Rapides Parish, Louisiana

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Rapides Parish (French: Paroisse des Rapides) is a parish located in the U.S. state of Louisiana. Alexandria is the parish seat. It encompasses the Alexandria, Louisiana, Metropolitan Statistical Area. Rapides is the French spelling of "rapids".



In 1763, the land that is now Rapides Parish became the new home of Apalachee, who were settled there with the permission of Governor Kerlerec. These Native Americans had come to Mobile after fleeing the British and their Creek Indian allies from what is now from Leon County, Florida. Many of their descendants remain in Natchitoches Parish.

The first French settler was Vincent Porei, who was granted a small tract of land in July 1764 by the Civil and Military Commander of Natchitoches. Nicolas Etienne Marafret Layssard arrived in December 1766 with the permission of Aubrey and Foucault to establish a "tar works" in the pineries of Rapides, for naval stores. He was later appointed the first Civil Commander of Rapides Parish. During the 1760s, it was still a dependency of Natchitoches Parish [AGI, PPC, Legajo 187a, 384-384v].

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