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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A New History of Mississippi

By Dennis J. Mitchell

University Press of Mississippi
Released: 2014-05-27
Hardcover (608 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: A Documentary History

Brand: University Press of Mississippi
Released: 2005-08-01
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.

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

Crooked Snake: The Life and Crimes of Albert Lepard

By Lovejoy Boteler

University Press of Mississippi
Released: 2019-02-19
Hardcover (224 pages)

Crooked Snake: The Life and Crimes of Albert Lepard
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In 1968, during Albert Lepard’s fifth escape from a life sentence at Parchman Penitentiary, he kidnapped Lovejoy Boteler, then eighteen years old, from his family’s farm in Grenada, Mississippi. Three decades later, still beset by half-buried memories of that time, Boteler began researching his kidnapper’s nefarious, sordid life to discover how and why this terrifying abduction occurred.

Crooked Snake: The Life and Crimes of Albert Lepard is the true story of Lepard, sentenced to life in Parchman for the murder of seventy-four-year-old Mary Young in 1959. During the course of his sentence, Lepard escaped from prison six times in fourteen years.

In Crooked Snake, Boteler pieces together the story of this cold-blooded murderer's life using both historical records and personal interviews―over seventy in all―with ex-convicts who gravitated to and ran with Lepard, the family members who fed and sheltered the fugitive during his escapes, the law officers who hunted him, and the regular folks who were victimized in his terrible wake.

Throughout Crooked Snake, Boteler reveals his kidnapper’s hardscrabble childhood and tracks his whereabouts before his incarceration and during his jailbreaks. Lepard’s escapes take him to Florida, Michigan, Kansas, California, and Mexico. Crooked Snake captures a slice of history and a landscape that is fast disappearing. These vignettes describe Mississippi’s countryside and spirit, ranging from sharecropper family gatherings in Attala County’s Seneasha Valley to the twenty-thousand-acre Parchman farm and its borderlands teeming with alligator, panther, bear, and wild boar.

Cat Island: The History of a Mississippi Gulf Coast Barrier Island

By John Cuevas

McFarland & Company
Paperback (191 pages)

Cat Island: The History of a Mississippi Gulf Coast Barrier Island
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Just off the coast of the Gulf Islands National Seashore lies Cat Island, an isolated, T-shaped sliver of sand with a remarkable past. A coveted hiding place for Jean Lafitte's pirate treasure in the late eighteenth century and illegal booze during Prohibition, Cat Island also witnessed the first shots of the Battle of New Orleans, an encampment for Seminoles during the Trail of Tears and the first lighthouses on the Mississippi coast.

As a child, author John Cuevas learned that his family had owned and lived on the island for three generations beginning with his ancestor, Juan de Cuevas, or "The King of Cat Island," who received it by way of a Spanish land grant. In this engaging work, Cuevas chronicles the historic events that occurred on the island's shores and offers a tribute to the legacy of one of the Gulf Coast's pioneer families.

Mississippi (On-the-Road Histories)

By Ben Wynne

Interlink Pub Group Inc
Paperback (178 pages)

Mississippi (On-the-Road Histories)
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As part of Interlink Publishing's On-the-Road Histories series, which links the 50 states of the union to their colorful past, Mississippi covers the history of the Magnolia State from the settling of the Chickasaw, Choctaw and Natchez tribes to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Wynne, a noted historian of the American South, documents Mississippi's most famous events over the decades, and offers tributes to famous sons and daughters such as William Faulkner, B.B. King and Tennessee Williams. Written in a concise and entertaining style, and including many b&w and color photographs, this book will interest travellers and residents intrigued with the history of the South. Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

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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  • Penguin Books
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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.

North Mississippi Homeplace: Photographs and Folklife

By Michael Ford

University of Georgia Press
Released: 2019-05-15
Hardcover (200 pages)

North Mississippi Homeplace: Photographs and Folklife
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In the early 1970s photographer and documentary filmmaker Michael Ford left graduate school and a college teaching position in Boston, Massachusetts, packed his young family into a van, and headed to rural Mississippi, where he spent the next four years recording everyday life through interviews, still photographs, and film. The project took him to Oxford (in Lafayette County), as well as to Marshall, Panola, and Tate Counties, a remote area north of Sardis Lake. His efforts resulted in the award-winning documentary film Homeplace (1975), but none of the still photographs from this time were ever published. With this illustrated volume, those photographs are now available and offer a valuable window onto the rural, local culture of northern Mississippi at that time.

These moving photographs illustrate Ford’s experiences as an apprentice to blacksmith Marion Randolph Hall, his visits to Hal Waldrip's General Store in Chulahoma, a day spent with AG Newsom and his crew making molasses, and Othar Turner's barbecues accompanied by traditional African American fife-and-drum music. They also capture the evocative landscape of the Mississippi hill country and the everyday lives of its residents. In 2013 Ford returned to his adopted homeplace, camera in hand, only to find that most everything had changed―or was gone. This photo essay project juxtaposes the rural Mississippi of the 1970s and the mid-2010s with Ford’s personal reflections drawn from his journals, interviews, and archival notes.

The River We Have Wrought: A History of the Upper Mississippi

By Anfinson

Brand: Univ Of Minnesota Press
Released: 2005-03-26
Paperback (388 pages)

The River We Have Wrought: A History of the Upper Mississippi
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The River We Have Wrought is a landmark history of the upper Mississippi, from early European exploration through the completion of a navigable channel and a system of locks and dams in the mid-twentieth century. John Anfinson examines how politics has shaped the landscapes of the Upper Midwest and how taming the Mississippi River has affected economic sustainability, river ecology, and biological diversity.


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