Topic: Mobile

The French In Alabama And Mississippi

After the Spanish invasion of De Soto, to which allusion has so often been made, our soil remained untrodden by European feet for nearly a century and a half. At the end of that long and dark period it became connected with the history of the distant dark period it became connected with the history of the distant French possessions of Canada, which were contemporaneous with the oldest English colonies in America. For more than fifty years the French fur traders of Canada, associated with the enterprising Jesuit Fathers, had continued to advance southwestward upon the great lakes, discovering new regions, different races of Indians, more abundant game, and wider and brighter waters. At length, from the tribes upon the southern shores of Lake Superior, Father Allouez heard some vague reports of a great western river. Subsequently, Father Marquette was dispatched from Quebec with Joliet, a trader of that place, five other Frenchmen, and a large number of Indian guides, to seek the Mississippi, and thus add new regions to the dominion of France, and new missions of the empire of the Jesuits. Ascending Fox River to the head of navigation, and crossing the portage to the banks of the Wisconsin, with birch bark canoes, the adventurers again launched their tiny boats and floated down to the Mississippi river. Descending it to the mouth of the Arkansas, and encountering...

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Natchez, Mobilians, Chatots, Thomez and Tensas

In 1718, the French West India Company sent, from Rochelle, eight hundred colonists to Louisiana. Among them was a Frenchman of intelligence and high standing, named Le Page Du Pratz, who was appointed superintendent of the public plantations. After a residence of sixteen years in this country, he returned to France, and published an interesting work upon Louisiana. 1721: Du Pratz was often at Mobile, and about the period found living, in that vicinity, a few small tribes of Indians, whom we will now describe. The Chatots were a very small tribe, who composed a town of forty huts, adjoining the bay and river of Mobile. They appear to have resided at or near the present city of Mobile. The Chatots were great friends of the French settlers, and most of them embraced the Catholic religion. North from Mobile, and upon the first bluffs on the same side of the river of that name, lived the Thomez, who were not more numerous than the Chatots, and who, also had been taught to worship the true God. Opposite to them, upon the Tensas River, lived a tribe of Tensas whose settlement consisted of one hundred huts. They were a branch of the Natchez, and like them, kept a perpetual fire burning in their temple. Further north, and near the confluence of the Tombigby and Alabama, and above there, the Mobilians still...

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Mobile Indians

Mobile Tribe: Meaning unknown, but Halbert (1901) suggests that it may be from Choctaw moeli, “to paddle,” since Mobile is pronounced moila by the Indians. It is the Mabila, Mauilla, Mavila, or Mauvila of the De Soto chroniclers. Mobile Connections. The language of the tribe was closely connected with that of the Choctaw and gave its name to a trade jargon based upon Choctaw or Chickasaw. Mobile Location. When the French settled the seacoast of Alabama the Mobile were living on the west side of Mobile River a few miles below the junction of the Alabama and Tombigbee. Mobile History. When they make their first appearance in history in 1540 the Mobile were between the Alabama and Tombigbee Rivers, and on the east side of the former. Their chief, Tuscaloosa, was a very tall and commanding Indian with great influence throughout the surrounding country. He inspired his people to attack the invading Spaniards and a terrific battle was fought October 18, 1540, for the possession of one of his fortified towns (Mabila), which the Spaniards carried with heavy losses to themselves in killed and wounded, while of the Indians 2,500 or more fell. It is probable that the village of Nanipacna, through which a force of Spaniards of the De Luna colony passed in 1559, was occupied by some of the survivors of this tribe. At a later date...

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Mobile Tribe

Mobile Indians (meaning doubtful). A Muskhogean tribe whose early home was probably Mauvila, or Mavilla, supposed to have been at or near Choctaw Bluff on Alabama river, Clark County, Alabama, where DeSoto, in 1540, met with fierce opposition on the part of the natives and engaged in the most obstinate contest of the expedition. The town was then under the control of Tascalusa¬† probably an Alibamu chief. If, as is probable, the Mobile tribe took part in this contest, they must later have moved farther south, as they are found on Mobile bay when the French began to plant a colony at that point about the year 1700. Wishing protection from their enemies, they obtained permission from the French, about 1708, to settle near Fort Louis, where space was allotted them and the Tohome for this purpose. Little is known of the history the tribe. In 1708 a large body of Alibamu, Cherokee, Abihka, and Catawba warriors descended Mobile river for to purpose of attacking the French and the Indian allies, but for some unknown reason contented themselves with destroying a few huts of the Mobilians. The latter, who were always friendly to to French, appear to have been Christianized soon after the French settled there. In 1741 Coxe wrote that the chief city of the once great province of Tascaluza, “Mouvilla, which the English call Maubela, and the...

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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.” 1Harrisse, Disc, of N. Amer., p. 168. 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. 2Hamilton, Col. Mobile, p. 10. 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...

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Condition of the Alabama Indians in 1890

Total Indian Population As Of June 1, 1890 Reservation Indians, not taxed (not counted in the general census): Males…….149 Females….235 Total………384 Indians self-supporting, taxed (counted in the general census): Males…….338 Females….421 Total………759 Grand Total 1,148 The civilized (self-supporting) Indians of Alabama, counted in the general census, number 759, 338 males and 421 females, and are distributed as follows: Autauga County, 116 Escambia County, 173 Mobile County, 4023 other counties with 8 or less in each, 68. The mode of life of these Indians is akin to that of their neighbors of small property. Among them are the descendants of Creek, Cherokee, Chickasaw, and Mobile Indians, more or less affected by white and Negro blood. The reservation Indians not taxed are a band known as Geronimo’s band of Apaches removed from their former homes in Arizona as prisoners of war, and who, after some changes of location, were finally placed at Mount Vernon barracks, situated 28 miles north of Mobile and one-half mile from the railroad station whence the barracks takes its name. Forty-six of the original number were enlisted in Company I of the Twelfth infantry, and are on duty at the barracks. There has been a great improvement in their condition. Each family is living in a comfortable home, they are cleanly, and have adopted the civilized style of dress. There is a good school adjacent, and children...

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