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Several versions of t h e “Neutral Grounds”, a.k.a. the “Neutral Strip” and “No Man’s Land”, have been reported. These all refer to an area stretching from the Gulf of Mexico to a short distance above Mansfield where the Sloan Road joins Hwy. #175. The following are the actual boundaries: “Beginning at the mouth of the Calcasieu River at the Gulf of Mexico northward to the Arroyo Hondo continue north to the thirtysecond parallel and westward to the Sabine River. Thence south on the Sabine River to the Gulf of Mexico”. This area includes portions of DeSoto, Sabine, Natchitoches, Vernon, Rapides, Beauregard, Allen, Calcasieu, Jefferson Davis and Cameron Parishes.

The territory had been disputed between Spain and France in 1740 when Spanish Governor Basterra was ordered to investigate French intrusion in the Natchitoches area. Then again in 1753 Gov. Jauregel determined that the French encroached by occupying the territory west of the Arroyo Hondo which was a small stream about 3 miles west of Natchitoches.


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