Vermilion Parish, Louisiana

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Vermilion Parish (French: Paroisse de Vermilion) is a parish located in the U.S. state of Louisiana. The parish seat is Abbeville. As of 2000, the population was 53,807.

Vermilion Parish is part of the Abbeville Micropolitan Statistical Area as well as the LafayetteAcadiana Combined Statistical Area.

Contents

History

Indigenous peoples lived in the area for thousands of years, in different cultures. By historic times, the Chitimacha and Atakapa inhabited the area and were the American Indians encountered by Spanish and French explorers and settlers. The tribes' numbers were drastically reduced as a result of exposure to Eurasian diseases to which they had no immunity.

French, Spanish, enslaved Africans, and French-Canadians from Acadia expelled after the Seven Years War won by Great Britain, had all entered the area by the end of the 18th century. As the population became mostly Cajun, the primary language was French for years. In the mid- to late 19th century, they were joined by European Americans; immigrants from Italy, recruited to work on the plantations, as well as Jewish immigrants from Germany and eastern Europe, who tended to settle in towns and become merchants.

Geography

The parish has a total area of 1,538 square miles (3,984 km²), of which, 1,174 square miles (3,040 km²) of it is land and 365 square miles (944 km²) of it (23.70%) is water.

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