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New Orleans Public Library

Digest of the Acts and Deliberations of the Cabildo
Hospitals--Charity Hospital

Introduction to the Digest

Subject Book Volume Page Date Description
Hospitals - Charity Hospital 1
225 10/27/1775 Governor: Unzaga; Royal Ensign: De Reggio, Sr. – In granting a license to Pedro Morris to operate the taverns, cabarets and food supply houses, it was stipulated that he contribute 140 Pesos annually to the Charity Hospital. (See “Taverns.”) – (Some time between this date and 1780 the operation of the taverns, cabarets, etc., was turned over to the militia, who refused to pay taxes to the city and it is questionable if they continued this contribution to the Hospital. In 1781 it was decided to return the operation to private parties.) (See “Taverns.”)
Hospitals - Charity Hospital 1
240 7/5/1776 Governor: Unzaga; Royal Ensign: De Reggio, Sr. – At this meeting it was agreed that one half of all fines levied against violations of the Weights and Measures Law be donated to the Charity Hospital.
Hospitals - Charity Hospital 1
290 9/18/1778 Governor: Galvez; Royal Ensign: De Reggio, Sr. – At this meeting the Commissioners agreed to proceed with the nomination of an Administrator and a Treasurer for Charity Hospital to take place in the presence of the priest. The said Administrator and Treasurer to begin their terms on the first day of next year with elections thereafter every three years. At the end of their terms they must submit a complete account of their administrations to the Cabildo which will be made known to the priest.
Hospitals - Charity Hospital 2
75 9/14/1781 Acting Governor: Miro; Royal Ensign: De Reggio, Sr. – At this meeting the Attorney General calls attention to the deplorable condition of the poor due to destruction of the Hospital by “ consecutive hurricanes.” The Commissioners agreed that the deliberation in regard to this same matter made at a previous meeting must be fully complied with, and that they be furnished with an account of the funds on hand by the Administrator of the Hospital, in order to take the necessary steps for the rebuilding of same.
Hospitals - Charity Hospital 2
98 2/15/1782 Acting Governor: Miro; Royal Ensign: De Reggio, Sr. – The Attorney General calls attention to the fact that no action had been taken regarding the accounts of the Manager (Administrator) of the Hospital, and to the miserable condition of the poor, as the Hospital no longer exists. The Commissioners resolve to address an official letter to the Governor, which states in part ….”As per agreement of September 18, 1778, your Excellency agreed to comply with the orders of His Majesty as per said law, that the Manager of the Charity Hospital must render an annual report of same, which since that time, an even previously, had not been done.”…
Hospitals - Charity Hospital 2
147 11/15/1782 Acting Governor: Miro; Royal Ensign: De Reggio, Sr. – At this time the matter of re-establishment of the Charity Hospital was taken up, but due to the illness of Acting Governor Miro, it was agreed to suspend deliberation.
Hospitals - Charity Hospital 2
152 12/13/1782 Acting Governor: Miro; Royal Ensign: De Reggio, Sr. – A letter from Galvez presented to the Cabildo at this time states that though he has not the charter of the Hospital before him, he is persuaded that all authority in the final analysis “is the concern of the Government and the Captaincy-General,” and orders that the Acting Governor take all necessary steps to have the hospital re-established at once. He orders further, however, that the Administrator of the Hospital present its accounts and receipts to the Cabildo, as per agreement of September 18th, 1778. – At this same meeting (page 154) Don Francisco de Reggio, Royal Ensign, presented a memorandum to the Council, in which he states in substance: “at about the time the city was founded the Hospital of Charity for the poor was erected by contributions, offerings, and legacies of the inhabitants, as is verified by traditions handed down by the first colonists and observed by some of the old inhabitants still living.” – This memorandum continues at considerable length to the effect that these “incontestable practices” were observed even after the ceding of the Colony from France to Spain, “until certain innovating spirits have pretended to shuffle the ancient uses and customs…” He further states that he would not dissuade the giver of such pious works, but protests that this giver sets himself apart “from the legitimate means of obtaining such a desirable result” – protesting that Almonaster had proceeded without knowledge or approval of the Cabildo, using the material from the old hospital, closing streets, etc. – The answer to the above from Acting Governor Miro (pages 172 to 175) upholds that authority of the Government and the Captaincy-General to maintain control of the hospital, stating: “…the direction of this Hospital corresponds to the Governor as Vice-Royal, and ordinary Ecclesiastic as Patron, according to the Holy Council of Trent…..since this Province has been ceded to our Catholic Monarch the Hospital of Charity