The French nobility was a privileged social class in France during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period to the revolution in 1790. The nobility was revived in 1805 with limited rights as a titled elite class from the First Empire to the fall of the July Monarchy in 1848, when all privileges were abolished for good. Hereditary titles, without privileges, continued to be granted until the Second Empire fell in 1870, they survive among their descendants as a social convention and as part of the legal name of the corresponding individuals. In the political system of pre-Revolutionary France, the nobility made up the Second Estate of the Estates General. Although membership in the noble class was inherited, it was not a closed order. New individuals were appointed to the nobility by the monarchy, or they could purchase rights and titles, or join by marriage. Sources differ about the actual number of nobles in France. For the year 1789, French historian François Bluche gives a figure of 140,000 nobles and states that about 5% of nobles could claim descent from feudal nobility before the 15th century.
With a total population of 28 million, this would represent 0.5%. Historian Gordon Wright gives a figure of 300,000 nobles, which agrees with the estimation of historian Jean de Viguerie, or a little over 1%. In terms of land holdings, at the time of the revolution, noble estates comprised about one-fifth of the land; the French nobility had specific financial rights and prerogatives. The first official list of these prerogatives was established late, under Louis XI after 1440, included the right to hunt, to wear a sword and, in principle, to possess a seigneurie. Nobles were granted an exemption from paying the taille, except for non-noble lands they might possess in some regions of France. Furthermore, certain ecclesiastic and military positions were reserved for nobles; these feudal privileges are termed droits de féodalité dominante. With the exception of a few isolated cases, serfdom had ceased to exist in France by the 15th century. In early modern France, nobles maintained a great number of seigneurial privileges over the free peasants that worked lands under their control.
They could, for example, levy an annual tax on lands leased or held by vassals. Nobles could charge banalités for the right to use the lord's mills, ovens, or wine presses. Alternatively, a noble could demand a portion of vassals' harvests in return for permission to farm land he owned. Nobles maintained certain judicial rights over their vassals, although with the rise of the modern state many of these privileges had passed to state control, leaving rural nobility with only local police functions and judicial control over violation of their seigneurial rights. In the 17th century this seigneurial system was established in France's North American possessions. However, the nobles had responsibilities. Nobles were required to honor and counsel their king, they were required to render military service. The rank of "noble" was forfeitable: certain activities could cause dérogeance, within certain limits and exceptions. Most commercial and manual activities, such as tilling land, were prohibited, although nobles could profit from their lands by operating mines and forges.
A nobleman could emancipate a male heir early, take on derogatory activities without losing the family's nobility. If nobility was lost through prohibited activities, it could be recovered as soon as the said activities were stopped, by obtaining letters of "relief". Certain regions such as Brittany applied loosely these rules allowing poor nobles to plough their own land; the nobility in France was never an closed class. Nobility and hereditary titles were distinct: while all hereditary titleholders were noble, most nobles were untitled, although many assumed titres de courtoisie. Nobility could be granted by the king or, until 1578, acquired by a family which had occupied a government or military post of high enough rank for three generations. Once acquired, nobility was hereditary in the legitimate male-line for all male descendants. Wealthy families found ready opportunities to pass into the nobility: although nobility itself could not be purchased, lands to which noble rights and/or title were attached could be and were bought by commoners who adopted use of the property's name or title and were henceforth assumed to be noble if they could find a way to be exempted from paying the taille to which only commoners were subject.
