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Mississippi Description

Long home to the Chickasaw, Choctaw and Natchez American Indians tribes, the first Spanish explorer to reach the area was Hernando De Soto, who discovered the mouth of the Mississippi River in the mid-1500's. 

hernando de sotoMississippi lands were claimed for France in 1682 by Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle. In fact, after sailing down the Mississippi River he claimed all of the land within the Mississippi Valley, naming it Louisiana, in honor of his king, Louis XIV.

Soon French settlements were established along the Gulf of Mexico coastline from New Orleans to Mobile, including several in Mississippi. As word spread north about the value of this new territory, settlers by the thousands began to arrive.

When uninvited visitors entered their lands, the Natchez Indians were the first to rebel, but were over-matched by the military firepower of French forces.

When the French and Indian War ended in 1763, the French sway over Mississippi lands was over, the British took control, and turf battles with the Spanish continued for another 20 years, or so.

In 1783 the British (by treaty) gave their West Florida lands to Spain. Ironically, in 1783, the Treaty of Paris formally ended the American Revolutionary War, and in defeat, all British controlled lands (including most of Mississippi) were ceded to the U.S.

The Spanish kept their remaining lands for just a few short years as pressure from the fast-growing U.S. mounted, and by 1812, the United States controlled the entire Mississippi Territory, included all of Alabama, Mississippi and West Florida lands.

In 1817, the U.S. Congress divided this large territory into the State of Mississippi and the Alabama Territory. One year later Mississippi officially became the 20th U.S. State, and Alabama followed in 1819.

StampsBy the mid 1820's the majority Indian homelands were gone, and with the remaining Indian tribes forcibly moved to Oklahoma, tracts of fertile land were now available and large cotton plantations soon flourished.

Riches gained from the endless toil of black slaves in the south (over 400,000 in Mississippi alone) was a hot-button issue between North and South, and that debate was at the forefront of America's Civil War (1861-1865).

Mississippi Cities, Counties & Area Codes

City County Area Code
Natchez Adams 601
Corinth Alcorn 662
Liberty Amite 601
Kosciusko Attala 662
Ashland Benton 662
Cleveland Bolivar 662
Calhoun City Calhoun 662
Carrollton Carroll 662
Houston Chickasaw 662
Ackerman Choctaw 662
Port Gibson Claiborne 601
Quitman Clarke 601
West Point Clay 662
Clarksdale Coahoma 662
Crystal Springs Copiah 601
Collins Covington 601
Southaven DeSoto 662
Hattiesburg Forrest 601
Roxie Franklin 601
Lucedale George 601
Richton Greene 601
Grenada Grenada 662
Bay Saint Louis Hancock 228
Gulfport Harrison 228
Jackson Hinds 601
Lexington Holmes 662
Belzoni Humphreys 662
Mayersville Issaquena 662
Fulton Itawamba 662
Ocean Springs Jackson 228
Bay Springs Jasper 601
Fayette Jefferson 601
Prentiss Jefferson Davis 601
Laurel Jones 601
DeKalb Kemper 601
Oxford Lafayette 662
Hattiesburg Lamar 601
Meridian Lauderdale 601
Monticello Lawrence 601
Carthage Leake 601
Tupelo Lee 662
Greenwood Leflore 662
Brookhaven Lincoln 601
Columbus Lowndes 662
Madison Madison 601
Columbia Marion 601
Byhalia Marshall 662
Amory Monroe 662
Winona Montgomery 662
Philadelphia Neshoba 601
Newton Newton 601
Macon Noxubee 662
Starkville Oktibbeha 662
Batesville Panola 662
Picayune Pearl River 601
Beaumont Perry 601
McComb Pike 601
Pontotoc Pontotoc 662
Booneville Prentiss 662
Marks Quitman 662
Brandon Rankin 601
Forest Scott 601
Rolling Fork Sharkey 662
Magee Simpson 601
Taylorsville Smith 601
Wiggins Stone 601
Indianola Sunflower 662
Charleston Tallahatchie 662
Senatobia Tate 662
Ripley Tippah 662
Iuka Tishomingo 662
Tunica Tunica 662
New Albany Union 662
Tylertown Walthall 601
Vicksburg Warren 601
Greenville Washington 662
Waynesboro Wayne 662
Eupora Webster 662
Woodville Wilkinson 601
Louisville Winston 662
Water Valley Yalobusha 662
Yazoo City Yazoo 662

About the Author

John Moen is a cartographer who along with his wife are the orignal founders of worldatlas.com. He and his wife, Chris Woolwine-Moen, produced thousands of award-winning maps that are used all over the world and content that aids students, teachers, travelers and parents with their geography and map questions. Today, it's one of the most popular educational sites on the web.

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This page was last updated on April 7, 2017.