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Vaundreuil and the Chickasaws

At this juncture of affairs, May 10th 1743, the marquis of Vaudreuil arrived at New Orleans, and assumed command of the colonies, Bienville having been again deposed. As soon as the Chickasaws learned that Bienville had been superceded by a new governor, they sent four of their chiefs, at the close of the year 1743, to sue for peace; but Vaudreuil informed them he would enter into no treaty with them, unless they would drive all English traders from their territories; and not even then would he treat with them unless in concert with the Choctaws. Thus again were the Chickasaws baffled in their efforts to make peace! The four chiefs then requested time to lay his terms of peace before their, people. Early in the following year, the Chickasaws again sent an embassy to Vaudreuil and informed him they would accept his first proposition, if he would supply them with goods and ammunition as the English had done, but still Vaudreuil would take no action in the matter without first obtaining the sanction of the Choctaws. Great indeed was his surprise in learning that the Chickasaws and Choctaws were at that very time endeavoring to establish peace between himself, without his knowledge. Such a thing the French from the first had labored to prevent; therefore Vaudreuil determined at once to defeat the object, if possible, of all such negotiations between the two long hostile Nations, and immediately went to work for the accomplishment of that end; first, by postponing the making of a treaty himself with the Chickasaws; second, by using every means, right or wrong, to again revive the...

The Chickasaw War of 1739

Through the instigation of The French the war was continued between the seemingly infatuated and blinded Choctaws and Chickasaws during the entire year 1737, yet without any perceptibly advantageous results to either. A long and bitter experience seemed wholly inadequate to teach them the selfish designs of the French. No one can believe the friendship of the French for the Choctaws was unassumed. They were unmerciful tyrants by whatever standard one may choose to measure them, and without a redeeming quality as far as their dealings with the North American Indians go to prove; and their desire for the good of that race of people utterly out of the question; and with equal truth may the same be affirmed of the entire White Race, whose universal opinion was just wise enough to measure the Red Race by the standard found in their own souls; therefore the North American Indians were called savages, and have been so denominated to this day, and are now made the foundation of innumerable and ridiculous myths. But Bienville, still chafing like an enraged bear, under the mortification of his defeat by the brave and patriotic Chickasaws, which but increased his desire and determination to destroy them and blot out their very name, devoted the year 1739 to preparation for another exterminating invasion into the country of that seemingly indomitable people; and, as an introductory step to the more successful accomplishment and full realization of his designs, he sent an embassy, in March 1739, to the Choctaws to conciliate their good will and obtain their aid. And strange as it may appear, Bienville secured thirty-two villages out of forty-two to the interests of the French, while, through the...

Captivity and Redemption of Mrs. Jemima Howe – Indian Captivities

A particular account of the captivity and redemption of Mrs. Jemima Howe, who was taken prisoner by the Indians at Hinsdale, New Hampshire, on the twenty-seventh of July, 1765, as communicated to Dr. Belknap by the Rev. Bunker Gay. As Messrs. Caleb Howe, Hilkiah Grout, and Benjamin Gaffield, who had been hoeing corn in the meadow, west of the river, were returning home, a little before sunset, to a place called Bridgman’s fort, they were fired upon by twelve Indians, who had ambushed their path. Howe was on horseback, with two young lads, his children, behind him. A ball, which broke his thigh, brought him to the ground. His horse ran a few rods and fell likewise, and both the lads were taken. The Indians, in their savage manner coming up to Howe, pierced his body with a spear, tore off his scalp, stuck a hatchet in his head, and left him in this forlorn condition. He was found alive the morning after, by a party of men from Fort Hindsdale; and being asked by one of the party whether he knew him, he answered, “Yes, I know you all.” These were his last words, though he did not expire until after his friends had arrived with him at Fort Hindsdale. Grout was so fortunate as to escape unhurt. But Gaffield, in attempting to wade through the river, at a certain place which was indeed fordable at that time, was unfortunately drowned. Flushed with the success they had met with here, the savages went directly to Bridgman’s Fort. There was no man in it, and only three women and...

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