The French and Indian War began in the colonies in 1754. The French lost Quebec to the English in September 1759. In Louisiana the French, once the Choctaw Civil War was put down, continued their Chickasaw attacks through Indian allies who were again rewarded for scalps, slaves and horses. The English principally through their South Carolina colony provided trade for deerskins and gifts of ammunition and guns to the Chickasaw.
Throughout the decade, exodus Chickasaw lived in South Carolina/Augusta area (SCIAD 1750-1754 56) and at Breed Camp among the upper Creek Indians (SCIAD 1754-1765 292). The Chickasaw who lived in their native lands were termed the Nation (SCIAD 1750-54 81) by South Carolina traders, agents and government officials while those among the upper Creeks were called the "breed", hence the name of their village "Breeds Camp" (SCIAD 1750-1754 36).
The French added an ally against the Chickasaw adopting the Arkansas Indians who attacked the Chickasaw and the rebellious Choctaw living with them (MPA V 49). The Chickasaw at Breeds Camp were not immune to attack as those living among the Upper Creeks were attacked in 1750 . . . "The Occasion of this War was that the Chactaws last November killed seven Chickesaws who lived at the Cossaes" (SCIAD 1750-54 7).
John Buckles in a letter to South Carolina Governor Glen wrote on September 6, 1752 (SCIAD 1750-1754 364 and 382) that an "Army of Choktaws, and some French Men came against this Nation." They took horses (SCIAD 1750-1754 365) and Buckles reported that "they will get as much for a Horse's Scallop as a Man's."
The conditions in 1752 within the Nation had become very serious as recorded by the trader John Buckles (SCIAD 1750-1754 365) who wrote about the traders and the Chickasaw Nation, "we are dayly labouring under great many Hardships here between the Loss of our Goods on the Path, and our Horses after we gett here, and our very Lives always in Danger. . . furnishing them with Guns, Amunition . . .the better to enable them to stand their Ground, they being so surrounded with Enemy at present that it's impossible for them to hunt or kill Dear to purchase them." The Chickasaw had become hard pressed to hunt, thus limiting the trade and their needs.
In spite of the constant Indian attacks, the Chickasaw Nation in 1752 (SCIAD 1750-54 352) and 1753 (MPA V 131) completed successful raids on French traffic on the Mississippi River. In August 1753 Louis Kerlerec (MPA V 131), Governor of Louisiana replacing Vaudreuil in February 1752, reacted to these raids by asking the Arkansas to patrol a portion of the Mississippi River. Kerlerec (MPA V 124) had good knowledge of the Indians in Louisiana having served against the Natchez in 1730.
On June 4, 1753 Governor Glen (SCIAD 1750-1754 408) of South Carolina noted that "a Chickesaw Fellow, a Runner, come down from his Nation to recall all the Chickesaw Indians who live near New Windsor to come to the Assistance of their Nation against the French." Apparently the Nation desperately needed the help of the Exodus village in South Carolina.
As to the reason that Yaneka left the Nation in 1723 for South Carolina, the Chickasaw Head Men in the Nation write in a letter to Governor Glen (SCIAD 1750-1754 513) in 1754,"A great many of our People has left us; a Thing we are sorry at, but young People will rather go from us to live in Peace than stay where they are in Danger every Day." With the exodus having occurred in 1723 these Chickasaw would have been away from the Nation for thirty years; a generation had passed.
In September 1754 Kerlerec (MPA V 143) admitted that the Mississippi River was threatened by the Chickasaw as far away as Natchez. In addition the Chickasaw had completed successful raids on the Wabash against French troops and harassed the post at Natchez.
In January 1757 Kerlerec had other issues (MPA V 180) and grumbled . . . "I find myself more and more in the most critical position. We have no more merchandise for the trade with the Indians or for their presents". Perhaps the French and Indian War caused shifts in priorities away from Louisiana. He repeated the lack of provision for the Indians repeatedly (MPA V 182, 183,184,189) in other letters.
