New Iberia, Louisiana

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New Iberia (French: La Nouvelle-Ibérie, Spanish: Nueva Iberia) is a city in and the parish seat of Iberia Parish, Louisiana, United States,[1] 30 miles (48 km) southeast of Lafayette. In 1900, 6,815 people lived in New Iberia, Louisiana; in 1910, 7,499; and in 1940, 13,747. The population was 32,623 at the 2000 census.

New Iberia is the principal city of the New Iberia Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Iberia Parish.

Contents

History

The town of New Iberia dates from Spring 1779, when a group of 500 Malaguenian colonists and the actual founder Bernardo de Galvez[2] [3] came up Bayou Teche and settled around Spanish Lake. The Spanish settlers called the town "Nueva Iberia" in honor of the Iberian Peninsula, and the French referred to the town as "Nouvelle Ibérie" while the American settlers called it "New Town" after the Louisiana Purchase.[4]

In 1814, the federal government opened a post office, and it was officially known as "New Iberia," but postmarks shortly thereafter reveal that the town was being called "Nova Iberia" (with Latin for "new"). The town was incorporated as "Iberia" in 1839, but the state legislature resolved the situation in 1847, naming the town New Iberia.[4]

During the American Civil War, New Iberia was occupied by Union forces under General Nathaniel P. Banks. The soldiers spent the winter of 1862-1863 at New Iberia and, according to historian John D. Winters of Louisiana Tech University in his The Civil War in Louisiana, "found the weather each day more and more severe. The dreary days dragged by, and the men grumbled as they plowed through the freezing rain and deep mud in performing the regular routines of camp life."[5] Banks' men from New Iberia foraged for supplies in the swamps near the city.[6]

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