Letter from O’Reilly to Arriaga

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From the Annual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1945
Volume II
Spain in the Mississippi Valley, 1765-1794
Pages 127-128

Most Excellent Señor Bailio Frey Don Julian de Arriaga

O’Reilly to Arriaga
December 10, 1769.


Most Excellent Sir.

MY VERY DEAR SIR: The sale of the property adjudicated to the exchequer in the sentence pronounced by me under date of October 24, last, of which I have sent Your Excellency a copy, is being executed with great care and formality. I have commissioned for the handling of these accounts Captain Don Joseph Carroja (a trustworthy and efficient officer), Treasurer Don Martin Navarro, as he is a royal official, my assessor, Don Manuel Urrutia, my prosecuting attorney, Don Felix Rey, and the clerk of the old council, Don Juan Garic, after I had first taken the oath of each one to proceed with the greatest legality and in conformity with the laws. The justice with which all these matters are being carried out fully satisfies the parties inter­ested, and leaves in the public mind a most favorable concept of the equity of our government. I am doing all that I can toward the prompt dispatch of these matters, so that the widows and creditors may get what is theirs and the royal exchequer the part which belongs to it.

M. de Arensburg, a Swede by race, former captain. in the service of France and chevalier of the order of St. Louis, was appointed com­mandant of the Germans with salary of two hundred pesos per year (which was paid by His Majesty from the day of arrival of Don Antonio de Ulloa in the province), together with some emoluments as judge of the district.

M. Villeret (married to the granddaughter of said Arensbourg), now deceased, as he was sentenced to the gallows, was the one who brought about the uprising of the Germans, and led them to this city to seize the colony from Don Antonio de Ulloa. and the Spaniards. This Arensburg did nothing to restrain the Germans. He permitted Villeret to operate, pretending to be unaware of what he was doing, so that in any event he would be safe from the law. He succeeded in doing so, but in all respects was very guilty. It is in nowise advisable to permit him to live on that coast, because there the bad effects of his great influence over the minds of those people has been evidenced. I have ordered him to sell his property there at once, and have permitted his two sons to settle at Opelousas, 92 leagues from here, a place where their settlement cannot cause the slightest inconvenience.

I have permitted the father, who is 77 years of age, to live in this city, as he has requested. All his relatives, who are good people, have made themselves guarantors of the conduct of the sons, who, like their father, show great penitence for their guilt, and the greatest gratitude for this benign treatment which, nevertheless, embodies exemplary punishment in the sale of their property.

M. de Sasier, who after the recent uprising went to France as deputy of this council, is a very bad man, too headstrong to be permitted to residen in this province, and by my decree is included in the number of those expelled. This Sasier has never shown any respect for justice, nor has he ever been deterred in the means through which he attains his ends. May Our Lord preserve the life of Your Excellency many years. Most Excellent Sir, your hand is kissed by your attentive servant.

Most Excellent Señor Bailio Frey Don Julian de Arriaga