The 9th the great chief and those who had accompanied him returned. They all assured me of their fidelity as well as of that of all the Ayépatégoulas. The great chief, before his departure, gave evidence of much displeasure at the evil language held by the Six Villages and by the [chief] of Toussana, and ordered Ápaninantcla of the Céniachas to tell them, from him, that they must come to make their excuses to me, both for their evil discourse and for the brusque fashion of their leaving, and that he would speak right roundly his mind to them in the assembly which was to be held for the scraping of the bones of the dead. In consequence the chief and the second of the village of Nachoubaouenya, came the day of my departure, to express their regret at having spoken ill as well as at having departed so brusquely; that they had acted thus without reflection, but that they came to make me their excuses, assuring me that they would never abandon the hand of the French.

The same day, in the afternoon, arrived the Ditémongoulacha chiefs, of the west, to whom I delivered the message of M. the governor and [told] what I had learned from the Allibamonts. They replied that my demand was just, but that although they realized all the consequences, they were not bold enough, nor strong enough to attack the party of Ymataha Tchitou which was still powerful; that they had taken upon themselves to avenge us, but that, finding themselves alone in this determination, they had not dared make the attempt for fear of not being sustained by the nation. [They said] that when the partizans of the rebel find themselves impoverished they will withdraw from him, and that then they will be able to give us the satisfaction which we demand; but that up to now he [Ymatahatchitou] had filled them [his partizans] with imaginings and the hope that they would shortly be enriched with goods, both from the English and from the Chikachas; that as for them they saw well enough that all those promises were vain and futile and that it was impossible for him to hold to all that he had promised them; that for their part we ought to feel assured that they would never abandon the hand of the French to take the hand of the English; that furthermore they would do all in their power to avenge the death of the man Petit, their trader, and that if they could not take vengeance upon the red men they would take it upon the English, should they be crazy enough to come among the nation. In short I was very well satisfied with the chief of this village and with the red chief, who never theless is of the race of the rebel.

Sonâkabétaska promised me further to avenge the death of the Sr. Deverbois at the next [ceremony] of scraping the bones of the dead, and to escape, thereupon, to New Orleans.

The same day, about evening there came to see me the red chief, brother of Allibamon mingo, and the white chief of the Eaux noires, chief of Oskéatchougma. I spoke to the former of what he must have learned from his brother as well as from the captain of his village. He replied that he had not seen his brother, but that the captain had recounted all to him; that as to what I demanded of them on behalf of M. De Vaudreüil their father, he regarded it as impossible; [he said] that the Couchas had even constructed a fort, as much for their own security as for that of the French, whose hand they did not wish to abandon; that he did not believe however that the party of Ymatâhatchitou could long hold together, as his people see no fulfillment of the promises he has made and is still making daily.

The white chief, who is a worthless fellow, told me that Ymatâhatchitou, seeing nothing coming of all that he expected from the English, Chikachas, and Abékas, began to repent him of having corrupted their lands, and that he [Ymatahatchitou] had said that if goods did not come in abundance before long, it would be necessary to satisfy the French by giving up the heads of three of the warriors who had committed the deed, and that as for himself, being gouty of the feet and feeble, he thought his warriors would pardon him and allow him to die his own death, which, by reason of his infirmities and of his age, would not be long delayed; for it would be shameful for him to die at the hands of his nation. The Abékas of the west, who are his partizans, having learned of this language replied that not having first given their word in favor of the murder, they would not consent to give their heads to whiten the land which he had made red; that it was far more just to give up his own head since it was only at his solicitation that the warriors had spoiled the roads [grattés (sic) les chemins] on the strength of the false promises which he had made them.

The 10th, Tichoumingo, of this village, who has been about in the nation, arrived and told me that the Tchactas of the party of Ymatahatchitou, who had been to the Chikachas to sell their peltries, had returned without having sold a single one, there being no goods to be had among that nation except for ammunition; the Chikachas had told them that they did not have any [ammunition] for themselves, and that even if they had it would not be for the Tchactas, that they would carefully keep it for their own defense and for the subsistence of their families. The Tchactas, seeing such a scarcity were disconcerted by this misadventure and were obliged to bring back their peltries, much dissatisfied with their journey. This story, although doubtful at first sight, has been confirmed to me by other savages of that quarter.

