Commandants, Governors, and Commissaire-Ordonnateurs of Colonial Louisiana, 1699-1803


French Period

French royal commandants, 1699-171301

Pierre Le Moyne, sieur d'Iberville et d'Ardillières, 1699-1706 (commandant of Louisiana, commanded from Fort Maurepas, Biloxi, 1699-1702, and then from Fort Louis-de-la-Louisiane, Old Mobile, 1702-06, but generally absent; died of fever, Havana, Cuba, July 1706)

Sieur de Sauvole de La Villantry, 1699-1701 (temporary commandant while Iberville was in France; commanded from Fort Maurepas; died of fever, 22 August 1701)

Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, sieur de Bienville, 1701 (Iberville's younger brother; acting temporary commandant at Biloxi, with rank of King's lieutenant, after Sauvole's death)

Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, sieur de Bienville, 1702-11 (commander at Old Mobile under Iberville, 1702-06; acting commandant after Iberville's death, with rank of King's lieutenant, 1706-08; commanding jointly with Jean-Baptiste-Martin Dartaguiette d'Iron, 1708-1105; sole acting commandant awaiting Cadillac's arrival, 1711-13)

Nicolas Daneau de Muy, 1707-08 (titular governor, never served; died at sea near Havana on his way to Old Mobile, January 1708)

French proprietary governors [Crozat period], 1713-17

Antoine Laumet dit de La Mothe, sieur de Cadillac, 1710-16 (appointed May 1710; arrived Louisiana via Canada and France 5 June 1713, so actually served 1713-16; governed from New Mobile; first with title of governor who actually "governed"; recalled March 1716 but did not leave New Mobile until summer 1717)

Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, sieur de Bienville, 1716-17 (King's lieutenant before serving as acting governor after the recall of Cadillac; governed from New Mobile)

Jean-Michel, sieur de Lépinay et de Longueville, 1716-18 (appointed 15 March 1716 but did not reach Louisiana until 9 March 1717; governed from New Mobile; recalled 9 February 1718)

French proprietary "commandants-general" [Law period], 1717-30

Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, sieur de Bienville, 1718-24 (commanded from New Mobile until 1722 and then from New Orleans; recalled to France "for consultation," 1724)

Pierre-Sidrac Dugué, sieur de Boisbriant, 1724-27 (acting commandant-general following Bienville's recall; commanded from New Orleans; a cousin of the Le Moynes)

Étienne Boucher de Périer, 1727-31

French proprietary commissaire-ordonnateurs (authorizing commissioners or financial commissaries) 1712-3102

Jean-Baptiste Du Bois Duclos, 1712-16 (appointed 1712; arrived with Cadillac at New Mobile, 5 June 1713; recalled along with Cadillac, 1716)

Marc-Antoine-César-Anne Hubert, 1716-20 (recalled)

M. Duvergier, 1720-25 (appointed 1720; arrived 15 July 1721; first to serve at New Orleans)

Jacques de la Chaise, 1725-30 (died in office at New Orleans, February or March)

French royal governors, 1731-63

Étienne Boucher de Périer, 1731-33 (recalled, 1732)                                   

Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, sieur de Bienville, 1733-17 August 174304                                               

Pierre-François de Rigaud, marquis de Vaudreuil de Cavagnial, 1743-52 (recalled and promoted to governor-general of New France)                 

Louis Billouart de Kervaségan, chevalier de Kerlérec, 1753-63 (recalled to France after secret Treaty of Fontainebleau of November 1762 but did not leave until November 1763)

French royal commissaire-ordonnateurs, 1731-62

Edmé Gatien Salmon, 1731-44

Sébastien-François-Ange Le Normant de Mézy, 1744-48

Guillaume Le Sénéchal d'Auberville, 1748-49 (commissaire de marine, acting commissaire-ordonnateur)

Honoré Michel de Villebois de La Rouvillière, 1749-52 (died in office, December 1752)

Vincent-Guillaume Le Sénéchal d'Auberville, 1752-57 (commissaire de marine, acting commissaire-ordonnateur; died in office, March 1757)

Jean-Baptiste-Claude Bobé-Descloseaux, 1757-58 (commissaire de marine, acting commissaire-ordonnateur)

Vincent-Gaspard-Pierre de Rochemore, 1758-61 (recalled)

Jean-Jacques-Blaise d'Abbadie (appointed commissaire-ordonnateur, December 1761; captured by British on the way to Louisiana, February 1762; released after three months captivity on Barbados and returned to France)

