Genealogy Web Journal
Welcome to my journal. I will be including my extractions, documents, links and personal notes, concentrating on my Redbone and Melungeon ancestors and extended families. I will be posting my research trips and any information obtained. I hope you will benefit from the information myself and others post. If you are a genealogy researcher and would like to share information, please feel free to post to my journal.
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1519 Alvarez de Pineda explores the Gulf Coast and reports the discovery
of a great river, presumably the Mississippi.
1528 Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, leader of the survivors of the Nar-
vaez expedition, skirts the Louisiana coast, starting an 8-year trek
back to civilization.
1541-42 Hernando de Soto explores the northern part of the State.
1542 May 21. De Soto is buried in the Mississippi River near the mouth
of Red River.
1543 July. Luis de Moscoso and the survivors of De Soto's expedition
descend the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico, the first Europeans
to descend to the mouth of the river.
1553 Marcos de Mena, shipwrecked off the Gulf Coast, survives an
Indian attack and travels through Louisiana to Mexico.
1682 April 9. Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle, descending the Missis-
sippi from the Great Lakes, erects a cross and column at the mouth
of the river, claiming the territory in the name of Louis XIV, for
whom it is named Louisiana.
1685 La Salle, intending to establish a settlement at the mouth of the
Mississippi, is unable to find the river and lands at Matagorda Bay,
1699 March 2. Pierre le Moyne, Sieur d'Iberville, rediscovers the mouth
of the Mississippi and explores as far north as Red River.
September. By a clever ruse Iberville's brother, Jean Baptiste le-
Moyne, Sieur de Bienville, turns back an English colonizing expedi-
tion at English Turn.
1700 Fort Iberville, Louisiana's first fortification, is established near
Pointe à la Hache.
Spring. Father Paul Du Ru, a Jesuit chaplain, establishes the first
Catholic church in Louisiana, at the village of the Houma in West
1712 Trading rights in Louisiana are granted to Antoine Crozat, wealthy
1714 Louis Juchereau de St. Denis founds Fort St. Jean Baptiste
(Natchitoches), first permanent settlement in Louisiana, at the
southern end of the Great Raft in Red River.
1717 Crozat relinquishes his trade concession to the Company of the
West, a trading company controlled by John Law. Settlers and
slaves are sent to Louisiana.
Spain restricts French expansion toward Texas by establishing the
Mission of San Miguel de los Adais, 14 miles southwest of Natchi-
1718 New Orleans founded by Bienville and named in honor of
the Regent of France, Philippe, Duc d'Orleans.
1719 Law's Company of the West is reorganized as the Company of the
1721 To protect Spanish sovereignty in the Sabine Valley Spain establishes
a presidio at Los Adais, which, until 1773, serves as the capital of
the Province of Texas.
1723 New Orleans becomes the capital of Louisiana, superseding Biloxi.
1724 March. The Code Noir, a set of laws drawn up for the regula-
tion of Negroes in Santo Domingo, is promulgated in Louisiana.
The Catholic religion is made the state faith and Jews are pro-
1727 August 7. Ursuline nuns arrive in New Orleans to set up a school
and care for the sick.
1728 December. A shipload of filles à la cassette (casket girls) arrive in
New Orleans to provide wives for the colonists. While being
courted they are chaperoned by the Ursulines.
1729 December. New Orleans is hastily fortified following the massacre
of the French by the Natchez Indians at Fort Rosalie (Natchez).
1730 French soldiers under Governor Périer, with the assistance of the
Choctaw, even the score with the Natchez near Sicily Island.
1731 Louisiana becomes a crown colony under Louis XV as the Company
of the Indies relinquishes its charter.
1732 The troublesome Natchez besiege Natchitoches for 22 days but
are driven off by St. Denis and his garrison and annihilated at Sang
Pour Sang Hill, near Cloutierville.
1735 November 16. Jean Louis, a sailor, dies, leaving his savings for
the establishment of Charity Hospital in New Orleans.
