Search   
 
 
 
Louisiana. The 28th August 1746.
Journal of the Journey of Monsieur De Beauchamps, Chevalier of the
Military Order of St. Louis, Major of Mobile,
to the Tchactas,1 in execution of the Orders of Monsieur
De Vaudreül, Governor of the province of Louisiana, of
the 28th August 1746, for the purpose of inducing that
nation to make amends for the assassination of three of our
Frenchmen - a gentleman cadet,2 a soldier, and a trader
- committed the I4th August, 1746, by order of Ymatahatchitou,3 medal
chief of that nation, who has thrown over
the French in favor of the English hoping to procure
greater favors from the latter.


September the 16th at eight o'clock of the morning I departed from Mobille by canoe, accompanied by Messieurs Grandelle, Lieutenant of Swiss; Péchou De Verbois, gentleman cadet; Roucere, King's Interpreter; A French corporal; Two French soldiers and two Swiss; A Spaniard to lead the horses loaded with goods; A savage and a negro belonging to Monsieur de Beauchamps.

I set out by water, with the goods and the outfits of the horses, for the Mobilliens4 whence after the arrival of the horses, I was to set forth over land, by the Tchactas road.

We arrived at my habitation5 towards three o'clock of the afternoon and remained there until the 17th. I departed thence at four o'clock of the afternoon and passed the night at the place of one Myot, a settler. The 18th we set out at day-break and between 7 and 8 o'clock of the morning we reached the Mobilliens who awaited us and who were playing a game of ball by way of fitting themselves for following us. Upon my arrival they sang the calumet and an hour afterwards the horses, destined for this expedition, arrived, having left Mobille on the 15th. I learned that there were 4 Tchactas, newly arrived, who said that the rebel Imatahatchitou had many partisans throughout their nations, adding that he did not seem satisfied as yet, with having caused the assassination of the three French men, and that he made no more of that affair than if he had killed the wood rats which ate their hens; that for that matter they [the victims] were traders and so of little account; that he would readily console himself if he had caused the death of a chief of some consequence, and would not have regretted dying afterwards.

Thereupon I delivered to them a discourse on this matter and told them that I had long known that that rogue sought only to bring trouble upon the nation by impoverishing it - men, women and children. The savages, who feared lest some accident befall me and my companions, implored me, with insistence, not to go beyond their villages, urging that my presence, far from advancing our affairs, could only serve to hinder them and to embitter feelings. [They said] that the nation, which seemed well disposed towards giving us satisfaction, must be left to act of itself, and that my presence might be a check on those who are the best disposed toward us. Seeing that they could not turn me aside from undertaking this journey they told me that I, as well as my people, ran great risks, whereupon I replied that I did not fear to go among a nation that was allied to us and that I had known for 28 years, and that, as I had never done it aught but good I could not persuade myself that it desired to do me ill. [I told them] that their arguments would not prevent me from proceeding on my journey, that, for that matter, I was not counting on going among enemies, but, on the contrary, among our allies, there to establish peace and union, so that they might live as in the past; that I feared nothing for my life when it was a question of rendering my service to my country [and] that I would sacrifice it right willingly; [I said] that I was not going to the Tchactas to disseminate discord but to restore everything to order after that they should have made white the ground that some of evil purpose had reddened; that not for a moment did I doubt that that nation would give us satisfaction, even as we ourselves, six years before, had done by it. Finally the chief of this village, the chief of the Manibâ, and the red chief of the Chicachas,6 seconded by the chief of the Youany7 did all in their power to turn me aside from continuing my journey.

