Mississippi History - the history of Mississippi
   
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Vacation 2 USA   >   Mississippi   >   History
Vacation 2 USA   >   History   >   Mississippi History

   
 

Mississippi History


In pre-Columbian times, the Mississippi region was part of the Native American Mississippian culture. The Native American peoples who inhabited the area included Chickasaw and Choctaw.

The first European expedition to the area was led by Hernando de Soto, who passed through the area in 1540. However, there were no permanent European settlements until the French founded Fort Maurepas at site which would later become Ocean Springs. The area passed through Spanish, British and French jurisdiction, but eventually was transfered to the United States following the French and Indian War (1754 to 1763).

The Mississippi Territory was organized in 1798 from territory ceded by Georgia and South Carolina. This territory was expanded with additional territory (that was disputed by Spain), and land purchased from Native American tribes. On December 10th 1817, the state of Mississippi was admitted to the Union.

Mississippi rapidy became an important cotton growing state, and consequently had a large slave population. When the American Civil War (1861 to 1865) broke out, Mississippi was the second state to secede from the Union. Because of the state's strategic location on the Mississippi River, numerous battles were fought in the state during the war. Around 80,000 white men from Mississippi fought on the Confederate side during the war, however, around 500 white Mississippians, and more than 17,000 black Mississippians (freedmen and slaves) fought for the Union.

After a period of Reconstruction, Jim Crow laws were enacted in the state which kept blacks in an inferior position. However, following World War II, Mississippi became an important location during the Civil Rights struggle.

Mississippi was twice between hit by serious hurricanes in recent years (Hurricane Camille in 1969) and (Hurricane Katrina in 2005).


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Mississippi: A History

By Westley F. Busbee Jr

Wiley-Blackwell
Paperback (528 pages)

Mississippi: A History
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Product Description:

The second edition of Mississippi: A History features a series of revisions and updates to its comprehensive coverage of Mississippi state history from the time of the region’s first inhabitants into the 21st century. 

  • Represents the only available comprehensive textbook on Mississippi history specifically for use in college-level courses
  • Features an engaging narrative mix of topical and chronological chapters
  • Includes chapter objectives that may be used by professors and students
  • Offers coverage of Mississippi’s major political, economic, social, and cultural developments
  • Presents two entirely new chapters on important 21st-century developments in Mississippi
  • Contains expanded coverage of slavery in Mississippi history
  • Includes completely up-to-date chapter sources, selected bibliography, and subject index

Dispatches from Pluto: Lost and Found in the Mississippi Delta

By Richard Grant

imusti
Released: 2015-10-13
Paperback (320 pages)

Dispatches from Pluto: Lost and Found in the Mississippi Delta
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  • SIMON & SCHUSTER
Product Description:
Winner of the Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize
Mississippi's #1 Bestseller of 2015 and 2016 (The Clarion-Ledger)
A New York Times Bestseller

In Dispatches from Pluto, adventure writer Richard Grant takes on “the most American place on Earth”—the enigmatic, beautiful, often derided Mississippi Delta.

Richard Grant and his girlfriend were living in a shoebox apartment in New York City when they decided on a whim to buy an old plantation house in the Mississippi Delta. Dispatches from Pluto is their journey of discovery into this strange and wonderful American place. Imagine A Year In Provence with alligators and assassins, or Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil with hunting scenes and swamp-to-table dining.

On a remote, isolated strip of land, three miles beyond the tiny community of Pluto, Richard and his girlfriend, Mariah, embark on a new life. They learn to hunt, grow their own food, and fend off alligators, snakes, and varmints galore. They befriend an array of unforgettable local characters—blues legend T-Model Ford, cookbook maven Martha Foose, catfish farmers, eccentric millionaires, and the actor Morgan Freeman. Grant brings an adept, empathetic eye to the fascinating people he meets, capturing the rich, extraordinary culture of the Delta, while tracking its utterly bizarre and criminal extremes. Reporting from all angles as only an outsider can, Grant also delves deeply into the Delta’s lingering racial tensions. He finds that de facto segregation continues. Yet even as he observes major structural problems, he encounters many close, loving, and interdependent relationships between black and white families—and good reasons for hope.

