Timeline

No Man's Land

1714
French explorer, Louis Jouchereau de St. Denis establishes Fort St. Jean Baptiste near the Natchitoches Indian village along the Red River, signaling the founding of the town of Natchitoches. Natchitoches became the first European settlement in the Louisiana territory.

Natchitoches Parish

Spain establishes the mission San Miguel de Linares de los Adaes approximately 20 miles west of the French settlement in Natchitoches.

Natchitoches Parish

1716
1721
After a skirmish with the French left the mission abandoned for two years, Spain reestablishes Los Adaes and builds an accompanying presidio (fort) named Nuestra Senora del Pilar de los Adaes.

Natchitoches Parish

Los Adaes serves as the capital of Spanish Texas.

Natchitoches Parish

1729 - 1773
1762 - 1764
Louisiana west of the Mississippi River ceded to Spain as payment for its support in the French and Indian War. Small Native American Tribes east of the river, former allies of the French, move to the area to avoid conflict with the English, including Yowani, Choctaw, Alabama, Biloxi, Chatot, Appalache, Panaca.
(Faine & Gregory, 1986).
El Camino Real de los Tejas connected a series of posts and missions established in the early 1700’s extending from Mexico City to Los Adaes and later into Natchitoches. Although the route through many areas followed buffalo and Indian trails, this road had three major crossings at the Sabine River. It traveled approximately 47 miles from the Sabine River across what is now Sabine Parish to Los Adaes.

Sabine Parish

Early 1700s
1762
France cedes all territory west of the Mississippi River to Spain as payment for its support during the French and Indian War.
Spanish ruled "Luisiana" expands settlements into Southwest Louisiana.

Southwest Louisiana

1763 - 1803
1764 - early 1800s
Panaca tribe settles at the Calcasieu River.

Near Elizabeth, LA
Allen Parish

Los Adaes, then the capital of the province of Texas, abandoned and families ordered back to San Antonio. Some families refuse and live among Indian Tribes (Faine & Gregory, 1986).

Sabine and Natchitoches Parishes

1773
1780s
Spain frees Indian slaves in New Spain, mostly Apaches in Louisiana. Adaes Indians decimated by conflict with Choctaw from the east. Choctaw re-settlement into Louisiana was encouraged by Spanish authorities as an attempt to check Anglo-American expansion to the west. Families of Los Adaes re-settle eastern Texas from San Antonio (Faine & Gregory, 1986).

Sabine and Natchitoches Parishes

LeCompte Land Grant

One of the earliest original land grants was made to Ambrosie LeCompte, a resident of Natchitoches Parish. The present day city of Leesville is located near the center of the LeCompte grant. Monsieur LeCompte received one square league of land, measured in such a manner that each half of the land is astraddle the road that passes through L’Anacoco Prairie. The grant is dated April 17, 1787, and signed by Don Antonio Gil Y’Barbo, Captain and Commandant of the post at Nacogdoches. As stipulated in terms of the grant, Monsieur LeCompte was to permit no stranger who did not have the proper passport to travel through his grant. He was given the authority to arrest the trespasser and to escort him to the Spanish officials at Los Adais. The LeCompte land grant was operated as a stock farm and plantation into the 1840s.

Vernon Parish

April 17, 1787
Late 1700s
Early 1800s
Choctaw Apache Tribe of Ebarb. The Choctaw Apache trace their heritage back into the 1600’s. The tribe is made up of descendants of 21 families of Adaes, Choctaw, and Lipan Apache people. The Apache were sold as slaves in Natchitoches and Los Adaes and settled as free persons in the area during the Spanish period, when Indian slavery was outlawed. The Choctaw ancestors arrived in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s seeking new lands, while ancestors also included natives of the Spanish mission at Los Adaes. Generally, the Choctaw Apache lived in isolated rural communities in the bottomlands of the Sabine River.

Sabine Parish

Roman Catholic Church founded by Spanish at Bayou Scie.

Bayou Scie (Zwolle area), Sabine Parish

1795
c1797
American Indian Settlements comprised of various tribes who lost lands during the French-Indian War, who settled in the area. These tribes included the Alabama-Coushatta, the Coushatta of Louisiana, and a group of Choctaws.

Vernon Parish

Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana.

Calcasieu River area

1797 - 1861
1797
LaNana land grant, 12 square miles and included present Town of Many.

Sabine Parish

1803
Louisiana Purchase
Establishment of Fort Claiborne in Natchitoches.

Natchitoches Parish

1804
1805 - 1821
Lafitte and privateers patrol the coast for cargoes and customers with bases in New Orleans, Barataria, and Campeche (Galveston).

Pirate Jean Laffite sold slaves and goods using the Neutral Strip as an entry point. The Neutral Strip became known as “the back door to the United States.”

Coastal Louisiana and Texas

Nolan’s Trace passed 4 miles south of Many at Fallen Springs – secondary route often used for cattle. Dr. John Sibley became first U.S. American Indian agent, stationed at Natchitoches (Faine & Gregory, 1986).

Sabine and Natchitoches Parish

1805
1806
Agreement between General Wilkinson, U.S., and Lieutenant Colonel Simón de Herrera, to withdraw their troops from the disputed territory, the neutral ground, and that

“the question of sovereignty should remain subject to the amicable adjustment of the two Superior governments.”