M. De Bonville who arrived from Tombekbé on the morning of the 19th was present at all the harangues, and told me that the rebel Yamatahatchitou, had gone to the Tchicachas to beg of the English that they send as much merchandise as they could to the Tchactas in his dependency, but the letter of M. Hazeur might, [he said], contain some details which he did not remember, or which he did not know. This determined me to dispatch a post for the more prompt conveyance of M. De Bonville, and to receive the latest orders of Monsr. De Louboey,8 to whom I transmitted all the discourses which the savages had held forth. I even sent the interpreter in the pirogue that he might bring back to me the reply and that he might himself render an account of what he had heard from the savages. The 25th the Sieur Roucere arrived with the reply of Mr. De Louboey who informed me that nothing should delay my journey [and] that M. Hazeur did not write him of anything in particular except that the rebel had gone to the Chicachas. We had learned the contrary from a Youany savage who had arrived the preceding day at eleven o'clock of the morning - and I had so observed in my letter to M. De Louboey. Immediately the latest orders received I made all preparations for the departure.

The 22d I set out towards noon with my companions and 14 horses - six saddle and eight pack - [and] 57 savages as porters, escort, and guides. I arrived happily the 26th at the first Chactas village, without any misadventure but with much trouble and effort on account of the pack-horses. We found the roads fairly good and we came through without rain, which saved us much hurt. The savages of this village received us exceeding well and displayed abundance of friendship for us.

I found the chief very ill with a kind of dysentery. They brought us to eat, both me and those of my following [and] after the first compliments they asked of me the object of my journey, being greatly surprised to see a chief, such as I, in their country.

I replied that I bore a message from their father, and that, if curiosity led them to learn the circumstance of it, those who deported themselves well could come with me to the Chicachas when I purposed to hold an assembly, and that I would make known to them, in the same time as to the others, that which the Taskânamgouchy accepted.

The 27th, in the morning, we set ourselves en route for the Chicâchas, where we did not arrive until the 28th in the afternoon. Before reaching the village the Srs. Chambly and Larouve came to meet me and said that the Reverend Father Baudoüin9 was in good health and awaited me with impatience. I repaired at once to his dwelling where I found a large number of savages who were waiting for me and who received me, in appearance, with an evidence of friendship. The first compliments over, on the one side and on the other, I told them that being a little weary, I would not talk to them today, as I had need of a little repose, but that on the morrow, at 8 o' clock of the morning I would bring them the message of M. De Vaudreuil, their father. This appeared to please them and we departed, whereupon I conferred with the Reverend Father Baudoüin as to the object of my mission.

The 29th, in the morning, all the Chicachas and the others repaired to the assembly that had been appointed [and] I addressed them in these terms: That they must be surprised, or rather rejoiced to see me among them; that, having learned that there was discord in a nation which I had always loved, and which had on different occasions, given proofs of its attachment to the French, I came bearing the message of M. De Vaudreuil, their father, who exhorted them never to quit his band; that they saw perfectly that the rebel only sought to degrade his nation and to make it wretched; that the assassination of our three Frenchmen, which he had caused to be committed, was a more than sufficient proof of this, since the wretch had aimed at the life of our people only to the end of empoverishing them [the savages], their women, and their children. What would become of you, said I to them, if we abandon you; what resource will you have? If this nation does not make amends, by giving up a head for a head, you force us to abandon you. To whom will you have recourse? To the English? It is beyond all possibility for them to supply you with the fourth part of your necessities, [and] thus your women and your children will die of want. Whereas, upon giving up three heads, following the agreements made with your elders, M. De Vaudreuil, your father will forget that which has passed, and I, who am an object of your ingratitude, shall be overjoyed, before leaving you, to have restored the peace and union which have so long reigned between us. We ask of you nothing but what is just, seeing that in 1740 M. De Vaudreuil rendered justice to you on account of a man and a woman whom some Frenchmen had killed, and on that occasion you all promised to do the same by the French should the Tchactas commit any act of that sort. I well realize, I said to them, that it is not for the Chicachaé to render this justice, but what I required of them was to support my words when the Tchactas, to whom I had given notice of my arrival, should be assembeld.

