Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page

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Contents

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List of Figures

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xiii-xv

This book is the result of a journey that began with words from two great teachers, Joy Jimon Hintz and Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, who told me that each of us could make happen those things we truly want to make happen.
The financial support of Oakland University...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-14

A Choctaw leader and his twenty companions stared in horror at the two rows of severed heads set before them. Their hosts, the Natchez Indians, had neatly arranged them outside the smoldering ruins of a plantation known as St. Catherine’s Concession. Those in one row belonged to...

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1. Rising Suns

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pp. 15-44

During the early spring of 1700, a small party of European officers, sailors, craftsmen, and laborers, guided by Native Americans, rowed up the Mississippi River. They had come to chart the region for the king of France. After several days of traveling north, they stopped to visit a...

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2. Thefts of the Suns

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pp. 45-78

“The Great Sun of the Natchez, who is the chief of the tribe, is the bastard of Father Saint Cosme of Canada.”1 The preceding sentence was the first in an unsigned memoir held in the manuscript collection of the Bibliothèque nationale de France. This document, dated 1728, describes St...

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3. Impudent Immigrants

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pp. 79-119

Late in October 1722, two Native American ambassadors shuttled between the Apple Village, St. Catherine’s Concession, and Fort Rosalie on a series of peace missions. Several Natchez, slaves, and colonists were already dead or wounded from a round of shooting incidents. The war chief of the...

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4. The Many Lands of Natchez Country

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pp. 120-148

A modicum of tranquility descended on Natchez Country after the third conflict between the People of the Sun and the habitants of Louisiana. The period between 1724 and 1729 opened channels of cross-cultural exchange during which several Europeans learned more about their...

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5. “These Are People Who Named Themselves Red Men”

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pp. 149-174

On a day in the late spring of 1728, a Natchez man whom his French “owner” had named “Bontemps” mounted a scaffold in New Orleans. A free African man, Louis Congo, the colony’s official executioner, placed a rope around his neck.1 Bontemps was a thief. He had stolen...

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6. Fallen Forts

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pp. 175-206

On a late autumn evening in 1729, Marc Antoine Calliot, a clerk for the Compagnie des Indes, met his friends on the New Orleans waterfront to take a stroll along the levee. They had just attended a Te Deum to celebrate the king’s recovery from a bout of illness. The ship that had...

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Legacies

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pp. 207-216

The fates of all but two of the Natchez who were sent to Saint Domingue remain a mystery. Bienville, on his return to Louisiana to take up the post of governor, stopped at the island colony. There he met with the Great Sun and his wife. After the Canadian’s cursory mention of the...

Notes

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pp. 217-264

Bibliography

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pp. 265-284

Index

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pp. 285-293

Early American Places

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pp. 294-294