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City of a Million DreamsNew Orleans at Year 300$
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Jason Berry

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781469647142

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469647142.001.0001

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The Great Fire and Procession for Carlos III

The Great Fire and Procession for Carlos III

(p.46) 3 The Great Fire and Procession for Carlos III
City of a Million Dreams

Jason Berry

University of North Carolina Press

After decades as a French outback, New Orleans was reborn in the 1770s as a transhipment point for the American Revolution. Lt. Gen. Bernardo de Gálvez became acting governor in 1777. Gálvez recruited black soldiers and Native Americans to fight against the British in a successful campaign. Black militia leaders were awarded medals for their service and promoted, and New Orleanians of color began playing in a military band. The Cabildo functioned as both town council and judiciary, where members fought for political control. Conflicts arose between philanthropist Andres Almonaster y Roxas, provincial vicar Cirilo Sieni de Barcelona, acting governor Esteban Miró, and Spanish missionary priest (and commissioner of the Inquisition) Antonio de Sedella, ending with Sedella being exiled back to Spain. The Good Friday fire of 1788 destroyed much of the city, killing one and displacing thousands. Illness spread in the aftermath. The Spanish rebuilding efforts, led by Miró, preserved the layout of the original French city. Carlos III died in Madrid in 1788. Cabildo members in New Orleans planned a lavish state funeral that included the first account of musicians parading to honor the dead in New Orleans, a tradition that would eventually grow.

Keywords:   Lt. Gen. Bernardo de Gálvez, Black militia, Cabildo, Andres Almonaster y Roxas, Cirilo Sieni de Barcelona, Esteban Miró, Antonio de Sedella, Good Friday fire of 1788, Carlos III funeral, Parade tradition

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