Then I read to them the intent of the instructions of M. De Veaudreuil and made them feel the weight which they should attach to that message - which tended only to their welfare and to that of their families. [I told them] that they should recall their first estate, that if today they are Men it is to the French alone to whom they are under obligation, they [the French] having put arms into their hands that they might defend themselves against the nations which were oppressing them and making slaves of them. This signal service has made them respected of the other nations, and has even made them, so to speak, the arbiters of their neighbors, both because of their numbers and because of the warriors which our munitions and our arms have formed; [I said] that in default of that satisfaction [which we demanded], we could not allow any traders in their nation, for fear lest a like accident should again occur, wherefore the good would suffer for the guilty, [we] not being able to know their inmost hearts so as [to dare] to risk further Frenchmen among them. [I told them] that the English moreover, knew the Tchactas of old, that they would not trust them, [and that] they are too wise to commit themselves to an ungrateful nation which treats its benefactors in that fashion. I touched on the spots where they are the most sensitive in repeating what I knew [of them] 28 years ago, and [in pointing out] what the Tchactas were then. After this discourse, in which nothing was overlooked in order to convince them of the necessity of giving us satisfaction, and of the evil which would follow for the nation if they refused, Mongoulacha mingo, demanded permission to speak and with anger and animosity delivered himself of the following discourse.

I do not think, he said to me, that the Tchactas are giving heads for those of your Frenchmen; that as for the head of the rebel Ymatahatchitou it was useless to count upon it. (I had taken care not to designate the heads which we demanded); that he had long known that we sought the ruin of the red men. That, said he, is how the French are, and to support his evil words, he cited to me [the case of] a chief of his race at the Thoméz,10 whom M. De Bienville,11 in the early days of the old fort12 of Mobile, had sent to the islands to die; and [he said] that he [Bienville] had had this man taken by force. This seditious discourse would have produced a very bad effect if I had not had the means of turning against him the trick he had made use of in order to prejudice the minds of the savages, for the lying rogue of whom he spoke had only been sent to the islands upon the demand of the Thoméz. This was confirmed by an Ymonguolacha who dwelt there when the man in question had been sent to Havannah, [and further more] M. De Chateauguay13 had since seen the man, at the house of a priest, and had asked him if he would not be glad to see again his kinsfolk, whereupon he replied that being a Christian he thought no more of the red men and esteemed himself happy to have quit them. The chief, who was not looking for this counter, was disconcerted for a moment. He began again to inveigh against us with unbearable reproaches adding that he well knew that he would never return to favor with us, since he had rejected our words; that, the savages having told him that the medal chiefs were deprived of their authority, which was conferred upon the Red chiefs, he had been led to cut off his medal and to throw it into a creek; that since then he had been told that [such an act] was as if he had killed ten Frenchmen; that he was convinced that sooner or later he would be put to death for that mistake; that furthermore he did not trouble himself on account of my threats to abandon them; that he had no great obligations to us since he had kept nothing of what had been given him, that the garments he wore came from M. Diron14 who had sold [them] to him for a slave. Then he addressed his people and said that since the French were abandoning them they would have to take up again the bow and the arrow, that furthermore he was not going to seek the English but that he would remain at home [and be] poor. He followed with numerous extravagances, - which revealed to me his evil heart expressing itself in open hostility. I ordered him to desist, which he did not do until the second summons. It is true that a bottle of brandy which the red chief of his village had given him to drink, the morning of this assembly, contributed not a little to making him vomit forth his indecencies and his insolence. He even said that if he had come to Mobille at the time of the [presentation of] gifts and M. De Vaudreüil had rejected him he would have said and done more; he even wanted to spring upon me after [I] had imposed silence upon him, [but] this he denied, afterwards, when he was in cold blood. I told him that had he been daring enough to do such a thing I should have killed him, or had him killed on the spot. Finally he quitted the assembly without taking leave of anyone and went off home like a madman to tear down the French flag, which he had hoisted as soon as he saw mine at the Reverend Father Baudoüin's, and which, until then, he had left [flying].

Mingo houma Tchitou of this village spoke, after him, and said that I ought not to be surprised at what his chief had just said to me, that he had warned M. De Louboey of it before coming [here], and [that he had warned] us ourselves at the Mobilliens. He added that he had said that the nation must be left to act of itself, that it was not yet inclined to accord us justice, that it was necessary to have patience, [and] that he hoped we would have reason to be satisfied in the end. In short his harangue was only a repetition of what he had said to M. De Louboey and to me before my departure from the Mobilliens; he only made me see that, in spite of all the fine promises which he had made me on the way, he was no more inclined to our interests than his chief, covering himself with the mantle of cowardice, saying that he was afraid and did not know which side to take.

