University of Notre Dame

Diocese of Louisiana and the Floridas 1795/09/19
















1795 Sep. 19

Hospital of Charity of San Carlos Procedures to examine the condition of the Royal Hospital of Charity of San Carlos of New Orleans.

1795 Sep. 10

Penalver y Cardenas, Luis Bishop

to D. Andres Almonaster y Roxas
(New Orleans)

1.) The Bishop states that there is at New Orleans a hospital of charity founded by Don Andres de Almonaster y Roxas, colonel of Militia of which he is patron. Moreover, the King, in his Royal letters patent of Aug. 14, 1794, asked that he aid and take care of this institution, which work andres Almonaster has done.
2.) The Bishop orders that the present decree be made known a) to D. Andres Almonaster, because the Bishop, in his pastoral visit to the dioceses, will inspect the Hospital: its chapel, altar, tabernacle, its rooms, lodgings and other services for the poor. b) To the Governor of Louisiana and Florida, Baron de Carondelet, Royal Vice-Patron, in order that he, using the rights of the Royal Patronship, may contribute to the gloss of the accounts that D. Andres Almonaster will present. Signed by the Bishop of Louisiana and witnessed by Rivas as Secretary.

1795 Sep. 11

Rivas, Joseph Maria de
(New Orleans)

Rivas certifies that he notified D. Andres Almonaster y Roxas of the above decree who assured: a) That the King dispenses him from giving accounts of his administration for motives that appear in the Royal letters patent of Aug. 14, 1794, which delivers in order that a copy of it may be taken; the original, then, must be returned. b) That these privileges granted by the King to his Vassals aim at an encouragement in order that others may imitate or exceed those who in works like this (the construction and maintenance of a hospital) strive to praise the Divine Majesty) and contribute that the King be respected and the fellow-creature succored. c)That, notwithstanding this, there is no objection that the Bishop pay a visit personally to the Hospital. D. Andres will be pleased that he may inspect its church, altar and tabernacle, infirmaries. He will appreciate the suggestions the Bishop may present on the basis of what he saw in other hospitals of Havana, which will aid D. Andres to better the hospital of "San Carlos" in behalf of the poor diseased, the aim of all his efforts. Signed by Andres Almonaster y Roxas.

1795 Sep. 11

Penalver y Cardenas, Bishop Luis
(New Orleans)
The bishop decrees:
1) That the Royal letters patent, dated San Ildefonso, Aug. 14, 1794, have been handed in and recognized, whose orders the Bishop obeys.
2) That a copy of it is to be left in the judicial proceedings.
3) That after that has been done, the original is to be handed back.
4) That the results be brought in, in order to dictate what is suitable. Signed by the Bishop and witnessed by Rivas.
--To this is added a copy of the Royal letters patent.

1794 Aug. 14

Charles IV, King of Spain
(San Ildefonso)

