Talk:Louisiana (New France)

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Page Title[edit]

This page should not be called "Louisiana (New France)" as Louisiana was also a region of the Spanish colonial possessions in America. However, I cannot think of a good name and would appreciate some help --Gpyoung talk 01:38, 24 September 2005 (UTC)

I think the current name of "Louisiana (New France)" serves the article well because this article is about the French colony of Louisiana. I do think there should be a new article created to describe Louisiana's history under Spain's rule.
The Spanish colonization of the Americas article currently has the following:
Louisiana territory - Spain controlled this territory from 1762-1800. Most of the north and interior was not inhabited by Spain. French settlers made up most of the inhabitants and new immigrants. This included land in the present U.S. states of Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, Idaho, and Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. — Fingers-of-Pyrex 19:21, 3 October 2005 (UTC)
I do agree with this. Louisiana was passed to the Spanish in 1769, and stayed in Spanish hands until Napoleon grabbed it when he tried to conquer Spain. That is how matters stood until Jefferson took advantage of Napoleon's money woes in 1803. - gab 21:28, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
Actually, Napoleon's acquisition of Louisiana was unrelated to his invasion of Spain (which took place in 1807, seven years later). Also, he ended up selling it not simply because of a lack of money but also because the French army that was intended to take possession of the territory got bogged down, and devastated by yellow fever, trying to put down a revolution in Saint Domingue. Funnyhat 06:13, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
Well, I for one think it would make more sense to have the Spanish article under the Spanish Louisiana & this one Colonial French Lousiana (to dab w/modern Cajun La.) It's the more common term for the period and region (aside from the parentheses being ugly.) -LlywelynII (talk) 20:57, 23 February 2010 (UTC)


Somehow this article contains semi-wiki-links of some kind, typed as [ [ articlename ] ].

Are these supposed to be changed to articlename? It is a lot of tedious manual work to make these changes. Thanks Hmains 19:18, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

I suspect someone took the featured article from the French WP and ran it through an automatic translator--which may be where the weird links come in--or perhaps it was a cue that there was a linked term there in French but a choice was made to not create the links by default (I dunno, I'm just speculating). I agree completely though about the level of tedious labor required to fix this. I had started but quickly gave up. I might have another go at it, but it will take some time to sort this all out. olderwiser
I've searched and replaced all the square brackets, but someone will still need to fix the Babelfished French grammar. DanBishop 20:12, 3 June 2006 (UTC)
Hi, I've translated (not with a bot :) ) the pictures captions that were still in french. Gadro 11:54, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

Possible cleanup[edit]

Does anyone else see the need for a cleanup on this page? Some sentences are slipshod and truncated and run-on sentences abound. This site could use a make-over. Thoughts?

Yes, large chucks of it need a sentence by sentence overhaul. There is a lot of information, but the English is poor. This mainly applies from the heading "Template:XVIIIe siècle : le véritable début de la colonisation" onwards. Tellingly that is in French, which I suspect was the original language of much of the text. Chicheley 03:21, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

Scope, Infobox[edit]

I am hoping dis-enangle some of the information we have on WP about New France. Too often Canadian sources treat New France as being synonumous with Canada, New France. Part of the solution is to make it clear by using an infobox that Canada was a sub-division of New France, as was Acadia, and Lousisia. To that end, I would like to add the Template:Infobox Former Subdivision to this article as I have done to Acadia and Canada, New France. I t might look like this:

Thoughts?Kevlar67 21:43, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

I think the distinction is necessary too. In the late 1750s, Louisiana had almost the full set of provincial institutions that Canada had and as such it could be considered, from a comparative point of view, as almost a province inside the province of New France. Acadia never reached that level of political development because it fell to the British very soon. Are you going to make templates for the other regions of the late New France? -- Mathieugp 23:14, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
I somewhat agree. The more common term in both Canada and the US would be (Colonial) French Louisiana and New France generally does just refer to early Quebec. So I'm in support of moving this article to the more common heading, while making it clear it was part of an administration called New France via links, boxes, whatever. -LlywelynII (talk) 21:02, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

LouisianaPurchase.png map problematic[edit]

The map currently used in the article, LouisianaPurchase.png, is problematic because it shows only the area of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, while the subject of the article is the much earlier territory of New France which extended into present-day Florida and large portions of the Great Lakes region. olderwiser 13:12, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

