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Digest of the Acts and Deliberations of the Cabildo
Slaves and Savage Negroes

Introduction to the Digest

Subject Book Volume Page Date Description
Slaves and Savage Negroes 1
65 6/21/1771 Governor: Unzaga; Royal Ensign: De Reggio, Sr. – The Commissioners agreed to make known to the Governor and Captain-General the damages resulting from the practice of the owners of Negro slaves in sending them out for hire; not having any trade, they commit robbery and do other mischief in order to live. On page 69, the Governor’s attention is again called to this practice.
Slaves and Savage Negroes 1
129 8/6/1773 Governor: Unzaga; Royal Ensign: De Reggio, Sr. – The Attorney General presents a memorandum relative to the crimes committed by Negro Slaves, which crimes go unpunished, due to the fact that the masters are reluctant to give up the slave because of their ultimate loss. He recommended that when a slave is taken to be sentenced that he first be appraised so that the inhabitants may be taxed for the just price of the said slave. Same to apply to savage Negroes when killed in attempting escape. The Commissioners agreed to this recommendation and resolved to petition the Governor for the fulfillment; and to order it made known in the Province from Natchitoches to Belize – all these places being subject to the said taxation. The Governor’s reply (page 131) suggests that the better class of inhabitants who wish to have this tax established, present themselves at the Cabildo with two Commissioners and the Secretary, and that the results of this meeting be made known to His Majesty so that he may approve. The Commissioners agreed to invite the inhabitants of the better class to the Cabildo on the 26th instant to make whatever recommendations they find convenient, and the Secretary was ordered to mail out circulars to this effect.
Slaves and Savage Negroes 1
132 8/27/1773 Governor: Unzaga; Royal Ensign: De Reggio, Sr. – Results of the meeting held yesterday (26th ) unanimously approved the resolutions, and it was agreed to submit this testimony, also the present deliberations to the King for his decision.
Slaves and Savage Negroes 1
135 10/8/1773 Governor: Unzaga; Royal Ensign: De Reggio, Sr. – It was agreed at this time that the expenses for the apprehension of savage Negroes, also provisions and other incidentals furnished to the patrol, be paid out of the city funds.
Slaves and Savage Negroes 1
163 10/15/1773 Governor: Unzaga; Royal Ensign: De Reggio, Sr. – It was agreed to allow two Pesos each to eighteen free Negroes (independent of what they received from their former masters) for going in pursuit of the savage Negroes.
Slaves and Savage Negroes 1
165 11/12/1773 Governor: Unzaga; Royal Ensign: De Reggio, Sr. – At this time payment was authorized for three Negroes, the property of Don Antonio Tomassin, Don Santiago Beauregard and Don Zacarias Foussier. At the next meeting, page 166, the assessment of each citizen to contribute their prorata for the payment of these Negroes was acted upon, and collection ordered. – (Pages 171, 176, and 190 contain requests for payment of slaves executed, and Savage Negroes killed in attempting escape.)
Slaves and Savage Negroes 1
190 6/9/1774 Governor: Unzaga; Royal Ensign: De Reggio, Sr. – At this time the Secretary was requested to give a list of the persons who had not paid their assessments in the vicinity of Punta Cortada, Natchitoches, Opelousas and Atakapas.
Slaves and Savage Negroes 1
230 11/17/1775 Governor: Unzaga; Royal Ensign: De Reggio, Sr. – At this time the Commissioners presented a list of the Negroes of this Capitol City which shows that there are 4,387, and it was agreed that each individual must contribute one half a real for the payment of two hundred Pesos to Don Francisco la Barre for one runaway Negro killed while resisting arrest.
Slaves and Savage Negroes 1
268 10/10/1777 Governor: Galvez; Royla Ensign: De Reggio, Sr. – At this time the Governor and President presented a Royal Memorandum regarding the agreement made by the citizens for the payment of runaway Negroes, killed. At a later meeting (page 306) the by-laws issued by His Majesty regarding the correction and punishment of Negro Slaves of this province was made known, after having been communicated to all the other cities of this Province in order that they may express their views. These by-laws and reports were ordered read at the next meeting, and the Commissioners agreed to request the most prominent citizens to be present in the Cabildo on March 1st to express their views and assist in carrying out these by-laws
Slaves and Savage Negroes 1
279 2/6/1778 Governor: Galvez; Royal Ensign: De Reggio, Sr. – At this time the Attorney General recommends that something be done to keep the Negroes from having arms in their possession, and to obligate owners to make inspection of the homes of their slaves to see that this order is carried out. – At the next meeting (same page) His Majesty’s order regarding the payment of savage Negroes killed, was again presented and the Commissioners resolved that the orders to be carried out.
