The Chickasaw Village Sources
The Village Location Keys
Remaining Village Locations
The Decades and the Villages
Slide Show -
Current Village Locations
The European super powers on the continent were involved in King William's war excusing the English to encroach upon the Spanish missions and settlements in La Floride (Florida). The French were busy setting about plans to control the Mississippi River entrance and thus connecting their St. Lawrence River settlements to the Gulf of Mexico, the completion of LaSalle's plan.
By 1680 the English had launched attacks on the Spanish mission province of Guale (Crane 24), exacting an amount of revenge for Spanish depredations against the fledgling Charleston settlement. In 1699 the French under Iberville reclaimed LaSalle's discovery and France's claims of the Mississippi River by landing at Mississippi coast (IGJ 3). The French found the gulf coastal area in turmoil with English sponsored Chickasaw slave raids occurring west of their location and Alabama raids east above Mobile Bay. How was it that the Chickasaw and Alabama had weapons and resources sufficient to conduct long distance slave raids, the French had to wonder?
Sustained trade must have started prior to 1698 when Anthony Dodsworth and Thomas Welch of South Carolina ventured through the Chickasaw to the Quapaw (Arkansas) (Crane 46). Indeed, trade goods were noted by Father Marquette who recorded in 1673 that the "chicachas" had trade items including guns, hoes, knives, beads, etc. (Malone 1922 233).
In 1708 Nairne (Nairne 50) while visiting the Chickasaw noted in his journal that the Carolina trade had started 20 years before or about 1688. The start of sustained trade between the Chickasaw and Carolina would have been conducted by plantation owners as opposed to the colonial government of South Carolina; however, there are hints to the date of its beginning. Iberville noted in 1702 (IGJ 171) at Fort Louis to the assembled head men and chiefs of the Chickasaw and Choctaw that their current war had accounted for eighteen hundred Choctaw dead and five hundred Choctaw prisoners and had been going on 8-10 years, or starting 1692-4. It should be noted that a war producing so many casualties would require guns and a network to exchange slaves, or in other words a sustained trade to support it. In 1702 Iberville (IGJ 174) noted that the Chickasaw indicated they had seven to eight hundred guns. Therefore some time must be allowed for arming the Chickasaw prior to the war opening in 1692-4. We may assume a starting date for sustained trade of 1690. That date is agreeable with Crane (Crane 34) who indicated that trade with the Lower Creeks then on the Chattahoochee began in 1685. Crane also (Crane 36) reported that other Carolina traders had reached the Creek towns in 1687. With the Creeks trade initiated the road to the interior Indian tribes, particularly the Chickasaw, was open from Carolina. Another French reference in 1700 (IGJ 110) noted that Father Davion had visited the Chickasaw villages on horseback from the Tunica with an Englishman who had been an active slave raider among the Chickasaw for several years. 1690 is a reasonable date to estimate the start of sustained Carolina trade with the Chickasaw.
There is little recorded about the villages from this time period. Table 1 provides a listing of villages associated to Iberville (Swanton BAE 44 212) that are at a slightly later date, 1702, but neither a map nor a description of these villages survived. We do know that the Chickasaw had weapons before their enemies and their slave raiding was unopposed by enemies equally armed. This is significant to an understanding of the Chickasaw villages. The Chickasaw of this decade had superior weapons and nothing to fear from their neighbors. We may assume that the Chickasaw villages were at least as large as shown on Figure 1. Physical surveys indicate additional areas where early historic Chickasaw may have lived. Figure 5 indicates these areas. Note these satellite village areas are smaller than those noted by Adair and lie on the east side of Coonewah Creek opposite and between Adair's Shatara and Phalachecho. Other satellite village areas also exist between Coonewah Creek and Adair's Chookka Phaarah. The author notes that upper Mubby Creek, Figure 1, is also a candidate for a satellite village as he has seen glass trade beads from this area. The author has failed to conduct a survey of this area.
That these outlying villages exist will be documented by the occurrence of glass trade beads in subsequent papers. These outlying villages covered a much smaller area compared to the larger named villages.