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French Colonists arrive at La Réunion


On this day in 1855 some 200 French colonists arrived at the colony of La Réunion, located on the south bank of the Trinity River in central Dallas County within the present city limits of Dallas. La Réunion was founded as a utopian experiment by Victor Prosper Considérant, one of the leading democratic socialist figures in France. The 1855 arrivals landed in Galveston, traveled overland from the coast, reached Dallas in April, and arrived at La Réunion on June 16. Although many settlers left the colony soon after they arrived, new colonists kept the population fairly constant for about two years; the number of residents peaked at around 350 in the fall of 1856. La Réunion existed as a serious communal organization for only about eighteen months. Financial insolvency killed the colony.

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