Union Parish, Louisiana

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Union Parish (French: Paroisse de l'Union) is a parish (population 22,901 as of the 2005 census) located in the U.S. state of Louisiana. The parish seat is Farmerville.

Union Parish is part of the Monroe Metropolitan Statistical Area as well as the Monroe–Bastrop Combined Statistical Area.


Early history

French & Spanish Control of Louisiana (1540 - 1803)

After Hernando de Soto's exploration of the Mississippi Valley during the 1540s, there is little evidence of any European activity in the Ouachita River valley until the latter 17th century. European interest in the region then came in three distinct waves. The French hunters, trappers, and traders appeared first and operated along the Ouachita River valley until the Natchez Indian massacre of 1729, which frightened away any developers for a while. Next, in the 1740s and 1750s, French settlers meandered north from the Pointe Coupee Post in south French Louisiana and named many of north Louisiana's bayous and prairies. These settlers returned south to Pointe Coupee before the Spaniards took possession of Louisiana in the late 1760s. The third wave of European settlers were actually descendants of the second wave, mostly true Louisiana Creoles born near the Point Coupee and Opelousas Posts. Additionally, a few Canadians came down the river from the Arkansas Post, and a few native French traders also operated along the river in the 1770s. Although plenty of evidence exists to indicate significant Indian activity and settlement in Union Parish, these apparently pre-dated the French explorations of the mid-18th century. Certainly by the 1780s, the region served merely as hunting grounds for Indian and French trappers.

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