[A tract of land larger than the small settlement of a habitation is called a concession;] a district where there are several habitations not far from one another, which make a sort of Village, is called a "settlement". […]Besides the concessionaires and the habitants, there are also in this country people who have no other occupation than that of roving about [from one concession to another].
Reuben Gold Thwaites (ed.), Travels and Explorations of the Jesuit Missionaries in New France, 1610-1791, The Surrows Brothers Company, Cleveland, 1900, Lettre du père Paul Du Poisson, t. 68, p. 280-282 (1727)


Concessions are agricultural operations, territorial compensation given to shareholders in the trading company. Based on the size of their investment, they are given a certain plot of land and a set number of black slaves. In principal, the concession is granted by the colony's governor and ordonnateur, the king's dependants. In practice, however, under the Company of the Indies, the company's directors have discreetly taken this task upon themselves.

Dumont de Montigny, Fort Rosalie and the French settlements at Natchez ca. 1728, detail of the Terre Blanche concession
AN, Cartes et Plans, N III Louisiane 1/2
Dumont de Montigny, Fort Rosalie and the French settlements at Natchez ca. 1728, detail of the Terre Blanche concession
AN, Cartes et Plans, N III Louisiane 1/2"

The concession itself is composed of the master's house, more or less rich (the origin of the famous Louisiana "plantations"), one or more storehouses, and various farm buildings depending on the type of farming being done: corn, wheat, indigo, cotton, or sugar cane. Livestock is also raised, like in Europe, from which poultry and cattle are imported, as well as turkeys, steers and American bison. Off to one side of the farmland is the slave camp, composed of identical cabins, regularly spaced to make surveillance easier. A day of rest on Sunday is obligatory, giving rise to parties, singing and dancing that impress the Europeans.

Dumont de Montigny, The Chapitoulas concession ca. 1726 
Service historique de la Marine, Service hydrographique, Recueil 68/72
Dumont de Montigny, The Chapitoulas concession ca. 1726
Service historique de la Marine, Service hydrographique, Recueil 68/72


Visit to a concession