1.) His Majesty declares: a) That D. Andres Almonaster y Roxas, colonel of militia and Alderman Royal Ensign of New Orleans planned that the governor of the Province, presenting the Royal Letters patent of 1793 that approves the ordinances for the Hospital of charity, deprived him unjustly of the administration of the said hospital. Moreover, the governor did not accept the appointment of the physician Dr. Luis Giobellina to sustain in the post Dr. Santiago Leduc. Moreover, several arguments were brought up against Dr. Andres Almonaster. Moreover, in a portion of his property and near several of his houses a warehouse for powder was built without any judicial notice. b) That D. Andres makes to the King the following petitions: that His Majesty may confirm the appointment of physician-surgeon of the hospital in the person of Dr. Luis Giobellina, ordering at the same time that Dr. Santiago Leduc, appointed by the governor, cease in his functions; that hereafter the suitable person whom he may present be confirmed in his position, according to the article 40 of the Ordinances, that his Majesty may favor his petitions completing the information asked about article 45; that the privileges that belong to him as Patron, Founder and Donor of the hospital may clearly be specified and that, as long as he lives, accounts be not asked from him, or the confirmation of persons appointed by him for different offices in the hospital be required from the governor, a notice of this being given to the latter.
2.) His Majesty, after having asked for information from the Council of Indies and in view of the antecedents of the matter and what was explained by the Attorney General, decrees: a.) That Dr. Luis Giobellina, appointed by Dr. Andres Almonaster, be made physician supreme of the hospital with the monthly rent of 30 pesos. b.) That the ordinance number 40 commissions D. Andres Almonaster to appoint all the employees and servants of the church and the hospital. c.) That while D. Almonaster lives it is not necessary that the confirmation of the appointments be given by the Governor, who however, is to be notified. d.) That while he lives he is not to be bothered to give accounts of the administration of the hospital, because no misuse of funds is possible, since he endowed the hospital and is interested in its proper administration and the perpetuation of his memory. e.) That all this is not against what was determined in Royal letters patent about the accounts of the administration and intervention of the Royal Patronship and of the Bishop concerning the other successors of D. Andres in the patronship of the hospital. These appointments have to be confirmed by the Royal Vice-Patron. If he does not agree to give the confirmation, he may return the appointments to the patron of the hospital.
3.) That concerning the privileges that D. Almonaster will have as Patron-founder and Donor of the hospital, the King decrees: a) That the Royal letters patent that approved the foundation of the hospital are to be followed. Such privileges and charges are those granted by law that do not oppose the municipal laws. b) That the governor complete the information asked by a separate Royal letter patent about the article 45 of the said ordinances and that this information is to be given by the Governor with the intervention of the ecclesiastical judge, the Monastery of the Ursulines and the Patron. The information concerns the admission and preference in the monastery of the Ursulines of the foundlings that are now in the hospital. c) That the governor is supposed to help and attend in a special way D. Almonaster since he is a "persona grata" to His Majesty and his Council having spent large amounts of his money in the treasury of the parochial church, the Convent of the Ursulines, and the hospital of charity, and capitular house, destroyed by the hurricane and the fire. All this in behalf of the church and the State serves as an example for others. d) Finally, that the Governor of Louisiana, the Intendant of the Royal Exchequer and other judges of the Province have to carry out the Kings will.
--To this is added a note by Antonio Ventur de Taranco certifying that the present was drawn up by King's orders. There are three signatures. Dated Sept. 11, 1785.
--To this is added a note by Rivas certifying that the above is a faithful copy of the original handed back to D. Andres Almonaster, and that according to the above decree he ordered the present copy. Signed by Rivas.

1795 Sep. 12

Penalver y Cardenas, Luis Bishop
(New Orleans)
The Bishop Decrees:

That the state of the Chapel of the Royal hospital of San Carlos be examined and that there be carried out as much as it is suitable according to that which was decreed by the Royal letters patent of 1794 which the Bishop obeys integrally. Signed by the Bishop.
--To this is added a note certifying that the above decree was issued and signed by the Bishop on Sept. 12, 1795 at New Orleans.

