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Politics, Slavery, and Antebellum Society

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1 Politics, Slavery, and Antebellum Society
Chapter 4

2 Chapter Preview Antebellum Board of Police Assimilation Trail of Tears
Black Code Plantation Specie Panic of 1837 Andrew Jackson Pushmataha Greenwood LeFlore Barclay William Johnson Jackson Vicksburg Meridian Oxford

3 Quotable History “My friends, circumstances render it impossible that you can flourish in the midst of a civilized community. You have but one remedy within your reach, and that is to remove to the West. And the sooner you do this, the sooner you will commence your career of improvement and prosperity.” Andrew Jackson commenting on the Indian Removal Act

4 Early Statehood After Ms became a state in 1817, it developed rapidly
Within 15 years, the state needed a new constitution By 1840, most Native Americans had ceded ownership of the land to the government and left the state. Ms was producing more cotton than any other state Some of the wealthiest people in the country lived here. However, African slaves made up more than 50% of the population of the state and were the poorest of the poor. Many whites also lived in abject poverty and the economic divide caused many problems

5 Politics

6 The State Capital The location of the state capital was one of the first issues to reveal social divisions in antebellum Mississippi. Definition: Antebellum - “Before the war”

7 The Capital In 1798, the capital was in Natchez
Natchez was already a developed frontier settlement No capital building had been constructed and political leaders met wherever there was room available. However in 1802 political rivalry led to the capital being moved to Washington. No state capital was constructed there either. In 1817, the state constitutional convention determined that the first session of the legislature would meet in Natchez. The first meeting was in Washington, but subsequent meetings were held in Natchez until 1820.

8 The Capital The small farmers in the East and North of the state wanted a capital that was more centrally located. They believed Washington was too small. They also wanted to move the capital away from the influence of Natchez and the money men. In 1821, the legislature formed a committee to locate the capital in the center of the state. They chose LeFleur’s Bluff on the Pearl River where Louis LeFleur traded with the Choctaws. The town was named Jackson, in honor of the hero of the battle of New Orleans. They met in Jackson for the first time in 1822. The city was laid out in a grid and a capital building was built in the 1840’s.

9 The Constitution of 1832 Many changes occurred in the early nineteenth century in America. The property ownership requirement to vote was eliminated. This meant that now ALL adult white men could vote and hold political office This time period was also known as the “Era of the Common Man” The paradigm shifted because of increased suffrage so that even if a wealthy man served in office it was because the numerically superior poor had elected them. The most visible example of this shift was the 1828 election of Andrew Jackson to the presidency. He had little formal education and inherited nothing.

10 Constitution of 1832 Important changes to the 1817 Constitution:
Judges were elected by the people for specific terms rather than appointed for life. Most state offices also became elective Representation in both houses was now only determined by population. One provision of the new Constitution banned the importation of slaves into Mississippi if they were to be sold. The legislature eventually passed laws to enforce this provision but it never was, because the slave trade was so lucrative.

11 Slavery The fact that the state legislature included anti-slavery provisions in the constitution showed how divisive and troubling the issue of slavery was to the people of the state. Some questioned the morality of owning other human beings Some feared the possibility of slave revolts Some saw it as an issue of permanent division in society where very few would be wealthy and everyone else very poor. Slavery was always a divisive issue in the state

12 Local Government Although state government was important, it was the county governments that supplied most of the needs of the people of the state. After 1832, and elected Board of Police governed each county. The board levied taxes for the operation of county affairs and imposed special taxes to construct courthouses and jails. They appointed supervisors to build and maintain roads and bridges It approved people who could own and run hotels, run ferries and sell alcohol They paid for poor children to attend public schools, which were white only.

13 County Government Other county officials assessed and collected taxes.
Probate judges handled such civil matters as the settlement of estates The county sheriff enforced the law County judges presided over trials County officials were very responsive to the wishes of the county voters.

14 Original Sin

15 Acquisition of Native American Land
The rapid growth in the state was made possible by the removal of Native Americans.

