Historic Southwest Louisiana (Hardcover)
The “mother parish” of Southwest Louisiana, Calcasieu Parish, has a history unlike that of any other part of Louisiana, and most certainly unlike that of any other part of the United States. Of course, “unique history” can be claimed by every region of the country. The history of any one region is singular to that particular region. But it may be said that the conditions and circumstances in Southwest Louisiana are perhaps more unusual than those in most of the country. And while the history of this area is intertwined with the history of our neighbors, and crafted of the people and movements and events that shaped America in general, the particular combinations and juxtapositions in this corner of Louisiana make for an exceptionally rich gumbo of traditions and a wide range of fascinating history, some of which is of national if not international significance.
Of all the fifty states, Louisiana can claim a heritage that draws from the French, uniquely explored and governed by France, exchanged with Spain, then returned to France to be sold, not conquered, by the United States. This corner of the state was the wild southwest frontier of the vast Louisiana Purchase. Remote from power centers of Washington and even New Orleans, the southwestern edge of Louisiana was for many years a literal no-man’s- land, claimed but not tamed by two powers. This was a land of opportunity and refuge, sanctuary for pirates and privateers, a wild land of prairie and marsh and forest where pioneer families marked out a future, and where the cowboy and the ‘Cajun and the creole met to make one fascinating culture.
For over forty-five years, Adley Cormier has researched Louisiana, particularly Southwest Louisiana, to gain a unique insight to the society, culture and history of the region. He has written monographs, commentary, and articles for dozens of newspapers, journals and magazines, and has appeared on national television, on Louisiana Public Broadcasting, and in independent productions to share our unique heritage and culture. He still professionally guides groups on tours of Southwest Louisiana, consults and writes.