Indian Agency (Location Key)


Before Jefferson had a name, before it was even a village, it was a Chickasaw agency - the place where the indigenous population of the region interacted with an agent appointed to represent the federal government in its dealings with them. The "Appendix" that Faulkner wrote to The Sound and the Fury describes the agency as a "long rambling onestorey mud-chinked building" that is home to "the Chickasaw Agent" and a "tradingpost store" (325). It was already on the site of what would become Jefferson when the first white men who came to settle Yoknapatawpha arrived - either around 1830, according to "Hand upon the Waters," or in 1811, according to the "Appendix." According to "A Name for the City" and the essentially identical account in Requiem for a Nun, the trading post sells "calico and gunpowder, whiskey and salt and snuff and denim pants and osseous candy" to the Chickasaw Indians and their "Negro slaves," for which the U.S. government is billed (17). As the settlement of Jefferson grows up around it, the agency becomes "Ratliffe's and Compson's general store," where the Indians buy "eastern factory-made jeans and shoes sold them on credit" (173). The "back room" of this "post-office-trading-post-store" is where the agency records were stored (3).

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