Slaves and Savage Negroes 1
313 4/9/1779 Governor: Galvez; Royal Ensign: De Reggio, Sr. – The Attorney General called attention to the lack of Militia (due to war with England) to keep order and safeguard the roads and help in pursuing the unruly Negro slaves whose number is increasing daily. The Governor, seeing the impossibility of forming a guard for this purpose and recognizing the danger, determined to call a general meeting of the inhabitants of this city, under his jurisdiction, and invite them by circular letter to present themselves at the Cabildo to discuss this matter and their willingness to contribute to the payment of Negroes killed; it being the will of His Majesty not to compel anyone to contribute against his will, nor prohibit withdrawal from the agreement. About eighty of the most prominent citizens agreed to pay (one time only) the sum of four reales for each Negro they owned in order to accumulate funds for the prosecution and activities to be made against savage Negroes. This agreement was signed by the Governor, the Commissioners, and thirty citizens.
Slaves and Savage Negroes 2
27 5/12/1780 Governor: Galvez; Royal Ensign: De Reggio, Sr. -The Commissioners propose to address a letter to the Governor (at that time in Mobile) requesting his presence here to check the savage Negroes.
Slaves and Savage Negroes 2
65 7/27/1781 Governor: Galvez; Royal Ensign: De Reggio, Sr. – Don Pedro La Vigne, land owner on the coast of the Allemans, requests payment of two hundred Pesos for a savage negro killed in resisting arrest by the Indians. Don Juan Morales, Treasurer of the said fund by orders of the Governor, dissents on the ground that this payment is in order only when a slave is condemned to death by a court of Justice. The Commissioners referred him to the Act passed 4/9/1779 (above).
Slaves and Savage Negroes 2
71 8/17/1781 Governor: Galvez; Royal Ensign: De Reggio, Sr. – Don Juan Morales states that serious attention to his employment will not permit him to continue in the collection of the funds for the hunting and prosecution of savage Negroes. The Commissioners agreed to appoint Don Juan Arnaul, Commissioner and Receiver of Fines, to receive and distribute the said funds.
Slaves and Savage Negroes 2
99 2/15/1782 Governor: Galvez; Royal Ensign: De Reggio, Sr. – An officer of the Free Negroes, named Noel, presented a letter from the Acting Governor, Don Pedro Piernas, requesting the City Treasurer to pay the gratification agreed upon for the arrest of two Negroes, made by a detachment under the said Noel.
Slaves and Savage Negroes 2
140 9/20/1782 Governor: Galvez; Royal Ensign: De Reggio, Sr. – At this time an official document is presented by Don Pedro Piernas stating that a detachmnt of mulattoes and free Negroes had gone in pursuit of Savage Negroes, and asking the Cabildo to authorize vouchers in payment.
Slaves and Savage Negroes 2
214 4/26/1784 Governor: Galvez; Royal Ensign: De Reggio, Sr. – At this time the Attorney General calls attention to the large number of Savage Negroes who are causing great damage and injury to the residents. The Commissioners agreed that a meeting of the inhabitants be called to consider measures to finance an expedition against them. A meeting was called for next Thursday, the 29th of this month.
Slaves and Savage Negroes 2
215 4/30/1784 Governor: Galvez; Royal Ensign: De Reggio, Sr. – At this meeting, held the day after the citizens’ meeting, the Commissioners passed a number of stringent rules governing slaves and free Negroes.
Slaves and Savage Negroes 2
221 5/28/1784 Governor: Galvez; Royal Ensign: De Reggio, Sr. – The Attorney General again calls attention to the atrocities committed by the savage Negroes; to their forming large bands, and founding a village which they called Gaillard; to the murder of five white men in an American launch, residents of Bay St. Louis; to their savage chief “Senor Malo” (Bad Man) and his Lieutenant “El Caballero de la Hacha” (Knight of the Hatchet) who dared to fire upon a detachment of twenty creoles ordered by the Government to pursue them. He recommended that they inform Lieutenant Colonel Francisco Bouligny, Acting Commandant of this Province, that he may direct operations against them. The Commissioners unanimously agreed and instructed the Secretary to address a letter to Colonel Bouligny.
Slaves and Savage Negroes 2
224 6/4/1784 Acting Governor: Miro; Royal Ensign: De Reggio, Sr. – The Attorney General calls attention to the fact that although Colonel Bouligny had complied with their request with a small detachment, he had not met with much success due to superior number of savages. He also mentions the uselessness of the expeditions of free Negroes and Mulattoes because of their reluctance in proceeding against these criminals, “who are themselves mostly creoles of this Province,” which reluctance is due to fear of reprisals against their families. He recommended that they ask Colonel Bouligny to send all available troops and the militia to accompany the free Negroes and mulattoes. The Commissioners agreed. – At the nest meeting (page 226) results of this combined expedition, under the command of Bouligny assisted by Guillemard, Doresville (Dorville), Godefroi, Dameron and Olivier Du Vezin, are given in detail. The following pages give details of the capture of the savage chiefs, the nature of some of their crimes, and the punishments administered.