Moreover, non-nobles who owned noble fiefs were obliged to pay a special tax on the property to the noble liege-lord. Properly, only those who were noble could assume a hereditary title attached to a noble fief, thereby acquiring a title recognised but not conferred by the French crown; the children of a French nobleman, unlike those of a British peer, were not considered commoners but untitled nobles. Inheritance was recognized only in the male line, with a few exceptions in the independent provinces of Champagne and Brittany; the king could grant nobility to individuals, convert land into noble fiefs or, elevate noble fiefs into titled estates. The king could confer special privilege
Fort De La Boulaye Site
Fort De La Boulaye Site known as Fort Mississippi, is the site of a fort built by the French in 1699–1700, to support their claim of the Mississippi River and valley. Native Americans forced the French to vacate the fort by 1707; the site was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1960, as part of the history of French colonization of the area. The state of Louisiana had earlier erected an historical marker, with the following text: FORT de la BOULAYE First white settlement in present-day Louisiana, erected by Bienville in 1699 on this spot, prevented Britain's seizure of the Mississippi Valley. In 1698, Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville, his brothers, Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville and Antoine Le Moyne de Châteauguay, participated in an expedition to rediscover the mouth of the Mississippi River, it waterways. In 1699, they founded Fort Mississippi on a ridge a little more than one kilometer from the shore of the river, on the east bank, about twenty kilometers south of the future city of New Orleans.
The fort was completed in 1700. It was built in stockade wood and defended by six guns, in order to protect the region from attacks and incursions by the English and Spanish; the fort was commanded by Louis Juchereau de St. Denis. In 1707, the Caddoan tribe, hostile to the presence of encroaching soldiers, forced them to abandon the fort and to go to the French settlement of Biloxi. Only the officer Juchereau de St. Denis, friend of the Caddo, was permitted to continue living in the fort. Garrisons of French troops visited the site. In 1714, Juchereau de St. Denis was assigned to lead a new expedition, with the objective of defending the western boundaries of Louisiana, he established Fort des Natchitoches. By the middle of the 18th century Fort de la Boulaye was abandoned. Tropical storms destroyed this fort. In the 20th century archaeologists located the site of fort; the site has been designated a National Historic Landmark. Fort de la Balize National Register of Historic Places listings in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana List of National Historic Landmarks in Louisiana
Robeline is a village in western Natchitoches Parish, United States. The population was 183 at the 2000 census, it is part of the Natchitoches Micropolitan Statistical Area. According to a 2007, Robeline was named one of the ten worst speed traps in the state of Louisiana. Robeline made 85.73 percent of its revenue, an average of $1,517 per capita population, from fines and forfeitures in the 2005 fiscal year. In the 1880s, Robeline had a weekly newspaper, the Robeline Reporter, edited prior to his death by John Hamilton Cunningham, a physician, lawyer and minister, his son, Milton Joseph Cunningham, served three nonconsecutive terms as Attorney General of Louisiana prior to 1900, served in both houses of the Louisiana State Legislature, practiced law in Natchitoches and New Orleans. The former Robeline public school closed in 1980 because of a federal desegregation order. Elementary pupils were consolidated with nearby Marthaville. Robeline is home of the annual Robeline Heritage Festival held the first weekend of October.
Past performers have included several local musicians as well as Percy Sledge. Robeline is located at 31°41′27″N 93°18′15″W. According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 1.0 square miles, all land. Robeline was the capital of Texas for 50 years. Robeline was owned by the Spanish and a creek formed the border between Spanish Texas and French Louisiana. During 1870-1917, a railroad was built through Marthaville, Louisiana; the town was rich with resources and money, but the railroad was abandoned in 1960, Robeline declined. It now has a convenience store, dollar store, several churches, considerable wilderness; as of the census of 2000, there were 183 people, 76 households, 48 families residing in the village. The population density was 182.0 inhabitants per square mile. There were 97 housing units at an average density of 96.5 per square mile. The racial makeup of the village was 77.05% White, 17.49% African American and 5.46% Native American. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.19% of the population.
There were 76 households out of which 28.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.1% were married couples living together, 14.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 36.8% were non-families. 34.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.8% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 3.13. In the village, the population was spread out with 25.7% under the age of 18, 6.6% from 18 to 24, 27.9% from 25 to 44, 21.3% from 45 to 64, 18.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 103.0 males. The median income for a household in the village was $13,036, the median income for a family was $24,583. Males had a median income of $28,750 versus $14,375 for females; the per capita income for the village was $10,468. About 28.6% of families and 38.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.9% of those under the age of eighteen and 34.0% of those sixty five or over.