Replaced with one translated from the French wiki. Kmusser 14:34, 12 September 2007 (UTC)
I left some questions on the talk page of the uploader of this image. Briefly, the boundaries the uploader picked are only notional.
  • There is no way all of Newfoundland should be colored Blue. Parts of Newfoundland were settled by France. But other parts had always remained in British hands.
  • Mansel Island, at the mouth of Hudson's Bay, remains uninhabited to this day. The French disputed the British settlements on Hudson's Bay, in the Seventeenth Century, but only for a couple of decades at most. Yet, our map-maker has colored a vast area of what is now Nunavut, and northern Manitoba part of New France.
  • Our wikipedia article on Labrador lists that Jaques Cartier visited Labrador in 1534, and then jumps immediately to 1765, when France ceded all rights it had to Labrador. I spent a bit of time yesterday, trying to find a historical trace of any settlements on the Labrador coast during those 230 years. No can find. But, after Labrador had been ceded to Newfoundland, when it was still a separate country from Canada, there was a dispute as to whether what the French had ceded, when it ceded Labrador, extended more than a couple of kilometers past the shoreline. Geo Swan (talk) 07:57, 2 February 2009 (UTC)
While actual settlements are no indication for boundaries, claims to the territory are, there remains that the second map, the one displayed in the info box here, does not make sense as far as I am concerned. The one that used to be in the same info box before was (and still is) much more accurate. And it has a date on it, 1750, which any map must have to be of any use. I propose we restore that map, unless someone can come up with a more detailed map, showing only Louisiana under French rule maybe. :-) --
I went ahead and restored the previous map. Kmusser (talk) 14:41, 2 February 2009 (UTC)

Nouvelle-France_map-en.svg map problematic[edit]

Nouvelle-France_map-en.svg suffers the same problem that the current map does: it extends far too far into modern Texas (although it gives up rather too much of Oklahoma & far too much of the upper Missouri.) The original map LouisianaPurchase.png has no problem except its ugliness, since this article (now) is about Louisiana and not all of New France. -LlywelynII (talk) 21:07, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

Propose new Navbox[edit]

The main problem with WP's coverage of New France is that there is little continuity between the different locales. Americans editors have made the Louisiana page very good, but much of it duplicates the main page. Meanwhile the main page concentrates way too much on Canada, and neglects Acadia, Louisiana, etc. There is a separate page for the colony of Canada but it is mostly unused. To help readers, and editors get a better understanding of how New France was organized. I am proposing creating this new Navbox template. The first section I am committed to and eventually I want to see it on this page regardless. The rest is open to debate and change.


What do you think? Is it too broad, too narrow? Would a list of topics be better? Thanks for the imput. Kevlar67 21:37, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