The Captain of the same village arose and spoke with moderation. [He] said that the Tchactas were free to go to seek the English, that for himself he would never quit the hand of the French, that the evil deed of Ymatahatchitou was going to make them all wretched, that they would see themselves forced to take again their ancient weapons (that is the bow and the arrow), a sorry resource, said he to his people, for those who have a family to nourish and to support, and all the more so as we have [i.e. they had] completely lost the use of them; that as for himself we ought to be assured of his attachment, that he had given us convincing proof of it in the wounds which he still bears and which he had received in our service. After this discourse the assembly broke up.

The 30th I despatched a courrier to M. De Louboey to inform him that I had arrived with my men, among that nation, in good health and without accident. I detailed to him how dissatisfied I was with the harangues which the Chicachaé had made to me and for which I was not prepared by the demonstrations of friendship which they had evidenced to me the day before.

The same day I despatched a courrier to the Couchas15 to notify Allibamon maingo [sic], the medal chief, and his people that I had arrived and [to direct him] to give notice of it throughout all the Eastern district, telling him that if he judged my presence necessary in those parts he had only to let me know [and] I would leave on the instant to repair thither. I profited by the same occasion to despatch the letters with which I was intrusted for Mr. Hazeur, to Tombekbé,16 where he is in command, informing him of my arrival. I told him that I had demanded three heads, indiscriminately, for the three Frenchmen whom the rebel had had assassinated, and that he should conform himself thereto.

The 1st of October the courier whom the Reverend Father Baudoüin had sent to Mobille to carry news from the Tchaktas to M. De Louboey arrived with the reply to the letters of the Reverend Father. I received one from M. De Louboey together with a copy of the one from M. Leseur,17 commandant at the Allibamons, whereby I saw with pleasure that the Abékas,18 very far from giving support to the rebel Ymatahatchitou, - as he had intended in sending to them three pieces from the scalps of our Frenchmen - had, on the contrary, regarded the treachery with horror; they placed the fragments in a white skin and took them to the captain of the Pakamans19 who enveloped them in a second [skin] and then carried them to M. Lesueur, assuring him that the Abékas, Talapouches,20 and Allibamonts21 detested with all their hearts the odious acts of the Tchactas; that if that nation refused to give us prompt satisfaction, they would even permit all [their men] to go there to persuade them to it; that they would utterly refrain from aiding such an ungrateful nation. After having learned this news I reassembled the savages in order that I might impart it to them. After I had related everything to them in detail I observed that the people who had comported themselves in that fashion were savages who had the English among them, but that, - as the Tchactas are great liars [and] so might imagine that I wished to avail myself of the same privilege in order to engage them to give us satisfaction, - the Red man who had just delivered to me the letters was going to relate everything to them that he had learned from the Apalâches savage who had brought this news from the Allibamonts, since, being a red man like themselves, they would have perhaps more faith in him, [but] that they ought nevertheless to be persuaded that a man like myself "was incapable of imposing upon them.

I ordered the one armed man who had brought this news, and who is a notable of the village, to speak. He arose and under five heads reported with much circumstance all that the Apalache had told him, adding that peace had been made both on the upper river and in the region of the Ouäbache22 Choüanons23 and Chêraquis; that twelve Choüanons had come to cement it also with all the nations of the Allibamonts, Talapouches, Abékas, Caoüitas,24 Cachetas,25 etc., and that this spring there were to come a hundred [Chouanons] to settle at the Allibamonts with the people of their village who settled there ten years ago. He added furthermore, that peace reigned throughout all the nations, that all the roads were white, that those people could go everywhere and that the Tchactas were the only ones who had reddened the ground. This discourse, in harmony with mine, did not fail to disconcert somewhat the chief of the village as well as all those who had yielded in the first assembly.