1741 An epic poem is written by Dumont de Montigny, impressionable
1751 First sugar cane introduced into Louisiana from Santo
1753 First theatrical production, Le Père indian, written by LeBlanc
Villeneufve, is presented by amateurs at the governor's mansion in
1762 November 3. Louis XV makes a gift of the "Island of New
Orleans" and all Louisiana lying west of the Mississippi to his
cousin, Charles III of Spain.
1763 February 10. Treaty of Paris, terminating the Seven Years' War,
officially confirms the transfer of Louisiana to Spain. The Florida
Parishes are ceded to England, Baton Rouge becoming New Rich-
July 9. Jesuits expelled from Louisiana and their property con-
1764 Informed of the transfer to Spain, the French colonists ineffectu-
ally petition Louis XV, through the aged Bienville, to rescind the
Printing press set up in New Orleans.
1766 March 5. Antonio de Ulloa, Spanish commissioner sent to take
over Louisiana, is coldly received at New Orleans.
1768 October 27-29. New Orleans becomes the first colonial capital to
revolt against European rule as a mob of insurgents takes over the
city and Ulloa sails for Cuba. For 10 months Louisiana enjoys free-
dom from foreign rule.
1769 August 17. Count Alexander O'Reilly, with 24 ships and 2,000
men, arrives at New Orleans to reinstate Spanish authority. The
leaders of the October rebellion are executed and changes made in
government, laws, and commercial regulations.
1776 Oliver Pollock, agent of the Continental Congress at New Orleans,
is permitted by Governor Bernardo de Galvez to send supplies to
George Rogers Clark and other American patriots fighting against
the British in the western country.
James Willing, "Captain in the service of the united Independent
States of America," using New Orleans as a base, pillages the Loyal-
ists in West Florida.
1779 September 21. War having been declared between Spain and Great
Britain, Galvez wrests Baton Rouge from the British. By 1781 all
West Florida is taken over.
1788 March 21. New Orleans is almost completely destroyed by fire.
1790 April. Père Antoine, ordered to leave Louisiana, threatens to es-
tablish the Inquisition, of which he had been appointed Commis-
sary in 1787, but is deported by Governor Miro.
1791 Louis Tabary and a company of players, refugees from Santo
Domingo, present the first professional theatrical productions in
1793 April 25. Pope Pius VI establishes the Diocese of Louisiana, the
second diocese to be established in the United States.
Caterpillar plague destroys indigo crop and for 3 years wreaks such
havoc that indigo cultivation, temporarily abandoned, never regains
1794 December 8. Fire destroys 212 buildings in New Orleans.
December 23. The Church of St. Louis at New Orleans, rebuilt
after the fire of 1788, is dedicated as a cathedral.
Louisiana's first newspaper, Le Moniteur de la Louisiane, is pub-
lished in New Orleans by Louis Duclot, refugee printer from Santo
1795 April. Twenty-five slaves are killed in the "Black Rebellion," a
slave insurrection in Pointe Coup°e Parish inspired by the Santo
October 27. A treaty between the United States and Spain sets the
northern boundary of West Florida, ultimately the State line east
of the Mississippi, at 31° and grants Americans free navigation of
The Cabildo is erected in New Orleans to house the Spanish colonial
Étienne de Boré granulates sugar on a commercial scale on his plan-
tation (now Audubon Park) near New Orleans.
1799 Bailey E. Chaney, a Baptist minister, is arrested near Baton Rouge
for conducting Protestant services among English settlers.
1801 October 1. Louisiana ceded to France by the Treaty of San Ilde-
1802 October 16. Free navigation of the Mississippi suspended but soon
restored because of agitation among Americans.
1803 March. Announcement of the transfer of Louisiana from Spain
to France is made by Pierre Laussat, colonial prefect, on his arrival
in New Orleans.
April 30. Louisiana is purchased from France by the United
States for $15,000,000.
November 30. Laussat formally takes over Louisiana for the
December 20. William C. C. Claiborne and General James Wil-
kinson take over Louisiana for the United States.
