The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Mississippi

Edition of 1879. See also Mississippi on Wikipedia, and the disclaimer.

MISSISSIPPI, one of the S. W. states of the American Union, and the seventh admitted under the federal constitution, situated between lat. 30° 13' and 35° N., and lon. 88° 7' and 91° 41' W.; extreme length N. and S., 332 m.; average breadth 142 m., varying from 78 m. below lat. 31° N. to 189 m. on that parallel, and 118 m. on the N. line; area, 47,156 sq. m. It is bounded N. by Tennessee; E. by Alabama; S. between the Alabama line and Pearl river by the gulf of Mexico, and from the Pearl to the Mississippi on the parallel of 31° by Louisiana; and W. by Louisiana and Arkansas, having below lat. 31° the Pearl river, and above that parallel the Mississippi, as the dividing lines.

Seal of Mississippi (1879).jpg

State Seal of Mississippi.

The state is divided into 73 counties, viz.: Adams, Alcorn, Amite, Attala, Benton, Bolivar, Calhoun, Carroll, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Claiborne, Clark, Coahoma, Colfax, Copiah, Covington, De Soto, Franklin, Greene, Grenada, Hancock, Harrison, Hinds, Holmes, Issaquena, Itawamba, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Jones, Kemper, Lafayette, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Leake, Lee, Leflore, Lincoln, Lowndes, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Monroe, Montgomery, Neshoba, Newton, Noxubee, Oktibbeha, Panola, Pearl, Perry, Pike, Pontotoc, Prentiss, Rankin, Scott, Simpson, Smith, Sumner, Sunflower, Tallahatchie, Tate, Tippah, Tishomingo, Tunica, Union, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Wilkinson, Winston, Yalobusha, and Yazoo. There are eight cities, viz.: Vicksburg, pop. in 1870, 12,443; Natchez, 9,057; Columbus, 4,812; Jackson, the capital, 4,234; Meridian, 2,709; Holly Springs, 2,406; Canton, 1,963; and Grenada, 1,887. The chief towns are Aberdeen, Brookhaven, Corinth, Okolona, Oxford, Pass Christian, Water Valley, and West Point, each having more than 1,000 inhabitants; and Biloxi, Brandon, Crystal Springs, Greenville, Hazlehurst, Hernando, Kosciusko, Leaf River, Lexington, Liberty, Macon, Ocean Springs, Rodney, and Tupelo, with more than 500 inhabitants each.—The population of Mississippi, according to the United States census, has been as follows:

 YEARS.  White
 Colored persons.  Total
 per cent. 

Free. Slave.

1800 5,179  182  3,489  8,850  ...... 
1810 23,024  240  17,088  40,352   355.95 
1820 42,176  458  32,814  75,448  86.97 
1830 70,448  519  65,659  136,621  81.08 
1840 179,074  1,366  195,211  375,651  174.96 
1850 295,718  930  309,878  606,526  61.46 
1860 358,899  773   436,631  791,305  30.46 
1870  382,896   444,201   ......   827,922  4.68 