Nevertheless the chief repeated, being sober, the same nonsense that he had addressed to us, being drunk; but with more gentleness I spoke to him about the flag which he had taken down and told him that the flag was not for himself alone but for all the village and that he must raise it again or else I would have it taken away from him. He had it put back and left it until after my departure. The Captain, with an aged notable, Ytémongoulache, spoke strongly in our behalf. The red chief, still disconcerted, spoke not a word.

The Taskanangoutchy of the Ÿouanis thereupon delivered his discourse, strongly in our favor, saying that nothing was more just than the demand which I made upon them; that it was meet that prompt satisfaction should be given us so that I might conciliate them in spirit and re-establish peace and union among the Tchactas; that as for himself, being inoulacta, he would never give vent to evil speech, nor would he receive the English, even though they came with many wares; that he would hold to the French whose hand he had taken from the days of tender youth, as had all those of his race. This speech over, each one went his way. The same day the messenger whom I had despatched to the Couchas and to the Ayé paté goula to announce my arrival, arrived at eight o'clock of the evening and told me that he had not found Allibamon Mingo, he having gone to his desert, which is far removed from the village, but that Toupâou mastabé, the captain, had been rejoiced to learn of my arrival [and] was going to notify his great chief to repair hither with the notables; that he [Toupaou mastabé] was grateful to me for not having gone beyond this village, by reason of the risks which I and my men would have run in going to see them, for the heart of the red men was bad and had some accident befallen me it would have occasioned a war among them, for they would not have suffered me to be insulted, either while on the way or in their villages. The messenger told me that they begged me not to pass beyond this village, that I would expose them to being massacred by the Tchactas, their own faction being the weaker, [and] that they would come at once to see me to receive the messages of the great chiefs of the French, their fathers.

The 2d October I despatched a courier to the six villages of the dependency of the Chicachaé and Ougoulasalaya, to notify them of my arrival, and [to tell them] to come to receive the message which I bore them from M. De Vaudreüil, their father.

The same day I despatched a notable to Tombekbé to carry letters to M. Hazeur in which I informed him that in view of the circumstances, and of the attachment of the three nations of the Allibamonts, Abékas, and Talapouches, it was no longer desirable to demand three heads, indiscriminately, but that, on the contrary, we must fix upon the head of the rebel Ymatahatchitou. I told him that if the deputies of the Allibamons arrived, he should receive them well - since they were undertaking that move only with the view of engaging the Tchactas to give satisfaction to the French - and to send them on to me if that were possible.

The 3d of the said [month] Allibamont mingo, Toupaou mastabé, and Quikanabé Mingo, all three Couchas, accompanied by the Taskanangouchy and by the medicine man of the Bois Bleux, arrived. I talked to them on the same day and repeated to them the message of M. De Vaudreuil and what I had learned from the Allibamonts by the letter of M. Lesueur, as I had done at the preceding assembly, adding only in speaking to Allibamonts Mingo, that having learned that he had comported himself perfectly in this affair, I addressed directly to him the words of his father, as he was the only great chief to whom I could have recourse for support of my own, [and] that I begged him to tell me, without concealment, if what his father and I demanded, was not just. To this the chief, after rising and making two circles - one of which indicated the settlement of the French, and the other, larger, enclosed the Tchactas nations - made reply. He commenced his discourse in these terms: That I ought not in the least to doubt his attachment for us; that it was not his fault that this evil affair was not already ended, for he had represented all the consequences of it to the nation and particularly to the people of his village and dependency; that he perfectly remembered his first estate; that it was not necessary to spare people who had long sought only the loss and ruin of the Tchactas nation, and who had just capped the climax with their crimes; that all the red men must see clearly that all the promises of Ymatahatchitou were vain and chimerical; that he regarded all those projects as impossible; that as for him, his will was good but that he could not give us the satisfaction which we justly demanded, fearing to set all the nation against him; that if he were seconded he would do it with a good heart, but that his village, and that of the Chicachaé, which are united from of old, could not give this satisfaction, however great their desire, without running the risk of being cut to pieces by the rest of the nation; that it was necessary to await the chiefs of the region of the west who are the most concerned in this affair, since the Frenchmen who were assassinated lived in their villages; that it would be seen what they think of it; that he would use all his influence to engage them to do justice by us and would speak to them outright and boldly to bring them to it. In short this chief spoke with all the eloquence possible on the side of our interests, often repeating that if the Tchactas lost the French they must needs look upon themselves as dead, since their women and their children would not only be naked as in the past but would die of destitution and hunger.