Western Louisiana

Beauregard Parish is created as a division of the Territory of Orleans.

Beauregard Parish

1806
1807
Dr. John Sibley, Natchitoches’ Indian Agent resettles Choctaw families from Rapides west of Los Adaes.

Sabine Parish

The Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves of 1807 (2 Stat. 426, enacted March 2, 1807) is a United States federal law that stated that no new slaves were permitted to be imported into the United States. It took effect in 1808, the earliest date permitted by the United States Constitution.

United States

1808
1808 - 1816

Zebulon Pike Patrols

Patrolling Louisiana’s Neutral Strip became a delicate dance of political negotiation. Any action conducted by America aroused the suspicions of Spain. Any action by Spain made America leery. Understanding that the solution required diplomatic finesse, Texas Governor Manuel Salcedo approached Louisiana Governor William C. C. Claiborne. Claiborne appointed Lieutenant Colonel Zebulon Pike to form a joint military expedition. Pike had clear instructions. His soldiers were to remove only squatters and outlaws. Settlers who had lived in the region before the Louisiana Purchase were to be left alone. During his 1812 foray into No Man’s Land, Pike’s troops drove out outlaws but also burned houses, tents, and camps belonging to many established settlers.

War between United States and England began,

“War of 1812

1812
1815
Texian resettlement in No Man's land along with settlers from the Upland South begins.

Louisiana

Henry Stoker acquired land along El Camino approximately four miles east of Ft. Jesup (1200 acres). Family still has ownership of part of land today.

Sabine Parish

1818
1809

Adams-Onis Treaty draws lines

Adams-Onis Treaty established the legal western boundary of the Louisiana Purchase and therefore the western boundary of the United States at the Sabine River. Signed by John Quincy Adams and Luis de Onis of Spain on February 22, 1819.

Adams-Onis Treaty ratified

The treaty was ratified by both governments and became effective on February 22, 1821.

1821
1821
Mexico won independence from Spain.
Pirate Laffite ran out of Galveston by U.S. Government, some of his men left by land settling in the Neutral Zone and East Texas adding to the already large number of individuals living there for whom strict adherence to laws was not placed in high value.
1821
1822
Ft. Jesup established to bring law and order to former Neutral Strip, also to act as Indian agents, prevent slave insurrections, clear Sabine River of obstructions.

Sabine Parish

Two miles east of Ft. Jesup, Shawneetown was located to supply the “vices” required by garrison at Ft. Jesup.

Sabine Parish

1823
1823
Land grants in place at this time. Los Ormegas – lower DeSoto, upper Sabine.

Sabine Parish

Stephen F. Austin began bringing families to settle Texas, now under Mexican rule. Some of these Anglo-American families traveled El Camino Real.
1823
1825

Choctaw-Apache Ancestors claim land between Rio Hondo and Sabine River

Sabine Parish

Cantonment Atkinson provisioned from Fort Jessup.

Lake Charles, Calcasieu Parish

1829
1830s
Caddoan groups ceded lands to the United States (1835). Anglo-Texans revolt. Vicente Cordova leads a counter-revolution with Indian and Mestizo troops—driven out into Sabine Parish. Re-settle among Indian and mestizo families (Adaesanos) in Sabine Parish. Eastern Choctaw and others removed to Oklahoma, missed the Louisiana bands, Texas bands of Choctaw not effected. Anglo-Texans pressure tribes in East Texas to flee or seek refuge. Anglo-Americans begin to move across northern Louisiana and east Texas

(Faine & Gregory, 1986).

Sabine Parish

Cantonment Atkinson decommissioned.

Lake Charles, Calcasieu Parish

1832
1834
Ann Lawrence Bilbo and Thomas Bilbo set up farm and sawmill at former Cantonment Atkinson site.

Lake Charles, Calcasieu Parish

Block House on Sabine River. One of the purposes of Ft. Jesup was to supply necessary border fortification against incursions from Texas, which was under Spanish crown. In order to strengthen the military position of Ft. Jesup, a Block House was erected near Sabine River, not far from where El Camino Real crossed Sabine River at current day Pendleton Bridge. The well from the Block House has been preserved behind present Beulah Church.

Sabine Parish

1836
1840
Calcasieu Parish established with parish seat at Marion.

Calcasieu Parish

Sabine Parish created by State Legislature (from Natchitoches Parish).

Sabine Parish

1843
1848
The Bayou Scie Methodist Church was built around 1848. A school was also established at Bayou Scie prior to the Civil War.

Bayou Scie (Zwolle area), Sabine, LA

Parish seat of Calcasieu moved to Charleston.

Calcasieu Parish

1852
1850s - 1860s
Outlaws operating in the Neutral Strip included John A. Murrell, or “Reverend Devil”. One of his most infamous disciples was Dan Kimbrell – of the West and Kimbrell Clan. The Parker brothers, the Copeland gang, and many others all at some time plied their trade in the Neutral Strip. Jesse James and Belle Star are rumored to have spent some time there.

Near Elizabeth, LA
Allen Parish

Civil War maps (both Confederate and Union) label Adaesanos, “Mexicans”. Choctaw-Apache families have little to no participation in the Civil War.

Sabine Parish

1861
1862
After the Homestead Act of 1862, a steady stream of English-speaking settlers moved into the area and acquired land.