gfhred.gif (22740 bytes)

Summer 2004
A Publication of the St. Louis Public Library

Vol. 4   No.2

THEY CAME FROM…Mississippi!
They Came From… highlights dates in the history of a particular place.


1540 Hernando de Soto leads an expedition into the area now known as Mississippi. The expedition finds the Mississippi River but not the gold they sought.
1699 Pierre le Moyne d'Iberville leads a French expedition which cements France's claim to the area. French settlements soon follow at Biloxi, Fort Rosalie, and Fort Maurepas.
1763 After losing the Seven Years War, France cedes its possessions in the lower Mississippi Valley to Great Britain. The British divide their new lands into two colonies. The future state of Mississippi lies in the colony known as West Florida.
1798 The United States creates the Mississippi Territory. This area runs about 100 miles north to south, west from the Mississippi River to the Chattahoochee River in the east.
1804 Congress increases the size of Mississippi Territory so that it runs from Tennessee in the north to the Gulf of Mexico in the south.
1812 Congress increases the size of Mississippi Territory.
1817 The western part of Mississippi Territory becomes the State of Mississippi.
1819 The eastern half of Mississippi Territory becomes the State of Alabama.
1822 The capital of Mississippi is moved from Washington to Jackson; territorial capital had long been Natchez.
1830 The population of Mississippi is 136,621. 65,659 are slaves (48%).
1840 The population of Mississippi is 375,651. 195,211 are slaves (52%).
1850 The 1850 and 1860 Slave Schedules enumerate the state's slave population but generally provide only slaveholder's name, not names of slaves in the household. The population of Mississippi this year is 606,526. 309,878 are slaves (51%).
1860 The population of Mississippi is 791,305. 436,631 are slaves (55%).
1861 January 9 - Mississippi is second state to secede from the Union.
1863-1865 More than 18,000 Mississippi black men volunteer to serve in 11 USCT regiments during the Civil War. Most are ex-slaves freed by the Union Army.
1865 Approximately 54,000 Confederate soldiers are killed in action during the Civil War and another 40,000 are mortally wounded. Another 140,000 die of various diseases, while 26,000 die in Northern prisons. 226,000 Confederate soldiers are wounded but survive, some of them as amputees.
1866 Nearly 1/2 of the state budget is used to buy prosthesis or crutches for Mississippi soldiers who lost limbs during the Civil War. A shortage of these items causes a need for some amputees to create their own until manufactured ones become available.
1867 Some former Confederate soldiers and politicians must apply for presidential pardons to have their citizenship restored.
1890 Census of Union veterans and their widows is taken. Confederate veterans were sometimes accidentally enumerated in this census.
1907 The state does a census of veterans-records available from Mississippi Department of Archives and History.
1910 Federal Census denotes if man is a Union or Confederate veteran with a "U" or a "C" in the appropriate column. A boll weevil infestation of Mississippi cotton fields causes some black Mississippi farmers and agricultural workers to head north for jobs in industrial centers like Chicago and Detroit.
1915 The so-called "Great Migration" begins shortly before the start of World War I and continues into the 1940s. The migration is fueled by racial, economic and ecological factors (see "Ethnic Spotlight").
1912 The State Department of Vital Records begins keeping copies of birth, death, and marriage records sent in by the county courthouses.
1917-1918 World War I brings to a halt arrival of European immigrants who had been filling industrial jobs in the North; many black Mississippians head north to take those jobs.


The State Department of Vital Records has records of divorces dating from January 1, 1912, but only the counties can make certified copies of divorce records.
1927 The great Mississippi River Flood of 1927 displaces thousands of farmers and agricultural workers. Many join the "Great Migration."
1995 Mississippi ratifies 13th Amendment abolishing slavery 130 years after its original ratification.

Table of Contents