Don Narcisco Brautin (or Broutin) 4 III 30 5/17/1799 Appointed to succeed his father, Francisco Broutin, who resigned to become Royal Notary Public for the Indies.
Markets 4 III 36 5/31/1799 Governor: Gayoso; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - Don Bartholome Lafond requests an additional one-third payment on the Fish Market, which he states is now one-half finished.
Cabildo--The New Building 4 III 37 6/7/1799 Governor: Gayoso; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - At this time Cristobal Prevost presented a model of the Arms of this City, which must be placed in the main door of the Cabildo, also a model of the wicket doors to be placed in all of the doors of these chambers. (On page 38 the Commissioners reported that they had arranged with Cristobal Prevost for this work).
Coat of Arms 4 III 37 6/7/1799 Governor: Gayoso; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - At this meeting Cristobal Prevost presented a model of the Arms of this city which must be placed in the main door of the Cabildo Building, and also presented another model of the wicket doors to be placed in all the doors of these chambers. - At the next meeting of the Cabildo, (page 38), the Commissioners who were appointed to arrange a price with Prevost, reported that they had arranged a price for the Coat of Arms, also for the other work Prevost must do in the Cabildo Building.
Markets 4 III 38 6/14/1799 Governor: Gayoso; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - The Cabildo orders the Annual Commissioners to provide tables and other necessary fixtures to be placed in the Fish Market for use in the sale of calves, pigs, sheep, fish and the retailing of other products; also to have the building covered with tar and red lead to preserve the lumber. To make rules and regulations governing the collection of taxes which must be paid by the retailers.
Levees 4 III 40 6/21/1799 Governor: Gayoso; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - At this time the Governor informed the Cabildo of the measures he had taken to repair the breaks in the levee on the lands abandoned by Don Lorenzo Segur; he sent workers there and furnished out of the fort all the sand bags required. The Commissioners thanked him for these measures and agreed that the City Treasury will pay the cost of the work for account of whoever may own the land. Later the Cabildo was called in extraordinary session (page 42) to discuss this expense as well as the expense the expense in constructing sidewalks and gutters to take care of the stagnant waters. The Commissioners agreed to cover the expense from the City Treasury, and collect from the residents who have promised to contribute.
Slaves and Savage Negroes 4 III 42 6/28/1799 Governor: Gayoso; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - The Attorney General calls attention to the fact that notwithstanding the measures taken by the Governor to prohibit the importation of Negroes, mulattoes or others of suspicious character, he has been informed that they have been introduced by individuals of the upper river section, and especially at Wachitas (Wachita).
Streets - Streets and Sidewalks 4 III 43 7/1/1799 Governor: Gayoso; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - At this time the Cabildo was called in extraordinary session to discuss the expense of repairing the levee (See “Levees.”) at which time they resolved to construct the sewerage with all promptness possible.
Land Grants 4 III 46 7/19/1799 Acting Governor: Vidal; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - At this time an official letter is received from Don Juan Ventura Morales, Head Accountant of the Army and Royal Treasury and Acting Intendant, enclosing four printed copies in both French and Spanish, of the rules governing the distribution and sales of all kinds of Royal lands. The commissioners forwarded these to the Attorney General for his opinion. (At a later meeting, page 61, the report of the Attorney General is read showing excerpts of various laws covering this matter. (Recorded on pages 62 to 68), and the Commissioners instructed him to take whatever action is necessary to protect the interests of the city.)
Officials--Governors--Don Manuel Gayoso De Lemos 4 III 46 7/19/1799 Don Nicholas Maria Vidal, Lieutenant Governor, informs the Cabildo that due to the death, yesterday afternoon, of Don Manuel Gayoso de Lemos, the position of Civil Governor General and Royal Vice Patron falls upon him, according to Royal Orders.
Officials--Governors--Don Nicholas Maria Vidal 4 III 46 7/19/1799 Judge Advocate of War and Lieutenant Governor, informs the Cabildo that due to the death (yesterday afternoon) of Don Manuel Gayoso, the position of Civil Governor General and Royal Vice Patron falls upon him; according to Royal Orders.
Bonds, Surety 4 III 48 7/27/1799 Acting Governor: Vidal; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - At this meeting (the second held after Vidal became Acting Governor due to the death of Gayoso) the Attorney General asked if the Acting Governor should furnish bond. Vidal stated that His Majesty had not ordered that all Acting Governors furnish bond. A majority of the Commissioners voted that the matter should be submitted to the King.
Officials--Governors--Don Nicholas Maria Vidal 4 III 47 7/27/1799 Presents to the Cabildo a copy of the Royal Order (above referred to) concerning the position of Royal Vice Patron, which Royal Order was not given to the Cabildo by the preceding Governors. He also corrects the box at the theatre to permit its use by the Commissioners. (see "THEATRES").