Toupaoü mastabé, captain of the same village, next spoke [but] not in the way I had expected. His discourse contained nothing but tricky terms, ambiguities, and fear; he brought forth as many difficulties for [the settling of] this affair as though I had demanded of him things that were unjust. Such an harangue from a man whom I thought wholly devoted to the French surprised me extremely. His discourse was very long, stupid, and tiresome; he repeated from time to time his great deeds, but always refrained from saying anything satisfactory to us, except that he would always love the French, that he would not abandon them, but that he was afraid and could do nothing for them.

Quikanabé Mingo made no harangue at all; he contented himself with saying to me, after the assembly and before all who were in the chamber of the Reverend Father Baudoüin, that as soon as he had learned the sad news [of the assassination of the French] he had made ready to march to execute justice, that he had failed because no one had been willing to second him, that if there was a willingness to aid him he was entirely willing to start out again, nor did he fear to risk his life to avenge the French and to re-establish peace in the nation to the end that he might rescue it from the oppression of Ymatahatchitou and of the English, knowing furthermore that these latter are unable to supply their needs. [He said] that of this he spoke with knowledge since he had formerly been [one of] their captains and their partizans - [and] that but for M. De Beauchamps and the Reverend Father Baudoüin he might still be - but he had recognized his mistake and would always sacrifice himself for the French, his benefactors. He told me in private that he took this affair so much to heart that, although he did not promise me anything, I would perhaps hear of him; that he was returning at once to succor his children whom he had left dying; that he had already lost one but a few days before, for whom he was in mourning, that it had required nothing less than a message such as mine to have made him leave his hut where he was in tears.

The Taskanamgouchy of the Bois Bleux next spoke, and made a speech very much in our favor, saying that he had always been the destroyer of the English, and that if any of them came among the nation I might be assured that he would shoot them; that as soon as he had received the news of the act of Ymatahatchitou he had on the spot caused the alarm to be sounded and had gone, with sixty warriors of his village to the Yazoü of the East, the drum beating, counting upon all the Tchactas to take part in the affair, [but] not having found anyone to second him in that village nor in those roundabout he had been obliged to turn back. The chiefs told him, by way of reward for his good will, that he was crazy, that it was not yet time to avenge us, and that there was too much of risk to run; that first of all there must be taken the opinion of all the chiefs of the nation, [and] that until then it was fitting to remain quiet. The medicine man who had accompanied him said nothing; he contented himself with applauding indiscriminately both the speeches of Allibamonts mingo and the others.

I then spoke in private to Toupaoumastabé, captain [of the] Couchas. It appeared by his reply that he was better inclined toward us than he had appeared in his harangue; he said, by way of excuse, that the Red men did not dare to say in public what they thought, because Ymatahatchitou had spies in the assemblies, but that he hoped nevertheless that we would have grounds for satisfaction without loss of time.

The 4th, in the afternoon, I received a reply to the first news that I had sent to M. Hazeur, wherein he informed me, that, jointly with me, he would demand indiscriminately three heads of the murderers.

The same day Taskanamgouchyaclako, chief of the Yazoü,26 came to see me and spoke me very fair. He told me that he was going to bear the message of M. De Vaudreuil, his father, throughout all the region of the east and to engage [the savages] to unite with Allibamont mingo the bearer of the message, and to second him in securing the satisfaction which I demanded of them; that if Choulkôoülactâ were not dead those two great chiefs would have concerted to render us justice, whether or no, but unhappily the latter had died in a time when we had the most need of him, that he had realized all the consequence of [the affair] and had so declared, before dying, recommending to all his relations and warriors never to leave the French.

