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Digest of the Acts and Deliberations of the Cabildo
Levees

Introduction to the Digest

Levees 1
8 12/9/1769 Governor: O’Reilly; Royal Ensign: De Reggio, Sr. - At this time the Attorney General requests the Cabildo to prohibit the cart drivers from driving their carts over the levee and to cross it only when receiving freight from ships.
Levees 1
16 3/1/1770 Governor: Unzaga; Royal Ensign: De Reggio, Sr. - At this meeting the Commissioners resolved to cancel the permit to cart drivers to cross over the levee to unload ships.
Levees 1
183 4/22/1774 Governor: Unzaga; Royal Ensign: De Reggio, Sr. - The Commissioners consider the poor condition of the levee and the present rise of the river, and resolve to build a solid levee and to contract under bond with an honest resident who can qualify to do the work.
Levees 1
190 5/27/1774 Governor: Unzaga; Royal Ensign: De Reggio, Sr. - At this meeting a bill is presented for repairs to the levee, which was approved and payment ordered.
Levees 1
194 8/6/1774 Governor: Unzaga; Royal Ensign: De Reggio, Sr. - At this meeting the Commissioners resolve to sell at public auction the contract for repairs to the levee.
Levees 1
202 11/11/1774 Governor: Unzaga; Royal Ensign: De Reggio, Sr. - At this meeting a petition is presented by Andrew Jung requesting payment of three hundred Pesos on account of work done and to be done on the levee, in accordance with contract.
Levees 1
209 3/3/1775 Governor: Unzaga; Royal Ensign: De Reggio, Sr. - Petition is presented by Andrew Jung requesting payment of five hundred Pesos for work done on the levee. Approved and voucher authorized.
Levees 1
223 10/7/1775 Governor: Unzaga; Royal Ensign: De Reggio, Sr. - Don Andres Jung asks for three hundred Pesos, which were advanced him on account of the work he is doing on the river front.
Levees 1
231 12/1/1775 Governor: Unzaga; Royal Ensign: De Reggio, Sr. - Don Andres Jung asks for four hundred Pesos on account of levee work. It was agreed to advance him three hundred Pesos, which was authorized.
Levees 1
238 3/15/1776 Governor: Unzaga; Royal Ensign: De Reggio, Sr. - Don Andres Jung asks for six hundred Pesos which amount is due him for work done on the levee. This was authorized.
Levees 1
244 9/6/1776 Governor: Unzaga; Royal Ensign: De Reggio, Sr. - A statement for twenty-one Pesos is presented for work done on the levee under the direction of Captain Don Luis Audry (or Andry), Adjutant Major of this city, which was ordered paid.
Levees 1
256 1/31/1777 Governor: Galvez; Royal Ensign: De Reggio, Sr. -At this meeting a petition is presented by the cart drivers regarding trips along the levee; which petition was denied and the cart drivers were told to abide by the law.
Levees 2
77 10/12/1781 Governor: Galvez; Royal Ensign: De Reggio, Sr. - At this time the Attorney General gave notice of the little solidness of the roads and levees above and below the city on both sides of the river, and the frequent damage to crops caused by breaks formed in the lands which cave in. The Commissioners appointed two of their number to inspect the locations and take steps for the repair of the levees and roads in the shortest possible time.
Levees 2
145 11/8/1782 Acting Governor: Miro; Royal Ensign: De Reggio, Sr. - At this meeting the Commissioners discussed the damages to the crops, levees and the city, sustained by recent protracted inundations due to careless and unsound repairs to the levee. They agree that if they deliberations of October 18th had been carried out as intended, the measures taken would have been effective. The opposition of Mr. Livaudais prevented this, and they resolved to cut all opposition and take drastic action to prevent further disaster.
Levees 2
219 5/28/1784 Acting Governor: Miro; Royal Ensign: De Reggio, Sr. - The Attorney General calls attention to the damage done by animals (bovine and equine) on the levees and highways. The Commissioners agreed that animals be kept under fence during the harvest time, and that owners be compelled to brand their animals.
Levees 3 I 76 10/7/1785 Acting Governor: Miro; Royal Ensign: De Reggio, Sr. - At this time the repairing of the embankment or levee in front of the city was taken up, and Commissioner Arnoul was appointed to take charge of the work and to keep an account of the expense.
Levees 3 II 80 10/30/1789 Governor: Miro; Royal Ensign: De Reggio, Jr. - The Governor informs the Cabildo that he has called a meeting of the residents of the Choupitoula (Tchoupitoulas) District to discuss the urgent repairs needed on the lands abandoned by Don Juan Mc Carty and Don Leonardo Masange. It was proposed that the Cabildo (with the approval of the King) proceed with the work to meet the urgency, and to “impose a contribution” to reimburse the treasury.
