Trans. Status:

Iberville Prospectus

Call Number: MSS 546
Title: Iberville Prospectus
Creator: Iberville, Pierre Le Moyne, sieur de, 1661-1706 (author)
Date of Creation: 1698
Extent: Ams, 7 pp., 1 item.
Object Name: prospectuses
Collection Type: Documents & Correspondence
Materials: paper (fiber product)
Language: French
Biography/History: Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville, sieur de Iberville (1661-1706) was a French Canadian soldier, naval officer and colonizer. He was the older brother of Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville, sieur de Bienville (1680-1767), founder of New Orleans.
Scope and Content: In this document, Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville petitions Louis XIV to establish a French colony on the Mississippi River. Iberville defines the Louisiana territory as stretching from the 29th to the 50th latitudes, and gives a detailed description of the advantages such a colony would enjoy, particularly its vast natural resources and its cooperative natives. The theoretical colony would provide France with a suitable base from which to attack Mexico in the event of war with Spain. Iberville points out that although the English are forming a company to send men and ships to Louisiana, the French could easily preëmpt them by establishing a fort at a suitable port. Iberville would form a company, in exchange for "the customary privileges," to bring colonists. Iberville then describes exactly what he would need in terms of ships and men. He explains that he will divide his forces to explore the coasts, leaving some to seal off the mouth of the river and establish a safe harbor. The undated and unsigned document is written in a formal secretarial hand of the late 17th or early 18th century and appears to be a clerk’s copy of Iberville’s original. Evidence suggests the document dates from early 1698.
Container: Folder 1
Notes: Iberville Prospectus, MSS 546, Williams Research Center, The Historic New Orleans Collection.
Restrictions: Reproduction of original documents, when permitted, must be performed by the Williams Research Center staff.
Requesting: Please provide the reference staff with the manuscript call number.
Collection Theme(s): Pre-Colonial
French Colonial Louisiana
Subjects: Louis XIV, King of France, 1638-1715 -- More information
Louisiana -- History -- To 1803.
Accession Number: 99-110-L