Miró, Esteban Rodríguez

views updated

Miró, Esteban Rodríguez

MIRÓ, ESTEBAN RODRÍGUEZ. (1744–1795). Spanish officer and governor. Born in Reus, Spain, in 1744, Miró served during the Seven Years' War in the Zamora Regiment, taking part in the invasion of Portugal in 1762. After the war he transferred to the Corona Regiment as a lieutenant, serving in Mexico into the early 1770s. After taking part in the unsuccessful attack on Algiers in 1775, he attended the Avila Military Academy. In 1778 he went to Louisiana as second in command of the Fixed Louisiana Infantry and was brevetted lieutenant colonel. When Spain declared war on Britain, Miró acted as aide-de-camp to Governor Bernardo de Gálvez in the campaigns that seized British garrisons in West Florida: Manchac and Baton Rouge in 1779, Mobile in 1780, and Pensacola in 1781. In the latter year Miró was promoted to colonel and made commander of his regiment the following year. In January 1782 he became acting governor of Louisiana and West Florida, being named governor in August 1785 and intendant in 1788. After the Revolution, Miró's primary responsibility was keeping the new American Republic out of Spanish territory. In addition to negotiating two treaties clarifying their mutual boundaries, he subsidized Indian nations to resist U.S. attacks, supplying them with arms through British firms, and built a series of forts along the Mississippi. After closing the Mississippi River to the Americans in 1784, Miró had to contend with several invasion threats, most notably from Georgia in 1785. Lacking sufficient troops for the protection of Louisiana, he funded the wild schemes of Lieutenant Colonel James Wilkinson, the former Continental officer and adventurer, who came to New Orleans in 1787. Miró resigned on 30 December 1791 and returned to Spain. With the war against France in 1793, Miró returned to duty as a field marshal, dying while on the front on 4 June 1795.

SEE ALSO Gálvez, Bernardo de; New Orleans; Wilkinson, James.


Burson, Caroline Maude. The Stewardship of Don Esteban Miró, 1782–1792. New Orleans, La.: American Printing, 1940.