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Pascagoula Tribe: “Bread people.” Also called:
- Mfskigula, Biloxi name.
Pascagoula Connections. They were probably Muskhogeans although closely associated with the Siouan Biloxi.
Pascagoula Villages. Unknown, but see Biloxi.
Pascagoula History. Iberville heard of the Pascagoula in 1699 when he made the first permanent settlement in Louisiana. That summer his brother Bienville visited them, and the following winter another brother, Sauvolle, who had been left in charge of the post, received several Pascagoula visitors. Some Frenchmen visited the Pascagoula town the next spring and Pénicaut (in Margry, 1875-86, vol. 5) has left an interesting account of them. In Le Page du Pratz’s time (early eighteenth century) they were on the coast, but they did not move far from this region as long as France retained possession of the country. When French rule ended the Pascagoula passed over to Louisiana and settled first on the Mississippi River and later on Red River at its junction with the Rigolet du Bon Dieu. In 1795 they moved to Bayou Boeuf and established themselves between a band of Choctaw and the Biloxi tribe. Early in the nineteenth century all three tribes sold these lands. A part of the Pascagoula remained in Louisiana for a considerable period, Morse mentioning two distinct bands, but a third group accompanied some Biloxi to Texas and lived for a time on what came to be called Biloxi Bayou, 15 miles above its junction with the Neches. I have been able to find no Indians in Louisiana claiming Pascagoula descent, but in 1914 there were two among the Alabama who stated that their mother was of this tribe, their father having been a Biloxi.
Pascagoula Population. Mooney (1928) estimates that in 1650 there were 1,000 all told of the Biloxi, Pascagoula, and Moctobi. My own estimate for about the year 1698 is 875 of whom I should allow 455 to the Pascagoula. In 1700 Iberville states that there were 20 families, which would mean that they occupied the same number of cabins, but Le Page du Pratz raises this to 30. In 1758 the Pascagoula, Biloxi, and Chatot are estimated to have had about 100 warriors. In 1805 Sibley (1832) gives 25 among the Pascagoula alone. Morse (1822) estimates a total Pascagoula population of 240, and Schoolcraft (1851-57) cites authority for 111 Pascagoula in 1829. This is the last statement we have bearing upon the point.
Connection in which they have become noted. The Pascagoula tribe is of some note as a constant companion of the Siouan Biloxi, and from the fact that it has bequeathed its name to Pascagoula River, Pascagoula Bay, and Pascagoula Port, Mississippi.