Included in the last total are 16 Chinese and 809 Indians. Mississippi ranked 18th among the states in total population in 1870; 25th in white population, a gain since 1860 of 8.19 per cent.; and 4th in colored population, a gain of 1.55 per cent. Of the total population at the last census, 816,731 were native and 11,191 foreign born; 413,421 males and 414,501 females. Of the colored, 398,798 were blacks and 45,403 mulattoes. Of the natives, 564,142 were born in the state, 59,520 in Alabama, 35,956 in South Carolina, 33,551 in Virginia and West Virginia, 31,804 in Tennessee, 28,260 in Georgia, 27,941 in North Carolina, 9,417 in Louisiana, 8,927 in Kentucky, 3,250 in Maryland, 2,410 in Missouri, 2,176 in Arkansas, 1,458 in New York, 1,171 in Ohio, and 1,145 in Texas. Of the foreigners, 3,359 were natives of Ireland, 2,960 of Germany, 1,088 of England, 970 of Sweden, and 630 of France. There were 138,542 persons born in the state living in other states and territories. The number of male citizens of the United States 21 years old and upward in the state was 169,737. There were 166,828 families, with an average of 4.96 persons to each, and 164,150 dwellings, with an average of 5.04 persons to each. There were 291,718 persons 10 years old and over who could not read, and 313,310 who could not write, of whom 151,265 were males and 162,045 females, 48,028 whites, 264,902 colored, and 380 Indians and Chinese; 61,470 were between 10 and 15 years of age, 60,359 between 15 and 21, and 191,481 21 years old and upward (9,357 white males and 80,810 colored males). The number of blind persons in the state was 474; deaf and dumb, 245; insane, 245; idiotic, 485. The number of paupers supported during the year ending June 1, 1870, was 921, at a cost of $96,707; receiving support at that date, 809; number of persons convicted of crimes during the year, 471; in prison at the close, 449. Of the whole number of persons 10 years old and over returned as engaged in occupations (318,850), 259,199 were employed in agriculture, 40,522 in professional and personal services, 9,148 in trade and transportation, and 9,981 in manufactures and mining. Among special occupations represented there were 181,523 agricultural laborers, 77,102 farmers and planters, 749 clergymen, 15,836 domestic servants, 15,969 laborers, 1,969 launderers and laundresses, 632 lawyers, 743 government officials and employees, 1,511 physicians and surgeons, 1,524 teachers, 3,834 traders and dealers, 2,429 clerks, salesmen, and accountants, 1,415 officials and employees of railroad companies, 500 draymen, teamsters, &c., 1,233 blacksmiths, 2,072 carpenters and joiners, 561 cotton and woollen mill operatives, and 573 milliners and dressmakers.—Except in the Mississippi bottom, the surface of the state is generally hilly or undulating, with a slope S. W. and S. Few of the ridges rise as high as 400 ft. above the drainage of the surrounding country, the usual elevation being from 30 to 120 ft. above the minor watercourses, and probably none is 800 ft. above the sea. The Mississippi bottom comprises an elliptical area, extending from Vicksburg N. to the Tennessee line, and embracing on the east the valley of the Yazoo and Tallahatchie rivers. It is upward of 50 m. wide in the central portion, and is swampy and liable to inundation. East of this the country is generally hilly, with tracts of prairie in the E. portion, and a narrow belt, level but wooded, called the “flat woods,” extending from Tippah creek in Tippah co. to De Kalb in Kemper co. The central portion of the state E. of Vicksburg is hilly or undulating, interspersed with prairies. South of this is an undulating and sometimes hilly region, extending to the coast. The country along the Mississippi below Vicksburg for 10 or 15 m. inland is hilly, elevated from 50 to 150 ft. above the river; it is called the “cane hills” or “bluffs.” At the mouths of the streams along the gulf are extensive marshes.—Mississippi has a coast on the gulf of Mexico of 88 m., or including irregularities and islands of 287 m. The principal harbors are those of Pascagoula, Biloxi, Mississippi City, and Shieldsborough (on bay St. Louis), but they do not admit large vessels. About 10 m. from the shore is a chain of low sandy islands, the chief of which are Petit Bois, Horn, Ship, and Cat islands, separated from the mainland by Mississippi sound. The state, with the exception of the N. E. corner, which is separated from Alabama by the Tennessee river, is drained either directly or through the Mississippi river into the gulf of Mexico. The Mississippi forms its W. boundary for more than 500 m. by its windings; but for more than three fourths of this distance, from the N. limit of the state to Vicksburg, the configuration of its banks admits of no port, and below that city the only one of much importance is Natchez. The principal affluents of the Mississippi from this state, commencing at the south, are the Homochitto, Bayou Pierre, the Big Black, and the Yazoo rivers. North of the Yazoo the great swamp is traversed by numerous streams, often interlocking, among which may be mentioned the Sunflower, which leaves the Mississippi in the N. part of the state, and traversing the swamp joins the Yazoo about 35 m. above its mouth, and the Cold Water, an affluent of the Tallahatchie, which is connected by an arm with the Mississippi just above the Sunflower. The Yazoo, which by its affluents drains the N. W. part of the state, is formed by the junction of the Tallahatchie and Yalobusha rivers, and joins the Mississippi a short distance above Vicksburg. The main stream is navigable throughout, and its constituents for considerable distances. The Big Black rises in the N. central portion of the state, and is navigable by steamers for 50 m. above its mouth. The principal rivers that enter the gulf from this state are the Pearl and Pascagoula. The former rises in the central region and flows past Jackson; the latter with its constituents, the Leaf and Chickasahay, drains the S. E. portion of the state, and just before entering the gulf receives the Escatawpa from Alabama; small boats can ascend for more than 100 m. from its mouth. The Tombigbee river rises in the N. E. part of Mississippi, and flows into Alabama; it is navigable to Cottonginport, 10 m. above Aberdeen.