West Feliciana Parish (French: Paroisse de Feliciana Ouest) is a parish located in the U.S. state of Louisiana. The parish seat is St. Francisville and as of 2000, the population was 15,111. The Louisiana State Penitentiary is located in West Feliciana Parish in Angola.
Following the founding of the Bayou Sara settlement by Franciscan/Cappucin monks in the late 17th century, the area was explored further by Spain, France, and England. The original settlement is now under the Mississippi River, which shifted course.
Originally part of the Florida colony, West Feliciana was conjoined with the other Florida Parishes during the Louisiana Purchase. The parish existed for a time as the independent Republic of Feliciana, but eventually joined the United States in 1810 as Feliciana Parish. In 1824 it was divided into East Feliciana and West Feliciana parishes.
During the American Civil War, West Feliciana Parish provided financial assistance to the families of soldiers fighting for the Confederate States of America. Wives and children of soldiers were to receive from $10 to $40 per month depending on family size.
Since before the Civil War, West Feliciana had been historically Democratic in voter preference. In 1972 it was the only Louisiana parish to support the George McGovern and Sargent Shriver ticket. Since 2000, parish voters have supported the Republican Party candidate in presidential elections: that year Bush-Cheney polled 2,512 votes (55 percent), compared to 2,187 (45 percent) for the Democrats Albert Arnold Gore, Jr., and Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut. George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney won in 2004, with 2,932 (56 percent) to 2,214 (42 percent) over the Democrats John F. Kerry and John Edwards. John S. McCain won the parish in 2008 over the Democrat Barack Obama.