A template could only be a positive move in my opinion. I'd say that based on what is currently in Wikipedia, it is broad enough. It can always be broadened later. To avoid confusion, I believe we could clarify the lifetime of the colonies, possibly this way:
Acadia (1604-1713) • Île Royale (?-?) • Canada (1608-1763)• Hudson Bay (?-?)• Louisiana (1699-1803) • Newfoundland (?-?)
I agree fully. However, did Île Royale have a seperate government from Acadia? Wouldn't we include the post-1713 parts of Acadia that were retained under "Acadia" (Île Saint Jean, Île Royale [esp. Louisbourg]), or was it considered a seperate, new colony? And wouldn't Louisiana be (1699-1763, 1800-1803)? Kevlar67 03:58, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
I believe that the government of Île Royale was separate. At least, it didn't exist before the cession of Acadia. The Acadiens were invited to resettle on the Ile Royale by the French government. Louisbourg, the capital, was founded on the island in 1713. The colony at Plaisance was also moved on the said Island. Philippe Pastour de Costebelle was first governor of island. Before that, he was governor of Terre-Neuve (since 1706). This source ([1]) says that "dans le but de contrebalancer l'hégémonie britannique à Terre-Neuve et en Acadie, la France établit la colonie de l'île Royale, qui comprenait l'île du Cap-Breton, rebaptisée île Royale, et l'île Saint-Jean, devenue depuis l'Île-du-Prince-Édouard." It would seem that the île Saint-Jean did not have its own government under French rule. Regarding Louisiana, yes, it might be wise to exclude the period under Spanish rule to avoid confusion. -- Mathieugp 19:17, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
We could also add the name of the city where the governor of New France was residing, i.e., the capital, but that might be too much information. Regarding the Settlement & forts, I am not sure we can fit them all in a single row. Won't the list be just too long? For the Government row, we might also end up with a long list if we add the governors and intendants of all colonies. But it could be good to write up the list of all the governors of Québec, Montréal, Trois-Rivières, Acadia, Louisiana, Ile Royale and Terre-Neuve. We could also have a row for Judicial with the Conseil supérieur, Amirauté, Prévoté, tribunals and seigneurs (highest to lowest authority).
If there are that many forts that we have articles on, then we need to create a list of them (e.g. List of French forts in North America)! We could then include the list in the template. We should eventually have lists of all the governors of the colonies, perhaps indendants too. We could create a category to put them in (e.g. Category:Government of New France and link to that. I'm not sure what to do about the legal system. Kevlar67 03:58, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
Good idea. Yes, the intendants should be under government. I'll do a little research to know if the Amirauté and Prévoté have equivalents in English. If not, then the list of the core judicial institutions of New France are pretty much those I have listed. The seigneurs had powers equivalent to peace justices, then there were small tribunals, then specialized tribunals (Amirauté and Prévoté) and finally a "supreme court" of a sort in the Sovereign Council (or Superior Council as it was later called for most of its history). -- Mathieugp 19:17, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
I am really not sure about the examples given under Economy, Events and Related, but I think it is a very good start. Under economy, I see things that to me seem more political and social. Under events, I of course see events, but they could very well go under History along with what is presently under Related, don't you think? -- Mathieugp 23:21, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
"History" might be a better name. I only avoided it because it's all history! :-) Kevlar67 03:58, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
You're right. It's all history anyway. I think the problem is that articles that are specialized in specific aspects of New France society are not yet part of Wikipedia. Maybe we can leave those two categories out for now? -- Mathieugp 19:17, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
I started an article on the political organization of New France in French in mid-October 2006 here : fr:Utilisateur:Mathieugp/Brouillons/Organisation politique de la Nouvelle-France. There is a lot of work left to do, but once it is there, I'll make sure to translate it to English. This should also help readers and editors better understand the New France system I hope. -- Mathieugp 23:32, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
Sounds excellant. The title is quite long though. Why not just "gouvernement de la Nouvelle-France" or "politique de la Nouvelle-France"? Speaking of translations, once this template is finalised, could you help me translate it to French? Kevlar67 03:58, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I'll translate them if you want. -- Mathieugp 19:17, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

Proper French Flag?[edit]

As I work on my French genealogy, I like to refer to articles like this to give my family history some historical context. But, I was surprised to see the "France Ancient" flag, (Argent, semé-de-lys Or -- that is, "White, strewn with fleurs-de-lys of Gold), rather than the "France Modern" flag, which is Azure (blue), with three large Fleurs-de-lys. I don't claim to know from nothin', but the Wikipedia article on the Fleur-de-lys states: "Until the late 14th century, the French royal coat of arms was Azure semé-de-lys Or (a blue shield "seeded" (semé) with small golden fleurs-de-lis), but Charles V of France changed the design from an all-over scattering to a group of three in about 1376. These two coats are known in heraldic jargon as France Ancient and France Modern respectively." Even the Kings of England, who included the fleurs-de-lys in their coats of arms, changed to the "France Modern" design, with the three large fleurs-de-lys, after 1411. Since Louisiana wasn't really colonized until the 17th century, over two hundred years later, then shouldn't the "France Modern" flag be used here? PGNormand (talk) 21:02, 12 July 2008 (UTC)

The white flag "semé-de-lys" is likely incorrect here. However, it is correct for royal family members for this period. "France ancien" was blue, not white. "France moderne" with three fleur-de-lys would have been used up to about 1638. It might have flown in older parts of New France, but not in Louisiana. Louisiana officials would likely use the standard shown in the New France article during the reign of Louis XIV up to the 1763 Treaty of Paris. After the restoration in 1814, the flag would be plain white, but that would be after the Louisiana Purchase. There was really no state flag of France prior to the French Revolution. Ordinary people didn't fly flags as they do in France and the U.S. today anyway. As Louis XIV said, "I am the state." It is possible that the French tricolor flew over Louisiana on the day of its transfer to the US in 1804. - Parsa (talk) 19:38, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

US Flags?[edit]

Why are the US flags on this article since it's about the territory before U.S. takeover. ? I tried to nuke them but it screws up the template. Americasroof 10:47, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