—Four geological periods, the carboniferous, cretaceous, tertiary, and post-tertiary, are represented. The first occurs only in the N. E. corner, and consists chiefly of limestone, chert or hornstone, and silicious sandstone. W. and S. of this is the cretaceous, occupying a triangular area, extending W. along the Tennessee line beyond the Hatchie river (about 35 m.) and S. along the Alabama border beyond Macon (about 125 m.). This formation, which contains many fossils, consists of four groups, the Eutaw, the Tombigbee sand group, the rotten limestone, and the Ripley group. The tertiary occupies the rest of the state, except the W. portion along the Mississippi river, and consists of seven groups, viz.: the northern lignitic, the silicious Claiborne, the calcareous Claiborne, the Jackson, the Vicksburg, the Grand Gulf, and the coast pliocene. The post-tertiary has four principal divisions: the orange sand, the bluff, the yellow loam, and the alluvial formations. The first consists of silicious sands, usually colored with hydrated peroxide of iron or orange-yellow ochre, and overlies the carboniferous, cretaceous, and tertiary formations, though wanting in portions of the Jackson and rotten limestone groups and in the flatwoods. It also occurs to some extent in the bluff formation, which coincides with the district already described as the cane hills, and likewise stretches in a narrow belt along the E. margin of the Mississippi bottom. Deposits of yellow, brown, or reddish loam form the actual surface of the greater portion of the state. The alluvium occupies the Mississippi bottom, and is separated from the northern lignitic by the narrow belt of the bluff formation.—Except in the Mississippi bottom, where malarial fevers frequently occur in summer, the state is generally healthy. The summers are long and hot, the winters somewhat colder than in the same latitude on the Atlantic coast. The mean temperature of the year ending Sept. 30, 1872, at Vicksburg (lat. 32° 23'), was 66.4°; of the warmest month (August), 84.6°; of the coldest month (January), 42.7°; total annual rainfall, 57.77 inches. The mean temperature of the succeeding year at the same place was 64.67; warmest months (July and August), 82°; coldest month (January), 43°; total rainfall, 48.04 inches. The number of deaths in 1870 was 9,172, of which 2,883 were from general diseases, 1,043 from diseases of the nervous, 224 of the circulatory, 1,707 of the respiratory, and 1,274 of the digestive system. Among special diseases, measles proved fatal in 272 cases, enteric fever in 333, intermittent fever in 377, remittent fever in 256, whooping cough in 159, consumption in 695, dropsy in 192, encephalitis in 283, meningitis in 125, apoplexy in 66, convulsions in 180, croup in 281, pneumonia in 1,177, enteritis in 237, dysentery in 103, diarrhoea in 325, and cholera infantum in 143.—The soil of the Mississippi bottom is very fertile. The region E. of this, characterized by the deposits of yellow loam, is generally fertile, though in places easily exhausted. The N. E. portion, except the prairies, is less productive. The cane hills and the central belt of the state possess a generally productive soil. The S. region has a generally poor and sandy soil, particularly along the coast. The principal forest trees in the uplands of the N. portion of the state and in the bluff region are the short-leaved pine, various species of oak, the chestnut, hickory, poplar, black walnut, locust, beech, gum, holly, basswood, sassafras, elm, and magnolia. The prevalent growth of the sandy region in the south is the long-leaved pine. The islands are partially covered with sparse forests of pitch pine; this species also occurs on the mainland near the coast. In the swamps and bottoms are dense thickets of cane and cypress. The prairies where uncultivated are covered with grass during the greater part of the year, and the forests of long-leaved pine have commonly an undergrowth of long grass, which affords good pasturage. Cotton (in the production of which Mississippi surpassed all other states in 1870) and Indian corn are the staple crops. Wheat and other grains are grown in the north, and rice and the sugar cane in the south. All the fruits of temperate climates grow here in perfection; plums, peaches, and figs are abundant, and in the south the orange. The deer, couguar (commonly called panther), wolf, bear, and wild cat are still common. Alligators occur in the Mississippi as far N. as the mouth of the Arkansas, and in some of the smaller rivers; and most of the streams abound in fish. Paroquets are seen as far N. as Natchez, and wild turkeys and pigeons abound. Oysters and fish are abundant in Mississippi sound.—According to the census of 1870, the number of farms was 68,023, of which 11,003 contained less than 10 acres each, 8,981 from 10 to 20, 26,048 from 20 to 50, 11,967 from 50 to 100, 8,938 from 100 to 500, 853 from 500 to 1,000, and 233 more than 1,000 acres. There were 4,209,146 acres of improved land in farms; cash value of farms, $81,716,576; of farming implements and machinery, $4,456,633; wages paid during the year, including the value of board, $10,326,794; estimated value of all farm productions, including betterments and additions to stock, $73,137,953; value of orchard products, $71,018; of produce of market gardens, $61,735; of forest products, $39,975; of home manufactures, $505,298; of animals slaughtered or sold for slaughter, $4,090,818; of live stock, $29,940,238. The productions were 66,638 bushels of spring wheat, 207,841 of winter wheat, 14,852 of rye, 15,637,316 of Indian corn, 414,586 of oats, 3,973 of barley, 1,619 of buckwheat, 176,417 of peas and beans, 214,189 of Irish potatoes, 1,743,432 of sweet potatoes, 6 of clover seed, 82 of grass seed, 2 of flax seed, 374,627 lbs. of rice, 61,012 of tobacco, 288,285 of wool, 2,613,521 of butter, 3,099 of cheese, 100 of flax, 31 of silk cocoons, 125 of maple sugar, 9,390 of wax, 199,581 of honey, 564,938 bales of cotton, 3,055 gallons of wine, 17,052 of milk sold, 152,164 of cane molasses, 67,509 of sorghum molasses, 8,324 tons of hay, 3 of hemp, and 49 hogsheads of cane sugar. The live stock consisted of 90,221 horses, 85,886 mules and asses, 173,899 milch cows, 58,146 working oxen, 269,030 other cattle, 232,732 sheep, and 814,381 swine. There were also 14,379 horses and 80,172 cattle not on farms.—Manufacturing is little developed. The number of establishments in 1870 was 1,731, having 384 steam engines of 10,019 horse power, and 225 water wheels of 2,453 horse power; hands employed, 5,941, of whom 5,500 were males above 16, 191 females above 15, and 250 youth; capital invested, $4,501,714; wages paid, $1,547,428; value of materials used, $4,364,206; of products, $8,154,758. The principal industries are shown as follows:

