The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 83, July 1979 - April, 1980 Page: 350
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
taws, Biloxis, Pascagoulas, Alibamons, and Apalaches were living in the
Red and Ouachita river valleys. In 1774, a prominent French trader
named J. Gaignard wrote that he was trading with the "Chacto and Bi-
loxy nations" on the Red River. He explained that it was necessary for
him to winter with them on the Ouachita in order to collect what they
owed him.2 The main portion of the Choctaws, however, remained es-
tablished in their homeland east of the Mississippi and only crossed the
river to hunt. Just one small settlement seems to have been made in the
Red River Valley. The Choctaw tribe, or nation as the Spaniards re-
ferred to it, was the largest of all the southern Indian tribes. Its lands
were divided into three parts, known as the Large Part, the Small Part,
and the Six Towns. The names were somewhat misleading: the land
belonging to the Six Towns contained twenty-three villages; there were
twenty-two villages in the Small Part; and the part with the largest area
had only fourteen villages.3
Governor Bernardo de Galvez of Louisiana gained the friendship of
many Choctaws prior to Spain's entry into the Revolutionary War. Ac-
cording to Colonial Secretary Josef de Galvez, that was one of many
reasons why he was selected to command Spanish forces in campaigns
against British West Florida. During the war, he received intelligence
concerning Choctaw relations with the enemy from such agents as Pierre
Juzan. By explaining that the English were very liberal and gave the
Choctaws many gifts, Juzan was able to hint that Choctaw support de-
pended on the size and value of gifts they received.4 A few Choctaws,
during the Revolutionary War, actively supported Galvez in his con-
quest of West Florida. After the war, the whole Choctaw nation readily
accepted the 1784 Treaty of Mobile, which permitted Spain to establish
a protectorate over it. For compliance, each of the fifty-nine Choctaw
villages received a generous present.5 The treaty apparently gave the
2Journal of an expedition up the Red River, 1773-1774, kept by J. Gaignard for Lieuten-
ant-governor Baltazar de Villiers, in Herbert Eugene Bolton (ed.), Athanase de Mdzies
and the Louisiana-Texas Frontier, 1768-1780: Documents Published for the First Time,
from the Original Spanish and French Manuscripts, Chiefly in the Archives of Mexico and
Spain (2 vols.; Cleveland, 1914), II, loo; Statement of payment for Indian presents, in Kin-
naird (ed.), Spain in the Mississippi Valley, II (pt. 1), 154-155; Eduardo Nugent and Juan
Kelly to [Alejandro O'Reilly], Jan. 14, 1770, ibid., 156; Luis de Blanc to Francois Hector,
Baron de Carondelet, Feb. 18, 1792, ibid., IV (pt. 3), lo; Carlos de Grand Pre to Carondelet,
Sept. 27, 1796, Louisiana Collection (Bancroft Library, University of California at Berke-
sKinnaird (ed.), Spain in the Mississippi Valley, III (pt. 2), 104-10o6.
4Josef de Gilvez to Governor of Havana, Aug. 29, 1779, ibid., II (pt. 1), 356; Pierre Juzan
to Bernardo de Galvez, July 11, 1780, ibid., 382.
SJuzan to Josef de Ezpeleta, Feb. 19, 1781, ibid, 419; Valentin Layssard to Grand Prd,
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 83, July 1979 - April, 1980, periodical, 1979/1980; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101207/m1/408/: accessed July 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.