The Lafayette Parish region of south Louisiana was settled by French-speaking Acadians in the mid-1700s. The British had driven them from Nova Scotia for refusing to take an oath of allegiance to the English Crown. The Acadians were joined by another group of settlers called Creoles, descendants of African, West Indian, and European pioneers. At the time of the migration, Louisiana was under Spanish rule and authorities welcomed the new settlers. Lafayette began as Petit Manchac in the mid-1700s when the immigrants flocked to the point where the Old Spanish Trail crossed the Vermilion River.