Every ten years the federal government takes a census; it counts everyone living in the United States and its territories. It has done this since 1790. The census counts everyone — adults, children, citizens, and foreign nationals, and gathers demographic information such as age, education, employment, and the number of family members.
The Charles W. Capps Jr. Archives and Museum, which sits on the campus of Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi, is named, like a number of buildings at DSU, after a state political figure who needed to be thanked. The structure’s handsome white façade aspires to something classic and grand, with the entrance’s square columns suggesting that perhaps some of democracy’s great secrets lie within.
Lucy Somerville Howorth once described herself as a lawyer, politician, and feminist. She believed that girls and women should have the same access to college, a career, and professional promotions as society offered to boys and men. It really was not a radical idea in her day, but many women were afraid to be called a “feminist.” Not Lucy, who once said, “I glory in being a feminist.”
“I think that life has to be lived positively and affirmatively,” Lucy Somerville Howorth once declared to an interviewer. Students will find in this lesson numerous examples across diverse areas where Mrs. Howorth lived a life true to her declaration. As an activist, she was involved in issues that ranged from social and economic fairness and justice for women and Black people, to political campaigning and holding office, to conservation and stewardship.
When Mississippi became a United States territory in 1798, its first government was made up of a territorial governor, a secretary to the governor, and three judges. Washington, Mississippi, served as the territorial capital. That is where the first Mississippi Constitution was drafted and sent to the United States Congress for the territory’s admittance in the Union as a state. On December 10, 1817, Mississippi became the twentieth state, and since then, Mississippi’s citizens and officials shaped state government into what it is today.
The election year cycle brings extra attention every four years to statewide government offices. How those offices affect our lives between elections is the focus of this lesson plan.
CONNECTION TO THE CURRICULUM
Mississippi Studies Framework: Competencies 1, 4, and 5
Grades 6 (with modifications) through 12
The 1868 Constitution of the State of Mississippi
|Adopted in Convention 15th day of May, A. D. 1868, and Ratified by the People 1st day of December, A. D.|
I. Declaration of rights.
II. Distribution of powers.
III. Legislative department.
IV. Judicial department.
V. Executive department. - Militia.
VII. General provisions. - Slaves. - Amending constitution. - Schedule.
DECLARATION OF RIGHTS.
Constitution and Form of Government for the State of Mississippi
We, the Representatives of the people inhabiting the western part of the Mississippi Territory, contained within the following limits, to wit: Beginning on the River Mississippi at the point where the southern boundary line of the State of Tennessee strikes the same; thence east