1519–1797 » 1699-1762, French Dominion

1699: First European settlement in Mississippi established

Map of France's colonies, 1705 (MDAH Collection)
Map of France's colonies

Fort Maurepas was built in present day Ocean Springs by Frenchmen Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville and his brother, Jean Baptiste de Bienville, among the Biloxi, Pascagoula, Acolapissa, Quinipissa, Mugulasha, and other coastal groups.

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1700: D’Iberville returns to Biloxi from France

1702: Jean-Francois Buisson de Saint-Cosme becomes missionary for Natchez

Saint-Cosme was with the Natchez from 1700 to 1706. He was killed in late 1706 by Chitimacha Indians while traveling on the Mississippi.

1702: French establish Old Mobile on Mobile River at 27 Mile Bluff

They opened trade with the Choctaws who were desperate for arms under pressure from the Chickasaws.   Henri de Tonti attempted to broker peace between Choctaws and Chickasaws, and established a one or two year cease fire.

1702: D’Iberville leaves colony for France but dies en route

D’Iberville died of sickness while fighting the English in the Caribbean during Queen Anne’s War (War of Spanish Succession).

1702: Tunica, Koroa, Chakchiuma, Ofogoula, and Yazoos consolidate under pressure and population loss from Chickasaw attacks

They settled on the lower Yazoo River north of present-day Vicksburg.  Shortly thereafter, the Tunica moved out of Mississippi to Portage de la Croix on the  Mississippi River, just south of Wilkinson County.

1704: Louisiana colony sends for prospective brides from France and first group of 20 arrive

Map of France's Louisiana colony, 1720 (MDAH Collection)
Map of France's Louisiana colony

The brides carried a plague that killed 22 of the settlers.

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1706: “Petticoat insurrection” begins when women detained against their will

The women were unhappy with the hard life in the colony and wanted to return to France, but they were not allowed to leave.

1710: Antoine de la Mothe, Sieur de Cadillac appointed new governor of Louisiana colony

He did not arrive until 1713.  Bieville was demoted to lieutenant governor.

1712: King Louis XIV issues charter to private financier

The king gave Antoine Crozat a monopoly on trade and manufacturing over colony.

1713: Crozat establishes first trading post among Natchez

The French discovered that the British were already trading with the Natchez.

1715: Yamassee War erupts in South Carolina and all over English-trading South

The war was in response to the British Indian slave trade. Charlestowne and Port Royal were partially burned, and townspeople survived by retreating to ships at anchor in bay. Many English traders were killed in the Indian towns across the Southeast. Chickasaws and some upper Creeks alone protected their British traders. The Chickasaws allowed their British traders to be killed.

1716: Bienville establishes Fort Rosalie on site of present-day Natchez

Over the next thirteen years, the French colony at Natchez grew. However, disputes and misunderstandings between the French and the Natchez later resulted in a series of conflicts.

1717: Crozat surrenders charter when colony does not prosper

The French crown had awarded the Louisiana concession to Antoine Crozat in 1712. When Crozat surrendered his monopoly, it went to John Law’s Company of the West. Law’s company was renamed Company of the Indies in 1719.

1718: Bienville moves Louisiana colony capital to New Orleans

1718: Enslaved Africans brought to Mississippi

They were brought to Mississippi by the Company of the West.

1719: Capital of the Louisiana colony moves from Mobile to New Biloxi, present day Biloxi

1719: Fort St. Pierre established at Haynes Bluff/Ballground area among Yazoo

1720: John Law’s “Mississippi Bubble” bursts when stock in his Mississippi Company falls

After Crozat lost his charter, Law began a joint-stock company, the Mississippi Company,  and received a charter of his own, promising high profits to share-holders.

1720s: Chickasaw-Choctaw hostilities continue

The Chickasaw interrupted French traffic on the Mississippi River, and the French continued to place bounty on Chickasaw scalps. Many smaller tribes aligned with and moved to either tribe.

1722: Hurricane damages settlements in Pascagoula, Biloxi, and Bay of St. Louis, causing many settlers to flee to New Orleans or Mobile

Map showing Mississippi River area, 1749 (MDAH Collection)
Map showing Mississippi River area

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1724: Bienville enacts Code Noir, or Black Code

The code regulated slavery, requiring masters to provide food and clothing and forbidding the sale of husbands and wives separately.

1726: Bienville accused of corruption and replaced by Etienne Boucher de Perier

1729: Massacre at Fort St. Pierre by local Yazoos

Chickasaw and English involvement was suspected in the massacre, which took place on the lower Yazoo River north of present-day Vicksburg.

1729: Natchez Massacre French at Fort Rosalie

The Natchez massacred French settlers and garrison, including Commandant Sieur de Chepart, at Fort Rosalie in an effort to drive out Europeans. Hundreds of slaves were set free.

1730: French retaliate for Natchez Revolt

The French besiege the Natchez on St. Catherine’s Creek, driving the Natchez from their homes.  The Natchez splintered and sought refuge in Louisiana, with the Chickasaws at Tupelo, and eventually among Upper Creeks, Cherokees, and Catawbas.

1731: Large band of Natchez massacre Tunicas in deceit at their Portage de la Croix village on Mississippi River

The surviving Tunicas moved further downriver to location at Trudeau, Louisiana.

1736: Chickasaw defeat French

Bienville led French troops in an attack on the Chickasaw Indians near present-day Lee County.  Chickasaw defeated French at the Battle of Ackia and the Battle of Ogoula Tchetoka.

1739: Chickasaw campaign II

1746: Choctaw Civil War begins

War broke out between French and British trading factions. Hundreds were killed, and many towns were burned. The war ended in 1750.

1754: French and Indian War begins

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