Capital. Value of

Agricultural implements 11  $21,150  $51,800 
Blacksmithing 295  115,975  360,912 
Boots and shoes 92  45,506  159,155 
Carpentering and building 195  80,953  655,035 
Carriages and wagons 85  138,495  268,031 
Cars, freight and passenger 122,500  143,401 
Clothing 28  13,070  61,050 
Cotton goods 751,500  234,445 
Grist mill products 363  636,813  2,053,567 
Furniture 24  18,820  88,796 
Gas 109,050  55,250 
Iron, blooms and pigs 65,000  21,000 
Iron, castings 15  112,550  126,082 
Leather, tanned 31  $30,085  $129,407 
Leather, curried 25  19,575  133,316 
Lumber, planed 20,200  68,350 
Lumber, sawed 265   1,153,917  2,160,667 
Machinery 14  190,825  223,130 
Oil, cotton-seed 135,000  165,700 
Printing and publishing, newspaper 11  74,700  121,350 
Saddlery and harness 46  73,230  106,813 
Sash, doors, and blinds 81,700  157,050 
Tin, copper, and sheet-iron ware 41  91,650  139,663 
Wheelwrighting 39  18,745  50,797 
Woollen goods 191,000  122,973 

—The foreign trade of Mississippi is indirect, and almost entirely through New Orleans and Mobile. Cotton and lumber are the chief exports. The coasting and river trade is large. The coasting trade is chiefly directed to Mobile and New Orleans, while the Mississippi river trade centres in the latter, and that of the Tombigbee in Mobile. The railroads terminating at these two ports and at Memphis are also large carriers of merchandise. There are three customs districts: Natchez, Pearl River (port of entry, Shieldsborough), and Vicksburg. The direct foreign and the coasting trade are centred entirely in the district of Pearl River. The value of foreign commerce for the year ending June 30, 1874, was $233,406, almost entirely exports, including 13,293,000 feet of boards, 529,000 shingles, and 191,563 cubic feet of timber. The number of entrances in the foreign trade was 93, of 22,523 tons; clearances, 94, of 20,249 tons; entrances in the coastwise trade, 68, of 12,048 tons; clearances, 96, of 21,382 tons. The number of vessels belonging in the state was 117, of 6,190 tons, viz.: Natchez, 4, of 160 tons; Pearl River, 94, of 3,369 tons; Vicksburg, 19, of 2,661 tons; sailing vessels, 88, of 3,139 tons; steamers, 29, of 3,051 tons.—In 1844 there were 26 m. of railroad in the state; in 1854, 222; in 1864, 862; in 1874, 1,033½. The statistics for 1874 are as follows:

 operation in 
the state.
 termini, miles. 

Alabama and Chattanooga  Chattanooga, Tenn to Meridian 18     295    
Memphis and Charleston  Memphis, Tenn., to Stevenson, Ala. 39     272    
Mississippi and Tennessee  Memphis, Tenn., to Grenada 88     100    
Mississippi Central[1]  Canton to Cairo, Ill. 183     350    
Mobile and Ohio  Columbus, Ky., to Mobile, Ala. 266     472    
 Muldon to Aberdeen 9½  9½ 
 Artesia to Columbus 14½  14½ 
 Artesia to Starkville 11     11    
New Orleans, Jackson, and Great Northern[1]   New Orleans, La., to Canton 118     206    
Branch  Durant via Kosciusko toward Aberdeen 39     ...    
New Orleans. Mobile, and Texas  New Orleans, La., to Mobile, Ala. 77     180    
Ripley  Middleton, Tenn., on Memphis and Charleston railroad, to Ripley  23     26    
Vicksburg and Meridian  Vicksburg to Meridian 140     140    
West Feliciana  Woodville to Bayou Sara, La. 7½  27    
  1. 1.0 1.1 Consolidated as the New Orleans, St. Louis, and Chicago railroad.

