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HISTORY OF ALABAMA, 



VOL. I. 



HISTQRY 



OF 



ALABAMA, 



AND INCIDENTALLY OF 



GEOKGIA AND MISSISSIPPI, 



FROM THE EARLIEST PERIOD. 



BY 



ALBERT JAMES PICKETT, 

Of Montgomery. 



IIX TWO VOLUMES, . \ ^^i 

VOL. I. '>v :->' V' 



CHAKLESTON: 

WALKER AND JAMES> 
1851. 



23 J >/'£/. 



Entered according to the act of Congrea, by Albert James Pickett, on the 

27th January, 18:i. in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for 

the Middle Dirtrict of Alabama. 

MATT. GAYLE. 

Clerk U. S. D. C. M. D. of Ala, 



CHARLESTON: 

STEAM POWER-PRESS OF WALKER AND JAMES, 
No. 101 East-Bay. 



a- 



DEDICATION. 



As a token of my sincere esteem, and of the high respect I feel for 
their talents and character, as well as in consideration of the deep 
interest which they have taken in my literary enterprises, 

I DEDICATE THESE VOLUMES TO 

BBNJAMIN FITZPATRICK, JOHN ARCHIBALD CAMPBELL, 

ARTHUR FRANCES HOPKINS, THOMAS JAMES JUDGE, 

WILLIAM LOWNDES YANCEY, EDMUND STROTHER DARGAN, 

FRANCIS BUGBEE, THADDEUS SANFORD, 

WILLIAM PARISH CHILTON, BURWELL BOYKIN, 

JOSHUA LANIER MARTIN, ALEXANDER BOWIE, BASIL MANLY, 

SILAS PARSONS, NICHOLAS DAVIS AND CLEMENT 0. CLAY, JR^ 

Of Alabama; 

GEORGE M. TROUP AND JOHN M. BERRIEN, 

Of Georgia; 

JOHN H. F. CLAIBORNE AND JOHN W. MONETTE, 

Of MiBBiasippi; 

LESLIE A. THOMPSON AND WALKER ANDERSON, 

Of Florida; 

CHARLES GAYARRE AND SAMUEL F. WILSON, 

Of Louisiana; 

DANIEL GRAHAM, 
Of Tennessee; 

ARTHUR P. HAYNE, FRANCIS W. PICKENS, 

JAMES H. HAMMOND, W. GILMORE SIMMS, RICHARD YEADON, 

MITCHELL KING AND HENRY W. CONNER, 

Of South-Carolina. 

A. J. PICKETT. 



PREFACE. 



hi submitting my first book to the public, I re- 
frain from making apologies in its behalf, and 
shall only briefly allude to my labors, in order to 
show how strenuously I have endeavored to ensure 
its authenticity. I have sought materials for a 
correct history of my country, wherever they 
were to be procured, whether in Europe or Ame- 
rica, and without regard to cost or trouble. All 
the Atlantic States have Historical Societies, and 
books and manuscripts relating to those States have 
been collected. In addition to this, agents have been 
sent to Europe, by different Legislatures, who have 
transcribed the colonial records which relate to their 
history. I have had none of these aids. I have been 
compelled to hunt up and buy books and manuscripts 
connected with the history of Alabama, and to col- 
lect oral information, in all directions. I rejoice^ 
however, to know that a Historical Society has 



yiii PREFACE. 



recently been formed at TuscaloosEt, by some lite- 
rary gentlemen ; and it gives me pleasure to reflect 
that the authors who may appear after my day, will 
not be subjected to the labor which it has been my 
lot to undergo. Believing that the historian ought 
to be the most conscientious of men, writing, as he 
does, not only for the present age, but for posterity, 
I have endeavored to divest myself of all prejudices, 
and to speak the truth in all cases. If it should be 
found, by the most scrutinizing reader, that any of 
my statements are incorrect, let me say in advance, 
that when I penned those statements I believed them 
to be true. So anxious have I been to record each 
incident as it really occurred, that upon several oc- 
casions I have travelled over four hundred miles, to 
learn merely a few facts. 

About four years since, feeling impressed with the 
fact that it is the duty of every man to make him- 
self, in some way, useful to his race, I looked around 
in search of some object, in the pursuit of which I 
could benefit my fellow-citizens ; for, although much 
interested in agriculture, that did not occupy one- 
fourth of my time. Having no taste for politics, 
and never having studied a profession, I determined 
to write a History. I thought it would serve to 
amuse my leisure hours; but it has been the 
hardest work of my life. While exhausted by 



PREFACE. ijr 



the labor of reconciling the statements of old au- 
thors, toiling over old French and Spanish manu- 
scripts, travelling through Florida, Alabama and 
Mississippi, for information, and corresponding with 
persons in Europe and elsewhere, for facts, I have 
sometimes almost resolved to abandon the attempt 
to prepare a History of my State. 

In reference to that portion of the work which 
relates to the Indians, I will state, that my father re- 
moved from Anson county, North-Carolina, and car- 
ried me to the wilds of the ** Alabama Territory," in 
1818, when I was a boy but eight years of age. He 
established a trading house, in connection with his 
plantation, in the present county of Autauga. During 
my youthful days, I was accustomed to be much with 
the Creek Indians — hundreds of whom came almost 
daily to the trading house. For twenty years I fre- 
quently visited the Creek nation. Their green corn 
dances, ball plays, war ceremonies, and manners and 
customs, are all fresh in my recollection. In my inter- 
course with them, I was thrown into the company of 
many old white men, called "Indian countrymen," 
who had for years conducted a commerce with them. 
Some of these men had come to the Creek nation be- 
fore the revolutionary war, and others, being tories, 
had fled to it during the war, and after it, to escape 
from whig persecution. They were unquestionably 



PREFACE. 



the shrewdest and most interesting men with whom I 
ever conversed. Generally of Scotch decent, many 
of them were men of some education. All of them 
were married to Indian wives, and some of them 
had intelligent and handsome children. From these 
Indian countr3rmen I learned much concerning the 
manners and customs of the Creeks, with whom they 
had been so long associated, and more particularly 
with regard to the commerce which they carried 
on with them. In addition to this, I often con- 
versed with the Chiefs while they were seated in 
the shades of the spreading mulberry and walnut, 
upon the banks of the beautiful Tallapoosa. As 
they leisurely smoked their pipes, some of them re- 
lated to me the traditions of their country. I occa- 
sionally saw Choctaw and Cherokee traders, and 
learned much from them. I had no particular ob- 
ject in view, at that time, except the gratification of 
a curiosity, which led me, for my own satisfaction 
alone, to learn something of the early history of 
Alabama. 

In relation to the invasion of Alabama by De 
Soto, which is related in the first chapter of this 
work, I have derived much information in regard to 
the route of that earliest discoverer, from statements 
of General McGillivray, a Creek of mixed blood, 
who ruled this country, with eminent ability, from 



PREFACE. ^ 



1776 to 1793. I have perused the manuscript his- 
tory of the Creeks, by Stiggins, a half-breed, who 
also received some particulars of the route of De 
Soto, during his boyhood, from the lips of the oldest 
Indians. My library contains many old Spanish and 
French maps, with the towns through which De 
Soto passed, correctly laid down. The sites of many 
of these are familiar to the present population. 
Besides all these, I have procured, from England 
and France, three journals of De Soto's expedition. 

One of these journals was written by a cavalier 
of the expedition, who was a native of Elvas, in 
Portugal. He finished his narrative on the 10th 
February, 1557, in the city of Evora, and it was 
printed in the house of Andrew de Burgos, printer 
and gentleman of the Lord Cardinal, and the Infanta. 
It was translated into English, by Richard Hakluyt, 
in 1609, and is to be found in the supplementary 
volume of his voyages and discoveries ; London : 
1812. It is also published at length in the Histori- 
cal Collections of Peter Force, of Washington city. 

Another journal of the expedition was written by 
the Inca Garcellasso de la Vega, a Peruvian by 
birth, and a native of the city of Cuzco. His father 
was a Spaniard of noble blood, and his mother the 
sister of Capac, one of the Indian sovereigns of 
Peru. Garcellasso was a distinguished writer of 



Xii PREFACE. 



that age. He had heard of the remarkable invasion 
of Florida by De Soto, and he applied himself dili- 
gently to obtain the facts. He found out an intelli- 
gent cavalier of that expedition, with wrhom he had 
minute conversations of all the particulars of it. 
In addition to this, journals were placed in his hands, 
written in the camp of De Soto — one by Alonzo de 
Carmona, a native of the town of Priego, and the 
other, by Juan Coles, a native of Zafra. Garcellasso 
published his work, at an early period, in Spanish. 
It has been translated into French, but never into 
English. The copy in our hands is entitled " His- 
toire de la Conquete de la Floride ou relation, de 
ce qui s'est pass6 dans la decouverte de ce pais, par 
Ferdinand De Soto, Compos^e en Espagnol, par 
L' Inca Garcellasso de la Vega, et traduite en Fran- 
9ois, par Sr. Pierre Richelet, en deux tomes ; A 
Leide: 1731." 

I have still another journal, and the last one, of 
the expedition of De Soto. It was written by Bied- 
ma, who accompanied De Soto, as his commissary. 
The journal is entitled " Relation de ce qui arriva 
pendant le voyage du Captaine Soto, et details sur 
la nature du pas qu'il parcourut ; par Luis Her- 
nandez de Biedma," contained in a volume entitled 
" Recuil de Pieces sur la Floride," one of a series of 
"Voyages et memoires originaux pour servir a la 



PREFACE. xJJi 



L'Histoire de la decouverte de L'Amerique publics 
pour la premier fois en Francois ; par H. Ternaux- 
Compans. Paris: 1841." 

In Biedma there is an interesting letter written by 
De Soto, while he was at Tampa Bay, in Florida, 
which was addressed to some town authorities in 
Cuba. The journal of Biedma is much less in detail 
than those of the Portuguese Gentleman and Gar- 
cellasso, but agrees with them in the relation of the 
most important occurrences. 

Our own accomplished writer, and earliest pio- 
neer in Alabama history — Alexander B. Meek, 
of Mobile — ^has furnished a condensed, but \^ell 
written and graphic account of De Soto's expe- 
dition, contained in a monthly magazine, entitled 
,**The Southron," Tuscaloosa, 1839. He is correct 
as to the direction assumed by the Spaniards, over 
our soil, as well as to the character of that extraor- 
dinary conquest. 

Theodore Irving, M. A., of New- York, has recently 
issued a revised edition of his Conquest of Florida. 
Its style is easy and flowing, when the author jour- 
nalizes in regard to marches through the country, 
and is exceedingly graphic, when he gives us a de- 
scription of De Soto's battles. As I have closely 
examined the sources from which Mr. Irving has 
collated his work, I am prepared to state that he has 



3Qy PREFACE. 



related all things as they are said to have occurred. 
For the complimentary terms which Mr. Irving has 
employed in the preface, and also in many of the 
notes of his late edition, in relation to my humble 
efforts in endeavoring to throw new light upon the 
expedition of De Soto, I beg him to accept my pro- 
found acknowledgments. 

There are many gentlemen of talents and distinc- 
tion, who have unselfishly, nobly and generously in- 
terested themselves in my behalf, while engaged in 
the arduous labors which are now brought to a 
close. I will name John A. Campbell and George 
N. Stewart, of Mobile ; Alfred Hennen and J. 
D. B. DeBow, of New-Orleans ; the Rev. Francis 
Hawks, of New-York ; William H. Prescott and 
Jared Sparks, of Massachusetts ; the Rev. William 
Bacon Stevens, of Philadelphia ; W. Gilmore Simms, 
of South-Carolina ; and particularly, John H. F. 
Claiborne, of Mississippi, who placed in my hands 
the manuscript papers of his father, Gen. F. L. 
Claiborne, who commanded the southern wing 
of the army, during the Creek war of 1813 and 
1814. The son has requested me to present the 
manuscript papers of his father, as a contribu- 
tion from him, to the Historical Society of Ala- 
bama. I shall comply with his request upon the 
first suitable occasion. There are many other per- 



PREFACE. XV 



sons who have manifested an interest in my behalf, 
to enumerate all of whom, would be extending this 
preface to an unreasonable length. While I omit 
the mention of their names, I shall ever cherish the 
memory of their attentions with the most grateful 
recollections. 

THE AUTHOR. 
May^ 1851. 



CONTENTS OF VOLUME I. 



CHAPTER I. 

Page. 

Expedition of De Soto through Florida, Georgia, Alabama and 

Mississippi, A. D. 1539, 1540 and 1541, - - - x 



CHAPTER II. 

PART I. 

Aborigines of Alabama and the surrounding States — A. D. 1540, 

1564, - - 54 

PART n. 
The Modem Indians of Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi — be- 
ginning with the Creeks or Muscogees, ... ^4 

PART III. 

The Mobilians, Chatots, Thomez and Tensaws, - - 128 

PART IV. 

The Choctaws and Chickasaws, 134 

PART V. 

The Chcrokees, 164 



Xviii CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER III. 

Page. 
Ancient Mounds and Fortifications in Alabama, - - \Q/^ 

CHAPTER IV. 

The French in Alabama and Mississippi, - - - iqq 

CHAPTER V. 

Alabama and Mississippi granted by the King of France to the 

rich Parisian Merchant, Crozat, .... 207 

CHAPTER VI. 

Alabama and Mississippi surrendered by Crozat to the King of 
France, who grants them to the French India or Mississippi 
Company, 240 

CHAPTER Vli. 

Terrible Massacre of the French at Natchez, - - - 274 

CHAPTER VIII. 

The Colonization of Georgia by the English, - - . 3Q4 

CHAPTER IX. 

French Jesuit Priests or Missionaries of Alabama and Mississippi, 317 



CONTENTS. 



XIX 



CHAPTER X. 

Page. 

The French Battles upon the Toinbigby, - - - 328 

CHAPTER XI. 

Bienville leaves the Colony — His Character, ... gg^ 

CHAPTER XII. 

Horrible Death of Beaudrot and the Swiss Soldiers, - - 360 

CHAPTER XIII. 

Bossu*s Visit to the French Forts upon the Alabama and Tom- 

bigby Rivers, 360 



S* 



I . 



HISTORY OF ALABAMA. 



CHAPTER I. 



DE SOTO IN ALABAMA, GEORGIA AND 

MISSISSIPPI. 

The first discovery of Alabama was by Hernando De Soto, chapter 
a native of Spain, and the son of a squire of Xerez of Badajos. ^' 
When a youth he went to Peru, enlisted under Pizarro, and, 
with no property but his sword, won distinguished militJEuy 
reputation. Returning to his native country, and making an 
imposing appearance at Court, he was made Governor of 
Cuba, and Adelantado of Florida. In the imknown regions 
of the latter, he resolved to embark his vast wealth in a 
splendid expedition, designed to conquer a people whom he 
believed to possess more gold than he had yet beheld in 
South America. Young men of the best blood in Spain and 
Portugal, sold their houses and their vineyards and flocked 
to his standard. Soon he was surrounded by an army of six ^^ 

^ ^ April 

hundred chosen men, with whom he put to sea, over the bar 



2 DE SOTO IN ALABAMA, 

CHAPTER of San Lucar de Barremeda. Arriving at Cuba, lie consumed 
^* a year in arranging the affairs of his government, and in pre- 
paration for the great enterprise before him.* At the end of 
that period, he left his wife. Dona Isabel de Bobadilla, and 
*^ the Lieutenant Governor in charge of the Island, and sailed 
for the coast of Florida, with a fleet of nine vessels — ^five 
large ships, together with caravals and brigantines. 

A prosperous voyage soon enabled De Soto to pitch his 
May 80 camp upon the shores of Tampa Bay, in Florida, with an 
army now increased to one thousand men. Sending out 
detachments to capture Indians, from whom he expected to 
learn something of the country, he found them skilful with 
the bow and too wily to be easily taken. In one of these 
sallies, the soldiers under Baltassyr de Gallegos charged upon 
a small number of Indians. At that moment a voice cried 
out, "I am a christian ! I am a christian ! — slay me not." 
Instantly Alvaix) Nieto, a stout trooper, drew back his lance, 
and lifting the unknown man up behind him, pranced off to 
join his comrades. 
jg28 Panfilo de Narvaez had attempted to overrun this coun- 

try with a large expedition; but after disastrous wander- 
ings, he reached Apalache without finding any gold, — and 
from thence went to the site of the present St. Marks, 
where his famished troops embarked for Cuba, in rude 
and hastily constructed boats, which were soon swallowed by 

* Portuguese Narrative, pp. 695-700. Garceilasso de la Vega, 
pp. 59-60. 



GEORGIA AND MISSISSIPPI. 



the waves.* Jean Ortiz, the person taken prisoner, and who obajpter 
now, in all respects, resembled a savage, was a native of the ^* 
town of Seville, in Spain. When a youth, he came to this coast 
with some others in search of Narvaez, and was captured by 
the Indians, who were about to bum him to death, when he 
was fortunately saved through the entreaties of the beautiful 
daughter of Uceta, the Chief. In the earlier periods of his 
slavery he was treated with barbarity, and compelled to guard, 
night and day, a lonely temple, in which the dead were depos- 
ited. After having been twelve years a prisoner among these 
savages, he was joyfully hastening to the camp of De Soto, 
when the Castilian words, which he so imploringly uttered, 
arrested the terrible lance of Alvaro Nieto.f 

Gratified at the appearance of Jean Ortiz, who became his 
interpreter, De Soto gave him clothes and arms, and placed *5J» 

June 

him upon a good charger. The Adelantado was now ready 
to penetrate the interior. His troops were provided with hel- 
mets, breastplates, shields, and coats of steel to repel the arrows 
of the Indians ; and with swords, Biscayan lances, rude guns 
called arquebuses, cross-bows, and one piece of artillery. His 

* A history of the expedition of Narvaez will be found in Barcia, 
vol. 1, folio edition, Madrid, 1749, entitled " Navfragios de Alvar 
Nunez Cabzea de Vaca y Relacion de la Jornada que hizo a la Florida, 
con el Adelantado Panfilo de Narvaez." See, also, Herrera's History 
of America, vol. 4, pp. 27-38, vol. 5, pp. 91-105. London : 1740. 

t Portugueee Narrative, pp. 702-704. Garcellaeso, pp. 45-64. 



4 DE SOTO IN ALABAMA, 

OHAPTER cavaliers, mounted upon two hundred and thirteen horses, 
^' were the most gallant and graceful men of all Spain. Grey- 
hounds, of almost the fleetness of the winds, were ready to be 
turned loose upon the retreating savages ; and bloodhounds, 
of prodigious size and noted ferocity, were at hand, to deroitr 
them, if the bloody Spaniards deemed it necessary. To se- 
cure the unhappy Indian, handcuflfe, chains and neck collars 
abounded in the camp. Workmen of every trade, with their 
various tools, and men of science, with their philosophical 
instruments and crucibles for refining gold, were in attendance. 
Tons of iron and steel, and much other metal, various mer- 
chandize, and provisions to last two years, were provided by 
the munificence of the commander and his followers. A large 
drove of hogs, which strangely multipHed upon the route, 
together with cattle and mules, was also attached to the 
expedition. The establishment of the Catholic religion ap- 
J^ pears to have been one of the objects ; for, associated with 
the army, were twelve priests, eight clergymen of inferior 
rank, and four monks, with their robes, holy rehcs, and sacra- 
mental bread and wine. Most of them were relatives of the 
superior officers. Never was an expedition more complete, 
owing to the experience of De Soto, who, upon the plains of 
Peru, had ridden down hundreds in his powerful charges, and 
had poured out streams of savage blood with his broad and 
sweeping sword ! It is not within our scope to detail the 
bloody engagements which attended the wanderings of this 
daring son of Spain, upon the territory of the now State of 



GEORGIA AND MISSISSIPPI. 



Florida. Every where, but especially in narrow defiles, the ohaptbr 
natives showered clouds of arrows upon the invaders. Strong 
in numbers, and made revengeful by the cruelties inflicted by 
Narvaez, they had determined to fight De Soto until his army 
was destroyed or driven fi'om their soil. No where in Florida 
did he find peace. His gallant troops, however, were success- 
ful. The Indians, often put to flight, and as often captured, 
were laden with chains, while the ponderous baggage of the 
expedition was unfeelingly thrown upon their backs for trans- 
portation. When in camp, they were made to pound com, 
and to perform the most laborious and servile drudgery. 

Cutting his way firom Tampa, De Soto arrived at Anaica October az 
Apalache, in the neighborhood of the modern Tallahassee. 
Then, as it is yet, a fertile region, he drew from this town, and 
firom others which surrounded it, breadstufe to last him during 
the. winter. The sea, only thirty miles distant, was explored 
by a detachment, and at the present St. Marks the bones of 
horses, hewn timbers, and other evidences of Narvaez, were 
discovered. During the winter all the detachments, in their 
various expeditions, were attacked by the Indians, and the 
main camp at Apalache was harrassed, day and night, in the 
fiercest manner, and with the most sanguinary results. At « 
length Captain Maldinado, who had been ordered to sail to 
the west in some brigantines, which arrived fi-om Tampa Bay, 
in search of a good harbor, returned in February, and reported 1540 
the discovery of the bay of Ochus, since called Pensacola, which 
had a spacious channel, and was protected from the winds on 

1* 



g DE SOTO IN ALABAMA, 

CHAPTER all sides.* Delighted at this good news, which enabled the 
^ Grovemor to make a wide circuit in the interior, he now or- 
dered Maldinado to put to sea in the brigantines which then 
lay in the Apalache Bay, and to sail for Cuba. He was com- 
manded to sail from thence to Ochus with a fleet of provisioii%- 
clothes, and military supplies, with which to recruit the expe- 
dition, when it should have met him at that point in October.f 
Learning from an Indian slave that a country to the north- 
^ east abounded in gold, De Soto broke up his winter encamp- 
ment, and set out in that direction. He entered the territory 
of the present Georgia at its south-western border, and succes- 
sively crossing the Ockmulgee, Oconee and Ogechee,J finally 
rested upon the banks of the Savannah, immediately opposite 
the modern Silver Bluff. On the eastern side was the town 
of Cutifachiqui,§ where Hved an Indian Queen, young, beau- 

* The Portuguese Narrative asserts that Maldinado was sent to the 
west, at the bead of a detachment, by land ; but I adopt the more rea- 
sonable statement of Garcellasso, especially as he is sustained by Biedma, 
De Soto's commissary. See " Relation de ce qui arriva pendant le 
voyage du Captaine Soto par Luis Hernandez de Biedma," p. 59. 

t Portuguese Narrative, p. 709. Garcellasso, pp. 211-214. 

t Bfedma states that De SQto crossed a river (while in this part of 
the country) called the Altapaha. The substitution of only one letter 
would make it the Altamaha. p. 62. 

t 

c 

§ All Indian tradition locates this town at the modern Silver Bluff, 
which is situated on the east bank of the Savannah, in Barnwell 



GEORGIA AND MISSISSIPPI. 



tiful and unmarried, and who ruled the country around to a chapter 
vast extent. She glided across the river in a magnificent 
canoe, with many attendants, and, after an interesting inter- 
view with De Soto, in which they exchanged presents, and 
passed many agreeable compliments, she invited him and 
his numerous followers over to her town. The next day the ^p^ 
expedition crossed the Savannah upon log rafts and in canoes, 
and quartered in the wigwams and under the spreading 
shades of the mulberry. Many interesting things occurred at 
this place, which are mentioned at length by both of the 
journalists of De Soto, particularly by Garcellasso, but which 
are here reluctantly omitted in our anxiety to reach the bor- 
ders of Alabama. 

District, South-Carolina, and which is now the property of Governor 
Hammond. 

In 1736, George Golphin, then a young Irishman, established himself 
as an Indian trader at this point, and gave the old site of Cutifachiqui 
the name of Silver BluE The most ancient Indians informed him that 
this was the place where De Soto found the Indian Princess ; and this 
tradition agrees with that preserved by other old traders, and handed 
dovm to me. Golphin became a very wealthy man, and was for max^ 
years one of the most influential persons in Georgia and South-Carolina, 
as we will see hereafter. He left many descendants ; among othere, 
the wife of the late Governor Millege, was his daughter ; Dr. Thomas 
G. Holmes, an intelligent man, of Baldwin county, Alabama, is his 
grandson. 

Bartram, in his " Travels," page 813, speaking of Silver Bluff, says: 
" The Spaniards formerly fixed themselves at this place in the hopes of 
finding silver." 



3 DE SOTO IN ALABAMA, 

CHAPTER After a halt of several weeks at Cutifacliiqiii, De Soto 

^' broke up his camp, and, in company with the beautiful young 

Queen, whom he retained about his person as a hostage, to 

1540 

May 3 ensure obedience among her subjects, and who did not escape 
from him until the army had nearly accomplished its route 
through northern Georgia, — marched up the Savannah to its 
head waters, and rested, for a short time, at a town in the 
present Habersham county, Georgia. From this place the 
expedition assumed a direct western course, across northern 
Georgia, until they struck the head waters of the Coosa river, 
where they advanced upon the town of Guaxule, containing 
three hundred houses, and situated between several streams 
which had their sources in the surrounding mount^ns. The 
Chief met De Soto with five hundred warriors clothed in 
Hght costume, after the fashion of the country, and conducted 
him to his own house, — surrendered at the instance of his 
wife, — ^which stood upon a mound, and was surrounded by a 
terrace wide enough for six men to promenade abreast.* 
Having but httle com for the famished troops, the natives 
collected and gave them three hundred dogs, which the 
Spaniards had been accustomed to eat in the pine barrens of 
lower Georgia, " esteeming them as though they had been fiat 
wethers.^f Gaining much information about the country, in 
conversations with the Chie^ conducted by the inter] >reter, 

Jj^ Jean Ortiz, the Governor, after the fourth day's sojourn at 
Guaxule, marched to the town of Conasauga, in the modem 

* Garcellasso, p. 294. t Portuguese Narrative, p. 712. 



GEORGIA AND MISSISSIPPI. 



oountj of Murray, Greoigia. Crossing the Conasauga creek, chapter 
and journeying down its western banks, the Spaniards found it ^' 
to increase in size, and being joined by other streams, it pre- 
sently grew larger than the Guadalquiver which passes by 
Seville.* This was the Oostanaula; and following its west- 
em side, De Soto, after a very slow march, advanced within ^ 
seven miles of Chiaha, where he was met by fifteen Indians, 
laden with com, bearing a message from the Chief, inviting 
him to hasten to his capital, where abundant supplies awaited 
him. Soon the eager Spaniards stood before the town of 
Chiaha, which is the site of the modem Rome. 

The most ancient Cherokee Indians, whose tradition has 
been handed down to us through old Indian traders, disagree 
as to the precise place where De Soto crossed the Oostanaula 
to get over into the town of Chiaha — some asserting that he 
passed over that river seven miles above its junction with the 
Etowa, and that he marched from thence down to Chiaha, 
which, all contend, lay immediately at the confluence of the 
two rivers; while other ancient Indians asserted that he 
crossed, with his army, immediately opposite the town. But 
this is not very important. Coupling the Indian traditions 
with the account by Garcellasso, and that by the Portuguese 
eye-witness, we are inclined to believe the latter tradition that 
the expedition continued to advance down the western side of 
the Oostanaula, until they halted in view of the mouth of the 
Etowa. 

* Garcellasso, 295. 



10 ^E SOTO IN ALABAMA, 

CHAPTBR I^^ So^ having arrived immediately opposite the great 
^* town of Chiaha, now the site of Rome, crossed the Oosta- 

1640 

June 6 naula m canoes and upon rafts made of logs prepared by the 
Indians, and took up his quarters in the town.* 

The noble young Chief received De Soto with unaffected 
joy, and made him the following address : 

Mighty Chief : Nothing could have made me so happy as 
to be the means of serving you and your warriors. You sent 
me word from Guaxule to have com collected to last your 
army two months. Here I have twenty bams full of the best 
which the country can afford. K I have not met your wishes, 
respect my tender age, and receive my good will to do for you 
whatever I am able.f 

The Governor responded in a kind manner, and was then 
conducted to the Chief's own house, prepared for his accom- 
modation. 

Chiaha contained a great quantity of bear's oil in gourds, 
and walnut oil as clear as butter and equally palatable ; and 
for the only time upon the entire route were seen pots of 
honey .J The Spaniards, uTegularly quartered in the fields, 

* Garcellasso, p. 296. f Portuguese Narrative, p. 717. 

t I have often been informed by old bee huntera and Indian coun- 
trymen, that after the territory of Alabama became partially settled by 
an American population, wild bees were much more abundant than 
they were in their earliest recollection. They were introduced into the 
country from Georgia and the Carolinas, and often escaping from their 
hives to the woods, became wild, — hence De Soto found no honey in 
the country at the early period in which he invaded it, except at Chiaha. 



GEORGIA AND MISSISSIPPI. H 

and scattered about at their will, reposed under trees and chapter 
loitered upon the banks of the rivers. The horses, reduced in ^' 
flesh and unfit for battle, grazed upon the meadows. Unac- 
customed to allow such loose discipline, De Soto now winked 
at it, for the natives were friendly, and every soul in the camp 
needed repose. One day the Chief presented the Governor iMo 
with a string of pearls, two yards in length, and as la^ as '"" 
filberts, for which he received in return pieces of velvet and 
other cloth much esteemed by the Indians. He said that the 
temple of this town, where the remains of his ancestors were 
deposited, contained a vast quantity of these valuables. He 
invited his distinguished guest to take from it as many as he 
desired. But the latter declined, remarking that he wished 
to appropriate nothing to himself from so sacred a place. 
The Chie^ to gratify him in regard to the manner of obtain- 
ing these pearls, immediately despatched some of his subjects 
in four canoes, with instructions to fish all night for the oys- 
ters which contained them. In the morning he caused a fire 
to be made upon the bank. The canoes returned laden, and 
the natives throwing the oysters upon the glowing coals, suc- 
ceeded in finding many pearls the size of peas, which De 
Soto pronounced beautiful, but for the fire which had robbed 
them of some of their brilliancy. A soldier, in eating some 
of the oysters, or, rather, muscles, found one of great size un- 
injured, and offered it to the commander for Dona Isabel. 
He declined the kindness intended his wife, and urged the 
generous fellow to keep it to buy horses with at Havana. Con- 



1540 
Jane 



12 DE SOTO IN ALABAMA, 

CHAPTER noisseurs in camp valued it at four hundred ducats.* While 
^' here, a cavalier, named Luis Bravo de Xeres, walking one 
day upon the bank of the river, threw his lance at a dog, 
which suddenly disappeared imder the bluff. Coming up to 
recover his weapon, he foimd, to his horror, that it had pierced 
the temple of Jean Mateos and had killed him. The poor man 
was quietly fishing on the margin of the stream, and Httle sus- 
pecting that death was at hand. The accident caused deep 
regret in the camp, the deceased being much esteemed, and, 
having the only gray head in the army, was called, by way 
of pleasantry. Father Mateos.f 

About this time a principal Indian from Costa, a town be- 
low, informed De Soto that in the mountains to the north, 

* Garcellasso, p. 297. The oyster mentioned was the muscle to be 
found in all the rivers of Alabama. Heaps of muscle shells are now to 
be seen on our river banks wherever Indians used to live. They were 
much used by the ancient Indians for some purpose, and old warriors 
have informed me that their ancestors once used the shells to temper 
the clay with which they made their vessels. But as thousands of the 
shells lie banked up, some deep in the ground, we may also suppose 
that the Indians, in De Soto's time, everywhere in Alabama, obtained 
pearls from them. There can be no doubt about the quantity of pearls 
found in this State and Georgia in 1540, but they were of a coarser and 
more vauleless kind than the Spaniards supposed. The Indians used to 
perforate them with a heated copper spindle, and string them around 
their necks and arms like beads— others made toy babies and birds of 
them. 

t Garcellasso, p. 298. 



GEORGIA AND MISSISSIPPI. 13 

at a place called Chisca, were mines of copper, fuid of a yel- chapter 
low metal, still finer and softer. Having seen, upon the Sa- ^' 
vannah, copper hatchets, supposed to be mixed with gold, J^m 
his attention was deeply aroused upon the subject. Villabos 
and Silvera, two fearless soldiers, volimteered to explore that 
region. Furnished with guides by the Chief of Chiaha, they 
departed upon their perilous journey. 

The Spaniards had basked upon the delightful spot where 
now stands the town of Rome, for the space of thirty days. 
The horses had recruited, and the troops had grown vigorous 
and ready for desperate deeds. De Soto demanded of the 
hospitable Chie^ through the persuasion of some of his un- 
principled oflScers, a number of females to accompany them 
in their wanderings. That night the inhabitants quietly left 
the town and hid themselves in the bordering forests. The 
Chief entreated the Uovernor not to hold him responsible for 
their conduct, tor, during his minority, an arbitrary uncle ruled 
them with a despotic will. With sixty troopers De Soto ^^ 
ravaged the surrounding country, and, provoked at not find- 
ing the fugitives, laid waste their flourishing fields of com. 
When afterwards informed that men only would be required 
to bear the baggage, the Indians returned to Chiaha, apolo- 
gized for their flight, and yielded to the last proposition.* De 
Soto then broke up his camp, re-crossed the Oostanaula, and 
marched down the west side of the Coosa, leaving the gene- 
rous people of Chiaha well satisfied with presents. On the 

* Portuguese Narrative, pp. 718-719. 
o 



J4 ^E SOTO IN ALABAMA, 

OHAFTSB 2d July, and after seven days slow marcli, lie entered the 

^' town of Costa.* The Spaniards were now in Alabama, in 

the territory ^ffttbraced in the county of Cherokee, and by the 

?^ side of the Coosa, one of our noblest streams. Never before 

July ' 

had our soil been trodden by European feet ! Never before 
had our natives beheld white faces, long beards, strange ap- 
parel, glittering armor, and, stranger than all, the singular 
animals bestrode by the dashing cavaliers ! De Soto had 
discovered Alabama, not by sea, but after dangerous and dif- 
ficult marches had penetrated her north-eastern border with 
a splendid and well-equipped land expedition ! The Atlantic 
States were quietly discovered by voyagers entering their 
harbors. Alabama was marched upon by an army, whose 
soldiers sickened with famine upon the barrens of Georgia, 
and left tracks of blood upon the soil of Floflda ! 

Commanding his camp to be pitched two cross-bow shots 
from the town, De Soto, with eight men of his guard, ap- 
proached the Chief of Costa, who received him with apparent 
friendship. While they were conversing together, some un- 
scrupulous footmen entered the town and plundered several of 
the houses. The justly incensed Indians fell upon them with 
their clubs. Seeing himself surrounded by the natives, and 
in great personal danger, the Governor seized a cudgel, and, 
with his usual presence of mind, commenced beating his own 
men. The savages observing that he took their part, became 
pacified for a moment. In the meantime, taking the Chief 

* Portuguese Narrative, pp. 718-719. 



GEORGIA AND MISSISSIPPI. 15 

by the hand, he led him, with flattering words, towards the ohaptbr 
camp, where he was presently surrounded by a guard and ^* 
held as a hostage.* The Spaniards remained under arms all 
night. Fifteen hundred Indians, armed complete, often made 
dispositions to charge upon them, vociferating angry and insult- 
ing language. Averse to war since he had been so repeatedly 
attacked by the Floridians, De Soto restrained his anxious 
troops. His coolness, together with the influence of a promi- 
nent Indian who followed him from Chiaha, put an end to the 
serious afl^ir.f Three days after this, Villabos and Silvera 
returned from Chisca. They passed into the mountains, 
found no gold, but a country abounding ^ith lofty hills and 
stupendous rocks. Dispirited, they returned to a poor town, 
where the inhabitants gave them a buflfalo robe, which they 
supposed once covered a tremendous animal, partaking of 
the quaUties of the ox and the sheep.J According to Gar- 
cellasso, the mines which they reached were of a highly colored ^^^ 

July 9 

copper, and were doubtless situated in the territory of the 
county of De Kalb. The sick, who were placed in canoes at 
Chiaha, had by this time arrived down the river. Furnished 
with the burden carriers by the Chief, who was to the last 
hour held a prisoner, the Governor left Costa on the 9th of 
July, 1540, and crossed over to the east side of the Coosa 
upon rafts and canoes. Proceeding down its eastern bank, 
he encamped the first night at the town of Talle. The Chief 

* Portuguese Narrative, pp. 718-719. f Gareellasso, p. 300. 
{Portugueee Narrative, p. 719. 



IQ DE SOTO IN ALABAMA, 



CHAPTER came forth to receive him, and, in a formal speech, begged him 
^' to command his sernces. Here the Spaniards remained 
two days, sharing the hospitality of the natives. Upon their 
departure they were supplied with two women and four men. 
Indeed, De Soto brought from the forests of Florida over five 
hundred unhappy men and women, secured with chains, driven 
by keepers, and made to transport the effects of the expedition. 
When any of them became sick, died, or escaped, it was his 
policy to supply their places at the firet town upon which he 
marched. He alwajrs, however, distributed among the prin- 
cipal Indians presents, which were gratifying to them, and left 
at many of the towns pairs of swine to stock the country. 

The expedition now began to enter the far-famed province 

of Coosa, the beauty and fertility of which were known to all 

^^ the Indians, even upon the sea-side. Garcellasso asserts that it 

July 

extended three hundred miles, and other authors agree that 
it reached over the territory now embraced in the counties 
of Cherokee, Benton, Talladega and Coosa. Continuing 
through the rich lands of Benton, the expedition passed many 
towns subject to the Chief of Coosa. Every day they met 
ambassadors, "one going and another coming," by which De 
Soto was assured of a hearty welcome at the capital.* With 
joyful faces the Indians rushed to his lines every mile upon 
the route, furnishing supplies and assisting the troops from 
one town to another. The same generous reception attended 
him upon entering the soil of the county of Talladega. The 

* Portuguese Narrative, p. 719. 



GEORGIA AND MISSISSIPPI. J^ 



■M*, 



hospitality of the Coosas surpassed that of any people whom chapter 
he had yet discovered. The trail was lined with towns, vil- ^' 
lages and hamlets, and " many sown fields which reached from 
one to the other."* With a dehghtful climate, and abound- 
ing in fine meadows and beautiful little rivers, this region was 
charming to De Soto and his followers. The numerous bams 
were ftill of corn, while acres of that which was growing bent 
to the warm rays of the sun and rustled in the breeze. In the 
plains were plum-trees peculiar to the country, and others 
resembling those of Spain. Wild fi-uit clambered to the tops 
of the loftiest trees, and lower branches were laden with de- 
Ucious Isabella gi-apes. 

On the 26th of July, 1640, the army came in sight of the 

town of Coosa. Far in the outskirts, De Soto was met bv the **^ 

July as 

Chief, seated upon a cushion, and riding in a chair supported 
upon the shoulders of four of his chief men. One thousand 
warriors, tall, active, sprightly and admirably proportioned, 
with' large plumes of various colors on their heads, followed 
him, marching in regular order. His dress consisted of a 
splendid mantle of martin skins, thrown gracefully over his 
shoulder, while his head was adorned with a diadem of bril- 
liant feathers. Around him many Indians raised their voices 
in song, and others made music upon flutes.f The steel-clad 
warriors of Spain, with their glittering armor, scai-cely equalled 
the magnificent display made by these natives of Alabama. 

* Portuguese Narrative, p.. 719. f Garcellasso, p. 300. 



IQ DE SOTO IN ALABAMA, 

CHAPTER The Chief, receiving De Soto with the warmth of a generous 
^' heart, made him the following speech : 

Mighty Chief ! above all others of the earth ! Although I 
come now to receive you, yet I received you many days ago 
deep in my heart. If I had the whole world, it would not 
give me as much pleasure *as I now enjoy at the presence of 
yourself and your incomparable warriors. My person, lands 
and subjects, are at your service. I will now march you to 
your quarters with playing and singing.* 

De Soto responded in his best style, after which he ad- 
vanced to the town, conversing with the Chief, who rode in 
his sedan chair, while the lofty Spaniard sat upon his fiery 
steed. The royal house was set apart for the accommoda- 
tion of the Adelantado, and one half of the other houses 
^® were surrendered to the troops. The town of Coosa was 

Jnly ^ 

situated upon the east bank of the river of that name, be- 
tween the mouths of the two creeks, now known as Talladega 
and Tallasehatchee, one of which is sometimes called BSa- 
mulgee.f It contained ^\e hundred houses, and was the 
capital of this rich and extensive province. 

* Portuguese Narrative, pp. 719-720. 

\ In 1798, Col. Benjamin Hawkins, then Creek Agent, visited the 
Coosa town, now embraced in the county of Talladega. Ho accurately 
describes the inhabitants and the location of the town, which he says 
was situated on the bank of the Coosa, between the mouths of two 
creeks, the Indian names of which were Natche and Ufaula. When 
he French expelled the Natchez from the Mississippi in 1730, some of 



GEORGIA AND MISSISSIPPI. J 9 

The Chief of Coosa was twenty-six years of age, well chapter 
fonned, intelligent, with a face beautifully expressive, and a ^' 
heart honest and generous. He always dined with De Soto. 
One day he rose from the table, and, in an earnest manner, 
besought the Governor to select a region any where in his ' ' '• 
dominions, and immediately establish upon it a large Spanish 
colony. De Soto had contemplated peopling some beautiful 
country, and was better pleased with this section than any 
other, but his imagination stUl pointed him to some gold 
re&don, like Peru. He returned the Chief his profound *^ 

® ' ^ ^ August 

thanks, adduced many reasons for declining the liberal oflfer, 
among others, that Maldinado's ships would await him at 
the bay of Pensacola. Yet, in the face of all this kindness, 
the politic and suspicious De Soto kept the Chief about his 
person, as a hostage, to preserve peace among the Indians, 
and to extort slaves and provisions. Enraged at the impri- 
sonment of their Chief, the Indians fled to the woods to 

that tribe sought refuge among the Talladegas — hence the name of one 
of these creeks in Hawkins' day. When the Americans, in 1832, began 
to settle this country, they changed the name of these creeks to Talla- 
dega, or Kiamulgee, and Tallasehatchee. In addition to the testimony 
of Col. Hawkins, many old Indian countrymen have informed me that 
here was the site of the Coosa town, which was known by that name 
in their early days. Several ancient French and Spanish maps, in my 
possession, lay down the town of Coosa at the place described. 

See Hawkins' sketch of the Creek Country in 1798-1799, published 
by the Historical Society of Gkorgia, Savannah, 1848. 



1540 
August 



20 I^E SOTO IN ALABAMA, 

CHAPTER prepare for war. Four captains, with their companies, were 

^' despatched in different directions in pursuit, and returned 

with many women and men in chains. Some of the principal 

of these were released at the entreaty of the Chief, while others 

were carried off with the expedition, laden with irons and 

baggage, and those who were not destroyed at the battle of 

Maubila, were conducted hr beyond the Mississippi river.* 

The Indians returned from the forest, and remained at 

peace with the Spaniards, but were still dissatisfied at the 

restrictions imposed upon the Uberties of their Chief. After 

twenty-five days had been passed at the capital of Coosa, 

De Soto marched in the direction of the Tallapoosa, leaving 

behind a christian negro, too sick to travel, whom the Indians 

desii'ed to retain among them on account of his singular hair 

and sable complexion. He recovered, and was doubtless the 

distant ancestor of the dark-colored savages seen in that 
region in more modem times.f The first day the army 

* Portuguese Narrative, p. 720. 

tThe negro left at Coosa was not the only memorial of De Soto that 
remained with these people. George Stiggins, whose mother was a 
Natchez Indian, and whose father was a Scotchman, was bom in the 
Talladega country. He was a fair English scholar, and a pretty good 
writer. He had been for years engaged in writing a history of the 
Creeks, and died some years ago, leaving it in an unfinished state. His 
son permitted me to peruse it one day. Stiggins asserts that the Talla- 
degaa had, at a late day, a brass kettle-drum and several shields which 



GEORGIA AND MISSISSIPPI. 21 

passed through the large town of Tallemuchasa, within a chapter 

few hours after it had been abandoned by its inhabitants. ^' 

The next day the town of Utaua was reached, where De Soto 

encamped six dap, awaiting the abatement of the stream 

which ran by it, now violently swollen by incessant rains. * As 

the expedition had not crossed any stream since leaving Coosa, 

it is probable the one alluded to was the modern Tallase- 

hatchee. The march was continued to UUebahale, situated 

upon Hatchet creek, which was called a " small river." The 

town was surrounded by a wall composed of two rows of 

posts driven deep in the ground, with poles laid horizontally 

between them, the inner and outside of the frame work neatly 

stuccoed with clay and straw. Port-holes were left at proper 

distances, forming a defence " as high as a lance." Such was 

the character of the Indian fortifications jfrom this place onward. 

In consequence of the duresse of the Chief of Coosa, whom De 

Soto carried along with him, but treated with respect and 

kindness, the Indians of UUebahale were in arms. Before 

the Spaniards entered the suburbs, twelve principal men, 

armed with bows, and with lofty plumes upon their heads, ^^ „ 

advanced and volunteered to rescue their beloved Chief by 

arraying a formidable force ; but he dissuaded them from it. 

On the opposite side of the creek lived a sub-Chie^ who fiir- 

once belonged to the army of De Soto, and that he had often seen them. 
The Coosas used them as trophies in their annual festivals. Besides 
these, De Soto left hogs and sometimes cattle, among the Alabama 
towns, and sach is the origin of these animals among the Indians. 
Hoiaes and mules were too valuable to be given away. 

3 



22 l^E SOTO IN ALABAMA, 

CHAPTER nislied De Soto with thirty women for slaves, and to carry 
^* burdens. Then the Adelantado pursued his wanderings, 
leaving behind Mansano, a native of Salamanca, of noble pa- 
rentage, who was lost while rambUng in the hills for grapes, 
whMh were found in great abundance. The route lay along 
the modern Socapatoy region, in the county of Coosa. The 
expedition passed the town of Toase and several others, subject 
to the Chief of Tallase, and arrived at the great town of that 
154Q name on the 18th September, 1540. 

September 18 Tallase was an extensive town, the principal part of which 
was encompassed by a wall, similar to that just described, 
with the addition of terraces. It reposed upon a point of land 
"almost surrounded by a main river," which was the Talla- 
poosa.* Extensive fields of corn reached up and down the 
banks. On the opposite side were other towns, skirted with 
rich fields laden with heavy ears of maize. The beautiful 
river, rolling its silvery waters through these fertile lands, 
and the delightful chmate, contributed to render the whole 

* Some years after De Soto passed through this country, the Muscogees 
or Creeks came from the Mexican empire, of which they were subjects, 
and overrun all East Alabama and the greater portion of Georgia, kill- 
ing and making slaves of many of the Alabamas, Ockmulgees, Oconees 
and lichees, the latter of whom then lived near the modem city of 
Savannah. Upon the ruins of the Tallase discovered by De Soto, the 
Muscogees built the town of Tookabatcha, but immediately opposite, 
across the river, the name of Tallase was preserved until they moved 
to Arkansas, in 1836. This ancient and extensive Indian settlement is 
now in large cotton plantations. 



GEORGIA AND MISSISSIPPI. 23 

1 

prospect most pleasing. But the reception of De Soto among chapter 
these people was cool and scarcely civil. Some had aban- i- 
doned their houses at his approach, and gone into the woods. 
However, the Chief gave him forty Indians. After a few 
days, a noble-looking young savage, of gigantic proportions, 
and with a face extremely handsome and interesting, visited 
the marquee. He was the son of Tuscaloosa, a potent Chie^ 
whose domains commenced thirty miles below, and extended 
to the distant Tombigby. He bore an imitation from his 
&ther to De Soto to hasten to his capital, where he was 
making preparations to receive him upon a magnificent scale, 
and then awaited him upon the eastern confines of his terri- 
tory. The son was despatched with a suitable reply, and 
presents for the father. 

Ha\'ing remained at Tallase twenty days, De Soto dis- 
missed the Chief of Coosa, with whom he parted upon good 
tergis, crossed the Tallapoosa in canoes and upon rafts, march- 
ed down the eastern side, and encamped the first night at 
Casista, probably the site of the modern Autose. Delayed ^** 
in passing the river, he could not have advanced further that 
day. In the morning the march was resumed. During this 
day a large town was discovered, and at night the camp was 
pitched upon the borders of another. The next day, advanc- 
ing within six miles of the temporary residence of Tuscaloosa, 
a halt was made in the woods. Louis de Moscoso, the camp- 
master, with fifteen horsemen, was despatched to inform the 
Chief of the proximity of the Governor. Moscoso found the 
proud Mobilian seated upon two cushions, placed on a large 



24 



DE SOTO IN ALABAMA, 



CHAPTER ^"^^ elegant matting, upon an eminence which commanded a 
I. dehghtful prospect. His numerous attendants posted them- 
selves around him, leaving space for the nearer position of his 
chief men. One of these held over his head a round deer- 
skin shield, with a staff in the middle, resembling an umbrella. 
Painted with stripes of different colors, it was used as a ban- 
ner in his wars, but was employed at present in protecting his 
head from the rajrs of the sun. Tuscaloosa was forty years of 
age, of great stature, with immense limbs. He was spare around 
the waist, and his whole form was admirably proportioned* 
His countenance was handsome, but grave and severe. " He 
was lord of many territories and much people, and was feared 
by his neighbors and subjects." In vain did Moscoso endea- 
vor to excite his curiosity, by prancing his horses before him. 
Sometimes he scarcely deigned to raise his eyes, and then, 
again, he bestowed upon the troopers the most contemptuous 
smiles. Even when De Soto arrived, he preserved the same 
haughty demeanor; but, in consideration of his position as 
commander-in-chief, he reluctantly advanced, and made the. 
following address : 

Mighty Chief : I bid you welcome. I greet you as I would 

my brother. It is needless to talk long. What I have to 

say can be said in a few words. You shall know how wilUng 

I am to serve you. I am thankful for the things which you 

1640 have sent me, chiefly because they were yours. I am now 

October 

ready to comply with your desires. 

The Governor replied in true Spanish style, felling not to 
assure the Chief that^ even in distant Indian countries through 



GEORGIA AND MISSISSIPPI. 26 

which he passed, he had heard of his greatness and power, ohaptbr 
This interesting scene occurred below Line Creek, in the 
present county of Montgomery. Both journaUsts agree that 
De Soto had advanced thirty-six miles below Tallase. Re- 
posing at this town the space of two days, preparations were 
made to advance. An officer was sent among the horses, to 
find one large enough to sustain the giant Indian. A large 
pack-horse, the property of the Governor, was selected. Ap- 
pareled in a rich suit of scarlet, and a cap of the same, given to 
him by De Soto, the Chieftain, who was a head taller than 
any of his attendants, mounted upon his horse, with his feet 
nearly trailing on the ground. Onward the lofty and graceful 
Mobihan rode, side by side with the Governor. Marching October 
through the territory embraced in the present counties of 
Montgomery, Lowndes, and the south-eastern part of Dallas, 
the expedition arrived at a town called Piache, seated on a 
peninsula formed by the windings of a large river, "the 
same which runs by Tallase, but here grown much wider 
and deeper."* This was the Alabama. On the march 
hither, a distressing disease broke out among the Spaniards, 
:from the want of salt The death of several, together with 
the loathsome condition of the sufferers, spread alarm in the 
camp. Those who afterwards used ashes with their food, from 
a weed recommended by the Indians, escaped the dreadful 
malady.f 

* Garcellasso, p. 310. Portuguese Narrative, p. 722. 
t Garcellasso, pp. 369-370. 



26 DE SOTO IN ALABAMA, 

CHAPTER The town of Piache was strongly fortified. Its name is 
'• probably preserved in a large creek which flows into the 
Alabama, on the northern side, called Chilache. The Indians 
having no canoes, soon constructed rafts of dry logs and cane, 
upon which the troops were wafted to the northern or western 
side of the Alabama — according to the conviction of the writer, 
in the upper part of the county of Wilcox.* 

1540 

October Th^ expedition assumed a southern direction, and marched 
down the western side of the Alabama, over the soil of the 
present county of Wilcox. De Soto began to read the 
MobiUan Chief. He was still proud and distant, and evidently 
felt that he was a prisoner. Upon the whole route he had 
been studiously engaged in consulting with his principal men, 
and in constantly sending runners to the capital with mes- 
sages. De Soto suspected that he meditated schemes, which 
aimed at the destruction of the Spaniards. His suspicions 
were further awakened, when Villabos and another cavaher 
were believed to have been killed by his subjects. When 
asked about them, Tuscaloosa indignantly repHed, "I am not 
their keeper." High words ensued between him and De Soto ; 
but the latter restrained himself until an opportunity offered of 
taking deep revenge on the Chief for his insolence and the death 

* Biedma says that De Soto occupied two days in passing the river ; 
and he learned from the Indians that Narvaez's barques touched at 
the mouth of the river (the Alabama) in search of water, and that a 
christian, named Teodoro, was still among the Indians below, — and 
they exhibited to De Soto a dagger which they had obtained from 
him. p. 72. 



GEORGIA AND MISSISSIPPI. 27 

of the two Spaniards. On the third day of the march chapter 
from Piache, they passed through many populous towns, well ^' 
stored with com, beans, pumpkins, and other provisions. In 
the meantime, Charamilla and Vasques, two able and discreet 
cavaliers, were despatched in advance to discover if any con- 
spiracy was going on at the capital. Before daylight, on the 
fourth morning, De Soto placed himself at the head of one 
hundred horse, and an equal number of foot, and marched 
rapidly in that direction with the Chief, leanng Moscoso, the 
camp-master, to bring up the larger portion of the troops. At 
eight o'clock the same morning, the 18th October, 1540, De 
Soto and Tuscaloosa arrived at the capital, called Maubila. It oct^is 
stood by the side of a large river, upon a beautiful plain, and 
consisted of eighty handsome houses, each capacious enough 
to contain a thousand men. They all fronted a large public 
square. They were encompassed by a high wall, made of 
inunense trunks of trees, set deep in the ground and close 
together, strengthened mth cross-timbers, and interwoven 
with large \anes. A thick mud plaster, resembUng handsome 
masonry, concealed the wood work, while port-holes were 
abundant, together with towers, capable of containing eight 
men each, at the distance of fifty paces apart. An eastern 
and a western gate opened into the town. The writer is 
satisfied that Maubila was upon the north bank of the Alaba- 
ma, and at a place now called Choctaw Bluff, in the county 
of Clarke, about twenty-five miles above the confluence of the 
Alabama and Tombigby. The march from Piache, the time 
occupied, the distance from Maubila to the bay of Pensacola — 

3* 



28 DE SOTO IN ALABAMA, 

CHAPTER computed by Garcellasso and the Portuguese Gentleman at 
'• eighty-five miles — and the representations of aged Indians and 
Indian countrymen, that here was fought the great battle be- 
tween De Soto and the brave Mobihans, have forcibly contri- 
buted to make that impression upon his mind. 

De Soto and Tuscaloosa were ushered into the great public 
square of Maubila with songs, music upon Indian flutes, 
and the graceful dancing of beautiful brown girls. They 
alighted fi'om their chargers, and seated themselves under a 
"canopy of state." Remaining here a short time, the Chief 
requested that he should no longer be held as a hostage, nor 
required to follow the army any further. The Adelantado 
hesitated in reply, which brought Tuscaloosa immediately to 
his feet, who walked off with a loffcy and independent bearing, 

Oct^ 18 ^^^ entered one of the houses. De Soto had scarcely recov- 
ered fi-om his surprise, when Jean Ortiz followed the Chief 
and announced that breakfast awaited him at the Governor's 
table. Tuscaloosa refused to return, and added, "If your 
Chief knows what is best for him, he will immediately take 
his troops out of my territory." In the meantime, Charamilla, 
one of the spies, informed the Governor that he had discovered 
over ten thousand men in the houses, the subjects of Tusca- 
loosa and other neighboring Chiefe ; that other houses were 
filled with bows, arrows, stones and clubs ; that the old women 
and children had been sent out of the town, and the Indians were 
at that moment debating the most suitable hour to capture 
the Spaniards. The General received this startling intelhgence 
with the deepest solicitude. He secretly sent word to his men 



GEORGIA AND MISSISSIPPI. 29 

to be ready for an attack. Then, anxious to avert a rupture, chapter 
by regaining possession of the person of the Chief, he ap- '* 
proached him with smiles and kind words, but Tuscaloosa 
scornfully turned his back upon him, and was soon lost among 
the host of excited warriors. At that moment a principal octo^is 
Indian rushed out of the same house, and loudly denounced 
the Spaniards as robbers, thieves and assassins, who should 
no longer impose on their great Chief, by depriving him of a 
liberty with which he was bom, and his fathers before him. 
His insolence, and the motions which he made to shoot at a 
squad of Spaniards with a drawn bow, so incensed Baltasar 
de Gallegos, that, with a powerful sweep of his sword, he split 
down his body and let out his bowels ! Like bees in a swarm 
the savages now poured out upon the Spaniards. De Soto 
placed himself at the head of his men, and fought face to face 
with the enemy, retreating slowly and passing the gate into 
the plain. His cavalry had rushed to rescue their horses, 
tied outside the walls, some of which the Indians came upon 
in time to kill. Still receding, to get out of the reach of the 
enemy, De Soto at length paused at a considerable distance 
upon the plain. The Mobihans seized the Indian slaves, 
packed upon their backs the eflfects of the expedition,, which 
had now arrived and lay scattered about, drove the poor 
devils within the walls, knocked off their irons, placed bows 
in their hands, and arrayed them in battle against their former 
masters. In the first sally, De Soto had ^yq men killed and 
many wounded, himself among the latter number. Having cap- 
tured the baggage, the victors covered the ground in advance 



30 I>E SOTO IN ALABAMA, 

OHAPTBR of the gate, and rent the air with exulting shouts. At that 
moment the Governor headed his cavahy, and followed by 
his footmen, charged upon the savage masses ; and, with a 
terrible slaughter, drove them back into the town. The Indians 
rushed to the port-holes and towers, and shot upon the inva- 
ders clouds of arrows, compelling them again to retire from 
the walls. A small party of Spaniards were left in a perilous 
situation. Three cross-bow men, an armed friendly Indian, 
five of De Soto's guard, some servants and two priests, not 
having time to join the others when first attacked in the 
square, took refuge in the house set apart for their command- 
er. The savages sought an entrance at the door, but the 
unhappy inmates bravely defended it, killing many of the 
assailants. Others clambered upon the roof to open the cov- 
ering, but were as successfully repulsed. Separated from 
their friends by a thick wall, and in the midst of thousands of 
enemies panting to lap their blood, their destruction appeared 
IMO inevitable. During the long struggle for existence, the holy 

October 18 

fathers engaged in earnest prayer for their deliverance, while 
the others fought with a desperation which rose with the 
occasion. 

Seeing the Spaniards again retreat, the Indians rushed 
through the gates, and dropping down from the walls, en- 
gaged fiercely with the soldiers, seizing their sweeping swords 
and piercing lances ! Three long hours were consumed in 
the terrible conflict, first one side giving way and then the 
other. Occasionally, De Soto was strengthened by small 
squads of horsemen who arrived, and without orders, charged 



GEORGIA AND MISSISSIPPI. 3]^ 

into the midst of the bloody mel6e. The Grovernor was every chapter 
where present in the fight, and his vigorous arm hewed down ^' 
the lustiest warriors. That sword, which had often been dy^d 
in the blood of Peruvians, was now crimsoned with the gore 
of a still braver race. The invincible Baltasar de Gallegos, 
who struck the first blow, followed it up, and was only equalled 
by the commander in the profuse outpouring of savage blood. 
Far on the borders of the exciting scene rode his brother, 
Fray Juan, a Dominican friar, who constantly beckoned him 
to quit the engagement on foot, and take the horse which he 
bestrode, in order to fight the better. But Baltasar, gloating October 18 
on blood, heeded him not ; when presently an Indian arrow, 
which made a sHght wound upon the back of the worthy 
fether, caused him to retire to a less dangerous distance. In- 
deed, during the whole battle the priests kept the plain, 
watched the awful carnage with intense anxiety, and often fell 
upon their knees, imploring Almighty God to give nctory to 
the Spaniards. 

At length the matchless daring of De Soto and his troops 
forced the Indians to take a permanent position within Mau- 
bila, closing after them its ponderous gates. The sun began 
to lower towards the tops of the loftiest trees, when Moscoso 
and the last of the army arrived. He had strangely loitered 
by the way, allowing the soldiers to scatter in the woods and 
hunt at their leisure. His advanced guard heard at a distance 
the alarum of drums and the clangor of trumpets. With 
beating hearts they passed back the word along the scattered 
lines, from one to the other, and soon the hindmost rushed to 



32 DE SOTO IN ALABAMA, 

CHAPTER the support of their exhausted and crimson-stained comrades. 
^* Joined by all his force, De Soto formed the best armed into four 
divisions of foot Provided with bucklers for defence, and 
battle-axes to demolish the walls, they made a simultaneous 
charge, at the firing of an arquebuse. Upon the first onset, 
they were assailed with showers of arrows and dreadful mis- 
siles. Repeated blows against the gates forced them open. 
The avenues were filled with eager soldiers, rushing into the 
square. Others, impatient to get in, battered the stucco fi*om 
the walls, and aided each other to climb over the skeleton 
works. A horrible and unparalleled carnage ensued. The 
horsemen remained on the outside to overtake those who 
^ might attempt to escape. The Indians fought in the streets, 
in the square, from the tops of the houses and walls. The 
ground was covered with their dead, but not one of the Hving 
entreated for quarters. The Spaniards were protected with 
bucklers and coats of mail, while the poor Indians were only 
covered with the thin shield which the Great Spirit gave 
them at the dawn of their existence. The troops entered 
the town in time to save the two priests and their compan- 
ions, who had so long held out against such fearfiil odds. 
The battle, which now waxed hotter and more sanguinary 
than ever, cannot be as graphically described as the heroic 
deeds on either side so justly deserve. Often the Indians 
drove the troops out of the town, and as often they returned 
with increased desperation. Near the wall lay a large pool 
of delicious water, fed by many springs. It was now disco- 
lored with blood. Here soldiers fell down to slake the intense 



GEORGIA AND MISSISSIPPI. 33 

thirst created by heat and wounds, and those who were able chapter 
rose again, and once more pitched into a combat characterized ^' 
by the most revolting destruction of human Hfe. For some 
time the young females had joined in the fight, and they now 
contended side by side with the foremost warriors, sharing in 
the indiscriminate slaughter. Heated with excitement, smarting ^ ^^ ^^ 
with his wounds, and provoked at the unsubdued fierceness of 
the natives, De Soto rushed out alone by the gate, threw 
himself into his saddle, and charged into the town. Calling, 
with a loud voice, upon " Our Lady and Santiago," he forced 
his charger over hundreds of fighting men and women, followed 
by the brave Nimo Tobar. While opening lanes through the 
savage ranks and sprinkling his tracks with blood, he rose on 
one occasion to cast his lance into a gigantic warrior. At 
that instant, a powerful winged arrow went deep into the bot- 
tom of his thigh. Unable to extract it, or to sit in his saddle, 
he continued to fight to the end of the battle, standing in his 
stirrups. Everywhere, that mighty son of Spain now gorged 
upon Alabama blood ! His fearless bounds filled the boldest 
soldiers with renewed courage. At length the houses were set 
on fire, and the wind blew the smoke and flames in all direc- 
tions, adding horror to the scene. The flames ascended in 
mighty volumes ! The sun went down, hiding himself from 
the awful sight ! Maubila was in ruins, and her inhabitants 
destroyed ! v 

The battle of Maubila had lasted nine hours. It was disas- 
trous to De Soto. Eighty-two Spaniards were slain, or died 



34 I^E SOTO IN ALABAMA, 

CHAPTER in a few days after the engagement. Among these were 
^' Diego de Soto, the nephew of the Governor, Don Carlos En- 
riqnez, who had married his niece, and Men-Rodriquez, a 
cavalier of Portugal, who had served with distinction in Africa 
and upon the Portuguese frontiers. Other men of rank and 
blood lost their lives in the terrible conflict, some of whom 
died in great agony, being shot in the eyes and in the joints of 
their limbs. Forty-five horses were slain — an irreparable loss, 
mourned by the whole expedition. All the camp equipage 
and baggage were consimied in the house where the Indians 
had stored it, except that of Captain Andres de Vasconcellos, 
which arrived late in the evening. All the clothes, medicines, 
instruments, books, much of the armor, all the pearls, the 
rehcs and robes of the priests, their flour and wine, used in 
the holy sacrament, with a thousand other things which a 
wilderness could not supply, perished in the flames. The 
Mobilians were nearly all destroyed. Garcellasso asserts that 
above eleven thousand were slain. The Portuguese Gentle- 
man sets down the number at two thousand ^ve hundred 
killed within the walls alone. Assuming a point between the 
two estimates, it is safe to say that at least six thousand were 
killed in the town and upon the plains, or were afterwards 
October 18 found dead in the woods. These authors also disagree as to 
the fate of Tuscaloosa — the one contending that he was 
consumed in the flames, and the other that he decamped 
upon the arrival of Moscoso, at the solicitation of his people, 
attended by a small guard, and laden with rich Spanish spoils. 



GEORGIA AND MISSISSIPPI. 35 

It is more probable that the Black Warrior remained in his oHAPTElt 
capital, desiring not to survive the downfall of his people.* ^ 

Upon the ruins of Maubila the Spaniards passed the first 
night, in oonteion and pain, sending forth groans and cries that 
fell upon the distant air like the ravings of the damned ! In 
every direction a sickening and revolting sight was presented. 
In the slowly receding fire, piles of brave Mobilians cracked 
and firied upon the glowing coals !• Upon the great square, 
pjrramids of bodies, smeared with blood and brains, lay still 
unbumt Outside the walls, hundreds lay in the sleep of 
death, still hot from their last desperate exertions, and copi- 
ously bleeding from the large orifices made by lances and 
iswords, and discoloring the beautiful grounds upon which 
they had so often sported in their native games. All the 
Spaniards were wounded except the holy fathers, and were, 
besides, exhausted, famished, and intoxicated with the most 
fiendish desperation. Seventeen hundred dangerous wounds 
demanded immediate attention. It was often that a soldier 
had a dozen severe ones, with barbed arrows rankling in his 
flesh. But one surgeon of the expedition survived, and he 
was slow and unskilful. Everything, in his department, was 
devoured by the terrible element. Those who were slightly 
wounded, administered to those whom the Indians had pierced 



* In describing the battle of Maubila, I have carefully consulted the 
Portuguese Narrative and Garcellasso. I find that they are, in the 
main, sostained by Biedma. See Garcellasso, pp. 312-331 — Portu- 
guese Narrative, pp. 722-725— Biedma, pp. 74-78. 



1540 
October 18 



DE SOTO IN ALABAMA, 



jCHAPter deepest. As the soldiers of Cortez did in Mexico, they opened 
^ ihe bodies of some of the savages, and with the fat obtained, 
.bound up the wounds with bandages torn from the garments 
of the soldiers who were killed. Others rushed to the woods, 
obtained straw and boughs, and formed against the walls beds 
^d imperfect covering for^ the wounded and dying. Al- 
ibough severely pierced himself with arrows, and bruised with 
missiles, yet the generous De Soto unselfishly gave his whole 

«bct^r 18 ^^^^tion to his men. During that miserable night, many of 
the unhappiy Spaniards joined the priests in fervent appeals to 
-fheir Heavenly Father, for ihe alleviation of their wi*etched 
condition. 

They remained within the walls eight days, and then re- 
moved to the Indian huts upon the plain. De Soto sent out 
foraging detachments, who found the villages abounding in 
provisions. In the woods and ravines, Indians were found 
dead, and others lay wounded. The latter were treated with 
kindness by the Spaniards, who fed them and dressed their 
wounds. Females of incomparable beauty were captured 
upon these excursions, and added to those who were taken 
at the close of the battle. From them, the Governor was 
astounded to learn the deep schemes which Tuscaloosa had 
planned to capture his army, weeks before his arrival at Maubila. 
To the Tallases, who complained to him that their Chief had 
given their people to De Soto as slaves, he replied : " Fear 
nothing; I shall shortly send the Spaniards back fi-om my 
country to Tallase in chains, led by your people, whom they 
have enslaved." 



GEORGIA- AND MISSISSIPPI. 3^ 

The priests, monks, and best informed laymen, went into chaptbr 
convention to detennine the propriety of substituting com ^' 
meal for flour in the celebration of Mass. They decided that 
bread made of pure wheat, and wine of the juice of the grape, 
were required for consecration. After this, the fathers, in 
lieu of the chalices, altar dresses, chasubles, and other sacred 
ornaments, which had been consumed by fire, made some 
robes of dressed deer skins, erected rude altars and read the 
introitus and other prayers of the Mass on Sundays and feasts, 
omitting the consecration. This unusual ceremony was de- 
nominated the Dry Mass. 

While referring to the religious exercises of the Spaniards, 
it is proper to allude to some of their vices. Upon the whole 
journey from Tampa Bay to this place, they had passed much 
of their leisure time in gambhng. This vice was common to 
all classes ; those of rank often bet high, staking their money, 
jewels, horses, effects, and even their female slaves ! The fire 
of Maubila destroyed their cards. They now made othera of oct^ 
parchment, painted them with admirable skill, and loaned 
these packs from one company to another, continuing to gam- 
ble under trees, upon the river banks, and in their rude huts; 

The report which De Soto had received upon his first 
arrival at .Maubila, that Maldina;do and his vessels awaited 
him at the bay of Pensacok, was now fully confirmed by the 
females whom he had captured. Refreshed by this good 
news, which determined him to plant a colony in the wilder^ 
ness, he dismissed a Chief pf that country whom Maldinado 
had brought into; his camp, while at Apalache Anaica. He 'Jiad; 



38 DE SOTO IN ALABAMA, 

CHAPTER always treated him with kindness, and they parted upon the 
^' most friendly terms. The Chief set out for Ochus. When 
it became known in camp that the ships had arrived, joy 
succeeded the sadness which had universally prevailed. 
Some of the most distinguished cavaliers secretly talked of 
sailing from Ochus to Spain, and others to Peru, each resolv- 
ed upon quitting De Soto and his fortunes. He heard of the 
conspiracy with painful solicitude, and determined to ascertain 
if it was founded in seriousness. One dark night he disguised 
himself and cautiously n^oved about the camp. Approach- 
ing the hut of Juan Caitan, the treasurer, he overheard an 
earnest conversation, which satisfied him of the truth of what 
November ^^^d been intimated. De Soto was startled at the faithless 
schemers. It altered his plans. He now dreaded to march, 
to Ochus, for he well knew that some of these cavaliers had 
once deserted Pizarro, leaving him on the island of Gorgonne. 
He reflected, that his means were exhausted, his hopes of 
finding a gold country, thus far, blasted, and that he had 
nothing to tempt the cupidity of recruits ; even the pearls, all 
he had to exhibit of his discoveries, having shared the fate of 
the other effects. These things, connected with a desire to 
thwart the plans of the conspirators, influenced him to turn 
his back upon his ships, laden with provisions, clothes, arms, 
and every thing which the whole army needed. 

