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Digest of the Acts and Deliberations of the Cabildo
Cemeteries, Catholic

Introduction to the Digest

Subject Book Volume Page Date Description
Cemeteries - Catholic 3 II 39 10/17/1788 Governor: Miro; Royal Ensign: De Reggio, Jr. - At this time it was made known to the Cabildo that there are so many people buried in the cemetery, there is no room for more. It was proposed and agreed that another cemetery be established farther from the city. It was agreed that the opinions of skillful persons be obtained, and a location inspected.
Cemeteries - Catholic 3 II 40 10/24/1788 Governor: Miro; Royal Ensign: De Reggio, Jr. - The opinions of the doctors and surgeons, and a report on a location, were submitted at this meeting. The Commissioners agreed upon a location in the rear of Charity Hospital, about 40 yards from its garden, to measure 300 square feet. The Governor was asked to obtain the approval of His Majesty. Later (page 67) Antonio Guedry presents a bill for expenses and personal labor in fencing the new cemetery.
Cemeteries - Catholic 3 II 72 8/14/1789 Governor: Miro; Royal Ensign: De Reggio, Jr. - A Royal Order is received in which His Majesty approves construction of the new Cemetery and the building of houses on the ground occupied by the old cemetery.
Cemeteries - Catholic 4 I 37 6/20/1795 Governor: Carondelet; Royal Ensign - Almonaster - Filberto Farge asks that the Cabildo grant him two lots of ground, sixty feet front each, in the square which had been used as a cemetery. The Commissioners determined that for the present the permission could not be granted.
Cemeteries - Catholic 4 I 137 7/15/1796 Governor: Carondelet; Royal Ensign: Almonaster - At this time the Commissioners considered that the cemetery now in use is not properly located - being too near the wharf where the boats land when using the canal built by the Governor. (See “Canals”). Not far away is another location which the Governor has already discussed with the Bishop. It was agreed to inclose this location with posts and the City Treasurer was authorized to purchase the posts and other material.
Cemeteries - Catholic 4 I 157 11/3/1796 Governor: Carondelet; Royal Ensign: Almonaster - At this meeting a report is made by the two Commissioners investigating the work done in the cemetery and on the Carondelet Canal by Juan Bugui, in which the bill for 296 Pesos and five reales, is approved.
Cemeteries - Catholic 4 I 165 12/16/1796 Governor: Carondelet; Royal Ensign: Almonaster - At this time the City Treasurer presents a bill covering expense of fencing the new cemetery, also the proceeds from the sale of pickets from the old cemetery.
Cemeteries - Catholic 4 II 5 7/21/1797 Governor: Carondelet; Royal Ensign: Almonaster - At this time the Attorney General informs the Cabildo in writing that all nations are convinced that it is obnoxious to bury the dead in the churches and temples, and he sees with disfavor the return of the harmful custom of burying in the Holy Cathedral. He also states that the grounds of the old cemetery are being opened to make burials. He asked the Cabildo to prohibit burials in the old cemetery and in the church. The Commissioners unanimously agreed. (See “Health Rules, Sanitation”).
Cemeteries - Catholic 4 II 62 9/30/1797 Governor: Gayoso; Royal Ensign: Almonaster - At this time the Attorney General, having asked the Royal Ensign to leave the chambers, read a report in which the inhabitants complained about the destruction of the brick wall around the old cemetery, in which they stated that they had contributed according to their means to the construction of this wall - some with brick, others with lime and the very poor with their free labor. Now this wall has been disposed of, leaving the sacred place open. He asked that the wall be replaced at the expense of the person who ordered it removed. The Commissioners considering that the brick had been used in the construction of the Cathedral which the Royal Ensign had built at his own expense, agreed not to demand payment as the Attorney General requested, but ordered the cemetery fenced with pickets.
Cemeteries - Catholic 4 II 75 10/27/1797 Governor: Gayoso; Royal Ensign: Almonaster - In a letter to the Cabildo, protesting the building of the Fish Market, the Royal Ensign mentions the bad condition of the cemetery which should have their attention instead of a Fish Market. The Commissioners resolved to cooperate with the Pastor, Father Friar Antonio Sedella, to have the casks removed from the old cemetery and transferred to the new one.
Cemeteries - Catholic 4 IV 34 11/7/1800 Acting Governor: Vidal; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - The Civil Governor addressed a letter to the Cabildo in which he enclosed a letter from the Bishop Luis de Penalver y Cardenas concerning the old cemetery. The Bishop states he had learned of the square of ground facing the Charity Hospital which had served as a cemetery up to 1788, and which possession had been accredited to the Church for more than 50 years. Many people informing him that the square was granted to the Church by France when the colony was under French rule. He asked that the Cabildo grant ownership of the square to the Church that he might sell it for the benefit of the Church. (Both letters are shown on pages 35 to 38).
