Cameron Parish, Louisiana

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Cameron Parish (French: Paroisse de Cameron) is the parish with the most land area in the U.S. state of Louisiana. The parish seat is Cameron and as of 2000, the population was 9,991. It is part of the Lake Charles Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Cameron Parish is part of the Lake Charles Metropolitan Statistical Area as well as the Lake Charles–Jennings Combined Statistical Area.

Contents

History

Organized in 1870 from parts of Calcasieu and Vermillion Parishes, Cameron is named for Simon Cameron, a Pennsylvanian who was President Abraham Lincoln's first secretary of war. It is among the largest civil parishes in Louisiana, yet the least populated, owing to the high proportion of land area devoted to marsh. Cameron Parish comprises a large portion of the Louisiana Chenier Plain, and thus is home to numerous cheniers, elevated ridges that occur in certain coastal regions, particularly in Lousiana. Early settlers include John M. Smith, Millege McCall, John William Sweeney, George W. Wakefield, William Doxey, James Hall, James Root, and John M. Miller.[1]

The western half of Cameron Parish was part of the colorful No Man’s Land or 1806 Neutral Ground (Louisiana) agreement to solve a boundary dispute between the governments of the United States and Spain after the Louisiana Purchase. The Calcasieu River (at the time the Arroyo Hondo) and the Sabine River became the eastern and western boundaries. Devoid of law enforcement, the area became a hotbed of outlaws, pirates, and other nefarious characters for many years.

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