New France was the area colonized by France in North America during a period beginning with the exploration of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence by Jacques Cartier in 1534 and ending with the cession of New France to Great Britain and Spain in 1763 under the Treaty of Paris. At its peak in 1712, the territory of New France sometimes known as the French North American Empire or Royal New France, consisted of five colonies, each with its own administration: Canada, the most developed colony and divided into the districts of Québec, Trois-Rivières and Montréal. In the sixteenth century, the lands were used to draw from the wealth of natural resources such as furs through trade with the various indigenous peoples. In the seventeenth century, successful settlements began in Acadia, in Quebec by the efforts of Champlain. By 1765, the population of the new Province of Quebec reached 70,000 settlers; the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht resulted in France relinquishing its claims to mainland Acadia, the Hudson Bay and Newfoundland to England.
France established the colony of Île Royale, now called Cape Breton Island, where they built the Fortress of Louisbourg. Acadia had a difficult history, with the British causing the Great Upheaval with the forced expulsion of the Acadians in the period from 1755 to 1764; this has been remembered on July 28 each year since 2003. Their descendants are dispersed in the Maritime Provinces of Canada, in Maine and Louisiana in the United States, with small populations in Chéticamp, Nova Scotia and the Magdalen Islands; some went to France. In 1763, France had ceded the rest of New France, except the islands of Saint Pierre and Miquelon, to Great Britain and Spain at the Treaty of Paris, which ended the Seven Years' War. Britain received Canada and the parts of French Louisiana which lay east of the Mississippi River – except for the Île d'Orléans, granted to Spain, along with the territory to the west – the larger portion of Louisiana. In 1800, Spain returned its portion of Louisiana to France under the secret Treaty of San Ildefonso.
However, French leader Napoleon Bonaparte in turn sold it to the United States in the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, permanently ending French colonial efforts on the North American mainland. New France became absorbed within the United States and Canada, with the only vestige remaining under French rule being the tiny islands of Saint Pierre and Miquelon. In the United States, the legacy of New France includes numerous placenames as well as small pockets of French-speaking communities. In Canada, institutional bilingualism and strong Francophone identities are arguably the most enduring legacy of New France. Around 1523, the Florentine navigator Giovanni da Verrazzano convinced King Francis I to commission an expedition to find a western route to Cathay. Late that year, Verrazzano set sail in Dieppe. After exploring the coast of the present-day Carolinas early the following year, he headed north along the coast anchoring in the Narrows of New York Bay; the first European to visit the site of present-day New York, Verrazzano named it Nouvelle-Angoulême in honour of the king, the former count of Angoulême.
Verrazzano's voyage convinced the king to seek to establish a colony in the newly discovered land. Verrazzano gave the names Francesca and Nova Gallia to that land between New Spain and English Newfoundland. In 1534, Jacques Cartier planted a cross in the Gaspé Peninsula and claimed the land in the name of King Francis I, it was the first province of New France. The first settlement of 400 people, Fort Charlesbourg-Royal, was attempted in 1541 but lasted only two years. French fishing fleets continued to sail to the Atlantic coast and into the St. Lawrence River, making alliances with Canadian First Nations that became important once France began to occupy the land. French merchants soon realized the St. Lawrence region was full of valuable fur-bearing animals the beaver, which were becoming rare in Europe; the French crown decided to colonize the territory to secure and expand its influence in America. Another early French attempt at settlement in North America took place in 1564 at Fort Caroline, now Jacksonville, Florida.