On April 5, 1756 in a letter (SCIAD 1754-1757 109) to Governor of South Carolina, the Chickasaw Nation writes . . . "we beg of you, our best Friends, to send back our People that are living in other Nations in order to enable us to keep our Lands from the French and their Indians. . . . We hope you will take Pity on us and give us a Supply of Powder and Bullets and Guns &c. to enable us to outlive our Enemies . . . Pray send all our People that lives amongst you to our Nation for we think they must be trouble-some to you and would be of great Service to us for we are now reduced to small a Number we can hardly spare Men to guard our Traders to and from our Nation."
In a 1757 letter to Governor Lyttelton (SCIAD 1754-1765 460) of South Carolina four Chickasaw leaders stated the condition of the Nation . . . "It's true some Years ago, we did not mind how many our Enemies were, but that is not our Case at Present, our Numbers being reduced to a Handfull of Men and thereby we are rendered incapable of keeping our Ground without Continuance of your friendly Assistance." "We (are) harassed with Enemies from all Parts where the French have any Interest on this Main, and we believe there is not a Nation of Indians but what are at War with us and have killed some of our People at one Time or other."
To the Nation it must have seemed that their wars included all of the Indian nations. Chickasaw trader John Buckles in his journal dated May 7, 1757 (SCIAD 1754-1765 459) reported numerous separate attacks on the Chickasaw by Quapaw, Choctaw, Northward Indians and Cherokee. Some of these attacks were at hunting camps, most were at the Nation's villages and two accounts were of women killed outside the villages. The Nation continued to defend their territory, recorded by the English traders' journals which noted attacks on the French, Cherokee and Choctaw.
With the assistance of gun and ammunition gifts from South Carolina the Nation continued their attacks and protected their lands. Notable offensives included an attack on November 1757 against the French on the Wabash near Fort Massiac which killed eight of their men (MPA V 191) and in 1759 a massive attack against the Savannah Indians (SCIAD 1754-1765 489).
The reader is encouraged to read the SCIAD documents, particularly the trader's journals, to gain a better perspective of how volatile this decade was to the Nation.
The Chickasaw villages were described by Edmond Atkin (TAIF 67) in 1755 . . . "These Indians live in 7 Towns, having a Pallisade Fort with a Ditch, in an open rich Champain Plaine about ten Miles in Circumference, accessible only on one side, being almost surrounded by Swamps in a circular manner, about a Mile from any running Creek . . ."
Atkin's village description fits the Old Town village setting, the same large prairie as Bienville had described the Chickasaw dwelling in since 1739. Figure 10 may still be considered the Chickasaw Nation's location.
Atkin noted one of the deficiencies of Old Town - the distance to running water. The fetching of water for cooking and visiting the creek for bathing would have imperiled any member of the Nation.
While Atkin did not name the seven Chickasaw villages, Table 1 indicates another source of village names, the French Memoir of the same year, 1755 (Swanton BAE 73 212). This memoir provided 10 villages names including the return of an old name "Ayanaqua" or Adair's Yaneka. Note on Table 1 that Yaneka does not appear following this date and the French Memoir is the only mention of Yaneka since 1720. Its appearance in the French Memoir of 1755 may be answered by a return of a portion of the exodus Chickasaw living then in South Carolina and Georgia. Note the June 4, 1753 letter (in the historical overview above) of Governor Glenn of South Carolina. Certainly the Nation asked the exodus Chickasaw in South Carolina to return and help them fight. In addition, several of the letters sent by English traders within the Nation asked for their return. We know that not all of the exodus Chickasaw returned by 1755 as noted in (SCIAD 1754-1765 476) a 1758 speech given by the exodus Chickasaw Old Doctor at Fort Moore (South Carolina) who reported, "I am a branch of the old Stock, I came a young Man from the Far Nation, I am now grown gray here. We now live and plant upon two tracts of Land belonging to him, one in Georgia (New Savana), and one in Carolina (Horse Creek)".
As for the exodus Chickasaw at Breeds Camp, Swanton (Swanton 73 437) indicated 40 men there in a 1760 census. Both Chickasaw and Natchez lived there to protect the English traders serving the Nation.
What of the other villages named in the 1755 French Memoir and not associated with other Nation villages in Table 1? These names could be candidates for confederate Indians living in the Nation. Linguistic experts may offer some answer to these names. For the purpose of this paper it may be stated that the confederate Indians villages were contiguous to those of the Nation at Old Town.