Purity of Blood

Margueritte Wiltz’s petition to marry a Spanish soldier captures the early expressions of white supremacy in Spanish Louisiana.

Suit of proving legitimacy, purity of blood, and good character

Suit of proving legitimacy, purity of blood, and good character. February 7, 1776. 1776-02-07-01, Spanish Judicial Records, Louisiana Historical Center, Louisiana State Museum.

Document Text


I, Doña Margarita Wiltz, resident of this city, present myself before Your Highness, with the best intent to say that it is my wish to affirm by purity of blood and good behavior. . . . I, Doña Margarita Wiltz, do swear that I am a woman of pure blood and good character. . . .
My descendants on my mother’s and father’s side are all Christians from olden times and unadulterated by any inferior race, including Arabs, Jews, mulattos, Indians, or people recently converted to the religion, nor are they wanted or have they been prosecuted or convicted of crime, nor have they been sent to jail. On the contrary, we have always been of good reputation, good manners, and pure lineage. . . . None of my ancestors on either side of my family were from inferior races. There are no Muslims, Jews, biracial people, Native people, or recent converts to Catholicism among my ancestors. None of my ancestors have ever been accused or convicted of a crime. Every one of my ancestors had a good reputation, good behavior, and pure blood.

Julia C. Frederick. “A Blood Test before Marriage: “Limpieza De Sangre” in Spanish Louisiana.” Louisiana History: The Journal of the Louisiana Historical Association 43, no. 1 (2002): 75-85.