• 1540

  • DeSoto with a party of about 1,000 men penetrated the eastern boundary of the state in what is now Yallobosha County.  About a year later the party reached the Mississippi River.
  • 1682

  • LaSalle descended the Mississippi River to the point of its confluence with the Gulf of Mexico, taking possession of the adjacent country in the name of the King of France, and named it Louisiana.
  • 1698

  • M. d'Ibervile landed at Ship Island, off the mouth of Pascagoula River, and erected huts for his colonists.  Here he discovered the Biloxi tribe, and after traveling along the coast to the mouth of the Mississippi River, he returned to Ship Island and erected a fort at the Bay of Biloxi, about eighty miles east of New Orleans.  About a year later Iberville built a fort on the banks of the Mississippi River.
  • 1700

  • De Touti ascended the Mississippi River as far as the Natchez country, four hundred miles north of Iberville's fort.  He selected a site for a fort he called Rosalie, but it was not built until sixteen years later.
  • 1703

  • A settlement was made by De Touri on the Yazoo river which was called St. Peter's. [The site of St. Peter's was owned, in 1852, by J. U. Payne, Esq., of New Orleans, as part of a plantation.]
  • 1716

  • Fort Rosalie was built by Bienville.  It initially contained a garrison of eighteen men under M. Paillaux.
  • 1728

  • New Orleans had been founded, and the small colonies had slowly grown.  Rice, tobacco, and indigo was being produced and exported in considerable quantities.
  • 1729

  • Massacre at Fort Rosalie, by the Natchez Indians.
  • 1734

  • Bienville returned from France, commissioned from the King as Governor.  He dispatched troops along the upper and lower Mississippi and at Mobile.  He formed an alliance with the Choctaws, and set in place the events which led to several years of battles with the Chickasaw's.
  • 1740

  • Treaty signed with the Chickasaw's.
  • 1755

  • War between France and England resulted in France ceding to England that portion of Louisiana lying east of the Mississippi River, except for New Orleans.
  • 1763

  • France, by a secret treaty, ceding to Spain all that portion of Louisiana west of the Mississippi, and New Orleans and Mobile.  France also ceded to England all of Florida, an area which included all of the Gulf coast area east of Perdidi River.  The English promptly divided Florida into East and West Florida.  West Florida embraced the country east of the Mississippi River, and north of Bayou Iberville, up to the 31st parallel, and east to the Chattahoochee River.
  • 1764

  • The old French posts, including Natchez, were garrisoned with British troops.  In spite of this, a flotilla consisting of four hundred men under Major Loftus
    was attacked  by the Tunica Indians, who had concealed themselves on both sides of the river near Loftus's Heights, now known as Fort Adams.
  • 1765

  • Inducements in the form of liberal land grants were provided by the King of England.  The result was a heavy migration from the New England colonies.  Walnut Hills (now Vicksburg), Natchez, Bayou Sara, and Baton Rouge were major destinations.
  • 1768-70

  • A body of Scotch Highlanders arrived and colonized the branches of the Homochitto, about thirty miles east of Natchez.  The area became knows as New Scotland.
  • 1779

  • Spain, as an ally of France, declared war against England
  • 1783

  • Treaty between England and the United states.  England also loses all the Floridas south of the 31st parallel to Spain.
  • 1785

  • The Spanish King ordered liberal grants of land to be offered to all emigrants from the territories now comprising Kentucky and Tennessee, to the Spanish provinces.  Within three years the population in the Spanish provinces increased by 10,000.
  • 1788

  • The United States required from Spain the right to the free navigation of the Mississippi River.
  • 1795

  • Treaty was signed with Spain wherein Spain agreed to remove her troops and garrisons from the territory north of the 31st parallel, and to allow the United States free use of the Port of New Orleans.
  • 1797

  • Col. Andrew Endicott hoisted an American flag on an eminence hear Fort Panmure, within the present limits of the city of Natchez, and demanded the surrender of Fort Panmure to the Americans. Weeks of negotiations failed, and on 9 June the Spanish seized an American Baptist minister.  The people rose in arms, and within a few hours, the Spanish authority in Natchez was virtually over thrown.  During this period, Congress erected the territory previously surrendered by Spain, naming it the Mississippi Territory.
  • 1798

  • Winthrop Sargent was appointed the first governor of the Mississippi Territory, and arrived at Natchez on 6 August.  Three weeks later General Wilkinson arrived with the federal army.
  • 1799

  • The General Assembly passed an act appointing justices with limited civil and criminal jurisdiction.
  • 1804

  • All land previously ceded was attached to the Mississippi Territory, so that it comprised Alabama and Mississippi from the 31st to the 35th parallel.
  • 1818

  • Mississippi Statehood Convention held at Jefferson College, Washington, Adams Co, MS.
  • 1818

  • Mississippi gains statehood.

    Bibliography:  The industrial Resources, Etc., of the Southern and Western States, by J. D. B. DeBow;  Published at the Office of De Bow's Review, Merchants' Exchange, New Orleans; 1852.

    Prepared for Early SW MS Territory by Ellen Pack

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