De Soto became gloomy and morose. Sometimes, in the 
midst of his desponding fits, a hope of yet finding a gold region 
^hot across his mind, but, like a flashing meteor, it exploded 
in darkness, leaving him in deeper despair ! He resolved, 



GEORGIA AND MISSISSIPPI. 



39 



however, to strike into the wilderness. The wounded had chapter 

recovered enough to march, and he gave orders to break up ^ 

the camp. On Sunday, the 18th of November, 1540, a 

direction was assumed to the north. The order fell like a clap 

of thunder upon the unwilling cavaliers. But they obeyed, j- y^L, w 

for he threatened to put to death the first man who should 

even think of Maldinado and his ships.* The expedition 

traversed an extremely fertile, but uninhabited country, cs^lled 

Pafallaya, now embraced in the counties of Clarke, Marengo, 

and Greene, and, at the expiration of five days, passed the 

town of Talepataua, and reached another called Cabusto. This 

was "near a river, wide, deep and with high blufl&."f The 

Spaniards had now arrived upon the Black Warrior, and near 

the modern town of Eiie. Fifteen hundred Indians advanced 

in battle array, shouting that a war of "fire and blood" was 

what they desired. They remembered the destruction of their 

friends at Maubila, and they were determined to be revenged. 

Severe sku*mishing ensued. The Spaniards drove the savages 

into the river ; some crossed over in canoes and others swam ; 

and on the opposite side they were joined by a force estimated 

* De Soto had no doubt determined to settle a colony in the 
province of Coosa. The desperate resolution, now formed, of again 
plunging into unknown regions, was unfortunate for him and his follow- 
ers, and for the historians of Alabama. A colony in Alabama, at that 
early period, would have afforded many rich historic incidents. 

f ** Etoit sur un fleuve, grand, profond et haut de bord.'* Garcellas- 
so, p. 348. The American rivers, of ordinary size, appeared large to 
the Spaniards, and do even now to all Europeans. 



40 M: SOTO IN ALABAMA, 

CHAPTER at eight thousand. For six miles they stretched along the 
^' western bank, to oppose the crossing of the army. De Soto 
ckxjupied Cabusto, and was attacked every night by detach- 
ments of the enemy, who <jame over secretly in canoes from 
different directions, and sprang upon him. He at length 
caused ditches to be cut near the landings, in which he 
posted cross-bow men and those armed with arquebuses. Af- 
ter the Indians were repulsed three times from these intrench- 
ji^ents, they ceased to annoy the Spaniards at night. In the 
meantime, one hundred men completed in the woods two large 
boats. They were placed upon sledges, and by the force of 
horses and mules, and with the assistance of the soldiers, were 
feonveyed to a convenient landing one and a half miles up the 
river, and launched before day. Ten cavalry and forty infan- 
try entered each of these boats, the former keeping the saddle 
while the latter rowed rapidly across. Five hundred Indians 
rushed down the banks and overwhelmed the voyagers with 
November aiTows. Howcvcr, the boats reached the shore, one of them 
coming to with great difficulty. The soldiers, all of whom were 
wounded, sprang out, and, headed by the impetuous Silvestre 
and Garcia, charged the Indians with great resolution. A 
severe conflict continued until the boats returned and brought 
over De Soto with eighty men, who, joining in the fight, forced 
the Indians to retreat to a distant forest. The advanced wing 
keeping off the enemy, the whole army soon crossed the 
river. When all were over, the Indians were driven to their 
first position, which they had strengthened with pallisades, 
and from which they continually saUied, skirmishing with the 



GEORGIA AND MISSISSIPPI. 4J 

invaders until the sun was lost behind the hills.* Upon the chapter 
Warrior, De Soto found a delightful country, with towns and ^* 
villages well supphed with corn, beans and other provisions. 
The next day he caused the boats to be broken up, for the 
iron which they contained, and the expedition marched in a 
northern direction, passmg through a portion of Greene and 
Pickens. After five days they reached the Little Tombigby, 
somewhere in the county of Lowndes, Mississippi. Here the 
Indians had collected to dispute the passage. Having re- 
cently suflFered so severely in contentions with the natives of 
Alabama, De Soto felt unwilling to expose his army to further 
loss. Halting two days for the construction of a small boat, 
he despatched in it an Indian, who bore a message to the 
Chief, with ofiers of peace and friendship. Immediately upon 
reaching the opposite bank, the poor fellow was seized and 
barbarously killed, in the sight of the Governor. His mur- 
derers then rent the air with terrific yells, and dispersed. De 
Soto conducted his troops unmolested across the rivfer, and 
marched until he arrived at the town of Chickasa,- in the 
province of that name. It consisted of two hundred houses, 
and reposed upon a hill extending towards the north, shaded 
by oak and walnut trees, and watered by several rivulets. 
The Spaniards had now reached the territory embraced in the 
county of Yalobusha. The region was fertile, well-peopled 
and dotted with villages. The cold weather set in with much 
severity. In the midst of snow and ice, the army encamped ^^ 



November 



* Portuguese Narrative, p. 735. Garcellaaso, pp. 848-352. 

4 



^2 DE SOTO IN ALABAMA, 

CHAPTER Upon the fields opposite the town, until houses could be 

^* erected ; for here De Soto had determined to pass the winter. 

Foraging parties scoured the country, collected provisions and 

captured Indians. The latter were invariably dismissed, with 

presents for their Chief. 

The Chief at length came to see De Soto, and offered him his 
lands, person and subjects. He returned, shortly after, with 
two neighboring Chiefe — ^Alibamo and Nicalaso. • The august 
trio gave the Adelantado one hundred and ^j rabbits, be- 
sides mantles and skins. The Chief of Chickasa became a 
frequent visitor, and De Soto often sent him home on one of 
the horses. Having besought the General to aid him in over- 
iMi coming a prominent and rebeUious subject, for the purpose of 
dividing and destroying the army, as was afterwards ascer- 
tained, De Soto marched, with thirty horsemen and two hun- 
dred Indians, upon Saquechuma, and destroyed that place by 
fire. Upon their return to the camp, the principal Indians 
were feasted upon the flesh of swine. They were pleased 
with the first dish of an animal never before seen, and from 
that time the place where the hogs were kept was often 
broken in upon dark nights, and many stolen. Three of the 
rogues were caught on one occasion, and two of them put to 
death. The hands of the other were chopped off, and in that 
painftil and helpless situation, he was sent to his Chief. On 
the other side, the Spaniards robbed the Indians. One day, 
four horsemen, Francisco Osario, a servant of the Marquis of 
Astorga, called Raynoso, Ribera, the page of the Governor, 
and Fuentes, his chamberlain, entered a neighboring village 



GEORGIA AND MISSISSIPPI. 43 

and forcibly carried off some valuable skins and mantles, chapter 
The enraged Indians forsook their town and went into the ^' 
woods to prepare for war. The robbers were arrested, and 
Fuentes and Osario were condemned to die. The priests and 
some of the most distinguished cavaliers pleaded, in vain, for the 
pardon of the latter. De Soto had them brought out to have 
their heads chopped off, when Indians arrived with a mes- 
sage from the Chief, informing him of the outrage upon his 
people. At the suggestion of Baltasar de Gallegos, the in- 
terpreter cunningly turned it to the advantage of the prisoners. 
He said to De Soto, that the Chief desired him not to execute 
the robbers, for they had not molested his subjects. He said 
to the Indian ambassadors, that they might return home JJ^ 
well assured that the plunderers would be immediately put 
to death, according to the wishes of the Chief. The prisoners, 
in consequence, were all set at liberty, much to the joy of the 
army.* 

Upon the appearance of March, 1541, the thoughts of the 
unhappy De Soto occasionally turned upon pursuing the 
journey. He demanded of the Chief two hundred men for 

* Poor Ortiz never reached his native country,- but died in Arkansas. 
He was of great service as an interpreter. Understanding only the 
Floridian language, he conducted conversations through the Indians of 
different tribes who understood each other, and who attended the expe- 
dition. In conversing with the Chickasaws, for instance, he commenced 
with a Floridian, who carried the word to a Georgian, the Georgian 
to the Coosa, the Coosa to the Mobilian, and the latter to the Chicka- 
saw. Iq the same tedious manner the answer was conveyed to him and 
reported to De Soto. 



44 DE SOTO IN ALABAMA, 

CHAPTER burden bearers. An evasive answer was given, and for 
several days the Governor was apprehensive of an attack. 
He posted sentinels, under the supervision of Moscoso, One 
dark night, when the cold wind was howling awfully, the 
Chickasaws rushed upon the camp, in four squadrons, sending^ 
up yells the most terrific, and adding horror to the scene by 
the sound of wooden drums and the discordant blasts of 
conch shells. The houses of the town, in which the larger 
portion of the troops now lodged, were set on fire by arrows^ 
containing burning matches, made of a vegetable substance, 
which shot through the air like flashing meteors and fell upon 
the roofe ! Constructed of straw and cane, the wigwams 
were soon wrapped in flames. The Spaniards, bhnded by 
the smoke, ran out of the houses half dressed, and, in their 
dismay, knew not the best way to oppose the assailants.. 
Some of the horses were burned in the stables and others- 
broke their halters, and running in all directions among the 
soldiers, increased the unparalleled confusion. De Soto and 
a soldier named Tapier, the first to mount, charged upon the 
enemy, the former being enveloped in an overcoat, quilted with 
cotton three inches thick, to shield him from the arrows^ 
His saddle, which, in the haste, had not been girted, turned 
with him in one of his sweeping bounds, and he fell heavily 
to the ground, at the moment his lance had pierced a savage^ 
The soldiers drove off the Indians, who had surrounded him 

1541 

March with clubs, and adjusted his saddle. Vaulting into it, he 
charged in the thickest of the' enemy, and revelled in blood t 
The Spaniards were now seen in all directions, engaged in 



GEORGIA AND MISSISSIPPI. 45 

a dreadful fight Many, however, had just awoke, and now chapter 
crawled upon their hands and knees out of the devouring ^" 
flames above them. In a house, at some distance, lay the 
fiick, and those who had not recovered from the wounds 
which they had received at Maubila and Cabusto. Hordes 
of savages pressed upon the poor fellows, and, before they 
were rescued, several fell victims. In the meantime, the 
•cavaUers, some without saddles and others without clothes, 
joined the intrepid De Soto ; and now the awful wind, the 
flames, the yells and the clangour of arms, made the scene 
frightfully sublime, and the night one long to be remembered. 
Fifty infantry took flight, which was the first instance of 
cowardice upon the march. Nuno Tobar, sword in hand, j^^j 
Tushed before them, and with the assistance of a detachment ^^^^ 
of thirty men under Juan de Guzman, arrayed them against 
the enemy. At that instant, Andres de Vasconcelos, at the 
head of twenty Portuguese hidalgos, most of whom had 
ser\'ed as horsemen upon the African frontier, accompanied 
by Nuno Tobar on foot, forced the savages to retire on one 
side of the town. At length the Indians fled from the battle 
field, and were pursued by De Soto and his troops as long as 
they could distinguish objects by the light of the burning town. 
Returning from the chase, the Govemer found that the en- 
.gagement had resulted in considerable loss. Forty Spaniards 
were killed, and among them the only white woman in camp, 
the wife of a soldier, whom she had followed from Spain. Fifty 
horses were lost, either burned or pierced with arro^ 
Dreading these singular quadrupeds in war, the Indians ainlbd 



46 DE SOTO IN ALABAMA, 

CHAPTER at their entire destruction, and many were found shot entirely 
^ through in the most vital parts. The swine, the increase of 
which had often kept the Spaniards from starving, when hard 
pressed for food, were confined in a roofed enclosure, and a 
number of them were consumed by the fire. De Soto sur- 
veyed the scene with deep mortification. He blamed Moscoso 
for the unfortunate attack. His negligence here, reminded 
him of his tardy advance upon Maubila, and, in his anger, he 
deposed his old brother in arms from the rank of camp-mas- 
ter, and bestowed it upon the bold Baltasar de Gallegos. A 
March succcssion of losses had attended him since he crossed the 
Alabama at Piache. Indeed, from his first landing at Tampa 
Bay, over three hundred men had fallen by the assaults of the 
natives. The fire at Chickasa swept the few things saved at 
Maubila, together with half their wearing apparel. And now 
many of the unfortunate soldiers shivered in the cold, with 
scarcely a vestige of clothing. 

In the fit of deep despondency into which he was thrown, 
De Soto did nf>t forget the duties which a commanding ofl&cer 
owes to his suffering troops. The dead were buried and the 
wounded properly attended. The Indians, thick upon the plain, 
and upon the ruined town, remained, a prey for the hungiy 
wolves and birds of carrion. The Spaniards abandoned the 
sickening spot, and encamped three miles distant, at Chickasilla, 
or Utile Chickasa, where they erected a forge and tempered 
their swords, now seriously injured by the fire. They busied 
t|^mselves in making shields, lances and saddles. The re- 
mfiinder of the winter was passed in great wretchedness. 



GEORGIA AND MISSISSIPPI. 



47 



Intense cold and grievous wounds were not all they liad to chapter 
bear, but often the natives assailed them at night, with the ^' 
agility and ferocity of tigers ! At sunset they were compelled 
to evacuate the town, and take position in the field, for fear 
that fire might be applied to the houses. The ingenuity of 
one of the soldiers devised mattings, four inches in thickness, 
made of a long soft grass, in which those who were not upon 
guard wrapped themselves, and were somewhat protected fi'om 
the piercing air. Often De Soto sent forth detachments, who 
cut down every Indian they overtook ; yet, in a few succeeding 
nights, the savages would return and attack the camp. Be- 
fore daylight on Wednesday, the 15th March, 1541, Capt Juan 
de Guzman, a man of delicate form, but of indomitable cour- 
age, was seized by the collar by an athletic Indian, who car- 
ried a banner, and jerked fi-om his horse. The soldiers, rushing 
up, cut the bold fellow to pieces. Others dashed after the 
main body of Indians, and deep revenge would have been 
taken, if a monk, fearful that they would be led into an am- 
bush, had not arrested the charge by the cry of, " to the 
camp ! — ^to the camp ! " Forty Indians fell, — two horses were 
killed and two soldiers wounded. 

On the 25th of April, 1541, De Soto marched north-west, 
through a champaign country, thickly populated, and journey- 
ing twelve miles, halted in a plain not far from the town of 
Alibamo. Juan de Anasco, with a foraging party, came in ^ 
sight of this fortress, which was garrisoned by a large num- 
ber of savages, whose bodies were painted in stripes of white, 
black and red, while their faces were frightfully blackened. 

4* 



^g DE SOTO IN ALABAMA, 

CHAPTER Red circles surrounded their eyes. These, with head-dresses of 
^' feathera and horns, gave them a fantastic and ferocious ap- 
pearance. The drums sounded alarums, and they rushed out 
of the fort with fearful whoops, forcing Anasco to retreat to 
the open fields. The enemy, scorning the inferiority of the 
detachment, pretended to knock one of the warriors in the 
head with a club, in front of the fort; and swinging him by 
the head and heels near a fire, in insulting mockery, indicated 
the fate of the Spaniards who should fall into their hands. 
The initated Anasco sent three troopers to the camp, who 
returned with De Soto at the head of a considerable force. The 
latter assaulted the fortress of Alibamo, leading on his men in 
1541 three squadrons, commanded by Guzman, Avaro Romo de 

April 27 

Cardenoso, and the stout Gonzalo Silvestre. A hundred 
Alabamas poured out from each portal and met the Spaniards. 
Upon the first encounter, Diego de Castro, Louis Bravo and 
Francisco de Figarro, fell mortally wounded. An arrow struck 
the casque of the Governor with such force that it made his 
eyes flash fire. The victorious Spaniards forced the Alabamas 
into the fort, pressing them to death by the united shock of 
cavalry and infantry — the passes of the gates admitting but 
few of the Indians at once. The soldiere remembered that 
they had united with the Chickasaws, and they knew no 
bounds to the revenge which they now sought. In the rear 
many savages escaped, by cHmbing over the walls and through 
the back portals, pitching into the river which ran by thei 
fort, but far below its foundation. In a short time, De Soto 
held possession of the interior. Ahbamo stood upon the 



GEORGIA AND MISSISSIPPI. 49 

Yazoo river, in the county of Tallahatchie.* It was built of chapter 
pallisades, in the form of a quadrangle, four hundred paces ^' 
long on either side. Inner walls divided it into separate 
parts, enabling the besieged to retreat from one to the other. 
The centre wall, oij the back side, was immediately upon a 
perpendicular bluflP, beneath which flowed a deep and narrow 
river, across which were thrown a few rude bridges. Portions ^^ 
of the fort appeared to have been recently constructed for ^^ ^ 
defence against the horses. It was decidedly the best fortified 
place yet discovered, except Maubila, but the garrison was great- 
ly inferior in numbers to that of the latter. The outside por- 
tals were too low and narrow for a cavalier to enter on his horse. 

* General Le Clerc Milforl, an intelligent Frenchman, lived in the 
Creek Nation from 1776 until 1796. He wrote a history of the Mus- 
cogees or Creeks, and published his work in Paris in 1802. He married 
the sister of General Alexander McGillivray of the Creek tribe. When 
he arrived in France, Bonaparte made him a General of Brigade ; and 
in 1814 he was attacked in his house by a party of Russians, and res- 
cued by some grenadiers. Shortly afterwards he died. 

Milfort states that the Alabamas wandered from the northern part of 
Mexico, and settled upon the Yazoo, and afterwards removed to the 
liver which bears their name. This fact, connected with that of the 
Alibamo fort, mentioned by the journals of De Soto, establishes, con- 
■clusively, that they were the same people. The Alabamas, after De 
Soto's time, settled on the site of the modem Montgomery, Coosawda 
and Washington, below the confluence of the Coosa and Tallapoosa. 
From these people the river and state took their names. 

" Memoire ou coup d'oeil rapide sur mes differens voyages et men 
«ejour dans la Nation Cr«ck, par Le Clerc Mafort''— pp. 229-288. 



50 DE SOTO IN ALABAMA, 

CHAPTER De Soto crossed the river at a ford below the plain, and 
^' pursued the savages until twiUght, leading many of them in 
the sleep of death. Four days were consumed at Alibamo in 
attending to the wounded. Fifteen Spaniards died — among 
them the cavaUers first wounded, who .were young, valiant 
and of the best blood of Spain. So terminated the battle of 
Alibamo, — the last one of the many De Soto fought, which 
it is within our pro^dnce to describe. We have followed that 
extraordinary adventurer through our State, into the heart of 
Mississippi. A few more words must close the account of his 
nomadic march, as far as it rests in our hands. 

The Spaniards reached the Mississippi river in May, 1541, 
and were the firet to discover it, unless Cabaca de Vaca crossed 
it twelve years before, in wandering to Mexico with his four 
companions, — ^which is not probable, from the e\'idence afford- 
ed by his journal. De Soto consumed a year in marching 
over Arkansas, and returned to the " Father of Watere," at 
the town of Guachaya, below the mouth of the Arkansas 
river, on the last of May, 1542. He here engaged in the con- 
struction of two brigantines to communicate with Cuba. That 
May gi'^at man, whose spirits had long since forsaken him — who had 
met with nothing but disappointments — and who had, in his 
most perilous wanderings, discovered no country like Peru and 
Mexico, — became sick with a slow and malignant fever. He 
appointed Moscoso to the command — bid his officers and sol- 
diers farewell — exhorted them to keep together, in order to 
reach that country which he was destined never to see — and 
then CLOSED his eyes in death ! Thus died Hernando De 



GEORGIA AND MISSISSIPPI. 61 

Soto, one of the most distinguished captains of that or any chapter 
age. To conceal his death and protect his body from Indian 
brutalities, he was placed in an oaken trough, and silently 
plunged into the middle of the Mississippi, on a dark and 
gloomy night. Long did the muddy waters wash the bones 
of one of the bravest sons of Spain ! He was the first to 
behold that river — ^the first to close his eyes in death upon 
it — and the first to find a grave in its deep and turbid channel. 
Moscoso and the remaining troops again plunged into the 
wilderness west of the Mississippi, with the hope of reaching 
Mexico. Departing on the Ist of June, 1542, he returned on 
the Ist December to the Mississippi river, at a point fifty miles 
above the place where De Soto died. The Spaniards began 
the construction of seven brigantines, the building of which 
required the chains of the slaves, saddle-stirrups, and every 
thing which contained a particle of iron, made into nails by 
the erection of forges, the Indian mantles stitched together for 
sails, and the inner bark of trees made into ropes. When these 
were completed. Gov. Moscoso departed down the vast stream, 
the 2d July, 1543. The once splendid army of one thousand ***8 

July 8 

men, was reduced to three hundred and twenty ! Five hun- 
dred slaves were left at the place of embarkation, and Mosco- 
so took with him one hundred, among others, the beautiful 
women of Maubila. Twenty-two of the best horses were em- 
barked ; the others were killed and dried for food, as were the 
hogs, a large number of which still remained. *The Spaniards 
were attacked, in descending the river, by fleets of Indian 
canoes. In one of these engagements, the brave Guzman and 



52 DE SOTO IN ALABAMA, 

CHAPTER eleven others were drowned, and twenty-five wounded. In 
'• sixteen days they reached the Gulf, and put to sea on the 1 8th 
July, 1543. Having landed at Tampa Bay on the 3 0th of May, 
1639, they had consumed a Uttle over four years in wander- 
ing through Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and the 
vast regions of the Arkansas Territory. Tossed by the waves, 
famished with hunger, parched with thirst, and several times 
wrecked by tornadoes, the poor Spaniards finally reached the 
mouth of the river Panuco, upon the Mexican coast, on the 10th 
September, 1543. From thence they went to the town of 
Panuco. Appareled in skins of deer, buffalo, bear and other 
animals — with faces haggard, blackened, shriveled, and but 
1543 faintly resembhng human beings — they repaired to the church 

September 10 

and offered up thanks to God for the preservation of their lives. 
Repairing to the city of Mexico, the Viceroy extended to them 
every hospitaUty. So did the elegant Castilian ladies of his 
court, who were enraptured with the beauty of the MobiHan 
females — the high-spirited daughters of Alabama.* 

Maldinado, whom we left at Pensacola bay, awaited, in vain, 
the arrival of De Soto. He and his distinguished associ- 
ate, Gomez Ajias, at length weighed anchor and sailed along 
the coast in different directions, hoping to meet the expedition 
at some point. They left signals upon the trees, and at- 

* An interesting account of the expedition, from the battle of Aliba- 
mo to their entffence into the city of Mexico, which I have rapidly 
glanced at, may be found in the Portuguese Narrative, pp. 728-762, 
Garcellasso de la Vega, pp. 372-557. 



GEORGIA AND MISSISSIPPI. 53 

tached letters to the bark. Returning to Cuba they again chapter 

sailed in search of De Soto in the summer of 1541, and ^* 

touched frequently upon the Floridian and Mexican coasts, but 

heard nothing of him. Again, in the summer of 1542, they 

made a similar voyage, with no better success. Determined 

not to give up the search for the lost Spaniards, Maldinado 

and Arias, in the spring of 1543, departed on a long voyage. ^wik 

On the 15th of October they touched at Vera Cruz, and learned 

that De Soto had died upon the Mississippi, and that three 

hundred of his army only had hved to reach Mexico. When 

this sad intelligence was conveyed to Havana, every one 

grieved, and Dona Isabel, long racked with anxiety, died of a 

broken heart ! 



54 ABORIGINES OF ALABAMA. 



CHAPTER II. 

PART I. 

THE ABORIGINES OF ALABAMA, AND THE 
SURROUNDING STATES. 

CHAPTER The Indians of Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi, 
^^* were so similar in form, mode of living and general habits, in 
the time of De Soto and of others who succeeded him in pene- 
trating these wilds, that they will all be treated, on the pages 
of this chapter, as one people. Their color was hke that of 
the Indians of our day. The males were admirably propor- 
tioned, athletic, active and graceful in their movements, and 
possessed open and manly countenances. The females, not 
inferior in form, were smaller, and many of them beautiful. 
No ugly or ill-formed Indians were seen, except at the town 
of Tula, west of the Mississippi. Corpulency was rare ; nev- 
ertheless, it was excessive in a few instances. In the neigh- 
borhood of Apalache, in Florida, the Chief was so fat that he 
was compelled to move about his house upon his hands and 
knees. 

The dress of the men consisted of a mantle of the size of a 
common blanket, made of the inner bark of trees, and a 
species of flax, interwoven. It was thrown over the shoulders, 



1540 



ABORIGINES OF ALABAMA. 55 

with the right arm exposed. One of these mantles encircled chapter 

the body of the female, commencing below the breast and ''' 
extending nearly to the knees, while another waft grace- 

fully thrown over the shoulders, also with the right arm ex- 
posed. Upon the St. Johns river, the females, although i« 
equally advanced in ci>ilization, appeared in a much greater 
state of nudity — often with no covering, in summer, except a 
moss drapery suspended round the waist, and which hung 
down in graceful negligence. Both sexes there, were, how- 
ever, adorned with ornaments, consisting of pretty shells and 
shining pearls, while the better classes wore moccasins and 
buskins of dressed deer leather. In Georgia and Alabama 
the towns contained store-houses, filled with rich and comfort- 
able clothing, such as mantles of hemp, and of feathers' of 
every color, exquisitely arranged, forming admirable cloaks iMO 
for winter ; with a variety of dressed deer skin garments, 
and skins of the martin, bear and panther, nicely packed 
away in baskets.* Fond of trinkets, the natives collected 
shells from the sea-side and pearls from the beds of the 
interior rivers. The latter they pierced with heated copper 
spindles, and strung them around their legs, necks and arms.f 
The Queen upon the Savannah took from her neck a magnifi- 
cent cordon of pearls, and twined it round the neck of the 
warlike but courteous De Soto.J In the interior of the country, 
peaik were worn in the ears ; but upon the coast, fish blad- 1664 

* Portuguese Narrative, p. 711. t Portuguese Narrative, p. 701. 
t Portuguese Narrative, p. 714. 



56 ABORIGINES OF ALABAMA. 

CHAPTER ders, inflated after they had been inserted, were greatly pre- 
''• ferred.* The Chiefe and their wives, the Prophets and prin- 
cipal men, painted their breasts and the front part of their 
bodies with a variety of stripes and characters. Others, like 
sea-faring people, had their skins punctured with bone needles 
and indehble ink rubbed in, which gave them the appear- 
U39 ance of being tattoed.f Jean Ortiz, so long a prisoner among 
the Floridians, when discovered by De Soto, was taken for an 
Indian, on account of his body being "razed" in this manner-J 
It will be remembered that the Alabamas, upon the Yazoo, 
painted in stripes of white, yellow, black and red, and 

* Le Moyne's Florida plate, 38. Renaud de Laudouniere, an admiral 
of France, made a second voyage to Florida, and landed upon its shore 
in 1564. Attached to this expedition was a Frenchman, named Jacob 
Le Moyne, who was an admirable painter. Laudouniere left some sol- 
diers at a Fort which he built upon the S.t. John's, and with them this 
accomplished artist. Le Moyne was frequently despatched with small 
detachments along the coast, and to some distance in the interior, to make 
sarveys of the rivers and to cultivate the friendship of the natives. During 
these excursions he made admirable drawings of the Indians, their 
houses, farms, games, amusements, manners, customs and religious cere- 
monies. Returning to France, he related his adventures to Charles 
IX., and exhibited to him his pictures. These, with his explanatory 
notes, were published by Theodore de Bry,in 1591, in the Latin lan- 
guage, at Frankfort. The copy in my possession, a most intaresting 
book upon the ancient Indians of Florida and the adjoining States, con- 
tains forty-two plates, a few specimens of which are introduced in this 
volume. 

t La Moyne, plate 38. t Portuguese Narrative, p. 702. 



ABORIGINES OF ALABAMA. 



57 



"seemed as though they were dressed in hose and doublets."* chapter 
Lofty plumes of the feathers of the eagle, and other noted birds, "• 
adorned the heads of the warriors. At the battle of Vita- ^' 

chuco, in Middle Florida, ten thousand warriors appeared in 
this magnificent native head-dress. They also punished and de- 
formed themselves in the display of their more peculiar orna- 
ments. Upon an island in West Florida, they wore reeds thrust 
through their nipples and under lips.f Indian grandees were ^28 
often seen promenading, of an evening, enveloped in beau- 
tiftd mantles of deer skins, and of the martin, trailing behind 
them, and often held up by attendants. Among the prettiest 
ornaments were flat shells, of varied colors, which they sus- 
pended from girdles around their waists, and which hung 
down around their hips. 

The bow, the most formidable weapon of the ancient In- 
dians, was long, elastic and exceedingly strong. The string 
was made of the sinews of the deer. The arrows, of strong 1540 
young cane, hardened before the fire, were often tipped with 
buck-horn, and invariably pointed either with palm or other 
hard wood, flints, long and sharp like a dagger, fish-bones 
shaped like a chisel, or diamond flints.| The Spaniards 
soon ascertained that they pierced as deep as those which 
they themselves shot from the cross-bow, and were discharged 

m 

* Portuguese Narralive, p. 727. 

f Expedition of Narvaez, contained in Herrera's History of Ameri- 
ca — vol. 4, p. 33. 

t Garcellarao de la Vega, p. 266. 



58 ABORIGINES OF ALABAMA. 

CHAPTER more rapidly.* The quiver which held them was made of 
^^' fawn or some other spotted skin, and was cased at the low^er 
end with thick hide of the bear or the alligator. It was always 
1564 suspended by a leather strap, passing round the neck, which 
permitted it to rest on the left hip, Uke a sword. It was ca- 
pable of holding a great many arrows. Shields were univer- 
sal appendages in war, and were made either of w^ood, split 
canes strongly interwoven, alligator hide, and sometimes that of 
buflfalo. The latter was often the case west of the Mississippi. 
Of various sizes, but ordinaiily large enough to cover the 
breast, these round shields were painted with rings and stripes, 
and suspended from the neck by a band. Sometimes a noted 
Chief protected his breast and a portion of his abdomen with 
tliree of them. These, with a piece of bark covering the left arm, 
to prevent the severe rebound of the bow-string, were all that 
shielded the natives in time of war. Wooden spears, of the 
usual length, pointed with excellent darts of fish-bone or flint, 
were, also, much used. And, strange to say, swords of paJm 
wood, of the proper shape, were often seen. A Chief^ in 
Georgia, seized one of this description, which was born by one 
of his servants, and began to cut and thrust with it to the ad- 
miration of De Soto and his officers. The w^ar clubs were of two 
kinds — one, small at the handle, gradually enlarging at the 
top in oval form ; and the other, with two sharp edges at 
the end, usually employed in executions. Decoration with 
plumes, appears to have been more common in general cos- 

* Portuguese Narrative, p. 102. 



ABORIGINES OF ALABAMA. 59 

tume and pleasure excursions, than in war. In enterprises of chapter 
the latter character, the natives sought to appear as ferocious ^^' 
as possible. The sldns of the eagle, of the wolf and of the 
panther, with the heads of these animals attached, and well 
preserved, were worn by warriors, while the talons and claws 1564 
were inserted as ear ornaments.* 

When about to make war, a Chief despatched a party, who 
approached near the town of the enemy, and by night stuck 
arrows into the cross-paths and public places, with long locks 
of human hair waving from them, f After this declaration of 
war, he assembled his men, who, painted and decorated in the 
most fantastic and frightful manner, surrounded him on aU 
sides. Excited with seeming anger, he rolled his eyes, 
spoke in guttural accents, and often sent forth tremendous 
war whoops. The warriors responded in chorus, and struck 
their weapons against their sides. With a wooden spear he 
turned himself reverentially towards the sun, and implored, of 
that luminary, victory over his enemies. Turning to his men, U64 
he took water from a vessel on his right and sprinkled it 
about, saying, "Thus may you do with the blood of your 
enemies." Then raising another vessel of water, he poured its 
entire contents on a fire which had been kindled on his left, 
and repeated, " Thus may you destroy your enemies and bring 
home their scalps." J Having marched his army within the 
vicinity of the enemy, he bid his Prophet to inform him of 

* Le Moyne, plates 11, 12, 13, 14. f Le Mojme, plate 33. 
I Le Moyne, plate 11. 



go ABORIGINES OF ALABAMA. 

CHAPTER their number and position, and in what manner it was best to 
^' bring on the attack. The old man, usually a hundred years 
of age, advanced, and a large circle was inmiediately formed 
around him. He placed a shield upon the ground, drew a 
ring around it five feet in diameter, in which he inscribed 
vaidous characters. Then kneehng on the shield, and sitting 
on his feet, so as to touch the earth with no part of his body, 
he made the most horrible grimaces, uttered the most un- 
U64 natural howls, and distorted his limbs until his very bones 
appeared to be flexible. In twenty minutes he ceased his 
infernal jugghng, assumed his natural look, ^ith apparently 
no fatigue, and gave the Chief the information which he de- 
sired.* Some of our ancient natives marched in regular order, 
with the Chief in the centre, but it was their common habit to 
scatter in small parties, and take the enemy by surprise. But 
in the arrangement of their camp, which was always made at 
sunset, they were exceedingly particular. They then sta- 
tioned detachments around the Chief, fcjmiing a compact and 
well-arranged defence.f 

ITie women who had lost their husbands in battle, at 
a convenient time surrounded the Chief, stooped at his feet, 
covered their faces with their hands, wept, and implored him 
to be revenged for the death of their companions. They en- 
treated him to grant them an allowance during their widow- 
hood, and to permit them to marry again when the time ap- 
pointed by law expired. They afterwards visited the graves of 

* Le Moyne, plate 12. t Le Moyne, plate 14. 



ABORIGINES OF ALABAMA. 61 

their husbands and deposited upon them the arms which they chapter 

used in hunts and wars, and the shells out of which they ^^' 

. Parti, 

were accustomed to drink. Having cut off their long hair, they jg^ 

sprinkled it also over their graves, and then returned home. 

They did not marry until it had attained its ordinary length.* 

The natives drank a tea, which, in modern times, was 
called black drink. It was made by boiling the leaves of the 
cacina plant, until a strong decoction was produced. The Chief 
took his seat, made of nine small poles, in the centre of a 
semi-circle of seats ; but his was the most elevated of all. His 
principal officers approached him by turns, one at a time, and 
placing their hands upon the top of their heads, sung Aa, ^^ 
he^ ya^ ha, ha. The whole assembly responded, ha, ha. 
After which, they seated themselves upon his right and left. 
The women, in the meantime, had prepared the black drink, 
which was served up in conch shells and handed to certain 
men, who distributed it around. The warriors drank large 
potions of it, and presently vomited it with gi*eat ease. It ^^ 
seemed to have been used at the early period of 1564, as it 
is at present, to purify the system, and also to fulfil a kind of 
rehgious rite, f 

The punishments of that day were summary and cruel. 
For a crime deserving death, the criminal was conducted to 
the square and made to kneel with his body inclined forward. 
The executioner placed his left foot upon his back, and with 
a murderous blow with the shai'p-sided club, dashed out his ^^ 

* Le Moyne, plate 19. f Le Moyne*8 Florida, plate 29. 
5 



Q2 ABORIGINES OF ALABAMA. 

CHAPTER brains.* Jean Ortiz and his companions were stripped naked, 

^^' and forced to run from corner to corner through the town. 

Part 1. . . o » 

jggg while the exulting savages shot at them bj turns with deadly 

arrows. Ortiz alone sur^•ived, and they next proceeded to 
roast him upon a wooden gridiron, when he was saved by the 
entreaties of a noble girl.f Whenever they made prisoners of 
each other, those who were captured were often put to me- 
nial services. To prevent them from running away, it was 

1540 customary to cut the nerves of their legs just a]x)ve the 
instep.J 

When a battle was fought, the victors seized upon the 
enemy and mutilated their bodies in the most brutal manner. 
With cane knives the arms and legs were cut around, and then 
severed from the body by blows upon the bones, from wooden 
cleavers. Tliey thus amputated with great skill and rapidity. 
The head was also cut around, witli these knives, just above 
the ears, and the whole scalp jerked off. These were then 
rapidly smoked over a lire, kindled in a small round hole, 
and borne off in triumph towards home, togetlier with the 
arms and legs, suspended upon spears.§ The joyoas and 
excited inlxabitants now assembled upon the square and 
formed a large area, in which these trophies were hung 

1564 upon high poles. An old Prophet took a position on one 
side of the circle, held in his hand a small image of a child, 
and danced and muttered over it a thousand imprecatioift 

* Le Moyne's Florida, plate 3S. t Garcellasso de la Vega, 
t Garcellaaso de la Vega. § Le Moyne, plato 15. 



Vj* 



ABORIGINES OF ALABAMA. gg 

upon the enemy. On the other side, and opposite to him, chapter 
three warriors fell upon their knees. One of them, who was ^^' 

Port 1 

in thQ middle, constantly brought down a club, with great 
force, on a smooth stone, placed before him, while the others, 
on either side of him, rattled gourds filled with shells and 
pebbles, all keeping exact time with the Prophet.* 

llie houses of the Chiefe, with but few exceptions, stood 
upon large and elevated artificial mounds. When the Indians 
of 1540 resolved to build a town, the site of which was usually 
selected upon low, rich land, by the side of a beautiful stream, 
they were accustomed, first, to turn their attention to the 
erection of a mound from twenty to fifty feet high, round on 
the sides, but flat on top. The top was capable of sustaining 
the houses of the Chief, and those of his family and atten- 
dants ; making a Httle village by itself of from ten to twenty 
cabins, elevated high in the air. The earth to make this 
mound was brought to the spot. At the foot of this emi- 
nence a square was marked out, around which the principal 
men placed their houses. The inferior classes joined tliese with ^j^ 
their wigwams. Some of these mounds had several stair- 
ways to ascend them, made by cutting out incline-planes fifteen 
or twenty feet wide, flanking the sides with posts, and laying 
poles horizontally across the earthen steps — thus forming a 
kind of wooden stairway. But, generally, the lofty residence 
of the Chief was approached by only one flight of steps. These 
mounds were perpendicular, and inaccessible, except by the 

* Le Moyne, plate 1 6. 






g4 ABORIGINES OF ALABAMA. 

CHAPTER avenues already mentioned, which rendered the houses upon 
^'* them secure from the attacks of an Indian enemy. Besides 

"Part 1 

the motive for security, a disposition to place the Chief and 
his family in a commanding position, and to raise him aboye 
his subjects, caused the formation of these singular elevations.* 
Upon the coasts of Florida, the houses were built of timber^ 
covered with palm leaves, and thatched with straw. Those 
of Toalli, between Apalache and the Savannah, and for 
some distance beyond, were covered with reeds in the manner 

1540 of tiles, while the walls were extremely neat. In the colder 
regions of the teiTitories of Georgia, Alabama and Missis- 
sippi, every family possessed a house daubed inside and out 
with clay, for a winter house, and another, open all round, for 
summer ; while a crib and kitchen, also, stood near by. The 
houses of the Chiefs, much larger than the others, had piazzas 
in front, in the rear of which were cane benches of comfortable 
dimensions. They contained, also, lofts, in which were stored 
skins, mantles and corn, the tribute of the subjects, f Upon 
the head waters of the Coosa, it will be recollected, that De 
Soto found the house of the Chief standing upon a moimd, 

1540 with a piazza in front, ** large enough for six men to 
promenade abreast."! The town of Ochille, in Middle Flo- 
rida, contained fifty very substantial houses. The Chief's 
house was built in the form of a large pavilion, upwards of 
one hundred and twenty feet in length by forty in width, with 

* Garcellasso de la Vega, p. 136. f Portuguese Narrative, p. 701» 
t Garcellasso de la Vega, p. 294. . 



•■^ 



ABORIGINES OF ALABAMA. 



65 



a number of small buildings, connected like offices.* Narvaez chapter 
found a house large enough to contain three hundred men, ^^* 
in which were fishing nets and a tabor with gold belfe.f The * 

Indian grandeur and spacious dimensions of the houses of 
Maubila, in Alabama, have already been described. In the 
province of Palisema, west of the Mississippi, the house of 
the Chief was covered with deer skins, which were painted 
with stripes of various colors, and with animals, while the 
walls were hung, and the floor carpeted, with the same ma- 
terials.J In the first town which De Soto discovered, at 
Tampa Bay, was found a large temple, on the top of which 
was a wooden bird with gilded eyes.§ The Chief, Uceta, 1S29 
made Jean Ortiz keeper of the temple, situated in a lonely 
forest in the outskirts of the town. In this temple were de- 
posited dead Indians, contained in wooden boxes, the Hds of 
which, having no hinges, were kept down with weights. The 
bodies and bones were sometimes carried off by panthers 
and wolves. In this horrible place was poor Ortiz stationed 
to watch, day and night, and threatened with instant death 
if he allowed a single body to be taken away. At length, 
•constant anxiety and fatigue overcame him, and one night he 
fell asleep. The heavy falling of a coffin-lid awoke him. In 
his terror he seized a bow, and running out, heard the crack- 
ing of bones amid a dark clump of bushes ! He winged a 
powerful arrow in that direction. A scuffle ensued, and then ^g^ 

* Garcellasso de la Vega, p. 101. t Portuguese Narrative. 

■\ Herrera, vol. 4. § Portuguese Narrative, p. 701. 



gg ABORIGINES OF ALABAMA. 

CHAPTER all was still ! He moved towards the spot, and found an 

^^' enormous panther, dead, by the side of the body of the child 
Part 1. •, 

of a principal Indian. He replaced the latter in its box, ei- 

ultingly dragged the animal into the town, and was from that 
1528 time respected by the Indians.* Narvaez, upon first landing 
in Florida, found a temple in which were chests, each contain- 
ing a dead body, covered with painted deer skins. The 
Commissary, John Xuarez, considering it to be idolatrous, 
ordered them to be bumed.f A remarkable temple was situ- 
ated in the town of Talomeco, upon the Savannah river, three 
miles distant from Cutifachiqui, now Silver Bluflf. It was 
more than one hundred feet in length, and forty in width. The 
walls were high in proportion, and the roof steep and covered 
with mats of spht cane, interw'oven so compactly that 
they resembled the rush carpeting of the Moors. (The inhab- 
itants of this part of the country all covered their houses with 
this matting.) Shells of different sizes, arranged in an inge- 
nious manner, were placed on the outside of the roof. On the 
inside, beautiful plumes, shells and pearls were suspended in 
^^ the form of festoons, from one to the other, down to the floor. 
The temple was entered by three gates, at each of which were 
stationed gigantic wooden statues, presenting fierce and me- 
nacing attitudes. Some of them were armed with clubs^ maces, 
canoe-paddles, and copper hatchets, and others with drawn bows 
and long pikes. All these implements were ornamented with 

* Garcellasso de la Vega, pp. 274-282. 
f Herrera, vol. 4, p. 30. 



ABORIGINES OF ALABAMA. Q^J 

rings of pearls and bands of copper. Below the ceiling, on. chapter 
four sides of the temple, arranged in niches, were two rows of "' 
wooden statues of the natural size — one of men, with pearls 
suspended from their hands, and the other of women. On the 1640 
side of the walls were large benches on which sat boxes contain- 
ing the deceased Chiefe and their famiUes. Two feet below these 
were statues of the persons entombed, the space between them 
being filled with shields of various sizes, made of strong 
woven reeds, adorned with pearls and colored tassels. Three 
rows of chests, full of valuable pearls, occupied the middle of 
the temple. Deer skins, of a variety of colors, were packed away 
in chests, together with a large amount of clothing made of the 
skins of wild cat, martin and other animals. The temple aboimd- 
ed in the most splendid mantles of feathers. Adjoining was 
a store-house, divided into eight apartments, which contained 
long pikes of copper, around which rings of pearl were coiled, 
while clubs, maces, wooden swords, paddles, arrows, quivers, 
bows, round wooden shields, and those of reed and buffalo hide, 
were decorated in like manner.* Everywhere upon the route 
through Alabama and the neighboring States, De Soto found 
the temples full of human bones. They were held sacred, 1540 
but sometimes were wantonly violated by tribes at war with 
each other. On the west bank of the Mississippi, De Soto, 
joined by the Indian forces of the Chief Casquin, sacked the 
town of Pacaha. The invading Indians entered the temple, 
threw down the wooden boxes containing the dead, trampled 

* Garcellasso de la Vega, pp. 274-282. 

5* 



68 



ABORIGINES OF ALABAMA. 



CHAPTER upon the bodies and bones, and wreaked upon them every 

^' insult and indignity. A few days after, the Chief of Pacaha and 
his people come back to the ruined town, and gathering up 
the scattered bones in mournful silence, kissed and returned 
them reverentially to their coflBns.* 

iMo The productions of the country were abundant. Peas, 

beans, squashes, pumpkins and corn grew as if by magic. 
Persimons, formed into large cakes, were eaten in winter, 
together with walnut and bear's oil. A small pumpkin, when 
roasted in the embers, was delightfulj and resembled, in taste, 
boiled chesnuts. Com was pounded in mortars, but Narvaez 

^* saw stones for grinding it, upon the Florida coastf The 
Indians prepared their fields by digging up the ground with 

^** hoes made of fish-bone. When the earth was levelled in this 
manner, others followed with canes, with which they made 
holes, certain distances apart. The women next came with 
com, in baskets, which they dropped in the holes. The vir- 
ginity and richness of the soil produced the crop without fur- 
ther labor. [See Frontispiece.] The granaries were some- 
times erected in the woods, near navigable streams, and were 
constructed Avith stone and dirt, and covered with cane mats. 
Here were deposited corn, fruits and all kinds of cured meat, 

MW for subsistence during the winter hunts in that part of the 
country. The universal honesty of the people was a guaran- 
tee that the contents of these granaries would remain imdis- 
turbed, until consumed by the owners. 

* Portuguese Narrative, p. 701. f Herrera, vol. 4, p. 30. 



ABORIGINES OF ALABAMA. gg 

Hunting and fishing occupied much of the time of the chapter 
natives. The hunter threw, over his body the skin of a deer, ^^' 
with the head, horns and legs admirably preserved. Round 
wooden hoops gave the body of the skin its proper shape, 
inside of which the Indian placed his body. Then, in a stoop- 1664 
ing position, so as to allow the feet to touch the groimd, he 
moved along and peeped tlirough the eye-holes of the deer's 
head, all the time having a drawn bow. When near enough 
to the deer, he let fly a fatal arrow. The deer, in that day, 
unaccustomed to the noise of fire-arms, were gentle and nu- 
merous, and easily killed by a stratagem like this.* 

At certain periods, the Indians were a social people, and 
indulged in large feasts. At other times, they resorted to 
bow-shooting, ball-plays and dancing.f 

The population was much greater when De Soto was in 
the country, than it has been since. Large armies were fre- 
quently arrayed against him. In Patofa, Florida, he was 
even furnished with seven hundred burden bearers. In 
Ocute, Georgia, he w^as supphed Avith two hundred of these 1540 
indispensable men. At Cafeque, in the same State, four 
thousand warriors escorted him, while four thousand more 
transported the eflfects of his army. It has beefi seen what a 
numerous population was found in the province of Coosa, and 
what forces opposed him at Maubila, Chickasa and Ahbamo. 

* Le Moyne's Florida, plate 25. Bossu's Travels in Louisiana, vol. 
1, p. 259. 

f Le Moyne, plate 28. 



^lQ ABORIGINES OF ALABAMA. 

CHAPTER The ingenuity of the natives, displayed in the construction 

^^' of mounds, arms, houses and ornaments, was by no means 
inconsiderable. At Chaquate, west of the Mississippi, earth- 
enware was manufactured equal to that of Estremos or Mon- 

iMi tremor.* At TuUa, in Arkansas, salt was made from the 
deposite formed upon the shores of a lake ; and again, at 
several saline springs. The salt was made into small cakes, 
and vended among other tribes for skins and mantles, f The 
walls which surrounded the towns, with their towers and 
terraces, have already been mentioned in the preceding chap- 
ter. Entrenchments and ditches were also found over the 
country. The most remarkable of the latter was at Pacha, 
west of the Mississippi. Here a large ditch, " wide enough 
for two canoes to pass abreast without the paddles touch- 
ing," surrounded a walled town. It was cut nine miles 

iMi long, communicated with the Mississippi, suppUed the na- 
tives with fish and afforded them the privileges of naviga- 
tion. 

Mil The construction of canoes and barges, connected with the 

things which have already been enumerated, affords abundant 
proof that our aborigines were superior, in some respects, to 
the tribes who afterwards occupied Alabama, but who were 
also ingenious in the manufacture of articles. The Queen of 
Savannah, borne out of her house in a sedan chair, supported 

1540 upon the shoulders of four of her principal men, entered a 

* Portuguese Narrative and Garcellasso. 
■f Portuguese Narrative and Garcellasso 



ABORIGINES OF ALABAMA. 



Yl 



handsome barge which had a tilted top at the stern — under chapter 
which she took a seat upon soft cushions. Many principal ^^* 
Indians likewise entered similar barges, and accompanied her 
to the western side, in the style of a splendid water proces- 
sion. When De Soto first discovered the Mississippi, a Chief 
approached from the other side with two hundred handsome 
canoes of great size, filled with painted and plumed warriors, 
who stood erect, with bows in their hands, to protect those 
who paddled. The boats of the Chiefs and principal men 
had tops, — like that of the Georgia Queen, — decorated with 
waving flags and plumes, which floated on the breeze from 
poles to which they were attached. They are described by the 
journalists to have been equal to a beautiful army of gaUies.* 1641 

The natives worehipped the sun, and entertained great ven- 
eration for the moon, and certain stare. Whether they also 
beheved in a Great Spirit is not stated. When the Indian 
ambassadors crossed the Savannah to meet De Soto, they made 
three profound bows towards the east, intended for the sun ; 
three towards the west, for the moon ; and three to the 
Govemor.f Upon the east bank of the Mississippi, all the 
Indians approached him without uttering a word, and went 
through precisely the same ceremony ; making, however, to him 
three bows, much less reverential than those made to the 
sun and moon. On the other side of that river, he was sur- 
rounded by the Chief and his subjects. Presently, his Indian 
majesty sneezed in a loud manner. The subjects bowed their 

* Portuguese Narrative, p. 729. f Garcellaseo de la Vega, p. 256. 



72 



ABORIGINES OF ALABAMA. 



CHAPTER heads, opened and closed their arms, and saluted the Chief 
i^* with these words, " may the sun guard you" — " may the sim 
• be with you" — "may the sun shine upon you," and "may 
the sun prosper and defend you."* About the first of March, 
1641 annually, the natives selected the skin of the largest deer, 
with the head and legs attached. They filled it with a va- 
riety of fruit and grain, and sewed it up again. The horns 
were, also, hung with garlands of fruit. This skin, in all re- 
spects resembling a large buck, was carried by all the in- 
habitants to a plain. There it was placed upon a high post, 
and just at the rising of the sun, the Indians fell down on 
their knees around it, and implored that bright luminary 
to grant them, the ensuing season, an abundance of fruits and 
provisions, as good as those contained in the skin of the deer.f 
This was the practice upon the coast of East Florida, and, 
jgg^ doubtless, it was observed all over the country. It was cer- 
tainly a very practical mode of asking favors of the sun. 

When a Chief or Prophet died upon the St. Johns, he was 
placed in the ground, and a small mound, of conical form, was 
erected over him. The base of this mound was surrounded with 
arrows, stuck in regular order. Some sat, and others kneeled 
around it, and continued to weep and howl for the space of 
three nights. Chosen women next visited the mound for a 
long time, every morning at the break of day, at noon, and 
at night. J Indeed, great respect appears to have been paid 

* Garcellasso de la Vega, pp. 439-440. 

f Le Moyne, plate 35. X Le Moyne, plate 40. 




??»-^# 



ABORIGINES OF ALABAMA. ^3 

to the Chief when alive, and to him a cruel sacrifice was ac- chapter 

customed to be made. The first born male child was always ^^* 

Part 1. 
brought out before the Chief, who sat upon a bench on one jgg^ 

side of a large circle. Before him was a block, two feet high, 

and near it stooped the young mother, weeping in great 

agony. The child was brought forward by a dancing woman, 

placed upon the block, and a Prophet dashed out its brains 

with a club ; at the same time, many females danced, and 

raised their voices in song.* 

If a Chief desired to marry, he was accustomed to send his 
principal men to select, from the girls of nobility, one of the 
yoimgest and most beautiful. Painted with various colors, 
and adorned with shells and pearls, the chosen one was then 
placed in a sedan chair, the top of which formed an arch of 1564 
green boughs. When placed by his side, on an elevated seat, 
great pomp and ceremony, an array of ornaments of all kinds, 
and music and dancing, characterized the affair, while she and 
her lord were fanned with beautiful feathers. 

The treatment of diseases in that day, were few and simple. 
The doctor sometimes scarified the patient \vith shells and 
fishes teeth, and sucked out the blood with his mouth. This 
he spurted in a bowl, and it was drunk by nursing women 
who stood by, if the patient was an athletic young man, ixk 
order to give their children the same vigor. It was customary, 
also, to smoke the patient with tobacco and other weeds, until 1564 
perspiration ensued and re-action was produced.f 

* Le Moyne, plate 34. f Le Moyne, plate 20. 



Y4 THE MUSCOGEES OR CREEKS. 



PART II. 

THE MODERN INDIANS OF ALABAMA, GEORGIA 

AND MISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTER It has been seen that the Indians living in that part of 

Alabama through which De Soto passed, were the Coosas, 

1540 inhabiting the territory embraced in the present counties of 

°^ Benton, Talladega, Coosa, and a portion of Cherokee; the 

September Tallases, living upon the Tallapoosa and its tributary streams ; 

the Mobilians, extending from near the present city of Mont- 

October gomcry to the commercial emporium wfiich now bears their 

name ; the Pafallayas or Choctaws, inhabiting the territory of 

November jtj^q modern countics of Greene, Marengo, Tuscaloosa, Sumpter 

and Pickens ; and, in the present State of Mississippi, the 

Chickasaws, in the valley of the Yalobusha ; and the Alaba- 

Aprii mas, upon the Yazoo. It will, also, be recollected, that this 

remarkable Spaniard overrun the rich province of Chiaha, in 

the territory of the present north-western Georgia, and that 

he there found the Chalaques, which all writers upon 

aboriginal history decide to be the original name of the 

Cherokees. 

1540 The invasion of De Soto resulted in the destruction of an 

April imniense Indian population, in all the territory through which 

^*^ he passed, except that of Georgia, where he fought no battles. 



THE MUSCOGEES OR CREEKS. tj^ 

The European diseases, which the natives inherited from the chapter 

Spaniards, served, also, to thin their population. Again, the ^^* 

Part 2. 
constant bloody wars in which thej were engaged afterwards, 

among each other, still further reduced their numbers. And 
while the bloody Spaniards were wandering over this beauti- 
ful country, the Muscogees were living upon the Ohio.* They 
heard of the desolation of Alabama, and after a long time 
came to occupy and re-people it. 'The remarkable migration 
of this powerful tribe, and that of the Alabamas, will now, 
for the first time, be related, and that, too, upon the autho- 
rity of a reliable person, who must here be introduced to the 
reader. 

Le Clerc Milfort, a young, handsome, and well educated 
Frenchman, left his native country, sailed across the Atlantic, 1775 
made the tour of the New England States, and came, at length, 
to Savannah. A love of adventure led him to the Creek na- 

* Alexander McGillivray, whose blood was Scotch, French and In- 
dian, who was made a Colonel in the British service, afterwards a 
Spanish Commissary with tlie rank and pay of Colonel, then a Brigadier 
General by Washington, with full pay, — a man of towering intel- 
lect and vast information, and who ruled the Creek country for a quarter 
of a century, — obtained the information that the Creeks were living ^ 
upon the Ohio when De Soto was here in 1540. He was informed, 
upon the best traditional authority, that the Creek Indians then heard of 
De Soto, and the strange people with him ; and, that, like those whom 
they had seen in Mexico, they had " hair over their bodies, and carried 
thunder and lightning in their hands.*' 



*JQ THE MUSCOGEES OR CREEKS. 

.ft 

CHAPTER tion, and in May, IT 7 6, lie arrived at the great town of 

^^* Coweta, situated on the Chattahoochee river, two miles below 
Part 2. 
j^g * the present city of Columbus. There he became acquainted 

^*y with Colonel McGillivray, the great Chieftain of the nation, 
and accompanied him to the Hickory Ground, upon the banks 
of the Coosa. Fascinated with the society of this great man, 
the hospitahty of the Indians, and the wide field aflforded for 
exciting enterprise, Milfort- resolved to become a permanent 
inmate of McGiUivray's house, then situated at Little Tallase, 

1'*^ four miles above Wetumpka. He married his sister, was 

May 6 ^ ' 

created Tustenuggee, or Grand Chief of War, and often led 
Indian expeditions against the Whig population of Georgia, 
during the American Revolution A fine writer, and much of 
an antiquarian, he employed some of his leisure hours in pre- 
paring a history of the Creeks. Eemaining in the nation 
twenty years, he resolved to return to France. In 1796 he 
sailed jfrom Philadelphia, and it was not long before he was 
among the gay people from whom he had so long been absent. 
Bonaparte, at length, heard of this adventm*ous man, and 
honored him with an audience. He desired to engage his 
services in foiming alliances with the Alabama and Mississippi 
Indians, for the purpose of strengthening his Louisiana pos- 
Vsessions. But, finally giving up those possessions, and turning 
his whole attention to the wars in which he was deeply en- 
gaged with the allied powers, he still retained Milfort, con- 
ferring upon him the pay and rank of General of Brigade, 
but without active employment. In the meantime. General 



1814 



1776 
July 



THE MUSCOGEES OR CREEKS. ^J^J 

Milfort had published his work upon the Creek Indians.* In chapter 

1814, his house was attacked by a party of Russians, who ^^* 

Part 2. 
had heard of his daring exploits in assisting to repel the allied 

invaders. He barricaded it, and defended himself with despe- 
ration. His French wife assisted him to load his gims. At 
length he was rescued by a troop of grenadiers. Shortly after 
this. General Milfort closed, by death, a career which had been 
full of event in the savage as well as the civilized world. 
His wife, at an advanced age, was recently burned to death 
in her own house at Rheims.f 

When Milfort arrived among the Creeks, the old men often 
spoke of their ancestors, and they exhibited to him strands of 
pearl which contained their history and constituted their ar- 
chives. Upon their arrangement depended their signification ; 
and only principal events were thus preserved. One of their 
chaplets sometimes related the histoiy of thirty years. Each 
year was rapidly distinguished by those who understood 
them. The old men, therefore, with the assistance of these 
singular records and strong memories, were enabled to impart 
to Milfort a correct tradition, the substance of which we give. J 

Hernando Cortez, with some Spanish troops, landed at 
Vera Cruz, in 1519. He fought his way thence to the City 

* Memoire ou coup d'oeil rapide sur mes differens voyages et mon 
Bejour dans la nation Creek, by Le Clerc Milfort, Tastanegry ou Grand 
Chef de Guerre de la nation Creek et General de Brigade ou service de 
la Republique Francaise. A Paris. 1802. 

f Extract from a Paris paper, published by Galignani I Milfort, p. 47. 



78 THE MUSCOGEES AND ALABAMAS. 

CHAPTER of Mexico. In the meantime, Montezuma had assembled his 
^^' forces from all parts of his empire to exterminate the invad- 
I5jg ers. The Muscogees then formed a separate repubhc on the 
north-west of Mexico. Hitherto invincible in war, they now ral- 
lied to his aid, engaging in the defence of that greatest of abori- 
ginal cities. At length Cortez was sucoessftil — Montezuma 
was killed, his government overthrown, and thousands of hia 
subjects put to the sword. Having lost many of their own 
warriors, and unwilling to live in a country conquered by for- 
eign assassins, the Muscogees determined to seek some other 
land. The whole tribe took up the line of march, and conti- 
1580 nued eastward until they struck the sources of the Red river. 
The route lay over vast prairies, abounding with wild animals 
and fruits, which afforded them all the means of subsistence. 
In journeying down the banks of the Red river, they discov- 
ered salt lakes and ponds, which were covered with fowl of 
every description. Consuming months upon the journey, 
they finally reached a large forest, in which they encamped. 
The young men, sent in advance to explore the country, re- 
turned in a month, and announced the discovery of a forest 
. on the banks of the Red river, in which were beautiful sub- 
terranean habitations. Marching thither, they found that 
these caves had been made by buffalo and other animals who 
came there to lick the earth, which w^as impregnated with 
salt. A town was here laid out, houses constructed, an ex- 
tensive field enclosed, and corn, which they had brought with 
them, planted. Subsisting by the chase and the products of 
the earth, they passed here several years in health and tran- 



THE MUSCOGEES AND ALABAMAS. ^9 

quillity. But even in this remote retreat they eventually chapter 

found those who would molest them. The Alabamas, who ^^' 

Part 2. 
seem also to have been wandering from the west, attacked a 

party of Muscogees, who were hunting, and killed several of 
them. The Muscogees abuijoiied their town, which they 
believed did not aftbrd them sufficient protection from the 
bu^yo and human foes. They resumed their march in the • 
direction of the camps of the Alabamas, upon whom they 1527 
had resolved to be revenged. Traversing immense plains, 
they reached a grove on the Missouri river, having shaped 
their course in a northern direction from their last settlement. 
Here they came upon the footprints of the Alabamas. The 
most aristocratic among the Muscogees, called the Family of 
the Wind, passed the muddy river first. They were followed 
by the Family of the Bear ; then by that of the Tiger ; and 
thus, till the humblest of the tribe had crossed over. • Resum- 
ing the march, the young warriors and the Chiefe formed 
the advanced guard ; the old men were placed in the rear, and 
those of an age less advanced on the flanks, while the women 
and children occupied the centre. Coming within the neighbor- 
hood of the enemy, the main party halted, while the Tuste- ^"^^^^^ 
nuggee or Grand Chief of War, at the head of the young war- 
riors, advanced to the attack. The Alabamas, temporarily 
dwelling in subterranean habitations, were taken by surprise, 
and many of them slain. Forced to abandon this place, and 
retreat from the victors, they did not rally again until they 
had fled a great distance down on the eastern side of the 
Missouri. After a time they were overtaken, when several 



30 THE MUSCOGEES AND ALABAMAS. 

CHAPTER bloody engagements ensued. The Muscogees were triumph- 
^'* ant, and the vanquished retreated in terror and dismay to the 
banks of the Mississippi. The enemy again coming upon them 
with invincible charges, precipitated many of them into the 
river. Thus, alternately fighting, constructing new towns, and 
again breaking up their last establishments, these two war- 
like tribes gradually reached the Ohio river, and proceeded 
along its banks almost to the Wabash.* Herfe, for a 
long time, the Muscogees resided, and lost sight of the 
Alabamas, who had established themselves upon the Yazoo, 
and were there living when De Soto, in 1541, attacked their 
fortress, f The Muscogees abandoned their home in the 
1620 to 1535 north-western province of Mexico about the period of 1520, 
had consumed fifteen years in reaching the Ohio, and 
were there residing when the Spanish invasion occurred. 
How loifg they occupied that country Milfort does not in- 
form us ; but he states that they finally crossed the Ohio and 
Tennessee, and settled upon the Yazoo — thus continuing to 
pursue the unfortunate AlabaiAas. Delighted with the genial 
climate, the abundance of fruit and game with which it 
abounded, they established towns upon the Yazoo, constructed 
subterranean habitations, and for some years passed their 
time most agreeably. It is probable the Alabamas had fled 
before their arrival, for the Spaniards had so thinned the 
number of the latter that it was folly to resist the Muscogees, 
who had conquered them when they were much stronger. 

* Milfort, pp. 234-259. f Other Indian traditions in my posseasion. 



THE MUSCOGEES AND ALABAMAS. g^ 

- - I ■ 

Milfort states that the Alabamas finally advanced to the river chapter 
which now bears their name. Here, finding a region charming ^^' 
in climate, rich in soil, convenient in navigation, and remote 
fi-om the country of their enemies, they made permanent es- 
tablishments, from the confluence of the Coosa and Tallapoosa 
some distance down the Alabama. 

Remembering how often they had been surprised by the 
Muscogees, and how insecure from their attacks was even a 
distant retreat, the Alabamas sent forth young warriors west- 
ward, to see if their foes were still wandering upon their heels. 
It happened that a party of the latter were reconnoitering east- 
ward. They met, fought, and some of the Muscogees were 
killed. In the meantime, the latter tribe had learned what 
a delightful coimtry was occupied by the Alabamas, and this 
new outrage, coupled with a desire to go further south-east, 
induced them to break up their establishments upon the 
Yazoo. Without opposition the Muscogees took possession 
of the lands upon the Alabama, and also those upon the 
Coosa and Tallapoosa. The Alabamas fled in all directions, Snppoaedto 

beinl620 

seeking asylums among the Choctaws and other tribes. 

Gaining a firm footing in the new region, enjoying good 
health, and increasing in population, the Muscogees advanced 
to the Ockmulgee, Oconee, and Ogechee, and even established 
a town where now reposes the beautiful city of Augusta. 
With the Indians of the present State of Georgia, they had 
combats, but overcome them. Pushing on their conquests, 
they reduced a warlike tribe called the Uchees, lower down 
upon the Savannah, and brought the prisoners in slavery to 

6 



82 THE MUSCOGEES AND ALABAMAS. 

CHAPTER the Chattahoochie.* In 1 822, the Big Warrior, who then ruled 

^^' the Creek confederacy, confirmed this tradition, even going 

Fart 2. 

further back than Milfort,— taking the Muscogees from Asia, 

bringing them over the Pacific, landing them near the Isthmus 
of Darien, and conducting them from thence to this coimtry. 
"My ancestors were a mighty people. After they reached 
the waters of the Alabama and took possession of all this 
country, they went further, — conquered the tribes upon the 
Chattahoochie, and upon all the rivers from thence to the 
Savannah, — yes, and even whipped the Indians then hving in 
the territory of South-Carolina, and wrested much of their 
country from them." The Big Warrior concluded this sen- 
tence with great exultation, when Mr. Compere, to whom he 
was speaking, interposed an unfortunate question : — " If this 
is the way your ancestors acquired all the territory now lying 
1822 in Georgia, how can you blame the American population in 
that State for endeavoring to take it from you?" Never after 
that could the worthy missionary extract a solitary item from 
the Chieftain, in relation to the history of his people.f 

*Milfort, pp. 269-263. Bartram's Travels in Florida, pp. 53, 54, 464. 
Also traditional M S. notes in my possession. 

f Rev. Lee Compere's MS. notes, in my possession. This gentle- 
man was born in England, on Nov. 3d, 1790. He came to South 
•Carolina in 1817. The Baptist Missionary Board and that of the Gene- 
ral Convention, sent him as a missionary to the Creek nation in 1822. 
He and his wife, who was an English lady, resided at Tookabatcha 
(the capital) six years. Mr. Compere made but little progress towards the 
conversion oi the Creeks, owing to the opposition of the Chie& to the 



THE MUSCOGEES AND ALABAMAS. gg 

Sometime after these conquests, the French established chapter 

themselves at Mobile. The Alabanias, scattered as we have ^^' 

_ , ^ . , , Parts, 

seen, and made to flee before supenor numbers, became jt^j 

desirous to place themselves under their protection. Anxious 
to cultivate a good understanding with all the Indian tribes, 
and to heal old animosities existing among them, the French 
caused an interview between the Chiefe of the Alabamas and 
those of the Muscogees, at Mobile. In the presence of M. iToa 
Bien\ille, the Commandant of that place, a peace was made, 
which has not since been ^^olated. The Alabamas re- 
turned to their towns, upon the river of that name, which 
were called Coosawda, Econchate, Pauwocte, Towassau and 
Autauga, situated on both sides of the river, and embracing a 
country from the junction of the Coosa and Tallapoosa, for 
forty miles down. They consented to become members of 
the Muscogee confederacy, and to observe their national laws, 
but stipulated to retain their ancient manners and customs. 

Not long afterwards, the Tookabatchas, who had nearly 
been destroyed by the Iroquois and Hurons, wandered from 
the Ohio country, and obtained permission from the Muscogees 
to form a part of their nation. They were willingly received 

abolition of p imitive customs. He was a learned man and a respect- 
able writer. He furnished the Indian Bureau, at Washington, with a 
complete vocabulary of the Muscogee language, and also the Lord's 
Prayer, all of which is published in the 11th vol. ol "Transactions of the 
American Antiquarian Society," Cambridge, 1836, pp. 381-422. In 
1833, 1 often heard Mr. Compere and his wife sing beautiful hymns in 
the Creek tongue. He lives in the State of Mississippi. 



84 



THE MUSCOGEES AND ALABAMAS. 



CHAPTER by the cunning Muscogees, who were anxious to gain all the 

^ • strength they could, to prevent the encroachments of the 

English from South-Carolina. Upon the ruins of the western 

Tallase, where De Soto encamped twenty days, the Tooka- 

batchas built a town and gave it their name.* 

The Tookabatchas brought with them to the Tallapoosa 
some curious brass plates, the origin and objects of which 
have much puzzled the Americans of our day, who have seen 
them. Such information respecting them as has fallen into 

17S9 

July 27 ^^^ possession, will be given. On the 2'7th July, 1759, at the 
Tookabatcha square, William Balsover, a British trader, made 
inquiries concerning their ancient relics, of an old Indian Chief 
named Bracket, near an hundred years of age. There were 
two plates of brass and five of copper. The Indians esteemed 
them so much, that they were preserved in a private place, 
known only to a few Chiefs, to whom they were annually 
entrusted. They were never brought to light but once in a 
year, and that was upon the occasion of the Green Corn Cele- 
bration, when, on the fourth day, they were introduced in 
what was termed the " brass plate dance." Then one of the 
high Prophets carried one before him, under his arm, ahead 
of the dancers — next to him the head warrior carried another, 
and then others followed with the remainder, bearing aloft, at 
the same time, white canes, with the feathers of the swan at 
the tops. 

