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Louisiana Parishes
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Louisiana Parishes

Louisiana is divided into 64 parishes in the same way that 48 of the other states of the United States are divided into counties (Alaska is divided into boroughs and census areas).
On March 31, 1807, the territorial legislature divided the state into 19 parishes, without getting rid of the old counties (which continued to exist until 1845).In 1811, a constitutional convention organized the state into seven judicial districts, each consisting of groups of parishes. In 1816, the first official map of the state used the term, as did the 1845 constitution. Since then, the official term has been parishes.

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Louisiana Parishes: History and Information

Find a brief history of Louisiana ParishesBrief history of Louisiana Counties: Flags of Our Nation

Louisiana, state in the southern United States, on the Gulf of Mexico and the Mississippi River. The French were the original European colonizers of Louisiana, beginning in the early 18th century. After a period of Spanish control it reverted to France. During this colonial period other European and African cultures were introduced into the area. Most of Louisiana was bought by the United States in 1803 as part of the Louisiana Purchase; the rest came as a result of the West Florida Rebellion of 1810. Louisiana entered the Union on April 30, 1812, as the 18th state. Louisiana (New France) was named after Louis XIV, one of France's greatest and most powerful kings. When René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle claimed the territory drained by the Mississippi River for France, he named it La Louisiane, meaning "Land of Louis". Baton Rouge is the capital of Louisiana. The state's three principal cities are New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Shreveport.

Louisiana's government is like that of no other state in the United States of America. Louisiana has "parishes" instead of "counties" and each of those parishes, for the most part, are governed by "police juries." Police jurors are elected officials and function in the same way as county commissioners in other states' counties.

At one time, Louisiana had counties. When the Louisiana Territory was purchased by the United States, twelve counties were established, but those large areas proved too hard to govern effectively. In 1807 the state was divided into 19 parishes, and the parish became the local government district.

Each parish was governed by a 12-member jury serving with the parish judges and the justices of the peace. Each jury was charged with the responsibility of "execution of whatever concerns the interior and local police and administration of the parish." In 1811 an act made the members of these assemblies elective, and they were officially designated as the "police jury."


Find a brief history of Louisiana Parishes

Parish 2000
Population
Square
Miles
County Seat Created
Acadia Parish 58,861 655 Crowley 1886
Allen Parish 25,440 765 Oberlin 1910
Ascension Parish 76,627 292 Donaldsonville 1807
Assumption Parish 23,388 339 Napoleonville 1807
Avoyelles Parish 41,481 832 Marksville 1807
Beauregard Parish 32,986 1,160 DeRidder 1912
Bienville Parish 15,752 811 Arcadia 1848
Bossier Parish 98,310 838 Benton 1843
Caddo Parish 252,161 882 Shreveport 1838
Calcasieu Parish 183,577 1,071 Lake Charles 1840
Caldwell Parish 10,560 530 Columbia 1838
Cameron Parish 9,991 1,313 Cameron 1832
Catahoula Parish 10,920 704 Harrisonburg 1808
Claiborne Parish 16,851 755 Homer 1828
Concordia Parish 20,247 696 Vidalia 1807
DeSoto Parish 25,494 877 Mansfield 1843
East Baton Rouge Parish 412,852 456 Baton Rouge 1810
East Carroll Parish 9,421 422 Lake Providence 1877
East Feliciana Parish 21,360 453 Clinton 1824
Evangeline Parish 35,434 664 Ville Platte 1908
Franklin Parish 21,263 623 Winnsboro 1843
Grant Parish 18,698 645 Colfax 1869
Iberia Parish 73,266 575 New Iberia 1868
Iberville Parish 33,320 619 Plaquemine 1807
Jackson Parish 15,397 570 Jonesboro 1845
Jefferson Davis Parish 31,435 652 Jennings 1912
Jefferson Parish 455,466 306 Gretna 1825
Lafayette Consolidated Government 190,503 270 Lafayette 1823
Lafourche Parish 89,974 1,085 Thibodaux 1807
LaSalle Parish 14,282 624 Jena 1908
Lincoln Parish 42,509 471 Ruston 1873
Livingston Parish 91,814 648 Livingston 1832
Madison Parish 13,728 624 Tallulah 1838
Morehouse Parish 31,021 794 Bastrop 1844
Natchitoches Parish 39,080 1,256 Natchitoches 1807
Orleans Parish 484,674 181 New Orleans 1807
Ouachita Parish 147,250 611 Monroe 1807
Plaquemines Parish 26,757 845 Pointe A La Hache 1807
Pointe Coupee Parish 22,763 557 New Roads 1807
Rapides Parish 126,337 1,323 Alexandria 1807
Red River Parish 9,622 389 Coushatta 1871
Richland Parish 20,981 558 Rayville 1852
Sabine Parish 23,459 865 Many 1843
St. Bernard Parish 67,229 465 Chalmette 1807
St. Charles Parish 48,072 284 Hahnville 1807
St. Helena Parish 10,525 408 Greensburg 1810
St. James Parish 21,216 246 Convent 1807
St. John The Baptist Parish 43,044 219 LaPlace 1807
St. Landry Parish 87,700 929 Opelousas 1807
St. Martin Parish 48,583 740 Saint Martinville 1815
St. Mary Parish 53,500 613 Franklin 1811
St. Tammany Parish 191,268 854 Covington 1810
Tangipahoa Parish 100,588 790 Amite 1843
Tensas Parish 6,618 602 Saint Joseph 1843
Terrebonne Parish 104,503 1,255 Houma 1822
Union Parish 22,803 878 Farmerville 1839
Vermilion Parish 53,807 1,174 Abbeville 1844
Vernon Parish 52,531 1,328 Leesville 1871
Washington Parish 43,926 670 Franklinton 1819
Webster Parish 41,831 596 Minden 1871
West Baton Rouge Parish 21,601 191 Port Allen 1807
West Carroll Parish 12,314 359 Oak Grove 1877
West Feliciana Parish 15,111 406 Saint Francisville 1824
Winn Parish 16,894 951 Winnfield 1852
County Resources
Counties: US Map
The history of our nation was a prolonged struggle to define the relative roles and powers of our governments: federal, state, and local. And the names given the counties, our most locally based jurisdictions, reflects the "characteristic features of this country!"

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