The Chickasaw Village Sources
The Village Location Keys
Remaining Village Locations
The Decades and the Villages
Slide Show -
Current Village Locations
The American Revolution against the English began in 1775 and lasted until 1783. The English in Florida established good relations with the Chickasaw and Choctaw but had trouble with the Creeks. Because of this, settlement of Natchez outpaced the remainder of British West Florida. The Spanish in Louisiana began inroads with the Indians in West Florida. By decades end the British had lost Natchez to the Spanish. For the most part, the Chickasaw favored the British; however factions developed within the Nation. As the decade waxed, the Spanish made inroads with Chickasaw leader Wolfs Friend.
The American Revolution may have had an impact on the exodus Chickasaw. McGee noted (Draper 3) that the Chickasaw living in South Carolina returned to the Nation "by the breaking out of the Revolution" or by 1775.
McGee was silent about the exodus Chickasaw living with the Upper Creeks. Swanton (Swanton BAE 73 418) indicates that although a small group of exodus Chickasaw in 1772 founded "Kiamulgatown", he noted that this group was small and probably displaced by other Indians.
Bernard Romans (Romans 73), a British government agent, visited the Chickasaw Nation in 1771. Romans described the Nation, "They live nearly in the center of a very large and somewhat uneven savannah, of a diameter of about three miles; this savannah at all times has but a barren look, the earth is very nitrous, and the savages get their water out of holes or wells dug near the town; in any drought the ground will gape infussures of about six or seven inches wide, and again, two or thee days rain will cause an inundation; the water is always nitrous, and this field abounds with flint, marl, and those kinds of anomalous fossils mistaken for oyster shells, which cannot be burnt into lime; . . . They have in this field what might be called one town, or rather an assemblage of huts, of the length of about one mile and a half, and very narrow and irregular; this however, they divide into seven, by the names of Melattaw (i.e., hat and feather), Chatelaw (i.e., copper town), Chukafalaya (i.e., long town), Hikihaw (i.e., stand still), Chucalissa (i.e., great town), Tuckahaw (i.e., a certain weed), and Achuck hooma (i.e., red grass); this was formerly enclosed in palisadoes, and thus well fortified against the attacks small arms, but now it lays open; a second Artaguette, a little more prudent than the first, would not find them an easy prey."
Our next description of the villages is that of Malcolm McGee. McGee gave clues to the date of his description. First he insisted that the movement from Old Town was 1772. Next he reported that there was a measles outbreak in 1784 that wreaked havoc on the population of the Nation (Draper 6) and he noted, "in the spring of '84 measles broke out among the Chickasaws, the Red King died, and large numbers - nearly half of Long Town." Thus Long Town had moved from Old Town perhaps beginning in 1772 and was well established if not totally so by 1784. We may assume that McGee's village description dates to sometime in the 1775-1780 timeframe.
McGee indicated the Chickasaw towns were, "the Big Town, or Chu-kwillissa, Chuckafalla or Long Town- Teshatulla or Post Oak Grove- Hummalala- Tuskaroiloe- Hussinkoma or Red Grains-Shiokaya or "Stand by it", the smallest town-not more than half a dozen houses & twenty five or thirty persons. The first three towns were of the most importance." The names of these villages appear associated to others on Table 1. All of the names of the seven villages may be matched phonetically to those of the past.
While not furnishing a map of the villages, Romans like Adair gave a description of the areal extent of the Nation's town(s). Romans witnessed the twilight of Old Town as the location for all the towns. He also pointed out that the water and wood resources were scarce, if not exhausted. Romans also indicated that the old palisades and ditches described by Edmond Atkin were abandoned. Further Romans described the density of the seven settlements and the difficulty to distinguish the towns' boundaries. Referring to Table 1, the village spellings and names of Purcell and Romans associate very closely. Perhaps they had the same source, the English Chickasaw agent.
Malcolm McGee (Draper 6) seconded Romans' lack of water and wood (barren look) as the reason for the villages moving out of Old Town. McGee was quoted saying that the Chickasaw were compelled "to concentrate at Old Town. They did not branch out again till about 1772, when wood was not easily obtained, & had to dig for water". It is interesting that resource(s) limitation as opposed to war or disease compelled the Nation to branch out from Old Town. Whatever, the Chickasaw villages described by Romans in 1771 remained at Old Town, Figure 10.
McGee (Draper 6) provided some location reference for the principal towns once they moved, "Long Town was 4 miles down Town creek from Old Town, & the Post Oak Town was about the same distance in a southerly direction on Coppertown viz Techatulla creek." Thus McGee's Long Town or Chuckafalla moved south to the small prairie where it was located when attacked by Bienville in 1736. Note on Table 1 the village name associations of Chuckafalla. McGee's Post Oak Town or Teshatulla moved back to its former home on Coonewah Creek, see Figure 1 and note Adair's Shatara is the same as McGee's Teshatulla. Teshatulla moved back to Coonewah Creek ridge and occupied its former homes on both sides of Coonewah Creek. Big Town or Chu-kwillissa, McGee's third important town, stayed at Old Town. McGee's three major village locations are shown on Figure 13. The range of these later Chickasaw villages was not as extensive as they were on Figure 1. However, the villages were not as dense at those of the 1720/30s.
In the decade of 1710-1720 we noted the location of Adair's Hykehah, Figure 1. For the time being we may state that McGee's Shiokaya (Table 1 Adair's Hykehah) moved back to its former home southwest of Coonewah Creek. This location and that of the other McGee's villages may become clearer in the following papers.
It is interesting that McGee did not mention the Confederate Indians living with the Chickasaw as having separate villages. Romans did state that the Chickasaw had intermarried significantly. McGee (Draper 2) provided information about Piomingo that "His mother was descended from the Chocchuma tribe, on the Tallahatchie, dwindled away-his father, it is thought, a Chickasaw." It is probable the Confederate Indians living with the Chickasaw may have intermarried.