Medlar Flower

Louisiana History

Present-day Louisiana was part of the region claimed in 1682 by Robert Cavelier, sieur de La Salle, for France. John Law, comptroller-general of the finances of France, is given credit for "selling" the idea of making it rich in Louisiana. Iberville and a group of families came from Canada and laid the foundations of the colony in Mobile (1699) and Biloxi (1701) and explored the Mississippi river. After Iberville's death in 1706 the colony was neglected. Louisiana was ceded to M. Crozat in 1712. It was retroceded to the king in 1717. In ? the Company of the Indies was given control of the colony and made tobacco trade with France their main source of income. M. de Bienville, a brother of Iberville's founded New Orleans in 1718-20. After the Natchez massacre at Fort Rosalie in 1730 the Company of the Indies felt the preservation of Lousiana was burdensome and in 1732 surrendered it back to the king. The area was ceded to Spain in 1763 before the U.S. acquired it by the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.
Repercussions of the Natchez massacre were long felt throughout the colony. The period following the catastrophe was marked by change in both civil and ecclesiastical circles, as colonists in the outlying districts, fearing attack by roaming bands of indians, abandoned their plantations and sought refuge in New Orleans or near the forts. A great terror "seized almost everybody, especially the women" even within the limits of New Orleans itself. When the news of the massacre reached France, the Company of the Indies was greatly concerned. It had already expended large sums of money on the colony and instead of the anticipated dividends, losses were high. The massacre had destroyed what was considered the most flourishing post, while Governor Périer persistently urged the Company to send more troops for punitive action. Such a venture, however, would have required a considerable financial outlay, which the Company was unwilling to make. It chose instead to relinquish its monopoly of the trade of the colony and rerocede Louisiana to the French crown.