"Everything which concerns the dignity of the Command and the military is the sole reserve of the Governor. He shall determine the fortifications and works based on the projects and estimates of the engineer, having nonetheless conferred with the commissaire-ordonnateur concerning the call for bids, the cost and the means of finding the necessary funds […] They must also jointly distribute the concessions of land and encourage every initiative relating to trade…"
CAOM, DFC, carton n° 9, Louisiane 3 bis/3 (1716)


The colony had never been autonomous. Indeed, French Louisiana only became a separate government district in 1717; previously, it had been subordinate to New France, in the same was as Illinois. Of course, between 1712 and 1731 the trade monopoly had been granted to the trading companies, but under complete royal control, both militarily and administratively

Hyacinthe Rigaud, Louis XIV, Musée du Louvre,
© RMN, Hervé Lewandowski The powers vested in the governor and the commander general were only powers under supervision. In addition, the colony's internal relations-and especially those between the colony and the homeland-were made long and difficult because of distance. It took several weeks to a month to sail up or down the Mississippi from the Arkansas River, travel between France and the Gulf of Mexico meant 40 to 90 days at sea.
The military posts were all under the command of the Commander General, whose headquarters first located in Biloxi, and then in New Orleans.
Hyacinthe Rigaud, Louis XIV, Musée du Louvre,
© RMN, Hervé Lewandowski

Most of the population and their activities were located in Lower Louisiana, where the ports which linked the colony with France were located. Illinois-a source for wheat and a territory for fur trading-contained more loggers who negotiated with the Indians (and, against regulations, with the English) than actual residents.

Louisiana military divisions in 1721
CAOM, B 43, f° 11-40 (article 25)
The capital of Louisiana was first Biloxi, then Mobile and finally New Orleans. New Orleans contained the warehouses belonging to the trading companies, then to the king; it was through these that transactions between the colonists and France were carried out. It was also the center of all kinds of traffic, in a colony that was frequently left to fend for itself when Europe was at war.
Louisiana military divisions in 1721
CAOM, B 43, f° 11-40 (article 25)


The administrative, military and religious organizations


The nine provinces