They show up next to links the the entities that replaced French Louisiana. It's like a succession box.Kevlar67 03:59, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
I love this article and refer to it frequently. However, I think we have to change the templates so that it reflects the true process. The flags if there is predecessor would be Spain based on Desoto's first claim to the territory (although the Spanish did not settle). Following would be Louisiana (New Spain) with the fleur de lee as the earlier flag and subsequent flag being the French tri-color for Louisiana (Republic of France). Following that would be the United States. The template currently is inaccurate on the dates. Americasroof 01:24, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
Well I didn't know we had a seperate article for the Spanish period, so there you go. Help us create the new one for the Republican era and then we'll have all the bases covered. Kevlar67 23:25, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

Noted La Louisiane français[edit]

07-Jan-2009: To help connect to source materials in French, I added that the French name was "by 1879, La Louisiane français" plus source footnote. The explanation is that "La Louisiane" became the French term (still used today) for the U.S. state, and the colonial district was later called "La Louisiane français" (lowercase "f") in French. Because both of the terms were used during the 1800s, the 2nd term "La Louisiane français" might seem ancient, being about 200 years old, in the literature. It is a major issue because the English "new" name "French Louisiana" is about 200 years old. Prior to statehood, the French term "La Louisiane" meant the whole region. -Wikid77 (talk) 13:00, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

Louisiane is feminine. So it's "française" or "Française", but surely neither "français" nor "Français". With a final "e" to mark the feminine. Normally, in standard French, the lower case "f" prevails, as in this case "française" is an adjective and not a noun. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:59, 8 August 2010 (UTC)

File:LouisianeFrançaise01.png map problematic[edit]

The article text and the map are in error with regard to the early French settlements in what is now Michigan; specifically, the areas of Detroit and Michilimackinac were governed as dependencies of Quebec and Montreal, rather than as part of Louisiana. This is quite clear from the Articles of Capitulation of Montreal, which provided for the surrender of the French settlements in Canada, without mentioning anything about the settlements along the Mississippi and Illinois rivers.LibertyHiller (talk) 04:25, 2 November 2009 (UTC)

Beyond which, the southern borders, while accurately curved, are much too far south & include land in Texas never held by the French. In short, while it's nice to see French Louisiana at its full extent, this map is inaccurate in too many particulars. I'll look around to see if there's anything similar to replace it with; otherwise, we might have to just put up a US purchase map w/date. It won't include everything, but at least it won't be wrong. -LlywelynII (talk) 21:14, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
Changed map to image:LouisianaPurchase-fr.png, which is used by award-winning French Wiki version. Considerations:
  • This is an article about Colonial French Louisiana. We should not have a map of all of New France on this article.
  • We should not have an inaccurate map at all.
  • If the French don't think that the Indian Reserve (1763) or Illinois Country were administered as part of Louisiana, it probably wasn't.
  • Nacogdoches & the Piney Woods of East Texas were never French.
  • It would be good to have an English version (without, eg, Mexique) but the red design is more attractive than the old lime green one here. Mho.
So, yeah, feel free to fix #5 there, but when you do, please don't wreck #1-4 while you're at it. =) -LlywelynII (talk) 21:30, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
This image seems to be in dispute, as I found "File:LouisianeFrançaise01.png" back in the article again. I therefore replaced it with an authoritative map of the Louisiana Purchase territory in 1803. At least that is more accurate than the overly inflated image of French Louisiana according to some overly zealous patriotes! Also, in accordance with your point #5 above, it is in English (Mexico and United States, for example, are on the map). --Skol fir (talk) 00:30, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
Hmm, but the Louisiana Purchase doesn't include areas that clearly were part of French Louisiana, like the Natchez District and, I think, Illinois Country. Wonder if a better map could be found. A quick look around The Commons hasn't turned up anything promising, but I'll keep looking. Pfly (talk) 21:27, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
Yes I noticed that the original boundaries were a bit wider to the east for Louisiana, before the lands east of the Miss. R. were given to the British in the Treaty of Paris (1763). However, what seems to be a recurring problem with the map that is used in the "European" editions of Wiki, is the exaggerated western boundaries, which I believe were never confirmed in any treaties. That's what it says in Louisiana_Purchase#Boundaries. The only way to remedy this would be to find someone who can make a new map. I don't have the software for it. --Skol fir (talk) 03:35, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
I thought about making a new map after posting here. If I find the time and inspiration I'll see what I can do. Pfly (talk) 09:39, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
It looks like Squibman (talk · contribs) has completely ignored the above discussion (judging from his edit summary which says "Updated image map to a more period correct map"). Squibman reinserted the old problematic "File:LouisianeFrançaise01.png" to the article. It seems like even Texans want a say in this! We are back to square one (or first base, as they like to say in Texas!) --Skol fir (talk) 02:20, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
It seems to me this is an issue of de facto vs. de jure. While France never exactly specified what Louisiana constituted, as far as i know, it is not uncommon to say it was the Mississippi basin. At least the USA claimed the Louisiana Purchase was the Mississippi basin west of the Mississippi. So if this File:LouisianeFrançaise01.png map is a map of claims, it may not be far off—even if it includes regions not in the Mississippi basin (like the Mobile River, arguably well within French Lousisiana). If we are trying to map de facto control, well good luck with that! In short, it seems to me that trying to map French Louisiana, with precise borders, either de facto or de jure, is fraught with difficulties and likely impossible. Pfly (talk) 07:31, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
PS, at this point I am unlikely to make a new map anytime soon, despite what I said above. Pfly (talk) 07:33, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
I understand your reluctance to jump into the map-making business, especially when the French gave us nothing in writing to define their boundaries, until they were forced to do so by the Louisiana Purchase. In that transaction, the Americans probably needed the borders to be defined for legal purposes. Before 1803, there was no reason to set the boundaries legally, as they were constantly in flux. :-) --Skol fir (talk) 20:08, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

