In 1762, La Côté des Allemands becomes El Puerto des Alemanes.
France’s King Louis XV gave Louisiana to his Spanish cousin, Charles III, in the formal Treaty of Fountainbleau signed on November 3, 1762. However, Spanish Governor Don Antonio de Ulloa did not arrive in Louisiana until 1766. Colonists preferred to remain under French rule and were very upset. Talk of rebellion began to grow, even on the German Coast.
In 1768, Commandant Darensbourg and German Coast citizens were a part of this growing insurrection. Rumors and suspicion drew the newly arrived Acadians into the fray. German militia from the coast joined Acadians and New Orleans Germans. Fearful for his life, Ulloa left New Orleans, but Spain later sent General Alexander O’Reilly to secure the colony.
General Alexander O’Reilly, a Roman Catholic Spanish officer of Irish origin, was sent to New Orleans to restore Spanish authority, set up a new government, and to punish conspirators involved in the rebellion. O’Reilly arrived in 1768 with 24 ships and 2,600 troops. He remained only seven months, but firmly established Spanish rule and granted clemency to Darensbourg. This clemency (Proclamation of Amnesty) was also extended to the citizens of the German Coast, the principal group involved in the rebellion.
Historians believe that O’Reilly’s clemency could have reflected the economic importance of the German Coast to the colony, which O’Reilly did not want to disturb.
This war of 1768, led by colonists of the German Coast and the city of New Orleans in which colonists rebelled against Spain, marked the first time a colony on the North American continent revolted against European rule.
This text is copyright © material by Marilyn Richoux, Joan Becnel and Suzanne Friloux, from St. Charles Parish, Louisiana: A Pictorial History, 2010.