March 3, 2015

The Creation of Catahoula Parish

Louisiana Prior to the Creation of Catahoula Parish - 1805

Excerpt from Catahoula Parish History:
Less than 40 years after LaSalle claimed Louisiana for France two trading settlements in Catahoula Parish appear on a 1720 map in the French National Archives in Paris. However, these French settlers abandoned their trading posts in 1729 fleeing to New Orleans after they heard about the Natchez Indian massacre of the French at nearby Fort Rosalie. In retaliation the French pursued the Natchez to Catahoula where the Natchez Indian Nation was destroyed in 1731. Due to the brutal massacre at Fort Rosalie it would be many years before Europeans returned to Catahoula. 
Being under Spanish rule for over 30 years the frontiersmen that had ventured back into Catahoula petitioned the Spanish governor in 1794 for permission to settle “about ten Leagues from the Rapide, over the Catahola Lake”, which was granted. The population increased immediately following the Louisiana Purchase in 1804 as more and more settlers moved into this area, and on March 23, 1808 the Catahoula “settlement” was erected into a parish. 
Catahoula Parish created from Rapides and Ouachita parishes - March 23, 1808

The political boundaries of Catahoula Parish have changed seven times since its creation in 1808.
Other than Natchitoches and Ouachita parishes, Catahoula has had the most boundary changes in the state of Louisiana.

Boundary changes for Catahoula Parish occured in the following years:
1814 - Exchange of land with Ouachita Parish
1828 - Exchange of land with Ouachita Parish
1838 - Creation of Caldwell Parish from Catahoula and Ouachita
1843 - Creation of Franklin Parish from Carroll, Catahoula, Madison and Ouachita
1852 - Creation of Winn Parish from Catahoula, Natchitoches and Rapides
1873 - Franklin Parish gains land from Catahoula
1908 - Creation of LaSalle Parish from Catahoula
These political boundary changes will be documented in future posts.


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