Caddo Archeology Journal
During the late 1700s, the Kadohadacho (hereafter Caddo), a peaceful tribe of agriculturists and hunters, weakened by near-constant pressure from the more war-like Osage and the ravages of various epidemics, began to migrate from their traditional homeland near the Great Bend of the Red River south into northwestern Louisiana and adjacent East Texas. By the time of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, the Caddo villages under their caddi Dehahuit were concentrated in the Sodo Lakes region west and northwest of modern-day Shreveport. Much of what we know today about the location of these settlements, and specifically Dehahuit’s village, are found in the writings of Indian agents and the field notes and plat maps of period surveyors. In this article we will examine these and other relevant documents and present a case for the location of the village of this historic figure.
It is the contention of the author, based on material to be presented in the pages to follow, that Dehahuit’s village will ultimately be found to lie northwest of Waskom, Texas on the southern terraces of Paw Paw Bayou beneath the neatly manicured lawns of the Victoria Wood subdivision. The site is depicted on the 1838 American surveys of northwestern Louisiana as lying on the Natchitoches-to-Pecan Point Road on the section line between Sections 2 and 3 of T17N, R17W. In support of this argument, we will examine in this article (1) a relatively definitive 1840 statement regarding the location of Dehahuit’s village by Jehiel Brooks, long-time Caddo Agent and the individual who engineered the sale of the Caddo lands to the United States; (2) the well-known 1805 statement of Red River Agent John Sibley in which he noted that the Caddo lived some 35 miles west of the Red River on a bayou “called, by them, Sodo;” and (3) a memorial statement by the Caddo themselves regarding the re-location of some of their villages as required by Article 4 of the 1835 treaty cession.
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