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Jan 24, 2009

Discovery of Area and founding of City, Parish, and State


On March 17, 1699 Pierre Le Moyne Sieur d'Iberville, while exploring the Lower Mississippi River, saw on a bluff a pole decorated with bleeding heads of animals and fishes. Iberville then wrote “Baton Rouge” on his chart (French for 'red stick'). It is commonly believed that the pole marked a boundary between two Indian tribes, the Houma to the north and the Bayougoula to the south.

In 1772, Andre Penicaut, (a 17 year old french carpenter on d'Iberville' explorations of the Mississippi River), in his book on Louisiana, "Relation", wrote, “Five leagues (1 league is equal to 3 nautical miles) above le Manchac we found very high banks, which are called bluffs in that country, and the savage (sic) tongue Istrouma which signifies Baton Rouge (or, Red Stick) because there is in this place a reddened post, which the savages have placed to mark the division of the lands of the two Indian nations, that of the Bayougoulas from which we came and the other about 30 leagues higher than Baton Rouge, called the Oumas (Houmas? -added).” Some historians believe the red stick was a tall red cypress tree stripped of its bark. Source (parenthesis added)

Note: It is believed by some that the red cypress totem was discovered at Scott's Bluff on today's Southern University and not on today's Baton Rouge riverfront.

By order of proclamation of Louisiana's first governor, William C. C. Claiborne, the Parish of East Baton Rouge was established December 22, 1810.

Note: Also established on that date were the Feliciana parishes, St. Helena, and St. Tammany [including EBR parish, all the "parishes" of the former dominions of British West Florida, Spanish West Florida, and the Republic of West Florida (who's citizenry were some Americans, French and Spanish, but the republic was politically non-national.)]

Arsène LaCarrière Latour, in the early 1800's, drafted a city plan for Baton Rouge.  Baton Rouge was incorporated in 1817, and became the capital of Louisiana in 1850. Source

1.) Louisiana was named in 1682 by French explorer Rene-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La SalleSource (1643-1687), in honor of France's King Louis XIV.

2.) Louisiana was erected into two territories by act of Congress, approved March 26, 1804; one called the Territory of Orleans, and the other called the District of Louisiana. Source
3.) Following the roust of the Spanish at Fort San Carlos in Baton Rouge by a militia led by General Philemon Thomas, the Spanish surrendered West Florida (see maps on sidebar) and the territory was claimed by President James Madison, who ordered, then Mississippi territorial Governor, William Charles Cole Claiborne to take acquisition of the territory wrest from the Spanish (from Mississippi River, above Lake Pontchartrain, to Pensacola Florida.
[The fashion designer Liz Claiborne is a direct descendant of C. C. Claiborne Source: Washington Post June 28, 2007. ]
4.) Louisiana was the 18th state to join the Union on April 30, 1812. Source
5.) Louisiana seceded from the Union January 1861 as an independent state until joining the Confederate States of America. Source

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There's always interesting info. here.

Thanks for your comment. One of these days, I think you should post a pretty photo of BR for Sky Watch. Maybe one of the old state capitol.