Cemeteries - Catholic 4 IV 38 11/14/1800 Acting Governor: Vidal; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - The Commissioners stated at this time that the evidence contained in the Bishop's letter was not sufficient to justify his claim to the 300 square feet facing the Charity Hospital, formerly used as a cemetery. They further stated that the cemetery had occupied four different locations; First, the dead were buried where the Cabildo Building is today; second, in the block formed by Bienville and Chartres Streets; third, in 1743, in the square facing the Charity Hospital (the square in question) where it remained until 1788. The Commissioners agreed that an answer be given to the Governor to this effect and ask him to suspend his consent already given for the disposal of this ground by the church.
Cemeteries - Catholic 4 IV 91 5/22/1801 Acting Governor: Vidal; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - The Bishop requested certified copies of the first resolutions issued by O’Reilly pertaining to lands assigned to the city. He also asked for certificates showing expenses paid by the City Treasurer in filling and fencing the present cemetery.
Cemeteries - Catholic 4 IV 92 5/29/1801 Acting Governor: Vidal; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - The Attorney General presented an opinion in which he opposed that certified copies of the acts of the early sessions of the Cabildo during the administration of O’Reilly, be given to the Bishop, as also the certificates showing expenses paid during 1788 and 1789 to fill and fence the lot which is actually being used as a cemetery now. He recommends that they immediately comply with the Royal Edict in leasing the lots of the old cemetery. (At the next meeting, page 97, the Cabildo approved these recommendations and ordered the lots appraised and leased as provided by law.)
Cemeteries - Catholic 4 IV 101 6/26/1801 Acting Governor: Vidal; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - The Cabildo received a letter from the Governor enclosing one from the Bishop, in which the Bishop complains that he has been refused the copies of the acts he requested. He states that these copies were to be used in making an appeal to His Majesty, but that he will make the appeal anyway without the documents. The Commissioners replied that the square had been ordered subdivided and leased for account of the City Treasury, as provided by law. (They resolved to carry out the leasing of the lots and report to His Majesty.) - On page 142 the Bishop informs the Cabildo that he has been made Archbishop of Guatemala, for which country he is departing, leaving in his place Don Tomas Harret (Hasset) in charge of the Diocese.)
Cemeteries - Catholic 4 IV 147 12/4/1801 Governor: Salcedo; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - The time having expired prohibiting purchasers to build on the cemetery lots, the Commissioners agreed to send an official message to the Bishop so that he may set aside a day for the removal of the bodies buried in said block.
Cemeteries - Catholic 4 IV 158 1/29/1802 Governor: Salcedo; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - The Acting Bishop, Don Thomas Harrete (or Hassete), replied to the above, stating that the Holy Church has already made an appeal to His Majesty opposing the sale of said lots, and he therefore has no jurisdiction. (On page 159 the Governor informed the Cabildo that when the sale of the lots was agreed upon it was resolved that the proceeds be kept separate, in case His Majesty should award the lots to the Church, whatever funds were collected might be turned over to them.) The Commissioners resolved to make a second request to the Bishop to remove the bodies.
Cemeteries - Catholic 4 IV 172 2/12/1802 Governor: Salcedo; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - The Commissioners, considering the various matters the Cabildo has had with the Civil Government, the Church etc., requiring legal advice, resolve to appoint Don Josef Martinez de la Pedrera to represent the Cabildo as its counselor.
Cemeteries - Catholic 4 IV 193 3/18/1802 Governor: Salcedo; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - Don Josef Martinez de la Pedrera advises the Cabildo to send a third and last official letter to the Bishop to transfer the bodies and if he refuses, send to him (Pedrera) all documents for further study.
Cemeteries - Catholic 4 IV 198 4/2/1802 Governor: Salcedo; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde -The Bishop replies with an official opinion by Don Manuel Seranno. The Commissioners forward all documents to their Counselor (Pedrera) whose reply on page 199 states that the Bishop is taking advantage of the approaching summer when the intense heat will prevent the opening of the graves.
Cemeteries - Catholic 4 IV 217 5/21/1802 Governor: Salcedo; Royal Ensign: De La Ronde - At this time Don Pedro de la Roche calls the attention of the Cabildo to the fact that this matter and various other matters, were pending before the Cabildo and no definite action had been taken. (This matter was still pending when the Colony was transferred back to France.)

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