Territory of Orleans and County of the German Coast (1805)

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Government of the Territory of Orleans

President Jefferson signed a bill on March 26, 1804, which made the portion of the Louisiana Purchase south of the thirty-third parallel the Territory of Orleans. The portion remaining would become the District of Louisiana and was placed under the jurisdiction of the Indiana Territory. In August of 1804, the president established the new government of the Territory of Orleans by appointing William C. C. Claiborne as governor.

Chart of Government of County of the German Coast, 1805–06
Chart of Government of County of the German Coast, 1805–06. (From the Inventory of the Parish Archives of Louisiana, No. 45. St. Charles Parish (Hahnville). Prepared by the Historical Records Survey Division of Women’s and Professional Projects, Works Progress Administration, the Department of Archives, Louisiana State University.)

County of the German Coast

At the legislative council’s first meeting in 1804, the unorganized Territory of Orleans was divided into twelve counties, one being the County of the German Coast. Louisiana was made an organized territory in 1805. The president then added a legislative council. This structure remained in place until Louisiana became a state in 1812.

This text is copyright © material by Marilyn Richoux, Joan Becnel and Suzanne Friloux, from St. Charles Parish, Louisiana: A Pictorial History, 2010.

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