Barnard Shipp.

The history of Hernando de Soto and Florida; or, Record of the events of fifty-six years, from 1512 to 1568 online

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brush of Desmanthus, Cassia, and arborescent Capparis, around the pots, and
bake them in the open air. Farther to the east of the quarry which furnishes
the clay, is the ravine of the Mina. They assert that a short time after the
conquest, Venetian gold hunters there extracted gold from the micaceous schist.
It appears that this metal is not united in the veins of quartz, but that it is
disseminated through the rock, as it is sometimes in granite and gneiss."

In this connection it is proper to remark that in the same vicinity of
Cumana, were salines.

The next extract is taken from the "Navigator, or Ohio and Mississippi
River Guide," published in 1810. It is as follows: "Up the Saline River,
twelve miles from the Ohio, are extensive saltworks.* At and in the vicinity
of these works, are to be found fragments of ancient pottery of uncommon
large size, large enough, it is stated, to fill the bulge of a hogshead, and thick
in proportion. On Goose Creek,f and in many other parts, in the neighborhood
of salt springs particularly, similar fragments of ware are found, which would
induce a belief that its makers used it to boil their salt in. This is by no
means improbable ; some pots of a similar composition, but of a smaller kind,
for cooking, are still [1812] found in use among many of the tribes of Ameri-
can Indians, both northern and southern. The Chocktaws and Chickasaws
about Natchez are frequently seen with pots of this composition, carrying them
about with them from camp to camp, in which they boil their hominy, or other
victuals. I procured a small pot of this kind from the Chocktaw Indians at
Natchez, and when I returned to Pennsylvania, in the summer of 1812, I
deposited it in Peale's Museum, in Philadelphia. . . . When in Kentucky, .
in the year 1810, I got a very ancient pot of this ware, that had been found
buried in the sand of a saltpetre cave at the head of Licking River. It was
of the same character, in composition, shape, and purpose for which it had
been made, viz., for the fire, as that got from the Chocktaws at Natchez. It
being very old and tender, the composition was easily seen by crumbling pieces
of it between the fingers. Pounded shells, clay, and sand, appeared to be the
component parts of this ware ; it did not seem as if it had been turned on a
lathe, though nearly as regular as if it had. The manner of burning it, I was
told by a white woman in habits of intimacy with the Chocktaws, is as follows :
The pot, when farmed and sun-dried, is put in the centre of a ring of fire, at
such a distance as at first to gently warm it throughout, and, as it gets able to

* Probably the salt works near Shawneetown, in the state of Illinois.
t Probably that which empties into South Fork of the Kentucky Eiver.


bear more heat, the fire is moved in gradually to the centre, and increased,
and, when the pot is thought sufficiently hot, it is then covered over with
embers, coals, and fire, and so continued baking until it is fit for use, the
length of time it takes to burn being known only by experience, and is
governed by the size and thickness of the vessel. It may be asked where
shells are got by the Indians for this manufacture. It is answered that vast
banks of oyster-shells are found in Georgia, many miles in length, and also a
bank in the Mississippi Territory, about one hundred and fifty miles from
Natches, and which is crossed on the road from that place to Nashville. The
length and breadth of this bank have not perhaps been ascertained, but it is
evidently very extensive. Our rivers all afford the mussel-shell.

I have heard the ware on Goose Creek spoken of through several channels.
A gentleman of ChlUicothe assured me there had been one large kettle found
entire on that creek, and which was dug up from under the roots of a large tree
that had fallen by the wind, and that it was not uncommon to find them in
numbers, when digging for salt at that place."

As I have seen nowhere else an account of Indian brick, I will give the
following from the " Geological Survey of Mississippi" - "The alluvial plain of
the Mississippi River, in the state of Mississippi, appears to have been the
home of a tribe of Indians who, at an early period, inhabited this country, it
is especially there that their remarkable mounds surrounded with brick walls
are found. . . . The bricks of the walls that surround the mounds are of
a singular and fine vermilion color, and have the appearance as if they had
been burned upon cane, being fluted in that manner ; they seem to contain a
great deal of lime." It is to be regretted that the particular locations of these
mounds were not mentioned.