The same day the Soulier Rouge of the Yanabé29 came, about four hours after midday with his brother and a warrior of the same village. He told me that I must excuse his chief who would gladly have come to see me had not sickness prevented him. I spoke to this notable of the murder committed by order of Ymatahatchitou. At first he made me a reply modelled upon those of the others, and only told me that since his return from Mobille he had not gone out side of his hut, to which I retorted that that was not what he had promised to M. the governor when the latter had given him his present; that I saw with indignation that hardly out of sight of the house of their father all the promises they had made to him had faded away, or been drowned in the Baÿouygo; that, from hearing them talk at that time I supposed that the Chikachas were even now all dead, but that I saw, with chagrin, that all those who had so highly vaunted themselves, had not only done nothing for us, but on the contrary they were, it seemed to me all of like mind with those who had committed this horrible deed, to say nothing of having tacitly consented to it, since they had remained so quiet after the assurances they had given their father that they would die in behalf of the French.

The 11th arrived one Gaspard, trader at the Couchats, from Tombekbé with a letter from M. Hazeur who sent me the letter from M. Lesueur, Commandant at the Allibamonts, respecting the letter which M. De Louboey had sent me, in the first place, by the one-armed man of this village, relating to the scalps sent by Ÿmatahatchitou to the Abécoutchy Abékas.30

M. Hazeur informed me, in his letter of the 9th that Paémingo of the Castachas31 had been to see him and had spoken to him at first in unbefitting terms, saying that he had just exposed his life in the service of the French from whom there was no reward forthcoming, nor any trade in peltries, since the French were no longer willing to trade with the Tchactas until we should have had satisfaction for the three Frenchmen killed by their brethren. This worthy harangued with vehemence on other scores, constantly referring to the chief of Boukfouka,32 and said that the Tchactas of that quarter did not appear disposed to accord the satisfaction which we demanded of the entire nation; he complained that they did not make much of him, and then reported what he had done, but recently, for the French - risking his life and those of his warriors in their service: [namely] that having prowled a long time about the Chikachas villages, without finding any one off in some lonely place, he found himself compelled - in order not to return empty handed - to go into the village where he had killed a young man who had fallen on the doorstep of his hut; that he had not been able to take his scalp on account of the risk that he would have run; that [this] being known of the French he had thought that he and his warriors would have been given cause for satisfaction; that, coming to see a French chief he had brought some peltries and he hoped that, in consideration of his deed, they would not refuse [to trade with] him; that if they would not trade the worst that he could do would be to gamble for them with a few red men like himself. M. Hazeur, in reply to his first proposition said that he did not have the gift of divining whether he had taken a scalp or no; that as for the peltries he had not looked in his pack to see whether he had any to trade; after which he told him that not only would he pay him for the scalp, in consideration of his zeal and attachment, but that he would also trade with him for his skins, although that was forbidden, for he did not want to send him away ashamed after he had performed such a fine deed and had run so many risks in our service. Thereupon this party chief was mollified and conferred at length with M. Hazeur, with regard to the satisfaction which we demanded, and promised to do his utmost to procure it for us. [He said] that he was going to join with Taskaoûmingo of the Bouksoukâ [sic], Pouchymâtaha of Toussana, [and] Illetaskâ of the Ÿmougoulachâ so that they might all together persuade Tatoulimataha, elder brother of Ymataha Tchitou, to give us this satisfaction; he being of the race of the rebel it was fitting, in order to avoid the consequences, that he should be the one to perform the act.

The same day the brother of Paémingo, mentioned above, arrived towards seven o'clock of the evening with a letter which M. Hazeur had given him for me, dated the 7th, wherein he conveyed the same information as in the letter of the 9th, which had been delivered to me by the man Gaspard.

The Soulier Rouge, of the Ÿanabé, spoke next, saying that he was ashamed to appear before the French chief after the disgraceful thing that had come to pass in the nation, but that he saw no way of making amends because of the fear in which they stood of kindling a civil war among the Tchactas; that I should be assured that he would always cherish our interests with warmth, [but] that he did not feel that he himself was brave enough to make an attempt upon the life of Ymatahatchitou, who was well guarded, and that furthermore he was not of his race.

