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

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.

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: A Documentary History

Brand: University Press of Mississippi
Paperback (352 pages)

Mississippi: A Documentary History
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In America's collective imagination, Mississippi, a state that aptly may be described as the most southern place in America, is often deemed a sinister, forbidding landscape. While popular conceptions of other states are evoked by rosy likenesses chosen by promoters of tourism, the mere word Mississippi too often conjures thoughts of brutality, repression, and backwardness. To many outsiders, Mississippi's controversial history continues to resonate in the present.

By allowing divergent historical voices to describe their understanding of events as they were unfolding, this new book of narrative history supports, emends, and even complicates such a vision of Mississippi's past and present. The only book ever to present Mississippi's story in a chronological documentary fashion, it includes a wide variety of public records, newspaper articles, academic papers, correspondence, ordinances, constitutional amendments, journal entries, and other documents.

Collected and placed together, they compose a narrative that reveals the state in all its great diversity of peoples and terrains--free and slave; rich, poor, and middling; coastal, hill country, Delta; black, white, and Native American.

Several chapters, particularly those on antebellum Mississippi and Reconstruction, represent recent scholarly views and correct lingering misconceptions of those years. The editor and compiler has written an introduction to each section and has placed the documents in an appropriate historical context that makes them accessible to students, scholars, archivists, librarians, and lay readers alike.

Although many of these documents are well known, many also have never been seen since their inception. In juxtaposition they offer a striking portrait. The parts and the whole alike show that Mississippi remains ever controversial, ever puzzling, ever fascinating.

A Literary History of Mississippi (Heritage of Mississippi Series)

Watkins Lorie
Hardcover (352 pages)

A Literary History of Mississippi (Heritage of Mississippi Series)
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  • A Literary History of Mississippi
Product Description:

With contributions by:

Ted Atkinson, Robert Bray, Patsy J. Daniels, David A. Davis, Taylor Hagood, Lisa Hinrichsen, Suzanne Marrs, Greg O’Brien, Ted Ownby, Ed Piacentino, Claude Pruitt, Thomas J. Richardson, Donald M. Shaffer, Theresa M. Towner, Terrence T. Tucker, Daniel Cross Turner, Lorie Watkins, and Ellen Weinauer

Mississippi is a study in contradictions. One of the richest states when the Civil War began, it emerged as possibly the poorest and remains so today. Geographically diverse, the state encompasses ten distinct landform regions. As people traverse these, they discover varying accents and divergent outlooks. They find pockets of inexhaustible wealth within widespread, grinding poverty. Yet the most illiterate, disadvantaged state has produced arguably the nation’s richest literary legacy. Why Mississippi?

What does it mean to write in a state of such extremes? To write of racial and economic relations so contradictory and fraught as to defy any logic? Willie Morris often quoted William Faulkner as saying, “To understand the world, you must first understand a place like Mississippi.” What Faulkner (or more likely Morris) posits is that Mississippi is not separate from the world. The country’s fascination with Mississippi persists because the place embodies the very conflicts that plague the nation.

This volume examines indigenous literature, Southwest humor, slave narratives, and the literature of the Civil War. Essays on modern and contemporary writers and the state’s changing role in southern studies look at more recent literary trends, while essays on key individual authors offer more information on luminaries including Faulkner, Eudora Welty, Richard Wright, Tennessee Williams, and Margaret Walker. Finally, essays on autobiography, poetry, drama, and history span the creative breadth of Mississippi’s literature. Written by literary scholars closely connected to the state, the volume offers a history suitable for all readers interested in learning more about Mississippi’s great literary tradition.

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

By Benjamin Morris

Morris Benjamin
Released: 2014-11-18
Paperback (288 pages)

Hattiesburg, Mississippi: A History of the Hub City (Definitive History)
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  • Hattiesburg Mississippi A History of the Hub City
Product Description:
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.

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.

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

Thomas W Cutrer
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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  • Theater of a Separate War The Civil War West of the Mississippi River 1861 1865 Littlefield History of the Civil War Era
Product Description:
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.

Mississippi's Civil War: A Narrative History

By Ben Wynne

Mercer University Press
Paperback (268 pages)

Mississippi s Civil War: A Narrative History
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This book begins with an introductory overview of the socio-political climate of the state of Mississippi during the 1850s and ends with a treatment of its post-war environment. In between, the work covers the pivotal events, issues, and personalities of the period. Wynne emphasizes the experiences of Mississippians--male and female, black and white--as they struggled to deal with the crisis. The political events leading to secession, Mississippians' initial enthusiasm for war, voices of dissent, the disbursement of troops in and out of the state, the home front, freedom for the slave community, waning enthusiasm (both in the military and on the home front) as the war dragged on, defeat, and the ultimate struggle to turn defeat into a moral victory through Lost Cause mythology are also discussed.


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