The Territorial Period (1803-1812)

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At the turn of the century, by the secret Treaty of San Ildefonso, Spain ceded Louisiana back to France on October 1, 1800.

The two countries kept the treaty a secret until Napoleon could organize a military expedition to protect the Louisiana Territory from American or British invasion.

Abstracts of Civil Records of St. Charles Parish, 1700-1803, Glenn Conrad Entry No. 1887, dated June 9, 1803, verify the passage of the treaty:

Notice Published by order of the Governor General and the Marquis de Casa Calvo regarding the cession of Louisiana to the French Republic (Printed Document). The document is dated in New Orleans, May 18, 1803.

More about the trade: Louisiana was costing the Spanish government over $800,000 a year and Spain was not really a wealthy country. France made plans to rebuild her colonial empire. Napoleon wanted Spain to trade Louisiana and Florida to France.  Napoleon was making plans for an empire that would include Louisiana and the Caribbean island of Santo Domingo. However, the Spanish officials would not allow France control until after the Senate approved the purchase on October 20, 1803.

This text is copyright © material by Marilyn Richoux, Joan Becnel and Suzanne Friloux, from St. Charles Parish, Louisiana: A Pictorial History, 2010.