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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.It only took them seven years to acquire their first slaves, from whom they could order their daily bread rather than request it.The Invasion Of Louisiana In late February, 1699, Pierre le Moyne d’Iberville, his brother Jean Baptiste le Moyne de Bienville, and a small group of soldiers, sailors, and artisans dropped anchor in Biloxi Bay.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.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.
Indians always took them in and fed and housed them for weeks and even months at a time.
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.
When their wishes were denied, soldiers often turned to rape and other forms of brutality against Indian women.
For more than 20 years, the French interlopers regularly faced starvation.