* Milfort, pp. 263-266. 



THE MUSCOGEES AND OTHER TRIBES. 



85 



CHAPTER 
II. 

Shape of the five copper plates : one a Part 2. 
foot and a half long, and seven inches 
wide ; the other four a little shorter and 
narrower. 





Shape of the two brass plates : eigh- 
teen inches in diameter, about the thick- 
ness of a dollar, and stamped as exhibited 
upon the face. 



Formerly, the Tookabatcha tribe had many more of these 
relics, of different sizes and shapes, with letters and inscriptions 
upon them, which were given to their ancestors by the Great 
Spirit, who instructed them that they were only to be 
handled by particular men, who must at the moment be en- 
gaged in fasting, and that no unclean woman must be suffered 
to come near them or the place where they were deposited. 
Bracket further related, that several of these plates were 
then buried under the Micco's cabin in Tookabatcha, and 
had lain there ever since the first settlement of the town ; 
that formerly it was the custom to place one or more of them 
in the grave by the side of a deceased Chief of the pure 
Tookabatcha blood , and that no other Indians in the whole 






36 THE MUSCOGEES AND OTHER TRIBES. 

CHAPTER Creek nation had such sacred relics.* Similar accounts of 

^' these plates were obtained from four other British traders. 

Part 2. , . . , ' 

1769 " ^^ ^^® '^^^^ eminent trading house of all English America."f 

July 37 rpj^^ toyfn of Tookabatcha became, in later times, the capitol 
of the Creek nation ; and many reliable citizens of Alabama 
have seen these mysterious pieces at the Green Corn Dances, 
upon which occasions they were used precisely as in the more 
ancient days.J When the inhabitants of this town, in the 
autumn of 1836, took up the line of march for their present 
home in the Arkansas Territory, these plates were transported 
thence by six Indians, remarkable for their sobriety and moral 
character, at the head of whom was the Chief, Spoke-oak, Micco. 
Medicine, made expressly for their safe transportation, was 
carried along by these warriors. Each one had a plate 
strapped behind his back, enveloped nicely in buckskin. They 
1836 carried nothing else, but marched on, one before the other, the 
whole distance to Arkansas, neither communicating nor con- 
versing with a soul but themselves, although several thousands 
were emigrating in company ; and walking, with a solenm 

* Adair's " American Indians," pp. 178-179. 

+ Adair's " American Indians," p. 179. 

t Conversations with Barent Dubois, Abraham Mordecai, James 
Moore, Capt. William Walker, Lacklan Durant, Mrs. Sophia McComb, 
and other persons, who stated that these plates had Roman characters 
upon them, as well as they could determine from the rapid glances 
which they could occasionally bestow upon them, while they were 
being used in the " brass plate dance." 



THE MUSCOGEES AND OTHER TRIBES. g^ 

religious air, one mile in advance of the others.* How much chapter 

their march resembled that of the ancient Trojans, bearing off ^^* 

Part 2. 
their household gods ! Another tradition is, that the Shaw- 

nees gave these plates to the Tookabatchas, as tokens of their 
friendship, with an injunction that they would annually intro- 
duce them in their religious observance of the new corn season. 
But the opinion of Opothleoholo, one of the most gifted Chiefe De^fia 
of the modem Creeks, went to corroborate the general tradi- 
tion that they were gifts from the Great Spirit.f It will be 
recollected that our aborigines, in the time of De Soto, under- 
stood the use of copper, and that hatchets and ornaments 
were made of that metal. The ancient Indians may have 
made them, and engraved upon their face hieroglyphics, 
which were supposed, from the glance only permitted to be 
given them, to be Roman characters. An intelligent New- 
Englander, named Barent Dubois, who had long lived among 
the Tookabatchas, believed that these plates originally formed 
some portion of the armor or musical instruments of De Soto, 
and that the Indians stole them, as they did the shields, ft 
the Talladega country, and hence he accounts for the Roman 
letters on them. We give no opinion, but leave the reader 
to determine for himself — having discharged our duty by 
placing all the available evidence before him. 

The reputation which the Muscogees had acquired for 
strength and a warhke spirit, induced other tribes who had be- 

* Conversations with Barent Dubois. 

f Conversations with Opothleoholo in 1833 
6* 



88 THE MUSCOGEES AND OTHER TRIBES. 

CHAPTER come weak to seek an asylum among them. The Tuskegees 

^^' wandered down into East Alabama, were received with open 
Parts. . . 

iw arms, and permitted to occupy the tenitory immediately in the 

fork of the Coosa and Tallapoosa. Upon the east bank of 
the former, a town was erected and called after the name of 
the tribe. Sometime after this, the French fort, Toulouse, 
• was built here ; and, one hundred years afterwards, Fort Jack- 

son was placed upon the same foundation by the Americans. 
A tribe of Ozeailles came at the same time, and were 
located eighteen miles above, on a beautiful plain, through 
1700 which meandered a fine creek.* A large tribe of Uchees, 
made prisoners and brought to Cusseta, upon the Chattahoo- 
chie, not long afterwards, were hberated and assigned resi- 
dences upon the creeks which bear their name, flowing 
through the eastern portion of the county of Russell. Or, 
upon the authority of Col. Hawkins, the Uchees, formerly 
hving upon the Savannah in small villages at Ponpon, Salt- 
ketchers and Silver Bluff, and also upon the Ogechee, were 
%)ntinually at war with the Creeks, Cherokees and Cataubas ; 
but in 1729, an old Chief of Cusseta, called Captain EUick, 
married three Uchee women and brought them to Cusseta, 
which greatly displeased his friends. Their opposition deter- 
mined him to move from Cusseta. With three of his broth- 
ers, two of whom also had Uchee wives, he settled upon the 
Uchee creek. Afterwai-ds he collected all that tribe, and with 
them formed there a distinct community, which, however, 

* Milfort, p. 267. 



THE MUSCOGEES AND OTHER TRIBES. 39 

became amenable, nationally, to the government of the Musco- chapter 

gees.* "• 

Part 2. 
In 1729, the Natchez massacred the French at Fort Rosa- 1739 

lie, now the site of the city of Natchez, and were in turn over- 
powered, and many of them made slaves, while others escaped 
to the Coosa. In the Talladega country, they built two towns, 
one called Natche and the other Abecouche. Thus a branch 
of the Natchez also became members of the Muscogee confed- 
eracy. At the close of the Revolutionary War, a party of 
Savannahs came from that river in company with some Shaw- itss 
nees, from Florida, and formed a town on the east side of the 
Tallapoosa, called Souvanogee ; upon the ruins of which the 
Americans, in 1819, established the village of Augusta — no 
remains of which now exist. Souvanogee was laid out in 
conformity with their usages and habits, which they retained ; 
but they willingly came under the national government of the 
confederacy.! 

Thus did the Muscogee confederacy gain strength, from 
time to time, by the migration of broken tribes. When the 
English began to explore their country, and to transport goods 
into all parts of it, they gave all the inhabitants, collectively, 

* " Sketch of the Creek Country in 1798-1799,'* by Benjamin Haw- 
kins, pp. 61, 62, 63. 

Also, manuscript traditional notes in my possession, taken from the 
lips of aged Indian countrymen. 

tMilfort, pp. 282-283. "Sketch of the Creek Country," by Haw- 
kins, p. 34. Also, conversations with Indian countr}rmen. 



90 



THE MUSCOGEES OR CREEKS. 



CHAPTER the name of the " Creeks," on account of the many beautiful 

rivers and streams which flowed throuorh their extensive do- 
Part 2. . . 

main.* By that name they will, in the future pages of this 

history, be called. 

The Creek woman was short in stature, but well formed. 
Her cheeks were rather high, but her features were generally 
regular and pretty. Her brow was high and arched, her 
eye large, black and languishing, expressive of modesty and 
diffidence. Her feet and hands were small, and the latter 
exquisitely shaped. The warrior was larger than the ordinary 
race of Europeans, often above six feet in height, but was in- 
1777 variably well formed, erect in his carriage, and graceful in 
every movement. They were proud, haughty and arrogant ; 
brave and valiant in war ; ambitious of conquest ; restless, and 
perpetually exercising their arms, yet magnanimous and mer^ 
ciful to a vanquished Indian enemy who afterwards sought their 
friendship and protection.f Encountering fatigue with ease, 
they were great travellers, and sometimes went three or four 
hundred leagues on a hunting expedition. " Formerly they 
1780 ^^^® cruel, but at the present day they are brave, yet peace- 
able, when not forced to abandon their character.''^ 

Like all other Indians they were fond of ornaments, which 
consisted of stones, beads, wampum, porcupine quills, eagles' 
feathers, beautiful plumes, and ear-rings of various des- 
criptions. The higher classes were often fantastic in their 

* Hawkins, p. 19. X Milfort, p. 216-217. 

t Baitram'8 Tiavelp, pp. 482, 500, 506. 



THE MUSCOGEES OR CREEKS. Ql 

• 
wearing apparel. Sometimes a warrior put on a ruffled shirt chapter 

of fine, linen, and went out with no other garment except a ^^' 

flap of blue broadcloth, with buskins made of the same. The 

stillapica or moccasin, embroidered with beads, adorned the 

feet of the better classes. Mantles 6f good broadcloth, of a 

blue or scarlet color, decorated with fringe and lace, and hung 

with round silver or brass buttons, were worn by those who 

could afford them. When they desired to be particularly gay, 

vermilion was freely applied to the face, neck and arms. 

Again, the skin was often inscribed with hieroglyphics, and 

representations of the sun, moon, stare and various animals.* 

This was performed by puncturing the parts with gar's-teeth, 

and rubbing in a dye made of the drippings of rich pine roots. 

These characters were inscribed during youth, and frequently 

in manhood, every time that a warrior distinguished himself 

in slaying the enemy. Hence, when he was unfortunately 

taken prisoner, he was severely punished in proportion to the ittj 

marks upon his skin, by which he was known to have shed 

the blood of many of the kindred of those into whose hands 

he had fallen.f The Creeks wore many ornaments of silver. 

Crescents or gorgets, very massive, suspended around the neck 

by ribbons, reposed upon the breast, while the arms, fingers, 

hats, and even sometimes the necks, had silver bands around 

them. 

The female wore a petticoat which reached to the middle 

* Bartram's Travels, pp. 482-506. 
f Adair's American Indians, p. 389. 



92 THE MUSCOGEES OR CREEKS. 

CHAPTER of her leg. A waistcoat or wrapper, made of caKco, printed 

^^' linen, or fine cloth, ornamented with lace and beads, enveloped 

Pait 2 

the upper part of the body. They never wore boots or stock- 
ings, but their buskins reached to the middle of the leg. Their 
hair, black, long and rather coarse, was plaited in vnreaths, 
and ordinarily turned up and fastened to the crown with a 
silver band. This description of dress and ornaments were 
1777 worn only by the better classes. The others were more upon 
the primitive Indian order. They were fond of music, 
both vocal and instrumental ; but the instruments they used 
were of an inferior kind, such as the tambour, rattle-gourd, 
and a kind of flute, made of the joint of a cane or the tibia 
of the deer's leg. Dancing was practised to a great extent^ 
and they employed an endless variety of steps.* 

Their most manly and important game was the "ball 
play." It was the most exciting and interesting game imagi- 
nable, and was the admiration of all the curious and learn- 
ed travellers who witnessed it. The warriors of one town 
challenged those of another, and they agreed to meet at one 
town, or the other, as may have been decided. For several 
days previous to the time, those who intended to engage in 
the amusement, took medicine, as though they were going to 
war. The night immediately preceding was spent in dancing 
and other ceremonious preparations. On the morning of the 
play, they painted and decorated themselves. In the meantime, 
the news had spread abroad in the neighboring towns, which 

* Bartram's Travels, pp. 482-506. 



THE MUSCOGEES OR CREEKS. 93 

-— y_ 

collected, at the place designated, an immense concourse of chapter 

men, women and children — the young and the gay — the old "' 

Part 2. 
and the grave, — together with hundreds of ponies, Indian mer- 
chandize, extra wearing apparel, and various articles brought 
there to stake upon the result. 

The players were all neai'ly naked, wearing only a piece of 
cloth called " flap." They advanced towards the immense plain 
upon which they were presently to exhibit astonishing feats of 
strength and agihty. From eighty to a hundred men were usu- 
ally on a side. They now approached each other, and were first 
seen at the distance of a quarter of a mile apart, but their war 
songs and yells had previously been heard. Intense excitement 
and anxiety was depicted upon the countenances of the im- 
mense throng of spectators. Presently the parties appeared 
in full trot, as if about to encounter fiercely in fight. They ^'^ 
met and soon became intermingled together, dancing and 
stamping while a dreadful artillery of noise and shouts went 
up and rent the air. An awful silence then succeeded. The 
players retired from each other, and fell back one hundred 
and ^j yards from the centre. Thus they were three hun- 
dred yards apart. In the centre were erected two poles, 
between which the ball must pass to count one. Every war- 
rior was provided with two rackets or hurls, of singular 
construction, resembling a ladle or hoop-net with handles 
nearly three feet long. The handle was of wood, and the 
netting of the thongs of raw hide or the tendons of an animal. 
The play was commenced by a ball, covered vsith buckskin, 
being thrown in the air. The players rushed together with a 



94 THE MUSCOGEES OR CREEKS. 

CHAPTER mighty shock, and he who caught the ball between his two 
rackets, ran off with it and hurled it again in the air, endea- 

1790 voring to throw it between the poles in the direction of the 
town to which he belonged. They seized hold of each others' 
limbs and hair, tumbled each other over, first trampled upon 
those that were down, and did every thing to obtain the ball, 
and afterwards to make him who had it, drop it, before he 
could make a successful throw. The game was usually from 
twelve to twenty. It was kept up for hours, and during the 
time the players used the greatest exertions, exhibited the 
most infatuated devotion to their side, were often severely 
hurt, and sometimes killed in the rough and unfeehng scram- 
ble which prevailed. It sometimes happened that the inhabi- 
tants of a town gamed away all their ponies, jewels, and 
wearing apparel, even stripping themselves, upon the issue of 
the ball play. In the meantime, the women were constantly 
on the alert with vessels and gourds filled with water, watch- 
ing every opportunity to supply the players.* 

If a Creek warrior wished to marry, he sent his sister, mo- 
ther, or some female relation, to the female relations of the 
girl whom he loved. Her female relations then consulted the 

1798 uncles, and if none, the brothers on the maternal side, who 
decided upon the case. If it was an agreeable alhance, the 
bridegroom was informed of it, and he sent, soon after, a blanket 
and* articles of clothing to the female part of the family of 

* The " Narrative of a Mission to the Creek Nation, by Col. Marinus 
Willett," pp. 108-110. Banram's Travels, pp. 482-506. 



THE MUSCOGEES Ok CREEKS. 95 

the bride. If they received these presents, the match was chapter 

made, and the man was at Hberty to go to the house of his 

wife as soon as he deemed it proper. When he had built a 

residence, produced a crop, gathered it in, made a hunt and 

brought home the game, and tendered a general dehvery of 

all to the girl, then they were considered man and wife. 1798 

Divorce was at the choice of either party. The man, how- 
ever, had the advantage, for he could again marry another 
woman if he wished ; but the woman was obliged to lead a 
life of celibacy until the Boosketuh or Green Corn Dance was 
over. Marriage gave no right to the husband over the pro- 
perty of the wife, or the control or management of the chil- 
dren which he might have by her. 

Adultery was punished by the family of the husband, who 
collected together, consulted and agreed upon the course to 
pursue. One half of them then went to the house of the * 
woman, and the other half to the residence of the guilty 
warrior. They apprehended, stripped, and beat them with 
long poles until they were insensible. Then they cropped off 
their ears, and sometimes their noses, with knives, the edges of 
which were made rough and saw-like. The hair of the wo- 
man was carried in triumph to the square. Strange to say, 
they generally recovered from this inhuman treatment. K 
one of the offenders escaped, satisfaction was taken by similar n^ 
punishment inflicted upon the nearest relative. If both of 
the parties fled unpunished, and the party aggrieved returned 
home and laid down the poles, the offence was considered sat- 
isfied. But one family in the Creek nation had authority to 



9g THE MUSCOGEES OR CREEKS. 

OHAPTEB take up the poles tlie second time, and that was the Ho-tul- 
^^' gee, or family of the Wind, The parties might absent them- 
selves mitil the Boosketuh was over, and then they were free 
from punishment for this and all other offences, except mur- 
der, which had to be atoned for by death inflicted upon the 
guilty one or his nearest relative.* 

The Creeks buried their dead in the earth, in a square pit, 
under the bed where the deceased lay in his house. The 
grave was Uned on the sides with cypress bark, like the curb- 
ing of a well. The corpse, before it became cold, was drawn 
up with cords, and made to assume a squatting position ; and 
in this manner it was placed in the grave, and covered with 
earth. The gun, tomahawk, pipe, and other articles of the 
deceased, were buried with him. f 

In 1777, Bartram found, in the Creek nation, fifty towns, 
'ivith a population of eleven thousand, which lay upon the 
rivers Coosa, Tallapoosa, Alabama, Chattahoochie and Flint, 
and the prominent creeks which flowed into them. The 
Muscogee was the national language, although, in some of 
these towns, the Uchee or Savannah, Alabama, Natchez and 
Shawnee tongues prevailed. But the Muscogee was called, 
by the traders, the " mother tongue," while the others, men- 
tioned, were termed the " stinkard lingo."J 

The general council of the nation was always held in the 
principal town, in the centre of which was a large public 

* Hawkins' " Sketch of the Creek Country," pp, 73-74. 

f Bartram, pp. 513-514. J Bartram's Travels, pp. 461-462. 



THE MUSCOGEES OR CREEKS. 97 

square, with three cabins of different sizes in each angle, chapter 
making twelve in all. Four avenues led into the square. 
The cabins, capable of containing sixty persons each, were so 
situated that from one of them a person might see into the ^'^^ 
others One belonging to the Grand Chief fronted the rising 
sun, to remind him that he should watch the interests of his 
people. Near it was the grand cabin, where the councils were 
held. In the opposite angle, three others belonged to the old 
men, and faced the setting sun, to remind them that they were 
growing feeble, and should not go to war. In the two re- 
maining corners were the cabins of the different Chiefs of the 
nation, the dimensions of which were in proportion to the rank 
and services of those Chiefe. The whole number in the square 
was painted red, except those facing the west, which were 
white, symbolical of virtue and old age. The former, during 
war, were decorated with wooden pieces sustaining a chain of 
rings of wood. This was a sign of grief, and told the war- 
riors that they should hold themselves in readiness, for their 
country needed their services. These chains were replaced by 
garlands of ivy leaves, during peace. 

In the month of May, annually, the Chiefe and principal 
Indians assembled in the large square formed by these houses, 
to deliberate upon all subjects of general interest. When they 
were organized, they remained in the square until the council 
broke up. Here they legislated, eat and slept. During the 
session, no person, except the principal Chiefe, could approach 
within less than twenty feet of the grand cabin. The women 
prepared the food, and deposited it at a prescribed distance, ^"^^ 



98 



THE MUSCOGEES OR CREEKS. 



CHAPTER when it was borne to the grand cabin by the subordinate 

^^' Chiefe. In the centre of the square was a fire constantly 

Part 2. . 

burning. At sunset the council adjourned for the day, and 

then the young people of both sexes danced around this fire 
until a certain hour. As soon as the sun appeared above the 
horizon, a drum-beat called the Chiefe to the duties of the day.* 
Besides this National Legislature, each principal town in 
the nation had -its separate public buildings, as do the States 
of this American Union ; and, like them, regulated their own 
local affairs. The public square at Auttose, upon the Talla- 
poosa, in 1777, consisted of four square buildings, of the 
same dimensions and uniform in shape, so situated as to form 
a tetragon, enclosing an area of an half acre. Four passages, 
of equal width at the corners, admitted persons into it. The 
1777 frames of these buildings were of wood, but a mud plaster, 
inside and out, was employed to form neat walls; except two 
feet all around under the eaves, left open to admit light and 
air. One of them was the council house, where the Micco 
(King), Chiefe and Warriors, with the white citizens, who 
had business, daily assembled to hear and decide upon all 
grievances — adopt measures for the better government of the 
people, and the improvement of the town — and to receive 
ambassadors from other towns. This building was enclosed 
on three sides, while a partition, from end to end, divided it 
into two apartments, — the back one of which was totally 
dark, having only three arched holes large enough for a per- 

* Milfort, pp. 206-208. 



THE MUSCOGEES OR CREEKS. 99 

son to crawl into. It was a sanctuary of priestcraft, in which chapter 
were deposited physic-pots, rattles, chaplets of deer's hoofe, 
the great pipe of peace, the imperial eagle-tail standard, dis- 
played hke an open fen, attached to which was a staff as 
white and clean as it could be scoured. The front part of ^'^ 
this building was open like a piazza, divided into three apart- 
ments, breast high — each containing three rows of seats, ris- 
ing one above the other, for the legislators. The other three 
buildings fronting the square, were similar to the one just 
described, except that they had no sanctuary, and served to 
accommodate the spectators ; they were also used for ban- 
queting houses. 

The pillars and walls of the houses of the square abound- 
ed with sculptures and caricature paintings, representing 
men in different ludicrous attitudes ; some with the hu- 
man shape, having the heads of the duck, turkey, bear, fox, 
wolf, and deer. Again, these animals were represented with 
the human head. These designs were not ill-executed, and 
the outlines were bold and well proportioned. The pillars of ^'^ 
the council house were ingeniously formed, in the likeness of 
vast speckled snakes ascending — the Auttoses being of the 
Snake family.* 

Rude paintings were quite common among the Creeks, and 
they often conveyed ideas by drawings. No people could 
present a more comprehensive view of the topography of a 
country with which they were acquainted, than the Creeks 

* Baitram's Travels, pp. 448-454. 



100 



THE MUSGOGEES OR CREEKS. 



CHAPTER could, in a few moments, by drawing upon the ground. Bar- 
^'' nard Roman, a Captain in the British Army, saw at Hoopa 
j7^ * Ulla, a Choctaw town, not far from Mobile, the following 

September 30 (jr^wing, cxccutcd by the Creeks, which had fallen into the 
possession of tlie Choctaws. 



.f^ 



fe. 





This represents that ten Creek warriors, of the iamily of the 
Deer, went into the Choctaw country in three canoes ; that six 
of them landed, and in marching along a path, met two Choc- 
1771 taw men, two women, and a dog ; that the Creeks killed and 
scalped them. The scalp, in the deer's foot, implies the horror 
of the action to the whole Deer family.* 

The great council house in Auttose, was appropriated to 
much the same purpose as the square, but was more private. 
It was a vast conical building, capable of accommodating many 
hundred people. Those appointed to take care of it, daily 

* Barnard Roman's Florida, p. 102. 



THE MUSCOGEES OR CREEKS. JQl 

swept it clean, and provided canes for fuel and to give lights, chapter 
Besides using this rotundo for political purposes, of a private ^^' 
nature, the inhabitants of Auttose were accustomed to take 
their " black drink " in it. The officer who had charge of this 
ceremony, ordered the cacina tea to be prepared under an 1777 
open shed opposite the door of the council house ; he directed 
bundles of dry cane to be brought in, which were previously 
split in pieces two feet long. "They were now placed 
obhquely across upon one another on the floor, forming a 
spiral Une round about the great centre pillar, eighteen inches in 
thickness. This spiral line, spreading as it proceeded round and 
round, often repeated from right to left, every revolution in- 
creased its diameter, and at length extended to the distance 
of ten or twelve feet from the centre, according to the time 
the assembly was to continue." By the time these prepara- 
tions were completed, it was night, and the assembly had 
taken their seats. The outer end of the spiral line was 
fired. It gradually crept round the centre pillar, with the 
course of the sun, feeding on the cane, and afibrding a bright 
and cheerful light. The aged Chiefs and warriors sat upon 
their cane sofas, which were elevated one above the other, and 1777 
fixed against the back side of the house, opposite the door. 
The white people and Indians of confederate towns sat, in like 
order, on the left — a transverse range of pillars, supporting a 
thin clay wall, breast high, separating them. The Ejng's seat 
was in front; back of it were the seats of the head waniors, and 
those of a subordinate condition. Two middle-aged men now 

entered at the door, bearing large conch shells full of black 

1 



102 ^^^ MUSOOGEES OR CREEKS. 

>■- — ■-, .III. ■ ■ I . ■ ^ — — _ , 

CHAPTER drink. They advanced with slow, uniform and steady steps, with 
eyes elevated, and singing in a very low tone. Coming within a 
few feet of the King, they stopped, and rested their shells on 
little tables. Presently they took them up again, crossed each 
other, and advanced obsequiously. One presented his shell 
to the King, and the other to the principal man among the 
white audience. As soon as they raised them to their mouths, 
1777 the attendants uttered two notes — hoo-ojah I and a-lu-yah ! — 
which they spun out as long as they could hold their breath. 
As long as the notes continued, so long did the person drink 
or hold the shell to his mouth. In this manner all the assem- 
bly were served with the " black drink." But when the 
drinking begun, tobacco, contained in pouches made of the 
skins of the wild cat, otter, bear and rattlesnake, was distri- 
buted among the assembly, together with pipes, and a general 
smoking commenced. The King began first, with a few whiflfe 
from the great pipe, blowing it, ceremoniously, first towards 
the sun, next towards the four cardinal points, and then 
towards the white audience. Then the attendants passed this 
pipe to others of distinction. In this manner, these dignified 
and singular people occupied some hours in the night, until 
the spiral line of canes was^ consumed, which was a signal for 
retiring.* 

* Bartram's Travels, pp. 448-454. The site of Auttose is now em- 
braced in Macon county, and is in a cotton plantation, the property of 
the Hon. George Goldthwaite, Judge of the Eighth Judicial Circuit. 
On the morning of the 29th of Nov., 1813, a battle was fought here 
between the Creeks and the Georgians — the latter commanded by Gen. 
John Floyd. 



THE MUSCOGEES OR CREEKS. JQS 

Twenty-one years after the visit of Bartram to the Creek chapter 

nation, Col. Benjamin Hawkins, to whom Washington had ^* 

Part 2 
confided important trusts in relation to the tribes south of the ,_. * 

Ohio, penetrated these wilds. He found the public buildings, 
at that period, similar to those already described, with, how- 
ever, some exceptions, which may have been the result of a 
slight change of ancient customs. 

Every town had a separate government, and public build- 
ings for business and pleasure, with a presiding officer, who 
was called a Eling, by the traders, and a Micco, by the Indians. 
This functionary received all public characters, heard their 
talks, laid them before his people, and, in return, delivered the 
talk of his own town. He was always chosen from some noted 1799 
femily. The Micco of Tookabatcha was of the Eagle tribe 
(Lum-ul-gee). When they were put into office, they held 
their stations for life, and when dead, were succeeded by their 
nephews. The Micco could select an assistant when he be- 
came infirm, or for other causes, subject to the approval of 
the principal men of the town. They generally bore the 
name of the town which they governed, as Cusseta Micco, 
Tookabatcha Micco, &c. 

"Choo-co-thluc-co, (big house,) the town house or public 1799 
square, consists of four square buildings of one story, facing 
each other, forty by sixteen feet, eight feet pitch ; the entrance 
at each comer. Each building is a wooden frame supported on 
posts set in the ground, covered with slabs, open in front like 
a piazza, divided into three rooms, the back and ends clayed 
up to the plates. Each division is divided lengthwise into 



J04 THE MUSCOGEES OR CREEKS. 

CHAPTER two seats. The front, two feet high, extending back half way, 

"' covered with reed mats or slabs ; then a rise of one foot and 

Part 2. 

it extends back, covered in like manner, to the side of the 

building. On these seats they lie or sit at pleasure. 

"the rank of the buildings which form the square. 
1798 " 1st. Mic-ul-gee in-too-pau, the Micco^s cabin. This fronts 

the east, and is occupied by those of the highest rank. The 
centre of the building is always occupied by the Micco of the 
town, by the Agent for Indian Affairs, when he pays a visit 
to a town, by the Miccos of other towns, and by respectable 
white people. 

" The division to the right is occupied by the Mic-ug-gee 
(Miccos, there being several so called in every town, from cus- 
tom, the origin of which is unknown), and the councillors. 
These two classes give their advice in relation to war, and are,, 
in feet, the principal councillors. 

" The division to the left is occupied by the E-ne-hau-ulgee 
(people second in command, the head of whom is called by the 
traders second man). These have the direction of the public 
1798 works appei*taining to the town, such a.s the public buildings, 
building houses in town for new settlers, or working in the 
fields. They are particularly charged with the ceremony of 
the a-ce, (a decoction of the cassine yupon, called by the 
traders black drink,) under the direction of the Micco. 

" 2nd. Tus-tun-nug-ul-gee in-too-pau, the warriors^ cabin. 
This fronts the south. The head warrior sits at the end of 
the cabin, and in his division the great warriors sit beside 
each other. The next in rank sit in the centre division, and 



THE MUSCOGEES OR CREEKS. 105 

the young warriors in the third. The rise is regular by merit chapter 

from the third to the first division. The Great Warrior, for ^^' 

Parts, 
that is the title of the head warrior, is appointed by the 

Micco and councillors from among the greatest war charac- 
ters. 

"When a young man is trained up and appears well quali- 
fied for the feitigues and hardships of war, and is promising, 
the Micco appoints him a governor, or, as the name imports, a 
leader (Is-te-puc-cau-chau), and if he distinguishes himself 
they elevate him to the centre cabin. A man who distin- 
guishes himself repeatedly in warlike enterprises, arrives to the 
rank of the Great Leader (Is-te-puc-cau-chau-thlucco). This i798 
title, though greatly coveted, is seldom attained, as it requires a 
Jong course of years, and great and numerous successes in war. 

** The second class of warriors is the Tusse-ki-ul-gee, All 
who go to war, and are in company when a scalp is taken, get 
a war-name. The leader reports their conduct, and they re- 
ceive a name accordingly. This is the Tus-se-o-chif-co or 
war-name. The term, leader, as used by the Indians, is a 
proper one. The war parties all march in Indian file, with 
the leader in front, until coming on hostile ground. He is 1799 
then in the rear. 

"3rd. Is-te-chaguc-ul-gee in-too-pau, the cabin of the be- 
loved men. This fronts the north. There are a great many 
men who have been war leaders, and who, although of various 
ranks, have become estimable in a long course of public ser- 
vice. They sit themselves on the right division of the cabin 
of the Micco, and are his councillors. The family of the Mio- 



106 THE MUSCOGEES OR CREEKS. 

OHAPTBB CO, and great men who have thus distinguished themselves, 
^ occupy this cabin of the Beloved Men. 

" 4th. Hut-te-mau-hug-gee, the cabin of the young people 
and their associates. This fronts the west. 

"the convention of the town. 

" The Micco, councillors and warriors meet every day in 
the pubUc square, sit and drink of the black tea, talk of the 
news, the public and domestic concerns, smoke their pipes, 
and play Thla-chal-litch-cau (roll the bullet). Here ail 
complaints are introduced, attended to and redressed. 

" 5th. Chooc-ofeu-thluc-co, the rotundo or assembly room, 
called by the traders, " hot housed This is near the square, 
and is constructed after the following manner : Eight posts 
are driven into the ground, forming an octagon of thirty feet 
in diameter. They are twelve feet high, and large enough to 
support the roof. On these ^ve or six logs are placed, of a 
side, drawn in as they rise. On these long poles or rafters, to 
suit the height of the building, are laid, the upper ends forming 
a point, and the lower ends projecting out six feet from the 
octagon, and resting on the posts, ^we feet high, placed in a 
circle round the octagon, with plates on them, to which the 
rafl;ers are tied with spUts. The rafters are near together, 
and fastened with splits. These are covered with clay, and 
179S that with pine bark. The wall, six feet from the octagon, is 
clayed up. They have a small door, with a small portico 
curved round for ^vq or six feet, then into the house. 

"The space between the octagon and wall is one entire 
sofa, where the visitors lie or sit at pleasure. It is covered 
with reed, mat or sphts. 



THE MUSCOGEES OR CREEKS. lQ^J 

" In the centre of the room, on a small rise, the fire is made chapter 

of dry cane, or dry old pine slabs, split fine, and laid in a spiral 

P&rt 2. 
line. This is the assembly room for all people, old and 

young. They assemble every night and amuse themselves 

with dancing, singing or conversation. And here, sometimes, 

in very cold weather, the old and naked sleep. 

"In all transactions which require secrecy, the rulers meet it* 
here, make their fire, deliberate and decide." * 

A very interesting festival, common not only to the Creeks, 
but to many other tribes, will now be described. As Col. 
Hawkins was, in all respects, one of the most conscientious 
and reliable men that ever lived, his account, like the pre- 
ceding, will be copied in his own style. Of the many de- 
scriptions of the Green Corn Dance, in our possession, that 
by the honest and indefatigable Creek Agent is the most 
minute and most readily understood. 

" BOOS-KE-TAU. 

" The Creeks celebrate this festival in the months of July 
and August. The precise time is fixed by the Micco and 
councillors, and is sooner or later, as the state of the affairs of 
the town or the early or lateness of their com will suit. Itt 
Cussetuh, this ceremony lasts for eight days. In some towns 1798 
of less note it is but four days. 

" FIRST DAY. 

" In the morning the warriors clear the yard of the square, 

* Sketch of the Creek Country in 1798-1'799, by Benjamin Hawkins, 
pp. 68-72. 

1* 



108 ^^^ MUSCOGEES OR CREEKS. 

CHAPTER and sprinkle white sand, when the black drink is made. The 
"• fire-maker makes the fire as early in the morning as he can, 
by friction. The warriors cut and bring into the square four 
logs, each as long as a man can cover by extending his two 
arms. These are placed in the centre of the square, end to 
end, forming a cross, the outer ends pointed to the cardinal 
points ; in the centre of the cross the new fire is made. Dur- 
ing the first four days they burn out these first four logs. 

" The Pin-e-bun-gau (turkey dance) is danced by the wo- 
men of the Turkey tribe, and while they are dancing the pos- 
sau is brewed. This is a powerful emetic. It is drank from 
iras twelve o'clock to the middle of the afternoon. After this, 
Toc-co-yula-gau (tad-pole) is danced by four women and four 
men. In the evening the men dance E-ne-hou-bun-gau (the 
dance of the people second in command). This they dance 
till daylight. 

" SECOND DAY. 

" About ten o'clock the women dance Its-ho-bun-gau (gun 
dance). After twelve o'clock, the men go to the new fire, take 
some of the ashes, rub them on the chin, neck and abdomen, 
and jump head foremost into the river, and then return into 
the square. The women having prepared the new corn for 
the feast, the men take some of it and rub it between their 
hands, then on their face and breasts, and then they feast. 

" THIRD DAY. 

" The men sit in the square. 

" FOURTH DAY. 

" The women go early in the morning and get the new 



THE MUSCOGEES OR CREEKS. 109 

fire, dean out their heartlis, sprinkle them with sand, and ohaptsb 

make their fires. The men finish burning out the first four ^'' 

Part 2. 
logs, and they take ashes, rub them on their chin, neck and j^ 

abdomen, and they go into the water. This day they eat 

salt, and they dance Obungauchapco (the long dance). 

"fifth day. 

" They get four new logs, and place them as on the first 

day, and they drink the black drink. 

" SIXTH AND SEVENTH DAYS. 

" They remain in the square. 

" EIGHTH DAY. 

"They get two large pots, and their physic plants, the 
names of which are : 

Mic-ca-to-you-e-juh, Co-hal-le-wau-gee, 1798 

Toloh, Chofeinsack-cau-fuck-au, 

A-che-nau, Cho-fe-mus-see, 

Cap-pau-pos-cau, HilUs-hutke, 

Chu-lis-sau (the roots), To-te-cuh-chooe-his-see, 

Tuck-thlau-lus-te, Welau-nuh, 

To-te-cul-hil-lis-so-wau, Oak-chon-utch-co. 

These plants are put into pots and beat up with water. The 
chemists, E-Uc-chul-gee, called by the traders physic-makers, 
blow into it through a small reed, and then it is drank by the 
men and rubbed over their joints till the ailemoon. 

" They collect old corn cobs and pine burs, put them into 
a pot and burn them to askes. Four very young virgins 
bring ashes fipom their houses and stir them up. The men 
take white clay and mix it with water in two pans. One pan 



110 THE MUSCOGEES OR CREL:KS. 



CHAPTER of the clay and one of the ashes are carried to the cabin of 

the Micco, and the other two to that of the warriors. Thev 
Part 2. ^ , , , . , , , , , 

then rub themselves with the clay and ashes. Two men, ap- 
pointed to that office, bring some flowers of tobacco of a small 
kind, Itch-au-chee-le-pue-pug-gee, or, as the name imports, the 
old man's tobacco, which was prepared on the first day and 
1798 put in a pan in the cabin of the Micco, and they gave a little 
of it to every one present. 

" The Micco and councillors then go four times around the 
fire, and every time they face the east they throw some of the 
flowers into the fire. They then go and stand to the west. 
The warrioi-s then repeat the same ceremony. 

" A cane is stuck up at the cabin of the Micco, with two 
white feathers at the end of it. One of the Fish tribe (Thlot- 
logulgee) takes it, just as the sun goes down, and goes 
off" to the river, followed by all. When he gets half way 
down the river he gives the death whoop, which he repeats 
four times between the square and the water's edge. Here 
they all place themselves as thick as they can stand near the 
1W8 edge of the water. He sticks up the cane at the water's edge, 
and they all put a grain of the old man's tobacco on their 
heads and in each ear. Then, at a signal given four different 
times, they throw some into the river ; and every man, at a 
signal, plunges into the river and picks up four stones from 
the bottom. With these they cross themselves on their breasts 
four times, each time throwing a stone into the river and giv- 
ing the death whoop. ITiey then wash themselves, take up 
the cane and feathers, return and stick it up in the square, 



THE MUSCOGEES OR CREEKS. m 

and visit through the town. At night they dance O-bun-gau- chapter 

hadjo (mad dance), and this finishes the ceremony. ^'' 

Part 2 
" This happy institution of the Boos-ke-tau restores man to 

himself, to his fan.ily, and to his nation. It is a general am- 
nesty, which not only absolves the Indians from all crimes, 1 7 
murder alone excepted, but seems to bring guilt itself into 
oblivion."* 

With some slight variations, the Green Corn Dance was 
thus celebrated throughout the Creek confederacy. At the 
town of Tookabatcha, however, it will be recollected, that on 
the fourth day, the Indians introduced the "brass plates." 
At Coosawda, the principal town of the Alabamas, they cele- 
brated a Boosketau of four days each, of mulberries and beans, 
when these fruits respectively ripened.f 

James Adair, a man of learning and enterpiise, lived more 
than thirty years among the Chickasaws, and had frequent 
intercourse with the nations of the Muscogees, Cherokees and 
Choctaws, commencing in 1735. He was an Englishman, 
and was connected with the extensive commerce carried on a* 
an early period with these tribes. While among the Chicka- i786 
saws, with whom he first began to reside in 1744, he wrote a 
large work on aboriginal history. When he returned to his mo- 
ther country, he published this work, the " American Indians," 
a ponderous volume of near five hundred pages, at London, 
in 1*7 75. Well acquainted with the Hebrew language, and 

* Hawkins* Sketch of the Creek Country, pp. 7.5-78 
t Adair's American Indians, p. 97. 



112 



THE MUSCOGRES OR CREEKS. 



CHAPTER having, in his long residence with the Indians, acquired an 
^^' accurate knowledge of their tongue, he devoted the larger 
portion of his work to prove that the latter were originally 
Hebrews, and were a portion of the lost tribes of Israel. He 
asserts, that at the Boosketaus of the Creeks and other tribes 
within the limits of Alabama, the warriors danced around the 
holy fire, during which the elder Priest invoked the Great 
Spirit, while the others responded Halelu! Halelu! then 
Haleluiah ! Haleluyah ! He is ingenious in his arguments, 
and introduces many strange things to prove, to his own 
satisfaction, that the Indians were descendants of the Jews — 
seeking, throughout two hundred pages, to assimilate their 
language, manners and customs. He formed his beUef that 
they were originally the same people, upon their division into 
tribes — worship of Jehovah — notions of a theocracy — beUef in 
the ministration of angels — language and dialects — manner of 
computing time — their Prophets and High Priests — festivals, 
fasts and religious rites — daily sacrifices — ablutions and anointr 
ings — laws of uncleanUness — abstinence from unclean things — 
marriages, divorces, and punishments for adultery — other 
punishments — their towns of refuge — purification and cere- 
mony preparatory to war — their ornaments — manner of curing 
the sick — burial of the dead — mourning for the dead — raising 
seed to a deceased brother — choice of names adapted to their 
circumstances and times — their own traditions — and the ac- 
counts of our English writers, and the testimony which the 
Spanish and other authors have given concerning the primi- 
tive inhabitants of Peru and Mexico. 



THE MUSOOGEES OR CREEKS. 113 

He insists that in nothing do they differ from the Jew^ ex- ohapteb 

cept in the rite of circumcision, which, he contends, their an- 

Parts, 
oestors dispensed with, after they became lost from the other 

tribes, on account of the danger and inconvenience of the exe- W40 
cation of that rite, to those engaged in a hunting and roving 
life. That when the IsraeUtes were forty years in the wilder- 
ness, even then they attempted to dispense with circumcision, 
but Joshua, by his stem authority, enforced its observance. 
The difference in food, mode of living and climate are rehed 
upon by Adair, to account for the difference in the color, be- 
tween the Jew and Indian, and also why the one has hair 
upon the body in profusion and the other has not* 

Adiar is by no means alone in his opinion of the descent 
of the American Indians. Other writers, who have hved 
among these people, have arrived at the same conclusion. 
Many of the old Indian countrymen with whom we have 
conversed, believe in their Jewish origin, while others are of a 
different opinion. Abram Mordecai, an intelhgent Jew, who 
dwelt fifty years in the Creek nation, confidently beUeved 
that the Indians were originally of his people, and he 
asserted that in their Green Corn Dances he had heard them 
often utter in grateful tones, the word yavoyaha ! yavoyaha ! 
He was always informed by the Indians that this meant 
Jehovah, or the Great Spirit, and that they were then returning 
thanks for the abundant harvest with which they were blessed.f 

* Adair's American Indians, pp. 15-220. 

t Conversations with Abram Mordecai, a man of ninety two years of 
age, whom I found in Dudleyville, Tallapoosa county, in the fail of 



11^ THE MUSCOGEES OR CREEKS. 



CHAPTER Col. Hawkins concludes his account of the reUgious and 

^'* war ceremonies of the Creek Indians as follows : — 
Part 2. 

" At the age of from fifteen to seventeen, the ceremony of 

initiating youth to manhood, is performed. It is called the 

Boosketau, in like manner as the annual Boosketaii of the 

nation. A youth of the proper age, gathers two handfuls of 

1798 the Sou-watch-cau, a very bitter root, which he eats a whole 
day. Then he steeps the leaves in water and drinks it. In 
the dusk of the evening he eats two or three spoonfuls of 
boiled grits. This is repeated for four days, and during this 
time he remains in a house. The Sou-watch-cau has the 
effect of intoxicating and maddening. The fourth day he 
goes out, but must put on a pair of new moccasins (stilla- 
picas). For twelve moons he abstains from eating bucks, 
except old ones, and from turkey cocks, fowls, peas and salt 
During this period he must not pick his ears or scratch his 
head with his fingers, but use a small stick. For four moons 
he must have a fire to himself to cook his food, and a little 
girl, a virgin, may cook for him. His food is boiled grits. 
The fifth moon any person may cook for him, but he must 
serve himself first, and use one pan and spoon. Every new 
moon he drinks for four days the possau (button snakeroot), 
an emetic, and abstains for three days from all food, except in 
the evening, a little boiled grits (humpetuh hutke). The 

1798 twelfth moon he performs, for four days, what he commenced 

1847. His mind was fresh in the recollection of early incidents. Of 
him I shall have occasion to speak in another portion of the work. 



THE MUSCOGEES OR CREEKS. H5 

with on the first. The fifth day he comes out of his house, chapter 
gathers corn cobs, burns them to ashes, and with these rubs ^^' 
his body all over. At the end of this .oon he sweats under ^-»- 
blankets, then goes into water, and thus ends the ceremony. 
This ceremony is sometimes extended to four, six or eight 
moons, or even to twelve days only, but the course is the 
same. 

" During the whole of this ceremony the physic is adminis- 
tered by the Is-te-puc-cau-chau-thlucco (Great Leader), who, 
in speaking of the youth under initiation, says, "I am physic- 
ing him" — Boo-se-ji-jite saut li-to mise-cha. Or " I am teach- 
ing him all that it is proper for him to know" — (nauk o-mul- 
gau e-muc-e-thh-jite saut htomise cha). The youth during 
this initiation does not touch any one except young persons, 
who are under a like course with himself. And if he dreams, 
he drinks the possau."* 

Whenever Creeks were forced to take up arms, the Tuste- 
nuggee caused to be displayed in the public places a club, part 
of which was painted red. He sent it to each subordinate Chie^ 
accompanied with a number of pieces of wood, equal to the 
number of days that it would take that Chief to present him- 
self at the rendezvous. The War-Chief alone had the power 1773 
of appointing that day. When this club had arrived, each 
Chief caused a drum to be beat before the grand cabin where 
he resided. All the inhabitants immediately presented them- 
selves. He informed them of the day and place where he 

* Hawkins*, pp. 78-79. 



IIQ THE MUSCOGEES OR CREEKS. 

OHAPTER intended to kindle his fire. He repaired to that place before 

^^' the appointed day, and rubbed two sticks together, which pro- 
Part 2. 

duced fire. He kindled it in the midst of a square, formed 

by four posts, sufficiently extended to contain the number of 

warriore he desired to assemble. As soon as the day dawned, 

the Chief placed himself between the two posts which fronted 

the east, and held in his hand a package of small sticks. 

1778 When a warrior entered the enclosure, which was open only 
on one side, he threw down a stick and continued until they 
were all gone, the number of sticks being equal to the num- 
ber of warriors he required. Those who pfesented themselves 
afterwards could not be admitted, and they returned home to 
hunt, indicating the place where they could be found if their 
services should be needed. Those who thus tardily presented 
themselves were badly received at home, and were reproached 
for the slight desire they had testified to defend their country. 
The warriors who were in the enclosure remained there, 
and for three days took the medicine of war. Their wives 
brought them their arms and all things requisite for the 
campaign, and deposited them three hundred yards in 
firont of the square, together with a little bag of parched corn- 
meal, an ounce of which would make a pint of broth.* ft 
was only necessary to mix it with water, and in five minutes 

1778 it became as thick as soup cooked by a fire. Two ounces 
would sustain a man for twenty-four hours. It was indispen- 
sable, for, during a war expedition, the party could not kill game. 

* Called by the modem Creek traders " coal flour.** 



THE MUSCOGEES OR CREEKS. 



117 



The three days of medicine having expired, the Chief de- chapter 

parted with his warriors to the rendezvous appointed by the ^^ 

Pftrt 2 
Grand Chief. Independently of this medicine, which was -..g ' 

taken by all, each subordinate Chief had his particular talis- 
man, which he carefully carried about his person. It consisted 
of a small bag, in which were a few stones and some pieces of 
doth which had been taken from the garments of the Grand 
Chief, in the return from some former war. If the subordi- 
nate Chief forgot his bag, he was deprived of his rank, and 
remained a common soldier during the whole expedition. 
The Grand Chief presented himself at the rendezvous on the 1773 
appointed day, and he was sure to find there the assembled 
warriors. He then placed himself at the head of the army, 
making all necessary arrangements, without behig obliged to 
rendezvous on account of any one. Being certain that his 
discipline and orders would be punctually enforced, he 
marched with confidence against the enemy. When they 
were ready to march, each subordinate Chief was compelled 
to be provided with the liquor which they called medicine of 
war ; and the Creeks placed in it such a degree of confidence, 
that it was diflBcult for a War Chief to collect his army if they 
were deprived of it. He would be exposed to great danger, 
if he should be forced to do battle without having satisfied 
this necessity. If he should suffer defeat — which would cer- 2778 
tainly be the case, because the warriors would have no confi- 
dence in themselves, but be overcome by their own supersti- 
tious fears, — he would be responsible for all misfortunes. 
There were two medicines, the great and the little, and it 



j][g TH . MUSCOGEES OR CREEKS. 

CHAPTER remained for the Chief to designate which of these should be 

^'* used. The warrior, when he had partaken of the great medi- 
cine, believed himself invulnerable. The little medicine served, 
in his eyes, to diminish danger. Full of confidence in the state- 
ments of his Chief, the latter easily persuaded him, that when 

1778 he gave him only the little medicine, it was because circum- 
stances did not require the other. These medicines being purga- 
tive in their nature, the warrior found himself less endangered 
by the wounds which he might receive. The Creeks had still 
another means of diminishing the danger of their wounds, 
which consisted in fighting almost naked, for it is well known 
that particles of cloth remaining in wounds render them more 
difficult to heal. They observed during war the most rigor- 
ous discipline, for they neither eat nor drank without an order 

1778 from the Chief. They dispensed with drinking, even while 
passing along the bank of a river, because drcurastances had 
obliged their Chief to forbid it, under pain of depriving them 
of their medicine of war, or, rather, of the influence of their 
talisman. When an enemy compelled them to take up arms, 
they never returned home without giving him battle, and at 
least taking a few scalps. These may be compared to the 
colors among civilized troops, for when a warrior had killed 
an enemy, he took his scalp, which was an honorable trophy 

J778 for him to return with to his nation. They removed them 
from the head of an enemy with great skill and dexterity. 
They were not all of the same value, but were classed, and it 
was for the Chiefe, who were the judges of all achievements, 
to decide the value of each. It was in proportion to the num- 



THE MUSCOGEES OR CREEKS. 1X9 

ber and value of these scalps that a Creek advanced ui civil chapter 
as well as military rank It was necessary, in order to occupy 
a station of any importance, to have taken at least seven of 
them. K a young Creek, having been at war, returned with- 
out a single scalp, he continued to bear the name of his 
mother, and could not marry ; but if he returned with a scalp, 
the principal men assembled at the grand cabin, to give him |778 
a name, that he might abandon that of his mother. They 
judged of the value of the scalp by the dangers experienced 
in the capture of it, and the greater these dangers, the more 
considerable were the titles and advancement derived from it, 
by its owner. 

In time of battle, the great Chief commonly placed him- 
self in the centre of the army, and sent reinforcements 
wherever danger appeared most pressing. When he perceived 
that his forces were repulsed and feared that they would yield 
entirely to the efforts of the enemy, he advanced in person, 
and combated hand to hand. A cry, repeated on all sides, 1778 
informed the warriors of the danger to which a Chief was ex- 
posed. Immediately the cor^s de reserve came together, and 
advanced to the spot where the Grand Chief was, in order to 
force the enemy to abandon him. Should he be dead, they 
would all die rather than abandon his body to the enemy, with- 
out first securing his scalp. They attached such value to this 
rehc, and so much disgrace to the loss of it, that when the 
danger was very great, and they were not able to prevent his 
body from faUing into the hands of the enemy, the warrior 
who was nearest to the dead Chief, took his scalp and fled, at 



120 '^^^ MUSCOGEES OR CREEKS. 

CHAPTER the same time raising a cry, known only among the savages. 

^^* He then went to the spot which the deceased Chief had in- 
Part2. ^. ^ , , / , . .... 

dicated, as the place of rendezvous, should his army be beaten. 

All the subordinate Chiefe, being made aware of his death, 

by this cry, made dispositions to retreat; and, this being 

effected, they proceeded to the election of his successor, before 

^'^ taking any other measures. The Creeks were very warlike, 
and were not rebuffed by a defeat. On the morrow, after an 
unfortunate battle, they advanced with renewed intrepidity, to 
encounter their enemy anew. 

When they advanced towards an enemy, they marched 
one after another, the Chief of the party being at the head. 
They arranged themselves in such a manner as to place the 
foot of every one in the track made by the first. The last one 
concealed even that track with grass. By this means they 
kept from the enemy any knowledge of their number. When 
they made a halt, for the purpose of encamping, they formed 
in a circle, leaving a passage only large enough to admit a 
single man. They sat cross-legged, and each one had his 
gun by his side. The Chief faced the entrance of the circle, 

1778 and no warrior could go out without his permission. At the 
time of sleeping he gave a signal, and after that no person 
could stir. Rising was performed at the same signal. It 
was ordinarily the Grand Chief who marked out positions, 
and placed sentinels to watch for the security of the army. 
He always had a great number of runners, both before and 
behind, so that an army was rarely surprised. They, on the 
contrary, conducted wars against the Europeans entirely by 



THE MUSCOGEES OR CREEKS. J21 

sudden attacks, and they were very dangerous to those who chapter 

were not aware of them.* ^^' 

Part 3. 
"When the Creeks returned from war with captives, they march- 
ed into their town with shouts and the firing of guns. They 
stripped them naked and put on their feet bear-skin mocca- 
sins, with the hair exposed. The punishment was always 
left to the women, who examined their bodies for their war- 
marks. Sometimes the young warriors, who had none of 
these honorable inscriptions, were released and used as slaves. 
But the warrior of middle age, even those of advanced years, 
suffered death by fire. The victim's arms were pinioned, and one 
end of a strong grape vine tied around his neck, while the other 
was fastened to the top of a war-pole, so as to allow him to 
track around a circle of fifteen yards. To secure his scalp 
against fire, tough clay was placed upon his head. The im- 
mense throng of spectators were now filled with delight, and 
eager to witness the inhuman spectacle. The suffering war- 
rior was not dismayed, but, with a manly and insulting voice, 
sang the war-song. The women then made a furious onset 
with flaming torches, dripping with hot, black pitch, and ap- 
plied them to his back and all parts of his body. Suffering 
excruciating pain, he rushed from the pole with the fury of • 
a wild beast, kicking, biting and trampling his cruel assail- 
ants under foot. But fresh numbers came on, and after a long 
time, and when he was nearly burned to his vitals, they ceased 
and poured water upon him to relieve him — only to prolong 

*Sejoar dans la nation Cr6ck, par Le Clerc Milfort, pp. 240, 25242184219. 

8 



]^22 ^^^ MUSCGGEES OR CREEKS. 

CHAPTER their sport. They renewed their tortures, when, with champ- 

^^' ing teeth and sparkling eye-balls, he once more broke through 

^- '■ the de.ou throng to the extent of his rope, and acted every 

part that the deepest desperation could prompt. Then he 

died. Ills head was scalped, his body quartered, and the 

limbs carried over the town in triumph.* 

An enumeration of the towns found in the Creek nation 

1798 by Col. Hawkins, in 1798, will conclude the notice of the 

manners and customs of these remarkable people, though, 

hereafter, they will often be mentioned, in reference to their 

commerce and wars with the Americans. 

TOWNS AMONG THE UPPER CREEKS. 

Tal-e-se, derived from Tal-o-fau, a town, and e-se, taken — 
situated in the fork of the Eufaube, upon the left bank of the 
Tallapoosa. 

Took-a-batcha, opposite Tallese. 

Auttose, on the left side of Tallapoosa, a few miles below 
the latter. 

Ho-ith-le-waule — from ho-ith-le, war, and waule, divide — 
right bank of the Tallapoosa, five miles below Auttose. 

Foosce-hat-che — ^fooso-wau, a bird, and hat-che, tail — two 
miles below the latter, on the right bank. 

Cou-loo-me was below and adjoining the latter. 

E-cun-hut-ke — e-cun-nau, earth, and hut-ke, white — below 
Coo-loo-me, on the same side of the Tallapoosa. 

Sou-van-no-gee, left bank of the river. 

* Adair, pp. 390-391. 



THE MUSCOGEES OR CREEKS. J23 

Mook-lau-sau, a mile below the latter, same side. chapter 

Coo-sau-dee, three miles below the confluence of the Coo- ^* 

Part 3. 
sa and Tallapoosa, on the west bank of the Alabama. 

E-cun-chate — e-cun-na, earthy chate, red — (now a part of 1798 
the city of Montgomery.) 

Too-was-sau, three miles below, same side of the Alabama. 

.Pau-woe-te, two miles below the latter, same side. 

Au-tau-gee, right side of the Alabama, near the mouth of 
the creek of the same name. 

Tus-ke-gee — in the fork of the Coosa and Tallapoosa, on 
the east bank of the former — the old site of Forts Toulouse 
and Jackson. 

Hoochoice and Hookchoie-ooche, towns just above the latter. 

0-che-a-po-fau, o-che-ub, hickory tree^ and po-fau, in or 
among — east bank of the Coosa, on the plain just below the 
city of Wetumpka. 

We-wo-cau — we-wau water^ wo-cau barking or roaring — on 
a creek of that name, fifteen miles above the latter. 

Puc-cun-tal-lau-has-see — epuc-cun-nau, rnay-ajople^ tal-lau- 
has-se, old town — in the fork of a creek of that name. 

Coo-sau, on the left bank of that river, between the mouths 
of Eufaule and Nauche, (creeks now called Talladega and 
Kiamulgee.) 

Au-be-cho-che, on Nauche creek, ^wq miles from the Coosa. 

Nau-che, on same creek, five miles above the latter. 1798 

Eu-fau-lau-hat-che, fifteen miles still higher up on the same 
creek. 

Woc-co-coie — woc-co, blow hom^ coie, a nest — on Tote-pauf- 
cau creek. 



124 THE MUSCOGEES OR CREEKS. 

CHAPTER Hill-au-bee, on col-luffa-de creek, which joins Hillaubee creek 

^^* on the right side, one mile below the town. 
Part 2. 

Thla-noo-che-au-bau-lau — thlen-ne, mountain, ooche, little^ 

au-bau-lau, over — on a branch of the Hillaubee. 

1798 Au-net-te-chap-co — aii-net-te, swamp, chap-co, long — on a 

branch of the Hillaubee. 

E-chuse-is-li-gau, where a young thing was found (a child 
was found here), left side of Hillaubee creek. 

Oak-tau-hau-zau-see — oak-tau-hau, sand, zau-see, great 
deal — on a creek of that name, a branch of the Hillaubee. 
1778 Oc-fus-kee — oc, in, fus-kee, a point — right bank of the 

Tallapoosa. 

New-yau-cau, named after ^ew York when Gen. McGil- 
. Hvary returned from there in 1790, twenty miles above the 
latter, on the left side of the Tallapoosa. 

Took-au-batche-tal-lau-has-se, four miles above the latter^ 
right side of the river. 

Im-mook-fau, a gorget made of a conch, on the creek of that 
name. 

Too-to-cau-gee — too-to, corn-house, cau-gee, standing — twen- 
ty miles above New-yau-cau, right bank of the Tallapoosa. 

Au-che-nau-ul-gau — auche-nau, cedar, ul-gau, all — ^forty 
miles above New-yau-cau, on a creek. It is the farthest north 
of all the Creek settlements. 

E-pe-sau-gee, on a large creek of that name. 
1798 Sooc-he-ah — sooc-cau — hog he-ab, here — right bank of the 

Tallapoosa, twelve miles above Oc-fus-kee. 

Eu-fau-lau, ^\e miles above Oc-fus-kee, right bank of the river. 



THE MUSCOGEES OR CREEKS. ][25 

Ki-a-li-jee, on the creek of that name, which joins the Tal- chapter 



II. 
Part 2. 



lapoosa on the right side. 

Au-che-nau-hat-che — au-che, cedar^ hat-che, creek. 

Hat-che-chub-bau — hat-che, creek, chub-bau, middle or half 
^ay, 

Sou-go-hat-che — sou-go, cymbal, (musical instrument) hat- 
che, creek — joins the Tallapoosa on the left side. 

Thlot-lo-gul-gau — thlot-lo, finh, ul-gau, all — called by trad- 
ers " Fish Pmids^'' on a creek, a bi'anch of the Ul-hau-hat-che. 1798 

0-pil-thluc-co — 0-pil-lo-wau, swamp, thlucco, big — twenty 
miles from the Coosa, a creek of that name. 

Pin-e-hoo-te — ^pin-e-wau, turkey, choo-te, house — a branch 
of the E-pee-sau-gee. 

Po-chlise-hat-che — po-chu-so-wau, hatchet, hat-che, creek — 
(in Coosa county.) 

Oc-fus-coo-che, little ocfuskee, four miles above New- 
yau-cau. 

TOWNS AMONG THE LOWER CREEKS. 

Chat-to-ho-che — chat-to, a stone, ho-che marked or flowered. 
Such rocks are found in the bed of that river above Ho-ith-le- 
te-gau. This is the origin and meaning of the name of that 
beautiful river. 

Cow-e-tough, on the right bank of the Chat-to-ho-che, three 
miles below the falls. 

0-cow-ocuh-hat-che, falls creek, on the right side of the i'* 
river at the termination of the falls. 

Hatche-canane, crooked creek, 

Wac-coo-che, calf creek, . 



126 '^^^ MUSCOGEES OR CREEKS. 

CHAPTER 0-«un-nup-pau, moss creek. 

Hat-che-thlucco, big creek. 
Part 2. ^ 

1798 Cow-e-tuh Tal-lau-has-se — Cowetuh Tal-lo-fau, a town^ 

basse, old — three miles below Cowetub, on tbe right bank of 

the Chattaboochie. 

We-tum-cau — we-wau water^ tum-cau rumbling^ — a main 
branch of tbe Uebee creek. 

Cus-se-tub, ^wQ miles below Cow-e-tub, on the left bank of 
tbe Chattaboochie. 

Au-put-tau-e, a village of Cussetub, on Hat-cbe-tbluc-co, 
twenty miles from tbe river. 

U-cbee, on tbe right bank of the Chat-to-bo-che, ten miles 
below Cowetuh Tallaubassee, and just below tbe mouth of tbe 
Ucbee creek. 

In-tucb-cul-gau — in-tucb-ke, dam across water — ul-gau, all; 
^"^ a Ucbee village, on Opil-tblacco, twenty-eight miles from its 
junction with Flint river. 

Pad-gee-H-gau — pad-jee a pigeon — li-gau sit, pigeon roost — 
on tbe right bank of Flint river (a Ucbee village). 

Toc-co-qul-egau, tadpole, on Kit-cbo-foone creek (a Ucbee 
village). 

Oose-oo-cbee, two miles below Ucbee, on tbe right bank of 
the Chattaboochie. 

Che-au-hau, below and adjoining tbe latter. 

Au-muc-cul-le, pour upon me, on a creek of that name, 
which joins on tbe right side of tbe Flint. 
^'^ 0-tel-who-yau-nau, hurricane town, on the right bank of 

tbe FMnt. 



THE MUSCOGEES OR CREEKS. 127 



Hit-che-tee, on the left bank of the Chattahoochie, one mile chapter 

below Che-au-hau. "• 

P&rt 2 
Che-au-hoo-che, Little Cheaukaw, one mile and a half west 

from Hit-che-tee. 

Hit-che-too-che, Little Hitchetee, on both sides of the Flint. 

Tut-tal-lo-see, fowl, on a creek of that name. 

Pala-chooc-le, on the right bank of the Chattahoochie. 

0-co-nee, six miles below the latter, on the left bank of the itm 
Chattahoochie. 

Sou-woo-ge-lo, six miles below Oconee, on the right bank. 

Sou-woog-e-loo-che, four miles below Oconee, on the left 
bank of the Chattahoochie. 

Eu-fau-la, fifteen miles below the latter, on the left bank of 
the same river. 

From this town settlements extended occasionally to the 
mouth of the Flint.* 

* Hawkins' " Sketch of the Creek Country in 1798-99," pp. 26-66. 
In addition to the published copy of this interesting pamphlet, sent to 
roe by I. K. Tefft, Esq., of Savannah, the Hon. F. W. Pickens, of South- 
Carolina, loaned me a manuscript copy of the same work, written by 
Col. Hawkins for his grandfather. Gen. Andrew Pickens, who was an 
intimate friend of Hawkins, and was associated with him in several 
important Indian treaties, and whose name will often be mentioned 
hereafter. 



8* 



J28 'THE NATCHEZ. 



PART III. 
MOBILIANS, CHATOTS, THOMEZ AND TENSAS. 

CHAPTER ^^ 1718, the French West India Company sent, from Ro- 
il* chelle, eight hundred colonists to Louisiana. Among them 
Part 3. ^^ ^ Frenchman of intelligence and high standing, named 
Le Page Du Pratz, who was appointed superintendent of the 
public plantations. After a residence of sixteen years in this 
country, he returned to France, and published an interesting 
work upon Louisiana. Du Pratz was often at Mobile, and about 
the period of 1721 found living, in that vicinity, a few small 
tribes of Indians, whom we will now describe. 

The Chatots were a very small tribe, who composed a town 
of about forty huts, adjoining the bay and river of Mobile. 
They appear to have resided at or near the present city of 
Mobile. The Chatots were great ft-iends of the French set- 
tlers, and most of them embraced the Catholic religion. 
North from Mobile, and upon the first bluffe on the same side 
of the river of that name, lived the Thomez, who were not 
more numerous than the Chatots, and who, also, had been 
taught to worship the true God. Opposite to them, upon the 
Tensa river, lived a tribe of Tensas, whose settlement con- 
sisted of one hundred huts. They were a branch of the 



1721 



1721 



THE NATCHEZ. ^29 



Natchez, and, like them, kept a perpetual fire burning in their chapter 
temple. ^^' 

Further north, and near the confluence of the Tombigby 
and Alabama, and above there, the Mobilians still existed. It 
was from these people, a remnant of whom survived the inva- 
sion of De Soto, that the city, river and bay derive their 
names.* They, also, kept a fire in their temple, which was 
never suffered for a moment to expire. Indeed, they had some 
pre-eminence in this particular — for, formerly, the natives ob- 
tained this holy light from their temples.f These small tribes iTffl 
were all living in peace with each other, upon the discovery of 
their country by the French, and continued so. Gradually, 
however, they became merged in the larger nations of the 
Choctaws and Chickasaws. They were all, sometimes, called 
the Mobile Indians, by the early French settlers. 

The Natchez once inhabited the south-western portion of 
the Mexican empire, but on account of the wars with which 17a 
they were continually harrassed by neighboring Indians, they 
began to wander north-east. Finally they settled upon the 
banks of the Mississippi, chiefly on the bluff where now stands 
the beautiful city which bears their name.J They retained, 
imtil they were broken up by the French, many of the reli- 
gious rites and customs of the Mexicans. Their form of govern- 

♦ Du Fratz's Louisiana, pp. 308-309. 

f Charlevoix's "Voyage to North America/' vol. 2, p. 273. 

t Du Pratz's Louisiana. 



180 



THE NATCHEZ. 



OHAFTER ment was distinguished from that of other tribes in Alabama 

^' and Mississippi, by its ultra despotism, and by the grandeur 
Parts. 



1721 



and haughtiness of its Chiefe. The Grand Chief of the 
Natchez bore the name of the Sun. Every morning, as soon 
as that bright luminary appeared, he stood at the door of his 
cabin, turned his face towards the east, and bowed three 
times, at the same time prostrating himself to the ground. 
A pipe, which was never used but upon this occasion, was 
then handed to him, from which he puffed smoke, first to- 
wards the Sun, and then towards the other three quarters of 
the world. He pretended that he derived his origin from the 
Sun, acknowledged no other master, and held absolute power 
over the Hves and goods of his subjects. When he or his 
nearest female relation died, his body-guard was obliged to 
follow to the land of spirits. The death of a Chief some- 
times resulted in that of an hundred persons, who considered 

1781 it a great honor to be sacrificed upon his death. Indeed, few 
Natchez of note died without being attended to the other 
world by some of their relatives, friends or servants. So eager 
were persons to sacrifice themselves in this way, that some- 
times it was ten years before their turn came ; and those who 
obtained the favor, spun the cord with which they were to be 
strangled.* 

The cabins of the Natchez were in the shape of pa\dlions, 

1721 low, without windows, and covered with corn-stalks, leaves 

* Charlevoix's " Voyage to North America," pp. 260-261. 



THE NATCHEZ. 13^ 



and cane matting. That of the Great Chief, which stood upon oh aptbr 

an artificial mound, and fronted a large square, was hand- "' 

P&rt 3« 
somelj rough-cast with clay, both inside and out. The tem- 
ple was at the side of his cabin, facing the east, and at the 
extremity of the square. It was in an oblong form, forty feet 
in length and twenty in breadth. Within it were the bones 
of the deceased Chiefs, contained in boxes and baskets. 
Three logs of wood, joined at the ends, and placed in a trian- 
gle, occupied the middle part of the floor, and burned slowly 
away, night and day. Keepers attended and constantly re- 
newed them.* The Great Sun informed Du Pratz, who had, in ^'^ 
1820, taken up his abode among them, that their nation was 
once very formidable, extending over vast regions and gov- 
erned by numerous Suns and nobihty ; that one of the keep- 
ers of the temple once left it on some business, and while he 
was absent, his associate keepers fell asleep ; that the fire went 
out, and that, in the terror and dismay into which they were 
thrown, they substituted profane fire, with the hope that their 
shameful neglect would escape unnoticed. But a dreadful 
calamity was the consequence of this negligence. A horrible 
malady raged for years, during which many of the Suns, and 
an infinite number of people, died.f This fire was kept constant- 
ly burning in honor of the Sun, which they seemed to worship 
and adore above everything else. In the spring of 1 700, Iben- i'* 

* Charlevoix's Voyage to North America, p. 256. 
I Du Pratz' Louisiana, p. 333. 



132 



THE NATCHEZ. 



CHAPTER ville, in company with a few of his colonial people, visited the 
^^' Natchez. While there, one of the temples was consumed by 
lightning. The Priests implored the women to cast their 
children in the flames to appease the anger of their divinity. 
Before the French, by prayers and entreaties, could arrest this 
horrible proceeding, some of the innocent babes were already 
1700 roasting in the flames.* At this time, the Natchez, reduced 
by wars and by the death of the nobility, upon whose decease 
the existence of many others terminated, did not exceed a 
population of twelve hundred. 

