Casa Calvo, Marqués de (1751–unknown)

By: Jack D. L. Holmes

Type: Biography

Published: 1976

Updated: July 28, 2020

Sebastián Nicolás de Bari Calvo de la Puerta, Marqués de Casa Calvo, Spanish military officer, was born in Havana on August 11, 1751, the son of Pedro Calvo de la Puerta and Catalina de O'Farril. He joined the Company of Nobles as a cadet on April 1, 1763. On July 3, 1769, he was named interim captain of cavalry volunteers and on September 14 was given full captain's rank. He was transferred to the regular army with the rank of captain in 1776 and advanced to colonel by 1802. Casa Calvo participated in the reconquest of Louisiana by Spain in 1769. He fought in the campaign at Mobile in 1780, but a hurricane prevented him from fighting at Pensacola. When Manuel Gayoso de Lemos died in 1799, Casa Calvo was sent by the captain general of Cuba to take military command of Louisiana, which he did on September 18. The following June he was succeeded by Juan Manuel de Salcedo. Together with Salcedo, Casa Calvo delivered Louisiana to the French on April 10, 1803, but he remained in New Orleans after the American flag was raised. In 1805–06 he led an expedition with Nicolas de Finiels into western Louisiana and Texas. His analysis of mission and presidial records at Nacogdoches and survey of the jurisdiction of Los Adaes convinced him of the just claims of Spain to territory as far east as Arroyo Hondo, which formed the boundary between Louisiana and Texas. Upon his return to New Orleans in 1806, he was expelled from Louisiana by Governor W. C. C. Claiborne. He was almost shipwrecked off Pass Christian, but he survived the storm to arrive at Pensacola in March 1806, where he asked permission to lead a military expedition against Louisiana. He regarded this as the only hope of saving Spanish North America from the rapacious conquest by Anglo-Americans. He was a Knight of the Order of Santiago.

Charles Gayarré, History of Louisiana (4 vols., New York: Widdleton, 1866). Jack D. L. Holmes, Documentos inéditos para la historia de la Luisiana, 1782–1810 (Madrid: Porrúa Turanzas, 1963). Jack D. L. Holmes, "The Marqués de Casa-Calvo, Nicolás de Finiels, and the 1805 Spanish Expedition through East Texas and Louisiana," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 69 (January 1966). Micheline Walsh, Spanish Knights of Irish Origin (Dublin: Stationery Office for the Irish Manuscripts Commission, 1960).

Time Periods:
  • Spanish Texas

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Jack D. L. Holmes, “Casa Calvo, Marqués de,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 29, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

July 28, 2020

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