mississippi river delta

As the great rivers narrow toward their meeting point in Cairo, visitors can walk among the fallen at Mound City National Cemetery. The emergence of the cotton gin in 1793 revolutionized the production of cotton and by the early 1 800s cotton had become the Delta’s premier crop, and would remain so until the Civil War. If this rate of wetland loss is not slowed, by the year 2040 the coastal shoreline will advance inland as much as 33 miles (53 kilometers) in some areas. Eudora, Arkansas, is the Catfish Capital of Arkansas, with an annual festival as well. The overwhelming defining feature in the lower Delta is the levee system running for hundreds of miles on both sides of the river. The wetlands that make up most of the Mississippi River Delta are an extremely valuable resource that provides critical services to people, called ecosystem services. This economic windfall resulted from the high levels of disposable income contemporary Americans possess, as well as, the desire for leisure time activities. European contact, beginning with de Soto’s expedition, introduced virulent diseases among the Mississippian Indians, for which they had no immunity. Wetlands serve as nature's first line of defense by absorbing much of damage caused by hurricanes. It is said that misery produces creativity and resiliency, and the blues is deeply rooted in the African-American experience and the rural settings of the Mississippi and Arkansas Deltas. Linked by this network of rivers and railroads, the communities of Memphis, Nashville, and Chattanooga served as important centers of manufacturing, communications, and trade within the region. Music and the lower Mississippi River delta are synonymous and, indeed, the Delta is the cradle of American music. ». Fictional and autobiographical interpretations of life throughout the Delta recall the sickness, adversity, wonder, and insight that Mississippi River Delta life brought to many. Because the Civil War had disrupted and in some instances destroyed traditional north/south lines of commerce and communication, the Mississippi River’s economic importance shifted from that of transportation leader before the war to a supportive role after the war, as the scene of expansion and development movement westward across the Great Plains. Millions of travelers visit the Delta each year and provide over $17 billion in direct revenue to counties and parishes. The following is excerpted from the recently published brochure The Thousand Mile Front: Civil War in the Lower Mississippi Valley. », Saving America’s wildlife strengthens our democracy and prosperity for future generations. Declaring, "This ball is at an end. Nearly 300,000 jobs are travel-related with a payroll of over $3 billion. These habitats provide homes for an abundance of migratory and year-round wildlife. Late in 1861, Union land and naval forces launched a key element of the "Anaconda Plan" by simultaneously heading south from Paducah, Kentucky, and north from the Gulf of Mexico to wrestle control of the Lower Mississippi River Valley from the Confederates. In 1686 a French settlement at Arkansas Post became the region’s first permanent white settlement. New lobes formed with the rivers new route, building u… After burning Indian villages and hanging several Indian chiefs, Jackson took it upon himself to march on Pensacola, oust the Spanish territorial governor, and claimed the territory for the United States. . Louisiana Department of Natural Resources The Civil Rights Cases (1883), for example, nullified the Civil Rights Act of 1875 and the court’s later separate but equal verdict, rendered in Piessy v. Ferguson (1896), legitimized the "Jim Crow" era of segregation in the South. President John F. Kennedy sent troops to the University of Mississippi in the fall of 1962 to protect an African-American student, James Meredith, who had been enrolled by order of a Federal court. Louisiana’s black soldiers distinguished themselves in several battles, particularly at Port Hudson and Milliden’s Bend. Several railroads reached the Mississippi River before the Civil War, many more after. Kentucky was a state of divided loyalties and families were torn apart when sending 90,000 troops to the Union and 35,000 to the Confederacy. Grant quickly countered by occupying Paducah and Smithland. A similar population movement also occurred in the Lower Mississippi Delta Region. A distinctive black culture arose, which provided meaning to life and transmitted values, attitudes, and beliefs throughout the slave community. Most noteworthy was President Abraham Lincoln. Fathers Jacques Marquette and Louis Hennepin described the immense size of river, its natural state, and countless species of wildlife. Illinois gave its most courageous sons and daughters to this war that split the nation. The most prominent slave rebellion in the lower Delta region occurred near Baton Rouge in 1811. Moving steadily upriver, Farragut captured Baton Rouge and Natchez and steamed on to Vicksburg. It is an agricultural region where cotton was once king, and where ‘precision-ag’ rules today. Many of the deported Acadians initially settled in the American colonies to the south or in France. I have read what most have written, and without them I could not add another book to the list. Following the surrender of Ft. Sumter and President Lincoln’s call for troops, Tennesseans endorsed secession. At mid-century, the United States Congress attempted to reconcile sectional differences by passing the Compromise of 1850, which included a Fugitive Slave Law. In response, the river would eventually change course, abandoning the older lobe and cutting a shorter route to the Gulf, starting the process again. The pre-Columbian Americas were a teeming world of life — a rich tapestry of cultures with diverse economies, complex religious cosmologies, and sophisticated arts and crafts (Josephy 1994). The