The 1st, the chief of Oüny27 with his second and a few warriors arrived and spoke to me right well, as did also his second. I had good grounds for being content with them, although [they are] neighbors of the rebel.

Oulissô Mingo of the Eaües noires spoke no ill, notwithstanding he was suspected of being in the interests of Ymatahatchitou.

The same day arrived the courier from Mobille with letters for me and M. Hazeur.

The 16th at noon arrived the courier whom I had sent to Tombekbé [and] by whom I had had sent word to M. Hazeur, that, in consequence of the action of the Abékas and Allibamonts it was necessary to determine upon obtaining the head of the rebel, and no longer to demand three heads indiscriminately. M. Hazeur, to whom this news gave much pleasure, replied that he would second my views in all respects.

The same day I sent on to Tombekbé the letters which had come to me from Mobille. By the same occasion I informed the Commandant of the former post, as to the speeches, good and bad, which I had listened to but [said] that I did not discern any great attachment for us although I had every reason to be content with the fashion in which Allibamont mingo had declared himself, as well as Taskanamgouchy of the Bois bleux and some others; that I was awaiting the six Villages and the western party in order to sound their hearts, which would doubtless be as hardened as that of the chief of this village who had spoken much ill to us.

The said day, at ten o'clock of the morning the chiefs of the villages of the Cannes jaunes, Bouttouloucaÿ, Tala, Mâchoubaouenÿà, Ceniâchâ, and Toussana,28 arrived. I talked to them until three hours past midday after having explained to them, in the strongest terms, the message of M. De Vaudreüil, their father, and that which the men of the Allibamonts had done.

The chief of Tâla arose and spoke in these terms: that what I demanded of them was impossible; that I ought not to hope that they should deliver me any heads for those of the Frenchmen; that if he had known that it was for that that I had summoned him he would not have taken the trouble to come; that he had thought I was come to propose to them to make war upon the Chikachas, expecting that the goods which I had brought should be spread before them to engage them to receive my message; that they perceived well enough that the French meant to impoverish them; that he did not concern himself about that; that he would remain at home at his ease. It is to be remarked that this chief is of the race of Ymatahatchitou.

The chief of the Cannes jaunes, who is a young man, without authority, next spoke, saying neither good nor ill, except that he had several times warned the French to beware of the bad Tchactas, that they [the French] were not ignorant that there were many of ill will; that he had several times warned the Sr. Chambly as well as the others, of them.

The chief of Machoübâouenyä, who is of the race of the great chief of the nation, spoke very well, but his second, Mingo oumâ said nothing of any account.

Ymatahapouscouche, and Fanymingo Tchâha of the Ceniacha, spoke next and said that they did not see any likelihood that the red men could do us justice without running many risks and that they were not at all inclined to get themselves killed through love of us.

The chief of the Bouetouloucay spoke in the same tone. It even appeared that their discourses were shaped upon the understanding which they had reached among themselves while on the way. They added that if they were not furnished with munitions and if their arms were not repaired for them, they would, at the worst, but be obliged to resort to their former weapons, - meaning thereby the bow and the arrow. I impressed upon them that that was but a slender resource for people who had lost the use of them [the bow and arrow], to which they made no reply. They contented themselves with saying to me that if they had wars with any nations they would defend themselves as they could - referring thus to the Allibamons because of what I had said about them.

Allibamont mingo, whom I had told to support my words, made a great and fine speech to them, to persuade them to join with him in obtaining for us the satisfaction which I demanded of them, in the name of their father; in order that I might re-establish peace and union among them and procure for them the means of supporting their women and their children, who would die of hunger, if their munitions and the repairing of their arms were cut off.

