Page showing Choctaw vocabulary words. Call number: Z/0580.000, item 60 (MDAH)

Page showing Choctaw vocabulary words. Call number: Z/0580.000, item 60 (MDAH)

This trader’s notebook of George Rapalji of the Natchez District contains accounts, miscellaneous notes, and Choctaw vocabulary words for the period April 9, 1788, through April 1, 1797, written on forward and then reverse pages in the notebook. Accounts include customer names, some of which are Choctaw, and a list of items purchased or traded as well as amounts owed and paid.

Rapalji traded such items as thread, knives, gunpowder, salt, sugar, coffee, tobacco, and animal skins. He also dealt in livestock, as evidenced by the livestock inventories (pages 14 and 28). Rapalji recorded memoranda of events, recipes, home remedies, and geographic notes regarding the Mobile and Tombecbe [Tombigbee] Rivers.

Of note is the list of inhabitants on the Big Black River, which includes the years they settled in the area (pages 19-23). Of particular interest are the pages containing Choctaw words and phrases with their English equivalents (pages 10, 43-76).