Mississippi County Histories

After the American Revolution, this area became part of the new United States of America. The Mississippi Territory was organized on April 7, 1798, from territory ceded by Georgia and South Carolina. It was later twice expanded to include disputed territory claimed by both the United States and Spain.

Flag of MississippiFrom 1800 to about 1830, the United States purchased some lands (Treaty of Doak’s Stand) from Native American tribes for new settlements of European Americans, mostly from other Southern states. Many slaveholders brought slaves with them or purchased them through the internal slave market, especially New Orleans.

On December 10, 1817, Mississippi was the 20th state admitted to the Union. Plantations were along the rivers, where waterways gave them access to the major transportation routes. This is also where early towns developed, linked by the steamboats and barges that carried commercial products and crops to markets.

During the 1850s, Mississippi plantation owners–especially those of the Delta and Black Belt regions–became wealthy due to the high fertility of the soil, the high price of cotton on the international market, and their assets in slaves. They used the profits to buy more cotton land and more slaves.

The planters’ dependence on hundreds of thousands of slaves for labor and the severe wealth imbalances among whites, played strong roles both in state politics and in planters’ support for secession. By 1860, the enslaved population numbered 436,631 or 55% of the state’s total of 791,305. There were fewer than 1000 free people of color.

The relatively low population of the state before the Civil War reflected the fact that land and villages were developed only along the riverfronts, which formed the main transportation corridors. Ninety percent of the Delta bottomlands were frontier and undeveloped.

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Collection Details

  1. BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF MISSISSIPPI – VOL. II. , THE GOODSPEED PUBLISHING COMPANY, 1891
  2. DUNBAR ROWLAND, ENCYCLOPEDIA OF MISSISSIPPI HISTORY: COMPRISING SKETCHES OF COUNTIES, TOWNS, EVENTS, INSTITUTIONS AND PEOPLE, S. A. BRANT, 1907
  3. MRS. DUNBAR ROWLAND (ERON O. ROWLAND), HISTORY OF HINDS COUNTY MISSISSIPPI 1821–1922. , JONES PTG. CO
  4. ALFRED J. BROWN, HISTORY OF NEWTON COUNTY, 1834-1894, ITAWAMBA COUNTY TIMES, 1894
  5. JAMES LYNCH, KEMPER COUNTY VINDICATED: A PEEP AT RADICAL RULE IN MISSISSIPPI, NEGRO UNIVERSITIES PRESS, 1879
  6. J. F. H. CLAIBORNE, MISSISSIPPI, AS A PROVINCE, TERRITORY AND STATE, WITH BIOGRAPHICAL NOTICES OF EMINENT CITIZENS, – VOLUME I. , POWER & BARKSDALE, PUBLISHERS AND PRINTERS, 1880
  7. REUBEN DAVIS, RECOLLECTIONS OF MISSISSIPPI AND MISSISSIPPIANS, HOUGHTON MIFFLIN AND CO., 1890
  8. JAMES GARNER, RECONSTRUCTION IN MISSISSIPPI, THE MACMILLAN CO, 1901
  9. JAMES M. WELLS, THE CHISOLM MASSACRE: A PICTURE OF HOME RULE IN MISSISSIPPI, CHISOLM MOUNUMENT ASSOCIATION, 1878
  10. ALBERT T. MORGAN, YAZOO: ON THE PICKET LINE OF FREEDOM IN THE SOUTH, RUSSELL AND RUSSELL, 1884

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