Levees 3 II 92 1/22/1790 Governor: Miro; Royal Ensign: De Reggio, Jr. - At this time Don Beltran Gravier presented a petition asking for payment for repairs to the levee on the lands of Don Juan Bautista Mc Carty, Don Leonardo Mazange and Don Joseph Wiltz, which contract was auctioned to him. The Commissioners agreed to pay him 3,480 Pesos.
Levees 3 II 95 2/19/1790 Governor: Miro; Royal Ensign: De Reggio, Jr. - The Commissioners consider at this time that although measures have been taken, at the expense of the City Treasury, to keep in repair the levees on the lands of Don Juan Bautista Mc Carty and Don Leonardo Mazange, their efforts will not be successful unless the lands which have been abandoned by the above mentioned citizens are taken over by other owners who will take care of the levees as other citizens do. They resolved to auction the said lands, binding the new owners to maintain the levees in good condition.
Levees 3 II 97 3/5/1790 Governor: Miro; Royal Ensign: De Reggio, Jr. - The Annual Commissioners, who had gone to the usual public place on the first of the month to attend the public sale of the abandoned lands of Mc Carty and Mazange, as provided in the previous session, report at this time that there was not one person present to whom said lands could be auctioned. Considering the imminent danger due to the approaching high water season, the Commissioners agreed to offer the lands free to any inhabitant who could obligate himself to keep the levee in good condition.
Levees 3 II 102 4/9/1790 Governor: Miro; Royal Ensign: Almonaster - At this meeting the Commissioners discussed measures to be taken to combat the flood which occurred the day before and destroyed the strongly repaired levee on the abandoned lands of Mc Carty and Mazange. It was agreed to use all possible means to close the break, employing, besides the Negro workers furnished by the inhabitants, all other available labor. The funds of the City Treasury being exhausted, the Commissioners decided to increase the indebtedness of the Treasury, and pay a wage of three reales daily for each laborer; and to inform His Majesty through the Supreme Council. - (No meetings of the Cabildo were held from this date until May 7th, due to the absence of two Commissioners engaged in repairing the levee.)
Levees 3 II 105 5/7/1790 Governor: Miro; Royal Ensign: Almonaster - The Commissioners considering the various drains on the City Treasury due to the fire of 1788, the building of the new cemetery, etc., and lastly the two breaks in the levee with resulting damages, agree to ask the Governor to pay for the new levee from the proceeds of His Majesty’s boat “La Trucha” provided for the aid of the fire victims of 1788.
Levees 3 II 132 1/14/1791 Governor: Miro; Royal Ensign: Almonaster - An official letter from the Governor informs the Cabildo that the King, having informed himself about the floods in the Choupitoulas (Tchoupitoulas) District, requested that he be furnished with a statement of the city’s funds. The commissioners agreed on immediate compliance with this request.
Levees 3 II 160 11/18/1791 Governor: Miro; Royal Ensign: Almonaster - The Governor enclosed a Royal Order in which His Majesty has been pleased to lend to the City Treasury the sum of 15,481 Pesos, of which 7,481 Pesos must be returned to the Royal Treasury for the expense incurred in repairing the Levee on the abandoned land of Mc Carty and Mazange; and Don Lorenzo Sigur must reimburse the sum of 8,000 Pesos at the end of six years.
Levees 3 I 199 3/9/1792 Governor: Carondelet; Royal Ensign: Almonaster - At this time the Commissioners considered the necessity of repairing the levee of this city from its limits up to the residence of Don Beltran Gravier, and from Orange Grove, or Alameda Grove up to the market, in case the river continues to rise. Commissioner Francisco Pascalis de la Barre was entrusted with this work with the help of the prisoners offered by the Governor.
Levees 3 III 6 6/22/1792 Governor: Carondelet; Royal Ensign: Almonaster - At this meeting a document is presented by Don Francisco Bernoudy (or Bernaudy) in which he states that since the year of 1779, when he built his residence on the other side of the river, he has been continuously busy repairing the levee, which has deprived him of his earnings and he now finds himself forced to abandon his property; that this action would be detrimental to other inhabitants by increasing their responsibility in this burdensome work or would force them to follow his example. He requested as an alternative, that the Commissioners lend him the sum of ten thousand Pesos, either from the Royal funds or from the City Treasury, with which to build a solid levee. Same to be reimbursed within six years, he furnishing bond. The Commissioners forwarded this proposal to the Attorney General for his opinion. (The Attorney approved this proposal, page 11, but due to lack of funds in the City Treasury and the necessity of obtaining Royal approval, he recommended that the petitioner apply to the Intendant General who may order the loan of ten thousand Pesos from the Royal Treasury.)
