Fort Saint Jean Baptiste - Natchitoches Louisiana
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In 1716, about a quarter of a century after LaSalle first traveled down the Mississippi River and claimed all of the lands it drained for France, a band of Natchitoches Indians guided a group of French soldiers up the Red River in search of trade outlets. They encountered an impenetrable logjam in the river and hastily built two crude huts, which grew to become Fort St. Jean Baptiste and the town of Natchitoches, the oldest permanent settlement in the entire Louisiana Purchase territory.
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