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Natchitoches is a small city and the parish seat of Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana, United States. Established in 1714 by Louis Juchereau de St. Denis as part of French Louisiana, the community was named after the indigenous Natchitoches people.The City of Natchitoches was not incorporated until after Louisiana had become a state (1812), on February 5, 1819. It is the oldest permanent settlement in the region. Natchitoches' sister city is Nacogdoches, Texas. It is also the location of Northwestern State University.HistoryEarly yearsNatchitoches was established in 1714 by Louis Juchereau de St. Denis. It is the oldest permanent settlement within the borders of the 1803 Louisiana Purchase. Natchitoches was founded as a French outpost on the Red River for trade with Spanish-controlled Mexico; French traders settled there as early as 1699. The post was established near a village of Natchitoches Indians, after whom the city was named.After the United States' Louisiana Purchase of 1803, migration into the territory increased from the US, and Natchitoches experienced a population boom. Several plantations were built along the Red River. In the 1820s and early 1830s, Natchitoches was a freight transfer point for cotton from parts of east Texas. Cotton shippers used a land route crossing the Sabine River to Natchitoches, where the freight was transferred to boats, and floated down the Red River toward New Orleans. However, the course of the river shifted, bypassing Natchitoches and cutting off its lucrative connection with the Mississippi River. A 33mi lake was left in the river's previous location.Explore the family-friendly attractions of Natchitoches and add them to your vacation plans using our United States day trip planner.
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