Tuscaloosa’s One and Only History

Story time! Did you know that Tuscaloosa was named after a native American chief? Chief Tuskaloosa was a paramount chief of a Mississippian chiefdom in what is now the sweet home Alabama! Tuskaloosa is most well-known for leading the Battle of Mabila at his fortified village against the Spanish conquistador Hernando de Soto.

Tuskaloosa was known for being a great leader, impressive for his size and nobility, he was nearly 7 feet tall! When Tuskaloosa heard of the approach of De Soto, he went out to meet the Spaniard and invited him to visit his village, Mabila. All along the way, Tuskaloosa pointed out the beauty and riches of his homeland but de Soto is not impressed; he is seeking gold and only that. When de Soto and his army made it to the village, Tuscaloosa’s men ambushed them!

After the battle, with both sides retreating, Tuskaloosa and some of his people left their ravaged village and made their way north to live at the falls near what is now the town of Tuscaloosa. The river known as the Black Warrior River is named to honor Tuskaloosa!