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By Lucille Blanche Griffith

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There were warring Indians whom the officers tried to bring to terms, Frenchmen killed on expeditions into the interior, sickness caused by the hot climate, shortages of food which sometimes were relieved by sending hunting parties among the Indians, at other times by borrowing supplies from the Spanish in Pensacola and by shiploads from the homeland. There was dissatisfaction but it was not until an unusual flood that threatened to wash away the site that D'Artaguette, commandant of Mobile, and Bienville, governor for the third time, decided to move the fortification to higher ground on the site of the modern city of Mobile.

I have followed a fairly simple outline. Since material before 1798 is scarce, I have put it in one section. Thereafter, I have assorted material into chronological periods and also topical classifications. I have chosen arbitrarily to end the book about 1900. This decision is open to question, but it had to end somewhere and that seemed a reasonable terminal date. With a new constitution, a new day in politics, and an acceleration in industry, a new era was ushered in with the new century; it should have more space than I could give it.

The one great battle was at Mauvilla (spelled several ways) when de Soto and the Spaniards met Tuscaloosa, probably a Choctaw, and his warriors in a mighty slaughter. This was October 18, 1540. The exact site of the battle is not known but the United States De Soto Expedition in 1939 decided it must be somewhere in Clarke County. The Governor (as de Soto is always called in the four contemporary accounts of the expedition) was invited to visit Tuscaloosa. De Soto was told that he would find "service and obedience, friendship and peace" whenever he chose to pass through Tuscaloosa's territories.

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