Painting of two groups firing weapons at each other with bow and arrow and long guns under representations of the sun and moon.

Quapaws fighting Chickasaws. Detail from the Three Villages Robe, an eighteenth-century painting on animal hide by an unidentified Quapaw artist, courtesy of Musee du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac, Dist RMN -Grand Palais/Art Resource NY. Photograph by Claude Germain. To learn more about 17th–19th century objects in the museum’s French Royal Collections from North America, see the CROYAN Project.

Military Cooperation and the Relocation of Quapaw and French Settlements in Colonial Arkansas

a case study in colonial international relations


Morris S. Arnold

Arkansas Archeological Survey
Academic Papers Series Number 1 - 2023



This is the first publication in what will be a series dedicated to open access publications available to download for free from the Survey website. We welcome submissions!


A previous article made the case that the Quapaw Indians had played a role in the defense of Arkansas Post, and had entered several colonial wars on the side of the French, during the time that France had claimed sovereignty over the Arkansas country.
The purpose of the present effort is to describe and explain the origin and nature of the alliance between the Quapaws and the French, and to identify the considerations that led the tribe to conclude that it was often in its national interest to collaborate with the French in their defensive and offensive military operations. The efforts that the two nations made to keep their settlements close to each other will prove of particular interest because they illustrate the strategic symbiosis that characterized those nations’ relationship for decades.
Morris S. Arnold is a United States Circuit Judge for the Eighth Circuit. He thanks Andrew Beaupré, René Chartrand, Kathleen DuVal, Carl Ekberg, D. Price Marshall Jr., Sharon Person, Joseph Swain, Greg Waselkov, Elliott West, and Patrick Williams for their helpful suggestions.

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