Robert E. Bell Ferdinandina: Biography of a French-Indian Trading Community on the Southern Plains

 

Robert E. Bell Ferdinandina: Biography of a French-Indian Trading Community on the Southern Plains Download
Full Title
Ferdinandina: Biography of a French-Indian Trading Community on the Southern Plains
Author
Robert E. Bell
Abstract

This is an archaeological chronicle concerned with two related French-contact sites on the western bank of the Arkansas River a few miles east of Newkirk, Oklahoma (Figures 1 and 2). These two sites, now known as the Deer Creek site (Ka-3) and the Bryson-Paddock site (Ka-5), were occupied by the Wichita Indians during the early half of the 18th century. European goods found at these locations indicate that French traders, presumably established at New Orleans or elsewhere in the Lower Mississippi Valley, were traveling up the Arkansas River into Oklahoma for exploiting the fur trade. Although French traders were also active along the Red River in southern Oklahoma, the known contact sites in Oklahoma on the Red River are later in time. In fact, the Deer Creek villages appear to represent the earliest French contact sites now known for Oklahoma and appear to date from the period between approximately AD 1700 and 1760. They also appear to represent the terminal objective of French trading parties traveling up the Arkansas River as far as the Arkansas state border. These two Wichita Indian villages represent the focal point for the initial thrusts of French traders into what is now the state of Oklahoma.