Levees 3 III 17 8/31/1792 Governor: Carondelet; Royal Ensign: Almonaster - At this time the Attorney General makes known that the river has carried away the levee on the lands abandoned by Mc Carty and Mazange, and recommends that repairs be made. The Commissioners resolved to forward this recommendation to the Governor.
Levees 3 III 44 1/11/1793 Governor: Carondelet; Royal Ensign: Almonaster - At this time the Governor informs the Cabildo that the levee is in need of repairs from the Fort of St. Charles to the huts. (See “Huts.”)
Levees 3 III 52 2/15/1793 Governor: Carondelet; Royal Ensign: Almonaster - In an official letter, the Governor recommends payment of the men who, under Gilberto Guillemard, Sergeant Major of the Post, and Don Carlos Trudeau, Surveyor General, started and finished the repairs to the levee on the lands of Don Lorenzo Sigur. Payment to be made from the city funds, reserving the right to claim reimbursement from Sigur.
Levees 3 III 57 3/15/1793 Governor: Carondelet; Royal Ensign: Almonaster - At this time the Attorney General produced the receipts for payment he made to the laborers for repairs to the levee on the lands of Lorenzo Sigur.
Levees 3 III 62 4/19/1793 Governor: Carondelet; Royal Ensign: Almonaster - The importance of draining the river was discussed at this meeting, in order to avoid the flooding of the city, and it was agreed that the Attorney General make a presentation in writing stating the manner of work to be done in cleaning one arm of the river called Chiafalaya (Atchafalaya) which at this time is obstructed with a pallisade carried by the current, “in order to see if those waters take their course.”
Levees 3 III 94 11/11/1793 Governor: Carondelet; Royal Ensign: Almonaster - Don Bartholome Lebreton addressed a communication to the Governor showing the abandonment of land by Don Joseph Xavier de Pontalba, which he had bought, and which he wishes to abandon for the same reason Pontalba had done so. The Commissioners asked the Governor not to accept abandonment.
Levees 3 III 149 8/13/1794 Governor: Carondelet; Royal Ensign: Almonaster - A meeting of the Cabildo is called by the Governor to discuss the repairing of the levee and meat market damaged by the hurricane on the night of the 10th inst. It was agreed to get the opinion of Don Giblerto Guillemard, Major of the Post, and Don Carlos Leveau Trudeau, Surveryo. (At the next meeting, page 151, it was agreed that the said Major should have charge of the repairs to the levee, and should submit a plan. As soon as the plans are made the work to be submitted to bids. Later, the plans are examined, page 152, and a date set for offering the contract.)
Levees 3 III 154 9/12/1794 Governor: Carondelet; Royal Ensign: Almonaster - At this time a bill is presented by Don Juan Baudry requesting that he be paid one third of 2,500 Pesos for repairs to the levee.
Levees 4 I 101 4/1/1796 Governor: Carondelet; Royal Ensign: Almonaster - At this time the Governor informed the Cabildo of the urgent necessity of building six flood gates on the ditches in the rear of the city to prevent the inundation of the city in case of a break in the Tchoupitoulas levee. The Commissioners agreed to build the flood gates immediately from the city funds, and placed the Sergeant Major of the Post in charge of the work. A statement is presented to the Cabildo (page 121) by Hilario Bouttet requesting payment for building six flood gates. (See also “Canals.)
Levees 4 I 125 6/17/1796 Governor: Carondelet; Royal Ensign: Almonaster - The City Treasurer states that it has become necessary to employ a lawyer in the City of Havana to answer the appeal of Lorenzo Sigur in the suit instituted for the collection of 3,252 Pesos paid from the city funds for repairs to the levee in front of his property.
Levees 4 I 196 3/3/1797 Governor: Carondelet; Royal Ensign: Almonaster - At this time the Governor presented an itemized statement showing sums advanced from the Royal Treasury to the City Treasury in which is included the sum of 8000 Pesos advanced to Don Lorenzo Seguir for repairs to the levee on the lands abandoned by Don Juan Bautista Mc Carty and Don Leonardo Mazange. The Commissioners agreed that this should be paid by Seguir.
Levees 4 I 204 3/24/1797 Governor: Carondelet; Royal Ensign: Almonaster - The Cabildo is informed by His Lordship, the Governor, that he has ordered repairs to the levee on the land assigned to the Small Pox Hospital across the river; which lands belong to the city, using convict labor with only 20 Pesos expense to the city.
Levees 4 I 205 3/24/1797 Governor: Carondelet; Royal Ensign: Almonaster - Don Lorenzo Sigur appeared before the Cabildo stating that by order of the Court he is required to pay 8000 Pesos which were advanced to him for repairs to the Tchoupitoulas levee; that he has made every effort to obtain this sum, and if the order is executed he will be utterly ruined. He asked the Commissioners to grant him eight months’ time.