Taxes 4 III 48 7/27/1799 Acting Governor: Vidal; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - The Acting Governor and President of the Cabildo stated that he is aware of certain doubts regarding the partition made by former Governors in the box at the theatre; which box should be used by the Ordinary Judges and the Commissioners; that said box should be left for the use of the Army Commander only in the absence of the Civil and Military Governor. Therefore, after the death of Gayoso, he had instructed the manager of the theatre to take off the said partition, as the box for the use of the members of the Cabildo should not be to the side, but in front of the stage and constructed with plenty of space. He stated that the management and operation of the theatre is unquestionably under the direction of the Civil Government as per Royal Order, and the Military Commanders must not mix themselves in these matters, nor have any fixed place. (On page 51 the Royal Order governing this matter is shown.)
Theatre 4 III 48 7/27/1799 Acting Governor: Vidal; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - The Acting Governor and President of the Cabildo stated that he is aware of certain doubts regarding the partition made by former Governors in the box at the theatre; which box should be used by the Ordinary Judges and the Commissioners; that said box should be left for the use of the Army Commander only in the absence of the Civil and Military Governor. Therefore, after the death of Gayoso, he had instructed the manager of the theatre to take off the said partition, as the box for the use of the members of the Cabildo should not be to the side, but in front of the stage and constructed with plenty of space. He stated that the management and operation of the theatre is unquestionably under the direction of the Civil Government as per Royal Order, and the Military Commanders must not mix themselves in these matters, nor have any fixed place. (On page 51 the Royal Order governing this matter is shown.)
Cabildo--Establishment and Administrative Functions 4 III 53 8/3/1799 Governor: Vidal, Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - At this time the Acting Governor and President of the Cabildo called attention to a Royal Order dated December 5th, 1796, (which also had not been forwarded to the Cabildo) concerning the sum of 4,925 Pesos assigned to the granary for rice; (See "RICE") which sum was the excess proceeds of rentals on the small houses for the charitable fund established by Galvez to support twelve orphan girls in the Ursuline Convent. The Governor having learned that this sum was obtained from the Royal Treasury by the deceased Governor (Gayoso) believed the Commissioners should take the necessary steps to recover same. The Commissioners, considering these various Royal Orders which had not been brought to their attention by the previous governors, resolved to request the President to forward all Royal Orders concerning this Cabildo to them.
Educational 4 III 53 8/3/1799 Acting Governor: Vidal; Royal Ensign: Almonaster - At this meeting reference is made to a charitable fund (established by Galvez and approved by the King) from the proceeds of rentals from several small houses; the funds to be used for the support of twelve orphans in the Convent of the Ursulines.
Markets 4 III 54 8/3/1799 Acting Governor: Vidal; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - At this time Don Jayme Jorda reports that the tile dealer would not deliver to Contractor Lafond the necessary tile for the roof of the Fish Market, unless he paid cash. The Contractor not having the cash, the Commissioners instructed Don Jayme to obtain the tile, drawing on the City Treasury for the amount, to be deducted from amount due Lafond.
Officials--Governors--Don Nicholas Maria Vidal 4 III 53 8/3/1799 Calls the attention of the Cabildo to a Royal Order concerning a fund for the establishment of a Granary (see "RICE") which Royal Order had also been overlooked by two preceding governors.
Orphans 4 III 53 8/3/1799 Acting Governor: Vidal; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - At this time Vidal calls attention to a Royal Order concerning the excess proceeds from “small houses established as a charitable fund by Count de Galvez for the support of twelve orphan girls in the Ursuline Convent.”
Health Rules - Establishing a Board 4 III 59 8/23/1799 Acting Govenor: Vidal; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - At this time the Governor informs the Cabildo that he has established a service for the sanitary inspection of ships. The Commandant of the Army, one or two Commissioners and the Attorney General to be present at such inspections.
Health Rules - Sanitation 4 III 59 8/23/1799 Acting Governor: Vidal; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - At this time the Governor informs the Cabildo that he has established a Sanitary Inspection of Ships. The Commandant of the Army, one or two Commissioners and the Attorney General to be present at such inspections.
Huts 4 III 59 8/23/1799 Acting Governor: Vidal; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - The Commissioners, considering that the City Treasury is short on funds and heavily indebted, decided to petition His Majesty to grant them (among other things) the lands comprising the “edge of the river in all its frontage.” (See “Land Grants.”)
Land Grants 4 III 89 8/23/1799 Acting Governor: Vidal; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - At this time the Commissioners considering that the City Treasury is short of funds and heavily indebted, decided to petition His Majesty requesting him to grant to the City Treasury the lots of land located at the two extreme ends of the city, and the lots of land granted to certain people by the two former Governors. Carondelet and Gayoso, the old cemetery, the edge of the river in all its frontage, and small parcels of public land. (Also the proceeds of taxes on taverns, billiard halls, refreshment houses, lodging houses and inns which are now established and those to be established in the future.)
