The CHICKASAW BLUFF is the high ground rising about 50 to 200 feet
(20–60 m ) above the flood plain between Fulton in Lauderdale County
Tennessee and Memphis in Shelby County , Tennessee.
This elevation, shaped as four bluffs, is named for the Chickasaw
people. Known in the 19th century as one of the Five Civilized Nations
in the Southeast, they occupied much of this area in western Tennessee
and Mississippi. By their control of the bluffs, they could impede
French river traffic in the 18th century when the peoples were at war.
* 1 Location
* 2 Geology
* 3 Human history
* 4 See also
* 5 References
Chickasaw Bluffs were numbered by rivermen from one to four,
starting from the north.
LOCATION (NORTH TO SOUTH)
90 m (295 ft)
35°37′26″N 89°52′12″W / 35.624°N 89.870°W /
35.624; -89.870 (First
96 m (315 ft)
35°30′58″N 89°53′17″W / 35.516°N 89.888°W /
35.516; -89.888 (Second
Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park
Tipton and Shelby
68 m (223 ft)
35°22′16″N 90°03′54″W / 35.371°N 90.065°W /
35.371; -90.065 (Third
Below the mouth of the Wolf River at Memphis
103 m (337 ft)
35°08′28″N 90°03′18″W / 35.141°N 90.055°W /
35.141; -90.055 (Fourth
Chickasaw Bluffs are a relatively recent feature. They were
formed from pleistocene loess (wind-blown) silt. This loess can be as
thick as 70 feet and it generally tapers off as one moves eastward.
The loess accumulated on top of fluvial deposits from the pliocene .
These primarily consist of terrace gravels deposited from glacial
runoff. Because of this, the bluffs are slide-prone, especially during
seismic activity. The bluffs are characterized by very steep valleys
and have higher gradient streams than areas to the east or west. Along
the western edges facing the river or alluvial plains, they bluffs
form nearly vertical cliffs. In Memphis, these edges have been
smoothed out in the downtown area.
Chickasaw Bluffs refer to the four numbered formations
in Tennessee, the geological feature stretches from Hickman, Kentucky
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Baton Rouge, Louisiana . They do not form a continuous band,
as they are split by river valleys such as the
Obion River , Forked
Deer River ,
Hatchie River ,
Loosahatchie River , Wolf River ,
Coldwater River , and
Tallahatchie River .
It is theorized that Crowley\'s Ridge in Arkansas was part of the
Chickasaw Bluff formation before the previous ice age when the
prehistoric courses of the
Ohio River and
Mississippi River carved a
path between the two.
Crowley's Ridge has the same composition as the
Chickasaw Bluffs and has similar topography.
Chickasaw Bluff was the site of the French Fort Assumption
, used as a base against the
Chickasaw in the abortive Campaign of
1739 . The
Chickasaw Bluff secured Memphis from river floods, while a
rare shelf of sandstone below provided a secure boat landing, making
this the "only site for a commercial mart" between the
Ohio River and
Vicksburg, Mississippi . This location was also the meeting place of
d\'Artaguette , Chicagou and de Vincennes before their ill fated 1736
attack against the
Fort Prudhomme Second
Chickasaw Bluff in Tipton
The French built their
Fort Prudhomme , or Prud'homme, at one of the
Chickasaw Bluffs in 1682. René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle
(1643–87) was a French explorer. In 1682, La Salle led a canoe
expedition to explore the
Mississippi River basin. The expedition
landed to hunt, when one of their members went missing. The armorer
Pierre Prudhomme was assumed captured by
Chickasaw Indians .
La Salle decided to stay and search for the missing member. La Salle
had a stockade built and named it
Fort Prudhomme , after their lost
man. This was the first structure built by the French in Tennessee.
Days later, the missing man found his way back to La Salle. Prudhomme
had lost his way while hunting. The expedition reached the mouth of
Mississippi River on April 6, 1682.
The exact location of
Fort Prudhomme is unknown. Researchers agree
that it was located on the
Chickasaw Bluffs but the site is disputed.
Some historians claim that
Fort Prudhomme was built on the first
Chickasaw Bluff, in modern day Lauderdale County . The Tennessee
Encyclopedia of History and Culture suggests that the fort was
constructed on the second
Chickasaw Bluff near modern-day Randolph.
Other research mentions the third
Chickasaw Bluff as the location of
the fort, at the border of modern Tipton and Shelby counties. The
Chickasaw Bluff in modern Shelby County at Memphis is also
supported as a site of Fort Prudhomme.
Fort Pillow State Park
Wikimedia Commons has media related to CHICKASAW BLUFF .
* ^ A B Knox, Ray (1995). The New Madrid Fault Finders Guide.
Gutenberg Richter Publications. p. 57. ISBN 978-0-934426-42-8 .
* ^ A B Safford, James (1869). The Geology of Tennessee. S. C.
Mercer, Nashville. pp. 112–113. OCLC 01448824.
* ^ "Google Maps". Google.com. Retrieved 2009-02-19.
* ^ Pierson, Uriah (1873). James' River Guide. U. P. James,
Cincinnati. pp. 33–36. OCLC 05153739.
* ^ A B C Magness, Perre (1998). "TN Encyclopedia: Fort Prudhomme
and La Salle". The
Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture.
Retrieved 12 January 2009.
* ^ A B Parkman, Francis; Levin, David (1983). France and England
in North America. Library of America. p. 921. ISBN 0-940450-10-0 .
* ^ Tennessee: A Guide to the State. US History Publishers. 1978 .
p. 422. ISBN 1-60354-041-5 .
* ^ Conard, Howard Louis (1901). Encyclopedia of the History of
Missouri: A Compendium of History and Biography for Ready Reference.
The Southern History Company, Haldeman, Conard & Co., Proprietors. p.
* ^ "
Mississippi River Corridor - Historical and Cultural
Mississippi River Corridor, Tennessee. 2008. Archived from
the original on 25 July 2008. Retrieved 12 January 2009.
* ^ Kellogg, Louise Phelps (1917). Early Narratives of the
Northwest, 1634-1699. New York, N.Y. : C. Scribner\'s Sons . p. 297.
* ^ "Encyclopedia.com -
Tennessee Information - The Columbia
Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition". Columbia University Press. 2008.
Retrieved 12 January 2009.
* ^ Phelan, James (1888). History of Tennessee: The Making of a
Massachusetts : Houghton, Mifflin and Company. pp.
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