1804 March 26. Louisiana is divided into the Territory of Orleans
(south of 33°) and the District of Louisiana (north of 33°).
W.C.C. Claiborne is appointed governor of the Territory of Orleans.
1805 February 17. New Orleans is incorporated.
April 19. New Orleans Library Society is incorporated.
June 16. Fifty-three Protestants, choosing an Episcopal clergyman
to conduct services, establish the first Protestant church in New
October. Neutral Ground Treaty signed by General Wilkinson
and General Simon de Herrera establishes the Arroyo Hondo as
neutral territory pending negotiations between the United States and
December. New Orleans is fortified by General Wilkinson against
Aaron Burr's expedition, which Mississippi authorities break up near
1808 Pointe Coupée Parish establishes first public schools.
1810 Population, 76,556.
September 23. West Floridians, in rebellion against Spain, take
over Baton Rouge and establish the West Florida Republic.
A typographical union, one of the first unions in the country, is
organized in New Orleans.
1811 An insurrection of slaves in St. Charles Parish is suppressed by the
militia with much bloodshed.
Louisiana's first institution of higher learning, the College of Or-
leans, opens in New Orleans.
1812 January 10. The New Orleans, first steamboat to navigate the
Mississippi, arrives at New Orleans from Pittsburg. Golden era of
the steamboat begins.
January 22. Constitution is adopted for admission to the Union.
April 30. Louisiana admitted to the Union.
October 12. The Half Moon Bluff Church, the first Baptist church
in the State, is organized in Washington Parish.
Bayou Chicot Calvary Church, first Baptist church established west
of the Mississippi, is organized by Joseph Willis, a Mulatto min-
1815 January 8. General Andrew Jackson, with the aid of pirates and
patriots, wins the Battle of New Orleans 15 days after peace is
signed between the United States and Great Britain.
1819 February 22. The United States and Spain sign the Treaty of
Washington, establishing Sabine River as the western boundary of
1820 Population, 153,407.
1821 July 17. The Arroyo Hondo, the neutral territory along Sabine
River, is finally transferred to the United States and is incorporated
Sacred Heart Academy, a Catholic girls' school, is founded at Grand
Jean Jacques Audubon sets up a studio in New Orleans.
1823 Louisiana's first gas well is brought in near Natchitoches. Thought
of no value, it is abandoned.
May 8. James H. Caldwell opens the American Theater in New
Orleans, introducing illuminating gas.
December 9. James Brown of New Orleans is appointed minister
to France by President Monroe.
1824 Julien Poydras bequeaths $30,000 each to Pointe Coupée and West
Baton Rouge Parishes for a dowry fund.
1825 April 10. Lafayette visits New Orleans.
College of Louisiana (forerunner of Centenary College of Shreve-
port) is founded at Jackson.
1827 September 19. The Maddox-Wells duel on a sandbar near Vidalia
ends in a bloody free-for-all in which James Bowie christens his
1829 May 8. Louis Moreau Gottschalk, distinguished pianist and com-
poser, born in New Orleans.
1830 Population, 215,739.
January 4. Seat of government moved to Donaldsonville. Bored
by small-town life, the legislators, in the first act of the following
session ( 1831), return the capital to New Orleans.
1831 April 23. The Pontchartrain Railroad, the first railroad west of
the Alleghenies, begins passenger and freight service between New
Orleans and Milneburg.
1832-33 Yellow fever and cholera kill 10,000 in New Orleans.
1833 April 11. Captain Henry Miller Shreve begins clearing Red River
of the Great Raft.
November 13. Unusually heavy shower of meteorites. For years
Negroes reckon events from "the year the stars fell."
1835 The Medical College of Louisiana (forerunner of Tulane Univer-
sity) is founded in New Orleans by a group of physicians.
July 1. Caddo Indians sign a treaty with the United States, relin-
quishing their territory in northwest Louisiana for $80,000.
1836 March 8. New Orleans, racked by dissension between Creoles and
Americans, is divided into three municipalities.
