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"(Long live French Louisiana!)"
―A protester during the Louisiana Rebellion, 1768.[src]

The Louisiana Rebellion was an unsuccessful attempt by the French Creoles of New Orleans to prevent the handover of the colony to the Spanish Empire.

Unhappy with the policies implemented by governor Antonio de Ulloa, the people rebelled against his regime. Following an ambush orchestrated by the Assassin Aveline de Grandpré, de Ulloa fled Louisiana, though his replacement Alejandro O'Reilly would permanently reassert control roughly eight months later.

Prelude to rebellion[]

"This Spanish "gouverneur" has placed so many restrictions on trade, even plantation owners are practically "begging" for an excuse to riot."
―Gérald on de Ulloa's policies, 1768.[src]

Following France's loss in the French and Indian War, the territory of Louisiana west of the Mississippi River came under the control of Spain, as stipulated in the Treaty of Paris. Only made aware of the colony's transfer in late 1764, the citizens of New Orleans quickly grew frustrated with Spain's weak political authority and, for a time, simply continued to act as if they were still a colony of France.[1]

Even the colonial governor Jean-Jacques Blaise d'Abbadie, who had been assigned the responsibility of dismantling the French garrison and prepare the territory for handover to the Spanish, sought to keep Louisiana French by striking a deal with the Templar Rafael Joaquín de Ferrer. However, the death of d'Abbadie in 1765 meant the colony was soon left under the jurisdiction of its first Spanish governor, Antonio de Ulloa.[2]

In March 1766, de Ulloa arrived in New Orleans; however, he did not order the Spanish flag to be raised and left the administration of the territory to French Creole officials.[1] The fact that he and his family resided in La Balize further distanced him from the populace. Public opinion of the governor continued to drop in the next two years, with a string of kidnappings and de Ulloa's rigid trade restrictions, implemented in July 1768, turning the citizens against the Spanish.[2]

Evicting de Ulloa[]

"There is only one path the governor can take – the others are barricaded or in flames. You must prepare an ambush and strike at just the right moment. Find him, and kill him."
―Agaté ordering de Ulloa's assassination, 1768.[src]
AC3L Barricade

Citizens fighting de Ulloa's soldiers in the streets of New Orleans

As French Creoles set up makeshift barricades around the city and openly challenged Spanish soldiers, Aveline de Grandpré looked into the slaves and vagrants that had disappeared. Her investigations led her to conclude that de Ulloa was behind it all, and aimed to lure him out of La Balize. To do so, she incited the citizens of New Orleans to riot, stole a gunpowder shipment with her compatriot Gérald Blanc and destroyed a Spanish military vessel.[2]

The widespread chaos in the city eventually forced de Ulloa to leave his hiding place, so that he could attempt to negotiate for peace. On the orders of her Mentor Agaté, Aveline prepared an ambush so she could assassinate the governor and put an end to the kidnappings. Barricading several streets, she trapped de Ulloa's convoy in a blocked off town square and eliminated the escorts.[2]

A Governor No More 5

Aveline interrogating de Ulloa

Upon interrogating the governor, the Assassin learned that the slaves taken from New Orleans were being transferred south, to a work camp in Mexico. Against Agaté's orders, however, Aveline chose not to kill de Ulloa, allowing him to flee the city in return for a lens used to decipher encoded Templar documents, a map leading to the work site at Chichen Itza and the promise of de Ulloa to leave the continent.[2]


"The Spanish are... sympathetic to our aims now. New laws may... ease your efforts to help the slaves."
―Gérald to Aveline regarding the Spanish's reforms, 1771.[src]

Following de Ulloa's departure, New Orleans was governed by the French Creoles for a time. However, the Spanish, with the approval of King Louis XV of France, sent General Alejandro O'Reilly to surpress the rebellion. To prevent bloodshed, French Creole leaders advised citizens to accept Spanish authority and avoid military confrontation.[1]

In the summer of 1769, O'Reilly arrived in New Orleans without any major interference and executed those that had been at the forefront of the rebellion. He introduced "O'Reilly's Code", which embodied the laws of Castile and of the Indies, aligning Louisiana's legal system with that of Spain.[1] In the following years, Spain secured a tighter grip on the colony, but also encouraged free trade and eased the restrictions on the emancipation of slaves.[2]

Louisiana remained in Spanish hands until 1801, when the colony was officially returned to the French, who then sold it to the United States two years later.[1]