Jeanerette, Louisiana

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Jeanerette is a city in Iberia Parish, Louisiana, United States. Known as "Sugar City", it had a population of 5,997 at the 2000 census. It is part of the New Iberia Micropolitan Statistical Area.



Early years

In the 18th Century, the land on which Jeanerette now lies was originally procured from the Spanish government by Pierre Zerangue. Zerangue received an “order of survey and settlement” from Spain for 1,052 acres (4.26 km2). Under Spanish law, if someone occupied a piece of property for two years they could apply for title to the land under an “order of survey settlement.” Nicholas Provost secured the property from the present day Experimental farm to the St. Mary Parish line. He engaged in sugar cultivation until his death in 1816.

The town derived its name from John W. Jeanerette, a native of South Carolina who came to the area in the 1820s. First he worked as a tutor for a planter's family, as did numerous educated young adults from northerly states. Next he opened a store and saloon. Having saved some money, about 1830 Jeanerette purchased Pine Grove Plantation, formerly known as Beau Pré (meaning Lovely Meadow/pasture).[1]

Jeanerette offered a portion of his house to be used as a mail depository for the local inhabitants. Later John Jeanerette was appointed the town's first postmaster (he dropped his middle initial.) The name Jeanerette afterward stuck for the post office and town.[2]

Civil War

During the American Civil War, Confederate forces under Generals Richard Taylor and Henry Sibley withdrew from Franklin and on April 14, 1862, reached Jeanerette, twelve miles (19 km) south of New Iberia. A soldier, Arthur W. Hyatt, describes the difficult march:

"Thus we had marched about twenty-six miles in fifteen hours and fought a battle in the bargain. But such terrible hard marching I never witnessed before. Our feet are all blistered and swollen, and we have had scarcely anything to eat -- what with hunger, thirst, mud, rain, marching, fighting, dust, etc., etc., we are perfectly worn out."[3]The night after Hyatt's report, the "weather turned unusually cool, and the men got very little sleep."[4]

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