Dispatches from Pluto is a book as unique as the Delta itself. It’s lively, entertaining, and funny, containing a travel writer’s flair for in-depth reporting alongside insightful reflections on poverty, community, and race. It’s also a love story, as the nomadic Grant learns to settle down. He falls not just for his girlfriend but for the beguiling place they now call home. Mississippi, Grant concludes, is the best-kept secret in America.

Maude Schuyler Clay: Mississippi History

Steidl
Hardcover (132 pages)

Maude Schuyler Clay: Mississippi History
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Maude Schuyler Clay started her color portrait series Mississippi History in 1975 when she acquired her first Rolleiflex Twin Lens Reflex camera. At the time, she was living and working in New York and paying frequent visits to her native Mississippi Delta, whose landscape and people continued to inspire her. Over the next 25 years, the project, which began as The Mississippians, evolved in part as an homage to Julia Margaret Cameron, a definitive pioneer of the art of photography. Cameron lived in Victorian England and began her photographic experiments in 1863. Clay's expressive, allegorical portraits of her friends, family and other Mississippians, as well as her artful approach to capturing the essence of light, are the driving forces behind her recollection of moments of family life in Mississippi in the 1980s and 90s.

The Most Southern Place on Earth: The Mississippi Delta and the Roots of Regional Identity

By James C. Cobb

Oxford University Press
Paperback (416 pages)

The Most Southern Place on Earth: The Mississippi Delta and the Roots of Regional Identity
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"Cotton obsessed, Negro obsessed," Rupert Vance called it in 1935. "Nowhere but in the Mississippi Delta," he said, "are antebellum conditions so nearly preserved." This crescent of bottomlands between Memphis and Vicksburg, lined by the Yazoo and Mississippi rivers, remains in some ways what it was in 1860: a land of rich soil, wealthy planters, and desperate poverty--the blackest and poorest counties in all the South. And yet it is a cultural treasure house as well--the home of Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Charley Pride, Walker Percy, Elizabeth Spencer, and Shelby Foote. Painting a fascinating portrait of the development and survival of the Mississippi Delta, a society and economy that is often seen as the most extreme in all the South, James C. Cobb offers a comprehensive history of the Delta, from its first white settlement in the 1820s to the present. Exploring the rich black culture of the Delta, Cobb explains how it survived and evolved in the midst of poverty and oppression, beginning with the first settlers in the overgrown, disease-ridden Delta before the Civil War to the bitter battles and incomplete triumphs of the civil rights era.
In this comprehensive account, Cobb offers new insight into "the most southern place on earth," untangling the enigma of grindingly poor but prolifically creative Mississippi Delta.

A New History of Mississippi

By Dennis J. Mitchell

University Press of Mississippi
Hardcover (672 pages)

A New History of Mississippi
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Creating the first comprehensive narrative of Mississippi since the bicentennial history was published in 1976, Dennis J. Mitchell recounts the vibrant and turbulent history of a Deep South state. The author has condensed the massive scholarship produced since that time into an appealing narrative, which incorporates people missing from many previous histories including American Indians, women, African Americans, and a diversity of other minority groups. This is the story of a place and its people, history makers and ordinary citizens alike. Mississippi’s rich flora and fauna are also central to the story, which follows both natural and man-made destruction and the major efforts to restore and defend rare untouched areas.

Hernando De Soto, Sieur d’Iberville, Ferdinand Claiborne, Thomas Hinds, Aaron Burr, Greenwood LeFlore, Joseph Davis, Nathan Bedford Forrest, James D. Lynch, James K. Vardaman, Mary Grace Quackenbos, Ida B. Wells, William Alexander Percy, William Faulkner, Eudora Welty, Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Elvis Presley, John Grisham, Jack Reed, William F. Winter, Jim Barksdale, Richard Howorth, Christopher Epps, and too many more to list―this book covers a vast and rich legacy.

From the rise and fall of American Indian culture to the advent of Mississippi’s world-renowned literary, artistic, and scientific contributions, Mitchell vividly brings to life the individuals and institutions that have created a fascinating and diverse state.

