The question of the official border between Louisiana and Texas depended on the fact that Spain and France had not officially settled the matter until 1763. Instead, the Spanish commander of the Los Adaes presidency and the French commander of Natchitoches agreed on a gentleman`s agreement. They established a demarcation line from the Gulf of Mexico, between the Calcasieu and Mermenteau rivers, to Arroyo Hondo, then north of Natchitoches and the Red River. When Louisiana ceded to Spain, the border issue became an internal and Spanish provincial governor of Cuba, responsible for Louisiana, and the governor of the inland provinces, responsible for Texas, accepted the demarcation line between Louisiana and Texas. After the U.S. purchased Louisiana, U.S. officials, including President Thomas Jefferson, argued that the Rio Grande was the limit on Louisiana`s purchase. Many Americans who were in terms of territorial expansion joined this claim in the province of Texas. After Louisiana Purchase, the United States and Spain failed to agree on the Louisiana-Texas border. On November 5, 1806, to avoid an armed confrontation, General James Wilkinson and Lieutenant-Colonel Simin de Herrera, the American and Spanish military commander, reached an agreement that made the disputed area neutral ground.

Neutral soil boundaries have never been officially described beyond a general statement that the Arroyo Hondo to the east and the Sabine River to the west should serve as boundaries. However, it can be assumed with certainty that the Gulf of Mexico was the southern border and that the latitude parallel thirty-two formed the northern border. Although it was stipulated in the agreement that no settlers should be allowed in neutral soil, the settlers moved into both Spanish and American territory. Both governments were forced to send joint military expeditions in 1810 and 1812 to drive out out outlaws who made travel and trade in the neutral band dangerous and unprofitable. Band ownership went to the United States in 1821 through the Adams-Ons Treaty. In October 1806, American troops and the decline of the Spanish Empire collided on the other side of the Sabine River. To avoid war, General James Wilkinson, who commanded U.S. forces, and Lieutenant-Colonel Simin de Herrera, commander of Spain, reached a temporary compromise, called the “neutral land agreement.” If Herrera kept the Spanish troops west of Sabine, Wilkinson would withdraw American troops east of the traditional Franco-Spanish border. The two men formalized in writing the creation of the neutral band and agreed that neither government would attempt to assert sovereignty over the territory, send troops to the neutral zone or allow the entry of someone (who is not already established) until international diplomacy is a definitive solution to the border issue. Until 1821, neutral land existed outside the government of the United States or Spain.

“Neutral It” at the end of the Antebellum era was widely used to describe the median of Canal Street, and quickly began to spread to other arteries. “The driveway between St. Louis Cathedral and the old courthouse buildings can be considered neutral ground,” joked the Picayune in 1852, “where saints and sinners can gather without hurting them against the character of both. A nostalgic 1864 Picayune article, written during the federal occupation, described the “central grass plate of the Esplanade Road” as the “neutral ground” between the former first and third commune.