Fort Rosalie, erected by the French in 17 16, upon the bluflf 

which sustains the city of Natchez, had a garrison of soldiers 

« ^'? ^ and numerous citizens. On the morning of the 28th Novem- 

Aovember 28 ° 

ber, 1729, the Great Sun and his warrioi-s suddenly fell upon 
them, and before noon the whole male population were in the 
sleep of death. The women, children and slaves were re- 
served as prisoners of war. The consternation was great 
throughout the colony when this horrible massacre became 
known. The French and Choctaws united, and drove the 
Natchez upon the lower Washita, just below the mouth of 
Little river. Here the latter erected mounds and embank- 
ments for defence, which covered an area of four hundred 
acres. In the meantime, having obtained assistance from 
1788 France, the colonists marched against this stronghold, and, 

January 

in January, 1733, made a successful attack. They captured 
* Gayarre's History of Louisiana, voL 1, p. 73. 



THE NATCHEZ. J 33 



the Great Sun, several of the War Chiefs and four hundred chapter 
and twenty-seven of the tribe, who were sent from New ^^' 
Orleans to St. Domingo, as slaves. The remainder of the tribe 
made their escape. Some of them sought asylums among the 
Chickasaws and Creeks, while others scattered in the far 
west* 

* The Natchez have been mentioned at length by a number of French 
authors, who were eye-witnesses of their bloody rites and ceremonies. 
See Bossu's Travels in Louisiana, vol. 1, pp. 32-67. Dumont's Louis- 
iana, vol. 1, pp. 1] 8-132. Charlevoix's Voyage to North America, vol. 
2, pp. 252-274. Du Pratz' Louisiana, pp. 79-95-291-316. Les Natch- 
ez, par M. Le Vicomptede Chateaubriand — of this woik 400 pages are 
taken up with the Natchez. Jesuits in America — a recent publication. 
Many other works in my possession, upon Louisiana and Florida, 
allude briefly to that tribe. 



134 THE CHOCTAWS. 



PART IV. 
THE CHOCTAWS AND CHICKASAWS. 

CHAPTER The Choctaws and Chickasaws descended from a people 

^^* called the Cliickemicaws, who were among the first inhabitants 
Part 4. . . 

of the Mexican empire. At an ancient period they began to 

wander towards the east, in company with the Choccomaws. 

Period After a time they reached the Mississippi river and crossed it 

unknown •' ^ -^ 

arriving in this country with an aggregate force of ten thou- 
sand warriors. The Choccomaws established themselves upon 
the head-waters of the Yazoo, the Chickasaws upon the 
northwestern sources of the Tombigby, and the Choctaws 
upon the territory now embraced in southern Mississippi and 
south-western Alabama. They thus gradually became three 
distinct tribes ; but the Chickasaws and Choccomaws were 
generally known by the name of the former, while the Choc- 
taws spoke the same language, with the exception of a differ- 
ence produced by the intonation of the voice.* 

Upon the first settlement of Mobile by the French, they 

1700 found that the Choctaws and the remnant of the Mobihans 

employed the same language. Indeed, we have seen that the 

* Adair's American Indians, pp. 5, 66, 352. 



THE CHOQTAWS. J 35 



great Mobilian Chief, in 1540, had a name which was derived chapter 

from two well-known Choctaw words — Tusca, warrior, and ^^' 

Part 4. 
lusa, black. The Indians who fought De Soto at Cabusto, j-^ * 

upon the Warrior, and who extended their lines six miles up 
and down its western banks to oppose his crossing, were the 
Pafallayas. They are believed to have been no other people 
than the Choctaws. There is a word in the language of the 
latter called fallaya — long* It is scarcely necessary to remind 
the reader that the Chickasaws were living in the upper part 
of Mississippi when De Soto invaded it, and that they fought iMi 
him with great courage. Now, as the Choctaws, according 
to tradition, came with them to this country, and were a por- 
tion of the same family, it is reasonable to suppose that the 
Pafallayas, the brave allies of Tuscaloosa, were the Choctaws — 
especially when taken in connection with collateral evidence 
in our possession. The tradition of the migration of the 
Chickasaws and Chocta^vs from the Mexican empire has been ''^"od 

unknown 

preserv-ed by the former alone ; while the latter, with few ex- 
ceptions, have lost it. On the road leading from St. Stephens, 
in Alabama, to the city of Jackson, Mississippi, was, some 
years ago, a large mound, embracing at the base about two 
acres, and rising forty feet high in a conical form, and enclosed 
by a ditch encompassing twenty acres. On the top of it was a 
deep hole, ten feet in circumference, out of which the ignorant 
portion of the Choctaws believed that their ancestors once 

• Transactions of the American Antiquarian Society, vol. 2, p. 105. 
(A paper read before the society by Albert Gallatin.) 



^36 THE CHOCTAWS. 



CHAPTER sprung as thick as bees, peopling the whole of that part of the 

^^' country. They had great regard for this artificial elevation, and 

Part 4. 

called it Nannawyah, the signification of which is, nanna, 

hill, and wyah, mother. When hunting near this mound 

they were accustomed to throw into the hole the leg of a 

deer, thus feeding their mother. One day in 1810, Mr. Geo. 

S. Gaines, the United States Choctaw Factor, in going to the 

Agency, rode up on this mound, which lay near the road. 

lao Presently a good many warriors passed by, and, after he had 

satisfied his curiosity, he rode on and overtook them. The 

Chief, who was no less a personage than the celebrated Push- 

matahaw, with a smile full of meaning and mischief, said — 

"Well, Mr. ^Gainis,'' 1 suppose you have been to pay our 

mother a visit ; and what did she say ? " Your mother, 

said the Factor, observed that her children were poor, had 

become too numerous to inhabit the country they were then 

occupying, and desired very much that they would sell their 

lands to the United States and move west of the Mississippi, 

to better and more extensive hunting grounds.* The old 

Chief laughed immoderately, vociferating " Holauba ! holau- 

ba ! feenah. {It^s a lie, ifs a lie, Ws a real lie,) Our good 

mother never could have made such remarks." On the jour- 

1810 ney he conversed much with Mr. Gaines upon the Indian tradi- 

• •• 

* It was the policy of all the Indian Agents to encourage the emi- 
gration of the Indians further west, and they never let an opportunity 
slip of alluding to it. 



THE CHOC TAWS. 



137 



tions, and said that the true account was that his ancestors chapter 

came from the west.* ^^' 

• Part 4. 

In l77l, the population of the Choctaw nation was con- 
siderable. Two thousand three hundred warriors were upon 
the superintendent's books at Mobile, while two thousand itti 
more were scattered over the country, engaged in hunting. 
At that period Capt. Roman passed through seventy of their 
towns.f The eastern district of the nation was known as Oy- 
pat-oo-coo-la, or the small nation. The western was called 
Oo-coo-la, Falaya. Oo-coola, Hanete and Chickasaha. 

These people were more slender in their form than other 
tribes. The men were raw-boned and astonishingly active. 
None could excel them in the ball play, or run as fast upon 1745 
level ground.J Both sexe-s were well made, and the features 
of the females were lively and agreeable. They had the 
habit of inscribing their faces and bodies with a blue indelible 
ink, which appears to have been the practice of all the tribes to 
which it has been our province to allude. The Choctaws 
formed the heads of the infants into difterent shapes by com- 
pression, but it was chiefly applied to the forehead, and hence 
they were called, by tradere, " flat heads." The infant was 
placed in a cradle, with his feet elevated twelve inches above 

a horizontal position, while his head was bent back and rested 
in a hole made for the purpose. A small bag of sand was 

* Conversations with Mr. George S. Gaines. See, also. Barnard 
Roman's Florida, pp. 7] -90. 
t Roman, pp. 70-90. t Adair. 



][38 ^^^ CHOCTAWS. 



CHAPTER fixed upon the forehead, and as the little fellow could not 

^^' move, the shape required was soon attained, for at that age 
Part 4. 



1745 



the skull is capable of receiving any impression.* 

The dress of the male Choctaw was similar to that of the 
Creeks, and was influenced in its style by his wealth or pover- 
ty. But they all wore the buck-she-ah-ma, flap, made of 
woollen cloth or buckskin. The female had usually only a petti- 

1746 coat reaching from the waist to the knees, while some of the 
richer classes wore a covering also upon the neck and shoulder, 
and little bells fastened to a buckskin garter, which clasped 
the leg just below the knee. They wore ornaments in their 
ears, noses and around the fingers, Hke the Creeks. They 
were not cleanly in their persons like the Creeks, who were 
eternally engaged in bathing ; but, strange to relate of Indians, 
very few of the Choctaws could swim, a fact recorded by all 

1759 early travellers among them. As they seldom bathed, the 
smoke of their lightwood fires made their bodies, assume a 
soot color.f Peculiarly fond of the taste of horse flesh, they 

1780 preferred it to beef, even if the animal had died a natural 
death ; and it was not uncommon for them to devour snakes 
when hard pressed for food.J Yet, notwithstanding, they 
were, upon the whole, very agreeable Indians, being invariably 
cheerful, witty and cunning. The men, too, unlike the proud 
Chiefs of other nations, helped the women to work, and did 
not consider it a degradation to hire themselves for that pur- 

* Adair, pp. 8-9. f Bossu's Travels, p. 298. 

i Milfort, p. 290 ; Adair, p. 133. 



THE CHOCTAWS. J 39 



pose to their constant friends the French, and afterwards to chapter 

the English.* No Indians, moreover, excelled them in hospi- ^^' 

Part 4. 
tality, which they exhibited particularly in their hunting camps, j^ 

where all travellers and visitors were received and entertained 

with a hearty welcome. In regard to their habits in the 

chase, it may here be observed, that they excelled in killing 

bears, wild-cats, and panthere, pursuing them through the 

immense cane swamps with which their country abounded ; 

but that the Creeks and Chickasaws were superior to them 

in overcoming the fleet deer. While hunting, the liver of the 

game was divided into as many pieces as there were camp fires, 

and wa3 carried around by a boy, who threw a piece into each 

fire, intended, it would seem, as a kind of sacrifice. 

The Choctaws were superior orators. They spoke with 
good sense, and used the most beautiful metaphors. They 
had the power of changing the same words into different sig- 
nifications, and even their common speech was full of these 
changes. Their orations were concise, strong and full of fire.f 1745 
Excessive debauchery, and a constant practice of begging, con- 
stituted their most glaring faults ; and it was amusing to 
witness the many ingenious devices and shifts to which they 
resorted, to obtain presents. 

Timid in war against an enemy abroad, they fought Hke 
desperate veterans, when attacked at home. On account of 
their repugnance to invading the country of an enemy, in 
which they were unhke the Creeks and Chickasaws, they 

* Roman, pp. 71-90. f Adair, p. 1 1 . 



\ 



140 THE CHOCTAWS. 

CHAPTER were often taunted by these latter nations with the charge of 

^^' cowardice. Frequently, exasperated by these aspersions, they 
Part 4. 
1746 "would boldly challenge the calumniators to mortal combat 

upon an open field. But the latter, feigning to believe that 

true Indian courage consisted in slyness and stratagem, rarely 

accepted the banter. However, in 1765, an opportunity 

1'® oflfered in the streets of Mobile, when Hoopa, at the head of 

• forty Choctaws, fell upon three hundred Creeks, and routed 

and drove them across the river, into the marsh. Hooma 
alone killed fifteen of them, and was then despatched himself 
by a retreating Creek. They were pursued no ftirther because 
the Choctaws could not swim. 

They did not torture a prisoner, in a protracted manner, 
like other tribes. He was brought home, despatched with a 
bullet or hatchet, and cut up, and the parts burned. The scalp 
was suspended from the hot-house, around which the women 
danced imtil they were tired. They were more to be relied 
upon as allies, than most other American Indians. The 

^'® Creeks were their greatest enemies. In August, 1765, a war 
began between them, and raged severely for six years.* Art- 
ftd in deceiving an enemy, they attached the paws or trotters 
of panthers, bears and buffaloes, to their own feet and hands, and 
wound about the woods, imitating the circHngs of those animals. 
Sometimes a large bush was carried by the front warrior, con- 
cealing himself and those behind him, while the one in the 

i7tf extreme rear defaced all the tracks with grass. Most ezcel- 

* Roman, pp. 70-91. 



THE CHOCTAWS. 



141 



lent trackers themselves, they well understood how to deceive chapter 

the enemy, which ihey, also, effected by astonishing powers ^^' 

Part 4 
in imitating every fowl and quadruped. Their leader could 

never directly assume the command, but had, rather, to con- 
duct his operations by persuasion.* 

Gambling was a common vice, and even boys engaged in 

it by shooting at marks for a wager. In addition to the great 

ball play, which was conducted like that of the Creeks, already 

described, they had an exciting game called Chunke, or, by 

some of the traders, "running hard labor." An alley was 1745 

made, two hundred feet long, with a hard clay surface, which 

was kept swept clean. Two men entered upon it to play. 

They stood six yards from the upper end, each with a pole 

twelve feet long, smooth and tapering at the end, and with 

the points flat. One of them took a stone in the shape of a 

grind-stone, which was two spans round, and two inches thick on 

the edges. He gave it a powerful hurl down the alley, when 

both set off after it, and running a few yards, the one who did 

not roll, cast his pole, which was anointed with bear's oil, with a 

trae aim at the stone in its flight. The other player, to defeat his 1745 

object, immediately darted his pole, aiming to hit the pole of his 

antagonist. If the first one hit the stone he counted one, and if 

the other, by the dexterity of his cast, hit his pole and knocked 

it from its proper direction, he also counted one. If both of 

the players missed, the throw was renewed. Eleven was the 

game, and the winner had the privilege of casting the stone. 



\ 
\ 



* Adair, p. 309— Bossu, p. 297. 



142 THE CHOCTAWS. 



CHAPTER In this manner the greater part of the day was passed, at half 

speed ; the players and bystanders staking their ornaments, 
Part 4. 
1771 wealing apparel, skins, pipes and arms upon the result. Some- 

JJ^ times, after a fellow had lost aU, he went home, borrowed a 
gun, and shot himself. The women, also, had a game with 
sticks and balls, something like the game of battledoor.* 

The funeral ceremonies of the Choctaws were singular, and, 
indeed, horrible, but hke those of nearly all the aborigines at 
the time of the invasion of De Soto. As soon as the breath 
departed fi*om the body of a Choctaw, a high scaffold was 
erected, thirty-six feet fi-om the dwelling where the deceased 
died. It consisted of four forks set in the ground, across which 
poles were laid, and then a floor made of boards or cypress 
bark. It was stockaded with poles, to prevent the admission 
of beasts of prey. The posts of the scaffold were painted with 
a mixture of vermihon and bear's oil, if the deceased was an 
Indian of note. The body, enveloped in a large bear-skin, 
was hauled up on the scaffold by ropes or vines, and laid out at 
length. The relations assembled, and wept and howled with 
mournful voices, asking strange questions of the corpse, ac- 
cording to the sex to which it belonged. " Why did you 
^'^ leave us ?" " Did your wife not serve you well ?" Were 
1771 you not contented with your children ?" Did you not have 
1746 corn enough?" "Did not your land produce?" "Were 
1759 yQu afraid of your enemies ?" To increase the solemnity and- 
importance of the funeral of a noted Indian, persons wer& 



* Roman, pp. 70-91. — ^Adair, p. 402.— Bossu, p. 306. 



THE CHOCTAWS. 143 

hired to cry — the males having their heads hung with black chapter 

moss, and the females suffering their hair to flow loosely to ^^' 

Part 4. 
the winds. These women came at all hours, for several 

weeks, to mourn around the scaffold ; and, on account of the 
horrid stench, frequently fainted, and had to be borne away. 
When the body had thus lain three or four months, the Bone- 
Picker made his appearance. In 1*7 7 2, there were ^\e of 
these hideous undertakera in the Choctaw nation, who travel- 
led about in search of scaffolds, and the horrible work which 
will be described. The bone-picker apprised the relatives of 
the deceased that the time had arrived when dissection should 
take place. Upon the day which he had appointed, the rela- i746 
tives, friends, and others hired to assist in mourning, sur- im 
rounded the scaffold. The bone-picker mounted upon it, with i782 
horrid grimaces and groans, took off the skin, and commenced 1777 
his disgtdting work. He had very long and hard nails, grow- 
ing on the thumb, fore and middle fingers of each hand. He 
tore off the flesh with his nails, and tied it up in a bundle. 
He cleaned the bones, and also tied up the scrapings. Leav- 
ing the latter on the scaffold, he descended v?ith the bones 
upon his head. All this time the assembly moaned and howled 
most awfully. They then painted the head with vermihon, 
which, together with all the bones, was placed in a nice box 
with a loose Hd. If the bones were those of a Chief, the coffin 
also wai painted red. Next, fire was appHed to the scaffold, 
around which the assembly danced and frightfully whooped 
until it was consumed by the flames. Then a Ifng procession 
was formed and the bones were carried, amid weeping and 



144 ^^^ CHOCTA.WS. 

CHAPTER moaning, to the bone-house, of which every town of impor- 

^^' tance had several. These houses were made by four pitch- 
Part 4. . . . ^ JT 

pine posts being placed in the ground, upon the top of which 

was a scaffold floor. On this a steep roof was erected, like 

that of some modern houses, with the gables left open. There 

the box was deposited, with other boxes containing bones. 

1745 In the meantime a great feast had been prepared, and some- 

1771 times three horses were cooked up, if the deceased was wealthy. 

1782 But the infernal bone-picker stilJ was master of ceremonies, 

1777 and having only wiped his filthy, bloody hands with grass, 

served out the food to the whole assembly.* 

When the bone-house was full of chests, a general inter- 
ment took place. The people assembled, bore off the chests 
in procession to a plain, with weeping, howling and ejacula- 
tions of Allelujah ! AUelujah ! The chests containing the 
bones were arranged upon the ground in order, rforming a 
pyramid. They then covered all with earth, which raised a 
conical mound. Then returning home, the day was concluded 
with a feastf 

The Choctaws entertained a great veneration for their 
medicine men or doctors, who practiced upon them constant 
frauds. Their fees were exorbitant, and required to be satis- 
fied in advance. When a doctor had attended a patient a 
17*5 long time, and the latter had nothing more to give as pay- 
^"^ ment, he usually assembled the relations in private, informed 

« Adair, pp.183-188. Roman, pp. 71-90. Milfort, pp. 293-298. 
f Bartram, pp. 514-515. 



THE CHOCTAWS. ^45 



them that he had done all in his power, and had exhausted chapter 

his skill in endeavoring to restore their fiiend ; that he would ^^' 

Part 4. 
surely die, and it was best to terminate his sufferings. Re- -__ * 

posing the blindest confidence in this inhuman declaration, ^'^ 
two of them then jumped upon the poor fellow and strangled 
him. In 1*782, one of these doctors thus began to consult 
with the relations upon the case of a poor fellow. While they 
were out of the house, he suspected their intentions, and 
making an unnatural effort, crawled to the woods which for- 
tunately was near the house. It was night, and he succeeded 
in getting beyond their reach. The doctor pei-suaded them 
that he was certainly dead, and they erected a scaffold as 
though he were upon it and wept around it. Fortunately, iTsa 
laying his hands upon an opossum, the poor fellow eat of \t 
from time to time, and gained strength, now that he had 
escaped the clutches of the doctor, who had nearly smoked 
and bled him into the other world. At length, after much suf- 
fering, he made his way to the Creek nation and threw himself 
upon the compassion of Colonel McGillivray, who had him 
restored to health by proper attention. Again going back to 
his nation, at the expiration of three months, he arrived at 1788 
the house from which he had escaped, at the very time that 
the people were celebrating his funeral by burning the scaf- 
fold and dancing around it. His sudden appearance filled 
them with horror and dismay. Some fled to the woods, 
others fell upon the ground. Alarmed himself, he retreated 
to the house of a neighbor, who instantly fell on his face, say- 
ing, " Why have you left the land of spirits if you were happy 



146 



THE CHOCTAWS. 



CHAPTER there ? Why do you return among us ? Is it to assist in 

^^' the last feast which your family and your friends make for 
Part 4. 



1782 



you ! Go ! return to the land of the dead for fear of renew- 
ing the sorrow which they have felt at your loss !" Shimned 
by all his people, the poor Choctaw went back to the Creek 
nation, married a Tuskegee women, and lived in that town 
the balance of his lite. Before his door lay the four French 
cannon of old Fort Toulouse. When the Choctaws had be- 
come satisfied that he did not die, and was really alive, they 
killed the doctor who had deceived them. They often en- 
treated the fellow to return home, but he preferred to remain 
among a people who would not strangle him when he was 
sick.* 

The Choctaws had no other religion than that which at- 
tached to their funeral rites. The French, to whom they were 
warmly attached, sought in vain to convert them to Christianity. 
At Chickasaha, they erected a chapel and gave the control 
of it to a Jesuit missionary. When tlie English took posses- 
sion of this country, the Choctaws of that place would, for 
the amusement of their new friends, enter the old chapel, and 
go through the Catholic ceremonies, ipimicing the priest with 
surprising powers. In 1 7 71, Capt. Roman saw the lightwood 
cross stUl standing, but the chapel had been destroyed. 

The Chickasaws, although at the period of 17 71 a small 

t77i nation, were once numerous, and their language waa spoken by 

many tribes in the Western States. They were the fiercest^ 

* Milfort, pp. 298-304. 



THE CHICKASAWS. 14^ 

most insolent, haughty and cruel people among the Southern ohaptbr 

Indians. They had proved their bravery and intrepidity in ''* 

Part 4. 
constant wars. In 1541, they attacked the camp of De Soto jg^ 

in a most furious midnight assault, threw his army into dis- 
may, killed some of his soldiei-s, destroyed all his baggage, 
and burnt up the town in which he was quartered. In 11 S6, 
they whipped the French under Bienville, who had invaded 
their country, and forced them to retreat to Mobile. In 1753, i763 
MM. Bevist and Regio encoi^ntered defeat at their hands. 
They continually attacked the boats of the French voyagers 
•upon the Mississippi and Tennessee. They were constantly 
at war with the Kickapoos and other tribes upon the Ohio, 
but were defeated in most of these engagements. But with 
the English, as their allies, they were eminently successful 
against the Choctaws and Creeks, with whom they were often 
at variance. 

The Chickasaws were great robbers, and, like the Creeks, 
often invaded a country, killing the inhabitants and carrying 
off slaves and plunder. The men considered the cultivation 
of the earth beneath them ; and, when not engaged in hunting 
or warfare, slept away their time or played upon flutes, while 
their women were at work. They were athletic, well-formed 
and graceful. The women were cleanly, industrious, and 
generally good-looking. 

In nil, they lived in the centre of a large and gently roll- itti 
ing prairie, three miles square. They obtained their water 
from holes, which dried up in summer. In this prairie was 
an assemblage of houses one mile and a half long, very nar- 

9* 



148 THE CHICKASAWS. 

CHAPTER row and irregular, which was divided into seven towns, as fol- 

^^' lows : 

Part 4. 

Mellattau — hat and feather, 

Chatelau — copper town, 

Chuckafalaya — long town, 

Hickihaw — stand still, 

Chucalissa — great town. 

Tuckahaw — a certain weed, 

Ash-wick-boo-ma — red grq^s. 

The last was once well fortified with palisades, and there 
they defeated D'Artaguette. The nearest running water was two 
miles distant ; the next was four miles off, to which point 
canoes could ascend from the Tombigby in high tide. The 
ford, which often proved difficult of crossing, was called Na- 
irn hoola Inalchubba — the white mavUs hard labor. Horses and 
cattle increased rapidly in this country. The breed of the for- 
mer descended from importations from Arabia to Spain, from 
Spain to Mexico, and from thence to the Chickasaw nation. 
Here they ran wild in immense droves, galloping over the 
beautiful prairies, the sun glittering upon their various colors. 
They were owned by the Indians and traders. 

The Chickasaws were very imperious in their carriage to- 
wards females, and extremely jealous of their wives. Like the 
Creeks, they punished adultery by beating with poles until 
1771 the sufferer was senseless, and then concluded by cropping 
the ears, and, for the second offence, the nose or a piece of th^ 
upper hp. Notwithstanding they resided so far from larg» 
streams, they were all excellent swimmers, and their childrec*. 



THE CHICKASAWS. 



149 



were taught that art in clay holes and pools, which remained chapter 
filled with water unless the summer was remarkably dry. ^^• 

Of all the Indians in America, they were the most expert in . 
tracking. They would follow their ^ying enemy on a long 
gallop over any kind of ground without mistaking, where per- 
haps only a blade of grass bent down, told the footprint. 
Again, when they were leisurely hunting over the woods, and 
came upon an indistinct trail recently made by Indians, they itsb 
knew at once of what nation they were by the footprints, the 1745 
hatchet chops upon the trees, their camp-fires, and other dis- iis» 
tinguishing marks. They were also esteemed to be admirable 
hunters, and their extensive plains and unbroken forests af- 
forded them the widest field for the display of their skill. In 
1771, their grounds extended from Middle Mississippi to the 
mouth of the Ohio and some distance into the territory 
of the present State of Tennessee. But this extreme north- 
em ground they visited with caution, and only in the 
winter, when their northern enemies were close at home. 
They were often surprised on the sources of the Yazoo, 1745* 
hut below there, and as far east as the branches of the iTsa 
Tombigby to Oaktibbehaw, they hunted undisturbed. This 17» 
last point they regarded as the boundary between them 
and the Choctaws. With the latter they had no jealousies 
in regard to the chase, and they sported upon each others' 
grounds when not at war. Although the country of the 
Chickasaws abounded with that valuable animal, the beaver, 1771 
they left them for the traders to capture, saying, " Anybody 
can kill a beaver." They pursued the more noble and difl&- 



150 



THE CHICKASAWS. 



CHAPTER cult sport of Overcoming the fleet deer, and the equally swift 

^^' and more formidable elk. 
Part 4. 

The summer habitations of the Chickasaws were cabins of 

an oblong shape, near wtiich were corn-houses. In the yard 
stood also a winter-house, of a circular form. Having no chim- 
neys, the smoke found its way out of this "hot-house" wherever 
it could. These they entered, and slept all night, stifled with 
" 1M6 smoke, and, no matter how cold the morning, they came forth 
naked and sweating as soon as the day dawned. These houses 
were used by the sick also, who, remaining in them until pe]^ 
spiration ensued, jumped suddenly into holes of cold water. 

They dried and pounded their corn before it came to ma- 
turity, which they called Boota-capassa — coal flour. A small 
quantity of this thrown into water, swelled immediately, and 
made a fine beverage. They used hickory-nut and bear's 
oil; and the traders learned them to make the hams of 
1771 tfie bear into bacon. In 17*71, the whole number of gunmen 
in the Chickasaw nation only amounted to about two hundred 
and fifty. It is astonishing what a handful of warriors had 
so long kept neighboring nations of great strength from de- 
stroying them. 
■ They buried their dead the moment vitality ceased, in the 
1771 very spot where the bed stood upon which the deceased lay, 
and the nearest relatives mourned over it with woful lamen- 
tations. This mourning continued for twelve moons, the wo- 
men practising it openly and vociferously, and the men silently.* 

* Barnard Roman's Florida, pp. 59-71. 



THE CHICKASAWS AND CHOCTAWS. 151 

The modern reader may form some idea of the Chickasaw chapter 

and Choctaw nations, as they once existed, by briefly tracing 

Part 4. 
the route of Capt. Roman through their country. He began 

1771 

his tour at Mobile, encamped at Spring Hill, passed the head September 20 
waters of Dog river, and again encamped at Bouge Hooma — 
red creek — the boundary between the English and the Choc- 
taws. Pursuing his journey, the camp was pitched at Hoopa September ao 
UUa — rwisy owl — where he saw the Creek painting described 
upon page 100. Then passing Okee Ulla — noisy water — and 
the towns of Coosa, Haanka Ulla — bawling goose — he crossed 
a branch of the Sookhan-Hatcha river. He reached a de- Octobers 
serted town called Etuck Chukke — blue wood — passed through 
Abecka, an inhabited town, and there crossed another branch 
of the Sookhan-Hatcha, and arrived at Ebeetap Oocoola, 
where the Choctaws had erected a large stockade fort. A 
south-western direction was now assumed, and Capt. Roman 
passed through the following towns: Chooka, Hoola, Oka 
Hoola, Hoola Tafla, Ebeetap Ocoola Cho, Oka Attakkala, 
and crossing Bouge Fooka and Bouge Chitto, which runs into 
Bouge Aithe-Tanne, arrived at the house of Benjamin James, October 23 
at Chickasaha. 

He set out from this place for the Chickasaw nation,* and November 10 
crossed only two streams of importance — Nashooba and Ok- 
tibbehaw. Without accident, he arrived at the Chickasaw 
towns enumerated upon page 148, and lying within a few 
miles of Pontitoc. He proceeded east-by-south five miles and Decembers 
crossed Nahoola-Inal-chubba — town creek — and then assumed 
a south-east direction, and arrived at the Twenty-mile creek, a 



152 



THE CHICKASAWS AND CHOCTAWS. 



CHAPTER large branch of the Tombigby. At the mouth of Nahoola-Inal- 

^^' chubba, Capt. Roman found a large canoe, in which he and 

Part 4. 

his companions embarked and proceeded down the Tombigby. 

One mile below, on the west bank, ihey passed a bluff on 

Decemh«r 26 ^hich the Freilch formerly had a fortified trading post. Capt 

1772 Roman next saw the mouth of the Oktibbehaw, the dividing 

Jannary 5 ' ° 

hue between the two nations, and passed the mouth of the 
January 7 Nasheba, ou the east. Floating with rapidity down the river, 
he next came to the Noxshubby, on the west side, and then 
to the mouth of a creek called Etomba-Igaby — box maker^s 
creek — where the French had a fort.* From this creek, the 
name of which has been corrupted by the French to " Tom- 
beckbe," and by the Americans to *' Tombigby," the river 
takes its name. Upon it hved an Indian who made chests to 
hold the bones of the Choctaws. 
January 10 Roman came to the confluence of the Tombigby and War- 
rior, and, a little below, passed some steep chalky bluflfe, which 
the traders called the Chickasaw Gallery^ because from this point 
they were accustomed to shoot at the French boats. On the 
top of this bluff was a vast plain, with some remains of huta 
standing upon it.f Three miles below the mouth of the Soukan- 
Hatcba, Roman came upon the old towns of the Coosawdas 
and Oahchois, commencing at Suctaloosa — hla^k bluff — and 
extending from thence down the river for some distance.J 

* Now, Jones's Bluff. j- Now the site of Demopolis. 

X Some of the Alabamas living at the town of that name below the 
confluence of the Coosa and Tallapoosa, and some Creeks of the town 



THE CHICKASAWS AND CHOCTAWS. J 53 

Next, passing a high bluff called Nanna Fallaya, he reached chapter 

Batcha Chooka, a bluff on the east side, where he encount- ^^' 

Part 4. 
ered a desperate band of thieves, belonging to the town of yj^^ ' 

Okaloosa, of the Choctaws. He then came to some bluflfe January is 
called Nanna Chahaws, where a gray flat rock, called Teeak- 
haily Ekutapa, rises out of the water. Here the people of 
Chickasaha once had a settlement. Lower down, the party 
saw a bluff upon the east side, called Yagna Hoolah — beloved 
ground — and encamped at the mouth of Sintabouge — snaJee 
creek — three miles below which was the English line separat- 
ing them from the Choctaws. Having entered the British 
settlements, Capt. Roman continued his voyage until he 
reached MobUe* ,„^„ 

of Oakchoy, to be nearer the French, who were their friends, moved 
upon the main Tombigby, and the deserted towns which Roman men- 
tions were those in which they had formerly lived. 
* Roman's Florida. 



154 THE CHEROKEES. 



PART V. 
THE CHEROKEES. 

CHAPTER It has been seen that De Soto passed over a portion of the 

* country of these Indians in the territory which embraces 
Jr Art o« 

1540 Northern Georgia. The name Cherokee is derived from Chera, 
fire ; and the Prophets of this nation were called Chera- 
taghge, men of divine fire. 

The first that we hear of the Cherokees, after the Spanish 
invasion, is their connection with the early British settlers of 
Virginia. A powerful and extensive nation, they even 
had settlements upon the Appomattox river, and were alKed 

1623 by blood with the Powhattan tribe. The Virginians drove 
them from that place, and they retreated to the head of the 
Holston river. Here, making temporary settlements, the 
Northern Indians compelled them to retire to the Little Tennes- 
see river, where they established themselves permanently. 
About the same time, a large branch of the Cherokees came 
from the territory of South-Carolina, near Charleston, and 
formed towns upon the main Tennessee, extending as far as 
the Muscle Shoals. They found all that region unoccupied^ 
except upon the Cumberland, where resided a roving band o^ 
Shawnees. But the whole country bore evidence of once 
having sustained a large Indian population. 



THE CHEROKEES. J55 

Such is the origin of the first Cherokee settlements upon chapter 

the main Tennessee, but the gi*eat body of the nation appears ^^' 

Part 5. 

to have occupied Northern Georgia and North-western CaroUna 

as far back as the earhest discoveries can trace them. 

But very Httle was known of these natives until the Eng- 
lished formed colonies in the two Carolinas. They are fii*st less 
mentioned when some of their Chiefs complained that the 
Savannas and Congerees attacked their extreme eastern set- 
tlements, captured their people and sold them as slaves in 
the town of Charleston. Two 'years afterwards, Governor 
Archdale, of CaroUna, arrested this practice, which induced 
the Cherokees to become friends of the English. They joined 1712 
the latter in a war against the Tuscaroras. But three years 
afterwards they became allies of the Northern Indians, and 
once more fought their European friends. At length Governor 
Nichalson concluded a peace with them, which was con- 1730 
firmed by Alexander Cummings, the British General Super- 
intendent of Indian Affairs. The Cherokees assisted the Enff- „ ^'? „^ 

° November 21 

lish in the capture of Fort Duquesne. When returning 
home, however, they committed some depredations upon the 
settlers of Virginia, which were resented. This, together with 
the influence of French emissaries, had the effect again to 
array them against the people of Georgia and the Carohnaa. 
Various expeditions marched against them, and their country 
"was finally invaded with success, by Colonel Grant. Having 
sued for peace, articles of amity and alliance were signed at ^'^ 

^ ' "^ ° November 19 

Xiong Island, upon the Holston. According to the traditions 
preserved by Judge Haywood, who wrote the History of 



156 THE CHEROKEES. 

CHAPTER Tennessee, the Cherokees originally came from the territory 

^^' now embraced by the Eastern States of the Union, in which 

Part 5. 

they differ from the other tribes of whom it has been our 

province to speak, all of whom came from the west. 

When they began to be visited by the Carolina traders, 
their nation was powerful and warlike, and was divided into 
two parts. The Upper Cherokees hved upon the rivers Tellico, 
, Great and Little Tennessee, the Holston and French Broad. 

The Lower Cherokees inhabited the country watered by the 
sources of the Oconee, the Ockmulgee and the Savannah. 
The great Unaka or Smoky mountain lay between and di^^ded 
the two sections.* Their whole country was the most beau- 
tiful and romantic in the known world. Their springs of deli- 
cious water gushed out of every hill and mountain side. Their 

1736 lovely rivers meandered, now smoothly and gently, through 
the most fertile vallies, and then, with the precipitancy and 
fleetness of the winds, rushed over cataracts and through 
mountain gaps. The forests were full of game, the rivers 
abounded with fish, the vales teemed with their various pro- 
ductions, and the mountains with fruit, while the pure atmos- 
phere consummated the happiness of the blest Cherokees. 

170Q About the period of I'ZOO, the Cherokee nation consisted 

of sixty-four towns. But the inhabitants of those situated in 
the upper district, were continually engaged in wars with the 

* Haywood's Aboriginal History of Tennesse, pp. 233-234. Trans- 
actions of the American Antiquarian Society, vol. 2, pp. 89-90 Adair's 
American Indians. 



THE CHEROKEES. 



157 



Nortliern Indians, while those below were harrassed by the chapter 

Creeks. Then again, the Cherokees had to encounter, first the ^^' 

Part 5; 

French, and then the English. From these causes, (added to 

which was the terrible scourge of the small pox, introduced 1788 
into Charleston by a slave ship, and thence carried into their 
country,) the population had greatly decreased — so that, in 
1740, the number of warriors was estimated at only ^ye 1740 
thousand. That year fiilly one thousand of these were de- 
stroyed by that disease.* 

The Cherokees were so similar to the Creeks in their form, 
color, general habits and pursuits, that the reader is requested 
to refresh his recollection in relation to our description of the 
latter, and will not be required, tediously, to retrace the same 
ground. Their ball plays, green corn dances, constant habit of 
indulging in the purifying black drink, their manner of con- 
ducting wars and of punishing prisoners, their council-houses, 1736 
their common apparel, and also their appearance during war, 
were all precisely hke those of the Creeks. And, in addition, 
they played Chunke, like the Choctaws. However, a careful 
examination of several authorities, has unfolded a few pecu- 
liarities, which will now be introduced. 

Unlike other Indian nations, who once trod our soil, the 
Cherokees had no laws against adultery. Both sexes were 1786 
unrestrained in this particular, and marriage was usually 
of short duration. 

On account of the pure air which they breathed, the exer- 

* Historical Collections of Georgia, vol. 2, p. 72. 



158 



THE CHEROKEES. 



CHAPTER cise of the chase, the abundance of natural productions which 

^^* the country afforded, and the delicious water which was al- 

Part 5 

ways near, the Cherokees lived to an age much more advanced 

than the other tribes which have been noticed in this chapter.* 
They observed some singular rules in relation to the burial 
of the dead. When a person was past recovery, (to prevent 
1735 pollution,) they dug a grave, prepared a tomb, anointed the 
hair of the patient and painted his face ; and when death en- 
sued, interment was immediately performed. After the third 
day, the attendants at the funeral appeared at the council- 
house and engaged in their ordinary pursuits, but the rela- 
tives lived in retirement and moaned for some time.f Such 
ceremonies, practiced upon a poor fellow in his last moments, 
and while in his senses, was certainly a cooler and more cruel 
method than that of the Choctaws, who, as we have seen, sud- 
denly jumped upon the patient and strangled him to death, 
after the doctor had pronounced his recovery impossible. 

It was formerly the habit of the Cherokees to shoot all the 
stock belonging to the deceased, and they continued to bury, 
with the dead, their guns, bows and household utensils. If 
one died upon a journey, hunt or war expedition, his com- 
panions erected a stage, upon which was a notched log pen, 
in which the body was placed to secure it from wild beasts. 
When it was supposed that sufficient time had elapsed, so 
that nothing remained but the bones, they returned to the 
spot, collected these, carried them home, and buried them with 



173S 



* Adair, pp. 226-228. f Adair, p. 126. 



THE CHEROKEES. 159 

great ceremony. Sometimes heaps of stones were raised as chapter 

monuments to the dead, whose bones they had not been able ^^* 

Part 5. 
to " gather to their fathers," and every one who passed by 

added a stone to the pile.* 

Henry Timberlake, a Lieutenant in the British service, was 
despatched with a small command from Long Island, upon ^^^l^^ ^s 
the Holston, to the Cherokee towns upon the Tellico and the 
Little Tennessee rivers. His object was to cultivate a good 
understanding with these people, who had, indeed, invited 
him to their country. He descended the Holston in canoes, to i76i 
the mouth of the Little Tennessee, and thence passed up that 
stream to their towns.- Spending some weeks here, he re- 
turned to Charleston with three Cherokee Chiefe, and sailed 
for England. Three years afterwards he pubhshed a book, 1762 
from which we have been enabled to gain some information 
respecting the Cherokees.f 

The Cherokees were of middle stature, and of an oUve color, 
but were generally painted, while their skins were stained with 
indelible ink, representing a variety of pretty figures. Ac- 
cording to Bartram, the males were larger and more robust 
than any others of our natives, while the women were tall, 
slender, erect, and of delicate frame, with features of perfect 
symmetry. With cheerful countenances, they moved about i778 
with becoming grace and dignity. Their feet and hands 
were small and exquisitely shaped. The hair of the male 

* Adair — Bartram. 

t Memoirs of Lieutenant Henry Timberlake. London : 1765. 



IgO THE CHEROKEES. 

CHAPTER was shaved, except a patch on the back part of the head, 

^^* which was ornamented with beads and feathers, or with a colored 

Part 5. 

deer's tail. Their ears were slit and stretched to an enormous 

size causing the persons who had the cutting performed 

to undergo incredible pain. They slit but one ear at a time, 

because the patient had to lay on one side forty days, for it to 

heal. As soon as he could bear the operation, wire was wound 

around them to expand them, and when they were entirely 

well, they were adorned with silver pendants and rings. 

Many of them had genius, and spoke well, which paved the 

1761 .way to power in council. Their language was pleasant. It was 

very aspirited, and the accents so many and various, that one 

would often imagine them singing, in their common discourse. 

They had a particular method of relieving the poor, which 
ought to be ranked among the most laudable of their rehgi- 
ous ceremonies. The head men issued orders for a war dance, 
at which all the fighting men of the town assembled. But 
here, contrary to all their other dances, only one danced at a 
time, who, with a tomahawk in his hand, hopped and capered 
for a minute, and then gave a whoop. The music then 
stopped till he related the manner of his taking his first scalp. 

• 

He concluded his narration, and cast a string of wampum, 
wire, plate, paint, lead, or any thing he could spare, upon a 
large bear-skin spread for the purpose. Then the music 
again began, and he continued in the same manner through 
all his warhke actions. Then another succeeded him, and 
the ceremony lasted until all the warriors had related their 
exploits and thrown presents upon the skin. The stock thus 



THE CHEROKEES. 161 

raised, after paying the musicians, was divided among the chapter 
poor. The same ceremony was used to recompense any ex- i'* 
traordinary merit. * 

The Cherokees engaged oftener in dancing than any other 1701 
Indian population ; and when reposing in their towns, almost 
every night was spent in this agreeable amusement. They 
were hkewise very dexterous at pantomimes. In one of these, 
two men dressed themselves in bear-skins, and came among 
the assembly, winding and pawing about with all the motions 
of that animal. Two hunters next entered, who, in dumb 
show, acted in all respects as if they had been in the woods. 
After many attempts to shoot the bears, the hunters fired, 
and one of them was killed and the other wounded. They 
attempted to cut the throat of the latter. A tremendous 
scuffle ensued between the wounded bruin and the hunters, 
affording the whole company a great deal of diversion. They 176I 
also had other amusing pantomimic entertainments, among 
which was *^king the pigeons at roost." 

They were extremely proud, despising the lower class of 
Europeans. Yet they were gentle and amiable to those 
whom they thought their friends. Implacable in their enmity, 
their revenge was only completed in the entire destruction 
of the enemy. They were hardy, and endured heat, cold, 
and hunger in a surprising manner. But when in their 
power to indulge, no people upon earth, except the Choctaws, 
carried debauchery to greater excess.* 

* Timberlake's Memoirs, pp. 49-80 ; Bartram, pp. 368-369 
10 



162 THE CHEROKEES. 

CHAPTER William Bartram, who penetrated the Cherokee nation, 

■^'* mentions the following towns. We use his orthography. 
Part 5. 

j^g ON THE LITTLE TENNESSEE RIVER, EAST OF THE SMOKY MOUNTAIN. 

Springwason Echoe; Nucasse ; Whataga; Cowe. 

ON THE BRANCHES OF THAT RIVER. 

Ticaloosa ; Jore ; Conisca ; No we. 

ON THE LITTLE TENNESSEE, NORTH OF THE SMOKY MOUNTAINS. 

1776 Tomothle ; Noewe ; Tellico ; Clennuse ; Ocunnolufte ; Che- 

we ; Quaniise ; Tellowe. 

INLAND TOWNS ON THE BRANCHES OF THAT RIVER, AND OTH- 
ERS NORTH OF THE SMOKY MOUNTAIN. 

Tellico ; Chatuga ; Hiwasse ; Chewase ; Nuanha. 

OVERKILL TOWNS ON THE TENNESSEE OR CHEROKEE RIVER. 

Tallasse ; Chelowe ; Sette ; Chote-great ; loco ; Tahasse ; 
Tamohle ; Tuskege ; Big Island ; Nilaque ; Niowe. 

LOWER TOWNS, EAST OF THE MOUNTAINS. 

Sinica ; Keowe ; Kulsage ; Tugilo ; Estotowe ; Qualatche ; 
Chote ; Estotowe, great ; AUagae ; lore ; Nacooche.* 

Gov. Blount, of the Tennessee Territory, made a report to 
the Indian Department of the Federal Government, in which 
he described other towns of the Cherokee nation. It appears 
that a portion of the Cherokees established themselves upon 
Chicamauga Creek, one hundred miles below the mouth of 
the Holston, being averse to any terms of friendship with the 
English. But, believing these new settlements to be infested 
with witches, they abandoned them, moved forty miles lower 

* Bartram, 371-372. 



1792 
March 5 



THE CHEROKEES. Ig3 

down the Tennessee, and there laid out the foundation of the chapter 

" five towns " which they inhabited for many years afterwards, 

Part 5. 
and until their final removal to Arkansas. These towns were : ^^ 

Running Water — on the south bank of the main Tennes- 
see, three miles above Nickajack, containing one hundred 
huts, the inhabitants of which were a mixed population of 
Cherokees and Shawnees. 1792 

Nickajack — on the south bank of the Tennessee, contain- 
ing forty houses. 

Long Island Town — on the south side of the Tennessee, 
on an island of that name, containing several houses. 

Crow Town — on the north side of the Tennessee, half a mile 
jGrom the river up Crow creek. This was the largest of the towns. 

Lookout Mountain Town — between two mountains, on 
Lookout Mountain creek, fifteen miles from its confluence with 
the Tennessee. 

The first four of these towns were considerable Indian 
thoroughfares for a long period, being the crossing places of 
the Southern and Northern Indians during their wars with the 
Cumberland American settlements. Of these five towns, the 
sites of Nickajack and Long Island only are in Alabama, situ- 
ated in the north-east part of De Kalb county. But still low- 
er down, in the present State of Alabama, were Will's Town 
and Turkey Town — ^important Cherokee establishments. The 
former was named for a half breed called Red-headed Will, 
At these towns lived the British Superintendent, (the celebra- 
ted Col. Campbell,) before and during the Revolutionary War.* 

» Indian Affairs, vol. 1, pp. 264-289. 



164 MOUNDS AND FORTIFICATIONS IN ALABAMA. 



CHAPTER III. 

ANCIENT MOUNDS AND FORTIFICATIONS 

IN ALABAMA. 

CHAPTER In the Southern and North-western States mounds of va- 
^^* rious dimensions and descriptions are yet to be seen, and con- 
tinue to elicit no little speculation in regard to the race of 
people who formed them, and the objects which they had in 
view. 

Mounds are most commonly heaps of earth, but in some in- 
stances they are made of fragments of rock. In Florida, Georgia, 
Alabama and Mississippi, they are of two classes. We will 
first treat of the large mounds, some of which are round, some 
ehptical, and othere square. Many of them are flat on top, 
while others present conical forms. They ascend to the height 
of from forty to ninety feet, and some are eighteen hundi'ed 
feet in circumference at the base. Especial contrivances ap- 
pear to have been resorted to, to ascend these singular and im- 
posing elevations, by means of steps cut in the sides, in- 
clining at an easy angle, and reaching from the ground be- 
1640 low to their tops.* During the invasion of De Soto, they 

* See Chapter 2, pp. 63-64. 



MOUNDS AND FORTIFICATIONS IN ALABAMA. ^§5 

were used as elevated platforms, sustaining the houses of the chapter 
Ohief, his family and attendants, while the common people °^' 
lived around the base. The writers upon that expedition 
describe the manner in which the natives brought the earth 
to the spot and formed these elevations. Garcellasso de la 
Vega states that the erection of a mound was the first object 
in building a new town, which was generally located upon 
some low alluvial ground. When completed, the Chiefs 
houses, from ten to twenty in number, were placed upon its 
top, and a public square laid out at the base, around which 
were the houses of the prominent Indians, while the humbler 
wigwams of the common people stood around the other side 
of the mound. 

Such, then, three hundred and ten years ago, was found to 1640 
be the use of these mounds. By the writers of De Soto, they 
are repeatedly mentioned as being almost daily seen in all the 
territory through which that remarkable adventurer passed. 
Yet, many very learned and wise antiquaries have contended, in 
various works which they have published, that these mounds 
must have been constructed at a very ancient period, by a race 
far advanced in civilization — that the aborigines who were 
first discovered by Europeans were incapable of erecting such 
works, on account of their ignorance of the arts and their 
want of sufficient population. Our readers have seen what a 1540 
numerous population De Soto and other discoverers found mi 
here, and that they possessed much ingenuity in the building 
of boats, fortifications, temples, houses, &c. Of all people 
upon earth, the American Indians had most time to engage 



Igg MOUNDS AND FORTIFICATIONS IN ALABAMA. 

CHAPTER in such works, for they were never accustomed to regard their 
^^* time as of the least importance. Indeed, the American citi- 
zen of the present day, who has lived upon the Indian fron- 
tiers, knows that they often assembled together in great num- 
bers and performed public works of all kinds. But much 
later authority than that offered by the writers of De Soto 

1780 will be presented. It will be recollected that when the French 
drove the Natchez tribe from the spot now occupied by the 
city of that name, that the latter established themselves upon 

1781 the Lower Washita, where they "erected mounds and em- 

1782 bankments for defence, which covered an area of four hundred 
acres." These mounds are still to be seen there, and some 
of them are very large. These Indians were driven from 
Natchez in 1730. Two years afterwards the French defeated 
them upon the Washita, where they were protected by their 
embankments and mounds, which they had only been a little 
over two years in constructing. Let it be borne in mind 
that this was about one hundred and ninety-one years after 
the invasion of De Soto ; and the facts are attested by nume- 
rous Frenchmen and other authors, some of whom were eye- 
witnesses.* 

Charlevoix andTonti both mention that they found Indians 
a little south of Lake Michigan, who well understood the con- 
struction of mounds and fortifications. Even during the ad- 
ministration of Jefferson, Lewis and Clarke, who had been de- 
spatched upon an overland route to Oregon, discovered the 

* See Chapter 2, Part 3, pp. 132-133. 



MOUNDS AND FORTIFICATIONS IN ALABAMA. IQtj 

Sioux and other Western Indians erecting earthen embank- chapter 
ments around their camps and towns. Were it deemed ne- ^^^ 
cessary, other authorities could be adduced to overthrow the 
speculations of those antiquarians who endea\'or to inculcate 
the beUef that our country was once inhabited by an almost 
civilized race. We heartily concur in the opinion expressed 
by McCuUoh, in his " Researches," that the " mounds were 
sites for the dwellings of the Chiefs, for council-halls and for 
temples, which fancy and conceit have constructed into va- 
rious shapes and variously situated, one to the other." This 
author has reference, of course, to the larger mounds.* 

Bartram found, in East Florida, many peculiar mounds. 1776 
He saw groups of square mounds surrounded by walls of 
earth, and pyramidal mounds of great height. " From the 
river St. John, southwardly to the point of the peninsula of 
Florida, are to be seen high pyramidal mounds, with spacious 
and extensive avenues leading from them out of the town to 
an artificial lake or pond of water." In another place he 
says : — " At about fifty yards distance from the landing place 
stands a magnificent Indian mount. But what greatly con- 
tributed to the beauty of the scene, was a noble Indian high- 
way, which led from the great mount, in a straight line three 
quarters of a mile, through a forest of live-oaks, to the verge 
of an oblong artificial lake, which w^as on the edge of an ex- 

* Researches, Philosophical and Antiquarian, concerning the aborigi- 
nal history of America, by J. H. McCuUoh, Jr., M.D. Baltimore: 
1829. pp. 516. 

10* 



168 



MOUNDS AND FORTIFICATIONS IN ALABAMA. 



CHAPTER tensive level savannah. This grand highway was about fifty 
^''* yards wide, sunk a little below the common level, and the 

1776 -^ 

earth thrown on each side, making a bank of about two feet 
high." 

On the east side of the Ockmulgee, and a httle below the 
city of Macon, in Georgia, are some large and interesting 
mounds. In the town of Florence, Lauderdale county, Ala- 
bama, is a very large and peculiar mound. Near Carthage, 
in the same State, there are many mounds of various sizes, 
some of which are large. 

Dr. Charles A. Woodruff — a native of Savannah, but now a 
resident of Alabama — a man of letters and research, who 
has travelled over Georgia, Mississippi, Florida, Louisiana, 
Arkansas and Alabama, engaged in geological researches — 
has called our attention to a very remarkable group of mounds 
on the lands of Judge Messier, twenty-one miles in a south- 
eastern direction from Fort Gaines. A reference to the 
sketch which he has furnished us, and his description of it, 
which follows, will make the reader acquainted with these re- 
markable artificial elevations. 

" No. 1. The large sacrificial mound, seventy feet in height 
and six hundred feet in circumference. This mound is cover- 
1847 ed with large forest trees, from four to five hundred years old. 
A shaft has been sunk in the centre to the depth of sixty feet, 
and at its lower portion a bed of human bones, ^ve feet in 
thickness, and in a perfectly decomposed state, was passed. 

" No. 2, 2. Like the former, have hearth stones on the 
summit, with charred wood around them, which would show 



i < 




MOUNDS AND FORTIFICATIONS IN ALABAMA. 



169 



that they, too, were used for sacrifices. They are thirty feet ohaptbr 
high. ™- 

" No. 3. A wall of earth enclosing these mounds. 

" No. 4, 4, 4, 4. Mounds outside of the enclosure, twenty feet 
high, and probably used as watch towers. 

" No. 5. Entrance to the enclosure. 

" In the rear of these mounds is a creek, No. 6, and from 1847 
the large mound there has been constructed an arched pas- 
sage, three hundred yards in length, leading to the creek, and 
probably intended to procure water for religious purposes." 

The smaller mounds, to be found in almost every field upon 
the rivers Tennessee, Coosa, Tallapoosa, Alabama, Cahaba, 
Warrior and Tombigby, will next be considered. 

Many of these elevations are cultivated in cotton and com, 
the plough ascending and descending from year to year, with 
more ease, as they gradually wear away. They are usually 
from ^ve to ten feet high, from fifteen to sixty feet in cir- 
cumference at the base, and of conical forms, resembling hay- 
stacks. Where they have been excavated, they have, inva- 
riably, been found to contain human bones, various stone 
ornaments, weapons, pieces of pottery, and sometimes orna- 
ments of copper and silver, but of a rude manufacture, clearly 
indicating Indian origin. Layers of ashes and charcoal are, 
also, found in these mounds. 

It will be recollected that the Spaniards, during the inva- j^ 
sion of De Soto, discovered temples in all the chief towns, in j^^q 
which the dead were deposited in baskets and wooden boxes. ^j^ 
At a late day, this custom was found to exist only among the 



170 MOUNDS AND FORTIFICATIONS IN ALABAMA. 

CHAPTER Choctaws, Natchez, and a few other tribes. The Muscogees 
and Alabamas, who came into the country after it had been 
overrun by De Soto, had, as we have seen, simple modes of 
burial, and hence knew nothing about the construction of 
these mounds. The bone-houses of the ChoctaWs were mi- 
niature temples of the Indians of 1540. We have seen in 
17W what manner the Choctaws placed their dead upon scaflPolds, 
1777 and afterwards picked oflf all the flesh and fragments from 
1769 the bones, and deposited the latter in bone-houses. It is posi- 
1782 tively asserted by Bartram that every few years, when these 
houses became full of bones, the latter were carried out upon 
a plain, buried in a common grave, and a mound raised over 
them.* According to Charlevoix, another conscientious au- 
thor, the Six Nations and the Wyandots, every eight or ten 
years, disinterred their dead, who had been deposited where 
they had died, and carried all the bones to a certain 
place, where they dug a pit, thirty feet in diameter and ten in 
depth, which was paved at the bottom with stones. In this 
the various skeletons, with the property which the deceased 
possessed, were thrown. Over the heap a mound was raised, 
by throwing in the earth they had dug out, together with 
rubbish of every kind. Much later authority will be adduced. 
Lewis and Clarke, whom, as we have said, Jefferson sent to 
explore Oregon, saw a mound twelve feet in diameter at the 
base, and six feet high, which had just been erected over the 
body of a Maha Chief. It appears to have always been the 

* Bartram*8 Travels, p. 516. See also Boseu's Travels, vol. 1, p. 299 



MOUNDS AND FORTIFICATIONS IN ALABAMA. J'^J 

custom to erect a mound over a Chief or person of distinction, chapter 
and no other bodies were interred with him. Indeed, no prac- 
tice has been more universal than that of erecting a mound or 
tumulus over the dead, not only in America, but over the 
world. Adair asserts that it was the practice of the Chero- 
kees to collect the skeletons of those who had died far from 
Lome, and erect over them stone mounds, and every person 1786 
who passed by was required to add a stone to the heap.* 
This, then, accounts for the heaps of stone to be found in the 
northern parts of Georgia and North-eastern Alabama, resem- 
bling mounds in form. In North Alabama and Tennessee, 
skeletons have been found in caves. In mountainous coun- 
tries this may have been one of the modes of disposing of the 
dead, or, which is more probable, persons died there suddenly, 
and their bones were not afterwards gathered together, buried 
in a common grave, and a mound erected over them, as was 
the general custom of ancient times. 

The small mounds in Alabama, which have been excavated, 
contain different stratas. Beginning to dig at the top, the 
operators first pass through a strata of earth about two feet 
thick, then they come to a bed of ashes and charcoal, and then 
a bed of human bones mixed vnth pieces of pottery, pipes, 
arrow-heads and various Indian ornaments. Muscle shells 
are often mixed with these. Continuing to dig downwards, 
the excavators pass through a strata of earth, which is suc- 
ceeded by stratas of bones, charcoal, pottery, Indian oma- 



* " Adair's American Indiaps. 



*) 



112 



MOUNDS AND FORTIFICATIONS IN ALABAMA. 



CHAPTER ments and arrow-points. Now, from all we have read and 
^^^' heard of the Choctaws, we are satisfied that it was their cns- 

1735 

1777 torn to take from the bone-houses the skeletons, with 
1789 which they repaired in ftmeral procession to the suburbs of 
1782 the town, where they placed them on the ground in one heap, 
together with the property of the dead, such as pots, bows, 
arrows, ornaments, curious shaped stones for dressing deer- 
skins, and a variety of other things. Over this heap they 
first threw charcoal and ashes, probably to preserve the bones, 
and the next operation was to cover all with earth. This left 
a mound several feet high. In the course of eight or ten 
years, when the bone-house again became full of skeletons, 
the latter were carried in the same manner to the mound, 
placed upon top of it, and covered with ashes and earth. 
When the mound became high enough to excite a kind of 
veneration for it, by depositing upon it heaps of bones, from 
1775 time to time, another was made not far from it, and then 
1735 another, as time rolled on. This accounts for the different 
1769 stratas of bones to be found in the same mound, and for the 
• 1782 erection of several mounds, often found near each other. 

As for the ancient ditches at Cahaba, and in other portions 
of Alabama, in which are now growing the largest trees of 
the forest, indicating the works to have been of very remote 
date, we have been unable, in our investigations, to ascribe 
them to European origin, as they are generally supposed to 
be. De Soto erected no forts, in passing through this 
country, and had no occasion to do so, for his army was com- 
petent to subdue the natives without such means of defence. 



MOUNDS AND FORTIFICATIONS IN ALABAMA*. 1^3 

It is true, he cut some temporary ditches upon the Warrior, chapter 
near Erie, to repel the savages, who were charging him con- ^^^' 
stantly from the other side of the river. These were soon 
abandoned, and his journalists mention no other works of the 
kind which he made.* The French and Spaniards, who 
afterwards occupied Alabama, erected no forts, except those at 
Mobile, upon the Tensaw River, at St. Stephens, at Jones' 
BluflF upon the Tombigby, and four miles above the confluence 
of the Coosa and Tallapoosa, upon the east bank of the former. 
The English, at an early period, constructed a fort at Ocfuskee 
upon the Tallapoosa. If any other forts or entrenchments 
were made by the Europeans who first established themselves 
upon our soil, we have not been so fortunate as to trace them. 
The conclusion, then, seems to us to be apparent, that these 
ancient entrenchments or fortifications were the works of the 
aborigines of the country. It will be recollected that De Soto, 1540 
and the French authoi*s who succeeded him, nearly two centu- 1700 
ries afterwards, discovered towns which were well fortified with 1792 
immense breastworks of timber, around which were cut large 
ditches. It was easy, — within a short space of time, — for a 
few hundred Indians to have cut an immense ditch, or to have 
thrown up a great mound. The same tools employed in the 

***Had Hernando De Soto erected one-tenth of the works which have 
been ascribed to him, in the States bordering on the Gulf, in Tennessee, 
and even in Kentucky, he must have found ample demands on his time 
and exertions.*' — ^'Ancient Monuments of the Mississippi Valley," by 
E. G. Squier, A.M., p. 112. 



1Y4 MOUNDS AND FORTIFICATIONS IN ALABAMA. 

oiftAPTER erection of the latter, certainly the work of the ancient Indians, 
'^^' could well have been used in the cutting of these old en- 
trenchments or ditches. Hence, we contend, that at the town 
of Cahaba there once existed a large Indian establishment, 
which was fortified with palisades, and that the ditch, which has 
produced so much modern speculation, among the good peo- 
ple of that place, was cut around these palisades, or rather 
around the town, having the Alabama river open on one side. 
There is a ditch near the Talladega Springs, which formerly 
had trees growing in it, and which surrounds an elevation, 
embracing a few acres and taking in a beautiful spring, which 
gushes out of the rocks at the side of the hill.* No doubt, 
this, and all other works like it, now frequently seen over the 
territories of Alabama and Mississippi, are the works of our 
ancients Indians, for they invariably erected their defences at 
those places which admitted of the encompassment of running 
water; while, on the other hand, the Europeans who came to 
this country at an early period, always dug wells within 
the fortifications which they made. 

In the month of October, 1850, we visited a remarkable 
place at the Falls of Little River, situated in the north-eastern 
corner of Cherokee county, Alabama, and very near the hne 
of De Kalb county, in the same State. [ See picture at the 
beginning of volume 11.] What is rather singular, Little 
Eiver has its source on the top of Lookout Mountain, and runs 
October ^or many miles on the most elevated parts of it. In the winter 

* Formerly the property of Henry G. Woodward. 



MOUNDS AND FORTIFICATIONS IN ALABAMA. 1^6 

and spring it is a stream of considerable size, affording a rapid chapter 
and dangerous current of water ; but when it was seen upon the ^^'* 
present occasion, a very protracted drought had nearly dried 
it up. The river flows along the top of the mountain with 
very inconsiderable banks, until it reaches a precipice of solid 
rock, in the form of a half circle, over which it falls seventy feet, 
perpendicularly, into a basin. After being received in this rock 
basin, the river flows off without much interruption, and, in 
windinff about, forms a peninsula about two or three hundred 
yards below the falls. The banks of the river bordering on this 
peninsula are the same unbroken rock walls which form the 
falls, and are equally high and bold. Across the neck of the ^^*? 
peninsula are yet to be traced two ancient ditches, nearly par- 
allel with each otiier, and about thirty feet apart in the middle 
of the curve which they form, though they commence within 
ten feet of each other upon the upper precipice, and when they 
have reached the lower precipice, are found to run into each 
other. These ditches have been almost filled up by the ef- 
fects of time. On their inner sides are rocks piled up and 
mixed with the dirt which was thrown up in making these 
entrenchments, indicating them to be of the simplest and rudest 
Indian origin. The author has seen many such entrench- 
ments in his travels over Alabama, Mississippi and Florida, 
and hesitates not to say that they are ihe works of the abo- 
rigines of the country. 

On one sidd of the bend of the peninsula, and about ten feet 
below the top of the rock precipice, are four or ^ve small caves, 
large enough, if square, to form rooms twelve by fourteen feet 



^'^g MOUNDS AND FORTIFICATIONS IN ALABAMA. 

CHAPTER They are separated from each other by strata of rock, two 
^^^* of which resemble pillars, roughly hewn out Three of them 
Oculer communicate with each other by means of holes which can 
be crawled through. These caves open immediately upon the 
precipice, and from their floors it is at least seventy feet down 
to the surfece of the river. Many persons who have visited 
this singular place, call these " De Soto's Rock Houses," and 
they have stretched their imaginations to such an extent, as 
to assert that they have distinctly traced his pickaxes in the 
face of the rocks. There can be no question, however, but 
that these caves have been improved, to a slight extent, 
in size and shape, by human labor. But it was the labor of 
the Red people. Occasionally we could see where they 
smoothed off a point, and leveled the floors by knocking off 
the uneven places. It was, doubtless, a strong Indian fortifi- 
cation, and long used as a safe retreat when the valleys be- 
low were overrun by a victorious enemy. The walls are black 
with smoke, and everything about them bears evidence of con- 
stant occupation for years. These caves or rock houses consti- 
tuted a most admirable defence, especially with the assistance 
of the walls at the head of the peninsula. In order to get into the 
first cave, a person has to pass along a rock passage, wide enough 
for only one man. Below him, on his right, is the awfiil preci- 
pice, and on his left, the rock wall reaching ten feet above his 
head. A few persons in the first rock house, with swords or 
spears, could keep off an army of one thousand men ; for, 
only one assailant being able to approach the cave at a time, 
could be instantly despatched and hurled down the abyss be- 



1847 
April 



MOUNDS AND FORTIFICATIONS IN ALABAMA. l^J^J 

low. In regard to the inner walls of the ditches, the author chapter 
si^w no cement among the rocks, although he had heard that ^^^' 
that ingredient (never used by Indians) was to be found October 
there. 

Upon creeks and rivers in Alabama, where they meander 
through mountainous regions, are occasionally seen cuttings 
upon rocks, which have also been improperly attributed to 
European discoverers. In the county of Tallapoosa, not 
far below the mouth of the Sougohatchie, and a few miles 
east from the Tallapoosa river, are cliffs of a singular kind 
of gray rock, rather soft, and having the appearance of 
of containing silver ore. The face of these cliffs is literally cut 
in pieces, by having round pieces taken out of them. The 
ancient Indians used to resort to this place to obtain materials 
for manufacturing pipes, of large and small sizes, and, more 
particularly, for bowls and other household vessels. They cut 
out the pieces with flint rocks fixed in wooden handles. After 
working around as deep as they desired, the piece was prized 
out of the rock. Then they formed it into whatever vessel, 
toy or implement, they pleased. Hence, bowls, small mor- 
tars, immense pipes, and various pieces resembling wedges* 
in shape, are often ploughed up in the fields in Macon, Tal- 
lapoosa and Montgomery, and other counties in Alabama, of 
precisely the same kind of rock of which these cliffs are com- 

♦ These wedges, in appearance, were used by the Indians in dress- 
ing their deer-skins. They were also used as clubs in war, having ban* 
dies fixed to them. 



l>l^ MOUNDS AND FORTIFICATIONS IN ALABAMA. 

CHAPTER posed. The author is also sustained in this position by im- 
^^^' questionable Indian testimony, which has been procured by 
him. 

A few miles from Elyton, in the county of Jeflferson, the 
author is informed that there stands a large quadrangular 
mound^ about fifty feet high, and fiat on the top ; that, near 
its base, are to be seen cuttings in the rock something like 
mortars, some of which would hold over a gallon. These 
were done by the Indians, for the limestone rock could 
easily be worked into any shape by means of flint picks. 

The reader has observed that we have often mentioned the 
published works of Bartram, the botanist, who was in our 
country just before the Revolutionary War. We now quote 
from his MS., never published entire, but occasionally intro- 
duced by Squier in his "Ancient Monuments of the Mississip- 
pi Valley." Squier embodies in his work the following ac- 
count, from Bartram's MS., of the " Chunk Yards " of the 
Creeks or Muscogees: "They are rectangular areas, gene- 
rally occupying the centre of the town. The public square 
and rotunda, or great winter council-house, stood at the two 
opposite corners of them. They are generally very extensive, 
especially in the large old towns. Some of them are from 
six hundred to nine hundred feet in length, and of proportioih 
ate breadth. The area is exactly level, and sunk two, and some- 
times three, feet below the banks of terraces surrounding it^ 
which are occasionally two in number, one behind and above 
the other, and composed of the earth taken from the area at 
the time of its formation. These banks or terraces serve the 



1777 



MOUNDS AND FORTIFICATIONS IN ALABAMA. 1^JQ 

purpose of seats for spectators. In the centre of this yard or chapter 
area there is a low circular mound or eminence, in the mid- ^^^' 
die of which stands the Chunk Pole, which is a high obelisk, i'" 
or four-square pillar, decHning upwards to an obtuse point. 
This is of wood, the heart of a sound pitch-pine, which is very 
durable. It is generally from thirty to forty feet in height, 
and to the top is fastened some object which serves as a 
mark to shoot at with arrows, or the rifle, at certain appoint- 
ed times." 



180 THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 



CHAPTER IV. 

THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPL 

CHAPTER After the Spanish invasion of De Soto, to which allusion 
^' has so often been made, our soil remained untrodden by Eu- 
ropean feet for nearly a century and a half. At the end of 
that long and dark period, it became connected with the 
history of the distant French possessions of Canada, which 
were contemporaneous with the oldest English colonies in 
America. For more than fifty years, the French fur traders 
of Canada, associated with the enterprising Jesuit Fathers, had 
continued to advance south-westward upon the great lakes, 
discovering new regions, different races of Indians, more 
abundant game, and A\ider and brighter waters. At length, 
from the tribes upon the southern shore of Lake Superior, 
Father Allouez heard some vague reports of a great western 
river. Subsequently, Father Marquette was despatched from 
Quebec, with Joliet, a trader of that place, ^ve other French- 
men, and a large number of Indian guides, to seek the Mis- 
sissippi, and thus add new re^ons to the dominion of France, 
and new missions to the empire of the Jesuits. Ascending 
Fox river to the head of navigation, and crossing the portage 
to the banks of the Wisconsin, with birch bark canoee^ 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. IgJ 

the adventurers again launched their tiny boats and floated chapter 
down to the Mississippi river. Descending it to the mouth of ^* 

1678 

the Arkansas, and encountering decided e\ddences of a southern jnne 17 
dimate, Marquette finally found himself among the Chickasaws, 
whose reports that hostile tribes thronged the banks from 
thence to the sea, served to arrest his progress. Reluctantly 
commencing his return up the stiff and turbid tide, he found 
the mouth of the Illinois river, ascended to its head, crossed 
the portage to Chicago, launched his canoes upon Lake Michi- 
gan, and paddled to Green Bay, where he resumed his mis- 
sionary labors. Joliet proceeded to Quebec with the news of 
the discovery. 

