iWARRIORWALK USA TOUR – STOP #49
WALKED ON OCTOBER 14, 2010
On Thursday, October 14, 2010, I (Stanley Bronstein) walked 5 hours on the campus of the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) and the surrounding area.
Highlights of the Mississippi leg of the tour:
- The weather was nice.
- The walk went by VERY QUICKLY, as I got a VERY EARLY start. I was actually finished with my walk by 11:30 AM.
- I got on the road very quickly. The drive went through the Mississippi countryside, the Arkansas countryside and the Louisiana countryside. While I’ve been in all 3 states before, I got to see parts of these states I’d never been to before.
- The ride was VERY relaxing.
- I got to my hotel by 4:15 PM, so I was able to get some work done and I’m going to get to bed very early.
As usual, I recorded a podcast which can be listened to
by clicking the button right below these words.
Here are pictures from my walk.
DOUBLE CLICK ON THE IMAGE THUMBNAILS TO VIEW FULL SIZE PICTURES
Here are 5 fast facts about Mississippi:
- The name of the state derives from the Mississippi River, which flows along its western boundary, which namesake is from the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi (“Great River”). The state is heavily forested outside of the Mississippi Delta area, and its catfish aquaculture farms produce the majority of farm-raised catfish consumed in the United States.
- The state of Mississippi is entirely composed of lowlands, the highest point being Woodall Mountain, in the foothills of the Cumberland Mountains, 806 feet (246 m) above sea level. The lowest point is sea level at the Gulf coast. The mean elevation in the state is 300 feet (91 m) above sea level.
- Due to seasonal flooding possible from December to June, the Mississippi River created a fertile floodplain in the Mississippi Delta, including tributaries. Early planters used slaves to build levees along the Mississippi River to divert flooding. They built on top of the natural levees that formed from dirt deposited after the river flooded. As cultivation of cotton increased in the Delta, planters hired Irish laborers to ditch and drain their land. The state took over levee building from 1858 to 1861, accomplishing it through contractors and hired labor. In those years, planters considered their slaves too valuable to hire out for such dangerous work. Contractors hired gangs of Irish immigrant laborers to build levees and sometimes clear land. Many of the Irish were relatively recent immigrants from the famine years, and struggling to get established. Before the American Civil War, the earthwork levees averaged six feet in height, although in some areas they reached twenty feet. Flooding has been an integral part of Mississippi history. It took a toll during the years after the Civil War. Major floods swept down the valley in 1865, 1867, 1874 and 1882. Such floods regularly overwhelmed levees damaged by Confederate and Union fighting during the war, as well as those constructed after the war,
- After the American Revolution, this area became part of the new United States of America. The Mississippi Territory was organized on April 7, 1798, from territory ceded by Georgia and South Carolina. It was later twice expanded to include disputed territory claimed by both the United States and Spain. From 1800 to about 1830, the United States purchased some lands (Treaty of Doak’s Stand) from Native American tribes for new settlements of Americans. On December 10, 1817, Mississippi was the 20th state admitted to the Union.
- When cotton was king during the 1850s, Mississippi plantation owners—especially those of the Delta and Black Belt regions—became wealthy due to the high fertility of the soil, the high price of cotton on the international market, and their assets in slaves. The planters’ dependence on hundreds of thousands of slaves for labor and the severe wealth imbalances among whites, played strong roles both in state politics and in planters’ support for secession. By 1860, the enslaved population numbered 436,631 or 55% of the state’s total of 791,305. There were fewer than 1000 free people of color. The relatively low population of the state before the Civil War reflected the fact that land and villages were developed only along the riverfronts, which formed the main transportation corridors. Ninety percent of the Delta bottomlands were frontier and undeveloped.[The state needed many more settlers for development. On January 9, 1861, Mississippi became the second state to declare its secession from the Union, and it was one of the founding members of the Confederate States of America. Before the Civil War, Mississippi was the fifth-wealthiest state in the nation, its wealth generated by cotton plantations along the rivers. Slaves were then counted as property and the rise in the cotton markets since the 1840s had increased their value. A majority – 55 percent – of the population of Mississippi was enslaved in 1860. Ninety percent of the Delta bottomlands were undeveloped and the state had low population overall.
Next stop, Louisiana.