What is the Capital of Mississippi?

Jackson, Mississippi, USA skyline over the Capitol Building.
Jackson, Mississippi, USA skyline over the Capitol Building.

Introduction

Have you ever wondered what the capital of Mississippi is, where it is, and what its historical significance is? A lot of people are curious, so let’s find out more about this city!

The capital of Mississippi is Jackson, the most populous city in the state. It has a population of around 150,000 and it sits on the edge of the Pearl River, in the Jackson Prairie region. It has a rich history and lots of cultural institutions, including museums, halls, stadiums, etc.

We’ll use this article to better understand the city of Jackson, including its history, its location, how it became the capital, and so much more. This should help you out if you ever plan to visit it!

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Where Is The Capital Of Mississippi Located? 

Where Is The Capital Of Mississippi Located
Where Is The Capital Of Mississippi Located

The capital of Mississippi is located on the Pearl River, in the Jackson Prairie. It is in the central southwest of the state, fairly close to the Louisiana border, surrounded by other towns.

Mississippi itself is a southern state that is surrounded by other states, with Alabama in the east, Louisiana in the south (along with the Gulf of Mexico, which touches a small part of Mississippi), Arkansas in the west, and Tennessee in the north. It is bordered by the Mississippi River, and is made up of two distinct geographical regions.

It has the Mississippi Alluvial Plain, a flood plain with very fertile soil, and the Gulf Coastal Plain, with forested areas, sandy beaches, and the Red Clay Hills. In terms of its geology, Mississippi is therefore a very diverse state.

Brief History Of Jackson

The Mississippi State Capitol Building in downtown Jackson.
The Mississippi State Capitol Building in downtown Jackson.

The city of Jackson was named after a man called Andrew Jackson, and it was established as the area’s seat of government back in 1821. It was a convenient site because several trade routes merged at its location, including the Natchez Trace and the Pearl River. This made it convenient to access and wealthy.

Unfortunately, the governor of Jackson disagreed with Lincoln’s attempts to abolish slavery, and in 1860, he called for Mississippi to secede from the US. An ordinance of secession was passed in 1861, and this instigated war. War swelled the population of Jackson, which only had about 3000 citizens in 1860, but it was devastating for the city itself.

The war devastated Jackson economically, creating a massive shortage of food, and driving up prices. By 1863, General Grant was moving toward Jackson, and by May, he had overrun and taken control of it. They stripped the city of its value, destroying the railroads, the factories, prisons, warehouses, bridges, and more to weaken their opponents.

The government of Jackson fled and the formal seat was removed until the end of the war. The legislators had to meet elsewhere throughout the rest of the war, and the governor of Jackson spent most of the war in other parts of the state – as did his successor.

In total, the city of Jackson was captured 5 times throughout the war, with more destruction each time. This was enormously detrimental to the morale of the Mississippi people, undermining their government and destroying their faith in the Confederate forces.

When Did Jackson Become The Capital Of Mississippi?

Mississippi Governor's Mansion in Jackson, Mississippi
Mississippi Governor’s Mansion in Jackson, Mississippi

Jackson became the capital of Mississippi in 1821, when it was established as the seat of the state’s government. Previously, the capital had been Natchez, which was the oldest and largest settlement in the territory of Mississippi. It remained the capital until 1802.

At this point, the capital was moved to Washington, where Jefferson College was opened in 1811. In 1817, the state constitution was signed in Washington, and then the state capital was moved back to Natchez.

However, officials soon viewed Natchez as unsuitable because it was too far from the center of the state and too far from the river. The governors met in Colombia for 1 year, and then Jackson was surveyed and situated in 1822. It faced a further challenge to its authority as the nearby Clinton was briefly considered as a replacement, but Jackson did retain its status.

Why Is Jackson The Capital Of Mississippi?

There are a number of reasons, but the most obvious is its location. Jackson intersects with many trade routes and means of transport. It probably also had some degree of chance; since other cities were considered, it might possibly have lost its title in slightly different circumstances.

Jackson’s historical significance and the role that it played in the Civil War make it unlikely that it will lose its status as capital now.

Best Places To Visit In Jackson

Jackson has some excellent places to recommend it: you might want to try the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science, which houses amazing exhibits showing off fossils, many of today’s native creatures, and all sorts for kids to do and see. Whether they love dinosaurs or reptiles, they’ll find something amazing here.

Alternatively, try the Jackson Zoological Park, which has more than 200 different species. It is a fantastic day out and a great opportunity to learn more about all sorts of animals, including tigers, leopards, red pandas, anacondas, ostriches, colobus monkeys, red wolves, and so much more. It’s an animal-lover’s paradise!

If you are into history, you might want to check out the original capitol building, which dates back to 1839, and now serves as a museum. There’s also the active capitol building, which has a gold leaf eagle, a domed roof at 180 feet tall, and an opportunity to watch House sessions from the gallery.

If none of that appeals, there’s the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, which covers the history of the Civil War and goes right through to the 1970s, detailing the brave people who brought about change in America. It is an emotionally powerful and amazing museum that everybody should visit.

Conclusion

Jackson is the capital of Mississippi, and it has an enormous wealth of history to offer to its visitors. It was historically significant during the Civil War and remains of importance today, housing current government sessions and offering visitors an opportunity to step into the past and learn.

See Also

Capital Cities 

Hi and welcome to my travel blog! Based in London, I work in investment banking in a quantitative field and although I am not part of the travel industry, I have a ton of passion for travel. My blog is a reference guide for my fellow travelers with the same passion as me. Hopefully the blog is easy to navigate and my aim is to bring the most relevant and interesting information before you begin your journey!