The History of Louisiana, or of the Western Parts of Virginia and Carolina: Containing a Description of the Countries That Lie on Both Sides of the River Mississippi; With an Account of the Settlements, Inhabitants, Soil, Climate, and Products; Trans

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Excerpt from The History of Louisiana, or of the Western Parts of Virginia and Carolina: Containing a Description of the Countries That Lie on Both Sides of the River Mississippi; With an Account of the Settlements, Inhabitants, Soil, Climate, and Products; Translated From the French

For M. Le Page tells us about this in a three-volume work he wrote called, Histoire de la Louisiane, recognized as the authority to be consulted by all who have written on the early history of New Orleans and the Louisiana province.

Le Page, who arrived in Louisiana August 25, 1718, three months after leaving La Rochelle, spent four months at Dauphin Island before he and his men made their way to Bayou St. John where he set up a plantation. He had at last reached New Orleans, which he correctly states, existed only in name, and had to occupy an old lodge once used by an Acolapissa Indian. The young settler, he was only about 23 at the time, after arranging his shelter tells us: A few days afterwards I pur chased from a neighbour a native female slave, so as to have a woman to cook for us. My slave and I could not speak each other's language; but I made myself understood by means of signs. This slave, a girl of the Chitimacha tribe, remained with Le Page for years, and one draws the inference that she was possessed of a vigorous personality, and was not devoid of charm or bravery. Le Page writes that when frightened by an alligator approaching his camp fire, he ran to the lodge for his gun. However, the Indian girl calmly picked up a stick and hammered the 'gator so lustily on its nose that it retreated. As Le Page arrived with his gun, ready to shoot the monster, he tells us: She began to smile, and said many things which I did not comprehend, but she made me understand by signs, that there was no occasion for a gun to kill such a beast.

It is unfortunate, for the purpose of sociological study, that this Indian girl appears so infrequently in the many accounts Le Page has left us in his highly interesting studies of early Louisiana and its original inhabitants. He does not even tell us the Indian girl's name.

We are told that after living on the banks of Bayou St. John for about two years, he left for the bluff lands of the Natchez country. His Indian girl decided she would go with him, as she had relatives there. Hearing of her plan, her old father offered to buy her back from Le Page. The Chitimacha girl, however, refused to leave her master, whereupon, the Indian father performed a rite of his tribe, which made her the ward of the white man - a simple ceremony of joining hands.

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Details

Publisher - Forgotten Books

Language - English

Author(s) - Antoine-Simon le Page du Pratz

Hardback

Published Date - August 24 2019

ISBN - 9780666266323

Dimesions - 22.9 x 15.2 x 2.6 cm

Page Count - 424

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