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he Red River, or sometimes the Red River of the South, is a major tributary of the Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers in the southern United States of America.[2] The river was named for the red-bed country of its watershed. It is one of several rivers with that name.

"The Mexicans and Indians on the borders of Mexico are in the habit of calling any river, the waters of which have a red appearance, 'Rio Colorado', or Red river", observed R.B. Marcy in 1853.[3] The Red River formed part of the US-Mexico border from the Adams-Onís Treaty (in force 1821) until the Texas Annexation or Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.

The Red River is the second-largest river basin in the southern Great Plains.[4] It rises in two branches (forks) in the Texas Panhandle and flows east, where it acts as the border between the states of Texas and Oklahoma. It forms a short border between Texas and Arkansas before entering Arkansas, turning south near Fulton, Arkansas and flowing into Louisiana. The total length of the river is 1,360 miles (2,190 km), with a mean flow of over 57,000 cubic feet per second (1,600 m3/s) at the mouth. [1]

Contents

States Records

There may be records about the migration in these states:

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Texas

Oklahoma

Arkansas

Louisiana

History

In 1806, President Thomas Jefferson commissioned the Red River Expedition to explore parts of the new lands of the Louisiana Purchase by traveling up the Red River. He said it was "in truth, next to the Missouri, the most interesting water of the Mississippi", in a letter to William Dunbar. Having threaded the maze of bayous at the river's confluence, and the "Great Raft" of lodged driftwood, the expedition, was stopped by the Spanish near what is now New Boston, Texas.

In 1806, Lieutenant Zebulon Pike, under orders to ascertain the source of the Red River, ascended the Arkansas River, made his way downstream on what turned out to be the Rio Grande, and was sent home by the Spanish authorities. A more successful exploration of the river's upper reaches to both its sources was the 1852 expedition under Capt. Randolph Barnes Marcy, assisted by Brevet Capt. George B. McClellan. The latter was important as a general in the American Civil War.

In Louisiana, the area of present-day Natchitoches Parish was settled by French Creole and mixed-race Louisiana Creole people, starting before 1800. The Cane River National Heritage Area marks this area of influence, with plantations and churches founded by Louisiana Creoles. Some of the sites are designated as destinations on the Louisiana African American Heritage Trail, designed in the 21st century. For nearly 100 years after the American Civil War, some of the plantations were the center of a large African American and Creole community life, whose people lived and worked in this area for generations.

The area along the lower Red River of Grant Parish, Louisiana, and neighboring parishes were a mixture of hill country and cotton plantations, with white planters and subsistence farmers, and numerous African American slaves working the plantations in the ante bellum years. It was an area of heated social tensions and insurgency during and after the Reconstruction era. Grant was a new parish created by the Reconstruction legislature, which was trying to increase Republican Party representation. In 1873, Grant Parish was the site of the Colfax massacre, caused by the political tension and violence arising from the disputed 1872 gubernatorial election and efforts by local whites to keep white supremacy. White militias, organized from nearby parishes, killed more than 100 freedmen, some of whom had surrendered as prisoners.

In 1874, such militias organized as the White League in Grant Parish, and other chapters were soon founded across the state. The Coushatta Massacre was attributed to the White League, which attacked Republican officeholders to run them out of office. The paramilitary groups intimidated and terrorized freedmen to keep them from the polls, and by the late 1870s, conservative Democrats had retaken political control of the state. [1]

Websites

Sources

  1. 1.0 1.1 Wikipedia contributors, "Red River of the South" in Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_River_of_the_South (accessed February 19 2013).

 

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  • This page was last modified on 20 February 2013, at 16:32.
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