The following lines are projected or in progress: the Natchez, Jackson, and Columbus railroad, from Natchez to Columbus (180 m.); Vicksburg and Nashville, from Vicksburg to Nashville, Tenn. (380 m.), with a branch from Grenada to the Mississippi river, opposite Eunice, Ark. (90 m.); Selma, Marion, and Memphis, from Selma, Ala., to Memphis, Tenn. (280 m.); Mississippi Valley and Ship Island, from Vicksburg to Mississippi City (210 m.); and Vicksburg and Brunswick, from Eufaula, Ala., to Meridian (225 m.).—There are no national banks in Mississippi. In 1874 there were six savings banks, with an aggregate capital of about $300,000, and five banks of deposit, incorporated under state law, with an aggregate capital of about $550,000. One of each class also does an insurance business. At the close of 1873, 21 insurance companies of other states and countries were doing business in the state.—The government is administered under the constitution of 1869, which declares that all citizens of the United States resident in the state are citizens thereof; that no property or religious qualification for office, nor any property or educational qualification for voting, shall ever be required; that neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except in punishment of crime, shall exist; that no law in derogation of the paramount allegiance of citizens to the United States shall be passed, and that the right of secession shall never be assumed; that no public money shall be appropriated for any charitable or other public institution making any distinction among citizens of the state; and that any person engaging in or abetting a duel shall be disfranchised and disqualified from holding office. The executive power is vested in a governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, treasurer, auditor, attorney general, and superintendent of public education, elected by the people for a term of four years, and a commissioner of immigration and agriculture, chosen by joint ballot of the two houses of the legislature for the same term. The governor's veto may be overcome by a two-thirds vote of both houses of the legislature. Senators are elected by senatorial districts for four years, one half retiring biennially; their number (at present 37) cannot be less than one fourth nor more than one third of that of the representatives. The representatives are elected for two years; their number cannot be less than 100 nor greater than 120 (at present 115). The judicial power is vested in a supreme court, circuit courts, chancery courts, and justices of the peace. The supreme court has appellate jurisdiction only, and consists of three judges (one from each of the three districts into which the state is divided), appointed by the governor with the consent of the senate for nine years, one retiring every three years. A session is held twice a year at the capital. There is a circuit court for each of the 15 judicial districts, presided over by a single judge appointed by the governor with the consent of the senate for six years. These courts have original jurisdiction in criminal matters and in civil cases at law when the amount in dispute exceeds $150, and are held at least twice a year in each county. The chancery courts have jurisdiction of equity and probate matters, and are held at least four times a year in each county. A chancellor is appointed by the governor with the consent of the senate for four years for each of the 20 chancery districts. Justices of the peace are elected for two years, and have jurisdiction of civil cases at law when the amount in dispute does not exceed $150. The right of suffrage is conferred upon all male citizens of the United States (except convicts and persons of unsound mind) 21 years old and upward, who have resided in the state six months and in the county one month, and have been registered. Elections are by ballot, and occur biennially (odd years) on the Tuesday next after the first Monday in November. The political year commences on the first Monday of January, and the legislature meets annually on the following Tuesday. No one who denies the existence of a Supreme Being, or who is not a qualified elector, can hold office. The militia consists of all able-bodied male citizens between the ages of 18 and 45. It is provided that the state shall not become a stockholder in any corporation or association, nor pledge or lend its credit in aid of any person, corporation, or association; that no bank of issue shall be created or renewed, and that the legislature shall by law prohibit individuals or corporations from issuing bills as money. Amendments to the constitution must be proposed by a two-thirds vote of each house of the legislature, published for at least three months preceding the next general election, and ratified by the people. Treason, murder, and arson committed in the night upon a dwelling are punished with death. Other punishments are fines and imprisonment. The chief grounds of divorce are adultery, sentence to the penitentiary, impotence, desertion for two years, habitual drunkenness, cruel treatment, and pregnancy at the time of marriage by another unknown to the husband. A married woman may convey and devise property belonging to her at the time of marriage or afterward acquired as if single, and the same is not liable for the debts of her husband, and she may do business as a feme sole. The rate of interest is 6 per cent., but 10 per cent. may be stipulated for by special contract. Mississippi is entitled to two senators and six representatives in congress, and has therefore eight votes in the electoral college.—The valuation of property according to the United States censuses has been as follows:

 of real and 


1850 ...........  ...........  ...........   $228,951,130
1860  $157,836,787   $351,636,175   $509,472,912  607,324,911
1870 118,278,460  59,000,430  177,278,890  209,197,345

