History of Calcasieu Parish

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When This Land Was “No Man’s Land”

The early history of the parish dates back to the time of the Spanish occupation of Louisiana when Jose M. Mora (1797) was granted a large tract of land between the Rio Hondo and the Sabine River, known for years as the "Neutral Strip." After the grant to Mora, this area became a refuge for "desperadoes from the eastern states" and for outlaws and "filibusters from Carolina, Georgia, and Mississippi."

This strip of land, long in dispute between Spain and the United States after France had ceded Louisiana to the American government in 1803, was finally acquired by the latter by treaty in 1819. Originally, Spanish grants were recognized when proof was established, but most grants in Calcasieu were made to actual settlers. By an act of Congress approved on March 3, 1823, this strip of land was attached to the district south of the Red River.

Some time elapsed before settlers took up permanent claims. Among these early families we find the names of Ryan, Perkins, LeBleu, Deviers, and Henderson. Acadians from the eastern parishes of Louisiana also emigrated to this area so that today the population is mixed, consisting of Creoles, Acadians, Americans, and Indians.

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