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HIETANS, or Comanches, who are likewise called by both names, have no fixed place of residence ; have neither towns nor villages ; divided into so many hordes or tribes, that they have scarcely any knowledge of one another. No estimate of their numbers can well be made. They never remain in the same place more than a few days, but follow the buffaloe, the flesh of which is their principal food. Some of them occasionally purchase of the Panis, corn, beans and pumpkins ; but they are so numerous, any quantity of these articles the Panis are able to supply them with, must make but a small proportion of their food. They have tents made of neatly dressed skins, fashioned in form of a cone, sufficiently roomy for a family of ten or twelve persons ; those of the chiefs will contain occasionally 50 or 60 persons. When they stop, their tents are pitched in very exact order, soas to form regular streets and squares, which in a few minutes has the appearance of a toyn, raised, as it were, by inchant. ment; and they are equally dexterous in striking their tents and preparing for a march when the signal is given; to every tent two horses or mules are allotted, one to carry tbe tent, and another the poles or sticks, which are neatly made of red cedar ; they all travel on horseback. Their horses they never turn loose to graze, but always keep them tied with a long cabras or halter ; and every two or three days they are obliged to move on account of all the grass near them being eaten up, they have such numbers of horses. They are good horsemen and have good horses, most of which are bred by themselves, and being accustomed from when very young to be handled, they are remarkably docile and gentle. They sometimes catch wild horses, which are every where amongst them in immense droves. They hunt down the butlaloe on horseback, and kill them either with the bow or a sharp stick like a spear, which they carry in their hands. They are generally at war with the Spaniards, often committing depredations upon the inhabitants of St. a Fé and St. Antoine ; but have always been friendly and civil to any French or Americans who have been amongst them. They are strong and athletic, and the elderly men as fat as though they had lived upon English beef and porter.
It is said the man who kills a buffaloe, catches the blood and drinks it while warm ; they likewise eat the liver raw, before it is cold, and use the gaul by way of sauce. They are, for savages, uncommonly cleanly in their persons : the dress of the women is a long, loose robe, that reaches from their chin to the ground, tied round with a fancy sash, or girdle, all made of nearly dressed leather, on which they paint figures of different colours and significations : the dress of the men is, close leather pantaloons, and a hunting shirt or frock of the same. They never remain long enough in the same place to plant any thing : the small Cayenne pepper grows spontaneously in the country, with which, and some wild herbs and fruits, particularly a bean that grows in great plenty on a small tree resembling a willow, called masketo, the women cook their buffaloe beef in a manner that would be grateful to an English squire. They alternately occupy the immense space of country from the Trinity and Braces, crossing the Red river, to the heads of Arkansa and Missouri, to river Grand, and beyond it, about St. a Fé, and over the dividing ridge on the wa. ters of the Western ocean, where they say they have seen large peroques, with masts to them ; in describing which, they make a drawing of a ship, with all its sails and rigging ; and they describe a place where they have seen vessels ascending a river, over which was a draw bridge that opened to give them a passage. Their native language of sounds differs from the language of any other nation, and none can either speak or understand it; but they have a language by signs that all Indians understand, and by which they con. verse much among themselves. They have a number of Spanish men and women among them, who are slaves, and who they made prisoners when young.