The diminution in the value of personal property is chiefly due to the emancipation of the slaves. The total taxation not national in 1870 was $3,736,432, of which $1,309,655 was state, $2,299,699 county, and $127,078 town, city, &c.; total debt, $2,594,415, of which $1,796,230, including $1,138,494 due to the educational funds was state, $656,585 county, and $141,600 town, city, &c. The state held bonds and stocks to the amount of $966,674 as security for loans to railroads, &c. According to the treasurer's report, the receipts into the treasury during the year ending Dec. 31, 1873, including $174,670 70 on hand Jan. 1, but excluding uncurrent and worthless funds in the treasury to the amount of $795,636 48, were $1,332,825, of which $366,122 74 were from state taxes, $34,833 38 from the tax on privileges, $116,345 86 from the penitentiary, $240,191 05 from the school funds, and $381,650 from the bonds (loans). The disbursements amounted to $1,244,475 89, of which $98,113 62 were for legislative expenses, $247,803 70 judiciary, $31,951 57 executive, $157,546 71 on account of the penitentiary, $66,561 93 public printing, $32,350 university of Mississippi, $88,145 lunatic asylum, $10,316 15 executive contingent fund, $72,849 46 interest on Chickasaw school fund, $3,153 76 geological survey, $6,887 50 institution for the blind, $17,100 deaf and dumb asylum, $38,500 Alcorn university, $3,450 state normal schools, $2,730 90 capitol repairs, $19,237 97 repairs on lunatic asylum, $89,504 79 on account of common school fund, $100,000 in payment of state bonds, $10,204 40 for interest on state bonds, and $17,409 77 for interest on deposits of insurance companies; balance on hand Jan. 1, 1874, in current funds, $88,349 11. The state debt on that date amounted to $3,558,629 24, viz.: due school funds, $1,157,415 69; certificates of debt, $294,150; auditor's warrants, $1,083,682 57; bonds, $634,650; interest on bonds, $73,436; interest on insurance deposits, $15,294 98. Of the bonds $100,000 were payable on Jan. 1, 1874, 1875, and 1876; $150,000 on Jan. 1, 1875 and 1876; and $34,650 on Jan. 1, 1877. This statement of the debt does not include bonds to the amount of $7,000,000, of which the principal and interest have remained unpaid since 1842. The state institutions are the penitentiary, blind institute, institute for the deaf and dumb, and lunatic asylum, situated at Jackson. The penitentiary contains 200 cells, and is inadequate for the accommodation of the prisoners. The convicts are partly employed within the walls in manufactures, and partly leased to persons who employ them on public works in different parts of the state. The number on Nov. 30, 1872, was 212; received during the year, 227; remaining Nov. 30, 1873, 288, of whom 35 were whites and 253 colored, 280 males and 8 females; 121 were confined within the walls, 125 employed on railroads, and 42 on levees. The number of officers on July 23, 1874, was 21; of convicts, 320. In the blind institute, besides a literary training, the male pupils receive instruction in broom making, mattress making, and chair seating, and the females in domestic work. The number under instruction in 1873 was 25; remaining at the close of the year, 21; number of officers and teachers, 5. The number under instruction during the year in the institute for the deaf and dumb was 50, of whom 40 were mutes and 10 semi-mutes, 26 males and 24 females; average attendance, 39; remaining at its close, 36; number of officers and instructors, 5. Pupils unable to pay for tuition are educated free. The building requires enlargement. The lunatic asylum on Dec, 1, 1872, had 231 inmates; received during the ensuing 13 months, 137; remaining Dec. 31, 1873, 304, of whom 150 were males and 154 females; number of officers, 4. The number received since the opening of the asylum was 1,008 (559 males and 449 females); discharged recovered, 258; discharged improved, 66; discharged stationary, 123; eloped, 53; died, 204. The building was enlarged in 1872, but is still overcrowded.—The constitution requires the establishment of a system of free public schools for all youth between the ages of 5 and 21 years, and an act was passed in 1871 to carry this provision into effect. The schools are under the general charge of the state superintendent of public education; that officer, the secretary of state, and the attorney general form the state board of education. There is a superintendent for each county, appointed by the board of education with the consent of the senate for two years. Each county and each incorporated city of more than 3,000 inhabitants forms a school district, and has a board of six school directors, those for the cities being elected by the qualified voters, and those for the school districts outside of cities by the patrons of the schools. One or more free public schools, open to all of school age, are to be kept in each county for at least four months in each year. Teachers' institutes are to be held annually, under the general supervision of the state superintendent, for at least two weeks in each congressional district. According to the report of the state superintendent for the period from Jan. 1 to Aug. 31, 1873, returns had been received from 54 counties, reporting 252,962 youth of school age, 1,940 public schools, and 465 private schools; number of pupils enrolled in public schools, 78,066; teachers in same, 2,130; pupils enrolled in private schools (36 counties), 9,718. In 5 of the counties reporting there were private but no public schools, and in 10 public schools were in operation, but no private ones. In 38 counties, having 53,463 pupils enrolled in public schools, the average attendance was 46,240. The superintendent estimates the number of public schools in operation in the entire state during the period at 2,000, of which 300 were of the first, 700 of the second, and 1,000 of the third grade; number of private schools, 500; pupils enrolled in public schools, 80,000; in private schools, 12,000; average attendance in public schools, 50,500; number of teachers in public schools, 1,800; length of school term, 4 months; number of school houses, including buildings rented, 4,700; built during the year, 200; value of public school property, $1,000,000; probable number of public schools to be in operation during the year 1873-'4, 3,000. The common school fund amounted to $1,950,000; amount of revenue accruing to the fund from various sources provided by the constitution and laws, $615,963 49; amount reported as arising from capitation and special county taxes, $602,481 36; total, $2,565,963 49. The reported expenditures were as follows: teachers' wages, $336,345 37; salaries of school officers, $79,381 11; school houses and contingencies, $65,935 32; total estimated cost of conducting the schools, including normal schools, $492,500. The average monthly wages of teachers was $50; number of teachers' institutes held, 6; number of lectures delivered by school officers on educational topics, 127; number of school districts, 79. There are two state normal schools, devoted to the training of teachers for the colored schools. One of these is connected with Tougaloo university; the other was organized in 1870 at Holly Springs, and in 1873 had 3 instructors and 129 pupils. Each member of the legislature is entitled to nominate one pupil for this school, who is instructed gratuitously. In the Tougaloo school, which was established by the act of Jan. 2, 1872, each county is entitled to the free tuition of two students, to be appointed by the county superintendent of education. The beneficiaries in the normal schools are required to sign a declaration of intention to make teaching a profession and to teach in the public schools of the state for at least three years. In 1870, according to the United States census, the number of schools of all classes was 1,564, with 1,054 male and 674 female teachers, 22,793 male and 20,658 female pupils, and an annual income of $780,339 ($11,500 from endowment, $167,414 from public funds, and $601,425 from other sources, including tuition). The schools were classified as follows: classical, 19 (18 colleges and 1 academy); professional, 1 (law); technical, 1 (for the blind); day and boarding, 1,542; parochial and charity, 1. There were at that time no public schools in the state.—The statistics of the principal collegiate institutions of Mississippi for 1873-'4 are as follows:

Location. Denomination. Number of
 Students.   Volumes in 

University of Mississippi 1848  Oxford  None 18  208  5,000 
Mississippi college 1851  Clinton  Baptist 163  2,000 
[1]Pass Christian college 1866  Pass Christian   Roman Catholic 14  151  3,000 
Alcorn university 1871  Oakland  None 170  5,000 
[1]Tougaloo university 1870  Tougaloo  Union 11  280  1,000 
Shaw university 1873  Holly Springs   Methodist 10  263  ..... 
[1]Sharon female college 1834  Sharon  Methodist 46  ..... 
[1]Columbus female institute  1847  Columbus 100  250 
Chickasaw female college 1850  Pontotoc  Presbyterian 100  2,000 
Central female institute 1853  Clinton 104  1,000 
Union female college 1854  Oxford  Cumberland Presbyterian  167  ..... 
Whitworth female college 1859  Brookhaven  Methodist 11  202  ..... 
Meridian female college 1865  Meridian  Baptist 66  50 
Franklin female college 1870  Holly Springs  Episcopal 90  250 
[1]Starkville female institute  ....  Starkville 112  ..... 
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1872-'3.