The young and gifted La Salle, a native of Rouen, in France, 
educated as a Jesuit, went to Canada to acquire fortune and 
fisune by finding an overland passage to China. Becoming 
fired at the discovery which Marquette had made, he returned 
to France and obtained a royal commission for perfecting the 
exploration of the Mississippi, for which he was granted a mo- 
nopoly in the trade of the skins of the buffalo. Sailing 
back to Canada, \\ith men and stores, and accompanied by i678 
the Chevalier Tonti, an Italian soldier, who acted as his lieu- 
tenant, La Salle proceeded, by way of the lakes, upon his 
important enterprise. Consuming over two years in exploring 
those vast sheets of water, in building forts and collecting fure, 
he at length rigged a small barge, in which he descended the 
Mississippi to its mouth. Here, upon a small marshy eleva- 
tion, in fuU view of the sea, he took formal and ceremonious 
possession in the name of the King of France. The country 1888 

April 9 
11 



182 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 



CHAPTER received the name of Louisiana, in honor of Louis XIV., who 
^' then occupied the French throne ; but the attempt to give the 
river the name of Colbert, in honor of his Minister of Finance, 
did not succeed, and it retained that by which the aborigines 
had designated it. Leaving the Chevalier Tonti in command 
of Fort St. Louis, which La Salle had established in the 
country of the Illinois, the latter returned to France, where 
the report of his discoveries had already given rise to much 
excitement and joy. The government immediately furnished 
him with a frigate and three other ships, upon which embark- 
ed two hundred and eighty persons, consisting of priests, 
gentlemen, soldiers, hired mechanics and agricultural emi- 
grants, for the purpose of forming a colony at the mouth of 
the Mississippi. But the fearless adventurer, having crossed 
the Atlantic, and being unable to find, from the Gulf, the en- 
1685 trance to that river, was forced to disembark upon the coast 

February 

of Texas. Here, erecting Fort St. Louis, and leaving the 
larger portion of the colonists, he explored the smrounding 
country, with the hope of finding the Mississippi, but return- 
ed unsuccessful. Death had hovered oyer the colony, which 
was now reduced to thirty-six persons ; and with sixteen of 
these. La Salle again departed, with the determination to cut 
his way to Canada by land. After three months' wanderings, 
1687 he was murdered, by two of his companions, in the prairies 

March 19 ^ 

of Texas, near the western branch of the Trinity river. In 
the meantime the Chevalier Tonti, with twenty Canadians 
and thirty Indians, descended from the IlUnois to meet his 
old commander ; but, disappointed in not finding the French- 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. Jgg 

fleet at the Balize, he returned to the mouth of the Arkansas, chapter 
where he estahUshed a little post. The few colonists left ^' 
upon the coast of Texas all perished obscurely, except the 
brother of La Salle and six others, who made their way to 
Canada. Such was the melancholy termination of the first 
attempt to colonize Louisiana.* 

Louis XIV. of France, the most splendid sovereign whom 
Europe had yet seen, had long been engaged in a war with 
William III. of England, which had extended to their re- 
spective colonies in North America. In consequence of these 
troubles, further efforts to colonize the Mississippi were not 
attempted, until after the peace of Ryswick. By the terms 
of the treaty, each party was to enjoy the territories in 
America which they possessed before the war. The attention 
of the French monarch was now once more turned to the 
new country which La Salle had discovered. A number of 
Canadians had been left upon the shores of France, upon the 
conclusion of the war, and among them was a distinguished 
naval oflficer, named Iberville, who had acquired great mih- 

* Hildreth*8 History of the United States. New- York : 1849. Vol. 
2, pp. 81-99. Historie de la Louisiane, par Charles Gay aire ; vol. 1, 
pp. 23-61. Journal Historique du Dernier Voyage que feu M. de la 
Sale, fit dans le Galfe de Mexique, pour trouver rembouchure, et le 
cours de la Riviere de Saint Louis, qui traverse la Louisiana. A Paris: 
1713 — 386 pages. The History of Louisiana from the earliest period, 
by Francois Xavier Martin, vol. 1, pp. 59-121. New-Orleans: 1827. 
Also many other authorities. 



]^84 THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

■ ■ ■ ■■ I ^^,„^^ „ ■■■■■!■■■■■# 

CHAPTER tary renown by Ms exploits against the English, on the shores 

^' of Hudson Bay and Newfoundland, and by the capture of 

Pemaquid. He was one of seven sons, all natives of Quebec, 

all men of ability and merit, and all engaged in the Bang's 

service. 

1696 

September 24 To IberviUe was confided the project of peopUng Louisiana. 
He sailed from Rochelle with the Badine, of thirty guns, of 
which he had the immediate command, and with the Marir, 
commanded by Count Sugeres, together with two harbor 
boats, each of forty tons. On board these vessels were his 
two young but gallant brothers, Bienville and SauvoUe, and 
two hundred colonists, mostly Canadians, who had gone to 
France to assist in her defence. Among them were some 
women and children. Arriving at Cape Francois, in the 
Island of St. Domingo, he was joined by the Marquis Chateau 
Morant, with a fifty-two gun ship. There he received on 
board a famous buccaneer named De Grace, who had pillaged 
i«9 Ygyg^ Qj^2 some years before. Leaving St. Domingo, Iber- 
ville sailed for the coast of Florida, and after a prosperous 
voyage, stood before the Island of St. Rosa, from which point 
he discovered two men-of-war, at anchor in the harbor of 
Pensacola, at whose mast-heads floated the colors of Spain. 
One month previous to this, Don Roalli, with three hundred 
Spaniards, from Vera Cruz, had established a battery upon 
the site of the present town of Pensacola. 

A deputation sent by Iberville were received with much 
politeness, but the Don declined to permit the French vessek 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 135 

to enter the harbor, for fear of a treacherous surprise.* The chapter 
French then made sail to the west, and presently cast anchor ^ * 
ofF an island, which, from the quantity of human bones dis- JuiiuutSI 
covered upon it by Midshipman Bienville, was called the Isle 
of Massacre. The small vessels passed through the channel 
between two elevations, to which they gave the name of Cat 
and Ship Islands. The fifty-two gun ship sailed for St. Do- 
mingo, while the frigates lay oflf a group of banks, which 
received the name of the Chandeliers. Iberville despatched 
two boats to the main land, the crews of which found seven 
recently abandoned canoes, and succeeded in capturing two 
sick old Indians, whom they left with presents. The next day, 
a woman being taken and likewise sent oflf with presents, return- 
ed with two of her people, who belonged to the Biloxi tribe, 
whose name was given by the French to the bay. Four 
savages of this nation were then carried on board of Iberville's 
ship, while his brother, Bienville, remained upon the beach, 
as a hostage. On the same evening, twenty-four Bayagolas 
arrived upon the shore, being on their way to fight the Mo- 
bilians, who, they said, lived on the banks of a great river 
which flowed into the sea, not far to the east.f 

* The Spaniards, who still claimed the whole circuit of the Gulf, 
had hastened to occupy the Pensacola harbor, the best upon it The bar- 
rier thus formed, made the dividing line between Florida and Louisiana. 

f Journal Historique de I'Etablissement des Fran9ais a la Louisiane, 
par Bernard de la Harpe, pp. 4-8. La Harpe was one of the first 
French settlers in Mobile, and he kept a journal of all he witnessed in 
that place, at Dauphin, Biloxi, Ship Island, <&c., <bc. 



18g THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTER When Iberville had caused some huts to be erected upon 
^* Ship Island, he entered a boat with thirty men, accompanied 

F«bcMr7 a? by his brother Bienville, and Father Athanase, a Franciscan 
fiiar, the companion of the unfortunate La Salle in his descent 
of the Mississippi, and at the time when he was killed upon 
the plains of Texas. Upon the third day, Iberville made the 
Balize, and was the first to enter the great river from the sea. 
He ascended for the space of ten days, until he arrived at a 
town of the Bayagola nation. There he found, preserved by 
these Indians, a prayer book which belonged to the first ex- ' 
pedition of La Salle, some cloaks which the discoverer had 
given them, a coat of mail which had belonged to the troop 
of De Soto, and a letter written by the Chevalier Tonti to 
La SaUe, whom he had been disappointed in not meeting, as 
we have already seen. All these things combined to dis- 
pel the doubts which Iberville had entertained, that this 
was really the Mississippi, and re-assured the convictions of 
jQBQ Father Athanase. Continuing the voyage to a point which 
he named Portage de la Croix, Iberville turned his boat 
down stream and touched at Bayou Manchac. Here Bien- 
ville, who was placed in command of the main boat, presently 
descended the river to the sea, while Iberville passed through 
the bi^ou, in birch-bark canoes, guided by a Bayagola Jndian. 
Entering the river Amite, he soon fell into Lakes Maurepas 
and Pontchartrain, which he named in honor of the two 
principal Ministers of his King. Bienville joined him, soon 
after he reached his shipping. 

At the eastern extremity of the bay of Biloxi and within 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 



187 



the limits of the present State of Mississippi, a fort, with four chapter 
bastions and mounted with twelve pieces of artillery, was ^^* 

1699 

now erected, the command of which was given to SauvoUe, Mayi 
the elder of the two brothei-s of Iberville, while Bienville, 
the youngest of the three, was made lieutenant. After the 
colonists had built huts and houses around it, Iberville and 
the Count Sugeres sailed in the two frigates for France. 
Sauvolle despatched a vessel to St. Domingo for provisions, 
and Bienville, with a small command, to visit the neighboring 
tribes, with whom he desired to cultivate friendly relations. 
Visiting the Callapissas upon the northern shore of Lake 
Pontchartrain, and the Pascagoulas upon the river of that 
name, among whom he distributed presents, and going by 
land from Mobile Point to Pensacola to observe the move- 
ments of the SjDaniards, he returned to Fort Biloxi ; but in 
a few days set off in a boat, again to explore the Mississippi 
river. After having ascended it some distance, and while 1699 

AngnBtl0 

returning he met, not far below the site of New Orleans, an 
English captain named Bar, in charge of a vessel of sixteen 
guns, who asserted that there was another vessel of the same 
class belonging to him at the mouth of the river, and that 
his intention was to establish an English colony upon the 
banks of the Mississippi. The ingenious Bienville turned him 
towards the Gulf, by telling him that France had already 
taken possession of the river in which he then was, and 
above there had occupied it with a fort and garrison ; and, 
furthermore, that the Mississippi river lay considerably to the 
west. 

11* 



138 'THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTER In the meantime, SauvoUe received two Canadian mission- 
^' aries, who had sometime before established themselves among 
16» the Yazoos. These holy men dropped down the Mississippi, 
entered the lakes by the Bayou Manchac, and paid their 
brethren an unexpected but most pleasing visit. Upon a bluff 
on the Mississippi, the site of old Fort Adams, lived one of 
these men. Father Davion, who erected a cross in the open 
air, and kept his holy relics in the hollow of a large tree. 
Here he told the Indians who the true God was, and bap- 
tized those who were converted, with the waters of the ancient 
Mississippi. Could a life so entirely solitary, and attended 
with so many dangers, have bien influenced by any other 
motives than such as are promptec^ by the purest piety ? 

December 7 At length, the roar of distant cannon at sea announced the 
arrival of two large ships of war, commanded by Iberville and 
the Count Sugeres, direct from France, laden with provisions 
for the colony, and having on board thirty laborers and sixty 
Canadians, intended as military pioneers, with their command- 
ers, St. Dennis and Malton, together with a person named Le 
Sueur, who had acquired some celebrity in his voyages to Can- 
ada. They brought the pleasing intelligence that Sauvolle 
had been appointed Governor of Louisiana, and Bienville Lieu- 
tenant Governor. Boisbriant, who also came with the ships, 
was commissioned to take the command of Fort Biloxi. 
Dreading the advance of the British, and determined to se- 

JanuwT 16 ^^^^ ^^^ banks of the Mississippi from their grasp, Iberville 
sailed, with fifty Canadians, to a point eighteen leagues above 
the Balize, which had been selected by the indefatigable young 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. ^39 

Bienville, who had arrived for that purpose, a few days before, by chapter 
way of Manchac, with some Bayagolas, who were acquainted ^' 
with the inundations of the river. Here they immediately be- 
gan the construction of a fort, and, after a short time, 
were joined by the aged Tonti, who came from Canada, down 
the Mississippi, with a few Frenchmen and Indians. This 
veteran pioneer was joyfully received by those who had so 
often heard of his intrepid and fearless adventures. 

In the meantime SauvoUe wrote to the Minister, regretting 
that he was not allowed to accompany Iberville upon the Mis- 
sissippi, where he could have learned so much of the country, 
condemned the location at Biloxi as too low, sterile and sick- 1700 
ly, and gave it as his opinion that the country offered no in- 
ducement to enterprise, except in the solitary article of hides. 
He closed his letter by expressing the hope that some mines 
of precious metals would be discovered. About this time 
Governor Roalli, of Pensacola, advanced to Ship Island with a 
man-of-war and some smaller vessels, for the purpose of ex- 
pelling the French ; but, deterred by Iberville's fleet, he has- 
tened back, leaving only a proclamation protesting against 
the settlement of any portion of the coast, the whole breadth 
of which, he contended, belonged to His Catholic Majesty's 
Mexican possessions. 

Taking with them the Chevalier Tonti, Iberville and Bien- 
ville left their new fort and ascended the Mississippi, visiting March 11 
the different tribes upon its shores, and finally resting at the site 
of the present city of Natchez, where lived the Indians who 
bore that name, and whose manners and customs have al- 



190 THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 



CHAPTER ready been described. Delighted with this place, and re- 
solved to plant a settlement there, Iberville marked out a 
town, and called it Rosalie — the name of the Countess Pont- 
chartrain. From this place the Chevalier Tonti went up the 
river, and Bienville and St. Dennis, with twenty-two Cana- 
dians, started to the west, by an overland route, to reconnoitre 
the Spanish settlements, while Iberville floated down the 
river to rejoin his fleet. 
1700 Returning from the west to Biloxi, Bienville was sent to 

take the command of the new establishment upon the Missis- 
May 28 sippi, and then Iberville once more spread the sails of his 
ships for beloved France. Meanwhile the colony languished; 
the earth was not cultivated, and, relying for supplies from 
St. Domingo, horrible famine and sickness reduced the num- 
*'^22 ^^ ^^ inhabitants to one hundred and fifty souls ! SauvoUe 
himself died, leaving the cares of the colony to the more re- 
doubtable Bienville. The latter, deploring the condition of 
his people, and seeing the necessity of tilling the earth, in a 
despatch to the French government urged them to send him 
laborers, rather than the vicious and the idle, who roamed 
the forests in search of mines and Indian mistresses. 

A delegation of Choctaws and Mobilians visited Fort Bi- 
loxi, and requested assistance in their war with the Chicka- 
September saws. These were succeeded by twenty other Mobilians, and 
the Chief of the Alabamas, all of whom were dismissed with 
presents and exhortations to remain at peace with each other. 
At this time, the Spaniards of Pensacola and the French colo- 
ny were not only upon good terms, but of mutual assistance 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. jg^ 

to each other ; so much so, that Bienville arrested eighteen chapter 
Spanish deserters and sent them back to Don Martin, the ^' 
Governor of Pensacola. 

Iberville and his brother, Serigny, arriving at Pensacola, December 18 
direct from France, on board two men-of-war, despatched 
supplies to the colonists in smaller vessels, which were joyful- 
ly received, as a meagre portion of corn had for a long time 
barely kept them ahve. Having received orders to break up 
the colonial establishment at Biloxi, and to remove it upon 
the Mobile, Bienville left only twenty soldiers at the fort, un- 
der Boisbriant, and sailed with his people to Dauphin Island, 
to which, as we have seen, they first gave the name of Massa- 
cre. Here he met his brother, Sengny, and a person named 1702 
La Salle. The latter had been sent out to perform the duties 
of Marine Commissary. With forty sailors and some ship- 
carpenters, Bienville began the construction of a warehouse on 
Dauphin Island. With a sufficient force of soldiers, artisans 
and laborers, he then sailed up the bay of Mobile, and at the 
mouth of Dog river commenced the erection of a fort, a ware- 
house and other public buildings. This place received the 
name of Mobile, from the spacious bay upon which it was situ- 
ated, which was called after the tribe of Indians who had so 
resolutely fought De Soto upon the field of Maubila. The I610 

October 18 

fort itself was long designated as Fort St. Louis de la Mobile.* 

*In 1777, Bartram, being on a voyage from Mobile to Pearl river, 
in a French trading boat, touched at the mouth of Dog river and saw 
there the ruins of old Fort St. Louis de la Mobile, where lay some 
iron cannon and some immense iron kettles, formerly used by the 
JFrench for boiling tar into pitch. — Bartram's Travels, pp. 416-41'7. 



192 THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTER Here was the seat of government for the space of nine years, 
^* when, in 1711, as we shall see, the French moved up to the 
mouth of Mobile river, where they founded the town of Mo- 
bile, which has since become the beautiful commercial em- 
porium of the State of Alabama. A few days of activity and 
bustle had scarcely been passed at the new place, at the mouth 
of Dog river, before it was made sad by the meeting of Bien- 
ville and Iberville, who wept for the loss of Sauvolle while 
affectionately locked in each other's srms. 
*'*^ Iberville had passed with his ship-of-war, the Palmier, over 

the bar of Mobile point, finding at least twenty feet of water. 
It was not long before La Salle and his family came up to 
Mobile, which now presented the appearance of a settlement, 
with houses and shelters. Bienville, anxious to obtain the 
friendship of all the tribes upon the Mobile river and its tri- 
butaries, and to institute friendly relations between the differ- 
ent savage nations themselves, had sent Tonti, with a small 
command, to the Choctaw and Chickasaw countries. They 
now returned, with seven Chiefe of those tribes. The Go- 
vernor gave them handsome presents, and exhorted them to 
remain at peace with the French and with each other. Then 
Iberville and his retinue dropped down the bay of Mobile, 
February 81 went to Pensacola, and from thence sailed for France. 

Mobile being now the seat of government, various delega- 
tions of Chiefe, Spaniards from Vera Cruz, and Canadians 
from the northern lakes and rivers, constantly repaired there 
to see Governor Bienville upon business. Among others, a 
delegation of eight Chiefe of the Alabamas arrived, whom 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 



193 



his Excellency treated with kindness, and dissuaded from chapter 

making war upon the Mobilians, Tomez and Chickasaws. ^' 

Don Robles came with a letter from the Governor of Pensa- jnne 

cola, requesting the loan of provisions for his famishing garri- 170a 

son, with which the generous Frenchman readily complied. 

Midshipman Becaucourt, commanding the colonial marine, 

made several trips to Vera Cruz and returned with provisions, 

the King of Spain ha\ing granted the French free access to 

his colonial ports. Father Davion, the missionary upon the 

Mississippi, and Father Liomoge, a Jesuit, came by way of 

the Bayou Manchac, and reported that one of their compan- snmmer 

ions and four other Frenchmen had been killed by the Indians 

above the Yazoo river. News also reached Bienville, that 

St. Dennis, at the head of his Canadian scouts, had wantonly 

made war upon and killed some Indians with whom they 

were at peace, for the purpose of obtaining slaves. Bienville, 

grieved at his conduct, endeavored, unsuccessfully, to have 

the slaves restored to their people. Governor Martin, of Pen- 

sacola, came to Mobile, with the information that France and 

Spain had gone to war with England, and his request to be 

furnished with arms and ammunition was gi-anted by Bienville. 

He was succeeded by two Spanish officers from St. Augustine, Antnmn 

with a letter from Serda, Governor of that place, requesting 

military supphes, as he had been blockaded by the English 

and Indians. Bienville sent to his assistance a Uberal supply 

of powder and ball. 

The English of Carolina began to disturb the French j^gg 
colonies, by sending emissaries among the Muscogees and 



194 THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTER Alabamas. In a very short time, two artfiil Alabamas came 

^* down the river, to decoy the French into the country. 

*'^ Having assured the Governor that their homes abounded in 

com, which would be furnished at the most reasonable price, 

May 3 the latter forthwith despatched Labrie, with four Canadians 

in canoes, to procure some. They had no^ proceeded far, 

before they were all killed except one of the Canadians, who 

returned to Mobile with his arm nearly severed by a blow 

which he received from an axe. To avenge this outrage, 

December 22 Bienville began the ascent of the Mobile in seven canoes, in 

which were forty soldiera and Canadians. In fourteen days 

he arrived in the vicinity of the Alabamas, upon the river of 

that name, where he discovered ten canoes without occupants, 

but saw smoke floating upon the air and rising over the forest 

trees and cane, upon the bluft'. St. Dennis and Tonti advised 

him not to make the attack until night, to which he assented, 

contrary to his better judgment. The night was very dark, 

and the path which led to the Indian camp was full of weeds 

and briars. However, an engagement ensued, in which three 

Frenchmen were slain, and the savages dispersed. Capturing 

17W the canoes, which were laden with provisions, Bienville returned 

January 11 ' r > 

to Mobile. But he did not relax in his eflforts to be revenged, 
for he presently engaged parties of Chickasaws and Choctaws 
to pursue the Alabamas, who brought some of their scalps to 
Mobile, for which they received rewards.* 

* Journal Historique de TEtablissemeat des Fran9ai8 a la Louisianey 
par Bernard de la Harpe, pp. 35-83. 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. ^95 

An official despatcli represented the following to be the chaftsb 

condition of the feeble colony of Louisiana at this period : ^' 

" 180 men capable of beanng arms. April 80 

2 French families, with three little girls and seven httle 
boys. 

6 young Indian boys, slaves, from fifteen to twenty years 
of age. 

A little of the territory around Fort Louis (Mobile) has been 
cultivated. 

80 wooden houses, of one story high, covered with palm 
leaves and straw. 

9 oxen, five of which belonged to the King. 

14 cows. 

4 bulls, one of which belonged to the King. 

6 calves. 

100 hogs. 

3 kids. 
400 hens." 

This account did not, of course, include the officers. 

The colonists, sujffering from severe famine, were tempora- 
rily relieved by the Governor of Pensacola, but again became 
destitute of provisions ; and, while forced to disperse them- 
selves along the coast, procuring subsistence upon fish and 
oysters, a vessel of war from France, commanded by Chateaug- 
116, another brother of Bienville, happily re-established abun- 
dance among them. This vessel was succeeded by the Pelican, joiya* 
another man-of-war, laden with provisions, and having on board 
seventy-five soldiers intended for the various posts, LaVente, of 



196 THE fre»:h in Alabama and Mississippi. 

CHAPTER the foreign mission, sent as rector by tlie Bishop of Quebec, four 
^* Priests, and four Sisters of Charity, together with four fami- 
T V^o. lies of laborers. But what created more novelty and excite- 
ment than all the rest of the arrival, were twenty-three 
girk, whom Bienville was informed, by the Minister's despatch, 
were all of spotless chastity, pious and industrious, and that 
^lis Majesty had enjoined upon the Bishop of Quebec to send 
no females to Mobile who did not bear characters as irre- 
proachable as these. He vas instructed to have them married 
to Canadians and others, who were competent to support 
them. Only a few days rolled round, before they all found 
Aagost husbands. These were the first marriages which were solem- 
nized in old Mobile, or, indeed, upon any part of the soil of 
Alabama, by Christian marital rites.* 

But sickness and disasters soon dispelled the joy which 
these arrivals had occasioned. Half the crew of the Pelican 
died. Tonti and Levassuer, invaluable ofl&cers — Father Dange, 
a Jesuit — and thirty of the soldiers lately arrived, soon followed 

September them to the grave. The fort and out-houses at Pensacola 
were wrapped in flames. Lambert, with his Canadians, driven 
from the post of Washita by the Indians, had fled to Mobile, 
while the Chickasaws and Choctaws had began a war with 

* " The first child bom in the colony, and, consequently, the first 
" Creole/' was named Claude Jousset, and was the son of a Canadian 
who carried on a small trading business at Mobile." — Louisiana, ita 
Colonial History and Romance, by Charles Gayarre. New- York: 
1851. pp. 464-465. 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MBSBISSIPPI. 



197 



1704 
December 



1706 
Febraary 



each other, which was exceedingly embarrassing to Bienville, chapter 
More than seventy of the former, of both sexes, being in ^' 
Mobile, and imploring Bienville to have them safely conducted 
to their nation, the route to which lay over the coimtry of 
their enemies, he despatched twenty Canadians, under Bois- 
briant, with them. Arriving at one of the Choctaw towns, the 
inhabitants assembled in great numbers to put them to death, 
but Boisbriant interposing, they then fell upon a stratagem to 
accomplish their purposes. Pretending that they only desired 
to rebuke the Chickasaws for their conduct, while the Chief 
was accordingly making his speech to them, he let a feather 
fidl, which was a signal for attack. The Chickasaw warriors 
were all instantly put to death, and the women and children 
reserved for slaves. Boisbriant was accidentally wounded by a 
ball, which was exceedingly regretted by the Choctaws, three 
hundred of whom carried him on a litter to Mobile, in mourn- 
ful procession. Bienville was shocked and mortified at the 
ruthless massacre, and saw, at a glance, that the Chickasaws 
would suspect him of decoying these unhappy people there to 
meet the fate which they received. 

When Boisbriant recovered from his wound, he was de- 
spatched up the Alabama river, with sixty Canadians, to fight 
the Alabamas and Muscogees. After a long absence he re- 
tamed with only two scalps and an Indian slave. In the 
meanwhile, the Chickasaws and Choctaws continued their 
war, which raged with the most savage ferocity. The French 
unavoidably became implicated in these feuds. Being consid- 
ered the exclusive friends of the Choctaws, on account of their 



1706 
Febraoiy 



198 THE FRHiCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI 

CHAPTER proximity, they were often suddenly slain by skulking Chicka- 
^' saws. Iberville wrote to the Minister that famine again prevailed 
in the imhappy colony of Louisiana ; that the Spaniards could 
afford them but httle corn, which the men only had become 
acoostomed to eat, the Parisian women eschewing it, and 
blaming the Bishop for not telling them what they had to 
1706 encounter in the " promised land ; " that fihj men had come 
to make a settlement at Mobile from the Upper Mississippi ; 
and that the colonists would not unite to resist the savages and 
combat famine, but quarrelled among themselves. At this 
period, Commissary General La Salle had commenced a series 
of vindictive and unprincipled assaults upon the character of 

September 7 Bicuville, in his despatches to the Court. In one of these he 
. said that "Iberville, Bienville and Chateaugn^, the three 
brothers, are guilty of all kinds of malpractices, and are ex- 
tortioners and knaves, who waste the property of his Majes- 
ty." Father La Vente, the rector of Mobile, a man of bad 
temper and sordid feelings, and unpopular with the priests 
over whom he was placed, became a wilUng coadjutor of La 
Salle in his indiscriminate abuse of the Governor. He, too, 
October wrote letters to the Court, the burden of which was the cor- 
ruption of Bienville's colonial government. He essayed to 
persuade the inhabitants that their sufferings were owing 
alone to the conduct of their Governor, who too tardily or- 
dered supphes from France. He attempted to buy up the 
sick soldiers whom he visited by giving them (as his own) 
money which had been placed in his hands for charitable pur- 
poses. The Lady Superior also vented her spleen against 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. ^99 

Bienville, by writing to the Minister that Boisbriant had in- chapter 
tended to have married her, but had been prevented by the ^^' 
Grovemor. Hence, she adds, " Bienville does not possess the 
qualities necessary for a Governor." 

The colonists continued to lead unpleasant lives ; the Mus- 
coffees and Alabamas threatened their existence ; their hearts ^ *'^^ 

° ^ December 

were troubled with the Chickasaw and Choctaw war ; while 
the quarrels among the authorities continued to increase. 
Father Gravier, a Jesuit, took up the cudgels for Bienville, 
and defended him in a letter which he addressed to the 

1707 

Minister. But Bienville, disdaining these cabals, contin- pebraarya? 
ued to discharge his duty faithfully to the government, 
as far as it could be done with his means and ability, and 
in his despatches refrained from alluding to the animosities 
of the commissary and rector, except casually to mention 
that he had encountered much opposition from the former. 
Iberville, the indefatigable founder of Louisiania and the devo- 
ted friend of the colonists, died of the yellow fever at Havana, 
where he had touched with his fleet while on his way 
attack Charleston and Jamaica. This was a severe blow, 
added to the general suflferings of the colony, and seri- 
ously retarded its advance. About the same time, Ber- jj^^^j^^i 
guier. Grand Vicar of the Lord of Quebec, came from the Illi- 
nois country to Mobile, and reported that St. Come, a mis- 

m 

sionary among the Natchez, with three other Frenchmen, had 
been murdered, while descending the Mississippi, by the Chau- 
machas. This induced Bienville to send presents to all the 
nations of the Lower Mississippi, which would cause them to 



200 THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSffPI. 

CHAPTER make war upon those savages. The English from Carohna, 
^' aided by troops from Great Britain, had continued to advance 
upon the Spanish settlements of the Floridas, assisted by large 
bands of Muscogee Indians, and had overrun the greater por- 
tion of Middle and East Florida, laying waste the Spanish set- 
tlements, and forcing the inhabitants and friendly Indians al- 
most to abandon the country. News reaching Bienville that 
they had beseiged the fort of Pensacola, which had recently 
"^ been rebuilt, he advanced from Mobile with one hundred and 

November 24 

twenty Canadians ; but, on reaching that place, he found that 
the thirteen Englishmen and three hundred and fifty Musco- 
gees, who for two days had lain around the fort to attack it, 
becoming destitute of provisions, had already retired. 

In the meanwhile, Bienville, in a despatch to the Minister, 
urged the necessity of sending out more colonial supphes, as 
the inhabitants had not yet made plantations ample enough, 
from which to derive a support. He stated that the lands 
were fertile up the Mobile river, but too unhealthy during the 
period of cultivating the crops. The want of negroes, horses 
and oxen, also contributed its share in embarrassing the feeble 
efforts of the Louisiana planter, and failures were often made. 
He informed the Minister, further, that he had intended estab- 
lishing a fort upon the "Tombecbe," in the vicinity of the 
Chickasaws, in order to secure the friendship of those Indians, 
who were the most warhke of all, and who were daily tam- 
pered with by the English of Carolina, but that the distance 
to that point, and the general distress of the colony, had pre- 
vented it ; that all the Indians were treacherous, and often 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 201 

assassinated the French, for whose strength they had hegun chapter 
to entertain a most contemptible opinion ; that three-fourths ^^' 
of the soldiers were too young to prosecute a war, and con- 
stantly deserted, while the Canadians, whom he had declined 
to discharge, contrary to the orders of Begar, Intendant of 
Rochefort, were the sole pillars of the colony. In consequence 
of these things, he had been compelled to abandon the estab- 
lishment upon the Mississippi. In addition, he stated that La 
Salle had refused to pay the colonists their just dues, and had 
withheld payment from those who had been sent to a dis- 
tance upon important duties. 

The continued reports of the malpractices of Bienville, 
which reached the ears of the Minister, induced the French 
government to order his arrest. DeMuys was appointed jniy 23 
Governor of Louisiana, "to prove the facts charged against 
this person, to arrest him if they were true, and to send him 
a prisoner to France." Thus the unjust and singular position 
was assumed, of leaving to Bienville's successor to decide 
whether he was guilty or innocent ! In the meantime, Bien- 
ville, healing of his disgrace at Coiu-t, demanded to be dis- 
missed from his post, to enable him to return to France. This 
startled the inhabitants of Mobile, who were warmly attached 
to him, and who immediately petitioned the government that, 
if Bienville's request should be allowed, that he should imme- 
diately be sent back to them as their Governor. But DeMuys, 
his successor and his judge, died at Havana on his passage 
out. Diron D'Artaguette was appointed commissary gene- 
ral in the place of the growling La Salle, whom the government 

12 



202 THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTER had also removed. D'Artaguette, more fortunate than his 
companion, had rem^hed Mobile in safety, and was directed to 
investigate the charges against Bienville, without letting him 
know what they were. However, fortunately for the cause of 
justice, and perhaps the future welfare of the colony, D'Arta- 

1706 

Febrnaryse S^^^^i i^ ^^^ report of his investigations to the Minister, was 
enabled to close by saying, that " all the accusations brought 
against Bienville were most miserable calumnies." Subjoined 
to this statement was the attestation of Boisbriant, now Major 
of the fort at Mobile. But the disappointed and vindictive 
La Salle renewed his accusations, in which he assured the 
Minister that an understandinor existed between Bienville and 
the new commissary, and that the report of the latter was 
not to be believed. At the same time he denounced Barrot, 
the surgeon of the colony, as " an ignorant man — a drunkard 
and a rogue, who sold, for his own profit, the medicines be- 
longing to the King." 

1706 

August The following is a statement of the condition of the colony 
of Louisiana at this period : 

GARRISON. 

14 superior officers, comprising a midshipman attending on 
the commandant. 

76 soldiers, comprising four military officers. 
13 sailors, comprising four naval officers. 

2 Canadians, serving as clerks in the warehouses, by order 
of Bienville. 

1 superintendent of the warehouses. 

3 priests, comprising one rector. 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 203 

6 workmen. chapter 

1 Canadian, serving as interpreter. ^' 

6 cabin boys, learning the Indian, language, and intended to 
serve by land and sea as workmen. 

INHABITANTS. 

24 inhabitants who have no grants of land, which prevents j^^lg^ 

the majority from working plantations. 
28 women. 

25 children. 

80 slaves, men and women, of various Indian nations. 

167 

TOTAL. 

279, of whom six are sick. 

In addition to these there are more than 60 Canadians 
who live in the Indian villages on the Mississippi, without the 
permission of the Governor, and who destroy, by their evil 
and libertine Ufe with the Indian women, all that the mission- 
. aries and others have instructed them in the mysteries of 
religion. 

ANIMALS. 

50 cows. 
40 calves. 
4 bulls. 

8 oxen, four of which belong to the King. 
1400 hogs and sows. 
2000 hens or thereabouts. 
In consequence of the death of the recently appointed 



204 '^^^ FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTER Governor of Louisiana, and the complete overthrow of the 
^^' charges brought against the old one, the French govern- 
ment permitted the latter to continue at his responsible and 
thankless post. Knowing that the colony could not prosper 
unless the earth was cultivated, Governor Bienville endeavored 
in vain to make the whites under him labor in the fields. On 
the other hand, the savages, whom the French had endeavor- 
ed to enslave, would escape to their native woods, at the 
o tobe 12 slightest appearance of coercion. In a despatch to the Minister, 
Bienville recommended that the colonists be allowed to send 
Indians to the West India Islands, and there to exchange them 
for negroes, asserting that these Islanders would give two 
Africans for three savages. His proposition was laid before M. 
Kobert, one of the heads of the Bureau of the Minister of 

November 26 Marine, who prouounced against it, upon the ground that the 
inhabitants of the West Indies would not part with their good 
negroes, and that the only way to obtain such was by pur- 
chases from Guinea. Another idea of Bienville's seemed still 
more unreasonable. He had given orders to watch several 
inhabitants of Mobile, to prevent them from leaving the 
country. As they had "amassed considerable property in 
the colony, by keeping public-houses, it was but just," said be 
to the Minister, " to compel them to remain." 

Although discharged from office. La Salle, far from remain- 
ing quiet, continued to complain of the administration of the 
*7* colony. He urged the Minister to send thirty females to 
Mobile, to prevent, by marriage, the debauchery which was 
committed with Indian women. He said that such an im- 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 206 

portation would serve to keep at home a number of Canadians chapter 
who roamed the country in search of feaiale slaves. He 
agreed in opinion with Bienville that negroes were indispen- 
sable to the prosperity of the colony ; and in this he was 
right, for experience has proved that neither South-Carolina, 
Louisiana, nor any other Southern State, with such low rich 
lands, and with a humid atmosphere so destructive to the 
•constitutions of the whites, could ever have been successfillly 
brought into cultivation without African labor. 

Commissary D'Artaguette, visiting the country lying be- 
tween Lake Pontchartrain and the Mississippi river, now a 
portion of New Orleans, found there seven Frenchmen, who 1709 
had each planted an acre of Indian corn, brought from the 
Illinois, and which grew most luxuriantly. He wrote to the 
2if inister, as Iberville and Bienville had often done before, 
urging the establishment of colonies upon that river, and for 
their protection against the floods, the erection of embankments 
along tl)ie margin. 

Although La Salle had died at Mobile early in the year mo 
1710, a short time after the death of his second wife, who, 
like the first, had been reared in the hospitals, yet Bienville 
idled not to find those who were equally wilhng to comment, 
in the most illiberal manner, upon his administration. Ma- 
ligny, an officer of the garrison, in a despatch to the Minister, 
accused him with disregarding the interests of the colony. La 
Vente, the curate, who appeared officiously desirous to attend 
to the temporal as well as the spiritual affairs of Louisiana, 
also abused him without measure, attributing to him every 



20g THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MlSSISSffPI. 

CHAPTER misfortune which attended the inhabitants of Mobile. He 
^' assured the Minister, that if the permission of the government 
could be obtained, they had determined to form a colony upon 
1710 Dauphin Island, where there were twenty fortified houses, for 
the purpose of catching fish, and being more convenient to 
the supplies which might be sent to them from Pensacola and 
France. Under these repeated • assaults, BienWlle lost the 
di^ty and patience which had formerly characterized his 
conduct, and now retorted uj^on his adversaries with con- 
siderable acrimony. In one of his despatches, he said, that 
" the curate. La Vente, endeavored to excite everybody 
against him ;" that the curate was " not ashamed to keep an 
open shop and sell like an avaricious Jew." Verily, this 
fether must have been a man who possessed too much maUg- 
nity, avarice and bad temper, to have been a successful mis- 
sionary in the holy cause in which he was ostensibly engaged. 
December Thus the year 1710 closed with such controversies, while 
Bienville had been obliged to distribute his men among the 
Indian towns to procure something to eat.* How unfortu- 
nate that the colonists, like mere children, should have 
depended upon the mother country for every thing which 
went into their mouths, when moderate industry, bestowed 
higher up the Tombigby and Alabama rivers, upon the mor& 
elevated and less sickly lands, would have ensured them an. 
abundance. 

* Histoire de la Louisiane, par Charles Gayarre, vol. 1, pp. 78-91. 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 207 



CHxYPTER V. 

THE COLONY OF LOUISIANA GRANTED 

TO OROZAT. 

The high floods having iiiundttted th(» settlements around chapter 
Fort St Louis de la Mobile, Bieuville determined to place his ^' 
people upon more elevated ground. All the inhabitants, except 
the garrison of the fort, removed u{)on the Mobile river, where, 

1711 

Upon the site of the i)resent beautiful and wealthy conimer- March 
cial emporium of Alabama, they established themselves. Here 
Bienville built a new wooden fort, which, in a few years, was 
destroyed to give place to an extensive fortress of brick, called, 
in French times. Fort Conde, and, in English and Spanish 
times, Fort Charlotte. The seat of government was perma- 
nantly fixed here, and the leading characters of the colony 
made Mobile their head-quarters. Only a small garrison was 
left at the old settlement at the mouth of Dog river, which, 
However, continued to guard that point for several years after 
this period. 

The Chickasaws ha\'ing again engaged in a war with the 

Oboctaws, at the instance of the English, and thirty of the 

bnner tribe being at Mobile at the time, they implored Bien- 

ille to have them safely conducted home, through the coun- 

12* 



208 THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTER try of their enemies. DesinDg to acquire the confidence of 
^* the Chickasaws by acts of kindness that would induce them to 
break up their alhance with the CaroHnians, Bienville readily 
granted their request, and despatched his brother, Chateaugn^, 
with thirty soldiers, to escort them. He was successful in his 
mission, and returned to Mobile without having met with any 
serious adventures. 

The colony of Louisiana still remained in a precarious situ- 
^ }^^ «, ation. It is true, the inhabitants had to some extent begun 

October 27 ' ° 

the cultivation of tobacco, the first samples of which were sup- 
posed to be superior to the quality raised in Virginia. Wheat 
came up most luxuriantly, but the damp atmosphere de- 
stroyed it when it commenced maturing. Notwithstanding 
the long war which had existed between France and England, 
no attacks of the enemy had been directed against any part 
of the Louisiana colony, until about this time, when a pirate 
ship jfrom Jamaica disembarked on Dauphin Island, and plun- 
dered the inhabitants of nearly all which they possessed. Not 
long afterwards, this first and last act of hostihty during the 
present war, was succeeded by the arrival of a ship which 
came upon a more agreeable mission. She brought large 
1711 supplies for the colony, and when she hoisted her sails to re- 
turn to France, D'Ai-taguette, the commissary general, an ac- 
complished man, who well understood his business, became a 
passenger on board of her, to the regret of all the inhabitants, 
who ardently desired him to remain longer with them. 

The following is a statement of the colonial disbursements 
of the year 1*711 : 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 209 

PAYMENTS. CHAPTER 

To 12 workmen on the fortification, - 4,480 livres. ^' 
^* 23 naval officers, soldiers and cabin boys, 4,572 



^* superior officers, . - - - 


19,988 


" medicine chest, . - . 


506 


" wax candles in the chapel, 


270 


" presents to the Indians, 


- 4,000 


" maintenance of military companies, 


- 27,688 



61,504 livres, 
D'Artaguette, the colonial commissary, had a prosperous 
voyage to France, and arrived there " at the time," to use the 
eloquent language of Gay arre, " when the star of Louis XIV., 
which had shed such brilliant glory around for half a century, 
was almost extinguished, and the doors of the old cathedral of 
St. Dennis had already opened in expectation of receiving the 
great monarch, whom age and misfortune urged rapidly towards 
the tomb." The country, too, over which he had so long 
xeigned, was then groaning under the effects of the long, 
bloody and expensive wars which he had waged. The report 
which D'Artaguette now made of the unhappy condition of 
the colony of Louisiana, induced the French government to 
number that fruitless and extravagant bantling among its other 
misfortunes. It determined to hand the colony over to the 
<»re of a company, or to some rich merchant, with a grant of 
its exclusive commerce and other important privileges. Ac- 
<Jordingly, an opulent merchant, named Antione Crozat, en- 
tered into a contract with the King of France. The King 



1711 



210 THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTER granted to him, for the terra of fifteen years, the exclusive 
commerce of all the country known as the colony of Louisi- 

September 14 ana, embracing the countr}" upon the Alabama and Tombig- 
by, with their various tributary streams ; of all the islands at 
and near their enti-ance to the sea ; of all the lakes, rivers and 
islands connected with the lakes Pontchartrain, Mauripas, 
Borne, <fec. ; of all the country upon the Mississippi and its nu- 
merous tributaries, fi-om the sea as high up as the Illinois river, 
together with that of Texas. He also ceded to him ^'' fcrreverj'' 
all the lands which he could establish himself upon, all the ma- 
nufactures which he could put into operation, and all the struc- 
tures which he should erect. The King also granted to him 
the proceeds of all the mines which he might find and work, 
and agreed to appropriate fifty thousand livres annually to- 

September 14 ward the payment of his oflScers and troops in Louisiana. 

For all these privileges, Crozat obligated, on his part, to 
appropriate one-fourth of the proceeds of the mines of precious 
metaLs to the King's use ; to forfeit the lands which were 
granted to him ^^ forever^'' if the improvements or manufac- 
tures which he placed upon them should be abandoned by 
him or should cease to exist ; to send a vessel annually to 
Guinea for slaves for the colony, and to send every year two 
ships from France, with a certain number of emigrants to Lou- 

September 14 isiana ; and, at the expiration of nine years, to pay the salaries 
of the King's officers in the colony during the remainder of 
his time, with the privilege of nominating those officers for 
his majesty's appointment. 

All this country was to be a dependency upon the govern- 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 211 

ment of New France. The ordinances and usages of tlie chapter 
Provost and Viscount of Paris were tx> rule the colony, in 
connection with a council similar to that which then existed 
in St. Domingo. 

About the time that France thus abandoned our soil and 
the few white inhabitants upon it, to the wealthy Parisian 
merchant, the King, by the treaty of Utrecht, ceded to Eng- 
land the country of Nova Scotia, with its ancient boundaries. 

The population of Louisiana, now turned over to Crozat, 
consisted of twenty-eight families, tw^enty negroes, seventy-five 

1712 

Canadians, and two companies of infantry of fifty men each, September 14 
the whole numbering three hundred and twenty-four souls. 
They were scattered over the colony, and separated by large 
rivers and expansive lakes, protected by only six forts of mise- 
rable construction, built of stakes, trees and earth, and portions 
of them covered with palm leaves. These forts were situated 
as follows : one upon the Mississippi, one upon Ship Island, one 
upon Dauphin Island, one at Biloxi, one at the old and the 
other at the new settlement of Mobile. 

At length, a vessel of fifty guns disembarked, on Dauphin ^^^^ 
Isliand, the officers intended fof the government of Louisiana 
under Crozat's charter. Among them were Lamotte Cadil- 
lac, the new Governor jIDuclos, the Commissary General; 
Lebas, the Comptroller ; and Dirigoin and Laloire de Ursins, 
directors of the affairs of Crozat in the colony. Governor Ca- 
dillac had served with distinction in the wars of Canada, and 
brought with him to the colony of Louisiana his daughter, 



212 THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTER whom he attempted, as we shall see, to marry to Bienville. 
^' He was a man of poor judgment, of week feelings, and much 
selfishness. To interest him in the deepest manner, in accom- 
phshinghis various schemes of colonial aggrandizement, Crozat 
had promised him a portion of his profits. But Cadillac, in 
his first despatch to the Minister, began to complain of every- 

Ma'^^T ^^y ^^^^ ^^ every thing appertaining to the colony ; and all 
his other documents to that high fiinctionary were, likewise, 
filled with carping epithets, which could only emanate from a 
selfish and childish mind like his. Dauphin Island, which, 
he said, had been represented to him as a terrastrial paradise, 
he assured the Minister, was a poor and miserable spot, sup- 
porting but a few improvements, with a. few ^ trees and 
sapless vines of the grape and lemon. Wheat did not grow 
upon the whole continent, having been abandoned upon the 
borders of Lake Pontchartrain and at Natchez, where one 
Larigne had endeavored to raise it. Other colonial oflScers, 

July 15 also, hastened to complain. Duclos wrote to the Minister that 
twelve girls had lately arrived from France, who were too ugly 
and badly formed to secure the aflPections of the men, and 
that but two of them had yet fcgind husbands. He was afraid 
that the other ten would remain on hand a long time. He 
thought proper to suggest, that tho^ who sent girls to the 
colony in future, should attach more importance to beauty 
than to virtue, as the Canadians were not scrupulous as to the 
Hves which their spouses may have formerly led. But if they 
were only to be offered girls as ugly as these, they would 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 213 

rather attach themselves to Indian females, particularlj in the chapter 
Illinois country, where the Jesuit priests sanctioned such alii- ^' 
ances by the marital ceremony. 

Duclos again wrote to the Minister, accusing Cadillac with October as 
having appropriated the presents intended for the Indians, to 
his own use, and recommended that the Governor should, in 
future, be required to confer with Bienville in relation to the 
distribution of those presents ; the latter, he remarked, having 
for so many years, by justice, honor and good advice, so hap- 
pily conciliated the different tribes. On the same day Cadil- October » 
lac wrote to the Minister, the Count Pontchartrain, that the 
inhabitanti^ knew nothing of the culture of silk, tobacco and 
indigo, but confined their attention to the production of Indian 
com and •vegetables. That the commerce of the colony con- 
sisted merely in skins of deer, bear, and other animals, and 
lumber. That the coureurs de hois hunted for peltry and 
slaves, which they brought to Mobile and sold, and that the 
peltry was then re-sold, together with vegetables and poultry, 
to the Spaniards at Pensacola, or to ships which touched 
upon the coast, while the Indian slaves were employed to 
saw out lumber and till the earth. But the very next day 
Cadillac made another despatch, in which he pronounced the 
country to be good for nothing, and the inhabitants " a mass 
of rapscallions fi-om Canada, a cut-throat set, without subordi- 
nation, with no respect for religion, and abandoned in vice 
'with Indian women, whom they prefer to French girls." He 
complained that upon arriving at Mobile he found the garri- 
sons dispersed in the woods and Indian villages, where they 



214 THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTER went in search of bread; that Bienville, his brother Cha- 
teaugn6, and their cousin Boisbriant, the Major of Mobile, 
came to the colony too young to know how to drill soldiers, 
and had not since learned any thing of proper discipline ; and 
that the soldiers all had Indian wives, who cooked for them 
and waited upon them — all of which he pronounced to be in- 
tolerable, lie believed that the colony presented but two 
objects of commerce — trade with the Spaniards of Mexico and 
1713 the working of precious mines, if the latter could be discovered ; 
but that, unfortunately, Dirigoin, one of Crozat's directore, 
was a man of no capacity, while Lebas, the comptroller, was 
extremely dissipated. He desired more trade's-people, sailors, 
Canadians and artizans to be sent out, and a church to be 
erected at Mobile. But the latter the inhabitanti would be 
delighted not to have. Indeed, a majority of the gentlemen, 
priests and missionaries, had not taken sacrament for eight 
years, the soldiers had not kept Palm Sunday, but followed 
the example of Bienville and his adherents; that the sea 
captain who brought out the twelve girls had seduced more 
than half of them upon the passage, which was the cause of 
thek not having married respectable persons in the colony, 
and he contended that it was best, binder the circumstances, 
that the soldiers should be allowed to marry them, for fear 
that their poverty would drive them to prostitution. In rela- 
tion to the council which was to co-operate in the government 
of the colony, Cadillac said that it had not convened for the 
want of suitable members. To this string of complaints were 
added many others in a subsequent despatch, among which 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 215 

were the following : That Bienville had governed the colony chapter 
for years without having discovered any mines, which he (Ca- ^' 
dillac) could have done in a short time ; that Duclos was Febraaryaa 
guilty of great impudence and presumption in censuring his 
official acts ; that the French government was entirely too 
lenient to its colonial officers and soldiers, who threatened to 
revolt and burn up Crozat's establishment ; and that libertin- 
ism was carried to such an extent, that even the boys had In- 
dian mistresses ! In again alluding to the council, he stated that 
Duclos had nominated for Attorney-General a store-keeper ; 
for Councillor, the chief surgeon ; for Secretary, Door-keeper 
and Notary, one Roquet, a low soldier ; and that the Assem- 
bly, which for the present was to meet at his house, wanted 
nothing but the bonnet and robe to make it perfect ! He said 
that if the Minister did not crush the cabals formed against 
him by Bienville and his clan, who kept up an intercourse 
with the inhabitants of Pensacola, to whom they sold and 
from whom they bought, that Crozat would be compelled to 
abandon his colonial project. He denied that he had with- 
held grants of land to the inhabitants, but admitted that his 
requirement that such grants as he had given should be sub- 
ject to the ratification of the King, gave great dissatisfaction. 
He concluded this remarkable despatch with the assertion that 
none of the lands were worth granting ! 

In the meantime, a ship had arrived from the mother coun- 
try with a large supply of provisions and considerable mer- 
chandize. She was followed by the Louisiana, owned by 



216 THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTER Crozat, also laden with provisions for the colony. Delegations 
^' of Chiefe of different tribes visited Mobile, and smoked the pipe 
1714 with Cadillac and Bien\'ille, who received them with friendship, 
gratified them with presents, and dismissed them under pledges 
that they would abandon the interests of the English of CaroUna 
and Virginia. But even after this, twelve Englishmen came 
among the Choctaws with a large number of Creeks or Musco- 
gees, and were graciously received by the inhabitants of all save 
two towns, who fortified themselves, and while besieged by the 
Creeks, one night made their escape to Cadillac at Mobile.* 
1630 During the reign of Charles I. of England, the region 

south of the Chesapeake Bay was granted by that monarch 
to Sir Robert Heath, but the projected colony was neglected, 
1663 and the grant was forfeited. Charles II. decreed that this 
territory should assume the name of Carolina, and embrace 
the region from Albemarle Sound southward to the River St 
Johns and westward to the Pacific, forming a province vast in 
extent, which was conveyed to eight joint proprietors. In 
the meantime some adventurers from New England had plant- 
ed a httle colony at the mouth of the Cape Fear river. From 
that time emigrants gradually settled upon the coast now 
1670 knovm as that of North-Carolina, and extended their ente^ 
prises to South-Carolina, where they formed a settlement 

♦Historic de la Louisiane, par Charles Gayarre, vol. l,pp. 91-112. 
Journal Historique de rEtablissement des Fran^ais a la Louiaane, 
par Bernard de la Harpe, 78-115. 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 217 

several miles above the mouths of the Ashley and Cooper chapter 
rivers, and at length established themselves upon the site of ^' 
the present city of Charleston.* 

From the time that South-Carolina was thus colonized, 
down to the period of 1714, to which we have brought the 
history of the French colony of Louisiana, forty-four years had 
passed. During much of that time, Carolina and Virginia 
traders had penetrated portions of the great Muscogee nation, 
which extended fi-om the Savannah nearly to the Warrior, in 
Alabama. They also carried their merchandize further west, 
into the heart of the Chickasaw nation, among whom they 
established trading shops, in defiance of the French settle- 
ments upon the Mobile. Notwithstanding that the French i700toi7i4 
were the first, since the invasion of De Soto, to discover and 
occupy the country where the Tombigby and Alabama lose 
themselves in the sea — and although the indefatigable Bien- 
ville had explored those rivers to their highest navigable 
points, at a very early period, freely interchanging friendly 
assurances with the Chickasaws living upon the one, and the 
Muscogees and Alabamas upon the other — ^yet the grasping 
English government attempted, through its entei*prising traders 
and special emissaries, to occupy this region, and to induce 

* Hildreth's History of the United States, vol. 2, pp. 25-36. Coxe's 
C^rolana, 2 ; London, 1741. Stevens' History of Georgia, vol. 1, pp. 
140, 141, 58, 59. Simras' History of South Carolina, pp. 56-57. 
Carroll's Historical Collections of South-Carolina, vol. 1, pp. 42-52. 
Ranisay's History of South-Carolina, vol. l,pp. 2-3. Hewett's His- 
tory of South-Carolina. 



218 THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTER the inhabitants to expel the French, not only from the head 
^' waters of those streams, but from their very mouths. These 

1700 to 1714 fearless British traders conveyed, upon the backs of pack- 
horses, such goods as suited these Indians, from distant 
Charleston to the remote Chickasaw nation, over creeks without 
bridges, rivers without ferries, and woods pathless and preg- 
nant with many dangers. They did not, however, establish 
any permanent trading shops upon the Coosa, Tallapoosa or 
Alabama, at the period under review, but occasionally traded 
with the Indians upon those streams, dwelling in their towns 
no longer than sufficed to dispose of their goods, and receive, 
in return, valuable peltries, which they conveyed back to 
Charleston. But their intercourse with these tribes was 
vastly pernicious to the French below, and to the Spaniards 
inhabiting the provinces of Florida. The Creeks, in conjunc- 
tion with their British allies, invaded tke latter provinces, as 
we have already seen. 

1702 to 1714 Bienville had repeatedly suggested to the French govern- 
ment the necessity of establishing a fort and trading post upon 
the Alabama river, in the immediate strong-hold of the 
powerful Creeks, to counteract the influence of the Carolinians; 
but a war ensued between him and the Creeks, with whom 
he had an engagement, as we have seen, and against whom 
he found it imperative, for the preservation of his colony, to 
incite the Choctaws and other tribes. About the commence- 
ment of the year 1714, and when Crozat's charter had been 
in operation for near a twelve-month, Bienville, who was still 
retained high in authority as royal lieutenant, only second to 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 219 

the Governor, was most fortunate in making peace with the chapter 
Creeks. Having: obtained from them their consent for the 
erection of a fort high up in their country, he was authorized, 
by the colonial council at Mobile, to immediately estabUsh it. 
Crozat's directors deemed the location a most suitable one for 
the advancement of his commerce, besides the barrier it would 
interpose to the enemies of that commerce. 

Accordingly Bienville embarked at Mobile, with eight iron 
cannon, many fire-arms, a large supply of ammunition, mer- 
diandize suitable for the Indians, and a liberal supply of pro- 
visions, on board two small saihng vessels. With these ves- 
sels also went a number of canoes of various descriptions. 
The expedition was composed of soldiers, Canadians, and 
Mobile and Choctaw Indians. Bienville sailed up the Mobile *^* 

^ Aprils 

river to the confluence of the Tombigby and Alabama. Here, 
passing with his singular fleet into the latter stream, he slowly 
ascended it. After a long and tedious voyage, he arrived at 
one of the Alabama villages, not far above the site of the 
modern town of Selma. Continuing the voyage up the river, 
he successively passed the towns of Autauga,* Powacte and 
Ecuncharte ; f and at length moored his boats at the beautiful jnne a 
Indian town of Coosawda. These towns were inhabited by 
the Alabamas, who, as we have seen, were members of the 
great Creek nation, which was composed of several different 
tribes, whom they had conquered and incorporated into their 
confederacy. Many of these people joined the fleet on its 

♦Now the aite of Washington. t Now the site of Montgomery. 



220 THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTER passage up the Alabama, and joyfully greeted Bienville, who 
*^' was popular with all the savages, and who, with wonderful fia- 
cility, acquired a perfect knowledge of their different dialects. 
He was met at Coosawda by some of the most prominent 
Chiefs ; and here leaving his fleet, he embarked in a canoe, 
and explored the Coosa and Tallapoosa rivere for several miles 
up. He then resolved to erect his fort at the town of Tus- 
kegee, which was then situated on the east bank of the Coosa, 
four miles above the junction of that stream with the Talla- 
poosa. Bienville displayed much judgment in the selection 
of this place. It was at the head of a peninsula formed by 
the windings of these rivers, which here approached within 
J *'**29 ®^^ hundred yards of each other ; after which they diverged 
considerably before they finally came together. It was in the 
neighborhood of some of the most populous towns, — the in- 
habitants of which could easily bring down to the fort their 
articles of commerce by either river. Returning to Coosawda, 
Bienville now advanced his fleet from thence to the junction, 
where, entering the Coosa, he arrived at Tuskegee, where the 
voyage terminated. The crew left the boats — ascended the 
bluff — formed themselves in rehgious order, and surrounded a 
cross which had been hastily constructed. Two priests, who 
accompanied the expedition, chanted praises to the Most High, 
and went through other solemn ceremonies, in presence of a 
number of the natives, who contemplated the scene with 
calmness and respect, and who preserved the most profound 
silence. With the assistance of the natives, Bienville began 
the erection of a wooden fort with four bastions, in each one 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 221 

of which he mounted two of the cannon. As the history chapter 
of these cannon is rather singular, and may interest some of ^' 
our readers, we must be allowed to digress a little from the 
main narrative, by a brief reference to it. These cannon re- 
mained upon the entrenchments of Fort Toulouse from 1714 
to 1763. Then the French commandant spiked them, broke 
off the trunions, evacuated the fort, and left the cannon 
there in that situation. The English, who, in 1763, succeed- 
ed to the possession of this country, thi-ew a garrison into 
Fort Toulouse, but in a very short time also evacuated it, and 
it fell into rapid decay ; but still the French cannon remain- 
ed there. A few years after Col. Hawkins had been stationed 
among the Creeks, as their agent, he induced the government, 
as a means of encouraging agriculture, to send some black- 
smiths to the nation. One of these men succeeded in filing 
away the spikes from two of the cannon. These the Indians 
used to fire with powder, for amusement. Afterwards, the 
army of Jackson occupied the site of the old fort. In due 
time they marched away, and still these French pieces re- 
mained there. 

Finally, the to>vn of Montgomery, now our capital, began 
to be settled, and the inhabitants went up to old Fort Toulouse, 
then Fort Jackson, and brought down two of these cannon, 
which they fired at 4th July festivals, and upon other extraor- 
dinary occasions. When it was known that John Quincy 
Adams had been elected President of the United States, his 
warm friends in Montgomery determined to make the forests 
resound with the noise of powder. One of the cannon was 

13 



222 THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTER over-charged, and when touched off by Ebenezer Pond, burst 
^' into pieces and mangled that gentleman in such a horrid 
manner, that he was a long time in recovering. The breech of 
the other cannon was, some years afterwards, burst off by 
heavy charges, and the portion which remains now stands at 
Pollard's corner, in Montgomery, being there planted in the 
ground, the muzzle up, for the purpose of protecting the 
comer of the side-walk. About the year 1820, another 
of these cannon was carried to the town of Washington, the 
then county seat of Autauga, where the inhabitants used to 
fire it upon the celebration of the 4th July, and whenever a 
steamboat arrived, but at length it was also burst, by a party re- 
joicing one night at the result of a county election. Another 
of these old French pieces was carried to Wetumpka when 
that town was first established, and was fired upon hke 
occasions. It is now at Rookfoi-d, in Coosa county, in the 
possession of the same Ebenezer Pond who was so badly 
wounded at Montgomer}^ by the explosion of one of its mates. 
What became of the other four cannon we do not know, but 
have understood that they, together with a fine brass piece, 
are in the river opposite Fort Jackson. 
*'^* But to return to Bienville and his romantic expedition. 

Angnst 

Around the stockading the governor cut intrenchments, and 
one hundred years afterwards, Jackson placed an American 
fort upon the ruins, which assumed his name. Bienville 
occupied the summer and fall in completing the fort and 
November out-houses, and in exploring the surrounding country. He 
visited Tookabatcha, upon the Tallapoosa, and extended his 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 223 

journey among the Lower Muscogees, upon the Chattahoo- chapter 
che, — even crossing that river, and conferring with the Chiefe ^* 
in the towns of Coweta and Cusseta, within the present limits 
of Georgia. Upon all these dangerous excursions he was 
accompanied by only a few faithful Canadians, and always 
performed his journeys on foot. Was not this whole expedi- 
tion most interesting, — nay, romantic ? Here was the former 
governor of Louisiana, and now the lieutenant-governor, in 
the centre of Alabama, in the deepest depths of her forests, 
among people with whom he had been at war, and who were 
yet tampered with by tl^e English, visiting their towns, dis- 
tributing presents, and exhorting them to form alliances with 
the French colony of Louisiana, and to expel the English who 
should attempt to form posts among them. Yes ! citizens of 
the counties of Montgomery, Coosa, Tallapoosa, Macon and 
Russell, reflect that one hundred and thirty-seven years ago* 1714 
the French governor of Louisiana, — the great and good Bien- 
ville, — walked over your soil and instituted friendly relations 
with its rude inhabitants, — among whom not a sohtary white 
man had a permanent abode, — and established a small colony 
upon the east bank of the Coosa ! 

Giving the fort the name of " Toulouse," in honor of a dis- 
tinguished French Count of that name, who had much to do 
with the government of France and her colonies, and leaving 
in command Marigny de Mandaville with thirty soldiers, and 
one of the priests, Bienville turned his boats down the river, and, December ar 

* This being now 1851. 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 



iPTBR after a prosperous voyage, arrived at Mobile with the Indians 
^' and Canadians who had accompanied him.* 

Thus, we see, that although the French had been residing 
upon the Mobile river since 1702, and the Canadians had 
several times explored Central Alabama, yet no attempt was 
made to form permanent settlements in this region, until 
twelve years afterwards, when it was so successfully accom- 
plished by Bienville. 

Governor Cadillac, in a despatch to the Minister, attempted 
to acquire all the credit for the peace which had been made 
with the Creek nation, and boasted, generally, of the impor- 
tant services which, he contended, he had rendered the colony. 
But he was the same inefficient, selfish and fault-finding officer. 
A large majority of the inhabitants relied solely upon Bien- 
ville, who^e most prominent friends were Duclos, Boisbriant, 
Chateaugn6, Richebourg, and du Tisne, and the larger num- 
ber of the priesthood. The friends of Cadillac were Marigny 
de Mandaville, Bagot, Bloundel, Latour, Villiers and Terrine. 
Thus this handful of men were at daggers' points with each 
other, instead of uniting for their own preservation and pros- 
perity, and that of the feeble settlements over which they had 
^"J* charge. A tyrannical ordinance was issued in France, upon 
the petition of Crozat, which further embaiTassed affairs. All 
persons were forbidden to bring any merchandize into Lou- 
isiana, or to carry any out of it, under penalty of confiscation 
to the profit of Crozat. No person in the colony was allowed 

* MS. letters obtained from Paris. 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. * 225 

to have a vessel fit to go to sea, and all subjects of the King chapter 
were prohibited from sending vessels to the colony to carry on ^* 
dbmmerce. Crozat was determined to avail himself of the 
monopoly which had been granted him, and this ordinance 
was based upon the representations of Cadillac, who had, more 
than once, complained to the Minister, that the inhabitants of 
the colony were making a little for themselves^ in a commerce 
with the Spaniards, which was deemed a very unwarrantable 
thing by that ilHberal man. Cadillac hated Bienville for 1714 
several reasons, the most prominent of which were, that he 
was too popular with the Canadians and Indians, too much 
respected and obeyed by the inhabitants generally, and had 
absolutely refused to become his son-in-law. Cadillac's daugh- 
ter, who had been educated in France, and who, Hke her 
father, thought much of the blood and honor of the family, 
fell in love with Bienville, soon after her arrival in Mobile. 
The proud governor could not, at first, brook the idea of an 
aUiance with a Canadian, but he saw, as he supposed, the 
strong attachment of his daughter, who now began, hke many 
other hypocritical girls, to pine away and sicken in conse- 
quence of his refusal. Believing that Bienville's great influ- 
ence with the inhabitants, as well as with the various Indian 
tribes, would materially strengthen his administration and 
advance the commerce of Crozat, the profits of which he was 
to share, if he could but once secure his friendship and obe- 
dience, he resolved to sacrifice his family dignity by gratifying 
the wishes of his daughter. One day he accosted Bienville, 
'with much respect and suavity of manner, and invited him 



226 ' THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTER into his closet. He there disclosed to him his entire wiUing- 
^' ness to sanction the contemplated match between him and his 
daughter, charged him to treat her with affection, and con- 
cluded his conversation with a very patronizing air. Bienville, 
much surprised at the whole affair, as he had never alluded 
to maiTiage, in the few visits which he had paid the daughter, 
gravely assured Cadillac that he had '* determined never to 
marry." This was too bad ; and, from that moment, Bien- 
ville found, in the persons of the Governor and his daughter, 
two most coi'dial haters. 
^ ^^* The redoubtable Curate de la Vente continued to declaim, 

December ' 

not only against the colonial government, but against every 
body except his friend Cadillac. In his despatches to the 
Minister, he said that the Canadians particularly "did not 
wish to connect themselves with any women by marriage, 
much preferring to carry on scandalous concubinage with the 
young Indian squaws, who were hurried by their nature into 
all kinds of irregularities." That they scarcely ever saw a 
church, never performed mass, and never partook of the 
sacraments ; that, while a few of the inhabitants did celebrate 
Sundays and festival days, the large majority resorted to tav- 
erns and to public games — " whence it is easy to comprehend 
that they are almost all drunkards, gamesters, blasphemers of 
the holy name of God, and declared enemies of all good, mak- 
ing a matter of ridicule of our holy rehgion and of the persons 
who perform its exercises." They corrupted the soldiers by 
such horrid examples ; and even officers, who wore the sword 
And plume, had children by Indian females. The missiona- 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. . 227 

ries found themselves useless to a people who were led away chapter 
by such vices, and to the Indians, who were corrupted by the ^* 
sins of the latter, and consequently they would be forced to 
leave a land so accursed. La Vente suggested to the Minister 
two plans "to rectify the affairs of the past and those of the 
future : " — either to solely colonize Louisiana with Christian 
femihes, or permit the French to many the Indian women by oJl^ber 
religious rites. Or, if these plans could not be carried into 
effect, that a large number of girls, "better chosen than the 
last, and especially some who will be sufficiently pleasing and 
well-formed to suit the officers of the garrisons and the prin- 
cipal inhabitants," should be sent over from France as a par- 
tial remedy. Verily, the worthy curate's head appeared to 
run much upon women of various grades ! 

According to the orders which he had received, De la Loire 1715 
des Ursins made a settlement at Natchez, to promote the com- 
merce of Crozat. Cadillac set off on an expedition to discover 
mines of gold and silver in the Illinois country, and did not 
return from his chimerical excursion until October, when he 
wrote to the Minister that he had everywhere set the Indians 
upon the English, but, in truth, ho had aroused the anger of 
the savages against himself wherever he had appeared among 
them ; and, in descending the Mississippi, upon his way to 
Mobile, he had refused to smoke with the powerful and war- 
like Natchez Chiefs, which was highly resented on their part, 
and afterwards led to a war with the French. 

An English officer fi'om Carolina, named Hutchey, who had 
passed through the Creek and Chickasaw nations, came into 

13* * 



228 THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTER the territory of the Natchez. From thence he began the de- 
^* scent of the Mississippi, to form alliances with the tribes be- 
low. But Des Ursins, who had gained intelligence of his 
movements, pursued him in a boat, captured him near Man- 
chac, and carried him to Mobile. From thence Bienville sent 
him to Pensacola ; but having determined to reach Carohna 
by land, he was killed upon the route by a Thomez Indian. 

1715 

July A large canoe, containing seven Alabamas, an Englishman 
and a Canadian named Boutin, arrived at Mobile. They re- 
ported that the Indians, bordering upon Carolina, had risen 
in war against the inhabitants of that province, had killed 
those upon the frontiers, and that even Port Royal and seve- 
ral other towns had been destroyed. The war extended to 
the distant Chickasaw nation. There, fifteen English traders, 
who had taken shelter in one cabin, were instantly slain in 
the presence of De St. Helene, a Frenchman, who was then 
among the tribe, and who, a few minutes after the massacre, 
was killed himself, through mistake, by two young Chicka- 

1716 saws, engaged in the bloody sc^ne, they supposing him to be 
one of the enemy. His death was regretted by all the Chicks- 
saws who were present. 

