L. N. McAlister


On the first day of January, 1777, an event in New Orleans was to have important consequences for the history of Pensacola: Bernardo de Galvez formally assumed the governorship of Louisiana. Galvez was typical of the colonial officials who were appointed during that Indian Summer of Spanish Imperial history, the reign of Charles III. A career officer in the royal armies, he had already distinguished himself in several theaters: first in Portugal, then in Mexico against the Indians on the northern frontier where, under his famous uncle Jose de Galvez, he displayed those traits of energy, initiative, and leadership which characterized his subsequent career. During the next few years he served in the French army for training purposes and in 1776 was ordered to New Orleans as commander of the garrison and subsequently promoted to the governorship of the colony while still less than thirty years of age.