The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 73, July 1969 - April, 1970 Page: 158
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
In Spain on March 14, 1786, the Supreme Council accepted the
proposal of Governor Mir6 on how to handle the problem of the
Anglo-American families. Those persons wishing to accept the con-
ditions to permit them to remain in West Florida were required
to pledge fidelity and obedience to the Spanish government; otherwise
they had to leave by sea at their own expense, or at royal cost if
impoverished. The Council issued orders to Mir6 to devise a plan
for the establishment of parishes and schools in Natchez and other
places which would be staffed with Irish priests. The Council also
instructed the bishop of Salamanca to find suitable Irish priests to
be sent as missionaries to West Florida. Eventually he located four
who agreed to go and who sailed early the next year.1
By February lo, 1787, Mir6 had worked out a scheme for the
creation of the parishes. He felt that the Natchez District required
two parishes: one to serve both Santa Catalina Creek and Second
Creek, and a second for Cole's Creek. Each parish would have a
church and residence for a priest, but at Cole's Creek there would
also be a residence for a military commander and a barracks for a
small detachment of troops to administer justice and prevent con-
traband and the entry of undesirable persons. The priests would be
charged with the teaching of Catholicism together with the teaching
of reading and writing in Spanish. Mir6 considered it imperative
to establish these two parishes, but he also suggested a third for
Tinzas, fifteen miles above Mobile, where fifty-nine Anglo-American
The governor soon dispatched his plan to Spain for approval, but
the four Irish missionaries reached New Orleans in August, 1787,
before a reply came. Since the court had still not authorized ex-
penditures for the creation of the parishes, Mir6 and Intendant
Martin Navarro delayed until two mails had arrived without re-
ceiving further instructions before proceeding with the implementa-
tion of his plan."
11Royal order to the count of G.lvez, April 5, 1786, ibid., no. 37; royal order to the
bishop of Salamanca, April 5, 1786, ibid.; Andrds, bishop of Salamanca, to the marquis of
Sonora, September 28, 1786, ibid. The Irish priests were Michael Lamport, Gregory
White, William Savage, and Constantine MacKenna. Ibid.
u2Mir6 to Sonora, February lo, 1787, AHN, Est., leg. 3,888bis, no. 182; ibid., June 1,
1787, no. 81. In 1785 the inhabitants numbered by families, as follows: Second
Creek, 55; Cole's Creek, 40; and Santa Catalina Creek, 180. The Natchez District then
had about 1,1oo whites and 9oo slaves. Jack D. L. Holmes, Gayoso, The Life of a
Spanish Governor in the Mississippi Valley, 1789-1799 (Baton Rouge, 1965), 20.
"3Jack D. L. Holmes, Documentos indditos para la historia de la Luisiana, 1792-181o
(Madrid, 1963), 29-30, n. 2o.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 73, July 1969 - April, 1970, periodical, 1970; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117147/m1/180/: accessed June 25, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.