16 Assimilation Tension increased between Native Americans and white settlers as whites steadily moved westward At first the federal government supported a policy of “Assimilation” This theory was that if Native Americans relied on farming rather than hunting, they would need less land and co-exist with the white settlers The Native Americans were not given much time to change and even if they tried, felt as if their heritage and way of life was being stolen away. By the War of 1812, the government gave up on Assimilation because it became clear the Natives could side with the enemies of the U.S.

17 Indian Alliances The Creek Indians in Alabama joined the Shawnee chief Tecumseh and his brother Tenskwatawa (The Prophet) They then attempted to unite the rest of the tribes to resist white settlement. Pushmataha, one of the Choctaw Chiefs persuaded his people not to join Tecumseh. When Tecumseh was killed (1813) the united Native American resistance ended. Land speculators, squatters, and settlers wanted all Native Americans moved west. The federal government began negotiating treaties with the tribes to solve the problems that had plagued Native Americans and white settlers.

18 Federal Treaties First:
In 1801, the Treaty of Fort Adams was the First in a series of treaties in which the Choctaw ceded their land. The U.S. received almost 3 million acres of land and the right to build a road (The Natchez Trace) through Choctaw territory. The U.S. gave several thousand dollars worth of merchandise and the promise that non-Native Americans would be removed from Indian lands. That promise was not kept.

19 Federal Treaties The 1805 Treaty of Mount Dexter:
Gave the U.S. over 4 million acres in South Mississippi in exchange for canceling the debts Native Americans owed people who traded with them and the annual pensions for various Native American leaders including Pushmataha. Even though the Choctaw aided in the fight against the Creek and the British, the pressure to secure more land continued and Choctaw territories were part of that. White Mississippians claimed they feared attack and demanded that Native Americans be subject to state laws.

20 Federal Treaties In 1820, Andrew Jackson and Thomas Hinds (old war buddies) negotiated the Treaty of Doak’s Stand The treaty gave the U.S. 5 million acres, including the land where Jackson would be located. The Choctaw were promised land west of the Mississippi River, which they rejected because it had already been settled by whites. Pushmataha went to Washington D.C. to renegotiate but died there. A new agreement was made but the Choctaw still refused to leave.

21 Jackson Becomes President
He insured that Native Americans would be subject to state laws and courts. Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek: 1830 treaty which ceded the rest of Choctaw land in Mississippi (over 10 million acres) and agreed to move to what is now Oklahoma. Greenwood LeFlore, Pushmataha’s nephew, helped negotiate the treaty. The Choctaw numbered 18,000, several hundred whites, and 500 Black Slaves An offer was extended so that Natives who wished to could stay if they fulfilled a lengthy and complicated application process. Only about 70 families were able to complete it.

22 Treaty of Pontotoc Creek
In 1832, the Chickasaw, who numbered less than 5,000, and 1,000 Black Slaves negotiated a treaty where they ceded north Mississippi to the federal government and move west.

23 The Trail of Tears The trek of Native Americans to Oklahoma; so named because of the number of people who died along the way.

24 Trail of Tears The Choctaw, Creek, Chickasaw, Cherokee, and Seminole all made their way west as best they could, often without government help. Some Native Americans fought removal. The Seminole waged a seven-year war before some of them were allowed to stay in the Florida Everglades. Some of the Choctaw returned to Mississippi, living in small communities throughout the state. By 1860, there were about 1,000 Choctaw in Ms. In the early 1900’s, the federal government established the present reservation in Neshoba County and permitted tribal government.

25 Slavery in Mississippi
African Americans helped build the economic engine of America but were treated horribly. Slavery provided free labor for southern farms and made many white-owned plantations rich.

26 The Black Code Early in the 18th century the French brought African slaves to Louisiana directly from West Africa or by way of the Caribbean. Shortly, there were so many slaves that special legislation was seen as necessary. Governor Bienville issued a set of laws called The Black Codes (1724) These laws, which applied only to blacks, covered every aspect of slavery and society, granting slaves only a few rights. Marriage, property ownership, travel, and gathering in groups were all severely restricted. Attempts to escape and resistance to white authority were severely punished.