Deep Blues: A Musical and Cultural History of the Mississippi Delta

By Robert Palmer

Penguin Books
Released: 1982-07-29
Paperback (320 pages)

Deep Blues: A Musical and Cultural History of the Mississippi Delta
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  • Music category. Paperback.
  • 1982 reprinted in 1988. A Penquin Book.
Product Description:
Blues is the cornerstone of American popular music, the bedrock of rock and roll. In this extraordinary musical and social history, Robert Palmer traces the odyssey of the blues from its rural beginnings, to the steamy bars of Chicago’s South Side, to international popularity, recognition, and imitation. Palmer tells the story of the blues through the lives of its greatest practitioners: Robert Johnson, who sang of being pursued by the hounds of hell; Muddy Waters, who electrified Delta blues and gave the music its rock beat; Robert Lockwood and Sonny Boy Williamson, who launched the King Biscuit Time radio show and brought blues to the airwaves; and John Lee Hooker, Ike Turner, B. B. King, and many others.

"A lucid . . . entrancing study" -- Greil Marcus

"Palmer has a powerful understanding of the music and an intense involvement in the culture." -- The Nation

Mississippi: An American Journey

By Anthony Walton

Walton, Anthony
Released: 1997-01-28
Paperback (288 pages)

Mississippi: An American Journey
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  To most Americans, Mississippi is not a state but a scar, the place where segregation took its ugliest form and struck most savagely at its challengers.  But to many Americans, Mississippi is also home.  And it is this paradox, with all its overtones of history and heartache, that Anthony Walton—whose parents escaped Mississippi for the relative civility of the Midwest—explores in this resonant and disquieting work of travel writing, history, and memoir.

Traveling from the Natchez Trace to the yawning cotton fields of the Delta and from plantation houses to air-conditioned shopping malls, Walton challenged us to see Mississippi's memories of comfort alongside its legacies of slavery and the Klan.  He weaves in the stories of his family, as well as those of patricians and sharecroppers, redneck demagogues and martyred civil rights workers, novelists and bluesmen, black and white. Mississippi is a national saga in brilliant microcosm, splendidly written and profoundly moving.

Theater of a Separate War: The Civil War West of the Mississippi River, 1861-1865 (Littlefield History of the Civil War Era)

By Thomas W. Cutrer

The University of North Carolina Press
Hardcover (608 pages)

Theater of a Separate War: The Civil War West of the Mississippi River, 1861-1865 (Littlefield History of the Civil War Era)
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Though its most famous battles were waged in the East at Antietam, Gettysburg, and throughout Virginia, the Civil War was clearly a conflict that raged across a continent. From cotton-rich Texas and the fields of Kansas through Indian Territory and into the high desert of New Mexico, the trans-Mississippi theater was site of major clashes from the war's earliest days through the surrenders of Confederate generals Edmund Kirby Smith and Stand Waite in June 1865. In this comprehensive military history of the war west of the Mississippi River, Thomas W. Cutrer shows that the theater's distance from events in the East does not diminish its importance to the unfolding of the larger struggle.

Theater of a Separate War details the battles between North and South in these far-flung regions, assessing the complex political and military strategies on both sides. While providing the definitive history of the rise and fall of the South's armies in the far West, Cutrer shows, even if the region's influence on the Confederacy's cause waned, its role persisted well beyond the fall of Richmond and Lee's surrender to Grant. In this masterful study, Cutrer offers a fresh perspective on an often overlooked aspect of Civil War history.

Events that Changed the Course of History: The Story of Mississippi Becoming a State 200 Years Later

By Amanda Hutchins

Atlantic Publishing Group, Inc.
Paperback (150 pages)

Events that Changed the Course of History: The Story of Mississippi Becoming a State 200 Years Later
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Two hundred years ago, on Dec. 10, 1817, Mississippi became the 20th state to join the Union. Follow Mississippi on its long path to statehood, from the habitation of the Chickasaw, Choctaw and other tribes dating all the way back to 10,000 B.C., to its first European settlement in 1699, to eventually becoming a U.S. territory after the Revolutionary War.

However, Mississippi only enjoyed its status as a state for about 43 years before its citizens voted to secede from the Union in early 1861, just a few short months before the beginning of the Civil War. In this book, you will learn just why Mississippi seceded, how the state fared during the war, and how it dealt with reconstruction after the Confederacy was dissolved.

