The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

painted posts, planted in this place in order to serve as the bound-
ary between the Tonicas [Tonikas or Tunicas]8 and the Oumas
[Humas] nations for their game, which is abundant in these areas,
both buffalo and deer.
The 4th, having advanced two leagues, we passed the island of
Iberville, from which place to Pointe Coup6e, where we made
camp, one estimates at three leagues.
The 5th, we went five leagues, we camped at Point of the Cross
of Detour, from which place to the entry of the Red River one
estimates at ten leagues and to the Tonicas at thirteen, although
to go by land to this village it was only three leagues, in the
strong current through a small stream which leads straight ahead.
Formerly the Mississippi had its course through there.
The 1 oth, after having advanced ten leagues since the fifth,
we arrived at the entrance of the Red River, situated at the thirty-
first degree of latitude; I left my boats there and took a pirogue
in order to go to the village of the Tonicas to try to trade for some
corn and beans. At six o'clock in the evening we were at the cross-
ing of the lake which led to the Tonicas; but M. de Boisbriand,
who had a bad guide, made us go up the Mississippi seven leagues
more than was necessary.
The ilth, we met M. Blondel, lieutenant of the company, who
had just been relieved of the command at Natchez, by M. de
Berneval, in order to go to command over the Natchitoches; he
was accompanied by M. de la Longville [?], a nephew of M.
Lepinay, former governor of Louisiana, who had come down from
Canada in order to serve in the capacity of lieutenant. They made
known to us that we had passed the Tonicas seven leagues.
sThe Tonicas, or Tunicas, were a distinct linguistic family, faithful to the French
in use against neighboring tribes. In 1699 La Source estimated the number of their
cabins at about 260, scattered over four leagues, and said that they did no hunting.
Instead, they lived entirely upon corn. Gravibr, visiting them in 17oo, reported that
they lived in seven hamlets containing fifty to sixty huts each. In 1706, according
to La Harpe, the Chickasaws and Alibamus drove the Tonicas out of their villages,
and they joined the Humas. Another report says that they turned upon the Humas,
killing over half of them, and occupied their country. Those Natchez who took
refuge among the Chickasaws from the French and their allies, defeated the Tonicas
in 1730, burning their village and killing many. In 1760 they occupied three villages,
the largest being on a lake on Tunica Bayou. They later moved to Markesville
Prairie, southeast of Markesville, in Avoyelles Parish, to the south of the lower
Red River, where their thirty descendants, in 1912, spoke Tunican, Creole, and
English.

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 August 28, 2014.