Ethnic Texans

Open access books on Texas ethnic groups

Institute of Texan Cultures' Texans Series

Many French settlers in Texas arrived here by way of Canada and Louisiana. In the early 1700s, Catholics from the French provinces of Normandy and Brittany sailed to Canada and settled in Nova Scotia, also called Acadia. The British controlled Canada at that time, and the Englishspeaking people there did not want the French-speaking Acadians to live there. The British drove them from their homes in 1755, and many Acadians moved to Louisiana, where other French settlements already existed.

The Acadians, or “Cadians,” then “Cajuns”, lived in Louisiana and settled along the coastline. Shortly after 1900, Cajuns came to Texas from Louisiana to find work. Many were employed in the oil, gas and fishing industries in the Golden Triangle, or the Port Arthur-Orange-Beaumont area. Others became farmers, and today there are many Cajuns in east Texas.

Other French settlements were established in central Texas. A wealthy French banker, Henri Castro, received a land grant in 1842 and was the most successful French colonizer. Within 5 years he had settled 485 families and 457 single men and helped establish the towns of Castroville, Quihi, Vandenburg and D’Hanis.


Handbook of Texas