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In May of the same year, the Spanish restrictive

Chap. XXXVII.} 1768. Oct.
system was applied to Louisiana; in September, an ordinance compelled French vessels having special permits to accept the paper currency in pay for their cargoes, at an arbitrary tariff of prices. ‘The extension and freedom of trade,’ remonstrated the merchants, ‘far from injuring States and Colonies, are their strength and support.’ The ordinance was suspended; but not till the alarm had destroyed all commerce. Unable to take possession of his office, Ulloa in September retired from New Orleans, to reside at the Balise.1 It was only there and in Missouri, opposite Natchez, and at the river Iberville, that Spanish jurisdiction was directly exercised.

This state of things continued for a little more than two years. But the arbitrary and passionate conduct of Ulloa, the depreciation of the currency with the prospect of its becoming an almost total loss, the disputes respecting the expenses of the Colony since the cession in 1762, the interruption of commerce, a captious ordinance which made a private monopoly of the traffic with the Indians, uncertainty of jurisdiction and allegiance, agitated the Colony from one end to the other.

It was proposed to make of New Orleans a republic, like Amsterdam or Venice; with a legislative body of forty men, and a single executive. The people in the country parishes met together; crowded in a mass into the city; joined those of New Orleans; and formed a numerous assembly, in which -

1 Gage to Shelburne, 17 January, 1767. Compare Aubry to Gage, 17 June, 1767.

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