History of Louisiana
The history of the territory that is now Louisiana began roughly 10,000 years ago. The first traces of permanent settlement, ushering in the Archaic period, appear about 5,500 years ago (Mound Builders).
The area formed part of the Eastern Agricultural Complex. The Marksville culture emerged about 2,000 years ago out of the earlier Tchefuncte culture. It is considered ancestral to the Natchez and Taensa peoples.
About 1,000 years ago, the Mississippian culture emerged from the Woodland period. The emergence of the Southeastern Ceremonial Complex coincides with the adoption of maize agriculture and chiefdom-level complex social organization beginning in c. 1200 CE. The Mississippian culture mostly disappeared before the 16th century, with the exception of some Natchez communities that maintained Mississippian cultural practices into the 18th century.
European influence began in the 16th century, and La Louisiane (named after Louis XIV of France) became a colony of the Kingdom of France in 1682, before passing to Spain in 1763. With twenty-three Frenchmen and eighteen Native Americans, René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle canoed down the Mississippi River in 1682, naming the Mississippi basin La Louisiane in honor of Louis XIV and his wife Anne. On April 9, at the mouth of the Mississippi River, near modern Venice, Louisiana, buried an engraved plate and a cross, claiming the territory for France.
It became part of the United States following the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. Antebellum Louisiana was a leading slave state; in 1860, 47% of the population was enslaved. Louisiana seceded from the Union (American Civil War) on 26 January 1861. New Orleans, the largest city in the entire South and strategically important as a port city, was taken by Union troops on 25 April 1862.
During the Reconstruction Era, Louisiana was part of the Fifth Military District. In 1898, the white Democratic, planter-dominated legislature passed a new disfranchising constitution, whose effects were immediate and long-lasting. The disfranchisement of African Americans did not end until the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s.
Source: Wikipedia - History of Louisiana
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This website is offered as a historical reference to researchers who are interested in the history and genealogy of Louisiana. It is maintained by Ann Allen Geoghegan and we are part of The USGenWeb Project and LAGenWeb Project which provide free genealogical information to the public. I want to thank all of the past contributors for their submissions. I also want to encourage anyone with a connection to Louisiana to consider submitting information that may assist other researchers in their efforts. You can contact me by clicking on the "Contact Us" button in the above menu.