Then he recounted that, so far from finding support among the Abékas, as Ymatâhatchitou had made them hope, these latter had held his action in horror, upon seeing the pieces of French scalps which he had sent them, and instead of exhibiting them upon their huts, as he had sent word to them to do, they had kicked them aside and then had wrapped them in a white skin to take them to M. Lesueur at the Allibamonts. This chief told them further many other and very pertinent matters, in order to make them the better feel of what consequence it was for all the Tchactas nation to give us a prompt and ample satisfaction. He also told them of all the evil which might result [from failure to do so], whereupon the chief of Tousana responded that he, as well as the other chiefs, had very well heard what I had said to them; that it was needless for him to give himself the trouble to repeat it; that he did not regard him as of any consequence in this affair, and that he was not seeking his opinion as to what he should do; that he ought to content himself with drinking and eating with the French chiefs and [do] nothing else. This evil argument compelled Allibamont mingo to silence, in spite of the desire which he had to make them realize all the horror of the crime committed by the Tchactas, - especially Pouchimâtaha, chief of Tousana who had had the trader of his village assassinated.

Pouchimataha arose then, and said that he supposed that the goods which I had brought were intended to engage them to go to war upon their enemies and ours, but that he saw, on the contrary, that they were for the purpose of getting them to support [me]; that he was not at all of that opinion; he added many other things, in the same tone and but little satisfying. The red chief of the Nâchoubaoüènya did likewise and endorsed what this last chief had recited. I told him that a man like myself did not go on the march without goods; that those which I had brought were intended for the subsistence of my warriors and for making presents to whom I saw fit; to which he dared not retort; no more than did Pouchimataha and the others. I broke up this assembly in telling them that I would render a faithful account to their father of the attachment for him and for all the French which they had displayed to me. They then set themselves to eating what the Chicachaè had prepared for them, [and] as soon as they had their bellies full they came to take my hand and quickly departed without saying anything more.

The chief of Toussanâ and the red chief of the Nachou baoüenya remained and gave some signs of good will and attachment in the hope, without doubt, that I would make them a present by way of reward for the evil discourse they had held me but their hopes were vain as were those of their company, whom I sent away with nothing.

Allibamont mingo, who had a violent attack of fever, by reason of having vehemently harangued for a part of the day, left on the morrow at daybreak to return home and bear the message of M. De Vaudreuil throughout all the district of the east and in his dependency, while going to mourn the death of Choulkooulacta (I learned that the rebel Ymatahatchitou had been there some days previously to weep over the grave of that chief) - ceremonies which are religiously observed among them. I gave the letters for M. Hazeur to Allibamont Mingo who charged himself with the safe delivery of them; among them was the copy of the letter of M. De Vaudreuil, who transmitted the news which the frigate La Mutine had brought him from France.

The 7th the great chief of the nation who had arrived in the morning with Ymatahamingo of the Ebitoupougoula, and the second of Tchichatalaya, spoke to me in excellent terms and said that he was very sensible to the perfidious act of Ymatahatchitou, but that he was old and unable to undertake anything; that even of late his hut had been shot at and [there had been shooting] in his deserts; that he was in great fear lest those of evil intentions should make an attempt upon his life after the measures that had just been taken, but that he would, with all his force, urge the nation to give us satisfaction in order to re-establish peace and union among the Tchactas that they might live together as heretofore; that as for himself personally he would never hold any other language than that of his father, but that he could not take any action, that he feared too much lest he himself be assassinated.

Ymatâha mingo, or the Monkey, said that as for him [if] I commanded him to make war upon the Chikachas he would set out upon the instant with his warriors, but that, when it came to fighting against his own nation he was too fearful and not at all so inclined, thus making an exhibit of cowardice, like the others.

I sounded this chief in private through the interpreter who reported that the savage was not willing to declare his intentions in public but that he would do his best to make us satisfied with him, without however promising anything positive; however, as he has great ambition perhaps he will attempt something [to gain] the promised reward.

Source: Travels in the American Colonies

Comments (0)Don't be shy, tell us what you think!   
Colonial Sense is an advocate for global consumer privacy rights, protection and security.
All material on this website © copyright 2009-19 by Colonial Sense, except where otherwise indicated.
ref:T4-S15-P412-C302-M2