Intended as a haven for Huguenots, Caroline was founded under the leadership of René Goulaine de Laudonnière and Jean Ribault. It was sacked by the Spanish led by Pedro Menéndez de Avilés who established the settlement of St. Augustine on 20 September 1565. Acadia and Canada were inhabited by indigenous nomadic Algonquian peoples and sedentary Iroquoian peoples; these lands were full of valuable natural resources, which attracted all of Europe. By the 1580s, French trading companies had been set up, ships were contracted to bring back furs. Much of what transpired between the indigenous population and their European visitors around that time is not known, for lack of historical records. Other attempts at establishing permanent settlements were failures. In 1598, a French trading post was established on Sable Island, off the coast of Acadia, but was unsuccessful. In 1600, a trading post was established at Tadoussac. In 1604, a settlement w
La Rochelle is a city in western France and a seaport on the Bay of Biscay, a part of the Atlantic Ocean. It is the capital of the Charente-Maritime department; the city is connected to the Île de Ré by a 2.9-kilometre bridge completed on 19 May 1988. Its harbour opens into the Pertuis d'Antioche; the area of La Rochelle was occupied in antiquity by the Gallic tribe of the Santones, who gave their name to the nearby region of Saintonge and the city of Saintes. The Romans subsequently occupied the area, where they developed salt production along the coast as well as wine production, re-exported throughout the Empire. Roman villas have been found at Saint-Éloi and at Les Minimes, as well as salt evaporation ponds dating from the same period. La Rochelle became an important harbour in the 12th century; the establishment of La Rochelle as a harbour was a consequence of the victory of Duke Guillaume X of Aquitaine over Isambert de Châtelaillon in 1130 and the subsequent destruction of his harbour of Châtelaillon.
In 1137, Guillaume X to all intents and purposes made La Rochelle a free port and gave it the right to establish itself as a commune. Fifty years Eleanor of Aquitaine upheld the communal charter promulgated by her father, for the first time in France, a city mayor was appointed for La Rochelle, Guillaume de Montmirail. Guillaume was assisted in his responsibilities by 24 municipal magistrates, 75 notables who had jurisdiction over the inhabitants. Under the communal charter, the city obtained many privileges, such as the right to mint its own coins, to operate some businesses free of royal taxes, factors which would favour the development of the entrepreneurial middle-class. Eleanor married Henry Plantagenet in 1152, who became king of England as Henry II in 1154, thus putting La Rochelle under Plantagenet rule, until Louis VIII captured it in the 1224 Siege of La Rochelle. During the Plantagenet control of the city in 1185, Henry II had the Vauclair castle built, remains of which are still visible in the Place de Verdun.
The main activities of the city were in the areas of maritime commerce and trade with England, the Netherlands and Spain. In 1196, wealthy bourgeois Alexandre Auffredi sent a fleet of seven ships to Africa seeking wealth, he went bankrupt awaiting the return of his ships. The Knights Templar had a strong presence in La Rochelle since before the time of Eleanor of Aquitaine, who exempted them from duties and gave them mills in her 1139 Charter. La Rochelle was for the Templars their largest base on the Atlantic Ocean, where they stationed their main fleet. From La Rochelle, they were able to act as intermediaries in trade between England and the Mediterranean. A popular thread of conspiracy theory originating with Holy Blood, Holy Grail has it that the Templars used a fleet of 18 ships which had brought Jacques de Molay from Cyprus to La Rochelle to escape arrest in France; the fleet left laden with knights and treasures just before the issue of the warrant for the arrest of the Order in October 1307.
During the Hundred Years' War in 1360, following the Treaty of Bretigny La Rochelle again came under the rule of the English monarch. La Rochelle however expelled the English in June 1372, following the naval Battle of La Rochelle, between Castilian-French and English fleets; the French and Spanish decisively defeated the English, securing French control of the Channel for the first time since the Battle of Sluys in 1340. The naval battle of La Rochelle was one of the first cases of the use of handguns on warships, which were deployed by the French and Spanish against the English. Having recovered freedom, La Rochelle refused entry to Du Guesclin, until Charles V recognized the privileges of the city in November 1372. In 1402, the French adventurer Jean de Béthencourt left La Rochelle and sailed along the coast of Morocco to conquer the Canary islands; until the 15th century, La Rochelle was to be the largest French harbour on the Atlantic coast, dealing in wine and cheese. During the Renaissance, La Rochelle adopted Protestant ideas.
