Sebastián Calvo de la Puerta

Sebastián Nicolás de Bari Calvo de la Puerta y O'Farrill, 1st Marquess of Casa Calvo, KOS (August 1751 – 27 May 1820) was a Spanish nobleman and soldier who served as Governor of Louisiana between 1799 and 1801.

Sebastián Calvo de la Puerta y O'Farrill
Marquess of Casa Calvo.png
Portrait of an Important Spanish Colonial Official, likely Sebastian Nicolas Calvo de la Puerta y O'Farrill, Marquess de Casa Calvo, by José Francisco Xavier de Salazar y Mendoza (c. 1800)
10th Governor of Spanish Louisiana
In office
MonarchCharles IV
Preceded byFrancisco Bouligny
Succeeded byJuan Manuel de Salcedo
Personal details
Sebastián Nicolás Calvo de la Puerta y O'Farrill

(1751-08-11)August 11, 1751
Artemisa, Cuba
DiedMay 27, 1820(1820-05-27) (aged 68)
Paris, France
Louisa Peñelvar y Navarette
(m. 1781; died 1792)
Military service
AllegianceFlag of New Spain.svg Viceroyalty of New Spain
 Kingdom of Spain
Bandera de España 1808-1813.svg Napoleonic Spain
Branch/serviceSpanish Army
Battles/warsLouisiana Rebellion
American Revolutionary War
Peninsular War
AwardsOrder of Santiago

Early life and careerEdit

He was born in Artemisa, Cuba, around 1751[1] or possibly 1754, according to different sources.[2] He was the son of Pedro Calvo de la Puerta and Catalina O'Farrill.[3] He pursued a military career from an early age, starting with enrollment as a cadet in the Company of Nobles in 1763.[1][2]

Casa Calvo first came to Louisiana in 1769 as part of Alejandro O'Reilly's company, and served under Bernardo de Galvez in the Mobile campaign in 1780 during the American Revolutionary War.[3] He received his title of nobility (Marqués de Casa Calvo) and knighthood in the Order of Santiago on May 20, 1786, by Charles III.[4][1]

In 1794, Casa Calvo participated in the capture of Fort-Dauphin, Saint-Domingue, from the French during the Haitian Revolution, and was in charge of the Spanish garrison there at the time of the massacre of Bayajá. He later was named governor of Bayajá and placed in charge of army operations against the French Republic in Santo Domingo until the colony was returned to France as part of the Peace of Basel.[5]

While living in Cuba, he married María Luisa Peñelvar y Navarette (1764–1792), a native of Havana, in 1781.[6]

Governor of Spanish LouisianaEdit

At the time of Governor Gayoso's death in 1799, Casa Calvo was residing in Cuba, where he was serving as a judge advocate.[7] Casa Calvo was appointed interim military governor until the arrival of Juan Manuel de Salcedo, whose arrival was delayed by ill health until 1801.[8][7] When Salcedo returned Louisiana to the French in 1803, Casa Calvo was there to assist in the transition, making him the only one of the Spanish governors of Louisiana to have been present at both the beginning and end of Spanish rule.[2]

Later lifeEdit

Tomb of Sebastián Calvo de la Puerta y O'Farrill in Père Lachaise Cemetery

Before Spain returned Louisiana to France, the latter had promised to keep the colony from falling into American hands, but in reality, France had already sold it to the United States. Casa Calvo remained in Louisiana after the transition to American rule, ostensibly to help determine the western border with Texas.[7] During this time, James Wilkinson, then the governor of the Territory of Louisiana, sought to engage with Casa Calvo to provide information that would strengthen Spain's hand in the negotiations.[9] William C.C. Claiborne, governor of the Territory of Orleans, with whom Casa Calvo was negotiating, did not trust Casa Calvo and ordered him to leave in 1806.[1][2][7]

Casa Calvo departed for Pensacola, narrowly avoiding a shipwreck en route, and requested permission to lead a military expedition against Louisiana.[2][3] His request was denied, and he moved to Madrid. He was a fervent Bonapartist during the reign of Joseph Bonaparte; after the fall of the Bonapartists in Spain, he fled to Paris, where he remained until his death in 1820.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d Dawson III, Joseph G. (1990). The Louisiana Governors: From Iberville to Edwards. Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Louisiana State University Press. pp. 76–77. ISBN 978-0-8071-1527-5. Retrieved 17 October 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f de Pedro, Marqués de Casa Mena, José Montero (2000) [1979]. The Spanish in New Orleans and Louisiana [Españoles en Nueva Orleans y Luisiana]. Gretna, Louisiana: Pelican Publishing. pp. 83–85. ISBN 978-1-4556-1227-7. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  3. ^ a b c Holmes, Jack D.L. (2010). "Casa Calvo, Marqués de". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 17 October 2018.
  4. ^ Ruvigny and Raineval, Marquis of, Melville Amadeus Henry Douglas Heddle de La Caillemotte de Massue de Ruvigny (1914). The Titled Nobility of Europe: An International Peerage, Or "Who's Who", of the Sovereigns, Princes and Nobles of Europe. London: Harrison & Sons. p. 449.
  5. ^ Johnson, Sherry (2011). Climate and Catastrophe in Cuba and the Atlantic World in the Age of Revolution. Chapel Hill, North Carolina: University of North Carolina Press. pp. 181–187. ISBN 978-0-8078-3493-0. Retrieved 7 April 2019.
  6. ^ Villena, Guillermo Lohmann; de Solano, Francisco (1993). Los Americanos en las órdenes nobiliarias (in Spanish). Madrid, Spain: Editorial CSIC. p. 467. ISBN 978-84-00-07351-0. Retrieved 17 October 2018.
  7. ^ a b c d Cowan, Walter Greaves; McGuire, Jack B. (2010). Louisiana Governors: Rulers, Rascals, and Reformers. Jackson, Mississippi: University Press of Mississippi. pp. 50–51. ISBN 978-1-60473-320-4. Retrieved 17 October 2018.
  8. ^ Din, Gilbert C. (2016). An Extraordinary Atlantic Life: Sebastián Nicolás Calvo de la Puerta Y O'Farrill, Marqués de Casa-Calvo. Lafayette, Louisiana: University of Louisiana at Lafayette Press. ISBN 978-1-935754-78-7.
  9. ^ Cox, Isaac Joslin (July 1914). "General Wilkinson and His Later Intrigues With the Spaniards". American Historical Review. XIX (4): 794–812. doi:10.2307/1836831. hdl:2027/loc.ark:/13960/t9862nj4j. JSTOR 1836831.
Preceded by Spanish Governor of Louisiana
With: Nicolás María Vidal
Succeeded by