Donaldsonville, Louisiana

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Donaldsonville (historically French: Lafourche-des-Chitimachas[1]) is a city in and the parish seat of Ascension Parish, Louisiana, United States,[2] along the west bank of the Mississippi River. The population was 7,605 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Statistical Area.



Acadians began to settle in the area in 1765 and Spanish Isleños also settled here. In 1772 when the territory was under Spanish rule, the militia constructed La Iglesia de la Ascension de Nostro Senor Jesu Cristo da Lafourche de los Chetimaches (the Ascension of Our Lord Catholic Church of Lafourche of the Chitimaches) to serve the area. The region returned later to French control and then was part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 by the United States.[3][4]

Donaldsonville is named after landowner William Donaldson. In 1806 Donaldson commissioned architect and planner Barthelemy Lafon to plan a new town. This served briefly as the Louisiana capital (1830–1831) after New Orleans was deemed "too noisy".

Although Donaldsonville is a small town, it has many historic sites. Its museum, the River Road African American Museum, has been included on the state's African American Heritage Trail.[5] It also has parks, shopping centers, and Civil War grounds.

The official newspaper of the city is the Donaldsonville Chief, which has been published since 1871.[6]

Specific historical facts about Donaldsonville can be learned through the books of Sidney Marchand (historian, mayor, legislator, attorney). Mr. Marchand as a state Senator was a contemporary of Huey Long. It was during the mayoral administrations of Sidney Marchand, Sr. and Sidney Marchand, Jr. that significant infrastructure was constructed in Donaldsonville (including about 12 miles of paving, and the still-extant sewerage system).

State Capitol

The state capitol of Louisiana was moved from New Orleans in 1829 then to Donaldsonville in 1830, but was moved back to New Orleans in 1831.

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