Friday, July 16, 2010

1803 Louisiana French Creole/American Creole Indian Treaty Rights

Publishers Note:  I knew Gilbert to be a knowledgeable friend and full of memories robbed of my own people.  Our similar paths converged upon each other many years ago and now continues on within the sovereign Creole hearts & minds of the American Creole Indian People.

Rest Well Faithful Warrior & Dear Friend...

1803 Louisiana French Creole & American Creole Indian Treaty Rights

An article from Gilbert Martin, Sr. 1923-2005

On November 30, 1803, according to stipulations in the Louisiana Purchase Treaty and by formal action, the French rendered the entire Louisiana Territory an absolutely free country. And it remained that way until circa 1818, when the legislature of the newly formed state of Louisiana ruled otherwise. By those acts, in deliberate violation of the LPT, Louisiana became just another Jim Crow State in the Deep South.

At the time of the American takeover of the vast Louisiana Territory, tens of thousands of people with lineage to Africa were among the inhabitants. Some were free, but most were slaves. Nevertheless, neither free nor slave was ever apprised of their treaty rights. Consequently, both the so-called free people of color and the slaves were forced to suffer the realities of degradation, hostility, and other forms of inequities brought about by Southern American Jim Crow styled segregation, discrimination, racism and bigotry. Naturally, an undercurrent of resentment against the Americans flowed throughout the Creole community. And that resentment did not begin to abate until after World War II. Prior to that war, the older Creoles did not refer to themselves as Americans.

They considered it an offense should anyone else referred to them as Americans. I saw many older Creoles spit on the ground after mentioning the word "Merican."

As a young Creole growing up during the Great Depression and the Jitterbug era, I didn’t know why my elders hated Americans so much. I was having fun. That did not concern me. So, it would be many decades before I would began to question the origin of my culture. I was fifty years old when my quest began. And another decade would past before I would come across a copy of the Louisiana Purchase Treaty. After reading the third article of the treaty, I finally understood why my people were so bitter. So, out of respect for them, I have been trying to bring the United States Government, and the state of California to task for treaty violations. Now, I would like the general public to find out about our plight under American domination.

Enclosed please find a copy of the letter I sent to Kevin Shelly, Secretary of State of California. I would like to have this information published, either in its entirety, in parts, or you may simply write about it. I feel that it’s very important for the Creole community, especially our young, to be apprised of our treaty rights, and to take this information seriously. I feel that it’s time for young Creoles to get involved. My struggle for authoritative recognition for Creole people has passed its third decade. Now, I am tired and should be taking it easy.

However, as a retired master builder, general contractor, and former member of the American Arbitration Association, I see the violation of the Louisiana Purchase Treaty as being the biggest blunder the United States has ever made. The U.S. received 908,380 square miles of territory for $15 million and to provide and guarantee to us, civil and special rights as stipulated in Article III of the treaty. But up until now, the federal government has been acting as if the Louisiana Purchase Treaty is a unilateral instrument. Contrarily, the LPT is a bilateral instrument and must be regarded as such.

Therefore, I have chosen to stand on the opposite, and uncontested, side of the LPT. Therefore, I am calling upon the federal government and all state governments to acknowledge their legal obligations under the LPT, and to repair any and all damage for any and all infractions thereof. 

Please provide me with whatever help that you can. If there is any question you would like me to answer, or any subject that you would like me to address, don’t hesitate to contact me.

Also, I have enclosed a copy of the certified letter that I sent to Bill Lockyer, Attorney General for the state of California.

Yours truly,

Gilbert E. Martin


GILBERT E. MARTIN, Sr(April 13, 1923 - November 19, 2005)

the founder of the International French Creole Cultural Society.

GILBERT E. MARTIN, Sr., is the founder of the International French Creole Cultural Society. He is also the pioneer of the Creole Non-Violent Revolution. He was born in the Seventh Ward, the heart of the Creole section of the city of New Orleans, on April 13, 1923.

