Iberville, commandant of the newly constructed fort, declared friendly intentions of the French by smoking the ceremonial calumet with the visiting dignitaries.
For Indians, this ceremonial gesture was as serious as business ever gets: Smoking the pipe represents a sacred trust between the two groups of people, that members of each group are bound to help members of the other under any circumstance. Even though six outposts were established within the first few years, few “settlers” were willing or able to do even the minimal amount of work required to produce their own food.
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.
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.
In South Florida we have the Bahamian people who have for centuries been crossing over from the nearby Bahama islands, the most populous of which, are north of Miami.
The exchange of gifts was not entirely one directional.Indians watched cautiously from a distance, out of sight of the intruders.Leaders from several Native towns in the vicinity finally got around to approaching the foreigners in the spring of 1699.He also talks about “,” areas of the country where large numbers of enslaved Africans had lived in the midst of a surrounding sea of Europeans and Native Americans.After the Civil War they gradually intermixed with the surrounding peoples creating enclaves of individuals of what Frazier calls “.” He identifies Ahoskie, North Carolina and Mahwah, New York as just two examples.