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American History
Mississippi and Beyond
contributed by Lu Hickey

Wilmington North Carolina situated on Cape Fear River, 20 miles from the Atlantic Ocean, is known for her harbor, accommodating the large ocean going vessels.  The city is located in a highly productive agricultural district of which many Scots settled centuries ago.  Wilmington was first settled in 1730 and incorporated in 1739.  Here in 1765, was the first armed resistance to the British Stamp Act.  During the civil War, the port was the chief gateway between the South and foreign nations. It was a principal resort of the blockade runners.  Here is where the American West begins...

At the turn of the century, thousands of immigrants arrived on colonial soil.  As time went by, the movement turned to the western lands beyond the mountains and on to the Mississippi River Deltas.  The rich soil was lucrative for growing cotton.  The region of the southern states are deemed: Cotton Belt and the product, King Cotton..The driving force behind many wealthy plantation owners and foreign trade..

In 1789, the settlers from North Carolina began to arrive in Louisiana and in 1792 harvested and refined the first sugar cane. In 1794, refined sugar was produced on a commercial scale so the south was booming with good fortune with the resources at hand.  The cotton and sugar cane would be exported and the wealthy got wealthier.

Around this same time, the cotton gin was invented easing the chore of :"picking the bolls", it was a means of refinement of the raw product and making it more assessable to be sold on the foreign markets.

So now we see the 1800's, Louisiana is transferred to France by Spain, embargo acts are passed and importation of slaves prohibited.  Louisiana is admitted as a state and war is declared against Great Britain and so goes the War of 1812.  Another tumultuous time in our history, the war with Great Britain rages on with loss of live and property, crops and fortunes, finally in 1815, Jackson defeats the British at New Orleans and a peace treaty is signed.  Mississippi is admitted to the union in 1817.

The westward movement is thriving.  For some of  those who came from the east to take part in the War of 1812,  decided there was nothing to go back to and homesteaded in the fertile land of the delta region and beyond the Mississippi.  But across the Mississippi lay the most dangerous lands and ruler in all history.....Santa Anna, the dictator of Mexico.  And General Sam Houston at Washington-on the Brazos.



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