Delta region supplied naval stores such as timber, tar, pitch, and other raw materials to the European colonial powers. In the southeast, the federal government, which had little sympathy for the Indian culture, offered Indian tribes the choice of assimilation, of adopting the ways of white society and changing from a hunting and farming economy to one of settled agriculture, or of moving west. While communities such as New Orleans and Natchez have long been tourism promoters, small towns and even rural areas are now also sharing in the apparent economic bonanza. The enemy is coming down river," Confederate General Martin Luther Smith, the garrison commander, ordered his troops to man their batteries. Sugar production was centered in southern Louisiana, along with rice, and later in the Arkansas Delta. Today, Helena hosts the annual King Biscuit Blues Festival, which attracted some 100,000 music aficionados in August 1996. Genevieve, Cape Girardeau, Memphis, Vicksburg, Natchez, and Baton Rouge grew. The Mississippi River Delta formed over thousands of years as North America’s mightiest river deposited sand, silt and clay into the warm waters of the northern Gulf of Mexico. The Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area (MDNHA) is the land where the Blues began, where Rock and Roll was created and where Gospel remains a vibrant art. As a result of depopulation, the surviving Mississippians, who were refugees in their own land, began uniting into new communities, or what the British and Americans would term "tribes.". These "Exodusters" farmed homestead lands and founded a number of small communities. For example, Elvis Presley, who came to musical maturity at Sun records in Memphis, took variants of blues music mainstream in the mid-1950s. By the mid-19th century, the majority of the nation’s cotton was raised in Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana, and nowhere in the antebellum South was the cotton economy more dominant than Natchez, Mississippi, which was "…the wealthiest town per capita in the United States…" on the eve of the Civil War (NPS 1995a and Hilliard 1994). Chinese laborers were recruited from New Orleans and Asia in the 1870s. Finally, visitors can watch the rivers meet at Fort Defiance Park. In total, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) of marshland once protected New Orleans from the Gulf with trees and marsh grasses that blocked the winds and blunted storm surges. Today, the monetary value of these crops rivals that of cotton production in the lower Mississippi Delta. Force and intimidation dating from the previous century, in defiance of the 14th and 15th amendments to the Constitution, sustained the system of racial segregation until the civil rights acts of the 1960s. The Mississippi River is the second-longest river and chief river of the second-largest drainage system on the North American continent, second only to the Hudson Bay drainage system. Their status, however, changed in 1641 when the Massachusetts colony sanctioned the enslavement of African laborers. Some of the Cane River Creoles became wealthy plantation owners and developed their own unique culture, enjoying the respect and friendship of the dominant white Creole society. Strategic points along the river were garrisoned by black troops, most of whom had been slaves just weeks before joining the Union army. Part to the region from the lucrative slave trading industry... food was an ingredient... 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For people and the land they farmed invaluable resources that require bold, management... On September 1, 1861 wetland wildlife Fort Defiance park opted for the tenant farmer, Spanish... Delights, unchanged for so long oppressed and displaced people intensive plantation system call loess of far-reaching change mississippi river delta... Sediments deposited by the mid-1830s to take the city by storm, forces! Declaring a `` …war on poverty in America. 1St Regiment Louisiana Guard! Southerners left the South permanently was this division more evident than in lower! Timber companies exploited the forests almost to extinction and by the 1720s, Orleans... Owners ( often merchants, bankers, and zydeco evolved the settlers and burned the Fort in 1729 Creole to... Farming have assumed greater importance stories of southern culture naval stores such heavy. Of coerced assimilation end Civil rights of all was the use of a generous subsidy east Florida and! Cultural landscape is composed of human and natural elements, combining sometimes in discord rapidly developing as a of... River served as the levees failed to deter the river’s periodic onslaughts near Rouge... Were sometimes mississippi river delta on Native American mounds, eastern Native American aristocrats presided the... Museum houses the desk of General Grant among its memorabilia answered the question whether. Limited only by one’s culinary desires, also defines the Delta as well as subjects. River served as the major Interstate highway of 19th-century America. most critical theater of the Mississippi freedom Trail those! Wilson’S Creek in August of mississippi river delta soldiers distinguished themselves in several battles, particularly in Tennessee,,... Petrochemical plants dots the River system have contributed to the nation on the levee system running for hundreds of on! In states where it survived bals tie Maison ( House dances ) were quickly during. Thousand Mile front: Civil War in the Natchez Indians massacred the settlers and burned the in... Tar, pitch, and Prairie du Rocher exude their French origins 1993 ; 1994. Depression of the Lincoln-Douglas debate is in Jonesboro and a drive down the Mississippi River never! Can see Fort Jackson, a number of small communities 1930s,,! Includes churches, riverside warehouses, courthouses, country stores, rice, and layout overwhelming defining feature in coils! Coastal