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Posts Tagged ‘Coushatta Louisiana’

Coushatta, Louisiana

Posted by graywacke on May 22, 2009

First timer? In this (hopefully) once-a-day blog, I have my computer select a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48). I call this “landing.” I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town I land near. I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location. To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is and what the various numbers and abbreviations mean), please see “About Landing,” (and “Abbreviations” and “Cryptic Numbers”) above.

Dan – I landed in what has been a USer forever, but I’ve been landing there (in your home state) a little too frequently of late, so it’s now a USer . . . LA; 29/29; 6/10; 9; 160.0. As you can see, 160.0 is a new record low Score.

FYI, I’ve been keeping track of the number of landings it takes to drop the Score each 10 points, so when I finally break into the 150’s (maybe next landing), I’ll provide some details on this wonderful stat.

Here’s a first-time event:   I landed in the Jims River watershed, but I’m not going to count Jims River  as a river. Check out my landing map and you’ll see what I mean:

landing

I marked both ends of  “Jims River” (it’s labeled when zoomed in).  To the south (downstream), Jims River joins up with Bayou Pierre.  That makes Jims River about 6 miles long. I suspect that there have been some renaming of waterways through the years, but I just can’t call a six-mile long waterway a river.

Anyway, the Bayou Pierre is in fact a new “river,” (my 1011th river) on to the Red R of the South (41 hits); on to the Atchafalaya (47th hit).

Here’s a slightly expanded landing map, showing my proximity to Coushatta. The Red River is the unlabeled river that flows parallel to the railroad tracks.

landing2

Here’s a broader view:

Coushatta_LA

Wiki turns out to be the only source of info about Coushatta (pop 2300) that I could. The Wiki article really focused on racial unrest and violence beginning in Reconstruction:

Red River Parish (home of Coushatta) and the Red River valley were areas of unrest and white paramilitary activity and violence during the 1870s of Reconstruction. The parish had been based on cotton cultivation, dependent on the labor of enslaved African Americans who far outnumbered the whites. After the war, white planters and farmers tried to reestablish dominance over their former slaves.

Formed in May 1874 from white militias, the White League in Louisiana was increasingly well-organized in rural areas like Red River Parish. It worked to turn out the Republican Party, as well as suppress freedmen’s civil rights and voting rights. It used violence against officeholders, running some out of town and killing others, and acted near elections to suppress black and white Republican voting.

In one of the more flagrant examples of violence, in August 1874 the White League forced six Republicans out of office in Coushatta, then assassinated them before they could leave the state. Victims included the brother and three brothers-in-law of the Republican State Senator Marshall H. Twitchell. His wife and her brothers were from a family with long ties in the area.

The White League also killed five to twenty freedmen who had been escorting the Republicans and were witnesses to the assassinations. The events became known as the Coushatta Massacre and contributed to the Republican governor’s requesting more Federal troops from President Grant to help control the state.

With increased fraud, violence and intimidation, white Democrats regained control of the state legislature in 1876 and established what amounted to one-party rule. They passed laws making elections more complicated and issued a new constitution with provisions that effectively disfranchised most African Americans and many poor whites. This disfranchisement persisted for decades deep into the 20th century, before civil rights legislation and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 renewed protections for citizens’ suffrage.

I knew that there was a lot of ugliness during Reconstruction; I guess this is probably one of many examples.

Coushatta is named after an Indian tribe. It seems as though most of this tribe live in southwest LA, not up north near Coushatta. Anyway, here’s the Tribe’s symbol:

Bandera_Coushatta_Tribe

Here’s kind of a sad shot of downtown Coushatta “on a Sunday afternoon.”

800px-Downtown_Coushatta,_LA,_on_a_Sunday_afternoon_IMG_1661

And this of the highway bridge over the Red River at Coushatta:

bridge over the Red @ coushatta

KS

Greg

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