"The inhabitants whom it [the Company of the Indies] transported found out all too soon that they should renounce the foolish project of mining the land, in order to concentrate on cultivating the land. […] I hold the Germans and the Canadians to be the founders of what has been established in LOUISIANA."
Colonel Chevalier de Champigny, État présent de la Louisiane, La Haye, F. Staatman, 1776,
p. 16-18


With the exception of a handful of Canadian adventurers, French civil servants expatriated against their will, and the soldiers and missionaries who willingly moved to the colony, it must be recognized that Louisiana appealed to the imagination more than it stirred up pioneering spirit.

Encounter with a pirate off Santa Domingo
Récit des aventures de Seymard de Bellisle en Louisiane (août 1719 - février 1721) 
CAOM, C13C 4, f° 59 By the time it was transferred to Spain, some sixty years after the colony had been established, there were less than ten thousand French colonists in Louisiana. Even though there were twice as many by 1803, it was due to the massive and sudden arrival of refugees from Acadia and Santa Domingo.
Encounter with a pirate off Santa Domingo
Récit des aventures de Seymard de Bellisle en Louisiane (août 1719 février 1721)
CAOM, C13C 4, f° 59


Attributed to José Salazar, portrait of Ignacio Balderas,
Louisiana State Museum Attributed to José Salazar, portrait of MadameBalderas and her daughter,
Louisiana State Museum
[1] Attributed to José Salazar, portrait of Ignacio Balderas,
Louisiana State Museum
[2] Attributed to José Salazar, portrait of MadameBalderas and her daughter,
Louisiana State Museum

The military formed the first group, among them Canadians who had arrived with Iberville and Bienville starting in 1699. These men were familiar with New France, had experience in dealing with the Indians and were hardy navigators and soldiers. In the colony's first years, the population never consisted of more than a few dozen individuals. In 1706, there were about 200 inhabitants, and 450 in 1715, including 150 garrison soldiers. The arrival of qualified personnel—farmers, carpenters, members of the various building trades, as well as freed prisoners and black slaves—took place under the auspices of the Company of the Indies starting in 1718. In addition, a thousand German-speaking emigrants from Saxony and Switzerland sailed from Lorient to Louisiana.

Remarks from residents sumitting requests for slaves to the Council Registry..., October 30, 1726
CAOM, DPP Recensements, G1 464 Remarks from residents sumitting requests for slaves to the Council Registry..., October 30, 1726
CAOM, DPP Recensements, G1 464
  Remarks from residents sumitting requests for slaves to the Council Registry..., October 30, 1726
CAOM, DPP Recensements, G1 464

By the time the Company's monopoly ended in 1732, the French population of Lower Louisiana (including French, Germans and Canadians) came to barely 2,500 inhabitants, added to which were 1,800 black slaves and about a hundred Indian slaves, who were mostly used as domestics. The same year, Illinois became even less populated: 466 whites, 180 black slaves and 120 Indian slaves. The illnesses contracted on the long voyage—and the fevers that the new settlers caught upon arrival—were responsible for the death of two-thirds of those who made the trip.
Generally, Canadians and European trade representatives lived with the Indians, and the German-speaking settlers came as families.

Gabriel de Saint-Aubin, Femme indienne et son ami français
Bossu, Nouveaux voyages aux Indes occidentales, 2de partie, p. 148
BNF, Imprimés Lettre de Pierre Lemoyne de Bienville, 1710-1711, p. 405-414 et 563-566, 
CAOM, C13A2 Lettre de Pierre Lemoyne de Bienville, 1710-1711, p. 405-414 et 563-566, 
CAOM, C13A2
  [1] Gabriel de Saint-Aubin, Indian woman and her French friend Bossu,
Nouveaux voyages aux Indes occidentales, 2de partie, p. 148
BNF, Imprimés
  [2] [3]Letter from Pierre Lemoyne de Bienville, 1710-1711, p. 563-566,
CAOM, C13A2

For the soldiers stationed there, as well as for the residents of New Orleans and Mobile, the lack of French women was a terrible hardship. The forced emigration of fallen women from the Salpêtrière Hospital, of orphaned young women with dowries, and of every kind of female delinquent helped the situation somewhat, but these were still few in number. Not more than two hundred of them survived the trip and the illnesses contracted in the first few months.

E. Jeaurat, Transport of the comfort women of the Hospital
Musée Carnavalet, Cabinet des Arts Graphiques
E. Jeaurat, Transport of the comfort women of the Hospital
Musée Carnavalet, Cabinet des Arts Graphiques

Taking into account the fact that, at the same time, about fifty thousand Indians occupied a territory three times the size of modern-day France, we start to get a picture of the low percentage of the Creole population (those born in Louisiana but European in origin).