University of Notre Dame

Diocese of Louisiana and the Floridas 1801/09/30





1801 Sep. 30

(Penalver y Cardenas), Luis, Bishop of
New Orleans, Louisiana

to Manuel Juan de Salcedo
(New Orleans, Louisiana)

On November 19, 1799, there was sent to Nicolas Maria Vidal, acting governor, a letter like this: Having examined the accounts of the Charity Hospital for the three months from October 1, 1798 to the end of the year as drawn up by the administrator, Fran(cis)co de Leiva, (Penalver) found it without defect and returns it to Vidal to conclude. With the alms ordered to be collected and Vidal's gifts, the hospital has been decorated, the numerous sick in the epidemic of August, September and October were cared for. In order to continue more funds are necessary. The coffin department which was taken away by Manuel Gayoso (de Lemos), Vidal's predecessor might be of help. The hospital has begun to make them again at the former prices and it would be desirable to let the hospital have this exclusive privilege as laid down by Baron (Francisco Luis Hector) Carondelet, predecessor of Gayoso. Two tracts of land owned by the hospital could be very useful but there are no funds; (Penalver) is persuaded that there were funds belonging to the hospital in the possession of Andres de Almonaster, its patron, at the time of his sudden death April 25, 1798 but they must be straightened out and collected. Almonaster was exempt from rendering accounts by the royal edict of August 14, 1794 but this privilege did not include not keeping accounts. He left the current accounts of the hospital up to March 31, 1798 signed and approved as can be seen from the books of the administration in charge of Leiva. There must have been another which he did not have time to approve. The last accounts of Leiva, presented by Gilberto Leonard obliges (Penalver) to draw up the instructive file which he encloses; Father Juan de Dios Valdes annotated the first and revised the others and (Penalver) concludes from his paper of the 16th that 4323 pesos 3 reales was realized by Almonaster during the administrations of Leonard and Leiva of which (Penalver) has no account. The revenue from twelve ports, the rent from taverns, smaller revenues, the legacy of Father (Francisco) Caldes, (O.M.Cap.), the medical care of the patron's slaves are sums of which there is no account; presumably he kept a private account in order to return them to the hospital. It might be explained to the widow who is the executrix so that his papers might be examined for any notes; if not, to show her the notations of the auditor and make up her mind that in justice the sum should be returned. (Penalver) does not speak of the 300 pesos of the legacy of Fran(cis)co Munoz as it has not been proved that Almonaster took it not that it was for the hospital except that a lamp was to be lighted in honor of Our Lady of which he will treat separately. In February (Penalver) asked for the file of which he spoke and which Vidal returned to him; it is the same one which he enclosed to Salcedo for examination. Although the hospital, according to Leiva's settlement, took 2021 pesos 3 reales more than it repaid to the patron, this should not be deducted. Perhaps the patron thought he would repay services received from the hospital with these expenses. Therefore the shortage is 6344 pesos 30 reales. Since the letter of November 19 up to today the activities of the hospital have increased. This requires more receipts. If there are any difficulties with the widow they should be referred to His Majesty in his royal and supreme council. (Penalver) has postponed this in order not to interfere with Leiva's settlement; now that it is completed, he believes he should not defer it.

V-3-d L.S. Copy (Spanish) 4pp. 4to.

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