A TIME LINE OF EVENTS FROM 1541-1927
||Herman De Soto discovers the Mississippi River.
||De Soto expedition
survivors, under the command of Luis de Moscoso, become the first group of white men to
travel down the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico.
Marquette & Louis Joliet reach the Mississippi River & later verify that it flows
into the Gulf of Mexico rather than the Pacific Ocean.
de La Salle reaches the mouth of the Mississippi River & claims possession for France
of the territory. He names it Louisiana.
Crozat receives a royal charter giving exclusive trading rights to Louisiana.
||Louis Juchereau St.
Denis founds Fort St. Jean Baptiste on the Red River at site of present-day Natchitoches,
the first permanent settlement in Louisiana.
set up by John Law receives exclusive charter for development in Louisiana.
||New Orleans is
large importation of black slaves. German families begin arriving in Louisiana. So many
die of pestilence during the journey that the boats become known as the "German Pest
Ships." A few hundred survivors eventually make their way to present-day St. Charles
& St. John the Baptist Parishes, which becomes known at the German Coast (Côte des
Allemands in French).
||A hurricane destroys
much of New Orleans.
Code" is declared in effect. (See the Did You Know? Column for definition.)
||Company of the Indies
resigns its monopoly. Louisiana returns to royal administration.
cedes to Spain all of Louisiana west of the Mississippi by the Treaty of Fountainebleau.
||France cedes to
England all of Louisiana east of the Mississippi by the Treaty of Paris.
Acadians arrive in Louisiana.
OReilly arrives in New Orleans to take possession of Louisiana for Spain.
VI establishes the first Diocese of Louisiana and the Floridas.
||A slave uprising in
Pointe Coupée Parish is suppressed.
San Lorenzo gives Americans free navigation of the Mississippi River.
||Treaty of San Il
Defonso provides for Spanish cession of Louisiana to France.
Purchase - dated April 30, signed May 2, ratified by U.S. Senate October 19.
formally receives possession of Louisiana for France.
Commissioners W.C.C. Claiborne & James Wilkinson formally receive possession of
Louisiana for the U.S.
Louisiana Purchase into two territories with W. C. C. Claiborne as governor of the
Territory of Orleans.
slave uprisings in St. Charles & St. John the Baptist Parishes are put down.
||The steamboat New
Orleans arrives at the docks in New Orleans.
first constitution is adopted & it is formally admitted to the Union as the 18th
forces defeat the British at the Battle of New Orleans (after the War of 1812 has
1820-1850 many of the thousands of Germans who come to Louisiana are redemptioners
(indentured servants). These peasants agree to work on farms & plantations in order to
support themselves & to pay for their passage to the New World.
||Severe storms &
floods batter New Orleans. Pontchartrain Railroad begins operation with steam locomotive.
epidemic of yellow fever & cholera kills more than 5,000 people in New Orleans.
first Mardi Gras parade occurs.
many German immigrants merely pass through Louisiana on their way to new lives in other
states, 25,000 Germans have settled in the Pelican State.
German immigrants arrive at New Orleansthe nations second-leading antebellum
port of entry. Louisianas worst yellow fever epidemic kills more than 11,000 people
in New Orleans.
Breckinridge defeats John Bell & Stephen A. Douglas for Louisianas popular vote
in the election of 1860 (Lincoln is not on the ballot).
Secession Convention overwhelmingly votes for secession.
Orleans captured by Federal flotilla headed by Admiral David Farragut.
||Siege of Port Hudson
ends in Federal capture of the fort.
Hahn becomes Federal governor of Louisiana; Battles of Mansfield and Pleasant Hill.
(Reunion) abolishes slavery. The final wave of German migration begins, peaks in 1882
& declines dra-matically by 1898. Almost 3 million German immigrants enter the U.S.
during this period. New Orleans serves as initial stop for many of these new Americans,
although it is not the final destination for most of the late 19th-century German
Kirby-Smith signs a surrender to Federal forces.
Sheridan arrives in New Orleans to command the Fifth Military District (Louisiana &
Texas) during Reconstruction.
Reconstruction constitution adopted.
readmitted to the Union.
Rutherford B. Hayes withdraws Federal troops from Louisiana, thus ending Reconstruction in
||Yellow fever epidemic
kills more than 5,000 people..
James B. Eads completes the jetty system at the mouth of the Mississippi River.
||A hurricane kills
over 2,000 people in southern Louisiana & Mississippi.
last yellow fever epidemic occurs.
||A hurricane &
flood devastate New Orleans.
adopts a new constitution.
||The worst flood in
U.S. history devastates 1.3 million acres of land & leaves 300,000 people homeless.