[Madrid]: Gabriel Ramirez, 28th March, 1768. 8 pages (11 x 8 1/8 inches). Woodcut arms on the title-page. Bound in modern plain paper wrappers. A Royal decree attempting to regulate commerce between Spain and her new territory of Louisiana, by excluding all commerce with France and her colonies. Spain had secretly acquired Louisiana from France at the Treaty of Fontainebleau on 3rd November 1762, which followed the Battle of Signal Hill, the last battle in the French and Indian War which had decisively confirmed British control of Canada. Meanwhile the Seven Years War continued to rage, and having already lost Canada to Britain, King Louis XV of France proposed to King Charles III of Spain that France should give Spain "the country known as Louisiana, as well as New Orleans and the island in which the city is situated" to keep it from falling into British hands. In fact the agreement covered all of "Louisiana": the entire valley of the Mississippi River, from the Appalachians to the Rockies. The Treaty of Paris finally ended the war with Britain, and divided Louisiana at the Mississippi: the eastern half was ceded to Britain, while the western half and New Orleans were nominally retained by France; Spain ceded Florida to Britain, and western Louisiana became Spanish by way of compensation. One condition of the Treaty of Paris provided for a period of 18 months in which French Canadian colonists who did not want to live under British rule could freely emigrate to other French colonies. Inevitably many of these emigrants moved to Louisiana, where they were horrified to discover that had become Spanish, a fact which did not become formally known until 1764 when Louis XV informed the governor, Charles Philippe Aubry, in a letter. Understandably the French colonists in Louisiana were reluctant to accept Spanish governance, and after the Spanish attempted to control commerce with this decree, which excluded all commerce with France and her colonies, they expelled the first Spanish governor and famous navigator Antonio Ulloa, in the Rebellion of 1768 that followed. Alejandro O'Reilly (an Irish émigré) suppressed the rebellion and formally raised the Spanish flag in 1769. In 1800 the territory was retroceded to France under Napoleon, together with six warships, in exchange for the Kingdom of Etruria, (which Charles IV of Spain presented to his nephew the Duke of Parma), who in 1803 sold it to the United States. Palau 251076; Streeter I 147.
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