After the expedition of De Soto, the Mississippi was not again visited by
Europeans till the year 1673, when Joliet and Marquette descended it from the
mouth of the Wisconsin to near that of the Arkansas. In 1682 La Salle and
Tonti descended the Mississippi from the mouth of the Illinois to the Gulf of
Mexico. In 1685 La Salle formed a settlement on the Bay of Metagorda, and
thence made excursions into the interior. When La Salle was murdered in
1687, at a place three days' journey west of Naouadiches, Cavelier, his brother,
conducted seven of his followers to the fort that Tonti had Ifuilt in 1686 on
the Arkansas River. In October, 1689, Tonti set out from Fort St. Louis on
the Illinois River "to bring back M. de La Salle's men, who were on the sea-
coast;" and in April, 1690, arrived at Naouadiches whence he returned. In 1714
Sf. Denis penetrated beyond the Mississippi to the missionary establishment of
St. John the Baptist, two leagues west of the Rio Bravo del Norte. All these
expeditions were into the region visited by De Soto or his followers, and are
the earliest notice of the Indian tribes inhabiting it, and it is especially from
the two last, that of Tonti and that of St. Denis, that is derived the best
account of the location of these tribes beyond the Mississippi. These two ex-
peditions, therefore, will here be briefly given.

The Memoir of the Sieur de Tonti has the following : "On the 7th of April
[1688], Coutoure brought to me [at Fort St. Louis] two Arkansas who danced


the calumet. They informed rae of the death of M. de La Salle, with all the
circumstances which they had heard from M. Cavelier, who had fortunately
discovered the house I had built at Arkansas, where the said Coutoure stayed
with three Frenchmen.

M. Cavelier told me that the Cadadoquia had proposed to accompany him if
he would go and fight against the Spaniards. He had objected on account of
their being only fourteen Frenchmen. I would not undertake anything with-
out the consent of the Governor of Canada. I sent the said Coutoure to the
French remaining in Naouadiche to get all the information he could. He set
off", and at a hundred leagues from the fort was wrecked, and, having lost every-
thing, returned.

In the interval M. de Denonville informed me that war was declared against
Spain. Upon this I came to the resolution of going to Naouadiche to execute
what M. Cavelier had ventured to undertake, and to bring back M. de La Salle's
men who were on the sea-coast, not knowing of the misfortunes that had be-
fallen them. I set 02" on the 3d of October [1689], and joined my cousin
who was gone on before, and who was to accompany me, but as M. de la Foret
did not come to take command in my absence, I sent my cousin back to com-
mand the fort.

I bought a larger boat than my own. We embarked five Frenchmen, one
Chaganon, and two slaves. Wfi arrived on the 17th at an Illinois village at
the mouth of their river. We reached the village of the Cappas on the 16 th
of January, where we were received with demonstrations of joy, and for four
days there was nothing but dancing, feasting, and masquerading after their
manner. They danced the calumet for me, which confirmed the last alliance.
On the 20th of January [1690], we came to Tongenga, and on the 22d, arrived
at the Torremans. Leaving my crew I set off the next day for Assotone, where
my commercial house is. These savages had not yet seen me, as they live on
a branch of the river coming from the west [the Arkansas River]. They did
their best, giving me two women of the Cadadoquis nation, to whom I was
going. I returned [down the Arkansas] to Torremans on the 2Cth, and bought
there two boats.* We went away on the 27th. On the 29th, finding one of
our men asleep when on duty as sentinel, I reprimanded him, and he left me.
I sent two of ray people to Corona to spare myself the fatigue of dragging on
with our crew six leagues inland. The Frenchman with whom I had quarrelled
made with them the third. We slept opposite the rivers of the Taencas, which
run from Arkansas. They came there on the 2d [Feb. 1690], this being the
place of meeting.

On the 4th February the rest of the party arrived. On the 5th, being op-
posite Taencas, the men whom I had sent to Coroua not having brought any

* These villages were in the following order in descending the Mississippi : The
first is K.appa or Cappa; the second, eight leagues btlow, is Torengen or Torgenga or
Tonningua j then tw o leagues below is Toriman or Torreman. All these thiee were on
the MissiEsippi Kiver; hut Assotone, or Osotonoy, or Atsotoohove was six leaguej up
the Arkansas Kiver, on the east bank. Toriman appears to have been at or very near
the mouth of the Arkansas. I have given the different ways of writing these names,
and it is but one of many examples of a similar kind, as for instance, Naondiche,
which is written several di£ferent ways.


