Southwestern Historical Quarterly
able to prove to you individually that no person has the honor of
being more completely than me, Sir, your very humble and very
From New Orleans, the eighteenth of December, 1718.
Above was written: To M. Don Martin de Alarc6n, Knight of Saint
James, Captain General and Governor General of the province of
The 17th [of December, 1718], I had keel-hauled3 from on
board the vessel of M. Bellanger two mutineers of my troop;
the same day we departed in company with M. de Boisbriand,
who was going to the Illinois with two big boats and three
The 2oth, we passed by Vieux Tinsas [Old Taensa],4 situated
ten leagues from New Orleans. The concession of M. Demeuve,
managed by MM. de Laire, Chastan, and de la Roue, is located
here, but is in a very bad condition.
The 23rd, we stopped at the village of the Homas [Humas],5
located twelve leagues from the Tinsas, on the right going up
the river; the savage village is half a league inland; it is situated
in a level country; the houses or huts surround a great space; they
are sixty in number, which are able to make up two hundred
sKeel-hauling was punishment by dragging under the keel of a ship.
4The Taensa tribe was related in customs and language to the Natchez. Shortly
before the historic period they must have separated from the Natchez and lived on
Lake St. Joseph, an ox-bow cut-off of the Mississippi River in present Tensas
Parish, Louisiana, where La Salle (1682), Tonti (1696 and 1690o), and Davion, La
Source, and De Montigny (1698), and D'Iberville (1700) found them. In 17o6
fear of a Yazoo and Chickasaw attack caused the Taensa to take refuge with the
Bayogoula, whom they afterwards treacherously attacked and almost annihilated.
After this the Taensa occupied several locations along the lower Mississippi, one of
which was doubtless called by La Harpe Vieux Tinsas. Later, Bienville assigned
land to them near Mobile, Alabama, then capital of Louisiana. In 1764 they moved
to the Red River to escape passing under English rule with the French lands
east of the Mississippi. Still later, they moved to Bayou Boeuf and from there, about
1803, to the north end of Grand Lake, where a small bayou bears their name.
5The Humas were a Choctaw tribe, in earliest French times, living on the east
bank of the Mississippi seven leagues above Red River. In 1699 they had 14o huts,
or 350 families. A Baton Rouge, or Red Pole, on the site of Louisiana's present
capital, marked the boundary between them and the Bayogoulas on the south.
The Tonicas, fleeing from the Chickasaws, in 1706, settled with the Humas. They
later rose up and killed most of their host. The remaining Humas settled near
New Orleans, and then, sometimes afterwards, in the vicinity of present Houma,
Louisiana, where several hundred half breeds still lived in 1912.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101173/. Accessed March 3, 2015.