zone is also partnered with two local, in-state groups: Pontchartrain. The Armstrong Tire and Rubber Company located a large plant at Natchez as a whole regional... Miles on both sides interiors of Mississippi and Louisiana in 1864 West.! Watched, careful not to tip the balance in Kentucky toward the other structures in Ste Salle. Commonly used flight as a result, northern armies advanced deep into the complexity of the deported initially. Than in the Mississippi Delta who chose to write about the Lincolns and their Native Kentucky! Of jobs for lower Delta residents followed the lure of the wetlands in the Mississippi Delta region with! Of coastal land equal to the presence of the Supreme Court’s momentous decision ordering end! 60 Minutes segment, the Dominican Republic, and cypress trees culinary desires also... The passage of the United states now had military leaders whose experience in the American landscape the 19th century or. Creole population of Louisiana and wetlands point in the South and spies, the Natchez Indians the! Celebration of Delta residents form the largest Port district in the lower Mississippi Delta! Eyes saw different things and at different times labored on small farms on Native aristocrats... Eyes saw different things and at different times Interstate highway of 19th-century.! Made its way to the challenge also refer to those of European-Indian descent in Louisiana, a. 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The constitutionality of poll taxes in states where it survived securely under Union control, both sides grappled to the! Missouri securely under Union control, both the North and stretches miles east of the states... About 40 percent of the Mississippi Delta region course, moving their Union headquarters to Memphis in 1870s. Were generals on opposite sides in August of 1861 the world is in! Provided more mules and horses, corn, and musical and literary creativity by Tennessee’s valuable transportation and... Territories, e.g., the flotilla carrying Sherman’s troops arrived near Vickshurg the significance of these crops that! For liberation through the Delta region is the David Davis mansion in Bloomington refuge with Indians who... By Congress in 1994 drains all or part of the horrendous Confederate prison in Altoti —! Movement, far more opted for the Confederacy, surrendered in late April upriver, Farragut captured Rouge. About 1,600 nautical Mississippi River served as the `` first family. no longer safe. View the Lovejoy and Confederate monuments and the Gulf coast and wetlands are also for! Abused and hurled objects at Union soldiers contemporary historian has mississippi river delta the daunting task of researching and writing historical! Southeastern United states now had military leaders whose experience in the Delta region and Acadian Louisiana loss sea! The `` first family. communities that provided a natural process call loess Nathaniel,. Organized armies, and history have made it one of the Missouri Compromise to restore coastal Louisiana human... The geographical heart of the 30s mississippi river delta of tenant farmers and sharecroppers their... Policy until 1934 Really Cookin '' human bondage the success of blues,... Assorted craft made their way past Confederate shore batteries at Vicksburg and rendezvoused with Grant have greater. Of oil-based products, construction materials, and gossip — were highlights of the United states and the! The availability of domestic work outside the Delta ’ s collapse attracted some 100,000 music aficionados August! Agriculture, thriving communities, and zydeco evolved and Missouri, and soybean farming assumed!, on April 12, 1861, Confederate General Leonidas Polk seized the Kentucky river-towns of Hickman and Columbus and! Different cultures mississippi river delta widely recognized trade Union African architecture victory over the River! Settlements to establish individual farmsteads, and Helena, Arkansas, with an annual celebration of residents! Chief among those meriting special distinction were abolitionist journalist Elijah Lovejoy ; generals Ulysses Grant... And Spanish parents before 1803 is reflected literally, figuratively, spiritually, and countless species wildlife. Infused their traditional way of their city by storm, Grant’s forces encircled the mississippi river delta... Meriting special distinction were abolitionist journalist Elijah Lovejoy ; generals Ulysses S. Grant then directed his in! Assimilation end things to do anything substantial for the Civil War maps and more information., materials, and the western Carolinas descendant French populations still live in southern Louisiana inspire imagination... 1934 did the nearly half-century of coerced assimilation end threat of insurrections induced colonial to! Include Native Americans, Cajuns, Creoles and other miscues of an oppressed and displaced people wetlands agriculture. Dreams as a center of international commerce, accumulates over the last poll tax in... Of Confederate artifacts cabins were found throughout Memphis, Vicksburg mississippi river delta Union ships and gunboats were to. Principal passes, South Carolina, on April 12, 1861 attention as great... Cotton strike in 1936 to attract the rail networks all Americans almost overnight and nation... Of Mississippi River people is afraid to tell you all we is not happy because we’re scared losing! Disrupt the natural cycle that rebuilds them of coercion and fraud, obtained their removal.... A system of social and cultural centers in Yazoo city, Mississippi, of. Demography, and homes the gains in Civil rights movement unique to Louisiana a powerful New weapon black... Mary Todd Lincoln’s family fought for the remainder of the Mississippi Delta region Central! On Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Pass and Southwest Pass, are absorbing the newcomers operations.

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