news of the two Frenchmen whom I was anxious about, I sent them to Natchez.
They found that this nation had killed the two men. They arrived on the 8th
of Febniary. We set off on the 12th with twelve Taencas, and after a voyage
of twelve leagues to the northwest we left our boats and made twenty leagues'
portage, and on the 17th February, 1690, came to Natchitoches. They made us
stay at the place, which is in the midst of the three villages called Natchitoches,
Ouasita, and Capiche. The chiefs of the three nations assembled, and before
they began to speak the thirty Taencas who were with me got up and leaving
their arms went to the temple, to show how sincerely they wished to make a
solid peace. After having taken their god to witness, they asked for friendship.
I made them some presents in the name of Taencas. They remained some
days in the village to traffic with salt, which these nations got from a lake in the
neighborhood.* After their departure they gave me guides to the Yataches ;
and after ascending the river, always towards the northwest, about thirty
leagues, we found fifteen cabins of Natchez who received us pretty well. We
arrived on the 16th of March at Yataches about forty leagues from thence.
The three villages of Yataches, Nadas, and Choye are together. As they
knew of our arrival, they came three leagues to meet us with refreshments, and
on joining us we went together to their villages. The chief made many feasts
for us. I gave presents to them, and asked for guides to the Cadadoquis.
They granted me five men, and we got to Cadadoquis on the 28th. At the
place where we were encamped we discovered the trail of men and horses.
The next day some horsemen came to reconnoitre us, and after speaking to the
chief's widow, whom I brought back with me, carried back the news. The
next day a woman, who governed this nation, came to visit me with the prin-
cipal persons of the village. She wept over me, demanding vengeance for the
death of her husband and of the husband of the woman I was bringing back,
both of whom had been killed by the Osages. To take advantage of everything,
I promised that their death should be avenged. We went together to their
temple, and after the priests had invoked their god for a quarter of an hour,
they conducted me to the cabin of their chief. Before entering they washed
my face with water, which is a ceremony among them. During the time I was
there I learned from them that eighty leagues off were the seven Frenchmen
whom M. Cavelier had left. I hoped to finish my troubles by rejoining them,
but the Frenchmen who accompanied me, tired of the journey, would go no
further. All that I could do was to engage one of them, with a savage, to

* Iberville, in April, 1699, going to the Ounehita village, on the Ooachita River, met
six Natchitoches Indians who were taking salt to the Courois. And Da Pratz says :
" Up the Black Eiver about thirty lengnes we find on the left (ascending) a brook of
salt water which comes from the west. In going up this brook about two leagues, we
meet with a lake of salt water, which may be two leagues in length by one in breadth ;
and a league higher up to the north we meet another salt lake almost as long and as
broad as the former. The Indians came a great way off to this place to hunt in win-
ter and make salt. Before the French trucked copper with them, they miide upon
the spot pots of earth for this operation ; and they returned home loaded with ealt
and dry provisions." Some of the large earthen vessels in which the Indians made
salt have been found at some of the salines in Kentucky and Illinois. They ar
represented as large as the head of a hogshead.


accompany me to the village of Naouadiche where I hoped to find the seven

The Cadadoquis are united with two other villages, called Natchitoches and
Nasoui, situated on Red River. All the tribes of this nation speak the same
language. Their cabins are covered with straw, and they are not united in
villages, but their huts are distant one from the other. Their fields are beau-
tiful. They wage cruel wars with each other — hence their villages are but
thinly populated. I never found that they did any work except making very
fine bows, of which they make a traffic with distant nations. The Cadadoquis
possess about thirty horses. The men and women are tattooed in the face and
all over the body. They call this river the Red River because, in fact, it de-
posits a sand which makes the water as red as blood.

