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As one of the first 20 states, Louisiana has a rich history and home to many immigrant groups which is still evident in the diverse culture, food, and music of modern day Louisiana. From the early French colony to slavery hub to Irish immigrants in the 19th century, there’s a chance your ancestors lived or came through Louisiana. 

History of Louisiana

Louisiana became the 18th state when the United States acquired this land from France in 1803. This land acquisition was known as the Louisiana Purchase and included 15 current U.S. states and 2 provinces from Canada. Who knows, maybe your ancestors were involved in the Louisiana Purchase of 1803…?

Louisiana was known to be a central hub for slavery all throughout the 18th century. Even though many states opposed these cruel practices, slavery continued to prevail throughout Louisiana because it was considered cheap and profitable labor. With New Orleans as a port, Louisiana played a prominent role within the slave trade coming from west Africa. It was one of the many provinces that supported the slave trade and fought to preserve the practice until it was abolished in 1864. Until the abolition, Louisiana thrived as a slave state, eventually making New Orleans one of the wealthiest cities in the entire country.

In the nineteenth century, Irish immigrants were the largest group to settle in Louisiana. In addition to the Irish, Germans and Scandinavians arrived in Louisiana to find jobs and make it their permanent home. If you have ancestors of Irish, German or Scandinavian descent, they may have played a significant role in Louisiana's history.

Louisiana has been an influential state that has impacted our country as we know it today. To learn more about how your ancestors were involved during this pivotal time in American history, try searching our Louisiana newspaper archives for more detailed information. This extensive database recalls significant dates, historical events, and interesting details through newspaper publications and other printed materials that have been carefully preserved through time.

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