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 or 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 segregation, discrimination,
racism and bigotry.
Naturally, an undercurrent of resentment
against the Americans flowed throughout the Creole community.
And that resentment did not began 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
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.
Gilbert E. Martin
Foot note...Although Mr Martin has passed on We here at Frenchcreoles want to keep Our Creole movenent very much alive and will continue to fight for Our Creole Rights no matter how long it takes...Feel free to contact Us for questions or any support You can provide