Howell, from A History of Mississioppi Volume I.” The first significant number of black slaves were brought to Louisiana in 1719, and by 1731, there were 3,395 African slaves in the colony. This number grew steadily to about 6,000 by the end of the end of the French period. Because of this growing number of slaves, “Bienville found it advisable in March 1724, to enact a ‘Black Code’ to regulate slavery in Louisiana.” “The code gave the master complete control over the slave. Only with a master’s permission could a slave engage in commercial activity of any sort, carry firearms, or marry. The master, in turn, came under the regulations of the code. Masters had to provide clothing and subsistence for slaves. Husbands and wives belonging to the same master could not be sold separately. The Superior Council had the power to prosecute offenders. The master could manumit his slave, who then assumed the status of a naturalized inhabitant, enjoying the same rights and privileges inherent to Frenchmen,” Howell notes in A History of Mississippi Volume I. When slave labor became available, agricultural production increased dramatically. Settlers applied for land patents and began staking out farms and homesteads. The Louisiana colony, throughout its history dependent on food imports, actually began exporting goods to France. The major products were silk, tobacco, rice, indigo, pitch, tar, and lumber. It was thought the expansion of Louisiana tobacco would make the colony as profitable as any in the French Empire. With the newfound growth and prosperity, the demand for land grew and the fertile regions along the Mississippi saw an increase in population and in acreage under cultivation. Howell also wrote, “But the expansion of the French into the interior embittered the Indians who saw their best lands being occupied by the Europeans. Warfare with the Chickasaws was almost continuous, and even some of the friendlier tribes showed hostility. The British were responsible for much of the belligerence displayed by the Indians. British agents from South Carolina were active among the Indian tribes that wavered in their support for the French. As tensions increased, Natchez became the focal point where numerous provocations were to result in an explosive war.” Relations with the Natchez had been strained ever since 1716 when Bienville led the retaliatory campaign for the killings of the four French traders during the Yamasee War. Unfortunately, the French commanders at the new Fort Rosalie following that mini-war had been abrasive and even abusive in dealing with the Natchez. The resentments built up over the next dozen years, and with an expansion of French settlement into the area, it came to a boil. Bienville had been removed as governor and forced into retirement in 1726. He was replaced by a young naval officer named Perier. In 1729, Perier appointed Sieur de Chepart as commander at Rosalie. Chepart wanted to take for his own the White Apple Village twelve miles southeast of Natchez. It was a holy Natchez burial site at which many Natchez lived. Over their protests, de Chepart ordered them out. It proved to be the final straw. According to Howell: “At the time, there were 200 male colonists, 80 French women, 150 children, and 280 Negro slaves in the vicinity of the fort. Chepart was forewarned of the attack but evidently took no precautions. The Natchez began the massacre on November 28, 1729. Using deception, the Natchez entered the fort in small numbers and on a pre-arranged signal, began the attack. Before the day was over the Natchez had killed 138 men, including all but one of the soldiers, thirty-five women and fifty-six children. Many captives were taken and the slaves were released by the Natchez. Fort Rosalie, a symbol of French authority, was burned to the ground.” The uprising spread upriver, and in the Yazoo district the French commander and seventeen of his men were killed. “Fearful of a general uprising, Perier responded with speed and force. Punitive expeditions were launched and within two years the Natchez were destroyed as a nation. Many survivors went to live with the Chickasaws and continued their struggle against the French. The Natchez War was an expensive burden for the colony, and the Company of the Indies judged its monopoly to be a bad investment. In 1732, the company surrendered its charter to the Crown, and once again Louisiana became a royal colony.” The French monarch yet again installed Bienville as governor, but despite his years of experience in dealing with the NativeAmericans, the state of war with the Chickasaws could not be stopped or even slowed to any great extent.After two years of fighting, Bienville decided to expel the Chickasaws from the area. In 1735 and into 1736, he assembled a force to march against the Chickasaws.About 500 Frenchmen and “a company of 45 armed Negroes to which I (Bienville) gave free Negroes as officers,” assembled in Mobile in early 1736. They left Mobile inApril 1736, headed to the Tombigbee headwaters, the heart of the Chickasaw nation. Along the way, a force of 600 Choctaws joined them. In PRE-STATEHOOD 17 With the newfound growth and prosperity, the demand for land grew and the fertile regions along the Mississippi saw an increase in population and in acreage under cultivation.