Slaves and Savage Negroes 2
229 6/25/1784 Acting Governor: Miro; Royal Ensign: De Reggio, Sr. – The Reverend Friar Cirilo de Barcelona addressed a letter to the Cabildo in which he protested the arrest of one of his servants for being present at a crime committed by the Negroes. A heated controversy ensued.
Slaves and Savage Negroes 3 I 1 7/2/1784 Acting Governor: Miro; Royal Ensign: De Reggio, Sr. – At this meeting two letters, one addressed to His Majesty and one to the Bishop of Cuba, are read by the Secretary, in which the Commissioners are submitting their controversy with Friar Cirilo de Barcelona and the Capuchin Fathers, in a petition to the King and to the Bishop of Cuba. (See pages 26, 27, 28, and 29.)
Slaves and Savage Negroes 3 I 7 7/30/1784 Acting Governor: Miro; Royal Ensign: De Reggio, Sr. – At this time Don Gilberto Guillman (Guillemard) presented a list of persons who participated in the expedition, with the amounts awarded by this Cabildo – also a statement of the amounts due various stores for supplies. The Commissioners agreed that these expenses be taken care of temporarily by the city funds, and in the meantime assess a tax on every slave to reimburse the City Treasury.
Slaves and Savage Negroes 3 I 111 6/2/1786 Governor: Miro; Royal Ensign: De Reggio, Sr. – Article 34 of an Edict of Good Government published by Miro, prohibits the immigration of Creaole Negroes from the French and British Islands; orders that cargoes be inspected at the “Baliza” (Belize) and if the said Creole Negroes are found, that they be detained until their owners send them back by the first steamer; said Negroes to be fed at owners expense, while detained.
Slaves and Savage Negroes 3 I 153 2/9/1787 Governor: Miro; Royal Ensign: De Reggio, Sr. – The Governor asks the Commissioners not to ignore the fact that twelve hundred Pesos are due several citizens for slaves killed during the expeditions; that they funds collected in 1784 to take care of such cases, are exhausted. It was proposed to petition His Majesty to permit them to tax the Negro buyers one Peso for each Negro imported, to provide a fund to be used only in such cases.
Slaves and Savage Negroes 3 II 96 2/26/1790 Governor: Miro; Royal Ensign: Almonaster – At this time a Royal Decree is read concerning the education, treatment and occupation of salves in all the realms of His Majesty. The Commissioners, forseeing that if they execute this Decree in accordance with His Majesty’s wishes, great damage will result to this Province, appealed to the Governor to suspend the execution of this Royal Order until they can petition His Majesty for a new decision. In July (page 115) the petition is drafted and sent to the King.
Slaves and Savage Negroes 3 II 122 9/17/1790 Governor: Miro; Royal Ensign: Almonaster – At this time the continuous increase of savage Negroes, due to lack of funds to finance expeditions against them, was discussed. The Commissioners resolved to send a copy of their resolution of February 9th, 1787 (above) to the King with a new request that each purchaser of slaves pa one Peso per head when acquiring them, to provide means of controlling this danger.
Slaves and Savage Negroes 3 II 192 2/10/1792 Governor: Carondelet; Royal Ensign: Almonaster – The Commissioners resolve that all Negroes “who are not brutes,” brought in from foreign islands as passengers, be inspected on arrival, and reported immediately to the Governor.
Slaves and Savage Negroes 3 II 212 4/20/1792 Governor: Carondelet; Royal Ensign: Almonaster – The Attorney General informs the Cabildo that there are several bands of savage Negroes on the outskirts of the city disturbing the public tranquility.
Slaves and Savage Negroes 3 III 9 7/16/1792 Governor: Carondelet; Royal Ensign: Almonaster – The Attorney General states that notwithstanding the measures taken in the session of February 10th to stop the introduction into the Province of any class of Negroes except more brutes, he is informed that marked Negroes had been introduced coming from Guarico.
