Louisiana is "Found" : The first 100 years
LaSalle (Rene Robert Cavalier) sailed down the Mississippi and claimed Louisiana for France in 1682. He named it after his king (Louis XIV). Although the group did a bit of exploring, they did not stray far from the River. LaSalle tried to return with a group of settlers in 1686, but bypassed Louisiana and landed at Texas. After losing all 4 ships, he and a group of men set off for supplies. Along the way, his dictatorial attitude caused his men to rebel and kill him.
The colony was left alone for over a decade, until Iberville was asked to try to settle the area. He arrived in 1699 with a small group of settlers.
Since Louisiana was basically wilderness, few families were anxious to tame a new land. Many of the first inhabitants of Louisiana were soldiers and people who came to make money ... they often returned home after they had taken care of their "business" in Louisiana. Also, France sent a number of "undesirables" ... prisoners, prostitutes, etc. ... to Louisiana to rid themselves of this class of people. It even got to the point that the poor in France were picked up and sent to the colony. This made early Louisiana a poor choice for families of settlers.
The territory of Louisiana was handled as a business enterprise. Someone was given control of the area in return for development and colonization. Antoine Crozat was in charge from 1712 to 1717. When he realized his "investment" wasn't paying off, he relinquished the claim. John Law and his Company of the Indies took over Louisiana. At that time, land was not given to individual settlers. Large sections of land were given to wealthy entrepreneurs. These large landowners then recruited "engages" to settle and work the land. They were like indentured servants who signed on for a specified number of years. Individual land ownership among common people was rare.
John Law, and the Company of the Indies, settled Germans along the Mississippi River (in present-day St. Charles and St. John the Baptist Parish) in 1721. When the Company of the Indies folded in 1731, the Germans were released from their obligation and became independant land-owners. More information on these and others who contributed to the Cajun culture can be found at the Cajun History site.
Over the next few decades, the population of the Louisiana grew, but it still numbered only a few thousand. There is no direct evidence of any settlement in the Terrebonne Parish area until late in the 18th century. The bulk of the earliest settlers may have been Acadians who came to the colony in 1785.