27 Black Code Protections
When owners sold slaves they could not separate husbands from wives or children under 14 from their parents. Owners could not mistreat their slaves or free them when they were old or sick, leaving them helpless. Slaves could not be forced to work on Sundays or religious holidays A freed slave received all the privileges of any free citizen.

28 Early Slave Contributions
The French settlement at Fort Rosalie in Natchez used slave labor: To clear the land To raise tobacco To grow indigo Some slaves sided with the Natchez Indians and helped destroy the fort in No-one knows their fate. The French also used slaves in their own military endeavors during this early period of Mississippi history.

29 Population After the French lost the Natchez district in 1763, the black population grew slowly. At the outbreak of the American Revolution, approximately 1 out of every 5 settlers in the district was black. However, during the Revolution many British loyalists fled South Carolina with their slaves and made a home in Mississippi. Under Spanish rule during and after the Revolution, the population increased quickly until they represented 40% of the total population in the District.

30 Cotton Production... ...And Slave Labor

31 Agricultural Evolution
Agriculture and lumber continued to be the main occupations for slaves. The Spanish especially encouraged the production of tobacco and indigo but those two crops are very hard on the soil. This led to a declining yield. Farmers increasingly turned to cotton. In 1793 Eli Whitney invented the Cotton Gin, a machine that separated the seeds from the cotton. A traveler brought a drawing of Whitney’s machine in 1795 to Natchez. A planter named Daniel Clarke, Sr. gave the drawing to his slave, named Barclay, and they designed the first Cotton Gin in Mississippi

32 “King Cotton” Mississippi was well suited for growing cotton.
The land was fertile and the growing season was long With its navigable waterways, it was easy to ship large quantities of cotton to New Orleans or Mobile. Men like Martin Phillips of Hinds County experimented to find the best ways to grow cotton. Rush Nutt of Rodney and Henry Vick of Warren County developed Petit Gulf Cotton and became the leading strain grown all over the south.

33 Slave Ownership While most people grew corn and cotton with the labor of their own families, there were large farm estates known as plantations. These plantations were concentrated in the most productive areas of the state. This, in turn, led to high concentrations of slave ownership in these areas. In 1860, there were fewer than 31,000 slave owners in the state. (about 9% of the white population) About half of the slaveowners owned no more than 5 slaves Only 19 slaveowners owned more than 300 The majority of slaves lived on plantations with about 20 slaves.

34 Working and Living Conditions
Slaves: Cleared Land, tilled the soil, weeded, hoed, and harvested. Cooked, cleaned, tended livestock, made clothes, and cared for small children. Some were skilled blacksmiths, carpenters, brick masons and could be hired out and eventually buy their freedom.

35 The Work Schedule The owner usually supervised the slaves’ labor.
An overseer was hired if the owner had large plantations or did not live on site Slave Drivers supervised the work of a group of slaves Work began at sunrise and ended at sunset Work days were extended during harvest time Women often worked at spinning yarn and making clothes at night Sunday was a day of rest and on many plantations work ended at noon on Saturday. Christmas was the major holiday of the year and lasted for days

36 Enforcement Owners enforced discipline and work rules in many different ways: Slaves could be whipped however, the use of the lash had limited value because it injured the slave, who could not work until they recovered The threat of punishment made slaves work, but work inefficiently. Slave owners began to offer incentives for more efficient and better work: These included: extra clothing, food, pocket knives, time off from work, parties or money.

37 Slave Life Slaves usually ate their meals together.
Pork and corn were the most important parts of their diet Fruits, vegetables, game and fish supplemented their diet The food was adequate but not really healthy. The slave owner provided medical care but doctors were only called in for serious cases. However, medical knowledge was sketchy at best and could often be more harmful. Housing quality varied. A new plantation had the most basic housing while established ones were better and usually brick.

