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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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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Hattiesburg, Mississippi: A History of the Hub City (Definitive History)

By Benjamin Morris

The History Press
Released: 2014-11-18
Paperback (288 pages)

Hattiesburg, Mississippi: A History of the Hub City (Definitive History)
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Founded by William Hardy at the confluence of rivers and rail lines, Hattiesburg, Mississippi, is today a capital of education, healthcare, commerce and the armed forces in the Gulf South. In this new biography of the Hub City, experience its story as you never have before. Hunt and forage alongside Native American tribes centuries before European settlement. Build a cabin with pioneer lumbermen on the edge of the forest, jostling for profit in the cavernous Piney Woods. Train with soldiers at Camp Shelby on the eve of deployment in World War II, and march alongside civil rights activists during Freedom Summer in 1964. In this narrative history, author and Hattiesburg native Benjamin Morris offers a captivating account of the Hub City from its prehistory to the present day, from its darkest hours to its brightest futures.

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.

The Mississippi Burning Case: The History and Legacy of the Freedom Summer Murders at the Height of the Civil Rights Movement

By Charles River Editors

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Paperback (44 pages)

The Mississippi Burning Case: The History and Legacy of the Freedom Summer Murders at the Height of the Civil Rights Movement
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*Includes pictures *Includes accounts and testimony by some of the conspirators *Includes online resources and a bibliography for further reading “You see, I know what's gonna happen! I feel it deep in my heart! When they find the people who killed these guys in Neshoba County, you've got to come back to the state of Mississippi and have a jury of their cousins, their aunts and their uncles. And I know what they're going to say - not guilty.”– Dave Dennis, leader of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) When famous political philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville toured the new United States of America, he was impressed by the representative government set up by the Founders. At the same time, he ominously predicted, “If there ever are great revolutions there, they will be caused by the presence of the blacks upon American soil. That is to say, it will not be the equality of social conditions but rather their inequality which may give rise thereto.” De Tocqueville was prescient, because the longest battle fought in the history of the United States has been the Civil Rights Movement. The framers of the Constitution kicked the problem down the road, over half a million died during the Civil War to end slavery, and then many more fought and died to dismantle segregation and legalized racism in the 100 years after. Today every American is taught about watershed moments in the history of minorities’ struggles for civil rights over the course of American history: the Civil War, Brown v. Board of Education, Rosa Parks’ refusal to give up her seat, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, and the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Indeed, the use of the phrase “Civil Rights Movement” in America today almost invariably refers to the period of time from 1954-1964. Even with those successes, tragedies continued to be pervasive, and one of the most notorious crimes was the murder of three civil rights workers in Philadelphia, Mississippi in June 1964. Occurring less than 2 weeks before the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed, the young volunteers were killed because they had come south to help register blacks to vote, a right they had been unfairly denied for over half a century thanks to Jim Crow. Fortunately, as was often the case, the shocking nature of the crimes galvanized people and helped bring about the kinds of changes the murderers sought to prevent, but despite the national outrage generated by the disappearance of the volunteers, Mississippi showed no interest in prosecuting anyone. Ultimately, the federal investigation, dubbed “Mississippi Burning,” uncovered evidence of a large conspiracy that went all the way up to County Sheriff Lawrence A. Rainey, but without anyone’s cooperation, the government’s indictments could only bring up members of the conspiracy on minor charges. In the end, it would not be until 40 years after the murders that any of the conspirators would be tried for murder or manslaughter; that case, against 80 year old Edgar Ray Killen, also marked the first time Mississippi tried anyone for anything related to the infamous crimes. The Mississippi Burning Case: The History and Legacy of the Notorious Murders at the Height of the Civil Rights Movement chronicles the murderous conspiracy and the aftermath. Along with pictures of important people, places, and events, you will learn about the murders like never before, in no time at all.

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration

By Isabel Wilkerson

Wilkerson, Isabel
Released: 2011-10-04
Paperback (640 pages)

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America s Great Migration
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  • Vintage Books
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In this epic, beautifully written masterwork, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life.

NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD WINNER

LYNTON HISTORY PRIZE WINNER
HEARTLAND AWARD WINNER 
DAYTON LITERARY PEACE PRIZE FINALIST
      
NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
The New York Times  • USA Today • O: The Oprah Magazine • Amazon • Publishers Weekly •  Salon • Newsday  • The Daily Beast

 
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
The New Yorker •  The Washington Post • The Economist • Boston Globe • San Francisco Chronicle •  Chicago  
Tribune • Entertainment Weekly • Philadelphia Inquirer • The Guardian • The Seattle Times • St. Louis Post-Dispatch  • The Christian Science Monitor 

 From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America. Wilkerson compares this epic migration to the migrations of other peoples in history. She interviewed more than a thousand people, and gained access to new data and official records, to write this definitive and vividly dramatic account of how these American journeys unfolded, altering our cities, our country, and ourselves.
 
With stunning historical detail, Wilkerson tells this story through the lives of three unique individuals: Ida Mae Gladney, who in 1937 left sharecropping and prejudice in Mississippi for Chicago, where she achieved quiet blue-collar success and, in old age, voted for Barack Obama when he ran for an Illinois Senate seat; sharp and quick-tempered George Starling, who in 1945 fled Florida for Harlem, where he endangered his job fighting for civil rights, saw his family fall, and finally found peace in God; and Robert Foster, who left Louisiana in 1953 to pursue a medical career, the personal physician to Ray Charles as part of a glitteringly successful medical career, which allowed him to purchase a grand home where he often threw exuberant parties.

Wilkerson brilliantly captures their first treacherous and exhausting cross-country trips by car and train and their new lives in colonies that grew into ghettos, as well as how they changed these cities with southern food, faith, and culture and improved them with discipline, drive, and hard work. Both a riveting microcosm and a major assessment, The Warmth of Other Suns is a bold, remarkable, and riveting work, a superb account of an “unrecognized immigration” within our own land. Through the breadth of its narrative, the beauty of the writing, the depth of its research, and the fullness of the people and lives portrayed herein, this book is destined to become a classic.


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