Calvinism started to be propagated in the region of La Rochelle, resulting in its suppression through the establishment of Cours présidiaux tribunals by Henry II. An early result of this was the burning at the stake of two "heretics" in La Rochelle in 1552. Conversions to Calvinism however continued, due to a change of religious beliefs, but to a desire for political independence on the part of the local elite, a popular opposition to royal expenses and requisitions in the building projects to fortify the coast against England. On the initiative of Gaspard de Coligny, the Calvinists attempted to colonize the New World to find a new home for their religion, with the likes of Pierre Richier and Jean de Léry. After the short-lived attempt of France Antarctique, they failed to establish a colony in Brazil, resolved to make a stand in La Rochelle itself. Pierre Richier became "Ministre de l'église de la Rochelle" when he returned from Brazil in 1558, was able to increase the Huguenot presence in La Rochelle, from a small base of about 50 souls, secretly educated in the Lutheran faith by Charles de Clermont the previous year.
He has been described, by Lancelot Voisin de La Popelinière, as "le père de l'église de La Rochelle". La Rochelle was the first French city, with Rouen, to experience iconoclastic riots in 1560, at the time of the suppression of the Amboise conspiracy, before the riots spread to many other cities. Further cases of Reformation iconoclasm were recorded in L
A presidio is a fortified base established by the Spanish in areas under their control or influence. The term is derived from the Latin word praesidium meaning defense. In the Americas, the fortresses were built to protect against pirates and rival colonists, as well as against resistance from Native Americans. In the Mediterranean and the Philippines, the presidios were outposts of Christian defense against Islamic raids; the presidios of Spanish-Philippines in particular, were centers where the martial art of Arnis de Mano was developed, combining Filipino, Latin-American and Spanish fighting techniques. In western North America, with independence, the Mexicans garrisoned the Spanish presidios on the northern frontier and followed the same pattern in unsettled frontier regions like the Presidio de Sonoma, at Sonoma and the Presidio de Calabasas, in Arizona. In western North America, a rancho del rey or king's ranch would be established a short distance outside a presidio; this was a tract of land assigned to the presidio to furnish pasturage to the horses and other beasts of burden of the garrison.
Mexico called this facility "rancho nacional". Presidios were only accessible to Spanish military and soldiers. Italy: Estado de los PresidiosNorth Africa: Melilla Velez Oran Béjaïa TripoliGreece: Koroni Methoni South Carolina: The Presidio Santa Elena, founded in 1566 on Parris Island, destroyed by Native Americans in 1576, re-established in 1577, abandoned in 1587Georgia: The Presidio Guale, founded in 1566, abandoned three months The Presidio San Pedro de Tacatacuru, founded in 1569 on Cumberland Island, abandoned in 1573Florida: The Presidio San Augustin, founded in 1565, which developed into the city of St. Augustine, ceded to Great Britain in 1763 and regained 20 years The Presidio San Mateo, founded in 1565 on the ruins of Fort Caroline and destroyed by the French in 1568 The Presidio Ais, founded in 1565 on the Indian River Lagoon, abandoned after one month The Presidio Santa Lucia, founded in 1565 near Cape Canaveral, abandoned four months The Presidio San Antonio de Padua, founded in 1566 at Calos, capital of the Calusa, abandoned in 1569 The Presidio Tocobago, founded in 1567 on Tampa Bay, destroyed by the Tocobagos within ten months The Presidio Tequesta, founded in 1567 on the site of what is now Miami, abandoned in 1568 The Presidio Santa Maria de Galve, founded in 1696, near Fort Barrancas at present-day Naval Air Station Pensacola.
