The study of historic architectural styles provides us a unique way to learn how our ancestors lived and worked, how and what they built, and what they thought about themselves and their society as expressed in their buildings. Mississippi has a wide variety of architectural styles. Here is an overview of them.
Studying the architecture of the communities in our state can reveal new insights into our history and culture. Using examples of a log cabin and a more ornate Federal style house, students can easily draw conclusions about differences in ways of living. This lesson will encourage further investigation of a variety of architectural styles used throughout the state’s history and a consideration of how our buildings reflect who we are and the realities of our world from one time period to another.
In recent years scientists have begun to reconsider some old assumptions about the earliest people in the New World. Perhaps the biggest revolution in archaeology has occurred because of research done in Louisiana. This research suggests that the earliest mounds and mound groups in the world were built in Louisiana and Mississippi during what is referred to as the Middle Archaic period (8000 to 4500 BP) by archaeologists. These dates predate the Great Wall of China, Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids.
In every period of history there exist extraordinary citizens that make everlasting contributions to their society. Gideon Lincecum is one such individual. Through his writings we can gain much insight into the experiences of settlers during the early period of Mississippi’s statehood. His works are an invaluable source of reference for grasping an understanding of how social and cultural changes effected Mississippians of his era.
Mississippi Studies Framework: Competencies 1, 2, and 3.
From 1699 to 1763, the future state of Mississippi was a part of the French colony of Louisiana. During these years, the French explored the region, established settlements and military outposts, engaged in political and economic relations with the area’s Native American people, and sought to establish a profitable economy. Though France was ultimately unable to achieve its goals in the region, the years of French control of the area have left a lasting impression on Mississippi and form a crucial part of its unique cultural heritage.
With every social and cultural change in our American society there are individuals and events that serve as catalysts for these circumstances. Betsy Love is certainly a woman who helped bring change not only to Mississippi, but also to our nation. Her role in the lawsuit Fisher v. Allen served as a precedent in establishing the protection of property that belonged to married women. It was Love’s Chickasaw heritage and the tribal law of her culture that helped change the Mississippi state law concerning the property of married women.
The Natchez Indians were among the last American Indian groups to inhabit the area now known as southwestern Mississippi.
Archaeological evidence indicates that the Natchez Indian culture began as early as A.D. 700 and lasted until the 1730s when the tribe was dispersed in a war with the French. Their language is now considered to have been a language isolate, not closely related to the other Indian languages of the region.
The Natchez Indians were successful farmers, growing corn, beans, and squash. They also hunted, fished, and gathered wild plant foods. (Figure 1)
A contemporary historian wrote that the history of George Poindexter’s public career is “the history of the Territory and the State of Mississippi, so closely and prominently was he connected with everything that occurred.”
When the constitutional convention met in July of 1817 to draft Mississippi’s first constitution, David Holmes was named president of the convention and was subsequently elected without opposition as the state’s first governor. The election of Governor Holmes, who had served as governor of the Mississippi Territory for several years, facilitated the transition of Mississippi from territorial status to statehood.
Gideon Lincecum moved to Mississippi in 1818. He brought his family, which included his wife Sarah Bryan, two small children, his parents, some siblings, and a few enslaved African-Americans. They settled initially along the Tombigbee River and helped establish the town of Columbus, Mississippi.
The Lincecums were part of the hundreds of other new settlers traveling west from the Carolinas, Georgia, and Alabama during the first two decades of the 19th century. The number of Americans moving west then was so great that historians refer to the movement as the Great Migration.
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