An elderly gentleman now living at Natchitoches, who, some years ago, barried on a trade with the Hietans, a few days ago related to me the following story :
About 20 years ago a party of these Indians passed over the river Grand to Chewawa, the residence of the governor.general of what is called the five internal provinces ; lay in ambush for an opportunity, and made prisoner the goxernor's daughter, a young lady, going in lier coach to mass, and brought her ofl. The governor sent a message to bim (my informant) with a thousand dollars, for the purpose of recovering his dauglicer: he immediatels dispatched a confidential trader, then in his employ, with the amount of the 1000 dollars in merchandize, who repaired to the nation, found her, and purchased her ran. som; but to his great surprise, she refused to return with him to her father, and sent by bim the following message : that the Indians had disfigured her face by tattooing it according to their fancy and ideas of beauty, and a young man of them had taken her for his wife, by whom she believed herself pregnant : that she had become reconciled to their mode of life, and was well treated by her husband ; and that she should be more unhappy by returning to her father, under these circumstances, than by remaining where she was. Which mes. sage was conveyed to her father, who rewarded the trader by a present of 300 dollars more for his trouble and fidelity; and his daughter is now living with her Indian husband in the nation, by whom she has three children. & NATCHITOCHES, formerly lived where the town of Natchitoches is now situated, took its naine from them. An elderly French, gentleman, lately informed me, he remembered when they were 600 men strong. I believe it is how 98 years since the French hrst established themselves at Natcbitoch ; er er since, these Indians have been their steady and faithful friends. After the massacre of the French inhabitants of Natchez, by the Natchez Indians, in 1728, those Indians fled from the French, after being reinforced, and came up Ked River, and camped about six miles below the town of Natchitoches, Dear the river, by the side of a small lake of clear water, and erected a mound of considerable size, where it now remaiasMonsieur Si. Dennie, a French Ca. nadian, was then commandant at Natchitoches; the Indians called him the Big Foot, were fond of him, for he was a brave mar. Si. Depnie, with a few French soldiers, and what militia he could muster, joined by the Natchitoches Indians, attacked the Natchez in their camp, early in the morning; they defended themselves desperately for six hours, but were at length tolaly defeated by St. Dennie, and what of them that were not killed in battle, were drove into the lake, where the last of them perisbed, and the Natchez, as a nation became extinct. The lake is now called by no other name than the Natchez lake. There are now remaining of the Natchitoches, but 12 men and 19 women, who live in a village about 25 miles by land above the town which bears their mame, near a lake, called by the French Lac de Muire. Their original language is the same as the Yattassee, but speak Caddo, and most of them French. The French inhabitants have great respect for this nation, and a number of very decent families have a mixture of their blood in them. They claim but a small tract of land, on which they live, and I am informed, have the same rights to it from government, that other inhabitants in their peighborhood have. They are gravlually wasting away; the small pox has been their great destroyer. They still preserve their Indian dress and habits ; raise corn and those vegetables common in their neighborhood. .
BOLUXAS, are emigrants from near Pensacola. They came to Red River about 42 years ago, with some French families, who left that country about the time Pensacola was taken possession of by the English. They were then a cop)siderable mumerous tribe, and have generally embraced the Roman Catholic religion, and were ever highly esteemed by the French. They settled first at Avovall, then moved higher up to Rapide Bayau, ar.d from thence to the mouth of Rigula de Bondieu, a division of Red River, about 40 miles below, Nechitoch, where they now live, and are reduced to about 30 in number. Their na. tive language is peculiar to themselves, but speak Mobilian, which is spaken by all the Indians from the east side of the Mississippi.. They are honest, harmless and friendly people.
APPALACHES, are likewise emigrants from West-Florida, from off the river whose name they bear; came over to Red river about the same time the Boluxas did, and have, ever since, lived on the river, above Bayau Rapide. Nonation have been more bighly esteemed by the French inhabitants: 20 complaints against them are ever heard ; there are only 14 men remaining i have their own language, but speak French and Mobilian.
ALLIBAMIS, are likewise from West-Florida, off the Allibami river, and came to Rcd river about the same time of the Boluxas and Appalaches. Part of them have lived on Red river, about 16 miles above the Bayau Rapide, till last year, when most of this party, of about 30 men, went up Ked river, and have settled themselves near the Caddoques, where, I am informed, they last year made a good crop of corn. The Caddos are friendly to them, and have no objection to their settling there. They speak the Creek and Chactaw languages, and Mobilian ; most of them French, and some of them English.
There is another party of them, whose village is on a small creek, in Appclousa district, about 30 miles north west from the church of Appelousa. They consist of about 40 men. They have lived at the same place ever since they came from Florida ; are said to be increasing a little in numbers, for a few years past. They raise corn, have horses, hogs and cattle, and are harmless, quiet people.