The university of Mississippi, chartered in 1844, embraces three departments: preparatory education; science, literature, and the arts; and professional education. The department of science, literature, and the arts includes six courses: four undergraduate (for bachelor of arts, four years; for bachelor of science, four years; for bachelor of philosophy, three years; and for civil engineer, four years), and two post-graduate (for master of arts and for doctor of philosophy). Students in this department may also pursue selected studies. Candidates for the post-graduate degrees must have previously obtained the degree of bachelor of arts, or are required to sustain an examination in the studies requisite for that degree. The department of professional education embraces the school of law, the school of medicine and surgery (not yet organized), and the college of agriculture and the mechanic arts. The diploma of the law school, which may be obtained upon passing a satisfactory examination at the expiration of a year's attendance, entitles the recipient to practise law in any court of the state. The college of agriculture and the mechanic arts was established by a legislative act of 1871, which bestowed upon it two fifths of the proceeds of the 210,000 acres of land granted by congress to the state for the endowment of such an institution. The fund amounted to $75,600. The college has a farm connected with it, and confers the degree of bachelor of scientific agriculture upon graduates of the four years' course. In the department of science, literature, and the arts, and in the college of agriculture and the mechanic arts, tuition is free to students residing in Mississippi. Students preparing for the ministry and those pecuniarily unable to pay also have their tuition fees remitted. A state scholarship of $100 a year for four years was provided by an act of 1871 for one student from each representative district or county, to be selected by a board of examiners from pupils of the free schools. Alcorn university was incorporated by the act of May 13, 1871, which appropriated $50,000 a year for 10 years for its support, and also bestowed upon it three fifths of the proceeds of the congressional land grant, amounting to $113,400, the income to be devoted to the maintenance of an agricultural and mechanical department. It occupies the site of the institution formerly known as Oakland college. The farm consists of 295 acres. There are an academic department (English), a collegiate preparatory department of two years, a collegiate department of four years (with a classical and a scientific course), and special courses in agriculture and mechanical engineering of four years. Students are admitted without distinction of color. Tuition is free to students residing in Mississippi, and there are the same state scholarships as in the university of Mississippi. In Tougaloo university primary, intermediate, and normal departments, and a theological class, have been organized. The classical department is not yet fully organized. Workshops and a farm of 500 acres are connected with the institution, which enable students to support themselves by labor wholly or in part. The number of students in the normal department in 1872-'3 was 85. Shaw university has preparatory, normal, collegiate, theological, and law departments. Tuition is free, except in the law department, the instructors being paid by the freedmen's aid society. The other institutions mentioned in the table, besides a collegiate course, have preparatory and in some cases primary departments.—The census of 1870 returns 2,788 libraries, containing 488,482 volumes, of which 2,251, with 400,106 volumes, were private. The others were classified as follows: state, 1, with 7,000 volumes; town, city, &c., 2, with 1,000; court and law, 3, with 121; college, 1, with 5,000; Sabbath school, 508, with 69,825; church, 15, with 3,000. The number of newspapers and periodicals was 111, issuing 4,703,336 copies annually, and having a circulation of 71,868, viz.: 3 daily, circulation 2,300; 6 tri-weekly, 3.650; 3 semi-weekly, 2.400; 92 weekly, 60,018; 2 semi-monthly, 700; 5 monthly, 2,800. They were classified as follows: agricultural and horticultural, 3; benevolent and secret societies, 1; commercial and financial, 4; illustrated, literary, and miscellaneous, 2; political, 97; religious, 3; technical and professional, 1. The statistics of churches for 1870 are as follows:

 Edifices.   Sittings.  Value of

Baptist 665  652  174,970  $582,325
Christian 30  28  7,325  50,850
Congregational 300  1,200
Episcopal 33  33  8,650  203,000
Lutheran 10  10  2,450  12,300
Methodist 787  776  208,203  854,475
Presbyterian, regular  181  180  51,700  376,200
Presbyterian, other 81  78  19,400  94,000
Roman Catholic 27  27  8,250  165,850
Universalist 400  800
Union 12  14  3,750  19,800