French-Spanish Interregnum

Denis-Nicolas Foucault, April 1762-June 63 (acting commissaire-ordonnateur until arrival of d'Abbadie)

Jean-Jacques-Blaise d'Abbadie, June 1763-February 1765 (director-general, with combined powers of governor and commissaire-ordonnateur after Kerlérec left in November 1763; died in office, February 1765)

Charles-Philippe Aubry, February 1765-March 1766 (commandant of French troops from June 1763 and acting director-general after death of d'Abbadie)

Denis-Nicolas Foucault, February 1765-January 1768 (acting commissaire-ordonnateur after death of d'Abbadie; exercised power even after appointment of Spanish replacement)

Juan José de Loyola, August 1767-October 1768 (Spanish commissary appointed by Ulloa)

Spanish Period

Antonio de Ulloa y de la Torre-Guiral, 1766-68 (appointed May 1765, did not arrive until March 1766; never took "formal" control of the colony; retained Aubry as governor's agent; Ulloa temporarily governed from Fort San Carlos, below New Orleans near Balize, September 1766 to summer 1767; ousted by colonial revolt, October 1768)03

Charles-Philippe Aubry, October 1768-August 1769 (interim governor after Ulloa abandoned the colony and until arrival of O'Reilly)

Alejandro O'Reilly, August 1769-70 (governor and captain-general of Cuba)  ... "formal" transfer of Louisiana from French to Spanish control, 18 August 1769, New Orleans

Luis de Unzaga y Amezaga, 1769-77 (acting governor, 26 Nov 1769-72; governor-general, 1772-77)

Bernardo de Gálvez, 1777-85 (acting governor, 1777-79; "proprietary" governor, 1779-80; governor-general of Louisiana and Mobile, 1780-85; Conde de Gálvez from 1781; at Havana, 1782-85; appointed Viceroy of New Spain, 1784)

Estevan Rodriguez Miró y Sabater, 1782-91 (interim governor at New Orleans, 1782-85; governor-general, 1785-91)

Francisco Luis Hector, Baron de Carondelet et Noyelles, Seigneur d'Haine St.-Pierre, 1791-97

Manuel Gayoso de Lemos y Amorin, 1797-99 (died in office)

Francisco Domingo Joseph Bouligny, 1799 (acting governor)

Sebastián Calvo de la Puerta y O'Farrill, marqués de Casa Calvo, 1799-1801 (interim governor)

Manuel Juan de Salcedo, 1801-30 Nov 1803 (appointed October 1799 but did not arrive until June 1801)

Sebastian de la Puerta y O'Fariel, Marquis de Casa Calvo, 1803 (Spanish commissioner to Louisiana for transfer of power to France; remained at New Orleans after December 1803 as Spanish representative)

French Transition

Pierre Clément de Laussat, 30 November-20 December 1803 (French colonial prefect, at New Orleans; oversaw transfers of the colony from Spain to France and from France to the United States; remained at New Orleans until spring of 1804)



01.  Micelle, "From Law Court to Local Government," 408-20, includes an explanation of the differences between a commandant & a governor in colonial LA.  See especially p. 411. 

02.  Lemieux, "Some Legal and Practical Aspects of the Office of Commissaire-Ordonnateur of French LA," 395-407, offers a thorough explanation of the office & is especially good at pointing out the difference between an entendant & a commissaire-ordonnateur, which Usner, Lower Miss. Valley Before 1783, translates as "general commissioners."  Others call it "financial commissioner" or, more literally, "financial commissary."  See, for example, Yves F. Zoltvany, "Laumet, Antoine, dit de Lamothe Cadillac," DCB, 2:355. 

03.  Also called Isla Real Católica, Fort San Carolos was abandoned by Gen. O'Reilly in Dec 1769, & the post at La Balize, which the Spanish called Baliza, was restored.  See Kinnaird, "The Revolutionary Period, 1765-81," 144-45.

04.  Although he had served as commander many times, temporary commandant often, co-commandant twice, the King's lieutenant, acting governor, & commandant-general, this was the first--& only--time the most important man in LA's early history served as governor

05.  Allain, "Not Worth a Straw," 84, calls Dartaguiette a commissaire-ordonnateur.  He was, in fact, chief commissary of the Marine when he served as a co-commander with Bienville at Mobile.  See Book Seven. 

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