To which I replied that it was far more shameful for me to have come among a nation which I supposed entirely devoted to our interests, because of the benefits which their ancestors had received, and which they [themselves] would still receive daily; that I saw with astonished surprise that all those great warriors, captains, red chiefs, and notables, did not dare to undertake anything against a man who sought only their undoing, and to disunite them in causing them to lose the moiety of the French, and to make them wretched; that if, however, they did not give satisfaction to their father, in reparation of the offense committed by Ymatahatchitou, I doubted not, that upon my return, M. De Vaudreuil, perceiving the lack of zeal for the execution of his orders, would at once cease all commerce with a nation so ingrate. I further said several very strong things, recalling to them all that we had done for them and in the strongest terms. This brought about a change in this party chief, who appeared much touched by the feeling reproaches, which with justice, I had just addressed to him. He told me that he could not express himself in public, that there were too many spies, but that he would tell me his sentiment in private.

I learned then that Tamatlé mingo, war chief of the Couchatÿs Allibamonts33 was to arrive on the morrow with his son, a Tchactas [who had] settled among them, and [the] nephew of the Soulier Rouge above mentioned, together with some Tchactas who accompanied him. M. Hazeur had told me, in his letter of the 9th that he was sending them to me.

The brother of Paémingo of the Castachas, who had brought me the letter of M. Hazeur of the 7th, gave me an account of his brothers raid on the Chikachas, in which he himself had taken part, and set forth, with much discourse, their services to the French, as is reported above in the paragraph dealing with the letter of the 9th.

I replied to him that I was well satisfied with the conduct of his brother; that I should render an account of it to M. the governor, who would without doubt recognize that mark of attachment; that it was glorious for him to have carried out his word, [but] that it was not the same with all the captains, red chiefs, and other notables of that nation, who, vying with each other, had assured M. De Vaudreuil, at Mobile, in the strongest terms, that, immediately upon their arrival [i.e., return] each one would arouse his party to go against the Chikachas, their enemies and ours; but that, hardly had they lost sight of his house, as well as of the good reception and the good cheer which he had tendered them, than all those mighty and fine promises had gone up in smoke and that, instead of keeping the word which they had given their father, the most of them had remained asleep in their huts; others had gone to the Chikachas to trade, instead of to make war, and to learn at the same time the thoughts of the English so that they might know the truth of the words which Ymâtahatchitou had spoken to them, both as to goods and ammunition and as to the storehouses which they [the English] were, or which they are to establish in that nation, and [that they might learn] when this would be accomplished.

[I continued by saying] that Paémingo then, was the only one who had held to the word which, in leaving, he had given to his father, [and] that I went so far as to hope that he would not stop [halfway] in such a good course, but that he would do his utmost to obtain for us the satisfaction which we demand of the Tchactas, so that it might be possible to re-establish among them a peace, which, in all appearance, has been troubled only with the consent of all the captains, red chiefs, and other notables of the nation, who had given no proofs of their zeal and fidelity in our service. This sharp reproach, vehemently uttered, astonished the Soulier Rouge of the Yánabé to such a point, that he asked a second time to speak in private, saying that he would demand nothing better than to satisfy the French and to reestablish the [supply of] munitions and goods, in order to ward off the misery to which we were going to reduce them; [and] that further, if they did not do us justice, they would be despised by the other nations who would rightly regard them as ungrateful and faithless.

The 12th Tamatlémingo of the Allibamonts, his son, and a Tchactas of the Yanabé [who] is settled among them, arrived in company with the Souliers Rouges [sic] of Tombekbé, and Rassétaou mastabé of the Couchas; the Chikachaé people received them with, in appearance, a demonstration of friendship. After they had rested a little and had had to eat, the savages were assembled together and I spoke to Tamatlémingo and told him to set forth to all the savages of the assembly, in which there were several Tchactas of different villages, the subject of his journey and to conceal nothing from them.