Slaves and Savage Negroes 4 I 2 4/25/1795 Governor: Carondelet; Royal Ensign: Almonaster – The Cabildo assembled in extraordinary session at this time at the request of the Attorney General, who informed them that he had received repeated warnings from prominent citizens of a revolt among the slaves. Indications have increased due to news of the rebel “Junta” which has been scattered among the salves of the District of Punta Cortanada. He recommends the appointment of four citizens from the city and four from Punta Cortada to assist the Commandant in the search and investigation; also eight individual landholders to obtain secret information. The Commissioners agreed, and proceeded to elect the citizens to serve in this matter. A letter signed “Fleurian” (page 6) urged that all slaves be disarmed at once.
Slaves and Savage Negroes 4 I 8 5/2/1795 Governor: Carondelet; Royal Ensign: Almonaster – At this meeting a document is received from the Governor in which he answers the resolutions passed on the 25th of April (above). He also enclosed an original song in French (shown on page 20) which had been sent to him. The Commissioners discuss the calumnies which have been instigated against the Governor and refer to this song as an “insulting paper.” – The Governor ordered all arms found in Negro huts and on farms confiscated (page 13) and promised criminal proceedings against the Negroes under arrest in Punta Cortada. He intimated that this attempted uprising of the slaves was being fostered by his enemies (page 14), mentioning two defeats, administered to the enemy upon the Ohio. He mentions many falsehoods which have been circulated against him. The Commissioners (page 11) voted confidence in the Governor.
Slaves and Savage Negroes 4 I 23 5/9/1795 Governor: Carondelet; Royal Ensign: Almonaster – At this time the Governor and President informed the Cabildo that Mr. Cabaret had complained to him of the infamous rumor to the effect that he had twelve hundred rifles stored at his house by order of the Governor, with which to arm the Negroes.
Slaves and Savage Negroes 4 I 92 2/19/1796 Governor: Carondelet; Royal Ensign: Almonaster – On strong recommendation of the Attorney General the Commissioners agreed to petition His Majesty to prohibit the importation of Negroes or Mulattoes of any class whatever from the Guinea Coast or from the Americas, until such time as circumstances less critical and more peaceful will permit. In the meantime, the Governor was requested to issue an official edict prohibiting the introduction of slaves into the province.
Slaves and Savage Negroes 4 I 122 6/10/1796 Governor: Carondelet; Royal Ensign: Almonaster – A document is presented by Don Alejandro Baudin in regard to permission he had obtained from the Intendant in 1793, to bring in a cargo of Negro slaves for his own service. He stated that he could not use the permit because of a resolution by the Cabildo prohibiting the importation of slaves during the war. The Attorney General (page 130) recommended that his petition be denied.
Slaves and Savage Negroes 4 I 137 7/15/1796 Governor: Carondelet; Royal Ensign: Almonaster – A petition is read from Don Alejandro Baudin urging that he be permitted to bring in a shipment of savage Negroes, which had been previously denied. He states that he cannot be “financially ruined solely because of the general welfare of the Province.” The Commissioners resolved to attach this document to the previous file of documents, and submit the whole to the Governor.
Slaves and Savage Negroes 4 I 196 3/3/1797 Governor: Carondelet; Royal Ensign: Almonaster – At this time the Governor presented a statement, itemized, showing sums advanced from the Royal Treasury to the City Treasurer, which included an item of 430 Pesos advanced to cover expenses of the execution of Negroes convicted of rebellion at Punta Cortada.
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.
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).
Slaves and Savage Negroes 4 III 174 5/16/1800 Acting Governor: Vidal; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde – The Commissioners resolve that payment of three hundred Pesos for the apprehension of runaway slaves entering into Natchez does not concern the Cabildo, and requested the Governor to take any measures he finds proper, so that the owners may not entirely lose their slaves.
Slaves and Savage Negroes 4 III 202 8/8/1800 Acting Governor: Vidal; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde – The Governor presents to the Cabildo copies of requests made to him, asking that the importation of brute Negroes be again permitted; as they are urgently needed for the cultivation of the land.
Slaves and Savage Negroes 4 III 204 8/16/1800 Acting Governor: Vidal; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde – The Commissioners took up the matter presented by the Governor (above) and found that there existed no actual Royal Order prohibiting the importation of Negroes, but only a letter from the King acknowledging receipt of their petition which letter the Governor (Carondelet) had used to temporarily prohibit the importation. (This Edict issued by Carondelet is shown on page 205.) – The question was put to a vote, and each Commissioner made a long statement giving his views. In these statements (pages 205 to 216) the story of the uprising of the Negroes during the administration of Carondelet is further brought out.
Slaves and Savage Negroes 4 IV 13 10/24/1800 Acting Governor: Vidal; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde – Copies of two long letters, one from the Military Governor and one from the Acting Civil Governor (pages 13 to 29) convey to the Commissioners how they feel about the Negro question in general. Both are favorable to the importation of Negroes for the benefit of agriculture.

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