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BILOXI INDIANS

BILOXI INDIANS. The Biloxi Indians (also written Baluxa, Beluxi, Bilocchi, Bolixe, Paluxy, and many other names by European chroniclers) were Siouan speakers who were first recorded living near present Biloxi, in southern Mississippi. Since they were the southernmost speakers of the Sioux language and were surrounded by Muskhogean-speaking groups, it is believed that they migrated from the north at an earlier unknown date. The Biloxis were matrilineal. While they probably lived in tents in the North, a French observer reported that in Mississippi they lived in long houses with mud walls and bark roofs; they made pottery, baskets, wooden bowls, and bone and horn implements. About 1763 some of the Biloxis moved westward to western Louisiana. In 1828 there were twenty families on the east bank of the Neches River in what is now Angelina County, Texas, in the area of present Biloxi Creek. The Biloxis were never numerous. Their westward movements, like those of many migratory Gulf Coast groups in early historical times, are attributed to pressure from Europeans. Like the Alabama, Coushatta, and Caddoan tribes with which the Biloxis allied themselves in East Texas, the Biloxis were reputed to have "no pretensions to soil, and were on friendly terms with the people of the Republic." However, in 1836 the Biloxis appeared as associates of the Cherokees in the treaty of February 23 at Chief Bowl's village. In 1837 a committee report of the Texas Senate located the Biloxis and their allies together in the Nacogdoches and Liberty counties, estimating their strength at "150 warriors." When Albert Sidney Johnston and President Mirabeau B. Lamarqqv declared war on the Cherokees and killed Bowl, the rout was easily extended to other East Texas tribes such as the Biloxis, many of whom were harried from Texas into Arkansas by July 25, 1839. In 1843, however, other Biloxis who had moved westward signed the treaty of September 29 with the Republic of Texas at Bird's Fort on the Trinity River. In 1846 Butler and Lewis found a Biloxi camp on Little River in Bell County. Other Biloxis moved farther west, and were encountered later as associates of the Seminoles as far west as Brackettville, Texas, and as far south as Nacimiento, Coahuila. Families and individuals also lived with the Choctaws and Creeks in Indian Territory and among the Alabama-Coushattas near Livingston, Texas.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Jean Louis Berlandier, Indians of Texas in 1830, ed. John C. Ewers and trans. Patricia Reading Leclerq (Washington:: Smithsonian, 1969). James O. Dorsey and John R. Swanton, A Dictionary of the Biloxi and Ofo Languages (Washington: Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology, 1912). Dianna Everett, The Texas Cherokees: A People between Two Fires, 1819–1840 (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1990). M. R. Haas, "The Last Words of Biloxi," International Journal of American Linguistics 23 (1968). Frederick Webb Hodge, ed., Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico (2 vols., Washington: GPO, 1907, 1910; rpt., New York: Pageant, 1959). Anna Muckleroy, "The Indian Policy of the Republic of Texas," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 25–26 (April 1922-January 1923). Joseph Milton Nance, After San Jacinto: The Texas-Mexican Frontier, 1836–1841 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1963).

Megan Biesele

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Megan Biesele, "BILOXI INDIANS," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/bmb08), accessed November 28, 2014. Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.