Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


This dissertation describes the career of Mart(')in Navarro, Treasurer, Contador, and Intendant of Spanish Louisiana during the years 1766 through 1788. In doing so it sheds considerable light on the economic history of Spanish Louisiana and Spanish West Florida during the 1770's and 1780's. As treasurer, Navarro proposed a number of important fiscal reforms and was charged with a special commission to settle the estates of the Rebels of 1768. As Contador he planned and organized supplies for all of the Spanish expeditions against the English in the Mississippi Valley and along the Gulf Coast. However, his principal successes came as Intendant (1780-1788) when he introduced a series of fiscal and agricultural reforms to Spanish Louisiana. His ideas were expressed in a lengthy treatise, "Political Reflections on the Actual State of Louisiana" in 1780. In 1785 he prepared a reglamento which set the salary and expenses schedule for the colony for the remaining sixteen years of Spanish control. He encouraged European immigration to Louisiana, aided in the resettlement of these immigrants, encouraged the expansion of the tobacco industry and instituted the use of paper money when the colony's situado (supplement) failed to arrive on time. Following his retirement to Spain he carried out a two-year royal commission for the Spanish Crown designed to improve Spanish industrial production of American goods. Research was carried out principally at the AGI in Seville, the AHN in Madrid, the Archivo Provincial de Galicia in La Coruna, the Judicial Records of French and Spanish Louisiana at the Louisiana State Museum, the Notarial Records of Orleans Parish and at the Department of Archives and Manuscripts at Louisiana State Univerisity.