CONCHATTAS, are almost the saine people as the Allibamis, but came over only ten years ago ; first lived on Bayau Chico, in Appelousa district, but, four years ago, moved to the river Sabine, settled themselves on the east bank, where they now live, in nearly a south direction from Natchitoch, and distant about 80 miles. They call their number of men 160, but say, it they were all together, they would amount to 200. Several families of them live in detached settlements. They are good hunters, and game is plenty about where they are. A few days ago, a small party of them were here, consisting of 15 persons, men, women and children, who were on their re. turn from a bear hunt up the Sabine. They told me they had killed 119 ; but this year an uncommon number of bears have come down. One man alone, on Sabine, during the summer and fall, hunting, killed 400 decr, sold his skins at 40 dollars a hundred. The bears this year are not so fat as common ; they usually yield from eight to twelve gallons of oil, each of which never sells for less than a dollar a gallon, and the skin a dollar more ; no great quantity of the meat is saved ; what the hunters don't use when out, they generally give to their dogs. The Conchettas are friendly with all other Indians, and speak well of their neighbours the Carankouas, who, they say, live about' 80 miles south of them, on the bay, which, I beliere, is the nearest point to the sea from Natchitoches. A few families of Chactaw have lately settled near them from Bayau Beuf. The Conchattas speak Creek, which is their native language, and Chactaw, and some of them English, and one or two of them can read it a little.
PACANAS, are a small tribe of about 30 men, who live on the Quelques shoe river, which falls into the bay between Attakapa and Sabine, which heads in a prairie called Cooko prairic, about 40 miles south west of Natshi. toches. These people are likewise emigrants from West-Florid:1, about 40 years ago. Their village is about 50 miles south cast of the Conchattas ; are said to be increasing a little in number ; quiet, peaceable and friendly people. Their own language differs from any other, but speak Mobilian.
ATTAKAPAS. This word, I am informed, when translated into Eng. lish, means man-eater, but is no more applicable to them than any other Indians. The district they live in is called after them. Their village is about 20 miles to the westward of the Attakapa church, towards Quclqueshoe. Their number of men is about 50, but some Tunic:s and Humas, who have married in their nation and live with them, makes them altogether about 80. They are peaceable and friendly to every body ; labour, occasionally, for the wlite inhabitants ; raise their own corn; have cattle and hogs. Their lar. guage and the Carankouas is the same. They were, or near, where they non five, when that part of the country was first discovered by the French
Vol. IIl. Appendix. G
APPALOUSAS. It is said the word Appalousa, in the Indian language. means black head, or black skull. They are aborigines of the district called by their name. Their village is about 15 miles west from the Appelousa church; have about 40 men. Their native language difiers from all other : understand Aitakapa and speak French ; plant corn ; have cattle and hogs.
TUNICAS. These people lived formerly on the Bayau Tunica, above Point Coupee, on the Mississippi, east side ; live now at Avoyail ; do not at present exceed 25 men. Their native language is peculiar to themselves, but speak Mobilian ; are employeci, occasionally, by the inhabitants as boatmen, occ. in admity with all other people, and gradually diminishing iš numbers,
PASCAGOLAS, live in a small village on Red river, about 60 miles beInw Ntchitoches ; are emigrants from Pascagola river, in West-Florida ; 25 men only of them remaining ; speak Mobilian, but have a language pecubar to themselves ; must of them speak and understand French. They raise goo I crops of corn, and garden vegetables ; trave cattle, horses, and poultry plenty. Their horses are much like the poorer kind of French inhabitants on the river, and appear to live about as well.
TENISAWS, are likewise cmigrants from the Tenesnu river, that fille into the bay of Mobile ; have been on Red river about 40 years; are reduced to about 25 men. Their village is within one mile of the Pascagolas, on the opp site side, but have lately sold their land, and have, or are about moving, ti Berau Beruf, about 25 miles south from where they lately lived: all speak French and Mobilian, and live much like their neighbows the Pascagolas,
CHACTOOS, live on Bayau Beauf, about 10 miles to the south ward of By: Ripide, on Red river, towards Appalousa ; a small, honest people ; are aborigines of the country where they live ; of men about 30 ; diminishing: have their ow. peculiar tongue ; speak Mobilian. The lands they olam on B.thau Beauf are inferiour to no part of Louisiana in-depth and rich
(95 of soil, growh of timber, pleasantness of surface and goodness of water. The Bavau Beaut falls into the Chaffeli, am discharges, through Appelousa and Attakapa, into Vermilion Bay.
