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Louisiana Revolt of 1768

Louisiana Revolt of 1768

Louisiana Revolt of 1768, rebellion against Spanish rule by French colonists of Louisiana. The revolt was the result of a conspiracy by the leading merchants and planters of New Orleans against the colony's first Spanish governor, Antonio de Ulloa. Without any bloodshed, they succeeded in driving him out of the colony with the help of colonists who had been both tricked and bullied into supporting the rebel cause.

Confusion had surrounded Ulloa's arrival in 1766, well after the 1762 Treaty of Fontainebleau, which transferred Louisiana from French to Spanish rule. Ulloa kept his distance, both socially and politically, from the local elite, which had been accustomed to a prominent role in all decision making. More than this reticence, what most upset the leading colonists, however, were Ulloa's trade reforms eliminating contraband and regulating the fur trade. Yet even with the support of the former French governor, Charles Philippe Aubry, Ulloa lacked the military force to impose his will. On 28-29 October 1768, the Spanish regime was overthrown and Ulloa and other officials fled to Spain.

Many colonists withdrew their initial support for the rebels after Ulloa's removal. A chaotic period followed until General Alejandro O'Reilly arrived in August 1769 with 2,000 troops to put down the revolt. The five ringleaders (Nicolas Chauvin de La Frenière, Pierre Marquis, Pierre Caresse, Jean Baptiste Noyan, and Joseph Milhet) were executed. A sixth, Joseph Villeré, died before the execution, and six others received lesser sentences. O'Reilly calmed fears with a general pardon, reestablished order, and became the second Spanish governor.

See alsoLouisiana; Ulloa, Antonio de.


Charles Gayarré, History of Louisiana, vol. 2, The French Domination (1885), pp. 158-361.

Vicente Rodríguez Casado, Primeros años de dominación española en la Luisiana (1942), pp. 99-350.

John Preston Moore, Revolt in Louisiana: The Spanish Occupation, 1766–1770 (1976).

Additional Bibliography

Calloway, Colin G. The Scratch of a Pen: 1763 and the Transformation of America. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006.

Din, Gilbert C., and Abraham Phineas Nasatir. The Imperial Osages: Spanish-Indian Diplomacy in the Mississippi Valley. Norman: University of Oklahoma, 1983.

Menerey, Wilbur E. The Rebellion of 1768 in Louisiana and the Manifesto of the Inhabitants. Harahan, LA: Jefferson Parish Historical Commission, 1997.

                                     Philippe L. Seiler

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