The Chickasaw Village Sources
The Village Location Keys
Remaining Village Locations
The Decades and the Villages
Slide Show -
Current Village Locations
Spain and America continued their border intrigues throughout the decade until Spain at last yielded to American all of its claims and territories north of the 31st parallel. That gave Natchez and the settlements thereabouts to the Americans. In 1798 the Mississippi Territory was established.
The Chickasaw for the most part maintained their American sentiments, especially Long Town. The Creek Indians allied with Spain attacked Long Town in September 1795. McGee (Draper 3) recorded a Creek force of 11 or 1200 was routed by a much inferior Chickasaw force.
By 1797 the Chickasaw began leaving their villages to pursue agriculture. This was promoted by the United States and its progress marked by the Territorial Governors and agents. The rate of movement and farm establishment was commendable among the Chickasaw who in 1801 were reported to have nearly 200 farms.
In 1799 the Nation received its first missionary, the Reverend Joseph Bullen (JMH XXVIII I 20). He and his son arrived at Big Town on May 20, 1799. The decade and the century ended and the villages were all but silent.
There are three other village location documents to be considered in this decade. One is the Collot map (Swanton 73 Plate 10), Figure 12. Collot portrayed the major creeks accurately. Note that present day Town Creek enjoys its ancient name. The Chickasaw village names are associated on Table 1. The three important villages (per McGee): Great Village, Long Town, and Copper Town, each are matched in time. These locations agree with McGee, and Figure 13. Collot's Salle Bernaby Village occupied the same site as Adair's Phalacheho, straddling the Natchez Road.
Dr. Rush Nutt, a Natchez planter and amateur scientist, kept a journal while making a trip up the Natchez Trace (or Nashville Road). Although his trip in 1805 exceeds our decade, he noted the location of the earlier Chickasaw villages. He (JMH 42) noted . . .
"This Nation is divided into four Districts, viz., Pontatock, Ches, ha, ta, lia; Chuc, an, fa, li, ah (or long town), & Big-town (Chuguilisa). Pontatock lies six miles N.30.E. from Mrs. McIntosh's on a small creek of the same name running into Yannabba one of the main branches of Tombigbee; this village or settlement contains ninety three men, 99 women, & 67 Children agreeable to the numbers given in last august, when receiving their annual Stipend. Altho the above number is stated as belonging to the village or settlement of Pontatock, not more than 8 families remain in or near the village, they have settled 50 or more miles round promisicuously through their country. The land near this village is level & well watered-The timber, black oak white Do hickory & post oak, soil a thin dark gray colour. Most of those Indians have horses, cattle & hogs, & have settled out for the benefit of their stock.
North about 50 east 12 miles from Pontatock is the village called Chishataliah, situated in a large prairie on Hatchalio Creek a branch of Yannabba.
This district contains 179 men, 258 women & 106 Children. All except two families have removed from the village. The adjacent soil is dark & fertile. The timber, black-jack, black oak, hickory & in some places post-oak. Water is scarce, none near the village.
East 4 miles from Chis, ha, ta, li, ah & north 30 E. from the agency-house 19 miles is Chuc, au, fa, li, ah (or long town) situated in a prairie near 15 miles in length, & from one to two in width on Yannnabba creek, one of the main branches of Tombigbee running south a few degrees E.-
This District contains 166 men, 197 women, 43 boys, 30 girls, & 35 children; agreeable to their last returns. The soil in this prairie is deep & black, produces corn in abundance; altho' cultivated for many years, & the corn each year planted in the same hill.
For the convenience of the range, water & timber all the Indians have removed out of long-town, & settled in different parts of the country; & have turned their attention to farming, manufacturing & raising of stock.
North 4 miles from long town, & on the same creek & in the same prairie is Big-Town
(Chaguiliso, a high and beautiful situation, was formerly the residence of the whole nation. but at present not more than 8 or 10 families remain in the old fields. They have settled out & made tolerable farms with worm fences. The men attend to the farm, while the women employ themselves in spinning & weaving.
In the year 1797 the whole nation was contained (or nearly so) in these old towns, but by the advice of the agent & other officers of the government, they have settled out, made comfortable cabins, enclosed their fields by a worm fence, & enjoy the benefits of their labour, & stock, and are measurably clothed by their own industry.
This district contains 205 men & 270 women & girls. The number of children not ascertained. There are many families who do not attend the delivery of the annual stipend that are not numbered in either district."
The Pontatock district refers to a settlement that places it near Adair's Yaneka. It is interesting that Nutt did not provide another name for this town, as he had the others. Paper 3 will deal with the location of this District. The other villages, in Nutt's time Districts, remained as they had as shown on Figure 13. Note that the spelling of several of the villages changed slightly within the Nutt description.