The Louisiana Purchase was not signed in the Cabildo as you stated.
The Louisiana Purchase transfer was signed in the Cabildo on Dec. 30, 1803. On this day, France turned over New Orleans to the United States, and on March 10, 1804, there was a formal ceremony in St. Louis, Mo., to transfer the entire territory from France to the United States.
But, just to clear up this important matter, the Louisiana Purchase was the name assigned to a series of three agreements in which France sold the territory of Louisiana to the United States. Robert R. Livingston and James Monroe of the United States and Francois Barbe-Marbois, French finance minister, signed the three agreements eight months earlier on April 30, 1803.
The first of the agreements of the Louisiana Purchase Treaty established the financial aspects of the purchase. The second further explained the financial matters. The third enabled the United States to buy the entire territory of Louisiana. This final part of the agreement was most important because it set the United States on its course of continental domination and growth as a world power. Livingston declared, "We have lived long, but this is the noblest work of our whole lives. The United States take rank this day among the first powers of the world."
President Thomas Jefferson received the treaty on July 14, 1803. He then arranged for Congress to convene on Oct. 17 in order to change the Constitution. At the time, the Constitution said nothing about acquiring new territory or promising the new territory statehood. So Jefferson had to make the purchase legal. Of course, the Constitution was changed and the treaty was ratified on Oct. 20, 1803.
Louis Wiltz served as governor of Louisiana from 1880 to 1881. Did he own any slaves? I am an African-American from New Orleans. My grandfather, also named Louis Wiltz, was born in New Orleans in 1895. Could we possibly be related to the governor?
Louis Alfred Wiltz was born in New Orleans in 1843, son of J. B. and Louise Wiltz. Before he was 18, he enlisted in the Confederate Army. The next year, 1862, he married Mildred Bienvenue, and they eventually had children.
After the Civil War, he became involved in politics. He served as speaker of the Louisiana Legislature, mayor of New Orleans, Lt. Governor of Louisiana, and president of the Constitutional Convention of 1879. On Jan. 12, 1880, he became governor of Louisiana, but served a very short time. He died of tuberculosis while in office on Oct. 16, 1881, at the age of 38.
While it is probable that J. B. Wiltz owned slaves, Louis, being a minor when the war began, most likely did not. It's difficult to say whether you are related to the governor.
Can there ever be any real ethics reform in Louisiana? We are the only state left in the nation where counter letters are still legal.
We can always live in hope that Louisiana will become renowned for its ethical government. However, I must tell you that Louisiana is the only state in the country that ever had counter letters.
According to a legal dictionary, a counter letter also spelled counterletter is a "secret agreement that expresses the true intent of the parties to a simulation." A simulation is "a contract that by mutual agreement does not express the true intent of the parties." Both a counter letter and a simulation are unique to Louisiana because of the Napoleonic Code, the civil code enacted by Napoleon in 1804 and used in Louisiana but no other U.S. state.
Gov. Bobby Jindal is considering asking lawmakers to outlaw counter letters altogether.