To profit by this intelligence, so agreeable to the French 
colony, Bienville immediately despatched emissaries among 
the Alabamas and Muscogees, to renew the alliances which he 
had formed with them, and to engage them to turn their 
whole commerce into French channels. He sent messengers 
to the Choctaws, demanding the head of Outactachito, who 
had introduced the English into their nation, and who bad 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 229 

driven off the inhabitants of the two Choctaw towns that were chapter 

faithful to the French and who still lay around Mobile, anxious ^* 

to return home. The messengers returned to Mobile with the 

head of this warrior, which had been reluctantly stricken off 

by the Chiefe, who were afraid to disobey Bienville. They 

bore an invitation to those Choctaws whom they had forced 

to leave their homes, to return in peace. 

The store-ship Dauphin came to anchor in Mobile bay, j^^^ 
where she landed two companies of infantry, commanded by 
Mandaville and Bagot, which increased the expenditures of 
the colony to the amount of thirty-two thousand livres a year. 
One of the passengers, named Rogeon, came to fill the place 
of Dirigoin, one of the directors of Crozat, who had been re- 
moved from oflSce. At the same time, a frigate from Rochelle, 
and a brigantine from Martinique, arriving in the bay, re- 
quested permission to dispose of their cargoes to the inhabi- 
tants ; but the authorities, anxious to perfect the monopoly 
of Crozat, refused them the privilege. 

In the meantime, Cadillac had not forgotten how to fill the 
sheets, which he sent to Count Pontchartrain, with gloomy 
pictures of the colony, and the licentiousness of its inhabitants. 
In one of these despatches he denominated Louisiana " a mon- ms 
ster which had neither head nor tail." He complained of the 
manner in which the council unscrupulously altered the de- 
crees of the French government. He said that the whole 
country was the poorest and most miserable upon the globe, 
the people of which would much sooner believe a lie than the 
truth. He recommended that a stone fort be erected at Mo- 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPL 



PTBR bile, but immediatelj interposed an obstacle to the project by 
^' saying that the topographical engineer was a man without 
firmness and judgment, and was always drunk. He was vio- 
lently opposed to the establishment of a colony upon the 
Mississippi, on the ground which sustains New-Orleans, a 
measure now contemplated by Crozat, through the recom- 
mendation of Bienville. He asserted that the Mississippi 
river was too crooked, too rapid in high tides, and too low in 
the dry sea<^on, for the navigation of canoes ! 

At length Cadillac went to reside on Dauphin Island, where 
he had formerly spent much of his time. It was fortified with 
four barracks of palisades, covered with rushes, and a guard- 
house, with a prison of the same style — the whole surrounded 
July 20 ^^ palisades very irregularly arranged. From this island he 
immediately issued the following singular ordinance : 

ORDINANCE OF M. DE LAMOTTE CADILLAC. 

" As we have obtained certain knowledge of several cabals 
and conspiracies which tend to revolt and sedition, and on ac- 
count of some disturbances from which, evil consequences may 
ensue, in order to abolish and obviate the misconduct caused 
by drunkenness and also all disturbances fomented by women of 
irregular life, or by the instigation of other persons who excite 
to vengeance those who are so unfortunate as to expose them- 
selves by evil discourse, and as every one takes it upon him- 
self to carry a sword and other weapons without having any 
right to do so, we most positively prohibit to all persons of 
low birth, to all clerks of M. Crozat, sailors and strangers late- 
ly arrived from France, if they are not provided with hm 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 231 

majesty's commission, from carrying a sword or any other chapter 
weapons, either by day or night, on Dauphin Island, or at any ^' 
other settlements where there is an actual garrison, under the 
penalty of three hundred livres fine, to be applied to the 
erection of a church on Dauphin Island ; and in default of 
payment the oflfender shall be confined in prison for the space 
of one month, and the penalty shall be greater for each repe- 
tition of the oflfence. We grant to all gentlemen the privi- 
lege of wearing a sword after having proved their nobility, 
and presented their titles to the secretary of the council for 
examination, and not otherwise, under the same penalties. 
We grant, also, to all civil and military officers, actually serv- 
ing in the country, permission to wear a sword, &c." 

Thus, while this ridiculous governor was establishing him- 
self in a court of heraldry, in a miserable cabin of palm logs 
on Dauphin Island, and pronouncing upon titles of nobility, 
Bienville whs in the interior of the immense wilds of Louisi- 
ana, establishing trading posts and advancing the interests of 
the colony. Cadillac, whom the excellent commissary, Du- 
clos, pronounced to be "an avaricious, cunning and obstinate 
man, who kept for himself everything which the court sent to 
the savages," was fast losing ground with the authorities in 
France. Crozat, in one of his last communications to him, 
used this language : " It is my opinion that all the disorders 
of which M. Cadillac complains in the colony proceed from 
the mal-administration of M. Cadillac himself." The Minister 
added this postscript : " Messrs. Cadillac and Duclos, whose 
characters are utterly incompatible with each other, and who, 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 



(AFTER at the same time, lack the intelligence necessary to the per- 
^* formance of their duties, are recalled, and their places are 

1716 

filled by others." It was unjust that Duclos should have been 
made to lose his station because his views of colonial pohcy 
clashed with those of the Governor. 

The King of France had ordered Bienville to form several 
establishments upon the Mississippi, and to commence with 
that among the Natchez, with eighty soldiers. As soon as 
possible he began the construction of large canoes to be used 
as transports. Cadillac refused to place at his disposal the 
number of soldiers designated by his majesty, and Bienville, 
when all things were ready, departed with only thirty- 
four soldiers under the command of Richebourg. To these 
April 28 were added fifteen sailors. Bienville advanced to a town of 
the Tonicas, eighteen leagues below Natchez, and there learn- 
ing from Father Davion, still a missionary among those peo- 
ple, that they were not to be trusted and would probably 
become allies of the Natchez, he established himself tempo- 
rarily upon an island in the Mississippi, where he erected 
three barracks, which he enclosed with piles. His object was 
to obtain possession of the persons of those Chiefs and promi- 
nent warriors of the Natchez, who had recently murdered 
some Frenchmen, in consequence of the refusal of Cadillac to 
smoke with them, which they viewed as a declaration of war. 
He intended, after he had made an example of a few Chie&, 
and had intimidated the common people, to proceed to their 
towns and there constnict a fortification in obedience to the 
orders of his King. Father Davion further informed Bienville 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 233 

tliat the Natchez Chie& did not suspect that the murders chapter 
which they had committed were known to the French au- ^' 
tborities, and were anxious to keep them concealed. Bienville 
then despatched messengers up the river, who were instructed 
to pass by the Natchez during the night, and proceed towards 
the Wabash settlements, and inform all Frenchmen, whom 
they met descending, to be upon their guard, for that he was 
stationed at the Tonicas, and that he was preparing to be re- 
venged upon the murderers of the Frenchmen, which would 
possibly produce a serious war with that tribe. 

Three Natchez, who were sent by their Chiefs to Biennlle, ^p,!|f 27 
arrived with the pipe of peace, but the latter declined to 
receive it, and stated that the messengers might smoke with 
his soldiers, but that he would only smoke with the Great 
Sun Chiefe, for he was the Great Chief of the French. He 
affected indifference about establishing a trading post among 
them, and intimated an intention to give the Tonicas the 
benefit of his merchandize, as the Natchez Chiefs had exhibit- 
ed such a want of respect and friendship, in not coming them- 
selves to greet him. 

The three savages speedily returfied home with this startling 
message, and with a French interpreter, who could further 
explain the reply of Bienville. One morning, Bienville saw Mays 
four magnificent canoes descending the river, and bearing 
towards the island. Eight warriors stood erect and sung the 
pipe -song, while three Chiefs, in each canoe, sat under im- 
mense umbrellas. They were the Natchez Chiefs, allured 
•lliither by the snare which the royal lieutenant had laid for 



284 THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTER them. Concealing one half of his soldiera, and advancing, 
^' with apparent friendship, he conducted them within his rude 
mihtary works, which they entered singing the song of peace, 
and holding the pipe over his head. Afterwards, they passed 
their hands over his stomach without rubbing, and then over 
themselves. Bienville refused the pipe with contempt, and 
desired, first, to know the nature of their visit. Much discon- 
certed, the Chiefs went out and presented their pipes to the 
Sun. The Iligh Priest, with his arms extended and his eyes 
fixed upon the bright luminary which he daily worshipped, 
invoked it to soften the temper and change the resolution of 
1716 the stern Bienville. Again entering the works, he presented 
the pipe to Bienville, who scornfully refused it. At that mo- 
ment the Chiefs were seized, ironed, and placed in the prison. 
At night, Bienville informed the Grand Sun, and his brothers, 
the Angry Serpent and the Little Sun, whom he had caused 
to be separated from the others and brought into his presence, 
that nothing would satisfy him but to be placed in possession 
of the heads of the Chiefs who advised the murder of the five 
Frenchmen, and of those who executed the horrid deed ; that 
he knew that thei/ werS not concerned in the transaction 
themselves, and, consequently, he did not desire to take their 
hves, unless they failed to comply with his demands. He 
May 9 gave them until morning to determine upon his requisition, 
and by daylight the three brothers appeared before him, and 
implored him to remember that no one now remained in their 
town of sufficient authority to chop off the heads of the men 
whom he demanded, and requested that the Angry SerpefBt 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 236 

might be pennitted to return home to accomplish the dan- chapter 
gerous mission. Bienville refused, but sent the Little Sun in ^' 
his place, with an officer and twelve soldiere, who conveyed 
him in a canoe within six miles of Natchez, where he was 
placed on shore. The Little Sun returned to Bienville, with 111^14 
three heads, two of which the French commander recognized 
as those which he had demanded. The other head was 
that of an innocent person, the brother of one of the mur- 
derers, who had fled to the forests. Bienville expressed his 
deep regret to the Chiefe, that they had thus caused an inno- 
cent person to suffer, and assured them that nothing would 
compromise his resentment but the possession of the head of 
the Chief, White Earth. Notwithstanding the Little Sun had 
acted with so much promptness, and had brought with him a 
Frenchman and two lUinois Indians, whom he found tied to 
stakes in one of the Natchez towns, ready to be burned to 
death, yet Bienville caused him to be ironed and remanded to 
prison with the others. The next day he despatched to the May 16 
Natchez, the High Priest of the Temple, and two Chiefe of 
War, for the head of White Earth. They were conducted by 
a detachment, almost to their villages. In the meantime, by 
a confession of the imprisoned Chiefs, Bienville ascertained 
that the English had been encouraged, and the Frenchmen 
had been killed, at the instance of White Earth, Grigars, and 
two Chiefe and two warriors then in his custody. The Indians 
whom he had sent to the Natchez, having returned without 
the head of White Earth, who had made his escape, and the 
inundations of the Mississippi having caused much sickness on 



2186 THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTER the island, Bienville determined to end the affair by a treaty 
^' with the Chiefe, who willingly acceded to his tenns, and were 
grateful that he had spared their lives. They bound them- 
selves to kill White Earth whenever he could be captured — to 
restore all the goods which they had seized — ^to cut two 
thousand ^ve hundred piles of acacia wood, thirty feet long 
and ten inches in diameter, and to deposit them at the spot, 
at Natchez, where it was contemplated to erect a fort — ^and to 
furnish the bark of three thousand cypress trees, for covering 
the houses, by the end of July.* 
June 8 Adjutant Pailloux departed, with two soldiers, to the town 
of the Natchez, with the Chiefe and other warriors ; Bien- 
ville, however, retained the Angry Serpent and his brother, 
the Little Sun, as hostages, and also kept the four murderers, 
who now rent the prison with their doleful death-songs and 
loud speeches of defiance. Pailloux, upon arriving among 
the Natchez, found them assembled in council, and learned, 
with pleasure, that they were satisfied with the compact 
which their Chiefe had made with Bienville. He selected an 
eminence, near the Mississippi, advantageously situated for that 
purpose, for the site of a fort. In the meantime, Bienville 
had been visited, at the island, by nine old Natchez men, 
who came with much show of solemnity, and invited him to 
Junes smoke the pipe of peace with them, which he now no longer 

* Histoire de la Louisiane, par Charles Gay arre, vol. 1, pp. 114-144 
Journal Historique de TEtablissement des Fran^ais a la LouisiaDe, par 
Bernard de la Harpe, pp. 115-128. 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 237 

refused to do. He sent them home with the Little Sun and chapter 
four soldiers, who conveyed, in a large canoe, axes, spades, ^' 

1716 

pickaxes, nails and other irons, to construct the fort. The Junes 
next day, the soldiers, at the island, struck off the heads 
of the two warriors. Afterwards Captain Richebourg was J™"« ^ 
obliged to depart for Mobile, on account of sickness. A 
number of Canadian voj/ageurs, whom Bienville detained at 
the island, while on their way from the Illinois country, with 
peltries and supplies for the people of the lower part of 
Louisiana, now that the difficulties with the Natchez had 
ended, were pennitted to proceed down the Mississippi ; the Jane 12 
royal lieutenant caused them to take with them the two 
Chiefe, whose heads he ordered to be struck off twelve 
leagues below, which was faithfully executed. 

The Natchez, directed by the French officer and assisted 
by a few soldiers, labored upon the fort and ditches with 
great assiduity, and soon brought the works to a state of 
completion. Bienville had arrived a few days before, in Augusta 
company with the Angiy Serpent, whom he had retained 
about his person until every seeming obstacle was overcome. 
Before the gate of the fort, six hundred Natchez warriors 
appeared, unarmed, and joined three hundred women in a August 25 
dance in honor of Bienville ; afterwards the Chiefs crossed 
the threshold and smoked the pipe of peace with him. Such 
was the end of the first Natchez war. 

Leaving Pailloux in command of the post at Natchez, 
Bienville descended the Mississippi, and sailed to Mobile for October 4 
the purpose of reporting to Governor Cadillac. Here he 



238 ^^^ FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTER received a packet from the Marine Council, in which he was 
^' ordered by the King of France to govern as chief of the 
colony, until L'Epinay, the successor of Cadillac, should 
arrive. He was thus saved the disagreeable necessity of 
reporting to his old enemy, who had, in advance, denounced 
his conduct to the Minister, as fraught with cruelty and the 
deepest treachery towards the Natchez Chiefs. We are not 
prepared to defend Bienville from these charges, although 
his course was approved by the government and by all the 
colonial authorities, with the exception of Cadillac and his 
junto. 

The King of France, acceding to the request of Crozat, 
allowed one hundred salt-makers to be sent annuaUy to 
Louisiana, who, after laboring there for three yeai-s, were to 
receive land. He also consented to send thither eight com- 
panies of soldiers, with permission to two, out of each 
company, to settle in the country, together with a hundred 
hospital girls, annually, to increase the colonial population. 
The King refused to adopt the suggestion of the Curate La 
Vente, of permitting Frenchmen to marry Indian women. 

For the payment of the colonial expenses, for the year 
1716, now nearly brought to a close, Duclos, the com- 
missary-general, required of the French government an 
appropriation of the following amounts : 

A governor, - - - 6000 livres, 
A commissary, - - 6000 " 

A royal Heutenant, - - 2000 " 
An adjutant, - - - 900 " 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 239 



Four captains of companies, 


4800 livres. 


CHAPTER 


Four lieutenants, 


3600 


u 


V. 


Ensigns, - - - 


2400 


u 




A secretary, - - - 


1000 


u 




A store-keeper. 


800 


u 




A surgeon, - - 


800 


u 




A chaplain, • - 


800 


it 




Incidental expenses. 


80,992 


livres, * 




t 


110,092 1 





HiBtoire de la Louisiane, par Charles Gayarre, vol. 1, pp. 148-152. 



240 "^HE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 



CHAPITER VI. 

THE INDIA OR MISSISSIPPI COMPANY. 

CHAPTER L'Epinay, the new governor, and the fourth which had been 
^^' placed over the colony of Louisiana, Hubert, the new com- 
missary-general, three companies of infantry and Gftj colo- 

1717 

March 9 ^^i arrived from France, on board three vessels, which be- 
longed to Crozat. Among the colonists were Roi Dubreuil, 
Guennot, Trefontaine and Massy, men of worth and intelli- 
gence, who had formed themselves into an association to settle 
some portion of the almost boundless country of Louisiana. 

To prevent the struggle for power which had never failed 
to display itself between the former governors, commissaries 
and officers of the colony, the King of France, by written 
instructions, defined the duties of each. He declared that 
all military regulations, and the "dignity of command," should 
pertain to the governor alone ; but in the building of public 
houses and fortifications, the marching of expeditions, and the 
means of raising funds, he was to confer with the commissary, 
whose joint views were to be presented for the ratification of 
his majesty. The administration of the fiinds, provisions, 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 241 

merchandize and everything which related to the ware-houses chapter 
was confided to the commissary, who, however, could make ^* 
no bargain or sale without the consent of the governor. The 
administration of the hospitals was also confided to the com- 
missary, with the supervision of the governor. The admin- 
istration of justice was committed to the commissary in 
his function of first councillor and chief judge. The affairs 
of the police, and the power of conferring grants of land were 
given jointly to these officers. Letters patent established a 
Supreme Council of Louisiana, the meetings of which, his 
majesty authorized to be held, either at Fort St. Louis, of 
Mobile, or upon Dauphin Island. The King granted to Bien- 
ville, for his numerous services, the Island of Come, not as 
a fie^ but in villanage, and instructed L'Epinay to present 
him with the cross of St. Louis. These marks of favor did 
not reconcile Bienville, who considered himself, beyond all 
others, entitled to the government of Louisiana. Consequent- 
ly jealousies and disputes soon created a disagreeable and un- 
happy state of things, arraying the friends of Bienville on one 
side, and those of the governor and commissaiy, on the 
other. As Crozat attempted to bribe Cadillac, in order to at- 
tain his most vigorous and successful exertions in advancing 
his commerce, so, for the same end, he entered into a contract 
with L'Epinay, engaging to give him two thousand livres a 
year, and divers other advantages. The great monopolist had 
designed to establish a large contraband trade, with the Span- 
ish possessions, if he could not carry on a legitimate one. But, 
lie succeeded in neither, and next, turning his attention to a 

14 



242 ^^^^ FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTER commerce with the various Indian tribes upon the Mississippi, 

^^* Alabama, Tombigbj and their tributaries, he found that so 

far from being remunerated, he had to encounter the heaviest 

1717 

August losses. At length, aware that he had assumed a burthen be- 
yond his strength, he humbly offered to return to the King 
that charter, the extensile privileges of which he had once 
imagined would make him the richest man in the world! 
October 27 The proposition was accepted, and the Council of State trans- 
mitted ordei-s to L'Epinay to transfer the colonial government 
to Bienville, and to return to France. The gubernatorial career 
of the former gentleman was of short duration, and remark- 
able for nothing, except a proclamation, in which he forbade the 
sale of brandy to the Indians — at that period, a very unpopu- 
lar measure. 

During the five years of the existence of the colony, under 
the charter of Crozat, commerce and agriculture had not pios- 
pered, yet the population had slowly increased, and now 
numbered about seven hundred souls. The colonists, also, 
possessed some four hundred horned cattle. The inhabitants 
had devoted themselves to a trade in provisions and Indian 
slaves, and to a commerce with the Spaniards, who, despite 
of the watchfulness of Crozat's agents, had managed to cany 
off, annually, about twelve thousand piastres. 

The Marine Cabinet of France, composed of De Bourbon 
and D'Estrees, came to the conclusion, that as the enterprise 
which Crozat had assumed, had proved itself of too gigantic a 
character for any one man, and as it would not be proper for 
the King to take charge of Louisiana, and embarrass himself by 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. * 243 

entering into its thousand cares and commercial details, it chaftbr 
would better comport with the welfare of France and her ^* 
colony, to turn the latter over to the management of an asso- 
ciation of men. Accordingly, the Western or India Company, 
with a capital of one hundred thousand livres, wlas allowed to 
take the unhappy people of Louisiana under their charge, and 
to expose them, once more, to an arbitrary and gi-inding mo- 
nopoly. The members of this company were not required 
to be solely subjects of the King of France, but might be for- 
eigners. The charter, which was registered in the Parliament, *^I^^ 
at Paris, gave this company the exclusive privilege of canying 
on all commerce in Louisiana, for the long period of twenty- 
five years. It also gave them the exclusive privilege, ex- 
tending from the 1st January, 1*718, to the 31st December, 
1*742, of purchasing beaver skins from Canada — the King 
reserving the right of regulating their price, and of determin- 
ing the quantity to be sold. The company possessed the 
power of confemng grants, making war or peace with the 
Indians, establishing forts, levying troops, appointing govern- 
ors, or other oflficers for the colony, upon the recommendation 
of the directors of the company ; building vessels of war, cast- 
ing pieces of artillery, and of nominating the inferior judges, 
and all the other oflficers of justice, the King reserving to 
himself only the right of appointing the members of the 
Supreme Council. 

It was further provided by the charter that the military 
officers could ftiter into the service of the company without 
losing their rank in the army or navy, but Aey were not allow- 



244 * '^^^ FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTER ed to seize, either in the hands of the directors, or in those of 
^' its cashier or its agents, the effects, shares, or profits of the 
stockholders, except in case of failure or open bankruptcy or 
death of said stockholders. The merchandize of the company 
was to be free from all charges either of entry or departure, 
and to those portions of the territory where they made per- 
manent improvements, the company was to have durable 
rights, which were to extend also to the mines, which they 
might discover and work. The only thing which savored of 

1717 • 

Septembers lil>^rality towards the inhabitants, was their exemption from 
taxation during the existence of the charter. The ecclesiasti- 
cal jurisdiction was still to form a part of the diocese of 
Quebec, while the company was to build churches and pay 
the clergy. It was to transport to the colony, during the 
term of its charter, six thousand whites, and three thousand 
negroes; but it was prohibited from sending negroes or 
whites to the other French colonies, without the permission 
of the Governor of Louisiana. The directors were to be 
appointed by the King, for the first two years, and after- 
wards they were to be elected every three years, by the 
stockholders, each of whom had a vote for every fifty shares. 
In short, the India Company was granted all manner of 
powers and privileges. 

A celebrated Scotchman, named Law, who was now director 
of the Bank of France ; D'Artaguette, receiver-general of the 
finances of Auch ; Duche, receiver of those of Rochelle ; Mo- 
reau, commercial deputy of the city of St^Malo; Piou, 
deputy of the city ff Nantes ; and Costaignes and Mauchard, 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 245 

merchants of Rochelle — were nominated by the King of chapter 
France as the first directors for the colony of Louisiana, under ^^* 
the new charter. The company then sent over three compa- 
nies of infantry, and sixty-nine colonists. The three vessels, 
which bore them, arrived at Dauphin Island, and the inhabi- p^^^^ g 
tants were revived with pleasing anticipations of better times 
especially as the great and good Bienville, whom they almost 
idolized, was made governor, with a salary of six thousand 
livres. He, who had been twenty years in this wild and in- 
hospitable country, and who, amidst the deepest gloom and 
the greatest suffering of the colonists, had never once left 
them, but had sustained them with his fearless spirit, mighty 
arm and benevolent heart, — was eminently deserving the high 
post to which he was now elevated. The first thing he did 
was to seek a suitable place for the location of the principal 
settlement of the colony. He selected the site of New-Orleans, 
which had long been a favorite point with him, as we have 
seen. He proceeded there with fifty persons, carpenters and 
ggdley-slaves, whom he set to work to clear away the woods March 
and erect houses. He next sent^ detachment of fifty soldiers, 
under Chateaugn^?, to build a fort upon the bay of St. Joseph, 
situated between Pensacola and St. Marks, — which being 
completed, De Gousy was left there in command. From him, 
Captain Roka, a Spaniard, induced twenty-five soldiers to 
desert and flee to St. Augustine. The post of St. Joseph was 
soon abandoned by the French, who had no right to settle 
any part of Florida, and it was immediately occupied by the 
Spaniards. 



246 ^^^ FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTER In the vessels which arrived on the 9th of February, came 
^'* Major Boisbriant, who had paid a visit to France, and who was 
now commissioned a royal lieutenant, with a salary of three 
thousand livres. D' Hubert was retained as commissary-gen- 
April 96 ^^^ ^^^^ ^ salary of five thousand livres. These vessels were 
succeeded by another, having on board sixty passengers for 
the grant belonging to Paris Duvernet, which embraced the 
old Indian village of Pascagoula, where they were presently 
Anffiut 26 located. Three more ships arrived at Dauphin Island, which 
brought out Richebourg, now Chevalier of the order of St 
Louis ; Grandval, intended to act as major of Mobile ; Lieu- 
tenants Noyan and Meleque, and Daniel, major of New-Or- 
leans. At the same time there arrived forty commissioners, 
with Le Gac, sub-director ; seventy persons for the grant of 
Houssays, and sixty for that of La Harpe. 

It was wisely determined to encourage agriculture, as the 
best means of increasing the wealth and importance of Louisi- 
ana ; and for that purpose, extensive grants of land were made 
to the richest and most powerful persons of the kingdom of 
France. Four leagues square were ceded to the Scotch finan- 
cier. Law, on the Arkansas river, where he was to settle fifteen 
hundred Germans, whom he was to protect by a small body 
of cavalry and infantry. The other persons to whom grants 
were made, likewise bound themselves to furnish a certain 
number of emigrants. But the experiment did not succeed. 
These great proprietors did send to Louisiana a few colonists, 
but a majority of them fell victims to the chmate, and those 
who survived did not devote themselves to any useful occupa- 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 24t 

tion. Among the grants were several upon the Yazoo river, chapter 
near Natchez, upon Red river, at Baton Rouge, and at other ^'' 
points upon the Mississippi river. Failing in the scheme to 
make the colony an agricultural country, by the importation 
of colonists who were to have settled upon these grants, the 
company next turned its attention to slavery, as a means of 
effecting that which was so much desired.^ 

The following regulation of the company fixed the price 
the colonists were to pay for the negroes, which they im- 
ported from Africa: "The company considers every negro 
of seventeen years of age, and over, without bodily defect, 
also every negress from fifteen to thirty years of age, as worth 
* piece d'Inde.'f 

Three little negroes, from eight to ten years old, are valued 
at two of the same coins. 

Two negro children, over ten years of age, are valued at 
one * piece d'Inde.' 

One year's credit will be given to the old inhabitants for 
half the price. The other half must be paid immediately. 

Those colonists who have been settled here two years are 
called old inhabitants. 

The new settlers shall be entitled to one and two years 
credit." 

In a despatch to the Minister, Bienville complained that ^'*?^ ^ 

* Histoire de la Louisiane, par Charles Gayarre, vol. 1, pp. 148-166. 
Journal Historique de 1' Etablis:?emeDt des Fran9ais a la Louisiane, par 
Bernard de la Harpe, pp. 131-144. 

t Piece d*Inde was 660 livres. 
14* 



248 THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTER the colonists recently sent to Louisiana, were not the kind 
^^' desirable ; that among them were to be found scarcely any 
carpenters or laborers, ** notwithstanding laboring people em- 
ployed in the country are paid ten or fifteen livres per day, 
which delays improvement and causes great expense to the 
company." 

1719 

April 19 'Two vessels anived from the mother country, and brought 
the startling intelligence that S[ain and France had gone to 
war with each other. A council, composed of Bienville, 
D'Hubert, Larchebault and Le Gac, determined upon the neces- 
sity of immediately possessing the important post of Peusa- 
cola. None of the military officera were consulted in this 
movement, as they should have been, especially upon the 
plan of attack. Bienville assembled, at Mobile, some Cana- 

May 18 dians and four hundred Indians. His brother, Serigny, 
sailed from D«u[)hin Island, with three men-of-war, on boarcL 
of which he hnd embarked one hundred and fifty soldiers. 
Bienville embarked in a slooj), with twenty men, made the 
mouth of the Perdido, and went up that river to meet the 
Canndians and Indians, whom he had instructed to march 
across the country from Mobile, and whom he found already 
at the place of rendezvous. Placing himself at their head. 

May 14 he marclied to Pensacola. In the meantime, the fleet stood 
before that \ la^e, and at four o'clock, in the evening, Gover- 
nor Matamora surrendered to the French, when he found 
that he was invested l>oth by sea and land. According to 
the terms of the capitulation, Bienville embarked the Spanish 
garrison on board two of the men-of-war, with directions to 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 249 

convey them safely to Havana. Arriving at that place, the chapter 
governor of Cuba ordered all the French forces to be landed ^^' 
and imprisoned, seized the two men-of-war, manned them 
with sailors and soldiers, and sent them back to attack 
Pensacola. This was a most shameful disregard of the 
terms of the capitulation. The Spanish fleet, comprising the 
two French vessels and a Spanish man-of-war, with nine 
brigatines and eighteen hundred men, invested Pensacola, and 
the next day made their attack. Bienville had returned to j^^^^ ^ 
Mobile, and had left his brother, Chateaugn«', in command. 
Seeing the superior force of the enemy, fifty soldiers deserted 
from the fort and joined the Spaniards, which forced Chat- 
eaugne to capitulate. He was allowed to march out of the 
fort, with the honors of war and to be carried to old Spain. 
The store ship Dauphin was accidentally destroyed by fire, 
and the St. Louis was captured by the Spaniards. The 
commander of the Spanish squadron next turned his eyes to 
Dauphin Island, and presently sent thither two well manned 
brigantines. To the captain of the French ship, Phillippe, 
which lay at anchor at Dauphin Island, he sent a summons 
to surrender, but the captain referred the messenger to 
Serigny, who commanded the fort ; the latter declined to 
surrender the island. During the night the two brigantines 
entered the bay of Mobile, and half way between Dauphin 
Island and the town of Mobile, land( d thirty-five men to 
burn and plunder the inhabitants. While they were here 
destroying the improvements of a settler, they were suddenly 
attacked by a detachment of Canadians and Indians, whom 



250 THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

OHAPTER Bienville had hastened to send from Mobile, to support his 
^' brother, Serigny. Five Spaniards were slain, whose scalps 
the Indians immediately secured ; six were drowned in the 
endeavour to reach the brigantines, while eighteen were 
made prisoners ; among the latter were some of the French 
soldiera, who had deserted from Chateaugno, and who were 
now promptly beheaded for their treason.* Two days after- 
wards the remainder of the Spanish squadron stood before 
Ai^!!Li9 I^^up^i'i Island, and continued for four days to cannonade 
the Philippe and the town. Serigny, with one hundred and 
sixty soldiers and two hundred Indians, aided by tlie gallant 
officers and men of the Philippe, which was anchored within 
pistol shot of the fort, succeeded in repulsing the Spaniards, 
Anffiutae who sustained considerable loss. The ships of the enemy 
then set sail for Pensacola. 

Three ships of the French line, under the command of 

Septembers Champmcslin, convoying two of the company's ships, arrived 
off Dauphin Island, direct from France. The two Spanish 
brigantines, which were cruising in the bay, between this 
island and Mobile, escaped to sea and sailed to Pensacola, as 
soon as the French fleet was discovered. Bienville and Serigny 
repaired on board of the ship of Champmeslin, where was 
presently convened a council, composed of ail the sea captains 

* La Harpe states (page 155,) that eighteen French deserters, who 
were made prisoners, were bound by the Indians and carried to BieD- 
ville, at Mobile, who caused seventeen -of them to be decapitated, and 
that tiie remaining one was hung on Dauphin Island. 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 261 

in port, who decided to capture the Spanish squadron and to chapteu 
take the Fort of Pensacola. Time was allowed the vessels to ^'* 
discharge their freight and to take in wood and water, and 
Bienville to assemble the savages and prepare them for the 
expedition. When all things were ready, the Philippe and 
the Union, vessels belonging to the company, were joined to 
the squadron, together with two hundred and fifty of the new 
troops, lately arrived, while Bienville, with the soldiers and 
volunteers, sailed in sloops to the river Perdido, where he was 
joined by ^ve hundred Indians, under the command of Lan- 
gueville, who had marched with them from Mobile. From 
this point Bienville sent a detachment of French and Indians 
to invest the principal fort at Pensacola, to prevent all egress 
from it, and to harrass the enemy as much as possible. In 
the meantime, Ohampmeslin entered the harbor of Pensacola, 
and, after a conflict of two hours duration, captured four ships g^ J"ber 17 
and six brigantines, which were anchored before St. Ptosa, and 
reduced the small fort, situated at the point of that island. 
Bienville, having marched across the country from the Perdido, 
had advanced in the rear of the town with his whole force. 
He made a resolute attack upon the fort, which was surren- 
dered two hours after the victory at St. Rosa's Island. The 
Indians fought with great courage, often attempting to pull up 
the palisades of the fort. The plunder was divided among 
them, but they were prohibited, by Bienville, from taking any 
scalps. The pillage being ended, ChampmesHn returned the 
sword which Don Alphonzo, commander of the Spanish fleet, 
had presented to him as his conqueror, assuring him that he 



253 THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTER was worthy of wearing it. But Matamora, the governor of 
^^* Pt^nsacola, who had acted with so much perfidy towards the 
French victors who conveyed him to Ilavana, was suffered to 
bs disarmed by a common sailor, and was severely reproached 
for his conduct. The loss of the French in these engagements 
was only six men ; that of the Spaniards was much greater. 
Champmeslin despatched the St. Louis, one of the Spanish 
vessels, to Havana, with three hundred and sixty of the pris- 
oners. The commander was instructed to demand an exchange 
of the French prisoners, at the head of whom was Chateaugn6, 
who had not been earned to Spain, according to the capitula- 
tion, but had been closelv confined in Moro Castle. 

8e tember 18 ^ Spanish brigantinc from Havana, laden with corn flour, 
and brandy for the gari-ison, entered the bay of Pensacola, 
supposing the fleet to belong to Spain, into whose hands, it 
was now believed, the whole of Louisiana had ^llen, and was 
immediately captured by the French squadron. On the same 
day, forty-seven French desertere were tried, twelve of whom 
were hung at the yard-arms of the Count de Toulouse, and 
the remainder condemned to serve the company as galley- 
slaves. Thus ended the expedition against Pensacola, the 
command of which was given to DeLisle, a heutenant of the 
navy. 
1719 Since the commencement of this year, vessels from France 

had constantly brought over to Louisiana liberal supplies of 
provisions, merchandise, and not unfrequently distinguished 
persons and emigrants, thus adding to the number and giving 
character to her population, and causing her slowly to emerge 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 253 

from the supineness and insignificance of former times. For chapter • 
this reason, and also on account of the war with Spain, it ^^* 
became necessary to re-organize the colonial government in 
several respects. A royal ordinance decreed that a Supreme 
Council should be com])osed of those director who were resi- 
dents in the colony, the governor, the two royal lieutenants, 
four councillors, an attorney-general, and a sc cretary. Three 
members for civil affairs, and five for cnminal cases, could 
constitute a quorum. Its jurisdiction was to be the highest 
in the colony, and its sessions were to be monthly. The 
former council had been the only tribunal in the colony, but 
now it was decided to establish infeiior courfc*, of which the 
directors of the comj any, or their ag( nts, were to be judges, 
in the places where they residt d. These, with two respc ct«ble 
citizens of the neighborhood, were to hnve cognizance of civil 
business. They were required, in criminal cases, to add four 
more citizens to their number. An apjK al from their di cisions 
could be had to the Suj)rcme Council, — the meuibei*s of which 
were not allowed to charge for their final opinions. 

Bienville, the governor, D'llubert, coniniissary -general and 
first councillor, Hoisbriant and Chateaugne, royal lit ute^nauts, 
L'Archambault, Villardo and Legas, other councillors, Cartier 
de Baune, the attorney general, and Couture, secretary, com- 
posed the fii-st Supreme Council, which met under the auspi- 
ces of the Western or India Comj?any. Although the gover- 
nor occupied the phice of honor in this bv)dy, D'Hubert, the first 
'councillor, was the real president, who took the vote, pro- 



254 THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

^ CHAPTER nounced judgment, affixed the public seals, and filled the 

^'* station of chief judge. 

1719 Bienville was opposed in his long cherished desire of re- 

moving the government to the site of New-Orleans, by D'Hu- 
bert and the Directors, who dreaded the inundations of the 
Mississippi, and who contended that the colony was not in a 
situation to oppose levees to the floods at that point. D'Hubert 
suggested the location of Natchez ; but as he owned large 
grants there, his motives were suspected. It was decided to 
adopt the views of L'Archambault, Villardo and Legas, who 
inclined more towards commerce than agriculture, and who 
recommended that a new estabhshment should be formed east 
of the bay of Biloxi, which should be called New Biloxi. A 
detachment was sent there to build barracks and houses. 

The cultivation of rice, indigo and tobacco had already 
occupied the attention of the colonists to some extent, who 
found the lands extremely productive for those profitable 
plants. But the climate was too warm and unhealthy for 
European labor, and hence one thousand of the Children of 
the Sun^ from Africa, had been introduced into the colony, 
and fropi that moment Louisiana began to prosper. But 
many things yet impeded its advancement. Among other 
impediments, the company, to secure the exclusive com- 
November 26 mercc of Louisiana, issued an edict forbiding any vessel to 
enter the colony under penalty of confiscation. This was 
J ^'* followed up by a proclamation, regulating the price of mer- 
chandize, which the colonists were compelled to buy at the 
company's ware-houses, and no where else. It also arbitrarily 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 256 

fixed the price which the colonists were to receive for their chapter 
products, skins, and for every thing which they had for sale.* ^'* 
Gayarre says — " At the present day, we can hardly discover 
how the whites, whom the company transported from Eu- 
rope, differed from the blacks, who were bought from Africa 
at least as to their relation to the company ; for these two 
classes of men belonged both to one master — the all-pow- 
erful company !" 

The Royal Squadron intended to protect the commerce of 
Louisiana, arrived with two hundred and thirty passengers, p^i^J ^8 
among whom were several girls, and a considerable quantity 
of provisions and merchandize. Several months elapsed 
when two vessels of the Royal Navy bore the intelligence, jnnes 
that a treaty of peace had been concluded with Spain. 
These were succeeded by three other vessels of war, which Juiyi 
anchored at Dauphin Island, and which brought with them a 
contagious malady, contracted at St. Domingo, which killed 
many of the crew, and filled their bodies, as it was ascertained 
by post mortem examination, with horrible worms ! At the 
same time, the ship Hercules came with one hundred and 
twenty negroes from Guinea, and a brigantine fi'om Havana, 

* Goods were to be obtained in the conapany*s stores at Mobile, 
Dauphin Island, and Pensacola. To these prices, an advance of five 
per cent, was to be added on goods delivered at New-Orleans, ten at 
Natchez, thirteen at the Yazoos, twenty at Natchitoches, and fifty at the 
Illinois and on the Missouri. The produce of the country was to be 
received in the company's ware-houses in New-Orleans, Biloxi, Ship 
Island and Mobile. — Martin's Louisiana, vol 1, pp. 218-219. 



256 THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTER arrived at Mobile with Chateaugne and others, who had been 
^' made prisoners at Pensacola, and who were now released in 
pursuance of the treaty of peace. 

So long as the French colony of Louisiana remained in a 
feeble and thriftless condition, the English of Carolina were 
content only to annoy it occasionally ; but now that it gave 
signs of durable vitality, imder the auspices of a powerful 
company, they began to oppose it with the fiercest hostihty. 
Rivalry in trade, together with national jealousy, fomented 
quarrels, and caused blood to flow between the Coureurs de 
hois and the Enghsh. The French traders also met the 
latter in all parts of the Indian nations, within the hmits 
of the present states of Alabama and Mississippi. Each 
contended for the patronage of the savages, and each endeav- 
ored to expell the other from those situations, where they 
had established themselves. The CaroUna traders, many of 
whom had quartered themselves in the Chickasaw towns, 
arrayed that tribe in war against the French, and they 
committed the first act of hostility, by the murder of Serigny, 
a French officer, whom Bienville had posted among them to 
cultivate their friendship. This war greatly embarrassed 
Bienville, who, with difficulty, brought to his assistance the 
1720 larger body of the Choctaws. At this time, the forces of the 

July 

colony had been augmented to twenty companies, of fifty 
men each, who were required to defend the province of 
Louisiana, the inhabitants of which were scattered from Fort 
Toulouse, upon the Coosa, to La Harpe's station, upon Red 
river. The Alabamas could barely be kept neutral, for they 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 267 

complained that their peltries brought lower prices at the chapter 
French ports, than at those of the English, and that the ^'* 
goods which they received for them, were also held at a ^ 
dearer rate. 

Vessels with emigrants and provisions, continued to cast 
their anchors upon the sands of Mobile Bay. A store ship 1720 
brought out two hundred and sixty persons for the grant of 
St. Catherine, in the vicinity of Natchez. Another arrived August 
at Ship Island ^vith two hundred and forty emigrants, for the 
grant of Louvre, and was succeeded by still another, on board 
of which was de L'Orme, new director-general, with a salary of 
five thousand livres, together with other vessels laden with September 
provisions, laborers and merchandize. 

In the meantime, the public hciuses had been completed at 
New Biloxi, and thither the government of Louisiana was, 
unwisely, transfeiTed. It had remained at old and new December 20 
Mobile, since January, 1702, but during this trying period, 
of eighteen years, the governors occasionally resided at Dau- 
phin Island. 

A vessel, belonging to the company, furled her sails in the *'^* 

January 3 

splendid bay of Mobile, and disembarked three hundred 
colonists, for the grant of Madame Chaumont, at Pascagoula, 
whom the colonial government soon placed there, but whom January 9 
they forbade to enter into any branch of trade, such as that 
which would result from the culture of hemp, flax, and the 
vine, or which would compete vrith the commerce of the 
company. A ship arrived with twenty-five girls, taken from January 5 
a house of correction, in Paris, called the Saltpetriere. They 



258 THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTER had been sent over in consequence of the great complaints 
^'* made to the Minister, by various officers of the colony, on 
9 account of the want of wives, and they had been confided, by 
the directors in France, to sister Gertrude, and, under her, 
to sisters Louise and Bergere, who were authorised to conduct 
to Louisiana, "such girls as were willing to go thither and 
remain under the care of sister Gertrude, until they shall 
marry, which they must not do without her consent." The 
directors or the Minister in sending these prostitutes to 
Mobile, where they soon took up their abode, did not act 
consistently with a previous ordinance, which they had 
passed, that " hereafter, no more vagabonds shall be sent to 
Louisiana, but that any French and foreign families and 
laborers might go." Much contention now arose between the 
stockholders and the directors. The latter were reproached 
for their enormous outlays, and for the appointment of per- 
sons to govern the colonies, who appeared to have their 
exclusive interest to subserve ; and Bienville was written to, 
and informed that the Regent complained that his services 
were not effectual. But to arouse all his exertions, the same 
letter promised the governor the rank of Brigadier, with the 
ribbon of St. Louis, if his future conduct should merit them. 

Mu^ 17 "^^ Africaine, a ship of war, arrived at Mobile, with one 
hundred and twenty negroes, out of the number of two 
hundred and twenty-four, who had embarked at Guinea. She 

March 28 was succccdcd by the Maire, with three hundred and thirty- 
eight more, who were, for the present, all quartered at 
Mobile, and where they remained in a state bordering upon 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 



259 



starvation, from the famine which now universally prevailed chapter 
in the colony. The Neride also came with two hundred and vi. 
thirty-eight Africans, the remainder of three hundred and 
^hy, who sailed from Angola. She had put to sea, with the 
frigate Charles, laden with negroes, which took fire and was 
consumed, more than sixty leagues from land, a large major- 
ity of her crew perishing in the flames. The whites escaped 
in the boats, with a few of the Africans, but tossed for many 
days at the mercy of the waves, and suffering for subsistance, 
the unhappy negroes were killed, one after another, for food ! 
The present population of France are abolitionists, and de- 
nounce the Southern States for their mild and beneficial 
system of domestic slavery, and yet their ancestors, in the 
manner we have described, put these slaves into our possession. 
So did England with her men-of-war, at the same period, 
plant her American colonies with slaves, also captured in 
Africa. The Puritan fathers of New England received them, 
paid for them, put them to hard labor, sold and re-sold 
them for many years, and yet their descendants profess to be 
shocked at the sight of a Southern slaveholder, and denounce 
Southern slavery as a " damning sin before God !" 

With two hundred German emigrants, who were sent over 
to occupy the grant of Law upon the Arkansas river, came ^'^i 

March 

also a woman, whose adventures in Europe and America are 
related in the histories of that period. • She was beheved to be 
the wife of the Czarowitz Alexis Petrowitz, son of Peter the 
Great, Emperor of all the Russias. Her resemblance to that 
Princess was so striking, as to deceive those who knew the 



260 THE PRENOH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTER latter intimately. The story ran, that to escape the brutal 
^* treatment of the Prince, her husband, she pretended to die, 
and was actually entombed, but when taken from the tomb in a 
few hours afterwards, put herself beyond the reach of perse- 
cution, by flying to a foreign land. The Chevalier d' Aubont, 
one of the officers of the Mobile garrison, who had been at 
St. Petersburg, had seen the Princess, and had heard of her 
strange escape, now believed that this woman who was then 
in Mobile, was the beautiful and accomplished lady herself 
He was sure he recognized her beneath the incognito which 
she had assumed, and which she appeared desirous to retain. 
The Chevalier married her, and after a long residence in 
Louisiana, most of which was passed in Mobile, she followed 
him to France, and thence to the Island of Bourbon, whither 
he was sent with the rank of Major. In 1765, she became a 
widow, and went to Paris with a daughter born in Mobile. 
In 17 71, her mysterious and romantic life was terminated in 
the midst of the most abject poverty !* 

* Judge Martin, in his history of Louisiana, vol. 1, pp. 231-332, 
states, that this woman was an impostor, and that she imposed on the 
credulity of the Chevalier d'Aubout and many others ; that she had 
once been attached to the wardrobe of the Princess whom she assumed 
to represent ; and that a few years before the declaration of American 
Independence, a similar imposition was practiced upon the people of the 
Southern British Provinces, by a female, driven by her misconduct 
from the post of maid of honor, to Princess Matilda, sister of George 
III. She was convicted at Old Baily, and transported to Maryland. 
Before the expiration of her time, she effected her escape, travelled 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 261 

An ordinance decreed that the council should meet daily chapter 
at New Biloxi : that merchandize shoilld be sold at that ^' 

1721 

place, Mobile, and New-Orleans, at ^j per cent, profit Septembers 
on the manufacture of France, seventy per cent, among the 
Natchez and Yazoos, one hundred per cent, among the Ar- 
kansas, and fifty per cent, among the Alabamas and Musco- 
gees, on account of the proximity of Fort Toulouse to the 
English influence, with which the French company were 
anxious successfully to compete. Another ordinance declared September 27 
that negroes should be sold to the inhabitants at the price of 
the "piece de Inde," or six hundred and sixty livres,* in three 
annual instalments, to be paid in tobacco or rice. If, after 
the second year, the debtor failed to pay, the company could 
take the negro if not paid for duiing the third year. If 
the effects of the debtor failed to discharge the whole debt, 
the company could then take his body. It also declared that 
leaf tobacco delivered at the warehouses of New Biloxi, New- 
Orleans and Mobile, should command the price of twenty 
livres per quintal ; rice, twelve livres per quintal ; wine, one 
hundred and twenty livres a hogshead; and a' quarter of 
brandy, the same price. It also declared that Louisiana 
should, hereafter, be formed into nine di>nsions : New-Orleans, 



through the provinces of Virginia and the Carolinas, personating the 
princess, and levying contributions upon the credulity of the inhabi- 
tants. She was at length arrested in Charleston, prosecuted and pub- 
licly whipped. 

* Equal to one hundred and sevenfy-siz dollars. 
15 



262 THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTER Biloxi, Mobile, Alabama, Yazoo, Natchitoches, Arkansas, and 
Illinois ; that in the chief town of each there should be a 
commandant and a judge, from whose decisions an appeal could 
be had to the supreme council of New Biloxi. 

STATE OF THE COLONY AT THE CLOSE OF 1721. 

" In the vessels which the India Company has sent thither 
from the 25th October, 171 7, to May, 1721, there have emi- 
grated, on the forty-three belonging to it, and in the squad- 
ron of M. de Saunjor, ----- ^020 
These, with the 400 who were already there, - 400 



7420 
Of this number those who have died, deserted, or re- 
turned to France, 2000 



5420 
To them the number of colonists is added, to which may be 
set down about 600 negroes." 

From this statement it appears that the colony of Louisiana 
had really begun to prosper, but many impediments still re- 
tarded its more rapid advance, among w^hich may be enume- 
rated its expenses, which, for the year 1721, amounted to four 
hundred and seventy-four thousand, two hundred and seventy- 
four Uvres. The company, too, issued an ordinance prohibit- 
ing the inhabitants from selling their negroes to the Spaniards, 
or to other foreigners, or taking them out of the colony, under 
a severe penalty, besides their confiscation. 
April ao Bienville, writing from Mobile, acquainted the Minister 



1722 
March 12 



THE FRKNCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 263 

with the difficulty of discharging the cargoes of vessels upon chapter 

the low shores of New Biloxi, and again brought to his ^* 

consideration the superior advantages of New-Orleans, for 

the capital of the colony. One more councillor was added 

to the supreme council, which, now, consisted of Brusle, 

Fazende, Perry, Guilhet and Masclary. Two hundred and 

M,j Germans, commanded by the Chevaher D'Arensbourg, June 4 

a Swedish officer, arrived at Mobile, with whom came Marig- 

ny de Mandaville, who had obtained, in France, the Cross of 

St. Louis and the command of Fort Conde, in Mobile. This 

was by far the best fort in the colony, and was now rapidly 

drawing to a state of completion ; it was built of brick, with 

four bastions, and a great many casements for soldiere.* 

The vessel which brought over these Germans, bore the 

distressing news that the great royal bank, which Law, the 

Scotch financier, under the auspices of the Duke of Orleans, 

had established in France, had utterly failed ; that Law had 

left the country in disgrace, and that the people whom he 

had induced to take stock, found it worthless and themselves 

ruined. All Paris was in a ferment, and no one could 

anticipate an end to the long train of commercial evils which 

the scheming abihty of this Scotchman had engendered. 

* Mr. E. T. Wood, of Mobile, who wrote a history of that place, 
embodied in a directory, which he published, says that when Fort 
Conde (which was also called Fort Charlotte by the British after they 
took possession of it,) was pulled down by the Americans some years 
after the place fell into their hands, that the corner-stone was found 
with the date of 1717, distinctly engraved upon it 



264 'T^^ FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTER The company which had charge of Louisiana, and indeed the 
v^ chief inhabitants of the province, were soon made to feel the 
explosion of this once powerful and popular institution. 
Louisiana, herself, was deeply involved in the failure, and 
her inhabitants now feared that the government of France 
would abandon them. But some supphes continued to 
arrive, in spite of the panic which pervaded the mother 
country. Duvergier, who had been appointed director-gene- 

1722 

July 16 r^l ^^^ commander of the marine, disembarked at Pensacola, 
bearing the Cross of St. Louis for Boisbriant, St. Dennis and 
Chateaugn^. 

The fe,ilure of the Royal Bank of France, and the distress 
which it produced in all parts of that kingdom, caused Lou- 
isiana, for a time, to be so neglected, that the inhabitants 
became destitute of provisions. The officers were obliged to 
dismiss the garrisons of Mobile and Biloxi, and send them to 
the Choctaw nation to procure subsistence among the Indians^ 
while many of the colonists abandoned their homes and be- 
took themselves to the sea-side to procure a scanty living upon 
fish and oysters. It was even worse at some of the more 
distant posts, particularly at Fort Toulouse, upon the Coosa, 
now in Alabama. There, the soldiers were tortured by famine, 
and corrupted by some British traders, who induced them to 
desert and fly to Charleston. The command consisted of a 
captain, a lieutenant, an ensign, a corporal and twenty-six 
soldiers. When the latter had perfected their mutiny, the 

Angost planning of which had occupied several days, they rose upon 
the officers, one morning, about breakfast. Capt. Marchand was 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 2^5 

instantly slain. Lieutenant Villemont and Ensign Paque chapter 
made their escape through a port-hole of one of the bastions? 
and fled to the Hickory Ground, a town of Creek Indians, three 
miles above, on the east bank of the Coosa, and embracing 
the lower suburbs of the modern city of Wetumpka. Here 
Villemont made irresistible appeals to the warriors to march 
against the mutineers. He, at the same time, despatched 
Paque across the river to the town of Coosawda, where then 
lived the great Chief, Big Morter, whom the ensign succeeded 
in enhsting in the cause of the King. In the meantime, the 
mutineers, having killed the captain, intimidated the corporal, 
who now joined them in a general pillage of the fort. They 
appropriated to themselves the money and clothing of the 
officers, leaving only the sacred wardrobe of the priest, a Jesuit 
father, whom they did not molest. The magazine, constructed 
of brick, was forced open, and arms and ammunition taken 
from it.* The store-room was plundered of its contents, con- 
sisting of a very limited supply of flour and meat. The 
mutineers, kfter partaking of a hearty repast, marched off 
to the Red Warrior's Bluff,f where they crossed the Talla- 
poosa and took up the line of march for Charleston. Ville- 
mont, with the Indian force which he had speedily raised, 
marched against them. A battle ensued at the ford of Line 

* Some of the brick of this magazine are yet to be seen lying about 
the ruins of old Fort Toulouse, now called old Fort Jackson, and I have 
(several of them in my house, taken from that place. 

I The Red Warrior's Bluff of that day, is the present Grey's Ferry. 



266 THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTER Creek, which now divides the modern counties of Montgom- 
^^' ery and Macon. Sixteen of the deserters were slain. They 

1722 

Augurt all fought with the desperation of tigers.* The others, 
except two who escaped, were taken prisoners, and Villemont, 
who was wounded in the action, marched with them back to 
Fort Toulouse. Here, the fort was found to be in a very 
solitary condition, being inhabited only by the Jesuit father, 
who had resolved to remain until he could get a favorable 
opportunity of going to Mobile, not beUeving that the brave 
and indefatigable Villemont could subdue the deserters; 
the body of the unfortunate Captain Marchand had been 
already interred by him and some Indians. Villemont, the 
next day, obtained some canoes and placed the deserters in 
them, in charge of an Indian guard, at the head of which 
was Ensign Paque, who conveyed them to Mobile; where 
September they Were, shortly afterwards, executed. Villemont and the 
priest were solitary inmates of Fort Toulouse for several 
months, until another garrison was sent up the river. The 
lieutenant had, however, many Indian warriors lying around 
the fort, who were ready to aid him, if he had been attacked 
by the English, who were anxious to occupy this post.f 

* The bones of these sixteen Frenchmen lay, for many years, very 
near the house which Walter B. Lucas afterwards erected, and where 
he, for a long time, kept entertainment. 

f The revolt of the garrison of Fort Toulouse, upon the Coosa, is 
mentioned by Gayarre, in his History of Louisiana, vol. 1, p. 190 ; by 
La Harpe, p. 261; by Judge Martin, voL 3, p. 239 ; but I have derived the 
chief facts from Indian traditions banded down by General Alexander 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. £67 

Fortunately, a vessel arrived with provisions for the King's chapter 
troops. She brought the news that the Regent had entrusted ^'* 
the affairs of the colony to the management of three corarais- September S8 
sioners : Ferrand, Faget and Machinet. A detailed account 
of a great hurricane which swept along the coast of Louisi- 
ana, of the desei-tion of soldiers, sailore and workmen, and a 
recommendation to allow free passage to all who might choose 
to return to France, as a remedy for desertions generally, 
formed the subjects of a com munication addressed by De POrme October ao 
to the Minister. While the distressing situation of the colony 
rendered the offices of the three commissioners by no means 
sinecures, embarrassments were further produced by a war 
which the Natchez had begun, and the worthlessness of the 
paper money hitherto used in the colony, to remedy which, 
cards were substituted, after the notes were suppressed. One 
Michel, of Mobile, was the person appointed to engrave these 
cards. 

The new commissioners who had succeeded to the director- 
ship of the company, readily acceded to the long cherished 
wish of Bienville, to remove the seat of government to New- 1728 
Orleans, and it was accordingly established at that place.* 

McGillivray, a very great Indian Chief of mixed blood, who was the 
grandson of the unfortunate Captain Marchand, who was killed upon 
this occasion. 

* Histoire de la Louisiane, par Charles Gayarre, vol. 1, pp. 1 60-193. 
Jouroai Historique de TEtabliseenjent des Fran^ais a la Louisiane, par 
Bernard de la Harpe, pp. 144-289. — Martin's History of Louisiana, vol. 
1, pp. 218-244. 

16* 



268 THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTER The population of New-Orleans at that period, numbered only 
^^' two hundred souls, who occupied a hundred huts and cabins ! 

The commissioners of the company, in a new code of regu- 
lations, declared that negroes should hereafter be sold at six 
hundred and seventy-six livres,* payable in one, two or three 
years, either in rice or tobacco. The province was divided 
into nine districts, civil and military, as follows : Alabama, 
Mobile, Biloxi, New-Orleans, Natchez, Yazoo, Illinois, Wa- 
bash, Arkansas, and Natchitoches. There was a commandant 
and a judge appointed for each of these districts. Three great 
ecclesiastical districts were also formed. The first was entrust- 
ed to the Capuchins, and extended from the mouth of the 
Mississippi river to lUinois. The bare-footed Carmelites were 
stationed at Fort Toulouse, upon the Coosa river, at Mobile 
and at Biloxi, while the Jesuits labored upon the Wabash and 
Illinois. Churches and chapels were ordered to be construct- 
ed, for many of the colonists had been forced to worship in 
the open air, around crosses, the bottom parts of which were 
buried in the ground ! 

Bienville restored Pensacola to the Spaniards in pursuance 
of orders from his government ; for Spain and France had 
Jannaryi Concluded a peace. In a despatch to the Minister, he stated 
that his allies, — the Choctaws, — had destroyed three towns of 
the Chickasaws, and had brought to him one hundred prison- 
ers and four hundred scalps ! Bienville communicated this 
intelligence with much apparent ffusto, accompanied with the 

* Equal to one hundred and sixty-nine dollars. 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 269 

remark that " this important result was obtained without risk- chapteb 
ing the life of a single Frenchman." ^^' 

Although the colonists often existed in a state of penury 
and want, they did not abandon their passion for gambling^ 
which was carried to such an extent that the government 
issued an ordinance against all games of chance. An ordi- 
nance was also promulgated against the trade which many of 
the colonists were illicitly conducting with the Natchez In- 
dians. The month of September terminated with a dreadful 
tornado, which prostrated the church, the hospital, and thirty 
houses in New-Orleaiis ; destroyed the crops upon the Mobile 
and Pearl rivers ; dismantled the shipping in the different ports, 
and left the whole colony in a condition of wretchedness and 
famine. Added to all this, a whole company of Swiss infan- 
try, which had embarked at Biloxi for New-Orleans, rose upon 
the captain of the vessel and compelled him to carry them to 
Charleston. Yet, in the midst of all these calamities, the 
indefatigable Bienville departed from New-Orleans with seven 
hundred men to punish the Natchez, who had recently killed 
several Frenchmen. He returned after having terminated the 
second war with them, by procuring the heads of the principal 
offenders. Notwithstanding the important services which this 
great man was continuing to render the colony, his relentless 
enemies sought every opportunity to make him odious to the 
ruling powers of France. Aspersed in despatches, which were 
speedily borne across the ocean, he was at the same moment 
insulted at home by libellous placards in the streets. At 
length he received orders to sail for France, to answer the 



1728 
October 



1724 
FebmarylS 



270 THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTER charges against him, leaving the command to Boisbriant until 
his return. 
March ^^^ before Bienville embarked upon the broad Atlantic, he 

issued the celebrated "Black Code," in the name of the 
Ejng. It declared that all Jews should leave the colony ; 
that all slaves should be instructed in the Roman Catholic 
rehgion ; that no other religion should be tolerated in the 
colony ; that if the owners of negroes were not true Catho- 
lics, their slaves should be confiscated ; and that the white 
inhabitants should not enter into marital relations with ne- 
groes, nor live with them in a state of concubinage. 

The " Black Code " contained many other articles in rela- 
tion to the government of slaves, — some of which were pre- 
cisely like those now in forc-e in the South-western States of 
the present confederacy. The year 1*724 was remarkable for 
arbitrary edicts ; but there was one which was beneficial. 
The inhabitants had become so accustomed to rely upon 
France for all the necessaries of subsistence, that valuable 
cattle, sent to Louisiana for purposes of propagation, were 
always killed and devoured. An ordinance was issued by the 
King, at the request of the Superior Council, punishing with 
death every person who should intentionally kill or severely 
wound any horse or horned animal which did not belong to 
him. 

De la Chaise, nephew of the famous father of that name, 
1785 who was the confessor of Louis XIV., presided over the coun- 
cil, which was now held monthly in the town of New-Orleans. 

But to return to Bienville. That brave man appeared at 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 271 

Paris, after a prosperous voyage, and submitted an eloquent chapter 
memoir to the King, in justification of his official conduct. It ^^' 
also contained a history of the services to which he had, from 
the commencement of the colonial establishment, devoted a 
period of twenty-five years. But, in despite of this true expo- 
sition of his arduous labors spent in the insalubrious forests 
of America, among savages and reptiles, and in spite of the 
exertions made by his fiiends, both in France and Louisiana, 
to re-establish him in the confidence of the King, he was 
removed from office, and Perrier nominated Governor of ^ "^^ 9 
Louisiana. The government did not stop here. Chateaugn6, 
the brother of Bienville, lost the post of royal lieutenant, 
while two nephews of Bienville, named Noyan, one a captain 
and the other an ensign, were cashiered without any just cause. 
Thus the influence of Bienville was overthrown in Louisiana. 
In the meantime, the new governor arrived at New-Orleans. 

Governor Perrier, in a despatch to the Minister, employed 
this language in reference to the encroachments of the English 
of South-Carolina: — "The English continue to urge their 1727 
commerce into the very heart of the province. Sixty or 
seventy horses, laden with merchandize, have passed into the 
country of the Chickasaws, to which nation I have given 
orders to plunder the English of their goods, promising to 
recompense them by a present. As yet I have heard nothing 
from that quarter. It appears that a league was formed 
among all the Indian nations of their neighborhood, to attack 
the Spanish settlements. Whereupon the Governor of Pen- 
sacola requested assistance from me. Having no news from 



272 THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTER Europe, I thought it was for our interest not to have the 
^^* English so near us, and, in consequence, informed the Talla- 
poosas,* who were before Pensacola, that if they did not 
immediately retire, I should attack them with those nations 
who were friendly to us. I also gave notice to the Alabamas, 
that if they attacked the Spaniards, who were our friends, I 
should be compelled to assist the latter. But I should have 
taken care not to have interfered with the natives who were 
friendly to us, in order that I might not commit myself with 
regard to the English. This had a good effect. The gover- 
nor thanked me, informing me that war was declared in Europe. 
Notwithstanding, I shall indirectly assist the Spanish until I re- 
ceive other orders from your highness, at the same time taking 
the liberty to represent that our sole effort should be to pre- 
vent the EngHsh from approaching us. 

" I have caused all the nations, from the Arkansas to the 
mouth of the river, to make peace with each other. There 
remain at variance only the Choctaws and Chickasaws, who 
1727 have a discussion concerning a Chief of the latter nation, who 
was killed by the former. I shall go to Mobile to settle their 
affairs, and shall take measures, with them, to prevent the 
Enghsh from entering our territory during the ensuing year, 
and by degrees to abolish the custom which they have formed, 
of trading for all the deer-skins obtained by the Indians, in 
order that the latter may not be obhged to trade with the 
English to get rid of them." 

* Meaning the Creeks, who lived upon the Tallapoosa river. 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 2^73 

A vessel belonging to the company arrived with quite a chapter 
number of young girls, who, unlike many others who had ^^' 
been sent to Louisiana, had not been taken from the houses February 
of correction. They were each provided with a little chest, 
containing articles of apparel, and from this circumstance they 
were called girls de la cassette — girls of the chest. They were 
placed under the surveillance of the Ursuline nuns until they 
could be disposed of by marriage.* 



* Histoire de la Louisianc, par Charles Gayarrc, vol. 1, pp. 193-235. 



2^74 'THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 



CHAPTER VII. 

TERRIBLE MASSACRE AT NATCHEZ. 

CHAPTER The colony of Louisiana was now in a flourishing condi- 
^^ ' tion ; its fields were cultivated by more than two thousand 

1728 negroes ; cotton, indigo, tobacco and grain were produced ; 
skins and furs of all descriptions were obtained in a traffic 

1729 ^^^ ^^^ Indians ; and lumber was extensively exported to 
the West India islands. The province was protected by 
eight hundred troops of the line; but the bloody massacre 
of the French population of Fort Rosalie, at the Natchez, 
arrest^ these rapid strides of prosperity, and shrouded all 
things in sadness and gloom. Our library contains many 
accounts of this horrible aiFair, which harmonize very well 
with each other; but in reference to the causes which led to 
it, more particularly, we propose to introduce the statement 
of Le Page DuPratz, who was residing in Louisiana at the 
time. We give his account, in his own faithful style : 

" Chopart had been commandant of the post of the Nat- 
chez, from which he was removed on account of some act of 
injustice. Governor Perrier, but lately arrived, suffered him- 
self to be prepossessed in his favor, on his telling him that 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 275 

he had commanded that post with applause, and thus he chapter 
obtained the command from Perrier, who was unacquainted ^"* 
with his character. This new commandant, on taking posses- 
sion of his post, projected the forming of one of tlie most 
emi nent settlements of the whole colony. For this pui-pose 
he examined all the grounds unoccupied by the French, but 
could not find any thing that came up to the grandeur of his 
views. Nothing but the village of the White Apple, a 
square league, at least, in extent, could give him satisfaction, 
and there he resolved immediately to settle. This ground 
was distant from the fort about two leagues.* Conceited 
with the beauty of his project, the commandant sent for the 
Sun of that village, to come to the fort ; upon his arrival, he 
told him, without ceremony, that he must look out for 
another ground to build his village on, as he, himself, 
resolved, as soon as possible, to build on the village of the 
Apple, and that he must directly close the huts and retire 
somewhere else. The better to cover his design, he gave 
out that it was necessary for the French to settle on the 
banks of the rivulet, where stood the great village and the 
abode of the Grand Sun. The commandant, doubtless, 

* " The site of the White Apple village was about twelve miles 
south of the present city of Natchez, near the mouth of second creek, 
and three miles east of the Mississippi. The site was occupied by the 
plantation of Col. Anthony Hutchens, an early emigrant to Florida. 
All vestiges of Indian industry have disappeared, except some mounds 
in the vicinity.'* — Monette's History of the Valley of the Mississippi, 
vol l,p.258. 



276 '^^^ FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTER supposed that he was speaking to a slave, whom we may 
^^^* command in a tone of absolute authority. But he knew not 
that the natives of Louisiana are such enemies to a state of 
slavery, that they prefer death itself; above all, the Suns, 
accustomed to govern despotically, have still a greater aver- 
sion to it. 

****** 

8prmgofi729 "The Suu of the Apple made answer, that his ancestors 

had lived in that village for as many years as there were hairs 

in his double cue, and, therefore, it was good they should 

continue there. Scarce hali the interpreter explained this 

answer to the commandant, when the latter fell into a 

passion and, threateningly, told the Sun, that if he did not 

quit his village, in a few days, he might repent it. The Sun 

replied: *When the French came to ask us for land, to 

settle on, they told us there was land enough still unoccupied 

for them, and that the same sun would enhghten them all, 

and all would walk in the same path.' He wanted to 

proceed further, in justification of what he alleged, but the 

commandant, in a passion, said he was resolved to be obeyed. 

The Sun, without discovering any emotion or passion, then 

withdrew, only observing that he was going to assemble the 

old men of his village to hold a council upon the affair. 
****** 

" In this council it was resolved to represent to the com- 
mandant, that the com of all the people of their village was 
already shot a little out of the earth, and that all the hens 
were laying their eggs. That if they quitted their village 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 277 

now, the chickens and corn would be lost both to the French chapter 
and to themselves. * * * * The commandant turned ^"' 
a deaf ear to these views, and threatened to chastise the 
Chiefe if they did not comply with his orders, in a very short 
time, which he named. The Sun reported this answer to his 
council, who debated the question. But the policy of the 
old men was, that they should be allowed to stay in their vil- 
lage until harvest, and until they had time to dry their corn 
and shake out the grain. In consideration of this privilege, 
they each proposed to pay the commaudant, in so many moons, 
a basket of corn and a fowl. * * * * The cupidity of ^"^^' *^^ 
the commandant made him accept the proposition with joy, 
and blinded him with regard to the consequences of his ty- 
ranny. He, however, pretended that he agreed to the offer 
out of favor, to do a pleasure to a nation so beloved, aud who 
had ever been good friends of the French. The Sun appeared 
highly satisfied to have obtained a delay suflScient for taking 
the precautions necessary to the security of the nation, for he 
was by no means the dupe of the feigned benevolence of the 
commander. 

" The Sun, upon his return, again caused the council to be 
assembled. * * * * He stated to them that it was 
necessary to avail themselves of this time, in order to with- 
draw themselves from this proposed payment and tyrannic 
domination of the French, who grew dangerous in proportion 
as they multiplied. That the Natchez ought to remember 
the war made upon them, in violation of the peace concluded 
between them. That this war, having been made upon their 



278 THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTER village alone, they ought to consider of the surest means to 
take a just and bloody vengeance. That this enterprise being 
of the utmost importance, it called for much secrecy, for soUd 
measures, and for much policy. That it was proper to cajole 
the French chief more than ever, and that the affair required 
reflection before it was proposed to the Grand Sun. 