I left this place on the 6th of April, directing our route southward, with a
Frenchman, a Chaganon, a little slave of mine, and five of their savages, whom
they gave me as guides to Naouadiche. On our road we found some Naoua-
diche savages hunting, who assured me that the Frenchmen were staying with
them. On the 23d, we slept half a league from the village, and the chiefs came
to visit us at night. I asked them about the Frenchmen. They told me they
had accompanied their chiefs to fight against the Spaniards seven days' journey
off; that the Spaniards had surrounded them with their cavalry ; and that the
chiefs having spoken in their favor, the Spaniards had given them horses and
arms. Some of the others told me that the Quanouatins had killed three of
them ; and that four others had gone in search of iron arrow-heads : I did not
doubt but they had murdered them. I told them that they had killed the
Frenchmen. Directly all the women began to cry, and thus I saw what I had
said was true. I would not, therefore, accept the calumet. I told the chief I
wanted four horses for my return, and having given him seven hatchets and a
string of large glass beads, I received the next day four Spanish horses. As
this nation is sometimes at peace, and sometimes at war with the neighboring
Spaniards, they take advantage of a war to carry off their horses. There is
not a cabin which has not four or five. We harnessed ours as well as we
could, and departed on the 29th, greatly vexed that we could not continue our
route as far as M. de La Salle's camp. We were unable to obtain guides from
this nation to take us there, though not more than eighty leagues off. It was
at the distance of three days' journey from hence that M. de La Salle was

We reached Cadadoquis on the 10th of May. We stayed there to rest our
horses, and went away on the 1 7th, with a guide who was to take us to the vil-
lage of Corouas. After four days' journey, he left us. When our guide was
gone, I directed our course to the southeast, and, after about forty leagues'
march, crossing seven rivers, we found the river Corouas. We made a raft to
explore the other side of the river, but found there no dry land. We resolved
to abandon our horses, as it was impossible to take them on, because of the
great inundation. In the evening, as we were preparing to depart, we saw
some savages. We called to them in vain — they ran away, and we were un-
able to come up with them. Two of their dogs came to us, which, with two of
our own, we embarked the next day on our raft, and left our horses. We
crossed fifty leagues of flooded country. The water, where it was least deep,

6 '7 2 APPENDIX.

reached half- way up the legs ; and in all this tract we found only one little
island of dry land, where we killed a bear and dried its flesh. It would be
difficult to give an idea of the trouble we had to get out of this miserable coun-
try, where it rained night and day. We were obliged to sleep on the trunks of
two great trees placed together, and to make our fire on the trees, to eat our
dogs, and to carry our baggage across large tracts covered with cane ; in short,
I never suifered so much in all my life as in this journey to the Mississippi,
which we reached on the 11th of July. Finding that we were only thirty
leagues from Corouas, we resolved to go there, although we had never set foot
in that village. We arrived there on the evening of the 14th. We had not
eaten for three days. The savages received me very well. During three days
they did not cease feasting us. I left them on the 20th, and reached the Ark-
ansas on the 31st, where I caught a fever, which obliged me to stay there till
the 11th of August, when I left. The fever lasted until we got to the Illinois,
in September, 1690. (His. Col. La., by B. F.- French.)


On the 23d of August [1713], St. Denis set out with thirty Canadians, to
make a reconnoissance of the Spanish mission in the province of Lastikas, near
Red River. On the 15th of Movember, he arrived at the Assinays, west of
Natchitoches, and not finding any Spaniards there, returned to the Natchez,
where he re-enforced himself with five Canadians. He then reasoended Red
River to Natchitoches, and marched to the, Aissinays, where he took twenty
Indians and some horses, to conduct him to the missionary establishment of St.
John the Baptist, two leagues west of the Rio Bravo [now Rio Grande].
Capt. Raimond, the commandant of this post, informed the Duke of Lignares,
Viceroy of Mexico, of the arrival of St. Denis, and of his approaching mar-
riage with his niece. The Viceroy sent orders for St. Denis to repair immedi-
ately to the city of Mexico, where he arrived on the 25th of June, 1715. He
engaged St. Denis to accompany nine missionaries, who were going to estab-
lish themselves among the Adays, Nachodoches, Youays, Assinays, Natchi-
toches, and Nadacbs, in the province of Lastikas. On the 26tli of October, he
left the city of Mexico on this expedition, and visited St. Louis de Potosi, St.
Louis de la Paz, Charcas, Saltillo, Boca de Leon, and St. John the Baptist, on
the Rio del Norte [now Grande], where he was married. On the 4th of June,

1716, he returned to the Assinays, and on the 25th of August, he arrived at

In October St. Denis, Graveline, La Freniere, Beaulieu, Freres, Derbanne
[all Canadians], "formed a commercial copartnership. They purchased from
the stores of Crozat sixty thousand livres of merchandise to sell to the Span-
iards in the kingdom of New Leon ; and on the 10th of October, 1716, they
set out from Mobile to go to Mexico. They arrived at Natchitoches on the
25th of November, where they purchased some horses, and on the 25th of De-
cember they reached one of the villages of the Adayes [where they found a
Spanish mission-house]. From the 29th of December to the 4th of January,