Thereupon he commenced his address with much gentleness and calmness saying that he did not know well the Tchactas language but that he would express himself as best he could. He began by saying that he was surprised that the Tchactas had not yet rendered us justice in the matter of the three Frenchmen who had been assassinated among them, [but] that without doubt they did not realize the seriousness of it. It is amazing, said he, that, receiving daily benefits from the French you should have been carried to this extreme; do not count in the least upon the English, your hopes would be ill founded; so there are only the Chikachas who can have abused you in that way in order to make you wretched and to avenge themselves upon you at their pleasure, cutting you off from all aid from the French as well as from the English; that they ought to know that these latter were not people to give them any presents, as did the French; that at the very most they might be able to trade their skins to them if they took them to the Chicakas [but] that as for ammunition they were not able to furnish four of their villages with it; that they knew, on their own account how it was, being neighbors of the English; that without the French whom they have among them they would lack absolutely for ammunition unless they wanted to load their guns with limbourg34 and other articles of merchandise; in that case, said he, perhaps the English could furnish them a little; that they should rest assured of what he said to them, although the Tchactas of evil intentions made him pass for a liar; that, indeed, he had not come to bring them a message, but only, on behalf of M. Leseur as well as of the Allibamonts, Talapouches, Abékas, Caoüytas and other nations of his district, to see if justice had been rendered us; that if the Tchactas doubted what he told them they could send some of their spies with him to the Allibamons, to report back to them what the nations of those quarters think of them. He added that he was surprised that the Tchactas should hearken to Ymatahatchitou, in preference to the French from whom they received so many daily benefits; that the trader who was at the Chikâchas, and whom he mentioned by name, was nothing but a thief, who would not dare to return home; that he was surprised that the Tchactas should have confidence in a man of that character, [to the extent of] abandoning a certainty. Then he recounted what had taken place upon the occasion of the [incident of the] pieces of scalp which Ymatahatchitou had sent by a Tchactas to the Abécouchÿs Abékas, his story conforming to what M. Le Sueur had told me, and, said, moreover that all the nations today found themselves reunited at the fire of the French, and that there were only the Tchactas, like a little circle (which he illustrated by joining his thumb to his forefinger) who would be miserable, because of their mistakes; that the Chaouanons had come to them [i.e. the Allibamonts] saying that they had just made peace with the Chéraquis, that M. De Bertet,35 commandant at the Illinois, had whitened the land of all the northern quarter, and that they come to them for the same purpose - which [overture] the Allibamonts and others have accepted. The twelve Chaoüanons returned satisfied with [the result of] their mission, and promised M. Lesueur that this spring a hundred of them would come to settle down under the fort. He told them again that the Englishman gave no presents at all to the red men, that he gave nothing except for skins and that the inhabitants of the village where he dwelt were obliged to furnish him with provisions. In short this chief spared no effort and said all that he could to appeal to the Tchactas. Perceiving how little movement they made I said to him that their hearts were harder than steel.

The captain of the Chikachaé, after the speech of Tamatlémingo, made a little speech to the assembly, presenting to it a bow and some arrows and saying that he had just tried his ancient arms but chat he could no longer make use of them, having lost the art; hoping thereby to touch his auditors and make them realize how wretched they would be should we abandon them.

The young Tchactas, nephew of the Soulier Rouge of the Yanabé, [who had] come with Tamatlémingo then spoke very well in our behalf, pointing out to his uncle that time was precious and that he ought to profit by it in giving us satisfaction; that it was useless for the Tchactas to think that the English could supply their necessities or that they would come among them; that he knew only too well the effects remembering the disobliging manners of that nation towards him in former times; furthermore the English traded not at all or but very little in ammunition, which had led the Allibamonts, Talapouches, Abékas and Caouylas to cherish and regard the French infinitely more than the English, who ever sowed evil words among the nations for the purpose of troubling them; whereas the words of the French were always the same, that is to say, white and beneficent for the red men; and he assured [them] that all that Tamatlémingo had said was true. This discourse publicly uttered by a Tchactas made a very good effect.