The Nachitoches Red River Herald scoops the press of the world
with the first news of the fall of the Alamo.
1837 Shreveport is founded.
Fourteen banks in New Orleans suspend the payment of specie.
Each municipality issues its own money.
Ralph Smith-Smith begins construction of the Red River Railroad,
the first west of the Misssisippi, from Alexandria to Bayou Hauff-
paur below Cheneyville.
June 22. Paul Charles Morphy, one of the world's greatest chess
players, born in New Orleans.
1838 Shrove Tuesday. First Mardi Gras parade held in New Orleans.
September 28. Henry Hobson Richardson, eminent American archi-
tect, born in St. James Parish.
1840 Population, 352,411.
New Orleans (102,193 pop.), is the fourth largest city in the United
1844 National Art Gallery of Paintings established in New Orleans.
1845 May 14. Constitution is democratized; electoral franchise broad-
ened and governor elected by direct popular vote; free public
schools established and State superintendent of education appointed.
July. General Zachary Taylor leaves New Orleans with 1,500
men for the Mexican campaign.
November 10. John Slidell of New Orleans appointed minister to
Mexico by President Polk to adjust difficulties on eve of Mexican
1846 Norbert Rillieux's invention of the multiple apparatus revolutionizes
the sugar industry.
The New Orleans Picayune, using pony express, scoops the world
on the Mexican War.
1847 East Louisiana State Hospital for Mental Diseases founded at
1848 November 7. Major General Zachary Taylor of Baton Rouge is
1849 Baton Rouge becomes capital of Louisiana.
Southern Yacht Club, second oldest in the United States, is or-
ganized in New Orleans.
The Pontalba Buildings are erected in New Orleans by the Baroness
1850 Population, 517,762.
McDonogh bequest provides $750,000 for the establishment of
schools in New Orleans.
1851 Jenny Lind, under the management of P. T. Barnum, sings before
overflow crowds on an extended engagement in New Orleans.
1852 February. The Southwestern Railroad Convention, meeting at New
Orleans, selects that city rather than Mobile as the southern ter-
minus of a proposed (eventually the Illinois Central) north-south
July 31. Additional democratic changes are written into the con-
Louisiana Institute for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb and
Blind founded at Baton Rouge.
1853 April 7. Pierre Soulé of New Orleans is appointed minister to
Spain by President Pierce.
The New Orleans Academy of Sciences, a scientific society, is
In the worst yellow fever plague in the history of the State many
small towns are wiped out, 11,000 persons dying in New Orleans
1854 April 1. Lexington defeats Lecomte in the Great Post State Stake
at the Metairie Course in New Orleans.
1856 August 10. Last Island is devastated by hurricane. More than
200 vacationers are killed.
1858 June 3-7. "Know-Nothing" riots in New Orleans. Mayor Water-
man is impeached.
1859 September. Four thousand vigilantes break up a powerful gang of
cattle thieves in a skirmish near Lafayette.
December 1. French Opera House in New Orleans opens with
1860 Population, 708,002.
January 2. Louisiana State Seminary of Learning (forerunner of
the Louisiana State University) opens at Alexandria with William
Tecumseh Sherman president.
November 19. Adelina Patti makes her operatic debut at the
French Opera House in New Orleans.
1861 January 26. Louisiana secedes from the Union, becoming an inde-
March 21. Louisiana joins the Confederacy.
April 12. Major General P.G.T. Beauregard of St. Bernard
Parish starts the War between the States by ordering the bombard-
ment of Fort Sumter.
April 26. "Maryland, My Maryland" is composed by James P. Randall , a homesick professor at Poydras College, near New Roads.
November 8. John Slidell, Confederate commissioner to France,
is taken from the Trent, an incident that almost causes war between
Great Britain and the United States.
1862 March 17. Judah P. Benjamin of New Orleans is appointed Con-
federate Secretary of State by Jefferson Davis.