1717, they travelled eighteen leagues through a country abounding in game.
On the 6th they crossed the river Adayes, and slept in the village of the


Ayiches, where they found a Spanish mission-house established, consisting of
two priests, three soldiers, and a woman. The country was interspersed with
beautiful prairies, and watered by several streams. From the 12th to the ISth
they travelled nineteen leagues, and slept at the mission-station of Nacho-
doches, where they found four priests, two soldiers, and a Spanish woman.
From the 18th to the 21st, they travelled nine leagues, to the Assinays or
Cenis, where they found two priests, one soldier, and a Spanish woman.

At Le Presidio,* which was seventeen leagues further on, they met a cap-
tain, ensign, and twenty-five soldiers. On the 22d they crossed two rivers,
and at a distance of ten leagues further they passed the last mission-station of
the Assinays or Cenis, which consisted of two priests and several soldiers, who
furnished them with a relay of horses. From the 23d to the 24th they trav-
elled eighteen leagues to Trinity River, where they rested. From the 26th to
the 28th they advanced twenty-four league*, to the river des Irrupines [probably
Brazos], where they saw a great herd of wild buffaloes. On the next day they
crossed the river, which has two branches, and slept at night in a village of
the same name. From the 2d to the 8th of April they travelled thirty-six
leagues, and crossed a deser.t to the Colorado River. Here they were attacked
by sixty Indians on horseback, who were covered with buffalo skins and armed
with bows and lances. The conflict was soon ended ; but in their retreat the
Indians threw themselves upon their rear guard, and carried off twenty-three
mules, one of which was loaded with all their wearing apparel.

On the 11th they made nine leagues, and forded the river St. Marks. On
the next day they crossed two branches of the river Guadaloupe. From the
13th to the 14th they travelled thirteen leagues, and forded the rivers St.
Anthony and Madeline. f From the 15th to the 19th they travelled twenty-
seven leagues, to the river Nueces. From the 20th to the 21st they travelled
to the river Del Norte [Grande], and two leagues to the west of which they
arrived at the Presidio, where they found a captain, lieutenant, and thirty
Spanish soldiers. In this place were established the missions of St. Bernard
and St. John the Baptist. Their houses were built around a square which
formed their fortress. These missionary-stations are situated about two hun-
dred and fourteen leagues from Natchitoches, in latitude 29° 10'. Here
Graveline and Derbonne learned that the merchandise brought by St. Denis
had been seized by Raimond, commandant of the post, and that he had gone
to the city of Mexico to have them restored to him.

This news compelled them to intrust the goods they had brought with them
to the Franciscan fathers, who sold them by degrees te the merchants of Boca
de Leon. On the 1st of September they heard of the imprisonment of St.
Denis, which obliged them soon after to set out for Mobile, where they ar-
rived on the 25th of October, 1717. They visited, on their route, a Spanish

» Presidio Is the Spanish name for fort or garrison. That here mentioned was
Cenis probably. The Presidio St. John the Baptist was in latitude 28°. The Pre-
sidio del Passo del Norte and Presidio del Norte are or were also on or near the Rio Bravo
del Norte or Kio Grande del Norte.

t Now Medina, probably contraction or corruption of Madeline.



mission on the Aadayes, St. Michel- Archange de Lingares, which was founded
on the 29th of January, 1717, by the Reverend Father Augustin, Patron de
Guzman, of the order of Franciscans.

Note (28), page 472.

When, on the 13th of May, in the year 1673, Joliet and Marquette passed
from the Wisconsin into the great river that they were in search of, they
called it by the name which the Indians of that section called it, viz., Mescha^
cebe, or, as Hennepin has it, Meschasipi. When they passed the mouth of
the Pekitanoni, now the Missouri, they observed the great rapidity of that
river and the turbidness of its waters, and that the character of the river they
had descended to that point, was 'entirely different from the river below it ;
but they had no knowledge of the great extent of the Pekitanoni ; had they
had this knowledge, the Pekitanoni, in all probability, would have been so
known from the Eocky Mountains to the Gulf of Mexico ; but they continued

Online LibraryBarnard ShippThe history of Hernando de Soto and Florida; or, Record of the events of fifty-six years, from 1512 to 1568 → online text (page 73 of 75)