Levees 4 II 30 8/23/1797 Governor: Carondelet; Royal Ensign: Almonaster - The City Treasurer informs the Cabildo that he has learned through his lawyer in Havana that Don Lorenzo Sigur’s attorney pretends to add to his appeal in the suit of three thousand Pesos, the eight thousand Pesos on which he has been granted an extension of eight months’ time, which expires on December 1st. He feels this is evidence of malicious deception and requests the Commissioners to advise him what to do.
Levees 4 II 34 9/1/1797 Governor: Gayoso; Royal Ensign: Almonaster - The City Treasurer informs the Cabildo that he has received the answer from Don Lorenzo Sigur who states that he had appealed to the Superior Tribunal at Havana asking an indemnity to cover the great expense he had in repairing the levee at Tchoupitoulas, stating also that his contract had been broken, and that he is willing to abide by the decision rendered by that tribunal. The Commissioners decide that he acted in bad faith when he requested eight months’ extension of time, which shows his determination to elude payment by making an untimely appeal at Havana, and instructed the City Treasurer to take legal steps toward collecting the sum.
Levees 4 II 103 1/19/1798 Governor: Gayoso; Royal Ensign: Almonaster - At this time Don Lorenzo Seguir produced the eight thousand Pesos which amount he had been ordered to produce; he stated that the money was advanced him by Don Andres Almonaster y Royas. The Commissioners transferred five thousand Pesos to the Royal Treasury, and delivered to the Royal Ensign (Almonaster) three thousand Pesos on account of the Cabildo Building. (See “The New Building” under Cabildo in Part I of this volu
Levees 4 II 104 1/19/1798 Governor: Gayoso; Royal Ensign: Almonaster - Don Alejandro Baudin presents a document stating he had obtained the contract for repairs to the levee of this city, which work is almost concluded, and he desired an advance of one-half the amount of the contract.
Levees 4 II 166 8/31/1798 Governor: Gayoso; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - Don Gilberto Guillemard was appointed to draw the plans for the building of four declivities near the edge of the river so that filth might be carried into the river; these plans to be in connection with repairs to the levee from a point in front of the Government Building to the house of Francisco Duplessis. Guillemard presented the plans at this time, and the Commissioners agreed to have the contract auctioned to the lowest bidder.
Levees 4 II 169 9/14/1798 Governor: Gayoso; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - The Commissioners appointed to attend to the auction of this contract reported that it had been offered three times but no bid had been received lower than 1,900 Pesos; as the cost had been estimated at 1,141 Pesos, the Commissioners decided to have the work done under the direction and for the account of the City Treasury. Commissioners Don Francisco de Riano and Don Luis Darby Danycan were elected to supervise the work.
Levees 4 II 174 10/13/1798 Governor: Gayoso; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - At this time the two Commissioners elected to supervise the repairing of the levee and building of the declivities report that the levee repairs should extend 13-1/2 Teusas toward the Gate of St. Louis and 17-1/2 Teusas toward the meat market so that a shed can be built for use of the fishermen, hunters and butchers when selling their goods. They also suggested that as ships are now paying anchorage duties, piles of a proper width should be placed along the levee so that ships may be tied. The Commissioners approved these suggestions and ordered same carried out.
Levees 4 II 193 12/20/1798 Governor: Gayoso; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - At this time the City Treasurer presents a bill representing the money he has paid out for the construction of three declivities, the small wharves, a privy with its door, and piles to which to tie the ships while in the harbor.
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.
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.
Levees 4 IV 74 3/6/1801 Acting Governor: Vidal; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - At this time the Governor informs the Cabildo that the inhabitants are fearful of a break in the levee of this city across the Orange Grove, and if this should happen it would cause the total loss of this city. The Commissioners agreed to spare no expense in making the repairs. Don Juan Castanedo and Don Domingo Bouligny were elected to have inspection made by experts and have the work done without loss of time.
Levees 4 IV 127 8/14/1801 Governor: Salcedo; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - The Special Commissioners were appointed to place poles on the levee where the ships may be tied, carry out the filling of the levee, and cut a semi-circle in front of the property of Don Miguel Fortier. (See “Wharf Landings.”)
Levees 5
11 8/9/1802 Governor: Salcedo; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - At this time the Cabildo is called into extraordinary session by the Governor to arrange repairs to the river bank where the Orange Groves have been washed away. The Governor criticized the report made by the experts as to the cause of the break and ordered a reprimand for them.
Levees 5
109 11/18/1803 Governor: Salcedo; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - The Governor presents a plan to the Cabildo for the immediate repair of the levee caused by the three overflows in front of the city. The Commissioners resolved to proceed with the repairs as expressed in a plan proposed by Don Gilberto Guillemard.

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