A conflict with the Chickasaw people that would last for decades

The Chickasaws have a turbulent history with the French. The French, under Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville, experienced significant tension with the Chickasaw tribe due to their close relationship with the British. This led the French into conflict with the Chickasaw people that would last for decades.

The French became close allies with the Choctaws for trading purposes. The conflict between the Chickasaws and the French began when the Chickasaws suspected a French fur trader of being a spy. Chickasaw warriors killed the fur trader, and in retribution, the French encouraged their Choctaw allies to attack the Chickasaws (even providing them with guns and ammunition). The victorious Chickasaws successfully defended every attempted Choctaw assault until the Chickasaws and Choctaws finally settled on a peace agreement in 1724. The French recognized the agreement in 1725.

These four years of peace ended in 1729 when the Natchez tribe rebelled against the French and killed over 200 Frenchmen. Many of the Natchez Indians sought refuge after this rebellion with the Chickasaw tribe in Mississippi. This prompted the French and their Choctaw allies to launch a joint attack on the Chickasaw villages in northeastern Mississippi. Once again, the Chickasaws were victorious and successfully defended against all of the French attacks. In 1740, the Chickasaws and the French established peace once again.

Britain’s defeat of the French in 1763 during the French and Indian War ended much of the conflict and eliminated the French as a threat to the Chickasaws. While they were victorious in repelling the French attempts to destroy them, the Chickasaws’ population did decrease to approximately 3,000 people as a result of the brutal warfare with the Choctaws and the French.