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Tohome Indians

Tohome Tribe: Said by Iberville to mean “little chief,” but this is evidently an error. Tohome Connections. They belonged to the southern branch of the Muskhogean linguistic group, their closest relatives being the Mobile. Tohome Location. About MacIntosh’s Bluff on the west bank of Tombigbee River, some miles above its junction with the Alabama. Tohome Subdivisions. Anciently there were two main branches of this tribe, sometimes called the Big Tohome and Little Tohome, but the Little Tohome are known more often as Naniaba, “people dwelling on a hill,” or “people of the Forks;” the latter would be because they were where the Alabama and Tombigbee Rivers unite. Tohome Villages. No others are known than those which received their names from Tohome and its subdivisions. Tohome History. Cartographical evidence suggests that the Tohome may once have lived on a creek formerly known as Oke Thome, now contracted into Catoma, which flows into Alabama River a short distance below Montgomery. When first discovered by the Whites, however, they were living at the point above indicated. In the De Luna narratives (1559-60) the Tombigbee River is called “River of the Tome.” Iberville learned of this tribe in April 1700, and sent messengers who reached the Tohome village and returned in May. In 1702 he went to see them himself but seems not to have gone beyond the Naniaba. From this time on Tohome history is identical with that of the Mobile and the two tribes appear usually to have been in alliance although a rupture between them was threatened upon one occasion on account of the murder of a Mobile woman by...

Mobile Tribe and Tohome Tribe

So far as our information goes, the first white men to have dealings with the Indians of Mobile Bay were probably the Spaniards under Pinedo. Pinedo was sent out by Garay, governor of Jamaica, in the year 1519, to explore toward the north, and he appears to have coasted along the northern shore of the Gulf of Mexico from the peninsula of Florida to Panuco. In the description of this voyage in the Letters Patent we read that after having covered the entire distance “they then turned back with the said ships, and entered a river which was found to be very large and very deep, at the mouth of which they say they found an extensive town, where they remained 40 days and careened their vessels. The natives treated our men in a friendly manner, trading with them, and giving what they possessed. The Spaniards ascended a distance of 6 leagues up the river, and saw on its banks, right and left, 40 villages.”1 The river referred to is usually identified with the Mississippi, but I am entirely in accord with Mr. Hamilton in finding in it the River Mobile.2 When first known to us the banks of the Mississippi near the ocean were not permanently occupied by even small tribes, and occupancy the year around would have been practically impossible. On the other hand, the shores of Mobile River must once have been quite thickly settled, for Iberville, on his first visit to the Indian tribes there, notes numbers of abandoned Indian settlements all along the way. There seems to be practically no other place answering to...

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