For roughly 15 years there was a fairly large portion of Louisiana that was officially dubbed "The Neutral Strip", meaning the area wasn't controlled by any government, military, or any laws.


Louisiana's Ungoverned Lawless Territory

The ungoverned area of Louisiana is referred to by a few names including "The Neutral Strip", "No-Man’s-Land", "The Neutral Ground" and.

This portion of Louisiana stretched from roughly Cameron all the way to Shreveport, and from 1806 until 1821 wasn't under the control of any government, military, or any laws.

How did this happen?

It all started with the Louisiana Purchase.

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"The United States, having purchased the territory from France, claimed the same boundaries France had claimed before the transfer to Spain. The more serious U.S. claim, however, was to the Sabine River, today's boundary between the U.S. states of Louisiana and Texas."

There was quite a bit of uncertainty when it came to borders after the Louisiana Purchase. In an effort to avoid going to war over the uncertain territory, the U.S. and Spain reached a temporary compromise known as the "The Neutral Ground Agreement".

The area covered by "The Neutral Ground Agreement" was declared off-limits to soldiers of both countries.

It was also agreed that neither the U.S. or Spain would allow settlers. That part of the agreement didn't hold up very well and the "The Neutral Ground Agreement" area quickly became populated with "exiles, deserters, political refugees, fortune hunters, and a variety of criminals."

Flag Of Spain

In 1810 and again in 1812, both Spain and the U.S. teamed up and sent troops into the area to kick people out.

The Adams–Onís Treaty eventually sorted this out and in 1821 Spain surrendered any claim to the area.


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