Officials--Governors--Don Nicholas Maria Vidal 4 III 59 8/23/1799 Informs the Cabildo that he has established, a sanitary inspection of ships. (See "HEALTH")
Taverns 4 III 60 8/23/1799 Acting Governor: Vidal; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - At this time the Commissioners, considering that the City Treasury is short of funds and heavily indebted, decided to ask His Majesty to grant to the City Treasury the proceeds of taxes on taverns, billiard halls, refreshment houses, lodging houses or inns which are now established and those to be established in the future.
Lighting 4 III 70 9/13/1799 Acting Governor: Vidal; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - The City Treasurer calls attention to the fact that the bakers and merchants are not complying with the rules providing for a tax on flour. At the next meting, (page 72) the Commissioners resolved to warn the merchants that they must comply with the rules.
Markets 4 III 71 9/20/1799 Acting Governor: Vidal; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - A bill is presented by Urbane Gaingier for construction of 16 tables for the sale of meat, and 7 tables for the sale of fish, also a large sun shade for the fish section.
Commerce 4 III 77 9/27/1799 Acting Governor: Vidal; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - At this time a Royal Order is read through which His Majesty “has been pleased to derogate entirely that disposition of November 18th, 1797, through which he permitted all vessels to freely trade in all his Dominions, with unrestricted goods, on board of national or foreign ships, from the ports of friendly nations or from Spain.” The Commissioners resolved to ask the Attorney General to render an opinion, and to request the Civil Governor to use his good influence with the Military Governor and the Intendant that the ships in the river may load and unload as formerly, as they would stand an irreparable loss should the Royal Order be enforced. - (At the nest meeting (page 87) the Attorney General presented his opinion, and as several of the Commissioners were absent, it was agreed to call an extraordinary session to hear the opinion.)
Commerce 4 III 88 10/6/1799 Acting Governor: Vidal; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - The above mentioned opinion (pages 89 to 96) was read to the Commissioners in extraordinary session, and it was agreed to record same at the foot of this act and forward a certified copy to His Majesty asking that this Royal Order not apply to this Province.
Levees 4 III 97 10/18/1799 Acting Governor: Vidal; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - At this time the Governor requested reimbursement of the amount advanced from the Royal Treasury for provisions and materials supplied to the laborers who repaired the levee on the lands abandoned by Lorenzo Segur. This matter was referred to the Attorney General whose opinion was that the inhabitants having offered to contribute to this expense, and the lands being Royal property, the said lands be left in the hands of the Intendant, who knows that the inhabitants and the city residents must contribute to this work. At this same meeting (page 100) the Attorney General calls attention to a section of the levee facing the Orange Groves which is in need of repairs and which must be examined by an expert to ascertain the nature of the repairs needed. Also on that section of the levee at Tchoupitoulas which he requested that they take up with the President. The Commissioners stated that the Governor had already taken the necessary steps to repair the levee at Tchoupitoulas, and they decided that the levee facing the Orange Groves be inspected by Don Gilberto Guillemard and Monsieur Finiels in the presence of Don Juan de Castanedo.
Commerce 4 III 101 10/25/1799 Acting Governor: Vidal; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - The Governor and President informs the Cabildo that he has suspended the execution of the Royal Order concerning trade with neutral nations, while His Majesty does not decide to the contrary.
Health Rules - Medicine and Surgery 4 III 108 11/22/1799 Acting Governor: Vidal; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - The Pharmacists of the City request that the physicians and surgeons be prohibited from filling prescriptions from their own drugs. The Commissioners agreed to comply with the request of the druggists, and ruled that all prescriptions be filled in the drug stores. Only when a physician is called into the country may he fill his own prescription. They resolved that drug stores be inspected every four months and stale drugs thrown away, and that all imported medicines be inspected before they are placed on sale. (See also pages 113 and 114.)
Newspapers 4 III 108 11/22/1799 Acting Governor: Vidal; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - Mention is made in this meeting of a “Royal Resolution published in the Gazette of June 6th, last.” - in reference to the establishment of a Medical Board. (See “Health Rules, Board of.”)
Cabildo--The New Building 4 III 111 11/29/1799 Acting Governor: Vidal; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - A letter is received from the Military Governor requesting a copy of the acts concerning the terms under which Almonaster promised to construct the building, showing the appraised value and the amounts paid by the City Treasurer.
Markets 4 III 112 11/29/1799 Acting Governor: Vidal; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - A bill is presented by Arnaldo Magnon for painting the Fish Market with tar and red lead.
Prisons 4 III 115 12/13/1799 Acting Governor: Vidal; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - Don Juan Maria Caudaufrey Dujarreau informs the Cabildo that the work on the Royal Jail is about to be completed, and he wishes payment of one-third as per contract. (Later he requests payment in the amount of 610 Pesos and 4-1/2 Reales for work in enlarging the jail (page 217). The Cabildo appointed two Commissioners to inspect the work, whose report (page 221) states the bill should be only 434 Pesos and 7 Reales, and Don Juan Godofre Dujarreau to be notified to this effect.)

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