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To the south-west and west of us the French have erected a considerable town, near Fort Thoulouse on the Moville river, and several other forts and garrisons, some not above three hundred miles distant from our settlements; and at New Orleans on the Mississippi river, since her late Majesty Queen Anne's war, they have exceedingly increased their strength and traffic, and have now many forts and garrisons on both sides of that great river for several hundred miles up the same; and since his most Christian Majesty has taken out of the Mississippi Company the government of that country into his own hands, the French natives in Canada come daily down in shoals to settle all along that river, where many regular forces have of late been sent over by the King to strengthen the garrisons in those places, and, according to our best and latest advices, they have five hundred men in pay, constantly employed as wood-rangers, to keep their neighbouring Indians in subjection, and to prevent the distant ones from disturbing the settlements; which management of the French has so well succeeded, that we are very well assured they have now wholly in their possession and under their influence, the several numerous nations of Indians that are situated near the Mississippi river, one of which, called the Choctaws, by estimation consists of about five thousand fighting men, and who were always deemed a very warlike nation, lies on this side the river, not above four hundred miles distant from our out-settlements, among whom, as well as several other nations of Indians, many French Europeans have been sent to settle, whom the priests and missionaries among them encourage to take Indian wives, and use divers other alluring methods to attach the Indians the better to the French alliance, by which means the French are become throughly acquainted with the Indian way, warring and living in the woods, and have now a great number of white men among them, able to perform a long march with an army of Indians upon any expedition.