Total 1,829  1,800   485,398   $2,360,800

—De Soto and his companions were the first Europeans who traversed this region. They made no settlements, and the death of the leader in 1542 put an end to the expedition. In 1682 La Salle descended the Mississippi, took formal possession of the adjacent country for the king of France, and called it Louisiana. In 1698 Iberville was authorized by the French king to colonize the regions of the lower Mississippi. He landed on Ship island, and in 1699 erected a fort at the bay of Biloxi, about 80 m. E. of the site of New Orleans. In 1716 Fort Rosalie was erected on the site of Natchez. The colonies grew slowly, and New Orleans, being founded soon after, attracted many of the settlers. In 1728, 1733, and 1752 the settlements suffered much from Indian hostilities. After the cession of the E. part of Louisiana (including what is now Mississippi) to Great Britain in 1763, and until the revolutionary war, immigration into the territory proceeded slowly. The territory of Mississippi was formed by the act of congress of April 7, 1798, being bounded N. by a line drawn due E. from the mouth of the Yazoo river to the Chattahoochee, E. by the Chattahooche, S. by the 31st parallel, and W. by the Mississippi river. By the act of March 27, 1804, the region K of these limits and S. of Tennessee, which had been ceded to the United States by Georgia in 1802, was added, and Mississippi territory thus comprised the whole of the present states of Alabama and Mississippi N. of the 31st parallel. The region S. of that parallel, between the Pearl and Perdido rivers, was added by the act of May 14, 1812, having been taken possession of by the United States in 1811 as a part of the Louisiana purchase of 1803, though claimed by Spain. Alabama territory was formed from the E. portion by the act of March 3, 1817, and by a joint resolution of Dec. 10 of the same year Mississippi was admitted into the Union as a state. In 1832 a new constitution was adopted. At the presidential election in November, 1860, 3,283 votes were cast for Douglas, 40,797 for Breckenridge, and 25,040 for Bell. Immediately after the election of Lincoln became known, the governor called an extra session of the legislature, which met on Nov. 26, and provided for an election on Dec. 10 of delegates to a convention to assemble on Jan. 7, 1861. On Jan. 9 this convention passed an ordinance of secession by a vote of 84 to 15, and on March 30 ratified the constitution of the Confederate States by a vote of 78 to 7, a resolution to submit it to a vote of the people having been rejected. The first movement of the federal troops in the state was the capture of Biloxi and the removal of a battery of two guns by a force from Ship island, on Dec. 31, 1861. During 1862 the N. portion of the state was the theatre of operations. After the battle of Shiloh the confederates retired to Corinth. The federal troops subsequently advanced in force under Gen. Halleck, the town was evacuated, and the federals took possession on May 30. On Sept. 19 a sharp engagement took place near Iuka between the confederates under Gen. Price and the federals under Gen. Rosecrans, which resulted in the evacuation of that place by the confederates during the following night. Price, joined by other forces, made an attack on Corinth on Oct. 3 and 4, but was repulsed with heavy loss. (See Corinth.) The most important operations in 1863 were those resulting in the surrender of Vicksburg on July 4. (See Vicksburg.) Subsequent military movements were of minor importance. On May 18, 1865, the legislature assembled under a call of the governor, and ordered an election on June 19 of delegates to a convention to meet on July 3. But on June 13 President Johnson appointed William L. Sharkey provisional governor, who immediately entered upon the duties of his office, and on July 1 ordered an election, to be held on Aug. 7, of delegates to a convention, those being entitled to vote who were qualified electors under the laws in force prior to secession, and who had taken the amnesty oath prescribed by the proclamation of the president of May 29. The convention met Aug. 14. On the 21st the constitution was amended by abolishing slavery, and on the following day the ordinance of secession was repealed. On Oct. 2 an election of state officers and congressmen was held, which resulted in the choice of Benjamin G. Humphreys as governor. The legislature elected at this time assembled on the 16th, and subsequently chose United States senators. But the congressmen and senators were not admitted to their seats. By the congressional reconstruction acts of 1867, Mississippi with Arkansas was constituted the fourth military district, under command of Maj. Gen. E. O. C. Ord. A registration was ordered, and on Nov. 5 an election was held to determine the question of calling a convention and for the choice of delegates to the same, which resulted in 69,739 votes for and 6,277 against a convention. On Dec. 28 Gen. Ord was directed to turn over his command to Gen. A. C. Gillem. The convention assembled on Jan. 7, 1868, and remained in session till May 18, when it adjourned after adopting a constitution. On June 4 Gen. Irwin McDowell assumed command of the fourth district, and on the 16th appointed Maj. Gen. Adelbert Ames provisional governor of Mississippi, in place of Gov. Humphreys. At an election held on June 22 the constitution was rejected by a vote of 56,231 to 63,860. In July Gen. Gillem relieved Gen. McDowell. Soon after the inauguration of President Grant (March 4, 1869) Gen. Ames was appointed to the command of the district. On April 10 an aot of congress was passed authorizing the president to submit the constitution again to a vote of the people, with such clauses separate as he might deem proper. A proclamation of July 13 appointed Nov. 30 as the day of election, and designated certain clauses for a separate vote, the most important of which were those disfranchising and disqualifying from holding office persons who had taken part against the Union in the civil war. The constitution was ratified almost unanimously, and the objectionable clauses were rejected. At the same time James L. Alcorn, republican, was elected governor over Louis Dent, conservative, by a vote of 76,186 against 38,097. The legislature met on Jan. 11, 1870, and shortly after ratified the 14th and 15th amendments to the constitution of the United States. On Feb. 23 an act was passed by congress for the readmission of the state into the Union, and on March 10 Gov. Alcorn was inaugurated and the civil authorities assumed control.—See “Report on the Geology and Agriculture of the State of Mississippi,” by Eugene W. Hilgard (Jackson, 1860).