" In the meantime, the old men had come to the determi- 
nation, not only to revenge themselves, but to engage in the 
entire destruction of all the French in the province. When, 
therefore, the council again met, the most venerable man rose 
and dehvered the following speech : 

" * We have a long time been sensible that the neighborhood 
of the French is a greater prejudice than a benefit to us. We, 
"°55^ ^ who are old, see this — the young see it not. The wares of 
the French yield pleasure to the youth, but to what purpose is 
it, except to debauch the young women, and taint the blood 
of the nation, and make them vain and idle ? The young 
men are in the same condition — they must work themselves 
to death to maintain their families and please their children. 
Before the French came among us, we were men, content 
with what we had, and walked with boldness every path. 
Now we go groping about, afraid of meeting briars. We 
walk like slaves, which we shall soon be, since the French al- 
ready treat us as if we were such. When they are sufficiently 
strong, they will no longer dissemble. For the least fault of 
our young people, they will then tie them to a post and whip 
them. Have they not already done so to one of our young 
men, and is not death preferable to slavery ? What wait 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 2*79 

we for ? Shall we suffer the French to multiply till we are no chapter 
longer in a condition to oppose them ? What will the other ^^' 
nations say of the Natchez, who are admitted to be the great- 
est of all the Red men ? Let us set ourselves at liberty. * 
* * * From this very day let our women get provisions 
ready, without telling them the reason. Go and carry the 
pipe of peace to all the nations of this country. Tell them 
that the French, being stronger here than elsewhere, enslave 
us the more ; but when they spread out, they will treat all 
nations in like manner. That it is their interest to join us to 
prevent so great a misfortune. That they have only to join 
us, to cut off the French to a man, in one day and in one 
hour !' " 

Here the speaker continued his address, and exhorted them 
to be prepared to fall upon the French at nine o'clock, on the 
morning of the day when they were to deliver to the com- 
mandant the corn and chickens, and that the warriors were to 
carry with them their arms, as if going to hunt. They unani- 
mously approved of his views, and pledged themselves to carry 
them out. DuPratz continues : — " Notwithstanding the pro- 
found secrecy observed by the Natchez, the council held by 
the Suns and aged nobles gave the people great imeasiness, 
unable, as they were, to penetrate into the matter. The fe- 
male Suns had alone, in this nation, the right to demand why 
they were kept in the dark in this affair. The young grand Fail of 1729 
female Sun was a princess scarce eighteen. . None but the 
Stung Arm, a woman of great wit, and no less sensible of it, 
could be offended that nothing was disclosed to her. In effect, 



280 THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

• 

CHAPTER she made known to her son her displeasure at this reserve 
^^ * with respect to herself. He replied that the several deputa- 
tions were made in order to renew their good intelhgence with 
the other nations, to whom they had not, in a long time, sent 
an embassy, and who might imagine themselves shghted by 
such a neglect. This feigned excuse seemed to appease the 
princess, but not quite to rid her of all her uneasiness, which, 
on the contrary, was heightened, upon the return of the em- 
bassies, when she saw the Suns assemble in secret council to- 
gether. She was filled vrith rage, which would have broken 
out, if her prudence had not set bounds to it. Happy it is for 
the French that she imagined herself neglected. I am per- 
suaded that the colony owes its preservation to the vexation 
of this woman, rather than to any affection she entertained for 
the French, as she was now far advanced in years, and her 
French gallant long since dead. In order to get to the bottom 
of the secret, she prevailed on her son to accompany her on a 
visit to a relation that lay sick at the village of the Meal, and 
leading him the most distant and retired route, took occasion 
to reproach him with the secrecy he and the other Suns ob- 
served with regard to her. She insisted on her right, as a 
mother, and her privilege as a princess, adding, that although 
the world and herself, too, had told him he was the son of a 
Frenchman, yet her own blood was much dearer to her than 
that of strangers ; that he need not apprehend she would ever 
betray him to the French, against whom, she said, you are 
plotting. 
FaUofi729 "The SOU, stung with these reproaches, told her it was 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 281 

unusual to reveal what the old men of the council had once ohafteb 
resolved upon, and as he was Grand Sun, he ought to set a ^^* 
good example in this respect; but seeing you have guessed 
the whole afl^, I need not inform you further. You know 
as much as I do, myself, only hold your tongue." 

"She replied that she was in no pain to know against 
whom he had taken his precautions, but as it was against the 
French, this was the very thing that made her apprehensive 
he had not taken his measures aright, in order to surprise 
them, as they were a people of great penetration, although 
their commandant had none. Her son told her that she had 
nothing to apprehend as to the measures taken ; that all the 
nations had heard and approved their project, and promised 
to fiEdl upon the French in their neighborhood, on the same 
day with the Natchez; that the Choctaws had resolved to 
destroy all the French lower down and along the Mississippi, 
up as far as the Tonicas, to which last people, he said, we did 
not send, as they and the Oumas are too much wedded to 
the French. He, at last, told her that the bimdle of rods* 

* By all ancient and modem Indians, rods or sticks were used to 
assemble the nation together. A Chief was accustomed to send forth 
a warrior, with a bundle of sticks, and as he journeyed towards the 
towns to which he was despatched, he would throw away one of 
these sticks, at the close of each day. When he gave them to the 
party to whom he was bearing them, the latter also continued, at the 
close of every day, to throw away a stick. The Chiefs, who sent these 
sticks, also kept a duplicate number, and each day threw away one, 
so that those at a distance, and those at the council house, would meet 

16 



282 THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTER lay in the temple, on the flat timber. The Stung Arm, 
^'* being informed of the whole design, pretended to approve it, 
and leaving her son at ease, henceforward was only sohcitous 
how she might defeat this barbarous design. The time was 
pressing, and the term fixed for the execution was almost 
expired. Unwilling to see the French cut off to a man in 

FaU of 1729 one day, she resolved to apprise them of the conspiracy 
through some young women who loved them, enjoining 
them never to tell from whom they had their information.* 
She desired a soldier, whom she met, to tell the commandant 
that the Natchez had lost their senses, and to. desire him to 
be upon his guard. The soldier faithfully performed his 
commission, but the commandant treated him as a coward 

together on the same day, when the last stick had been thrown away. 
In modern times, sending sticks was called " sending out the broken 
days." 

* " The Sieur de Mac^, ensign of the garrison of the fort at 
Natchez, received advice by a young Indian girl who loved him. She 
told him, crying, that her nation was to massacre all the French. M. 
De Mac^, amazed at this discourse, questioned his mistress. Her 
simple answers and her tender tears, left him no room to doubt of the 
plot. He went immediately to give Chopart intelligence of it, who 
put him under arrest for giving false alarm." — Bossu's Travels throu^^ 
Louisiana, letter 3, addressed to the Marquis de L'Estrade, vol. 1, p. 62. 
London, 1771. 

Bossu also states that Chopart, becoming enraged at Dumont, the 
second in command, for remonstrating with him against his tyranny 
towards the Natchez, in the commencement of the spring, placed that 
excellent officer and faithful historian in irons. — ^Vol. 1, p. 48. 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 283 

and a visionary, — caused him to be placed in irons, and de- chaptbr 
clared he would never take any steps towards repairing the ^'' 
fort, as the Natchez would then imagine he was a man of no 
resolution. The Stung Arm fearing a discovery, notwith- 
standing her precaution and the secrecy she enjoined, repaired 
to the temple and pulled some rods out of the fatal bundle. 
Her design was to hasten the time fixed, to the end that such 
Frenchmen as escaped the massacre might apprise their coun- 
trymen, many of whom had informed the commandant, who 
placed seven of them in irons. The female Sun, seeing the 
time approaching, and many of those punished whom she had 
charged to acquaint the governor, resolved to speak to the 
under-lieutenant, — but to no better purpose. Notwithstand- 
ing all these waraings, the commandant went out the night 
before on a party of pleasure, with some other Frenchmen, to 
the grand village of the Natchez, without returning to the 
fort till break of day, where he had no sooner arrived than he 
was admonished to be upon his guard. Still stimulated with 
his last night's debauch, he added imprudence to neglect, and 
despatched his interpreter to demand of the Grand Sun 
whether he intended to kill the French. The Grand Sun, 
though but a young man, knew how to dissemble, and spoke 
in such a manner to the interpreter as to allay his suspicions 
and fears.* 

* DuPratz* Louisiana, pp. 79-90. In copying this author's state- 
ment, I have occasionally omitted some redundancies and uninterest- 
ing detail. 



284 THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTER We propose now to introduce the statement of Father Le 
^^* Petit, who at the time of its occurrence was residing in New- 
Orleans, respecting the massacre itself He was a learned and 
pious Jesuit priest. The following is his letter to Father 
D'Avaugour, procurator of the missions in North America. 

"At New-Orleans, 12th July, 1730. 
My Reverevbd Father^ — the Peace of our Lord he with you : 
* * * * After having given you an imperfect idea of 
the character and customs of the Natchez Indians, I proceed, 
my reverend father, as I have promised you, to enter upon a 
detailed. account of their perfidy and treason. It was on the 
second of December of the year 1729, that we learned they 
had surprised the French, and had massacred almost all of 
them. This sad news was first brought to us by one of the 
planters, who had escaped their fury. It was confirmed to us 
on the following day by other French fugitives, and finally, 
some French women, whom they had made slaves, and were 
forced afterwards to restore, brought us all the particulars. 

"At the first rumor of an event so sad, the alarm and con- 
sternation was general in New-Orleans. Although the massa- 
cre had taken place more than a hundred leagues from here, 
you would have supposed that it had happened under our 
own eyes. Each one was mourning the loss of a relative — ^a 
fiiend — or some property; all were alarmed for their own 
hves, for there was reason to fear that the conspiracy of the 
Indians had been general. This unlooked for massacre began 
iw on Monday, the 28th of October, about nine o'clock in the 

October28 

morning. Some cause of dissatisfaction which the Natchez 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 285 

thought they had with the commander, and the arrival of a chapter 
number of richly laden boats for the garrison and the colo- ^^' 
nists, determined them to hasten their enterprise, and to strike 
their blow sooner than they had agreed with the other con- 
federate tribes.* First they divided themselves, and sent into 
the fort, into the \illage, and into the two grants, as many 
Indians as there were French in each of these places. Then 
they feigned that they were going out for a grand hunt, and 
undertook to trade with the French for guns, powder and 
ball, — offering to pay them as much, and even more, than 
was customary ; and, in truth, as there was no reason to sus- 
pect their fideUty, they made, at the time, an exchange of 
their poultry and corn for some arms and ammunition, which 
they used advantageously against us. It is true that some 
expressed their distrust, but this was thought to have so httle 
foundation that they were treated as cowards, who were fright- 
ened at their own shadows. They had been on their guard 
against the Choctaws ; but, as for the Natchez, they had never 
distrusted them, and they were so .persuaded of their good 
flEdth, that it increased their hardihood. Having thus posted 
themselves in different houses, provided with the arms obtain- 
ed from us, they attacked, at the same time, each his man ; 
and in less than two hours they massacred more than two 

* Father Le Petit is mistaken as to the causes which hastened the 
massacre. It will be recollected that DaPratz told us that Stung Arm 
pulled out several sticks from the bundle, and it was this which brought 
on the time sooner. 



286 THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTER hundred of the French. The best known are M. De Chopart, 

VTT 

commander of the post; M. Du Codere, commander among 
the Yazoos ; M. Des Ursins ; Messieurs De KoUy, father and 
son ; Messieurs De Longrays, Des Noyers, Bailly, <fec. 

" The Father Du Poisson had just performed the funeral 
rites of his associate, the brother Crucy, who had died very 
suddenly, of a sun stroke ; he was on his way to consult 
Governor Perrier, and to adopt with him proper measures tOv 
enable the Arkansas to descend the banks of the Mississippi, 
for the accommodation of the voyagers. He arrived among 
the Natchez on the 26th of November, that is, two days 
before the massacre. The next day, which was the first 
Sunday of Advent, he said mass in the parish, and preached 
in the absence of the cur6. He was to have returned in the 
afternoon, to his mission among the Arkansas, but he was 
detained by some sick persons, to whom it was necessary to 

1729 

October 28 administer the sacraments. On Monday, he was about to 
say mass, and to carry the holy sacrament to one of those 
sick persons whom he4tad confessed, the evening before, 
when the massacre b^un. A gigantic Chief, six feet in 
height, seized him, and having thrown him to the ground, 
cut off his head with blows of a hatchet; the feither, in 
falling, only uttered these words: "Ah my God! ah my 
God ! " M. Du Codere drew his sword to defend him, when 
he was himself killed by a musket ball from another Indian, 
whom he did not perceive. 

"These barbarians spared but two of the French, a tailor • 
and a carpenter, who were able to serve their wants. They 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 287 

did not treat badly, either the negro slaves or the Indians chapter 

who were willing to give themselves up ; but they ripped up 

the abdomen of every pregnant woman, and killed almost all 

those who were nursing their children, because they were 

disturbed by their cries and tears. They did not kill the 

other women, but made them their slaves, and treated them 

with every indignity during the two or three months that 

they were their masters. The least miserable were those 

who knew how to sew, because they kept them busy in 

making shirts, dresses, &c The others were employed in 

cutting and carrying wood for cooking, and in pounding the 

corn of which they made their sagamit^. But two things, 

above all, aggravated the grief and hardness of their slavery ; 

it was, in the first place, to have for masters, those same 

persons whom they had seen dipping their cruel hands in 

the blood of their husbands ; and, in the second place, to 

hear them, continually, saying that the French had been 

treated in the same manner at all the other posts, and that *^ ^ 

^ ' October 28 

the country was now entirely freed from them. 

"During the massacre, the Sun, or the Great Chief of the 
Natchez, was seated quietly under the tobacco shed of the 
company. His warriors brought to his feet the head of the 
commander, about . which they ranged those of the principal 
French of the post, leaving their bodies a prey to the dogs, 
the buzzards, and other carniverous birds.* When they 

* Dumont, in his " Memoires Historiques sur la Louisiane," tome 2, 
pp. 145-146, thus speaks of Chopart : 

" In the midst of this general massacre of all the French, Chopart 
16* 



288 THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI 

CHAPTER were assured that no other Frenchmen remained at the post, 
^'* they applied themselves to plunder the houses, the magazines 
of the Indian company, and all the boats which were still 
loaded by the banks of the river. They employed the 
negroes to transport the merchandize, which they divided 
among themselves, with the exception of the munitions of 
war, which they placed, for security, in a separate cabin. 
While the brandy lasted, of which they found a good supply, 
they passed their days and nights in drinking, singing, 
dancing, and insulting, in the most barbarous manner, the 
dead bodies and the memory of the French. The Choctaws 
and the other Indians being engaged in the plot with them, 
they felt at their ease, and did not at all fear that they 
would draw on themselves the vengeance which was merited 
by their cruelty and perfidy. One night, when they were 

revived, as if Providence had wished to reserve him as a witness of the 
destruction of so many inhabitants who would not have perished but 
for his folly. He recognized it, at last, but too late, and raising himself 
from his seat, instead of taking his gun and placing himself on the 
defence, he fled to his garden, where he gave a whistle, in order to call 
the soldiers of the garrison. But they were no more. He could see 
all around him, by the sides of the palisades, which enclosed his garden; 
tlie earth strewn with their carcasses. At the same time he was 
surrounded by the savages, who b:eathed nothing more than his death, 
while none of them wished to lay hands upon him. They considered 
him as a " dog," unworthy of being killed by a brave man, and they 
made the chief stinking-man come, who killed him with the stroke 
of a club." 



THE FRKNCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 289 

plunged in drunkenness and sleep, Madame Des Noyers wished chapter 
to make use of the negroes to revenge the death of her ^^' 
husband and the French, but she was betrayed by the 
person to whom she confided her design, and came very near 
being burned aUve. 

" Some of the French escaped the fury of the Indians by 
taking refuge in the woods, where they suffered extremely 
from hunger and the effects of the weather.* One of them, 
on arriving here, relieved us of a httle disquietude we felt in 
regard to the post we occupy among the Yazoos, which is not 
more than forty or fifty leagues above the Natchez by water 
and only from fifteen to twenty by land. Not being able to 
endure the extreme cold from which he suffered, he left the 
woods under cover of the night, to go and warm himself in 
the house of a Frenchman. When he was near it he heard 
the voices of Indians, and deliberated whether he should enter. 



* In a despatch made by Governor Perrier to the Minister in France, 
dated the 18ih March, 1730, he says: — " * * A general assassina- 
tion of the French ensued, which occupied but little time ; one single 
attack terminated it with the exception of the house of M. la Loire des 
Ursins, in which there were eight men, six of whom were killed, and 
the remaining two escaped during the night — the Indians having been 
unable to seize them during the day. M. la Loire des Ursins was 
mounted on a horse when the attack commenced, and being unable to 
regain his house, he defended himself until he fell, having killed four 
Indians. Thus it has cost the Natchez only twelve men to destroy two 
hundred and fifty of our people." — Gayarre's Histoire de la Louisiane, 
vol. 1, pp. 242-243. 



• 



290 THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTER He determined, however, to do so, preferring rather to perish 
^"* by the hands of these barbarians than to die of famine and 
cold. He was agreeably surprised when he found these 
savages ready to render him a ser>dce, to heap kindness upon 
him, to commisserate him, to console him, to furnish him 
with provisions, clothes and a boat to make his escape to 
New-Orleans. These were the Yazoos, who were return- 
ing from chanting the calumet, at Oumas. The Chief 
charged him to say to M. Perrier, that he had nothing to 
fear on the part of the Yazoos, that * they would not lose 
their spirit,' — that is, that they would always remain attached 
to the French, and that he would be constantly on the watch 
with his tribe, to warn the French boats that were descending 
the river, to be on their guard against the Natchez. 

• 

"We believed, for a long time, that the promises of tjiis 
Chief were very sincere, and feared no more Indian perfidy 
for our post among the Yazoos. But learn, my reverend 
father, the disposition of these Indians, and how little one is 
able to trust their words, even when accompanied by the 
greatest demonstrations of friendship. Scarcely had they re- 
turned to their own viUage, when loaded with presents they 
received from the Natchez, they followed their example and 
imitated their treachery. Uniting with the Corroys, they 
agreed together to exterminate the French. They began with 
Father Souel, the missionary of both tribes, who was then 
hving in the midst of them, in their own village. On the 
^'^ 11th of December, Father Souel was returning in the evening 
from visiting the Chief, and while in a ravine, received many 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 291 

musket balls, and fell dead on the spot. The Indians imme- chapter 
diately rushed to his cabin to plunder it. His negro, who ^^' 
composed all his family and all his defence, armed himself 
with a wood-cutter's knife to prevent the pillage, and even 
wounded one of the savages. This zealous action cost him 
his Hfe, but happily less than a month before he had received 
baptism, and was living in a most Christian manner. 

"These Indians, who even to that time seemed sensible of 
the aflPection which their missionary bore them, reproached 
themselves for his death, as soon as they were capable of 
reflection ; but returning again to their natural ferocity, they 
adopted the resolution of putting a finishing stroke to their 
crime, by the destruction of the whole French post. * Since 
the Black Chief is dead,' said they, St is the same as if all 
the French were dead ; let us not spare any.' The next day 
they executed their barbarous plan. They repaired, early in 
the morning, to the fort, which was not more than a league 
distant, and whose occupants supposed, on their arrival, that 
the Indians wished to chant the calumet to the Chevalier des 
Roches, who commanded that post, in the absence of M. de 
Codere. He had but seventeen men with him, who had no 
suspicion of any evil design on the part of the savages, and 
were, therefore, all massacred, not one escaping their iury. 
They, however, spared the lives of four women and five 
children, whom they found there, and whom they made 
slaves. One of the Yazoos having stripped the missionary, 
clothed himself in his garments, and shortly after announced 
to the Natchez that his nation had redeemed their pledge, 



292 THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTER and that the French, settled among them, were all massacred. 
^^^' In this city, there was no longer any doubt on that point, as 
soon as they learned what came near being the fate of 
father Doutreleau. This missionary had availed himself of 
the time when the Indians were engaged in their winter 
occupations, to come and see us, for the purpose of regulating 
some matters relating to his mission. He set out on the 
first of this year, 1*730, and not expecting to arrive at the 
residence of Father Souel, of whose fate he was ignorant, in 
time to say mass, he determined to say it at the mouth of 
the Little Yazoo river, where his party had cabined. 
January 1 " As he was preparing for the sacred office, he saw a boat 
fiill of Indians landing ; they demanded from them of what 
nation they were. *Yazoos, comrades of the French,' they 
replied, making a thousand friendly demonstrations to the 
voyagers, who accompanied the missionary, and presenting 
them with provisions. While the father was preparing his 
altar, a flock of bustards passed, and the voyager^ fired at 
them the only two guns they had, without thinking of 
re-loading, as mass had already commenced. The Indians 
noted thk, and placed themselves behind the voyagers, as if 
it was their intention to hear mass, although they were not 
Christians. At the time the father was saying the ICyrie 
-fi'^mow, the Indians made their discharge; the missionary, 
seeing himself wounded in his right arm, and seeing one of 
the voyagers killed at his feet, and the four others fled, threw 
himself on his knees to receive the last fatal blow, which he 
regarded as inevitable. In this posture he received two or 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 293 

three discharges, but although the Indians fired while almost chapter 
touching him, yet they did not inflict on him any new ^"• 
wounds. Finding himself then, as it were, miraculously 
escaped from so many mortal blows, he took to flight, having 
on, still, his priestly garments, and without any other defence 
than entire confidence in God, whose particular protection 
was given him, as the event proved. He threw himself into 
the water, and after advancing some steps, gained the boat, 
in which two of the voyagers were making their escape. 

1790 

They had supposed him to be killed by some of the many January 
balls which they had heard fired on him. In climbing up 
into the boat, and turning his head to see whether any one 
of his pursuers was following him too closely, he received, in 
the mouth, a discharge of small shot, the greater part of 
which were flattened against his teeth, though some of them 
entered his gums and remained there for a long time. I 
have, myself, seen two of them. Father Doutreleau, all 
woimded as he was, undertook the duty of steering the boat, 
while his two companions placed themselves at the oars; 
unfortunately one of them, at setting out, had his thigh 
broken, by a musket ball, from the eflPects of which he has 
since remained a cripple. * * * As soon as they found 
themselves freed from their enemies, they dressed their 
wounds as well as they could, and for the purpose of aiding 
their flight from that fatal shore, they threw into the river 
every thing they had in their boat, preserving only some 
pieces of raw bacon, for their nourishment. It had been 
their intention to stop, in passing, at the Natchez, but having 



294 THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

■ I ■■ I I 11 ■■ I laii I ■ ■ ■ ■ ■■■■ I I ■ 

CHAPTER seen that the houses of the French were either demoUshed 
^''' or burned, they did not think it advisable to listen to the 
compHments of the Indians who, from the bank of the river, 
invited them to land. "They placed a wide distance between 
them as soon as possible, and thus shunned the balls which 
were ineflPectually fired at them. It was then that they 
began to distrust all the Indian nations, and, therefore, 
resolved not to go near the land until they reached New- 
Orleans, and supposing that the savages might have rendered 
themselves masters of it, to descend even to the Balize, 
where they hoped to find some French vessel provided to 
receive the wreck of the colony. *****! cannot 
^'* express to you, ray reverend father, the great satisfaction I 
felt at seeing Father Doutreleau, his arm in a scarf, arrive (in 
New-Orleans) after a voyage of more than four hundred 
leagues, all the clothes he had on having been borrowed, 
except his cassock. My surprise was increased at the recital 
of his adventures. I placed him, immediately, in the hands 
of brother Parisel, who examined his wounds, and who 
dressed them with great care and speedy success. The 
missionary was not yet entirely cured of his wounds, when 
he departed to act as chaplain to the French army, as he had 

promised the officers, in accordance with their request 
****** 

"Knowing as you do, my reverend father, the vigilance 
and the oversight of our governor, you can well imagine that 
he did not sleep in this sad crisis in which we now found 
ourselves. We may say, without flattery, that he surpassed 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. , 295 

himself by the rapid movements he made, and by the wise chapter 
measures he adopted to revenge the French blood which ^''* 
had been shed, and to prevent the evils with which almost 
all the posts of the colony were threatened. As soon as he 
was apprised of this unexpected attack, by the Natchez 
Indians, he caused the news to be carried to all the posts, 
and even as far as the Illinois, not by the ordinary route of 
the river, which was closed, but on one side by the Natchi- 
toches and the Arkansas, and the other by Mobile and the 
Chickasaw. He invited the neighbors, who were our aUies, 
and particularly the Choctaws, to avenge this outrage. He 
furnished arms and ammunition to all the houses of the city 
and to the plantations. He caused two ships, that is, the 
Due de Bourbon and the Alexandre, to ascend the river as 
far as the Tonicas. These ships were like two good fortresses 
against the insults of the Indians, and in case of attack, two 
certain asylums for the women and children. He caused a 
ditch to be dug entirely around the city, and placed guard 
houses at the four extremities. He organized for its defence 
many companies of city militia, who mounted guard during 
the whole night. As there was more to fear in the grants 
and in the plantations than in the city, he fortified them with 
the most care. He had good forts erected at Chapitoulas, 
Cannes, Brules, Altemands, Bayagoulas, and Pointe Coupee. 
" At first, our governor, listening only to the dictates of his 
own courage, adopted the design of placing himself at the 
head of the troops, but it was represented to him that he 
ought not to quit New-Orleans, where his presence was 



296 • '^^^' FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTER absolutely necessary ; that there was danger of the Choctaws 

^^^' determining to fall upon the city, if it should be deprived of 

its troops ; and the negroes, to free themselves from slavery, 

might join them, as some had done v^th the Natchez. 

Moreover, he could feel perfectly easy with regard to the 

, *^ conduct of the troops, as the Chevalier De Loubois, with 

Jannary * 

whose experience and bravery he was well acquainted, had 
been appointed to command them. Whilst our little army 
was repairing to the Tonicas, seven hundred Choctaws, mus- 
tered and conducted by M. De Sueur, marched towards the 
Natchez. We were informed, by a party of these people, 
that the Natchez were not at all on their guard, but passed 
all their nights in dancing. The Choctaws took them, 
therefore, by surprise, and made a descent on them, the 27th 
January, at the break of day. In less than three hours they 
had delivered fifty-nine persons, both women and children, 
with the tailor and carpenter, and one hundred and six 
negroes or negro women, with their children. They made 
eighteen of the Natchez prisoners, and took sixty scalps. 
They would have taken more, if they had not been intent on 
J *^ 27 ^^^^S *^® slaves, as they had been directed. They had but 
two men killed and seven or eight wounded. They encamp- 
ed, with their prizes, at the grant of St. Catherine, in a mere 
park enclosed with stakes. The victory would have been 
complete, if they had waited the arrival of the French army, 
as liad been agreed upon by their deputies.* 

* Monette, Martin, aud other modem aathors, state that LeSeor 
advanced from the Tombigby, with six hundred warriors, and near 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 297 

"The Natchez, seeing themselves attacked by the formida- chapter 
ble Choctaws, regarded their defeat as certain, and shutting ^^' . 
themselves up in two forts, passed the following nights in 
dancing their death dance. In their speeches, we heard 
them reproaching the Choctaws for their perfidy in declaring 
in favor of the French, contrary to the pledge they had given^ 
to unite vidth them for our destruction. Three days before 
this action, the Sieur Mesplex landed at the Natchez with 
five other Frenchmen ; they had volunteered to M. De Loubois, 
to carry to the Indians negociations for peace, that they 
might be able, under this pretext, to gain information with 
regard to their force and their present situation. But, in 
descending from their boat, they encountered a party who, 
without giving them time to speak, killed three of their men 
and made the other three prisoners. The next day they 
sent one of these prisoners with a letter, in which they 
demanded, as hostages, the Sieur Broutin, who had formerly 
been commander among them, and the Chief of the Tonicas. 
Besides, they demanded, as the ransom for the women, chil- 
dren and slaves, two hundred guns, two hundred barrels of 
powder, two thousand gun flints, two hundred knives, two 
hundred hatchets, two hundred pickaxes, five hogsheads of 
brandy, twenty casks of wine, twenty barrels of vermilion, 
two hundred shirts, twenty pieces of hmbourg, twenty pieces 

Pearl river increased his force to twelve hundred. Arriving near 
Natchez, and learning the unguarded condition of the Indians of that 
place, the Choctaws fell upon them, in spite the entreaties of LeSeur, 
who urged them to await the arrival of the French army. 



298 THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTER of cloth, twenty coats with lace on the seams, twenty hats 
.^^^' bordered with plumes, and a hundred coats of a plainer kind. 
Their design was to massacre the French, who should bring 
these goods. On the very same day, with every refine- 
ment in cruelty, they burned the Sieur Mesplex and his 
companion. 

" On the 8th Februaiy, the French, with the Tonicas and 
some other small tribes from the lower end of the Mississippi, 
arrived at the Natchez, and seized their temple, dedicated to 
the Sun. The impatience and impracticability of the Choc- 
taws, who, like all these Indians, are capable of striking only 
one blow and then disperse — the small number of French 
soldiers, who found themselves worn down by fatigues — the 
want of provisions, which the Indians stole from the French — 

1790 

February *^® failure of ammunition, with which they were not able to 
satisfy the Choctaws, who wasted one part of it, and placed 
the other in reserve to be used in hunting — the resistance of 
the Natchez, who were well fortified, and who fought in despe- 
ration — all these things decided us to listen to the proposi- 
tions which the besieged made, after the trenches had been 
opened for seven days. They threatened, if we persisted in 
the siege, to burn those of the French who remained ; while, 
on the other hand, they offered to restore them, if we would 
withdraw our seven pieces of cannon. These, in reality, for 
want of a good gunner, and under present circumstances, were 
scarcely in a fit state to give them any fear. 

" These propositions were accepted, and fulfilled on both 
sides. On the 25th of February, the besieged faithfully re- 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 299 

stored all that they had promised, while the besiegers retired chapter 
with their cannon to a small fort which they had hastily built ^ * 
on the Escore, near the river, for the purpose of always keep- 
ing the Natchez in check, and ensuring a passage to the 
voyagers. Governor Perrier gave the command of it to M. 
D'Artaguette, as an acknowledgment of the intrepidity with 
which, during the siege, he had exposed himself to the great- 
est dangers, and everywhere braved death. 

•** Before the Choctaws had determined to fall upon the 
Natchez, they had been to them to convey the calumet, 
and were received in a very novel manner. They found 
them and their horses adorned with chasubles and drapery of 
the altars ; many wore patterns about their necks, and drank, 
and gave to drink, of brandy in the chalices and the pyx. 
And the Choctaws themselves, when they had gained these Febmary 
articles by pillaging our enemies, renewed this profane sacri- 
lege, by making the same use of our ornaments and sacred 
vessels in their dances and sports. We were never able to 
recover more than a small portion of them."* 

Here Father Le Petit discontinues his detail of the Natchez 
war, and ends his letter with some remarks upon the character 
of the Illinois and several other tribes of Indians. He appears 
to have deemed it a very great outrage that the Natchez thus 

* " The Early Jesuit Missions in North America," compiled and 
translated from the letters of the French Jesuits, with notes by the Rev. 
Ingraham Kip, M.A., Corresponding Member of the New- York Histori- 
cal Society. New- York : 1846. See Part 2, pp. 267-300. 



300 THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MTSSISSIPPL 



CHAPTER prostituted their holy vessels and priestly robes, yet he an- 
nounces that the French army " arrived at the Natchez and 
seized their temple, dedicated to the Sun," which they, no 
doubt, also destroyed. The religion of the Natchez was as 
sacred to the Natchez, as the religion of the Roman Catholics 
was to the good Father Le Petit. 

The Natchez Chiefe proposed to surrender more than two 
hundred prisoners, if the French commander would remove 
his artillery and withdraw his forces, or else all the prisoners 
would be consumed by fire. Loubois, to save the lives of 
these miserable captives, consented, yet with the secret inten- 
tion of wreaking his vengeance upon the Indians as soon as 
the prisoners were in his possession. But he was sadly disap- 
pointed, for the Indians, suspecting treachery on his part, took 
February 25 ^vantage of the suspension of hostilities, and one night 
evacuated the fort, and succeeded in gaining the opposite shore 
of the Mississippi with all their women and children. The 
prisoners were found in the fort, agreeably to the treaty. 
Loubois was astonished at the dexterous manoeuvre, but he 
saw the folly of pursuing the foe, who had now secreted them- 
selves in the vast swamps. He began the erection of a ter- 
raced fort upon the verge of the blufl^ and leaving there a 
garrison of one hundred and twenty men, returned with 
his troops and the rescued prisoners to New-Orleans. 

The largest portion of the Natchez, conducted by the Great 
Sun, established themselves " upon the lower Washita, on the 
point between Little river and the Washita, just below the 
mouth of Little river, where the Washita assumes the name of 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 30I 

Black river."* Here the Natchez placed about four hundred chapter 
acres of land in a state of defence, by the erection of large vii. 
and small mounds and extensive embankments. Other por- 
tions of this tribe sought an asylum among the Chickasaws, 
while others wandered still further east, and took up their 
abode upon a portion of the territory now embraced in Talla- 
dega county, Alabama. The English traders of Carolina, it 
is said, rejoiced in the destruction of the French, and many of 
them, then residing among the Chickasaws, urged those peo- 
ple and the refugee Natchez, to engage in a vigorous warfare, 
and not only to defend their soil, but to exterminate the 
French. In the meantime, Governor Perrier made preparations 
to follow up the Natchez upon the Washita, but his exertions 
were, to some extent, defeated by a serious negro insurrection, 
which occurred upon the plantations in the vicinity of New- 
Orleans. 

However, upon the 10th of August, one of the company's ^'^^ 
ships arrived at the Balize with some troops and supplies. 
Although mortified that the reinforcement was so small, Per- 
rier added them to the colonial troops, and, procuring a Choc- 
taw force at Mobile, left New-Orleans with an army of six hun- November I6 
dred and fifty, which was increased on the way to one thou- 
sand, by Indian allies. Reaching the mouth of Black river, 
they at length came in sight of the enemy's stronghold. The 
troops were disembarked, the fort invested, and for three days January 20 
the besieged made a spirited resistance, when they made 

• Monette's History of the Valley of the Mississippi, vol. 1, p. 267. 
17 



302 THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTER propositions which Perrier rejected. At length the Indians 
^'^' consented to surrender the Great Sun and one War Chief, which 
the governor refused. They then consented to surrender 
sixty-five men and about two hundred women and children, 
upon condition that their lives should be spared. Perrier 
once more opened his artillery upon them ; but a heavy rain, 
which continued until night, silenced his batteries. When 
night set in, the Natchez began to escape from their defences, 
and make their way up the river, in the midst of a tempest 
of wind and rain. The Indian allies went in pursuit, and 
returned with one hundred prisoners. The next day Perrier 
demohshed the outworks of the fort and began his voyage to 
1732 New-Orleans, where he arrived, in due time, with four hun- 

Febrnary 5 

dred and twenty-seven captives of the Natchez tribe. At the 
head of them were the Great Sun and several principal Chiefe. 
Soon afterwards, they were all shipped to St. Domingo and 
sold as slaves.* Those of the Natchez who escaped during 
the stormy night, rallied again and collected in one body, 
near the French settlements on Red river. They then marched 

*" The French army re-embarked, and carried the Natchez as slaves 
to New-Orleans, where they were put in prison ; but afterwards, to 
avoid the infection, the women and the children were disposed of on 
the King's plantation and elsewhere. Among these women was the 
Female Sun, called the Stung Arm, who then told me all she had done, 
in order to save the French. Sometime after, these slaves were em- 
barked for St. Domingo, in order to root out that nation in the colony ; 
* * * * and thus that nation, the most conspicuous in the colony 
and the most useful to the French, was destroyed." — ^Du Pratz, p, 95. 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 393 

and attacked the post in a most furious manner, but St. Denys, chapter 
the commandant, an intrepid officer, repelled them, with the ^^' 
loss of ninety-two braves, including all their Chiefe. The 
remnant escaped by flight. This was the closing scene in the 
Natchez drama, and ended the existence of these brave Indians 
as a distinct tribe.* 

* In relation to the massacre at Natchez, and the final defeat of those 
Indians, I have carefully consulted the following authorities : — DuPratz's 
Louisiana ; London, 1774. — Bossu's Travels in Louisiana, vol. 1 ; Lon- 
don, 1771. — Meraoire Historique et Politique sur la Louisiane, par M. de 
Vergennes, Ministre de Louis XVI. ; A Paris, 1802. — Voyage a la Lou- 
isiane, par B*** D ; Paris, 1802. — Memoires Historique sur la Louisi- 
ane, par M. Duutiont ; A Paris, 1753. — Kip's Early Jesuit Missions ; 
New- York, 1846. — Gayarre's Histoire de la Louisiane. — Martin's His- 
tory of Louisiana ; New-Orleans, 1827. — Stoddart's Sketches, historical 
and descriptive, of Louisiana ; Philadelphia, 1812. — Monette's History 
of the Valley of the Mississippi ; New- York, 1846. 



304 THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 



CHAPTER VIIL 

THE ENGLISH IN GEORGIA. 

CHAPTER We have shown that South-Carolina had been estabhshed 
^^'^' as a colony for some years, that its seat of government was 
at Charleston, and that its inhabitants, in endeavoring to 
extend the English trade to all the Western Indian nations a^ 
fer as the Mississippi river, had many conflicts and diflBculties 
with the French, who occupied the territory of Alabama* 
They were also constantly opposed by the Spaniards of the 
Floridas. In order to interpose a barrier to these foes, as 
well as to protect the citizens from the attacks of the Creek 
Indians, the King of England and the British Parliament 
listened to a proposition of a great philanthropist, to plant a 
colony upon the western bank of the Savannah river. His 
motives, purely noble and disinterested, originated in a desire 
to ameliorate the condition of many unfortunate people in 
England. To cany out his plans of humanity, he was will- 
ing that the King should blend with them politic measures 
for the advancement of this, his most Southern province, and 
it was determined that "silk, wine, and oil should be culti- 
vated most abundantly." 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 395 

James Oglethorpe, a descendant of one of the oldest and chapter 
most influential families of England, was born #n the 22d ^^^' 
December, 1688, and after graduating at Oxford University, 
was commissioned an ensign in the British army. In 1713, 
lie accompanied the Earl of Petersbourg, then Ambassador to 
the Italian States, in the capacity of aid-de-camp. Returning 
to England, a year afterwards, he was promoted to a captain- 
cy in the first troop of Queen Anne's Guard, and was soon an 
adjutant-general of the Queen's forces. He was next trans- 
ferred to the post of aid-de-camp to Prince Eugene, the first 
general of the age, and was with him amid all the sanguinary 
battles fought between the Austrians and the Turks, upon 
the frontiers of Hungary. When these wars were over, 
Oglethorpe returned to England, and in 1*722 was elected 

a member to the British Parliament, where he soon became 

t 
useful and influential. 

Oglethorpe caused an investigation to be made into the 
state of the English prisons, and it was ascertained that they 
groaned with thousands of poor wretches who had been 
imprisoned many years for debt That the kingdom of 
England also contained thousands, ^^ descended of good fami- 
lies," who were in destitute circumstances, and that hun- 
dreds of German exiles, driven from their native country 
by religious persecution, were starving among them. He 
brought this unhappy state of things before the King and 
Parliament, and, by his aeal and abihty, succeeded in procur- j^ 
ing a charter for the colonization of Georgia, the inhabitants 
of which were to consist of these distressed people. He 



gQg THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

OHAPTSR resolved, himself, to embark with the first emigrants. They 

^^^* conskted ofiir thirty families, numbering, collectively, one 

hundred and twenty-five souls. Entering the sea from the 

Thames, the vessel, after a long voyage across the Atlantic, 

1788 

January furled its sails in the harbor of Charleston. Oglethorpe 
landed, and was received with attention by the Governor and 
Council of South-Carolina. The King's pilot carried the ship 
into Port Royal, while small vessels were furnished to convey 
January » the emigrants to the Savannah river. Leaving his people at 
Beaufort, and accompanied by Colonel Bull, of South-CaroU- 
na, Oglethorpe ascended the Savannah, and launched his 
boat at the splendid bluff, which now forms the site of the 
commercial emporium of Georgia. At the northern end of 
this bluff, the great philanthropist caime upon an Indian 
town, called Yamacraw, the chief of which was named 
Tomochichi, and where Musgrove, a Carolina trader, married 
to a half-breed named Mary, had established himself.* 

This Indian, Mary, was born in the year lYOO, at the town 
of Coweta, upon the Chattahoochie, in Alabama. Her 
Indian name was Consaponaheeso, and by maternal descent 
she was one of the Queens of the Muscogee nation, and the 
Indians conceded to her the title of princess. When ten 
years of age, her father took her to Ponpon, in South-Caroli- 
na, where she was baptised, educated and instructed in 

♦Stevens' History of Georgia, vol. 1,* pp. 58-76-89. Georgia 
Historical Collections, vol. 1, pp. 9-11-12-167-174. McCalPs Histo- 
ry of Georgia, vol., 1, pp. 9-32. 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 3()Y 

Christianity. Afterwards, she fled back to her forest home, chapter 
laid aside the civilization of the British, and assumed the ease ^^^' 
and freedom of the happy Muscogee. In 1716, Colonel 
John Musgrove was despatched to the Chattahoochie, by the 
government of Carolina, to form a treaty of alliance with the 
Creeks, with whom that colony liad been at war. It was 
there stipulated that the Creeks were to remain the free 
occupants of all the lands east, as far as the Savannah river. 
The son of the British negotiator, John Musgrove, had 
accompanied his father to Coweta, and falling in love with 
the princess Mary, made her his wife. After remaining in 
the nation several years, and after the birth of their only 
child, they removed to South-Carolina. There residing seven 1723 
years in much happiness, they afterwards established them- 
selves upon Yamacraw Bluff, at the head of an extensive J^ 
trading house, and where Oglethorpe found them, as we 
have just observed. By his alliance with this remarkable 
woman, who was well versed in the Indian and English 
languages, Musgrove obtained considerable influence over the 
natives, and became exceedingly wealthy. Mary was, aft;er- 
wards, the warm friend of Oglethorpe, and several times 
saved the early colonists of Georgia from savage butchery. 

Oglethorpe returned to Beaufort, and, collecting his colo- 
nists, sailed up the Savannah, and landing at the blufl^ where 
now stands the beautiful city, immediately disembarked and 
pitched four large tents. Here the emigrants spent their „ ^^ ^ 
first night in Georgia. The Indians received them with 
hospitality, and gave pledges of future friendship. Ogle- 

11* 



308 THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTER thorpe marked out the streets and squares; all was bustle 
^^^^' and activity, and it was not long before Savannah assumed 

February 9 something of the appearance of a town, A small fort was 
established at the edge of the blufl^ as a place of refuge, and 
some artillery was mounted upon it. Fort Argyle was built 
at the narrow passage of the Ogechee, above the mouth of 
Oanouchee, to defend the inhabitants against inland invasion 
from the Spaniards of St. Augustine. 

Soon after his arrival, Oglethorpe despatched runners to 
the Lower Creek nation, and having assembled eighteen 
May 21 Ohiefe and their attendants, at Savannah, he formed a treaty 
with them, in which they relinquished to the British govern- 
ment the lands between the Savannah and the Altamaha. 
It was also stipulated, among other things, that English 
traders should be allowed to estabUsh themselves in any part 
of the Creek nation. Their goods were to be sold at fixed 
rates : thus, a white blanket was set down at five buckskins, 
a gim at ten, a hatchet at three doeskins, a knife at one, 
and so on. Returning to Charleston, after this important 
treaty, a dinner was given to the philanthropist by the 
legislative bodies, which he returned by a ball and supper to 
the ladies. 

A company of forty Jews, acting under the broad princi- 
ples of the charter, which gave freedom to all religions, save 
that of the Romish Church, landed at Savannah. .Much 
dissatisfaction, both in England and America, arose in conse- 
quence of the appearance of these Israelites, and Oglethorpe 
was solicited to send them inmiediately from the colony. 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 309 

He, however, generously permitted thera to remain, which chapter 
waft one of the wisest acts of his life, for they and their ^"* 
descendants were highly instrumental in developing the com- 
mercial resources of this wild land. There also came, in the itm 
months of September and October, three hundred and forty- 
one Salzburgers, driven from Germany for their religious 
opinions, and Oglethorpe settled them above Savannah, on 
the river of that name, where they formed a town, and 
named it Ebenezer. These people were succeeded by many 
Highlanders, from Scotland, who, being brave and hardy, 
were located upon the banks of the Altamaha, the most 
exposed part of the colony, where they founded the town of j ^'^ 
Darien. 

In the meantime, Oglethorpe had made a voyage to 
England, taking with him Tomochichi, the Chief of Yama- 
craw, Senanky, his wife, Tooanhouie, their nephew, Hillipili, 
the War Captain, and ^ve Chiefe of the Cherokees. He was 
most graciously received by the ruling powers of England, 
and by her citizens ; and his noble and disinterested exertions 
were universally approved. In due time he returned to 
Georgia, with his Indian friends. 

The lands, between Ebenezer and Briar Creek, belonged to 
the lichees, who refused to dispose of them. But to secure 
this part of the country, two forts were built on the South- 
Carolina side of the river, which answered the purpose. 
Establishments were also made at Silver Bluff, and at the 
falls of the Savannah, where the town of Augusta was laid 1735 
out, warehouses erected, and a garrison thrown into a small 



310 THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

OHAPTER fort. Augusta immediately became a general resort for 
Vin. Indian traders, where they pm*chased annually about two 
thousand pack-horse loads of peltry. Six hundred white 
persons were engaged in this trade, including townsmen, 
pack-horse men, and servants. Boats, each capable of carry- 
ing down the river a large quantity of peltry, were built, 
and four or five voyages were annually made with them to 
Charleston. A trading highway was opened to Savannah on 
which few of the creeks were bridged, or marshes and 
swamps causewayed. 

He who became the wealthiest and most conspicuous 
of all these Indian traders, was George Galphin, a native of 
Ireland. When quite a young man, he established himself 
upon the site of De Soto's ancient Cutifachiqui, where that 
remarkable adventurer first discovered the Savannah river, in 
1540. Upon the site of this old Indian town, on the east 
bluflf of the Savannah, in Barnwell District, South-Carolina, 
now called Silver Bluftj and at present the property of Gov. 
1787 Hammond, young Galphin first begun to trade with the 
Creek Indians. Although he made Silver ' BluiSf his head- 
quarters, he had trading houses in Savannah and Augusta, 
He was a man of fine address, great sense, commanding per- 
son, untiring energy, and -unsurpassed bravery. His power 
was felt and his influence extended even to the banks of the 
Mississippi. Among the Upper and Lower Creeks, Chero- 
kees, Chickasaws and Choctaws, he sent forth numerous pack- 
horse men, with various merchandize, who brought back to 
Georgia almost countless skins and furs, kegs of bears' oil. 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. QH 

kickory-nut oil, snake root and medicinal barks, which he chapter 
shipped to England. He often went himself into these na- ^^^' 
tions, fearlessly trading in the immediate vicinity of the 
French Fort Toulouse, upon the Coosa. Commercial policy 
and an amorous disposition led him to form connections with 
several females, who were called his wives, and from whom 
descended many intelligent and influential persons, now in- 
habiting Georgia, Alabama, and the Arkansas Territory. 

Among the passengere who came out with Oglethorpe, 
upon his return to America, were the celebrated Methodists, 
John and Charles Wesley, who eat at the table of the philan- 
thropist, and who received from him much kindness and 
courtesy, during a stormy and dangerous voyage. Their 
object was to make religious impressions upon the minds of 
the Indians. Among the colonists, with whom they resided 
many years, they became not only unpopular, but very ob- 
noxious. They finally returned to England much mortified 
and much disappointed. Stevens thus speaks of these talented 
and pious men : — " The proceedings of the Wesley's in 
Georgia have, indeed, been violently assailed; and even 
writers, who can offer no excuse for their ignorance, accuse 
them of immorality and blame. But it was not so. They 
were men delicately brought up, of fine sensibilities, of culti- 
vated minds, of deep learning and of ardent devotion. * * 
Accomplished, though reserved in their manners, — associating 
from childhood with refined and learned society, — they could 
not conform at once to the tastes and habits of communities 
like those of Savannah and Frederica, but were rather repel- 



312 THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTER led by the gross immoralities and offensive manners of the 
^''* early colonists. Their error was, especially in John, of hold- 
ing too high ideas of ecclesiastical authority, and the being 
too rigid and repulsive in their pastoral duties. They stood 
firmly on little things, as well as on great, and held the reins 
of church discipline with a tightness unsuitable to an infant 
colony. But no other blame can attach to them."* 

The colony of Georgia had prospered under the wise 
guidance of Oglethorpe. Five principal towns had been 
1738 surveyed and settled: Augusta, Ebenezer, Savannah, New 
Inverness, and Frederica, besides forts and villages. More 
than one thousand persons had been sent to Georgia, on the 
account of the trustees alone, while hundreds of other emi- 
grants came at their own expense. The colonists being from 
different nations, were various in their characters and rehgous 
creeds. Vaudois, Swiss, Piedmontese, Germans, Moravians, 
Jews from Portugal, Highlanders, English, and Italians were 
thrown together in this fine climate, new world and new 
home. With all these people, in their various costumes, were 
often intermingled different tribes of Indians. What a field 
for a painter the colony presented ! What materials for a 
scribbling tourist ! 
^'^ Having thus colonized the northern, southern, and eastern 

borders, Oglethorpe returned to England, and presented to 
his majesty and the Parliament an account of the affairs of 
Georgia. He asked, at their hands, a sufficient supply of 

» Stevens' History of Georgia, vol. 1, pp. 339-349. 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 3^3 

military stores and men to defend the province from an chapter 

VIII 

invasion contemplated by the Spaniards of the Floridas. 
The colonization of Georgia had given great offence to Spain. 
That power claimed the whole of Georgia, but made no 
serious opposition, so long as the English settlements were 
confined to Savannah river, but when Oglethorpe planted his 
Highlanders upon the Altamaha, the Spaniards resolved 
upon their expulsion. A long succession of border wars and 
diflficulties ensued, which haWng but little connection with 
the history of Alabama, are omitted. It should be observed, 
however, that Oglethorpe succeeded in his applications to the 
Court, and was appointed general of the forces in South-Caro- 
lina and Georgia. In September, he was made colonel of a 
regiment to be employed in defence of the colony, which he 
had so successfully established. He returned to Georgia 

1738 

with his army, and disembarked his artillery at St. Simond's September 19 
Island. 

No sooner had Gen. Oglethorpe placed his feet upon Georgia • 
soil, than he saw the necessity of renewing his treaty with 
the Creeks, and of cultivating their alliance, for fear that they 
might form a dangerous connection with the Spaniards. He 
went immediately to Savannah, where he had an interview 
with the Chiefe of four towns, and succeeded in strengthening 
their fidelity to the English. But in order to accomplish a 
complete alliance with the brave Creeks, he resolved to 
attend the great council of that nation, which was to assem- 
ble at Coweta, in July and August following. It was a long 
and perilous journey. Coweta lay upon the west bank of 



314 THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTER the Chattahoochie river, three miles below the fells, at which 
^^^* the city of Columbus is now situated, and within the limits 
of the present Russell county, Alabama. The distance from 
Savannah to that point was not only considerable, but lay 
over extensive pine forests, dismal swamps, and rapid and 
dangerous rivers, while the solitary trail was not unfrequently 
beset by Indian banditti. However, when the time arrived, 
he, who had so courageously fought under Prince Eugene, 
upon the frontiers of Hungary, was not to be dismayed by 
obstacles like these. With only a few attendants, and some 
pack-horses, laden with goods, designed as presents for the 
Indians, Oglethorpe set oflf on his journey. He crossed the 
Ogechee, Oconee, Ockmulgee, and the Flint, carrying over 
his effects in canoes, and sometimes upon rafts. Finally, he 
halted upon the banks of the Chattahoochie. He had camped 
out every night in the woods, exposed by day to the heat (rf 
the sun, and often to pelting showers of rain. Crossing the 
Chattahoochie, and ascending its western bank, the great and 
A ^'^ 1 S^^^ Oglethorpe soon arrived in the town of Coweta, upon 
Alabama soil. Forty miles in advance, the Indians had met 
him and at various points upon the route, had deposited 
provisions for his subsistence. They now received him in 
their capital with every demonstration of joy. 

Making Coweta his head-quarters, Oglethorpe occasionally 
rode to some of the towns in the vicinity, the most prominent 
of which were Uchee, Cusseta and Ositche, conversing with 
these people through his interpreters, and engaging their af- 
fections by his liberality and irresistible address. He drank 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND HISSISSIPPI. 315 



with them the black drink — smoked with them the pipe of chapter 
peace — and lounged with them upon the cool cane sofas with 
which their ample public houses were furnished. In the 
meantime, the Chiefs and warriors from the towns of Coweta, 
Cusseta, Ufaula, Hitchitee, Ositche, Chehaw, Oconee and 
Swagles, assembled in the great square. After many cere- 

1799 

monious preliminaries, they made a treaty of alliance with ^^,^^21 
Oglethorpe. It was declared that all the lands between the 
Savannah and the St. John's, and from the latter to the Apa- 
lache bay, and thence to the mountains, by ancient right, did 
belong to the Creek nation. That neither the Spaniards nor 
any other people, excepting the trustees of the colony of 
Georgia, should settle them. That the grant on the Savan- 
nah river, as far as the river Ogechee, and those along the 
sea-coast as far as the St. John's river, and as high as the tide 
flowed, with the islands previously granted to the English at 
Savannah, should now be confirmed. The Chiefe again re- 
served all the lands from Pipe Maker's Bluff to the Savannah, 
with the Islands of St. Catharine, Osabow and Sapelo. 

After signing the treaty, Oglethorpe left with the Chiefe, 
for their protection against English encroachments, the follow- 
ing singular paper : — 
By James Oglethorpe^ Esquire^ General and Ciymmander-m- 

Chief of all His Majesty^ s forces in South- Carolina and 

Georgia^ dtc. : To all His Majesty* s subjects to whom these 

presents shall come^ greeting : — 

Know ye, that you are not to take up or settle any land 
beyond the above limit, settled by me with the Creek nation, 



31g THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTER at their estates held on Saturday, the eleventh day of 
^^^^' August, Anno Domini, 1Y39, as you shall, .through me, at 
your peril answer. 

Given under my hand and seal, at the Coweta town, this, 
the 21st day of 'August, Anno Domini, 1739. 

James Oglethorpe. 
We desire it to be borne in mind, by the reader, that none 
of the Upper Creek Indians, who lived upon the Alabama, 
Coosa, and Tallapoosa rivers, were present at this treaty. 
They never recognized any of the treaties made in the Lower 
Creek nation with the Georgians. At this time, they were 
under the influence of the French ; afterwards, they placed 
themselves under the wing of the Spaniards. Although the 
1735 English built a fort and occupied it for many years, with a 
garrison, in the town of Ocfuske, on the east side of the 
Tallapoosa river, within forty miles of the French fortress, 
Toulouse, and partially succeeded in alienating some of the Up- 
per Creeks from the French, yet the great body of these people 
forever remained the implacable enemies of the Georgians, 
tember 22 ^g^^^torpe departed from Coweta, and after a disagreeable 
journey, reached Savannah. He there assisted in the funeral 
ceremonies of his friend, Tomochichi, who died at Yamacraw 
Octobers Bluflf. The body, brought down the river in a canoe, was 
received by Oglethorpe, and was interred in Percival Square, 
amid the sound of minute guns from the battery.* 

♦ Stevens' History of Georgia, vol. 1, pp. 89-158. McCall's His- 
tory of Georgia, vol. 1, pp. 32-142. Georgia Historical Collections, 
vol. 1, pp. 18-22-262-182. 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 3^^ 



CHAPTER IX. 

JESUIT PRIESTS OR MISSIONARIES. 

Since the revolt of the French garrison at Fort Toulouse, chapter 
upon the Coosa, things at that place had remained in rather 
an undisturbed condition. It is true that the English had 
given them much uneasiness, and had occasionally cut off 
some of the couriers de hois. In order to cultivate a better 
understanding with the Lower Creeks, a Jesuit priest, — 
Father de Guyenne, — went to Coweta, upon the Chattahoo- 
chie, and succeeded in building two cabins, one at that place, 
and the other at Cusseta. His object was to learn the lan- 
guage of the Indians, and to instruct them in the Christian 17» 
religion ; but the English of the province of Georgia prevailed 
upon the Indians to burn up these houses. The zealous 
fether was therefore forced to retreat to Fort Toulouse. Father 
Moran had been stationed, some years, at Fort Toulouse, and 
used to hve occasionally at Coosawda. 

"The impossibihty, however, of exercising his ministry there, 
for the benefit of either the Indians or the French, has induced 
the superior to recall him, that he might be entrusted with 
the direction of the nuns, and of the royal hospital, which is 



318 THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTER now under our charge. The English trade, as well as the 
^■^* French, among the Alabama Indians. You can easily imag- 
ine what an obstacle this presents to the progress of religion, 
for the English are always ready to excite controversy."* 
Among the Choctaws there were several missionaries, besides 
those stationed at Mobile. " The reverend Father Baudouin, 
the actual superior-general of the mission, resided eighteen 
years among the Choctaws. When he was on the point of 
reaping some fruits from his labors, the troubles which the 
English excited in that nation, and the peril to which he 
was evidently exposed, obliged Father Vitri, then superior- 
general, in concert with the governor, to recall him to 
New-Orleans."* 

While the English of Carolina and Georgia engaged in 
various schemes to rid the territory of the present States of 
Alabama and Mississippi, of its French population, by un- 
scrupulous intrigues with the natives, the French were but 
Httle behind them in similar enterprises. The Jesuits were 
adventurous and brave, and men of captivating address, and 
obtained much influence over the leading Chiefe, wherever 
they appeared. An account of the artful intrigues of a 
German Jesuit, named Christian Priber, as related, in his 
singular style, by James Adair, an old British trader, who 
hved forty years among the Cherokees and Chickasaws, will 
now be introduced. 

♦ Letter of Father Vivier, ol the company of Jesus, to a father of 
the same company. 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 3I9 

"In the year 1736, the French sent into South-Carolina chapter 
one Priber, a gentleman of a curious and speculative temper. 

_^ 1796 

He was to transmit them a full account of that country, and 
proceed to the Cherokee nation, in order to seduce them 
from the British to the French interest. He went, and 
though he was adorned with every qualification that consti- 
tutes the gentleman, soon after he arrived at the upper towns 
of this mountainous country, he exchanged his clothes and 
every thing he brought with him, and by that means made 
friends with the head warriors of the Big Tellico river. 
More effectually to answer the design of his commission, he 
ate, drank, slept, danced, dressed, and painted himself with 
the Indians, so that it was not easy to distinguish him from 
the natives; he married, also, with them. Being endowed 
with a strong understanding and retentive memory, he soon 
learned their dialect, and by gradual advances, impressed 
them with a very ill opinion of the English, representing 
them as a fraudulent, avaricious and encroaching people. He, 
at the sa^e time, inflated the artless savages with a prodigi- 
ous high opinion of their own importance in the American 
scale of power, on account of the situation of their country, 
their martial disposition and the great number of their 
warriors, which would baffle all the efforts of the ambitious 
and ill-designing British colonists. 

" Having thus infected them by his smooth, deluding art, 
he easily formed them into a nominal republican government. 
He crowned their old Archi-Magus, emperor, after a pleasing 
new savage form, and invented a variety of high sounding 



320 THE FRENCH IN ALABA.MA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTER titles for all the members of his imperial majesty's red court 
^^* and the great officers of state. He himself received the honor- 
able title of his imperial majesty's principal secretary of state, 
1789 and as such he subscribed himself, in all the letters he wrote 
to our government, and lived in open defiance of them. This 
seemed to be of so dangerous a tendency, as to induce South- 
Carolina to send up a commissioner. Colonel Fox, to demand 
him as an enemy to public repose. He took him into custody 
in the great square of their state house. When he had almost 
concluded his oration on the occasion, one of the warriors rose 
up and bade him forbear, as the man he intended to enslave 
was made a great beloved man, and had become one of their 
own people. Though it was reckoned our Agent's strength 
was far greater in his arms than in his head, he readily de- 
sisted, for, as it is too hard to struggle with the Pope in Rome, 
a stranger could not miss to find it equally difficult to enter 
abruptly into a new emperor's court, and there seize his prime 
minister by a foreign authority, especially when he could not 
support any charge of guilt against him. The warrior told 
him that the red people well knew the honesty of the secre- 
tary's heart would never allow him to tell a he, and the sec- 
retary urged that he was a foreigner, without owing any 
allegiance to Great Britain, lliat he only travelled through 
some places of their country, in a peaceable manner, paying 
for every thing he had of them. That in compliance with 
the request of the kind French, as well as from his own 
tender feelings for the poverty and insecure state of the 
Cherokees, he came a great way, and hved with them as a 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 32 1 

brother, only to preserve their liberties, by opening a water chapter 
communication between them and New-Orleans. That the ^* 
distance of the two places from each other proved his motive 
to be the love of doing good, especially as he was to go there 
and bring up a sufficient number of Frenchmen, of proper 
skill, to instruct them in the art of making gun-powder, the 
materials of which, he affirmed, their lands abounded with. 1741 
He concluded his artful speech, by urging that the tjrrannical 
design of the English commissioner towards him, appeared 
plainly to be levelled against them, because, as he was not 
accused of having done any ill to the English, before he 
came to the Cherokees, his crime must consist in loving the 
Cherokees. * * * An old war-leader repeated to the 
commissioner the essential part of the speech, and added 
more of his own similar thereto. * * * The English 
beloved man had the honor of receiving his leave of absence 
and a sufficient passport of safe conduct, from the imperial 
red court, by a verbal order of the secretary of state, who 
was so polite as to wish him well home, and ordered a 
convoy of his own life-guards, who conducted him a conside- 
rable way, and he got home in safety. 

" From the above, it is evident that the monopolizing spirit 
of the French had planned their dangerous line of circumvalla- 
tion, respecting our envied colonies, as early as the before 
mentioned period. The choice of the man, also, bespoke their 
judgment. Though the philosophic secretary was an utter 
stranger to the wild and mountainous Cherokee nation, yet 
his sagacity readily directed him to choose a proper place, 

18 



322 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 



CHAPTER an old favourite religious man, for the new red empire, which 
^^* he formed by slow and sure degrees, to the great danger of 
our Southern colonies. But the empire received a very great 
shock, in an accident that befel the secretary, when it was on the 
point of rising into a far greater state of puissance by the ac- 
1731 quisition of the Muscogee, Choctaw, and the Western Missis- 
sippi Indians. 

"In the fifth year of that red imperial era, Priber set off 
for Mobile, accompanied by a few Cherokees. He proceeded 
by land as far as the navigable part of the Tallapoosa river, 
and arriving at Tookabatcha, lodged thei*e all night. The 
tradei-s of the neighboring towns soon went there, convinced 
the inhabitants of the dangerous tendency of his unwearied 
labors among the Cherokees, and of his present journey. 
They then took him into custody, with a large bundle of 
manuscripts, and sent him down to Frederica, in Georgia. The 
governor committed him to a place of confinement, though 
not with common felons, as he was a foreigner, and was said 
.to have held a place of considerable rank in the army. Soon 
"Marc^ 22 '^*'*> ^^® magazine took fire, which was not far from where he 
was .confined, and though the sentinels bade him make oflf to 
a place of safety, as all the people were running to avoid 
danger from explosion of the powder and shells, yet he squat- 
ted on his belly upon the floor, and continued in that position 
without the least hurt. Several blamed his rashness, but he 
told them ihsi experience had convinced him it was the most 
probable means of avoiding danger. This incident displayed 
the philosopher and soldier. After beaiing his misfortunes a 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 323 

considerable time with great constancy, happily for us, he died chapter 
in confinement, though he deserved a much better fate. In 
the fifth year of his secretaryship, I maintained a correspon- 
dence with him. But the Indians becoming very inquisitive to 
know the contents of our papers, * * * he told thenii 
that in the very same manner, as he was their great secretary, 
I was the devil's clerk, or, an accursed one, who marked on 
paper the bad speech of the evil ones of darkness. Accord- 
ingly, they forbade him to write any more to such an accurs- 
ed one. As he was learned, and possessed of a very sagacious, 
penetrating judgment, and had every qualification that was i746 
requisite for his bold and difficult enterprise, it is not to be 
doubted, that as he wrote a Cherokee dictionary, designed to 
be published at Paris, he likewise set down a great deal that 
would have been very accessible to the curious, and serviceable 
to the representatives of South-Carolina and Georgia, which 
may be readily found in Frederica, if the manuscripts have had 
the good fortune to escape the despoiling hands of military 
power."* 

William Bacon Stevens, formerly professor of belles lettres 
and history, in the University of Georgia, and now an Episco- 
palian minister, in Philadelphia, has published one volume of 
the History of Georgia, in which we find the following inter- 
esting account of Priber, which we copy, at length, in his own 
style. In alluding to the arrival of Oglethorpe, at Frederica, 
Dr. Stevens says ; " On the return of the general from Florida, 

* Adair's American Indians : London, 1775 ; pp. 240-243. 



324 THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPL 

CHAPTER he ordered his strange prisoner to be examined, and was not 
^' a little surprised to find, under his coarse dress of deer-skins 
and Indian moccasins, a man of polished address, great 
abilities, and extensive learning. He was versed not only in 
the Indian language, of which he had composed a dictionary, 
but also spoke the Latin, French and Spanish fluently, and 
Enghsh perfectly. Upon being interrogated as to his design, 
he acknowledged that it was * to bring about a confederation 
of all the Southern Indians, to inspire them with industry, to 
instruct them in the arts necessary to the commodities of life, 
and, in short, to engage them to throw off the yoke of their 
European allies of all nations.' He proposed to make a 
settlement in that part of Georgia which is within the Hmits 
of the Cherokee lands, at Cusseta,* and to settle a town 
there of fiigitive English, French and Germans, and they were 
to take under their particular care the nmaway negroes of 
W4B the English. All 'criminals were to be sheltered, as he 
proposed to make his place an asylum for all fugitives, and 
the cattle and effects they might bring with them. He 
expected a great resort of debtors, transported felons, ser- 

* If Doctor Stevens means the " Cusseta/' on the east side of the 
Chattahoochie, and opposite old Fort Mitchell, it was within the limits 
of the Creek lands, and never belonged to the Cherokees. I am not 
aware of any town named " Cusseta," in any part of what formerly 
was the Cherokee nation, although there may have been, for, by 
reference to page 162 of the History of Alabama, it will be found that 
the Cherokees had towns named " Tallase " and " Tuskegee,'' and 
such towns were also in the Creek nation. 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI 



825 



vants, and negro slaves from the two Carolinas, Georgia and chapter 
Virginia, offering, as his scheme did, toleration to all crimes ^* 
and licentiousness, except murder and idleness. Upon his 
person was found his private journal, revealing, in part, his 
designs, with various memoranda relating to his project. In 
it he speaks not only of individual Indians and negroes, whose 
assistance had been promised, and of a private treasurer, in 
Charleston, for keeping the funds collected ; but also, that he 
expected many things from the French, and from another na- 
tion, whose name he left blank. There were also found upon 
him letters for the Florida and Spanish governors, demanding 
their protection of him and countenance of his scheme. 
Among his papers was one containing articles of government 
for his new town, regularly and elaborately drawn out and 
digested. In this volume he enumerates many rights and 
privileges, as he calls them, to which the citizens of this colony 
are to be entitled, particularly dissolving marriages, allowing 
a community of women, and all kinds of licentiousness. It 
was drawn up with much art, method and learning, and was 
designed to be privately printed and circulated. When it was 
hinted to him that such a plan was attended with many dan- 
gers and difficulties, and must require many years to establish 
his government, he replied, * proceeding properly, many of 
these evils may be avoided ; and as to length of time, we 
have a succession of agents to take up the work as fisist as 
others leave it. We never lose sight of a favorite point, 
nor are we bound by the strict rules of morality in the means, y^^ 
when the end we pursue is laudable. K we err, our general 



326 THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

OHAPTER is to blame ; and we have a merciful God to pardon lis. But 
^^ believe me,' he continued, ' before the century is passed, the 
Europeans will have a very small footing on this continent.' 

"Indeed, he often hinted that there were others of his 
brethren laboring among the Indians for the same purpose. 
Being confined in the barracks at Frederica, he exhibited a 
stoical indifference to his fate ; conversed with freedom, con- 
ducted with politeness, and attracted the notice and favorable 
attention of many of the gentlemen there. His death in 
prison, put an end to all further proceedings, and his plans 
died with him. Such was the strange being whose Je- 
suitical intrigues well nigh eventuated in the destruction of 
Georgia. A thorough Jesuit, an accomplished linguist, a 
deep tactician, far-sighted in his plans, and far-reaching in his 
expedients, he possessed every quahfication for his design, 
and only failed of bringing down great evil upon the English, 
because he was apprehended before his scheme had been 
matured."* 
1746 There were many curious characters roving over the territo- 

ry of Alabama and Mississippi at this period. Traders from 
South-Carolina and Georgia, were found in almost every In- 
dian village ; while the French from Mobile and New-Orleans 
and the Spaniards from the Floridas continued to swell the num- 
ber of these singular merchants. They encountered all kinds of 
dangers and suffered all kinds of privations to become suc- 
cessful in their exciting traffic. Adair, one of these British 

* Steven's History of Georgia, vol. 1, pp. 165-167. 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 32^ 

traders, thus describes the mode by which difficult streams chapter 
were passed : ^^' 

" When we expect high rivei-s, each company of traders 
carry a canoe, made of the tanned leather, the sides over- 
lapped about three fingers' breadth, and well sewed with three 
seams. Around the gunnels, which are made of saplings, 
are strong loop-holes, for large deer-skin strings to hang down 
both the sides. With two of these is securely tied to the 
stem and stern, a well shaped sapling for a keel, and in like 
manner the ribs. Thus they usually rig out a canoe, fit to 
carry over ten horae-loads at once, in the space of half an 
hour. The apparatus is afterwards hidden with great care on 
the opposite shore. Few take the trouble to paddle the canoe, 
for, as they are commonly hardy, and also of an amphibious 
nature, they usually jump into the river with their leathern 
barge ahead of them, and thrust it through the deep part 
of the water to the opposite shores When we ride with only 
a fbw luggage horses, we make a frame of dry pines, which we 
tie together with strong vines well twisted. When we 
have raised it to be sufficiently buoyant, we load and paddle 
it across, and afterwards swim our horses, keeping at a little 
distance below them."* 

* Adair's American Indians, p. 272. 