WASHAS. When the French first came into the Mississippi, this nation livell on an island to the south west of New-Orleans, called Barritaria, and were the first tribe of Indians they became acquainted with, and were al. war's friends. They afterwards lived on Bayan La Fosh ; and, from being a considerable nation, are now reduced to five persons only, two men and three women, who are scattered in French families ; have been many years extinct, as a nation, and their native language is lost.
CIACTAWS. There are a considerable number of this nation on the west side of the Mississippi, who have not been home for several years. About 12 miles above the post on Oacheta, on that river, there is a small village of them of about 30 men, who have lived there for several years, and made coin ; and likewise on Bayau Chico, in the northern part of the district of Appalousa, there is another village of them of about 50 men, who have been there for about 9 years, and say they have the governour of Louisiana's per. mission to settle there. Besides these, there are rambling hunting parties of them to be met with all over Lower Louisiana. They are at war with the Caddoques, and liked by neither red nor white people.
ARKENSAS, live on the Arkansa river, south side, in three villages, about 12 miles above the post, or station. The name of the first village is Tuwunima, second O:tfvtu, and the third Ocapa ; in all, it is believed, they do not at present exceed 100 men, and diminishing. They are at war with the Osages, but friendly with all other people, white and red; are the origi. nal proprietors of the country on the river, to all which they lay claim, for about 300 miles above them, to the junction of the river Cadwa with Arkensa ; above this fork the Osages claim. Their language is Osage. They generally raise corn to sell ; are called honest and friendly people.
The forementioned are all the Indian tribes that I have any knowledge of, or can obtain an account of, in Louisiana, south of the river Arkensa, between the Mississippi and the river Grand. At Avoyall there did live a considerable tribe of that name, but, as far as I can learn, have been extinct for many years, two or three women excepted, who did lately live among the French inhabitants on Washita.
There are a few of the Humas still living on the east side of the Mississippi, in Ixsusees parish, below Manchack, but scarcely exist, as a nation.
That there are errours in these sketches is not to be doubted, but in all cases out of my own personal knowledge I have endeavoured to procure the hest information, which I have faithfully related ; and I am confident any errours that do exist are too unimportant to affect the object for which they are intended.
I am, sir, &c.
Signed) JOHN SIBLEY.
TO GENERAL HENRY DEARBORN,
SECRETARY OF WAR. SIR,
YOU request me to give you some account of Red river, and the country adjacent : I will endeavour to comply with your request, to the best of my knowledge and capacity. My personal knowledge of it is only from its mouth, to about 70 or 80 miles above Natchitoches, being, by the course of the river, near 400 miles. After that, what I can say of it is derived from information from others, on whose veracity I have great reliance ; principally from Mr. Francis Grappe, who is my assistant and interpreter of Indian languages ; whose father was a French officer, and superintendant of Indian affairs, at a post, or station, occupied by France, where they kept some soldiers, and had a factory, previous to the cession of Louisiana to Spain, situate nearly 500 miles, by the course of the river, above Natchitoches, where he, my informant, was born, and lived upwards of 30 years ; his time, during which, being occupied alternately as an assistant to his father, an Indian trader and hunter, with the advantage of some learning, and a very retentive memo. ry, acquired an accurate knowledge of the river, as well as the languages of all the different Indian tribes of Louisiana, which, with his having been Indian interpreter for the Spanish government for many years past, and (I believe) deservedly esteemed by the Indians, and all others, a man of strict integrity, has, for many years, and does now possess their entire confidence, and a very extensive influence over them; and I have invariably found, that whatever information I have received from him, has been confirmed by every other intelligent person, having a knowledge of the same, with whom I have conversed.
NOTE. Contrary to geographical rules, as I ascended the river, I called the right bank the northern one, and the left the southern,