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Mississippi State History

Mississippi in a state in the south of the United States. It is the thirty-second largest state in the U.S.

Mississippi is very famous for having the second longest river in the North American continent: the Mississippi River.

Jackson is the capital city of the state.

Coat Of Arms Of Mississippi

The word Mississippi comes from the Algonquin word for the river. This word is “Anishinaabe” and it means “Great River”.

Related: Mississippi State Facts

The French explorers spelt the word “Anishinaabe”,  “Misi-ziibi”, and this eventually became “Mississippi”.

The Mississippi River

Lake Itasca Mississippi Source

The Mississippi River is the second-longest river in North America. It flows for 2,320 miles (3,730 kilometres).

It passes through ten states in the U.S. These are: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana.

The shores of the Mississippi River have been inhabited for thousands of years. Its banks are very fertile and good for growing crops.


The river has always been a vital transportation link in the United States.

The first European explorer of the Mississippi River was called Hernando de Soto. This Spanish explorer named the river, “Rio del Espiritu Santo” (“River of the Holy Spirit”).

Desoto Hernando

Other rivers in Mississippi are the Big Black River, the Yazoo River and the Pearl River.

The biggest lake in Mississippi is the Sardis Lake.

Big Black River


Mississippi has been inhabited for thousands of years by Native American groups.

Descendants of Native American groups are the Chickasaw and the Choctaw. The first European expedition was in 1540.

Chickasaw Cultural Center

The first settlement was made in 1699 by French colonists.

In 1716, another town, Natchez, was founded on the Mississippi River. It was one of the most important towns in the region.

spain france andorra

Mississippi swapped hands a number of times. At one point or another, it had been ruled by the British, Spanish and the French.

After the Treaty of Paris in 1763, the British ruled Mississippi. After the American Revolution (1765-83), Britain gave the territory over to the new United States of America.


In the eighteenth century, European settlers enslaved people from Africa and brought them to Mississippi.

In 1860, over half the population (55%) were enslaved African American people.

Mississippi became the 20th state in the United States in 1817.

Seal Of Mississippi

Civil War

In 1861, Mississippi became the second state to breakaway from the United States and join the Confederate States of America (or the Confederacy).

The confederacy fought against the United States between 1861 and 1865. It was made up of seven states where slavery was still legal.


These states were South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana and Texas.

In 1860, Abraham Lincoln became the president of the United States. Lincoln was opposed to expanding slavery so the slave-holding states of the south went to war with the United States.

Take the Quiz!

Clark Creek Natural Area Ms

Where does the word Mississippi come from?

Name two rivers in Mississippi.

What percentage of the population of Mississippi were enslaved African Americans in 1860?

What did Mississippi join in 1861?

Who were Mississippi fighting during the Civil War?

US State History

Mississippi New State Capitol Building In Jackson