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They cut pine trees to build Fort Maurepas, the first of several forts in the region.

Without even so much as a “Bon jour” to the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Natchez and other nations they had invaded, they planted their flag and declared that tens of millions of acres of land in the Louisiana Territory now belonged to France.

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American Indians had never been exposed to the diseases Europeans brought with them, and consequently lacked the immunities Europeans had built up over countless generations of exposure. Further, Indian religious leaders and Elders complained bitterly when young people in their towns began to rely on European trade goods guns, knives, iron kettles instead of making their own tools in the traditional way.

The proselytizing of Christian missionaries was especially reviled.

Also, we have the Caribbean and the recent immigrant African communities. In order to understand how this land came to be what it is, we must know its history.

In truth however, the Africans and Caribbean peoples have been coming here for nearly 150 years and blending in, over time, with the Africans already here. This is a story of Indian and African resistance to white colonial rule in Louisiana during the earliest days of French occupation. We must not dismiss the genocide against Indians and Africans or the clever and fierce resistance that Indians and Africans put up in the wake of an unholy tumult perpetrated by Europeans.

The French brought some of their own presents, and bestowed upon Indian communities the traditional European hospitality, including dysentery, smallpox, cholera, Christianity, horses and pigs, rats and cockroaches.

He Kills A Priest The arrival of French colonists set off a chain reaction of disease and dislocation in Indian communities throughout the Gulf Coast area.

Most lacked the knowledge or energy required even to gather nuts and berries or to scoop up the bountiful shellfish that proliferated in the waters around the Gulf of Mexico.

Soldiers at the forts considered a good day’s work was getting drunk by noon and then talking an influential Indian into supplying women to satisfy their sexual appetites.

Iberville, commandant of the newly constructed fort, declared friendly intentions of the French by smoking the ceremonial calumet with the visiting dignitaries.

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