St. James is one of the state’s nineteen original parishes, created by the act of the territorial legislature, March 31, 1807. The original seat of government was the community of St. James, on the west bank of the Mississippi, but this was moved in 1869 to what is now Convent, on the east bank.
St. James Parish is part of the Acadian Coast. While it is possible that some Acadians did arrive prior to 1755 or between 1755 and 1764, the first documented group of Acadians [4 families: 20 individuals] arrived in New Orleans in February 1764. The arrival was documented in a letter dated April 6, 1764, from Governor D’Abbadie to his superior in France. They were settled along the Mississippi River in present-day St. James.