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

Notes and Documents

The 12th, we went down the Mississippi; at ten o'clock we en-
tered into the lake of the Tonicas, at the right of the river going
up; at one o'clock we arrived at the village and went down to the
hut of M. Davion, of the Foreign Missions, who was the pastor
of it; he is a native of Saint-Omer, truly a man of God, who for
twenty years has lived in the colony, having spent a part of this
time at the Yazous [Yazoos]9 nation. Since he has been with the
Tonicas, he has made these people abandon the greater part of
their idolatry, their two household gods were a toad and a female
figure which they worshipped, believing that they represented the
Sun. This nation is composed, in all, of 460 inhabitants; they
have two grand chiefs of the combined nations, speaking the same
language. The higher one calls himself Cahura-Joligo; he gives
himself over all the days with his family to the prayers and exhor-
tations that M. Davion makes to them, who is very revered in this
village, although he has opposed their feasts and plurality of
wives. The chief of this nation had then a son of fifteen years of
age, who had been baptized and instructed in our holy mysteries
by M. Davion. A few months after my departure from the Tonicas,
he fell sick and died between the arms of his pastor and of Father
Deville, a Jesuit. He made to his father and to his family very
strong exhortations in order to conjure them to make themselves
Christians and to abandon their idolatry. The chief, who had
loved his son tenderly, who was his eldest and heir, promised
him that he would be instructed in our religion and attend with-
out interruption the prayers of M. Davion. They had entrusted
the treatment of this young man to a child,1 whom, if his father
had made a present to him, he would have saved the life.
The Tonica chief, to whom these discourses were reported,
ordered right away the killing of this doctor. Before this execu-
tion, he said to Cahura-Joligo, in the presence of M. Davion, that
he saw indeed that he could not avoid the death, but in order
to prove to him that he was a great sorcerer, after his decease, the
beasts and the birds would respect his cadaver, without his serv-
9The Yazoos were a small tribe living along the lower Yazoo River. In 1718 the
French erected a fort four leagues from the mouth of the river, but in 1719 the
Yazoos revolted and destroyed the fort. The French and their native allies expelled
the rebels, who likely united with the Chickasaws and Choctaws.
lOEnfant.

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 July 5, 2015.