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Pascagoula Tribe

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Pascagoula Indians (Choctaw: ‘bread people’, from paska ‘bread,’ okla ‘people’). A small tribe of Indians formerly living on Pascagoula river in south Mississippi, in intimate connection with the Biloxi, but now extinct as a separate division. As no vocabulary of their language has been preserved, nor their own tribal name, their ethnic relations are conjectural; but from their intimate connection from 1699 to the 19th century with the Biloxi, it is possible that they were Siouan.

The first mention of them is that of Iberville in 16991, who refers to the village of the Bilocchy (Biloxi), Pascoboula (Pascagoula), and Moctobi, to reach which from Biloxi bay took 21 days. There were really three villages, and a little farther on2, he speaks of the three as being on Pascagoula river, a short distance apart. As the three together, according to Sauvole3, did not contain more than 20 cabins, the estimate of 100 families is ample. About 1764, in company with the Biloxi and several other tribes, they determined to leave the neighborhood of Mobile, and in 1784 were found settled on the east side of the Mississippi, 10 miles above the village of the Tunica. Together with the neighboring Biloxi they were estimated at 20 warriors, probably about 75 souls. Before 1791, however, they had moved up Red river and settled at the confluence of that stream with Bayou Rigolet du Bon Dieu. The name of their chief at that time was Du Blanc. About 1795 they sold their lands here to Miller and Fulton, and followed the Biloxi to Bayou Boeuf, settling between them and the Choctaw. Later they sold these lands to the same parties, the sale being confirmed by the United States in 1805, but probably continued to reside in the neighborhood, where they died off or became incorporated with the Biloxi and Choctaw. Morse in 1822 enumerated three distinct bands of Pascagoula, two on Red river and a third on a branch of the Neches, aggregating 240 souls; but probably some mistake was made, as the Biloxi are given as numbering only 70.

Footnotes

  1. Margry, Dec., iv, 193, 1880 

  2. Margry, Dec., iv, 195, 1880 

  3. Margry, Dec., iv, 451, 1880 


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