The French Colonial Period
In 1699 and 1700 the Mississippi River was explored by the Frenchman Jean Baptiste Le Moyne Sieure de Bienvielle. The banks of the Mississppi were the first areas settled by the French. The relatively high banks of the river provided both elevation and access to the entire Mississipi Valley.
In 1717 the Mississppi Company (late known as the Company of the Indies) was given exclusive rights of trade in the province of Louisiana. Under this charter the Mississippi Company had authority to grant land to settlers.
In 1718 New Orleans was founded by the French, by way of which they hoped to control their vast territories inland. While New Orleans was yet a village, the rich soil of the river bank attracted wealthy Frenchman to invest in large scale agricultural endeavors in what is now part of Jefferson Parish.
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