1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Jackson (Mississippi)

JACKSON, a city and the county-seat of Hinds county, Mississippi, U.S.A., and the capital of the state, on the W. bank of the Pearl River, about 40 m. E. of Vicksburg and 185 m. N. of New Orleans, Louisiana. Pop. (1890), 5920; (1900), 7816, of whom 4447 were negroes. According to the Federal census taken in 1910 the population had increased to 21,262. Jackson is served by the Illinois Central, the Alabama & Vicksburg, the Gulf & Ship Island, New Orleans Great Northern, and the Yazoo & Mississippi Valley railways, and during the winter by small freight and passenger steamboats on the Pearl River. In Jackson is the state library, with more than 80,000 volumes. The new state capitol was finished in 1903. The old state capitol, dating from 1839, is of considerable interest; in it were held the secession convention (1861), the “Black and Tan Convention” (1868), and the constitutional convention of 1890, and in it Jefferson Davis made his last speech (1884). Jackson is the seat of Millsaps College, chartered in 1890 and opened in 1892 (under the control of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South), and having, in 1907–1908, 12 instructors and 297 students; of Belhaven College (non-sectarian, 1894), for girls; and of Jackson College (founded in 1877 at Natchez by the American Baptist Home Mission Society; in 1883 removed to Jackson), for negroes, which had 356 students in 1907–1908. The city is a market for cotton and farm products, and has a number of manufactories. In 1821 the site was designated as the seat of the state government, and early in the following year the town, named in honour of Andrew Jackson, was laid out. The legislature first met here in December 1822. It was not until 1840 that it was chartered as a city. During the Civil War Jackson was in the theatre of active campaigning. On the 14th of May 1863 Johnston who then held the city, was attacked on both sides by Sherman and McPherson with two corps of Grant’s army, which, after a sharp engagement, drove the Confederates from the town. After the fall of Vicksburg Johnston concentrated his forces at Jackson, which had been evacuated by the Federal troops, and prepared to make a stand behind the intrenchments. On the 9th of July Sherman began an investment of the place, and during the succeeding week a sharp bombardment was carried on. In the night of the 16th Johnston, taking advantage of a lull in the firing, withdrew suddenly from the city. Sherman’s army entered on the 17th and remained five days, burning a considerable part of the city and ravaging the surrounding country.