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The American Cemetery

Order your copy of the American Cemetery

 Natchitoches, LA., is the oldest permanent settlement in the Louisiana Purchase and the third oldest town in the United States. The American Cemetery- The Oldest Cemetery In The Louisiana Purchase And A Shrine To God And History, is a historical non-fiction book, which details the lives of approximately forty people who are buried in the American Cemetery. 


The American Cemetery, is considered by many historians to be the oldest cemetery in the Louisiana Purchase. The American Cemetery contains graves that date to colonial times. Buried within its grounds are war heroes and villains, doctors, politicians, educators, a former mayor who was murdered and a plantation owner who had numerous children with a slave whom he set free by the time of his death.


Some of the interesting people buried in the American Cemetery are:


Mr. John Gideon Lewis 

a black man who was a native of Toronto, Canada. He John Gideon Lewis, Sr. with family including Scott Lewis (far right) and John Lewis, Jr. (front, sitting) was a pioneer teacher and founder of the Prince Hall Masons in Louisiana, theGrave of John Gideon Lewis, Sr. first black Mason group in Louisiana.

Mayor Theodore Edward PolemanTheodore Edward Poleman

Mayor of Natchitoches from 1920-1922. He Mayor Poleman Gravesite was murdered by a disgruntled citizen, E.S. Cropper, over an allegation that city employees had damaged Mr. Cropper's well, from which he sold medicinal water, when repairing the city's streets. (p. 11-12)

Claude Thomas Pierre Metoyer Portrait of Augustine Metoyer

A native of Rochelle, France. His relationship Claude Thomas Pierre Metoyer Gravesite with

Dr. John Sibley

A native of Sutton, Massachusetts, where he practicedDr John Sibley medicine. He was later commissioned by President Thomas Jefferson as an Indian agent for the Dr. John Sibley Gravesite Orleans territory, which consisted of the entire region south of the Arkansas River. He traveled

Christopher Columbus Nash 

Was a participant in the Colfax Riot of April 1803. The riot arose when the Republican governor, William Pitt Kellogg, refused to recognize several local government officials, including Nash, who had been elected Sheriff of Grant Parish. A race riot broke out and several hundred blacks of GrantC.C. Nash Gravesite Parish were killed. Federal troops were called in and several white members of the riot, including a Mr. Cruikshank, were arrested for violating the Enforcement Acts and the Fourteenth Amendment. His case was eventually heard by the United States Supreme Court in U.S. v. Cruikshank. In this case, Chief Justice Waite held that there were two distinct types of citizenship, that of the states and that of the United States. Security against murder and confinement were not within the gambit of federal rights. With this decision, the protections and freedoms which had been granted to blacks through the Fourteenth Amendment and the Enforcement Acts were stripped of their power and home rule returned to the South. (77)


Through the efforts of The American Cemetery Association, the Cane River National Heritage Area Commission and the National Center for Preservation and Technology, the first center in the United States which studies ways how to preserve our nation's treasures, the cemetery has recently undergone an extensive restoration effort. The cemetery has been cleared of brush and dead trees, a wrought iron fence was installed along with lighting. 


The American Cemetery

The American Cemetery- The Oldest Cemetery In The Louisiana Purchase And A Shrine To God And History, is a historical non-fiction book, which details the lives of approximately forty people who are buried in the American Cemetery. Written by Payne Williams, local historian and owner of the Rusca House. 

Order your copy of the  American Cemetery.  The cost of the book is $20 and can be ordered by contacting the author at:



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