The Eighteenth Century


4,800 years ago—The Mississippi River creates the first delta lobe in the area.

1,300 years ago—The Mississippi River’s present course is established.

1,000 years ago (approximately)—The earliest inhabitants of St. Charles Parish are part of the archaeological culture known as Tchefuncte.

1542—Spaniard Hernando DeSoto discovers the Mississippi River.

1662–1700—Age of Exploration (LaSalle, Bienville, and Iberville).

1682—Frenchman Robert Cavalier, Sieur de LaSalle, travels the length of the Mississippi River with his lieutenant, Henri de Tonti, camping in
            the vicinity of a Quinapissa village 
near present-day Hahnville. He claims the Mississippi River territory for France (King Louis XIV). It
            becomes known as
La Louisiane.

1694—Karl Fredrick Darensbourg is born on January 25; later serves as first commandant of the German Coast.

1699—The mouth of the Mississippi River is discovered by the Iberville/Bienville expedition traveling north passing through St.Charles Parish.

1699—First settlement in Louisiana colony at Fort Maurepas, Old Biloxi (Ocean Springs).

1712—Frenchman Antoine Crozat is granted exclusive rights to settle the Louisiana Territory.

1717—Scotsman John Law assumes Crozat’s charter to settle the territory and forms the Company of the West.

1717—Law enlists French, then German, settlers and imports African slaves.

1717—Law initiates his plan to finance the development of Louisiana, later referred to as the “Mississippi Bubble

1718—New Orleans is founded by Bienville and the Company of the Indies.

1719—Law merges the Company of the West into the Company of the Indies.

1719—Les Deux Frères arrives at Old Biloxi with the first settlers who later establish le premier ancien village allemand, some 1.5 miles
            inland from the Mississippi River, 30 miles above New 
Orleans. The area becomes known as la Côté des Allemands (German Coast).

1720—Law’s “Mississippi Bubble” bursts.

1721—The Portefaix arrives at Old Biloxi on June 4 with Karl Fredrick Darensbourg and three hundred Swiss and Alsatian families.

1722—In January, Darensbourg and the new German settlers are transported to the Côté des Allemands where they join settlers in the   
            villages of Hoffen, Mariental, and Augsburg.

1722—Karl Darensbourg appointed first commandant of the German Coast by Governor Bienville. The homestead of Darensbourg is named
            Karlstein in his honor.

1722—La Grand Ouragan (hurricane) devastates the German Coast on September 12.

1722—Some of the German and French settlers move to the east bank area referred to as L’Anse Aux Outardes (Bustard’s Cove) in present-day New Sarpy.

1723—St. Jean des Allemands Catholic Church is established at Karlstein (Trinity Plantation).

1724—German Coast settlement serves as the breadbasket for New Orleans.

1729—First Indian attack on the German villages.

1731—The charter of the Company of the Indies expires and the Louisiana Territory is transferred to France.

1732—First phase of the settlement of the German Coast draws to a close.

1734—Darensbourg begins recording the first official government acts, now referred to as “The Darensbourg Records, 1734–1769.”

1740—Tradition says that St. Jean des Allemands Catholic Church was relocated to the east bank and called St. Charles or “Church of the Germans.”

1743—Organized attempts to build protection levees for the Mississippi River begin.

1751—Louisiana successfully grows sugar cane brought from Santo Domingo by Jesuit priests. Sugar cane becomes the first cash crop of early Louisiana.

1762—France secretly transfers to Spain the Louisiana Territory west of the Mississippi River (Treaty of Fountainbleau).

1763—France transfers the Louisiana Territory east of the Mississippi River to England (Treaty of Paris).

1764—First Acadians arrive in the colony; more arrive in 1768.

1765—Jean LaBranche develops LaBranche Plantation (now Esperanza Plantation).

1766—Spanish Governor Antonio de Ulloa arrives in the colony.

1768—German Coast militia joins New Orleans citizens and leads a major revolt to defy Ulloa’s Spanish rule of the colony.

1769—General Alexander O’Reilly arrives to secure Louisiana for Spain; he executes revolt leaders but spares Darensbourg and citizens of the German Coast.

1770—Governor Luis de Unzaga gives land grants to establish churches and cemeteries on the German Coast.

1772—St. John the Baptist Church is built on a Spanish land grant in present-day Edgard on the German Coast.

1776—Declaration of Independence of the United States of America is signed.

1777—Darensbourg dies on November 18.

1779—German Coast patriots join Governor Galvez in Louisiana’s defense against British advancement.

1779—Bonnet Carré Crevasse floods vast areas on the east bank of the German Coast.

1787—Robert Robin de Logny begins construction of his plantation (Destrehan). De Logny’s son-in-law, Jean-Noël Destrehan, acquires it in 1802.

1790—Pierre Trépagnier builds the plantation now known as Ormond Plantation (in Destrehan).

1790—LaBranche Plantation is built in present-day St. Rose.

1791—Home Place Plantation in Hahnville is believed to have been built at this time by Charles, a free mulatto, who also built Destrehan Plantation.

1792—The Catholic Diocese of Louisiana is established on April 25.

1795—Etienne Bore successfully granulates sugar cane; his research is partially funded by his brother-in-law, Jean-Noël Destrehan.

1796/1800—Spain secretly returns Louisiana to France.

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