From the development of the Blues, to the Civil Rights Movement, to the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina, there have been a great number of changes, both good and bad, in Mississippi in the past century, and there are sure to be more to come. Take a closer look at the Magnolia State's history and learn how its past has shaped the culture and people of Mississippi today.

Our books include full color and black and white images, index, glossary, CIP, reading websites, bibliography, detailed table of contents, sidebars, historical timeline, historical context overview, Dewey number and reading levels by Lexile and F&P Leveled reading.

The True Story of the "Free State of Jones": Historic Accounts of the Mississippi County that "Seceded" from the Confederacy

By Goode Montgomery

Released: 2016-06-12
Kindle Edition (63 pages)

The True Story of the  "Free State of Jones": Historic Accounts of the Mississippi County that  "Seceded" from the Confederacy
 
Product Description:
Newton Knight (1837 – 1922) was an American farmer, soldier and southern Unionist, best known as the leader of the Knight Company, a band of Confederate army deserters that turned against the Confederacy during the Civil War. Local legends state that Knight and his men attempted to form the "Free State of Jones" in the area around Jones County, Mississippi, at the height of the war, though the exact nature of the Knight Company's opposition to the Confederate government is disputed.

The resolution which formed the basis of secession by Jones County provided:

“Whereas, the State of Mississippi has seen fit to withdraw from the Federal Union for reasons which appear justifiable;

“And whereas we, the citizens of Jones County, claim the same right, thinking our grievances are sufficient by reason of an unjust law passed by the Congress of the Confederate States of America, forcing us to go to distant parts, etc., etc. v

"Therefore, be it resolved, that we sever the union heretofore existing between Jones County and the State of Mississippi, and proclaim our independence of the said State, and of the Confederate States of America; and we solemnly call upon Almighty God to witness and bless this act."

Knight has long been a controversial figure. Historians and descendants disagree over his motives and actions, with some arguing he was a noble and pious individual who refused to fight for a cause in which he did not believe, while others have portrayed him as a manipulative outlaw.

A biopic of Knight entitled Free State of Jones, starring Matthew McConaughey and Gugu Mbatha-Raw, is in production and scheduled for release on June 24, 2016.

"The True Story of the 'Free State of Jones'” is a collection of historical reprints, many from the 1800's and all published prior to 1923, which shed light on the controversy over the existence of the "Republic of Jones".

Historic Reprints Included in this Book:

I.
ALLEGED SECESSION OF JONES COUNTY
By Goode Montgomery.
Publications of the Mississippi Historical Society,
Volume 8
The Society,
1904

II.
CLOSE OF THE YEAR 1863
Marching to Victory:
The Second Period of the
War of the Rebellion,
Charles Carleton Coffin
Harper & Brothers, 1902

III.
A CONFEDERACY WITHIN A CONFEDERACY
G. Norton Galloway
The Magazine of American History, Volume 16
A. S. Barnes., 1886

IV.
THE REPUBLIC OF JONES
Ninth Cavalry:
One Hundred and Twenty-First Regiment,
Indiana Volunteers
Daniel Webster Comstock
J.M. Coe, 1890

V.
A REPUBLIC WITHIN THE CONFEDERACY AND OTHER RECOLLECTIONS OF 1864.
BY W. A. DUCKWORTH.
Annals of Iowa
Iowa State Historical Department,
1915

VI.
Newton Knight et al. v. The United States
Congressional Serial Set
U.S. Government Printing Office,
1907

VII.
A MYTH OF THE CONFEDERACY.
To The Editor Of The Nation:
Samuel Willard
The Nation, Volume 54
J.H. Richards,
1892


VIII.
No Man's Lands.
Timely Topics,
Volume 2
Henry Romaine Pattengill
1897

IX.
A LITTLE-KNOWN REPUBLIC
The Outlook, Volume 124
BY MARY L. LOORAM
Outlook Co.,
1920

X.
MORE ABOUT THE REPUBLIC OF JONES
The Literary Digest,
Volume 64
Funk & Wagnalls
1920


XI.
THE AMERICAN "REPUBLIC OF JONES” OF 1864
The Literary Digest,
Volume 63
Funk & Wagnalls,
1919

XII.
Jones County “Secession.”
Mississippi: Comprising Sketches of Counties,
Towns, Events, Institutions, and Persons,
Dunbar Rowland
Southern Historical Publishing Association,
1907


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