For Count Gaston Raousset de Boulbon, descendant of one of the noblest families of Provence, France, he was bored with Parisian life, he lacked some emotion. To have a real adventure, he agreed to try his luck in the new world. With the romantic dream of creating a New France in the state of Sonora and becoming Gaston I, he crossed the desert with hopeful followers, 270 Frenchmen who lived in San Francisco and who attacked surprisingly in February 1852, the Mexican population of Hermosillo, the state capital. Following an intelligent negotiation, Raousset obtained from the president Mariano Arista the concession to exploit the mines of Sonora. Raousset promised to create a Catholic and Latin American force that would oppose the American advance; Seduced by their pact, some populations spoke out in their favor.
Although in theory the French government did not recognize the company of the Provencal man, in practice, the counselors of Mexico and San Francisco encouraged him. In order to surrender his plan, Santa Anna offered him the position of Colonel of the Mexican Army. In response, Raousset tried to persuade General Yañez, governor of Sonora, to join him. However, when in July 1854, the Count occupied with 400 pirates the port of Guaymas, Yañez endangered his political future: he imprisoned the Frenchman and ordered him to be executed a month later. Santa Anna made no one wait for his response and assigned a military trial to Yañez for disobedience and degraded him.