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Borderlands of the Red River Valley

The prominent cemetery in Natchitoches is a perfect example of how the Red River is a historic borderland. Originally the consecrated burial ground for Catholic French, Creole, Spanish and Natchitoches during the colonial period, it was abandoned by the original inhabitants in the American period when protestants began using it. This is why the old graveyard is now known as "The American Cemetery."

The Red River of the South is not just the southernmost, major river to empty into the Mississippi. During its history, its location served as a border, with the resulting clashes, between colonial empires, republics, and semi-autonomous regions : New Spain and New France; Mexico and the Republic of Texas and the United States; the state of Texas and the Choctaw and Chickasaw nations. Sometimes called a "frontier," this now quiet river belies the past struggles for power and mere existence.

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