The Presidio Bahía San José de Valladares, founded in 1701 on St. Joseph Bay, captured by French in 1718; the Presidio San Marcos de Apalachee, founded in 1718 at the existing port of San Marcos, which developed into the town of St. Marks, ceded to Great Britain in 1763 and regained 20 years The Presidio Bahía San José de Nueva Asturias, founded in 1719 on St. Joseph Point, abandoned in 1722 The Presidio Isla Santa Rosa Punta de Siguenza, founded in 1722 on Santa Rosa Island, abandoned in 1755 The Presidio San Miguel de Panzacola, founded in 1755, which developed into the city of Pensacola, ceded to Great Britain in 1763 and regained 20 years laterLouisiana: The Presidio Nuestra Señora del Pilar de los Adaes, founded in 1721 near the present-day RobelineTexas: The Presidio Fuerte de Santa Cruz del Cibolo, founded in 1734 and re-established in 1771 near Cestohowa, Texas in Karnes County, Texas; the Presidio San Antonio de Bexar, founded in 1718 in San Antonio The Presidio Nuestra Señora de Loreto, founded in 1721, near Lavaca Bay, now in Goliad The Presidio of San Carlos de Cerro Gordo, founded in 1772 in Big Bend Country The Presidio San Luis de las Amarillas San Saba, founded in 1772 near the present-day Menard The Presidio de la Junta de los Ríos Norte y Conchos, founded in 1760 just southwest of present-day PresidioNew Mexico: The Presidio Santa Cruz de la Cañada, in Santa CruzArizona: The Presidio San Ignacio de Tubac, founded in 1752 in Tubac The Presidio San Augustin del Tucson, founded in 1775 in Tucson The Presidio Santa Cruz de Terrenate, founded in 1775 near the present-day Tombstone The Presidio de Calabasas, founded in 1837 near the present-day TumacacoriCalifornia: The Presidio Real de San Carlos de Monterey, founded in 1770.
Its rancho del rey was. It is housing the Defense Language Institute, in Monterey The Presidio Real de San Diego, founded in 1769 in San Diego, its rancho del rey was what became Rancho de la Nación; the Presidio Real de San Francisco, founded in 1776 and now part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in San Francisco. Its rancho del rey was; the Presidio Real de Santa Bárbara, founded in 1782 in Santa Barbara. Its rancho del rey was; the Presidio de Sonoma, founded by Mexico in 1836 in Sonoma. Its rancho nacional was. Presidios were established in frontier regions in northern Mexico to control and confine rebellious indigenous tribes. Captured indigenous warriors were enslaved at the presidio. Sonora: The Presidio de San Felipe y Santiago de Janos, founded in 1685 in Janos, Sonora The Presidio del Pitic, founded in 1726 in Hermosillo, Sonora The Presidio Santa Gertrudis del Altar, founded in 1755 in Altar, Sonora The Presidio de Santa Rosa de Corodéguachi, founded in 1692, near the Sonora/Arizona border and moved to Fronteras, Sonora The Presidio de San Bernardino, founded in 1776 near the present-day Douglas Durango: Th
Natchitoches is a small city and the parish seat of Natchitoches Parish, United States. Established in 1714 by Louis Juchereau de St. Denis as part of French Louisiana, the community was named after the indigenous Natchitoches people; the City of Natchitoches was not incorporated until after Louisiana had become a state, on February 5, 1819. It is the oldest permanent settlement in the region. Natchitoches' sister city is Texas, it is the location of Northwestern State University. Natchitoches was established in 1714 by French explorer Louis Juchereau de St. Denis, it is the oldest permanent European settlement within the borders of the 1803 Louisiana Purchase. Natchitoches was founded as a French outpost on the Red River for trade with Spanish-controlled Mexico; the post was established near a village of Natchitoches Indians. Early settlers were French Catholic creoles. French creoles acquired lands that were developed in the antebellum years as cotton-producing Magnolia Plantation and Oakland Plantation.