The Soulier Rouge of the Yânabé then forbade the Chikachaé to share their munitions with the other Tchactas in order that the latter might the more speedily come to want; that as for himself, he would never leave the French and would carefully avoid the English, except to kill them if they came among the nation; [and] that he would always, with pleasure, carry out the will of M. De Vaudreuil his father. He then spoke to me in private and asked if no one had volunteered to kill Ymatahatchitou; I told him No, not wishing to let him know who had given me their word [to do so]. I said to him that he was young and full of ambition and that he ought to persuade Paémingo of the Castachas, Taskaoüamingo, captain of the Boukfoukâ, [the Captain] of Toussana, and Illétaska of the Ymongoulachas to have that act of reparation done by Tâtoulimatâha, elder brother of Ymatâhâtchitou, in order to avoid the consequences. He replied that he did not wish to have the captain of Boukfoukâ co-operate with him, that he was too ambitious, - which did not displease me as I had learned that he had given his consent to the death of the Frenchmen - but that he would gladly join with Paémingo, regarding [however] the others as suspects. He asked me if the one who should kill Ymatâhatchitou would be given the medal, which I promised him, together with the present of [the position of] Captain [for the second] and [for] the third, the present of [the position of] village chief, as well as a reward for the warriors, whereupon he replied that that business could be accomplished in a fortnight after my arrival at Mobille not being willing to attempt anything while I should be among them, or on the road, for fear lest some accident might befall me or my men. At eleven o'clock of the evening he came to ask me if I would give him two pieces of limbourg in addition to what I had promised him. I replied that I would, and even more if it were necessary; [I said] that the message of his father, and my message would remain with the Reverend Father Baudoüin in my absence, as well as at Tombekbé. He requested of me a great secrecy in this affair; I told him that I would observe it most religiously but that I could not dispense with communicating the matter to Mrs. De Vaudreuil and Louboey. Tell them, said he, but let them speak of it to no one.36

The 12th the courier, whom I had despatched to M. De Louboey the first of this month to notify him of my arrival at the Tchactas (indicating to him the small satisfaction I had had from the speeches which the Chikachaés had made me), arrived with the reply to my letter and brought me another letter for Tombekbé.

The 13th Tatoulimatâhá arrived with the former chief of Tchanké.37 After I had told him the object of my journey, as [I had told] the others, he replied that as for him, he would never make an attempt upon the life of his brother; that, aside from that, he was always inclined toward the French and would not abandon them; that his brother's faction was too strong [for him] to dare risk killing him; that even were he promised a storehouse full of wares he would not do it; that if others than he wished to undertake it, they should take care that it did not come to his knowledge, because he could not avoid going over to his [brother's] faction if he [i.e. his brother] should be killed; that, in spite of that, he could not approve of the wicked deed which his brother had had committed against the French; that he knew, from of old, that his heart was evil, and he had many times blamed him for it. Nevertheless, if he [his brother] should pass on to the Abekas or the Talapouches, we would be free to have him [his brother] killed, and not only would he [himself] not say a word, but he would be rejoiced. It is useless, said he, to think of having him killed by his [own] nation. He added that if his brother had committed that evil deed it was only because of desperation at seeing how he had been treated, formerly, at Tombékbé, together with the ill treatment he had received, both in his own person and in the persons of his wives. He even asked if it was by order of M. the governor that there were sent chiefs and other Frenchmen, who were in the nation, to employ insulting terms towards them and their wives. That we ought to know that that caused much hard feeling and that the red men killed each other for such things. He added that his brother had seen with indignation the little importance that we made of him; that it even seemed that a trader had been placed with Pouchimatahâ at Toussana, only for the purpose of emphasizing it; [all of] which had determined him the more promptly to commit that folly; that it was true that the English had demanded but one French head for an Englishman who had been killed by the Tchactas of the village of the Bois Bleux; that the warriors had exceeded his order, which made matters worse. He also said that the partisans of his brother hoped that the English would have supplied them with goods and munitions in abundance, but that they already realized that their hopes were vain and futile; that an Abékas of the west who had been to the Chikachas to trade his skins, had returned from there much dissatisfied, without having brought back either goods or munitions; that the Chikachas had told him that they did not have any for themselves [and] that even if they had they would not trade with him and that he could carry back his skins, which he was obliged regretfully to do. Upon his return he had displayed his dissatisfaction to Ymatahatchitou, who was much surprised [and] told him to have patience until the English convoy should arrive, when they would have everything in abundance. That is the way that man feeds them with imagination, while we are unable to obtain anything with the reality, either through our presents or through trade.