38 The Slave Community According to the laws of Mississippi slaves were considered property. The French Black Code no longer existed. Families could be broken up at any time. Slaves needed written permission to leave the property. They were barred from reading and writing Any gathering of slaves had to have a white observer present. Slaves could not testify in court. Communities were built distinctively with these restrictions in place. A sense of community was established where the group looked after each other and was like an extended family.

39 Religion Slaves learned to read and write anyway.
They adopted and adapted Christianity. Slave owners used religion to control the slaves The slaves saw religion as a comfort and path to freedom in this life or the next. Slaves began building their own churches and preferred their own religious meetings so they could have a sense of culture and express emotions more freely than in any other setting.

40 Resistance Slaves often resisted their owners.
Owners and overseers often died attempting to discipline their slaves Owners and their families were sometimes poisoned at the dinner table. Slaves constantly ran away to escape bondage. The Nat Turner Rebellion of 1831 was a particularly violent revolt. Nat Turner, a preacher, led a rebellion in Virginia that caused the deaths of at least 60 whites and 100 blacks. This sent shockwaves across the south and caused a crackdown on any rumor of a revolt.

41 Mississippi Revolts There were no revolts in Mississippi.
However, in 1835 many were killed in Madison County, both white and black, over rumors about a revolt. Another rebellion was planned in Adams County in 1861 but was put down before it got started. Most resistance was much more subtle: Outwardly, whites were told what they wanted to hear while machinery broke down, barns burned, cotton gins and cotton was destroyed, and work slowed or stopped.

42 Free Blacks Not all blacks in Mississippi were slaves.
Most free blacks lived in towns like Natchez and Vicksburg and had many different jobs. The most prominent free black man was William Johnson of Natchez, who was a barber, owned farms and slaves. He was murdered but because the only witnesses were also black they could not testify in court.

43 Antebellum Mississippi Society

44 Land Grab The removal of the Choctaw and Chickasaw from Mississippi in the 1830’s sparked a land boom and a population explosion. 30 new counties were organized during these years. In the four years between seven million acres were sold. The State’s population grew faster than the country’s. Prosperity seemed to be everywhere in the state

45 Economy Land was cheap and cotton prices were high.
Banks extended easy credit and issued paper money which far exceeded the amount of gold and silver they had on hand. This boom ended abruptly and sent the United States economy into the worst economic depression up to that point. Although the state had supported Andrew Jackson for president, it was his economic policies that precipitated the disaster. Jackson destroyed the second Bank of The US. He then transferred government funds to his “Pet Banks”. These banks then printed more money and loaned it out

46 Economy The men that borrowed this paper money then purchased government land. The Federal Government then took two actions that ended the party: 1. The Specie Circular of 1836 required that land purchases be made with specie rather than paper money. 2. The Distribution Act required surplus money to be paid back in specie money and when paper money was turned in for specie the banks did not have it and collapsed. This led to the Panic of 1837. The depression hit Ms, land was foreclosed on, cotton prices collapsed, banks vanished, state bonds went defunct.

47 Transportation

48 Transportation Travel and communication were always slow and difficult until the introduction of paved roads in the 20th century Wagons, on dirt roads could travel a maximum of 20 miles per day The health of the economy depended on getting crops to market and the waterways were the best at this. Railroad construction went through 2 stages: 1st...Railroads were built to deliver cotton to port towns and cities. These were short railroads. Eventually the rivers were bridged and the rails extended 2nd...Small railroads were linked to larger “trunk” or main lines to all major US cities

49 Little Red Schoolhouse
Early Education Little Red Schoolhouse

50 Education Education developed slowly in Ms.
Most could not afford to spend a lot of money on education and the economy was agriculturally based so it was seen as unneeded By 1860 there were over 1100 public schools but they only met about 3 months a year. Only studied reading, writing and basic math Most were one-room schoolhouses

51 Higher Education Was the responsibility of private institutions and religious organizations Jefferson College in Washington and Oakland College in Claiborne County provided the first higher education in the state. Neither survived the Civil War The University of Mississippi was established in 1840 but did not begin operation in Oxford until 1848. It closed during the Civil War because most students and faculty joined the Confederate Army.

52 End Chapter 4 Read Chapter 5

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