Each is designated as a National Historic Landmark. After the United States' Louisiana Purchase of 1803, migration into the territory increased from the US. Natchitoches grew along with the population in the parish; the Americans were of English and Scots-Irish ancestry and of Protestant faith. They developed several cotton plantations along the Red River. Numerous enslaved African Americans were brought to the area through the domestic slave trade to work the cotton, provide all other skills on these plantations, generating the revenues for the wealthy planters before the Civil War. In the 1820s and early 1830s, Natchitoches served as a freight transfer point for cotton shipped from parts of east Texas. Cotton shippers used a land route crossing the Sabine River to Natchitoches, where the freight was transferred to boats, floated down the Red River to New Orleans; when the course of the Red River shifted, it bypassed Natchitoches and cut off its lucrative connection with the Mississippi River.
A 33-mile oxbow lake was left in the river's previous location. This became known as Cane River Lake. During the Civil War, Natchitoches was set on fire by Union soldiers who retreated through the town after their failed attempt to capture Shreveport. Confederate cavalry pursued the fleeing soldiers and arrived in time to help extinguish the flames before the town was destroyed. Alexandria was destroyed by Union troops in 1864, but both Union and Confederate troops were responsible for damaging plantations along the river during the war, including Magnolia and Oakland. In the spring of 1863, Confederate General Richard Taylor and his men passed through Natchitoches en route to Shreveport. Andrew W. Hyatt, one of Taylor's line officers, wrote in his diary: "reaching the banks of Cane River.... We are now on a regular race from the enemy, are bound for Grand Ecore...." Three days on May 11, 1863, Hyatt penned: "We have now retreated 280 miles. Natchitoches is quite a'town,' and the galleries were crowded with pretty women, who waved us a kind reception as we passed through town."Around Natchitoches and its environs, 12,556 bales of Confederate cotton were stored.
A match factory opened in the city during the war. The residents of Natchitoches engaged in fund-raising activities to relieve the destitute during the war. Historian John D. Winters observed, "Eggnog parties and other social affairs during the Christmas holiday season lifted the morale of civilians as well as that of the soldiers." As the parish seat, Natchitoches suffered from the decline in agricultural population through the mid-20th century, grew at a markedly lower rate after 1960. The mechanization of agriculture had reduced the number of workers needed, many moved to cities for jobs. By the early 1970s, the town's businesses were declining, along with many area farms, buildings were boarded up. In the mid-1970s, Mayor Bobby DeBlieux and other preservationists believed that attracting tourists to the area, based on its historic assets of nearly intact plantations and numerous historic buildings, could be a key to attracting visitors, reviving the town, stimulating new businesses. Over the years, he worked with a variety of landowners and local people to gain support for designating an historic district in the city.
He supported making a national park out of the working area of Magnolia Plantation, which had many surviving outbuildings from the 19th century, from Oakland Plantation, both downriver in the parish. By the end of the 20th century, the mile-long French colonial area of downtown, which lies along Cane Lake, was designated as a National Historic District. Many buildings were adapted as antique shops and souvenir emporiums. To accommodate tourists, the town had the most in the state. By 2018, that number had increased to 50; the plantation country surrounds Cane River Lake. The markedly intact downriver Magnolia and Oakland plantations were designated as National Historic Landmarks, are part of what has been developed as the Cane River Creole National Historical Park, authorized in 1994, with the support of US Senator J. Bennett Johnston, he was a cousin by marriage of Betty Hertzog, the last of the family to live in the great house at Magnolia. Tours and interpretive programs at both sites continue to attract visitors as they grapple with telling the difficult history of slavery and its aftermath at the plantations.
They cover the contributions of blacks and Creoles of color to the community. Since the late 20th ce