18* 



328 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 



CHAPTER X. 



THE FRENCH BATTLES UPON THE TOMBIGBY. 



OHAPTER 
X. 



1732 
January 



March 



When we suspended our review of the operations of the 
French upon the territory of Alabama and Mississippi, for the 
purpose of bringing to the notice of the reader the early colo- 
nization of Georgia by Oglethorpe, it will be borne in raind 
that the horrible massacre at Natchez had occurred. The tribe 
of that name had crossed the Mississippi, and fortified on Black 
river, near the Washita. Governor Perrier, attacking them at 
that point, had captured many of the men, women and chil- 
dren, whom he conveyed to New-Orleans, and from thence 
shipped to the Island of St. Domingo, where they were sold 
to work upon the plantations. Some of those who escaped 
the hands of the French at Black river, retreated Jto the vicinity 
of the fort at Natchitoches, upon which they presently made 
a furious assault. The brave St. Denys, the commandant, 
successfully repulsed them. A remnant of this warlike but 
unfortunate tribe had fled to the Chickasaw nation, while 
another small band sought a home among the Creeks, upon 
the Coosa. 

Governor Perrier was guilty of excessive cruelty to many 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 329 

of these poor fugitives who fell into his hands. In the streets chapter 
of New-Orleans he publicly, and without any hesitation, caused ^ * 
four of the men and two of the women to be burned to death. ^'^ 
He also cheerfully permitted the Tonicas, who brought down 
a Natchez woman whom they had discovered in the woods, 
to put an end to her existence in the same manner. A plat- 
form was erected near the Levee. The unfortunate woman 
was led forth, placed upon it, and, surrounded by the whole 
population of New-Orleans, was slowly consumed by the 
flames ! What a stigma upon the character of the early in- 
habitants of the Crescent City ! Gayarre says : — " The victim 
supported, with the most stoical fortitude, all the tortures 
which were inflicted upon her, and did not shed a tear. On 
the contrary, she upbraided her torturers with their want of 
skill, flinging at them every opprobrious epithet she could 
think of"* 

As a nation, the Natchez were thus entirely destroyed. 1733 
Great sympathy was felt for them by all the tribes in Missis- 
sippi and Alabama ; even the Choctaws, who were so wedded 
to the French, being sad on account of their fate, and annoyed 
at the unparalleled cruelties which they experienced at the 
hands of their vindictive conquerors. The noble Creeks, upon 
the Coosa, received some of the refugees with open arms, 
while the still nobler Chickasaws not only welcomed others to 
their doors, but swore to shed the blood of their pursuers, in 

* Louisiana, its Colonial History and Romance, by Charles Gayarre. 
New- York: 1851. pp. 444-445. 



330 '^^^' FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTER a protracted war. These tilings made the condition of the 
^ French colony a very critical one. The EngUsh of Carohna 
did not fail to fan the fire which, they imagined, would soon 
1784 consume their ancient colonial enemies. An expedition was 
fitted out in Charleston, composed of many traders and ad- 
venturers, with seventy pack-horses laden chiefly with muni- 
tions of war. Whether it was at the instance of the British 
government, or not, is unknown. They took the well-beaten 
path for the Chickasaw nation, and passing by the town of 
Coosa, then situated in the territory of the present county of 
Talladega, they prevailed upon some of the refugee Natchez 
to accompany them, and to assist in repelling the French in- 
vasion, which, it was known, was then contemplated. Arriv- 
ing in the Chickasaw nation, they dispersed over the country, 
and not a few of them found their way to the towns of the 
Choctaws. Soon the whole Indian sky was crimsoned with 
flashing meteors, and then made dark with angry clouds. 

France, appnsed of the precarious situation of her distant 
children, once mere resolved to send the veteran Bienville to 
take care of them. The King began to see that his sernces 
could not be dispensed with, and after he had passed eight 
years in Paris, he sailed for the colony. His arrival at 
Mobile was hailed with joy and acclamations by the inhabi- 
tants. Diron D'Artaguette, a man of nerve and much 
abihty, who had been longer absent from the colony than 
Bienville, accompanied him. He was pij^ently stationed 
at Mobile as the King's commissary. Bienville, at first 
occupied much of his time in visiting Mobile and New 



1733 
March 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 33I 

Orleans, for the purpose of giving quiet to the inhabitants chapter 
and preparing them for a war of invasion. On one occasion, ,^' 
while he was in New-Orleans, Diron D'Artaguette aroused 
all the French settlers, towards the east, by despatches which 
he sent among them, in relation to the arrival of the English 
expedition, to which allusion has just been made, and of the 
determination of the Choctaws to act, in future, against the 
French. He warned everybody to be upon their guard, for 
it was probable they might be butchered at any hour. The 
people of Mobile were in a state of extreme terror; they 1735 
never went to mass without carrying their guns in their 
hands. Indeed they, at one time, resolved to retire to New- 
Orleans ; but Bienville arriving, commanded them to remain 
and fear nothing. He highly disapproved of the excitement 
which Diron D'A^rtaguette had produced, and thought there 
was no occasion for such officious watchfulness on the part of 
the commissary. This produced unpleasant feeUngs between 
them, and they indulged in recriminations of each other, 
in official reports to the government. Bienville was mortified 
at the conduct of D'Artaguette, in rebuking the Choctaw 
Chiefs, who had recently paid him a visit, for peimitting the 
English to come among them. Further, he dismissed them 
without presents, upon which they returned home, highly 
offended. These things were represented to the government 
by Bienville, while D'Artaguette, on the other hand, stated, a*^29 
in one of his despatches, that Bienville's opposition to him 
arose from the fact that he had reported the "misconduct of 
his proteges or favorites, Lesueur and the Jesuit, Father 



332 THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTBit Beaudoin who, to the great scandal of the Choctaws, seduce 
^* their women."* 

It is pleasant, to us, to be able to state that only a few of 
the missionaries, of the order of Jesuits, thus abused the 
holy offices with which they were entrusted. The great 
body of them led the most pious Jives and suffered* the 
greatest privations, in their efforts to redeem the savages 
from heathenism. 

In the meantime, small parties of Natchez, with their 
generous allies, the Chickasaws, sought all occasions to annoy 
1786 their enemy. From ambuscades on the hill tops and banks 
of the rivers, along the Indian paths in the interior, and from 
dark valhes in the mountains, they sprang upon the French 
trappers, hunters and traders, with the impetuosity of lions 
and the agility of tigers, and drank their hot blood with the 
voraciousness of wolves. 

But Bienville was straining every nerve to complete his 
preparations for the invasion of the Chickasaw nation. He 
1735 visited Mobile once more, and having assembled at that point 
a large delegation of Choctaw Chiefe, he, in a great measure, 
accomplished his object in gaining them over to his side. It 
was important that he should do so, for Red Shoes, a potent 
Chief of that tribe, had already declared in favor of the 
English. Bienville freely distributed merchandize, and pro- 
mised a much larger amount, if they would assist him in the 
war, — to which they finally consented. Indeed, ever since his 

* Louisiana, its Colonial History and Romance, by Gayarre, p. 469. 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 333 

arrival from France, lie saw the necessity of inspiring the chapter 
Indian nations with awe and respect, by a bold and success- ^* 
fill strike at the Chickasaws. Nor had he failed to demand 
the necessary men and military supplies from the mother 
country. 

In the midst of these precarious times, a most unfortunate 
affiiir occurred in the bay of Mobile. A smuggling vessel, 
from Jamaica, cast her anchor twelve miles from the town. 
Diron D'Artaguette ordered her commander to leave the 
French coast; he refused. The commissary, then, placed j^^g 
Lieutenant DeVelles in a boat, armed with thirty men, and 
ordered him to capture the smuggler. When he approached 
near her, the latter opened an eflfective fire; seventeen 
Frenchmen were immediately killed. Before D'Artaguette 
could reinforce DeVelles, the smuggler had made her escape 
to sea. This affair again enraged Bienville, and the war of 
recrimination was fiercer than ever between him and the 
commissary. What a pity it was, that men of such worth 
and character did not better appreciate each other. In olden 
times they had been great friends. 

The commissary had a younger brother, who had behaved 
with distinguished gallantry in expeditions against the Nat- 
chez. He had recently been promoted to the command of 
the French fort in the district of Illinois. With him Bien- 
ville corresponded, respecting the invasion; he was ordered 
to collect the disposable French forces, and all the Indians in 
that country who would join him, and with them to march 
in a southern direction to the Chickasaw towns, while Bien- 



334 THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTER ville would march from the south, and meet him in the 
country of the enemy, on the 31st March, 1736. Afterwards 
1735 the governor informed young D'Artaguette that he had 
heen unable to make his arrangements to join him at that 
time, but he would meet him at another time, which was 
also appointed. 

Bienville, nine months before this period, had despatched 
M. De Lusser, with a company of soldiers and artizans, to a 
place upon the Little Tombigby, which is now called Jones' 
Bluff, with orders to erect there a fort and cabins to be used 
as a depot for the army, and, afterwards, to serve as a 
permanent trading post. That fearless ofl&cer had reached 
these wilds in safety, and it was not long before the forest 
resounded, with the noise of axes and the heavy falling of 
timber. He was assisted in his labors by many of the 
Choctaws. 

M *^ 22 ^^ length the army left New-Orleans, and passing through 
the lakes reached Mobile. The vessels containing the supplies 
having entered the Gulf by way of the Balize, were retarded 

March 28 ^7 winds, and did not arrive until six days afterwards ; and 
then it was discovered that a ^go of rice was destroyed by 
the salt water. To replace this loss, Bienville set his bakers 
to work, who made a large supply of biscuits for the army. 
He sent a despatch to De Lusser at Fort " Tombecbe," ordering 
him to build ovens, and to have made an abundant supply of 
biscuits by the time of his arrival at that place. When all 
*^* things were ready, Bienville embarked his troops at Mobile, and 
turned his boats up the river of that name. Never before had 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 335 

such a large and imposing fleet of the kind disturbed the deep chapter 
and smooth waters which now flow by our beautiful commer- ^' 
cial emporium. Every kind of up-country craft was employed, 
and they bore men nearly of all kinds and colors. The crews 
were composed of genteel merchants, gentlemen of leisure and 
fortune, loafers and convicts, rough but bold mariners, veteran 
soldiers, sturdy and invincible Canadians, monks and priests, 
Choctaws and Mobilians, and a company of negroes command- 
ed by Simon, a free mulatto. The fleet comprised more than 
sixty of the largest pirogues and bateaux. Entering the 
main Tombigby, Bienville made his way up that stream to 
the confluence of the Warrior, and there, passing into the 
Little Tombigby, he at length anived at the fort.* Heavy 
rains and much high water had retarded his passage. 

The governor found that the fort was unfinished, and 
only some cabins, surrounded by stockades and covered with 
leaves, could be occupied. The bakers had prepared but few 
biscuits, for the fire cracked the prairie soil of which the ovens 
were made. After various unsuccessful eflbrts to make suita- 
ble ovens, they succeeded by mixing sand with the earth. 
Bienville was surprised to see, at the fort, four persons in 
irons — one Frenchman, two Swiss, and Montfort, a sergeant. 
They had formed the design of assassinating the commandant of 
the fort, M. De Lusser, and also the keeper of the store-house, 
and of carrying off Tisnet and Rosih^, who had recently 
been rescued from the Chickasaws, among whom they had 

* Now JoDes' Bluft. 



336 THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTER been held in slavery. They mtended to convey these unfortu- 
^' nate men back to their masters, in order to gain favor with 
the tribe, who would therefore be induced, after a time, to fa- 
ciHtate their escape to the British provinces. But these assas- 
sins were defeated in their plans ; for Lieutenant Grondel, 
with the rapidity of action and the bravery which had ever 
distinguished him, arrested Montfort with his own hands. 
The prisoners were tried by a court martial, and being sen- 
tenced to be shot, were ** presently passed by the arms at 
the head of the troops."* 

When all the allied Choctaws had arrived, Bienville re- 
viewed his troops upon the plain in the rear of the fort He 
found that his army was composed of five hundred and fifty 
men, exclusive of officers, together with six hundred Indians. 
1736 gg UQ^ assumed the line of march for the country of the 

May 4 •' 

enemy. The larger number of the French troops embarked 
in the boats. Some of the Indians proceeded in their own 
canoes, while many hardy Canadians, called couriers de bois, 
marched with other Indians, sometimes along the banks, where 
the swamps did not intervene ; and then again a mile or two 
from the river. It was truly an imposing scene to be exhibitr 
ed in these interminable vrilds. After encountering many 
difi&culties, the redoubtable Bienville at length reached the 
spot where now stands the city of Columbus, in Mssissippi ; 
May aa and pursuing his tedious voyage, finally moored his boats at 
or near the place now known as Cotton Gin Port. Here dis- 

* Dumont's Memoires Historiques sar la Louisiane, p. 216. 



THE FRENCH IN ALA.BAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 33*;^ 

embarking, he immediately began to fell the trees in the chapter 
forest, and soon stockaded a place ample enough to secure ^* 

1796 

his baggage and provisions, together with the sick ; while the May as 
side fronting the river was arranged with loop-holes for mus- 
kets, to protect his boats, which were all unladen and drawn 
up close together. He was twenty-seven miles from the 
towns of the enemy, which lay in a western direction. He 
left twenty men here under Vanderek, besides the keeper of 
the magazine, the patroons of the boats, and some of the sol- 
diers who were sick. With some difficulty he hired a suffi- 
cient number of the Choctaws to transport the sacks of pow- 
der and balls, for the negroes were already laden with other 
things. Taking provisions with him to last twelve days, the 
governor began the march in the evening, and that night en- M^y 21 
camped six miles from the depot. The rains which incom- 
moded him in his voyage up the river, did not forsake him 
on his march upon the present occasion ; for, scarcely had he 
formed his camp when a violent storm arose. The next day 
he passed three deep ravines, — ^the soldiers wading up to their 
waists, — and after gaining the opposite banks, slipping and 
falling constantly upon the slimy soil. Great difficulties were 
surmounted in transporting the effects of the army over these 
angry torrents. The banks on either side were covered with 
large canes, but Bienville took the precaution always to send 
spies in advance, to prevent surprise from ambuscades. Soon, • 
however, the French were reUeved by the appearance of the 
most beautiful country in the world. The prairies were 
stretched out wide before them, covered with green grass, 



338 THE FRKNCH IN ALABAMA AND xMISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTER flowers and strawberries, while forests of magnificent trees 
were to be seen in the distance. A breeze gently played 
over the surface of the lovely plains, and a May day's sun 
warmed all nature into life. The sleek cattle were every- 
where grazing upon these sweet meadows of nature. The 
nimble doer bounded along, and drcjves of wild horses, of 
every variety of color, with lofty tails and spreading manes, 
made the earth resound with their rapid tread. Alas! alas! 
to think thiit the inhabitants, whom the Great Spirit had 
placed in a countr}^ so lovely and so enchanting, were soon 
to be assailed by an army of foreigners, assisted by their own 
neighbors. 

Drawing nearer and nearer to the enemy, Bienville finally 
encamped within six miles of their towns. His camp was 
formed upon the border of a dehghtful prairie, the view 
across which was not intorruj>tcd by trees, until it had 
reached far beyond the Indian houses. He had previously 
sent spies in all directions, to look for D'Artaguette and his 
troops, who were to have joined him there. The bands, 
chiefly comi>osed of Indians, returned without having heard 
any thing of that unfortunate officer. The governor was 
sorely disappointed, and could no longer hope for aid firom 
that source, and he resolved to rely upon his own forces. 
His intention, at first, was to march in a circuitous direction, 
m^fA ^^^^^ ^^^ Chickasaw villages, in order to attack the Natchez 
town which lay behind them, and which had recently been 
erected. But the Choctaws had become very impatient to 
assail an jidvanced village of the Chickasaws, which, they 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 339 

insisted, could be easily taken, and which, they stated, con- chapter 

tained a large amount of provisions. Their importunities ^• 

were disregarded until strengthened by the entreaties of the 

Chevalier Noyan, the nephew of the governor, and many 

other French officers, whose impetuous disposition made 

them eager for an immediate attack. The houses of the 

enemy stood upon a hill, in the prairie, and spread out in 

the shape of a triangle. After some consideration, Bienville ji'^gg 

resolved to give the French an opportunity of gratifying a 

long sought revenge, especially when it was made known to 

him that his camp was then pitched near the last water 

which his men could procure for miles in a western direction. 

At two o'clock, in the afternoon, the Chevalier Noyan was 

placed at the head of a column consisting of a detachment of 

fifteen men drawn from each of the eight French companies, 

a company of grenadiers, forty-five volunteers and sixty-five 

Swiss. 

The Chickasaws had fortified themselves with much skill, and 
were assisted by Enghshmen, who had caused them to hoist 
a flag of their country over one of their defences. The French 
troops, as they advanced, were not a httle surprised to see the 
British Lion, against which many of them had often fought in 
Europe, now floating over the rude huts of American Indians, 
and bidding them defiance. The Chickasaws had fortified 
their houses in a most defensive manner, by driving large 
stakes into the ground around them. Many loop-holes were 
cut through the latter, very near the ground. Within the 
palisades, entrenchments were cut, deep enough to protect the 



340 THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI 

CHAPTER persons of the iiidians as high as their breasts. In these 
ditches they stood, and when the battle began, shot through 
the loop-holes at the French. The tops of these for- 
tified houses were covered with timbers, upon which was 
placed a thick coat of mud plaster, so that neither ignited 
arrows nor bomb shells could set the houses on fire. "What 
added still more to the security of the Chickasaws, was the po- 
sition of some of their houses, which stood in nearly opposite 
directions, so as to admit of destructive cross-firing. Bienville 
having previously learned that there were several of the Brit- 
ish in the \illage, had, with much humanity, as it may at that 
time have seemed, directed the Chevalier Noyan to give them 
time to retire before he brought on the attack. The divi- 
sion then marched briskly on. It was protected by move- 
able breastworks, called mantalets, which were now carried by 
the company of negroes. As their lives appear not to have 
been esteemed of as much value as those of the French, 
May 26 these negroes were used in the same manner as shields are in 
battle. When the troops advanced within carbine shot of the 
village of Ackia, where waved the British flag, one of the 
negroes was killed, and another wounded. They all now 
threw down their mantalets and precipitately fled. The 
French, vdth their usual impetuosity, rapidly advanced. They 
entered the village. The grenadiers led. And now, no long- 
er protected by the mantalets, they received a severe fire 
from the Chickasaws, which killed and wounded many. Among 
the former was the gallant and accomplished Chevalier de 
Contre Coeur ; and when he fell dead it produced an unplea- 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 34^ 

sant feeUng among those around him, by whom he was greatly chapter 
esteemed. Upon his right and left soldiers lay dead, discol- ^* 
oring the green grass with their hot blood. But the troops Mayas 
carried three fortified cabins, and reached several smaller ones, 
which they presently wrapped in flames. The chief fort, and 
other fortified houses, lay some distance in the rear of those 
they had in possession. The Chevalier Noyan was eager to 
advance upon them, but turning round to take a rapid survey 
of his forces, he was mortified to perceive that only the offi- 
cers, a dozen of the volunteers, and some grenadiers remained 
with him. Dismayed by the fall of Captain de Lusser,* who 
was now killed, and seeing a popular sergeant of grenadiers, 
and several soldiers, also fall, the troops retreated to the cab- 
ins which were first taken. In vain did the officers, who be- 
longed to the rear, endeavor to drive them on to the scene of 
aQtion. A panic had seized them, and no exhortation, threats, mj^'^L 
promises of promotion, or hopes of military glory, could in- 
duce them to make the slightest advance from their cowardly 
position. But the officers resolved more than ever, to do their 
duty, and placing themselves at the head of a few brave sol- 
diers, essayed to storm the fort. But just at the moment of 
their contemplated charge, the brave Chevalier De Noyan, 
Grondel, an invincible lieutenant of the Swiss, D'Hauterive, a 
captain of the grenadiers, Montbrun, De Velles, and many 



* It will be recollected that De Lusser, who was now killed, was the 
officer whom Bienville sent to construct Fort " Tombecbe," upon the 
site of the present Jones' Bluff. 

19 



342 THE FRENCH IN ALA.BAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTER other officers and soldiers received severe wounds. The balls 
^* of the Chickasaws came thick, and whizzed over the prairies. 
The bleeding De Noyan stood his ground, and despatched his 
aid to assist in bringing up the soldiers, who still screened 
j}^2S themselves behind the cabins ; but as he left to perform the 
order, a Chickasaw ball put an end to his existence. The 
death of this officer, whose name was De Juzan, increased the 
panic which had so unfortunately seized upon the larger num- 
ber of the troops. A party of Indians, at this moment, rush- 
ed up to scalp Grondel, the Swiss officer, who had fallen near 
the walls of the fort. A brave sergeant, with four fearless 
soldiers, rushed to the rescue. Driving off the savages, they 
were about to bear him off in their arms, when a fire from 
the fort killed every one of these noble fellows ! But the 
bleeding Grondel still survived, although those who come to 
protect his head from the blows of the hatchet, lay dead by 
his side. Another act of heroism is worthy of record. R^g- 
nisse now rushed out alone, and making his way to the unfor- 
tunate Grondel, who still lay bleeding from five wounds, 
dragged him out from among the bodies of those who had 
just fallen in his defence, placed him on his back, and return- 
*'* ed to the French lines, without receiving a soHtary wound 
from the showers of Chickasaw balls. The almost lifeless 
Grondel received, however, another severe wound as he was 
borne off by the noble Regnisse.* 

* This Grondel was an officer of indomitable courage. His life was 
full of romaniic events. He had fought several duels at Mobile. He 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 343 

But where were the six hundred Choctaws, while the chapter 
French were thus expiring in agony upon the prairie ? 
Painted, plumed, and dressed in a manner the most fantastic 
and horrible, they kept the plain, on either side of the 
French lines, at a distance where the balls of the enemy 
could not reach them, sending forth yells and shouts, and 
occasionally dancing and shooting their guns in the air. 
The brave Chickasaws maintained their positions in the forti- 
fied houses, and, from loop hofts, riddled the French with 
their unerring rifles. They, too, yelled most awfiiUy. The */ '^og 
scene was one calculated to excite deep interest, for, added to 
all this, the looker-on might have viewed the flames rising up 
from the burning ^jabins, and sending above them volumes of 
black smoke, which a May breeze wafted to the far off 
forests. 

The Chevaher De Noyan now ordered a retreat to the 
advanced cabins, and when he had arrived there, he des- 
patched an officer to Bienville, bearing an account of their 
critical condition. Noyan sent him word that, although 
severely wounded himself he was determined to keep the 
position which he had just taken. He requested that a 
detachment should be sent to his assistance, to bear off the 
dead and wounded, and assist those who were aUve to make 
a retreat, as, now, no further hope remained of storming the ^'^ 

May SB 

fortifications of the Chickasaws. Bienville was hastened in 

recovered from the wounds which he received in this battle, and was 
promoted to high military stations. 



344 THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTER his determination to send aid, by observing that a Chickasaw 
^ force on the flank, which had not yet participated in the 
battle, were about to sally from their houses, and immolate 
the French officers and the few soldiers who had remained 
with them. He then immediately despatched Beauchamp, 
with eighty men, to the scene of action. Arriving there he 
found the French officers huddled together, keeping their 
ground at the imminent peril of their lives. Beauchamp, in 
advancing, had already lost' several men. The Chickasaws 
now redoubled their exertions, and made the plains resound 
with their exulting shouts. Beauchamp began the retreat, 
nT^aR carrying off many of the wounded and the dead, but unfortu- 
nately was forced to leave some behind,,who fell into the 
tiger clutches of the Chickasaws. When the French had 
retreated some distance, towards Bienville's head quarters, 
the Choctaws, by way of bravado, rushed up to the Chicka- 
saw fortifications, as if they intended to carry them by 
storm, but receiving a general volley from the enemy, they 
fled in great terror over the prairie. 

The battle of Ackia had lasted three hours, and resulted 
in glory to the Chickasaws, and disgrace to the French. 
"When the French troops arrived at the camp, proper atten- 
tion was paid to the wounded and the dying. It was not 
long before this brilliant and exciting scene was made to give 
place to one which presented an aspect at once quiet, calm 
and beautiful. The sun, in his retirement for the night, had 
1786 just sunk to the tops of the trees in the far off distance. A 
cool and deUcious breeze was made sweet with the odour of 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 345 

wild flowers. The Chickasaws were as quiet as the boa-con- ohaftbb 
strictor after he has gorged upon his prey. The cattle and ^ 
horses, much disturbed during the fight, now began to move 
up and feed upon their accustomed meadows. What a 
contrast had been produced by the lapse of only two hours ! 
During this quiet scene, a collection of French oflScers were 
on one side of the camp, summing up the misfortunes of the 
day. Among them stood Simon, the commander of the 
negroes who fled from the field. Simon was a favorite with 
the officers, and had resolutely maintained his ground during 
the engagement. Some of them rallied him upon the flight «/'*^ 
of his company, which annoyed him excessively. At that 
moment, a drove of horses came down to the stream to slake 
their thirst, not far from the fortified houses of the Chicka- 
saws. The desperate Simon, in reply to those who made 
sport of his company, seized a rope and ran off towards the 
horses, saying : " I will show you that a negro is as brave as 
any one." He passed around the horses in full range of the 
Chickasaw rifles, from which balls were showered upon him, 
and making his way up to a beautiful white mare, threw a 
rope over her head, and thus securing her, passed it around 
her nose, mounted upon her back with the agihty of a 
Camanche Indian, and pressed her with rapid speed into the 
French lines. He did not receive a wound, — and he was 
welcomed with shouts by the soldiers, and was no more 
jeered on account of the cowardice of his company.* ,/'*«• 

Msj SB 

* Dumonf 8 Memoires Historique sor la Louisiane. 



346 THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTER Bienville, pleased with the gallantry which R^gnisse had 
^* displayed in bearing off the wounded Grondel, immediately 
from under the guns of the Chickasaws, had him brought to 
the marquee, complimented him upon the generous and 
heroic act which he had performed, and proposed to promote 
him to the rank of an officer. The brave R^gnisse modestly 
replied that he had done nothing more than what could have 
been accomplished by any of his brother grenadiers, and 
stated that as he could not write, he was unfitted for an offi- 
cer ; therefore he declined the intended honor. 

Night now shrouded the scene with its sable mantle, and 
the French troops reposed behind some trees which had been 
felled for their protection. The Chickasaws remained quiet 
within their intrenchments. At length day dawned, and 
exhibited to Bienville a, painful sight. On the ramparts of 
the Chickasaws were suspended the French soldiers and 
officers, whom Beauchamp was forced to leave upon the field. 
Their limbs had been separated from their bodies, and thus 
were they made to dangle in the air, for the purpose of 
insulting the defeated invaders. Many of the officers wished 
to rush again upon the villages, but Bienville determined to 
retreat, as the Choctaws were of no assistance to him, and he 
was without cannon to batter down the fortifications. In the 
M^x afternoon, at two o'clock, he began the retrograde march. 
The soldiers, worn down with the fatigue produced by the bat- 
tle and the mortifications arising from its disgraceful termina- 
tion, were unable, in addition to their heavy loads of baggage, 
to carry the wounded, who were placed in litters. Conse- 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 347 

queiitly night set in by the time Bienville had marched only chaptbb 
four miles ; here the camp was again made. The Choctaws 
were highly exasperated on account of this slow movement, 
and Red Shoes, who had long endeavored to wean his people 
from the French interest, now vociferously threatened to take 
with him the greater portion of the Choctaws, and thus leave 
the French to the mercy of the Chickasaws in this wild and 
distant region. Bienville was startled when he was informed 
of this determination. He sent for the main Chief of the 
Choctaws, and by his eloquence and the force of that myste- 
rious influence which he possessed, he succeeded not only in 
getting the Choctaws to remain with the army, but made 
them consent to tissist in the transportation of the wounded. 
Red Shoes rebuked the head Chief, for consenting to such 
terms, in a manner so insulting, that the latter drew his 
pistol from his belt, and was in the act of shooting him, 
when Bienville seized his arm, saved the life of Red Shoes, 
and, for a while, put an end to an affair which threatened 
the most serious consequences. The next morniuff Bienville nas- 

^ ^ May 28 

put his troops upon the march, and he arrived at the depot, 
upon the Tombigby, on the 29th May, after he had buried 
two of his men, on the way, who had died of their wounds. 
Bienville was astonished to observe how much the river had 
fallen, and he hurried his effects into the boats, for fear that 
the delay of a day longer would leave him without a stream 
sufl&cient to convey him to Mobile. When the troops had 
embarked, the ropes which bound the boats to the banks were 
untied, and then the discomfited French party passed down 

19* 



348 THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSffPI. 

CHAPTER the stream. The channel of the Little Tombigby was here 
so crooked and narrow, that the boats had frequently to stop 
until logs and projecting limbs were cut out of the way. If 
the Chickasaws had followed up the French, they could easily 
have destroyed Bienville's army at this time. At length the 

j*J^g army reached Fort "Tombecbe," now Jones' Bluff. Bien- 
ville, sending on a portion of the troops, and the sick and 
wounded to Mobile, disembarked at the fort. He remained 
there, however, but one day, which he consumed in planning 
upon paper, and tracing upon the ground additions which he 
directed to be made to the defences. Then, leaving Captain 
De Berthel in command of Fort " Tombecbe," with a garri- 
son of thirty Frenchmen and twenty Swiss, provisions to last 
for the remainder of the year, and an abundance of merchan- 
dize intended to be used in a commerce with the Indians, the 

Jane 3 governor entered his boats, and continued the voyage until 
they were moored at the town of Mobile. 

But where was the brave and unfortunate D'Artaguette ? 
Why did not his army join Bienville at the Chickasaw towns ? 
The reader will presently see. That officer had assembled the 
tribes of the Illinois at Fort Chatres, and had made them 
acquainted with the plans of Governor Bienville. With these 
Indians, and others which De Vincennes had collected upon 
the Wabash, together with thirty soldiers and one hundred 
volunteers, D'Artaguette floated down the Mississippi river 
until he reached the last of the Chickasaw Bluflfe. He had 
expected to have been joined by De Grandpre, who conmiand- 
ed at the Arkansas, and that officer had sent twenty-eight 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 849 

warriors of that tribe to ascertain whether D'Artaguette was chapter 
at Ecores d Prudhomme. These scouts were instructed to '^' 
return with the necessary information ; but upon arriving at 
that place, and finding that D'Artaguette had set out upon 
his expedition, they hastened to follow him into the enemy's 
country. Disembarking at the Chickasaw Blufi^, D'Arta- 
guette marched across the country, at a slow pace, hoping to 
be overtaken by De Grandpr^, and also by Montcherval, who 
had been ordered to bring on his Cahokias and Mitchigamias. 
Pursuing the mai'ch in an eastward direction, D'Artaguette 
advanced among the sources of the Yalobusha, and there jjj? 
encamped on the 9 th May. He was but a few miles east of the 
site of the present town of Pontotoc, in Mississippi, near the 
place where he and Bienville were to have met each other, 
and not more than thirty miles from the spot where the 
latter, afterwards, moored his boats, — near the present Cotton 
Gin Port. D'Artaguette sought, in vain, for intelligence of 
the commander-in-chief. He was assisted by Lieutenant Vin- 
cennes, the young Voisin, and S^nac, a holy father of the 
order of Jesuite, in arranging and conducting the spy com- 
panies, who roamed the forests in search of Bienville. But 
nothing could be heard of him until a courier brought to 
D'Artaguette a letter, in which he was informed that unex- 
pected delays would prevent BienviUe from reaching the 
Chickasaw towns before the last of April. The red allies 
had become impatient, for, by this time, D'Artaguette had May » 
occupied his camp for eleven days. He now resolved to 
advance upon the Chickasaws, as his allies had threatened to 



350 THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTER abandon him if lie did not soon bring on the attack. They 
^* represented to him that the advance town was inhabited by 
the refugee Natchez, and by taking it they could return to 
their encampment with an abundance of provisions, where 
they might remain entrenched until Bienville's arrival. This 
plausible proposition found advocates in the French officers. 
The allied forces consisted of one hundred and thirty French- 
men, and three hundred and sixty Indians. The French 
advanced within a mile of the village, on Palm Sunday. 
Frontigny was here left at the camp, with thirty men, in 
charge of all the baggage. D'Artaguette advanced rapidly 
to the attack, which he presently brought on with his 
accustomed gallantry. At that moment, thirty Enghshmen 
and five hundred Indians, who were concealed behind an 
adjacent hill, rose up and fell upon the invaders with such 
impetuosity that the Miamis and the Illinois fled from the 
battle field. Indeed, all the Indians took to their heels, 
except a few Iroquois and Arkansas, who behaved in the 
bravest manner. The guns of the enemy brought to the 
ground Lieutenant St. Aiige, Ensigns I)e Coulanges, De La 
iki'^20 ^raviere and De Courtigny, with six of the militia officers. 
By this time the French were almost surrounded, but they 
still continued to keep their pasitiou. Presently, Captain 
Des Essarts was seen to fall, and also Lieutenant Lauglois 
and Ensign Levieux. So great was the loss of the French, in 
this short, but desperate conflict, that D'Artaguette determined 
to retreat to the camp, for the double purpose of saving his 
baggage, and of being reinforced by the men he had left 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 35^ 

there. But the retreat could not be conducted with the chapter 
least order, for the Chickasaws were close upon their heels, 
and at length again surrounded them. D'Artaguette now 
fell, covered with wounds, and was taken prisoner, together 
with Father Sjnac, Vincennes, Du Tisne, an officer of the 
regulars, a captain of the militia, named Lalande, and some 
soldiers, making nineteen in all. Not one man would have jJ^^^q 
escaped the clutches of the brave Chickasaws, if a violent 
storm, which now arose, had not prevented further pursuit. 
It was a great victory; all the provisions and baggage of 
D'Artaguette fell into the hands of the Chickasaws, besides 
eleven horses, four hundred and fifty pounds of powder and 
twelve hundred bullets. With this powder and these bullets 
they, afterwards, shot down the troops of Bienville, as we 
have already seen. 

Voisin, a youth of only sixteen years of age, conducted the 
retreat for many miles, without food or water, while his men 
carried such of the wounded as they were able to bear. This May 
noble youth, — one of the bravest that ever lived, — stood by 
the side of D'Artaguette in all this bloody engagement. At 
length, on the second day of his painful retreat, he halted his 
men at a place, where Montcherval, who was following D'Ar- 
taguette with one hundred and sixty Indians, had encamped. 
The latter, collecting the fragments of the army, fell back to 
the Mississippi river. 

At first, the unfortunate D'Artaguette and his equally un- 
fortunate companions in captivity, were treated with kindness 
and attention by the Chickasaws, who dressed their wounds. 



352 THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTER Hopes of a high ransom prompted this conduct, so unusual 
■^ with Indians. They expected not only to receive money from 
May Bienville, who was known to be approaching, but imagined 
that, by holding these men as prisoners, the governor would 
consent to leave their towns unattacked. But at length they 
received intelligence that Bienville had been defeated, and 
they now resolved to sacrifice the prisoners. They led them 
out to a neighboring field, and D'Artaguette, Father Senac, 
Vincennes, and fifteen others were pinioned to stakes and 
burned to death! One of the soldiers was spared to carry 
the news of the triumph of the Chickasaws, and the death of 
these unhappy men, to the mortified Bienville.* 

The Chickasaws have never been conquered. They could 
not be defeated by De Soto, with his Spanish army, in 1541; 
by Bienville, with his French army and Southern Indians, in 
1736; by D'Axtaguette, with his French army and Northern 
Indians ; by the Marquis De Vandreuil, with his French troops 
and Choctaws, in 1*752; nor by the Creeks, Cherokees, Kicka- 
poos, Shawnees and Choctaws, who continually waged war 

* MS. letters obtained from Paris. I have also consulted Gayarre's 
Histoire de la Louisiana, vol. 1, pp. 311-331, which contains the des- 
patches of Bienville to the French Court, in relation to these battles. 
Also, Dumont's Memoires Historiques sur la Louisiane — Bancroft's 
History of the United States, vol. 3 — The South West by Alexander 
B. Meek, of Mobile — Martin's Louisiana — Stodart's Louisiana — ^Mo- 
nette's History of the Mississippi Valley, vol. 1, pp. 283-288 — Louis- 
iana, its Colonial History and Romance, by Charles Gayarre : New- 
Yofk, 1851 ; pp. 476-495. 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 353 

against them. No ! they were " the bravest of the brave ;" chapter 
and even when they had emigrated to the territory of Arkan- ^' 
sas, not many years ago, they soon subdued some tribes who 
attacked them in that quainter. 

Young men of North Western Alabama and North East- 
em Mississippi 1 Remember that the bravest race that ever 
lived, once occupied the country which you now inhabit — 
once fished in your streams, and chased the elk over your vast 
plains. Remember, that whenever that soil, which y(m now 
tread, was pressed by the feet of foes, it was not only bravely 
defended, but drenched with the blood of the invaders. Will 
you ever disgrace that soil, and the memory of its first occu- 
pants, by submitting to injustice and oppression, and finally 
to invasion ? We unhesitatingly give the answer for you — 
" No — no — never !" 



354 THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 



CHAPTER XI. 

BIENVILLE LEAVES THE COLONY— HIS 

CHARACTER. 

CHAPTER In our investigations of the French Colonial History of 
^'* Alabama and Mississippi, for a period of sixteen years from 
the conclusion of the campaigns of Bienville and D'Arta- 
guette, in the Chickasaw nation, we iind but httle to interest the 
reader. The same difficulties as heretofore, continued to exist 
with the Indian tribes, with the colonial authorities and 
with the English of Carohna. Bienville began, soon after his 
defeat near Pontotoc, to lose favor with the King and the 
West India Company. To recover the ground which he had 
lost in their confidence, he exerted himself to organize another 
expedition against the Chickasaws ; and having perfected it, 
he sailed up the Mississippi to Fort St. Francis, and disem- 
barking, brought his army to a place near the mouth of the 
Margot or Wolf river. Here his troops remained a long 
time, until, reduced by death from various diseases, and by 
famine, he was left with but few soldiers. Finally, with these 
March ^' ^^Icron was ordered to march against the Chickasaw 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 355 

towns. As he advanced, the Chickasaws, supposing that a chapter 
large French army had invaded their country, sued for peace. 
Celeron took advantage of their mistake, and immediately come 
to terms with them. The Chickasaws promised to expel the Eng- 
lish traders from their country, and, from that time, to remain 
true to the French interest. When the result of this expedition, 
which terminated forever the military operations of Bienville, 
became known in France, the governor began to receive des- 
patches dictated in a spirit of much harshness and censure. 
The pride of Bienville was wounded — his spirit was humbled ; 
and, being too sensible a man to retain a position the duties 
of which it was believed he had failed creditably to perform, 
he now requested to be recalled. He ^vrote to the Minister *'^ 
as follows : — 

" If success had always corresponded with my appHcation 
to the affairs of the government and administration of the 
colony, and with my zeal for the service of the King, I would 
have rejoiced in devoting the rest of my days to such 
objects ; but, through a sort of fatality, which, for some time 
past, has obstinately thwarted my best concerted plans, I have 
frequently lost the fruit of my labors, and, perhaps, some ground 
in your excellency's confidence : — therefore have I come to the 
conclusion, that it is no longer necessary for me to struggle 
against my adverse fortune. I hope that better luck may 
attend my successor. During the remainder of my stay here, 
I will give all my attention to smooth the difficulties attached 
to the office which I shall deliver up to him ; and it is to me 



356 THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTER a subject of self-gratulation that I shall transmit to him the 
^* government of the colony, when its affairs are in a better con- 
dition than they have ever been."* 

Bienville was, unquestionably, not only a great and good 
man, but a modest one. We find in this letter none of that 
disgusting cant indulged in by American politicians and Ame- 
rican oflBce holders, when they lose their places. In these 
days it is common for such men to say that they have been 
treated with ingratitude by the government, if they are re- 
moved from an office, — or by the people, if an opposing can- 
didate is elected to CongreBS, and to whine and complain 
about having "grown gray in the service of their country," 
when, in truth, they have lived at their ease and feasted upon 
the contents of the public treasury, time out of mind. Some 
of these men have received over a hundred thousand dollan 
for occupjdng seats in the Senate and the House of Repre- 
sentatives, and much larger sums for filling the office of Presi- 
dent, and for foreign missions, and yet, after all these favors, 
from the government and the people, they complain of being 
treated with ingratitude, if they lose their position. The 
people who permitted them so long to hold these trusts, often 
to their own injury, should never be charged with the crane 
of ingratitude ; but the recipient of all these pohtical &vors 

* Louisiana, its Colonial History and Romance, by Charles Gayarre, 
pp. 526-527. See also Bienville's letter in French, contained in His- 
ioire de la Louisiane, par Charles Gayarre. 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 35^ 

should ever feel grateftil, and retire with dignity and grace, chapter 
like the good and wise Bienville.* ^* 

The successor of Bienville, the Marquis De Vaudreuil, ar- 
rived at New-Orleans, and shortly afterwards the former m^^y jo 
sailed for France. Although sixty-five years of age when he 
left the colony, Bienville lived to the advanced age of ninety. 
What a constitution for a man who had passed through such 
trials and hardships ! In the whole of the twenty-five years 
that he passed in France, he never, for one moment forgot, the 
colony in Alahama, Mississippi and Louisiana. He nursed it 
in his remembrance, as does the aged grandfather who is far 
off from his beloved descendants. He sympathized with its 
misfortunes, and exulted in its triumphs and prosperity. 
Whenever a vessel, from the colony, reached the shores of 
France, Bienville was the first to go on board, and learn 
tidings of his beloved bantling. And when the French King, 
towards the last of Bienville's days, ceded the colony of Lou- 
isiana to Spain, the good old man implored him with tears in 

* If Alabama should, hereafter, change the names of any of her 
pr^^t counties, or form new ones, we very respectfully suggest that one 
be Mmed " De Soto,** and another " Bienville.** The former was 
the first to discover our territory, and the latter was the French gover- 
nor of it for forty years ! We have a sufficient number of counties, 
rivers, creeks and towns bearing Indian names, to preserve a remem- 
brance of the former residence of the Red Men here. We haVe coun- 
ties also named for politicians and warriors, but unlike Mississippi, Lou- 
isiana and Georgia, we have not one named for a person whose nam& 
would lead us to think of the history of our country. 



358 THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTER his eyes, not to place the French subjects of the colony under 
* the control of the tyrannical Spaniards. 

Another distinguished person departed from our country 
about the time that Bienville sailed for France — Diron D'Ar- 
taguette, the royal commissary, who had Uved so long at 
Mobile. As we have seen, he came to our country in 1 708, 
1742 where he filled several high offices until 1742. It was his 
younger brother whom the Chickasaws burned to death, near 
Pontotoc, in the present State of Mississippi. It is not known 
whether the royal commissary and Bienville ever again became 
friends. They ought, really, never to havi disagreed, as they 
were both men of ability, honor and fidelity. 

The colony, at length, became prosperous. Capitalists em- 
barked in agriculture and commerce, after the restrictions 
upon the latter had been set aside by the King. Cargoes of 
flour, hides, pork, bacon, leather, tallow, bear's oil and lumber 
found their way to Europe. These articles came chiefly from 
the Illinois and Wabash countries, and the inhabitants of that 
region, in return, receiveji from New-Orleans and Mobile, rice, 
indigo, tobacco, sugar and European fabrics. But a war broke 
out between France and Great Britain, and the Chicka^y^s 
again becoming the alHes of the English, the MarquisT)e 
Vaudreuil determined to invade their country. He organized 
1752 his army, and embarking in boats, at Mobile, made his way 
up* the Tombigby river. After resting a few days at Fort 
"Tombecbe," he renewed his voyage until he reached the 
place where Bienville, sixteen years before, had disembarked 
his army. Marching from this point with his troops, com- 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 359 

posed of French and Choctaws, he reached the Chickasaw chapter 
towns, and endeavoring to storm them, lost many of his men ; ^^' 
and was finally beaten, and compelled to retreat to his boats 
near Cotton Gin Port. All he accomplished was to destroy 
the fields and burn some cabins of the enemy. Arriving at 
Fort " Tombecbe," he caused it to be enlarged and strength- 
ened — leaving there a strong detachment to prevent the in- 
cursions of the Chickasaws. Like Bienville, the Marquis re- 1762 
turned to Mobile not at all satisfied with the laurels which he 
had won in his expedition against the Chickasaws.* 

* It has been stated to mo, by several persons, that cannon have been 
found in the Tombigby, at or near Cotton Gin Port, and it has 
been supposed that they were left there by De Soto. De Soto brought 
from Cuba but one piece of artillery, and that he left behind him in 
Florida. If any such cannon have been found in the Tombigby, they 
belonged to the Marquis De Vaudreuil. He carried with him a few 
pieces to operate against the Chickasaws upon the occasion just referred 
to. After he had fought the Chickasaws, and returned to his boats, he 
found that the Tombigby had fallen consideitbly, and it is probable he 
threw these cannon into the river to lighten his boats. 



3g0 THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 



CHAPTER XII. 

HORRIBLE DEATH OF BEAUDROT AND THE 

SWISS SOLDIERS. 

CHAPTER In 1757, Kerlerec was governor of the colony. He had 

XII 

succeeded the Marquis De Vaudreuil, who had been trans- 
ferred to the government of New France. Some of the offi- 
cers, stationed at the different posts, were great tyrants. One 
of them, named Duroux, was sent to command a detachment 
of troops of the Swiss regiment of Halwyl, who were station- 
1767 ed at Cat Island, which, we beheve, is now within the juris- 
diction of the State of Alabama. He forced his soldiers to 
work his gardens, and to bum coal and lime, which he dis- 
posed of in trade for his own emolument. Some of them, 
who refused to work for him, he caused to be arrested, strip- 
ped and tied naked to trees, where, for hours, the mosqui- 
toes tortured them with their poisonous stings. These sol- 
diers, repairing to New-Orleans, received no satisfaction from 
Governor Kerlerec, who presently sent them back to Duroux. 
That officer was now still more tyrannical, and in addition to 
his other severe usage, gave them no meat to eat, and fed 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 3gJ 

them upon stale bread. One day he entered a boat, and was chapter 
rowed to an adjacent island, for the purpose of hunting deer. ^^^' 
Returning in the evening, a party of the soldiers prepared them- 
selves to kill him, and, as soon as he put his foot upon shore, 
he was instantly despatched, by the discharge of several guns. 
His body, stripped of its apparel, was contemptuously thrown 
into the sea. They then rifled the King's stores, and, for once 
in a long while, fered sumptuously. Becoming masters of the 
island, the soldiers set at liberty an inhabitant, named Beau- 1757 
drot, who had been unjustly imprisoned by Duroux. He had 
been long in the colony, and was often employed upon dan- 
gerous missions in the Creek nation. Indeed, he well under- 
stood the language of these Indians, besides that of neigh- 
boring tribes. Often had he made journeys to Fort Toulouse, 
upon the Coosa, both in boats and upon foot. He was a 
great favorite of Bienville. Beaudrot was a powerful man, 
as to strength, and almost a giant in size, and these qualities, 
together with his bravery and prowess, endeared him to the 
Indians. The soldiers, who now released him from prison, 
compelled him to conduct them towards Georgia. Advancing 
rapidly through the woods, after they had touched the main 
land in their boats, the veteran Beaudrot led them around 
Mobile, up to the Tombigby, and, crossing that stream, and 
afterwards the Alabama, in canoes which belonged to the 
Indians, Beaudrot conducted them from thence to Coweta, 
upon the Chattahoochie. Here he was dismissed by the fugi- 
tives, whom he compelled to give him a certificate, stating 

20 



362 THE FRENCH IN ALABA.MA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

OHAPTER that he had heen forced to act as their guide, and was not in 
^^^' any way concerned in the kiUing of Duroux. 

Some of these soldiers, who pursued their journey, made 
safe their retreat to the Enghsh in Georgia ; but others loi- 
tered in Coweta and Cusseta, enjoying the hospitality of the 
1767 Indians. In the meantime, Montberaut, who then com- 
manded at Fort Toulouse, had been made acquainted with the 
murder of Duroux and the flight of the soldiers. Hearing 
that some of them were upon the Chattahoochie, a small de- 
tachment of soldiers, and some Indians, under Beaudin, were 
sent across the country, to arrest them. Beaudin returned with 
three of the men, who, after being chained in the prison for a 
week, were put in canoes, and conveyed down the Alabama river, 
to Mobile, and there thrown into the dungeon, to await trial. 
Beaudrot arrived in Mobile, and was quietly living in his 
hut, when two of his sons, who had just arrived from New- 
Orleans, were the innocent cause of his arrest. Governor 
Kerlerec sent by them a sealed package to De Ville, the 
commandant at Mobile, authorizing his imprisonment. The 
poor fellow knew nothing of the arrest of the soldiers, imtil 
his eyes fell upon them in prison. Notwithstanding that he 
exhibited, upon the trial, his certificate, which declared his 
innocence of the murder, and which stated that he was com- 
pelled to facilitate the escape of the authors of it, a court 
martial condemned him to die. The soldiers, of course, were 
also condemned to share the same fate. As soon as Governor 
Kerlerec confirmed the judgment, the innocent and unfortunate 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 353 

Beaudrot was led forth, and broken upon a wheel ! The pec- chapter 
pie of Mobile were shocked at the spectacle, for some of their ^^' 
lives had been saved by the sufferer. Not many years before 
that, Beaudrot, while trading in the town of Autauga, among 
the Alabamas, ransomed a French boy, who had been cap- 
tured near Mobile, by the Lower Creeks of the Chattar 
hoochie, and who had sold him to those Indians. Beaudrot 
paid away all his profits for the boy, and immediately carried 
him to Mobile, and restored him to his uncle. On another 
occasion, a party of the Lower Creeks had taken a French- 1767 
man, who had gone up to his little plantation on the Tensaw 
river. They stripped the man, and, having pinioned him 
well, took the trail for the Chattahoochie. It so happened 
that Beaudrot was returning, upon that trail, from Fort Tou- 
louse, whither Bienville had some weeks before despatched 
him, with a letter to the French commandant Night drew 
apace, and the wearied Beaudrot sought repose upon the pine 
straw, behind a log, without a spark of fire. It was his cus- 
tom, when alone, to sleep in the dark, for fear of being dis- 
covered by Indian enemies. He lay quietly, with his head 
resting upon his knapsack. Presently three stout warriors 
made their appearance, with the Frenchman to whom we 
have just alluded. They presently collected lightwood, which 
lay in profusion around, and kindled a large ^e. Ten of the- 
party, after the capture of the Frenchman, went in another 
direction, to see if they could not do more mischief in the 
French settlements, and, entrusting the prisoner to the three 
warriors who now guarded him, had not yet overtaken them. 



364 ^PHE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTER The fire threw a glare over the woods, and Beaudrot would 
have been discovered, had he not, fortunately, been behind a 
log. The warriors eat their supper, and, tying the French- 
man to a tree, where he would have been compelled to stand 
all night upon his feet, they dropped off to sleep. The heart 
of the generous Beaudrot beat quick ; he longed to rescue 
the man, whom he well knew, but endeavored to compose 
himself. After a while, when the wearied warriors snored in pro- 
found sleep, he cautiously approached. His first intention was 
to unloose the prisoner, and place a pistol in his hand, when 
they would both instantly fall upon the Indians ; but a mo- 
ment's reflection warned him that, if he approached the pri- 

^ soner first, the latter would be startled, and cry aloud, which 

would arouse the savages. This reflection altered his plans, 
and he now crept up to the camp, keeping a large pine tree 
between him and the warriors. Two of them lay together. 
Beaudrot's carbine was heavily charged, and, raising himself 
suddenly, he fired, and the warriors were both killed. The 
third one rose up, and rushed at Beaudrot with his hatchet, 
having, in his haste, forgotten his gun. Beaudrot had al- 
ready a pistol in his hand, and now discharged its contents 
into the stomach of the Creek, who whooped and fell dead* 
Rushing to the tree, he untied his friend, who immediately 
• sank in the arms of his generous deUverer. But they had no 
time to tarry here. The rescued prisoner informed Beaudrot 
that the other party were probably upon their trail. They im- 
mediately left the spot, and, reaching the Alabama river, Beau- 
drot constructed a raft, on which he now placed the prisoner. 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPFL 355 

and they both floated down the river some distance, and chapter 

landed on the western side. He tore the raft to pieces, and ^^' 

set the fragments adrift. Beaudrot took all this precaution to 

keep the Indians from tracking him. About this time it was 

dayhght, and he and the Frenchman were in a swamp, and 

quite secure. Beaudrot now drew forth his bottle of brandy, 

and gave his companion a drink, which did much to revive 

him. They also shared some bread and dried venison. 

After they had rested here some houi-s, Beaudrot and 

his companion arose, and, after a tedious march through 

the woods, subsisting upon what game Beaudrot could kill, 

he arrived safe in Mobile, with the Frenchman. 

Such a man was Beaudrot, whom the French authorities in 1767 
Mobile broke upon a wheel ! His life was worth a thousand 
such lives as that of the tyrannical wretch whom he was axj- 
cused of having killed. On the same day that he was thus 
made to suffer death, in the most barbarous and excruciating 
manner, one of the fugitives, a French soldier, was also bro- 
ken upon a wheel, while two poor Swiss soldiers were sub- 
jected to a still more honible fate. The authorities placed 
each one of them in a long narrow box, like a coffin, 
nailed it up, and then cut the box in two with a cross-cut 
saw.* 

* French MS. letters in my possession, obtained from Paris. See 
also Bossu's Travels, vol. 1, pp. 320-325. But Bossu incorrectly states 
that these men suffered death in New-Orleans. Some years previously. 
Fort Conde, a large brick fortress, had been built at Mobile, and it was 
in front of the gate of that fort that these men met such a terrible death. 



366 *^ FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 



CHAPTER XIII. 

BOSSU'S VISIT TO THE FRENCH FORTS UPON 
THE ALABAMA AND TOMBIGBY RIVERS. 

CHAPTER Governor Kerlerkc haviog ordered Bossu, a Captain of 
the French Marines, to depart from New-Orleans with a de- 
tachment, destined for Fort Toulouse, among the Creek In- 

December » <ii*Jis, that officer reached Mobile, and was there received by 
D'Aubant, adjutant of that place. The latter, the same 
officer who married the Russian Princess, and Uved with her 
in Mobile, as we have seen, had recently been appointed to 
the command of Fort Toulouse, and was instructed to accom- 
pany Bossu to that point ; but sickness, for a labile, detained 
him in Mobile. In the meantime, Bossu embarked his sol- 
diers and Choctaws in several boats. After a tedious voyage, 
of fifty days, up the Alabama river, he moored his boats at 
the French fort, upon the Coosa. Here he had the pleasure 
of meeting D'Aubant, who, having recovered from his indis- 
position, had come from Mobile on horseback, across the vast 
wilderness. Montberaut, who was still in conmiand of the 
fort, received D'Aubant with poUteness, and, for three months 



1750 
•March 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI 36Y 

previous to his departure to Mobile, instructed him in regard chapter 
to the condition of the fort, and of the policy which it was ^^^^' 
necessary for him to pursue with the tribes arouad. Mont- f*^ 
beraut was an officer of high reputation among the Creeks 
and Alabamas, and " was remarkable for the spirited speeches 
which he delivered, in a manner analogous to the way of 
thinking of these nations."* He despised the Jesuits, and, 
as they were formally stationed at Fort Toulouse, he always 
hved upon bad terms with them. Father Le lloi, one of these 
missionaries, wrote a letter to the Governor, in which he 
abused Montberaut in unme«Tsured terms, and advised his 
removal. The soldier to whom the letter was delivered, and 
who was to convey it- to Mobile, handed it to Montberaut, 
who noted its contents. When the Jesuit met him the next 
morning, he showed him many civilities, as Bossu says, " ac- 
cording to the pohtical princi])les of these good fathers." 
The commandjmt asked him if he had written any thing 
against him. The Jesuit, not suspecting that his letter was 
in the officer's hands, assured him, by all that was sacred, 
that he had not. Montberaut then called Father Lo Roi an 
impostor and cheat, and fixed his letter at the gate of the 
fort Since that time no Jesuits have been among the Creeks 
and Alabamas.f 

When 15ossu visited Fort Toulouse, upon the Coosa, he 
found that the Creeks and Alabamas were happy people. 
They lived with ease, had an abundance around them, and 

* Bossii'8 Travels, vol. 1, p. 228. t Ibid., p. 229. 

20* 



368 ^^^ FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTER were at peace with the surrounding savages. While at the 
^^^"' fort, Bossu heard a Chief deliver the following beautiful 
-■■■ speech : 

" Young men and warriors ! Do not disregard the Master 
OF Li9e. The sky is blue — the sun is without spots — ^the 
weather is fair — the ground is white — every thing is quiet on 
the face of the earth, and the blood of men ought not to be 
spilt on it. We must beg the Master of Life to preserve 
it pure and spotless among the nations that sun'ound us." 

Not only were the Creeks and Alabamas at peace with 
other nations, at this time, but gave evidences of warm and 
A^ generous hospitality. They thronged the banks of the river, 
which now meandera along the borders of the counties of 
Autauga, Montgomery, Dallas an4 Lowndes — as Bossu slowly 
made his way up the beautiful stream, greeted him with 
friendly salutations, and offered him provisions^ such as bread, 
roasted turkies, broiled venison, pancakes baked with nut oil, 
and deers' tongues, together with baskets full of eggs of the 
fowl and the turtle. The Great Spirit had blessed them 
with a magnificent river, abounding in fish ; with delicious 
and cool fountains, gushing out from the foot of the hills ; 
with rich lands, that produced without cultivation, and with 
vast forests, abounding in game of every description. But 
now the whole scene is changed. The country is no longer 
half so beautiful ; the waters of Alabama begin to be dis- 
colored ; the forests have been cut down ; steamers have 
destroyed the finny race ; deer bound not over the plain ; the 
sluggish bear has ceased to wind through the swamps ; the 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 359 

bloody panther does not spring upon his prey ; wolves have chapter 
ceased to howl upon the hills ; birds cannot be seen in the ^''' 
branches of the trees ; graceful warriors guide no longer their 
well-shaped canoes, and beautiful squaws loiter not upon the 
plain, nor pick the delicious berries. Now, vast fields of cot- 
ton, noisy steamers, huge rails of lumber, towns reared for 
business, disagreeable corporation laws, harrassing courts of 
justice, mills, factories, and everything else that is calculated 
to destroy the beauty of a country and to rob man of his 
quiet and native independence, present themselves to our 
view. 

The heart yearns to behold, once more, such a country as 
Alabama was the first time we saw it, when a boy. But 
where can we now go, that we shall not find the busy Ame- 
rican, with keen desire to destroy everything which nature 
has made lovely ? 

Fort Toulouse, at various times, had many commandants, 
who filled each others' places according to the will or whim 
of the colonial Governor and the difierent companies. At 
one time, the Chevalier D'Emville commanded here, when a 
young warrior killed a French soldier, and fled to the forests. 
According to an agreement formed between the French and 
the Indians, when the fort was first established, the killing of 
a person was to be atoned for by the immediate execution of 
him who committed the deed, whether he was a Frenchman 
or an Indian. D'Emville demanded the Indian of the Chiefe, 
who stated that they were unable to find him. He next re- 
quired that the mother of the guilty warrior should be made 



3Y0 'T^^ FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTER to expiate the crime. They replied that the mother had not 
' killed the Frenchman ; but the officer only reminded them of 
the agi'eement, and further, of the previous customs of their 
country. Deeply embarrassed, in consequence of the escape 
of the criminal, and unwilling that the old woman should be 
put to death, the Chiefs, to compromise the case, offered the 
French officer furs and horse-loads of booty. But D'Ernville 
was unyielding, and had the mother brought out before Fort 
Toulouse, to suffer death. Her relatives followed her with 
sad countenances, one of them exclaiming, in a loud voice, 
" My mother-in-law dies courageously, as she has not struck 
the blow." In a few minutes the son rushed through the 
cane-brake, boldly walked up to D'Ernville, gave himself 
up, saved the life of his mother, and was then — killed ! 
1^ One day it was announced at Fort Toulouse that the Em- 

peror of Coweta, a town on the Chattahoochie, was advancing 
to pay the French a visit. Bossu walked some distance upon 
the pathway, towards the present Grey's Ferry, which was, at 
that early day, a great crossing-place for the Indians. He was 
accompanied by some soldiers, and, to surprise the Emperor, 
they fired their muskets as soon as Bossu took him by the hand 
which was also the signal for a general discharge of the artillery 
from the fort. The woods presently resounded with the noise 
of the cannon, and the Emperor felt that he was greatly ho- 
nored. He was mounted on a Spanish horse, with an Eng- 
lish saddle, which was bordered with a beautiful spotted skin. 
He alighted from his horse, and advanced to the fort with an 
air of great dignity and importance. His costume was so 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 3^! 

singular as to excite the subdued risibilities of the Frenchmen, chapter 
who marched behind him. He wore on his head a crest of ^"^ 
black plumes ; his coat was scarlet, with English cuffs, and 
beset with tinsel lace ; he had neither waistcoat nor breeches ; 
under his coat he wore a white linen shirt. His attendants 
were naked, and painted in a variety of colors. Being only 
eighteen years of age, the Emperor was accompanied by his 
Regent, a noble and wise old man, who ruled the Lower 
Creeks during his minority. When they reached the fort, 
the 4i)d man delivered a speech to D'Aubant, which was re- 
ported by Laubene, the King's interpreter, who had been long 
stationed at that place. 

Being anxious to alienate the Lower Creeks, upon the 
Chattahoochie, fi'om the relations which they had formed 
with the Georgians, D'Aubant paid the visitors unusual atten- 
tion. The next day, at ten o'clock, he received the Emperor, ^'59 

May 

his War-Chief, Regent, Doctor, and followers, in considerable 
state. They were marched before the oflScei-s and soldiers, 
who were all drawn up in full uniform. At noon they were 
conducted to the dining table, where they and the officers 
took seats together. The Emperor was much puzzled in 
what manner to employ the knife and fork, and was extreme- 
ly awkward and embarrassed. But the old Regent seized the 
back-bone and breast of a turkey, and broke them in two with 
his fingers, saying, "The Master of Life made fingera before 
knives and forks were made." 

Towards the end of the repast, a servant of the Emperor, 



372 THE FRiPdH in ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTER who stood behind his chair,* perceived that the French ate 
"«• mustard with their boiled meat. He asked Beaudin wh;t it 
i^^y was that they relished so much ? This officer, the same who 
went to the Chattahoochie, and arrested the soldiers who 
fled from Cat Island, and who had lived forty years in the 
Creek nation, replied, that the French were by no means 
covetous of what they possessed. He handed the Indian a 
spoonful of the mustard, who swallowed it. He thereupon 
made many ridiculous contortions, giving several whoops, and 
affording the whole company much merriment. The In^in-n 
imagined himself to be poisoned, and D'Aubant, the com- 
mandant, could only appease him by a glass of dehghtful 
brandy.* 

About this time, the celebrated Russian Princess, whom, as 
we have seen, D'Aubant had long since married, at Mobile, 
becoming tired of his protracted absence, determined to join 
him, which, indeed, had been planned when the cl^vaher left 
her at Mobile. Going on board a boat which was starting 
V^ for Fort Toulouse, this remarkable and romantic woman, after 

June ' ' 

a long voyage, arrived at this place with her little daughter 
and a female servant. She was affectionately received by 
D'Aubant, and had many lively adventures to relate of her 
jMBtage up the Alabama. Not having pleasant quarters in 

* Travels through that part of North America formerly called Louisi- 
ana, by M. Bossu, Captain in the French Marines. Vol. 1, pp. 226- 
278. 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND IVUWISSIPPI. 3^3 

the fort, a cabin was built for her in the field, not far from ohapteb 

the fort, to which was attached a brick chimney, the frag- 

ments of which still remain there. Here this gay woman 

was accustomed to converse with the Indians and prattle with 

their pickaninnies. So, then, citizens of Wetumpka, there 

was once hving, within three miles of your city, a Russian j^ 

Princess — so represented to be — who had married the son of 

Peter the Great !* 

While at Fort Toulouse, Bossu received an order to repair 
to Mobile, for the purpose of serving under the orders of De 
Ville, the King's lieutenant, stationed at that place. He en- 
tered a boat, and, after a prosperous voyage, reached Mobile. 
Some time ^fterwards he was ordered to command a convoy 
to Fort " Tombecbe." He left Mobile with three boats, in 
which were soldiers and Mobile Indians. He entered the 
Tombigby river, after a voyage of seven days, which now can 
be performed in four hours. Mooring his boats near some ^^^ 
land, a Httle elevated above the water, he pitched his camp, 
and prepared to pass the night on shore, as was the custom 
of all voyagers of that day. While wrapped in a corner of 
his tenWoth, and reposing upon his bear's skin, with a string 
of fine fish, which he designed for his breakfast, lying at his 
feet, he was awakened from a profound sleep, by finding him- 
self suddenly carried away, by an extroardinary force. Terri- 
bly alarmed, he cried out for help. An enormous alligator, 

* French MS. letters in my possession, obtained from Paris. 



374 THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTER intent upon seizing the string of fish, had caught in his teeth 
^ * a portion of the tent-cloth, and was hurrying Bossu, tent 
cloth, bear-skin, fish and all, rapidly to his accustomed ele- 
ment. Fortunately, just before the alligator plunged into the 
river, Bossu saved himself and the bear-skin ; but the fish 
and the tent-cloth disappeared with the monster. 

The voyage up the river was remarkably tedious, for, it being 
at a low stage, Bossu was often compelled to drag his boats 
over the bars. He camped upon the banks every night, and, 
to protect himself as much as possible from the mosquitoes, 
he placed canes in the ground, and, making their tops meet 
by bending them over, formed an arch. Over this rude frame 
An'^t ^^ threw a linen sheet, and slept under it mostycomfortably, 
reposing on his bear-skin. On one occasion, provisions be- 
came so scarce that Bossu sent out some of his men to pro- 
cure game in the forests. Discovering the nest of a large 
eagle, built in the branches of a lofty tree, the Indians soon 
prostrated the latter with their axes. They obtained from 
this immense nest, several fawns, rabbits, wild turkies, par- 
tridges and wild pigeons, together with four eaglets.* The 
old eagles fought desperately for their young ; but the fem- 
ished party bore off the nest aud the abundance of game 
which it contained, all of which had recently been taken for 

* Bossu must be mistaken as to the number of eaglets. According 
to my reading of natural history, I am under the impression that not 
more than two eaglets are ever found in the same nest. 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 3^5 

the eaglets to devour. Bossu and his party hved sump- chapter 
tuously during the remainder of their voyage, which was at ^^^' 
length terminated at Fort " Tombecbe," the site of which is 
now familiarly known as Jones' Bluff. De Grandpr^, a 
Canadian of much bravery, and possessed of much experience 
in relation to the habits and customs of the Indians, com- 
manded the garrison at this post. Bossu's journal, kept at 
this place, is wholly occupied with the manners and customs 
of the Choctaws. As we have already referred to him, upon 
this subject, in our description of that tribe, we will omit here 
what would be a mere repetition, only submitting to the ^^ 
reader the following extract : 

" I saw an Indian of the Choctaws who had lately been 
baptized. As he had no luck in hunting, he imagined him- 
self bewitched. He went immediately to Father Lefevre, the 
Jesuit missionary, who was stationed at Fort * Tombecbe,' 
and who had lately converted him. He told him that his 
medicine was good for nothing, for, since he had practised it 
upon him, he could kill no deer. He therefore desired the 
priest to take off his enchantment. The Jesuit, in order to 
avoid the resentment of this Indian, acted as if he had anni- 
hilated the baptismal ceremony. Some time after this, the 
Indian killed a deer, and, thus thinking himself forever free 
from the enchantment, was a most happy fellow."* 

But the colony of Louisiana, so vast in extent, and embra- 

* BosBu's Travels, pp. 226-318. 



^^JQ THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. 

CHAPTER cing within its limits the territory of our own State, and that 
^^^' of Mississippi, was soon to be taken from the French. It has 
been seen that the English and the French had long been 
competitors for the commercial patronage of the Indians, in 
Lower Louisiana, and also for the right to the soil. Far more 
bitter were their jealousies, and far more bloody their feuds 
upon the borders of Ohio, Virginia and Pennsylvania. For 
some time, a serious colonial war had been raging between 
the North American provinces of France and those of Eng- 
land. The French lost post after post. The victorious Bri- 
tons garrisoned them with troops, and then captured others. 
In this manner, the King of France lost all his Louisiana pos- 
sessions, and, with them, the soil of Mississippi and Alabama. 
Spain, too, had allied herself with France, in the war. At 
Febrnaryis l^^g^^ ^^^ three belligcrant powers concluded a peace, the 
conditions of which are stated in the commencement of our 
second volume. 

Agreeably to the provisions of that treaty, Rerre Annibal 

October de ViUc, lieutenant of the King, commandant at Mobile, and 

Jean Gabriel Fazende, d'ordonnatuer, delivered that town and 

its dependances to Major Robert Farmar, commissary of His 

Britannic Majesty. 

Pierre Chabert, captain of infantry and commandant of 
Fort "Tombecbe," and Valentine Duboca, keeper of the 
November 28 magazine, delivered that post to Captain Thomas Ford, who 
garrisoned it with English troops. 

The ChevaHer Lavnoue, commanding Fort Toulouse, upon 



THE FRENCH IN ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI. g^Y 

the Coosa, not being relieved by the appearance of any Bri- chapter 
tish officer, spiked his cannon, broke off the trunnions or ears, ^^^'* 
and left them in the fort. The river being shallow, during a November 
dry fall, and having his soldiers and all the provisions and 
military effects to convey to Mobile, in boats, he caused to be 
cast into the Coosa all which the magazine contained, among 
which was a large quantity of powder.* 

* Histoire de la Louisiane, par Charles Gayarre, vol. 2, pp. 108-9. 



END OP VOLUME I. 



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