Origin of Name Louisiana was
named for King Louis XIV of France by explorer Robert
Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle. Area (rank) 48,523
sq mi (31st). Population (rank) 4,625,470
(25th). Capital Baton Rouge. First Permanent
Settlement Natchitoches, in 1804. Admitted to
Union (rank) April 30, 1812 (18th).
Dates in Louisiana
1541 Explored by Hernando de Soto. 1683
Claimed for France (and named) by Robert Cavelier, Sieur
de la Salle. May 2, 1803 Sold to the United
States. April 30, 1812 Admitted to the Union as
the 18th state.
was a pirate who once preyed on merchant ships in the
Gulf of Mexico. In 1815, he and his men helped General
Andrew Jackson defeat the British at the Battle of New
served as Governor of Louisiana three times. Known for
eccentric behavior, he was briefly confined to a metal
hospital during his third term.