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Mississippi's American Indians$
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James F. Barnett

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9781617032455

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781617032455.001.0001

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. 1540–1684: Early European Contact

. 1540–1684: Early European Contact

(p.46) Chapter 2. 1540–1684: Early European Contact
Mississippi's American Indians

James F. Barnett

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter sketches the record of early European contact with the native people of the Mississippi region, from intermittent Spanish exploration along the Gulf Coast in the early sixteenth century through the beginning of French Louisiana at the end of the seventeenth century. Called the Protohistoric period, these two centuries are a time of mystery. Debates continue over causes of the sweeping demographic changes that occurred between the De Soto invasion and La Salle’s Mississippi River voyage. Woven into the De Soto chronicles is the first glimpse of the probable ancestors of some of the region’s eighteenth-century tribes such as the Chickasaws, Chakchiumas, and Alabamas, along with accounts of powerful Mississippi Valley chiefdoms with exotic names like Quizquiz and Quigualtam.

Keywords:   Mississippi, Indians, Protohistoric period, De Soto, La Salle, tribes, chiefdom, Chickasaws, Chakchiumas, Alabamas

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