George Rapalji was a prosperous trader and landowner in the Natchez District at the turn of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. He kept a notebook of accounts, miscellaneous notes, and Choctaw vocabulary words for the period April 9, 1788, through April 1, 1797. The notebook records customer names (some Choctaw) and a list of items purchased or traded (including thread, knives, gunpowder, salt, sugar, coffee, tobacco, animal skins, and livestock) as well as amounts owed and paid (in dollars, pesos, and pounds). Rapalji recorded memoranda of events, recipes, home remedies, and geographic notes regarding the Mobile and Tombigbee Rivers. Of particular interest are a list of inhabitants on the Big Black River with the years they settled in the area and the Choctaw vocabulary.
Novr. 14 1789 Isaac Kelsey Dr.: To 2 yds. strouds [at] 7 Dollrs.—14 Dollrs.; To 6 yds. Osnabr. [at] 4 Dollrs.—4 Dollrs.; To 2 Skains thread "—4 Dollrs.; To one Knife—removed to day Book—1 Dollr.; To 1 Ax—6 Dollrs.; To 1 Blanket—8 Dollrs. Mrs. Harmon Dr.: To 2 Skains thread—0.2. Lent Stowers 1 Black Sack of salt Paid #
Sonaje—Indian; Setaw—Pumkins; Pulafa—P; Oasee—Ct.; Otuashaw—F; Lawbee—You Lie; Subanechi—a Bell; Shaswa—Sinew of Deer; Onshaw—is it here; Hocksee—drunk