has been governed by the aforementioned authorities, not having any relations with your Lordships….” He mentions only one instance (during the reign of Luis de Unzaga) when an old French custom was observed in calling a meeting of the citizens in a matter concerning the Hospital, which custom was abolished as contrary to practice in all Spanish Dominions. He mentions the hurricane in August 1780 which left the hospital in ruins, and Almonaster’s offer at the end of 1782 to rebuild the hospital at his own expense, and had immediately begun the construction with the consent of the Ecclesiastical Judge and his own (Miro’s). He further intimates that this gift might not materialize if he should force the citizen (Almonaster) to present himself to the Cabildo for permission to execute his philantropic gift. – A letter from the Reverend Cirilo of Barcelona (page 175) protests the Act of the Cabildo of September 18th, 1778, as contrary to Spanish Law.)
Hospitals - Charity Hospital 3 I 149 1/12/1787 Governor: Miro; Royal Ensign: De Reggio, Sr. Pedro Roger, who is sick in the Charity Hospital, presents a complaint to the Cabildo that Don Andres Almonaster wants to eject him if he does not pay fifteen Pesos monthly. The Commissioners agreed to send the complaint to the Governor.
Hospitals - Charity Hospital 3 I 187 9/28/1787 Governor: Miro; Royal Ensign: De Reggio, Sr. – Messrs. Aubry and Falcout, the first a former Governor and the second a former Intendant of this Province during the French Administration, asked the Royal Ensign (Reggio) for testimonials written in the Spanish Language. The Royal Ensign asked for copies of documents filed in the Archives showing their activities regarding the location where the Charity Hospital of this city should be.
Hospitals - Charity Hospital 3 III 91 10/18/1793 Governor: Carondelet; Royal Ensign: Almonaster – The Governor presents a copy of a Royal Edict in which the Royal Supreme Council for the Indies approves the rules of the new Charity Hospital built at the expense of Andres Almonaster and indicating the approval of His Majesty of the name of “St. Charles,” and the naming of Almonaster as Patron and Founder of same. The Attorney General requests a copy of the Edict, stating he has not understood its contents, and the Commissioners agreed that a certified copy be give him.
Hospitals - Charity Hospital 3 III 100 12/13/1793 Governor: Carondelet; Royal Ensign: Almonaster – The Attorney General presents his opinion regarding the copy of the Edict furnished in reference to the endowment, cleanliness and management of the Charity Hospital. He goes into the expenses, and recommends an additional endowment.
Hospitals - Charity Hospital 3 III 111 1/10/1794 Governor: Carondelet; Royal Ensign: Almonaster – Don Andres Almonaster answers the Attorney General (above) and states that he does not understand why a copy of the Royal Edict should be given to the Attorney General when such a step is not authorized by His Majesty, nor why the Attorney General should make recommendations to the Cabildo “who have no business in the case” etc. Stating (page 114) that “since the first of October 1786, when the first Mass was said and the first patients received in said Hospital, up to the end of April 1792, when the founder (himself) was deposed, he covered the expenses of the hospital with the income he fixed and there was sufficient and a littler over…”
Hospitals - Charity Hospital 4 I 60 11/6/1795 Governor: Carondelet; Royal Ensign: Almonaster – Don Andres Almonaster exhibited two Royal Edicts which he requested copied in the records and the originals returned to him. One Edict granted him possession of a special pew in the Cathedral, and the other returned to him the management of the Charity Hospital which had been so unjustly taken from him. By this Edict Almonaster is given the privilege of appointing all the physicians of the hospital and all the employees of the hospital and church, without question, as long as he may live. (Both Edicts are given in toto – pages 60 to 64.)
Hospitals - Charity Hospital 4 I 204 3/24/1797 Governor: Carondelet; Royal Ensign: Almonaster – At this meeting the Commissioners in providing for the levying of a toll on the drawbridge over Bayou St. John, mention the convenience afforded to boats which can now come to the location of the Charity Hospital to load and unload through the Canal. (Further information as to the location of the Charity Hospital at this time, can be found under “Cemeteries.”)
Hospitals - Charity Hospital 4 II 39 9/7/1797 Governor: Gayoso; Royal Ensign: Almonaster – At this meeting the Commissioners discussed the discontinuance of the custom of forcing the public to buy caskets from the Charity Hospital. Don Andres Almonaster was in favor of discontinuing this custom as the hospital did not need this income – stating that he had abolished this custom when he constructed the Hospital but during the short time he was not in control, the custom had been re-established, and when he again resumed the management, he did not want to show disrespect for the one who had re-established it.

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