I sounded this Captain in private: he replied to me that it was true that in the beginning, [upon the occasion] of the death of the Frenchmen, he had given the Reverend Father Baudoüin some hope that he would avenge us, but that to-day, whatever attachment he might have for us he would not dare to undertake such an affair. And he said to me nothing more.

The former chief of Tchanké spoke well, in the evening, for us; and [spoke] ill in the morning.

The 14th Tamatlémingo, with his men, took leave of me and promised to hasten to the Allibamonts to deliver the letter, with which I had charged him, to M. Lesueur, whom I directed, as soon as he should have received it, to send to the Abékas to prevent the English from taking any extra merchandise to the Chikachas, so that these latter should not be able to trade anything to the Tchactas, and to spare neither effort nor goods to keep them [the Tchactas] away from those parts, that being the surest method of forcing them, in spite of themselves, to give us satisfaction, thus putting us in a position to reform many of the rascals of that faithless nation who indirectly have been accomplices in the affair of Ymatahatchitou.

Tamatlémingo, to whom I confided my thought, appreciated fully the importance of it, and promised to make all possible diligence [saying] that on the day after his arrival he would take the orders of M. Lesueur to go to the Abékas where he would act in conformity with my intentions. I also wrote by him to M. Hazeur and told him that I was leaving with some hope of [securing] vengeance; that I had set everything in motion for the attainment of our ends; that I was leaving to Providence, to the Reverend Father Baudoüin, and to him to do the rest; and above all that he should not delay Tamatlémingo [explaining the reasons], but that, on the contrary, he should urge him to make great diligence; that he should trade no more munitions to the Tchactas; the Reverend Father Baudoüin will act in the same way, on his side.

The 14th after having taken leave of the Reverend Father Baudoüin, recommending him to appeal strongly to those who seemed well inclined toward us, and to bring it to pass that the promised reward should not fall to the race of the rebel, so that we might be in a position to degrade it [the race] later, I was about to mount my horse when I was told that some chiefs of the district of the east were arriving in the village. I waited for them until ten o'clock, [but] seeing that they did not come I told the Reverend Father to announce to them the message of M. the governor, to make them a small present as I had done to those who came to see me, and to take the medal of Choubkoôulacta if they brought it, and to send it to me. I mounted my horse that I might join my men who had left that morning for the Yoüanys, ten leagues distant, where I arrived in the evening. They received me with affability and assured me of their fidelity.

The 15th, in the morning, I left for the River of Bakatanné, which I reached by evening, by roundabout and difficult roads in order to avoid surprises, the savages of our escort fearing much for us, which led them to make us take an indirect route.38

The 16th at daybreak the Taskanangouchy of the Youânis joined me, with letters from M. Hazeur and one from the Reverend Father Baudoüin, who sent me the medal of Choulkoualacta, telling me that Uatachimingo [and] Thiououlacta had come to see me and to assure me of the fidelity of all the district of the east, that they had handed over the medal to him, which he sent me, that he was even sorry that I had not seen them, because I would have been as satisfied with them as I had reason for being dissatisfied with the Oügou lafalaÿa and with the six villages; but that he had not left them in ignorance of anything as regarded the object of my journey, and that they had all promised to act accordingly.

The 17th and the 18th we continued our journey without any misadventures. We had rain day and night and were obliged to cross several ravines and creeks with unbelievable troubles and fatigues.

The 19th we set out early in the morning. We had much bad weather and were obliged to cross still further ravines and creeks which were much more difficult and troublesome than [those of] the two preceeding days, since we were in water up to the belly. I was even obliged to leave two of my horses three leagues from here, they not being able to hold themselves up any longer. In spite of all that my people came back in good health. I arrived at Mobille towards one hour after midday. I dismounted at the house of M. De Louboey, where I recounted to him, in few words, the success of my journey, to tell him more when I should have changed, being all drenched. That, then is the fruit of the journey which I have made with pleasure for the service of the King and of the Country.

May God bless my work


Source: Travels in the American Colonies

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