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The Division of the Territory of Orleans into Counties on April 10, 1805
The Counties of Orleans Territory as drawn by the Territorial Legislature April 10, 1805
The County of Orleans shall comprehend all that portion of the country lying on both sides of the river Mississippi from Balize to the beginning of the Parish of St. Charles, including the Parishes of St. Bernard and St. Louis.
Orleans County included the present-day parishes of Orleans, St. Bernard. Plaquemines and Jefferson.
The County of the German Coast shall comprehend the Parishes of St. Charles and St. John the Baptist, commonly called the First and Second German Coasts.
The German Coast County included the present -day parishes of St. Charles and St. John the Baptist.
The County of Acadia shall comprehend the Parishes of St. James and the Ascension, commonly called the First and Second Acadian Coasts.
Acadia County included the present-day parishes of St. James and Ascension.
The County of Lafourche shall comprehend the parish of Assumption.
Lafourche County included the present-day parishes of Assumption, Lafourche and Terrebonne.
The County of Iberville shall comprehend the Parish of St. Gabriel and such part of the Parish of St. Bernard as lies within the Territory of Orleans.
Note: The Parish of St. Bernard referred to here is the area around Galveztown, a settlement on the Manchac that Bernardo Galvez fortified to guard the international border from encroaching British settlers and armies.
Iberville County included only a small portion of the present-day parish of Iberville on both banks of the Mississippi River.
The County of Pointe Coupee shall comprehend the Parish of St. Francis.
Pointe Coupee County included the present-day parishes of Pointe Coupee and West Baton Rouge and the northern portion of Iberville Parish.
The County of Concordia shall comprehend all that portion of country lying within the following boundaries to-wit: Beginning at the mouth of Red River and along the same to Black River; then along Black River to the Tensa River, and along the same to Tensa Lake, then by right line, easterly, to the Mississippi and down the same to the point of beginning.
Note: This is the only county that has distinct borders outlined by the legislature.
Concordia County included the present-day parish of Concordia and part of Tensas Parish.
The County of Ouachita shall comprehend all that country commonly called and known by the name of the Ouachita settlements.
Ouachita County included the present-day parishes of Ouachita, Caldwell and Franklin, Its loosely defined borders would also include Union, Morehouse, West Carrol, East Carrol, Richland and Madison, as well as portions of Tensas, Lincoln and Jackson parishes.
The County of Rapides shall comprehend the settlement of Rapides, Avoyelles, Catahoula, Bayou Boeuf, Bayou Robert and all other settlements which now are or may be made in the vicinity there of, and which may in the opinion of the Superior Court lie nearer or more conveniently to the house or seat of justice of the said County of Rapides than to the Court House or seat of justice of any other county.
Rapides County included the present-day parishes of Rapides, LaSalle and Catahoula as well as most of Avoyelles and parts of Grant and Vernon parishes.
The County of Natchitoches shall comprehend the Parish of St. Francis. Note: this is a second parish of St. Francis mentioned by the legislature.
Natchitoches County included the present-day parishes of Winn, Jackson, Red River, Bossier, Webster, Bienville, Claiborne and Caddo, most of Natchitoches Parish and portions of Grant, Lincoln and Caldwell parishes.
Opelousas County included the present-day parishes of Acadia, Evangeline and Jefferson Davis as well as most of St. Landry Parish and portions of Avoyelles, Allen, Calcasieu and Cameron Parishes.
Attakapas County included the present-day parishes of St. Martin , St. Mary, Lafayette, Iberia and Vermilion as well as portions of Cameron and St. Landry parishes.
The western border of Orleans Territory with Spanish Texas was still undefined in 1805. A definitive international border would have to wait for the Adams-Onis Treaty of 1821. In the meantime Spain, which had its own troubles in Europe with Napoleon, delayed a decision with Neutral Ground diplomacy.
The Neutral Ground between Louisiana and Spanish Texas included portions of the present-day parishes of Desoto, Sabine, Natchitoches, Vernon, Rapides, Beauregard, Allen, Calcasieu, Jefferson Davis, and Cameron.
Note: The County designation proved unpopular and in 1807, the Counties in the Orleans Territory were re-divided into 19 parishes, the boundaries following largely those used by the Spanish in dividing the area for ecclesiastical purposes. In 1811, the County of Feliciana was organized as the 13th County of the Territory of Orleans. It included the the territory that ultimately became the following parishes: East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, West Feliciana, St. Helena, Livingston, Tangipahoa, St. Tammany and Washington. The county-parish system continued for about four decades. See Louisiana Parishes Creation Dates, Created From and Parish Seats.
Attakapas County 1805
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