He left that community at the age of nineteen and served in the United states Marine Corps for a little more that three years. On September 14, 1946, he married Geraldine Aubert, and together they brought seven children into the world. Martin became a self-taught architect and general contractor.

In October of 1973, Martin became interested in the roots of his culture, and went into research. He soon discovered that no one had ever before written about the roots of Creole Culture. Other writers, including those who wrote disparagingly and/or incorrectly about Louisiana Creoles, did not take their thoughts beyond the confines of the state of Louisiana. That realization was so fascinating that Martin became obsessed with the thought of revealing that the Creole phenomenon did not originate in Louisiana.

His research took him back through the West Coast of Africa and through the great Mali empire to the smelting of iron in ancient Ghana in 300 B.C. Consequently, with an abundance of information on hand, coupled with certain breached conditions in the Louisiana Purchase Treaty, he concluded that Louisiana French Creoles & their descendent's are entitled the respectable status of nationhood. So, in 1979, Martin founded the International French Creole Cultural Society. Afterwards, he began to advocate the reunification of French Creoles & their descendent's, not only in the United States, but also with their cultural kin in the French West Indies and in other parts of the world.

Martin, in 1994initiated the Louisiana Reclamation Movement. This movement is designed to reveal the fact that the Louisiana Territory was Creole country before it became an American possession, and by breaching the treaty the United States actually lost its jurisdiction over the land and its people. Additionally, Gilbert E. Martin, Sr. is the author of Creole Chronology, Passe pour Blanc and French Creoles: A Shattered Nation.

Martin argues that the French Creoles of Louisiana are entitled to tax exemptions and tax refunds, not only from federal government but from each and every State where they have been made to pay income or property taxes. He makes that assumption because he said that, the United States did indeed, received and made use of 908,380 square miles of territory. And for that acquisition, martin claims, that U.S. guaranteed that it would comply with the treaty and provide to the French Creoles and their descendants many rights they did not receive.


Creoles are generally known as a people of mixed French, African, Spanish, and Native American ancestry, most of who reside in or have familial ties to Louisiana. Research has shown many other ethnicities have contributed to this culture including, but not limited to, Chinese, Russian, German, and Italian.

This culture began as an offspring of the Old World and the New when this country was still being colonized. Creoles are not one thing or the other, and have lived their lives being misunderstood, misrepresented, and misinterpreted. In the past, under White government, Creoles were not allowed to be an equal part of society. Blacks, free and slaves, did not feel Creoles were part of their world either. Because of this rejection, Creoles had a strong bond with one another and had to create their own world and culture.

They were self-sufficient and relied on each other. Creoles were landowners, artists, teachers, and business people. Even today this bond among Creoles nationwide is strong. There is tremendous pride in knowing where they come from. The Creole Heritage Center is committed to the challenge of correcting the wrongs and misconceptions associated with this culture and will represent the Creoles in a true light. Their culture and heritage, rarely acknowledged in spite of its uniqueness, is worthy and deserving of attention and preservation; without it an important part of the American experience could be lost. http://nsula.edu/creole/definition.asp

Louisiana Creoles: Cultural Recovery and Mixed-Race Native American Identity

By Andrew J. Jolivétte

Louisiana Creoles examines the recent efforts of the Louisiana Creole Heritage Center to document and preserve the distinct ethnic heritages of this unique American population. Dr. Andrew Jolivétte uses sociological inquiry to analyze the factors that influence ethnic and racial identity formation and community construction among Creoles of Color living in and out of the state of Louisiana.

By including the voices of contemporary Creole and Creole Indian organizations, preservationists, and grassroots organizers, Jolivétte offers a comprehensive and insightful exploration of the ways in which history has impacted the ability of Creoles to self-define their own community in political, social, and legal contexts. This book raises important questions concerning the process of cultural formation and the politics of ethnic categories for multiracial communities in the United States. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina the themes found throughout Louisiana Creoles and Creole Indians are especially relevant for students of sociology and those interested in identity issues.


Post a Comment

Real Time Web Analytics