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 Deltaâs 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 Sotoâs 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. Â». 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 Riverâs 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. Â», Saving Americaâs 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 regionâs 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 courtâs 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. Louisianaâs black soldiers distinguished themselves in several battles, particularly at Port Hudson and Millidenâs 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 Lincolnâs 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 â 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 nationâs 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 "â¦the wealthiest town per capita in the United Statesâ¦" 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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