French colonials



French Explorers, Trappers, Hunters, and Colonists of the Mississippi River Valley -1680s to 1803.

Freewheeling Mercantilism

    French efforts in the Mississippi River Valley were more focused on the expansion of a mercantilist fur and hide trading empire rather than colonization.  The hard men who were the front line agents were more Native American than European at times, and they laid down the paths and trails of later American expansion.  Relations with the native tribes, especially the Quapaw of Arkansas, were usually friendly.

    Our programs are focused on the activities at the early Arkansas Post, founded by Henri de Tonti in 1686, and in spite of several moves of the Arkansas river, this settlement persisted as one of the most far flung outposts of European civilization until the 1850s.

    Programs include period survival skill demonstrations, food preparation, fur and hide trading knowledge and economics, and the lore of these colorful characters, all performed in "first person."


"Jacque" and "Henri" at Parkin 1997

Parkin team 1998

The post trader ( a real shark!)


Parkin Archeological State Park - September 1997 and 1998

Territorial Restoration, Little Rock, AR - May 1998

Old Davidsonville State Park, Pocahontas, AR - September and October 1997-1998