Arkansas Post Timeline A Spanish Domain 1763-1804

Following the end of the French and Indian War in 1763, Spain gained control to French holdings west of the Mississippi River, and the city of New Orleans. The forty years of Spanish rule saw a major increase in the number of European settlers living in the area of Arkansas Post, and Spanish authorities seemed powerless to control the American Indian tribes and European settlers in the region. The Revolutionary War brought conflict to the Mississippi River, and in April 1783, the war came to the Post in the form of a raid by British partisans. French diplomatic maneuvering between 1800 and 1803 brought an end to Spanish Rule along the Arkansas River, and in 1804 Americans would finally take control at Arkansas Post.

1763 End of the French and Indian War (Seven Years War). French holdings east of the Mississippi River given to England; Louisiana Territory was ceded to Spain. Many French soldiers stayed on and swore allegiance to Spain.

1766 Spain takes formal control of Louisiana, including Arkansas Post.

The first Spanish census of Louisiana lists the population of Arkansas Post as fifty, including ten slaves.

1767 British captain Philip Pittman visits the Post while making a survey of the military establishments along the Mississippi River.

1768 A census of the habitants, women, children and slaves at Arkansas Post lists a total of 114, including 31 slaves.

1769 The commandant required that all soldiers and civilians living at the Post take an oath of Allegiance to the Spanish King.

1770s Spanish rule in the area of Arkansas Post was plagued with difficulties as English traders attempt to convince the Quapaw that the Spanish were not a true friend of the Tribe.

The Osage tribe begins to increasingly clash with Spanish authorities and attack French hunters operating along the rivers.

Flooding at the site of Arkansas Post continues to be a problem, prompting on Spanish commander to refer to Arkansas Post as "the most disagreeable Hole in the Universe."

Spanish authorities view the hunters operating in the area of Arkansas Post as disreputable, stating that the Arkansas River was an "asylum of the most wicked persons without doubt, in all the Indies."

1771 The first permanent Spanish commandant, Fernando de Leyba, takes charge at Arkansas Post. Previous commandants under Spanish rule had been French officers in the employment of Spain.

1772 A delegation of Quapaw Indians visit the Governor in New Orleans to complain about Commandant Leyba.

1775 Concordia, an English settlement on the east bank of the Mississippi River is established. Traders from Concordia continued to encourage the Quapaw against Spanish rule.

1779 Arkansas Post moved upriver to the Ecore Rouge site. This is the final move of the Post.

Spain joins the Revolutionary War on the American Patriots and France against England.

1780 British and Spanish forces clash along the Gulf Coast and the Mississippi River.

1781 James Colbert, an Englishman living with the Chickasaw Indians, begins operating against the Spanish along the Mississippi River.

1783 A band of English trappers and Chickasaws led by James Colbert attacked Fort Carlos III because Spain had allied herself to the rebels in the American Revolution. This is Arkansas' only Revolutionary War engagement.

The Revolutionary War comes to an end with the Treaty of Paris.

1785 The Governor of Louisiana holds a council of Caddo and Osage Indians in New Orleans in an attempt to forge a peace between the two groups. This peace is short lived, and the Osage continue to attack hunting parties operating along the Arkansas River.

1786 Spanish authorities attempt to close the Mississippi River to American Commerce.

1789 Osage raids against hunters become so severe that twenty French hunters draw up a petition to go to war against the Osage. In response, the Governor unsuccessfully attempts to halt all commerce with the Osage.

1790s Expanding American settlement becomes a significant threat to the Spanish in Louisiana and West Florida.

1791 A census taken this year shows the population of Arkansas Post as 151, including 37 slaves.

1793 A census taken this year lists the population of Arkansas Post as 220, including 49 slaves.

1794 A census taken this year lists the population of Arkansas Post as 336, including 53 slaves.

1795 The Pickney Treay with Spain allows Americans free navigation of the Mississippi River.

1796 A census taken this year lists the population of Arkansas Post as 324, including 42 slaves.

1798 A Spanish census records that 393 people reside in the District of Arkansas, including 56 slaves.

1800 Arkansas Post and all of colonial Louisiana became a possession of Napoleon's France through a provision of the secret treaty of San Il Defonso

1803 Louisiana Purchase" - United States buys Louisiana Territory. Spanish authorities remain in control of Arkansas Post until the spring of 1804.

Last updated: April 10, 2015

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