Interracial marriages prohibited?[edit]

The article claims that

[…]although interracial marriages and regroupings of slaves were prohibited, planters and their workers often practiced cohabitation and kept mistresses.

The article about the Code Noir mentions nothing of this prohibition, in contrary:

married free men will be fined for having children with their slave concubines, as will the slave concubine's master. If the man himself is the master of the slave concubine, the slave and child will be removed from his ownership. If the man was not married, he should then be married to the slave concubine thus freeing her and the child from slavery (art. 9)

It seems very unlikely that marriage would be both prohibited and prescribed in certain cases.—Graf Bobby (talk) 11:04, 27 August 2010 (UTC)

Map of New France[edit]

I noticed that the Map of New France shows a star near the location of Fort St. Jean-Baptiste, but the star is labeled "Fort Rosalie," which was at Natchez. Unless there is something I don't know, shouldn't there be a properly labeled star for each? PGNormand (talk) 17:09, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

Fort Rosalie should be on the other side of the Mississippi, at least! Pfly (talk) 17:16, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
PGNormand, I have visited the Fort St. Jean-Baptiste in Natchitoches, LA (Historic District - St.Jean Baptiste) and you are right. There are many problems with the map, and you have pointed to one of the errors. Other editors, including myself, are disputing this map, in the discussion above under #File:LouisianeFran.C3.A7aise01.png_map_problematic. Maybe we can have this map deleted from the Wikimedia Commons, as we have already tried here -- Deletion_requests/File:LouisianeFrançaise01.png. --Skol fir (talk) 17:26, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
Do we have a better map available to use instead of this one? Maps showing the Louisiana Purchase seem non-ideal for showing New France Louisiana. There is this one at The Commons: --being in SVG format it should be relatively easy to edit if needed--at the least it would need an edit to show Louisiana's location within the whole of New France. Or is there a better map available somewhere? Pfly (talk) 20:28, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
Pfly, the map you mentioned has the same error, with Ft. Rosalie on the wrong side of the Mississippi. I guess there is nothing better right now, until a new, more honest mapmaker appears. --Skol fir (talk) 22:17, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

A tangential observation. I just happened across an interesting statement relating to the Louisiana Purchase and the French conception of Louisiana. While the source is merely an opinion by a statesman involved in the situation and can be seen as authoritative, it is nonetheless interesting. The comment is made by Robert R. Livingston the Minister to France in a July 30, 1802, letter to the Secretary of State James Madison. This is a series of intense communications regarding French intentions after word had leaked about the cession of territory by Spain to France. It was at the time unclear whether the cession included any of the Spanish territories of East and West Florida.

It appears, also, by the fifth article of the Treaty of Madrid, March 21st, 1801, that the cession had been made of Louisiana generally. The French, you know, have always extended it to South Carolina and all the country on the Ohio. [emphasis added] Annals of Congress, 7th Congress, pg. 1037

olderwiser 21:52, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

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