1795 Sep. 14

Rivas, Joseph Marie de, Secretary
(New Orleans)
Rivas certifies the records of the visit:
1.) The Bishop Penalver with Father Antonio de Sedella, Capuchin, pastor of the Holy Cathedral Church, D. Juan de Dis Valdes, a clergyman, and Doc Rivas went to the hospital of San Carlos whose patron is D. Andres Almonaster y Roxas and visited the Chapel, the altar, the tabernacle, the consecrated stone, the sacristy and the rooms of the hospital.
2.) Then Dr. Francisco of the administration of the hospital, presented himself to the Bishop Penalver, and invited the visitors to see the other offices and compartments. Since they had already seen the apothecary's shop, they passed to the room for cure of women and another for negroes.
3.) The Bishop visited also the diseased of the Regiment of Infantry of Mexico. In a room on the second floor he saw two diseased that belonged to the said regiment. In this room there was space for twice as many occupants and, effectively it was said, that once 178 soldiers stayed there.
4.) Concerning the foods, their quantities and methods of distribution accord with the practice observed in the Royal Hospital.
5.) Concerning the rents. The rents received by the hospital are the following: a.) 115 monthly of the house-rents produced by the accessory buildings, that is the dower destined to the hospital by its Patron. Besides it was at the expense of the Patron the construction, the material of the buildings and their conservation. b.) The sums produced by the sale of coffins and biers of the parish. This sale is an eventual branch and is applied to the maintaining of the hospital.
6.) Concerning the personnel of the hospital. It was the following: Dr. Francisco Leyba, an employee of the administration; Dr. Luis Gobellina, physician and surgeon with 30 monthly pesos; Dr. Jose Bengochea, majordomo and at the same time room-master with 12 monthly pesos; a cook with 20 monthly pesos; one or more laundresses with 5 daily reales; six slave servants for diverse services; a chaplain with 30 monthly pesos. The last chaplain was Father Ramon Ignacio Palao who resigned his charge. So that nowadays there is no chaplain and the chaplaincy is taken care of by the personnel of the parish of New Orleans.
7.) Concerning the job of the administrator. Dr. Francisco Leyba assured that all the charges of the hospital were received by him and that at the end of each month he cleared accounts with the Patron, specifying all the ordinary or extraordinary expenditures.
8.) The Ledgers. The Bishop manifested the wish of seeing the Ledgers and Dr. Francisco Leyba assured him that he had been ordered by the Patron to show all the documents to the Bishop in order that the latter could see the order and sincerity of the administration of the hospital. However, as the examination of the ledgers would take long, the Bishop asked Dr. Leyba to send them, next day, to his home. This is signed by the Bishop and witnessed by Rivas.

1795 Sep. 18

Rivas, Joseph Maria de, Secretary
(New Orleans)
Rivas certifies:
1.) That despite the offering of Dr. Francisco Leyba on Sept. 14, the ordinance 44 forbids the ledgers to be taken out. So the Bishop went personally to the hospital in company of his secretary, Rivas.
2.) That Leyba presented the following books: a.) The ledger in which are put down each month and in chronological order the ordinary and eventual charges. b.) The book of expenditures in which are put down all the ordinary and extraordinary investments. c.) The apothecary's file that prescribes the medicine, the quality of the foods for the diseased and which guarantees the legitimacy of the records found in the two preceding books. d.) The day book. This is connected with the apothecary's file and it contains all the necessary details. This is signed by the Majordomo and checked up by the administrator. e.) The daily State. This is checked up everyday by the Patron; it contains the charges, the expenditures, convalescences, deaths and other daily reports. At the end of each month, Dr. Almonaster makes the gloss, liquidating the balance with his own money.
3.) That the Bishop found all the accounts right and that the order and method used in the countability is the same as those of similar institutions.
4.) That, finally, Dr. Francisco Leyba said that sometimes the number of diseased exceeded that of 24 pointed out in its foundation, and that he was ordered by Dr. Almonaster to receive as many diseased as there were places in the hospital. Signed by the Bishop and witnessed by Rivas.

1795 Sep. 19

Penalver y Cardenas, Luis Bishop
(New Orleans)
The Bishop Declares:
a.) That he visited the hospital of charity of San Carlos at New Orleans and that Dr. Andres Almonaster is dispensed by the Royal letters patent of Aug. 14, 1794 to give accounts, during all his life.
b.) That he inspected the chapel, sacristy, rooms for the diseased, etc. and that the Christian Charity is practiced with a great perfection. So that the Bishop thanks Dr. Andres Almonaster for all the good work he has done. Moreover, the Bishop Decrees:
A.) That copies be drawn up of all the documents of the process in order that, when necessary, he may inform the King of all the procedures of his Pastoral visit.
B.) That all is to be notified in the usual form, to the Governor of the Province. Signed by the Bishop.
--To this is added a note by Rivas certifying that the above decree was signed by the Bishop on Sept. 19, 1795.
--To this is added another note by Saldivar certifying that on the same day he notified Dr. Almonaster of the above decree. Signed by Saldivar, Notary Public.

IV-5-b D.S. 13pp. 4to.

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