Sabine Parish, Louisiana

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Sabine Parish (French: Paroisse de la Sabine) is a parish located in the U.S. state of Louisiana. The seat of the parish is Many. In 2000, the parish's population was 23,459.

Sabine was one of five parishes created in as many weeks by the Louisiana State Legislature March 7, 1843. It was created from Natchitoches Parish with the Sabine River as the international boundary between the United States and the Republic of Texas as the western boundary.

Contents

History

The Neutral Strip

The area, inhabited first by the Adais (Brushwood) Indians of the Caddo Confederacy, was first under Spanish rule, then French, English, Spanish again, and French when Napoleon sold it to the United States in the Louisiana Purchase of 1803.

Boundary disputes followed the purchase. The United States claimed the Sabine River as the border and Spain claimed a line farther east in Louisiana along Arroyo Hondo, a tributary of the Red River. The Neutral Ground Treaty was affected in 1806, declaring the area "Sabine Free State," a demilitarized zone, which became the neutral strip for outlaws, desperadoes, criminals and filibusters. The strip extended, roughly, from Sabine River east to the Calcasieu River, Bayous Kisatchie and Don Manuel, Lac Terre Noir and the Arroyo Hondo. Both nations claimed ownership but neither exercised control. English speaking settlers from the older eastern states began moving into the section during the westward expansion years before the boundary was established. They settled on Spanish grants known as Rio Hondo claims. One of the earliest settlers was Thomas Arthur, who filed a claim for 640 acres (2.6 km2) on Negreet Creek.

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