Deposition of former Commandant Valentin Layssard

Deposition, April 1, 1819
Opelousas, Land Office MSS. –A.D.S.

State of Louisiana )
Parish of Rapide   )

        And the said Valentine Layssard deposeth & saith that during the time his father [Etienne Maraffret Layssard] was commandment of the Post of Rapide he commanded to the Alabama Village on the Bayou Boeuf so far as related to the Indians & that during that period no white inhabitants resided in that quarter & that He knows of no official acts establishing the limits of the Post at Rapide.

      He received a letter from the Governor Baron de Carondelet directing him to establish the Choctaw Indians along the Bayou Boeuf above the Alabama Village & to take them under his command.  He states that the commandants of the Post were in the habit of transacting the business of their offices at their respective houses.  He states that his father who was commandant of the Post came to it the same year that a Number of persons were shot at New Orleans by [Gov. Alejandro] O’Reilly & that at that time a Priest was established on the River opposite the Town of Alexandria by the name of Pierre Valentine, near to the burying Ground & that the place has been continued ever since as a burying Ground.  He also states that that place was always called & considered the situation of the Post of Rapide & that his father resided within a few hundred yards of the burying Ground during all the time he was Commandant except one year immediately before his death perhaps a little more than one year.  He states that while he was a commandant of the Post of Rapide he considered jurisdiction to extend to the Alabama Village & if application had been made to him he would have granted lands to that extent & that further he saith not.

                              Vtin Layssard

Sworn to & subscribed
before me this 1st April 1819
Th(omas) C Scott Par(ish) Judge

Transcribed from copy submitted by Mrs. E. A. Broders to the Louisiana Genealogical Register (March 1972, pg. 127) of the original typescript in LSU Lower Mississippi and Lower Valley Collections – Opelousas Land Office Papers, 1808-1849.

NOTE: Information in [ ] has been added.  A few spelling errors have been corrected.


From the Pages of The Louisiana Democrat – 21 Nov 1877

Thanks to Chronicling America and LSU, we are able to view digital copies of the Louisiana Democrat.  The following article reveals to the reader the plans of the Rapides Cemetery Association to raise funds for future improvements of the cemetery grounds for the betterment of the community.

1877 LA Democrat Nov 21 edit1877 LA Democrat Nov 21 part 21877 LA Democrat Nov 21 part 3


Washington Times – Old Rapides Cemetery a “hidden treasure”


The Washington Times picked up the story that Jeff Matthews, Town Talk, recently wrote regarding our preservation efforts at the Historic Rapides Cemetery. Thank you Jeff! Thank you Washington Times!  Many people who read this article in the Washington Times contacted us regarding family interred at the cemetery.  More information and stories have come to light. For the full article, click here.