April 25. New Orleans captured by David G. Farragut and the
May 1. General Benjamin F. Butler begins his dictatorial rule
in New Orleans, the Federal capital of the State. The Confederate
capital is removed to Opelousas and, after one session, to Shreve-
1863 May-July. Port Hudson besieged by Federals and starved into sur-
1864 April 8. General Banks and his Federal forces are defeated by the
Confederates near Mansfield and again at Pleasant Hill, the fol-
May 13. Alexandria is fired by Federal troops and almost com-
July 23. A Republican convention revises the constitution, abolish-
1865 January. Duncan F. Kenner of Ascension Parish is appointed
Confederate minister plenipotentiary to Europe by Jefferson Davis
to treat for recognition of the Confederacy on the basis of emanci-
May 26. The last Confederate army in the field, the Trans-Missis-
sippi, commanded by General Edmund Kirby-Smith, surrenders,
Louisiana coming under complete Federal control, with the seat of
government at New Orleans.
1866 July 30. Race riot at the Mechanics' Institute in New Orleans.
1867 Knights of the White Camellia form at Franklin to combat Negroes,
carpetbaggers, and scalawags.
1868 March 11. Constitution is revised, granting Negroes full social and
June 25. Louisiana is readmitted to the Union.
August 11. Louisiana Lottery established.
1870 Population, 726,915.
June 30. The Robert E. Lee and the Natchez begin their historic
race at New Orleans.
1872 Shrove Tuesday. Rex, King of Carnival, parades for first time,
with the Grand Duke Alexis of Russia a spectator.
1873 Easter Sunday. Three white men and about 120 Negroes are killed
in a race riot at Colfax.
Through train service is established between New Orleans and
1874 Disastrous flood; 31 parishes inundated.
August 29-30. A Negro uprising at Coushatta is quelled by the
September 14. The White League defeats the Metropolitan Police
in New Orleans in a bloody insurrection and gains brief control of
the city government.
1876 New Orleans Lawn Tennis Club, one of the oldest in the United
States, is founded.
1877 Federal troops are withdrawn and home rule is restored to Louisi-
ana under Governor Francis T. Nicholls.
1878 Yellow fever carries off 3,800 in New Orleans.
1879 July 23. Constitution is amended to neutralize the Negro vote.
Captain James B. Eads completes the jetty system at the mouth
of the Mississippi River.
1880 Population, 939,946.
First State-wide poor law enacted.
1882 Baton Rouge again becomes capital of Louisiana.
Disastrous flood; 16 parishes suffer $12,000,000 property damage.
1883 Through train service is established between New Orleans and
States interested in flood control meet at Baton Rouge to pool
resources for curbing the Mississippi.
1884 Louisiana State Normal College founded at Natchitoches.
1884-86 Cotton Centennial Exposition held in New Orleans.
1890 Population, 1,118,587.
Louisiana State Penitentiary is established at Angola.
Louisiana becomes one of the first States to legalize prize fighting.
1891 March 15. New Orleans mob lynches 11 alleged slayers of Chief of
1892 September 7. James J. Corbett knocks out John L. Sullivan in 21
rounds in New Orleans.
1893 March 20. James Biddle Eustis of New Orleans appointed min-
ister to France by President Cleveland.
April 6. Andy Bowen and Jack Burke battle 7 hours and ig
minutes to a 110-round draw, the longest bout in the history of prize
October 1. Chênière Caminada devastated by a hurricane.
1894 The Leprosarium at Carville is established.
Louisiana Industrial Institute and College (forerunner of Louisiana
Polytechnic Institute) is founded at Ruston.
1895 Louisiana Lottery outlawed, moves to Honduras.
1896 November 1. Free rural delivery route, the second in the United
States, is established at Thibodaux.
1898 May 12. Constitution is revised to decrease Negro electorate by
means of the "understanding" clause.
1900 Population, 1,381,625.
Book Title: Louisiana: A Guide to the State. Contributors: Louisiana Writers' Project - orgname. Publisher: Hastings House. Place of Publication: New York. Publication Year: 1941. Page Number: 701.