By Peter J. Hamilton1

Publications of the Mississippi Historical Society
Volume VI
Oxford, Mississippi
Printed for the Society

Map of the Hiowanni Reservation, Wayne County, MS

By Peter J. Hamilton
It is a very superficial view for one to think of the Indians and their remains as matters of curiosity only. It is being gradually recognized that the study of everything pertaining to them is not only interesting but valuable for the light it throws on the development of man as a race. Cut off from contact with other continents, they preserved their racial features and petrified customs down to modem times. Systematic study has begun almost too late for the best results, but much has been done and much still is possible. It is therefore a duty, and certainly a pleasure, for students in different parts of the country to interest themselves in all pertaining to the red man of their respective districts.

Mississippi is peculiarly rich in aboriginal history and antiquities. At the north were the unconquerable Chickasaws; in the middle and lower parts of the State, the Choctaws, uniformly friendly with the white races adjacent and lending themselves more readily perhaps than any other large tribe to the influences of civilization. Besides, many have even up to the present, never left the limits of the State and thus present a field for study at home.
The best way to study the Choctaws or any other tribe is to study the particular town or district most available to the particular investigator. In course of time the whole field will thus be gone over and the results can be better systematized than where one makes broad generalizations without sufficient data. It was a good sign when the Historical Society divided the subject among different ones for investigation. Let us therefore study at present not so much the Choctaws as a race as the particular town or series of towns at their southeast border known as the Yowanne, or Hiowanni, Indians.

1 A biographical sketch of the writer of this article will be found in the Publications of the Mississippi Historical Society, Vol. II., pp. 255-6.---EDITOR.


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