Louisiana (New Spain)
|Spanish colonial Louisiana
|District of New Spain|
|-||Acquisition from France||1762|
|-||Return to France||15 October 1802|
|Political subdivisions||Upper Louisiana;
Louisiana (Spanish: Luisiana, French: La Louisiane) was the name of an administrative district of the Viceroyalty of New Spain from 1762 to 1802 that consisted of territory west of the Mississippi River basin, plus New Orleans. Spain acquired the territory from France, who had named it La Louisiane in honor of King Louis XIV in 1682. It is sometimes known as Spanish Louisiana.
Spain was largely a benign absentee landlord administering it from Havana, Cuba, and contracting out governing to people from many nationalities as long as they swore allegiance to Spain. During the American War of Independence, the Spanish funneled their supplies to the American revolutionists through New Orleans and the vast Louisiana territory beyond.
In keeping with being absentee landlords, Spanish efforts to turn Louisiana into a Spanish colony were usually fruitless. For instance, while Spanish officially was the only language of government, the majority of the populace firmly continued to speak French. In fact the Louisianans forced the officials to speak French if they ever hoped to get anything accomplished.
Upper & Lower, or the Louisianas
This was a higher latitude than during the French administration, for whom Lower Louisiana was the area south of about 31° North (the current northern boundary of the state of Louisiana) or the area south of where the Arkansas River joined the Mississippi River at about 33° 46' North latitude.
- 1541 – Hernando de Soto, reached the Mississippi River near current-day Memphis, Tennessee.
- 1541 – Francisco Vázquez de Coronado, departing from what is now Mexico to search for the Seven Cities of Gold, reached today's Lindsborg, Kansas.
- 1673 – Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet began the exploration of the lower Mississippi River, descending from today's Canada, and the French began to exert influence and claims over the territory.
- 1682 - René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle, claimed La Louisiane for France.
- 1699 – Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville, founded the first French settlement, at Fort Maurepas (now Ocean Springs, Mississippi).
- 1702 – Bienville moved French settlements to Dauphin Island and, in January, established Mobile colony, with Fort Louis at Twenty-Seven Mile Bluff (up the Mobile River).
- 1714 – Natchitoches was established by Louis Juchereau de St. Denis as part of French Louisiana; the community was named after the Natchitoches Indian tribe. The city of Natchitoches remains the oldest permanent settlement in the former Louisiana Purchase lands.
- 1718 – Bienville supervised construction of La Nouvelle-Orléans, planning to move the capital of French Louisiana from Gulf Coast outposts to the Mississippi River crescent, considered safer during tropical storm tides.
- 1720 – The Spanish Villasur expedition, coming from what are now Mexican lands, was slaughtered near what is now Columbus, Nebraska, by Pawnees friendly to the French.
- 1723 – New Orleans became the third capital of French Louisiana.
- 1724 – Étienne de Veniard, Sieur de Bourgmont, held a council with the Comanche to resist Spanish expeditions from Mexico.
- 1754 – France and Great Britain began the Seven Years' War.
- 1760 – Britain established control over the French colonies in eastern Canada.
- 1761 – Spain allied with France in the expanded Seven Years' War.
- 1762 – As negotiations began to end the Seven Years' War, Louis XV of France secretly proposed to his cousin Charles III of Spain that France give Louisiana to Spain in the Treaty of Fontainebleau.
- 1763 – The Treaty of Paris ended the war, with a provision in which France ceded all territory east of the Mississippi (including Canada) to Britain. Spain ceded Florida and land east of the Mississippi (including Baton Rouge) to Britain.
- 1763 – George III of the United Kingdom, in the Royal Proclamation of 1763, proclaimed that all land east of the Mississippi acquired in the war – with the exception of East Florida, West Florida and Quebec – would become an Indian Reserve.
- 1763 – The Acadian (Cajun) migration began, with French settlers from Quebec and settlers on the east side of the Mississippi who had been ordered to leave the new Indian Reserve migrating to Louisiana, which they believed was still French controlled land west of the Mississippi as well as New Orleans
- 1764 – Pierre Laclède established the Maxent and Laclède Company trading post at St. Louis.
- 1764 – Spain's acquisition of Louisiana from France was formally announced.
- 1765 – Joseph Broussard led the first group of nearly 200 Acadians to settle on Bayou Teche below present-day St. Martinville, Louisiana.
- 1768 – Antonio de Ulloa became the first Spanish governor of Louisiana. He did not fly the Spanish flag and was forced to leave by a pro-French mob in the Rebellion of 1768.
- 1769 – Alejandro O'Reilly suppressed the rebellion, executed its leaders, and sent some plotters to prison in Morro Castle in Havana. He was otherwise benign and pardoned other participants who swore allegiance to Spain. He established Spanish law and the cabildo (council) of New Orleans.
- 1770 – Luis de Unzaga freed the imprisoned rebels.
- 1780 & 1783 – The Battle of Saint Louis and the Battle of Arkansas Post were the only military engagements fought west of the Mississippi River during the American Revolutionary War.
- 1788 – The Great New Orleans Fire destroyed virtually all of New Orleans. Governor Esteban Rodríguez Miró was respected for his relief efforts.
- 1789 – Work on rebuilding New Orleans began, the city at that time being limited to what is now the French Quarter. The new structures had courtyards and masonry walls. The cornerstone for the new St. Louis Cathedral was laid.
- 1795 – Pinckney's Treaty settled boundary disputes with the United States and recognized its right to navigate through New Orleans.
- 1798 – Spain revoked the United States' right to travel through New Orleans.
- 1799 – The newly-rebuilt Cabildo opened.
- 1800 – In the Third Treaty of San Ildefonso, Napoleon secretly acquired the territory, but Spain continued to administer it.
- 1801 – The United States was permitted again to use the port of New Orleans.
- 1803 – The purchase of Louisiana by the United States was announced.
- 1803 – Spain refused Lewis and Clark permission to travel up the Missouri River, since the transfer from France to the United States had not been made official; they spent the winter in Illinois at Camp Dubois.
- 1803 – On November 20, 1803, Spanish officials formally conveyed the colonial lands and their administration to France.
- 1803 – France turned over New Orleans, the historic colonial capital, to the United States on December 20, 1803.
- 1804 – On March 9 and 10, 1804, another ceremony, called Three Flags Day, was conducted in St. Louis to transfer ownership of Upper Louisiana from Spain to the French First Republic, and then from France to the United States.
- Reasonover, John R.; Michelle M. Haas (2005). Reasonover's Land Measures. Copano Bay Press. p. 41. ISBN 978-0-9767799-0-2.
- Bradshaw, Jim (27 January 1998). "Broussard named for early settler Valsin Broussard". Lafayette Daily Advertiser.
- List of colonial governors of Louisiana
- History of Louisiana
- Louisiana Purchase
- Spanish missions in Louisiana
- Louisiana (New France)