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An estimated 7,000 European immigrants settled in Louisiana during the 18th century, one percent of the number of British colonists in the Thirteen Colonies along the Atlantic coast.

Louisiana attracted considerably fewer French colonists than did its West Indian colonies.

), are persons descended from the inhabitants of colonial Louisiana during the period of both French and Spanish rule.

Aside from French government representatives and soldiers, colonists included mostly young men who were recruited in French ports or in Paris.

Some served as indentured servants; they were required to remain in Louisiana for a length of time, fixed by the contract of service, to pay back the cost of passage and board.

Most of the women quickly found husbands among the male residents of the colony.

These women, many of whom were most likely prostitutes or felons, were known as The Baleine Brides.

During this time, they were "temporary semi-slaves." To increase the colonial population, the government recruited young Frenchwomen, known as filles à la cassette (in English, casket girls, referring to the casket or case of belongings they brought with them) to go to the colony to be wed to colonial soldiers. (This practice was similar to events in 17th-century Quebec: about 800 filles du roi (daughters of the king) were recruited to immigrate to New France under the monetary sponsorship of Louis XIV.) In addition, French authorities deported some female criminals to the colony.

For example, in 1721, the ship La Baleine brought close to 90 women of childbearing age from the prison of La Salpêtrière in Paris to Louisiana.

Such events inspired Manon Lescaut (1731), a novel written by the Abbé Prévost, which was later adapted as an opera in the 19th century.

Historian Joan Martin maintains that there is little documentation that casket girls (considered among the ancestors of French Creoles) were transported to Louisiana.

These communities have had a long history of cultural independence. Parisian French was the predominant language among colonists in early New Orleans.

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