Spanish Colonial Period [1780-1811]



           On March 14, 1780, General Galvez captured Fort Charlotte and the city of Mobile, Alabama.  The Mississippi Gulf Coast became a part of Spanish West Florida.



           In May 1781, the English at Pensacola, Florida surrendered to Spanish forces led by General Galvez.

           On July 3, 1781, Spanish Governor of the Louisiana Territory, Bernardo de Galvez (1746-1786) granted Horn Island to Marie Catherine Vinconneau Baudrau of Pascagoula.  She was born at La Rochelle, France and marriedJean-Baptise Baudrau II (1707?-1757), the son of Jean-Baptise Baudrau dit Graveline and an Indian woman



           American Revolutionary War ends with Great Britain the signing of the Treaty of Paris.  America is now bounded on the north by Canada; east by Atlantic Ocean; south by Spanish West Florida; and west by theMississippi River.



            The Mississippi Territory was organized on April 71798, from territory ceded by Georgia and South Carolina; it was later twice expanded to include disputed territory claimed by both the U.S. and Spain. Land was purchased (generally through unequal treaties) from Native American tribes from 1800 to about 1830.



            Winthrop Sargent (1753-1820) was named first Governor of the Mississippi Territory in May.



            William C.C. Claiborne (1775-1817) became Governor of the Mississippi Territory in May.



          The Louisiana Purchase was the acquisition by the United States of approximately 530 million acres(828,000 sq mi or 2,100,000 km²) of French territory on April 30, 1803, at the cost of about 3¢ per acre (7¢ per ha); totaling $15 million or 80 million French francs. Including interest, America finally paid $23,213,568 for the Louisiana territory.[1] The land purchased contained all of present-day ArkansasMissouriIowaOklahomaKansasNebraska,Minnesota south of Mississippi River, much of North Dakota, nearly all of South Dakota, northeastern New Mexico, northern Texas, the portions of MontanaWyoming, and Colorado east of the Continental Divide, and Louisiana on both sides of the Mississippi River, including the city of New Orleans. (The Oklahoma Panhandle, and southwestern portions of Kansas and Louisiana were still claimed by Spain at the time of the Purchase.) In addition, the Purchase contained small portions of land that would eventually become part of the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. The land included in the purchase comprises around 23% of the territory of the modern United States.[1] The purchase was an important moment in the presidency of Thomas Jefferson. At the time, it faced domestic opposition as being possiblyunconstitutional. Although he felt that the Constitution did not contain any provisions for acquiring territory, Jefferson decided to purchase Louisiana because he felt uneasy about France and Spain having the power to block American traders' access to the port of New Orleans.



             Circa 1805, Louis Auguste LaFontaine (1762-circa 1813) and Catherine Bourgeois LaFontaine (1768-circa 1840) purchased a land grant on the Bay of Biloxi containing 280 arpents [7 arpents (1344 feet) front by 40 arpents (7680 feet) deep] from Julian Azevedo, probably a Spaniard.  On January 15, 1816, The United States House of Representatives approved the land grant known as No. 30 in an abstract of Commissioner Crawford titled, "land in the District east of the Pearl River in Louisiana founded on private conveyances or grants lost by time or accident".  This land grant became known as the Widow LaFontaine Tract and encompasses Section 37, T7S-R8W, which is most of'Old Ocean Springs'.   Section 37T7S-R8W is bounded on the north by Government Street; east by General Pershing; south by the Bay of Biloxi; and west by Martin Avenue.

            Robert Williams (1773-1836) was named third Governor of the Mississippi Territory in March.



            David Holmes (1769-1832) was named the fourth Governor of the Mississippi Territory in March.



            The Republic of West Florida was declared independent of Spain in September at St. Francisville, Louisiana.  It lasted only forty-five days.